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The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home








The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home




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The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home


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

JEWISH THOUGHT Remaining Faithful. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Proactive Parenting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20


A Look into the Future: The Best of 2016’s Consumer Electronics Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Billionaires Trivia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

LIFESTYLES Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Travel Guide: Atlanta. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Amulets, Accusations & Controversy: The Devastating Polemic Between Rabbi Yaakov Emden And Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz. . . . . . . . . 42

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30




Dear Readers,

The other day while waiting in the carpool line my five year old daughter, Moussia, turns to me asking, “Do you know which dress I’m going to wear when Moshiach comes?” “No,” I answered. “My prettiest one!” She exclaimed. Duh. This left me thinking, is Moshiach only about a spiritual awakening, which we should prepare for by focusing on the spiritual? Or should we also focus on the physical redemption and the joy it will bring? Truth is, we can have the same discussion about our attitude toward Torah and mitzvot in general. Should we focus only on the spiritual rewards and accomplishments for keeping G-d’s commandments, or should we also emphasize the benefits here in this world? This column is too small to cite all the sources, but the basic conclusion in Jewish thought, especially Chassidic thought, is that the completion of G-d’s original intent in creating this world is manifested when the physical

mirrors the spiritual. In addition to all the spiritual benefits, our physical life in this world is enhanced when we follow the directives of the Torah. This is how we infuse our personal development, responsibility, family and community with positive energy and ultimately success. The same is true about messianic times. In addition to the great spiritual revelation which will take place, in the words of the Rambam, “The sole occupation of all humanity will be to know G-d.” It will also lead to peace and goodwill amongst the nations of the world, a time of prosperity and plenty. Although we are experiencing turbulence in this last part of our journey – let us prepare for the deeper meaning, the coming of our righteous redeemer who will usher in a time of great joy and light for all the nations of the world. Wishing you a most enjoyable Shabbos,


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



TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Los Angeles Reception for RCCS Rabbi Arye D. Gordon

On Sunday evening, January 17, 2016, the 7th Annual Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) Reception in Los Angeles was hosted by Chaim and Naomi Manela and Steve and Lorraine Spira. The theme was “Evening of Miracles.” The evening guest speaker was Rabbi Moshe Isenberg. A video presentation covering the lifesaving work of RCCS and the trials and tribulation of one family and their young daughter was shown. This was an opportunity to hear one of many stories of success for which the RCCS is known. The Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society was founded by Reb Hershel Kohn, a successful businessman who recognized that many families, suddenly confronted with the news that a family member had been diagnosed with cancer, need special guidance and assistance in dealing with the everyday difficulties; medical, financial, and psychological, that become major concerns in their lives. The goals of RCCS is to help cancer

patients receive the best Health Insurance Policies possible and to provide the financial assistance needed to maintain these insurance policies. RCCS provides the expertise of top doctors in the field and offers assistance to patients and families confronted with this illness. One of the most devastating news that parents can be told is that their child has a life- threatening illness. After hearing such emotionally charged and heart wrenching information, the next major concern is whether health insurance will cover these tremendous treatment costs and if not, what to do? Rabbi Moshe Isenberg was the bearer of such a scenario to a packed audience in the Manela home. Reb Moshe took us down the road that he and his family personally travelled. It was because of the clear and unquestioned help of the RCCS, lifting a major burden and concern off their shoulders, that the Isenberg family was able to concentrate their energies on their

daughter and her wellbeing. The Isenberg’s were initially shocked and then most thankful of the RCCS’s response to their plight. The medical insurance was secured and the payments were provided for. “You have no idea how much RCCS does,” added Rabbi Isenberg. “It is not just the insurance. They took our daughters medical information to top doctors in the field who reviewed her records and confirmed the prescribed treatment and even advised that the hospital she was in was the right place for her. And I must tell you that all this is accomplished by your support. You are, mamush, saving lives.” Dr. Rosenshein of RCCS, who is modestly listed on RCCS stationary as “consultant,” thanked those who have donated to the organization so that, in the past 12 months, RCCS has allocated close to $400,000 to cancer-stricken patients in Los Angeles alone. Added Rabbi Albala, Director of Com-

munity Development for RCCS, “We never turn away anyone who qualifies for our assistance. There is no waiting list. No one is told to come back in a few months, for we are unable at the moment to provide financial support. We are there for you and will not tell you to come back at a later time.” Before the presentation to the Manelas and the Spiras, host Chaim Manela stood to say a few words. “My real introduction to RCCS was through my wife Naomi, who has had an association with Dr. Rosenshein for many years. In meeting the good doctor I was taken by his passion, his strength and desire and great belief in what he is doing, and therefore I say to you all, we must come to his assistance and show our support for RCCS.” To participate in this great mitzvah visit http://www.rofehcholim.org or call 718 722 2002

Miri Shepher Introduces The Shepher Center Nothing grows without strong leadership and the IAC has started 2016 with an impressive achievement. On January 10th, Isaac and Miri Shepher proudly opened the new Shepher Center in Woodland Hills. Los Angeles city councilmember, Bob Blumenfield, IAC National Board Member, Naty Saidoff and Adam Milstein, IAC National Chairman, were in attendance at the 200 people event. The 11,000 sq. ft. Shepher Center has been carefully designed as a home for Israeli orientated events which will run alongside IAC offices, local and national, as well as additional office space earmarked for not-for-profit organizations that help the Israeli-American community. There is no shul at this time, but there is a stage for theater, movies and lectures, and a second building with an additional 30,000 sq. ft. is earmarked for construction at the location, with a 2018 completion date.

“This is your home. Our community, our children, our elderly, our moms and dads, young professionals looking for engagement…we all have a home. If you are Israeli-American, this is your home. If you are Jewish American, this is your home,” announced Isaac Shepher at the Grand Opening. Shepher made his fortune with the creation of the Life Alert organization, which provides bracelets and necklaces for the immobile, which makes it possible to reach a call center in an emergency. Miri Shepher, was born in Tunisia, but grew up on a Kibbutz. An LA native for the past 30 years, she remains deeply connected to the Jewish community, now numbering around 250,000. She spoke to The Jewish Home explaining, “My husband and I have always wanted to do something special for this community and we looked for people to invest in the project for the many years and finally, my husband sur-

prised me with his commitment to fund the construction. I’ve been immersed in the Israeli-American community for many years, so I was thrilled. Previously, I spent 20 years running the Israeli Newspaper. I knew the address of every Israeli Home... literally! This is the next step for me.” The Israeli-American Council (IAC) has been growing for the last eight years. Given that Los Angeles is host to the largest Israeli community after Tel Aviv and New York, the organization’s growth, along with its stable financial backing, has ensured its future. Miri Shepher speaks with pride about the IAC, “IAC is always so busy. You can ask what we are doing this minute, this week or this month and there are many answers with the variety of activities that we orchestrate. From the youngest to the oldest we help so many causes and people. “The building will house charities and non-profits and we expect them to find cross benefits so that they can find savings in their work duplication and they can also benefit from collaboration. Currently we have Matti Organization and Larger than Life, a charity who work to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients in Israel and Tzofim, the Israeli Scout Program. We have had inquiries from a great number of small organizations who want to come and see the new premises. Our goal is to see how many charities we can house. We have neighbors in the area so we have to be responsible to make the center blend with the neighborhood as well.

And for sure, we’ll have Friday night dinners which we are certain to fill with local families. “I was born in Israel so I always have an awareness in the back of my mind that there is an urgency to shore up the Israeli-American support for the State of Israel. The families we are seeing know it is very important to keep the Hebrew language alive. This is why we also support four schools who teach Hebrew for an hour in the afternoon, and if there’s a desire and a passion, the next generation will have all the support necessary to continue the legacy of their Israeli parents. The IAC is a culture which bonds the heritage we have to our Judaism, with our lives in America. “The State of Israel is very important for all of us. Our children are Israeli-American and if we won’t teach them now they’ll be confused by their future path. This is what we will be doing at the center. There is going to be social programs for mothers with babies through grandparents. We don’t get involved in the politics of Israel, but we certainly see to it that Israeli-Americans and Jewish American are prepared to defend themselves and the State of Israel when they are in a confrontational situation, be that on a college campus or in the workplace. I am proud that the IAC makes our children wear the star of their identity proudly. This is the most important achievement.” For more information, visit www.israeliamerican.org

TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Vihnitzer Rabbi Visits Los Angeles The Los Angeles Jewish community is buzzing with activity, eagerly preparing for the honor of hosting the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlita, of Bnei Brak. He will be spending nine days visiting local mosdos and kehilos, delivering drushos, meeting area rabunim and accepting those who come to seek his guidance and advice on all matters. The Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel Hager, succeeded his father Rav Moshe Yeshiya Hager, the Yeshias Moshe, after his passing in 2012. He is the grandson of Rav Chaim Meir Hager, the Imrei Chaim. While the Rebbe is revered as the head of Vizhnitz in Eretz Yisroel, he is known as a true manhig yisroel who has a special chavivus for every yid. His visit will be a golden opportunity to be mashpia to the Los Angeles commu-

nity and the many expected visitors in both ruchniyus and gashmiyus and to share the geshmak and varmkeit of chasidus. The Los Angeles welcoming committee, includes people from the community, who have been hard at work ensuring the success of the Rebbe’s upcoming visit. The committee includes Moshe Chopp, Baruch C. Cohen Esq, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Rabbi Shmuel Einhorn, David Hager, Motty Hertzog, Chaim Kassirer, Michael Kest, Jeff Mendell, Meir Leib Rosman, Elie Ryzman, Barry Weiss. The Rebbe will come to the achsanya shel Torah of Mr. & Mrs. Michael Kest on Sunday, February 14th with an official kabulas punim to welcome the Rebbe later that night at Congregation Etz Chaim of Hancock Park. Hundreds are expected to attend in order to get a glimpse of the Reb-

be and an opportunity to be in his exalted presence. The Rebbe will be spending Shabbos Parshas Titzave at the home of Mr. and

Operation Entebbe; Elite IDF Commander Sassy Reuven Remembers the Greatest Hostage Rescue Ruth Judah This is the 40th year since the miraculous raid on Entebbe so Rabbi Mayer Greene invited a San Fernando resident, Retired Elite IDF Commander Sassy Reuven, to speak at the January 13th Menachem Institute event. These lectures are held every few months and present interesting and powerful panels and speakers. Reuven has been sharing his memories of the event at select Jewish centers across the country. He accepted the invitation, acknowledging the coincidence of speaking at Chabad of Tarzana as this was his first shul when he arrived in America many years before. Rabbi Mordechai Einbinder introduced Sassy to the audience and it was a warm reunion. More than 150 people showed up to hear Reuven’s first hand memories of the legend of Entebbe which took place back in 1976. Reuven mesmerized the audience and talked about this anniversary being a poignant reminder of the power and independence that has been Israel’s through the years. Most people of a certain age remember where they were when the events of Entebbe unfolded. For the younger generations, the story is found in history books. For Reuven, it was a transforming time in his life. These were the years that Reuven served in the IDF’s elite Red Beret Paratrooper unit and he participated in several covert operations until he was accidentally

shot and severely wounded by friendly fire while preparing for a mission, after Entebbe. Reuven talked through the story of Operation Thunderbolt. This was the July 4th, 1976 secret counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Force in response to the hijacking of an Air France plane with 248 passengers, as it departed from Tel Aviv Airport. The anti-Israeli terrorists received support from Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and finally landed in Uganda. At Entebbe airport, Uganda, the hostages were moved from the aircraft to an airport building and the hijackers separated the Israelis from 148 non-Israeli hostages who were released. The remaining Jewish passengers, including children, and the 12-member Air France crew, were left in a dire situation. Mossad provided information to the IDF who spent a week planning a creative and brave 90 minute rescue, which ultimately secured the release of 102 hostages. Reuven was one of the soldiers assigned to secure other parts of the airport. He remembered that he was ultimately the second last soldier to board the plane, and so the second to disembark in Entebbe; last on, first off. Five Israeli commandos were ultimately wounded and tragically, the unit commander, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, the

older brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were also killed. Reuven acknowledged that Israel executed the daring plan without approval or knowledge of the United Nations or any other country. They knew they had a short window to make the rescue and acted with stealth and creativity, not considering political repercussion, but focused on the military and security needs of their civilians. Events are handled so differently today.

Mrs. Moshe Chopp and will be davening at Congregation Bais Yehuda on North La Brea Avenue. The Rebbe’s legendary Friday night Tish will take place at Congregation Bais Yehuda, in the Moshe Ganz Hall. A unique experience. The Vizhnitzer Tish is an uplifting, inspiring event filled with hislahavus and hartz. This is when the Rebbe’s chasidim engage in serious soul searching, thinking about all that transpired over the previous week and planning for a positive and productive week ahead. The Rebbe, who is known as a worldwide leader and is a member of the Motezes Gedolei HaTorah in Eretz Yisorel, will remain in Los Angeles until February 23rd. Devoted followers from all over North America are expected to flock to Los Angeles to take part in this monumental visit.

Reuven delivered a passionate lecture and talked about G-d’s involvement in the rescue mission. He said that when we rise up to G-d’s hands, here we find the miraculous aspect. Reuven maintains strong opinions about the importance of keeping enemies as enemies. Reuven never went back to military work, but instead turned to his second love, engineering, and stayed out of politics. After the lecture, one of the attendees stood up and said her husband’s mother had been one of the hostages and her husband was one of the children who had been rescued. Reuven said he had seen a photo of the hostages with the lady and her child. This was a Los Angeles family, but they had not met Reuven beforehand, so it was an emotional reunion which connected the past with the present. For more information on Menachem Institute Events, visit www.chabadofthevalley.com



TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

From Israel, With Love 600 people came out to see Duo Reim in concert at Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills on Sunday, January 10. The Israeli folk music icons were joined on stage by Beth Jacob’s Chazan Arik Wollheim as well as the Harkham Hillel He-

brew Academy Choir. Re’im means friends and the Duo Re’m singing partners, Benny Rosenbaum and Yisrael Gottesdiener, have been performing together since they met in the IDF in 1967. They have won many prizes going

back to the 1972 Israel Chassidic Festival and their popularity continues. Audience members sang along to Hebrew, English and Yiddish songs, including well known favorites “Al Kol Eleh” and “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.” There were new songs learned as well. Paul Jeser shared his concert experience with a Facebook posting, “Their performance was spectacular, the ensemble and arrangements were very impressive,

and the selections performed, from many musical styles, were more than enjoyable. And, even more important than that, considering the challenges the Jewish People now face, this ‘feel-good’ evening was exactly what was needed.” The unforgettable event was made possible by sponsor, Alice Schoenfeld, whose generosity and vision allowed the concert to become a reality.

England, Kalmenson is the author of the inspirational book, Seeds of Wisdom, and A Time to Heal; The Rebbe’s response to Loss and Tragedy. He will be speaking on, “G d is in the Details: The way Judaism transformed the landscape of Western Morality.” The Saturday night Havdalah buffet will include a musical kumzitz with Rabbi Yehuda Ferris from Berkeley. The evening is expected to run late into the night but Sunday is unscheduled so that visitors can enjoy a hike in the local mountains and can take advantage of the fabulous skiing.

With temperatures in the 30’s, the mountain air is crisp but comfortable. Tahoe is a seven hour drive from Los Angeles, or there is a flight to Reno which takes less than two hours. Once at the resort, there is no need to use your car. You can enjoy a Tahoe experience which might bring some permanent respite from the high-octane life that we experience in Los Angeles. To register or learn more about the Shabbaton, visit TahoeShabbaton.com or call 530-314-7677

Lake Tahoe Shabbat Weekend Retreat with World-class Skiing Lake Tahoe Shabbat Weekend Retreat with World-class Skiing On February 5th-7th more than 100 Shabbat candles will be lit by the side of Tahoe’s glistening freshwater lake by participants in the 2nd Lake Tahoe Shabbaton Weekend Retreat. This is the third year that Chabad of Lake Tahoe has been offering community classes to local and out-oftown guests and more than 150 people are expected for the 2016 winter retreat. Rabbi Mordechai Richler has created this years’ program to maximize the delight of clear mountain air and Jewish learning. “Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to unwind from our hectic lives. Shabbat is wonderful, but it is also very consuming and by the time we make Havdalah, we’re straight back to work and our busy lives. We need vacation time and it is very important to create this in a Jewish environment.”

With upscale kosher catering provided by Meni Peretz from Yes Catering, this the weekend when you won’t need to cook. The program also provides a full children’s program for children aged 3 – 12 and counselors will take the kids bowling, hiking and otherwise keep them fully engaged. The weekend’s services will be accompanied by a most special Torah Scroll. Rescued by a young boy during Kristellnacht, this aging Torah scroll is travelling around American shuls. Owned by the JCI, Rabbi Richler heard it was in California and organized for its participation at the retreat where it will be used to read Parashah Mishpatim on Saturday morning. Other events are plentiful, as well as a lecture and conversation with featured speaker, Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson. A renowned scholar and speaker from London,

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Yayoe Dance Day 5776 On January 18th, Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov-Ohr Eliyahu held an innovative program for the girls to showcase to their

families a variety of dance creations celebrating the Jewish experience through leaps and twirls. The school has always



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had an enriched arts department and focuses on giving students an array of experiences and leadership opportunities. The show opened with Chopin’s Piano Etude No.21 and the After School Ballet team danced with ribbons and chasses. First graders welcomed the Shabbos Kallah with a dance set to the L’cha Dodi waltz. This was followed by 7th graders presenting Min Hametzar from Tehillim in Hallel. Their performance was an elegant rendition of our life journey through narrow places, challenges and struggles, as inspired by tango, the cha-cha, and the waltz. Yiddish poetry composed by the famous Rabbi Yomtov Ehrlich, the composer of the well-known Yaakov, evoked the next dance which was a mystical presentation of Shabbos as it descends on all creatures and fields and mountains, which the 5th graders danced, alongside the image of a family preparing to light candles. Other dances included a Sukkot dance with magical lulavim, a Simchas Torah dance with the world of Torah depicted, a tableau of the light and festive side of Purim including entertaining tricks, singing, kazoos, and a bump car dance. The Chanukah dance was presented by the Bas Mitzvah girls performing Israeli dance step combinations and the 8th Grade Girls told the story, “From slavery to freedom” in a dance that segued to celebration. It is said that the land of Israel without Torah, is like a body without a soul, and the grand finale, choreographed and organized by 7th grade students, considered these words through an ancient Israeli dance called Dundai. A fitting finale for a program with dances that showed substance, grace, teamwork and beauty. The choreographers and teachers gave the girls a wonderful experience, as well as helping to fit shoes, create costumes, secure bobby pins and sort kvetches, all while maintaining class schedules. Special thanks to Marty Fox who has directed the Music and Dance department for 20 years, to Mrs. Saks for creating costumes with the help of many students, to Rabbi Golbart for technical set up, to Morah Gigi for sewing the lulav costumes and to Mrs. Bukshpun-Zilberstein for fixing all the white kallah dresses.


‫‪The Week In News‬‬

‫‪JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home‬‬

‫שבת היסטורית‬ ‫בעיר לאס אנג'לס‬ ‫לאס אנגל'ס החרדית נרגשת עם הישמע הבשורה המרנינה‪ ,‬על ביקורו הצפוי של‬

‫כ"ק אדמו"ר‬ ‫מויזניץ שליט"א‬

‫מגדולי מנהיגי היהדות החרדית בארץ הקודש ובעולם‪ ,‬חבר מועצת גדולי התורה‬ ‫כ"ק מרן אדמו"ר שליט"א יופיע בהדרו ביום א' לסדר תצוה‪ ,‬שבו יתקיים‬ ‫קבלת פנים רבתי לכבודו הרם‪ ,‬וישהה אי"ה בעירנו עד ליום ג' כי תשא‪.‬‬

‫במרכזו של הביקור‪ ,‬תתקיים בס"ד שבת רבתי מרוממת‬ ‫ונעלה‪ ,‬בצילו הטהור של כ"ק מרן אדמו"ר שליט"א‪.‬‬ ‫ב ר ו ך‬

‫ה ב א‬

‫ב ש ם‬

‫ה ש ם‬

‫שבת של ויזניץ‪ ,‬מפורסמת היא בעולם כולו כשבת נעלה מאין כמותה‪ .‬שושלת אדמו"רי בית‬ ‫ויזניץ הניחו בכל הדורות את עיקר הדגש על השבת קודש‪ ,‬בחמימות והתלהבות ובאש קודש‪.‬‬ ‫שולחנו הטהור של כ"ק מרן אדמו"ר שליט"א‪ ,‬במרכז חסידי ויזניץ בבני ברק‪ ,‬הוא מוקד‬ ‫משיכה לאלפים ולרבבות‪ ,‬לא רק חסידי ויזניץ‪ ,‬המגיעים מדי שבת בשבתו‬ ‫לכן‪ ,‬מובנת התכונה וההתרגשות בקרב המוני יהודי לאס אנג'לס‪ ,‬אשר יזכו‪ ,‬לראשונה‬ ‫בהיסטוריה‪ ,‬לשבת בצל האדמו"ר מויזניץ שליט"א על אדמת לאס אנג'לס‪.‬‬ ‫לרבים מאתנו עדיין מונח בזכרונינו עת הופיע בהדרו בעירנו כ"ק מרן אדמו"ר מויזניץ זי"ע בעל‬ ‫"ישועות משה" ואיך הכניס התרוממות וחמימות בעירנו כולה‪ ,‬והשאיר רשימה דקדושה לשנים‬ ‫רבות‪ ,‬וכעת אנו זוכים לקבל פני בנו וממשיך דרכו כ"ק מרן אדמו"ר מויזניץ שליט"א‪.‬‬

‫‪The Los Angeles community is‬‬ ‫‪honored and privileged to host the‬‬

‫‪Viznitzer Rebbe Shlita‬‬ ‫‪of Bnei Brak‬‬

‫‪who will be coming to Los Angeles‬‬

‫‪to inspire, uplift, enrich and encourage the residents of our city.‬‬ ‫‪We will have the zechus of the Rebbe’s presence from Sunday,‬‬ ‫‪February 14th, through midday Tuesday February 23rd.‬‬ ‫‪During his time in Los Angeles the Rebbe will be visiting local mosdos and kehilos,‬‬ ‫‪meeting with area rabonim and other anashim chashuvim and speaking with those‬‬ ‫‪who come to him for brachos, eitzos and guidance on other matters.‬‬

‫‪Details to follow‬‬ ‫‪The Welcoming Committee‬‬

‫הוועדה‬ ‫המכינה‬

‫למסע הקודש‬ ‫של כ"ק מרן‬ ‫אדמו"ר שליט"א‬ ‫לאס אנג'לס‬

‫‪The‬‬ ‫‪Committee‬‬ ‫‪for the‬‬

‫‪Rebbe’s‬‬ ‫‪Historic‬‬ ‫‪Visit‬‬

‫‪to Los Angeles‬‬ ‫‪5776‬‬

‫‪Committee‬‬ ‫‪Members‬‬ ‫‪Moshe Chopp‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Baruch C. Cohen, Esq‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪R abbi Shlomo‬‬ ‫‪Einhorn‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪R abbi Shmuel‬‬ ‫‪Einhorn‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪David Hager‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Motty Hertzog‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Chaim Kassirer‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Michael Kest‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Jeff Mendell‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Meir Leib Rosman‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Elie Ryzman‬‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫‪Barry Weiss‬‬



The Week In News


at the

Sheraton Crescent Hotel


JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Share in Torah Program Launched by Rav Berel Povarsky, shlit”a, and Rav Asher Weiss, shlit”a Yehudis Litvak

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On Tuesday night, January 5th, members of the Los Angeles Jewish community filled Kanner Hall at a historic event introducing a new program, Share in Torah, which is intended to support Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael. Two prominent Torah leaders, Rav Berel Povarsky, shlit”a, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, and Rav Asher Weiss, shlit”a, a renowned posek and Rosh Yeshiva of the Darchei Torah Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, addressed the crowd, inspiring the listeners to support Share in Torah. The idea of Share in Torah is simple. Instead of each Kollel securing its own fundraising, the money will be raised through Share in Torah and then distributed among the kollelim included in the network, proportionate to the number of Torah learners in each kollel. Currently, Share in Torah supports 327 institutions, with about 30, 000 students. Rabbi Shloime Klein, Rav of Congregation Ohr Hachaim, introduced the program and the guest speakers. He emphasized the significance of even the smallest contribution to Share in Torah. He quoted the Chafetz Chaim, who said that when the community came together to raise money for a loan for a community member in need, each contributor to the loan, even if he was only able to give a small sum, was credited with lending the entire sum needed, since without his contribution the needed amount wouldn’t have been raised. “We all make a difference,” said Rabbi Klein. Then Rav Povarsky addressed the audience in Hebrew. He continued the theme of the significance of each individual Jew, explaining that if even one Jew was absent at Har Sinai, the Torah would not have been given to the Jewish people. He emphasized that the whole world exists in the merit of the Torah, which contains the hidden light Hashem created on the first day of creation. Rav Povarsky spoke about the Greeks

in the times of Chanuka, who wanted to turn the world into darkness by destroying the Jews’ personal connection to Torah. “There is no greater mitzvah than strengthening the Torah,” he said, pointing out that those who support talmidei chachamim in this world in a Zevulun/Yissachar partnership are considered Bnei Torah in the World to Come. While not everyone will merit to become a talmid chacham, “Everyone can be Zevulun,” Rav Povarsky said. Rav Weiss spoke in English, telling the audience about his father, Rav Moshe Weiss, z”l, who had passed away just three week earlier. The listeners were spellbound as Rav Weiss related his father’s life story, and particularly, the tale of his meeting and subsequent life-long relationship with the Klausenberger Rebbe, ztz”l. After the Holocaust, Rav Moshe Weiss spent many years rebuilding Jewish institutions. Later in life, he told the Klausenberger Rebbe that he was ready to retire and just sit and learn. “You know nothing about mesiras nefesh!” the Rebbe replied. Giving up physical comforts for the sake of the Jewish people is not mesiras nefesh, but mesiras guf, the Rebbe explained. “Putting aside your gemara – that is mesiras nefesh!” Rav Weiss commented that true giants of mesiras nefesh “understood that the oxygen we breathe and the blood coursing through our veins is Torah.” But we are also responsible for each other, emphasized Rav Weiss. In the recent wave of terror in Eretz Yisrael, many of the victims were talmidei chachamim, said Rav Weiss. What can we do in response? We can come together in “an endeavor where everyone can be a partner, in a fund that unites the entire Olam Hatorah.” Unlike any other investment, investing in the Torah guarantees a return on one’s money, said Rav Weiss. For more information, or to contribute to Share in Torah, call 1 844 48 TORAH.

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Unzere Kinder Shabbaton Brings In Reach to California Children On Shabbat of January 16th, the Los Angeles Chabad community hosted more than 400 Chabad boys and girls from around California for the second Unzere Kinder Shabbaton Convention. Separated into boys and girls activities, the Chassidishe fun lasted a solid 36 hours, culminating in a concert by the Marcus brothers’ band, 8th Day. Kol Yakov Yehuda, led by Rabbi Mendel Duchman, and under the auspices of Congregation Levi Yitzchok, partnered with many of the other Lubavitch youth schools and organizations for the Shabbaton. The kids who attend the event did not live during the time of the Rebbe so they learn about the Rebbe’s leadership from their parents. Children of shluchim are easily inspired by the leadership of the

Rebbe but there are many Chabad families whose children hear less about his wisdom and learning. The organizers of the event created this annual program to create a meaningful connection for all the participants. With the 10th of Shevat on January 20th, the Chabad community additionally wanted to prepare their children to understand the importance of acknowledging the yahrzeit of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880– 1950), of righteous memory and also the day when, in 1951, the seventh Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), of righteous memory, formally accepted the leadership of ChabadLubavitch. The discourse or maamar that the

Rebbe delivered at that occasion, is still recognized and studied today, with its underlying theme to recognize the three important loves in our life; G-d, Torah and joy. Knowing that the children were the future of Judaism, the Rebbe placed a huge emphasis on empowering children through gatherings of Torah, Tefillah and Tzedokah, all the more pertinent in a Hakhel year. The Shabbaton focused discussion on these ideas alongside davening, learning and delicious Shabbos meals. The fabrengen ran far into the night. The weekend highlighted unity events, such as the tefillos that were held for the boys in Moshe Ganz hall and for the girls at Beis Yaakov. There were prizes, singing, entertainment and empowering messages shared by the Director of CTeen Interna-

Help for Non-Traditional Students from the Jewish Community The newest Aish Tamid of Los Angeles program, the Jewish Community Educational Resource Center (JCERC) was featured on January 10th at a morning informational event. The purpose was to inform students in higher education of a support and resource service that is now available. The new program could make the difference between just starting a degree and completing one. Aish Tamid of Los Angeles has been active in the Los Angeles Jewish Community for over ten years, helping teens and young adults become productive in their lives and their communities. This program is the perfect extension of that mission. Too often, adults fail to complete a degree because of a lack of needed information, advising, and support; students can end up with a lot of student loan debt but no degree to build earning potential to pay it back. Although many students follow a four year program to receive their college degree, there are more and more non-tra-

ditional paths to secure a degree as well, and such options have been increasing in popularity across the state. Now, students who need to balance family life or a job with study requirements can turn to the JCERC for information and guidance. The program serves returning students and job changers as well; women who are returning to work after their children have left home, for instance. Online courses, night classes, seminary and yeshiva credits, and the broad selection of classes available at California’s 112 community colleges offer opportunities for a targeted, individualized study plan. Marilyn Stoch is the Executive Director of Aish Tamid, and she spoke with The Jewish Home explaining the importance of this new program. “We have been seeing students who were struggling to complete their education in a non-traditional way, so we developed a program to support them. Although the program only opened recently, we already have 19 students enrolled. Most of them learned about the service

by word of mouth, as our students recommend the program to their friends. We expect the numbers will continue to grow as it becomes known how we can help make the prospect of a degree more realistic and efficient. “Our staff includes an experienced academic planner who has developed real expertise in navigating college systems and maximizing resources. Our program coordinator, Erica Sommer, provides caring day-to-day support to help keep students on track. We also offer the services of vocational and career counselors who can help undecided students identify career goals, and a pleasant, well-equipped place to study. “In an increasingly competitive marketplace, a college degree is essential and definitely impacts salary. A college degree has become the minimum requirement for many jobs, and increasingly graduate school is becoming just as important. Our program helps men and women achieve their academic goals to become self-suffi-

tional, Rabbi Shimon Rivkin. The event culminated in a grand Hakhel Unity Concert held at a packed, pulsating Bancroft Middle School Auditorium. 8th day enthralled the rocking crowd with their inspiring and exciting music and the singing of a new Hakhel song which the kids had learned. “The mission cannot wait, love your fellow Jew!” Ventriloquist Chuck Fields opened the event to the children’s delight. Surprise guest Rabbi Shimon Weinbaum, Director of Tzivos Hashem International called participants to recite the 12 verses of Torah that were recited at children’s rallies and gatherings by the Rebbe. This was a Shabbat of fun and empowerment with non-stop thrills and a huge emphasis on finding delight in oneself. Beryl Lipskier, 13, said, “It was the best weekend yet!” Meanwhile, other attendees needed to get some sleep before they could gather their thoughts.

cient quickly and maximize their earning potential to support themselves and their families.” The JCERC program runs two days a week for men and two days a week for women to maintain a productive and distraction-free environment. Stoch advised that there is a small yearly fee for the service, but it covers only a fraction of the cost of the program, which depends on a combination of grant funding -- including a new Jewish Federation Caring for Jews in Need grant -- along with the help of a few generous private donors. “What’s special about this program is that we’re completely student-focused, so whatever a student wants to study, from accounting to nursing and everything in between, we will work to help them reach their goals. If we have a couple of students who are working toward similar degrees, we match them up so they can also support each other,” Stoch explained. “It is a terrible shame that so many students start adult life burdened with a lot of debt. Our program helps students to be efficient with the choices they make so they can eliminate the cost of duplicate or unnecessary classes, complete their education quickly, and get on with the rest of their lives.” For more information, contact Erica Sommer at erica@aishtamid.com. Phone 323 634 0505.

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

torah saved my life

The Week In News


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“An interesting episode occurred last summer,” a staff member from the offices of Kollel Chatzos tells us. A young man called in with a note of desperation in his voice: “I beg you, have in mind my relative who has been on a respirator for several days. The doctors are hinting at a frightening prognosis and telling us to prepare for the worst….”

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Counter –Terror Expert Visits Nessah Synagogue Natalie Sopinsky, Susya, Israel, One

On January 23, Nessah Synagogue, Beverly Hills will host Marc Provisor, Counter-Terror Expert and Director of Security Projects for an event hosted by One Israel Fund. Provisor is one of the foremost security and counter-terror experts who focuses his efforts in the strategically and Biblically significant Judea and Samaria regions in Israel. A former Ravshatz, a civilian community security chief, he will discuss his firsthand experiences and give a behind-the-scenes assessment of the security challenges facing us today, and touch upon what we can expect in the weeks to come. Provisor is down-to-earth and extremely knowledgeable on the subject of Israeli’s most strategically important communities, having personally responded to over 100 terror attacks. Provisor is actively implementing campaigns to replace and upgrade the armored protective vests of all civilian security chiefs and teams, throughout Israel. The new vest design has been adopted by the IDF and Provisor will present a real vest at the reception, so that attendees can

understand. They will be invited to try it on. There are additional programs that are being implemented that will protect families living in Judea and Samaria. A short B"H

Shabbaton Weekend Retreat Lake Tahoe


February 5-7 2016 Relax, Reflect, and refresh your spirit in a luxurious and warm setting right on the lake. An uplifting Jewish community experience for you and your entire family. Explore new ideas and expand your horizons in an open and embracing environment. For more information visit TahoeShabbaton.com or 530-314-7677 A project of Chabad Lake Tahoe

video will be shown and questions will be taken. One Israel Fund is the premier organization supporting medical, recreational, educational, communal, preventive se-

curity and other social welfare needs for the over 400,000 citizens of Israel living throughout Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the reemerging communities of Gush Katif evacuees.

Innovation Night Enthuses Innovative Kids On January 12th, Emek Hebrew Academy and the Teichman Family Torah Center hosted the second Innovation Night Event for elementary and middle school students and their parents. Created by Michelle Andron, Vice Principal of Elementary School, the evening was made possible with the help of many staff and was focused on J Steam learning; Jewish integration with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Kids were excited to find a mind boggling collection of activities. Technology was made fun with small magnetic, electronic switches that students had to assemble to create a Shabbos lamp that only turns on when it is dark. Next, there was

special playdough that functioned like a metal wire so the kids could create a circuit route. There was a Tu Bishvat Tree to be assembled using geometric shapes and finally there was a coding station. Students had to work through the online lesson from coding.com so that they could make their name appear with bubbles and movement. More than 200 students and parents attended the evening which created a meaningful statement of creativity that is an essential part of the school curriculum. Rebecca, a 4th grade student, said, “It was so much fun because it got my mind working really hard. I loved the coding station especially!”

2016 Kosher Food and Wine Festival Boosts Kosher Culinary Options The Peterson Automotive Museum reopened its doors to the public in December, showcasing a superb collection of antique and collectible cars. Next month, the museum will play host to an event that also celebrates the finer things in life; The 2016 Kosher Food and Wine Experience Los Angeles. Taking place on March 2nd, the day and evening activities offer a celebration of a broad selection of quality kosher wine and designer fare to an estimated 1,200 guests. The event was fully sold out last year, where guests tasted the latest table wines alongside limited edition wines and tasty morsels from leading chefs. So successful was last year’s Hollywood VIP lounge that the London and New York KFWE events will now offer their own VIP experiences this year, driving KFWE Los Angeles to go bigger and better and their glamorous VIP penthouse party. This year’s KFWE Los Angeles is the largest kosher food and wine event on the west coast, inviting the public to experience a huge variety of wines from around the world and kosher cuisine from the hottest chefs in Los Angeles. This year’s rooftop VIP lounge will additionally offer rare and exclusive wines, spirits, cocktails, private menus and hand-rolled cigars to 250 ticket holders. VIP guests will also get to unleash their inner thrill-seekers with access to The Petersen’s state-of-the-art racing simulators.

Legendary producers, Herzog Wine Cellars, will be there and introducing their new wines, designs and other surprises for attendees. One if these is Herzog Limited Edition Camouflage. Grown in the Herzog’s own Prince Vineyard. This Bordeaux inspired field blend masterfully combines the eleven different varietals into a symphony of flavors that may quickly become one of the favorite bottles this year. This beautifully designed 30th anniversary edition bottle celebrates the Herzog family producing award winning California wines for thirty years; A piece of their legacy of searching out, creating and bringing the finest wines of California wine county to the people of the world. David Whittemore, Marketing Director at Herzog Wine Cellars, explained the current marketplace for wines, “We are excited to see the global variety of brand new and rare wines being presented at KFWE Los Angeles.” This year’s participants include wine makers from five continents, including an all new Canadian producer, Tzafona, who produces a delightful ice wine. Most popular as a desert wine, ice wines are difficult to produce and not easily found as a result. Also new, a Ukrainian winery will be attending, the first time on this side of the country. Whittemore admitted, “It’s always fascinating to share the evening with passionate wine makers who create excellent wines from nearly every wine region of the globe.”

In total, 11 countries will be representing more than 350 kinds of wine and spirits at the KFWE. Whittemore said, “This will be the place to taste wines that you have not tried before and it’s a brilliant

opportunity to meet the chefs behind LA’s innovative kosher cuisine. There’s such a newness to what’s going on in the culinary world. The chefs at KFWE Los Angeles are pushing the limits of what is possible in the LA dining scene.”

All the meat dishes presented will be using kosher Uruguayan grass fed beef provided by Tevya’s Ranch. This year there is also an organic item from the newly launched USDA certified Organic line. As consumers learn the benefits of grassfed beef, there is an increased market because the beef has the health benefits of Bison, without compromising on the tenderness. In the same way that it took years for the Jewish community to warm up to dry wine, preferring instead the sweet varieties offered, the owners of Tevyas are certain the Jewish community will learn to appreciate the natural taste, eco benefits and health advantages of grass fed beef. The KFWE website includes intimate interviews with some of the winemakers who will be exhibiting. Watching these conversations brings an added appreciation of the wines on offer. Ultimately, there are many ways to enjoy the food and wine at the KFWE but Whittemore suggests that you consider all you have tasted and then buy your favorite for dinners at your home, “For me, the best way to enjoy a very special wine is with good friends, and a good meal. The flavors will bring you together even if you are not a devout connoisseur. The experience is different for everyone, and sharing those experiences together is when it becomes more than a glass of vino - it becomes a joyful memory.” To register for the KFWE, visit KFWELA.com and use code JHLA for a 15% discount on both VIP and General Admission tickets.

Memories of a Great Rabbi Rabbi Reuven Youkhehpaz It was once again Shabbat afternoon and here I was, a 15 years old high school student walking up the steps which lead to Rabbi Yaakov Shechet’s (‫הרב יעקב בן מנחם‬ ‫ )מנדל זצ’’ל‬apartment. I had met the Rav in a Shul on Fairfax, and realizing that I had no background in learning, he invited me to join him in his apartment and learn with him every Shabbat. I knocked on the door knowing that he was sitting at his dining room table bent over a small print Gemara. I would often hear him involved in learning from behind the door. He greeted me with a warm Shalom Aleichem and asked me to come in. We would pass his piles of books on one side and his couch and brit surgical tools on the other and take our seats at the table. He would ask me how my week went and how my Shabbat was going and soon after we would start with the learning. It did not matter to him that he was light years ahead of me in his skills or the fact

that he had studied these subjects in depth and now he was teaching them on a beginner’s level. The only thing that mattered to him was the work of Hashem. If a high school boy wanted to stay up and learn on Shavuot night but did not have a chavrusa to learn with, he was more than happy to volunteer. If he felt it was Hashem’s will to travel to a small city in a different state that needed a mohel and spend an entire Yom Tov with people he had never met before, there was nothing stopping him. Not only did he consider it a privilege, he felt it was his duty, considering that another mohel might have his own family and would not be able to go. As I grew older and began to know him better over the years, I realized that the path of Hashem was the only direction to which his compass pointed. On many occasions I had the merit of accompanying him to perform a brit. Although he had done hundreds if not thousands of circum-

cisions, the enthusiasm and excitement that he would express would always make me feel as if it was his first time performing this special mitzvah. About a month and a half before his passing, when he could barely stand for a minute, let alone for an hour and a half, he was asked to do a brit for a young family on a Sunday morning. He called to ask if I was available to help. For a reason which I do not recall any more, I pointed out that perhaps it would be easier to push the brit until the following week. With firm and penetrating words he responded, “If Hashem has given me another day to live I do not want to delay the mitzvah”. Needless to say the brit was performed that Sunday. Watching him daven Shemona Esrei was a lesson in emunah and bitchon . Always dressed to stand before the holy of holies, his movements and facial gestures were of a servant standing before his master praising and pleading as if his life depended on it. Every Shemona Esrei was as if it was the day of Yom Kippur and he was

praying neilah in the final hours. Observing him at prayer would fill anyone with a sense of awe and inspiration. I treasure every moment when I had the privilege to be around the Rabbi, and cherish the opportunities that I had to learn from his words and actions. Although the 12th of Sh’vat, will be Rabbi Shechet’s first yahrzeit, he continues to be a source of inspiration in my life and the life of many others. He lives in our hearts, our minds, and hopefully in our actions.


Photo: David Miller Photography

TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home


Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

Parshas Beshalach is an ode to a nation being formed through trial and tribulation. The Jews faithfully followed Hashem’s direction out of Mitzrayim and into the desert, “lechteich acharai bamidbar,” marching from the depths of slavery to the heights of Kabbolas HaTorah. Yet, there are some issues that require explanation. Following the makkos and the exit of the Jews from Mitzrayim, Paroh and his nation chased after their former slaves, catching up with them on the banks of the Red Sea. Had Paroh and his people not learned their lesson? Had they not experienced enough bitterness and pain at the hands of the G-d of the Jewish people? Had they not recognized that they are no match for the G-d of the Jews, having lost every showdown with His nation? Why did they chase after them? What made them think that they would be able to subjugate them once again? As for Paroh, Hashem had told Moshe (Shemos 14:4) that he would harden his heart and cause him to chase after the Jews in order to bring about a kiddush Hashem. But what about the people? Why were they engaging in yet another doomed attempt to vanquish the Jews? Anyone with minimal intelligence could have concluded that the Jews would triumph once again, as they had repeatedly in the past. Why engage in a suicidal mission? While perhaps we can understand that the Mitzriyim were somehow charmed by Paroh and under his influence, what about the Jews? As Paroh approached them, they let out a hue and a cry. They assaulted Moshe (Shemos 14:11-12), saying, “Are there not enough graves in Mitzrayim that you brought us here to die in the desert? We already told you in Mitzrayim that we would prefer working for Mitzrayim rather than dying in the desert.” Is it not mind boggling? These were the very same people who just a few days prior had been delivered from the clutches of Mitzrayim. They shechted and partook in the Korban Pesach, they heard Hashem’s promises about their future in the Promised Land, and they answered their children’s questions, as prescribed by the posuk. These were the same people being led by the protective Anan Hashem during the day and the Amud Aish at night. Why were they fearful? How could they have sunk so quickly to express no confidence in Hashem’s ability to save them from Paroh? We commonly understand avodah zorah as the inane worship of an inani-

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Living with the Times:

Remaining Faithful mate statue or human being. Rav Elchonon Wasserman zt”l (Ikvisa D’Meshicha) explains that avodah zorah is actually embracing any concept or attitude that causes one to believe in a power or force other than Hashem. Any belief that distracts a person from Hashem’s mastery over creation is avodah zorah. The Mitzriyim who followed Paroh to encircle the Jews and capture them and the Jews who complained that they were about to die in the desert had something in common, as Chazal teach us. “Hallalu ovdei avodah zorah, vehallalu ovdei avodah zorah.” Both were worshippers of avodah zorah. While it seems silly to fashion a g-d out of marble and worship it as if it has any powers, worshiping a false deity has many advantages, for it frees people from obligations. To have recognized the power of Hashem would have obligated the Mitz-

cried out, “Zeh Keili ve’anveihu,” seemed to fall ever so quickly. Their plunge was as dramatic as their rise. Three days after the climax, they were again complaining (Shemos 15:22), crying out, “Mah nishteh? What will we drink?” as if Hashem had brought them there for them to die of thirst (Shemos 15:24). Hashem’s answer is revealing. The posuk (ibid. 26) states that they were told, “If you listen to Hashem and do what is proper in His eyes, and follow His mitzvos and chukim, I will not place upon you the illnesses I placed upon Mitzrayim, for I am Hashem, your healer.” Their complaint about the lack of water emanated from a lack of belief. Hashem’s response was to remind them of their obligations as people of belief. If they would totally forsake their mythical beliefs, Hashem would be their protector. Although they knew the truth of Hashem, they had begun

The maskil told Rav Chaim that he left the path of Torah because of certain questions he had. He said that if Rav Chaim could provide satisfactory answers to his questions, he would resume living the way he did while in Volozhin. Rav Chaim told him that he would answer his questions, with a caveat. He would engage him in conversation regarding the questions he had before he became unobservant. As for the questions that began bothering him after he had left Volozhin, Rav Chaim said, those aren’t questions. “They are answers,” he said. “Those questions are rationalizations to validate the choices you made. They are excuses and a convenient defense for you as you submit to your urges and ta’avos.” The nisyonos faced by the Dor Dei’ah are just as daunting to our generation today. We don’t worship little idols and other vacuous trivialities, but we are tempted by other avodah zorahs. People worship money and fame, power and influence. They delude themselves with fictitious beliefs so that they can engage in physical pleasures. Anything that negates the fact that Hashem controls the world is a form

TO SURVIVE, WE MUST REMAIN FAITHFUL TO OUR MESORAH, UNYIELDING IN OUR DEVOTION TO TORAH. riyim to follow His principles. Acknowledging that Hashem is indeed the Creator of the world and Omnipresent means that His Torah is the blueprint for the world and for man. The Egyptian legends and myths were much easier to accept than a truth that came with a code of proper conduct. The Jews were at the 49th level of tumah and under the influences of the Mitzriyim. As obvious as it may be in hindsight, as objective observers, it was very difficult for the Jews to shake loose the preposterous suppositions that they had become accustomed to. Prior to Krias Yam Suf, they still found it difficult to accept upon themselves the Divine code of conduct and fashioned imprudent postulations to explain their predicaments. At the splitting of the sea, the Jewish people rose to a very high level, recognizing Hashem’s strength and singing shirah. Chazal say of that time, a “maidservant witnessed greater visions at the sea than the prophet Yechezkel ben Buzi ever saw.” It would appear that when they attained those heights, they overcame their weaknesses and would remain in awe of Hashem’s mastery of the world. Yet, the same people lifted from the depths of impurity, who witnessed the open revelation of Hashem’s Presence and

to slip back into the clutches of avodah zorah because of its convenience. Avodah zorah is akin to drug addiction. Although it is obvious that the drugs do not help the person’s situation and merely create fictitious realities that cause the addict to be drawn into a downward spiral, the freedom from obligation and reality is too enticing a panacea to overcome. With that incident behind them, they began moving, only to once again fall from their lofty plateau and complain that Moshe and Aharon were leading them to a painful death of starvation. They claimed that their life in Mitzrayim was idyllic, with prime beef and luscious bread. What happened? Where had the tangible emunah disappeared to? Once again, they were experiencing the ebb and flow of addicts. It was proving difficult for them to accept upon themselves the discipline that comes from recognizing Hashem. Their emunah and bitachon suffered, because they lacked the courage and fortitude to completely accept the restraint and regulation that accompany the acceptance of the fact that Hashem is the Creator. The story is often retold of the time a former student of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, in Yeshivas Volozhin, who had veered from the path of Torah, visited his rebbi.

of idol-worship and avodah zorah. Every Jew recoils in horror from the thought of avodah zorah, yet we tread dangerously close when we attribute actions to forces other than Hashem. Society has adopted the theory put forward by Charles Darwin that the world created itself and animals evolved from shapeless matter into living, breathing beings. Everything you see in our beautiful world, they say, arrived there by itself. The millions of atoms required to form one being somehow managed to arrange themselves in that way to become trees, flowers, birds and all of humanity. The very idea is preposterous. To think that a human, or any part of him, could have come into existence by itself defies logic. Flowers created their multiple shapes, sizes and colors all by themselves? How can it be? Who can really believe that? The truth is that no one can, but people do anyway, for doing so frees them from being subservient to a divine code of conduct. Dr. Henry Marsh, a British neurosurgeon, is one of the pioneers of a procedure called “awake craniotomy,” allowing the removal of certain brain tumors while a patient is awake. Karl Ove Knausgaard, a Norwegian author, was allowed to witness one such operation. His account was translated for The New York Times.

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JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

He writes that one of the operating doctors “looked up from a microscope that was suspended over the brain and turned to me… ‘Do you want to have a look?’ he asked. “I nodded. “The doctor stepped aside, and I bent down over the microscope. “Oh G-d. “A landscape opened up before me. I felt as if I were standing on top of a mountain, gazing out over a plain covered by long, meandering rivers. On the horizon, more mountains rose up. Between them, there were valleys, and one of the valleys was covered by an enormous white glacier. Everything is gleaming and glittered. It was as if I had been transported to another world, another part of the universe. One river was purple, the others were dark red, and the landscape they coursed through was full of strange, unfamiliar colors. But it was the glacier that held my gaze the longest. It lay like a plateau above the valley, sharply white, like mountain snow on a sunny day. I had never seen anything quite as beautiful, and when I straightened up and moved aside to make room for the doctor, for a moment my eyes were glazed with tears.” Yet, scientists, intellectuals, common people and lawmakers have the audacity to say that the brain created itself. There is nothing as beautiful as this organ, rarely seen by human eyes. The brain is merely one organ of millions and its beauty and intricacy is mind-boggling. Imagine if you factor in the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon, the beauty and grandeur of every component of the world, the intricacy of a leaf and a blade of grass and insects and the cosmos. How can anyone who knows anything about anything in this world mock creationists? It is hedonistic urges that drive people to Darwinism. The Chazon Ish taught that a necessary component of greatness is to always be objective. It might seem obvious, but to be free of negius means to be firmly committed to the ramifications of emunah. Great people are entrenched in their faith and aren’t dissuaded by temptations of money or power, since they know that everything comes from Hashem. If they are deserving of something, they do not have to obtain it through subterfuge. When they investigate an issue, when they are consulted for advice and direction, their judgment can be relied upon. A group of assimilated students once approached the Alter of Novardok, wishing to discuss finer points of religious ideology. He agreed to have the conversation, but said he would talk to them only after they had spent a month studying in his yeshiva. He explained his decision with the following parable: A simple person was walking along the street on a Shabbos afternoon when he saw a golden coin. He needed the money badly and began to find ways, ac-

cording to halachah, to permit moving the coin on Shabbos. His reasoning was quite creative, and he was satisfied with his conclusions and kicked the coin step by step as he walked down the street towards his home. The town banker was taking his Shabbos afternoon stroll and noticed the gentleman kicking a coin as he walked. He bent down to examine the coin. When he straightened up, there was a frown on his face. “I hate to break it to you, mister,” he said. “That coin is copper, not gold. It’s worth pachos mishoveh pruta.” Suddenly, all the heteirim vanished and the man sulked away, shuffling his tired feet home. His excitement upon winning the lottery was dashed and he was done with his creative halachic reasoning. The Alter of Novardok turned to the group. “That’s the truth for everything that captures us. If it holds value, then our reasoning is impacted and we are unable to think clearly. Only when we get rid of our misconceptions can we appreciate our errors and honestly examine the issues. “As much as I would like to help you in your thinking, it would be a waste of time for me to speak with you while you are still held captive by the allure of your culture and philosophy. After you have spent some time in yeshiva and your minds are cleared, I will be happy to talk.” It is only at the very end of the parsha that a change seems to overcome Am Yisroel, and for many parshiyos they do not rebel against Hashem. The pesukim relate that as Amaleik descended upon the Jewish people, something changed. Moshe, Aharon, Yehoshua and Chur led the charge against Amaleik. When Moshe raised his hands, the Jews advanced in their battle. The Mishnah teaches that when the Jews put their faith in the One Above and davened for victory, they won. That emunah and bitachon remained with them until Seder Bamidbar. The parsha ends as Hashem instructs to write down the story of Amaleik’s attack and to know that Hashem will erase the memory of Amaleik. However, that realization will wait until Moshiach’s arrival, for until then, we will face attacks from Amaleik in every generation. Perhaps Amaleik sensed a lack of emunah and pounced. They saw a void and sought to expose it and take advantage of it. The nation of asher korcha baderech worked assiduously to tamp down the fires of faith. When the members of Klal Yisroel asserted themselves, they emerged stronger than ever. They believed with a new certainty and focus not just that Hashem runs the world, but also that everything else is just a distraction from that reality. The encounter with Amaleik served to tighten their embrace with Hashem and bring them closer to Har Sinai. Similarly, in every generation, when Amaleik attacks us, he causes us to reaffirm our beliefs and turn to Hashem. This is why Hashem

promises that our arch-enemy will be ever-present until the redemption. We need him in order to remain loyal to Hashem. As we adapt to our host country in the exile, people grow comfortable with their neighbors and surroundings and begin assimilating and adopting the prevalent avodah zorahs. When that happens, the nations rise up against us, anti-Semitism rears its ugly head, and we are reminded who we are and where we come from. Check our history and you will see that it is true. The Jews are forced from their homes to a new exile. There is much pain and anguish. Jews are mercilessly killed and robbed of their possessions. Beaten and barely holding on, they establish roots in a new country. Slowly, they spread out of their ghettos and gradually become accepted and comfortable in the new host country. Good times are had by all, but then, just as it seems as if Moshiach has come and brought us home, the cycle begins again. The goyim become fed up with us, the noose tightens, and, before we know it, Amaleik has us on the run again. This time it is different, for we have been told that America will be the final stop in this exile. When we leave here, it will be to go to Eretz Yisroel. We must ensure that our faith remains firm, that our objectivity holds us in place, and that we

don’t veer off the path. Amaleik is ever-present, bombarding us daily with all types of challenges, moral, legal and ethical. He seeks to temp us with various avodah zorahs. In the spirit of “asher korcha,” he seeks to cool us from extreme devotion and dikduk b’mitzvos with different guises and nomenclatures. Sometimes, they sound intelligent and sophisticated, while at other times, they are directed at man’s baser temptations. We must always keep our guard up. Whenever something comes along and causes a chillul Hashem, we should know to stay very far away. When people begin doubting rabbis, or halachah, or mesorah; when people throw up roadblocks to shemiras hamitzvos; when they mock our values and talmidei chachomim, seeking to adapt Torah to other cultures and religions; when they say that we must be more open-minded or accepting, we should recognize the voice of Amaleik. To survive, we must remain faithful to our mesorah, unyielding in our devotion to Torah, untempted by anything that introduces foreign beliefs, and support the hands of the Moshe Rabbeinus of our generation with emunah, bitachon, tefillah and humility. By doing so, we will merit the final geulah, bemeheirah beyomeinu. Amein.



The Parenting Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., Since I was a little girl I dreamed about my Shabbos table- how we would all – my children and I- sit around and listen to my husband’s divrei torah and sing zemiros together. You see, I am a baalas tshuvah and our Shabbos table looked nothing like the ArtScroll coloring book. But, guess what? Now that I have that family I so longed for, my shabbos table is a far cry from what I imagined. It’s a complicated picture. We have both infants and teens – with different wants and needs. It’s really quite a challenge to keep everyone interested and engaged. In addition, my husband and I don’t see eye to eye here. While I have a relaxed parenting style, he is a bit stiff and rigid – probably because he is European. He wants all the children to sit and participate for the whole meal. He feels that it is not unreasonable to expect children to keep it together for just two meals a week. I, on the other hand, would be ok with children, especially the younger ones, leaving the table. Last Shabbos was a disaster. When my husband started Kiddush, my son – age 14- looked at his younger sister and they both start laughing. My husband stopped and gave them a look, but that only made it worse. By the time Kiddush was done, another child had joined the giggle-fest and my husband was clearly annoyed. Actually, this kind of laughing-for-no-reason happens at other times – always at the worst times- like havdala or mezumin. As chilled as I am, even I find the laughing offensive. What is the right balance here? Rochel M., LA Dear Rochel, Your question is one that many people ask. Shabbos is our center, and the desire to do it ‘right’ is foremost in many a parent’s mind. There is also an honest desire to have that uplifting Shabbos experience so often described in books- coloring or otherwise- pictures, or the frequent tales of people who become frum just from sitting at an inspiring shabbos table. But, the truth is that the shabbos table is made up of people – often very imperfect ones at that. It is comprised of many different ages and stages, wants and needs. It is subject to the vagaries of mood and

season –and, sometimes it is great and sometimes it falls short. Yet, most of us do have that idealized picture in our mind, and feel guilty when we fail. We also conveniently forget our past and romanticize our childhood experience. I say all this not to disparage the idea of a beautiful shabbos seuda, but simply to inject some reality into the picture. A beautiful shabbos is a basic goal to strive for, but not a given. Our children won’t necessarily ‘come to the table’: if we want it to happen, we, the parents, have to do what we can –to the best of our ability- to make

sure that it does. The shabbos table and the kedusha it entails, is a product of our parenting work. As in most enterprises, we generally get what we pay for. That means that if the shabbos table is important to you, you need to take responsibility for its success, not expect your children to simply fulfill your dreams. How to create a positive atmosphere and develop our children’s love of torah and mitzvos is the subject of hundreds of wonderful English language seforim, speeches, and articles- all easily available to the public. I cannot urge my readers enough to look for an author or book that speaks to them. There are many different approaches and today, BH, the information is readily available to us. However, there is one parenting principle that I would like to highlight here

ful tip. Nervous laughter is an expression of discomfort at times of high emotional stress. Though it is a sub-conscious way to reduce stress and calm down, as any of us who have experienced this embarrassing symptom knows, it also heightens the awkwardness. So, you want to think about and even discuss with your children their laughter and what they think is the cause. Once you have it all figured out and have dealt with its source, the atmosphere will be more pleasant for you all. Too often in life we assume – and our assumptions do us in. We project that the summer will be amazing, starting cheder a joy, and a family trip- sheer bliss. We see ourselves walking down the street with our perfectly well-behaved children- the envy of all. We conveniently forget that the results we so desire don’t just happen. They take work, really hard work. And, nowhere

- developing realistic expectations. To accomplish our goal, we want to tailor it to the age, personality, and reality of our situation. For example, for pre-schoolers, Kiddush-challah-dzert is about all they can bear. And while your bais medrash boy may enjoy one kind of talk, his ninth grade sister may not. Some children do better with guests, while others resent the diverted attention. There is no ‘right’ way to do this, but by evaluating your situation honestly, you have the best odds of making the experience a meaningful one for each child. At this point, I would like to comment on your children’s nervous laughter. While it troubles you, it actually is quite a use-

is this truer than in parenting – where our proactive planning is so essential for the hatzlocha of our children. So, dream on. But, make sure that you do the work to make that dream a reality. Book Nook: The Heart of Parenting by Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum, Yated columnist and Rebbe in Yeshiva of Waterbury. Sara Teichman, Psy. D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, LA’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Our Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Shmuel Wasser will be visiting

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A Look into the Future: The Best of 2016’s Consumer Electronics Show Aaron Feigenbaum

This year’s Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place from January 6-9th and presented new, exciting advancements in the areas of high-tech cars, smart homes, virtual reality and TV display technology. Here are some of the best and most innovative gadgets on display.

miles on a single charge and costs as low as $30,000 after a federal tax credit. The Bolt is equipped with all the latest tech including radar and camera-based collision avoidance, a rear camera mirror, a touchscreen dashboard and a 4G LTE WiFi-enabled smart hub that’s compatible with both Android Auto and Ap-

Ehang 184

Faraday Future’s FFZERO1: The secretive carmaker Faraday Future, which recently received major incentives from the Nevada state government to build a factory in the state, finally unveiled its much anticipated concept car. While it’s not quite the “Tesla-killer” that many in the tech press had anticipated it would be, this unusual electric car does show promise, particularly in its performance and design. The roadster can achieve a whopping 1,000 horsepower at a top speed of over 200 mph. The unique aerodynamic build sucks in air to reduce drag and cool the battery. Faraday hasn’t said much about the interior tech, but they did say that the steering wheel has a built-in compartment for a smartphone, allowing for superior control of the vehicle both inside and out. Faraday plans to debut its actual production model sometime in the future. Chevy Bolt: A more serious contender to the Tesla, the Chevy Bolt, is being dubbed by some as the “first mass-market electric car.” Chevy claims the car can travel 200

in a more accurate heart rate sensor, automatic sleep and activity tracking as well as improved the functionality of its app. Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator: Smart home technology was featured throughout the CES display halls, but this innovation is

Faraday Future

ple CarPlay. Overall, for its price, performance and cool gadgetry, the

Bolt promises to be a significant new entry in the electric vehicle market. Fitbit Blaze: Fitbit’s thin, light and sleek wearable fitness tracker dominated much of the talk at CES. For its latest model, Fitbit has put

LG Signature OLED TV: LG’s latest TV screen was a favorite at CES, and for good reason. Its crisp,

Chevy Bolt

undoubtedly one of the best in the field. The large, Android-powered

Oculous Rift

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

frigerator is also fully connected to Samsung’s other Internet of Things devices, which means you can use it to do things like turn on and off lights or stream music and T.V.

LG Signature OLED TV

touchscreen enables users to browse the Web, research recipes, see items in the fridge without opening the door, via a camera, and more. One of the most useful features is that it can automatically replace groceries that are low in stock and have them delivered to your home. The re-

bright 4K OLED (organic light emitting diode) display and astonishing thinness of less than 3 millimeters makes it one of the most striking and beautiful of its kind. Manufacturers are increasingly storing the electronic guts of the TV inside the base but few have done so as elegantly as LG has with this unit. Add to that Dolby Vision high dynamic range and you have a truly advanced piece of technology. LG Foldable OLED Display: As if its TV wasn’t impressive enough, LG also announced a foldable, paper-thin 18-inch OLED display. LG is aiming for a TV-size 4K display that will measure 55 inches or even more. LG also plans to implement this technology in smartphones, smartwatches and more. Whether the price of OLED technology will ever match the low cost of LED displays remains to be seen. Ehang 184: Chinese drone manufacturer wowed CES audiences by announcing an electric quadcopter that’s big and sturdy enough to carry a passenger. The company says

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

their self-flying 184 model can sustain a flight of 10 miles or about 23 minutes. While Ehang didn’t show off any videos of people taking off in the 184, they say they’ve completed successful trials in China. However, it’s unlikely that this concept will take off anytime soon due to FAA regulations and poten-

strong sales when it releases at the end of March, although the price ($600) and the necessity to have a high-end gaming PC to power the unit are major points of contention for many VR fans. The Rift faces steep competition with company’s such as Sony and HTC, which are set to debut their own VR units lat-

Fitbit Blaze

Hydrao Smart Shower

tial safety concerns. Nonetheless, with the popularity of self-driving cars and drones increasing, it’s not unlikely that a combination of the two might one day roam the skies. Oculus Rift: CES 2016 was a defining moment for virtual reality technology with the announcement of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Oculus, owned by Facebook, promises to deliver one of the most immersive VR experiences available. The Rift is set to have a strong selection of games and

er this year. Hydrao Smart Shower: Water-conscious Californians will appreciate the technology behind this sophisticated smart showerhead. It connects to an app that tells you how much water you’re using and the showerhead itself will light up in three different colors as you reach each interval of water used (e.g. 5 gallons etc.) Hydrao fits any standard shower and uses the water running through it to power its LED lights and Bluetooth connection.

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Review TheBook Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Book Review:

A Gratifying Read for ‘Tweens and Teens Two New Books from Local Writer Reviewed by Devorah Talia Gordon

“Sliding Doors and Other Stories” By Rebecca Klempner For ages 11-16 105 pp. Curling up with Rebecca Klempner’s collection of short stories, “Sliding Doors and Other Stories,” the tween or teen reader enters the typical Jewish world of yeshivas, yom tovim and family life. The familiar in Klempner’s stories is sometimes enigmatic, and other times truly fantastical. With mysterious doors and magical hourglasses, there is a common denominator – the reader is entertained, but left with a richer understanding of others or themselves. In seventeen fiction pieces (some are sci-fi/fantasy) and one essay, Klempner explores fundamental themes, such as using time wisely, acquiring true friends, and living in the moment. Her characters are as

diverse as her topics – they are Ashkenazi and Sephardi, boys and girls, and sometimes atypical kids. One favorite is Chaim Mendel, an endearing teen with Asperger’s, who struggles with ‘itchy’ clothing, eats only beige food, and has trouble picking up on social cues. Chaim Mendel, as well as other characters, appear in various stories, so the reader gets the chance to revisit his or her favorites and almost chart their progress throughout the collection. Even for readers like myself, who aren’t fans of sci-fi, Klempner’s fantastical stories are appealing. Through this medium, Klempner makes delicate topics easy to explore; the reader willingly enters a slightly askew reality where the implausible becomes possible. For example, in “The Door,” eleven-year-old Risa desperately wants her own bedroom, and goes through a mysterious door to another existence, one without her three annoying brothers and messy apartment. In her new apartment, there are no shoes, bike helmets and Lego pieces scattered everywhere. But Risa quickly discovers that the “perfect” life is far from it, without the existence of her brothers. In the title story of the collection, “Sliding Doors,” Klempner weaves a gripping mystery; the main character Chaviva pieces together strange occurrences to solve the crime. Klempner’s goal is not just to entertain, but to explore the emotional world. This collection of well-crafted stories (they were almost all previously published in the top frum mags), though marketed for the tween and teen, will entertain and enlighten all ages. Available at 613 Mitzvah Store and Amazon.com.

“Mazel’s Luck Runs Out” By Rebecca Klempner Novella for ages 8-11 60 pp. “The day of my bat mitzvah party started off pretty much like every other summer day in L.A. – bright and sunny, with a delicious breeze. And then it started to get hot… ‘What’s wrong?’ Bluma asked. ‘I’m going to have to stand in front of all these girls and all my relatives and speak. What if my d’var Torah is no good?’ ‘You’ll be fine!’ she said…My relatives kept coming, and pretty soon, the living room was full. The old ladies talked in Farsi, the young girls in English, the whole room was buzzing… And then the air conditioner, the lights, everything went out.

‘It’s a rolling blackout!’ moaned my grandmother.’ My heart sank…” So begins Mazal Tehrani’s bat mitzvah celebration, one of the most memorable moments in Rebecca Klempner’s novella, “Mazal’s Luck Runs Out.” Though her luck appears to have run out, Mazal manages, with the help of her family and best friend Bluma Friedman, to pull out gracefully from many adventures she has as an observant Persian girl growing up in L.A. Young readers will easily relate to Mazal, with a great sense of humor, warmth and understanding of people that goes beyond her years. When asked about her ‘weird Persian food’ by a classmate, Mazal thinks, “People sometimes make fun of Persians around here. They call us names, complain when we speak Farsi, tell us our food is weird and stick us with lots of stereotypes. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I’ve learned over the years not to lose my temper when it happens. It never helps.” Though there are plenty of humorous moments, such as the one above, Klempner weaves in a significant amount of more serious issues, such as tzniut, financial hardships, and starting junior high without the comfort of one’s best friend in class. Through the use of a light tone and humor, Klempner is able to explore important subjects, ones that almost all girls, whether Sephardi or Ashkenazi, struggle with at some point in their adolescence. Available at 613 Mitzvah Store and Amazon.com. (Disclaimer: This writer was privileged to read and provide feedback for an earlier rendition of “Mazal’s Luck Runs Out.”)


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home


Billionaires Trivia So, you were hoping to win the Powerball and join the ranks of billionaires. Well, maybe you’ll have another chance someday. Just to prepare, test your knowledge of the club you wish to join.

1. Who was the world’s first billionaire? a. Cornelia Vanderbilt b. John D. Rockefeller c. Andrew Carnegie d. John Jacob Astor 2. Which family has the most members in the list of America’s 10 richest people? a. The Kochs b. The Waltons c. The Gateses d. The Rockefellers 3. Which city has the most billionaires? a. London b. New York c. Hong Kong d. Moscow 4. Who is the youngest billionaire in America? a. Mark Zuckerberg b. Evan Spiegel c. Joe Gebbia d. Brian Chesky 5. Who is the first author to have become a billionaire? a. Stephen King b. J.K. Rowling c. James Patterson d. Dr. Seuss 6. Which of the following “billionaires” once filed a lawsuit against an author who called him a millionaire, rather than a billionaire?

a. Henry Ford b. Donald Trump c. Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal d. Mark Cuban 7. What is The Giving Pledge? a. It is a pledge by some of the world’s wealthiest people to donate a third of their wealth to philanthropy or charity in their lifetime or in their will. b. It is a pledge by some of the world’s wealthiest people to donate more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charity in their lifetime or in their will. c. It is a pledge by some of the world’s wealthiest people to donate all of their wealth to philanthropy or charity in their lifetime or in their will. d. It is a pledge by husbands to give their wives their used undershirts to use as shmattas. Answers: B- As a young man, John Davison Rockefeller said that his two greatest ambitions were to make $100,000 and live to be 100. He died two months shy of his 98th birthday, at which time he was a billionaire many times over and his assets equaled 1.5% of America’s total economic output. To control an equivalent share today would require a net worth of about $340 billion, more than four times that of Bill Gates,

currently the world’s richest man. B- The six Waltons, who together own Walmart, have a net worth of $144.7 billion. B- According to Forbes magazine, New York has 78 billionaires, Moscow has 68 and Hong Kong comes in 3rd with 64. B- Spiegel, 25, founded Snapchat and has a net worth of $2.1 billion. B- Rowling went from being a restaurant waitress to being a billionaire when her series of Harry Potter books, the ideas for which she would sketch on napkins at work, sold over 400,000,000 copies. B- In 2009, Trump filed a $5 billion lawsuit against Timothy O’Brien because his book, TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, said that Trump was only worth millions, not billions. The suit was thrown out by the court. B - The Giving Pledge was started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. There are now 147 pledgers. Ledger: 5-7 correct: Wow! You must really want to be a billionaire, but for now just focus on running for the Republican nomination. (Uh oh, I think I was just served with papers) 3-4 correct: You are such a middle of the road person. Let me guess, you’d probably be happy if you were worth a pedestrian $500 million, right? 0-2 correct: They are not exactly knocking on your door to have you sign The Giving Pledge.

23 31


Travel The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Travel Guide: Atlanta Aaron Feigenbaum Atlanta is not only one of the world’s centers for commerce, finance and culture but is also one of the South’s best success stories. Starting out as a regional railroad hub, Atlanta became embroiled in the Civil War and Civil Rights struggle. The legacy of those painful days can still be seen in such places as the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, as well as in the old

1836 marks the beginning of Atlanta’s role as a railroad hub when the Georgia General Assembly voted to link the city to Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1839, entrepreneur John Thrasher built Atlanta’s first general store as well as the Monroe Embankment, Atlanta’s oldest surviving structure. The 1840’s and 1850’s saw not only the of-

William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum plantations and battlefields of the 1800’s. Today, Atlanta is known as “the city too busy to hate.” While the scars of the past haven’t been completely erased, Atlanta has taken on the role as the South’s international ambassador. With the world’s busiest airport, an incredibly diverse population, world-class shopping, major multinational corporations, unique museums and architecture, as well as major cultural festivals at all times of the year, Atlanta has proven itself as not only a survivor but a true innovator. On top of that, the city has great weather almost all year round. The best times to come are in spring, when the flowers are in bloom, and in fall, when the trees of the Appalachians are lit up in brilliant reds, browns and oranges. History The area now known as Atlanta was first inhabited by the Cherokee and Creek peoples. With the aid of the British, they waged war against the U.S. government throughout the early 1800’s. The U.S. quickly gained the upper hand and began building forts in the area as well as forcibly deporting Native Americans, culminating in the infamous Trail of Tears.

ficial incorporation of Atlanta as a city but also its expansion into the South’s central rail hub. Atlanta was the site of major battles during the Civil War including a full on Union invasion in 1864. The city eventually surrendered to the Union, thus marking a major turning point in the war and contributing greatly to President Lincoln’s reelection. As in the rest of the South, the end of the Civil War meant the freeing of the slaves but also economic hardships. Atlanta’s refugees faced dire conditions, and the federal government’s response to the economic and social crisis was often lacking. On the other hand, Atlanta enjoyed a renaissance in some ways. The first black college, Atlanta University, was founded in 1865 and the city became Georgia’s capital in 1868. Atlanta gradually shifted away from a solely agriculture-based economy to one that was geared towards business and technology. Coca-Cola started out in 1886 when the pharmacist John Pemberton started selling his concoction at Jacob’s Pharmacy on Peachtree Street. With the help of business tycoon Asa Candler, Coca-Co-

la began its journey towards becoming one of the most recognizable brands in the world. However, racial tensions still plagued this rapidly developing city. Race riots were commonplace in the early 1900’s, and Jim Crow laws kept blacks from being treated as full and equal American citizens. And blacks weren’t the only target of race riots. In one horrifying episode, the Jewish factory supervisor Leo Frank was falsely accused of rape and murder and was later lynched by a mob when his sentence was commuted. Thus, it’s no surprise that Jews, one of the groups that contributed most to Atlanta’s development, decided to stand with blacks in securing their civil rights. Atlanta in the 1960’s became one of the epicenters of the

ucts. And of course, the whole family can get their picture taken with Coke’s beloved polar bear mascot! Pemberton’s second leading attraction is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The main focus of the museum is on MLK Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. To that end, the museum has original artifacts belonging to MLK Jr. such as his Letter from Birmingham Jail, which outlined his philosophy of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, as well as memos to world leaders and much more. The “Rolls Down Like Water” section of the museum gives an inside look of what it was like to live in the South under Jim Crow, how the Civil Rights Movement caught on, MLK Jr.’s

World of Coca Cola Civil Rights Movements, and played host to pivotal role in helping the Movement achieve sit-ins and marches, as well as being MLK Jr.’s its goals and what civil rights looked like in the birthplace. post-MLK Jr. age. The “Spark of Conviction” Since then, Atlanta has gone on to emerge section gives a global perspective on civil and as one of the world’s leading centers for comhuman rights by showing dictators, contrasted merce and culture. In 1980, Ted Turner eswith activists who have helped improve the tablished CNN in Atlanta, which has become lives of people around the world. one of the biggest news networks in the world. The third section of Pemberton Place is the Atlanta is also headquarters to Delta Airlines, internationally renowned Georgia Aquarium. home to the massive Bank of America Plaza, As the largest of its kind in the Western Hemiand hosted the 1996 Olympics. Atlanta today continues to lead the South in terms of diversity, innovation and cosmopolitan culture. Attractions Pemberton Place: Named after the inventor of Coca-Cola, this huge complex in the heart of downtown Atlanta contains some of the city’s biggest and most wellknown attractions. Atlanta Botanical Gardens The first of these is the World of Coca-Cola. On the lower lev- sphere, the Georgia aquarium houses thousands el, visitors can see how Coke developed from of sea creatures representing hundreds of spea pharmacy soda fountain to a multinational cies. From beluga whales to manta rays to otconglomerate worth over $50 billion. Exhibits ters, dolphins and the exotic whale shark, there include an extensive collection of memorabilis almost no major aquatic species that is not ia dating back to the 1890’s, a slick marketing represented here. The aquarium is split into five video as well as a slowed-down view of Co- main sections each representing a different habca-Cola being bottled. A fan favorite at the muitat such as the Arctic and the tropics. One of seum is the Vault of the Secret Formula. While these sections, Home Depot’s Ocean Voyager, you’ll never learn what the formula actually is, is the largest indoor aquatic environment in the Coca-Cola promises that you can get closer to it world. There is also an exciting, kid-friendly than ever before. Try out the Virtual Taste Mak4-D underwater exploration movie and a huge er, which lets you experiment with different fla- petting tank. Stay tuned for the sea lion exhibit vor combinations and see how they compare to coming in spring 2016. the real thing. The second floor complements Botanical Garden: Located next to the fathe Vault exhibit with an immersive 4-D film mous Piedmont Park not far from downtown, experience. There’s also a gallery showing these lush, beautiful gardens are the perfect getCoke’s impact on pop culture, as well as the away from Atlanta’s hustle and bustle. There is opportunity to sample 64 different Coke proda huge array of plants and flowers from all over

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Georgia Aquarium

the world including a Japanese garden and rose garden. The Children’s Garden provides interactive exhibits for kids to learn about botany, ecology and more. The highlight of the Botanical Garden is the Fuqua Orchid Center, a greenhouse that is home to America’s largest orchid display. The greenhouse is divided into different sections that replicate how orchids grow in different environmental conditions. The gardens are also home to a tissue culture lab that is looking at new ways to grow rare plants. High Museum of Art: This sleek museum has a reputation as the best of its kind in the Southeast, and for good reason. There are works by some of the most renowned painters and sculptors including Monet and Rodin. In total, the museum boasts over 11,000 pieces on permanent display. Be sure not to miss the museum’s fascinating special exhibits on African art, the intersection between early American and European art and more. Fernbank Science Center and Natural History Museum: Atlanta’s premier natural history learning center has excellent exhibits on Georgia’s diverse natural world. Among other things, visitors can walk through a gallery of Georgia’s geological and ecological development, come face-to-face with the world’s largest dinosaurs and learn about clothing from around the world. Starting in late March, there will be a beautiful display about the thousands of different bioluminescent creatures in the world. Meanwhile, the Fernbank Science Center has additional fascinating exhibits including gems and minerals, more dinosaur skeletons, a genuine Apollo spacecraft and Georgia’s largest planetarium. Georgia State Capitol: This beautiful seat of Georgia’s government is worth visiting for its striking architecture and upstairs museum about Georgia’s history. Tours are free. CNN Center: Ever wanted to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how the news is made? Then there’s no better place to do it than at CNN’s global headquarters in Atlanta. This 50-minute guided tour takes visitors through the control room, newsroom and much more.

Highlights of the tour include learning how the teleprompter and weather map work, watching the news live from inside Studio 7 (CNN’s largest studio in the world) and see how the famous election night touchscreen works. Delta Flight Museum: Located near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Delta Flight Museum is a fitting tribute to one of the state’s most successful and wellknown companies. Among the museum’s collections is a modified Lockheed plane bought by the Walt Disney Corporation, Delta’s first passenger aircraft and huge archives chock full of Delta photos, films and memorabilia. Hop in the flight simulator and see what it’s like to fly a 737 jet plane. William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum: Last but certainly not least, the Breman is absolutely the place to go to learn about Atlanta’s Jews. You can explore how the Jews of Atlanta have fundamentally shaped the city’s history and economy. From helping build some of Atlanta’s most successful businesses to helping fight for civil rights, the Breman gives visitors an insightful look at how Jews have contributed to making Atlanta what it is today. But the museum also has thousands of artifacts covering the Jewish history of the whole southeast in addition to a Holocaust gallery, Holocaust survivor testimony and guided tours of Atlanta’s most famous Jewish sites such as the 125 year-old Congregation Ahavath Achim. The museum is currently displaying a special exhibit, which kids are sure to love, on the work of Jewish author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. Daven and Eat Atlanta has several Orthodox shuls to choose from. These include Beth Jacob (bethjacobatlanta.org) and several Chabad centers (chabadofatlanta.org). Atlanta also has a sizable amount of kosher restaurants to choose from including Pita Grille (Israeli) and Chai Peking (Chinese). There are also kosher bakeries, grocery, butcher and catering options. For a full list, go to: http://www.kosheratlanta.org/localestablishments.htm

Getting There Currently, round-trip flights from LAX to Atlanta start from $175 per person. Driving

from Los Angeles to Atlanta takes about 32 hours non-stop or just under 2,200 miles.


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David Cameron: Muslim Women Must Learn English

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his government is setting up a twenty-million pound fund to help Muslim women learn English. Failure to learn English may result in rejection of one’s citizenship application, he related. “After two and half years they should be improving their English and we will be testing them,” the prime minister said. “We will bring this in in October and it will apply to people who have come in on a spousal visa recently and they will be tested.” Although he acknowledged that this sounds like a tough measure, Cameron argued, “It is not enough just to say the government is going to spend more money and it is our responsibility. People coming to our country, they have responsibilities too.” He said some “menfolk” in Muslim communities were fostering segregation by preventing women from learning English or leaving home alone, and that could not be allowed to continue. There are estimated to be around 2.7 million Muslims in England out of a total population of some 53 million. “I am not saying there is some sort of causal connection between not speaking English and becoming an extremist,

of course not,” Cameron told BBC radio. “But if you are not able to speak English, not able to integrate, you may find therefore you have challenges understanding what your identity is and therefore you could be more susceptible to the extremist message.” He is also announcing a review of the role of Britain’s religious councils, including Sharia courts, in an effort to confront men who exert “damaging control over their wives, sisters and daughters.” Not everyone was happy to hear about these new measures. Opposition leaders attacked Cameron’s plans. Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said the announcement was “dog-whistle politics at its best” and added that “linking women in the Muslim community who struggle with the English language to homegrown extremism only serves to isolate the very people Cameron says he is trying to help.”

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In a report tailor-made for Bernie Sanders’ campaign, Oxfam America, an organization dedicated to highlighting income inequality, reports that the 62 richest people in the world now have the same collective wealth as the 3.6 billion. The two groups each have a total of $1.76 trillion. The report also noted that just five years ago the majority of the world’s wealth was controlled by 388 people. That means that in those five years, the majority of the world’s wealth has been consolidated into the hands of less than one sixth of the number of people who used to control it. Here’s to wondering how I make it 63 people.

Landmark Elections in Taiwan In a landmark election, Taiwan elected its first female president. However, the real significance of this election is that the president-elect, Tsai Ing-wen, is the leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which seeks independence

from China. For the past eight years Taiwan has been controlled by the pro-China Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist Party. China considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province, which it has the right to take back by force. In a victory speech in the capital, Taipei Tsai said the results showed that democracy is ingrained in the Taiwanese people. “Our democratic way of life is forever the resolve of Taiwan’s 23 million people,” she asserted. She also stressed a desired to get along with China and noted that both sides “have a responsibility to do their utmost to find mutually acceptable ways to interact ... and ensure no provocation and no surprises.”

Despite Tsai’s overtures, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office took a different tone and warned about any potential moves toward independence. “If there is no peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s new authority will find the sufferings of the people it wishes to resolve on the economy, livelihood and its youth will be as useless as looking for fish in a tree,” it said. “We hope Tsai can lead the DPP out of the hallucinations of Taiwan independence and contribute to the peaceful and common development between Taiwan and the mainland,” it added.

Iran-America Prisoner Swap

After months of secret negotiations, Iran and the U.S. completed a prisoner exchange last Saturday. Four Iranian-Americans were released in return for seven Iranian citizens who were jailed in the U.S. for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. The exchange “ironically” took place on the same day that the U.S. released $100 billion of frozen assets to Iran. The four Iranian-Americans released were Jason Rezaian, 39, who was the Teh-

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ran correspondent for the Washington Post – he was detained in Iran for more than a year before his sentencing last November; Saeed Abedini, 35, a Christian pastor who had been imprisoned since July 2012 for organizing churches in people’s houses; Amir Hekmati, 32, a former Marine who spent more than four years in prison on spying charges following his arrest in August 2011 during a visit to see his grandmother; the fourth man, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, remains a complete mystery, who the public never even heard of before Saturday. Although the others freed left Iran for an American military-based in Germany, where they were reunited with family members, Khosravi-Roodsari remained in Iran. White House officials said earlier Sunday that recently detained student Matthew Trevithick also was released – but not as part of the prisoner swap – and had left Iran. There were no additional details. Noticeably missing from the prisoner exchange was Jewish-American Robert Levinson, 68, who disappeared in Iran in 2007 while working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence mission. He is the longest-held hostage in U.S. history, assuming he is still alive, which many believe him to be. In a statement on their Facebook page after the Americans’ release, Levinson’s family said: “We are happy for the other families. But once again, Bob Levinson has been left behind. We are devastated.”

Americans Kidnapped in Baghdad Over the weekend, three Americans were kidnapped in Baghdad from their interpreter’s apartment. As of now, the State Department and FBI are leading the investigation into their disappearance. “We are in very direct contact with the Iraqi authorities ... there is a very full effort going to find them as soon as possible,” Secretary of State John Kerry assured on Monday. According to Iraqi intelligence, the Americans were invited into the apartment in the neighborhood of Dora. After they were abducted, they were taken to Sadr City, at which point an official related, “All communications and contact stopped.” A spokesman for Baghdad’s Joint Operations Command told The Washington Post that the three citizens were Iraqis who had acquired U.S. citizenship. A Baghdad police official said they worked as contractors at Baghdad International Airport, but did not say which country employed them.  There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Generally, kidnappings in Iraq have been carried out by ISIS, Shiite

militias and criminal gangs who often demand ransom or seek to resolve workplace disputes. There has been a large breakdown in security following ISIS’s takeover of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Just last month a Qatari hunting party was kidnapped in Iraq’s south by unidentified gunmen and their whereabouts are still unknown. In September 18 Turkish workers were kidnapped from their construction site in Baghdad’s Sadr city by masked men in military uniforms. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi blamed organized crime for the kidnapping. The workers were released later that month.

“Vikings” Protecting Finland from Immigrants

Dressed in black hoodies with Viking logos, “Soldiers of Odin” roam the streets of Finland looking for security threats caused by immigrants. So far, no conflicts have occurred between the organization’s patrols and immigrants, according to Mika Makinen, a spokesperson for Finland’s Ministry of the Interior, but police are monitoring the group closely. “This group claims that they are not racists, and that they are not anti-immigrant. But previously they have been stating something else,” Makinen related. “It’s rather difficult to think they are not anti-immigrant,” he added. Finnish interior minister Petteri Orpo has publicly denounced the group and accused its members of posing a threat to national security. “There are extremist features to carrying out street patrols. It does not increase security,” he pronounced. “These street patrols are actually causing more work. This is counterproductive to police,” Makinen said. “But it’s a basic civil right to go walking around the street, so this kind of activity cannot be legally forbidden.” Soldiers of Odin was founded in late 2015 in the northwestern border town of Kemi. The group has stated that it is active in over 10 cities in Finland, but police have reported active patrols in only five cities. A spokesman for the group claims that Soldiers of Odin has around 500 active members in Finland, and supporters in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Holland, and the UK. Finland received 32,478 asylum seekers in 2015, according to the AP, up from 3,651 in 2014. Police records show that the

The future is in your hands. Meet Shlomo Anapolle of Edison, New Jersey. When it comes to a love of Israel, few college students can match the Sabra passion of this Yeshiva University junior. A pre-med, biology major with plans to attend an Israeli medical school, Shlomo balances his time between neo-natal diagnostic research, intensive shiurim and a commitment to Israel advocacy. Whether it’s planning lobbying missions to Washington, D.C. with YUPAC or teaching English to teens in the Negev through Counterpoint Israel, Shlomo brings to bear his leadership skills for the sake of the Jewish people and homeland. He is proud to invite Israeli diplomats to YU to help his peers contextualize current events. Shlomo chose YU because, to him, Torah Umadda isn’t merely the convergence of science and our mesorah¬at Yeshiva University, it is the formula for a values-driven preparation for life. This is the essence of Torah Umadda and what sets YU apart. Picture yourself at YU. #NowhereButHere

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number of cases of assaults against women and girls in Finland grew significantly from 2014 to 2015, but the data does not specify the ethnicity or origin of the perpetrators.

Thousands Mourn for Rabbi Refael Shmuelevitz zt”l

On Monday, thousands flocked to Jerusalem to attend the funeral of Rabbi Refael

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Shmuelevitz, who passed away at the age of 78 after battling a long illness. Rabbi Shmuelevitz was the Rosh Yeshiva of the prestigious Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He had been suffering for many years from two serious diseases: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Myasthenia Gravis. He passed away in Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Hospital following a deterioration in his condition in recent days. Born in Poland, he was a scion of a prestigious Ashkenazic rabbinical family, and son of the famed Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz zt”l. A dedicated scholar, following the Nazi invasion of Poland he followed the Mir Yeshiva to Vilnius in neighboring Lithuania, and then on to Japan and Shanghai, before it eventually settled in Israel.  In 2012, Rabbi Shmuelevitz was among several dozen participants in a trial of a revolutionary new stem cell treatment for ALS sufferers. The once wheelchair-bound sage, who also had difficulty talking due to the degenerative illness, underwent an incredible short-term recovery, learning to walk on his own again and speak clearly. However, the treatment was not a cure, and he continued to battle the disease for the remaining years of his life. The funeral procession began in Jerusalem’s Meah Shearim neighborhood and

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ended at the Har Hamenuchot cemetery, where Rabbi Refael Shmuelevitz was laid to rest.

Mother of Six Killed in Otniel

39-year old Dafna Meir was fatally stabbed right outside of her home in the town of Otniel on Sunday. Mrs. Meir leaves behind her husband and four children, ages 11 to 17, and two foster children who are both under the age of 5. Initial investigations indicated that Meir wrestled with the attacker in an effort to protect the three of her children who were in her home during the attack. Thankfully the stabber fled the scene without continuing the attack and before he could reach the children. Dafna was remembered as a “joyful” person by her neighbors. “She was a happy woman, joyful, optimistic, driven, responsible, loving,” a neighbor, Yishai Klein, related. “Everyone in the settlement who was in pain knew they could call her 24 hours a day.” Friend Liron Steinberg recalled that Dafna “was a woman who enjoyed life, the wittiest woman I know.” She remembered how Dafna “always looked for how to help. If it was to take two foster kids, or as a nurse in the neurosurgery department. I work as a social worker in the Beit Hagai youth village and she would always invite home kids who didn’t have where else to be.” Late Monday night security forces caught Dafna’s murderer – 16-year-old Morad Bader Abdullah Adais. He was hiding out in a village near Otniel and taken in for questioning. He reportedly confessed to the attack. Adais’s father said on Tuesday that he was “proud” of his son for carrying out the attack, the news site Walla quoted him as telling Palestinian media outlets.

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overrunning her country, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, called for an investigation this week to determine whether Israel has been conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinians during the current wave of violence.

Perhaps attempting to appease the radical Islamists who are in the process of

In response to Wallstrom’s outrageous comments, Israeli’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, declared that Swedish officials are no longer welcome in Israel. “Israel is closing its gates to official visits from Sweden,” declared Hotovely. She added, “We’re currently at the frontline of the battle against terror. [Wallstrom] is de facto supporting it, encouraging it, and the State of Israel is sending a blunt message.” This is not the first time that Wallstrom made outrageous and anti-Israel comments. A day after the Paris attacks in November claimed by the Islamic State group, Wallstrom said that the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a factor in radicalization. Wallstrom’s comments were also denounced Tuesday by former foreign ministers Avigdor Liberman and Tzipi Livni, as well as by opposition leader Isaac Herzog. “The only thing the foreign minister of Sweden hasn’t done is physically join the Palestinian terrorists and stab Jews,” Liberman said in a statement. “Given her conduct so far, we need to hope it won’t happen.”

Palestinian Workers Banned from Settlements

In the wake of two attacks in two days – one in which a mother was fatally stabbed outside her home – Israel is temporarily banning all Palestinian workers from West Bank settlements. The decision is open-ended but will be reviewed daily. “In light of daily situation assessments and following recent terror attacks, security measures have been taken in the Judea and Samaria region,” an IDF spokesperson said. The commander of the IDF’s Judea and

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Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Lior Carmeli, decided that “as of tomorrow, Palestinian workers cannot enter Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.” On Sunday, a Palestinian terrorist knifed Dafna Meir to death at the entrance to her home at Otniel, in the Hebron Hills. Meir was laid to rest on Monday. Workers were already banned from settlements in that area as of Monday as her assailant was still on the run on Monday night. On Monday morning,  a Palestinian teenager stabbed and moderately injured Michal Froman, who is 18 weeks pregnant, inside the Bethlehem area settlement of Tekoa. Following the stabbing, Palestinian workers were barred from the settlement. Thankfully, she was stable and out of surgery later that day and the baby is considered stable and unharmed, doctors said. Thousands of Palestinians — as many as 20,000 by some estimates — are employed inside settlements, mostly in construction, manufacturing and agriculture. In June 2014, thousands of Palestinian workers were barred from settlements in the Etzion settlement bloc and elsewhere during a search for three kidnapped Israeli teens. That move, which was seen as a way of putting pressure on the Palestinian population, drew the ire of some Jews, who said the directive harmed their businesses.

An Untraditional State of the Union Address

they have to be stopped, but they do not threaten our national existence. That is the story ISIL wants to tell; that’s the kind of propaganda they use to recruit.” Although he didn’t use their names, Mr. Obama took on the two front-running 2016 Republican candidates. In an apparent response to Cruz’s call to “carpet bomb” the Islamic State, Obama said: “Our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.” He also noted – likely referring to recent statements by Donald Trump – that “when politicians insult Muslims...that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (RKY) took exception to the president injecting politics into the State of the Union address, later telling USA Today, “That’s not what presidents ought to be talking about in State of the Union addresses.” After criticizing the Republican candidates, Mr. Obama noted with faux humility, “It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide.” Amongst the guests seated near First Lady Michelle Obama were a Syrian refugee, an American soldier who stopped a gunman from attacking a passenger train in Europe, and one of the first women to complete the Army’s Ranger School. Additionally, there was a vacant seat, for those killed by gun violence. Although this may have been the president’s swan song in front of a joint session of Congress, only 31.3 million people watched it, the smallest audience recorded since ratings company Nielsen started keeping track in 1993. His first State of the Union address was watched by 66.9 million people.

The future is in your hands. Meet Rachel Mirsky from White Plains, New York. A biology major on a pre-med track, and captain of the YU softball and basketball teams, Rachel chose YU to allow her to explore and develop her unique talents and interests. Rachel loves YU because it enables her to engage in her extracurricular passions and prepare for her career while remaining true to her religious commitments. An exceptional athlete, Rachel was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District team. Whether in

Most Edited Wikipedia Page of All Time As promised by the White Housed in advance, President Obama’s final State of the Union Address, delivered on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, was anything but traditional. The president used this annual event to defend his record and lambast his opponents, while at the same time bemoaning the lack of unity in Washington. Regarding ISIS, Mr. Obama argued that the “over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages, they pose an enormous danger to civilians,

an Israeli laboratory conducting research on the properties of red blood cells, or authoring a medical ethics paper on eating disorders and the Biblical matriarchs, Rachel can find the perfect balance at YU. This is the essence of Torah Umadda and what sets YU apart. Picture yourself at YU. #NowhereButHere

Many people have a lot to say about George W. Bush. That is, “many” people have “a lot” to say about him. According to Wikipedia, which marked its 15th anniversary last week by releasing a ranking of its pages based on how many edits have been

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made by volunteers, George W. Bush took the top spot with 45,862 edits. The rest of the list is a mixture of controversial figures, pages that need to constantly be updated, and Wikipedia itself. Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has grown to more than 36 million articles, with approximately 80,000 volunteer editors contributing to the website. “Wikipedia challenged us to rethink how knowledge can be gathered and shared,” said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. “Knowledge is no longer handed down from on high, instead it is freely shared by everyone online. Wikipedia seemed like an impossible idea at the time – an online encyclopedia that everyone can edit. However, it has surpassed everyone’s expectations over the past 15 years, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world who have made Wikipedia possible.”

And One of the Three Winners Is… While we all wait to sort out whether Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz’s employee is ac-

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

tually the California winner of last week’s world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot, the winners of the ticket purchased in Munford, Tennessee, have been verified and the lucky ones are John and Lisa Robinson. The couple has opted to take the single lump sum of nearly $328 million, rather than the estimated $533 million that they would have gotten over a 30 year period. John, who is a warehouse supervisor, and Lisa, who works for a dermatologist, both plan on continuing to work at their current jobs. “That’s what we’ve done all our lives, is work,” John Robinson said. “You just can’t sit down and lay down and not do nothing anymore. How long are you going to last?”

John Robinson said that they would help certain friends, give to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and donate to their church. “I’m a firm believer in tithing to my church,” Robinson

said in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. As the Robinsons related to the Today Show, John purchased the four tickets several hours before the drawing. At the time of the drawing, Lisa was watching the drawing on TV, while John was sleeping on the couch. Once Lisa realized their numbers matched, she ran over to where John was asleep on the couch and told him to check the numbers himself. “She said, ‘Check these numbers,’ and I said, ‘Okay.’ I looked at them, I said, “Yeah, they look like they’re the numbers,’” John recalled. “So, I checked them actually four times and I said I’ll believe it when the news comes on in the morning and they say, ‘Hey, there’s been a winner in Munford,’” he said. The other winning tickets were sold in Chino Hills, California, and Melbourne Beach, Florida, but neither of those winners has come forward to claim their prize yet.

U.S. Navy Sailors Held Overnight by Iran

With script in hand, President Obama took the podium in the House chamber on Capitol Hill for his final State of the Union Address. The speech would tout the Iran nuclear deal, which would certainly garner great applause from the Democrats in the audience, who wait for these applause lines like sea lions being awarded with herrings by their trainers at aquarium performances. The script, though, made no mention of the 10 U.S. sailors who that very day were taken into custody by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard after one of the two vessels that they were traveling broke down during a training exercise in the Gulf and drifted into Iranian waters. Thankfully, the sailors – nine men and one woman – who were held overnight on an Iranian naval base, were released the following morning. Upon releasing the sailors the following morning, Iranian state television released a video of one of the American sailors detained apologizing. “It was a mistake. That was our fault, and we apologize for our mistake,” said Lt. David Nartker. “It was a misunderstanding,” he continued. “We did not mean to go into Iranian territorial

water.” As if reading off of a script handed to him by his captors, the sailor added that the Iranians had behaved in a “fantastic” manner and thanked them for their “hospitality” and “assistance.” The video also showed the U.S. sailors in a humiliating position upon being captured, on their knees with their hands over the heads. The lone female sailor was given a keffiyeh to cover her head. Although this incident was quickly resolved, it struck a raw nerve with many. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) told Real Clear Politics that he was “shocked” that the incident didn’t get mentioned by the president early in his address. “The fact that 10 American sailors were abducted on the high seas today and the president is talking about how we’re more respected internationally than we’ve ever been is troubling to me,” Dent said. “He should have at least acknowledged that these sailors were abducted and that we’re going to get them back.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) noted in a statement, “Ten American sailors have been taken into custody in Iran. But President Obama completely omitted this latest example of Iran’s provocative behavior so as not to interfere with his delusional talking points about his dangerous nuclear deal with Iran.” In the aftermath of this incident, Vice President Joe Biden downplayed the incident and told CBS News that the U.S. did not apologize to Iran after the release of the sailors. “When you have a problem with the boat, [do] you apologize the boat had a problem? No,” he explained. “And there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice.” Secretary of State John Kerry, though, issued a thank you to the Iranian regime for releasing the U.S. soldiers. “I want to express my gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter,” he said. Kerry noted, “That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong.”

Bye-Bye Al Jazeera America

Al Jazeera America arrived with a splash in 2013 when it paid $500 million

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

for Al Gore’s Current TV, gaining access to tens of million U.S. homes. It now leaves with a whimper, as it is going off the air due to virtually no viewership. The network, which is funded by the government of Qatar, has an adults ages 25-43 primetime viewership of 7,000. By comparison, Fox News’ primetime viewership in the third quarter of 2015 was close to two million. In a memo announcing the closing, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, said the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.” The company, which is going off the air on April 30, had high hopes just three years ago when it hired 700 staffers for a dozen U.S. bureaus. However, it never took off as Americans were rightly suspicious of the network. Perhaps, reflecting a last dying breath, Al Jazeera America recently aired an investigative report accusing Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning of taking performance enhancing drugs. Al Jazeera’s main source has since recanted the claim. When told Wednesday of Al Jazeera America’s plans to shut down, Mr. Manning quipped, “I’m sure it’s going to be just devastating to all their viewers.”

Panic over Lead in the Water in Flint

After doctors noticed high levels of lead in the bodies of young children in the town of Flint, Michigan, families have been taking their children for blood tests and guzzling bottled water for the past few months. “It really is a scary situation to know that we can’t get clean drinking water,” said Sherri Miller, who brought her first grade son, Jameer, to have a finger-prick blood sample tested at his elementary school’s Family Fun Night. “It really is scary to think someone knew about this” and did nothing. Nearly two years have passed since safe drinking water flowed from Flint faucets. The financially troubled city began drawing its water from the Flint River in 2014 to save money. Officials failed to treat the corrosive water properly to prevent metal leaching from old pipes. Worse, residents didn’t learn they were drinking tainted water until the state is-

sued warnings a year and a half after the switch was made. For the city’s 100,000 residents, daily life is now all about lead. Before the crisis, Flint, about an hour’s drive north of Detroit, had become a symbol of the decline of the U.S. auto industry, having suffered waves of auto plant layoffs and the loss of half its population. Forty-one percent of the population falls below the poverty line. These days, it’s a place where parents fear for the health of young children, who can develop learning disabilities and behavior problems from lead exposure. “It has such … lifelong and generational consequences,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of pediatric residency at Hurley Children’s Hospital, where more than 2,000 children have been tested. She is credited with bringing the problem to the public’s attention after state agencies initially dismissed her concerns. “It was frustrating that it went on for so long,” Hanna-Attisha said, complaining that even since the state began taking action, “everything has been slow.” Gov. Rick Snyder finally acknowledged in late September that the water was unsafe, saying the consequences of switching to Flint River water were not “fully understood.” The decision to use the river was made while a Snyder-appointed emergency manager was running city government. The city, which had been under state supervision since 2011, returned to local control last April. Flint went back to Detroit water in October, but some fear the old pipes were so damaged that they must be replaced, at costs estimated as high as $1.5 billion. On Monday, Snyder apologized to Flint and pledged that officials would contact every household to ensure families have bottled water and a filter and to check whether they want to be tested for lead exposure. He also promised to seek a long-term solution. “This is a crisis. So we’re responding appropriately. There’s more work to be done,” he urged. Snyder’s many critics got louder at midweek, when the governor announced that two spikes in Legionnaires’ disease had occurred in the county that includes Flint during the time Flint River water was used. Ten people died. Michigan health officials said they cannot conclude that the outbreak stemmed from Flint’s water, but others argued it probably had. Late Thursday, Snyder asked President Barack Obama to issue a federal disaster declaration in an effort to get federal aid, a move critics countered should have been taken sooner. The president signed an emergency declaration on Saturday and ordered federal aid for the city.

The Week In News

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The Week In News

10 More Guantanamo Terrorists Released

Last Thursday ten prisoners from Yemen who were held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were released and sent to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman for resettlement. The prison’s dwindling population of high profile terrorists is down to less than 100, a significant milestone in the Obama administration’s long-stalled effort to shutter the detention center. The release comes days after the president declared in his State of the Union address that the prison at Guantanamo “only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies.” Obama has promised since the start of his presidency seven years ago that he would close the facility – opened in the aftermath of 9/11 to get suspected terrorists off the battlefield. Although Congress has repeatedly blocked the president’s efforts to close the facility, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough vowed on “Fox News Sunday” that President Obama will close the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility before his presidency ends in 11 months. Earlier in the week, Guantánamo detainee Muhammad Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani, 40, was transferred back to his home country of Saudi Arabia. U.S. officials determined him to be a “high risk” for recidivism, warning he would likely re-engage against the West should he be released from the detention facility. He also allegedly told guards at the facility that he would “kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan if released,” according to his leaked confidential file.

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market.

The company, which has 11,600 stores worldwide, announced that the large majority of U.S. stores closing are Walmart Express stores, which have been piloted since 2011. Although the closures will affect approximately 10,000 U.S. employees, Walmart, which is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, noted that more than 95 percent of the stores closing in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, and they hope to place the displaced associates in nearby locations. The announcement comes three months after Walmart Stores Inc. CEO Doug McMillon told investors that the world’s largest retailer would review its fleet of stores with the goal of becoming more nimble in the face of increased competition from all fronts, including from online rival Amazon.com. Walmart, which has a global workforce of 2.2 million employees – 1.4 million of which work in its 4,500 U.S. stores – states that despite the closing, it still is on a growth trajectory and plans on opening 300 new stores worldwide over the coming year, including 50 to 60 Supercenters in the U.S. To alleviate your main concern: No, the Walmart in Monticello is not one of the stores which is closing.

You Only Make a First Impression Once

Jury was Close to Acquitting Police Officer of Most Serious Charge in Freddie Gray Case

Walmart Downsizing Department store giant Walmart announced last week that it is closing 269

liam Porter, one of six Baltimore police officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray, ended last month when Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial after the jury deliberated for three days without reaching a unanimous verdict. Now the Baltimore Sun is reporting that when the mistrial was declared, the jury was only one vote away from an acquittal of the most serious charge of involuntary manslaughter. The lone juror who recently spoke with the Baltimore Sun said that members of the panel had changed their votes multiple times during the deliberations, but at the end 11 members of the jury wanted to acquit Porter of involuntary manslaughter and there was 1 holdout. The jury included four black women, three black men, three white women and two white men. Prosecutors said Porter failed to secure Gray in a seatbelt when he was called by Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the van, to check on Gray in the back of the van. They also allege Porter failed to call for a medic when Gray asked for one. Prosecutors consider Porter a witness against the other five officers and are asking the court to force him to testify. That issue is pending before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second-highest court. Porter is scheduled for a retrial in June.

The high profile trial of Officer Wil-

We all know that first impressions are lasting impressions, but how do people form their first impressions? According to psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, who has been studying first impressions for more than 15 years, first impressions are not based on the strength of your handshake, how sharp you look or how friendly you seem. Rather it comes down to two questions that people ask themselves: Number 1: Can I trust this person? Number 2: Can I respect this person? In her new book, “Presence,” Cuddy

posits that while competence is highly valued, it is evaluated only after trust is established. And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire. “A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat,” explains Cuddy.

Hey, Walter, Where’s Your Wife?

Have you ever gone traveling and left your toothbrush at home? Maybe you’ve forgotten your phone charger or even your phone. But have you ever forgotten your wife? It seems like Walter was in slow mode as he drove home to Argentina from a holiday in Brazil. The mix-up happened at a gas station, where he filled up his car and then went to the restroom. His wife, Claudia, was sleeping in the backseat and went out of the car to buy cookies. Walter’s ever-vigilant son was sitting in the front seat of the car playing a game on his phone and didn’t even realize his mother left the car. The two men then continued on their journey, leaving Claudia – and her cookies – behind. When Claudia realized she was stuck without a car and a husband, she tried calling his cellphone, but was not able to reach him due to signal problems. She then elicited the assistance of the local police, who brought her to the station until her husband returned two hours later. A traffic police officer in the Brazilian area of Passo Fundo said the wife was so angry she kicked the car when she returned. Suffice it to say, Walter, I’d say: no cookies for you.

The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Baby Onboard This kid’s birth was really smooth sailing. On Sunday, one of the world’s largest cruise ships pulled into the dock in Brooklyn, NY, with an unusual — but adorable — new bit of cargo. A passenger on the Queen Mary 2 gave birth to a baby boy late Saturday night, just before the ship docked. The proud new mom, a German woman identified only as Johanna, was on a transatlantic trip from England when she gave birth to the first baby born on the vessel. The new addition really wanted to start cruising early; she wasn’t due to have her new baby for another three weeks. The doctor onboard the ship helped deliver the bouncing baby boy: Benjamin Brooklyn.

I’m guessing the baby gets free cruises for the rest of his life.

A Truck of Change

said the man, surnamed Cai, was a “loyal customer and has already bought four cars from us, so we have to help him solve this problem.” Thirteen employees spent more than 10 hours counting the money. Cai, who sells candy and biscuits to villagers, said he usually received payment for his goods in change and had “too much to exchange for larger bank notes.” “Although some people might think that I’m flouting my wealth by paying for everything in small change, but it’s all I have and I just hope that the other person will accept them,” he added. Lesson for life: no matter how big or small, cash is king.

swallow it, you better like bananas. After a thief in India stole a gold chain from a woman in Mumbai, police were able to ascertain that the loot didn’t go far – it was still in the crook’s digestive tract. So officials employed an unorthodox technique. They force-fed him 40 bananas throughout the day after deciding that surgery would be too expensive to perform. “He was fed more than 40 bananas throughout the day,” said Mumbai police senior inspector Shankar Dhanavade. “Eventually the chain was found. We made him wash and disinfect it.”

Man Proposes 150 Times

Ray Smith has been taking his time popping the big question. In fact, it took him five months to propose to his now-fiancée. Five months of her not even noticing that he is proposing. The 38-year-old from England would take numerous photos with Claire Bramley over that time. In the photos, he would sneak in a small card that said: “Will you marry me?” Most of the photos were taken as selfies and he would take two, just in case Claire wanted to see the photo – and then see his proposal. Supposedly, he needed to plan for the main event while taking these itty, bitty photo steps.

It is not the first time Mumbai police have used the fruit to recover stolen goods. In July of last year, a gold chain was recovered after a thief was made to eat two dozen bananas and drink several liters of laxative-laced milk, according to the Hindustan Times. Several months earlier, a thief was fed five dozen bananas after swallowing a gold chain with a large pendant. I would say that thieves in Mumbai should make like a banana and split.

The Senior Stunt The mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, stood next to a woman at a news conference earlier this month touting a program for snow shoveling in the city. The woman

Police in India Go Bananas If you’re going to steal jewelry and then

wore a wig, earrings, lipstick and a dress along with a nametag that read “Cranston Senior Home Resident.” Wait, we may have reported that incorrectly. You see, the female senior citizen in the dress and lipstick was not actually a female. It was a middle-aged male who was persuaded by a city official to dress up for the photo op. He worked as a van driver at the senior center.

Obviously, there was egg on many faces when the faux woman/senior incident was uncovered. Sue Stenhouse, the city’s director of senior services, organized the news conference. She resigned last week. Mayor Allan Fung, the 2014 Republican nominee for governor, did not return a phone message seeking comment. At the hair salon where the man, David Roberts, procured the wig, the owner was just as mortified. “He says to me, ‘Elaine, do you have a wig that I could borrow? I have to get dressed as a senior,’” Elaine Mancuso recalled. She later realized why he wanted it. “I said, ‘Oh, my G-d. He wanted it for that.’ I probably would have given him a better wig if I had known.” Didn’t your mom tell you? It always pays to look your best – no matter where you’re going.



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A candy seller in China paid for his new truck with a mountain of small change last week. Mr. Cai brought 80,000 yuan ($12,000) in small denomination bills and coins to the auto dealership in Southeast China last Monday, the South China Morning Post reports. The cash weighed at least half a ton and was stuffed inside 10. The mammoth deposit stunned staff. ”I have never seen so much cash in my life,” sales manager Gu Liyuan said. But dealership manager Yang Huai

Finally at the end of last year, Ray popped the big – and final question – to Claire with a slideshow of his sneaky photos. Thankfully, Claire said yes – and it only took her a few minutes. “I was totally surprised,” Claire said. “But in hindsight it’s exactly the kind of thing he does.” “I just wanted to prove how much I want to marry her,” Ray says.







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

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

Amulets, Accusations & Controversy: The Devastating Polemic Between Rabbi Yaakov Emden And Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz Part II THE STORY SO FAR: In 1666 the Shabbetai Tzvi messianic debacle came to an abrupt end when the pretender messiah converted to Islam. For most Jews his apostasy relegated Shabbetai Tzvi to the margins and life went back to normal. For a small but significant minority, however, the Sabbatian mission never ended. Secret societies of crypto-Sabbatians were formed, and these aberrant groups continued to believe in Shabbetai Tzvi as the messiah, and in warped pseudo-kabbalistic ideas that provided the backdrop for this belief. In the decades following his death, secret Sabbatian activists were regularly exposed by watchful rabbis cognizant of the grave danger they posed to normative Judaism if their twisted ideas infiltrated mainstream Jewish life. One such scoundrel was Nehemiah Hiya Hayyun, who was outed in Amsterdam in 1713 by Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi - a revered rabbinic scholar and kabbalist - together with his colleague R. Moshe Hagiz. Chacham Tzvi’s bruising campaign was ultimately successful, and Hayyun was never taken seriously again. In the process, however, Chacham Tzvi and his family – including his eldest son Yaakov, later R. Yakov Emden - were forced to leave Amsterdam, as a result of the animosity generated towards them by Hayyun’s supporters. Hayyun reappeared in central Europe in 1725, by which time Chacham Tzvi had passed away. Nevertheless, Hayyun was barred from every community and eventually disappeared from sight - although not before it emerged that he had recently been in touch with a young rabbinic superstar from Prague by the name of R. Yonason Eybeschutz. As if this was not enough, R. Yonason was also identified as the author of an anonymous heretical Sabbatian manuscript titled ‘va’avo hayom el ha’ayin’. The scene was set for a dramatic showdown between the opponents of Sabbatian influence, and one of Europe’s most electrifying young rabbis, whose future as a prominent leader in the Jewish world seemed assured. The challenge in 1725 was far greater than it had been in the battle against Hayyun more than a decade earlier. During that conflict the Sabbatian adversary had been an itinerant preacher, who for all his talent was an easy prey. None of Hayyun’s allies were

his friends – in the main they were recently acquired acquaintances. If there were those among them whose support was based on their own Sabbatian beliefs, even for them Hayyun was just a means to an end, and as soon as the fight was lost, they quickly abandoned him to his sorry fate without a second thought. R. Yonason Eybeschutz could not have been more different. He was the ultimate insider, with pedigree, a devoted non-Sabbatian following, and status as a noted rabbinic scholar and preacher. Even the people who were totally dedicated to the task of rooting out insidious Sabbatian influences shied away from open warfare with someone like him. The stakes were simply too high. If R. Yonason Eybeschutz was branded a flagrant deviant, what would that mean for every other rabbi of his stature? How would it be possible for Jewish community life to remain stable if every distinguished rabbi with an enemy could have his career and reputation wrecked in a frenzy of anti-Sabbatian zealotry? And yet, while the evidence against R. Yonason was never more than anecdotal and circumstantial, it was still hard to ignore the fact that his name kept on cropping up in the Sabbatian witch-hunt. What was even harder to ignore was that both Sabbatian-hunters and the Sabbatians themselves concurred over R. Yonason, all of them claiming he was a longstanding and committed Sabbatian. Apparently he had first been introduced to Sabbatian beliefs by a man called Leibel Prosnitz, a former peddler turned Sabbatian ‘prophet’, with whom he came into contact while studying in Prosnitz under R. Meir Eisenstadt. Leibel Prosnitz may have or may not have believed in Shabbetai Tzvi’s messianic identity, but he was certainly a gifted hoaxer who used ‘magic’ and ‘miracles’ to convince credulous people that he was a holy man with unique powers. Prosnitz was involved in several attempts to infiltrate Sabbatianism into mainstream Jewish life over the years, and in 1706 had even announced the imminent return of Shabbetai Tzvi. When this prediction failed to materialize he began to wander from community to community, hooking up with crypto-Sabbatians wherever he went. During the 1725 campaign against Sabbatians, Prosnitz became the subject of an intensive investigation by the rabbinate of Mannheim. The inquiry was initially launched when his son-in-law was discovered staying at the home of a known Sabbatian, Yeshaya Hasid, who lived in Mannheim. In the course of the investigation Hasid shockingly divulged that Sabbatians now believed that Leibel Prosnitz was

‘Mashiach ben Yosef’, while R. Yonason Eybeschutz was ‘Mashiach ben David’ - in other words, some kind of reincarnation of Shabbetai Tzvi himself. This disturbing revelation was rendered even more alarming when it emerged that Prosnitz had lobbied Hasid to use his influence to ensure R. Yonason would be offered the position as rabbi of

The title page of Knesset Yechezkel, halachic work by the Chief Rabbi of the triple community, R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen. R. Yaakov Emden did not hold R. Katzenellenbogen in high esteem, and when he moved to Altona from Emden, he tried to stay out of communal affairs

Mannheim. What emerged was that Sabbatians thought of R. Yonason as their supreme leader and an integral part of a widespread conspiracy to penetrate Sabbatianism into the highest levels of Jewish life. This view of R. Yonason was not exclusive to Hasid and Prosnitz. R. Moshe Hagiz, who relentlessly led the 1725 anti-Sabbatian crusade, was also utterly convinced that R. Yonason was a Sabbatian and the author of ‘va’avo hayom el ha’ayin’. In his correspondence with numerous rabbinic colleagues R. Hagiz repeated this view countless times, and sought support for a showdown with the young rabbi. But the showdown never came. On September 16, 1725, R. Yonason publicly took an oath denying any connection to Sabbatianism and then affixed his signature to a toughly worded ban issued by all the rabbis in Prague against Sabbatians and Sabbatianism. His supporters cited these actions as incontrovertible proof that he was

not a Sabbatian. Even many of those who believed he was a Sabbatian were ready to take R. Yonason’s readiness to publicly condemn Sabbatians as a sign that he had either repented, or that he would never again be so reckless as to involve himself with Sabbatianism, even covertly. After all, why would a man of his quality and ability wish to descend into the sordid world of lowlife crypto-Sabbatians such as Prosnitz and Hasid and their ilk? Sabbatian manuscripts and incriminating letters ascribed to R. Yonason continued to circulate, but were dismissed as forgeries or fantasy. The best R. Hagiz could do was try and convince his colleagues to avoid sending students to Prague to study under R. Yonason, but even in that he failed to succeed. R. Yonason was unassailable. The murmurings continued, but his signature on the ban along with his consistent denials of any involvement with Sabbatianism prevented any of his adversaries from gaining traction against him. Meanwhile the anti-Sabbatian fight focused itself on those whose connection with Sabbatianism was certain, and whose neutralization was uncontroversial. By the end of 1726 the crisis was over and R. Yonason’s popularity and reputation grew even stronger. In 1736, the Chief Rabbi of Prague R. David Oppenheim died, and R. Yonason seemed the natural choice to be his successor. It was not to be. Longstanding acrimony between R. Yonason and R. Oppenheim dating back many years meant that the community leadership would not allow him to replace the late chief rabbi, although they did appoint him as chief dayyan for the Prague beit-din. But a man of R. Yonason’s caliber would not continue to occupy a “number two” position for very long. In 1741 he was offered the chief rabbinate of Metz, in France, when the incumbent chief rabbi, R. Yaakov Yehoshua Falk, later famous for his authorship of Pnei Yehoshua, left to take up the chief rabbinate of Frankfurt. So R. Yonason moved to Metz and led the community there until 1750, when he was offered the coveted chief rabbinate of the “triple community” of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck, one of the most prestigious and influential Jewish communities in Europe. The triple-community had boasted some of the greatest European rabbinic luminaries of the previous century, including Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, who presided over the community in various roles from 1690 until 1710. It was also the birthplace of Chacham Tzvi’s son, R. Yaakov Emden, and it was here that R. Yaakov now lived, a prominent local rabbinic scholar, although he had no formal position in the community. R. Yaakov’s attitude to R. Yonason’s appointment, irrespective of the accusations of Sabbatian heresy, would prove to be a contentious issue in the years that followed, but before we dive into the origins of the devastating dispute that engulfed the two rabbis, let us take a look at what R. Yaakov had been up to since the time his family had been hounded out of Amsterdam in 1714.

Jewish The WeekHistory In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

R. Yakov Emden did not have an easy childhood. His father, Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, found it very difficult to stay on an even keel with communal lay leaders, whose gifts and favors he would never accept, and whose constant political maneuvering he abhorred. He was fearless in his opposition to all kinds of communal shenanigans, and although this won him admiration and respect from his colleagues, and from ordinary folk whose hands were not on the reins of communal power, it landed him, and by implication his family, into hot water on numerous occasions. As a result he was unable to offer his

The Chief Rabbi of Prague, R. David Oppenheim, whose passing in 1736 might have led to R. Yonason Eybeschutz’s appointment to that position. Years of friction between the two men resulted in his his candidacy being vetoed, and R. Yonason left for Metz in 1741

children a solid education, and they were all home schooled, usually without the benefit of private tutors. R. Yaakov later wrote that he had studied privately with his father, but these study sessions were intermittent due to the constant pressures and difficulties in his father’s life. This challenging background makes it all the more remarkable that R. Yaakov turned out the way he did. Although there is no question that he was extremely bright to the point of being a genius, his intellect was amplified by his incredible motivation and self-discipline. From the youngest age no body of work was too daunting, and no detail too trivial. He taught himself to read and write Hebrew to perfection, and eventually became a master of the Hebrew language, as well as of Aramaic, understanding every nuance and feature of these languages in each era and record of their use. He finished the Talmud in his teens, and also mastered every aspect of Jewish law. He explored the complex world of Jewish customs and traditions, knowledge that he would later share in his monumental work on Jewish prayer. He taught himself to be a public speaker, and was considered a master orator. Being the eldest son of Chacham Tzvi also meant that he was treated with respect simply because of who his father was. In short, R. Yaakov possessed exactly the qualities that should have propelled him to one of leading rabbinic appointments of Europe. But what R. Yaakov did not possess was patience, nor the ability to suffer fools or crooks. He was inflexible, refusing to compromise on his principles, nor would he ever massage the egos of those with whom he came into contact in order to get something done. He considered such behavior unseemly, and inappropriate for a religious leader. And so, although his breeding and erudition might have resulted in one of the best rabbinic appointments of Europe, his reputation

as a no-nonsense rabbi who would call it as he saw it meant that he landed just one short-lived rabbinic position very early on, after which he would never lead a community again. That position was in a town with which R. Yaakov later became synonymous – Emden, Germany, on the North Sea coast just north of the Dutch border, and home to a small Jewish community. His appointment happened unexpectedly in 1729, after more than a decade of turmoil and personal difficulties. In 1715 R. Yaakov had married Rachel, the granddaughter of R. Naphtali Katz, in a union of two rabbinic dy-

R. Yonason Eybeschutz was one of the most celebrated rabbis of his era. Although implicated in the Sabbatian witch-hunt of 1725-6, all the charges against him were dismissed, and his fame and popularity continued to grow

kov believed these tasks were a distraction from what a rabbi really needed to be doing – studying Talmud and Jewish law, writing and publishing beneficial books, and leading by example. In 1732, after only three years on the job, he had finally had enough. The final straw took place on Rosh Hashana, when the president of the community demanded that his clean-shaven unmarried son blow shofar for the community, and R. Yaakov disapproved. The pettiness of the issue and the uproar it precipitated made R. Yaakov realize that he was simply not suited to be a community

A seventeenth century map of the Emden and Oldenburg regions, north of the Dutch border. The town of Emden is on the coast, just across the water from Holland. R. Yaakov spent three years here, before deciding to leave the professional rabbinate for good

nasties. But his marriage began badly, with him living in the home of his in-laws, a teenager far away from his family. To compound these difficulties he was badly mistreated by his wife’s father, who took some of the young couple’s wedding gifts for himself, and refused to honor financial commitments made before the wedding, which in turn led to bitter acrimony between the newlyweds. For three years he endured this unhappy arrangement, burying himself in his studies and writing. Then, in 1718, Chacham Tzvi and his wife died in quick succession, leaving R. Yaakov with the responsibility of looking after his unmarried siblings. Financial problems dogged him at every turn. People with debts to his late father refused or were unable to pay up, and R. Yaakov traveled far and wide trying to collect what was due to the family, all to no avail. Often those who offered to help him turned out to be swindlers, and on numerous occasions he was robbed or cheated. He became physically sick, and also went through several bouts of depression, the details of which he recorded with incredible frankness in an autobiography written many years later, and published just over a century after his death. With his family growing, the pressing need for financial security compelled him to find a steady job, despite his misgivings about working for the Jewish community. So when an offer came in 1729 to take up the vacant rabbinic position in Emden, he accepted it immediately and settled there with his family. But his instinctive reluctance to become a community rabbi proved right, and the job was a disaster from the start. R. Yaakov was unable to handle lay leadership insubordination, and he also could not bear the sense of entitlement felt by wealthier members of the community. He also despised the mundane tasks expected of a communal rabbi, including the delivery of regular sermons. R. Yaa-

rabbi. He resigned and left Emden, never to return, although, in spite of his disagreement with the president, R. Yaakov not only made sure to reconcile with him, but was even involved in defending him in the local secular court against accusations that could have caused the man incredible financial loss had he been found guilty. The end of the Emden rabbinate experience was a turning point in R. Yaakov’s life. He would never again work for any Jewish community in any kind of formal capacity, nor, for the remainder of his life, would he ever be reliant on the whims of some wealthy backer. With his characteristic dry wit, he would later write that when he recited the daily blessing shelo asani aved – thanking G-d that he wasn’t a slave - he would pronounce it shelo asani abad – a play on words that made the Hebrew word for slave sound like the acronym for Av Beit Din, the formal title of a communal rabbi. And yet, although he was glad that he was no longer a rabbi who worked for a community, he was and always remained acutely aware of his standing as a rabbinic individual of unimpeachable integrity and distinguished ancestry, and was extremely conscious of the deficiencies and weaknesses of other rabbis, the worst examples of which he loathed with a passion. After leaving Emden, R. Yaakov decided to settle with his family in Altona, the town of his birth, which at the time was the main center of Jewish life in the triple community. The powerful and renowned triple community was comprised of six Ashkenazi synagogues scattered across Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbeck, all under the auspices of one chief rabbi and a non-rabbinic lay-leadership committee. The chief rabbi was R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen, a Lithuanian-born scholar who began his tenure in 1714, brought in by a wealthy philanthropist who had wished to secure R. Yechezkel’s previous rabbinic position in Keidani, Lithuania, for his own son-in-law.

R. Yaakov, claiming that sickness prevented him from walking to the nearest synagogue on a regular basis, sought and received permission from the triple community leadership to open up his own private synagogue at his rented home. Although it was true that he had been suffering from intermittent health issues while in Emden, and for many years previously, in all likelihood this request was also motivated by a desire for privacy, and to establish distance between himself and elements of the community and communal affairs with whom he wished to have no contact. In particular R. Yaakov had a very low opinion of the chief rabbi, whose scholarship and general demeanor did not meet his extraordinarily high standards. During his first years in Altona R. Yaakov did well financially, and in 1733 he personally funded the publication of his first book, Lechem Shamayim, a confident, scholarly work on mishnayot. In 1738 he bought himself a house and remodeled it at great expense. This early period in Altona marked a peak; soon afterwards things began to unravel. In 1739, R. Yaakov’s wife Rachel died shortly after giving birth to a daughter, who herself died after just a few months. Eight months after Rachel’s death R. Yaakov remarried, to Sarah, the daughter of a prominent communal personality from Halberstadt. But in 1743 she took ill, and died shortly afterwards. A few months later R. Yaakov remarried again, this time to his niece Batya Tzviya, daughter of his younger brother R. Ephraim, rabbi of Lvov. But this marriage proved to be very challenging, particularly because Batya Tzviya found it difficult to get on with R. Yaakov’s daughters from his first marriage. The financial situation had also taken a turn for the worse, as businesses went sour, and unscrupulous business associates took advantage of R. Yaakov’s trusting nature and distinct lack of business acumen. At the same time R. Yaakov’s contempt for R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen burst into the open when the chief rabbi consulted him about a controversial halachic decision he had made that required the support of recognized scholars such as R. Yaakov. Not only did R. Yaakov disagree with the decision, he attempted to publish his dissenting view, causing a storm in the community. The community leadership supported R. Yechezkel, but it was clear that R. Yaakov was a powerful force to be reckoned with. When R. Yechezkel was stricken with his final illness in 1749 the community was rife with rumors that R. Yaakov would replace him once he was gone. After all, his late father had been the chief rabbi, he already resided in the city, and he was highly respected and amply qualified for the position. The scene was set for a drama that would haunt the triple community for decades. NEXT TIME: The death of R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen was followed by months of speculation about who would be his successor as chief rabbi of the triple community. When R. Yonason Eybeschutz was appointed to replace him, and not R. Yaakov Emden, the dormant suspicions of R. Yonason’s Sabbatianism would reemerge with devastating consequences. What followed was one of the most devastating rabbinic battles in modern Jewish history.


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JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Alright, so who put Donald Trump in charge of the elevator? - Sen. Ted Cruz, when he briefly got stuck in an elevator

Bernie’s really picking up some momentum. In fact, yesterday, he received an endorsement from the progressive website MoveOn.org. As opposed to Jeb Bush, who was just endorsed by the website “No, seriously. MoveOn.org!” – Jimmy Fallon

In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton said that she would investigate UFOs, and said that aliens may have already visited Earth. When he heard that, Trump said, “Forget the wall. We need a dome! Just build a huge dome. A huge classy beautiful dome! We’ll make the aliens pay for the dome.” – Jimmy Fallon

I’m just too busy campaigning. – Hillary Clinton on CNN, when asked whether she watched the new movie “13 Hours,” which is about the attack in Benghazi

Hillary Clinton complained about having to take selfies with voters, saying that it takes up too much time at campaign events. Yeah, good one, Hillary. That’s the way to capture the youth vote — directly criticize their favorite thing in the whole world. – James Corden

I’m sure it’s going to be just devastating to all their viewers. - Peyton Manning’s response when told that Al Jazeera America – which recently claimed he took banned substances – is closing due to abysmal ratings

They want to bring about what they call civilization jihad and destroy us from within. They recognize that we are vulnerable because we are so politically correct and won’t do anything about it. That’s why I’m trying to call attention to it. Not that I have anything against Muslims who want to be Americans who accept our values and our culture and our laws, but anybody who doesn’t, as far as I’m concerned, they’re not welcome. CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamasfunding operation. – Ben Carson talking about the Council on American-Islamic Relations

I have been to Bahrain and looked right across the Persian Gulf to Iran. Everything is very close there. – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on CNN, having her own “Sara Palin moment” (The distance spanning the Persian Gulf at its narrowest point – the Strait of Hormuz – is 53 miles)


The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home

this TU B’SHVAT plant more than a tree


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The Week In News

JANUARY 21, 2016 | The Jewish Home


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