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The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home


JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

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

JEWISH THOUGHT All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From My Daughter’s Kindergarten. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 The Sun Rises Over Yerushalayim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

JEWISH HISTORY Memoirs Of A Forgotten Rabbi The Troubled Life Of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber. . . . . . .26

FEATURE Saving the Cemetery of Vilna. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Inaugural Speech of Donald J. Trump. . . . . . . . . . . 24

LIFESTYLES Learning to Apologize.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

The Jewish Home is distributed bi-weekly to: ANAHEIM AGOURA HILLS BEVERLY HILLS BURBANK CALABASAS CAMARILLO COSTA MESA ENCINO GLENDALE HUNTINGON BEACH IRVINE LONG BEACH LOS ANGELES -BEVERLY HILLS

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD PALM SPRINGS PACIFIC PALASADES PASADENA REDONDO BEACH SHERMAN OAKS SIMI VALLEY STUDIO CITY TEMECULA THOUSAND OAKS TORRANCE VALENCIA VAN NUYS WOODLAND HILLS

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,

“A kohen may walk over coffins… to greet non Jewish kings, so that a distinction will be able to be made between them and Jewish kings when their glory will return to its place.” (Rambam, laws of mourning 3:14) When seeing the glory of an inauguration or the intensity of a Super Bowl, the natural reaction for a Jew is to long for the return of the splendor and greatness of our own Jewish leaders. To yearn for a return to a time when G-d’s presence was tangible in the mundane and holiness was the going currency. America is the kindest superpower to have ever existed. Founded in the G-d given rights of every human being, it has become the beacon of light for freedom around the globe. Although reluctantly at first, we Jews have been allowed to and indeed have been given complete freedom in making this our newest home in the wonderings of the past two millennia. In just a little over seven decades we have established vibrant and flourishing Jewish communities throughout the United States. One can choose a daf yomi shiur in Minnesota, a chassidus shiur in Houston, and chalav yisrael pizza in Atlanta, in addition to the schools, shuls, mikvaos and myriads of Jewish organizations peppered throughout the United States. Yet something fundamental is missing. Without it, it all feels like a shell. Hollow, like a body without a soul. “There’s nothing more complete than a broken heart.” The Jewish heart yearns for a moral world. A world free of pain. We don’t feel at peace with ourselves if there’s injustice anywhere in the world. On a spiritual level, we feel incomplete when our beliefs aren’t self-evident. We are restless as long as there is even one individual who isn’t looking to connect to the source of life, broken by the friction between the creator and the created. In the past we were “broken” by libels and pogroms. We now produce the “squeezed out pure olive oil” from an internal dichotomy, an internal “squeeze” that we don’t see truth as it is. Though it’s beautiful to visit the land of Israel – who doesn’t have great memories of their first visit? – the inner Jew won’t feel at home till he’s living at home, with the rest of the family. In the final chapters of the laws of kings, the Rambam makes clear that we won’t know the details of Moshiach’s arrival till it happens. How he will come, we don’t know. When he will come, we hope very soon! U’bichesed u’birachamim. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,

Shalom

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


The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Bikur Cholim Calls For Changes To School And Synagogue Immunization Policies In response to the current measles outbreak in the Los Angeles Jewish Community, Rabbi Hershy Z. Ten, president of Bikur Cholim convened an urgent teleconference on Monday 1/9/17 with an acclaimed panel of nationally recognized leaders in pediatrics, public health, and constitutional law to address this crisis.

The necessity of vaccinations is well-documented and supported by experts in pediatrics and infectious diseases, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, all US departments of public health, and the Autism Science Foundation, to name a few. In 2000, the US declared that measles had

been eliminated; however today it has found its way into our population, even in the most upwardly mobile and educated families due to the dangerous wave of erroneous anti-vaxxing information prompting parents to refuse vaccinations for their children. This has resulted in an alarming jump in measles infections, with more cases over the last 2 years than the entire decade prior. When an outbreak was identified in Southern California 2 years ago, Bikur Cholim began its efforts to raise awareness of the serious threat posed by non-immunized children in our Jewish day schools which included its support for the California legislation that subsequently passed making it mandatory for children

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enrolling in school to be vaccinated, regardless of personal beliefs. When advised of this recent outbreak identifying numerous cases originating in the LA Jewish community, Bikur Cholim immediately set out to coordinate this forum. The live teleconference included more than 70 Jewish day school faculty and synagogue rabbis throughout Greater Los Angeles who called in to learn about the threat measles carries, how it spreads, and the legality for individual institutions to create polices that go beyond current vaccination law. Rabbi Ten introduced the panel and shared an overview of the topics to be addressed and then opened up the discussion with Franklin Pratt, MD (Medical Director for the Los Angeles Department of Public Health Immunization Program). Dr. Pratt categorically declared that Los Angeles is experiencing an “outbreak”, adding that his Department expected the number of 15 confirmed cases to significantly rise before this is over [as of 1/23/17 the number of confirmed measles cases rose to 18]. He went on to state that the measles first presented in the LA Jewish community and associated day schools; and most alarmingly, he shared that one of the infected children’s parents never disclosed to the school that their child was infected, stating, “…there’s an exceptionally high likelihood that this child infected others.” Dr. Pratt spoke of his experience with people dismissing the severity of measles due to their lack of experience with the illness and awareness about the illness. He pointed out that in addition to being extremely contagious, the measles virus behaves as if it is actively searching out the susceptible individuals to infect. To put this into context, just 1 infected child can infect up to 18 people, and if a person with no immunity encounters the virus, they have a 90% chance of infection. He went on to explain that we need 97% – 99% of the population to be vaccinated or have natural immunity; this is referred to as “herd immunity”, which helps to protect the 3% of those who cannot be immunized due to medical reasons. Dr. Pratt stated that pregnant women with no immunity to measles who acquire the disease have a higher rate of still-births, and babies born to infected mother, although very rare, suffer from higher rates of devastating congenital anomalies. Robert Adler, MD (Chief Medical Officer, CHLA Health System at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles), who served as both a panelist and forum moderator, emphasized that measles is the most contagious virus known and shared his personal involvement in outbreaks over the years with a number of children falling seriously ill, and even dying from measles complications. Dr. Adler explained how non-immunized and infected children can present devastating consequences to fellow students suffering from immunosuppression due to various diagnoses such as cancer, as well as addressed how aggressively measles attacks the most vulnerable popu-


TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

lation; causing severe respiratory, eye, and mental diseases. Children with measles can be contagious for days before showing any symptoms; meaning even 5 days prior to developing a rash, the child is already contagious. He pointed out that measles is an airborne virus that lingers in an environment hours after the infected person has left the area which is of particular concern to physician waiting rooms, as well as any public setting. In addition to schoolchildren, Dr. Adler expressed concern with regard to synagogue playgroups where pregnant women and children under 12 months share common space with no clue as to the possible danger of contracting measles. Most importantly, he stressed that synagogues need to educate their parent population on the threats non-immunized children pose and consider implementing policy within their own community to encourage responsible parenting and minimize the risk of communicable diseases. Panelist Dr. Richard Pan (California State Senator, District 6) served as an expert on the current State vaccination law (SB 277) which was based on the bill he co-authored that went into effect on 7/1/16. Dr. Pan summarized the law as requiring all children in California to be immunized prior to enrollment in kindergarten (unless they have a legitimate medical exemption from a physician). After the first vaccination verification in kindergarten, a subsequent verification is also performed at 7th grade. This law also applies to children who move here from out of state mid-term/ year and allows for a public health officer to remove children from school if there is an active case on campus. Those parents who refuse to vaccinate their children have the option of home-schooling or independent study through a public school district. However, the law does not require faculty or staff to be vaccinated. Dr. Pan went on to voice his staunch support for private schools to enact their own policies above and beyond State law; citing that people are in “danger” and that it’s up to schools to be diligent in protecting its children. Bringing his expertise in jurisprudence and the application of the current vaccination law to the table was world renowned legal scholar and panelist, Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law). Dean Chemerinsky was asked to address the many inquiries Bikur Cholim received from Jewish day schools regarding their legal ability to restrict non-immunized children from attending school, especially if it’s mid-semester/year, to which he shared, “There’s absolutely nothing in the law that prevents a school from setting a strict policy with regard to requiring vaccinations and excluding those who have not been vaccinated. I don’t think it’s any problem to do that in the middle of the year, either; especially in light of a measles outbreak,” adding, “Every challenge to a vaccination law in the country has lost; courts have always found that the justification of protecting children in stopping the spread of

communicable diseases justifies requiring that children and teachers be vaccinated.” Dean Chemerinsky stressed that private schools can be stricter than State regulations, provided they are not violating the law; however could not unequivocally state whether or not a school could be sued due to a child or teacher contracting measles, citing uncharted territory. He shared that he believes litigation could be a possibility based on the argument that the school did not take adequate precautions to protect its faculty and students. The Dean expressed his belief that, “…school administrations have an ethical duty to let parents and faculty know of the presence of a communicable disease.” Subsequent to the teleconference, Rab-

bi Ten issued his statement as follows: “Los Angeles is blessed to have one of the largest Jewish populations in the country; with synagogues and schools that reflect our community’s steadfast commitment to Torah values. Unquestionably, protecting lives is paramount to these tenets. With this is mind, our synagogue and school leadership must give this life-threatening crisis the serious attention it deserves in terms of tangible action. We need to see our community leadership exhibit the same level of passion and dedication to the health and well-being of our children, families, and neighbors as we see being focused on political action committees, missions to Israel, and scholar in residence events, which are so heavily pro-

moted. We need to see school administrations continue to make the safety of their staff and students a top priority; placing as much importance on this threat as they might toward issues such as social media, inclusiveness, or bar/bat mitzvah policies. That being said, we are urging our schools and synagogues to immediately implement new policies for 2017 that will prevent any children who aren’t immunized due to personal beliefs from attending a school or playgroup. On this issue we must remain resolute in our unwavering dedication to protect the most vulnerable among us from falling prey to an avoidable tragedy.”

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TheHappenings Week In News

Carlebach Goes Symphonic Plays to Sold Out Audience at Wilshire Ebell Theatre

Musicians and vocalists take their final bows at the conclusion of Carlebach Goes Symphonic

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

On Sunday evening, January 15th, 1300 revelers packed the Wilshire Ebell Theatre to pay homage to late iconic singer, composer, and story-teller, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Beth Jacob’s Cantor Arik Wollheim, veteran singer Shlomo Simcha, and Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center’s Cantor Sol Zim sang spirited renditions of Carlebach’s most well-known melodies. They were accompanied by a 41-player, full symphony orchestra conducted by Ofir Sobol of Israel. Throughout the evening, audience members sang along and repeatedly rose to their feet for standing ovations as the cantorial trio sang hits like Lecha Dodi, Am Yisrael Chai, and B’Yerushalayim to the sold-out crowd. The concert, which coincidentally took place on Carlebach’s Hebrew birthday, included a surprise appearance by Neshama Carlebach, who encouraged the audience to continue her father’s life’s work by engaging in nonjudgmental acts of lovingkindness, no matter how big or small.

Cantor Arik Wollheim

Popular Jewish singer, Shlomo Simcha


JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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Communicated The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

A Salute to Kollel Chatzos’s Silent Heroes Nshei Kollel Chatzos Melave Malka Sometimes, the silent heroes deserve even greater praise than the celebrated heroes. The Nshei Kollel Chatzos Melave Malka, celebrated by wives of members of both the Kollel Chatzos of Monroe and Monsey in their respective locations, was an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Nshei Kollel – the kollel’s valiant silent heroes. You see, for the kollel yungerleit, Kollel Chatzos is an exhilarating, uplifting privilege. In this precious oasis of time, removed from daily distractions and obligations, they truly accomplish, amud upon amud, masechta upon masechta. Night after night, they learn, shteig, and delight in the joy of Torah. In contrast, for the Nshei Kollel Chatzos, the experience is somewhat different. To enable their husbands to learn uninterruptedly, these neshei chayil contend with interrupted sleep as they are the sole caregivers of their children night after night. To enable their husbands to dedicate their nights to Hashem, these women often attend simchos alone. To enable their husbands to complete masechta upon masechta, these women give their husbands support, encouragement, and flexibility.

And while the kollel yungerleit reflect upon the greatness of their accomplishments every time they celebrate a siyum and progress to the next masechta, these valiant women continue their same avodas hakodesh night after night… That is, until the Nshei Kollel Chatzos Melave Malka. It’s a unique tribute, a celebratory testimony, a special occasion. And while every woman writes her own masechta every night, there is a certain yegiya and aliyah, a certain shared struggle and sweetness, that only the Nshei Kollel can share. And so, only they can truly congratulate each other for their unsung accomplishments. “When we gather together,” says Mrs. Schwartz, a proud kollel wife, “we connect so easily. We share a unique lifestyle and life mission. And we really can understand and support each other.” In addition to the peer support, when the women enter the hall and see the festively-decorated room with thoughtfully-displayed gifts, the message speaks volumes: Their avodas hakodesh is truly precious. Mrs. Schwartz sweetly said, “The gift that I received is a tangible expression of

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chizzuk that inspires me long after the event is over.” Most notably, the women garnered tremendous inspiration from the dynamic speakers at the respective events, Kiryas Yoel’s Rebbitzen Werzberger, wife of Rav Duvid Yitzchak Werzberger, shlita, Dayan in Kiryas Yoel, and Monsey’s Rebbitzen Josefowicz, wife of Rav Shlomo Yaakov Josefowicz, shlita, Av Bais Din of Ohel Torah in Monsey. In their own signature style, both speakers impressed upon the women the greatness of their accomplishments, as partners and enablers of their husbands’ aliyah in Torah. And so, this Nshei Kollel Chatzos Melave Malka was transformative in two ways; it gave the women the much-deserved recognition and appreciation for their previous accomplishments and inspired the women with the strengths to continue their noble undertakings for the future. The Nshei Kollel Chatzos Melave Malka was a song of appreciation and inspiration for the kollel’s unsung heroes so that they will have the strength to continue to enable their husbands to make the shir of Torah delight the world for many nights to come.

Trump, Kollel Chatzos, and Miracles Nshei Kollel Chatzos Melave Malka …The tables are bedecked with cake and drinks and sweets. The atmosphere is laden with sweetness, joy, and meaning. For the Belz Kollel Horaah yungerleit, this siyum on the completion of Hilchos Yoreh Deah, Chelek Beis, is a momentous occasion, a culmination of day after day of diligent learning. The Rosh Kollel starts to speak and inspires the yungerleit of the power of learning with hasmada. “I would like to share with you a Kollel Chatzos miracle story,” he begins. “We’re standing just weeks after the culmination of the tumultuous elections. It was an election that took away the breath of the entire nation, as each candidate appeared to swing so close to the precipice and so close to the peak… “The night of the election, one woman (amongst many!) remained awake to hear the final election winner. Right before midnight, when her husband left to learn in his nightly Chatzos Kollel, the woman decided to call it a night and hear the results in the morning. “When her husband returned home at daybreak, she jumped on him, ‘So who’s the winner? What’d you hear in kollel?’ Her husband shrugged and said he doesn’t know. She could not believe it. The entire nation was literally up with the news, and these men who were up anyways could not be bothered to spend two minutes on a news update. But then she realized that when her husband – and his kollel peers – are learning, the entire world dissolves; it’s only the Gemara, the Rashi, the Tosefos – and nothing else. And so, this night was not The Election Night. It was another night of continuous learning.” The Rosh Kollel concluded, “Kollel Chatzos always shares miracle stories. But this miracle story is the true wonder of the kollel – that a group of der hoibene yungerleit can elevate themselves to such a plane that they are totally removed from the world and are only connected to their Gemara… this is truly miraculous!

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The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Monica Lightstone Photography

The Baal Shem Tov Art Night at Maayon Yisroel Yehudis Litvak

On January 18th, Maayon Yisroel Chassidic Center hosted the Baal Shem Tov Art Night, a unique art show and auction in the Hancock Park Jewish community. The event featured 20 limited-edition,

On the path to the buriel site of Avrohom the Malach son of the Mezritcher Maggid

Lighting a candle for the Baal Shem Tov

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museum-framed photographs by the former Bais Yaakov of LA art teacher, Mushka Lightstone. Her photos were captured in and around the resting places of the Baal Shem Tov and other chassidic rebbes buried in Ukraine. The photography is HDR enhanced and reminiscent of 19th century oil paintings. Last year, Maayon Yisroel welcomed a new sefer Torah, dedicated to the Baal Shem Tov. The sefer Torah was written in Israel, but its last letters were completed during a trip to Ukraine, at the resting places of tzaddikim. Ms. Lightstone participated in the trip, documenting the journey with both still photography and motion picture. She is currently raising funds to complete the editing of her documentary, Where Light Begins: A Unique Road Trip to the Resting Places of Mystical Judaism. Some of the footage was shown at the art night. Rabbi Reuven Wolf, the rabbi of Maayon Yisroel, spoke about a photograph’s power to capture an ordinary event and reveal the extraordinary in it. In the same way, explained Rabbi Wolf, the Baal Shem Tov “wowed us with everyday beauty that no one noticed; he walked around snapping pictures until the ordinary became exceedingly beautiful.” At the auction, 15 photographs of the 20 were sold. “In the art world, this is considered a sell out,” explains Ms. Lightstone. “Everybody liked a different piece,” she says. “As an artist, I feel good that each person found something that spoke to them. People bought beautiful art, and everyone walked out happy.” About 50 people across the religious spectrum attended the art night. “Both affiliated and non-affiliated Jews loved the spirituality in the pictures and learning more about their families’ roots,” says Ms. Lightstone. “We hear Chassidic tales all the time, and this was an opportunity to connect the tales with a picture.” Rabbi Wolf hopes that the event will serve as a springboard for future events. He says, “Maayon Yisroel seeks to bring out the soul in everything – music, art, photography.” The art night was part of Maayon Yisroel’s vision.


Torah Musings The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From My Daughter’s Kindergarten Sarah Pachter

It was just another Sunday morning. It started out just fine, but then one of the kids set the other off. By the time we were all downstairs for breakfast, the general mood of our family was definitely negative. We needed a fix, and we needed it fast! A few days prior, our shul had blasted an email out to all the congregants asking for members to help pack for its upcoming move to a new building. My husband and I decided to jump on the opportunity, instinctively suspecting it might help change our family’s suboptimal mood. We walked in with a general attitude of irritation, but by the time we walked out, everyone was lit up with positivity. My kids, unprompted, said, “That was actually really fun! Plus, we did a mitzvah, too!” The act of connecting and reaching out to help someone in need greatly uplifted everybody’s spirits. Why is it that we get into this feel-good state when we reach out to a person or organization in need? As the old saying goes, tis better to give than to receive. We all know that doing a mitzvah, or doing something kind for someone else, gives more to the giver than to the recipient. While I have always been aware that I felt energized when doing an act of kindness; I just never knew why. During a typical Back-To-School Night for my daughter’s kindergarten class, I had an aha moment. At this school function, each teacher in the early childhood department gave a presentation to the parents to inform them about the upcoming year and give them a taste of how the classroom is run. Our daughter’s teachers stood before the parents and started to share their ideas. The presentation was interactive, and the teachers wanted the parents to get a sense of their unique teaching style.   The head teacher began, “Okay, we want you to experience what a lesson is like from the eyes of your child. Everyone, please stand up and hold hands. We are going to make a big circle.”   “Oh boy,” I glanced at my friend next to me, a fellow parent, and I thought to myself, This is just what I need. I had sat down only seconds before, and wasn’t quite in the mood to get back up. We all stood there, holding hands and wondering where they were going with this. They brought in a clear, cylindrical

tube with something gray inside that I could vaguely make out. Once everyone’s hands were together in a circle, they gave two people the tube to hold together. Suddenly, the tube lit up. The “tube” was actually a light bulb, and our bodies, each connected to the other, created an electrical circuit to power it. There we stood, the parents of four-yearolds, amazed. The teacher reminded us that our physical bodies are conductors of energy. “If merely one person in the circle lets go of the hand next to them, the light would extinguish.” The teachers then experimented with different conductors – using our circle as a tool to teach about various objects and their ability to conduct energy. They had everyone continue to hold hands and had two people within the circle hold onto a book. This was an example to our children of how a book is not a conductor. It was an amazing experience to learn through the eyes of our children, and something that I will not soon forget.   The teachers didn’t just use the visual to explain a really interesting piece of science, but went further to impart a beautiful takeaway message for our kids. They explained that not only does this type of exercise create a sense of camaraderie and warmth amongst the children, but it also shows them how it hurts to not include everyone. Exclusion literally extinguished the light, and the teachers went on to tie it into a Torah-based concept.   “Every mitzvah that we do creates a light in the world. Not only did our combined action create a circuit of energy, which produced a physical light, but by reaching out to another, including everyone and holding

hands, a spiritual light was created.” Seeing the tube light up provided us with a tangible image as a manifestation of what happens when we connect with others by doing mitzvot. We feel more energized when we give. Not only do we physically and spiritually light up when creating an inclusive circle or circuit, but the human brain lights up, as well. When we connect and extend an act of kindness to another, pleasure sensors alight in the brain, and the feel-good chemical called dopamine begins to secrete in our bloodstream. Our brains, bodies, and souls create energy, and when we connect to each other, we light up inside, and create light for the world. Conversely, however, when we feel excluded, socially isolated, or rejected in a public manner, the mind interprets the feeling in the same way that we experience physical pain. The teachers explained that during class they spend a lot of time helping the children understand what it means to be a part of a group, and to follow a group plan. During one circle time, they had a child step on one egg to see if it would break, since it was standing alone. Of course, the single egg did break. They then explained, “Look, if we stand on a group of eggs, none of them break!” Several children tested this hypothesis by standing on a carton of eggs. They went on to discuss the concept that when we are together as a group, we are stronger, and ultimately happier. When we feel alone or excluded we break, just as the egg standing alone does. However, when we join together in unity, we are stronger. Reaching out to someone gives

that person and also ourselves strength, bringing both of our internal lights together to create an even larger glow. I saw a manifestation of this light being created just days later. The Sunday following the school event, my husband and I took our children to Sky High, an indoor jumping facility filled from wall to wall with huge trampolines. Our intention was to help their little bodies expel a ton of energy.   I was jumping with my kids, playing tag, and surprised at how much I was enjoying the moment. All of a sudden, a child jumping near us fell. My two-year-old immediately stopped jumping, walked over to her, put her hand on her shoulder and asked, “Aw, are you okay?” She then leaned down in order to give her a hug. My heart melted at her care for a stranger. My four-year-old looked at me and said, “Look, Mommy! Emmy made a circuit!” We looked at each other knowingly, acknowledging the connection. Her small act of kindness towards this other child made her own little light glow, in a real and tangible way. Therefore, no matter how big or small an act of kindness is, even just a smile or a simple, “Are you okay?” is enough to create an electric circuit of kindness, in which, little by little, we can light up the whole world together. From my children, and one simple Back-To-School Night, I learned what it really means to connect. I guess all ever needed to know I learned from my daughter’s kindergarten.

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

In his introduction to sefer Shemos, the Ramban refers to it as the Sefer Hageulah. The parshiyos of Shemos recount our subjugation in Mitzrayim, the miraculous exodus, Kabbalas HaTorah and then, finally, the construction of the mishkan. These are all parts of a process. The Jewish people were at their lowest point, with seemingly no escape, and then, with the help of Hashem, they triumphed. Today, as we find ourselves in golus, we wait for the next step in the process leading us to redemption. If we are attentive, we find indications that we are making progress toward exodus and geulah. Last week, my wife and I traveled to Eretz Yisrael for Shabbos. We happily went through the airport lines, the security checks, and the commotion at the gate, as travelers waited to head home to the greatest land on earth. We boarded the flight and headed to our seats, only to find that they were not together. There was an Israeli man sitting next to my wife. I offered him my aisle seat, assuming that he would have no problem switching with me, one aisle seat for another, so that I could sit near my spouse. It didn’t work out that way. The hard-edged Israeli with disgust in his eyes saw me, a chareidi with a beard, suit and tie, and shook his head. A kind American woman seated nearby offered to switch seats and the incident was over. But it wasn’t. I took my seat, buckled up, and the airplane rose into the sky. I wanted to go over to the Israeli and talk to him. I wanted to tell him what it means to be a Jew. What it would mean to have love in his heart. What he is missing in life. But I didn’t bother. I was afraid that he would cause a scene, so I kept quiet. I got off the plane without telling him what was in my heart. I wonder why the secular liberal Israelis hate us so much. Why are they so like the American leftists, who can’t get over Donald Trump’s victory and continue to proclaim him as illegitimate? They prefer

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Sun Rises Over Yerushalayim to divide the country than come together. They’d rather wallow in hatred and selfpity than face reality. Sanctimonious liberals seek rights for everyone except the religious and those on the right. We are minimized, vilified, and shunted to the back of the bus. Because we follow the moral creed of the Torah. Because we are decent, honest, G-d-fearing people. All throughout Barack Obama’s term in office, the media and politicians admonished everyone to work together in unity. Whoever didn’t was guilty of racism and was deemed unpatriotic. That has all

was mainly atheistic…” After some time, “Beginning with the first stages in the consolidation and settlement or the Zionist movement, it was forced to meticulously sort and thoroughly nationalize some of the religious beliefs in order to turn them into nation-building myths.” But that didn’t work out too well. Firstly, since they denied religion, Eretz Yisrael, for them, was not a holy land given to the Jewish people by G-d, and Yerushalayim was not a holy city that housed the bais hamikdash. Consequently, everything that made the Promised Land special dissipated.

If we encounter sad people, such as my brother from the airplane, don’t misjudge their anger and bitterness.

We know who they really are. changed with the recent election. The Democrat party has been decimated and lost dozens of congressional seats, which you wouldn’t know from following the media. The media and Democrat leaders, such as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, create the fictitious narrative that they represent the majority, while Trump, his agenda and supporters are in the minority. Please don’t fall for it. Stop kowtowing to the left and those who advocate on behalf of the deviants, causing harm to our community. And so it is in Israel. From following the media, you would think that the religious community is an anti-social group, universally derided. Interactions with leftist Israelis are too often uncomfortable. It is upsetting. Then I read an article in Ha’aretz that was somewhat comforting. Shlomo Sand writes, “Zionism as a national movement that rebelled against historical Judaism

The atheists also had a problem identifying what a Jew is. That wasn’t as important pre-’67, when Israel was a small, nascent country. After the Six Day War, in 1967, as the country grew, Sand says, “the justifications for the appetite for renewed settlement also relied less on the Zionist demand for independent sovereignty and far more on the biblical idea of the Promised Land. That’s why it is no coincidence that the clerical establishment became increasingly inflated at the same time.” And finally, “The synthesis of Zionism and socialism has disintegrated totally, making way for a winning symbiosis of religion and strong ethno-nationalism. For pseudo-secular Zionists – and not only for them – this new situation is difficult and oppressive. But…they do not have answers to the identity problems and contradictions that have been part of Israeli society since its inception.” Therefore, the secularists will have no choice but to continue to rely on religious

Photos: Avi Yishai

explanations, theory, laws, and customs in order to give their country an argument for existence as a Jewish state. And that worries them. They despise us and “our” religion. They despise our religiosity and the way we lead our lives, but they cannot exist as a Jewish country without us and what we stand for. Rav Moshe Shapiro would relate that when he was a child, Rav Eizik Sher once asked him, “Zukt mir mein kind, tell me, farvoss zennen alleh Yidden brudder, why are all Jews brothers?” The Slabodka rosh yeshiva answered, “Veil mir hubben ein Tatte, because we have one Father.” I read the article and understood that this is the paradox of that country, of life, of our people. That man on the airplane hates us because he needs us. He knows that because we are brothers, he has a claim to his piece of land. And that upsets him. The argument he uses to justify his existence in his country would seem to also obligate him to live life differently, so he gets angry. The Gemara in Maseches Kesubos (66) relates that Rabi Yochanan was stopped by a hungry young woman. “Rebbi, please give me food,” she pleaded. She was so starved that she was picking through animal waste in a bid to find kernels of nutrition. Rabi Yochanan learned that she was a daughter of the fabulously wealthy Nakdimon ben Gurion, who had been very generous to the less fortunate back in the good days. “Ashreichem Yisrael,” he called out, “praised are you, Am Yisrael. Bezman she’osim retzono shel Makom, when you do the will of Hashem, ein kol umah... no nation can triumph over you. But if you don’t, bezman she’ein osim retzono shel Makom, mosrom beyad umah shefeila, you are given over to a lowly nation. And not just that, you are less than the animals of that nation.” The obvious question is why he considers how low we can fall praiseworthy. The meforshim explain that his term “ashreichem” refers to the fact that we are a nation outside the realm of nature. When we rise, no one is higher than us, and when we fall, no one is lower than us, because we don’t belong to the regular order of things. My encounter, while unpleasant, was a perfect introduction to my short trip. It was a welcome to the land of paradox, where light and dark exist side by side. Eretz Yisrael is blessed with layers of incredible chein. It has a special flavor, beneath which lies a fierce struggle for its


Living with In theNews Times The Week

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

character and the hearts of its people. You see it everywhere. We arrived Wednesday night. On Thursday, we went up north to see Rav David Abuchatzeira, a man who seems to make the extraordinary seem ordinary and the supernatural appear natural. He stands on his feet for hours at a time, greeting every person who comes to see him with care, concern, love and respect. He seems to look into the heart and soul of each Jew who appeals to him and find the right words and brachah for them. Heir to a royal rabbinic tradition, he exudes the sanctity and purity that have given

The Chinuch Atzmai school where the group set up shop is ultra-modern and beautiful. Although we had no appointment, the staff was very welcoming and happy to give us a tour of the facilities. They were not only confident and proud of their school, they were also very competent. The French children we spoke to were quite impressive. Interestingly, when asked if they miss France, they all replied in the negative. They love it in Israel. “I’m never going back there,” was a common refrain. They are picking up Hebrew and making new friends as they learn about Torah, Yahadus, and other subjects.

Jews, these children are being placed on the path stretching back to the avos and forward to the days of le’asid lavo. The journey through the glorious north continued with a visit to Rosh Hanikrah, at the northern tip of Israel. Mountains jut out along the sea and the waves whip at them. Throughout the ages, the water has etched out grottos along the cliffs. You stand there and hear the waves crashing against the grottos and lapping at the walls of the grotto caves. You know that although it is imperceptible, the water is breaking through rock. With very little imagination, you think of the people assumed lost and

Remains of a house from the times of Yehoshua Bin Nun

Sunrise over Yerushalayim

that dynasty worldwide respect. I always leave his home feeling richer than when I entered. On the way, we stopped at a place called Mivtzar Afeik, a town conquered by Yehoshua after entry into Eretz Yisrael. Later, Hordus built a palace there for his father, Antipatrus. The place lies in ruins. Archeologists dug up remnants of the town Yehoshua conquered. It is fascinating to view a building that stood at the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun over 3,000 years ago. It brings Nach alive. It portrays us as the eternal people with an eternal connection to Eretz Yisroel. A Roman cardo lies nearby in ruins, barely recognizable but for a few broken columns and paving stones. It tells us so much about who we are and who we have never stopped being. Many countries subjugated us and thought that they would rule over us forever. Many more had advice for us throughout the ages. They are all gone. Their memories are gone except to scholars of extinct peoples. We are here and we flourish, though we continue to be reviled and recipients of much advice. As we traveled and saw road signs for Chadeira, I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the work of the Fund for French Children. We pulled into the town and made our way to a school where the Fund supports efforts to educate and integrate olim from France.

Hashem’s promise to the Jewish people, using five leshonos of geulah to convey that they will be redeemed from the burden of Mitzrayim. Fantastically, the posuk says that when Moshe conveyed the promise of freedom, the enslaved Jews refused to accept his words of comfort. This is attributed to “kotzer ruach” and “avodah kashah,” a shortness of breath brought on by hard work (Shemos 6:2-9). The Ohr Hachaim (ibid.) explains that the cause of their inability to accept Moshe’s words, that they had been waiting centuries to hear, was that they were lacking in Torah, which expands the hearts

Remains of the palace Hordus built for his father

Pakod pokadeti, from father to son, a tradition passed down that we all have a destiny. It was comforting to see those children and hear their sweet voices, knowing that they will grow up to be shomrei Torah u’mitzvos. They will be part of the eternal chain stretching back to Yehoshua, and just as he overcame challenges to ensure that the Jewish people would be able to take root in the Holy Land, so will these children of France. With the help of generous

those whose minds seem blocked by walls of stone. And you know that one day, they, too, will be reached and the Torah will permeate their beings. The waves of water are the good people at that school, and at so many schools and kiruv centers and shuls, working steadily and lovingly to pierce hearts in which the flame is near hidden. The learning of Torah continues on a remarkable scale, flooding the country with kedushah. We read in this week’s parshah of

of man. Those who are devoid of Torah lack the ability to accept the words of Hashem, as well as thoughts and concepts that could greatly improve their welfare. If we encounter sad people, such as my brother from the airplane, don’t misjudge their anger and bitterness. We know who they really are. We have seen their country, their land of coarse sand and hard white stone, and the wall of secrets and tears, and we know where they come from. The waves continue lapping at the stones, eventually breaking through. The words of Torah enter and melt hearts. I awoke early Sunday morning to leave for home. I looked out at the beautiful sight of the sun rising above the holy city, knowing that within minutes, its golden reflection would brighten the city as it came to life. I wanted to photograph the magnificent scene, but upon lifting my camera, I noticed a crane blocking the image of the sun. Then I realized that the crane wasn’t blocking the sun. There in my lens was the portrayal of life today in the holy city and Holy Land, namely light, life and growth. May the sun continue to shine, may the construction continue, may the holiness increase, may the Torah widen hearts, and may water pierce the stones until the day we merit the realization of the fifth lashon of geulah.

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Feature The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Saving the Cemetery of Vilna Aaron Feigenbaum

The Snipiskes Jewish cemetery of Vilnius, Lithuania, is not only one of the last remaining traces of the city’s once-thriving Jewish community, but it’s also – according to Professor Shnayer Leiman, a professor at Brooklyn College and a visiting professor at Yeshiva University – the resting place for some of the most illustrious figures in Jewish history. Among them are Rabbi Moshe Rivkes (author of Be’er Ha-Golah), Rabbi Shmuel ben Rabbi Avigdor (the last Chief Rabbi of Vilna), and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman (one of the most famous disciples of the Vilna Gaon). The grave of the Gaon of Vilna, one of the most renowned Jewish spiritual figures in history, was moved to another cemetery before the outbreak of WWII. Vilnius, also called Vilna, was sometimes in the past referred to as the “Jerusalem of Lithuania.” While Vilna’s two Jewish cemeteries (Snipiskes and Uzupis) managed to survive the Nazi onslaught in WWII, they could not survive the anti-reli-

gious fanaticism of the Soviet regime. The Snipiskes cemetery was covered over by a now-abandoned sports palace, and the Uzupis cemetery, along with the Great Synagogue of Vilna, was destroyed outright. It is estimated that hundreds, if not thousands, of bodies belonging to Vilna’s greatest Jewish leaders remain buried under the palace. In the words of Professor Leiman, “Virtually every Jew who died in Vilna before the year 1831 is, in fact, buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery.” In 2015, even with the Soviets long gone, the Lithuanian government added insult to injury by announcing its plans to replace the sports stadium, which has already been desecrating sacred ground for decades, with a multimillion-dollar convention center. This contradicts their earlier promise in 2009 to leave the cemetery alone after the decommissioning of the stadium. For a country that claims to have overcome its Anti-Semitic past and to uphold the principles of democracy and

tolerance as embodied in the EU charter, this action is simply outrageous. Even more tragically, this controversy has sparked a rift within Lithuanian Jewry. The Chief Rabbi of Lithuania opposes the government’s plans, but Faina Kukliansky, the chair of the Jewish community, not only supports them but has gone as far as to replace the Chief Rabbi because of his opposition to the project. Additionally, a statement signed by 12 of the world’s leading Litvak authorities was issued in 2015 condemning the plans. Now, however, the movement opposing the convention center has been reignited thanks to Vilna resident Ruta Bloshtein. Bloshtein started a petition on change.org earlier this month. In it, she passionately argues against the center’s construction, saying, “It is sacred ground and should be restored as a cemetery and memorial park to which pilfered gravestones (which turn up all over the city) can be returned. Instead, some greedy business interests, cooperating politicians, [A]nti-[S]emitic nationalists and ‘pliant Jewish figures’ have joined forces for a new National Convention Center to rise on the site, where thousands would revel, cheer, sing, drink at bars and use toilets surrounded by Jewish graves.” Furthermore, Bloshtein notes that, “Because of the Holocaust and the murder of around 99% of Vilna’s Jewry, the buried people, whose families paid honestly over centuries for their perpetual place of rest, have no local descendants to take up their cause. To make matters worse, the developers and the politicians have boasted that many millions in European Union ‘structural funds’ would be put toward the project (and European Commission leaders have thus far failed to take a clear moral

stand on that). This fate would never befall a major Christian cemetery here in the 21st century.” As of this writing, Bloshtein’s petition is well on track to succeed, having collected over 36,000 of the necessary 50,000 signatures it needs to be presented to the Lithuanian president, among other leading figures. Jews and even non-Jews around the world are calling on the EU and Lithuanian government to move the convention center and protect what is internationally recognized as a vital Jewish heritage site. You can join them by going to: https:// www.change.org/p/hon-dalia-grybauskaite-please-move-new-vilnius-convention-center-project-away-from-the-oldjewish-cemetery or by searching for “Ruta Bloshtein” at change.org.


JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The Parenting Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Learning to Apologize Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., My 10-year-old daughter is a girl with lovely middos, but there is one thing about her that puzzles me. I notice that she has trouble apologizing. She either pretends nothing happened or mumbles some half-hearted, “I’m sorry.” I should add that she has been this way since she was a little girl. We have a pretty good relationship, and I have tried talking to her, but she brushes me off. I would like to understand her so I can help her. Shalva Dear Shalva, The ability to apologize is critical in a human relationship. Let’s face it: In close relationships, there are inevitably little breaches and breaks. However, by apologizing, we can mend the tears and strengthen the relationship in its broken places. When we are lucky, we get to see this process at work in our homes. We get to observe how after a careless word or thoughtless gesture, the apology works its magic. With this model of hurt-plus-repair, we learn how to address the lapses in our interactions. This kind of learning presupposes that we parents are comfortable apologizing when appropriate. Our model goes a long way in fixing this lesson in our children’s brain. Yet, some of us are loath to apologize because we question whether it is appropriate for a parent to apologize to a child. Many of us have never experienced – nor even expected – this from our parents, and hence our reluctance runs deep. In earlier generations, when parental authority and infallibility were absolutes, the idea of an apology from a parent was taboo. However, as our society has shifted from an authority-based to a relationship-based model, our ability to apologize to our children is seen as yet another building block in the cementing of our relationship with them. We are encouraged to look at the model of our many great leaders who freely apologized to their children when appropriate. For example, the Steipler Gaon, zt”l, used to apologize to his son,

Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, when he felt it was necessary. So, to answer your question, let me ask you some of my own. 1) Do you apologize or get defensive? Can you model contrition, or do you resort to excuses, rationalizations, or denial? Shari is having a fit: She has been waiting on the street corner – wet and freezing – for a half hour for Mom to pick her up for the orthodontist. She kvetches when Mom

pulls up – finally! – and says, “You know I have been waiting for more than a half hour already! I am going to be late and miss dance practice.” Can you be gracious, as in saying, “You are so right; I am so sorry that you had to wait?” Or do you resort to, “Do you know how busy I am? I cannot believe how selfish you are!” 2) How do you handle mistakes –

yours and others? Do you subscribe to “a mistake is only a mistake” and see it as a learning opportunity, or do you treat every error as a federal offense? You forgot to respond to your friend’s wedding invitation, and she calls you up and berates you for your thoughtlessness. Can you undertake to make every effort to respond to invites in a timely manner – or do you obsess about your lapse and talk about it again and again? 3) Is it safe to apologize in your home? Does the person apologizing have confidence that his sincere and honest apology will be well-received, or is he opening himself up to complaints, lectures, embarrassment, and shame? For us to be open and honest about our feelings, thoughts, and behavior, we need to feel that we are in an emotionally safe environment. When our emotional safety is threatened, we feel the need to do whatever we can to protect ourselves from pain and hurt. 13-year-old Shragy was playing catch with a friend and broke a window. How certain is he that while you will not be thrilled about the damage, you will accept his apology, maybe asking for repa-

ration?(“There goes his month’s allowance!”) Or, is he certain that admitting his guilt and apologizing will bring on the insults – and in front of his friend, no less. If the latter, although Shragy feels guilty about his deed – and even worse about concealing it – he will be convinced that concealment truly is the safest course. 4) Does your family speak the language of apology? Most of us feel silly just saying “sorry” – we know it is woefully

lame and would not accept such a weak excuse of an apology from others. A sincere apology is one that is freely given – with eye contact and a warm tone of voice. But, most important, a true apology always specifies what we are sorry for and how we will do better in the future. Mom had promised the kids a special ice cream cake for Shabbos lunch – just because. The kids were really excited, debating among themselves what kind it would be, what it would look and taste like. As excited as the kids were, Mom plain-old forgot. Well, you can only begin to imagine the disappointment and indignance. Some things mothers just don’t forget – right? Mom looks at each kid in turn and says, “I am so sorry I forgot to get the cake. There was really no good reason, and I know how much it meant to you. I have already put the cake down on next week’s shopping list to make sure that I don’t forget.” It would be a stretch to say that the kids were perfectly fine, but they did have a valuable – if painful – example of apologizing and accepting responsibility. While they all know that a mistake was made, they also know that Mom really does care about them and their feelings. Our best bet as parents is to normalize the apology process. We all make mistakes, but we have the ability and responsibility to make repair. And, when the environment provides emotional safety, we can feel secure enough to apologize, make good, and move on. The Book Nook: In Parenting by Design, parenting expert Rabbi Yisroel Kleinman, LMSW, helps parents identify their short-term and long-term goals for their children. Through vignettes and case studies, the author illustrates his five-level technique and how it can help parents succeed with their young children. This very readable book would be a plus in any parent’s library. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, L.A.’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com.


JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home


JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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OCTOBER | The Jewish Home Current Events The Week 29, In2015 News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Inaugural Speech of

Donald J. Trump 45th President of the United States

Chief

Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you. We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done. Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back

to you, the American People. For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes – starting right here, and right now – because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January

20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public. But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and

robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans. For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry. Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own. And spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind. The


Current The Week Events In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world. But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American. We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

ly unstoppable. There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by G-d. Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only liv-

             Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

            

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when G-d’s people live together in unity.” We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is total-

ing as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again. We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the

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miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions. It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator. So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Wealthy Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And, yes, together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, G-d bless you, and G-d bless America.


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

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

Memoirs Of A Forgotten Rabbi The Troubled Life Of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber PART I Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber (18831966) was a Lithuanian-born Torah scholar who spent most of his adult life as the spiritual leader of a small community in the West End of London. He remained there for over 50 years, struggling to maintain his dignity and his principles in a setting that was completely indifferent to the things he found important. His relationship with the lay-leadership of his community, as well as with his fellow employees, was fraught with difficulty and tension, as all of them were people devoid of any sensitivity to Jewish ritual law and they tended to run the synagogue as a moneymaking operation, without taking Jewish law or the rabbi into consideration. Rabbi Ferber was a no-nonsense strictly observant Orthodox rabbi of the old school, and highly regarded for his Torah scholar in the world beyond his own community. During the many decades he led his community, he took to writing so that he could feel creative and productive, and was also a regular visitor at the nearby reading room of the British Museum, where he became a familiar fixture and was given unfettered access to ancient Hebrew manuscripts and published books that were no longer in print. He began publishing books of Torah commentary before the Second World War and continued to publish books well into his old age. These books were his outlet, his only source of job satisfaction throughout his ‘exile’, as he referred to his life. They were all very well written, and contained well constructed ideas that demonstrated a wealth and breadth of knowledge, as well as a literary ability that surpassed many contemporary colleagues. The introductions to his books often contained small anecdotes from his private life, or stories of his youth and his family history. But these were peripheral to the overall book content, which was always Torah oriented, focused on generic and impersonal topics relating to Torah portions, or festivals, or prayer, or other such topics, rather than issues emerging out of his private life. But even these small glimpses were revealing, whetting the appetite for more information about the author of these incredible books. After his death in 1966, Rabbi Ferber, a marginal figure in his lifetime, receded into the footnotes of orthodox Jewish history in the UK, and might easily have

been totally forgotten had it not been for the discovery of his unpublished memoirs at around the turn of the twenty first century. The story of the memoirs is itself fascinating – how did they come to be written, and why did they remain unpublished for so long? The story of the memoirs’ bizarre compilation and history, as well as the remarkable narrative contained in the memoir itself, is the story that will be exclusively told by Rabbi Pini Dunner in the columns of this newspaper in the weeks and months ahead. It is a story that will reveal the extraordinary life of a devout immigrant rabbi whose origins were in the aristocracy of Lithuanian Jewry, but who became trapped by circumstances in a rabbinic position he despised, and in a world that was changing beyond all recognition. The name Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber z”l was familiar to me already at a very young age. It was uttered with reverence, with respect, and with incredible admiration. Rabbi Ferber’s books on the shelf at my parents’ home were well used and very tatty. My late father z”l would regularly adorn our Friday night table with Torah ideas drawn from these books, ideas which were insightful, satisfying and original. There was a particular pride in the fact that their author had been a London rabbi, someone who my father and his family had known during his lifetime. Indeed, when my grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dunner z”l, was appointed as the presiding rabbi of London’s Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in 1960, and soon afterwards as a member of the rabbinical executive of the Agudat Israel of Europe, he regularly made the trip to London’s West End, to consult with Rabbi Ferber, and discuss communal issues both at home and with reference to Orthodox Jewry around the world. There was, however, a curiosity in all this that was not lost on me, even in my youth. How was it possible that this extraordinary man, this revered leader, lived in the West End of London? Strictly Orthodox Jews all knew that the West End was a spiritual desert, a place devoid of Torah, a place where all the resident Jews, besides for a minute number of exceptions, were not Sabbath observant. How could it be that this great man managed to sustain his own status as a leader for, and person who gave advice to, people who lived in the areas of London in which devout Orthodoxy had established itself, areas quite a distance from his home, and in which

Mrs Freida Ferber, whose untimely passing at the age of 50 in 1934 prompted her grieving husband to begin writing his memoirs

there were a number of other serious Torah scholars and esteemed rabbis? It was a puzzle that remained unsolved. We were told that Rabbi Ferber was a man of principle, a man of vision, a man of clarity. That his advice was considered Torah wisdom; the unbiased, untainted view of a man who had his roots in the pre-war world of Lithuanian Jewry. But this only made it all the more curious! What was he doing in the West End? Why had he never moved to the centers of observant Jewish life that had emerged in London during the years between the First World War and the Second World War? And perhaps most importantly how was it possible that he had managed to keep up his level of Judaism, as required of all religious Jews, but in particular to maintain his revered status, in the midst of the spiritual desert in which he lived? As the years went by Rabbi Ferber slipped away from my consciousness. When I arrived at Gateshead Yeshiva one of my earliest friends there was a boy called Tzvi Gurwitz. As the great-grandson of Rabbi Ferber and born shortly after his death, he was named after him. But no one mentioned Rabbi Ferber. It was his other grandfather, Rabbi Leib Gurwitz z”l, the late esteemed Rosh Yeshiva of Gateshead, who gave him standing with the other boys in the yeshiva. The memory of Rabbi Ferber had faded away, and although many individuals continued to benefit from his numerous published works – especially after they were republished in the mid-1980s

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber of London (1883-1966)

– the strictly Orthodox community, and certainly the non-Orthodox community, had forgotten this great man. The history of his memoirs is therefore of some interest. Their publication will probably propel their author into the public consciousness from which he has been absent for decades. His books are all out of print, and the men who consulted him regularly have all passed on or long retired from their public positions. Those who knew him and appreciated him, or heard his Torah lectures and speeches and appreciated them, are also long departed or very elderly. His children have all died, and just a few years ago the last of his sons-in-law, Mr Chaim Lewis, whom I knew well, died at the age of 98 in London. So where have these memoirs been since they were written? How did they come to be written? Why were they never published? Were they meant for publication? How did I obtain them? Why am I publishing them and for whom? I will try to answer all these questions in the lines that follow, so that the readers of Rabbi Ferber’s memoirs can fully appreciate what it is that they are reading, and understand how and why the memoirs have come to be published by me after all these years. In 1934, after a period of difficult illness, Rabbi Ferber’s beloved wife Freida passed away at the young age of 50. Details of how she died, and the devastation her death caused for her husband and children, are described in detail in the memoirs. What Rabbi Ferber does not describe


Jewish The WeekHistory In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The handwritten title page of Rabbi Ferber’s first of two volumes of memoirs, which he began writing in 1934

is how he managed to get on with his life after losing his precious soul mate. In a practical sense he had his daughter Anne, who looked after his every need from that time up until his death. But I am not referring to this. What I am referring to is the fact that he never mentions how he coped with the emotional emptiness. His wife’s death came soon after the death of two of his closest colleagues, Rabbi Avigdor Schonfeld and Rabbi Meir Zimmerman. Only a few years earlier his mentor and friend Rabbi Meir Tzvi Jung had died very suddenly. The members of his West End Synagogue, as is clear from the memoirs, were not only incapable of providing him with emotional support, but in his view were to blame for the death of his dear wife, as he openly suggests. In particular, the death of his wife frightened Rabbi Ferber with a terrifying thought. She died so suddenly and unexpectedly that it seemed that the impact of her life on this world was lost, and that she, a niece of the founder of the mussar movement, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, who had given her life over to public service and supported her husband in all his endeavours, was destined to disappear without trace. And the same thing, he suddenly realised, could happen to him! He could also die without warning – as had so many of his colleagues – and all his work for the community, and the efforts of his colleagues, to improve the observance of Jewish law and custom, to enhance the honor of Torah, to make life easier for those who wished to observe Jewish law and custom in England – properly, without compromise, and as it should be observed – would be forgotten forever by those who would later benefit from the bitter battles that had been fought

The headstone over Mrs Ferber’s grave in Streatham, South London, in which her great-uncle Rabbi Yisroel Salanter’s name gets equal billing

for this cause. Furthermore, he had lived the life of a rabbi and leader in a community that had rejected the values he stood for, and who had treated the requirements of Jewish law, and him as their champion, with contempt. Who would recall the terrible treatment he was forced to endure, a Torah scholar and deeply religious man, at the hands of those for whom his values and the values of Torah had no meaning? His treatment at their hands, and their immoral behaviour in general, would - unless something was done – be entirely forgotten, making his tough, Torah inspired inflexibility – which in practical terms had brought few if any positive results – a waste of his effort and of unenduring value. So Rabbi Ferber, as the author of numerous published and unpublished works, did what he knew best – he turned to his pen. His pen became his trusted friend, offering him a way through the difficult questions and depressing conclusions thrown up by the death of so many of those close to him, and in particular his dear wife. With his pen he could record who he was, who his wife had been, who his friends and colleagues were and had been, the battles he had won and the battles he had lost. He could open up about his dreadful existence in the West End, at the mercy of people who did not appreciate him and what he represented, who had persecuted him mercilessly, throughout his years as their rabbi. He could recall the long forgotten events of his youth, many of which would be of profound interest to numerous people far and wide. He could record the opinions and perspectives of the

senior rabbinic leaders of his youth and apply them to the unfolding events of the present. So it seems clear that the memoirs project began in the mid-1930s as a way for Rabbi Ferber to cope with the trauma of the loss of his wife, and as a calculated response to his realisation that life was fragile, and that his own sudden death might mean that much that was important for people to know – that which had happened to him and also that which had happened to others – might be entirely forgotten. Evidently the earlier part of the memoirs was written in the years immediately following his wife’s death in 1934. The title page of the manuscript is dated 1938, which means that those early sections written straight after her death were later copied out by Rabbi Ferber, probably to correct them into a final form. But the project did not end there. Once Rabbi Ferber had begun writing his memoirs he did not stop. As the years went by, he added in new sections recording all types of incidents, both in relation to his personal life and struggles, and also in relation to the general history of strictly Orthodox Jews in England. He also described, as events unfolded, from the point of view of a devout Orthodox rabbi, the devastation of the Holocaust, the struggle to help those who survived after the war, the conflicts relating to the establishment of the State of Israel, his disgust at the behaviour of the secular Zionist leadership towards Torah observant Jews in the Land of Israel, and his disappointment at the Agudat Israel leadership for having engineered cooperation with the newly established Zionist government despite the opposition of the acknowledged leading rabbis of that era. It is possible that in his lifetime many of the things Rabbi Ferber describes were well known by those that they had affected. They were the matters of day-to-day life. But in many instances they have long been forgotten. These stories and the facts that surrounded them were not headlines. Rather they were the small print of the life of Orthodox Jews. Especially in relation to the struggles of the strictly Orthodox Jewish community in England, no one recalls the pioneers who lived in poverty and difficulty, and who faced the contempt and active opposition of the leadership – both rabbis and communal leaders – of Britain’s Jews, and the ridicule of many of their fellow immigrant Jews who were only too glad to lower their standards in their new country. In some instances Rabbi Ferber’s colleagues, from the same background as him, who should have joined forces with

him in his battles for important matters like ensuring the supply of kosher meat, chose instead to join forces with the enemies of Jewish law, for the sake of honour or money. In one instance he describes how one of these rabbis, well respected and an author of numerous books of insights into the Talmud, who later moved to Jerusalem, tried to bribe him to stay silent on matters relating to the inadequacy of kosher meat arrangements in England. In other cases Rabbi Ferber describes how rabbis whose names are no longer remembered were at the forefront of making sure that Orthodox Jews could be assured of the standards they required in order to live life as fully committed orthodox Jews in England. In addition to these general facts Rabbi Ferber recorded his own life as rabbi of the West End district of London, Soho. He describes how the committee members at his synagogue mistreated him, how despite the fact that the synagogue owed its financial success to him, they refused to pay him enough money to live on, how the other employees of the synagogue constantly conspired to steal money in a variety of different ways from the unsuspecting synagogue members, with great success. He describes how the elections for the executive of the synagogue were rigged so that the winners would not disturb the ongoing theft. He describes his loneliness and sadness, a sadness that was only lessened by the publication of his books. Rabbi Ferber was a prolific writer, and a first class composer of homiletic interpretations of the Torah, and over the years he regularly published books on homiletic themes, focusing on the weekly portions of the Torah, on prayer, on festivals, on the Psalms, on the megillot, and much more. His books were very precious to him. But even their publication was not without its own problems. He describes how printers misled him and swindled him, and how after the Holocaust he felt as if the number of people remaining who appreciated his type of books was so drastically reduced that he genuinely worried for the future of the Torah world. So what had started out as a cathartic project following the death of his wife became a mission to record every fact that Rabbi Ferber believed was important for those who shared his ideals to know and appreciate for posterity. Such was Rabbi Ferber’s determination to fulfil this mission that even as it became difficult for him to write in the years immediately before his death, he nevertheless continued to write, with the last entries dated only a couple of years before he died.

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Quotes The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

LIBERAL FREAKOUT There was an America First Committee that formed in this country, hundreds of thousands of people in this country, some of the richest businessmen in the country who were part of it, they were formed to keep us out of World War II. They were infiltrated by the Nazis, many of them are anti-Semitic, part of why they weren’t alarmed by Hitler’s rise in Germany. - MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s flip-out in response to Trump’s inaugural address statement that he will put America’s interests first

When he said today “America First,” it was not just the racial … I shouldn’t say racial, the Hitlerian background to it. - MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in response to Trump’s speech

More than two decades after Warren lent it to me — and more than four decades after it was first published — Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read.

It felt as if he almost was insulting every living president that was sitting next to him — in very personal ways.

- Bill Gates on CNBC taking about his favorite book, which Warren Buffett gave to him

- NBC’s Chuck Todd

Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter. - Tweet by a Saturday Night Live writer on Inauguration Day about Trump’s 10-year-old son

The reason you are my first stop (is) my running war with the media, among the most dishonest people on the face of the earth, right? And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence committee, and the reason this is the No. 1 stop is it’s the exact opposite.

Make no mistake, if Mr. Trump’s “agenda” is successful more – not fewer – Americans and innocents around the world will suffer or die, and none of us will be safer. - Harvard University Professor Vicki Divoll, in a New York Times op-ed

Donald Trump today sets out to make America great again. But what if it was never great? - Headline on alt-left website Vox, on Inauguration Day

- Donald Trump on his visit to the CIA on his first full day in office

MORE QUOTES


Quotes The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Sometimes he calls me. Sometimes I call him… He’s been very supportive of me for a long time – Patriots QB Tom Brady when asked on a Boston sports show about his friendship with President Trump

Why does that make such a big deal? I don’t understand that. - Ibid.

I think it’ll work fine under Donald Trump. - Warren Buffet on MSNBC talking about how the economy will do under President Trump

Bless all of our allies around the world who share our beliefs, “By the rivers of Babylon, we wept as we remember Zion…If I forget you O Yerushalayim, may my right hand forget its skill.” - Rabbi Marvin Hier during his benediction at the inauguration of President Donald Trump

I was a representative of the Jewish community, so it was right to remind those viewing all over the world that the Jews have a historical connection to Jerusalem. – Rabbi Marvin Hier telling the Algemeiner Journal that his message was “absolutely intentional”

The Torah was given to the Jewish people. Surely they didn’t want me to quote Shakespeare. - Ibid

Senator Wyden, I’ve got a Valium pill here that you might want to take before the second round, just a suggestion, sir. - Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), at the hearing for Stephen Mnuchin to be the treasury secretary

Behave normally or go away. Leave, you don’t have to be here. - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in an op-ed about Muslim refugees

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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MORE QUOTES The thing we couldn’t believe was the hate in these people’s eyes. They were looking at us with such hatred and they had no idea who we were. - Ryan Manion, who, along with other Gold Star family members, was spat on by anti-Trump protestors when she was entering the Veterans Inaugural Ball, in an interview with Fox News about the incident

The butter substitute “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is reportedly changing its iconic name. From now on it’ll be called “I Can’t Believe Donald Trump Is President.” I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan. - Dennis Harrison when he was arrested by Massachusetts police for pulling the fire alarm at 3AM in the hotel where the Steelers were staying the night before their AFC Championship match against the New England Patriots

- Seth Myers


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The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Hotel Buried in Deadly Italian Avalanche More survivors have been pulled from the remains of an Italian hotel that was buried by an avalanche last week. The Rigopiano Hotel in the mountains of central Italy was covered on January 18, when four

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There are billions suffering the effects of poverty in developing countries like Africa and India, and on the other end of the spectrum there are entrepreneurs whose wealth seems to keep multiplying. According to a recent analysis from Oxfam, the net worth of eight of the world’s richest men is equivalent to the net worth of half the world’s poorest. Where are these uber-rich people living? Six of the eight super-rich are American businessmen. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are the Americans on the really-rich list. Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim and Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of a retail conglomerate that includes popular clothing store Zara, make up the super-eight. Their total net wealth totals $426 billion. That number is matched and shared amongst 3.6 billion people, most living in developing countries. Oxfam is a non-for-profit global anti-poverty group that has been tracking inequality since 2014. The goal of the study was to highlight the concerning trend of economic inequality. In America, particularly, the growing problem was a major talking point of the 2017 presidential election, an issue that President Donald Trump promised to address. In Europe, experts are blaming Brexit, the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, on the damaging trend. “Left unchecked, growing inequality threatens to pull our societies apart,” Oxfam wrote in its report, citing Brexit, Trump’s campaign and “a worrying rise in racism and the widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics.” In 2016, the richest 1 percent of the


The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

world held slightly more than half of the wealth of the entire planet, Oxfam notes. And the 1,810 billionaires on Forbes’s list, 89% male, hold $6.5 trillion – as much wealth as 70% of humanity.

Young Jewish Girl Killed in Car Rampage

A deadly car rampage in Melbourne, Australia, left five dead and dozens injured on Friday, four critically. Among the victims was a young Jewish girl and a newborn baby. The three others victims were two men ages 25 and 33 and a 32-year-old woman. Thalia Hakin, 10, was killed when Dimitri Gargasoulo, 26, intentionally rammed a stolen vehicle into a busy intersection in the Central Business District of Melbourne. Police attempted to intercept the car before

it entered the city in the afternoon. Shortly before he rammed the vehicle, he was seen driving his car around in circles in the city center and yelling out the window. Thalia’s younger sister, Maggie, 9, and her mother, Naomi, were critically injured. Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, principal of Yeshivah – Beth Rivkah Colleges, the school Thalia attended, lamented, “Our hearts are broken at the tragic passing of Thalia. Thalia was a well-loved student and friend in the school community. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family at this most difficult time.” He added that the school was arranging support and bereavement groups for the students and the community in order to deal with this devastating and shocking tragedy. Rabbi Shmukler remembered that Thalia would “check on her sister every day” and was a “doting” sibling. “She was always happy and knew how to make people smile,” a student told the 1,000 people who came to a vigil in her memory. Victoria police say the incident was not terror related; it seems the perpetrator was motivated by personal problems. The suspect was shot by police at the scene in the arm, and he remains in the hospital under police guard. He had stabbed his brother earlier that day. Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the driver had a history of family violence as well as mental health and drug-related issues.

Expert: North Korea Up to Something North Korea is advancing their nuclear weapons delivery missiles at a very disturbing rate. In the first 15 years of the new millennium, Pyongyang conducted 16 missile tests and one nuclear test. But in 2016 alone, North Korea conducted 25 ballistic missile tests and two nuclear tests – that’s over fifty percent more activity in 2016 than in the fifteen years before it.

“The normally aggressive regime has taken an unusually violent path, even by their own extraordinary standards,” said Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Over the past year, North Korea has crossed technical thresholds that were previously thought to be beyond their reach

for years,” Cha added. The question Chas has posed is: “What does Kim Jong-un want?” The huge uptick in testing suggests that the rogue nation has nuclear ambitions and that it is developing an arsenal of such weapons. Cha thinks they want “a peace treaty with the United States as a nuclear weapons state. I think that’s what he wants.” A panel that met to discuss the region at the Center for Strategic and International Studies agreed that Donald Trump will have to deal with North Korea in some capacity right away. “More often than not, we measure the mettle of presidencies by the unexpected crises that they must deal with. For President Bush, this was clearly the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it completely changed almost every element of his presidency. For President-elect Trump, this crisis could very well come from North Korea,” Cha cautioned.

Gambia Finally Sees Transition of Power Yahya Jammeh, who has led the African nation of Gambia for the past 22 years, has announced that he will step down from power under pressure from West African armies that entered his borders last week.

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The Week In News Jammeh originally said that he would not concede to his election defeat at the hands of President Adama Barrow. At some point, Gambia actually had two presidents: Jammeh, who refused to step down, and Barrow, who rightfully won the election. “I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation,” Jammeh said. The concession was hardly voluntary, as 7,000 soldiers entered Gambia from Nigeria and Senegal backed by warplanes and tanks. Jammeh’s much smaller army could not provide him any cover under such an overwhelming force.

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

and endeavor to work together as one nation,” he proclaimed. Jammeh’s defeat in December set off a series of celebrations in the capital city of Banjul. After initially conceding his defeat, Jammeh took back his concession and said he would challenge the results in court. In a final attempt to hold onto his power, Jammeh declared a state of emergency last week, dissolved the cabinet and had the National Assembly extend his term for three months. More than half of the government resigned in the fallout, and 45,000 people fled to Senegal.

New Talks May Guide Syria toward Peace

Jammeh’s regime has a reputation for torturing and killing its opponents, and he will likely not be missed by many of his subjects. It is unclear if he will go into exile. “All those who have supported me or were against me in this period, I implore them to put the supreme interest of our nation the Gambia above all partisan interest

been in a state of civil war for the past six years. The meeting is sponsored by Russia and Turkey, both of which have backed opposing sides in the conflict. President Bashar al-Assad will send representatives to the Astana talks, as will the Syrian rebel groups. Iran and the United Nations will also have representatives in attendance. The U.S. will not be sending any delegation to the talks due to “the immediate demands of the transition.” The Trump administration will be represented by the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan. The talks will hopefully be more productive thanks to the newfound partnership between Russia and Turkey. Turkey has been backing the rebel forces near its border, while Russia and Iran have remained loyal to Assad. “So now for the first time the actors who have big stakes, who are on the ground, who have significant leverage on fighting components, are together working on this,” Mehmet Simsek, Turkish deputy prime minister, told Russian TASS news agency. The Syrian conflict has claimed the lives of 300,000 people and displaced more than half of the country’s population.

Kazakhstan is hosting a three-day meeting between key players in the Syria conflict with the hopes of negotiating a countrywide ceasefire. The country has

Tech-Savvy Thieves Arrested A gang of 12 that is responsible for the theft of equipment worth tens of millions of shekels has been arrested in Israel. The crew used sophisticated frequency jamming technology in order to pull off their elaborate heists. According to police, the group would find businesses that dealt in expensive goods and would track their hours of operations. They would then use advanced jamming systems to block alarm frequencies and video cameras. Law enforcement frequencies were also monitored to make sure their thievery went undisturbed.

police found NIS 2.5 million in cash and many vehicles in their possession. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected, as well as answers to many questions that have surrounded the probe.

Terror Tunnels Collapsing

A terrorist was killed inside a collapsed tunnel in southern Gaza last week. Hamas said that Yussef al-Agha died in Khan Yunis when a “resistance tunnel” collapsed. The tunnels are dug to commit terror operations against Israel. The terror organization’s network of tunnels was mapped and attacked during 2014’s counterterror effort known as “Operation Protective Edge.” Since then, Hamas has been busy reconstructing their tunnel network. During their reconstruction, there have been several collapses that have taken lives. Hamas said last month that 21 terrorists were killed in tunnel collapses in 2016. In October, a member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed terror wing, was killed after an underground tunnel collapsed on him. Last month, a tunnel collapsed in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza killing two terrorists. Egypt has helped destroy the terror tunnels. Gazans, who share a border with Egypt, have used the tunnels to smuggle in people, cash, weapons, and commercial goods.

Bibi to Iranians: We are Not Your Enemy The origins of their jamming technology is currently under investigation as only licensed security agencies are authorized to use such equipment. The technology also requires official permits from the Ministry of Communications, which the gang apparently had. The equipment allowed the group to operate undetected for many years. When the 12 suspects were brought in,


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JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Iranian regime this week in a video he released online addressing the Iranian population. Israel’s prime minister vowed that he would speak with Donald Trump about the aggression that has come out of Tehran when he meets with him for the first time. Though he did not directly call on the Iranian people to revolt, Netanyahu did describe how the brutal regime prevents the people from living the Western lifestyle they want. He described how the Iranian people wish they would live without fear. “I know you’d want to be able to speak freely, to love who you want without the fear of being tortured or hung from a crane,” he said. “Tragically, you are shackled by a theocratic tyranny. In a free Iran you will once again be able to flourish without limit. But today, a cruel regime is trying to keep you down.” Netanyahu made clear that he has no problem with the Iranian people, only their dictatorship system that commands power. “By calling daily for Israel’s destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us. This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy. We’ve always distinguished between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime,” he said. “The regime is cruel – the people are not; the regime is aggressive – the people are warm. I yearn for the day when Israelis and Iranians can once again visit each other freely in Tehran and Esfahan, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.” Until 1979, when a revolution overthrew the secular regime of the Shah, Israel and Iran enjoyed a close relationship. Israelis and Iranians “can work together for a more peaceful and hopeful future for both of us,” the prime minister concluded. “We must defeat terror and tyranny and we must ensure that freedom and friendship win the day.”

Trump and Bibi’s Chat

Bibi Netanyahu and President Trump spoke over the phone this week in their first conversation since Trump took over the Oval Office. On the call, President Trump pledged to help address the “threats posed by Iran,” contribute his full support of Israel’s security needs, and help achieve peace in the region. Many in Israel hope that the phone conversation is the beginning of a new Israel-America relationship – one that has been

strained during the past eight years when Obama occupied the Oval Office. The White House’s account of the call gives a small preview of what may be to come. A White House spokesman said that the two leaders discussed ways to “advance and strengthen the U.S.-Israel special relationship.” Trump stressed “the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between our countries.” Netanyahu and Trump agreed to “closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran,” the White House said. The likeness of mind on the Iran deal is possibly the biggest difference between the current U.S. administration and the old one. The president also stressed that peace between Israel and the Palestinians “can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will work closely with Israel to make progress towards that goal.” This stance comes less than a month after the Obama administration refused to veto an anti-Israel UN resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and branded East Jerusalem, including the Kotel, an “occupied territory.” During his campaign, Trump made a promise to move the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That issue does not appear to have come up in the phone call. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a statement saying that the administration was “at the very beginning stages of even discussing” the embassy move.

More than a Lifetime of Jail for Hamas Terrorist The Palestinian murderer that killed Malachy Rosenfeld in a 2015 West Bank drive-by shooting has been sentenced to life plus another 30 years in prison. The Ofer military court handed down their verdict to Abdallah As’hak, of the West Bank village of Silwad. He was also ordered to pay NIS 325,000 ($85,000) for the June 29, 2015 terror attack. 25-year-old Malachy was killed and three others were wounded when Hamas terrorists shot at their car on their way home from a basketball game. As’hak was convicted of the murder of Malachy and the attempted murder of the other three Israelis in the vehicle. He was arrested in July 2015 and was a member of the seven-person Hamas cell that was behind the attack. The same cell was behind an attack on an ambulance near Beit El on June 27, 2015 and another attempted attack on June 6. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the two earlier attacks. The Shin Bet has said that Ahmad Najjar, the leader of the group –

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who is still at large – was released from an Israeli prison in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal.

2,500 New Settlement Homes This week, Israel approved the construction of approximately 2,500 homes

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

in the West Bank, most of them in existing settlement blocs, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced on Tuesday. The decision came two days after a Jerusalem planning committee approved the construction of 566 housing units in East Jerusalem, and on the heels of a phone conversation on Sunday between Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump, in which the two discussed their plans for the region. Most of the housing units will be built in the large settlement areas, notably in the

city of Ariel and in Givat Ze’ev, outside Jerusalem. But some will also go up in settlements outside the larger blocs, due to prior agreements and court decisions. “We’re building — and will continue to build,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed, following the approval. Palestinians quickly condemned the announcement, calling it “land theft and colonialism.” “Such a deliberate escalation of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise constitutes a

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war crime and the flagrant violation of international law and conventions, in particular UN Security Council resolution 2334,” said PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, referring to an anti-settlements UN decision passed last month. Liberman also said he would request permission from the cabinet for the construction of a Palestinian industrial park in Tarkumiya, northwest of Hebron. “It will be one of the largest industrial zones in the West Bank, in which we are planning to set up warehouse and fuel storage infrastructure, along with other elements,” Liberman’s office said in a statement. According to the defense minister, the decision to approve the settlement construction was made in order to “provide a response to the housing needs.” In total, 2,502 housing units were approved for construction in settlements across the West Bank, with most in the north. In the northern West Bank, 899 will be built in the city of Ariel, 292 in the Zufim settlement, 166 in Emanuel, 154 in Oranit, 81 in Etz Efraim, 78 in Alfei Menashe, 18 in Elkana and six in Shaare Tikva, the defense minister’s office said. In the Jerusalem area, some 652 housing units were approved for the Givat Ze’ev settlement, 104 in Ma’ale Adumim and four in Har Gilo. In the Etzion settlement bloc, 21 homes were approved for Efrat, and the defense minister authorized 87 housing units for the Beitar Illit settlement, outside Bethlehem. Outside the larger settlement areas, Liberman and Netanyahu allowed the construction of 86 homes for the former residents of the evacuated Migron settlement, who now live in the Yekev neighborhood of the Kochav Ya’akov settlement, south of Ramallah. The approval was granted in accordance with an agreement between the government and Migron residents. In addition, 20 homes were approved in the Beit El settlement, north of Ramallah, as part of a High Court of Justice decision, the defense minister said. On Sunday, the Jerusalem Municipality approved the construction of 566 new homes in East Jerusalem, in a vote that had been pushed back from December in order to avoid angering the outgoing administration of former U.S. president Barack Obama. The Palestinians condemned the decision as an explicit violation of the recent anti-settlement resolution at the United Nations.

Too Much Smoking in IDF? The IDF is going up in smoke. According to a new study, nearly 40 percent of Israelis are smokers by the time they finish their compulsory army service. That


The Week In News

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

is twice as high as the overall national rate and dramatically higher than among American soldiers, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa conducted the study in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces’ Medical Corps. Data came from nearly 30,000 soldiers between 1987 and 2011. About 37 percent of Israeli soldiers are smokers when they are discharged, compared to 26 percent of new recruits, the study found – a 42 percent increase over the course of service. “The use of tobacco harms IDF soldiers and security in general,” the lead author, Dr. Leah Rosen of Tel Aviv University, said in a statement. “The government and the Ministry of Health need to cooperate with the IDF in order to reduce the number of soldiers who start smoking, to encourage soldiers to quit smoking, and to protect non-smokers from exposure to cigarette smoke. “We should take an example from the United States, which conducted extensive changes to the smoking policy in its military to protect its soldiers and to improve the readiness and performance of its combat units.” Army service is mandatory for most Israeli Jews and a central part of the national identity. Smoking cigarettes to cope with the boredom and stress is a well-known part of the experience. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement that most people start smoking at age 18, regardless of army service. The army said smoking had decreased in the army, as in Israel, in the “last few years,” and pointed to a “range of actions” it had taken against smoking, including offering anti-smoking education, help quitting smoking and enforcing the ban on smoking in public spaces. “The IDF sees great importance in reducing the number of smokers and the damage induced from smoking, and will continue to work in cooperation with all relevant parties in order to reduce this phenomenon and promote the health of its soldiers,” the army insisted. In the U.S. military, smoking has plummeted since the first anti-smoking programs were introduced in 1975, but there has been a similar decline among Americans in general. About 24 percent of U.S. soldiers smoked in 2011, according to the Department of Defense, and 15 percent of adults smoked in 2015, according to the Centers

for Disease Control. By comparison, about 20 percent of Israeli adults smoke, Central Bureau of Statistics data shows. The average rate across Europe is even higher. Some 18 percent of Israeli soldiers first started lighting up in the army, and 56 percent relapsed. Soldiers with combat profiles were more likely to take up smoking during their service, after adjusting for other factors. Men (40 percent) were more likely than women (32 percent) to be smokers when they were discharged from the army, although the increase in smoking during service was similar between men and women.

Last Day: Obama Gifts Palestinians $221 Million

President Obama was very busy his last day in office. On Thursday, his last full day as commander-in-chief, Obama was furiously scribbling with his pen, granting 330 more commutations for nonviolent drug offenders, bringing his total number of clemencies to 1,715. Obama has granted commutations to more people than the past 12 presidents combined, including 568 inmates with life sentences. He has granted 212 pardons. His final group of clemencies was the most Obama granted in a day and the most granted on one day in U.S. history. But Friday was a short day and Obama made sure to make the most of it. According to the Associated Press, Obama released $221 million in U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority on the morning of Friday, January 20 — just hours before he was to leave office. A State Department official and several congressional aides say the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning, just before Donald Trump became president. More than $227 million in foreign affairs funding was released at the time, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations. At least two GOP lawmakers had placed holds on the Palestinian funds. Congressional holds are generally respected

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y son, my 17 year old Iluy, was scheduled to leave for yeshiva in a few short days. Bein Hazmanim with him had been so wonderful, and I hated sending him back away again so soon, but Yeshiva was his rightful place to be. I went into his room to check if he needed any help with the packing and found him sweaty and pale, clutching his head. Concerned, I asked, “Chesky, are you all right?” Through clenched teeth, he responded, “It’s just a splitting headache.” Another headache. He’d been having them off and on the entire time he had been home. “I think we should see a doctor before you go back to Yeshiva, just to be on the safe side,” I gently prodded. In agony, Chesky agreed. Two days later, we had our answer. And wished we didn’t. Chesky had a tumor, right next to his brain, and doctors advised us to do emergency surgery immediately. They explained that it was an 11 hour surgery, with a 50/50 chance of the surgery being successful. It was a very risky operation because of the tumor’s proximity to the brain, but there really wasn’t much choice in the matter. Without the surgery, Chesky wouldn’t make it. In shock, we signed the papers, scheduled the surgery, and sat back to wait… and wait. My husband is a doer, and he spent most of the first few hours, making phone calls and asking people to daven for our Chesky. Listening to him, I remembered an ad I had once seen in a popular Jewish magazine about Tehillim Kollel, an organization that recites the Tehillim each and every day of the year, without fail. I quickly googled and found a link to the number. I dialed, and with a choked voice, gave our Chesky’s name to the operator, signing him up for Tefillos. We waited and waited some more, praying, praying and praying. After the 11th hour, Chesky’s doctor, one of the most skilled and prominent surgeons in England, came out to update us on the surgery. “It was a complete success,” he said, looking a bit bewildered. “I have to tell you that going into the surgery, I knew that there were zero chances of removing the entire tumor. Our best plan of action was to remove as much as possible and schedule additional treatment to eradicate the rest. But somehow, and I can’t explain it, we were able to remove the entire tumor all at once! I have done this surgery countless of times, and never have I been able to remove it all without any complications. You truly must have had someone special watching out for you.” And we did. Thank you Tehillim Kollel, for your powerful support!

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by the executive branch but are not legally binding. This was not the first time Obama had granted funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s wishes. In 2012, for example, he unblocked nearly 200$ million that had been frozen in response to Palestinians’ unilateral actions at the United Nations, using a legal waiver included in the Palestinian Accountability Act. Republicans have increasingly called

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TPP No More

It was the first week on the job, and he made sure to fulfill some promises. On Monday, the first full “work day” in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive action to withdraw from the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and will start to unravel the behemoth trade deal he inherited from his predecessor, Barack Obama. The executive action sent signals to Democrats and leaders in foreign capitals around the world that Trump’s rhetoric on trade during the campaign is turning into action. During rallies, debates and throughout the campaign, Trump vowed to withdraw the U.S. from the Pacific trade deal, commonly known as TPP, which he argued was harmful to American workers and manufacturing. The TPP was negotiated under former President Barack Obama, but never ratified by Congress, so withdrawing from it will not have an immediate, real effect on U.S. economic policies, although it does signal a new and very different U.S. outlook on trade under Trump. Other executive actions signed Monday included instituting a hiring freeze for federal agencies. Trump on Monday also met with union leaders and blue-collar workers several hours after signing the executive action and had a separate meeting with business leaders. Trump has also threatened to impose trade tariffs as a way to revive American manufacturing and to compel U.S. companies not to take their manufacturing operations abroad. Obama’s administration worked with the 11 countries that became signatories for more than two years to formulate the massive free trade deal that was set to reshape commerce throughout the Pacific Rim, triggering movement among multinational companies in the region at the same time. Obama struggled to sell many Democrats on the trade deal, in particular because of concerns about how the trade deal would impact American manufacturers and U.S. workers in that industry. Even Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee who pushed the TPP deal as secretary of state, backed off her support for the deal during the campaign amid pressure from the left. Trump has said that he also plans to re-


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JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a free trade deal joining the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Small Town Sues OxyContin Maker

The city of Everett, Seattle, is suing mega-pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma after they allegedly intentionally turned a blind eye to criminal trafficking of OxyContin. The Washington community suffered from a widespread opioid addiction epidemic and the suit against the manufacturer claims that the company allowed its pills to be abused in the black market in order to “reap large and obscene profits.” Last year the Los Angeles Times conducted an investigation that revealed that the drug maker had extensive evidence signaling illegal trafficking across the country but in many cases did not reveal the criminal activity to law enforcement or cease to provide the potentially deadly pills. According to The Times, the company knowingly supplied OxyContin to gang members and other criminals who were trafficking the painkillers to Everett. At the peak of the rampant operation, in 2010, OxyContin was considered the leading factor in more than half the crimes in the region. It is also believed to be the case of a widespread heroin epidemic that still plagues the area, officials said. In a complaint in state Superior Court, city lawyers accused Purdue of gross negligence, thereby causing a public problem and other misconduct. The city says that the company should be responsible for covering the cost of handling the opioid crisis. The mayor of the city says that dealing with the crisis will cost tens of millions of dollars. “We know this is a bold action we are taking, but it is the right thing to do,” Mayor Ray Stephanson said. According to the Times’ investigation, published in July, an internal security team at Purdue monitored doctors and pharmacies that they suspected of conspiring with dealers. In L.A., drug dealers and their accomplices set up a phony clinic in 2008 and worked with shady doctors and pharmacies to get their hands on thousands of pills over an 18-month period. A Purdue sales manager designated to inspect the high volume of prescriptions at the clinic discovered a dilapidated building occupied by aggressive looking men. She

strongly advised her supervisors to notify the Drug Enforcement Administration, saying she was “very certain this is an organized drug ring.” But nothing happened until a year later. By then, 1.1 million pills had spilled into the illicit pipeline. “A lot of individuals we are coming across have worked, have had a job, and somehow they were introduced to prescription drugs,” said Staci McCole, one of two social workers recently embedded with the police department to help officers handle addicts. Each year, more than 40 residents of Everett die due to heroin overdose. This isn’t the first time Purdue is the subject of a lawsuit. In the past two decades, Purdue has been sued hundreds of times over its marketing of OxyContin to doctors and the drug’s risk of addiction to patients. However, this particular suit is the first that focuses on the company’s knowledge of the drug’s criminal distribution. In response, a spokesman for Purdue said, “We share public officials’ concerns about the opioid crisis and we are committed to working collaboratively to find solutions.”

Zuckerberg Sues for More Hawaiian Land Aloha Hawaii! Pass the coconut water and the property deed to Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is suing a group of Hawaiians  to force them to sell their small plots of land they privately own that are located within a -700acre property that Zuckerberg purchased on the island of Kauai two years ago. The property was purchased by Zuckerberg for 100$ million.

Zuckerberg’s fleet of lawyers filed eight “quiet” title lawsuits in a Kauai court on December 30 requesting the forced sales at public auction to the highest bidder. If Zuckerberg acquires the small pieces of land it would make his private island even more isolated. Some of the owners, though, have sentimental ties to the land – many of the plots of land have been in their families for many generations and they maintain the right to travel through Zuckerberg’s property in order to reach their own lands. The cases target a dozen small plots of so-called “kuleana” lands that are inside the much larger property that Zuckerberg bought on

Kauai. Kuleana lands are properties that were granted to native Hawaiians in the mid-1800. Some of the people who own, or who are believed to own, lands targeted by Zuckerberg’s suits are descendants of the original owners of the kuleana land. Zuckerberg’s lawyer, Keoni Shultz of the firm Cades Schutte, related, “It is common in Hawaii to have small parcels of land within the boundaries of a larger tract, and for the title to these smaller parcels to have become broken or clouded over time.” He added, “In some cases, co-owners may not even be aware of their interests. Quiet title actions are the standard and prescribed process to identify all potential co-owners, determine ownership, and ensure that, if there are other co-owners, each receives appropriate value for their ownership share.”

Out with the Old, In with the New Friday marked the ultimate changing of the guards at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As soon as the calendar read January 20, White House staff was busy moving the Obamas out and preparing the residence for the Trump family. It will be home to Donald Trump and family (although Melania and Barron will be staying in New York for a few months) for the next four years, and staffers needed to make sure to have all

of their personal items in order along with favorite snacks, necessary toiletries, and other comforts of home. The Obamas had filled the house over the past eight years with their personal items that had to be transported to their new residence just two miles away. They had been slowly moving things into their new home – moving trucks had been spotted outside their new home in D.C.’s upscale Kalorama neighborhood. The details of the move were planned over the last few months but the actual process actually happened within hours in military-like execution while the world watched the inauguration. The previous first family and incoming family were not on-site during the move. During the move-out process, curators, who keep computerized inventories of artifacts that are in the permanent collection of the White House and those that have been brought in as gifts or personal items, police the process to ensure that exiting presidents do not leave with anything that does not belong to them. In 2001, when Bill and Hillary Clinton moved out they accidently took nearly $50,000 worth of gifts with them and had to return them. These items were eventually determined to be the property of the National Park Service, which oversees the White House. “The Clintons were partying up until 3 a.m. the night before, so it was much more of a frantic turnaround for the residence staff to move in the Bushes’ stuff,” a staffer said.

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“It’s very busy — you are on your feet constantly, making sure things are going in the right place and in the right way, and there is very little time to spare,” said Betty Monkman, a White House curator for more than three decades who helped supervise the changeover in 2001, when Bill Clinton was moving out and George W. Bush was coming in. “The housekeeper and maids are all getting the clothes in the closet and cosmetics and toiletries in the bathrooms, the kitchen staff is preparing the food. There is a lot going on.” The actual transition didn’t happen until the transfer of power officially kicks in, at noon on inauguration day. Shortly after 12:00pm two moving trucks entered the driveway that circles the South Lawn. One carried the new president’s belongings and the other one transported the possessions of the departing chief executive. “It’s an emotional time,” said Anita McBride, who served as chief of staff to Laura Bush, including during the 2009 handoff to the Obamas. Traditionally on the morning of the inauguration, the departing president hosts his successor for tea. Then the butlers, maids, cooks, groundskeepers and other White

JANUARY 26, 2017 | The Jewish Home

House residence staff gather in the East Room to bid farewell to the departing family. “It can be teary,” McBride said. Many are predicting that Donald Trump will spend far less time at the White House than the average president since his wife Melania will remain in New York with their son Barron in their Trump Tower penthouse so that he can finish the school year in Manhattan.

BDS, Hamas and The Women’s March A leading organizer of The Women’s March over the weekend was Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. This group was founded shortly after 9/11 to lament “the heightened sense of fear and the acts of blatant discrimination aimed at [the Muslim] community” in America. Sarsour and her organization

played a central role in pressuring the New York Police Department to terminate its secret surveillance of the many Muslim groups and mosques suspected of promoting jihadism. An outspoken critic of Israel, Sarsour avidly supports the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement. She favors a one-state solution where an Arab majority and a Jewish minority would live together within the borders of a single country. And she made clear her opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state when she tweeted in October 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism.” In 2004, Sarsour acknowledg-ed that a friend of hers as well as a cousin were both serving long sentences in Israeli jails because of their efforts to recruit jihadists to murder Jews. Moreover, she revealed that her brother-in-law was serving a 12-year prison term because of his affiliation with Hamas. In May 2012, Sarsour tweeted that the “underwear bomber,” an Al-Qaeda operative who in 2009 had tried to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet in midflight, was actually a CIA agent participating in America’s “war on Islam.”  In August of 2015, Sarsour spoke out in support of the incarcerated Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Muhammad Allan, a known recruiter of suicide bombers. In November 2012, in Baltimore, Sarsour spoke at a Muslim Public Affairs Council conference. The title of her speech? “Facing Race: Xenophobic Hate Crimes.” This is the same Council that views Hezbollah as “a liberation movement” that is “fighting for freedom.” Sarsour’s husband, Maher Judeh, mourned the 1998 death of the Hamas “master terrorists” Adel and Imad Awadallah; he praised the heroism of a Palestinian Authority police officer who had carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Israel; he has expressed support for the terrorist organization Fatah; and he has lauded the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary organization. Despite her and her husband’s radical views, in 2011, the Obama Administration honored Sarsour as a “champion of change.” Not surprisingly, Sarsour visited the White House on at least seven different occasions during Obama’s tenure. According to CounterJihad.com, Sarsour has attended and spoken at numerous rallies sponsored by Al-Awda, a group that views Israel as a terrorist, genocidal state whose very creation was a “catastrophe” for Arab peoples. Sarsour has also solicited donations for the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. Over the years, Sarsour’s activism has extended also to racial matters within the United States. For instance, during

the Trayvon Martin incident, Sarsour penned an article titled, “My Hijab Is My Hoodie” and declared herself “among the millions mourning the killing of Trayvon.” “Blacks in America continue to face racism on a daily basis,” she wrote, “from the workplace to interactions with

law enforcement.” Sarsour is, as the New York Times puts it, “deeply involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.” “I have committed myself wholeheartedly to #BlackLivesMatter,” she said. Sarsour has lauded Sharia law, tweeting against credit card interest payments. She has been the featured speaker at many radical events including the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ [CAIR’s] San Francisco chapter; a fundraising dinner sponsored by Islamic Relief USA, whose parent group has provided financial aid to Hamas; the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front group that promotes Sharia Law and Islamic supremacism;  an event sponsored by a chapter of the Muslim Students Association, whose national umbrella group is an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood; the annual conference of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), where she lauded Muslims who “unequivocally support” the Hamas-inspired BDS campaign; and the annual (jointly held) convention of the Muslim American Society (whose agendas are dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood) and the Islamic Circle of North America.  Recently, a photo circulated of Sarsour posing at a large Muslim convention in Chicago with Salah Sarsour (no relation), a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and former Hamas operative who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s because of his alleged work for the terrorist group. Ironically, the leader of the Women’s March is a proponent of Sharia law, terrorism and radical Islam. Sharia law is not known for championing women’s rights. In America, though, people can speak their minds. Want to protest the president in the U.S.? No problem. Try to do that in Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Yemen, countries that govern by Sharia law, and your head – and hijab – will soon roll.


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