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The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Remember the Israel you grew up with?

We’re bringing it back on Sunday, January 10

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Duo Re’im Live in Concert

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“Re’im” in Hebrew means friends; Benny Rosenbaum and Yisrael Gottesdiener have been singing partners and friends since the day they met in the IDF in 1967. They performed in the rabbinical army choir and went on to become one of Israel’s top entertainment groups, known all over the world. Their show is a pure delight that one must see and experience!

For Tickets: 310.278.1911 or bethjacob.org/duoreim Tickets also on sale at the door.

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

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

JEWISH THOUGHT The Fruit Peel Syndrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Proactive Parenting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

FEATURE

A Centuries-Old Schism Deepens Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia Clash. . . . . . . . . . 20

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Coffee Trivia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

LIFESTYLES Amulets, Accusations & Controversy: The Devastating Polemic Between Rabbi Yaakov Emden And Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz. . . . . . . . . 24 Travel Guide: Winnipeg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Recipe Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

NEWS National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

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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JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, In last week’s Parsha we read how Moshe Rabeinu told the Yidden, pakod pakaditi. Indeed, Hashem had remembered their plight and had sent Moshe to lead them out of Egypt. They believed him, anticipating their long awaited redemption. What follows is a mixture of, “Why do bad things happen? Can’t we just have it all now?” Although the Yidden were told they were leaving, their situation actually worsened and was then followed by the ten plagues. The process of redemption might have started but it was multi-faceted. They were sent to Egypt for a purpose. This included the specifics of how they would ultimately leave. The Arizal Hakadosh writes that the generation preceding the coming of Moshiach have the same souls as our ancestors in Mitzrayim. And today, we are experiencing the above emotions. Jews throughout the generations imparted to their children that, although scattered throughout the world, the creator would gather us m’arba kanfos ha’aretz, from across the globe, ushering in a time of world peace. No more wars, hunger or jealousy. Forever. We’ve been told that our generation is that generation. We will be the ones to experience it. Yet much of what we see doesn’t match up. The security situation in Israel seems to be worse than ever, we now have a suicidal enemy without and within. And although miracles abound, they seem to be superfluous. Who needs Russia to be reigning in Hezbollah, rebels to weaken the Assad regime, Saudi

Arabia to tame Iran… when we are expecting no less than the complete redemption! But there’s a process, a G-dly plan, and everything we see is happening for a purpose. Perhaps, like Moshe, we need to question Hashem, stating that we would gladly forego the great miracles, let’s just get out now. Regardless, we need to recognize the hand of G-d in all that we’re experiencing, this is indeed the lead up to the Messianic times. This might be the only belief still needing pure faith. Belief in a creator, afterlife and spirituality have become part of a rational belief system, not necessarily requiring us to tap into our old fashioned yidishe emunah. But, the belief in Moshiach combines physical reality with spiritual revelation. The present and the future. And for this we need faith. The prophets of old have prophesied such a time will come and we believe in their words. It’s that simple. May we have a liberating Shabbos,

Shalom P.S. A big thank you to our readers and advertisers for your support in helping us constantly improve the paper. This issue celebrates the third anniversary of the Jewish Home. While we are very proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far, there are still endless possibilities! Becoming a weekly, doubling/tripling the content etc. If you are one of our many readers who enjoy the paper, please consider supporting our work by listing your business, service or organization. Together we can bring the Jewish Home to places we never thought possible. Thank you!

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


JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Rabbi Yosef Kushner Leads Yarchei Kallah at LINK Kollel in LA The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles hosted a very successful three day Yarchei Kallah on the subject of “Commerce on Shabbos” with Rabbi Yosef Kushner of Lakewood, New Jersey. Rabbi Kushner wrote the ground-breaking book on the subject and is a member of Lakewood’s Bais Vaad and Bais Hora’ah (the latter headed by his esteemed father-in-law, the renowned Posek, HaRav Shlomo Miller.) Rabbi Kushner was flush off a very popular Yarchei Kallah that he had conducted in New Jersey, sponsored by BMG. The LINK Yarchei Kallah took place over the Legal Holiday of January 1st and continued through Shabbos and Sunday. Both the Friday and Sunday sessions were proceeded by a complimentary breakfast and directed chavrusa learning of the relevant sugyos, staffed by the Avreichim of the Kollel. This was followed by one shiur on Friday morning and two shiurim on Sunday by Rabbi Kushner, which in turn were followed by lengthy question and answer sessions which energized his audience further. Nearly 50 people attended each of the days. Rabbi Kushner’s affable manner and his quick wit buttressed

his obvious mastery of the subject. All the shiurim were delivered with lucidity and clarity. The Friday shiur dealt with the issues involving employing Gentiles on Shabbos. He differentiated between a per diem (hourly) worker versus a contractor who get paid to get the job done regardless of the time spent. The former cannot do any melachah for a Jew even if they wish to do it on their own time or at their home (e.g. a secretary who wants to take home work to do on Shabbos). Even a cleaning lady who is doing permissible work in a Jewish home on Shabbos could not be asked to do a melachah if it’s related to her normal weekday tasks (or even if she does it on her own volition). A contractor, by contrast (such as a dry cleaner, a car repair shop, the post office) , can do melachah for a Jew on Shabbos if the Jew doesn’t specifically request that it be done on Shabbos (e.g. there was enough time for it to be done before or after Shabbos). He also spoke about a Jew who owns an apartment or commercial office building or a nursing home, and employs a Gentile manager or superintendent. When the

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tenants or residents need repairs or other melachos done for them on Shabbos, this can create problems since the manager is employed by the Jewish owner. Rabbi Kushner advised that the tenants and residents specifically be empowered in their rental agreements to give orders to the manager directly so that the manager is really working for them as well. Over Shabbos, Rabbi Kushner gave two Halacha shiurim, where he spoke about how to pay a Gentile on Shabbos for permissible work and how to “hire” a worker in a permissible fashion. He also discussed the leniency to ask a Gentile to do a permissible task that inevitably entails a Shabbos violation (p’sik raisha) and the leniency to ask a Gentile to do an act of hachanah (preparation for after Shabbos) for a Jew as long as it is not clearly evident that it is so (e.g. washing dishes after Shabbos lunch). He also gave a shiur on some of the deeper hashkafic aspects of menuchah on Shabbos (spiritual rest), including one’s inner-peace (menuchas hanefesh). On Sunday, the first shiur centered on earning money on Shabbos (such as a caterer, chazzan, Baal Korei, youth group leader in shul, babysitter). He cautioned that it was not so simple to lump this to-

gether with their weekday work (havla’ah) or to say they were being paid for their preparation time before Shabbos (s’char batalah) and one must consult with a Rav to do this in a permissible manner (if that is indeed possible). He also discussed contracts that first take effect on Shabbos (e.g. rental agreements) and the halachic issues involved. In the second shiur on profiting from Shabbos sales, he weighed in on gaining from “passive” business such as vending machines and internet websites (including E-bay auctions that conclude on Shabbos.) He generally permitted these as long as the target audience was primarily Gentile. He did stress that ideally, a Jew should not operate such platforms on Shabbos if it would entail thinking on Shabbos about his business. In a final shiur delivered later that day to the community Rabbonim, organized by the Rabbinical Council of California, he spoke on the many halachic issues that arise when a Jew owns a nursing home that obviously employs many workers on Shabbos. Recordings of all the shiurim are available by e-mailing the LINK office, office@linkla.org.

It felt like I had tried every segulah out there. I recited Shir Hashirim, davened at the kever of Reb Yonosan ben Uziel several times, promised tzedakah and even traveled to a kever in a dangerous Arab neighborhood that was said to be propitious for shidduchim, but I was still not engaged. I was ready to give up, but decided to give it one last try. This last time, I wanted to do something different– something so powerful that would bring my yeshuah aer so many years of fruitless trying.

I was ready to give up, but decided to give it one last try.

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Talk Israel App Launches with Up-To-Date News On December 1st, the Israeli-American Council (IAC) announced the launch of a new service called Talk Israel. Talk Israel is an app which will speed the way that news and events is shared. The mobile application will aggregate news from dozens of online sources and share them with users. Registered users can note their interests and Talk Israel will match their interests with relevant bulletins. Israelis, Jews and other Israeli advocates can now broaden their knowledge base and this will impact the ease of blogging and sharing information. More than a dozen pro-Israel organizations have already begun partnering with Talk Israel to include their content on the Talk Israel app and more are expect-

over time what type of pro-Israel content appeals to each individual user, using that understanding to deliver the stories that they are most likely to share,” said Dr. Give’on. Talk Israel aggregates news releases from dozens of sources using Rich Site

Summary (RSS) feeds and pro-Israel organizations’ social media channels. Content is analyzed and broken down into approximately 50 components, including its subject matter, tone, and form. The system measures users’ level of engagement with each piece of content –

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ed to sign on in the coming months. “Talk Israel is a platform for collaboration designed to bring the entire pro-Israel community together,” explained Adam Milstein, President of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, and the National Chairman of the IAC, which provided the funding and staff support for bringing Talk Israel to the market. “To put it simply, this tool will allow the pro-Israel community to advocate on social media faster and smarter.” Created as a non-profit initiative by the Israeli-American Council, Talk Israel was developed by Dr. Amir Give’on, a former NASA-JPL scientist, Daphna Wegner, a former DreamWorks Animation programmer, and Gadi Rouache, an award-winning creative director. “Talk Israel harnesses the extraordinary power of technology to determine

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Thriving in Uncertain Times: Evening of Inspiration Yehudis Litvak Haman is called “tzorer hayehudim.” The word “tzorer,” enemy, is related to the Hebrew word for “bundle.” The purpose of persecution is to bundle us together, to

emphasized that women’s prayers are especially powerful. There are two types of prayer: scheduled prayers, when we use a siddur, and

would make a positive impression on everyone around us. “This is a goal attainable for everybody,” Rabbi Shapiro said. In conclusion, Rabbi Shapiro quot-

unite us. “Hashem wants our unity,” said Rabbi Shapiro. Rabbi Shapiro asked what we can learn from the fact that it is specifically knives that are used as weapons in the latest terror attacks. He explained that the first time the Torah uses the Hebrew word for “knife,” Targum Onkelos translates this word as “prayer.” “I don’t know why something happens,” said Rabbi Shapiro, “but every time we hear of another stabbing we can ask ourselves, how is our tefillah?” He

prayer the rest of the time which is “the way we walk, talk, interact in business,” noted Rabbi Shapiro. No matter where we are and what we do, other nations are watching us, trying to find our faults. The kedoshim in Eretz Yisrael died al kiddush Hashem. Rabbi Shapiro asked his audience, “Are we living al kiddush Hashem?” He told a number of stories about gedolim who went out of their way to treat others with kindness and care and encouraged everyone to live their lives in a way that

ed the Rizhiner Rebbe who interpreted a statement from the Zohar to mean, “Yes, I can be like Hashem.” Rabbi Shapiro emphasized that there is something each and every one of us can do in response to the difficult situation in Eretz Yisrael – to improve our tefillos and to create kiddush Hashem wherever we are, and G-d willing, our sincere efforts could bring an end to all suffering.

Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon

On December 21st, hundreds of men and women attended the evening of inspiration held at Moshe Ganz Hall, sponsored in memory of Erika Klein. The theme of the evening was Thriving in Uncertain Times. After the recitation of Tehillim, Rabbi Gershon Bess spoke about the importance of sharing in the suffering of our fellow Jews and introduced the guest speaker, Rabbi Ephraim Eliyahu Shapiro, Rav of Shaaray Tefilah of North Miami Beach, Florida. Rabbi Shapiro began with a brief summary of the tragedies that took place in Eretz Yisrael over the past 18 months. He mentioned that the kidnapping of the three teenagers in June 2014, led to the largest display of unity since creation of the world. He spoke about the day when “the world was forever changed in seven minutes” by the Har Nof massacre last November, which began the pattern of terrorists using knives in a brutal manner. Quoting Rabbi Efraim Waxman, Rabbi Shapiro gave an interpretation of Chazal’s statement that no one knows where Moshe Rabbeinu is buried. In every generation there are nations that want to destroy das Moshe, some through assimilation and intermarriage, while others attempt to destroy the Jewish people physically. But das Moshe can never be buried. Throughout history, the Jewish people displayed tremendous resilience. Our enemies will never get rid of us.

YIHP Kollel Boker: 16 Years and Going Strong Rabbi Arye D. Gordon It is early morning in Los Angeles. The sun has not risen yet and there is a chill in the air. A dedicated and determined group move about getting dressed and preparing to start a new day in the same manner they have done over the last 16 years. It is hard to imagine that it is already 16 years! Michael Kest, Founder of the Kollel, enthusiastically described how the Kollel came about. “I had recently returned from Yisroel and was looking to formalize a learning schedule for myself. I had stopped at Shaar Yoshuv and met with a friend of mine, Benny Stein z”l, and he told me of the Kollel Boker he had started. I liked the idea, so when I returned to Los Angeles I met with Rabbi Krause, he connected me with Rabbi Altusky and so it began.” All it takes is desire and fortitude and one can initiate a world of learning. And Rabbi Altusky? A marbitz torah for many years as a Rebbe in the Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles, he took excitedly to the task

Clockwise from Left, Jerry Cohen, Shalom Katz, Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Yitzchok Altusky, Michael Boldt, David Shadowicz, Itzhak Panitz, Greg Meyer, Yaakov Schuster, Gershon Spiegel and Kollel Founder Michael Kest

of this early morning learning as an addition to a full and busy schedule, without a moment’s hesitation.

Jerry Cohen, a prominent Los Angeles attorney and longtime member of the Kollel, wanted me to know about the Rosh

Kollel. “Rabbi Altusky is always there before any of us. We never have to wait for him. His behavior inspires us to emulate him and be there on time. And his teaching. He has clarity of thought, tremendous patience, and an uncanny ability to make it all understandable. He is the fuel that keeps us going.” As for the members of the Kollel boker, ask Rabbi Altusky and he will tell you. ”They are a dedicated and sincere group and among them are those looking to advance their level of Torah learning while others are reconnecting to their yeshiva learning days. It is a privilege and pleasure to part of this endeavor. ” So on the second night of Chanukah 5776, the Kollel Boker gathered to celebrate another year of learning. Words of Torah, inspiration, camaraderie and achdus were expressed by Rabbi Altusky, Hymie Barber, Dr. Arnie Ross and Rabbi Krause.

Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The New West Valley Eruv Expands Possibilities for an Observant Jewish Community Ruth Judah On December 16th, the West Valley Eruv was finally completed. Attendees at the opening included Rabbi Shlomo Lalezarian, Rabbi Meyer May of the Simon Weisenthal Center and Councilmember Paul Koretz. MC Ira Leibowitz introduced Rabbi Moshe Heinemann who flew into town from Baltimore to give his blessing on the project. An eruvin specialist, Rabbi Heinemann carefully examined the eruv and confirmed it was kosher and ready for use saying, “Mazel Tov on your very own Eruv which is built according to halacha and the minhag Yisroel dating back to the days of Europe.” The ceremony was also attended by a vibrant gathering of more than 200 who came to the Eretz Cultural Center where they acknowledged the generosity and support for the Eruv campaign that came from Mr. Alon and Mrs. Rosana Miller. The completion of the eruv involved many community leaders who worked to-

gether for the last six years, including Rabbi Dovid Horwitz Rav of Makor HaChaim. Rabbi Horwitz reminisced that it was back in 2012 that a key issue was solved when the Millers graciously agreed to cover the cost of the eruv, saying their support was all encompassing, “Whatever it costs, we’ll be there. And we’ll take the mitzvah as well!” They were as good as their word and Mrs. Miller became the secretary and treasurer of the West Valley Eruv Society. Rabbi Horwitz explained that, “She was undoubtedly the steam engine that drove all the efforts, from plans, to city lobbying, to permits and then with legal issues. Rabbi Horwitz acknowledged the dedication of so many participants in the creation of the eruv and said that Rabbi Eidlitz, the Rav HaMacshir of the East Valley Eruv, was tangential in recreating the eruv map that was smaller than the original plan and far more realistic. He explained that,

Rabbis Eidlitz, Lalezarian and Heinemann in the field

“Rabbi Eidlitz is a master of practicality and halacha and was already instrumental in the building of the East Valley Eruv so he had an understanding of the process and was able to work productively with Rabbi Shlomo Lalezarian who had conceived the original layout for the eruv. Still, it wasn’t so easy. Every city has unique needs when erecting an eruv and costs and complications are part of the process.” For 25 years the eruv had been in the works, yet the original layout was for the eruv to spread across a vast area. Given the proliferation of trees and foliage in the neighborhoods to the west of the 405, add to this windy streets that are endemic to the area but are treacherous to a reliable eruv structure, add the high cost of securing permits and approvals and it is clear why the plans were stalled for so long. The complexity of running an eruv was complicated by other elements including Cal Trans and government and city officials who required a laborious process in their journey to approve permits. Attorneys were required and that led to a higher

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cost. Ultimately, as with the best plans in life, the effort paid off and Encino and Tarzana now have a kosher eruv that covers more than 15 square miles and includes the homes of hundreds of families and approximately 15 shuls. This is timely as Tarzana and Encino neighborhoods are growing with a younger generation of shomer Shabbat families who are shaping the communities. Now, many streets have become alive on Shabbat. Rabbi Horwitz admitted he has been receiving an increasing number of calls from families in the city and even from out of state, who are considering a move to the West Valley where they can afford a larger home and can enjoy the easier lifestyle with lower cost schooling, a variety of kosher stores and butchers, more greenery and less of the city hubbub. There is something relaxing about raising children in this countrified space. For more information about the West Valley Community and Eruv please call 818.975.0443 or email info@westvalleyeruvsociety.org

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Emunah Los Angeles Holds Circle of Life Benefit Dinner The Los Angeles Region of Emunah of America held its Gala Benefit Dinner at the Sephardic Temple on December 19th, drawing a large crowd who came in support of the honorees and to recognize of the accomplishments of the Emunah organization. The evening served as an opportunity to pay tribute to Maureen and Dr. Larry Eisenberg, Guests of Honor, and Caroline Weiss and Ariela Weintraub, Young Leadership Awardees. Mareen and Dr. Larry Eisenberg have staunchly supported the award-winning Emunah Torah and Arts High School in Jerusalem, a unique high school which combines a Jewish curriculum with studies in the creative arts. The Eisenbergs dedicated the Lillian Grossman Science Laboratory in the high school and are now establishing

a new performing arts center to enrich the creative and learning experience for the students. Rabbi Elazar Muskin, Rabbi of the Young Israel of Century City, presented the couple with the award. Caroline Weiss and Ariel Weintraub were recognized for their dedication to the children who live at Bet Elazraki children’s home, having spent their summers volunteering with the children. A special guest speaker, Mali, Z., inspired the guests with her personal story. She shared how she came to live at Bet Elazraki Children’s Home with her sister and her experience growing up there. “I graduated the children’s home strong and resilient, with a high school diploma and with a full toolbox for my future,” she said. “Today I have a big family – the Emunah

Boaz & Rebeca Kohn, Maureen & Dr. Larry Eisenberg, Harry Grossman, Shlomo Eisenberg, Elisheva Eisenberg

family.” Emunah maintains a network of over 250 social welfare and educational programs throughout Israel, caring for the whole circle of life, from infants to seniors. According to Karen Spitalnick, Emunah National President, “All Emunah projects share a common theme: instilling Jewish values with the utmost compassion and an excellent level of care, run by a first

rate staff of professionals. The dinner celebrates a year of accomplishments for Emunah, with a sense of gratification that thousands of children have been given a new chance for a better life; families who have relied on Emunah’s social services have been helped; and lonely seniors have been comforted. These efforts are particularly important during last few months which have been very difficult for the Israeli people,” she added.

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TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Jewish Couple Successfully Climbs Mount Kilimanjaro for Israeli Charity, Shalva In many ways Danny and Leah Hill are a typical middle-aged couple. Married with three daughters and four young grandchildren, they live in the Pico/Robertson neighborhood and are active members of the LINK Kollel and Shul. In other ways, both Mr. and Mrs. Hill are extraordinary, both in the way they have parented their special needs daughter who was born prematurely, and in the way they have raised funds for schools and organizations that help families like themselves. Over the years, and despite numerous challenges, the vitality of the Hills has increased rather than decreased. In late September, during the yomtovim, Danny learned of a hiking challenge unlike any other. An international group was set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Climbing Kilimanjaro had been an elusive goal for Danny for more than 15 years. The mountain is the highest in Africa, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and the largest dormant volcano in the world. The climb involves more vertical gain than any other mountain, “Kili” is only 200 miles from the equator yet topped with glaciers, and the climber passes through six ecosystems from base to summit, including rainforest, alpine desert and arctic terrain. The trek was a fundraiser for Shalva, the Israeli Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children. The organization provides highly-needed free services in Israel for more than 600 kids each year, from infancy to young adulthood. They provide respite care, therapies, social programming and more. Their need for funds is especially acute as they move from a 20,000 foot facility to one that is ten times the size. They will go from serving hundreds to thousands. This was a cause very close to the heart for Danny, and he realized the climb would truly represent a once in a lifetime opportunity: a kosher and shomer Shabbos group of like-minded Jews, the Shabbos Project at 13,000 feet, and an Israeli institution devoted to special needs. Most astonishing of all, Danny’s wife opted to accompany him. “The fact that my wife would commit to this climb made it so much richer and more meaningful. She had always responded to my talk of Kilimanjaro with a teasing comment: you’ll go with your next wife. Leah has vertigo, a fear of heights, had never been in a sleeping bag or tent or at high altitude in her life, and doesn’t exercise. And yet, upon hearing me on the phone registering, she said, “‘Me, too!’”

In October the Hills flew to Israel, then Ethiopia and then into Arusha, Tanzania. There they joined 25 other Jewish climbers, 4 trek leaders, a Scottish Doctor and 103 Tanzanian guides, porters and cooks. The goal? The glaciers and crater that crown 19,341 foot Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Kilimanjaro. Now back home, the Hills reminisced about the trip in its entirety. “It was intensely physically and mentally challenging. It was both a spiritual and an emotional experience. It was definitely more difficult – and steeper! – than we’d expected.” Although Danny has experience climbing and used to exercise frequently, this was without doubt the hardest thing he’d ever done. “We signed up unbelievably late; in fact, registration was closed. Many of the participants had spent 6-12 months preparing: fundraising, training and getting their equipment. Unfortunately, we had just three weeks which included lots of yomtovim. It was a lot of pressure to try to pull things together, but I didn’t know if I’d ever have another opportunity like this and I wasn’t about to pass it up. We got in

a few long practice hikes, did some fundraising, and borrowed or rented much of the equipment.” “This trip came a week before my father’s 29th yahrzeit. I’m 57, the same age as my father when he was hit with an aggressive cancer that had him in the hospital for lengthy stays for years. I thought about his fight through such a terrible disease without any support network. He was both stoic and heroic. When I felt worn out, I’d think about how mine was an exciting, goal-oriented journey I’d voluntarily undertaken, in contrast to his which was forced upon him. The trip was over the weekend of The Shabbos Project and this was another exciting dimension. There was a daily minyan, and each afternoon we had a shiur in Chumash with Rashi. One of the climbers, a rabbi from London, took charge of eruv construction (at 13,000 feet!) and kashrut. A London lawyer was a professional chazzan. Between the two of them and the enthusiastic participation of everyone else, the Shabbos Project became a successful and deeply memorable experience, full of song, spirit and ruchnius. For some of the

climbers this was their first ever kosher Shabbos. They’ll undoubtedly remember it for a long time, and hopefully incorporate some of what they experienced into their own lives. After days of hiking an average of 8 hours each, the group set out at midnight on the 8th day, bundled up in multiple layers of clothing to protect against expected temperatures as low as -20 degrees, for the final seven hour trek to summit, Uhuru Peak. Following a gorgeous sunrise, the participants summited in staggered knots of climbers in the early morning. The weather was surprisingly good, and a clear blue sky permitted magnificent views of the mountaintop glaciers, the volcanic crater, and the vast countryside far, far below. “We were all a bit loopy from the altitude, and so elated that even the appearance at the summit of some hostile and aggressive Palestinians did nothing to dampen our spirits. The chances of such an encounter on a mountain that takes days to climb and is twice the size of London at its base are infinitesimally small. Why Hashem chooses to orchestrate things as he does is such a mystery, although I’m pretty sure meeting these antagonistic Palestinians this divine location was intended as some kind of learning experience.” “After the trip we visited Shalva in Israel. What a great place. It was gratifying to see how the $300,000 that we’d raised was going to be put to use. Shalva has numerous wonderful programs, included extensive respite care for families. We thought about what our lives would’ve been like if there’d been a Shalva in Los Angeles when our daughter was younger.” Danny concluded with speculation about the future: “I’ve climbed Mount Whitney to raise money for Yeshivat Ohr Eliyahu and I participated in a five day trek though the Grand Canyon to support The Friendship Circle. This was the most ambitious undertaking yet. What’s next? If Hashem gives me the strength and my wife approves or better yet, joins me again, perhaps an extensive kayaking trip on one of the world’s great rivers for another Jewish cause. There are so many that are worthwhile.” To contribute to climb4Shalva please visit http://www.climb4shalva.org/view_ profile.php?id=1440. Donations can be made at American Friends of Shalva, PO Box 7008 Beverly Hills CA 90212-7008. You can also make a contribution over the phone at: 212-725-0900.

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Advertorial TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

VitalOne Defies the Odds, Saving Vacationer’s life with Emergency Medevac Shoshana Bernstein

Professionalism, medical expertise and timeliness were all in high gear this past weekend as VitalOne defied the odds and executed a politically and logistically complicated emergency Medevac from Havana, Cuba to Miami. It is safe to say that when Mrs. X left Israel for her much anticipated family getaway in Cuba she never envisioned returning by way of an elaborate airborne ICU taking up the entire first class cabin of El Al airlines. The 70 year old woman’s vacation took an unexpected and potentially deadly turn when she collapsed Thursday morning in the lobby of her Cuban hotel. The victim of a stroke, she was rushed to Cuba’s severely substandard hospital where it was determined that she had suffered an intracranial hemorrhage. “I got the call Friday morning,” explained Isaac Leider, dubbed Rabbi 911™ for his world-renowned success in dealing with air medical transports.” The logistics for the 60 minute flight from Havana to Miami are always complicated. This time the complications were tenfold.” Due to the holiday weekend, there was no one available to sign off on the necessary permits which would allow VitalOne to land an ICU jet in Cuba. Furthermore, assuming the Cuban airport handler could be reached and the permits secured, there were no beds available at any tertiary care (top medical) facility in Miami. Without an ICU bed assignment, the medical parole visa would not be approved. No challenge is too great for the VitalOne team. They began reaching out to their high level contacts, amongst them a ‘black card carrying’ philanthropist, who requested anonymity. With just one call to the CEO of Baptist Hospital in Miami, a bed was procured. But the challenges kept coming. For inexplicable reasons, Cuban immigration officials put a 24 hour hold on granting permission for the VitalOne jet to land and pick up the patient. Isaac contacted the Israeli Foreign Ministry Situation Room but needed someone in the United States with the ability to secure the permit to land. Enter Michael Wildes, Esq.; a well-known immigration attorney and former federal prosecutor. “I’ve worked with Isaac Leider on

many occasions. When I see Rabbi 911™ on my caller ID, I know it is a matter of life or death,” explained Wildes. “VitalOne was facing a bureaucratic glitch and with no one available to countermand this order, there was a good chance the patient would not live.” Wildes, former mayor of Englewood, New Jersey and a 23 year veteran of Hatzalah, spent the next several hours working the phones, along with Isaac, to save the life of this Jewish woman. A board member of NORPAC (a political action committee working to improve Unites States and Israel relations) he

reached out to Dr. Ben Chouake, the President of the organization, who in turn contacted Senator Menendez’ Chief of Staff. Wildes credits Leider, who he dubs ‘an angel’, with doing a great job of smoothing the way, arranging for an available bed, collecting the proof needed for a medical parole visa, verifying that the patient would not become a medical charge in the Unites States and a burden to the taxpayers (traveler’s insurance is covering 100%), and securing the written assurances that there was no other medically mandated option to save

this woman’s life. The situations was further complicated since the patient is Israeli, and Israel has no diplomatic relationship with Cuba. Wildes reached out to United States Congressman Ed Royce of California who serves as the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman Royce jumped into action; personally making calls to various State Department officials to help secure the permits. “This was a truly heartwarming instance of partisan efforts. These are busy politicians who stepped in and used their time and contacts to affect a positive outcome. Everyone appreciated the fact that we were Observant Jews, nonetheless on the phones on Shabbos, committed to saving a life. VitalOne leads by example and I tip my hat to everyone who helped make this Medevac possible.” By Shabbos morning, permission was granted and the ICU jet landed in Cuba with a medical team and all the equipment necessary to safely fly the patient, at sea level, to Miami. Seventy-two hours later, thanks to life-saving surgical intervention, VitalOne was once again on the scene, flying the patient via air ambulance to Newark Airport where they had turned the entire first class cabin of an El Al flight into a completely retrofitted airborne ICU. VitalOne was able to repatriate the patient where she will receive further care from Professor Zvi Ram at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center. Thanks to VitalOne’s experience, they were able, with G-d’s help and the dedicated assistance of the various people involved, to get this patient the emergency medical care she needed, all at no cost to the family; VitalOne procured insurance coverage for everything. Surely this proves, once again, how fitting is the name VitalOne. The organization is considered the number one choice of doctors around the world, when vital air transport is needed to save a life. Author’s note: VitalOne maintains the importance of choosing your vacation spot with a potential medical crisis in mind. At the very least, make sure your insurance provides for medical transport and/or purchase additional insurance when you book your flight. You never know what could happen.


TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

TEAM Shabbos Unites Shuls and Communities to Increase Understanding of End-of-Life Decisions The conversation has begun. On Shabbos Parshas Vayechi, December 26th, more than 300 shuls and communities in 135 cities nationwide joined the Traditional End-of-life Awareness Movement (TEAM). A project of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha (NASCK), under the leadership of Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, this initiative helped raise awareness throughout our community about the Torah’s perspective on end-of-life matters. In shuls around the country, beginning the preceding week and throughout the Shabbos, Rabbis dedicated their sermons, lectures and programs to the discussion. Some of the topics that were addressed included the inherent sanctity of life, the importance of making proper medical decisions, choosing traditional Jewish burial practices and making wills in accordance with Halacha. The Torah perspective on life is not easy to talk about. As such, many of these overriding obligations and far-reaching issues are infrequently mentioned.

“Due to a lack of awareness about the inherent sanctity of every moment of life,” said Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, “many people make end-of-life decisions that are contrary to Torah values. The goal of TEAM Shabbos was to open the discussion about ‘Respecting Life - Here and Hereafter’ in a unified national movement to facilitate the necessary awareness about these issues.” The idea to dedicate Parshas Vayechi to the discussion of k’vurah k’Halacha began with the Vaad Harabonim of Queens during the 1980’s. Through initiating the TEAM Shabbos program, NASCK was able to expand this mission into a thriving national movement that includes more than 300 shuls. “The tzibbur welcomed the opportunity to learn about the importance of end-of-life directives and Halachic wills, as well as hear an overview of the Halachos of end-of-life situations and issues related to a bais hakvaros,” explained Rabbi Dovid Heber, Rav of K’hal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach Tzedek in Baltimore, Maryland. “Thanks to the efforts

of NASCK, these sensitive topics were addressed ‘l’maaseh uv’rov am’ in our shul, together with many other kehillos in our community and nationwide.” Many Torah-observant people do not fully understand the modern-day practical applications of end-of-life concepts such as pikuach nefesh and mes mitzvah. These important concepts require us to make proper medical decisions and assist our less-observant friends, relatives, acquaintances and co-workers in choosing traditional Jewish burial practices. In fact, a Rabbi from Maryland noted, “Given the level of knowledge of the people in my shul, I was very surprised how unfamiliar they were with the many important hashkafos and halachos that pertain to endof-life matters. I’m so grateful to TEAM Shabbos and NASCK for giving me the push and the opportunity to speak about it.” “The TEAM Shabbos movement was a national success with overwhelming positive feedback. Many of the rabbonim that pre-

B’nei Akiva of the Valley Celebrates Their Growing Community Avi and Dorit Rodan have been the emissaries of Bnei Akiva, based in Tarzana, since August 2013, when they arrived from Israel to establish a first-time presence in the San Fernando Valley. Now, two years later, Avi Rodan considers the changes he has seen in his neighborhoods. “When my wife and I came to Tarzana we knew it would be completely different from our work in Israel. The Tarzana community was so new when we came. It was just a small group of friends but the community has defined itself and there is new leadership and this is why more people have moved here. The Eruv has just opened and this helps the community grow in observance. New shuls have opened and we encourage this and we help whereever possible. “There is a unique flavor to the Israeli community in this neighborhood as well. We soon noticed that the adults spoke to us in Hebrew but their kids only used English. That was a shock. The kids are very different from Israeli kids. The cultural gap between parents and kids is great. I can relate as I had the same experience with my father. I lost my English which was my first language, because I was not using it. Language is a certain boundary.” Bnei Akiva has now created an entire program in the Valley. Rodan explained,

“We have opened several new programs and activities for kids and adults, and they take place at a variety of locations. In some ways, I feel a connection to Avraham Aveinu who dug wells in the desert. We have a spread of new programs and people are trusting us to bring a quality of Jewish activity that is interesting and supportive of Jewish values. California culture is different to Israeli culture. Here, you are very spontaneous and there is an open minded cultural identity which lends itself to new things. “I see that Israel has become a major

theme of American Jewish identity and people connect to Israel as part of their Jewishness. We want to strengthen two values with the events we hold; we want to know there are strong Jewish values and strong Zionists values. The two values crossover, more for some people than for others. When we train the madrichim, our counselors, we enthuse them with a connection to Israel. “Shabbat activities are necessary. The city has events in Hancock Park and Beverly Hills and we now have afternoon games and activities for elementary school

Tu B’shvat event

sented shiurim on end-of-life matters were surprised at the positive and accepting attitude that their communities responded with,” Rabbi Zohn explained. “The ‘It’s about time’ sentiment was an oft-repeated phrase this Shabbos.” So, what’s the next step for NASCK and TEAM Shabbos? “We will continue to keep the discussion open and to generate awareness surrounding the importance of the inherent sanctity of life and choosing traditional burial choices. We look forward to expanding the TEAM b’ezras Hashem next Parshas Vayechi,” explained Rabbi Zohn. “We encourage communities to join NASCK’s many ongoing programs dedicated to support, inform, educate and inspire all those involved with and all those seeking information about traditional Jewish burial, including programs promoting halachic living wills and EMES (Emergency Medical Education and Sign-up) cards.” For more information about the National Association of the Chevra Kadisha (NASCK) and the TEAM Shabbos, please visit nasck. org or call 718 847 6280.

kids at Shaarey Zedek shul in Valley Village and in Tarzana. We focus on bringing neighbors together. Last year, we held a 300 people event at Eretz Cultural Center where we had a group davening and we read tehillim for Israel, during the height of the recent terrorist attacks. That event was really meaningful. After Sukkot we held another event at Emek Hebrew Academy and community members came from all over the Valley. We also hold Erev Shira evenings which are sing-a-longs with Jewish and Israeli music. These take place at people’s home on a weekday and during the holidays. We also have a summer camp at Camp Moshava in Running Springs that is a big success. “Our style is to do something good for orthodox Jewish identity. We deal with a lot of community members who all have a different take and connection to their Jewishness. The students are from grades 1 – 8 and they come from a broad variety of schools but we enjoy firing them up to connect to the Jewish value system. “I was blessed to enjoy the birth of our youngest son last week. Here was a presentation of the difference in culture between Israel and America. At the birth of my eldest two children we were at an Israeli shomer Shabbat hospital, Shaarey Zedek, which was hectic but wonderful. Now, in Tarzana, we enjoyed a hospital that seemed to function more like a hotel. It was very calm and organized and there was room service. Tarzana has a lot to offer!”

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

We learn in this week’s parsha that Moshe Rabbeinu could not turn the Yam Suf into blood during makkas dam, for, as Rashi explains, “The Yam Suf protected Moshe when he was cast into it [as a baby]. For this reason, he did not bring about the makkos of dam or tzefardei’a, instead, they were done by Aharon” (Rashi, Shemos 7:19). Moshe was saved by those waters as an infant, when he was placed there in a basket. Out of gratitude to the water, he would not hit the water to set off the makkos of dam and tzefardei’a. The Gemara derives from this that a person should not cast stones into a well from which he drank. Likewise, Moshe Rabbeinu did not strike the ground to bring forth lice during the plague of kinnim, because, as Rashi explains, the dirt “protected him when he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand” (Rashi, Shemos 8:12). Although dirt and water have no feelings or bechirah, Moshe showed appreciation for the benefits he received from them. Because hakoras hatov is not about the benefactor, it’s about you, the recipient. Do you appreciate the daily goodness out there? Do you appreciate everyone who has helped you get where you are, or do you ignore the little people and the things from which you benefit? Our heart rates quicken as we learn with excitement of the punishments Hashem rained upon the evil Mitzrim, but, at the same time, there are lessons right under the surface for us to study and lead our lives by. Our world is plagued by people who treat others like peels. As long as they need them, they keep them well-protected and refrigerated. Once done with them, they throw them into the nearest garbage pail and seek out another fruit to peel and benefit from. We must recognize that people are not objects that you use to the maximum and then, when you think you have received everything you can, you trash them, forget about them, ignore their calls, don’t

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Living with the Times:

The Fruit Peel Syndrome say good Shabbos to them, and move on to the next person you can squeeze dry before eventually dumping them as well. It doesn’t matter if you are a rabbi or a baal habayis, a fundraiser or a person who just got engaged. Never think you’re finished with someone or don’t need them anymore. Always remember what they did for you when you needed them. If we are cognizant and notice everything that goes on around us, we are better people. Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t refrain from hitting the water and sand out of concern that he would, in some way, be hurting the water, an innate, inanimate object, but, rather, because he would be hurting himself. Though water has no feelings, Moshe knew that he does, so how could he possibly act disrespectfully to something that helped him? Bilam had no problem doing so when he hit his loyal donkey. At the time of

After much Justice Department and media hype, the jail sentence of Uri Lupoliansky, former mayor of Yerushalayim, was commuted. The founder of Yad Sarah, Israel’s largest medical equipment gemach, Lupoliansky is a hero to many. His selfless acts on behalf of all the residents of Israel had been called into question thanks to an alleged association with a corrupt land deal begun by his predecessor, Ehud Olmert. With the successful appeal, friends shared tales of the former mayor in his good old days. A friend of mine, Shlomo Kook, shared an article he wrote recalling the time Lupoliansky went to invite Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l to his son’s bar mitzvah. It was more out of a sense of courtesy and respect, for the senior posek was recuperating from serious surgery and was extremely weak. He had not left his home for some time and missed many family simchos.

SEE HOW MUCH CHESSED THE RIBBONO SHEL OLAM FILLS HIS WORLD WITH WHEREVER YOU ARE. creation, the animal was given the gift of speech so that it could berate Bilam for smiting the beast of burden. And what did the animal say? It gave Bilam mussar: “After all I’ve done for you, how dare you hit me!” An animal is a creature whose entire being was created to serve man, yet it has a right to complain when a person beats it. A person who presents himself as intelligent and close to G-d must behave with kindness and compassion to others, and to do so, he must be the type of person whose refined character is fashioned through appreciation of what others do for him. Not doing so earned Bilam the ire of his donkey and eternal derision. Last week, an all-too-rare instance occurred when a good man was exonerated.

When Lupoliansky departed, Rav Elyashiv informed his family and attendants that he would be going to the bar mitzvah celebration. “But how can you?” they argued. “The rebbe doesn’t go anywhere, and besides, Uri is not even expecting the rebbe to come.” Rav Elyashiv pointed to various devices in the room. “The bed is from Yad Sarah. The walker is from Yad Sarah. That monitor is from Yad Sarah. I have benefitted so much from them. I’m mechuyov in hakoras hatov to Reb Uri. How can I not go?” “But he benefited from you much more than you benefitted from him,” Rav Elyashiv’s relatives responded. “After all, because of your support, he became the mayor of Yerushalayim.”

Rav Elyashiv taught them a lesson. He said, “You’ll argue that he doesn’t need me to come. I agree that he’s mevater. But hakoras hatov isn’t remuneration, tashlumin, that you pay someone for a favor they did for you. Hakoras hatov is a never-ending obligation, because the Ribbono Shel Olam wants us to be people who always remember that everything is a gift. Hakoras hatov is an opportunity and a means of keeping our value system intact. It is not about him. It is about me.” Developing the middah of hakoras hatov is essential to our growth. It is so easy to take others for granted. Great people remember the little things. We are placed in this world to achieve greatness. It starts with the little things. Appreciate even what simple people do for you. Always be courteous and you will grow. It is not for nothing that if you look up the word appreciate in a thesaurus, you will see that included in its synonyms are gain, grow and rise. The posuk in Mishlei (27:21) speaks of the gauges used for precious metals. A refining pot is for silver and a furnace is for gold. And what of man? The posuk concludes, “And a man according to his praise.” Rav Elya Lopian zt”l explained that when a silversmith appraises the value of silver, he uses a refiner to see how pure it is. The measure of a man’s purity is seen in “mehalelo,” which literally means praise. The best indicator of a refined nature is a person’s ability to give thanks and praise. Rav Dardak, a Bnei Brak resident, was close with the Steipler Gaon zt”l. His son, Rav Yaakov lived in America and was helpful to the Steipler in various ways. One day, the son wrote a letter with a question pertaining to a shtickel Torah in the Steipler’s sefer, Kehillos Yaakov. Although the Steipler was old and no longer responding to letters, he toiled over his response to the young man, reviewing the questions and answering each one, adding another chiddush. When he was done, he gave the letter to the senior Rav Dardak to send to his son in America. A few days later, there was a knock at Rav Dardak’s door. It was the Steipler himself. “Did you already send the letter?” the Steipler asked breathlessly. “No, not yet,” the father answered. “Boruch Hashem. I rewrote it. Please use this one,” said the Steipler. The father accepted the paper and went to replace it in the envelope he had prepared to send to his son when he would find someone traveling to America. He compared the two letters and noted that they were the same length and appeared similar. Bewildered, he hurried to the Steipler’s home. “Yelamdeinu rabbeinu. Why was a new letter necessary if there were no


Living with In theNews Times The Week

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

changes?” The Steipler explained, “I don’t write letters anymore, as you know. I no longer have the strength or energy to respond to people in writing, but when your son wrote, I knew that I would make an exception. After all, I reasoned, how can I ignore someone who helped me so much? Where’s the yosher in that? So I sat down and wrote a letter, which I gave to you. “Then,” the Steipler continued, “a few days passed and I reconsidered. Should I have written out of a sense of duty? Out of obligation? No! The correct attitude should have been hakoras hatov, appreciation towards a person who helped me. So I felt like I had to rewrite the letter, allowing feelings of hakoras hatov to guide me. The content of the two letters is the same, but the second one is totally different from the first!” The recipient would likely not have discerned the difference between the two letters, but the Steipler was teaching that hakoras hatov is about us, our internal avodas hamiddos and spiritual balance. Perhaps we can understand why this lesson is taught in Parshas Va’eira, at the formative stage in which the family of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov becomes the Am Hashem. Rav Chaim Vital in Shaarei Kedushah (perek 1) famously writes that there is no Biblical mandate to have good middos, but proper middos are a prerequisite to receiving the Torah. It’s the hakdomah to the Torah. These parshiyos at the beginning of Sefer Shemos lead up to the parshiyos of kabbolas haTorah; A nation destined to receive the gift of Torah had to first develop proper middos. Throughout the story of the servitude in Mitzrayim, we see chapters that indicate this, including the nobility of spirit of the wives who endured oppressive days, but would lift the spirits of their husbands at night. We note the selflessness and sacrifice of the shotrim, who accepted beatings on behalf of other Jews. We study the chesed performed by the mother and sister of Moshe Rabbeinu, spiting Paroh to help newborns and their mothers. And as the makkos come, Moshe teaches another lesson. There was no one better to teach that lesson than he, the onov mikol odom, the most humble of all men, who understood that everything is a gift. It’s the ba’al ga’avah who refuses to recognize how beholden he is to those around him, for his arrogance precludes him from seeing the truth. A rosh yeshiva once noticed a married talmid waiting on a street-corner outside his yeshiva, clearly agitated. “Let me guess,” the rosh yeshiva said. “You’re waiting here for your wife to pick you up and she’s late.” The fellow nodded. “Exactly.” “You’re cold and hungry and just learned a full first seder and you don’t want to wait. You’re wondering why she can’t just be on time, right?” The yungerman blushed and admitted that, yes, those were his thoughts.

“Now, here is what I want you to do,” the rosh yeshiva said. “Until your wife comes, contemplate how much you owe her, how much hakoras hatov she deserves, how she married you and takes care of you, and how she raises your children and encourages you and respects you. Don’t think about anything else and you’ll see that when she comes, you will feel it and she will feel that you feel it!” Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l said many years ago that along with everything else, thankfulness is a segulah for good health and long life. Life is too short to be spent angry, insulted or resentful about perceived wrongs. Training yourself to see the chassodim all around opens one up to new avenues of happiness. Science is catching up to Rabbi Miller. This week, The New York Times reported: “Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the ‘science of gratitude,’ argues that it leads to a stronger immune system and lower blood pressure, as well as ‘more joy and pleasure.’” But don’t depend on scientists to arrive at proper hakoras hatov. The article continues: “Consider this, from a yoga instructor on CNN.com: ‘Cultivate your sense of gratitude by incorporating giving thanks into a personal morning ritual such as writing in a gratitude journal, repeating an affirmation or practicing a meditation. It could even be as simple as writing what you give thanks for on a sticky note and posting it on your mirror or computer. To help you establish a daily routine, create a ‘thankfulness’ reminder on your phone or computer to pop up every morning and prompt you. “The Harvard Mental Health Letter begins its list of gratitude interventions with the advice that you should send a thankyou letter as often as once a month, but all the other suggested exercises can be undertaken without human contact: ‘thank someone mentally,’ ‘keep a gratitude journal,’ ‘count your blessings,’ ‘meditate,’ and, for those who are so inclined, ‘pray.’” The columnist makes the point that it is “possible to achieve the recommended levels of gratitude without spending a penny or uttering a word. All you have to do is to generate, within yourself, the good feelings associated with gratitude, and then bask in its warm, comforting glow. If there is any loving involved in this, it is self-love.” Perhaps chochmah bagoyim taamin, but not middos. Even when they preach and teach about basic human values, it is not to enhance others, or the world at large, but rather to make yourself feel better. Hey, you want to feel good? You want to live long? The solution is simple: Have gratitude. Keep a journal. Write an entry and, voila, you become a grateful person and bask in the glow of gratitude. You can be a kofui tov and be grateful. Gratitude is merely something cuddly that selfish people can use to feel good about themselves. Gratefulness has nothing at all to do with hakoras hatov. Moshe Rabbeinu was engaged in a bat-

tle with Paroh, the ultimate kofui tov. The savior of Mitzrayim and its economy was Yosef, but the king claimed that he didn’t know who Yosef was, lest the memory obligate him to something (Shemos 1:8). The awareness that we give ourselves through being makir tov is to enable us to learn to see, recognize and perceive the truth. It is the secret to having emunah. Paroh was a kofer and Moshe was a ma’amin. We are still living in difficult times. There are painful reports from all over, so many suffering families and individuals, so many victims of all sorts. It’s easy to fall into the rut of negativity, to complain and whine. Life is rough. Parnassah doesn’t come easy. Chinuch has never been harder. Moshe Rabbeinu teaches us how to achieve geulah and how to develop emunah. Look deeper. See the people around you. See how everyone is trying their best. See how much chessed the Ribbono Shel Olam fills His world with wherever you are. There is a new awareness of the need to show hakoras hatov to rabbeim, which began with a duet of speeches delivered by Rabbi David Ozeri. This past Motzoei Shabbos, Rabbi Yaakov Mandelbaum announced at the dinner of his school, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood, NJ, that the rabbeim of his mosad would be receiv-

ing a $10,000 raise. This is commendable. Rabbeim and moros are the foundation of our chinuch system. For too long, they have been taken for granted. The time arrived a long time ago for mechanchim to be paid a living wage. Their work needs to be appreciated. Besides, if we want our children to be educated well, we have to ensure that their teachers are motivated and not barely floating along on the poverty level. Why should anyone capable go into a field in which they cannot properly feed and clothe their children? When we finish establishing a system to help the rabbeim, we must work to ensure that parents, who are already overtaxed with all the expenses of living in today’s age, including paying tuition, should not be driven further to despair. Our society is beset by many problems, and the root of them is very often financial. People who work for a living simply cannot make ends meet. Between tuition, taxes, food, insurance, clothing and mortgage or rent, many are forced to resort to a never-ending cycle of loans in order to live with a drop of dignity. We can’t solve all the world’s problems, and certainly not in one shot, but we need to acknowledge them and seek realistic solutions while being aware of the laws of unintended consequences. For ourselves and for our society, remember that people aren’t fruit peels.

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The Parenting Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr. T., I see that you call your new column ‘Proactive Parenting’, but I am not exactly sure what you mean. I am familiar with the word proactive from Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but I don’t know how it applies here. All I know is that I have a hard time managing my children and would like any help I can get. From A Confused Parent Dear Confused Parent, Proactive means having a plan in place, knowing what you are going to do even before something goes down. Before you make any move, you give it careful consideration and thought, and only then decide it’s the best move for you and/or your family. Being reactive is a gut-level response that is triggered by what happens at the time. It’s when we don’t have a clue and just have an emotional, but not considered response. Consider this: The Reactive Parent Miri, age five, is coloring on the table and walls and with non-washable markers, no less. You love how she is creative, but she does know better! You are just beside yourself, and start yelling. You angrily take away her markers and say she won’t have a Shabbos party this week. Miri starts crying hysterically and won’t calm down. You feel bad about “losing it,” so you relent, give her back the markers, and make her promise not to color on the walls again. You sigh in resignation when she colors on the walls two days later. Or this: The Proactive Parent Miri, age five, is coloring on the table and walls — with non-washable markers, no less. You love how creative she is, and she keeps really busy when coloring, but she does know better! You quietly walk over to her and ask, “Miri, what is the rule about coloring?” Miri claims not to remember, so you remind her about the rule you have discussed before. “We color on paper, not on tables or walls.” Then, you calmly take away her markers, despite Miri’s protests that she will stop. You confidently walk away, feeling comfortable with this interchange because you know it is fair; Miri has been forewarned. You make a mental note to have another discussion about the “marker rule” before allowing Miri to color again. Here is the difference between the two scenarios. In the first, Mom is reactive and in that moment unsure about how to react.

Because she has not thought this through, she strikes out wildly and impulsively, confusing the child, who learns nothing other than tears and loud protestation work! In the second case, Mom has been proactive and has armed herself with natural consequences. She feels equipped to deal with the situation and does so in a matter-of-fact manner. And what has Miri learned? Not to color on the walls or table. Parents who yell or threaten their children are acting reactively, and are usually disciplining their children when they have “had enough.” Though at first, this style of parenting seems low maintenance, it will eventually backfire. You will always be fed up, so, you will always be disciplining in an unpleasant manner. When your child sees that you handle your frustration by yelling and screaming, she learns to handle her frustration in the same way — with siblings, friends, and you. Reactive parenting encourages manipulative behavior. Your child will not learn right from wrong, but rather how much she can get away with before you’ve had enough. This is probably not the kind of person you want your child to become. Proactive parenting is based on consistency. As a proactive parent, you must decide what the rules are and what the consequences are for breaking those rules. You must then share this information so that your children know what is expected of them and can act accordingly. The key to making this work is your level of consistency and self-control. You can’t wait until you’ve had enough bad behavior before you implement consequences, nor can you yell or threaten. Initially, this kind of parenting is intense and time-consuming and it will stay this way until your child gets the message. But with constant repetition, she will develop positive behavior. She will know right from wrong, and choose the right thing out of the force of habit. Another strength of proactive parenting lies in its power to prevent tantrums

or power struggles. As any wise parent knows, once a tantrum starts, it is difficult to stop. And, once you are in a power struggle with your child, you are in a loselose position. If he wins, you lose, but if you win, you have a defeated child. However, by establishing the rules beforehand, you are far less likely to even begin having a standoff with your child. Try this: The Reactive Parent Sixteen-year-old Yossi has been begging to get his driver’s license — just like his eighteen-year-old sister Laya did two years before. However, while Laya is very mature for her age, well, Yossi is what we might call a very young sixteen. But Mom does not feel she can say that to Yossi and compare him negatively to his sister, so she gives in. On the first trip out, Yossi returns the car late — so late that Mom misses her dentist appointment. Mom delivers her “responsibility lecture,” and Yossi does well for the next two weeks. Then, he leaves the lights on overnight, and after calling AAA, Mom is late for work. By now, Mom is pretty annoyed and lets Yossi know it. He becomes all angry and defensive, and everyone feels bad that day. Three weeks later, he gets into the most minor of fender benders, but he totally loses it and starts yelling at the other driver. By now, Mom has had it — and she loses no time in letting Yossi know it. Yossi is restricted from driving for the next month, but, even more important, he alternates between feeling like a loser or that his Mom is out to get him. Or this: The Proactive Parent Sixteen-year-old Yossi has been begging to get his driver’s license — just like his eighteen-year- old sister Laya did two years before. However, while Laya is very

mature for her age, well, Yossi is what we might call a very young sixteen. Mom has a discussion with Yossi where she explains her view that different people are ready for different steps at different times. She tells Yossi that she does not feel he is ready to drive yet, but would reconsider in six months if he meets certain conditions that indicate that he is ready for this grave responsibility. Yossi does not like this, but he knows that his Mom has a history of keeping her word. Whenever he does bring up the topic, Mom asks him to repeat the steps he needs to take that show readiness and reminds him that they will renegotiate at the end of six months. Though Yossi tries to argue his case, he knows that his Mom does not change her mind about such things, so he eventually gives up. The point is that you cannot afford to simply react to your child’s behavior. You must teach him how to behave by providing consistent structure in a calm manner. No matter how hard this is at first, it will make discipline that much easier and will help develop your child into the kind of person who will do the right thing calmly, even in the face of frustration. Recommended Reading: The Discipline Book by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, R.N. This book focuses on not only managing behavior, but also preventing it as well. Check out the other books written by these two renowned parenting experts. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, LA’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com.


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JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home


JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

A Centuries-Old Schism Deepens Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia Clash By Nachum Soroka

T

here is no doubting the causes of the newest round of enmity in the Middle East when Iran and Saudi Arabia faced off this past week over the execution of a Shiite cleric in the Sunni led Saudi Kingdom. While much of the unrest which plagues the Middle East may appear to be of a somewhat novel nature – the Arab Spring which created the ongoing civil war in Syria and the dangerous tug-ofwar in Egypt was a so-called cry for democracy which was backed by the U.S. State Department as a “new beginning” – the roots of the current Saudi-Iranian exchange of diplomatic blows spread back to the year 632. This new clash, which for the most part has remained diplomatic, was the result of the Saudi’s execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a popular – albeit outspoken –

Shiite leader in the country. Nimr had been the leader of the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia and had at times publicly called for the ousting of the Kingdom’s ruling family. “From the day I was born and to this day, I’ve never felt safe or secure in this country,” Nimr said in a speech in 2011. “We are not loyal to other countries or authorities, nor are we loyal to this country. What is this country? The regime that oppresses me? The regime that steals my money, sheds my blood, and violates my honor?” He was summarily executed on January 2 on charges of inciting violence along with 46 other people, most of them members of al Qaeda. Iran is 83% Shia and since the founding of the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution has been one

of the few Shiite countries in the world. While Ayatollah Khomeini promised strong Sunni-Shia unity in the country at the time, the regime has been overtly discriminatory to Sunni Muslims. After Nimr’s killing, Iranians took to the streets in Iran, and while the police did try to quiet the protesters there, within hours the Saudi Embassy in Tehran was ransacked. “G-d’s hand of retaliation will grip the neck of Saudi politicians,” Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed in comments reported on his official website.

A CENTURIES-OLD CONFLICT Shia-Sunni sectarianism dates back over 1,400 years to the time of the founding of Islam and is based on whether the leader, or caliph, of Islam should be chosen based

on bloodline (the Shiite view – literally “Shiat Ali,” or the “party of Ali,” Mohammed’s son-in-law) or merit (the Sunni view). As with any conflict, the two sides eventually developed unique cultures and ideologies. Today, nearly 40% of Sunnis do not consider those of the Shiite persuasion to even be adherents of Islam. While it may be true that certain factions of Sunni Muslims are heavily extremist, such as the Wahhabis and its adherents, namely the anti-Shia Taliban, there exist extremist strains of Shia Islam, most notably ISIS and Hezbollah. The 20th century imperialist Europeans, having no use in intra-religious conflict, carved up the Middle East and created disparate Shiite and Sunni regions. What is today referred to as Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria was designated as the Shia

area, and the Sunnis were given the rest of the Middle East. Recent political victories across the Middle East for Shia interests, particularly the Iranian Revolution in the 1970s and ouster of Saddam Hussein’s anti-Shia Ba’ath party in Iraq, have created a hostile atmosphere between the two groups in the region. It is said that the only country where both groups feel safe worshipping together is Azerbaijan. The tense relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are rooted in ideology, but the two countries have a strained past. Shia adherents in Saudi Arabia rioted for three days in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution and 17 Shiites were killed. Saudi Arabia was one of the major backers of Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War which lasted close to eight years, and was a major sponsor of anti-Shia


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Feature The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Protests after the execution

Muslim militants in Afghanistan at that time. Indeed, the Wahhabi House of Saud has adopted an ideology termed by Western Scholars as “Petro Islam,” which believes that its vast oil-driven wealth is G-d given for the purpose of bringing its brand of religion to the international forefront.

BATTLES BY PROXY Saudi Arabia’s swift justice this week took much of the world by surprise, including the United Nations and the U.S., although many western officials were forced to comment in anonymity because of the sensitive diplomatic nature of the circumstances. But it is doubtful that the two countries were aware of how quickly the skirmish would escalate, with the Saudi Kingdom forcefully cutting ties with Iran and banishing all Iranian personnel from the country after Iranians set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Iran. Bahrain, Sudan, and the UAE have also downgraded ties with Iran. The two states are the two most influential Muslim countries in the volatile Middle East: While Shia Islam is by far the minority sect of the religion, with just 15% of Muslims worldwide adhering to the group, Shia Iran has a population of 78 million people, more than twice the population of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Iran has benefitted from the clout held by Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon and the recent dominance of

The Ayatollah vowed divine revenge

Shia politicians in Iraq following the removal of Saddam Hussein. On the other hand, Sunni Saudi Arabia is more than twice the geographic area of Iran. Until now the states have chosen to wage battle only by proxy: Iran is the strongest supporter of the embattled Shia-Alawite Bashar Al-Assad in Syria while the Saudis have been strengthening the rebel groups there. In Yemen, the Saudi government has provided support to the Sunni government which is facing opposition from Houthi rebels. And for the past fifteen years the two countries have aided opposite interests in the morass that is Iraq. A new row between the states is only more reason for them to increase their commitments to the proxy wars they are fighting throughout the region. This month, Secretary of State John Kerry is set to begin the first round of peace talks aimed at ending the civil war in Syria involving the Syrian government, Syrian rebels and a host of other countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. “We’re obviously concerned this could blow up the process,” one senior Obama administration official admitted to the New York Times. “But it’s too early to say what the impact could be.” The Syrian peace talks may not be the only diplomatic nightmare for John Kerry to come out from this. The Obama administration is looking to release many

of the sanctions placed on Iran and is in the middle of cementing its signature nuclear deal with Iran, of which Saudi Arabia was one of its most vocal opponents. Iran already has been caught toeing the line of the nuclear deal by staging ballistic missile tests, and a recommitted Saudi Arabia opposing Iran will be another force to deal with in getting Kerry’s deal completed. Indeed, many in Iran believe that the execution was staged by the Saudis in order to derail the lifting of the sanctions. “Saudi Arabia killed Mr. al-Nimr at this sensitive juncture in time to widen the gap between Sunni and Shiite Muslims,” railed Fazel Meybodi, an Iranian cleric in Qum. “Unfortunately they had predicted our overreaction, and now they are using it against us to try to isolate Iran once again.”

SHOULD THE U.S. TAKE SIDES? Both countries are heavyweights in the region’s number one resource: oil. Many predict that the Middle East may now be heading toward an oil pricing war, with Iran selling its product at absurdly low prices to spite its Sunni counterpart. But global oil prices are low enough already and the likelihood that Iran would hurt its own economic interests in order to hurt Saudi Arabia is unlikely, particularly because Saudi Arabia is the more financially sound country and would suffer less from

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U.S. and Israeli flags are burned in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran

an Iranian pricing offensive than Iran itself would. Saudi Arabia has coasts on the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. That, along with its massive oil reserves, has made it a strategic ally for the U.S. since the founding of the Kingdom in 1932. The divisive Wahhabism preached in Saudi Arabia had been something the U.S. chose to ignore. But the 9/11 attacks, which were caused by Sunni terrorists who were cultivated in Saudi Arabia, added wrinkles to the relationship. Then, about ten years ago, after large Shia gains in post-Saddam Iraq, the Bush administration shifted back to its unwavering support of Sunni countries and created a strategy which was aimed at containing Iranian – and by extension, all Shia interests – in the Middle East, fearing that a powerful Iran and Shia coalition would fuel anti-Western sentiment in the region. It may be argued that this new strategy posed by the Bush administration of openly backing Sunnis while opposing Shiite governments has led to the awful state of relations among the Muslim groups. At the time, Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that because the U.S. was picking sides, “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” If the U.S. learned anything from its debacle in Iraq, it should have been that

order is preferential to chaos in the Middle East, regardless of whether the order comes from governments which are hostile to Western interests. Perhaps this is the reasoning behind the Obama administration’s embrace of the more-than-imperfect Rouhani government in Iran. Still, the relationship between the Saudis and the U.S. continues to gain complexity. The Saudis have been strong supporters of groups opposing the U.S.-backed Arab Spring. In Egypt, fearing that a successful Muslim Brotherhood there would threaten the royal family’s leadership in Saudi Arabia, the Saudis successfully backed the military coup which overthrew the Islamists installed by the U.S. The two countries have managed to find common ground with each other in the battle against ISIS, which is Shia and is quickly filling the void left by the Saudi-backed coup on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. All this seems to be leading up to the perfect storm in 2016. The situation in the Middle East continues to become more convoluted from within and without. There are civil wars, battling terrorist groups and nuclear arms races all intricately connected to one another. The specific issues are 2016 problems, but they all began some 1,400 years ago over an issue that will forever withstand the test of time: power.

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

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

Amulets, Accusations & Controversy: The Devastating Polemic Between Rabbi Yaakov Emden And Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz The atmosphere in the room was somber and tense. The elderly rabbi lay on a rickety bed, surrounded by family and a handful of close friends, his breathing labored, his wrinkled face sunken and pale. This wasn’t just any elderly rabbi; this was one of Europe’s most influential rabbinic figures, Rabbi Yaakov Emden, and these were his final moments. At seventy-eight years old he had reached a ripe old age. He had outlived two of his three wives, and most of his twenty children. Once a wealthy and successful businessman, his fortunes had reversed and just a year earlier he was compelled to seek assistance from the community fund. His health had been in decline for some time, and waning eyesight had ultimately resulted in total blindness, denying him his one remaining pleasure - reading and studying the numerous books in his private library. It was April 19, and the year was 1776. For more than a quarter of a century all of R. Yaakov Emden’s energy had been devoted and dedicated to just one thing – ensuring that every G-d-fearing Jew was aware of the fact that the Chief Rabbi of Hamburg and revered rabbinic leader, Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz, was not the devout Jew he purported himself to be, but was in fact a secret believer in the false messiah, Shabbetai Tzvi, and that he had cunningly insinuated Sabbatian heresy into mainstream Jewish life. R. Yonason Eybeschutz had already been dead for twelve years. But his demise had not halted R. Yaakov’s campaign. In fact, it seemed only to have increased its ferocity. R. Yaakov was absolutely determined that the man he considered the epitome of evil would never be lionized nor adulated. Even as R. Yonason was being buried twelve years earlier R. Yaakov delivered a ‘eulogy’ in which he accused him of religious deviancy and worse, astounding his audience with the vehemence of his denouncements. But now, as the small group of relatives and friends stood silently, watching the aged rabbi as his life ebbed away, the last thing on their minds was R. Yonason Eybeshutz. All they were concerned with was the imminent final breath of this titan of Jewish leadership, who had been at the center of European Jewish life for well over fifty years. The bitter dispute between him and his archrival was utterly remote at that moment and if anyone in the room gave the saga any thought, it would only have been to reflect on the fact that the controversy was finally coming to an end.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, R. Yaakov opened his unseeing eyes. He grabbed the hand of the person closest to him, a member of the Chevra Kadisha at his bedside, and began to speak in a whisper. It sounded as if he was greeting someone; a long lost relative or friend. His voice was barely audible, and the man whose hand he had clutched leaned towards him, trying to make out what he was saying. He put his ear next to R. Yaakov’s mouth and listened intently, then gasped and went pale. “What is he saying? What is he saying?” The young man seemed unable to respond. He leaned back down and listened again, and then shook his head in bewilderment. ‘The rabbi is saying over and over again, “baruch haba, my father; baruch haba, Rabbi Yonason”, that is what he is saying!’ There was a sharp intake of breath from everyone in the crowded room. What could this mean? How was it possible that in his final moments R. Yaakov was mentioning his beloved father in the same breath as the name of his hated nemesis? What did he mean by “baruch haba”, a phrase usually said as a welcome? The family muttered to each other quietly, trying to figure out some explanation for what was going on. One of them suggested they ask R. Yaakov, but he had gone quiet again, and closed his eyes. His breathing began to slow down, and within a matter of minutes he was gone. The Chevra Kadisha cleared the room, and - in keeping with tradition they lifted the rabbi’s fragile body off the bed and onto the floor. Outside the family began discussing the funeral and burial arrangements with community officials. Obviously R. Yaakov would be buried in the most distinguished portion of the cemetery, where only community leaders and distinguished rabbis were buried. After all, besides for being one of Europe’s preeminent rabbis, he had lived in Hamburg for most of his life, and his father, Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, had served as chief rabbi. No one would dare to deny him his rightful place in the cemetery. But the community representatives were shifting from foot to foot, looking down at the floor. There was a problem. A big problem. Who was going to break the news to the family? The only available gravesite in the cemetery was a few feet away from where R. Yonason was buried, and on the same row. There was no way the family would agree for R. Yaakov to be buried there, and nor would the Hamburg community leadership, whose loyalty to R.

Yonason had been absolute over the years, be willing to see the man who had caused so much strife buried near the object of his relentless crusade. One of the community’s representatives blurted out the news to the family. There was dead silence. You could have heard a pin drop. The head of the Chevra Kadisha spoke up. He wanted to suggest a solution. “I hear that R. Yechezkel Landau, Chief Rabbi of Prague, is in town, presiding over a court case. Perhaps let us ask him to rule whether R. Yaakov can be buried near R. Yonason. He knows the history between them very well. For my part, I can speak on behalf of the community. We will follow the Rav of Prague’s direction – as long as the family also agrees to do so.” The family members looked at each other and nodded their agreement. What choice did they have? Every minute they delayed the funeral was disrespectful to R. Yaakov. A meeting was hastily set up with R. Landau. His relationship with both R. Yaakov and R. Yonason had been fraught and difficult over the years, which at the very least meant that both sides would treat his ruling as objective. A senior member of the Emden family and a representative of the Chevra Kadisha were shown into R. Landau’s room, and he listened intently as they explained the problem at hand. He pondered for a moment, and asked how R. Yaakov had spoken of R. Yonason over the last few months of his life. Had there been any change of attitude? Had he softened his stance? Not really, the family member responded - his harsh criticism had been unceasing. Except, he added, in the moments just before he died, and he related the strange episode that had taken place just minutes before R. Yaakov had drawn his last breath. R. Landau smiled. “I think we can announce the funeral,” he said, “and it is absolutely fine for R. Yaakov’s final resting place be so close to R. Yonason. Clearly, as his soul was departing from this world, R. Yaakov finally reconciled with R. Yonason, and none other than the great Chacham Tzvi was there to witness it. Baruch Dayan Ha’emess!” And with that the worst rabbinic battle in modern Jewish history appeared to have reached its natural conclusion. A controversy that had embroiled multiple communities, ruined careers, split families, involved the gentile authorities of more than one country, and devastated lives, seemed - finally - to be at an end. With the death of the second of the two protagonists whose names were synonymous with this epic

Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, revered father of R. Yaakov Emden, who was involved in a bitter campaign against the Sabbatian Nehemiah Hayyoun during his son’s formative years

fight, on what possible grounds would it continue? But had anyone breathed a sigh of relief as they buried R. Yaakov Emden on that spring day in Hamburg, they would have been completely mistaken to do so. The root causes of the controversy, the two principal combatants, the impact of the controversy on Jewish life and on the development of Judaism, would fascinate and polarize scholars and rabbis of every subsequent generation, as well as captivate aficionados of Jewish history, and they continue to do so to this day.

R. Yaakov Emden’s tombstone in Hamburg cemetery. He died in 1776, twelve years after R. Yonason Eybeschutz

R. Yonason Eybeschutz’s tombstone in Hamburg. He was the the Chief Rabbi of the “triple community”, HamburgAltona-Wansbeck, from 1750 until his death in 1764


Jewish The WeekHistory In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

So how did it all begin? In 1666, the pretender messiah, Shabbetai Tzvi, converted to Islam. His conversion was all it took for most of the Jewish world to realize he was a fraud. The vast majority of those who had publicly declared their allegiance to him shamefacedly admitted their folly and went back to normative Judaism, wounded and wiser. But there was a significant group who simply refused to accept that his apostasy negated his messianic identity. They were too emotionally and religiously invested in Shabbetai Tzvi, and remained fiercely loyal to him. Nathan “the prophet” of Gaza, Shabbetai Tzvi’s lead publicist, came up with convoluted kabbalistic concepts to explain away his hero’s conversion, and to rationalize his failure to materialize the messianic mission. In 1676 Shabbetai Tzvi died in obscurity, having never recanted. Devotees considered even his death a temporary setback, and there were Jews within every community who continued clandestinely to believe he was the true messiah. What was more, it was their fervent view that they had to insinuate warped kabbalistic ideas into mainstream Judaism so that the abortive messianic mission could be fulfilled. Surprisingly, although Sabbatians - as they came to be known - were very much a minority group, their number included many rabbis and distinguished leaders, and they were almost impossible to detect, behaving in every way like fully observant Jews, indistinguishable from any other Jew. Time after time during the decades after Shabbetai Tzvi’s death, crypto-Sabbatian activists were exposed and banished from their communities. Seemingly ordinary and faithful Jews, they had fallen under the spell of some Sabbatian propagandist but continued outwardly to behave completely normally. One particularly notorious propagandist was an insidious Bosnian-born scoundrel called Nehemiah Hiya Hayyun, who wandered from community to community during the early years of the eighteenth century. A scholar who was also a gifted teacher and writer, he authored a number of books that interspersed Sabbatian heresies with regular Torah interpretations. In 1711 he arrived in Prague, where he inveigled himself into the circle of the local kabbalist rabbi, R. Naphtali Katz, esteemed author of Semichut Chachamim, a widely admired book on Mishnayot. R. Katz was very taken by Hayyun and agreed to write an approbation letter for his new book. So did the local Chief Rabbi, R. David Oppenheim. In Berlin, Hayyun gained the approval of the Chief Rabbi, R. Aron Binyamin Wolf. With these endorsements in hand he arrived in Amsterdam in 1713, where he requested permission from the leaders of the prestigious Sephardic community to sell his books. The rabbi, R. Shlomo Ayllon, was not considered a world-class scholar, so the community leaders submitted Hayyun’s book to the rabbi of the German congregation, Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, who was widely acclaimed and respected, and asked for his opinion. Chacham Tzvi looked through the book with his friend and colleague, R. Moshe Hagiz of Jerusalem, who also lived in Amsterdam. They both quickly came to the de-

finitive conclusion that Hayyun was a closet Sabbatian masquerading as a normative practicing Jew. Chacham Tzvi reported this information back to the Sephardic committee, and warned them that Hayyun posed a grave danger to the Amsterdam community. For a variety of reasons, mainly unrelated to Hayyun himself, the issue degenerated into an ugly communal battle, with Chacham Tzvi and R. Hagiz on one side, and the Sephardic community on the other. Fistfights broke out between the supporters of both camps, and Chacham Tzvi was eventually put under house arrest by the gentile authorities, possibly for his own protection. Hayyun, emboldened by the support he was receiving from R. Ayllon - who was himself suspected of Sabbatianism - published a number of vicious attacks against Chacham Tzvi and R. Hagiz, and actively generated animosity towards his detractors. With the saga spiraling out of control, Chacham Tzvi fled Holland for England in early 1714, and never returned. He was offered post of Chief Rabbi in London, but declined, and returned to mainland Europe, where he was eventually offered the rabbinate of Lemberg (Lvov) in 1717. He died in 1718, at the age of 58. Throughout the period of the Hayyun affair, Chacham Tzvi’s family, and especially his teenage son Yaakov, were caught in the eye of a ferocious storm. Yaakov was just 15 years old at the time - an impressionable teenager – and the saga was an eye-opener for him on multiple fronts. He watched as his innocent and distinguished father was dragged into the foul politics generated by the controversy, and how he was targeted for his honestly held views and his unshakeable integrity. Additionally, he was exposed to the tenacity of Sabbatian activism, and to the vicious tactics Sabbatians were willing to use to gain a foothold in Jewish affairs, which in Chacham Tzvi’s case resulted in the loss of his rabbinic position and being subjected to incredible abuse at the hands of Hayyun’s supporters. It was a lesson the young Yaakov clearly never forgot.

The title page of ‘Sefer Hatzad Tzvi’ (Amsterdam, 1714), the vicious published attack against Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi by the Sabbatian publicist and fraudster, Nehemiah Hayyoun. The controversy generated by Hayyoun left a lasting impression on Chacham Tzvi’s eldest son, R. Yaakov Emden. This pamphlet, and many others relating to this affair, can be found in Rabbi Dunner’s book collection.

Shortly after Chacham Tzvi’s escape from Amsterdam, community leaders asked Hayyun to leave the city so the controversy could die down. As he traveled through Europe, Hayyun discovered that although his opponents had failed to win over the rabbi and leadership of the Amsterdam community, his widely publicized association with Sabbatianism had resulted in a general revulsion towards him. Wherever he went he found doors closed. He moved to Tzfat, in Eretz Yisrael under Ottoman rule, and opened up a Sabbatian ‘yeshiva’. This enterprise failed so he moved to Constantinople where he desperately tried to rehabilitate himself. In 1725 he resurfaced in Western Europe claiming that the rabbis in Turkey had readmitted him into the fold, but everywhere he was refused entry. Even his former defender in Amsterdam, R. Ayllon, refused to meet him. In Vienna he was forced to stay in an enclosure reserved for Turkish Muslims. In Glogau and Berlin he found no refuge whatsoever, so in Hanover he tried to hide his identity. But he was recognized and quickly expelled. He made his way to Prague, but there, too, was prevented from entering the city. Soon afterwards he disappeared from sight, and was reported to have died in 1730. Hayyun’s final abortive attempt to gain prominence was very significant in terms of the Emden-Eybeschutz battle 25 years later, as not only did it coincide with a new and even fiercer battle against the Sabbatians than the one of 1713-14, but it also generated evidence of a link between him and a brilliant Talmudic scholar and rising rabbinic superstar – a young man living in Prague called Yonason Eybeschutz. According to R. Moshe Hagiz, Chacham Tzvi’s erstwhile co-campaigner in Amsterdam, just before Hayyun was ejected from Hanover in 1726, community officials searched his possessions and found correspondence that were ‘Sabbatian in nature, including letters from Yonason Eybeschutz.’ When Hayyun arrived in Prague shortly afterwards, on the last leg of what was his pathetic final journey, no Jew was willing to house or feed him, except for the wife and daughter of R. Yonason, who brought him food and took care of him until he left. In order to understand the magnitude of this unlikely association, not only is it important to know that Nehemiah Hayyun was a devious rogue, it is also imperative to realize just how illustrious and mainstream R. Yonason was. The son of the rabbi of Eybeschutz (Ivančice, Moravia), he became the star student of R. Meir Eisenstadt of Prossnitz, author of Panim Me’irot, who was undoubtedly the most influential Talmudic teacher of his generation. R. Yonason outshone all his peers, and in 1715, at the age of 25, he moved to Prague and quickly gained prominence as a remarkable speaker and an energetic communal activist. He engaged with local Christian leaders, and during the many absences of Prague’s Chief Rabbi, R. David Oppenheim - who was often called away to take care of his vast business interests - R. Yonason would fill in for him. There was considerable friction between the older and younger rabbi, but R. Yonason had a captivating personality that

won him numerous allies, enabling him to withstand the senior rabbi’s hostility. One cannot possibly overstate R. Yonason’s qualities. His intellect was unparalleled, he was charismatic, exceptionally warm, a gifted communicator, versed in every aspect of Torah knowledge, remarkably good looking, and possessed of an inexhaustible energy. Besides for R. Yaakov Emden, no one would ever question his superior rabbinic qualities, nor cast any doubt on his abilities as a teacher and scholar. If anything it was these sterling credentials that precipitated the widespread astonishment when rumors began to emerge in 1725 – long before the polemic with R. Yaakov Emden - that R. Yonason was a leading crypto-Sabbatian, engaged in the most sordid attempts to penetrate Sabbatian beliefs into the Jewish mainstream. In the early summer of 1725 an itinerant preacher called Moshe Meir of Zolkiew arrived in Frankfurt where he fell under suspicion for being a crypto-Sabbatian. While he was preaching at a local school, a group of rabbis raided his room and discovered a manuscript work in his luggage that began with the verse from Bereishit (24:42): ‘va’avo hayom el ha’ayin’ (‘when I came today to the spring’). The manuscript contained a detailed heretical kabbalistic description of G-d that both denied His oneness and posited that His power was diminishing. The investigative rabbis in Frankfurt were horrorstruck. Such ideas were utterly reprehensible to Judaism. They found Moshe Meir and forcefully interrogated him to find out who the author of this deviant material was. Under phenomenal pressure he finally revealed that he had received the manuscript from none other than R. Yonason Eybeschutz of Prague, who, he claimed, was also its author. The rabbis were aghast. Everyone had heard of R. Yonason. He was an “A-lister”, acclaimed by anyone who had ever met him. How was it possible that this bright rabbinic light, the rising star of the European rabbinic fraternity, could have written, or was even associated with, such a disgusting and evil composition? It was completely and utterly incomprehensible. The rabbis of Frankfurt felt that this was a bigger deal than anything they could deal with, and decided to call in the big guns. The next phase of the war against Shabbetai Tzvi’s legacy was about to begin. In Part Two we will hear of the turmoil generated by the discovery of the ‘va’avo hayom el ha’ayin’ manuscript, and how the anti-Sabbatian veteran R. Moshe Hagiz led the new campaign to root out Sabbatianism, targeting R. Yonason Eybeschutz and countless others whom he accused of heresy and other heinous activities. We will also see how R. Yonason reacted to these accusations and R. Hagiz’s campaign, and how he was able to so dissociate himself from the accusations that he became a senior rabbinic figure in Prague, and was later appointed rabbi of Metz and Hamburg, two of Europe’s most prestigious communities. And finally we will discover where Rabbi Yaakov Emden was and how he reacted as his future nemesis found himself at the epicenter of this nasty battle against crypto-Sabbatians. Questions, comments welcome – rabbi@yinbh.org

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TJH

Centerfold You gotta be Trivia ? Riddle me this? *! Coffee kidding

The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

that mocha coffee is a chocolaty beverage. In fact, there is no chocolate in the mocha bean at all. Mocha is the name of the largest port in Yemen, where all of the African coffee beans are traded and transported. 3. C- Kopi luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee. The main factor of its high price is the uncommon method of producing such a coffee. It is produced from coffee beans which on nextis page have been eaten See by answer a cat which unable to digest coffee beans. In the process of eating the beans, they are fermented in the stomach. When the beans are excreted, they produce a smooth, chocolaty coffee. 4. D 7. Who invented instant coffee? 3. How is Kopi Luwak coffee made? 5. A a. Constance Palonzo a. Special coffee beans are spiced 6. B b. Earnest Illy with oregano for 6 months 7. C- What? George Washington think TheWashington Taster’s Choice couple youitbuy coffee at b. CoffeeYou beans areinstant eaten coffee and takes c. George did thatEven too? when Yes. But was a differd. Perculatious excreted Sumatran ent George Washington, toobylong to make.wild cats wants toDarkbean adopt you. the drive-thru, younot buyour anbec. It is made the same way as any loved first president. In 1906, English extra one because you need You go to sleep,(Kopi just so you can8. According When tosomeone a survey says, by “How are chemist George Constant Washingother instant coffee Luwak “one more cup of coffee for the a leading is Indonesia’s of Taster’s wake upbrand and smell the coffee. Accounting you?”Principals, you say, “Good to the last ton invented the first mass-produced road.” financedrop.” and accounting staffing Choice) instant coffee. You’re the employee of the firm, how much does the average d. It is made from an Arabica 8. D- Ahh…money well spent! You know what “caff up” spend annually You worker soak your dentures in month at Starbucks and you American bean that is chopped up and on coffee? replanted Wisdommeans key: and can say it without coffee overnight. don’t even work there. a. $564 6-8 correct: laughing.You win some Kopi You go to the morning Kollel You introduce your spouse as b. $732 4. Most of the coffee in the world is Luwak coffee which I am going to Youmake sometimes color(“Hey coordinate c. $891 your coffee-mate. grown injust the for area the personally for you. Mitthebetween free coffee. d. $1,092 your coffee thermos with what Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. tens, come here and eat these beans”) You area haveknown a picture of your Your first aid kit contains two What is this as? 3-5 correct: are that not day. bad and you are You wearing a. Starbucks Zone not great … like Starbucks. coffee mug, on your coffee Answers: pints of coffee with an I.V. Your eyes you 1. A b. Java Line 0-2 correct: If stay you open lived when in Turkey, mug! hookup. 2. B- One the largest misconcep- your wife c. Coffee Circle would have grounds for disneeze. tions in the U.S. today about coffee is d. Bean Belt You spend every vacation You use coffee-flavored vorce.

5. Approximately how 1. Which country is the largest many calories are there coffee producer in the world today in an 8 ounce cup of (producing over 44 million bags of Yankel walks into a coffee shop in Miami coffee? and asks coffee each year)? a. theBrazil waiter, “How much is a coffee?” a. 0 b. 20 b. Colombia The waiter replies, “Four dollars.” c. 40 c. Costa Rica 60 d. Indonesia “And how much is a refill?” inquiresd.Yankel. e. 100 “Refills are free,” says the waiter. 2. What’s the origin of “mocha” 6. In which country coffee: Yankel looks at the waiter and says, “OK then, I’ll it is law that a woman can divorce her husband a. Arabic word for chocolate take a refill!” if he fails to provide her with her b. Yemeni port city daily quota of coffee? c. Island off South America a. Italy d. It was a Starbucks creation for b. Turkey coffee with a shot of chocolate c. France and meant to connote “more d. Brazil chocolate”

Yesterday I went for coffee with the butcher, the baker and the grocer. I sat to the left of Yossi. David sat to the right of the butcher. If Eli, who sat across from Yossi, isn’t the baker, then who sells groceries?

Signs That You are Addicted to Coffee 

 

visiting “Maxwell House.”

 All your kids are named “Joe.”  You walk twenty miles on your

toothpaste.

 You have perfected the

 When introducing your

children by their ages, you say, “This is my tall, this is my venti and this is my grande.”

Answer to riddle: Eli. From the second statement, we know that “I” (you) sat to the left of Yossi. The fourth statement states that Eli sat across from Yossi. This leaves David sitting across from you, and therefore to the right of Yossi. Yossi is therefore the butcher, from statement three. If Eli isn’t the baker (statement four), then David must be the baker, leaving Eli to be the grocer. Hope you enjoyed your coffee.

?

24

treadmill before you realize it’s not plugged in.

 You were the inspiration for “Crazy Eddy is going insane.”

annoying “ah” sound after each sip of coffee (hat tip to Elaine).

 You have a cat just so you can

make your own cheap version of Kopi Luwak coffee. (See trivia for more details)

 You are a vegetarian not

because you are a PETA sympathizer but because you can never be fleishigs as you might need a coffee (and no,

23


The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes

25

Ruth Judah

“Say What?!”

“I represent much more than I am as an individual” – Rabbi Ronnie Fine, in amazement that he was chosen as one of the top three Montrealers of 2015. He went on to express appreciation for his wife, his 10 children, his staff and his congregants. Rabbi Fine established Chabad Queen Mary, Chai Lifeline and runs online classes.

“For quite some time, there has been an effort at the United book’s pretense scholarship Nations to delegitimize The the Jewish State ofofIsrael, and toinvolves try to 151 footnotes, only one of which is even whitewash the Jewish peoples’ historical and Biblical connection remotely pertinent toofthe lurid to Israel. Denying the historic connection thebook’s Jewish people assertions. Almost all contain irrelevant to Jerusalem is false. Amazing archeological discoveries are tidbits (“Reagan’s hair was actually brown”). frequently made that prove the roots of the Jewish people are in At the Reagan Library, where researchers Israel.”

must register, records show that neither O’Reilly nor Dugard, who churn out a book Representatives. a year, used its resources. The book’s two and a half pages of “sources” unspecifically “He brought the vision of an institute and implausibly refer to “FBI and CIA files,” for higher Torah learning for women “presidential libraries” and travel “around from religious families to life. A the world” … The book’s perfunctory pieties place where Torah studies and the Taking the number 1 spot on the list of the top 10 viralare Facebook postsby of about Reagan’s greatness inundated fear of Heaven joined together with flooddevice of regurgitated slanders about his the year is a video about anits Israeli that helps people rappel down academic studies of the highest and manipulability. the side of buildings in casesupposed of a fire orlassitude other emergency. The product,This book history caliber, in the pursuit of a teaching called SkySaver, was inspired by is thenonsensical 9/11 terrorist attack,and andexecrable those who citizenship, and should come with a certificate.” died while trapped on the top floors of the World Trade Center with no way warning: “Caution — you are about to enter a AfterYaacov being courted by several candidates, – Professor Katz, the president of Jerusalem College for religious to escape. The Facebook post about the Israeli device reached 27 million women, known in Hebrew as Michlalah, describing Rabbi Dr. Yehuda no-facts zone.” conservative billionaire Paul Singer has decided to Cooperman, the founder of the college who passed away at age 87. social media users and attracted 10.1 million video views. -George Will’s review of Bill O’Reilly’s new book, Killing Reagan – Excerpt from comments made by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), on the floor of the US House of

endorse Marco Rubio. Now instead of -having a button Press Release from The Israel Project, a US-based Israel advocacy group. that says, “Donate,” Rubio’s website just says, “We Good.” You’re a hack!

- Jimmy Fallon

- Bill O’Reilly, when George Will came on his show, “The No “I was totally dumbfounded. I’m a Spin Zone,” to defend his criticism of O’Reilly’s book What’s something Jewish that everyone loves? musician. I play the fiddle. So I was CHALLAH! Make challah without getting your hands soWhile totallywe taken aback and I was violence, condemn Palestinian weMix must sticky. it, braid it, bake it, decorate it, bless it and obviously so incredibly honored they A new survey found that three out recognize this painful truth: that Israeli policy has eat it - it’s the whole challah experience for your mobile would even consider me. It was very of four children under the age of encouraged it. Israel has encouraged device. it by penalizing exciting.” four have their own smartphone.

Palestinian nonviolence, by responding to App that – G-dcast called Let’s Bake Challah, now available in itunes, aimed at kids aged 5 and under. You can tell it’s bad; last night I nonviolence by deportations, teargas, imprisonment, told my daughter it was time for and the confiscation of Palestinian lands. Hard as bed and she tried to swipe left on it is to say, the Israeli government is reaping what it me. “With the blessing and encouragement of Torah Sages, has sowed.

– Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-born violin virtuoso, after being selected as the 2015 winner of the $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel.”

Hassidic - Liberal American-Jewish journalist Peter Beinart, who claims to be “pro-Israel,” in a rabbis, speech at a yeshiva heads, Rabbis and Sages, I “There was no congestion on inthe Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive synagogue Los Angeles accept upon myself the yoke of the Chief Rabbinate of road [leading up the mountain], and Vienna, the city of great sages of Israel, great rabbinic the lines were short. Everything “Crippled America” outlines geniuses, Hassidic leaders and rabbis. I willDonald do allTrump’s it went as planned and everyone I used to hate Darth Vader, but now I kind of feel a little bit sorry for plan to make America great again. Though takes to inspire loyalty to the Torah and enhance its him knowing he went through to get to that point. seemed to bewhat having a good time” the book doesn’t say specifically when he’s glory, increase Jewish education and enhance religious – Liron Mills, the CEO of Mount Hermon Ski resort, after a storm - Sen. Marco Rubio, when asked a question related to the upcoming “Star Wars” movie during a leaving. dropped almost 2 feet of snow on Israel’s only ski resort. campaign stop in New Hampshire institutions, unify the community and belabor to - Seth Myers continue the holy work of my esteemed predecessor, Chief Rabbi Chaim Eisenberg.” - Jimmy Fallon

– Rabbi Arie Folger on his election as Chief Rabbi of Vienna, Austria.


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Travel The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Travel Guide:

Winnipeg Aaron Feigenbaum Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba, is a burgeoning city sitting along the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. Winnipeg had a humble start as a working-class, industrial manufacturing base but has evolved into a vibrant cultural hub for Midwestern Canada. Winnipeg prides itself on its world-class music, film and art festivals, its diverse architecture, its fascinating museums and its hearty, welcoming people. Among these welcoming people is the city’s small but culturally and politically important Jewish community (the most famous member of which is Israeli-born Sam Katz, who served as the city’s mayor from 2004-2014). While Winnipeg isn’t at the top of most people’s Canadian travel itineraries just yet, the fact that this city was awarded Cultural Capital of Canada in 2010 and boasts almost 30 National Historic Sites attests to its rising status as a major Canadian tourism destination. History Before European settlement, the area now known as Winnipeg was used by various indigenous tribes such as the Cree and Nakota for the purposes of camping, hunting and fishing. The first European to arrive in the area was French explorer Pierre Gaultier La Verendrye in 1738. He ordered the building of Fort Rouge to be built on

the Assiniboine River; it is now a National Historic Site. The French lost this area of Canada to the British in the Seven Years War. In their stead came the North West Company, which established a fur trading post in 1810 called Fort Gibraltar. The real seed of modern Winnipeg was sewn in 1862 when Henry McKenney built his general store at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, now at the corner of Portage and Main. Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1874 although it was little more than a collection of shacks and a couple thousand inhabitants. However, with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, Winnipeg experienced a major economic boom. As the city transformed into one of Canada’s premier manufacturing powerhouses, a flood of new immigrants and new farming techniques helped sustain Winnipeg’s incredible growth. Like virtually everywhere else, Winnipeg was hit by the Great Depression and its manufacturing base slowed significantly, only to be revived by the entry of Canada into WWII. Winnipeg today is still a leader in manufacturing and developing key re-

sources such as oil, coal and natural gas. However, it has greatly diversified its economy and culture to include finance, aerospace, technology and numerous cultural institutions. The city is visited by millions of people every year with the summer of 2015 being one of Winnipeg’s best seasons on record. Attractions The Forks National Historic Site: The Forks features prominently in Winnipeg’s history as a place of meeting and trading. Today it is the city’s focal point for culture, history and tourism. There are interpretive exhibits, bronze sculptures, live entertainment, a prairie garden, great shopping, river cruises and a delightfully fun Children’s Museum. Also be sure to take your kids to the historically-themed Variety Heritage Adventure Playground, where kids can not only climb on creatively designed model trains and take a dip in the splash park but also learn about Winnipeg’s history in a hands-on way. Also located in the park is the Winnipeg Railway Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the railcar in Western Canada. Some of the most fascinating displays there are the Countess of Dufferin (the first steam train in Canada’s prairielands,) other vintage railcars and historical artifacts from the building of the Hudson Bay Railway. Another key attraction at the park is

The Forks Market, Winnipeg

Assiniboine Park and Zoo

the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Founded by Jewish lawyer and politician Izzy Asper, the Museum is intended to make people remember the horrors of the past and to foster dialogue between different religions, nationalities and cultures. The museum’s modernist architecture and sleekly designed interior reinforce this message by creating a modern take on historic injustices. Much like L.A.’s Museum of Tolerance, there is a large section dedicated to the Holocaust with a movie showing the impact of anti-Semitism in Canada. Other topics covered in the museum’s genocide section include Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia and the Ukrainian Holodomor. The museum has many other sections including the Western and indigenous views on human rights, how human rights are protected in Canada and a gallery whose goal is to inspire people to take a stand and demand change. Current special exhibits at the museum include Indian residential schools, inspiring stories of athletes who have overcome discrimination and reconciliation in war-torn countries. Manitoba Museum: One of Canada’s best natural history and science museums, the Manitoba Museum offers hours of wonder and entertainment to people of all ages. In the galleries section you’ll witness Manitoba’s history come alive as you see polar bears hunting under the Northern Lights, rock painting and the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the Cree. There is bison hunting, a recreation of a 17th century English trading ship and much more. Take a stroll through the science section and see a full-scale rocket, build a model race car, learn about humanity’s achievements in space and watch live science demonstrations. The museum is currently hosting National Geographic’s Earth Explorers exhibit, which takes visitors on a journey through Earth’s most exotic environments: dive in a 3D deep-sea submersible, climb the Himalayas, fly in a hot air balloon over the African savannah and come up close and personal with a great white shark! Last but not least, check out the Planetarium

Canadian Mint, Winnipeg


Travel The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Polar Bear sightseeing, Churchill Manitoba

where you can watch a movie about the experience of being an astronaut as well as catch a live, curated tour of the night sky. Assiniboine Park: One of Winnipeg’s most popular attractions, the Assiniboine Park has a huge variety of fun activities. The Conservatory botanical garden has thousands of plants, trees and flowers to see while the outdoor English Garden has beautiful, traditional floral displays. The park’s zoo has some of Manitoba’s bestknown animals such as polar bears, bison, and arctic foxes as well as lions, tigers and much more. There is also an outdoor performance theater and sculpture garden. The wintertime is perfect for skiing, tobogganing and skating. Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada: One of Canada’s largest aviation museums, it is housed in the Winnipeg airport and includes a flight deck from which to watch air traffic come and go. On display are a wide variety of aircraft such as Canada’s first helicopter, a 1930’s airliner, 1950s-era jet fighters and the truly bizarre Avrocar, which was a saucer-shaped American Cold War spy plane built in Canada. Manitoba Legislative Building: This beautifully designed seat of Manitoba’s government is known for its marble stairwells, an elaborate rotunda and legislative chamber as well as the Golden Boy statue adorning its cupola. Tours are free to the public, and visitors are encouraged to view legislative sessions in action. Royal Canadian Mint: The Winnipeg branch of the mint is open for guided tours at low cost. See the high-tech science responsible for printing billions of coins for over 75 countries each year, as well as hold a gold bar worth $600,000. Check out the gift shop, where you can purchase unique Canadian coins.

Churchill: If you have several days to spare on your Winnipeg and are eager to see the Northern Lights from January-March, there are few better places than Churchill (in fact rated as one of the top three viewing sites in the world.) Accessible by the semiweekly Via Rail train, this 36 hour voyage takes you through the heart of northern Manitoba with gorgeous winter scenery along the way. Consider staying in a clear, heated plexiglass Aurora Dome in order to view the Lights in safety and comfort. Besides being a prime viewing spot for the Northern Lights, the town’s other claim to fame is its polar bears and beluga whales. Several companies offer guided nature tours to see these incredible animals along with other arctic fauna such as snowy owls, caribou, arctic foxes and more. Kids and adults alike will love the thrill of dog sledding whether in winter or summer. Summertime in Churchill is the perfect opportunity to see the region’s exotic wildflowers. Daven and Eat Winnipeg has a decent number of Orthodox shuls including Chabad (1845 Mathers Ave./chabadwinnipeg.org) and Ashkenazi Synagogue (297 Burrows Ave.) Winnipeg’s first kosher restaurant in decades, BerMax Caffe + Bistro, opened just last year and serves excellent, gourmet Italian food. Other kosher options include Schmoozer’s Cafe (vegetarian/vegan) and lunches at the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre. Of course, there are also a number of markets and supermarkets selling kosher items, as well as catering options from Chabad. Check Chabad of Winnipeg’s site and jewishwinnipeg.org for more information. Getting There Flights from LAX to Winnipeg current-

ly start at around $330 per person round trip. Driving there is an almost 2,000 mile

trip that takes around 30 hours.

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The Week In News

New Laws for the New Year

The New Year swept in some new laws across the country. In California, a controversial law was passed giving judges the authority to seize weapons of people ruled a danger to themselves or others. California’s “gun violence restraining order” gives judges the authority to seize guns from someone deemed a risk. Proponents say it will reduce suicides and other shootings by empowering family members to remove guns from someone they believe poses a danger. The National Rifle Association, though, called it “one of the most egregious violations of civil liberties ever introduced” in the state. California law already allows police officers to

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

seize any weapons found during a domestic violence incident and hold them for 48 hours; the new law gives officers the power to search someone’s property if a gun violence restraining order has been issued by a judge. California isn’t the only state where new gun laws took effect the first day of 2016. In Oregon, a person subject to a restraining order or convicted of certain domestic abuse offenses cannot possess guns or ammunition. On the other hand, in a victory for proponents of right-to-carry laws, in Texas, licensed owners will be allowed to visibly carry holstered handguns. Texas joins 44 other states that currently allow open carrying of guns. Private properties are allowed to enforce their own rules. Three grocery store chains in Texas have publicly said they will bar open carrying of weapons on their premises, and the pushback against the law has gathered attention under the Twitter hashtag #GroceriesNotGuns. In North Carolina, a new law allows parents to create a credit report for their children, then immediately freeze it. The idea is that it will make it more difficult for identity thieves to steal information of minors. Lawmakers said kids’ credit proves to be an easy and attractive target for crooks because it’s a blank slate that likely won’t get checked for more than a decade until they get their first credit card or bank ac-

count. In Oregon, a new law requires employers with more than 10 employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to each worker. Oregon is the fourth state to pass a mandatory sick leave law. Full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers are covered under the law. Only federal employees are excluded. In Michigan, all schools legally must now keep at least two EpiPen injectors on hand, along with staff trained to use them. The injectors contain epinephrine and are used to combat severe allergic reactions. Supporters say the pens can be literal lifesavers for kids who have allergies.

Puerto Rico Defaults on Debt Payment

After months of speculation, Puerto Rico defaulted on about $174 million of debt payments this week. The U.S. territory has been struggling with more than $72 billion of debt, mostly in the form of municipal bonds. Government financial officials have been shuffling cash from one agency to another in recent months, in desperate triage efforts to pay only the most urgent bills while letting others languish. The bankruptcy stripped cash away from its lower-ranked creditors so that higher-ranked creditors could be paid in full. Alejandro García Padilla, Puerto Rico’s governor, defended the default as best he could by saying, “It’s very simple. We don’t have money to pay.” The payment default does not change Puerto Rico’s underlying economic troubles, although it could spur efforts in Congress to find ways to help the island. With big bond payments looming, Mr. García Padilla announced last week that he had ordered a “clawback,” or recovery, of cash that would have normally been used to pay certain bonds. Since November 30, he said, that cash had instead been diverted to help make a $328 million payment to the island’s general obligation bondholders, who are entitled to be paid first, according to the Puerto Rican constitution. Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency, said in a statement on Monday that it was going to downgrade the infrastructure auJewish Link Designs 323.965.1544

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thority’s rating from CC to D. S. & P. did not change ratings on other bonds but added that the lack of current audited financial information created “great uncertainty as to Puerto Rico’s true financial position.”

Minimum Wage Increases for 2016

For many of us, January 1, 2016 came and went and not much changed aside from the date on our checks. But for many workers and employers the new year brought a welcomed or not-so-welcomed change. In 13 states, the minimum wage increased on January 1st. Leading up to 2016, the federal minimum wage was $7.25 an hour; as of this year, the highest state minimum wage was $9.32 an hour. But now California and Massachusetts have a minimum wage of $10 an hour and some cities have raised the bar even higher with a $13 hour minimum.

Alaska, California, Massachusetts, and Nebraska all had an increase of $1 to the salaries of their minimum wage workers. New York increased from $8.75 to $9.00. Wages in Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia all increased as well. There are some increases in specific cities or fields. For example, Seattle’s new minimum wage is $13 up from $10.50 for some large size companies. The city expects to achieve a $15 minimum wage by 2021. In New York, fast food workers and government employees celebrated a minimum wage jump to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state. The federal government estimates that about 3 million workers are paid minimum wage around the country. A 2014 study by the Congressional Budget Office found that a national minimum wage of $10.10 an hour would benefit some 16.5 million people, while leading to the elimination of 500,000 jobs due to cost-cutting offsets. The ultimate effect is still a $5 billion increase in total income for people below the poverty line, pulling some 900,000 of them over the threshold. Don’t be surprised if you notice the impacts of the increases affecting things like your restaurant bill or full service gas station receipt.

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The future is in your hands. Meet Shlomo Anapolle of Edison, New Jersey. When it comes to a love of Israel, few college students can match the Sabra passion of this Yeshiva University junior. A pre-med, biology major with plans to attend an Israeli medical school, Shlomo balances his time

Sassy Reuven, the second IDF soldier off the plane in the hostage rescue, will share his first-hand account of this miraculous and historic event.

between neo-natal diagnostic research, intensive shiurim and a commitment to Israel advocacy. Whether it’s planning lobbying missions to Washington, D.C. with YUPAC or teaching English to teens in the Negev through Counterpoint Israel, Shlomo brings to bear his leadership skills for the sake of the Jewish people and homeland. He is proud to invite

On June 27, 1976 an Air France aircraft was hijacked by PLO and German terrorists. The hijackers landed the plane at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, where over 100 Jewish passengers were taken hostage. Six days later, Israel launched “Operation Thunderbolt” to rescue the hostages. Four Hercules C130 aircraft took off, carrying a force of IDF elite commandos. In a lightning raid, 102 hostages were freed and transported safely back to tr Israel.

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The Week In News

And the Band Played On

He’s 95-years-old and is still playing the piano. Sadly, though, he has no one to play with. Edward Hardy played in a jazz quartet for almost 40 years but is lonely after moving to a residential care home when he was diagnosed with dementia. In a bid to share his passion for music again, the war veteran posted an advertisement online (with the help of his caretaker)

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

asking for musicians to “jam with” him. The response to his plea was huge – more than 80 people from around the UK reached out to Mr. Hardy. Even more exciting, he heard from three former bandmates – with whom he formed an original jazz band – after a staggering 35 years apart. The four-piece band are now rehearsing for a reunion show at Mellifont Abbey home next year. Mr. Hardy, who has loved music since childhood, marveled, “It is amazing so many volunteers have come forward to help me make music and it is marvelous that I have also been reunited with my old band. “I have missed playing and when I do play now it makes me feel better and young again.” He set up his first band upon returning from serving in the armed forces in Japan in World War II. Following the appeal, saxophonist Jezz Jackson and double bassist Greg Cordezz visited the facility and jammed with Mr. Hardy, who despite his condition, played along without any problems. Jezz felt privileged to play with Hardy at the home. “Ed was born in the 1920s and has lived through all the major eras of music so this was also a special opportunity to perform with him.”

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He was reporting on a story and then became the story when he blurted out, “I have to go. I have to call 911.” Adam Sallet ended the broadcast while in middle of reporting on a robbery live on the air when he spotted the suspect, who just hit the bank for the second time. He was standing outside of Sterling State Bank in Rochester, Minnesota, when the robber made his second appearance. Later in the day, Minnesota State Patrol police said a 36-year-old man from Rochester was pulled over and arrested. “We always strive to get live breaking news as it happens, but I tell you what – we never thought we’d be a part of the story kind of like this,” Sallet mused. Thankfully, the suspect didn’t ask him for money.

This summer the area was devastated by massive rain-sparked floods, which killed seven people and destroyed thousands of homes. “Please give the money to people suffering from the rain disaster if any of these tickets win,” one of the notes read. The bag was addressed to Tochigi’s city office and its mayor. The top prize in this year’s annual New Year’s Eve lottery was around 1.0 billion yen ($8.3 million). Talk about giving them a lift.

Hear her Cries

The Lottery in the Lift A mystery benefactor left about 2,000 lottery tickets in an elevator and asked that flood victims get the proceeds from any winning stub, Japanese police reported. An elderly woman found the tickets – which would have cost about 600,000 yen ($4,980) to buy – and notes from the anonymous donor stuffed in

She’s crying. She’s wailing. She’s screaming. Why? A new app helps translate babies’ cries for their parents. The Infant Cries Translator was developed at the National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin and can differentiate between four separate crying sounds by recording the sounds of babies and com-

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The future is in your hands.

Honoring Our Traditions As a member of the Orthodox community, I am pleased to have joined the Mount Sinai family as an Advance Planning Representative. Mount Sinai is committed to respecting the Halachic needs of our community; and I look forward to working with you.

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

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The Week In News

paring them against a vast database. Over a two year period researchers collected around 200,000 crying sounds from approximately 100 newborn babies and uploaded them to an online database. Analysis of the frequency of individual screams among these helped researchers, led by Chang Chuan-yu and Dr Chen Si-da, distinguish subtle differences in acoustics. The resulting app shows analysis of a baby’s cries on the user’s phone within 15 seconds. Researchers say the app has an accuracy of 92 percent for infants under two weeks old, helping inform parents when their child is hungry, sleepy, in pain, or has a wet diaper. The analysis becomes less accurate the older the baby is. “The Infant Cries Translator can differentiate four different statuses of sounds of baby crying, including hunger, the diaper getting wet, sleepy and pain,” said Chuan-yu. “So far, according to the feedback from users, the accuracy of the app we’ve tested can reach 92 percent for babies under two weeks old. As for the babies under one or two months, the accuracy of the app can also reach up to 84 or 85 percent. Even for the four month old baby, the accuracy can reach 77 percent.” Its creators say there is little point using the app past the age of six months because

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

the baby has become more affected by its environment, but they believe it will be a useful tool for parents, especially those with their first child. “After downloading this app, we only need to set the birth of date and nationality for the newborn baby,” said Chang. “Once the baby cries, we only need to press the recording button for 10 seconds, and the sound will be uploaded to the Cloud Drive. After the differentiating process, the analysis result of the sound would be transferred to Mum’s mobile phone. So Mum can depend on the actual situation to determine whether the analysis result is correct or not, to make a revision for the app.” New father Guo Young-ming, 41, began using the app on December 21, four days after his baby daughter was born. “For the new parent like us, we are most afraid of seeing the baby crying and then not knowing what we should do. When we don’t know what we should do, this app can make some simple judgments for us, so we are able to know what our next step is,” he said. Sometimes, you know, a baby just wants to be held. Is there an app for that?

Eat all that You can Eat in the U.S. Army Uncle Sam wants YOU to eat his MREs. In fact, if you’re willing to eat “Meals Ready to Eat” for three straight week for a military study, the Army will pay you $200. But not everyone will qualify to eat these gourmet dinners. Participants must be between 18-62 years of age and without digestive health issues. Perhaps – and we hope this is not the case – because eating the MREs for three weeks straight may just cause digestive issues.

If you’re planning on joining this study, though, you may gain some weight. A full

MRE meal contains around 1,250 calories, as they’re designed to sustain soldiers during field missions. The packaged MREs are precision engineered to deliver calories and nutrition, but they miss out on some of the inedible but necessary compounds natural foods contain. These compounds are vital to what Dr. J. Philip Karl calls “gut health.” “There’s a lot of interesting and new research looking at gut bacteria, and how those gut bacteria interact with the human body,” Karl told Army Times.   “We think we can manipulate the bacteria in a way that helps the bacteria fight foreign pathogens – things that could cause foodborne illness, for example,” Karl said.    “Oftentimes, war fighters are overseas and they eat something off the local economy that can cause [gastrointestinal] distress. Potentially, what we could do by increasing the amount of beneficial gut bacteria is to help prevent some of that.”    Participants in the study will even get an MRE cookbook that features dishes like ”Bunker Hill Burritos” and ”Fort Bliss-ful Pudding Cake.”    As it is a true scientific study, there will be a control group among the 60 participants that will maintain their regular diet.  Hua!


The Week In News

JANUARY 7, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Ask the Attorney:

Thrilling Indeed, But Are They Legal? New Hoverboard Laws Take Effect in California Michael Rubinstein Esq. Hoverboards are the newest consumer craze! Whether it’s the IO Hawk or the PhunkeeDuck, hoverboards have become a must-have for technology enthusiasts. Demand for hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters, continues to increase, despite their steep price. But according to a recent New York Times article, governments on the state and local level are passing conflicting laws, creating a maze of confusion for consumers wishing to ride their hoverboards in public. New York is one such place. The state classifies hoverboards as motorized vehicles that cannot be registered. As such, they are illegal to ride in New York, even though they are a common sight throughout New York City. Across the Atlantic, the City of London has also banned the use of hoverboards due to safety concerns. And here in the United States, most major airlines prohibit transporting the rideable gadgets both in carry-on and checked luggage because they can catch fire. With this in mind, the question is: Are hoverboards legal in California? Can they be ridden in public without restrictions? The good news is that, effective January 1, 2016, California law governing hoverboards just became much clearer. The California Vehicle Code now offers a definition for hoverboards. The legal term is an “electrically motorized board”, which is a wheeled device that has a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding, that is not greater than 60 inches deep and 18 inches wide, can transport one person, and is powered solely by a propulsion system on a paved, level surface that does not exceed 20 miles per hour. Hoverboards in California now have similar laws to bicycles. Some key components of the new laws are: • Hoverboards must be equipped with proper lights and reflectors for nighttime riding; • Hoverboards can be ridden in bicycle lanes but only where the speed limit for the street does not exceed 35 miles per hour; • Hoverboards cannot exceed 15 miles per hour, whether on the street or the sidewalk; • Local governments may restrict the use of hoverboards within their jurisdictions.

Some important laws governing hoverboard riders include: • A hoverboard may only be operated by a person who is 16 years of age or older; • A person riding a hoverboard must wear a bicycle helmet; • A person riding a hoverboard shall not do so while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Riders should keep in mind that private property owners may restrict hoverboard use on their property. Some schools and universities have restricted hoverboard use on their campuses. Homeowner policies may also contain language restricting use on the premises, so be sure to check with your homeowner’s insurance for clarification. Hoverboard riding may look fun and easy, but it does take some effort for the rider to develop balancing skills. Riders should use caution when first learning to avoid injuries. And here’s another friendly reminder. Many Los Angeles area sidewalks are cracked, uneven, and in serious disrepair. Damaged sidewalks can pose safety risks to pedestrians and even more so for hoverboard riders who are required to balance and shift their body-weight to propel forwards. This can amplify the risks of tripping and serious injuries, G-d forbid. Keep this in mind when riding your hoverboard in the neighborhood. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He can be reached at 213 293 6075 and at www.rabbilawyer.com.

The future is now. Apply today. At Yeshiva University, growing your understanding of, and commitment to, Jewish values is not a club or an extracurricular activity, it is YU. From Talmud to mathematics, and Tanakh to biology, combining Torah study and Jewish values with a rigorous academic curriculum is the hallmark of YU. With student programs across our campuses and around the world, YU takes a global approach to learning, education and values, creating a full college experience. This is the essence of Torah Umadda and what sets YU apart. Picture yourself at YU. #NowhereButHere

www.yu.edu | 212.960.5277 | yuadmit@yu.edu

www.yu.edu/apply

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The Week In News

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The Week In News

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