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The Week In News


OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home




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The Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News


Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Humor: What a Nightmare!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

FEATURE The Art of the Iran Deal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

LIFESTYLES Ask Dr. T.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18




OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, A tzaddik of a previous generation moves to Eretz Yisroel. There, he encounters the yetzer hara. The tzaddik exclaims, “You’re also here!?!” The yetzer hara responds, “Sure I’m here! In fact, it’s my agents who I send to the Diaspora; here you get me in person.” Each yom tov we attain a new spiritual high, a new level of recognition of reality and our place in it. This leads us to feel like we’re sort of above the everyday challenges we experience year round. But then comes the “day after,” and it seems that just as we grew in our spiritual sensitivities, so did our evil inclination! Although it’s difficult not to feel down about it, we have to at least recognize that this exactly the purpose of our being here. The Baal HaTanya writes that each year a new G-dly light shines into the world, giving it new opportunity and purpose. As with all spiritual matters, it needs to be earned. The post-yom tov blues are one of the challenges we need to overcome. Many big changes are taking place in society, and it’s hard to keep up with them all, but as with Noach before the Mabul, just because society believes we’re heading for their objectives doesn’t mean we’re not heading straight for Hashem’s goal. This goal is nothing less than the ultimate and complete redemption, after which there will be no more challenges of working with darkness and concealment. When that time comes, the world will be filled with a G-dly light as has never been seen before. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,


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OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

L.A. Overflows with (Shlomo) Simcha In an incredible show of achdus, all of Hancock Park’s Chabad shuls banded together for a simchas beis hashoeiva event for children and their families on Tuesday, October 10th. The Sukkos celebration included food, games, a youth rally, and music. Hosted by Shaarei Tefillah and co-organized by Congregation Levi Yitzchok, Beis Menachem, Ohel Avrohom, and Kol Yakov Yehuda, more than 350 people turned out for the occasion. The afternoon started with dinner and a carnival in Hancock Park’s largest sukkah, that of Shaarei Tefillah. Following the carnival, there was a boisterous Tzivos Hashem rally. This was followed by a performance by Shlomo Simcha. His legendary voice entertained the crowd and brought the children to their feet. The dancing was certainly befitting simchas beis hashoeiva. This momentous show of unity and joy enhanced the yom tov for all the participants and offered a celebratory note with which to enter into Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah.

Emek Sukkos Carnival and Boys Basketball Tournament

TheHappenings Week In News



TheHappenings Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Press Release: American Israel Gap Year Fair to Take Place in Los Angeles Yehudis Litvak The annual American Israel Gap Year Fair will take place this year on November 16th, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m., at YULA Girls School. As always, the fair will feature a wide array of gap year programs – for boys, for girls, and co-ed – spanning the religious spectrum and representing a variety of personal interests. The gap year is “key to Jewish life experience” for recent high school graduates,

explains Phyllis Folb, Executive Director of the American Israel Gap-Year Association (AIGYA). “This year, these students will take ownership of their Jewish life,” she says. While their previous Jewish experiences were arranged for them by their parents, schools, camps, or community institutions, the first year after high school is the first time in their lives that the students choose for themselves how Jewishly involved they

would like to be. When Jewish students do not take advantage of the gap year opportunities, explains

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Folb, they are at risk of distancing themselves from the Jewish community during their first year in college. Drawn into other exciting events at college, such students are less likely to engage in Jewish life on campus. Gap year graduates, on the other hand, tend to be more Jewishly committed, as well as more mature and more motivated to excel in their studies. The American Israel Gap Year Fair is the only cross-denominational such fair in the country. Opportunities to spend a year in Israel are available to every Jewish student, independently of their religious background or prior Jewish education. The fair is sponsored by schools, synagogues, and organizations across the spectrum of the L.A. Jewish community. The founding sponsors, as every year, are American Israel Gap Year Association (AIGYA) and Masa Israel Journey. Among the newest community sponsors is Touro College LA, along with past sponsors, YULA Girls School, YULA Boys School, De Toledo High School, Harkham GAON Academy, Shalhevet High School, Valley Torah High School, and NCSY. The synagogues sponsoring the fair are Adat Shalom & Beth Am, Beth Jacob, Bnai David-Judaea, Beverly Hills Synagogue, Westwood Kehilla, and Young Israel of Century City. The fair is endorsed by the American Jewish University, the American Gap Association, USA Gap Year Fairs, and USY. About 40-plus programs come to the local fair. Some of them are academic, others focus on arts or high tech, and yet others emphasize leadership. New to this year’s fair is the opportunity for each program to give a short presentation describing their offerings. The schedule of presentations will be available to all attendees who register in advance. Both the students and their parents will be able to engage in a conversation with the representatives in order to ensure that they choose a program that is the right fit for them. Additional counseling services are available through AIGYA to facilitate the best fit. In addition, the families will have the opportunity to meet representatives from local colleges that are gap year friendly and have a large Jewish infrastructure, such as Touro, AJU, UCLA, and CSUN. They will provide the information on how to transfer credits and transition into college after the gap year. Financial information will also be presented at the fair, including the Jewish Free Loan’s Israel Experience Loan for gap year students. For more information you can visit the AIGYA website, and to register directly you can go to tinyURL. com/Israelfair.

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

Parshas Bereishis ends by stating that human behavior had degenerated to the point that Hashem reconsidered the creation of man. The parsha concludes by saying that Noach found favor in the eyes of Hashem. Parshas Noach continues this theme by describing Noach as a tzaddik tomim who walked with Hashem. The Torah states that Noach was a tzaddik tomim in his generation. Rashi tells us that some interpret this posuk as laudatory of Noach and others interpret it in a critical vein. The detractors say that had Noach lived in the generation of Avrohom, he would not have counted for anything. Since the Torah describes Noach as a tzaddik and a tomim, why must we pounce on him and minimize his greatness? Why can’t we take the posuk at face value? If the Torah states that the entire world except for Noach had become defiled, isn’t that enough to establish his spiritual grandeur? Does it really make a difference to us what level of greatness Noach would have attained had he lived in the generation of Avrohom? The world was about to be destroyed, and the only people Hashem found worthy of being saved were Noach and his family. The future of mankind would be perpetuated through them. They must have been good and worthy people. If not, they would have been swept away by the flood along with the rest of humanity. Why does Rashi interject that some looked upon Noach unfavorably? It is often noted that Noach was occupied with his own personal avodah and didn’t seek to improve people around him. Noach apparently felt that since Hashem had already decided to bring the flood, it would be futile to chastise his generation. The entirety of mankind of the generation in which he lived was depraved and unredeemable. Why waste time ministering to them and trying to assist them in rectifying their lives? There was clearly no interest. They had developed theories and philosophies to rationalize their hedonistic behavior and were not amenable to change.

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Make A Difference Noach’s existence was quite lonely. There were no people with whom he could carry on a conversation or take walks. “Es ha’Elokim hishalech Noach.” The humble tzaddik walked with Hashem. It is commendable that Noach, who lived in a deplorable time without role models or teachers to learn from and follow, raised himself to such a degree that G-d would speak to him, quite a noteworthy achievement. Yet, Rashi is quick to interject, “Ilu haya bedoro shel Avrohom lo haya nechshav leklum.” Had the tzaddik Noach lived in the time of Avrohom, he would not

Hashem. Noach’s was acceptable in his generation prior to the birth of the derech of Avrohom. However, once Avrohom showed that we are not to give up on anyone, that became the path for his progeny to follow. This is why Rashi takes pains to tell us that although Noach was a tzaddik tomim, we should not learn from him. His way is not our way. As children of Avrohom, we must follow the path that Avrohom Avinu hewed for us. We have to accept responsibility for those around us who are confused and lost. We have to be able to rise above the moral dissolution in which soci-

We have to find the skills and the intelligence to effectively reach out and touch people. have been considered anything. Noach’s self-contained, self-oriented avodah would not have been considered great in the time of Avrohom, because Avrohom showed that it is possible to be a tzaddik, live among wayward people, improve them, affect their behavior, and earn their respect. The posuk of “es hanefesh asher asu b’Choron” (Bereishis 12:5) attests that Avrom and Sorai had established a following of people whom they influenced and brought “tachas kanfei haShechinah” (Rashi, ibid.). Additionally, Avrohom pleaded with Hashem not to destroy the city of Sedom and its evil inhabitants. He never gave up on anyone and never perceived any person as being beyond salvation. There are various derochim in avodas

ety attempts to drown us. We have to find the skills and the intelligence to effectively reach out and touch people. We have to care enough to find the right words at the right time to let people know what they mean to us. If we cared about G-dliness and goodness as much as Avrohom did, then we would try as hard as he did to spread it in our world. We wouldn’t justify our inaction by saying that the people we could sway are too far gone. Parents who suffer with a child who has fallen under bad influences and is struggling with addiction never give up. They never stop loving their child and desperately seek ways to convey that love. “Ilu haya bedoro shel Avrohom lo haya nechshav leklum.” Although Noach was a tzaddik, found favor in Hashem’s eyes,

and was chosen to have the world rebuilt through him, once Avrohom came on the scene, Noach’s greatness was eclipsed. It is now Avrohom’s path - his actions and example - that we must emulate. In our own day, when we witness injustice and impropriety, we should not shirk the responsibility of intelligently addressing the source of these lapses. When we see bizayon haTorah, it should shake us to our core and we should not be too weak to express our indignation. Following Avrohom’s example, we must be engaged with others, not withdrawn from them. When we see people wronged, we should not stand by apathetically. Rather, we should rise to the occasion. We should imagine that it is our family being wronged. We should imagine that the transgression took place in our teivah. We should raise our voices and use our abilities to attempt to right the wrongs. We mustn’t content ourselves by only educating our children to follow in the path of the Torah and halacha. We have to at least attempt to enroll more children into religious schools. We mustn’t say that we are helpless to bring about change. Why don’t we see full-fledged kiruv in this country as there is in Israel and other places? How can it be that there are millions of Jews being lost to our people and we don’t do anything about it? Decades after Hitler diminished the world’s Jewish population by at least six million, we are witness to the loss of many more, yet we do nothing - or little - about it. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish kids who could be convinced to attend Jewish schools grow up oblivious to their heritage. We are glad when Reform temples close up shop and merge due to dwindling numbers, without realizing that their demise is an indication of more Jews being lost for eternity. Why the joy? At the very least, we should be pained and at least attempt to work to stem the awful tide. There are remarkable groups and individuals who dedicate their lives to outreach and school placement, but despite their heroic efforts, they can barely make a dent in solving the problem. They need much wider communal support and concern in order to reach appreciable numbers. We have to genuinely care about our Jewish brothers and sisters and really want to save them from drifting from their heritage to points of no return. Noach was a great man. Undoubtedly, it required superhuman strength to withstand the temptations of his period. Certainly, he was outstanding in that he

Living withIn theNews Times The Week

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

remained moral and honest despite the corruption of his time. The posuk testifies that Noach found favor - chein - in the eyes of Hashem. And the Gemara in Sukkah (49b) states axiomatically that anyone who has chein also possesses yiras Shomayim. Yet, while Noach had yiras Shomayim and all of mankind is his offspring, he is not referred to as av hamon goyim, the father of the nations, although, in fact, everyone alive is a descendent of his. That appellation is reserved for Avrohom Avinu, who treated all of mankind as his children, as dwellers of his own ark, whom he was responsible to care for and love. He didn’t mock them; he sought to raise them. He touched their hearts, reached their souls, affected their psyches, and improved them to the level that they joined his flock. Avrohom went further than Noach. Not only did he have yiras Shomayim, but he was also the first to convert to Hashem’s

service. The Gemara in Sukkah (ibid.) expounds on the posuk, “Am Elokei Avrohom - shehaya techilah l’goyim,” which Rashi explains to mean that he was the first person in the world to convert. Noach never took that step. He didn’t go around trying to straighten out the people he lived with, and he wasn’t mispallel for their salvation as Avrohom was. Noach didn’t sit out in front of his tent waiting to bring them under the canopy of G-d as Avrohom did. “Ilu haya bedoro shel Avrohom lo haya nechshav leklum.” Let us not excuse inaction by contending that those around us are too far gone to merit our intervention. Let us not minimize our talents and abilities. Let us find the right words of reproach and outreach to express our love and determination, and may we merit for our actions to be judged favorably by G-d and man.

Rav Shlomo of Karlin told his students that following his passing, they should turn to the rebbe of Nishchiz for leadership and direction. Rav Uri of Strilisk followed Rav Shlomo’s advice and made his way to Nishchiz. As he waited his turn, he watched as a wealthy man was warmly received and blessed by the rebbe. Rav Uri was able to see that the man had recently committed a serious sin. He was horrified that the man his rebbe had sent him to for guidance was so welcoming to an evil-doer. The rebbe of Nishchiz perceived Rav Uri’s anger and told him to immediately leave the room. Quite embarrassed, he did as he was told and headed for the local bais medrash. A short time later, the rebbe arrived at the bais medrash. He went over to Rav Uri and said to him, “I also know what you know. But do you know why Rav Shlomo

Karliner sent you here? It is so that you should learn that a person without enough ahavas Yisroel to love a sinning Jew hasn’t reached the proper level of avodas Hashem, for if you would treat people like him with love, they can do teshuvah and return.” Like Avrohom Avinu, we are to express concern for others, seek to return sinners to the tent of Torah, reach out to wayward folks with love and care, and teach anyone who will listen the ways of morality and goodness. Never perceive any issue as hopeless. View every person with merciful kindness, knowing that “betzelem Elokim bara osam,” there is spirituality in every living soul. May we be worthy inheritors of our grandfather, Avrohom.

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Torah Musings The Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Garden of Eating Sarah Pachter

Years ago, when I was attending an NCSY shabbaton, a counselor suddenly stood up on a chair during the Friday night dinner, and dramatically exclaimed, “What if I told you today that you were not really a Jew?” Standing up in front of 200 people, I blurted out, “I’d go out and eat a cheeseburger!” I’m pretty sure this was not the answer he was hoping to hear, but I was already keeping kosher and hated the restrictions I felt were infringing on my life. I had to say something out loud and express my desire to finally get this “kosher burden” right off of me! Of all the mitzvos I was fulfilling, I always wondered why keeping kosher was particularly difficult for me. Maybe because growing up in the Bible Belt of Georgia meant that keeping kosher was particularly challenging. Today you can wine and dine in beautiful kosher restaurants in cities like New York and Los Angeles, and there is an endless supply of supermarkets and bakeries catering to Jewish buyers. But throughout my childhood, access to kosher food was somewhat limited. On top of that, most of my friends weren’t religious, and oftentimes I would find myself in a non-kosher setting, sipping a Coke, while everyone else enjoyed their tantalizing sushi, lobster, and hamburgers. Thus, for a very long time, keeping kosher felt like a burden to me – something that I did because it was law, rather than a mitzvah with which I genuinely connected. Eventually, not content with continuing to keep kosher by rote, I decided to dig a little deeper. I wanted to learn and uncover the real meaning behind this profound law and its intricate practices. Keeping kosher impacts us all day long, from morning, when we eat breakfast, to the late night snack we nibble before going to bed. And where better to look for an answer to my kashrus queries than the Torah itself? By taking a closer look at the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, one that has been told and retold innumerable times, I found the inspiration for keeping

kosher in my own daily life. On the sixth day of creation, G-d created Adam and Eve. God’s very first words ever spoken to Man were, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat thereof; for on the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.” (Bereishis 2:16-17) Of course we know how the story ends: Adam and Eve eat from the tree and immediately notice that they are naked. When G-d sees them and asks what happened, Adam responds by blaming Eve, who in turn blames the serpent for tempting her, and so begins the fall of mankind… The Torah does not use any word unnecessarily, and each phrase has something precious to teach us. In His first utterances to Adam, Hashem uses the words “of every tree” and “may freely eat.” This phrasing shows that Hashem is providing for Adam and Eve in abundance. He gives them a beautiful garden full of trees that are “pleasing to the eye and good for food.” Instead of one or two fruit trees that would provide sufficient sustenance, Hashem provides an entire garden and tells them they can eat to their heart’s content. Fruits of so many colors! Tastes! Textures! When G-d blessed us with this appetizing array, there was only one limit that He put in place. From all the food in the garden, Adam and Eve were only forbidden from eating the fruit of one tree. Only one tree was off limits! Can you imagine how easy it would be to keep kosher if only one food was pro-

hibited? Of course the guidelines to what makes food kosher are more complex than the law to abstain from one tree, but in their essence these restrictions are quite similar. The Tree of Knowledge was specifically set “in the midst of the garden” – meaning that Adam and Eve couldn’t help but notice it. They had to walk past the forbidden tree and smell its delicious fruits, telling themselves over and over again that the tree was off limits. Just think of the last time you saw an advertisement for a juicy cheeseburger on TV, or inhaled the tantalizing scents wafting out of the non-kosher bakery. Not to mention when children nag for non-kosher junk food at the amusement parks each summer! Non-kosher food is all around us, begging to be consumed. Now let’s go back to Adam and Eve in the Garden. While it is easy to say that the commandment they receive from G-d is a negative one, “Don’t eat from the tree…” if we take a step back, a different picture emerges. G-d’s initial command is actually a positive one: “Eat from every tree…” Most people’s perception of the laws of kashrus is negative, focusing on all the things we are not allowed to eat, but if we look at G-d’s words to Adam, kashrus is actually a positive mitzvah. Not only is keeping kosher a positive assignment from God, it can also help keep us healthy. The food we eat is what gives us energy to accomplish our goals. For example, an Olympic gymnast who has trained her whole life will only put the best

possible nutrients into her body to help her maintain her physique and perform to her optimal ability. Studies continue to abound showing that today’s over-processed foods are having a negative impact on our bodies and slowing us down. Food is not just a physical thing; it can also impact our emotions. Sugary foods have been shown to influence our emotions, particularly in how it affects anger and mood swings. Numerous studies have been conducted for over two decades, including ones that studied the influence of food on the behavior of inmates in jails. A 37% decrease in violence was seen after changing to a more balanced and nutritious menu. The impact on the brains ability to function optimally was also substantially shown. The evidence is clear and considerable: What we put in our bodies has a major impact on us! The short answer to why we observe the mitzvah of keeping kosher is because the Torah says so. We do what the King declares is good for us. Keeping kosher is one of the mitzvos that is considered a chok – one for which there is no known reason. But just as we appreciate that some food is better for our bodies than others, we can appreciated that some food is better for our souls than others. Our eating kosher becomes a way to infuse our actions with holiness. Even the “mundane” act of eating can elevate us to new heights! When we eat a meal, we are reminded that we are Jewish. Hashem has commanded us precisely which animals, birds, and fish we can consume, for reasons far beyond physicality. Making choices can help us recognize that choosing kosher means we are fulfilling another incredible positive mitzvah. By opening our eyes and seeing the incredible bounty of food that He has given us, rather than dwelling on the items we can’t have, we will recognize that Hashem has entrusted us with the laws of kashrus not as a burden, but as a tremendous brachah.

The Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home




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OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf

Who Am I: My Body Or My Soul? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of

This issue was explored on 91a in a fascinating conversation between Rebbi (R’ Yehudah HaNassi) and Antoninus (often understood to be Marcus Aurelius Antoninus). Of the many theological questions that these two discussed, Antoninus once asked Rebbi how one could be possibly held accountable for misdeeds committed in this life. “Who exactly,” Antoninus inquired, “will be held responsible? For if the physical body is taken to task, it can shift the blame to the soul. ‘For see here,’ the body can argue, ‘from the day the soul departed from me I have been lying in the ground, silent as a stone!’ The soul can likewise

exempt itself by pointing out that from the day it left the body, it has been innocently flying about like a bird!” “I will answer your question with a parable,” Rebbi replies. “Imagine a king who had a beautiful orchard containing very premium figs. He hired two fellows to guard his orchard: one lame and the other blind. The lame guard, desiring the figs, rode atop the blind guard to take the figs which they both ate. The king discovered that his precious figs had been stolen under the guards’ watch and accused them of the theft. When they each tried to claim innocence pointing to their respective disabilities, the king mounted the lame one on the

blind one – just as they had done to steal – and judged them together. So it will be by the judgment of the afterlife: God will take the soul and re-insert it into the body, and judge them together.” The first lesson from this dialogue is a chilling one: from Rebbi’s description it appears that punishment in the next world

But perhaps this fundamental issue of identity – am I my soul or my body – is more complicated than we thought. That is, if we choose to lead lives in which our physical bodies reign supreme, then our true selves, our souls, become attached to the body, wrapping them up with our identities. That is why Antoninus took it for

is not some esoteric experience that is hard to relate to. Rather, it will be felt as we physically experience pain in this world. But let’s now consider Antoninus’s actual question. He asks that since neither soul nor body is capable of sinning by itself, there shouldn’t be punishment at all. But seemingly there is a much more basic question that needs to first be established: Who am I, my body or my soul? The axiomatic answer to this question is: I am my soul. As Antoninus himself observed: After a person’s allotted lifetime, the body goes to the ground, silent as a stone, and only the soul continues to exist, “flying like a bird.” The physical body which housed the soul may cease to function and begin to decompose, but the real me – that spark of consciousness, feelings, and animation – that carries on forever. Given that the real me is my soul, how could I possibly blame any of the poor choices that I made on the body I directed to carry out those bad choices? Why then did Rebbi even consider Antoninus’s question?

granted that our bodies are a fundamental part of ourselves. And Rebbi responds to this question that indeed, if a person lived a life in which his physical body was considered on par with his soul, then justice will dictate that the whole person – body and soul – be judged together. But if on the other hand a person lived his life always with the realization that his true self is his soul, then the question is moot: only the soul will be judged. Moreover the gemara in Brachos (8a) describes the possibility of death by a “Divine kiss” which is as easy as “removing a hair from some milk.” That is, if a person remains focused throughout life (as the forefathers were), that he is his soul, then the process of extracting the soul from the body will be essentially painless. Death for a person who truly understands who he really is will feel like removing a coat, and more importantly, his life will be full of important deeds that strengthen the soul and its bond to the Creator.

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Humor The Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Humor: What a Nightmare! Rebecca Klempner

Although I needed to recover from hours of cooking and cleaning, I decided it was worth standing on my feet a bit longer in order to attend synagogue several times during this past yom tov season. I urgently wanted to say the yehi ratzon prayer during the Priestly Blessing in order to rectify a whole slew of dreams. There was the nightmare in which I was riding in a school bus beside my youngest daughter when the driver suddenly disappeared. Forced to take the wheel, I discovered that my feet couldn’t reach the pedals and my hands couldn’t reach the enormous steering wheel. As the bus swerved into oncoming traffic, I woke up, bracing myself for the crash. Then I had a nightmare in which I was lost in a jungle. Deadly fer-de-lance snakes lurked in the underbrush, while clouds of

biting sand flies hovered over my skin. (Note to self: Do not read books about cursed archeological sites deep in the rainforests of Honduras at bedtime.) I also had several dreams that were just plain weird: In one, my husband was a monster – a friendly monster – made of sand and clay. In another, I was back in high school. Only the campus looked like my college, not my high school. And the other people in the dream were not people I knew back in high school or college. The Gemara says it’s very important to make sure that your dreams are interpreted for the good (Brachos 56a). Even if the dream is interpreted incorrectly, by accident or with malice, that interpretation has an influence on reality. (That scares me nearly as much as a nightmare itself! Imagine: You tick off your roommate, and

they decide to get even by telling you your dream means you’re going to lose all your hair or your car is destined for an extended stay at the mechanic or that you will read a novel ending in a cliffhanger and the sequel won’t be due out until 2019. Not good.) Our family has established a little ritual to make sure every dream is interpreted for the good. When anyone wakes up in the morning from a particularly vivid dream, they burst into my bedroom and describe it to my husband and me. First, I attempt to explain each symbol and bit of day residue using psychological, anthropological, and literary techniques. And then, no matter what the dream is, my husband offers his own interpretation: You’re going to win the lottery. There is a small complication. No one

in our family actually buys lottery tickets. While I have played the lottery twice, on both occasions, friends had purchased tickets for me as birthday presents. The first time, I won five dollars! (Note to readers: My birthday is in Iyar.) Anyway, since my kids never offer to interpret my dreams, and I’m doubtful my husband’s wishful thinking counts as genuine dream interpretation, I think saying the appropriate prayer during birkas Kohanim is a better gamble. If my feet remain swollen a bit longer due to walking to synagogue and standing off and on during the service, so be it. Maybe those feet will reach the pedals the next time I dream that I’m driving a school bus.

NCSY is the international youth movement of the OU

NCSY’s Annual Gala ♦ HONORING ♦


Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY Following the Ben Zakkai 23rd Annual Scholarship Reception 4:00 PM


Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva University; Rabbi, Congregation Ohr HaTorah in Bergenfield, NJ; Rosh Yeshiva, NCSY Kollel

5:00 PM


6:00 PM


7:00 PM

NCSY PROGRAM Dinner Chairs Gila & Dovid Weinstein ▪ Laurie & Lewis Barbanel ▪ Bernice & Seme Joszef Executive Leadership Moishe Bane, President, OU ▪ Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, OU Avi Katz, Chairman, NCSY ▪ Rabbi Micah Greenland, International Director, NCSY





Ben Zakkai Memorial Tribute





Week In News Feature 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 64 The OCTOBER

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Art of the

IRAN DEAL What Trump’s Recent Announcement Really Means By Susan Schwamm


s I have said many times, the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” These words were said by President Donald Trump last Friday. And it’s true. He has been saying this time and time again. But this time, people are taking the president seriously. In a major speech at the White House, the leader of the free world threatened to pull out of the infamous Iran nuclear deal, agreed to by the United States and five other world powers with Tehran in 2015. According to the president, Iran has not been adher-

ing to the terms of the deal that was supposedly implemented to freeze and reverse Iran’s nuclear program. He urged Congress and U.S. allies to strengthen the agreement as he unveiled a tough and comprehensive new policy toward the Islamic Republic. Trump’s announcement was uncharacteristically not an off-the-cuff remark meant to make the Ayatollah and his minions scatter, quaking in corners of their mosques. The president had been weighing his decision on Iran for weeks. In fact, he had been facing intense pressure from European allies to keep the United States in agreement and to maintain status quo. His national security advisors had encouraged him to

avoid completely withdrawing from the accord. Their thinking was that leaving the deal would isolate the United States even more and give Iran a much-wanted excuse not to reduce their nuclear stockpiles. But Trump, throughout his campaign, promised to remove the U.S. from the agreement. Since taking office, he has twice “certified” the deal but has told top advisors that he no longer wishes to do so, stating that the “certifications” appear to show the American people that he is committed to Obama’s folly. According to a person in the know in the White House, around July 17 was when things came to a head, with Trump making it known in “forceful, not uncertain” terms that he was dis-

satisfied with options given to him regarding the deal. The president felt that his national security team – including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – weren’t on the same page as him to fulfill this critical campaign pledge. Even after certifying the deal in the summer, the president expressed in an interview that he would have preferred to decertify the agreement. And so, under intense pressure from Trump, the team got to work. On Friday, the president’s plan was revealed. The current proposal attempts to satisfy the president, his campaign promises, and those in the administration who want to keep Iran

The Week In News Feature

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

from going rogue. According to the Tillerson, “The president, on many occasions, talked about either tearing the deal up or fixing the deal, and he said many times, we got to fix this deal,” the secretary of state said on Thursday evening. “What we are laying out here, this is the pathway, we think, that provides us with the best platform to attempt to fix this deal.” “We may be unsuccessful, we may not be able to fix it and if we are not, then we may end up out of the deal,” Tillerson went on. “But I think what the president is saying, before I do that and just walk, look, we will try. We will try. We will go try to fix it. I think you are going to hear he is not particularly optimistic.” In Trump’s speech on Friday he accused Iran of committing “multiple violations of the agreement,” adding that Tehran had “failed to meet our expectations in its operations of advanced centrifuges,” and “intimidated” international inspectors into not using their full authority. Trump also accused the Obama administration of lifting sanctions on Iran under the terms of the deal at a moment when the Iranian clerical regime was about to collapse. He also ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to mount a new assessment of Iran’s compliance. Trump announced that he would no longer make regular certifications that the lifting of sanctions under the deal had been in U.S. interests. “We cannot and will not make this certification,” he asserted. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout. I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.” The president warned that the deal was plagued by “insufficient enforcement” and near total silence on the missile program. Some of the prohibitions in the agreement are set to end in 2025, including limits on the number of its

Key members in the Iran nuclear deal, including EU representative Federica Mogherini, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry, in July 2015

centrifuges. Iran, which has always maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and not for weapons, would not agree to a permanent freeze in its ability to enrich nuclear fuel. Trump has pointed out that there is no plan put into place to prevent Iran from racing towards nuclear armament once the 2025 deadline passes. Ultimately, the bottom line of Friday’s announcement was this: if Trump’s changes do not go through as proposed, the president stated that he would unilaterally kill the deal. “In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as president at any time.” This ultimatum seems to be a classic Trump move. After all, he is the one who penned the book, Trump: The Art of the Deal. But given the deep reluctance of the other parties – the UK, Russia, France, China and Germany – to renegotiate the agreement, Trump’s determination in dealing with Iran this way is not without risk. As Trump spoke, the Treasury Department issued a statement saying that it would designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for new sanctions over its support for terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. It did not, however, single out the powerful

militia as a foreign terror organization through the State Department. Before the designation, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Saleh, warned that terming the guards as a terror group would be “tantamount to a declaration of war.”


ted” to the 2015 nuclear deal and that preserving it was “in our shared national security interest.” “The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is not diverted for military purposes,” they added. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, wagged his proverbial finger at the president, saying that Trump was sending “a difficult and also from our point of view dangerous signal.” He said that the Iran deal, and other diplomatic achievements, were necessary “to convince countries like North Korea, and maybe also others, that it is possible to create security without acquiring nuclear weapons.” “Destroying this agreement would, worldwide, mean that others could no longer rely on such agreements — that’s why it is a danger that goes further than Iran,” he asserted. Iran, of course, condemned Trump and the United States. Appearing on television, its president, Hassan Rouhani, denounced Trump and called the United States an outlier that had become “more lonely than ever” in the

Trump spoke at a "Stop the Iran Deal" rally at the West Lawn of the Capitol in September 2015


esponse to Trump’s announcement on Friday came swiftly. Though they avoided direct criticism of the American president, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France said in a rare joint statement that they “stand commit-

international community. Rouhani did not threaten to withdraw from the deal, but made it clear that he would not renegotiate the terms, either. “The statements of Mr. Trump are nothing but abuse and threats against the people of Iran,” he said. “An international agreement cannot be disregarded.”




TheOCTOBER Week In News Feature 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

This, of course, comes from a country that routinely calls for the destruction of Israel and the United States at its rallies. Rouhani, who has significant political capital invested in the deal, assured his people that Trump does not have the ability to back out of the deal. “This is an international, multilateral deal that has been ratified by the UN Security Council. It is a UN document. Is it possible for a president to unilaterally decertify this deal? Apparently, he’s not in the know.” Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top diplomat, echoed Rouhani’s sentiment: “The president of the United States has many powers — not this one,” she said at a news conference in Brussels. She added that there had been no violations of the agreement and that the world could not afford to dismantle an accord that “is working and delivering,” especially at a time of “acute nuclear threat,” referring to the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear program. Both Rouhani and Mogherini are correct in the fact that the deal was endorsed by the UN and is effectively not something that Trump can cancel. But the president of the United States can stop waiving nuclear sanctions at any point, causing the sanctions to come back into force. Moreover, U.S. law requires Trump to waive nuclear sanctions regularly, so as long as the president does not put pen to paper, the nuclear sanctions will come back. In effect, that would terminate the deal, whether the other partners like it or not. Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani threatened on Friday that Iran may withdraw from the nuclear agreement if the United States does. Speaking to reporters in St. Petersburg, Larijani acknowledged that quitting the deal was “a possibility” and said that if the U.S. does not implement the agreements reached when the nuclear deal was signed, nothing will remain of the accord. “If they act like it, then there will be hardly anything left from this agreement. So a new issue will arise on the international arena,” Larijani said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that it was “obvious” that any action by the U.S. to pull

out of the Iran nuclear deal will have “very, very negative consequences.” But not every country condemned Trump’s new policy. Praise came specifically from Israel, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said that the announcement created “an opportunity to fix this bad deal” and was a sign of Trump’s determination to “boldly confront Iran’s terrorist regime.” Many will remember Net-

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Congress. The international community and the European Union with it has clearly indicated that the deal is and will continue to be in place.” Russia’s deputy foreign minister also spoke directly to lawmakers. “We want to hope that Congress will not take any dramatic steps which would effectively signify a collapse” of the deal, Sergei Ryabkov said.

The Natanz nuclear facility in Iran

anyahu’s showdown with Obama over his speech in Congress regarding Iran and the nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia, which is Iran’s arch nemesis as it plays on the other side of the Sunni/Shia divide, said it welcomed a “new U.S. strategy” toward Iran. Iran and Saudi Arabia have consistently waged a battle for supremacy in the delicate arena of the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates, which like Saudi Arabia is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country with a sizable Shiite minority, also said that it “fully supports” Trump’s stance on Iran. The rhetoric against Trump’s announcement from foreign nations was critical, although relatively mild since Trump has asked Congress to address changes in U.S. terms. As such, it’s now up to the legislative body to determine whether or not the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran, essentially terminating the deal. Mogherini of the European Union appealed directly to Congress when she said that America’s next step “is now in the hands of the United States


rump has consistently accused Iran of violating both the letter and spirit of the law. For instance, on Friday, Trump pointed out that “the Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement. For example, on two separate occasions, they have exceeded the limit of 130 metric tons of heavy water. Until recently, the Iranian regime has also failed to meet our expectations in its operation of advanced centrifuges.” Since the agreement was reached, a mere two years ago, Iran exceeded the deal’s limit on heavy water, used especially as a moderator in nuclear reactors, at least twice, although the amount was by less than one percent. It endeavored to take advantage of fuzzy language in the agreement but was immediately caught by international inspectors; the other partners objected and forced Iran to come back into compliance. Iran also took advantage of ambiguous limits in the agreement – “roughly 10” advanced centrifuges – by operating slightly more than that number of centrifuges. David Al-

bright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, noted to Congress that “Iran has also built and operated more advanced centrifuges than it is allowed, and it has misused quality assurance limitations to conduct banned mechanical testing of advanced centrifuges.” Prior to the nuclear accord, signed in July of 2015 in a flurry of handshakes and smiles, there were two uranium enrichment facilities in Iran, Natanz and Fordo, where uranium hexafluoride gas was fed into centrifuges to separate out the most fissile isotope U-235. Low-enriched uranium, which has a 3%-4% concentration of U-235, can be used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. But it can also be enriched to the 90% needed to produce nuclear weapons. In July 2015, Iran had almost 20,000 centrifuges. Under the agreement, Tehran was limited to installing no more than 5,060 of the oldest and least efficient centrifuges at Natanz for 10 years. Its uranium stockpile was set to be reduced by 98% to 300kg for 15 years. And it had to keep its level of enrichment at 3.67%. Research and development was only allowed to take place at Natanz and was limited for eight years. No enrichment was permitted at Fordo for 15 years, and the underground facility was directed to be converted into a nuclear, physics and technology center. The 1,044 centrifuges at the site had to produce radioisotopes only for use in medicine, agriculture, industry and science. Prior to the nuclear deal, Iran had been building a heavy-water nuclear

The Arak heavy water facility

The Week In News Feature

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

facility near the town of Arak. Spent fuel from a heavy-water reactor contains plutonium suitable for a nuclear bomb. World powers had originally wanted Arak dismantled because of the proliferation risk. Under an interim nuclear deal agreed in November 2013, Iran agreed not to commission or fuel the reactor. Instead, it agreed to redesign the reactor so it cannot produce any weapons-grade plutonium. All spent fuel had to be sent out of the country as long as the modified reactor exists. About 6 tons of heavy water was allowed to be retained to make medical isotopes. Iran was not able to build additional heavy-water reactors or accumulate any excess heavy water for 15 years. The nuclear agreement required Iran to allow inspectors to access any site anywhere in the country they deem suspicious. But the regime has time to allow for access. For the first 15 years of the agreement, Iran has 24 days to comply with any IAEA access request. If it refuses, an eight-member Joint Commission – including Iran – rules on the issue. It can decide on punitive steps, including the re-imposition of sanctions. A majority vote by the commission suffices. Agreeing to these terms back in 2015 allowed billions of dollars to flow back into Iran’s coffers. Sanctions previously imposed by the UN, U.S. and EU in an attempt to force Iran to halt uranium enrichment crippled its economy, costing the country more than $160 billion in oil revenue from 2012 to 2016 alone. According to the deal, Iran stood to gain access to more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas, and was able to resume selling oil on international markets and using the global financial system for trade. According to the accord, should Iran violate any aspect of the deal, the UN sanctions will automatically “snap back” into place for 10 years, with the possibility of a five-year extension.


ow many are looking towards Congress to see how things will unfold. There, Republican Senators Bob Corker and Tom Cotton are leading an effort to change the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act to automatically restore

sanctions on Iran if it crosses a number of red lines that their amendment would establish. The thought is that restoring sanctions suspended under the Iran nuclear deal is the most direct path to unraveling the accord. European partners in the deal have not been so enthusiastic about changing the deal; they have said they are open to negotiating separate deals with Iran but do not favor anything that would endanger the original agreement. And getting Iran to agree to new “red lines” won’t be easy. Tehran has consistently rejected any renegotiations. Its mission to the UN on Friday threatened, “Iran has many options on how to proceed and if necessary will terminate its commitment regarding this issue.” Last month, its foreign minister rejected extending the length or conditions of the accord, saying that Iran would consider changing the agreement only if the concessions it

Missiles on display in Iran in front of a portrait of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

will need the “ayes” of all 52 Republicans and eight more Democrats. As such, Eurasia Group predicts that the “legislation could well morph into a softer version, leaving some room for

“In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as president at any time.”

had already made — including giving up nuclear fuel — were reconsidered. According to Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC, “Hence, such a red line, alongside demands for enhanced inspections and curbs on missile activity, could turn the [Iran Review Act] into a ‘poison bill’ that the Iranians would be unlikely to swallow. Such an Iranian rejection in turn could be the catalyst for Congress to reinstate the waived nuclear sanctions.” Working with Congress won’t be easy either. Solving things legislatively will require 60 votes to end debate and take a vote. The president


consensus with the Europeans and Iran.” Most important when determining legislation will be firming up the U.S.’s objective when it comes to Tehran. If the United States wants to deny Iran the capability to develop a certain type of ballistic missile, then the red lines must be strong enough to dissuade Iran from carrying out multiple tests, which will prevent them from creating the data necessary to build a successful missile. Equally important will be the administration’s need to get its European partners to agree to a shared set of goals and strategy. France has signaled its willingness to pressure

Iran, and Britain could be the key to overcoming German stubbornness. But Iran will also be on the lookout for European friends, as corporations seek to reenter its markets, formerly closed to the European world. Iran has already begun the propaganda campaign against the United States on the global front. This weekend, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “It’s withdrawing from everything. So people cannot trust anymore the word of the United States,” equating the United States’ withdrawal from UNESCO to the nuclear deal. Apparently, the U.S. is not a trusted partner in any deal.


ow, Congress has 60 days to decide whether Iran will be slapped with sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal. Slowly the power play that began in July 2015 will begin to shift. What will the world look like in two months’ time? And, even more importantly, what will the world look like in a few years from now? Will Iran be holding the keys to a nuclear ballistic missile? Or will the United States have been able to effectively stamp out their nuclear ambitions? One hundred lawmakers will be submitting their support or opposition to Iranian sanctions in the coming days. Let’s hope they make the right decision.



The Week In News

The Week In News

Austria’s New Young Chancellor

A 31-year-old foreign minister in Austria is set to become the youngest leader in the European Union. Sebastian Kurz has been voted in as the next chancellor of Austria. Austria’s parliamentary election showed that Kurz’s right-leaning People’s Party came out way ahead of the far-right Freedom Party and the center-left Social

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Democrats. The millennial from Vienna is known for his slicked-back dark hair and his promises to curb immigration to Austria by mostly Muslim migrants. He became Austria’s foreign minister at the age of 27 in 2013. “It is my assignment to change this country,” Kurz said as he declared victory. “I will establish a new style in our country.” He is far younger than French President Emmanuel Macron, 39, and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be 33. Kurz’s party received 31.4% of the vote, with the Freedom Party coming in second with 27.4%. The Social Democrats garnered 26.7% of the vote. It is likely that a coalition government will be formed by the two right-leaning parties, which would mean a decided turn in that direction for Austria. About 90,000 migrants entered Austria from Syria in 2015; the immigration issue came front-and-center in this year’s elections. Kurz stumped on promises that he would curb benefits for newly arrived immigrants and would require they learn German. He took over as his party’s leader in May and rebranded the People’s Party as “something new” despite it being the center-right option in Austria for many decades. He has supported the new “burqa ban” law and has pledged to close Islamic nurseries.

Macron to Deal with Illegal Immigration

In a recent interview, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he is cracking down on illegal immigrants who commit crimes in France. The 39-year-old said that even without new legislation “we can take tougher measures” and expel illegal immigrants if they commit a crime, “whatever it may be.” The French leader discussed many topics in the wide-ranging interview he gave from his home. It is only the sixth such interview he has given since being elected in May. The immigrant crime issue arose because a Tunisian man stabbed two women in Marseille two weeks ago. The illegal immigrant had been known to police for drug and alcohol problems and was even arrested two days before his attack for shoplifting. Ahmed Hanachi, who did not have the proper paperwork, was allowed to

walk free. “We are not taking all the steps that should be taken. Well, that’s going to change,” Macron told three journalists in his home. The young president has seen his approval ratings plunge from 60 percent in June to 44 percent. He has had to fend off critics who call him a “president of the rich” because he is planning major tax cuts for the wealthy. The former investment banker was clear with his interviewers that the tax reforms he has planned are aimed at the middle class with improvements such as lower social charges and residence taxes. Macron also spoke about the Iran deal and President Trump’s threat to “terminate” it unless Congress brings new sanctions against Tehran. Macron reiterated his commitment to the 2015 deal, along with Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, who were all part of the original Iran accord.

Assange Risks Refuge Talk about burning your bridges. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being protected by Ecuador in London. As one of the world’s most known fugitives from U.S. law it would be reasonable to assume that Assange would do anything

The Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

to ensure his asylum, however recent events indicate otherwise. Assange, 46, has been in the Ecuadoran Embassy since 2012 and is currently embroiled in a public argument with Ecuador’s new president, Lenin Moreno. Moreno, who was sworn-in in January, recently requested that Assange stay silent about the constitutional crisis in Spain. However, Assange is not one to be hushed. He tweeted on September 28, “If President Moreno wants to gag my reporting of human rights abuses in Spain he should say so explicitly – together with the legal basis.” But Assange is treading in dangerous waters. He is also wanted in Sweden for alleged crimes against women and if he upsets Moreno it could cost him his freedom. Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa, who originally granted refuge to the Australian activist, was an extreme liberal. Previously, Moreno has publicly stated that he will maintain Assange’s asylum, on condition. The caveat was “as long as we assume his life may be in danger.” The president has also previously dismissed the WikiLeaks boss as a “hacker,” which Assange surely takes offense to.

ISIS Shrinking in Iraq & Syria

Iran Suspected in UK Govt Hack Ninety email accounts of members of the British parliament were hacked last

summer, and UK intelligence officials now believe that Iran is behind the security breach. The cyber-criminals were even able to gain access to Prime Minister Theresa May’s personal email account. It was originally thought that Russia or North Korea was behind the attack, but Tehran is now the prime suspect. When the hack first took places, a security source told reporters that “it was a brute force attack. It appears to have been state-sponsored,” adding that “the nature of cyberattacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor.” The law enforcement agencies that are spearheading the investigation into the cy-

ber-attacks in the UK are being very tightlipped. A spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Center, the government body responsible for helping to counter attacks, simply told reporters that “it would be inappropriate to comment further while inquiries are ongoing.” International Trade Minister Liam Fox called for smarter computer users. Fox said it was a “warning to everyone that we need more security and better passwords.” He noted, “We know that our public services are attacked so it is not at all surprising that there should be an attempt to hack into parliamentary emails.”

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The Islamic State tries to lure recruits from around the world with promises of eternal peace in paradise. However, as the “caliphate” collapses, mass graves are being discovered with bodies of jihadists, painting a very different picture of the “paradise” they promise. In the Iraqi town of Dhuluiyah, 55 miles north of Baghdad, a mass grave houses the bodies of dozens of ISIS fighters believed to have been killed in 2015. “They should have ended up in the stomachs of stray dogs,” local police officer Mohammed al-Juburi told AFP. “We buried them here not out of love but because we wanted to avoid diseases.” Since the 2014 U.S.-led coalition commenced, around 80,000 jihadists have been killed. Jihadists were denied the Islamic rights of the dead and proper burials. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates some 50,000 ISIS members have been killed in Syria. As Russia and the U.S. close in on ISIS one Syrian commander explained that right now they are focused on abolishing the extremists. “At the moment, we are more interested in what happens above the ground than under it,” he told AFP. However, another military source said the identities of the fighters sometimes lead to useful intelligence. “The terrorists try to collect their dead. If we find them, we try to identify the foreigners for a possible information swap with their home countries,” he explained. “Figures who were well-known and wanted by the international community

are buried at secret locations,” said Syrian Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. The infamous British executioner Mohamed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John” who appeared on several violent videos released to the media, is one of those buried in a secret location.

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OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The Parenting Week In News

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting: Chinuch vs. Control Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr. T., My situation is a bit unusual, but I bet lots of people are as confused as I am. Let me explain. I am the second wife of a much older man whose children are all grown and married. Together, we have an additional two boys – ages eight and ten. I think the boys are really good kids. They have some spunk and spirit; they love mischief, but don’t give us any real grief – at home or in school. My husband does not agree. He thinks they lack manners, border on chutzpadik, and need a much firmer hand. He and his first wife brought up their children with tough love, and he feels that it worked. I know that shalom bayis is key in bringing up healthy, normal children – but, honestly, we argue about this more than is good for the boys. Things came to a head last week over the following incident. The boys were playing tag in the house – yes, a no-no, but it was raining and they were bored. The game got out of hand (doesn’t it always?) and the younger boy tripped, got a gash to his chin, and needed nine stitches. The older brother was beside himself, apologized profusely to his brother and us, and was very solicitous of his younger brother. I was proud of my son for being such a mensch – and at nine years old, to boot! I did not feel any consequences were in order: the younger one was punished enough and the older one definitely felt bad enough as it was. Well, here’s how my husband looked at it: The boys were out of line – no running in the home. The older one should know better by now and stop before there was bloodshed and mayhem. They should be better controlled – and listen to our rules. This accident is an example of our lack of chinuch. I know you can’t resolve shalom bayis issues in one column – or even one session. But, it would help me if I understood the concepts of chinuch and control. Are they the same thing? Is chinuch simply control until the child achieves self-control? I think that if I can clarify what chinuch means, I would be more equipped to work it out with my spouse. Thanks, Sharon

Dear Sharon, Let me begin by agreeing with you – parenting differences are quite common in a marriage, but very destructive nevertheless. Though it is valuable for you to get your head straight and understand basic underlying concepts, it is critical to get some professional help in resolving these differences so that you can parent as a team and avoid conflict and its negative effect on your marriage and your boys. Now to your question. Parents want children who are disciplined: capable of self-control and self-regulation. Unfortunately, some parents – particularly in previous generations – believe that self-control is a direct result of parents controlling and disciplining – providing the outer control until children are able to control themselves. However, there is much evidence to the contrary. Children who are controlled may become rebellious and defiant. Strong discipline does not produce self-discipline; it produces children who are obedient, shy, and fearful. They do not have self-control as much as they are scared. For a more extensive discussion of this, you may read the words of Rav Wolbe, zt”l, in his Alei Shur. I say this not to disparage the previous generations, but to give you permission to look at things differently. Each generation has its context, and its ideas are reflections of those times. Whereas in previous generations concepts like adult control and “knowing your place” were the norm, today a gentler approach and the need to develop genuine self-esteem are seen as primary. To clarify: Chinuch is not control.* Though there may be a role for control as a method of last resort – say in safety issues (child must be in car seat, no running in the street) – an effective parent strives to relinquish control and be mechanech her child instead. Because, here’s the deal: While control may be effective in the short run (you can get your child to do whatever, in your presence) chinuch works for the long run – even when you are not there. Control is outer-directed and not necessarily assimilated into the child’s personality, while chinuch is internal and part of the child’s way of being. The younger the child, the more effective control is as a strategy; but chinuch lasts forever. And, while control

is the result of force and considered the worst tool of chinuch in today’s day and age, chinuch is the result of choice which feels right to the child and thus more likely to be internalized and practiced. Control is a quick-fix method. Scare the kid, get short-term results, and you’re done. But, chinuch is a lifelong process that involves skill, consistency, and dedication on the part of the parents. This is a brief response to your query that deserves so much more. In my next column, I will talk about some methods of

chinuch – in short, the “how.” It is my hope that as parents are armed with strategies for success, they will feel less compelled to resort to techniques that alienate our children and cause friction in the home. *Rav Shach, zt”l, has been quoted as saying, “Shlita [control, ruling over] aino [is not] chinuch.” The Book Nook: Dr. Rick Lavoie’s It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend (also available on audio) is a definitive text on children and their social challenges. The book breaks down the various social skills deficits and gives strategies for improved functioning. 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.

OCTOBER 19, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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