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This Shabbos has been dedicated in memory of our dear mother of blessed memory
vhnjb ;xuh ,c vnrp tyud Mrs. Tova Manela of Los Angeles
Our dear mother was dignif ied in her efforts to serve Hashem, her family, and her community. Yossi & Dovid Manela Los Angeles, CA
To sponsor a Shabbos for any occasion, please call
845.356.0202 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
OCTOBER 23, 2014
Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
JEWISH THOUGHT When Things Fall Apart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Choices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
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Parshas Noach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 BOOK REVIEW - Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender in Judaism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
COVER STORY Are You Really “Soooo OCD”?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Quebec City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Dr. Deb: Connection and Love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
EDUCATION The Art of the Tax Loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Proposition 46 And Micra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Dear Readers, It might feel that we are entering a frustrating time of year. Just a few weeks ago we were surrounded by the Yomim Tovim and enthusiastically tuned into our spiritual side. We were actually lifted out of our regular challenges and felt we may have become different, wiser or better in some real and meaningful way. Then came the day after, and back we tumbled, seemingly right into our darker side with bad habits and all. But, in truth, we are different. Deep inside we have packed a suitcase filled with merchandise, all waiting to be unpacked and enjoyed at the right time. We had the more serious moments, the celebrated and extremely joyous holidays and they gave us the spirit to succeed in the challenges delivered to us by our creator. It is now up to us to decide whether our “Tishrei” side will define who we are, or whether the needs of the mundane will be allowed to shape us. Yes, the storms of apathy and insensitivity are magnetic but, like Noach, we have a Tevah to enter for protection. The ship we own is one of learning and prayer and it well guards those who enter it. It is allowing us to keep alive our passion for Judaism which is what we reacquired during the previous weeks. Just as a ship rides the waves of the ocean, our ultimate goal is to harness the raging waters of cynicism and indifference, using that energy and strength in Torah umaasim tovim. Now we must face the most demanding commandment, “tzay min hateivah”: go out of your tevah, your ark of spiritual protection, and reach out to those who have not yet entered. Noach probably would’ve liked to stay inside the protective walls of the Tevah for the rest of his life, but that was not G-d’s intention. We are also in this world for a purpose; we need to leave our comfort zone and make good things happen. Our mission is to bring the light of the Torah to others who
may not have known its joys. The Rambam rules that, “every Jew’s inner desire is to do the Mitzvos and be distant from Aveiros, it’s only that the evil inclination forces one to wrong.” If experienced in the correct way every Jew would choose a life according to our eternal heritage. The Shabbos Project, happening this weekend, is truly this wonderful opportunity where the average observant Jew can reach out to an acquaintance or neighbor, colleague or family and invite them to experience the beauty of their very own tradition. It’s theirs as much as it’s ours. They are our brothers and sisters and it’s our responsibility to show the value of our customs. So go ahead and take the plunge, pick up the phone and make the call – it doesn’t even have to be for this Shabbos. We may be surprised at how much yidishkeit already lies in the heart of a Jew. These are confusing times. It can happen that individuals we have respected the most can disappoint or outright disgust us with their behavior. What does this mean? Aren’t the teachings of the Torah meant to keep us moralistic and ethical? It is impossible to fully address the feelings of betrayal when we’ve been let down by someone we respect but the reality doesn’t change; ultimately, we are living a Torah life and that necessitates our own special connection to Hashem. What someone else does, no matter who they are, doesn’t change our personal responsibility to our creator in any way whatsoever. Let us jump into the values of our holy Torah and may we always practice its Mitzvos. They are our time tested defense against the storms from within and without. We will then be able to go out, be proud Jews and help bring the world to its ultimate purpose, which is to manifest a dwelling place for goodness, holiness and ultimately G-d himself. Wishing you a most inspiring and restful Shabbos,
T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM
by Ruth Judah
tially than others. “Crucially, these aren’t just people supporting the Shabbos Project as individuals or pledging to keep Shabbat on their own,” explained Laurence Horwitz, who heads up central office. “Rather, these are religious and communal leaders, or simply passionate individuals, who have committed to bringing others on board using all resources at their disposal; their community structures, their personal influence, their networks and affiliations.” As the number of people who define themselves as orthodox Jews increases, there is more understanding of the recuperative qualities that Shabbat observance brings to us. Much publicity was given to the Jewish Senator, Joseph Liebermann, when he was nominated as the US vice presidential candidate in 2000. Lieberman publicly announced that he would not campaign or work on Shabbat. Instead, he explained that he uses the day to enter a, “sanctuary in my week which has become more important to me as I’ve gone on in life and become busier.” Indeed for us all, our lives become busier as we mature and technology bombards us with information and communication. Shabbat is the only respite. Knowingly or otherwise, we feed our soul as we withdraw from the demands of regular work
THE PROJECT INSPIRE MODEL WAYS FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED
1 Form or
2 Invite a less-affiliated 3 Volunteer for the
1 Uplifting and
2 Have a special
3 Decide if want to have
WAYS FOR YOUR SHUL TO GET INVOLVED
4 Take part in the
5 Level & content
6 Make sure your shul
2 Speak to every
3 Decide and help
join a shul committee
neighbor, coworker, family member or friend for Shabbos
inclusive Style Davening
with Project Inspire
member of their shul to commit to how many people will they be inviting and fill in the info on our registration page online
separate explanatory style davening
How To Guide/
Tools WHAT PROJECT INSPIRE WILL BE OFFERING
appropriate Shiurim for the guests given by the Rov and various shul members
implement how their shul will be "celebrating" the Shabbos (style of davenings, public meals?, public oneg? speeches? etc.)
group meals? Oneg? Shalosh Seudos? Parts hosted by people's homes?
has English Siddurim (and NCSY bentchers if doing group meal)
announce, motivate and email members throughout the effort
Website with 2Advice 3 A system/ 4 Marketing to 5 Central locations 6 material, ideas,
model for the frum and Support your shul & community community
- viral videos funny and educational
for Davening, Oneg, Lectures and Havdollah events all over Flatbush
tools and information in addition to already existing explanatory material
PROJECT INSPIRE is one of the many registered partners of the Shabbos Project. To become a Shabbos Project Partner please contact: 646-291-6191 | email@example.com | www.PIshabbosproject.com
and finances and spend Friday night until Saturday night in peace. “South Africa has shown that the Shabbos Project is a successful formula, but I suspect it is going to be more of a challenge applying it in the US. Here, we are more divided along denominational lines.” Despite the complexities of reaching the vast LA Jewish community, now estimated to number more than 660,000, The Shabbos Project has reached Los Angeles. Many shuls, schools and organizations are participating in the Project and with shabbatonim planned throughout the city and large numbers of invitations are being dispersed for private Shabbat dinners. The weekend will start off with a massive city wide challah bake being encouraged by many shuls and organizations. Hundreds of women are expected to join, especially with the encouragement of their friends. In order to participate officially in The Shabbos Project, you should visit the website, www.theshabbosproject.org and sign up. With a fabulous video on the front page, there are also endorsement videos on youtube from uber famous pop star, Paula Abdul and many wonderfully inspiring videos to watch. Alternatively, you can go to Eventbrite.com and sign up for the delightful CHALLAH BAKE LA, being held at several locations. There are community meals organized by Nessah Synagogue on South Rexford Dr. in Beverly Hills and a free-for-all Musical Havdalah program at Shaarei Tzaddekh in Valley Village, at 7pm. Westwood Kehilla will be hosting a delicious and inspirational community Friday night dinner at their Shul, located at 10523 Santa Monica Blvd. The retired British chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, explains that Shabbat is when, “we stop rushing to make a living, and instead live and celebrate life. It remains a supreme example of holy time, an oasis of rest in an otherwise restless age.” This is so; what will you do?
OCTOBER 23, 2014
The objective is to have “one Shabbat celebrated – and kept in full – across the Jewish world, by the entire Jewish people, at the same time.” This is the week of the Shabbas Project. Billboards and listings encourage us with the words, Shabbos Project; Keeping it Together. The honoree is this Shabbat, Parasha Noach, October 24/25 where every Jewish person is encouraged to become involved in welcoming and honoring the holiday of Shabbat for all 25 hours. More than 800 Shabbos Project partners from 150 cities around the world have already registered to run the initiative in their cities and communities. In Melbourne, Australia, which is the first continent to welcome Shabbat each week, The International Shabbos Project has been called “the most ambitious Jewish identity initiative ever undertaken.” 2013 saw the birth of the project in South Africa where Chief Rabbi, Dr. Warren Goldstein, enjoyed overwhelming success from his community and 70,000 people entered the spirit of the Project with 90% subsequently saying they wanted to permanently keep some aspect of Shabbat in their lives. The youtube must-see video summarized the momentous event in moving words, images and music. In light of the overwhelming success of last year’s Shabbos Project, Chief Rabbi Goldstein, “came up with the idea of an International Shabbos Project – one Shabbat celebrated and kept in full – across the Jewish world, by the entire Jewish people, at the same time.” In February, he opened an office in South Africa, with the sole purpose of achieving this in 2014. The event enables those who have never experienced Shabbat to slow down and enjoy their families and friends and spirituality. At the same time it offers a way for Shomer Shabbat families to share this central part of our heritage. There is no doubt it is an outrageously ambitious initiative. Yet already it is looking like it will be a success, perhaps in some countries and cities more substan-
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Shabbosproject.org, Coming to Your Neighborhood this Shabbat!
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
Yula student recognized as Eagle Scout From the time he was seven years old, Eli Friedman loved the Boy Scouts. Reaching the highest rank attainable was the clear goal he kept in mind. Finally, at the age of 18 he has succeeded in joining the ranks of men who have also worked hard enough to earn
the coveted title. None of Eli’s friends became an Eagle Scout with him, but his decade long persistence finally paid off with an award ceremony on September 23rd. Eli Friedman admits that he invested hundreds of hours of his time in his bid to achieve Eagle Scout status. Eli has perfected the art of small boat sailing, first aid, CPR, and fire-building, to name just a few. In fact, Friedman’s own father is also a proud Eagle Scout and encouraged his son to stick with the arduous program through the years. Camping and hiking are some of Eli’s favorite past-times, so the emphasis on nature and outdoor activities was an excellent fit for his interests and hobbies. For his final project, Friedman had to choose a special project and he turned to his Jewish roots. He has been involved with the Tomchei Shabbat program for many years and had noticed that the tables on which the food packages were made available for
L-R Mr. Stanley Friedman, Mrs. Allison Friedman, Eli Friedman and Mr. Yitzchak Klutch
families in need, were in a decrepit state. He therefore came up with the idea of building new tables for Tomchei Shabbat. He raised the funds on his own and built the tables
from scratch, custom designing them to fit the exact needs of the organization. On September 23, Eli was triumphant when he was recognized as an Eagle Scout of Boy Scouts of America. Friedman achieved an astounding 28 merit badges, even though the requirement is for 21. Eli explained, “I focused on completing the ones I enjoyed; that way, they weren’t really a task I had to do, but something that was enjoyable for me.” As a senior at YULA, Eli has matured and learned many skills over the last four years. “When I first got to high school, I was a quiet freshman. Working with Eagle Scouts has given me a great deal of confidence to speak up for myself, and YULA has given me the integrity to support that voice.” Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men.
Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board Behind Bars for Succos Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board (OJCB) Chaplains brought Lulovim & Esrogim to Jewish Inmates in Los Angeles County Jails during Chol Hamoed Succos. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Office of Religious & Volunteer Services, under the leadership of Sgt. Juan Martinez was instrumental in allowing the OJCB to leave Lulovim & Esrogim with many of the Californian inmates who understand and know how to handle them. Many of the nearly one hundred Inmates who consider themselves Jewish are visited
by OJCB Chaplains throughout the year. The chaplains give these prisoners chizuk and assist them with their religious and spiritual needs despite the difficult circumstances and limited opportunities available to them. Carl ToerBijins, a former deputy warden in the Arizona Department of Corrections, estimates that the number of Jews is very small, perhaps 12,000 to 15,000 nationally which is less than 1% of the total prison population. Despite the work of the OJCB, life for inmates is hard and ToerBijins notes, “Being Jewish has no advantage.”
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Sometimes Prison staff are confused by the needs of Jewish prisoners and unclear as to the identity of Jews as opposed to other denominations including Messianic Jews and so forth.
L-R LASD Custody Assistant Ricardo Pedroza, Chaplain Yankee Raichik, L.A. City Neighborhood Council Member Michoel Bloom, Shay Abishoor, OJCB Director/Senior Chaplain Howard Winkler, Sgt. Juan Martinez, Elchonon Klafter, Jewish/Persian Community Leader Chaplain Dara Abaei and Custody Assistant John Arreola
fire jugglers, acrobats, balloon artists, a stilt walker and a variety of food vendors all keeping the streets of Valley Village along a closed off Burbank Boulevard, buzzing with excitement.
OCTOBER 23, 2014
On Sunday night of Chol Hamoed Succos, the Los Angeles Jewish community once again showed up en masse for the annual Simchas Bais Hashoeva in the streets of North Hollywood. More than 2000 people turned out to enjoy the event which lasted more than 3 hours, against the sounds of musician, Dovid Gabay. The Succos Festival and Concert is organized by Chabad of North Hollywood, in association with the Young Chevra, Chabad of the Valley and corporate sponsors, the Jewish Link and Milano Collection Wigs. Over the last several years, with the increasing involvement of broader spectrums of the community, the event has really taken off, with a very large attendance in recent years made up of both Anash and the wider communities of Los Angeles and the Valley. The MC and Host of the event, Rabbi Nachman Abend opened the evening introducing Rabbi Mendel Duchman, of Kol Yaakov Yehuda Jr Congregation to lead a children’s rally with the 12 Pesukim, this was immediately followed by a short inspirational address by Chabad of the Valley’s Rabbi Yehoshua Binyomin Gordon. As the evening set in, an increasingly large crowd was formally welcomed by Rabbi Aaron Abend, Chabad of North Hollywood’s Executive Director. The main event followed, this year featuring one of Jewish music’s fastest rising stars, Dovid Gabay. “We wanted to step things up a few notches, so we brought in Dovid Gabay along with The Shira Orchestra to perform at this year’s event” said Jonathan Herzog, one of the event’s organizers, “and it really paid off” he added. The Family Succos Festival and Concert also featured local talent Yanky Lunger and a guest performance by Nissan Friedman, together with street performers,
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Dovid Gabay wows Los Angeles at Simchas Bais Hashoeva
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
Thousands of Bachurim Across North America Complete Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bachurim Program Shiurim in 15 Communities Across North America Received Enthusiastically By Chaim Gold
“The excitement before the shiur was tangible. It felt like the beginning of the zman in yeshiva… and then after the shiur ended, tens of bachurim sat down and learned for a few hours!” This was how Reb Shimon Moskowitz described the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bachurim pesicha shiur in Montreal, delivered the day following Yom Kippur. The shiur, given by the well-known Skverer Rov and Dayan HaGaon HaRav Yochanan Wosner, shlita, was just one of fifteen pesicha shiurim given by prominent Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbonim and Poskim in cities across North America. Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bachurim. A Testimony to the Sheifus HaTorah of Today’s Yeshiva Bachurim! The pesicha shiurim showed just how thrilled bachurim, their parents and Roshei Yeshiva were at the opportunity to engage in a structured limud program during bein hazemanim. HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Bender, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah of Far Rockaway, Queens gave the pesicha shiur for the Five Towns and Far Rockaway neighborhoods at the Agudas Yisrael of West Lawrence and he was deeply moved. After the event he expressed his thoughts, “I was very impressed that on the first day of bein hazemanim some sixty-seventy yeshivaleit came to hear a shiur on Hilchos Yeshivas Sukkah. It is a testimony to the sheifus haTorah of today’s yeshiva bachurim! It was also very impressive how Dirshu anticipated every detail to make sure everything clicked 100%.” The idea behind the program is brilliant in its simplicity. Bein hazemanim, especially after the grueling and uplifting Elul and Yamim Noraim zman, presents a welcome change of pace for bachurim. Nevertheless, many Roshei Yeshiva and parents have expressed frustration over the fact that so much of what the bachurim gained during the previous zman is in danger of being lost during an unstructured bein hazemanim. Rav Kotler: Learning Halacha Every Day Ensures Every Step is in Accordance with Torah In fact, the Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood, HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, shlita, who gave the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bachurim pesicha shiur in Lakewood, related that one aspect of the program’s beauty is that “Dirshu has provided an opportunity for bachurim to learn practical halacha. The Gemara tells us that, ‘Everyone who
Dirshu Boro Park
learns daily halacha is assured a place in Olam Habah.’” The Rosh Yeshiva expounded that, “When a person learns halacha each day his every step throughout the day is done in accordance with the Torah. This assures him of Olam Habah.” Shiurim in New Square and Passaic In Passaic, nearly 200 people packed Congregation Bais Torah U’Tefillah to hear a shiur from HaGaon HaRav Asher Dovid May, shlita, Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva Gedolah of Passaic. Rav May delivered words of chizuk based on the words of our sages that, “A person should make his Sukkah his “kevah”, his main house and make his house, “aray” his temporary dwelling. The only other time we find Chazal using the words aray and kevah, are with regard to Torah learning and work, where Chazal tell us, “Make your Torah kevah and your work aray.” The message is the same. Matters of Olam Hazeh must always be done in a fashion that is aray, secondary rather than being one’s main occupation. The Sukkah symbolizes this idea. In New Square, the shiur was given by HaGaon HaRav Aharon Goldminzer, shlita, Dayan in Skver who was recently appointed Skverer Dayan of Yerushalayim. Shiurim in Lakewood, Brooklyn and the Five Towns In Lakewood, a large crowd came to Khal Shearis Adas Yisroel, Rav Forchheimer’s shul, to hear the pesicha shiur from the Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, HaGaon HaRav Malkiel Kotler. Rav Kotler gave an in-depth, lomdishe shiur on the unique halachos of eating on the first night of Sukkos: How much one must eat, a kezayis or a k’beitza along with an explanation of the nature of the famed “hekesh” wherein Chazal compares the mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach to the mitzvah of eating in the Sukkah on the first night of Sukkos. As he concluded, he lovingly eyed the assemblage and praised them for engaging in learning halacha together with inyana d’yoma. In Flatbush, participants came to hear the shiur given by HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Reisman, shlita, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Rav of the Agudas Yisroel of Madison. “It was an amazing presentation that kept the crowd riveted throughout the hour-long shiur,” commented a father who attended with two of his Mesivta-aged children. Rav
Reisman’s shiur was devoted to discussing the parameters of the mitzvah of Yeshivas Sukkah and was packed with practical halacha and fascinating practical scenarios. In Boro Park approximately 150 bachurim came to hear the shiur by HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Zalman Gips, shlita, Rav of Beis Medrash Birchas Avrohom and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Nehardaah. In the 5 Towns, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Bender, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, spoke about the obligation to sleep in the Sukkah and under what conditions one is absolved. He told fascinating stories from his youth growing up in Williamsburg when the Sukkas were built on street level for large apartment buildings. There was an informal, spirited atmosphere of give and take where bachurim posed questions throughout the shiur. Shiurim Across the Country The shiur in Baltimore was delivered by HaGaon HaRav Yosef Berger, shlita; in Chicago, it was delivered by the Mashgiach of the Telshe Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Lipschutz, shlita; in Cleveland it was given by HaGaon HaRav Boruch Hirschfeld, shlita, Rav Kehillas Ahavas Yisroel and Rosh Kollel Ateres Boruch; HaGaon HaRav Aharon Sorscher, shlita, R”M at Mesivta Yagdil Torah, delivered the shiur at the Kollel Institute in Detroit; and HaGaon HaRav Nachum Sauer, shlita, Rosh Kollel of YULA, gave the shiur in Los Angeles. In Monsey, the shiur was given by HaGaon HaRav Yosef Veiner at his shul, Kehal Sha’ar HaShamayim; the shiur in Toronto was delivered by HaGaon HaRav Chaim Mendel Brodsky, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah Zichron Shmayahu; and in Williamsburg, the Tzhelemer Dayan, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Zilberstein, shlita, gave the shiur at the Vienner Beis Medrash. Structure, Halacha l’maaseh, Achrayus and Accountability The prevailing sentiment in each of the locations was one of excitement and purpose. After the shiur at one shul, a father was overheard saying, “I am going to get each one of my four boys involved in this program. It enriches their learning, enables them to become familiar with practical halacha and learning Mishnah Berurah. It gives structure to their learning during bein hazemanim and teaches them achrayus and accountability. That is the bracha of Dirshu. I am so happy my bachurim are being exposed to it!”
by Ruth Judah
As the Professor developed ways that could repair the psychological and educational problems that faced these severely traumatized kids, he developed an individualized learning and recovery program and recognized that beneath our exterior lies a deeper essence that we can tap into. Soon he became known for his confidence that all intelligence is malleable within the right teaching environment. Feuerstein’s Theory asserts that intelligence is not fixed, but is modifiable. Professor Feuerstein won global respect as a leading Israeli clinical psychologist for more than 50 years. He mapped out a meaningful way to deal with a vast array of mental issues, learning challenges and social ineptitude. His teaching style insists that learners are taught to think about their own thinking so they can progressively increase their functionality, regardless of their limitations. Professor Feuerstein’s remarkable learning programs have benefitted families, kids and adults throughout Israel but also helped individuals living in communities as disparate as Rwanda and Eskimo. His dedication and repeated success stories
have helped people across the world find a way to include themselves in society because of the educational programs taught at 85 Feuerstein centers on every continent and in more than 40 countries. The legacy is further enhanced by the books the Professor authored; Amazon offers seven that explain different elements of his learning style. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, enjoyed a close relationship with Professor Feuerstein and referred families on many occasions. In an interview with Jewish Educational Media’s “Living Torah Series” Feuerstein explained that the Rebbe gave him the determination to successfully bring Jewish people back into regularized society, even when their choices had taken them down the worst paths. Feuerstein had a deep appreciation for the far sighted view that the Rebbe envisioned for children with chromosomal problems, epilepsy and grave social ineptitude, believing that they could all be turned into, “high functioning, normal functioning individuals who can be brought very close to study, to Judaism, etc.” Today it is recognized that the Professor’s Feuerstein Method successfully socialized a vast array of people, from Holocaust survivors to Down syndrome and autism patients, from survivors of the world’s worst genocides as well as adults and children who suffer from a broad collection of developmental and mental disabilities. Eli Wiesel once said, “In Jewish history there are no coincidences.” It is no coincidence that Feuerstein’s memory and legacy are still being recognized. Rabbi Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the UK, sent his weekly email over the holiday season with an anecdote that is perfect for a man of Feuerstein’s broad reaching humanity. Rabbi Sacks attributed the story to Feuerstein’s son who spoke to Sacks at a tribute that Rabbi Sacks was recording for the Professor. “Feuerstein had been working with a
group of Native American Indians and they wanted to show their gratitude. So they invited him and his wife to their reservation. They were brought into the Indian chief’s wigwam where the leaders of the tribe were sitting in a circle in full headdress. As the traditional welcome ceremony began, the professor, an orthodox Jew from Jerusalem, was overwhelmed by the incongruity. He turned to his wife and said to her in Yiddish, “What would my mother say if she could see me now?!” To his amazement, the Indian chief turned to him and replied in Yiddish: “And what would she say if she knew I understood what you just said!” The Yiddish-speaking Indian chief told Feuerstein his story. He had grown up in Europe as a religious Jew, but having survived the horrors of the Holocaust, he decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life as far away as he could from Western civilization, so he joined the Indians and became their doctor. Feuerstein was the first Jew he had met in his self-imposed exile.” Meanwhile, the legacy of Professor Feuerstein lives on. The Feuerstein Institute headquarters is located in Jerusalem, headed by its President, Rafi Feuerstein, the Professor’s eldest son. At his father’s funeral, Rafi explained that his father, “….created an impossible combination. He put love, compassion, responsibility and morality into his system.” The system promises to make a difference for generations of children and adults that continue to flock to the Feuerstein Institute: Imagine a method......beyond limitations......that improves how EVERY person learns......from the youngest child with Down Syndrome…...to gifted students...... and everyone in between... ...that unlocks university gates for students from underprivileged backgrounds......and can also prevent dementia in the elderly... That method is FEUERSTEIN.
Community Welcomes New LAPD Captain On Tuesday, October 14th, the 4th day of Chol Hamoed Sukkos, the community had the opportunity to welcome Captain Howard Leslie who was recently appointed as the commanding officer of the LAPD Wilshire Station. The event was organized by Stanley Treitel & Michoel Bloom and hosted by R’ Yehuda & Simi Feigin in their magnificent Sukkah. Captain Leslie was introduced by Stanley Treitel, and spoke very fondly of our city community, reminiscing how he used to patrol our streets, and speak to the rabbis regularly as far back as twenty years ago
when he was first assigned to the Wilshire division. Captain Leslie looks forward to continuing the partnership between the community and the LAPD. He reminded us that the LAPD is always ready to hear suggestions of how they can better serve the specific needs of the Jewish community. Captain Leslie was joined by Deputy Chief Terry Hara, Commanding officer of the West Bureau, as well as Senior Lead Officers who work hand in hand with the community. The officers felt appreciated, and thanked us for our continued support.
Dr. Irving Lebivics, Noah Muelstein, Michoel Bloom, Stanley Treitel, Sergeant Eric More, Benjamin Geiger, Captain Howard Leslie, R’ Yehudah Feigen, Deputy Chief Terry Hara, Senior Lead Officer Perry Jones, Ben Seinfeld, Senior Lead Officer Art Gallegos, Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova (LAPD), Senior Lead Officer Geoff Taff (LAPD), Moshe Sarto and Officer Robert Rothman
OCTOBER 23, 2014
Two years ago this month, Professor Feuerstein was told that his nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize was not successful. The Professor passed away this year, so this much lauded prize will never reward him with the honors he deserved. But, the Nobel Peace Prize would have been wholly appropriate given Feuerstein’s cutting edge educational and learning styles. It would have been a meaningful compliment to the collection of multi-national awards that Professor Feuerstein received before his death, which ended his vibrant career in April at the age of 93. Fortunately, his legacy lives on, Nobel Peace Prize notwithstanding. The nomination was specifically focused on his work with developmentally disabled children and adults around the world. “I suspect that it will be a very long time before there will be a Nobel Prize of Pedagogic Sciences,” noted a supporter, Andrew Sutton, but if there was such a prize, Feuerstein would surely have won. Born in Rumania, Feuerstein had nine siblings. He escaped to Israel in 1944 and immediately started a teaching program for child survivors of the holocaust. With only a teacher’s qualification, he quickly understood the devastation the children had experienced with the destruction of their communities and families. These child survivors were referred to him because they has scored so poorly on IQ tests and they had been considered unteachable. Feuerstein worked with a team of teachers and psychologists and tested the children further discovering, “The IQ tests we did on these children had no way of taking into account the horrific experiences they had lived through, or of telling, we believed, what their true potential was. When we assessed the children differently through a routine to measure their learning capacity, rather than their present performance, we discovered that all of the children had potentials that had been completely submerged in the standard IQ tests.”
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Professor Reuven Feuerstein, Nearly a Nobel Prize Winner
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
Shtisel is wonderfully honest in Mea Shearim. The 2014 Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles by Ruth Judah
‘The mission of the Israel Film Festival is to brand Israel as the lively and innovative nation that it is; as well as shining a spotlight on Israel’s thriving film and television industry and enriching the American experience of Israel’s social and cultural diversity.” This week sees the opening of the 28th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles. The IFF has created a roster of Jewish themed entertainment from Israel, many of which are in Hebrew with English subtitles. This year’s Festival includes 27 movies, TV shows, short films and documentaries which are being screened at city and valley cinemas. Most of the titles do not yet have US distribution, so the Festival is a prestigious and meaningful event that is unique in its presentation of the best Israeli cinema to the American audience. The programs represent a multitude of genres that have been handpicked for the IFF by festival director and founder Meir Fenigstein. For moviegoers, there is a delightful mix of movies to choose from, but even those averse to cinema will be intrigued and magnetized by one presentation: the Los Angele premiere of the popular, much-acclaimed Israeli television series, Shtisel, which is screening two episodes. To add to the fun, the producer, Jonathan Aroch, will be answering questions after the first screening on October 26th at the Laemmle Music Hall, 12.45pm. Shtisel is an honest and humorous look at family life. It is a 12 episode drama that was aired in Israel this past summer. Wistful yet in-
spirational, the series has earned a quantity of Israeli Academy Awards for Television because of the quality storyline, authentic dialog and the faithful portrayal of religious life. The family at the forefront of the series are a fictional Haredi family living in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. The program’s success lies in its completely accurate representation of religious life while the story line supersedes this world and the viewer does not judge the Shtisel family. Instead, we journey with them thought the poignant, romantic and often hilarious depiction of their real family dramas. The family Shtisel are in many ways a family of unique individuals, but the series is successful in reminding us that we are all different in our own way. This could be us. Actress, Ayelet Zurer lives in LA but returned to Israel to take the lead role of Elisheva, a twice widowed young mother with a son. She spoke warmly about her enjoyment of playing the role
of this woman who has a unique sense of her individuality and noted, “Deep inside she doesn’t really fit in.” The press are normally so quick to present orthodox Jews as living in a hidden, obscure and strangely mystical world. Not Shtisel. The drama of the story surpasses the religious aspect and this is refreshing and timely. The production team are not a religious group. They turned to advisors from the Haredi community to create the authentic world they filmed. It worked. In Shtisel, patriarch Shulem adjusts to life after his wife’s death and his own forced retirement from teaching. His eldest daughter, Gitti, attempts to cope with her family after her husband abandoned her and their children. His youngest and most artistic son, Akiva, deals with the pressure of finding a suitable marriage, while longing for Elisheva, the twice-widowed young mother who is oh-so-wary of marrying again.
The director, Alon Zingman, admitted, “I came into this completely unfamiliar with the Haredi world. I think we undertook the widest and most intensive research ever undertaken for an Israeli TV drama.” Zingman admitted that he actually took the key actors to Yiddish classes with him so that they could all speak the Yiddish words with believability. Writers Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon borrowed more than Yiddish words; they also derived the series name from a restaurant frequented by Jerusalem’s Haredim. Indursky said the lead characters’ awareness of their different ways of seeing the way is the essence of the compelling storyline and explained, “There are always more opportunities for interesting meetings to take place on the margins of life…. A rabbi once said, ‘Horses walk in the middle of the street, people on the sides.’” Entertainment is best when it mirrors an aspect of our lives. This series captures our most personal traits and the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles will be appreciated for bringing it to the US audience. Shtisel screens October 26 at 12:45 pm and November 3 at 7:15 pm at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and on October 27 at 9:30 pm at the Laemmle Town Center in Encino. For more information and to purchase tickets, visitwww.israelfilmfestival.com
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11 THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 23, 2014
RABBI YISROEL MEIR RUBINFELD
MRS. ROCHEL ZIMMERMAN
*for women only
Addressing the Special Needs Student in the Mainstream Classroom
DR. JERRY LOB
NOV E M B E R 1 0 T H , 2 0 1 4 520 N. LA BREA AVE. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
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We invite you and your daughter to Beth Jacob’s
Led by Rebbetzin Jordana Topp
Mothers and daughters: bond, have fun and learn together as you prepare to celebrate your milestone. In ten sessions, 5th and 6th grade girls study the extraordinary impact of Jewish women throughout the ages, from matriarchs to modern day leaders. This fun-filled, hands-on, meaningful seminar connects bat mitzvah girls and their mothers to the chain across the generations through text study, dance, drama, art or music.
Sundays, 10:00 am to 11:30 am October 26, November 2, 9, 16, December 7, 14, 21, 28, January 4, 11 At Beth Jacob To register, or for more information: 310.278.1911 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.bethjacob.org/batmitzvah Connected to the Past – Committed to the Future
9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills • (310) 278-1911 • www.bethjacob.org
OCTOBER 23, 2014
Bat Mitzvah Program
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THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 23, 2014 14
s d o o eW ry Co
to eper R s ’ men
o sh W
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h T o t n I
8pm t a 3 1 mber 4 at 2pm e c e ay, D ember 1 at 7pm d r u t c Sa y, De ember 14 a d n Su , Dec y ter a n d e n u C S rts 016
ng A les, CA 90 i m r Ange erfo
en P levard, Los d l o Bou te H
ashin W. W
For tickets, visit www.JewishWomensTheater.com or call 323-964-9766
FOR WOMEN ONLY!
No One Under Age 4 Admitted
THE JEWISH WOMEN’S REPERTORY COMPANY
is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Family Violence Project of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.
Designed by Rona Karp
OCTOBER 23, 2014
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17 THE JEWISH HOME
When Things Fall Apart Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Rav and Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh
Lesson #1 – Bereishis: How we relate to our mess up, decides our next chapter. The Torah begins with G-d’s creation of the world and humanity’s subsequent failure to live up to his or her own expectations. This first powerhouse parsha is not so much about messing up, it’s more about how we choose to handle our foibles. Chava touches the tree and decides to degrade further. Adam blames his wife. The snake refuses repentance. Kayin attempts to hide from G-d. We are created as imperfect human beings. G-d knows that we are going to make mistakes. The distinction between the strong and the weak is in how we get up from our fall. At Yavneh Hebrew Academy, on Shabbos Chol HaMoed, I spoke about the significance of Koheles, or Ecclesiastes, one of the books written by King Solomon that is
Lesson #2 – Noach: Destruction before Renewal Noach is the story of one man’s ability to hold on to morality in the face of tremendous evil. When G-d brings about the deluge, Noach indulges the darkness and finishes his life by interpreting disaster as the end. But it’s not the end. Destruction must come before renewal. After darkness there must be sun. The Jewish understanding of Yom, the day, follows this format: night and then light. When we sleep, we experience a taste of death, (Brachos 57a) and therefore by extension a microcosm of decomposition. This reboot is necessary for us to reignite a passion for another day. As the Shulchan Aruch opens its code by charging, Yisgaber K’ari Leamod Baboker L’avodas Boro, wake up like a lion in the morning to serve our Creator. Rebbe Nachman says, (Likutei Halachos, #1) that each morning when we wake there is a part of us that is the lion, there is a part of us that has done something strong the day before. Find that point and use that to begin the new day with vigor. There may be nothing more unsettling in life than the loss of a position at a company or the implosion of a project that we have worked on for years But we must know that this kind of obstruction is more than just a setback, it is the opportunity for a new set of luchos (tablets) to emerge into the world, a set that is formed by the blood, sweat,
and tears available because of our partnership with G-d. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche tells us, “The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit.” Profound and true. We tumble before we rise. Lesson #3 - Lech Lecha: Jump into our challenges, don’t run from them. Lech Lecha is the accounting of Avraham’s life in the wake of his “come to G-d” moment at home. His family, his community, and his social circle were all immersed in idolatry. Avraham has an intense epiphany, (a Bira Dolekes – a burning palace, as the Midrash has it) and this is where he recognizes ethical monotheism. Armed with this knowledge, his outlook on life now conflicts with everybody on his side of the universe. Avraham is faced with an enormous challenge: should he hold back the urge to change the world or should he find the courage to fight the tide? Avraham is not Yonah. Yonah ran from his mission to rebuke the people. Avraham made friends with his demons. He acknowledged his past that was steeped in idolatry and this is what drove his future. He knew that our world was uncertain and he could feel there was some great power out there. He was grateful to face his fears. His challenge was to bring his monotheistic epiphany to a world that was steeped in paganism and the occult. He didn’t run from this noble calling. Lech Lecha – he ran to this task with audacity. This is how Rav Soloveitchik interprets the passage in Yoma 86b, that with teshuvah our trespasses turn to merits. Is this magic or are we able to take our challenges, our struggles and our past darkness as a point of departure for all our new experiences? The same energy we used to violate our covenant with G-d should now be used to reignite our relationship with G-d. Think how easy it is to push off pending work. We prefer to task ourselves with picking the low hanging fruit rather than slaving to achieve mastery of all our fields. Lean in to your challenge. Social psychologist Gary Keller says we need to find that one achievement each day that lets us achieve our greatest potential. Leave the lesser things for another time. Lesson #4 – Vayeira: Be grateful for our fear. Vayeira’s legacy will always be the binding of Yitzchak. This penultimate test is the greatest of all tests. For Avraham, this test manipulated his biggest fear. Avraham had long worried about leaving a legacy; having somebody to whom he could trust with the gift of ethical monotheism. When G-d called upon him to offer his son, he knew the mission would annihilate his dream. Yet Avraham passes the test and immediately offers an animal to Hashem. Why? Avraham has the wisdom to show gratitude to G-d for his
fear. Avraham understands that our greatest fears are opportunities for life changing experiences for growth and development. Jonathan Haidt in his book, The Happiness Hypothesis, stresses that “adversity may be necessary for growth because it forces you to stop speeding along the road of life, allowing you to notice the paths that were branching off all along, and to think about where you really want to go.” Be grateful for your speed bumps. Lesson #5 – Chayei Sarah: Why we Daven The last piece for now is think about WHY we spent so much time davening over Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur/ Sukkos. The purpose was never intended to permanently detach ourselves from the world. Quite the opposite. The purpose is to develop and cultivate our inner space so that we are better equipped to face the turbulence of life and the clutter of our minds. Eknath Easwaran in his book on meditation, Conquest of Mind, tells us that “Meditation is warm-up exercise for the mind, so that you can jog through the rest of the day without getting agitated or spraining your patience.” Tefilah is charbi u’vkashti – our sword and arrow for life. We should understand that our motivation for improvement and change is not for ourselves but rather so we can become more reasonable in our honor of other people. Our efforts in shul are for our spouses, our children and our bosses. The moment we step out of shul is the moment we are finally allowed to put everything into practice. In Chayei Sarah, Avraham purchases Ma’aras HaMachpeila. According to the Zohar, Avraham looked into the cave and saw the window for prayer in this world. He saw a place of such intense energy. He saw the gateway to Shabbos. I once heard the Kaliver Rebbe of Bnei Brak, ask why Efron sold the land for so little if there was such Divine light emanating from the cave? He answered that it took somebody as special as Avraham to perceive this Kedusha. Once Avraham recognized the light in Ma’aras HaMachpeila he could have rested there for the remainder of his life. Did he? He could not because that hashpaah, that influence was a gift. It was time to take that gift and come back to the world. There was still so much work left for him to do. Conclusion The oasis of sanctity called Tishrei is now retreating. Our imperfect self becomes apparent once again. But that’s okay; things fall apart. We learned from the Yomim Noraim in a more striking way how to relate to our mess, how to appreciate that destruction comes before rebirth, how to jump into our mess, how to be grateful for our fear, and to understand why we spent so much time davening.
OCTOBER 23, 2014
The cold winter is now creeping into Los Angeles and the warm embrace of the Yomim Noraim, the High Holidays, will start to fall by the way side. All our prayers, the learning, each busy moment that we filled with avodas Hashem, can too quickly evaporate and we are left with the cold chill of a weekday morning. Try to leave your Sukkah alone and you’ll notice within a short amount of time, as African writer Chinua Achebe puts it, “Things Fall Apart.” Not only does the cheftza, the physical Sukkah, break down, but within a very short time the gavra, our individual spiritual dimension, can fall apart as well. Yet, it is that way by design. The opinion holds true, sukkos diras aray b’inan – a sukkah should be temporary. The Rebbe of Stichin ()גליון ליו"כ תשעה questions our ability to properly ascertain our spiritual fall. Just because we may return to our old ways after Sukkos, we likely have no clue as to how profound was the spiritual change within. If we could grasp this positive insight, it would help us thought the insurmountable challenge and impending failure that we sense with our exit from the Sukkah and the onset of winter. In my humble opinion, the new cycle of the parsha, which ironically coincides with the end of the holidays, beckons us to find solace and wisdom from the start of this post Yom Tov world that envelops us. The Book of Genesis is really the Genesis of our experience. The next 5 parshiyos form a road map for this journey:
in our cannon. The Rabbis, according to the Talmud, were so close to banning it from our tradition. In the end, it prevailed because “it starts and ends with Torah.” What does that mean? Because something starts okay and ends okay it’s worth keeping as a masterpiece of our tradition. But our Sages are telling us something far more profound. The apparent flaws of Koheles are representations of our own shortcomings. We are at times heretical, we are at times contradictory. Nevertheless, we know how to pick ourselves up and straighten our path. We are Koheles. We are worth keeping. Perhaps this is also the explanation of why we begin Yom Kippur with the nighttime prayer that has us asking for permission “to pray with the sinners”. Which sinners are we asking to pray with? Are we so perfect that we need to check in with G-d before davening with other people? The “sinner” we refer to is actually the flawed part of ourself. Accepting our shortcomings and growing from that shortcoming is an essential component of the kapara, the atonement process. What we choose to do with our past will always dictate our future. Our personal legacy shifts because of the empowering choices we make. Should we interpret our past history of being overly critical of others as a behavior set in stone? Or do we make a choice to stop patterns of speech that push people away?
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
Once again, as the hue and glow of the greatest month of the year begins to fade, we find ourselves reading the story of Noach. As we slip from the joyous days of Sukkos into the inevitable chill of winter, we find that the parshas hashovua offers warmth, compensating for the dips and turns of the calendar. There is a lesson inherent in the parsha as we battle to adapt the inspiration and spiritual highs of the Yomim Tovim to the practicalities of everyday life. Schools are open once again. Yeshivos are beginning the longest zeman of the year and working people are back at the grind. We are all attempting to rise above what is confronting us. The Torah introduced us to Noach at the end of Parshas Bereishis. After telling us that man had veered from the path Hashem had intended for him to follow, the Torah relates that Noach found favor in Hashem’s eyes (Bereishis 5:32, 6:8). This week’s parsha (6:9) reintroduces us to him. Rashi explains that since the Torah mentioned Noach, it found it necessary to praise him (Bereishis Rabbah 49:1). The posuk states, “Aileh toldos Noach - These are the offspring of Noach.” Again, Rashi enlightens us and teaches that the main toldos, literally offspring, of righteous people are their positive actions (Bereishis Rabbah 30:6). Apparently intending to list his attributes, the posuk states, “Noach ish tzaddik tomim hayah bedorosov.” He was an ish, a tzaddik, and a tomim, bedorosov. Let us study the posuk, word by word. When the Torah says that the toldos
of Noach will follow and Rashi adds that the intention is to praise the tzaddik, we understand that what follows are words of praise of a giant. Toldos is translated as offspring, but it also means biography. The Torah is stating that what follows is the short version of Noach’s biography. Rashi comments that the primary “offspring” of a tzaddik are the maasim tovim he performed. Thus, if you want to encapsulate the life of a great person in a few words, the way to do that is by recounting his good deeds. This does not mean that everything else about him and his life are not important, but rather that this defines his essence. Noach was such a person. While there is much to say about him and his accomplishments throughout his long, productive life, a condensed description is that he was an ish, a tzaddik, and a tomim, bedorosov. If you wish to sum up a person, it boils down to his maasim tovim, his willingness to do for others, and his concern and selflessness. Each person writes his own epitaph and decides how he will be remembered, as we see from Noach. The first appellation the Torah uses af-
lacking in moral character and justice, he brought himself, on his own, to the level of a tzaddik, which is the next adjective the Torah uses to describe him. We commonly refer to a righteous person as a tzaddik, but, as the Ramban on this posuk states, the word means that Noach was undeserving of any punishment that befell the rest of the world, because he was a zakai bedin. A tzaddik is one who emerges victorious and innocent in a judgment. A rasha is one who is found guilty. Noach was the consummate innocent person. Despite all that went on around him, he was free of sin. The definition of the word tomim is complete. Either the Torah is defining Noach as a complete and perfect tzaddik, pure in his tzidkus (see Ramban ibid.) or it is an appellation on its own, praising Noach as also being a tomim. Perhaps we can understand it in accordance with the Vilna Gaon, who says in Even Sheleimah that a tzaddik gomur as referred to in the Gemara (Brachos 7a) is one who is not only exceptional in his actions, but also in his middos. [See also Gemara Avodah Zora 6a]. The Torah testifies that Noach wasn’t only a person who was righteous, learned
We would do well to utilize the beam of light we just encountered to point the way through a dark winter ter mentioning Noach’s name is ish. Perhaps we can understand that attribute by studying the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (2:5) which states, “Bemakom she’ein anoshim hishtadel lihiyos ish,” which literally means, “Be a man in a place where there is none.” The Rambam (ibid.) explains this lesson to mean that if you have no one to teach you Torah, you should endeavor to study it on your own. Rabbeinu Yonah (ibid.) takes it a step further, stating that if you are in a place where there is no one to help you with your mitzvah observance and set you on the right path, work on yourself to independently do what is right and proper in the eyes of Hashem. We can understand the Torah’s description of Noach as an ish to mean that despite the fact that the entire world was
and innocent of wrongdoing, but also the consummate baal middos tovos. Bedorosov. Since the Torah is listing Noach’s positive attributes, we must assume that the word bedorosov also intones positive notions about him. He maintained his independence, doing what was right, being an ish, despite all that was going on around him. He lived in a generation of evil and wicked people, but he was not influenced by them. He stood above them and even reached out to them in an attempt to raise their level and return justice and morality to the world. Much has changed since then, but some things remain constant. Here we are, each of us struggling, just as Noach did, to be an ish in a dor gone mad. Yes, we are surrounded by the good
fortune of being able to live as proud Jews. We are surrounded by like-minded people who endeavor to study Torah and observe the mitzvos. Our generation is light years ahead of that of our parents, who came of age when Orthodoxy wasn’t given much of a chance and a Torah way of life was not in fashion. Their social lives were crimped. Their ability to succeed was viewed as hampered, as people like them were few and far between. We have been gifted, yet we don’t always appreciate the gift. We sit in spacious, attractive sukkos, while a generation ago, many towns sufficed with kiddush in a shul sukkah and one set of Dalet Minim for the entire kehillah. But even with our blessings, we are still in golus. All around us, the world sinks deeper into immorality. Social standards and norms accepted just a decade ago are now considered old-fashioned. Our way of life is regularly mocked. Our chastity and charity are treated by the mainstream media as puns in an old Yiddish Theater joke. Instead of praising the chesed of Lakewood, NJ, the New York Times call it “Beggarville” in a long, snide article published this week. Metzitzah b’peh has been roundly condemned by supposed scientists. The very same people who played down Ebola are the ones who characterized us as baby killers, backward Neanderthals who care more about ancient traditions than modern science and health. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Center for Disease Control, who confidently assured the country that he had Ebola under control, was shown to be a liar, knave and fool, whose word is meaningless and whose knowledge of infectious diseases is sorely lacking. It’s hard not to remember his patronizing lectures when he served as New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s health commissioner, the two of them joining forces to save us from our own supposed lack of hygiene. Rabbeinu Yonah, on the Mishnah quoted above, advises someone living in a time and place of simple people to reach beyond, to imagine himself surrounded by learned, sophisticated people and act accordingly. He understands Chazal’s directive to be an ish in a place where there are none as a mandate not to hold yourself back from gaining wisdom even if you
recounted that he stood at the gutter and thought to himself, “I have a choice. I can either let the anguish pull me down and give it all up or I can summon the strength to rise above it.” Rise above it he did, finding his way to Yerushalayim and remarrying, giving birth to a new family of children and 150 grandchildren. The decision he made on that awful day, the worst of his life, returned his vitality to him and enabled him to go on living the way he had before the calamitous period interfered. He triumphed. Life is about choices. Thankfully, we are not faced by choices such as the one the lonely survivor had to cope with. But we, in our world, feel the despair and longing for the sweet days that have just passed us by. As we do, we can make the decision to use them as a springboard to live bigger, taking the elevation of the Yomim Noraim, as well as the na’anuim and hakafos and yeshivas sukkah, and the shofar and Kapparos and Ne’ilah, and using it to paint the winter days ahead with color, meaning, depth and joy. During hakafos, you see people dance with heavy Sifrei Torah. Though clearly weighed down by the large scroll, they march on, lovingly holding their weighty packages in their right hands, close to their hearts. The knowledge that they are bearing the object that gives their lives mean-
ing and defines their very existence energizes them, pumping the physical strength to match the spiritual. Their feet dance on, being swept along in the joy of the moment. They continue moving in the circle, men and boys, one after another, a group comprised of individuals, each of them an ish. Learning this parsha, we should think about what others would say about us if they tried to encapsulate our lives. Which maasim tovim will be our toldos? Are we as kind to others as we should be? Are we as charitable and forgiving as we should be? Do we feel the pain of others? Do we live for ourselves or do we live for others? Do we stand as Noach did for 120 years trying to convince people to right their ways and prevent catastrophe? Are we selfless and caring and sharing, or do we always think about what is in it for us? What is our legacy? As we leave the beautiful world of Sukkos, parting from the protective shield of the Tzila Demehemnusa, standing on the precipice of the olam hamaaseh, we would do well to utilize the beam of light we just encountered to point the way through a dark winter, lighting up each day and night for growth and aliyah, for ourselves and for others.
67 Rabbi Berel Wein
Parshas Noach ous that Noach was unsuccessful in saving his generation from destruction. That stark fact must have undoubtedly weighed very heavily on Noach in the aftermath of the flood. It explains his superficially strange behavior – planting
there was no one to help him cope with his own survival syndrome. Coping with sad and difficult events is ostensibly the true measure of a person and of life itself. It is perhaps what the Mishna meant when it described the
THEIR CHOICES AS HOW TO PURSUE LIFE ONCE MORE BECAME THE TRUE METTLE OF THEIR EXISTENCE AND PERSONALITY. a vineyard, becoming drunk – but it does not excuse it. Post-traumatic syndrome is today recognized as a medical disease – a psychological and physical problem. Almost all servicemen who were engaged in actual combat suffer from it in one way or another. There are grief counselors to help people recover after personal tragedies in their families. But Noach was all alone in the world and
ten trials of our father Avraham “and he withstood them all.” It was not only the trials that made him great but rather the fact that after so many trials he still stood tall and resolute, faithful and graciously kind to the end. Avraham was also a survivor but his method of overcoming the survival syndrome was far different from that of Noach. This dichotomy was clearly seen in the past generation when the
survivors of the Holocaust made choices regarding their future lives after their liberation. All of them were affected by the horrors they witnessed and in fact endured. Yet their choices as how to pursue life once more became the true mettle of their existence and personality. Choosing life, family, faith and entrepreneurial, social and national productivity was, for many a survivor, the road to rehabilitation and normalcy. The past was never forgotten and the events could never be erased, but rebuilding life took precedence over all other factors. Adam and Noach both could not overcome the tragedies that previously engulfed them. They became reclusive and lost their drive for leadership and their ability to inspire others. By so doing, they compounded the tragedies that overtook them and forfeited the opportunity to forge an eternal people that would somehow be able to rise above all calamities and fulfill its historic mission. Shabbat shalom.
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n O C T O B E R 2 3 , 2014
Torah Thought he main character described in this week’s Torah reading is naturally Noach himself. I think that the Torah wishes to illustrate, through Noach’s personality and his reactions to the impending disaster and to the world afterwards, the challenges of being a survivor. Everyone who has ever survived a serious challenge or tragedy replays in one’s mind what might have been done differently, and whether the tragedy could somehow have been averted. There is always, as well, that element of guilt which every survivor carries with him or her. Noach had ample warning as to the arrival of the flood – a flood that would destroy civilization as he knew it. There are different opinions in the commentaries to the Torah as to whether Noach really tried to save his surrounding neighbors or whether he was mainly passive, hoping that somehow by publicly building the Ark they would get the message. Whatever opinion we adopt, it is obvi-
OCTOBER 23, 2014
ended and he had been freed. He emerged from the concentration camp alone, barely alive. Seeking solace, he made his way back to his hometown of Toshnad, but the Jews were gone. A non-Jewish family had assumed ownership of his house. He walked up to the door, wanting to get a final look at the place where he had lived with his family. It was his home, and he had left it without saying goodbye. The family nameplate was still firmly fastened to the door. Emboldened upon seeing that, he knocked on the door and asked permission to enter. The squatter was kind enough to let him in. The owner entered and looked around at the walls that had absorbed the laughter and song of his murdered family. Everything was just as he had remembered it. The dining room table that had been the scene of festive meals, with the Torah and zemiros of so many Shabbosos and Yomim Tovim, was still there. Even the leichter that his wife had lit candles on for many years was right where it had always been. As he stood there, lost in his memories, the poacher chased him out. “Okay, Jew,” he commanded, “your time is up. Get out.” The fellow walked out to the street and paused. Decades later, he recounted to his grandson that he had never felt so degraded and distraught in his entire life. All the pain and heartache he had experienced came to the fore in those moments. He
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reach a level where there is no one in your city who is a greater chochom than you are. If you find that in the entire generation there is no one with more chochmah than you, imagine that you are studying with the chachmei haTalmud. If you feel that you have reached that level, imagine that you are with the neviim, until you reach Moshe Rabbeinu. This way, you will always endeavor to improve and grow, not being held down by the people around you. Perhaps we can apply this insight to this week’s parsha as well. Noach was a tzaddik “bedorosov, in his generation,” meaning in the generation he created for himself. It was his own. He ignored everyone around him and visualized a new generation in which he could thrive, and he made that his reality. It was dorosov he lived in the generation he formed in his mind. People have an ability to rise above their surroundings and live bigger. Over Yom Tov, I met a delightful Yerushalmi Jew who told me about his Hungarian grandfather, a Jew from Toshnad who met the same fate as the bulk of Hungarian Jewry. Taken to the concentration camps with his wife and children, only he survived. “Of all the awful experiences of the war,” this grandson asked him, “which was the worst?” The grandfather answered that for him, the worst moment came after the war had
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
BOOK REVIEW - Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender in Judaism By Miriam Kosman Mekor Press/Menucha Publishers 2014 The role of women in the Torah world often appears in the headlines, leaving Orthodox Jews feeling misunderstood. Certain complaints, such as those about agunot, appear justified even to those of us who identify as Hareidi. Other complaints reveal more about the bias of reporters and mainstream feminists than about supposed misogyny in traditional Judaism. Many in the secular community lack any meaningful understanding of Halacha and Jewish culture, and even observant Jews can lack the verbal skills to best explain the meaningful role that women play in the community. In her new book, Circle, Arrow, Spiral (Mekor Press 2014), Miriam Kosman steps up with a perspective that readers will find unique among Jewish feminists. Kosman is a doctoral candidate at Bar Ilan University, a lecturer to university students through Nefesh Yehudi, and a columnist with Mishpacha Magazine. Showing fluency with varied sources (ranging from mussar giant Rav Eliyahu Dessler to maverick feminist Camille Paglia,) she investigates how Judaism views gender, both through the lens of an academic and through that of a Haredi Jew. In the latter role, Kosman presents a perspective that has rarely been expressed in print.
Kosman proposes that the tension between women and men is only the most visible manifestation of a struggle that exists throughout Hashem’s creation, one that exists inside each person, no matter their gender,
and in every society. Kosman asserts that today, at the threshold of the Final Redemption, a spiritual drama is playing out on a global scale between “masculine” and “feminine”
By Rebecca Klempner
influences, and “[O]n the great cosmic stage, it is the woman who plays the starring role (p. 146).” Circle, Arrow, Spiral begins with a kabalistic and mussar-based analysis of the symbiotic relationship between male and female. Despite the dense material, readers will not find it difficult reading: Kosman possesses a clear writing style that offers information slowly and recaps the lessons contained in each chapter at its end. Perhaps Kosman could have interwoven the theoretical sections of Circle, Arrow, Spiral with chapters that offered practical examples. Instead, she turns to the halachic concerns of mainstream feminists only after she completes her philosophical introduction. Analyzing hot button issues such as the blessing “Shelo asani isha,” laws of divorce and marriage, and the role of women in synagogue worship, she neither dismisses the outrage of mainstream feminists, nor hides from the less politically correct comments contained in rabbinic literature. Kosman’s central critique of mainstream women’s rights advocates is that they identify genuine problems but offer the wrong solutions by pulling women towards masculine ways of being and doing (p. 152). On the
other hand, the Torah view esteems feminine values and often prioritizes them. She points out a number of ways in which Halacha cultivates the feminine within both men and women, and indicates that during the time of Moshiach, society will return to a balance of power between the sexes. Circle, Arrow, Spiral carefully avoids politically charged subjects, and Kosman doesn’t propose her own prescriptions for balance in the lives of individual women. If the book has a shortcoming, it’s that many readers are indeed looking for specific guidance in tricky areas such as divorce, women’s Torah learning, and modest dress, and Kosman offers little. Readers will find no decisive rulings on whether a Halachic Pre-Nup is halachic or not; nor will they find direction for women who want to wear tefillin. Moreover, she never maligns Open Orthodoxy or other liberal Jewish movements who embrace more mainstream feminism. Even if some readers will be frustrated by Kosman’s apolitical approach, it broadens her book’s appeal. Both people within the fold of Orthodoxy and those who are less observant will find it meaningful, and both groups will find it approachable.
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
DEUTERONOMY RABBAH 1:10
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A community is too heavy for anyone to carry alone.
OCTOBER 23, 2014 THE JEWISH HOME
ARE YOU REALLY “SOOOO OCD”?
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012
BY JEDIDIAH SIEV, PH.D.
avid is your next door neighbor. Every day while davening, David experiences intrusive thoughts that he didn’t say Shema with the requisite concentration, mispronounced words, and that his tefillin are misaligned. He desperately tries to banish these thoughts from his mind and reassure himself that he does not believe them – to no avail. With great anxiety, he painstakingly articulates davening, often repeats Shema, checks and re-checks his tefillin, and declines to say brachos on behalf of others. He faces away from anything resembling a cross (such as a banister), and mentally replaces blasphemous intrusions with “appropriate” thoughts. In the short run he feels somewhat relieved, but in the long run, the thoughts and fears and uncertainty return. David has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is not a disorder of quirkiness (“I am sooooo OCD”) or being finicky about germs. It is a disorder in which individuals experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, and urges that cause distress (obsessions), and engage in repeated behaviors or mental acts in efforts to reduce that distress (compulsions). It is heterogeneous and opportunis-
If you want to be less bothered by your thoughts, treat them like white noise. tic: it latches onto whatever is important to the person struggling with it. Fears can manifest as violent and aggressive, inappropriate images, and nearly anything else, including symptoms many think of as prototypical, like concerns about contamination or the need for symmetry and exactness. There are times when OCD masquerades as religion, such as when individuals have symptoms related to unwanted blasphemous thoughts or excessive fears of sin that exceed religious standards. Who has weird intrusive thoughts and why do they stick around? Have you ever had a thought of poking something into your eye? What about a sudden urge to kick someone? Or an image of acting on an unwanted impulse? Or wondering what it would be like to harm someone you love and aren’t even upset at? It turns out that nearly everyone has intrusive thoughts, and for the most part the intrusive thoughts that people without OCD have aren’t very different in terms of content from the intrusive thoughts that people with OCD have. They can be weird or violent. They can be things that we prefer not to think about. There’s even a subreddit (http://www.red dit.com/r/intrusivethoughts) where people record intrusive thoughts! If everyone has these kinds of thoughts, why do some people have so much trouble coping with them, get so anxious about them, and experience them so frequently? The answer has to do with how you relate to those thoughts. If you react without concern or with dispassionate curiosity (e.g., “Hey that’s a funny thing to think; I hope I remember to pick up milk when I get off the bus...”), the thought is unlikely to cause distress or recur. In fact, you may not even remember it later, just like you didn’t remember many of the other thoughts you had and things you saw for a passing moment. Why? Because they didn’t matter. However, if you attribute meaning to the thoughts (e.g., “Oh my gosh, why would I have a thought like that? Does it mean I want to do it? Does it mean I will do it? Does it mean I am a bad person for think-
ing it?”), you are likely to get anxious. And if you get anxious about a thought, you are likely to try not to think that thought. And if you try not to think a thought – any thought – you are likely to keep thinking that thought. And if you are anxious about a thought, especially if it recurs, you may engage in avoidance or behaviors to try to feel less anxious in the short run. But in the long run, those behaviors maintain the fear, cause the thoughts to come back, reinforce the beliefs that the thoughts mean bad things, and interfere with your life. So, attributing meaning to intrusive thoughts leads down a path to anxiety and then unhelpful ways of coping with anxiety (e.g., trying not to think about it, avoidance, compulsions, reassurance-seeking), and counterproductively keeps those thoughts around, creating a vicious cycle. If you want to be less bothered by your thoughts, treat them like white noise – just some random neural firings that are sometimes quiet and sometimes loud but probably not worth paying much attention to. And allow yourself to think whatever you think. As they say, if you want to think about something less, think about it more. Just how common is OCD? In an average elementary school there are likely five children suffering from OCD. In a medium to large high school, there are typically 20 students battling OCD. And in a workplace of 500, there would be about five employees who have OCD, most likely hiding their symptoms from their colleagues. OCD is in every community and those affected should not feel ashamed or embarrassed. In most cases, OCD and related disorders are treatable conditions. However, studies show that people suffer unnecessarily for years because of lack of information and a shortage of therapists trained to properly diagnose and treat these problems. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) – a type of cognitive behavior therapy tailored specifically to address the mechanisms that maintain OCD – has been identified as a first-line treatment for OCD by expert consensus panels in the USA and UK. Its efficacy has been demonstrated repeatedly in research studies. In one large-scale study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, 86% of participants who completed a full course of ERP responded to the treatment. This is an opportunity for community members to learn more about OCD and its treatment in the wake of the International OCD Foundation’s OCD Awareness Week (October 13th – 19th.) The IOCDF helps people find treatment that will curtail suffering and allow them to lead more productive lives. It also funds research and provides support for OCD sufferers and the families and caregivers of OCD patients. For those looking for help, a variety of IOCDF resources can be found online (http://iocdf.org). Jedidiah Siev, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University and director of NSU Anxiety Treatment Center and OCD and Related Disorders Program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information about Dr. Siev, visit www.jedsiev.com.
23 THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 23, 2014
Honoring Our Traditions
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
Travel Guide: Quebec City By Aaron Feigenbaum
Located about 3 hours away from the bustling Canadian metropolis of Montreal, Quebec’s capital city offers visitors a chance to experience the Old World charm of France right in North America. Quebec City, one of North America’s oldest for-
da, an Iroquois word meaning “village,” which was later adopted by the country of Canada itself. The French settlers thrived in Quebec due to the highly successful timber and fur trades. Having previously been ruled by a governor, Quebec came
surprisingly, rooms are a bit pricy; expect to spend at least $150 per night. However, the hotel’s grandeur and scenic views of the St. Lawrence river make for an unforgettable experience that’s well worth the cost. Right behind the hotel is the scenic
Panorama of Quebec City’s skyline
under the direct charge of King Louis XIV of France in 1663, thus making Quebec City the capital of New France. The fort of Saint-Louis, whose walls now surround the city, was built in 1620 and took six years to complete. The fort proved necessary as Iroquois and British attacks constantly threatened the fledgling city. During the Seven Years War, the British gained control of Quebec after the French were routed at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Despite the change in ownership, the new British overseers allowed their subjects to retain their French culture of which they, and their current descendants, are fiercely proud. In 1864 Quebec City hosted the Quebec Conference in Montmorency Park which eventually led to the creation of Canada in 1867. Today, despite the strife caused by Quebec separatism, Quebec City serves as a reminder of Canada’s rich past and stands at the crossroads of British and French history. Things to See and Do: Chateau Frontenac: Dominating the skyline of Quebec City, this amazing hotel was built on the site of the much less impressive Chateau Haldimand which served as the residence for the British colonial governors of Quebec and Lower Canada. Chateau Frontenac was built by American architect Bruce Price for the Canadian Pacific Railway company in 1893. It was named after Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac who was a two-term French colonial governor in the 17th century. In 1943 it hosted the Quebec Conference attended by FDR, Churchill, and Canadian premier Mackenzie King in which the three leaders discussed WWII strategy. Today it is owned by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Unfortunately, guided tours are no longer offered, but visitors are free to roam the luxurious public areas of the hotel including the lobby and lounges. Not
Terrasse Dufferin boardwalk with views of the river and distant mountains. Winter visitors get the special treat of tobogganing down Les Glissades de la Terrasse. Citadelle: Located right near the Chateau Frontenac is the star-shaped Citadelle, a key part of the city’s fortifications and the official residence of both the Monarch of Canada, (Queen Elizabeth II) and the Governor General of Canada, (the Queen’s official representative). Free guided tours of the Governor General/ Monarch’s mansion Rideau Hall are offered daily. The Citadelle is also home to the 22nd Royal Regiment of the Canadian Army whose uniforms and daily, (except when weather doesn’t permit,) changing of the guard ceremonies are not unlike those of the guards at Buckingham Palace. The Regiment has their own museum which features the history of the Regiment and the Citadelle, as well as various Canadian military exhibits. Parliament Building: Quebec’s parliament building is a majestic piece of architecture that was built in the Second Empire style of the late 19th century. The well-appointed interior features stainedglass art and a Louis XVI-style legislative hall. You can see a general exhibit about the history of Quebec’s National Assembly as well as a more specialized one about the members of the Assembly who fought in WWI. You can even attend a parliamentary session for free. Be aware that the sessions are in French and that there are strict dress and behavior codes. On the outside, the building’s unique design is complemented by the beautiful gardens and fountains surrounding it. Free guided tours are offered. Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park: As the name suggests, this is the site of the decisive battle which handed over control of Quebec to the British. The park offers plenty to do for the whole family, all at no
mer European colonies, sits atop a cliff overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence river with views of the surrounding Laurentian mountains. The city’s colonial past is an integral part of its identity, a fact evidenced by the 16th century fortress walls that still surround it. Each year, an average of 9 million tourists are dazzled by the city’s cobblestone streets, colonial-era houses, military ramparts, and, especially, the awe-inspiring Chateau Frontenac, possibly North America’s most photographed hotel. Quebec City also has plenty of museums, hiking trails, and world-renowned street festivals. If you’re concerned about the language barrier, while French may be the common language in this European-esque city, non-Francophone tourists have no cause to fear as many tour guides speak English and English signs crafted especially for visitors are in abundance. The city celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008 and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a unique cultural experience that’s relatively close to home, there are few places that can match the grandeur and authenticity of Quebec City. The first European explorer to settle in the area now known as Quebec City was Frenchman Jacques Cartier, who arrived there in 1534. However, his settlement quickly failed due to hostility on the part of the natives in the region. The city’s official history dates back to 1608 when the area was successfully settled by another French explorer named Samuel de Champlain, now immortalized as the “Father of New France.” The city and province’s name originally derives from Kebec, an Algonquin term meaning “where the river narrows.” Quebec City was built on an abandoned Iroquois settlement on a promontory overlooking the St. Lawrence river. The city’s original name was Cana-
charge. You can see the beautiful Jeanne d’Arc flower garden, engage in roller blading, take your kids to the playground, watch a rugby game, visit the arts museum, and have a relaxing picnic with a view of the river. And true to its name, the park has dozens of artillery pieces scattered throughout, as well as four Martello Towers built by the British to defend against a possible American attack. Be sure to visit the park in autumn when the colorful leaves make for an especially impressive sight. Morrin Centre: This rather unassuming building served as the city’s first prison and then the first English language institute of higher learning. It’s now home to the city’s only English language library. A guided tour takes you down to the jail cells where you can learn about the prisoners’ lives and the conditions they lived in. Guides then inform you about the history of Morrin College, the science lab, and the haunting stories behind the Victorian library. Admission prices are $8.75 per adult, $6.50 per student, and free for children 8 and younger. Observatoire de la Capitale: Located on the top floor of the Marie-Guyart building, the Observatory is the highest point in the entire city. You’ll get a 360-degree view of the city and areas beyond. The panoramic view is complemented by an interactive multimedia display with touch screens and holograms that take you through Quebec City’s past. Adults are $8 and kids are free. Quartier du Petit Champlain: The oldest shopping district in North America, Petit Champlain is the cultural heart of Quebec City. Wander down the cobblestone pathways and peruse the interesting artisan shops set in beautiful traditional buildings. If you want great souvenirs then this is the place to go to. Place Royale: This is the very spot where Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City in 1608. A museum overlooking the square traces the history of Quebec from its founding to the present day. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults, $5 for students, and free for ages 11 and under. Ice Hotel: For something a bit more out of the ordinary, come in the winter to visit North America’s only ice hotel (the Hotel de Glace) in Charlesbourg, just north of Quebec City. This incredible feat of engineering is made over the course of a month and a half with 30,000 tons of specialized snow and 500 tons of ice. There are 44 different rooms and theme
25 THE JEWISH HOME
St Pierre de l’Île d’Orléans
national park has gorgeous lakes, streams, mountains, and hiking trails. Skiing and fishing are some of the most popular activities in this unspoiled wilderness. Daven and Eat: Congregation Beth Israel Ohev Shalom is the city’s only shul. They are located at 1251 Avenue de Merici and can be reached at +1 418-688-3277. For kosher food go to jquebec.com where you can arrange for catering. Getting There: Quebec City is served by Jean Lesage International Airport, located about 7 miles southwest of downtown. Round-trip prices from LAX start in the upper $400 range. Another option is to drive there from New York, Boston, or Montreal. Driving from Los Angeles to Quebec City takes 3 to 4 days. (Sources: Wikitravel, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor)
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Quebec City Rue St Louis Montmorency Falls
La Citadelle de Québec
suites, the most expensive of which has a fireplace and private spa. The hotel will be open next year from January 5 to March 22. If you’re not interested in staying overnight, the hotel is wide open to the public, averaging a million tourists a year compared to only about 40,000 guests. Winter Carnival: The primary reason to visit Quebec City in the winter though is for the massive Winter Carnival, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Events include a masquerade ball at the Chateau Frontenac, parades, snow sculpture contests, sleigh races, ice canoe races, hockey,
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snowboarding, and skiing. Montmorency Falls Park: Edging out the legendary Niagara Falls in height, the stunning Montmorency Falls are only some 7 miles away from the heart of Old Quebec City. Several different staircases allow visitors to view the falls from a number of different perspectives. A suspension bridge crosses the top of the falls allowing for spectacular scenic views. Island of Orleans: For a glimpse into Quebec’s rural past, take a trip 3 miles east of downtown to this historic island in the St. Lawrence River. The island was one of the earliest French settlements and has been described as a “microcosm of traditional Quebec and as the birthplace of Francophones in North America.” Rustic scenery, fresh locally-grown produce, craft shops, and quaint bed-and-breakfasts are just some of what attract over 600,000 tourists a year to this charming locale. Jacques Cartier National Park: The perfect escape for nature lovers, this huge
THE JEWISH HOME 23,22014 THE JEW I S H H OOCTOBER M E n M AY 4 , 2012
You Gotta be
Kidding! Eight friends come to visit you. Your first friend asks for ½ a cup of water. Your second friend asks for ¼ a cup of water. Your third friend asks for 1/8 a cup of water, etc. How many cups of water do you need in order to satisfy all of your friends? Answer on next page
A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at a local fast food joint. He noticed that they had ordered one meal and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the older gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them. Then the old man poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat, watching, with her hands folded in her lap. The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs. But the old gentleman assured him that they were fine. “Oh, no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared—50/50.” The young man then asked the wife why she wasn’t eating. “I’ll eat soon,” she replied. “It’s his turn with the teeth.”
Diet Rules to Follow
I know that for the many “nutritional overachievers” out there, your diet season begins right after Succos and extends all of the way until one week later. So, as you embark on your one week diet journey to total fitness, keep these important rules in mind: > If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories. > If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet soda.
> When you eat with someone else, calories don’t count if you don’t eat more than they do.
> Food used for medicinal purposes never count, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast and Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
> Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and white chocolate. > Foods that are frozen have no calories because calories are units of heat. Examples are ice cream, frozen pies, and Popsicles.
> If you eat really fast, your body may forget to register the calories. > If it’s whole grain, it’s a “freebie.” That means you can eat
unlimited whole grain rice, bread,
> If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.
cookies, etc. In fact, it’s healthy for you.
> Cookie pieces contain no fat—the process of breaking
> If you eat the food off
causes fat leakage.
> Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something. Examples are peanut butter on a knife making a sandwich and ice cream on a spoon making a sundae.
someone else’s plate, it doesn’t count. > A balanced diet means holding a cupcake
in each hand.
> Eat whatever you want on Shabbos (translation: Thursday
night to Sunday night). After all it’s only one day.
79 27 THE JEWISH HOME
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012
World Series Trivia 2. Since 1903, the World Series was only canceled twice—1904 & 1994. Why was it canceled in 1904? a. President Teddy Roosevelt was shot and MLB Commissioner Harry C. Pulliam didn’t feel it was appropriate to play while the president was in serious condition. b. The World Series was supposed to be in New York and there was a major blizzard which crippled the city for weeks. c. John T. Brush, president of the New York Giants at the time, refused to allow his team to compete with the Boston Americans because he considered both the team and the American League inferior. d. The horse and buggy union was on strike so there was no way for players to commute to and from the stadiums. 3. Which team appeared in the World Series the most in the 1990s? a. Indians b. Tigers c. Yankees d. Braves 4. In 2003, the Yankees won 101 games but lost the World Series to this team, which only won 91 games and was appearing in only their second World Series: a. Baltimore Orioles b. St. Louis Cardinals c. Atlanta Braves d. Florida Marlins 5. How many World Series championships have the Kansas City Royals won? a. 1 b. 7
OCTOBER 23, 2014
1. Who is the only player to play in 75 World Series games? a. Yogi Berra b. Mickey Mantle c. Joe DiMaggio d. Phil Rizzuto
d. Reggie Jackson
c. 9 d. 14 6. In the 1996 World Series, this pitcher had 4 saves for the Yankees, earning him the MVP award: a. Enter Sandman...Mariano Rivera b. Jeff Nelson c. John Wetteland d. Doc Gooden 7. How many World Series rings does Joe Girardi have? a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 d. 4
Answers: 1-A 2-C 3-D 4-D 5-A 6 - C- Mo was the set-up man in 1996 7 - D- He was on the Yankees for their 1996, 1998 and 1999 wins, and was the Yankee manager when they won in 2009. 8-C 9-B
Scoreboard: 6-9 correct: You are a baseball buff. If John. T. Brush was your manager he would 8. Which pitcher threw a four-hit shutout say that you are so good that he wouldn’t to defeat the Giants in Game 7 of the 1962 even want you to have to play this trivia…it’s World Series? beneath you. a. Whitey Ford 3-5 correct: Not bad. Well, actually, if you b. Bill Stafford got 3 correct, you lose. If you got c. Ralph Terry 5 correct, you win, with d. Jim Bouton one to spare. 0-2 correct: 9. Which one of these players Congrats! You never hit three homeruns in a know nothing World Series game: about Ameria. Babe Ruth Comm Let the ca’s pastime! issio b. Derek Jeter
G OT FU N N Y?
c. Albert Pujols
decid Send e your s tuff to c
fivetow enterfold@ nsjewis hhome. com Answer to riddle: Just one. They are all asking for just a portion of water from one cup.
THETJEWISH OCTOBER H E J E WHOME ISH HOM E n M AY23,2 2014 4 , 2012
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” A group in Russia has nominated Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. When Putin heard this, he said, “I’m all about achieving peace — piece of Ukraine, piece of Poland. I hope to win many more pieces.” - Jimmy Fallon
I would be bored to death. Can you imagine me banging around that chamber with 99 other people? Asking for a motion on the amendment in the subcommittee? Forget it, it would be over, everybody. You’d watch me just walk out and walk right into the Potomac River and drown. That’d be it. - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at an NAACP event, explaining why he would never run for the Senate
On Saturday the San Francisco Giants beat the Nationals in Washington in 18 innings. It was the longest postseason game in baseball history — proving that even in sports, it takes forever to get something done in Washington. - Jimmy Fallon Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said it seems like President Obama has lost his way. Apparently, it’s gotten so bad that this morning Obama was seen asking a White House intruder for directions. – Seth Myers
A new poll shows that only a slim majority of Americans think the country is prepared for an Ebola outbreak. But I think we deal with outbreaks pretty well. It only took us a couple of months to completely eradicate Gangnam Style. – Seth Myers
At the Eiffel Tower they’ve installed a new glass floor that lets tourists see what’s going on hundreds of feet below them. It celebrates France’s favorite pastime: looking down on people. – Jimmy Fallon
The administration now has a name for the war against ISIS. Every military operation has to have a name so people can get behind it, and they now have a name for the war against ISIS — Operation Hillary’s Problem. – David Letterman
This is kind of weird. This week Obama criticized the GOP for being the party of billionaires — while he was speaking at a fundraiser at a billionaire’s house…Did you see the name of that billionaire? He was Rich Richman… Obama would have stayed longer, but he was late for his lunch with Dollars McMoneybags. - Jimmy Fallon
The White House dismissed former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s criticisms of President Obama, saying he has faced some of the most difficult issues of our time. That would be a great defense if every president didn’t face the most difficult issues of their time. That’s the job. - Jimmy Fallon
Facebook is reportedly thinking of ways to incorporate health into their array of services. Here’s how it’ll work: If you get a cut or a bruise or something, take a picture of it and post it. If it gets more than 100 likes, you’re cured. - Jimmy Kimmel
Archaeologists in Arizona have discovered the remains of a 1,300-year-old village. They found dwellings, stone tools, and hundreds of ballots cast for Senator John McCain. – Jimmy Fallon
More needs to be done. Higher education shouldn’t be a privilege for [only] those able to afford it. – Hillary Clinton speaking at a dinner to benefit University of Nevada (she was paid $225,000 for the speech)
The fact that Mr. Duncan had traveled to Africa was not communicated effectively among the care team, though it was in his medical chart. On that visit to the Emergency Department, we did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. For this, we are deeply sorry. - A portion of a public letter issued by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas after a nurse contracted Ebola when treating the first U.S. Ebola patient before he died
Vladimir Putin turned 62 years old today. It must be tough buying him a gift. What do you get for the man who has everywhere? - Jimmy Fallon A cat in Florida had its life saved by a blood transfusion from a dog. Unfortunately, it later died from exhaustion after chasing itself around the house. – Seth Myers
New York State is spending $750 million to open a solar plant in Buffalo, which will create thousands of jobs. Most of those jobs will be shoveling the snow off the solar equipment. - Jimmy Fallon
The New York Jets were defeated 31-0…Native Americans were so embarrassed about the game that they’re demanding the Jets change their name. - David Letterman
Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was arrested for stealing cologne and a two-pack of underwear from a store in Texas. That’s disappointing for two reasons. First, he was stealing. Second, he couldn’t outrun a mall security guard. He’s an NFL running back. Break a tackle! - Jimmy Fallon
A woman in the U.K. held a wedding ceremony to marry herself. I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think that lady you just married might be crazy. - Seth Myers
Today they announced the Nobel Prize winner for economics. It went to the guy who sold Derek Jeter’s socks for 400 bucks. – David Letterman North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance yesterday in over 40 days. But since he saw his shadow, that now means 60 more years of nuclear winter. - Jimmy Fallon
Looking back on my career, I’ve been a Republican, a congressman, a White House chief of staff, and a defense secretary. Come to think of it, I’ve done everything that Dick Cheney has done. Except the guy I made sure got shot in the face was Osama bin Laden. - Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in his memoir
A survey found that more than half of Americans see President Obama’s time in office as a failure. While the rest said, “You saw him in his office? When?” - Jimmy Fallon
The marriage rate has hit an all-time low, with 1 in 5 adults over 25 having never been married. In fact, an ad firm has come up with slogans to get people onboard. One slogan is: “Marriage, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back — half of it, anyway.” - Jimmy Fallon
I got fired for being a nice guy, I can live with that. – Nebraska sports anchor Joe Swift after he was fired by Channel KNOP for having wished farewell the night before, on air, to two co-workers who were leaving the station
As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL [Islamic State] coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to. And people need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity, and Eid [the holiday] celebrates the opposite of all of that. - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a reception for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha at the State Department in Washington on October 16, 2014 [H]e did not make any linkage between Israel and the growth of ISIL, period. - State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, in response to criticism from Israeli Parliament members Linking the fight against terrorism and the end of the Israeli occupation is a strategic position that we support. - PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo in response to Kerry’s comments Even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian, there will always be those who blame the Jews. - MK Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister, responding to Kerry’s comments
The search engine Bing has a new feature that can predict who will lose in the midterm elections — because if anyone’s good at predicting failure, it’s Bing. - Jimmy Fallon
On this day in 1912, President Teddy Roosevelt was shot, declined to go to the hospital, and gave a 90-minute speech with a bullet in his chest. Then, on this day in 2012, I spent the whole day on WebMD because my eyelid wouldn’t stop twitching. – Seth Myers
During an interview, Senator John McCain declared that the U.S. isn’t winning the war against ISIS. Even ISIS said, “Well, not with THAT attitude.” - Jimmy Fallon
This weekend, a man in Oregon who is an advocate for the open carry of firearms was robbed at gunpoint. The thief apparently made off with the man’s entire argument. - Seth Myers
A bar in London has been named the world’s best bar for the third year in a row. And if you want to know what it’s like being at the world’s best bar, just keep drinking in the bar you’re at. - Jimmy Fallon
You know who they haven’t seen in a while? Kim Jung Un, evil dictator of North Korea. They haven’t seen him in, like, six weeks. He’s probably spending more time executing his family. – David Letterman
29 91 OCTOBER 2014 TTHE H E JJEWISH E W I S HHOME HOME n M AY 2 23, 4 , 2012
This week, a spokesman for Harry Reid said that even though Joe Biden makes a lot of mistakes, he is still able to connect and tell us what’s on his mind. That sounds less like a vice president and more like a chimpanzee that knows sign language. - Jimmy Fallon
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
Global Dozens of Trekkers Dead in Himalayan Storm
This week, Nepal saw the worst trekking disaster in the county’s history. A devastating snowstorm, which triggered many avalanches, rocked the Himalayas and the death toll has already climbed to 40 people who lost their lives in the blinding storm. The high mortality rate is due in part to the timing of the storm. The trekking season is at its high, and many trekkers were caught unaware. Officials also fear that many more bodies may be buried under the heavy snow and ice. The focus has now shifted from rescue to the grim prospect of retrieving more bodies feared to be lying on the popular trekking route, which goes as high as 17,769 feet. Nepalese army choppers circled the upper reaches of the popular trekking region to locate bodies on Saturday, while officials arranged to fly in a team of experts from Kathmandu to assist with the operation. Four days after the blizzard hit, all known, stranded surviving trekkers are now believed to be safe, officials said, with 385 people rescued after frantic calls for help. “We have not received any further calls for rescue or for information about stranded people,” said Binay Acharya of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal. “We understand all remaining trekkers in the region are safe.” The dead include at least 26 hikers, guides and porters on the trekking circuit, three yak herders, and five people who were climbing a nearby mountain. At least 19 of the dead are tourists, from countries including Canada, Israel, Poland, Slovakia, India and Vietnam.
N Korea Admits to Labor Camps A North Korean official has publicly acknowledged to the international community the existence of his country’s “re-
form through labor” camps. This acknowledgement appeared to come in response to a highly critical U.N. human rights report earlier this year. Diplomats for the reclusive, impoverished country also told reporters that a top North Korea official has visited the headquarters of the European Union and expressed interest in dialogue, with discussions on human rights expected next year. North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador Ri Tong Il said the secretary of his country’s ruling Workers’ Party had visited the EU, and that “we are expecting end of this year to open political dialogue between the two sides.” The human rights dialogue would follow. In Brussels, an EU official confirmed a recent North Korea meeting with the EU’s top human rights official, Stavros Lambrinidis, but said any dialogue currently planned is limited to human rights issues.
Choe Myong Nam, a North Korean foreign ministry official in charge of U.N. affairs and human rights issues, said at a briefing with reporters that his country has no prison camps and, in practice, “no prison, things like that.” But he briefly discussed the “reform through labor” camps. “Both in law and practice, we do have reform through labor detention camps — no, detention centers — where people are improved through their mentality and look on their wrongdoings,” he said. Such “re-education” labor camps are for common offenders and some political prisoners, but most political prisoners are held in a harsher system of political prison camps. Greg Scarlatoiu is the executive director of the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Scarlatiu pointed out that the mention of the reform camps was the first direct acknowledgement by a North Korean official speaking before an international audience. “While the North Korean human rights record remains abysmal, it is very important that senior North Korean officials are now speaking about human rights, and expressing even pro forma interest in dialogue,” Scarlatoiu said. “The North Korean strategic approach to human rights issues used to be to simply ignore reports by international NGOs, government agencies or U.N. bodies. Human rights used to just go
away, out-competed by nukes, missiles, and military provocations.” While he called the acknowledgement of the reform through labor camps “a modest step in the right direction,” he stressed that this wasn’t an admission by North Korea of the harsher system of political prison camps, which are estimated to hold 120,000 people.
Turkey Allows Anti-ISIS Fighters Through
Turkey has announced that it will allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani on Turkey’s border. The U.S. Air Force has already air-dropped arms to help the Kurds there resist an Islamic State assault. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was facilitating the passage of Iraqi Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq. He stopped short of saying whether Turkey backed the U.S. air-drop of weapons. Turkey’s refusal to intervene in the fight with Islamic State has frustrated the United States and sparked lethal riots in southeastern Turkey. Many Kurds are furious at Ankara’s failure to help Kobani or at least open a land corridor for volunteer fighters and reinforcements to go there. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington had asked Ankara to help “get the peshmerga or other groups” into Kobani so they could help defend the town, adding he hoped the Kurds would “take this fight on.” The European Union also urged Turkey to open its border to allow supplies to get through to residents of Kobani. If the reinforcements come through, it may mark a turning point in the battle for Kobani, a town where Syrian Kurds have struggled for weeks against better-armed Islamic State fighters trying to reshape the Middle East. Kerry said both he and President Barack Obama had spoken to Turkish authorities before the air drops “to make it very, very clear this is not a shift of policy by the United States.” “It is a crisis moment, an emergency where we clearly do not want to see Kobani become a horrible
example of the unwillingness of people to be able to help those who are fighting ISIL,” he added. Iraqi Kurdish official Hemin Hawrami wrote on his Twitter feed that 21 tons of weapons and ammunition supplied by the Iraqi Kurds had been dropped so far. U.S. Central Command said U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft had dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to allow the Kurdish fighters to keep up their resistance in the town.
Japanese Minister Resigns Amid Scandal
Yuko Obuchi, 40, served as the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan. She was a rarity in the world of Japanese politics dominated by older men. Last week, the official resigned from her position in a rather unflattering light. She admitted to misusing political funds to buy cosmetics and votes. Obuchi said at a press conference that parliamentary business had been stalled because of questions over her use of money. “It is not permissible for me as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry to have economy and energy policies stalled because of my own problems,” she said. “I will resign and focus on probing what has been called into question,” the mother of two told reporters. This is a huge blow for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who has proposed a gender reform drive. Obuchi was the first ministerial casualty of Abe’s tenure, which began in December 2012 and has been remarkable for its stability. Her advancement to the cabinet which was announced in September, along with four other women, was seen as part of Abe’s attempt to boost the role of women in society. The allegations that led to her resignation were based on Obuchi’s gift giving. She supposedly gave presents to supporters, including cosmetics and theater trips worth tens of millions of yen (hundreds of thousands of dollars) over several years, which opponents have painted as “vote-buying” but others are claiming is very socially accepted in Japanese society. “Companies and organizations give gifts to people concerned as they engage
Ebola Corpse Cover Up Ebola is the new frightening word in the world. Now there is a new reason officials are having a hard time containing the deadly virus. Health officials in Liberia are reporting that there is corruption involved
in collecting dead bodies. Reports are being released that retrieval teams are accepting bribes from families of Ebola victims to issue death certificates that say their loved ones died of other causes, allowing them to keep their bodies for a traditional burial. “The family says the person is not an Ebola patient, and [the retrieval team] pull them away from the
Scan on Sunday
On Tuesday, Russian and French experts were investigating a plane crash at a Moscow airport that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, whose private jet struck a snow plough on takeoff. Russian investigators said the driver of the snow-clearing machine was drunk and that his actions, along with “an error by air traffic controllers”, appeared to have led to the crash – a claim disputed by the driver’s lawyer. They also blamed senior airport officials for causing the accident through “criminal negligence,” and said several executives would be suspended. De Margerie, 63, was affectionately known as the “Big Moustache” because of his distinctive facial hair. His company, Total, is one of the world’s biggest oil companies. While respected by the industry for expanding Total’s activities around the world, De Margerie was also often mired in controversy as he helmed the group when it was embroiled in judicial woes including the UN “oil-for-food” scandal. Just hours before the crash, De Margerie had met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at his country residence outside Moscow to discuss foreign investment in Russia, the Vedomosti business daily reported, despite Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine conflict. The late oil boss had been vocal with his criticism against sanctions against Russia. In his last public remarks in Moscow, De Margerie said Total’s strategy “remains absolutely unchanged. We are engaged with Russia.” De Margerie had been chief executive
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OCTOBER 23, 2014
French Oil Mogul Killed in Crash
of Total, Europe’s third largest oil company after Shell and BP, since 2007 and spent his entire 40-year career there. A descendant of a family of diplomats and business leaders, he was the grandson of Pierre Taittinger, founder of the eponymous champagne and the luxury goods dynasty. He was married with three children and known for his good humor.
THE JEWISH HOME
in economic activities,” Obuchi told reporters. “It is part of a politician’s job to socialize with various people and expand their network while engaging in political activities. I believe these costs should be approved as expenses for political activities,” she defended. Maintaining her innocent intentions, she acknowledged there were questions over her actions and promised a full investigation of the matter under the auspices of an independent lawyer.
THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 23, 2014
other people,” Vincent Chounse, a community outreach worker, reported. “Then they say, ‘We can give you a certificate from the Ministry of Health that it wasn’t Ebola.’ Sometimes it is $40. Sometimes it is $50.”
Government Information Minister Lewis Brown told reporters that his office has received reports of health workers issuing fake death certificates, but he added that no burial team has “a capacity to go and issue certificates.” The grim task of removing bodies infected with Ebola is critical, health officials say, because the dead are a major source of contagion. Part of the drive to cover up a cause of death is that many people in the region believe that if a family member had the virus, the entire family is infected. Therefore, the entire family is then shunned. According to the World Health Organi-
zation, more than 4,000 Ebola cases have been reported in Liberia, resulting in 2,316 deaths since the outbreak began. But local health officials say the numbers are not adding up. “We are not receiving the amount of community calls that we should be,” said Agnes “Cokie” van der Velde, who oversees body collection teams for Doctors Without Borders.
A Deal with the Devil: Negotiating Peace with Boko Haram
Despite an alleged ceasefire by Boko Haram, the violence continues in the northeast of Nigeria. The Borno Elders Forum, made up of retired senior civilian and mil-
itary officials from the state, said attacks in recent days indicated that not all Boko Haram fighters were aware of the peaceful deal announced on Friday. “If they are aware and they are in agreement that there is a ceasefire, I don’t think they would continue attacking innocent people and taking over places,” said the elders’ spokesman Bulama Mali Gubio. “It is either [that] those the federal government is negotiating with are not the Boko Haram but the usual 419ers... or it is just some kind of mockery,” he told reporters in Maiduguri on Sunday evening. The term 419 refers to the section of the Nigerian penal code that deals with fraud and which has become a catch-all for con artists. There were recent attacks in Borno and Adamawa states, including one on Sunday evening in Damboa, southwest of Maiduguri, where soldiers fought the militants. A senior military source revealed that troops killed at least 35 insurgents as they tried unsuccessfully to vandalize the town. Rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, and explosives were recovered after the clash. Separately, witnesses in northern Borno reported that many people were fleeing
and trying to cross the Kumadugu-Yobe River that serves as a border with neighboring Niger. Tragically, some women and children drowned as they tried to swim to safety. The UN refugee agency estimates that more than 60,000 people have fled across Nigeria’s northeastern borders trying to escape the sadistic Boko Haram group.
Israel Abbas Tightens Penalty for Arabs Selling Property to Israelis According to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, on Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced tougher penalties for those selling propery to Israelis. He imposed a sentence of hard labor for life on “anyone diverting, renting or selling land to an ene-
Billions Donated to Gaza
On Sunday night, Jews entered 10 apartments in two buildings bought by another Israeli nonprofit, Ateret Kohanim, in a different part of the neighborhood. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported the buildings were sold by their owners to a man named Shams al-Din al-Qawasmi, who sold them to Jewish groups. In the closing statement of a conference Monday night, Fatah’s Revolutionary Council accused Palestinians who sold their Jerusalem Palestinian properties of “high treason,” calling on the government and legal system to “take the necessary steps to deter them.” The movement also called on the public to “boycott and humiliate them on all popular levels.” Abbas’s decision was issued immediately afterward. “Those whose sick souls allowed them to sell their land or homes, or enable such sales to the enemies of the Palestinian people, are a gang of traitors to their nation and religion,” said Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi in a statement published by Wafa. “They have brought shame and scorn upon themselves in this world and in the afterlife.” “One would rather die than sell his honor and betray the most sacred land in the world, saturated with the blood of prophets and martyrs throughout history,” he added. “Those traitors are destined to die a humiliating death.” Officially, the PLO’s Revolutionary Penal Code (1979) applies the death penalty both to traitors and to those accused of “transferring positions to the enemy.” Since the late 1990s, Palestinian courts have been dealing out death sentences to convicted land dealers, though Abbas has not authorized the implementation of executions since his election in 2004. While Palestinian law does not apply in East Jerusalem, Bassem Eid, a Jerusalem-based Palestinian civil rights activist, says he has followed cases of Jerusalemites kidnapped in the city and tortured to death in Ramallah by the Palestinian Au-
$2.7 billion have been donated to rebuild Gaza at an international conference. However, all of the key contributors said that without a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the money would be better spent elsewhere. But U.S.-mediated talks broke down this summer before the 50-day war between Hamas and Israel began — the third since 2008 — and it remains unclear how peace can come about. Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, who co-chaired the one-day meeting, said pledges of $5.4 billion have been made, but that only half of that money would be “dedicated” to the reconstruction of the strip. Qatar offered the biggest donation of $1 billion — once again using its vast wealth to reinforce its role as a regional player. The United Arab Emirates — a Gulf Arab rival of Qatar — promised $200 million. The pledges followed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement of immediate American assistance of $212 million to Gaza. The European Union pledged $568 million, while Turkey, which has been playing a growing regional role, said it was donating $200 million.
Avalanche Survivors Return Home
Three Israelis died and seven more were injured in the recent trekking disaster in the Himalayas. A private plane donated by an Israeli businessman flew all seven survivors from Katmandu to Ben-Gurion International Airport. “We received the injured fully conscious, most suffering from various levels of frostbite on different parts of their bodies,” said Magen David Adom official Lior Altman. “We trans-
ferred them in ambulances for continuing treatment in Hadassah- Ein Kerem and Tel Hashomer hospitals…We can see that they went through a difficult incident there, both mentally and physically.” The death toll from the devastating snowstorm has already climbed to 43. Israeli backpackers who survived the disaster in Nepal reported that the situation on the ground is “chaotic” and that the Nepalese airlines are refusing to let Israelis stuck in Nepal fly back sooner. “We feel that it’s all disorganized, there’s a lot of chaos,” Maya Orah said. “Even those of us who weren’t physically injured were emotionally hurt. No one has sent us any of us psychological help.” The head of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem’s trauma and emergency medicine department, Dr. Avi Rivkind, and Dr. Julius Golender will fly to Nepal to treat and help fly other injured Israelis back home. At least 40 Israeli tourists in Nepal remain unaccounted for, including one backpacker — Michal Cherkasky, 36, from the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim — who was in the area of the blizzard.
Israel Receives High Food Praise
We all know that Israel has delicious food. And we are not insecure enough that we need any international recognition for the countries culinary delights. But it doesn’t hurt. Food and wine magazine Saveur has issued its annual culinary travel awards, and though Israel did not win any first place prizes, it did receive several very respectable mentions in various categories. Tel Aviv was noted as an “outstanding” culinary destination in the Small International category (cities with a population of less than 800,000) alongside Florence, Italy and Lyon, France. The vibrant city also received an “outstanding” citation in the Best Markets and Shops, International category, alongside Paris and Barcelona and just behind Tokyo. Jerusalem was also featured in this category, winning a more humble rank of “notable” alongside cities such as London, Madrid, Bangkok and Istanbul. Finally, El Al Israel Airlines won an “outstanding” mark in the Best In-Flight Wine Program, though its dining menus
did not receive similar praise. Other notable categories included Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Cocktails & Drinks, Best Hotel Bar, Best Culinary Tours, Best All-Inclusive Resort, Best Brewery Experience, Best Airport Lounge and more. Saveur, founded in 1994, is a magazine that specializes in culinary traditions around the world, focusing on authentic cuisine. According to its website, it “emphasizes heritage and tradition, home cooking and real food, evoking flavors from around the world.”
Israeli Doctors Treat Hamas Leader’s Child This week highlighted another stark juxtaposition between terrorists living in Gaza and Israelis. A daughter of the leader of Hamas in Gaza was admitted to an Israeli hospital for emergency medical treatment this month after she suffered complications from a routine procedure. Ismail Haniyeh’s daughter stayed in a Tel Aviv hospital for a week. Haniyeh, who has 13 children, is the leader of the Islamist group in Gaza and one of its most senior figures overall, serving as a deputy to Khaled Meshaal, who lives in exile. Sources have not released which daughter of his needed the emergency stay out of respect for her privacy. Like many Hamas officials, Haniyeh spent the recent sevenweek-long war largely in hiding. His home in the northern part of the Gaza Strip was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.
An Israeli official said he could not discuss specific medical admissions from Gaza. But he said that in most cases a request by a Palestinian doctor to allow a patient across the border for urgent treatment was sufficient – indicating Haniyeh may not have been personally involved in his daughter’s application. During the war and since it ended in late August, dozens of patients from Gaza have been brought to hospitals in Israel. Israeli media has reported that one of Haniyeh’s granddaughters was treated in an Israeli hospital last November, while his mother-in-law sought treatment in a Jerusalem hospital in June.
OCTOBER 23, 2014
thority’s Preventive Security Agency. In 1997, Farid Bashiti, an Israeli citizen, was enticed to Ramallah and murdered for his involvement in property sales. An Israeli court recognized Bashiti as a terror victim in February 2000. Another person, once a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Eid recalled, was abducted from Damascus Gate in the Old City and died of torture in a Ramallah prison.
THE JEWISH HOME
my state or one of its subjects.” Jordan’s penal code number 16 article 114, applicable in the Palestinian territories, previously subscribed “temporary hard labor” to perpetrators of the crime. Palestinian government and civil society reacted angrily to the recent acquisition of 26 apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by Elad, an Israeli foundation dedicated to the settlement of Jews in the historic City of David.
Haifa has Highest Cancer Rate
THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 23, 2014
The Ministry of Health has released new data showing that Haifa has the highest cancer rate among major Israeli cities. The rate of cancer among men in Haifa from 2006 to 2011 was 15% higher than the average in Israel, the second highest rating after Acre with 16%. The rate of cancer among women is also higher than the Israeli average at 15%; this marks Haifa women having the highest cancer rating in the country. At a press conference held by the Israel Cancer Association and the Ministry of Health, cancer data was presented for the years 2001 to 2005 and 2006 to 2011. Haifa is the only district in Israel to have the highest occurrences of cancer among men and women during the whole period examined. “It could be the factories in the Haifa Bay and it could be the way of life or different behavior of residents. More studies regarding the matter must be conducted in order to determine the cause,” said Dr. Lital Keinan Boker the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Registry at the Ministry of Health. Boker emphasized that the data is descriptive and cannot be used to determine the relation between the prevalence of the disease and pollution. Such research should be conducted in order to determine whether the prevalence of the disease is due to air pollution or other contributing factors. Other data released at the press conference shows that Israel is ranked 6th in the world at cancer survival. The results come from studies conducted at Yale University, New York University and the University of Virginia. Australia is ranked first, followed by Luxemburg, the United States, New Zealand and Ireland, respectively. Armenia came in last place among the 78 countries ranked.
Kerry Blames Israel for ISIS It’s the newest trend: blaming the rise of ISIS on Israel. The Palestinian Libera-
tion Organization (PLO), the terror organization behind the Palestinian Authority (PA), has called for a comprehensive strategy against Islamic extremism by blaming Israel for rising radicalization. This announcement follows US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement in which he insisted that the failure of peace talks between Israel and the PA was the culprit for the rise of the Islamic State group. The comments sparked outrage from Israeli officials. PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo agreed to the claim, telling a reporter that “linking the fight against terrorism and the end of the Israeli occupation is a strategic position that we support.” Rabbo then took it one step further, claiming that Israelis and Jews offended by the comments are supporting ISIS by default. “Those who criticize Kerry want the terrorism of the Islamic State organization to continue to use it as an excuse to obstruct a political solution and end to the occupation,” he accused.
Kerry’s statements sparked fury from Israeli politicians. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian there will always be someone who blames the Jews.” Communications Minister Gilad Erdan also responded, firing that the remark proved a “lack of understanding” of both the regional situation in general and of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. State Department officials scrambled to mollify the outrage. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted that Kerry “did not make any linkage between Israel and the growth of ISIL, period.” Instead, Harf insisted that Kerry had meant merely to emphasize the importance of stabilizing regional conflict in general. ”If we could achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, that would create a more stable region writ large,” she said. This is not the first time Kerry’s inflammatory remarks have soured US-Israel relations, nor the first time the State Department was forced to backtrack in the face of backlash. In February, Kerry made a series of comments indicating threats to boycott Israel if peace talks failed. The resulting backlash put a major dampener on US-Israel relations for several weeks, and prompted a flat-out denial of the remarks from State Department officials.
UK Pols Vote Palestine a State
The Israeli embassy in London reacted harshly to last week’s non-binding vote in the House of Commons urging “the government to recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.” “The route to Palestinian statehood runs through the negotiation room,” read the embassy’s statement. “Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace. Recognition of a Palestinian state should be the result of a successful conclusion of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” The motion, unlikely to change government policy, was passed by 274 in favor to 12 votes against, and was advocated as a “contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.” PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi celebrated the decision and said the vote was “both a principled decision and a significant step towards justice and peace.” The House of Commons debate was watched around the world after Sweden drew anger from Israel this month for saying it would recognize Palestine. As the debate was initiated by a backbencher, the government was not bound to act on its results. The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have recognized Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date to the Soviet era. Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the United Nations on giving the Palestinians the rank of observer state, which was granted over the objections of the United States and Israel.
Anti-Ebola Measures Israel is taking the recent incidences of Ebola very seriously. This week, an exercise was conducted at Ben-Gurion Airport to practice identifying travelers arriving from countries at-risk with the Ebola virus. The drill included an entire simulated screening process. Visitors were questioned when getting off airplanes. Evac-
uation and hospital treatment procedures were also practiced.
According to Health Ministry guidelines, authorities are instructed to evacuate travelers who have visited a country where the strain is prevalent and have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. They are to be brought to an isolated hospital for treatment. Israel will specifically begin monitoring travelers arriving at the airport from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The drill took place following talks held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent weeks to discuss the spread of the virus. “Israel is prepared to stop, as much as is possible, the entry of Ebola patients into our borders, as part of our general efforts to defend our borders from illegal infiltrators and terror,” Netanyahu said during the meeting. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, urine, and stools of an infected person, but not by coughing, sneezing or eating food touched by someone who is infected. The disease has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly in Western Africa, and has also infected a handful of people in United States and Spain.
Top UN Official Visits Israel
Ban Ki-moon visited the Gaza border last week and even toured the inside of a terror tunnel. The U.N. secretary-general said he was “astounded by the underground tunnel” used by terrorists to infiltrate Israel. Ban said he has repeatedly condemned Hamas’ attacks from above and below, using rockets and tunnels. He emphasized that civilians should not have to live under threat and in fear of rockets and tunnels. During his tour of Israel, Ban met the family of Daniel Tragerman, the 4-year-
THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 23, 2014
THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 23, 2014
old child who was killed by a mortar attack. But Daniel’s grandfather, Marcelo, criticized the visit by the top UN official. “My expectations are not nil, they’re negative. It is a courtesy call that will not have any utility. He does not control the people in the Gaza Strip.” Four days before the end of Operation Protective Edge, a mortar shell was fired on Nahal Oz. Four-yearold Daniel was killed while trying to reach the fortified shelter. His parents, Gila and Doron, sent a letter to the UN secretary general protesting the launch of an investigatory committee to examine claims of Israeli war crimes. Daniel’s grandfather said he was angry that Ban never responded to his parents. “It did not help that he never responded in any manner. I did not want to come here, but my wife insisted.” Marcelo Tragerman also expressed his disagreement with the creation of the committee, saying Ban “would not launch an investigatory committee on the murder of civilians, but will launch a committee to investigate Israel while completely ignoring the reality.” After meeting the UN secretary general, Paulina Tragerman, Daniel’s grandmother, said she believed Ban understood what they had suffered and that she knew there was not much he could do. “I wanted to ask him if he can return [Daniel] to me, but that’s impossible; in a moment they ruined our family,” said Paulina. She repeated that Ban had yet to respond to the letter from Daniel’s parents. “Today he received it again and I hope this time Gila and Doron will get the proper response,” she said, while noting that Ban was asked if he knew the source of the mortar that killed Daniel, he responded affirmatively. The UN secretary general spoke to the press after his meeting with the relatives. “What has he done wrong? Why did he have to die, without a chance to grow up? This is very sad. I conveyed my deepest condolences to the family. But I only hope that my words of condolences can help heal the wound; that may not be enough,” the secretary general said.
National Obama’s Credit Card Declined Think money is tight? Even the president is feeling it nowadays. Recently, President Obama related that his credit card was declined last month when dining with the First Lady in New York. The commander in chief was in the Big Apple for the United Nations General Assembly and took Michelle out for supper when he wasn’t able to pay his bill. Thankfully, Michelle was able to pull out her plastic and pay for the meal.
“Turns out I guess I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on,” Obama said in off-the-cuff remarks on Friday, while signing an executive order creating new protections for people’s financial and personal accounts. “Fortunately Michelle had hers,” he added, to laughs from the raucous crowd at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “But I was trying to explain to the waitress: ‘You know, I really think that I’ve been paying my bills.’“ The economy can’t be too good if the resident of the Oval Office admits, “Even I’m affected by it.” So, whatcha gonna do about it?
Olympian Suspended for DUI Swimming sensation Michael Phelps has been suspended from USA Swimming following a DUI arrest last week. The world-record holding swimmer was suspended for violations of USA Swimming’s code of conduct. The Olympian will be eligible to swim again in sanctioned competition on March 6, 2015.
Highest Court Supports ID’ing Voters
Texas’ controversial voter identification law has received Supreme Court approval and will be in place for this coming November election. A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. A federal judge struck down the law last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold. The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying they would have left the district court decision in place. “The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters,” Ginsburg wrote in dissent to the Court’s ruling. Texas’ law allows seven forms of approved ID — a list that includes concealed handgun licenses but not college student IDs, which are accepted in other states with similar measures. Republican lawmakers in Texas and elsewhere say voter ID laws are needed to reduce voter fraud. Democrats contend that such cases are extremely rare and that voter ID measures are thinly veiled attempts to keep eligible voters, many of them minorities supportive of Democrats, away from the polls.
This was Phelps’ second arrest for driving while intoxicated, the first coming in 2004. Phelps announced over the weekend that he would be entering a six-week treatment program. In addition, he will not compete at next summer’s FINA World Championships in Russia, the preparatory meet for the 2016 Olympics. This is also Phelps’ second suspension, following a three-month suspension in 2009 when he was found taking recreational drugs. “Membership in USA Swimming, and particularly at the National Team level, includes a clear obligation to adhere to our Code of Conduct,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wieglus said in a statement. “Should an infraction occur, it is our responsibility to take appropriate action based on the individual case. Michael’s conduct was serious and required significant consequences,” the official continued. “Michael has publicly acknowledged the impact of his decisions, his accountability especially due to his stature in the sport and the steps necessary for self-improvement. We endorse and are here to fully support his personal development actions.” “The past few days have been extremely difficult,” Phelps wrote on Twitter. “I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself. I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself. Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.” Phelps, who first began competing in the Olympics in 2000 and would go on to become the most decorated Olympian in history, had returned to training, and may possibly attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
A Reason for the Season According to a new study presented at the European College of CNP Congress in Berlin, being born in the summer and winter months may actually affect your moods later on in life.
The study revealed that young and middle-aged adults born in the winter— from October to March—tended to seek new, intense experiences more than those born in other months. Another study suggests that people born in the winter may be less agreeable. Seasons don’t only determine personality. According to some, spring and summer babies tend to go to sleep later as they get older. According to the Hungarian study, birthdays in certain seasons can determine your mood as you age. For example, those who are born in the spring or summer tend to be excessively positive. Totally! People born in the summer are also more likely to experience rapid, frequent swings between feeling sad and cheerful, as compared to folks born in the winter. Bah humbug! Winter babies grow up to be more irritable adults than people born in any other season. But people born in the fall are less prone to bouts of the blues than people who arrived in the winter. Ultimately, though, whenever your birthday falls out on the calendar, it’s up to you to determine your mood. So despite the weather, jump out of bed, stretch and smile as you head to your car. It’s a beautiful day!
Oscar de la Renta Dies at 82
Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who spent half a century putting high society in haute couture, has died. He
A very popular topic of conversation has always been the local cost of living. Based on a “breadbasket” of basic expenses, here is a list of the top ten most expen-
Notorious Spy and Betrayer Dies at 92
Recently, it was revealed that David Greenglass, who was an atomic spy for the Soviet Union and who served 10 years in prison for his participation in the most explosive atomic spying case of the Cold War, died at the age of 92. The traitor provided testimony that sent his brother-in-law and sister, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair in 1953. Decades later, Greenglass admitted that he lied on the stand about his own sister in order to protect himself and his wife. David and Ruth Greenglass, like the Rosenbergs, were active Communist sympathizers, having joined the Young Communist League in 1943. Both couples believed that the Soviet Union should have the bomb if the United States did. The Rosenbergs were convicted in 1951 of conspiring to steal secrets about the atomic bomb for the Soviet Union and were executed at New York’s Sing Sing prison, insisting to the very end that they were innocent. Greenglass, indicted as a co-conspirator, testified for the government that he had given the Rosenbergs research data obtained through his war-
time job as an Army machinist at the Los Alamos, New Mexico, headquarters of the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. He told of seeing his older sister transcribing the information on a portable typewriter at the Rosenbergs’ New York apartment in 1945. That testimony was a critical piece of evidence in convicting Ethel and her husband. In 2001, Greenglass was quoted in the book, “The Brother,” by New York Times reporter Sam Roberts as saying he had not actually seen Ethel typing with his own eyes. His testimony was based on what his wife Ruth had seen. However, as Roberts writes, for the prosecution, the typewriter “was as good as a smoking gun in Ethel Rosenberg’s hands.” Following the book release in a CBS interview, Greenglass dismissed any notion of a betrayal. He explained that he told the lie in order to assure leniency for himself and his wife. “I sleep well,” Greenglass said in the interview; he felt that the Rosenbergs’ own “stupidity” of pleading innocent had kept them from possibly saving themselves. Greenglass said he does not feel responsible for the Rosenbergs’ deaths and rationalized that he had not known their fate at the time when he told the little white lie. He added that in any case, his own family came first. Greenberg served close to ten years in prison and after his release from prison in 1960, he resided in Queens, New York, living under an assumed name, hoping to be forgotten for his shameful actions. According to the Rosenbergs’ sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, David Greenglass died at the age of 92 on July 1 in New York City. In a statement on Tuesday, the Rosenbergs’ sons said that David and Ruth Greenglass were the ones who passed atomic secrets onto the Soviets, then “pinned what they did on our parents — a calculated ploy to save themselves by fingering our parents as the scapegoats the government demanded.” Unsurprisingly, Greenglass remained estranged for the rest of his life from his nephews. Supposedly, Greenglass said of
his nephews: “Their whole life has been involved with this kind of stupidity, to actually think they [the Rosenbergs] were innocent.” The Rosenberg boys were 10 and 6 when their parents were executed.
Apple Unveils New Products
If you are already bored of your iPhone 6, don’t fret; a new Apple product is about to hit the market. Last Thursday, the tech company unveiled a thinner iPad that is embellished with a faster processor and an improved camera. The goal of the new iPad Air 2 is to generate excitement for tablets since trends seem to be showing a declining demand. The device is just a quarter of an inch thin—a measly 6.1 millimeters. While previous models boasted a 5 megapixel camera, the Air 2 camera has an 8 megapixel camera to create sharp images and videos. This new device is pretty much as a light as a banana in the palm of your hand but about two thousand times the price, starting at $499. A new iMac model, Retina 5K, was also introduced with a 27 inch high-resolution screen. It is perfect for those who watch a lot of television on their computers. Along with the reveal of latest and hottest products, the company also released an update to its Mac operating system. The new operating system, Yosemite, became
OCTOBER 23, 2014
NY Tops Cost of Living List
sive states to live in. The average cost of a gallon of milk and a gallon of gasoline goes a long way in determining how much your monthly bills will be. This list also takes into account the average home price and energy bill. Meat prices and doctors’ expenses round out the considerations in determining the local cost of living. The 10th most expensive state in the nation is Maryland, followed by Rhode Island, New Hampshire and New Jersey. Massachusetts, Alaska and California are sixth, fifth and fourth in line. Connecticut is third and Hawaii is second. The most expensive state to live in should come as no surprise to you. New York tops the list with extremely high housing rates and dry goods costing way more than the national average. Some of the staggering averages in this great state of ours are: a half-gallon of milk is $2.23. A pound of ground beef costs $4.39. The average energy bill is $246.55 per month. And the average doctor’s visit costs $103.25. Despite the high prices, New Yorkers still love living in the Big Apple.
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was 82. De la Renta was often described as the “sultan of suave” and dressed every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy. “The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die,” he told an audience at New York’s 92Y “Fashion Talks” series in June 2013. “We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.” Born July 22, 1932, in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta was the only son of seven children. His birthplace helped shape his eye for color. “From my island side comes my love for the exotic, for color and light,” he told the New York Times. At 18, he left for Spain to study at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. For a time, he dabbled in abstract art. But fashion was his passion, he soon discovered. After the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain saw some of his dress sketches, she commissioned him to design a gown for her daughter. After that success, de la Renta switched his focus to fashion, eventually making his way to Paris to work at the reputed fashion house, Lanvin. Two years later, he moved to New York and became a designer for Elizabeth Arden. In 1965, he launched his eponymous brand, seeking to dress “successful working women.” From there, he branched into fragrance, then into a home line, then into furniture. “I’m a very restless person. I’m always doing something. The creative process never stops,” he once said. Admired by contemporaries, adored by consumers, de la Renta had a long, successful run. He was the winner of numerous Cody awards, the fashion equivalent of the Oscars. His creations were a fixture on the red carpet and in the Oval Office. In recent years, he made headlines for admonishing Michelle Obama for her fashion choice to meet the Queen of England in a J. Crew cardigan. “You don’t go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater,” he said. “Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes,” the designer once said. “It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”
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available for free download starting on Thursday. The focus of Thursday’s product-launch event was on how compatible Apple’s devices are since the company makes both its hardware and software. “They’re designed to be incredible products individually but they’re also designed to work together seamlessly,” CEO Tim Cook said. “This is our vision of personal technology, and we are just getting started.”
Drinking Soda Causes Harm to Cells
Can’t afford Botox? Stop drinking soda! By now we all know that soda isn’t great for you—it’s always better to just drink water, but a recent study by researchers in the University of California reveals that soda may actually harm your cells. Dr. Elissa Epel, who worked on the study with her colleagues for five years, she said, “We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight, but this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight.” Epel’s team found that in people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages, the ends of their chromosomes, known as telomeres, were shorter. The shorter the telomere, the less a cell can regenerate, thus aging the body and raising the risk of disease and early death. Researchers used a sample of 5,300 healthy adults for their experiment. “This finding is alarming because it suggests that soda may be aging us in ways we are not even aware of,” Dr. Epel pointed out. Interestingly, researchers found no link in cell aging when drinking diet sodas and fruit juices.
Jewish Community of Miami Booming Miami gets throngs of Jewish vacationers each winter but according to the new Miami Jewish population study released on Monday by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Jewish population is more than just tourists in the sunny city; for the first time in four decades, the Jewish population of citizens in Miami is growing rapidly. The Jewish population of Miami-Dade County increased 9 percent over the last
decade, to 123,000 from 113,000 in 2004, according to the survey. The findings confirm trends long suggested by anecdotal evidence, as Miami has become a magnet in recent years for many Jews from Latin America, including Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Peru, have migrated to Miami recently. Generally, they are in pursuit of better economic opportunities or political security and Miami palm-tree lined streets and sky-blue oceans are the perfect backdrop for them. Miami has a higher proportion of foreign-born Jewish adults than any other American Jewish community, at 33%, according to the study; 51% of all of Miami’s 2.6 million residents are foreign-born. Researchers also found a 57% increase over the last decade in Hispanic Jewish adults in Miami. About 3,700 Miami Jews were born in Cuba; 2,854 in Argentina; 2,643 in Venezuela; 2,537 in Colombia; and 2,220 in Canada. Of Miami’s foreign-born Jews, the largest group by far is Israelis. Some 5,180 Miami Jews were born in Israel, and approximately 9,000 adults consider themselves Israeli. “In the past decade, we have seen a flow of new Jewish residents, as well as an increase in the length of residency in Miami,” Michelle Labgold, the federation’s chief planning officer, said. “This is significant news because Miami’s Jewish community experienced a steady decline in population between 1975 and 2004.” Miami remains the smallest of the three highly Jewish South Florida counties — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. A 2005 survey counted 256,000 Jews in Palm Beach County, and a 2008 study found 186,500 Jews in Broward. Together, the three counties’ 550,000 or so Jews make up the third-largest Jewish metro area in the nation, behind New York and Los Angeles. Orthodox Jewry has increased from 9% in 2004 to 11% there. Miami has about 47,000 Jews under age 35; 43,000 Jews aged 35-64; and 40,000 age 65 and older. The largest growth since 2004 was in the 18-34 age range and the 65-74 range, which both grew by 26% in the last decade.
sport. The floor suddenly disappears under shoppers who are forced to grab onto walls—which have rock-climbing holds. As the intrepid consumers cling to the wall, a North Face item descends from the ceiling and a clock informs them that they have 30 seconds to grab it. Thankfully, the floor offers a soft, pillowy landing as shoppers endeavor to grab the item without success.
Don’t like rock climbing while purchasing your newest jacket? How about skiing? In the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, there’s an indoor ski resort that includes the world’s first indoor black run—a hardcore diversion that has turned the shopping center into more than just a place to buy luxury goods. Prefer to sweat instead of freeze? The British fitness wear chain Sweaty Betty hosts weekly exercises class like kickboxing and yoga in their shops. I always knew that shopping burned calories. B. Joseph Pine II, co-author with James H. Gilmore of The Experience Economy, points out that these fun-filled experiences can be good decisions for the brands. “Experience means to spend time and, increasingly, to spend money,” he said. “If retailers just provide a completely mundane experience, people won’t come.” Not all extreme shopping experiences attract loyal customers. In 2005, Vans, a Los Angeles-based sneaker retailer, closed its 11 mall-based skate parks, including a massive 60,000-square-foot one that featured an off-road bike track at the Ontario Mills Mall in California. Sometimes, people just want to shop for sneakers.
Trapped in Biblio-Land
That’s Odd Taking Shopping to an Extreme Think the lines at the supermarket are a test to your mettle? That’s nothing compared to some shopping experiences around the world. Take the North Face pop-up store in South Korea. Shopping here is an extreme
Help! Can you get me out of here?! When David Willis, a tourist from Dallas, found himself locked in a London bookstore, he tried everything to free himself from book-land. He worked for an hour trying to get out—setting off an
alarm, calling a security guard, and talking to police. “Right when I came downstairs I saw I had been locked in and I went to the door, tried to open it, the alarm went off. The alarm sounded in Trafalgar Square for probably 20 or 25 minutes,” Willis related. It all started shortly before 9 p.m., when Willis walked into the Waterstone’s bookstore and went to the second floor to use the free Internet. After about 15 minutes, he went downstairs to find the store deserted and dark. After his initial attempt to escape, the store’s alarm went off and a phone rang. “It was a security guard and I talked to him and I thought, you know, I’ll be out of here in a few minutes.” But that didn’t work. “A little more and a little more time went by,” he said. At last, the clever tourist turned to modern technology to help free him. It was Twitter to the rescue. “This is me locked inside a waterstones bookstore in London. I was upstairs for 15 minutes and came down to all the lights out and door locked. Been here over an hour now. Supposedly someone is on their way. #nofilter #london,” he tweeted, along with an Instagramed photo of the darkened bookstore — shutters and doors closed. Shortly after, Willis tweeted the bookstore: “Hi @Waterstones I’ve been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.” More than 12,000 people retweeted that message and it seemed to do the trick. Willis was free not long after. Scotland Yard acknowledged that a man “claiming to be locked inside a shop,” called them around 9:35 p.m. London time and he was freed shortly after 11 p.m. — about two hours later. For his trouble, Waterstones offered something slightly useful: a reading list for being stuck in a bookstore.
Do you Smell That? Eww! The smell of money. Yes, you read that right. Sometimes the rich just stink—well, if they’re carrying a Hermès bag, they may just smell. Customers have been returning the coveted Hermès bags, the Birkin, the Kelly and the Elan clutch, to Hermès boutiques after they started to smell like skunks. It seems that despite the over-the-top price tags—between $5,000 and $20,000—due to a badly tanned batch of leather, the bags began to reek if left in a hot car or in direct sunlight. Customers who purchased the bags between 2013 and 2014 were told that they will be returned to the Paris headquarters to have them rebuilt. One owner of a Hermès Kelly bag blogged, “After riding in the car with her for about 30 minutes, I smelled what I thought was a dead skunk. Another 30
Want to really stand out? Forget the new iPhone. Consider the Bentley of smartphones—only available to 2,000 lucky individuals at a mere $17,100 a pop. The over-the-top phone is built by Vertu—with a 4.7 inch sapphire screen, Android-powered Snapdragon chipset, 64 Gb of memory, and a 13-megapixel camera. And that’s not all. (We should hope so— just look at the price!) With the Bentley phone, users will be speaking on the epitome of luxury, from the diamond-stitched calfskin leather exterior to the knurled titanium and ceramic “ear pillow” meant to evoke the knobs and handles inside the Bentley. And Vertu — which has built phones for Ferrari — knows enough about luxury to understand it’s a service more than
A Whopper of a Glamburger
Want to plunk down loads of dough for your next meal on the run? Look no further than the Glamburger, a hamburger sold in London that costs 1,770$( 1,100£). According to ABC, it’s the “most expensive serving of meat on a bun.” But this burger is not just a hunk of ground beef. Chef Chris Large of the restaurant Honky Tonk made the burger with Kobe Wagyu beef and New Zealand venison to create a 280 gram patty seasoned with smoked Himalayan salt. In the middle is black truffle brie which melts when cooked. Lobster poached in Iranian saffron and maple syrup coated streaky bacon also feature in the bun alongside Beluga caviar and hickory smoked duck egg covered in gold leaf. The bun is also coated in gold leaf and seasoned with Japanese matcha and cream mayonnaise. As if the burger couldn’t get any richer, Large added a mango and champagne jus and grated white truffle. The Glamburger is the world’s most expensive burger, according to Record Setters’ accounts. But not everyone will be privileged to consume this luxurious culinary delight. Honky Tonk has partnered with Groupon to create this delicacy in celebration of the coupon site selling its five millionth food and drink voucher. One person will be able to eat the royal Glamburger for free, although with 2,618 calories we hope that they’ll share the burger will a friend or two. Amazingly, while our jaw drops at the price tag of this whopper, Guinness World Records has an entry that trumps it. In 2000, Oregon-based Juicys Food set the most expensive burger world record with a $5,000 offering that weighs 352.44 kilograms.
they came home. Upon investigation, police found a very tipsy robber “in front of the television with an open bottle of champagne.” Apparently, he couldn’t wait to celebrate his loot in style. The thief was subsequently arrested with his loot, which included money and a passport.
Brother Shares it All Love that chocolate on your pillow? Luxuriate in the down comforters on your cozy bed? We all love getting the five-star treatment when we vacation in hotels, but these perks at hotels around the world take the cake. In Zighy Bay in Oman guests arrive by paraglide to the Six Senses Hideaway. There, they literally drop in from a hill overlooking the nearby bay before starting their vacation. Sure beats having to valet your vehicle. In Hotel 1000 in Seattle, hotel staff know exactly when guests are in the room—and they know not to disturb. Heating sensors alert the staff when the room is occupied so guests don’t have to bother with those annoying “Do Not Disturb” signs. For those of you traveling with pets, here’s a great way for Fido to find out his future: a pet psychic. Guests and their pets at the pet-friendly Hotel Monaco in Portland, Oregon, enjoy a session with the hotel’s pet psychic. I see a dog biscuit and a long walk in your very near future. Some people take their tans very seriously—and at the Club Hotel and Spa in Channel Islands, the staff do too. The hotel employs a sunshine butler whose sole job is making sure that you’re getting the perfect amount of soleil—helping you with your sunscreen, keeping you hydrated and even polishing your sunglasses. Love music? Well, the folks at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago know that you do. There are free, in-room use of Fender guitars during your stay. The package also includes an amp—and most importantly for those who need to sleep around you, a pair of headphones. Rock on! Guests at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills sure love cars. When they’re not enjoying the hotel’s grounds, those who rent one of the hotel’s 36 newly renovated suites have access to some really nice rides—perhaps you’d like to go for a spin in a Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini or Maserati? Hmm, I just can’t decide.
A Bubbly Burglar French thieves are just more sophisticated than those around the world. Owners of a home in Provins, southeast of Paris, called police when they noticed that their shutters were drawn when
Eric Hale is a really good big brother. Quinn, his younger brother, certainly agrees. Because after many years, Eric has made good on a childhood promise that he made years ago. When they were young, Eric recalled that he liked to “dream big.” “When I was a kid, I promised my brother that if I ever won the lottery, I would split it with him. He was my first call when I realized I won,” the 45-year-old said in a statement issued by the lottery. Eric, of Bend, Oregon, called Quinn, 43, after he won the $1 million lotto. Understandably, Quinn couldn’t believe that Eric remembered and made good on his word. “I still am in shock even though we have the checks,” the younger brother said. “This is beyond cool. I never believed he would actually do it.” The brothers beamed as they held on to the prize check they collected on October 9 at Oregon Lottery headquarters in Salem. According to the lottery, Eric’s winning ticket was from a Powerball drawing on September 24. The top prize was $228 million, and, playing the same numbers as he has for the past 20 years, the older Hale bought a ticket that had five jackpot numbers but not the Powerball number. Each brother will take home about $335,000 after taxes. How will they enjoy their new fortune? Eric will use some of his winnings to get his master’s degree in clinical counseling. He’ll also invest and go on a trip to China. Quinn, 43, will pay off student loans from his doctoral studies and pay down on a motor home. Eric acknowledged he could have made good use of the $1 million. “Sure, I could have headed for Costa Rica, but I kept my promise,” Eric said. And his word is solid gold.
OCTOBER 23, 2014
A Call to Luxury
a good. For the price, it wouldn’t be sufficient to know that the ringtones in your pocket were performed on spec by the London Symphony, or that Hasselblad tuned the camera, so the phone also comes with subscriptions to concierge and security services. Tired after walking to the corner for your morning cup of joe? Your chauffeur is just a phone call away. Most of these 2,000 devices will find a home in the Middle East or China, although Vertu does have stores in New York and Las Vegas. Stop by after you hit that jackpot.
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minutes later I could still smell the dead skunk, and I thought it was odd, but never imagined it could be my bag. I keep [it] in an armoire… When I opened the cabinet door this morning, the smell hit me, and I immediately knew it was the bag.” Another wrote a Yelp review of the Hermès store in Palm Beach, Fla., to complain that a recently bought Birkin stank. “We own 6 Birkin bags and they all smell great,” the review said, “so I think we know what it should smell like and skunk is not it.” Despite the recent smell and the prohibitive price tag, Birkin bags have become so collectible because you can’t just walk into a store and buy one. “You have to be a long-time customer and they have to offer it you,” Max Brownawell, consignment director for the luxury accessories department at Heritage Auctions, says, explaining that the getting-to-know-you period usually lasts a year or two. “Most people don’t want to wait years and spend $50,000 before being able to buy one, so they pay a premium to get it on the secondhand market.” Heritage Auctions’ most recent six-figure Hermès Birkin sale—$185,000— was of a 30-centimeter, crocodile skin bag with diamond-encrusted hardware. (It was only slightly cheaper than the record sale of a similar purse a few years ago for $203,000.) More average secondhand Birkin prices are between $15,000 to $18,000. Sounds like a bargain.
OCTOBER 23, 2014 THE JEWISH HOME
y last article, appearing on yom tov, was about connection to G-d. Since I am a Marriage & Family Therapist, I thought it would be fitting to start the New Year talking about the connection to our loved ones. Here’s a question: Can we connect without love? Answer: Of course. Great teachers connect. Great therapists connect. Great rabbis connect. Musicians connect. There is much in our lives which connects us to one another and that wonderful, connected feeling does not have to lead to love. So what is it about the connection of love that is so special? I think it’s special because we see in the other a reflection of a little bit of ourselves. Just as Hashem is in each of us, so some of us is in our beloved. I can prove this. What is the first, rather inane question nearly everyone asks when a new child is welcomed into the family – and I am as guilty of it as the next one? The pointless question is: Who does he/she look like? What difference does it make? Apparently, a lot if you note the amount of time relatives spend discussing it. A little piece of ourselves in our beloved. Have you ever noticed the newly engaged? They cannot pull their eyes away from the eyes of the other. They see themselves there. They are absolutely awestruck at how much alike they are. They can’t believe the number of strange and important things they have in common. There’s nothing wrong with this. This is how G-d made us. We are excited about the process of perpetuating ourselves and well, we should be. Adam HaRishon gave us mortality and the only way to get back immortality is through our loved ones. We keep Beethoven alive by listening to his music. It’s music we love because it speaks to us (or name any composer that speaks to you); it resonates with something inside of us. That is the connection that comes with love. Love can’t exist without it. The more disconnected you feel from someone that you once loved, the less love is left. Logic then says that if you want to love someone you have disconnected from, it would help to reconnect. The problem with that is that when we have
87 Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.
Connection and Love fallen out of love it is because the other person has in some way harmed us: perhaps hurt our feelings, or violated our trust, or G-d forbid put us down. Now, there’s someone alien inside that other person. We no longer see a reflection of ourselves. There’s some-
When the hurt person sees the super-human efforts a loved one makes to overcome the past pain – which requires learning new ways of handling tough situations, new coping skills – then a new feeling has room to flourish in the heart of the hurt person. That feeling is
SPIRITUALLY, SOMETHING OF US IS, IN FACT, IN OUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. thing toxic there and it obscures what we once saw that charmed us. It stands to reason – logic again – that in order to fall in love again, the person who violated us is the one who must make the effort to clean out the toxicity. Does that make sense? If it does, then why do so many people who have violated their loved ones expect that the loved ones make as much effort as they think they are making? If the Klinghoffer Opera is a moral disgrace because evil acts simply cannot be justified or explained away, then what goes on in many homes isn’t any different. What’s different is that most of us haven’t killed someone. Or at least, haven’t killed other people’s bodies. I’m not so sure they haven’t trampled other people’s souls, though. No, there is no place for moral equivalency between pain-producing acts by one person and the disconnection that another person experiences because of those acts. If you want, deeply, in your heart to re-create the beauty of a relationship you once had and if you take responsible for the disconnection the other person feels, the first step is for you to clear out your own toxicity. The other person is not required to do anything at all. Except, maybe, wait patiently, wondering if you are doing the work, but remaining disconnected. The possibility for re-connection is in your hands alone. That said, it is also important for the hurt person to notice improvement.
respect. Seeing a person change and grow – moving against old habits – is respect inducing. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and engenders happy, optimistic feelings. The respect is coupled with a growing sense of safety because now that the hurt person sees the other person use healthy coping skills, there is less and less likelihood of being hurt again in the future. Both research and Torah back me up. B o w l b y ’s Attachment Theory – what I have been referring to here as feeling connected – notes that as children, we form attachments in ways that are healthy or unhealthy. The latter is due to the anxiety and unpredictability of the parent’s reactions to the child. Anxious attachment leads to a wish to withdraw from the source of attachment combined with a longing for that attachment. After all, we all have needs to belong and be cared for. That push and pull experience, as you can imagine, creates a lot of stress for a child and as an adult, that person will experience that same stress when the loved one doesn’t behave in loving, safe ways. In other words, stress in the adult relationship caused by mistreatment will trigger the old anxious, self-protective feelings of wanting to withdraw and also wanting to restore the loving relationship. It’s not a happy place to be. On Parshas Bereishis, Rabbi S. R. Hirsch comments, “The one Adam,
creature in the likeness of G-d, is presented in two sexes, which only both together form the complete conception ‘Adam.’” In other words, that attachment, or connection, is there when things are going well. That is precisely why we do find ourselves in the other person. Spiritually, something of us is, in fact, in our significant other. Taking this beautiful description of connectedness to the unfortunate experience couples have of disconnection due to maltreatment, Rabbi Yaakov Kanievsky, the Steipler Rav, said: “Giving a woman the feeling that she is unloved is akin to spilling her blood.” The Talmud tractate Nedarim 9:3 logically observes “that if a person were to feel pain because his left hand was injured, he would hardly strike it with his right hand to avenge the pain it caused him.” Tractate Megilla 28a relates that students asked their highly revered elderly sage how he had merited to live so long. His answer: “I never said a cross word in my home.” The formula for reconnection – and deep, happy, fulfilling love – seems to be to use Torah guidelines for how to speak to one another in loving and kindly ways. This will restore the safety of the relationship and engender respect for a person who works hard to do this even when something bothersome happens. And that, in turn, creates a foundation for falling in love again. Next week will continue with this topic – there is so much to say – and on November 4, I will be adding even more on this topic in the weekly Food For Thought program in its new location at Traditions, in its new time slot at lunch (12:30), and its new day, Tuesday. The talk will be called, How To Fall In Love again: Psychology Meets Torah. Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist best-selling of The Dr. Deband Hirschorn is aauthor marriage & Healing Is Mutual: Marriage Empowerment family therapist and best selling author Tools to Rebuild Trust Respect—Togethof The Healing Is and Mutual: Marriage er, is proud to announce that readers ofTrust The Empowerment Tools to Rebuild Jewish Home willPlease receivevisit a $50www.drdeb. discount on and Respect. every visitfurther to her Woodmere office. Listen to com for info. her new show called “Kids and Parents” on Chazaq Radio live from 3-4 on Thursdays. The call in phone number is 718-285-9132. Attend the Food For Thought lectures at Cravingz Cafe, 410 Central Ave, Cedarhurst, on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Any questions, call 646-54-DRDEB or check out her website at http://drdeb.com.
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n O C T O B E R 2 3 , 2014
Allan J. Rolnick, CPA
The Art of the Tax Loss
veryone knows what a hobby is, right? It’s something you do to relax and have fun, not something you do as an occupation. And everyone knows what a business is, too. It’s something you do to make money. So everyone should know the difference between a hobby and a business, right? Well, it turns out that’s a harder question than you might think — especially where our friends at the IRS are concerned. This week’s story concerns Susan Crile, a tenured professor of studio art at Hunter College in New York City. Teaching art is her “business,” and she earns a respectable professional income from it — from 2004 through 2009, her salary grew from $85,999 to $106,058. But Susan was a distinguished painter and printmaker long before securing her coveted teaching position. She’s sold 356 works of art since 1971. Her work hangs in the permanent collections of at least 25 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. It also graces Fortune 500 and government offices, including the Federal Reserve Board, the Library of Congress, and various U.S. embassies. Criles works approximately 30 hours per week in her Manhattan studio during the academic year, and full time at a larger studio upstate in the summer. She also travels extensively for her work, including a trip to Kuwait to depict burning oil fields during the first Gulf War. You would hope that an artist as accomplished as Criles would enjoy fame and fortune from her work. She may be famous, at least in the art world, but fortune seems to be lagging. She’s grossed as much as $111,815 from sales in a year, but never shown a profit. From 2004 through 2009, Criles reported just $15,865 in income from her art. But for that same period, she reported $286,976 in expenses. These included the cost of materials, of course, but also expenses for vehicles, mortgage interest (presumably
on her studio property), travel, meals and entertainment, utilities, research, maintenance, and local transportation. Unfortunately, you don’t have to take any art classes to become a tax auditor. Maybe that’s why the critics at the IRS panned her tax returns. They called her art a hobby, not a business, and used the so-called “hobby loss” rule to disallow all her deductions exceeding her income. Then they presented her with their review — a bill for $98,547 in taxes and penalties! Tax Court judge Albert Lauber
Closed Infinity by Susan Crile
agreed that some of Criles’s deductions, like telephone and cable TV bills, newspaper subscriptions, tips to her doormen, and cabs to the opera, museums, and social events, were inappropriately personal and ought to be disallowed. But then he addressed the real question: had she created her art with a bona fide intent to earn a profit? Fortunately, the tax system offers a nine-factor “paint by numbers” test for distinguishing a hobby from a business, and the judge concluded that Criles’s time, effort, and expertise outweighed her spotty income over time. Deduction upheld! Do you have a hobby that makes (or loses) money? Maybe it isn’t really a “hobby” at all, and maybe you can take advantage of it come tax time. The only way to know for sure is to call and ask for a plan to make the most of your activity. Then you can enjoy a true “picture” of savings! Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 years in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROPOSITION 46 AND MICRA
Question: I have heard and seen advertisements urging people to vote “no” on Proposition 46. Can you explain Proposition 46, and why is it so controversial? Answer: Proposition 46 will be on the ballot for California voters this November 4th and it contains several provisions. The most notable, and controversial element deals with The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act or MICRA and the cap on damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases in California. MICRA was originally passed into law in 1975. The 1970s saw a significant rise in medical malpractice (also known as medical negligence) lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. The insurance industry at the time lobbied hard for MICRA’s passage to reign in excessive jury awards against medical providers, and to incentivize medical providers to stay in California. MICRA only applies to pain and suffering damages. Under MICRA, pain and suffering damages in all medical negligence cases in California are capped at $250,000. MICRA does not affect special or out of pocket damages in medical negligence cases, nor does it apply to other personal injury matters, like car accidents or slip and fall cases. Proposition 46 is controversial because it seeks to increase MICRA’s nearly forty-year old cap on pain and suffering by indexing it for inflation, which would amount to a new cap of approximately $1.1 million. Many argue that the current MICRA cap limitations deters attorneys from accepting otherwise valid medical malpractice cases. The means that those who have been harmed can miss their day in court. Medical malpractice cases involve complex issues of science and medicine, and are very expensive to litigate when the defending party is a well-funded insurance company or hospital. The cap on pain and suffering damages is an economic barrier for the plaintiff’s attorneys. Proposition 46 has been spearheaded by Robert Pack, an Oakland man whose two children were killed in 2003 by a driver under the influence of prescription narcotics. Mr. Pack sued the doctor who prescribed the driver the narcotics. Under MICRA, Mr. Pack’s pain and suffering damages were limited to $250,000.00.
Opponents of Proposition 46 argue that no amount of money can erase the trauma or mental anguish associated with pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases such as this one. Most doctors, medical facilities, and the insurance industry favor this point of view. The case of Michael Markow demonstrates another example of how MICRA can produce onerous results for victims of medical negligence. To treat Mr. Markow for spinal pain, his physician performed a high-risk injection procedure into his spine in 2010. Mr. Markow developed allergic reactions to these injections, and subsequently became paralyzed. A few months ago, a Los Angeles jury awarded Mr. Markow $4.7 million in special out of pocket damages for his past and future medical care. The same jury awarded him $2.25 million for his mental and physical pain and suffering. Because of MICRA, the judge reduced the $2.25 million award to $250,000.00. For a man who used to enjoy weightlifting, swimming, traveling, and whose wife must now vigilantly care for him 24 hours per day, this amount hardly compensates him for his substantial pain and suffering as a quadriplegic. Other provisions of Proposition 46 include: • Requiring doctors to undergo periodic alcohol and drug testing, with results reported to the California Medical Board, which regulates all physicians in the State. • Requiring healthcare providers to report doctors suspected of abusing drugs or alcohol. • Requiring practitioners to consult a statewide database before prescribing controlled substances. This is intended to prevent drug abuse through “doctor-shopping”, and to prevent accidents like the one that killed Mr. Pack’s children. • Requiring the California Medical Board to take disciplinary action against physicians who are impaired while on duty. Michael Rubinstein is a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. If you have a personal injury or other legal matter, you are invited to call Michael at 213-2936075. Michael welcomes your questions or comments at Michael.E.Rubinstein@ gmail.com.
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