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THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 29, 2015 2


S I M X A CO M PA N Y 1 5 T H A N N UA L S H A B B ATO N

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This year’s theme:

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CONTENTS

THE JEWISH HOME

OCTOBER 29, 2015

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

JEWISH THOUGHT Deposits and Withdrawals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Incredible Story Of Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

FEATURE

LA Comes Together to ‘Keep it Together’ The Shabbos Project 2015. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Chabad on Campus, a Family of People Who Care. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Prince Edward Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 AMEX Small Business Saturday Update . . . . . . . . . 28 California’s Car Seat Laws. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Tevya’s Recipes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

NEWS That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Dear Readers, One Shabbos, while visiting with the Jewish students at the University of Connecticut, I had an interesting conversation with the adult sitting next to me. He suggested that the ultimate test of the Akeida was not that Avrohom would do as Hashem asked, but that he would say, ‘No! It’s immoral.” I have to admit I was not ready for this reading of the story. At the time, all I could muster was an explanation that this idea doesn’t fit with how it’s written in the Chumash, because Avrohom indeed receives Hashem’s eternal blessings for being ready to do as He asked. This discussion took place 12 years ago. In the interim I have come to realize that this is the exact test that the Akeida presented, it wasn’t just about the love of his son versus the love of Hashem. It was a test to see what he viewed as the foundation for morality. Is morality drawn from intuition? Is it a philosophy? Or is it based on the will of the creator? When Avrohom Avinu said he was ready to sacrifice his son, he established G-d as the source for all moral principles. The angel then stopped Avrohom and ordered him to take his son down from the alter. Hashem tells Avrohom that he never said to shecht Yitzchak, rather to offer his son, because Hashem does not want human sacrifice. The Akeida and karbanos in general, are a litmus test from where we derive our morality. Today, when the nation of Avrohom does not lie, steal, or kill, it’s not

because we would feel immoral doing so. It’s because G-d gave us a moral code by which to run our lives. It’s simple to see the wisdom of this when looking at current world news. Many morally upright individuals have a hard time standing up for the people of Israel because Israelis look like a Goliath and the terrorists appear like David. Instead of viewing the security forces in Israel as having a moral obligation to defend the innocent, the most we can get is that Israel has the “right” to defend herself. Navigating moral dilemmas based on personal feelings can get very confusing. The same people who had an issue with Orthodox Jews ‘standing out’ seem to be mesmerized by Muslims proudly dressing according to their religion. An unrooted moral code is very dangerous. It elects false leaders and enables countries such as Russia, Iran, Syria and too many others, to carry out their own treacherous agendas. As the midrash teaches, one who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the compassionate. Let us continue praying and doing acts of kindness so that the chaos engulfing the world transpires b’chessed ubirachamim, leading into the geulah shleimu ubimheira biyameinu. Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Shalom

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


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OCTOBER 29, 2015

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Rav Shmuel Bloom Speaks At LINK Kollel In Los Angeles The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles was privileged to hear Divrei Chizuk from Rav Shmuel Bloom, former Executive Vice President of Agudas Yisrael of America and currently Executive Director of Keren HaShviis. Rav Bloom was in LA to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of one of his grandsons and he was able to speak at the end of night seder on Thursday, October 22nd to

a packed Beis Medrash. Rav Bloom linked a very moving story of mesirus nefesh for Shemitta observance with a deep explanation of a famous posuk in the Chumash, told through the eyes of the Chasam Sofer’s commentary. How can we understand the notion that Hashem had to “ask Himself” if He should inform Avraham Avinu about the impending

destruction of Sodom? Furthermore, why does the Torah then seem to add the reason for Him to do so? Is this connected with the whole world being blessed through Avrohom? The Chasam Sofer first explains that Avrohom’s power of prophecy should have been diminished by his constant involvement in “kiruv” to the world, bring-

ing the world close, and his manifold acts of chesed. But it was precisely because Avrohom made the whole world an extension of himself, so that he acutely felt the needs of the entire world in the same way an average person feels about his own needs. This is why Hashem “had” to give him this prophecy. Even the evil people of Sodom were part of Avrohom’s personal world because they gave him the opportunity to try and induce them to repent. Therefore, Hashem couldn’t conceal His plans without informing Avrohom and giving him the chance to plead on behalf of the people of Sodom.

Rav Bloom connected this notion of reaching beyond ourselves and making other people’s needs our priority with a touching story from this past Shemitta year in Israel. He met a couple who were keeping Shemitta on their farm for the first time, as they were slowly growing in their observance. He related their heroic decision to forgo thousands of dollars in profits and indeed, to incur thousands of dollars in losses, due to their already having planted at the outset of the Shemitta year before deciding to observe its restrictions a few weeks later. When the word got out of the farmers decision, people starting coming for brachos for their various troubles and needs, which is in keeping with a teaching of Rav Chaim Kanievsky. When the “successful outcomes” of some of these blessings became known, even more bracha requests poured in, to the extent that the wife mentioned that she had two hours’ worth of names and requests to daven for each Friday afternoon before candle lighting! She related to Rabbi Bloom that somehow all these people’s concerns and needs had now merged in her consciousness as her own. This is exactly as it should be and is the way that Avraham Avinu taught us! The crowd in the LINK Beis Medrash was deeply moved and uplifted by Rav Bloom’s words and many approached him afterwards to hear more inspiring stories from this past Shemitta year.


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Rabbi Krohn cited a lesser known midrash giving a reason for the prohibition of wearing shaatnez, cloth containing both wool and linen. The midrash says that when Kayin and Hevel brought the first sacrifices, Kayin brought flax and Hevel brought sheep, the source of wool. Therefore, seeing linen and wool together reminds Hashem, so to speak, of the first machlokes and the first murder in history. That’s why we’re forbidden to wear shaatnez. But there is one exception. The Kohen Gadol in the Beis Hamikdash was allowed to wear shaatnez because the essence of his job is to bring peace to the world, thus undoing Kayin’s sin. The key to unity, said Rabbi Krohn, is for all of us to become giving people. The Hebrew word “v’nasnu” – and they shall give – is a palindrome, spelled the same way forward and backward. It’s a hint that whatever a person gives to tzeddaka comes back to them. Giving to others is the greatest investment in life, pointed out Rabbi Krohn. He recommended keeping

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a diary where each night we write down one chessed that we did that day. “Your life will change,” he promised the audience. Rabbi Krohn mentioned an inspiring quote, “Any fool can count the seeds in one apple, but only Hashem can count the apples in one seed.” He urged the listen-

ers to plant seeds of kindness that would produce numerous fruits, illustrating the far-reaching effects of kindness with stories. For example, in the early 1950s an Orthodox rabbi in Hamilton, Ontario needed a large sum of money for his shul. It was a difficult time for the Orthodox community, outnumbered by the growing Con-

servative and Reform communities. The rabbi approached a local non-Jewish banker and asked him for money, making sure not to mention that his shul was Orthodox. But the banker pressed him for more information, and the rabbi had to admit that he represented an Orthodox congregation. With tears in his eyes, the banker exclaimed that he’d be happy to give him the money. It turned out that the banker lost his father as a young child, and an Orthodox Jewish store owner in his town provided food and clothes for him and his siblings free of charge. The banker felt forever indebted to Orthodox Jews and was glad to repay the debt. Rabbi Krohn emphasized that each and every individual has the power to make such an impact. Rav Tzaddok said that one must believe in three things: Hashem, the Torah, and oneself. Each one of us can make a commitment to foster unity and become a giving person.

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On October 21st, Rabbi Paysach Krohn spoke at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills on the subject of Jewish unity. The talk was part of an on-going series entitled Modern Minds on Jewish Matters where various speakers discuss important issues facing the Jewish community. Rabbi Krohn is a popular speaker and writer, best known for his Maggid series, a collection of inspiring stories published by Artscroll. He is also a mohel and author of a book on circumcision. The hall was packed as Rabbi Krohn addressed the attentive audience, encouraging each and everyone to make a contribution towards achieving Jewish unity. He explained how, for example, the Gemara tells us that nobody could say ‘hello’ to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. He would make sure to greet everybody before they had a chance to greet him. In the same way, each one of us can become the kind of person that always greets people with a smile and makes them feel loved. In return, they will love us, and the world would be filled with love.

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Achieving Jewish Unity: Rabbi Paysach Krohn Inspires the Local Community Yehudis Litvak


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OCTOBER 29, 2015

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Bringing Genesis to Life at YULA High Schools It is not every day that the YULA campus is graced with the presence of US soldiers in uniform. But at the Genesis Academy for Innovation Launch event on October 14, soldiers were in attendance to express their gratitude for the incredible work of YULA Genesis students. As part of the Genesis program for STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), YULA High Schools have partnered with the Office of Veterans Affairs on the Prosthetics Challenge to bring awareness to Veterans with disabilities, their challenges, and how STEM capabilities can provide assistance. And prosthetic limbs are only the beginning. Thanks to the Genesis Academy and the new Innovation Lab, YULA students are being given hands on critical innovative lessons outside the standard setting and curriculum. The program also has expanded its reach thanks to the Genesis Pod, a mobile computer technology center offering on-site computer programming, as well as student internship and mentoring opportunities. Rounding out

the Genesis program is a series of lectures and speakers, a full curriculum, exciting competitions, and off-site trips, arming YULA students with the revolutionary technological knowledge that will prepare them for professional and exciting careers in the future. After more than two years of planning and countless hours of hard work, the Genesis Academy for Innovation was just revealed to the wider community on Wednesday night, October 14th at the Boys School campus. While Genesis student ambassadors performed demonstrations, more than 250 participants had the chance to experience the Genesis Pod, the Innovation Lab and its numerous demonstrations, including bicycle powered blenders making delicious smoothies! “Seeing three years of planning and hard work demonstrated in one night was absolutely incredible,” said Genesis visionary and founder Sheri Shlesinger. “Now that the program is in full swing, I am looking forward to making it a part of each YULA student’s high school

YULA Students Nataniel Sawdayi (3rd from left) and Talya Sawdayi (3rd from right) accept their award from the VA along with Genesis founder Sheri Schlesinger (far right)

experience and accessible on any level, whether you are interested in the sciences or humanities.” Echoing Ms. Schlesinger’s sentiments was YULA Boys junior Noam Gershov. “Being a part of this historic night for YULA was really inspiring. It showed me everything that Genesis has to offer. I did not realize the extent of the

amazing possibilities within the program, and I can see myself getting more involved in the future. Experiencing the Oculus Rift (virtual reality) in the Genesis Innovation Lab was a big highlight of the night!” YULA Girls sophomore Rivkah Abrams agreed, “I feel blessed to take part in this pioneering programs at YULA.”

Valley Night Kollel Launches New Program on Hilchos Bishul The Valley Night Kollel, (“VNK”) completed an incredible first year, and continues to create amazing learning opportunities. At the Hoshana Raba all-night-learning program there was a vibrant crowd of more than 100 people shteiging throughout the night. The energy has continued to grow with new programs being introduced. As the Kollel creates innovative ways to make learning accessible, it has just announced the start of a new endeavor. The newly launched program will provide an intensive learning program where community members will be a part of a special chaburah. They will learn the Gemara, Rishonim, Achronim, down to the Halacha on the subject of bishul. Bishul deals with the concept of cooking on

Shabbos, the prohibition of cooking on Shabbat and the practical ramifications. The topic promises to be stimulating, challenging and practical. The chaburah will be led by Rabbi Morris and Rabbi Solomon who will offer an array of support, guidance, preparatory sessions, indepth classes, chavrusa matching, and be available for questions specifically for this group. The format will mean that the VNK can accommodate a variety of skill levels, ranging from those who need translations of the texts to those who are independent learners. A unique aspect of this chaburah is that they will be leaning the same sources as the Kollel members, and be able to benefit from the Kol Torah, resources, and extraordinary atmosphere of the Beis Midrash. The goal is to create the

yeshiva experience for members of the greater Los Angles community. Additionally, there is learning every night. The Kollel Avreichim are available after Mariv until 9.30pm, offering Chavrusas on any topic in Torah and different shiurim in Halacha, Musar, Iyun and Parsha. To learn more email Rabbi Majeski at vnkollel@gmail.com or call Rabbi Morris at 818 762 0046. The Birshul program is Monday - Thursday, from 7:55 to 8:50pm, starting November 2nd. The Kollel is located within Beis Midrash Toras Hashem, 12422 Chandler Blvd, Valley Village, CA 91607. Classes available in Hebrew and Farsi. Refreshments daily, Sushi Sunday and Thursday night cholent.

Winter Kedusha at Kollel Chatzos Branches The winter zman at Kollel Chatzos is successfully underway, and close to 100 talmidei chachamim who learn in the four kollel branches are filled with gratitude for the privilege of participating in such a holy empire of Torah. They know it is a blessing to learn Hashem’s Torah at the holy hour of chatzos, and students described how the powerful growth in learning they experience throughout the nighttime hours is impossible to achieve at any other time. According to the menahalim of the kollels in Williamsburg, Monroe, Monsey and Meron, the zman started with an energized and uplifting kol Torah that echoed through the kollels as if it were in the middle of the day. Rabbi Zalmen Leib Friedman from the Monsey branch described the intense hasmadah as “inspiring and heartwarming.” Citing Rebbe Hershele Ziditchover,

who wrote that the winter nights have the kedusha of Chol Hamoed, Rabbi Zalmen Lieb Friedman exclaimed that this atmosphere is clearly felt within the walls of Kollel Chatzos. Many seforim hakdoshim also find that during the winter nights one can poel yeshuos like during Neilah on Yom Kippur. Unwilling to miss the opportunity to have talmidei chachamim be mispallel for them at such a powerful time, many special Yidden are grabbing the chance to be a part of the limud haTorah at Kollel Chatzos throughout the long winter nights. With the start of the busy wedding season, there’s also a strong demand from mechutanim to reserve a “wedding night” with Kollel Chatzos, where Torah is learned as a zchus for the chosson and kallah throughout the entire wedding. At the start of the reception, Kollel Chatzos in

Meron begins their learning, and at chatzos in New York the kollels in Monsey, Williamsburg and Monroe begin to learn until dawn. This ensures that Torah as a zchus for the new couple is learned nonstop throughout the wedding night. The powerful segulah of midnight Torah is the greatest gift parents can give to chosson & kallah as they embark upon building their bayis ne’eman. Kollel Chatzos in Meron fulfills the dictum of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who wrote about the greatness of rising at chatzos in the Zohar many times, by having chashuva, elevated talmidei chachamim learn every night at the holy tzion of Rashbi. Meanwhile, beautiful, new seforim shranks, courtesy of a generous donor, were installed in the Meron branch at the start of the new zman. The talmidei cha-

chamim expressed appreciation for the new furniture, mentioning that they now have an easier time finding the seforim they need, which gives them peace of mind and enables them to be fully engrossed in their learning. According to the hanhala, the chairs and tables in the kollel are very old and in bad repair, which distracts the talmidei chachamim as they attempt to absorb themselves in their learning. A sponsor for new chairs and tables is urgently needed. We’re sure that someone special will take advantage of this opportunity to support the exceptional talmidei chachamim of Meron, whose primary goal in life is to toil in Torah with great devotion. To ensure your share of the power of Torah at chatzos on a winter night or to sponsor new chairs, call 1 855 CHATZOS (242-8967.)


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in orphanages. Machon Maayan is situated on the impressive Givat Washington Educational campus. The program allows students to attend seminary and simultaneously enter a groundbreaking music track with a state-of-the-art recording studio. Meanwhile, seminaries take enrollment from a diverse group of Jewish students who live in countries across the globe. A year after participating in a program, Los Angeleno Sarah Katchen reminisced about the opportunity, “Today is exactly one year since I’ve been home from Israel. It was such an educational, emotional, and life changing year. From volunteering at Yemin orde to meeting family from Israel, from living in Jerusalem to studying and just having fun. I learned so much about Israel and even more about myself. I made lifelong friendships and incredible memories. I am so grateful to my parents for allowing me to go on such an amazing program. My life has completely changed since this experience and I have formed such an inseparable connection with Israel” Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair is the brainchild of Director, Phyllis Folb, whose company Find Your Direction specializes in a college/gap year counseling and educational events. She explains her passion for the programs, noting that, “All the introductory trips to Israel, either with family, school or outreach opportunities can provide an initial burst of passion, but it is the year in Israel, living, working, and learning, that builds a deep relationship with Israel and the Jewish people, solidifying personal religious values. It is also the best way to prepare college bound kids for campus anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism that they may soon encounter for the very first time.” The essence of gap year, Folb explains, is to ask, “How am I going to being fortified in who I am? How comfortable am I in my own skin?” Folb loves promoting the Gap Year program because she is certain of its significance. “Parents and students and educators need to begin think of the Gap Year as, not an extra or bonus year to post-secondary education, but a necessary and inclusive year of a student’s academic endeavors. I am convinced that the year spent in Israel prior to beginning college prepares Jewish students to remain true to their religious values and fortifies them against the pressures to conform once they begin their freshman year. The Gap Year in Israel is your Torah dollars at work.” Rabbi Binny Freedman of Dean, Orayta Yeshiva said, “The Fair gives an opportunity for a large group of people to see a broad swath of schools all in one place in a short time. As a direct result of conversations with students and parents at the Fair many students came to Israel (in 2014), so I can unequivocally recommend this fair as

OCTOBER 29, 2015

Get ready for the upcoming Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair, taking place on the evening of November 16th. With the national endorsements of the American Gap Association (AGA), USA Gap-Year Fairs and Masa Israel Journey, this year’s Los Angeles Israel Gap-Year Fair will be a prestigious and meaningful resource for parents of high school students. Gap Year Fairs are building in momentum to keep up with the increased appreciation of the gap-year phenomenon. The AGA has reported a 294% increase in attendance at Gap Fairs since 2011. Colleges around the country, from Ivy’s to State Universities, are encouraging graduating high school seniors to explore the world in organized programs that build their emotional intelligence which is a proven benefit to college success. With renewed energy, gap year students repeatedly show a college readiness that translates into academic success and satisfaction with their chosen career. There are Gap Year programs available throughout the world, but for Jewish students, a gap year in Israel is life-changing. Last year’s Fair welcomed hundreds of students and parents who interacted with representatives from over 40 diverse Israel gap-year programs. The Fair will continue to focus on a broad selection of learning programs, to community and army service and will take place on Shalhevet’s beautiful new campus. Masa Israel Journey is the presenting sponsor and are providing scholarship funding so that 1000’s of students can find a way to afford the programs. Representatives will be attending the Fair to answer questions about the application process. The Fair is offering a variety of programs that will allow new graduates to immerse themselves in their religious identity, develop an understanding of their individual spirituality and absorb Israeli culture. For many years, observant Jewish families have known instinctively that the year in Israel is the best way for their child to develop a unique sense of self as they drink up the character of Israel. The first year after high school is the first time a young adult is able to investigate their personal connection to who they are Jewishly and how they connect to Israel. The rest of the world is catching up with this reality. The Gap year creates an environment for maturity and self-awareness without parental guidance and this emotional intelligence is the key to quality life choices. There are a variety of programs on offer with seminary learning and certain organizations offer a half day of seminary study combined with additional opportunities. Emunah Ve Omanut is based in Jerusalem and offers a music and arts program. Other programs offer volunteer assignments

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Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair Offers Diverse and Enriching Programs for 2016 Graduates

At a previous Gap Year Fair

worthwhile.” Long-time co-sponsors YULA Boys and Girls High Schools, Valley Torah, Harkham GAON Academy (formally Yeshiva High Tech) and NCSY continue their support and are joined by synagogues, Beth Jacob, B’nai David-Judea, Beverly Hills Synagogue, Mogen David (Ashanzi and Sephardi minyans), Shaarei Tefila, and Shaarey Zedek, Young Israel Century City and Westwood Kehilla. This ever-growing list of sponsors make the Fair a true community event. Additionally, Touro College and Yeshiva University will be among the table sponsors to discuss their Israel option enrollment, which can give up to one year’s worth of college credit for the gap-year experience. The Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair is designed for high school juniors and seniors and their parents but all teens interested in learning more about Israel programs are welcome to attend. The event is produced by Find Your Right Direction-Educational Services and

Events. For more information, contact: Phyllis Folb, LA Israel Gap Year Fair-Director 310-702-0644, findyourrightdirection@gmail.com. Like us on Facebook! New Location: Shalhevet High School, 910 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 2015 Event Details: Monday, November 16th, 2015, 7pm- 10pm.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015

Deposits and Withdrawals

For years, every time we lain Parshas Vayeira, the same question bothers me. Why did Avrohom Avinu not rush to tell his wife Sarah that Hashem promised that they would have a son? The elderly couple had unsuccessfully sought a child for many years. Hashem appeared to Avrohom and foretold him that he and his wife would be giving birth to a son who would carry their mission forward. How can it be that Avrohom didn’t share the great news with his wife? Together, Avrohom and Sarah had labored side by side, decade after decade, in an uninterrupted chain of dveykus, to bring the message of G-dliness to the masses. Theirs was a lifelong campaign of filling the world with Hashem’s glory. The two of them set out on their path alone, displaying dedicated leadership. They drew many adherents and followers, until they had a wave of maaminim following them. They were blessed with much wealth and fame, and had everything a couple could desire - everything, that is, except a child. They didn’t have someone of their own flesh and blood to carry on the campaign for further generations. They didn’t have anyone to nurture and inculcate with their values. They no doubt tried everything they could, including davening and segulos, all apparently for naught. Then, one day, Hashem gave Avrohom Avinu the ultimate besurah tovah: He and Sarah would merit a child. Yet Avrohom kept it a secret. Why? The Ramban addresses this question (Bereishis 18:15), explaining that Avrohom did not immediately hurry and share

the happy tidings with Sarah either because he wished to wait until Hashem would let Sarah know the good news at a later time, as He indeed did later the same day through the malochim, or because he was preoccupied with performing the mitzvah of milah on himself and his household as he had been commanded and thus didn’t have the time to tell Sarah. When he completed fulfilling Hashem’s commandments regarding milah, he was weak and sat at the entrance of his tent to recuperate. Before he had a chance to get back to himself and tell Sarah, the malochim came and told her themselves. Even after studying the words of the Ramban, the question still bothered me. How can it be that Avrohom didn’t run and tell his wife that the one thing they were lacking in their lives would be granted to them? How long would it take? Wouldn’t doing so bring much happiness to his wife? How could he postpone bringing her that joy? Perhaps the question is based on a mistaken premise. One who is a true maamin knows that all that happens to him is for the good. One who lives with true bitachon understands that Hashem created the world to be meitiv to man. Hashem’s purpose in creation was to bring about goodness and

house in order to fulfill their shlichus, while some don’t. Some need a big car, while for others a small jalopy suffices. Some people need a lot of money in order to carry out the mission for which they were placed in this world, while some can be most successful in their shlichus without a dime in their pockets. A maamin and baal bitachon doesn’t look at what other people have and complain about why he is lacking in those blessings. He knows that Hashem chose poverty for him and wealth for the other person. He is not jealous of others and does not view himself as lacking in anything. He is happy with what he has because he knows that he has a Father above who provides for him. Avrohom and Sarah were the consummate maaminim. They understood that Hashem does what is best for them. When they weren’t blessed with a child, they didn’t go around feeling bad for themselves. They didn’t view their lives as lacking. They viewed their lives as full and blessed, even though there were no children in their home and no one to inherit them. They perceived their mission as bringing the knowledge of Hashem to the world. If they didn’t have a child, then they could apparently fulfill their mission without one. Their good acts

WHAT SEEMS TO US AS REALITY IS ONLY A FACADE. kindness. At times, it may appear to us as if what is transpiring is bad. We don’t always comprehend what is going on, but we have to know that there is a greater purpose and understanding of all that is transpiring. Nothing is haphazard and nothing happens by itself. People want children because they have been conditioned to expect to give birth to a child. Children bring joy into your life and into the world. Children provide hope that our traditions, beliefs and successes will be transmitted to future generations. But, in fact, we are all here because Hashem willed it so. Everything we have is because Hashem willed it to be that way. We all have a mission in life. We are given what we need in order to be able to succeed in our mission. Some people need a big

would live on in some other way. Since they didn’t view the lack of a child as a major tragedy, when Avrohom heard from Hashem that he and his wife would be giving birth to a son who would inherit them and carry on their mission, he didn’t rush to tell his wife. In last week’s parshah (15:4-5), Hashem told Avrohom, “Asher yeitzei mimei’echa hu yiroshecha The one you give birth to will inherit you.” The posuk says that Hashem took Avrohom outside and told him to, “look up to the sky and count the stars. If you are able to count them, so will you be able to count your children,” for they will be so plentiful that it will be impossible to count them. The posuk then recounts (ibid. 6), “Vehe’emin baHashem vayachsheveha lo tzedakah,” Avrohom trusted Hashem and

Hashem looked upon Avrohom’s faith favorably. Many question why Hashem considered Avrohom’s trust as a major act. If Hashem appeared to anyone, wouldn’t Avrohom trust Him to keep His word? We can answer that the big deal was that Avrohom was the paradigm believer in Hashem. He believed when he didn’t have a son and he believed just as much after he was promised the son and multitudes of offspring. His belief didn’t change. He was the consummate believer. As such, when Hashem promised that he and Sarah would give birth to a child who would inherit them and continue their mission, it was not such a big deal that Avrohom had to interrupt the mitzvoh he was doing in order to rush and tell Sarah. This is what the Ramban means when he says that Avrohom was busy carrying out Hashem’s commandment regarding milah. Avrohom was fulfilling his mission of following Hashem’s word. That is what his life was all about. He was the consummate servant of Hashem, whether he had a child or not, so his first obligation was to finish doing what Hashem asked him to do. Sarah wouldn’t expect anything different. We tend to plug our emotions, perspectives and reactions into stories of the avos and thus we have questions. We understand the burning urge for a child, the ache of loneliness, and the frustration of unanswered tefillos. But there is a level beyond ours, the level of tzaddikim. Yes, a child is a hemshech, a continuation of all man’s accomplishments and a means of ensuring that the chain goes on. A child affords one the mitzvah of chinuch, the joy and fulfillment of seeing a new generation growing in Torah and avodah, and the nachas of transmitting eternal values, but there is a backdrop to all this: the only reality that counts and exists is that which Hashem desires. To us, a husband and wife longing and yearning for something for so many years and then receiving it is a happy story. To tzaddikim, before they are answered, it is viewed as the ratzon Hashem, after they are answered, it remains the same ratzon Hashem. To Avrohom Avinu and Sarah Imeinu, the desire for a child was in the context of that reality. Hashem hadn’t wanted it, so it was good and perfect. They existed serene-


that those who see the ohr ha’oros recognize the good nature of everything that transpires. We have to do our best to rise to that level. So we daven and hope, but always with the confidence that He knows how things ought to be. Avrohom Avinu prayed for the people of Sedom, begging, beseeching and pleading for Heavenly mercy on their behalf. He was turned down. How did he respond? He returned the next morning “el hamakom asher omad shom es pnei Hashem” (Bereishis 19:27). He went back to the same “place,” with the very same submission, humility and faith with which he had offered his tefillos and been turned down the day before. “Yes” and “no” are but two expressions of the same ratzon. They are thus not different. As Hashem’s children, we have that same ability and unique attitude to recognize that everything is from Hashem. So ein kol etzev. We don’t grow dejected. We continue to hope, certain that one day, may it be very soon, we will rejoice when it all becomes clear just how good it has been all along. Rav Pinchos Menachem Alter of Ger recounted that as a child, he visited a bank. He saw a man handing over piles of cash to a teller and felt so bad for the man. “Oy, the poor man has to give so much money to the bank. He probably has nothing left for him-

self,” he thought in his childish head. As he stood there, he saw another man receiving bundles of money from a manager. “Look at that rich man,” he thought to himself. “He is walking out of here with a fortune.” The rebbe related that it was only later that it was explained to him that the person he saw handing over money to the teller was, in fact, the wealthy man. He had come to deposit his money in the bank for safekeeping. The second man, who walked out with a big wad of cash, was quite poor. He had no money of his own and had come to the bank to negotiate a loan. He had to put up his house as collateral and had no idea how he would ever pay the loan back. What seems to us as reality is only a façade. One who seems blessed may in fact be cursed. One who seems poor may indeed be blessed. Let us learn from Avrohom and Sarah to look at the world properly, envisioning things as maaminim and baalei bitachon. Recognize that we have a higher calling and mission in life. We are the children of a very wealthy and powerful Father who wants the best for us. When we trust and believe that there is enough money in His bank to provide for us all, we will recognize that, in fact, we do have what we need.

Stanley M. lintz

Valley Torah high School

Yeshiva Tzvi Dov V’Ephraim – Menlo Family Boys Division Ateres Malka V’Sara Esther – Menlo Family Girls Division

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Valley Torah High School is proud to honor our alumni Rabbi Shemuel Akhamzadeh (‘97) Rabbi David Cohen (‘96) Rabbi Shimon Ishal (‘92) Rabbi Yaakov Vosoghi (‘98) Rabbi Reuven Youkhehpaz (‘97) For their service to the community at our Annual Tribute Dinner Tuesday Evening November 24, 2015 Hilton Universal City For information call (818) 505-7999 www.vths.org

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the mashgiach had offered back then. The talmid approached Reb God’l, raising his sad, shallow eyes. “Rebbe, mit voss? How do we carry on in the shadow of the crematoria, with the smell of death hovering like a cloud?” The mashgiach reached into the folds of his thin uniform, pulling out a treasure. In a place where everything was seized upon arrival, he carried with him from the day he arrived a scrap of paper in his shirt pocket, stored close to his heart. There, in the pit of death, the mashgiach read aloud to the talmid the words of the Chovos Halevavos in Shaar Ahavas Hashem, at the end of perek alef: “Like the chossid who arose in the night and said, ‘My Master, you have starved me, and I lack clothing, and I sit here in the depths of the night, but your greatness and wonder I see. If you burn me in fire, I will only add more love and joy in You...” The mashgiach’s demeanor was serene as he folded his precious slip of paper and hid it again. “The Ribbono Shel Olam wants us here, so we’re here. Whatever he metes out, day or night, happiness or pain, comfort or distress, I accept it the same way.” It’s all ratzon Hashem. Such is the way of the avos, tzaddikim and maaminim, and that is the way we should try to live our lives. This lesson, like all maasei avos, is most relevant these days, when every day seems to serve up an endless diet of bad news. Every time we check on the latest from Eretz Yisroel, there is another attack and more bloodshed. Should we become despondent? Should we be afraid to leave our homes and travel to Eretz Yisroel? Should we fear what is happening to the world? Or should we be strong, comfort the grieving, and recognize that this is all part of an unfolding Divine plan? We see increasing strain on Jewish communities worldwide. We see politicians ignoring us, openly siding with our enemies. We see people we thought we could trust, smile and assure us that all is well, as they shake the blood-soaked hands of those intent on destroying us. We look around at the world and see treachery everywhere. We see evil rising. We see immorality and depravity enshrined into law. We see countries across the world evaporating, as hundreds of thousands are killed. We see the American culture under attack from within and without. We see the candidates running for the presidency and we shudder what will happen if some of them reach the White House. Our personal lives contain much turmoil. We all have things in our lives that don’t go as planned. We all have our share of heartache and problems. Why do we have to work so hard and why can’t we attain our goals with less aggravation? It takes so much money to make ends meet; we can’t take the constant pressure to stay above water. There are so many things we wish were different. Should we be overcome with sadness? Should we give up? Should we feel alone and forlorn? We have to do our best to go on besimchah. We have to recognize that what happens is His will and ratzon hatov leheitiv. We should have no doubt that what happens is good and is the right thing for us, whether or not we easily perceive it. We must know

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ly within that reality. The news that they would have a child meant, in their terms, that the ratzon Hashem now was different than it had been before. Their will had been in concert with Hashem’s all along and so would it continue. Similarly, the nisayon of the Akeidah was a test of Avrohom’s bitachon. Now that he had been blessed with a son, were he to learn that it was the will of Hashem for him to return that gift, would he happily comply with Hashem’s wish or would he question the command? The posuk (Bereishis 22:3) recounts that Avrohom passed the test. “Vayashkeim Avrohom baboker.” Without delay, he hurried to fulfill Hashem’s wish. He had wanted a son in order to perform his shlichus in this world. If Hashem wanted him to have a son, he was thrilled, and if He did not wish for him to have a son any longer, then Avrohom would rush to fulfill the will of Hashem, fully accepting the decision. The Chazon Ish wrote poetically, “Ein kol etzev ba’olam lemi shemakir ohr ha’oros shel ha’emes. There is no despair in the world for one who perceives the light of lights of the truth.” Rav Yitzchok Hutner pointed out that the Chazon Ish, who experienced the same struggle as the avos, was expressing that there exists an “ohr,” a light, of ratzon Hashem that is more obvious. There is also an “ohr ha’oros,” a less obvious but deeper light, that of amitas retzono Yisborach. For those who perceive the deep light of Hashem, there is no depression, for they recognize the truth that all that transpires is for the greater good. On Shabbos, we do not wish a sick person a refuah sheleimah. Instead, Chazal say, we say, “Shabbos hi milizok.” On Shabbos, we don’t cry out in pain. Perhaps we can understand that pain and pity are appropriate when one is somewhat removed from the ohr ha’oros. On Shabbos Kodesh, our proximity to the Borei Olam makes such reactions inappropriate. Shabbos is the day when the ohr of sheishes yemei bereishes shines through and we appreciate that if things are a certain way, it is because that is what Hashem wants. During the yemei hama’aseh, things are less clear, and we cry, but on Shabbos, when the light is evident, we refrain from sadness. On Shabbos, as well, we do not engage in obvious acts of mourning. On the six days of the week, we cry over the passing of loved ones. When Shabbos arrives, there is no sadness. On Shabbos, we proclaim that the world was created by the Creator. We receive a neshomah yeseirah, which allows us to comprehend concepts that we can’t understand during the week. On this day, we do not mourn or engage in sadness, for we recognize that Hashem created the world for good and all that transpires is for the good. Rav God’l Eisner was a mashgiach in the Gerrer Yeshiva prior to the Holocaust. He survived the war and was appointed mashgiach of Yeshiva Sefas Emes in Tel Aviv. A student retold that he was an inmate in several concentration camps. Under the Nazis, there were no good days, only continuous sorrow and pain. One day, the boy saw his rebbi, Rav God’l, and hope rose in his heart as he remembered the good old days in yeshiva and the chizuk and hope that


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LA Comes Together to ‘Keep it Together’ The Shabbos Project 2015 Devorah Talia Gordon

The Great Big Challah two short video presentations, a gether, held a richness because it our local orthodontists and denchallah-making demonstration was heterogeneous. Jacobson sug- tists, Dr. Alexander Waldman, Dr. Bake

Over 1,100 women and girls of all ages attended The Great Big Challah Bake at the Ace Gallery, on Thursday, October 22. The Challah Bake kicked off this year’s Shabbos Project which ran October 23-24. This is now a worldwide, grassroots movement that encourages all Jews, regardless of affiliation, background, and level of observance, to experience one full, halachic Shabbos together. This year’s Shabbos Project LA was led by Beth Leventhal, Tali Merewitz, Leanne Praw, Naomi Rich and Leebee Mann. Subcommittees were also established and instrumental in the Project, including a rabbinic committee headed by Rabbi Revah of Adas Torah. “Rabbi Revah helped from A to Z, he’s been there for all the questions that arose, every step of the way,” said Leanne Praw. On Thursday night, the women crowded around each table, aprons on and hands ready to knead. In front of each participant sat a bowl and with pre-measured flour, salt, sugar and yeast. A table captain sat at each group, and was the one person with the full five-pound bag of flour, which is needed in order to be mafrish challah, to ‘take’ a piece of challah with the blessing. The event was emceed by speaker Jackie Engel, former resident psychologist for the “Today Show.” Engel voiced the goal of the Challah Bake and the Shabbos Project in general, “There is such a power in unity, to join forces and say we are one people, one voice. This has enormous power, and may this be a huge protection for Israel and protect Jews all around the world.” The program continued with

with step-by-step instructions from Debby Segura, the reading of Tehillim and the mitzvah of hafrish challah led by Shifra Revah and Joyce Azria Trojanowski. A highlight of the evening was when the camera zoomed in on Rose Kamin, also known as Grandma Rosie, who was celebrating her 100th birthday that very evening. Grandma Rosie said she had never separated challah before, but, “I try every day to do a new mitzvah.” Looking around the room, a community member could see many familiar faces, but in addition, there were women whom one did not recognize, including a group of women from Chile who didn’t speak English. “We had people who had never baked challah in their lives,” said Leanne Praw. “It was spectacular, we couldn’t have imagined how special it would turn out.” Emily Jacobson invited friends who were not religious, or new to Judaism, to take part. One woman who attended, a recent geirus who lives a distance away, was excited to be at an event with so many Jewish women. While Jacobson noted the profound goal of kiruv, reaching out to the unaffiliated, she also pointed out the power of women coming together to bake challah who are religious. “We have a lot to offer each other, and while some women do, many women do not make challah every week. We also need kiruv krovim.” Indeed, many women felt good being part of such a vibrant community or meeting a woman who looked familiar, but to whom she’d never spoken. In fact, Jacobson commented that her table, with people who hadn’t pre-booked to-

gested that next year’s Bake could feature a lottery seating so participants could meet new people rather than coming with family or friends! At another table, there were women who had never previously baked challah. The table captain said, “There was someone who needed a shidduch. I told her I wasn’t going to ‘take challah,’ she was going to do it.” The woman said the blessing and everyone at her table said a heartfelt ‘amen,’ while also praying for the recent victims of terrorist attacks in Eretz Yisroel. The evening ended with a beautiful performance by a women’s choir, led by Machla Perkowski, Sarah Gertel and Chaya Kupfer. Women spontaneously arose and joined in dance while the choir sang. Bais Yaakov girls joined arms and formed two lines while singing ‘Acheinu’ as the crowd dispersed. Despite some a/c and acoustic glitches, those in attendance were able to rise above the details and enjoy the evening. Not only was the event one of achdus, but the actual preparations had already brought the LA community together. The majority of the ingredients for the Bake were donated by Moshe Hecht of Schwartz Bakery, including a whopping 400 pounds of flour. Another 100 pounds of flour was donated by an anonymous supporter. Students from Bais Yaakov pre-measured the flour, while Bnos Devorah students took charge of the sugar and yeast, and YULA students measured the salt, which was provided by Pico Glatt. Aluminum pans were donated by Western Kosher and Glatt Mart and for all those boxes of disposable gloves,

Bendik, and Dr. Darren Hirt, graciously provided them. A little further south and in conjunction with the worldwide Shabbos Project, Chabad of Irvine and Beth Jacob of Irvine created the OC Mega Challah Bake for the second year in a row. This year’s event drew about 1,600 women and girls from all over Orange County, including Irvine, San Clemente and Yorba Linda. Held at the Misty May-Treanor Sports Center in Irvine, the Challah Bake was coordinated and executed by community volunteers from several congregations, who spent six months planning the event. “There was a large showing off women from all affiliations,” said Mrs. Natalie Ciner, Rebbetzin of Beth Jacob. “That’s what was so beautiful about it.” Binie Tenenbaum of Chabad of Irvine demonstrated how to make challah, Debbie Schechter and Gilah Andrufier addressed the crowd, and Natalie Ciner led the recitation of tehillim. In addition, there was a musical performance and comedy sketch, with singing and dancing. LA’s Largest Shabbat Dinner On the heels of the Challah Bake came The Shabbos Project 2015 community-wide dinner on Pico Boulevard. The largest Shabbat dinner in Los Angeles history was orchestrated by Josh Golcheh, founder of United Nation of Hashem (UNOH), Josh Banaf, Daniel Braum, and Dara Abaei (JUN). The event closed off Pico Boulevard between Cardiff and Rexford. “Dinner was sold out for 3,000 people, while an additional 500 came to hang out. Each table was set for ten, with their own rolls and grape juice. Rabbis were seated in different areas and were asked to lead


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Photos: John Solano photography

Great Big Challah Bake held in the city

OCTOBER 29, 2015

those in their section who needed help with Kiddush or hamotzi. About twenty shuls purchased blocks of tables.” Golcheh described the evening as being one of unity and kiddush Hashem. “All different backgrounds were represented, including Ashkenazim and Sephardim, with Persians, Syrians, Moroccans, French, among the Sephardic in attendance. There was great organization. Many people, including the guards, were impressed by this. There were no issues and everyone was peaceful and calm.” When coming upon the scene of so many Jews together, Pico-Robertson resident Aliza Marton said, “I completely lost it. I grew up here, when there was just Pizza Nosh on Pico. I just started crying. We sat with a non-religious family from a different synagogue that we had never met. We all bensched out loud, together. You felt so proud in that environment.” Sharon’s Catering and Simon’s Catering supplied the Shabbat dinner, which they also partially sponsored. With a lot of hard work and organization, including over 50 waiters and two food stations on Pico, each table had a delicious hot meal served to them. Depending on when you purchased tickets, the cost ranged from $18 to $72, however, Golcheh said that a ticket that day sold for $300. The organizers spent $20,000 on security, with over 70 guards securing the perimeter. With watchmen placed on rooftops, a guard every fifteen feet on the ground, and Shmira Patrol (not to mention the three units of the LAPD that showed up on their own), those in attendance were very secure.

Grandma Rosie celebrating her 100th birthday by seperating challah for the first time

Great Big Challah Bake in Orange County Photos: Elad Lavi Photography


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So how did Pico look on Shabbos morning, after over 3,000 people dined there? “It was spotless,” reported Leanne Praw, “you never would have known we were there. What a kiddush Hashem, the organizers took care of it so people wouldn’t complain.” Stay tuned, as Josh and Dara are already planning next year’s event. If you’d like to take part, email Shabbatprojectla@gmail.com. From Schools to Shuls: Shabbos Project Highlights Various schools and shuls did their part to invigorate their communities for the Shabbos Project. At Toras Emes, the girls’ junior high participated in a Yom Iyun, on Friday, October 23. Principal Mrs. Faigy Back and her staff set up various rooms for the girls to experience with a different aspect of Shabbos in each, including hands-on learning about muktzah and hilchos Shabbos, and a video presentation entitled, “Why is Shabbos special to you?” For the second year in a row, the Westwood Kehilla was privileged to participate in the Shabbos Project. This year the Kehilla’s program included a Friday night dinner with a speaker, a children’s carnival, and Shabbos hospitality with lunch at shul member’s homes. Over 100

adults, at all levels of observance and representing diverse nationalities, enjoyed hearing Paul Greenberg. Paul recounted his directing and producing career adventures, which, with hashgacha pratis, brought him to yiddishkeit. While Paul addressed the adult audience, the children enjoyed a special Shabbos carnival with games, gifts and treats. The MyAish division of Aish

LA, in conjunction with the Happy Minyan and Pico Shul, hosted a large Sephardic Kabbalat Shabbat service at Aish. MyAish reserved seven tables at the Shabbat dinner for 60 young professionals and staff members, and after dinner attended a lecture by Rabbi Yisraeli on, “How to be Sane in an Insane World.” This was followed by a

massive oneg at Morry’s Fireplace, geared for young professionals, with a huge percentage of the 3,000 dinner guests in attendance. On Shabbos morning, Jackie Engel led a beginner’s minyan for the Shabbos Project at Aish haTorah, with close to 200 participants. Aish also hosted Ms. Engel’s Shabbos afternoon shiur for women, which was also well attended. Congregation Mogen David was the designated shul for a Sephardic minyan for the Shabbos Project. Spearheaded by Rabbi Grama, any Sephardim who wanted to pray in a Sephardic shul on Friday night were welcomed to Mogen Dovid. In attendance was a large turnout of Sephardim from many nationalities, including Iraqi, Moroccan, Syrian, Egyptian and others. In Beverlywood, Aliza Marton hosted a shalosh seudos for 150 women, attended by women from all backgrounds. Mrs. Marton welcomed the women and pointed out how amazing it was that this Shabbos was the yartzeit of Rochel Imeinu, whom we learn is constantly crying for her children, klal Yisroel. Also in this week’s parashah, Hagar cries out and she is given Ishmael. “We have to be like Rochel,” Mrs. Marton said, “we are meant to cry out to Hashem

and counteract her [Hagar’s] cries. And the Jewish women, with the strength of all of us together, are going to do it.” The women said tehillim, enjoyed an abundance of dishes, and heard divrei Torah from Mrs. Shifra Revah and Mrs. Geula Newman. Havdalah: The End and The Beginning For the Shabbos Project grand finale, Sam Glaser and a band of several musicians, including Rabbi Yonah of the Pico Shul, led a musical Havdalah concert. The standing-room only crowd in the Pico Shul sang and danced as they escorted out the Shabbos Queen. Meanwhile, the much smaller gathering of women in Aliza Marton’s dining room, participated in a very special Havdalah service. “When my husband makes Havdalah, our minhag is that my kids all take their own candle and light it from the Havdalah candle, to bring some of the light of Shabbat into the week. I had bought hundreds beforehand. I gave every woman a tea light. Each woman lit and set her candle on the table, hundreds of lights were there.” All of those lights were not only witness to the beauty of the community of Jews who came together, but represented the abundance of light that, without doubt, was brought into the world on the Shabbos of October 23-24, 2015.


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Chabad on Campus, a Family of People Who Care Ruth Judah

Chabad Houses have grown in number for the 2015 academic year. An impressive 19 new centers on college campuses have opened across America, including three in Southern California including, Pierce College, The California Institute of Technology (Caltech)and University of California, Riverside You can now buy a kosher sandwich and snack at most colleges and Jewish learning is more accessible and affordable than ever. It’s not easy providing meaningful programs at colleges that have very few Jewish students, but the number of students is higher at certain campuses and this keeps Chabad rabbis plenty busy. Hillel Houses also abound and offer a certain flavor of Jewish learning and support. Deeper ingrained in the student’s lives are the Chabad Rabbis who have made undergraduate outreach their life mission. The growth of Chabad Houses has been exponential since the 1940’s when the Sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, sent students to Californian universities. The first Chabad House at UCLA was opened in the late sixties which led the way for a network of campus rabbis. Rabbi Joshua Gordon speaks nostalgically of his assignment as the first Chabad representative dispatched to the San Fernando Valley in 1973 to provide outreach on the local campuses. At the 2015 Chabad of the Valley Banquet Rabbi Gordon shared his memories, “For three days out of every week, I would single-handedly man tables on the grounds of the CSUN, Pierce College and Valley College campuses, where I would spend hours conversing and facilitating mitzvah observance for hundreds of Jewish students on a daily basis. Even to this day, I run into people, most of them now grandparents, who recall those encounters with me during their college years, and the indelible impressions those made upon their minds and hearts going

forward.” Today, the viability of many campus Chabad Houses has been a direct result of the support by major philanthropist, Mr. George Rohr, who has provided seed money to allow some college centers to purchase a building where the events can be held and where the campus Rabbi can live. Still, the monthly budget has to be raised by the college rabbis mostly from parents and alumni. The one thing that college students still don’t have, is an income. Fortunately, this year the Jewish Federation has started to recognize the activity of Chabad on campus and has awarded grants for certain activities. Unlike a community shul, the college synagogues fill a variety of needs and goals. Rabbi Chaim and Raizel Brook run the programs at California State University, Northridge,(CSUN). He proudly notes that, “We have around 3,500 Jewish stu-

Rabbi Brook building a Sukkah for the Jewish students at California State University, Northridge

Mr George Rohr pictured with Shluchim to college campuses in the United States

Rabbi Wagner, Shabbos 500 at Chabad @ USC

Photos: Bentzi Sasson - chabad.edu

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At the anual Shabaton in NY

Students at the Shabaton visiting the Ohel of the Lubavitcher Rebbe


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courses and lectures are important in teaching the students how to find accurate information on the current political situation in Israel. A popular class right now is a series on, Israel, the Land and the Spirit. “This class takes place as a Tuesday night dinner-and-discussion and brings a new understanding of the challenges facing Israel. Students care about Israel as part of their Judaism. Our role is to turn an

the terrorist organization as Hummus, the chickpea dip. Have things changed today? Ignorance of the political situation facing Israel and world Jewry is still an issue. Rabbi Wagner knows the importance of educating the USC students. “Recently while speaking at a Jewish fraternity house - we have two of them - I explained how the United Nations has condemned Israel more times than all the other coun-

Chabad at UCLA in the 70’s

Shabbos 500 at Chabad @ USC

apathetic attitude to Jewish identity into something meaningful. We have several years to work with our students until they graduate. It’s always sad when they graduate, but by then, I know their soul is conscious of its connection to Israel.” In 2011 a documentary was filmed at UCLA. The interviewer asked students to identify Hamas and repeatedly identified

tries in the world combined. Students don’t know this and they were surprised to hear it. I have to show the untruths behind the endless anti-Israel rhetoric.” Rabbi Wagner explained that he teaches spiritual awareness by showing the practical benefits. “What it comes down to, is why do we care? I explain that what it means to be a Jew is to be part of B’nei

Yisroel and to keep the mitzvot of the Torah, which brings the spiritual to our world.” At the start of October, Rabbi Wagner and his wife organized a Shabbat for 500. They were delighted with the turnout of 600 students. “It’s a lot of hard work to make a great dinner for this many people in our house, but my wife is excellent at doing this and she baked enough challah for everyone! Any successful program is immersive and it is by immersing students in Jewish celebration, learning and knowledge that we see life changes taking place.” Another student event which creates a step towards Jewish identity was championed this past weekend of October 23rd, Cheshvan 10-12.This was the Shabbaton that brought more than 1,000 Jewish full-time students from US campuses nationwide and overseas, to visit Chabad in Crown Heights, New York. The colorful, vibrant experience created a uniquely memorable cultural and educational experience. This year’s event was focused on leadership skills and included a spirited Shabbat dinner, a heap of discussions, important networking, a Saturday night mega event and concert, educational workshops, tours of New York City and more. The Shabbaton offered learning programs on Jewish ethics, advanced Talmudic law, inspirational workshops and mystical insights. This year also offered a new Grad Track program for older students, which added a social event for the older crowd, along with a business and relationship discussion. The organizers made the annual event into the ultimate buffet of Jewish education. Once again, philanthropists George and Pamela Rohr were the lead financial donors, while there were others besides. The entire cost for a student to attend the Shabbaton was a token $36 fee, plus their air ticket. Those who made the effort to attend were thrilled with the experience that built new friendships and created a stronger understanding of their Jewishness. Despite this, Rabbi Brook confessed the complex problems with getting students to attend. Not only did they have to come up with the cost of the air ticket, but they had to make up classes on Friday and take the night flight on Sunday to make their Monday morning classes. Chabad on Campus has its work cut out.

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dents so it’s a good model and for many kids, this is their first opportunity to learn and enjoy their Jewishness so our programs are very important.” Still, Rabbi Brook explains, “It’s very hard to set goals for our college events. We’re not on a path to make all Jewish students observant. We know there is room for growth in their Yiddishkeit and perhaps they will understand and appreciate the greater meaning of kosher food and Shabbat observance. Everyone has to take a step forwards as they mature and Jewish observance guides us through the joys and pitfalls of our lives. Students reach out to us as they deal with the stress, sometimes perceived, sometimes real, but all too often life events which are dramatic for young adults in college. We help them grow in their understanding of the ways that Jewish values and lifestyle can guide them.” Rabbi Brook explained that the most popular event at all college campuses is the Shabbat dinner which is open to all. “These are a fun and meaningful way for students to connect with fellow Jews their age. Many of our students have experienced little of Jewish observance and others are far from home so there is much socializing. College is not the time of their life that kids focus on religion, but they are on the dating scene and it is a formative and crucial time to make important life choices. Our Shabbat dinner’s often see 100 kids so it’s a vibrant and noisy event.” The most popular campus learning program is called Sinai Scholars. The class lasts a semester and it’s a weekly two hour meeting. The students look at fundamental themes of Judaism and when they complete the course they receive a scholarship which brings students back for more. Rabbi Brook explained the atmosphere, “Recently, we spent a healthy amount of time working out which were the Ten Commandments. It was animated, but we got there!” Rabbi Dov Wagner is the Campus Rabbi at the University of Southern California, (USC) where there are approximately 3,000 Jewish students. Some are from observant homes and want to grow their Yiddishkeit. Most need to be reached on an individual basis because their Judaism is not a major element of their identity and it is though college programs, trips and travels to Israel that their Jewishness is drawn out of them. Rabbi Wagner explained that his


Adventurer, Missionary, Conman, And Political Activist: The Incredible Story Of Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln PART 1

Rabbi Pini Dunner, Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

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One sultry afternoon in the Summer of 1943, a young Jewish journalist called Anna Ginsbourg gingerly entered the imposing YMCA building on Bubbling Well Road in Shanghai, China. The YMCA was by far the largest building in Shanghai, and it was overflowing with European refugees who had found themselves in the Far East while war raged across the world. Ginsbourg informed the receptionist she had come for an appointment with one of the residents, a Buddhist monk called Chao Kung. Ginsbourg, a feisty woman in her early thirties, had been seeking an audience with the monk for months, desperate to interview him for the local Jewish refugee newspaper. Eventually she received word that he had consented to meet her, and the day of the meeting had finally arrived. After a short wait in the chaotic reception area Ginsbourg was shown into a quiet side room. Chau Kung was already there, waiting for her, dressed in his ceremonial robes and a black cloth skullcap that almost completely covered his shaven head. He eyed her up and down, and motioned for her to sit down. “What language would you like to interview me in?” he asked her in English, his voice high-pitched but soft, “English, German, or Yiddish?” His crinkled face broke into a smile, and Ginsbourg smiled back at him. For Grand Abbot Chau Kung of Shanghai, the Japanese government recognized Dalai Lama of Tibet, was none other than Ignatius Timotheus Trebitsch-Lincoln, the notorious Hungarian-born Jewish fraudster and fugitive, erstwhile Christian missionary, Liberal member

of the British parliament, German spy, the Austro-Hungarian empire. His wife, the stock market crashed, and he suffered and political agitator, who had over the Julia, hailed from the distinguished Fre- a substantial loss of money. Desperate to previous fifty years been arrested and und family. Nathan was a dogmatic and rebuild his financial capital, he cashed out imprisoned in multiple countries, and forceful personality fully supported in his his shares at a loss and invested the money whose varied life story was more re- strict application of Orthodox Judaism by in various business ventures, all of which markable than ultimately failed. the most imagiThe once prospernative fiction. ous Trebitsch famiThe interly was suddenly review with Ginsduced to struggling bourg would for their survival. be the last inThis change of cirterview Trecumstances had a bitsch-Lincoln profound effect on ever gave, after the young Trebitsch, a lifetime of desresulting in a lifeperately seeking long distaste for notoriety and capitalism, a system fame. A couple that had so dramatof months later ically destroyed his Trebitsch-Linfamily’s life. But Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, the Revd. Chaim Christlieb Traugott Trebitsch in 1904, after his return coln was dead, rather than turn him British Quaker industrialist and Lypshytz, convert to Christianity, to Europe following his stint as social pioneer, who was taken in worked hard to convert Jewish a missionary in Canada. By this struck down into a socialist or a by Trebitsch’s charm and linguistic immigrants in London to Christianity. time Trebitsch had tired of his by a mystericommunist, as was expertise. He hired Trebitsch as his He looked after Trebitsch after religious role and was looking to he landed in London in 1897 expand his horizons into politics ous stomach personal private secretary, but would so common during later regret having ever met him ailment. There that period, the tragwere those who ic circumstances of believed he had been poisoned by the Julia, who bore him fourteen children, or his father’s financial ruin turned him into Nazis, who had contemplated using him possibly sixteen, several of whom died in a cynical, amoral crook with an insatiable in a scheme against the British. Others infancy. Trebitsch was the second son of desire for money. simply believed that his unhealthy and six who survived. The oldest, Vilmos, was In early 1897 Trebitsch was accused of frenetic life had hastened his untimely a child genius who later descended into stealing an expensive gold watch in Budadeath. Whatever it was, on that July mental illness and never recovered. The pest. At around the same time accusations afternoon in the peaceful setting of the other boys went in multiple directions, of petty theft emerged in the Italian port of YMCA building side-room, as Gins- none of them retaining the Orthodoxy of Trieste. In both instances he evaded arrest, bourg scribbled notes and sipped green their youth into adulthood. as by the time the accusations were made tea, Trebitsch-Lincoln presented her The rabbi of Paks during this period he was nowhere to be found. His restless with a final version of his life story, a was a renowned Talmudic scholar, Rabbi nature had by now resulted in his travelstory so magnificent, so dramatic, and Eliezer Zussman Sofer (1830-1902), de- ing frequently from one country to anothso unbelievable, that it deserves to be voted disciple of Rabbi Abraham Shmuel er, not so much because he was heading retold, even if the man himself does not Binyamin Sofer (no relation), the ‘Ketav towards a particular destination, but rather deserve to be remembered. Sofer’ of Pressburg (Bratislava), and an he seemed to enjoy the constant journey. uncompromising traditionalist who reject- He restively flitted around Europe, and Ignatius Timotheus Trebitsch-Lincoln ed any contact with the outside world. Per- possibly North and South America, nevbegan his life as Yitzchak Trebitsch, born haps at Rav Sofer’s urging, Nathan sent er staying anywhere for too long. Indeed, in the Spring of 1879 to a devout fami- his second son to Pressburg at a young the nomadic bug would become a lifelong ly that belonged to the breakaway ‘Status age, to study at the renowned Pressburg hallmark, and he always seemed to be on Quo’ Orthodox community of Paks, Hun- yeshiva. The experience was formative, the move. gary. The Paks Jewish community was not because it brought the young Trebitsch In the Summer of 1897 he arrived in tiny, barely exceeding one thousand souls. closer to his Judaism, but because it ex- England, probably to attend the widely Breakaway communities in Hungary were posed him to the German language, which advertised Diamond Jubilee celebrations extreme and inflexible, refusing to belong he mastered quickly and comprehensively, for Queen Victoria. There he fell in with to any government recognized organ, even enabling him to widen the scope of his ex- Christian missionaries through the efif it was Orthodox, believing that official posure to non-Jewish culture and studies. forts of an indefatigable Jewish convert recognition inevitably led to assimilation. In the early 1890’s the Trebitsch fami- to Christianity, Reverend Chaim Lypshytz Trebitsch’s father, Nathan, was a suc- ly moved to Budapest so that Nathan could of the Barbican Mission to the Jews. The cessful businessman who owned a fleet of turn the provincial family business into missionaries in London’s East End disbarges transporting grain to cities across something more substantial. But in 1893 trict were extremely active among foreign


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In Part Two find out: how Trebitsch generated a massive diplomatic row over books he ‘needed’ from the French government; how he was unexpectedly elected Liberal MP for Darlington in 1910, only to lose his seat in Parliament shortly afterwards; how he later went spectacularly bankrupt, owing fortunes of money to multiple creditors; how he got caught up in a devastating energy commodity scandal; and how he became an espionage agent for multiple countries during the First World War. The story about the Orthodox Jewish boy from Hungary and erstwhile Christian missionary just gets stranger and stranger.

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jamin Seebohm Rowntree. Seebohm Rowntree was a fascinating and decent man, who would later regret the day he had ever met Trebitsch. He was born in York, into a wealthy Quaker family. His father, Joseph Rowntree, started the famous cocoa and chocolate company bearing his name, which by the end of the nineteenth century was one of the largest employers in Great Britain. Benjamin was an indefatigable social activist who over the years funded and was involved in various research projects whose aim it was to reveal the true extent of poverty in Britain at the time, by demonstrating how many thousands of families and individuals were living below what he referred to as the ‘poverty line’, a term he invented to define the minimum amount of money required for people to house themselves, and keep themselves warm, clothed and fed at a basic subsistence level. For some reason, Seebohm Rowntree took a liking to Trebitsch. He was fascinated by his ability to speak multiple languages, flowing seamlessly from one to another. Trebitsch also impressed him with his wide, if not deep, knowledge of numerous subjects. For Seebohm Rowntree, Trebitsch’s value lay in the fact that he could conduct research for him in European countries, and then convey that information back to him and his team in flawless English, so that it could be examined and analyzed together with similar British data. He appointed Trebitsch as his personal private secretary, and awarded him a generous salary plus a travel allowance that paid for any expenses associated with travel on his behalf. How he could have been so naïve is hard to understand. Perhaps it was Trebitsch’s obsequious middle-European charm, or perhaps Trebitsch was just the right person appearing at the right time, when he had a specific need for a linguist to liaise this particular project. Either way, Seebohm Rowntree’s connection with Trebitsch, although it would last for several years, proved to be a disaster from the very beginning.

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Jewish immigrants, offering them free of correspondence, he had convinced the financial support he needed for even his lodgings and food in exchange for attend- presiding minister of the Montreal mis- family’s most basic needs. When Margaing classes in Christian theology. Whether sion, Revd. John McCarter, to engage him rethe’s sister died in early 1903, Trebitsch Trebitsch had any interest in conversion at as his assistant, and he returned to Mon- abruptly gave up the Montreal mission, the time, or whether he was simply looking treal and began trying to convert Jews to and, without saying goodbye to anyone, for a free place to stay, is hard to know. Christianity. returned to Hamburg with Margarethe. He What we do know is that some months Among his Christian friends Trebitsch then left his pregnant wife with her parlater he left the hostel simultaneous to the could not have been more popular. They ents and traveled to London, where he atdisappearance of a gold watch and chain found his enthusiasm infectious, and his tempted to get a job with the London based belonging to Mrs. Lypshytz, along with a zeal inspiring. But the Jews of Montreal parent organization of the missionary sopassport belonging to a fellow resident. found this opinionated, insidious convert, ciety. But between Revd. Lypshytz’s unTrebitsch reappeared in disguised disdain for the man Hungary, but didn’t stay there who stole his wife’s watch, and for long. With his family in slowly emerging information disarray as a result of Nathan’s of financial irregularities perfinancial problems, he tried petrated by Trebitsch in Monunsuccessfully to find work. treal, the London missionaries Accused yet again of stealwere reluctant to engage him ing a gold watch, in late 1898 and turned him away. he left Hungary and went to Trebitsch was unfazed by Hamburg, where he found his failure with the missionarrefuge in the Irish Presbyteies, and he now took a job as rian mission house. This was curate in the parish of Applea Christian facility run by andore, a sleepy village in the other convert from Judaism, a southwest of England. How he former bank clerk turned pasgot the job is unclear, as he was tor called Arnold Frank. Under not authorized as an Anglican Frank’s influence Trebitsch beminister by the Archbishop gan studying for conversion to of Canterbury, and although Christianity, and in December it was some months before 1899, a few months after the he took it, he failed the basic sudden and unexpected death priesthood entry test, getting of Nathan, Trebitsch was formiserable scores, even in the mally baptized into the ChrisHebrew section. In July MarRabbi Eliezer Zussman Sofer was the uncompromising rabbinic figure tian faith. garethe gave birth in Hamburg who led the Paks community while Trebitsch was growing up The conversion idea was to their second son, their first no doubt enhanced by his inhaving died shortly after birth troduction to a young German gentile who regularly knocked on their doors in Montreal. They named this newborn woman called Margarethe Kahlor. She was to missionize, and who tried to hand out Ignatius Emanuel, and Margarethe joined an unlikely match for the restless young Yiddish translations of the Gospels on the her husband in Appledore soon afterwards. Trebitsch. The daughter of a retired sail- streets of the Jewish neighborhoods, repul- Things were not going well. His superfior, she was two years older than him, and sive and annoying. Not that the hostility cial knowledge of the gospels, and of basic had given birth to an illegitimate child in towards him diminished Trebitsch’s com- church practice, were slowly catching up 1897. Perhaps it was this factor that made mitment to his new calling. He frequently with him, and had it not been for a lucky the idea of Trebitsch courting Margarethe gave public speeches on street corners, and break that allowed him to leave the priestmore acceptable to her parents. Whatever was ready to debate any Jew who engaged hood, he would have been unceremoniousit was, he became a frequent visitor to their with him. And while he continued with ly defrocked within a short period of time. home. Every visit would apparently end his missionary work he also concluded his The lucky break, if you can call it that, with Trebitsch leading the family in pas- theological studies at McGill University, was the unexpected death of Margarethe’s sionate prayer, on their knees, eyes closed, and within a year he had graduated as a father, Captain Johann Kahlor. Suddenly, arms raised, as he cried out ‘deliver us fully-fledged Lutheran cleric. and for the first time in his life, Trebitsch from all sins and purify our hearts!’ In the early summer of 1901 he wrote came into some money. He immediately The Kahlors were fairly wealthy and to Margarethe and asked her to join him moved to Hampton-on-Thames, a subthis was certainly an important factor for in Montreal. Within weeks she had arrived, urb of London, and began to live like a Trebitsch, whose desire for money was and in July of that year they were married country squire, for the first time using an boundless. It was agreed that the young by Revd. McCarter. But all had not gone English last name: Lincoln. He bought a couple would marry once he found a way according to plan. Although Margarethe’s large house, furnished it, and started to buy to make a living, and the plan was for father had made promises of a dowry, the books on economics and politics, as his him to become a Christian minister after amount of money he sent with his daughter focus shifted away from spiritual pursuits having trained at a theological seminary. was woefully insignificant in the eyes of to these more temporal interests. Within So, after his conversion Trebitsch joined the greedy Trebitsch, and it soon became eighteen months he was actively looking a Lutheran college in a small town called evident that no more money was on the for employment in the political sphere, and Breklum, near the Danish border, to train way. eventually applied for a job as director of for the ministry, but he found college life For a couple of years Trebitsch des- the Temperance Society, an organization exceptionally boring and was soon back in perately tried to build up his own Chris- that fought against the evils of alcoholism, Hamburg. For some reason Trebitsch now tian mission and use his activities to so- and against the distilleries and breweries hopped onto a boat and sailed to Canada, licit church funds and missionary society who underpinned this social problem. He where he spent a few weeks at an ailing funds. But although he seems to have been did not get the job, but as fate would have missionary church in Montreal before a very popular public speaker, and was it, as a result of the interview he came traveling to New York. But within a couple well regarded for his effervescent enthu- to the attention of the society’s principle of months, following an intense exchange siasm, his admirers failed to deliver the funders, a wealthy industrialist called Ben-


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Notable Quotes

This is the AlAqsa Mosque that Adam, peace be upon him, or during his time, the angels built.

“Say What?!”

- Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Muslim cleric in charge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, arguing on Israel’s Channel 2 that there was a mosque on Har Habayis “since the creation of the world”

We have seen Iran almost serially violate the international community’s concerns about their ballistic missile program. In contrast to the repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council resolution that pertains to their ballistic missile activities, we’ve seen that Iran over the last couple of years has demonstrated a track record of abiding by the commitments that they made in the context of the nuclear talks - White House press secretary Josh Earnest, when asked about Iran’s recent ballistic missile activities

Well, I had my whole team come over to my house, and we sat around eating Indian food, and drinking wine and beer. That’s what we did. … We were all talking about sports, TV shows. It was great, just to have that chance to, number one, thank them because they did a terrific job, kind of being there behind me, and getting me ready, and then just talk about what we’re going to do next. - Hillary Clinton on MSNBC, when asked what she did after she completed her full day of testimony in front of a Congressional panel investigating the terrorist attack in Benghazi which killed Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans

I’m glad that Mrs. Clinton had an Indian food, A new study of the candidates’ Facebook fans found wine, and beer that Donald Trump’s fans have the worst grammar. party. It’s too Which isn’t surprising, since Trump’s whole bad my nephew campaign has been one, big run-on sentence. “We and Ambassador need to build a wall and fix the economy and get back Stevens, you know, at China and Rosie O’Donnell and I’m very rich and couldn’t show up.

here’s a red hat and...” – Jimmy Fallon

PS!

- Michael Ingmire, the uncle of Benghazi attack victim Sean Smith, on Fox News

We failed to look close enough at the Mel Gibson quote which was printed last week. Turns out that it is totally false, he never said that, and he doesn’t have a daughter who converted. We regret the error. Our bad.


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The history that you know is not the real one, the version that you know from movies and books is written by the Jews, and all the world accepts that history. He wasn’t a bad person, he obeyed orders and did not personally kill anyone. – Adolf Eichmann’s daughter-in-law, Carmen Bretin Lindemann, who was running for mayor in a village in Argentina, in a TV interview. (Due to backlash from her comments, she was forced to withdraw from the race)

I want to play for a long time, maybe 10 more years. - Patriot’s QB Tom Brady, who is 38 and has already been in the NFL for 15 years (the average NFL career lasts 3.3 years), when asked last week what his plans on for the future

You know, I am soft-spoken. I do have a tendency to be relaxed. I wasn’t always like that. There was a time when I was, you know, very volatile. But, you know, I changed. As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks and bricks and baseball bats and hammers. And, of course, many people know the story when I was 14, and I tried to stab someone. And, you know, fortunately, you know, my life has been changed. And I’m a very different person now. – Republican candidate and famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson on Meet the Press, responding to Trump’s allegation that he is low energy

Can I give you my take on this race? You have two frontrunners on the Democratic side, right? The number two guy went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon — and I don’t think he ever came back. The leader felt that she was flat broke after her husband was president for eight years — and that’s maybe why they stole the china. On our side, you’ve got the number two guy [saying he] tried to kill someone at fourteen years old and the number one guy is high energy and crazy as he[ck]. How am I losing to these people? – Republican candidate Lindsey Graham giving a very honest assessment of his own campaign skills on MSNBC

I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that. - Jeb Bush at a town hall meeting stating that he will only take the job as president if there is bi-partisanship (because there are cooler things to do than be president)

– Jimmy Kimmel, after Trump canceled an appearance on his show

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– Conan O’Brien

Donald Trump was supposed to be here tonight. Last night his people called and canceled on us and were cryptic as to why he canceled. They said he had a major political commitment but wanted me to relay the message to you that if he had been here, he would have been great… I’m dying to find out what this major political commitment was. Usually that means he had to go on CNN and call someone an idiot… Don’t worry. Tonight we’re going to give everyone in the audience a basketball dipped in cologne so you can fully experience what it would have been like had Donald Trump been here.

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Jeb Bush’s campaign has a contest now where someone will be flown to Houston to meet him, his dad, and his brother. No word on what the winner gets.


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Travel Guide: Prince Edward Island Aaron Feigenbaum

Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest and quaintest province, is located a short distance off the coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the farthest eastern edge of Canada. PEI’s charming countryside and slow pace of life are perfect for those who want a relaxing, serene getaway. The island is most famous for being the home of Anne Shirley, the protagonist in the classic children’s book Anne of Green Gables by Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery. PEI’s other claim to fame is its unique, peaceful landscapes:

Aerial view of downtown Charlottetown

rust-colored beaches, rolling hills, potato farms, lighthouses, scenic back roads and magnificent sunsets. Summer is the perfect time to visit; the waters are warm and people flock to the beaches. History Prince Edward Island’s earliest residents were the indigenous Mi’kmaq people, who first lived there about 2,000 years ago. They named the island Epekwitk or “cradled on the waves.” The first European to visit the island was famed French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that Europeans permanently settled on PEI or, as the French called the island, Ile Saint-Jean. The very first French settlement was at Port LaJoie. Early settlement after that was focused mainly in the present-day capital of Charlottetown and other places along the southern coast. The northern coast, on the other hand, was deemed inhospitable to settlement due to its sand dunes which, to this day, make it difficult for ships to land. The British gained control over PEI under the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and re-

named it after Queen Victoria’s father Prince Edward. Despite a lack of interest on the part of absentee British landholders in developing the island’s infrastructure and economy, PEI still prospered in fisheries and agriculture. Relations between PEI locals and the British government worsened, and in 1864 Charlottetown played host to the conference that preceded the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Even in the united, independent Canada, PEI was relatively isolated and cut

the fabric of Canadian culture while its popularity as a tourist attraction has surged in recent years. PEI remains one of Canada’s most peaceful, scenic and inviting destinations. Attractions Charlottetown: PEI’s capital is quaint, friendly and easy to walk around. One of the best sites is Province House, the seat of the PEI legislature and the venue for the Charlottetown Conference of 1864. Unfortunately, the building is currently closed for renovations and won’t reopen for sev-

Beaconsfield Historic House

Confederation Bridge

off from the rest of the country. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that paved roads and multiple ferries to and from the mainland were commonplace. Finally, in 1997 the first bridge connecting the island to the mainland was built. Today, PEI is very much integrated in

eral years. However, visitors are always welcome to explore the exterior grounds. A more accessible popular attraction is the Beaconsfield Historic House, a beautiful Victorian mansion that was originally built for one of the island’s biggest shipbuilders. The 11 rooms have many

intricate and ornate details that make it worth taking the time to fully appreciate the house. Once you’re done, step onto the veranda and take in the view of Charlottetown Harbor. The PEI Regiment Museum takes a look at the island’s little known military history and includes a collection of 2,000 artifacts including tanks and medals. The museum currently features exhibits about the island’s role in WWI and about the Devil’s Brigade of WWII, a joint Canadian-American commando unit.

Dalvay by the sea

Other things to do in Charlottetown include taking a stroll along Peakes Wharf Historic Waterfront, walking through the hiking trails and boardwalk of the beautiful Victoria Park or seeing the yearly Anne of Green Gables play at the Confederation Centre for the Arts. Cavendish and PEI National Park: Tourists from around the world flock to Cavendish on PEI’s northernz coast to see the famed Anne of Green Gables House. This unassuming house was the birthplace of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and descriptions of the surrounding landscape feature prominently in the story. The reconstructed rooms reflect the book very accurately, with Victorian furniture and key items being instantly recognizable to fans of the book. The farmyard is likewise preserved as it was in Montgomery’s time, showing a glimpse of rugged, rural life in 19th-century east coast Canada. The house has been a major boost to PEI’s economy, with an annual summer musical, carriage rides, a mock village all depicting scenes from the book. Another beautiful building in the area


27 THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 29, 2015

is the Dalvay-by-the-Sea Hotel. Built by a wealthy Scottish-American industrialist in the 19th century, Dalvay has since been featured in the Anne of Green Gables movies and was visited by the British royal family during their 2011 tour of Canada. PEI National Park, which extends out from Cavendish, is best known for its pristine iron-coated beaches, sand dunes and sandstone cliffs. Besides the beaches, there are numerous hiking trails, as well as campgrounds in the Cavendish and Stanhope areas. Guided walks with park rangers provide fascinating info about local wildlife, history, ecology and culture. If you run out of ideas for outdoor activities, don’t hesitate to ask the friendly islanders for ideas. From the park, you can take the scenic drive from Route 2 through the charming towns of Mount Stewart and Morrell before coming to the idyllic potato farming town of Souris. Souris has luxurious inns, beautiful beaches and plenty of hiking trails. Other attractions: Consider visiting the under-visited eastern side of PEI. Here you’ll find Point Prim, one of the island’s most scenic spots. This bucolic strip of land has an old lighthouse that stands between the ocean and lush meadows. Take a tour with Seaweed Secrets where you’ll learn all about this underappreciated algae including which kinds are medicinal or edible. The best way to tour eastern PEI is via the Points East Coastal Drive, which passes by rustic fishing villages, quaint country inns, lighthouses and lots of beaches and ocean views. For a unique cultural experience, visit the Region Evangeline on the western side

of the island. This French-speaking region is proud of its Acadian heritage and many houses display the Acadian flag. Check out the bizarre and colorful Bottle Houses, the pet project of a local Acadian man who fashioned over 25,000 recycled bottles into three distinct buildings. The Acadian Museum in Miscouche details the 300 year history of the Acadian population of PEI. The northernmost point of the island, North Cape, is striking for its many wind turbines and the longest natural rock reef in North America. You can explore tide pools, as well as discover the science of wind energy and learn the history of North Cape at the interpretive center. The nearby Black Marsh Nature Trail is an easy hike that takes you to the cape’s west side. Daven and Eat Unfortunately, there are no shuls or kosher restaurants on the island. However, the small Jewish community of Charlottetown does hold local services. Supermarkets such as Sobey’s and SuperStore carry a limited selection of kosher products. For more information, check out the community’s site at peijc.org or contact the Atlantic Jewish Council at theajc.ns.ca Getting There The island’s only airport is in Charlottetown. Round-trip flights currently start at about $660 per person. Alternately, you can fly to New York or major Canadian cities such as Montreal and Toronto and then either rent a car or take the PEI Express Shuttle. Either way, you will cross the scenic Confederation Bridge, which links PEI with New Brunswick. There are also numerous ferries that depart from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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28

AMEX Small Business Saturday Update (and it’s not a good one…) One of the great perks enjoyed by Amex credit card holders across the Country occurred each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (dubbed “Small Business Saturday”), whereby Amex would offer a number of perks and incentives to

encourage purchases at small businesses including statement credits for purchases made at small businesses. - In 2014, Amex offered a $10 statement credit after spending $10 at a small business, up to 3x per card

- In 2013, Amex offered a statement credit after spending $10 small business, up to 1x per card - In 2012, Amex offered a statement credit after spending $25 small business, up to 1x per card

$25 at a

In 2014, when the statement credits rose to $25 per each AMEX credit card used at a participating merchant (on a purchase of $25 or more), many consumers took advantage of this promo by opening up multiple credit cards including adding authorized users for each card to really take advantage of the $25 incentive. You may recall the web being awash with pictures of customers holding onto numerous AMEX credit cards, and merchants complaining of individuals spending up to $1,000 in increments of $10 on the variety of AMEX credit cards they had opened. This year, though, it looks like Small Business Saturday is no longer going to be what it used to, as explained in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Small Business Saturday, Amex displays the following: Is there an American Express Statement Credit Offer for Card Members for Small Business Saturday this year? As in years past, American Express will continue to drive awareness of Small Business Saturday and encourage consumers to shop small through local and national advertising. This year we are not offering a statement credit offer for Card Members on Small Business Saturday, but are instead increasing the support and resources we provide to help small business owners market the day within their communities and truly make it their own.

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Like you, we are sure this will disappoint a lot of AMEX consumers as we all really looked forward to receiving these credits on Motzei Shabbos. Of course, we figured this would happen eventually, given how much money in statement credits people were getting out of this promotion by adding up to 100 authorized users on certain eligible AMEX cards. At the same time, the purpose of the Small Business Saturday was to encourage consumers to shop by small businesses. Offering marketing materials, online ads, merchandise kits, and educational event guides can only go so far. Learn more by visiting www.getpeyd. com Elliot Schreiber is the Director of Marketing at PEYD.


29 THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 29, 2015

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The future is in your hands. Meet Miriam Renz from Sharon, Massachusetts. An English Literature major at Yeshiva University, Miriam spent her summer creating curricula for a teaching conference at the Walden Woods Project, a nonprofit that preserves the legacy of Henry David Thoreau. Through the internship, Miriam was able to combine her love of literature with her passion for environmental awareness. At YU, Miriam is pursuing her Liberal Arts degree while simultaneously engaging in a meaningful Judaic studies curriculum. This is the essence of Torah U’Madda and what sets YU apart. Picture yourself at YU. #NowhereButHere

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30

The Nation of Zaqistan

They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Well, it seems that a New York man has taken this to heart. Zaq Landsberg is now living in Utah—I mean, Zaqistan. He has created a

yellow and red flag, official looking passports and a border control gate for his own sovereign nation. And he’s determined to make it happen. “The conceptual goal is I want it to become a real country,” said Landsberg, its president. “I mean, that goal is not going to happen. It’s impossible, but going through the motions, [I’m] trying to make that happen.” The country of Zaqistan even has its own motto: “Something from nothing.” In fact, the area really is from nothing. When Landsberg bought the stretch of Utah backcountry a decade ago, he was amazed at how removed it was: 60 miles from the nearest town and 15 miles away from a paved road. So how can one visit the country of Zaqistan and maybe buy some souvenirs? Landsberg is keeping that piece of info under wraps—he doesn’t want a wave of tourists getting lost finding the world’s newest country. Even so, he’s loving the desolate country of Zaqistan. “Out here, it’s not that crazy of an idea to have your own little spot, and to do your

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own thing and to have your own space and the privacy to do that,” said Landsberg. He does have some visitors, though. His friend, Mike Abu, can get his passport stamped when he visits Landsberg. “Legitimacy is one of those things that’s fairly subjective to begin with,” Abu, the philosophical tourist, said. “But when we’re talking about it, does it exist? There’s no question about it.”

It was part of a survival kit found on one of the lifeboats. James Fenwick, a passenger onboard the SS Carpathia, which went to the aid of survivors from the ship, kept it as a “souvenir” of the disaster. He put the snack in a Kodak photographic envelope with a note that stated: “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912.”

A Costly Cookie It is the most valuable biscuit in the world and for good reason: it’s worth almost $23,000 and is over 100 years old. A biscuit cracker that survived the sinking of the Titanic has sold for £15,000 ($22,968) at auction in England. It was bought by a collector in Greece. Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge related, “It is the world’s most valuable biscuit. We don’t know which lifeboat the biscuit came from but there are no other Titanic lifeboat biscuits in existence to my knowledge.”

Aldridge added: “It is incredible that this biscuit has survived such a dramatic event – the sinking of the world’s largest ocean liner – costing 1,500 lives. In terms of precedence, a few years ago a biscuit from one of Shackleton’s expeditions sold


31 THE JEWISH HOME

Eight-year-old Mikayla Wilson, along her father, Cornelius Malcolm Wilson, has invented the toy of your nightmares: a teddy bear that won’t stop singing until you destroy it. The duo has spent more than two years developing the annoying bear, endeavoring to have it sing for hours on end. In fact, the bear can now sing “Happy Birthday” for three and a half hours straight. Mr. Wilson explains that he and Mikayla came up with the idea for the bear together. “We love to play jokes on people and thought what an awesome idea it would be to ship a musical teddy bear to someone that would not stop singing.” Sounds like they have a wicked sense of humor.

OCTOBER 29, 2015

for about £3,000 ($4,593) and there is a biscuit from the Lusitania in a museum in the Republic of Ireland.” Another item that was sold at auction was a “loving cup,” presented to the captain of the Carpathia. It was given to Captain Arthur Rostron by survivor Molly Brown and was paid for by donations from wealthy passengers after the disaster. The cup sold for $197,531, making it the third most expensive Titanic item ever. The Carpathia raced through an ice field to reach the Titanic on that fateful night. It rescued 712 people. The Titanic sank in April 1912 during its maiden voyage to New York from Southampton after the supposedly “unsinkable” ship struck the iceberg on April 14, 1912.The ship sank at around 02:20 on April 15.

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Rent in San Francisco is too high. So high, in fact, that some people are eschewing houses and living on the streets. Katharine Patterson is one such person. With rentals going for exorbitant prices, the software engineer moved to San Francisco and is now living in her red 1969 Volkswagen camper van since starting her job at an unnamed “multi-million dollar office complex” in Silicon Valley. Patterson notes that a single room with a shared bathroom in San Francisco can go for $2,000, a bunk in a “hacker house” is

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32

$1,000, and a studio apartment is out of reach for the non-millionaires among us. Even if she was willing to pay rent here, she related, she would resent being unable to put that money toward student loans. Living in a van does have its price. Patterson spent what’s equivalent to around three months’ rent to buy the van, which came with two holes between the engine and the interior, broken gauges and a temperamental ignition. She ripped out the carpets, spent three hours sweeping and dusting and scraped a “strange velcro-esque material” stuck to metal interior parts of the van. Then she went to the perfect store to outfit her new home: IKEA. In the do-ityourself superstore, she bought a dressed, carpet and crates. She made her bed. And then on October 11, she finally came home. Her home, named Jamal Junior after a bike she had in college that she called Jamal, is now home sweet home. Sleeping in a car on public property in California is illegal, but so far Patterson hasn’t been ticketed. She parks in different places at night and has friends who let her use their shower and other facilities.

And there are others like her who are living in their cars instead of more stable, long-lasting places. “I am not technically one of them, and in doing this by choice I am inevitably appropriating their hardships,” she said. “However, I am also saving hard, trying to pay off my debts, and learning a few invaluable life skills — like carpentry and how to be a fairly competent mechanic — in the process.” She’s also learning how to live in a van—a most important life skill.

mally come up with, because she uses a method called “diceware.” Created by Arnold G. Reinhold in the ’90s, diceware is a tried-and-true method of designing a password that’s tough for a computer to crack— but dead simple for a human to memorize. (The problem with our passwords is that they are typically the opposite: relatively each for a computer to guess, but end up becoming difficult for users to memorize.)

Child-Made Passwords Need a really good password? Just ask a sixth grader. Mira Modi, an eleven-year-old from New York, recently started selling cryptographically secure passwords for $2 each. You can count on her password creations to be stronger than anything you would nor-

For how technologically innovative it is, diceware works in a relatively lo-fi way. You start by rolling a six-sided die five times to create a string of numbers, which you then match to a numbered list of short and simple English words (16655 = clause, 16656 = claw, and so

on). This is done a few times to create a random string of words, or a passphrase. The longer the passphrase, the higher its “entropy” or randomness, and the stronger it is, because it’s harder for computer to guess. A five-word diceware passphrase looks like this: alger gene curry blonde puck horse. (Reinhold recommends using at least six words, to thwart modern-day computers.) Modi writes every password by hand and then sends it to customers through the mail. Worried that’s not secure? Well, Modi’s not worried. She reminds customers that the government cannot open letters sent through the U.S. Postal Mail without a search warrant. (Smart girl.) And what about Modi stealing your password and using it for her own gain? On her website, she recommends switching up the capitalization and adding symbols. Plus, she says, “In reality, I won’t be able to remember them all.” Yes, it’s true. Your kids really are smarter than you when it comes to computers.


33 THE JEWISH HOME

California’s Car Seat Laws Michael Rubinstein Esq. the front seat. However, experts agree that children are safest in the back seat until 13 years old. Questions: When Should I Replace my Car Seats? Experts agree that car seats should be replaced once the child outgrows the seat. Many car seats have expiration dates. If your younger children are riding in the same car seats that your older children used, it might be a good time to replace them. After a car accident G-d forbid, California law requires the at-fault insurance company to replace your car seats. Furthermore, the  National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers helpful guidelines on whether or not you should reuse your car seats after a collision. If anyone was injured in the collision, even if minor injuries, it’s recommended that you replace your car seats. Question: How Do I Know If My Car Seats Are Properly Installed? Always make sure your car seats are snug and hooked to the seat anchors in your car. If you’re uncertain about whether your car seats are installed properly, you can bring your car to a local California Highway Patrol Office. Officers can inspect your car seats to make sure they are installed correctly. More information is available on the CHP’s website. You can also call your local Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) office for more information.  For a nominal fee, some businesses will come to your house to inspect your car seats and make sure they are properly installed. Lastly, it should be noted that it’s illegal in California to smoke in a car while children are inside, and to leave children unattended in a running vehicle. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He can be reached at 213-293-6075 and at www.rabbilawyer.com.

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Question: Does My Child Still Need a Car Seat? We all know that children riding in cars must be properly restrained in a child-safety seat, or car seat. While clients frequently ask my office about this issue, invariably, the question becomes at what point do children no longer require a car seat?  When is a child old enough to ride without one? Below is a summary of California law regarding this important topic. Children Under 8 In California, any child under 8 must ride in a car seat or booster seat.   The car seat must be securely fastened in the back seat, not the front. Children under one year old must use rear-facing car seats. Once a child reaches the approved weight listed on the car seat model, he or she can switch to a front-facing car seat.  Check the instructions on your car seat for more information. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as when the car does not have a back seat.  Children who ride in a two-seater car do not need a car seat. A corollary is that infants should never ride in a two-seater car while in a rear-facing car seat, because the airbag can cause serious injuries, G-d forbid. When a child outgrows the front-facing car seat, he or she will still require a booster seat to insure the lap belt and shoulder harness properly restrain the child in the seat. Check the instructions on your booster seat for more requirements. Children Over 8 If the child is 4’9″ and over 8-yearsold, the child may ride in a regular seat as long as the lap belt fits across the hips, and the shoulder restraint crosses the center of the child’s chest without the assistance of a booster seat.  If the child is not tall enough to comply with these requirements, then the child must still use a booster seat. Children Over 13 A child who is over 8 and meets the above requirements is permitted to sit in

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35 THE JEWISH HOME

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