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The Week In News



NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home


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NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



The Week In News


COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

JEWISH THOUGHT A Mother’s Wisdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Incredible Story Of Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


The Secret of Chabad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Netanyahu Comes to Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

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NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35



NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, This past Sunday, while standing at the entrance to Sea World, a middle aged gentleman came over asking if we had a pair of Tefillin. He had not put them on in many years. Thank G-d, the previous night my Lubavitch guilt had the better of me, and I had decided to bring them along! Phew. So there at the entrance to Sea World stood I, my wife and kids, and a random Jew putting on Tefillin… What a double-sided coin of a world we live in. It has become a daily occurrence for a Jew to be approached and attacked by a total stranger simply because they are Jewish and at the very same time, across the world, I was also approached by someone I had never met, just because I am a Jew. There was another event on Sunday. While we were wrapping the Tefillin, about 4,000 Chabad Lubavitch Shluchim, emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, were gathered in Brooklyn at the annual convention of Shluchim. The event is one in which these Rabbis draw strength for their work as ambassadors of the Jewish nation. They are at the forefront of the battle of good versus evil and G-dliness over the mundane. I have no doubt that I was approached In San Diego because someone in Brooklyn had previously helped this precious Jew learn some Torah or perform a Mitzvah. We are all Shluchim. Indeed it was the wish of the Lubavitcher Rebbe that every single Jew view themselves as being placed at this exact place and this exact moment so that we influence ourselves, families and neighbors, and through them the world, to become more just and more kind. All of us are leaders in our indispensable missions in making this world a better place. Let us step up to the plate at this significant moment in history. In this week’s Parsha we read how Yaakov Avinu, a most honest and sincere individual, tricks his father and “steals” his brother’s

blessings. The story begs for an explanation. Isn’t trickery a terrible thing? Why did Rivkah Imeinu push him to cheat? And most of all, why did the Jewish people have to receive these most unique blessings in a roundabout way? This is the sod habria, the secret of creation. All is spiritual in heaven, yet the soul descends to this world of untruth with a mission. A mission to work with the unholy and change it to good. Esav was a man of falsehood, even the good he did was in order to mislead Yitzchok Avinu. The true birur was for Yaakov to enter Esav’s world of deceit and redeem the blessings. As Jews we are not interested in war, and would love for everyone to live peacefully. But, if a fight is forced on us we will stand up with all our might and defend what’s just. Our fellow Jews in the IDF would like nothing more than for their guns to rust from lying idle. Alas, they are called upon to defend the innocent against modern day barbarians, using those very weapons if need be. We in the diaspora should do the same. As religious Jews we shy away from attention and public debate. Still, Israel, and by extension the Jewish people, are being delegitimized and accused of modern day blood libels. We need to don the cloak of Esav and fight back in kind. A meek response won’t do. We need to expose our enemies as old-fashioned bigots who can’t get over their own moral failings, jealously pinning them on the easy scapegoat, the Jew. We don’t decide the rules of the game but are prepared to play by them if called upon to do so. We are certain we will be victorious, but how we get there is up to us. May we draw infinite strength from the eternal Shabbos,


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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home





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TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

VTHS Retreat to Running Springs One of the annual highlights of the Valley Torah Boys High School is the Fall Shabbaton. This year, Valley Torah decided to host the annual trip at the Dovid Oved Retreat Center in Running Springs, California. Excitement and ruach were plentiful as more than 100 students arrived on Friday afternoon for an unforgettable weekend. Rabbi Semmel led a team of nine seniors on Thursday night to prepare the campsite for the festivities. For many, it was their first visit to the beautiful 80-acre Running Springs campus which provided comfortable campus bunks, a dining room situated in a large, spacious tent and a beautiful Beis Midrash. Once students settled into their bunks,

games of soccer, basketball, football and tennis broke out. The highlight of Friday afternoon was Bubble Soccer – a strange, yet exciting combination of hamster balls and soccer! Following Bubble Soccer, students were left to prepare for Shabbos. Dinner was in the Cheder Ochel with singing and dancing that went on into the night. Finally, there was a Divrei Torah led by Rabbi Felt and Jonathan Kiaei. On Shabbat, Rabbi Stulberger led the Numbers Game, and later there was a Divrei Torah led by Rabbi Stulberger and Yoni Zisblatt. There was also an impromptu kumzitz led by Rabbi Samuels and Max Engel. The duo picked out key zemiros that truly promoted a sense of unity amongst the students. Shabbos concluded with an amazing Havdallah led by Rabbi David-

owitz´s vocals and Rabbi Samuels´ guitar playing. Then on Saturday night there was a highly competitive game of glow in the dark capture-the-flag won by the sophomores and juniors. The shabbaton was truly remarkable. Student Council President Jonathan Kiaei enthused, ¨Rabbi Semmel is the man. He

orchestrated the whole shabbaton; there was literally no aspect of it that he did not have a hand in.¨ Rabbi Semmel was also pleased with the outcome and noted, ¨Each of the 100-plus shabbaton participants contributed a unique flavor, creating an unforgettable weekend.¨

TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

TLC Alumnae and Members Celebrate Grandma Rosie’s 100th Birthday at LINK Bracha Turner TLC members and alumnae assembled in LINK’s central lecture hall on Tuesday, November 3rd.. The room reached overcapacity in celebration of the 100th birthday of TLC director, Sarah Gertel’s, grandmother, Mrs. Rosie Kamen, affectionately called “Grandma Rosie.” The subject of the evening was, “You’re Never Too Old to Grow.” Following Grandma Rosie’s comical address to the girls, there was a shiur by Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg who elaborated on the effect of optimism in overcoming adversity. Then, the girls lined up to receive blessings from Grandma Rosie who lovingly and patiently granted everyone a bracha. At the end of the evening, a small raffle was held in recognition of Grandma Rosie’s optimistic spirit and her perpetual ambition to win the lottery. Grandma Rosie recounted that as a twelve year old she had a speech impediment but she would speak as if she did not know the difference. The speech impediment lasted until she was 17 years old

she promised the girls, “you’ll still have a sense of humor to survive in this world.” She urged the women in a similar vein to teach others self-confidence. A takeaway lesson of the evening was that thoughts can change reality and we must remember to give even someone we dislike the benefit of the doubt. This can

actually cause someone to change. Moreover, attributing a positive spin to any situation of doubt can also cause oneself to change in the process. Seeing others for their potential actually promotes their wellbeing. Grandma Rosie encouraged the ladies to think of someone to help and overcome,

whatever it takes to do this, despite any perceived hardships. She gave a motivational pep talk, “Make it positive! Make it happen! Never say never! Hashem will help you help them. And do mitzvos!” she added with a twinkle in her eyes. More attentive than even the youngest woman in the audience, Grandma Rosie listened and learned with the girls, bridging a bond of Torah from youth to maturity. TLC is a program for young women ages 18-28 in Los Angeles. TLC meets each week on Tuesday evenings at TLC Lounge, located at the LINK Kollel & Shul.


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and did not phase her whatsoever. Instead she chose to, “accept the worst and make it better,” and she instructed the women to do so themselves. She was a treasure-trove of stories and recounted with a broad grin how, despite having a broken back, she personally cleaned up her apartment after her dishwasher broke and flooded the entire room. Her entertaining personality was a pleasure to behold and she waved to her grandchildren and beloved fans like a celebrity. She told the crowd that she presently works full time in advertising and after her driver drops her off, she puts aside her walker and stops shuffling, walking into the office with gusto and pride. “I want to make history!” she exclaimed. “It’s only a number!” “Every mitzvah you do is a blessing from G-d,” she instructed the ladies. “You are a special neshama (soul) because you come from Hashem.” At the end of the evening, she granted a souvenir for everyone to take home; a nightly journal to learn self-appreciation and love. “If you do,”

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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home



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TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

First Ever Kosher Comic for Jewish Kids, by Jewish Kids At a time when many Jewish families are worried about their children having a connection to their Jewish identity and heritage, the students of Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center are leaping to the rescue. Launched in November, just in time for Jewish Book Month, the new Emek Kosher Comics book is packed with action, fun, and adventure. There’s a bank robbery and a kidnapping. Will Super Rabbi be able to save the day with his Jewish superpowers? Who will win the Shabbat Angels’ contest? And what is a mitzvah, anyway? Emek Kosher Comics is a fun way to learn about one’s Jewish superpowers and the power of mitzvahs. The origin of the book was simple. It came to the attention of Emek’s librarian, Rae Shagalov, author of, The Secret Art of Talking to God, and publisher of holysparks. com. Shagalov knew there were virtually no

Jewish comics available for kids on Amazon, the largest online bookseller in the world, especially for Kindle. She saw this as a perfect opportunity to integrate Torah learning with 21st century education, project-based learning. “Students at a Jewish school are very fortunate, but it’s not every Jewish child who is lucky enough to learn about Judaism, Torah and mitzvahs,” said Shagalov. She challenged Emek students to create a Jewish comic book that all Jewish children would enjoy, even if they didn’t know much about Judaism. Shagalov’s students picked up the challenge in the library-based Extra Challenge program. Soon they were researching and writing stories, creating props and sets, and acting out the stories in vignettes that they photographed. The students use two apps to bring the stories to life;Toon Camera, which turns ordinary photos into comic-like pictures and Comic Life, which

formats the comics. Emek’s students are asking readers to buy their comic for Kindle on Amazon and to write a review. It’s on sale for $1.99 during the month of November. The challenge is on for students at other Jewish schools to enter their comics, stories, and ideas for the next edition of Emek Kosher Comics. “We want other kids to enjoy

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Raises $34 million On November 9th, for the ninth consecutive year, media mogul Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, chaired the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Western Regional Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The star-studded evening was sold out to a crowd of 1,200 who enjoyed a kosher dinner followed by presentations and live music performance. FIDF receives Saban’s largest charitable donation for Israel. “For the past nine years I have watched this gala grow into the preeminent charity event it is today, and I am truly humbled by the funds raised, which are a testament to the importance of the FIDF organization and its mission. The overwhelming support

from the Los Angeles community continues to amaze me,” Saban announced. $34.5 million was raised to support well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers. One of the programs is The Spiritual Needs Program, which, “uplifts the spirits of IDF soldiers through their service, honing in on values, faith, Jewish identity and love of Israel. The program does this through a series of activities focused on Jewish traditions and celebration that warm the soldier’s hearts and strengthens their spirits.” The Hollywood Reporter noted the largest donators included, “$8.4 million from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of

LA Couple Awarded the Donating Angel Award Dena Wimpfheimer For Dr. David and Professor Mojgan York of Los Angeles, philanthropy and charitable

work have become a passion that has brought them close to many organizations in both the

the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Serge Azria, CEO of Vernon-based fashion powerhouse Dutch LLC also contributed $5 million. Maurice and Paul Marciano, the founders of Guess, gave $2.5 million, while sports agent Casey Wasserman and wife Laura, gave $2.1 million.” The evening included moving testimonies by lone soldiers and by the parents of fallen soldiers. “I was deeply privileged to participate in the FIDF Western Region gala this year, and

US and Israel. The couple was recently chosen by the ILAI Fund of Modiin Israel to receive the “Donating Angel Annual Award” which recognizes philanthropic leadership on behalf of the children of Israel. The ILAI fund, founded by Albert and Yael Shaltiel, provides medical equipment and therapy for over 500 Israeli children who lack the financial resources to provide for themselves. The children are often from single parent homes, typically under greater financial pres-

Jewish storytelling,” said Mendel Solomon, author of the first story in the book, Super Rabbi. Now, the goal is to attain the rating of #1 bestseller status on Amazon. That requires 50 positive reviews. To order Emek Kosher Comics visit http:// bit.ly/koshercomic

to hear inspiring stories of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to serve Israel and the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. “It was humbling to see so many outstanding figures of different backgrounds coming together in a powerful show of support for those who defend the Jewish state.” Other Rabbis at the events included, Rabbi Topp, Rabbi Sufrin and Rabbi Wolpe. In a statement, Wasserman said, “We’re excited and proud to take part in this noteworthy event, to join in celebrating the courageous soldiers of Israel. The mission of FIDF — providing well-being and educational programs to IDF soldiers — is invaluable to us as a society that cares for its younger generation and recognizes the soldiers’ sacrifices.”

sure. “My wife and I were deeply moved by how David and Mojgan practice philanthropy that is motivated not just by giving of funds but also by investing their emotional support for those in need,” said Albert Shaltiel. “This is a family which truly loves Israel and its people and serve as an inspiration to us and to the countless children who have benefited from their kindness.” “The ILAI Fund’s mission offered our family a sense of peace and hope,” Mojgan said. “This Fund does what so many of us wish we could do personally; to physically and emotionally help so many children in desperate conditions and allow their families to overcome the enormous pain and trauma that comes with serious illness.” “Jewish tradition is all about transferring our good deeds from one generation to another and the York family has proven that this is an attribute which they hold truly dear,” Albert said. “It warms our hearts that it is the children of Israel who are able to benefit.”

TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home


Ladies only: Aish L.A.’s Women’s Explanatory Service Rebecca Klempner grown up Orthodox, she learned that even those who understood the mechanics of prayer frequently lacked a deeper understanding or mature connection to the siddur. “The Torah says do and then understand, but there ultimately has to be an understanding component,” Levi points out. Regardless of the area in which they were lacking, all these women expressed embarrassment. Levi says that the tipping point came on Yom Kippur 2014/5775: “I was at Aish’s Explanatory Service for Yom Kippur and sat with a group of ladies…[I] was talking to them about how great it was to have short explanations of what we were about to say, how there was transliteration to the Hebrew so all levels could join, and also how when there was Hebrew, it was slower, and we read it together. ‘Why is this only on the High Holidays, and why can’t it be for the rest of our learning to daven?’ That Yom Kippur, I decided that I would work on making this happen!” The immediate hurdle Levi had to overcome was her own lack of knowledge. First step: asking her husband, Justin, to teach her the basic structure of the morning service. Then she began to recruit female teachers. “My first meeting was with Nathania Braum, Aviva Stepen, Ilana Tartarsky, and Menucha Cohen…I had to ask them ques-

tions like, ‘Where does the part where you cover your eyes go?’ ‘When can we talk to explain things for the silent prayers? If we can’t talk during, will we have to talk before?’” In the week prior to each of the twice-monthly services, community women sign up to present short lessons on topics ranging from the Morning Blessings to the Weekly Portion. Occasionally, speakers come from outside the community; Rebbitzen Tzipporah Heller spoke during an L.A. visit, and Jackie Engel came the week of the Shabbos Project. “It started off pulling teeth to get the slots filled,” Levi reports. “But once people started coming and seeing that it’s not a place to be judged, but a place to inspire…it’s taken off.” Cookie Richards often teaches during the Explanatory Service. “I was a little hesitant at first, because I’m a preschool teacher. I didn’t teach adults and didn’t know if I could. Rebecca suggested I go to the service and just watch. And I went and I REALLY liked what I saw…I had been davening every day since I was in preschool. I grew up in the day school system. But I hadn’t really grown in my davening to the level of a married woman, now in my twenties. I wanted to find a way to connect to the prayers as the person that I am now, as opposed to my six year old self.” Richards points to the shame-free, non-competitive environment as the key

Ambassador John Bolton and Brigadier General Shafir Discuss Middle East Turmoil On October 29, the Israel Air Force Center Foundation hosted The Future of the Strategic Alliance: America, Israel, and a Middle East in Turmoil, a moderated conversation between Ambassador John Bolton, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Brigadier General Israel (Relik) Shafir, the legendary Israeli flying ace and military leader, who was a pilot on the mission to destroy Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. More than 300 guests attended the event at Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills, which featured a wide-ranging conversation touching on issues from the likelihood of a nuclear armed Iran, to the challenges and opportunities in U.S.-Israel relations, to the rise of ISIS, and the need to foster strong leadership in Israel’s next generation. “At this pivotal moment in the Middle East, we are proud to bring together these two great leaders for an in-depth conversation about the

pressing issues facing our two countries,” said Simcha Salach, the Executive Director of the Israel Air Force Center Foundation. “These men live and breathe a commitment to national

service, which is exactly what our organization seeks to foster in Israeli youth through our partnership with the Air Force.” During the conversation, Ambassador

to this process. “This Rosh Hashanah was the first time that I really could break into the davening and focus on myself and not compare myself to how everyone else appeared to be davening.” Is the service meeting its goals for those who didn’t know how to pray previously? Levi says she now prays daily, partly in Hebrew. Another frequent attendee, Jennifer Sulzbach, says, “I am able to pray independently even if I cannot follow along yet with what is going along in the service. It’s great because I don’t feel embarrassed because I’m…trying to figure out what’s going on or have to bother someone else (if there is actually another woman around) during their prayer time.” Six months after my original visit, I regularly attend the Explanatory Service, and have even taught there. I’ve learned both from other women’s divrei torah and while preparing my own. The feeling of fellowship keeps bringing me back. Aish HaTorah’s Women’s Explanatory Service meets every other week, at 10 a.m., now in the Seminar Room. Programs are expanding to a “Parsha and Painting” lecture and weeknight classes on the language of prayer. For more information, contact Aish L.A., or visit the Women’s Explanatory Service Facebook page.

Bolton expressed his belief that the nuclear deal with Iran would result in grave consequences. “Iran is now going to get nuclear weapons unless someone takes preventive military action. I had thought that Israel might be the country to take this on, but at this stage I don’t believe that is likely,” said Ambassador Bolton. “The inevitable consequence is that Iran will get nuclear weapons in the not too distant future with all the negative implications that this entails.” General Shafir spoke about the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and how Israel should respond, “We need to make alignments, certainly with the US, but also with the Russians as much as we can, to try and form some sort of understanding where the red line should be drawn.” The crisis, explained Shafir, is “between bad and worse.” On a lighter note, the General touched upon his work as a mentor for Israeli youth at the Israel Air Force Center. “We need to focus on the next generation in Israel so that they can carry on the values on which our country was built,” he explained. The IAFCF raises funds to support the work of the Israel Air Force Center. For more information visit: www.iafc-foundations.org

Photo by Brian McCarthy

One Shabbos morning last spring, I stepped out of Shacharis at Aish L.A. and headed a few doors down, to what used to be the Gordon’s Fish Market. I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about the Women’s Explanatory Service, but I’d initially dismissed it as “not for me.” After all, I could read Hebrew, and I had no problem keeping up with the usual Shabbos morning service. What I discovered was community and feminine leadership. Aish’s Women’s Explanatory Service is 100% female led. It contains the highlights of a typical Shacharis – and nothing that would require a minyan – at a slower speed. Capable women help with pronunciation of Hebrew and offer explanations and divrei torah interspersed among the prayers. Recently, I asked Rebecca Levi, who founded the service last December, how the Explanatory Service began. “I did not grow up frum or have the chance to attend a seminary. I wanted to learn to daven, but had heard from many frum people that it isn’t mandatory [for women]…I ran to women who had been in this religious community longer and asked if they would teach me.” Levi discovered that many female BTs had stopped learning the fundamentals of prayer as soon as they had children. Many couldn’t read Hebrew, or read without comprehension. Turning to those who had


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Each one of the parshiyos in Sefer Bereishis, an uninterrupted chronicle of ma’asei avos meant to instruct and guide us, is filled with hints. There are questions begging to be asked and answers ready to be revealed, if only we probe beneath the surface. This week’s parshah, Toldos, is no different. We wonder how it can be that Yitzchok was fooled by Eisov and wanted to transmit the brachos to him. We wonder why Rivkah was able to perceive the truth about Eisov and Yaakov while Yitzchok apparently was not. Perhaps we can examine the pesukim and arrive at a satisfactory explanation. The parshah begins with the marriage of Yitzchok and Rivkah. The posuk tells us that the couple davened that they be blessed with children. When Rivkah became pregnant, she was troubled that the child seemed to be distressed, seemingly pulled in two directions at once, towards holiness and towards avodah zarah. Rivkah became upset and felt that if her fate was to have a confused child, she might have been mistaken in her desire to have a child. She wondered why she had davened for this, as Rashi (25:22) explains. She sought out Hashem at the bais medrash of Sheim and Eiver. Through ruach hakodesh, Hashem informed her that she was carrying two distinct nations within her, one that would be wicked and the other that would be righteous. Rivkah was comforted. She had feared that her child would be confused between good and bad, but having heard that she

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A Mother’s Wisdom

was carrying twins and that one would be totally holy, she accepted that the other would be evil. She couldn’t deal with the idea of one person who can easily be pulled to both extremes, symptomatic of a lack of tzuras ha’adam, more reminiscent of an animal, which sees only what is in front of it. When she heard that one son would carry on the traditions of Avrohom and Yitzchok, she was consoled. The posuk never states that she told Yitzchok what she had heard in the bais medrash of Sheim and Eiver. It is strange that Rivkah didn’t ask Yitzchok about the problems she was having. Perhaps, she didn’t want to trouble him and cause him to be upset and worried about the offspring they had both been waiting for so long. Or, perhaps, she didn’t want to appear as a kofui tovah, unappreciative of the gift that came about through Yitzchok’s tefillos (25:21, Rashi, Vayei’oseir Lo). When she received the response that she was carrying twins, who would have distinct personalities and leave opposite legacies, she did not relate that to Yitzchok (see Ramban 27:1). Rivkah knew that one child would be good and one would be evil, so she carefully watched them as they grew. She was

age Yaakov and helped him on his path to greatness. When Yitzchok aged and felt his strength declining, he naturally called to his oldest son to transmit the blessings. Rivkah overheard Yitzchok telling Eisov to bring him matamim so that he could bless him. She called Yaakov and commanded him to preempt his brother and bring matamim to Yitzchok first. Yaakov resisted, but Rivkah persisted, and thus Yaakov brought to his father his favorites as prepared by Rivkah. It is interesting to note that the posuk (27:8) recounts that Rivkah said to Yaakov, “Ve’atah beni shema bekoli lasher ani metzaveh osach,” using language very similar to the verbiage of the posuk (21:12) which describes that Hashem told Avrohom to do as Sarah tells him, “shema bekolah.” Referring to which son would inherit him, Hashem told Avrohom to follow what Sarah told him, since Yitzchok would be the one who would carry on his traditions and teachings. Perhaps this is to indicate that just as Sarah the prophetess was correct in favoring Yitzchok, thereby ensuring that there be a proper hemshech, so was Rivkah the prophetess correct in preferring Yaakov.

THROUGHOUT THE JOURNEY, OUR PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN WHERE WE COULD FIND SOLACE, HOPE & DIRECTION. able to discern which was the holy one and which was the bad one. Yitzchok was not aware of the prophecy concerning his children and thus did not suspect that Eisov was anything other than what he presented himself to be. On the surface, Eisov made an impression of being a big tzaddik. While Yitzchok may have been aware of his other tendencies, he was able to overlook them, “ki tzayid befiv,” because Eisov put on such a good act. Rivkah, however, couldn’t be fooled. She also knew that “keshezeh kom zeh nofeil.” They would not both be able to achieve greatness at the same time, so she was careful to encour-

Rivkah prevailed and Yaakov brought the matamim to Yitzchok. When he entered his father’s chamber, Yitzchok felt the spirit of Gan Eden (Rashi 27:27) and blessed Yaakov Avinu with the eternal blessings. The Ohr Hachaim, in his peirush (27:1), writes that Yitzchok wanted to give the brachos to Eisov, because he thought that if he would bless him, he would improve his ways. We can understand that Rivkah, who’d received the prophecy about her children, knew that it wouldn’t help. She knew that one son was essentially evil and the other

was totally good, and if one would ascend, the other would descend. Now we can understand why Yitzchok had wanted to confer the brachos upon Eisov. Yitzchok wasn’t aware of the nevuah and saw in Eisov good and bad, “ki tzayid befiv.” He believed that he could be “mekarev” him, to use today’s parlance. Rivkah knew that it was a lost cause and that Eisov would only be a hindrance to Yaakov. In our day, as well, there are people who are good and people who are evil. There are also people who contain good and bad, and engage in a lifetime battle to maintain the good and banish the bad. How are we to know who is good and who is really evil but is able to fool us? Only by acting like Rivkah and seeking out the opinion of Hashem as expressed in the bais medrash. On our own, we can be fooled and misled. People who are bad can present themselves as our brothers in act and deed, fooling us. They can set traps for us and we can fall for them. It is only if we follow the word of Hashem and those He designates in the bais medrash that we are guaranteed to be protected and be led on the correct path. At times, we have concerns about our children and don’t know how to address them. The Torah provides us with a solution. “Veteilech lidrosh ess Hashem.” The seforim reveal a marvelous layer of depth to these words. “Lidrosh ess Hashem” calls to mind a drashah of Chazal. Shimon Ha’amsuni - some say it was Nechemiah Ha’amsuni - would expound on the word “ess” wherever it appears in the Torah. When he reached the posuk of “Ess Hashem Elokecha tira,” which refers to fearing Hashem, he desisted, because he was unable to derive any lesson from the word. The Gemara (Pesochim 22b) relates that he wondered what else a person could be commanded, in regards to fearing Hashem. What can ess come to include? Confounded by that question, he concluded that just as “ess” in this posuk could not possibly include anything else, so too, the other instances in the Torah where the word “ess” appears is not meant to include additional obligations. Rabi Akiva disagreed and said that the extra word “ess” in this posuk was written to include talmidei chachomim, teaching

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us that just as we fear Hashem, we must fear them. We can now read the posuk as follows: Vateilech, Rivkah went, lidrosh ess Hashem, to be sho’el eitzah from Sheim and Eiver. She was carrying out what Rabi Akiva would eventually derive from ess Hashem Elokecha tira by going lidrosh ess Hashem. This is a siman labonim that endures throughout the ages as a most effective way to clarify issues.. In a world of confusion and darkness, how can we know whom to follow and whom to avoid? How can we discern the true intentions of those with sweet tongues? It is only by being doreish ess Hashem, by turning to the bais medrash for guidance and direction, that we will merit the proper direction. How do we know who presents a danger to the future of our people, deserving of being written off, and who we should be mekarev? How do we know what is positive and what is negative? How do we know when a person who seems to be a tzaddik is really an Eisov? How do we know when to compromise and when to hold firm? It is only by being doreish ess Hashem that we can be sure of the correct course of action. A secular journalist once asked Degel Hatorah Knesset member, Avraham Ravitz, how the nascent party was run. He replied that the party was led by Rav Elazar Menachen Man Shach. “Are you really comfortable taking direction from one elderly man?” the journalist asked. “Listen,” Ravitz responded, “when there are questions in the Likud party, what do they do? They bring it for a vote to the merkaz, the central body of the party. There are three thousand members in the merkaz, and they all weigh in and hope for the consensus. Now,” said Ravitz, “I do the same thing. I bring it to the merkaz of our party. Our merkaz has just one member, Rav Shach, but he is truly the center of it all, because the only knowledge guiding our decision is the Torah he embodies.” Daas Torah, the Steipler Gaon taught, doesn’t operate as a scientific process. It’s not as if a scientist conducted a chemical experiment to reach a conclusion or researched an issue in an encyclopedia. Daas Torah means that when a person is constantly engaged in Torah, and he has no negios, his muskal rishon, his reaction, is itself Torah. The Steipler told his son, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, that Rav Shach was such a person. He was so engaged in Torah that the words that came out of mouth could be seen as the Torah’s will, as if the Torah itself was speaking. In our generation, when we suffer from mockery, cynicism and negativity, and where there are so many platforms promoting opinions and positions that are not in keeping with daas Torah, there is a real danger of people digesting the wrong ideas. Rashi tells us that Avrohom and Yitzchok had to contend with leitzonei

hador, the scoffers of the generation. Today, our generation belongs to the leitzonim. The few exceptions huddle together for warmth, remembering what once was and what should be. Rav Shach once discussed the fact that the leader of Torah Jewry, Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, did not attend the funeral of the Chofetz Chaim. “It was shocking, since the two men had led Klal Yisroel hand in hand and revered each other, but Rav Chaim Ozer was not feeling well and was not able to go.” Rav Shach said that more shocking than Rav Chaim Ozer’s absence was the fact that everyone accepted that Rav Chaim Ozer clearly had a good reason for not being there. “No one wondered, or speculated, or offered analysis of why he stayed home. Certainly, no one dared criticize the decision. A generation ago, one didn’t question Torah scholars. Today,” Rav Shach mused, “everyone would have a dei’ah.” Were such a thing to happen today, everyone would postulate a different theory about why Rav Chaim Ozer wasn’t there. People would be mocking one of the great giants, convinced that they have a right to arrive at their wrong conclusion and publicize it in any way possible, be it via the media, chat groups, blogs or word of mouth. Today, everyone is mocked and vilified. No one is given a fair chance. There is no dan lechaf zechus. There is no hearing both sides of a story. Immediately, everyone jumps to a conclusion, and another holy person, or deed, or custom, or organization is thrown under the bus. Rav Yechezkel Abramsky once told his talmidim that he received a visit from a new immigrant to Eretz Yisroel who had formerly lived in Slutsk. The gentleman, dressed in his Shabbos finery, came to visit his former rov. Rav Abramsky told his talmidim that he became emotional as he remembered the custom of the Slutzker Yidden. Whenever they would go to speak with a talmid chochom, even regarding mundane matters, they would put on their Shabbos clothing in honor of the Torah. I am familiar with an entry in the diary of the grandfather of Binyomin Netanyahu. He wrote of his period learning as a bochur in the Volozhiner Yeshiva. In his diary, he recounted that the baalei aggalah, the wagon drivers, waited at the train station on the first day of the zeman dressed in their Shabbos clothes, eager for the honor of bringing the bochurim to the hallowed yeshiva to learn Torah. Vateilech lidrosh ess Hashem. Our generation is blessed with yeshivos and talmidei chachomim. We need to appreciate the gift. The eternal means of discerning the ratzon Hashem is as accessible as ever, if we would only appreciate it. A number of years ago, Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz heard that bochurim

in the yeshiva where he served had begun calling him saba, meaning grandfather. He was delighted by the moniker. He told his grandson that the prime function of a rebbi is to give talmidim a sense that they can discuss their issues with him and ask their questions and unburden themselves to him. “Everyone knows that if they go to their saba to speak to him, they will receive wise, loving counsel. I’m thrilled that they see me as a saba.” One of the biggest nisyonos of our generation seems to be acquiring the humility and good sense to be doreish ess Hashem. Dovid Hamelech writes (Tehillim 92:15), “Od yenuvun beseivah desheinim veraananim yihiyu - They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and richness.” The body grows older, but the nefesh - the chiyus and emotional energy - is as strong as ever. Someone shared with me an incident that underscores this. A few weeks ago, the head of a busy gemach in Yerushalayim traveled to Bnei Brak to ask Rav Aaron Leib Shteinman some advice. When the gemach director entered, Rav Mattisyahu Deutsch, a Yerushalmi rov, happened to be speaking with Rav Shteinman. Rav Deutsch, who knew the head of the gemach and his great work, introduced him to Rav Shteinman. “The rosh yeshiva should know that this man is a tzaddik,” proclaimed Rav Deutsch.“Oy, I hope you don’t have a loan from him. It’s ribbis devorim,” was Rav Shteinman’s reaction, worried that the rov’s compliment would be a form of interest. Rav Deutsch, who is also a dayan, related the story during a shiur, stating how no one - not him and not any of the other talmidei chachomim in the room - had made the lightning-quick calculation that Rav Shteinman had made. “It was clear to all of us that even though we are all younger, his mind is blessed with a clarity that we don’t possess.” Not long ago, a young askan sat with Rav Shteinman, trying to convince him to take a certain course of action. He was sure that with his reputation and communication abilities, he would certainly be able to convince the aged rosh yeshiva of the virtuousness of his path. He was amazed that as hard as he tried, and as strong as his arguments were, Rav Shteinman repelled his contentions one by one, as fast as he could formulate the words. As weak as Rav Shteinman appeared to be in body, that’s how strong he was in spirit and intelligence. The advice that emerges from the rooms of our gedolim is, often, unexpected. A young talmid chochom had a dilemma. His younger brother was getting married and his mother wanted all her sons to walk down to the chupah with their spouses. He thought that it was a ridiculous new custom and wasn’t about to give in to it. As a formality, he shared his mother’s

request and his reaction with his rebbi, Rav Dovid Cohen, the Chevroner rosh yeshiva. The rosh yeshiva nodded. “I agree that you shouldn’t walk down the chupah, as your mother wants,” he said. “You should run down to the chupah! It’s a mitzvah of kibbud av va’eim. You can make your parents happy. What a wonderful opportunity!” A short while ago, someone had a question about a shidduch. It seemed like a silly shailah and the answer was so obvious. Why would anyone even be interested in pursuing the shidduch? The person asked Rav Chaim Kanievsky about it and couldn’t believe when, upon hearing the question, Rav Chaim immediately explained why it was a perfect idea and offered his blessings. People who think they examined an issue from all sides and have come to the inevitable conclusion are often greatly surprised when someone tuned in to a different frequency sees the world on an entirely different plane. Reb Yisroel Bloom was a Far Rockaway askan, dedicated to helping yeshivos achieve financial stability. He had a vision of creating a team of troubleshooters, working under the auspices of Agudas Yisroel, who would help financially-troubled yeshivos get back on track by rallying their local communities. In a letter to Reb Yisroel, Rabbi Moshe Sherer lauded the proposal and discussed the idea of the project being connected with Agudas Yisroel. “There is, as you know, a price: every committee, composition and policy is controlled by boards, headed by the Moetzes Gedolei Torah and the Nesius. The process, thus, is a bit longer, but the product is that much better as a result.” In that sentence, Rabbi Sherer encapsulated what it means to be doreish ess Hashem. It is simpler to do what appeals to your intelligence, what will win you accolades, and what will play well in the media. The other way is nowhere near as convenient, will involve difficulties, and may not always be understood, but, in the end, it will endure. Rivkah followed the advice she was given, focused on raising Yaakov Avinu to greatness, giving us a Klal Yisroel. This golus, we are taught, is kenegged Yaakov Avinu, the av who led us down into Mitzrayim. In this week’s parshah, we are given the key to survival. It has been rough, it has been confusing, and it has certainly been dangerous. Throughout the journey, our people have known where we could find solace, hope and direction. It is a gift as old as our grandmother Rivkah, who, when things were difficult, beat a path to the bais medrash, showing us the way forevermore. We would do well to follow her example.



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The Secret of Chabad Ruth Judah November 1st was the day the clocks went back an hour. There were also thousands of Rabbis who journeyed back in time to the values and hopes of the late Rebbe of Lubavitch. The weekend Kinnus event convened once again at ChabadLubavitch world headquarters, welcoming a vast gathering to the 2015 International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries. They came from near and far which was to be expected given that Chabad hosts synagogues in 86 countries. Who else would provide Jewish community support in places as distant as Jamaica, Angola and Ghana? The Conference attendees debated issues of Jewish awareness and religious practice as it applies to a vast network of communities across the globe. The attendees visited the tomb of the Rebbe and attended lectures at the vast Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights. The final Gala Banquet was staged at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Brooklyn, which was completely transformed for the ceremony. Chabad.org posted their ambitious plans, “The concrete floor, drab interior

stantly disseminated across the network of Chabad.org, the site which has 37 million visitors per year. This year’s extensive range of topics included, “”Better Fundraising” and ”Eight Ways to Think and Work Smarter” and “Effective Parenting.” If you still wondered how the Chabad family has grown to such immense proportions, Rabbi David Eliezrie’s new book, The Secret of Chabad, is now widely available and explains everything, and more. Eliezrie explains the vibrant and successful model that has fueled the rise of Chabad’s largescale influence. Leadership, infrastructure, concept and management of the movement is broken down for the reader. This is a personal and detailed account of the practical elements that have paved the success of Chabad. It is an intriguing story. Eliezrie explained that the book has been a labor of love, taking him ten years to research and write. Publishing company, The Toby Press, previously printed the award-winning, The Prime Ministers, by Yehuda Avner. Avner’s book was mesmerizing in its depiction of the drama and the dialogue of the leaders of Israel. And so it

and until he suffered from a debilitating stroke, the Rebbe shored up the legal issues, the leadership and the infrastructure of the organization and thus propelled Judaism into the future. Eliezrie spoke to the Jewish Home while on a trip to Israel, saying, “It’s not just that Chabad is doing the right thing, it’s a combination of many ideas that make our success. For instance, it wasn’t an easy thing to get people to become shluchim in the beginning. This was a gutsy idea. Yet, the core of Chassidic philosophy is to see the world as a good place. Other frum movements are afraid of this, but we have a sense of responsibility.”

and legitimate to break Shabbos in order to save the lives of Jewish people. They were overwhelmed and emotional to hear this.”

In Israel, Eliezrie has seen first-hand

Eliezrie shares the wise words of “Rabbi Adin Even-Yisrael Steinsaltz, the famed Israeli scholar and translator of the Talmud into English, (who) put it into perspective in 1995 at the Living Legacy conference in Washington…he explained: “The Rebbe did not leave a legacy, he left us marching orders.” Indeed, the shluchim have marched. The book describes the growth to date with the growth of Chabad’s relationship with leaders and politicians, both local and national, a dedication to the smallest

the cautious Chareidi movement which has a fear of engaging in the wider world. In contrast, Chabad philosophy views the greater community as a holy obligation. “I spent the Shabbat of October 23rd with soldiers on duty in Chevron. Perhaps 40% were religious, the rest were not. Between border patrols we had Shabbat dinner and I told them that the Rebbe said it was holy

communities and the rebirth of Russian Jewry. Meanwhile, there is a massive investment in yeshivas and Jewish schools across a breadth of communities, in more than 80 countries worldwide. A 2009 census of Jewish schools in America reported 73 Chabad schools and the number has grown. Eliezrie writes, “In European countries, 25 percent of the rabbis are

Rabbi Eliezrie giving a class at the North County Chabad Center

grays and steel beams have seamlessly melted away as the venue is converted into an elegant space where workshops, classes, lectures, meals, learning and more will take place for some 5,200 Chabad emissaries and guests from around the world.” No longer is the Chabad world shielded from view. The Kinnus event allows for guests to freely participate. Meanwhile, lectures and information are con-

is, once again, that Toby Press has another gem. Eliezrie’s book is a sweeping tome that runs 350 pages, with an additional 80 pages of footnotes. With the 1994 passing of the Rebbe, Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, there was talk of the Chabad network collapsing, but the legacy of the Rebbe went far beyond his personal leadership. In the four years since the Rebbe’s wife died,

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Chabad.” In the footnotes he expands, “In Hungary, Chabad rabbis are 85 percent, Holland, 80 percent, Austria 50 percent, Italy 50 percent, Britain, 25 percent, France 25 percent.” Eliezrie is certain of the future, “Chabad still has the potential for growth in so many ways, it’s unbelievable.” At the same time, he recognizes, “that shluchim are going to have to learn to create stronger partnerships with local communal institutions.” Certainly, the shluchim are supported by Crown Heights headquarters along with regional leaders who offer guidance. Fundamentally, however, each family is left to swim the deep waters of the unknown, on their own. In the footsteps of last year’s three books about the Rebbe, Eliezrie has avoided a description of the life and magic that was the Chabad leader. He shares just two stories of prophecy, including the Rebbe’s accurate prophecy that Gorbachov’s policies of glasnost and perestroika would end the era of Russian antisemitism. A strong theme of the book is the explanation of the path of Russian Chassidism whose, “bond to Israel goes back to the very genesis of the Chabad Movement.” Chabad was birthed as a Jewish movement that would heal the global problems of world Jewry while simultaneously educating Rabbis to the highest level. It was way back in 1778 that funding from Russian Jews created the oldest charitable organization in Israel which is still vibrant today. The Colel Chabad that was started more than 200 years ago has ballooned into a network of institutions that now provides meaningful social programs in 60 Israeli communities. This is the essence of Chabad; it is a global Jewish movement that is the product of its rigid learning of text, its spiritual learning of ancient mysticism and its understanding of the needs of Jewish people. Eliezrie explains that the Chabad movement has outgrown its Russian roots and yet, it is those roots that have created the leadership skills that the Rebbe developed and utilized in his pursuit of Jewish identity for the Jews of the world. The Rebbe’s vision was to create passionate, mature adults who would build their lives in communities which needed Jewish education, learning opportunities, prayer, holiday celebration and observance. The chapter on fundraising is worth reading by all religious and business owners because Chabad success is a proven case study in the ancient mechanism of grassroots advocacy that births entrepreneurs. Eliezrie highlights several key elements that are necessary for a successful business – deep felt passion for achieving ones goal, a certainty that failure is not an option and the ability to find a drive and purpose without a board of directors orchestrating each step forwards. American opinion has been heavily influenced by media reports which insist that religious observance is falling away

and with that comes a justification for the loosening of our moral and ethical obligations. Eliezrie begs to differ with public

global community that numbers more than 4,000 families. Eliezrie shares the findings of a 2014 demographic study by the

The Rebbe holding a farbrengen in the early years of his leadership, 1950’s

opinion. “Chabad takes Judaism in a different direction and chooses a reorientation of American Jewry. Of course, there is a problem of assimilation, but that does not change the fact that traditional Judaism is blossoming.” Today, Chabad has matured into a

Greater Miami Jewish Federation, which documented 47 percent of Jews under 36 who said they were active in their local Chabad. 42 percent of families with children were involved, along with 26 percent of the Miami community at large. The numbers lead Eliezrie to make his

projection for the future of American Jewry, “We are witnessing the first stages of a reorientation of American Jewry toward tradition. This trend will continue to grow for two reasons. Chabad today is ubiquitous….The second element is a shift of attitudes of many Jews toward Chabad.” He articulate the difference in today’s Jewish families who are no longer bound by the prejudices to tradition that their grandparents expounded. We never experienced pogroms or holocausts and we are therefore free to build our personal identity which is our Jewish identity, which comes straight from the infinite truths of the Torah. Perhaps the first 100 pages of The Secret of Chabad lacks the magnetic energy of the remainder of the book. Perhaps the footnotes could have been edited freely within the chapters they reference. Perhaps the flashbacks and fast-forwards slow down the reading experience, but keep going until the very end. It’s worth the effort. What’s next for Eliezrie? “I’m contemplating the future. Meanwhile, I have a global book tour to attend to. There’s even an invitation to speak at the Wharton School of Business.” Attendees will not be disappointed because Eliezrie does not hold back in explaining the secret of Chabad and it’s actually no secret at all.



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Netanyahu Comes to Washington A Softening in the U.S.-Israel Relationship By Nachum Soroka

Global politics is a strange enterprise. It was only a few months ago that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu happily played the Republican Party’s pawn in its power struggle with the Obama White House by addressing Congress over the Iran nuclear deal. The address was viewed by Democrats as subversive to the U.S.’s agenda and as another example of Netanyahu’s blatant disregard for President Obama’s authority in the U.S. government. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said then that Netanyahu’s speech left her “near tears” and that she was “saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States.” Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s gratefulness to the Obama administration at the time stating, “I regret that some see my appearance here as political,” he said. “I know that no matter which side of the aisle you sit on, you stand with Israel,” but the overall consensus then was that White House-Israeli relations – which had been icy for some time already – had reached a low point.


ast forward just over a half a year later: the Iran deal is done and Netanyahu is back in America to meet with an emboldened president who is waiting out finishing his term. But this time around, when the two leaders met this past Monday, relations

seemed much warmer than any other time in recent memory. Obama didn’t appear to be in lecturing mode and Netanyahu’s purpose was not solely to affirm his commitment to Israel’s security – no matter what. Indeed, this week’s meeting was seen by many as a “patching up” of the U.S.-Is-

rael relationship and focused on military packages being sent to Israel to help stabilize the region, particularly in light of the newfound resources allowed to the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror, Iran. Obama was frank about the differences he has with the Israeli prime minister but noted, “We don’t have a disagreement on the need to making sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and we don’t have a disagreement about the importance of us blunting and destabilizing activities that Iran may be taking place,” the president asserted. “And so we’re going to be looking to make sure that we find common ground there.” The region is also being ravaged by radical Islamist groups, such as ISIS and al-Qaeda, as well as by the deadly civil war taking place in neighboring Syria, and both leaders put aside their differences to address the most pressing security concerns there. The meeting, which was described by Netanyahu’s aides as “good,” went forty-five minutes over schedule, a sign that the discussions were productive. Netanyahu’s visit comes

in the midst of the most recent outbreak of violence by Palestinians and in the wake of President Obama’s exploitation last week of the past two months’ of violence as evidence for the necessity of a two-state solution.

lowed more construction of Israeli housing on so called “disputed” lands. His comments on Friday echoed ones made earlier in the week by Secretary of State John Kerry. “There’s been a massive increase in settlement over

“Our friendship is strong and our alliance is strong with shared interests and values.” “Over time, the only way that Israel is going to be truly secure, and the only way the Palestinians are going to be able to meet the aspirations of their people, is if they are two states living side by side in peace and security,” Obama said on Friday. The president’s comments were a strong insinuation that the blame for the unrest ultimately lies with Israel and Netanyahu, who he says has been unwilling to sit down to discuss the possibility of moving forward with plans for a sovereign Palestinian state and instead has al-

the course of the last years ... and there’s an increase in the violence because there’s this frustration that’s growing,” Kerry said on Tuesday. Israel insists that the recent uptick in violence is not a result of any frustration on the part of the Palestinians; it is because of the Palestinians’ fundamental ideology regarding the place of any Jewish state in the Middle East. “They don’t want us here; if they are frustrated, that frustration will continue – we will continue to be here,” was Netanyahu’s response to Kerry. “Make [Ab-

The The Jewish Jewish Home Home | OCTOBER | OCTOBER 29,29, 2015 2015

Feature The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

bas] accountable and stop trying to justify him in any way – not with settlements, not with the peace process, not with anything,” Netanyahu stressed. Yet the American president and the Israeli prime minister seem closer than ever with regard to the creation of a Palestinian state. At the time of his recent reelection, Netanyahu took the strong stance of never allowing such a state on his watch, a position that was loudly criticized by the Obama administration. But since then, Netanyahu’s position seems to have softened, and he insists that his campaign rhetoric was taken out of context. At the meeting on Monday, Netanyahu told the president, “I want to make it clear we haven’t given up on our hope for peace,” adding, “Our friendship is strong and our alliance is strong with shared interests and values.” The White House as well has backed off of any strategy involving an Arab state for now, and instead is looking to stabilize the region before creating any lasting changes there. The administration announced ahead of Netanyahu’s visit that there is no likelihood for a peace deal happening before the president leaves office in 2017. “The president has reached the conclusion that, barring a major shift, the parties are not going to be in the

position to negotiate a final status agreement,” said Rob Malley, President Obama’s senior Middle East adviser. The White House “faces a reality where the prospect of a negotiated two-state solution is not in the cards,” Mr. Malley told journalists. To be fair, the newfound softness coming out of Washington is accompanied by much finger pointing at the Netanyahu government for not allowing any significant inroads to be made regarding a peace deal. White House spokesman Josh Earnest has previously claimed that Netanyahu’s campaign talk was leading the White House to “reevaluate” any possibilities for a deal, and the deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, Ben Rhodes, reproached, “We’ve tried many different approaches over the course of the administration: Direct negotiations, indirect negotiations, the U.S. putting out some principles. And again, at each juncture, ultimately the parties themselves did not take the sufficient steps forward to reach a negotiated two-state solution.” What is now referred to as the “two-state solution” dates back to a United Nations’ resolution in 1974 which called for “two States, Israel and Palestine … side by side within secure and recognized borders” together

Husseini leaving the Peel Commission


with “a just resolution of the refugee question.” In truth, however, the notion of two states dates back to even before the State’s creation, when in 1937, the Peel Commission report, authored by Lord William Peel of Great Britain, recommended that due to the unsustainable nature of the British Mandate of Palestine, the land should be divided evenly between the Jewish and Arab factions there. As would become the case for the rest of the 20th century, Lord Peel’s recommendation was rejected by the Arab groups, led by Hitler’s ally, Hajj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. In contrast, the Twentieth Zionist Congress, while wary of the narrow borders assigned to the Jews by the report, approved the Commission’s proposal, if only equivocally. David Ben-Gurion said at the time that although “there could be no question ... of giving up any part of the Land of Israel, ... it was arguable that the ultimate goal would be achieved most quickly by accepting the Peel proposals.” The Zionist leaders felt that it was prudent to accept the deal which was being offered to them at the time and focus on the country’s actual borders at a later time. Indeed, it was the Peel Commission report which laid the groundwork for the ultimate UN Partition Plan in 1947. The UN’s plan called for two sovereign Arab and Jewish states with Jerusalem to be held under international control. Once again, Zionist groups accepted the UN proposal while Arab groups did not, leading to the War of Independence in 1948 and the mass exodus of 711,000 Arabs from Israel. It was only after the Israeli military victories in 1967 that the PLO began to backtrack on its decades’

The Peel Commission

long recalcitrance to any Jewish presence in the land, and Yasser Arafat’s delegate to Britain, Said Hammami, articulated the Arabs’ willingness to recognize the 1947 Partition Plan in various media outlets. Coupled with this newfound willingness from the Arabs to “return to the table” was their insistence that Israel completely reset the clock to 1947 and allow the over 700,000 Arabs who left at the time to return along with their offspring. The PLO claimed that this was a right granted to them as a “basic human right” applying to all refugees and as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1951. But Israel has called the claim out to be no more than a political move, as the 1948 war was instigated by the Arabs themselves. Furthermore, it suspects that the return of Arabs to Israel would be done with the intention to create an Arab majority there and thus defeat the Israeli Jewish population without starting another war. Most recently, the UN and the major world powers have embraced the Arabs’ call for a return to the original two-state solution and lay the blame on Israel and its allowance of so-called “settlements” in areas claimed by the Arabs. Yet, there have been countless times in the past twenty years when numerous Israeli prime ministers, including leftists like

Ehud Barak and conservatives like Ariel Sharon, have offered Palestinian leaders everything they publicly desired and were met with jihad in response. If the solution to Israel’s problems does not lie in the creation of two states, what is it then? Any reluctance on Netanyahu’s part towards allowing the creation of a Palestine is not because he is opposed to the idea. One state is most definitely not the resolution to the unceasing conflict. Israel has no reason nor the faintest desire to occupy itself with governing a group who has no desire to be governed itself. The country has spent nearly seventy years defending its citizens from jihad emanating from squalid refugee camps. It is doubtful that it hopes the next seventy years will be the same. As such, some say that two self-governing states, living side by side, seems to be the only viable route to end the conflict. Indeed, such is the grim reality Israel faces today, as it has in the past. Towards “peace” and the relinquishing of fairly earned land built by the labors of its people to be surrounded by an even hungrier and deadlier foe; or onward with the seventy year long struggle to maintain the semblance of a nation carrying on with its day-to-day tasks, but with terror – and the critical gaze of the world – looming overhead.



Jewish The WeekHistory In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

By Rabbi Pini Dunner Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

Jewish History

Adventurer, Missionary, Conman, And Political Agitator: The Incredible Story Of Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln Part II In Part One we were introduced to our protagonist, Ignatz Trebitsch, a Jewish-born Hungarian adventurer, whose early life as a strictly Orthodox Jew from a well-to-do family had fallen apart during his teen years as his father’s business collapsed. Unscrupulous and amoral, Trebitsch converted to Christianity in 1899 at the age of 20, to marry the daughter of a respectable German maritime officer. An inveterate traveler, Trebitsch moved to Canada where he ended up running a mission trying to convert Jews to Christianity. The missionary enterprise collapsed due to a chronic lack of funds, and the Trebitsches moved to Great Britain where an inheritance cash windfall propelled them to middle class respectability. After adding the more British sounding name ‘Lincoln’ to his surname, in 1906 Trebitsch was hired by a leading British industrialist, Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, to research social conditions of the poorer classes on the European continent for a groundbreaking social study that he wished to publish. In the fullness of time, Rowntree, who was initially charmed by Trebitsch’s personality and intelligence, would regret ever having met this con artist and troublemaker, as his new employee became involved in multiple diplomatic controversies in London and across Europe, and ultimately in a number of serious scandals in which Rowntree was inadvertently implicated. Trebitsch’s job description was simple. Rowntree wanted him to collect and collate information about the social and economic conditions in rural Europe. To facilitate this Trebitsch requested that his well-connected boss enlist the help of the British Government Foreign Office so that he could gain entry to all the British embassies in the various countries he intended to visit. Rowntree unquestioningly arranged for Trebitsch to receive a letter of introduction from his close friend Captain John Sinclair MP, at the time a senior cabinet minister in the British administration, then in the hands of the left-leaning Liberal Party. With this letter in hand Trebitsch confidently strode into the Foreign Office in London on March 20, 1906, and purposefully sought and obtained letters of introduction for him to show senior British diplomats at the embassies in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Initially things went well. Trebitsch arrived in Belgium and was the recipient of generous assistance from the British embassy staff in Brussels, who brought him into contact with Belgian government officials and other people who could furnish him with the information he was looking for. In Switzerland he received similar help from British officials. With the wind in his sails, and clearly enjoying the extravagant hotels and high living afforded to him by his lavish travel allowance, Trebitsch wrote to the Foreign Office for more letters of introduction, asking for them to be addressed to a variety of British diplomats across Europe. They sent them out, but soon things were going wrong. An indignant letter from the vice-consul in Copenhagen complained of Trebitsch having ‘borrowed’ books and not returned them. Slowly a pattern emerged. In each new city Trebitsch’s demands would escalate. He inexplicably began to see himself as an instrument of the British government, researching statistics that would contribute to his adopted country’s economic success, both at home and abroad. In reality he was just a private individual on an idiosyncratic research mission on behalf of a wealthy patron, and no British official was obliged to help him in his quest for information. That being the case, his ill-mannered demands for assistance were utterly misplaced. While most of the British embassy officials he encountered diplomatically ignored his obnoxious behavior, in the summer of 1907 Trebitsch met his nemesis, in the form of the British Ambassador to France, Sir Francis Bertie. Bertie was notorious for his arrogance and eccentricity, and seems, with the benefit of hindsight, to have been an unlikely candidate for the post as principal British diplomat to such an important European country. Notwithstanding this anomaly, his revulsion for Trebitsch was well placed. It seems that the intrepid researcher had arrived in Paris and marched into the embassy brandishing his introduction letter, demanding that the staff arrange for him to obtain a collection of official publications from the French Foreign Ministry that would cost them two thousand francs. In the scheme of things this was not a huge sum of money, but Bertie was unwilling to spend a penny of the embassy’s budget on this rude, self-important upstart, even if he was working for a leading British industrialist. Bertie’s refusal to cooperate with Trebitsch resulted in a bitter exchange of correspondence. Trebitsch threatened that unless his request was met he would take his com-

plaint to the ‘highest quarters’. The Ambassador forwarded the offending letter to his superiors in London, with the expectation that they would support him. He could not have been more wrong. In a saga that epitomized the indecision and weakness of government bureaucracy, and ability to waste time on trivialities, this matter of no importance spiraled into a full-scale diplomatic crisis, involving multiple diplomats, civil servants, elected officials and representatives of a foreign government. In the end Trebitsch got his books, which he insisted should be sent via an expensive courier to Rowntree’s home in England. They were probably never read, and the victory was in every sense meaningless. But Trebitsch was

about this decision was that Trebitsch was not naturalized as a British citizen until May 1909, which meant that at the time of his selection he was still a foreign national. In truth, his selection was for all intents and purposes academic. The next general election was not expected for several years, and in any event, the seat in question had been solidly Conservative for many years, in the hands of the Pease family, whose influence permeated the local scene at every level. Trebitsch’s chances of being elected to Parliament were limited to the point of being non-existent. Then, in the Fall of 1909, the House of Lords – the unelected upper chamber of Britain’s parliament – soundly rejected the “People’s Budget” proposed by Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd-George, precipitating a political crisis that led to an unexpected general election in January 1910. Suddenly Trebitsch was up for election, thrusting him into the spotlight, a situation he embraced with characteristic relish. His opponent was Herbert Pike Pease, whose credentials were impeccable, and whose record was unsullied by watch thievery and reckless controversies. In

This satirical cartoon of Trebitsch’s first speech in the House of Commons appeared in the widely read Punch magazine in 1910. The main focus of attention was his heavy Hungarian accent A campaign leaflet for Trebitsch’s 1910 election to the British parliament. His use of the Lincoln surname did not help to hide his foreign origins, but even with this impediment he unexpectedly won.

not someone concerned with meaningful victories. By 1909 Trebitsch had concluded his research for Rowntree. The book based on the collected data was not published until 1911, but in the meantime Trebitsch went in a new direction, using his connection with Rowntree to launch one of the most extraordinary political careers in British parliamentary history. There is no historical record to explain how he obtained the nomination as Liberal Party candidate for the Darlington constituency, but the facts speak for themselves. In April 1909, the Darlington Liberal Association unanimously decided that their designated candidate for Member of Parliament would be Ignatius Trebitsch-Lincoln. What was particularly strange

addition to this, the Pease family had held the Darlington seat for decades, and would continue to hold the seat long after Trebitsch had disappeared off the scene. More significantly, there was a local distaste for foreigners, that in Trebitsch’s case was further augmented by an undercurrent of anti-Semitism. But Trebitsch was not concerned by these impediments; indeed, they seemed only to spur him on. As usual, he desperately needed money, having already burned through an unbelievably generous loan granted to him by Rowntree when he left his employment. Shamelessly, he turned to an old acquaintance, Revd. Chaim Lypshytz, and asked him for a loan of a few hundred pounds to help fund his election campaign. Incredibly, Lypshytz loaned him the money, an act of generous-spiritedness that defies explanation, particularly in light of the disappearance of his wife’s gold watch coinciding with Trebitsch’s departure from his mission in 1897. It goes without say-

Jewish The WeekHistory In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

ing that the loan was never repaid. With money in hand Trebitsch began to stage public meetings to inform bemused voters why his opponent would be a terrible choice of representative for Darlington, despite years of honorable service. He also used Lypshytz’s money to produce a squalid pamphlet titled ‘Powder and Shot’, in which he attacked Pease and the Conservatives for their intention to introduce trade tariffs to protect British manufacturers. According to the pamphlet, similar policies in Germany had forced many Germans to eat their own horses and even their pet dogs. This remarkable claim was attributed to the lack of any serious competition from abroad – the inevitable result of strict trade controls – which meant that local suppliers were able raise the prices of staple goods, forcing thousands of Germans into dire poverty. The residents of Darlington began to fall for Trebitsch’s exotic charm, as he entertained them with shrill political speeches peppered with outlandish stories and bizarre slogans. “You are Britishers by a mere accident of birth,” he declared in his thick accent at one meeting, “while I am a Britisher by choice.” Asked how he could ever expect to win such an uphill race, he confidently predicted that he would win “by 30 votes”. Conservatives were understandably irritated by his nerve, and his nefarious tactics. Pease supporters began to attend his public meetings, purposely drowning out his speeches by chanting “Cocoa! Cocoa!” - a reference to his former paymaster, Rown-

Churchill sent a message wishing Trebitsch every success “in the fine fight you are making for Free Trade, Land Reform and Popular Government.” The day of the election arrived and Trebitsch had himself driven around Darlington in an open top car, while he stood in the back waving dramatically at startled passersby. An incredible 95% of the electorate came out to vote. In the evening more than two thousand people piled into the town hall to hear the result. The vote count was so close that both candidates agreed to a recount. This delayed announcing a winner, and the crowd began to get rowdy. Finally, at 10.30pm, the mayor of Darlington strode up to the podium to declare who had won. “A deafening shout from the multitude below quite drowned the voice of the mayor,” the local newspaper later reported, “but the fact that Mr. Lincoln stood at his right hand and was the first to step forward was a plain indication that he was the victor.” The result was indeed a stunning victory for Trebitsch. He had predicted winning by 30 votes. He was off by one. The margin was a 29-vote lead over his opponent, with 4,815 votes to 4,786. Even fellow Liberals were shocked, with one se-

a new national election was imminent. On November 30, 1910, Trebitsch startled his constituents by announcing his retirement from the Darlington seat, abruptly concluding one of the most extraordinary - if short-lived - political careers in the history of British politics. In the election that took place a week later, Herbert Pike Pease, Trebitsch’s election opponent only a few months earlier, easily retook the Darlington seat, which he held onto until 1923. The following month, in January 1911, Trebitsch attended a formal meeting with his numerous creditors to agree a way forward. The creditors eventually decided to reduce his overall liability by 75%, although even as they signed the terms of the deal it must have been evident to them that their money was lost for good. Trebitsch, by now the father of four children – a fifth child was born in May 1911 – did not seem in the least bit bothered by his predicament. He moved his family from Darlington to Watford, just north of London, and embarked on a series of speculative high-risk business enterprises that revolved around Eastern European oil exploration. Using his toxic mixture of charm and lies he convinced an impressive array of large and small investors to put their money into two shell companies

Hôtel de Charost, the official residence of the British Ambassador to France. In 1907, the Ambassador was Sir Francis Bertie, who loathed Trebitsch with a passion. (photo by Croquant)

tree, whose money everyone assumed was funding his campaign. Trebitsch later wrote that at one meeting “we had the unpleasant experience of being pelted with banana skins, stones wrapped in paper, and rotten eggs.” But he was undeterred, having experienced the same hostility and worse during his time as a missionary to the Jews of Montreal. One of the most astonishing aspects of Trebitsch’s campaign strategy was the decision to play up his Jewishness. The same man who had unceremoniously dumped his Jewish faith the moment his father had died declared to a meeting of Liberal Party supporters, “I am a Jew and I am proud to belong to that race. I am a Jew with all the ability of a Jew. I have the will power, the lofty ideas, and I will show the Tories of Darlington that I can fight like a Jew.” This was a perfect example of Trebitsch’s self-serving audacity. Rather than remaining silent on the subject of his origins, he responded to persistent anti-Semitic murmurings by highlighting his roots, proclaiming them a great advantage in his fight to win the seat. Another remarkable feature of the campaign was his endorsement by some of the most prominent politicians of the day. Herbert Samuel, a senior minister in the administration who later gained fame as the first British High Commissioner in Palestine, joined Trebitsch as he campaigned in Darlington, telling the residents that they were “fortunate in having so able and active a champion.” Even Winston

nior party member referring to the result as an ‘electoral freak.’ Trebitsch was overjoyed at his spectacular triumph. After a brief visit to Hungary to see his aged mother he returned to England, settling in London. On February 23, 1910, he delivered his first speech to the House of Commons. Bemused MP’s were treated to a detailed analysis of trade statistics, lengthy personal anecdotes, and a series of stale jokes. The press devoted far less attention to the content of his speech than they did to the thickness of his Hungarian accent. As the year progressed Trebitsch addressed Parliament several more times. But his contributions were unexceptional, and the initial interest in his unexpected election victory fizzled out as he drifted out of the spotlight. Meanwhile Trebitsch was going through a profound financial crisis. Members of Parliament were not salaried or given any financial support; rather they were expected to be of independent means. Trebitsch had no income, save for money borrowed from an array of hapless lenders. But his reckless overspending was on a scale that far outweighed what he was able to borrow. In the fall of 1910 Rowntree realized that the significant sums of money owed to him by Trebitsch would never be repaid, and that his former protégé was hopelessly in debt. He acted decisively. The Darlington Liberals were informed that on no account was Trebitsch to stand for reelection. Rowntree’s concern became more urgent when it became clear that the government was about to collapse, and

– Amalgamated Oil Pipelines of Galicia and The Oil & Drilling Trust of Romania – both of which were predicted by him to produce massive returns as soon as crude oil began to flow across Eastern Europe. But the dream of massive oil discoveries and extraction in that region never materialized, and within a short space of time Trebitsch must have known that his exaggerated promises to investors were fraudulent. But he needed the money to fund his lifestyle, so the charade continued. Even as the earlier investors realized they had been conned he managed to find new ones who fell for his extravagant promises and magnetic personality. Meanwhile, one after another the nominal directors whose names Trebitsch had used to attract investment resigned, not wanting to sully their names by association. The entire enterprise was heading towards a spectacular disaster. In September 1913 the High Court in London appointed an official receiver to take over the business to sort it out. The receiver was a former Liberal Parliamentary colleague of Trebitsch, John McDonald Henderson. Henderson waded through the opaque financial affairs of the various arms of the business and discovered liabilities exceeding £150,000 – more than fifteen million pounds in today’s values. At a hastily called meeting of shareholders and banks Trebitsch was asked to explain the deep financial problems. In an impassioned defense of his activities he dismissed the financial issues as meaningless, claiming that the oil

exploration and pipeline business in Eastern Europe was “on the verge of success.” But his luck had run out. Investors demanded that any saleable assets be liquidated immediately so that at least some of their money could be salvaged. The receiver was put in complete control and Trebitsch marginalized. In December he resigned in protest, but his departure was, by this time, completely irrelevant. It would take almost a decade for the mess he had left in his wake to be sorted out, and the vast majority of the shareholders never saw a penny of their investments returned. By now Trebitsch was desperate. His lavish spending continued unabated and his hunger for money knew no bounds. But left without anything to sell to investors he was forced to find friends who would loan him money to help him out. Even this proved difficult. Rowntree flatly refused to lend him any money and others were also understandably reluctant. Eventually, in the early summer of 1914, John Goldstein, a seasoned financier who had known Trebitsch for several years, agreed to lend him money if he could find a reliable guarantor. A few days later Trebitsch informed him that Rowntree had agreed to guarantee the loan. Goldstein was a little incredulous and wrote to Rowntree at the National Liberal Club, where he resided while in London, to get written confirmation. A few days later he received a reply from Rowntree confirming the guarantee. With this letter as security Goldstein advanced Trebitsch £750 to be repaid in three months. But the letter from Rowntree was an elaborate hoax, forged by Trebitsch, whose own frequent attendance at the National Liberal Club had enabled him to interfere with Rowntree’s mail. This brazen fraud was the twisted result of Trebitsch’s indomitable optimism. He was still convinced that some Romanian oil concessions he had held onto were worth money and could be sold, enabling him to repay Goldstein and a host of other creditors. He made plans to travel to Bucharest to arrange for their sale, but on August 1, 1914, the First World War broke out, dashing any hopes of travel to Romania. By this time the house in Watford was gone, and the Lincoln family resided in a grubby boarding house in East London. With no viable options to repay his debts Trebitsch was beyond desperate. He begged Goldstein for an extension to the loan. He then forged another letter from Rowntree to underwrite the extension. It was too late. In late November Rowntree discovered the deception, and immediately wrote to Goldstein to deny any association with Trebitsch or the loan. In a furious showdown Goldstein informed Trebitsch that he was going to involve the police if his money was not returned immediately. Perhaps in the hope that Trebitsch would somehow find the money to repay him he waited a full three weeks before carrying out his threat. But by then Trebitsch had fled to Holland, where his torrid life was about to take another extraordinary twist. In Part Three, as the First World War rages across Europe, Trebitsch tries his hand at international espionage. With the British police hot on his heels, he ends up in New York, where he is arrested and jailed. While incarcerated he writes a sensational book about his life, ‘Confessions of an International Spy’, and becomes a media celebrity. The story of the Hungarian Jew turned Canadian missionary turned British politician turned European oil speculator turned international spy just gets stranger and stranger. Questions/comments can be sent to rabbi@yinbh.org


28 18

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home Review TheBook Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

After being courted by several candidates, conservative billionaire Paul Singer has decided to endorse Marco Rubio. Now instead of having a button that says, “Donate,” Rubio’s website just says, “We Good.” - Jimmy Fallon

While we condemn Palestinian violence, we must recognize this painful truth: that Israeli policy has encouraged it. Israel has encouraged it by penalizing Palestinian nonviolence, by responding to that nonviolence by deportations, teargas, imprisonment, and the confiscation of Palestinian lands. Hard as it is to say, the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed. - Liberal American-Jewish journalist Peter Beinart, who claims to be “pro-Israel,” in a speech at a Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive synagogue in Los Angeles

I used to hate Darth Vader, but now I kind of feel a little bit sorry for him knowing what he went through to get to that point. - Sen. Marco Rubio, when asked a question related to the upcoming “Star Wars” movie during a campaign stop in New Hampshire

The book’s pretense of scholarship involves 151 footnotes, only one of which is even remotely pertinent to the book’s lurid assertions. Almost all contain irrelevant tidbits (“Reagan’s hair was actually brown”). At the Reagan Library, where researchers must register, records show that neither O’Reilly nor Dugard, who churn out a book a year, used its resources. The book’s two and a half pages of “sources” unspecifically and implausibly refer to “FBI and CIA files,” “presidential libraries” and travel “around the world” … The book’s perfunctory pieties about Reagan’s greatness are inundated by its flood of regurgitated slanders about his supposed lassitude and manipulability. This book is nonsensical history and execrable citizenship, and should come with a warning: “Caution — you are about to enter a no-facts zone.” -George Will’s review of Bill O’Reilly’s new book, Killing Reagan

You’re a hack! - Bill O’Reilly, when George Will came on his show, “The No Spin Zone,” to defend his criticism of O’Reilly’s book

A new survey found that three out of four children under the age of four have their own smartphone. You can tell it’s bad; last night I told my daughter it was time for bed and she tried to swipe left on me. - Jimmy Fallon

“Crippled America” outlines Donald Trump’s plan to make America great again. Though the book doesn’t say specifically when he’s leaving. - Seth Myers

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19 29

I hope it all works out for him. It is a strange situation when you talk about hitting your mother in the head with a hammer... When you talk about stabbing somebody... A book was written before he was running for office - before he was in politics - but he says he has “a pathological disease” in the book. Pathological disease? That’s a very serious problem, because that’s not something that is cured. That’s something that you have to live with. - Donald Trump’s response to Ben Carson’s biography troubles on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos”

It has been proven that I was not lying. None of the things are lies. But what does it say about people who immediately jump on the bandwagon if they hear something bad, rather than waiting and finding out what the truth is? Let me put it this way: I would be not interested in having a commander-in-chief who acted that way. - Ben Carson, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, responding to Trump

This reminds me of a lot of rappers, you know, they hype, embellish, exaggerate for the sake of presentation, a biography in this case.

A new report from CNN suggests that Ben Carson made up the stories of his violent temper from his youth, including one where he said he almost stabbed a kid. That’s how weird this presidential election is: A candidate is now in trouble because he didn’t stab someone as a kid. - Jimmy Fallon

Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s “just a sandwich” is like calling the Dalai Lama “just a guy.” Perhaps at one time its importance could be limited by forcing it into a larger sandwich category (no disrespect to Reubens and others), but that time has passed…We therefore choose to take a cue from a great performer and declare our namesake be a “hot dog formerly known as a sandwich.” - Press release from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, after a debate was had on certain shows and social media whether a hot dog is a sandwich

- Juan Williams, on Fox News, talking about Ben Carson’s biography

A new study has found that listing calorie content on menus has almost no effect on encouraging customers to choose healthier foods. The study was conducted by looking around. - Seth Myers

There were no injuries this weekend after a giant sinkhole opened up in an IHOP parking lot in Mississippi and swallowed up more than a dozen cars. And that hole still ate less than most of the people in the IHOP. - Jimmy Fallon


Travel The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Travel Guide:

Calgary Aaron Feigenbaum

The city of Calgary, Alberta is best known for its rough-and-tumble frontier past. Set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Calgary has emerged as a major Canadian metropolis out of the confluence of oil, cowboys, railroads, Mounties and cattle. Calgary exudes American-style confidence with its huge rodeos and big business-friendly climate. It is also a gateway to Banff and the wilderness of the Rockies. However, Calgary today is also on the cutting edge of technology and green innovation. Indeed, modern Calgary is best thought of as a unique blend between its traditional pioneer charm and a sophisticated urban mindset. The most popular

of North America’s largest celebrations of the Old West, and by another oil boom in 1924. Like many other places, Calgary was hit hard by the Great Depression but it rebounded quickly during WWII due to the high demand for oil. More wells were discovered after the war, and Calgary became one of Canada’s fastest growing cities with oil being the primary engine of economic growth. OPEC’s raising of oil prices in 1970’s caused an even bigger oil boom in Calgary. The city has since enjoyed good times such as hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics as well as suffered through bad times such as the 2013 floods. However, Calgary’s tra-

Calgary stampede

attraction is arguably the Stampede rodeo, one of the largest of its kind in the world but there are plenty of world-class museums, hiking, shopping and more to endear you to this vibrant, diverse city. History A relatively new city, Calgary’s history begins in 1875 when a band of North West Mounted Policemen scouting the Canadian frontier spotted an ideal place in the Albertan wilderness to build a fort. The fort was initially called Fort Elbow but later changed to Calgary by the Albertan lieutenant and judge James MacLeod after his hometown in Scotland. This tiny fort’s economy started humbly dealing in the cattle trade but later expanded with the introduction of the railroad in 1883 and later sandstone and natural gas. Calgary officially became a city in 1884. However, the sandstone boom didn’t last and the bustling town of Calgary soon found itself with a murky economic future. Things looked like they would begin to change with the discovery of oil at the Dingman well in 1914 but the oil boom was even shorter lived than the sandstone one. Calgary was finally rescued by the establishment of the Stampede in 1919, one

The shul is still in use. Be sure to also check out the park’s Gasoline Alley museum, featuring one of the world’s largest collections of vintage vehicles as well as vintage gas pumps. Calgary Stampede: This massive, 10day event held in July is one of Canada’s biggest and most popular festivals. The Stampede is such an integral part of Calgary’s culture that July sees the whole city festooned with cowboy decorations. The Stampede starts off with a huge parade consisting of over a hundred floats and marching bands from around the world. This is followed by the rodeo. The rodeo is divided into six major tournaments including the highly dangerous sports of bronco riding and steer wrestling. Another notable aspect of the Stampede is chuckwagon racing, where racers drive old-fashioned, horse-drawn wagons in something straight out a Western film. The Stampede’s Exhibition educates visitors about Alberta’s agricultural past and features a renowned blacksmithing competition. And not to be left out, First Nations tribes set up a native village near Elbow River and show visitors traditional arts & crafts as organize pow wows. Aero Space Museum: Located near the airport, this museum has a small but impressive collection of vintage aircraft such as the 1907 AEA Silver Dart (which looks like the Wright Brother plane,) the CF-100 Canuck (Canada’s first jet fighter) and numerous WWI-era aircraft and helicopters. Glenbow Museum: One of Canada’s largest museums, Glenbow tells the story of Alberta as well as hosting Western Canada’s largest art collection. The cultural collection alone contains over 100,000 ar-

Glenbow Museum

Gasoline Alley Museum

ditional Western hospitality, thriving tech sector and booming tourism have allowed it to come back and continue to prosper. Attractions Heritage Park Historical Village: This sprawling park in the heart of Calgary is a wonderful tribute to Western Canada’s history from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s. Many of the buildings are original and have been transported to the park. Some of the many fascinating exhibits include horsedrawn wagons, a re-creation of an old paddle steamer, working historical amusement park rides, 2 U.S. Army steam trains and a working smithy. One of the most notable things to see is the Little Synagogue on the Prairie. Built in 1913 for small group of Jewish immigrants who came to Alberta, it is one of the very few remaining examples of wooden shuls built by Jewish pioneers.

tifacts dating from the late 18th century to the present day that show various aspects of pioneer life. The ethnology section has thousands of artifacts made by indigenous North American peoples while the military history collection has items from all over the world including Japanese samurai

armor and some of the earliest European firearms. The mineralogy collection has stones from around the world including a piece of Earth’s oldest rock and glow-inthe-dark specimens. The Glenbow’s library is also worth exploring as it has rare pieces of literature relating to the settlement of the West, the arrival of the railroad and other materials that supplement the museum’s collections. The Military Museums: Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990, The Military Museums is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Canada’s armed forces. From the Boer War to the World Wars to the Korean War and UN peacekeeping missions, visitors can see not only what kind of equipment Canadian soldiers used throughout the ages but also get a glimpse of their experiences. You can stand at the helm of a WWII wheelhouse, walk through a replica WWI trench, witness a bomber run over enemy territory and more. On display are tanks, anti aircraft guns, missiles and planes, all of which are sure to fascinate both adults and kids. Calgary Zoo: Calgary can boast that it has the most visited zoo in Canada - and for good reason. This highly impressive institution, located on St. George’s Island in the Bow River, is home to around 800 animals representing over 100 species. It has been rated one of the world’s best zoos for conservation research as it has been responsible for saving endangered Western Canadian species such as the whooping crane and burrowing owl. The zoo is split into six different sections. One of the most interesting of these is Destination Africa, which has exotic species such as African lions, hippos, ostriches and giraffes. But what really sets this zoo apart from others is the Prehistoric Park, which features lifesize animatronic dinosaurs and over 100 plant species - a perfect attraction for fans of Jurassic Park/World. Telus Spark: This sleek, modern science museum has interesting, interactive exhibits about everything from alternative energy to exploring the human brain. The list of quirky, fun activities at Telus includes bottling the color of the sky, creating constellations, generating small-scale electricity and finding out how your fin-

The Montefiore Institute served as a synagogue, Hebrew school and community centre for Jewish farmers

gers react to stress. Kids will get a kick out of the Brainasium, an outdoor playground that is not only a blast to play on but will

Travel The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home



also help them understand the principles of gravity. The planetarium/movie theater is currently playing shows about humanity’s return to the moon, an exploration of the Milky Way, the life of insects and more. Canada Olympic Park: Once the location of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Olympic Park is now used by both professional and amateur skiers and snowboarders alike. Compared to the surrounding mountains, the slopes are fairly easy but that makes it great for beginners as well as convenient distance-wise. There is also an on-site museum and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. Day trips: Just outside of Calgary is arguably some of the world’s best scenery. The crystal clear Moraine Lake is breathtakingly beautiful set amongst forests and alpine mountains. Hiking there is an unforgettable experience. Alternatively, you could choose the equally beautiful and more popular Lake Louise and Banff townsite. This area has been rated one of the best in Canada both for its jaw-dropping scenery and unparalleled skiing. A stay at the charming Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel, situated right on the lake’s shore, is highly recommended. Banff itself is one of Canada’s most popular attractions. At an elevation of 4,600 feet, Banff is a great destination for hiking, biking, skiing and more. Banff is also renowned for its hot springs, gondola to Sulphur Mountain, the Television and Film festivals and as a prime site for viewing the aurora borealis. The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, located about 90 miles north of Calgary, is an absolute must-see, with over

130,000 fossils in its collection from all across Alberta. Some of the highlights include complete T. Rex and triceratops fossils, the Triassic Giant (the world’s largest known marine reptile) and an interactive science hall with simulated fossil digs. Dinosaur fans should also check out the source of the Tyrell Museum’s collection: DInosaur Provincial Park, located about 2.5 hours outside of Calgary. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the strikingly beautiful outdoor park has produced some of the world’s most well-preserved and diverse dinosaur specimens. The visitor center has exhibits about fossils, dinosaurs and the history of the park itself. And of course, visitors can go on guided fossil digs. Daven and Eat Chabad of Calgary is located at 523 Woodpark Blvd SW (chabadalberta.org) Another Orthodox shul, House of Jacob Mikveh Israel, is located at 1613 92 Ave SW (hojmi.org) For kosher food, check out Karen’s Cafe at the Calgary Jewish Community Centre (1607 90th Ave.) They offer pareve and dairy snacks as well as catering. Another option is Carriage House Inn at 9030 MacLeod Trail South for kosher catering. Otherwise, there are several markets such as Sobey’s and Safeway that offer a limited kosher selection. Getting There Round trip plane tickets from LAX currently start at around $280 per person. Getting there by car is about 1,600 miles or a full day of driving

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New Citi Credit Card Offer Elliot Schreiber

It’s expensive to live with today’s costs. Chances are you spending at least one to three thousand dollars per month, and more, on your children’s tuition, grocery bills, gas and insurance, rent, utilities

and other miscellaneous expenses. What if you could leverage that everyday spending into free hotels and vacations and extra cash? It would surely make the burden easier. Too good to be

true? Well, there are tens of thousands of people doing this by taking advantage of credit card bonus offers available when you sign up for new credit cards. This is also known as credit card churning. You


can then turn the extra bonus rewards into cash or free vacations. A brief synopsis for newcomers: Credit card churning is when an individual applies for multiple credit card approvals so they can benefit from a hefty sign-up bonus which grants miles and points to the cardholder. Recently however, both American Express and Chase have restricted how many credit cards you can sign up for at any given period. This has reduced the opportunity to earn free miles and points and subsequently reduced the value of both of their rewards programs.



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But there is good news for consumers as CitiBank has recently entered the rewards game, now partnering with a number of airlines and hotel chains so that Citi Thank You Points are now transferable into eleven airlines and hotel programs including the Hilton Hotels, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic. Better yet, CitiBank hasn’t yet implemented policies restricting how many credit cards consumers can apply for, making Citi ThankYou Points and other CitiBank airline rewards cards the new IT cards those who want to earn some extra cash and benefits. Two great Citi offers currently available are the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, where you can earn 50,000 ThankYou Points after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® where you can earn 50,000 American Airlines bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. For a full list of credit card offers and additional information please visit. WWW.GETPEYD.COM Elliot Schreiber is the Director of Marketing at PEYD.


The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Most Jews Feel Safe

Is Israel Doing Well in Response to Terror? Bomb Brought Down Russian Plane

Several U.S. intelligence, military and national security officials have related that terrorists bombed Metrojet Flight 9268 on October 31 in which all 224 people onboard were killed. The plane was headed from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Russia,. But not long after takeoff, it disintegrated midair and crashed in the Sinai Peninsula. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond related that his government still believes “it’s more likely than not” that an explosive device caused the plane crash. “Obviously, we won’t know absolutely for certain until the final analysis of the wreckage has taken place,” he said. “That could take some time.” Egyptian officials, who are leading the main crash investigation, haven’t expressed as much confidence in the bomb theory. “All the scenarios” are still on the table, said Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of the investigation. “We don’t know what happened exactly,” he admitted. The Egyptians aren’t the only ones involved in the investigation. Experts from Russia, France, Germany and Ireland – countries that are connected in various ways to the Airbus A321-200 that crashed – are also investigating. The U.S. has offered assistance by the FBI. At least some of the intelligence intercepts being used to assess what happened to the jetliner came from Israeli intelligence, according to a U.S. official briefed on the intelligence as well as a diplomatic source. The Sinai affiliate of ISIS claims responsibility for downing the plane, but so far has yet to explain how the group was able to do so. As such, many are doubting the group’s claim, as it has used these types of acts as propaganda for their cause. An explosive noise was heard in the recovered cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder but authorities don’t want to say with complete certainty that a bomb caused that sound.


A new survey conducted among Jewish community leaders around the world has found that 77 percent reported that their members do not feel threatened in their places of residence, including 56 percent of European Jews. 21 percent of leaders said their community members felt unsafe – about half of them due to the growth in anti-Semitism, and others because of anger directed at Israel, local criminal crime, the economic situation, and the immigration problem in Europe. Ahead of the Ninth World Conference of Jewish Community Centers (JCC Global), which is being held in Jerusalem this week, JCC leaders were asked whether the current situation in Israel affected them. The findings were surprising: Forty-six percent said the community’s sense of security was unaffected by the current round of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, while 35% said they felt less secure. Ten percent even reported a higher sense of personal safety recently. The interviewees were also asked to rank Diaspora Jewry’s challenges. They revealed that unity within their communities is more important to them than the connection with Israel, preventing assimilation and fighting anti-Semitism. The absolute majority stated, however, that they feel a sense of solidarity with and commitment towards other Jewish communities in the world, which is reflected in the willingness to help and support them at times of trouble. Participating in the JCC Global conference are more than 400 community leaders and executive directors of JCCs from Europe, North America, Central and South America, and leaders of small communities from India and the Philippines. The countries represented in the conference include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, Venezuela, Paraguay and Israel. The conference, which is held in Israel every four years, is focusing this year on the urgent issues Jewish communities are dealing with. Participants are also discussing innovative global cooperation programs between the community centers as part of efforts to reassure the Jewish people around the world.

A recent survey conducted by The Peace Index reveals Israeli Jews’ opinions regarding the recent wave of terror that has rocked the nation and the opinions of many Israeli Arabs as well. The majority of Israelis surveyed support killing Palestinian terrorists “on the spot.” Fifty-three percent of Israeli Jews agreed with the statement: “Any Palestinian who has perpetrated a terror attack against Jews should be killed on the spot, even if he has been apprehended and no longer poses a threat.” However, they do not feel the same if the attack is perpetrated by a Jew.

On the issue of equal punishment for Jewish and Palestinian terrorists, a wide majority (80 percent) of the Jewish public believed that “the home of the family of a Palestinian who has murdered Jews on a nationalist background should be demolished,” while 53 percent were against demolishing the home of a Jew who has murdered a Palestinian in a nationalistically-motivated attack. Statistics were more consistent within the Arab public, “The majority does not agree that the family home of a Palestinian perpetrator should be demolished (77 percent), but a large majority (67 percent) also opposes demolishing the family home of a Jewish perpetrator,” the survey found. Israel’s Arab population have expressed


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The Week In News

their concern of their safety with 78% saying they are “apprehensive of being harmed” in the ongoing violence. Interestingly, only 57% of Israeli Jews said they have a sense of fear that “they themselves or someone important to them would be harmed in the current wave of attacks.” 64% have reported not changing their daily habits in response to recent terrorist attacks. The overall feeling is that penalties for terrorists in the Israeli court system are generally too light; 70 percent of Jews said they believed the punishments Israeli courts levy on Palestinians are not harsh enough. When prompted on the issue of Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, a majority of respondents (58 percent) answered that in the current state of affairs, “Jews should not be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.” The public was mostly satisfied with the IDF’s response to the wave of terror, with 93 percent giving it grades of very good or moderately good. The Israel Police came in second, with 84.5 percent of Jewish respondents awarding it grades of very good or moderately good. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), meanwhile, came in third, with less than three-fourths (72%) giving it a grade of very good or moderately good. A large majority of Jews seemed to reject the Israeli government’s handling

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

of the terror, with only 39 percent of them assigning it grades of very good or moderately good. In summary the Peace Index concluded, “Overall, we found a Jewish public that is tense but not hysterical; holding firm yet in certain regards prepared, under the pressure of the incidents, to overturn democratic values; and that does not greatly esteem the policy and statements of the prime minister.”

the rate from its worst in 2009 during the Great Recession. Signs of a strong U.S. labor market may prod the Federal Reserve next month to make its first rate hike in nearly a decade, analysts said. However, not all experts are as hopeful. Friday’s “blowout” employment report is “not a trend we’re expecting to continue,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “But looking ahead,” she said, “there’s still momentum in the labor market, which is encouraging.”

patterns continue as expected, economic conditions in the next nine months will be among the strongest factors in determining which party wins next November’s election. Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen said this week that the economy is “performing well” and that a rate hike could come next month. Analysts now expect that the Fed will raise its benchmark interest rate at its next meeting, December 15-16. The Fed had held off raising rates this fall in part because of slowing global economic growth, particularly in China, and the potential impact on the U.S.

Addressing Senility in Judges Economy Numbers are Looking Up There’s good news for the economy for a change. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5%, the lowest since April 2008. A surge in hiring and wages has brought hope to many struggling Americans. The latest jobless figure is exactly half

The report indicated that employers added a net 271,000 new jobs in October with specific increases in the business and professional services, retail, healthcare, leisure and construction markets. The job growth was far above the consensus forecast by analysts, who had predicted about new 185,000 jobs. This news has a major impact on the upcoming 2016 election. If historical

U.S. Supreme Court justices and federal appellate and district court judges are appointed for life. The Constitution grants federal judges lifetime appointments for the purpose to maintain judicial independence and prevent the easy removal of judges for unpopular decisions. The only way that they’d be asked to leave is if they were impeached by Congress, which has occurred only a few times. As a result, some judges refuse to retire even when their job is af-

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fected by age-related mental decline. The life expectancy when the Constitution was signed in 1787 was under 40. Now it’s close to double, at 79. Generally, upon signs of senility such as forgetfulness, an inability to follow arguments, or long delays in deciding cases, colleagues or court observers will file a complaint and enlist peers’ or family members’ help to gently and privately encourage an elderly judge to seek help or leave.

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes federal courts in California and eight other Western states, has taken a more pro-active approach to the problem of mental decline in justices. They spread awareness and encourage their judges to think about the condition, plan for it, and manage it appropriately if and when

it surfaces. The circuit court provides regular seminars directed by neurological experts to inform its chief judges about the signs of cognitive impairment. There is also a hotline setup where court staff and judges can get advice regarding dealing with signs of senility in colleagues. It has also encouraged judges to undergo cognitive assessments and designate colleagues, friends or family who can intervene if concerns arise about their mental health. “We’re an organization that is required to police ourselves,” said Phyllis Hamilton, chief judge in the Northern District of California and head of the 9th Circuit’s wellness committee. “If we wish to retain the goodwill and confidence of the public in our ability to render justice by judges who are unimpaired, . . . we have to take steps.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was the oldest person to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, retiring in 1932 at the age of 90. U.S. District Court Judge Wesley Brown in Kansas was the oldest working federal judge in the country’s history when he died at the age of 104 in 2012.

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The Fake Escape

Looks can be deceiving, and in this case, they almost did the trick. Clodoaldo Antonio Felipe is currently serving a 36-year sentence in prison in Brazil for drug-related crimes. He is a member of the largest drug distribution network in the country, and he desperately wanted to get out of prison so he could (I’m guessing) continue his important occupation. Here came his ingenious plan. The 44-year-old dressed up as an old woman— complete with a mask, wig, glasses and female clothes and endeavored to escape.

The disguise looked so real that prison guards only became suspicious when they realized that they never noticed the old woman entering the prison. Additionally, the elderly woman seemed a little too tall for her age and gender. After a quick investigation, they realized the woman was really a man—and one of their wonderful prisoners. Police spokesman Andre Veloso said: “The penitentiary guard did not recognize the senior lady and this is why he asked for her ID. He never expected it could be an inmate trying to escape.” An inquiry is underway to try and work out where Felipe acquired female clothes and the realistic-looking mask, which sells for over a thousand dollars.

Hot Dog! Ain’t nothin’ but a hot dog – especially when it’s eaten wrapped in a bun and smeared with mustard and relish. But the classic American on-the-go snack is, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, not a sandwich. “Our verdict is…a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one



The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Against Drunk Driving perhaps you should stick to drinking water, or ginger ale, or orange juice, or even milk. But please, please, please stay away from the tequila. New details were revealed this week about a Florida police officer who was set to receive an award from Mother’s Against Drunk Driving at their banquet this summer. Michael Szeliga, a deputy for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department, was slated to receive the award for making more than 100 DUI arrests. But when Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent saw him staggering around outside the awards venue, he told Szeliga he seemed too drunk to go inside.

‘showing off’ and even an emoji. It is truly a category unto its own.” Well, hot dog!

“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.’ Perhaps at one time its importance could be limited by forcing it into a larger sandwich category, but that time has passed,” NHDSC president and ‘Queen of Wien’ Janet Riley says in the release. (Yes, “Queen of Wien” is a thing, apparently.) “We therefore choose to take a cue from a great performer and declare our namesake be a ‘hot dog formerly known as a sandwich,’” she continues. Much of its decision in declaring the hot dog “not a sandwich” is the “open” nature of the dish and its impact on American history. Truthfully, I don’t care what you call it. Just slap on some sauerkraut and call it a glorious day.

Eric Brook’s huge birdcage beard is made completely out of his own hair. He was a contestant at the National Beard and Mustache Championships this week.

The Drunk Deputy Here’s a useful tip: before accepting an award from the organization Mother’s

“I said, ‘You don’t want to embarrass the sheriff here – that’s probably not too wise,” Vincent recalled. “Apparently, he did.” Szeliga responded to Vincent’s warning with “disrespectful” comments, and

Vincent subsequently informed the deputy’s supervisors that Szeliga was “wasted.” They ordered him to go back to his hotel room, and he never received his award. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Szeliga was a good deputy but noted the irony of the situation. “When I first heard about it, that was [what] my reaction was. ‘Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me. Really?’” MADD gives annual awards to law enforcement officers who make a high number of DUI arrests, but not everyone thinks this is a great idea. Defense attorney Jon Ibanez argued in a blog post in the summer that doling out awards for DUI arrests doesn’t really make sense, since not all of the arrests are justified. “We’re rewarding the wrong action by the officer because many (and I mean many) DUI arrests are illegal arrests and many do not result in convictions,” Ibanez wrote. “Not all people who are arrested for drunk driving are actually driving drunk.” In this case here, it takes one to know one, and Officer Szeliga certainly seems to know drunk people all too well.

The Fortunate Fan When Trey went to the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game last week, he was

The Week In News

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 | The Jewish Home

pumped. He was even more pumped when visiting head coach Dan Bylsma tossed him a hockey puck. But his glee turned to disappointment when an old man snatched the puck midflight. Apparently he never heard of good sportsmanship.

The older fan was immediately booed by the surrounding crowd who noticed him filching the prized puck. When the incident spread on social media, the Penguins took action into their own hands and made a fan for life. At the end of the game, Trey was showered with a Sidney Crosby jersey, a hockey stock and another puck from Bylsma. Turns out sometimes it’s good to have things taken from you. ‘Cuz then you can make out like a hockey bandit!

Mind Reader

ferent languages, including Japanese and Russian, and can solve algebraic equations. He can correctly spell pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, the longest English word in the Oxford English Dictionary, forward and backward. His mother, though, says her child is far more than just a brainy kid. Nyx Sanguino, an artist, claims that he can correctly guess numbers she’s written in secret – sometimes as many as 38 in a row. “We do have a very close bond which may have something to do with his abilities – but this is beyond anything I would have imagined,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain it.” Ramses has autism, and  Dr. Diane Powell, a neuroscientist and former Harvard Medical School faculty member, believes the alleged telepathy may provide clues that will help parents to connect with their autistic kids. “If you have your primary language compromised, then that would be a perfect setup for telepathy, because here you have a child and a parent who desperately want to communicate with one another,” Powell related. It’s nice in theory but many scientists do not believe in the ability to read another’s mind. When testing Ramses, Powell found that he correctly guessed three out of five random numbers based on his mother’s thoughts. Despite the lack of accuracy, Powell was still impressed by his alleged ability. Regardless of whether Ramses is truly telepathic, Sanguino hopes she can get him into a school for gifted children. And I’m sure with his special “gift” he can tell her exactly which one.

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He can read your mind. At least that’s what his mother says. There’s no doubt that Ramses Sanguino is a really smart child. The 5-year-old who lives in Los Angeles is learning seven dif-




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