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THE JEWISH HOME
CHABAD OF THE VALLEY PRESENTS
STARRING ELI GERSTNER &
THE FIFTH NIGHT OF CHANUKAH
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ELI GERSTNER YISROEL WILLIGER Plus: MYSTIC & SOLOISTS OF YOELY GREENFELD THE SIDESHOW THE YESHIVA MOSHE HECHT KENNY ELLIS BOYS CHOIR CHABADOFTHEVALLEY.ORG ANOTHER PROJECT OF CHABAD OF STUDIO CITY
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COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Students Thriving at Jewish Educational Trade School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
How Life is Like a Dreidel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Peace and Truth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Our Other Brother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Not Just Another Workshop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Hillel Question & Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT
Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Moon Cap: A Novel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Old News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Kristallnacht: 75 Years Later. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
LIFESTYLES Recipe - Fall Samplings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at Shiloh’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Travel – Wyoming. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
I remember the first time I started reading about the Holocaust of European and Russian Jewry. I noticed the materials were always accompanied by an explanation as to why it’s so important to educate future generations about the evils mankind is capable of, and how we need to be on guard so that this never happens again. To be honest, back then I couldn’t help but feel that this was highly exaggerated talk. The nations of the world would never let such a thing happen, and besides, if the type of hatred and discrimination which preceded World War II would dare pick up its head again, us Jews in America would stop it in its tracks. This time we would get it right; we would march on Washington saying that this type of behavior is intolerable; we would be courageous enough not to make the mistake of complacency; we would truly be our brother’s keeper. Then I grew up. As of the time of this writing, there are many countries in which a Jew fears for his or her life when walking down the street outwardly dressed as such. Children in many countries are taught that Jews are the source of all evil, and the solution to all problems lays in ridding the world of them. But this is old news. What’s recently changed is that now a country which has promoted these types of beliefs for many years is getting very close to acquiring arms which would give it devastating capabilities, should it choose to practice what it preaches. Or when one of the highest-ranking politicians in the world hints to another terror onslaught in the Mid-East as if it were a bargaining chip, and then further suggests that the root problem in that part of the world relates to the Jews. Some things don’t change. What’s most disturbing of this all is the reaction in the “modern world.” It’s as if we never learned our lesson. Scare tactics are cheap, unhealthy and many times unproductive, but something does need to be done on a grassroots level. The biggest revolutions happen when individuals like you and I decide that something needs to happen and that we can and will do everything in our power to see it through. Perhaps a 50,000 person rally in each state with a significant number of Jews is what’s needed. Perhaps, similar to the times of the second intifada, a million-plus march on Washington is in order. Perhaps something else. Whichever it is, as Jews we need to make clear that we are one people, and although we may not all agree on one solution, we have one message: we will not stand idly by while hate, propaganda and violence is promoted against our people. This time around we have learned our lesson. As believers, we know that ultimately the Creator is our protector, and we pray this is all a leadup to the fulfillment of the deeper meaning of the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni Isaiah 60), “Rabbi Yitzchok Said. In the year Mashiach will be revealed, all the kings of the nations of the world will provoke each other. The king of Persia will threaten the king of Arabia, and because of this the king of Arabia will go to Edom for advice. Afterwards the king of Persia will destroy the world. And all the nations will be hysterical and frantic and fall on their faces and will be seized as if by birth pains. And the people of Israel will be frantic and hysterical, and they will say, ‘Where will we come and where will go?’ And Hashem will say to them: ‘Do not fear my children. All that I have done I have done only for you. Why are you afraid? The time for your redemption has arrived.’”
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NOVEMBER 14, 2013
7 Questions with Itamar Marcus Director of Palestinian Media Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
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NOVEMBER 14, 2013
Beth Jacob Congregation Takes Lead among Synagogues to Attract “Jews of No Religion” With Focus on Musical Programs, Events Beth Jacob’s Cantor Arik Wollheim strongly believes that music can be the vehicle to bring together Jews of all backgrounds and interests and create a sense of belonging. Since beginning his tenure as Cantor of Beth Jacob Congregation eight months ago, he has made it his goal to bring music to the forefront of the religious experience. “The Pew Research Center results are in – now what? What are we going to do about the trends the study has brought to light?” says Wollheim. “We live in a time where many find it difficult to connect with Judaism via only prayer and Torah study,” he says, alluding to the 2013 Survey of U.S. Jews, which found that for most American Jews, ancestry and culture matter more than religion. “We have to find other avenues so people can stay connected and music has that ability,” he relates. “I would like to see Beth Jacob become a center for Jewish music where people can hear and experience different styles of Jewish music and yes, perhaps even find it spiritually uplifting.” Cantor Wollheim has made efforts to increase participation and enthusiasm among Beth Jacob members during weekday and
Shabbat services. This past March, with the help and support of Beth Jacob’s Senior Rabbi, Kalman Topp, and synagogue president Jack Fenigstein, Cantor Wollheim led “Harmony Shabbat” services with the Maccabeats, a Jewish a capella group that became famous through several hit videos on YouTube. The Maccabeats returned to lead High Holiday services with Cantor Wollheim as well. Wollheim has also sought to make the weekday and Shabbat liturgy more interactive and accessible for synagogue members, posting text and tunes of prayers online, and introducing new melodies that lend themselves well to singing along. Cantor Wollheim is now seeking to bring Jewish music to the community outside of the traditional service, with a focus on Jewish themed concerts and cultural events. On Sunday November 17, Israeli megastar Dudu Fisher will be performing live in concert in Beth Jacob’s Shapell Sanctuary. “Many find their spirituality in concert halls and not in synagogues, and my goal is to give stage to the beautiful music of ours,” says Wollheim. “Jewish music contains many different styles: traditional and con-
temporary, Eastern and Western, classic and popular and they all have beauty and connection to our tradition.” Dudu Fisher has spent his career bringing traditional Hassidic, Yiddish and cantorial music to new audiences. Fisher is best known for his performance as Jean Valjean in the Hebrew production of “Les Miserables,” which became the longest running show in Israel. He went on to play the role on Broadway and London’s West End. The singer has also held starring roles in productions of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Kol Nidre,” and “Over the Rainbow,” among others, and sang the role of Moses in the Hebrew version of Steven Spielberg’s “The Prince of Egypt.” He has sung with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore and Queens Symphony Orchestras, and has performed for Britain’s royal family, the Thai royal family and Presidents Clinton and Obama.
Cantor Arik Wollheim was born and raised in Israel, and served as the head soloist of the Israeli Military Choir, as well as Cantor of Congregation Agudath Sholom of Stamford Connecticut from 2001 to 2012. He has performed in a variety of over 30 roles both in opera and concert works and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music and Opera Studies. Beth Jacob is a Modern Orthodox congregation which has played a pioneering role in the development of Jewish life in Southern California. Beth Jacob is dedicated to creating a community of engaged, Torah educated, socially conscious, Zionistic and caring Jews. Beth Jacob strives to provide members of all generations, and the broader Jewish community, a spectrum of spiritual, educational, social, chesed, and cultural opportunities. For more information, please contact Beth Jacob at (310) 278-1911, or visit www. bethjacob.org.
of the event assured her that she was only interested in one program. Since they were there already, her mother encouraged her to look at all that was offered. By the time she and her mother were headed home, she had found three other programs that she was considering. On the way out she told Phyllis that she now feels she really has a choice, and what she chooses will be a good fit for her. One young man attended the event as a volunteer because he was sure that he wouldn’t be able to afford a year in Israel. After hearing the presentation by MASA, he now intends to try to find a program and work with MASA to find grants and other financial options. Another girl was so excited by a program she saw that she now wants to restructure the college plan she had already worked out.
“I was really pleased with how it turned out,” says Folb. “It was an enormous amount of work, but it was a labor of love.” That positivity was also visible at the event, where many stayed after the presentations ended to talk and enjoy themselves. Yeshiva High Tech intends to run this program, which was endorsed by the local high schools and NCSY, again next year. By then they hope to partner with even more schools and cities, broadening the reach of the Fair as much as possible. “We’re looking forward to next year and hoping to make it bigger and better. It has been extremely inspiring and encouraging, and I think the Los Angeles community is going to get behind it even more.”
Gap Year Fair Hosted by Yeshiva High Tech The first Gap Year Fair in the Los Angeles area in nearly a decade happened last Sunday at Yeshiva High Tech. Held at 5555 W Olympic Blvd, close to 200 students and families attended the event, which began with a session for the boys and ended with a session for the girls. Fifteen yeshivas, 10 seminaries and three other Orthodox post-high school programs were represented. MASA, the Israel scholarship organization, was a co-sponsor of the event. Their presentation covered the topics of financial aid and grants available to students, as well as college credit for Israel programs. David Suissa, journalist and author, delivered the keynote address. In his speech he described a short trip as having a fling with Israel, compared to the lifelong relationship to Israel that spending a year there built.
There was a need for a program like this, as evidenced by the turnout as well as enthusiasm of the community. “This Gap Year Fair was something that everyone really wanted,” says Phyllis Folb, college counselor at Yeshiva High Tech and organizer of the event. “It was extremely well-received both by the participating programs – who all said they would come back next year – and by the parents and kids.” Because it has been so long since a program like this has been available on the west coast, many attendees were shocked at the variety of options available to them. “We wanted to open up peoples’ minds to the different possibilities out there and get them excited about the year.” And based on some stories from the event, it seems they met that goal. One girl who spoke to Phyllis at the beginning
to the next 50 years. The the link between the past and the future.” In attendance were Sol and Ruth Teichman, Dubby Teichman, and Alan and Dorit Teichman and their three children. Rabbi Shifman and board president Daniel Aharonoff were there, along with several other board members. The list of distinguished guests also included Congressman Brad Sherman, Jeffrey Prang (Councilmember for the District of West Hollywood), Representative for Tom LaBonge (Councilmember for District 4), Representative for Bob Blumenfeld (Councilmember for District 3), Representative for Paul Krekorian (Councilmember for District 2), Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl, Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, Patrol Commanding Officer Captain Ernest Eskridge, Shirley Friedman (State Commissioner), Mr. Jerry Thomas (Parks & Recreation), Members of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Joe Bernstein, lawyer who assisted in park naming. The entire student body also attended, as well as the parents of the 3rd grade class who performed two songs under the direction of Rachel Seidel. The Congressman spoke about the US-Middle East Conflict and presented the school with an official United States flag. The Teichman Family was then given a beautiful plaque commemorating the event, which was followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony. The guests, including Rabbi Shifman, enjoyed the day. “I thought it was excellent. It focused on the kids.
Seeing 500 kids on the lawn … it was beautiful, especially to those who remembered when it started with only a handful of kids.” Emek opened its doors over 50 years ago, and today educates hundreds of students. “It will be a day to remember in Emek’s history,” says R’bibo.
Hungarian President Visits Los Angeles Synogague History was made at Congregation Bais Naftoli this Sunday when a sitting president of the Republic of Hungary, along with the First lady and a fourteen member high level delegation, made a personal visit to a synagogue on the West Coast. A Breakfast was hosted in the president’s honor by attorney Andrew Friedman, president of the Congregation. The president arrived in a motorcade with Secret Service protection. He was welcomed at the entrance by Rabbi Avi Leibovic and Andrew Friedman and personally escorted for a warm reception by all those present. After the president greeted the audience, the program was introduced by Rabbi Avi Leibovic reciting a special blessing required when greeting the president of a country with the Constitutional power of pardoning individuals. Thereafter, the traditional
prayer was recited by Andrew Friedman in Hungarian, requesting the Almighty to bestow health on the president as well as members of the Congregation. The highlight of the program was the president’s response to remarks made by Mr. Friedman when he recited excerpts from a recent speech by the Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary. In that speech, it was stated that every Hungarian is bound to face the responsibility, as 70 years ago it was Hungarians who killed Hungarians. The last survivors should be sought out and compensated, while the surviving memories should be kept alive, as Hungary’s responsibility. Hungary will use the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust as a reminder of the imperative “never again”. The president presented the Congregation with a booklet in memory of the synagogue’s founder,
Alex Friedman. The booklet contains three memorable speeches given by the president (one at the Israeli Knesset, one at the main Dohany Synagogue of Budapest and one at the Mauthausen Pictured L-R: attorney Andrew Friedman, Hungarian House President Miklos Perehazy, Concentration Camp). Janos Ader, President of the Republic of Hungary, Laszlo Kalman, Consul General of In each of these Hungary, Szapary Gyorgy, Hungarian Ambassador to Hungary speeches, the president reaffirmed the opened the House of Terror. 2012 was commemorated as the Raoul Wallenberg responsibility of Hungary in the Shoa. During the past years, Hungary has Memorial Year. Recently, Hungary has actively attempted to combat the rise of raised the Holocaust Survivors’ pension anti-Semitism throughout Europe. It was supplement by 50%. The Congregation mentioned that Hungary has introduced expressed its appreciation for these an annual “Hungarian Memorial Day” great efforts but all agreed that much for the Victims of the Holocaust on still remains to be done to eradicate the the 16th of April. The government cancer of anti-Semitism. also set up the Holocaust Museum and
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This past Thursday was a special one for Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center. The school, located in part on city property previously known as Magnolia Park, hosted a celebration to dedicate the park to the Teichman Family. “Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, our Head of School, wanted to honor one of the founders of our school by holding an official ceremony to inaugurate the park,” explains Sandra R’bibo, the event coordinator. “Much of the land from Woodley Ave to Sepulveda Blvd belongs to the US Corps of Army Engineers from whom we lease some of our land. In 1995, the deserted space was transformed into the beautiful grounds it is today with some tender love and care funded by the Teichman Family. Today, we officially recognized the area known as ‘Magnolia Park’ and renamed ‘Teichman Family Magnolia Park’ for the Teichman’s dedication to our school.” The renaming had real significance. “The Teichman name is on the school itself, but having the name on the park is important because the park is where the children get to go to enjoy themselves and have fun,” says Rabbi Shifman. “We feel that school is about the whole package, not just the academics. This allows us to focus on the entire child.” The school also has a special connection to the Teichman family. “Parks can only be named for people who have passed on,” explains Rabbi Shifman. “The family is the link to those who have passed on, but also
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Teichman Family Magnolia Park Dedicated at Emek Hebrew Academy
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NOVEMBER 14, 2013
Shalhevet Unveils Plans For New Campus Shalhevet is gearing up for construction of a new three-story facility on its current property on Fairfax Avenue. Once construction is completed, students and faculty will be able to spend their days in a bright and inviting building. The new campus will include classrooms that are fitted with the latest educational technology, two science laboratories equipped with the latest tools so students can engage in modern scientific research, indoor and outdoor space for students and faculty to interact, a two-story indoor gymnasium and a outdoor patio space. “Our new building will provide the Shalhevet student body, as well as the community-at-large, with space in which to learn, greater opportunities through which to grow and better tools with which to teach,” said Rabbi Ari Segal, Shalhevet’s Head of School. “Modern technology will mesh with the values of Modern Orthodoxy in an environment that preserves the warm and communal ambiance that is a hallmark of our school.” The school announced last June at its Gala Dinner that it will change its name to the Jean and Jerry Friedman Shalhevet High School once the new facility opens. Dr. Jerry and Jean Friedman founded Shalhevet in 1993 and Dr. Friedman served
as Head of School until 2009. The campus itself will be named the Feder Family Campus. Margaret and Paul Feder were among the founding supporters of the school, and Esther and Steven Feder are parents of two Shalhevet alumni and one current student, and have been key supporters of the school. Mrs. Esther Feder served as Shalhevet’s immediate past-president of the board. The new campus will be able to accommodate up to 300 students, but Rabbi Segal says that the school intends to cap enrollment at 240. “We feel that
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60 students per grade is the perfect size for our school. That size will allow us to maintain our close-knit community of students and teachers and will be a perfect fit for Shalhevet’s Just Community.” Rabbi Segal added, “Shalhevet was founded on the belief that the entire school experience should be a vehicle for moral growth and development. The new opportunities that will be afforded by our new campus will help us further this goal.” The school has entered into a partnership will Alliance Residential Properties to sell the southern portion of the Shalhevet property, which will be developed into apartments, town houses and some retail space. The funds from the sale will be used for the construction project. Construction is expected to take twelve months to complete. During this
time, the school is occupying the southern portion of the main building and its refurbished annex building. Shalhevet is currently engaged in a joint capital and endowment campaign that will help fund the remainder of the construction project as well as provide scholarships to students in need of assistance. The endowment campaign is part of the Jim Joseph Foundation High School Affordability Initiative, in which Shalhevet is proud to participate. “It’s a very exciting time at Shalhevet,” said Rabbi Segal. “People are really excited about having a new building. We just had our largest Open House ever with over 115 prospective students and their parents in attendance and you could really feel the energy in the air.”
Gefen Brings Café Flavor Into Your Kitchen There is nothing more exhilarating than the morning’s first cup of coffee in the hands of a true addict. Except maybe for the afternoon pick-me-up of ice coffee, cappuccino, frappes or latte. Coffee just got a whole lot more exciting with the unveiling of Gefen’s newest product. Years in the making, the research and experimenting have finally paid off with a product of unmatched excellence. Sure to become an instant staple, Gefen Ice Coffee Mixer is perfection in a bottle. Top grade coffee flavors and additives are expertly combined to create the intense, richly flavored syrup, bound to upgrade any cup instantly. When you’re aiming for something more than your ordinary beverage, just add a splash of Gefen Ice Coffee Mixer to a cup of hot or cold milk or water for that upscale café flavor in the comfort of your kitchen. Available in 3 delicious flavors, pick between Vanilla, Hazelnut and Caramel for your favorite magical cup. The magic doesn’t end in the cup though. Give homemade cakes and ice creams that extra zing with a dash of Gefen’s syrup, and turn ordinary yogurt into an extraordinary treat. In Irish coffees or with vodka on the rocks, the syrup’s versatility earns it a place of honor in
every pantry. Since 1995, Gefen has made it their mission to bring the kosher consumer high quality and innovative products. Always on the lookout to make life tastier and easier, Gefen Ice Coffee Mixer is really just an extension of this ongoing desire for innovation and growth. With hundreds of successful products, from canned goods to fresh juices, Gefen continues to uphold a tradition of excellence and the newest Ice Coffee Mixer just proves that again. Your morning cup of coffee might be a real necessity. This is a real treat.
By Avrohom Pardes
When two lomdei Dirshu join, as was seen hundreds of times during the Shabbos, the yarmulke they are wearing, the hat, shtreimal or spodek all become insignificant; it is like old friends coming together. All natural barriers that we unfortunately see in so many segments of our society just fall away. During shalosh seudos one could see a Skverer Chassid animatedly conversing with a Sephardic ben Torah; a medical doctor in earnest discussion with
achieve spiritual growth. In addition, Rav Borenstein brought a special message from the venerated Gedolei Eretz Yisrael for the august assemblage of bnei Torah. Shabbos Dirshu or Not Learning Must Go On 6:30 a.m. Shabbos morning: not the typical time for a moment of emotion, yet how can one not become emotional upon seeing the special bais medrash set up for learning without an empty seat?! Lomdei
a Litvish ben Torah from Lakewood, and a Satmar Chassid kibitzing with a Gerrer Chassid. Certainly the conversation started with Torah - a Gemarah, a difficult Shach in Yoreh Deah, but it continued far beyond. Friendships, bonds of true, authentic ahavas Yisrael were forged as a result of the ahavas Torah and the ol Torah that Dirshu embodies. Eyes Focused on Messages of Gedolei Yisrael in Attendance The beautiful mizrach, the front of the Shul and dais during the drashos was a microcosm of this genuine Torah achdus. There was the special guest, one of the most distinguished Roshei Yeshiva from Eretz Yisrael, HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Kiryas Melech; the distinguished Skverer Dayan from Boro Park, HaGaon Harav Nachman Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, shlita; HaGaon Harav Yeruchem Olshin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood; HaGaon HaRav Chaim Cohen, shlita, well known Dayan and Rov D’Chasidei Gur Flatbush; HaGaon Harav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Staten Island; HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva Telshe and Mesivta of Lakewood; HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zafrani, shlita, Sephardic Rosh Kollel, Khal Bnei Torah and so many others. All eyes focused on them throughout Shabbos to hear divrei Torah and gain guidance in how to conduct our lives and
Torah who had gone to sleep at 1 or 2 a.m. were toiling over their seforim. Not only were they occupying every available seat in the bais medrash but they filled every chair in the lobby area and beyond, pushing sleep away, because Shabbos Dirshu or not, the daily learning and chazarah must go on! That encapsulates the secret of Dirshu, and that was the secret of the incredible atmosphere of Dirshu’s Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah - the fact that no matter what is going on in life, a Shabbos Dirshu, a simcha or chalilah a difficulty, the one thing that remains constant is total dedication to limud haTorah the Dirshu way. “Today we see that it is possible,” Rav Yeruchem Olshin said, for one to have truly giant goals and to reach them. To know Shas, know entire, major areas of Shulchan Aruch. Dirshu has been machzir atarah l’yoshnah, returned the crown of Torah to its original glory!” A Call to Join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Another indelible impression was the call from Rav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein in his name and in the name of Gedolei Eretz Yisrael to all of Klal Yisrael to incorporate the daily learning of halachah and mussar into one’s schedule through the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. Especially in such a time of peril for acheinu bnei Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael where the Torah way of life is under assault, becoming cognizant of Hashem in every aspect of our daily lives through learning daily
Mishnah Berura and mussar can certainly invoke Divine mercy for our brethren in Eretz Yisrael and for all of Klal Yisrael. “Torah Gives Life” Perhaps the most moving part of the Shabbos that truly illustrated the power of Dirshu to make Torah the defining part of one’s life, literally, ‘ki heim chayeinu,’ was the presence of chaver Dirshu, Rav Avrohom Dovid Weisz. Rav Avrohom Dovid has been taking bechinos for years with nearly perfect scores. What separates the quality of his learning are the circumstances in which he learns. Reb Avrohom Dovid has ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease). There is not a muscle or a limb which he can move, aside from his eyes. On a respirator and feeding tube, the only way that he communicates with society is through blinking his eyes. Reb Avrohom Dovid learns the Daf, chazers the Daf, takes the bechinos and finished Shas! It takes him well over 14 hours to complete each test! On Shabbos, his wife, whose role in facilitating his learning and everything he does in a manner that defies description, gave a speech to the women infusing them with indescribable feelings of chizuk and emotion. She related how, after one of the many surgeries when he had remained in a comatose state and was not waking up, it looked like he was not going to make it. Tehillim and tefillos were recited for his recovery around the world. “One night when it was really bad, our aide, Oto came to visit and walked over to my husband. ‘Abraham,’ he said, ‘you have to live! You can’t die! You have to come home a take your Dirshu test!!’ Imagine,” Mrs. Weisz exclaimed, “Even a non-Jew recognized the importance, the fact that Torah gives life, literally!” Yes, with Reb Avrohom Dovid, one sees tangibly every day that Torah infuses him with life. Ki Heim Chayeinu! Is it any wonder that Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu, flanked by the elder Gedolei Yisrael who attended the convention expended every bit of energy to dance before Rav Avrohom Dovid Weiss? Is it any wonder that as they danced to the accompaniment of Rav Avrohom Dovid Weiss’s eyes which were dancing from simchas haTorah, there was not a dry eye in the hall?! Indeed, the Dirshu Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah was an open demonstration of Ki Heim Chayeinu!
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“Rav Pam once said, “Ah kleine mentch - a small person with a small heart that is full of emotion and feeling. That is how we all feel today,” said Rav Zev Smith, Shlita, Maggid Shiur Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and Irgun Shiurei Torah, at the outset of the keynote session at the Dirshu Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah. Indeed, that was the overwhelming feeling throughout the Shabbos emanating from the hundreds of lomdei Dirshu and their wives who participated in a Shabbos at the DoubleTree Hotel in Somerset, NJ, a thundering proclamation of ahavas haTorah that simply defies description. Ahavas HaTorah Leads to Ahavas Yisrael One of the least likely things to fill the kleine hartz of this writer with a torrent of emotion was something as seemingly mundane as hundreds of feet dancing. Yes, the sight of hundreds of feet dancing brought me to tears. It was Motzoei Shabbos, the atmosphere was permeated with simcha, true simcha and I was wiping tears away. It was the feet. There were pants tucked into socks and those that weren’t; white socks and black socks, pants or socks topped by bekeshes and those that weren’t, this kind of shoe, that kind of shoe… Diverse feet dancing in complete synchronization physically and emotionally pointed to what was perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Shabbos, the achdus, the unification of a very diverse crowd. It wasn’t an artificial unity, but rather a deep unity of purpose, an achdus formed by Ahavas HaTorah that translated into Ahavas Yisrael on a profound, extremely rare level. Hundreds of lomdei Dirshu from various communities across the United States and Canada with differing minhagim and lifestyles and one thing in common, one thing that brought them together: they spend the most important part of their day learning the daily limud, reviewing with multiple chazaros and taking tests. Every one of those Dirshu learners enjoyed that common experience, the feeling that their learning defines their day more than anything else; the feeling that their learning while it is relentless, an ol, a yoke, a shibud, something to which one feels subservient, it is simultaneously an avdus, that comes with a tremendous simcha not only for the Dirshu participant but for their wives who equally sacrifice countless hours to afford their husbands the requisite time and mental energy to forge ahead.
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Life Giving Torah; Life Preserving Achdus at Dirshu Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah
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NOVEMBER 14, 2013
IDF Col. Ilan Egozi Speaks at VTHS Israel Support Club Kick Off By Yaakov Stone, VTHS Senior
Valley Torah High School Boys Division launched an exciting new club last week— Committee for Active Israel Support and Education (CAISE)—with a special program on November 6, featuring guest speaker, Col. Ilan Egozi (res.), recently retired executive director of Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization (ZDVO) and representative of Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans-Beit Halochem (FIDV). Egozi, a disabled veteran himself, spoke to the students about his experiences in the Israel Defense Forces and about the FIDV, which provides care for Israeli soldiers who are permanently disabled after serving in the Israeli military. FIDV runs four Beit
Halochem centers; in Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, with another center under construction in Ashdod. Col. Egozi served in the military for 25 years. He spent most of that time in the Navy unit Shayetet 13. Egozi was held as a prisoner of war in Egypt for nine months while fighting in the Six Day War. After his discharge from the army, Col. Egozi began serving as director of ZDVO. “I represent the organization myself,” said Egozi as he pointed to his glazed-over eye with a hook attached to his arm where his hand used to be. During his service, Egozi picked up a grenade that was rolling towards fellow soldiers. It blew up in his face, and he lost an arm and an eye as a result. Col. Egozi continued to serve in Shayetet 13 after his injury, running missions with his unit in Lebanon. The Beit Halochem centers, built from funds raised from Jews around the world, become a second home for disabled veterans. At the centers disabled veterans are able to rebuild their lives, which were ripped away from them by dishabilitating injuries. They receive medical services, including
physical and psychological rehabilitation, and play sports to help in the recovery process. “We have over 50,000 members in the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization,” said Egozi, “Even in years of peace, we get over 300 new members a year from wounds in training and antiterrorist missions.” Egozi elaborated on particularly touching stories of veterans who he felt best represented those at Beit Halochem. One such veteran, Rafi Falach, was blinded by a land mine and has never gotten the chance to see his young daughter. “For the first time since I was plunged into darkness, I wanted so badly to see,” said Falach on a video that Egozi showed the students, “just for one moment, God, please, just once to see my little girl. After that I won’t care about being blind for the rest of my life.” With assistance from FIDV, the centers help the soldiers through the struggles of becoming accustomed to life as a disabled veteran. Dr. David Shashar said in the video, “Beit Halochem is like a home. A home that no one wants to be in, but when you are there, you understand that it is a place that provides support and help, a
place filled with people—good people.” At Beit Halochem, the veterans are given a chance to begin anew. Beit Halochem has produced multiple Paralympic medalists including a gold medalist in tennis. ZDVO supplements care at the centers, organizing cultural activities, providing study grants and giving disabled veterans outlets to learn and grow after their injuries. “For them, the battle is never over,” said Col. Egozi, “With our support they can win.” The goal of the VTHS’s CAISE club, which operates in conjunction with the American Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC), is to teach the students how to be advocates for Israel in high school, college and throughout their lives. The club will hold its second event on December 10, featuring AIPAC Valley Area Director Oren Lazar. VTHS Senior Doni Dror is the club’s student leader and Rabbi Daniel Grama is the staff coordinator. Col. Egozi’s visit was generously sponsored and organized by Dr. Uri and Mrs. Effie Zisblatt, current VTHS parents, and Mrs. Zisblatt’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bleich.
leaders, both as adolescents and as adults in the future. Our approach boils down to three components: our identity, our staff, and the way we empower and inspire our students.
continue their education in highly ranked colleges and universities, including many at Yeshiva University. The world is a fast moving, rapidly changing place here in 2013. The values of our Yeshiva, in both engaging the world around us and remaining firmly grounded in the traditions that have sustained us for thousands of years, remain the same. What does change, and what does get constantly reevaluated, is how we deliver these values, with a focus on educating in a format and structure that will excite and inspire young adults in our community today. As you can see, those are some pretty big goals. We believe in dreaming big! But how do these dreams get translated into reality?
additional opportunities for growth, both spiritual and academic.
YULA Open House On October 29, 2013, over 250 prospective students and parents filled the beit midrash, courtyard, hallways, and classrooms at YULA Boys High School’s Open House 2013: Find Your Inspiration. Rabbi Dov Emerson, Head of School, reflects on how the entire process of developing, planning and creating the Open House program gave him the opportunity to articulate what it is that makes YULA a unique and incredible place: At YULA, our goal is to inspire our young men as proud Orthodox Jewish
IDENTITY As I mentioned in my remarks at Open House, YULA is a Modern Orthodox Yeshiva High School for Boys. What does that mean? It means that we are committed to creating graduates who have the skills, desire, and knowledge to make learning Torah and spiritual growth a lifelong pursuit, while having all sorts of doors open to them in higher education and in their careers. We seek to create graduates who are inspired leaders, who are eager and unafraid to make a difference in the world and in their communities. We recognize that it is often our graduates who serve as ambassadors in their place of work to the Jewish and general community, and we strive to give our students the tools to make a Kiddush Hashem in every action they take. We seek to fulfill our mission as G-d’s chosen nation by educating our talmidim to engage the world, with the values of our Torah as their lens. We seek to create graduates who have a deep and sincere love for the State of Israel and our brothers and sisters who reside there. Our graduates overwhelmingly choose to study in Yeshivot in Israel after high school, and to
STAFF Our outstanding staff of Rebbeim and teachers are our greatest asset. They create the environment that fosters a desire to grow and learn here in YULA. As I stated at the Open House, our faculty create the air that our students breathe here in yeshiva, and what comes out is their unique neshama, their inspiration. Our faculty comprises a community of learners who are diverse, driven, professional, and passionate in the often-challenging work of educating and inspiring. At every academic level, our faculty works tirelessly to bring out the best in each young man. When our students experience the pleasure of that “Aha!” moment where they now get it, this is a recipe for inspiration, and it ultimately leads to our students seeking
STUDENT EMPOWERMENT As I surveyed the Beit Medrash at our Open House, my eyes were drawn to the perimeter of the room, as I watched our YULA Student Ambassadors and Junior Ambassadors, in their distinct black and yellow shirts. These young men, representing the full range of schools and communities in the greater Los Angeles area, are leaders in every sense of the word. Our Open House is referred to internally as “For the students, by the students,” and observing the sheer volume of work they put into this event was truly inspiring for me. This snapshot is really emblematic of a larger approach that we take at YULA, which is to empower the students to take leadership roles in their educational, religious, and extra-curricular endeavors. From a student run Friday Kollel lunchtime learning program, to a basketball team committed to leading by example both on and off the court at last weekend’s Cooper Invitational in Memphis, TN, to our students attending the AIPAC High School Summit last week as members of the largest high school delegation in the country, this is empowered student leadership in action. It is these experiences, and the many others that are available to our students, that allow individual young men to take ownership of something and shine, and in the process, uncover strengths they did not know they had.
By Jack Kirschenbaum
YULA senior Adam Liber hit a three pointer on the team’s first possession, and the team never looked back again. Up 11 points at half time, Coach Eli Hami reminded the boys to keep playing passionately no matter how many points they were winning by. Although the Hawks cut the lead to 5 points in the third quarter, after a few key layups by seior JoJo Himmelman, YULA had a double digit lead with about a minute remaining in the game. Senior Ariel Sokol sealed the victory with some freethrows to end the game as YULA won 4939. Adam Liber and Menachem Solomon each led the team with 12 points. “Our scoring is always going to be balanced because of how deep our team is,” said Liber after the victory. In the other semi-final game, the North Shore Stars, who were seeded 4th, upset the Chicagoland Tigers, who were the overall number one seed. That meant that the YULA Panthers would be wearing their home jerseys against North Shore the following day. “YULA’s a good team, but I think we’ll end up as the champions,” predicted North Shore’s point guard Avery Lubin before the game started. YULA started the game off with a bang as Adam
Liber sunk a three pointer, but Lubin matched him with a three of his own on the other end. From then on, Northshore had a really tough time stopping the Panthers as YULA jumped to a 14-4 lead. Northshore tried throwing different defensive zones at the Panthers, but YULA figured all of them out. Most of their first half possessions ended with layups from either Ariel Sokol or Daniel Tzion. In the second half, Northshore tried to guard the Panthers with man-to-man defense, but their center, Cody Cohen, had no chance guarding JoJo
Himmelman. Himmelman dominated him in the post the entire second half. YULA was up 51-37 and led by 16 points from JoJo Himmelman. The 14-point victory was the largest in a championship game in Cooper tournament history! After the game, Menachem Solomon was named to the tournaments 1st team, Ariel Sokol was named an All Star, and JoJo Himmelman was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Yashar Koach Panthers!
My Alma Mater - Valley Torah High School By Eliezer A. Jones, PhD The other night my wife and I participated in the age old tradition of the high school open house that many parents of 8th graders go through when searching for the right Jewish school for their child. However, this was not any open house. It was the open house at my alma mater, Valley Torah High School. To say this open house was not the one I attended so many moons ago as a soon to be high school freshman would be an understatement. The presentations were polished, the videos powerful, the mini-lessons prepared and the sushi and cappuccinos delicious. Plus, while my memories of Valley Torah are ones of a high quality education, clearly they have come a long way since my days of (inside reference headed your way) waiting for the empty 5 gallon arrowhead bottle in Mr. Wards class to stop bouncing. Now, while it was clear my school has grown over the years to become a leading provider of Jewish education and college and life preparation, one thing obviously has remained the same. It was why I chose to attend VTHS years ago even though it was not the closest school to my home. The school remains, as it was back in the day of Pearl Jam and Crystal Pepsi, a strong community of students and teachers that feel warmly connected to Valley Torah and its values as well as Jewish life and learning. How is that possible after all these years? First, I would be remiss to not credit the sta-
ble leadership of Rabbi Stulberger, Valley Torah’s Dean. As I have written before, strong positive school leadership is the critical element to a healthy school culture. The warm and nurturing atmosphere Valley Torah students have experienced for decades is due to the leadership style of Rabbi Stulberger and those who choose to be part of the vision he sustains. However, there is another element that I think can’t be overlooked. It is what I believe has also lent itself to the intimate academic atmosphere that I attended and the one that current students attend; the size of the school. While I am a huge proponent of technology in the classroom and in life, there is no question that our digital generation are growing up with “friends” that may lack the substance of a true friendship. With our online social networks, we run the danger of substituting the strong ties we have with a few friends offline with the many weak ties we have with our online friends. Don’t get me wrong, we can have both and keeping in touch with friends even minimally online is wonderful. It certainly helps maintain long distance relationships that otherwise would disappear. Yet, while I greatly value my extended online community of friends, I recognize the need to nurture my offline friendships if I want to keep them. That is why my strong friendships are only reserved for a select few given the time and effort that requires. I came across the video (below), the innovation of loneliness, based on the book, alone togeth-
er, by Sherry Turkle and the article, the invention of being lonely, by Dr. Yair Amichai-Hamburger. The video highlights research that suggests that we are not wired for hundreds of friends and it goes against human nature to try. The video reports that “the maximum natural size of a group of humans is roughly 150 members” and we are incapable of intimately knowing more than that. The video points out that loneliness has increased and points to social networks as the culprit due to the substitution of true friendship for less meaningful online connections. This lesser state of connectedness occurs on levels way beyond our capacity for meaningful relationships. Additionally, it puts us into an almost addictive pursuit of meaningful connections nearly impossible to achieve online. We almost hoard these online friends with a focus on accumulation and not cultivation. This may very well be why my experience at Valley Torah was meaningful and why it may be more important that my son attend than I did. With a digital generation growing up with “friends” made up of online connections in the hundreds and even thousands, it is more important than ever to have a nurturing learning environment that enables students to connect socially on a meaningful level and within their capacity for human connection. The Valley Torah Boys Division has over 100 students with capacity for about 150 students.
It has capacity for the exact amount of students where meaningful connections can be nurtured and built. Listening to the administrators, teachers, parents and current students at the open house, the environment that is unique to Valley Torah is clearly an element cherished as it was back in my day. And it should be. It not only makes students feel cared for and encouraged to succeed, it is providing what is getting more difficult to find in the world our children are growing up in. There are many aspects that make Valley Torah an amazing school, but the fact that they remain a school focused not only academic excellence, but also social, emotional and spiritual growth, may be the secret formula that sets them apart from the competition. Keeping the size of the school within the range of meaningful relationships ensures, as mentioned by an alumnus at the open house, each student remains a part of the Valley Torah community for the rest of their lives. In today’s amazing fast paced digital world that struggles with building genuine community, it is good to know students at Valley Torah will learn how to create meaningful relationships, feel connected beyond the four walls and four years of the school and be better prepared to engage on a meaningful level with the global world around them when they graduate.
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After a disappointing 8th place finish in last year’s Cooper Yeshiva High School National Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, the YULA basketball team came into the tournament this year excited for a chance to redeem themselves. As the third seed, the Panthers opened up against Weinbaum Yeshiva High School, a team who they beat by over 30 points at Sarachek last year. Weinbaum started the game strong by going up 8-2, but the Panthers were able to fight back and win the game 67-34. The next matchup for the Panthers was the sixth seeded Haftr Hawks. Haftr kept the game relatively close in the first quarter, but the Panthers went into the half with a ten-point lead. They then extended the lead and won 51-32, thanks to 15 points by YULA senior Menachem Solomon. “We can’t get too confident,” said Menachem after the victory. “We haven’t upset anyone yet. We’ve just beaten the teams we should have.” On Saturday night, the team faced the Ramaz Rams who were the second seed. The Rams, led by 6”2 shooting guard Jaimie Cappell, had just come off a three point victory over the New Jew Jaguars, and were excited to take on the Panthers.
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YULA Panthers win 2013 Cooper Invitational
Photo credit monikalightstone.com
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Rabbi Shalom Arush speaks at Nessah Synagogue by Robert Cordas
Rabbi Shalom Arush, author of the bestselling Breslov work Garden of Emuna and other popular Breslov works, spoke to the Los Angeles community in an event produced by the Maayon Yisroel Hassidic Learning Center in conjunction with Nessah Synagogue. Over 700 people packed the main sanctuary at Nessah to hear the words of Rabbi Arush. Rabbi Arush was accompanied by Rabbi Lazer Brody, one of Rabbi Arush’s main disciples who has steadfastly spread Rabbi Arush’s teachings to English Speaking countries by translating many of Rabbi Arush’s works, most notably the Garden of Emuna into English. Rabbi Arush spoke to the crowd in Hebrew, pausing intermittently for his words to be translated by Rabbi Brody into English. Rabbi Arush spoke about the contradiction between man’s free will and Hashem being in control of the world. He explained that the only thing that man is in control of is desire, and Hashem leads man in the way his desire points, whether it is towards good or evil. Hashem then implements the consequences of man’s actions based on that desire, and therefore still is in control of the universe. “This is exactly what Maayon Yisroel is here for” explains Reuven Wolf, its founder and director, “we are dedicated to bringing the inner light of Torah to the masses, especially in Los Angeles, and Rabbi Arush draws from many Chassisdic sources , in particularly from the teachings of Rebbe Nachman, the founder of Breslov Chassidus, and makes it understandable and accessible to ordinary people.” After the lecture, Rabbi Arush gave individualized Brachos to members of the audience. Maayon Yisroel Chassidic Center is located at 140 North La Brea Avenue in the Beverly/ La Brea area of Los Angeles. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2008 by Rabbi Wolf, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teach-
ings of Chassidic Judaism. Rabbi Wolf has a unique background that enables him to spread the teachings of Chassidus as well as connect with Jews of all persuasions, whether they be Chassidish, Litvish, or even non-affiliated. He was raised in Boro Park as part of the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. Rabbi Wolf has been a Jewish educator since 1995, teaching students of all ages, from adults to early elementary children. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chassidic philosophy. Maayon offers many classes based on the teachings of Chassidus. Rabbi Wolf’s Monday night “Parsha in my Life” shiur draws on many Chassidic sources, weaving mystical interpretations and Chassidic teachings into the themes from the weekly parsha. The “You Vs. Yourself” class resumed this past Wednesday night, discussing the fundamental ideas of the Tanya regarding Jewish nature. Rabbi Wolf’s Thursday night shiur delves deeper into Chassidic themes related to the parsha, often lasting 2-3 hours. Rabbi Elchanan Tauber offers a morning class at Maayon based on the teachings of the Chassidic master Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, the great- grandson of the Baal Shem Tov. Maayon Yisroel hosts symposiums throughout the year, inviting Rabbanim from throughout the Los Angeles community to give over inspiration, Divrei Torah, and their unique insights and perspective. The center also conducts services on Shabbos, offering an inspiring Kabbalat Shabbos drawing on a compilation of Chassidic Melodies, a Shabbos morning shiur on a Chassidic Discourse followed by Davening, and an intimate Shalosh Seudas with inspiring Niggunim and Divrei Torah following Minchah and leading in to Maariv at the conclusion of Shabbos.
slides, each of which are 20 seconds long) Rabbi Ari Segal explained how Shalhevet is a unique and exciting school that is not afraid to take chances. He stressed examples like the recent Jewish student journalism conference that Shalhevet hosted as ways that Shalhevet is pushing the boundaries of Jewish education and providing unique experiences for our students. After the presentations in the Beit Midrash, the students and parents had the opportunity to select from a wide variety of mini-lessons given by teachers including such exciting topics as a Tanakh class entitled “A Story of the Underdog”, an Algebra class called “How Did Cowboy Joe Know The Barman Was Cheating?”, a Talmud lesson called “Between Here and
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This past Sunday, Shalhevet High School held it’s annual Open House for prospective students and parents. With over 115 students and their parents in attendance, it was Shalhevet’s biggest open house. Visitors were greeted and checkedin by students equipped with their iPads that they use on a daily basis in school. At the event, parents and students packed the school’s standing-room-only Beit Midrash to hear from student speakers, Head of School Rabbi Ari Segal and other administrators and watched the school’s new video “Going Places With Shalhevet”. (www.tinyurl.com/shalhevetvideo) During his face-paced and engaging presentation, (an exhilarating form of presentation that originated in Japan called a Pecha Kucha, where the speaker plays 20
Heaven: Foundational Principles in Jewish Law”, a CIJE-Tech Engineering class and many more. Students and parents also had the opportunity to ask questions of a student panel. Following the panel discussions,
everyone was invited out to Shalhevet’s outdoor sports court for dinner and a fair featuring all of Shalhevet’s academic subjects and many co-curricular programs.
Mr. And Mrs. Frank Menlo To Represent Los Angeles At Rabbinical Seminary Of America- Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim 80th Anniversary On Sunday, November 24, Yeshiva sidrei limud, designed to nurture talmidei Chofetz Chaim of Queens will hold its 80th chachamim and ba’alei mussar in the gloriAnniversary Dinner at ous tradition of Pre-War Terrace on the Park. The Europe. They leave the Dinner will offer a panYeshiva imbued with oramic glimpse of the the ideal of Harbatzas Yeshiva’s national imHaTorah, ready to compact, while celebrating mit their lives to the sertwenty-two Musmachim vice of Klal Yisroel. For - a new generation of many, this will translate leadership in Harbatzas into full-time chinuch HaTorah. careers, while for othEighty years ago, Yeers this will mean conshiva Chofetz Chaim was ducting themselves as founded by Rav Dovid B’nei Torah and Ba’alei Leibowitz zt”l, with the Mussar in every setting, goal of introducing to the serving as role models of American continent the middos tovos and agents Henoch Leibowitz Zt”l, former Rosh Yeshiva of concepts of iyun HaTo- Rav of Kiddush Shem ShaYeshiva Chofetz Chaim rah in all its depth and mayim. sophistication and Slabodka Mussar in all its The Yeshiva encourages its alumni to profundity and glory. Rav Dovid’s life was build Torah institutions from the ground up. tragically cut short at the age of fifty-two. Emphasis is placed on out-of-town commuHis son, Rav Henach, only twenty-four at the nities, which represent the areas of greatest time, committed himself to perpetuating his need. Alumni currently serve more than father’s legacy, a mission he faithfully pur- 100 communities internationally; they have sued for over sixty-six years. Rav Henach founded 10 elementary schools, 20 high zt”l led the Yeshiva through times of hard- schools, 12 beis medrash programs, and 40 ship and uncertainty, and ultimately lived kiruv centers, kollelim, and shuls. The Yeshito witness the Yeshiva’s dramatic growth va devotes a great deal of resources to enin recent decades. Before his passing, Rav courage and support alumni in the field. Henach designated Rav Dovid Harris shlit”a At the Dinner, special guests will repreand Rav Akiva Grunblatt shlit”a, as his suc- sent eight communities which are home to cessors. Under their leadership, the Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim affiliates; these “ambassacontinues to grow in size while increasing dors” will be recognized for their leadership the number of communities in the scope of roles in the development of Mosdos HaToits outreach. As they look towards the future, rah. the Roshei Yeshiva draw strength from the Mr. and Mrs. Irving Langer will represtrong foundations of the past. sent Brooklyn, NY; Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Today, Chofetz Chaim’s main campus Bock and the Ghermezian Family will repin Kew Gardens Hills is home to nearly 400 resent Las Vegas, NV; Mr. and Mrs. Frank talmidim, including more than two hundred Menlo will represent Los Angeles, CA; Kollel yungerleit. Talmidim spend many Mr. and Mrs. Barry Ray will represent Milyears maintaining a rigorous schedule of waukee, WI; Dr. and Mrs. Allan Jacob will
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Shalhevet Holds Largest Open House Ever
represent Miami, FL; Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Madeb will represent Rochester, NY; Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Deutsch, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Glassman and Dr. and Dr. Craig Reiss will represent St. Louis, MO; and Dr. and Mrs. David Freedman and Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Silber will represent Vancouver, BC. A special memorial tribute will honor the legacy of Rabbi Mordecai Tropper zt”l, whose passing just five months ago left an irreplaceable void in the fabric of the Yeshiva. A lifelong talmid of Rav Henach Leibowitz zt”l, Rabbi Tropper worked hand in hand with him for four decades, playing a pivotal role in the Yeshiva’s development. As the Yeshiva’s beloved Mashgiach, Rabbi Tropper’s personal involvement in the lives of thousands of individuals had an incalculable impact. The ideals he taught and embodied are an eternal legacy, and his name will forever be associated with the Yeshiva and its identity. Mr. & Mrs. Boruch Delman will be honored with the Young Leadership Award, recognizing Boruch’s dynamic leadership among the Yeshiva’s alumni community. Boruch embodies the ideals taught in the Yeshiva, serving as model of honesty and integrity in the workplace, while he and his wife Chanie together build a home of chesed
Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim of Queens
and tzedakah, practiced modestly and without fanfare. Dr. & Mrs. Herbert Blustein, longtime residents and vital members of the Forest Hills Jewish community for over half a century, will receive the Dr. Raymond Feinberg z”l Chesed Award. Together, the Blusteins serve as role models of a beautiful marriage and a successful partnership, pool their collective energies for the benefit of the community. Mr. & Mrs. Reuvane Rhodes will be honored as Parents of the Year. A talmid of the Yeshiva who formed personal relationships with both Rav Henach Leibowitz z”l, and Rav Dovid Harris shlita, Reuvane, together with his wife Basi, embodies the middos the Yeshiva strives to inculcate, conveying them to their children in a home infused with Torah, hachnosas orchim and Kiddush Hashem. ---------------------Dinner Chairman Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginzberg, Mara D’asra of the Chofetz Chaim Torah Center in Cedarhurst, notes the significance of this milestone anniversary: “Eighty is not only a time to recognize past gevurah, it is a time of renewed commitment to face new challenges in new generations.”
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Making Good Use Of Time -Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Motzei Shabbat Parent-Child Learning Kicks Off by Rabbi Ephraim Osgood At Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy we emphasize Midot Tovot within every activity in order to help our students grow into Menschen. Motzei Shabbat Parent Child Learning is no exception. While the rest of the country may have been excited to squeeze in an extra hour of sleep due to daylight savings time, at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy we had a totally different agenda. Among the Midot Tovot that we emphasize on a daily basis is “Kedushat Ha’Zman”- the sanctity and preciousness of our time. This includes making sure that we maximize all of our time in class, at lunch, in the yard, and at home. The 150 people who filled our lunchroom to capacity for our first Motzei Shabbat Parent Child Learning program of the year, made an amazing choice concerning
how they would take advantage of their “extra hour.” They decided that they wanted to spend some quality time learning Torah with their child in a fun and warm environment. After the initial half hour of Parent-Child learning the children were treated to a raffle where a first time attendee, new Hillel student Eli Ferszt won the evenings largest prize, a Jersey Card of new Laker Sean Williams. Eli loves our Motzei Shabbat Parent Child Learning program and commented “I loved the program. It was a great mix of learning and fun.” After the raffle the kids chose to either play some sports or join our Bnot Sherut for a Parasha based Peula. The parents were treated to a shiur from one of our superstar Mechanchot, Morah Zippi Klein,
who in addition to being the sixth grade Mechanechet also runs our Chidon Ha’Tanach Program. After working up a hearty appetite, the kids were ready to dig in to not only our usual pizza and orange juice, but our special kick off ice cream party as well. Motzei Shabbat Parent Child Learning continues Leila Nelson studying Chumash with her savta Alicia and her father Harry through March 8, 2014. Each week that a student to the entire community. For more informacomes, he/she increase his/her chances of tion or for sponsorship opportunities please winning the Grand Prize I-Pad mini being email Rabbi Osgood at eosgood@hillelheraffled off at our final program on March 8, brew.org. 2014. The Program is free of charge and open
Huge Turnout for the Fourth Annual Walk4Friendship By Ilana Vadiyants me sing, this song of friendship, it’s all we ever have, the friendship song, the friendship song.” Other notables presenting on stage were Rebecca Kianmahd, a 10th grader at Milken Community High School, who promoted the walk at her school and has volunteered at Friendship Circle for 6 years. “As a volunteer, I’ve learned what it means to have a true friendship based on values of caring, respect, patience and fun,” said Kianmahd.
In closing of the ceremony, Chani Lazaroff, mother of Tani, a child with special needs expressed her gratitude and kindness toward all the people that have showed their support for the Friendship Circle and all that the Friendship Circle has done for the Jewish community. “As parents of special needs children, sometimes we feel alienated and alone, not quite fitting in anywhere,” said Lazaroff. “But thanks to Friendship Circle, we have found a home. With this
incredible program and volunteers, Friendship Circle has become an extended part of our family.” Following the ceremony, the 3k walk began as everyone got into the spirit clad in purple t-shirts with friends and family by their side, and upon reaching the finish line the walk ended with a celebration of food and fun activities: train rides, mobile mural lab, carnival games and more.
Photo credit David Miller Studios
The 4th annual Walk4Friendship was truly a walk to remember, which attracted more than 1,000 participants and raised 100,000 plus for important programs that enrich the Jewish company and its kids with special needs. The event took place on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Rancho Park with an inspirational opening ceremony led by Gail Rollman, Director of Development at the Frienship Circle, a nonprofit organization that brings “joy, cheer and respite to children with special needs and their families.” “We’re thrilled that you’ve come out for this amazing day to celebrate what Friendship Circle does for the Jewish community, for our kids,” said Rollman. “What I also want to do is give a huge shout out to all of the sponsors that have made today possible. On the back of your t-shirts you will see a list of very generous people, please give a huge round of applause for all the walk sponsors.” Since opening its doors in 2003, Friendship Circle united teen volunteers and children with special needs together, to encourage acceptance, inclusion and friendship, providing services to 140 families. Michy Rav-Noy, Executive Director of Friendship Circle, took the stage to serenade the crowd and introduce the walk with his rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” except his was “The Friendship Song.” The song really set the stage as to what friendship walk is all about , as members of the community unite as one to show their love and support for an amazing cause: “Special kids make all the difference with the help of all the mighty, they teach us how to love unconditionally. So let’s all walk together, united as one, as Jews, as humans, as children of the holy one. Won’t you help
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Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
shiva University) but there’s a difference if we’re heading uptown or downtown. You can face uptown, but if that’s not the way your train is moving then you’re not going to get there. We have looked at three perspectives of time: Rebbe Nachman – Life is like a dreidel; Maharal – Spiral view of Jewish History; and Vilna Gaon – Either we’re moving up or we’re moving down. Let us take these three concepts a step further. In Kabbalah we have a concept called ohr ein sof – the infinite light. How are we to understand this primordial infinite light? Spiritualist Rabbi David Aaron shares an analogy that strikingly clarifies this esoteric concept. Imagine that you are walking into a magic store. In the corner of this magic store they sell flashlights that are assembled with all different types of lights. You could, for example, buy the anatomy flashlight. When you shine this flashlight on your hand you don’t see a hand but rather you see cells, ligaments, organs, etc. Or you could buy the art flashlight and when you shine this flashlight on your hand you see your hand as though it looked like a Picasso. There are hundreds of possible flashlights for you to try. But then you get to the ein sof flashlight. You pick it up with curiosity and shine it on your hand. Suddenly you see, for the first time, your true self. This is how the mystics have related to the light of Chanukah. Of the Chanukah candles we say – assur l’hishtamesh bahem ela lirosam bilvad –it’s forbidden to use them except to look at them. What does that mean? The whole year we don’t benefit directly from the light source. Rather, we derive benefit from its byproduct which is the light. When we walk into a room we can use the room for its true function because it is lit, but we pay little attention to the light itself. On the Sabbath the candles we light are lit because more light in the home brings greater peace in the home. That is also benefiting from the byproduct of light. However, on Chanukah it is the light source itself which must be enjoyed not its byproduct. Why? Because like the infinite light, it is the truest vision of this world. It’s the closest we can come to perceiving the Infinite One. This deepens Rebbe Nachman’s life is like a dreidel concept. On Chanukah we look into the flame and in there we can pay witness to the True Source. It is with this conception that we understand that the dreidel is not spinning randomly, it is being guided. It is with this conception that we can comprehend that while some of us live a lot of our lives on Shin and many on Hey, when you take a step back from the dreidel tournament and acknowledge that G-d is controlling the dreidel then you realize everything is there for a reason. I can begin to
understand why I need that Nun right now in my life. It’s not random. We began to develop the Maharal’s concept of Jewish time working like a spiral where we visit the same spiritual points each year but on a different plane. According to the Gemara one of the decrees of the Greek government against the religious Jews was that they were no longer welcome to bring their first fruit celebration – bikkurim – to the Temple. Why not? According to the Mishnah, in Bikkurim one had until Chanukah to bring their first fruits to the Temple. Chanukah is a perfect marker because it symbolizes renewal. Chanukah symbolizes a people’s ability to rise up and renew their mission. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says that Yavan – Greece – has the same numerical value as GalGal – because their relationship to time is determinant, fatalistic, and cyclical. Maharal’s understanding of the Jewish calendar is a constantly progressing spiral that allows us to revisit the same point and renew it. Let us look again at the Vilna Gaon’s notion of progress and growth. When open miracles rear their head in our faith, they always appear for a specific reason. We don’t receive miracles for the purpose of miracles. Chanukah classically celebrates the emergence of a pach katan - one small jug of oil. Leaving aside the question of why we needed the miracle to begin with (when in fact – טומאה הותרה בצבורimpure items are permissible in the public sphere) – why did the miracle manifest via one small jug as opposed to the miraculous finding of a whole barrel of oil? The Sefas Emes posits that the Jewish People were at that moment at a very low spiritual spot. They didn’t have much in the religious tank. Hellenism had made significant inroads into the Jewish community and psyche. The significance of this “small” miracle was to illustrate that in order to achieve victory in our lives we don’t need to have a perfect past, we don’t need to be Yosef HaTzadik, all we need is that one little jug – call it the pintele yidi, the kabbalistic nitzoz (spark), or the jar of heart. Rav Tzvi Meir Zilberberg says that this idea conforms with the position of Beis Hillel with regards to lighting on Chanukah. The ideal is that we light by adding one more candle each night – מוסיף ( והולךadding and moving forward). All we need to elevate ourselves is to start small and from there we can conquer an army. Sit on these conceptions of time. Let them ruminate for a bit. And G-d willing Chanukah may be a bit different this year. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at email@example.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
Rebbe Nachman often speaks about the power of dimyon – imagination. In that spirit he strokes our imagination with a powerful Chanukah image. Rebbe Nachman says that life is like a spinning dreidel. Sometimes our lives keep landing on Shin and we seem to never catch a break. Other times our lives are partially fulfilling and in that sense we have landed on Hey. This evocative illustration leads us to develop three engagements with, or perceptions of, time. Perception 1 – Life is like a dreidel One engagement that we have with time is in the way just expressed by Rebbe Nachman. Life is like a dreidel. Life is a seemingly random spin of the wheel. Philosophers sometimes refer to this outlook with the image of a bag filled with nails. Shake up the bag and the result is random and chaotic. This is one perception of time. The short sightedness of this perception is that it ignores that great Hand controlling the dreidel. The Dinnover Rebbe distinguishes between the control of a Purim grager where the handle is below and the Chanukah dreidel where the handle is above. G-d’s Hand in the Chanukah story is open and revealed. Perception 2 – Maharal’s Spiral We may be familiar with another engagement of time. When the angels come to Avraham in his tent to bring him news, we are told that he was making cakes. The Midrash clarifies that he was in fact preparing Matzos. Why? Because it was Pesach. How is that possible? The Exodus from Egypt and entry to Israel didn’t even happen yet! The Maharal explains that the difficulty is predicated upon a faulty assumption. We assume that time moves linearly. Event A (Exodus) transpires and this leads us to commemorate by certain Rituals year after year. This is incorrect. Event A happens because imbedded in creation is the notion that this specific day is imbued with a power for renewal and redemption. The Exodus was able to happen because of the potential inherent in this time. Not the opposite. And time does not move forward repeating the same point each year; rather we repeat the same point but we visit it from a different plane. This is the significance behind the Rambam’s almost direct quote of the Ge-
mara: “One is obligated to see themselves as though they are leaving right now from Egypt.” The Seder evening is not an exercise in memory or pretending. Rather it’s an opportunity to revisit that same point in time but on a different level of the spiral. Perception 3 – Vilna Gaon’s forward movement The Vilna Gaon writes that if we are not moving up then by necessity we are moving down. There is no staying in one place. After numerous years of studying the most sublime Torah in the Yeshiva Shem and Ever, Yaakov takes his first sleep in a long time. When he rests on the rock we read about how he saw angels climbing down and up a ladder. Angels make another appearance in Yaakov’s life when he is leaving the house of Lavan. We are not told about the function of these 2nd set of angels. What is the Torah trying to teach us? The Har Etzion Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aharon Lichtenstein says that the Torah is underscoring the passion and drive of Yaakov. The fact that he dreamed of angels after studying Torah day and night is no surprise. But the answer to the question of what does Yaakov dream of after living with a swindler like Lavan, is he still dreaming of greatness and angels? Does he still have a longing for glory? The answer is unequivocally yes. “Who is wise, he who learns from everyone.” So says the tana in Pirkei Avos. What did Yaakov learn from Lavan after spending many years there? Rashi gives us a window into his experience at Lavan’s house. Yaakov’s opening words, to his brother Esav in their encounter, are “עם לבן גרתי,” - I was living with Lavan. Rashi adds: I was living with Lavan “and I kept the 613 commandments and I didn’t learn from Lavan’s wicked ways.” At face value it sounds like Yaakov didn’t learn a thing from Lavan. However, there is another way to read this Rashi. Rav Yehoshua Berkowitz, former Rabbi of Shaarei Tefilah, suggests the following read: “I didn’t learn from Lavan’s wicked ways” but “I did learn from his good ways.” Perhaps Lavan’s passion for wickedness and deceit was something to be adopted into Yaakov’s practice of mitzvos. Perhaps Yaakov learned to live with passion. This interpretation would explain why he was interested in delivering this message to Esav. Yaakov was letting his brother know that he is not the quiet docile individual he may remember from his youth. On the contrary, he has become the ultimate Jewish warrior. Living the 613, and living them with a fire. This is the forward movement of the Vilna Gaon. In a witty variation of this growth progression, the late YU Rosh Yeshiva Rav Yerucham Gorelic would say that we may all be on the A-Train (the train that one would take to go from Manhattan to Ye-
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Three Conceptions of Time How Life is Like a Dreidel
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NOVEMBER 14, 2013
Our Other Brother Rabbi Reuven Wolf
This week’s Parsha, Parshas Vayishlach, relates the return of Ya’akov from the house of his uncle and father-in-law, Lavan, to his father’s house. We know that Ya’akov left his home in haste, a step ahead of his murderous brother, Esav, who was incensed at Ya’akov for “stealing” their father’s blessing. When he came to Lavan, Ya’akov was virtually penniless. But when he left some twenty years later, he had two wives and two concubines, many children (according to the Midrash, 23 children in all), and great wealth that he had accumulated off the holdings of Lavan. No doubt Ya’akov was fortunate to come away from the house of Lavan—the greatest con-artist in all of human history—with his spirit and his soul intact. On his way home, Ya’akov communicated to his brother Esav, that: Im Lavan garti—“I lived with Lavan”—and the commentaries note that “garti” has the same letters as “taryag”—the numerical equivalent of 613, so that Ya’akov was telling Esav that, though he lived with a rogue like Lavan, he kept all the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah. Now, Esav at this time, the Parsha tells us, was living in Edom, an area off to the east of the Land of Israel, while Yitzchak was living in the south of the land of Israel (then Cana’an) proper. Ya’akov could have easily made it to his father’s house without coming anywhere near Edom, so there really was no reason for Ya’akov to worry about his brother Esav during his trip back home. The commentaries therefore wonder why Ya’akov took such pains to mollify and placate his brother. Nachmanides suggests that perhaps Ya’akov was afraid that Esav was so angry with him that he would surprise-attack him on his way all the way from Edom. The Mizrachi (Rabbi Elijah HaMizrachi— of 15th century Constantinople) finds this difficult to accept. Ya’akov could easily have skirted Esav’s encampment by a large distance. Even if Ya’akov sought to finally reconcile and make peace with Esav, why do it while en route? Why not wait until he is in his father’s house and settled—and able to mount a defense? After all, Rivkah, their mother, sent word to Ya’akov that it was safe for him to come home. Why stir up trouble by confronting Esav at this point? In the end, when Ya’akov sent messengers to Esav with gifts and offers of peace, the messengers reported to him that Esav was heading toward him with an army of 400 men— and the Midrash comments that each of these men was a general in charge of an entire legion. Ya’akov was quite right to be fearful of how an encounter with this force would end for him and his family. Then the encounter occurs: Ya’akov
does not know until the last moment what is going to happen as Esav comes charging with his 400 generals. But then the two brothers embrace and Esav kisses Ya’akov. In the Sefer Torah, the word “vayishakehu”—“and he [Esav] kissed
remember a few things: first, Ya’akov and Esav were brothers—not just brothers, but twin brothers. And we also have to remember that, “Yitzchak loved Esav” (Bereishis 25:28). Yitzchak was no fool; he must have seen
PERHAPS, YA’AKOV MUST HAVE THOUGHT, HE HAD MADE A GRAVE ERROR AFTER ALL. him [Ya’akov]” is written with dots over the letters—to some this indicates that the kiss was insincere, but Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai said, to the contrary—it indicates that this was a sincere (if uncharacteristic) show of the brotherly love of Esav toward his brother Ya’akov. Still, the Midrash is critical of Ya’akov for provoking this entire encounter and subjecting his family to this danger unnecessarily. According to some, Ya’akov was punished for this with the abduction of Dinah by Shechem, which follows in the Parsha. The question remains, what was Ya’akov thinking? Why go to these lengths to placate and make peace with Esav at all? Then, when we look at the Haftorah for this Parsha—the prophecy of Ovadiah regarding the fate of Edom, the descendants of Esav, in the End of Days at the coming of Moshi’ach—we find a strange turn of events. While here in our Parsha, Esav is pictured as a nation of immense power and strength, enough to threaten the entire existence of Ya’akov, in Ovadiah, Esav is pictured as succumbing to the judgment of, and finally conquest by, Israel: “And the exiled force of the children of Israel” the Haftorah and the words of Ovadiah ends, “…will inherit the cities of the South [of Edom]; and those saviors [the Israelites] will ascend Mount Zion and judge the mountain of Esav, and that kingdom [of Esav] will be [conquered by the] kingdom of Hashem.” While there is always a connection between the Haftorah and the Parsha, we don’t usually find the Haftorah and the Parsha in such discord and so contradictory to one another as we find here. There clearly is something here that needs further thought. It would seem that we have to re-assess our entire relationship with Esav. Though it would be difficult to imagine two more diametrically opposite spirits and personalities than Ya’akov and Esav—the former the very image of complete dedication to righteousness and service to Hashem; and the other the personification, it would seem, of pure evil and cruelty—we have to
something in Esav that impressed him. The commentaries suggest that Esav continually tried to fool his father, but the Kabbalists suggest that Yitzchak (nobody’s fool) genuinely saw some great potential in Esav that engendered a sincere and well-reasoned love. Perhaps Yitzchak saw in Esav the potential of the Ba’al Teshuvah—the person who turns his evil proclivities and talents to good. And we know that such a person “stands where a completely righteous person cannot stand”— meaning higher and closer to Hashem. But the bond between the Jewish People and the descendants of Esav is a deeper and a surprising one—a relationship that explains Ya’akov’s actions and may color our entire attitude toward the non-Jewish world. For the Midrash and Chassidic rabbis tell us that the exile we currently live in these past two thousand years is an exile under the rule of the Empire of Rome. Of course, ancient Rome is no more, not in the way it was in antiquity. But the civilization that we call “Western Civilization”—with all its emphasis on power and military might; with its devotion to Christian principles and theology; with its emphasis on comfort and wealth—we view as the dominant Empire we have lived under for two thousand years since the Destruction of the Second Temple. The image that Ovadiah presents, then, is not of Esav vanquished by Ya’akov— not of the civilization of the West conquered by Israel—but of Esav turning to a recognition of Hashem and the dominion of Torah values in the world. As would be expected of true brothers, we are responsible for our brother—Ya’akov is his “brother’s keeper” after all—and it will be our task to bring Esav—all the “Esav’s” of the world—to Teshuvah at the coming of Moshi’ach. That is the prophet’s view of the Messianic age. So when Ya’akov was returning to his father’s house, having succeeded, all through the precarious years with Lavan, in maintaining his commitment to Hashem, his adherence to Torah, and amassing
a great fortune and a great multitude—he thought as he passed not far from the domain of Esav, perhaps this is an opportunity to start that “rehabilitation”—to bring Esav closer to that final turn-around that will be the hallmark of the Messianic Age. Rivkah could have told him that there was no such luck—Esav was far—very far— from being ready to do Teshuvah. And Ya’akov’s messengers reporting to him of Esav’s march toward him with the 400 generals told him the same thing. Perhaps, Ya’akov must have thought, he had made a grave error after all. But the encounter did not end in disaster. It ended with a kiss between two brothers—a hopeful note that, as much of an “Esav” Esav may be, there was still a bond between him and his brother—a hope that one day Ya’akov would “bring his brother back.” Think of what this all says about our relationship with the Gentile world. It’s not one of hostility—though one might think we had plenty of reason to be hurt and disappointed in how that world has treated the Jewish People over the ages. But the Messianic Age will involve the entire human race—it will be a great and redemptive event for all of humanity. And that redemptive turn-around will entail a brother—the Jewish People—bringing its beloved brother—the Empire of Rome, heir to and descendants of Esav—back to the faith of our Fathers, Abraham, Yitzchak… and Ya’akov. [We suggest readers check out Rabbi Wolf’s beautiful explication of the Kabbalistic teachings of the Ari-Zal that explain the way in which the evil of Esav is a manifestation of Creation and part of the Divine design for the universe. This can be found as part of the recording of the original Shiur of this class, which appears on the Maayon Yisroel website at: maayonyisroel/1367/vayishlach-the other-brother/ — Ed.]
Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.
“BeyondFace” Sessions at Touro Tackle Jobs—and Life
By Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz with that background—and learning how to not allow those elements from keeping us down and preventing us from taking the first steps on our “life’s journey” is a critical first phase of the maturation process. 2. Who is taking this journey? Getting a clear image of one’s own abilities and talents—an image of self—is an essential step in any journey. Participants were encouraged to explore their creative abilities—what areas of life, work, culture and society excite their imagination and engage their minds and creative “juices”?—and to focus on what areas are they interested in making a contribution. “In this respect,” Mr. Golcheh emphasized, “the very opening of Genesis, the first words of Bereishit,
ple. 4. What is your purpose, your goal, in taking the journey? Mr. Golcheh asked the participants to stop and think for a moment: what would you like to achieve in your life? What dream would you like to pursue and what would it mean for that dream to be fulfilled? To answer these questions—and to answer them honestly and intelligently—requires a frank assessment of one’s talents and of one’s interests. What subjects can you never hear enough about and will engage your interest and passion long after everyone else (even your closest friends) is bored to tears with? Time and again, history has shown that these are the sources of the real contributions the creative people of the world make to a better life—for everyone no less than for themselves. Like any ship, the journey of life needs a crew, navigators and captains. This is the role of the mentor—the teacher that many of us can point to as the one who set us on the path we are on—by inspiring us, encouraging us, supporting us, and by making our enlightenment that teacher’s most important goal in life. Morrie and Josh Golcheh—a father and son team, in business and in life 5. What is your destination? A journey without are enlightening. We humans are made ‘in a destination is pointless wandering. And the image of G-d’, and what is it that G-d while there may be something valuable does in the beginning? He creates.” Seeing sometimes in aimless wandering, it’s not a ourselves as creators—and, in the manner sensible approach to life. In Jewish tradiof the Divine, able to create through words, tion, we look upon change simply for the the sanctified process of speech—is a crit- sake of change as foolhardy (however political step in the development of the human ically enticing it may be). We seek instead being. Answering the question, “What am to return—Teshuvah—as the goal. ReturnI? I’m a _______” in a word or two can be ing to basic, core human values; returning an enlightening and provoking exercise (as to the elemental creative elements of our Boldface Workshop participants found spirit and the basic natural talents and interout), and can lead to a greater awareness of ests that move us; returning to the elemenwho we are and what we are best suited to tal teachings of human decency and dignity that lay at the foundation of our traditions— do. 3. How are you going to travel? Just as these are the things we seek to “return to” we would not think of taking a trip across and which help us determine the goal and an ocean without a suitable and sturdy destination of our journey. In a sense, the ship, life’s journey need’s solid and careful Workshop emphasized, we are “returning preparation, and a sturdy vehicle that will to ourselves”—finding the key elements of get you where you want to go. The hallmark the unique talents we possess; the special of Jewish life has always been education interests and individual personality traits and study—preparing the mind for the chal- that define who we are; the identity of who lenges of life. Getting the solid education— each individual is uniquely and singularly. Drawing again from Jewish tradition, and getting with that “book knowledge” the knowledge that can only come with expe- Mr. Golcheh pointed out that even G-d has rience—is an essential part of the planning something with which to work at the very one must do before taking any journey. This beginning of Creation: the world, the Bible is why Jewish communities throughout his- tells us, was tohu va-vahu—“unformed and tory have devoted so much energy to their empty”—and that G-d proceeded to creeducational institutions and to the teaching ate a universe through the act of speaking: of both skills and values to our young peo- “And the Lord said, ‘Let there be Light,’
and there was light (Gen. 1:3).” We humans need to emulate G-d in forging our lives and creating positive things in the world: we need to: (a) appreciate the sanctity of our words—mean with total sincerity and commitment what we say, to ourselves and to others. (b) fill the emptiness that is all around us in the form of unfilled needs and unaddressed wrongs in the world; and (c) shed light—in the form of love, caring, understanding and knowledge—wherever we go in all that we do. Following a pizza lunch, the participants heard from four young professionals who spoke about applying the concepts and methods of BeyondFace to their professional lives, offering both career advice and the possibility of learning more from them through internships and work in their operations. The group heard from: Ben Cherny, a successful real-estate broker who specializes in retail spaces in the Greater Los Angeles area. Ben spoke of the importance of networking in his business and of finding the niche in the general area of real-estate (or any business in which one is engaged) on which to focus one’s energies and talents. Then Josh Golcheh, an alumnus of TC-LA and son of Morrie Golcheh, and a young man who has already made a positive mark on the real-estate world in Los Angeles with his creative approach and his warm personality, spoke of the importance of having a mentor and of finding the specific area of the world (or of a business) that will allow one to find creative solutions to problems. The group then heard from Lyle Howry, CEO of Skinfly Entertainment, a production company that currently has seven projects in production. Lyle spoke of the importance of having a sound value system in overcoming the adversities of life, and of finding—and respecting—the key elements that drive any business, such as (and especially), return on investment. Finally, the group heard from Nick Speed, a young entrepreneur who was developing, with Mr. Golcheh’s help, an enterprise aimed at lowering the “carbon footprint” of commercial buildings in Los Angeles Area through a program (fully government-funded) of retro-fitting their lighting and environmental systems. More about the BeyondFace program can be found on the website, BeyondFace. com. _________________________________ “Touro Corner” is edited by Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz, a member of the Touro College-Los Angeles Faculty.
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It was not a garden-variety Job Fair; not your run-of-the mill Career Workshop. In morning and afternoon sessions held at the Touro College–Los Angeles campus, students took part in BeyondFace Workshop sessions designed to help them determine a career-path best suited for them and to find jobs that would further their professional aims. Using an engaging combination of games, Q-and-A, graphics, multiple presenters and even video, BeyondFace Director Morrie Golcheh, long-time supporter of Touro College-Los Angeles and a respected leader of the Los Angeles business and real-estate community, led workshops for some 50 participants on Sunday, November 10, at the TC-LA West Hollywood campus. But if students came expecting to hear the same dreary old advice on resumé preparation and interview techniques—things they have heard many times before—they were pleasantly surprised as Mr. Goldcheh and his team focused on the basic elements and thought-processes that any person, especially a student finishing his or her undergraduate course of study and preparing to enter the world of work and career, should be thinking about. And along with the engrossing collection of amusing anecdotes and enlightening diagrams, attendees were also treated to a generous helping of Jewish tradition and wisdom, as Mr. Golcheh pointed out Jewish values and teachings that are relevant to determining what career path one should follow, and how they can best contribute to the public good through their work. By challenging participants to respond to his provocative questions—and to talk to and engage one another—Mr. Goldcheh emphasized that the path to adult life of work and family is just that: a path, or more accurately a journey, on which all of us must travel if we are to get to our desired destination: a fulfilling and rewarding life. With the help of his co-presenter, Prof. Sarah Safari, a UCLA-trained electrical engineer who has climbed mountains (and, a peek at YouTube reveals, also sky-dived!), the participants themselves (with Mr. Goldcheh’s help) designed the five basic questions that anyone embarking on a journey should ask, and applied them to the challenges and goals of life: 1. Where are we starting our journey from? Looking at the psychological and emotional answer to that question (not just the geographical one), we find that we often have a great deal of “baggage” with us as soon as we step out the front door. This baggage can consist of patterns of our upbringing and childhood experiences that can hamper us in making a serious and effective effort at achieving what we hope to achieve—in fulfilling what we dream we might accomplish in life. Learning to deal
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Not Just Another Workshop:
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Peace and Truth
Every account and detail of the avos and their travels is replete with life-lessons and directives. Parshas Vayishlach, in particular, is a guide-book in relations with the umos ha’olam. Chazal tell us that the chachomim who traveled to Rome to meet with their overlords would carefully study this week’s parsha prior to setting out on their precarious journeys. In order to succeed in their missions on behalf of the Jewish people ruled by the Romans, they studied this week’s exchange between Yaakov and Eisov. The opening to Parshas Vayishlach tells us about the malochim sent by Yaakov. Rashi teaches that the messengers sent by Yaakov to scout his brother were malochim mamesh, angels. What was it about this mission that could not be carried out by men and required angels to fulfill the task? Additionally, we must understand why Yaakov immediately assumed that there was malice in the heart of his approaching brother. How did he know that Eisov intended to harm him? Perhaps upon hearing that his brother was returning home after having done well, he wanted to greet him and express his love. The Baal Haturim in Parshas Toldos (25:25) states that the numerical equivalent of Eisov is shalom, peace. He writes that the Kallah Rabbosi explains that if his name weren’t shalom, he would destroy the world with his wickedness. Perhaps we can understand the significance of this gematriah differently. Eisov always presents himself as a man of peace. He seeks peace and walks in peace, and all of his actions appear to be motivated by his desire to spread peace and brotherhood in the world. Yaakov feared that if he would send a human being to explore his brother’s intentions, the messenger would be taken in by Eisov’s outward appearance and would be comforted with the knowledge that he seeks a peaceful existence with Yaakov. Yaakov was attempting to influence his brother not to harm him. He sent malochim in a bid to temper Eisov’s wickedness and to probe his intentions. As soon as he heard that Eisov was on his way to him, Yaakov sensed that he was in danger. The Torah doesn’t recount that the malochim warned Yaakov that Eisov
was planning to do battle, only that he was on his way. But Yaakov understood that if Eisov was coming towards him, it could only mean trouble. The Ramban writes in his introduction to this week’s parsha that it “contains a hint for future generations, for all that transpired between our forefather Yaakov and Eisov will happen to us with Eisov’s children, and it is fitting for us to go in the path of the tzaddik (Yaakov).” Later in the parsha, we read of Sh’chem’s desire to take Dinah as a wife. He and his ruling father, Chamor, sought to convince their people to agree to the terms set by the shevotim. To secure their agreement, they told their constituents that the Jews were good businessmen, and if they agree to perform milah, they would gain access to the Jews’ possessions and flocks (Bereishis 34:23). And so it has been throughout the ages. We convince ourselves that the nations of the world care about us, like us, and have our best interests at heart. We forget the admonishment of Chazal [Pirkei Avos 2, 3] that “Hevu zehirin barashus she’ein mikorvin lo l’adam eloh letzorech atzmon.” We hobnob with politicians, deluding ourselves into thinking that they are actually interested in our issues. We forget the lessons Yaakov Avinu taught about how to deal with governments. We look at Eisov with respect and high regard, as if he is concerned about us and our welfare. We are impressed when he expresses his interests in living with us in peace and are stunned when we read of increasing anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews. We are incredulous when Eisov turns on us. We read the news of the ongoing talks with Iran and find it hard to believe that America is admonishing Israel for daring to interfere with their mission to reach a peace deal with Iran, to solve the nuclear crisis that Israel’s prime minister created when he warned of Iran’s evil intentions. Current administration officials are more careful with their language, but a former one wasn’t as diplomatic: Nicholas Burns, formerly a senior State Department official, said that Binyomin Netanyahu had no business publicly calling on the nations of the world not to capitulate to Iran. “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s public
outburst was unfortunate and ill-advised,” said Burns, now a professor in Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “It has gone down very badly in the U.S.” The nations of the world want peace, but the Jew gets in the way. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Israel last week, prodding along his doomed peace talks between the murderous Palestinians and Israel. Apparently, the secret talks are not advancing as planned, and Kerry is upset. He threatened Israel with international isolation and renewed violence if his peace efforts failed. He also said that the construction of apartments in areas such as Kiryat Sefer and Ramat Shlomo raises questions about whether Israel is really interested in peace. The nations of the world want peace, but the Jew gets in the way. The wicked among us also adopt the posture of Eisov, portraying themselves as poor victims, whose only desire is to achieve peace and harmony. As they thrash about, promoting their agendas, they claim that the heirs of Yaakov are guilty of deviating from some imagined gospel. They smile and we weep. They are smug and we fret. They are calm and intellectual, while we are erratic and frightful. Under the banner of peace, using niceties and catch-phrases, a new generation of diplomats seeks to destroy the lone lamb amongst seventy wolves. While we fear what plans New York’s new mayor has for the legality of milah, to our north, the premier of Quebec announced her new charter of values last week. She says that the intention of the plan is to make minorities feel welcome and respected in the province, yet there is much to fear. Officially tabled as Bill 60, the law forbids the wearing of “ostentatious religious symbols,” such as yarmulkas, for anyone in a public position. This includes doctors, clerks, politicians and postal workers. No visible signs of Jewishness will be permitted. The bill also includes a provision forbidding religious day-care centers, which receive government subsidies, from discussing Shabbos or Yom Tov. It also bans distinctive religious foods, such as hamantashen, challah and maybe even latkes. The songs our children come
home singing, such as “Eisov is coming with four hundred men,” will be verboten in Montreal day-care centers. The middah of Eisov is alive and ever-present. It is rare for anyone to publicly proclaim, “We don’t like you. We detest your beanies, beards and long coats. You make us nervous and we are determined to make you feel uncomfortable.” Instead, they say, “We embrace you and welcome you. We only want to make you feel comfortable. This is an exercise in making you fit in, nothing more.” Eisov is begematria shalom, for that is the garb he uses to gain entry into our camp and upend us. Great men, descendants of Yaakov, have always opted for the emes of Yaakov, stating the facts as they are and accepting the ramifications. Rav Yitzchok Hutner, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, once felt it necessary to speak out against a prominent Jewish leader. Rav Hutner called the person and asked for an appointment to see him. “I will come to the rosh yeshiva,” said the gentleman. Rav Hutner turned down the offer and traveled to meet him. “I just wanted to tell you,” said the rosh yeshiva, “that I will be speaking against you to my talmidim. I don’t agree with the ideas you have been expressing of late and I feel an obligation to protest them.” Rav Hutner then picked himself up and left, leaving the man on the opposite end of the desk astounded. He later related that although he was upset, he was impressed by the courage and confidence of the rosh yeshiva. A rov was delivering a shiur to professionals, when one of the participants asked a question. “Rabbi, it seems that your chareidi rabbis are always fighting and arguing between themselves. The rabbis from my world seem to get along much better. In fact, they have a weekly golf game where they enjoy each other’s friendship. Why can’t your guys get along?” “I’m sure you noticed,” responded the rov, “that sometimes you walk into a shivah house and the mourners are sitting together in a huddle, reminiscing and sharing stories. Other times, however, the mourners are unfortunately spread out, in
saying that he didn’t understand the logic of it. Rav Aharon turned to him, his blue eyes aflame. “Un ah Tosafos farshteitz du yoh? And a Tosafos you do understand?” Shalom is only an attribute when it is within the framework of emes. The novi Michah said (7:20), “Titein emes l’Yaakov.” Yaakov Avinu, the fountain of emes, sent malochim to Eisov to gauge his positions. Yaakov yearned for shalom, but his primary concern was that it be within the context of emes. He sent malochim mamesh, who could discern the truth of Eisov’s intentions. Yaakov was sending a message: “If you speak of peace, but under your smile lies a dagger, I will have no choice but to kill or be killed. I will not compromise on the emes. I won’t change and will not adapt it to conform to your evil path.” We seek peace and we seek to harm no one, but the pursuit of the truth is our
primary motivator. As our forefather Yaakov did (Rashi 32:9), we prepare ourselves with doron, tefillah and milchomoh. We offer peace, we daven for success, and when all else fails, we prepare to battle. Peace is important. It is way up there on the list of what we seek. But emes trumps it. Let us endeavor to inculcate a desire for emes and shalom. Let us hope and pray that peace will reign supreme in our camp, and that a united desire for truth leads to calm and harmony. Let us all seek to bring about a truthful truce wherever Jews disagree. We look forward to the day of which the novi Ovadiah speaks in this week’s haftorah: “Ve’olu moshi’im beHar Tzion lishpot es har Eisov.” The era will soon arrive when Am Yisroel will exact punishment on Eisov for his guile. May it be soon.
Question & Answer Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries. If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks. All names will be held confidential. I am never sure when I am asking too much or too little from my child. Is there a magic age when I can know when to start asking my child to attend minyan, clean his or her room, sit at the Shabbat table and the like? Dear Too Much or Too Little: As parents and educators we would love our children to fit into a box. We would love to know when the “right” time is for everything. Indeed a great emphasis is placed in life on doing things at the exact and correct time and in the most orderly fashion. Although this holds true in many aspects of our lives, when it comes to child rearing, things get more complex. There are many psychologists and educational theorists who have created taxonomies and timetables for development and in many areas their theories do hold true. However, these theories summarized in child development charts only take a parent or educator so far. In Jewish Education and parenting we refer to two verses. In Mishlei (Proverbs) we rely on the quote of Chanoch lenaar al pi darko - “Educate each child according to his (her) way,” and in Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy) we rely on the verse ki haadam eitz hasadeh - “for man is (like) the tree of a field.” Both these verses enlighten us when it comes to relating to our children in the real world. First and foremost we must remember children develop differently and respond to our direction based on who they are as
individuals. When Mishlei says al pi darko it is teaching us that each child responds at his or her own pace. Even though there are general developmental stages that act as guides, there has to be room for individual development. There is no magic formula to follow when it comes to guiding the development of our children. Look at your child as unique and deserving of an individualized plan for reaching his or her potential. Use the professional taxonomies as guides but not as the exact identifier of your child. When identifying the areas of specific growth for your own child look to the pasuk in Sefer Devarim of ki haadam eitz hasadeh - “for man is (like) the tree of a field.” Use the tree metaphor as a guide. A tree needs good soil and roots in which to grow. These are represented by a solid home and parents who provide a stable environment. Each tree needs its own climate in which to grow successfully, so with a child, it behooves parents to provide for a healthy climate that suits the needs of the particular child. Likewise, a tree needs to be pruned and watered and tended to with care. This serves as a metaphor on how parents have to show love and care and at the same time have to set boundaries for children. A healthy environment is something every tree needs. You need to make sure that your child has the space to be his or her own individual while still surrounded in the correct atmosphere. Even though there is a science as to how to make sure a tree develops successfully, one basic rule remains the same. The farmer cannot force
the tree to produce fruits too early. Can you imagine if you took a tree and started yelling at it “grow, grow fruits.” Or even if you begged the tree, “grow, grow your fruits.” Would any of those actions (alone) ensure the fruit grows. Of course not. Likewise, we cannot force a child to do something too early, nor can we just sit back and expect the child to meet a challenge by him or herself all the time. So what is the answer? When is the right time? The answer lies in knowing your child and familiarizing yourself with the darko of the child and what type of eitz hasadeh your child can be compared to using the tree metaphor. Being a parent requires vigilance. Tend to your child (the tree) with care and knowledge and you will merit to see your child grow into a ma-
ture individual that will produce fine fruit that will give you nachat for many years to come. To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, email@example.com. We want to hear your thoughts. This article was compiled by Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin and Rabbi Eli Broner Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Administration
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is to rejoice in each other, to work together to enhance the common good. Too often, shalom is the easiest option, rather than confronting penetrating truths and realities. Yaakov Avinu also wanted shalom, but he wasn’t prepared to sell out for that ideal. The posuk (ibid. 32:8) relates, “Vayira Yaakov meod.” He feared he’d get killed. He worried about killing someone. Nevertheless, capitulation to Eisov was not an option. Rav Aharon Kotler was an indefatigable activist for communa l causes, often working with other rabbonim and roshei yeshivos achieving historic accomplishments. He knew how to apply the middah of shalom, but that didn’t prevent him from saying what he felt needed to be said. He was present at a rabbinic gathering when a gadol made a suggestion that a rabbi then shrugged off from the podium,
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different homes or different parts of the room, rarely exchanging words with each other. “That phenomenon usually occurs when there is a large inheritance at stake to be probated. The children are tense about the impeding battle, and with the lines already drawn, the tension prevents them from being able to sit together. When there is no major inheritance in the way and no coveted items to be divided between themselves, goodwill can prevail and they can sit and mourn together.” The rov concluded: “Our rabbis see themselves as heirs to a very serious inheritance, a mesorah they consider life itself. Thus, differences of opinion are inevitable. Your rabbis, to whom the mesorah means little, have no reason to fight. There’s nothing worth fighting over.” The wisdom of the answer reflects a truth about shalom. Yes, the ultimate goal
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ology, promote co-existence, and promote real peace between Palestinians and Israel. Whether it can happen or not, I don’t know. I do know that hatred will never stop from the PA unless it is exposed, condemned and change is forced on them. The international community is funding the PA; they’re the ones who are planting the seeds for the next war. That is our ultimate goal – real change towards peace. The more immediate goal is going to country after country to make them aware of what’s going on. Exposing that that PA is the terrible impediment to peace will change the Palestinian image in the world and will help Israel. A stronger, less isolated Israel will bring more security and peace.
7 Questions with Itamar Marcus Director of Palestinian Media Watch By Rachel Wizenfeld Itamar Marcus recently presented at StandWithUs’ annual “Israel in Focus” conference held in Los Angeles. 130 students from the US and Canada heard from renowned speakers and learned the facts and skills needed to better educate about Israel on their campuses. Here, Mr. Marcus gives us the scoop on his organization’s work and critical successes in the international arena. Is Palestinian incitement and violence through media getting worse or changing at all in character? Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) is documenting much more than Palestinian Authority (PA) media incitement. We’re documenting the general direction that the leadership is bringing the people. We expose for example that the PA’s head of sports and Olympic authority sponsored a Ping Pong tournament last month that was named after and glorified the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who led a bus hijacking in which 37 people were murdered. We use the media as a window into Palestinian society, showing activities that glorify terrorists, like this tournament, and also events in which the PA presents a world without Israel, like this past month when young girls sang about “Palestine” and its wonderful cities of Jaffa and Haifa. The PA’s ideology is to deny Israel’s existence and right to exist and to glorify terror. PMW monitors two PA TV channels and Hamas TV completely, in addition to PA newspapers, schoolbooks, official Facebook pages of Fatah and many of their leaders. We would like to do even more. We’re finding some of the most shocking hate promotion and terror glorification on Facebook – often messages that they wouldn’t put on PA TV. It’s important because it tells us the messages they are sending to Palestinian youth. This is one of the areas we must expand. We also follow educational magazines that are funded by the PA. What we’re learning is that there are so many educational frameworks that the PA is involved in There’s a Palestinian educational magazine run by the minister of education for the PA. Twice we found this magazine glorifying and honoring Hitler. Once it publicized an essay submitted by a 15-year-old girl who described a dream in which she was being greeted by four heroes of the past. Three were great Muslim heroes, and the fourth was Hitler, and they have a conversation, as follows: “I turned to the next door; there Hitler awaited me. I said, ‘You’re the one who killed the Jews?’ He [Hitler] said: ‘Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.’ I said [to Hitler]: ‘Thanks for the advice.’” Another time this magazine published a list of “Hitler’s sayings,” with 20 quotes, none of
them actually said by Hitler (one was from Mark Twain, some were other writers), portraying him to be a humanistic leader. We also monitor Hamas, but even though the leadership statements that they make are as bad or worse, we don’t make the efforts to publicize them because Hamas is categorized around the world as a terror organization. In many respects, people are fearful of Hamas. But we see that the PA is as great a danger as Hamas, because it is involved in the great deception. Since the Oslo accords, Israel has had wars both with Hamas and the PA-Fatah. Against Hamas, because they’re known to be an enemy, Israel was able to fight properly and there were minimal loses and the fighting ended quickly. Because the PA pretends to be moderate, Israel was never able to fight properly, and we lost over 1,000 people in the terror campaign – the so-called “Intifada.” The Fatah and PA are teaching most of the same messages about Israel to their people as Hamas, but it’s more hidden and ends up being an as great or greater threat to Israel in the longterm. The world doesn’t put pressure on Israel regarding Hamas – they put great pressure on us to give concessions to the Palestinian Authority. Who is the main audience that Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) wishes to educate and influence? Today there are a number of audiences: the most significant one is the Prime Minister of Israel’s office - we meet regularly and are in touch regularly and they get all of our material by bulletin. We know from the meetings how actively the government is using our materials in private and quiet diplomacy, and also in public diplomacy. Netanyahu quotes regularly from material we supply. Even in the most recent terror attack, in which a 9-year-old girl from Psagot was shot in the neck in October, Netanyahu’s immediate statement was (I am paraphrasing), “The PA cannot deny responsibility as long as they are inciting.” The evidence of that incitement comes from PMW’s work. A second important target is government and parliaments around the world, particularly the US and in Europe. We travel to many countries’ parliaments to expose the hate incitement and terror glorification of the PA and Fatah. In each of the countries there is an active group that gets us in the door. In Norway, a Christian organization called MIFF helped us with the first introduction. In England, it was Conservative Friends of Israel; in the Netherlands it was Christian Friends of Israel. We continue to have relationships with members of Parliament, and as time goes on we have contacts with larger groups. It’s not difficult to turn MPs around when they see what is going on. No one wants their funding money to the PA to go to teach young Palestinian children that Jews are ”monkeys and pigs” – but that is what is happening today. Name your most significant accomplishment. There are many significant changes world-
wide. The fact that Israel is using our material as a front line of defense is very satisfying. The entire world by now knows about Palestinian incitement – which is a great PMW success. There is another great accomplishment that is unfolding: we worked over the past few years in Norway, which is in a significant position because they have been the largest funder of the PA in Europe and a leading supporter for years. We exposed in parliament the way the PA was using foreign donor money for hatred, and one particular journalist did a series of long television news stories about PMW, exposing this connection between Norwegian money and PA hate and salaries to terrorists. This led to major debates in parliament and even a parliamentary investigation of the foreign minister. The foreign minister had first told parliament that PMW reports documenting PA salaries to terrorists were not accurate. In the end he admitted he gave parliament the wrong information, which led to an investigation and that continued through elections. In September the opposition parties we have been meeting with and working with for four years won the election! So now we have in Norway a government that is led by parties who vocally support Israel. Some members of parliament have openly said they won’t support the PA anymore. We hope to turn Europe around, country by country. How in PMW funded? Palestinian Media Watch is funded by private contributions, both individuals and foundations. Because PMW is an NGO, an objective research institute and not funded by the Israeli government, we have more influence. (Otherwise some might say we are an arm of the Israeli government.) It enables the government to use our work and it enables us to go into parliaments as an independent NGO. We are supported by private donors – some important donors right here in LA – but we are in great need right now to expand our donor base. What we accomplished in the hardest parliament in Europe we want to copy in other parliaments where we have bases of support. With greater manpower we believe Europe can be changed “parliament by parliament.” To do that, though, we would have to expand and increase our manpower. Right now our staff is 12 people, 8 of them are Arabic language speakers and translators. We have one Egyptian young woman in her early 20’s who moved to Israel when she was 17, and the rest are Israel-born. Most have served in the army intelligence unit. The entire dissemination falls now on me and PMW’s senior analyst Nan Jacques. We must expand to accomplish the goals that are in reach. What are the primary goals that drive your work? The long-term goal – it seems like a distant dream given the PA today– is to get so much exposure in the world that the PA is forced through political isolation to change their ide-
Are people open to your message? Very open and supportive. Even pro- Palestinian MPs are horrified by the hate education and invite me back to continue working with them. We’ve had successful legislation in Congress based on PMW recommendation, we’ve seen major debates in parliaments with MPs quoting PMW sources, and we’ve seen media change stories and apologize for their stories following PMW documentation. We work with universities and NGOs like Stand With Us, and we’ve received emails from students who described how they presented PMW materials to their professors, which then led to them presenting our videos or information in subsequent classes. Once we met with a delegation in Israel from the European Parliament - half were from the Palestinian friendship group and half were from the Israel friendship group. The second to last day in Israel I made a presentation to them, and I was warned that the pro-Palestinian members were very anti-Israel. I prepared a presentation specifically geared towards that, and while it was going on – there were many questions – I couldn’t figure out from the questions which were pro-Israel and which were pro-Palestinian. Everybody was equally horrified by what I was showing them. The delegation had a discussion what to do about it, and they decided to invite me to come to Brussels to speak at a full parliamentary meeting between of both the Palestinian and Israeli friendship groups about stopping PA incitement. How can concerned individuals get involved and make an impact in your work? The easiest way to access our materials is to write to firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line put the word “subscribe,” and then you’ll get our bulletins and become much more informed and educated. Then you will be able to defend Israel. When people say the problem is that Israel is building settlements, you can say that the problem is when little children are learning on TV that Jews are descended from monkeys and pigs. You can show information sheets, quotes from schoolbooks, broadcast clips. It’s critical, because people make the mistake of complaining about Palestinian incitement without bringing specific examples. Concrete examples make a big difference. Sometimes we suggest for 2-3 people to adopt a journalist and send him/her materials or meet every few months. The same thing can be done with a congressman. Customized packets for these meetings should be prepared, say if the journalist deals with children’s issues, education, or general Mid-East issues. Finally, financial support will enable much greater impact and success. People can support us by sending U.S. tax deductible checks made out to “The Central Fund of Israel” with a recommendation for PMW and mailed to: The Central Fund of Israel, 3rd floor, 980 6th Ave, New York NY 10018. Learn more about his work at www.palwatch. org.
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Students Thriving at Jewish Educational Trade School On a sundrenched hill just off the CA-118 sits a sprawling campus. Young men walk around, talking and laughing comfortably as they make their way to their next activities. The attitude is cheerful and calm, a summer camp atmosphere. But this is not a summer camp. In fact, despite the fact that it’s a Sunday, today is a school day. Welcome to JETS: the Jewish Educational Trade School. Located in Granada Hills, north of Los Angeles, the energy in the hallways is not the only unique characteristic of this school. In fact, just about everything about this school is unique. To begin with, Rabbi Mayer Schmukler, the Founder and Director of the school, wasn’t always involved in education. He began his career in Los Angeles doing outreach with the Russian Jewish community. He would plan parties for the youth in the area, and he found himself surprised after meeting the kids who came to these parties. “These were religious kids with no direction. They were lost.” He wanted to help them find their direction, but quickly realized the challenge that presented. “They don’t want to be doctors, and they don’t want to be lawyers. And they don’t want to be rabbis.” Where do you send religious boys who don’t fit into a traditional Jewish school? That was a question Rabbi Schmukler decided he was going to answer. But how? “With a lot of faith.” He quit his job. With no model in mind to replicate, he decided he needed to look at every educational model he could find. He spoke to some friends, got together enough funding for his research process, and then began travelling the world. He looked at as many kinds of schools as he could throughout
the United States and Europe. “Someone needed to give these kids the tools to make it in life.” He was determined to be that person. After completing his travels, he was ready to start his school. He began his search for the right place. When he found the spacious campus that currently houses the school he was sure it was perfect. His investors weren’t so sure – after all, it was a $10 million investment. He only had six students at the moment; shouldn’t he start small and build? He knew his answer: “I only believe in doing things the right way.” That message has affected much more than the buildings. “I’ve been to six schools. This is the best one,” says Shalom, who has been at JETS for three months. Dovid used to go to public school in Chicago. “It’s unbelievable. Soul-mending,” he says of JETS. “It makes me realize what life is all about.” Velvil, from Toronto, is also decidedly positive. “It’s the best place on earth.” How did it an educational experiment become the best place on earth? It’s been a journey. When the school opened in 2005 it had six students. There are over 80 today. “We take students who were not successful, for whatever reason, in the mainstream yeshiva system, and get them interested in learning and finding a career path,” explains Rabbi Naftali Smith, one of the principals. Originally from New York, Rabbi Smith has been in the educational field for a number of years, and actually worked at a similar school before mak-
ing the trip to California. Yet after seven years here, even he calls this school “very unique.” “We were learning,” says Rabbi Schmukler. “We’ve grown into something amazing.” Amazing is the word. The student body, apart from the dizzying variety of classes offered, can keep busy after school hours with an almost equal number of extracurricular options. The facilities available to the boys include basketball courts, a swimming pool, a computer lab, and a gym with a full weight room. There’s even a trainer who comes several times a week to work with them. On top of all this, they have regular trips and volunteer opportunities off campus. And that doesn’t even touch on the classes themselves. Along with a variety of limudei kodesh and general education courses, the school offers dozens of trade options. For those who love hands-on work, there are classes in welding, construction, auto mechanics, electrician training, and plumbing. For those interested in the medical field there are courses in pharmacy, EMT, and nursing. For those who want to create something new there are computer-aided drafting and web design courses, and even a brand new culinary course! All of which doesn’t come close to covering all they offer. With a large and dedicated staff, the boys get a lot of individualized help. But if a student has a passion for something that they don’t have the staff or facilities for – no problem: they also work with the adult trade schools and community colleges in the area. They even have a hands-on aviation course through a nearby airfield. When asked for their favorite classes, the students have many opinions. The new culinary class is a hit with the boys lucky enough to be in it – there’s a waitlist already. Gym is also a favorite,
with several votes. Yossi, originally from Australia, loves the photography course. But don’t worry about too much choice being overwhelming. Incoming students are evaluated, guided to help find a niche, then pushed to succeed. They also only take kids they feel they can help. Rabbi Schmukler is clear: “We are not a babysitting program.” This is not a school of last resort. As Rabbi Smith points out, “Most kids can’t deal with sitting and learning 12 to 14 hours a day.” Rather, their seven day a week program breaks down to about 25% Jewish studies, and strongly encourages extracurriculars, physical activity, and a healthy lifestyle. (The boys get the message; after a recent shopping trip a teacher was heard to complain, “None of the kids will eat white bread!”) The vast majority of these boys are here because this was an educational system that spoke to them, a school they were excited to be at. These are not problem children. They’re bright, personable, enthusiastic young men. And the school’s goal is to help them become bright, happy, and successful adults. The idea behind this model is not to simply to teach the boys a trade. “They should be able to make a living, support a family,” says Rabbi Schmukler. “And be happy going to work each day.” To make
that goal even more reachable, the school also offers practical classes in time management and personal finance – life skills important to everyone, regardless of career. More and more families are agreeing with this philosophy. The school has a long waitlist, which they are hoping to shorten through their large upcoming expansion project. “We are really excited about new building plans,” says Rabbi Schmukler. These plans are nothing if not ambitious, and include a 300 bed dorm, a culinary art kitchen, a variety of workshops, a music and recording studio, a multimedia room, three floors of classroom space, a 10,000 square foot gym … and much more. Construction is scheduled to be completed in
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18 months, after which they hope to put the facilities to good use. “We’re hoping to have 500 students eventually.” But it’s not just about the numbers. “Walk through the hallway – it’s all smiles,” Rabbi Schmukler says proudly. Based on the boys joking in the halls and working in the computer lab, he certainly seems to be right. So what’s the secret to his success? He is emphatic: “The staff.” And his secret to attracting this wonderful staff? “It’s God’s blessing.” He describes his staff as a family, working in harmony like a practiced orchestra. “They are here because it is their passion. This is not just a job.” Yossi Engel, the school administrator, agrees. He’s been at the school for five and a half years. He recognizes that he could be making better money with far fewer hours in the corporate world, but he isn’t interested. His work here is rewarding. When asked what his favorite thing has been during his time here, he responds, “The last five and a half years.” There are other staff stories – a former member of the IDF elite forces who came as a volunteer. He was single then;
now he’s married with two kids and works here full time. The guidance counselor is a graduate of the school. “Everyone grows with the place,” says Rabbi Schmukler. “It’s like a family.” Their large staff includes Torah teachers, arts teachers, general studies teachers, and vocational teachers, as well as a guidance counselor, a martial arts instructor, a psychologist, and others. They even have some celebrities on staff – Efraim Ciero, their music instructor, is a very popular artist in Chile. And Gene Paleno, who volunteers as a trainer, is also an Italian businessman who donated the gym. The clear diversity among the staff and subject matter is also apparent among the students. Of the students who were on campus this Sunday (many were out volunteering with Friendship Circle), there were representatives from much of the English-speaking world. Along with boys from Baltimore, Arizona, Kansas, Chicago, and New York were boys from England, Australia, and Canada. When asked if there was any culture shock or difficulty adjusting to one another they looked confused. “Everyone gets along,” one boy
explained simply. Differences in religious background are equally irrelevant. “We are the UN,” says Rabbi Schmukler. “We have no affiliation. We’re here for the whole Jewish community. And it works.” Works might be an understatement. After 10 years running, the school has an established track record – and it’s a good one. Rabbi Schmukler shares several alumni success stories, and doesn’t seem to have any shortage of them. “Everybody is their own success. Each kid is a story.” One student graduated as a paramedic and ended up working as a pharmacy technician. They recently received a wedding invitation from the young man, with a donation for the school in the same envelope as a token of his appreciation. Several others found success in their trade or went on to build their own businesses. There are sad stories as well. One boy had had a terrible family back story. After running away from several foster homes he was living on the streets. The Rabbi received a call asking them to take him. Actually, it was more like begging them to take him, just for a couple of weeks. Four years later, that
former students help out new graduates. “Kids are so proud to have been at JETS, and happy to give another kid a chance,” says Rabbi Schmukler, obviously proud as well. Alumni are eager to keep participating in the school, and are known to fly in from all over the world to attend graduation or to spend a Shabbos. In fact, they have planned guest suites into the new expansion for that very reason. As the Rabbi says, “There are a couple of schools out there that do similar things, but we are still different. We are not a bandaid.” What they are is an innovative model for Jewish education – and education in general. Rabbi Schmukler, as is evident, has no problem dreaming big. He is growing his school exponentially, and he wants to see more schools like JETS in the world. But he would also like to see the influence of JETS enter our traditional system of education. “Without a question, we’re looking to change education worldwide,” he says. “Our success will change others. I see it already.” One group he won’t have to convince is his own student body. One of the boys,
young man is on his way to becoming an architect, and is dedicated to helping his siblings find their way too. “All they need is a chance,” says Rabbi Schmukler. But the school provides more than a chance. Even after graduation, JETS is there for its students. They recently started an alumni network, where established
who didn’t want to be mentioned by name, had a definite perspective on his time in the school. “Everyone can grow and express themselves in their own way. We aren’t confined to just one path.” He pauses before adding, “The staff makes me feel like family.” Rabbi Schmukler would be proud.
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Kristallnacht: 75 Years Later The Beginning of the End
uring the summer of 1938, representatives of thirty-two countries gathered to discuss the massive humanitarian needs of hundreds and thousands of desperate Jews trying to flee the tyranny of Nazi-occupied Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Bohemia. After nine days of wining and dining at the glitzy Hotel Royal in Evian, a French spa resort on the banks of Lake Geneva, these distinguished diplomats reached a unanimous conclusion. With the exception of the tiny Dominican Republic that accepted 300 Jewish refugees, the others decided to do… nothing! They represented an international empathy that was MIA, missing in action. In 1938, the countries of the world were divided into two: those who didn’t want their Jews and those who wouldn’t accept them. One man in Berlin with a stiff right arm and a comical Chaplin’ish-mustache understood more than anyone else what the deafening sounds of silence meant: Niemand vill die Juedische fratzen (“Nobody wants the Jewish brats!”). The smug Hitler’s accurate supposition proved catastrophic for the European branch of the Jewish nation. The fiasco of Evian was the Fuhrer’s “green light” to fast-track
by Joe Bobker a dream of a judenfrei universe which the rasha of rasha’s pursued with a near-messianic determination. Less than four months later, at 2:00am on November 9, 1938, seventy-five years ago, the 1,000-year-old Ashkenaz Jewish communities of Germany came to an abrupt end with a synchronized two-day pogrom that would have made medieval Crusaders and Russian Czars proud. Hitler’s prey was not just the Jew but the very idea of a Jewish life and the very idea of a Jewish G-d. The Fuhrer, who was raised in a Catholic family, attended Catholic schools and a monastery, served as an altar boy, sang in the church choir, attended religious services, and dreamed of becoming a member of the clergy—as a boy he would wrap himself in his mother’s kitchen apron and pretend it was the garment of a Catholic priest—targeted the synagogues. As a master of wicked symbolism, he chose the day before November 10 to kickstart a national negation of Judaism in honor of the anniversary of his favorite pin-up idol and hero, Martin Luther, the 16th century German founder of Protestantism whose inflammatory rhetoric that “Jews should be hung on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves,” who had stimulated his perverted ideology. Suddenly, it seemed everybody wanted to participate. Priests and teachers, ordinary housewives and high-school students, led
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by brown shirted Hitler Youth hooligans wielding hatchets, axes, bombs, kerosene, and dynamite, launched an orgy of violence and arson against 1,200 synagogues and thousands of Jewish stores, businesses, and homes. The assault became known euphemistically as Kristallnacht because of the non-stop cacophony of the sounds of glass breaking like crystal. More glass was shattered in two days than the entire annual glass production of Belgium. Hundreds of Jews were murdered and savagely beaten. In Vienna, home to scores of chassidic Rebbes and important orthodox leaders, a city where Hitler was embraced as the returning prodigal son, nearly 700 Jews committed suicide on the first day. So many Jews took their lives in Germany that notices were pinned on bodies hanging from lamp poles requesting, “Any Jew who intends to
windows; some even brought homemade catapults. Eichmann’s creative debasement caused a mass flight of 130,000 Austrian Jews, about 60% of the population, and turned him into a hero in Nazi circles. His methods and enthusiasm were copied in Prague and Berlin where Kristallnacht left entire Jewish communities startled, bewildered, numbed, paralyzed in dread, immobilized both physically and mentally, their collective nerves shattered, their spirituality assaulted, their raw vulnerability and isolation cruelly exposed and exploited. The rabbinic hierarchy suddenly faced a savagery unraveling at a pace unmatched since the Middle Ages. In Berlin, the frail 74-year-old Rav Chaim Biberfeld stood in front of his venerated beis medrash helplessly facing down a frenzied mob. In Worms, Herta Mansbacher, assistant principal of the Jewish day school who would
“Hitler’s prey was not just the Jew but the very idea of a Jewish life and the very idea of a Jewish G-d.” hang himself is requested to have the kindness to place a paper with his name thereon in his mouth so that we know who he is.” 35,000 Jewish men between the ages of sixteen and sixty were rounded up and taken to Dachau where Jews were interrogated with water hoses shoved down their throats, to Sachenhausen where Jews were drowned in toilets, and to Buchenwald where the first few days of detention became known as “Murder Week.” No Jew emerged from these camps without terror in his eyes and fear in his heart. And many didn’t return at all. Instead, their families received tin cans of ashes for which they had to pay the 3.75 marks postage and the bill for cremation. So many sheylas poured into the office of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kirschbaum, the av bes din of Frankfurt, who would himself be incinerated at Auschwitz four years later with his wife, that he felt compelled to write a four-page responsa on how to mourn the receipt of ashes by mail.
ristallnacht let loose the mass weapons of humiliation perfected by a young zealot in Vienna called Adolf Eichmann whose talent for lethal efficiency included handing out baskets to children so they could carry more stones to throw through Jewish
later be gassed at Belzec, defiantly tried to block arsonists from entering the local synagogue. Rashi’s synagogue in Worms had survived for 700 years – until Kristallnacht paid a visit. A rav in Frankfurt had a seizure, collapsed, and died while watching his shul burning. Rabbis were forced from their beds, taken to the ruins of their synagogues, and made to stand at their shtenders and read excerpts from Mein Kampf, Adolf’s crude manifesto of racism and intolerance. Dazed congregants stood in their pajamas and were forced to listen. Rabbi Shimon Schwab, alumni of Lithuanian yeshivas and a German Rav in Ichenhausen, Bavaria, slept in his clothes each night because he was certain he would be dragged out at any moment and didn’t want the chillul Hashem of the sight of a Rav hanging from a lamppost in his pajamas. Heinrich Himmler, the powerful head of the Gestapo, a genuine member of the lunatic fringe, encouraged his underlings to ridicule and scorn their targets in a “Jewish” way. To this high priest of the Final Solution, every death had to have a religious significance. So the imbecilic bigot and neurotic son of a pious school teacher had the SS drag every tenth Jew out of a line for special torture and torment in order to emphasize that, under the new religion of Nationalist Socialism, being a “minyan
Lo Sa’amod Al Dam Rei’acha by Joe Bobker
Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld Right man, right place, right time
o remembrance of Kristallnacht is complete without singling out two extraordinary Jews. Consider the remarkable saga of Rebbetzin Recha Freier, valiant wife of the chief rabbi of Berlin and possessor of an acute survival antenna. When she first saw the little despot sitting on his throne in January 1933, she recalls, “I saw the utter senselessness of Jewish life in the diaspora standing palpably before my eyes.” Rebbetzin Freier immediately threw herself into rescue activities. Through her organization Juedische Jugendhilfe (“Jewish Youth Help”) she saved 7,600 (mainly) orphaned Jewish children by sending them on aliya to Palestine. When she left in 1940, her place was taken by Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah and the United States’ Women’s Zionist Organization, a Jewess whose superb organizational skills rescued another 22,000 Jews between the ages of two and sixteen. In the posek, Lo sa’amod al dam rei’acha (“Don’t stand by while your brethren are being called”) the lo sa’amod is written in the singular to prod individuals to act and not wait for a consensus. The cliche of the right man in the right place at the right time applies here to a young yeshiva bochur from London who studied at the yeshivas of Nitra and Slabodka. Solomon Schonfeld was a gifted natural-born leader; charismatic, innovative, tireless, pragmatic. In a herculean effort over thirteen months between Kristallnacht and the start of World War II, with the help of Rabbi Klibansky, the brave principal of the Yavneh School in Cologne, Germany, Rav Schonfeld rescued not only several thousand Jews including 1,300 rabbis, teachers, and orthodox activists but in a stunning display of resolve and daring salvaged nearly 10,000 terrified Jewish children, including the 15-year-old Rav Immanuel Jakobovits, a future chief rabbi, on the famous Kindertransports, all of whom who were destined for certain death in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. These children were scattered throughout England and housed and fed until war’s end. Rav Schonfeld opened the Ohr Torah yeshiva in London for the older boys and emptied out Jewish schools where beds were put in classrooms. In 1940, he married the daughter of Rav Hertz and his father-inlaw’s office of “Chief Rabbi” was used to smuggle money out of Britain to an enemy country to pay for rescue efforts. Ninety percent of the parents and families of those who he rescued ended up in the opposite direction, eastwards, to their deaths. Rav Schonfeld’s activism was the only successful community-organized orthodox rescue operation of the entire Holocaust. Others, such as the Vaad Hatzalah in New York, existed, but none on his scale and success. May his memory act as a blessing and an inspiration to all of us in the spirit of Lo sa’amod when history’s challenges arise.
One group of German rabbis was forced to stand outside the home of an S.S. officer and serenade him to sleep amidst the sound of crackling flames. In Bensheim, Jews were forced to dance around their burning synagogues. In Dusseldof, bare-footed Jewish men and women dressed in their pajamas and nightgowns were forced to walk over shattered sharp glass. In Hietzing, they closed the school early so twelve- to fourteen-year-old students would not miss out on the entertainment. In Dortmund, siddurim and machzorim were used by schoolchildren as footballs while in one northern German town, enthusiastic kids played soccer with a Torah scroll. In Baden-Baden, a local principal rewarded his young students with candy each time they yelled, “To hell with the Jews!” The London Daily Telegraph described the crowds as “fashionably dressed [Berlin] women clapping their hands and screaming with glee [at the sight] while respectable middle-class mothers held up their babies to see the ‘fun’ [of Jews being humiliated].” Rav Joseph Carlebach, the chief rabbi of Hamburg, Altona, and Wandsbeck, was the rav of the beautiful Bornplatz Synagogue, the largest in northern Germany. Hitler personally ordered its destruction and that Rav Carlebach be forced to watch it reduced to ashes while being beaten by his thugs. Within ten months, 150,000 terrified Jews, a quarter of the community, left Germany, more than the previous six years combined. The majority of German rabbis left within the year. Hardly a single synagogue in Germany had a functioning Rav. Rav Carlebach chose to stay and rebuild: but the Gestapo had other plans. On March 26, 1942, the chief rabbi, his wife, and three of their nine children were machine-gunned to death in a knee-deep snowy forest on the outskirts of Riga, the capital of Latvia. The family homicide occurred erev Pesach. In expectation of making a seder, Rav Carlebach met his death with a packet of matzas in his pocket. An obituary in a local German newspaper reported that he had died Eines natuerlichen Todes (“of natural causes”) which fooled no-one because Jews whose deaths were attributed to “heart attacks” or “work-related accidents” all seemed to have died alphabetically.
he Third Reich knew the importance of sifrei kodesh in the lives of orthodox Jews and so one of Hitler’s first orders upon bullying his way to power was to shut down every
Jewish book store in Darmstadt. On Rosh Hashana 1938, sensing what was coming, Rabbi Dovid Borenstein, the Sochaczever Rebbe, asked his followers to make sure their children knew the mishna by heart because, quote, “there will be a time when books
In one synagogue, the Nazis stripped and sliced the community’s 200 Torah scrolls into parchments for use as shoe soles, boot padding, or lining for women’s handbags and purses. Vendors in the local market place wrapped fish and pork in pieces of Torah parchment.
The Germans referred to the 48 hour pogrom as the “Jew Action.” Jewish history knows it as “Crystal Night” (Krystallnacht) because of the miles of shattered glass scattered throughout the streets
will not be available.” He was eerily prescient. When Kristallnacht erupted, as if in unison, if it was Jewish it was to be defiled in an unrelenting epidemic of hate. The New York Times described how the crowds descended on the discarded holy texts and tore pages out of seforim to keep as souvenirs. Pages from Old Testaments were torn out and used as smoking paper. Sacred synagogue ornaments were attacked as though they presented a mortal threat to the mighty Third Reich.
The Gestapo suddenly took up interior decorating and unfurled Torah scrolls as stair coverings for their offices. In one instance, they stretched a sefer Torah on a wall as backdrop for filming Jewish executions. And when the thrifty Germans realized that the sturdy klaf made a perfect canvas for oil paintings, they sold portions to local artists and their studios. The Kristallnacht carnage was so unfathomable that Rabbi Benzion Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe, who would be beaten to death three years
“Sacred synagogue ornaments were attacked as though they presented a mortal threat to the mighty Third Reich.” Ritual objects were dragged through the mud and dung and blood before being destroyed. German soldiers threw synagogue Judaica out to the crowds to use as cheap Christmas presents. The locals formed lines to buy chopped-up shul benches and tables and floorboards and wall panelings for firewood. Woolen talleisim were sought after by German women who cut off the “strings,” dyed the cloth, and wore them with no charpa or boosha as fashionable black-striped skirts. But what really acted as a magnet for blind German rage was the sight of sifrei Torahs, the centrality of all things Jewish.
later at Lvov by Ukrainian policemen and peasants, warned his followers “not to allow themselves to fall into a pit of despair and sadness over the desecration of sifrei Torah and synagogues.” In some instances, the Jews tried to sanctify the remains of the Nazi profanity. Some saved the bricks and stones from their synagogue ruins which they called “orphan bricks” almune shteiner, and lit their Shabbos and Chanukka candles on them. Perhaps the greatest victim of Kristallnacht was Judaic naivety. It was the curtain raiser, an eyeopener as to what the Germans were
capable of doing, the last warning before the final extermination of European Jewry. It was the defining line between emigration and extermination, survival or slaughter. After November 1938 hardly a single Jew in Europe did not finally understand the uncompromising and relentless personification of evil that they faced. “You’re next” was in every Nazi speech, every gleeful rally, every newspaper headline. Hitler made no secret of his violent intentions. Exclusion was followed by expulsion then extermination. The last transport out of Germany to death camps left in April 1943. So paranoid was Hitler that he ordered all “Jewish” pets in Berlin to be put to death because the animals had had a close proximity to racially-defective Jews. So thorough had Adolf Hitler been that on the first Pesach 1945 after liberation, a United States military chaplain could not find a single Jewish child in all of Berlin to say the traditional Ma Nishtana at the first seder meal.
he fact of history remains grim: Miles and miles of shattered glass that “glittered like crystal,” ashes through the mail, and piles of mutilated Jewish corpses in four so-called “enlightened” countries failed as a wake up call for the rest of European Jewry. Brimming with confidence at the lack of any meaningful moral outrage from an entire world, an intoxicated Hitler bluntly told the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, “We are going to destroy the Jews.” And ten months later he began to do just that. In the early morning hours of September 1, 1939, erev Shabbas kodesh, the Third Reich exported their boss’s ferocious law of the jungle eastwards into Poland mit blut un eisen. The entire Polish military forces collapsed in a few weeks. In the first thirty days, the Nazis massacred the Jewish communities of thirty villages and towns. The Holocaust had begun. There would be no rest for the wicked until the world was finally rid of the Jews. Ten months later, on June 14, 1940, the switches at Auschwitz were turned on and Hitler’s “solution” became one of finality.
Joe Bobker, alumni of Yeshivas HaRav Kook, Jerusalem, was is the publisher and editorin-chief of the Los Angeles Jewish Times, author of the popular Torah With a Twist of Humor series and the 12-volume Historiography of Orthodox Jews and the Holocaust, to be published next summer by Gefen Press, Jerusalem. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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man” was no longer a mitzva but a death sentence.
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You Gotta be
Yankel walks into a hotel and in broken English says to the clerk, “I’d like a room for tonight.” “I’m sorry, sir, but we have no vacant rooms,” the clerk answers. “Not even one room?” Yankel asks. “No, sir, we’re full tonight,” says the clerk. Yankel thinks for a moment and says, “Tell me, if the president of the United States came in and asked for a room, would you give him one?” The clerk answers, “Well, if the president of the United States asked for a room, I would find one for him!” Yankel replies, “Well, the president is not coming here tonight. So give me the room you’d give to him!”
After a bus driver came back with less money than he should have, his supervisor decided to figure out how many people had been on the bus from the beginning to the end of the route. Due to technology and record keeping, he knows that at the first stop six passengers got on. The bus then proceeded a few blocks and stopped. Two passengers got off and five got on. At the next stop, three people got off and seven came on. It continued for a few blocks and then stopped again. Four people got on and four people got off. It proceeded on its route and at the next stop, five people got on. At the next stop, 14 got on and no one got off. How many stops did the bus make? a. 21 b. 6 c. 23 d. 4
Answer on next page
Liar, Liar Pants on Fire They may be common, but people fall for them every time •
It’s a good thing you came in today. We only have two more in stock.
The puppy won’t be any trouble, Mom. I promise I’ll take care of it myself.
Five pounds is nothing on a person of your height.
Don’t worry, you’re not late...We always start our Shabbos seuda at 1:45 (especially on short Shabbosim).
You made it yourself? I never would have guessed.
You don’t look a day over 40.
Dad, I need to move out of the dorm into an apartment of my own so I can have some peace and quiet when I study.
Your hair looks just fine. •
It’s delicious, but I can’t eat another bite.
For some reason my alarm clock just didn’t go off this morning.
I’m 29. •
Put away the map. I know exactly how to get there. • I’m not upset...I’m just tired.
I didn’t listen to my voicemails until now.
The new ownership won’t affect you. The company will remain the same.
• You have my personal guarantee. • I’ll do it tomorrow.
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Know Your Voltage? 1. Who created the first commercial electric power plant? a. Thomas Edison b. Benjamin Franklin c. Albert Einstein d. Robert Goddard
4. The energy source used most in the U.S. to generate electricity is: a. Natural gas b. Coal c. Nuclear power d. Petroleum
2. One lightning bolt has enough electricity to power how many homes? a. 500 b. 1,500 c. 10,000 d. 200,000
5. What does a transformer do to an electrical current? a. Changes its voltage b. Adds more watts c. Turns electricity into power d. Prevents it from catching fire
3. What did Thomas Edison do to demonstrate how his electricity was safer than his competitor’s electricity? a. He provided free fire insurance to any home that switched from his competitor’s electricity to his. b. He stuck a wet piece of metal in a 10,000 watt socket in the middle of Times Square c. He went to different towns and tried selling his competitor’s electricity. When potential customers would point out the safety flaws, he would respond, “That is why you should actually buy my product, not the inferior electricity that I have been talking about for the past hour.” d. He electrocuted an elephant.
6. Electrical currents are measured in “amps” which is an abbreviation for : a. Amplifier b. Ampiliospholisitismosis c. Amperes d. Ampidization Answers: 1. A-The first central power plant was built by Thomas Edison and began generating electricity on September 4, 1882. It had one generator, and it produced power for 800 electric light bulbs. Within 14 months, it had 508 subscribers and 12,732 bulbs. 2. D 3. D- Edison used his competitor’s alternative current system to publicly
execute an elephant, named Topsy, which belonged to Coney Island’s Luna Park. Topsy was deemed a threat to people after she killed three men in three years, the last a drunk trainer who had fed her a lit cigar. 4. B- Close to 50% of electricity in the U.S. comes from coal 5. A- Transformers change the highvoltage electricity that travels through transmission lines into the low-voltage electricity you want in your house. 6. C Wisdom Key: 5-6 correct: You are a thousand watts, my friend!! 3-4 correct: You are like a 60 watt light bulb—useful, good to have around but not very exciting. 0-2 correct: When your Momma told you, as a kid, not to stick your fingers in the socket, she meant it!
Picture of the Week GO FUNNT Y?
Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff
Answer to riddle: B- There were six stops. It may be the supervisor’s job to figure out how many people were on the bus, but your job was simply to figure out how many stops the bus made (hardly a daunting task).
o fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com
34 THE JEW 2013 HOME NOVEMBER 14, 2013 TTHE HIES JHJEWISH E HWOIMS EH n H O MNEO VnE M MBAYE R2144, ,2012
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” I told him, I hope if anybody shot at him, they was as good a shot as he was, meaning of course that if they’d hit him and not me; he kind of laughed. And he said, “Oh nobody’s going to shoot at me.” - Former Dallas police Det. Jim Leavelle in an interview with NBC, regarding the discussion he had with Lee Harvey Oswald as he walked Oswald out of the Dallas police station, moments before Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby in 1963
President Obama’s approval rating is down to 39 percent. And Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who admitted to smoking crack cocaine, went up to 49 percent. How does this make Obama feel? He’d be better off smoking crack than passing Obamacare. - Jay Leno
Particularly since the shutdown, I’ve had a spate of emails and letters and phone calls saying, “Run for president again.” - Senator John McCain in an interview with the Arizona Republic
Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky, keeps getting into trouble. They say he actually plagiarized an entire section of his 2012 book, “Government Bullies.” When asked for comment, Paul said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” - Jimmy Fallon
Some health experts believe being an NFL coach might be the most stressful job in America. The second most stressful job in America is being an NFL parole officer. - Conan O’Brien I think I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters. - Senator Rand Paul responding to plagiarism charges Unfortunately, the inconclusive negotiations have given an opening to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who excoriated the proposed agreement as the “deal of the century” for Iran before it is made public, to generate more hysterical opposition. -The New York Times, Sunday editorial Blockbuster announced that it will close all of its remaining stores in the U.S. by sometime early next year. Blockbuster’s going out of business. So it looks like I’m now the proud owner of a VHS copy of “True Lies.” - Jimmy Fallon
I say to United States that your time will come and we will bleed you to death and, inshallah [Allah willing], will raise the flag in the White House. - British Muslims fighting with the rebels in Syria, in an interview with Vice News
You lie because your premiums will be higher. – From a discreetly shot video by Project Veritas in which an Obamacare employee at a Dallas office advises a man to provide false information on his application to get more subsidies and a lower premium
Marvel Comics is introducing its first major superhero who is a female Muslim. The female Muslim superhero can fly, which comes in handy because she’s not allowed to drive. - Conan O’Brien
Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito has been suspended as the NFL investigates claims of bullying another teammate. The NFL will not tolerate bullying — to which the Jacksonville Jaguars said, “Hey, we get bullied every Sunday!” - Jay Leno It is Veterans Day. A 107-year-old veteran met with President Obama this morning. It was good to see the president finally getting along so well with John McCain. - Conan O’Brien
Stand up, because I know you can. - President Obama honoring 107-year-old veteran Richard Overton, who survived Pearl Harbor and fought in Iwo Jima
As long as the aspirations of people are held down one way or another ... as long as there is this conflict and if the conflict frustrates once again so that people cannot find a solution, the possibilities of violence [increase]. - Secretary of State John Kerry warning of a possible intifada if Israel doesn’t make peace with the Palestinians
Political advice from people who ran the Romney campaign is probably something nobody should really give a darn about. What Governor Romney said when he spoke last week was that none of this ever caused him any pause at all. So I’ll take Mitt Romney’s interpretation of all this, rather than some paid political consultant who was trying to make himself famous in the book. – Governor Chris Christie on ABC responding to reports in Double Down that the Romney campaign found many red flags when vetting him as a vice president contender President Obama said he is sorry that some Americans have lost their existing health coverage due to Obamacare. I think he’s getting a little desperate. Today he said if you like your complete lack of coverage, you can keep your complete lack of coverage. - Jay Leno
You son of a gun. - Vice President Joe Biden congratulating the wrong Marty Walsh on Election Night. (The Marty Walsh who actually won the Boston mayoral race was not related to the one Biden called.)
Happy birthday to the Lamborghini automobile company. Lamborghini is now 50-years-old. You can tell Lamborghini is 50 because it bought itself a Porsche. - Conan O’Brien He’s obviously a big Republican. - Time’s Michael Duffy defending a cover calling Governor Chris Christie “the elephant in the room.” A lot of couples are planning on getting married tomorrow because the date will be 11/12/13. Couples say they like 11/12/13 because it’s a unique date that will never happen again. In a related story, that’s literally how EVERY date works. - Jimmy Fallon The “freedoms” most Americans think of when they hear the term are enshrined in constitutional and statutory law. They are in no way dependent on the size, scope or even the existence of the U.S. military. - From a Veteran’s Day article on the liberal website, Salon.com, titled, “Stop thanking the troops for me: No, they don’t ‘protect our freedoms’”
I put my health down to whisky and cigarettes. I only drink when I’m out but my doctor said I wouldn’t be alive without them. - Dorothy Howe of England, who celebrated her 100th birthday by going out drinking
A school in Tennessee is facing criticism for separating students with bad grades from students with good grades at lunch. That’s crazy! You don’t use grades to separate kids. Everyone knows that kids should be separated by clothes, looks, and how much money their parents make. - Jimmy Fallon This week’s climate change talks are taking place in Poland and they’re going to focus on China, the world’s biggest polluter. However, that discussion may get awkward on Wednesday when China buys Poland. - Conan O’Brien
A team of scientists from Cornell made news recently for creating a robot that can hold a knife. Or as robots will tell their grandkids, “That is when the revolution began.” - Jimmy Fallon
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was re-elected by a huge margin. He gave a great speech last night. He said he learned a lot in the last four years — for example, that lap band surgery doesn’t always work. - Jay Leno Chris Christie won by such a wide margin that pundits say this will give him the impetus he needs to run for president. And he’s got a new slogan: “Put the oval in the Oval Office.” - Ibid
I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.” - President Obama on NBC in an interview regarding his false pledge that people won’t lose their health coverage under Obamacare I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got. - Former President Bill Clinton We do not see that as fixing the problem. We see that as throwing the baby out with the bathwater. - White House Spokesman Jay Carney responding to Bill Clinton’s suggestion
There’s now growing concern in Iran about the health of 74-year-old Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader. He has a chronic illness. You think healthcare is bad in this country, try seeing a doctor under Ayatollah-Care. See how that works. - Jay Leno
A High severity incident has been added for I-40 Eastbound in Wake County in Raleigh…Vehicle accident: Women Drivers, Rain, Obama Care. Stay Home. - Message send out by North Carolina Department of Transportation and later explained to have been meant as an internal test of the system and not meant to be sent to thousands of people The White House announced that Joe Biden will travel to Asia to make up for President Obama’s trip that was canceled because of the government shutdown. Seriously? That’s like [a rock star] canceling a show and sending the banjo players from those Geico ads to take his place. - Jimmy Fallon
Congrats to the New York Giants, who got their third straight game after beating the Raiders. Which goes to show that if you work hard and really believe in yourself, eventually you’ll play a team that’s even worse than you. - Jimmy Fallon The Elephant in the Room. - Title of Time’s cover showing Governor Chris Christie’s silhouette If I’m bothered by jokes about my weight, it’s time for me to curl up into a fetal position and go home, okay. If they think that’s clever, great for them! – Governor Chris Christie on ABC, when asked about Time’s cover
Rand Paul has been accused of cheating in three separate instances. When asked about the charges, Paul said, “Four score and seven years ago ...” -Jay Leno
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Happy Veterans Day. President Obama today honored our oldest living veteran, who is 107-yearsold. So congratulations to Senator John McCain. - Jay Leno
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Typhoon Wreaks Destruction in Philippines
One of the most powerful storms on record ravaged the Philippines this week and the death toll is climbing every day. Chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director, has said that most of the deaths appear to have been caused by surging seawater strewn with debris and collapsed buildings. “We have an estimate given on the casualties, more or less 10,000 dead, according to this report, for the whole province of Leyte,” Soria said. The destruction is more apparent from the air than the ground. “From a helicopter, you can see the extent of devastation. From the shore and moving a kilometer inland, there are no structures standing. It was like a tsunami,” Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas told reporters. “I don’t know how to describe what I saw. It’s horrific.” The hardest-hit parts of the Philippines remained cut off late thanks to the huge amount of structural and road damage. Survivors were described as being in desperate need of clean drinking water and food as officials continue to survey the damage. “We need it now, we needed it 12 hours ago,” Jim Edds of the Weather Channel said. “They need to park a ship off the coast [with supplies].” Typhoon Haiyan packed sustained winds of 147 mph, with gusts up to 170 mph, and heavy rains when it made landfall. By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., and nearly in the top category, a 5. Authorities said it flattened hundreds of homes and triggered mudslides, flash flooding and a storm surge with waves of up to 30 feet. Authorities said almost 800,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that America “stands ready to help.” About 90 U.S. Marines and sailors have already landed in the Philippines in a first wave of promised military assistance for relief efforts. President Barack Obama said the United States was ready to provide additional aid.
Jong-un Executions Begin As many as 80 people were publicly executed in North Korea this week. Their infractions included watching South Korean movies and possessing a Bible. These are the first known mass executions of the Kim Jong-un regime. People were executed in Wonsan, Chongjin, Sariwon and Pyongsong. About 10,000 men, women and children were forced to watch the killings. According to local reports, relatives of those executed have been sent to prison camps. Simultaneous executions across the country could suggest an extreme measure by Mr. Kim’s regime to quell public unrest. The common theme of the persecution was crimes related to South Korea or corruption of public morals.
In the synagogue, Simintov shows a shofar to reporters. He also maintains the nearby cemetery, which is scattered with broken pieces of stone. What will become of Simintov in the upcoming years? He is loyal to his country but admits, “If the situation in the country gets worse, I will escape.”
Iran’s Khamenei Controls $95 Billion
Afghanistan’s Last Remaining Jew
Not much is known about the history of Jews in Afghanistan who some believe may have lived there for more than 2,000 years. At the turn of the 20th century, the community was several thousand strong and spread across several cities. Years later, they left en masse; most of them headed to Israel. Now there is one remaining Jew in Afghanistan. Zabulon Simintov is the only Jew left in a country filled with Muslims. He makes sure to remove his kippah before entering his café which is housed in the same building as the nation’s last synagogue. “Let me take off my cap, otherwise people will think something bad about me,” he told a reporter. He has become somewhat of a celebrated figure over the years and his rivalry between the next-to-last Jew who died in 2005, inspired a play. But despite his status being an open secret, Simintov is careful not to flaunt his religion. The food in his café is prepared by Muslims and business for him is down—not because he is Jewish but because many in Kabul are frightened to eat out due to security fears. “Hotels used to order food for 400 to 500 people. Four or five stoves were busy from afternoon to evening,” he said. “I plan to close my restaurant next March and rent its space.”
A special report by Reuters has revealed that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, controls a business empire worth around $95 billion. That massive sum exceeds the value of Iran’s current annual petroleum exports. If he were the actual owner of the business, Khamenei would be the richest man in the world. The six-month investigation revealed that Setad is one of the keys to the leader’s enduring power. The little-known organization holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iran’s business world, including finance, oil, telecommunication and ostrich farming. So how did this organization amass such huge holdings? It has built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to Iranians, including those of religious minorities, Shiite Muslims, business people and Iranians living abroad. In court, Setad has claimed, sometimes falsely, that these properties were abandoned. The organization now has a court-ordered monopoly on taking property in the name of Khamenei and then sells these properties at auction or seeks to extract payments from the original owners. At least 300 properties were identified by Reuters to have been put up for auction in just May along—many worth millions of dollars. The organization’s full name in Persian is “Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam”—Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam. The name refers to an edict signed by the Islamic Republic’s first leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, shortly before his death in 1989. His order spawned an entity intended to manage and sell properties abandoned in the chaotic years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Interestingly, the organization was only supposed to exist for two years and was created to help the nation’s poor and war veterans. But just a few years later, while Setad controls a charitable foundation, it’s not clear how much money goes to charity. What is clear is that under the Khamenei the organization has expanded and has dug its tentacles into dozens of Iranian companies—both public and private. Setad’s total worth is difficult to pinpoint because of the secrecy of its accounts. Reuters estimates it at around $95 billion, made up of about $52 billion in real estate and $43 billion in corporate holdings. Of course, growth of this size does not come without governmental consent. Over the years, edicts and judicial decisions have bolstered Setad. “No supervisory organization can question its property,” said Naghi Mahmoudi, an Iranian lawyer who left Iran in 2010 and now lives in Germany. In June, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Setad and some of its corporate holdings, calling the organization “a massive network of front companies hiding assets on behalf of ... Iran’s leadership.” The Iranian president’s office and the foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment for the series. Iran’s embassy in the United Arab Emirates called Reuters’ findings “scattered and disparate” and said that “none has any basis” but did not elaborate. Setad’s director general of public relations, Hamid Vaezi, said that the information presented is “far from realities and is not correct.” There is no clear evidence that the Khamenei uses Setad to enrich himself. But whether or not the organization helps pad the supreme leader’s bank account, it definitely has empowered him. Because of the revenue stream, Khamenei has no need to ask bureaucrats for funds; he has financial independence that guarantees he rises above Iran’s messy infighting.
Egypt Worst Country for Women in the Arab World
If you’re a woman in the Middle East, it’s best to stay out of Egypt. Because of the increase of violence, political upheaval, and rise of extremism there, a recent report by The Independent has revealed that Egypt is the worse country for females in the Arab world. It was ranked 22nd—below Iraq and Saudi Arabia—out of 22 Arab states in the treatment of women. Interestingly, many hoped that Egypt’s Arab Spring would bring a renewal of women’s rights to the nation, but instead the upheaval has led to female representation in parliament falling from 12 percent to just 2 percent. During the Mubarak regime, there were quotas for women in parliament. Along with the revolution
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
on the Farm
39 THE JEWISH HOME
Chabad of North Hollywood invites you to
Wednesday, November 27 1st night of Chanukah
6:00 PM At Chabad of North Hollywood 13079 Chandler Blvd.
sheer a sheep milk a cow
farm animals Live Music DAIRY Buffet Dinner Holiday Crafts Doughnut Decorating Grand Menorah Lighting Special Children’s Program $72 per family For more information or reservations please visit www.ChabadNH.com or call 818-989-9539
THE JEWISH HOME
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
40 came the abolition of those quotas and female representation has plummeted. Harassment is also more commonplace now and no longer is seen as an outrage. For example, during last year’s Eid celebrations, there were records of more than 700 cases of harassment and violence against females across the country.
border with Colombia. Wyss, Herald’s Andean bureau chief, was released from a detention facility in Caracas on Saturday afternoon and handed over to U.S. Embassy officials. Herald executive editor Aminda Marques Gonzalez said, “Jim is safe and soon will be reunited with his loved ones.”
cil. Mindy Pollak, 24, has become the first Jewish representative in Quebec at a time of high tension between the Orthodox Jews and local residents. The elections, which were held last week, selected Pollak to represent the Montreal borough of Outremon.
The best place for women in the Arab world was revealed to be the island nation of Comoros, where women hold 20 percent of ministerial positions and women are able to hold land after divorce. Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar were also listed high on the list.
The Herald’s World Editor, John Yearwood, flew to Caracas to accompany the reporter out of the country.
The borough has seen conflict recently which allegedly started over plans to extend a synagogue into public space. When the issue was brought to light, media coverage of the issue expanded the conflict into clashes of opinion between the locals and the Orthodox community. The Orthodox community has been criticized for keeping themselves separate from the wider Outremont community. Pollak, a Montreal native, has been working to bridge the gaps between the two communities for several years. Her efforts have included establishing the group Friends of Hutchinson, which aims to bring the communities together to discuss the issues in an open and relaxed environment.
Iranian Senior Government Official Killed On Sunday, an Iranian deputy minister of industry was shot dead by an unidentified attacker in Tehran. This is the first reported killing of a senior central government official in years. According to police, the killing of Safdar Rahmat Abadi appeared to be personal as he was shot as he got into his car. “The likelihood is that the killing of Mr. Rahmat Abadi happened through a personal motive and talk of assassinations and political issues is not involved,” Colonel Alireza Mehrabi said. Although there has been a surge of attacks against Iranian military and provincial officials in recent weeks, Abadi’s killing appeared to be the first reported fatal shooting of a senior central government official in years. Iranian Sunni Islamists claimed responsibility for the killing of an Iranian prosecutor in Sistan Baluchistan province last week in revenge for the hanging of 16 prisoners.
Reporter Released in Venezuela A reporter for the Miami Herald has been released from a jail in Venezuela after being held for two days. Jim Wyss was reporting on the economic crisis that is plaguing the South American country. He was detained by the National Guard in in San Cristobal, a western city near the
Saudi Illegals Arrested Saudi Arabia has an unemployment rate of 12 percent and this week the government started a nationwide campaign to free up more jobs. Thousands of illegal immigrants have been rounded up and deported in an effort to create vacancies. The past seven months were a grace period in which authorities told those with questionable legal status that if they did not become legal, they have to leave the country or face jail time. The government hopes that reducing the number of illegal workers will create opportunities for Saudi jobseekers. The unemployment figures released by the government exclude a large number of citizens who say they are not seeking a job. As is often the case, many of the jobs held by illegal aliens are domestic workers who work jobs that many citizens would not like to do. “The security campaign got off to a vigorous start as inspectors swung into action,” Nawaf al-Bouq, a police spokesman said. Police carried out raids on businesses, markets and residential areas to catch expatriates whose visas are invalid because they are not working for the company that “sponsored” their entry into the kingdom. Many of the usually busy sections of major cities are unusually empty as workers stayed home to avoid arrest or deportation. Over 5,000 people have already been arrested.
Chassidic Woman Joins Montreal City Council The first Chassidic representative has been elected to the Montreal city coun-
Germany Covers Up Stolen Art It has recently come to light that the German government has concealed a stolen cache of artwork for nearly two years. A trove of artwork that was stolen by the Nazis during the Holocaust was discovered and the government failed to report it. The collection was found in a Munich apartment owned by Cornelius Gurlitt, the elderly son of a wartime art dealer and contains works by Picasso and Matisse. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert confirmed the find and said experts were assessing its authenticity and value. The controversy surrounding confiscated property is enormous. The Nazi regime systematically plundered hundreds of thousands of artworks from museums and individuals across Europe It has been estimated that the works found could be worth well over $1.35 billion. Some speculate that Gurlitt’s father could have bought the works from German state museums. Others were seized or extorted from persecuted Jewish collectors. “This case shows the extent of organized art looting which occurred in museums and private collections,” said Ruediger Mahlo of the Conference on Jewish
material claims against Germany, noting private collections were almost all Jewish. “We demand the paintings be returned to their original owners. It cannot be, as in this case, that what amounts morally to the concealment of stolen goods continues.” He criticized the lack of transparency in dealing with the case and said it was typical of the attitude towards looted art, which for some Jewish families constitutes the last personal effects of relatives murdered during the Holocaust. Cornelius’s father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, was a specialist collector of the modern art of the early 20th century that the Nazis branded as un-German or “degenerate” and removed from show in state museums. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ym”sh recruited Gurlitt to sell the “degenerate art” abroad to try to earn cash for the state. Gurlitt bought some for himself and also independently bought art from desperate Jewish dealers forced to sell.
India Winning Space Race
Asia is in middle of a race to Mars and India is officially in the lead this week. Sriharikota, home to India’s spaceport, hosted the launce of an unmanned probe with The Red Planet as its destination. The 350-ton rocket carrying the probe lifted off to great applause and is now safely orbiting Earth. At the end of November, once enough velocity has been built up to break free from Earth’s gravitational pull, “the great, long, difficult voyage will start” to Mars, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced. “In September 2014, we expect this spacecraft to be around Mars and the challenge then is to precisely reduce the velocity and get it into an orbit,” he explained. The country has never before attempted inter-planetary travel, and more than half of all missions to Mars have ended in failure, including China’s in 2011 and Japan’s in 2003. Only the United States, Russia and the European Space Agency have been successful. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh revealed the Mars Orbiter Mission, known as “Mangalyaan” only 15 months ago, shortly after China’s attempt flopped. The timing and place of the announcement, in an Independence Day speech, led to speculation that India was seeking to make a point to its militarily and economically
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42 superior neighbor, despite denials from ISRO. The gold-colored probe, the size of a small car, will aim to detect methane in the Martian atmosphere, which could provide evidence of some sort of life form on the fourth planet from the sun. President Pranab Mukherjee called Tuesday’s launch “a significant milestone,” while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent his best wishes “for the delicate next steps.” The cost of the project, at 4.5 billion rupees ($73 million), is less than a sixth of the $455 million earmarked for a Mars probe by NASA, which will launch later this month. “We didn’t believe they’d be able to launch this early,” project scientist for the NASA Mars probe, Joe Grebowsky, told AFP before blastoff. “If it’s successful, it’s fantastic.” He stressed that journeying to Mars, which has an elliptical orbit (meaning it is between 30-250 million miles from Earth) was a far more complex prospect than the moon, which India reached in 2008.
Japanese Hand Delivery Causes Uproar
what they consider to be a major breach of protocol: reaching out to the emperor in an unscripted act. The controversy shows how the role of Japan’s emperor remains a sensitive issue nearly 70 years after Akihito’s father, Emperor Hirohito, renounced his divinity following Japan’s defeat in World War II and became a symbol of the state. Many conservatives still consider the emperor and his family divine and believe a commoner shouldn’t even talk to him. Decades ago, commoners were not even allowed to directly look at the emperor, but today Akihito does meet with ordinary people, including those in disaster-hit areas in northern Japan. Upper house president Masaaki Yamazaki summoned Yamamoto on Friday and reprimanded him verbally. He also barred him from future palace events after a house committee determined the disciplinary steps earlier in the day. Yamamoto, an anti-nuclear activist, said he wanted to make an appeal to the emperor about the crisis in Fukushima and its possible health impact on residents and workers cleaning up the power plant, which suffered three meltdowns after it was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Restrictions Lifted In Egypt
In America, if you hand the president a letter that has anthrax on it, you will be in a lot of trouble. In Japan, if you hand the emperor a letter that has ink on it, you will be in a lot of trouble. An up-and-coming lawmaker in Japan has caused uproar after giving Emperor Akihito a letter concerning the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The stir began at an annual autumn Imperial Palace garden party last week. As Emperor Akihito and his wife, Michiko, greeted a line of guests, outspoken actor-turned-lawmaker Taro Yamamoto gave the emperor the letter, which is considered both impolite and inappropriate. Video of the encounter has been repeatedly played on Japanese television for the past week. The footage shows the 79-yearold emperor calmly taking the letter, written on a folded “washi” paper with ink and brush, and briefly talking with Yamamoto. The chief steward, who was standing next to Akihito, grabbed the letter the instant the emperor turned to him. Yamamoto’s action drew criticism from both ends of the ideological spectrum and left many Japanese baffled by
The state of emergency and mandatory curfew has both been lifted in Egypt. Both were introduced on August 14th after security forces forcibly ended sit-ins in support of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The measures had been due to last a month, but the government extended them for two more months on September 12th. They were introduced after hundreds of people died following the clearing of the pro-Morsi camps in the capital.
The army-backed government has already said it would abide by the verdict. The state of emergency and the 01:0005:00 curfew had allowed the authorities to make arrests and search people’s homes without warrants. Even with Thursday’s announcement, Egypt’s military-backed government will still be keeping a tight grip. The authorities say security forces will be deployed on main streets and in
city centers across the country to tighten control. The army ousted Mr. Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, in July following widespread demonstrations against his rule. He is currently on trial for allegedly inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012. Egyptians lived under a state of emergency – which gives extra powers to the security services – for more than three decades, until President Hosni Mubarak was forced from power amid mass protests in 2011.
Pakistan Bans Malala’s Book
On Sunday, Pakistani education officials announced that they banned Malala Yousafzai’s book from private schools across the country. Officials claimed that the book doesn’t show enough respect for Islam and they are calling the young activist a tool of the West. Last year, Malala attracted global attention when the Taliban shot her in the head in northwest Pakistan. Recently, she penned a memoir, I Am Malala, which was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb. Conspiracy theorists believe that Malala’s shooting was staged to create a hero for the West to embrace. Adeeb Javedani, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, said his group banned Malala’s book from the libraries of its 40,000 affiliated schools and called on the government to bar it from school curriculums. “Everything about Malala is now becoming clear,” Javedani said. “To me, she is representing the West, not us.” Officials say the book does not show enough respect for Islam because it mentions Prophet Muhammad’s name without using the abbreviation PUH — “peace be upon him” — as is customary in many parts of the Muslim world. He also said it spoke favorably of author Salman Rushdie, who angered many Muslims with his book The Satanic Verses. In her book, Malala says her father saw The Satanic Verses as “offensive to Islam but believes strongly in the freedom of speech.” “First, let’s read the book and then why not respond with our own book,” the book quoted her father as saying. The Taliban is not fond of female edu-
cation, as the organization blew up dozens of schools to discourage girls from getting an education. The mastermind of those attacks, Mullah Fazlullah, was recently appointed the new head of the Pakistani Taliban.
Israel Tensions Mount Between U.S. & Israel Strains seem to be escalating between Israel and the U.S. Although President Barack Obama’s visit earlier in the year suggested that perhaps the two allies were on good terms, a recent visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry contradicted that notion. In an interview broadcast on both Israeli and Palestinian TV, Kerry questioned Israel’s seriousness about peace with the Palestinians. Kerry told Israel’s Channel 2 TV on Thursday that Israel runs the risk of international isolation and renewed violence with the Palestinians if peace efforts failed. He then went on to say that the continued settlement construction suggest that Israel is not committed to peace.
“How can you say, ‘We’re planning to build in the place that will eventually be Palestine?’” Kerry said. “It sends a message that somehow perhaps you’re not really serious.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by promising not to succumb to concessions to the Palestinians. He said, “No amount of pressure will make me or the government of Israel compromise on the basic security and national interests of the State of Israel.” He also mentioned that he absolutely disagrees with the emerging nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, hinting to negotiations between the U.S. and Iran. “Iran got the deal of the century, and the international community got a bad deal,” he said. “This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it,” the Prime Minister said. Israeli media outlets claim that Netanyahu is in “shock” over the possible Iranian compromise. Netanyahu views Iran as an arch-enemy. He has vowed to do just about anything, including a military strike,
A recently published independent Swiss report found that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had “unexpected high activity” of polonium in his remains. In a phone interview with ABC News, Arafat’s widow says she is certain that her husband was intentionally murdered with the radioactive element. “The findings confirm what we always [believed] and what the Swiss lab always [believed],” Suha Arafat said. “It’s a very sad day; it’s a political crime.” Last November, the former Palestinian leader’s body was exhumed from its mausoleum in the West Bank city of Ramallah and tissue samples were taken. They were distributed to separate Swiss, Russian and French teams. The Swiss team released a report last Wednesday announcing that his remains did contain abnormal levels of polonium. “When you ask [the Swiss scientists] the question directly, they will tell you, ‘Of course it’s a murder,’” Suha Arafat went on to say. “There’s no other explanation.” Of course, Palestinians have been accusing Israel of murder even before this supposed evidence was found but Suha Arfat remained politically correct and did not name a suspect. She only hinted at her suspicion by saying that it must have been “a nuclear country” behind the plot since it takes a nuclear reactor to produce this type of polonium.”I will not accuse anybody without having proof in my hands,” she said. “I don’t want to jump into any conclusions before all the inquiries are done correctly and professionally.” Israel has recurrently denied any involvement in Arafat’s death. In response to this new information, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the rumor is “more soap opera than science; it is the latest episode in the soap in which Suha opposes Arafat’s successors.” Suha did mention that only a Palestinian in Arafat’s inner circle could have gotten to him at the time he fell ill since at the time his presidential compound was under siege by Israeli forces. “It has to be administered by somebody who is near who can put it in his tea, a kind of injection or a powder,” she said. “You have to be near him to know that he took it.” Suha is anticipating justice and hopes that Palestinian authorities will investi-
Israeli Chess Champs Watch your back Russia. Israel may be taking over the world’s chess title. Russia’s national chess team is considered to be the strongest in the world, but members of the Israeli women’s chess team beat the Russian women in the European Team Chess Championship in Warsaw, Poland. Three games ended in a draw, and the dramatic and rare win was achieved by highly esteemed Israeli player Masha Klinova, who defeated Russian chess grandmaster Natalia Pogonina. The European Chess Union (ECU) congress is expected to convene next week. During the meeting, Israel will compete for the right to host the European Union Youth Chess Championship in Jerusalem.
Retired Mossad Spy and Author Speaks Out
Mishka Ben-David is a celebrated author of fiction in Israel. The writer has a doctorate in Hebrew literature and published four books by the time the Mossad recruited him in 1987. Ben-David then spent years working for the Israeli spy agency and was even involved in the attempted assassination of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Jordan in 1997. After 12 years of surveillance and subterfuge, Ben-David stepped down but the Mossad still features heavily in his writing. How much truth and how much is fiction? That’s a good question for the celebrated 61-year-old author. He admits, “There’s a good deal of fabrication” that goes into the writing and also says that he is “careful not to write anything that could disclose actual Mossad missions or tradecraft.” But the “portrayal of the kind of people who work there, their dilemmas” are accurate. When writing a book, an author needs to draw in his readers. Other authors have
sensationalized their characters and created personas like James Bond or Superman. But Ben-David insists that his characters “are like real Mossad people…I would say that what Mossad really does is much more demanding, much more dangerous, and much more mind-bogglingly creative than what you get to read about.” The author also says that during his time with the Mossad when a situation presented itself that he felt would appeal to readers, he would write it down. Ultimately, these ideas made it into his storylines. Even now, when Ben-David is no longer working for the Mossad, he still maintains ties to the agency. In fact, by law, his books have to be vetted before publication. At one point, the agency didn’t like the make of a car in his novel. Another time, he was asked to change the location of his book since the area was considered to be politically sensitive.
Israel Sends Medical Assistance to Philippines Countries and organizations from around the world have begun sending relief to the devastated Philippine islands. As usual, Israel was one of the first countries to jump on the bandwagon. The storm was one of the strongest storms on record and left the central Philippine city of Tacloban ravaged. The death toll could reach 10,000. IsraAID, an Israeli-based humanitarian organization, sent a six-member team of medical experts to join forces with local NGOs and UN agencies on Sunday. “Our local counterparts in the most devastated areas of Leyte and Samar islands are reporting that over 90% of houses collapsed,” IsraAID Chairman Shachar Zahavi said. “IsraAID is aiming to send a team consisting of medical, trauma and relief professionals and will aim its initial focus in…Tacloban City in Leyte,” among other sites. The six-member advance team includes four people from the IDF Home Front Command and two from the Foreign Ministry. The group went immediately to help evaluate the situation and help determine what kind of assistance is needed before Israel sends a larger mission. IsraAID plans to deploy trauma professionals and child protection specialists as the severity of the situation is assessed. “We’ll wait to get a better understanding of the situation to decide just how many people to add,” Zahavi said. “But trauma and child protection are usually some of the most sensitive issues in...situations like this.” According to the organization’s website, they have responded to crises in 22 countries worldwide, reached over 1,000,000 people, and distributed over 1,000 tons of relief and medical supplies.
National Willkommen to Leavenworth, USA
It may be found on the map in Washington State, but visitors to Leavenworth will think they’ve entered the tiny state of Bavaria, Germany, when they come to town. The tiny village is located in North Central Washington’s Cascade Mountains but now resembles a winter wonderland. Years ago, settlers flocked to the town to trade gold and furs. Then trade flourished as railroads made it into a bustling logging town. When the railroad was rerouted in the 1920s, the town lost its source of trade and fell on hard times. In fact, according to the town’s website, Leavenworth was “on the brink of extinction.” But by the early 1960s, the town, inspired by the surrounding picturesque mountains, decided to reinvent itself, turning itself into a Bavarian village. The downtown buildings were renovated with decorative elements, such as a glockenspiel clock and plenty of flowers. The city council made changes in the building code to allow for authentic Bavarian roofs and balconies, including gingerbread trims, stucco exteriors, paint colors, mural work, and flower boxes. The town started hosting festivals such as Oktoberfest to bring in tourists. Amazingly, the transformation worked. After ten years, the entire town had “Bavarianized.” The shop owners also play their part, and dress up in lederhosen or dirndls, the traditional German clothing. Almost 2 million visitors descend on the town every year, which has a population of only 1,989. On Thanksgiving weekend, the town hosts a German-themed outdoor craft fair called Christkindlmarket. Tourists love the atmosphere and some even dress up for the event.
USPS and Amazon to Offer Sunday Delivery The United States Postal Service has been having financial woes for a while. Earlier this year, it attempted to end Saturday delivery. Now the postal carrier has
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Arafat’s Widow Says He was Poisoned
gate further. On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, “I am confident that the investigations committee will reach the truth that will be publicized to our people.” On Thursday, just a day after the report was released, Palestinian officials demanded a global probe into the “killing” of Arafat.
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to prevent Iran from reaching weapons capability. “If there were a synoptic map for diplomatic storms, the National Weather Service would be putting out a hurricane warning right now,” diplomatic correspondent Chemi Shalev wrote on the website of the newspaper Haaretz. “And given that the turbulence is being caused by an issue long deemed to be critical to Israel’s very existence, we may actually be facing a rare Category 5 flare up, a ‘superstorm’ of U.S.-Israeli relations.”
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announced that it will partner with Amazon.com to deliver goods on Sunday. The deal will begin on Sunday, right in time for the holiday shopping season. It will start in New York City, Los Angeles and the surrounding suburbs and then will be rolled out to more areas next year to include Dallas, New Orleans, Houston and Phoenix.
Last year, USPS lost nearly $16 billion. Package delivery has been profitable for the postal service and Sunday delivery will surely give the USPS an advantage over private shipping companies like FedEx and UPS. “As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, indicating that the Postal Service may have plans to make more Sunday deals with other e-commerce companies.
Americans Moving Towards Their Dreams Years ago, Americans moved to places that guaranteed better work for them to help support their families. These days, people are moving around the country— but for a different reason. Nowadays, the drive to move is motivated by a search for low taxes, cheap housing and like-minded citizens to connect with.
According to author Michael Barone whose new book, Shaping our Nation, describes this phenomenon, Americans have an enduring urge “to pursue dreams and escape nightmares.” The nightmare cities people are trying to escape include Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. The new “dream” towns offer low taxes and low housing
costs and are fostering population growth and prosperity: Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Nashville, Atlanta and several “mini Atlantas” including Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Jacksonville. Barone also points out that Americans are moving to places that are “culturally congenial,” where they feel they fit in. Older, more conservative Americans are migrating to “well-churched” cities in Texas—where population growth is 53% since 1990, twice the national rate. “Texas has been a huge growth magnet over the last 20 years,” Barone concludes, “and not because it has pleasant weather.” Liberals, on the other hand, tend to head to the San Francisco Bay Area. “They wouldn’t leave for the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex if you tripled their salary,” Barone says. Cities and states that gain population generally enjoy greater political power as their representation in Washington increases. States would be smart to lower taxes and create a more business-friendly environment to lure employers, Barone points out.
Kvetching for Knishes, Oy!
There’s been a lot of kvetching since a fire at a factory for one of the world’s biggest maker of knishes has created a nationwide shortage of the Jewish treat. Lovers of the potato-filled pastries have been without their food for nearly six weeks since Gabila’s Knishes, which sells about 15 million knishes a year, stopped producing the nosh. Thankfully, the factory has promised to end the knish crunch by Thanksgiving and Chanukah. “Our customers ... are calling us saying they are literally searching supermarkets and stores and they’re all asking when we’ll be back,” Stacey Ziskin Gabay, one of the owners of the 92-yearold Gabila’s Knishes. The Copiague, New York, plant was damaged by fire on September 24 and the company’s best seller—The Original Coney Island Square Knish—was unable to be produced. “For the last month I haven’t had any knishes — my heart is broken,” said Carol Anfuso, a native New Yorker who has been without a knish to nosh since the BJ’s Wholesale store near her Atlanta home suddenly stopped stocking them. Joe Yamali is the owner of the Pastrami King in Long Island and he says he normally sells about 2,000 knishes a month. “It brings you back to your childhood and they’re
just so delicious,” Yamali enthused. “Gabila is square and fried. You bite into it and the potato oozes out. It’s very good.” Kenny Kohn, a chef at Katz’s Delicatessen, has a more “New Yorkish” attitude about the shortage. “Get over it! Get a life! It’s just a knish.” Thankfully, New Yorkers will be able to get their knish fill is just a few days. What a great Chanukah treat.
Food Stamp Cuts Take Effect
In an attempt to cut $5 billion from the national budget, Congress has cut food stamps from many Americans. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program allocations built into President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill have expired. Benefit cuts kicked in on Friday, November 1. As the cut approached, Margaret Purvis, president of the Food Bank for New York City, said, “Our members are panicking. We’re telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines.” She expects that these new cuts will send many people to organizations to seek assistance, organizations that already provide 400,000 meals a day. “This isn’t just a New York issue,” Purvis said. “In the world of hunger relief, food stamps are supposed to be the first line of defense.” Recipients are expected to incur an average loss of $36 a month from a $275.13 per household benefit. Food stamps help one in seven Americans provide food for their families. There are a near-record 47.6 million Americans, representing 23.1 million households, on the program. The cost of the program will hit $63.4 billion in 2013. Over the past few years, a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans have voted in favor of the cuts in exchange for increased education funding and school nutrition programs.
FDA May Ban Trans Fat If your favorite recipe includes margarine, you may want to stock up on the hydrogenated oil ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administra-
tion announced last week that during its preliminary investigation partially hydrogenated oil was no longer recognized as safe for use in food. That announcement may prompt a ban or strict limitations on the fake fats, which are the primary source of artificial trans fats. A ban would affect fast food meals, microwave popcorn, many baking mixes and pie crusts. Artificial trans fats are formed when foodmakers turn liquid oils into solid fats in a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the food’s shelf life, but upon consumption it pumps the body full of artery-clogging fat. Many food manufacturers have already taken action and began removing artificial trans fat from their recipes. Although the agency said that the average consumption of trans fats has declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012, FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg said in a statement that further reduction would prevent more than 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 new cases of coronary heart disease each year.
National Toy of Hall Gets Two New Members What do the rubber duck and the game of chess have in common? They were both inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year. The two classic toys beat out ten other finalists including bubbles, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, green Army men, the Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, the Pac-Man video game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the scooter. The winners were based on online polls but the final decision was made by the national selection committee comprised of 23 experts, including toy collectors, designers and psychologists.
“The two inductees ... are fantastic examples of the two extremes in the world of play,” said Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections at The Strong Museum, which houses the 15-year-old hall. “One is so strategic. It’s rule-driven. It’s something that adults play and puzzle over,” Bensch said, “and at the other extreme is a toy that’s pure fun. It has no rules. No one wins or loses. You squeeze it. You float it. It’s so silly, so fun.” So far, 53 toys have a place in the Na-
The North Carolina Department of Transportation routinely sends out alerts via email and Twitter to drivers regarding road accidents or work. Last Wednesday, the NCDOT sent out an alert which read: “A High severity incident has been added for I-40 Eastbound in Wake County in Raleigh,” before going on to list the incident as “Vehicle Accident: Women Drivers, Rain, Obama Care.” The message then advised drivers: “Stay Home.” NCDOT officials later explained that the bizarre and offensive message was caused by a failed test of the system. According to the transportation officials, the systems were being analyzed at the time of the incident and messages were only intended to be sent internally. The IT contractor involved did not follow protocol, and the alerts were mistakenly sent to the public. “The individual violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed while testing and for the inappropriate test message content. The contractor was let go immediately for this action,” DOT officials said in a statement.
Kelly Being Considered for JPMorgan Security Position
There has been much speculation as to what is next for NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. The election of Bill de Blasio, who is a public critic of Kelly’s stop-and-frisk policy, has prompted the public to believe that Kelly will step down after ten years as the Police Commissioner. The latest rumor is that Kelly is being seriously considered for a top security position at JPMorgan Chase. The firm’s senior security officer, Thomas
Where the Housing is Cheap Housing prices have skyrocketed, especially in the Five Towns and Far Rockaway areas. But what would you say if you could get a beautiful “family home” for less than $100,000? There really are great homes out there, but they may not be on the best block or area for you.
Let’s explore some of the nation’s cheapest markets for family homes. Family homes are defined as those that are the size of four bedroom and two bathroom homes. They don’t necessarily have to have the bedrooms and baths; they have to be the right size for them. Cleveland, Ohio, is the city with the average most affordable family home at the price of $63,729. Garfield Heights, OH; Flint, MI; Saginaw, MI; and Jackson, MS completed the top five slots for the average cheapest family homes in the nation. If you’re looking for neighborhoods closer to home, check out the three cheapest areas in New York State: Buffalo, NY (number 9); Utica, NY (number 11); and Niagara Falls, NY (number 18) Of course, living in these places won’t get you a cup of coffee on Cedarhurst’s Central Avenue. But as they say in the real estate market, it’s all about location, location, location.
That’s Odd Rabbi Finds $98K in Desk and Returns to Owner
Rabbi Noah Muroff made a national kiddush Hashem this week when it was revealed that he found $98K in a desk he bought on Craigslist and returned it to the proper owner. It seems that the New Haven, Connecticut, ninth grade rebbe in Yeshiva of New Haven bought the desk online but was unable to fit it through his office door. Out came the hammer and he dismantled the desk in order to fit it into the room. To his shock and surprise, Muroff found a shopping bag. But this was no ordinary shopping bag. “We open it up and it’s full of cash. We count it up and there’s $98,000 cash sitting in the bag…Right away my wife and I sort of you know looked at each other and said, ‘We can’t keep this money,’” he recalled The original owner, Patty, could not contain her surprise. She said she stored the money, her inheritance, in the desk but assumed it was somewhere else in the house. When she sold the desk, she never dreamed it would be in there. When Muroff returned the cash, Patty refunded the $150 purchase price of the desk to him and wrote him a note as a gesture of her gratitude. “I cannot thank you enough for your honesty and integrity. I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me.” She added, “I will be forever grateful.”
Beware of the Baby Bankers
A recent tweet of a photo of a whiteboard in a Hong Kong pre-school has raised eyebrows and anxiety levels of parents worldwide. Yes, we know that China dominates in the education of their children, but a whiteboard with stock information for young children? Isn’t that a bit much? It’s hard to say if the children in the Hong Kong classroom are really learning stock tips at such a young age. Here in America, most children don’t learn about the stock market until they are at least eight-years-old. In any case, I would say that American businessmen don’t have too much to fear from these baby bankers. You know Wall Street doesn’t hand out jobs to those who don’t even know how to tie their own ties. Not yet, at least.
Lucky Find at the Game
A sportswriter usually covers what happens to other people but Newsday’s New York Jets writer Kimberley A. Martin was featured in a story this Sunday. For a change, she was the underdog and came out on top. Martin was at MetLife Stadium covering the Jets’ victory over the New Orleans Saints. During a trip to the bathroom, Martin took off her engagement ring before washing her hands. She only realized after heading down to the locker room for interviews that she had forgotten the ring. Luckily for Martin, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson’s wife, Gayle, noticed the ring when she stepped into the bathroom. She took it and gave it to stadium security. Later, she had some advice for Martin. “Many blessings and always keep your ring on. Better to get soap on it than lose it.” Wise advice for married women around the world. Martin, who recently got engaged, was “incredibly grateful” for Benson’s kind act. “I am so touched that Mrs. Benson found the ring and was able to get it back to me,” Martin said. “You have no idea what it means to me to have it back.”
Funny Food Robberies Some pretty interesting food items have been going missing lately. It’s hard
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DOT Says to Watch Out for Female Drivers and Obama Care
Higgins, resigned about a month ago and has not yet been replaced. According to those familiar with the negotiations, the job would involve overseeing the company’s cyber-security. Kelly has a good relationship with JPMorgan’s senior leaders. In 2010, the firm donated $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation, the private fund-raising arm of the department, and Kelly sent a personal thank you note expressing his “profound gratitude.” Kelly also has previous experience in the banking market. He served as the managing director for corporate security at Bear Stearns from 2000 to 2001. Speculators reported that the position at JPMorgan would include a seven-figure salary plus many bonuses. JPMorgan officials did not comment on the report. There has been no official announcement as to who De Blasio will replace Kelly with.
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tional Toy Hall of Fame, including alphabet blocks, the jump rope, playing cards, Scrabble, and the stick. Rubber ducky, you’re the one!
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to believe that hamburgers, chicken wings and cheese would be hijacked but some people will do anything for grub. In the past year, thieves made away with other large amounts of foodstuffs worth $20,000 to $400,000. California’s fourth-biggest agricultural export, walnuts, were the latest target of food thieves in Escalon, a city about 88 miles east of San Francisco. The thieves stole 140,000 pounds of walnuts worth $400,000 on November 3 from grower GoldenRiver Orchards. This may be the biggest heist of walnuts the state has seen so far. Last month, 12,000 pounds of walnuts worth $50,000 were stolen from a trailer north of Sacramento. What are they doing with all these nuts? Stocking up for the winter?
In the case of the burger burglars in New Jersey, a “patty” thief stole a refrigerated trailer containing 3,000 cartons of hamburger patties from a shipping yard this week. Authorities were called to the scene when the shipping yard’s owner alerted them to the missing burger patties worth $100,000. This one is easier to understand. 11,000 pounds of Nutella were hijacked from a truck parked at a former train station in Niederaula, Germany. According to police reports, about $20,000 worth of the spread and other goods were stolen. Police believe that the Nutella thieves transferred the truck’s cargo to another truck. Largescale food thefts are not unheard of in this particular area in Germany: Five tons of coffee and a truckload of Red Bull energy drinks have also previously gone missing. Supposedly, the thieves were able to drive for hours without sleep while on the lam.
(That last line was a joke!) This one was just in time for a Super Bowl party. Two men were arrested and charged with felony theft in connection with the $65,000 theft of chicken wings last January. The suspects worked at Nordic Distribution Center outside Atlanta, where the wings were reported stolen. The pair was allegedly seen backing a rental truck up to the loading area at the center and loading 10 pallets of Tyson frozen chicken wings onto the truck.
Napoleon’s Will Sells for $483K The only known copy of the will of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has been sold at auction for $483,000 (357,000 euros). The French buyer chose to remain anonymous and planned to keep the will in a private collection.
125 Bridesmaids Too Many One bride in Sri Lanka, Nisansala, has officially dominated the bridesmaids department. She and her husband, Nalin, broke the Guinness World Record for having the most bridesmaids in their November 8 wedding ceremony in Negombo, Sri Lanka. All of the 126 bridesmaids wore purple floor-length dresses, held white flowers, and wore their hair perfectly slicked back. Famous Sri Lankan bridal gown designer, Champi Siriwardana, helped plan the wedding and had the idea of beating out the previous record. While the groom didn’t have nearly as many groomsmen, there were 25 best men and 20 page boys. During the ceremony, the bride made her grand entrance down a long aisle strewn with flower petals sprinkled by 23 flower girls. The previous record for most bridesmaids was held by a Bangkok, Thailand, couple that had a measly 96 bridesmaids. Wonder if Nisansala will be keeping in touch with all of her “friends” after the wedding.
Not-So-Super Man The will is dated April 16, 1821. It offers extraordinary insights into Napoleon’s final moments before his death 19 days later at 51-years-old. The bedridden leader wrote in his will that he wanted his ashes spread over Paris’ Seine River. That wish was never granted; they were transferred to Paris’ Invalides monument nearly two decades later. The original, penned in Napoleon’s own illegible hand, is in France’s national archives. The copy was written by an adviser.
Despite changing his name, this man is not America’s superhero. In fact, he’s probably no one’s hero, as he is headed to jail and donning a prison jumpsuit instead of a cape and mask. Batman bin Suparman, which translates to ‘Batman son of Suparman,’ is an unemployed Singaporean who legally changed his name to a misspelled Caped Crusader/Man of Steel. Despite his delusions of grandeur, he is now headed to jail for theft, housebreaking and drug offenses. The not-so-smart thief became a media celebrity after his ID card was posted online. He has a fan club with over 11,000 followers.
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Other people have also changed their names and have generated much publicity from their new nom du plumes. Karin Robertson of Norfolk, Virginia, is so in love with peas and carrots that she changed her name to “Goveg.com.” Dan Miller of Ohio changed his name to “The Dan Miller
Experience” and Andrew Wilson changed his name to “They.” Real profound. In any case, Batman bin Suparman is now spending the next 33 months in the slammer…unless of course, the real Batman or Superman decides to bail him out. Holy smokes!
Pretty People Get Preferential Treatment in Paris Café There’s a common stereotype that the French are snobby. We all know that stereotypes aren’t necessarily true, but a story out of Paris this week makes us wonder. Two popular Parisian restaurants have been accused of seating guests according to how good-looking they are in order to raise the quality of their establishments. Former hostesses claim that owners Thierry and Gilbert Costes enforce this highly discriminatory selection procedure for guests of Le Georges in the Pompidou Centre and Café Marly, a café that overlooks the Louvre. The brothers also own hotels, cinemas, and other restaurants throughout Paris. “The good-looking ones are led to the good places, where they can be easily seen,” the hostesses told Le Canard Enchaîné, an investigative and sarcastic weekly that searches for these sorts of stories. “As for the non-good-looking ones, it is imperative that they be dispatched to the corners of the room.” What if the hostesses failed to obey the rules or had a momentary lapse of judgment? They would get reprimanded with remarks like, “What are these ugly mugs doing at this table? Everyone can see them when they come in. It’s very bad for our image.” Obviously, hostesses were chosen according to such standards. The criteria was that anyone short “without a model’s physique and over 30 need not apply.” The one exception to the rule was celebrity guests. Anyone worth mentioning was to sit before the “vast panorama” of the Paris skyline whether they were “pretty or ugly, old or young.” In order to maintain these standards, telephone reservations never came along with promised seats. A member of the Georges restaurant “did not deny” the existence of such rules, according to Le Canard, merely saying, “It’s a little complicated to answer.” Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the snobbiest of them all?
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Shiloh’s restaurant doesn’t take their customers for granted. Every time I’ve eaten at Shiloh’s it’s been a positive experience, but each time I return they always seem to up their game and make it a bit better. Eight years ago, Fabrice and Jeffrey Ghanem moved to California from France and enjoyed eating out at the two long-standing local fleishig restaurants. They enjoyed their meals, but contemplated how they could make the experience even better for the customer. Their parents operated high-end restaurants back in France, so the brothers decided to take the concept of a kosher meat restaurant and polish it by focusing on steaks and unique main dishes like bone marrow, faux scallops, and (fake again) bleu cheese burger, that are not usually found in a Kosher restaurant.
They also strove to create the perfect customer experience through top wait staff and beautiful décor. The ambience is elegant with tall, taupe, tufted leather benches or matching chairs, white tablecloths and dim lighting. The table is set carefully with glasses for white and red wine as well as a substantial knife, which beckons for steak to be added to the order. Personally, I give major points for comfortable seating; I love eating high-end food on a couch-like seat. If there was only the Simpsons playing in the background it would be like my childhood dinners all over again. From the beginning of the meal, I was impressed with the service. Mr. Fabrice Ghanem, one of the French duo of brothers who owns Shiloh’s, has a natural smile on his face that widens as he speaks about his venue.
He is proud of the exceptional service and explains that as an outsider he has a unique perspective to be able to study the wants of his clientele “what Americans want in service at a restaurant is not too much tralalala, they want the waiter to listen and have good ideas”. Our lovely waiter, Schneur, did exactly that. I explained my love of soda, but respect for wine, and he brought me the perfect glass: Rose Moscota by Bartenura, which I guzzle in one minute and am now addicted to. He also made appropriate suggestions when I summarized my expectations for appetizers. My rule with appetizers is to order things that sound complicated and difficult to replicate at home. My husband’s rule is to order minis of anything he likes- little steaks on a stick, chicken fingers, sliders… you get the idea. At waiter Schneur’s suggestion, we have an appetizer jubilee and order the tarte flambé, trio of sliders, and 4 mini cold soups (hello, it’s only $4!). We enjoyed all of them, but the tarte flambé is out of this world. The flat bread is crispy and thin, and covered with a thick layer of meat spiced and cooked in a way that mimics bacon. It also has sautéed onions and a thin creamy sauce lightly strung over the whole dish, giving it a pizza-like look. The crust is pliable and can be bent as you stuff each square into your mouth, whole. So good, I could cry. Our main dishes are steak and chicken. The steak was great- juicy and grilled, with a generous helping of whole vegetables, including the esteemed long stemmed broccoli. Another dish I would recommend is the stuffed chicken. I find the act of stuffing chicken overly complicated and difficult to replicate at home, so I appreciate the savory bird which is
generously filled with spinach and sun dried tomatoes, and has unexpected crispy onions scattered on top. The reason that Shiloh’s retains its spunk and creativity year after year is that they are not afraid to switch up the menu, retaining customer favorites and trading up for new ideas. About 50% of the menu is completely changed 4 times a year. The new chef, Luigi Lemorrocco, was born and raised in New York city and was put to work in his family’s restaurant at the young age of 10. He’s worked in very prestigious eateries including the famous Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center and Menage a Trois at the Lexington Hotel. He studies customer habits and notes which dishes become Shiloh’s signatures. Shiloh’s is also open for catering and part or the entire restaurant can be rented out for parties. I went to a Bar Mitzvah catered by Shiloh’s and it had everyone asking, “who made this amazing food?”. Fabrice is proud of what Shiloh’s has become, and he should be. They truly are a top-notch, modern fusion steakhouse, combining classic dishes, rare ingredients, and boldly mimicking non-kosher delicacies. Treat yourself to dinner at Shiloh’s and make sure to begin your meal with the tarte flambé, you’ll think of Jewish Home magazine as you smile through each bite.
Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids. She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
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by Shiffy Friedman ©
THE JEWISH HOME
Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
Recap: After the abrupt cessation of Lisa’s birthday party, Becca stomps furiously into Lisa’s bedroom, promising that life will never be the same. Lisa Stein, 14 I don’t remember when the last time was that we went somewhere together as a family—all of us in one car. A miracle must be making it happen today. Becca, Davie and I are sitting in the back seat, our widening hips banging against each other at every bump in the road. Becca stares out the window, her fingers twiddling with the window switch as I whisper to her, “Where are we going?” She turns to me, her lips sealed. She turns them downward, her shoulders and eyebrows raised. This is her way of saying, “I have no idea.” Why, then, is everyone so tense here? I’m fourteen already, don’t they get it? It’s time for someone around here to realize that I’m almost an adult by now. Dad is silent as he drives. When I catch a glimpse of his eyes in the rearview mirror, they look like they’re not his. His brown eyes are usually fixed. They have that way of staring at you with such fierce intensity that you feel like they’re taking you apart, breaking you up into nuts and bolts. Today, they look a lighter shade. Of course, Mom is quiet too. She’s probably fiddling with her buttons. But that’s no novelty. Davie’s playing on his phone, and I bend over to watch him crush some candy so I don’t lose my mind from curiosity. When Dad parks the car and leads us toward a grey building with yellow windows, I look at Becca, my eyes wide in wonder. She smirks. After one long ring of the bell, the sec-
retary buzzes us into this weird place that looks like an office but also like a house. There are couches all over, but the ceilings are half painted. The carpet feels soft and plush even under my rubber soles. “Stein family?” A woman peeks out from behind the front desk. Her eye glasses are so round they look like transparent pennies. “Yes,” Dad says, his confidence unnerving. “Please make yourselves comfortable in Room #4. It’s right down the hall. Dr. Gallant will be with you shortly.” Which illness I’m so blissfully unaware of have we contracted? Is that why Dad was so tense when I returned from school, ordering me straight to his car even before I followed Mom’s hand-washing ritual (only with soap!) at the kitchen sink? Dad walks down the hall and we follow him quietly, the carpet swooshing back and forth at the quick thrusts of our shoes. We’re supposed to make ourselves “comfortable” here, the young secretary told us. Comfortable? But the tension is suffocating here! No one in this room is talking to me. And they’re all staring everywhere but at each other. I choose a couch across the desk, relieved at its squishiness as I sink in. There are three more couches around me, all forming a circle. Why have we come here? I clean my nails with my teeth, impatient. How long till I crack this puzzle, till this mysterious doctor walks through the yellow door? Dad clears his throat at once.
And, finally, he opens his mouth to speak. “We’re here,” he starts, but then his mouth closes. He tries again, “We’re here today to…” I feel his gaze on me and I drop my eyes to a speck of dust on the floor below. I’m glad he doesn’t start to scream, to rant about my disrespect. I’m relieved he’s not his usual self right now. “You know that everything is just fine in our house. You make sure to tell her that.” So that’s what this visit is all about! Someone finally peeked into our life and witnessed the craziness—someone really kind and caring, someone I want to hug tightly to my heart so she can hear its happy beats. “Hello,” says the woman who strides into the room. “I’m Elana Gallant.” She’s wearing those gorgeous heels that I want to wear one day, her posture so poised I envy her daughters. She talks to all of us, surveying our faces as she does, but only Dad answers. When I look at the way she talks to Dad, it seems that this isn’t the first time they’re meeting. What has he already told her about us that I don’t know? She’s writing something down, this charismatic Elana, when my father turns to face me. His face is uncharacteristically warm. I have never seen a smile so wide on his swollen lips, and his eyes even boast a tinge of a sparkle. Suddenly, I’m scared. My heart starts to race as I squirm on the couch. Where is the father I know? At once, I am six years old. It’s Sunday morning, the week after Becca’s eighth birthday, and Mom is ill
with the flu, under her covers. “You promised you’ll take me to the pottery shop for my birthday!” Becca whines. “It’s not fair!” I don’t understand how she could do this, to cry in front of Dad like that. Does she want to spend another night in the driveway in her pajamas? I go upstairs to my room to color some fun sheets with my new markers. Let her deal with the consequences of her misbehavior. I’m surprised there’s no noise coming from downstairs. When Becca knocks on my door just a few minutes later, her voice excited, I can’t believe it’s happening. She’s breathless as she says, “Take your coat, Lisa! Dad is taking us to the pottery shop!” We skip down the stairs, two at a time, and run to the car before he changes his mind. In the car, Becca tells me, “I want to make a sun for my room. A big yellow one with lots of whiskers.” “I want to make a moon,” I tell her. Instead of staring out the window for its warmth in the dark of night, I’ll have one close to me. When we enter the shop, I see my neighbor Laura at the other table with her family. We’re just like them! We’re no different than anyone else, I lie to myself. Sometimes, I think, it’s good to lie. But then, when the truth explodes before my eyes, the lie is so blinding that I don’t know how I ever convinced myself of it before.
Rudy Augarten Israel’s First Ace
he Israeli Air Force (IAF) wasn’t always known for their superior training, excellent performance and daring pilots. In fact, in the beginning, their force was a non-factor as there we no Israelis qualified as combat pilots. Jewish, and in several cases non-Jewish, pilots worldwide with combat experience were called on to help their struggling brethren. Called Machalniks, they transformed the IAF
Rudy in front of the Egyptian Spitfire that he shot down over Israel
into a formidable fighting force and after the war trained Israelis to defend their country from the air. One of these heroic pilots was Rudy Augarten. Before he volunteered for the IAF, Augarten had a hair-raising experience behind German lines during World War II. Rudy was an American fighter pilot and had flown about 100 missions against the Germans in the P-47 Thunderbolt. He was assigned to the 376th Fighter Group and flew missions out of England in support of the Normandy landings in June 1944. Flying over Caen, France, his tenth mission on June 10, his plane took a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire. Forced to bail out, his oxygen mask hit him in the face as his parachute opened. After a hard landing near a farmhouse, he asked the owner to hide him until he could find a way back to American lines. The farmer refused, and Rudy continued on his journey and finally found a farmer who would hide him. After three weeks, he felt that his presence endangered his hosts and left. Friendly Frenchmen pointed him towards a ditch where other Allied soldiers, British paratroopers who
were dropped off course, were hiding. They decided to make a run for it and while most headed for Spain, Rudy and one paratrooper chose to break through German lines and link up with the advancing Allies. In the dark, they passed for Frenchmen with their scant knowledge of French. However, in the morning, the Germans noticed them and a firefight broke out. They were forced to surrender and were taken as POWs to a farmhouse. Luckily for Rudy, the Germans weren’t SS (hardened Nazis) and didn’t care that his dog tags identified him as a Jew. Rudy was moved to a horse stable with other Allied prisoners and was placed with other officers in the same stall. One of the prisoners was a British paratrooper named Gerald Gordon. Gerald worked in the kitchen and gave the officers a knife. They began to plan an escape. Using the knife to cut a hole in the ceiling, six men climbed to the roof and lowered themselves to the ground with a makeshift rope. Careful to avoid the German guards, they dashed across the street in pairs. A sympathetic Frenchman gave them civilian clothes, and they began the trek towards the Allied lines. This time, two SS officers stopped them but they passed for Frenchmen as the SS did not know any French. They hid in another farmhouse for three weeks and left when the daughter told them that the Germans were becoming suspicious. They were directed to an area where troops from Senegal were hiding and planning a revenge attack on the Germans. A shot aimed at a German motorcyclist brought the fearful sound of approaching tanks. A soldier jumped into the ditch and screamed in English when someone stepped on his toes. Rudy asked in disbelief, “Are you Americans?” “Yes, who are you?” the voice replied. Rudy and Gerald were finally safe and were taken to Allied headquarters. The army wanted to send him home after all of the hardships he had been
through but Rudy refused. He wanted to continue fighting from the air. Given another P-47, he flew another 90 missions and shot down two Me109s, earning the Distinguished Service Cross. After the war, Rudy went to Harvard and was studying international relations when he heard about the creation of the State of Israel. He decided to do something after hearing a lecture from Israel’s first ambassador to the United Nations, Abba Eban. Inquiring some more, he went to New York to sign up and they were more than impressed with his war record. Israel was in dire need of experienced pilots, and Rudy was the answer to their prayers. They wanted him to go to Israel immediately but after his parents refused, he went back to Harvard. After a while of hearing so many reports and about the need for volunteers, Rudy decided to go against his parents’ wishes and traveled to Israel. Many pilots volunteering for Israel in 1948 were sent to Czechoslovakia to train in the Avia S-199, a plane that was upgraded from leftover stores of German Me109s. In an ironic twist of fate, they were to fight British-built Spitfires and Hurricanes that were given to the Arabs. On October 15, 1948, the Israelis launched Operation Yoav. Since the Israelis had more pilots than flyable fighter planes, it was always a race between the pilots to get into a plane when a mission was a go. Even though he was scheduled just for a reconnaissance flight, Rudy, attached to the 101st Squadron, was ready for anything. After flying south for a while, he spotted two planes in the distance. They were clearly Spitfires and based on his knowledge of Spitfires in the area (the IAF had a few but most were undergoing repairs), he figured they were enemy planes, probably Egyptian. As he brought his plane into position for a shot, his wingman came over to help but Rudy
was determined to add another kill to his record. A short burst was all that was needed to send the Spitfire into a tailspin and it fell towards the ground. Most pilots usually don’t get observe their handiwork but a few days later Rudy went to the frontlines to see the downed plane. A few days later, Rudy was flying in a Spitfire and along with his Canadian wingman Jack Doyle, they both tallied one Egyptian Spitfire each with two more damaged. Also during the operation, Rudy and two other pilots bombed an Egyptian runway and used hand signals when their radios failed. Rudy’s total for the Israeli War of Independence was four planes shot down and with the two he shot down during World War II, he was an ace— Israel’s first. He stayed in Israel for a few months after the war to help train young Israeli pilots. After his return to the U.S., he finished his degree at Harvard and came back to Israel to serve as the commander of the Ramat David Air Base. Two years later, he resigned
Rudy in his P-47 during WWII
with the position of lieutenant colonel and returned to the U.S. for good. Studying this time at Drexel, Rudy became a real estate agent in Seal Beach, California. Rudy Augarten died in 2000 at the age of 78 and will always be remembered as Israel’s first ace.
Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Leisure & Travel
From Sea to Shining Sea: Wyoming
yoming is a state all about “c’s.” It’s called the Cowboy State, it leads the country in coal production, and it’s really cute. Actually, I made that last one up, but you get the idea. There are lots of mountains in Wyoming—in fact, its name comes from the Delaware Indian word, “mountains and valleys alternating.” And that’s what you’ll see when you visit the great, big state. The state is vast—it’s the ninth largest in the country—but it has the lowest population in all of the United States! When visiting Wyoming, you’ll be treated to the beauty of nature—most of Yellowstone National Park rests in the state. It’s also a great state to visit geographically; Wyoming touches the most states in the nation—six in all (count ‘em!). Wyoming would make for a great road trip. Lots of roads, beautiful scenery, and plenty of fauna to admire. Try to take your trip in the summer—the Wyoming winters can be pretty frigid! Oh, and while you’re taking those awesome pictures, keep in mind that there’s an official law on the books that prohibits people from taking pictures of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit. You don’t want to get into any “hare-y” situations while you’re there! Things You Won’t Want to Miss Yellowstone National Park The word “wonderland” is often used to describe Yellowstone National Park. There is plenty to see and do within Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres, including the Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, West Thumb Geyser Basin, and Lamar Valley. Abundant wildlife, fascinating visitor centers, and historic lodgings combine with these incredible and unique natural wonders to make Yellowstone Park not only the top place to visit in Wyoming, but among the top in the entire U.S. Devil’s Tower Located a bit off the beaten track in northeast Wyoming, this stately rock formation was made famous when it was featured in a movie. Tower Trail, a 1.3-mile paved trail, circles the tower and is a great walking trail during the warm months. In the spring, nearly 60 varieties of wildflowers bloom in the bright sun. Believe it or not, as long as you register with the park, intrepid climbers can attempt to climb the sheet of rock with its hundreds of columns and cracks.
Grand Teton National Park Just south of Yellowstone National Park and just north of the town of Jackson lies an ethereal mountain landscape with jagged peaks that tower over the Jackson Hole valley. Animals, including the American elk, bison and bear, fish, and 300 species of bird enjoy the beauty of the park every day. During the summer, wildflowers bloom in bright colors and lakes and streams rush with crystal clear waters. Visitors flock to the park for the hiking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, fishing and skiing; photographers can’t get enough of the awe-inspiring scenery. Hot Springs State Park Looking for a little vacation? The hot springs in Wyoming is sure to relax even the most tense travelers. The park is home to the world’s largest single mineral hot spring and even the animals seem to enjoy it; Wyoming’s central bison herd calls the park its home. Soak in 104-degree mineral waters and walk the trails past the famous flower garden.
51 THE JEWISH HOME
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