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The Week In News


NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home




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The Week In News


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

JEWISH THOUGHT Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Humor: Get Out of Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

FEATURE Israel on the Cutting Edge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

LIFESTYLES Ask the Attorney.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22




NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, “Our forefather Avraham was great.” “Sara Imeinu was a big tzaddeikes.” Do we tell ourselves and our children statements like this in order to lift us up? For many, it has the opposite effect. They were great, but we are not. What does their greatness have to do with us? It seems to spring from them fully formed from their youngest years. However, we know that we contain many faults and shortcomings. The Chassidic masters teach that, just as the body receives direction and energy from the brain and heart, there are neshama klaliyos, general souls, from which all other souls come. Thus the souls in separate people may influence one another in profound ways. When we learn that Avraham Avinu saw Hashem, it is supposed to evoke within us a yearning to also see Hashem – even if not in the way Avraham did. We are still supposed to search and perhaps even request that G-d and G-dliness be tangible in our lives. The culmination of this process is the ultimate revelation in the time of the future redemption – may it take place very soon. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Shabbos,


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NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News


TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Bnei Akiva Fundraiser Recognizes Modern Day Jewish Heroes Tova Abady

Bnei Akiva held their tenth annual Gevura Jewish Heroes Night on Tuesday, October 24th, at the Museum of Tolerance. Ruth Berkowitz, board president, served as emcee and thanked everyone for coming in spite of it being opening night of the World Series. Rabbi Shaul Feldman, director of Bnei Akiva for the U.S. and Canada, gave over the following d’var Torah from Parshat Noach. On the pasuk, “Vayeshlach et hayonah,”(“He sent the dove,”) Rashi comments, “Ain ze leshon shlichut” (“This doesn’t mean shlichut”). Rabbi Feldman said the lesson is clear. The next pasuk says the dove didn’t find comfort, so it returned. A shaliach never looks for personal comfort and always finds a way to make its mission happen. For the past 50 years, the shlichim of Bnei Akiva have strengthened countless young Jews. Rabbi Feldman then introduced the two newest pairs of shlichim for Bnei Akiva, Adina and Hagai Keisar in the city and Eli and Shani Skaist in the Valley. The program for this special evening then turned to the Jewish heroes that protect and defend Israel. Seated in the audi-

ence was Mrs. Miriam Peretz, also known as “the mother of all the boys.” Mrs. Peretz has four sons; two are currently serving in the IDF, and two were killed while protecting the Jewish people’s eternal homeland. Mrs. Peretz said that serving in the IDF should be regarded as a mitzvah and a privilege, not an obligation. Bnei Akiva’s honoree for the event was the organization My Truth, represented by CEO Shachar Liran-Hanan and Deputy CEO and co-founder Avihai Shorshan. The organization, according to Shachar, is comprised of IDF reservists and officers (men and women) who seek to share the values and experiences of IDF soldiers in Israel and around the world. Their mission is to educate the public and fight misinformation. My Truth’s members speak openly about the ethical dilemmas Israeli soldiers face on a daily basis. Shachar and Avihai gave examples of how the media and the general public vilify the soldiers, even though they are fighting against radicals seeking to demolish the Israeli nation. They also described cases of IDF soldiers risking their lives to uphold their commitment to the IDF’s ethical code.

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Shachar had finished the army and was working for the Jewish agency in Durban teaching Hebrew and Israeli dancing until May 30, 2010, when a co-worker brought her a newspaper that said an Israeli navy commander took over a “humanitarian” flotilla, killing nine “peace activists.” Shachar was shocked, as the Israeli papers told a completely different story. Those so-called “peace activists” were armed with guns, knives, and metal sticks to inflict maximum pain. The “humanitarians” threw Jewish soldiers over the deck and handcuffed and kidnapped IDF soldiers. One of the soldiers involved in the operation was Shachar’s brother, Adam. Shachar contacted the media to tell the true story, but no one was interested. At that moment, she decided she would anything to fight those who slander Israeli soldiers. Avihai Shorshan was drafted into the army in 2005 and joined the special forces of the Golani Brigade. He was on a mission to arrest a terrorist in the Gaza Strip. In order to achieve this, he had to be in the house next door to the terrorist. He and his comrades explained to the Arab family what they were doing there. The grandfather in that family said that he was not feeling well, and when it became clear the IDF medic couldn’t adequately treat him, the soldiers called their regimental doctor. The doctor told the soldiers that they must get

the old man to the hospital. They were instructed to secure the area so they wouldn’t be discovered while evacuating him. In this case, the IDF soldiers got out without casualties, but they made a calculated risk that could have led to disastrous results by speeding up operations. In addition, the grandfather had to be transferred from an Israeli hospital (Beilinson) to Shechem. Avihai said that whoever knows the Kasbah of Shechem knows that coming in the middle of the night and running in different directions is something you would rather avoid. The straw that broke the camel’s back – and moved Avi to join My Truth – were the lies and accusations against soldiers following Operation Defensive Edge in 2014. Avi posted his story on Facebook and asked others to add their stories. He was surprised to see hundreds of stories shared, and what began with a few friends now contains over 200 testimonies from IDF reservists. The newest project, the Testimony Project, includes dozens of video clips of testimonies that will be published on social media to function as an advocacy tool. In addition, there will be a written report (which will be translated into English). Currently, My Truth also has six delegations of soldiers who meet with communities and college campuses internationally to explain to students who the IDF is fighting against and what values drive them. Avi said, “When people lie, in other places in the globe, people die.” He says that BDS and fighting terrorists in Gaza are one and the same. He said when radical left wing organizations like Breaking The Silence (a group of former IDF soldiers who criticize the IDF) say, “We, the Israelis, are poisoning the Arab water,” they are lying, fueling hatred, and aiding the next terrorist attack. Rabbi Muskin of Young Israel of Century City was one of a large number of rabbis present, and he expressed his appreciation saying, “Bnei Akiva infuses in our students a sense of idealism which is so important in the twentieth century.” Additionally, many Bnei Akiva youth attended the event. YULA student Gavriel Gershon – who has participated with Bnei Akiva since the fifth grade – said before the event that although the Dodgers clinched the NLCS this year, Bnei Akiva hits a grand slam every time. Gavriel said that thanks to great programming such as shabbatonim, seminars, leadership programs, chessed programs, a world class summer camp (Moshava), and shlichim that teach about the land of Israel, he feels a deeper connection to Zionism and the desire to make aliyah.

Photos: Lew Groner


TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home


Enthusiastic Crowds Turn Out for L.A. Challah Baking Events Tamara Sambrowsky holiness into our homes and our world. Mrs. Huvi Abramczik expounded upon this thought as she demonstrated the challah kneading and discussed the immediate and powerful blessing that a woman brings into her home when fulfilling this mitzvah. She explained that lush (Hebrew for “kneading”) shares its etymology with the word lashon, “language.” Thus, our cha-

Photos: Tova Feldman

Over 800 women attended The Great BIG Los Angeles Challah Bake which took place this past Thursday evening, October 26th. The Challah Bake – a prelude to the Shabbat Project, but an event in its own right – aims to educate Jewish women about the powerful mitzvah of hafrashas challah (separating the dough) and assist them in fulfilling this mitzvah in a meaningful way, many for the first time.

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The many dedicated volunteers coordinated two simultaneous events at Adas Torah and Shalhevet High School. Both venues displayed tasteful décor, impeccable organization, attention to detail and a multi-faceted program that educated, inspired and uplifted all who were in attendance. Both events began with a short reception of food and drinks after which the participants were ushered to their tables. As women and girls found their seats and conversed with those around them, past Shabbos Project events throughout the world were projected over the screens highlighting the sheer magnitude and impact of these events. Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein recorded a short, personal message for the Los Angeles communities, as well. At Adas Torah, the program began with spirited dancing and song led by Mrs. Srula Chaiton. Mrs. Devorah Zheutlin welcomed the participants and shared a novel thought about the power of hafrashas challah and its ability to inject great

Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm YULA Girls School

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Meet representatives from boys, girls and co-ed programs. See special presentations throughout the evening. Find your life-changing experience.

Register Now! Learn more at Like us on Facebook@IsraelGapYear Thanks to our sponsors & supporters (partial list) YULA – Boys & Girls High Schools • Valley Torah High School • de Toledo High School Shalhevet High School • Harkham GAON Academy • Touro College Los Angeles American Jewish University • NCSY • Beth Jacob • B’nai David-Judea • Beverly Hills Synagogue Young Israel Century City • Adat Shalom & Beth Am • Westwood Kehilla The Jewish Community Foundation Los Angeles


TheHappenings Week In News chamim explain that as we add the various ingredients to form and knead our dough, it is an auspicious time to pray. As the dough was left to rise, Mrs. Abramczik led the audience in the recitation of tehillim. The program continued with the heart-felt singing of “Ani Maamin.” Then, Mrs. Devorah Zheutlin invited octogenarians Mrs. Susan Ungar and Mrs. Leah Chopp to the dais to share a small glimpse of their life stories. Poised and eloquent, Mrs. Ungar and Mrs. Chopp captivated the audience with their personal stories which highlighted the sanctity of Shabbos and the permanence of the Jewish people. After Mrs. Chopp and Mrs. Ungar recited the brachah of hafrashas challah for the crowd, each table captain led her table in the recitation of the brachah on her table’s five pounds of dough. Inspired by the speakers, participants prayed for G-d’s kindness, expansion, children, blessing and salvation. Mrs. Abramczik demonstrated various challah braiding techniques and participants formed their own dough into challah. As could be expected, there were many first-time braiders who displayed great talent, forming intricate braids without any assistance, while others enjoyed the process, forming lessthan-perfect looking challos which were nonetheless infused with holiness and friendship and a commitment to perhaps try it again another week.

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The program concluded with energetic dancing led by talented Srula Chaiton. Participants left the evening with beautifully formed challos, newly formed friendships and a deep appreciation for each other and the spiritual mitzvah of challah baking. The program at Shalhevet was similar in form and message to the program at Adas with a few notable differences. Many outreach organization’s tables were generously sponsored, among them Aish IGNITE, LAJ, TLC, Etta Israel, USC Hillel and Shalhevet High School. There was a great presence of young women and high school students at this event, many with little or no exposure to their Jewish heritage. Mrs. Rachel Victor led the invigorating dancing. Mrs. Bruria Segal introduced the evening with a poignant parable accredited to Rav Elchonon Wasserman, ztz”l, comparing the bread-making process to life itself. The story underscored the foresight and innate emunah of Jewish women to see past pain and devastation, trusting that at times hardship is a necessary component of Hashem’s process to produce goodness and beauty. Mrs. Machla Perkowski demonstrated the process of challah baking, and echoed a similar message to Mrs. Abramczyk about the immediate and definite blessing that hafrashas challah brings to the home. She also impressed upon the crowd the power of prayer while kneading the dough and speaking with Hashem, infusing a

NCSY’s Annual Gala ♦ HONORING ♦

seemingly physical act with extraordinary spirituality. She called upon Mrs. Sharon Wiener and two of her daughters, Elanit and Yael, to recite the brachah as the audience witnessed the mutual love and respect the mother-daughter trio exuded as well as their love for Hashem and mitzvos. Elanit Wiener led the crowd in the recitation of tehillim after which Mrs. Machla Perkowski deftly demonstrated how to form a fourstrand braided challah and a ball braid. At Shalhevet, the table captains kneaded their own five pounds of dough from scratch using pre-measured ingredients, recited the brachah and table participants united in prayer as they prayed for individual and communal salvations, health and Hashem’s closeness. At both locations, many women cried tears of joy and peace. Many left with a new and more admirable impression of their Jewish sister at a different level of religious observance. There was a palpable feeling of unity, of spirituality, and longing to get closer to Hashem and each other. The evening’s success was largely due to the many hard-working volunteers who invested their time, energy and talents to the worthy cause. High School students from Shalhevet, Bnos Devorah, YULA, Bais Yaakov and Bnos Esther assisted in the set-up, preparations, measuring ingredients, dancing, engaging the participants

and the clean-up. There were many financial sponsors, too many to enumerate, but the Challah Bake would like to single out Myriad Genetics and The Hecht Family of Schwartz bakery for their generous corporate sponsorship. The Challah Bake is just one division of The Shabbos Project, the brainchild of Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa. In 2012, he envisioned a Shabbat where Jews all over South Africa would unite to observe the laws of Shabbat in their entirety with joy and light. Since then, this project has traversed the globe, in hundreds of cities in various countries and languages. Aside for the two large sister-events in Adas Torah and Shalhevet High School, thousands of women participated in different Challah Bakes throughout the city. Many schools held mother-daughter events, among them Maimonides, Emek, Valley Torah and Milken. Nessah Synagogue welcomed over 300 participants and in the Pacific Palisades both Chabad and Kehillat Israel hosted events. Rebbetzin Carine Horowitz of Makor Hachaim led an intimate evening of spirituality and song and Young Israel of Northridge held an uplifting event as well. Plans are already underway for an even larger and more impactful event for next year.





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


NCSY is the international youth movement of the OU

TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

First-ever NCSY Gala Will Recognize Honorees from Five Towns, Teaneck, & Israel NCSY, the global organization that helps Jewish teens build a strong connection to their Jewish roots through inspiration and leadership skills, will hold its inaugural NCSY Gala on Sunday, November 12th, in Garden City, New York. Honorees include Jeffrey and Sharona Weinberg of Woodmere, New York; Rabbi Moshe and Serena Benovitz of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel; and Benyamin and Esti Kaminetzky of Teaneck, New Jersey. The program will also feature a special Ben Zakkai Memorial Tribute to the late Joseph and Julia Macy, for their stalwart support of the New England chapter of NCSY. The efforts and support of this year’s honorees have made an impact on Jewish teens across the globe. Rabbi Moshe Benovitz has been the Director of the NCSY Kollel summer program for more than 18 years in Israel. He has learned with thousands of young men over the years at Ye-

shivat Reishit where he currently teaches, in addition to his senior role as Managing Director of NCSY. Both the Kaminetzky and Weinberg families have sent their children to various NCSY summer programs, and are generous supporters of the organization. “Recently, NCSY was on the ground in Houston on a Chessed Mission,” said Moishe Bane, President of the Orthodox Union. “And quite frankly, NCSY is always on the ground making a difference in Jewish communities around the globe. As we continue to reach more and more teens through our innovative programming, we are proud to acknowledge all of our supporters and are especially grateful to our honorees, all of whom help to inspire our Jewish teens to develop a positive Jewish identity and embrace Torah as they journey into adulthood.” The NCSY gala will take place at 6:00

p.m. at the Cradle of Aviation Museum immediately following the 23rd annual Ben Zakkai Scholarship Reception honoring the newest members inducted into the Ben Zakkai Honor Society: Freda Greenbaum of Bal Harbour, Florida; Dr. Allan Jacob of Miami Beach, Florida; and Rabbi Ethan Katz of Bergenfield, New Jersey. In addition, Dvorah and Ben Gasner, who reside in Israel, will also be recognized at the event prior to the OU Israel Center’s Ben Zakkai Honor Society Induction Ceremony. The Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) raises scholarship funds for an array of NCSY programming including gap year, National Yarchei Kallah, Camp Sports for Boys, and the Summer Experience for Girls. It was founded in 1965 to recognize the achievements of NCSY alumni who have demonstrated personal Torah growth and the promise of future meaningful service to the Jewish people and the Orthodox community.

“For over 63 years, NCSY has been part of the national fabric of American Jewish life,” said Avi Katz, Chairman of NCSY. “Our gala on November 12th is an opportunity to ensure that Jewish teens today benefit from this powerful Jewish movement.” NCSY is the international youth movement of the OU and is dedicated to connecting its members to Torah and to inspiring them to embrace Jewish tradition. Serving 24,000 Jewish teens around the country, NCSY connects with Jewish teens through innovative, cutting-edge social and recreational programs throughout the school year to help them develop a positive Jewish identity. In addition, NCSY inspires Jewish teens to build strong connections to Israel through informal Jewish education, retreats, and its 17 summer programs.

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NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Communicated: L.A. County Commissioner Visits Jewish Communities in Hungary

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Los Angeles County Commissioner Andrew Friedman and his wife, Chanie, during Chol Hamoed Sukkot, took time out of their vacation in Israel to pay an official visit to Mayor Istvan Tarlos of Budapest and Mayor Laszlo Papp of Debrecen. Budapest and Debrecen are two of the largest cities in Hungary and where most of Hungary’s 100,000 Jews reside. During the over one-hour meeting at the mayor’s office at Budapest City Hall, Mayor Tarlos elaborated on some of the points previously discussed with Friedman by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The mayor emphasized that all Hungarians have equal rights, regardless of race, religion or ethnic origin. The Budapest government works closely with the Jewish community and provides financial aid to the religious, social, and cultural institutions. The mayor reiterated the Orban government’s position regarding excluding recent immigrants. He stated that these immigrants cannot be properly vetted and do not want to conform to the social and cultural norms of Hungary. From Budapest, Attorney Friedman and his wife were driven by Mayor Papp’s chauffeur for the two hour ride

to Debrecen, a beautiful growing city of 250,000. There, Mayor Papp hosted a working luncheon. He went out of his way to provide a menu which conformed to kosher dietary laws. Prior to the Holocaust, there were 12,000 Jews in Debrecen – now there are only 1000. Mayor Papp gave the visiting couple a tour of the city, with emphasis on the two beautifully redecorated, functioning synagogues. Debrecen is located within driving distance of Keresztur, where the saintly “Reb Shayelle Keresztirer” is buried. At the shul’s sukkah, leaders of the Debrecen Jewish community joined “L’Chaim” refreshments. The mayor put on a kippah on the way back to City Hall office, and the delegation, including the mayor, walked the streets of Debrecen wearing kippot. Some of the 300 Israeli students who attend university in Debrecen joined the tour. (Evidence to the ties between the city and Israel: There are three weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Debrecen.) After these meetings, Friedman stated it was clear that, today, Judaism in Hungary is encouraged by the government. Anyone who wants to practice Judaism may do so without concern of discrimination.

Torah Musings The Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Machlis Moments Sarah Pachter

When I first read Sara Yocheved Rigler’s biography Emunah with Love and Chicken Soup: The Story of Rebbetzin Henny Machlis, the Brooklyn-born Girl Who Became a Jerusalem Legend, I did not realize the tremendous impact it would have on my life and the life of my family. Throughout many years of her life, Rebbetzin Machlis lived with her large family in a small apartment in Jerusalem. She and her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Machlis, shlita, welcomed many guests for every Shabbos meal – and I mean “many.” With three meals each Shabbos, they hosted at least 200 people nearly every week of the year. The tradition in the Machlis family was to open their doors for Shabbos meals, never knowing exactly how many people would show up. Travelers ventured to Israel from far and wide to watch this unusual family practice the mitzvah of hachnassas orchim (inviting guests) to the maximum degree. Everyone comes, from many places: seminaries and yeshivos, Israelis and tourists, wealthy and destitute, homeless and lonely, secular and religious. Some come to quench their curiosity, and others arrive in search for a deeper sense of spirituality. Some simply need a place to eat. It’s like a mini taste of the ingathering of the exiles. Everyone is honored, respected, and appreciated for who they are and what they might have to share. In Sara Rigler’s book she describes how one Friday evening a man brought his large dog. Some of the guests had allergies and others were terrified. Rabbi Machlis gently asked the man if he could keep his pet outside. The man erupted with anger, calling Rabbi Machlis a hypocrite and imbecile, berating his gracious host in front of hundreds of people in response to a perfectly reasonable request. How did Rabbi Machlis react to this chutzpah? He sat listening quietly and nodding his head humbly. After the distraught man finished his loud outburst, Rabbi Machlis apologized for upsetting him! Yet this wasn’t unusual behavior from the guests who frequented the Machlis home. Unstable, disturbed, emotionally vulnerable people would sometimes scream and yell, break or even steal the Machlis’ personal belongings. The way

the Machlises’ never reacted negatively to their guests was something beyond me. How was it possible that they continued to host so many people from so many backgrounds with such dignity and grace? It was with their true, genuine ahavas Yisrael. And this was week after week! One Shabbos I shared some of these stories with my family. I told them that I myself had once eaten a Shabbos meal at the Machlis home and saw the kindness and simple joy they exuded and gave to others. My son was very blown away, as was evident by the look on his face. Yet with his ever-entrepreneurial mind, he quickly asked, “Wow! Do they pay for this all on their own, or do they ask for donations?” I answered that they made tremendous financial sacrifices in order to fulfill this mitzvah. Instead of spending money on things they wanted for themselves, they invested everything they had into providing for others. They prioritized hosting Shabbos guests over all other non-essentials in their lives. Since 1979, when they made aliyah, the Machlis family has been hosting these Shabbos meals. In the beginning, they handled the financial part completely on their own, even when there were times that they had no money for groceries and had maxed out their credit cards. Devoted to this precious mitzvah, they even took out a second mortgage on their home to have the resources to continue. Though they were not a family of great wealth, this mitzvah was a family priority. They davened that Hashem would continue to support their efforts and eventually they established a U.S.A. tax deductible fund called the Jerusalem Chesed-Machlis Foundation, that enables many people to participate and share in their amazing chessed. And it isn’t just financial support that people want to offer. Preparing enormous amounts of kugel and cake, cholent and chicken, soup and salads takes a lot of time, physical effort and energy. After Shabbos there are mountains of dishes to wash by hand and a huge mess to clean up in an apartment turned upside down. Though this was a family enterprise that everyone contributed to, volunteers

also wanted to participate and have a “piece of the action.” But one Thursday evening there were what looked like hundreds of potatoes that still needed to be peeled and the usual crew of helpers weren’t there with Rebbetzin Machlis. Though she was happily busy preparing everything on her own, there was no way the job could be done in time. But she wasn’t worried about it. She just started peeling, knowing that Hashem would help her. Out of the blue, a young bachur showed up and offered to start peeling potatoes. She graciously accepted his offer, although even with the two of them, the job would still take hours to finish and they were running out of time. Suddenly, the bachur dashed out and gathered another 40 bachurim from a local yeshiva. The potatoes were done in minutes. Even with donations, how enough money came through every week to buy $2000 worth of food was another miracle. Small and big miracles happened to the Machlis family all of the time. In fact, they lived by them. Soon after reading Sara Rigler’s book, we had an opportunity to visit to Israel. We wanted to take our children to offer our help to the Machlis family with their Shabbos preparations. I wanted our children to see this story first hand. Everything was so organized and flowing smoothly when we arrived that there really wasn’t much they needed for us to do! Nonetheless, to give our young children the opportunity to feel like they were good helpers, they found odds and ends for them to do. Just before we left, we gave a donation. As we piled back into the cab, my children expressed how beautiful it was to finally meet the famous Machlis family. Our trip to Israel included being in Jerusalem for Pesach. The seder at our hotel was scheduled for 9:00 p.m. The dining room was supposed to open at 7:00 p.m., so we came down early. We discovered there had been a scheduling error; the dining room was not going to open until 9:00 p.m. Another man was fuming at this news and was waiting impatiently to be seated. He appeared to be mentally disturbed, yelling at the waiters, not only for their scheduling mistake, but for seating him alone.

“How could you place someone alone? Seat me with another family!” he yelled. When the staff didn’t respond to his demands, the man moved his seat to a random private table for another family and declared, “Too bad, they will have to get over it. No one wants to sit alone!” I had the fleeting thought to invite him to our seder, but hesitated. Our children are little and will be going to bed as soon as possible – we can’t have him at our table. Then our son asked me, “Mommy, can we invite that man to our seder?” I was so touched by his concern, how could I say no? So I responded, “I think that sounds great! Let’s go ask Abba.” While we searched for my husband, the man stormed out. We quickly found my husband and told him about this distraught man. He was extremely moved that Josh wanted to include him, and of course, he also agreed. Together, they went to search for our potential guest. When they finally found him they invited him to join us. This man, who just minutes before was in a fit of rage, quickly had tears in his eyes and joyously accepted our offer. That Pesach seder turned out to be one of Josh’s favorite events of the entire vacation! My heart was bursting with joy that my son and my husband had compassion for a stranger like this man. Surely this was a “Machlis moment” inspired by the Machlis example. Our family has now coined the term a “Machlis moment,” and we like to use it regularly. Examples include anything from giving our friends our last piece of gum, to refraining from responding in anger when someone says something that hurts or angers us. I realize that I can’t be Rebbetzin Henny Machlis, z”l. I can’t even pretend to try. But in everyday situations that require compassion for others, I can strive to “choose up” and create “Machlis moments” for myself and those around me. We aren’t supposed to be someone else. But we can strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. And that is achieved one “Machlis Moment” at a time.



Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

At times, people feel that they are stuck in a rut. They are lacking money or something else they feel they need and deserve. They are unable to overcome the gaping feeling that life has wronged them and therefore become anxious and depressed. They are overwhelmed by feelings of emptiness and suffering. Rav Elimelech Biderman recently told the story of Reb Nisson Shtitzberg. One of his daughters married a fine young man. In the middle of sheva brachos, tragedy struck and the chosson suddenly died. Imagine the sadness that gripped the kallah and both families. The great simcha was turned into tremendous sadness. Not only that, but they found out that the new wife would be an agunah for the next eight years, as the chosson’s only brother was but a five-year-old lad. He wouldn’t be able to partake in chalitzah, which would enable the poor kallah to remarry, for another eight years, when he would become a bar mitzvah. Reb Nisson was a chossid of the Yesod Ha’avodah. In utter dejection, he turned to the rebbe to find out what they had done to deserve such a tragic situation. The rebbe said to him, “Look at what is happening and you will realize that it was decreed in Heaven that your daughter wouldn’t have children until eight years from now. Now, if this would not have happened, she would not have gotten engaged until now. You would have spent your days and nights trying to find a shidduch for her, and rightfully so. As time went on, without success, you would have undertaken various segulos, davened like you never had before, and begged any rusty shadchan to come up with someone normal for your daughter. “And what would people say? They’d no doubt say that your daughter hasn’t found a shidduch yet because there must be something wrong with her. You would have been going through torture until finally finding her zivug after eight aggravating years. “Hashem had mercy on you and saved

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Peaceful Tranquility you from all that. In eight years, the brother will come of age and she will perform chalitzah. She will then immediately marry and give birth to a beautiful family, all in the preordained time.” One who trusts in Hashem knows that whatever happens to him is for the good and is brought on by Hashem. We don’t always understand what has befallen us or why. Sometimes it can take years until the reason becomes evident. Sometimes it becomes clear sooner and other times we never figure it out. We read in this week’s parsha (18:10) how Hashem appeared to Avrohom and

soon be a mother? The Ramban (Bereishis 18:15) writes that Avrohom waited for Hashem to let Sorah know the good news. Sorah actually found out the wonderful news from the malachim. He suggests, as well, that Avrohom was preoccupied with performing the mitzvah of milah on himself and his household as he had been commanded and didn’t have the time to tell Sorah. When he finished fulfilling Hashem’s commandment regarding milah, he was weak and sat at the entrance of his tent to recuperate. Before he had a chance to get back to himself and

We can’t take the constant pressure to stay above water. told him that he and his wife would be giving birth to a son who would be their heir and carry their mission forward. Why did Avrohom Avinu not rush to tell his wife that Hashem promised that they would have a son? The elderly couple had unsuccessfully sought a child for many years. How could Avrohom not share the great news with his wife? Avrohom and Sorah had worked to bring Hashem’s message of G-dliness to the world. They set out on their path alone, and were successful in drawing many followers, until they had a wave of maaminim following them. They were blessed with much wealth and fame, and had everything a couple could desire, except for a child. When Avrohom Avinu found out that he and Sorah would soon have a son, he kept the promise from his wife. Wouldn’t you imagine that this was the happiest moment in his life? How could he not tell her that their prayers have been answered and she would

tell Sorah, the malochim came and told her themselves. Even after studying the words of the Ramban, the question still bothered me. How can it be that Avrohom didn’t run to tell his wife that the one thing they were lacking in their lives would be granted to them? Wouldn’t doing so bring much happiness to his wife? How could he postpone bringing her that joy? Perhaps the question is based on a mistaken premise. A believer knows that everything that happens to him in life is for the good. A person who lives with bitachon understands that Hashem’s purpose in creation is to bring about goodness and kindness. We don’t always understand what is going on, but we know that there is a greater purpose for what is happening. Nothing that happens is haphazard and nothing happens by itself. People want children because they have been conditioned to expect to give

birth to a child. Children bring joy, enrichment, and meaning into your life. But, in fact, we are all here because Hashem willed it so. Everything we have - or don’t have - is because Hashem willed it to be that way. We all have a mission in life. We are given what we need to be able to fulfill our mission. Some people need a large home in order to accomplish their shlichus, while some don’t. Some need a nice car, while for others a small jalopy suffices. Some people need a lot of money in order to carry out their mission, while some can be most successful in their shlichus without a dime in their pockets. A maamin and baal bitachon doesn’t look at what other people have and complain about why he is lacking in those blessings. He knows that Hashem chose this situation for him. He is not jealous of others and does not view himself as lacking in anything. He is happy with what he has, because he knows that his loving Father provides for him what he needs. He is never jealous of other people, asking, “How come they have what I don’t have?” A familiar refrain is that life is unfair. Why don’t I have all that I want, just like the person across the street? Why is he so smart, yet as hard as I try, I can’t remember a thing I learn? Why does he always find the bargains, while I pay full price for everything? Why do their kids dress in designer clothes, while mine make do with end-of-season sale items? So many of our complaints are brought on by jealousy. Rav Yecheskel Sarna, the Chevron rosh yeshiva told the Chazon Ish that during the Second World War some rabbis had a debate. A certain tyrant who persecuted Jews died. The question was, should they be happy now that he was gone, or should they worry that perhaps his replacement would be even worse. The Chazon Ish told him that “they could have simultaneously celebrated his departure and worried about the future. It is possible to be happy and apprehensive at the same time.” He proved his point. “Yirmiyohu Hanovi wrote Megillas Eicha, a mournful dirge of tragedy. We know that he wrote it with ruach hakodesh, and we also know that in order to merit ruach hakodesh, you have to be besimcha. “You see that it is possible to mourn and weep over the destroyed beis hamikdosh and to be besimcha at the same time.” The depth of his message is that while a person is suffering from a calamity or

Living withIn theNews Times The Week

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loss, the knowledge that it did not happen by itself, but rather was orchestrated by the Creator for a higher purpose, is comforting and allows the person to be content. People who trust in Hashem know that He oversees all. As the Gemara states (Chulin 7b), “a person doesn’t even get a small wound on a finger without it being decided so by Heaven.” If a person receives a setback of any kind, he should know that it didn’t happen by itself, but was decreed by Hashem. The Ribnitzer Rebbe was walking with Rav Eliyohu Tabak, when the elderly rebbe tripped and fell. Rav Eliyohu rushed to lift the rebbe off the ground. The Ribnitzer told him to wait. “Eliyohu, before I get up, I have to make a cheshbon hanefesh. If I don’t know why I fell, I will fall again.” The rebbe remained on the floor for a minute before allowing Rabbi Tabak to raise him. People who live with emunah are that way. When something doesn’t go their way, they try to figure out why. They search their souls to find what is lacking and they seek to rectify it. Otherwise, they understand that Hashem brought it upon them for reasons they do not know. They accept it and move on. Avrohom and Sorah were maaminim. They understood that Hashem did what was best for them. Before they had a child, they were not overcome with grief. They didn’t view their lives as lacking. They viewed their lives as full and blessed. They perceived their mission to be bringing the knowledge of Hashem to the world. If they didn’t have a child, then apparently Hashem felt they didn’t need one. Their good acts would live on some other way. They would attain joy, happiness and fulfillment without giving birth to children together. Since they didn’t view the lack of a child as a tragedy, when Avrohom heard from Hashem that he and his wife would be giving birth to a son who would be their heir and carry on their mission, he didn’t feel the need to rush and tell his wife. In last week’s parsha (15:4-5), Hashem told Avrohom, “Ki im asher yeitzei mimei’echa hu yiroshecha - The one you give birth to will be your heir.” The posuk says that Hashem took Avrohom outside and told him, “Look up to the sky and count the stars. If you are able to count them, so will you be able to count your children,” for they will be so plentiful that it will be impossible to count them. The posuk then states (ibid. 6), “Vehe’emin baHashem vayachsheveha lo tzedakah,” Avrohom trusted Hashem and Hashem looked upon Avrohom’s faith favorably. What was the big deal about the fact that Avrohom trusted the promise of Hashem? And why did Hashem consider it a

major act? If Hashem appeared to anyone, wouldn’t that person trust Him to keep His word? If we continue with our line of reasoning, we can answer that the big deal was that Avrohom was the paradigm believer in Hashem. He believed in Hashem when he didn’t have a son as much as he believed after he was promised the son and multitudes of offspring. As such, when Hashem promised that he and Sorah would give birth to a child who would continue their mission, Avrohom was not so overjoyed as to interrupt the mitzvah he was doing in order to tell Sorah. This is what the Ramban means when he says that Avrohom was occupied with carrying out Hashem’s commandment regarding milah. Avrohom was fulfilling his mission of following Hashem’s word. That is what his life was all about. He was the consummate servant of Hashem, whether he had a child or not, so his first obligation was to finish doing what Hashem asked him to do. Sorah wouldn’t expect anything different. We tend to plug our emotions, perspectives and reactions into stories of the avos. Thus, we have questions. We understand the burning desire for a child, the ache of loneliness, and the frustration of unanswered tefillos. But there is a level beyond ours, the level of tzaddikim. Yes, a child is a hemshech, a continuation of all man’s accomplishments, and a means of ensuring that the chain goes on. A child affords us the mitzvah of chinuch, the joy and fulfillment of seeing a new generation growing in Torah and avodah, and the nachas of transmitting eternal values. But there is a backdrop to all this: The only reality that counts and exists is that which Hashem desires. To us, a husband and wife longing and yearning for something for so many years and then receiving it is a happy story. To tzaddikim, before they are answered, it is viewed as the ratzon Hashem, and after they are answered, it remains the same ratzon Hashem. To Avrohom Avinu and Sorah Imeinu, the desire for a child was in the context of that reality. Since Hashem hadn’t blessed them with a child, they were content. They existed serenely within that reality. The news that they would have a child meant, in their terms, that the ratzon Hashem now was different than it had been before. Their lives had been in concert with Hashem’s will all along, and so would it continue. Similarly, the nisayon of the Akeidah was a test of Avrohom’s bitachon. Now that he had been blessed with a son, were he to learn that it was the will of Hashem for him to return that gift, would he happi-

ly comply with Hashem’s wish or would he question the command? The posuk (Bereishis 22:3) relates that Avrohom passed the test. “Vayashkeim Avrohom baboker.” Without delay, he hurried to fulfill Hashem’s wish. He had wanted a son in order to perform his shlichus in this world. If Hashem wanted him to have a son, he was thrilled, and if Hashem did not wish for him to have a son any longer, then he would rush to fulfill the will of Hashem, fully accepting the decision. The Chazon Ish wrote poetically, “Ein kol etzev ba’olam lemi shemakir ohr ha’oros shel ha’emes. There is no despair in the world for one who perceives the light of lights of the truth.” Rav Yitzchok Hutner pointed out that the Chazon Ish, who was childless and experienced the same struggle as the avos, was expressing that there exists an “ohr,” a light, of ratzon Hashem that is more obvious. There is also an “ohr ha’oros,” a less obvious but deeper light, that of amitas retzono Yisborach. For those who perceive the deep light of Hashem, there is no depression, for they recognize the truth that all that transpires is for the greater good. On Shabbos, we do not wish a sick person refuah sheleimah. Instead, Chazal tells us, we say, “Shabbos hi milizok.” On Shabbos, we don’t cry out in pain. Perhaps we can understand that pain and pity are appropriate when one is somewhat removed from the ohr ha’oros. On Shabbos Kodesh, our proximity to the Borei Olam makes such reactions inappropriate. Shabbos is the day when the ohr of sheishes yemei bereishes shines through and we appreciate that if things are a certain way, it is because that is what Hashem wants. During the yemei hama’aseh, things are less clear, and we cry, but on Shabbos, when the light is evident, we refrain from sadness. On Shabbos, as well, we do not engage in obvious acts of mourning. On the six days of the week, we cry over the passing of loved ones. When Shabbos arrives, there is no sadness. On Shabbos, we proclaim that the world was created by the Creator. We receive a neshomah yeseirah, which allows us to comprehend concepts that we can’t understand during the week. On this day, we do not mourn or engage in sadness, for we recognize that Hashem created the world to do good and all that transpires is for the good. It’s all ratzon Hashem. Such is the way of the avos, tzaddikim and maaminim, and that is the way we should try to live our lives. We see treachery and evil rising. We see morality under attack, as laws that promote deviancy are enacted. We see dishonest people prosper and corruption entrench itself.

Our personal lives are tumultuous. Life is not going as planned. Everyone has a share of heartache and problems. We wonder why we have to work so hard and why we can’t attain our goals with less aggravation. It takes so much money to make ends meet. We can’t take the constant pressure to stay above water. There are so many things we wish were different. Should we be overcome with sadness? Should we give up? Should we feel alone and forlorn? We have to do our best to live besimcha. We have to recognize that what happens is His will and ratzon hatov leheitiv. We should have no doubt that what happens is good and is the right thing for us, whether or not we easily understand it. We must know that those who see the ohr ha’oros recognize the good nature of everything that transpires. We have to do our best to rise to that level. The connection to the Ribbono Shel Olam means that we know that He who created us and gives us life also knows what we need. At times, we wish for things to be different, for a lack to be filled, or for a situation to be changed. So we daven and hope, but always with the confidence that He knows how things ought to be. Avrohom Avinu prayed for the people of Sedom, pleading for Heavenly mercy on their behalf. He was turned down. How did he respond? The posuk says that Avrohom returned the next morning “el hamakom asher omad shom es pnei Hashem” (Bereishis 19:27). He went back to the same “place,” with the very same submission, humility and faith with which he had offered his tefillos and been turned down the day before. “Yes” and “no” are but two expressions of the same ratzon. They are thus not different. As Hashem’s children, we have the ability and unique attitude to recognize that everything is from Hashem. So ein kol etzev. We don’t become dejected. We continue to hope, certain that one day, may it be very soon, we will rejoice when it all becomes clear just how good it has been all along. What seems to us as reality is only a façade. One who seems blessed may in fact be cursed. One who seems poor may actually be blessed. Let us learn from Avrohom and Sorah to look at the world properly, envisioning things as maaminim and baalei bitachon. Let us live with faith and confidence, recognizing that we have a calling and mission in life. Let us do what can to accomplish our goals without jealousy or sadness. Let us concentrate on our own lives, on our own improvement, on what we must do to achieve happiness and wholesomeness. Let us take the steps which will enable us to attain the peaceful tranquility we all yearn for.



The Week In News Torah

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf

Is it important to have a pure mindset when serving Hashem? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of Of course it is most ideal to have pure intentions when serving Hashem. But if our intentions are not perfect, or even selfish, the gemara taught us on 105b to do the mitzvos anyways, for “eventually the person will come to have the correct intention.” Tosfos, in Taanis 7a, qualifies this concept when it comes to learning Torah for ulterior motives. While learning for, say, one’s own honor would fall under the scope of this principle, learning as a means of starting up with someone would not. If one was learning just to put down his fellow, we would apply what the gemara states there, that “if one who learns Torah for improper reasons, the Torah he learned becomes poison for him.” There seems to be a glaring problem with Tosfos’s distinction, when we consider our gemara on 105b. The gemara taught us to do mitzvos – even if there is an ulterior motive – based on the example of Balak. Balak merited to have Rus (from whom David HaMelech descended) descend from him as a reward for the 42 sacrifices

he brought to Hashem – in spite of the fact that Balak’s intentions were far from altruistic. Balak didn’t bring those offerings to please Hashem; he brought them in order to make Hashem receptive to carrying out Bilaam’s curses of the Jews, Hashem’s chosen people! But if “really bad” intentions poison the mitzvah, as Tosfos asserts, why would Balak’s “mitzvah,” that had such an evil intention, be worthy of any reward whatsoever? If a person learns to best someone else, then it is poison to him, and yet if Balak uses a mitzvah as an attempted holocaust, we assign value to that? It just doesn’t seem to compute. Perhaps we need to more closely examine the statement in Taanis that one’s Torah learning can become poison for him. It’s possible that the gemara does not mean to completely condemn the Torah learning of a student who is learning just to put down his fellow. Rather, the gemara is saying that learning Torah for that reason is dangerous and learning with such ambitions can cause himself great damage, for the Torah is a potent force which can

be wielded for good and for evil, as well. If a nefarious character not only acts aggressively to others, but does so believing that the Torah supports his cause, he has created a very dangerous situation indeed. However, it is impossible to deconsecrate the words of the Torah themselves, and therefore if notwithstanding the person’s evil intentions, he knowingly absorbed words of Torah, or fulfilled a mitzvah of the Torah, a positive merit (on some level) will inevitably be created to that person’s merit.

Now let’s go back to Balak. Indeed, his purpose in bringing offerings, to bring about the destruction of Am Yisrael, was the worst kind of intention. But in the final analysis, this man brought offerings to G-d, and therefore he received the merit to have the Davidic dynasty descend from him. If Balak’s “good deed” was worthy of such a reward, we can only imagine the reward in store for doing a mitzvah for the right reasons.

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Humor The Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Humor: Get Out of Town Rebecca Klempner

Shortly after I became observant, I came across the expression “Out of Town Jews.” At first this mystified me, but eventually I realized that it was used by New Yorkers to describe those living outside the Greater New York Metropolitan Area. When I finally deciphered the meaning of “OOT” – yes, there’s an abbreviation! – I laughed raucously. Within three blocks of my home in Los Angeles, there are eight shuls. There are a variety of Jewish schools, mikvaos, kosher grocery stores, and shops selling everything from sefarim to modest clothing – in short, all the necessities of contemporary Jewish life. A quick jaunt to Wikipedia informs me that the Greater L.A. Metropolitan Area has over 12 million inhabitants, 18 million if you count Orange County. About 660,000 of them are Jewish. One of them is our mayor. There are so many Jews in L.A. that even non-Jewish Angelenos occasionally sprinkle

their conversations with words like meshuggah, mitzvah, kosher, and the whole megillah that they’ve picked up from the MOTs who live among them. If a local non-Jew told me my skirt was too short or suggested I add a “tznius button” to my shirt, I wouldn’t be surprised. Users of the expression “Out of Town” seem to assume that there is only one town on the face of Planet Earth: New York City. Israelis get a special dispensation, because they live in the the Holiest Place on Earth – but only barely. If you believe the things about OOT communities said and written by “In Town” New Yorkers, our OOT yeshivos are suitable only for “troubled” youth who have floundered in their superior institutions; our children make suitable marriage partners only once they agree to go to New York for dating purposes and promise to never, ever settle down in their OOT community-of-birth; and

(worst of all) we wear white shells under our short-sleeved shirts because we are deprived of optimal shopping for modest women. The notion that Los Angeles, Cleveland, or Chicago qualifies as some kind of Jewish backwater is absurd. Trust me: I have lived truly Out of Town. I have had people gape up at my window because they’d never watched someone light a chanukiya before. I have had to make hamotzi on Friday night on a Sahara Bread brand pita or a slice of Oroweat rye simply because there were no other pareve breads available in local stores. I have had to make a special trip to the Big City in order to shop for Passover supplies. (Ironically, the Big City in question was Baltimore, which New Yorkers claim is just as OOT as L.A. Baruch Hashem they nonetheless had Streit’s matzos, 778 jam, and Breakstone’s butter.) I also beg my readers to consider: in what way is New York better? (As that

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seems to be the underlying assumption in the OOT designation.) Let’s compare New York to L.A.: Access to shuls, mikvaos, and day schools is roughly equivalent, although admittedly L.A. has fewer learning opportunities for posthigh school yeshiva bochrim. Housing? Equally outrageous. Restaurants? We got Mexikosher first. Weather? Obviously, L.A. Why else do New Yorkers flock here for Mid-Winter Vacation? So, New Yorkers, spare me your condescension. The next time you use the expression “Out of Town” in my presence, I will rebel. Or give you the evil eye. Or forbid you from visiting us next January. And you wouldn’t want me to do that, would you?

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Feature Feature The Week In News

Just 10 years ago, Israel was struggling amidst a weak economy, water and energy scarcity, and a lack of foreign investment. Since that time, Israel has become such a powerhouse for innovation that many call it the “Startup Nation.” Currently, Israel has one of Asia and the Middle East’s leading economies, with thousands of startups and billions of dollars in investment from across the globe. Promoting everything from new recycling techniques to artificial intelligence, Israeli companies are pioneering some of the most impressive and world-changing technologies yet seen. Israel is also connecting with more people in the world through humanitarian aid, increased trade and exports and by attracting foreign companies and investors. Here’s a sample of the some of the incredible progress achieved by this forward-thinking country:

Sorek desalination plant

With its hot and dry climate, Israel has long grappled with water scarcity. Today, advancements in seawater desalination have made water abundant. In fact, Israel is a world leader in desalination, having pioneered such techniques as reverse osmosis, which is now used around the world. The Israeli company IDE built the world’s largest desalination plant, Sorek, which alone produces 20% of Israel’s household water. The company’s designs have attracted foreign clients, such as San Diego County, which commissioned the company to build a $1 billion plant to address the

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

California drought. Israel is also by far the world leader in water recycling – about 90% of Israel’s wastewater is reused. In the area of medicine, Israel has made countless revolutionary breakthroughs. One of them is ReWalk, a system designed to help those with spinal cord injuries walk again. It uses computers and motion sensors to mimic the way a person naturally walks and even allows users to climb and descend stairs. Another Israel invention is WoundClot, a highly absorbent gauze made of cellulose that stops severe bleeding in minutes by bonding to a person’s platelets (clotting blood cells). This has the potential to save lives before an injured person even reaches a hospital. The Israeli company Zebra Medical Vision has developed advanced artificial intelligence software to analyze millions of medical records, read, and diagnose medical images such as CT scans, and then develop a care plan based on those diagnoses. A company called Bonus has created and successfully transplanted lab-grown bones made from a patient’s fat tissues. Another company, OrCam, has made a small device attached to a person’s glasses called MyEye which helps the visually impaired by taking a picture of whatever text the person is looking at and reads that text aloud. The Israeli startup Healthymize recently won the mHealth Israel Startup Competition with its AI-enabled app that detects illnesses simply by analyzing a person’s voice and breathing patterns. Robotic surgery is another area that has benefitted significantly from Israeli innovation. The company Human Extensions has developed a bionic surgical glove that enables surgeons to precisely and smoothly carry out tasks in a wide range of complex operations. Perhaps one of the most “sci-fi” inventions is that of ViRob, a micro-robot made by Microbot Medical that can send a camera, medicine, or shunts to

Bonus lab grown bones

promises to do just that with a special “biological ink” that mimics human collagen and can potentially be used as a scaffold to 3D print organs.


ViRob robotic surgery WoundClot


narrow, twisting parts of the body such as blood vessels and the respiratory system, allowing for very minimally invasive procedures. With tens of thousands of patients on organ donor waiting lists each year, the time has come for technology to fill in the gap. One Israeli company, CollPlant,

Israel has also proven itself a leader in humanitarian aid. From the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas to the recent earthquake in Mexico, many countries struck by disaster have come to rely on Israeli aid organizations for their quick response and expertise. In Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, IsraAID is on the scene helping people rebuild their homes as well as providing emergency supplies and psychological counseling. In Haiti, IsraAID has been providing assistance since 2010 when a devastating earthquake left thousands homeless. Israeli hospitals have been working tirelessly to treat Syrian refugees and have even integrated Arabic-speaking social workers, teachers, and rehabilitation professionals to further assist Syrian patients. When deadly mudslides recently struck the impoverished

The Week In News Feature

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

African nation of Sierra Leone, Israel was the first to respond, bringing thousands of pounds of food and medical supplies on trucks. Among many more humanitarian endeavors, Israel has also provided a stateof-the-art medical center, child literacy, and agricultural programs in Ghana as well as helped fight fires in Montenegro.

Otto has developed a self-driving trailer truck that was tested in Colorado recently. It carried a full load of Budweiser beer and successfully traveled over 120 miles from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs without any human intervention.

and governments announcing multimillion dollar contracts with Israeli startups. 300 of Israel’s cybersecurity companies exported over $6.5 billion last year.

Artist's rendering of the Cornell-Technion high tech campus off Roosevelt Island in NYC

Otto self-driving trucks

IsraAID in Kenya

Wounded Syrians being treated in Israel.png


The world of self-driving cars is fast-approaching and Israeli innovations are at the forefront of it. Notably, the chip manufacturing giant Intel purchased the Israeli company MobilEye (which makes A.I. collision detection technology) for over $15 billion earlier this year. One company, Cognata, has gotten around the restrictions on testing self-driving cars by using artificial intelligence to simulate an entire city in 3D. Their software has already mapped San Francisco and driven millions of virtual miles to study how the cars interact with their environment. Self-driving cars also need to be hack-proof, which is where the Israeli startup Karamba Security comes in with software built into the car’s electronics that ensures that no program run by the car deviate from factory settings. Israel’s

The food industry too has been shaken up by Israel’s spirit of ingenuity. Perhaps one of the boldest food innovations yet is SuperMeat’s lab-grown chicken. Rather than raise a chicken for consumption and deal with the environmental, ethical, and health (i.e. antibiotics) issues that the process entails, SuperMeat takes chicken stem cells, cultures them, and grows them into a product that they claim tastes exactly like normal chicken. Another company, Meat the Future, uses the same process to make lab-grown beef. In the world of food safety, BactuSense has developed a chip to help food and beverage plants detect bacteria within two hours as compared to the current 24-hour waiting period needed to send samples to a lab. GreenWall Israel is building vertical gardens that use far less resources than traditional gardens and grow crops on modular walls that can be combined or separated as needed. The company even sells walls small enough to fit in homes. India, whose agriculture has long suffered from the highly invasive and destructive Oriental fruit fly, has expressed interest in Israeli company Biofeed’s nospray, environmentally-friendly pesticide.

the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the city government of London.


While Israeli renewable energy development has long been stifled by a dependence on fossil fuels and lack of government support, the tides are beginning to change with initiatives such as building the world’s largest solar tower. Part of the Ashalim solar project, the tower would be located in the Negev desert and stand at 820 feet. It will work in concert with several other adjacent solar projects, each using a different type of solar technology. Israel has set a goal of obtaining 10% of all its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current 2.5%. Companies such as Energiya Global, which announced a $1 billion deal to invest in solar energy in Africa, have helped spread Israeli renewable innovation abroad.

IDenta forensic testing

Israel’s overall economy is extremely strong. 23 million tourists entered the country between January and August representing a 24% increase over 2016. Hotel occupancy rates hover around 65%, which is quite impressive given the Israeli hotel industry’s notoriously high prices. More and more international airlines are adding Tel Aviv and Eilat as new destinations. Many big-name foreign companies such as Intel, Google and Ebay have set up research divisions in Israel. Despite relatively high levels of poverty, income inequality, and increases in healthcare spending, Israeli life expectancy and health have been improving overall. Israel has also seen a large increase in the GDP and a large decrease in the public debt and unemployment.

Ashalim solar

SuperMeat lab grown chicken

When it comes to cybersecurity, Israel is regarded as the gold standard. Perhaps the best example of Israel’s cybersecurity prowess is the IDF’s Unit 8200, an elite spy agency that is considered by many to be one of the best in the world. Israel’s private sector too has excelled in cybersecurity innovation with multinational corporations

Indeed, demand for Israeli tech across the world is at an all-time high. Thousands of delegates attended this year’s Digital Life Design Conference in Tel Aviv. The delegates included everyone from entrepreneurs to representatives of big tech corporations like Facebook and Amazon. A new high-tech research center was built on New York’s Roosevelt Island through collaboration between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The Israeli company IDenta has shipped tens of thousands of its drug and explosive detectors to customers such as

Google's Tel Aviv office

In short, Israel has made enormous strides both economically and technologically in the past 10 years. Israeli companies have been responsible for some of the most fascinating and useful innovations found around the world, and Israel continues to be a leader in humanitarian aid and human rights. The next 10 years look very promising indeed.



The Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The In News AskWeek the Attorney

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Why Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Essential Michael Rubinstein, Esq.

Drivers in California face a serious predicament every single day: Millions of drivers are driving without insurance. Perhaps an even greater number do carry insurance, but not enough to cover potential losses caused by a traffic collision.

cases. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is crucial for drivers in California, especially in Los Angeles. In this context, an uninsured motorist claim is the rare occasion where an insurance policyholder has leverage over his or her insurance company – which is the exact opposite of most interactions with insurance companies. I strongly recommend drivers maintain as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as they can afford. Talk to an attorney or insurance broker for questions about your particular situation.

California law requires every car to be insured for a minimum of $15,000 in damages per person, and $30,000 per accident. The problem is that this meager coverage limit was enacted in the early 1970s, and it hasn’t adapted over time. $15,000 gets swallowed up easily in a routine collision, let alone a more serious one. Even with this low amount of coverage, millions of drivers ignore the law and simply do not purchase auto insurance. This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage kicks in. It is meant to fill in the gaps in the event the at-fault driver is uninsured, or carries insufficient coverage to pay for the damages. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, that coverage will allow you to recover damages from your own insurance policy. This is unique, because in this situation, your insurance carrier takes the place of the uninsured driver who hit you. Many times, clients are confused by how this works. They are not comfortable “suing” their own insurance carrier, and they are also concerned that seeking to recover damages from their own insurance company will cause a dramatic increase in their monthly insurance rates. This concern is understandable, but it is incorrect. An insurance company cannot penalize you for accessing your own uninsured motorist coverage. If you have this type of coverage, it is something you pay for every month. In fact, if you review your auto insurance policy, you will see that a portion of each premium payment you make is segregated by the insurance carrier to cover the costs of an uninsured motorist claim. An insurance company would be breaching its contractual duties to you if it raises your rates in response to your lawful right to access this coverage for an accident in which you were not responsible. Uninsured motorist coverage is also what protects policyholders in the event of a hit and run. This is particularly important in a city like Los Angeles. The LAPD estimates that there are over 20,000 hit and run cases every year. Uninsured motorist

coverage protects you in the event of a hit and run, provided that one files a police report within 24 hours of the incident. This is intended to prevent fraudulent claims because it is a crime to file a false police report. Uninsured motorist coverage also applies to bicyclists and pedestrians hit by a car that 1) has no insurance; 2) has too little insurance; or 3) flees the scene. This is unique in that it is a form of auto insurance coverage that applies when one is not inside his or her car. Uninsured motorist cases are unique in another way. In the insurance world, these cases are known as “first party” cases. The typical car crash is a “third party” case – Driver A making a claim against Driver B’s insurance policy. In the uninsured motorist context, Driver A is making a claim against his/her own insurance. Driver A is a paying customer, so the insurance company must treat its own paying customer with strict fiduciary duties. There can be consequences to an insurance company who downplays the claim or accuses its customer of presenting an exaggerated claim – common insurance company tactics in a third party case. Cases have held that insurance companies who mistreat their customers and attempt to get away with not paying fairly on an uninsured motorist case can be liable for bad faith. Uninsured motorist cases usually settle agreeably between the policyholder and insurance company. But if an agreement cannot be reached, these cases must be arbitrated before a private judge, known as an arbitrator. They cannot be litigated in court. Uninsured motorist cases require unique skill and should be handled by an

attorney familiar with the unique procedural requirements associated with these

Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He may be reached by visiting www., or by calling 213-2936075.

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Quotes OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home In News 22 The Week

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Delta is hiring 1,000 new flight attendants, and it’s a very tough tryout. When pushing the beverage cart, you have to slam into at least 12 passengers’ knees. - Jimmy Fallon

I learned, myself – I had a brother, Fred – great guy, bestlooking guy, best personality – much better than mine. But he had a problem. He had a problem with alcohol, and he would tell me, “Don’t drink. Don’t drink.” He was substantially older, and I listened to him and I respected, but he would constantly tell me, “Don’t drink.” He’d also add, “Don’t smoke.” But he would say it over and over and over again. And to this day, I’ve never had a drink. And I have no longing for it. I have no interest in it. To this day, I’ve never had a cigarette. Don’t worry, those are only two of my good things. I don’t want to tell you about the bad things. There’s plenty of bad things too. - President Trump during his speech last week about taking on the drug epidemic

I better do it now. - Eila Campbell, age 94, of Williamsport, Penn., explaining to local TV why she spent her recent birthday skydiving

In the past two years, I have begun to observe Shabbat. During Shabbat I am completely cut off, there is no one to talk to, and I do not compromise about it. At first it felt like a tough assignment, but it gives me time with my children, my wife, my friends. Last week I had a crazy week in which I was flying and working a lot. On Friday morning we got up and said to each other, “We are ready for Shabbat.” Shabbat arrives, we light candles, relax, friends come over, we eat a meal that we cooked beforehand. We are cut off from the rest of the world, but in reality connecting with each other. I spend more time than I ever did with my family and even phone and see my mother more. And the real magic is that the more I do it, the more successful the company is. Go figure. - Adam Neumann, who founded WeWork, which is valued at $20 billion, in a recent interview with Yediot Aharonot

Amazon is introducing a new service called Amazon Key, which will allow deliverymen to open your front door and put packages directly inside your house. I don’t have a joke here. I just wanted to tell you how you’re going to be murdered. Sleep tight, folks. - James Corden


The Week In News

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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