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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News


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The Week In News

CONTENTS COMMUNITY Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

FEATURE Of Life and Limb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

LIFESTYLES Humor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Jewish Home is distributed bi-weekly to: ANAHEIM AGOURA HILLS BEVERLY HILLS BURBANK CALABASAS CAMARILLO COSTA MESA ENCINO GLENDALE HUNTINGON BEACH IRVINE LONG BEACH LOS ANGELES -BEVERLY HILLS



NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, As humans, we can have one of several reactions when receiving something: “I have 100 of that—now I want 200.” “This was successful. I must be such a smart guy!” In this week’s parshah, Yaakov Avinu has a different, better reaction. He says, “I have become small from all the kindness…for with my staff [only] I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.” Most of us become emboldened by abundant success. We walk around thinking everyone should marvel at our genius, offering advice we think all should follow to replicate what we did. “If only more people were like me!” Yaakov Avinu, on the other hand, became humbled by success. He understood that everything comes from the Creator. If he built a large community, it was only because G-d granted him success. Being humble isn’t just a good recipe for being thankful to the One above. It helps interpersonal relationships, as well. When we’re humble, we’re able to appreciate others—others’ opinions, other perspectives at work, differences between family members. When we accomplish something, the focus doesn’t become us. It’s about those who helped and made it possible. Being thankful is a tremendous character trait to master. But it can only happen if we are humble and don’t feel the world owes us whatever we have. We have so much. Now all’s that’s left is to realize it. Of course, we still daven and yearn for the coming of Mashiach. Besides the healing it will bring, Mashiach will also open our eyes to the wonders, miracles and amazing times we are currently living in. Wishing you a peaceful Shabbos,


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

TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

And Now for Something Completely Different Brenda Goldstein

Rabbi Pini Dunner might as well have called his debut book And Now for Something Completely Different, as it talks about off-beat characters in Judaism that mainstream narratives either fail to mention or speak about only marginally. The actual title, Mavericks, Mystics & False Messiahs: Episodes from the Margins of Jewish History (Toby Press, 2018), launched November 7th at the Beverly Hills Synagogue, where Rabbi Dunner presides as senior rabbi. Hailing from a prominent German rabbinic dynasty that reestablished itself in London after miraculously surviving the Holocaust, Rabbi Dunner, an acknowledged expert on antiquarian Hebrew books and manuscripts, frequently consults with libraries, academics, dealers and private collectors. He and his wife, Sabine, live in Beverly Hills with their children. After being introduced by Koren/Toby Press publisher Matthew Miller, Rabbi Dunner preceded to thank all those who helped him with his book. To his wife, his

ezer k’negdo, he presented a bouquet of flowers. “It’s very hard to write a book,” he said. “But it’s much harder to be married to someone who is writing a book!” Rabbi Dunner then sat with Professor Jessica Marglin of USC’s Department of Religion and Jewish Studies for an hourlong question-and-answer session about the book. “I literally couldn’t put it down,” Professor Marglin said of Mavericks. “You’re really in for a treat.” She commented that the book read like a “detective novel,” as well as being a “page-turner,” phrases not normally ascribed to historical narrative. Professor Marglin asked about specific characters and incidents in the book, as well as Rabbi Dunner’s writing and storytelling style. “I don’t choose the stories,” Rabbi Dunner said. “The stories choose me.” The self-described “lover of history” told the audience how stories often fall in his lap in a serendipitous way, as when he chose to research Lord George Gordon for

Mavericks. Gordon, an unlikely convert to Judaism, lived during the tenure of William Pitt The Younger, in the second half of 18th century England. On phoning a Chassidishe bookseller in North London about a book on Lord George’s life, the bookseller informed Rabbi Dunner that “’Today is his [Lord George’s] yahrtzeit.’” He knew then that Hashem wanted him to go ahead with the research. When reading about the day-to-day life of an historical figure, Rabbi Dunner explained, “you see that period of history in a completely different light…I love to bring history to life.” “The Enlightenment had enabled Jews to morph into completely different characters,” Rabbi Dunner said in explaining how learning about con artist Ignatz Trebitsch-Lincoln in Mavericks actually allows one to learn the background of someone more mainstream in modern Judaism, like first Israeli President Chaim Weizmann. Both originally came from Orthodox, cheder-going, Yiddish-speaking backgrounds in European shtetls, taking on completely different personas when they left that world. Of course, Weizmann transformed into a force for good, as opposed to Trebitsch-Lincoln. Still, reading about the latter provides a “window into what was going on at the time.” Rabbi Dunner spoke with eloquence,

intelligence and humor. When addressing the sultan of Turkey’s repudiation of Shabbetai Tzvi’s messianic claim, the rabbi jokingly paraphrased a line from Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “You’re not the Messiah. You’re just a very naughty boy!” When asked about the importance of the Shabbetai Tzvi on Judaism of today, Rabbi Dunner replied that his story shows “to what extent mainstream Judaism can observe things that are beyond the pale. He was able to throw Jewish life in Europe and everywhere else into complete chaos.” Indeed, the Sabbatian influence on Jewish life continued at least until the 18th century, during which took place the Emden-Eybeschutz controversy, to which Rabbi Dunner dedicates an entire chapter in Mavericks. “I don’t see it as a contradiction,” said Rabbi Dunner in response to whether writing about these unsavory Jewish characters shows a break with his tradition and background. “What drives me to the stories are the passion of the people involved.” After this question and answer session, as well as one between himself and the audience, Rabbi Dunner signed copies of his book. Will Rabbi Dunner write sequels to Mavericks? “We will have to have subsequent volumes,” he replied.

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TheAdvertorial Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Sweet Inn Revolutionizes Apartment-Hotel Concept Through Cutting-Edge Technology for Guests Ken Stephens Investing in a series of unique technological applications, Sweet Inn, an upstart Israeli apartment-hotel company, is using “TravelTech” to offer its discerning clientele an innovative and hassle-free vacation experience, unlike any other seen in the hospitality industry. Impeccably designed Sweet Inn topnotch apartments can be found in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and another nine major cities across the globe. Their recently launched mobile app allows users to book a Sweet Inn apartment directly and explore the cities in depth using the app’s “personal concierge.” The app has been specifically designed to make the user experience for guests even smoother—from booking to check-out, the new app (both for ios and Android phones) providing today’s busy travelers with an easier, more hassle-free journey. Guests can also personalize their experience by ordering extra Sweet Inn services, including airport transfer, grocery and breakfast delivery, a personal chef, romantic surprises, housekeeping, wifi hotspots and more. “The hospitality industry is in the midst of many changes. We are focusing

on simplifying and enhancing a person’s or family’s vacation experience by understanding the human realities and using technology to eliminate the time-consuming fuss and bureaucracy,” said Rachel Benhanoch, the VP product a Sweet Inn. “When tourists come to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from the airport, they are quite tired from their flight. The last thing they want it to start searching for a way to get to their apartment or. Once they got there, to stand in line with other people, waiting for an attendant to allocate their room while their tired family is standing behind with their luggage. With the Sweet Inn app, they can transition from the airport to their apartment with a private driver who awaits them and have a personal guest-relations attendant wait for them at the apartment door to welcome them. They can also send a request from the app before they arrive to put some food in the refrigerator or buy milk for the baby. The Sweet Inn team is available 24/7 to recommend a great bistro after they get settled in, all at the reach of their fingertips.” Ms. Benhanoch also revealed that Sweet Inn is in the midst of transforming

their apartments into “smart homes” starting with the installation of Nuki’s Smart Locks in all of their apartments to provide guests with a seamless experience, booking-to-checkout. Allowing guests to self-check-in and check-out via the Sweet Inn mobile app, by utilizing the Nuki Smart Lock, is part of a wider effort by the company to allow global leisure and business travelers complete control over their trips, all through their smartphone. “Technological advances are the wave of the future for travel because they provide guests with easy to use features and independence that enhances their overall experience, which makes their trips even more seamless,” said Paul Besnainou,

Training the Next Generation of Orthodox Jewish Mental Health Professionals N. Aaron Troodler

The issue of mental health in the Orthodox Jewish community is fraught with emotions and complexities and often remains on the periphery. However, the reality is that mental health issues are indeed prevalent within the Orthodox community, just as they are common in other communities. It is against that backdrop that Rabbi Pesach Lerner established the YIEP (Yeshiva Initiatives Educational Programs, www. and developed a program that trains members of the Orthodox community seeking to enter the mental health field. Through a partnership with Bellevue University that began in 2004, YIEP offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including a specialized Master of Science in Clinical Counseling (MSCC). The Bellevue University MSCC is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the gold standard in the counseling field, and the YIEP cohort is the only mental health program geared for Orthodox students with CACREP’s endorsement. YIEP launched the MSCC program in October 2014 and graduated its second cohort in May 2018, with four more cohorts in process. The next session is scheduled to begin in mid-January 2019. The Bellevue University/YIEP Master of Science in Clinical Counseling program is unique because the students are all Orthodox Jews who receive specialized training and engage in specific coursework that prepares them to address mental health is-

sues in the Orthodox community, as well as to serve in the broader Jewish- and non-Jewish community. Modeled after national licensing standards, the MSCC prepares students for the national licensing exam to become a professional mental health counselor. It is a 60-credit-hour online graduate degree program, which includes a practicum and internship component that enables students to gain valuable experience in the field while being guided by a licensed professional. The MSCC coursework centers on the theoretical and applied principles of psychological counseling and trains students to ultimately engage in the assessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families. Students are introduced to critical topics such as assessing and diagnosing mental health issues, psychotherapy, rehabilitation counseling, substance abuse, and prevention services. The MSCC is a regionally accredited graduate degree with an option for students to pursue licensure in their home state. While the courses offered by the Bellevue University/YIEP MSCC program are online, there is a four-day on-site seminar in Brooklyn, NY where students meet their instructors and classmates, and the practicum and internship can be done wherever the student resides. It is also noteworthy that degrees from yeshivos are accepted as fulfillment of the undergraduate degree requirement, and tuition is lower than New York area programs because it is based on Nebraska rates, as Nebraska is home to

Bellevue University. Professor Esther Lustig, LCSW-R, an instructor, professional advisor, and mentor of the YIEP MSCC program, spoke about its distinctive nature. “This is an important and valuable educational program that is transformative for the students and the community alike,” she said. Professor Lustig described a course she developed exclusively for the YIEP MSCC entitled “Orthodox Judaic Theoretical Perspectives.” “The unique piece to the YIEP program is that we have a very specific course that allows students to grapple with some of the major mental health issues that exist in the Orthodox community,” she said. “Nothing is off the table; everything is discussed, even the most difficult issues. These are issues that need to be faced and practitioners who want to work in the Orthodox community need to understand them.” One of the hallmarks of the YIEP MSCC is the internship requirement, with which Professor Lustig assists with placement and administration. “There is a strong experiential component to this program; it’s not just reading books,” she said. “We have students interning at so many interesting places because our program is recognized, and we have a good reputation.” Professor Lustig acknowledged the intensive nature of the program, which she considers one of the best in the country. “There are many facets to this program and it gives students a really good foundation to start helping people,” she said. “We

Sweet Inn’s CEO. “Today’s travelers want to experience the cities they visit like locals without foregoing the benefits of hotel services. Our new app gives them more control over their own trip management without sacrificing essential human interaction and knowledge. The new app is also a way for both leisure and business travelers to access everything they need quickly and easily. We are thrilled about this exciting step in our goal to provide more control, transparency and independence to today’s busy business and global travelers.” Book your stay at one of Israel’s Sweet Inn apartments at using the code SWEETISRAEL to receive a 7% discount on all their apartments in Israel.

want to make sure they get the best education possible within the framework they’re comfortable with.” Past and current students also spoke enthusiastically about the program. “I am extremely impressed with how professional and helpful the program’s faculty members have been,” said one student. “They’re extremely accommodating and responsive and look to be as helpful as possible. Although the coursework is intense, I am finding the course to be extremely interesting and hands-on.” “I greatly appreciate the sevivah (the environment), learning these concepts together with others who not only are frum Jews, but real b’nei Torah,” said another student. “There are many advantages to getting a Master’s degree in this manner, as I can study and complete assignments during times I can carve out that are most convenient. In addition, the instructors, who are knowledgeable and committed to explaining the material, encourage the students to reach out to them with inquiries.” “The program is sensitive to the needs of the students and the class calendar fully accommodates the yomim tovim schedule,” added another student. “I owe Rabbi Lerner a debt of gratitude for his commitment and his concern that the program runs smoothly.” “The YIEP/Bellevue program is educational, professional and respectful, and it’s a culturally sensitive program that doesn’t compromise a quality education,” noted another student. Continued on page 7

TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dr. Barb Daubenspeck, Ph.D., Program Director and instructor of the Bellevue University MSCC program, explained how the university’s Clinical Counseling faculty worked with Rabbi Lerner to establish a cohort that meets the unique needs of the Orthodox community in numerous ways, including structuring the schedules for the cohort around religious holidays and being mindful of the need to facilitate the completion of the program with the students’ already busy schedule. “Course materials are continually reviewed to ensure that even as students are challenged to view things from a new perspective, their cultural values are respected,” she said.

Rav Gerson Bess Delivers Yahrtzeit Shiur at LINK Kollel For Rabbi Kalman Levine, HY”D Rabbi Eli Stern Four years ago, a shocking terrorist attack took place at the Kehillas Bnei Torah shul in the Har Nof section of Yerushalayim. Five Rabbis were brutally murdered while clad in tallis and tefillin during Shacharis. Amongst them was Rabbi Kalman Levine, hy”d, originally from Kansas City, Missouri. His nephew, Rabbi Yehuda Kraft, was learning in Yerushalayim at the time and now learns in the LINK Kollel in L.A. To commemorate Rabbi Levine’s fourth yahrtzeit, on Thursday night, the 24th of Marcheshvan (November 1st), the kollel hosted Rav Gershon Bess, who gave a shiur in Rabbi Levine’s memory. Rav Bess is the senior posek of the Los Angeles community and rav of Congregation Kehillas Yaakov in Hancock Park. To a packed beis medrash, Rav Bess delivered a masterful presentation on many of the halachic intricacies in the laws of affixing a mezuzah to one’s home, including issues dealing with walk-in closets and porches. Rav Bess’s remarks were preceded by words of hesped from Rabbi Kraft. He recalled his uncle as a masmid who was always learning Torah yet found time to help others as well. His love of Torah was matched by his refined humility. He was a true embodiment of kiddush Hashem in life, as well as in death.

“Students complete their coursework moving course by course through the program in step together,” added Dr. Daubenspeck. “In this way the students are able to build supportive relationships with one another and are also able to connect with the Bellevue University faculty.” Rabbi Lerner noted that the YIEP MSCC “is probably the most Torah-sensitive program of this nature around.” “Our students receive a serious education,” he said. “As all our students are from the Orthodox community, some of whom even participate in the online coursework from Israel, there are no scheduling issues relating to Shabbos or yom tov. In addition,

the YIEP and Bellevue University provide significant support for our students and play an integral role in helping them secure internships where they get practical experience that helps prepare them for a meaningful career in the mental health field.” Rabbi Lerner remarked that the YIEP attracts all types of Orthodox Jews, including Yeshivish, Chassidishe and Modern Orthodox, and that classes are for both males and females, but is very sensitive to the guidelines of tznius and halachah. He added that many YIEP students were sent to the program by their roshei hayeshivos and community rebbes, with the hope

that they will return to their community to work there as professionals. “The intersection of Torah values, Jewish ideals, and comprehensive academic training by top professionals and instructors makes the YIEP Master of Science in Clinical Counseling program a unique educational opportunity for Orthodox Jews who want to give back to their community through the provision of quality mental health services,” added Rabbi Lerner. For more information about the program, contact Rabbi Lerner at



The Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home


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Living with the The Week In Times News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Peace Brother

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

Through careful study of the parsha, we learn how to behave and how to conduct ourselves when dealing with others. In this week’s s­edra of Vayishlach, we take note of Yaakov’s interactions with his brother Eisov and take heed of the many lessons applicable to us in our day. The parsha opens with Yaakov sending malochim to approach Eisov. Rashi comments that the word malochim in this instance refers not to mere messengers, but rather to angels. We wonder what there was about this mission that could not be performed by men, necessitating angels to fulfill the task. Additionally, we must understand why Yaakov immediately assumed that there was malice in the heart of his approaching brother. Perhaps upon hearing that his brother was returning home after having done well, Eisov wanted to greet him and express his love. Lovon was regarded by the populace as a good person, meticulous in his honesty and fidelity to convention. We know that he was anything but, because Chazal reveal to us the deeper meaning of the pesukim that present Lovon as a fine individual. In fact, Eisov was quite similar to his uncle Lovon. After offering to pay Yaakov for watching his herds, Lovon cheated him and substituted Leah for Rochel. When challenged by Yaakov, Lovon defended himself by saying that he could not go against the local minhag of marrying the older sibling before the younger one. The epitome of chicanery for all time is a stickler for heeding not only to important things, such as agreements, but also to smaller local customs. Of course, we know that it was all insincere grandstanding. The Baal Haturim in Parshas Toldos (25:25) writes that the numerical equivalent of Eisov is shalom, peace. Perhaps we can understand the significance of this gematriah as indicating that Eisov always presents himself as a man of peace. He speaks of peace and his actions appear to

be motivated by a sincere desire to spread peace and brotherhood in the world. Yaakov feared that if he would send a human representative to explore his brother’s intentions, the messenger would be impressed by Eisov’s outward appearance and would be comforted with his words and demeanor suggesting that he seeks a peaceful existence with Yaakov. They would fail to properly deliver Yaakov’s message. Upon the return of the envoys, the only thing the Torah recounts is that they told Yaakov that Eisov was on his way to visit him. Without hearing anything else about how their conversation went, Yaakov knew that he was in danger and set about preparing himself for battle. If Eisov was coming towards him, it could only mean trouble.

righteous (25:27), an ish tam yosheiv ohalim, while Eisov is an “ish yodeia tzayid ish sodeh,” a wicked man with many guises. The two were opposites. One was good and the other evil, one refined and the other a brutish barbarian. Eisov was motivated by earthly pleasures, Yaakov by spiritual growth. Yaakov ignored the physical and concentrated on the spiritual, rising to the level at which “demus deyukno chakukah tachas Kisei Hakavod.” But despite the levels he attained, the malach of Eisov sought to deter him from his holy path (ibid. 32:25). The malach of Eisov, the Soton and the yeitzer hora are the same. They always seek to pull us down and ruin us. They present themselves in different guises, sometimes as a malach, sometimes as a tyrant, a Nazi or a Cossack, sometimes as a

People love to hobnob with politicians, deluding themselves into thinking that they are actually interested in us and our issues. It is interesting to note that Yaakov’s message to Eisov (32:5) was “Im Lovon garti. I lived with Lovon until now. I observed all the mitzvos and was not influenced by his behavior” (Rashi ad loc.). Of what interest was it to Eisov whether Yaakov observed the mitzvos while he was in the house of Lovon? Yaakov and Eisov were in an eternal war that began prior to their birth and lasts until the arrival of Moshiach. Yaakov is

friendly ruler, and other times as a loving brother. The intent is always the same: to drive us from the proper path. They come offering different inducements and often speak kindly, seemingly interested in our welfare. We should not be fooled. We must know that Eisov is evil, no matter how he presents himself. Thus, when the malochim told Yaakov that Eisov was on his way, he knew it was trouble, because Eisov is always trouble.

Though he may speak of peace and offer incentives and encouragement to follow his peace process, proffering diplomatic advice and financial benefits, know that he is Eisov and his goal is the same. He might appear as a loving brother, but his heart is always filled with malice and spite. He offers opportunities and opens vistas, but to follow is folly. Yaakov, who survived and flourished while under Lovon’s dominion, knew the secret to survival with Eisov was to stay away from him and to be prepared for battle should he ever arrive. That is why Yaakov told him that even under the thumb of Lovon, he observed the mitzvos and was not influenced by his roughness. He was sending Eisov a message that he would not be impressed by Eisov’s advice and admonishment. Rather, he would maintain his devotion to Torah. He thought that there was a chance that this would deter Eisov from his evil plans. Yaakov was good and would remain good, despite any threats and incentives Eisov could muster. The Ramban (33:15) writes that this parsha “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).” Prior to the Second World War, when Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jewish people became evident, one of the Radiner roshei yeshiva asked the Chofetz Chaim what the fate of European Jewry would be. The Chofetz Chaim responded that throughout the ages, no one ever succeeded in killing all of the Jews. He said that this was presaged in Yaakov’s words in this week’s parsha: “Im yavo Eisov el hamachaneh ha’achas vehikohu vehoya hamachaneh hanishor lifleitah.” Yaakov divided his people and possessions into two camps and said that should Eisov come and succeed in beating one of the groups, at least the second will survive. When Yaakov uttered those words, he established a precedent for the Jewish people for all time. They were words of fact and advice that would be in force for as long as we are at the mercy of Eisov. In fact, when the First World War broke out in 1914 and the front lines came dangerously close to Radin, the Chofetz Chaim was conflicted over whether to flee. He performed the Goral HaGra and was directed to those very pesukim that describe Yaakov dividing his camps into two groups. He divided his family and yeshi-

TheHappenings Week In Times News Living with the

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

va into two groups, with one remaining in Radin under the leadership of Rav Moshe Londinski and Rav Yosef Leib Nenik and the other, led by the Chofetz Chaim, fleeing in 1915 into Russia. As in the time of Yaakov, both groups survived. The Shela (Toldos 35) explains what Rivka meant when she sent Yaakov to accept the brachos from Yitzchok. She said, “Olai kililus’cha beni” (27:13). Rivka was the smelter in which Yaakov was purified and refined. All the impurities were absorbed by Eisov, who was with him. Any of the rubbish that stuck to Rivka from Lovon the swindler was assumed by Eisov as well. Thus, Lovon and Eisov were swindlers, while Yaakov was pure silver, without any impurities. Yaakov was representative of Adam Harishon (Bava Metziah 84a), while Eisov characterized the poison that the nochosh hakadmon brought into the world. Rivka was telling Yaakov that it was her task to remove any remaining curses from Yaakov and to render it unto Eisov, where it belongs, for he is accursed like the snake while Yaakov is blessed. We can add that since Yaakov is the boruch and Eisov is the arur, “Ein boruch misdabeik im ha’arur,” he who is blessed does not affiliate or connect with they who are cursed. Yaakov yearned to be separate from

Eisov, and for all time we yearn to follow his ways. We desire to be blessed, and to earn those blessings we must do our best to separate from that which is evil. While the Ramban is commonly understood to be a communal lesson in how to deal with our overseers in golus, as is evident from the Medrash he quotes, there is also an inherent message for each individual person. Know that the yeitzer hora seeks to entrap and destroy you. Beware of him and the different ways in which he presents himself. Nobody should ever consider themselves to be beyond his grasp. He is wiser and faster than us, and quite successful at what he does. Later in the parsha, we read of Sh’chem’s desire to take Dinah as a wife (34:4). He and his father, Chamor, who happened to be king of the area, met with Yaakov and the shevotim and presented themselves as responsible leaders who offered Yaakov and his family entry to their kingdom as if they were interested in their welfare. They then turned around and sought to convince their people to agree to the terms set by the shevotim for the marriage to go through. Father and son told their constituents that the Jews were good businessmen, and if the people would 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.

Jews convince themselves that the nations of the world and their leaders 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.” Jews love to hobnob with politicians, deluding themselves into thinking that they are actually interested in us and our issues. We forget the lessons Yaakov Avinu taught about how to deal with governments. We view 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. Eisov is polished, wears expensive clothes, has beautiful diction, boasts a broad vocabulary, and flashes a winning smile. We are incredulous when Eisov turns on us. 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. We seek shalom. We work for unity and loving brotherhood. Our goal is to work together to enhance the common good. But we won’t sacrifice our essence to attain those goals. Yaakov Avinu wanted shalom, but

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when he heard that Eisov was coming, the posuk (ibid. 32:8) relates, “Vayira Yaakov meod.” He was afraid. He feared that he would be killed. He worried that he would kill someone. But capitulation to Eisov was never an option. The novi Micha said, “Titein emes l’Yaakov” (7:20). Yaakov Avinu, the fountain of emes, yearned for shalom, but his primary concern was that it be within the context of emes. He sent malochim mamesh to Eisov. He told Eisov that he had no intention of compromising on the truth. “I will not change my ways and will not adapt to conform to your correctness.” Let us endeavor to internalize a desire for emes and shalom. Let us hope and pray that peace will reign supreme in our world, and that a united desire for truth will lead to calm and harmony. Let us 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 the persistent battle between tov and ra, emes and sheker, and ruchniyus and gashmiyus will come to an end, soon and in our day.

Led by: Rabbi Nachi Klein


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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Conversation about one Rav Chaim Kanievsky regarding security


?‫חייב לשלם בעבור בטחון‬ "How much do I


!‫אז לא צריכין שום בטחון‬ "If there is no then no security Gezeiros from Hashem and beyond But Hishtadlus may klal yisroel be zoche to make the proper hishtadlus

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

year ago between & Rav Eytan Feiner for his shul:

‫כמה אני‬ have to pay for security?" ,‫אם לא מדברים בשעת התפילה‬ talking during davening, is needed!" are never questioned, our control. IS in our control. and have the ultimate shmirah from hashem



The Week In News Torah Musings

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Appreciation, Part 2 Sarah Pachter

In our last issue, I wrote about becoming happier with less and expounded on how to prevent ourselves from becoming numb to pleasurable experiences. This article delineates how we can lower that bar of appreciation so more events, items, and people can make it over, and thus come to our attention. G-d, in His ultimate wisdom and kindness, gives us an opportunity to express gratitude daily through a multitude of blessings. However, I would like to focus our attention specifically on Modeh Ani, the prayer which we recite upon awakening. For most people, the first thought in the early morning is one of scarcity. Although we may not actually chant (or consciously think of) the word, many of us do begin the day with one of the following thoughts: I’m so tired—I didn’t get ENOUGH sleep. Ugh…I have so much to do today, I just don’t have enough TIME. Modeh Ani helps change that paradigm. I’m grateful that I have life, I have SO MUCH. This prayer doesn’t just mean, I thank you; it actually means I gratefully thank you! The Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim 1:1 explains that we should recite the Modeh Ani with excitement and fervor. We are meant to awaken in the morning with energy like a lion, ready to spring onto its prey. We are supposed to awaken ready to start the new day of adventure! I’m sure you’re thinking: Adventure? That’s not exactly what I’m thinking about when I hear the alarm clock in the morning. What I’m really thinking is, “Can’t I

just hit the snooze button and delay this adventure for just a few more hours? Why does G-d care if I say it with excitement or not?” The following story answers that question beautifully. My student, Danielle, shared with me that her friend, Jennifer, was begging to borrow a pair of her designer shoes. Although initially reluctant, Danielle relented because she knew that Jennifer was trying to impress her date, and her shoes would work perfectly. On Thursday night, Jennifer and Jon went out. Danielle waited up to hear from her friend post-date, but alas, no such luck. Days passed, and Jennifer was still MIA. The following week, Jennifer swung by Danielle’s unapologetically to drop off her shoes. Immediately, Jennifer started idolizing Jon. “Jon is so cute, sweet, smart, and wonderful!” As she dropped the shoes carelessly by the door, Danielle thought she noticed scuff marks on them that weren’t previously there. Hmm, maybe this is why Jennifer was unreachable and took so long to return them, Danielle mused to herself. “Ahem. Did the shoes work out?” Danielle asked while waiting for an apology, or at least some gratitude for the favor. “Yeah, thanks. Gotta go, bye!” And that was it. Jessica scurried off. Danielle slowly closed the door behind her friend, shell-shocked. “Sarah,” she told me afterward, “I had lent her my most expensive pair of shoes, and not only did she scuff them, she hardly even eked out a ‘thank you.’ The nerve!” Understandably, Danielle was upset, and yet, we do this shoe-borrowing thing to Hashem all the time. G-d lends us this beautiful, designer, priceless soul—worth far more than any shoe, no matter how many months it took the designer to determine the heel’s height and thickness. One’s neshamah is an ethereal soul that is completely clean and pure. Yet, we

spend our days living imperfectly (to say the least). At night we return it to Hashem, slightly stained and battered from our regular mistakes. Then, we groggily wake up in the morning, stifle a yawn, and with our eyes half-closed, we—myself included— mumble Modeh Ani under our breath. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not suggesting we wake up singing Modeh Ani Broadway-style. It is understandably difficult to wake up in the morning, energized and truly excited for the new day ahead. However, we must strive to recognize that every minute of life is a gift from Hashem, a precious loan. It is far too short to take our lives for granted, especially during these first few minutes in the morning. It is possible (read: likely) that despite seeing this article, we will continue to have trouble waking up with fervor. Therefore, I would like to share with you the most powerful technique that I have in my toolbox to elicit appreciation and joy. It can be started TODAY, as soon as right now! I learned about this exercise fifteen years ago, and have used it ever since. It’s called… drumroll please…. A gratitude journal. Simple, right? A gratitude journal is all about mastering the art of observing our inner dialogue and the beautiful life around you. Log the promotion you just received. Jot down the rich color of the grass—yes, YOUR grass, not your neighbor’s—or the stunning sunset outside your child’s bedroom window that you usually don’t look at when you brush her hair after bath time. Noting small nuances in this manner prevents us from becoming numb, and then we can actually feel joy when it hits. To practice this concept in a convenient way, I personally maintain a Google document with a dear friend, as well as one with my husband. Finding someone to share gratitude with creates accountability and continuity. There are other fringe benefits to gratitude journals as well. When my daughter was just days old, she was rushed to the

NICU. To be honest, I didn’t know if she would live or die at that time, and it was terrifying. I wasn’t allowed to hold her or even touch her. While standing by her incubator, I would sometimes pray with fervor, and other times I was too numb to speak. But you can bet I kept up the gratitude log for the duration of that difficult period. I remember sitting there one morning, unsure of what to write. I was so sad about my baby’s situation that I struggled to find something to thank G-d for. Completely broken down, I ultimately found myself writing these words: Thank You, G-d, for allowing me to hold this pen and write this sentence. Because I logged the simplest of moments each day during that trying time, I can now, four years later, look back at my entries and see that even in the darkest of days, there are glimmers of light. That daily dose of Vitamin G lowers our appreciation threshold and keeps us happy, not only in the moment, but long afterwards. One may think that expressing gratitude over the small nuances of life is simple pursuit reserved for those with lesser intelligence. However, having the capacity to notice the positive nuances of life is a skill acquired by a select few who have had enough practice. Imagine someone looking at a masterpiece by Van Gogh. A novice may not have the capacity to recognize the nuances Van Gogh’s technique. But an artist can reflect upon many deeper levels to that piece, adding additional pleasure to their viewing. And so too with gratitude. When we are a skilled gratitude-giver, we start to recognize the nuances of life, which makes gives us a much richer existence. Here’s one entry to start your gratitude journal off: Thank You, G-d, for this keyboard, for Google docs, and for fabulous friends who ensure I’m taking my daily Vitamin G. What will your next entry read?

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The Week In News Humor

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

NaNoWhineMo Rebecca Klempner

I need to be honest. Yes, I have written novels before, but each one that topped 50,000 took at least a year. That additional time allowed me time to recalibrate my outline any time the original version didn’t work out. It let me ponder plot problems or do extra research. I haven’t totally given up, but it’s likely that I will flunk NaNoWriMo this year. Unlike flunking Algebra or Statistics, there is no

serious consequence for failing to complete NaNoWriMo, other than a bruised ego.

Good thing my ego is used to taking a few blows.


NOV 20-24


In the world of writers—both amateur and professional—November means more than eating Turkey and grabbing bargains at the mall. November is NaNoWriMo— National Novel Writing Month. But I have unilaterally decided to rename it NaNoWhineMo because this Novermber, I have been doing more whining than writing. If you do NaNoWriMo they way it was originally intended to be done, you write 1667 words or more every day of November and wind up with at least 50,000 words by the end of the month. In theory, you will have officially written the rough draft of a book, or at least most of one. Accomplishing this gargantuan task by December first means you have “won.” Winning makes you eligible for prizes donated by NaNoWriMo sponsors—most of which would not interest anyone but writers—but by far the greatest honor is getting the “Winner” badge added to your book’s icon on the official NaNoWriMo website. Here’s the tricky part for a Jewish writer: There are four Shabboses in November, and even for professional writers, like me, writing anything of significant length on Friday and Motzei Shabbos is a perpetual challenge. Jewish writers have developed strategies: Write more the other days of the week. Feed your kids fish sticks for Shabbos and thus free up some time Friday morning. Bribe yourself with an ice cream run if you get in two hours of writing after havdalah. I wish I could get out of Thanksgiving cooking, but attempts to persuade my inlaws that Empire individual turkey pot pies are acceptably festive have failed. Overall, last NaNoWriMo was a positive experience for me. I decided to write a middle-grade novel of less than half the recommended 50,000 words, and I not only wrote it but revised it last November. That book, im yirtzeh Hashem, will be coming out in early 2019. After that accomplishment last year, I got cocky this time around. I told myself, “I can write 50,000 words—no problem! Not only did I finish that shorter project last year, but I’ve written full-length novels before! I’m a professional! I can handle this.” (Besides, there is no rule stating that those 50,000 words have to be good.) The first week went swimmingly. I successfully wrote 1700+ words every day. Every evening, I would log onto the official NaNoWriMo page and admire the lovely bar graph that described my daily word counts marching steadily towards 50,000. My second week started out okay, but a couple days in, I started to diverge from my outline. Now, some writers have no problem with this, but I tend to write best when I plan my books in detail. The farther I wandered from my outline, the harder—and slower—I wrote. On Sunday, I made it to 400some words and started to cry. On Tuesday, I wrote nothing. Yesterday, I looked at the word count bar graph and cried some more.




Tech The Week In News

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Lighting Automation for Shabbos & Yom Tov Dov Pavel

The landscape of home automation platforms controlling lights and other home devices has shifted from high-end professionally installed systems to consumer-driven do-it-yourself (DIY) systems. These new DIY smart home devices achieve and often exceed the functionality of their counterparts at a fraction of the price. They are also easy to implement on both a small and large scale. Unlike the professionally installed systems, you don’t have to commit thousands of dollars implementing a whole home system. You can simply begin with a single switch and look to expand as you see fit. The first question one needs to ask is: Which HUB and corresponding app do you want to use as the nucleus or backbone of your smart home? Your HUB will act as a communication bridge between your WiFi network and all your connected devices. While you may be able to avoid a hub in some cases, as you connect more devices, the HUB becomes critical in integrating them into a single platform. Additionally, for Shabbos implementation a HUB is currently recommended. For this article, we will review the Wink Hub 2 ($99.00). I will expand on the Shabbos implementation first

and then go back and fill in some of the other product choices and rationales. The free Wink app that is available for mobile devices allows you to easily create detailed schedules. You can create a “Shabbos Night On” schedule that turns on the desired lights for Friday night and then create another “Shabbos Night Off” schedule to close them when you expect your meal to end, etc. The scheduler always knows what time Shabbos is, even after Daylight Savings Time adjustments, since it is based on sunset and the app knows your location. You simply need to set it once and it is calibrated forever. It would be ideal for the app to have a “Yom Tov” option where it simply knows the days of the chagim. This is the first area the Wink HUB falls short of addressing the needs of the shomer Shabbos consumer. For now, the pretty simple workaround is to go into the app the week of Yom Tov and schedule your “Shabbos Night” schedule for the specific nights of Yom Tov as well. For example, this year Succos fell out on out on Monday and Tuesday in the diaspora. Instead of setting the schedule for just Friday night, update the scheduler to take effect Sunday,

Monday and Friday. The key is to remember to undo the days of Yom Tov after the last days of the Chag. While I would love to see a more automated Yom Tov option, this deficiency should not deter anyone from considering this solution. I will review the Samsung SmartThings App a a later time. While Smartthings potentially has more Yom Tov options, the App itself is more complicated which is one of the reasons I choose Wink. Of course, outside of Shabbos, these schedules are also used to turn off all the house lights in the evening and turn on the outside lights at dusk. My children’s bedroom lights are scheduled to go off after they leave to school even if they forget to turn them off (kids, you know who you are). One can also “group” lights into rooms, floors, outdoor or other categories so you can simply turn on or off a whole group in a single command. There are also two services new to the Wink application. HomesitterTM is a service that will make it look like you are home even when you are away by opening and closing lights in a natural (not random) pattern. If you are away for a Shabbos, this may be viewed as a halachic problem. MoonLightTM

the top and bottom of steps), a “compatible” switch will be necessary. These applications often require an experienced electrician to install them correctly. These switches will, of course, look and act as normal switches and turn on and off your light with a touch. I particularly like these Leviton switches for not having an on/off physical state, so even three-way switches never seem like they are installed backward with the switch rocker in the up position while the light is in fact off. Tribe Tech Review readers can receive 30% percent discount on these switches at store. using promo code “Tribe”. For users of electric hot plates, hot water percolators or pressure cookers, a Leviton smart plug can easily be inserted into the outlet and programmed to go off at the desired time, adding an extra layer of safety. I will also recommend this later for Amazon Echo applications.

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is another service that is designed to turn lights on and off between dusk and dawn, which is just a simpler version of the scheduler. There are also some great integrations with smart locks that we will save for another time. The HUB, however, is just the controller, and you still need to purchase the individual switches. Wink provides an ever-growing list of compatible products that you can control on its platform. For lights, unless your wiring is old or you are just looking to for a single bulb on a lamp, I would recommend smart switches over individual smart bulbs, since bulbs eventually need replacements. Having a single switch cover multiple bulbs is often more cost-effective and practical. I use the Leviton Decora ZWave + Smart InWall Switch or Smart Dimmer. The Zwave is so that you are not reliant on WiFi for schedules and the dimmer is for applications where you want to control not only the on/ off state but also the brightness of the light. You will need to make sure your bulbs are dim-able as fluorescent applications, and many LED bulbs are incompatible with dimmers. For three- and four-way switch applications, for instances where more than one switch controls the same light (such as at

Before you can add schedules for your switches you will need to “pair” the switches with your hub. In my experience, this was not always as easy as it should be. The good news is that Wink provides an excellent customer service experience with the availability of a live and knowledgeable customer support line. All in all, I would give the Wink high marks as the app is simple, flexible and constantly improving. The myriad of products that it pairs with is ever-expanding and I look forward to reviewing several in upcoming articles. If Wink were to make a little more effort toward shomer Shabbos needs, I would say they are the preferred system. For now, I simply say they are a strong choice in a competitive landscape. However, once you implement a Shabbos smart home, you may wonder how you ever lived without it. Dov Pavel is a tech enthusiast who reviews personal technology and home automation through the lens of a Shomer Shabbos consumer. He is not affiliated with any of the companies whose products he reviews and the opinions he expresses are solely his own. Dov is not a halachic authority and readers should consult their own rabbi as needed. Previous articles can be found at Follow @TribeTechReview on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In.

The Week In News Torah

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf What is the nature of a person’s obligation to study Torah?

that it’s not the case that a new a separate obligation to learn is generated each moment, rather there is just one mitzvah to constantly study Torah. The practical manifestation of the mitzvah, though, differs from person to person, depending on the person’s capabilities and life circumstances. If an individual studies during whatever spare moments he has, then he has completely fulfilled “the object” of the mitzvah. Thus, it is quite true that the mitzvah to learn Torah has no minimum either. Let us close with the words of the Rambam (Hilchos Shemitta V’Yovel, 13:13) because they are beautiful and inspiring:

Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of

“A life of divine service isn’t reserved only for the tribe of Levi. Rather he who is inspired and makes the conscious decision to stand before G-d to serve Him and know Him, and to walk on His upright path and throws away the yoke of the dealings sought by other men—behold this individual is deemed Holy of Holies. G-d will be his portion forever and ever, and G-d will provide him with whatever he needs in this world. As it says, ‘The Lord is my allotted portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.’ (Psalms 16:5)”

This topic came up on last Shabbos’s mitzvah to wear tzitzis on one’s four-cordaf (99b). The mishnah there discusses nered garment. Just as one would not dewhether or not it is necessary to ensure scribe the mitzvah of tzitzis as “without a that the Shulchan is not for a moment minimum,” au contraire, an entirely new without any lechem hapanim loaves and complete mitzvah is generated with during the process of replacing last week’s the arrival of each new moment, the same loaves with new ones. The first opinion in should be true of the mitzvah to study Tothe mishnah asserts that this is indeed a re- rah! quirement based on the verse’s directive R’ Boruch Ber answers by explaining that the lechem hapanim be “before Me continuously.” However, R’ Yose says Religion / Jewish Thought / Bible Studies Rabbi Jonathan Sacks that there is no objection as long as the loaves are replaced by the end of the day. deuteronomy: The Book of the Covenant In R’ Yose’s view, “continuously” only requires that a full day or night not pass without loaves on the Shulchan. Zvi Grumet In a move that clearly demonstrates how the Amoraim always considered any Maggid StudieS in tanakh · Stone edition teaching against all other topics in the Torah, R’ Ami points out that R’ Yose’s opinion has ramifications for the obligation to study Torah conveyed in Sefer Yehoshua of, “The Torah shall not leave your mouth; you shall study it day and night.” According to R’ Yose, R’ Ami observes, the deCONVERSATION A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible mand of “it shall not leave your mouth,” is only to not let an entire day or night pass without some amount of Torah study. So enesis technically, a person fulfills the obligaF rom C reation to C ovenant tion by merely reciting the Shema (which consists of passages from the Torah) in the morning and at night! In light of the well-established fact that a person is obligated to study Torah to the fullest extent possible, the Gemara must be understood as referring to very specific circumstances. Indeed, this is clearly the understanding of the Vilna Gaon (Shnos THE GOD THE PEOPLE & Eliyahu, beginning of Peah), who says THE LAND OF ISRAEL that it’s referring to a person who literally has no time to learn. ‫תנ"ך‬ The context of the Gaon’s comment is the mishnah’s teaching that the mitz* vah to study Torah is one of the mitzvos that “has no finite amount.” The Gaon explains that this means that the mitzvah has neither a maximum nor a minimum. Mavericks, Now the notion that the mitzvah to learn Mystics & False Torah has no maximum is readily under70 Messiahs standable: There is no point when a person E D I T E D BY R ABBI T ULY WE I S Z is finished learning; rather, it is a mitzvah Episodes from the Margins of that continues 24/7. Based on our gemara Jewish History which states that one who literally has no time can fulfill the mitzvah with just the PINI recital of Shema (and the Gaon says that in DUNNER actuality it means that even just one word would fulfill the obligation), we see that AVAILABLE AT: the mitzvah to learn has no minimum eiFL: The Book Company (Delray Beach) | IL: Rosenblum’s World of Judaica (Skokie) MA: ther (this is important to realize in order to Israel Bookshop (Brookline) | NY: J. Levine Books & Judaica (Midtown) • Eichler’s (Flatbush) appreciate the power of just one word of • New Eichler’s (Boro Park) | Judaica Place (Brooklyn) | Judaica Plus (Cedarhurst) • Long Torah, the Gaon explains). Island Judaica (W. Hempstead) NJ: Weinreb’s Judaica • Judaica House (Teaneck) | PA: R’ Boruch Ber (Birchas Shmuel, KidBala Jucaica (Bala Cynwyd) Toronto : Israel’s The Judaica Centre • Israeli Source • Alef Bet dushin, Siman 27) questions the Gaon’s Judaica | Also available at assertion that the mitzvah to learn has no minimum by drawing an analogy to the * Does not include Talmud sets Sacks • Covenant & Conversation: deuteronomy

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Genesis: From Creation to Covenant is a tour de force on every level, a coherent and tightly argued reading of the entire Book of Genesis. Rabbi Grumet weaves together questions of exegesis and theology, listening to the cadence and rhythm of the text as profoundly as he reflects upon its religious message. At the end of each section we are left with a sense that we have drilled down to its fundamental meaning and have gotten to the promised land of its theological significance; one experiences the grandeur of the narrative and the sheer joy of talmud Torah. Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot, SAR High School


A great scholar and a great communicator, Rabbi Sacks has done a superb job in crafting commentary that is erudite and accessible to the average reader. The Jewish Standard RABBI DR. ZvI GRumeT is a master Bible teacher who lectures widely across the english-speaking world. Powerfully interwoven themes of careful reflection into the Having earnedtransform his rabbinicyears ordination and ed.D. at fresh insights of a moment... JonathanRabbi Sacks at hisdedicated philosophical, Yeshiva university, Grumet the firstexegetical best. eighteen years of his career to teaching and Chronicle TheTorah Jewish leading educational institutions in the uS. Today, he teaches at Yeshivat eretz Hatzvi, the Pardes Institute, and Hebrew College in Boston. He is also a senior staff member at The Lookstein Center for Jewish education, USD $24.95/CAD $30.95 where he is editor of Jewish Educational Leadership and generates initiatives to help advance Jewish education on four continents.

Rabbi Dr. Zvi Grumet explores the Book of Genesis in search for answers to the fundamental questions of human existence: Who are we? Why are we here? What does God want from us and what can we expect of Him? Shuttling deftly back and forth between the microcosmic and the macrocosmic, Rabbi Grumet offers a sensitive verse-by-verse reading of the biblical text, occasionally stepping back to reveal the magnificent themes that underlie the narrative as a whole: Creation and God, mortality and sin, family and covenant. Ambitious in scope and meticulous in execution, Genesis: From Creation to Covenant presents a remarkably original interpretation of the Book of Genesis and the Divine quest at its heart – the quest for a meaningful relationship with humankind.


Jonathan Sacks is truly a towering figure…ranging with extraordinary ease across different fields, making a contribution that is uniquely and distinctively his own. He relates the insights of religion to the modern world and retells the story of faith in a compelling way, and that is a rare and remarkable achievement. Tony Blair

Genesis: From Creation to Covenant combines finely honed skills of literary analysis and a thorough knowledge of the Jewish traditions of interpretation. Rabbi Grumet plumbs the text for ideas meaningful for contemporary readers, novices and more seasoned scholars alike. Rabbi Dr. martin Lockshin, York university

The Book of Genesis is concerned with how God’s covenantal partners rise to that status, and there is a dynamic between His selection of the partner and the partner’s readiness…. [I]t can be argued that Abraham doesn’t really become patriarchal until he accepts Sarah as his covenantal partner; Isaac doesn’t achieve that status until he learns to accept his father and embrace his own identity; Jacob becomes patriarchal only when the covenantal family emerges. The search for covenantal partners turns out to be a stepping stone toward cultivating the covenantal family, and that search is fraught with difficulty. Families in the Book of Genesis are, for the most part, failures. Cain and Abel’s parents are absent from the conflict between the brothers; Noah is violated by his son Ham; Isaac and Rebecca barely speak; Jacob struggles with his wives, his rebellious sons, and the repeated near-fragmentation of his family. Genesis cannot rest until Jacob’s family is reunited with a common purpose aligned with the ancestral covenant, and once the covenantal family is in place, the institution of patriarchy can be retired; there is no longer a need for the figurehead when the family, and later the nation, will take on God’s partnership.


G ‫בראשית‬

Elisha Davidson and the Shamir: Book 3, The Elisha Davidson Trilogy The final ‘Nine Day’ count-down is ON and the most cataclysmic day on earth is nearly here. Elisha finally knows what he has to do. He must enter the dark time of an ancient and lost world and try to receive one of its most powerful gifts. A gift that will attract armies of light and dark forces who will be watching his every step and are determined to stop him. The greatest masterminds of his generation will be brought together, willingly and unwillingly, to join forces with Elisha in his quest, shattering their veils of secrecy and revealing that what appears to the natural eye is not always the reality.


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Elisha Davidson and the Shamir is a “fantasy adventure” novel based on esoteric truth. It draws only on ancient non-fiction manuscripts, dating as far back as 5777 years ago, and exposes the most extraordinary and cryptic teachings of the human race.

Cover Design: Tani Bayer Series Design: Yehudit Cohen




What a riveting roller coaster! This last book in the trilogy really goes out with a big bang. I loved every minute reading it and recommend the entire series for all ages and backgrounds. This is a story that is so mystifying & unique, it’s in a fantasy genre of its own. Tamar Yonah – Israel News Talk


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In the 70 years since the modern rebirth of the the State of Israel, the Jewish State has been at the forefront of the world’s attention. Today, there are countless efforts to vilify the Jewish state. Yet, there is also an ever expanding movement of biblical Zionists who stand with the nation of Israel as an expression of their commitment to God’s eternal word. As we seek to understand the clash between these two conflicting ideologies and look to make sense of the modern world’s great interest in Israel, the need for The Israel Bible has never been as important.


The Israel Bible is the world’s first Tanakh, Hebrew Bible, to highlight the special relationship between the Land and the People of Israel. Through traditional and contemporary Jewish sources, The Israel Bible seeks to present God’s eterwonderfully nal and unchanging love “A for the Promised Land and His Chosen People from enjoyable read.” biblical times until today.

Jewish History / Hasidism

A thoroughly engaging introduction to some of the most colorful episodes in Jewish history. A wonderfully enjoyable read.

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& False Messiahs

There is something totally intriguing about these Jewish mavericks. They seem to be spawned by a combination of Jewish mysticism and hucksterism that runs through the Jewish faith. A compelling and brilliant introduction to some of our more bizarre personalities.

Mavericks, Mystics

Rabbi Dunner shows his mastery of all the byways of Jewish history – the combatants, crackpots, dreamers, and tzaddikim who together embroider the Jewish mosaic. He is a wonderful storyteller with several remarkable stories to tell. So pull up a chair, put away distractions, and enter a world where the past comes to life. Rabbi David Wolpe


The Israel Bible is the flagship publishing initiative of Israel365, which promotes the biblical significance of the Land of Israel through a variety of innovative platforms. The organization was founded by Rabbi Tuly Weisz, an Orthodox rabbi who served for five years at the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio before moving to Israel with his family. Rabbi Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law ( JD). Rabbi Weisz served as the editor for The Israel Bible, leading a team of rabbis and Bible scholars to produce the world’s first Tanakh, Hebrew Bible, to highlight the special connection between the Land and the People of Israel.

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Mystery lurking behind every corner. An ancient city full of secrets. A mystical stone that imbues magical powers into a special little boy. It sounds like the opening of the next New York Times bestseller for young adults. In fact, these are the elements combined with a strong foundation in ancient Jewish texts, that make up the plot in Rhonda Attar’s trilogy…. Dalia Caplan, OU Life






OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News Feature

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

OF LIFE & LIMB How 500 Lives were Saved Because One Person Cared BY NAOMI WEIN

One desperate patient fighting for his life… One sympathetic individual trying to help... 500+ lives saved – so far.


August 2018, Renewal, an organization dedicated to finding and arranging suitable kidney donations and transplants for those in need, facilitated its 500th kidney transplant. This milestone marks far more than the growth and success of a renowned medical organization; it is a celebration of life for more than 500 people and their families who have been given the gift of a

healthy future.

A DESPERATE PLIGHT Mendy Reiner knew nothing about kidney failure, and even less about the complications of kidney transplants, when he met Eli Cohen. But what he did know was that when a brother is suffering, a fellow Jew does whatever he possibly can to come to his aid. It began in a simple waiting

room in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, where Mendy Reiner struck up a conversation with a fellow Jew. Though on the surface he appeared healthy, Eli Cohen’s body struggled daily with all the effects of kidney failure, and he was forced to go for dialysis 3-4 times a week for his blood to be filtered via machine since his kidneys couldn’t function properly. Standing in the waiting room of his rav’s office, Eli poured

his heart out to Mendy, hoping perhaps this caring gentleman would be able to help him. Mr. Reiner quickly began brainstorming various fundraising options but Eli gently stopped him. “I don’t need money,” he stated emphatically. “What I need is a kidney.” Mendy went home that evening feeling sorry for the sick man but not assuming there was much he could do to help him. His wife, upon

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

hearing of Eli’s plight, suggested that they put a few ads in the local papers describing the desperate situation and seeking someone willing to donate a kidney. The resounding response to the ads was astounding. Twenty to thirty people responded, all willing to donate a kidney. Many others in need of a kidney called as well. It was clear that there was a definite need for an organization to help those in need of a kidney access those willing to donate their kidney and for suitable matches to be found for all. “What I saw was a need and a solution,” Mendy articulates. “People desperately needed kidneys, but there were also many people who were willing to give a piece of themselves to help save another.” Mendy’s first step was to approach other pre-existing organizations to see if they would respond to this

calling, but people laughed, not believing that there would actually be enough people out there who were willing to offer their own organs to those in need.

CONNECTING KIDNEYS It took some time to find the right person to help found such an organization. About three years after Mendy met Eli Cohen, he brought up the subject with Sendy Ornstein. Sendy was an accountant in Boro Park, a successful individual who was involved in many medical and communal organizations, and he had the perfect person to establish this resource. In 2006, Sendy set Mendy up with Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and together they laid the foundations for Renewal. That year, they arranged their first kidney transplant, and the following year they conducted 5-6 transplants.

It was during that first year that a family in Israel reached out to Renewal for a desperately needed salvation. 27-year-old Maly Pomp, a young wife and mother, was suffering with kidney dysfunction, with no one to turn to for aid. Her husband wanted to donate his kidney to his wife, but his blood type and other medical variables were not compatible with hers. (In Israel it is particularly difficult to obtain a kidney unless a family member is willing and able to donate.) A visitor recommended that she call Renewal and see if they could help her. The Pomps flew to America, where they were hosted for quite a while by Mendy and his family. Their seven-year-old daughter, “Pompella,” as she was affectionately nicknamed by the Reiner children, was enrolled in Bais Yaakov of Boro Park so that she could attend school during the duration of the family’s stay in America. She was a sweet, young child, whose world had been overturned by her mother’s dreadful illness and then their sudden relocation to the States. But thanks to the Reiners, she was well taken care of and adjusted well. One day, on her way out to the school bus, her mother called out after her, “Aren’t you cold; do you want to take a jacket?” The little girl responded in clear Ivrit, “As long as Ima will get better, I’m warm!” Mrs. Pomp did, in fact, receive a successful kidney transplant. Through Renewal, a match was found for her, and she was truly given a new lease on life. The benevolent donor, a roofer by the name of Fishy Karmel, wished to remain anonymous to his recipient. He knew his kidney was going to save a life and that was all he wanted. Mrs. Pomp, however, very much wanted to reach out to her benefactor and thank him properly. On her last day on dialysis, just before the transplant was to take place, she wrote a letter to Mr. Karmel in which she poured out her heart with blessings and thanks for the renewed life she would receive. Fishy was moved when he read her words of gratitude. “Hopefully, with your gift,” she wrote, “I will be able to answer my daughter’s plea every Friday night as I light the Shab-


bos candles, begging for a sister or brother.” Two years after the transplant the Pomp family welcomed a baby girl to their home. More recently, they had another boy. After his wife’s transplant, Mr. Pomp decided he would donate his kidney, as well, on the condition that he have the opportunity to meet Fishy Karmel, his wife’s donor, a wish which was granted – the blessing for a new life perpetuated.

LIFE-GIVERS In truth, every healthy individual has an extra kidney to donate. The human body functions perfectly with only one kidney, yet Hashem gave every person two. However, the road to kidney donations is often fraught with many examinations and obstacles that need to be crossed. Just as no two faces look alike, no two human bodies are exactly alike, and, in order for a prospective kidney donation to take place, it must be made certain that the new kidney will function properly in the recipient’s body. Blood types need to be carefully tested and the donor needs to undergo a full medical examination and battery of tests to ensure that he is in general good health in order to donate. As one donor remarked, “By the time you’ve donated a kidney, you have gone through so many examinations that you yourself actually come out with a completely clean bill of health.” Dr. Tamar Green, who resides in East Brunswick while practicing in Lakewood, NJ, was inspired to donate her kidney when she joined as a chaperone on her daughter’s class trip. At the Liberty Science Center, she, along with the girls, had the opportunity to watch a live hookup of a transplant. She was so taken by the way one person could give life to another that she decided to donate her own kidney. Dr. Green was found to possess a very rare blood type. A match was found that was perfectly compatible with someone who needed a new kidney, and Dr. Green’s kidney went to save a forty-year-old Jewish woman. The recipient, so overcome with gratitude, couldn’t stop showering her donor with blessings. Though she didn’t



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speak much English, her impassioned brachot shouted in Hebrew were so moving that Dr. Green said that at that time any pain she felt from her operation simply disappeared. A kidney donor can choose to whom the kidney will go, provided that he is a medically suitable match for the prospective recipient. Through Renewal, though, a person can sign up to be a donor and be tested for compatibility for any

any way heal the patient, nor can a person fully function as a productive member of society while living with dialysis treatments, taking 3-4 hours each time, 3-4 times a week, and leaving the patient feeling tired and nauseous each round. As time goes on, patients’ medical conditions often worsen, and their chances of survival drop. Oftentimes, scheduled transplants need to be postponed because the recipient is too sick to


recipient, of which there is, unfortunately, a long waiting list. Being that there is no known cure for healing kidney failure, patients are dependent upon a transplant for their survival. The alternative for a kidney transplant is dialysis, a procedure through which a machine performs the function of filtering and cleansing the blood in place of the kidneys. Dialysis allows the person to continue surviving, but it does not in

Photo credit Tzvi Simcha Cohen

Photo credit Tzvi Simcha Cohen At the recent event in the Five Towns

A donor, his recipient, and their wives meet with emotion

undergo the operation at the given time. This was the case with Eli Cohen, the original patient whom Mr. Reiner had met in the waiting room and whose predicament had prompted the founding of Renewal. He received a kidney transplant about five years after Renewal’s inception, but at that time he was in a much weaker state and it was difficult to find a period during which he was well enough to have the procedure done. Thank G-d, he was able

to recover enough to receive the new kidney, had a successful transplant, and experienced a full recovery. The remarkable aspect of a kidney transplant is that it provides complete recovery and truly rectifies the problem. The new kidney begins working just about as soon as it is placed in the recipient’s body – literally, while he is still on the operating table! – and within days the patient experiences complete relief from all previous symptoms. A person can actually walk, or at times, even be wheeled into the hospital as a sick man and, just a few days later, walk out as a completely healthy individual But a transplant requires a kidney donation, and those are hard to come by. In the United States there are approximately 96,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant each year. Sadly, about 5,000-6,000 of them die before a kidney can be found for them. About 19,000 kidney transplants take place in the U.S. each year, mostly from kidneys taken from deceased individuals. Of the approximately 250 kidney donations that come from live donors, 15%-20% can be accredited to the Jewish community, primarily through the services of Renewal. In 2017, 269 kidney transplants were done where the donors were complete strangers to their recipients; 15% of them were done through Renewal. In 2017, Renewal facilitated 81 transplants, and now, rounding out the year 2018, they are reach-

ing 90 transplants for this year.

MEETINGS OF EMOTION With excellent physical fitness and no previous medical conditions, Navy veteran Hank Goldberg of Northern-Westchester County was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2011. As a truly devoted wife, Vicky Goldberg managed to care for her husband’s condition through a very strict diet, and this helped Hank avoid dialysis for several years. However, in 2015, it became apparent that Hank would need a kidney transplant in order to survive. The Goldbergs began their transplant journey in Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, but then switched to the James J Peters VA Medical Center, where the transplant medication would be covered through Hank’s health benefits as a U.S. war veteran. It was there that someone informed them of the organization Renewal, which would be able to assist them in their process of searching for a donor. Through the help of Renewal, Vicky learned to utilize all the media connections available to publicize her husband’s condition and their desperate need for a kidney donation. She sent out hundreds of individualized emails, published articles in community papers, advertised on local TV stations, and even had a videographer prepare a video clip to be posted on YouTube. With Renewal behind her, Mrs. Goldberg left no stone unturned in search of a

The Week In News Feature

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

suitable donor. “This will happen!” assured Rivky Gutman from Renewal as she sat across the table from Vicky. “What carries us is our faith,” says Vicky, and it was that faith that Vicky used to forge ahead with her campaign. In March 2018, a donor was found through Renewal but the journey was not yet over. At the last minute, just the day before the transplant was scheduled to take place, a detail was discovered that disqualified the donor from being able to donate their kidney to Hank. It was devastating but Renewal continued the search, and just three weeks later a second compatible donor was found for Hank. After enduring just ten months on dialysis, on May 22, 2018, Hank received his transplant – and his new chance at life. “I have my birthday to celebrate each year,” Hank quips, “and now I have May 22nd as my Continuation of Life Day!” Hank’s donor, Steve Glickman, of Teaneck, NJ, wished initially to remain anonymous, and so Hank had not been privileged to meet him right away. However, by mere “coincidence,” as Hank was waiting for his transplant to begin, his wife, Vicky, was sitting in a waiting room packed with about 150 people. Chatting with the woman next to her, she realized that it was Marcie Glickman, the wife of her husband’s donor. The two women then spent about ten hours together. After the surgery, Hank realized that if he couldn’t meet his donor, he would at least write him a letter, expressing his overwhelming gratitude. But the real treat for Hank came on Motzei Shabbos, November 3 when Renewal held a large reception in Congregation Beth Shalom in the Five Towns honoring several kidney donors and raising awareness about kidney disease in the community at large. A week or so before the event, Rabbi Josh Sturm of Renewal called Hank and his wife and invited them to the event, where they’d be privileged to meet Hank’s donor. They were overjoyed. “I just felt pure enthusiasm and joy in being able to meet my donor,” Hank explained. Renewal sent a driver to bring them

to the Five Towns, and the two of them basked in the warmth of an evening of giving. During the event, Hank and his wife were called up to the podium, and when Steve Glickman was called up to receive a gift, he and Hank fell into an embrace. “I just gained another brother,” Hank cried. During that week, Hank actually sat down and penned the letter he had always wanted to give his anonymous donor. At the event, he handed the letter to Steve – in person. Later on that evening, Steve and Hank and their wives exchanged contact information; the two families, bound by an eternal gift, vowed to keep in touch. During that evening, Hank was asked to deliver an impromptu speech to inspire the audience. He publicly thanked Steve and Renewal for the life that had been given to him. Speaking straight from the heart, Hank had the audience both laughing in good humor and moved to tears as he recounted his miraculous gift of life.

21 73

Gitty Klein with her surgeon

A LITTLE PAIN; ENDLESS GAIN Ari and Gitty Klein both donated kidneys this year, and they can say they’ve truly experienced what it’s like to actually give life to another person. Ari, a member of the famous Klein’s Ice Cream family, says the credit is really due to his wife. “She always felt it was her calling and she really wanted to be able to do this mitzvah. We talked about it years ago, but we pushed it off when our children were young,” he says. Now, with three of their six children married, and two grandchildren as well, Gitty decided it was time to share life with someone else. She and her husband watched a video clip of a Renewal event where donors and recipients got to meet each other for the first time. They also had the opportunity to hear firsthand remarks from a daughter of a young mother in need of a kidney. Ari and Gitty were both quite moved. “When you have an inspiration to do something good, you have to act on it right away,” Gitty declared. And with that passionate

Ari Klein with his surgeon

determination, Mrs. Klein contacted Renewal and asked them to match her up with a suitable recipient. Blood tests and various other medical examinations were conducted and a candidate whose blood composition was compatible with Gitty’s was found in the Renewal database. Around five months ago, Gitty underwent the operation extracting a healthy kidney from within her

and transferring it to an ailing patient in desperate need of one. The patient receiving Mrs. Klein’s kidney was an older woman from Staten Island. Mrs. Klein still has not met her recipient, as the woman is older and has not been feeling well enough for such a visit. Her family, however, has come over to see Gitty and thank her for the life she has provided for their loved one. As for



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News Feature

Gitty herself, while she reports that there is some pain experienced after undergoing the operation, “the positive feeling of doing a mitzvah outweighs the pain.” The post-operation discomfort passes after a short period, she says, and Gitty is completely back to herself in every way. In fact, she is currently training to run in Renewal’s annual marathon in January, held in Miami, FL. The purpose of the marathon is to raise funds for the organization, as well as to increase public awareness of the need for kidney donations and the ability which every healthy person has to give life to another. Inspired and encouraged by his wife’s passion and the altruism of her actions, Ari Klein made the decision that he, too, would donate his kidney to help save a life. He contacted Renewal, intending to donate his kidney specifically to be used by a family member of his who needed one. Although the woman he had in mind was not medically compatible

NOVEMBER 22, 2018 | The Jewish Home

with him, an exchange was arranged in which his kidney would go to another patient whom he was a match for and his family member would, in turn, be bumped up on the waiting list to receive a kidney earlier than she otherwise would have. Ari’s operation took place in August, and his relative received her transplant at the end of October. Ari met his recipient, Isaac Winehouse, from Brooklyn, on erev Rosh Hashana. At the time, Isaac presented a gift to Ari in gratitude for the life-giving gift Ari gave to him. Because of Ari’s kidney, Isaac’s health is completely restored. He recently took a trip to Israel, and he and his family are planning a seudas hoda’ah to celebrate his renewed health. Ari feels very passionate about what he has done. He urges others to get themselves tested and to try to donate as well. Already three friends of his have signed up, one of whom is scheduled to donate with-

in the month. While it may not be so easy or convenient to give one of your organs to someone else, this is something that is very possible to do.

all be willing to do it? This really isn’t any different. A small chunk of time is a small thing to give when you’re giving life to someone else.” Mrs. Klein points out, “It’s not


“My inconvenience for two weeks can save a life!” Ari marvels. “If we could suffer for two weeks but know that our two weeks of pain would be saving a cancer patient, wouldn’t we

just saving one life; it’s that person, and their whole family, as well.” “Hashem is so good to us. He gives us so much,” Ari acknowledges. “We have to give to His children.”

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