Jewish Home LA - 11-8-18

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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



The Week In News

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

JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

FEATURE Bobker On Kristallnacht. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

LIFESTYLE Emotional Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, In the toxic partisan atmosphere that accompanies elections, it seems the only winner is the freedom to elect those candidates whom we choose. Millions of dollars are spent in advertising, door-to-door campaigners log many hours of home visits, each side predicting doomsday if the other side wins. But, ultimately, it’s up to millions of single ballets cast in the privacy of the voting booth. What an amazing system. The results? The results are that the system wins. Personally, I would have liked that more people aligned with the way I view issues were elected but,




ultimately, it’s a system of checks and balances. Not allowing one party to rule is a healthy thing for the long term. Let us hope that we can humanize—and perhaps even embrace—those whose politics might be different than ours but who otherwise work hard to lead a moral and productive life. They probably want 95% of the same things we want for our own families. What happens in Washington is out of our hands. A betting person will probably put their money on calls of “treason” and “incompetence” on each side, but otherwise not much being done for the next few years. What is in our hands? To continue to be G-d-fearing individuals who try to make each day better than the one prior, people who know that ultimately “lev milachim b’yad Hashem,” “the hearts of those in power is in the hands of the One above” who has His own plan in how this all plays out. May it be in a way of revealed good for all moral, upstanding people. Wishing you a wonderful 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 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home


Please Help Hatzolah! scene. THIS WILL DIRECTLY IMPACT THE WAY HATZOLAH CAN SERVE THE COMMUNITY AND SAVE LIVES It is important that as many people from the community attend as possible so that the County Board sees that this is important to the community. Please do everything possible to attend.

A Slice of Heaven on Earth “Stop doing. Start being,” the theme of Shabbat Project 2018, flashed over the video screens during the first-ever Great Pink Challah Bake at Shalhevet High School on October 25th. Created in honor of October’s designation as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the well-attended, women-only evening included educational materials from non-profit national Jewish breast cancer organization Sharsheret and from Myriad Genetics, a molecular diagnostic company, as well as BRCA screening and testing. “We are all so busy during the week,” said Great Pink Challah Bake organizer Beth Leventhal, “but on Shabbos we change our focus from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ and connecting to all of those around us. At the Challah Bake, we get into the mood, into the spirit, and prepare something holy, delicious, and filled with love to nourish our families’ souls.” Established in 2013, the Shabbat Project—a global, grassroots movement that brings together Jews from across the world to keep a single Shabbat—transcends religious affiliation, political persuasion, age, language, and lifestyle. This year’s Shabbat Project, held in approximately 300 cities and towns in Israel and in over 500 cities in the U.S., brought together in Shabbat observance a combined one million Jews in more than 1400 cities and 98 countries worldwide. Other L.A. events included October 27th’s Jewish Unity Concert with the Moshav Band and 8th Day, which the Shabbat Project sponsored with the Happy Minyan, and the YICC Mystery Shabbat Lunch. Other L.A. challah bakes included those at Maimonides, Emek, and Hillel.

The meeting location is at: L.A. County EMS Agency 10100 Pioneer Boulevard Santa Fe Springs, California 90670 Thank you, Hatzolah of Los Angeles

Brenda Goldstein

The Shabbat Project held “Pink Challah Bakes” across the United States in October. “Over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S.,” said Pink Challah Bake coordinator Nisa Felps. “We are thrilled to introduce the Pink Challah Bake to this Shabbat Project, allowing women from communities across the country to come together in Jewish unity, and to bring greater awareness to the importance of regular screen-

ing.” Following an inspiring video message from Shabbat Project Founder and Chief Rabbi of South Africa Warren Goldstein, heiress to BCBG dominion Joyce Azria spoke of her journey from the hectic fashion world to Torah observance. Though the former BCBG Generation executive still creates her own fashion lines—and has partnered with the creators of modest fashion line Wukogals—Azria now focuses more on her family and Torah. She credits

her journey from “Chanel to Shabbat” to challah baking. “I felt a connection to my grandmother and great-grandmother when making challah,” she said. “Making challah really made me feel like a woman.” “If you do hafrishah, you will be blessed, says the Talmud,” explained Huvi Abramczik regarding taking tithes from the challah dough. As opposed to men’s bringing the spiritual down to earth with Torah study, Abramczik explained that women elevate the mundane to holiness when making challah. Along with Azria, Abramczik demonstrated how to make challah and take tithes from the dough. They also brought to the audience’s attention that the process presents an auspicious occasion for prayer, much as does candle-lighting on erev Shabbos. Then came the interactive part of the evening. Bowls, recipes and all the ingredients for making challah had been placed on each table prior to the event. Each lady created her own challah dough, which she could take home at the end of the evening. All the women and girls around each table sharing ingredients and working together to follow the recipe as closely as possible created fun and achdus. Then, at the evening’s close, those in attendance got to dance to the likes of Yaakov Shwekey and Benny Friedman, followed by a raffle and more dancing. “The Great Pink LA Challah Bake has all the ingredients to create an evening to be remembered,” said Leventhal.

A Praw Photography

This November 14th, at 1 p.m., there will be a crucial meeting with the Los Angeles County EMS Board to start the process for Hatzolah of Los Angeles to be able to utilize their ambulances to transport patients to the various hospitals in the community. Additionally, this meeting will address Hatzolah’s need to expand its scope to provide advanced patient care on


TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Visiting Eretz Bereishit A Fourth Grader, Yeshivat Yavneh Hebrew Academy, Los Angeles, California Recently, students at Yavneh participated in an innovative program. Yavneh’s headmaster, Rabbi Dear, summarizes the program as follows: “Our students were transported to biblical times, coming face-to-face with Avraham, Sarah, Yitzchak and the other patriarchs and matriarchs of the Torah! This wasn’t just ‘hands on’—it was ‘all in,’ a unique and complete multi-dimensional experience.” Below is a fourth-grader’s perspective of

the program. Last week, my mom showed me a surprising email she’d received from Avraham Avinu himself. Our forefather, Avraham, invited me and my friends at Yeshivat Yavneh for a playdate to his and Sarah’s tent, located in Elonai Mamrei! Excitement overwhelmed all of us, and we were barely able to concentrate during math class. Rabbi Einhorn, Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh and author of Judaism Alive, prepped us for the program saying, “We

Win the Rosina Korda Gap-Year Scholarship

live in a generation where Judaism needs to be experienced, the Torah needs to come alive, and children need to see and experience how relevant Torah is in their lives. “Bereishit Land” is about driving home the message of what

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Find your right direction on a Gap-Year in Israel. November 15, 2018 • 6:30–9:30 pm YULA Girls High School

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Photo courtesy Israel Experience at Bar Ilan Thanks to our sponsors (partial list) YULA Boys & Girls High School, Valley Torah High School, de Toledo High School, Shalhevet High School, Harkham GAON Academy, Touro College Los Angeles, Beth Jacob Congregation, Bnai David-Judea Congregation, Beverly Hills Synagogue, Young Israel Century City, Adat Shalom, Temple Aliyah, NCSY, Jewish National Fund, Israel American Council, Stand with Us, The Korda Family

With support from Milken High School, Temple Beth Am, USY, WUPJ

Torah has to offer you.” I was now ready for the journey. I was ready for Judaism to come alive. Soon enough, our turn came to head out to the yard, where Eliezer, Avraham’s servant, was waiting to greet us. It was an incredible feeling, taking a step into Eretz Bereishit and seeing exactly what we were learning in class come to life right before our eyes. The next 30 minutes had our imaginations soaring while we experienced lessons we will never forget. As Eliezer told us, as we were getting our travelers apparel on, “What you are about to see is the story of the Jewish people. What our forefathers did in their lifetimes is a sign for us.” In fact, it was more than a sign; they showed us how to live our lives. We were present to witness Avraham greeting the three angels on their camels and participated in breaking bread in his famous tent, taking part of his family’s tremendous hachnossat orchim. We watched as Avraham helped his guests thank Hashem with love and how Sarah laughed when she heard the prophecy of her impossible pregnancy. I learned from Avraham and Sarah that we too can fill the world with kindness and love. Then, we observed Yitzchak’s incredible commitment to Hashem, constantly working on his yirat shamayim—fear of heaven. We saw how Rivkah rose up from a negative place with sincerity and gave birth to twins, two powerful nations to come. From Yitzchak and Rivkah, I learned that I must recommit myself to Hashem and be the best Jew possible. Finally, we met Yaakov and this two wives, Rachel and Leah, who told over their prophecy of Hashem’s promise of the land of Israel. Yaakov and his wives personified truth, withstanding all of their struggles and tribulations and never loosing focus of their parents’ and grandparents’ attributes. I learned that I too can show the world the truth and rise above Esav’s hate. The memorable and moving program concluded with the sounds of the harp, played by Serach, the daughter of Asher, who told over to Yaakov the news that Yosef was still alive. Today, I feel empowered to continue walking in the footsteps of my bubbies, zaydies, and ancestors who preceded us and to try to emulate them as an upright, kind, and committed Torah Jew.

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

Sol Teichman, z”l, Remembered at Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center Rav Aharon Friedman ‫שליט״א‬ Rosh Yeshiva

Franklin Video Productions

Rav Moshe Stav ‫שליט״א‬


Rabbi Uri and Nava Orlian Congregation Shaaray Tefila, Lawrence NY Marbitzei Torah Award

Annual Dinner

American Friends of Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh cordially invites you to our 48th Annual Dinner

On the evening of October 14th, Emek hosted a memorial program to celebrate the legacy and accomplishments of our patriarch, Mr. Sol Teichman, z”l. Over 700 attendees were inspired listening to the addresses delivered by various community leaders and family members. The program culminated with a special video presentation that focused upon various life messages that we could learn from the way Mr. Teichman conducted himself throughout his life. Many of those gathered walked away with a renewed sense of commitment and responsibility towards Jewish education and community life. May those actions inspired by the evening be an elevation for his soul. Highlights of the evening included memorable quotes from several outstanding speakers. Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, of Emek Hebrew Academy—Teichman Family Torah Center, explained, “Tonight we gather not to mourn Sol’s passing but rather to celebrate his legacy. Sol’s mission for the last 60 years was to replace what was stolen from him personally and millions of others by the accursed Nazis: Jewish Education. Sol, you have accomplished all that you needed to accomplish, and you have left no debt unpaid; on the contrary, you have left an entire community that is eternally indebted to you.” Mr. Dubby Teichman, Mr. Sol Teichman’s son, said, “Seeing the ten sagely members of the chevra kaddisha performing seven hakafos around my father’s body before burying him evoked a deep emotional response within me. A select few celebrate a second set of hakafos. My father celebrated his first set of hakafos in his childhood, studying Torah in the beis midrash of the Minchas Elazar. These hakafos were interrupted by the Holocaust. He rose

from the ashes of Europe to dance his second set of hakafos for 70 years fighting to ensure the continuity of the Jewish People. Only then was the sefer Torah ready to be put back in the aron.” Dovid and Yitzy Levine, grandsonin-law and great-grandson to Mr. Teichman, made a siyum on Shas Mishnayos l’ilui nishmas Chaim Shlomo Zalman ben Shmiel. Another grandson, Evan Teichman, said, “One way of attaining nechama is taking two character traits of my Saba and trying to integrate them into my life.” Rabbi Baruch Yehuda Graydon, Rosh Kollel of Merkaz HaTorah Kollel, Los Angeles, shared that, “Sol was always surrounded with a positive energy. Sol never had a question as to why he survived. He had a mission. He was tasked with three tasks. He needed to dedicate his life to Jewish education and Jewish children, reestablish the Munkacz Chassidic dynasty and lastly, the proliferation of chessed.” Alan Teichman, a son of Mr. Teichman remembered, “The man you saw on the outside was the man that you saw on the inside. My father could not have been blessed with a better suited partner with which to travel through life. My father gave us the gift of memories. Dad’s approach to business can be summed up in four word’s integrity, honesty, alacrity, and reliability.” Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of Wiesenthal Center, lauded Mr. Teichman’s community service. “In every generation there are individuals seeped with the hallowed traditions of the past held over from a past generation for the expressed purpose of imbuing them with a cause. There is no one more deserving to have his grave facing the rebuilt Medinat Yisrael, in the eternal capital of our people until the coming of Mashiach.”

Monday, November 12th | ‫ה׳ כסלו תשע״ט‬ Lincoln Square Synagogue, 180 Amsterdam Avenue (at 68th Street) , New York, NY, 10023 Couvert: $300 Per Person | $500 per couple Reservations & Journal ads can be made at For questions and discount pricing for prospective parents contact at 6:00 PM | Shiur from Rav Moshe Stav 6:30 PM | Buffet Dinner 7:45 PM | Program with video presentation and Divrei Bracha from the Rosh Yeshiva 8:45 PM | Dessert Michael Hochstein, President Rabbi Baruch Freedman, Director of American Friends of KBY

Host Committee:

Barry Gross ⋅ Dr Kalman Ausubel ⋅ Michael Mermelstein ⋅ Dovid Meisels ⋅ Dr Barry Finkelstein ⋅ Josh Wolff ⋅ Rabbi Ben Kelsen ⋅ Simcha Goldstein ⋅ Phil Gross ⋅ Rabbi Ira Wallach ⋅ Rabbi Simcha Willig ⋅ Rabbi Yaakov Trump ⋅ Yitz Novak ⋅ Charlie Wollman ⋅ Adam Rosenberg ⋅ Jeremy Teichman ⋅ Yoni Schechter ⋅ Manny Adler ⋅ Rabbi Eliyahu Prero ⋅ Benjamin Ramras ⋅ Dov Silverstein 1418 Avenue N | Brookyn, NY 11230 Tel: (718) 645-3130 | Fax: (718) 645-2757 Email: | Web site:

Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh



Living with the The Week In Times News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Kol Yaakov

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

In this week’s parsha, we are introduced to Yaakov and Eisov, whose struggle endures until the End of Days. The differences between them were apparent already prior to their birth. One sought to escape to the bais medrash and the other was interested in avodah zorah. Yaakov was a tzaddik tomim, while his wicked twin brother, Eisov, couched his behavior and presented himself as an upright person. Yaakov distinguished himself through speech. He spoke softly, with respect, humility and empathy, as did his father, Yitzchok, and grandfather, Avrohom. Eisov had no use for anything holy and glibly sold his bechorah to Yaakov for the symbolic price of some lentil soup. He lived a heathen life, though he conducted himself virtuously around his father. After selling the bechorah, Eisov did not regret his action. The Torah informs us, “Vayivez Eisov es habechorah – And Eisov mocked what had been bequeathed to him.” Baalei mussar say that this is indicative of the reaction of people whose silly actions set them back. When a child loses a game, he invariably says, “I don’t care that I lost. It was a dumb game anyway and I didn’t even try to win.” Bad people find excuses for losses and always attach blame for their miscues to others. An intelligent person regrets his mistakes and admits that he missed an opportunity. Eisov lacked the capacity for introspection. Instead of pondering what he had done, he mocked the whole thing, quieting whatever soft voice of sincerity he had, before it could lead him to repent for what he had done. The parsha tells us that while it appears that Yitzchok appreciated Eisov, the difference in speech and manner between his two sons was obvious to him. When Yaakov came to receive the brachos of “Veyiten lecha,” Yitzchok was confused because he discerned a sincerity and heart in the voice. Although Yaakov was wear-

ing the coat of Eisov, he spoke in the manner of Yaakov. “Hakol kol Yaakov.” Eisov, while begging his father for a brocha, was plotting Yaakov’s murder. His words were superficial, and not reflective of what lay in his heart. Words are everything to the offspring of Yaakov. Our manner of speech defines us. How we speak, the words we choose, and our tone of voice all matter. We are to be refined, disciplined and respectful. We respect people whose words are soft and thoughtful, not brash and irreverent. We respect and promote men and women of truth, whose fidelity to honesty and tradition grounds them. We should not follow loud bullies, those with the quick put-downs and glib tongues. Negativity and cynicism may sound shrewd and bring popularity to the

dia allies to make it appear as if a wave was afoot, hoping that enough people would accept the lies and bluster and give them their vote. Pollsters who had one party ahead throughout the campaign, suddenly saw many races tightening and too close to call as decision day approached. Politicians speak words of compassion, justice and law, but use their power to further their own agendas and lull the populace into accepting the abrogation of trust. While living in the golus of Eisov we must ensure that we do not adopt his perfidious and disrespectful nature. Though we are under the heel of Edom, we have to distinguish between authenticity and fiction and remain loyal to the truth. We should not become like those who suppress

We respect and promote men and women of truth, whose fidelity to honesty and tradition grounds them. one who uses his intelligence to mock others, but the one worthy of our respect is he who labors, speaks from the heart, and seeks to find and do good. His life is one of accomplishment. It is he and people like him who embody the ideals of Am Yisroel. This country just experienced an election in which one party made it seem as if they were the party of virtue, values and honesty. They bashed the other for incivility, as they called for the masses to taunt politicians of their opposition wherever they found. They colluded with their me-

the truth for ulterior motives. We should never support immorality, even when that approach seems expedient. In this week’s haftorah, the novi Malachi repeats to the Jewish people Hashem’s words, “I love Yaakov and Eisov I hate…” As for the kohanim, “Amar Hashem Tzevakos lochem hakohanim bozei shemi,” they failed to demonstrate proper respect for Hashem and the Mikdosh (Malachi 1:2-6). Underpinning the reprimand, and perhaps the connection to this week’s parsha,

is the fact that the kohanim earned their role and mission as a result of Yaakov’s purchase of the bechorah. When the bechorim did not conduct themselves properly, kohanim were chosen to replace them as attendants to Hashem. The sale of the bechorah was rooted in the fundamental difference between Yaakov and Eisov. Yaakov was a man of respect, while Eisov epitomized ridicule and scorn. As the posuk says of Eisov, “Vayivez Eisov.” His personality was one of derision. Thus, if the kohanim had fallen to the level that they became “bozei Hashem,” embodying Eisov’s characteristic of the middah of bizayon, they were demonstrating that they were no longer worthy of inheriting the gift bequeathed by Yaakov to serve in the Bais Hamikdosh. We are identified by three traits. We are rachmonim, bayshonim and gomlei chassodim, people of mercy, bashfulness and kindness. We are invested with sensitivity and compassion, and the words we use, our tone of voice, and our approach have the ability to awaken those traits. Good parents, friends, mechanchim and communicators appreciate words and the difference between a soft, gentle tone and an angry one. The secret of using words well is believing in the intrinsic holiness of the people you are speaking to. As the wisest of men wrote, ma’aneh rach, soft words, have the potential to be meishiv cheima, turn away anger, because they open the heart of the antagonist and allow the message to enter. People of sensitivity see this. Eisov doesn’t see past the surface. He sees a red soup and refers to it by its color, saying to Yaakov, “Haliteini na min ha’adom ha’adom hazeh... Al kein kara shemo Edom” (Bereishis 25:30). Eisov and his offspring are referred to as “Edom,” because he referred to the lentil soup as “edom.” By referring to the soup by its color, he exposed his own superficiality. He didn’t know anything about the soup other than that it has an appealing color. That was enough for him. He forsook his future for the momentary pleasure of something superficially appealing. Edom, as a nation, fails to perceive beyond what it can touch and feel. Hence the fascination in our world with looks, color and presentation. There is no depth that’s meaningful to them beyond the surface image. As we live in Golus Edom, it behooves

Living with the TheHappenings Week In Times News

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

us not to become enamored with the external, but to be sensible, careful and have depth. We mustn’t be misled by empty rhetoric and half-baked theories. We have to be honest with ourselves and others in all we do. As children of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov, we are all shluchim to continue their mission. We are to care about each other and speak with love and soft words people can understand and accept. We should never speak with animosity, hate or sanctimonious judgmentalism, no matter what it is that we are discussing. As believers, we must be positive and hopeful, treating all people the way we want to be treated, no matter the occasion of our interaction. Let us not be influenced by the dominant lies of the day. Let us use the yardstick of Torah to assess the prevailing trends around us and find the moral courage to stand up for the truth, no matter how unpopular it may be. Let us purify ourselves so that we are worthy of living lives of truth. We need not fear speaking the truth about what is right. Just last Shabbos, the world was re-

minded of the evil that lurks in hearts of hateful men. Ever since we have become a people, we have been mocked, vilified, chased from place to place, hunted and killed. America is a kind golus and our people have been accepted and treated quite well. It wasn’t always this way, and there are notable and numerous exceptions. The outpouring of condemnations of what took place in Pittsburgh and the national expressions of support for the Jewish people offered measures of comfort. But the culture of hate being purveyed by people who profess to be lovers of all people does not bode well for us. We need to treat each other better. We need to be respectful when dealing with people with whom we come in contact. We need to act as our avos did. We need to study the parshiyos of Bereishis with the depth they deserve and not be content with a superficial reading. There are many lessons there to enhance our lives. The Mishnah in Maseches Peah states that the reward for performance of mitzvos bein adam lachaveiro is delivered in this world as well as the World to Come. The Rambam in his Peirush HaMishnayos ex-

plains that when one person helps another, he makes the world a better place. Not only has he helped that person, but at the same time he has shown the beauty of benevolence, inspiring that person to be kind and gracious with others. The baal chesed has thus not only improved one person’s life. The impact of his action will help many more, and he will have made the world a much better place in which to live. His reward is that he will have a better

place in which to live. We can all make our block, our school, or our community a much better place. Instead of complaining, if we would treat other people the way our avos and imahos did, we would improve ourselves, our communities and our world. Let’s start with proper speech and respect. Let’s behave in a way that demonstrates that the Kol Yaakov defines us.




The Week In News Torah Musings

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Vitamin “G” Cures All Sarah Pachter

Okay, I admit I have not yet heard of a vitamin that cures all. However, I did recently come across an author, Janice Kaplan, who cleverly coined the term “Vitamin G” (as in gratitude) and presents it as a solution for those suffering from dissatisfaction and the blues. When thinking about the causes of happiness, gratitude is a key factor. You want to experience joy? Then appreciation is where it’s at. I remember walking with a friend who had given birth a week before me, and inevitably our labor stories surfaced as part of the conversation. She told me that the hospital had made a mistake, giving her a rare operation without any anesthesia! In shock at the horrors of her labor, I said, “Rebecca, your pain threshold is so high!” She responded, “No! By far, yours is higher.” I had given birth to my first child in a cab with no epidural—and had natural births for each subsequent delivery, as well. If I was insisting that her pain threshold was higher, one can only imagine how challenging her labor was! A pain threshold is the level it takes for an outside stimulus to register pain inside our minds. For example, suppose my hand accidentally touches a hot plate. While I may not initially feel pain, eventually the heat begins to sting, and I pull my hand away. Individuals with low pain thresholds experience pain much sooner and faster than those with higher thresholds, causing them to be hypersensitive, expe-

riencing pain at the simplest forms of pressure. What does this have to do with happiness and appreciation? To understand this concept in action, I realized the best way to experience happiness is to have something called a low appreciation threshold. Although a low pain threshold would be negative, a low appreciation threshold is an enormous positive. Individuals with low appreciation thresholds experience joy much sooner and faster than those with higher thresholds. If even tiny things generate positive feelings, then we don’t have to wait for something elaborate, expensive, or extraordinary to come around and push us to say, “Thank you.” To some, seeing light glimmer off a dewy leaf elicits joy, while a brand new handbag can do the same for someone else. When it doesn’t take much for us to register, Oh wow! or NEAT! We can experience joy, taste joy, feel joy. This prevents us from becoming numb or unhappy. The good news is, everyone has a natural appreciation threshold. Moreover, there are ways to lower it for our advantage—and doing so is quite easy! Increase your use of two words: thank you. It might seem condescendingly obvious at first, but my husband recently shared with me that his company received a very expensive bottle of wine from a different corporation. As soon as he opened the package, he immediately sent an email thanking the person who sent it. My husband mentioned that it took

less than 30 seconds to write the message. A few weeks later he received a message back: I want you to know, I’ve sent hundreds of bottles to various people in different companies. Unbelievably, you are the only person who has thanked me. It was shocking! His response was a sad indication of where we are as a society (entitled, self-righteous, ungrateful) and as a result, we are missing out on one of the easiest ways to experience happiness in our lives! Gratitude is an obvious answer to our dissatisfaction, and every time we are reminded of it, we think, Yes, yes, I should do that. But moving from thought to action is where most of us fall off course. Janice Kaplan uses a moshel in her book, Gratitude Diaries, that is very useful. Imagine there is a magical happiness rock in the middle of a field, and all we have to do is turn it over, yet we keep skipping by it.1 Kaplan goes on to share the story of a woman named Jackie, who suffered an unimaginable horror when her three children—Emma, Alyson, and Katie—lost their lives in a car accident. To make matters worse, her sister-in-law, the driver, was operating the vehicle under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. Jackie’s life was shattered, and her depression was severe. In an interview, Jackie described the outpouring of love and support from her family, friends, and community. Collectively, they lifted her from the depths of unimaginable The Los Angeles Cheder School admits students of any pain and carried her back to life. race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, They sent gifts, made meals, wrote cards, and took turns spending time privileges, programs and activities generally accorded with her to make sure she was psyor made available to students at the school. It does not chologically okay. They never left her side. At one point, Jackie was discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and determined to end her life and join ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, her children in heaven. However, she was adamant that first she had admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy As To Students

athletic and other school-administered programs.

1 Kaplan, Janice. Gratitude Diaries pg. 13

to write everyone who helped her a thankyou note. She later told Kaplan, “I may have been suicidal, but I wasn’t rude.” One card at a time, she thanked every person who helped her in her time of need. By the time she was finished writing her cards, a miracle had happened. Her words of appreciation had completely lifted her out of despair, and she no longer wanted to die. This woman literally thanked her way through depression.2 On that note (pun intended), Dr. Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania performed a study to determine the effect of verbalizing gratitude. Participants were asked to hand-deliver thank you notes to various people who had impacted them in the past. The joyous effects these notes had on the sender (not receiver!) lasted over a month. Apparently, even just saying the words “thank you” can cause an increase in joy. Scientist Robert Emmons found that heartfelt thank-yous can boost our mood by 25 percent.3 When we acknowledge the good in our lives, we instantaneously lower our appreciation threshold. We are no longer numb to all the breathtaking and nurturing stimuli around us, gaining so much more than the recipient of our thank you. Each time we express gratitude, we lower that threshold one rung or more. This helps us create a fuller and richer life, laced with a newfound depth. Ingesting some pure Vitamin G is just that simple. Stay tuned for more ways to lower our appreciation threshold in my next column!


Kaplan, Janice. Gratitude Diaries pgs. 239-243

3 Notis, Ari. “Saying This One Word Will Boost Your Mood By 25 Percent” on BestLifeOnline. com (October 30, 2018)

The Week In News Torah

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf Why did the half-log and quarter-log measures need to be service vessels? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of

would appear to be the obvious service utensil that sanctifies the oil. R’ Shimon is proposing the novelty that for some reason the oil needed to be consecrated before being placed in the menorah. It is thus very understandable why Rebbi, though quite aware of these Beis Hamikdash services, didn’t initially embrace the suggestion that these services required an anointed measuring utensil. This gemara also gives us a glimpse into Rebbi’s humility: Even though he omits any mention of these other functions of the half and quarter-log measures in this mishnah, he earnestly seeks out the counsel of a student and son to deepen his understanding, and was happy to praise them This question came up on Tuesday’s daf (88b) this week. The chapter we are learning discusses the various measuring utensils of the Beis Hamikdash. Early on in our chapter it becomes evident that the halachik significance of these utensils goes beyond the practical need to measure the needed amount of ingredients for the korbanos. The gemara tells us that these vessels were anointed by the special anointing oil crafted by Moshe Rabbeinu which imbued them with the power to confer sacrificial sanctity upon their contents. Why did these utensils need this power to sanctify? The reason is readily apparent in the case of the measuring utensil for the issaron of flour for indeed it is the placement of the flour into the vessel that gives the flour its sacrificial sanctity. On 88a the gemara investigates why the half and quarter-log utensils needed to be anointed. As R’ Yehuda HaNassi (also known as, “Rebbi”) sat, he pondered first why the quarter-log vessel had to be anointed. Although, as stated in the Mishnah, this vessel was needed to measure the water of a metzora and the oil for the nazir’s loaves, neither of these would require the quarter-log vessel to be anointed (for the metzora water is not consecrated whatsoever and the nazir’s loaves aren’t consecrated until later in the process). R’ Chiya offers a theory: The quarter-log vessel had to be anointed so that it could consecrate the quarter-log of oil needed for each of the 12 loaves of the kohen gadol’s daily minchah “chavitin” offering. Rebbi fully approves of R’ Chiya’s answer, calling him, “Man of my counsel from a distant land” (Yeshaya 46:11). Rebbi then questions why the halflog vessel had to anointed. Now although Rebbi himself wrote in the mishna that the half-log vessel is used to measure the so-

tah waters, this wouldn’t explain why this vessel needs sanctifying powers for the sotah waters are drawn from the kiyor, and are thus already consecrated. Nor must the half-log be anointed to enable it to sanctify the oil of the todah loaves (the other use of the half-log utensil mentioned in the mishnah) since these were only consecrated upon the slaughtering of the todah lambs. Rebbi’s son, R’ Shimon, replies: The half-log vessel had to be anointed so that it could sanctify the half-log amount of oil needed for each of the lights of the menorah. Rebbi approved of this answer as well, bestowing upon his son the title, “Light of Yisrael.” It seems baffling that the preeminent sage, R’ Yehuda HaNassi, who had total command of the entire Torah, was not initially aware of the points raised by R’ Chiya and R’ Shimon! An understanding of the gemara’s back-and-forth here emerges upon a closer examination of the answers of R’ Chiya and R’ Shimon. Regarding R’ Shimon’s contention that the quarter-log vessel had to be anointed for the purpose of sanctifying the oil of each individual loaf of the kohen gadol’s chavitin loaves, the commentators point out that this is questionable since all of the oil had already been placed in a larger service utensil, which presumably consecrated it at that earlier stage. Thus R’ Chiya is actually making the novel suggestion that for some reason the chavitin’s oil isn’t consecrated until later in the process (or that we only allow the previously consecrated oil to be placed in a proper service utensil when being divided; see commentators). R’ Shimon’s proposal, that the half-log measure had to be consecrated for the purpose of measuring out the oil for the menorah is not so simple either. For, as Tosfos to 89a points out, the menorah itself

when he saw the truth of their answers. Rabbi Wise is maggid shiur of Daf Yomi by Real Clear Daf (realcleardaf. com) and director of Tehillim Together ( Real Clear Daf is a website and mobile app (for iOS and Android) that offers free audio shiurim and other resources to assist your journey through Shas-whether or not you’re following the Daf Yomi schedule. Tehillim Together is a mobile app (for iOS and Android) that offers a translated sefer Tehillim and facilitates Tehillim groups. You may reach Rabbi Wise via email: or by phone: 855-ASK-RCD-1 (275-7231).


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The Week In News

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

in these trying klal yisroel needs the now more let's stop making and start making by truly stopping the it's every individuals achrayus don't be selfish and jeopardize may klal yisrael be zoche to the

‫ הוא יברך את כל מי ששומר פיו ולשונו‬,‫דוד ושלמה‬ ‫ ויחולו עליו‬,‫ישמרהו מכל צרה וצוקה ומכל נגע ומחלה‬ ‫ ויזכה לראות בנים חיים‬,‫ספרי הנביאים והכתובים‬ ".‫ויעבוד את ד' אלוקינו תמיד באמת ובתמים ונאמר אמן‬ in order to tap in to the brachos of the tosfos yom tov

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

& turbulent times

tosfos yom tov's shmira than ever! a chilul hashem, a kiddush hashem talking during davening. to think before they speak! the tefillos of the entire shul! brachos of the tosfos yom tov :

,‫ משה ואהרן‬,‫ אברהם יצחק ויעקב‬,‫"מי שברך אבותינו‬ ‫ הקב"ה‬.‫ וקריאת התורה‬,‫שלא לדבר בעת התפילה‬ ‫כל הברכות הכתובות בספר תורת משה רבינו ובכל‬ ,‫וקימים ויגדלם לתורה לחופה ולמעשים טובים‬ please have this mi shebeirach said in your shul every shabbos


The In News Dr.Week Rothschild



t is no exaggeration to state that it would take many hundreds of pages to properly describe the unique character of HaRav Doctor Moshe Rothschild, founder and president of the Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center and the Marbeh Daas Mental Health Center, who was niftar this past Chol Hamoed Sukkos. Stories and personal accounts flowed from all sides, each describing another aspect that yet fitted smoothly into the greater whole: a man who was resolute, an expert in his field, revolutionary in his methods, and a true talmid chacham and yirei Shamayim. He never wasted a moment and managed to accomplish on his own what dozens of people, working together, would find difficult to do. “He who walks with integrity is righteous.” (Mishlei 20:7) This article can only draw the broadest strokes of a rich, fulfilling life.

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

In 1929, a baby was born in Zurich, Switzerland, who would bring relief and healing to tens of thousands of Jews, both body and soul. Moshe Rothschild, who would become the famous, illustrious doctor, was the son of R’ Yosef Rothschild, a leader of the Jewish community of Germany. The family had moved to neighboring Switzerland, where Moshe’s maternal grandfather, Rav Ernest Weil, was one of the leaders of the Swiss Jewish community. The move proved life-saving as the Holocaust devoured European Jewry; miraculously, the entire Rothschild family – Moshe’s parents as well as his nine brothers and sister – all survived the war. During those terrible years, R’ Yosef closed the metal factory that was the family’s source of comfortable income to focus on assisting his fellow Jews.. “We must help our brother and sis-

ters now,” he told his children. Even after the war years, the family did not rest on their laurels. They accompanied the Rav of Ponovezh, Maran Hagaon Rav Yosef Kehaneman zt”l, making the rounds of the monasteries and churches to rescue the innocent Jewish children who had been hidden there during the Holocaust. The young Moshe studied in the yeshivah of Monterey, a city near Geneva in Switzerland, learning under the auspices of two of the gedolei hador of that time, whose names because known world-wide: Maran Hagaon Rav Moshe Soloveitchik zt”l and Maran Hagaon Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman zt”l. He later pursued studies in medicine, learning for one year in Zurich and another year in France, but he never stopped his activities on behalf of his fellow Jews, both in public affairs and the dissemination of Torah. During his

In conversation with medical askan, Harav Elimelech Firer shlita

At a Hachnasas Sefer Torah to the mental health center shul

With the Sadigur Rebbe and Mayor of Bnei Brak at the inauguration of the Catheterization Unit

At the cornerstone setting event of the mental health center with head of the Halachic board, Harav Wozner zt”l

medical studies in Paris, he actually took Rabbi Monk’s place as lecturer for a period of three months. Upon first earning his license to practice medicine, Dr. Rothschild sought to further pursue his specialty under the auspices of one of the greatest pediatric doctors of the time, Professor Guido Fanconi. Upon his acceptance, Fanconi confronted his Jewish intern and told him, “I understand that you do not work on your Shabbos, but I want you to change those rules while you’re with me.” Dr. Rothschild refused. Fanconi urged him to ask for a special dispensation from his rabbis, but Dr. Rothschild replied, “I know that I have been tremendously fortunate that you agreed to mentor me. Nevertheless, I am ready to give up a thousand opportunities like this one, rather than give up on a single Shabbos!” Stunned, Fanconi could only say, “Stay. You’re accepted.” It once happened that Fanconi was making the rounds of the pediatric ward, closely followed by his interns. He diagnosed one case as hopeless and turned to Dr. Rothschild. “Disconnect the patient from life-support,” he instructed. Dr. Rothschild was not willing to give up on the child’s life. “Perhaps you should do it yourself,” he said. Fanconi turned red and abruptly left the room. The other interns were amazed, sure that Dr. Rothschild would be summarily ejected from the course. After a few minutes, however, they were even more astonished to see Fanconi rejoin his interns and apologize! This was Dr. Rothschild’s invariable approach that would characterize him for all his life: uncompromising of halacha, an unwavering

The In News Dr.Week Rothschild

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

moral compass, a firm commitment to truth, and absolute dedication to his patients. In 1960, Dr. Rothschild married Reitz Lang, a native of his own city. He continued to work as a pediatrician in Zurich, where he was considered one of the top doctors in his field and was the pediatrician of choice, both for Jews and non-Jews. He labored ceaselessly to help his patients and save lives. His life took a sharp turn when Rav Kehaneman came to Europe for a fundraising trip on behalf of the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, and Dr. Rothschild was asked to accompany him on his journey. He closed the doors of the pediatric clinic that he had established and spent a month traveling with Rav Kehaneman and assisting him. This time in the great tzaddik’s company had a tremendous influence on him. In 1966, Dr. Rothschild came to Eretz Yisrael to participate in the Yarchei Kallah. The great mashgiach, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein zt”l. urged him to change his lifestyle and immigrate to Eretz Yisrael. In later years, Dr. Rothschild recounted, “I didn’t really feel like there was something missing in my life in Zurich, but I listened to him anyway. My wife and I, and our seven children, moved to the Holy Land.” The Rothschild family came to Eretz Yisrael in 1970, where they settled in Bnei Brak. It was still a small settlement at the time, although it was rapidly growing; there wasn’t even a health clinic in the town! Each day, Dr. Rothschild traveled from the Torah-filled streets of Bnei Brak to the holy city of Yerushalayim, where he worked at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital. Notwithstanding his full schedule, he also performed thousands of brissim and, on his return to his apartment on Elisha Street in Bnei Brak, he devoted countless hours to offering medical treatment and advice to the men, women, and children who came to his home. Even on Shabbos and Yom Tov, he continued to assist the hundreds of people who needed his medical help, and there were times when he walked from one end of the city to the other in order to help those

in need. Everyone in Bnei Brak knew that Dr. Rothschild didn’t charge for his medical services. He kept a tzedakah box in one corner of the room, and if someone offered to pay for his treatment, Dr. Rothschild told the patient to put the money in the tzedakah box instead, where it would go towards the building of a medical center in the city. To most, it seemed an impossible dream; but when the money had been raised to purchase a plot of land at one end of the city and even make a deposit, Dr. Rothschild received an official letter from the City Engineer. “If you want to build a hospital in Bnei Brak, put your money where your mouth is!” In Kislev of 5739 (1978), the foundation stone for the hospital was laid and the fundraising accelerated. The supposedly impossible dream became reality in the summer of 1990,

and since that day, the foundations of Bnei Brak’s hospital have continued to grow and strengthen, with more wings and departments added as demand increased. At the recommendation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l, who personally contributed to the costs of the building, Mayanei Hayeshua was called a “medical center” rather than a “hospital.” Three years ago, in his 80s but still active, Dr. Rothschild was able to witness the realization of another of his dreams: The Marbeh Daas Mental Health Medical Center, with both departments and out-patient clinics for men, women, and teenagers. Just a few days before his passing, Marbeh Daas officially opened the new unit for which he had labored most in the last months of his life: the Day Care section of the Eating Disorders Unit, for treating eating disorders in children and adults.

Dr. Rothschild leaves us with a rich, enduring legacy: his wife and seventeen children, all following the derech Hashem; the thousands of dedicated workers who administer to the sick in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center; and the hundreds of thousands of patients who are treated every year in the eighteen departments and dozens of outpatient clinics of Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center. Dr. Rothschild dedicated his entire life to the service of the community. He never spared a moment for himself, and he paved the way for all of us to reach the heights. It is our sacred duty to preserve his unceasing efforts to develop, to nurture, to improve, and to perfect; to administer care and to heal in the spirit of Yiddishkeit, with both professionalism and compassion. By following in his footsteps, may we be comforted for our great loss.

With Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlita and the Viznitz Rebbe shlita at the event

At the cornerstone setting event with Harav Shteinman zt”l

At the cornerstone setting event with Hagaon, Harav Michel Lefkowitz zt”l

With Harav Gershon Edelstein shlita, Ponevez Rosh Yeshiva

Visiting the construction site with the halachic board, Harav Wozner zt”l, Rav Nissim Karelitz shlita, and Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein shlita

With Harav Shteinman zt”l and Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, while hospitalized at Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital



The Week In News Emotional Health

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Accommodators and Pleasers Rabbi Dov Heller, LMFT

Hillel said, “If I’m not for myself who will be for me?” If I do not take care of my needs, no one else can do this for me. Good self-care is the foundation of emotional and spiritual health. Yet there are many people who struggle to take care of their needs in a healthy and mature way. As an eight-year-old, Allie found herself constantly in the middle of her parents’ fighting. She did her best to make peace but paid a huge price for doing so. Feeling forced to attend to her parents’ feelings and needs was unconsciously interpreted by her to mean that her own feelings and needs were not important. If, perhaps, either one of her parents

was able to show concern for how she was feeling, she might have drawn a different conclusion, believing that her feelings and needs do matter after all. But Allie’s parents were so absorbed in their own drama that they not only failed to check in with her, but even took advantage of her “willingness” to “help” them. As a result, Allie grew up to become a person who is very tuned into other people’s feelings and needs and prioritizing other’s feelings over her own. Allie developed what is called an accommodative personality, what people commonly call a “people pleaser.” In most cases, people become accommodators due to some early developmental and relational

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derailment. Such a personality style does not bode well for adult relationships. The biggest problem for an accommodator is that the person is not aware that she prioritizes other people’s feelings and needs over her own. She therefore tends to unconsciously give in to what others want, while at the same time feeling resentment and anger towards them, often judging them as being “selfish” and “demanding.” The accommodator, never having learned that her needs matter, does not know what it means to acknowledge, own, and express them. An accommodator lives in an isolated and lonely world, often feeling no one understands her or cares about her. In her marriage, Allie found herself often feeling the way she felt with her parents, that her needs didn’t matter. Frequently, she felt angry at her husband. As a child, Allie also felt angry at her parents, but was never given the opportunity to acknowledge, process, and express her anger. Now as an adult, she felt more comfortable expressing her anger towards her husband, who she often accused as being insensitive. Although her husband wasn’t perfect, he was generally a caring person who often encouraged Allie to tell him what she wanted. But because this request felt so foreign to her, she could not communicate her feelings and needs to him with any degree of ease. Allie was still trapped in the same lonely world she experienced as a child. Accommodators cannot connect emotionally because they do not have the ability to acknowledge their feelings and needs and express them. Years of constantly dismissing one’s feelings and needs only reinforces the unconscious belief that one’s needs don’t matter and is therefore doomed to be alone and unhappy. The good news is that this is not a permanent condition. When I explained to Allie how her childhood experience unconsciously formed her belief that her feelings and needs didn’t matter, she almost instantly felt empowered. When she was able to understand that the reason she felt alone and angry was that she was unable to express her feelings and needs assertively, she slowly began to reclaim them. She also soon found out that applying this insight to real situations was difficult

and challenging. Learning to identify her needs and expecting others to take her seriously felt overwhelming at times. The habit of being a people pleaser is hard to break. Learning to speak up and tell her boss how she really felt about certain executive decisions filled her with unbearable anxiety. At the same time, when her boss expressed appreciation for her opinions, she felt a deep sense of hope and encouragement. Changing required constant awareness of how she was feeling in every situation. At times, she felt exhausted by the effort, yet over time she grew and felt like she was becoming a happier person, especially when she experienced others taking her feelings and needs seriously. One might argue that developing this focus on one’s own needs might well lead a person to become self-absorbed and selfish. This is a genuine concern; in Judaism, we believe that the goal of self-development is becoming a giver and a more self-transcendent person. There is healthy giving and unhealthy giving. Unhealthy givers are pleasers because their giving is really a form of taking. Since they feel depleted and empty from not knowing how to take care of their emotional needs, they give in order to build themselves up and to feel better about themselves. A true giver is one who truly cares about meeting other people’s needs and giving them pleasure. There is no self-interest involved and no need to “get something back.” The Torah teaches, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Just like we love others by striving to meet their real needs, so must we love ourselves by meeting our own real needs. Frequently, understanding one’s emotional struggles in the context of one’s childhood experiences frees one to adopt a new, more mature perspective. Recognizing why and how she had developed an accommodative personality opened up the possibility for Allie of adopting a new, more empowering relationship with her feelings and needs. As she began to learn how to listen to and prioritize her feelings and needs, and practice expressing them in her relationships, Allie liberated herself from her lonely world of being a people pleaser.

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News


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29, 2015 | The Jewish Home Feature TheOCTOBER Week In News

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

BOBKER ON KRISTALLNACHT 1938: The Great Divide of Jewish History

ike all Jew-haters in history, Hitler made no secret of his intentions. His shrill rhetoric was never theoretical. Lost in all the horror and hate is this blunt fact: Kristallnacht, the 80th anniversary of which falls over this Shabbos, November 9-10, came at a time when the vast majority of European Jewry was not occupied by the Third Reich, when it was still possible for many Jews to leave. Few did. 1938 was a year that divided Jewish history. After November there was not a single Jew in Europe unaware of the uncompromising and relentless personification of evil that they faced. By the tens of thousands, Jews had already been beaten and broken, robbed and raped, murdered, mutilated, and driven into penurious exile at a time when the world consisted of two types of countries: those who didn’t want their Jews and those who wouldn’t accept Jews. Hitler was the deus ex machina. Digesting that fact (mentally) was one challenge for the Jews; acting on it was

the ultimate challenge. Looking back, Rabbi Shimon Schwab, the Rav of the community of Ichenhausen, Bavaria, saw the stunningly successful arson pogrom of Kristallnacht as “the last great warning before the final vernichten (extermination) of European Jewry.” Yosef Friedenson from Łódź agreed: “[Kristallnacht was] an eye-opener as to what the Nazis were capable of doing.” Friedenson should know. He spent six years in labor camps (Starachowice), ghettos (Szydlowiec, Warsaw), and death camps (Auschwitz, Buchenwald). Kristallnacht was the lethal curtain raiser; the defining line between emigration and extermination, survival or slaughter. Before Auschwitz and Zyklon B (that was patented in the United States in anticipation of Hitler’s victory overseas to be followed by the gassing of North American Jewry) entered the Jewish vocabulary Kristallnacht was the first significant event to force uncomfortable questions on comfortable Jews: fight, flight, hide, resist? Those

were the easy questions. As the years went by and the terror and torment soared, the choices got worse: conversion, suicide, baby infanticide?


he first exodus of German and Austrian Jews did so not as a result of any organized or coordinated community effort but on their own initiative. When they saw the black smoke of hundreds of synagogues blocking the moon skies it was akin to the proverbial writings on the blood-splattered walls of the synagogues – which now no longer existed. Some had extraordinary survival antennas. Talk about good timing. R’ Nosson Adler gathered his wife, Gittel, and six children, and fled Vienna to New York on November 2. The fires were lit one week later. Rabbi Dr. Zev Fryhan, one of the original founders of Agudas Yisrael at Kattowitz, German Empire, packed up his family and fled to London – but his son-in-law, R’ Yosef


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Feature The Week In News

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Tzvi Dunner, stayed. Why? He was reluctant to leave his new prestigious post as the rav of Konigsberg, a rabbinic opportunity of a lifetime because the posting also made him the chief rabbi of all of East Prussia. But his father-in-law was prescient. A year later Rav Dunner, his wife, Yita, and their one-year-old baby (“Abba”) were running for their lives. In an intense two-day period Rav Dunner witnessed the destruction and desecration of Reform synagogues (Neue Synagoge Shul) and Orthodox synagogues (Adass Yisroel Shul), Jewish cemeteries vandalized, Jewish schools closed. He saw 30,000 Jewish men “shipped off” to Dachau and Buchenwald; some came back as ashes in brown vanilla envelopes. The grieving families had to pay postage. In the first eight months after Kristallnacht less than 20,000 out of half-a-million Jews left Austria and Germany on “Jewships” (Judenschiffe) headed for the city of Shanghai, China. Jewish leaders warned them (incorrectly) that the Far East was not a viable es-

“Adolf Hitler & Co. may have lit the fires of Kristallnacht but it was the world who blocked all the exit doors.”

cape option. Dr. Julius Seligsohn, a leader of German Jewry, declared, “It is more honorable to suffer a martyr’s death in central Europe than to perish in Shanghai!” Dr. Seligsohn stayed. He did not survive. The émigrés to Shanghai did. Miles and miles of shattered glass, “glittering like crystal [krystal],” and mini-piles of mutilated bodies in Germany, Austria, and Bohemia failed as a wake-up call for the continent’s Jewish population. Remember: What is today termed the “Final” solution did not become final until October 1, 1941, when all exit venues were slammed shut. By November 1942, now entrapped and unable to leave, 43,000 of 50,000 Austrian Jews ended their lives as anonymous death statistics either in a ghetto (Łódź, Minsk, or Riga) or at a concentration camp (Sobibór, Mauthausen, Belzec, Theresienstadt). Among the German Jews who got out was Henry (Heinz) Kissinger, a 15-year-old teenager from an Orthodox home who turned secular and rose to the highest echelon of gentile power

as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State. He was the first foreign-born U.S. citizen to do so. Thirteen members of the Kissinger family perished; of the 2,000 Jews in his hometown of Furth, Bavaria, fewer than forty survived. On April 10, 1945, Kissinger returned to Europe as a sergeant in the U.S. 84th Infantry Division and participated in the liberation of Ahlem, a Nazi concentration camp near Hannover. “The prisoners,” he recalls, “barely looked human. They were skeletons. It was the single most shocking experience I have ever had.”


he green light for the genocide of the Yiddishe Folk was given four months earlier in July 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt assembled 39 diplomats from 32 European and Latin American countries at the glitzy Hotel Royal on the banks of Lac de Geneve in the fancy shmancy spa resort town of Evian-les-Bains, France. If you spell Evian backwards you get naïve. But this

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29, 2015 | The Jewish Home Feature TheOCTOBER Week In News

 Local residents watching the burning of the ceremonial hall at the Jewish ceme-

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

 The destroyed Dortmund synagogue in Germany

tery in Graz, Austria, on Kristallnacht

bloc was not naïve: they were sheer evil. They wined and dined, then wined and dined some more for nine days to discuss what to do about “those people [read: German-Austrian-Czech Jewish refugees] persecuted by reason of race or religion,” a grand agenda that conspicuously never mentioned the word “Jew’.” Germany’s Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels, a former Catholic altar boy, told the nations of the world to mind their own business. “A man’s home is his castle,” the diminutive loud-mouthed master of double-talk challenged the democracies; in other words, we’ll deal with “our Jews” the way we want. The sinister Minister of Lies idolized Hitler, nine years his senior, as a “messiah in human form.” An aggressive genuine psychopath, he was morally depraved, calculating, cowardly, creepy, nasty, self-pitying, ice-cold, poker-faced, gifted in collective psychology and demagoguery (Goebbels rehearsed every jab of his finger, casting a seductive spell over his audiences, second only to his boss) and the most intelligent of the Führer’s inner circle (most of whom were illiterate to begin with). The irony was not lost on the crowds: a senior member of the racially superior Ubermensch Aryan bloc had one leg shorter than the other (osteomyelitis), and a disproportionately large head on top of an undersized gaunt body. Crippled in both body and soul, he was blunt in his solu-

tion of finality: “This plague of Jews must be wiped out. Completely and utterly. Nothing must be left of [the Jews].” This agitator who strutted about in tailored white outfits and manicured fingernails was ecstatic on Kristallnacht, a pogrom that he himself orchestrated. “I see a bloodred sky,” he scribbled in his diary, “the synagogues are burning like great blast-furnaces. I hear the shattering of [Jewish] window-panes. Bravo! Bravo!” (When Germany was about to surrender, Goebbels and his wife, Magda, poisoned their five daughters, son, family dog and her pups out of “compassion” because he didn’t want them to live in a world that still contained Jews; the parents then took their own lives in a romantic double suicide.) Evian ended in failure. None were surprised. Hitler was elated at the international demarche. The world had turned its back on a massive humanitarian crises. Desperate terrified Jews were declared persona non grata. World empathy? MIA. Appeasement the flavor of the day. The sounds they heard was the simultaneous slamming of all international gates. The indictment is clear: Adolf Hitler & Co. may have lit the fires of Kristallnacht but it was the world who blocked all the exit doors. Only three countries – British Guyana, Shanghai, and the Dominican Republic – showed some level of hachnosas orchim. And America? Here’s President Roosevelt’s view on

Judaic immigration: he didn’t care if European Jews were resettled in the savannahs of central Africa or the jungles of Peru as long as they didn’t come to the United States of America. In the year 1936, the U.S. State Department allowed a grand total of 7,000 Jews into the country, a pitiful and pathetically low number. The quotas from Congress were a death sentence for millions. Consider: Even after the war began, in a stunning failure of moral leadership, an isolationist U.S. Senate rejected a bill (Wagner-Rogers) that would have allowed 20,000 Jewish children under the age of fourteen into America over two years, 1939-1940. “20,000 charming children?” responded Laura Delano Houghteling, wife of the Commissioner of Immigration and the president’s cousin, “will soon grow up into 20,000 ugly adults!” Within five years, 1,500,000 Jewish children, beautiful and innocent and pure neshomas, were no more, victims of unforgivable bystander apathy as much as from German bullets, beatings, burnings, and live burials. In contrast: when Germany began lobbing V-2 rockets into London in September 1940, the U.S. Congress acted immediately and offered shelter to thousands of British children. When Hitler heard the international sounds of silence, it proved catastrophic to the Jewish people. The countdown on the doomsday clock sped up. The man with a

stiff right-arm and a comic Charlie Chaplin mustache was never more emboldened. “Niemand will die juedische fratzen [nobody wants the Jewish brats!],” he sang. Four months later, following the Munich fiasco of an idiotic umbrella-clutching Neville Chamberlain (“Peace in our time!”), Hitler let the dogs loose.


ll Jew ish gullibility inside the 2,000 -yea r- old Yahadus Ashkenaz communit y came to a sudden end with the first organized pogrom since the Middle Ages. The riots were euphemistically called Kristallnacht (“Crystal Night”) because of the sound of glass windowpanes shattering across the land and blanket-carpeting miles and miles of gentile streets. Nazi Party thugs and ordinary citizens, including housewives and children, murdered 236 Jews, wounded thousands more, ransacked and pillaged 7,000 Jewish schools, homes, businesses, and stores, destroyed 1,300 synagogues, desecrated cemeteries and anything “Jewish,” and deported thousands to concentration camps. The Jews were ordered to sweep up the glass. The entire annual production of Belgium glass was needed to fix the hooligans’ damage. Herman Göering, Hitler’s designated heir – a 300-pound duplicitous morphine-addicted ogre

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News 57

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

 Rabbi Josef Hirsch (Tzvi) Carlebach, Rav of Lübeck, Altona, and Hamburg (above left), was forced to watch his magnificent synagogue being torched. Rav Carlebach, his wife, Charlotte, and several of their younger children were machine-gunned into

 A Jewish home in Vienna vandalized during Kristallnacht

icy pits in the Biķerniecki forests near Riga, Latvia, on March 26, 1942. Among the German Jews who got out was Henry (Heinz) Kissinger (above center), a 15-year-old teenager from an Orthodox home who turned secular and rose to the highest echelon of gentile power as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State. Thirteen members of his family perished. Rabbi “Abba” Dunner (above right) was one year old when his parents, R’ Yosef Tzvi, chief rabbi of East Prussia, and Yitta, fled to London from Konigsberg.

who strutted about like a cockatoo in ridiculous banana-republic outfits and can be described by all the “C’s” – cruel, cunning, corrupt, cynical, conceited, and cursed, a man with an insatiable appetite as wide as his waistline, the ambitious gonif who plundered several hundred million marks of art and furniture and valuables from his Jewish victims – charged the German Jewish community a staggering one billion Deutsch Marks (around $400 million at the time; the equivalent of $4 billion today) to pay for the Third Reich’s criminal arson. For millions of Germans and Austrians it was a major yom tov. A good time was had by all in this festival of insanity. The shamash of the Prinzregen Strasse shul and his family were thrown into the flames. At Laupheim the congregants were forced to kneel in idolatry pose in front of their synagogue with their hands on their heads and watch it being reduced to cinders and ashes as SA brownshirts, mostly eager teenagers, dumped all the sifrei Torah, seforim, and talleisim in a pile on the street and trampled over them in boisterous childish laughter. At Hoengen, the sifrei Torah were hurled into the muddy streets for excited school kids – who couldn’t believe that their vandalism was

approved and encouraged by supposedly mature adults and parents and teachers – to stomp on before throwing them into a bonfire. At Dusseldorf, R’ Max Eschelbacher witnessed “the murdering arsonists dancing in a circle around the burning [Torah] scrolls, some of them wearing the [stolen] robes of the rabbis and chazzanim. Wittlich, a small shtetl in the Mosel Valley, had its Torahs unfurled from the roof like “bands of confetti on carnival.” No Jewish community was too small to be assaulted. Red skies and clouds of ashes covered the landscape. Consider Baisingen. The tiny shtetl had only 80 Jews but its small synagogue was attacked as though it was a mighty fortress. How many Jews lived in the town of Eisenstadt, Austria? None. And yet the vacant synagogue was targeted for demolition by fire. The synagogue in Weisweiler was no more than a prayer room, unused in three years, and yet was a target of incendiary bombs. Meanwhile the Great Menorah in the synagogue of Potsdam was used as a battering ram to smash the Ark, chandeliers, benches, tables, rabbi’s seat and shtender, and the beautiful intricate stained-glass lead windows. The Jews of Emmerich were forced to burn down their own synagogue. The synagogue in Hechin-

gen that served Jews since 1775 was no more. The largest synagogue in Berlin, the Fasanenstrasse, was no more. Reb Davidson, the ba’al tefillah, stood outside the smoking rubble and said kaddish for the building. The large new synagogue on Friedberger Anlage, gone. The large West End synagogue, gone. Rabbi Benjamin Israel Murmelstein remembers how bystanders applauded the arsonists of his Seitenstrettengasse Synagogue. Rabbi Josef Hirsch (Tzvi) Carlebach, Rav of Lübeck, Altona, and Hamburg, was forced to watch his magnificent synagogue being torched as he was beaten by zealous stormtroopers. Rav Carlebach, his wife, Charlotte, and several of their younger children, were machine-gunned into icy pits in the Biķerniecki forests near Riga, Latvia, on March 26, 1942. Neighbors ransacked Jewish shops and homes and carted off the booty using (empty) children’s prams, stolen, of course. The Jewish Morning Journal published the names of thousands of Austrian Jews who committed suicide. Dozens of new signs appeared on storefronts, “Proudly Announcing the Re-Opening of a Former Jewish Business, Now Owned By a German.” Judaica appeared at flea markets. Classified “For Sale” ads in

local newspapers listed synagogue seats, shtenders, pulpits, and paneling. Demolition companies offered salvaged bricks from synagogues for sale. (In late 2008 a massive rubbish site the size of four football pitches was found in Brandenburg, a suburb in north Berlin, where the destroyed Jewish plunders of Kristallnacht were dumped; survivors say that the sight of mutilated sifrei Torah and torn siddurim, machzorim, and Chumashim, many floating down the Danube, was more devastating than the destruction of the houses of prayer.) Ursyula Rosenfelf, 13, saw the “godless vandals” take out a sefer Torah from the synagogue in Quackenbrack, “[They were] dancing in the street with the Torah to make the little bells ring which they thought was funny before throwing it into the flames.” Arnold Fleishmann, a bar mitzvah boy in Nuremberg, never forgot the smell of burning parchment for the rest of his life. Horst Löwenstein and David Zwingermann, two young Jewish boys, rescued a dozen Torah scrolls from the Friedenstempel Synagogue on Berlin’s Markgraf-Albrecht Street. Zwingermann survived by leaving on a Kindertransport to England on December 2, 1938; Löwenstein was murdered at Riga, Latvia, on




OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News Feature

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

 The shul in Oberramstadt in Germany on fire

November 30, 1941. Suddenly all the schnitzels and poppy-seeded Kaiser rolls and Johann Strauss waltzes no longer mattered. The pathological anti-Semitic side of the gentile was now transparent. “We never believed that anything bad was going to hap-

pen until that morning,” recalls R’ Gershon Weiss, alumnus of Yeshivas Ner Israel, MD, who was a child at the time. “We were completely unprepared for this emotionally, and even if we thought we were strong psychologically, almost nothing can prepare you for something like this.”

 The burning of the Boemestrasse Synagogue on Kristallnacht


ecause the world was silent, the November 23, 1938, front-page of Das Schwartze Korps, the paper of the black-shirted German Elite Guard and Gestapo, roared, “We will now bring the Jewish question to its solution...the definite end of Jewry and its complete extermination.” By the time the Führer exported his law of the jungle into Poland, at 4:45am, erev Shabbos, September 1, 1939, only 60 percent of German Jews, after six years, and 67 percent of Austrian Jews, after nearly two years, had escaped. This was not the Gesamtlösung (“overall solution”) Hitler had envisioned. But by now he and his senior staff knew one thing: the years 1933 to 1939 had proven that no government was willing to interfere with their treatment of the Jews. This realization let the zealous Einsatzgruppen genie, an efficient Gestapo-on-Wheels delivery service that brought death and destruction right to one’s front door like a Domino’s pizza, out of the bottle. It took only ten months after Kristallnacht for the Holocaust to begin. The barbaric assault of Kristallnacht was followed by waves of pernicious propaganda, ostracism, and a pervasive media dehumanizing campaign that called Jews “subhuman parasites, poison carriers, a plague center for humanity.” By the end of 1938 none could ignore the marauding mob’s unnerving screams of Juden raus! Nor the blaring post-

ers that read, “Hyenas are scum and so are Jews!” nor the radio’s vitriol yet popular jingle, “Wenn das Judenblut vom Messer spritzt, dann geht’s noch mal so gut! “When Jewish blood drips from the knife, then things are twice as good,” nor the popular children’s ditty of 1937 (which rhymes in German), “Junge Juden, ubersee, alte Juden, Weissensee, Young Jews [go] abroad, old Jews go to [Berlin’s] large Jewish cemetery.” These were no longer harmless demagogic slogans but harsh reality. “You’re next” was in every Nazi speech, every gleeful rally, every newspaper headline, and was exported to other European countries. From Poland came the screeching Polska bez zydow (“Poland without Jews”); from Romania, the relentless Moartea Jidanilor (“Death to the Jewish rascals”). And from the Squirrel neighborhood in downtown Pittsburgh, at 10:00am on a Shabbos morning in the Eitz Chaim shul, came the all-too familiar scream from Richard Bowers, “All Jews must die!” That is why we remember Kristallnacht. And the Germans remember too. I saw an ad in a German newspaper from the Kristall Sauna Wellnesspark Hotel in Bad-Klosterlausnitz, Thuringen. It offered a special rate to celebrate “Kristallnacht weekend.” Joe Bobker is the author of the Torah with a Twist of Humor series and the 18-volume Historiography of Orthodox Jews and the Holocaust. He can be reached at jbobker@

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News


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