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The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

A GREAT MIRACLE ALSO HAPPENED HERE. It’s no Temple Mount. But on November 5, 1972 this land was re-dedicated. Over the next four years, Cedars-Sinai was built. Driven by a small band of leaders, this merger of two local hospitals represented something much larger. It was the coming together of community. It was a place to unify the ideals and dreams of a people who wanted to improve the human condition and make the world a better place.

Mount Sinai Hospital site and vicinity, 1972.

As we gather for a Chanukah celebration with our patients, physicians, volunteers, and staff, we will not only remember the great miracle that happened 2,200 years ago when the Maccabees stood together against tyranny, we will also remember the moment when our community stood together in Los Angeles and made a profound statement for unity. Happy Chanukah.

www.cedars-sinai.edu

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 City Walk Chanukah Concert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

JEWISH THOUGHT The Light of Chanukah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Deepest Chanukah Light. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The Incredible Story Of Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

FEATURE

The History & Archaeology of Chanukah. . . . . . . . 20

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

LIFESTYLES The Opening Act for Moshiach… on the Women’s Side. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Travel Guide: Albany. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Hit-and-Runs in Los Angeles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Recipe Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

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DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,

laws of marriage, if one has feelings of teshuvah in his heart, he is considered Haneiros halalu anu madlikin, we ignite a complete Tzadik on the spot. After these lights to commemorate the great our long journey we are definitely wormiracles. The miracles of years past thy of redemption. and the miracles taking place today. The Rambam has another ruling in On Chanukah we reflect on the mirac- the laws of teshuvah, “therefore one ulous survival of Yiddishkeit through should view oneself and the world at the most challenging times. These large as half guilty and half meritoriare challenges from within and with- ous. …Each mitzvah tips the balance to out. These candles have been with us the side of merit, both for himself and through thick and thin. Whether gold- the world, causing redemption and en years or times of mesiras nefes, Yid- salvation. den would make sure to light the menorah, illuminating the world in which The world needs us to add light. It’s easy to sit back and point to others hythey lived. pocrisy, foolishness and self-righteous Ki ner mitzvah v’torah ohr, for mitzvot are indifference, but that’s not our focus. candles and Torah is light. Throughout Our calling is to light one additional our exile we have shown, whether liv- candle, more than we did the previous ing in peaceful times or times of war, night, and then again the next night. we were faithful to the Torah. We have Every single candle, mitzvah and act of done the best we can to have its light charity tips the scale, and who knows? shine in and through our souls. Maybe this act will be the final one The Rambam writes in the laws of te- which tips the scales for good and etershuvah that, “Torah has guaranteed nity. that in the end of exile the Yidden will return (to Hashem) and they will be redeemed immediately.” In the past few decades we have seen an unprecedented return to the Torah by Jews the world over. Many entirely changing their lifestyle, other’s committing to specific Mitzvos. Moreover, one can safely assume that all Jews, us included, have at one point regretted our spiritual and moral deficiencies. As the Rambam rules in regards to the

May the menorah we light in our homes, bring about the lighting of the menorah by the Kohen Gadol, in the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash. It will be a miraculous event and Chanukah is the perfect time for miracles. May we have a warm and bright Shabbos Chanukah,

Shalom

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


The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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'‫ְּב'זׂאת‬ ּ‫ִּת ָּו ׁ ְשעו‬ The Gathering of the Gedolei Hador On Monday, ZOS CHANUKA, The Gedolei Hador will gather to be mispallel on behalf of contributors to Kupat Ha’ir

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Michael Medved Headlines OU West Coast Convention in LA Alisa Roberts The Orthodox Union delivered another impressive lineup for their West Coast Convention on the weekend of December 5th. Great Jewish thinkers from all over the country came together to discuss the topic “Leadership in Challenging Times” in various events that ran Thursday through Sunday. “The world around us and the Jewish people in particular, are beset with many challenges,” said Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of OU West Coast Region. “But perhaps the greatest challenge that we face in our world today is the lack of leadership. Accordingly, we have decided that this year’s convention will address that very theme, ‘Leadership in Challenging Times.’” Michael Medved, the keynote speaker, delivered an inspiring keynote address to open the convention Thursday evening. The title of his talk was “Leadership in Troubling Times,” but his message was anything but troubling.

“There is one proposition in which there is astonishing unanimity among the American people…everybody agrees our leadership in this country stinks!” Medved said, to laughter and applause. After laying out the dismal approval ratings of the President and Congress, he noted polls which

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show that three quarters of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction and that more than half of Americans believe the American dream is dead. He then framed the question of what kind of leadership we need today with another question: Why do eidim have to be shomer Shabbat at a Jewish wedding? “To help answer that question, let’s take a look at the key missing perspective in American political and cultural life today. That missing element in our perspective is—perspective. We tend not to have any accurate vision of who we are, of where we are, of where we are going. Americans seem to be stumbling around in the dark.” He then described a typical caller to his radio show expounding on how we are in the worst point in American history, how things are terrible, and how the country is headed into doom and destruction. “By what measure?” he challenged a captivated room. “What’s so terrible about life in America?” He touched on the tragic recent shooting in San Bernadino, and then explained that terrible as these events are, the violent crime rate is currently the lowest it has ever been measured. He cited other statistics about medical care, poverty, and quality of life, all decidedly positive. “So why are we so upset?” He proposed three basic reasons: a focus on disaster, isolation from one another, and a lack of memory. After detailed explanations of how these social problems developed, he circled back to his original question. “So how does that connect to the question I asked at the beginning? The way to adopt perspective, for Jewish people, is clear. And perspective is the most important quality for leadership: A perspective that sees our place in the continuum of time, a perspective that sees our place in a wider world, a perspective that sees not just the problems but the blessings. All that comes from Shabbat…Shabbat provides perspective. What is a witness? A witness is a leader.”

Other speakers included Allen I. Fagin, Executive Vice President (Chief Professional Officer) of the Orthodox Union; Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Posek (Halachic Decisor) at OU Kosher and Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Rabbi Dovid Cohen, New York Regional Representative of the Orthodox Union; Nathan Diament, Executive Director of OU Advocacy; Betty Ehrenberg, Executive Director for World Jewish Congress—US and North America; Rabbi Ilan Haber, National Director, OU Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus; Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger, Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Rabbi at Congregation Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, NJ; Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Rabbi of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, NJ; Rabbi Steven Weil, Senior Managing Director of the Orthodox Union; and Rebbetzin Yael Weil, Teacher at Maayanot High School for Girls in Teaneck, NJ. Friday’s events included a rabbinic enrichment shiur given by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, and other speakers who visited many of the local schools to speak to the students. Shabbat morning brought speakers to shuls all around LA as scholars-in-residence. Motzei Shabbat featured a Melave Malka with a talk titled “Political Leadership for Today and Tomorrow— Election 2016.” The convention concluded Sunday morning with community sessions at Young Israel of Century City, followed by plenary sessions on “Jewish Leadership in Today’s World.” The plenary sessions featured panelists Michael Medved, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and Betty Ehrenberg, and were moderated by Allen Fagin. The events were well-received and attended by a wide cross-section of the community; a feat that is unsurprising considering that the Orthodox Union is known, regardless of the times, as a bulwark of Jewish leadership.


TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Longest Shiur; 18 Hours of Live Teaching Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, is hiring a tech. crew for an unusual project. Recognizing the need to raise scholarship funds to help cover the cost of school fees, he is readying for the Longest Shiur Program ever. On December 24th, from midnight until 6pm, Einhorn will be teaching an 18 hour class. The coordination of such an epic event requires a production crew who can stay awake and focused for a lengthy time. Einhorn is determined he will find

somewhere in the Cosmos?” and later, “Jacob’s Ladder and the Stairway to Heaven: Does Secular Culture have a home in this Religion?” There is, “Flight Club: What it means when Rabbis in the Talmud argue?”

and in the final hour, “Judaism Alive: Why nothing compares to Torah.” “The classes will be made available for online learning in the future but during The Longest Shiur, I expect many will

leave the livestream download running all night…and all day as well!” To enjoy, donate or study with the Longest Shiur program, visit www.longestshiur.com.

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his team and his funds. “Of course, I will also get tired, but 18 is a very positive number and I want to reach the most successful outcome,” he explained. The financial goal of the Longest Shiur Program is $200,000 which will be used to help families who can’t afford Yeshiva day school tuition. at Yeshivat Yavneh, Einhorn’s school, and at other Jewish schools around the country. “We have the ability to accept 498 students and we currently have 492. This is better than we had three years ago when I joined the school but there are kids who are falling through the gap. And there are kids who have left for lower cost school options. We need to help the students stay in the doors.” Preparing for the epic shiur is an epic task but Einhorn knows that the end will be the highlight of the event because students from Yavneh will then join him in celebration of their creation of 18,000 questions about the book of Genesis. There is no end to the learning possibilities. Einhorn has created a schedule for classes which will be about controversial and cutting-edge subjects, using the Torah’s wisdom as the answer. Subjects will be taught for an hour at a time and participants can call-in with questions at certain points during the session. Topics include, “Peering at Andromeda: Are there Aliens

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Valley Torah Boys Participates at Mock Trial On November 26th, for the first time ever, Valley Torah High School - Boys Campus joined the 2015-16 season of Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Los Angeles County 38th Annual Mock Trial Competition. Participation was complicated by the chagim at the start of the year and potential lawyer coaches fell through. Regardless, the boy’s school held tryouts with only three weeks left to the first competition and 14 students made the team. General Studies Principal Dr. Eliezer Jones and English teacher, Mr. Schaefer, stepped up to coach the students which brought enthusiasm but neither of them had previous law experience. Despite this, the students willingly met every breakfast, every lunch and after school for two weeks and

then participated in their first case of Mock Trial competition. Jones explained the outcome, “We did

not win the case, but the judge told us afterwards that she could not tell we were new to Mock Trial. As we left the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse that night, our heads

were held high, but there was no time to relax and appreciate the accomplishment. We had our second round in one week and we had work to do!” Student lawyers wrote closing arguments in the school corridors and witnesses could be heard practicing their stories on the stairwell. Round two was no picnic.

Valley Torah Boys were now the defense and were up against another experienced team with a fastidious judge. Jones talked about the experience, “Students presented

their arguments, motions, cross-examinations, rebuttals and objections. In fact, the team was so passionate that we even accidently objected to ourselves once or twice! However, in the end, I am happy to say that the client we defended had all the charges dropped and we won the case. Not only did we win it, we scored 84 more points than we did in the first round case.” Schaefer added, “The students critically analyzed the case and developed sharply focused questions for the witnesses which speaks to the skills cultivated from their in-depth Gemara classes. Also, to see the way the lawyers and witnesses were able to think on their feet, spoke to our improvisational arts program that many on the team have been a part of.” Maybe next year will see the Valley Torah Boys at the National Mock Trials in Boise, Idaho.

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Hatzolah Gives Thanks On Thanksgiving On Thanksgiving Day, while most people were busy basting turkeys, cooking casseroles, and enjoying the company of their extended family, members of Los Angeles’s volunteer Hatzolah EMS were meeting up at Schwartz’ bakery on Pico. Hatzolah of Los Angeles’ volunteers gave their time on Thanksgiving to show gratitude to the local police and fire departments that serve the many communities that Hatzolah covers. Representing the Jewish communities of LA, Hatzolah volunteers went from station to station delivering delicious customized cakes that carried a message of thanks. This has been a tradition of Hatzolah’s for the several years. In all, the Hatzolah EMTs, and their families, visited 15 stations from six different agencies. They visited the Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments, Los Angeles County

Fire and Sheriff Departments and the Beverly Hills Fire and Police Departments. Each received a cake, along with smiles and thanks. Hatzolah’s Executive Director Michoel

Bloom, along with Chief of Operations David Bacall, organized and led the group of ten Hatzolah members along with 15 children. The recipients were more than grateful. Bloom explained, “It was more than just a thank you on thanks giving. These men and women gave up being home with

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their families, to protect our community. So we decided to bring our families to them, to show them how much they meant to us.” Bacall added, “With everything going on in the world these days, it is important to build upon these public/private partnerships. Hatzolah is not just about helping Jews, it is about emulating Jewish philosophies, like giving back to the greater community, and saying thanks. That is why we volunteer.” Hatzolah of Los Angeles is an all-volunteer Emergency Medical Service which operates out of the Jewish community. Hatzolah’s primary mission is to provide a rapid response to medical emergencies and disasters. All of its responders are State Certified Emergency Medical Technicians. Hatzolah is a 501c3 non-profit whose main source of funding comes from private donations.

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

First Annual Jewish Women’s Initiative Luncheon Honors Mrs. Chana Heller One hundred eighty women from communities across the city and the valley gathered at the Olympic Collection on November 8th to honor Chana Heller, Director of the Jewish Women’s Initiative (JWI,) a division of Aish Los Angeles. JWI was founded by Heller and Associate Director, Sharon Shenker, in 2010, to educate and inspire Jewish Moms to bring the beauty, joy and relevance of Judaism to their homes and communities. The fundraising event was chaired by Dr. Susan Berman, Lisa Kodimer, Carolyn Ormond and Stacy Tilliss, who are “deeply committed to the mission, the vision and the enduring vision enduring spirit of the JWI”. “We started the JWI after returning from a pilot trip to Israel with Lori Palatnik, Founding Director of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. We realized that Jewish Moms are powerhouses and are being totally underserved”, explained Heller. “We spend so much of our community resources on our kids, but whether or not Judaism happens in the home is usually up to Mom. We have found that Jewish moms are thirsty to be the best role models they can be for their families, to connect their kids to Judaism and Israel and to explore

L-R event co-chairs Carolyn Ormond, Chana Heller (honoree), Dr Susan Berman, Stacy Tilliss and Lisa Kodimer

their own spirituality. “ In just over 5 years, JWI has built a community of over 250 women who learn and socialize on a regular basis.” The sisterhood and support system that have developed in the JWI are a great tribute to the loving and relatable approach of the JWI staff and teachers”, explained Ormond. The JWI resonates with women from all streams of Judaism. Their members hail from over 25 Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues, as well as women who are unaffiliated.

“Our education as women usually ends with the Bat Mitzvah or confirmation”, says Kodimer. “JWI speaks to us where we are at now, as women looking to understand Judaism on a deeper level and to be there for one another in the process”. Kodimer started the JWI Care and Concern Committee to help members in times of need. The JWI Just returned last month from their 6th Annual Momentum Moms Trip to Israel. “The Israel Trip is the party favor,” quipped Tilliss, who was chosen to return

Saftlas Helps Businesses Grow Their Bottom Line On December 10th, Yitzchok Saftlas, new book will be in wide release. So What’s The Bottom Line? 76 Proven Marketing Tips & Techniques for Building Your Business and Personal Brand offers key business fundamentals and proven experience-based tactics for the success-driven individual. So, What’s the Bottom Line? covers a wide array of topics relating to the business world, from marketing initiatives to communication, customer retention and strategic planning. With short motivational chapters and clear and concise action plans relating to each topic, business professionals will find the ideas in this new book are easy to implement. With over 25 years of experience in

the corporate world, Yitzchok Saftlas is a marketing expert who has worked with all types of people, events, and organizations. Saftlas, is founder and president of Bottom Line Marketing Group and he has been helping corporate, political and non-profit clients build their brands since 1989. His education at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City combined with years of experience in marketing and advertising has served as a springboard for his weekly business radio show, “Mind Your Business” on 77WABC in the New York / New Jersey metro area, and his weekly marketing column in a national newspaper It is from the experiences he has gained across the years that enabled him to share his insights and advice. The book is writ-

as a madricha on her second trip. “The real party happens in LA after we return and deepen the wonderful bonds that began there”. The JWI partners with the JWRP to take Jewish Moms on an annual, highly-subsidized trip to Israel which, according to Dr. Susan Berman, COO of the Help Group, is life-changing. “JWI has had an immeasurable impact on us individually, as families and as a community. Its mission, vision and values resonate within us and ignite our commitment to bring the joy of Judaism into our hearts and homes” The women of JWI have been so successful in inspiring their families that a spin-off division was started for husbands, the Jewish Men’s Initiative (JMI). “We needed to get on board and partner with our wives. The impact in the home is so much more powerful when both parents are committed to building a Jewish home and Jewish future”, says David Osterman, founding member of the JMI who returned from leading the third annual men’s Momentum trip to Israel at the end of November. “We like to think of ourselves as an investment firm” said Nili Couzens, trip leader of the JWRP, “and Jewish moms are our greatest asset”. Moms are the centerpiece of the Jewish home, the place where we live Judaism, celebrate Shabbat and holidays, teach values, and learn to approach life from an authentic Jewish perspective.

ten with a down-to-earth writing style and includes many personal anecdotes which makes for an enjoyable, instructional read for fast-paced, career-oriented individuals. There is pertinent advice for salespeople, marketers, seasoned executives, and entrepreneurs just starting out. So, What’s the Bottom Line? offers clear advice, experience-based tactics and common-sense ideas which point out the obvious yet often overlooked human aspect of business and marketing, and demonstrate how to use human relations to further your business goals. The book includes 76 short chapters of invaluable and highly motivating thoughts which are easy to read and enjoy as well. The book will be published by Morgan James Publishing on December 10, 2015 for $19.95.


TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Public Menorah Lighting at the Farmers Market

Do We Care Enough About Our Teachers? “I’m a parent and I’m a businessman and I wondered about the way things were happening at my son’s cheder. I woke one morning and realized that there’s only a limited number of people who can help my children and they’re doing their best and they’re underpaid. I thought it was time to try and make a difference. That’s how I came to create Corks and Forks,” said Levy Lieberman. With a jolt of energy, he turned to help the rabbis at Cheder Menachem and, working together with several younger parents, he went ahead with the organization of a glitzy banquet that would be enticing and affordable. In 2014, he collected a sum of money that resulted in every single teacher at the school receiving a check for $1,800. This year, Lieberman thought he might raise the stakes higher. Given that it is the Hakhel year, he expanded the program to bring an even bigger crowd and he included the girls school, Bais Chaya Mushka, in the program. With more parents involved, he is hopeful that a financial bonus will be reaching a larger group of teachers from both the schools.

Rebbetzin Shternie Lipskier has children at the Cheder and Bais Chaya Mushka. She was delighted to hear of the ban-

quet. “Firstly, it is amazing to be able to recognize our teachers because they do so much more for our children than we imagine. They deserve our support. And this

isn’t a formal banquet. This is a relaxed event with great speakers and events as well. We reach the same goal, but this is an enjoyable way to get there.” Lieberman has certainly shown a creative mind in arranging the events. This year the food will be created by pitmaster, Rabbi Mendel Segal. Based in Leawood, Kansas, Rabbi Segal is best known as Rabbi Q because he loves to BBQ. “First, I want people who keep kosher to not have to suffer with sub-par food categories,” he said of his popularity. “If they want barbecue, they should be able to get good barbecue. Kosher can be fun.” Also flying in for the Corks and Forks banquet is Rabbi Simon Jacobson, from The Meaningful Life Center in New York and Rabbi Moshe Lieberman from Boston, MA. They will be running a symposium on hot button issues of 21st century education and guidance. The Rabbis will attempt to tackle the arena of education in a true and candid fashion. Many parents are intimidated by “how the crowd” does things, and reluctantly toe-the-line of the “status quo” without being fully aware of what Torah, Halacha and Chassidus have to say on a given matter. The symposium will empower parents to take a more active role in their children’s education and schools, by shedding light on their halachic rights and

communal obligations. “I’m not a ‘schools guy’ but I know that teachers in day schools struggle with low pay and it’s in our interest to help every one of them. That’s ultimately who you’re banking on to educate your kids!” said Lieberman. At the Agudah Convention on November 15th, Rabbi David Ozeri of Congregation Yad Yosef in Flatbush spoke passionately about the need for chinuch, the need to educate our children. He spoke about the situation for today’s teachers, noting they are inadequately compensated. Lieberman was not familiar with the speech Ozeri delivered, but neither was he surprised to hear the issue is being discussed in the broader community. “This program should be expanded so that all teachers at schools, cheders and yeshivas are supported with much needed financial help. I have spoken to several other Rabbi’s and I would like to spread the program. Life isn’t cheap.” Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, the young businessman and philanthropist, agrees with this philosophy. Every Pesach he gifts various teachers, including those at Cheder Menachem and Kolel families, with $1,000 for the Pesach holiday. Lieberman recognizes that Rechnitz inspired him to build this program. www.launity.rallybound.org/

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DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Rav Nachum Sauer Presents Special Shiur at LINK Kollel The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles continues its tradition of presenting high-level halachic shiurim on Legal Holidays. On November 26,Thanksgiving Day, Rav Nachum Sauer, Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva of Los Angeles and a leading halachic authority, offered a majestic analysis of the various halachic issues relating to determining the times of sunset, bein hashmashos (twilight), and tzeis hakochavim (nightfall). The shiur was proceeded by a complimentary breakfast and a period of directed chavrusa learning, staffed by the Avreichim of the Kollel, in the relevant sugyos. A rapt crowd of more than 40 men enjoyed

every word of the nearly 90 minute shiur. Rav Sauer delineated the major differences between the approach of the Gaonim, with which the Vilna Gaon concurred and the view of the Rabbeinu Tam. According to the former, the twilight

Record Breaking Crowd Attends Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair On November 16th, the 2015 Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair was attended by nearly 500 students and their parents, who met with 49 Israel and support representatives. Yaki Lopez, from the Israel Consulate, greeted the crowd with inspiring words and thanked them for the support they showed for Israel. Lopez said he was appreciative that so many people showed support for the Gap Year experience even during challenging times. With the recent tragic news of Ezra Schwartz, many parents are concerned about the reality of taking the trip in today’s world. Parent Marlene Frankiel listened to Lopez speak and said, “Naturally I am concerned for my son’s safety and well-being, but the opportunity to be able to listen and then to speak directly to the representatives made me feel much better.” “We were so gratified that the community has embraced the Fair,” said Director, Phyllis Folb, whose company, Find Your Right Direction, produced the Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair. “We literally were bursting this year. Many programs were unable to exhibit because of space limitations so we are already looking

for a bigger location so that next year we can accommodate everyone comfortably.”

Aside from parents of students from schools and student organizations (YULA, Shalhevet, Harkham GAON Academy, Valley Torah, and NCSY), there were families from public and private schools and from all regions of the City and all religious affiliations. Many traveled from outside California, including Arizona and Nevada.

period begins immediately after the astronomic sunset and lasts for only 13 ½ minutes. However, adjusting for latitude and the time of the year, it could be as long as 42 minutes. By contrast, the Rabbeinu Tam held that there is another “halachic sunset” which takes place 58 1/2 minutes after the astronomical sunset, and thus nightfall doesn’t begin until 72 minutes after sunset. He also mentioned the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L tha,t adjusting for the latitude of New York, one can argue that even Rabbeinu Tam would say that tzeis hakochavim is no later than 50 minutes after sunset. He then proceeded to give many pertinent examples of the

halachic differences of these opinions in relation to issues such as the times for davening, beginning and ending of Shabbos, lighting Chanukah candles, and determining the proper day for making a bris milah. After the shiur, nearly two dozen of the attendees waited patiently in line to discuss various aspects of the limud with Rav Sauer. LINK will offer another Legal Holiday shiur on December 25 on the laws of “Mezonos Bread” from Rabbi Mordechai Lebhar and Rabbi Asher Brander, Rosh Kollel and Dean of LINK, respectively. On January 1-3, LINK will have the special privilege of hosting a Yarchei Kallah with Rabbi Yosef Kushner of Lakewood, NJ on the topic of “Commerce and Shabbos,”a subject on which R’ Kushner recently published a sefer.

In addition to the direct Israel programs, Yeshiva University, Touro Los Angeles, American Jewish University and State University of New York, Binghamton were available to discuss their Israel Option programs. These colleges are Israel Gap-Year friendly with a strong Jewish infrastructure on campus. Many accept credit for classes taken in Israel during the student gap year. The smooth transition from gap

great to have everything under one roof. Speaking directly to the representatives from all the yeshivot we were researching was extremely helpful. The Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair continues to get better overall.” Meryl-Lee Avraham, Assistant Director, of Machon Maayan seminary, confirmed the fair has been, “…created as a resource that has aided many families in making the difficult

year to college makes the year in Israel all the more feasible. Parent Joanne Halperin shared her thoughts saying,”This year’s Fair was much more comprehensive with more Israel representatives including colleges, MASA and Jerusalem Tours, which I think was very important. Los Angeles parents need to have these resources and it is

gap year decision, The Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair is now the centralized location to hear about Israel options on the West Coast!” “The Israel Fair was a great opportunity for me to learn about Israel programs that I hadn’t even heard of through my school,” said student Kesser Frankiel. “It gave me more to think about and consider for my gap year than what I would have just seen in the single school visits”. Associated with the Fair from the beginning, Masa Israel Journey was a presenting sponsor and continues to let parents know about the funding opportunities they offer. City-wide synagogue sponsorship included Beth Jacob, Bnai David-Judea, Mogen David, Beverly Hills Synagogue, Shaarei Tefela, Shaarey Zedek, Westwood Kehilla, and Young Israel Century City. This was an event of “achdus” (unity) with Israel on all levels.


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One year, on Chanukah, I was walking through a bustling hallway in a local mall. The various stores competed for attention, luring shoppers with visual displays and brightly-colored promises of savings. I hadn’t paid any attention to the young man standing in the middle of the corridor, clad in tight jeans and a trendy tee-shirt, sunglasses pushed up on his head. But when he made it obvious that he wanted to talk to me, I paused. “Yes?” “I need your help,” he said, his accent making it abundantly clear that he was a brother, an Israeli far from home. I waited for the hard luck story and sincere request for a small loan. It never came. Instead, with much disappointment, he told me that in previous years, a rabbi dressed like me came to the mall and lit the menorah with the young Israelis who worked at various booths there. “This year he didn’t come!” the young man said. “Maybe you know who he is. Can you call him and tell him that we’re waiting?” I spent a few minutes chatting with my new friend before his work - selling holiday ornaments - summoned him back. I didn’t get to say what I really wanted him to know. In Maseches Sofrim (20:1), we learn that it is forbidden to light neiros Chanukah using an old ner. The Bnei Yissoschor wonders why. After all, if the reason is that an old ner constitutes bizui mitzvah, meaning that it is unfit for the mitzvah, why is it acceptable for lighting neiros Shabbos and

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Light of Chanukah

Yom Tov? Perhaps we can answer as follows. Rav Tzadok Hakohein (Pri Tzaddik, Chodesh Kislev) explains why the months of the Jewish calendar in the Torah aren’t referred to by their names. Why does the Torah refer to the months by their number, Nissan as Chodesh Harishon, Iyar as Chodesh Hasheini, and so on? Also, if the months do not have biblical names, why did Chazal find a need to name them? He explains that every month brings a new understanding of Torah. The patterns in the sky reflect a cosmic shift, and new Divine hashpa’os. Month after month, year after year, things keep changing, presenting new opportunities, new energy and new kochos. Every month there is a different hashpo’ah and understanding in Torah, but it isn’t germane to that specific month. To have named a month would have meant identifying its unique characteristic, which was impossible during an era when each month was a springboard for freshness and innovation. It was only once Chazal perceived that the era of evolvement was over; the months had assumed a pattern, that they finally selected names, each one reflecting the essential nature of the month. Iyov said (Iyov 31:24), “Im samti za-

is that keis, the cover, the layer of concealment, on the lamid vov neiros, the 36 candles we light cumulatively over the eight days of Chanukah, is removed. By contemplating the 36 dancing flames over the eight days of Chanukah, we see the brightness of the ohr haganuz, the ever-present hidden light, because the cover has been removed When we say Shema Yisroel, we cover our eyes, hinting at the fact that we believe in Hashem’s Oneness, though we don’t actually see it in olam hazeh. On Chanukah, we uncover our eyes and see more. Perhaps this concept is fortified by the sefer Tzror Hamor (Va’eschanon, page 134), which states that Chanukah is an amalgamation of the words chanu chof hey, explaining that as a result of all the tzaros and gezeiros, the Chashmonaim were unable to properly study Torah and engage in prayer. They beat back the Yevonim in the merit of their belief in the Oneness of Hashem as expressed in the 25 letters of “Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echod.” This concept is represented in the word Chanukah, chanu chof hey. They rested after emerging victorious because of their belief in the 25 letters of Shema Yisroel.

DON’T WAIT FOR RABBI TO COME WITH THE MENORAH. DON’T LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF FOR LIGHT. hav kisli - If I put in gold my faith.” Kisli, my faith, is the root of Kislev, an expression of faith and expectation. This month is a time of bitachon. Kislev is a month when we are to fortify ourselves with faith. Just as a single light can illuminate winter’s darkness, so can a spark of faith during the month of Kislev brighten what appears to be a bleak situation. How does one acquire faith? To really believe, one has to have the patience to look, see and perceive. Kislev, seforim say, is composed of the words Keis and lamid vov.The explanation

We light the menorah and recite “Haneiros hallolu kodesh heim, these flames are holy, ve’ein lonu reshus lehishtameish bohem ela lirosam bilvod - and we may not use them for anything; we may only look at them.” What can we see in these lights? What message do they bear for us? Perhaps the lights show us who we are and what we are capable of becoming. The biggest impediment to emunah and bitachon and to improving ourselves is the belief that we have been off track for so long that we can’t change. We become stuck in a rut, thinking that we are too far gone. We

fail to see the possibilities and powers that each new day presents. We don’t realize that just as Hashem is, “mechadeish betuvo bechol yom tomid ma’asei bereishis,” we can also recreate ourselves and improve every day. On Chanukah, the Chashmonaim demonstrated that a person can be a mischadeish and start again anytime. When the Chashmonaim decided that they had enough of the persecution by the Yevonim and, relying on their faith, went to war to restore the ability to study Torah and perform mitzvos, there was nothing to mark the period as unique and an auspicious time to start anew. When there is promise in the air, it is easier to motivate people to join the cause, because novelty inspires passion. The Chanukah miracle transpired in the middle of the era of Bayis Sheini. There was no new building or seder ha’avodah to rally around. Though the people had acclimated to the Greek persecution and accepted it as a fact of life, the Chashmonaim were able to convince them that they were capable of improving themselves and their situation. They motivated a depressed people to realize that although they were in a sad state, they could recreate reality and regain control of their own destiny. The word Chanukah is rooted in the Hebrew word chinuch, which means inauguration. Chanukah is a time of chinuch, not only because of the chanukas haMikdosh, but also because the Chashmonaim taught us about re-inauguration. They imparted the message that we can start again, re-consecrate, and be mechaneich. Even if we are not at a beginning, we can fashion a new beginning at any time. To be able to accomplish that, a person has to be able to look past the mediocrity he has become accustomed to, forget old habits and attitudes, and rethink his position. All around us, we see examples of what happens when people are too set in their ways to see things honestly and too protective of their agendas to acknowledge the truth. There is an old Yiddish joke about a young child who disliked potato latkes. His siblings loved the scrumptious treat, but he despised them. His wise mother,


The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

knowing that it was unnatural, since he loved each of the ingredients on their own, had an idea. She invited him into the kitchen and allowed him to assist her in peeling the potatoes. Then she heated oil and fried the onions, watching his appetite grow. He enjoyed helping her pour the salt and form the latkes, excited to eat the mysterious dish with the delicious aroma. Finally, they were ready to eat and she laid them out on an attractive platter. Her little helper opened his eyes wide. “Latkes?!” he shouted. “No way!” With that, he ran out of the kitchen. He was too beholden to his anti-latkes habit to admit that as he participated in fashioning them, he had gained a new appreciation for the delicacy. The joke and its lesson are reminiscent of the stubborn refusal of the Obama administration to recognize the truth when they see it. Like a child who doesn’t see the ingredients, just the latkes, they insist on screaming, “Gun control!” at every opportunity. When two terrorists murder 14 people in San Bernardino, California, liberals refuse to acknowledge the obvious. Instead, they search for ways to use the crisis to further their agenda. While evidence and common sense point to Islamic terrorism, they beat the drums of gun control. Not only do they ignore the fact that California has the toughest gun laws in the country, they refuse to utter the words “radical Islam” or “Islamic terror,” lest acknowledging the obvious would force them to admit that their agenda is built on fallacies. The administration has shown this tendency to repeatedly act against common sense and the truth. It forced its health plan on an unwilling country, claiming against all evidence to the contrary that the plan would lower insurance rates and become extremely popular. Instead, it has sent rates through the sky and ruined what had been the best health care system in the world. Yet, they still claim that their plan is successful. The administration forced a deal with Iran, which, in effect, enables it to become the dominant power in the region and acquire nuclear weapons. Acting irrationally, administration members still say that they have achieved an historic accord. Meanwhile, they turn over $150 billion to the world’s greatest supporter of terror, allowing them to continue to disrupt the combustible Middle East. Iran has not yet complied with the International Atomic Energy Group, yet the biggest sponsor of terror is enabled to become stronger and more influential. Since he was elected, President Barack Obama has been at Israel’s throat, attempt-

ing to force a peace deal with the Palestinians. Not only did he not achieve anything, but he made things worse. He ruined a rock-solid relationship between two allies. He tormented Israel’s prime minister, a man with a strong following around the world, renowned for his ability to understand and battle terror and to communicate the danger that Islamists present to the world. Obama inserted the bogus issue of a settlement construction freeze into the negotiations, giving support to the Palestinians in their battle of wits against Israel, causing the talks to implode. The president has been told how much ISIS has grown, yet he tells the American people that the group has been contained. There is no presidential leadership to indicate that the country will name the enemy and fight it, ridding the world of the threat. He called the Paris attacks a setback as he launched into his war against global warming, blaming it for the terror. Distanced and tone-deaf, he was forced to deliver an address to the nation, defending his strategy, which has been proven to be ineffective. The administration and like-minded liberals refuse to acknowledge Islamic terror because they claim that acts of terror are not inspired by Islam. Terror is performed by radical groups, who are not Islam, who hijack Islam. Thus the administration never refers to Islamic terror, for it is not Islamic and Islam is a religion of peace. They claim there is nothing in Islam that would prompt believers to engage in terror. They ignore the fact that jihad is an Islamic concept. For seven years, he has not taken the terror issue seriously. When an American was beheaded this past summer, he addressed the nation for a few moments and then returned to the golf course. With the anxiety in the country growing, he stood on Sunday night in front of his teleprompter and read the speech his aides forced on him. The president introduced nothing new to combat the rising terror around the world. He preached against looking at Muslims differently. He reverted to his agenda that Islam is a religion of peace and that gun laws are responsible for the carnage. He then went out to a Hollywood-style party. Agendas based on fiction enslave a person, making him incapable of seeing things as they are, impairing him like a form of blindness. They hold back any hope of success in tackling the problem and instead, allow it to fester and grow. The re-consecration celebrated on Chanukah is brought about by rethinking what we had thought was reality, remembering old ambitious dreams and letting go of darkness brought on by wrongful agen-

das. This enables us to lift ourselves out of whatever is pulling us down. We are all familiar with the tradition that there are 36 hidden tzaddikim who sustain the world. Yet, we mistakenly assume that those individuals have a lifelong lock on the position. Rav Aryeh Levin taught that although there are 36 secret tzaddikim whose merit supports the world’s existence, anyone can be that tzaddik on any given day. Just because someone was ordinary yesterday doesn’t mean that he can’t be a tzaddik who upholds the world today. Every person has the ability to rise to that exalted level. You just have to believe in yourself. Perhaps the 36 Chanukah candles hint to that concept as well. The keis lamid vov, the concept of a cover being removed from the 36 candles that are kindled on Chanukah, is a reminder that we can be a lamid vov tzaddik if we remove the cover and see the ability we possess. Perhaps we can say this is the reason why people present gifts to family and friends on Chanukah. The concept celebrates the notion that we can all have new beginnings. It reminds us that Chanukah is a celebration of the chinuch of the Chashmonaim. When we think of new, we should know that there is nothing as new as fresh resolve, and nothing as promising and exciting as a new attitude. Rav Nachman of Breslov reveals another meaning of the name of this month. Kislev, he says, is roshei teivos of “Vayar Ki Sor Liros” (Shemos 3:4). Hashem saw that Moshe Rabbeinu stopped to ponder the bush that was burning in the desert and not being consumed by the fire. The Seforno says that he paused and tried to understand the phenomenon he was witnessing, “lehisbonen badovor.” Lesser people observe phenomenal occurrences and walk by, seemingly oblivious to what they have seen. They don’t want to have their comfort zone punctured by seeing something new that might cause them to look at the world differently. It is much easier and less taxing to look, say, “Wow!” and keep walking, without being challenged or getting involved. Moshe Rabbeinu was different. Stopping, approaching and trying to understand what he was seeing marked him as a leader. That is the avodah of Kislev. Rav Zalman Sender Kahana Schapiro was famous throughout Lita and Poland as a talmid chochom and tzaddik. There were legends about his brachos, as everyone believed that they had a special power. In his town, there lived a water carrier. One day, the am ha’aretz heard a speech

about the importance of Torah and the respect that talmidei chachomim deserve for their accomplishments. He was convinced and decided that he would become a Torah scholar. The unlearned, simple man went to the famed rov and asked for a brochah. “Rebbe, I want to become a talmid chochom,” he said. “Please bless me.” The rov looked at the water-carrier for a long moment and said, “Reb Feivel, tell me that you want to become a talmid chochom.” The water-carrier nodded eagerly. “Yes, rebbe, I do.” “No, Reb Feivel. Shout it like you really mean it!” said the rov. The water-carrier was a tall, burly man with a loud voice. “Rebbe, ich vil zein ah talmid chochom!” he shouted with all his might. The rov’s household heard. Neighbors down the street heard the water-carrier’s voice. The rov blessed him, and the uneducated laborer soon found his place in the bais medrash. He eventually became a choshuve talmid chochom. In retelling this story, Rav Yeruchim Olshin wondered why Rav Zalman Sender made the water-carrier express his wish in that manner. Surely, the rov’s brochah would have worked regardless of whether the man shouted it at the top of his lungs or not. Rav Olshin explained that Rav Zalman Sender wanted the fellow to perceive his own ability, contemplate the possibility of growth, and make a conscious decision. Then, the brochah is just an added benefit. No one can give us a brochah if we don’t first bless ourselves. So perhaps that is the chinuch we celebrate on Chanukah - the opportunity to find a way out, to discover latent gifts within ourselves. Through contemplating them - seeing them for the first time - we allow them to shine. That is why we don’t use an old ner. Find a new ner, we are being told. Tap into the message of these days and their power. We can find chiddush. We can bring newness into our lives. Had I had the time, this is the message that I would have loved to share with the sweet Israeli teenager in the mall: Don’t wait for rabbi to come with the menorah. Don’t look outside of yourself for light. Don’t wait for others to be your shamash. There is a fire within you. You just need to find the flame. Ah lichtigen Chanukah.

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The History & Archaeology of Chanukah Aaron Feigenbaum

If a survey questioned people about the defining feature of Chanukah, most would probably note the amazing miracle of a one-day supply of pure menorah oil which lasting eight days. Indeed, the whole purpose of lighting the menorah in our homes, is to commemorate that very miracle. Yet, to fully appreciate the importance of Chanukah to Judaism and Jewish history, and to understand just how big of a miracle it really was, one must look back at the historical context. As we’ll see, the events that led up to the menorah miracle

ed, but it was quite effective in subjugating highly diverse populations who were spread across vast swathes of territory. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Hellenism has had an enormous impact on the Roman Empire, the development of Christianity up to modern Western thought. In any event, the introduction of Hellenism into Eretz Yisroel, achieved the Greeks’ intended result: they created strife and factionalism amongst the Jews and thus make it easier to impose Greek rule. So-called “Hellenistic Judaism” became a major force in Jewish society to the point that a translation of the Torah into Greek was written (the Septuagint) and some kohanim adopted Greek names. According to

by retired Greek soldiers when Alexander the Great conquered the region. Tel Maresha developed into a major Hellenistic city inhabited by a variety of Greek-dominated cultures such as the Nabataeans and Sidonians. Hellenism became an everyday fact of Jewish life, as exemplified by Philo, a Jewish philosopher who sought to interpret Judaism through the lens of Hellenism. Yet, under the surface there were groups opposed to Greek rule and who wanted to purify the land of foreign influence and bring Jews back to authentic Judaism. The victory in Eretz Yisroel of the Seleucid Greeks over the Ptolemaic Greeks kindled hope in the eyes of those who

a pagan sacrifice on the Mishkan. Matisyahu died a year later and was succeeded by his son Yehuda. The Maccabees didn’t have either the manpower or weaponry that the Greeks did, but thanks to their spirit and determination, Yerushalayim was recaptured and the Bais HaMikdash was cleansed of pagan influence and was rededicated in Hashem’s name. Thus, the miracle of the menorah oil is not only evidence of the Hashem’s power to bend the laws of nature, but is also a sign that the Jews, by resisting Hellenic paganism, did indeed merit to continue serving Him at the Bais HaMikdash. In one of the most significant archaeological discoveries relating to this period, researchers just last month unearthed the ruins of the fortress built by Antiochus IV in Jerusalem that was used during his siege of the city in 168 B.C.E. Mentioned both by Josephus and the Book of Maccabees, the Acra fortress appears to have been guarded by Hellenized Jews (misyavnim) who eventually fell to the forces of Shimon HaMaccabee in 141 B.C.E. Artifacts found at the site include lead sling stones, a catapult, bronze arrow-

Bronze arrowheads at the recently discovered Greek fortress. Photo credit IAA Aerial view of an ancient Jewish village, including Shul in the city of Modiin

over 2,000 years ago were some of the most tumultuous in Jewish history. Several centuries before the miracle, Eretz Yisroel was ruled by the Persian Empire. The Persians, under the leadership of Cyrus the Great, granted the Jews autonomy and the freedom to practice Judaism without interference. In fact, Cyrus approved and funded the construction of the Second Bais HaMikdash in the 6th century B.C.E. (as recounted in the books of Ezra, Daniel and Divrei HaYamim). It is because of this that Persian rule, though it was foreign, is regarded favorably in Jewish history. However, once Alexander the Great defeated the Persian Empire in 332 B.C.E. and established a Greek presence in Eretz Yisroel, the privileges that the Jews once enjoyed, gradually disappeared. The Greeks had no consistent policy towards their subjects: some rulers treated the Jews with relative tolerance while others were unabashedly hostile towards Jews and Judaism itself. However, what was consistent was the steady encroachment of Hellenism into everyday Jewish life and thought. The impact of Hellenism in Eretz Yisroel was the active secularization of society and the negating of the connection between Torah and Hashem. Of course, Hellenism did far less at “bettering the world” than it intend-

Cyrus the Great

Antiochus III

the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, “The Hellenic influence pervaded everything, and even in the very strongholds of Judaism it modified the organization of the state, the laws, and public affairs, art, science, and industry, affecting even the ordinary things of life and the common associations of the people.” Looking at the archaeological records, we can see how this extensive influence actually took form. Take for instance, the ancient Canaanite city of Tel Kedesh, near the Golan. The archaeological site not only shows it was the location of battle between the Jews and their Greek/Roman oppressors, but also symbolizes Hellenism itself. Inside the large administrative complex, researchers excavated over 2,000 bullae (clay seals) depicting Greek rulers and Roman merchants. Consider also the famous spring of Banias, also in Golan, where Greek rulers built a pagan temple that replaced an earlier one built by the Cannanites. And, there’s Tel Maresha, located near the West Bank, which was originally settled by Edomites, who were later joined

Gold coin of Arsinoë Philadelphus (II) discovered at Tel Kedesh. Photo by Sue Webb, courtesy IAA.

wanted a return to Persian-style rule where their religious rights would be respected and outside interference would be limited. These hopes were granted by King Antiochus III who, as the ancient Jewish historian Josephus put it, let the Jews live “according to the laws of their forefathers.” However, Antiochus III’s son Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Judea and reversed his father’s tolerant policies by placing idolatry right in the Beis HaMikdash. Not only that, he threatened Jews with death if they circumcised their sons, forbade observance of Shabbos, ended korbanos and made possession of Torah scrolls a capital offense. At this point, with the very survival of Judaism on the line, those groups that had once plotted in the shadows against the Greeks, now came out openly and in full force against Antiochus’ oppressive regime. Matisyahu, a priest, and his five sons, officially started the Maccabean Revolt by killing a Jew who wanted to follow Antiochus’ order to, chas v’shalom, make

heads, ballista stones marked with the image of a pitchfork (symbolizing Antiochus IV) and a trove of coins dating from the reigns of Antiochus IV to that of Antiochus VII. According to the researchers involved in the dig, “This stronghold controlled all means of approach to the Temple, and cut the Temple off from the southern parts of the city. The many coins dating from the reign of Antiochus IV [Epiphanes] to that of Antiochus VII [Sidetes] and the large number of wine jars (amphorae) that were imported from the Aegean region to Jerusalem and were found at the site bear witness to the citadel’s age, as well as to the non-Jewish identity of its inhabitants.” Archaeologists have been searching for this crucial archaeological site for over a century. Another crucial archaeological find from this era is Umm el-Umdan in the modern city of Modi’in. Meaning “Mother of Pillars” in Arabic, excavations have uncovered evidence of an ancient Jewish village, possibly the one from which the Maccabees originate. Underneath the site’s ancient Herodian-era shul lies another shul that dates to the time of the Maccabees. Nearby at Horbat Ha-Gardi are what are believed to be the Maccabean family graves. Just 3 months ago, the site was rediscovered for the first time in 150 years.


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Unfortunately, while the buildings seem to match the descriptions from 150 years ago, the archaeologists couldn’t draw any definitive conclusions as many of the stones and artifacts have been stolen. Life after the Maccabean revolt was markedly better for the Jews of Eretz Yisroel. Jewish rule over the Land, in the form of the Hasmonean dynasty, was reestablished in 140 B.C.E. for the first time in centuries, albeit with nominal Greek sovereignty. As the Greek empire crumbled, the Hasmoneans became fully independent in 110 B.C.E. and expanded into parts of modern day Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. However, the threats of Roman domination and internal strife loomed large. Indeed, these threats became fully manifest when Shimon HaMaccabee’s great-grandsons Aristobulus II and Hyrcanus II, fought a civil war against each other, following which the Romans were called in to “intercede.” Eventually, Herod, with the help of the Romans, overthrew the Hasmoneans in 37 B.C.E. and established himself as a puppet ruler of Judea. Between then and the establishment of the State of Israel, there was no independent

resistance to the Romans from 66-70 C.E. and has been a unifying force for Jews up to the present day. For example, a WWI British recruitment poster reads “Now is the time for Jews to reciprocate and show the old spirit of the Maccabees is not dead. Every able bodied unmarried Jew between 19 and 45 should join the British Army.” It is this same spirit that has driven the Zionist movement, militant Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky, and the Irgun. Yet, while the Maccabees have been a rallying symbol for Jews throughout the ages, we should remember not just their fearlessness in battle but really their incredible act of Kiddush Hashem. They were able to overcome the temptations and secular ideas of Greek Hellenism and re-establish Eretz Yisrael as a place where Jews could worship freely. They united fiercely opposed Jewish groups under a banner of Torah observance and the rejection of foreign beliefs and foreign domination. But above all, it was their insistence on purity, as exemplified by their decision to use only pure olive oil rather than tamei oil that merited the menorah miracle. It is in this context that we should remember

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home


Feature Events The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Universal City Walk Chanukah Concert Impresses and Entertains Thousands Chanukah at Universal City Walk, hosted by Chabad of the Valley, was celebrated on Sunday December 6th at 6 – 9pm. Security was high but enthusiasm was higher as many thousands came to hear the music, be entertained

people of all levels of religiosity have an integrated life with the city. In other parts of the US and globally, the Jewish experience can be segregated, but here it seems seamless and we’re proud to be part of this city identity. There’s

radio talk show host, Michael Medved. Gad Elbaz headlined the show but there were other surprises, including Gad Elbaz’s father, Benny Elbaz, who flew in from Israel. The father and son musicians worked a set with

by guest speaker Michael Medved, and join in the event that is a tribute to Jewish pride. This was the 14th year that City Walk has hosted the evening, which has become an expression of Jewish support for Israel and a major event on the Jewish music scene, since its inauguration by Rabbi Yossi Beitelman from Chabad of Studio City. Event organizers Rabbi Mayer Greene and Jonathan Herzog have loved growing the event from a simple Chanukah gathering with just a few bands, to a professionally produced music event of the highest caliber and a source of pride for singers and musicians who are invited to perform. More than 20 Rabbi’s and team members come on board to create the show. Universal Studios support the Chanukah Concert, which is as popular as their New Year’s Eve event, the only massive events they allow. It is the Universal sound and lighting technicians who provide the backbone of the event and this they did with success. Rabbi Greene knew the concert had come of age when a kosher food vendor came to him a few years ago and gave his blessing, saying that he

a tolerance and an easy-going’ness that is tremendous. Still, by the same token, it’s easy for Jews to get lost, and this event is appealing to all kinds of families and the population at large. It’s not rowdy and it’s great fun and it reminds people to celebrate Chanukah with joy.” Security was well planned with the Sherriff’s department and the LAPD, a canine unit and other levels of law enforcement who worked alongside the organizers. In the early days, security was lightweight but it’s now a highly coordinated security set up. Herzog produces the music for the concert and admits it takes a great deal of time and negotiations to secure availability from the most popular Jewish musicians. “The Jewish music scene is based in New York but we bridge that gap. I think we have managed to bring Los Angeles into the limelight. This is now a major event. Performers covet their involvement with the concert and it’s a great audience to play for as there is so much goodwill, enthusiasm and coverage of the event.” This year included a

music from the days when Benny Elbaz played in Israel. Rabbi Mendel Lipskier was moved by the performance saying, “They were very modern-looking but they were full of Jewish pride and Chassidic warmth. Elbaz is unique and noisy with his Jewishness and it was great!”

had left his six year old daughter at home as he thought it wasn’t a suitable event for a traditional Jewish girl to attend. Instead, he could see that it was the perfect event and he had returned to bring her along. Rabbi Greene explained, “I think the Los Angeles sense of Jewish pride is unique. Jewish

performance by Edon Pinchot, the 16 year old singer who won the hearts of the Jewish community by sporting his yarmulke while successfully competing on the 2012 America’s Got Talent TV show. Pinchot lives in Chicago but he flew to LA and was introduced to the crowd with video clips of his on-air performance, by

Another highlight of the evening was a video presentation that showed the wedding of Sarah Techiya Litman to Ariel Biegel on November 26th. The young couple initially postponed their marriage when Litmans’s father and 18 year old brother were murdered by terrorists on November 13th. Subsequently, they decided to open their wedding to the public and more than 800 guests came to support them in their wedding vows. The chuppah was attend-

ed by the Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau and Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar. Sarah Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s wife, later blessed the newlyweds. Greene explained, “If ever there was a show of Jewish unity in the face of adversity, this was it!”

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eht tup ,ti lleps ot syaw ynam osehhttiW tup ,ti lleps ot syaw ynam os htiW eht fo redro ni sgnilleps gniwolloefht fo redro ni sgnilleps gniwollof :etareneg yeht stih elgooG fo tnu:eotm araeneg yeht stih elgooG fo tnuoma

em hakkunah C oR .c  hakunahCnarI .d  hakunnahC nomihS ot nwo waoHb oh W  adkkduen daztaH  hak?ukniadH  hakskeuhncnoayH itnA .a  hakuuhnanyasH itaM .b  atkruen taerG eh danhaC xelA .c  askuunnro aH fileH .d  hakkunaH

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em el

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.3 fo rebmun latot eht si tah W .3 ?hakunahC gnirud til seldnac 4 4 .a 63 .b 4 5 .c 82 .d

-accaM eht did ytiA c -h3cih W .4 -accaM eht did ytic hcih W .4 ?ni C ev-i4l seeb ?ni evil seeb -5reY .a mi yalahD su mi yalahsu reY .a hsemehA S-t6 ieB .b hsemehS tieB .b niC ’id-7 oM .c ni ’idoM .c noC r v-e8hC .d nor vehC .d

B-182 .d D-2

Answer to riddle: Leah got her present first, then Moshe, then Sara, then Chaya, and then Tzvi.

000,004,81 : hakkunaH :srewsnA 000,002,21 : hakunaH 000,006,5 : hakunahC B-1 000,755 : hakunnaH D-2 000,684 : akunaH A-3 000,614 : akunahC C-4 000,983 : hakkunahC D-5  000,842  : akkunaH A-6 000,602 : akkunahC C-7 000,751 : hakunnahC C-8 000,76 : akunnaH 000,701 : hakkun :yneakHmodsiW 006,03 : akunnahC

ek ton saw gniwo:y llo f em ho t fdosioW h W t.5 on saw gniwollof eht fo oh W .5

ruoy wonk uoY :tcerroc 8-6 ruoy ?w oonskeuvo :th ce rrsoitcaM 8-f6o eno ?snos evfi s’uhaysitaM fo eno sn fiYs’u ay uoy nac tub( stcaf hakunahCuoy nac tub( stcaf hakaudn C .a uahh eY aduheY .a ?werbeH ni ti lleps tsuj yeht t’nod ?wyehrW beH ni ti lleps tsuj yeht t’nod yhW eeS ?delleps s’ti woh em llet eeS ?delleps s’ti woh naesm anlole Yt .b nasanoY .b .)nmuloc edis .)nmun loocmeid hiSs .c nomihS .c osla uoy oD :tcerroc 5-4 osla uoy oD :tcerrocuh5a-y4ilE .d uhayilE .d ?seldnac eht fo flah ylno thgi?l seldnac eht fo flah ylno thgil tnr’uuoocYy:atc denrre -eb os er’uoY :tcerroc 3-0 -eb oysre odco3m -0tah W .6 y rtnuoc yad nredom tah W .6 ?n ey rGn“ o ehdtneirhew ?ni desab ”skeerG“ eht erew stcaf hakunahC ruoy no dnihstcaf h aikd uensaahbC”srkueo air yS .a neve t’ndid ylbaborp uoy tahn t eve t’ndid ylbaborp uoyaitrayhSt .a eceerG .b .tey hakkus ruoy pu tup .tey hakkus ruoy epcueetruGp .b 4. Which city did the Maccabees live in? a. Yerushalayim b. Beit Shemesh c. Modi’in d. Chevron

6. What modern day country were the “Greeks” based in? a. Syria b. Greece

! g i b e li dra c t f ig e

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drow

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eht did oga sraeeym yo nR am 1 ht did oga sraey ynam woH .1 .cwoH .e ekat hakunahCnfaorIe.ld carim ekat hakunahC fo elcarim ?ecalp ?ecalp n .7omihS ot nwod dewob oh6W 023.7 .a 6023 .a ?kiddazta3H112 .b 3112d.n ba ,haeL ,aya sehcoyitnA 1.6 a41 .c 1641m.corf stneserp uhaysitaM2.0 b41 .d 2041 .d tneserp reh tog taerG eht rednaxelA .c .ehsoM ?naem ”eebascucnarM od.dtah W ?.n 2 aem ”eebaccaM“ seod tah W . 2 of“ilseeH tn ratS .a ratS .a .8 nerdlihc s’ hcaoN fo hec .8 .b tfi giahrW uoC egaruoC .b stnadnecsed skeerG eht erere idwloS .c reidloS .c red foaH .d rem?m remmaH .d rieh mehS .a ?stnes fo rebmun latom to ehC t si.btah W egap txen ?hakunahC gnirusdeftoilYse.cldnac rethguad siH .d44 .a 63 .b :srewsn A .c 45 Why don’t they just spell it in Hebrew?

6-8 correct: You know your Chanukah facts (but can you tell me how it’s spelled? See side column). 4-5 correct: Do you also light only half of the candles? 0-3 correct: You’re so behind on your Chanukah facts that you probably didn’t even put up your sukkah yet.

hakkunahC  hakunahC  hakunnahC  akkunaH  hakunaH  hakkunnaH  hakunnaH  akunahC  akunaH  hakkunaH  akunnahC  akkunahC  akunnaH

:rewsnA htiw gnola redro tcerroC stih fo rebmun

With so many ways to spell it, put the following spellings in order of the amount of Google hits they generate:

000,004,81 : hakkunaH 000,002,21 : hakunaH 000,006,5 : hakunahC 000,755 : hakunnaH 000,684 : akunaH 000,614 : akunahC 000,983 : hakkunahC  000,842  : akkunaH 000,602 : akkunahC 000,751 : hakunnahC 000,76 : akunnaH 000,701 : hakkunnaH 006,03 : akunnahC

Wisdom key:

5. Who of the following was not one of Matisyahu’s five sons? a. Yehuda b. Yonasan c. Shimon d. Eliyahu

7. Who bowed down to Shimon Hatzaddik? a. Antiyoches b. Matisyahu c. Alexander the Great d. Helifornus

Hanukkah : 18,400,000 Hanukah : 12,200,000 Chanukah : 5,600,000 Hannukah : 557,000 Hanuka : 486,000 Chanuka : 416,000 Chanukkah : 389,000 Hanukka :  248,000  Chanukka : 206,000 Channukah : 157,000 Hannuka : 67,000 Hannukkah : 107,000 Channuka : 30,600

1-B 2-D 3-A 4-C 5-D 6-A 7-C 8-C

Answer: Correct order along with number of hits

8. Which of Noach’s children were the Greeks descendants of? a. Shem b. Chom c. Yofes d. His daughter

3. What is the total number of candles lit during Chanukah? a. 44 b. 36 c. 54 d. 28

c. Rome d. Iran

1. How many years ago did the miracle of Chanukah take place? a. 3206 b. 2113 c. 1461 d. 1402

Answers:

Chanukkah Chanukah  Channukah  Hanukka  Hanukah  Hannukkah  Hannukah  Chanuka  Hanuka  Hanukkah  Channuka  Chanukka  Hannuka 

2. What does “Maccabee” mean? a. Star b. Courage c. Soldier d. Hammer

Chanukwhat?

Light up the Nights Trivia

reh tog haeL :elddir ot rewsnA reh tog haeL :elddir ot rewsnA neh t ,ehsoM neh t ,tsrfi tneserp neh t ,ehsoM neh t ,tsrfi tneserp .i vzT neh t dna ,ayahC neh t ,araS.i vzT neh t dna ,ayahC neh t ,araS

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News 24

23 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Holiday Series The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn Rav and Dean at Yeshivat Yavneh

Let us ask a few questions before we begin: Question #1: What are we supposed to learn from the Greek “exile”? Egypt I get. It symbolizes breaking free from our constraints and as we broke out we became a people. I understand the latter exiles. We were cast out of Israel. The image of the wandering Jew is developed. But this whole Greek saga is a very strange episode. Question #2: The Talmud lists several restrictive decrees imposed by the Greeks. They tried to eradicate Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh (the new month), circumcision and there was an attempt to weaken Torah knowledge. What did the Greeks see as critical in these decrees?  Question #3: We make a big deal about how we found a little flask of pure oil. According to strict Jewish law there was no need for new oil. There is a principle mentioned numerous times in the Talmud called “tumah hutrah b’tzibur” impure items in the public sphere is permissible. This law undercuts the need for the miracle.  Question #4: While Chanukah is taking place, the Torah reading deals with the interaction between Yosef and his brothers. Here are a bunch of siblings, whom the Torah considers righteous people, and they take their younger brother and cast him into a pit. How are we supposed to explain this story to our children? Also, how is it linked to Chanukah?   Thesis – Chanukah represents the battle of light against darkness.   When Yosef is thrown into the pit, that is considered the beginning of our Egyptian exile. It led to a series of unfortunate events which ultimately brings all of the Jewish people down to Egypt. Yosef in the pit as the trigger for the Egyptian exile drama is reflected through a classic Passover seder insight. We observe the ritual of karpas (dipping a green vegetable in salt water) at the beginning of our Seder (Sefer Hamanoach, Hilchot Chametz U’matza 8:2). Why karpas? The Talmud (Pesachim 114b) answers “so the kids will ask ‘why’”. Okay, but then why karpas? When we are first introduced to the special coat of many colors that Yaakov gave Yosef, Rashi describes it as “karpas”. [How karpas went from a material to a vegetable is for another discussion.] This is why we perform karpas at the beginning of the seder. It reminds us how we got into this mess in the first place. Brother raised his hand against brother. From that moment everything devolved. There is something so incredible about Yosef. Yosef taught us how to find light in darkness. That was his specialty. From the darkness of a terrible situation, Yosef emerged as a brilliant leader in the court

The Deepest Chanukah Light of the Pharaoh. “And Hashem was with Yosef, and he became a successful man in the house of his Egyptian master (Genesis 39:2).” Yosef did more than just teach us how to find light in darkness. He even went as far as to plant the light for us by sowing the seeds of redemption. “And Yosef says to his brothers, I am going to die, but G-d pakod yifkod  (will redeem) you… (Genesis 50:24).” Those words were a code which Yosef left in Egypt so the people will know that it’s time for the uprising as soon as they hear those words again. Like the Jewish Conversos in Spain, they had some of the tradition Jewish blessings etched under their tales so when no one was watching they could recite the blessings with their family. Yosef planted some light in the darkness. The Rebbe of Stichin (notes to Toldos, 5775) asks how it is that we make the blessing “baruch …gaal Yisrael” - Blessed is the God who redeemed Israel?  Redeemed? Look around at what’s going on in the world; this isn’t redemption yet? The Rebbe of Stichin answers that just as Yosef has planted the way out in the darkness we must realize that the tunnel is already here. We just haven’t found it yet. This idea is reminiscent of a teaching from Rav Gedaliah of Linitz (Teshuot Chein, Shoftim): when typical repentance doesn’t seem to be working, “G-d digs a tunnel beneath His Throne” that allows us to immediately find the light when hope is lost. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev has this idea, as well, in his story “The Lost Princess.” The viceroy is searching for the princess and is about to give up. Right at that moment he takes a ‘path to the side’ which leads to her. This path is the code which Yosef planted. This path is the tunnel dug by G-d this available to us all. When Yosef is in the chamber of the wife of Potiphar, she seduces him. He is about to give in. At that moment, he says something remarkable: “And how can I do this great bad thing, and since against G-D?” (Genesis 39:9). What makes this verse so exciting is that G-d’s name if mentioned in the vilest of moments. Here stands Yosef, in the house of the wife of Potiphar, removed from his father’s Torah, estranged from his family. He has no access to education; he’s a stranger in a strange land. And he is one touch away from breaking his moral code. Specifically in the midst of that darkness he calls on the name of G-d. He fights back the darkness. Back to Chanukah. The  Bnei Yissaschar (Maamarei Chodesh Kislev Teves, 2:21) writes that Chanukah is the holiday where we have the revelation of the ohr haganuz – the primordial light hidden away from begin of creation. What he means to say is that Chanukah is Yosef. Just as Yosef brought a light in the middle of the darkness

we do the same on Chanukah. Chanukah appears in the middle of winter when the nights drag on the longest. The Sfas Emes points out that on Chanukah we will light a total of 36 candles. These 36 candles refer to the 36 hidden tsaddikimrighteous ones. That’s a nice idea but what does it mean? It means that the tzadik is the light in the darkness. Yosef is referred to as ‘Yosef HaTzadik’ because that is what he does; bring light. Chanukah is the holiday where we push back against the darkness. We stare at the Chanukah lights and we realize that they represent us; what we are capable of. Antithesis – There is no darkness. Some of you may have the seen the movie Creed (in other words: Rocky 7). There’s a scene where Rocky takes Creed, Apollo’s son, to the mirror. He says to him “I want you to meet your biggest enemy.” Creed looks at Rocky in wonderment. But then he gets it. There is no enemy other than ourselves. Rocky says to Creed, “Hang out here a little. I want you to get to know.” This simple perspective opens up a whole different way of looking at Chanukah.  Let’s open this up a bit by presenting an interesting debate. The Degel Machaneh Ephraim (Shemos – “Vayeirah Malach Hashem”) asks how we deal with a foreign thought that enters our mind in the middle of prayers. He answers that it is our job to lift these strange sparks and elevate them to a G-dly level. If we are working on serving G-d and we are working on how we pray or how we care for others and suddenly there is some interruption, the Degel Machaneh Ephraim argues that we must resist and fight back against the darkness and ultimately elevate it. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, (Likutei Moharan 115) presents a different approach. The Torah tells us that Moshe “approached the smoke for there was G-d.” This verse is teaching us that G-d was there in the cloud. Imagine an individual who has led a narcissistic life. Previously self-indulged, they now want to change. When we make a decision for change in our lives, our progress can be stilted when we hit a wall. Some snare stands in our way. Rebbe Nachman says that we need to stop seeing these distractions as a foreign enemy but rather understand that this is G-d. In the middle of the smoke, there did Moshe find G-d. What is this somewhat esoteric debate between the Deger Macheneh Ephraim and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov all about? The Degel Machaneh Ephraim is a reflection of our original thesis – life is filled with darkness. It is our job to shine a light and fight.  Rebbe Nachman says, stop fighting. You can’t keep winning some battles and losing some battles. Rather, open your eyes and recognize, when you have clarity when you truly understand what you’re about,

then you will begin to realize there is no more darkness. This new approach can help us understand Chanukah somewhat differently. Yosef is a fighter and in the pit he meets snakes and scorpions. Yosef fights his way out into the light. He’s in the house of the wife of Potiphar and Yosef finds a way out. And then again he’s in the dungeon but this time he’s going to come out and stay out forever. What changed? At a certain point he comes to the realization that there is no struggle, there is no fight, no enemy that you keep pushing back at. He tells his brothers to ‘come to Egypt. I’m going to show you how to thrive anywhere!’ Chanukah, as we pointed out, is the revelation of the hidden light. You can understand this teaching the classic way (thesis #1) that is the light pushing back the darkness in the long winter. Or you can understand it a la thesis #2, or as the Lubavitcher Rebbe says it: “when there is light, there is no darkness.” Chanukah is a time when we can realize that this world is so beautiful; our strength can achieve so much good. The Greeks tried to eliminate Shabbos observance, Rosh Chodesh, circumcision and commitment to Torah. Each of these reflects a passing of the baton from G-d to us. Hashem turns to us and says “I’ve given you the tools. I’ve given you the light. Now finish the job.” Shabbos is merely a shell without the rabbinic laws such a muktzah, and shevus (rabbinic additions). Rosh Chodesh celebrates the fact that we dictate the Jewish calendar. Circumcision is a declaration that WE finish what G-d has created. And Torah – Torah is an unending well that bursts forth with the teachings of our tradition and our mesorah. We are that light. There is a great teacher of Breslov Torah named Avraham Tzvi Kluger. He points out that every time the Jews were sent into exile the only way it was accomplished was by first dismantling their Temple. Without a Beis HaMikdash, the Jews are vulnerable. Whether in Egypt or in Rome – when we are without our central focal point, we are at risk. The Greeks tried something totally different. They recognized that there doesn’t need to be annihilation. They walked right into the Temple and didn’t burn it or remove it. But, they made it impure. They didn’t delete the Torah; they corrupted it. To simplify, they wanted to put out the light. May this Chanukah be filled with an abundance of light. May we push back the darkness or may we realize a world where there is no darkness.    

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People The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Opening Act for Moshiach… on the Women’s Side Rebecca Klempner

As Judy Winegard tells it, the offer to appear on Broadway came with strings attached. If she accepted the role, she would have to break Shabbos. Although Winegard had been dreaming of Broadway longer than she had been keeping Shabbos, she chose Shabbos. It was not an easy decision. She explains, “That meant giving up everything I had and everything I’d known…I realized that if I wanted my will to be Hashem’s will, then I would have to let go. So I let go…And that was hard, because that’s how I defined myself. I defined myself as a performer.” Little did Winegard know that she was just beginning a career that would make her face – and her voice – recognizable to Jewish women and girls world-wide. A Lifelong Dream When we met recently, Winegard told me she had been a shy child. But, “once I got friends or family members in my house…[y]ou had no choice but to buy my ‘ticket’ for my theater production in the living room…if you were familiar, and I was in a familiar place, I was comfortable.

I always knew what I wanted to do, but I was paralyzed with fear.” Her parents, themselves performers, encouraged her singing and acting talents. “My mother brought me to an all-day class at Adelphi University when I was 10 to learn how to confront those fears. It worked!” During high school, Winegrad took classes at Boces Performing Arts and Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan and performed with her drama troupe. Later, she attended Ithaca College and received a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Drama. She dreamed of a Broadway career and headed for New York City, where she lived for the next few years. After failing to make a break into the business, and tiring of the hyper-competitive atmosphere of Manhattan, Winegard wanted to try something new. She headed for Los Angeles when someone asked her to sing for the opening of a Russian restaurant. Whenever she met anyone in “the business,” she handed them an audiotape of her singing. Then the Northridge earthquake struck.

“I was living in the Valley, and Studio City – where I lived – was hit pretty hard. My parents were in Israel because my younger sister was about to give birth…Most people didn’t have cell phone at the time, and my sister was living in Shilo. There was no television there. When I finally got them on the phone, and said, ‘Don’t worry! I’m okay,’ they had no idea what I was talking about. “While I was on the phone telling my parents this, I got a call on the other line. It was Stuart Wax calling. He was a music agent who I’d given one of those tapes of my singing. When I told him I was on the other line with my parents in Israel, he must’ve thought, ‘Here’s a nice Jewish girl,’ because after he arranged a business meeting with me at Pat’s he invited me for Shabbos dinner.” Wax and his wife lived in a small apartment where they hosted many guests for Shabbos meals. Winegard didn’t attend every week, but she attended often, meeting many Jews in the music and theater scenes. She also found herself increasingly drawn to Yiddishkeit. Eventually, she got a role as the first understudy for the female lead in “Jekyll and Hyde” while it toured the U.S. “I was pretty miserable. I was trying to hold on. I brought a lot of books on the road with me, but they wouldn’t even let me light Shabbos candles behind stage on Friday night.” Not long after her return from that tour, she got that offer to perform on stage in New York. Late one Friday night at the the Waxes, in a corner unnoticed by the lively crowd, Winegard chose Shabbos observance over her career. A Change in Direction At first, Winegard continued to sing in restaurants because that’s how she paid her bills. She also accompanied a well-known male simcha performer. Soon, though, she met her husband, Laibel. “Before we married, I told my husband, ‘If I’m talking about covering my hair, how can I keep singing in front of men?’” While Laibel didn’t push her decision, it became harder and harder for Winegard to justify her behavior to herself. After laughing, she told me, “Everything I have taken upon myself, Hashem has sent a test for me. I had just told Laibel, [that I didn’t want to sing in front of men anymore] and Robby Helperin, a good friend who owns Spotlight Music phoned to ask if I’d be his lead singer…and then Peter Himmelman called to ask if I’d perform with him!” After saying no to these two tempting offers, she received a call from Sarah Weintraub. Weintraub asked Winegard to perform in front of a ladies-only event for

Chabad in Santa Monica. “I was hooked,” said Winegard. Soon, Devorah Kreiman asked her to work with tween and teen students, and then Robin Garbose initiated a collaboration with Winegard that lasts to this day. She has played memorable roles in two of Garbose’s films, A Light for Greytowers and The Heart that Sings, and they co-created a one-woman play called “The Wedding Presence” which Winegard performed in New York. Additionally, she sings for women-only events nationwide and co-directs the yearly musical at Emek. Not Mere Entertainment Winegard believes her artistic endeavors are spiritual. “Dovid HaMelech is a singer-songwriter. Song is the combination of words, music, and neshama together. It’s pure.” Winegard has sung for family members in their final moments and for friends in the depths of depression. To both groups, she transmitted messages of comfort and emunah. Even her movies – which some might label “mere entertainment” – convey hope, optimism, and a Jewish world view. “So many people are feeling desperate, without hope,” she explained to me. “Song is a life raft.” When she uses music in this way, it becomes holy. “It doesn’t matter whether I’m singing in front of two hundred people, a thousand, or just ten women. Each performance is different. Women are touched. They come to me later, crying. There’s an electric connection, soul to soul.” The opening act for Moshiach…on the women’s side Right now, Winegard is preparing the students at Emek for their upcoming musical, a “Best of Broadway” review containing music written by Jewish composers. Her next album will be released soon and includes a song with lyrics by Devorah Kreiman. Winegard also very much hopes to stage “The Wedding Presence” on the West Coast. “I would like to continue to inspire frum Jewish women, but also all klal Yisroel, all Jewish women.” Once, Winegard found herself singing in front of musician Naftali Finkel, who does the sound on most of her projects. (Because of his technical role, he is permitted to hear her sing.) “How could you give THAT up?” he asked. Winegard said, “What are you talking about? I’m going to be the opening act for Moshiach…on the Women’s Side!”


Jewish The WeekHistory In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

By Rabbi Pini Dunner Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

Jewish History

Adventurer, Missionary, Conman, And Political Agitator: The Incredible Story Of Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln Part IV The story so far: Ignatz Trebitsch was born in 1879, in Paks, Hungary, to a devoutly Orthodox Jewish family. A troubled boy with a history of petty theft, he converted to Christianity to marry a gentile girl from Hamburg, Germany. They moved to Canada where he became a missionary, but after a couple of years they moved to England, and Trebitsch abandoned his religious calling to work for a wealthy British industrialist. In 1910 Trebitsch was unexpectedly elected to the British Parliament, but after just ten months he was forced to resign when it emerged he was financially bankrupt. He quickly bounced back, and began promoting various dubious business projects in Eastern Europe, duping countless investors out of their money. When the businesses collapsed Trebitsch was reduced to taking loans using forged letters of guarantee. Fearing arrest, Trebitsch tried to become a professional spy for the British, who were at war with Germany, hoping to make enough money to pay off his creditors. The scheme quickly fell apart, so to avoid arrest Trebitsch fled to New York where he fabricated a fantastic story of his involvement in espionage and intrigue, and sold it to a newspaper for money. He was arrested by the police and extradited back to London, where he was imprisoned for three years. Upon his release he went to Germany and joined forces with a group of extremist right-wing radicals, with whom he took a leading role in the abortive fiveday Kapp Putsch of 1920. When the Kapp Putsch collapsed most of the principle instigators went into hiding or left Germany to avoid arrest. Trebitsch obtained a false identity but remained in Berlin, while the authorities argued among themselves whether or not to arrest him. Eventually he left Berlin for Munich where he joined the other conspirators who had taken refuge there, protected by the right-wing sympathetic government of Gustav Ritter von Kahr. He reconnected with his new friend, the right-wing reactionary and former military commander, Colonel Max Bauer, who had written a defensive pamphlet about the Putsch and its intentions. Trebitsch went back to Berlin to try and find a publisher for the pamphlet, but once again he came to the attention of the Berlin police who were now looking to arrest him. He returned to Munich where he holed himself up in a house in which some of Germany’s most notorious right-wing extremists

were in hiding. These included Bauer, and General Erich Ludendorff, the commander of Germany’s military forces during the First World War, and a bitter opponent of postwar peace arrangements. Although there were many Germans who felt bitter about postwar arrangements, what the Kapp Putsch had proven to both Ludendorff and Bauer was that there was not yet a critical mass of people who could effectively oppose the British and French influence over Germany, and take control. But instead of giving up and moving on, they came up with an audacious plan to form alliances with similarly disenchanted groups in other countries, so that the right-wing reactionary forces in Europe could return the continent to its prewar arrangements. German militarists, Russian czarist sympathizers, Austro-Hungarian conservatives, and a range of anti-communists and malcontents would unite together in an unbeatable force to liberate Europe from the weak and ineffective governments that had emerged after the Versailles Treaty. The only government in Europe that was potentially sympathetic to such a cause was the recently formed right-wing regime of Admiral Miklós Horthy in Hungary. Bauer decided to travel to Budapest with Trebitsch to convince Horthy to support a transcontinental revolution. But first Trebitsch was sent to Berlin to raise money. Characteristically he refused to keep a low profile, and within a matter of days he was arrested and thrown into jail. In addition to his arrest the investigating officers found him in possession of a cache of documents that not only incriminated him, but also Bauer, Ludendorff, and many others, for being involved in activities that the German authorities labeled ‘High Treason’. Incredibly, Trebitsch managed to escape from jail and he disappeared from Berlin, much to the dismay of the authorities. The Munich chief of police was informed, and requested to locate Trebitsch and incarcerate him immediately. But the police chief was a right-wing sympathizer, so rather than arrest Trebitsch he allowed him to leave Munich and escape across the border into Austria. To pay for his travel and other expenses Trebitsch arranged for a correspondent of the Hearst newspaper empire to interview Ludendorff in hiding for a hefty fee, which Ludendorff immediately sent to Trebitsch. Bauer and Trebitsch made their way to Budapest, arriving there on May 15, 1920. Hungary had been in turmoil since Horthy had launched his violent coup a few months

earlier against the Soviet-sympathetic regime of Jewish-born Béla Kun (originally Kohn). Although he was now in complete control of the country, forces loyal to him and other armed militia groups continued to kill suspected communist sympathizers, and the leading world powers refused to recognize the regime. The only way Horthy could gain international recognition was if he would sign the proposed postwar peace treaty, which meant making humiliating territorial concessions. Within a a matter of weeks after Bauer’s and Trebitsch’s arrival in Budapest the treaty was forced on the Hungarians by the Allied pow-

Trebitsch after his ordination as a Buddhist monk in 1931

ers, a development that was to lead to deep and bitter resentment (much later on this was one of the reasons Horthy joined forces with Hitler, with devastating consequences for Hungarian Jewry). In the middle of May 1920, with the demands of Versailles hanging over them, and the treaty still unsigned, the new regime was ready to talk to anyone who might help keep their country intact. The timing of the arrival of the two insurrectionists from Germany could therefore nor have been more fortuitous. They were given five-star treatment and feted wherever they went. Within a couple of days Horthy met them privately, as a result of which he designated three of his closest reactionary collaborators – all of them squalid ultra-nationalist extremists - to discuss and formulate their proposal. One of them was a brutal paramilitary murderer, Pál Prónay, commander of a violent ‘white terror’ militia group who was also a vicious anti-Sem-

ite. At the first meeting with Bauer and Trebitsch, Prónay agitatedly pulled Bauer aside and, glancing across at Trebitsch, exclaimed in a hoarse whisper, “Colonel, your dark, fat friend is a Jew! I don’t feel safe talking in front of him!” Bauer laughed, shook his head and placed a reassuring arm around Prónay’s shoulders, telling him, “I would put my hand in the fire for that man – you can talk in front of him without any fear whatsoever.” Prónay was skeptical and remained extremely suspicious of the “dark, fat Jew” throughout their liaisons. Bauer, meanwhile, would soon enough have cause to regret his confidence in Trebitsch. For the next few days there were intensive discussions and a plan was formulated that described a strategy to combine the forces of all the nationalist, anti-communist, postwar disillusioned groups of Hungary, Germany and Russia into one force that would then militarily and politically undo the new realities that had been imposed on Europe in Versailles. The plan relied on a cast of characters that included Russian political and military émigrés in Germany, leading German military heroes such as Bauer and Ludendorff, and the new Hungarian government together with its array of reactionary supporters. Funding glossed over, but it was assumed that the Hungarian government would take on the initial expenses and that as the revolution crystallized money would materialize from a number of sources. The plan was completed and written up by Trebitsch, and signed by Bauer, on May 26, 1920. In early June, Hungarian representatives went ahead and signed the peace treaty at the Trianon Palace in Versailles, leaving Hungary with just 28% of the territory it had controlled before the war. Undoubtedly the attitude towards signing had softened with the knowledge that a plan now existed that would potentially render the peace terms irrelevant within a short space of time. Even as the ink was drying on the newly signed treaty the conspiracy was gathering pace in Budapest. Russian czarist generals and Hungarian officials met secretly with Bauer and Trebitsch to finalize the proposed alliance which would lead to ‘a great Russia, a great Germany, and a great Hungary’. There was a even the suggestion that Trebitsch should go and meet with the emerging fascist leader in Italy, Benito Mussolini, to secure his support for the revolution, but that meeting never materialized. Then, in the month July things began to

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unravel. Trebitsch became very frustrated that Ludendorff – who commanded enormous respect in Germany and beyond, and whose public support for the plan was crucial – had remained aloof and refused to join him and Bauer in Budapest. The plan also relied heavily on Hungarian government support, but Horthy and his coterie of advisors had begun to lose interest. For all kinds of reasons they had become reluctant to stir up a hornets nest across Europe, particularly if doing so in-

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

horrified by his disappearance and even more so by the theft of the documents. He desperately tried to locate Trebitsch, but to no avail. He then asked Prónay to find Trebitsch and bring him back to Budapest by any means. Prónay dispatched two associates to track Trebitsch down, kidnap him, and bring him back, but although the pair managed to find him they were unable to carry out their orders. Trebitsch was in hiding, desperately trying to secure his safety, and his financial security.

Abbot Chau Kung and his monastic disciples. From 1931 he would be constantly accompanied by this group wherever he went.

volved a collection of embittered nationalists with nothing more in common than a desire to turn their resounding defeat into a vindicating victory. In addition to this, in the previous month the tide had begun to turn against the anti-Soviet White Army in the Rissian civil war, which reduced the importance of the Russian collaborators. Meanwhile the political pendulum in Europe had visibly started to swing to the right, which meant that a violent right-wing pancontinental coup was less urgent. With each passing week Horthy became less inclined to take the lead in what he realized could turn out to be an utter fiasco. At around the same time Trebitsch became aware of a plot to kill him. An odious German nationalist involved with the plotters, Franz von Stephani - who was possibly Jewish - wrote to an associate in Budapest asking to have Trebitsch eliminated. Somehow Trebitsch saw the letter and confronted Bauer, who told him he had nothing to fear. But Trebitsch was naturally anxious. He was well aware that many of the people they were dealing with were coldblooded murderers, and he must certainly have been aware that they were rabid anti-Semites. Stephani’s letter abruptly woke him up to the fact that he wasn’t involved in some shifty business deal, or a diplomatic row with an ambassador, or a parochial political skirmish. The people he was now involved with were by-and-large amoral schemers for whom life was cheap, and whose readiness to kill was undeniable. In early September, while on a ‘mission’ to Vienna, Trebitsch suddenly disappeared from sight, taking with him a suitcase full of documents containing all the intricate details of the conspiracy. Bauer was

He approached both the British and the French embassies in Vienna and tried to sell them the documents, with the claim they contained vital military and political information that would guarantee the future security of Europe. The irony of this dreadful treachery was not that it had been so presciently predicted by Prónay only a couple of months earlier, as much as it had been Trebitsch who had himself formulated much of the material that he was now offering for sale. The British were understandably wary of Trebitsch. The French were similarly disinterested, and rejected his offer. So Trebitsch shopped the documents around and discovered that the Czechoslovakian government was extremely eager to get their hands on them. The newly formed country of Czechoslovakia was made up entirely of territory taken from Hungary and Austria, and its leaders were terrified that Hungary would join forces with reactionary forces within Czechoslovakia and attempt to repossess what they had lost. Trebitsch journeyed to Prague to negotiate the sale. Once there he managed to secure a substantial price for his document collection. The Czechoslovak Government immediately attempted to use the information contained in the documents as propaganda by contacting a variety of international newspapers with the story of the conspiracy. They also reached out to diplomatic contacts in various countries to inform them of the impending threat. But what they discovered on both fronts was that Trebitsch was considered so unreliable, that no one paid too much attention to what he had shared with the Czechs, and the British Foreign Office actively dismissed the information

as ‘concoctions’. For Trebitsch this was the last straw. For the first time he had actually been in possession of valuable intelligence information, having been at the very heart of a nascent reactionary movement that threatened the stability of the free world, a movement that was the beginning of a trend that would ultimately morph into fascism and Nazism. But Trebitsch’s tarnished reputation militated against anyone of note taking anything he said or conveyed in

General Erich Ludendorff, former commander of the German army and a friend of Bauer, who knew Trebitsch but ultimately did not publicly support him and Bauer

documents remotely seriously. Even if there were those who believed he had been involved with Bauer and Ludendorff, Horthy and the Russians, his very participation in the events he described meant that the plot must be fantasy, and the plotters fantasists. In late December 1920, The Times newspaper in London published a three-part summary of Trebitsch’s documents in which his name featured frequently. Editorial comment scorned the entire conspiracy, referring to it as the hopeless dreams of a bunch of powerless and delusional ideologues, proven principally by the fact that they had involved Trebitsch. The one who suffered most from Trebitsch’s latest shenanigans was his former mentor and ‘friend’, Colonel Max Bauer. Ridiculed and criticized in equal measure by friend and foe, Bauer went into hiding near Munich, where he wrote a number of confused and confusing accounts of his involvement with his former protégé, which he admitted had been utterly foolish. But his credibility as a political force was shattered. Trebitsch was also being discredited by the media and the authorities, who claimed variously that he was a fantasist, or a forger, or both. He was compelled to react, particularly to the charges of forgery, as if he was guilty of fabricating the documents this meant the Czechoslovak Government would not pay him the remainder of his money. He launched a lawsuit against the Czechs to demand that he be paid what was due to him. This public legal challenge could not be ignored and resulted in his arrest in Vienna in February 1921. He was summarily charged with two contradicto-

ry crimes, High Treason – a criminal charge punishable by death – and forgery, on the basis of the complaint by the Czechs that the entire cache of documents he had sold them was fabricated for financial gain. The two-month trial that ensued was a complete debacle. With no one willing to give evidence either for or against Trebitsch, the trial was dominated by Trebitsch, who spoke at great length about his life history, his beliefs, his involvement with the unsuccessful right-wing conspiracy, and his gripes against the Czechoslovak government. The court demanded that the Czechs submit photographs of all the documents they had bought from Trebitsch to establish their authenticity or otherwise, but only a fraction were sent. After a close examination of these photographs, and several other documents confiscated from Trebitsch, the court concluded that they were all undoubtedly genuine. That being the case Trebitsch should have been executed for the crime of High Treason, but once again his luck was in. There were certain members of the Austrian coalition government who had also been in touch with right-wing extremists associated with the conspiracy, which meant that if Trebitsch was found guilty it might cause a political crisis. So, in a remarkable twist of fate, he was found not guilty of both charges and released for deportation in late-June. The press was waiting for him as he exited the jail. There had been wild speculation as to what he would do now he was free. It was widely believed, including by Trebitsch himself, that his former associates had assigned assassins to kill him, and with no country eager to give him residency rights, there seemed nowhere for him to go. A hushed silence fell as he began a brief statement to the gathered journalists. “My destination,” he told them, “is a profound secret. I will disappear as if the earth has swallowed me up, and will reappear in an unexpected place within eight years. Meanwhile, I will have accomplished my task.” Over the next few months he was spotted under various aliases in a number of different cities in Europe. In the fall of 1921 he sailed under a false name to the United States. He managed to slip through at the port in New York, but in January 1922 was arrested on immigration charges, then released when he agreed to leave the U.S. via the West Coast. By October he was reported to be in Tokyo. From there he traveled to China, where he soon became involved with a local warlord, General Yang Sen. Soon afterwards Trebitsch joined the circle of another warlord named Wu P’ei Fu (who would later deny having ever met him). By 1923 he was the advisor to yet another warlord, Wu Hung Chiang, with whom he went to Europe on a quest to find a massive loan, and also to introduce him and his circle to political figures and individuals of influence. One of the first people he visited was Colonel Max Bauer, whose willingness to see Trebitsch can only be wondered at. Bauer took the Chinese delegation to Germany to meet Ludendorff and others, and soon enough a loan for $25 million was secured from an Austrian industrialist in exchange for mining rights in China. Trebitsch returned to China, but the loan never materialized, and before long he was ousted from his advisory position. In early 1925 Trebitsch once again arrived


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in New York, where he sold the story of his Chinese exploits to the New York World magazine. Fact was heavily laced with fantasy, as with Trebitsch claiming to have been at the heart of every major political and military upheaval in China over the previous three years, always one step ahead of the foreign intelligence services and various other foes, real and imagined. But New York had nothing to offer Trebitsch, and he once again went to China where he took to wandering around the country. During that time he decided to explore Buddhism, and within a few months he had moved to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), where he holed himself up at a Buddhist monastery and began to prepare himself for conversion. This might have turned out to be just another one of Trebitsch’s insane flirtations, but a dreadful piece of news from England seems to have pushed him over the edge in a way that no previous news had ever done before. Trebitsch’s relationship with his family had always been sporadic. Over the years he had seen them from time to time, and his wife and some of his children had even spent time with him in China. One of his sons, Ignatius Jr., was a soldier in the British army. In December 1925, in a state of complete drunkenness he entered a residential house together with a fellow soldier in an attempt to rob it. In the course of the robbery a resident confronted the pair and Ignatius Jr. drew a pistol and shot him dead. The two soldiers were quickly apprehended and tried, and on January 21, 1926, Ignatius Jr. was sentenced to death, despite it having been proven that he was drunk on the night in question. By the time Trebitsch heard about his son’s impending execution, it was already February. Trebitsch immediately boarded a boat to Holland in an attempt to get to Europe in time to say goodbye to him, but when he arrived in Amsterdam he was told his son was already dead. The news seems to have jolted Trebitsch into a new realm. From that moment on his flirtation with Buddhism would dominate his life. In attempt after attempt with various official bodies and people of influence he tried to reach Tibet, or to meet with the Panshen Lama, who was one of the two holiest figures in Buddhism. But Trebitsch’s reputation as a master of intrigue and political agitation dogged him; for the rest of his life he found himself unable to do even the simplest things without stirring the interest of official

Admiral Miklos Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, who met with Trebitsch and Colonel Max Bauer in Budapest in May 1920

bodies and foreign intelligence services. In 1931 Trebitsch was formally ordained as a Buddhist monk. He was never seen in western clothes again, and from that time on only went by the name ‘Chau Kung’. His wanderings continued apace, now with the accompaniment an entourage of Buddhist disciples made up of an eclectic group of European converts, whose lives he ruled with an iron fist. He made several attempts to reinject himself into European life, first by visiting Europe with a plan to open Buddhist monasteries for European converts, and later on by trying to insert himself into the diplomatic processes thrown up by the various flare-ups between the Japanese and Chinese in China. In 1938, five years after the death of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Trebitsch claimed to have experienced a vision in which he was told he was the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. His ‘vision’ was well timed. The previous year he had publicly declared his support for the Imperial Japanese after the Japanese army occupied most of Shanghai. It was a politically savvy move, as the Japanese would retain control of Shanghai until 1945. In recognition of his vociferous support – most Chinese Buddhists loathed the Japanese – the Japanese government formally recognized him as the

Dalai Lama, although in practice their recognition had very little meaning, as the Tibetan controlled religion rejected his claim outright. When the Second World War broke out Trebitsch offered to help the Nazis win the war against the Allies, claiming to have intelligence information that would benefit their war aims. Perhaps he was motivated by his lifelong obsession with the British, which over the years had vacillated between visceral hatred and a longing to return to England. But nothing came of his flirtation with the Nazis, and as the war progressed he faded into complete obscurity. When Trebitsch died following an operation on his stomach, on October 6, 1943, his death didn’t merit a mention in any of the hundreds of newspapers who had reported on him during his lifetime. Some would speculate that he was poisoned by the Nazis, or by allied sympathizers who despised him for his relationship with the Japanese and the Germans, or by Buddhist extremists who loathed him for his claim to be the Dalai Lama, or by Jews who were disgusted by how he gave them such a bad name. Or maybe he just died from a stomach ailment, followed by a poorly executed medical operation. We will never know.

Yitzchak Trebitsch, Ignatius Timotheus Trebitsch, Ignatz Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln, Abbot Chau Kung – and that’s just a list of his real names! Over the years this tempestuous chameleon employed dozens of aliases, and adopted the cultures and religions of almost every place he visited. He learned to speak a dozen or more languages fluently, and wrote copiously in most of them. He was involved in the politics of countless countries over many decades, and his name was recognized by millions across the developed world. He was notorious for his association with agitation, intrigue, espionage and the shady world of those individuals who have no substance, and no morals. And yet, despite his notoriety, he left no lasting imprint, no legacy, and no achievements. His was a life of all wind and no waves. Restless, unhappy, unsuccessful and ultimately a loser, the orthodox boy from Hungary who ended his life as a Buddhist monk in Shanghai remains an enigma to all those who have encountered the story of his peripatetic existence. (I am indebted to Professor Bernard Wasserstein, whose book ‘The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln’, Yale University Press, 1988, provided me with the majority of the information and research material for the fourpart biographical series on Trebitsch)

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Travel Guide:

Albany Aaron Feigenbaum

Sachs, as well as a research center for nanotechnology.

New York State’s capital is a modest, yet underrated and fascinating city that showcases several centuries worth of history as well as fun summer festivals, amusement parks, winter sports and fall foliage, as well as plenty of green spaces and interesting museums to ensure visitors have a memorable experience. Albany is surrounded by a number of mountain ranges including the beautiful Adirondacks, so outdoor activities are plentiful in this idyllic region. Also located nearby is Saratoga Springs, home to Disney’s enchanting resort and spa. It’s true that Albany has had a hard time pulling visitors away from the Big Apple, but if you give this city a chance you’ll find that it has a rich variety of fun things to do, people to meet and places to see.

Attractions New York State Museum: This prestigious institute showcases New York’s natural, cultural and historical development over the past few centuries. It is the country’s oldest and biggest state museum. The museum has many eye-catching exhibits that can keep visitors engaged for hours. Some of these include the wilderness of the Adirondack mountains, artifacts from the period of early Dutch settlement, a real-time earthquake display, early firefighting vehicles, the native Iroquois of New York and the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts. State Capitol: The beautiful building housing the New York State Legislature was built in 1899 and is a classic example of the ostentatious architectural style of the late 19th century. From skylights to stained glass to ceiling murals and exten-

During the Seven Years War, Albany became a key military hub although it was never invaded. During the Revolutionary War, Albany sided with the Rebels and became an important supply center due to its proximity to the Hudson River. Albany also played host to the surrender of British Lieutenant John Burgoyne after the Battle of Saratoga, one of the most important moments of the war. After American independence, the New York legislature made Albany the state’s capital in 1797. Albany became a major economic hub in the early 19th century, during which the advent of the railroad and steamboat connected it with the rest of New England. In fact, the city was one of the first in the world to implement a railroad system. Al-

Washington Park

Lake George Winter Carnival

History Albany’s rich history begins in 1624 when French Walloons established a colony called Fort Orange, after the Dutch royal family. Several years later, this colony became an official trading post of the Dutch West India Company. In 1652, the Dutch governor of New Netherland, Pieter Stuyvesant, changed the town’s name to Beverwyck. However, in 1664 the Dutch surrendered their New York colonies to Britain without a battle. Beverwyck’s name was changed to Albany and was given over to King Charles II’s brother James to rule. Albany was officially given its city charter in 1686, making it one of the oldest chartered cities in America. Albany saw the importation of African slaves in the early 18th century, and Europeans from many countries began to settle there. The city’s fur trade gradually diminished and was replaced with the trade of lumber and grain. 1754 was one of Albany’s defining years. It was then that representatives of the northern colonies including Benjamin Franklin, met at Albany City Hall to devise a plan of defense against the French.

New York State Capitol

bany’s population diversified to include many Jews and Irish. Albany during the Civil War was a major supply depot for the Union Army as well as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Albany’s first skyscrapers were built in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. Today, Albany is one of New York State’s most important economic and technological hubs, serving as headquarter for major companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Verizon and Goldman

sive marble, the builders of the time truly spared no expense to make this the most luxurious state capitol in the nation. The visitor’s gallery is open for free tours Monday-Friday from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. City Hall: Not to be outdone by the State Capitol, Albany’s City Hall boasts its own unique architecture and history. Originally known by Dutch settlers as the Stadt Huys, City Hall was the location of the Albany Congress of 1754, where Ben-

jamin Franklin presented his Plan of Union to unite the British American colonies. The current building was completed in 1883 in the Romanesque style by architect Henry Richardson. The Carillon tower was added in 1927 to commemorate the fallen soldiers of WWI. The music of the carillon’s 49 bells can be heard frequently. Albany’s City Hall has been acclaimed as one of America’s most beautiful buildings. USS Slater: Parked on a dock in the Hudson River, the Slater first served as an escort ship for British merchant convoys during WWII. It then joined operations in the Pacific in 1945 supporting combat ships. After the war, the ship was transferred to the Hellenic Navy of Greece as a training vessel, and officially became a museum ship in 1997 when it sailed into the Port of Albany. Visitors to the ship can see how sailors lived and get a feel for how nerve-wracking it was serving on the frontlines and living in fear of kamikaze attacks.

Schuyler Mansion

Schuyler Mansion: This historic, Revolutionary War-era house was built in the 1760’s for Philip Schuyler, a Continental Army general and later a Senator. Schuyler operated a network of spies right from his house, which led to a failed attempt to invade his house and kidnap him. The Schuyler family hosted many notable guests such as George and Martha Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and the British army commander John Burgoyne, who surrendered at the Battle of Saratoga. The mansion was open to the public in 1917 on the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga. The interior has been restored to the way it was when the Schuylers live there, and guides are on hand to explain to educate visitors about the significance of the house and the family. Empire State Plaza: The plaza is the heart of downtown Albany. Built by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, it consists of several government and cultural buildings such as The Egg performance venue, the Cultural Education Center (which includes the State Museum, Archives and Library) and the Erastus Corning Tower. The tower is the highest building in New York State outside New York City and has an observation deck that provides sweeping views


Travel The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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Lake George

of Albany, the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains. miSci Museum: This fantastic science museum has a variety of fascinating exhibits for adults and kids such as designing and building model skyscrapers, an audio history of the Erie Canal, an MRI exploration of the human body, wind and solar power, and alternative fuel cars. Washington Park: This well-manicured green space is arguably the best in Albany. The park boasts a lake, a performance amphitheatre, tennis courts, bike paths, a playground and over 100 species of trees. The park is renowned for hosting the annual Tulip Festival held every May. Day trips: Saratoga Springs, just 40 minutes away from Albany, is famous for its Victorian buildings and quaint shops. There are few major chain stores here and many charming boutiques, so the atmosphere of the late 1800’s/early1900’s is still alive and well. Take some time to check out the Saratoga Racetrack, which was once a favorite hangout spot for wealthy families such as the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers. The town of Windham in the Catskill Mountains serves as the perfect winter retreat. Windham is surrounded by incredible natural beauty and has a pleasing old-world aesthetic. From skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing in the winter to hiking and biking in the summer, Windham is a great place to explore the outdoors. Summertime visitors can enjoy the Windham Chamber Music Festival, but a variety of other internationally-themed music festivals occur throughout the year.

Last but not least, Lake George is one of New York’s most beautiful villages. With miles of unspoiled forest shoreline and quiet beaches, a trip to Lake George promises to be highly relaxing and unforgettable. The village itself has plenty to do: There’s water activities such as boating and parasailing, as well as an eclectic collection of shops on Canada Street. Kids will love the Great Escape theme park and water park just south of the village. Close out your day with a leisurely sunset cruise on the lake and be sure to catch the weekly fireworks. Daven and Eat There are two Orthodox shuls in Albany: Chabad of the Capital District at 122 S. Main Ave. (capitalchabad.com) and Beth Abraham Jacob Congregation at 380 Whitehall Rd. (cbaj.org) The only kosher restaurant in Albany is Terra International Cuisine, serving a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes. They are located at 238 Washington Ave. (terraalbany.com) Kosher food can also be purchased at the several Price Chopper Supermarkets in town or at the University of Albany’s Dutch Quad Cafeteria during the academic year. Getting There Round trip flights from LAX to Albany currently start at around $430 per person. Greyhound and Amtrak tickets range from $200-$400 per person round trip. Driving there from L.A. takes 41 hours at a distance of about 2,800 miles. Driving there from N.Y.C. is about 2.5 hours or just under 160 miles.

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The Week In News

Mosques Shuttered in France

A mosque just east of Paris was shut down by police and the owner of a revolver recovered in a related raid was arrested last week. This is not the first time a mosque was shuttered by authorities. Interior Minister

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Bernard Cazeneuve told journalists that authorities had already closed two mosques last week – the first time France has taken such action against places of worship suspected of nurturing what he called “Islamist radicalization.” The mosques closed last week were located in Gennevilliers, northwest of Paris, and in the southeastern city of Lyon. He later revealed to lawmakers in Parliament the closure of another mosque in the Riviera city of Nice. Security officers found jihadist documents at the mosque where the raids took place and at related premises in Lagny-surMarne. Nine people were put under house arrest and another 22 were banned from leaving the country. France, which declared a state of emergency after the Islamist attacks on Paris, has so far raided 2,235 homes and buildings, taken 232 people into custody, and confiscated 334 weapons, 34 of them war-grade, Cazeneuve told reporters. “In 15 days we have seized one-third of the quantity of wargrade weapons that are normally seized in a year,” Cazeneuve related. Hassan El Alaoui, one of France’s chief imams, told Al Jazeera that French authorities were likely to close down more than 100 mosques in the wake of the Paris attacks. “According to official figures and our discussions with the interior ministry, between 100 and 160 more mosques will be B"H

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Burqa Battle in Baghdad

In ISIS-controlled territories, women are being forced to wear burqas that leave only their eyes revealed. While some Muslim women willingly wear the getup, for women who are accustomed to wearing regular clothes, or perhaps just a headscarf, the forced wearing of burqas can be stifling and traumatic. Phyllis Chesler, professor emeritus of psychology and women’s studies at City University of New York and author of An American Bride in Kabul, says that wearing a burqa for the first time — even willingly — can produce “sudden feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia.” “It’s very uncomfortable,” she explained. “It’s sensory deprivation, an isolation chamber. It’s hard to eat in a restaurant, hard to have a normal conversation, hard to buy things in a marketplace.” Women in ISIS-conquered areas are required to wear loose, head-to-toe covering without designs that “attract attention.” Punishment for failing to comply with the ISIS dress code is severe. Many have reported that women have been whipped for wearing coverings that break the code. Other women and their families have been

fined for wearing the wrong clothes. Chesler says living under a constant fear of wearing the proper clothing can lead to “clinical depression, panic attacks, and low self-esteem.” Also, being covered from the sun can cause vitamin-D-deficiency diseases, like osteoporosis. “You’re in a prison that moves,” Chesler declares.

Taliban Head Honcho Dies The Taliban was dealt a serious blow this week when leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour died of his injuries sustained in a firefight at a recent meeting of the group’s top commanders near the Pakistani city of Quetta. Sultan Faizi, the spokesman for the Afghan first vice president, announced the death. Faizi did not provide any evidence of Mansour’s death and the Taliban has denied that he was injured in the firefight as confusion continues to surround his fate. However, both Pakistani and Afghan officials have said that credible evidence suggested Mansour was “very seriously” injured in an incident. Reports emerged recently that Mansour was injured after an argument broke out at the meeting between the divided group’s senior leaders. A Taliban spokesman called the reports “absolutely baseless” but the group typically does not speak publicly on the status of its prominent members. For two years, the militant group denied that its former supreme leader Mullah Omar had died until Afghan officials revealed in July that Omar died in a hospital in Pakistan in 2013. The group has yet to release video or audio evidence that Mansour is still alive since the incident was reported. Mansour led the Taliban for four months since the death of Omar was announced by the group. Deadly suicide attacks against Western and Afghan government targets have continued under his tenure. The group also captured the northern city of Kunduz

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in September before Afghan troops backed by U.S. airstrikes wrestled it back. Pakistan-sponsored peace talks between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s administration and the Taliban have stalled since the announcement of Omar’s death, although the Taliban has become more fractured after Mansour’s elevation to leadership. A faction of the Taliban splintered from Mansour’s group in November and aligned itself with ISIS. The group is led by Mullah Mohammed Rasool, a former member of the Taliban’s ruling council.

sition for the latter two years of his party leadership. He remained in parliament for 32 years, retiring in 2006, and then began a weekly column in Haaretz newspaper.

Munich Massacre Details Released Families of the victims of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team have come out with more details surrounding the kidnapping

and murder of 11 Israeli athletes. A terrorist branch of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, known as Black September, took the Israeli team hostage and 20 hours later all were dead after a failed rescue attempt. The treatment of the hostages has long been a subject of speculation, but details have been released that show just how cruel the Palestinian terror group is. Among the most jarring details is the fact that the Israeli Olympic team members were beaten and mutilated. Ms. Ankie Spitzer, whose husband, Andre, was a fencing coach at the Munich, explained

that she and the family members of the other victims only learned the details of how the victims were treated 20 years after the tragedy, when German authorities released hundreds of pages of reports they previously denied existed. The photographs were “as bad I could have imagined,” Ms. Ilana Romano said. Her husband, a champion weightlifter, was shot when he tried to overpower the terrorists early in the attack. He was then left to die in front of the other hostages and his body was mutilated. Other hostages were beaten and sustained serious injuries, including

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Both Sides Mourn Yossi Sarid Meretz party chairman Yossi Sarid passed away last week from heart-related causes at the age of 75. Both political opponents and allies mourned the loss of the left-wing public official. “Yossi Sarid was a unique voice in Israeli politics, an opinionated, sharp man,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Although we differed on many issues, I appreciated his loyalty to his path, his broad education and the meticulous Hebrew expressed in his speech and writings. He will be remembered also for being a prominent parliamentarian, a longtime member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and an Education Minister who sought to advance the education system in Israel.”

President Reuven Rivlin, who served as an MK with the right-wing Likud party during Sarid’s tenure as head of Meretz, called the deceased parliamentarian a “tough political opponent, challenging and loyal to his views.” Sarid, Rivlin added, was “one of the greatest politicians of the State of Israel.” An icon of the Israeli left, Sarid held two portfolios — education and environment — and led the Meretz party from 1996 to 2003, serving as head of the oppo-

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broken bones, Ms. Spitzer said. Mr. Romano and another hostage died in the Olympic Village; the other nine were killed during a failed rescue attempt after they were moved with their captors to a nearby airport.

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

After decades of grieving, the families have now chosen to share the details with the world to make it known how sadistic the PLO group really was.

Markings of Chizkiyahu’s Seal Uncovered in Jerusalem “The terrorists always claimed that they didn’t come to murder anyone — they only wanted to free their friends from prison in Israel,” Ms. Spitzer said. “They said it was only because of the botched-up rescue operation at the airport that they killed the rest of the hostages, but it’s not true. They came to hurt people. They came to kill.” For much of the past two decades, Ms. Spitzer and Ms. Romano mostly kept the grisly details to themselves. According to Ms. Spitzer, confusion about what had happened to the victims existed from the beginning. The bodies of the victims were identified by family or friends in Munich and burials were held almost immediately after the bodies were flown back to Israel.

Archeologists in Israel have discovered a mark from the seal of King Chizkiyahu, who helped build the most ancient parts of Jerusalem. The circular inscription, etched onto a piece of clay less than a centimeter (0.4 inches) long, may very well have been made by the king himself, said Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University who directed the excavation where it was

Honoring Our Traditions

uncovered. Chizkiyahu ruled around 700 BCE. The Navi says of him, “There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him,” who was dedicated to eliminating idolatry in his kingdom. “This is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific archaeological excavation,” Mazar said. The clay imprint, known as a bulla, was found at a dig at the foot of the southern part of the wall that surrounds Jerusalem’s Old City, an area rich in relics from the period of the first of two ancient Jewish temples. It had been buried in a refuse dump dated to the time of Hezekiah and was probably tossed from an adjacent royal building. It contains ancient Hebrew script and the symbol of a two-winged sun. The bulla was initially cataloged and put in a closet, along with 33 others, after a first inspection that failed to establish its true identity. Only five years later, when a team member scrutinized it under a magnifying glass and discerned dots in between some of the letters, did the meaning become clear. The dots help separate the words: “Belonging to Chizkiyahu (son of) Ahaz king of Judah.” Mazar said the back side of the clay imprint of the seal had markings of thin cords that were used to tie a papyrus document.

American Receives Righteous Among Nations Award

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The State of Israel is posthumously honoring Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds with the highest honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II: the Righteous Among The Nation award. When it came to prisoners of war, the Nazis made their orders very clear: Jewish American POWs were to be separated from their brothers in arms and sent to an uncertain fate. But Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds would have none of that. As the highest-ranking officer held in the German POW camp, he ordered more than 1,000

American captives to step forward with him and brazenly pronounced: “We are all Jews here.” “Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds seemed like an ordinary American soldier, but he had an extraordinary sense of responsibility and dedication to his fellow human beings,” said Avner Shalev, chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial. “The choices and actions of Master Sgt. Edmonds set an example for his fellow American soldiers as they stood united against the barbaric evil of the Nazis.” Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds was captured with thousands of others in the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and spent 100 days in captivity. His son, Reverend Chris Edmonds, has retold his father’s story based on a pair of diaries Edmonds kept in captivity that included the names and addresses of his men and some of his daily thoughts. U.S. soldiers had been warned that Jewish fighters among them would be in danger if captured and were told to destroy dog tags or any other evidence identifying them as Jewish. When a German camp commander, speaking in English, ordered the Jews to identify themselves, Edmonds knew what was at stake. Turning to the rest of the POWs, he said: “We are not doing that – we are all falling out,” recalled Chris Edmonds. With all the camp’s inmates defiantly standing in front of their barracks, the German commander turned to Edmonds and said: “They cannot all be Jews.” To which Edmonds replied: “We are all Jews here.” Then the Nazi officer pressed his pistol to Edmonds’ head and offered him one last chance. Edmonds merely gave him his name, rank and serial number as required by the Geneva Conventions. “And then my dad said: ‘If you are going to shoot, you are going to have to shoot all of us because we know who you are and you’ll be tried for war crimes when we win this war,’“ recalled Chris Edmonds, who estimates his father’s actions saved the lives of more than 200 Jewish-American soldiers. Witnesses to the exchange said the German officer then withdrew. A ceremony for Edmonds is planned next year. And, thanks to his son’s efforts, Edmonds is now also being considered for a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Hoarding Guns As the country reels from the San Bernardino terror attacks, the topic of gun control is thrust into the spotlight once again. Many who had previously opposed stricter gun laws are now seeing its possible benefits, while others are demanding that they should have the right to be armed in case of similar situation so that they can defend themselves. For many of us, gun laws are kind of unknown – just how easy is it to obtain a firearm in this country? Well, it seems to be


The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

easy enough that a single owner can amass literally thousands of weapons. Investigators barged into the cluttered home of Brent Nicholson in Pageland, South Carolina, last month and were greeted by hundreds and hundreds of guns of all shapes and sizes. His stockpile filled every room of the home. Rifles and shotguns lined the living room, hallways, and bedrooms. Handguns adorned the tables and countertops. The garage was literally stuffed with firearms that when investigators opened the garage door, guns spilled out at their feet. Now, six weeks after the discovery, officers are still cataloging the weapons, many of which have proved stolen, and the final tally is expected to be close to 5,000. “I don’t know if there’s ever been [a seizure] this big anywhere before,” Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks says.

More people in the U.S. own guns than any other country in the world, but how did one single man acquire so many weapons

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‘em, hoarded ‘em, but I never knew him to sell a gun. Not one. He did everyone a favor keeping ‘em off the street.” Perhaps it was his hobby. The sheriff, though, suspects Nicholson may have been selling some of the guns. He had relatively few handguns – maybe a half-dozen large buckets full – and “that makes us believe he had a market for those and was moving them north,” Brooks says, noting that the matter remains under investigation. South Carolina is a well-known starting point for firearms moving up the Iron Pipeline, a route for many of the 230,000 or so guns stolen nationwide each year. The South has more gun thefts than any other region, federal data show, and police in New York and other northern cities say they regularly tie those guns to crimes, though there is no data on how often.

The 100 Yr Old Cake It was the cake of the century. Well, actually, it was from last century.

When Ronald Warninger cleaned out his garage, he found something truly sweet. Although it was 100 years old, his grandparents’ wedding cake, preserved in an old hatbox and tucked into a big kettle-like canning pot, looked pristine. It was as though his grandparents walked down the aisle just yesterday.

“I’m retired now and I thought I’ve got to condense some of this stuff,” Warninger, 67, related. “I looked in there and it was this hatbox and I definitely recognized that, and I knew the cake was in there. It was in the garage on a shelf way up high.” He remembered that his parents preserved the cake in their freezer when he was a child and hadn’t seen the confection since. “My grandparents didn’t have a good freezer and my folks bought one of those upright freezers and I remember it being packed in tin foil and being told, ‘You’re not allowed to touch that,’ but that was it. There was never any

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without being detected? And why? The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn’t officially rank gun seizures by size, but a spokesman says Nicholson’s stockpile probably is among the largest ever. Investigators are still trying to decipher whether Nicholas is just a gun-obsessed hoarder or a supply valve in the “Iron Pipeline” of illegal firearms flowing from the south to New Jersey, New York and other northern states. Gun ownership is a central issue in the current presidential nomination race. Hillary Clinton, leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, vows to renew her call to “stop gun violence now” with new firearm purchase restrictions. Conversely, those who top the polls for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, insist the answer to gun violence is to empower citizens to thwart such attacks by making it easier, not harder, to buy and carry weapons. Nicholson is well-known in his small town of 2,700, where the median household income is half the U.S. average at $26,500, and burglary rates are significantly higher than national norms. “Everybody knew he’d buy guns; his father bought ‘em, his grandfather bought ‘em,” says Al Padgett, 68, who keeps a booth at a local flea market and says he’s known the family all his life. “He collected

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The Week In News plans for it, nobody ever talked about it.” In fact, just a few months ago, on March 17, his sister called him for the cake. It was the 100th anniversary of grandma and grandpa’s nuptials. “I knew it was the 100-year mark because my sister called me on the anniversary and asked if I had the cake and I couldn’t find it,” he recalled. “We looked around and thought it was in the basement but it wasn’t. I had given up on it completely and she wasn’t happy with that, but I had kind of given up on it.” Now, though, they’re ecstatic that the long-lost cake that’s been through many freezers and many wars has still survived. But they won’t be eating this cake any time soon. Although it looks pristine, the cake is “kind of hollowed out inside” and the icing “sounds porcelain when you tap it with your fingernail.” For now, Ronald says he’ll just keep on passing it along. “It’s just like a time capsule. I hope to pass it along to one of my kids and maybe they’ll keep it for another 100 years.” Gosh, what type of preservatives did they have in 1915?

The Missing Map We all know that when looking for treasure, a map is the best place to start. But

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

what happens when the map itself is missing? How do you go about finding that? Thankfully, a centuries-old map compiled by French explorer Samuel de Champlain and believed to be among dozens stolen more than a decade ago from the Boston Public Library was recovered last week.

The map, compiled in 1612 and named Carte Geographique de Nouvelle France, was found at a New York City arts dealer, where it was on sale for $285,000. It was identified by Ronald Grim, curator of the library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, who spotted it in an antiques publication over the summer. Grim said he was stunned and delighted to come across the 17-inch-by-30-inch map, which depicts the coast of New England and the Canadian maritime provinces and an area as far west as the Great Lakes, part of a region once known as New France. Champlain made numerous voyages to the region in the early 17th century and included the map in a book published in Paris in 1613.

“Champlain was the one of the first Europeans exploring the East Coast, and this is his first published map showing his exploration,” Grim related. When he joined the library staff in 2005, he began an inventory of the library’s rare map collection and discovered that 69 were missing from atlases and books. The inventory was prompted by the arrest of E. Forbes Smiley III, an antique map dealer who had been accused of stealing maps from Yale University. Grim said the FBI asked other institutions to find out whether Smiley had visited their facilities and to determine if anything was missing. In 2006, Smiley was sentenced in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, to 3 1/2 years in prison after admitting he stole about 100 maps from several institutions including the New York and Boston public libraries, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Yale and Harvard University libraries and the British Library in London. Authorities said at the time that Smiley helped investigators recover many of the maps, stolen from the institutions over eight years, including 34 that were returned to the Boston library. Federal prosecutors cited his cooperation in proposing a reduced sentence. To confirm the identity of the map, Grim said he compared it with a digital image taken from a previous photograph. The document had distinctive markings, including tears on the left side and a hole just

above one tear. The library estimates the still-missing maps to be valued at about $750,000. Only one was photographed, so it would be “quite a task” for the library to prove ownership of any others that resurfaced.

Bud Not-So-Wiser

His name is Bud Weisser and he was caught trespassing the – yes, you guessed it – Budweiser brewery. Police in St. Louis arrested Weisser on Thursday night after he allegedly entered a secured area at the brewery. They said the 19-year-old Weisser crashed his car around 6:48 p.m. and hopped a fence to get onto brewery grounds. Even when security guards caught Weisser, he was none the wiser and refused to leave. Police eventually came and arrested Bud. It was a real


The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

brouhaha. This isn’t the first time Weisser has been accused of a crime. In August, 2014, he was arrested on a felony burglary charge for breaking into a gas station-convenience store. Although a judge ordered Weisser to prison for five years, the sentence was suspended provided the suspect met certain conditions. In October, Weisser posted the mug shot from that earlier arrest on Facebook as his profile pic. Word to the wise (oh, right, that’s not our friend Bud over here), maybe you should change your name.

Need a Hand?

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Secret Kindness

When Officer Michael Kotsonis responded to a call about a shoplifting incident, he didn’t arrest the perpetrator. Instead, he helped her make a party.

The 19-year member of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, police force responded to a call last week at the Ocean State Job Lots after a woman had stolen cake mix, shortening and “a couple things of frosting.” After learning the woman’s identity, Kotsonis went to her home to recover the items. It was there that he found that the woman was a mother who wanted to bake her child a birthday cake. Although the woman committed a wrong, Kotsonis’s heart went out to her child. “I’m not going to take away a kid’s birthday cake,” he related. The officer went back to the store and bought the items for the woman so she could bake her child the birthday cake. A store employee reported his gesture to the local newspaper. Frank Warchol, acting deputy police chief, said he wouldn’t have known about Kotsonis’s good deed if not for a reporter’s call. He said Kotsonis exemplifies the department’s mission emphasizing community, commitment and compassion. “I didn’t do it for the attention,” Kotsonis declared. “What you do when no one is looking, that’s the character of someone.”

The Generator Generation

If you name it, it will come. Lawmakers in Russia-occupied Crimea, which is grappling with a nearly two-week-long blackout, are suggesting parents name their newborn boys Generator to mark the ordeal. Unknown attackers blew up electricity pylons in Ukraine on November 22, leaving the peninsula largely without power. After Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, it began building an underwater electricity cable system to Crimea from Russia’s Krasnodar region, and Russia President Vladimir Putin traveled there on Wednesday to inaugurate the first delivery of Russian power. But now the city is in the dark. Could it be that naming their children Generator will turn the power back on? Russian news agencies on Friday quoted local parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov suggesting that parents name their newborn girls Sveta, or “light” in Russian, and boys “Generator” to highlight the government’s efforts to overcome the crisis. Seems like wishful thinking.

Ask the Attorney:

Hit-and-Runs in Los Angeles Michael Rubinstein Esq. Los Angeles is facing a hit-andrun epidemic. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, nearly 20,000 hit-and-runs occur every year in the city. Worse, police only solve about one out of five cases. The majority of hit-and-runs in Los Angeles are limited to property damage. But in 2014, 27 people were killed in Los Angeles hit-andrun crashes, and 144 were severely injured, R’L. Earlier this year, the City of Los Angeles unveiled a new alert system to assist police and the public in taking steps to solve this major problem. The system uses social media like Twitter and Facebook; taxicab dispatch systems; and DASH buses’ electronic signage to alert the public of a hit-and-run. With quick publication of the make, model, and license plate of an offending vehicle, there is a stronger likelihood that a fleeing driver will be caught. The city also offers financial incentives for citizens to assist police with apprehending hit-and-run drivers. If a driver kills someone in an accident, G-d forbid, and flees the scene, the City offers $50,000 for information leading to that driver’s arrest. If a victim is injured, the City offers up to $25,000, and $5,000 if there is property damage alone. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law in September that will roll out a similar hit-and-run alert system statewide. The system will use electronic freeway billboards, much like the current Amber Alerts that are broadcast throughout the state whenever there is a kidnapping, Lo Aleinu. With this background in mind, there are measures that every Los Angeles driver can take to be prepared. 1. Call 911. The law requires drivers to pull over and exchange information after an accident. Once you pull over, if you see the other driver fleeing, law enforcement needs to be alerted that a serious crime just occurred. Emergency dispatch will likely ask you detailed follow-up questions. 2. Get as much information as you can about the fleeing vehicle. Did you catch the color, make and

model of the car that hit you? Were you able to catch any portion of the car’s license plate? Can you give a description of the driver? Jot down these details if you can, and provide them to the 911 operator. 3. File a police report. Once the dust clears (and you’ve undergone medical treatment if necessary,) you’ll need to visit a police station to file a hit-and-run traffic collision report. This is actually a very important step, especially if you plan on pursuing an uninsured motorist claim. More on that below. 4. Call an attorney ASAP. If you were injured by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles, you should contact a Los Angeles accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you file a police report, and he or she will also help determine whether you have a viable uninsured motorist claim. Uninsured motorist claims can be made if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run. These cases involve your own insurance company, but the caveat is that you must carry this unique form of coverage under your own auto insurance policy. Check with your insurance company for the details of your particular policy. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company cannot penalize you for accessing these benefits. Uninsured motorist cases are somewhat complex, and you should discuss these with an experienced auto accident attorney familiar with uninsured motorist coverage. I strongly recommend that all my clients carry this important form of insurance coverage. Remember that fleeing the scene of an accident is a serious crime that can result in criminal charges and jail time. If you’re in an accident, even a minor one, you are required to pull over and exchange information with the other driver. Stay safe on the road, and a Freilechen Chanukah to all! Michael Rubinstein is a personal injury and accident attorney who can be reached at 213-293-6075. Website: www.rabbilawyer.com.

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

DECEMBER 10, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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