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The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home


DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Legendary make any meal


The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Vaad Harabbanim gives you the rare and sacred opportunity to win a plane ticket to Eretz Yisrael and be invited into his own home, to meet him in person and receive a berachah from him The Tefilah of the

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

JEWISH THOUGHT Blind Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Alone, But Not Lonely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

FEATURE What Happened To Your Parents’ Democratic Party? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 A Beacon of Freedom: The Statue of Liberty Turns 130 Years Old . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

PARENTING Dr. T.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

LIFESTYLES Review: Swords and Scrolls by Yehudis Litvak. . . 32 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

NEWS Global . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 That's Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

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DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, Miracles. Do they still happen? Isn’t everything a miracle? It’s a miracle we’re still around. It’s a miracle we can hop on a plane and visit Eretz Yisrael. It’s a miracle I can pretty much write anything about Judaism without fearing arrest! Yet there are miracles, and then there are miracles. When a small band of inexperienced fighters chase out the mighty legions of the Greek army. When 100 Israeli commandos fly 3000 miles and successfully rescue 102 hostages. When a flask of oil with enough to burn one night burns eight. These are miracles which grab our attention leaving us humbled at the hand of heaven. In a modern world of spreadsheets and algorithms giving us predictions of exactly what will be, we can easily lose sight of the hand behind it all. Miracles such as the ones in the story of Chanukah remind us that there is a Creator who created heaven and earth, computers and the internet. Every once in a while, the need arises for Him to show his hand and protect the good and the holy. When looking into classic Jewish sources which describe the process of the future redemption, it seems there will be a combination of the two types of miracles. On the one hand, there will be miracles so great they will be considered miraculous even relative to yetzias mitzrayim. On the other hand, unlike our departure from Egypt, this time, it won’t be rushed. Almost as if the most natural thing to happen will be the coming of Moshiach. It makes sense. The Messianic era is when G-d will be clearly seen in all of creation, both the miraculous and the constant. Both have a purpose, and both are the expression of one Creator. What remains for us is to “light an additional candle each night.” We had a productive day yesterday? Great. Today add one more good deed. One more compliment, one more mitzvah. If a little light expels a lot of darkness, then certainly does a lot of light. Bayamim hahem, bizman hazeh. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a freilichen 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


TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Over 100 Children Attend the First Kid’s Challah Bake Sunday, December 4th, children from all over Los Angeles gathered for the first Kids’ Challah Bake. The afternoon was filled with fun Shabbat crafts, sensory activities, plus snacks generously sponsored by GoGo Squeez & Katz Gluten Free Donuts. Approximately 100 children and 45 adults attended the Challah Bake. The highlight of the event was baking challah from scratch with Shashana Rosen. Participants rolled up their sleeves, then

New Kollel Boker at Ner Aryeh Rabbi Arye D. Gordon

The San Fernando Valley’s well-established yeshiva, Ner Aryeh, has experienced growth in its student body, but many businessman professionals, college students, and retirees in the Valley Village area also expressed a desire to be part of its outpouring of lomdei Torah. They were looking to the yeshiva to establish the kollel boker morning program, and now they have. It’s been over a month now since Ner Aryeh’s Kollel Boker got underway. Rabbi Benyomin Lieberman, Dean and one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Ner Aryeh, is running and teaching in the program which is learning meseches yevamos. Over a dozen people are now participating in the program. When asked about the program, college student Yakov Schoen replied, “I feel the benefits of learning in a chabura at Ner Aryeh before going out into the college world. It is an enriching experience.” Long-time community member, Ted Serles, exclaimed, “I love learning in the morning with my chavrusa in a beis midrash full of people.” Businessman Aron Moas added, “I really feel it helps my day in business when I start the day learning.” Ner Aryeh Kollel Boker welcomes newcomers to join one of the many shiurim that they are offering between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. For more information call 818-509-5909.

measured, poured, mixed, and kneaded the dough. They filled the challos with with delicious toppings. Before the children braided their loaves, Mrs. Miriam Hildeshaim, from Chabad Carthay Circle, led both the kids and adults in a prayer for peace and unity in the world. Every child went home with two braided loaves of challah, one to keep and one to give away. “The event underscores the unity of all Jewish children, of all backgrounds and affiliations, and presents an opportunity

for Jewish children from Los Angeles area to join together to share in this beautiful activity,” Brocha Yemini, event organizer, said in a press release. “There is something very special about so many kids from different backgrounds meeting and doing a mitzvah.” The Kids’ Challah Bake was made possible by partners Camp Gan Israel Los Angeles, the PJ Library, Chabad Carthay Circle, IAC Keshet Sfarim, and Israeli House L.A.

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

How to Reach Life’s Potential in Marriage Junity’s Second Annual Shalom Conference Yehudis Litvak Junity’s second Annual Shalom Conference – a three-day conference on marriage, based on the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush – took place over the weekend of December 2-4 in Tarzana. Both couples and singles attended the conference, where separate workshops were given for married men, married women, and those searching for their soulmates. Ariel Perets, the founder of Junity (www.junitynow.com), says that the conference “gives [its attendees] a new view of how marriage is supposed to function.” He explains that most people enter marriage without adequate preparation. “Rabbi Arush’s teachings changed my life, and I felt impelled to bring them to others,” says Mr. Perets. The attendees gain the skills to navigate the everyday challenges that come up in every marriage. Last year’s conference was very successful, helping happy couples to take their marriage to a higher level and turning troubled marriages around. This year’s speakers were Rabbi Lazer Brody and Rabbi Yonatan Galed. Rabbi Brody translates Rabbi Arush’s books and CDs into English and travels the world spreading his teachings. Rabbi Galed is the Spanish translator of Rabbi Arush’s works. Both speakers were met by eager audiences who left the conference feeling inspired to make practical changes. “It was amazing, beyond my expectations, profound and powerful,” says Shmuel Yedidiya Gardner. “The biggest benefit was normalizing the whole experience of intimacy and marriage. It was mind-opening.” Robyn Cardoza adds that Rabbi Galed has a way of relating to the audience that makes the material practical and applicable to everyday life. Her biggest take away, she says, is “focusing on gratitude and appreciating, recognizing, and acknowledging little things.” On Motzaei Shabbos, both Rabbi Brody and Rabbi Galed spoke to the broader community, applying Rabbi Arush’s teachings not only to marriage, but to relationships in general. They emphasized Rebbe Nachman’s teaching, “if you believe that you can break then believe that you can fix.” Rabbi Galed mentioned that as a consequence of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, sadness was introduced into the world. He explained that sadness is the serpent’s venom that causes us to fail. The secret to success, he said, is “to see the good in ourselves and in others.” Rabbi Brody analyzed Rebbe Nach-

man’s teaching further, explaining that there is never any cause for despair. “Do you think it’s possible that you could have done something that Hashem can’t erase?”

he asked the audience. “No matter how deep you fall, Hashem is always there with you.” While our natural tendency when encountering a difficulty might be to look for a solution, Rabbi Brody encouraged everyone to begin with strengthening our emunah. “Believe that you can rectify!” he said. “Hashem is waiting patiently, [asking,] ‘When are you going to call My name?’ The entire purpose of being in this world is getting closer to Hashem.” He explained that the reason the neshamah had to come down to this world is precisely for the purpose of learning emunah. Only after acquiring emunah in this world can the neshamah appreciate the lofty spiritu-

ality of the World to Come. Rabbi Brody recommended “disengage[ing] from the problem and remember[ing] that everything comes from Hashem” before looking for a solution.

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

2016 Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair Connects Students with Programs The Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair made history this year with six Jewish high schools across the denominational spectrum warmly embracing the Gap (Bridge) Year experience in Israel. Their joint sponsorship of the 4th annual Fair, the cornerstone event of the American Israel Gap Year Association, speaks to the growing

importance the bridge year provides for Jewish continuity and academic success. Long time sponsors, YULA, Shalhevet, Valley Torah, and Harkham GAON Academy, were joined this year by de Toledo and Milken High Schools. The response across the board has been warm and inclusive. Masa Israel Journey contin-

ued their founding sponsorship, as well as area synagogues: Beth Jacob, Young Israel Century City, Beverly Hills Synagogue, and Westwood Kehilla. This year’s site, Bnai David-Judea Congregation, hosted organizations representing a genuine cross-section of Israel programming. Everything from traditional

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learning programs to arts, culture, university and army preparation were included in the options. Sue DeRuyter, college counselor for de Toledo explains, “I strongly encouraged my students to attend the Fair that provided not only a broad range of program opportunities, but a chance to hear from students and alumni from various Gap Year programs which was very beneficial in their decision making process.” Gap Year Fair speakers, Michelle Moreh from the Israel Consulate and Ron Krudo of Stand With Us, emphasized the strong connection the bridge year plays in establishing a lifelong relationship to Israel. Krudo stated the Gap Year experience ensures greater involvement in Jewish life on campus. Student speakers were equality effusive. Their personal experiences particularly resonated with the audience, making their visits with Israel providers more productive. Aliza Benporat said, “Going to Israel was more than just a year in seminary, it was a year of self-development. It was a year to solidify myself, my values, and my foundation so I can keep moving in a positive direction.” The Gap Year is recognized now as the key to academic success. This is expressed through increased emotional maturity, more focus and goal oriented decision-making for major and career choices. Gap Year participants also enjoy better overall college retention, translating to a straighter line to graduation (often faster than the national average of six years). The “Gap” year world is beginning to change the marketing identity from Gap to Bridge year emphasizing the transitional nature of this year from the high school experience to the real world of college life. For the Jewish student, this bridge year is more than the just a key to the academic success, but the place where they will take ownership of their Jewish identity. This year can provide direction in deciding what kind of role Judaism will take in their life. Phyllis Fob, AIGY Executive Director, says, “AIGYA wants to be more than a Fair. We want to provide counseling to those that don’t have accesses to on-campus help, digital resources, and workshops. This takes people power, and I am actively seeking board members who can help direct and support AIGYA to further its mission of changing lives through the Gap (Bridge) Year experience.”. Ms. Folb welcomes anyone who would like to discuss the Gap Year, its advantages, and how to plan for it. She can be contacted at pfolb@aigya.org.

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The Week In News

Happenings

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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The Aliyah Wave to Ramat Givat Zeev: Last Chance to Realize a Dream Ramat Givat Zeev has been one of the most amazing real estate success stories, the type that most Israeli developers could only dream about. When the creators of the project, Chish Nofei Israel, decided to tailor a one-of-a-kind, upscale neighborhood in the Jerusalem mountains for Orthodox Jewish Americans looking to make aliyah, no one knew how quickly the project would catch-on with potential olim. However, Ramat Givat Zeev’s pastoral location, high-building standards and positive “buzz” from the projects’ first American buyers, created a wave of unprecedented excitement in the USA that even caught the builders by surprise. At the present time, Ramat Givat Zeev is being erected at a fast clip, not just the

Jewish community in the USA and Israel. The selection of beautiful homes includes villas and duplexes highlighting six large rooms with superior technical interior and exterior standards, as well as large green backyards and enough space to build a private outdoor swimming pool. The buildings also feature beautiful lobbies, with an accent on modern design. Ramat Givat Zeev also highlights fiveroom apartments spanning 140 meters, as opposed to 120 meter layouts, which are considered “standard” in the Israeli marketplace. Each apartment also features a private parking space, which is a “big deal” in Israel. A selection of spectacular penthouses is also available. One of project’s first buyers offered

homes but also the adjacent country club, synagogue, shopping center, mikveh, parks and so on. As the positive word-of-mouth continues to flow back to the USA, more and more potential new immigrants who wish to live in a home and neighborhood that mimics the exacting standards that they’ve grown up with are expressing interest in the project. Ramat Givat Zeev is located just 15 minutes away by car or bus from central Jerusalem. The project highlights hundreds of individual apartments of varying sizes, as well as many large two family cottages, When it comes to the project’s superior standards, it starts with how the homes were designed to offer maximum living space. Within Israel’s real estate realm, where many projects offer little breathing room, the scale of Ramat Givat Zeev is literally revolutionary. The neighborhood features spacious green parks where children can roam and play and where parents can revel amidst the immaculately kept gardens. Residents can travel along beautiful roads that feature alluring fountains, which adds to Ramat Givat Zeev’s upscale flavor. The homes, which are being built with new premium standards, are actually something that has been heretofore unknown and available to the Orthodox

effusive praise in the way Ramat Givat Zeev was constructed. “When the developers thought about creating the ultimate neighborhood in Ramat Givat Zeev, they also built-in the considerations of the community’s residents, who would wish to live in solidarity with one another and have access to the best educational and religious services,” he offered. “When it comes to building new neighborhoods there are always problems with community services, where schools, synagogues, etc. are housed in caravans for many years, not to mention lack of town services in general. With Ramat Givat Zeev, the builders have already factored in erecting beautiful structures that will house schools, synagogues, a shopping center, and country club from day one.” Ramat Givat Zeev’s builders are also in the midst of erecting a supermarket, coffee bistros, and medical clinic. All of these aspects add to the project’s high quality-of-life quotient. Ramat Givat Zeev is the flagship project of the Chish-Nofei Israel Company, which is one of Israel’s leading real estate enterprises, servicing the Orthodox consumer marketplace. Chish Nofei Israel showcases an impeccable record including quality residential projects that are designed to meet the needs of discerning families.


DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Mayor Barkat Keynotes Yeshiva University’s 92nd Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation The Honorable Nir Barkat, mayor of Jerusalem, received an honorary degree and delivered the keynote address at Yeshiva University’s 92nd Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, December 11, 2016, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. In his introduction of Barkat, YU President Richard M. Joel lauded the mayor for his business skills and his commitment to public service, as well as his success in creating a Jerusalem of peace, safety, and wholeness. “With the eclectic variety that the population of Jerusalem maintains, you’ve elegantly shown that unity without uniformity is possible to achieve. You share and model the attributes of commitment to the Jewish people, professional acumen and determination, centrality of family and profound public service.” In his keynote address, Barkat spoke movingly about his deep personal connection to Jerusalem and his determination to do his best to enable the city to reach its highest potential. “I am so proud and so optimistic. When you walk our streets – where kings and prophets walked thousands of years ago – today, you see the diverse people of our city living together, thriving together, in our restaurants and theaters, in our hospitals and universities. You understand that Jerusalem is fulfilling its role in the world more and more.” At the convocation, President Joel also conferred honorary degrees upon Joseph Appleman, Gitta Nagel and Joshua L. Muss. Attorney Joseph Appleman graduated from the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) in 1943 and Yeshiva College in 1947. He received his LLB from New York Law School in 1960. As a proud alumnus, he served as president of the Yeshiva College Alumni Association, and

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

he is currently an honorary member of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Board of Overseers. Gitta Nagel is a community leader admired for her devotion to Jewish education, Holocaust remembrance, and the State of Israel. Together with her husband Jack Nagel, chairman of Decron Properties and member of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees, the Nagels have been active and generous donors to many organizations, including Shaare Zedek Medical Center, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, YULA High Schools, Bar-Ilan University, Israel Bonds, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Yeshiva University where they created the Nagel Family Atrium and Student Commons and the Nagel Scholarship Program for California students. Gitta received an honorary doctorate degree from Bar-Ilan University in 2001. Joshua L. Muss – who serves as principal of Muss Development, a family com-

YU President Richard M. Joel confers an honorary degree upon renowned philanthropist Gitta Nagel

pany founded by his grandfather, Isaac, in 1906 – has a rich history with Yeshiva University. He graduated from MTA in 1958, Yeshiva College in 1962 and Harvard Law School in 1965. Muss continues his relationship with the University by serving on the YU Board of Trustees, Yeshiva College Board of Overseers, YU Executive Committee and YU Recruitment and Admissions Committee, and he chairs the YU Real Estate Committee. He and his wife, Harriet, are YU benefactors whose contributions support the Rabbi Hyman Muss Torah Learning Center and Beit Midrash Complex, Yeshiva College and Yeshiva University as a whole. During the dinner portion, President Joel recognized eight Points of Light – students, faculty and alumni who exemplify the mission of the University – calling each one up to light a symbolic candle on the menorah. In his introductory remarks, President Joel said that he was proud to

honor these “exemplars of Yeshiva University, who dream dreams and awaken the world with their commitment.” The Points of Light were Ira Bernstein and Meir Uretsky, the oldest alumnus of MTA and a current student there, respectively, representing the school’s centennial; Leslie Newman, professor of law at Cardozo; Noam Safier, a student at Yeshiva College; Dr. Harris Goldstein, associate dean for scientific resources at Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Tiffany Rodriguez and Dr. William Salton of the Asylum Program at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology; Rabbi Dan Cohen of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Tzivya Beck, a student at Stern College for Women; and Manny Dahari, a student at Sy Syms School of Business. Approximately $4 million was raised at the dinner and convocation, which serves as the University’s main annual fundraising event.

C OM M U N IC AT E D

VIP Chanukah Gift – Vaad Harabbanim Style There are certain things that are in high demand, and there just isn’t enough of them to go around. One of these things is a personal appointment with Moreinu Harav Hagaon Hagadol Chaim Kanievsky, shlita. Rav Chaim simply doesn’t have the time to meet with everyone, due to his great hasmadah and his many responsibilities to klal yisrael, besides his advanced age. But you could be the lucky one. Two people will be chosen, in Vaad Harabbanim’s unique Chanukah lottery 5777, to

be awarded a plane ticket and a personal VIP appointment with Rav Chaim in his home. These two happy winners will act as the representatives of the great community of Vaad Harabbanim’s donors worldwide. And this is a great community indeed, encompassing virtually the entire body of Jewishly-aware individuals around the world. Who is not a past or present donor of Vaad Harabbanim? Rav Chaim would like to give a warm, personal reception to each and every one

of Vaad Harabbanim’s donors. This is because he cares very deeply about poor and suffering Jews, wherever they may be. Thus he greatly cherishes Vaad Harabbanim and the work they do. For this very reason, he holds Vaad Harabbanim’s donors in such enormous esteem, to the point that he would like to receive them personally in his home, and enthusiastically shake their hand, one by one. But there are so many donors to Vaad Harabbanim! It’s just not possible to give each and every person the personal atten-

tion and honor he deserves. This is the idea behind Vaad Harabbanim’s unique Chanukah lottery. Two donors will be given a round-trip plane ticket to Eretz Yisrael, and a personal visit to Rav Chaim, as representatives of all of Vaad Harabbanim’s donors. This is something you’ll never forget. Hope you win! For more information, please contact us at 1 877-722-2646. Or visit our website at www.vaadharabbanim.com.


TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Jew in Galut: the OU West Coast Convention Yehudis Litvak The annual OU West Coast Convention took place in Los Angeles on December 7th through December 11th. The theme of the convention was, The Jew in Galut: The Secret to Our Survival. With thirteen participating member synagogues and various events throughout the city, the convention touched thousands of people. The OU Convention opened on December 7th at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills with a keynote sponsors’ dinner, followed by the keynote address for the community by Mr. Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The topic of Mr. Hoenlein’s address was, The World After the Elections: Challenges to American and World Jewry. Speaking to hundreds of attentive listeners, Mr. Hoenlein debunked the lies and distortions presented by the media concerning the State of Israel. He said that many countries today are increasing their ties to Israel. International airlines are adding seats to flights to Israel. These countries are discovering that Israel is the source of stability in the Middle East and their only reliable ally. Mr. Hoenlein told of an Arab leader who had said to him privately, “We pray for Israel. We condemn them, but we realize that Israel is our only hope against the enemy, [Iran].” Mr. Hoenlein enumerated the latest archeological discoveries in Israel, explaining that every stone testifies to its Jewish history. “Being rooted firmly in the past will give us the ability to face the challenges of today,” said Mr. Hoenlein. On December 8th, the OU Convention held two events at YULA Boys High School: a legal seminar and a parenting conference. The legal seminar, entitled Navigating Jewish Life in a Secular Legal Climate, was attended by about thirty local Jewish lawyers. Mr. Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of OU, introduced the program by discussing the history of legal cases where government and religion intersect, and how they were reconciled over the years. Then Professor Avi Helfand spoke about the challenges the Orthodox Jewish community is facing today, especially in regards to our relationship with the LGBT community. He addressed the

legal, ethical, and Jewish issues, explaining that Jewish institutions can be held legally accountable for their treatment of LGBT people. Since Jewish institutions receive federal funds through the Department of Homeland Security Credits, they are subject to the laws of discrimination and can potentially face a lawsuit if they turn down an LGBT couple from, say, holding a bar mitzvah for their child. It is important for the Jewish community to be aware of these issues. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn addressed the attorneys next, speaking about the need for lawyers to form a partnership with the local rabbinate. Then Sarah Nissel, Esq., Director of the Jewish Divorce Assistance Center of Los Angeles, spoke about community support for individuals going through a divorce. She advocated for schools providing more support for children from divorced homes, as well as for more community education about divorce in general. Louis J. Shapiro, a criminal defense lawyer who sponsored dinner and assisted in assembling the panel, developing the topics for the night, and moderating the evening, says that the event participants expressed interest in learning more about the issues. “These issues are not spoken about much, but they need to be addressed,” he says. “At first, it’s uncomfortable, but the sooner we address these issues the better for the community in the long term.” The parenting conference, entitled The Challenges of Parenting in the 21st Century, featured a panel discussion made up of Dr. David Pelcovitz and Mrs. Sarah Robinson. In their introductory remarks, Dr. Pelcovitz spoke about instilling values in our children, and Mrs. Robinson spoke about finding one’s unique voice as a parent. The remainder of the program was made up of a panel discussion moderated by YULA Boys High School Head of School Rabbi Dov Emerson. The questions were submitted online by parents in advance. In addition to the public sessions, the convention speakers also visited four local high schools, served as scholars-in-residence at twelve local synagogues, held separate conferences for rabbis and reb-

Allen Fagin, Exec. VP OU, Scott Kreiger, Pres. OU West Coast, Sam Grundwerg, Israel Counsel General, Malcolm Hoelein, former Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents Of Major Jewish Organizations, Rabbi Steven Weil, Senior Managing Director OU, Martin Nachimson, National OU President, Rabbi Kalman Topp, Beth Jacob Beverly Hills, Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director, OU West Coast, Dr. Steven Tabak, OU West Coast Chairman of the Board.

Sam Grundwerg, newly appointed Consul General for the State of Israel

Rabbi Hershel Schachter giving a Shiur at Link Kollel

betzins, participated in Shabbat meals and a Friday night tisch at Congregation Adas Torah, spoke at two melaveh malkah events, and held a Sunday morning Annual Memorial Beit Midrash in memory of two sisters, Dr. Beth Sharon Samuels, a”h and Dr Rana Lynn Samuels‎Ofran a”h. Also on Sunday morning, Rabbi Hershel Schachter gave a lecture at the LINK Kollel and Shul entitled Chanukah – The Festival of Our Rededication. Rabbi Schachter discussed the intricacies in the halachah of lighting the Chanukah menorah, pointing out that different areas of halachah are closely intertwined. Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of OU West Coast, says that the annual OU conventions strengthen the ties between the OU and its member synagogues and the

community at large. “After being around for more than two decades, the convention still has strength, longevity, and community interest,” he says. Mr. Scott Krieger, President of OU West Coast, says that the convention was well attended and adds, “It was great to see all of the community supporting the convention, with all the OU member synagogues hosting events.” Mr. Shlomo Fried, a member of the OU West Coast board, came to the OU Convention from Denver. He enjoyed all aspects of the convention. “The speakers came from different backgrounds, hashkafos, and personalities, but they blended well with each other,” he says. “The convention was a very successful event that made a big impact on the overall community.”

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Greetings from the Chatzos Kollel Bais Hora’ah Questions overheard on the Bais Hora’ah’s Halacha Hotline during the midnight hours: • A yid called, relating that he just awoke from a terrible nightmare and undertook a taanis chalom for the following day. He wanted to know whether he is permitted to eat until alos or has his fast already begun now.

A yid called immediately after alos, saying that he just realized he forgot to daven maariv; can he still daven? A yid was on the road and had to eat something urgently. His only utensil was not yet toveled. He called to ask whether he may use it anyways. Motzei Purim, two o’clock at

night, a yid called, saying that he is still drunk, but wants to know if he is allowed to daven maariv in his shikur state. A yid called late at night. His wife had just given birth, and he wanted to know whether he should make a bracha of hatov v’hameitiv. The previous Tisha b’Av night, a yid called in middle of the night,

asking whether he could take Tylenol to relieve an excruciating headache. And these exceptional shaylos were interspersed with many urgent Yoreh De’ah shaylos that had to be answered before the following morning…

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Communicated The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Most Luxurious Holiday Weekend of the Year, Shabbat of Chanukah Come relax for three days in a fivestar hotel, the Magnificent Crown Plaza at LAX. Enjoy a holiday atmosphere and uplifting weekend with the Torah world’s best lecturers and meals fit for a king from Morris Catering. Spoil yourself with all of the services and amenities including a full day of activities for children including a nursery. Get inspiration from lectures in both Hebrew and English. Great entertainment featuring: stand-up comedians and a magnificent Saturday night event in the Central Hall with star Israeli Eastern Singer Benjamin Denishman.

like you who are interested in Judaism and spirituality (yes, this seminar is not for the religious). You get to hear fascinating lectures from the best lecturers in a pleasant atmosphere without coercion. These lectures cover many topics in Judaism, Kabbalah, mysticism, Torah and science, spirituality, the meaning of life, the purpose of the universe, end of days, love and relationships, and the education of children. Many more questions that have been nagging you will receive a response. Many times people go on vacation spending thousands of dollars on travel and hotels, but if you ask them afterwards: What do you have to show from it? What

Rabbi Zamir Cohen

Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein

Hidabrut Banquet

• What is the secret of a proper relationship? • How to talk with children in modern times? • Is my livelihood is a matter of luck? • How do the secrets of kabbalah affect my personal life? • Why should I eat healthy, and how to do it in the spirit of Maimonides. If you’re looking for answers to these questions, Hidabrut invites you to an unforgettable experience: an exciting weekend getting pampered and relaxing in a five-star hotel with sumptuous meals and a profoundly spiritual experience. Mark off your calendar for the weekend of the first Shabbat of Chanukah, December 25-23. Hidabrut Channel is sending their best lecturers including – Rabbi Zamir Cohen, Chairman of Hidabrut and its guiding spirit. Generally speaking, what is a seminar? It is a pampering weekend of three days in which you can: Hear and discuss what Judaism has to say about all the important questions in your life. You get to meet people just

did you come home with? Are you now happier with life? Are you more refreshed and ready to go on? Most people will answer that besides owing some more money, they have nothing to show. However, when you participate in a seminar, you rest, you hear fascinating lectures, and also get answers to important questions plagued your life. Instead of spending hours and days searching and discussing the questions that have always bothered you, you get to save a lot of time hearing what Judaism has to say in a concentrated manner. Isn’t it worth three days of your time to hear what Judaism, a 3300 year old religion, has to say? Isn’t it great to get answers in your language? When you participate in a seminar you’ll find that you can be more objective about Judaism, religious people, and their conduct. You may have many questions about the Torah and the scriptures. During the seminar you can ask these questions and get your answers from the best speakers in the Jewish world. These are teachers who understand both sides of the coin, Torah, as well as science and mysticism, Eastern and Western cultures, and our original and deeply rooted Jewish culture.

Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser

These lecturers are worth hearing, even if only to expand your horizons. So what’s on the menu? Over 20 exciting lectures in Hebrew and English, sumptuous meals, a great big party on Saturday night, a full program from the “Hidabrut Camp,” for children and teens, and over 600 people participating. For this weekend, Rabbi Zamir Cohen, chairman of the organization will come directly from the Holy Land. Together with Rabbi Zamir Cohen, Rabbi Yigal Cohen will deliver the Hebrew lectures. In English, some of world’s best lecturers, including Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein and Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, will rivet the guests with lectures that give answers and practical life solutions, followed by question and answer sessions. The main event Best of all, is the main event to be held after Shabbat at the grand hall. This includes a luxurious Israeli barbecue, a standup performance, and star Eastern-style singer Israel Benjamin Denishman. There will also be a Chanukah Can-

dle-lighting ceremony with rabbis and a lot of joyous celebration! Camp Hidabrut for Children So that the parents among you can listen to a lecture comfortably without worrying about your children, a full Hidabroot Activity Camp for children of all ages was prepared with an orderly schedule running the same time as the lectures. Children will be divided into four groups according to age. Each group will have a teacher and assistants who will give children an unforgettable holiday experience including magic show, clowns, prizes, and more. A TV channel entirely holy? It sounds ridiculous, almost a contradiction! Let’s talk a bit about the beginning of this organization. Sarah, a devoted viewer of our channel remembers when, Rabbi Zamir Cohen came to visit her community in northern Israel. “It was ten years ago. Despite Hidabrut organization being new at the time, Rabbi Zamir Cohen already was famous, and the community looked forward to his lecture. Already when the Rabbi entered the hall, not one chair was empty, and the crowds kept coming. Rabbi Cohen spoke for an hour about the proofs of the truth of Torah. The varied audience was riveted to his words. After the lecture, the rabbi spoke about a new project he started at the time. He spoke of a television channel that would have only holy programs based on the spirit of Judaism. These would include lectures and classes and more. I remember thinking that this is a great idea but so hard to implement. Could it ever come to be? But it did happen! A real revolution took place. Hidabrut established a channel, the first of its kind, which broadcasts entirely holy content 24 hours a day. Every household in Israel that has a TV, can access it absolutely free.” This is light years away from the unflattering way the media portrays Judaism today. It’s hard to believe that in a mere 10 years Hidabrut became the largest Jewish outreach organization in the world with more than 350 employees, working in Hidabrut offices in Petach Tikva.” Hidabrut believes that due to lack of awareness, many are not familiar with the real beauty of Judaism. So, from its inception, the organization’s mission statement was to show the beautiful face of authentic ethical Judaism. The Hidabrut TV Channel is an important tool to spread that beauty. But do you think we’re only a channel? Think bigger, much bigger! Today, Hidabrut includes many additional platforms: A weekly and a monthly magazine distributed in Israel and around the world, an active website that gets approximately 2.5 million hits per month, a dating site supervised by matchmakers, and departments offering various assistance such as kindness to those in need, fighting against assimilation and intermarriage, preventing abortion and offering assistance to women who choose not to abort.


Communicated The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Besides all this, Hidabrut launched the “Hidabrut House” in Petach Tikva, where conferences and studies take place. This is besides our giving lectures and having conferences around the country which are very well received. And that’s not all; there are projects and dreams planned, yet to be developed. The Hidabrut Revolution comes to the USA Besides the intense activity across the country, these past three years Hidabrut started conducting outreach activities overseas. “After our achievements in Israel, we want to reach the public abroad,” explains Rabbi Zamir Cohen. “Each year we receive many calls from Israelis who live throughout the United States and elsewhere, asking for information, marriage counseling, and spiritual guidance. We’ve also had cases of intermarried couples seeking our advice. We’ve had many requests from people to participate in and host lectures and activities in their homes, and we are happy to accommodate them.” Meanwhile, The World Hidabrut Project is underway, in addition to extensive activity which until now was almost entirely devoted to Israelis living in the United States, with emphasis on explaining about intermarriage. To this end, Hidabrut has produced tens of thousands of Jewish content articles and programs, with future plans to produce thousands of new programs to be distributed on various platforms throughout the United States. In addition, four years ago we started a “Los Angeles Hidabrut House,” and two months ago we moved to a larger building, which is our activity hub. We then hope to expand our circle of activity and reach each and every one of the 800,000 Israelis scattered throughout the United States. Perhaps the most significant Hidabrut news for people abroad, is that we managed after much effort, to broadcast the Hidabrut Channel not only in Israel, but all over the world, through a converter that connects to television sets, computer, and mobile devices. So now, Hidabrut Channel can be in every home, anywhere in the world. In addition, besides our live broadcasts, viewers can enjoy our huge VOD library, including thousands of uplifting lectures, children’s programs, Jewish films, and music. In a month it will be possible to watch two live channels in English and Hebrew, and more using Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV converters as well as our Hidabrut kosher converter. Also, Hidabrut in English recently went online. Thousands of lectures from the best American Jewish lecturers, combined with lectures of Israeli rabbis translated into English, are already available. In addition to these hundreds of quality articles, stories and current events are constantly being uploaded. Soon we will also have an electronic magazine of the American Jewish audience. Soon Hidabrut will also have sites in French, Russian, Spanish, and more. In addition, Hidabrut currently operates a unique dating site, named “Seven Brachot,” designed to help Jewish men and women, singles, meet and get married according to Jewish law. The use of the service is free and is intended for Jews

in Israel and abroad who refrain from premarital touching. So far, there were already more than four hundred weddings thanks to this service. At the same time, Hidabrut continues to record high-quality speakers, varied Jewish content, and distribute these lectures in leading social media networks. This enormous project is orchestrated by one deeply humble person, Rabbi Zamir Cohen who besides being chairman and founder of Hidabrut also wears several other hats. Rabbi Cohen also serves as a rabbi in Beitar Illit in the Etrog Community where he lives. He is dean of Heichal Meir. He is an authority of Jewish law that is constantly consulted, a scholar, and a prolific writer, who authored many books on various subjects. He is also happily married and a kind and loving father. As you can see Rabbi Zamir Cohen is extremely busy yet he finds time to get to visit his fellow Jews in the United States.

It’s not easy to stop work at home in Israel and go for a week to the states explains Rabbi Cohen, but we feel a commitment and love for every Jew in the world, and ever so often we’ll drop everything and go abroad. The days of Chanukah were chosen for this trip because they are days of introspection and great light. These days make it easier for us to improve all areas of our lives. Rabbi Zamir Cohen wants to clarify an important point: “Hidabrut does not preach. We portray what Judaism’s position is and what it has to offer.” Hidabrut provides individual guidance for a better and correct life in all important areas, ranging from self-control and proper relationships to good deeds which bring balance, satisfaction, and happiness to your life. There are many wonderful Jews who do not recognize the beauty and truth of Judaism. They know it only from tele-

vision and politicians. The result is that the image a person gets in his only encounter with Judaism is distorted. Our approach is to lay the information on the table and show that this is Judaism says. Want it accept it; don’t want it – don’t accept it. But at the very least, people should be given the appropriate information to make an informed decision. Cost per person for whole weekend – all inclusive! • $ 400 per person in a double room • $ 300 per person in room for three • $ 280 per person in room for four • Families: Adults $ 800 double, $ 120-75 for children. Call Hidabrut for more details at 323-984-7349 or email Erezm@htv.co.il

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TheHappenings Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Trezoros – the Story of the Jewish Community of Kastoria, Greece Yehudis Litvak

The San Fernando Valley’s well-established yeshiva, Ner Aryeh, has experienced growth in its student body, but many businessman professionals, college students, and retirees in the Valley Village area also expressed a desire to be part of its outpouring of lomdei Torah. They were looking to the yeshiva to establish the kollel boker morning program, and now they have. It’s been over a month now since Ner Aryeh’s Kollel Boker got underway. Rabbi Benyomin Lieberman, Dean and one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Ner Aryeh, is running and teaching in the program which is learning meseches yevamos. Over a dozen people are now participating in the program. When asked about the program, college student Yakov Schoen replied, “I feel the benefits of learning in a chabura at Ner Aryeh before going out into the college world. It is an enriching experience.”

Long-time community member, Ted Serles, exclaimed, “I love learning in the

morning with my chavrusa in a beis midrash full of people.” Businessman Aron Moas added, “I really feel it helps my day in business when I start the day learning.” Ner Aryeh Kollel Boker welcomes newcomers to join one of the many shiurim that they are offering between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. For more information call 818-509-5909. When Lena Russo was taken to Auschwitz, she was met with suspicion by the other inmates. Originally from Kastoria, Greece, Lena did not speak any Yiddish. At home, they spoke Ladino. It wasn’t until she recited the Shema that the Ashkenazic Jews in Auschwitz believed that Lena was indeed Jewish. Most of us associate the Holocaust with the destruction of eastern European Jewish communities. Unfortunately, Sephardic communities were affected, as well. Out of the formerly thriving Jewish communities in Greece, 96% of Greek Jews perished in the Holocaust. To commemorate their lives and legacy, Lawrence Russo and Larry Confino produced a documentary called Trezoros – “treasures” in Ladino – which premiered in Beverly Hills on November 29th. The film tells the story of the Jews of Kastoria, a small town in Northern Greece where both Russo’s and Confino’s families originated. Of the 1000 Jews who lived in Kastoria before the Holocaust, only 35 survived. Kastoria was a picturesque town, surrounded by a lake on three sides and bordered by mountains to the north. Most of its residents, both Jewish and non-Jewish, were involved either in fishing or fur businesses. The Jews maintained close relationships with their Greek Orthodox

Christian neighbors, helping each other out in times of need. At the outset of World War II, Kastoria was occupied by the Italian troops. The town’s residents experienced hunger and poverty. They survived by turning to fishing to feed their families and traded with nearby towns for grain and other food staples. The Italians were not interested in destroying Kastoria’s peaceful population. While they executed the partisans and their suspected collaborators, they did not interfere with the lives of either Jewish or non-Jewish residents of Kastoria. In the winter of 1943, after the fall of Mussolini, the German troops took over the parts of Greece that had been previously occupied by Italy. The Jews were rounded up and deported to Auschwitz. The deportations took place on the same day throughout Greece, including Kastoria. The documentary follows the stories of Lena Russo and Beni Elias, the mother and uncle of director Lawrence Russo. Lena and Beni were the only survivors of their immediate family. After the Holocaust, Lena went to the United States and eventually married another Kastorian survivor, Maurice Russo. Beni returned to Kastoria. While Beni’s Christian neighbors welcomed him warmly, the town was not the same without its Jewish population, and at Lena’s insistence, Beni joined her in America. A few other Kastorian Jews attempted to return home after the Holocaust, but most eventually moved to larger Jewish communities. Today, there is only one Jewish family living in Kastoria. The other Kastorian Jews and their descendants currently live in the United States, South America, and on the Israeli moshav Tzur Moshe, which was founded by Jews from Kastoria before the Holocaust. For both Russo and Confino, who are third cousins, producing the documentary involved a personal and emotional journey. “I gained a certain understanding of my identity,” says Confino. Russo grew up without any grandparents. He’d seen their pictures in his parents’ bedrooms, but his parents did not talk about their Holocaust experiences. It wasn’t until his first trip to Kastoria that Russo learned that his grandfather was the head of the Jewish community. “It was nice to see my family’s respectable history,” he says. Both Russo and Confino felt responsible for telling their families’ stories. The project left them “very fulfilled,” says Confino.


The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

271 prayers

17

Every Day

on Chanukah

All names submitted on any day of Chanukah will be sent on that day

The Segula of Rabbi A.Y.L. Steinman Shlit"a:

271 prayers on Chanukah at the Kosel Hamaaravi wich are auspicious time for Shidduchim and Parnassa

‫קו‬ ‫העפת‬ ‫יר‬

to the Gedolei Hador To be prayed for after Hadlakas Neiros.

Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a:

The tzedakah of Kupat Ha’ir is entirely pure and clean and we are all obligated in this.

24

1-888-KUPATHAIR 5

8

7

2

8

4

2

Donations can be sent to: Kupat Hair - 4415 14th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219

www.kupat.org

‫קו‬ ‫העפת‬ ‫יר‬


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The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home


DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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Torah Musings The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Blind Spot Sarah Pachter

A friend of mine shared an incident with me that unfortunately is all too common. While driving on the highway, she turned on her blinker in order to merge into the lane next to hers. She glanced in her rearview mirror and had started to switch lanes when a car honked loudly as it zoomed by. She quickly swerved back into her lane, narrowly escaping an accident.   She thought she had checked her blind spot, so she couldn’t believe there was a car there. She had been microseconds away from a high-speed collision, and felt extremely grateful that she was alive. Later, she mentioned that she literally felt the hand of G-d guarding her and her family, preventing the collision. Although car accidents do happen, near-misses are more common. Yet we often escape these potential disasters without even taking note.    Most people do not take into account the hundreds of times a day in which the

hand of G-d protects us. We have a socalled “blind spot” to G-d’s kindness towards us.    One Shabbos a number of years ago, I attended shul with my sister-in-law and my three-year old niece. As the energetic toddler jumped in between the pews, I watched her mother strategically place her hands so my niece would not bump her head. She simultaneously stopped the siddurim from falling on my niece or on the floor. I remember thinking, Wow, my niece has no idea that her mother is guarding her every move to make sure she does not hurt herself. That is when it hit me: Just like our parents do so much for us without our realizing it, so too is our Father in Heaven, constantly protecting us even when we cannot see it. Although it may not always seem that way, He is orchestrating every move of our lives to ensure the best outcome for us. Witnessing this “blind spot” of a young

child is cute and endearing. However, as adults, we act the same way. We merrily go about our day, barely noticing all the amazing miracles that have kept us safe. Sometimes, Hashem’s presence is so pronounced it is impossible not to see. His miracles feel so grand that we can’t help but stop to marvel at G-d’s presence in our lives. These are “split the sea” moments. Yet, such huge, blatant miracles are not the norm. Sometimes, we may experience challenges that seem so unbearable that we wonder if there is a G-d at all. How can we manage to see G-d’s hand during trying times? We have to work on seeing G-d’s light on a daily basis, so that when challenges arise, we can look back and feel His presence, even in the darkest of times.   How can we find G-d’s guiding hand in quieter, less noticeable areas of our lives? How can we learn to recognize and have gratitude for these small moments, or mini “love taps” from G-d?    We need perspective. Imagine peering through a small window and seeing one man slicing another open. “Stop!” You’d want to call out. But then you pull back and realize you are outside a surgeon’s operating room, and he is saving the man’s life. It is this widened perspective that enables us to see what’s really going on. Initially, the full story is in our blind spot – we cannot see it based on where we are placed. Yet the question still remains, what opens that perspective for us? How can we successfully take that step backwards to understand the bigger picture in our lives? This question was answered for me one afternoon as a young adult in a seminary classroom. In this setting, I experienced one of the simplest, yet most profound exercises of my life. We were sitting quietly in class when the teacher asked us to keep a “hashgachah pratit” diary for the next two weeks. “A what now?” I asked. “What is hashgachah pratit?”  The rabbi explained that it was a gratitude log for all of the “divine interventions” in our lives. He said that it did not matter how simple or small the experience was. He gave examples such as, “You were having trouble understanding material while studying for a test, and at precisely that moment, a friend offered to help you.” “Or, you were on your way out for dinner with friends, and right after arriving at the restaurant, it began to rain, so you missed getting caught in the rain.” Or even, if we saw some positive results after prayer. He basically said that we must try to document any moments where we felt G-d’s presence guiding or helping us.   The rabbi went on to explain that people feel that Judaism is a religion, but it’s actually a special relationship with G-d. He wanted to show us that G-d is directly involved in the day-to-day grind of all his creatures, even in the slightest of ways. G-d did not create the world and then leave it to run on its own. Rather, he takes interest and care in every one of us.

He called it hashgachah; I call it “love taps”. Whatever it may be, I was skeptical – at first. I spent the next two weeks writing one thing down per day – and I was amazed at what I had found. Things that I would have dismissed before as luck or coincidence, such as getting a taxi at the exact moment that I needed one, or finding money in my pocket right after realizing that I’d left my wallet at home, were suddenly illuminated in a whole new way. It certainly opened my eyes to this blind spot in my life, and helped feel G-d’s direct presence in everything I did.    In fact, having this tool in my back pocket helped me one afternoon, years later. I remember it clearly. On that day, my sister-in-law gave birth to a baby girl. Her entire family decided to come to town for Shabbos to celebrate the occasion. Everyone wanted to join together to celebrate the simchah, despite the fact that she herself would still be in the hospital. My mother-in-law looked at me and asked if I could help cook that Shabbos meal – for over 15 adults! I jumped at the opportunity – perhaps too soon, because I wasn’t exactly sure how I would manage it. I had a six month old myself, was in school, and held two jobs. It was just one of those times in life where I had to step up and make it work.   I remember walking back from the market in Queens, NY with my baby in a baby carrier. I was racing back to my apartment with an old fashioned pushcart and each arm loaded up with two oversized grocery bags apiece as my baby cooed all the while. I was not doing this easily or gracefully, and I arrived home completely overwhelmed and very unsure of how I was going to pull it all together. Suddenly, I got a call from a friend of mine. Out of nowhere, she said, “Hey Sarah, I was just thinking about you. I’d love to come over and help you prepare for Shabbos. Do you need any help?” Not only did I have tremendous gratitude towards her and the act of kindness that day, but I also felt a gentle love tap from G-d in that moment. My joy increased because I saw Him at work in my life, and recognized it for what it was on a deeper level. It is for this reason that every evening at dinnertime, my children and I relate our favorite part of the day, and something we are grateful for. We emphasize our own hashgachah pratit, and it increases our overall gratitude and joy. It also allows us to see that guiding hand, whether keeping our heads from bumping on pews or driving every day in the family car. When we begin living in a state of gratitude and expand our perspective, it shifts the blind spot out of the periphery, allowing us to see things we couldn’t before. Just like we should always check the blind spot in the car before merging, we should also try to check our spiritual blind spot on a regular basis. If you do, you might just be surprised at what you see.


DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

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DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

‫שבת‬ ‫פרשת שמות‬ ‫ תשע"ז‬,‫ כ"ד טבת‬- ‫כ"ב‬

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irshu is honored

to once again host a convention marking outstanding Ameilus B’Torah – which will celebrate the momentous achievements of many thousands who have learned with accountability in an unprecedented way – by Yidden from all segments in Klal Yisrael. The event will be graced by Gedolei Yisrael, Roshei Yeshiva, and Rabbonim from across North America and abroad – all gathered for an uplifting maamid of Kiddush Shem Shomayim and Kavod HaTorah. Shiurim in lomdus, drush and chizuk from Gedolei Yisrael and leading Rabbonim

Shirium in Halacha from leading Poskim and Dayonim

Tefillos and zemiros led by R’ Isaac Honig & The Shira Choir

For reservations and information about the complete Shabbos convention please call 888-5-Dirshu ext. 144 or email Shabbos@dirshunj.org. Motzei Shabbos Convention Program RECEPTION: 7:45PM / PROGRAM: 8:30PM

‫ התחלת מסכת בבא בתרא‬,‫סיום מסכת בבא מציעא‬ THE GRAND SIYUM / MELAVA MALKA IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – FREE OF CHARGE! BUS TRANSPORTATION WILL BE AVAILABLE. RSVP REQUIRED. TEL: 888-5-DIRSHU EXT. 153 EMAIL: RSVP@DIRSHUNJ.ORG

Bottom Line Marketing Group: 718.377.4567

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DIRSHU PUBLICATIONS Mishnah Berurah Mahaduras Dirshu Sefer Chofetz Chaim Mahaduras Dirshu Sefer Shemiras Halashon Dirshu Shul Chumash with Ramban Ma’areh Mekomos on Hilchos Shabbos Kinyan Halacha Kovetz Kuntresai Chizuk Kinyan Shmaatsa Ohel Series

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

2000

INAUGURATION OF KINYAN TORAH PROGRAM

2008

2005

INAUGURATION OF DAF HAYOMI B'HALACHA

SIYUM HASHAS IN ERETZ YISRAEL

2006

2011

INAUGURATION OF KINYAN HALACHA PROGRAM

ACHEINU'S ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL KIRUV CONFERENCE

1997-2017 ‫"ז‬ryz t g"pyz

Celebrating Outs�anding ‫עמלות בתורה‬ with Accou�tability 2012

SIYUM HASHAS IN ERETZ YISRAEL

2012

INAUGURAL DIRSHU CONVENTION

2015

SIYUM ON DAF HAYOMI B'HALACHA

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home


DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

The Torah reports this week on a mano-a-angel tussle. Man and angel wrestled until daybreak, the forces of good and evil locked in an eternal fight. The dust from their battle rose to heaven, reaching the kisei hakavod. What was special about that nighttime struggle? The Torah (Bereishis 32:25) tells us, “Vayevoseir Yaakov levado vayei’oveik ish imo.” Yaakov was alone and Eisav’s angel confronted him. He worked to defeat Yaakov, but he could not. Finally, in desperation, he struck Yaakov’s gid hanasheh. According to kabbalah, when Eisav’s agent saw that he could not hurt the tzaddik, he reached for those who support him. He sought to rip Yaakov’s tendon to weaken the tamchin d’oraysa, the base and foundation of Torah throughout the ages. The sar shel Eisav couldn’t accomplish that either. Yaakov was left limping and hurting, but he emerged from the encounter armed with the blessing of a malach. The Torah tells us that Yaakov was “levado,” he confronted the malach of Eisav alone. That has been our story throughout the exile. We have faced Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, the Spanish inquisition, the Crusades, pogroms, czars, neighbors, governors, prosecutors, terrorists, armies and everything in between. We have walked in the valley of death, into gas chambers, ghettos, and auto-de-fés, always with faith, always alone as a nation, but never lonely. Fighting darkness alone, together. We have been bruised, just as Yaakov was, but we are here despite all that Eisav and his descendants have done to us throughout the ages. We flourish today, gloriously benefitting from the kind golus in which we now exist. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a war of attrition. There are losses, and it is difficult to uphold the banner of Torah. Sometimes Eisav appears in the guise of a friendly brother. Sometimes he sends henchmen, and at times he appears as his evil self. We have to be on guard when we face him, for even when he smiles, we are in golus, and even when he stretches

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Alone, But Not Lonely out his hand in friendship, we never know what lies in the shadowy recesses of his heart. We are always wary. To succeed, bnei Yaakov have to join and work together, support each other with more than pachim ketanim. And always, the tamchin d’oraysa, the backbone of our nation, those who support Torah with their resources, those who provide time, those who offer encouragement and hope, make our success possible. The sar shel Eisav identified them and saw their potential. He knew that when Yaakov’s voice would be weakened and the kol Torah stilled, Eisav would rise. Without those who enable others to learn, there would be no Torah. Eisav sought to tear them down, to rip them off their pedestals. Thankfully, he failed. Yaakov persevered. Yaakov succeeded in spawning a family and a nation where Torah has a home and thrives despite the odds, because we stand together, the ones who learn Torah and those who support and appreciate Torah. Reb Moshe Reichmann, a modern-day hero of hachzokas haTorah, who inspired a generation of tamchin d’oraysa, once flew to New York to meet a potential business partner. He arrived at the office of the investor at the appointed time, and the secretary indicated that he should be seated in the waiting room. He sat there for quite some time, the minutes passing by as he waited. Finally, the door to the inner office opened and the host glanced out at the waiting area and saw Moshe Reichmann. “Mr. Reichmann!” he exclaimed, “I had no idea you were here. I would never have kept you waiting.” He turned to his secretary, furious. “Why did you keep him waiting and not tell me that he is here?” The secretary looked at the bearded gentleman and shrugged. “I thought he was a visiting rabbi. I had no idea it was Paul Reichmann.” Mr. Reichman reached for his coat. “Wait. Come in. Where are you go-

ing?” the host asked. Reichman apologized and politely explained why he was leaving. “Someone who would allow a visiting rabbi to wait endlessly, without even offering him a drink, is not a partner for us,” he said. Torah has flourished because we have had gedolei Torah and inspired mechanchim ready to share the light and power of Torah, and they have been able to succeed because of those in the background, the ones who looked at “visiting rabbis” and saw greatness. A rich man arrived in Sanz to ask the Divrei Chaim for a brachah. The rebbe asked the man where he was from. When he told him that he was from Lemberg, the rebbe asked if the melamed in Lemberg had secured the money he needed to marry off his daughter. “What is the rebbe talking about?” the man asked. The rebbe explained: “A month ago, the melamed of Lemberg was here. He told me that his daughter had become a kallah and he had obligated himself to a dowry that he could not afford. The other side was threatening to break off the shidduch if he didn’t come up with the money. Do you know if the melamed was able to work something out?” asked the rebbe. “How should I know?” the rich man wondered. “I know the melamed, and he is a fine man, but I had no idea that he has a daughter and that she is engaged and that he doesn’t have the money to marry her off.” “I don’t understand,” said the rebbe. “I am here in Sanz, and I know about the melamed and his situation. How can it be that you are in Lemberg, and you have no idea?” “He came here and told the rebbe, so the rebbe knows,” said the man. “He didn’t tell me, so I don’t know.” “You never ask what is doing by the melamed?” “I’ll tell the rebbe the truth,” the man answered. “There are people who are yentas. They know everybody’s business. I am not like that. I work hard all day and

then, after I get home in the evening, I go to the bais medrash to learn when I am able to.” The rebbe pressed on. “It’s a great thing that you learn when you can. Let me ask you a question. The Torah says that a man came to battle Yaakov, ‘vayei’oveik ish imo.’ Rashi says that the man was Eisav’s angel. Regarding Yosef, as well, the Torah (Bereishes 37:15) tells us that a man met him, ‘vayimtzo’eihu ish vehinei to’eh basodeh.’ Yosef was lost in the field and a man found him. There Rashi says that the man was the malach Gavriel. “So, regarding Yaakov the Torah says that an ‘ish’ met him, and with respect to Yosef it says that an ‘ish’ met him. Why regarding Yaakov do we know that the man was the samach mem, the angel of Eisav, yet regarding Yosef we say that the man was the praised angel Gavriel? “I’ll tell you the answer. The malach sent to Yaakov finished the mission for which he was dispatched and wanted to leave. Yaakov stopped him and asked for a brachah, but he said that he was too busy, as he had to go and say shirah. “Any angel who is too busy with his shirah to give a Jew a brachah is a samach mem, a black angel. Regarding Yosef the posuk says, ‘Vayisholeihu ha’ish leimor mah tevakeish.’ The angel took interest in Yosef and his condition and sought to help him. That ‘ish’ is a holy malach.” If we care about Torah, we need to show it by caring about those who labor in its vineyards far from the spotlight. There are noble and valiant people among us who are barely holding on. There is grandeur in what they do and how much they accomplish. Just because the person struggling to make ends meet lives around the corner and not in some distant place doesn’t mean that there is no mitzvah to help him. Money, a visit, and a kind word are the fuel that keeps the engine of klal yisrael running. There are many ways we can help people who are doing Hashem’s work, but the first thing we have to do is care. They should never feel lonely. No Jew should ever feel that he is all alone and nobody cares about him and his situation. People can’t keep up. Parents are overtaxed and tuition is a huge burden. What can we do to assist them? It is very disconcerting to fight daily battles virtually alone in order to keep a mosad alive. It is lonely and discouraging to fight to make a difference in Jewish lives when no one seems to care. There are people who learn or teach Torah in the morning, teach English in


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VOICEMAILS the afternoon, and then tutor at night. Their wives work admirably to keep their homes clean and the children happy. They shouldn’t be made to feel that their sacrifices and dedication are unnoticed and unappreciated. The lonely young man who runs a community kollel and kiruv center, or who spends long hours otherwise working for the klal, makes a serious impact upon his surroundings, but when he appeals for help, all he gets is a shrug of the shoulder. We are overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overburdened. But what about him? Prominent badchan and entertainer Reb Yonasan Schwartz shared the painful, personal memory of coming to America as an impoverished Israeli orphan. He went from shul to shul asking Jews for help. As he walked from person to person with his hand outstretched, he thought of the talents he believed he had. He thought that he had the musical skill, creativity and wit to be a successful badchan, but he had no connections, no references and no agent. He had no clue where to start and how to get a career going. One morning, he walked into a Flatbush shul, collecting money, as he did most mornings. A Yerushalmi meshulach, poor in money but wealthy in spirit and caring, called Yonasan aside. “Do you see the tall fellow in the corner? He is a real baal chesed. Tell him your problems and he’ll help you out.” Reb Yonasan waited until after davening and sat down across from the tall man. “I don’t want to be a shnorrer. I want to be a badchan,” Yonasan told the man. “Tell me a badchan joke,” suggested the donor. Shyly, the badchan complied, but he knew that he hadn’t done a great job. He was too nervous. The tall man’s eyes reflected the badchan’s pain, showing that he understood. “Okay, listen,” said the man. “Tomorrow night, I am hosting a sheva brachos for a close friend. I want you to perform. You come and I’ll take care of the rest.” Reb Yonasan spent the next day practicing for his first performance, reviewing his jokes, stories and insights. At the sheva brachos, the host welcomed him warmly, exuding a contagious sense of confidence that told the badchan that he already had a fan. It came time for the performance and the host stood up. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he called out enthusiastically. “Now we will hear from the performer of the century. Please welcome Reb Yonasan Schwartz!” The warm introduction sent the badchan up in a cloud of self-assurance and he delivered, offering a superb performance. The host complimented him and paid him gener-

ously. And he didn’t stop there. He told any friend making a simchah, “If you’re looking for a badchan, Yonasan Schwartz is tops.” Soon, Yonasan Schwartz rose to the top of his profession. Over the years, he performed at many simchos where his original benefactor was in attendance. “And I will never forget,” Reb Yonasan reflected, “how Shloime Gross, my friend and champion, would sit and watch me with a look of pure delight at my hatzlachah, simply because I was a Jew and he rejoiced in my success.” He was never alone after the day he first met Shloime. When the posuk says, “Vayevoseir Yaakov levado,” and Chazal infer that Yaakov and his progeny survive when they are alone and separate, it means separate from Eisav. We must be together, live together, and work together with our own, connecting with those who need our help. We have to care about and for them. That is the only way we can survive in golus and the only way we can get out. Too many people are preoccupied with the mundane things in life and resist the need to ponder life in a more serious way. Then, every once in a while, we get a painful reminder that we are still in golus. One day, a car pulled up near Rav Avigdor Miller as he walked on Ocean Parkway. The window rolled down. “Dirty Jew,” screamed a redneck. “You’re a Jew. That’s what you are!” Rav Miller smiled serenely and bowed. “Yes, and thank you for the reminder. I needed that!” Although we certainly know that in terms of oppression, this golus is better than any klal yisroel has endured and we are very appreciative of that, but golus it is. And since it is so comfortable here, we may have forgotten that we are in exile. In order to work our way out of golus, we have to recognize that we are in golus. Yaakov urged Eisav, “Ad avo el adoni Sei’ira, (Bereishis 33:14).” Go ahead of me. I will walk slowly because of all the work I still have to do until I reach you in Sei’ir. We will yet meet there, Yaakov assures him. When? Rashi explains that the time will come when “Ve’olu moshi’im beHar Tzion lishpot es Har Eisav” (Ovadia 1:1), in the times of Mashiach when the savior ascends Har Tzion to do judgment with the Mountain of Eisav. We are all on a journey; Yaakov walking his way, Eisav his. The meeting will come soon. And then we will all get to go home – free at last. .

For nine months, I hunted for a job – desperately, but unsuccessfully. Two days ago, I partnered with Chatzos Kollel. And today, baruch Hashem, I was hired at my ideal job. Y. M. S. Flatbush

‫לרפואת יצחק‬ ‫בן פערל העניא‬ ‫בתושח״י‬

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WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR PARENTS’

Democratic Party? Why Jewish voters have become disenchanted with the Democrats BY NACHUM SOROKA

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the many lessons learned from the recent presidential election, there is one unanimous standout: everyone was wrong. The pollsters were wrong in their survey methodology and the media was wrong in assessing the national temperament. On both sides of the aisle, politicians came up incorrect: Republicans who refused to back Donald Trump were forced to backtrack on their tough talk and Democrats who were certain they bagged the White House

for another four years were left eating their words – and protesting in city streets. For years, the GOP had been chastised as the party that lost touch with its base. Since President George W. Bush left office, two embarrassing presidential defeats, the rise of the grassroots Tea Party movement – which did away with many of the establishment Republican politicians – and a more liberal and Hispanic voting demographic all foretold the demise of Lincoln’s

Party. Mitt Romney was infamously caught admitting that he believed that it is a foregone conclusion that 47 percent of the country will always vote Democrat. The party found that it could no longer ride the coattails of its 20th century hero, Ronald Reagan. “No one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for president,” the authors of the party’s 2012 election post-mortem wrote. “We sound increasingly out of touch.”

Donald Trump’s easy success in the summer’s primaries was deemed to be the death knell of Republicans as we knew them. Trump’s supporters were not the ideologues who felt threatened by an overzealous government bureaucracy and wasteful spending, like Republicans of yore. They were the Muslim haters and the Confederate flag wavers. A June poll conducted by right-wing NewsMax reported that 73% of Republicans felt that the party had grown out of touch


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with voters. Republican establishment experts were hoping for a Trump loss, which they considered the only chance for the party’s survival. “It’s important that he lose badly,” Peter Wehner, who served in three Republican presidential administrations, including a senior policy position in the George W. Bush White House, told the LA Times. “This has to be a repudiation of Trump and Trumpism.” But then, overnight, on November 8, all that changed. Donald Trump won the electoral vote soundly with 306 electors, and suddenly it was the Democratic Party that was considered out of touch with voters, particularly the white, working class. Pundits accused the party of becoming too cozy with Wall Street and too removed from factory and farm workers. “The party that had been the voice of working people for decades gradually lost touch with that constituency, and eventually became much more the voice of professionals, the kind of people who read the New Yorker and Slate,” said George Packer, a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center of the New York Public Library and New America. It seems fairly certain that we don’t quite know where we stand as a nation. Is the country heading straight to liberalism, and only took a slight detour with this election, or was electing Donald Trump a SOS cry from the “silent majority” and a rallying call for the forgotten working class to retrench?

THE

U.S. has 3,100 voting districts, and Donald Trump managed to win over 2,600 of them. Indeed, the story of this year’s election is the same as many of the previous ones: Democrats enjoy popularity among the large, populous urban counties and Republicans carry the rural ones. Hillary Clinton took the country’s 100 largest counties by more than 12.6 million votes this year. In 2012, Barack Obama won 686 out of the country’s 3,100 districts. So it seems that our politics is divided by county lines. The white collar city worker votes Demo-

An overwhelming percent of Jews voted for Obama in 2008 but that number slipped in the 2012 elections

crat and the rural farmer votes Republican. But that distinction does not hold true amongst one demographic: the Jewish one. After the election, a voting map created by DNAinfo depicted that, as expected, 79 percent of New York City’s population voted for Clinton. Trump supporters were only noticeable in Staten Island and Boro Park and Midwood (aka Flatbush), two neighborhoods which are home to the highest concentration of religious Jews in the country. For many Orthodox Jews, the community’s support of Trump is not surprising. But the facts are that for generations, Jews have always been associated with liberalism and the Democratic Party. While the majority of the Jews who lived in the U.S. in the 19th century lived in the South and were thus pro-slavery, many of the Jews who emigrated to the U.S. in the beginning of the 20th century were involved with socialist and communist movements back in Europe and were active in forming the labor unions of the early century. After World War II, in the wake of the Holocaust, American Jews were drawn to FDR’s inclusive domestic policies and the founding of the United Nations, which was intended to prevent another massive war and genocide. To be sure, Zionism was not even a priority to

most American Jews at that time. When Israel was founded in 1948, Democratic support of the State only strengthened Jewish support for the party. At this year’s Democratic National Convention, Israel came to the forefront – but not in a good way. Many on the party’s Platform Committee insisted on an amendment to the platform that would have rebuked Israel for its “occupation” of the West Bank and for creating “illegal settlements” that have come at the expense of Palestin-

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ians. When the vote came to floor, it was defeated 95-73, with members loyal to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leading the opposition. After the vote, many of Bernie Sanders’ supporters chanted, “Free, free Palestine,” hardly a heartwarming sentiment for Israel supporters. A large part of the American Jewish community’s support of pluralism comes from secular Judaism’s support of “Tikkun Olam.” All Jews can empathize with the need for religious freedom and workers’ rights, particularly back in the time when the majority of Jews were factory workers. Secular Jewish organizations such as Hadassah and the UJA have always been heavily involved with humanitarian causes throughout the world, not only in the U.S. and Israel. But Jews as a group are becoming more and more associated with conservative politics in America. The changing demographics of American Jewry is the primary explanation for this shift in beliefs. A 2012 study by UJA-Federation of New York found that 60 percent of Jewish children in the New York City area live in Orthodox homes. In just one generation, a majority of the city’s one million Jews may be classified as Orthodox. The rapid growth of the city’s Orthodox population is attributable to the high

A 2015 Gallup poll shows 29% of American Jews “identified as Republicans or leaned Republican” (up from 22% in 2008), while 61% “identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic” (down from 71% in 2008).


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Cornel West, a Bernie Sanders supporter, was part of the effort to change the Democrat Platform against Israel

birth rates among chassidim, who have more than seven or eight children per family. Orthodox Jews, like devout Catholics, hold more socially conservative views than their secular counterparts. The rapid growth of the City’s Orthodox population has not gone unnoticed by politicians who need its vote. As such, notice the City’s noncommittal stances on hot button issues like metzizah b’peh and English classes – or lack of them – in chassidish yeshivos. There are also secular Jews who are more culturally conservative than the typical American Jew. This group, which includes immigrant, Russian-speaking Jews, “see a conservative political philosophy as most opposed to the government that oppressed them for decades,” notes Dr. Steven M. Cohen, a research professor of Jewish social policy at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.

THE

same changing demographic experienced by New York City’s Jews is representative of other parts of the country. While 70 percent of Jews still voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012, even back in 2004, George W. Bush credited a mix of conservative, religious voters for his victory over John Kerry. Orthodox Jews helped Bush carry swing states like Florida, Ohio and Missouri. Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations,

said at the time, “It is not just that we are evangelicals who read our Bible right to left. But what is in common is an appreciation for the role that religious faith plays in a person’s life and in the life of a community.” The 70 percent of the Jewish vote for Obama in 2012 was still remarkably less than the 78 percent he received in 2008. “Was that a

In 2016, Jews overwhelmingly crossed over party lines

liberal Jews in America have faced the dilemma of supporting the Jewish State versus a more inclusive, liberal agenda. To this day, some of Israel’s most vocal critics are Jewish, such as Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky, but the majority of American Jews is made up of staunch supporters of Israel who will vote accordingly. Back in 1980, Jimmy Carter credited a primary

Boro Park resident told the Times in November. “She had no message for the voters. She didn’t give any good reason to vote for her.” The voter highlighted the discrepancy between Orthodox Brooklyn and the rest of the city. “It’s like West Virginia, Wyoming, and you’re talking the heart of New York City,” he said. “My community represents what happened in America, except we’re not the suburbs,” Dov Hikind said. “The Democratic Party has abandoned us.”

“The party that had been the voice of working people for decades gradually lost touch with that constituency.”

reaction to some of [Obama’s] policies, his relationship with the government of Israel, or other issues? It’s difficult to say, but we think there has been some small trending over the last 15 to 20 years toward voting for more Republicans on the part of some Jews that are maybe historically voting Democratic,” said Dr. Steven Windmueller, a demographer from Hebrew Union College’s Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. Israel and Zionism have played a pivotal role in the changing stance of American Jewry. Beginning with the Six Day War in 1967, generally,

loss in New York to his stance on Israel, and Carter ended up receiving only 45 percent of the (otherwise liberal) Jewish vote in the general election. In 1992, George H. W. Bush received only 10 percent of the Jewish vote after Bush was openly disdainful of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir. This past election, there were a number of reasons cited by Orthodox voters why they supported Trump, some having to do with their support of Israel, some with their conservative values and some for benign causes. “(Hillary is) corrupt, but I don’t care about that,” a

DOES

it really matter whom the Jews vote for? Jews represent a mere 2 percent of the U.S. population, hardly a group that an aspiring politician should care about. But Jews as a group are more likely to vote than the rest of the country. Only 74 percent of eligible American voters make it to the polls; 90 percent of Jewish voters do. And 70 percent of all Jews in the U.S. live in key states such as California, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, which account for 167 electoral votes. It takes 270 votes to win an election. Already on a local level, politicians are being forced to notice the significance of the changing Jewish electorate. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have courted Orthodox Jews as their Jewish liaisons. As we keep on growing, the people in power keep on listening.


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Review TheBook Week In News

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Review: Swords and Scrolls by Yehudis Litvak (Jewish Children’s Book Club, in conjunction with Torah Umesorah, 2016) Reviewed by Elisheva Rina Aufrichtig Just in time for Chanukah, Yehudis Litvak’s debut novel, Swords and Scrolls, has become available from Jewish Children’s Book Club! During the period of the Second Bais Hamikdash, two young protagonists experience a simultaneous invasion of Hellenistic philosophy and the military force of the Syrian-Greek army. Both threaten to destroy the Jewish nation. Fifteen years old and impatient with traditional learning, Elisha is quickly lured to Greek temples and philosophy study groups. He also feels as though his father pushes him away through a lack of understanding. Meanwhile, Elisha’s cousin, the newly married Rivka, worries about the physical danger of the invading Greeks and the impact the political turmoil will have on her family. Their two parallel stories unfold chapter by chapter, providing both a male and a female angle into this time period. Though the cousins never interact, they are in conflict: Rivka and her husband fight the Greeks physically and spiritually, while Elisha joins the enemy as an acolyte and soldier. This double perspective reveals to readers a broad range of the circumstances

suffered by the Jews. However, both storylines develop so rapidly that neither character arc feels fully realized. Either Elisha’s story or Rivka’s story could have been its own book. Instead, the two characters share about 177 pages of narrative, which results in relatively spare depictions of their actions. Given the nature of the material – Rivka’s plot details the first few years of her marriage and her accompanying struggles – I expected more realistic insight into Rivka’s thought processes. Rivka seems to resolve significant dilemmas too easily. For this reason, the writing style seems aimed at a younger audience. As an adult book with an adult perspective and rhetoric, Swords and Scrolls would have been able to explore a new wife’s emotions and travails much more in-depth and realistically. An additional subplot regarding the codification of the Mishnah by vigilante scholars provides interesting fodder for discussion. Elisha, who eventually becomes a Hellenistic Jew, feels bored when he studies Torah. The deep, multidimensional discussions of the Gemara were not yet

commonly known, and his father did not teach him the commentary that enlightens the Torah Sheb’chisav. Elisha’s inability to recognize idolatry highlights the extent of his estrangement from a real understanding of Judaism. As explained in the historical note at the end of the book, the unscholarly learned by repeating the verses of the Torah in a tune, and formed their

main connection with Hashem through their korbanos. The Jews at that time did not even daven consistently; the siddur, like the Mishnah, was written down by later rabbis. Occasional richly detailed scenes, such as the mayhem after a Greek attack on the inhabitants of Yerushalyim, make the familiar backstory of Chanukah new again. Such visual prose, distributed throughout the book, livens up the storyline; those samples left me wanting more of the same. The bibliography lists multiple sources, including Rabbi Pinchas Stolper’s books about Chanukah, showing the meticulous research into the Midrashic connections and historic facts included in the story. The author uses no secular sources. Swords and Scrolls has been cleansed of any specific discussion of Greek philosophy and culture; mathematics and libations to idols is presented as the core of what Elisha learns. Swords and Scrolls would make a thoughtful Chanukah present for teens and fans of historical fiction writers such as Henye Meyer, Avner Gold, Marcus Lehmann, and Etka Gitel Schwartz.


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A Beacon of Freedom: The Statue of Liberty Turns 130 Years Old Aaron Feigenbaum October 28th of this year marked the 130th anniversary of the dedication of one of the most recognizable and inspiring monuments in the world: the Statue of Liberty. While the importance and symbolism of other national icons such as the Liberty Bell, White House, and Washington Monument cannot be overstated, the Statue of Liberty remains the ultimate embodiment of America itself to many Americans – as well as countless people around the world. Standing proud with a torch of freedom in one hand and a tablet of justice in the other, the Statue of Liberty has greeted immigrants since its dedication in 1886. To many, it represents the spirit of American generosity and a chance to leave behind a life of hardship and begin a new, better life. This hope is enshrined in the statue’s pedestal, upon which are engraved the immortal words of Jewish-American poet Emma Lazarus in her sonnet “The New Colossus”: …Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door! Yet, while the statue’s almost mythical status is etched permanently into America’s national heritage, few know the full story behind its design and construction. The idea for the Statue of Liberty originated in 1865 from Edouard Rene de Laboulaye, a French author and anti-slavery activist who believed that after the bitter Civil War and the abolishment of slavery, America deserved a monument to commemorate its return to the ideals of justice and liberty. Not only that, the monument would serve as inspiration to the French people to rise up against the repressive regime of Napoleon III. Laboulaye conferred with his friend, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (later to become the architect of the Statue of Liberty), on what form the statue should take and where it should be built. Bartholdi’s original intent was not to build a statue in America, but in Egypt where it would overlook the recently built Suez Canal. At the International Exposition of Paris in 1867, Bartholdi met the Khedive (leader of Egypt) and pitched the idea to build a mammoth statue of an Egyptian peasant woman that would stand at the entrance to the canal. Bartholdi made a few sketches but the statue was never actually built. In 1871, with Laboulaye’s blessing, Bartholdi headed to America to scout a potential location for a statue and to garner support amongst influential Americans

Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, architect of the Statue of Liberty

Building the hand of the Statue of Liberty

for his plan. Upon crossing into New York harbor, Bartholdi immediately homed in on Bedloe’s Island (later to be called Liberty Island) as it was a location all ships had to pass. Bartholdi conferred with President Ulysses S. Grant, who agreed that the island would be a suitable location. Returning to France, Bartholdi worked with Laboulaye to design the statue. Female figures have been prominent in national symbolism since ancient times (e.g. Britannia’s Marianne and the Roman Empire’s Libertas), so the pair decided that, naturally, the statue should be of a woman. Furthermore, she would be clothed to represent peace and dignity, as well as carry a torch to symbolize the march of societal progress. He designed the statue’s crown to have seven points representing the seven continents and how the concept of liberty spans the globe. Bartholdi placed in the statue’s left hand a tabula ansata, a keystone-shaped tablet that has the date of the Declaration of Independence inscribed on it to symbolize both freedom and the rule of law. After his design was complete, Bartholdi turned to his friend Eugene Viollet-le-Duc to be the project’s chief engineer. Viollet-le-Duc chose to use copper sheets to construct the statue as they would be thin yet durable. In 1875, Bartholdi began a fundraising effort to build the statue. Calling it Liberty Enlightening the World, the statue was billed as a way of celebrating America’s close relationship with France. He reached out to influential people both in America and France, and it was decided that France would pay for the statue itself while America would pay for

the pedestal. Citizens across France donated money, and eventually enough copper came in to build the statue. The right arm bearing the torch was the first piece to be constructed at the design firm Gaget, Gauthier & Co in Paris, located at no. 25 Rue de Chazelles (now a 6-storey apartment building). The firm had already earned a good reputation for their restoration work on the pillar at the Place Vendome, which was almost destroyed by revolutionaries. In May 1876, Bartholdi made a trip Philadelphia to represent France at the Centennial Exhibition. The statue’s arm came arrived there several months later and was put on display. It

then travelled to Madison Square Park in New York where it was put on display for a few years before returning to France to be joined to the statue. In 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes officially accepted Bartholdi’s proposal to put the statue on Bedloe Island. Bartholdi returned to Paris later that year and put his energy into completing the head, which was debuted at the 1878 Paris World’s Fair. Viollet-le-Duc died in 1879, and Bartholdi turned to Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) to help complete the project. Eiffel made significant improvements to the statue’s design to improve durability and resistance to corrosion. He


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DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

also included two spiral staircases and an observation deck at the crown. By the summer of 1883, the statue had risen to waist height and 25 rue de Chazelles became Paris’ hottest destination. World-renowned author Victor Hugo climbed into the statue’s unfinished staircase and is reported to have said “Glorious, glorious.” The statue was completed in 1884 and presented to the U.S. Ambassador to France, Levi Morton, fittingly, on the 4th of July. Meanwhile, construction of the pedestal was underway at Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island, a former army base that is now gone. The American committee in charge of building the pedestal chose Richard Morris Hunt (architect of such famous buildings as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island) to design it. Due to financial constraints, Hunt’s original 114 foot model for the pedestal had to be scaled down to 89 feet. Hunt took inspiration from classical Greek and Aztec architecture in his design, and construction began in 1883. Once news reached Paris that sufficient progress had been made on the pedestal, the statue was dismantled into 350 parts at a total weight of about 225 tons. The pieces were shipped on the French steamer Isere across the Atlantic to arrive in New York on June 17, 1885, to the sight of over 200,000 well-wishers. However, things got bogged down when the pedestal project again faced financial difficulties. It wasn’t until April of the next year that the pedestal was completed. Finally, on October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland, along with Bartholdi, dedicated the Statue of Liberty. A massive ticker-tape parade with hundreds of thousands of people was held in the streets of New York to celebrate the momentous occasion. However, after the revelry, it became clear that very same night that something was wrong: the torch was too dim, making the statue nearly invisible at night. The island was transferred to the U.S. Lighthouse Board in 1887, which installed better lighting equipment. The island was later handed over to the War Department in 1901 under the order of President Teddy Roosevelt and it remained under military control until 1923. In 1903, friends of poet Emma Lazarus presented the bronze tablet which bears her famous “New Colossus” poem on it. Lazarus was inspired to write the poem after her humanitarian work with Jewish victims of the 1881 Russian pogroms. Shortly after 1900, the statue’s original copper color began to rust and turn green.

By 1906, the entire statue had developed a coat of verdigris. Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to repaint it, but public protests led them to keep it the green color that it is to this day. In 1916, in the midst of World War I, German saboteurs set off a bomb close to the statue resulting in damage to its right arm. The statue was closed for 10 days while it was repaired at a cost of $100,000 ($2.2 million in today’s dollars). If you’re wondering why visitors today can’t go up to the torch, this is why. President Franklin Roosevelt transferred control of the statue to the National Park Service in 1933 and later the entire island in 1937. In the process of converting the island to a park, the Works Progress Administration removed the abandoned military buildings, built new steps at the statue’s rear and made various upgrades to the statue’s durability. The statue was completely closed to visitors during World War II and not illuminated at night. Famously, the torch flashed the letter “v” on D-Day to symbolize “V for victory.” In 1956, Congress officially renamed Bedloe’s Island to Liberty Island. An immigration museum was built in the statue’s base and dedicated by President Nixon in 1972. (The museum was later closed in 1991 and replaced by the one on Ellis Island). For the U.S.’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, new lighting was installed and an impressive fireworks display showed the statue in its full glory. In advance of the statue’s centennial in 1986, extensive plans were made to restore it. Spearheaded by President Reagan, a commission was established to raise funds to complete the repairs. Once the funds were raised, work began in 1984. The statue was given a new copper skin, developed by Bell Labs, to better resist corrosion. The torch, which was discovered to have been leaking water since it was damaged in 1916, was completely replaced with a

replica. The lighting was also replaced, and a modern, handicapped-accessible elevator was installed. On July 4, 1986, Reagan re-dedicated the statue saying, “We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see.” Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island were closed to the public. In 2009,

President Obama finally announced that the statue would be reopened to a limited number of people per day. Additional modifications were made in 2011 to the elevators, restrooms and staircases. The statue was officially declared reopened to the general public in October 2012 only to close the day after the announcement due to Hurricane Sandy. The damages caused by the hurricane forced both Liberty Island and Ellis Island to remain closed until June 2013. In October of this year, construction began on a new $70 million museum on the island. The museum, backed by Jewish fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, is slated to open in 2019. It will house the original torch along with artifacts related to the statue’s construction and an observation platform offering sweeping views of both the island and the city. The statue welcomes an estimated 7 million visitors per year and is to this day a truly defining symbol of America.

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Dirshu The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Bachurim in Acheinu Yeshiva to be Tested on the Entire Masechta Kesubos Yosef Sosnow “These talmidim did not even know what a Gemara was two years ago and now they have learned all 113 blatt of Masechta Kesubos and are ready to be tested on the entire Masechta from cover to cover! If this isn’t a miraculous manifestation of the fulfillment of the passuk, ‘v’heishiv lev avos al bonim,’ I am not sure what is!” Those were the words of Rav Ariel Elbaz, R”M at Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha in Yerushalayim, describing the upcoming test that will be taken by more than 45 bachurim in the yeshiva next week. “The yeshiva caters to sixty bachurim who were completely non-observant until two years ago. Through Acheinu’s network of battei chizuk these teenagers have not only become Torah observant baalei teshuva, they are on their way to becoming talmidei chachomim,” Rav Elbaz said. HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Kook, shlita, To Administer Test The test will be held at Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha in Yerushalayim and the special guests who are scheduled to conduct the test will be, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Hakohein Kook, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Me’or Hatalmud in Rechovot, Rav Dovid Hofstedter,

Nasi of Dirshu (the umbrella organization of which Acheinu is the kiruv arm), and Rav Zev Hofstedter, Rosh Yeshiva of Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha. Showing Parents Their Children’s Accomplishments One of the features of the grand test will be the fact that all of the parents of the talmidim will be in attendance. Rav Elbaz explains that the parents who are not observant often do not realize what their children are accomplishing in yeshiva. This grand farher where the bachurim are tested publically on over 100 blatt Gemara provides the families with a tremendous feeling of nachas and accomplishment as they see that their children have accomplished a tremendous amount and great Rabbanim have even come to hail their accomplishments. Two years ago, a similar siyum was made by the talmidim on Masechta Sukkah. At the siyum, one of the most powerful speeches was given by Shaul Maimon, President of the Chevel Ha’aretz Company. Mr. Maimon is a successful businessman. His son learned in the yeshiva at the time and was one of the bachurim who made a siyum. Mr. Maimon spoke openly about how it was initially very difficult

for him when his son became religious but, “Now,” he explained, “I cannot tell you how happy we are and how proud we are of him! He illuminates our entire

home. The light that he brings is the light of Torah. It was missing from our home. If I would have known before what the Yeshiva does, I would have sent all of my children here!” True Heroes “The bachurim in Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha are true heroes!” exclaimed Rav Elbaz. “Every Shabbos, every yom tov, they are faced with nisyonos as they go home to their parents. They are taught to have the utmost derech eretz for their parents, while they must at the same time observe Shabbos and kashrus in an envi-

ronment where these things cannot be taken for granted. “There is no way to depict the degree of progress made by these bachurim over such a short period other than to realize that it is a divine smile, a tremendous manifestation of siyatta diShmaya that defies description,” said Rabbi Yisrael Layush of Acheinu. “Certainly our staff is amazingly devoted. In addition to the twelve maggidei shiur and mashgichim we have tens of avreichim who learn with the bachurim and are devoted to them with their hearts and souls. The hallmark of Acheinu is constant accompaniment and monitoring. Dealing with problems when they are still small before they become large. “Nevertheless, for these boys to finish the entire Masechta Kesubos in one year to the extent that they can be tested on the entire masechta is nothing short of a miracle!” remarked Rabbi Layush. When observing the deep respect and love that these secular parents gain for their children after seeing their success in Torah, one realizes that these wonderful boys are embody the fulfillment of the passuk, “v’Heishiv lev avos al bonim!”


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DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Jews: Most Educated Religious Group

pressive considering that in the country as a whole, only three percent of the population has a higher education. Jews in Israel have far more education, on average, than Muslim Israelis, though the gap is narrowing. Among the oldest Jews and Muslims, there is a nearly six-year gap in formal schooling. Among Jews and Muslims aged 25 to 34, however, the gap shrinks to 3.7 years.

Bibi on the Donald Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared his hopeful feelings about his

We’re known as the People of the Book, so it’s no surprise, that we’re pretty educated. In a study produced by the Pew Research Center that was published on Tuesday, Jews were found to have four more years of schooling on average than the next-most educated group, Christians. In all, Jews worldwide receive, on average, 13 years of schooling; Christians receive only nine. Muslims and Hindus are the least-educated religious groups, each with about 5 1/2 years of formal schooling. The global average is less than eight years. Jews led the groups in several other categories. Jewish men and women have the smallest average gap in years of formal schooling at zero (Hindu women, on the other extreme, trail men by 2.7 years). Jews were the most educated in the 55-to-74 category. Sixty-one percent of Jews have at least some post-high school education; the global average is 14%. Ninety-nine percent of Jews have had some formal schooling. Among Jews worldwide aged 25 to 34, women are more educated than men. Jewish women in that age group have more than 14 years of formal schooling on average, and nearly 70% have attended some form of higher education. Jewish men in that cohort, by contrast, have an average of 13.4 years of formal schooling, and 57% have had higher education. While 81% of American Jewish men aged 55 to 74 has had higher education, the number drops to 65 percent among those aged 25 to 34. Pew attributes the decline to the growth of America’s Orthodox Jewish population, which attains formal secular education at lower rates than non-Orthodox Jews. American Jews have the highest rate of higher education, at 75%(compared to 40% of Americans generally), and have an average of 14.7 years of schooling. Jewish Israelis have an average of 12 years of schooling, and 46% have had higher education. The least educated Jewish population is in South Africa, where Jews have an average of 12 years of schooling, and only 29% have higher education. But that’s pretty im-

relationship with Donald Trump on “60 Minutes” this week. Netanyahu said that he hopes to be able to accomplish many things together with the president-elect, most important of which is dismantling the Iran nuclear deal. “I know Donald Trump,” Netanyahu told “60 Minutes,” “And I think his attitude, his support for Israel, is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people. There’s no question about that.” The relationship between the Obama administration and Bibi Netanyahu has often been strained over the past eight years. Netanyahu said in the interview he “had differences of opinion” with Obama and that the “most well-known, of course, is Iran.” There is a strong sentiment among

Israel’s right wing that the Trump administration will bring about a new and very much improved era of U.S.-Israel relations.

Bibi has consistently been one of the most outspoken critics of the Iran deal. He has said that he thinks there are “various

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The Week In News ways of undoing” the agreement. During the campaign, Trump called the Iran deal “one of the worst deals ever made” on multiple occasions. The Iran nuclear deal calls for Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions on its finances and oil industry. Many are skeptical that the Persian regime will be curtailing their nuclear program, even though they agreed to do so.

Hamas Offers to Share Arsenal Hamas, the Palestinian terror organi-

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

zation, is in a sharing mood this month. Gaza-based Hamas official Fathi Hammad has generously offered to lend rockets to any Arab army that is willing to use them against Israel. The announcement was made on Al-Aqsa TV this week. Although 80% of Hamas’s rocket arsenal was destroyed in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, according to Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the organization has been re-growing its supplies over the past two years. They now produce rockets on an industrial scale inside the Gaza Strip. Any Arabs that are willing to team up with Hamas can expect to be supplied with upgraded Qassam rockets and the new longer-range M-75, which is capable of reaching Tel Aviv. The group has also been

trained to produce Iranian Fajrs, which have a reported payload of up to 175kg worth of explosives and has acquired Syrian-made M-302s. Although a huge percentage of Hamas fired rockets miss their intended targets, tens of people have been killed by them since 2007. Since Hamas-controlled territories are under blockade, the materials used to make the bombs have to be smuggled in by tunnel, sea, and via the Kerem Shalom truck crossing. Trucks are often caught carrying ingeniously disguised cargo through the crossing. Still, under these conditions, Hamas has “developed a touch in military manufacturing which can compete with international manufacturers,” claims Hammad.

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Fortunately, the rockets have to pass through Israel’s extremely successful Iron Dome which intercepts the vast majority of Hamas fired rockets. Gazans do not have the same protection, and many have been killed by the faulty and often misguided rockets.

Make America (and Russia) Great Again

It has been suspected that Russia intentionally made moves to sway the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Last week The Washington Post reported that the CIA confirmed the suspicion. According to the Post, unidentified officials claim to have identified individuals connected to the Russian government who gave WikiLeaks emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and top Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta. Those emails revealed unflattering backstories to the DNC and the Democrat Party. According to the liberal media, this revelation raises the question for some over whether Clinton would have won without the intervention, angering both Trump and Clinton supporters. Of course, even if this conspiracy is proven true, it would not affect the legitimacy of Trump’s victory. It is not voter fraud to sway voters’ opinions, especially with the use of true dirty little secrets. Following the article, the White House was sure to reiterate that it is impossible to directly attribute Trump’s win to any single factor. While Democrats and even some Republicans are pushing for further investigation on the matter, President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the accusations. In his interview with Time magazine for his “Person of the Year” award, Trump suggested that the interference could just as likely been a lone wolf in New Jersey as from the Russian government. “I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump said. “That became a laughing point — not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’” Trump added: “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”


The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Trump did mention several times on his campaign trail that he desires a better relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Over the weekend Trump’s transition team released a statement that read: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’” On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) strongly condemned any foreign interference with U.S. elections and announced that the Senate intelligence panel will investigate Russia’s suspected election interference. “The Russian are not our friends,” McConnell told reporters at a scheduled year-end news conference. Echoing McConnell’s push for an investigation, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed that any inquiry would focus on “just the facts.” “We don’t want to point a finger and I don’t want this to turn into a Benghazi investigation, which seemed, at least to many people, to be highly political,” he told “CBS This Morning.” “This is serious stuff, when a foreign power tries to influence our election or damage our economy, for that matter. This is serious and it’s gotten worse. And a bipartisan investigation that’s not aimed at one specific instance but looks at the broad scope of this is just what’s needed.” “You have the CIA saying one thing ... The FBI is saying something else. We need to get to the bottom of this in a fair, nonpartisan, non-finger-pointing way,” Schumer insisted. Schumer will be privy to top-level intelligence briefings until he is formally installed as a Senate leader early next year. But he said that based on information that he is aware of, “there’s no doubt about the hacking – let’s establish that.” “I was hacked into, my [presidential] campaign in 2008 was hacked into, so there’s no doubt about the hacking,” John McCain added. “Then the question is about the intention. But it’s all about the larger issue about the cyber threat we face from Russia, China and other countries. It’s another form of warfare and the entire issue is going to be investigated by the Armed Services Committee because it’s a threat to our national security.”

Iconic Astronaut Dies at 95 Many tots dream of growing up to be an astronaut and travel to outer space, although few actually get to realize their dream. John Glenn did. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. His accomplishment spurred the nation to send out the Apollo missions and enabled a

man to walk on the moon. On Thursday, the American astronaut passed away at the ripe old age of 95. Glenn had been a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea. In 1962 Glenn orbited Earth three times. This was at the height of the Cold War, and Russia was winning the space race. The nation waited with bated breath to see if Glenn would make it back donwn to Earth. A few minutes after liftoff, Glenn’s Friendship 7 capsule reached orbit. People listened in with excitement and awe. “Roger, zero G and I feel fine,” Glenn relayed from space. “Capsule is turning around. Oh, that view is tremendous!” Glenn’s successful mission gave America hope that they can combat the Russian

giant. After he resigned from NASA, Glenn went on to win a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio. He served from 1974 to 1999, and even attempted to garner the nomination for president of the United States. Glenn was the true American hero. Just before his death, Glenn penned a letter to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos is also a space enthusiast and founded space company Blue Origin, a privately-funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight service with headquarters in Kent, Washington. In the letter dated November 28, which was presented to Bezos at an awards ceremony Thursday evening at the Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity

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Awards, Glenn wrote that in 1962, when he took his historic flight, “you were still two years from being born.” When Glenn returned to space in 1998 on a space shuttle mission at age 77, becoming the oldest person to go into space, “you were already driven by a vision of space travel accessible not only to highly trained pilots and engineers and scientists, but to all of us,” he wrote. Bezos’ goal is to have “millions of people living and working in space.” Bezos hopes to fly paying passengers on trips starting in 2018. A future goal is to conduct an orbital flight. The company is in the process of building a new rocket that is expected to be launched by the end of the decade. It will be named New Glenn.

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In his letter, Glenn said he was “deeply touched” that the rocket was named after him. “As the original Glenn, I can tell you I see the day coming when people will board spacecraft the same way millions of us now board jetliners,” he wrote. “When that happens, it will be largely because of your epic achievements this year.” In 1998, Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space when he spent nine days aboard the Discovery at the age of 77. His mission generated excitement from the public for NASA, but the shuttle program

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

was eventually closed. In a 2011 forum at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Glenn lamented its closing. “The average person [was] better educated ... back years ago than most people in the world. And then we put more into basic research and learned the new things first,” he said. “That little combination is just as true today. If we lose that edge in research and education, we won’t be a leading nation in the world. It’s that simple.”

RIF: Reading is Forever

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Grandpa Fred is really well-read. The 100-year-old, who pedals his three-wheeled bicycle around his town of Madison, Wisconsin, likes to be busy. “When you get as old as I am, you have to find things to occupy your time,” Leidel told the Wisconsin State Journal. Among those things: Exercise that includes weightlifting and swimming laps, volunteering for the Experimental Aircraft Association — Leidel spent 37 years teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s college of Engineering, where he was also an associate dean — and at least one time, skydiving. But the most impactful and productive days of his week are the two days that he pedals over to Schenk Elementary School and reads to kindergartners there. The kids love their “Grandpa Fred” and look forward to his stories. “I like when he reads books to me, and I like it that whatever books you want to read and how many books you want, he does it,” Alaura Villarreal, who once had Leidel read seven books to her, told the State Journal. Teacher Lindsay Snyder explains, “So many of our kids don’t have other opportunities to read a lot of books at home. … His purpose for reading is really for fun. It gives them a role model of someone who gives back to our neighborhood.” This week, Leidel celebrated his birthday and still intends to keep on going. “As long as I am able to get over here,” Leidel promises.

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This week, Today Translations, a London-based company, announced an opening for a new job. The job is really new – it’s first of its kind ever. Want to apply? Better brush up on your emojis. The company is looking for an emoji translator and is seeking an expert in deciphering and translating the expressive, electronic messaging symbols we all play with on our phones. “Emoji translation is itself an emerging field – but one dominated to date by software, which is often insensitive to the many cultural differences in usage and interpretation,” the company said. “We are therefore seeking an exceptional individual to provide the human touch needed where translation software is inadequate – and to


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help us become the go-to translation experts in this area.” Responsibilities of the job include client, stakeholder and internal emoji translation, a monthly report on the emoji uses and trends across different cultures, and cross-cultural emoji research. Already 30 people have applied for the freelance position and will have to take a test on emoji proficiency. Perhaps this expert can help me out a bit. Which smiling face emoji should I choose? And why do some have teeth and some do not? And what’s up with the moon emoji and the clapping hands emoji? Could we all just use our words?

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung Take a deep breath, flex your muscles, crack your knuckles and prepare to say Austria’s word of the year. Even if you speak German, you may have some trouble pronouncing the ginormous word. Drumroll, please. Austria’s word of the year is Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwie-

derholungsverschiebung, which means “postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election.” Phew. We thought it had something to do with that nasty cold we just can’t beat. The tongue-twister was born of the record time it took to elect Austria’s president and was announced following a poll of 10,000 people carried out by the Research Unit for Austrian German at the University of Graz, in cooperation with the Austria Press Agency. A first round of elections in April was followed by a May runoff between the two most popular candidates. This was annulled because of irregularities. A new

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date set for October was then postponed because of faulty absentee ballots to December 4, when the vote was won by Alexander Van der Bellen. Trust the German language to make things so complicated and tortuous to say.

Rich Coffee

Depending on your taste, a cup of coffee can cost you a dollar or maybe four dollars. Do I hear anyone spending $7 on their morning caffeine fix? Well, as long as it brightens your day. But when does a cup of coffee cost you at least $20,000? When the person sipping across from you is the president-elect’s daughter and confidante. The website CharityBuzz.com is auctioning off “Coffee with Ivanka Trump in NYC or DC,” with an estimated value of $50,000. And many are vying for the chance to sip java with her. So far, the bidding for the cup of joe is at $23K – and there’s still a week to go. Money from the auction goes to the Eric Trump Foundation. What will the lucky winner get when he or she finally snags the prize? Just 45 minutes of coffee talk (no, Linda Richman will not be attending, although she will urge you to discuss) at the Trump Tower in NYC or Trump International Hotel in D.C., “dependent on Ivanka’s schedule.” The room will be crowded, though, as the Secret Service will be looming in the background. Remember to use a napkin while drinking your brew. “We expect all winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately when attending an experience won at Charitybuzz. Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must,” the website warns. Oh, and travel and accommodations are not included, although you will be allowed to take a photo with Ivanka. If you’re spending $23K on coffee, it’s assumed that you have your own private jet to take you to the coffee shop. You know what they say. Some things, among other things, are better rich: chocolate and coffee.


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DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played. – U.S. Pacific Command commander Adm. Harry Harris, whose father and four uncles served in World War II, at a Pearl Harbor memorial

A real estate agency that sells apartments inside Trump Tower is advertising the new 24-hour presence of Secret Service agents as a, quote, “new amenity,” while they’re advertising the eggs that hit your windows as “free grocery delivery.” - Jimmy Fallon

Holiday shopping is upon us, and Amazon is trying to make it even easier by debuting a new store concept called Amazon Go. It’s a store where sensors detect which items you’ve grabbed, charge your Amazon account, and you can just walk out… Maybe other retailers can learn from this. Hey, CVS Pharmacy, are you watching? This is how you do self-checkout. Not me scanning my own stuff for 15 minutes while a woman with a ring of keys judges me. – James Corden

To look up out at this kind of creation and not believe in G-d is to me impossible. It just strengthens my faith. - Astronaut John Glenn, who passed away last week, in 1998, talking about what it’s like to see the Earth from thousands of miles above

Trump won in spite of losing in TIME’s online poll to Hillary Clinton. Can she win anything? Really, Hillary’s now just hoping to win a mug that says “World’s Best Grandma.” - Jimmy Kimmel

That play[ed] great before the election. Now we don’t care, right? - Trump, at a “Thank You” rally when the audience started chanting, “Lock her up”

There are reports that Trump will be getting a Goldendoodle puppy when he takes office. To teach it how to beg and roll over, they actually brought in Mitt Romney.

Donald Trump said he has asked President Obama to help recommend some of his appointments. Obama said fine, and recommended Hillary Clinton for president.

– Jimmy Fallon

– Conan O’Brien

MORE QUOTES


DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Parenting Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting:

Delaying Gratification Sara Teichman, Psy.D.

Dear Dr T., I am a bit worried about my eight-year-old daughter who, unlike her siblings, has very little ability to wait. Whether it’s a need to spend her birthday money right now! or eat her snack in the carpool on the way to school, she needs to do it ASAP. Is this a problem or just something she will outgrow with time? Cheryl Dear Cheryl, What concerns you here is the lack of the ability to delay gratification, which is a large part of self-control. A very young child has little ability to wait; his mantra is, “I want

it, and I want it now!” The ability to wait for rewards becomes increasingly important, though, as the child grows older. School is full of situations that require the child to delay gratification – raising hands, going out

for a drink, waiting for instructions, lunch, and recess. In addition, the social scene makes similar demands: waiting for a turn in a game, taking turns in a conversation, or participating a non-preferred activity now in exchange for the preferred one later. (For example: “We’ll play handball today, and basketball tomorrow.”) By the time we are (successful) adults, we live in the world of delayed gratification. We wait for the light, our turn at the store or dentist, our paychecks, vacations, and bonuses. In particular, the Torah life requires this very crucial skill as so many of our mitzvos are predicated on self-control and the delay of gratification. The ability to delay gratification is not only an important skill but also a predictor of success in the child’s later life. There have been many interesting experiments; most famously, the one at Columbia University called the Marshmallow Study. In this study, a group of four-year-olds is told that they could have one marshmallow now or two later. The research team evaluated these children fourteen years later and found amazing differences between the children who took marshmallows immediately vs. those who waited. Those children who had the ability to wait at age four were more positive, self-motivating, and persistent in the face of challenges. They also evidenced the ability to delay gratification in pursuit of their goals. In contrast, the children who could not wait were found to be more troubled, stubborn, and indecisive, and less self-confident. Even worse, this group scored an average of 200 points less on SAT tests, most likely because their desire for instant gratification interfered with their study time. It was predicted that his lack of impulse control and ability to wait were likely to trip this group up throughout life and possibly result in poor marriages, bad jobs, and lots of all around frustration. So, to answer your question, though I wouldn’t exactly worry at this point, it is in your daughter’s best interest to learn to wait. For some lucky children, this behavior comes naturally; others may pick it up by osmosis. However, this is not the case with your daughter, perhaps because her temperament differs from that of your other children. But, don’t despair: the good news is that this quality can be taught, and parents are in the best position to teach it. Let’s look at some ways of teaching children to delay gratification. Modeling: Children learn what they see. If we find it hard to deal with our frustrations and just give in to our impulses, what can we expect from them? We want to let our children see our patience and perseverance in going for the long haul rather than grabbing the quickest way. We want to show them the value of waiting until the time is right.

Turn disappointments into teachable moments: When we’re rained out of a major chol hamoed trip, that’s the time to practice handling the postponement with grace and show our children how it’s done. Practice: Look for projects that require patience. Some practical ideas might be baking cookies (no cheating and eating raw dough!), art projects, building toys (like model airplanes) or scrapbooking. Reading chapter books together (“Find out what’s next tomorrow night!”) is another good idea. Give an allowance: Even a small child can learn the skill of sacrificing now for later – which is the essence of delaying gratification. Encourage saving: Instead of blowing birthday and Chanukah money on the latest fad, we can set up individual saving plans so our children can save for big-ticket items. Even if we can easily afford to simply give them anything they want, it’s in their best interest to have them save for some longed-for purchases instead. Teach: Studying music or some similar skill that involves long-range planning and results will let your children experience a process that may be long, or even tedious, but has results which are worth it. Begin training the children when they are young and easy to work with: Molding desired behavior for the young, receptive child is much easier than the daunting task of changing behavior in an older child who is, to say the least, less open to our suggestions. Two final thoughts: Firstly, our world today is set for instant gratification – from push-button-just-about-everything to touch phones, from electronic games (quite the opposite of those endless Monopoly or Risk games) to word processors. Information is instantaneous: speed is the order of the day. Be aware that we are swimming against the tide here. Because our environment does not support the concept of delaying gratification, parents must work even harder at establishing these concepts and behaviors in the home. Lastly, a parent must astutely separate two things: encouraging the delay of gratification and forcing it. We want to teach our children the skill, not force them to wait. And, the younger the child, the less able to wait he is. Force can only lead to backlash, if not now – then when the child is independent. And, too much frustration (“He needs to learn to wait.”) will only push the child into a desperate need for instant relief, which is precisely the opposite of our goal. The Book Nook: Understanding Your Child’s Health is a basic medical primer written by Dr. Susan Schulman, a renowned pediatrician in Brooklyn, New York. The book provides answers to the basic issues of childhood such as nutrition, sleep problems, and common medical complaints. Of note is the fact that Dr. Schulman is considered an expert on the poorly understood auto-immune disease called PANDAS, associated with a strep infection. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, L.A.’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com.


The Week In News

DECEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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