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Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
JEWISH THOUGHT Torah Study for Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Life & Torah of Reb Boruch Ber Leibowitz . . . 17 Eternal Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
COVER STORY Panhandlers; Misery and Meaning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Wacky Lawsuit Trivia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Vail, Colorado. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Kosherology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Your Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
EDUCATION Parenting Workshops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
ISRAEL Recent Israeli Innovations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Believers in the Police. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
On one side there is a beautiful light. At our community level, we continue to hear of selfless people who have dedicated themselves to a valuable cause. On an individual level the Jewish people go beyond the tremendous challenges. We always rise up and try our best to do what’s right and what’s G-dly. Every week seems to bring another breakthrough in the field of medicine, science and technology. There’s also the daily miracles taking place in Israel, often in the form of defense. Another concealed knife is found, a gun or a plan to cause terror is outed. Israel continues to blossom in so many ways despite the extreme chaos on all of her borders. Jewish scientists and tech. leaders continue to innovate as if they were living on some peaceful island. Sadly, the side of darkness is never far behind and still there are more heinous events that receive media attention and move us to fear. Yet, the two sides are just two realities of the same coin. Just as a seed rots so that it can grow into a tree, so does society have to flush out the dirt and “shed its skin.” In this fight it’s the specific man and women who wield the most power. It will be the singular people in each country who will decide whether they will support corruption by allowing the status quo. Will they dedicate themselves to being a source of positivity to themselves, their family, their community and beyond? We are all constrained each in our own way. We need to tap into our deeper
selves, bringing forth the powerful reservoirs of goodness and holiness. There’s no limit to what can be accomplished by a group of individuals selflessly dedicated to a good cause. The days of our being in exile are clearly winding down. Rabbis in all our communities are calling this the end of days about which we have been told since the beginning of time. It’s apparent in the world at large. The focus on the future redemption is not meant as an easy escape from present responsibilities, rather it’s a mind-set. Knowing “where the train is going,” helps us prepare for when it arrives. More importantly though, even at the present time it helps us look deeper into reality and raise ourselves upwards. Then we can view life with a broad mind which greatly enhances our potential. This is true in the physical as well. Fear is the number one obstacle to accomplishing all that we can. A palliative nurse has shared the reality of end of life regrets. She summarized the number one feeling of remorse as, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Personal redemption is linked to global redemption as a hand to a glove. We will very soon see its expression in the world stage as well. Wishing you a most inspiring and restful Shabbos,
T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM
DECEMBER 4, 2014
The Halachik View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
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Emek Hosts Learning Seminar for New Chumash Curriculum On Monday, November 17th, Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center filled their downstairs lunchroom with 30 of the top Jewish educators from 12 West Coast Jewish day schools. Travelling from Portland, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego, Long Beach, San Jose, and from three Los Angeles schools, these teachers travelled the distance so they could learn and share resources for the L’Havin U’Lehaskil Chumash program recently introduced at Emek. The creator and coordinator of the program, Morah Tamar Nusbaum, and the Director of the Consortium of Jewish
Day Schools, Rabbi Heshy Glass came in from New York City to train the group, presenting the materials, concepts and progress markers and engaged in discussions with the attendees. Emek’s Rabbi Levi Solomon, also the L’Havin U’Lehaskil West Coast representative, hosted and organized the seminar, reaching out to his colleagues across the region and creating the opportunity to gather, network, and advance their expertise in the L’Havin U’Lehaskil Chumash curricular system. In assessing the success of the seminar, Rabbi Solomon commented that, “It was impressive to see so many teachers
get together and share useful, practical ideas that can put to work in their classrooms, immediately and effectively.” He added, “Emek is at the forefront of this new curriculum. This new program will allow faster progress in Chumash studies and offers the “out of the box” learning opportunity in Limudei Kodesh which is also found across the academic spectrum at Emek.” This innovative new approach to teaching and learning Chumash provides a step-by-step process for the student to develop the unique Hebrew language skills required to read, break down and decode
the Chumash. L’Havin U’Lehaskil features a data driven instruction technique with more individual assessments and state of the art evaluations. The focus on skill development is implemented through the use of beautifully prepared workbooks and texts. The ultimate goal is for each student to possess the skills to read, translate and understand the Chumash text independently and to be able to share.
Rabbi Levi Solomon, principal of Emek Hebrew Academy, addressing the seminar
Yeshiva High Tech Hosts 2014 Israel Gap Year Fair Over 35 Israel Schools to Participate
Following up on last year’s successful Israel Gap-Year Fair, after an almost 10 year absence on the West Coast, YESHIVA HIGH TECH and its co-sponsors – NCSY, YULA Boys and Girls High Schools, Shalhevet High School, Valley Torah, and MASA – will again affirm their commitment to the importance of the Israel Gap-Year Experience by hosting the 2014 Israel Gap-Year Fair, December 8th from 7 - 10pm at Yeshiva High Tech at 5555 West Olympic Blvd. This event is especially important for high school juniors and seniors and their parents, in both private and public schools. The gap-year phenomenon continues to build momentum. Colleges around the country, from Ivy’s to State Universities, are encouraging graduating high school seniors to explore the world in organized programs that help build communities, deepen personal spirituality, promote maturity and create college readiness.
“The importance of the Israel experience is a priceless opportunity for Jewish students to solidify their years of learning and attachment to the land of Israel, either through academic engagement or by way of community or army service. College deans and admissions committees believe that gap-year programs support future academic success,” says Phyllis Folb, Yeshiva High Tech’s College Counselor and Israel Gap-Year Fair Director. “We don’t see this as a ‘gap year,’ but rather as a ‘growth year.’ It’s a chance for young adults to be inspired spiritually and grow in terms of their maturity and independence. A positive and fulfilling year in Israel will help teenagers make good choices about their Jewish identity, education, and personal development for many years afterwards”, said Natalie Menaged, Bar Ilan Israel Experience. The importance of a community-wide fair is that it provides a rare opportunity for
students and parents to consider a broad range of programs and organizations. More than 30 programs located in Israel are on offer at the fair, emphasizing a diverse range of programs from traditional learning to community and army service. Students and parents will be able to meet and engage with members of programs and institutions that might not be available at any other time. “The exposure that the Yeshiva fair will give us is fantastic,” said Ross Singer of Yeshivat Maale Gilboa. Each of the co-sponsors brings a unique aspect to the night. Annie Lascoe, Western Region Director of MASA, emphasized that, “Masa Israel Journey, in its capacity of providing grants to most of these programs, sees the Los Angeles Israel Gap Year Fair as a wonderful way for students to explore the wide array of options for their gap year, helping them create their own special lifelong bond with Israel.”
MASA has funding options for students that make the Israel experience affordable as well as enjoyable. NCSY provides Jewish/Israel events and services to public high school students. The combined endorsement of the four Orthodox high schools shows not only the commitment and encouragement of each school to its own students, but the communal recognition that all students benefit from spending a year in Israel. . The LA Gap-Year Israel Fair will be held on December 8, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Yeshiva High Tech, located at 5555 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, 90036. Admission is free. Anyone interested in learning more about Israel programs is welcome to attend. For more information, contact: 310-556-0663 or email@example.com.
By Hadassah Igelman
sensitivity in talmidim and talmidos, in a day and age where kindness and caring are no longer in vogue. Rabbi Rubinfeld spoke of many Gedolim whose care and concern for their talmidim were paramount in their roles as manhigim. He also touched on the topic of bullying in a school setting which had many heads and the audience nodded in assent. This all-too-often occurrence constitutes a situation of
merman’s presentation, entitled “Teaching with Intention” was a true eye opener for attendees. In her engaging yet crystal-clear style, she delivered a workshop that was packed with new information. The objectives were so clearly structured and developed that participants were enriched and empowered, yet not overwhelmed. Mrs. Zimmerman discussed with her audience the pivotal need for every teacher to tap
which many teachers are aware but are not always certain how to respond. Rabbi Rubinfeld discussed the importance of creating awareness among students, staff members and parents in order to properly combat this pressing challenge. He raised an awareness of the red flags of bullying and suggested ideas and strategies for prevention, along with appropriate responses. His audience gained a deeper understanding of the need to foster a strong relationship with every student, even before learning can occur. The second morning session was presented by Mrs. Rochel Zimmerman, National Director of the NCYP Women’s division of Torah Umesorah. Mrs. Zim-
into the emotional needs of their students by sharing with them Maslow’s hierarchy of development. She underscored the importance of smiling at students, making eye contact, initiating conversation that is not related to school, keeping the brain well hydrated. These were small but highly significant examples of ways to fill a child’s emotional bank account. Mrs. Zimmerman then went on to provide her participants with skills for planning and implementing well designed lessons. She discussed the need to begin with a clear objective, while utilizing the gradual-release model of instruction where the teacher slowly gives students more and more opportunities to become independent learners and thinkers.
The assembled teachers gained a multitude of ideas that were both practical and relevant at every grade level. They agreed that their new found knowledge would prove to help develop them into better facilitators and coaches, thereby increasing student confidence and learning. The afternoon session was presented by the acclaimed Dr. Jerry Lob of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Lob brought to the table his experience as a clinical psychologist and his years of teaching experience as an elementary school rebbi. Dr. Lob’s practical presentation on meeting the needs of special education students in a regular education classroom was a topic to which each and every educator could relate. He discussed the value of inclusion in a regular classroom whereby students learn tolerance, acceptance, diversity and “stretching oneself.” Dr. Lob gave mechanchim and mechanchos ideas for differentiated instruction in the classroom, thus meeting the needs of each and every learner who is in the class. This professional development day of Meeting the Needs of the Individual Student was a resounding success for all the participating schools and educators, touching the hearts and minds of its participants. Torah Umesorah filled the need of educating and developing those who are entrusted with Klal Yisroel’s most precious asset – our children.
Toy and Book Drive; IAC Program Helps Kids for Chanukah This past Sunday, November 23rd, the Israeli- American Council (IAC) hosted a successful Toy and Book Drive. The event was held at the Hebrew Discovery Center and was part of the IAC’s volunteer program IAC-Care, who teamed with Jewish Federation and Sifriyat Pijama B’ America, to put together a community volunteer project. More than 200 new and lightly used toys were collected, including books, games, art supplies, preschool toys and more. Alongside the fast-filling collection boxes, there was a popular brunch with Toast Café bagels, cream cheese, coffee and a colorful selection of cookies. The kids were entertained by a visitor from the Disney hit movie Frozen, Hebrew
story-telling and an impressive Transformers character who had the children jumping and laughing until they were awarded a balloon creation on their way home. Ori Pikoos, Manager of Community Events for the IAC, was pleased with the turnout. “We arrange several events through the year to help the Los Angeles Jewish Community but in the weeks before Chanukah, this Toy Drive is the most important. Many of these donations will be given to children from low income families who will really appreciate the gifts. Also, we send gifts into hospitals where sick children are being treated. The event has gone well; People forget they can create so much happiness by buying or passing on toys.”
IAC-Care organizes monthly volunteer opportunities and their next project is a dog rescue on December 5th. To make a donation to IAC-Care,
please contact Ori Pikoos at firstname.lastname@example.org www.israeliamerican.org/ los-angeles
DECEMBER 4, 2014
Monday, November 10, marked a monumental day for mechanchim and mechanchos of the Los Angeles community. Torah Umesorah spearheaded and delivered one of the most successful and awe-inspiring Yemei Iyun/Professional Development Days that the West Coast has experienced. From their cadre of presenters, Torah Umesorah brought in stellar presenters to speak on an array of topics that targeted an audience of more than 250 educators. This eclectic group included both Limudei Kodesh and General Studies teachers from a spectrum of 11 Yeshivos and Day Schools. The participants walked away enriched and empowered with tools and strategies to implement in their classrooms. The day began with opening remarks from Rabbi Yaakov Krause, longstanding friend of Torah Umesorah and Dean of Yeshiva Rav Isaacson Toras Emes, which graciously hosted the event. He expressed his sincere gratitude to Torah Umesorah for all they have provided for his teachers and all of the West Coast schools. Rabbi Yisroel Meir Rubinfeld was the first address. Rabbi Rubinfeld spoke to an audience of Limudei Kodesh teachers at Toras Emes Yeshiva Day School. “Cultivating a Caring Classroom” was the title of the lecture and this truly encompassed the message that Rabbi Rubinfeld eloquently imparted to his audience. He highlighted the importance of building and modeling
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Torah Umesorah Professional Development Day in Los Angeles
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Los Angeles Chef Wins Kosherfest Culinary Competition The 7th Annual Kosherfest Culinary Competition was fought by three finalists. Judges considered the creations of three top chefs who each prepared mouthwatering dishes using their favorite secret ingredients, as well as the key items; tender lamb and exotic couscous. Chef Katsuji Tanabe was announced as the winner and on November 12th he was awarded the trophy with a grand $1000 prize. The judges were Chef Philippe Kaemmerle from The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, Jack Silberstein, from Jack’s Gourmet and Naomi Nachman, who hosts the show “Table for Two” on the Nachum Segal Network. The event was mc’d by Paula Shoyer, a popular Kosher Chef and the author of several cookbooks, including The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy and The Holiday Kosher Baker. Winning chef, Katsuji Tanabe is chef-partner at LA’s Mexikosher restaurant, the first authentic Kosher Mexican restau-
rant in Los Angeles and the first kosher
chef, an Australian expatriate and a Hasidic
Mexican eatery in the United States He also serves as a personal mentor and celebrity representative for Jewish Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Los Angeles, where he gives time and expertise as he teaches healthy eating and cooking alternatives to the children that the group supports. Katsuji has recently released his own private label of spices and sauces with flavors that link him back to his Japanese Mexican parents. The other contestants were Chef Itta Werdiger-Roth from Mason & Mug Kosher Beer and Wine Bar in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Werdiger-Roth is a professional
Jew. In 2013, she partnered up with Sasha Chack to open Mason & Mug, which was reviewed by the New York Daily News as, “The world’s coolest kosher restaurant.” The third contestant was Chef David Blum. Blom has been spicing up classic European desserts with modern appeal for nearly two decades. Born into a family of bakers, Blum often receives prestige for his traditional Polish cakes best known as baba and savarin. Kosherfest is the world’s largest kosher-certified products Tradeshow. Held on November 11 and 12th in Secaucus, NJ, the
founder and President is Menchem Lubinsky. He explained the success of the show, which has been an annual event for more than 25 years. “Today, the show actually fulfills a need for any professional in the food industry. There was somewhat of a vision in the early days that kosher food could be understood as being more than a certification; that it could emerge as a cuisine. Incredibly, kosher has reached that level and its popularity is still rising.” Lubinsky’s firm, Lubicom Marketing has researched the makeup of the US kosher market and the studies are meaningful. The US Kosher market is worth $12.5billion each year, supported by more than 12 million Americans who choose to eat Kosher food. This market size has an impact on the business far greater than the 1.3million Jews who keep kosher all the time and all year round. This large consumer base is the reason that US supermarkets now offer approximately 125,000 kosher products.
the test in the very place where they gave up their lives would be an appropriate display of the eternity of Torah and the eternity of Klal Yisrael in galus, despite the terrible trials and tribulations. Rabbi Yisrael Cohen, Dirshu’s proctor at that testing site, had difficulty expressing the mixed emotions of the test takers, all residents of the Har Nof community who were in some way connected with the Kedoshim. “It was difficult to take the test. The room was quiet, you couldn’t hear a pin drop other than the scratching of pens on paper. All of us were thinking of the difficult sights that
we had seen in this very shul just two days before. Blood, taleisim… nevertheless we realized that we must continue our avodas hakodesh. We did not contemplate changing to a different testing site. On the contrary, taking the test in such close proximity to the horrible terror attack was a declaration that effectively said, “Yes, tragically Eisav and Yishmael engaged in their mission, r”l. Our response will be to engage in our mission! We will continue, with even greater alacrity to learn, to chazer, to retain, to take tests and most of all, to continue toiling to understand the Torah hakedosha!”
The Eternity of Klal Yisrael and the Torah By Chaim Gold
It was just two days after the massacre. The bullet holes were still visible in the windows, but the sight was a display of one of the most powerful examples of the ideal of ‘netzach Yisrael lo yishaker, the eternal nature of Yisrael will never cease. Kehillas Bnei Torah of Har Nof is the same shul where the massacre transpired two days earlier but now it hosted tens of avreichim taking their monthly Dirshu tests. Hundreds of teary-eyed visitors could be found everywhere. With broken hearts they came to look at the place where the four holy korbanos, the Kedoshim of the Har
Nof slaughter, met their deaths. Simultaneously, tens of Dirshu test takers blocked out the commotion as they concentrated on the questions on the test. Rabbi Shalom Yachnes, Dirshu’s representative in Har Nof and himself a resident of the neighborhood related, “On the day of the test, I received many phone calls from local Dirshu test takers asking if the test would be held at Kehillas Bnei Torah as it is every month. I answered, ‘Yes’.” Indeed, the Kedoshim who were supremely dedicated to limud haTorah represented the ideal of mesiras nefesh for limud haTorah. Taking
Into The Woods with JWRC... A Talent for Theater, Charity and Friendship The Jewish Women’s Repertory Company (“JWRC”) is holding dress rehearsals starting December 1st for their 10th show, Into The Woods. The musical is produced by an eclectic cast of Jewish women. Ticket sales are busy for the December 13 and 14 performances at the beautiful Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on West Washington Blvd. Into The Woods is the brainchild of the invincible Margy Horowitz. A graduate from Bais Yaakov of Chicago, Horowitz went to music school and trained as a pianist. Ten years ago, Horowitz conceived the JWRC program after listening to a powerful Shabbat lecture by Rabbi Weil at Beth Jacob Synagogue. The subject was women as victims of domestic abuse. On the one hand, Jewish life prides itself on violence-free,
harmonious relationships, but there are many rabbis who will tell you that the problem of domestic violence exists in their com-
At a rehearsal a couple of days ago
munities. There are training programs designed to teach Rabbis how to address this topic with their congregations, yet it is to the Family Violence Project, a program of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, that JWRC donates a portion of its proceeds. More than $40,000 has been donated so far. Horowitz
explained, “I heard that lecture and I knew I didn’t earn enough as a piano teacher to make a meaningful financial donation. On the other hand, I remembered the joy of putting on a show in high school and at Stern College and I thought this was a perfect way to raise a meaningful sum. This would be a project I could make happen outside of my normal life, outside of parenting and teaching, and I’m blessed with a husband who supports me.” The show takes several months of preparation but more than 1,000 tickets are generated for each production. Ticket sales are just one part of how the shows are funded. Support also comes from donations and sponsorship. Horowitz admits the production is more than a charitable venture. “I never realized that the shows would create such comrad-
ery between women from all levels of religiosity and all sizes of family. One of our performers is an orthodox lady who teaches at Bais Yaakov; she has a delightful friendship with another women who has kids at the conservative Pressman Academy. After performing in 4 shows together, their friendship extends to recipe swaps, child-rearing techniques and discussions of social issues. We’re normally so insular in our own groups and this makes us quick to judge others. On the other hand, after rehearsing two or three evenings a week for several months, the company builds deep and meaningful relationships. This is a production that our husbands are not even going to watch; it’s just for women, but when our kids come and see what we have put together, they are so proud of us. That’s the greatest gift of all.” For tickets to any of the 3 shows, visit http://www.itsmyseat.com/intothewoods/ or call 323 964 9766.
m i h s o d e K The of d " y H f o N Har
Assistance for the famillies of the Kedoshim and Wounded
While in the middle of their morning prayers, davening men were interupted by ruthless cleaver-wielding murderers who stormed the shul, leaving blood and bullets in their path. Unbelievable pain, fear, disbelief and cries washed over all Jewish Communities worldwide who mourn this barbaric and senseless loss.
The gruesome crime left behind many orphans, as well as families of the injured, who are in great need of assistance.
Under the Auspices of Harav Y. M. Rubin shlit"a Rav of K'hal Bnei Torah -Har Nof
Call 24 Hours:
Let's Help them now.
Mail to: American Friends of Kuupat Ha’’ir | 44415 14tth Avenuee, Broooklyyn NYY 112219
Please specify that funds are for fund #2159
Donate Online: www.kupat.org
DECEMBER 4, 2014
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Simxa Shabbaton 2014: Bringing the Light of Torah to Russian-speaking Jews By Yehudis Litvak
My Soviet education was relentlessly atheist. I still remember my first grade teacher talking to us about religion. “Raise your hand if your grandparents sometimes take you to church,” she said. Several children raised their hands. Being Jewish, I had never been to church, so I didn’t. The word “synagogue” was not even in my vocabulary. The teacher urged the ones who had raised their hands to stop going. She told us that G-d didn’t exist, that He was invented by primitive people who did not have science to guide them, and that all forms of worship were no longer necessary in the progressive Soviet society that was so close the ideals of communism. I was fortunate however; the Soviet Union collapsed when I was a teenager, and I was able to attend a newly opened Jewish school and learn about my heritage. Not many Jews from the former Soviet Union had this opportunity. While my grandparents’ generation always remembered some mitzvos and traditions that they had grown up with, my parents’ generation was left with barely any trace of Judaism. As a Russian-speaking religious Jew, I’ve always felt an obligation to reach out to those Russian Jews who were less fortunate than me and who remained mostly ignorant of the beauty of their Jewish heritage. Twelve years ago, when my family moved to Los Angeles, I looked for ways to get involved in local Russian Jewish outreach. Then I met Moshe and Esther Davidoff who are passionate about bringing Russian Jews closer to Torah. They founded Simxa Company, an educational non-profit organization for Russian-speaking Jews, and they organize annual Shabbatons where Russian Jews are able to connect and learn from other Russian-speaking Jews. I immediately offered to help, and I have been involved with Simxa Shabbatons ever since. Simxa Shabbatons are held over the Thanksgiving weekend and this year was the fourteenth such event. Over three hundred people attended, from all ages and stages in life. The participants came from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, as well as Seattle, Chicago, and even Toronto. While some were unaffiliated, others were fully observant and more than this, the group shared a common background. Everyone came so they could learn and
grow, regardless of their level of observance. The lecture rooms were full to capacity as the speakers taught and inspired the audience. This year’s Russian speaking lecturer was Rabbi Shimon Grilius, a well-known Soviet dissident who had spent five years in Soviet labor camps due to participation in the Jewish underground movement, and who had become observant while living in Russia. After his release, Rabbi Grilius moved to Israel, where he founded the first yeshiva for Russian-speaking Jews. Rabbi Grilius continues teaching all over the world, and Simxa Shabbaton attendees had the privilege to learn from Rabbi Grilius over the weekend. His lectures were especially popular, perhaps because he teaches in Russian, providing a rare opportunity for the attendees to hear a world-renowned Torah teacher in their native language. The lectures in English also drew large audiences. Chana Weisberg, a best-selling author and sought-after speaker, shared a feminine perspective on Judaism, which elicited many questions and sparked lively discussions. Rabbi Sholom Rodal, of Chabad of Mount Olympus, touched on
several controversial topics. In addition to his popular lectures he also led a bonfire event for children on motzei Shabbos, with songs and stories, and the proverbial roasted marshmallows. Rabbi Yaakov Ephraim Parisi brought a special energy to the Shabbaton with his lively l’chaims and many personal stories as he encouraged the attendees to remain strong in their Judaism even when dealing with the secular world. Rabbi Parisi is a former Christian pastor who began discovering discrepancies in Christian doctrines and eventually converted to Judaism. He shared his fascinating story with the audience, injecting a unique sense of humor and inspiring the crowd of listeners. Many Shabbaton attendees learned from the speakers. “Their speeches were very educational and lively,” shared Zhanna Kimelblat from Los Angeles. Michael Sigal from Palos Verdes, said he found the
Shabbaton was a “great experience, fantastic learning.” Anna Levi, a psychologist from the San Fernando Valley, said, “It’s a great vacation because I am free to attend lectures with amazing speakers that give me a spiritual lift for the whole year, while my children are excited about the enriching children’s activities and they get to enjoy a children’s program for all four days of the Shabbaton!” Indeed, Simxa Shabbatons provide baby-sitting alongside the fun-filled children’s program. The 2014 girls’ program was directed by Ms. Tzippy Kin and run by students from Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles. The boys’ program was directed by Rabbi Yisroel Majeski and Rabbi Dovid Morris. The programs included a harbor cruise, a moon bounce, an animal show for younger children, a duct tape activity for older girls, and even a Bas Mitzvah celebration for one of the attendees. “The children’s program was well organized, the girls were exceptional, very qualified,” enthused Jessica Yuz, mother of a twoyear-old girl. “We have first attended 10 years ago,” said Anna Levi, “and we have been coming every year because we cannot miss reconnecting with wonderful families that have become our friends and their children are our children’s friends!” Jessica Yuz agreed, “We get to see people from a similar background and we are learning and growing so much every year. We are always happy to see each other.” It is especially beautiful to see extended families get together at the Shabbaton. Russian Jews have always maintained close family ties. Often several generations attend the Shabbaton together. This year was particularly special for me because my mother and my sister and brother-in-law attended the Simxa Shabbaton for the first time. It was wonderful to spend the Shabbaton together and enjoy our family bond, and it was especially meaningful to attend a lecture together with my mother and my teenage daughter – three generations learning Torah together. This is a powerful proof that the Soviet regime completely failed in its attempt to eradicate Judaism. The light of Torah has reached us all.
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Torah Study for Women by Bracha Turner Four community leaders spoke with The Jewish Home about their motivation to learn and teach and captivate others through Torah study. Mrs. Nomi Freeman is the daughter of the renowned Argentinean Kabbalist, Professor Avraham Polichenco, o.b.m.. She is well known for her seminars that teach spirituality to children and she counsels people looking to find their spiritual path. Mrs. Adinah Sher was previously a shlucha (emissary) for the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Northern California (S.Crus). A wife, mother and grandmother, she currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband. For over twenty years, she has specialized in learning and teaching about the intricacies of the Beit Hamikdash. Mrs Neima Solomon has been an educator for over twenty years and is presently the Hebrew Studies Director for Girls at Tashbar Sephardic Yeshiva Ketana in Los Angeles. She has taught in various schools and also mentor teens and women in the city. Mrs. Shulamith May is a proud mother of 7 married couples, and a grandmother to 30 grandchildren. She has been involved in chinuch in Los Angeles for over 35 years. She presently operates as the Men-
aheles (Head of School) of Bnos Devorah High School. How do you motivate women in your community to learn Torah? Mrs. Nomi Freeman (“NF”): I was asked to give classes and people came. Audiences feel motivated when the class is compelling, relatable, and applicable. I think people want spirituality that relates to them in that they can use it to improve their personal lives. I want that too, so I try to deliver it and that’s what draws people come to the classes. Mrs. Adinah Sher (“AS”): Well, part of it would be by giving classes and trying in the class to be inspiring. Then it does whet other people’s appetite. And also I have chevrutas (learning partners) that I meet up with. Part of it is setting an example and part of it is teaching and putting an effort in the teaching to try to be exciting and inspiring. Mrs. Neima Solomon(“NS”): It’s a very hard question. To really learn you have to work hard and not many always want to invest in it. My role is really in children’s education and I believe if a young woman had positive responses to learning in high school and elementary school, too, then it is a natural consequence that she
herself will desire to continue when she leaves school and seminary. If she had a good connection with her Hebrew teachers (or her Rebbe) and she had positive feedback for her effort, I believe that she will be more likely to continue learning. Otherwise, the general attitude would be the relief of “Yay! I’m done with school! Now I can live my life!” I find that learning is very personal. There are more and more classes for women, but because women tend to be more focused on raising their families, they won’t necessarily be looking for additional types of learning. I can see it on a personal level. I teach a Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) shiur on Shabbat and there you get a specific kind of crowd. Only those who are serious about learning will come; other women will prioritize with other happenings and preoccupations unless it’s a compelling subject. Pirkei Avot is not deep. It’s a light subject and we’re also discussing a lot of current events. The committed ones that learn more seriously always show up but it’s easy to find other things that will engage your time I want to add something. The way the community is set up is that the young community want to connect with their peers. You have to attract them from an element outside of learning, so their peers will want to come and will be supportive. If their peers have something in their house involving food or artsy events, people are more motivated to come. In kiruv circles, they offer a lot more classes regarding light subjects where they also have food, activities, or crafts, or a lot of other ways of attracting people. How do you motivate your daughters to learn? AS: Well it’s interesting. I feel that each child needs to find their own path and they have to relate and have their personal relationship to G-d with their own individual connection. I try to set an example for them but really the thing is they’re so different from me and that’s great. I’ve got six kids and they’re each different, which is wonderful. They each have their unique and private relationship with G-d. They have to find a way to continue to learn. They have to be motivated from within, from their own inner striving to create a closer relationship with G-d. NS: I have a very hard time with that. When my daughter sees how passionate I am in Torah learning and that I’m really well versed and I’m strong with my convictions, she becomes inspired to engage with Torah in more than a superficial level. She’s inspired to motivate the women around her to be connected. Each child needs to create her own areas of interest and knowledge because otherwise, when she gets older, she will never
have appreciated learning. There are also different levels of maturity. The more academic or more spiritually inclined students get further in learning in terms of self-motivation. Bottom line, it can’t be forced on them because pressure to learn will cause it to backlash. NF: My daughters like to learn. I think that is because they grow up in a home where learning is an essential part of life. We have a learning environment in the home. I try to spend time with them learning together. Actually I have a lot of pleasure in learning with my kids so I think they feel how much I enjoy learning with them. I don’t tell them directly you should learn—that would be a big mistake—but the environment, positive attitude, and their parents’ joy of learning has to affect them in some way. I think children naturally love to learn. It’s just that schools sometimes destroy that if they have a rigid structure. What creates the best learning environment? NF: Well the children see that their father and mother spend a lot of their time in front of a book (chuckle). They see that their parents enjoy learning. During family meals the discussion often revolves around learning. At the dinner table, my husband, my children, and I discuss ideas that we learn. I bring up an idea that I find fascinating. We all ask a questions and the children bring up topics they are learning as well. Basically, the children see and experience that learning is valuable. They don’t need to be told. How can learning be made more stimulating for those women who are not academically inclined? Mrs. Shulamith May (“SM”): Through alternative means that appeal to people such as monthly Rosh Chodesh text messages. It is a subtle reminder that it is Rosh Chodesh so they can daven properly, dress and eat in a special way, learn something special about that month’s power and receive a bracha (blessing). AS: One thing I found in teaching for over 20 years is that there’s teaching and there’s learning how to teach. These are two separate things and both are important. For instance, I’ve learned that using power points was powerful in making the topic personal and exciting. Anything visual, such as a handout, will help, too. The other thing is there has to be an emotional component so that it’s not just academic. In other words, you frame it as ‘this is what we are learning but how does it affect our personal life?’ NF: I think that every person has to find what is inspiring to them. Everyone has to find their love within learning. Some love Halacha, others love learning chumash, some find this author to be interesting, that
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lecturer to be inspiring; it’s very personal. You don’t need to be very academic in order to learn. Women are juggling a lot of priorities on a day to day basis. How do we reframe learning as one of those priorities? NF: Personally, learning is a first priority. As soon as I can, I begin each day with learning. I get up in the morning, send my kids to school, I daven and then I learn. When I do that I feel that my day is more successful. For some people this is not possible due to the age of the chil-
dren, or if the mother has a job. When that was not possible for me, I made sure there was learning immediately as soon as it was possible. In other words, learning is a priority so I always put it at the top of the to-do list. AS: It’s very hard isn’t it? We have so many things drawing us. It’s the sweetness of learning. When you taste the sweetness that’s what has to be what draws you. You’re right; you have many things competing for your attention and time. One method is setting up a chevruta (learning partner) because she’s going to be there.
That helps me make sure the learning will happen. You’ve got another person there that you have to deal with, so you can’t make excuses. You have to dig out the beauty from learning and the excitement and the delight will follow. That’s a motivating factor. SM: Women today are exceedingly busy; running a home, raising children and often being involved outside the home with a career or Chesed organizations. Finding time for formal classes is often not practical. I often listen to Torah CDs in my car to and from work. It is something that
I look forward to as I enter my car. It is my spiritual injection for the day. I also make sure to do some bite size learning before I go to sleep - whether it is the daily dose of the Chofetz Chaim’s Laws of Speech or a Jewish magazine article on some contemporary issue. These are suggestions for even the busiest women. How do you make time for learning? NF: It’s simply a priority. I create a time in my day that’s my learning time. Exceptions to that are, of course, taking care of the children--which comes first— or making sure the home is decent. But once the children are in school and you have cleared the kitchen table from breakfast, it’s time for learning. SM: As one gets older and has less concentrated responsibilities at home, i.e., no daily homework and lunches to prepare, it would certainly be worthwhile to exercise one’s brain in a weekly type of Torah class. Just as women find time for their Yoga classes several evenings a week, they can certainly find time to build up their spiritual muscles as well. What is lost if a woman does not learn or has no desire to learn? NS: It’s preconceived that learning is for men. Talmud Torah is indeed a mitzvah for men and it’s not a requirement for women. And yet the Lubavitcher Rebbe had a chiddush (new insight) on that—if you want women to raise children, the woman needs to be inspired in order to teach correctly. And I think many rabbis do realize that women need to be educated like men if they are to raise the next generation because oftentimes how you saw your grandmother do things is vague. When you have a proper base in Torah then it’s a lot easier to keep the Torah and mitzvot. NF: Living without learning is like living in a house without windows. Without learning there is no light, no renewal, no perspective, and no inspiration. For some people who are passionate, learning could be two hours a day; for some people, it could be a shiur a week. But I think people should consider learning as a necessity, not a luxury. Even mothers who are very busy will find time to eat, shower, and brush their teeth, so some minimal amount of learning could be allocated. AS: This is an interesting question because there are those who believe that women shouldn’t really learn. They would say you’re not losing anything by leaving Torah study to the men. Here we have in Rambam’s Sefer Hamitzvot, that the first two mitzvot are loving HASHEM and fearing HASHEM and for a woman we don’t have the mitzvah to learn, but learning Torah will certainly help you fulfill the first two mitzvot. You can love G-d without learning Torah but it definitely helps to make the mitzvot happen. Not to mention, everyone needs to learn Halacha (Jewish law). Everyone needs to know Halacha.
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PART 1 OF 3
History #1 This past week marks the 75th yahrzeit of Reb Boruch Ber Leibowitz (18641939). Who was Reb Boruch Ber? There is no quantifiable way to determine the greatest Roshei Yeshiva in history, however, in any good informal list Reb Boruch Ber qualifies. Like many of the greatest Yeshiva students he had the mark of a prodigy at a very young age. Garnering the reputation of being a genius when your hometown is Slutsk is like being called Sherlock in Scotland Yard; talmudic greatness meant something in Slutsk, Belarus. Slutsk was home to all-star names such as Rav Isser Zalman Metlzer, Rav Aharon Kotler, and Rav Yechezkel Abramsky and many other great halachik minds. At the age of 16, the young and innovative Boruch Ber was invited to the esteemed Volozhin Yeshiva. Legend has it that he had a difficult time adjusting to the new curriculum and fitting in with his peers. A mind like Reb Boruch Ber can’t easily be contained. His will to develop new ideas (chiddushim) got in the way of simple steady learning. In many ways his mind worked in the same way as the mind of his brilliant Rebbe, Reb Chaim Brisker. Reb Chaim took the young Boruch
Ber under his wing and developed this burgeoning titan. He helped hone his unbridled and boundless intellectual power. With time he became known for his knack of calling every sevara (logical distinction) into question. As Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer proclaimed “with Reb Boruch Ber, no sevara was safe.” Ultimately Reb Boruch Ber’s style was epitomized by precision. He argued that you must speak the answer clearly or not say it at all. The solution to any Talmudic problem must come from the text itself. No imposed answer could resolve any challenge adequately. A resolution must resonate with the daf, with the words. In 1904 Reb Boruch Ber got the call
ty of his previous owner. Rashi, commenting on this passage, says that we are speaking of a slave who brought his document from oversees while he assumes the role of messenger and witness of Court X (this role is called sheliach l’holacha.) Rabbi Akiva Eiger asks why Rashi had to ‘twist himself like a pretzel’ to say that we are referring to a slave that brought his freedom document in the role of a sheliach l’holacha. Why didn’t he simply say the case is referring to a slave who brought his own document that he used to go free with and now he is holding it so that he can marry a free women? When it comes to freedom we don’t assume any
that elected him to become the head of the Kneses Beis Yitzchak Yeshiva in Kamaneitz. With the onset of WWI, Reb Boruch Ber was forced to move the location of the yeshiva on three occaisions. His final stop was just outside the city of Vilna in 1939, where he would spend the remaining few months of his life. His grave was found in 2012.
forgery (just like we believe a women about her get document). However, he is not believed when it comes to his property as no such lenient dispensation was given in terms of his financial believability. This is what we call palginan dibura – split his words and therefore as the gemara stated we believe him about the freedom and not about the property. Why then the need to label him as a sheliach l’holacha? Rabbi Eiger answers that we deploy palginan dibura in cases where, for example, one writes all his property to his slave (a demonstrative act of freedom) but leaves out an unspecified amount. We allow such a document to be used as a freedom document but not as a transfer of prop-
Torah #1 According to the gemara in Gitin (8b)
If a slave brought his Get (document) of freedom, and it says ‘yourself and my property are acquired to you’, the slave goes free, but does not acquire the proper-
erty because we don’t know the specific excluded amount. That is a proper usage of palginan dibura because the semantic contradiction between giving “all property” and “leaving out a portion” eliminates that part of the document, thus leaving the other clause about freedom in place. In contrast to that is our case where we would have to declare the document a forgery in one sense and not a forgery in another. That would leave us with a document of confused identity. Therefore, a more creative solution needed to be found and this would explain why Rashi went with his thesis. Remember what I said in the biographical sketch; Reb Boruch Ber was a warrior at undoing almost any sevara. Reb Ber claims that Rabbi Eiger is against the Rambam. The Rambam rules that a slave who brings his document of freedom and it says, “you and my property are acquired to you,” we believe him as far as his freedom but not as far as the property for we utilize palginan dibura. While Reb Boruch Ber has used the Rambam to call Rabbi Eiger into question, it leaves us with a bigger problem – how do we understand the Rambam in light of Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s definition of palginan dibura? Either this document would be a forgery or is it not? Reb Boruch Ber has a beautiful explanation. Most early commentaries assume that the reason why when it comes to aget, when the party who was freed by that get utilizes it we don’t claim that it’s a forger because משום עגונא אקילו בה –רבנןfor the plight of the chained one the Rabbis were lenient. The Rambam, however, never cites that as the reasoning for the leniency by a get. Rather the leniency, according to him, is based on the notion that a woman (and by extension a slave) will be very careful before using such a device to remarry. There is too much at stake with a forged get. Therefore, with regard to freedom, such a document has a chazaka [definition: the presumption of ownership of a personal status] and he will be believed. But on property, where he had no prior chazaka – we won’t believe him. Therefore we can say palginan dibura.
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With G-d’s help, my plan is to spread the biographical notes over the three articles and also present an outline of 3 of his teachings. The biography herein is by no means exhaustive and the Torah chosen doesn’t reflect the Rosh Yeshiva’s “best” but rather 3 classic pieces.
By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Rav and Dean at Yeshivat Yavneh
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The Life and Torah of Reb Boruch Ber Leibowitz
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DECEMBER 4, 2014
Every year, on Rosh Hashanah, just before the shofar is sounded, the Jewish heart pounds with anticipation and awe. During one of the most exalted moments of the year, as we are about to hear the shofar blown, we recite kappitel 47 of Tehillim seven times in succession. The perek is replete with references, hidden and revealed, to the avodas hayom. Among other hints to our destiny, in those pesukim we praise “gaon Yaakov asher oheiv selah, the pride of Yaakov, which Hashem loves forever.” Referring to the Jewish pride which is ingrained in us, we point to Yaakov as the paragon of the middah of gaavah dekedushah. Why is this trait most associated with Yaakov Avinu? Didn’t Avrohom, with his wealth and influence, and Yitzchok, who stood dignified and noble, imbue us with this middah as well? Why is Yaakov, the ish tom yosheiv ohalim, who studied Torah in the seclusion of his tent, linked with this attribute? Yaakov was unique in his role. He led his children into golus, instilling in them the qualities that they would need to persevere and thrive through a long exile. He dealt with Eisov and his malach. Although Yitzchok married the daughter of a rasha, he never lived with him or had any dealings with him. Yaakov, however, lived with, worked for, and negotiated with his infamous father-in-law, Lovon. Yaakov fled from one wicked person, his brother Eisov, into the clutches of another, Lovon. And when he finally left Lovon, he was confronted once again by his brother and his intentions to kill him and
his family. Yaakov is the av who epitomized Jewish pride, the gaon Yaakov, because his entire life - from the time he was in his mother’s womb - was spent wrestling with evil schemers. He was able to proclaim, “Im Lovon garti vetaryag mitzvos shomarti.” He was unaffected by them, “velo lomadeti mimaasov haro’im.” Not only did his adherence to the mitzvos remain firm, but he was not influenced by Lovon. He remained as holy and pure as he was in the home of his parents, or when he studied in the yeshiva of Sheim and Eiver. The ma’asei avos, each account of the avos and their travels recounted in Sefer Bereishis, is replete with life-lessons and directives. Yaakov’s experiences guide us, his children, of a long and bitter journey through many nations, and remain as true today as they were in previous periods of our history. We have to remain focused not only on shemiras taryag mitzvos but on the ability to remain untouched by pervasive dishonesty and depravity. Parshas Vayishlach is a guidebook on relations with the umos ha’olam. Chazal recount that chachomim who traveled to
is the same. Beneath all the veneers, the children of Eisov are the same Eisov. Sometimes they present themselves as achim, brothers, concerned about our welfare, and other times their evil intentions are apparent. Our response to Eisov also remains the same throughout the ages. We deal with Eisov the same way Yaakov did. The parsha opens with the account of the malochim Yaakov sent to approach his advancing brother to seek his favor. Rashi teaches that the messengers were malochim mamesh, actual angels. Why couldn’t this mission be carried out by humans? Why did it require angels to fulfill the task? Yaakov immediately assumed there was malice in the heart of his approaching brother. How did he know that Eisov intended to harm him? Perhaps upon hearing that his brother was returning home after having found success, he wanted to greet him, express his love and begin a new chapter in their relationship. The Baal Haturim in Parshas Toldos (25:25) calculates that the numerical equivalent of Eisov is shalom, peace. Perhaps we can understand the significance
THE ERA WILL SOON ARRIVE WHEN AM YISROEL WILL EXACT PUNISHMENT ON EISOV FOR HIS GUILE Rome to meet with their overlords would carefully study the parsha prior to setting out on their precarious journeys. The Ramban writes that this week’s parsha “contains a hint for future generations, for all that transpired between our forefather Yaakov and Eisov will happen to us with Eisov’s children, and it is fitting for us to follow the path of the tzaddik (Yaakov).” As our chachomim throughout the ages studied this parsha and Yaakov’s behavior before traveling to the seat of power, they internalized that nothing has changed. The rulers of our exiles have changed in deportment and title, from dictators and despots to well-dressed diplomats with wide smiles, but Eisov remains Eisov and Yaakov remains Yaakov. The modus operandi
of this gematria by noting that even when Eisov seeks to do battle, he presents himself as a man of peace. He speaks in peaceful tones and his actions appear to be motivated by a desire to spread peace and brotherhood in the world. He presents himself as an intelligent, thoughtful person. Many people are impressed by his guile. Rav Chaim Vital and the Ohr Hachaim write that Yaakov feared that if he would send a human to scout out his brother’s intentions, the messenger would be influenced by Eisov’s outward appearance and comments, and would be fooled into thinking that he really seeks a peaceful existence with Yaakov. When he heard that Eisov was approaching, Yaakov sensed that he was in
danger. The Torah doesn’t recount that the malochim warned Yaakov that Eisov was planning to do battle. It only says that he was on his way. But Yaakov understood that if Eisov was coming towards him, it could only mean trouble. Success in any interpersonal dealing depends on clear knowledge of the person you are meeting and what they really want. Yaakov well understood Eisov’s essence, and he had the vision to see beyond the exterior and appreciate his opponent. When we deal with other people, we must possess the awareness of our grandfather Yaakov. He gifted us this ability as part of his legacy to us. When dealing with others, whether brothers or opponents, we must be honest with ourselves and not permit outside influences and considerations to impress us. Whether it is shtadlonim representing us in the halls of power or in other confrontations, we must preserve the gaon Yaakov with doron, tefillah and then milchomah. We have to ensure that we are not taken in by sweet talk and that we do not fall for back-slapping and empty promises. We don’t have malochim to act as envoys and discern the true intentions of modern-day Eisovs, but we do have the message of Yaakov Avinu, who taught us the halacha of Eisov sonei l’Yaakov, an ever-relevant message. One of the futile activities in which well-meaning Jews frequently engage is headline-watching. They look for hints that the general media is biased against Israel. Time and again, they expose the slant and prejudice that indicate that media reporting is skewed and sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. They are certainly right in their conclusions. What I don’t understand is why they are still surprised. What expectations do they have? What hopes do they harbor? If we accept that the sinah is real and enduring, then we should know better than to try to engender their sympathy to our side. Why do we work so hard to curry favor and glean compliments from them? Learn the parsha and our role becomes clear. Encounters with Eisov mean trouble. Yaakov had no expectations of genuine love. The most he hoped for was peaceful co-existence. If you examine the pesukim,
is appropriate and when it isn’t. Rav Dovid Soloveitchik related that his grandfather, Rav Chaim, once traveled to the capital city of St. Petersburg accompanied by the Brisker, dayan, Rav Simcha Zelig Rieger, to plead on behalf of their people. They had an appointment with the minister of education, but as the time for the audience approached, the minister stepped into the waiting room and insisted that only one of them may enter. “The more important one should come in. Alone,” he said. Rav Chaim explained that they had come together and were of equal importance, but the minister refused to accept two petitioners. He indicated that Rav Chaim should follow him into his office. When the door closed, Rav Chaim decided to forego the arguments and claims he had so carefully prepared. Instead, he reached into his pocket and withdrew an envelope filled with money. The minister’s eyes bulged with desire and the rov handed him the money. The minister assured him that he would repeal the decree and honor the request of the Jews.
Rav Chaim later explained why he decided to immediately offer money rather than attempt dialogue. “When he made it clear that he would only accept one visitor,” Rav Chaim said, “I understood that his wish for privacy stemmed from a sense of embarrassment about what he was about to do and a desire to keep it a secret.” He had prepared himself well for the engagement with Eisov, and when he sized up his opponent, Rav Chaim determined that for that descendant of Eisov, at that time, doron was the preferred means of hishtadlus. We look forward to the day the novi Ovadiah speaks about in this week’s haftorah: “Ve’olu moshi’im beHar Tzion lishpot es har Eisov.” The era will soon arrive when Am Yisroel will exact punishment on Eisov for his guile, when the gaon Yaakov will radiate as our pride fills the world. May it be soon.
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DECEMBER 4, 2014
This is what is meant by “gaon Yaakov.” Yaakov not only understood Eisov’s true colors, he appreciated his own. With pride, he was confident and clear about his own mission. The ability to swallow when necessary is just as important as the strength to react with courage. It takes poise and precision, and a perfect awareness of our role, to be able to prepare for battle by assuming a defensive posture and not always choosing to be confrontational. The gaon Yaakov has allowed us to flourish despite centuries of oppression. Our focus always remains the same: Not only to exist, but to exist as shomrei Torah. Thus, our desire to fight is in that context. We determine which course of action will best promote our agenda. It is not necessarily by being on the offensive. Often, it is achieved by retreating and waiting for a better opportunity. Those who, like Yaakov, are steeped in the Torah of Sheim and Eiver are charged with determining the course of action to pursue. It is to them that the nation turns for guidance, not to the people who think superficially and operate rashly without an appreciation for the larger mission and goal. Yaakov Avinu also wanted to achieve shalom, but he wasn’t prepared to forfeit his goal for that ideal. The posuk (ibid. 32:8) relates, “Vayira Yaakov meod.” He feared that he would either get killed himself or he would have to kill someone. But capitulation to Eisov was not an option. Shalom is only an attribute when it is achieved within the framework of emes. Great men, descendants of Yaakov, have always opted for the emes of Yaakov, stating the facts as they are and accepting the ramifications. The novi Michah said (7:20), “Titein emes l’Yaakov.” Yaakov Avinu, the fountain of emes, sent malochim to Eisov to gauge his positions. Yaakov yearned for shalom, but his primary concern was that it be within the context of emes. He sent malochim mamesh, who could discern the truth of Eisov’s intentions. Yaakov was sending a message: “If you speak of peace, but under your smile lies a dagger, I will have no choice but to kill or be killed. I will not compromise on the emes. I won’t change and will not adapt it to conform to your evil path.” This is so relevant, because, often, especially in times when we face acts of terror and war from Eisov and Yishmoel, the first reaction is to scream and threaten revenge. Our instincts tell us that fighting is the only way. However, Yaakov Avinu prepared a three-pronged approach, perceiving that at different times, Eisov could be defeated in different ways. Sometimes it is through the force of tefillah. Other times it is through diplomacy and submission. And in some situations, there is no recourse other than combat. The Torah guides us and instructs us. Through the Torah, we know when doron
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you will note that although Chazal says that Yaakov prepared himself for milchomah, in essence what his preparation consisted of was a defensive posture. He divided the family into two camps. If Eisov would beat one, the other would escape and survive. We convince ourselves that some nations of the world care about us, like us, and have our best interests at heart. We forget the admonishment of Chazal (Pirkei Avos 2:3): “Hevu zehirin barashus she’ein mikarvin lo l’adam ela letzorech atzmon.” We hobnob with politicians, deluding ourselves into thinking that they are actually interested in our issues. We forget the lessons Yaakov Avinu taught about how to deal with governments. We should lobby and seek to soften the edges, convincing good people to advocate for our causes, but we should not be surprised at the all-toopresent moral equivalence and the hypocritical double-standards. Too many of us look at Eisov with respect and high regard, as if he is concerned about us and our welfare. We are impressed when he throws some nice soundbites our way and stunned when we read of increasing anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews around the world. We are incredulous when Eisov turns on us, as he has been doing ever since he lived with Yaakov in the home of Yitzchok and Rivka. Too many of us crave Eisov’s recognition. Under the banner of peace, with niceties and catch-phrases, diplomats seek to destroy the lone lamb that exists amongst seventy wolves. With innocent proclamations, they betray their arrogance and anti-Semitism, disguised by a mask of respectability and concern for justice. A prominent askan once referred to Rabbi Moshe Sherer as his rebbi. He explained: “Some rabbeim give shiur on sugyos in Shas, some in sugyos in halacha or aggada. Rabbi Sherer gave shiur every day on the sugya of ‘Yisroel Bein Ho’amim,’ our role and proper mode of conduct interacting with the nations of the world.” The middah of Eisov is very much alive and ever-present. Eisov is begematria shalom, for that is the card he uses to gain entry into our camp and upend us. His mantra has always been, “I only want to save you from yourselves. Metzitzah b’peh is dangerous for you, so we’ll help. We want peace, you want war. Chareidim really want to work; they’re just scared of social pressures, so we’re bringing your community up to date, because you can’t help yourselves. Palestinians desire peace, but your imperialism robs them of opportunity and leaves them no choice but to savagely murder your citizens.” Our answer has always been that while we appreciate their friendship and concern, the goal is not necessarily to earn their respect and friendship, but to reach a proper working relationship, with each of us distinct and comfortable in our differences.
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THE JEWISH HOME DECEMBER 4, 2014
DECEMBER 4, 2014
Rabbi Chaim Morgenstern
Chinuch Workshops: Practical Torah Guidelines and Strategies for Achieving Successful Chinuch The following series of articles will conclude with a project for parents to focus on each week to improve their parenting skills.
NEW COLUM N!
Role Modeling – The Foundation Of Chinuch
he most important area of raising children that parents should focus on is being a good role model for their children, as the Steipler Rav once remarked, “Role modeling is 50% of child-raising.” A story is told of a young man who asked a Torah sage when and how he should prepare himself for child-raising. When the sage asked him where he was holding in life, he replied, “My wife just gave birth to our first child.” “Mazel tov,” replied the sage, “but you are a few years too late!” The sage was conveying an important message: Chinuch starts when parents are still single, when they create and mold themselves to be the best role models possible for their future children. Thus, for parents to raise well-balanced children, they must project a good model of the Torah personality and of middos tovos so that their children will follow in their footsteps. The Dynamics of Role Modeling Parental role modeling can be broadly defined as: actions, behavior or conducts that have a subtle and very powerful influence on their children. The reason for this influence is because children naturally imitate and emulate their parents’ behavior. The former Kaminetzer Mashgiach, Rav Moshe Aharon Stern, explained the dynamics of role modeling as follows: “The greatest people in a child’s eyes are his parents, and what they do is like Torah from Sinai. Children observe and study their parents’ every action and behavior and record them in their subconscious minds, leaving lasting impressions. Why is this so? Because parents are the most reliable source for priorities and values in their children’s life. Children have the simple trust that their parents won’t transmit any non-Torah or non-ethical ideals to them. Parents
are the children’s prime rebbis and educators, and their actions are the basis for their chinuch.” Moreover, since children’s intellects are not fully developed, they function mostly from their emotions rather than from logic. The result is that they learn and absorb more from what they see than from what they hear. Therefore, showing one’s children how to properly fulfill mitzvos and be a yireh shamayim has a greater impact and influence than telling them so. In a shiur on child-raising, Rabbi
tance of bentching. Rav Frand further notes that since it was done inadvertently, it made an even greater impression because it showed true sincerity. Imitating & Retaining Children also have the tendency to imitate their parents’ actions and behavior, and they observe and retain more than we realize, as illustrated by the following story: It was the night of bedikas chametz, and in order to facilitate the bedika, the
Children naturally imitate and emulate their parents’ behavior. Yissocher Frand told the following story to illustrate this concept: One day when he left his home and was on the way to giving his shiur in Yeshivas Ner Yisrael when he suddenly remembered that he hadn’t bentched. Since it was a hot and humid summer day, he was debating with himself if it was permissible to bentch away from home b’di’eved. In the end, he decided not to look for any leniencies, and he returned home, perspiring from the sweltering heat. That day, his young daughter happened to be home and asked her father in amazement why he had suddenly returned home. When he told her that he had forgotten to bentch, she exclaimed, “What! You came back to bentch?!” Rav Frand realized that he had just “scored a win.” Seeing her father’s great effort to fulfill the halachos of bentching properly made a greater impression than countless times of telling her the impor-
father assigned different parts of the home to his children, while he would do the most difficult task of checking the sefarim. After the father finished reciting the bracha of Al biyur chametz, each child went to his assigned room to do the bedika. Twenty minutes later, the children finished their bedikos and returned to their father only to find him intensely involved in looking over the sefarim. Innocently, one of the sons asked, “Tatty, what are you doing?” In total amazement, the father turned to his child, “Nu, ah-ha” and pointed to his flashlight and feather. The children returned to their rooms and started tidying up for Pesach. Ten minutes later, the children returned to their father who was still occupied with checking the sefarim. Again, one of his sons asksed, “Tatty, why are you so busy with the sefarim?” The astonished father turned to his son and in a raised voice shouted, “Nu sha!” and motioned for the boy to leave
the room. After the father finally finished checking the sefarim and saying Kol chamira etc., he called over his children and exclaimed, “What chutzpa you have for interrupting my bedika! Did you suddenly forget that tonight is bedikas chametz night?” The same son innocently replied, “But Tatty, we never saw you study from these sefarim the entire year, so why was it necessary to check them?” Main point to work and focus on for the coming week: > Parents should start becoming more aware of what they do and say in front of their children so that they will be proper role models for their children to imitate. More examples will appear in the forthcoming articles.
Rabbi Morgenstern does family counseling and lectures extensively in Israel and abroad on shalom bayis, chinuch habanim, family communication, shidduchim, dating and personal growth, and has produced a popular CD series on these topics. His articles on these topics and Jewish hashkafa have appeared internationally in Jewish newspapers and magazines. For more information or to schedule a lecture, contact Rabbi Morgenstern at 952-236-4197, 612845-0872 (Cell number when he’s in the U.S. or Canada), or at rabbi@toras-chaim. org. You can also request to receive his weekly Parsha Pearls and chinuch articles by e-mail. Please include your name in the request. Articles are dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Morgenstern’s parents, Reb Yerachmiel Yisroel Nesanel ben Reb Moshe Dov z”l and Leah Gittel bas Reb Nachman Tzvi a”h. T.N.T.B.H.
There are two men walking in the desert, but neither knows each other. One of them is dying of thirst and the other has a full jug of water. The man with the jug offers the man a drink, but only if he follows three simple rules. Rule 1: He cannot have the jug, because it is his only one. Rule 2: He cannot remove the cork from the spout and drink this way. Rule 3: He cannot poke a hole into the cork or the jug. So, the thirsty man accepted his rules and then he finished his drink and left. How did he do it?
• To succeed in life you need two things: ignorance and confidence. • All things are mortal but the Jew. • Get your facts first then you can distort them as you please. • It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Answer on next page
You Gotta be
• Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. • The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. • It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. • Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. • The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
Yankel had an incredible talking parrot which he loved very much. The only problem was that the parrot used awful language when it didn’t get its way. Yankel was about to host a large group of people for Chanukah so he needed to train his beloved parrot very quickly to stop using foul language. The next time the parrot said a not nice word, Yankel decided to put him in the freezer for two minutes. After two minutes Yankel opened the freezer, took the parrot out and said, “So, have you learned your lesson about not using foul language?” The parrot replied, “I sure have. But I have one question for you: What in the world did the turkey do?!”
• What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. • Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. • Buy land—they’re not making it anymore. • When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old. • If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. • It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them. • Golf is a good walk spoiled. • “Classic”: A book which people praise and don’t read. • Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man’s, I mean.
DECEMBER 4, 2014
In honor of Mark Twain’s birthday, here are some of his witty lines on this thing we call life
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DECEMBER 4, 2014
Notable Quotes Notable
Compiled by Nate Davis
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say“Say What?” What?” The reason I have a clean conscience is I know I did my job right. - Police Officer Darren Wilson, in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, discussing his shooting of Michael Brown President Obama was asked this week whether he thinks that Hillary Clinton will try to distance herself from him in 2016 and he said, “Look, she is not going to agree with me on everything.” Of course, Obama just sent more troops to Afghanistan so even he doesn’t agree with himself on everything. – Seth Myers
Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home, and people today expect clear information about the products they consume. - Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on new regulations requiring restaurants to post calorie counts
I did nothing wrong at all. - Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, after he was acquitted for the deaths of protesters during a 2011 uprising
The benefits of male circumcision have become more and more clear over the last 10 years. - One of the doctors involved in the just-released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report which found that the benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks If I have to drink another Coke in 1,000 years it would be one Coke too soon. - George Prior, 50, who just completed one month of drinking ten 12-ounce cans of Coca Cola daily to see how it would affect his physical health
The clear suggestion is that the White House does indeed still want a doormat — Hagel just forgot whose doormat he was supposed to be. - Former Obama administration official Rosa Brooks
When the president goes through three secretaries, he should ask, “Is it them or is it me?” - Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif., as the Obama White House began looking for its fourth secretary of defense
We gonna die anyway. Let’s die for something. Elijah Mohammed said 40 years ago, maybe near 50 years ago – there were 20 million of us then – he said if 10 million of us lost our lives, 10 million would be left to go free...As long as they kill us, and we go to Wendy’s and have a burger and go to sleep – they gonna keep killing us. But when we die and they die, then soon we gonna sit down at a table and talk about – we tired. We want some of this earth. We tear this…country up. - Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan in a sermon about Ferguson Hands up, don’t shoot. It’s a rallying cry of people all across America. - Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaking on the House floor in Congress All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson. Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts for over a week, they had days off including Thanksgiving cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis’s finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer— that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance. - Statement by the chairman of the St. Louis Police Officers Association after five members of the St. Louis Rams entered the football field exhibiting the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose that has been adopted by protestors who accuse Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson of murdering Michael Brown in cold blood
I got the haircut to fit into the hairstyles I see people wearing on the street. - Radu Mazare, the mayor of Constanta, Romania, who in 2009 was photographed wearing a Nazi uniform, explaining why he has a “Hitler-style” haircut
This week, President Obama is scheduled to meet with superintendents to discuss his plan to provide students with high-speed Internet in the classroom. Then teachers will meet with Obama and say, “Any other ideas for making my job impossible? Wanna give each kid an iPad with Minecraft and a couple of Red Bulls? Leave me alone!” - Jimmy Fallon
When I opened the goat house in the morning, dead goats were everywhere. - Chinese farm owner Guo Yulin, after a rare Siberian tiger released into the wild by Russian President Vladimir Putin killed 15 of his goats
Defense secretary Chuck resigned after sources say the White House became frustrated with his often embarrassing and contradictory remarks, at which point Biden started packing his things. – Jimmy Fallon
The “uberification” of our economy signals a fundamental shift in the way that local services are discovered and fulfilled. - Steve Schlafman, a venture capitalist with RRE Ventures, on apps that deliver services such as doctor visits, security guards and haircuts
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reportedly gave into pressure from the White House to resign. Hagel realized it was over when Obama started responding to his memos with “k.” - Seth Myers
I know some will call this amnesty. - President Obama joking during the traditional White House turkey pardon
Prime Minister Netanyahu has failed in his management of the country and in dealing with the needs of the Israeli public. The firing of ministers is an act of cowardice and loss of control. We are sad to see that the prime minister has chosen to act without consideration for the national interest and to drag Israel to unnecessary elections which will harm the economy and Israeli society, all for narrow political interests and a surrender to the ultra-orthodox parties, the powerful central committee of the Likud and outside lobby groups. – Statement by Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid and Israel’s finance minister, after being fired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday
Today, President Obama finalized his executive action to protect undocumented immigrants by signing a “presidential memorandum” during a rally in Las Vegas. Because if there’s one thing that always works out, it’s a commitment made in Las Vegas. – Jimmy Fallon Before the announcement, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn warned that the country was— quote—“going to go nuts” and predicted the possibility of violence and civil disobedience. Then today Americans were like, “No, that’s next Friday... at Walmart.” - Ibid Yeah, Obama’s taking a lot of heat from Republicans. In fact, some are saying that Obama thinks he’s an American king. When Obama heard this, he was like, “Hey, at least they finally admit I’m American. That’s some progress, I’ll take it. I’ll take whatever I can get.” - Ibid
C-SPAN set up a phone line for undocumented immigrants to call and share their perspective on the immigration debate in the U.S. Although it was awkward when the immigrants said, “Can I call you back? I’m going through a tunnel.” – Jimmy Fallon
I’m fed up. My iPod doesn’t work anymore here. I have to come back. - From a letter written by a French citizen who joined ISIS to his parents (The letter was obtained by Le Figaro newspaper)
Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where? - A promotional tweet sent out by Malaysia Airlines last weekend which was quickly removed by the airline for have “unintentionally caused offense to some” I hope that all of you will follow me. - Adolf Eichmann’s actual last words before he was hanged by Israel in 1962, according to a newly released documentary
DECEMBER 4, 2014
- The mother of an Afghan policeman gunned down by the Taliban explaining why she went on a revengefuelled spree in which she killed 25 Taliban militants
Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as “thugs”? It’s precisely this kind of “otherization” that fuels the problem. Not once did I consider our attackers to be “bad people.” I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay. The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine. We should look at ourselves first. Simply amplifying police presence will not solve the issue. Until we do so, we should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins. I can hardly blame them. The cards are all in our hands, and we’re not playing them. - Oliver Friedfeld, a senior at Georgetown University, writing in the school’s newspaper after he was mugged
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The Taliban attacked our village and my son’s outpost at dawn. After seeing my young son’s body, I picked up his gun and decided to fight off the killers of my son until I die.
I said getting into another plane crash, it’s never going to happen. It’s like a one in a 10 million chance, and to survive is a one in 20 million chance. I survived. I love flying, I always have. - “Pilot” Dan Hall of Connecticut who just survived his second small plane crash in five years
Recent Israeli Innovations
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DECEMBER 4, 2014
Artificial pancreas: Thanks to Israeli company Beta O2, type 1 diabetes patients might have an alternative to painful daily insulin shots and glucose level monitoring. The company has developed an artificial pancreas called ßAir. This device’s main advantage over previous designs is that it protects islet cells which are responsible for converting sugar, starch, and other foods into energy. The only downside is that getting these cells enough oxygen has proven tricky: ßAir users must inject oxygen daily. Results so far have been promising, and the device has already been implanted in eight Swedish diabetes patients in a $1 million human trial. The company is looking to develop an automated oxygen supply for the device in the near future. Mental health therapy in New York streets: Therapy is no longer restricted to an office and a lounge chair. To promote their services, Israeli start-up Talkspace has created plastic therapy bubbles right on the streets of New York where anyone who enters can receive free online coun-
seling. The company was founded by Tel Aviv married couple Oren and Roni Frank after they witnessed the suicide of a friend who had failed to get counseling for depression. According to them, most people with mental health problems don’t see a therapist due to financial problems and/or reluctance to discuss their problems faceto-face. The public bubbles are meant to reinforce the idea that mental health problems are nothing to be ashamed of and that patients should be open and honest about their issues. Talkspace recently raised $2.5 million to deliver care from licensed mental health professionals to those in need. Their highly secure, encrypted text therapy service costs as little as $25 per week. New alarm app figures out your sleep schedule: Figuring out when you’d have to wake up to make it to school or work on time used to be a matter of guesswork. Now, a new phone app called SmartAlarm, developed by Israeli teen Zach Bamberger, manages your time for you. Alarm programs usually assume that a person’s schedule is constant. But we all know this isn’t the case. SmartAlarm’s innovative algorithm considers factors such as weather, traffic, flight delays, and, of course, a person’s daily routine. For example, a traffic accident near your worksite would cause the program to wake you up a bit earlier than planned so you make it on time. Bamberger developed the app with three of his classmates at American Hebrew University in Greensboro, South Carolina. The program is still under development but has already attracted potential investors. Bamberger expects SmartAlarm to make its debut next year. World’s first 3D printed car: 3D printing is a relatively new technology, but it’s proven incredibly useful, making everything from guns to shoes to human organs. Due to the pioneering research of Israeli company Stratasys, in collaboration with scientists at Aachen University, we can now add cars to the list. Every part of the StreetScooter C16 electric car’s exterior from the door to the bumper was made with Aachen U’s super-powerful Objet1000 3d printer which uses a plastic-like material called Digital ABS. The car has a minimum range of 80 miles and top speed of 60mph, making it perfect for city driving. With the advent of 3d print-
By Aaron Feigenbaum
ed cars, customers have a wider range of options for customizable cars, and the cars
can be completed and delivered in months instead of years. As Aachen U professor Achim Kampker notes, compared to the traditional car manufacturing process,
3d printing saves an enormous amount of time and money. A total of 80 companies were involved in the StreetScooter’s design and manufacture. The car is expected to be sold for under 10,000 euros ($12,400). Tel Aviv is the world’s smartest city: Tel Aviv beat out 250 other cities to win the World Smart Cities Award. The prize was sponsored by the Barcelona-based Smart Cities Expo, an annual conference where cities show off their tech. Tel Aviv won due to such innovations as citywide Wi-Fi, smart phone integration, location-based tech tools, public round tables, and a collaborative budget. One of Tel Aviv’s most innovative pieces of tech is its Digi-Tel service which allows every resident to get services and info through email, text message, and a personalized website that is tailored to the resident’s residence, interests and more. Another highlight is the city’s geographic information system (GIS) which is an interactive
digital map that shows information such as property values, demographics and other things. In the words of Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai, “I’m happy about the recognition the municipality is receiving for its technological knowledge and creativity in the city that is used to improve public service and make city services more advanced, efficient and transparent.” New produce preservation method could end world hunger: It’s a sad fact that a huge amount of food is spoiled before it even gets to a market. This is due mainly to transportation, storage, and other logistical issues. Now, Israeli startup Pimi Agro has developed a new way of keeping food fresh and fighting world hunger. Their method, relying on a hydrogen peroxide-derived formula, preserves fruits and vegetables for up to 10 weeks, a significant improvement compared to conventional techniques. The company’s safety tests have been successful enough to gain approval from agricultural regulators around the world including the U.S., U.K., China and others. They’ve also attracted the interest of mega retailers WalMart and SunPacific, both of whom have extensively tested the method in the field. An added benefit of Pimi Agro’s preservation process is that it can cut down drastically on the fungicides farmers need to use. As it is now, produce would rot even faster if it weren’t for fungicides, so food safety advocates will likely embrace this new method.
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Panhandlers; Misery and Meaning By Ruth Judah
It is a truth of city life that panhandlers exist. Sometimes prosecuted, usually ignored, the panhandler forces you to confront yourself. To give, or not to give? Racing around the supermarket, 20 minutes before Shabbat comes in, you speed through the store and grab the missing item. As you turn for home where your wife and children are already greeting guests, you are stopped in your tracks by an unkempt man who is standing at the exit. His wide eyes are now fixed on you, his breath smells rancid, his hands are shaking, his sign is unmistakable and reads, “Can you spare a little change?” Do you throw a dollar in his hat, or a Danish in his hand, or do you ignore him? Do you ask him if he’s hungry? Do you – should you – care? Panhandlers are the people who verbally ask a stranger for money. Sometimes it’s a lonesome man who places a mucky sign in front of him, making clear his request for a financial donation. Other times, it’s a young woman with a pained face, or an African American amputee, an unemployed veteran or an old woman with poor sight. 100 cities in America have laws against panhandling, 16 are cities in California, but mostly the police force has more important issues than prosecuting passive beggars. These are the unkempt downand-outs you meet outside the library, the hospital, the post office or alongside the freeway ramp. The Center for Problem-Oriented policing at the University of Alabama, distinguishes the community of panhandlers as passive or aggressive. Panhandlers, by and large, are not aggressive during daytime hours, in well-populated areas. Prosecution
of aggressive panhandlers is inevitable but for the gentle person who is begging in Los Angeles, the success rate of panhandling for money ensures the business model stays strong. New York has a tougher stance on the issue. In 2014 the new appointed Police commissioner ramped up arrests of panhandlers and peddlers on the subway system to approximately 90 arrests per month; a threefold increase on the 2013 numbers. But New York is many miles away; LA doesn’t prioritize this pursuit of low level criminal behavior in the same way. A November 2013 GLS research report in San Francisco showed that 94 percent of beggars use the money for food, although other studies note that an equal amount is spent on tobacco, alcohol and drugs. The majority, perhaps more than 80 percent, are homeless and panhandling earns them approximately $75 a day, even more for those who are clean, who have pets, disabilities, or purport to be a veteran. The earnings potential varies in different reports. Some earn less than $10, the average is $25 but it is not unusual to earn $100 a day; not dissimilar from minimum wage. Reports identify the profile of people who beg as follows: generally a man in his forties, probably an unemployed laborer, without family and facing substance abuse or mental instability, frequently with physical ailments including AIDS and amputation. Many are homeless, yet there is no obligatory link between the two groups. There are homeless people who have never begged for a penny. For others, begging for money and collecting free handouts is a desperate way of life. Fortunately, in
approximately half the cases, the circumstances change over a few years. The average time most people stay homeless is approximately 2 years at any one time. It is difficult to know how to respond to a panhandler. The image of someone so desperately in need is heartbreaking and makes us uncomfortable. Even if the drifter is not honest with their needs and is actually receiving free housing even a free car or a free phone, the mental state of a person who fills his days with begging, is pitiful. It can be just as much work to beg for money as doing a paid day’s work. The mindset is heavy with attitude, “It is a beggar’s pride that he is not a thief,” says a Japanese proverb. Already bombarded with request for political campaign donations, local politician funds and much needed school events, it is not surprising that many of us pull change from our pocket and donate. The problem is that we have to give without strings. Many a panhandler resents the money that is given with the words, “Please don’t spend this on alcohol or drugs.” If the addict had a choice, he would be spending the money on a healthy lifestyle but the very reason for his situation is that he cannot handle that part of living. A homeless person in Los Angeles summarizes their situation on a scrap of cardboard, “Just trying to get through another day.” When beggars cross our path, we are just as likely to give them something to eat as opposed to giving them money which, we fear, will be used to perpetuate their addiction. Donating food gives us a sense of achievement that we have solved someone else’s hunger. In fact, street people
will tell you that hunger is the least of their problems. There are many food kitchens and shelters in Los Angeles and many communities offer a filling meal, if repetitious and nutritionally vague. Don’t believe the sign that reads, “Will eat for food!” Panhandlers needs have been researched so many times. Electronic donations are not a priority, although it’s common to see panhandlers in poor Asian countries squatting on the side of the filthy streets, iPad in hand, flip phone in their pockets. Donations of clothing can be helpful, as long as the clothing is generic, sturdy and easy to maintain. Reports show that the most meaningful exchange is to ask what is needed. You may be told that money is everything, but specific food or medical requests are also on the list, and there is hope that you will purchase and maybe give them later. Street people note that the least useful donation is unprepared food because there is no kitchen facility in which to cook or clean. Food should be cold and easy to consume, not too fragile or complicated. Raisins and chewing gum are particularly good choices. “It’s good to hear kindness,” says Joe, who has been homeless in Portland, Oregon for much of the past 16 years. He added, “Remember that asking a homeless person their name can be empowering and humanizing for you and them.” Many of those who beg are limited in their ability to make a living, although their intelligence is not handicapped; most beggars have actually completed high school. There are many witty signs. One reads, “My wife was kidnapped and I’m short 98c of the ransom. Can you help?” and, “I’ll bet you $1 that you’ll read this sign!”
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Being charitable is a central value of ethically minded people. Sympathizing with those in dire need is a human requirement that is equally fundamental. But should our charitable efforts be focused on the need that is the most visual, the most immediate? The reality is that panhandling would not exist if we did not support it. Without this source of income, those in need of food and accommodation, healthcare and medical attention, would turn to the institutions and charities which already exist. Panhandlers are actually double dipping into the pool of donators.
Panhandlers represent a cornucopia of sad individual stories and many of these heartbreaking tales are connected to homelessness. The number of homeless is far higher than the number of beggars. The homeless situation in America is estimated at approximately 60,000 in every major city. 610,000 Americans are homeless at any given time. Homeless people are most likely to be facing schizophrenia or an addiction to drugs and/ or alcohol. There are rehab programs available, but for many, these temporary homes are poorly run, unsafe and otherwise unde-
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These highly rated charities work successfully and meaningfully in America and overseas. They are large, complex organizations with budgets exceeding $100 million, and at least $65 million in net assets. They became household names in part because of their exceptional financial management, no easy feat considering the scope and size of their operations. DIRECT RELIEF provides medical assistance to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and disaster. THE UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION created with Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. HADASSAH, THE WOMAN’S ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA is committed to strengthening the unity of the Jewish people. In Israel, they fund progressive healthcare, education, youth institutions, volunteerism, and land reclamation. In the U.S. they fund Jewish and Zionist education programs, Zionist Youth programs, and they advocate for issues of importance to women and to the American Jewish community. AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE was started in 1914 and works today in over 70 countries. JDC acts on behalf of North America’s Jewish communities and others to rescue Jews in danger, provide relief to those in distress, revitalize overseas Jewish communities, and help Israel overcome the social challenges. sirable, especially for the mentally unstable who refuse medication. Medical reports show that schizophrenia, more common in men than women, is successfully treated with medication, however there are many with the disease who strongly dislike the side effects and reject the pills. This is the right of the individual, but makes it hard for charities to productively reach out to them. The Jewish response to organized charity has resulted in endless donations. The expanse of services is endless, like the needs of those Jewish and non-Jewish people who are stricken in some way. Charities support the hungry, the homeless, those with medical needs, orphans, those with litigation issues and other areas that support peace and humanity. In Midrash Vayikra Rabbah we are told that poor people will ask for help and we must comfort them, at the very least with words of kindness. If we cannot give money, we must acknowledge them with words, “My soul goes out to you, for I have nothing to give you.” In Proverbs, Mishlei 10:2, we read that charity saves from death. In giving charity we help those less fortunate but also, save ourselves from negative happenings. It is our obligation and also our protection. The Talmud teaches that if you give a small donation to a poor person who asks for money, you will receive six blessings, and
if you comfort that person with your words, you receive 11 blessings. The Rambam noted the six levels to giving charitably and the highest of them all is to give money and help to prevent another person from becoming so poor. For example, we should encourage independence, mentor where we can, help find someone a job and metaphorically teach the hungry to fish. The blessing of our panhandlers is that they remind us to make a donation. The decision is not whether to give a coin or a dollar bill. The voice we should hear is the urging to contribute something to a quality charity that helps those in need. Today we can give but G-d forbid, it could be our friends, our family or ourselves who might someday need help. A panhandler sign reads, “Everyone needs help sometimes.”
Forbes collates a list of the largest charitable organizations in 2013 America. The top earners total revenue is astronomical; United Way, raised nearly $4.2billion, Salvation Army raised $4billion, The Task Force for Global Health raises $1.6billion, and Feeding America raises $1.5billion. see http://www.forbes.com/top-charities/
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Forgotten Heroes Forgotten Heroes
109 33 Avi Heiligman
YankAmerican Levy Victory in the Battle of Fort Riviere Master of Guerrilla Warfare n the past centutactics. After ex- ley Butler with the Gendarmerie in
The Jewish home n
ry, the world has ecuting hundreds seen the United of political prisonStates military as ers, an angry mob the global policelynched him. The man uerrilla to protect its country was leaderstories of warfare is a type of scouts who told of amazing political and finanless again. The next fighting using unconven- their legendary commander Lawrence cial interests. Some potential president tional soldiers who weren’t of Arabia. This was his first introduccall it imperialism was anti-American. always accepted by “proper” armies. tion to guerrilla warfare and Yank dewhile others think U.S. had of the action the fort.to make it aThe cidedatthere career. Before The term guerrilla, meaningPainting “little of it as a world economic interests Gross is on the right, Smedly in the center time East, he war,”power was extending used by its Spaniards in and theIamshis on the left was up in the in Middle Haiti especially contracted malaria. After the he 1700s but the concept is much older. long reach to make in the sugarwar, plantath went back to Cleveland, married and century that It wasn’t until the 20 the world a safer place. Certain areas tions. In order to protect these interests, start330 a usingrequired locals the to attention of the Amer- President Woodrow began Wilson tosent family. fighticans became ac-than once. Places like the marines to restore order. more They landed H o w e v e rin, cepted in major Somalia and Iraq have in the capital city, Port-Au-Prince, Philippines, Levy with still wars.seenManuals American ground troops trying to July and established aYank government sailorsthat in tempoitch werestabilize writtenthese to nations and reorganize several marines and had local government. Haiti is another rary positions of power. Establishing in him to fight trainthethese inone of forcthese couna police and in force, 1920, the he digenous tries which first got marines then sought went to Mexico es as well as American to to bring the fightdown in a revto train regularattention in 1915 right at the rebels with a group olution. When soldiers in close beginning of World called Gendarhe the heard that combat fighting. War I. merie. The fight his enemy shot One of these For five years, between the rebels, at prisoners for manuals was Haiti was in political also known as Catarget practice, written by the turmoil. Five presicos, and the governhe resigned in eccentric Bert dents had come and ment’s Gendarmerie disgust. Soon he “Yank” Levy gone (a couple of force reinforced by employed who them served were assassi- A guerrilla soldier destroying a tank thewas Americans was again a in many ways nated), and General known astothehelp Caco it was for multiple Vilbrun countries Sam tookduring several revolution. This time Wars. The to firstsupply battle weapons to Nicaraguan unwars.over establishing was atguerrillas Fort Dipitie also advised Isaac Meyer Levy—at a dictatorship. As some point der General Sandino. on He October 24, and techniques he took the name Bert and later was them on proper fighting withon the previous the Americans were Painting of Samuel Gross in action he faced quickthere to quell the and made several trips until the givenpresidents, the nickname Yank—was born uprisings and atrebelsup.holding showed Levy in 1897 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. American Marines400 coups. Determined to squelch the fort. want to fight his own countryHis tempted family of ten children moved to didn’t the rebellions, he resorted to brutal marines, led peacefully by Captain Smedso he returned to the Buffalo and then to Cleveland when men, The
Bert was seven. As a child, Yank was weak so he joined the Boy Scouts and took up boxing to make himself stronger. Throughout his life, he was an active boxer, an amateur champion in the bantamweight division and at times fought professionally. In 1916, he joined the British Merchant Navy and aboard the beef supply ship Mandalay he experienced a bombing raid. Two years later, he joined the 39th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers which was part of the Jewish Legion. The Jewish Legion was comprised of five battalions in the British Army during World War I and served in the Middle East and in Israel in particular. They were involved in a few actions, suffering over 100 fatalities in battle. Yank was a machine gunner when his unit entered the Jordan Valley. In September 1918, he met up with two
States. In 1927, Yank was arrested, and after serving time, he moved back to Canada. He was employed in many fields but when he heard about the Spanish Revolution in 1937, he went there to fight and train irregulars. Yank served in the International Brigade but was captured by fascists after he was wounded during the Battle of Jarama. After six months, the Canadian government was able to bring him home in a prisoner exchange. He wanted to go back to the fighting but he was sick with diseases he contracted in Spain. Friends also convinced him that it wasn’t the best idea to go back to fight, so he recruited over 1,000 Canadians to fight against the fascists. When WWII broke out in 1939, Levy tried to enter the Canadian army. He was rejected because he had a
tion reads, “In company with members reserve, continued pushing the rebels of the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and back but came upon the formidable the marine and sailor detachment from Fort Riviere. The fort was built by the the USS Connecticut, Gross participatFrench in the 1700s and was on top of ed in the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, aproblem mountain with defenses. 1915. Following a conwith hisformidable toe. Instead, he went November ly about17,that point—a little thinking However, the rebels had no artillery centrated drive, several different deto England and became a commando can go a long way. Time Magazine and were known to be poor shots. The tachments of marines gradually closed trainer in tactics for a group of civil- wrote about the book, “Anyone who 200 defenders only had a few rifles and in on the old French bastion fort in ians known as the Home Guard. They thinks his country will be invaded… assorted medieval weapons like swords an effort to cut off all avenues of rewere to protect England in case the [would] do well to read “Yank” Levi’s and knives. Still, treat for the Caco Nazis pulled off Operation Sealion— [sic] Guerrilla bandits. Warfare for instruction Butler was taking Approachthe invasion of England. The operaon to harass invaders.” Yank no chances and preing a breach in stressed the tion was called off because the Gerin the book that everything possible pared to attack with wall which was the to man Air Force didn’t gain control of harass the enemy betodone three companies of onlyshould entrance the and thehand-picked skies duringmathe Battle of Britain. anything can be used to anwas advantage. 24 fort, Gross the However, described aren’t rines each. the training of the Home Some of the methods second man to pass Guard went on (I’m afraid I’ll get an At about 7 and PM Yank was a prima- for this articlethrough the breach on the the facemother of con-wonry November instructor,17, teaching thousands from email from a inworried Americans moved the his experiences in battle. The school dering why herstant son fire has from been digging stealthily into posiCacos and, in thereafwas in Osterley Park and Levy was irregular shaped trenches the backtions around the fort.former Internation- yard!) but theter, for awas 10-minute joined by other book so popular A half an hour later, period, engaged the al Brigade members including Tom that it was distributed worldwide. Butler blew a whisenemy in desperate Winteringham who had been his comYank Levy returned to the U.S. in tle and in theSpain. attackThe school became 1943 and unsuccessfully hand-to-hand mander triedcomto marstarted. The way bat until the basso popular that Levy and his staff were ket a combat knife. He was billed as into the fort from tion was captured training over 400 new recruits every an expert on the subject of guerrilla the direction they and Caco resistance Smedly Butler week. Eventually, it was closed by warfare and went around the country were attacking was a neutralized.” the government because of its radical lecturing on ended the topic. the honsmall tunnel. The first two men into the This battle the Given first Caco political views and lack of “official” orable title of “the greatest instructor tunnel were Sergeant Ross Iams and War. A few years later, there was antraining. defensive Private Samuel Gross followed by But- other uprising against theinAmerican Winteringfighting,” ler. They were under fire the entire time occupation known as the Second Caco he hamsuffered helped to go but no casualties at this point. War. That rebellion was alsowanted squelched Levy to Israel As theywrite came his out of the tunnel, over 60 pretty easily even though itback was bigger book opened called help his felCacos fire but the three Amer- than the first war. However,tothe Battle Guerrilla Tac- reinforced by the ad- of Fort Riviere was the most low widely Jews after icans were soon vancing marines tics in 1941 and and in about 10 min- known battle of the American WorldoccuWar II utes forced the Cacos to flee. About 50 pation which ended in 1934. Samuel wrote an introended. In the Cacos were killed and only one AmerGross retired from the marines in 1918 duction to the end, his passican book.was He injured. wrote The rebels weren’t and is believed to be the only port Jewish request trained to use their guns for short dismarine to receive the Medal of Honor. about Yank’s was denied tances so they The men who fought inby Haitithe were U.S. accolades andthrew them away and picked up stones interests they how he made instead. One of these not only protecting American because stones hit an American officer in the but were showing the world that the his way to Enwere afraid face. Aside from the lieutenant needing U.S. has the power to defeat anyone gland to train that his “dirty dental work, the Americans captured who threatens world peace. Indeed, a tricks” may the Home the fort while facing superior numbers. couple of years later, America entered Guard. At the pose a politiWhat was interesting about the af- WWI and defeated the German military end Winterthreat to the termath of this battle was the awarding juggernaut in just one year cal of fighting, ingham writes, British Manthe Congressional Medal of Honor to restoring peace to Europe. “That is why date. Butler, Iams and Gross. The medal is Yankan Levy on the cover of Life Magazine in 1942 Yank died I highest recommend the decoration for American in 1965 at the this notGross, who was one of in the book military. of 67 but legacy still lives only atohandful every of member the Home Aviage only Jewish of servicemen Heiligman is a his weekly contributor to on Jewish Home. He welcomes comto win the was born in 1891 in Thethrough his popular bookyour that is still Guard but medal, to every soldier who underandsold suggestions.for future columns Philadelphia. Hismay real need name to wasdoSamubeing today. stands that we a little ments el Marguiles was credited sav-ci- and can be reached at aviheiligman@ thinking forand victory, and towith every ing the life Butler to who was issued his vilian whoofwants understand what gmail.com. second Medal of Honor. Gross’s citais happening and can happen in this Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to
war, how to help if invasion comes to this country, how the Nazis are going to be defeated.” In the book Yank goes on exact-
The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@ gmail.com.
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Believers in the Police How Religious Officers in Israel’s Police Force are Protecting their Nation with Honor BY TAMMY MARK
s the Israel Defense Force has long established itself as an effective and consistently moral organization, Israel’s internal security has had difficulty maintaining the same standards. The IDF overwhelmingly commands respect from the people whom they protect and defend, yet the Mishtarat Yisrael, the Israel Police, has developed a regrettably tough reputation amongst many of the citizens it serves and protects. Multiple factors have led to the deterioration of public opinion. The religious sector harbors resentment towards the police for its role in the events that occurred in Gush Katif during the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, as well as for the violent clashes in Amona in 2006. The general public has lost faith in the police force’s ability to act impartially and to fight crime. The police force has had very little success in dealing with pervasive community issues like delinquency and domestic disputes. A recent international study revealed that the Israel Police ranked lowest among 20 national police forces.
new program, Maaminim B’Mishtara, Believers in the Police, aims to change this reality. Joining with top police officials and the Internal Security Ministry and with the haskama of many rabbanim in Israel, the leaders of the organization have created a system to recruit highly skilled and ethical candidates from amongst the religious population in efforts to boost both the police capabilities as well as its
public image. The initiative was spearheaded three years ago by Nachy Eyal after an unfortunate encounter with the Israel Police. He realized that the existing situation required drastic changes. Determined to boost the integrity of the Israel Police, Eyal set out to fix the system from within. Amongst the challenges he faced was the fact the Israel Police has had difficulty recruiting da’ati
graduates of IDF combat units into its ranks. Of the 29,000 policemen in the Mishtara, a mere 6,000 are at least traditional and the halachic aspects of police work has never been formally addressed. Under the direction of CEO Uriel Cohen and Rabbi Rami Brachyahu, rav of Talmon and head of the program’s beit midrash, religious police officers are gradually gaining traction in the police force. Located in Tel
Aviv, the Maaminim B’Mishtara program begins with a year of Torah study, focusing on relevant halacha and ethics, alternating with basic training. The following year the recruits are more fully immersed in police training, with the continued connection to the beit midrash. Through this specialized program, promotion to officer is possible within two years rather than five years in the typical police program. The target candidates are graduates of hesder yeshivot and mechina pre-military academies, ages 22-32, who have completed combat service. As religious Zionists, these individuals have the ability to infuse the police force with a strong Jewish mindset and Israeli spirit found in the IDF. Ideally, the program seeks to recruit representatives from the national religious community, the Ethiopian immigrant community and the chareidi ultra-orthodox community. A metamorphosis is taking place. Relationships are improving. More and more young people want to be a part of this elite program, and the police are embracing them as well, recognizing that these recruits are the best of the best; they are ethical, well-trained and have a strong sense of duty and commitment to the community. They have served their country with pride and bring an increased sense of nationalism and integrity to the police force. 60 policemen have been trained to date and are now deployed throughout the country. Many station houses throughout the state have an Orthodox representative. Spread throughout the country from Eilat to the Golan
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Members of Israel’s frum police force at the Kotel
Learning in the Beit Medrash
In the Beit Medrash
DECEMBER 4, 2014
Heights, positive changes are taking place within the formed in a few minutes with kind words and the right police force. The use of crude language, commonplace demeanor. Having the police function as positive role in the police environment, is diminishing as the police models will assist in minimizing and ultimately prebecome more aware and conscientious when a religious venting young transgressors from going to jail. “We need to show them how to behave, not send officer works in their midst. Kashrut is now strictly them to jail. Sending them to jail is like sending them adhered to during formal and informal events. Rabbi Brachyahu relates how the program has in- to a school for criminals,” Uriel Cohen points out. Additionally, when religious officers show up to asfluenced even the non-religious members of the police force. For the past few years, the officers were given sist with a potentially-explosive situation and are able cards in order to purchase meals at local stores, Shabbat to calmly diffuse the tension in a home or at the scene included. With the inclusion of Orthodox recruits, not of a crime, relationships between the religious and nononly are meals being served on Shabbat in the station- religious communities are fostered. A respect for the houses, but kiddush and other Shabbat customs are now Torah and those who observe halacha is strengthened. While the first priority is to train the new recruits to part of police life. As there has never been halachic guidance for po- function as ethical leaders, there is a larger vision for lice work, complicated questions are directed to Rabbi the future. Rabbi Brachyahu’s next goal is to complete Brachyahu constantly. Consideration is spent on what a book of halacha for use by all members of the Ispolice activity can be done on Shabbat, since so many rael Police. Efforts are also being directed towards the police responsibilities do not fall under the category development of an ethical empowerment curriculum as of life-saving. Israel Police are responsible to protect part of continuing education for all police officers. While most organizaArab and other non-Jewish tions in Israel are based on citizens at all times as well, building yeshivas and doadding other considerations “How wonderful it is ing chessed, the founders to the complexity of the rulof Maaminim B’Mishtara ings. Exploring issues like for these men to be able are doing innovative work how to properly interrogate to protect the State of by bringing halacha to a prisoner and how much this commonly aggressive can the truth be stretched to institution. “It’s a beautiquestion a suspect requires Israel and their brothers ful partnership,” Rabbi examining Jewish laws as and sisters within the Brachyahu points out with well as the study of ethics. a smile, “bringing someOfficers have to con- parameters of halacha!” thing G-dly into something stantly be on their guard to that has historically funcensure that they are working within the halacha. For example, Rabbi Brachyahu tioned as not G-dly.” Funding is now needed to sustain and expand the points out, when called to a scene on Shabbat to find a cat caught in a tree, an officer cannot assist in the program. The costs are the highest during the first year creature’s escape, unless there is danger to a person of learning, as Maaminim B’Mishtara pay the recruits involved. The police officer has to explain that they 65% of their police salary. They are also seeking to cannot violate the Shabbat to free the cat and the of- include additional rabbinical students to study the comficer cannot refer the situation to another non-religious plex police issues and write books on the halachot for police officer. After all, whatever a religious officer police officers. Both Uriel and Rabbi Brachyahu emcannot do, a non-religious officer should not be doing phasize that although the program is relatively small now, the recruits are energized, and in the long term, the as well. Ethics classes are part of the continuing educa- program will be changing the entire face of the nation’s tion classes for the established police. Visible acts of security force. “How wonderful it is for these men to chessed are common from members of the force. Po- be able to protect the State of Israel and their brothers lice are now quoting from the halacha booklets Rabbi and sisters within the parameters of halacha!” Rabbi Brachyahu has authored and there is a new desire and Brachyahu pronounces. Uriel adds that they hope to supply 500 new reliencouragement for them to learn in the beit midrash. They are learning and relearning what it means to be a gious officers to the Israel Police force within the next police officer in the land of Israel. These nuances fos- 6 years. Currently, only 7% of officers in the force are ter a renewed sense of pride across the spectrum, from religious—in stark contrast to 50% of IDF officers who are religious. young recruits to 20 year veterans. Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President Throughout the year, Rabbi Brachyahu visits the station houses to give lectures to the officers. He also Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, sees visits them in their homes to provide chizuk to their the importance of supporting this endeavor as he bewives and children. He fields calls from those in the lieves the small, day-to-day actions of these respectprogram and other officers who reach out to him with able officers will have a major ripple effect—impacting their questions—even from those who are non-religious society, transforming the police force, and providing who are seeking moral guidance from one whom they more opportunity for the religious community. “It is important that a Torah presence be part of the respect. national police force so that all parts of society can see n a country where the focus is largely on national the beauty and ethical behavior of Torah as they interact security issues, local community issues often take with the young policemen,” says Rabbi Lerner. The name, “Believers in the Police,” says it all. It is a back seat. Through this new initiative, inroads are being made in community life as well. This infu- a clear statement of the dual goals that the leaders set out sion of ethics and compassion will facilitate progress in to achieve: to increase the civilian community’s belief dealing with at-risk youth and abusive domestic situa- in their national police force and to have G-d-fearing tions. Situations can be diffused and mindsets trans- believers serving their country in the Israel Police.
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Global Muhammad Number 1 Boys’ Name in UK
This year, the most popular boys’ name in the United Kingdom was Muhammad—a name that jumped 27 places to claim the top spot in 2014. There has been a surge in Arabic names in the UK this year—with Omar, Ali and Ibrahim all taking spots in the top 100 for the first time. For girls’ names, the top spot was claimed by Sophia, but Maryam is now at number 35—up 59 places—and Nur is a new addition to the top 100—claiming the 29th spot. Sarah Redshaw, managing editor for BabyCentre, pointed out, “With the increase of Arabic names, the top 100 shows the ever-increasing diversity of the UK today.” George no longer is at the top ten, falling to number 13. Other royal names— such as Harry and William—were not as popular this year. Parents seemed more enchanted with celebrity names than with names of the royal family. Following Sophia as the most popular girls’ name in the UK in 2014, Emily, Lily, Olivia and Amelia came in at the top five. Isla, Isabella, Ava, Sophie and Chloe rounded out the top ten. In terms of boys, following Muhammad, the top names in 2014 were Oliver, Jack, Noah, Jacob, Charlie, Harry, Joshua, James and Ethan. A January 2014 census revealed that nearly one in every ten babies born in England and Wales is Muslim.
Russia Still Supporting Rebels in Ukraine NATO’s top military commander has reported that Russian forces are still operating in eastern Ukraine and are providing essential backing for separatist rebels fighting the Kiev government. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, visiting Kiev as head of U.S. forces in Europe, said Russia’s “militarization” of the Crimea peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in March meant Moscow could exert influence over almost the entire Black Sea region.
Breedlove met Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and others in the pro-Western leadership to discuss ways the United States could assist Kiev’s defense in the conflict. Russia denies sending troops or equipment to the rebels but accuses Kiev of using indiscriminate force against civilians in the two eastern territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. Breedlove said Russian forces were also helping the rebels “understand the advanced weaponry that is being brought across,” referring to military equipment which Kiev and the West says is being funneled into Ukraine from Russia. Breedlove’s visit came after Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev. Last week, Biden announced strong U.S. support for a democratic Ukraine – but made no statement of any new non-lethal military aid. Despite appeals by Kiev, NATO and NATO member countries have drawn the
line at providing weapons to Ukraine for fear of being embroiled in a conflict with Russia on behalf of a country that is not a member of the U.S.-led alliance.
Switched at Birth… and Staying That Way This story is straight out of a work of fiction. Two South African toddlers were born in the same hospital on the same day in 2010. They were accidentally swapped before being sent home to their families and now a court-appointed expert has decided that the children should stay with the families who raised them and not be returned to their biological parents.
The two children had their identities exchanged when the nurses at the Johannesburg hospital mixed up the infants. The families were unaware of the mistake until one of the mothers underwent DNA tests when her ex-husband refused to pay child support. One of the mothers had initially wanted to get her biological child back, while the other preferred to keep the one she had raised, leaving the North Gauteng High Court to decide. The court asked the University of Pretoria’s Center for Child Law to investigate and report back on what would be in the children’s best interests, which are given a prominent position in matters concerning minors under South African law. “The recommendation is that the children should stay with the parents who have raised them and should also be permitted to have con-
tact with their biological parents,” said Ann Skelton, director of the center. The court has not set a date to decide the final fate of the children but Skelton said she was hopeful its recommendation would be followed because it was now what both parents wanted. “There was one mom who originally wanted to get her biological child back but she has softened her position and she accepts now that it’s not really possible,” Skelton said.
More Taliban Terror in Kabul
On Sunday, the Kabul police chief resigned after Taliban gunmen killed three members of a South African family in the capital. The attack happened after officials said Afghan forces had ousted insurgents trying to seize the former U.S. and British base of Camp Bastion in the south. Taliban fighters breached the perimeter of Camp Bastion just one month after the base was handed over to the Afghan army. Despite tendering his resignation, General Zahir Zahir was reinstated to his post “on the request of high-ranking officials.” “Based on the request of high-ranking officials and in order to avoid disruption of security affairs, General Zahir was asked to continue his duties,” Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanakzai announced on Monday. The latest Taliban attacks have dented confidence in the country’s security force and added to concern the police and army will struggle to hold strategic territory after most foreign troops pull out at the end of 2014. The attack on a guesthouse in Kabul, which marks the third attack on a foreign guesthouse in 10 days, was home to staff of the U.S.-based charity Partnership in Academics and Development (PAD). PAD said on its website that three people were killed by insurgents who used guns and explosives. They were identified as members of the same South African family – a father and his two teenage children. The family had lived in Afghanistan for nearly 12 years, with the father running the charity and the mother working as a doctor at a
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Kabul clinic. The children were 17 and 14. The Taliban said they had attacked the foreign guesthouse because they believed it to be a Christian center. This was the second time this year the Taliban targeted a group that it said had links to Christianity. Violence across Afghanistan has surged this year as the Taliban and their allies have stepped up their activities ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of most international troops by the end of next month. Over the past 10 days, armed attackers have hit three compounds used by foreign organizations. In separate attacks in Kabul, two American soldiers, two British embassy workers and dozens of Afghan civilians have died.
Thai Princess’s Family Punished for Corruption Thailand has been in the news lately for corruption at all levels of government. The latest move by the Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to crackdown on usury and bribes came this week when he had seven relatives of his wife’s family stripped of their royally-issued names. The relatives were arrested last week in a corruption probe. They are accused of misusing their royal status to amass vast wealth and carry out a number of abuses.
The prince ordered his wife’s family to stop using the name, Akrapongpreecha, which he gave them after he married Princess Srirasmi in 2001. The king and the crown prince both have this privilege, akin to knighthoods in the UK. Interestingly, the crown prince has not revoked the princess’s royal title, “Mom,” which translates roughly as “princess,” nor her use of the royal family’s name, Mahidol na Ayutthaya. She is his third wife, and if he divorces her, she will lose her royal name and status. The investigation has attracted national attention in Thailand, where the private lives of the royal family are generally discreet. But many questions remain unanswered, primarily because of strict laws
that carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for insulting the monarchy. The recent crackdown on dishonesty has included the arrest of at least eight police officers, who face serious charges ranging from bribery and extortion to defaming the monarchy. Thailand’s police department has a reputation as one of the country’s most corrupt institutions. The crackdown comes at a sensitive time for the monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 86, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, in poor health. Worries about the king’s health and succession have contributed to Thailand’s political instability over the past eight years. As the wife of the crown prince, Srirasm would potentially become the next queen of Thailand.
Notorious Nazi Confirmed Dead in Syria
The world’s most wanted Nazi, Alois Brunner, has been confirmed dead by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Brunner, who was the top aide to the Final Solution architect Adolf Eichmann, is thought to have died four years ago in Syria, where he lived for decades after sending nearly 130,000 Jews to Nazi death camps during World War II. Though the Nazi’s death was first suspected nearly four years ago, the ongoing Syrian civil war made independent confirmation impossible. Brunner would have turned 102 years old this week. Efraim Zuroff, noted Nazi hunter, summed up Brunner’s legacy in a press interview. “He was a notorious anti-Semite, sadist, fanatic Nazi,” Brunner explained. “The only known interview we have with him was to a German newsmagazine in 1985, in which he was asked if he had any regrets, and he said, ‘My only regret is I didn’t murder more Jews.’” Brunner’s story is not just one of a mass killer who escaped, but rather a man who found a way to continue killing long after he fled Europe. While living in Syria under the pseudonym Dr. Georg Fischer, Brunner taught former Syrian dictator Hafez Assad how to torture. In the ongoing Syrian Civil War, Hafez Assad’s son, Bashar, has carried on this legacy of terror
Yemen: Worst Country for Women
According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), not one single country in the world has been completely successful in eliminating gender gaps. Even so, there has been much improvement in many countries and the inequality gap has narrowed tremendously in some regions. The WEF’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Report measured disparities between men and women in 142 countries. It considered several categories including economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment, and basic health outcomes. Yemen, is the worst country in the world for women. It has been the lowest ranked nation in the report since 2006, when the WEF began measuring gender inequality. Countries with the most severe inequality consistently failed to give its female residents the same access to educational opportunities than they give to the male residents. In many of these nations, disparities were clear as early on as primary school. For example, in Chad, just 55% of school-aged girls were enrolled in primary school, among the worst rates in the world and far worse still than the 71% for boys. Côte d’Ivoire, Pakistan, and Yemen also had large disparities in enrollment. Subsequently, in many of these nations, there is a tremendous literacy gap, one of the most critical educational outcomes. For instance, in Mali, just 25% of women were considered literate, versus 43% of men. Similarly, Chad had female and male literacy rates of 28% and 47%, respectively. Generally, in countries with extreme gender gaps, women do not hold office. In each of the 10 worst countries for women, men accounted for at least 80% of ministerial positions. Economic participation opportunities also varied widely between men and women in the world’s worst-ranked countries. In fact, in many of these nations, men are at least three times as likely to participate in the labor force as women. Syria is the most extreme example of this, with 76%
of men in the labor force versus just 14% of all women. And of the women who do work in these countries, they tend to earn far less in salary than their male counterparts. In Iran, women earned an average of less than $5,000 annually. Men with jobs, on the other hand, earned more than $26,000 per year. Similarly, in Lebanon, men earned more than $26,000 per year, versus $7,106 for women. According to the report, the worse countries in the world for women are: 1. Yemen 2. Pakistan 3. Chad 4. Syria 5. Mali 6. Iran 7. Cote d’lvoire 8. Lebanon 9. Jordan 10 Morocco
Israel Heading to New Elections
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, amid the imminent breakup of the coalition and dissolution of the Knesset ahead of new elections. “In recent weeks, ministers Lapid and Livni attacked harshly the government I head,” Netanyahu said in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “I will no longer tolerate an opposition within the government. I will not tolerate ministers who, from within the government, attack government policies and the person who leads the government,” he added. The Yesh Atid party responded to Lapid’s dismissal, saying that Netanyahu’s “haphazard move of firing the ministers is an act of cowardice and loss of control.” “Prime Minister Netanyahu has failed in his management of the country and in dealing with the needs of the Israeli public,” the party said in a statement. “We are sad to see that the prime minister has chosen to act without consideration for
Abbas: We’ll Never Recognize Jewish State
Netanyahu Pledges Support for Druze Community
the Druze community to the spotlight. In the aftermath of the attack and Saif’s heroic actions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced via his Facebook page that he will submit a plan for government approval calling for “significant investment” in Druze and Circassian communities. The bid proposes to devote more funds to education, infrastructure, and employment within Druze villages. Israel’s 130,000 Druze live on the Carmel Range and in the Galilee and Golan Heights. They serve in the IDF and recognize the Jewish state; some have integrated into the upper reaches of the military and political establishment. Netanyahu met with Druze community leaders last Wednesday to express his condolences on the recent death of Saif and of Border Police Chief Inspector Jedan Assad who was killed earlier in the month when a Palestinian terrorist drove his car into a crowd of people at a light rail station in Jerusalem. “You are our very flesh. You are an organic part of Israeli society. Your heroic policemen and soldiers have fallen in order to defend the state and all its citizens, but we will defend your rights and your security,” Netanyahu told the Druze leaders. “There is a deep emotional commitment here that found expression in the crowds who came to the funeral. This emotionally underscored what Israeli citizens feel and what I feel,” he said. “This is our fight against radical Islam,” he added. On Thursday, Likud MK Danny Danon said he was seeking to have an addendum added onto the controversial “Jewish state” bill calling for affirmative action for minority communities who take an active part in defending the state. The amendment would affect the country’s Druze and Circassian communities, which take part in mandatory military service. There are around 4,000 Israeli Circassians, a Caucasian Muslim people that was settled in the Galilee by the Ottomans in the late 19th century.
France Votes in Favor of Recognizing Palestinian State
On Tuesday, French lawmakers voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state, following similar, recent moves in Britain and Spain. Sweden recently voted to recognize Palestine as a state. The highly symbolic vote in the lower house National Assembly is not binding on French government policy but sparked criticism from Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned it would be a “grave mistake.” “Israel believes the vote in the National Assembly, which supports recognition of the state of Palestine, will only distance the chances of reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” said the spokesperson of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon. “Such decisions will only make the Palestinian positions more extreme and sends the wrong message to the leaders and peoples of this region,” he said. A solution to the conflict will only be found through direct negotiations between the two parties and not through unilateral actions, Nahshon added. MPs voted 339 to 151 in favor of the motion, which invites Paris to recognize the state of Palestine “as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict.” “France today chose the wrong partner
This week showcased the latest case of anti-Israel rhetoric to come from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Speaking in Cairo, Abbas said that the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accused Israel of estab-
When Druze police officer Zidan Saif, 30, stormed into the Kehilat Bnei Torah shul that was under attack, he did not realize that he was about to become a national hero. Saif perished in the attack while attempting to save Israeli citizens, bringing
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lishing an apartheid government. The Palestinian leader was speaking at an emergency session of the Arab League with foreign ministers from around the Arab world. His remarks came following a week of intense debate among Israeli politicians about a Knesset bill that would enshrine Israel’s status as a Jewish state in law. Abbas also threatened to terminate all security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank unless peace negotiations are revived. Talks collapsed in April, and Israel will not resume them so long as Abbas is partnered with the Hamas terror group in a Palestinian unity government. ”Return to negotiations is possible if Israel agrees to a full freeze of settlement [construction], including Jerusalem, release of the fourth group of long-term prisoners, and setting a timetable for negotiations which will begin with setting borders,” Abbas said. Israel had agreed to release four groups of Palestinian prisoners as a precondition for American-mediated negotiations that began last year. After Palestinian demands that Israeli-Arab prisoners be included, Israel refused to release the fourth group of prisoners. Abbas said on Saturday that the Palestinians weren’t willing to wait any longer for progress and were determined to petition the United Nations Security Council to demand a timetable for the end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian leader is expected to receive Arab League approval to lodge the UN petition in the coming days, but did not say when he would do so. The resolution is likely — but not certain — to fail, either because it falls short of the needed votes or because the U.S. will veto it. But it will likely add momentum to international backing for Palestinian statehood.
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the national interest and to drag Israel to unnecessary elections which will harm the economy and Israeli society, all for narrow political interests and a surrender to the ultra-orthodox parties, the powerful central committee of the Likud and outside lobby groups.” It added that the remaining Yesh Atid ministers would tender their resignations. Livni and Netanyahu met earlier on Tuesday. At the end of their meeting, Livni remarked that “already yesterday at midnight it was clear that we’re going to elections.” Sources close to Livni told Army Radio that the reason she was fired was her support for a bill which would curb Israeli daily Israel Hayom’s free distribution. “Netanyahu and I came from the same political home, but each of us took it in a different direction,” said Livni, who served as an MK and minister in Likud governments before joining Kadima and then establishing Hatnua. The move came a day after Netanyahu issued a series of demands to Lapid for the continuation of the government coalition agreement, which the Yesh Atid party leader rejected. Netanyahu and Lapid met Monday evening following weeks of tension between the leaders of the Knesset’s two largest parties. The prime minister demanded Lapid cease his criticism of the government, transfer NIS 6 billion to the defense budget, release funds needed by the IDF to relocate to the south, back the prime minister’s “Jewish state” legislation, and spike his affordable housing plan, or else risk a breakup of the governing coalition. Lapid refused to concede to the prime minister’s demands. Elections would likely be held in March 2015 if, as expected, Knesset members vote in the next few days to dissolve parliament.
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and I fear repercussions in relations with Israel, the only democracy in the region,” said Meyer Habib, a center-right lawmaker who also holds Israeli citizenship and is close to Netanyahu. “While radical jihad killed citizens of France and other parts of the free world, legitimization is given to the establishment of a state run my corrupt people and terrorists,” he said in a statement published minutes after the vote. Palestinians are seeking to achieve statehood in Gaza and the Israeli-held West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital. With little progress on reaching a settlement, they have been lobbying foreign powers for international recognition.
National Apple iOS vs. Google Android
It seems like everyone has an iPhone— even though only 42 percent of smartphone users own an iPhone—but the company is truly dominating when it comes to online shopping. On Black Friday, Apple’s iOS beat out Google’s Android smartphone operating system on a slew of shopping-related fronts. For instance, iOS users averaged $121.86 per order compared to $98.07 for Android users, a difference of 24.3 percent. iOS traffic online accounted for 34.2 percent of total online traffic—more than double that of Android. Lastly, iOS sales accounted for 21.9 percent of total online sales, nearly quadruple that of Android, which drove 5.8 percent of all online sales. So despite the fact that Android has a bigger market share, Apple users seem to be devoted to the brand—and are willing to pay for it. Business Insider writes: “Android’s market share advantage means nothing because iOS is more popular when it comes to usage, as demonstrated by these shopping data points. If you’re making an app or a website, you want it to work best on iOS because that is where the most lucrative customers are.” The article concludes, “So, in practice, Apple gets the best apps and the best web experience because that’s what makes sense for companies and developers.”
American Smokers on the Decline
Americans may be slow to commit to eating healthy and exercising but there is one category where we are living a healthier lifestyle: cigarette smoking has hit an all-time low in the United States. A new report finds that the percentage of U.S. adults who smoked cigarettes in 2013 was 17.8%, a decline since 2005 when it was at 20.9%, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the lowest figure since 1965 when researchers began tracking this data. Despite the increasing population in the U.S., the number of cigarette smokers was 42.1 million in 2013, a significant drop from 45.1 million in 2005. “There is encouraging news in this study, but we still have much more work to do to help people quit,” Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said. Researchers were able to track where the most and least smoking is happening. In people who live below the poverty level, smoking remained particularly high. The report found that smoking was also high amongst less educated individuals and those who suffer from a disability or limitation. The smoking rate is also high among Americans of multiple races, American Indians and Alaska Natives, compared with people of other ethnicities. Among U.S. regions, people in the Midwest had the highest smoking rate— of 20.5 percent. The smoking rate was 19.2 percent among people in the South, and 16.9 among people in the Northeast. People who live in the West had the lowest smoking rate—13.6 percent. Each year over 480,000 Americans die due to diseases caused by smoking cigarettes. Research has proven that smoking leads to cancer, and it is also a factor in heart and metabolic diseases, which account for 40 percent of tobacco-related deaths. “We can bring down cigarette smoking rates much further, much faster, if strategies proven to work are put in place,” Dr. McAfee pointed out. These strategies include funding tobacco control programs, increasing prices of tobacco products, implementing smoke-free laws, and producing hard-hitting media campaigns. The report also analyzed the habits of
smokers. The average smoker is cutting down the average of cigarettes he or she smokes. About 76.9 percent of smokers confessed to smoking every day in 2013, decreasing from 80.8 percent in 2005. People who smoked daily reported smoking on average 14.2 cigarettes per day in 2013, compared with 16.7 cigarettes in 2005. It’s important to break the habit now— even if a person has years of smoking behind them. “Smokers who quit before they’re 40 years old can get back almost all of the 10 years of life expectancy smoking takes away,” Brian King, a senior scientific adviser with the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said.
CDC: Circumcision Benefits Outweigh the Risks
On Tuesday, U.S. health officials released a draft of long-awaited federal guidelines on circumcision, saying medical evidence supports having the procedure done and health insurers should pay for it. Although, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines do not tell parents to have their boys circumcised, “the scientific evidence is clear that the benefits outweigh the risks,” said the CDC’s Dr. Jonathan Mermin. According to the CDC, being circumcised can prevent some diseases and cancers. “The benefits of male circumcision have become more and more clear over the last 10 years,” said Dr. Aaron Tobian, a Johns Hopkins University researcher involved in one of the African studies. The guidelines were published in the federal register this week. For the next 45 days, the CDC will receive public comment before finalizing them next year. They are likely to draw intense opposition from anti-circumcision advocacy groups.
Stores are Saying Ca-Ching! With Black Friday Shopping ‘Tis the season for shopping and sales!
According to experts, this year’s Black Friday was considerably calmer as compared to other years at malls across America. Experts believe that consumers are opting to shopping on the night of Thanksgiving and online rather than making a mad dash for stores early Friday morning. In addition, many retailers now extend holiday deals and specials rather than limiting them to just Friday in an attempt to keep consumers coming over the entire weekend. The natural result is less of a frenzy on Black Friday. According to ShopperTrak, since 2005, Black Friday has ranked the busiest shopping day in the U.S. However, due to these new trends, the research firm predicts that “Super Saturday,” December 20, will be the most active day for shopping in 2014. Don’t be fooled—less of a crowd does not mean no crowd, as more than 15,000 people lined up early Friday morning for the doors of Macy’s Herald Square to open. Shares of Macy’s, Wal-Mart and Target Corp closed from 2 to 3 percent higher on Friday as investors were encouraged by the long lines on Thursday night and executives made optimistic comments about demand for this holiday season. Analysts believe that the decline in gasoline prices also helped boost sales; if shoppers are savings on gas, they have more to spend on retail. “My budget is pretty tight this year and gas is a tremendous expense because I have to drive my daughter around a lot,” Kristen Akeley, 46, who works at an elementary school, said while shopping for clothes at a Target in Connecticut over weekend. “My gas expense has fallen from $150 a week to $80 a week and that is big savings at this time of the year.” According to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, for Thanksgiving Day, online sales were up 14.3 percent and for Black Friday, there was about an 8 percent increase from last year. Best Buy’s website crashed for just over an hour due to heavy traffic earlier on Friday, but was back up and running by the afternoon, a company spokesman said. Target CEO Brian Cornell reported that his company had a record day of online sales on Thursday, and was seeing high demand in its stores as well. According to Cornell, Target stores sold 1,800 televisions a minute between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday night. This year also rang in some crowds that had no intention of shopping. Protestors flooded the parking lots of malls and stores, petitioning for higher wages at Walmart Stores Inc. In downtown Chicago, police arrested 11 people associated with workers’ rights group OUR Walmart for blocking traffic in front of a Walmart store. The protest was one of 1,600 planned across the United States by the group, which is pushing for higher wages and benefits for the retailer’s employees.
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“Walmart, Walmart you’re no good. Treat your workers like you should,” a throng of protestors chanted outside the store. Despite the protests, Walmart revealed that on Cyber Monday it saw the most online orders in a single day in the retailer’s history.
Survivor and Rescuer Reunite after 69 Years
Very few eyes were not dry this week
as a Holocaust survivor met with her rescuer at JFK International Airport for the first time in 69 years. The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) organized the meeting between Mira Wexler and Helena Weglowski, who flew in from Poland. During the Holocaust, Weglowski, with the help of her brother, hid Wexler and her mother on a farm and in the woods, secretly bringing them groceries to give them sustenance during the war. Because of their brave and selfless acts, Wexler and her mother survived the war and later moved to Brazil. Mira Wexler now lives in Rio de Janeiro, while Weglowski remained in Poland. The Weglowski family also hid Mira’s uncle, Joseph. “In the many years we have worked with survivors and their rescuers, I continue to be amazed by the heroism of the thousands of Christian rescuers who risked their lives to save Jews from certain death,” said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. “We owe a great deal of gratitude to these Righteous Gentiles, and through our work, hope to improve their lives and preserve their stories of heroism,” she added.
More Findings in Etan Patz Case
A 35-year-old tragic missing child case is close to being solved. Pedro Hernandez, the suspect in the case, watched TV reports on the case of Etan Patz and started to wonder if he was the killer. “‘Did I [do] it?’ It was just a thought that came into my head,” Hernandez questions in the psychologist’s report, part of a recent court filing that adds new details about his defense in a case that galvanized the missing-children’s movement. “I was, like, nervous and questioning myself ... trying to make sense.” Hernandez would soon tell police he did kill 6-year-old Patz in 1979, confessing after investigators were tipped that
he’d spoken of having harmed a child. But defense psychological experts later found him unsure of whether the brutal scenario he’d described was real or imaginary. “I believed it in my mind that I did it, but I don’t think I did it,” Hernandez, 53, told one psychologist. His defense says it was fiction from a man with an IQ in the bottom 2 percent of the population and mental illness that makes it difficult for him to distinguish real life from fantasy. Prosecutors say his confession was legitimate, and they’re seeking to limit proposed expert testimony on the psychological phenomenon of false confessions. “We believe the evidence that Mr. Hernandez killed Etan Patz to be credible and persuasive and that his statements are not the product of any mental illness,” the Manhattan district attorney’s office has said. Etan vanished while walking to his school bus stop May 25, 1979, now memorialized as National Missing Children’s Day. Hernandez then worked at a nearby corner store. Etan was never found, and the investigation spanned decades. After police followed an ultimately fruitless lead to a Manhattan basement in April 2012 — the news Hernandez watched on TV
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— they received a tip about him. Authorities eventually learned that in the 1980s, he told a friend, his now-ex-wife, and a church prayer circle he’d hurt an unnamed child in New York City. After more than six hours of police questioning, Hernandez gave a calm, consistent account to police and prosecutors on video in May 2012. He detailed the events of the sad day. “I felt like something just took over me,” he said. He told defense doctors that a voice told him to approach Etan and that several mysterious people followed him during the attack, though he also said the memory “feels like a dream,” according to the psychologists’ reports. Prosecutors haven’t disclosed their own psychologists’ evaluations. But they’ve noted that Hernandez was never hospitalized for psychological problems before his arrest and that he’d shown the mental wherewithal to hold jobs, apply for government benefits and discuss religion.
America’s Most Jammed Roads
We all know that Thanksgiving time is the worst time of year for travel. A lack of new highways and an increase in cars per household has only made commuting worse. As the commuting nightmares of this time of year have come to a close, here is a list of the five most traffic-laden roads in the U.S.—keep your car pointed in the other direction! 1. Interstate 110 in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has the second-worst gridlock of any major city in the U.S., behind only Honolulu. This highway runs north and south through California’s biggest city, and is the worst commute in the country. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, I-110, also known as the Harbor Freeway, had gridlock in 2010 that resulted in 1,440 hours of delays per mile and 2,170 wasted gallons of gasoline. Seems like driving in the City of Angels requires lots of patience. 2. Interstate 80 in San Francisco San Francisco falls closely behind Los Angeles in terrible traffic. I-80 runs all the way to Teaneck, New Jersey, but traffic on one 3.6-mile segment in San Francisco resulted in 600 hours of delays per mile for drivers in 2010. It also cost drivers 1,005 gallons of wasted gas, which is a massive expense even if gas has dipped below $3 per gallon. 3. Interstate 35 in Austin, Texas Houston and Dallas are Texas’ biggest population centers, but the Lone Star state’s capital city ranked higher than both of its major metropolitan areas’ terrible
traffic. I-35 runs from Texas’ Mexican border to Minnesota, and it is home to a high-profile bridge collapse in 2007 that transportation advocates were sure would have spurred more congressional action to fix highways in the U.S. But seven years later, traffic on Austin’s portion of I-35 is still notoriously clogged. One 6.7 miles stretch of the highway in Austin produced 546 hours of delays per mile for drivers and cost them 1,698 gallons of wasted gas. I guess everything really is bigger in Texas. 4. Interstate 678 in New York Ahhh the Van Wyck!! We all know it’s bad, but how many of us knew it was the worst road in the East Coast, according to Texas A&M?! The 3.1-mile stretch of highway running from John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Bronx produced 690 hours of delays per mile and 1,086 wasted gallons of gasoline. Fuhgettaboutit! 5. Interstate 95 North and South of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. has been associated with Congressional snarls in recent years,
That’s Odd Twice as Smashed
On Saturday, a single-engine plane lost power and crash landed on a road that was under construction in Connecticut. The pilot, though, walked away unscathed. After all, he is an expert pilot—an expert at crashing planes, that is. This is the second time Dan Hall crashed his single-engine plane. In 2008, his Cessna lost power and crashed into Pawcatuck River in Rhode Island. “I said getting into another plane crash—it’s never going to happen,” Hall explained. “It’s like a one in a 10 million chance—and to survive is a one in a 20 million chance. I survived. I love flying; I always have.” Seems like he loves crashing, too.
A Mouse, a Movie, and a Lost Masterpiece
When Gergely Barki was watching a children’s movie with his daughter, he was doing more than just spending quality time with his child; he was searching for longlost art. It was reported on Friday that back in 2009 when the art historian, who is a researcher at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest, was watching the movie “Stuart Little” with his daughter, he spotted a work of art last seen by the public in 1928. “I could not believe my eyes when I saw Bereny’s long-lost masterpiece on the wall behind [the actor],” Barki related. “Sleeping Lady with Black Vase,” an avant-garde work by Hungarian painter Robert Bereny wound up as a prop in the 1999 children’s movie about a cute mouse. “A researcher can never take his eyes off the job, even when watching movies at home,” Barki, who is writing a biography on Bereny, told AFP. In the film, the painting hangs over the fireplace in the Little family’s New York City apartment. “It was not just on screen for one second but in several scenes of the film, so I knew I was not dreaming. It was a very happy moment,” said Barki, 43, who knew the work from a faded photo taken in 1928. “I started to write e-mails to everyone involved in the film.” Eventually, he reached a set-designer assistant who said she bought the piece for $500 at an antique shop in Pasadena, California. “She had snapped it up for next to nothing,” Barki pointed out. But despite the low price tag for the piece of art, the assistant liked it so much, she bought it from the studio for herself. “It was hanging on her bedroom wall in Washington,” Barki said. “Within a year, I had a chance to visit her and see the painting and tell her everything about the painter. She was very surprised.” She sold the painting to Barki, who will auction it off on December 13 in Budapest with a starting price of $110,000.
DECEMBER 4, 2014
but there has always also been gridlock on its highways. Interstate 95 runs along the entire length of the East Coast, from Maine to Florida. But the portion of the heavily-traveled highway that circles around Washington on the perimeter highway that is known as the “Beltway” is always backed up with drivers who are either leaving town or passing through on their way to destinations that are further north or south. Spending too much time in D.C. can really give you a headache.
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Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions
A Fishy Brew
28 Waiter, there’s a fish in my drink—and
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he’s doing the backstroke. Want to drink your tea and smile as you sip? Charm Villa will soon be offering tea bags with goldfish swimming instead. No, the fish aren’t live, but as you tug on your teabag, the fish seem to be swimming in the brew. For now, the Taiwanese company has not put the fishy bags up for sale but once
they do, it probably won’t come cheap. These paper fish take 16 steps to make— and that’s before you start boiling your water for your chamomile. It’s a great way to turn your teacup into a fishbowl just by adding water.
World’s Heaviest Gown Want to weigh 400 pounds at your wedding? Wear the Fantasy gown by Gail Be and you’ll surely tip the scales. The designer from Minnesota has cre-
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ated the world’s largest and heaviest wedding gown—weighing a whopping 380 lobs. It took over three years to create the beaded confection, with 22 seamstresses and one million beads used. There are 500,000 glass pearls and 400,000 crystals held together with seven miles of wire on the Fantasy gown. There is no fabric on the gown. “Today’s bride, whether she is spending $1,500 or $15,000 on her wedding dress, wants to have a wedding-day look that reflects her personal style,” comments Terry Hall, Fashion Director at Kleinfeld, the famed bridal salon in New York. “And while Fantasy is very much a fantasy gown, there is a lot of inspiration brides can find from it, whether it be the silhouette, the pattern of the beads, or even the headdress.” An award-winning beader, Be set out to create this one-of-a-kind wedding dress out of her own personal collection of beads. After losing her vision in the early 1990s, Be moved from bead weaving to bead collecting, but thanks to a corneal transplant and Lasik surgery, her vision came back and she could resume her passion. “I thought I’m going to build the biggest wedding dress in the world,” Be told the Mail Online. “Didn’t know what the stats were, didn’t know how to do it, but knew that I was going to be doing the big one.” Now that her work is complete—and will surely ensure her a spot in Guinness Book of World Records—Be is content knowing that no one will ever wear her piece of masterpiece. “It’s an art piece,” notes celebrity wedding planner Marcy Blum. “She set out to draw attention to her work, and she wouldn’t have gotten any press at all if it were just a tapestry.”
The Day of I Do
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On Sunday, nearly 2,000 couples tied the knot in the largest collective wedding Rio de Janeiro has ever seen. The state hosted the mass marriage ceremony for low-income couples who can’t afford to get married. With relatives joining in the festivities, there were nearly 12,000 people gathered to wish the newlyweds
When Phillip LeClerc bought a desk for $40 at an auction, he got more than he bargained for. When the Massachusetts man brought the desk home, he discovered an envelope sticking out from under a drawer. Inside the envelope was a stack of bonds—worth $127,000—that matured in 1992. “The first piece I saw was $500 and that was enough to shake me up,” LeClerc related. “First I said, ‘Oh, this can’t be real. This doesn’t happen,’” he said incredulously. The Good Samaritan gave the bonds back to the auction house, which delivered them to their rightful owner. Marg-e Kelley, president of the auction company, was extremely impressed with LeClerc’s integrity. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years and every day the stories get stranger and better and (more) fabulous,” she said. “The gentleman whose family the bonds belong to, he can’t even believe it. He said, ‘I’m over the moon.’”
Getting Married on the N Train
Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Hector Irakliotis, 26, and Tatyana Sandler, 25, love the subway and couldn’t wait to start their life together onboard the city’s train system. As Hector, a game designer, boarded the train at the Kings Highway stop around 3:30pom with his groomsmen, he announced, “Everyone, hi. I have an announcement to make,” the groom told the other riders. “I am going to be getting married in 20 minutes.” He invited everyone to stay, but asked if they would move to the back of the car. The New Yorkers—ever unflappable—willingly obliged. His groomsmen then decorated the poles and seats with white ribbons. Tatyana, the radiant bride, entered the train at 36 street in her white gown, accompanied by her maid of honor. She walked down the subway aisle as the best man blasted music from his iPhone. “We’ve been through a lot. Good times, bad times, and a lot of the good times have taken place on the train,” Hector said. “In New York, you spend so much time on the train, we thought why not?” As the couple said their “I do’s,” subway riders spontaneously burst into applause. Tatyana, beaming with joy, said the unorthodox wedding venue was just another example of her new husband’s incredible thoughtfulness. “I’m originally from Ukraine, and each time we’d come back here, I’d say to Hector, ‘It doesn’t feel like home until I see the skyline as we’re crossing the bridge.’ And he remembered that. He planned it out specifically so that we’d see the skyline as we were married,” she explained. We hope the couple has “unlimited” wonderful times—and many great subway rides—together. Perhaps you’d like to chip in for a Metrocard for the newlyweds?
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Tresses of Time Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.” Well, you may just venture into the realm of ridiculousness if you purchase the newest watch by DeWitt with the
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intention of wearing it for the hair that’s stuck inside. The $10,000 timepiece will have a piece of Napoleon’s hair sliced into a half millimeter thick—and only 500 will be sold initially. The founder of DeWitt, Jerome de Witt, is a fifth generation descendant of the emperor. Viviane de Witt, Jerome’s wife, recently attended a private auction of items owned by HRH Prince Louis II of Monaco. She walked away with two lots, both containing strands of Napoleon’s hair, which she purchased with the “intention of enclosing them into De Witt watches so that admirers of the emperor can carry his DNA on their wrists,” the company wrote in a statement. She spent over $37,000 on the hair, nothing compared to the almost 2.4$ million one man spent on Napoleon’s hat at the auction. Unbelievably, there are people lining up to have a strand of the French leader’s hair wrapped around their wrists. It’s not certain when the watches will be ready for sale, although the first pieces of hair were sliced in preparation for being put into the watches this week. In Napoleon’s will, the emperor made plans for his hair, “Marchand shall preserve my hair, and cause a bracelet to be made of it, with a little gold clasp, to be sent to the Empress Maria Louisa, to my mother, and to each of my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, the Cardinal; and one of larger size for my son.” Unfortunately, he forgot to mention the strands meant for people who have too much money in the 21st century.
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parabens—that’s congratulations in Portuguese. Rio de Janeiro has promoted the mass wedding for eight years in a tradition called “The Day of I Do” for people with a monthly family income of less than $1,000. At the end of the ceremony, the couples receive a free marriage certificate. Wonder who pays for the shmorg.
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DECEMBER 4, 2014
Travel Guide: Vail, Colorado By Aaron Feigenbaum
Nestled in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the picturesque town of Vail is home to one to North America’s largest and most popular ski resorts. Thousands of visitors are drawn every
seeming remoteness, it’s actually just 100 miles outside Denver. Whether you’re there to ski, snowboard, snowmobile, shop, or simply ride the gondola up to the mountain top and
winter to Vail’s rocky slopes, perfect powder, and European-like village filled with beautiful luxury boutiques. Despite Vail’s
take in the awe-inspiring views, Vail offers a world of adventure and excitement for the whole family. Even if Vail’s rather
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steep winter prices don’t match your budget, there’s just as much, if not more, to do in the other seasons. If you’re not hitting the slopes, come in the summer and go horseback riding through Vail’s idyllic
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forests and fields, or go rafting down the Eagle and Colorado rivers, among other things. No matter what time of year you visit, Vail is a nature-lover’s dream just waiting to be explored. The area now known as Vail was first inhabited by the Ute Native American tribe who named nearby Gore Valley’s peaks the “Shining Mountains.” In WWII, the U.S. Army set up a training base called Camp Hale where the 10th Mountain Division trained for alpine warfare. Many of these soldiers went on to fight in the snowy peaks of northern Italy. A 10th Mountain veteran, Pete Seibert, came back to Colorado after the war and established a ski school at Aspen. Later, Seibert was joined by fellow ski enthusiast Earl Eaton and the pair decided in 1957 that the area surrounding Vail Mountain would be an ideal place for a ski resort. They purchased the land from the U.S. Forest Service and the resort officially opened in 1962. Vail started out from humble beginnings: it only had one gondola, two lifts, eight ski instructors, and nine ski runs. But the resort’s managers were determined to put Vail on the map as an unrivaled ski experience. This dream came true as the resort continued to expand and soon attracted big names such as President Gerald Ford, who visited every year and bought property. Vail’s big break came when it hosted the 1976 Winter Games but when Vail celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1988, it hosted the China Bowl which finally made it North America’s largest ski area. Vail expanded further in 1997 when it purchased Keystone and Breckenridge, thus giving it a total of four huge ski areas and making it the undisputed titan of Colorado skiing. Blue Sky Basin, the most recent expansion, was completed in 2000 and offers some of Vail’s most breathtaking
views and best ski runs. What to See and Do: Vail Mountain/Resort: The world-renowned Vail Mountain ski resort is set at a base elevation of 8,120 feet and
boasts over 5,000 acres of downhill skiing and cross-country trailing. As you ascend to the Back Bowls via gondola, you’ll be met with spectacular views, crisp mountain air, and the fun and excitement of blasting through fresh powder. Vail Nordic School offers classes for every winter sport and every proficiency level. Whether you’re completely new to skiing or want to learn cross-country skiing, an extremely demanding sport that burns up to 1,100 calories per hour, Nordic School can set you up for a reasonable cost. Kids can have plenty of fun too at Adventure Ridge, a football stadium-sized snow park set on the top of Vail Mountain. Family activities there include tubing, ski biking, snowmobiling, ziplining, bungee trampolining, and snowshoeing. The adult version of Adventure Ridge is Vail’s three terrain parks, the largest of which is Golden Peak. They feature half-pipes and log slides for those who aren’t quite ready to hit the slopes. Plus, there are beginner ski courses specifically for kids including Coyote’s Escape, Sherwood Forest, and Porcupine Alley. Finally, check out the Moonlight Snowshoe tour to learn about Vail’s nocturnal wildlife. Be sure to being a telescope on the tour for superb sky-gazing. To ski at Vail, you can purchase a Season Pass starting at $409 per adult and $229 per child. A one day ticket is $104 per adult and $72 per child. A basic one day equipment rental package costs $40 while the more advanced Demo Package costs about $58. Whether you’re staying a day, a week, or somewhere in between, Vail.com or snow.com will have a package that suits your needs. You can also find discounted tickets on Ebay (beware of counterfeits) as well as Denver grocery stores. Summer activities: Though the snow
tour takes you on a 2.5 - 3 hour journey through Ridge Route and Grand Escape. A hike through Vail is an unforgettable experience in which you’ll see beautiful foliage, grassy slopes, tall trees, and views of snowcapped peaks that look like they’ve been transplanted from the Swiss Alps. Some exceptional, lesser known trails include Missouri Lake and Shrine Pass. Vail’s water adventures are also top notch. The village has Whitewater Park where you can kayak in view of the crowds situated along the promenade. If you want a more demanding, off the beaten path experience, then there are several tour companies that will take you for a ride on the Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas rivers. Horseback riding is another option for exploring Vail’s great outdoors. Setting out from the Eagle’s Nest at the top of the gondola, you can take a 40-minute horseback tour through the scenic Game Creek Bowl. Kids can also enjoy a pony ride at Adventure Ridge. For those who want to fish, Vail has plenty of excellent opportunities. Lionshead Village next to the gondola offers free daily lessons perfect for those who are new to fishing. After you’ve got the know-how, head out to one of the many nearby lakes, streams, and rivers to test your skills. One of Vail’s best fishing spots is the majestic Piney Lake, offering one of Vail’s most stunning views. Vail Mountain is also well known for its unique high elevation golf courses and tennis courts. The Village: Downtown Vail is a charming little hamlet modeled on European alpine ski villages. In the winter, the town glows with thousands of lights, and snowy mountains stand in the background giving the Village a fairytale-like atmosphere. Boutique shops have everything from clothes to jewelry to artwork. The town has many excellent high-end
minutes from the Village at 1000 Lions Ridge Loop inside Vail Run hotel. You can contact them at (970) 476-7887 or visit their website at jewishvail.com. Chabad of Vail also offers glatt kosher catering delivered right to your hotel room. You can either order directly from their website or from their kosher partner SkiCountryGrocer.com. Citi Market in the Village has a limited selection of kosher
ed with strictly supervised kosher food throughout. Getting There: Vail is located a relatively short distance of 100 miles from the Denver Airport just off the I-70. Flights from LAX to Denver currently start at about $200 per person round trip. You can also fly directly in to the Eagle County Airport, located 35 minutes away from Vail by shuttle, for
Hall of Fame. This free museum displays the history of skiing and snowboarding, the U.S. Winter Olympics of 1976, and the proud legacy of the 10th Mountain Division. For more info about the U.S. Army’s alpine division, head to Camp Hale, located not far from the village. Several plaques there commemorate the heroic story of these men who trained to fight in some of nature’s harshest conditions. Another highlight of Vail Village is the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, one of the world’s highest botanical gardens. The expertly manicured gardens feature a wide array of flowers, as well as waterfalls and a beautiful log cabin. Admission to the gardens is free. Events: Vail offers great family-friendly events in both winter and summer. Perhaps the biggest one for 2015 is the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Featuring over 700 athletes representing over 70 countries, the Ski Championships show off some of the world’s most talented skiers in an event second only to the Olympic Winter Games. This will be the third time the U.S. has hosted the event with Vail having previously hosted it in 1999 and 1989. Vail also has plenty of free concerts including the unrivaled Bravo! Vail summer festival held from late July through early August. It brings together three of the world’s finest classical orchestras in a free concert series that has gained international acclaim. Another one of Vail’s most notable, and bizarre, events is Spring Back to Vail where participants dress in costumes, skim across icy waters, and jump off snow slopes in hopes of coming out the other side. Spring Back also has live music and a mountain-based obstacle course with prizes for the winner. Daven and Eat: The main shul in Vail is the Chabad Community Center located about twenty
breads and pastries. For those visiting in the summer, a great option is to buy a tour package from KMR (718-395-9040/kmrtours.com). Not only will they show you all the best highlights of Vail, but you’ll also be provid-
about $630 per person round trip. A roundtrip Greyhound fare costs about $460 per person round trip from Denver. Driving to Vail from L.A. is a straightforward 13 hour trip along the I-15 and I-70 highways. For more information visit Vail.com.
DECEMBER 4, 2014
hotels such as The Lodge which features a state-of-the-art spa, and the magnificently designed Arrabelle, one of the Village’s most prominent architectural landmarks. For those on a budget, Destination Resorts Vail and Manor Vail Lodge are just some of the many fine mid-range hotels Vail has to offer. Winter sports junkies will definitely want to visit the Colorado Ski Museum/
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is gone, Vail in the summer is just as beautiful and action-packed as in the winter. Take the gondola to the top and ride one of Vail’s many mountain bike trails, each rated according to difficulty. Bike rentals and guided bike tours are available. Another popular summer activity is hiking. There are six main hiking trails on Vail Mountain itself and plenty of others in the surrounding area. A guided hiking
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THE JEWISH HOME
DECEMBER 4, 2014
DECEMBER 4, 2014
87 Alex Idov Alex Idov
Fun for the Day
Travel withIndustry Kosherology The Growing Kosher
Stone Barnes Center for Agriculture s a student majoring in Culinary
have grown greatly since then, as the demand “ethnic kosher” brands (and this phenomeSustainability & Hospitality and a a kosher growing. The re- non is mainly restricted to parts of the New only naturalmarket means keeps (no pestiOn a recent trip to the Monsey/Monroe area of rare varieties, byfor kosher food blogger, I think it goes port brings proof to this by bringing the fact York tri-state area). New York, my father and I decided to venture off to cides, etc.). The only downside about visiting without say that I have a great interest in the The growing demand for a kosher market that there were approximately 60,000 kosher that the restauPocantico Hills (Westchester county), home of the Stone Barns Center is culinary world. Unlike many other “foodies,” is not restricted to food manufacturers, but certified products in 2000, growing to around Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Located rant on the premises, however, my interest reaches far beyond simhas become an increasing trend in the hospi75,000 certified products in 2002. less than an hour away from Monsey in the beauti- which serves food that ply procuring gourmet kosher products and tality industry. Ever since I can remember, I It is easier today than ever before to gain ful Hudson River Valley, the Stone Barns Center is was raised and grown enjoying allhardcore things food. Whaton some theirpeople farm, is kosher un- certification from one of the many have been enthralled by the hospitality indusa must-see tourist attraction for any foodie. call a quirk of with minea is that I also en-not kofortunately Figuring that I would soonwould be attending college don’t let major in culinary sustainability, we history made visiting the sher. joy food (particularly with But regards that and deterfood you from center a high priority trip,to as kosher it paintsbrands), a vivid picture of stores, grocery going toto visit the “farm-to-table” culinary world. (again, The Stone Barns marketing mainly with regards ko- this The Orthodox Jewish consumer is no longer the common beautiful and eduCenter is a non-profit farm thatfoods). acts asThe an educational sher demand for kosher certified in the kosher segment; it only makes up about 20% of cational States farm with buyer the center which promotes the knowledge sustainable products and of services in the United I’mdestill trying to get over the fact agriculture and local farming. The beautiful farm sits has grown exponentially in thefamily. last three market. thatexperience this place and itsthe surrounding towns and on 80 acres of colorful pastures oncean home cades which and it were has been amazing are located only 27 miles from the to a Rockefeller estate (I to guess explains why it’ssuchvillages see that national companies as Nabisco, the most beautiful barn I’ve ever Kraft, seen—commissioned Mars, and Miller’s gainbustling kosher streets certi- of Manhattan. True it is a little cold outside, the warm agencies spring weather is companies al- try and watch with amazement as world-reby John D. Rockefeller, himself). theremarketing you can toward fication While and begin the ko-but certifying and many just around the corner! get up close and take a good look at all of the livestock sher consumer. I have enjoyed every moment ready produce products that contain all ko- nowned hotels and resorts take on the task of information about including sheep, cattle, chickens, and pigs. of it (oh,turkeys, and it tastes good, too!). Visitors can get shermore ingredients, making it easier for them to catering to kosher consumers. My hometown the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture The premises also contain vegetable gardens “There is no doubt that kosher product receive approval. The funniest fact about the of Atlanta currently has five upscale venues www.stonebarnscenter.org. Located (greenhouses) and outdoor fields,represent which areanused to atmarket buyers attractive seg- growing kosher marketatis630 that the Orthodox that boast kosher kitchen facilities, includHills (Tarrytown) NY, the common ing the Georgia Aquarium, Westin Peachtree grow over 200 varieties of produce year round. Here Bedford Road, Pocantico Jewish consumer is no longer they grow an array of vegetables, many of which are 10591; (914) 366-6200. buyer in the kosher segment; it only makes North, The Intercontinental Buckhead, and up about 20% of the market. The majority the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. The Ritz Carlton of the kosher market consists of a growing hotel chain announced earlier this year that number of Jewish and non-Jewish consum- they will be offering kosher catering in coners who value quality, specialty food prod- junction with Mark David Destinations at seucts which they find healthier and more ap- lect resorts throughout the nation (including Summer is just around the corner....the days are growing longer and the weather Atlanta). Many hotels, mainly in New York, is starting to get warm (hopefully!), and when the weather is warm, it’s pealing. time to The kosher market is further catego- Florida, and Chicago, also have kosher dinebreak out that favorite summer treat: ice cream! Or better yet...travel to the source rized into two segments: “mainstream ko- in options. Co-founder of getaroom.com, of one of the world’s favorite ice cream factories: Ben & Jerry’s. sher” and The Ben & Jerry’s Factory is located in the beautiful countryside of Waterbury, “ethnic kosher.” My understand- Bob Diener, noted, “Hotels are being more ing and Vermont, (5 ½ hours from the NY metro area) and is “must-do” summer activity for personal belief is that the majority creative in targeting different markets, and of kosher every ice cream enthusiast. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory tour is a fun and educational certified products that the general this [kosher] is an upscale market… There’s in the “mainstream tour: are the those flavo-room. In the flavo- a big market of people who keep kosher, and 30 minute guided tour around the real factory...think “Willy Wonka,” onlypublic minuspurchase kosher” category. These are products fresh hotels are getting better and savvier at data the Oompa Loompas and crazy tour guide. The price for admission is $4 for an room, you get to sample a that “happen” to be kosher and are not necessaradult, $3 for senior citizens, and kids 12 and under are free...which is pretty awe- batch of ice cream (the flavor of the mining and using the data and acting on the ilyofpurchased for their kosher mark. This data, which they didn’t do in the past.” I went was mint chocolate some considering that the tour includes a free scoop of the day (and a scoop ice day when And that is the past, while kosher is the includes foods produced by national mancream alone at a B & J shop costs around the same price). chip), and if you don’t care for the wave of the future. While it has been fun ufacturers like Hershey’s, Pepsi Cola, and After purchasing your tickets, the tour begins with meeting your tour guide who featured flavor, they always have a observing the growth of the industry both in General Mills. The other segment, “ethnic proceeds to take you to the “Cow over the Moon” theater where you are shown a backup option for you to sample. In the flavomanufacturing and sectors, I the food room, you also get toproducts see a realthat Ben &the Jerry’s food scientist andhospitality culishort film on what makes Ben & Jerry’s, well, Ben & Jerry’s. From there youkosher,” go to a encompass value-added producers,” join the field myself sometime after arealltypically by new strictly ko-for hope artist developing flavors Ben &toJerry’s (talk about a cool job—literglass-enclosed mezzaninement wherefor you many look down into the actual factory where of narymanufactured guided portion the tour ends there, and then youI look are free to explore the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in thethe U.S. is made (no pictures from hereon in). ally!). Thecompanies boasts 2006 marketing reportallowed by PennsylI graduate. Until then, forward to consher/Jewish-owned like ofKedem B & J’smatzah, awesome shopgefilte and theirtinue famed flavor graveyard, where youWatch can pay Thankfully, I was at the factory on a day that thereAccording was ice cream productiongrape sched-juice,theYehuda vania State University. to a survey watching the industry grow. out, orgift jarred to retired flavors (they have tombstones and all…). uled, so I actually got to see them packaging they had already performed in 2011the by ice thecream, Mintelasmarketing kosher: here I come! fish fin(what your I likerespects to call the universal grocery Ben &These Jerry’sproducts is under are the charhashgacha (kosher supervision) of the Chof-K. The ished mixing the batch that day. Any partand of the Lubicom productionmarketing process isand cool tostore watch. research firm kosher stock). is located Rd, Waterbury, VT 05676 Of course, the most exciting part of the agency, tour is thethere final visit the guided portion of the factory consulting are of approximately acteristically purchased dueat 1281 solelyWaterbury-Stowe in part 12,250,000 kosher consumers in the U.S., to their kosher mark and identification as a Alex Idov (AKA ‘The Kosherologist’) is a food with 21% of American consumers purchas- traditional Jewish food. It is my belief that blogger who runs the blog ‘Kosherology’ and a Alex Idov is a kosher food blogger who runs the award-winning site ‘Kosherology’ regular contributing food columnist to The Jewishcontributing Home magazine. is currently for his foodHe columnist to studying Jewish publicaing kosher products solely because they are and the a“ethnic kosher” products are a remnant bachelor’s degree in Culinary Sustainability Hospitality. Visitreport ‘Kosherology’ and like ‘Kosherology’ on Facebook. tions across the U.S. He is currently attending certified kosher.&The marketing put out at www.exploretheworldofkosher.com of a dwindling market and most American by Penn State states that in 2006, when the kosher consumers today are apt to purchase Kennesaw State University (near Atlanta, GA) for report was published, the kosher food prod- “mainstream kosher” products, though there his bachelor’s degree in Culinary Sustainability uct industry was estimated at approximately is a small percentage of Chassidic and other and Hospitality. Visit his website, ‘Kosherology’ $100 billion. I am sure that the number must sects of Orthodox Jews who will strictly buy @ www.thekosherologist.com
Ben & Jerry’s Factory
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 1 , 2014
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012
51 THE JEWISH HOME
Natural Remedies for Fighting a Cold This Winter
DECEMBER 4, 2014
By Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.
Registered Dietitian in Private Practice and at UCLA
With winter vacation plans on the horizon, the last thing you’d want is to get sick. Keep your family’s immune system strong this December with these natural remedies that have been proven to work for my family, friends and clients year after year. The first line of defense against the common cold is sleep. Sleep is vastly overlooked as a natural immune booster. Studies have shown that when sleep deprived, our T-cell (natural cold killers) production is lower and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines are higher. One study even gave 153 participants, ages 21 to 55 years old, nasal drops of the rhinovirus for 14 consecutive days while reporting their sleep duration and quality. Results found that those who slept less than seven hours per night were 3x more likely to develop the cold, when compared to those who slept at least 8 hours per night (1). In addition to sleeping, we also need to nourish our ever replicating and evolving cells with effective nutrition. What we put in our body can directly impact our body’s ability to prevent and/or recover from a cold. Some of the best sources of immune boosting nutrition can be blended together in my immune boosting smoothie recipe, found below. The first ingredient is filtered water because fluids are essential for flushing out your body of your illness and loosening mucus. 100% pure lemon juice is added because although acidic in taste, lemons are actually very alkalizing to the body and
helps clean the liver so that the liver can function optimally as the premiere detoxifying organ and clean the body of toxins and waste products. Lemons are also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. The next ingredient is cucumber. The water content in cucumbers are also packed with enzymes that naturally hydrate the body and increase the rate and effectiveness of healthy bodily functions such as detoxification and cleansing. Cucumbers also contain caffeic acid, which lowers inflammation and thus reduces irritation. I then love to add organic celery. Celery is also a natural laxative and helps support kidney and liver function that helps to remove waste and toxins from the body. Celery also contains polyacetylene, which is a compound with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the more greens the better, which is why I try to consume as many as possible when fighting and preventing a cold. Greens, including kale, collard greens and romaine lettuce, are extremely high in vitamin A, C, E, chlorophyll, magnesium, and B vitamins, which promote clean blood, removal of toxins and waste, and improved circulation. They also contains high amounts of manganese, iron, copper and calcium essential for supporting blood flow to tissues. Greens are also rich in chlorophyll and magnesium, which can ease stress and improve mood when you are feeling blue. Cilantro and parsley not only contain the positive attributes of green vegetables mentioned above, but they have been shown to chelate mercury and help excrete mercury out of the body through urine. Cilantro also has this effect on other toxic metals such as lead and aluminum. This can help prevent flu-like illnesses because bacteria and viruses are attracted to organs saturated with heavy metals, which can build up in the body when eating a diet high in processed foods. The last nutrient powerhouses I try to incorporate into my immune boosting smoothies is Turmeric and ginger. These ingredients have been long studied and used for centuries for their anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to adequate rest, fluids, and an immune boosting smoothies, I also highly recommend lots of rooibos tea which is naturally caffeine-free (as to not interrupt your rest) and packed with wonderous polyphenols and antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin, which protect the body from free radicals, and chysoeriol, which promotes circulation. And lastly my favorite snack when under the weather is ripe bananas. They are perfectly soft as to not scratch or sting your throat and contain potassium and magnesium, which can relax muscles. Bananas also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan that later gets converted to melatonin and serotonin, a relaxing neurotransmitter so you can rest and recover happily and healthily. ILANA’S IMMUNE-BOOSTING SMOOTHIE Recipe makes approximately 2- 16 oz. servings Ingredients 10 ounces of filtered water 1 medium cucumber 3-4 stalks celery * 1 head of romaine lettuce * 1 cup chopped kale * 1 chopped apple * 2-4 medjool dates
2 tablespoons of 100% pure lemon juice 1 thumb-size worth of fresh ginger Approximately 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley or cilantro ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, to taste Directions: Blend all together until smooth with 3-4 ice cubes in a high powered blender. Enjoy! 1. Cohen, Sheldon et al. “Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold.”Archives of internal medicine 169.1 67–62 :)2009(. PMC. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.N., is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Private Practice in Los Angeles. She also works at UCLA where she meets with patients and leads a weekly seminar on weight loss and health promotion. ilanamuhlstein.com Ilana Muhlstein, R.D., is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Private Practice in Los Angeles. She also works at UCLA where she meets with patients and leads a weekly seminar on weight loss and health promotion. ilanamuhlstein.com
THE JEWISH HOME DECEMBER 4, 2014 52
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