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Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
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JEWISH THOUGHT Parenting Pearls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Pre-Pesach Thoughts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Beyond the Veil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Israel and the Global War on Terror. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Uncle Moishy Fun Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 March Crossword Puzzle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Massachusetts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
EDUCATION Going Nuclear - Netanyahu Attacks Obama’s Naiveté when it Comes to Iran. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 A Taste of Local Jewish History: The Story of the Breed Street Shul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 A Way to Think of Ourselves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Double the Fun! TJH Interviews the Twins from France. . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Does it really matter if Moshiach is coming? Why does the Rambam consider a person who does not await the coming of Moshiach to be a heretic? Is it only so that we have a way out of our troubles? It seems that belief in redemption is the ultimate expression of our belief in a creator. Sure, we know that the world has a source, but we don’t feel it in a tangible way. Believing that we will see it and everyone else will as well, now that’s bringing faith into our everyday lives. The truth always comes out, and if it doesn’t, well, it’s not the truth. A creator who creates, but does not continue to lead the world toward its ultimate purpose, is not the creator we believe in. Complete belief encompasses the past, present and future. Looking at it this way adds a whole new meaning to our anticipation of the redemption. We look forward to a time when everything we believe will be as tangible as the air we breathe. -The renowned defender of the house of Israel, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Barditchev used to turn to the almighty and say, “Having temptations in front of their eyes and truth reserved for the books is not a fair challenge. Let the truth be seen and the temptations be described in the
books and then you’ll see what they can accomplish”This also allows us to be part of the process. Each Mitzvah we do. Torah we learn or when we lower our ego and withhold an insensitive remark from being said, we allow G-d into our lives, our families, communities and beyond. And this is what the Messianic era is. It’s when we’ll see the G-dly energy which is present in all the right choices we are currently making. Our belief in Moshiach is not meant to overwhelm us or to help us when we’re overwhelmed. It’s here to bring out the best in us, revealing the tremendous potential within each one of us, and all of us collectively. The challenges are tremendous but together our people and all good people of the world can face the newest wave of darkness and hate. On Purim we overcame Haman. Now we head to Pesach, the anniversary of our freedom. May the proximity of these two redemptions bring about the final and complete one which we are all waiting for. We believe in it. Let’s be ready for it as well. May we all have an enjoyable and redemptive 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
L R Rav Eliezer Gross Rav Chaim Boruch Rubin and Chief Rabbi Kalman Ber of Netanya during visit to Yeshiva Gedolah
Chief Rabbi Ber visiting Rabbi Label Trainer’s class at Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn
Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles is a fully accredited High School offering a 4-year program for boys in grades 9-12, and a two-year Beis Medrash Program. The Yeshiva is affiliated with Beis Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood. The last stop was to see the Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn - Toras Emes Academy led by its Menahel, Rav Yaakov Krause and Principal, Rav Berish Goldenberg. With over 1200 talmidim and talmidos, the yeshiva is the largest day school on the West Coast. The yeshiva consists of 5 buildings
hovering on La Brea Blvd. There is the Menlo Family Boys Elementary School, the Weiss Family Girls Elementary School, the Friedman Family Boys Junior High and the Marquis Family Girls Junior High Building. The newest addition is the Friedman Family Early Childhood Building. It is a spacious and colorful building with an imaginative play area and modern equipment. Rav Krause led the tour through the various buildings, stopping in classrooms to hear what the talmidim were learning. The Chief Rabbi took the opportunity to
ask questions on what was being learnt and was pleased with the student’s responses. The history of the Chief Rabbinate position in Netanya has an interesting past. It is over 30 years since there was an Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Netanya. Up until recently, all rabbinical duties had been carried out by the Sephardi Chief Rabbi. The last Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Netanya was HaRav Yisrael Meir Lau who was elected in 1978 as Chief Rabbi of the city. In 1983 Rabbi Lau was appointed to serve on the Mo’etzet of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. In 1988, after the death of his father-in-law, RabbiYitzchok Yedidya Frankel, Rabbi Lau was appointed to serve as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, a position he held until 1993. In that year he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Israel and held that position for the next 10 years. From the time Rabbi Lau left the position until recently, the city of Netanya had no Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. Appointment and election to the position of Chief Rabbi in Netanya required the approval of the Religious Council and the members of the Selections Committee. Due to the ongoing disputes surrounding Dati Leumi and chareidi candidates, with the major decision makers leaning towards a Dati Leumi candidate, the choice for Chief Rabbi had been deadlocked for many years. Until now. It seems that Rabbi Kalman Ber a Rosh HaYeshivo at Kerem BeYavne in Israel, passed muster and was acceptable as the Chief Rabbi of Netanya. The Chief Rabbi spent Shabbos with Rav Chaim Boruch Rubin and the members of his shul, Kehilas Etz Chaim. Rav Ber attended the shul at Melava Malka and was their guest speaker. Summing up his trip, the Chief Rabbi said he was much impressed by the Torah community of Los Angeles and wished the leaders continued success.
Tehillim Program; The Legacy of Larry Mellon This week, Emek Hebrew Academy’s first grade girls and boys were gifted their first book of Tehillim, courtesy of the Mellon Family. The program began fifteen years ago and was the brainchild of Rabbi Meshulam Weiss, OB”M. Larry Mellon, OB”M, was the head of the Tehillim Club at Shaarey Zedek at that time and he decided to collect funds so that he could ensure each first grade student at Emek would receive their own Tehillim. There were 59 recipients this year. Now, many years later, the Mellon children, Victor, Jody, and Pam, continue the
program in honor of their parents, Larry and Sally Mellon. With the help of Shaarey Zedek, they ensure that each Emek first grader receives a leather bound Tehillim with their name on the cover, engraved in gold and in Hebrew. During the ceremony, the children sang many beautiful Tehillim but without musical accompaniment so that parents and grandparents could hear the purity of their voices. Everyone know that the tefillot of children go straight to Shamayim! The Tehillim are distributed in 1st grade as the students are at the age where their Hebrew has
become proficient and they have a working knowledge of the magic and importance of Tehillim. This year’s ceremony was also especially meaningful as Rabbi Weiss’s granddaughter, Mindy Lunger, an Emek student herself, was able to deliver a heartfelt speech in memory of her grandfather. She told the audience that her grandfather had been living with her family at the end of his life, and that she had loved his company and how much she missed him.
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In his first visit to Los Angeles, the newly appointed Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Netanya, HaRav Kalman Ber, visited three Los Angeles Yeshivos. HaRav Chaim Boruch Rubin, Rov of Kehilas Etz Chaim of Hancock Park, hosted the Chief Rabbi’s visit and accompanied him as he visited these community schools. The first visit was to the Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Hancock Park. The Yavneh Academy runs from preschool through 8th grade, and is a true campus on four acres of land. Yavneh was established in 1958 and has grown through the years into a school for over 300 students. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Dean of Yavneh, met with the Chief Rabbi and took him on a tour, stopping to visit some of the classrooms, meeting students and teachers. The Yavneh Academy, represents excellence in Limudei Kodesh, excellence in secular studies and love of Medinat Yisrael. Its educational philosophy is one of Torah Umadda. The next stop was the Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles, the Michael Diller High School, led by its Rosh Hayeshiva, HaRav Eliezer Gross. Since its inception, the Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles has grown into a powerful center of learning in the Los Angeles Community providing students with the highest level of education possible in both Judaic and secular studies. The Rebbbeim at Yeshiva Gedolah are experienced educators and have been with the Yeshiva for many years, providing knowledge and inspiration which allow the students to excel in their Torah Studies. Graduates are accepted into the most prestigious yeshivas both in the United States and in Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Gross learned at the Yeshiva of Philadelphia, the Lakewood Yeshiva and the Los Angeles Kollel. Assisted by local bale batim, Rabbi Gross established the Yeshiva Gedolah in September 1978. The
Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon
Rabbi Arye D.Gordon
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Chief Rabbi of Netanya visits Los Angeles Yeshivos
Rav Asher Weiss Discusses Contemporary Medical Ethics at Cedars-Sinai On Monday evening, February 23, over 100 people packed into conference rooms at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, to hear Rav Asher Weiss address issues in contemporary medical ethics. Rav Asher Weiss is a world renowned Talmid Chacham, who serves as the Posek (Jewish Law authority) for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The event was the second gathering of the Association for the Advancement
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of Medical Halacha, the organization disseminates the teachings and rulings of Rav Asher Weiss, and brings frum medical professionals together to learn and network. Cedars-Sinai co-sponsored Rabbi Weiss’s visit. During the two-hour event, Rav Weiss covered numerous pressing issues, beginning with physician-assisted suicide, which may soon be legalized in California. California law even now requires that physicians inform all terminally ill patients of their right to know about their range of options for treatment or palliative care. Rav Weiss discussed the question of whether, in compliance with the proposed new secular law, an Orthodox physician may tell patients about options like euthanasia, which are not in accordance with Jewish law. Rav Weiss did not forbid such conversations. In fact, he encouraged Orthodox physicians to participate in them, arguing that
it is preferable for a religious, God-fearing individual to have these conversations with patients rather than someone who does not appreciate the moral and ethical issues involved. After Rav Weiss explained his response and reasoning in-depth, as well as some corollary rulings, he proceeded to take numerous questions from the audience. The question-and-answer session touched on a wide range of topics, from fertility issues to participation in clinical trials. Rav Weiss also explained why it is imperative to have frum individuals become doctors, despite some of the halachic challenges associated with attending medical school and practicing medicine. The audience, comprised of local Rabbonim, physicians, chaplains, hospital employees and community members who left the event enlightened and inspired to increase their knowledge of specific medical halachic rulings and Jewish bioethics in general, and to practice medicine in accordance with the dictates of halacha.
in school, who are physically or socially awkward, or who don’t have many friends. After establishing trust and access, the perpetrator will isolate the child, and then create secrecy. Sax outlined several important strategies for protecting children. She echoed Mrs. Gordon and Dr. Nagel by emphasizing the need for open communication, including parents talking about their own feelings of discomfort around certain people. Sax recommended each family have a
‘telling person.’ Since children often do not go to parents to report an incident, they should know that “Tanta Rivka” or “Bubby Stein” is the person we tell things to and ask for help. Sax concluded her presentation with a discussion of the Internet and mobile devices, which, although wonderful resources, can easily become a problem. “It’s not about web sites out there. It’s a point of access. The phone is a great testing ground for perpetrators. If I text will they respond?” With a phone or online,
a predator can build a relationship by asking children questions, coincidentally having the same problems as the child, and being “so easy to talk to.” The evening could be summed up with Robin Sax’s final message, which was the need for open communication with our children. “Listen to your kids -- listen more than talk.”
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On Monday, March 2, the Child Safety Institute Magen Yeladim hosted an expert panel to address parents on the issue of child safety. Mrs. Debbie Fox, LCSW, founder and director of Magen Yeladim, emceed the event held at Nessah Synagogue. Rabbi Boruch Gradon, Rosh Kollel of Merkaz Hatorah Community Kollel in the Pico Robertson-Beverly Hills area, set the tone for the evening by highlighting the major import of such a discussion and encouraging those in attendance to listen closely to each message. Rabbi Gradon stressed that the purpose of the gathering is not to be frightened, but to feel empowered. He concluded by telling the parents, “Our greatest asset and investment is our children…ultimately the first question we will be asked [after 120] is, ‘Did you take care of them?’” Debbie Fox then introduced Mrs. Ruth Gordon, a social worker and mother of David Gordon, IDF soldier who was killed last summer in Gaza. Dave, a victim of sexual abuse from the ages of nine to eleven, kept his abuse a secret until just before turning sixteen. Mrs. Gordon outlined several important pieces of advice for parents to keep their kids safe. She encouraged parents to pay attention. “If you see any changes or red flags – act on your gut. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. She pleaded with parents to watch their children, know where they are and who they are with. “This includes supervision at shul. Unless a program is specifically set up to watch them, they should be with you.” (Dave Gordon was molested at a kollel in the family’s community by frum teens.) Finally, Mrs. Gordon told parents, “Talk to your children and listen, even if it’s uncomfortable.” The next presenter was Dr. Ronnie Nagel, who has served the frum community as a pediatrician for nearly three decades. Dr. Nagel began by stating, “The number one tool to protect our children is to be able to openly discuss these issues.” Dr. Nagel’s main message was that parents need to be proactive, not reactive. He explained that for twenty years now he starts discussing personal boundaries with children, from as young as age four. He makes sure to tell the children he is examining them only with their permission, and because the child’s mother is present. In this way, children learn that they are in charge of their bodies, even though they often get the message that ‘adults know better.’ He suggested role playing with your children possible scenarios, and practicing the “no-runtell” rule. The final speaker was Mrs. Robin Sax, a reporter, legal analyst, radio host, author and former prosecutor. Mrs. Sax explained that 8792% of all sexual abuse happens when the victim knows the perpetrator, and that includes in the religious community. “Child sexual abuse is a crime that takes time,” Mrs. Sax said, and that it is so scary because the perpetrator is skilled at developing a relationship with his or her victim, and will put in the time. Sax said that families should steer clear of adults who are too preoccupied with kids, too touchy, and/or too ‘with it,’ knowing all the latest fads, music, and the like. Perpetrators, clarified Sax, target the children who are vulnerable – the ones struggling
Devorah Talia Gordon
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Keeping Our Children Safe Magen Yeladim Hosts Expert Panel for Parents
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daughter with special needs, Raizy Brief was another attendee at the Purim celebration. She too praised FC for always trying to use every opportunity to maximize the experience for the children. “I think all the children love to come here and there
Shapiro is now a dedicated volunteer at Friendship Circle and was also in attendance for the Purim festivities. Shapiro discussed how the warmth and love that everybody shares at FC instantly made her fall in love with the organization. Her
the children, “teaches [the volunteers] not to judge people so quickly and to have more patience. This has the power to make you a better person.” Friendship Circle’s main room was transformed into a farm-themed heaven. Cowboy hats and bandanas hung from the ceiling and each table had barnyard decoration pieces. Parents, kids, and volunteers gathered together to enjoy a fantastic “farm fresh” buffet, while watching Rabbi Michy’s live concert. FC board member and parent to a
is something for everybody, including the parents,” she said. Especially on the holidays, we love to get together because it feels like one nice beautiful family.” Brief also acknowledged the impact FC has had on her daughter. “When [my daughter] comes here, she absorbs it all. When we go back home, she will take her play guitar and pretend like she’s playing music for hours. She rehashes everything she did at Friendship Circle. She always looks forward to coming here.” As a former preschool teacher, Shelly
daughter has now become a regular volunteer, while her entire family participated in the Walk4Friendship event. Shapiro explained, “I am a big believer in the idea of inclusion and unfortunately there is not a lot out there, but this place is structured so that all physical abilities can fit in. The quality is top notch and it’s really geared to help the families and the kids.”
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everyone. Rosen explained, “Even though children with special needs may have difficulty expressing themselves, they are still just like everyone else.” Fellow volunteer Schiffy Rav-Noy concurred, while adding that working with
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A multitude of smiling kids dressed in costumes filled Friendship Circle of Los Angeles’ “Purim on the Farm” event. The celebration stayed true to Friendship Circle’s continuously innovative holiday programs by providing a variety of fun activities, such as the Megillah reading, arts & crafts, and an obstacle course. Friendship Circle’s one-of-a-kind playground featured a petting zoo with a llama, goat, tortoise, rabbits, geese, and hens. The pure joy on the kids’ faces as they played with the animals was an incredible sight. One child ecstatically told his father, “I am having too much fun, I want to stay here forever!” Teen volunteer Yaakov Sobel could also be found outside, while vigilantly watching over his buddy. Sobel, who has been a Friendship Circle volunteer for four years, discussed his devotion to the organization. He said, “I feel like I’m making a difference and an impact on these kids’ lives and I love to watch them grow over time. The child I am working with right now wasn’t able to talk, walk around, or put his shoes on his own and now he is able to do a lot more.” 9th grader Maya Rosen, who has been volunteering since the 5th grade, also commended Friendship Circle for making every moment special for the kids. She mentioned how Friendship Circle has taught her to be tolerant and to see the best in
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Purim on the Farm
For more information contact www. fcla.org/
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MARCH 12, 2015
IWitness Interviews to Be Included in CIJE Jewish Education Programs On February 26 the USC Shoah Foundation, The Institute for Visual History and Education, and the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) announced a new partnership that will streamline a hitech learning program for Jewish Schools
across the country. Currently, 150 Jewish schools nationwide augment their learning curriculums with CIJE K-12 programs but
there has not been a learning curriculum which included the detailed interviews that are the essence of IWitness. The new CIIJE partnership will format IWitness interviews so they become an integrated part of student-centered activities that will be used by teachers to encourage critical thinking and self-reflection, helping students get a sense of their own place in the world, while also developing digital literacy and other 21st-century competencies. The collaboration was launched at USC, where dozens of heads of Schools and school board members gathered to learn about the new plan, a four-year project, which will, “identify and develop resources, activities and pathways into IWitness that will be appropriate and effective for teaching the Holocaust and
other topics at Jewish day schools of all denominations.” CIIJE programs will educate kids from middle school through high school, in both Judaic and English programs, in Yeshivas and Jewish day schools. Ann Marie Stein from the Shoah Foundation was full of praise for the new partnership noting that students who have been educated with IWitness are 70% more likely to stand up for someone when they hear hateful speech or hateful behavior. The IWitness interviews, “Connect students with the past, engage them in the present and motivate them to build a better future.” IWitness provides Internet access to 7,000 educators across 59 countries with a program of 1,467 full life histories of survivors and 109,000 hours of victims testimonies that have been recorded since 1994. The survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides have been recorded for posterity and the IWitness program has indexed the footage. Many hours have been curated so that teachers can include the powerful interviews in their learning programs. In the age of Ipad’s and cell phones, the interviews are popular and meaningful because they feel as if you are having a personal conversation with a survivor. Dr. Michael Berenbaum, an American scholar, professor, rabbi, writer and filmmaker who specializes in the study of the memorialization of the Holocaust, is spearheading the new program. He is currently director of Sigi Ziering Institute and is Professor of Jewish Studies at American Jewish University, and former executive director of USC Shoah Foundation. Dr. Berenbaum was also project director in charge of the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and served as deputy director of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. “The goal of this groundbreaking partnership is to provide additional resources and leverage the vast multimedia databases for use by
Jewish schools and Yeshivas,” Dr. Berenbaum explained. “The expanded program will be designed to provide discovery- based exercises and information that is appropriate to specific religious values, age ranges and content focus. We will bring to life, stories of specific communities, their great rabbis as well as the events that lead to the development of the State of Israel.” “Because CIJE has been successful in providing STEM-based programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to Jewish day schools, we have been approached by many schools and Yeshivas to provide suitable Holocaust Studies as well,” explained CIJE President Jason Cury. “Students are educated about events that happened 2000 years ago, but the critical period of 1900 – 1950 also needs to be taught. We have spent two years putting online learning pathways together that can be downloaded in a variety of formats that could suit, for instance, a Haredi boys school’s or a class of modern orthodox girls.” CIJE will also provide teacher development workshops around the country to facilitate use of IWitness at CIJE schools. Initially, CIJE plans to invest $700,000 to implement the project and will subse-
quently raise additional financing. The Claims Conference is also providing a $75,000 grant for the project. “This new partnership gives us the opportunity to reach a large group of young people who may not have been able to interact with IWitness before,” said Dr. Kori Street, USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education. “No matter what discipline a teacher is using IWitness for, be it History, English, Media Studies or Civics Education, engaging with testimony is a valuable activity for any student.” For more information visit http://iwitness.usc.edu/SFI/ and http://www.thecije. org/
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MARCH 12, 2015
HaGaon HaRav Malkiel Kotler, Shlita, Meets Lakewood Rabbonim Urges Participation in New Machzor of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha by Chaim Gold
There was a special aura surrounding and encompassing the long table in the home of HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, this past Sunday, 17 Adar/March 8. Around the table sat many of Lakewood’s most prominent Rabbanim and Poskim. The event soon filled up with additional Rabbanim who sat on chairs lined up against the wall. The meeting featured prominent senior Lakewood Rabbanim such as HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Meir Katz, shlita, senior Dayan of Beth Medrash Govoha, HaGaon HaRav Osher Chaim Leiberman, shlita, senior Dayan of Beth Medrash Govoha and Rov of Kehal Zichron Shneur, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Spitzer, shlita, Skverer Dayan of Lakewood and HaGaon HaRav Aharon Zuckerman, shlita, Rov of Khal Zichron Pinchos, and so many others. The purpose was to hear divrei chizuk from the Rosh Yeshiva on the importance
of learning daily halacha and the importance of taking advantage of this opportune time where all Rabbanim could encourage their mispallelim to learn daily
tive mispallelim to learn daily halacha,” said the Rosh Yeshiva. “The fact that the Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood saw fit to host the Rabbanim
halacha or attend shiurim on halacha. “With the hisorerus regarding limud halacha at its peak as a result of the siyum of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and the beginning of the new machzor on Sunday, 2 Nissan/March 22, now is a favorable time to be me’orer your respec-
of the town in his home,” stressed Rav Aharon Gobioff, Dirshu’s American Director, “for the express purpose of encouraging them to use the opportunity of commencing the new machzor of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, to urge their congregants to join, is a tremendous testament to the importance that the Rosh Yeshiva attaches to learning halacha for everyone and the trust he has in Dirshu as an achsania shel Torah that facilitates chizuk haTorah of all types.” One important point made by HaRav Moshe Chaim Kahan, shlita, Rov of K’hal Sholom V’Reyus and a popular Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggid shiur, is that those unfamiliar with the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program are sometimes confused and think that it requires the learning of two full sides (blatt) of the Mishnah Berurah every day. That is a misconception. The program features one amud of Mishnah Berurah daily for five days a week. The second amud is the Biurim and Musafim on the corresponding page that references many modern day scenarios derived from the particular halachos being learned in the Mishnah Berurah. Friday and Shabbos are consecrated for chazarah and no new material is required on those days. HaGaon HaRav Malkiel Kotler: Daily Halacha Transforms Every Halicha Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe, Shlita, Asks Chassidim to Join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha America was not the only place where Gedolei Yisrael recently put out a clarion call to Klal Yisrael to join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. This past Motzaei Shabbos in Yerushalayim, the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe, shlita, devoted a major part of his address to his Chassidim encouraging them to join the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. At his tish, the Rebbe told the assembled that he has a spe-
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calling to share the wonderful news of the two fresh shiduchim with her partners at Kollel Chatzos. Her daughter was now engaged to a boy from literally around the corner. Clearly all that had been missing was the consent from Above, and she was certain that it was the merit of Kollel Chatzos’ involvement that had tipped the balance. With tears of happiness choking her voice she told us, “You can let Klal Yisroel know in my name—there is a solution to the shiduch crisis!”
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cial request to make of the Chassidim. He explained, “The Chofetz Chaim said, ‘if a person does not have time to learn, he should add more time for learning in his schedule, and he will see that he has more time. The koach haTorah is such that it provides one with time he did not think he had. Baruch Hashem our kehillah has succeeded in instituting its amud yomi Gemara program where so much Gemara is being learned. We must thank Hashem for this zechus.” With a smile, the Rebbe concluded, “The words of Chazal are better than any check… even an American check! Therefore, I propose that on 2 Nissan, we all start learning halacha together with the new machzor in the Dirshu program. In this zechus Hashem will certainly bestow bracha and hatzlacha on all of us…” “Your Brother is Making a Siyum” The tremendous hisorerus and en-
couragement of the Gedolim comes as Dirshu is set to start its many worldwide siyumim with its American Siyum on Mishnah Berurah this coming Shabbos at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. A large crowd of participants, both lomdei Dirshu who were not able to come to the Shabbos and those who do not (yet) participate in a Dirshu program, are expected. Rabbi Aharon Gobioff, Dirshu’s American Director, put it simply when he said, “When your brother makes a simcha you show up! The Keynote session on Motzaei Shabbos featuring the Grand Siyum and Melave Malka promises to be an extraordinary maamad with the participation of tens of leading gedolim, moving drashos and an outpouring of extraordinary simcha, singing and dancing! One prominent Rov related, “Imagine if you could have had the opportunity to participate in the first siyum haShas of Daf HaYomi held in Lublin in 1931!? What an opportunity! Today we all have the opportunity to participate in the siyum of the machzor rishon of Daf Hayomi B’Halacha. What a zechus, what an opportunity!”
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MARCH 12, 2015
Rivkie’s Closet Reaches Its 6 Year Anniversary with More Clients than Ever Rivkie’s Closet held another event on February 22nd at Chabad of Sherman Oaks. It was an enormous success. This chesed program was started 6 years ago by Penny Brenner and Rebbetzin Shternie Lipskier from Chabad of Sherman Oaks. They wanted to honor the memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkie Holtzberg, Chabad emissaries to Mumbai, India, who were tragically murdered by terrorists back in November 2008. For some months these two friends were thinking what they could create. Brenner had been donating to Global Kindness on Pico, an organization who collect housewares, old cars, electronics, clothes and cash donations for 1,000 needy families in Los Angeles. Brenner explained, “Global Kindness works for people in the city, but what about families in the Valley? When finances are limited, a trip to Pico is impractical. I wanted to set up a San Fernando Valley distribution center and I thought this could be the right program to tackle.” In the meantime, Lipskier had heard that Rabbi Holtzberg would pray with a minyan at the other synagogue in Mumbai, India, before returning to Chabad House for Kabbalat Shabbat. During monsoon weather, the Shabbat guests would walk with him, but they would all be drenched by the time they arrived. Rebbetzin Holtzberg would then take everything from her husband’s closet and her own and would distribute dry clothing to the guests so they could still enjoy Shabbat. “The story is so beautiful; I knew that we would be paying homage to the Holtzberg’s by calling this charity, Rivkie’s Closet.” Rivkie’s Closet holds events 3 times a year, before Pesach, Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah. Donations of lightly used clothing, toys, housewares and baby clothes are made available to anyone who visits Chabad of Sherman Oaks on the Sunday afternoon when the event is held. There is no charge and no limit to the amount of items anyone can take. Brenner remembers, “In the beginning, we would hold the event from 1 – 3pm but word has got out. At this last event we had people
lining up before the doors opened and we had distributed everything by 1:40pm!” Rebbetzin Lipskier explained her joy at seeing the program reach people of all denominations, many of whom are repeat customers. “At the last event there were 80
or so shoppers and we ran out faster than we could have anticipated. There was nothing left to give; these days the need is high and families are so appreciative. A woman who visited at this last event told me this was the first time she could remember owning two pairs of shoes.” Rivkie’s Closet announces the event through Tomchei Shabbos and SOVA Food Pantry and leaflets are posted in the local kosher supermarkets. It takes more than three months to collect enough donations to prepare for each event. Brenner stores everything in her garage, however, once again, before Rosh Hashanah, she will sort out the donations with her daughter’s help and make sure the items are clean and presentable. “In fact,” she laughed, “I have to accept that we’ve found a larger clientele. For the Rosh Hashanah event, we will need to bring a few more local teenagers to help!” If you have donations for Rivkie’s Closet, or if you know people who would like to attend, please email: pennybren@ aol.com. For more information on Global Kindness, visit: myglobalkindness.org
er to be Jewish than I was last night, when we all stood together and sent a message to the abusers and cowardly murderers, that they will never again be
free to lay a hand on anyone.” Event Details: Sunday March 22nd 7pm at Congregation Shaarei Tefila
7269 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036. For more information about Jewish Community Watch, visit www.jewishcommunitywatch.org
MARCH 12, 2015
Over the past six months, Jewish Community Watch, (JCW) has organized events in 4 US cities drawing large crowd of parents, educators and abuse survivors who raised awareness of child sexual abuse and learned what Jewish Community Watch (JCW) is doing to combat this crime. In Miami, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Aventura, standing-room-only crowds have heard from rabbis, survivors and therapists. On March 22nd, JCW will be holding an event at Congregation Shaarei Tefila in Los Angeles, to further its goal of educating parents, preventing child sexual abuse (CSA), assisting survivors and breaking the silence and shame that surrounds CSA that occurs in the Orthodox Jewish community. Speakers at the event will include Rabbinical Judge Rabbi Elchonon Tauber, Founder of JCW, Meyer Seewald, Abuse Survivors, Eli Nash, JCW Board Member, Professor and Deputy District Attorney, Benny Forer, Fox News Reporter Rosh Lowe and a female survivor who will break her silence on her abuse. Founder and CEO of JCW Meyer Seewald said, “The mission of JCW is simply to prevent, educate, and heal. We prevent further abuse by notifying the public to the threat of abusers in their vicinity, we educate the public about what to look out for, and we help survivors of abuse heal by reminding them that they are not alone and by supporting them through their battles.” Seewald added, “This is our fifth event in the past 6 months and the results we have seen have been nothing short of amazing. On a community level, we have seen hundreds of Orthodox Jews gather for the first time to talk openly about abuse and stand with survivors. On an individual level, dozens of survivors have come forward after these events to talk about their abuse and to tell us how much these evenings have meant to them.” The day after a previous event, JCW received the following message from an attendee: “Last night’s event was probably the most important event I’ve ever been to. The honesty, rawness, humanity and bravery that was shown by every single speaker and survivor affected me so deeply I really can’t describe it. Eli, Meyer, and Baruch--who were so courageous in sharing their stories, just saved countless lives. I have never been proud-
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Jewish Community Watch Presents an Evening of Awareness on Child Abuse Prevention
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MARCH 12, 2015
t s r i F l a u n n A t e u q n a B and
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Tiferet Award Banquet
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Beth Jacob Congregation
MARCH 12, 2015
Pat & Errol Fine Tiferet Award Recipients
Keter Shem Tov Award Recipient
Ariela & Ari Shandling Dor Chadash Award Recipients
Sunday, March 22, 2015 5:00 p.m. at Sinai Temple
For reservations, or to advertise in our Banquet Journal: 310.278.1911 • bethjacob.org/banquet • email@example.com
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MARCH 12, 2015
SWC Endorses Conclusion: Neither Accident Nor Suicide... Investigation Must Focus on Homicide Hypothesis The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed support for the demand of the family and the ex-wife of late Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Center Bombing, Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman (pictured), will focus on the hypothesis of murder. Nisman was found dead on the eve of a Congressional hearing at which he was expected to show evidences of an alleged cover-up of the Iranian suspects by the Argentine government. During a press conference, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado (Nisman’s ex-wife and mother of his daughters,) presented a report prepared by judicial experts acting on her behalf, which concludes that the Prosecutor’s death, “...was neither an accident, nor a suicide”. Arroyo Salgado stressed that relatives of Nisman who were present at the moment when his corpse was discovered were not duly notified of their rights to legal measures.
“The report presented today comes after six weeks of Argentine judicial procrastination as to whether Nisman had committed suicide or was assassinated. The hypothesis of murder now becomes paramount in view of Nisman’s obvious enemies, beginning with Iran, accused by the late Prosecutor as the perpetrator of the AMIA blast. The investigation must preclude any suggestion of reinstating the egregious Argentina – Iran Memorandum of Understanding regarding the suspects in Nisman’s inquiry,” noted Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Center. “We believe that the voice of Nisman’s family, as the most affected party, must be taken into consideration without further delays. Knowing what happened to Nisman will contribute to a better understanding of what is happening with the AMIA investigation,” added Sergio Widder, the Center’s Director for Latin America.
no attachment to Israel and failing to provide Jewish education for their kids. Chilean writer Salvador Litvak, is quoted on the Chai Center website and explains the drama perfectly, “Many have never been exposed to Judaism at all; others have experienced a diluted, dumbed-down version, and understandably found it
uninspiring. I don’t blame them for consequently writing off the whole religion, but it’s like writing off sushi after trying a rubbery tuna roll from 7-Eleven.” Schwartzie is certain that a little wholewheat challah, framed by Shabbos songs and good company, works wonders for people to
start rebuilding a connection with their Jewish soul. If you would like to attend the Chai Center Banquet, or if you know someone who might enjoy a Chai Center event, please email chaicenter.org or call 323 639 3255.
MARCH 12, 2015
The Chai Center’s annual banquet is set for Sunday, March 15th. Rabbi Schwartz, otherwise known as Schwartzie, along with his son, Rabbi Mendel Schwartz, are relishing in plans for the event. Along with a smorgasbord of food, an art show where paintings can be purchased and witty Hassidic comedy by Rabbi Mendy Pellen, the evening will mark the launch of their new program, No Jew Left Behind. Dr. David Katzin is this year’s honoree. A 15 year fan of the Chai Center, he will be announcing the launch of the No Jew Left Behind program which is the result of his efforts and support. The program will allow The Chai Center to allow free admittance to certain events. With new programs being announced, The Chai Center Banquet is unlike any other with an eclectic group of supporters and fans. No doubt the humor of Mendy Pellen, now supported by 10,000 Facebook fans and almost 2 million YouTube hits, will have plenty of material he can draw from at the event. Rabbi Mendel Schwartz explained, “Most synagogues are looking to reach the 30% of Jewish community members who want to be affiliated with a shul. We are targeting the other 70%. We don’t have much competition. We want to reach Jews who have little interest in pursuing a Jewish life, in marrying Jewish partners, in appreciating Shabbat. We want to reach those who have little belief in anything Jewish. The greatest Jewish denomination today is ‘Jews for Nothing’ and this needs to change.” The Chai Center was established back in 1988 and many thousands have been to some event through the years. The Jewish Journal estimated that 7- 8,000 Jews are involved annually and there were several dozen weddings recorded in 2014. Events are meaningfully designed to appeal to the least affiliated Jew, for instance Shabbat Dinner, with no service, for 60 Strangers and held at Rabbi Schwartz’s cozy home accompanied by Olivia Schwartz’s magnificent homemade whole wheat challah. There are also “shmooz and cruise Happy Hours for singles,” and always Schwartzie’s promise of “Yidishkeit Lite!” Entertainment events and kosher Shabbat dinners at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals are now annual events, led by Mendel and his wife, Esther Schwartz. The women’s division holds weekly classes, Olivia Schwartz’s annual spa retreat to Palm Springs, and a Dead Sea vacation in Israel, which is designed for women who have been victims of terror or violence. Dr. Katzin became involved with the Chai Center in 2000. His business success at Herbalife was bringing financial rewards, yet he was still looking to get closer to his Jewish roots. The Chai Center provided the perfect path with its classes, public Seders, meaningful High Holiday events and more. The No Jew Left Behind program will see that even people without strong finances can attend every event. Perhaps half the Chai Center attendees are unmarried and Schwartzie wants to make attendance as easy as possible, especially for the singles events. Meanwhile, the Chai Center continues to create events that will bring meaning to the Los Angelino’s, who are part of the 1.2 million American Jews that, according to the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of 2007, identified themselves as Jews of no religion. One third of Jews born after 1980 fitted into this category, marrying non-Jews, feeling
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The Chai Center Announces “No Jew Left Behind” Program, at Annual Banquet
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MARCH 12, 2015
77 Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW
Teaching Values I have recently heard my son making disparaging comments about other groups of Jews who are different than we are. I was quite bothered by this especially because my husband and I try to be very respectful of all Jews, even if they are different from us. Both my husband and I have spoken to him about the matter on a few occasions. He listens to us and says that he agrees, but then he’ll make another such comment within a few days. I fear that he hears these comments from friends. How can we impress upon him how important this matter is to us? Rabbi Staum Responds: To phrase your question in another way: How do we teach our children our values? Rav Yitzchok Hutner zt”l once noticed a father disciplining his son to daven. Every time the child would get up or divert his attention, the father sternly redirected him. It was a battle. “What are you doing?” Rav Hutner asked the father. “I’m teaching my son to daven!” answered the father. “No, you’re not,” said Rav Hutner. “You’re teaching your son to grow up to tell his own son to be quiet, to sit down, to pay attention… If you want to teach your son to daven, then daven!” We live in a world with so many external influences antithetical to the Torah values we so badly want to instill in our children. Beyond that even within our own communities our children are influenced by friends and neighbors who may not share the same values as we do. Often it seems that when we try to teach our children about something
important it ends up as a power struggle or at best as us lecturing. Lecturing our children hardly seems like the best op-
your older children as they speak on the phone to their friends. If you want to know how you deal with frustrating
How can we get our children to value what we value? tion. How can we get our children to value what we value? Instead of telling our children how to live we need to demonstrate it. The fact is that lessons can be taught, but values must be imparted. Wise parents commit lots of honest, respectful, kind, and responsible acts in front of their kids. Simply stated, actions speak louder than words. We need to always be vigilant to our own words and behaviors to assess whether we are living our own values. The next time a driver who is a member of a different sect of Jews than your family cuts you off be careful how you speak about the person. Another idea is to talk about values when we know our children can hear. What we say in front of our kids is more important than what we say to them. The proof is that many children learn to value money and the pursuit of money because they often hear their parents talking about it, even though they may have much of it. It’s unnerving at times to realize how much our children follow our lead. Our children are mini-microphones of us. If you want to know how you sound on the phone listen to the way your younger children speak on the phone when playing house or listen to
and challenging situations listen to how your children react in such situations. Someone once asked Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l how he taught his children to recite brachos properly. Rav Yaakov replied that he never taught his children how to recite brachos. In his home his children saw and heard how he and his wife recited brachos, and
they learned through osmosis. If you have the chance to daven or spend a Shabbos with members of other groups of Jews speak about how beautiful the experience was. That will teach your children the value of respecting other groups of Jews. We can’t force our children to adopt our values. The most we can do is try to inspire them to want to follow our positive example. Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead. He is also fifth grade Rebbe and Guidance Counselor in ASHAR in Monsey, and Principal of Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor, NY. Rabbi Staum offers parenting classes based on the acclaimed Love & Logic Program. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.stamtorah.info.
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23 THE JEWISH HOME
Pre-Pesach Thoughts An Opening In a failed attempt to curse Israel, the evil prophet Bilaam slipped and blessed them by declaring: "מה טבו אהליך יעקב "“משכנותיך ישראלHow good are your tents Yakov, and your dwelling places Israel. “What made these tents so good? Our tradition teaches us that what was most impressive about these tents is that there was such a sense of modesty that the tents never had their openings facing each other – לא היו פתחיהן מכוונים זה כנגד זה, (literally translated as, their openings were not equal to each other). It was through these misaligned doors that Bilaam became so impressed by the privacy values that the Jewish people upheld. On Pesach night our entrances comport with this tradition of misaligned doors as well. The Talmud, in Brachos, says that in any personal effort to return to G-d we are supposed to start by making a little hole the size of the eye of a needle and G-d opens for us as a hole as large as the door of an ante-chamber. We make a little hole allowing G-d in, and in turn G-d opens up a huge door. Rav Zev Cheshen Z”L says that this is the same idea that our openings aren’t parallel. We need a small awakening and G-d opens up a giant one. The Sefas Emes takes this idea one step further and says that on Pesach G-d passed over the entrances. G-d skipped over the doors of Israel and spared their lives in Egypt. He skipped over the opening. On Pesach we don’t even need that little hole the size of the eye of a needle. On Pesach G-d initiates by opening the door. Are we ready to welcome the Infinite One into our lives? Chametz to Matzah and Back to Chametz One of the verses in the Torah says that we are supposed to eat matzah for 7 days (Devarim 16:8). The Zohar says that eating matzah for the 7 days of Pesach is healing for the soul. And when you do that, says the Zohar, the chametz and all that it can symbolize, cannot harm you for the rest of the year. But this begs the question, if chametz is symbolically so bad, why do we continue to eat it the rest of the year? If chametz is seen as evil incarnate why is it a staple of our Shabbos meal? The great Chassidic Rosh Yeshiva the Avnei Nezer shares a fantastic mystical insight. The Rambam in his Laws of Oaths says that if somebody takes an oath that they’re not going to eat anything for 7 days it is considered a faulty and worthless oath and we even administer lashes for saying
such a thing, it is almost like taking G-d’s name in vain. Why? In the eyes of Jewish law one cannot live for 7 days without food. The Avnei Nezer puts this all together. When one goes 7 days without something, you in some sense, kill it. When one goes 7 days without chametz you kill the part of yourself that lives for the negative energy tied into chametz. Whatever negative spiritual effects our tradition sees in Chametz have all been annihilated. Now going back to Chametz after Pesach is harmless. בדיקת חמץ They can find everything, except for Chametz! As legend has it, Reb Levi Yitzchok Berditchever once asked one of his pupils at the Seder if he could locate some illegal tobacco. The Chassid quickly went and immediately came back with the illegal tobacco. The next day he asked another Chassid, “Can you go find me some of this very hard to find illegal fish?” The Chassid came back within 15 minutes with this precious fish. Then he turned to another Chassid and asked, “Can you find me some chametz, any chametz anywhere?” The Chassid searched and searched and couldn’t find a single bit of chametz. Reb Levi Yitzchak, who is always known as the great defender of the Jewish people, cried out to the Heavens, “G-d look at your people, they’re always able to find anything anywhere like nobody else can, but if you ask them to find a morsel of chametz in their homes on Pesach - no way, no Jew can find it!” When the Night Comes Down The formal search for chametz begins the night before Pesach. At night we commence our search and the next morning we begin to burn the crumbs. The Rizhener Rebbe asks what is being alluded to by our burning the next morning. Does this reflect the reality of exile? We can’t entirely eradicate evil from this world but G-d calls upon us to extinguish the darkness and burn away the evil in our midst. We know that is easier said than done. Sometimes the best you can hope for in the fragile world is to recognize what is good and what is evil. The next day after the night is over, after the exile is over, that’s when we can finally hope to banish the darkness forever. Remove the Candle After the bedikas chametz ceremony,
the custom is to burn the bread and the candle. Why do we burn the candle? Is it because it may have touched a little bit of the bread? That doesn’t make sense. First of all, no bread is even touching the candle. Secondly, chametz would not be transferred in this way. Why do we burn the candle? Explains Rebbe Chaim Meir Hager of Vizhnitz, it is because we know that chametz is classically a symbol of our darker drives and therefore it follows that the bedikas chametz is looking for the worst and darkest parts of ourselves in order to bring this out and try to remove it. You’re looking long and hard to find those dark parts of your essence. You’re using a small light because the only way to get rid of evil is a little bit at a time. The candle’s main function, then, is to look for the darkness within each and every one of us. The Vizhnitzer Rebbe says that any item whose main function is to exploit or expose the
darkness within all of us needs to be destroyed as soon as you’re finished using it, you need to get it out of this world. The Little Three One more idea on the bedikas chametz. One is obligated to check all the holes, nooks and crannies. In every corner of our homes we need to look for chamatz. The numerical value of Chamatz is 138. The numerical value of Matzah is 135. The difference between the two is 3. What does the 3 stand for? Reb Yankele Galinski, a wonderful Maggid from Bnei Brak says that the 3 symbolizes the 3 things that remove a person from this world (Pirkei Avos) - jealousy, the thirst for honor, and lust. That’s the difference, that little 3. Those 3 things are exactly what we are trying to eradicate.
MARCH 12, 2015
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Rav and Dean at Yeshivat Yavneh
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MARCH 12, 2015
Beyond the Veil
This week’s parshiyos of Vayakhel-Pekudei conclude the five parshiyos that discuss the construction of the Mishkon and the detail of its design. It took six months to erect the Mishkon, which began after Yom Kippur and continued until Rosh Chodesh Nissan. The work required hundreds of workers and large amounts of material. To facilitate the construction project, there was a large fundraising campaign, in which everyone participated. When the Mishkon was finally completed, there was great festivity that lasted seven days. Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l points out that despite the effort, the Mishkon was originally intended to stand for just a short period of time. The Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim on Pesach and were to travel in the desert until reaching the Promised Land. Had the sin of the meraglim not taken place, they would not have wandered in the desert for thirty-nine extra years. Why, then, was so much effort and expense invested in constructing such a temporary edifice? After experiencing the joy of Purim and being reminded of our obligation to eradicate Amaleik, we can understand the necessity of the expenditure of time and effort for a building that would last but a few months. Throughout the generations, Amaleik has mocked us, as he dares us to wonder about Hashem’s Presence in our lives. Purim celebrates our victory over Haman, the embodiment of Amaleik in his time, and demonstrates for us that we can overcome evil if we unite and raise our level of commitment to Torah and mitzvos.
For one day, we manage to hew to the message. On Purim, we are b’simcha and we seek to be mesameiach others. We go through the day taking special care to observe its mitzvos. We meet new people, make new friends and reconnect with old ones. We are introduced to worthy causes and recruit others to causes we believe in. We gain an appreciation for what can be accomplished in one day. We see that every minute is precious. Long after the sun goes down, music plays and people still celebrate the miracles and messages of Purim. We learned in last week’s parsha how the Jews had sinned with the Eigel Hazohov. Misled by the Soton, they feared that Moshe Rabbeinu would not return and fashioned a golden image to replace him. The people desired leadership and a Divine relationship, but they were misguided. Following their teshuvah, they were granted their wish, along with the directions of how to construct a place among them where Hashem could be found. Although the Mishkon would be temporary, its effect would be eternal. While
was to be temporary, for they would take advantage of the opportunity to become closer to Hashem and in that zechus they would enter Eretz Yisroel and build the permanent Bais Hamikdosh. Alas, that was not meant to be. They sinned again, this time with the meraglim, and they didn’t merit entering Eretz Yisroel. The Botei Mikdosh were felled by internecine hatred and battles. A parable is told about a king who announced his intention to visit a certain town. The locals were excited to actually see their revered and beloved king, and they spent weeks cleaning the town and decorating the streets. A special tax was levied on the townspeople and a beautiful gift was purchased for the king. The great day arrived. Men, women and children lined the streets, waiting for the king’s entourage to appear. After a while, it was visible on the horizon. Everyone craned their necks and saw the magnificent horse-drawn carriage as it made its way toward them. Finally, the king himself, a tall, handsome man with royal bearing, appeared. He stepped out of the carriage and waved
A WINNER DOES NOT BEND HIS BELIEFS TO CONFORM TO POPULAR IDEAS, EVEN IF DOING SO MAKES HIM APPEAR TO BE A LOSER. it was meant to last for several months, it represented the ideal that every day could be spent in the presence of Hashem. No day, or even part of it, should be taken for granted or wasted. Every minute is precious, and can generate greatness. Klal Yisroel, newly-cleansed from the chet ha’Eigel, desirous of a proper relationship with Hashem, appreciated the opportunity to construct a dirah batachtonim. They understood that building the Mishkon was teshuvah for their sin and immediately responded to the appeals. They engaged in a labor of love, determined to begin again. It mattered not to them that the Mishkon
to the people. A special delegation, led by the mayor and local dignitaries, came forth and presented him with the gift. The king smiled and held up his hand. “I appreciate the gift,” he said, “and in return I am giving this town a year with no taxes. In addition, I will send money to build new roads and a few parks.” The grateful crowd, overcome with emotion and gratitude, burst into applause. The king beamed at his people and continued on to the next town, leaving behind his assurances of all sorts of relief and help. The next week, a golden carriage pulled up in the town square and out
stepped an impressive looking man, surrounded by guards. There was no delegation on hand to greet him and no crowds lining the streets. The irate man claimed to be the king. He was aghast that there was no welcoming ceremony for him and his great benevolence to the town. The mayor was summoned and hurried to the square to explain to the guest that the king had come the week before. The new visitor explained that he, in fact, was the king and that the person who had come before must have been an imposter who had taken advantage of the impending royal visit. The mayor apologized profusely, describing to the king the expensive gift, the parades, and the cheering of the week before. The king was incensed over the mistake and prepared to leave in anger. A local wise man approached and begged for permission to speak. “Honored king,” he said, “last week, an impostor came to town. We gave him an expensive gift and we all came forth to show respect, but we thought it was you. That gift, that parade, that reception, they were all for you, even though you didn’t see it, but it reflected our feelings for you. Please accept that what we did was our expression of how we feel toward you.” The king was calmed, as he recognized the truth of the wise man’s words. Just like those townspeople, we are sometimes influenced by charlatans. We see things that we mistake for G-dliness and we follow them. We mean well, but we can still be misguided. In the binyan haMishkon, our forefathers had the opportunity to welcome the real King. Newly pardoned, they were given a second chance. The authentic King was coming to rest among them and they were charged with making the preparations for His arrival. This time, there would be no mistakes. They toiled and labored in joy, thrilled at the opportunity to welcome their beloved and revered King. They understood that even one moment of hashro’as haShechinah was worth everything. On Purim, we sensed and felt the points of light and holiness that define us. If only we could keep those embers alive for longer, we could merit the joy and fulfillment
courage to stand up for what we believe. A winner does not bend his beliefs to conform to popular ideas, even if doing so makes him appear to be a loser. The real loser is the one who has no courage, twists with the wind, and has no core beliefs for which he would sacrifice himself. Rather than fall prey to apathy, fatalism or self-serving causes, let us remain idealistic, dedicated to the ideals and values of the Torah. Let us remember that elections, political intrigue and world events are veils masking the working of Hashgochah. The posuk states, “Vayavou kol ish asher nesao libo” (35:21). Every man “whose heart lifted him” came to work on the construction of the Mishkon. The Ramban writes that none of the
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crease and spread happiness and kedushah. We need to recognize that not only Purim, but every day, is a gift from Hashem and worthy of expending the effort to construct a Mishkon - a place for Hashem - in our hearts. Every day presents new opportunities to grow, learn and achieve greatness. On Purim, we performed the mitzvos hayom with boundless energy, giving as much as we thought we could and then, when we thought we were done, giving a little more. We must likewise stretch our spiritual reserves every day. When we have pushed ourselves to our maximum ability, we will merit the eternal blessings promised to the eternal people. The amount we accomplish from the time we think we have no strength left until we are really depleted is the difference between greatness and also-rans. The Chazon Ish would learn daily until he only had enough strength remaining to place a pillow under his head. Stories are told and retold of gedolim who would sit at their Gemaros with their feet in buckets of cold water to keep them awake. Greatness means never saying, “What good is it? It’s only for a few minutes, a few days, or a few months.” Greatness means utilizing every opportunity and moment to gain knowledge and grow. We can gain an impetus to accomplish that by examining the connection between Purim and masks. Purim is a day when we put everything else aside and spend our time in revelry and high spirits. To do this, we mask a part of our lives, the things that are disappointing or painful. We subjugate the somber tendencies to the mitzvah of simcha and mishteh. For people who can accomplish this feat, simcha shines from them with a new radiance. Perhaps, the influence of yayin helps some gain a new perspective on life. They realize that, for at least one day, they can set aside the pressures that sap their attention and energy. And so they smile. A person thus acquires a new face, a new perspective; a mask. The test of Purim is to hold on to that fresh perspective after the yayin has worn off and after the last mishloach manos has been eaten. Keep your priorities straight. Remember what is tofel and what is ikkar. Sometimes we need to be reminded to have faith in our convictions. We have to bear in mind that it is not always important to be popular. We must have the moral
people who were engaged in building the Mishkon had learned that trade, nor did they have any previous experience. Those who built the Mishkon were the people who responded to the call of Hashem. Nosom libom, their hearts lifted them up. They were consumed with the desire to fulfill the wish of Hashem. They didn’t say that they weren’t trained for anything that the Mishkon required. They didn’t say that the work was too difficult. They didn’t say, “Leave it for someone else to do.” The Mishkon was built by men of greatness who ignored their shortcomings and pushed themselves to do what they didn’t know they could to serve Hashem. They achieved greatness. They brought the Shechinah here. They received the brochah of Vihi naom and the Mishkon lasted much longer than anyone thought it would. In fact, the Mishkon was never destroyed. It lies in hiding, waiting for the day when we can all join together and summon the inner strength we all possess to put aside all differences and work together to reestablish a dirah laHashem batachtonim with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
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felt on that one day, throughout our lives. As the Mishkon was completed, Moshe Rabbeinu blessed the Jewish people, stating, “Vihi noam Hashem Elokeinu aleinu.” Rav Simcha Scheps zt”l explained that they were blessed upon the completion of the work and not when they began it, because Moshe knew that there would be an initial burst of enthusiasm for the project. He didn’t have to bless them at the outset. He feared that once they were done, the initial euphoria would rub off and they wouldn’t be able to maintain the proper levels to merit the Shechinah remaining among them. Rav Yisroel of Ruzhin zt”l was a princely figure, exalted in deed and action. He was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of establishing his own kingdom and being a potential threat to the Czar. The regal rebbe was confined to a dark, dirty dungeon, where he was treated poorly. In prison, the rebbe quoted the words of the posuk in Tehillim 23:4, but with his own twist. “Gam ki eileich begei tzalmovess lo ira, even when I am in the valley of death, I do not fear,” he said. Then the rebbe continued: “Ra, ki Atah imodi, the part that I find painful and bad is that You, Hashem, are with me here. The Shechinah is in golus along with me, and that hurts me.” The rebbe was reminding his chassidim that if we are worthy, the Shechinah rests among us, wherever we find ourselves. In the great mussar yeshivas, every talmid was infused with an awareness of the greatness inherent in man, referred to it as gadlus ha’adam. Rav Mordechai Shlomo Friedman zt”l, the rebbe of Boyan, had a bais medrash on the Lower East Side. One year, on Erev Pesach, he was seen in the shul wiping down each bench with a rag, even though the janitor had already cleaned the shul. A chossid walked in and wondered what the rebbe was doing. The rebbe answered that in the evening, many people in shul would be wearing new suits lekavod Pesach. He explained that the suits reflect the stature of a nation of princes, elevated to the point where they get to serve Hashem. The new suits were really bigdei malchus. “I am making sure that there is no dust or dirt on these benches that could dirty those suits.” After Purim, we remove the masks and find that we are wearing new suits. We are newly invested with a sense of the abilities we carry within us. On Purim, people shlepped with their children from rebbi to rebbi and teacher to teacher, with one eye on the road and the other on the watch. There was so much to accomplish in just a few hours. Yet, a special simcha permeated the day. We should seek to maintain the sense of Purim - the chance to do good, to in-
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Israel and the Global War on Terror Aaron Feigenbaum
Even while preoccupied with its own domestic fight against terrorism, Israel has been quietly helping other countries fortify their own security against the extremely
shown his eagerness to cooperate with Israel in conducting joint military exercises, as well as shutting down the Hamas tunnel network. Several months ago, the Israeli
A military exercise pitting US Marines vs Givati special forces
President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
determined and ruthless enemy that is Islamic jihadism. Israel has been a key ally in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram, the deadly terrorist group which has been responsible for countless atrocities against women and children, and which is currently in control of the northern part of the country. According to Mike Omeri, the chief coordinating spokesman of the National Information Center in the capital Abuja, “Our Israeli partners have used [their] experience, and the unique expertise gained over years of fighting terror within its own borders, to assist us.” Given that Boko Haram recently pledged its allegiance to ISIS, Nigeria may soon be the focus of increased Israeli and U.S. military assistance. However, Israel’s more immediate aim in its foreign military assistance is to work with its neighbors in stemming the tide of Palestinian terrorism. Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, whose government has deemed Hamas a terrorist organization for the first time in Egypt’s history, has
economic ties: Jordan relies on Israel for gas and water exports, with a historic gas deal having been signed last year. While Israel has its hands tied in join-
Children wounded in neighbouring Syria being treated at an Israeli Hospital
The aftermath of a suicide attack in Nigeria by Boko Haram
government approved Egypt’s request to send additional military units to the demilitarized zone of the Sinai Peninsula in the wake of several ISIS-linked terrorist attacks. The reason behind this is likely what el-Sisi pointed out in an interview: “Israel knows that the lack of presence of the Egyptian military in Sinai poses a danger to it even more than it does to Egypt.” As for Israel’s other Arab ally, Jordan, the ISIS threat has brought the two countries closer together despite political disagreement over the Palestinian issue. Israel and Jordan view each other as centers of stability in the chaotic world of the Middle East, as well as vital partners in the war on terror. According to reports, Israel has flown drones over the Jordanian-Syrian border to stop potential ISIS attacks. However, it is unlikely that Israel will play an active military role in helping Jordan fight ISIS given the Jordanian public’s negative opinion of Israel. More generally though, since relations opened up in 1994, Israel and Jordan have had an extensive intelligence-sharing network, as well as deep
first, Lina decided to heed their advice. Lina and Maryam were warmly greeted by Shevet Achim, a Jerusalem-based Christian non-profit group that brings into
Coordinator of Nigerian National Information Centre, Mike Omeri with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The Azerbaijan and Israeli flags on display at the welcome for an Israeli delegation to Azerbaijan, Israel’s largest supplier of oil
ing the fight against ISIS, it has done much to help ISIS’s victims. A steady stream of wounded Syrians have been coming to Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat, located just 19 miles from the border. Often, these Syrians get in contact with the hospital, which then alerts the army to pick up the patient at the border, no questions asked. At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, a Syrian man was recently equipped with 3D-printed titanium jaw after his lower jaw was destroyed by a bullet. In a particularly heartwarming story, Lina, an Iraqi Christian from the town of Qaraqosh, brought her 18-month-old daughter Maryam, born with a hole in her heart, to Israel for treatment. The original plan had been to bring Maryam to Turkey but that was scrapped when ISIS took over Qaraqosh. After fleeing to Erbil and then to the Kurdish-Christian town of Shaqlawa, they were told to see American doctors at the heart center in Suleimaniyah. The doctors told them there was nothing they could do and that they should go to Israel for treatment. Though skeptical at
Israel the sick children from neighboring countries with heart conditions. According to the latest report, Maryam is still being treated at Hadassah-Ein-Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem, a hospital that prides itself on its commitment to delivering treatment to all patients regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Shevet Achim has already received requests from other Iraqi Christians looking to bring their children in for treatment. The number is likely to grow as this endangered minority group is increasingly persecuted by ISIS. Additionally, the Israeli humanitarian group IsraAid has recently stepped up its efforts to aid Yazidi and Christian refugees in Northern Iraq. Displaced by ISIS, 18,000 of these refugees live in an area of Iraq where IsraAid is active. This past winter, IsraAid has provided food, water, blankets, and much more. Now, IsraAid is looking to offer education to Christian and Yazidi children who have not been to school in months and who are in need of psychological counseling.
31 THE JEWISH HOME
in neighboring Somalia. Israeli advisors were also sent in after the terrorist massacre at the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall in 2013. Kenya has been a regular customer of Israeli Military Industries and hundreds of Kenyan soldiers have either received training in Israel or have been trained by Israelis in Kenya. Azerbaijan, Israel’s top oil supplier, is perhaps Is-
and C-130 transport planes. Israeli equipment used by the U.S. military includes
Land ISIS claims to be theirs
pany’s approach is to monitor electricity flowing from specific sections of the
Members of Al-Shabaab
Israeli and Kenyan Parliaments sign agreement
rael’s closest Muslim ally. As relations with its neighbor Iran have deteriorated in recent years, Azerbaijan has quietly expanded the scope of its military cooperation with Israel. In 2012, Israel confirmed a $1.6 billion deal to sell drones and missile/anti-aircraft defense to Azerbaijan. Additionally, there is speculation that the Azeri government has opened up the Sitalchay Military Airbase, located 340 miles from the Iranian border, to the Israeli Air Force. The base could be used as a staging ground for an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear targets. In regards to U.S.-Israeli military cooperation, the two countries regularly hold joint training exercises and have a number of joint technological development programs including the Arrow missile system and Tactical High Energy Laser. At an average of $1.8 billion annually, Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid since WWII. Notable examples of U.S. military equipment used by Israel include F-15 fighter planes, AH-64 Apache helicopters
the Uzi submachine gun and the IAI Kfir plane. Israel and the U.S. have also had a longstanding joint police and counter-terrorism training program. Topics covered in the program include border security, treating mass casualties, rescue operations, securing terrorist attack sites, IED attacks, and even illegal immigrants. Finally, Israel is leading the fight in combating cyberterrorism. In 2012, Saudi hackers leaked the credit card details of thousands of Israelis and managed to shut down the websites of El Al and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Last year, Iranian hackers created fake social media profiles to spy on top U.S. and Israeli officials. And Israel everyday is the target of DDOS (denial of service) attacks in which hackers overload a site with messages to shut it down. In response to these threats, the same company that developed the Iron Dome has also been developing the Iron Dome’s digital counterpart. Dubbed the “Information Grid,” Israel Electric Com-
power grid and stop suspicious activities from spreading. Israel has also agreed to help the Japanese government improve its cybersecurity by signing a joint agreement to fund the anti-cyberterrorism efforts of companies and research centers in both countries. Both Israel and Japan are some of the few countries to have developed offensive cyberweapons. Israel is a world leader in cybersecurity, with cybersecurity software exports valued at $3 billion in 2013 alone. Israel recently announced the creation of the National Cyber Bureau to streamline the government’s cybersecurity efforts. (Sources: Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet News, Israel Hayom, Bloomberg)
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At the same time, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Lukman, the commander of a Yazidi militia in Iraq, made a public appeal to Israel for military aid. As he told the Middle Eastern-oriented media outlet Al-Monitor, “We appeal to the Israeli government and its leader to step in and help this nation, which loves the Jewish people. We would be most grateful for the establishment of military ties—for instance, the training of fighters and the formation of joint teams. We are well aware of the circumstances the Israelis are in, and of the suffering they have endured at the hands of the Arabs ever since the establishment of their state. We, too, are suffering on account of them.” The Israeli government has not yet responded to his plea. Beyond the Middle East, Israel has been helping a number of countries address their security concerns. One of these countries is India, one of Israel’s strongest supporters in terms of public opinion. Since Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister last year, military cooperation between India and Israel has ramped up significantly, in addition to the already strong trade and tech ties between the two countries. Ever wary of the potential threat from neighboring Pakistan, India has decided to purchase the Israeli-produced Barak-8 missile to outfit its warships. Netanyahu has told Modi that Israeli defense companies could produce in India to reduce costs. India is reported to be considering the purchase of the Israeli Iron Dome system, the star of the 2014 Gaza war, to defend its civilians against rocket attacks. Israel has also helped India’s neighbor Sri Lanka in its decades-long war against the Tamil Tigers terrorist group. Though Sri Lanka is reluctant to specify just how Israel assists its efforts, (it does not want to risk alienating its Muslim population or its Arab oil suppliers,) reports indicate that Israel has provided Sri Lanka with planes, pilot training, naval attack craft and submarine-launched missiles. The Sri Lankan ambassador to Israel, Donald Perera, is a strong supporter of Israel’s war on terror. Additionally, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa made history last year by becoming the first Sri Lankan head of state to visit Israel since both countries gained their independence in 1948. Kenya, another victim of terrorism, has become one of Israel’s closest allies in East Africa. In 2011, the two countries signed an agreement for Israel to advise Kenya on how to fight its war against the al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab group
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Netanyahu Attacks Obama’s Naiveté when it Comes to Iran BY NACHUM SOROKA
fter all the political posturing and fingerpointing, the faux humiliation and self-righteous protocol adherence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his thoughts to Congress on the looming treaty with Iran and left. His address may have been given directly to Congress—or at least to whomever chose to stay—but he spoke to the entire country. And it is ironic that the most open and clear presentation of the agreement between the rogue state and the United States to the American public was not given by a U.S. lawmaker, but by a foreign leader whose invitation to speak was more political exhibition than serious negotiation. In contrast to the Obama administration’s prevailing attitude of “we have to pass it in order to see what’s in it” and muddled responses to serious questions, Netanyahu laid out his case against the deal in simple, methodic terms. President Obama’s response was a metaphorical shoulder shrug back. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s main points can
what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could produce many, many nuclear bombs.” The prime minister brought North Korea as a prime example of the ineptness of international inspectors to stop a country bent on obtaining nuclear weapons from obtaining them. “Inspectors document violations; they don’t stop them,” he pointed out. Like North Korea, Iran has a history of defying international agreements and just as North Korea threw out the UN inspectors from its nuclear facilities after a short while, there is nothing saying that Iran won’t do the same. This being besides the fact that there have been, and still very well may be, underground and undercover nuclear facilities in Iran that the world and Israel do not know about—and neither would the inspectors.
be distilled into two ideas: One, a deal that allows one of the biggest sponsors of world terror to keep its nuclear structure intact is not a deal at all, and two, that international supervision of a rogue state’s nuclear program—what the deal intends to accomplish—will not accomplish much in scaling back that state’s nuclear ambitions. While the details of the negotiations are not public, the prime minister said that anyone with a Google account can learn that the deal under present discussion would permit the Iranian regime to continue operating—and expanding—its nuclear program, allowing it to get to the 190,000 centrifuges the Ayatollah has spoken about as the magic number for his nuclear objectives. Last week, President Obama conceded that whatever concession package the West was putting together with Iran would expire in ten years. Said Netanyahu, “Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children.” He added, “We all have a responsibility to consider
“A decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation.”
resident Obama’s response to Bibi’s speech was not much of a response, as the prime minister himself already articulated most of the response in his address. The president did not bother to refute any of Netanyahu’s assertions, nor did he attempt to argue with any of his judgment. Instead he said that the address presented “nothing new” and offered no real alternative to the deal un-
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id Netanyahu accomplish what he set out originally to do? Aside from the leftistcamp opinion that the prime minister’s goal was to boost his own poll numbers back home (for which they self-righteously did not abet by boycotting the speech), Netanyahu’s motivation for disrupting the White House agenda is not completely clear. Even whether his government was complicit in John Boehner’s political scheming is a matter of dispute between the Israelis and the Obama administration among media outlets. But it should be obvious that in no way did the Israeli prime minister feel that his speech to a Republican Congress would have any positive effect on the president’s administration’s plans with Iran. Netanyahu’s stated goal was not to shape anyone’s opinion about the deal. Last week he repeated both during, before and after the speech that as the world’s leader of the Jewish people, he has a moral obligation to speak out on its behalf. “As prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them. For 2,000 years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless,” he told listeners at the AIPAC Convention last week. But whether that was Netanyahu’s sole intention in addressing Congress or not, the ancillary benefit of his visit was the opportunity it afforded him to shape the opinion of an American public who mostly did not have much of a clue about what an Iranian deal would include or mean to the world—until now. Netanyahu was able to lay out in clear, layman’s terms why the deal we are being sold is not only not optimal, but is foolish as well. Aside from the griping about Netanyahu’s “condescending” tone by some Democrat top brass, the prime minister’s speech was well-received and his points were heard across the Western world. He may not have won over anyone in Washington to his side, but he has forced them to answer some tough questions and publicly yield on some issues (for what that’s worth). This week, President Obama told CBS’s Face the Nation, “If we cannot verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there’s a breakout period so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action—if we don’t have that kind of deal, then we’re not going to take it.” By offering his view to the U.S. public, Netanyahu also provided ammunition to the president’s
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der negotiation, something that the prime minister proclaimed in his speech as the only possible—and flawed—logic a Western country could have in negotiating such terms. Obama insists that this deal is the only one so far that Iran is willing to discuss and that that in itself should be good enough reason to move forward with it. But Netanyahu argued that dealing with Iran, the country, at the nuclear negotiation table is no different than dealing with an Iranian vendor at a Persian bazaar. One has to be willing to allow the other side to walk away and “call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.” All told, it would appear that the president is willing to concede with a nation who he agrees as having deadly intentions because his critics are not saying anything new or offering any magic bullets. And all for ten years’ quiet—at most.
most vociferous critics in the Senate, both Republican and Democrat. New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, who escorted the prime minister to the Congress floor to speak last week, already co-sponsored a bill with Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois which would impose even tougher sanctions on Iran by July and co-sponsored a bill with Republican Senator Bob Corker which would require Congressional approval of any treaty the administration agrees to with Iran. The president has already threatened to veto these bills, but a changing public perception of the Iran situation may make it harder for him to do so, and a strong majority in the Senate would even make Menendez’s bills veto-proof.
t may be argued that the prime minister’s speech had the opposite of its intended effect in a different part of the world: Iran. Current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been facing opposition by hardliners in Iran to his discussions with the West who feel that he is being too moderate and capitulatory regarding the country’s nuclear ambitions. Netanyahu’s warning to the world about these talks has helped Rouhani claim against the hardliners in his country that he is not being too compromising to the West. Iran’s real leader, Ayatollah Khameini, is using Netanyahu’s objections as proof to the vulnerable position his country has backed Israel into. “Increasing global hatred of #Israel is a sign of divine help. Today Israel is more isolated & its supporters are more embattled #ShutDownAIPAC,” he tweeted last week. Regardless of whether Israel feels vulnerable, Netanyahu finished off his address with the promise that if the U.S. is unwilling to stand up to a nuclear Iran, Israel is unafraid to go it alone. “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why – this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand,”
was his closing message to Congress. Earlier in the week a Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Jarida, reported that in 2014 President Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli planes after John Kerry was informed that the IAF was planning a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Both the U.S. and Israel
“I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.” denied the report, and Netanyahu reiterated in his speech to Congress that he was not advocating a military operation against Iran by the Wes. If all other options are off the table, though, the prime minister made it clear that Israel does not feel inhibited. It is reported that after the prime minister’s address House Majority Leader John Boehner presented him with a bust of Winston Churchill as a not so subtle hint to which current leaders are acting on the right side of history. Prime Minister Netanyahu compared himself last week to Queen Esther who refused to be silent while her nation was facing death. As people who know better than to put our faith in human beings, let us hope that all crisis will be obviated all too soon.
THE JEWISH HOME
MARCH 12, 2015
Compiled by Nate Davis Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say“Say What?” What?” A developer has created a zerogravity martini glass, which promises to let astronauts drink cocktails in space without spilling. Our astronauts are drinking? Guys, the first step is admitting to Houston that you have a problem. – Seth Myers President Obama said he wants the United States to establish an embassy in Cuba by April. When asked if Cuba would establish an embassy here, Obama said, “What do you call Miami?” – Jimmy Fallon
Jeb Bush is getting his presidential campaign in gear. Last week he said he supports a path to citizenship for immigrants. He said, “I believe in an America where hard work and dedication can lead to any job that your brother and dad once had.” – Conan O’Brien
Today is my least favorite day of the year. It’s the Monday after daylight saving time starts. It throws me completely out of whack. I don’t know why they do this. Even if it is necessary—which it isn’t—why do we have to spring forward all at once? Can’t we tippy-toe forward one minute a day over two months? – Jimmy Kimmel I still haven’t adjusted the clocks in my house. I’ll need four to six weeks. We can send a satellite to Mars, yet we cannot have a microwave that automatically adjusts its clock. - Jimmy Kimmel
Hillary Clinton used a private email account to conduct official state business. Experts say that if this violates any federal rules, then she . . . will still be president. – Jimmy Fallon
During his speech in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly referred to Congress as “my friends.” It was a move that had many in Congress Googling the word “friend.” –Seth Myers
Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.’s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury. –Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj writing in the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al-Jazeera It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does… However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran… What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest penpal of the Supreme Leader of the world’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. – From an article on Al Arabiya’s website by Faisal J. Abbas, titled, “President Obama Listen to Netanyahu on Iran”
I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old. It’s the safest course I can take. - Warrant Buffett explaining to Fortune Magazine why he drinks five cans of Coca Cola every day and often eats ice cream for breakfast When it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone–not Israel’s political enemies, and not by my political friends when I believe they’re wrong. As long as I have an ounce of fight left in me, as long as I have a vote and a say and a chance to protect the interest of Israel, the region, and the national security interests of the United States, Iran will never have a pathway to a weapon. - Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaking at the AIPAC Convention one day before the Justice Department announced criminal charges against him after a year-long investigation The timing is curious. This investigation has been going on for over a year and yet the very week they announce a pending indictment comes within hours after Sen. Menendez showing courage to speak out against President Obama’s dangerous foreign policy that is risking the national security of this country. - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussing the pending charges against Sen. Robert Menendez
In 36 years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them. - Vice President Joe Biden responding to the Republicans’ letter to Iran Joe Biden, as Barack Obama’s own secretary of defense has said, has been wrong about nearly every foreign policy and national security decision in the last 40 years. Moreover, if Joe Biden respects the dignity of the institution of the Senate he should be insisting that the president submit any deal to approval of the Senate, which is exactly what he did on numerous deals during his time in the Senate. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who spearheaded the letter, responding to criticism from Vice President Biden We now know that the crime they say is at the root of terrorism was not committed by Arabs or Muslims at all. They say the World Trade buildings were brought down by carefully placed explosives, not by planes. It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks… We’re dealing with thieves, liars and murderers. Listen to this. We know that many Israelis were arrested immediately after the attack, but quickly released and sent to Israel. We know that many Jews received a text message not to come to work September 11. Who sent that message that kept them from showing up? … It now appears 9/11 was a false flag operation, which is an attack from one country but made to appear like an attack from another in order to start a war between them. Is this what friendship is? – Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in a sermon last week
Joe Biden will speak to … a human rights convention on Friday. Then on Saturday, he is scheduled to speak to them again to apologize for whatever he said in Friday’s speech. - Jimmy Fallon
The world’s oldest person turned 117 today. And she celebrated the same way she did last year — by driving her car into somebody’s living room. - Seth Myers
Yesterday was not only daylight saving time, but also International Women’s Day. What better way to address the issue of inequality for women than giving them a day that’s missing an hour. – David Letterman Yesterday, the Supreme Court spent over an hour listening to arguments on whether Obamacare is unconstitutional. Yeah, listening to arguments about Obamacare for an hour, or as most people call that, “Thanksgiving dinner.” – Jimmy Fallon
It seemed rather short. – The world’s oldest person, Misao Okawas, when asked at her birthday party how it feels to have lived for 117 years so far
Forbes released its annual list of billionaires. Once again the richest person on the planet, with $79.2 billion, is Bill Gates. To put that into perspective, that’s enough money to never have to drink tap water at a restaurant ever again. – Jimmy Kimmel
I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5+1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation. - From the written statement released by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) immediately after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress
A Chinese family was kicked off a flight to Hong Kong because their 3-year-old wouldn’t sit in his seat. As a result, the 3-year-old missed his first day of work. – Conan O’Brien
WARNING: I DO DUMB THINGS. - Message on the shirt of Luciano Gutierrez, 66, as he was busted for his ninth DWI in Texas
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I think it is somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with hardliners in Iran. It is an unusual coalition. - President Obama responding to the Republicans attempting to thwart his negotiations with the Iranians
The new Apple Watch is out…Hillary Clinton could use one of these Apple Watches. She could hook it up to her secret email account. If you want to contact Hillary, she’s at email@example.com. – David Letterman
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We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time. - From a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the government of Iran explaining to them that President Obama’s unilateral agreement with them may not be binding in the future
4. The tallest tree in the world is a Coast Redwood located in Northern California. How tall is it? a. 379 ft b. 590 ft c. 734 ft d. 1,100 ft
3. Which country has the most square miles of forest? a. U.S. b. Russia c. Australia d. Brazil
Across 4. Daffodil 5. Ronald Reagan 10. Albert Einstein 11.Van Gogh 13. Spring 14. Peace Corps 15. Et tu Brute 16. Ulysses S. Grant
2. Approximately how many types of trees are there in the world? a. 500 b. 2000 c. 14,000 d. 23,000
1. What is the official tree of the U.S.? a. American Chestnut b. Gray Birch c. Oak d. Hawthorn
11. Dutch painter who sold only one painting 5. Which of the following U.S. states has the m during his lifetime and whose first trees? painting is called The Potato Eaters
13. It’s finally here, after a long winter
a. Wyoming b. Oregon 14. Established as civilian c. aNew Yorkforce by JFK 15. “You too?!” d. Ohio
5. Which of the following U.S. states has the most trees? a. Wyoming b. Oregon c. New York d. Ohio
Down 1.Houdini 2. Jack Ruby 3. Camp David Accord 6. Andrew Johnson 7. March Madness 8 Yellowstone 9 Uncle Tom’s Cabin 12. Alcatraz
located in Northern California. 5. Shot in 1981, he tall declared, How is it? “Honey, I forgot to duck!” a. 379 ft 590 ft led to new ways 10. His theory ofb.relativity of thinking about time, c. 734 ft space, matter and energy d. 1,100 ft
16. General of the Union army
6. The oldest known tree in the world is located somewhere in Inyo National Forest, California. (Its exact location is undisclosed to protect it from vandalism. If I found it, I would totally love to hang a “No Mets Parking Here” poster on it.) The tree is 4,789 years old. What is the name of the tree? a. Methuselah b. Solomon c. Goliath d. Jacob’s Ladder
12. Prison on anc.island called “The Rock” Australia
4. Official flower of March; theyRedwood grow world is a Coast perennially in bulbs and are usually yellow
Wisdom key: 6-7 correct: You are a serious tree lover. Let me guess, you tied yourself to a tree to protest it being cut down to build a new hospital, right? 3-5 correct: Not bad. You see? You gained something from those nature walks that your parents forced you to take as a child. 0-2 correct: You could use a little less carbon dioxide and a little more oxygen… develop a give and take with your local tree and maybe you will do better on the next trivia.
6. A 7. B
Answers: 1. C 2. D 3. B- Russia has approximately 3,287,243 square miles of forest. The U.S. comes in fourth place with 872,564 square miles of forest. 4. A 5. B- According to a report published by the USDA Forest Service in 2002, Oregon has the most trees in the U.S.
b. 2000 2. Killer of JFK’s assassin
c. peace 14,000agreement 3. Israeli-Egyptian
6. First president to be impeached by the House of Representatives 3. Which country
1. Born Erik Weisz in 1874, he went on to be a are there in the world? true escape artist and magician a. 500
2. Approximately how many types of trees
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ANSWER TO RIDDLE: Only one weighing operation is necessary. Take one coin from bag one, two coins from bag two and three coins from bag three. Weigh all six coins together. If they weigh 305lb, then the first bag contains the counterfeit coins. If they weigh 310lb, then the second bag contains the counterfeit coins. If they weigh 315lb, then bag three contains the counterfeit coins.
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6. The oldest known tree in the world is locat somewhere in Inyo National Forest, California location is undisclosed to protect it from vand it, I would totally love to hang a “No Mets Par poster on it.) The tree is 4,789 years old. What the tree? a. Methuselah b. Solomon c. Goliath d. Jacob’s Ladder
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March Crossword Puzzle 1. What is the official tree of the U.S.? a. American Chestnut b. Gray Birch c. Oak d. Hawthorn
G OT FU N N Y?
7. The science of calculating a tree’s age by its rings is known as: THE JEWISH HOME MARCH 12, 2015 a. Chlorophyllyzation b. Dendrochronology c. Treehugolagy d. Makeitupolagy because nobodyknowsyourelyingoligy e. Botanology f. Arboristology
has the tournament most 7. College basketball
square of 8. First national park miles in the U.S.
9. The novel that helped lay the groundwork a. U.S. for the Civil War
4. The tallest tree in the
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39 THE JEWISH HOME
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THE JEWISH HOME
MARCH 12, 2015
Travel Guide: Massachusetts Aaron Feigenbaum
Massachusetts is where America’s history comes alive. It’s where the pilgrims landed with hopes for a better life in the New World and it’s where the first shots rang out in the American Revolution. From iconic Plymouth Rock to Boston’s historic Fanueil
and Maine were all united into a single colony, governed by a secular constitution. The colony’s economy grew steadily as it expanded from traditional agriculture to trans-Atlantic trading of slaves, fish, lumber and more.
At the Harvard Semitic Museum
Hall, from the dunes of Cape Cod to the rolling hills of the Berkshires, Massachusetts’ seamless blend of history, culture, nature, and city life has endeared it to the millions of tourists who visit every year. Massachusetts is also one of America’s most forward-thinking states. It’s home to M.I.T. and Harvard, two of the most respected institutes of higher learning in the world, as well as some of the country’s best art museums and tech startups. Whether you’re walking down Boston’s Freedom Trail, exploring the whaling history of Nantucket, or browsing the world-class shops of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts’ incredible diversity of activities and downto-earth people make it arguably the best destination in New England. History The European settlement of the area that is now known as Massachusetts, began in 1620 when the Pilgrims, Puritan religious dissenters from England, landed at Plymouth Rock. The colonists set up a series of fisheries and trading posts, forming the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1629. Centered in Boston, the Company governed the Bay Colony as a private entity for the next 50 years. During this time, Massachusetts was essentially a Puritan theocracy. The Puritans fanatically pushed for the development of educational institutions to teach Christian texts. Out of this impetus was born the now-secular Harvard University in 1636. The very next year, resentment on the part of the Pequot Indians led to the Pequot War, in which the Massachusetts Bay colony banded together with three other colonies to secure their settlements. The Pequot suffered an enormous setback, but the settlers’ triumph soon turned to anger after the British government revoked the colony’s charter in 1684, citing repeated violations of its terms. In 1691, Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth,
ical research. Attractions Boston: The capital of Massachusetts is where old meets new. Towering skyscrapers overlook key sites of the American Revolution. Walk down the Freedom Trail and
In the late 1700’s, resentment of British policies such as the Stamp and Tea Acts led to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. The first battles of the American Revolution were fought in Massachusetts at Lexington and Concord. After America’s independence, Massachusetts faced grim economic conditions, as exemplified by Shay’s Rebellion of 1794. Trade routes with Britain had been shut off. Though Boston profited from trade with China, the rest of the state didn’t fare well. Things turned around, rather ironically, in the War of 1812 when the U.S. was forced to develop its own manufacturing base, much of which sprang up in Massachusetts. In the state, the textile industry soared while agriculture plummeted, causing many farmers to
Minute Man National Historical Park
head west. Massachusetts in the early 1800’s was also a bastion of abolitionist thought and social reform. In fact, Massachusetts troops were the first to die for the Union cause during the Baltimore riot of 1861. In the next decades, Massachusetts grew economically, and also in population as scores of European immigrants arrived and built up the state’s urban infrastructure. Today, Massachusetts is a powerhouse for the arts, culture, tourism and technolog-
relive those crucial moments in our nation’s history. This 2.5 mile path winds its way from the USS Constitution (aka “Old Ironsides”), a naval frigate launched in 1797 and a veteran of several battles, to Boston Common, a former British military camp and now America’s oldest municipal park. A highlight of the walk is the Boston Tea Party Museum, a floating museum featuring live actors, interactive exhibits and the chance to actually dump tea in the river like the patriots did over 250 years ago. Other interesting sites along the Trail include Fanueil Hall, the site of Samuel Adams’ passionate pro-independence speeches, and Paul Revere’s humble wood house, home to the legendary patriot who warned the rebels of the coming British attack at Lexington and Concord.
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
Located just off the Trail is the New England Holocaust Memorial, consisting of six glass towers representing six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is the city’s largest art museum. It houses an incredible array of artifacts from all over the world including French impressionist paintings, ancient Chinese art, an indoor Japanese garden, and Rothschild family treasures. The J.F.K. Presidential Library & Museum, located on Columbia Point, is a must-
see for those interested in American history and politics. Seven permanent exhibits trace Kennedy’s presidency from the campaign trail to the Space Race to his assassination. There are also exhibits about his wife Jackie and brother Robert, in addition to a collection of author Ernest Hemingway’s documents and belongings. The Boston Public Library doubles as a museum. One of the biggest and most beautiful libraries in America, its vast collection of original documents includes early editions of Shakespeare’s works, John Adams’ personal book collection, the papers of prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and more. For something more modern, check out the Boston area’s numerous science museums. The most well-known is the Museum of Science, featuring such fascinating exhibits as an optical illusion room, the world’s largest Van de Graaf generator and an interactive math display that’s great for the kids. The Harvard Museum of Natural History shows visitors the best of Earth’s natural wonders including an extensive fossil collection, gemstones and meteorites, and plants. However, the museum’s main claim to fame is its stunning glass flower collection, which visitors often cannot believe aren’t real. While you’re at Harvard, head over to the Semitic Museum, showing off the most interesting artifacts of the ancient Middle East. From mummy sarcophagi to the Laws of Hammurabi to a recreation of an Iron Age Israelite house, this collection can’t be missed. Finally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Science Museum has one of the world’s largest collections of holograms, in addition to exhibits about robotics, nautical engineering, and vintage Polaroid cameras
Theater of Electricity at the Boston Museum of Science
and photos. If you’re interested in a little R&R, Boston has you covered. Located near Boston Common is the Boston Common Garden. This lush park is famous for having the world’s shortest suspension bridge as well as pleasant swan boat rides. But an even more worthwhile destination is Boston Harbor Islands State Park. These islands are perfect for hiking, biking, picnicking, swimming, boating and more. The most popular is Georges Island where
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watching trips, shop, see the local J.F.K. museum, or tour the kosher Cape Cod Potato Chip factory. At the very tip of the Cape lies Provincetown, once home to famous writers and artists, and now the scene of a bustling tourist industry. Historically, this is where the Mayflower Compact, the first constitution governing the Bay Colony, was signed aboard the ship in 1620. This is commemorated by Pilgrim Monument, a 252-foot tall tower that one can climb to the top of for breathtaking views of the city and surrounding bay. The beautiful beach surrounding Provincetown has been often been named as one of the best in the country. Like Hyannis, Provincetown offers ample opportunities for whale watching, cruising, fishing and more. Just off the coast of Cape Cod lies the island/town of Nantucket. Renowned for its role in inspiring Herman Melville to write Moby Dick, Nantucket is one of the most picturesque places in New England. From quaint cobblestone streets to lighthouses to pristine beaches and dramatic cliffs, Nantucket is a fantastic place to unwind, have fun and appreciate the scenery. The town has a whaling museum, exploring a key part of the island’s history and culture. The museum has harpoons, longboats and a huge sperm whale skeleton. Other sites on the island include Brant Point Light, an aquarium, and the extremely popular beaches (don’t go in the summer if you want to avoid crowds). For a nice day trip, Nantucket Adventures runs seal watching tours between Nantucket Island and nearby Muskeget Island. Between Nantucket and the mainland lies Martha’s Vineyard. Like Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard has plenty of natural beauty and isn’t affected by the kind of unbridled commercialism found on the mainland, although it is a popular vacation spot for Hollywood celebrities. Tisbury is the main entry point for visitors and has many beautiful boutique shops and traditional wooden schooner boats. For some of the best hiking in the state, Gay Head Cliffs feature a majestic view of the ocean and beach below. If you’re interested in seeing the homes of the rich and famous, head to Chilmark, which has some of Massachusetts’ highest property values. Daven and Eat Massachusetts has a large number of Orthodox shuls. For Boston, there is the Chabad House of Greater Boston, located at 491 Commonwealth Ave. (chabadboston. org) as well as the Zvhil - Mezbuz Beis Medrash at 15 School St. (rebbe.org) For Cape Cod, there is Congregation
Beth Israel of Onset at 7 Locust St., Buzzard’s Bay (capecodshul.org) Those travelling to Nantucket can visit Chabad Lubavitch of Nantucket in Hyannis at 745 W. Main St. (chabadcapecod.com) For a complete listing of Orthodox shuls, visit: http://www.shamash.org/links/ Synagogue_and_Temple/Orthodox/Massachusetts/ Massachusetts (Boston in particular) is also home to numerous kosher restaurants. A notable one is Milk Street Cafe in the heart of Boston’s Financial District. The restaurant offers reasonably priced, healthy foods such as paninis, salads and baked goods. Many more kosher establishments are located on Boston’s west side including the
unique Team China Restaurant, featuring an all-kosher traditional Chinese menu. For kosher food in Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, consult with the two shuls mentioned above. Getting There A round trip economy flight to Boston’s Logan airport ranges between $250 and $530 per adult depending on the date. Round-trip Greyhound tickets cost around $360 per person while round-trip Amtrak tickets come in the $200 per person range. A drive to Boston from Los Angeles takes about 43 hours across 3,000 miles of the country. (Sources: Tripadvisor, Wikitravel, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s)
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Boston Public Garden
Civil War-era Fort Warren looms large and which offers excellent views of Boston Light on tiny nearby Little Brewster Island. Before you leave Boston, don’t forget to take a ride up to the Prudential Center’s Skywalk Observatory where visitors can enjoy a commanding view of one of America’s most historic cities. For a short day trip out of Boston, consider going to Plymouth to see the famous rock that (allegedly) marks where the Pilgrims landed. Nearby is the Plimoth Plantation, a full-scale recreation of a Pilgrim settlement circa 1627. Costumed staff show visitors what life was like back then including weaving, blacksmithing, cooking, planting and more. And no trip to Plymouth would be complete without seeing the Mayflower II, a complete, tourable replica of its 17th century predecessor. Lexington and Concord: Separated by a distance of about 7 miles, these two charming towns, located west of Boston, are where the battle for America’s independence began. Concord is particularly noted for its scenic beauty, having influenced such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. The tranquil town and kaleidoscope of fall foliage belie the fact that this was the site of a bloody battle. Head to the Old North Bridge where the first shot of the war (aka the “shot heard round the world”) was fired. The nearby Buttrick Mansion has a video about the battle as well as a Revolutionary War cannon. Fans of Henry David Thoreau can visit his restored farmhouse, located 4 miles east of Concord. Lexington’s upscale shops and heavy tourist influx stand in marked contrast to Concord. Reenactments of the Battle of Lexington happen on the Battle Green every Patriot’s Day (April 19th). The Parker Boulder, named for the commander of the local minutemen regiment, marks where these 77 men fought and died against the British in 1775. An inscription on the plaque reads, “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” Across the street stands the Old Belfry that signaled the beginning of the revolution. Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard: Cape Cod, an arm-shaped peninsula sticking out of eastern Massachusetts, is New England’s premier summer vacation spot. The cape’s pristine dunes, quaint seaside hamlets, towering lighthouses, and perfect sunsets are not to be missed. The commercial center of Cape Cod is Hyannis where tourists can rent boats, go on whale
MARCH 12, 2015
A Taste of Local Jewish History: The Story of the Breed Street Shul
THE JEWISH HOME
Yehudis Litvak The tall, imposing had also designed the new building with a large Mabuilding of Congregation gen David and the words B’nai B’rith. Breed Street Congregation Talmud Shul, designed in a similar Torah inscribed above Byzantine Revival Style, its massive doors, looks with an imposing height out of place on this quiet of 55 to 61 feet, featured a block in the predominantbrick and concrete strucly working class Hispanic ture, stained glass windows, Boyle Heights neighborhand-painted illustrations of hood of East Los Angeles. Jewish symbols, and large The building is currently glass chandeliers. The main fenced off and undergofloor seated 1, 100 people. ing repairs, but less than a The large women’s section century ago, when Boyle was located on the second Heights was the center of floor balcony. The total cost Los Angeles Jewish life, of the project was $75,000, Sample of the restored artwork The rabbis shtender it was called, The Queen and it was fully paid for at of Shuls. its completion. The money Congregation Talmud was raised “in subscriptions Torah, also known as the of pennies, dimes, quarters, Breed Street Shul, behalf-dollars and dollars for gan in a private home in we are not a rich commuDowntown Los Angeles nity,” explained Dr. H. L. in 1905, when the local Radlin, presumably a board Jewish residents sought member, as quoted by The to provide their children Los Angeles Times. with a Jewish education The new building was in an after school prodedicated on June 4th, 1923 gram. The Talmud Towith a festive ceremony. The rah expanded to provide LA Times reports that it was Inside of the Shul synagogue services and the largest Jewish Orthodox moved to Boyle Heights in 1914 when the institution on the west coast containing, Jewish community shifted towards that “a spacious dining room and a dance hall neighborhood. Originally, the congregaand several well-equipped classrooms.” tion constructed a one-story wood-framed The article also describes the Talmud Tobuilding in the current location. rah, “The school will be open from 3 p.m. In 1920, Rabbi Dr. Solomon Michael to 6 p.m. every day and the children will Neches moved to Los Angeles from Ohio be instructed in the fundamentals of reliand became the rabbi of Breed Street Shul. gion, history and the Hebrew language. Rabbi Neches is described by his friend The school is open to all Jewish children Lewis Browne as, “learned and merand no tuition fee will be charged. The inry-souled.” He wrote a number of books, struction given will not interfere with the some scholarly, such as commentaries on attendance of the children at the public Chumash, Pirkei Avos, Megillas Esther, schools.” The newspaper also reports that and Tehillim, and some light-hearted, such at least 250 children will be fed lunch at as Humorous Tales of Latter Day Rabbis, the shul’s dining hall daily, free of charge, Society, where the male members of the available for free download at hebrewarranged by the ladies’ auxiliary. congregation met to study and socialize. books.org. As he writes in the introducThe new building was soon full of life, The shul membership expanded under tion, “These little human-interest stories with several minyanim held at different Rabbi Neches’ leadership, and soon outwhich I have re-told are a by-product of a times daily. When Rabbi Neches moved grew its quarters. In 1922, the original busy city pastorate, the incidents of which on to found the Western Jewish Institute building was moved to the back of the lot would rather make one weep than laugh.” in 1935, Rabbi Osher Zilberstein was and the construction of a new building beRabbi Neches also led the Ein Yaakov brought over from Winnipeg, Canada to gan. The shul hired architects Abram M. become the rabbi of Breed Street Shul. He Edelman and A. C. Zimmerman. remained in that position until his passing Edelman was the son of Rabbi Abrain 1973. Rabbi Zilberstein, originally from ham Wolf Edelman, a pioneer and the Mezritch, Ukraine, was a tenth generation first full-time Los Angeles rabbi who had rabbi, descended from prominent Chasheaded originally Orthodox, but later Residic families. His reputation as a Torah form Congregation B’nai B’rith, decades scholar reached far beyond Los Angeles, prior. As an architect, Edelman is best and when he visited Eretz Yisrael he was known for co-designing the Shrine Auwarmly received by Chief Rabbi Yitzchak ditorium and Expo Center near USC. He Construction of the Shul
Halevi Herzog, in the presence of both the Aguda and Mizrachi leaders. Rabbi Zilberstein used to say, “If oranges can grow here, Torah can too.” He established the first Jewish day school in the area, Los Angeles Jewish Academy. Rabbi Zilberstein was a passionate Zionist and supporter of the newly founded State of Israel, conducting a special ceremony at the shul in 1948 with shofar blowing and the unfurling of the new Israeli flag. In the 1950s, Jewish families began to migrate from Boyle Heights to other parts of Los Angeles, mostly to Fairfax, Pico-Roberson, and the Valley. Once filled to capacity, the magnificent building slowly emptied out. By the 1980s only a handful of elderly congregants remained in the neighborhood, and in 1985 even the widowed Rebbetzin moved to the Pico-Robertson neighborhood and joined Beth Jacob Congregation. Thus it was that the shul was completely deserted. For close to twenty years, the building was abandoned. It suffered neglect and vandalism. The walls that once held beautiful works of art were covered with graffiti. An earthquake shook its foundation and bent the front steps and the light poles out of shape. The building posed a hazard to the surrounding buildings and was in danger of demolition. A group of dedicated volunteers, headed by Stephen Sass of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California, determined to save the historic building by transforming it into a cultural center. In 1999, they established the nonprofit Breed Street Shul Project (BSSP), Inc. Utilizing both public and private funds, BSSP has completed most of the restoration work on the main building and has completely refurbished the old wooden building at the back of the lot, which is currently being used for meetings and communal events, bringing together the Jewish and Hispanic communities. The main shul building is currently inaccessible due to construction, but BSSP plans to reopen it to the public. “Being inside is a profound experience,” said Orly Olivier, BSSP Interim Director. “You feel real power of the space. Light beams are different colors of stained glass. It’s majestic and incredible.” BSSP conducts tours of the old building and of other Jewish landmarks in Boyle Heights. For more information on the current activities and plans for the shul, visit http://breedstreetshul.org.
THE JEWISH HOME MARCH 12, 2015
THE JEWISH HOME
MARCH 12, 2015
Childhood Obesity in Putin Awards Medal to Puerto Rico Suspect in Agent’s Death
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded a medal of honor to Andrei Lugovoi, the chief suspect in the murder of former Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko, for “services to the fatherland.” The Kremlin released an honors list including Lugovoi, a lawmaker in a nationalist party who is wanted by Britain over the poisoning of Litvinenko in 2006. Litvinenko was an ex-agent in Russia’s FSB intelligence agency who became a vocal critic of the Kremlin and ultimately died after drinking tea laced with deadly polonium-210 at a meeting with two Russians in a London hotel. Britain has named Lugovoi as one of two suspects it wants to question over Litvinenko’s murder, along with Dmitri Kovtun. Both are said to be former FSB agents, something Lugovoi vehemently denies. In a letter dictated from his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Putin of having ordered his murder. But Moscow is vocal in its denial in any role in Litvinenko’s death and has repeatedly refused to hand over Lugovoi for questioning. This week, the Kremlin announced that Lugovoi was being decorated for “his great contribution to the development of the Russian parliamentary system and his active role in lawmaking.” He is an MP in Russia’s lower house of parliament for the nationalist and pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic and is deputy chairman of the lower house’s security and anti-corruption committee. He has also worked as a bodyguard for top politicians and businessmen. The Kremlin also decorated Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov with an order of merit for “his active public service and many years of conscientious work.” The medal is the latest in a number of Kremlin decorations for the controversial strongman. Kadyrov’s decoration comes a day after Russia charged two men, including a former police officer from Chechnya, with the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
In Puerto Rico, obese children are considered abused. And their parents are considered child abusers. Senator Gilbert Rodriguez Valle, one of Puerto Rico’s youngest and most popular politicians, recently introduced a bill which seeks to create a “healthy child programme.” If the bill becomes law, obese children would be identified in schools, and their families would be “educated” about the health risks and consequences of remaining overweight. If social workers believe there is no progress after six months, they would have the authority to open a child neglect case and impose a fine of $500; if after a year they believe things were the same, another fine of $800 could be levied. Rates of childhood obesity in the U.S. territory run between 24% to 30%. That’s high, considering that childhood obesity in the U.S. runs on average 17%. Some see it as a cultural issue—children considered “skinny” in Puerto Rico are fattened up by their parents. But of those who understand the risks of obesity some say that the government has no right to encroach on this territory. “The good thing is that he [Valle] is identifying the problem and trying to do something about it; the wrong thing is how he’s doing it,” Dr. Ricardo Fontanet, president of the Puerto Rico chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the Guardian at his practice in San Juan. “First, he’s saying that if you have an obese child in the house, it’s synonymous with child abuse, and that’s completely wrong. You have to lose weight, sure, but to have the state coming to your home, looking at how you do things and charging you with child abuse is dangerous,” he pointed out. “Second, they’re not involving pediatricians, nutritionists, dieticians, the people who prepare the lunches in schools, in any of this. Teachers aren’t trained to identify obese children; they don’t have the time, the facilities or the knowledge. They’re asking people with no knowledge of dealing with obesity to identify these patients.” Other experts say the bill takes a “simplistic view” of the factors that cause a person to be overweight.
“Obesity is a disease, not a choice made by parents or their children,” Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, president of the Maryland-based Obesity Society, relates. “Many known and unknown biological factors, in addition to personal nutrition and physical activity decisions, may interfere with weight loss, reinforcing the fact that we can’t treat obesity solely by placing the blame on parents or individuals.” Dhurandhar said lawmakers in Puerto Rico should ask themselves if they would impose fines against parents whose children had diabetes, asthma or cancer. Both doctors say an incentive-led program would provide better motivation for children to lose weight than punishments for their parents – starting with improvements in diet and nutritional health.
in history. Year after year, the family has endured the pain of his absence. It is time for him to come home,” Kerry said. In November 2010, a video surfaced in which Levinson asked for help in winning his freedom but did not say who was holding him or where he was. “Please help me get home,” the gaunt-looking Levinson said on the tape, citing his 33 years of service in the FBI. The Iranian government has repeatedly said it knows nothing about Levinson’s disappearance or whereabouts.
Boko Haram Joins ISIS
Reward Increased for Missing American
This week, the United States increased the reward to $5 million to help locate a missing American who disappeared in Iran eight years. The original reward to locate Robert Levinson was $1 million. The U.S. also appealed to Tehran to help locate Levinson. “We ask the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us on the investigation into Robert Levinson’s disappearance so we can ensure his safe return,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, on March 8, eight years since his disappearance and the day before his 67th birthday. Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared from Kish Island, Iran, on March 9, 2007, while on a business trip as a private investigator. Friends of Levinson said that around that time he had been investigating the counterfeiting of cigarettes, though mainly in Latin America. The FBI has been investigating Levinson’s disappearance. In 2012, it offered a rare $1 million reward for any information that could lead to his safe return. The FBI increased the award by $4 million on Monday. “He has spent more than 2,900 days separated from those who love him, and is one of the longest held U.S. citizens
Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The symbolic move highlights increased coordination between jihadi movements across North Africa and the Middle East and prompted an appeal from Nigeria’s government for greater international help in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency. The terror group has killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds during its six-year campaign to carve out an Islamist state in northern Nigeria. In recent months Boko Haram has increased cross-border raids into Cameroon, Chad and Niger. “We announce our allegiance to the Caliph ... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease,” read an English language translation of the audio broadcast in Arabic that was purported to be from the Nigerian militant group. “We call upon Muslims everywhere to pledge allegiance to the Caliph,” it read. The pledge of allegiance was attributed to Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. Nigerian government spokesman Mike Omeri said this “is confirming what we always thought. It’s sad, it’s bad.” “It’s why we were appealing to the international community ... Hopefully the world will wake up to the disaster unfolding here,” he told reporters. Last week, four bomb blasts killed at least 50 people in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri in the worst attacks there since Boko Haram militants tried to seize the town in two major assaults earlier this year. Analysts said Boko Haram’s move came as no surprise. This month, Boko Haram released a video showing the ter-
Mark Lippert, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, is in stable condition after a man screaming demands for a unified North and South Korea slashed him on the face and wrist with a knife last week. Although pictures of the bloody ambassador have been plastered all over international media, the injuries he sustained were not life threatening. The U.S. State Department condemned the attack, which took place at a performing arts center in downtown Seoul as the ambassador was preparing for a lecture about prospects for peace on the divided Korean Peninsula. The attack will shock many outsiders because the United States is South Korea’s closest ally, its military protector and a big trading partner and cultural influence. But the reported comments of the suspect, 55-year-old Kim Ki-Jong, during the attack — “South and North Korea should be reunified” — touch on a deep political divide in South Korea over the still-fresh legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which is still technically ongoing because it ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Some South Koreans blame the presence of 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the South as a deterrent to the North for the continuing split of the Korean Peninsula along the world’s most heavily armed border — a view North Korea’s propaganda machine regularly pushes in state media. A direct attack on a senior U.S. official is unusual, but it represents a thread in South Korean society of sometimes extreme protests on both sides of the political divide. In Seoul, regular small- to medium-sized demonstrations are often staged by activists seen as professional protesters. The protests are often either by anti-U.S. liberals who support closer reconciliation with the North or pro-government conservative groups who support the U.S. and loathe Pyongyang. Violence sometimes breaks out at the protests. Scuffles with police and the burning of effigies of North Korean and Japanese leaders are common. In 2008, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest U.S. beef imports after a mad cow scare in America. Both sides of the divide also protest regularly against arch rival Japan, which colonized Korea in the early 20th century, over territorial and history disputes. Kim Ki-Jong, the suspect in the attack last week, appears to be well-known in Seoul for his willingness to use violence to highlight his grievances. A police of-
Japan Commemorates WWII Bombing
Seven decades ago, 105,400 people were killed in a single night in Japan when U.S. B-29 bombers attacked Tokyo in what is regarded as the deadliest conventional bombing attack ever. Tuesday, March 10 was the anniversary of the tragic evening. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bowed in a somber ceremony held in a downtown temple that was built to commemorate deaths from a 1923 earthquake, but is also used as a memorial for the victims of World War II bombings. “With the lessons of the atrocities of war etched deeply in our hearts, we must humbly face the past and do our utmost to contribute to world peace,” said Abe, surrounded by white floral wreaths and chrysanthemums, as a group of dignitaries, survivors and other residents looked on. This attack killed more people than the August 9 atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The death toll was on par with the August 6 atomic attack on Hiroshima. As survivors of the ordeal die, those remaining are determined to tell their story. Haruyo Nihei, just eight years old when the bombs fell, was among many survivors who had kept silent for decades. A half-century passed before she even shared her experiences with her own son. “Our parents would just say, ‘That’s a different era,’” Nihei, now 78, said. “They wouldn’t talk about it. And I figured my own family wouldn’t understand.”View gallery Earlier war raids targeted aircraft factories and military facilities, but the Tokyo firebombing was directed mostly at civilians. Tokyo’s downtown area known as “shitamachi,” was hit, where people lived in traditional wood and paper homes at densities sometimes exceeding 100,000 people per square mile. “There were plenty of small factories, but this area was chosen specifically because it was easy to burn,” says historian Masahiko Yamabe, who was born just months after the war’s end. Firefighter Isamu Kase was on duty at a train parts factory. He jumped onto a pump truck when the attack began, knowing the job was impossible. “It was a hellish frenzy, absolutely horrible. People were just jumping into the canals to escape the inferno,” Kase, 89, remembered. He said he survived because he didn’t jump in the water, but his burns were so severe he was in and out of
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U.S. Rep Attacked in South Korea
ficial said the suspect threw a piece of concrete at the Japanese ambassador in Seoul in 2010. South Korean media reported that Kim Ki-Jong was later sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term over the attack. In the 2010 attack, Kim missed the ambassador with the concrete and hit his secretary instead.
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rorist group beheading two men, its first online posting using advanced graphics and editing techniques similar to footage from Islamic State. “Boko Haram is now being elevated from a local jihadi group to an important arm of the Islamic State. With Boko Haram’s wide network in North Africa, the Islamic State’s projection of creating an Islamic Caliphate is gaining headway,” said Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group.
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hospital for 15 years. Masaharu Ohtake, then 13, fled his family’s noodle shop with a friend. Turned back by firefighters, they headed toward Tokyo Bay and again were ordered back. The boys crouched in a factory yard, waiting as flames consumed their neighborhood. “We saw a fire truck heaped with a mountain of bones. It was hard to understand how so many bodies could be piled up like that,” said Ohtake. After about two hours and 40 minutes, the B-29s left. From January 1944-August 1945, the U.S. dropped 157,000 tons of bombs on Japanese cities, according to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. It estimated that 333,000 people were killed, including the 80,000 killed in the August 6 Hiroshima atomic-bomb attack and 40,000 at Nagasaki three days later. Fifteen million of the 72 million Japanese were left homeless. “The United States went too far with the firebombing, but I don’t quite understand why the Japanese government and the rest of the Japanese don’t talk about this very much,” Masaharu Ohtake the survivor that was 13 at the time of the attack said. “We are not just statistics. I don’t think we’ll still be around for the 80th anniversary. So the 70th anniversary is pretty much the last chance for us to speak up.”
World’s Biggest Weapons Importers & Exporters
Saudi Arabia is the biggest arms importer in the world. India was the second-biggest defense importer in 2014, followed by China, the UAE, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, and Turkey. Israel previously held the sixth spot of the top 10 but declined to the seventh slot in 2014. Last year, Saudi spending increased by 54% to $6.5 billion, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released on Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade. Imports are expected to grow 52% to $9.8 billion this year, accounting for $1 of every $7 spent globally, IHS estimated, based on scheduled imports for 2015.
The main recipient of the developing Middle Eastern market was the United States, with $8.4 billion of arms shipments sent to the region last year, up from $6 billion in 2013. “This is definitely unprecedented,” said Ben Moores, the report’s author. “You’re seeing political fractures across the region, and at the same time you’ve got oil, which allows countries to arm themselves, protect themselves and impose their will as to how they think the region should develop.” Saudi Arabia is building its arsenal amid concern about a geopolitical shift in the Middle East as the United States seeks allegiance in fighting the Islamic State group, said David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. In the same token, negotiators are closing in on a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions and lift sanctions against the country, which would create new opportunities for economic development and threaten Saudi Arabia’s longstanding ties with the United States. Experts think that increasing artillery business with the U.S. may be a tactic by the Saudi government to remind the U.S. of its importance as an ally. “It may be a way of tempering that rapprochement with Iran,” Cortright said. “You can think of it as … deepening ties in a time of uncertainty, as a possibly greater role with Iran looms on the horizon. From an objective security perspective, Saudi Arabia should be cooperating with Iran to deter and push back ISIS in Iraq. The old ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ approach,” Cortright said. “But Saudi Arabia has deep ideological and geopolitical differences with Iran that prevent it from considering such a temporary marriage of convenience.” Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, all based in the U.S., were the three biggest arms exporters among companies last year, according to the IHS Global Defense Trade Report. Internationally, trade in military hardware increased for the sixth consecutive year, moving worldwide imports to $64.4 billion from $56 billion. As far as exporters, the U.S. remained the biggest arms exporter, with shipments rising 19 percent to $23.7 billion. Russia ranked second at $10 billion, up 9 percent from 2013. France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Israel, China, Spain and Canada rounded out the top 10.
Another Blow to Mexico’s Gangs The government of Mexico is cracking down, big time. Last week, Mexican authorities arrest-
ed drug cartel leader Omar Trevino of the notorious Zeta gang. The suspect, known as “Z-42,” was detained without a single shot being fired by federal police and soldiers in San Pedro Garza Garcia, an upper-class suburb of the northern industrial city of Monterrey. This is the second major arrest for the Mexican government in a one week. President Enriquq Pena Nieto is being praised for the crackdown.
After Trevino’s brother, Miguel Angel Trevino, also known as Z-40, was captured by Marines in Tamaulipas in July 2013, Omar took over as the leader of the Zeta gang. He was regarded as “one of the most dangerous and bloodthirsty criminals in Mexico,” said Tomas Zeron, the investigations chief at the attorney general’s office. However, Omar Trevino failed to impose control over the group, said National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido. “Due to his extremely violent profile, he didn’t get the recognition that his brother had within the organization. He faced opposition from local operators who sought to break away, a situation that led to more clashes within the criminal group,” Rubido said. In 2010, Omar Trevino told an informant that he had killed more than 1,000 people while Miguel had killed 2,000, according to an affidavit filed in a U.S. court for a case involving another Trevino brother in Texas. Omar is accused of drug trafficking, organized crimes, and kidnapping; he had a combined bounty of $7 million on his head. The US State Department offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Mexico offered $2 million. Investigators were able to track movements of the cartel’s finance chief, who visited several homes in the Monterrey suburbs, and from there found Trevino. US Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart congratulated Mexico, saying the arrest “strikes at the heart of the leadership structure of the Zetas.”
Suspects Identified in 1982 Paris Attack It’s been 32 years since a group of Palestinians burst into the Jo Goldenberg deli in Paris’ old Jewish quarter on August 9,
throwing grenades and shooting machine guns. Tragically, six people were killed in the attack including two Americans. 21 people were injured. French authorities have finally identified three suspects in the 1982 attacks and are seeking to make the official arrests. Paris’ prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said on Wednesday that international arrest warrants have been issued for the three suspects — now in their late 50s and early 60s — who were believed to be members of the Abu Nidal group.
The anti-terrorism judge who opened the investigation at the time of the attack said he was “happy, relieved” by the developments. Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who is now retired, told RTL radio that while the extradition of one suspect from Norway “won’t pose many problems,” it will be “far more complex” trying to bring the other two to France from Jordan and the Palestinian territories. Authorities are hoping that these arrests will act as a warning to future terrorists. Alain Jakubowicz, head of anti-racism group LICRA, said that this “is a very strong message to terrorists and killers: Wherever you are, we will find you, we will arrest you and we will judge you.”
Tokyo: World’s Safest City
Safety is a major concern for most people when choosing where to settle down. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has selected 50 thriving cities from across the globe and analyzed which are the safest. To gather data the EIU investigated and
Israel New Strategy for Hamas
Putin Critic Killed: Suspects Arrested
The international community and the Russian population have voiced concerns over the killing of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov near the Kremlin on February 28th. Now two suspects have been detained by Russia’s federal security service for the murder. Alexander Bortnikov, head of the federal security service, said the two suspects were from Russia’s North Caucasus region, but gave no other details. He said they were “suspected of carrying out this crime,” but it was not clear if either of the suspects was believed to have fired the shots that killed Nemtsov as he and a companion walked over a bridge near the Kremlin. No charges were immediately announced. Nemtsov’s killing shocked Russia’s already beleaguered and marginalized opposition supporters. Suspicion in the opposition is high that the killing was ordered by the Kremlin in retaliation for Nemtsov’s adamant criticism of President Vladimir Putin. The 55-year-old was working on a report about Russian military involvement in the eastern Ukraine conflict. Russia’s top investigative body has said it is investigating several possible
ets they currently possess, but they were severely depleted by the Israeli assault, which included fierce ground combat. Israeli ground invasion was also aimed at destroying the hundreds of tunnels Gaza’s Islamist groups had built, both for smuggling supplies and for attacks on soldiers inside Israel. Last week, in a rare public appearance, the head of Hamas’s military wing said that although his group was not actively seeking another round of violence with Israel, it had continued to stockpile rockets in anticipation of a future war. Marwan Issa, a top commander for Hamas’ Izz adDin al-Qassam Brigades, made the comments during a conference organized by a Hamas-linked think tank, his first public appearance in over three years. This past summer, Hamas and other terror groups fired over 4,500 rockets and projectiles at Israel and staged several deadly attacks against IDF soldiers through cross-border tunnels. Seventy-three Israelis died during the operation; 66 of them were IDF soldiers.
Rice Mocked with Applause What do you do if you’re a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of Israel and face the most celebrated and complex missile defense system ever invented? Make more rockets. That’s Hamas’ answer, anyway. According to new reports, Hamas has been redoubling its efforts to produce short-range rockets to fire at Israel. Faced with the high success rate of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system against mid-range rockets, Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been striving to produce shorter-range projectiles, which proved deadlier during its summer 2014 war with Israel. Hamas has been producing and testing – by firing out to sea — rockets with a range of up to 30 kilometers, attempting to evade the Iron Dome defense system. According to official IDF figures, Iron Dome intercepted roughly 90 percent of the projectiles it targeted during the war, including rockets fired at Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv region. Hamas and Islamic Jihad refuse to specify the number of rock-
Delegates at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference last week let U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice know how they feel about her during a speech she gave. The conference participants chose to applaud Ms. Rice—at all the wrong moments. Rice, who came out swinging against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week by calling his visit “damaging” to bilateral ties, made her case before the decidedly pro-Israel and pro-Netanyahu
lobby in Washington. Her hour-long speech often fell into the sentence construction of “I know…, but…,” which attendees used to mock her by applauding during the first part of the sentence, but before the point she was really trying to make. For instance, “I know that some of you will be urging Congress to insist that Iran forgo its domestic uranium enrichment entirely,” drew a hearty round of clapping. However, when she continued, “but, as desirable as that would be, it is neither realistic nor achievable,” she was met with critics. “I know some would argue that we should just impose sanctions and walk away, but let’s remember,” said Rice, before being interrupted by applause. “My friends,” she went on, “let’s remember that sanctions, unfortunately, have never stopped Iran from advancing its program.” Silence. Attendees were asked before Rice’s speech to be respectful. A slide bearing a picture of Casper the Friendly Ghost and the message, “Don’t Boo! Be Friendly,” was shown before the national security adviser began speaking, which may have prevented more overt jabs. Rice’s speech also garnered genuine applause. Rice told the 16,000 delegates that “a bad deal is worse than no deal” on Iran, which drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the slightly critical audience. “If that is the choice there will be no deal,” she added. Rice also provided previously unconfirmed information regarding the United States’ negotiating red lines on Iran. Rice said President Barack Obama was committed to “ensuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon” and repeated the administration’s frequent statements that the U.S. was “keeping all options on the table to prevent Iran [from] developing a nuclear weapon.”
Bibi’s Bump in Final Stretch Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a slight boost in popularity after his U.S. speech slamming an emerging nuclear deal with Iran. But the sitting leader is still running neck and neck with his leading rival in the upcoming March 17 election. A survey published this week indicated Net-
MARCH 12, 2015
motives, including that he was killed in an attempt to smear Putin’s image. It also said it was looking into possible connections to Islamic extremism and Nemtsov’s personal life. Many believe that Nemtsov’s death in a tightly secured area near the Kremlin wouldn’t have been possible without official involvement, and could be an attempt to scare other government foes. In some previous killings of Kremlin critics, especially the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, there has been wide criticism that those who ordered the killing have not been identified or prosecuted.
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ranked the locations based on four criteria: health security, digital security, personal safety and infrastructure safety. The least safe cities were unsurprisingly Jakarta, Indonesia (50) and Tehran, Iran (49). Remarkably, the world’s safest city, Tokyo, is also the world’s most populated city with 38 million residents. For those living in America, only New York made the top ten safest cities in the world list. To feel truly safe, it seems you may want to leave the United States behind. So where do residents around the world feel the safest? 1. Tokyo 2. Singapore 3. Osaka 4. Stockholm 5. Amsterdam 6. Sydney 7. Zurich 8. Toronto 9. Melbourne 10. New York
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anyahu’s Likud party would gain two seats to 23 compared with what he had a week ago. That would still leave him in a tie with Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union. In a survey conducted on each candidate’s individual popularity, Netanyahu was favored by 44 percent for the job of prime minister, up two percentage points from a week ago. Herzog’s number declined by two percentage points to 35 percent. In Israel’s parliamentary election system, the public chooses parties rather than individual candidates, and the head of the party with the most political allies is the one who usually wins a presidential mandate to form a government.
Israeli critics said that Netanyahu, seeking a fourth term in office, risked damaging Israel’s strategic alliance with Washington by speaking in the U.S. Congress for the sake of wooing voters before the closely contested election. Netanyahu came under strong criticism from the Obama administration for his speech, which Washington said had injected destructive partisanship into U.S.-Israeli ties. Republicans, who control Congress, had invited Netanyahu to speak without consulting President Barack Obama or other leading Democrats. As many as 60 of the 232 Democratic members of Congress boycotted the address.
Shushan Purim Terror Attack
An Arab-Israeli terrorist from southeast Jerusalem injured four border policewomen and a male pedestrian when he rammed into them with his car on Purim morning.
The would-be murderer then got out of his car with a meat cleaver and started swinging, at which point he was shot twice in the chest. The attack was carried out by an unidentified resident of Jerusalem’s Ras el-Amud neighborhood at a major junction outside of the police station, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Within minutes emergency first responders arrived at the scene, treated the wounded, and transferred them to Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The terrorist was rushed to Hadassah Medical Center while police cordoned off the area. “Police units immediately arrived at the scene to ensure no more attacks took place and that there was no other threat to the public,” Rosenfeld said. “We heightened security in Jerusalem immediately after the attack, taking into consideration a large number of events for Purim were taking place at the same time.” Following the attack, Hamas’s spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri posted a statement on his Facebook page applauding the terrorist, but did not claim responsibility. “The Hamas movement blesses this historic act and considers it a natural response to the occupation’s crimes,” wrote Zuhri. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the attack and commending the rapid security response. “We are determined to keep on fighting against terrorism and to use all the force necessary for this purpose,” he said. Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who tackled a terrorist near City Hall last month, promptly issued a statement vowing not to allow terrorism to thwart Purim celebrations throughout the capital. “We will not allow terrorism to disrupt the routine of our lives and we will continue to fight it without compromise,” he said. “Our answer to terrorism is to continue our routine, and Purim events in the capital will continue as planned.”
Treasure Found in Cave
For thousands of years people have been occupying the Holy Land and enjoying her bounty. Recently, Israeli tourists discovered a rare treasure filled with 2,300-year-old coins along with silver and copper objects within a cave in northern Israel. “Thanks to the work of honest citizens, we will be able to better understand the history of Israel,” said Amir Ganor, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
About two weeks ago, members of the Israel Caving Club – Reuven Zachai, his son Chen and friend Lior Hiloni – went out on a preparation trip in a large stalactite cave in northern Israel before the rest of the club members joined. Chen, 21, noticed a shiny object in the cave. The three men found two ancient silver coins minted during the reign of Alexander the Great, who conquered of the land of Israel during the Hellenistic period (late fourth century BC). Alongside the coins, the men found several types of silver jewelry including rings, bracelets and earrings which seem to have been hidden in a piece of cloth in the cave 2,300 years ago. The Israel Antiquities Authority, who prohibited the publication of the location of the cave in fear of looting, assessed that there is the possibility that the objects were buried in the cave after the death of Alexander the Great when the country was at war with his successors. The IAA researchers said the finding was “one of the most important discoveries in the north in the last years” and said that the cave held proof that there were humans who settled in the cave for extended periods of time.
PA Arrests 30 Hamas Members
The Palestinian Authority security forces have launched a major arrest operation against Hamas operatives in the West Bank. At least 30 suspected members of the organization, which competes with the Fatah organization led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, have been taken into custody. According to Hamas sources, the arrests were heavily concentrated in the Hebron, Tulkarem and Ramallah districts. Hamas has identified those arrested as former Israeli security prisoners, academics and university students. In a separate incident, PA security arrested three Hamas activists in Ramallah suspected of vandalizing a memorial to Jordanian pilot Muaz Kasasbeh, who was burned to death by the Islamic State terror group in January. The memorial was spray-painted with expressions of support for Islamic State. The PA has threatened to stop security cooperation with Israel in recent months
over Israel’s withholding of tax revenues collected for the PA from Palestinians. The Israeli move is in response to the PA’s appeals to the international community, including the International Criminal Court, to seek action against Israeli leaders. But PA officials have suggested any cessation of security cooperation, which has helped keep violence down in the territory, would only take place after Israel’s election on March 17.
Details of Possible Ceasefire Revealed It has been reported that Hamas recently sent a series of messages to Israel indicating interest in a long-term ceasefire lasting for several years in exchange for an end to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. Senior Hamas officials met with Western diplomats about the ceasefire, and also reached a number of understandings about the character of the ceasefire. During the talks, Hamas officials emphasized that they were willing to agree on a ceasefire of at least five years, during which time all military activities “above and below ground” from both parties would end. At the same time, the blockade on Gaza would be removed, including restrictions on exports, and Israel would allow the construction of a seaport and an airport. Hamas discussed separately with outgoing United Nations peace process representative Robert Serry a possible ceasefire under the auspices of a Palestinian unity government. He said he hadn’t heard back from either Hamas or Israel, which he had also approached with his proposal. In conversations with other diplomats, Hamas presented different terms for a ceasefire with Israel. One of the draft agreements reportedly included some of the following clauses: 1) All forms of military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will cease; 2) Israel will commit to removing the blockade on Gaza, including: opening all crossings around Gaza, permitting unfettered import and export from Gaza, allowing the construction of a sea and airport; 3) The deal will last between three and five years starting from the moment the agreement is signed, but the two sides will finalize the exact length of the ceasefire. It is not yet clear whether or not the proposed ceasefire has been sanctioned by Hamas. Many within the terror organization have denied its legitimacy, while others say it is, in fact, a true offer composed by the Hamas top brass.
and “a small bump in the road.” “She complied with the law,” Schumer said. “She’s turning over more documents than any secretary of state before her.”
Utah: Best State for Business
The remains of an Army corporal who died as a prisoner of war in North Korea have finally been laid to rest 65 years after he disappeared near the Chosin Reservoir and was captured by the Chinese. The body of Army Cpl. Floyd J.R. Jackson was identified using DNA from relatives. He was buried this week next to his mother in a graveside service. While his body was never found, the events leading up to his capture are wellknown. Jackson was reported kidnapped when his team was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea and it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. On November 29, 1950, remnants of his task force began a fighting withdrawal to more defensible positions near Hagaru-ri, south of the reservoir. On December 12, 1950, Jackson was reported missing in action. A returning service member told U.S. officials that Jackson was captured by the Chinese on December 12, 1950, and died February 13, 1951, while in an enemy prisoner of war camp. His remains were not among those returned by Communist forces during Operation Glory in 1954. His niece, Joann Mueller, said the Army came to her home to give the family his medals, including a Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal. U.S. teams were later allowed to excavate sites in North Korea between 1990 and 2005 and used DNA to identify the remains.
Hillary’s Email Controversy There is blood in the water surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails during her reign as secretary of state. Most of the focus of the lawmakers and pundits from both sides of the aisle who have been weighing in on
Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said there are “gaps of months and months” in the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over to the committee. Referring to the Benghazi attack, Gowdy said, “We have no emails from that day…We have no emails from that trip.” The South Carolina Republican said Clinton has no choice but to turn over those messages. “It’s not up to Secretary Clinton to decide what is a public record and what is not,” he said, adding, “I don’t want everything. I just want everything related to Libya and Benghazi.” Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein said that Clinton, a possible 2016 presidential candidate and would-be front-runner for the Democratic nomination, needs to come forward and explain the situation publicly. “I think she needs to step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is,” Feinstein said. “From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.” President Barack Obama said he learned of Clinton’s use of a private email account as his secretary of state at “the same time everyone else did — through news reports,” but refused to criticize her. “Let me just say, Hillary Clinton is and has been an outstanding public servant; she was a great secretary of state for me,” Obama said in an interview. “The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency. That’s why my emails — the BlackBerry I carry around — all those records are available and archived, and I’m glad that Hillary has instructed that those emails that had to do with official business be disclosed.” Last week, Clinton’s camp defended her use of a personal email account. “Like secretaries of state before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any department officials,” Nick Merrell, Clinton’s spokesman, said in a statement. “For government business, she emailed them on their department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained. When the department asked former secretaries last year for help ensuring their emails were in fact retained, we immediately said yes.” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer came out in support of Clinton. He dismissed the controversy, calling it “a slight hiccup”
Some say that opportunities comes once in a lifetime but 24/7 Wall St. says that opportunities, specifically business opportunities, actually come according to which state you live in. To determine America’s best states for business, 24/7 Wall St. classified about 50 measures that contribute to the business climate and overall health of an area and then reviewed them across the nation. There were eight broad categories that independently measured various risks and benefits of doing business in each state. Overall economic health and rate of employment were both considered. The growth of economic output in seven of the 10 best states for business was greater than the national GDP growth rate of 1.8%. Similarly, the job market was strong in all the 10 of the best states for doing business. On the other hand, four of the 10 worst states for business had unemployment rates higher than the national rate. Other factors weighed included natural resources, cost of living, cost of doing business, taxes, average salaries, and education level. So where are the best states for businesses to make a buck? The best states for business in the nation are: Utah Massachusetts Wyoming South Dakota Delaware Texas Colorado Virginia North Dakota Minnesota But businesses should steer clear of these states. The worst states for businesses in the nation are: Louisiana
University Students Ban American Flag
The student government at University of California, Irvine, is causing a nationwide stir. In an unpatriotic move, the council has voted to ban the display of any flag from its lobby, including the American flag. The new regulation was approved narrowly, 6-4 vote, by the legislative council of the campus’ Associated Students. According to the Orange County Register, the ban dictates that all flags be removed from common lobby areas of student government offices. The resolution authored by student Matthew Guevara of the university’s social ecology school lists 25 reasons for the ban, saying that the American flag has been flown in times of “colonialism and imperialism” and could symbolize American “exceptionalism and superiority.” The resolution says “freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible, can be interpreted as hate speech.” Prior to the ban, the American flag was displayed on a wall in the student government suite. Several weeks ago, a student removed the flag and left it on the desk of Reza Zomorrodian, the Associated Students’ president, with an anonymous note stating that the flag shouldn’t be displayed in the lobby. Zomorrodian did not support this ban. She feels the flag is “an iconic and symbolic representation of our values in the U.S.” State Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Santa Ana, said she and other legislators are considering introducing a state constitutional amendment to prohibit “state-funded universities and college campuses from banning the United States flag.”
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Korean War POW Remains Laid to Rest
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the controversy has been the use of a personal email account she used for official business.
Billionaires Love Professional Sports
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Those who say that money can’t buy you happiness are correct, but it can surely buy you a lot of other stuff—like mansions, expensive cars, yachts, and sports teams of course. In fact nearly half, 49% to be precise, of all major professional sports teams in America are owned by local billionaires. So what came first—the chicken or the egg? Well, obviously no pauper or average American is able to buy a sports team, but in some cases the sports team took their
owner from a simple millionaire to billionaire status or at least helped them climb the ranks. While the NFL has the most valuable teams it doesn’t necessarily have the richest owners or the most billionaire owners. In fact, the NBA takes that crown; billionaires own 20 of the league’s 30 franchises. 17 of the NFL’s 32 teams are owned by individuals and the NHL has 13 of 20, while baseball comes in at 10 of 30 teams. There are 122 major professional sports teams in the U.S., and 60 of them are owned by the richest of the rich. Although the soaring value of teams continues to encourage buyers to purchase one as an investment, the eligible buyers list is quiet short. Some billionaires own multiple teams simply because they have the resources. Back to the chicken and the egg, which came first? Just think of sports teams as the gift that keeps giving. To highlight that, focus on private equity billionaire Joshua Harris. Harris purchased the Philadelphia 76ers with several partners in 2011 for $287 million. During recent seasons his team has struggled—it has the second-worst record in the NBA today—but his investment definitely did not. Now, just four short years later, the
76ers are worth a whopping $700 million. Below is a list compiled by Forbes listing the eight richest billionaires who own sports teams: 1. Steve Ballmer Los Angeles Clippers (NBA) Net worth: $21.5 billion 2. Paul Allen Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) Net worth: $17.5 billion 3. Paul Allen Seattle Seahawks (NFL) Net worth: $17.5 billion 4. Philip Anschutz Los Angeles Kings Net worth: $11.80 billion 5. Philip Anschutz Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) Net worth: $11.8 billion 6. Hasso Plattner San Jose Sharks (NHL) Net worth: $9.1 billion 7. Mikhail Prokhorov Brooklyn Nets (NBA) Net worth: $9.9 billion 8. John Malone Atlanta Braves (MLB) Net worth: $8.3 billion
Conviction in Subway Bombing Plot
“Guilty” was the word heard by Abid Naseer, a Pakistani man accused on Wednesday of attempting to bomb the New York subway. The jury convicted Naseer in federal court in Brooklyn after deliberating for a day. Naseer, 28, was arrested in 2009 in Great Britain on charges he was part of a terror cell plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Manchester, England. After insufficient evidence failed to surface, the charges were dropped but American prosecutors eventually named him as a prime suspect in another scheme to attack NYC’s subway. At that point, in 2013, he was arrested again and extradited to the U.S. Naseer pled not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Naseer acted as his own lawyer, often referring to himself in the third person. He attempted to portray himself as a moderate Muslim who was incorrectly accused. He was assisted by defense attorney James Neuman but largely spoke for himself and demonstrated a calm
demeanor in court that never wavered, even when the guilty verdict was read. “Abid is innocent,” Naseer said in closing arguments on Monday. “He is not a terrorist. He is not an al-Qaeda operative.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Zainab Ahmed told jurors the arrest of Naseer and other members of his cell averted mass murder. The government alleged Naseer had received bomb-making instructions in Pakistan in 2008. “If the defendant hadn’t been stopped, hundreds of innocent men, women and children wouldn’t be alive today,” Ahmed said. Five British Mi5 secret agents testified during the trial in disguise. In addition, documents from the 2009 Navy SEAL raid against Osama bin Laden’s compound were used as trial evidence. There was also an email exchange from 2009 between Naseer and a person described by prosecutors as an al-Qaeda handler who was directing plots to attack civilians in Manchester, New York City and Copenhagen. Naseer insisted the emails consisted only of harmless banter about looking for a potential bride after going to England to take computer science classes. Naseer “wanted to settle down,” he said in his closing argument. “Is there anything wrong with that?” However, the prosecutor accused Naseer of lying on the witness stand by claiming the women he wrote about courting were real. U.S. Attorney Ahmed said the women’s names were actually codes for homemade bomb ingredients: Nadia stood for ammonium nitrate and Huma for hydrogen peroxide. One prosecution witness, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty in the subway plot as part of a cooperation agreement. Zazi testified that after receiving explosives training in Pakistan, he received instructions from the same al-Qaeda contact as Naseer and was told to use “marriage” and “wedding” as code words for attacks.
Bloody Sunday Remembered
Hundreds marched from lower Man-
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hattan to Brooklyn by way of the Brooklyn Bridge in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. “We think it’s important that people not forget Bloody Sunday,” said David Dinkins, 87, who from 1990 to 1993 served as New York’s first African-American mayor. “To the day 50 years ago officers beat demonstrators marching for voting rights.” In Brooklyn Borough Hall after the march, demonstrators eagerly watched Barack Obama’s televised address to those gathered in Selma. They applauded loudly when U.S. Rep. John Lewis introduced the president, cheered when he said America requires an “occasional disruption,” and stood on their feet at the rousing end of Obama’s speech. Organizers said the march was intended to remind the world that the struggle for equality for all has not ended. “We’re fighting now for not just civil rights but human rights,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “The right to housing, the right to employment, the right to healthcare, the right to not be prosecuted unfairly. All those who feel America has denied them, this is your Selma moment.” Mychal McNicholas, 74, a retired lawyer from Queens, said the march was yet another example of civil protest he’s been engaged in for half a century to bring about social change. “I was demonstrating in the ‘60s and we’re still at it,” he said. Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, 1965 and, led by John Lewis and other SNCC and SCLC activists, crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route to Montgomery. Just short of the bridge, they found their way blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around. When the protesters refused, the officers shot teargas and waded into the crowd, beating the nonviolent protesters with clubs; over 50 people were hospitalized. “Bloody Sunday” was televised around the world. Martin Luther King called for civil rights supporters to come to Selma for a second march which he led on March 9 but turned it around at the same bridge.
Richest Cities in America Clearly we love to analyze wealthy Americans and statistics related to them, but where exactly do all the people we discuss and dissect live? Using data from the most recent FiveYear American Community Survey released at the end of the year, FindtheHome.com listed the richest cities in the nation. For the sake of this particular list, cities were ranking by the percentage of residents earning over $150k and the list
was limited to cities with over 500,000 residents. To the surprise of many reading this magazine, no, the Five Towns were not included in this list. The top ten richest American cities in America are: 1. San Francisco Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 23.4% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 52.4% Total population: 817,501 2. San Jose, Calif. Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 22.6% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 37.4% Total population: 968,903 3. Washington Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 19.0% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 51.7% Total population: 618,777 4. Seattle Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 16.2% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 57.4% Total population: 624,681 5. San Diego Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 14.8% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 41.7% Total population: 1.32 million 6. Boston Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 13% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 43.9% Total population: 629,182 7. New York City Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 12.7% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 34.5% Total population: 8.27 million 8. Los Angeles Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 11.3% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 31.1% Total population: 3.83 million 9. Austin, Texas Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 11.1% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 45.6% Total population: 836,800 10. Denver Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 11% Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree: 42.9% Total population: 619,297
That’s Odd I Spy a Tax Evader
It’s gotten so bad in Greece that finance ministers are considering hiring spies to find out if citizens are bailing on their taxes. These spies aren’t your typical cloak and dagger operators; some of them will look just like you! This week, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis pointed out that the “culture of tax avoidance runs deep within Greek society.” As such, he proposed the following: “To this effect we propose the following: That large numbers of non-professional inspectors are hired on a strictly short-term, casual basis (no longer than two months, and without any prospect of being rehired) to pose, after some basic training, as customers, on behalf of the tax authorities, while ‘wired’ for sound and video.” Where do these “non-professional inspectors” come from? Well, non-professional spying agencies such as “students, housekeepers, even tourists in popular areas ripe with tax evasion,” of course. Varoufakis insists that these amateur scouts will be “hard to detect by offending tax dodgers.” Even the thought of random people recording your conversations will be enough for many to finally pay their taxes, he says. Spying—and using foreigners to do it—should go down well with voters in a country suffering from record unemployment that has lost a quarter of its economy. They elected Varoufakis’s party in the first place to end this kind of humiliation. Varoufakis may need to work hard on getting the right people to spy on his country’s citizens. If I was wired as a secret agent, I’d have trouble understanding what those guys are saying. After all, it’s all Greek to me.
A High Five for Spock For years, fans of Star Trek’s Spock have been drawing Leonard Nimoy’s Spock face on Canadian $5 bank notes over the face of former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. With Nimoy’s recent de-
mise, the Spock doodlings have been increasing—and the central bank is none too happy. Although it’s not illegal to add Spock’s pointy Vulcan ears, sharp eyebrows and signature bowl haircut to bills, bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard said in an email: “There are important reasons why it should not be done”—namely that it was “inappropriate” to deface the banknote because it was a “Canadian symbol and source of national pride.”
When Nimoy passed away, a cry went out for fans to scrawl his image on the bills in tribute to the actor and the role he played. “Spock your $5 bills for Leonard Nimoy,” the Canadian Design Resource tweeted on its posting, while Simon Williams tweeted: “I’ve had a beat up Canadian 5 buried in my wallet for years, finally found a use for it!” Images of the altered bills were circulated widely online and attracted international media attention. Calgary artist Tom Bagley, who posted his own Spock-Laurier hybrid on Facebook and Flickr after Nimoy’s death, said the original idea came about when he tried to impress someone. “I always thought it was OK as long as the numbers were intact – it still counted as money,” he said. I am sure Spock would give a high five—I mean a Vulcan salute—if he were alive today.
WWII Pilot’s Ring Returned 70 Years Later
On October 29, 1944, 14 aircraft flown by British WWII pilots supplying anti-fascist fighters in Albania set out on their mission; 12 returned to their base in Italy, one failed to discharge its load and one was assumed to be missing. For seven decades, that lone bomber was believed to be at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. But last October, a British and U.S. team climbed 6,000
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feet into the Albanian mountains to locate its wreckage, which had been spotted by a villager out collecting herbs. “Clearly what we found was enough to suggest we had found the remains of a big four-engine bomber,” said Chris Casey, a doctor at the U.S. embassy in Tirana and part of the expedition. What led researchers to the remains of the aircraft? It was a vital clue found in the form of a ring. The gold ring, engraved “Joyce & John” was kept by an Albanian villager and then his son. Jaho Cala found the ring in 1960 while collecting metal and wood in the mountains, when Albania was shut off from the outside world by the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha. “He gave it to me when I got married in 1971, but told me clearly the ring did not belong to our family and I was to return it to its owner after Communism ended,” Jaho’s son, Xhemil Cala, recalled. Twenty years later, with Albania rid of Communism, Cala took to wearing the ring while serving as a police officer. But he had not given up returning it to its rightful owner. He said the ring would not stay put on his finger, twisting as he slept. A Muslim cleric told him the ring kept twisting because it was not his. Cala tried to return the ring to its rightful owner. At one point, he tried to intercept a visiting British envoy to pass him the ring, but was shooed away by defense ministry guards. When his commanding officer visited Britain, Cala gave him the ring but he brought it back saying he had no luck finding the owner. Finally, he appealed to a regional government official, who alerted the British embassy more than two years ago. The story of the lost plane has finally come together. A flight engineer, Sergeant John Thompson, and Joyce Mozley got married in June 1944 but only spent a weekend together before he was posted overseas. Thompson’s plane had dropped supplies to the Biza valley, but on turning west to return to Italy it clipped the top of the mountain and crashed, killing the crew. After the war, Joyce remarried and then died in 1995. At a recent ceremony in Albania’s Defense Ministry, Cala kneeled as he handed the ring to Thompson’s 92-year-old sister, Dorothy Webster, along with a fuel gauge from the aircraft and a piece of rock from the mountain that brought it down. “Your brother helped to liberate my country. He will never be forgotten,” Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli told Webster. “I remember him very well, as if it were yesterday,” Webster told Reuters, adding she was “overwhelmed ... getting all these keepsakes that we never thought we would ever get.”
Janice Sage is looking to give away her county inn valued at $905,000. And it can be yours—if you write the right essay with the right words on how you’d love to run the idyllic Maine inn. Don’t think you can win her over with your long-winded soliloquy of your qualifications. Entries should have no more than 200 words, says Sage, the owner of the Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant. The creative hotelier launched the contest in January and estimates that she’ll receive as many as 7,500 entries by May 17. Each entry comes with a price—a $125 fee—that with enough entries will cover the estimated value of the 210-year old facility, plus an additional $20,000 for the next owner. “There are a lot of talented people that can’t, just can’t, go out and buy an inn like this,” Sage sagely said. “Now all they need to do is write and convince me.” The hotel, together with a barn built in 1895 and other outbuildings, is located about 55 miles northwest of Portland and offers sweeping views of New Hampshire’s snow-capped mountains. She has run the inn for 22 years and will select the top 20 essays. Those almost winning entries will be passed along to two unnamed local residents who will judge the finalists and select a winner. The winner, though, will have to adhere to some stipulations: they must agree to operate the business for one year following transfer of ownership, and will keep the inn painted its traditional white, with green or black roofing and shutters—“inn-definitely.” How did Sage come up with this amazing plan? Well, she actually took ownership of the Inn in 1993, after—you guessed it— she won a similar contest launched by the previous owner. “I came here on angel’s wings,” she said. “I hope I can do the same for someone else.” Make sure to inn-clude the following words in your essay: inn-teresting, inn-credible, inn-tense, and you’ve got yourself an in(n).
Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions
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Israel’s F-16 Falcon Fighter and the Remarkable No. 107
Israeli F-16s with the Python 5 missiles
originally meant for Iran to Israel. Four planes touched down on Ramat David Air Base in June 1980. Soon they were joined by several others, including one that would set records for the F-16. Israel kept to its tradition of using their own avionics and made other changes to the planes that would provide it a distinct advantage in battle. These planes were F-16A Fighting Falcons and were nicknamed Netz (hawk) by the Israelis. Soon a special mission was handed to the pilots of eight F-16s that would rock the world.
ntelligence groups worldwide had for a while been keeping an eye on Iraq and specifically their nuclear reactor purchased from France in 1976. Called an Osirak reactor, Iraq claimed it was for peaceful scientific purposes but the Mossad suspected there were
U.S., and the IAF knew that could spell disaster to the volatile region. America wasn’t a major supplier of military equipment to Israel until the early ‘70s and while Iran posed a threat to the only democratic country in the Middle East, it also brought a unique opporAn Israeli F-16 fully armed for a strike mission tunity. If the IAF could obtain the Falcon instead of Iran, it would up to something more sinister. At first put them on par with Russian-supplied Israel tried to sabotage the reactor and Arab countries. depose of some of its scientists but to no The United States also did not want avail. After diplomatic relations failed, its planes going to the Islamic Republic the only option that remained was to of Iran and instead sent the 75 planes bomb it into oblivion. F-15 Eagles were originally designated for the mission but once the F-16 entered service, eight pilots trained for a possible one-way mission. It was a long flight, and they didn’t know if they would have enough fuel to make the round trip. On Sunday afternoon of June 7, 1981, the eight F-16 Falcons lifted off from Israel and headF-16 No.107 with its kill markings at the IAF Museum ed towards Iraq. There
were several prominent pilots in this group including Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, and the future head of the military intelligence (Aman), Amos Yadlin. He was flying plane no. 107 which soon became world famous. The raid on the reactor was a huge success as Iraq’s nuclear program was totaled for good. All of Su-17 fighter and a Gazelle helicopter the Falcons landed safely back in Israel, in one strike. Colonel Eitan Sativa was and the world silently thanked them for at the controls for these two kills as well their heroic feat. as one from four days prior. Altogether this particular plane Two months before the historic raid, two F-16s recorded the first kills in the holds the record for kills in an F-16 with fourth generation fighter when they shot 6.5 and the distinction of being a part of down two Syrian Mi-8 helicopters. Five the Osirik raid. The half kill was shared weeks after the raid, the commander with another IAF fighter. This record of the squadron and pilot on the Osirik still stands even though several updated Raid, Amir Nachumi, got into an aerial models of the F-16 were put into serdogfight with a Syrian MiG-21 before vice. No. 107, the earliest model used shooting it out of the sky. in battle, was eventually put in reserves Israel continued to obtain more ad- as a training plane and in 2014 it was vanced Falcons that retired for good. Toproved vital in the day it is proudly on coming war. These display at the Israeli planes could go Air Force Museum twice the speed of in Hatzerim. The F-16 will sound, making it ideal to outrun Russian soon be replaced by MiGs operated by the F-35 Lightning the Syrians. During II, also known as the the First Lebanon Joint Strike Fighter War in 1982 over 40 and Adir (meaning Syrian planes were awesome) in Hedowned by F-16s brew. Recently, the and the leader for Israelis added fourthese kills was the teen more to their F-16 just identified order and the first as no. 107. are scheduled to arAnother one rive in Israel later Ilan Ramon in front of a F-16 of the pilots who this year. This is not bombed Osirak, flight leader Ze’ev Raz, to take anything away from the ecowas at the controls of no. 107 in April nomically efficient F-16 that performed 1982. He downed a Syrian MiG-23 with magnificently for Israel. The no. 107 a rocket. Two months later, the First plane in particular was the trendsetter Lebanon War broke out, and F-16 Fal- for all F-16s and its record of 6.5 kills cons were right in the think of the aerial still stands. dogfights. No. 107 shot down two MiG23 fighters on June 9 with two different Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The pilots in the cockpit. Four days later, the Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments plane became an ace (meaning it had and suggestions.for future columns and can five kills in total) when it shot down a be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 3, 2015
uring the air battles over Israel in the ‘60s and ‘70s. the Israeli Air Force proved that superior training and top-of-the-line jets can win wars. However, in 1979 the Shah of Iran was overthrown and the new government frightened some Israeli military commanders. Iran was slated to receive the F-16 Falcon fighter from the
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55 Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.
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A Way to Think of Ourselves with tzar [trouble] when it is devastating and you were never prepared for it. Looked at that way, the insurance industry should stop labeling people (as the National Institute of Health has now done) and instead label the difficulty of Life’s challenges. In other words, I have started going to the gym. If I were asked to pick up a 100 lb. weight, I couldn’t
In a way, people who have faced difficult challenges are better off than those who haven’t. do it; I would fail terribly. Does that make me inadequate? So, smart trainers gauge the weight they ask their customers to lift based on those customers’
do pass, they’re stronger, smarter, richer, more skilled, more flexible and wiser than those who were never tested. Take, for example, the person who
skills and strength. Then and only then would it make sense to stick a label on the customer. But wait. They wouldn’t stick a label on the customer at that point. They actually write down where the customer
complained last week that he was shaken to the core about a cutoff in his immediate family (all stories are made up). He has become – unwillingly – the go-between for two people who technically aren’t speaking but want to relay angry, vindictive messages to one another. He is hurt beyond words at the breakdown in communication but even more hurt by the attitudes that the two people harbor against one another. This gentleman, who is in pain, is kind and sympathetic and wishes only that he could change the way the people he loves think about one another. But he can’t. So the first thing that he will be learning is that although we all do have an effect on others, those others may respond to our influence in ways we do not want. So, for example, this gentleman, we’ll call him Abie, has indeed, impressed upon one family member, Marty, how wrong he is in his impressions of the motives of another member, Alice. But Marty chooses not to
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is holding based on what they can do, not based on what’s wrong with them. And the goal, of course, is to do better and better. In a way, people who have faced difficult challenges are better off than those who haven’t. They’ve tested their mettle and gotten help if they weren’t able to pass. But in the end, when they
respond by re-thinking his position as Abie would have liked. Instead, Marty hardens his position. We can’t control other people’s minds. It is possible that Abie has to let go of believing that he can accomplish anything at all. This is very hard and also very sad for him to acknowledge. Here, he sees a family mess and he is powerless to salvage anything. So the very next thing that Abie must learn is how to be happy with his life again in spite of what is swirling around him. He has to turn to his work, his interests, and his other family members for the joy that Marty has taken away. Finally, Abie may have to limit his contact with either Marty or Alice or both, whichever person has a toxic attitude. Our requirement here on Earth is ivdu es Hashem b’simcha [serve G-d with joy]. Abie did try to help, but it did not work. We can’t make choices for other people; that is what their bechira is for. At some point in his journey, Abie will realize that because of this unpleasant experience, he is stronger, more resilient, and more capable than many other people that he knows. He will know that he has become a deeper, more thoughtful, more aware person. He will recognize that he knows what his limits are. These are the elements of wisdom and he might not have acquired them in any other way. So, yes, in an odd sort of way, his terrible nisayon has helped him be not only a better person than he was, but a person of greater capability in dealing with life than many others who were not tested. Isn’t this part of life, too – to grow as a person? Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist best-selling of The Dr. Deband Hirschorn is aauthor marriage & Healing Is Mutual:and Marriage Empowerment family therapist best selling author Tools to Rebuild and Respect—Toof The Healing Trust Is Mutual: Marriage Empowerment Tools to Rebuild Trust gether, is proud to announce that readers Please www.drdeb. ofand TheRespect. Jewish Home will visit receive a $50 discom for further info. count on every visit to her Woodmere office. Attend the Food For Thought lectures at Traditions Restaurant in Lawrence on Tuesdays at 12:30 PM. (There is a lovely optional lunch menu for $12 cash.) Any questions, call 646-54-DRDEB or check out her website at http://drdeb.com. All stories in Dr. Deb’s articles are fabricated.
MARCH 12, 2015
e have been traversing “Marbim B’Simcha” Adar, the month of increasing joy, going towards the greatest of all joy – renewal at Pesach. We will be a new people in a new year. Our life will be new – if we wish it to be. Thinking of renewal got me thinking. Someone I’m seeing wanted to claim insurance reimbursement and handed me a form to fill out. I hate this part of my job. Not that I mind the paperwork (although I don’t care for it) but I hate having to pin labels on people. And I was thinking about the various people I know, some in therapy with me and others who are friends, family, and colleagues. It started me wondering (once again) why people in therapy should get labels. Yes, they are not coping well with the curve balls that Hashem has thrown them. That is correct. But the people who are not in therapy, the happy, welladjusted ones: Is it possible that G-d has simply not given them the same difficulty of challenges? Maybe with the same nisyonos they would not do any better than my clients. Perhaps the confident, slightly smug exterior of those I know who are truly happy with their good fortune would drop very quickly if faced with unexpected deaths, illness, cheating, abandonment, or emotional abuse. It’s certainly easy to line up your Will with G-d’s Will when He is not doing anything to provoke your resentment, anger, bitterness, despondency, or anxiety. It’s another thing to cope gracefully
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MARCH 12, 2015
Double the Fun! TJH Interviews the Twins from France BY TAMAR SULLIVAN
TS: Hi, thank you for speaking with us today! First of all, everyone knows you as the “Twins from France,” but what are your individual names? YG: My name is Yisrael Gourion and my brother’s name is Yaakov. It’s funny because they are two different names for the same person. My parents did it purposely. That makes your act that much better! How did you first start out becoming the performers you are today? When we were 15, we were in yeshiva in Paris. We were not allowed to play sports, but we wanted a break from learning during recess, so my brother and I started practicing juggling. I also had a unicycle in my closet in the dormitory, so we started performing casually for our friends and we got better and better. What came next? After a few years in Paris, we went to yeshiva in Bnei Brak. By then, we were very good at juggling and doing all kinds of tricks. In Bnei Brak, when the bochurim finish learning each night, they go to wedding halls together to eat and dance. There are over 20 wedding halls there. My brother and I always went together to wedding halls and we used to join the dancing and started doing some of our tricks. They turned into shows. People loved it. When people started asking us to come to their weddings and bar mitzvahs, we started to charge. Our first show was 100 shekels, and by the time we left Bnei Brak three years later, we were charging at some
places 1,000 shekels. We usually did three or four shows every single night. What happened next? After Chabad bochurim learn in Bnei Brak, they usually go to learn at 770 in New York. We hesitated because we didn’t want to lose the business we just
“Chabad and Satmar don’t always see eye to eye, but that night, there was so much achdut.” built up. But our rebbeim said that we should go, so we left everything. When we got to Crown Heights, we started over. We started going to simchas and performing for free. People were amazed and began hiring us again. The demand was even greater in America. The bracha followed us from Eretz Yisroel. What is your favorite performance? Juggling fire.
Sounds scary! How did you learn? First we became experts at juggling. Then slowly, slowly we tried juggling fire and practiced together. I was scared at first, but my brother and I helped each other. What is your most memorable experience as a performer? One thing that is very special is when I do bikur cholim and go visit and entertain kids in the hospital. Another very memorable experience was when someone called us one day to come do a sheva brachot in Williamsburg. When we got there, we found out it was the nephew of the Admor of Satmar. There were 5,000 people there! They asked us to do the entire show on the tisch – the table. It was very stressful and we felt so much pressure, but it turned out so nice. It was a big hit for us. Chabad and Satmar don’t always see eye to eye, but that night, there was so much achdut. It was incredible. Do you have any embarrassing moments from any of your performances? Sometimes we have a performance idea that doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to, but we don’t let it stop us. Once in Bnei Brak, we were doing a show for a wedding and a slightly drunk man wanted to join our acrobatics. He did a somersault while I was doing a handstand, and he accidentally hit me and twisted my hand. One of my bones came out of its socket. I pushed it back in and continued performing. It came
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out again, so I put it back in once more, but it was so painful that I fainted. When I woke up, I went home to bandage myself, while my brother left to go do the next two shows by himself. After I sat at home for a while, I decided to join him and just stay off of my hand – and I did. I had to let it heal for the next two months, but I didn’t stop performing. Where do you and your brother perform now? I live in Crown Heights, and my brother returned to Israel. For chagim, my brother and I are together wherever we decide to go to do events and shows. For weddings and simchas, I do the shows myself now. How do your parents feel about your work? Our parents don’t know about it… Just joking! They were the ones who pushed us in the beginning. We used to be very shy, but our parents encouraged us a lot and even paid us to get out there and do some acrobatic shows when we were younger. What is your family like? We are nine children total. My father is a doctor, and my mother is a piano teacher. My twin brother Yaakov and I don’t play piano because we never sat still growing up. We were always running off to play sports and be outside. Now we regret it a little bit.
Do your siblings ever join? Siblings come watch the show when they can, but they aren’t part of it. How and when did you start making DVDs? Well, we began making some YouTube videos for fun. We got thousands of views, which surprised us, so we decided to make a DVD. We started our first video three years ago in China when a Chabad shliach brought us over there to do a show. We were there for four days, so in our free time between performances, we shot the footage. We brought it back to America, made it into a DVD, and got it in the stores. Two years later, we made our second DVD in America. Tell me about the brand new DVD that was just released. It’s called The Twins from France Off-Line. It’s a nice collection of our YouTube videos. We’d rather make a DVD of all of our clips than have people put
their children in front of YouTube, so that is one reason why we made this video. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us! Keep on making people happy with your acrobatics and stunts—can’t wait to see you next time you come to town! The Twins from France can be reached at (347) 534-6045 or at email@example.com.
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•• Rabbi Mordechai Ungar shlita
MARCH 12, 2015
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