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MARCH 29, 2014 @ 8:45 pm s’’ga,w ’c rst j’’f

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YESHIVA KETANA OF LOS ANGELES • 12131 Burbank Blvd, Valley Village, CA, 91607 • 818-766-7610 • office@ykla.org




MARCH 20, 2014


CONTENTS COMMUNITY Letter to the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Preparing for Pesach in LA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

PARSHA Holy Shame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23


Purim Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Moshiach Matters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Eiruv Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

COVER STORY Purim in LA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Striking the Perfect Balance: Orthodox Women in the LA Workforce. . . . . . . . . . 30

EDUCATION Science and Technology in the Headlines. . . . . . . 34 Parenting - Easy as ABC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Shayetet 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Uncle Moishy’s Funpage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

LIFESTYLES Health - Passover the Extra Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Travel - Lake Tahoe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Dear Readers, Well, I can now say that I’ve lived through my first earthquake. It actually didn’t even occur to me what the shaking of the beds and loud crash was. My first thought was that there was a burglar in the room. After checking that off the list, we checked up on the kids – who were sleeping through it all. (Thank G-d for Purim festivities…) Now we were really baffled, but technology saved the day and all of the family was already discussing it on WhatsApp! As with all sudden events, first you don’t know what it is, then some figure it out with an “Aha!” while the rest find out two instants later through technology. This might be a taste of the big moment we are all working to achieve… What a shame Purim has to end. The joy and uplifted spirits are a real treat, but most of all it’s the brotherhood and feeling part of one large family which makes it my favorite holiday. We lay down our guard, say things we usually keep on the inside, and feel proud to be part of an eternal nation. It’s time we take off our masks and show who we really are. There’s a post-Purim message we can take from the Megillah as well: We’ve gotten rid of our enemies, our non-Jewish neighbors now honor us, the queen is one of us, we have Mordechai second only to the king, and living in the most spacious mansion, along with all the wonderful descriptions found in the Megillah, yet we were still longing to go back to our homeland. Our state was described as: “We are still servants to the King Achashveirosh,” (Megillah 14:A), which is one of the reasons Hallel is not said on Purim. Yes we had political power, financial success and respect as a people, but that’s not the ultimate. We are Jews, and as such we want our Jewishness to be tangible and our souls to be felt, similar to the way we feel on Shabbos and the Chagim. Despite all the benefits of being a Jew circa post-Purim-story, we still kept dreaming about (and indeed built) the second temple in Jerusalem. Couldn’t this be true today? Yes, we are safe, we have power (don’t we run Hollywood?), and most decent people respect us as a nation. But we are torn inside that we are not home. We are frustrated with the moral depravity all around us. We are tired of the good being called bad and bad being called great. We want to finish the journey of bringing heaven down to earth. Our post-Purim challenge is to refuse to settle for temporary comfort and convenience and to remember who we are. Let’s continue to long for no less than the complete fulfillment of our mission, when justice will reign, goodness will be revealed and G-d will call this world His home. Wishing you a continued festive month of Adar and a most wonderful and enjoyable Shabbos!


ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Correction: The Mogen David Sefardic Minyan mentioned in the last issue of the Jewish Home was founded by Rabbi Gabe Elias, Rabbi Moses joined later.

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

Letter to the Editor

feels that they need to give to their whole class- 20 or 25 per child. If there are 4 or more children in a family, this can easily be 70-100 given out. Oh, and let’s not forget the teachers. Each child has a few teachers, so let’s add another 12 or so Mishloach Manos in the 4-child family. This is really excessive! So much labor, so much money, so much time, so much dangerous traffic pileup, so much junk, so much waste! let’s be sensible. IT’S NOT NECESSARY!

Do you remember that the rabbis in recent items needed to limit the numbers of wedding guests people could invite to their chasunas? That had also gone over the top and needed boundaries set. True, the community finally come to recognize the danger of excessive drinking on Purim and has been bringing us to our senses re. this excess. I suggest each class remember the “Purim” means “lots”. Each class should have lots which children draw to determine who they will give to. No one

will be left out. Each child gets 1 or 2 Mishloach Manos from his or her classmates. The end result will be far less stress, primarily for the women. There will be a saving of money and we will no longer model for our children the terrible wasting of food, of energy, of time. It will be a more joyous, relaxed, and meaningful holiday. -Adina Linder

MARCH 20, 2014

Purim is certainly one of our most joyous holidays. It involves all the elements we love-food, friends, music, story-telling, food again, charity, and food once again. Why am I mentioning food so many time? I’ve become very concerned about what our community has taken on as our new Mishlach Manos custom. We used to give our friends, neighbors, some classmates. Each household would give 5, 10, 15, 20 food gifts, usually no more than that. Now each child


Write to us at editor@jewishhomela.com


Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman, Rav of Cong. Ahavas Israel in Passaic, New Jersey, was the guest speaker for an inspirational Shabbaton at the LINK Kollel in Los Angeles over Shabbos Parshas Vayikra (March 7-8). The Shabbaton capped off a busy two week period of captivating guest speakers at LINK. Rabbi Eisenman, a popular columnist and author, is renowned for his warmth and passion. He leads a Kehilla of mostly Baalei Teshuva and has won a wide following for his ability to empathize with the needs and challenges of today’s contemporary Orthodox world. Nearly 150 people attended at least one of his talks. On Friday night, after the seudah, he spoke on the vexing topic of how Torah Jews should treat gentiles in everyday life, from both a halachic and hashkafic perspective. He touched upon Chazal’s imperative of “Darchei Shalom” that necessitates showing certain acts of kindness to gentiles even if they are idolaters (which normally would preclude those actions). He also spoke about the constant need to make a Kiddush Hashem in our interactions with the gentile world. He further elaborated upon the clear need to differentiate ourselves from gentiles in order to prevent intermarriage (as Chazal constantly stressed), while at the same time recognizing that gentiles are B’tzelem Elokim. During the day, Rabbi Eisenman’s Drasha touched upon an insight by Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky on the need to view each of our children (and by extension, each one of us) as having the ability to ascend to great spiritual heights. At the luncheon, he drew upon his experiences with Baalei Teshuva in cautioning about the dangers of abrogating our responsibilities to “think for ourselves” in being able to make mundane decisions in life and not automatically expecting the local Rav to “pasken” those questions for us as “Daas Torah”. At the same time, he spoke of the need to ac-

cept Daas Torah in issues of broad communal concerns. Along the way, he told many stories of Gedolei Yisroel, some of which he personally witnessed. In the pre-Mincha talk, Rabbi Eisenman addressed the question of “Kavod Habrios” (the dignity of man) as it relates to halacha. He sketched a coherent paradigm of the intersection between human dignity in halacha from the Gemara through the teshuvos of Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L. Whether it was the Gemara’s

powerful recollection of the time when he took his eighth grade Yeshiva class from Teaneck, New Jersey to see Rav Avrohom Pam ZT”L in his house in Brooklyn. The students were deeply moved by seeing the tremendous sensitivity of Rav Pam in all aspects of bein adam l’chaveiro. LINK also hosted several guest speakers for weeknight and Sunday morning appearances. Rabbi Yehuda Lebovics, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Tehillas Shlomo in Eretz Yisroel, gave the special monthly

discussion of a person discovering he is wearing clothing of shaatnez in a public realm, or Rav Moshe’s heter for a blind person to bring a seeing eye dog into shul, Rabbi Eisenman sought out the parameters of how halacha and human dignity co-exist in an harmonious blend. Finally, at Shalosh Seudos, he retoldsome unknown stories of Gedolei Yisroel involving the “little things” that make them great. He concluded with a very

pre-Maariv presentation. He addressed the topic of how we view the two months of Adar (in a leap year) in halacha and in hashkafa. Rabbi Yochanan Bechhofer, former Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Yisodei HaTorah in Yerushalayim, gave a number of presentations over a four day period. He gave a special halacha chaburah as well as a special Chumash shiur to the Kollel Avreichim. He also spoke about the unique

qualities of the Machtzis HaShekel that so vexed Moshe Rabbeinu that he needed to be shown a fiery coin to explicate the concept. Finally, he gave a fascinating shiur on the relationship of the Egel HaZahav and the four Parshios that precede and follow it in the Torah relating to the construction of the Mishkan. On Sunday morning, March 9th, LINK hosted a special presentation by Rabbi/ Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler, (grandfather of Rebbetzin Sara Shoff of the LINK Kollel) a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan and a professor of Biology at Yeshiva University. His topic was “science in the service of halacha”. He quoted a well-known statement attributed to the Vilna Gaon that the more one knows about science, the more one can understand Torah. He gave several examples of how recent discoveries in science have shed light on seemingly enigmatic statements in Tanach and from Chazal. He also spoke about how Chazal themselves felt the need to be learned in astronomy to deal with halachic matters that touched upon that area of science and to be familiar with the science of blood in order to pasken niddah shailos. In addition, he touched upon the question of “nishtanah hateva” (changes in nature). Is it really nature that is changing or is it that science’s ability to understand nature has “progressed”. In this light, he also addressed those statements of Chazal that seemed to conflict with modern science. He contended that Chazal were not promulgating scientific facts as much as responding to issues raised by the “science of its time”. In conclusion, he asserted that modern science has borne out the truths of the Torah as well as those scientific matters that Chazal themselves asserted as fact.

Photo credit:Daniel Hill

Inspirational Shabbaton and Flurry of Guest Speakers at LINK Kollel in LA


MARCH 20, 2014


Tashbar Torat Hayim’s 27th Annual Banquet Tashbar Torat Hayim’s celebrated our 27th annual banquet with an elaborate Purim theme! Over 550 guests attended, showing their support and appreciation for the only Sephardic Yeshiva Ketana on the west coast. It was an elegant evening mixed with good spirits and a close, community feel. The smorgasbord began in the charming courtyard of Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills. There was everything including a contemporary sushi buffet, a carving station, elegant hors d’oeuvres, and other delicious choices. The smiles on the guests’ faces as they entered the courtyard were unmistakable. As the guests continued through the banquet hall a mini art gallery of Tashbar’s aspiring artists caught everyone’s eye. Ooos and Ahhhs were heard throughout the hall. Each guest had a chance to enter a raffle with a grand cash prize of $10,000! We were honored to have Rabbi Eli Mansoor as our guest speaker. The Rabbi’s words were both powerful and inspiring. Rabbi Mansoor’s speech hit home to imbue deep within us the importance of perpetuating our unique Sephardi heritage and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation - from our grandparents, great grandparents, our ancestors before them. As the evening continued Tashbar’s Dean, Rabbi David Zargari introduced the evening’s honorees, Mr. and Mrs. Raphael Gabai. Mr. Gabai’s generosity and dedication to helping Tashbar Torat Hayim continue expanding to meet the needs of our growing community are unparalleled. We

were blessed to have the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for the wonderful acts of chesed showered upon Tashbar Torat Hayim by Mr. and Mrs. Gabai. Mr. Gabai began his short and humble speech with a story. Upon beginning to construct our current campus, Mr. Gabai asked his 6 year-old son to hammer a nail into the stairs. His son questioned and asked “why,” to which Mr. Gabai replied, “So you will always remember that you helped to build a Jewish school.” Those words did their job to resonate within all of us, reminding us that we must all feel responsible to support Jewish education in whatever capacity we have the zechut to be capable of. One of the highlights of the events was the boys’ choir. What a performance they gave! Under the direction of Robby Halpern of Simcha Orchestra, the boys put on a show that got the crowed into the Purim spirit! First walking through the hall in masquerade masks and shaking graggers, they stepped onto the stage with smiles, ready to impress and entertain the guests with their joyful voices. Rabbi Hagai Batzri entertained the crowd with a melody of traditional Sephardi zemiort. He was joined by Tashbar’s own third grade student, Yosef Motamedi. The evening ended with the feelings of gratitude, joy, and the blessings of this auspicious month of Adar. May we continue to celebrate simchot together, see the success of our students, build and connect our community, and continue to safeguard the crown of our Sephardic heritage.

Record Number of YULA Students Attend AIPAC Policy Conference By Zev Hirt

Last week, YULA High Schools sent a delegation of 46 students, the largest in the country, to AIPAC’s Policy Conference in Washington, DC. After the main general sessions, the YULA delegation and their five chaperones were rushed around to meet delegates such as members of Congress, diplomats, academics and AIPAC board members. At first, students on their first policy conference, such as the freshmen and sophomores, simply paid close attention as the more knowledgeable upperclassmen asked questions during their small meetings; however, by the end, almost everyone was comfortable with asking questions that they had vigorously written down during speeches. “By the end of the conference I felt I had a good understanding of the issues at hand, and I could discuss them and debate them,” said YULA junior Josh Arnoff. The students were exhausted by Tuesday night as they boarded a flight home. “We learned an unbelievable amount. Policy Conference definitely inspired me to get more involved in politics, especially to become more educated about Israel’s news and the situation in Iran,” said 11th

grader Ilan Lavian. As they look towards the end of the year and their summers, many students, like Lavian, see Policy Conference as a springboard to become more involved in politics and especially with AIPAC. This trip came after a semester of making a positive impact on the America-Israel relationship. Yonah Hiller, the President of the Club, worked alongside Naphtali Nektalov, Chairman of the Board, Rabbi Dunner, the club’s advisor, and the elected board to organize the trip, which represents the climax of clubs programs. Over the past few years, the Israel Advocacy Club has evolved from a small, modest group of students that met inconsistently into a prestigious club within YULA. This year, the club drew close to 70 members, and, with this year’s success, will likely see an even larger crowd next year. The club trains student to engage members

of Congress and advocate for a stronger US-Israel alliance. With the knowledge, tools, and skills the students obtain, they can better advocate on behalf of Israel,

help keep the Jewish state safe, and grow the pro-Israel movement.


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ETTA Receives $20,000 Grant from Max Factor Family Foundation to improve the Lives of Jewish Adults with Disabilities ETTA is pleased to announce that it has received a generous $20,000 grant from the Max Factor Family Foundation in order to establish a groundbreaking new program of providing one-to-one support services to Jewish adults with disabilities. The grant expands ETTA’s Supported Living Services (SLS) and Independent Living Services (ILS). ETTA is the only Jewish agency in Los Angeles approved to provide these services, which are vendored through the State of California’s Regional Center. Both ILS and SLS offer the opportunity for individuals with special needs to attain life goals and dreams, exercise personal choice, achieve competence in dayto-day areas of life, and pursue participatory, dignified relationships with family, friends, and community, through one-onone coaching SLS and ILS are part of ETTA’s aggressive growth plan to meet the commu-

nity’s needs over the next seven years as part of its “200 by 2020” plan (to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020). This grant from the Max Factor Family Foundation is a meaningful step towards this goal.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Max Factor Family Foundation,” expressed ETTA’s Executive Director Dr. Michael Held. “To have the support of Davis Factor, who is a member of ETTA’s Board of Advisors, as well as the support of family member Dean Factor, trustee of the Max Factor Family Foundation, is

so meaningful. On behalf of ETTA, both myself, and the Chair of ETTA’s Board of Advisors, Michael A. Baruch, who introduced ETTA to the Factor Family, could not be more grateful. Through this grant hundreds of Jewish adults with disabilities can benefit from these services, now and even more so in the years to come. With this grant, the Max Factor Family Foundation, a family foundation begun more than 70 years ago by descendants of the legendary makeup mogul, Max Factor, Sr., is truly adding to its long legacy of giving back to Southern California’s Jewish community and the community at large.” ETTA also provides many other services to support people with special needs: housing and residential services, job coaching, social events, a day program,

a summer program, and educational programs. The vision of ETTA, which merged with OHEL Children’s and Family Services last year, is an inclusive, participatory community of people with and without special needs, succeeding and growing together. ETTA, founded in 1993 in Los Angeles, California, serves people with developmental disabilities and their families, and is one of the premier providers of such services on the West Coast. ETTA’s mission is to help people with developmental disabilities, and the families who love them, to live fully enriched and active lives as members of the Los Angeles Jewish community. Learn more at www.etta.org To learn more about initiating services or to schedule an intake, please contact Brooke Pavon at brooke@etta.org

TED.com Is Rationally and Irrationally Powerful By Ruth Judah On March 4th, TED.com launched a redesigned website which is a wonderful source for rational and irrational lectures. TED has offered thought-provoking lectures since its online launch in 2004. Now it offers software to let you build a list of lectures you would like to view later. Posting to Social media is simpler and the formatting has been enhanced so you can view from your tablet or phone. TED is a force to be reckoned with. For homes that have no television, quality lectures are now available without the intrusion

of mainstream advertising and unsuitable programming. On March 9th, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Teitelbaum opened their home to the Sherman Oaks community with a delightful Chanukat Habayit. Apart from the peaceful garden setting and delicious foods, they transformed their dining room into a screening room where Rabbi Mendy

Rubenfeld spoke at length about the age of Moshiach and signs from the world that miraculous changes are happening. Unsurprisingly, the presentation was built on the lectures the Rabbi found on TED.com. Rabbi Rubenfeld explained that he has used TED for many years and turns to it as a source of clarification and representation of essential values and new thinking. “Initially my brother- in-law told me about it and I went there and I started to watch things and I didn’t like what I saw but later when I did more research I realized that this is a tremendous resource because there are so many ideas. I know now how to find things that I want to learn about. And there are so many Israeli inventions!” “Great creativity is astonishingly, absurdly, rationally, irrationally powerful” Andy Hobsbawm, TED.com Do The Green Thing. The newly designed site additionally offers “TED.com/surprise me” software that lets the user pinpoint the discipline that interests them, including categories “Beautiful” and “Jaw Dropping”, “Inspiring” and “Persuasive”. Then you choose the length of presentation that suits your

schedule from five minutes to 60 minutes. Rabbi Rubenfeld explained, “I need world sources. TED provides that because they open a platform for cutting edge thinkers. It’s not just a summary of events that have happened but a presentation of things that will happen in the near future. What’s unfolding in the world right now. It’s precise. It’s a great resource for what I need.” TED.com has grown from an intriguing site for new ideas into a leading resource center and is proudly a not-for-profit whose most popular lectures reach more than a million viewers. The sites is translated throughout the world and has had a profound success on the way communities and family’s research, converse about and maintain inspiration. “When you look at the Moon, you think, ‘I’m really small. What are my problems?’ It sets things into perspective. We should all look at the Moon a bit more often,” Alain de Botton, TED.com Atheism 2.0. While the site is not Jewish owned, the length of a TED talk is a meaningful 18 minutes; appropriate for presenters who are passionate about their unique connection to living, to life and to lifestyle. TED is an easy access free website that spreads ideas through charismatic, eloquent, polished presenters. It’s a wonderful addition to the other free education sites including Khan Academy, Writers Village Universi-

ty, wimp.com, youtube and more. “Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of,” Ken Robinson,TED.com, Bring on the Learning Revolution. The new TED.com has additional information that enables the interested viewer to extend their understanding of the given subject by inspiring reading lists and other resources posted by the presenters. The relaunch of the site advances the way the site is used. “The next time you’re faced with something that’s unexpected, unwanted and uncertain, consider that it just may be a gift.” Stacey Kramer, TED.com, The Best Gift I Ever Survived Mainstream media bombards us with negative events that are happening in the world. If there is no blood, the event receives little exposure. On the other hand, TED presents new phenomena that have global possibilities with positive, fresh ideas. From education, to science, medicine to spirituality, TED.com now reaches to the farthest corners of the earth with the strongest connectivity and is successfully broadcasting the paradigm shifts of today’s most creative thinkers. “Kids should not have to leave their community to live, learn and earn in a better one.” Stephen Ritz, TED.com. A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx


By Alisa Roberts

UCLA School of Medicine discussed new advances in the medical field in his lecture, “The Next Ten Years in Medicine – What Will it Mean for Me?” Finally there was a panel discussion: “Financial and Legal Aspects of the Golden Years,” with Bunni Dybnis, LMFT CMC and Director of Professional Services at LivHOME, and Terry Magady, Elder Law attorney. This was

event. “Beth Jacob provided a very friendly atmosphere, heimish and welcoming,” he said. Mr. Altschul specializes in reverse mortgages, a service only available for seniors and one which can be an integral part of retirement and estate planning. Many of the participants he spoke to had not even been aware of what could be done for them. “It was an educational experi-

some new things.” The event, sponsored by Beth Jacob in partnership with Cedars-Sinai, Bikur Cholim, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, the Orthodox Union, and Young Israel of Century City, was the first of its kind to be held in LA for a Jewish audience. The half-day symposium offered a variety of lectures from renowned speakers, followed by a lunch and resource fair. “We received guidance from many community members,” said Rabbi Adir Posy, Associate Rabbi at Beth Jacob and assistant director of the OU West Coast office. “Mr. David Slomovic, a successful executive in the field of elder care, was especially helpful. He offered a great deal of his time to help the Shul mold the program to the community’s needs.” The idea for the symposium began with Rabbi Kalman Topp, Senior Rabbi of Beth Jacob. While the topics chosen were geared to the Los Angeles audience, the program itself was inspired by similar

Insurance Maze,” was expertly navigated by David Bacall, Division VP for AXA Advisors, LLC, and Dr. Steven Tabak, Board certified cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine. The practical issues that often come up for Jewish patients in hospitals were addressed by Rabbi Hershey Ten, President of Bikur Cholim of LA, and Rabbi Jason Weiner, Senior Rabbi and Manager of the Spiritual Care Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in their talk: “The Hospital Experience – Planning Ahead.” The next hour brought three more choices. Debbie Fox, LCSW with expertise in geriatric care, and Rabbi Dr. David Fox, rabbi and psychologist, discussed the complex decisions that families face during their talk, “Caring for an Aging Relative: The Family Context.” Dr. Shlomo Melmed, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Medical Faculty at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Professor and Associate Dean of the

moderated by Selwyn Gerber, CPA, RIA and founder of Gerber & Co and RVW Investing. The lectures were followed by healthy lunch and a Senior Resource Fair, which boasted 22 resource providers from a wide spectrum of fields including financial, legal and estate planning, end of life, healthcare, and fitness services. “We really feel that the message of the day was that shul is not just a place to go to daven, but also a place that can additionally hold communal conversations,” said Rabbi Posy. The participants were happy to join in the conversation. Milton Sanber came with the goal of becoming better informed about the advances in health and medicine. He wasn’t disappointed. “It was a very positive experience,” he said. “There were so many options that it was difficult to choose; they were all good. And I do feel better informed.” Alan Altschul, a reverse mortgage specialist, was impressed by the tone of the

ence,” he added with a smile. Susan Fink, a personal trainer, pointed out the diversity of information offered and how it all came together, “It was a good program. There were many resources, and a fair representation of the issues of concern to seniors. Today is all about the golden years, and – if you take care of your finances, health, and body – they really can be golden.” Lynn Mayer, of Mt. Sinai Memorial Park & Mortuary, was excited just to get people interested in the discussion. “I think it’s fabulous,” she said. “All this information is so helpful, especially on topics that people might not want to talk about. But when they do, it gives them such peace of mind.”After all the planning and coordinating, after the speakers had gone and the last participants were finishing their lunches, Rabbi Posy only had one question: “When are we going to do the next one?”

Photo credit: Josh Lobell

successful programs which the Orthodox Union’s department of Community Engagement has run in the past. The day began at 9 a.m. with three lecture choices. Sheila Moore, Director of Senior Center Services at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles spoke about happiness and fulfilment in her talk, “Keeping the Golden Years Golden.” “The Health Care

MARCH 20, 2014

Over two hundred members of the Los Angeles community found their way to Beth Jacob this past Sunday to attend the Golden Years Symposium. “It was wonderful for seniors; very informative,” said participant Dorothy Korchak. Another attendee, Sandy Orenshein, added, “I enjoyed the lectures and the lunch. Everything was really well done, and I learned


First Golden Years Symposium Held at Beth Jacob

Celebrating Purim YULA Style! What do a leprechaun, Superman, and a chicken have in common? They were all in attendance at YULA Boys High School’s annual Purim Chagiga extravaganza! The boys arrived to school on Friday in full Purim attire, ready to bring in the chag with joy. Following shacharit, the boys filled the auditorium with leibedig dancing and singing, getting into the Purim spirit YULA-style. The chagiga also included a costume contest and dance performance, as well as some fun student shtick! On Friday night, YULA fathers were treated to a very special, first ever “Father’s Only” tisch to celebrate the chag. It was a beautiful evening and great way for the dads to bond

over singing and Divrei Torah while getting to know their sons’ rebbeim even better. Purim Day was the icing on the cake, with multiple purim pre-seudot mesibas

taking place across the city. Rebbeim hosted students in their homes, and then entire student body gathered at Rabbi Emerson’s home for dancing, grammen, and great

food! Chag Purim Sameach! See page 18 for pictures.

Shaarei Tefila


MARCH 20, 2014


Beth Jacob

Photo credit: David Miller Photography

Y e s h i v a

D a r c h e i

T o r a h


r a b b i ’ s

s p e c i a l

F u n D

Adar 5774

Rabbi Yaakov Bender 312 Hicksville Road Far Rockaway, NY 11691

Dear Friends, We hope this letter finds you and yours in the best of health. We are sure you are inundated with requests for tzedokoh at this time of year. The financial matzav of Acheinu Bne i Yisroel has become perilous. There are many hundreds of families who find themselves in dire financial straits, which is creating major issues for these families. These issues include sholom bayis problems, health rela ted issues, unemployment, cost of education, cost of simchos, marrying off chil dren, almonos, yesomim, and just plain poverty. Our organization, through your help, has been able to ameliorate many of these situations. We have brought a ray of light and hope to these families. Sometimes to the point of taking broken families and putting them back on their feet. Your help is desperately needed to ensure we can continue to do our little bit to help many hundreds of peo ple. Your tax-deductible check may be made payable to Yeshiva Darchei Tora h – Rabbi’s Special Fund. Wishing you and yours a chag kasher v’som each. Sincerely,

please send your tax-deductibe contributions to

Yeshiva Darchei Torah rabbi’s special FunD c/o rabbi Yaakov bender 312 hicksville road Far rockaway, nY 11691 or donate online at

www.rabbisFunD.org Rabbi Yaakov Bender

MARCH 20, 2014

d e e n y The . p l e h r you


They daven in your shul. They live in your neighborhood. They are your relatives.




MARCH 20, 2014


Lipskier Kagan and Morris Purim event

YICC Purim trip to the local seniors center


A Family Trusted Brand Since 1939







Chabad Tarzana


By Erica Solomon

child was greeted with a bag of snacks. Groggers were given out and a slide show highlighting the events of each chapter of the megillah was displayed on the wall during the rapid reading of the Book of Esther. Raffle tickets galore were handed out to children who sat quietly and plenty of time was allotted to the noisemaking at the name of Haman. After the megillah was read, Pini Cohen, the local Israeli singer who knows how to attract and work a crowd, entertained the dancing and celebrating masses along with Rabbi Mordy Einbinder. Simultaneously in Culver City, Chabad arranged for the megillah to be read at a party for the organization, Larger than Life. Larger than Life – LA has the primary goal of improving the life of children with cancer. Its focus is to support recov-

ery and healthy development. The organization makes it possible for children with cancer to enjoy happy, normal childhood experiences that other children their age often take for granted. There were over 700 people attending the party. The festivities continued the next day. There were over 20 different megillah reading locations. More than ten volunteers were sent out in force to read at hospitals, board and care centers, house visits and even a hard working accountant who was open on Sunday! At the Sunday morning megillah reading, Councilman Bob Blumenfeld joined the Ryzman Fmaily Hebrew School. According to Rabbi Yanky Kahn, “Chabad of the Valley’s goal was to reach every Jewish person in the community. “ Purim culminated with Chabad of Encino and Tarzana each hosting a major

Purim seudah. Encino featured “Purim in the Jungle”. The center was transformed into a jungle with trees brought in, jungle themed lighting, and inflatable animals. The children were encouraged to trade pre-packaged mishloach manos, and were entertained with a reptile show and caricature artist. A bar-b-que feast was enjoyed by nearly 200 people. Just a few miles away Chabad of Tarzana hosted their own seudah which featured comedian Marvin Silberman, a Jay Leno joke writer. It was a joyous and happy Purim for everyone involved.

MARCH 20, 2014

The holiday of Purim is typically anticipated with much fanfare and enthusiasm. Costumes are chosen, mishloach manot are planned, seudahs are organized and the excitement builds as the date approaches. However all of that can deflate like an old carnival balloon if the first event, the megillah reading is disorganized and chaotic. Chabad of the Valley recognized this and put together one of the most well run, yet entertaining Purim nights. The headquarters in Tarzana hosted over 400 people on Saturday night. The social hall and sanctuary were divided into a tame grownups reading and a more festive children’s program in the other. The children’s room was run by Rabbi Mayer Greene and a fleet of yeshiva students. The room was set up like an amphitheater with ample seating; no person was to sit on the ground. Each


Purim with Chabad of the Valley

See pictures on facing page.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits Los Angeles By Alisa Roberts

nor Jerry Brown. Meetings included Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as Jan Koum and Brian Acton, founders of WhatsApp. While in the Bay Area, Netanyahu also signed an economic and research partnership agreement with Gov. Brown. The agreement is designed to boost cooperation between Is-

plan to liquidate the Jews, he said, “Now, we have paid a terrible price for the fact that the leading powers of the world did not heed that warning, nor did they act on it. As it turned out, the price wasn’t only to our people. We proportionately paid the greatest price of all, but it was a price that cost

they’re going to annihilate you, take them seriously.” He went on to speak about current deceptions, particularly those of Iran – like the ship recently intercepted by Israel carrying Iranian missiles to be smuggled into Gaza. “We shall expose what Iran is really

ate proudly announced, “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s California trip is an important demonstration of the strong relationship between the US and Israel, and in particular, the Los Angeles community.” The trip began on Monday with meetings between Netanyahu and Obama in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday the prime minister spoke before the annual AIPAC policy conference. He then travelled to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of a new CBS documentary, “Israel: Royal Tour,” which was screened at Paramount studios. The documentary is the latest in a new series and features interviews with Netanyahu alongside an in-depth look at Israel. Wednesday brought Netanyahu north, where he met with tech industry leaders in Silicon Valley as well as California Gover-

rael and California in a number of ways, including water conservation, alternative energy, cybersecurity, health and biotechnology, education and agricultural technology, according to a news release from Brown’s office. “Through this agreement, California and Israel will build on their respective strengths in research and technology to confront critical problems we both face, such as water scarcity, cybersecurity, and climate change,” said Gov. Brown. It will also allow Israeli companies access to Californian technology research facilities. Before returning to Israel, Netanyahu enjoyed a final stop in Los Angeles to visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, where he spoke. After describing a letter he had seen at the museum dating back to 1919 which told of a

the lives of 15 million people and a convulsion in the world, a blow to the peace of the world, like no other. Today we are in a different situation because we have a Jewish state. We have someone to act on behalf of the Jewish people. But defending begins by calling it like it is, pointing at such intentions and also exposing the deceit. There is a regime today that calls daily for our annihilation. Openly, unabashedly, they call for the annihilation of the Jewish state. I think it’s outrageous that 70 years after the Holocaust this can be accepted with virtual silence. People say, ‘Well, you know, they mean it for internal consumption.’ Does this sound familiar? But we’ve already been there. Been there and done that. So first of all, we take them seriously. Our principle lesson in history is that when someone says

doing: building the weapons of mass death and dispatching the weapons of immediate death right now to the worst terrorist groups in the world.” He closed with this declaration: “There’s something that I can say here, at the Museum of Tolerance: we cannot be tolerant to the intolerant. We want a world of acceptance of others. We want a world of compassion. We want a world of humanity and humanism. These are the two things I would say: These people are out to destroy a section of humanity called the Jewish people. We will not let them. We will expose them, and we shall fight them. And I’ll tell you another thing – we shall beat them.”

L Photo credit: Marissa Roth, R Photo credit: Felice Richter

This past week will be recorded as the first visit of an Israeli prime minister to California in eight years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited President Barak Obama last week and made an appearance at AIPAC. After this, Netanyahu made the decision to visit LA. The Israeli Consul-


MARCH 20, 2014


Friendship Circle Opens New Integrative Playground By Alisa Roberts

Friendship Circle of Los Angeles celebrated the opening of their new My Backyard playground in style. Why such celebration? Because this is no ordinary playground. “There are a few special needs playgrounds in LA, but this playground is unique in the fact that it is geared to kids with special needs and to their typical peers,” explains Chana Fogelman, PR Manager for Friendship Circle of Los Angeles. “Our equipment enables a child who is wheelchair-bound to play next to a typical peer. We’ve built it with equipment that’s suitable for all levels of physical ability so that everyone can benefit and enjoy it at the same time. We want our playground to be a paragon for inclusion.” The day began with a lunch catered by Abba’s, followed by a program of speakers and entertainment, and finishing with the ribbon cutting – and play time! Speakers of the day included Councilman Paul Koretz, Candidate for Supervisor Bobby Shriver, teen volunteer Rebecca Elspas, Friendship Circle participant Shayna, parent Sashi Well, Executive Director Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy, and Scott Minkow, representing the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and RPO (Real Estate Princi-

pals Organization).The Cheder Menachem Boys Choir, with help from the Friendship Circle children, closed by performing several beautiful songs. Everyone then moved outside for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Rabbi Rav-Noy invited those who made the My Backyard project a reality to participate. David Johnson from CO Architects, Bruce Sobol from Brentwood Electrical, Scott Minkow, Rodney Freeman, and John Monkarsh from RPO were joined by Theresa De Vera, Councilman Koetz, Bobby Shriver and Dr. Zev Rav-Noy. Ms. De Vera, a commissioner on the LA Commission on Disability as well as Ms. Wheelchair California 2014, explained, “It’s so humbling that individuals and organizations like The Friendship Circle remember that all a person with a disability wants is to lead a normal life, like any able-bodied person, where children don’t see the disability but the individual’s ability…this will open so many doors to inclusion, education and acceptance.” After a shehechiyanu, the ribbon was cut, and volunteers in blue Friendship Circle shirts and kids of all ages flooded the new playground. Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy described what

the opening meant to him, “It means that miracles come true. We’re not here to fill a quota. We’re here to help the community with what it needs, and G-d helps. So what this means to me is that G-d was smiling. It was meant to be!” It’s been a long time coming and the journey began years ago. “A few years ago we closed escrow on our building,” says Rabbi Michy. “I sent an email saying, ‘Mazal Tov, we have a new building!’ In response, a few guys involved at the Jewish Federation said, ‘We have an RPO which provides direct support to non-profit organizations to enhance communal infrastructure. Please submit a proposal ASAP!’ I did, and they helped us get an $80,000 grant to jump-start the playground.” But the help didn’t end there. Because the group is made up of real estate developers, part of the assistance that was offered came in the form of expertise. “Rodney Freeman connected us with an architect who designed everything pro bono. He was an angel – his name is David Johnson. It’s more than just the money. I don’t even know what was more helpful, the $80,000, or the constant help with negotiating, advice, contracts, etc.” As helpful as the Federation was, even that was not enough to get this ambitious project to completion. “To put together a yard like this you have to have donors,” explains Gail Rollman, Development Director for Friendship Circle LA. “Fundraising comes under my portfolio. It started over a year ago with getting seed money from RPO which is under the umbrella of the Jewish Federation. Additionally, we sought out many individual donors.” But it was worth the effort. “Today is truly the day where our dream has become a reality,” says Rollman. “It’s seeing the project come to fruition – it’s a day of celebration! And it’s

also a day to recognize the donors. One of the most exciting parts of today was taking the donors on a tour of our yard. I was able to say to the couple who had donated funds for the Tree of Friendship, ‘Come sit under your tree!’ Another donor was thrilled with how quickly our project had become a reality. I love that they have the opportunity to see the kids play on their equipment. When donors can come and see the joy on everyone’s faces, it makes it more meaningful. For the Friendship Circle staff, seeing how much happiness My Backyard is

bringing to the community makes our hard work all worth it.” Hard work is no overstatement. The project took several years and tremendous

effort from many people. The playground that existed before was totally inappropriate for the children of Friendship Circle, and because it was laid in concrete, the demolition alone took several weeks. Then there was the planning. “We looked at many, many catalogs of playground equipment, carefully selecting pieces that can enhance a child’s growth and development,” explained Rabbi Michy. Safety was also a major consideration. “We stand out because this playground is safe and secure,” explains Rollman. “You can go to another playground, but with a child who is a mover it can be exhausting. Here the parents can sit down and enjoy watching their children play, knowing that they don’t have to worry.” Inclusion was the primary goal. “They don’t want to be stared at, or looked at differently,” says Rollman. “We value inclusion. It’s very welcoming here. Even our jungle gym has multiple slides for two people so the volunteer and the child can use them together. It makes them feel included, not, ‘You go, I’ll watch you,’ but ‘We’re doing this together.’ It’s a relationship-building opportunity.” Rabbi Michy is particularly proud of one piece of equipment: the Integration Carousel. The Carousel, designed for use by children in wheelchairs along with other children, allows for two wheelchairs and six other passengers. The wheelchair spots are circled by a bar; when you lift the bar the brake activates, allowing the child in the wheelchair to get on board. Then the bar lowers and around they go. “The Integration Carousel is the only one in California,” says Rabbi Michy. “It’s a big deal. It’s a very expensive piece, but the kids were out there having a blast.” They really were. It was a bright hot day on Sunday, but that didn’t stop the kids from racing around, pulling volunteers after them eagerly. Cameron, a 15-yearold volunteer who became involved with Friendship Circle this year, paused long enough to tell me what she thought of the playground. “I think it’s really fun and good for all the kids.” Rivki Mark, grandmother of special needs child Yonatan, couldn’t agree more. “I think the park opening is incredible. It gave me goose bumps,” she

says. She extends that same enthusiasm to the entire organization: “Friendship Circle is amazing. It’s really a godsend for parents and grandparents of special needs kids to know that their kids are so well-loved and included in our community. The volunteers are the most incredible young people you could ever have the merit to meet.” The volunteers are a vital part of the programs. “Friendship Circle is a hybrid organization,” explains Rabbi Michy. “We help Jewish children with special needs, with the assistance of hundreds of Jewish teens that volunteer with us from 58 different schools in LA. These teens are learning how to be involved in the Jewish community and we give them the opportunity through selfless giving.” But it’s the kids who love it the most. Mrs. Gabaie, parent of a participant, describes her young daughter’s feelings: “She loves coming here. Sometimes we come home and she says, ‘OK, tomorrow we have Friendship Circle.’ I say, ‘No, tomorrow is school.’ And she says, ‘No, I want Friendship Circle.’” It’s a favor-

ite activity for Rafi as well. When asked what he likes about Friendship Circle he has a whole list, but these are his favorites: “I like Sky High [a field trip from winter camp], and the moonbounce.” His mother, Mitra Dayan, explains that he loves the program so much they use it as an incentive. “Friendship Circle is a reward for him,” she says. “He’ll do anything for that.” Part of the reason the kids love it so much is that they feel at home here. “One of the things we love about having our building is that the kids feel ownership here, unlike many other places,” says Rollman. “From looking at their pictures on the wall to saying ‘That’s my piece of art; it’s theirs!” The hope is that the playground will add to this feeling. “Everything we create here is relationship building,” says Fogelman. “That’s the core of the Friendship Circle. It’s for friends to play together, volunteers to enjoy time with their buddy, and another place for kids with special needs in LA to enjoy time with Jewish friends.” Friendship Circle Los Angeles was established in 2003. Friendship Circle is part of the Chabad network, and there are currently 80 Friendship Circles all over the world.


LA Teen Runs for Terror Victims By Alisa Roberts

be, ‘I need you to come over and celebrate my deceased husband’s birthday with me.’ Or, ‘I need you to come with me to say Kaddish.’ And that’s what we’re there for. Unfortunately there is a need, and we are there.” That’s what reached A.J. “It could

but also obviously to help us out because we do unfortunately have so many that we deliver. This year we had over 325 volunteers, and they packed over 2,500 shaloch manot.” That project turned out to be A.J.’s introduction to the organization. A.J. and his yeshiva, Yeshivat Torat Shraga, were some of those 325 volunteers. For a couple of the boys, it was a transformative experience. “We packed mishloach manot and they described what they do at OneFamily,” says A.J. “That was actually very moving for me, and I know my friends who were there were also very moved. It was really nice to hear how far everything that we’ve packed goes. How they don’t just leave it by the door, they make sure that the person is home before they give it to them. How they reach out to everyone. I felt that it was a very important cause.” Why did A.J. connect so strongly to this particular cause? “The thing that inspired me and my friend is that the people affected by terrorism are normal people going about their everyday lives,” he explains. “The different places [where there had been attacks] are places that I personally go to on a Saturday night. Places where people are doing innocent things, like meeting friends for pizza. No one was expecting anything to happen. That really impacted me. These terrorist attacks change their lives, and the lives of their family and friends. Normal people struck by catastrophe.” Maybe part of what makes OneFamily successful is that the help they give is often also normal and everyday. “What makes OneFamily so special is the individual attention that they give to each and every family,” explains Napell. “There is no cookie cutter. It can

happen to anyone. That’s why I decided to get involved,” he says. His quick commitment fits well with this organization. It was actually founded through a similar impulse to help. “OneFamily was founded in 2001, right after the Sbarros bombing,” explains Napell. “It was started by Michal and Lou Belzberg.” Michal had been about to celebrate her bat mitzvah when that terrible attack took place, killing 15 people and injuring over 100 more. “She decided to use the money that was going to go to the bat mitzvah to help victims of terror. She called off her bat mitzvah and asked everybody to make donations instead, and that’s how we were started.” The Belzberg family raised over $100,000 in that gesture, and OneFamily was born. “Over the past 13 years we’ve distributed over $40 million, and have

helped victims ever since,” says Napell. And they are still helping. This week the OneFamily team will be participating in the Jerusalem Marathon, where volunteers and terror victims alike will be running and raising money for the organization. A.J. will be out there with them, running 13.1 miles after two whole weeks of training. But he seems pretty confident. “We’re on our way. It’s kind of crazy to sign up for it two weeks before you’re planning on doing it. It just shows how inspired we were. We jumped on the opportunity to help in any way we can. We ended up signing up that night on the bus back [from packing shaloch manot], and that night we went on our first run.” A.J. and one other boy from his yeshiva, Nathan, will be running the half marathon. And they are determined to finish. “We’re going to do it. And if we don’t make all of it running, we’ll walk it. Or crawl it.” Napell is excited about the race. “What’s really amazing about this is that we have victims of terror running with yeshiva kids and seminary kids,” she tells me. “We have a bunch of people from the US flying over to do it together, running alongside the victims who they are raising money to help. And they’re running through the streets of Jerusalem, where many of these attacks took place. So you’re running with the victims and they’re running past the places they were victimized.” As for A.J., he’s just happy to be doing his part. He’s already raised over $1000 in this short time, but the money isn’t his primary concern. “Any amount is great,” he says. “I just want more people to be aware of this wonderful thing they’re doing. People who are hit by terrorism, they need everyone’s help. I think OneFamily really needs more help, and I want to get their name around for this important cause.”


MARCH 20, 2014

The shaloch manot are one OneFamily’s annual projects. “We bring in a lot of different yeshivas to help us pack mishloach manot that we deliver all over Israel to victims of terror,” says Napell. “It’s a great way to get the yeshiva kids involved,


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A.J. Mandelbaum is running the Jerusalem Half Marathon this week. He’s raising money to support OneFamily, an organization that assists Israeli victims of terror. A.J. is not a runner, but he feels strongly connected to this cause. Which is all the more remarkable, considering that a week ago he didn’t even know it existed. “I knew nothing about it beforehand, I’d never heard of the organization,” says Mandelbaum, an 18-year-old LA native currently on a gap year program in Israel. “I was asked by every charity possible to run for their team. I think that every charity is great, but this connected with me because I really felt the uniqueness. They’re real people, real families; I just related to it right away. So there I was, signing up for the marathon two weeks before, with no prior training.” OneFamily is pretty unique. They are an organization that aims to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of terror of all ages through a variety of assistance programs. “It really is an amazing organization,” says Michelle Napell, Executive Director. “We provide financial assistance, therapeutic assistance. We run retreats. We have camps three times a year for children. We will provide financial and legal assistance if necessary. And we try to fill in where there’s a lacking in the system.” They provide this assistance to around 350 families on any given year. “As you know, families are big in Israel. Our camps take care of about 350 kids every time we have them.” The numbers shift year to year, as people don’t remain in the programs indefinitely. “Our goal is not to keep them in the programs forever, but for them to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society with the knowledge that at any given time they are always welcome back. Once you’re a member of our family you’re always a member of our family. And unfortunately our family continues to grow each and every year with different acts of terror. Sometimes people don’t even realize that they were suffering. It could be five years after the attack or five months, and they realize that they really do need some help. Many victims of terror suffer from PTSD, so anything can set them off and send them into a tailspin.” Anything – like 60 rockets being fired into your backyard, as residents of Southern Israel had to contend with last Wednesday. In fact, OneFamily was there at the time, delivering shaloch manot. “The crazy thing was that yesterday we had a bunch of volunteers as well as our regional director distributing the shaloch manot in the south, and obviously they were forced into shelters while they were delivering,” Napell tells me. “Nobody was hurt, thank goodness.”





MARCH 20, 2014


The Nikolsburg Rebbe’s return visit to Los Angeles By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon


The Nikolsburg Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yechiel Mechel Lebovits, shlita, just completed his annual visit to Los Angeles. The Rebbe stayed 10 days with the Los Angeles Community. During Shabbos Parshas Pekudei/Shekalim, the Rebbe davened Kabalos Shabbos at the Chassidishe Kollel, Kollel Yechiel Yehuda. The Community had the opportunity to participate in the Rebbe’s Friday night Tish. The davening, the zemiros, the divrei torah from the Rebbe, all made for an exciting Oneg Shabbos. The Rebbe was hosted over the weekend by Rabbi & Mrs. Shimshon Weiss and during the week by Mr. & Mrs. Mark Mandelbaum. Shabbos morning the Rebbe davened at

Photo Credit: Arye D Gordon Divrei Torah from the Nikolsburg Rebbe at dinner in his honor

Beis Naftali on La Brea and lead the tefilot with heartfelt and emotional feelings.This

year the Rebbe went to Yeshivat Yavneh for Mincha and for Seudah Shlishis. It was an opportunity of the Yavneh community to meet and hear from a chassidishe Rebbe, a novel experience for many of them. Those who were fortunate in the past to meet the Nikolsburg Rebbe when he visited our city, cherished the chance to renew their connection with Rabbi Lebovits. Known for his warmth, kindness, love of people and spiritual countenance, many took advantage of the opportunity to visit with him during his stay. The Rebbe Shlita set aside time during the week to give advice and offer words of Chizuk to those who came to see him privately. Among the Divrei Torah given by the Nikolsburg Rebbe on this week’s Parsha was this insight on the pasuk, “And the courtyard was erected around the Mishkan and the altar, ….. and Moshe completed all of the work.” (Shemos 40:33) Said the Rebbe, “Several verses before (ibid. 39:32), the Torah tells us that “The entire work of the Mishkan was completed, and the Jewish people did everything according to what Hashem commanded Moshe, thus they did.” We know that each word in the Torah is important and precious. When the Torah tells us that Moshe fulfilled Hashem’s command to completion, the verse uses direct and straightforward language: Moshe completed all of the work. Why then does the Torah deem it important, when speaking about the Jewish people, to emphasize again that they adhered to Hashem’s com-

Nikolsburg Rebbe at dinner hosted by Mark Mandellbaum

mand? If the work was completed, as we are told about Moshe, why is it necessary to say that they did everything according to what Hashem commanded, and then adding that “thus they did?” The Rebbe went on to explain, “When Moshe heard the command to build a Sanctuary for Hashem, he responded the way he responded to all of Hashem’s commands. He developed a profound longing to connect with his Creator through the mitzvos, and he felt a very deep yearning to fulfill this command properly. Therefore, the verse says simply that Moshe completed the work. He needed no further preparation.” “On the other hand, the rest of the Jewish people were not on Moshe’s level of avodas Hashem. They still needed to prepare themselves properly before performing these mitzvos. They had to develop a longing for Hashem’s closeness

and grow in their enthusiasm and fervor towards these commandments. Therefore, the Torah tells us that the Jewish people completed the work, but they first tried to prepare themselves as best as they could. They yearned to do these mitzvos in the manner that Moshe himself performed them, hence the special mention that they did everything “according to what Hashem commanded Moshe.” The Torah emphasizes again that “thus they did” – after preparing themselves, they performed the mitzvos with proper joy and enthusiasm.” “May Hashem enable us to at least have a desire to yearn for His closeness and for the true taste of Shabbos, and to develop an attachment to all precious mitzvos of the Torah.”The Rebbe ended his Los Angeles visit by attending a special dinner hosted by Mark and Sheryl Mandelbaum. Until next year.

New Rosh Chodesh Women’s Shiur in Honor of Debbie Allison, OBM By Sasha Friedman

Anyone who knew Debbie Allison, OBM, would say that her most stunning feature was her million-watt smile. When she smiled at you, you felt like the only person in the room. “She had a twinkle in her eye,” says Mrs. Sarah Abend of Chabad of North Hollywood. Last Simchas Torah, I remember sitting with Debbie outside of the shul and talking. “I love people-watching,” she said to me conspiratorially. After years of chemotherapy, she could only whisper, and one of her arms was immobile in a sling. When I expressed my sadness that she could not move her arm, she looked me straight in the eyes and said firmly, “It will get better.” Debbie passed away at the age of 51 on January 8, Shevat 7, leaving behind her husband, five children, and one new granddaughter. Although I admit I have not attended many funerals, I felt that I could not miss her lavaya. And apparently, hundreds of other people felt the same way. The chapel was overflowing to the point that seating was set up outside, and even

then there was standing room only. The rabbi who gave her eulogy literally cried through the entire speech, and there was not a dry eye in the crowd. But Debbie was a woman of joy. As much as we mourn her passing, we know

that she would have wanted us to be happy and focus on the good. It is therefore fitting that a women’s Rosh Chodesh shiur was established in her honor in the month of Adar. Organized by Mrs. Sarah Abend and Mrs. Elkie Abend, this shiur takes place monthly, with various guest speakers. The first speaker was Mrs. Chana Rachel

Schusterman, who spoke beautifully about the idea that one can feel both joy and sadness. Debbie’s close friend also said a few moving words about the joy with which Debbie approached the challenges in life. The second shiur, for Rosh Chodesh Adar II, took place on Thursday, March 6, and was delivered by Rabbi Mendel Lipskier of Chabad of Sherman Oaks. Rabbi Lipskier spoke about the idea that one cannot hear the megillah backwards, or out of order. Practically, this means that one cannot arrive late to the megillah reading, hear half the megillah, and then catch another reading for the first half. On a deeper level, the Baal Shem Tov explains that one cannot consider the events of the megillah to be “out of order,” or occurring as a one-time historical event. Rather, the themes of the megillah are recurring, and we can continue to glean lessons from them to this day. For example, when Modechai tells Esther to go to Achashverosh and ask him to save the Jews, Esther is hesitant. Mordechai tells her, “If you don’t go to Achash-

verosh, salvation will come from someone else, but you and your father’s house will be lost.” Esther and Mordechai were descendents of King Shaul, who had been commanded to execute Amalek. However, he let Amalek live for one night, and in that night Amalek impregnated a maidservant whose descendant was Haman. Now was the chance for Esther and Modechai to rectify the mistake of their ancestor (hence, “you and your father’s house”). The lesson we can learn from this story is that we are here for a reason, and we are given opportunities that are our destiny to fulfill. However, Hashem will still make sure that His plans are carried out, with or without us. Rabbi Lipskier shared many other insights about the story of Purim, including the historical timeframe, which was quite fascinating. For more information about the Rosh Chodesh women’s shiur, contact Mrs. Sarah Abend at 818-989-9539.


By Linda Ostrow Schlesinger

What motivated you to accept the position of VTHS Girls Division principal? It was a very exciting opportunity for me to bring my experience as a teacher to this position where I can have a greater impact on the educational process and consequently on the academic and moral education of the young women in our community. The objective is to help them develop a strong sense of Jewish pride and a commitment to Torah and mitzvos in a joyful manner. And of course, ideally this should be founded upon a deep intellectual understanding of our faith, an emotional connection to the beauty of our religion and a commitment to the community to which we belong. What is your long term vision for the school? One of the objectives is to get the word out to the community that Valley Torah offers frum girls a top notch religious, college preparatory high school education complete with an extensive array of Judaic and general studies classes, including many AP and honors courses, as well as a multifaceted extracurricular program. And of course we want to continually grow and build upon what we’ve accomplished thus far. We want our girls to be able to

go out in the world prepared to compete in the marketplace while at the same time being rooted in Yiddishkeit in the fullest sense of its meaning. So that in the end their professional, intellectual, communal and personal goals are all infused with Torah values and meaning. What are your short term goals and what have you done so far to achieve them? In the short term, a thorough evaluation is underway to determine which elements of the educational process and systems are working and which could use improvement. Wherever something is not working, I’m tweaking it or going back to the drawing board to rethink and remedy it. One major focus of the school is to offer Torah studies classes that address issues that the girls are facing and thinking about in their everyday lives. Towards that

hip-hop and jazz dance and musical theater which are proving to be a great success. One of our girls’ debate teams won first place in the recent Jewish Public Forum Debate Tournament. We will also continue our phenomenal ongoing programs, such as Mock Trial and student council. New young teachers have been brought in who can learn from our seasoned teachers and who bring their own flavor and exuberance to the classroom. What sets the school apart or makes it different from other Jewish girls’ schools in the area? I think that there’s a wholesomeness to Valley Torah that is extraordinary. The warmth and care the girls have for one another is palpable. You definitely see how the parents in our school are invested in their daughters and our alumnae are constantly returning, wanting to be part of our

MARCH 20, 2014

The Valley Torah High School Menlo Family Girls Division received a shot of adrenalin earlier this year when vivacious veteran educator Sheindy Gross came on board as its new principal. Mrs. Gross has been drawing on her extensive experience in Jewish education to implement new ideas and refine or “tweak” existing programs and classes in the 38–year-old college and seminary preparatory school, which is home to 53 girls for almost nine hours every weekday. A graduate of Machon Bais Yaakov of Brooklyn, Mrs. Gross has spent the last 23 years of her professional life combining programming, recruitment and extracurricular leadership with intensive teaching. She taught a wide variety of ages and Judaic subjects in New York and New Jersey and served for the past 14 years in Los Angeles as a cherished teacher at Yeshivat Yavneh. She was also a founding mechanechet and teacher at Bnos Devorah High School. She derives tremendous personal satisfaction from “making authentic Torah relevant to today’s budding young adult.” Mrs. Gross’s auxiliary talents include Kallah teaching and mentorship and one of her greatest pleasures is being a mother to her own children, which enables her to bring warmth and parenting experience to the classroom. Mrs. Gross spoke to me about her first semester at Valley Torah.


New Principal Brings New Energy to Valley Torah Girls Division

9th and 11th graders and 10th and 12th graders, fosters this friendship.

What have been some of this year’s highlights and what’s coming up? We’re very excited that athletics has been introduced into the school. We had a successful soccer season and the girls really flourished. Basketball season is just beginning. We had a hugely successful Shabbaton in November at the Brandeis Bardin Institute featuring Chevy Garfinkel, a beloved, renowned teacher and inspirational speaker from New York, who spoke about the Shabbaton theme, “Appreciation.” Coming up soon is our school production, The Wizard of Oz, March 9-10, in the El Portal Theatre and we’re very excited about that. Our spring retreat at the end of the school year is another highlight and is an opportunity for the girls to have good fun, participate in unusual activities and get to know each other in a different dimension.

What aspect of the girls division makes you the proudest? It is very gratifying to see girls in this day and age who are wholesome, grounded, well-mannered and kind. We have tried to create an environment that fosters these attributes, so it is very satisfying to see these results. I’ve been around the block a little bit in high schools and I’m very proud of the way things come together here in a balanced healthy way. There’s a very positive feel to our hallways and to our classrooms. end, we are bringing more hashkafa and philosophical discussion into the classroom. We’ve changed the performing arts classes to one day per week and have added more exciting Torah Studies classes for all grades. We added Jewish history in 9th grade, Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) and Yesodos b’Emunah (Foundations of Faith) in 10th grade, Jewish philosophy in 11th and Megillos in 12th. In contrast to Chumash and Navi classes, which focus more on skills, these classes give us a forum to bring up and discuss contemporary issues that are relevant to our young college-bound women who will eventually build their own Jewish homes and contribute to their Jewish communities. We would like to help them clarify their Jewish values by enabling and encouraging them to ask questions and to be comfortable with the answers and with confronting different issues they are likely to face throughout their lives. Our goal at Valley Torah is to give Torah girls a place to flourish, to grow, to learn and to be prepared for the next phase in life. I’ve added more electives, such as debate club, costume design, stage makeup,

programs. Some of them accompanied us on our fall Shabbaton. The alumnae feel a tremendous connection to school and the staff, which is an indication that we have done a good job connecting them to their Yiddishkeit. Baruch Hashem we will continue to create a positive connection to good role models and a positive feeling about Judaism and about being a Jewish woman. What’s special about Valley Torah girls? They’re very friendly and warm. They have good middot, derech eretz, respect. Not every girl entered Valley Torah at the same level spiritually, but they all share an interest and a desire to grow in their own way and at their own pace. The girls are also interested in going to college and getting ahead and being successful. What sets our girls apart is that incoming freshmen are able to adapt to the new school environment very quickly as a result of the warm and welcoming atmosphere. There’s a great camaraderie of girls of all ages across all the grades. Our big and little sisters program, which pairs

What do you wish for the future of your alumnae? We hope to impart a solid background and foundation in Torah and Mitzvos that leaves them with a profound understanding and respect for our heritage and a comprehension of why we keep the Torah and the Mitzvos. We also strive to convey to our students the knowledge that HaKadosh Baruchu expects every one of us to search for and develop our own personal connection with Him. I hope they will optimize these critical years and take advantage of all that we have to offer them; that they will go on to a seminary and college environment that speaks to their Jewish religious values; and that as they build the foundation for the next stage in their lives, they’ll be able to call upon the lessons and tools they have been given here. I also wish for them to feel part of a community because there’s nothing more important than being part of something larger than oneself. I hope they will share their talents, resources and friendship with the Jewish community wherever they find themselves.


MARCH 20, 2014


Pesach Preparation Services and Solutions by Erica Solomon While strolling through my local supermarkets the other day, still contemplating the food for mishloach manos and the Purim seudah, I was surprised, but not shocked, to see boxes of matzah as high as my shoulder, rows upon rows of Kedem grape juice, and towers of every flavor macaroons. Now Purim has barely passed, and the stores are reminding me that Pesach is just around the corner. There are a large number of people who don’t even want to hear that “P” word yet, but last I checked, there is no way to hold Pesach and all of its preparation back. There are, however, many services available in our

city that can make getting ready for the holiday easier, so that when the Yom Tov begins you can truly feel like it is a holiday celebrating freedom. Of course each individual’s tasks, priorities and budgets differ, but the need to rid your home and car of chametz is universal. Whether this is the first Pesach you are making or your twenty-first, the key to getting things done is organization. If the thought of organizing and cleaning your home makes your stomach churn, one growing industry you can turn to is Professional Home Organizers. They are not housekeepers or cleaning crews, but they help you prioritize and organize. Professional home organizers will help you get systems in place so you can keep and maintain order in your home. Their ultimate goal is to work themselves out of a job. When they leave your home, it should work for you, for your life. Courtney Rosenthal, a professional organizer, recommends beginning early for Pesach so you don’t feel too overwhelmed. She even suggests that you give yourself a half hour a night to get a few target areas done. You can start small with a closet or even a drawer. Sometimes you feel uninspired to clean and organize. In that case, Courtney suggests a trip to The Container Store for motivation. Seeing all of the ways you can corral your belongings

can inspire you to tackle the larger tasks. However, sorting, cleaning and organizing are not for everyone, she warns, that’s when you call in a professional. Courtney Rosenthal can be reached at organizedbycourtney@gmail.com . Nechama Munitz, another professional organizer, suggests that you actually begin with getting your tasks down on paper. Just like when you are planning your menu for Yom Tov, you write down the foods and then the ingredients needed for that food and then plan your shopping trip, the same is for organizing your home. Write down which rooms need attention and what specifically needs to be done in that room. While you are cleaning for Pesach, Nechama reminds us that you don’t have to refold each shirt and air out each draw-

and people get nervous. Lauren Pearl’s job is to take away your stress, get your To-Do List done and simplify your life. Lauren Pearl can be reached at 310.999.5139 or through her website www.pearlconciergeservices.com While you are going through your house and all of your belongings, you will likely come across several items, which you no longer want or have a need for, but they may be in excellent condition. There are several worthy organizations that they can be donated to such as Global Kindness. They receive and pick up donations from individuals and organizations and later distribute these donations to those in need. Please call them at 310.402.8882 or see their website www.myglobalkindness. org . For furniture and appliances that are

car detailer. These mobile services bring all of their equipment to you. Sam Edelshtain will come to your home or office and detail your car, minivan or SUV. This service takes on average hour and a half, he details and waxes the exterior and does the inside as well, shampoo and vacuum. He has a tremendous attention to detail and cleanliness is his specialty. Sam is running a pre-Pesach special, cars for $100 and mini-vans and SUV’s $135. Sam can be reached at edelshtain@yahoo.com or 323.228.5956. Inside of your car or home may be another item that needs special attention, your child’s car seat or stroller or both. Since the car seat law requires a child under 8 years old or 4’9’’ to be restrained in a booster with a seat belt, those car seats

er. That is not the goal and the purpose of Pesach cleaning. Another tip of Nechama’s is to plan some out of the house tasks into your preparations. Perhaps you need to buy shoes for the kids, or clothing for yourself, add those things into your week so it’s not all house cleaning. To reach Nechama Munitz and her organizing expertise for a free consultation, email her at theorganizingspecialist@gmail.com . Lauren Pearl, mother of four and owner of Pearl Concierge Services, provides personal assistance in your home, work and life. When it comes to getting ready for Pesach, Lauren is also a big fan of lists. She stresses the need to physically handwrite the list even better than typing it into your phone or computer. Writing the list gets it out of your head. Having to put pen to paper makes it tangible and in front of your face. As you go through your list Lauren recommends you use a colored pen to cross off and to see what you have accomplished. This will help with the sense of accomplishments, especially when the job seems never ending. When you are ready to get to work, Lauren also recommends starting with the worst thing first. It might be the kid’s room, maybe it’s the home office. Finishing that daunting area in your home will give you a great feeling of accomplishment and that good feeling will carry on to other parts of your life. Cleaning for Pesach is a big job

in very good condition, another option is the Furniture Gemach. This organization can be reached by calling 323.851.1000 or by emailing Rivky at touchofkindness@ gmail.com . If you have non-recalled, good condition baby items you would like to donate, you can call the Baby Item Gemach at 323.243.7116. While you are cleaning out your food pantry you may find some unopened non-perishable food items that you don’t want to store over the holiday or that your family decided they don’t like after you stocked up, you can donate to Tomchei Shabbos. Among many things Tomchei Shabbos provides food for the Jewish needy of Los Angeles for Shabbos and holidays. They have a city and a valley warehouse: 9041 West Pico Boulevard Los Angeles 323. 851.1000 or 12405 Sylvan St. N. Hollywood 818. 517.4902. Annually, Emek Hebrew Academy at 15365 Magnolia Blvd. Sherman Oaks hosts a food drive collecting for Tomchei Shabbos and can serve as a drop off point as well. Once you have your home well underway with its Pesach preparations, it is time to move on to the car. You can certainly take your car to the carwash or employ your oldest children to go at it with a hand held vacuum and a bucket of water, but if your car is at the state that it needs a professional and the thought of waiting for your car to be cleaned and wasting a day is too aggravating, you can call a mobile

and boosters get a lot of opportunity to get mighty dirty. Strollers also seem to be another crumb magnate. Given ample time you can certainly disassemble the fabric from both the stroller and car seat, clean it, get inside every little nook and cranny and then reassemble (hopefully correctly). But an easier way is to bring your baby gear, including high chairs to StrollerSpa, Beverly Hills. They will make your items look as good as new, ready for the next spilled juice box, sticky candy or flying cheerio. You need to make an appointment and they can arrange for a loaner while they have your gear. You can call Naomie Erzan at 310. 650.5303 for more detail and to set up an appointment. While you work around your home and car, cleaning, sorting, organizing and getting ready for Pesach with a feeling of hope and peace rather than one of dread and anxiety now that you know some professionals to turn to, you should also keep in mind a sentence that I heard many years ago from Rabbi Blumenkranz A”H: Dirt is NOT chametz and your children are NOT the korban Pesach! Wishing you all a happy and kosher Pesach. Erica Solomon spends her free time entering contests and giving advice. During the rest of her hours she is a wife, mother of five, dental hygienist and cookie and cake decorator.


Holy Shame Rabbi Asher Brander

Isomor, his sons: “Do not let your hair grow long and do not tear your garments so that you will not die and bring [Divine] anger on the entire congregation; ...Moshe spoke to Aharon and to Elozor and Isomor, his surviving sons; “Take the meal-offering which remains of the fire-offering of Hashem and eat it [as] matzos [unleavened] beside the altar, for it is holy of holies [=most holy]. [Vayikra, 10:6,12] A few moments later, Moshe discovers that Aharon did not eat from the communal korban chatas. He is angry for he believes that Aharon has violated protocol. Indirectly he rebukes Aharon [10:16-17, cf. Rashi] Regarding the goat of the sin-offering; Moshe made a detailed inquiry and behold! It was burned. He was angry with Elozor and Isomor, the remaining sons of Aharon, saying “Why did you not eat the sin-offering in a sacred place, for it is holy of holies. Aharon clarifies to Moshe that he has eaten from 2 of the 3 chatas [sin] offerings of the day and thus he did not violate Moshe’s Divine command - for it only applied to the temporal offerings and not to the permanent ones[4]. Moshe realizes that Aharon is correct. Now it is Moshe’s turn to feel embarrassed. How does he respond ? Moshe heard and it was good in his eyes He was not embarrassed to say I heard and I forgot [Zevachim 101a] R. Chaim Shmuelevitz imagines the extent of Moshe’s embarrassment- for in Moshe lay the veracity of the Torah and if he made a mistake, [they might say...] maybe it’s all a mistake. There’s a lot on the line. The midrash records Moshe’s subsequent remarkable response: He sent a proclamation to the entire camp saying I made a mistake and Aharon my brother taught me [Vayikra Rabah] Two great people feel intense embarrassment and are undeterred and overcome their personal shame to serve the Master of the Universe. And how does Hashem respond? Verse 1: And Ad-noy spoke to Moshe and to Aharon, saying to them (eilehem): Before introducing the laws of kashrus, Hashem speaks to Moshe and Aharon, but it is a unique verse - with a phrase that appears only once in the Torah leimor aleihem - the commentaries wonder what’s with the eilehem[5]. Rav Saadia Gaon and Rashbam interpret it to mean that G-d appeared to Moshe and Aharon - only to them; Coupled with the midrash [vayikra rabah 13] that states nisyacheid aleihem hadibur, i.e. there was a special degree of Revelation that was enjoyed by the joint team of Moshe and Aharon, one might suggest that perhaps,Moshe and Aharon, davka now, because they both suffer intense scrutiny and embarrassment, [bizyonos is the word they would use in the alter heim] - and yet they become ennobled not crippled - merit great Divine connection. To all the great Jews who feel at times, the mortal embarrassment and discomfort of living a life of striving, failing and then overcoming, we conclude with uplifting Sefas Emes words: [5638] One should learn [from Aharon] that one should feel personally embarrassed and nevertheless come close to a mitzvah because of the

command of Hashem that one was chosen for this task - for this embarrassment was fitting for Aharon was a tzadik ... and it was also a big thing that after Moshe commanded him to come close, he immediately drew near and this is the sign that it is an embarrassment emanating from truth - and the rule is that embarrassment and worry of truth does not lead one to sadness and does not lead one to be blocked in their service of Hashem and then it leads one to joy as it says I rejoiced through my fear and I feared through my joy [Tana Devei Eliyahu 3] Good Shabbos, Asher Brander

[1] See Shemini 5769 for an expansion of this theme: http://www.kehilla.org/parsha-reflections-1/ reflections-shemini-5769-the-winding-road-to-greatness [2] Your feeling of fear and embarrassment is why you have been chosen - for the greatest sacrifice to Hashem is the broken heart2. Aharon, had you felt a sense of confidence and entitlement, you would not be worthy of being the Kohen Gadol of Klal Yisrael. [Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, Besht al HaTorah]. A similar theme is evoked by even ma’asu habonim hayita l’rosh pina- the stone that was rejected by the builders became the cornerstone is true for David Hamelech [3] Another Sefas Emes comment emphasizes Aharon’s role [5641]: And where baalei teshuva stand pure tzadikim can not stand and therefore the shechina did not come through Moshe - only through Aharon. Certainly, Aaharon returned through love and the sins turned to merits and certainly the unintentional sins; it is possible to say that through the whole story Aharon’s connection with this sin was to raise the teshuva of klal yisrael to be from love ... and in his merit the cloud covered the klal yisrael... and it couldn’t only come through Moshe [who was theTzaddik Gamur] [4] An Onein (a mourner before the burial) may not eat from the sacrifices. However, G-d mandated a temporary override on the occasion of the Mishkan inauguration. Thus Aharon, who had lost his children, but was also serving as the High Priest had to eat the sacrifices. Also note that Elazar and Itamar had a double chiddush here as regular Kohanim mourn. Apparently, they were to be treated as Kohanim Gedolim for the day. Aharon partook of two of the special-occasion sacrifices but refrained from eating the “regular” new month sacrifice. Moshe was angry, for he believed Aharon must abide by the Divine override and eat from all the sacrifices. Aharon explains to Moshe that his understanding of the Divine imperative only applies to the special sacrifices of the day (seir nachson, seir miluim). He uses a basic principle of comparison that the temporary override only applied to the temporal sacrifices. Cf. Zevachim 101a for a 2nd approach as well [5] Rashi and others understand that Moshe and Aharon should pass it on to the Elazar and Itamar. Cf. Torah Shleima p. 27:49:1, for an extensive analysis of this pasuk.

________________________ Rabbi Asher Brander is the Founder of the LINK Kollel and Shul, located on 1453 S. Robertson Blvd and is a Rebbe at the wonderful Bnos Devorah Girls High School.

MARCH 20, 2014

In honor of our LINK 2014 upcoming Banquet Honorees - May 20th at Nessah Synagogue - Save the Date! Rosh Chodesh Nissan was the best of times: 1. And Moshe and Aharon went [in]to the Tent of Meeting and [then] they went outside ....and the glory of Hashem appeared to the entire people. A fire came forth from Hashem and consumed what was on the altar; .. All the people saw and they raised their voices in praise ... [9:23-24] 2. R. Assi of Hozna’ah said to R. Ashi, ... That day took ten crowns. - It was the first of the Creation, the first for the princes, the first for the priesthood, the first for [public] sacrifice, the first for the fall of fire [from Heaven], the first for the eating of sacred food, the first for the dwelling of the Shechinah in Israel, the first for the [priestly] blessing of Israel, the first for the interdict of the high places, [and] the first of months. [Shabbos, 87b] Tucked away amidst the momentary euphoric verses of Shemini, however, is a poignant hidden drama. Moshe appoints Aharon Hakohen and commands him to commence the inaugural Kohen service. There is much at stake here [Rashi, 9:23] Because all seven days of the installation [during which time] Moshe had set up the Tabernacle and served in it [as a Kohen], and took it down every day--- the Shechina did not rest on it, and Israel were ashamed, saying to Moshe: “Our master Moshe! All the trouble we went to [in order] that the Shechina should rest among us, and that we should know that we have achieved atonement for the sin of the [Golden] Calf. Therefore he said to them: “This is what Hashem commanded you to do and the glory of Hashem will appear to you. My brother Aharon is worthy and [even] more important than I, ... Shechina will rest among you, and you will know that the Omnipresent chose him. Aharon however hesitates and Moshe must command Aharon to come closer [9:7] - Approach the Altar closely [and do your offerings]. Why the hesitation? Rashi explains: [It was because] Aharon was ashamed and afraid to approach.

A midrash amplifies Aharon’s shame: [Toras Kohanim] Aharon saw the altar in the form of an ox and was afraid to approach it Echoes of the golden calf lurk in Aharon’s mind; Moshe emboldens Aharon: Moshe said to him: Why are you ashamed? [It was] for this that you were chosen. The simple read is that Moshe is saying to Aharon. I understand you feel shame, but your chosen task is to be the Kohen Gadol for the people, and therefore you must overcome that shame in order to reach your calling. Sefas Emes quotes others that go deeper It is precisely because of your busha (embarrassment) that you were chosen - not despite it, but because of it. Moshe tells Aharon: Difficult moments in life can create great spiritual opportunities[1].[2] . The fact that you feel embarrassed is to be cherished and can bring you to great heights. Aharon approaches the altar and does what he is supposed to do,but it does not work: When Aharon saw that they offered all the sacrifices, and all the rituals had been performed, and [still] the Shechina did not descend for Israel, he was pained, and thought, “I know that G-d is angry with me and [it is] because of me that the Shechina did not descend for Israel!” He said to Moshe: “My brother Moshe, is this [what] you did to me, that I entered and was shamed?” [Rashi, 9:23 quoting Sifra miluim 19] Moshe immediately enters and together they beg for mercy, and only then does the Shechina descend upon Klal Israel. Together, the go outside and bless the people by passing [the blessing of] Shechina, as it were, forward:... May it be [His] Will that the Shechina should rest on the work of your hands.” The joint Moshe - Aharon teams evinces the Shechina. Wherein lay their joint kochos? A beautiful Sefas Emes explains[3]: And these two righteous ones were willing to be servants of the mikdash as it says Moshe and Aharon were His priests - for the Kohen messenger needs to be totally subjugated to Hashem ...Moshe was modest through the manner of the pure tzaddik and Aharon came to that point of nullification as a ba’al teshuva ... and the rule is that serving as a Kohen requires total negation. Much separates Aharon and Moshe. They have different roles in Avodas Hashem. Yet Moshe and Aharon jointly bring the shechina because they end up in the same place, as Divine servants - realizing at the end of the day they work for the Boss. But Rosh Chodesh Nissan was also the worst of times: Nodov and Avihu, Aharon’s sons, took, each of them his fire-pan, placed fire on it and then placed incense upon it and they brought before Ad-noy a strange fire, which He had not commanded them. A fire came forth from Hashem and consumed them, and they died in the presence of Hashem. [10:1-2] Aharon and his two remaining children are commanded by Moshe to go on serving, to not mourn and to bring and eat the sacrifices: Moshe said to Aharon and to Elozor and



MARCH 20, 2014

Purim Pride

Purim came, Purim went, but what did it do to us? A day spent in prayer, study, and mitzvos bein adam lachaveiro brings joy to Jews of all ages. From the delivery and receipt of mishloach manos to the raising and contributing of matanos la’evyonim, Purim brings out the best in everyone. People spend hours on end writing checks, distributing much-needed funds to impoverished brothers, who are grateful for the donation. Music blares, feet fly high in the air, costumes elicit smiles, and the seudas Purim brings the sometimes hidden joy to the fore. And then it comes to a halt. The food is gone, the bottles are empty, the music stops playing, and daily life returns. We go back to fighting our old battles, more motivated than ever to slay our dragons. Newly ambitious and charged to excel in what we do, we aim to be better people and better Yidden. On Purim, we noted that there were many obvious differences between Haman and the Jews he despised. The Gemara (Megillah 13b) quotes Rava as saying that there was no one as expert as Haman in “lishna bisha,” which would appear to be the Aramaic term for lashon hara. Rava’s intention is not to intone that Haman was proficient in lashon hara. Rather, he is stating that Haman excelled in utilizing words of spite and derision to express his contempt for and to undermine the Jewish people. He was the ultimate demagogue. The Chasam Sofer explains that the victory of Purim was rooted in the fact that Haman was a hate-monger. He employed scornful words to advance his evil cause.

His opponents, Mordechai and Esther, were descendants of Binyomin, whose expertise could be found in his ability to remain silent. The stone of Binyomin on the Choshen was known as the “yoshpeh.” Chazal interpret the stone’s name as referring to Binyomin’s special attribute: “Yesh peh, v’eino medaber.” Literally, this means that he had a mouth, but chose to remain silent. Binyomin’s silence allowed him to advance. After Shmuel Hanovi anointed Shaul as king, the progeny of Binyomin, he didn’t brag to anyone about his new position. Esther, as well, heeded the command of Mordechai and did not divulge her birthplace and nationality to Achashveirosh. Each month of the year corresponds to one of the twelve shevotim. Adar corresponds to the last of the shevotim, Binyomin. His middah of silence conquered and vanquished Haman’s rhetoric of hate. One of the oft-repeated canards of the apologist movement comprised of the Jews who wish to save us from ourselves is that the silent chareidi majority agrees with them but is afraid to express their true feelings, lest they be ostracized for disagreeing with the position of gedolim. Those who claim to really care about us paint a picture of a ruling class that terrorizes the rest of the community into submission and fear of retribution if they step out of line. In their progressive circles, they claim, there is freedom of expression and tolerance for opposing views. Every person is entitled to his own opinion and there is respect - one of their buzzwords - even in disagreement. Broad-mindedness and intellectual honesty are their property, they say. We, they claim, cower in fear of expressing what is really in our hearts. The yarmulka-wearing Yesh Atid MK who learned in American yeshivos and is determined to impede Torah study in the Holy Land justifies his actions by stating that thousands of anonymous chareidim send him emails and leave him messages with expressions of support for his agenda. He claims that the faceless mass of unhappy chareidim are scared to publicly support him, but manage to communicate messages of encouragement to their fearless champion. He says that they are beg-

ging him to save them from their leaders, and he is doing everything in his power to oblige them, because he cares so deeply about them and about the State of Israel. Meet Yoni Chetboun. A bright, affable young man, a father of six, who joined the Bayit Yehudi party with dreams of bringing about positive change. Born to French parents and raised in Nahariya, he is a product of the military and deeply sincere, and he seemed to have what it takes to make a difference. He was appointed deputy speaker in this Knesset, a prominent position for a thirty-four-year-old fellow. The future seemed bright for the young politician. Until last week. That’s when Chetboun did the unthinkable sin of voting according to his conscience. He broke with his party on the bill to draft yeshiva students. The punishment came quickly. Party leader Naftali Bennett removed him from the prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Chetboun was banned from introducing any private bill in the Knesset during the first six weeks of the summer session. Banned for speaking his mind? Isn’t that what they say about us? Retribution for being gutsy? Lack of respect because he opposed the party bosses? Chetboun was soundly disciplined for following the path he thinks is right - or, more accurately, for rejecting a path he thinks is wrong. And for that he was castigated, attacked, vilified and scorned by his open-minded, progressive coalition partners. It would seem that their agenda of hate is fueled by the very narrow-mindedness they love to accuse us of possessing. For one day, for one person, the word Yehudi belonged in the name of the party. Ish Yehudi is expounded by Chazal to mean ish yechidi. Mordechai Hatzaddik stood alone, firm in his original beliefs. Chetboun showed his independence, his yechidus, and is being treated as a pariah and shunned like a leper. What was it that changed inside Yoni Chetboun? What stirred him to rethink his party’s position and get in touch with his own internal compass? I don’t profess to know, but I imagine that the sentiment was something like this. A tourist visiting Yerushalayim was staying at a prominent hotel and noticed

a particular collector hanging around the lobby and soliciting hotel guests for donations. The American knew the persistent collector and doubted that the money he was hounding the guests for ended up in the coffers of the legitimate charity the man claimed to represent. The visitor decided to notify the hotel management about the solicitor. After all, it was against hotel policy to solicit guests in the lobby as they came and went. The manager appeared on the scene and instructed the collector to leave. The man was later wondering if he was justified in having the collector evicted from the hotel. When he returned home, he asked his rosh yeshiva, Rav Elya Svei zt”l, if what he did was proper. He had protected guests from a collector who wasn’t totally truthful, but for some reason his conscience nagged at him. He felt that perhaps he shouldn’t have gotten involved. Rav Elya replied by quoting a Gemara in Maseches Shabbos that lists a series of lessons taught by Rebbi Yosi using the words “yehei chelki,” meaning “may my portion be” with those who engage in various positive actions. One of the groups Rebbi Yosi expressed a wish to be among was the moshivei bais medrash, those who seat talmidim in the bais medrash, rather than the ma’amidei bais medrash, those who remind the talmidim when to go home from the bais medrash. Rashi explains that the function of the ma’amidei bais medrash was to remind the talmidim when mealtime approached. The rosh yeshiva commented: “The ma’amidei bais medrash weren’t reminding the talmidim to go home to relax, but to eat, perhaps spend time with their families, and engage in other holy pursuits. What, then, was the misfortune of being a ma’amid, rather than a moshiv? Both groups were engaged in helping talmidim do mitzvos.” Explained Rav Elya, “Veist doch ois, it would seem, az ess iz duh mitzvos vos men ken zei lozzen fahr andere, there are mitzvos that you can leave for someone else to do.” The wise answer was that Rebbi Yosi taught that even though reminding talmidim when it is time to go home and eat is important, it doesn’t approach the merit of




MARCH 20, 2014


being the one to remind talmidim that it is time to learn. Perhaps Yoni Chetboun made that calculation. Perhaps he considered that he should leave the mitzvah of chasing people out of the bais medrash for others. Maybe he decided that it would be more meritorious to help usher people into the bais medrash, rather than force them to leave. Last week tens of thousands flooded the streets of Lower Manhattan to daven on behalf of Eretz Yisroel’s lomdei Torah. They were peaceful and respectful. There were no speeches, no signs, and nothing any haters could mockingly point to. But that didn’t stop them. The same gang who is always ready to pounce on our community responded to the rally in force. One pounced and sent out a Twitter breaking news alert, stating that “50 Thousand Haredim March So Only Other Jews Die in War.” The same group who refers to us as hate-filled displayed once again what drives them in their campaign against yeshiva bochurim. Some things are expected and others are outrageous and beyond the pale. People can disagree, but to call 50,000 frum, peaceful people murderers because they gathered to daven is abhorrent. The fellow who wrote that brilliant headline summed up his argument against the vilified chareidim like this: “That, essentially, is the main argument being advanced by the deans of Haredi yeshivos: We have no trust in the Torah we’ve taught our students. We know better. This is why the only means we have of keeping them in line are extreme social pressure and intimidation. You take those away and Joe will spring the trap and become a normal man, availing himself freely of the gifts of a modern society. We can’t afford that. “The post-Holocaust Haredi world is all about fear. Fear of new things. Fear of books. Fear of voices. And above all, fear that the education a young man receives during his 20 years in a Haredi yeshiva is worthless, because as soon as he encounters the outside world, those 20 years would vanish, melt away like cholov Yisroel butter on a skillet.” There you have it. It is obvious that a war is being waged on the chareidi community in Israel. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. A government that takes milk and bread out of the mouths of its poorest infants to further any goal cannot be considered to be working for their benefit. A government and parliament that says it will jail yeshiva bochurim who refuse to be drafted is all about political expediency. If Shas would have received three more seats in the Knesset, its members would be prominent ministers, chareidim would be praised, yeshivos would be funded, and Bibi would be the savior. But because Mr. Netanyahu needed the Religious-Zionist Bayit Yehudi party of Yoni Chetboun to form his coalition, and because that group sealed an unbreakable bond with the ultra-anti-religious party of Yair Lapid, all of a sudden, Bibi’s natural partners became muktzah machmas mius. All of Israel’s problems were caused by the hated chareidim who, apparently, want everyone to

die for them to live. Because of the way the coalition was formed, yeshiva bochurim must go to jail, poor children must starve, goyim must be recorded as Yidden, irreligious tallis-and-tefillin-clad women must be given a spot to pray at Judaism’s most holy site, and brother must be turned against brother. A government that was conceived in sin, brought about through creating a coalition between left-wing and right-wing brothers with one common interest, cutting the chareidi community down to size, cannot be excused as being interested in the pursuit of some higher goal. Torah has been the lifeblood of our people since the beginning, and those who refuse to recognize what it is that creates our identity and sets us apart as a nation are fooling themselves and denying history and fact. There is no way that anyone who

tactics of Haman to further their agendas. The people who give those speeches, write those articles, and post and publish them are using their words to further their battle against the much despised lomdei Torah. While Yoni Chetboun was suffering for standing by an age-old principle, happiness flowed through the community where people are supposedly scared to be honest. I would have loved to invite the Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi leadership and their fawning pundits to the house of any rosh yeshiva, rov or rebbe on Purim. The scene is similar. They would have seen a Purim seudah where a leader sits at the head of the table. All around are talmidim, chassidim, children and friends. Everywhere, lechaims are being poured, and with the “nichnas yayin,” words come forth freely, emotions unchecked. In every home, Pu-

knows anything about Yair Lapid and his agenda can view what is transpiring in Eretz Yisroel any differently. The man’s stated goal is the marginalization of religion in the Jewish state, and he has set out to punish chareidim in every way governmentally possible. Besides seeking to destroy the chareidim, he also has his sights set on other aspects of Jewish life in that country, from the rabbinate, to Shabbos, to kashrus, to geirus, and everything in-between. It is ridiculous to accept that anyone who proudly works with him, praises him, stands alongside him, and agitates for him can be anything but an enemy of religion, no matter how much they smile or in which words and language they couch their rhetoric. Every gadol, every rov, every rosh yeshiva, every frum politician, every frum person in Israel, and anybody in this country who is aware of anything that is going on knows full well what the Yesh Atid party is all about. Yet, our enemies have the nerve to call us murderers and lecture us about ahavat Yisrael and other good things. How dare they! Those who stoke fires, create diversions, and fuel division in the pursuit of any goal expose themselves as guilty of hypocrisy and a refusal to examine the real facts the way they are. Throughout the ages, we have been victimized by blood libels. It is shameful that religious people are now utilizing the methods of Eisov and

rim brings forth the feelings and ideas that are dormant throughout the year. Purim is a day when people say what they mean and express their true feelings unencumbered. One would imagine that such an exercise would spawn all sorts of negative speech, giving expression to all the frustration and fear latent in the chareidi heart. Yet, what we heard, saw and experienced in our own communities was the very opposite. We saw a burning desire for more. More Torah, more yiras Shomayim, a purer heart, and a deeper connection with the Ribbono Shel Olam. Standing at Oorah’s mesibas Purim in Lakewood, a young bochur came over to me. “Do you know where the next gedolim are going to come from?” he asked me. Not waiting for my response, he answered his own question. “It’s going to be from the bochurim you see dancing here with you. We are the future.” He’s right. “But listen,” he continued. “It’s hard for us. We need to be motivated. We look to people like you to keep us motivated. You always write about how hard gedolim work and how important they are to our people. That’s all true and it is important to drive that point home. But people have to also appreciate bochurim and know how hard we work and know that our success is integral for Klal Yisroel’s future.” He finished with an appeal: “We need chizuk. We need people to be mechazeik us.”

The next generation needs to know that we have faith in them. And we do. Speaking to a bochur like that on a night like Purim makes us proud and demonstrates what is great about our people. Roshei yeshivos and rebbes confidently refill cups, knowing that the words they are inviting will make them proud and that the overwhelming aspiration of the day will be al taster ponecha mimeni. The only question asked will be, “Mah ashiv loch, vehakol sheloch.” Might it be that the secular camp and their Orthodox enablers are the inciters? Might it be that those who so vehemently decry the chareidi leadership are guilty of far worse? It is interesting that last week, they were exposed. The Israeli Supreme Court bought into the provocation and nullified the results of the Beit Shemesh elections earlier this winter. They ruled that since there was fraud involved in the election in which Mayor Moshe Abutbul was reelected, it could be assumed that the mayor was voted in fraudulently and illegally. Therefore, the city would have to hold new elections. At great cost to the government and taxpayers, and ignoring the tremendous waste of time, energy and limited resources, new elections were held. The secularists were ecstatic at this Supreme Court-sanctioned opportunity to expose the chareidim. They would embarrass them and show the whole country, once and for all, just how underhanded the chareidim and their operatives really are. But a funny thing happened. Despite mountains of vitriolic words heaped against them, the chareidim won again. With the eyes of the country and its lawmen upon the city, Abutbul triumphed for a second time. Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman received word of the victory and expressed satisfaction, saying, “May this kiddush Hashem be mesakein for the chillul Hashem incurred by the draft law.” Rav Shteinman perceived the win as a kiddush Hashem because of the message it sent: Chareidim are good, honest citizens, and your government-approved witchhunt and attempt to undermine them has failed. It’s Adar. The mandate to rejoice continues after Purim, as we are in the period between one geulah and the other, a season of Divine favor and grace. May our simcha increase as we witness the steady triumph of ovdei Hashem and the sweet, sincere, holy community who reveres their words and ideals. Let us do what we can to motivate those, both young and old, whose dedication makes the difference in our growth. Let us daven for those dear to us who are in need of refuos and yeshuos. Let us make sure that we are on the correct path, doing what is really important, finding fulfillment through positive actions and growth, and adhering to the code of Binyomin in the way of Mordechai and Esther, the heroes of the Purim story. Let us have nachas from our families, and from ourselves, a whole year round.




MARCH 20, 2014


EIRUV ISSUES By Rabbi Aryeh Citron

To subscribe to Rabbi Citron’s weekly e-mail, please contact rabbicitron@yeshivahcollege.org Observing Shabbat is one of the most fundamental mitzvot in the entire Torah. One who observes Shabbat is considered to be fulfilling the entire Torah whereas one who desecrates it is like one who worships idols.1 Just as one who worships idols denies G-d, one who desecrates the Shabbat denies His actions and testifies falsely that God did not (create the world and) rest on the seventh day. 2 There are 39 types of forbidden labors on Shabbat. These correspond to the 39 types of labors that the Egyptians forced the Jews to perform. When G-d redeemed us from slavery, we were freed form these labors and were able to keep Shabbat. This is alluded to in the verse, “The Egyptians enslaved the Jewish people with perach / ‫( פרך‬back-breaking labor).” 3 When using the gematria method of at bash, the word perach has the gematria of 39. (In this method, every letter is switched with a corresponding letter of the Alef Bet so that the ‫( פ‬pei) becomes a ‫( ו‬vav), the ‫( ר‬reish) becomes a ‫( ג‬gimmel), and the ‫( ך‬chaf) becomes a ‫( ל‬lamed). Thus, the gematriah of ‫ לגו‬is 39.) This indicates we were made to labor in 39 ways, which iswhy we say zecher liyetziat Mitzrayim (a memory for the exodus for Egypt) during the Kiddush and prayers of Shabbat, since our ability to rest on Shabbat stems from the Exodus. 4 One of the 39 forbidden types of labor on Shabbat is carrying from a public to private domain or vice versa or carrying four amot 5 (approximately six feet) within a public domain. It has become common in many Jewish areas to erect an eiruv which permits this sort of carrying. (See the article in the previous issue regarding the various opinions as to the permissibility of constructing an eiruv.) This article will focus on various issues that one may encounter when using an eiruv. Checking the Eiruv It is important that the eiruv be checked 1 See Magen Avraham, end of Siman 306 based on Eiruvin 69b 2 Rashi on Chullin 5a D.H. Elah Lav 3 Exodus 1, 13 4 Tosfot on Shabbat 117a, D.H. Lema’an tizkor 5 To transgress the Biblical prohibition against carrying in the public domain, one would have to actually carry five and 3/5 of an amah (the diagonal line across a four by four amah square). But by Rabbinic law, it is forbidden to carry more than four amot even it is less than 5 and 3/5 of an amah (Rambam, Laws of Shabbat 12, 18). 6 Netivot Shabbat, 15, 37 based on Dovev Meisharim, 2, 28 7 Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato, 37, note 109 in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. 8 But see Netivot Shabbat, ibid, note 103 that, if in the absence of the eiruv, the area would be considered a Torah level public domain (Reshut Harabim), an announcement should be made in any case. 9 The basis for leniency would be that one may ask a gentile to do a Rabbinic violation for the purpose of a mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, 307, 12). Since this law is complex, one should consult as needed.

before every Shabbat. Although the eiruv has a chazakah (presumption) of being kosher, we do not rely on a chazaka when we can actually investigate the matter. The inspection should be done with sufficient time before Shabbat so that the eiruv can be repaired before Shabbat, or at the very least so that people can be informed before Shabbat that the eiruv is “down.” 6 Similarly, every individual should ascertain that, after inspection, the eiruv was found to be kosher. This is especially important if there was stormy weather in the days before Shabbat. To Announce or Not to Announce? If the eiruv is invalid, one should inform individuals who he believes will listen to him and not carry. Some say that it is best not to announce this matter publicly as many people will not listen, and it is better that they transgress unwittingly rather than with knowledge. 7 If the Eiruv is Down If the eiruv is down, one may not ask a gentile to push their baby carriage to shul or to a neighbor for a Shabbat meal. There may be permission for this in extenuating circumstances. 8 One should consult one’s Rav. One may hold the hand of a child who can walk on his own and help him walk on Shabbat even in the absence of an eiruv. 9 If, while walking in the public domain, a child refuses to continue walking, one may carry the child for less than four amot at a time and pass the child to someone else who should do the same. The two adults should switch back and forth as needed. 10 The child should cross the threshold to the private domain himself or herself. One who lives in an apartment building (or any area that has private residences with shared, but enclosed, public places) and finds out before Shabbat that the eiruv will be down, should make an Eiruv Chatzeirot before Shabbat in order to permit carrying between the apartments and the common areas of the property.

10 Shulchan Aruch HaRav, 308, 81. This is only permissible if the child is actually walking, albeit with help. The parent may not drag the child. (Dragging is not recommended during the week either.) 11 See sources in note 16 12 Mishnah Berurah, 276, 25 citing the Chayei Adam, based on the opinion of the Ittur. 13 The eiruv chatzeirot of the city is automatically reinstated when the actual eiruv is fixed if it was operational when Shabbat began. If an eiruv that was broken before Shabbat was repaired on Shabbat, the eiruv chatzeirot that goes with that eiruv is also automatically reinstated if it was used for at least one previous Shabbat (Ketzot HaShulchan, 105, note 25). 14 Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato, 17, 25 See there note 106 that several acharonim hold that the gentile must be instructed to fix the eiruv in a manner which would only be a Rabbinic violation for a Jew. 15 Ibid, 18, 52 4 16 The reason one should run is to remind him that he may not stop at all on the way. 17 If one had already stopped or if he already threw down the object, he may not begin to run with it.

Fixing the Eiruv on Shabbat It is permissible to ask a gentile to fix an eiruv that is broken on Shabbat although this repair may involve a Torah-level type of labor. The reason for this is that one may ask a gentile to do work on Shabbat in order to save a community from sin. 11 If possible, the gentile should be asked to fix the eiruv without doing any Torah-level labors. 12 Don’t Stop Where You Are If one is carrying on Shabbat and is informed that the eiruv is down, if the object he is carrying is not particularly expensive, he should not stop walking but should rather throw it to the ground in an unusual manner while still walking. 13 If the item is expensive, if Shabbat is nearly over, it is best to throw it down while walking (as above) and wait there until the end of Shabbat. If this is not possible, but one is able to ask a gentile to guard it there until after Shabbat, he should do so. If the gentile chooses to carry it to the Jew’s home, one need not object. If there is no gentile available, one should throw the object down as above and then carry it for less than four amot (six feet) at a time until he is near a private domain. If there is someone else with him, it is best to switch carrying the object between the two people, each one being careful to carry for less than four amot. If there is no one else to do this with, it is best to put the object down after each “carry.” If this is not possible either, one should simply stop walking after each area of less than four amot. If this method of carrying is not practical because it is a dangerous area and one may be robbed, he should not throw down the object at all. Rather he should simply run with the object until he arrives near the private domain. 14 When one arrives near his private domain (or another safe private domain), if it is safe to leave it outside this location, one should put it down (or throw it down if one was running) and leave it there until after Shabbat. If this is not safe, one may 18 In the case where one was running, he may not stop while waiting for someone to open the door. Rather, he should continue walking (briskly) in circles until someone opens the door so that he can throw the object inside. 19 Ibid based on Shulchan Aruch HaRav (266, 12 – 17) and Mishnah Berurah (266, 28 – 34) 20 See Biur Halacha, 315 D.H Tefach In addition, an umbrella should be considered muktzah (Shmirat Shabbat 21 Kehilchato, 24, note 54) 22 See Siman 247 23 Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato, 16, 44 24 See there in note 109 that, according to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, one may throw a snowball that was made before Shabbat (if there is an eiruv). 25 The Jerusalem Talmud (Taanit, 4, 5) and the Midrash (Eicha, 2, 4) recount that the city called Tur Shimon was a very charitable city. They would distribute 300 barrels of food to the poor every Friday. Some say this was bread 26 (Korban Ha’eidah), some say fish (Radal on Midrash Eicha), and some say it was sweets (Penei Moshe).

throw the object into the private area in an unusual way. 15 16 What Not to Carry Even With an Eiruv Even when there is a kosher eiruv one may not use it to carry the following: An umbrella (Using an umbrella can be considered like creating a temporary tent on Shabbat) 17 A letter to be mailed (This is forbidden on Shabbat) 18 Snow to make a snowball or snowman (This is considered like building) 19 A ball for ball-playing since it is not recommended to play ball on Shabbat, as this is an activity that is not in the spirit of Shabbat (see footnote). 20 Any item which is muktzah. Any item that one does not need on Shabbat and is carrying in order to have it after Shabbat. This is forbidden as one may not prepare on Shabbat for after Shabbat even by simply moving objects from one location to another. 21 Permissible Carrying If the eiruv is in working order, one may carry something that he does not need on Shabbat if his intention is not specifically to use it after Shabbat but rather it is usual to carry this item in this manner. He should not, however, actually express that he is preparing for the weekday. For example: One who carries his tallit to shul in the morning may carry the tallit back to his home after the prayers. One who leaves his home on Shabbat afternoon may take his keys with him although he does not plan to return until after Shabbat ends. One who leaves his house on Shabbat afternoon may carry a sweater with them in order to have it when the weather turns cold. 22 May the merit of proper Shabbat observance hasten the arrival of the Messianic era and “the day that is Shabbat and rest forever.” 23

Yet the entire city was destroyed by the enemy. One opinion in the Talmud says that this was a punishment for playing ball on Shabbat. 27 Some commentaries say that the balls of ancient times were muktzah and their sin was that they disregarded the muktzah laws. Some say that balls were not muktzah even in ancient times. In their opinion the sin was that they would consistently play ball on Shabbat and “they wasted the time of the holy Shabbat with games… There is no greater degradation of Shabbat than this. Shabbat was (in fact) given to the Jewish people so that they can study Torah…” (Ketzot HaShulchan, 110, note 16) 28 Some say that their sin was that they played ball (regularly) during the week and thus neglected their Torah study (Korban Ha’eidah). 29 See Shulchan Aruch HaRav, 254, 10 and in many places 30 Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato, 28, 81 31 Text of Harachaman in the Grace after Meals




MARCH 20, 2014


Moshiach Matters - Part Two By Rabbi Sholom Kesselman Question: Can I be a good religious Jew without Moshiach (redemption) playing a major role in my life? Answer: The short answer is no. As for the long answer, I would like to address this question from three different perspectives: that of Halacha (Jewish law), morality and spirituality. First the Halachic perspective: One of the primary Halachic sources and authorities on the subject of Moshiach is the Rambam (Maimonides). I would like to begin with a quote from The Rambam’s Mishnah Torah (hilchot melachim ch. 11) where he de-

fines and describes what Moshiach is, what his purpose is and what our obligation to believe in him is: “In the future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. Then, in his days, the observance of all the statutes will return to their previous state. We will offer sacrifices, observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to all their particulars as described by the Torah. Anyone who does not believe in him or does not eagerly await his coming denies not only the statements of the other prophets, but those of the Torah and Moses, our teacher.” The last point about the belief in Moshiach, the Rambam also makes in his Thirteen Principles of Faith (commentary on the Mishnah tractate Sanhedrin 10:1): “I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I eagerly await every day for him to come.” In both of these places, the Rambam makes it very clear that it is not sufficient to simply believe in the coming of Moshiach but we must also eagerly wait for his coming every single day. The essentialness of Moshiach to Judaism is also apparent in our daily prayers. The Amida or Shmona Esrei contains nineteen blessings of which thirteen are devoted to asking G-d for all of our needs. Of these thirteen blessings, one is about Parnasa (livelihood), one is about health, one is about forgiveness etc. and five are about redemption. We pray three times a day which means that every day we ask G-d for Moshiach a total of fifteen times. The fact that the sages decided to devote such a significant portion of the daily prayers to Moshiach is a testament to how vital and integral they felt it was to Judaism. One of those blessings (number 15) reads as follows: “Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish, and increase his power by Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day. Blessed are You L-rd, who causes the power of salvation to flourish.” This blessing takes the idea of waiting for Moshiach even further. We need to eagerly await his arrival not just every day as quoted previously from Rambam, but also all day, every moment of the day. We must hope for and anticipate Moshiach all day every day. An additional point: G-d gave us 613 Mitzvot in the Torah. These Mitzvot are the framework of Judaism and the purpose of our living. Of these 613, only 207 can be fulfilled in exile. The vast majority will only be fulfilled once Moshiach comes and the Beth Hamikdash (temple) is rebuilt. If the purpose of life is the fulfillment of the Mitzvot then Moshiach has got to be an absolute necessity in our lives, as only Moshiach will allow for the Mitzvot to be fulfilled properly in their entirety. We have no choice but to long for and eagerly anticipate his arrival every day, all day. The moral perspective: A moral person cherishes good qualities such as kindness, modesty, honesty and integrity. They are disgusted by dishonesty and

cannot tolerate evil. For such a person living in a world abounding with corruption, falsehood and immorality is painful. The coming of Moshiach will usher in an era of absolute goodness, morality and truth. There will be no hate, jealousy, war or falsehood. The spirit of evil and impurity will be abolished from the face of the earth and we will know only kindness and love. If we truly cherish morality and goodness then by definition we must truly care for and hope for the coming of Moshiach for only then will humanity and the world reach a state of moral perfection. The spiritual perspective: Real spirituality can be defined as having a relationship with G-d. This includes both an intellectual relationship as well as an emotional one (love and awe). Judaism is not just about following the dictates of Halacha (although this is of absolute importance and the foundation of it all) but also about developing and maintaining a connection and closeness to G-d. We work to achieve an intellectual appreciation for G-d and His world and from there to experience real love and awe for Him. In our world this can be extremely challenging. We lack the mental capacity to properly understand G-d’s greatness and our hearts are drawn too much to physicality to really feel true love for G-d. All of this will change when Moshiach comes. To quote Rambam again: “In that time … the occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d. Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Isaiah 11:9 states: ‘The world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean bed.” The world when Moshiach comes will be filled with G-dliness and spirituality. We will see G-d and our entire existence and occupation will be about connecting and coming close to G-d. It is our purpose in life to achieve the utmost connection and closeness with G-d and only Moshiach will usher in this new era of complete spirituality. If our true and real desire is to be close to G-d then how can we not eagerly anticipate Moshiach and think about it all the time? To conclude, the answer is no, one cannot be a good religious Jew without Moshiach playing a major role in your life. If you care deeply about Halacha, spirituality or even just about morality, you cannot help but care deeply for Moshiach. You think about it, you hope for it and you eagerly await for Moshiach all day and every day. Let us therefore do all we can to make it a reality and may we merit the coming of Moshiach speedily. Rabbi Sholom Kesselman, lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles CA. He teaches Chassidic thought at the Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad and advanced Talmud and Halacha at the Cheder Menachem junior high. He is a columnist for chabad.org and publishes essays on his own blog (rayanot.blogspot.com) as well. He is invited often to lecture on all matters of Torah and Jewish thought and appears as a guest lecturer on theyeshiva.net.




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MARCH 20, 2014

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MARCH 20, 2014


Striking the Perfect Balance: Orthodox Women in the Los Angeles Workforce By Brenda Goldstein

Mrs. Janna Wyckoff begins her busy day each morning at 6:00, to make eight lunches before having to leave for her teaching job at 7:00. Like many women in the Orthodox community, Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish and Chassidic, Wyckoff has entered the Los Angeles workforce while raising her family. It is not easy for married women to adapt pre-child careers to their working situations. Sometimes they embark on brand-new careers, born of necessity to make a living around their “Mommy schedules.” Other women create their own businesses and some, like Wyckoff, work for already existing establishments. For nine years, while her young family grew, Wyckoff taught part-time in L. A. Jewish high schools. At the same time, she attended a program at Cal State L. A. to earn a California teaching credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities. “It took me four years, because I did it a little slowly,” she explains. “[Wyckoff’s husband] Nate was a real trooper and came home early on the nights I had class. He would heat up the dinner I had prepared the night before or early that morning. He did homework with the kids. I usually came home to help with bedtime.” After finishing the program, Wyckoff secured her present job as a Resource Specialist teacher at an elementary school in the Pacific Palisades. “I really love my job,” she says. “I work with nice people. I see kids in small groups for about 30 minutes a time. It really helps the day go by… when there are lots of kids coming and going. My job also has a lot of paperwork and important deadlines, but it is manageable.” Irene Cadji, proprietress of Miss Irene, has been in the retail women’s wear business since 1972. She started Miss Irene from her home in 1974, when her oldest child had just started preschool at Hillel Hebrew Academy. “One of the reasons I did this,” she says, “was to cover the tuition fees for my children.” She was also able to tailor her business hours around her children’s schedules. Miss Irene moved to its present location on Robertson Blvd. in 2000. Cadji has trained her daughters, Michele and Sarita, to provide the fine customer service that Miss Irene has given to the L. A. Jewish Community over the years. “I love the rapport between the ladies and myself,” she says, and adds that many of her clientele also work while raising a family. After having worked at Pizza Station as an employee, Sheina Gilbert, who has

a background in physical education, purchased the milchig restaurant with her husband, Boaz McNabb, in 1997. “Family came first,” she says, “even to the extent

[Osina’s] main supplier. Muller said that on her first New York buying trip, she had to bring a lactation pump, as her son was still nursing. Finally, after about seven

that we closed the restaurant at night earlier than any other restaurant.” Gilbert adds that their “home, schools and my teaching jobs were all in the ‘hood, and that the children, even the six-year-old, have participated in running the family business.” Gilbert feels that Pizza Station’s success is because of the Jewish priorities that she and McNabb’ share, “Hashem, each other, family, community, and fun.” However, she adds, “…success means different things to different people. We are both very sure that the business has far greater earning potential than we care to realize.” When Janie Muller bought Sara Osina’s hat business in 2000, her youngest child was one-year old. Muller has a BA from Cal State Northridge in advertising and marketing but she knew, “It was a big undertaking as I would travel twice a year to New York to buy the dressy hats from

years, she stopped travelling as dressy hats decreased in popularity and the ability to order through catalogues increased. A year later, Muller changed the name of her hat business from Sara Osina Hats to JEM Headwear. “The best thing that happened was when I joined forces with Rivkah Shifren, a graphic designer. She helped me with my advertising,” says Muller. Muller understands the need to expand her business to an online audience and recognizes the skills required to move into the Internet world. “Owning a business is no easy undertaking,” she says. “One must be ready to reinvent oneself at any point.” Tania Jedian began her homeopathy practice 11 years ago, while teaching part-time at a preschool. She also runs a wellness center with her husband, Shahin Jedian.

“I got into homeopathy by default,” she noted. Her eldest daughter, then fouryears-old, experienced a “miraculous” recovery from allergies and other ailments due to a weakened immune system, after being treated by a homeopath. Jedian was “amazed at how homeopathy addressed [her daughter’s] whole person, her personality, her particular likes and dislikes, in addition to getting to the root of physical imbalance and bringing about the healing process.” Soon after, Jedian enrolled in a homeopathy certification program in San Diego. “Looking back,” she says, “I wonder how I was able to make the commitment it took to begin a new career while I already had one. Yet, each and every time I went to class and back, I learned something new that could and did make a positive difference in the life of myself, my children and people around me.” Jedian first began practicing homeopathy on her own family and friends. She then volunteered once a week at a private community center, treating the center’s faculty. “The practice and the positive results I saw in all of them,” Jedian says, gave me the confidence to begin my private practice, part-time.” She has since expanded her practice to include not only homeopathy, but different forms of healing, as well. These women all give good advice to other Orthodox women with families who are entering the working world. “The hardest thing to juggle is time,” says Cadji. She points out that, when her children attended school, Miss Irene operated on a much smaller scale. By the time she opened up the Robertson store, the work volume increased, but her children required less of her time then. She tells women to “think very carefully before deciding on a career when there are young children as there is no replacement for you in regards to your children. I believe it’s vital to choose a career that won’t compromise your motherhood. Flexible scheduling and the ability to bring offspring to work are key benefits, as well as the obvious bottom-line profit (material and spiritual) of all parties involved. Money isn’t everything. Relationships are what should count most. “Boaz and I always said we would have one parent at home and, by and large, we kept that vow. Parents in the home are doing good parenting and they create the biggest successful product of ‘business’ in the world...aidel and able offspring.”


lings helped younger ones by walking each other to school, and so forth. I remember doing homework with them in between customers.” Wyckoff speaks to women who work in the already established workplace. “I manage family and career like most other mothers, I think,” she says. “I leave at 7:00 for work, so Nate gets the kids up and supervises the morning routine. Then I have a set shopping schedule and don’t run-into markets all week buying one or two items. I go to Smart and Final every Sunday morning around 8:30 a.m. I buy what I need to last Sunday through Friday. Then I shop every Thursday afternoon for Shabbos. So, the busy rush and cook for Shabbos is on Thursday night. I’m of assistance to my kids with their homework in the kitchen while I’m cooking and simmering this and that. My two biggest kids often lend a hand with the cooking, which helps.” Wyckoff stresses the necessity of a good support system. “Nate is really Superman, doing so much for the family. My father-in-law is available to watch my kids if someone is sick and can’t go to

school. I have cleaning help three mornings a week.” She says it’s important for a woman in her situation not to compare herself to “and envy those women who can be devoted to their house and children. I am willing to let go of certain ideals, like always baking my own challah.” She says that a woman must have100 percent confidence in her decision to pursue her chosen career. “You absolutely should not go into some kind of work just to try it or out of pressure from someone else. I felt completely committed to the fact that my family needed my income to be higher.” To underscore her dedication, Wyckoff returned to classes at Cal State L. A. just 10 days after having her youngest child. “I worked very hard for my degree,” she says. “I also picked a field that I cared a lot about and felt that I would be really good at doing.” Cadji agrees. “I love what I’m doing. You’ve got to love what you’re doing; otherwise, it’s a chore.” While ensuring Miss Irene remains “All in the Family,” Cadji and her daughters continually strive to bring the store the latest in modest fashion. Jedian also loves what she does. “I live

and breathe by helping families revitalize their health and their lives. My children pick up on this passion and it’s an energy of happiness that I bring to carpool when I pick them up, when I put them to bed. That helps a lot.” Gilbert feels grateful for the help she and McNabb received from others, including the previous owner of Pizza Station, in getting started in business. She attributes the success of Pizza Station to Hashem, the good work ethics she and McNabb learned from their parents, to the hard work of their children and, of course,” she adds, “to our loyal and loving customers.” Muller says she is “grateful for the many loyal customers I’ve kept over the years. Business is an ever changing world, but as long as there is a mitzvah [for women] to cover your hair, I should be ok!” Websites to visit: missirenela.com www.jemheadwear.com www.livingmybest.org www.kosherpizzastation.com

MARCH 20, 2014

Jedian advises, “First and foremost, I had to take care of me and I made sure I had balance in my life, by eating well, exercising, and getting good sleep.. “ She adds that getting help around the house once or twice a week helped her maintain calm and perspective when juggling work with her family life. Other benefits of working for oneself, Jedian adds, “includes the ability to cook and clean in between meeting with clients!” She explains how she was able to work around her children’s schedules. “I worked during the day while they where in school, one evening a week and a few hours Sunday morning. It was and always is a very fine balance to juggle business and raising a family.” It also helps that Jedian has taught her three children, now ages 15, 14 and 5, independence from an early age, “from dressing themselves, to cleaning their rooms and making their own sandwiches. The confidence and harmony that adds to our life structure is invaluable.” Gilbert took her children in the restaurant alongside her. “We never had help with the kids,” she explained. “We didn’t even use babysitters. Of course, elder sib-


MARCH 20, 2014


Science and Technology in the Headlines By Aaron Feigenbaum

Scientists find evidence of vast amounts of water buried deep within the Earth A diamond found in 2008 in the state of Mato Grasso, Brazil has recently been identified as hinting at a vast water reservoir hidden deep below the Earth’s surface. The diamond, battered from its journey to the surface and almost commercially valueless, was recently discovered to contain a water-loving mineral called ringwoodite. Scientists have long theorized that the Earth’s deep interior is made of ringwoodite but, until now, they have had no proof. Ringwoodite is created in the transition zone between the upper and lower layers of the mantle which itself lies between the outer core and the crust. Writing in the science journal Nature, researchers estimate that the reservoir could be between 250-375 miles below the surface and contain, according to lead researcher Graham Pearson of the University of Alberta, “as much water as all the world’s oceans put together.” However, other scientists have warned against estimating the size of the reservoir based on this sample alone. Furthermore, some have suggested that the water is not in liquid form, but rather in a molecular form known as hydroxyl. Nevertheless, this discovery could significantly change geologists’ understanding of volcanoes and plate tectonics. (Source: The Guardian) California reaches record solar power ouput On March 8, California reached an all-time record for solar output of 4,093 megawatts. This amount covered 18% the state’s total demand for that day and is almost double California’s peak production in June 2012 of 2,071 MW. California is currently the nation’s leader in solar energy and with the recent opening of the Ivanpah solar plant in the Mojave Desert at a planned output of 392 megawatts, California’s lead in renewable energy production will only continue to grow. Large corporations such as Google and Apple have been throwing their weight behind California solar projects and the state is projected to exceed its goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020. Currently, about 20% of California’s electricity comes from renewable energy. (Source: Reuters) Internet founder calls for digital bill of rights On March 9th, 1989 British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee published his famous paper “Information Management:

A Proposal.” This was the seed that gave birth to the World Wide Web as we know it. Now 25 years later Berners-Lee is again making headlines by calling for a ‘Magna Carta’ to protect the freedom of the Internet against government and corporate interference. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Mr. Berners-Lee said “Our rights are being infringed more and more on every side, and the danger is that we get used to it. So I want to use the 25th anniversary for us all to do that, to take the web back into our own hands and define the web we want for the next 25 years.” His comments come in the wake of several controversies, all of which potentially threaten Internet privacy and freedom: the NSA spying revelations of last year, an appeals’ court ruling which struck down the FCC’s net neutrality laws, and the recently announced Comcast-Time Warner merger which will dominate a significant portion of the marketplace. Berners-Lee, however, remains defiant: He says that governments and corporations won’t take over the Internet “until they prise the keyboards from our cold, dead fingers.” California DMV must write rules for driverless cars by end of the year The advent of driverless cars, brought about most prominently by Google, has promised to make driving safer and more efficient, but it has also brought with it a number of thorny legal questions. Among

these are: Is the owner of the car at fault if the system malfunctions and an accident occurs? Is a driver required to be behind the wheel? How can regulators determine whether the car is truly safe? The DMV is expected to set rules regarding testing in the coming weeks and is required to produce rules on the public usage of these cars by the end of the year. So far, California is only one of four states that allows driverless cars to be publicly tested. However, the DMV won’t be able to address every concern raised by this emerging technology. For one, privacy advocates such as the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation warn that these cars will be exploited by their manufacturers to mine drivers’ data and sell it to marketers. But perhaps the biggest hurdle of all for driverless car makers and their supporters is convincing the public that these cars are 100% safe, reliable, and easy to use. Polls have been mixed with some showing that a majority of respondents would not feel safe riding in a driverless car. Yet, despite these significant issues, Google and others maintain that these cars drive much more

precisely than humans and that if they are widely adopted, both accidents and traffic congestion would be cut significantly. With driverless cars’ ever-increasing popularity (some expert groups project that they’ll dominate up to 75% of the market by 2045) as well as the growing backlash, it is imperative that these issues are addressed soon, both at the state and national levels. Whether the public comes to accept these cars as the new standard, only time can tell. Trivia: Israel is currently using a small number of driverless vehicles to patrol un-populated border areas. The researcher behind the vehicles was tight-lipped when asked if they carry weaponry.


but it’s just not my style. For D it says ‘Drastically De-junk Drawers’, I should have done that a few weeks ago. At this point I was planning to just check that they have no chametz and that they are not too full to close. ‘Eject Every Edible from Electrical appliances’?? I suppose that means getting the crumbs out of the toaster and the splotches off the underside of the mixer. Well, I can tell you from experience that every time I clean those items, new crumbs and splotches subsequently appear from nowhere! I took a deep breath, and tried to stop the rising sense of panic. I put down the newsletter and determinedly went to my ‘time-out’ seat, the chair that calms me whenever I am overwhelmed. It’s the chair at my work desk. For me, sitting down and writing is the best way to alleviate all strong emotions. Pesach cleaning was going to wait until I wrote the counterpart to “The ABC’s of Pesach Cleaning”.

Here’s Esther’s Easy as ABC Pesach Checklist: A- Adjust Attitude- stay positive! B- Ban Bread and Baked goods and messy chametz once you start cleaning. C- Continue Consistent Caring for people’s feelings (even if they ate crackers in the bedroom)! D- Divide the Difficult tasks. E- Enjoy Every day even the cloudy ones. F- Focus on Finding meaning in the cleaning ( search your soul for chametz, make your middot shine)! G- Get Good Guidance from someone more practical than myself. H- Hire Home Help! I- Invite Interest from kidsmake Pesach preparation a fun family activity. J- Juggle Jobs Justly. K- Kindly-

L- Limit M- Mess . N- NeverO- Overdo it. P- Please and Praise are great motivators. So is Prayer. Q- Quietly R- ReduceS- Stress. (but do turn up the music ) T- Talk calmly. U- UtiliseV- VariousW- Ways to make tasks easier (see the letter G above)! X- XamineY- Your priorities – stick to what needs to be done.......... Z- Zee, it waz az ezy az ABC!

MARCH 20, 2014

I was frustrated, tired, and uninspired. Here it was, two and a half weeks before Pesach, up to my elbows in Pesach cleaning, and I was in no mood for more suggestions. I looked at the school newsletter in my hand and reread the offending article, this time more objectively. ’The ABC’s of Pesach Cleaning’ was the title, and to be honest, it was somewhat cute, or could’ve been, if it wouldn’t have evoked such deeply entrenched feelings of guilt in me. I mean, like ‘A- Attack the Attic’: I don’t think we even have an attic, but maybe I should have checked! ‘B- Brave the Basement’. At least I do know for sure that we don’t have a basement. If we did, I would have ‘braved’ it long ago to find some peace and quiet. ‘C-Commence Cooking Carrots, Cugels (sic) and Cakes early and freeze’. Sure! To do that you need either a separate Pesach kitchen, or you would have to kasher your place early, and then what does everyone eat? Pesach food? Restaurant food? Backyard barbecues? I know plenty of people who do all of the above,


EasyByAs ABC Esther Reitzes

THE JEWISH HOME THE JEW I S H H OMARCH M E n M20, AY 2014 2 4 , 2012

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You Gotta be



Jimbo was sick and tired of his reputation of being not so bright. So he came up with a brilliant idea. He decided that he would memorize the capital of every state, and the next time someone would accuse him of being “thin between the ears,” he’d prove to his accuser that he is actually so smart, he even knows the capital of every state. Sure enough, the next day Jimbo was talking to Bobby who says, “You know, Jimbo, they say you aint’ to bright.” To which Jimbo replied, “Really? I know the capital of every state in the United States. Try me.” Bobby says, “Okay, what is the capital of Texas?” Without hesitating, Jimbo says, “Of course I know the answer. It’s ‘T.’”

You have a single scale with one pan. You have three bags of large gold coins with an unspecified number of coins in each bag. One of the bags consists entirely of counterfeit coins weighing 55lb each. The other two bags contain all genuine coins weighing 50lb each. What is the minimum number of weighing operations you need Comm Let the ission to carry out before you er dec ide Send can be certain of identiyour s tuff to fying the bag containing c e n t e the counterfeit coins? rfold@ fiveto


Answer below

wnsjew ishhom e.com

Spring is Here Now that spring is officially here and winter will—hopefully—be in our rearview mirror, here are the things that I will miss the most about the winter: • Busting my tires on potholes which are the size of the Grand Canyon. • Stepping out of the house in the morning and feeling like my fingers are going to fall off. • The sound of my windshield wipers scraping against the stubborn ice which is causing me to drive blind (but I drive anyways because, hey, if pilots can drive without seeing out of the cockpit, why can’t I drive without seeing?). • Throwing on my coat whenever I have a meatball stain on my shirt (which only happens like twice a week). • Getting really exciting robocalls about removing my car from the street (“If you know what’s good for you”) so that the plow trucks can come through…and create the Great Wall of China in front of my driveway which I just plowed. • Having a trail of snow salt tracking me everywhere I walk in my house (just in case I go missing in my own home). • Leaving sodas in my natural fridge/freezer (my trunk) and being able to crack a cold one (no, I am not referring to beer) whenever I want. (Yes, I will really miss that). (Note to self: quit using so many parentheses.)  • Chapped lips...because it’s a lot of fun eating potato chips with chapped lips. 

• My snow-encrusted car...because let’s face it, we all love going to the car wash, right? • Walking outside at 2:45 PM and watching the beautiful sunset. • Polar bear swimming in Long Beach every Sunday morning. (What? You don’t think I really do that? Come over and I’ll show you my sweatshirt). • My $600,000 monthly heating bill. • The Florida mansion…which dominates my fantasyland on any day below 45 degrees. • Getting my hopes up that tomorrow will be an off day because the weather man promises 18 inches of snow… relaxing until the wee hours of the morning—because I can sleep in—and then waking up a little late…tiptoeing to the window shade…lifting it up and seeing a half of an inch of snow on the ground...frantically getting dressed and dashing to work… “Oh, how lovely this day is turning out to be.” The rest of the day is just glorious. (Weathermen are evil.)  • Getting my tongue stuck whenever I lick light poles around town. • Robbing banks inconspicuously (because when I walk in to rob them in the summer they wonder why I am wearing gloves and a ski mask…yes, that does make my job a lot harder).

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.

THET HJEWISH E J E W I SHOME H H O M E MARCH n M AY 220, 4 , 2014 2012

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2. How many titles did Phil Jackson win coaching the Chicago Bulls? a. 2 b. 3 c. 5 d. 6 3. Despite being considered one of the greatest coaches ever, Phil Jackson was only named Coach of the Year once. What year was that in? a. 1995 b. 1996 c. 2001

d. 2004 4. As a player, Phil Jackson won two NBA Champions with which team? a. Knicks b. Bulls c. Celtics d. Seventy Sixers 5. Where did Phil Jackson play in college? a. North Dakota b. Syracuse c. Villanova d. Penn State 6. How many NBA titles did Phil Jackson win as a coach? a. 6 b. 8 c. 11 d. 12

7. During Phil Jackson’s coaching career he employed a very specific offense. What was it called? a. The Pass the Ball to Michael Jordan Plan b. Drive & Penetrate Offense c. The Triangle Offense d. The Zone Breakdown Offense Answers: 1. B 2. D 3. B 4. A 5. D 6. C 7. C Wisdom Key: 6-7 Correct: You have some pretty good zen yourself.


3-5 Correct: You are lucky you are not on Phil’s team; he has no tolerance for mediocrity. (That’s why he took the Knicks job, because they are not mediocre at all—they outright stink!) 0-2 Correct: You should try the Triangle Brain offense. (No, I have no clue what that is either, but it will definitely be better for your brain than whatever you are doing now!)



1. Born as Erik Weisz in 19874, he went on to be a true escape artist and magician 2. Killer of JFK’s assassin

4. Official flower of March; they grow perennially in bulbs and are usually yellow

3. Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement

5. Shot in 1981, he declared, “Honey, I forgot to duck.”

6. First president to be impeached by the House of Representatives

10. His theory of relativity led to new ways of thinking about time, space, matter and energy.

7. College basketball tournament 8. First national park in the U.S. 9. The novel that helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War 12. Prison on an island called “The Rock”

11. Dutch painter who sold only one painting during his lifetime and whose first painting was The Potato Eaters 13. It’s finally here, after a long winter 14. Established as a civilian force by JFK 15. “You too?!” 16. General of the Union army

Down: 1. Houdini; 2. Jack Ruby; 3. Camp David Accord; 6. Andrew Jackson; 7. March Madness; 8. Yellowstone; 9. Uncle Toms Cabin; 12. Alcatraz. Across: 4. Daffodil; 5. Ronald Reagan; 10. Albert Einstein; 11. Van Gogh; 13. Spring; 14. Peace Corps; 15. Ettu Brute; 16. Ulyssess Grant

1. What is Phil Jackson’s “basketball nickname”? a. Fill Em’ Up Phil b. The Zen Master c. Coach of the Stars d. Fighting Phil


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Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say What?” Yesterday, Edward Snowden urged technology companies to improve their encryption techniques in order to prevent hacking. Then he said, “But not right away. I’m still using Obama’s Netflix password to watch ‘House of Cards.’” - Jimmy Fallon

Fifteen years ago, I was honored as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee to lead the fight for Poland’s admission into NATO. - Vice President Joe Biden, while in Poland this week. (Poland joined NATO in 1999, two years before Biden became chairman of Foreign Relations Committee)

Thirty Democratic senators held an all-night “talkathon” on the floor of the Senate last night to highlight the impacts of climate change. Yeah, 14 hours of climate change talk — or as Al Gore calls that, “a first date.” - Jimmy Fallon I hope it’s not working, because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy. - Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, discussing populist political appeals such as raising the minimal wage and universal Pre-K in New York City

London’s famous Globe Theatre announced plans to perform Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” in North Korea. Of course, “Hamlet” is about a man on a murderous revenge mission inspired by his late father. Then Kim Jong Un said, “Where do they come up with this stuff?” - Jimmy Fallon A clothing company is going to release a $99 wedding dress. The $99 wedding dress is the perfect way to tell your man, “I do, I guess.” - Conan O’Brien

I’ve been unfairly maligned about my jeans. The truth is, generally, I look very sharp in jeans. - President Obama during a radio interview, responding to comments Sarah Palin made about his “mom jeans”

Nobody Parties Quite Like The Na Nach. - From an NPR profile of Na Nachs

President Obama’s wife, Michelle, has highlighted her hair. She has blond highlights in her hair. And those will probably be the only highlights of his second term. - David Letterman Oh wow. So, you can sign the machine? - President Obama when he was told by a Gap clerk to swipe his credit card They had these around the last time I shopped. - Ibid., explaining that he was joking

President Obama today appeared on the Zach Galifianakis online comedy show “Between 2 Ferns.” The president was there to talk about HIS online comedy show — Obamacare. – Seth Myers Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash. - A Russian TV reporter on the official Russian TV channel

President Obama went shopping at The Gap here in New York City. He ended up buying a sweater for each of his daughters and a workout jacket for the first lady. You know, because whenever someone visits New York the one souvenir people really want is something from The Gap. - Jimmy Fallon

I think the decree of the President of the United States was written by some joker. - Tweet by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin after Mr. Obama announced sanctions against Russia

It’s been very tense between Russia and us recently. In fact, lawmakers in Russia have started a petition to get the U.S. kicked out of this year’s World Cup. Or they could just take the easier route and wait until we lose in the first round to literally any other country. - Jimmy Fallon

The Web has changed our lives. In the old days you actually had to go to the mall and watch …people fall down escalators in person. - Craig Ferguson


All right, good night. - Last words said from the copilot of the missing Malaysian plane to air-traffic controllers as they left Malaysian airspace (the transponder was already shut off at that point)

Yesterday, Washington had a big power outage…It was so dark…that when the power went out the only thing that was glowing was John Boehner’s face. – David Letterman

Since I’ve been here, I’ve been advised by my superiors that I had “to make my bosses look good.” I’ve been admonished: “Dave, you are a visionary leader but what we need here are team players.” I was advised that if I wanted to be happy in government service, I had to “lower my expectations.” The one thing no one in OASH [Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health] leadership has said to me in two years is “how can we help OR better serve the research community?” Not once. - From a resignation letter by an employee of the Department of Health and Human Services

– Jimmy Fallon A man in Pakistan broke a world record after he smashed 155 walnuts with his head in under a minute. This talent earned him the nickname “The idiot.” - Seth Myers

Best Buy will start selling solar panels in an effort to promote energy conservation. Best Buy says you can find the panels right next to the 300 flat-screen TVs they leave on all day. - Jimmy Fallon We nag you because we love you. Go to healthcare.gov and enroll today. - Michelle Obama in a commercial promoting Obamacare

Yesterday, in a highly debated election, 95 percent of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Yeah, 95 percent voted to join Russia. Even Kim Jong Un said, “Yeah, right.” - Jimmy Fallon Things are moving quickly over there. Crimea is now holding a vote on whether to join Russia, but the ballot doesn’t have an option for voting against the plan — it lets people vote for joining Russia now, or down the road. When asked where he got the idea, Vladimir Putin said, “iTunes user agreement.” - Jimmy Fallon

I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs. - White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses who resigned after Michelle Obama fundamentally changed his job duties to focus on healthier food

I think shame on me if I didn’t use the money I was lucky enough to make to make the world a better place. - Michael Bloomberg in a recent interview with Katie Couric The Obama administration announced it is going to require colleges and vocational schools to demonstrate that they are properly preparing students for jobs after college. So don’t be surprised if your chemistry class tomorrow is all about how to make a cappuccino. - Seth Myers

Listen, listen. … Either sit down and keep quiet or get out, one or the other. We are done with you. - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to a heckler at a town hall meeting

A new poll found that twothirds of Americans are following the situation in Ukraine, which is impressive. Usually, you can’t find twothirds of Americans who are following the situation in America. - Jimmy Fallon There was a small earthquake here this morning. Scariest thing about an earthquake is that when it starts you have no idea how intense it’s going to get or how long it’s going to last. It’s like when your mother tells you a story. - Jimmy Kimmel

Maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority, the Republicans, my chairman and others, for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years operating under a Constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not. - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on the House Floor (She was only off by 183 years) 

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- Seth Myers

The crisis in Ukraine still has people worried. Today John McCain led a group of senators there to get a firsthand look. When they landed, McCain said, “This is a disaster, these people are living like animals!” And then someone said, “We have a layover — this is LaGuardia Airport.”

New reports show that the Crimean vote to join Russia on Sunday did not include an option for “no.” There were only two boxes on the ballot, one for “yes,” and one for “murder my family.” - Seth Myers


The World Wide Web turned 25 years old today. And everyone who still calls it the World Wide Web turned 50.

It looks like Obamacare will miss its enrollment goal of 7 million people by March 31, as only 4 million have signed up so far. Republicans haven’t been this excited since the invention of khakis. – Seth Myers


Archeologists just discovered a leather belt believed to be 4,000 years old. So now we know why Larry king wears suspenders. - Conan O’Brien

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THE T H EJEWISH J E W I S HHOME H O M E nMARCH M A R20, C H 2014 2 0 , 2014

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Forgotten Heroes

Avi Heiligman

Shayetet 13

One of the Best Naval Elite Units Worldwide


he idea of having specially trained soldiers take on extremely tough assignments has been around for centuries. The modern day Special Forces soldier is traced back to the British Army in the early 19th century. Com-

Training to defeat the enemy

mandos trained for specific missions appeared during World War II (19391945). Sea Commandos, or frogmen as they became universally dubbed, also came into existence during the war. The Italian frogmen were considered the best in the world and the American unit eventually became the Navy SEALs. Three years after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan, Israel created its seaborne commando unit to combat her attacking Arab neighbors. Shayetet 13 still is in existence today, performing missions that the regular fighting man would not want to perform. Before the creation of the State, there were independent units fighting neighboring Arab countries and the British which controlled the land. The Palmach was the military branch of the Haganah, and in 1945, they started a naval force. The Palyam was in charge of maritime missions that included demolitions and escorting ships filled with refugees from Europe past the British blockade. In March 1948, the unit was transferred to the Israeli Naval Service and many Palyam veterans joined. A year later, veteran Yohai Ben-Nun created Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) from members that specialized in maritime sabotage. He had led the team that blew up the Egyptian flagship, Emir Farouk. The group immediately began planning major operations to sink enemy warships. An operator would take an

explosive-laden boat and aim towards the target and about 100 feet away would jump into the water. The now-pilotless boat would ram into the enemy and the boat operator would swim to a rescue boat. This is how the Emir Farouk was sunk, and Shayetet 13 used this method in future missions as well. The existence of the unit was not made public until 1960 and many of their operations are still secret. From the information available to the public, their early operations were for the most part disappointing. Even routine reconnaissance missions during the 1956 Suez conflict were unsuccessful and two years later were caught in the open while on an infiltration mission in Beirut. In 1966, the unit was sent into the Sea of Galilee to recover a Syrian MiG fighter jet that crashed but the Syrians opened fire on the Israelis and the mission was aborted. Probably the reason that only their failures are known and is because of the repercussions caused. During the Six Day War, six Shayetet 13 operatives were captured on a mission to blow up Egyptian ships in Alexandria, Egypt, and were held hostage for six months. Even so, some missions were successful including the damage of enemy rail lines. In the years between the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973), Shayetet 13 was kept busy with several missions during the War of Attrition. In July 1969, they lost three

commandos during the Bulmus 6 operation on Egyptian-held Green Island. Fighting alongside Sayeret Matkal against Elite As- Saiqa commandos, they killed 80 enemy soldiers and took

down an important early radar station in the Gulf of Suez. They participated in several other operations before the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 and had some success. During the operation against the notorious Black September group responsible for the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, a unit from Shayetet 13 entered Beirut and killed nefarious terrorists. After the war broke out, the commandos destroyed five Egyptian ships and damaged another. Lebanonese terrorists have always

Shayetet 13 operatives

been a thorn for the IDF and Shayetet 13 was sent to eliminate these threats in the decade following the Yom Kippur War. Up until and including the Lebanon War of 1982, the commandos performed brilliantly, killing and capturing many leaders and eliminating many terrorists. However, in 1988, they failed to capture PFLP leader Ahmed Jibril and a few Israelis were killed in the raid. During the 1990s and 2000s, the waterborne commandos executed several missions integral to the IDF’s overall plan of destroying terrorist bases and killing of terrorists. In 1997, tragedy struck when Hezbollah learned of a raid into Lebanon and planted booby traps in a field that killed 12 Israelis along with their commander. Eventually, the survivors were evacuated in a “Black Hawk Down”-like rescue. The most publicized event involving Shayetet 13 was the takedown of the Mavi Marmara—a Turkish flagged ship that was trying to break through the Gaza blockade. On May 31, 2010, the commandos attempted to take the ship with non-lethal weapons. These

efforts were met with lethal weapons including knives and reportedly firearms. Three commandos were temporally captured and taken to the lower decks. They were then given permission to use lethal force and nine “activists” were killed. The incident created an international condemnation and very strained ties with the Turkish government. The training for such an elite unit is extremely intense and comprehensive and is 20 months long. Recruits learn to invade from the sea, hostage rescue, how to board and take down hostile ships, intelligence gathering and counter-terrorism among other skills to make them the best maritime commando unit in the Middle East. After initial training, they still continue to hone their skills and cross-train with their American counterparts, the Navy SEALs. The author once met a SEAL captain who said that he had many friends in Shayetet 13 and that they are among the best naval elite units in the world. Shayetet 13, while under the cover of the shadowy Special Forces community, is a major part in the defense of Israel and her surrounding territorial waters. The people of Israel thank these men for doing the real dirty

Shayetet 13 training

work of fighting terrorists so that they could sleep easier at night. While we may never know the full scope of their training and missions, these water warriors protect Israel in some of the toughest conditions possible. Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@ gmail.com.




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Global No More Binyamins in Saudi Arabia

Being that the government in Saudi Arabia is fond of control, it’s no surprise that the kingdom has released a list of 50 banned names for babies born in the country. A variety of reasons for the ban were released including that some of these names were considered to be “blasphemous.” The interior ministry of the conservative Islamic kingdom “justified the ban by saying that the names either contradicted the culture or religion of the kingdom, or were foreign, or ‘inappropriate,’” Gulf News wrote. “A number of other names appear that do not necessarily fit into any category and it is therefore unclear as to why they would have been banned,” the paper wrote, pointing to the name Binyamin which means Benjamin in Arabic, the youngest son of the biblical Jacob (Yaqoub) who is considered to be a prophet in Islam. “[B]ut it also happens to be the name of the Israeli prime minister,” Gulf News noted. Most of the names fit into at least three categories: “those that offend perceived religious sensibilities, those that are affiliated to royalty and those that are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin.” Amir (meaning prince), Malek (meaning king) and Malika (meaning queen) were among those banned. Also included were the names Malaak (meaning angel), Nabi (a prophet) and Mamlaka (kingdom). Western names including Linda, Alice, Sandy and Lauren were outlawed.

Abdul Naser, another of the banned names, is reminiscent of the late famous Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul-Nasser whose pan-Arab aspirations were perceived as a threat by the Saudi royal family. Saudi Arabia isn’t the only country that has tried to have a say in naming babies. In August, a Tennessee judge ordered the parents of a 7-month-old boy to change his name to Martin from Messiah. The name “Hitler” is banned in Germany, and when a Turkish couple living in Germany tried to name their child Osama Bin Laden, local officials refused.

“Vote” Held in Crimea

Beggars in Saudi Arabia do well! A 100-year-old Saudi woman who sat on the street for over 50 years accepting handouts has died. The locals were upset to hear of the passing of the city’s beloved beggar this week — and astonished to discover the unassuming woman had amassed an estate valued at $1 million. The woman, known as Eisha, has no living heirs to claim her real estate assets — some four buildings in the district — as well as pricey jewels and hordes of coins. Eisha worked with her sister and mother until their deaths, and together the three formed a panhandling ring and managed to accumulate their considerable wealth. “They used to get a lot of sympathy and assistance from philanthropists throughout the year, especially during Eid,” Ahmed al-Saeedi, a childhood friend of the deceased who cared for her in her later years, said. “Eisha continued to beg after the deaths of her mother and sister. She was just an old, blind woman who did not have any relatives in this world.” Saeedi was one of the only people to know of Eisha’s hidden riches, and often encouraged her to quit. “I asked her to give up this profession as she possessed a huge amount of wealth but she always refused and said she was preparing for hard times,” he said. Eisha’s apartment buildings were — and continue to be — occupied by her

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ported to Central Asia by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. They were only able to return with the fall of the Soviet Union and many want to remain in Ukraine. Most of the Tatars interviewed said they had boycotted the vote, and felt that life under the Kremlin would be worse. Refat Chubarov, leader of the Tatars’ unofficial parliament, said the referendum was illegal, and held in a hasty manner under the control of Russian troops. “The fate of our motherland cannot be decided in such a referendum under the shadows of the guns of soldiers,” he said.

Bomber Blows Himself Up—Too Early!

Deceased Beggar Could Have Been Chooser

Wholesale to the Public


friends, mostly poor residents of the city. Following her death, the district chief refused to evict the tenants, on grounds that a final ruling on Eisha’s assets has not yet been reached. The local authorities have yet to determine how and to whom Eisha’s estate will be divided.   

The numbers are in and officials in Crimea claim that 95.5% of voters in the region have supported joining Russia. A referendum was held and the people seem to have spoken. However, many are contesting the vote and claim it was illegal and its findings are fraudulent. Not surprisingly, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has said he will respect the Crimean people’s wishes. Pro-Russian forces took control of Crimea in February. They moved in after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after street protests. Mr. Putin and Barack Obama spoke over the phone earlier, with the Kremlin and the White House later releasing contrasting accounts of the conversation. The Kremlin said both men agreed to seek a way to stabilize Ukraine, and that Mr. Putin had stressed that the Kiev government had failed to curb “rampant violence by ultra-nationalists.” The White House, on the other hand, said Obama had insisted that the referendum was illegal and would never be accepted and called for Moscow to support an international monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine. The EU said in a statement that the vote was “illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognized.” EU foreign ministers are due to meet soon and are expected to consider imposing sanctions on Russian officials. Sergei Aksyonov, Crimea’s leader installed last month after the Russian takeover, celebrated the referendum on stage in Simferopol. Backed by the Russian national anthem, Russian flags, and the personnel of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, he told supporters that Crimea was “going home.” Mr. Aksyonov said Crimea’s parliament, which was disbanded by the government in Kiev last week, would send a formal request to Moscow to join Russia this week. Some 58% of people in Crimea are ethnic Russian, with the rest made up of Ukrainians and Tatars. The Tatars were de-

Another suicide attack in Somalia was avoided when a suicide bomber accidentally detonated his car prematurely. Aside from the bomber, no one else was hurt in the attack near a popular hotel in the Somali capital. Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a Somali police officer, said the bomber appeared to have prematurely detonated his explosive-laden car as he tried to park near a hotel. The al-Qaida linked group al-Shabab frequently carries out attacks against the Somali government, the U.N. and African Union peacekeepers. Late last month, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives-laden car at a teashop near Somalia’s intelligence agency headquarters, killing at least 12 people.  

Al Qaeda Publishes Car Bomb Tips

Subscribers to the latest issue of Al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine will find it contains an article about using car bombs in U.S. cities as well as abroad during election seasons, both presidential and congressional. The cities and areas listed in the piece include Washington, D.C., New York, Northern Virginia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Here are a few examples of the article’s pearls of wisdom: “America is our first target, followed by United Kingdom, France and other crusader countries,” the article says. “As for the field target for the car bomb, you have




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places flooded with individuals, e.g. sports events in which tens of thousands attend, election campaigns, festivals and other gathering. The important thing is that you target people and not buildings.” Regarding Washington, DC, and New York, the article encourages: “Washington is the capital, and New York is the former capital. Both have symbolic importance to the American people and government. Moreover, [the] White House is in Washington, and DC has about 347,000 federal government employees and many important figures in the government live there. As for New York, it is known for its status as a financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center, it is the leading center of banking, finance and communication in the United States.” The article goes on to highlight positives about blowing up Northern Virginia, Chicago, Los Angeles and Arlington.  

Saudi Arabia Threatens to Shut Down Al Jazeera Network As the conflict with Qatar continues to escalate, Saudi Arabia announced it plans to close down the offices of Al Jazeera in the next few days. In an exceptional move within the Gulf Cooperation Council of allied hereditary monarchies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar on March 5, accusing Doha of failing to sustain an agreement not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs. A Saudi official told Al-Hayat that in addition to the resolution to close the Qatar-based network, Saudi authorities will prohibit Saudi journalists from cooperating with the network or other Qatari media. Even so, a Saudi Information Ministry source denied reports that it may shut Al Jazeera’s offices. “We don’t have any plan to close the channel’s offices,” the Arab News website reported. Al Jazeera is accused of provoking the turbulence that was behind the Arab uprisings in recent years. It is also blamed for favoring the Muslim Brotherhood and revolutionary Islamic forces.

Want a Long Life? Move to Monaco

Monaco has the longest life expectancy from any other country in the world. The average life expectancy in the country is 90 years.

Not interested in residing in Monaco? Try San Marino, where residents can expect to live at least 83 years. Wondering where we stand? The U.S. ranks 51st worldwide, according to figures from the CIA, with an average life expectancy of 79 years. According to a 2012 study by the federal government’s National Institute on Aging, diet and nutrition play an important role in life expectancy and may be the reason we fall so low of life expectancy charts. Life expectancy in Japan is 84 years and in Hong Kong it’s 82 years and some say their long lives are due to their diet of mostly fish and vegetables which helps prevent heart disease. Economic conditions and access to medicine are also a huge factor. Monaco is a very wealthy country. Additionally, many poor and developing countries have low rates. Chad, an African nation has the lowest life expectancy in the world—49 years. Regardless of geography, women tend to live 5-10 years longer than men in industrialized countries. Some scientists believe that the reason for females’ longevity is because women naturally tend to have lower levels of iron in their blood; excessive iron levels can lead to cell damage as we age.

Israel PA Official: Jews are Gathering so We can Kill Them This week, Senior Palestinian Authority official Abbas Zaki announced

on Palestinian Authority TV that he agrees with both Jews and Christians that it is Divine intervention that has Jews gathering in the Holy Land. But according to Zaki, G-d is making this happen to make it easier for them to be killed by the Palestinians. “I believe that Allah will gather [the Jews] so we can kill them,” Zaki said. He went on to accuse Israelis of having “no religion and no principles; they are an advanced instrument of evil.” In 2009, Zaki admitted on Lebanese TV that the ultimate goal of the two-state solution was the downfall of Israel. He is a member of the ruling Fatah faction’s Central Committee and currently serves as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ commissioner for dialogue with the Arab world and China.

Terrorist Leader: Jews Love Jerusalem More than Muslims

The Jewish love for Jerusalem is unparalleled and has even caught the attention of the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization. Ramadan Shalah told religious leaders in Tehran last week that Palestinians and other Muslims don’t show sufficient love for Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem. The Muslim leader contrasted the inadequate Palestinian and Muslim love of the holy city with the heartfelt attachment of the Jews, and — speaking in Hebrew and Arabic — quoted the famous Israeli ballad “Jerusalem of Gold,” penned by Zionist songstress Naomi Shemer. “What is the meaning of Jerusalem for us?” Shalah, who leads one of the most extreme terror groups in the world and is on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists list, asked the assembled clergy. “Learn from the Jews, from that accursed entity [Israel]. They love Jerusalem not just as a military matter, but as a cultural one,” he declared. “They have a song in the Israeli entity that their army sings on June 7, when they conquered the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif [the


Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip are facing the worst economic crisis since they seized the territory seven years ago. A suddenly hostile Egypt has now also tightened its blockade of the region, adding to the already tight sanctions Israel has put on the region in response to recent terrorist attacks. Hamas government employees have complained publicly about getting only partial salaries for the past four months. Bus drivers have staged a strike over soaring fuel prices. Laborers have lost jobs as construction has dried up. Hamas’ own surveys show its popularity plummeting. Israel sealed its only cargo crossing with Gaza after the Islamic Jihad group fired dozens of rockets from the territory at Israel. Hamas seems to tolerate occasional Islamic Jihad attacks on Israel as a release valve for the public’s discontent, but they

the Gaza border, which were an economic lifeline for the strip. Just a year ago, Hamas’ prospects seemed much brighter: The Brotherhood had risen to power through elections in Egypt, and Hamas enjoyed improved ties with regional powers Qatar and Turkey. The coup in Egypt last summer dramatically reversed Hamas’ fortune.

The Hamas government lost nearly two-thirds of its revenue as a result, said Omar Shaban, a Gaza economist. With the tunnels, Hamas earned about $500 million a year — of an annual budget of just under $900 million — in taxes on the Egyptian imports, said Shaban. Cheap fuel, cement and other supplies from Egypt also powered Gaza’s economy, particularly the lo-

MARCH 20, 2014

Hamas in the Red

are paying a heavy price. The big change came for Hamas when the Egyptian military ousted President Mohammed Morsi last July. The military-backed government in Cairo has since banned Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood — the region-wide movement that also spawned Hamas — and has shut down most of the smuggling tunnels along


Temple Mount, in the 1967 Six Day War],” he added, and went on to quote part of the chorus of “Jerusalem of Gold.” “Jerusalem of gold. Jerusalem of bronze. Jerusalem of light,” he chanted, saying each phrase in both Hebrew and Arabic. “Every Israeli child and every accursed Israeli soldier says this song in their heart,” Shalah declared. “Jerusalem of Gold” was composed for a music festival in Jerusalem as part of the May 1967 Independence Day celebrations and is one of the most popular Israeli songs. It begins by describing a desolate Jerusalem, with a “wall” in her heart, a reference to the border wall dividing the Israeli and Jordanian parts of the city. Within weeks of the song’s publication to widespread acclaim, the Six Day War broke out and Israeli forces were able to capture Jerusalem’s ancient Old City, leading composer Shemer to write a fourth, triumphant stanza that begins, “We returned to the water cisterns, the marketplace and the square / A ram’s horn blows at the Temple Mount in the ancient city.” Islamic Jihad, which Salah heads, slammed southern Israel last week with a barrage of over 60 rockets, drawing Israeli airstrikes and leading to the largest flare up of violence between Gaza and Israel in over a year. The group is considered to be one of Hamas’s largest rivals for control of the Strip and enjoys close ties with Iran.


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cal construction industry that employed several tens of thousands. Now the government is no longer able to pay full wages to 51,000 civil servants and members of the security forces. In recent months, government employees have received only partial payments. Hamas, with a force of more than 15,000 armed men, has tended to move swiftly to snuff out unrest. Last month, when taxi and bus drivers staged a one-day strike over rising fuel costs, they were detained for several hours by Hamas security and only released after signing pledges not to strike again, said driver Wissam Abu Lehiyeh, 41. “The first day we called for the strike, some people called us collaborators” with Egypt and Israel, said Abu Lehiyeh. For the first time in years, there is even a ripple of speculation that Hamas might be driven from power by the growing difficulties of running a government. A semi-regular internal poll carried out by Hamas in December showed that support for the group had dropped to 29 percent, down from 55 percent from late 2012. But many believe the Islamic militant movement will keep its grip because there’s no one on the ground to take its place.

Jordan’s Parliament Demands Release of Murderer of Israeli Girls

The lower house of Jordan’s parliament has demanded that their government free a soldier who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls in the 1997 Island of Peace massacre. They are insisting on the release in response to the killing of a Jordanian judge by Israeli soldiers. The IDF said in a statement that Judge Raed Zeiter, 38, had charged at the soldiers with a metal pole while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” prompting them to fire at his legs. “The suspect then began to strangle a soldier and the force resorted to using live

fire once again,” killing the man, the army said. In a non-binding resolution, all 150 members of the lower house said, “We demand that the government release Jordanian soldier Ahmad Dakamseh from jail.” Dakamseh had opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls as they visited Baqura, a scenic peninsula on the Jordan River near the Israeli border. He killed seven of the girls and wounded five more, as well as a teacher, and was sentenced to life in prison.            “We also demand that the government expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel in response to the killing of Jordanian judge Raed Zeiter,” the resolution said. It gave the government until Tuesday to meet its demands, failing which it threatened a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur. The lower house said, “What happened proved that Israel is a racist country that does not want peace.” The shooting has set off a diplomatic row between Israel and Amman, with Nsur saying Israel is “completely responsible” and demanding an apology for the “hideous” shooting. Israel has expressed regret for the killing, but stopped short of apologizing to Jordan, which is the only Arab

country besides Egypt to have made peace with the Jewish State.  

“Gas Leak” Palestinian Terrorist Arrested

Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service and Jerusalem police have arrested a Palestinian man for trying to blow up and kill residents in three separate residential buildings. The suspect admitted to sabotaging cooking gas lines in Israeli apartment buildings in order to cause massive explosions while the families were home. 48-year-old Aziz Musa Uwisat of East Jerusalem confessed that he was inspired by news reports about a building that exploded in Jerusalem in January due to a gas




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leak, killing four residents. He decided to try to engineer a similar event “in order to kill as many people as he could.” A statement released by the Shin Bet said Uwisat “reached the decision to carry out an attack along similar lines, with the intent of toppling a building, resulting in the deaths of its Jewish inhabitants.” Israeli security forces knew the suspect, a father of six, was a Hamas operative. Israeli media reports said the suspect told investigators that he was seeking revenge for Israeli military actions in Gaza and the visits by Jews to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Based on his confession, Uwisat acted alone when he cut residential gas pipes on three occasions at the end of February and earlier this month. On March 5, he left a lit candle and other flammable materials at the scene of the cut gas lines, but when neighbors in three buildings reported strong smells of leaking gas, two severed lines were discovered before any explosion occurred. First responders evacuated residents, turned off the gas lines and ventilated the buildings following the last incident. “The pipes were intentionally cut which caused extreme danger, so police evacuated three buildings in the area and shut off the gas supply,” a police officer told reporters following that incident. “Thankfully, we managed to prevent an explosion.” Israeli police said the suspect also confessed to attacking a 70-year-old Israeli man with an ax in Jerusalem’s Old City in 2012. The victim was seriously injured.      


Two Buildings Collapse in NYC after Gas Explosion

Last Wednesday, East Harlem New York was rocked by a massive explosion followed by a fire and the collapse of two buildings. Two apartment buildings collapsed

killing 8 and injuring more than 60, officials say. The FDNY claims they received a call shortly after 9:30 a.m. reporting a large explosion in the five-story apartment building on Park Avenue near 116th Street. The tremendous blast caused windows to shatter and walls to crumble up to several blocks away from the actual site of the explosion. Residents in the neighborhood told reporters they initially they thought it was a terrorist attack. The FBI was on the scene, but authorities said there is no indication of terror or crime. There are “no indications of foul play,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed. “This is a tragedy of the worst kind,” he added. “There was no indication in time to save people.” “The only indication of danger came about 15 minutes earlier when a gas leak was reported to Con Edison. Con Ed dispatched a team to respond. The explosion occurred before that team could arrive,” the mayor explained. Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said that the company received a call from a resident of an adjacent building who reported smelling gas inside “but indicated the odor may have been coming from outside the building.” Two Con Ed crews were dispatched at 9:15 a.m. but arrived just after the explosion. While some residents claim that they had been smelling gas as early as Tuesday, Con Ed said it did not receive complaints from the building before Wednesday morning. Police, including some wearing gas masks, handed out medical masks to residents and onlookers because of the thick white smoke that shrouded the area. The fire department responded with 44 units and more than 250 firefighters to the fivealarm incident. According to public records, 1646 Park Avenue, the address that firefighters initially responded to, was built in 1910. An employee of the landlord of the building said that they did not know what may have caused the blast. The five-story building had four floors of apartments and retail store, Absolute Piano, on the street level. The neighboring building, 1644 Park Ave., was also a residential building with a Spanish Christian Church at street level. “I’ve never had anything this horrific that’s happened in my community since I’ve been in Washington,” Rep. Charles Rangel, who represents Harlem, told NBC’s New York affiliate. “This is a very serious thing. It’s our community’s 9/11, even though we don’t know how it started.” “I saw a lady running with no shoes on,” one witness said. “It was crazy. It was

like a war zone…I thought it was an earthquake. I got calls from my family who felt it too and that was all the way uptown.” On Monday, March 17, the medical examiner identified the last of the eight victims as Mayumi Nakamura. The medical examiner reported that all the victims died of blunt trauma, smoke inhalation, or burns. It took workers days to tediously sort through all the rubble and extract what they hoped would be survivors. Unfortunately, those who they were able to extricate were no longer alive.

Thousands of Americans Renounce Citizenship

As millions of immigrants struggle to attain U.S. citizenship, there are Americans living outside the country who voluntarily choose to renounce their citizenship. In the year 2013, 3,000 Americans surrendered their passports in order to avoid a complicated and costly tax code. In addition, many banks abroad are rejecting clients with American passports in order to avoid having to comply with tax laws that will be enforced on them when new laws take effect next year. Many expats hire accountants to handle their U.S. taxes because there is just simply too many factors and details to know regarding tax laws and regulations for dual citizens, costing them up to several thousand dollars each year aside from the taxes that they are required to pay. One woman, Christina Ammann, 56, who married a Swiss and became a citizen of Switzerland upon marriage, is required to report her husband’s financial accounts simply because she has signatory rights. She calls the IRS’s extensive research “invasive” and feels that being forced to report her non-American husband’s assets is “an invasion of privacy.” Ammann is also extremely bothered that her 18-year-old daughter who was born in Switzerland but has American citizenship through her mother is required to file taxes on her modest wages from her part-time job while in college. If Ammann renounces her citizenship, she will be avoiding all the hassle and extra taxes that she is now stuck with.

As with Ammann, the new disclosure laws cause an enormous amount of aggravation for an overwhelming majority of expats who are willing to give up their rights of having a U.S. passport in order to save themselves a lot of money and aggravation.

That’s Odd Surfing the Web, Running to Prison

Ever Google yourself? Being that we live in the 21st century and the internet is practically part and parcel of our lives, most of us have Googled ourselves. Most of us are “egosurfing” and find embarrassing photos of ourselves or random people with the same name as us posing in awkward ways. This week, when Christopher Viatafa Googled himself, he found a different side of himself that he had never known. He noticed a photo of himself and his name on North California’s Most Wanted website and the surprised culprit immediately turned himself into police. He was wanted in connection with a shooting during a private party in San Leandro Senior Center on August 8. Apparently, Viatafa got into an argument, pulled out a gun and fired several rounds into the ground. By Friday, Viatafa’s status on the website was listed as a “captured fugitive.” I think I’m going to stop Googling myself—never know what’ll turn up!

Lovin’ Life for 34,000 Miles Steve Fugate loves life and his walkin’ proves it. The lover of empty roads is on his eighth cross-country walk across America. He has walked 34,000 miles by foot since 1999. In the year before the millennium Steve’s two children died and since then he has been on his Trail Therapy, dragging a heavy cart and sleeping in a tent. His con-


“Everybody got a bad perception of the police … and the police was real nice when they came along,” said Za’Dariyah’s uncle, Keyth Mishaw, who took photos of his niece’s first “ticket” and sent them to the media. The photos went viral on the station’s Facebook page - gathering 3 million views, 150,000 likes and 17,000 shares. Mishaw, Za’Dariyah and her mother, Zumekia, were interviewed live. Of course they brought the vehicle with them. “I’m still in shock right now about it all,” Zumekia, whose last name was not released, said of the attention her daughter’s pictures have received. Apparently, Za’Dariyah was “bumping into some cars” while driving the convertible for the first time, her uncle said. “She was just actually doing her little driving thing and they [said], ‘She deserves a ticket. She deserves a ticket,’” Mishaw said of the officers. “We had fun with it and my family had a good time with it,” Mishaw said. “I want to say, ‘Hey’ to the officer. He made a real good something out of nothing.” License and registration, please.

A Lizard in Her Lettuce

2-Year-Old Driver Ticketed It was a normal afternoon for little Za’Dariyah of Jacksonville, Florida. She was cruising around the parking lot of her building in her white convertible toy car without a care in the world when she received a ticket from police. Police “accused” the 2-year-old of a driving infraction and proceeded to “ticket” her.

It’s that nausea-infused moment when you find an egg shell in your omelet or worse, a hair in your sandwich… Robin Sandusky, 31, ordered a $6 kale

salad from a restaurant for lunch last week. The salad was tasty and a bit too crunchy. As Robin began to nosh on her leafy lunch, she suddenly noticed a lizard’s head in the salad. “It was the craziest thing,” Robin recalled. “After a few bites, I look down at my fork, and think, ‘Oh, is that a piece of asparagus?’ And then I saw that it had eyes, and an arm.” “I order from them all the time,” she said. “The same kind of salad at least every day for the last two weeks, and it’s been fine.” Ms. Sandusky put the head back in the container, repackaged it and sent it back to the deli. The store immediately gave her a refund. The manager said, “Honestly, I’ve never heard of something like this. I’ve never even seen a lizard in New York!” Uh…we’re going to need a bit more of an explanation than that.

Head Walnut Smasher

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home. Mohammad Rashid stole the record for smashing walnuts with his head after he managed to crack a whopping 155 walnuts open in one minute. The previous record was 44 walnuts a minute but Rashid, a martial artist, beat it at the Punjab Youth Festival in Lahore, Pakistan. The smashing achievement was caught on video, showing the fierce competitor slamming his head down, crushing walnuts in twos as he proceeds down a long table surrounded by spectators. Despite the amazing prowess he showed, Rashid emerged with only a tiny cut on his forehead. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing: the guy is totally nuts.

“Selfiest” Cities in the World According to www.oxforddictionaries.com, the definition of a “selfie” is: a

photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. Yes, this word has officially been added to some dictionaries although it is still gets underlined in red by my spellchecker. Time magazine published a list of the “top 100 selfiest cities in the world.” A common theme of the 100 selfiest cities was that many are home to tourist destinations. The magazine based its ranking on data from 400,000 photos from Instagram with the hashtag “selfie” (#selfie) and a geographic location over a 10 day period from late January to early February. “For every city in the world of at least 250,000 residents, we then counted the number of selfies taken within 5 miles and divided by the population of that city,” Time said of its methodology. This is true science. Of course, these rankings cannot be 100% accurate since not every single selfie is posted to Instagram and even if it is, not everyone includes the hashtag or location. Even so, if you’re looking to take photos of yourself, you won’t be alone in the following cities:

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines (258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people) 2. Manhattan, N.Y. (202) 3. Miami, Fla. (155) 4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif. (147) 5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (141) 6. Tel Aviv, Israel (139) 7. Manchester, England (114) 8. Milan, Italy (108) 9. Cebu City, Philippines (99) 10. George Town, Malaysia (95) Perhaps we should list these cities as the most self-absorbed cities in the world—what do you think?

MARCH 20, 2014

This time around, Steve will be walking through all lower 48 states. As of last week, he was 22 states into his trek which began on March 23, 2013. Oregon and Washington are his next destinations. “Every single one of them, I’ve called my last walk,” the 67-year-old said. “I’m like the Rolling Stones, man.” He relates that his walking was the only way for him to recover from the crippling sadness of the loss of his two children. “You’ve got it, it’s inside of you,” Fugate said. “It’s just finding it. I know 90-yearold people who never find it. But I found mine. I don’t have these young’s people’s answer or anyone’s answer but my own. But what I do know that when I’m confronted with this young man or woman who’s going to take their own life, I know they have the answer within.” Keep walking, Steve. You love life and America loves you.

Of course, the officers only intended to get a couple of laughs. The officers of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were responding to a call from the apartment complex where Za’Dariyah lives and were glad to have the opportunity to defuse the situation when they saw the 2-year-old.


stant companion? A sign with the words “Love Life” emblazoned in huge letters. Steve’s traversing has been inspirational to many who have seen what one can do after such extreme sadness. Just last week, Steve was approached by a 21-year-old man who a month earlier had tried ending his life with a butcher knife to the chest. “He stepped right in front of me and pulled his shirt up,” Fugate said. “The first thing I said was, ‘Why in G-d’s name would you do such a stupid, self-centered thing?’ Then I grabbed him and told him I loved him and held him. He just kept hugging me, the young man.”

MARCH 20, 2014


Passover the Extra Calories


By Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.

Registered Dietitian in Private Practice and at UCLA

Whole Foods Market 3rd & Fairfax Presents

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Join Ilana Muhlstein, R.D., in a fun, easy and inspiring approach to healthy cooking. Ilana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and will be making a meal suitable for nearly every specialty diet. The meal will be entirely Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, but most importantly, DELICIOUS!! Ilana's own 75-pound weight loss transformation gives her the cutting edge in healthy cooking and weight loss counseling. She has a gift for making food taste incredibly satisfying so you never feel deprived along your journey to health. This event is guaranteed to be fun, exciting and enlightening. For more on Ilana, visit ilanamuhlstein.com and follow @BeautifulNutrition on Instagram.

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Now that Purim is behind us, and your house is officially cleared of junk food that may have inundated your kitchen counters, it is time to plan ahead for Pesach! Many of my Orthodox clients are terrified of Pesach, but in my opinion, it is the most figure-friendly holiday we have… if you do it right. I will explain. If you are Ashkenazi like I am, on Pesach we are forbidden from eating wheat, barley, oat, spelt, rye, and rice. When eaten in their whole grain form, these foods can certainly be a part of a healthy diet, but during the year, we tend to overeat these foods, which can lead to weight gain over time. Additionally, because these foods are rich in carbohydrates, they should ideally function as a fuel source and be consumed prior to exercise and physical movement. Because Pesach is typically associated with inactivity and 5-hour meals, it is probably a good idea we are without them for a few days. Also, on Pesach we are not allowed to eat corn, which is more like a privilege than a hardship. While natural corn is wholesome and delicious, corn derivatives, such as corn oil and high fructose corn syrup (HFSC) are not only caloric but are becoming a much greater public health threat and are a contributing cause of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, HFSC is the number one source of calories in the U.S. diet and an 8-day detox of HFSC can be a wonderful jumping off point to a healthier you. If you treat Pesach as an opportunity for clean eating, you can end Pesach feeling healthy, energized and fresh. Sadly, if you pack your kitchen with the overpriced junky products from store shelves, you will more likely end Pesach feeling heavy and constipated (thanks to all that potato starch!). We need to save our wallets and waistlines this holiday and skip the overly processed pancake mixes** and other items.

Also, whatever you do, try to avoid cottonseed oil. Cottonseed oil has a very high proportion of saturated fat and is low in monounsaturated fats, making it very unhealthy for the heart. You might find it in products such as salad dressings. Please do you and your family a favor and make homemade salad dressings using lemon juice, vinegars and healthier oils, such as olive oil. Furthermore, the easiest place to save $5 this Pesach is by avoiding imitation mustard. Mustard is a seed, and it is not kosher for Passover. So what exactly is in Pesach “mustard”, you ask? Cottonseed oil, vinegar and yellow dye. No thank you! It is also important to note that one of the main reasons fad diets have over a 97% fail rate is because people become too hyper-focused on what they can’t eat. This causes people to have increased cravings and lower inhibitions for those forbidden foods. This Pesach we need to focus on the beautiful and wholesome foods we can enjoy and stop worrying about making homemade kosher-for-Passover “bread rolls”. On Pesach, we are blessed with the opportunity to eat almost every vegetable there is. We can make gorgeous salads, roasted vegetable platters, crust-less quiches, veggie omelets, gazpachos, cauliflower rice*, guacamole, portabella mushroom burgers, and zoodles.* We also have every fruit at our disposal for delicious breakfasts, snacks and desserts all Pesach long. And there is quinoa! Quinoa is packed with antioxidants, fiber and protein, and can be used to substitute rice in almost every recipe you can find. Plus we have delicious proteins such as fish, most nuts, eggs, dairy, turkey and chicken. There really isn’t any need to fret. Lastly, matzah is yummy; just make sure you get whole wheat matzah with at least 3g of fiber per board. So save your wallet and your waistline this holiday and have a happy and healthy Pesach filled with clean, whole, and natural foods. *check my Instagram page for cauliflower rice and zoodle recipes @BeautifulNutrition ** Ingredients for Passover pancake mix: 1.5 cups almond flour, 3 eggs, 1 cup low fat milk and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Ilana Muhlstein, R.D., is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Private Practice in Los Angeles. She also works at UCLA where she meets with patients and leads a weekly seminar on weight loss and health promotion. ilanamuhlstein.com


If you remember the gefilte fish pizza from 26’s early days as a Milchig (dairy) restaurant, then you will be pleasantly surprised with the re-concepted, upscale Fleishig (meat) venue that 26 has become. After testing 26 as a dairy entity, lively French owner Stephan Sultan, who recently brought us the increasingly popular dairy restaurant, Trattoria Natalie, decided to go in another direction. This time, he made it his goal to bring customers a lavish, Fleishig (meat) dining experience. Typical of Mr. Sultan’s grandiose style, he went all in. Mr. Sulan’s first focus was on creating a gourmet menu utilizing aged meats and the most exotic ingredients. He vetted the finest chefs in the country and struck gold when he lured the acclaimed Tierra Sur alum, Todd Aarons, into 26 as chef. Chef Todd Aarons is an executive chef par excellence and also happens to be one of the nicest, most modest uber talented people out there. I have been a fan of his cooking for many years. He is known for seeking out dishes made with seasonal vegetables and creating culinary masterpieces using unusual combinations of ingredients. There are many tantalizing meat and pasta dishes on the menu, but funny as it sounds, they make an excellent burger. 26’s hamburger is one of the 2 dishes that I recommend. The hamburger is thick and square and they use high quality meat for the ground beef, so it’s very juicy. Inside, the patty is topped with tangy sauce and fried pastrami, en-

hancing the flavor and adding a little zing that elevates the hamburger from good to great. The “fries” on the side are long, skinny, crunchy strips of potato that are pretty to look at and very tasty. I suggest you stuff some of this stringy fries inside the burger for a delightful crunch. I also recommend the Spencer Steak which they will grill to meet your tastes (even if you go for the all-too-common Jewish meat killer “medium-well”.) One of Mr. Sultan’s claims to fame is that the meat in 26 is dry aged in their in-house aging facility; which apparently is state of the art and not found in many restaurants in the entire United States. Make sure to check out the massive wine collection which stands behind sliding glass doors in its own wood inset wine room. You have literally dozens of wine options and the waiters are pretty knowledgeable and would be happy to help you make your selection. 26 also features a full bar with a fun bartender who makes famous cocktails including Penicillin Cocktail which is made from honey, scotch, ginger liqueur and lemon and The Dill which includes lime juice, cucumbers, vodka, and a sprig of dill. There are also several options of cognac, bourbon, scotch and beer. There are far better experts to describe the variety of alcohol in these categories, but word on the street is that it’s an impressive array. For dessert, snag churros and chocolate dipping sauce. Churros are one of my favorite desserts in general and Chef Todd Aarons makes the very best. I also

like to drink the chocolate sauce after I’ve gobbled the churro. Oh yes, I’m a real class act at the dinner table. In my defense it comes in a cute, little, white mug and tastes like thick, rich hot cocoa.

Stephan Sultan’s background is in the furniture industry, so he expertly created a luxurious room that is ready to impress. The vast room is accented with deep red walls and a gorgeous bar with curly metal wine holders dangling in mid-air. The seating is both beautiful and comfortable. There are tables in the middle of the large room and private booths along the sides. Go for a booth if one is available, they are beautiful, plush white leather with

tall backs that allows you to feel like you’re in your own private living room. Another nice change with the revamped 26 is the generous number of waiters. There are different waiters to lead you to your seat, take your order, and refill your drinks. The refill guy is particularly on the ball, not allowing the ice of your soda to show through the top of the glass. The waiters are well versed in the dishes and if they are unsure they quickly ask Todd and return with the correct answer. The mood on a weekday night is formal and elegant. It would work well for a date, business meeting or special occasion. Saturday night is a whole different story; it’s party time with louder music and large groups looking for a good time. The Motzei Shabbos menu is a bit different from the rest of the week and includes snackier/party type appetizers. As of now they are open Motzei Shabbos until 10:30 PM and the rest of the week from 6 to 10 PM. 26 is located at 8657 West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. Their phone number is 310-246-1326

Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids.  She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.  

MARCH 20, 2014





Travel Guide: Lake Tahoe By Aaron Feigenbaum


MARCH 20, 2014


Nestled in the majestic peaks and of the Sierra Nevada mountains on the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is a natural gem that has delighted visitors for over a century. Lake Tahoe and its surroundings were first inhabited by the Washoe tribe and became home in the late 19th century to thousands of miners with the discovery

of the Comstock Lode. Lake Tahoe continued to expand after WWII and became a household name when it hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, one of the largest ski areas in the U.S. Nowadays, Lake Tahoe boasts an average of 3 million visitors a year, more than both the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks.

Whether you’re there for skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, hiking and boating in the summer, or simply admiring the view and getting some R&R, Lake Tahoe offers year-round activities for whole family and some of the most captivating scenery in North America. What to Do and See: Squaw Valley Resort: This ski resort on Tahoe’s north shore is one of the largest in the U.S. and played host to the 1960 Winter Olympics. An aerial tramway takes passengers 8,200 feet up with breathtaking views, as well as numerous entertainment and shopping opportunities once you get to the top. And there’s plenty more shopping and fun to be found in Squaw Village just nearby. Heavenly Resort: On the south shore at over 10,000 feet this ski resort is the highest in Lake Tahoe as well as being one of Lake Tahoe’s most visited and largest resorts. Their ski season usually runs from mid-November through mid-April but, like Squaw, you don’t have to be a winter sports fan to come here. Heavenly resort features its own village as well with no shortage of amenities. Tahoe City: This bustling vacation town is a great place to not only meet the locals and shop, but also to rent a boat or get a guided tour of the clear, blue waters of the lake. The city has its own bus system for your convenience. Hiking: Hiking opportunities are plentiful in Lake Tahoe with some of the best spots including the gorgeous forest and meadows just outside Tahoe City and the Dolder Nature Trail which passes by a lighthouse and a beach. For more adventurous visitors there’s Eagle Creek ice climb and the trail to the summit of Mt. Tallac with a jaw-dropping view of the lake and its surroundings. Off the beaten path: If you want to ski in Lake Tahoe but don’t want the hassle of crowds, try Granlibakken just outside Tahoe City (shuttle provided). It may not offer the same grandeur as Heavenly or

Squaw, but if you’re looking for something intimate and cozy then Granlibakken is a good bet. Some off the beaten path activities in Lake Tahoe include horseback riding, mountain biking, and 4-wheeling. A variety of adventure tours can be arranged through companies such as Tahoe Adventure Company. Eat and Daven: There are no Kosher restaurants, but Kosher food can be bought from supermarkets in the area such as Safeway or the Trader Joe’s in nearby Carson City, NV (20-30 miles away). Otherwise, you can contact the newly established Chabad Jewish Center Lake Tahoe for catering options (menu available online). The Chabad, established just last August by Rabbi Mordechai Richler and his wife Shaina, is the only frum shul in the area. Getting There: One of the easiest ways to get to Lake Tahoe is via the Reno-Tahoe International Airport which is an hour’s drive to the Lake via the I-80. There is also the small Lake Tahoe airport. Most visitors though prefer the scenic drive through the mountains. It’s a 7-8 hour drive from L.A. and the roads in the Tahoe area can be slippery, even in warm weather, so be sure to bring tire chains. You can also take Amtrak connecting from San Francisco or hop on a resort-sponsored shuttle going from San Francisco, Reno, Sacramento and elsewhere. For More Info: • http://www.tahoe.com/ • Chabad Jewish Center of Lake Tahoe 1898 Venice Dr, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 (530) 314-7677 http://www.jewishtahoe.com/ Trivia: •From the lake’s first sighting by a person of European descent (John Fremont) in 1844 until 1945, Lake Tahoe was called Lake Bigler after California’s pro-secessionist governor, despite objections from Unionists. “Tahoe” is derived from the Washoe term for lake. •Lake Tahoe was considered for national park status in 1935 but park inspectors deemed the area too commercially developed and the proposal was abandoned. However, parts of Lake Tahoe are covered by both the National Forest and State Park systems. •The lake never freezes and is the second deepest lake in the U.S. (16th worldwide).


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There’s a reason the Canaan series is our #1 seller and one of the most popular kosher wines in the world. Well balanced, medium bodied and with few pretensions, this easy drinking wine is easy to enjoy. Perfect for any occasion.

Taste the Mediterranean. www.alliedimporters.com

Rabbi Mordechai Ungar shlita

MARCH 20, 2014

The wine tastes great any time.



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