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MARCH 26, 2015




• Delivery Available • Food Available Throughout Pesach • Non-Gebrochts • Glatt Kosher • Under Kehilla Supervision

3 Easy Order!


pico@westernkosher.com 323-933-8283 4817 W. Pico Blvd. LA, CA 90019


Gefilte Fish Moroccan Fish Balls Panko Crusted Tilapia Teriyaki Salmon Moroccan Salmon


Gefilte Fish Moroccan Fish balls Panko Crusted Tilapia Teriyaki Salmon Moroccan Salmon



Potato Kugel Sweet Noodle Kugel Tzimmes Ratatouille Herb Roasted Potatoes Mashed Potatoes Sautéed Vegetable Medley Roasted Sweet Potatoes Butternut Squash w/ tomato and sage

Soups $11.99 lb $11.99 lb $10.99 lb $17.99 lb $17.99 lb

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$10.99 ea $10.99 ea $9.99 lb $10.99 lb $9.99 lb $9.99 lb $9.99 lb $9.99 lb $9.99 lb

Cabbage Soup with Beef Chicken Soup Butternut squash Soup Kneidlach/Potato Balls


Apricot Chicken (bone in) Stuffed Chicken Leg stuffed w/ ground beef & mushrooms Grilled Chicken Breast Chicken Schnitzel Breaded Chicken Tenders Sheppard’s Pie – 2¼ lb tray Whole Rotisserie Chicken Beef Brisket London Broil Sweet & Sour Meatballs Stuffed Cabbage Roasted Turkey Breast Braised Veal Shoulder

$9.99 qt $9.99 qt $8.99 qt $1.00 ea

$9.99 lb $13.99 lb $14.99 lb $14.99 lb $14.99 lb $14.99 ea $13.99 ea $24.99 lb $19.99 lb $12.99 lb $14.99 lb $15.99 lb $27.99 lb

Check out our store for more Pesach menu items!

72 HOUR NOTICE REQUIRED FOR ORDERS • MENU AVAILABLE THRU CHOL HAMOED ALL ITEMS AND MANY MORE AVAILABLE AT THE DELI COUNTER BEGINNING MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2015 EXPIRES APRIL 9th 2015 • Not responsible for typographic errors • Western Kosher Specials are for in-store shopping only and may be subject to limited quantities depending on available stock




This pesach, invite a constellation of torah luminaries to your seder with

MARCH 26, 2015

The Torah Vodaas Haggadah 2

Explore the layers of deeper meaning of the Haggadah with Gedolei Torah of yesteryear:

Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, Rav Reuven Grozovsky, Rav Shmuel Kushelevitz, Rav Yaakov Kantrovitz, Rav Moshe Rosen, Rav Aharon Yeshaya Shapiro, Rav Nesanel Quinn, as well as Gedolei Torah of today:

HaRav Yisroel Belsky and HaRav Moshe Wolfson. Together, they will transport you to a fuller and uplifting understanding of Haggadah and the meaning of Pesach.

Special price on avoS now thru lag baomer

only $1499 (reg. $24.99)

For those who wish to delve into the depths of the Haggadah, this is for you! The Alshich’s profound insights brilliantly weave together the intellectual and the rational; the immanent and the transcendent. He illuminates the Pesach story with mental and supernal excursions into the foundations of Judaism. Ideal for Seder night, Pesach & year-round inspiration. For a remarkable array of insights on a host of fundamental Torah concepts.

The Saga ConTinueS from The CreaTorS of The KaTz haggadah!

According to many shittos, the mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim continues by relating the many miracles that occurred to B’nai Yisroel in the Midbar. Young & old alike will enjoy The Desert Diary by Gadi Pollack with Rabbi Baruch Chait. Experience a visual feast that transports you to the Mishkan, Ananei haKavod, Be’er Miriam, the magical Mann, & more. Eloquent artwork, glorious prose, fascinating insights, and in-depth source material, will transport you on an incredible journey through the desert as never before.

from Mitzrayim to Moshiach Connect with Pesach this year as never before. Rabbi Beinish Ginsburg weaves a marvelous tapestry of penetrating commentary from traditional sources – past and present, original insights, true stories and anecdotes, and presents it all in an engaging manner. In-depth halachic analyses, and a section of inspiring essays make this a rich resource of year-round learning - directing you from Mitzrayim to Moshiach.

The Essential Feldheim


The perfect haggadah for any group setting. An elegant, basic haggadah with large, clear type on water-resistant chrome paper. The beautiful unique layout and slim, stay-open format will fit right on your Seder table as it perpetuates our glorious tradition.

This treasured Haggadah from the Ba’al HaNesivos focuses on fundamentals. Phrase upon phrase, you get to the heart of the Haggadah. Understand the events of Yetzias Mitzrayim through the luminous eyes of this Gadol B’Torah, and enrich your Yom Tov experience.

the Agent

InternatIonal IntrIgue just shIfted Into hIgh gear! A young boy accidentally uncovers topsecret information and becomes everyone’s focus of attention - from the Mossad and Russian agents to the French Secret Service and an evil gang known as The Black Hand. Action, intrigue, and suspense combine to create a compelling thriller!

Adapted from the inspiring shuirim of Harav Avraham Tzvi Kluger, these uplifting essays reveal the inner essence of essential Torah concepts: the special times of the Jewish year, the vitality of emunah, hishtadlus, marriage, chinuch, ahavas Yisroel, tefillah, chessed, and limud haTorah. Here are words of chizuk & illumination that will fortify the heart and soul of anyone who turns to these powerful pages.




MARCH 26, 2015

COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

JEWISH THOUGHT The Four Expressions of Redemption . . . . . . . . . . . 19 With Valor and Faith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Brooklyn Fire Tragedy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

COVER STORY How a Looted Artwork Litigator became President of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust . . . 29 Kosher Marijuana? The Benefits and Risks of Medicinal Cannabis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Idaho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

EDUCATION AIPAC: Reflections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Instilling Deretz Eretz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Dear Readers,

Faith in the face of incomprehensible tragedy. But what does it mean? Is the man of faith supposed to try and understand suffering? Is he just supposed to accept it? The Neviim, the Prophets, are full of examples of Jewish leaders pleading with G-d that he act with mercy toward his children and act kindly with them. On the other hand we know that Aharon Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, was rewarded for his silence when Hashem took his two children. Perhaps the different way we respond to a calamity is connected to who is experiencing the pain. When, G-d forbid, it is personal, we endeavor to accept the suffering as part of the G-dly plan and perhaps even find some meaning within. But if, G-d forbid, it is someone else’s suffering, we need to ask, “Why?” Why was it necessary for a family of 10 to become a family of 3? What can possibly be the reason for parents to bury their children? We’re not asking this because we think we’re smarter, because we believe in another truth, or because we want answers. We’re asking, begging, respectfully demanding from our Father in heaven that he show us a truth and goodness which we can understand. Surely an unlimited G-d can give us revealed blessings, while still including the benefits of “blessings in disguise.” As a parent, I’ve realized that there is an inner joy in seeing one of my children getting upset when the other one is being

punished. The first child might have deserved the consequence. There could have even been an excellent reason for them to spend time alone in their bedroom. But when their sibling is unsettled by seeing the unhappiness, a new depth of emotion washes away the negativity of the event and puts us all on a higher plane. (On the flip side, it feels like a kick in the gut when a sibling is happy that the other one is being disciplined. You might even consider this scenario a litmus test to see how the child is internalizing that which they are being taught.) We have to be upset that there is suffering in the world. Whatever there was to be gained through our trials and tribulations we have surely accomplished after two thousand years of wandering through foreign countries. Perhaps that is exactly what’s needed; as a full expression of our belief that all that happens comes from above we ask from the depth of our souls that there be no more suffering. No more sick children. No more poverty and no more war. We simply can’t handle it anymore. He promised that he would redeem us as he did from our slavery in Egypt. We request that he simply fulfill that promise. He surely will, but we want Moshiach now. May we have a restful and miraculous Shabbos HaGadol,


T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM


The Tzedakah of the Gedolei Hador

Siyum Hashas

of Maran HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit”a On Erev Pesach, to the names of contributors ted Kupat Ha'ir will be transmit aim to Maran Hagaon Harav Ch yed Kanievsky, shlit"a, to be pra on all for as he conducts a siyum mi. of Shas Bavli and Yerushal ited until m b u s e b n a c s e Nam day, 3:00 pm on Thurs nd 2015 13 Nisan - April 2





Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievski, shlit"a, at his steady seder of "seven blatt Bavli and Yerushalmi" every day.

2 8 4


Mail your donation to: Kupat Hair 4415 14th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219 Please make checks payable to: American Friends of Kupat Ha’ir

Contribute Online at: www.kupat.org

MARCH 26, 2015

Be blessed and helped during the ‫ עת רצון‬of the




MARCH 26, 2015


Hatzolah of Los Angeles Tribute Dinner Rabbi Arye D.Gordon

The most difficult successes are accomplished by people who have a strong and deep dedication to the pursuit of a particular goal. Their dedication takes a tremendous amount of effort, self-sacrifice and determination. The members of Hatzolah of Los Angeles are such a dedicated group. Hatzolah of LA is an all-volunteer emergency rescue team. The Hatzolah team is available to respond to the communitys emergency medical needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All personnel have the necessary training, certification and equipment to provide professional basic life support care. They are there when you need them. Immediately. On Tuesday evening March 10, 2015, Jews from

Memorial Tribute to Hatzolah Volunter Anna Bitterman a’h by Author Rochelle Majer Krich

Photos: Arye D. Gordon and John Solano Photography

words of memorial tribute for Anna Bitterman, z’l, a talented and accomplished woman who volunteered for years as a Hazolah dispacher and passed away a year ago. Shmuel Hauptman, Director of Operations for Hazolah did the honor of thanking everyone who earned a mention. These Congressman Ted Lieu with Honorees Dr. and Dr. Alan Dauer included, Dinner Chairman Rabbi Meyer May of the Weisenthal Center, Dinner Co-Chairs, Mr. & Mrs. Duvi Blonder, Mr. & Mrs. Alan Friedman and Dr.& Mrs. Warren Lent;. Shmuel then made a presentation of an Award of Recognition and Gratitude to Zvika Brenner, who doggedly left no stone unturned to bring Hazolah of Los Angeles to fruition. Zvika then took the opportunity to ask all Hazolah personnel to stand with him in recognition of their unstinting dedication to Hazolah of Los Angeles. Chairman Shmuel B. Manne made the presentation to Honoree Yoey Schochet. Mrs. Heyman and two of her sons, Avi and Dubi made the presentation to Dr.and Dr. Alan Dauer In a most poignant and moving episode, the olam throughout Los Angeles attended the Angot to see a video of how Dr. Dauer and nual Tribute Dinner for the citys Hatzolah Hatzaloh made it possible for terminally members at the Universal Hilton. ill Dr. BenTzion Haymen z’lh to escort his The evening’s program was centered daughter down the aisle at her chasunah, around the recognition of two special couhe in a wheelchair and oxygen mask. His ples who have extended themselves in repetera was a few days later. sponding to the needs and cause of HatIn a long evening of presenters and zolah. speakers, deserving individuals took their They are Dr.and Dr. Alan Dauer and opportunity at the podium to praise HatMr. and Mrs. Yoey Schochet. zolah and their ongoing accomplishments. Boruch Cohen, Master of Ceremonies, There is no question that they are a most went down the list of all of those public deserving group. It takes a caring and dedofficials that deserved mentioning. Some icated person to set aside the little private of them included Congressman Ted Lieu, time they have to be osek btzorchei tzibur. Police and Fire Department officials and May Hakodesh Boruch Hu be mvorech others in Emergency Service who have asthe members of Hatzolah and their famisisted Hatzolah in fulfilling its role as an lies with the koach to continue and to be emergency responder. osek btzarchei tzibur bemunah l’arichus The MC then introduced New York yomim vshonim. Times bestselling author, Rochelle MaTo support or receive further informajer Krich who is a veteran Hatzolah distion go to www.hatzolahofla.org patcher. Mrs. Krich eloquently expressed


participated in the tours, all of which have a broad selection of kosher products. Rabbi Kalinsky explained, “We started this program 25 years ago and it was very novel at that time because there were many Baalei Teshuvah who knew little about keeping kosher for Pesach. There was a community wide need for

‫בס "ד‬





Kobe Ground Beef

this program, not necessarily to talk about things on the shelf but to point out items that might not need a Pesach hechsher, even though people were unaware of this.” The event also served to educate shoppers as to which products are Passover compatible and which are limited to Ashkenazi or Sephardi homes. Kitniyot are traditionally avoided in Ashkenazi homes but Sephardi homes can enjoy legumes including rice, corn, dried beans or lentils, peas, green beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, mustard, soybeans and millet. Most kosher homes also avoid garlic because of the way it is dried before being sold. Some of the tours included large groups of synagogue members who came to learn more. The OU team were keen to acknowledge the tremendous effort that Ralphs makes in having such a large variety of products, as well as making space in certain stores for an all-kosher section, The Kosher Experience . Rabbi Kalinsky added, “We provide a variety of information 2 weeks before the holiday so that shoppers can make their plans. We’ve come a long way in 25 years. It is incredible to see the sheer number of kosher products that have been developed to enhance the Pesach experience – who would have thought that handmade shmura matzah would be available in Ralphs, a mainstream supermarket?”

Cumin tomatoes onions lots of spices onions braised for 8 hrs

Carne Asada Thin sliced beef marinated in chimichurri sauce (garlic parsley jalapenos)

Grilled Chicken Mojo marinated (onions sweet orange cinnamon paprika)

Birria Lamb and beef braised overnight in dry chiles

Korean Short Ribs Marinated Lime brown sugar and ginger

Side Dishes Pan roasted red potatoes Roasted Pumpkin Sauteed zucchini



bravo’S 8832 w pico blvd los angeles, ca 90035 310-271-0900

Winner of

food netWork’S Sun night 9:30pm-12am Mon, tueS, Wed 11am-11pm thurS 11am-4pm

Assortment of seasonal garnishes

rcc koSher


no kitniyot

At the same time groceries sell kosher products that are kosher year round but not suitable for Pesach and this can confuse the most competent shopper. Telma soup mixes and cubes, Lieber’s Coat ‘n Bake coatings, various brands of frozen chopped liver and kishke, Osem, Gefen, Haddar, Manischewitz, Empire and other brands of products besides, have both Pesach and non-Pesach versions of the same products with similar labels. The trick to being a good kosher shopper is not to be found on a supermarket tour. Rabbi Kalinsky is quick to emphasize the essence of shopping kosher is to read the labels. You cannot assume that non kosher products have necessarily been removed from the shelves prior to Pesach. Even matzah can be unkosher for Passover. Now that’s an oxymoron. For more information visit: https://oukosher.org/passover

MARCH 26, 2015

The Orthodox Union West Coast Region’s Ralphs Kosher for Passover Supermarket Tours took place at several locations between March 11 and March 19. From Pico Robertson, to Irvine and Northridge, OU West Coast Director Rabbi Alan Kalinsky and Rabbi Reuven Nathanson, OU Kosher Senior Rabbinical Field Representative and Director presented practical workshops on holiday preparation. Eight different Ralph’s stores in Los Angeles


Kosher for Passover? Read the Label


Young ReadeRs


MARCH 26, 2015


Bursting with lively illustrations and great graphic storytelling, LETS GO FREE will mesmerize your children from Kadesh to Nirtza, and all Pesach long, as the people, events, and lessons of Pesach spring to life in this exciting and entertaining children’s Haggadah.

Important New Book from

ChaIm Walder

The Book of Amazing Facts and Feats From Torah treasures and the wonders of heaven and earth to the funny, weird, wacky, and outrageous - it’s all here in one spectacular book filled with stats, facts, true stories, and fantastic photographs. You couldn’t ask for anything more (except maybe volume 5)!

Avigail, the youngest, always gets hand-me-downs. It’s only when her aunt arrives that she learns a secret about true happiness. Join Avigail in this delightful story filled with charming illustrations; and learn her secret too!

What should you do if…your ball rolls into the street... you are lost… or a stranger knocks at the door? These are some of the common dilemmas discussed in Chaim Walder’s new book designed to help kids find solutions. Having to make a choice provokes thinking, & every scenario in the book presents a challenging dilemma that prepares children to make good choices and meet life’s challenges. Ten captivating, brightly illustrated, stories, with insights and guidelines for adults, make this a must-have reader for children, parents, and educators.

For ages 5-11

Chaim Ephraim

and the Shabbos Guests Chaim loves cholent on Shabbos, but on this particular Shabbos he has serious doubts about getting any at all. Younger readers will laugh with the turn of every page in this delightful tale about sharing.

A Whale of a Time

Stories for Thinking Kids!

The Road Less


The search for Roziya Marks’ hidden past takes her from Young readers will relish the 19 eventful and entertaining England to Arizona, but it leads to far more questions than stories in this splendid answers. This intriguing tale collection that not only grab of self-discovery, filled with the reader’s attention, but also suspicious twists, turns this show kids how to make good choices & develop good midos. road into a most riveting read.


Children of Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn greet the Rebbe

Dancing with the Rebbe at Melava Malka hosted by Reb Yissachar Dov Weiss

easy. simple. cash.


the Ukraine. It was from these sons that blossomed forth the Rebbes of Chernobyl, Cherkas, Trisk, Talne, Makarov, Skver, Rachmastrivka, Hornosteipl, Machn-ovka and several others. The Bnai Brak Chernobler Rebbe, Rav Menachem Nachum Twersky, shlita, is a direct descendant of the Chernobyl dynasty. On Thursday, the Rebbe visited with the students of Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn where he commended the children on their learning accomplishments and presented each talmid with a gift. In the evening the Rebbe attended a seudah at the Chasidishe Kollel commemorating the yahrtzeit of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk zt’l. He then went to visit with Rav Avrohom Halberstam, a family relative. The Rebbe davened Shabbos at the Chasiddishe Kollel and conducted a tisch later in the evening. During his stay in Los Angeles the Rebbe also visited the talmidim at the Los Angeles Cheder, the soul of our chassidishe community. On Motzei Shabbos, the community attended a Melave Malka in the home of Reb Yissachar Dov Weiss, host of the Rebbe’s visit. Amid the dancing and singing, the guests heard Divrei Torah from the Rebbe and were recipients of shiurim. His visit to Los Angeles provided us with a chance to stand in the Rebbe’s daled amos, something highly unlikely to occur on a visit to the Rebbe in Bnai Brak. Those who took the opportunity to see and hear from the Rebbe were inspired and impressed by his words of Torah and the warmth of his personality. May we merit more of these opportunities.

MARCH 26, 2015

It was an exciting week for the Los Angeles Community. It began with the arrival of the Bnai Brak Chernobler Rebbe, Rav Menachem Nachum (ben Meshulem Zushe) Twersky, shlita. The Rebbe arrived on Wednesday the 20th of Adar 5775 and stayed until the following Wednesday. This particular week, the community also hosted visits by a conglomerate of Gedolim and Roshei Yeshivas who descended from for Shabbos parshas Vayakhel Pekudai to our city. On Wednesday evening, Rav Chaim Boruch Rubin, Rov of Kehilas Etz Chaim of Hancock Park, hosted a kabolas panim in honor of the Rebbe’s visit. Prominent Rabbanim, Chasidim and Baale Batim came to rejoice in the Rebbe’s visit, extend a shalom aleichem and receive his bracha. The Rebbe shlita, who carries responsibility for a network of Torah institutions, made the strenuous trip to Los Angeles on behalf of the Chernobyl yeshivos and kollelim. The history of the Chernobyl Chasidic Dynasty goes back to Reb Nachum of Chernobyl (1730-1797), a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov and Reb Dov Ber, the Magid of Mezritsh. It was Reb Nachum’s son, Reb Mordechai Motele (1770-1837) who adopted the surname Twersky and transformed his followers into a mass movement. Reb Motele was known as the Chernobyler Magid. By the mid 19th century, Reb Motele’s eight sons had established themselves as Chasidic leaders. Motele was succeeded in Chernobyl by his eldest son, Aharon (1787-1871), while each of his other sons moved to a different town in

Photos: Arye D. Gordon

Rabbi Arye D.Gordon


Bnai Brak Chernobler Rebbe spends Week in Los Angeles


MARCH 26, 2015


Gedolim Address First Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Siyum Dirshu Shabbos, A Shabbos Of Olam Habaah Chaim Gold

“A unique koach of Dirshu is that it not only gives a person Olam Habaah, it also gives a person phenomenal Olam Hazeh!” These were the powerful words of HaGaon HaRav Yechiel Michel Steinmetz, shlita, Skverer Dayan of Boro Park who encapsulated the feelings of the more than 1,000 participants at the Dirshu Convention celebrating the siyum on the machzor rishon of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. Indeed, the faces of the many men and women there – men, Lomdei Dirshu who spend hours and hours of every day learning and being tested on Shas, Mishnah Berurah, Shulchan Aruch b’iyun; and women, Nishei Lomdei Dirshu who seemingly ‘give up’ their husbands’ assistance on so many fronts – shone with a true, deeply rooted simchas chaim, an authentic joy that symbolizes the absolute best of Olam Hazeh! That simcha, a simcha that permeated every corner of the convention, was rooted in the ol Torah, the yoke of Torah that both the men and the women have assumed. The truth of Chazal’s words, that there is no free man like one who is immersed in Torah, were on display throughout the Shabbos. A Shabbos of kulo ruchniyus The siyum on motzaei Shabbos of the first machzor of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha was the culmination of a Shabbos that was, as Rav Steinmenz put it, ‘kulo ruchniyus.’ In Rav Steinmetz’s words, “Where else can you have a convention where after a moving oneg Shabbos, followed by going to sleep at 1:00 a.m., at 5:00 a.m. the next morning one hears a resounding kol Torah in the beis medrash? Where do you have a convention where after the seudah on Shabbos afternoon, the ‘taanug’ of sleeping on Shabbos is replaced by the even greater pleasure of learning and chazering another blatt Gemara and another seif in Shulchan Aruch?! The Highlight: Siyum on Motzaei Shabbos, A New Hadran! The siyum, held in the main ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Stamford, Connecticut, was a memorable event. In addition to the more than 1,000 Lomdei Dirshu who were there for Shabbos, hundreds more joined on motzaei Shabbos to celebrate the siyum. HaGaon HaRav Zev Smith, shlita, a Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggid shiur chaired the event. Rav Yechiel Michel Steinmetz was honored with making the siyum on the six chalakim of the Mishnah Berurah. A thrill of excitement rippled through the crowd as Rav Steinmetz said a new, heretofore never heard Hadran, “Hadran Alach Shulchan Aruch, Aruch Chaim and Mishnah Berurah.” Then, he continued, “In the zechus of the poskim and the mechaber of the Mishnah Ber-

urah, Rav Yisrael Meir ben Rav Aryeh Zev yaamod li l’zaari, ul’zerah zari – the Torah should never depart from us or our offspring!”

“footsteps of Mashiach,” i.e. the very end of our long exile. The great Torah sages of this generation and the one before, have all taught us that this is the time of birur,

HaGaon HaRav Aharon Feldman, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisrael Baltimore was honored with saying the special Kaddish recited upon the completion of a masechta. As soon as he finished, the entire assemblage broke out into an ecstatic rikkud. The simcha was so palpable! HaGaon HaRav Reuven Feinstein, Shlita: Importance of Practical Halacha Following the dancing, HaGaon HaRav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Staten Island, was asked to start the second machzor of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. Rav Reuven poignantly said he is going to begin the machzor and if Hashem grants him Siyatta Dishmaya he hopes to complete it together with all Lomdei Dirshu. Rav Reuven spoke about the importance of internalizing one’s learning in a way that the learning becomes part of him and the halachos that he learns permeate his actions every minute of every day. Rav Dovid Hofstedter: A New Daf Yomi in Klal Yisrael A major address of the evening was given by the Nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita. Rav Dovid began by citing Rav Elchonon Wasserman, “We are living in the era of ikvesa d’Mashicha, the

“clarification.” This is the time when the absolute truth will be revealed, down to its finest details, and all masks of falsehood will be torn away. With profound emotion, Rav Dovid then exclaimed, “Every generation has its own challenge. The challenge of our generation is unbridled materialism and superficiality. We live in the most invasive society in the history of mankind. No corner of the world is protected, nothing is safe, the ruach hatumah is everywhere. It encompasses every facet of our existence. “Perhaps the great test of our days, is ensuring that our pnimiyus is in step with our outer Jewish appearance. We are being judged to determine whether it is only the clothes we wear and the language we speak that mark us as Jews, or whether we are retaining our Jewishness within our hearts as well. “Our challenge is to maintain our clarity; to understand what it means to be true Yidden in this era of superficiality and materialism. “We are here in a concentrated effort to serve Hashem. If, however, we don’t know what Hashem wants from us how can we say that we want to fulfill His ratzon?! Only when we will learn the halachos of

everyday living every single day, can we know what Hashem wants of us! “We talk about achdus, but how can we claim we want it if we don’t take the time to learn Chofetz Chaim, Shemiras Halashon and the other mussar seforim that teach us the laws of interpersonal conduct?” With great feeling, Rav Dovid proposed the charge of the evening, “Morai v’rabbosai, let us all come together to create a new Iron Dome! A shield of chizuk and shemirah to fulfill the ratzon Hashem, an Iron Dome that will protect us from the invasion of the surrounding culture! “We must come together k’ish echad b’lev echad and create a new Daf Yomi in Klal Yisrael, a Daf Yomi B’Halacha!” HaGaon HaRav Malkiel Kotler, Shlita: Halacha Is Walking With Hashem Another major address was delivered by HaGaon HaRav Malkiel Kotler, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood who came special on motzaei Shabbos to participate in Dirshu’s simchas haTorah. In his heartfelt remarks, Rav Malkiel said, “The Gemara tells us that, ‘everyone who learns daily halacha is assured a place in Olam Habaah, as the passuk states, halichos olam...’” The Rosh Yeshiva expounded, “When a person learns halacha daily his every halicha, his every step throughout the day, is done in accordance with the Torah. This is what assures him Olam Habaah.” The Rosh Yeshiva added, “the ben Torah who truly strives to understand the halacha can find in the Mishnah Berurah, the depth and reasons behind each halacha as found in the Rishonim in the Gemara.” The Rosh Yeshiva went on to express his deep admiration for Rav Dovid Hofstedter “for instituting the Daf Yomi B’Halacha program and all other Dirshu programs”. A Piece of Olam Habah The sight from all balconies overlooking the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, was a sight that was a fitting commencement to a magnificent Shabbos. Hundreds of twinkling lights surrounded by hundreds of Nishei Lomdei Dirshu representing Yidden from all walks of life and reflecting the achdus of Dirshu, all welcoming the Shabbos with heartfelt tefillos. Before Mincha, HaGaon HaRav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, gave a comprehensive address on chinuch bringing many practical lessons from the halachos of Pesach. After a heartwarming Kabbalas Shabbos led by the well-known baal menagen, Reb Isaac Honig, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe and Mesivta of Lakewood, gave a riveting address. He began with the Gemara that Hashem promised that Torah would




MARCH 26, 2015

14 not be forgotten from among Klal Yisrael. “Dirshu,” he exclaimed, “has been instrumental in fulfilling that Divine promise in our times.” Rav Sorotzkin then spoke about how Dirshu wives have an equal part in their husband’s Torah accomplishments by giving up time and forgoing the help that they often need so that their husbands can dedicate themselves to learning. Similarly, another speaker on Shabbos mentioned that the role of the women is even greater than that of the men because the men are filled with the spiritual delight of learning and knowing Torah while the women don’t feel that joy as easily in their supporting role. After the Friday night seudah a fascinating sheilos and teshuvos session with the Skverer Dayan, Rav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, was held. His instant recall and ability to answer questions from the entire gamut of Halacha left every attendee awestruck. For example, ‘If one makes a siyum on Mishnah Berurah can that siyum be made by a bechor to exempt him from fasting on erev Pesach and/or to eat fleishigs during the Nine Days?’ The answer was a resounding yes. A beautiful oneg Shabbos with zemiros and divrei Torah given by HaGaon Harav Shea Fuhrer, shlita, Rosh Kollel Bobov Toronto, was thoroughly enjoyed and extended to the wee hours of the morning. Following Shacharis, an in-depth shiur was given by HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Miller, shlita, Rosh Kollel Avreichim of Toronto and Av Bais Din Bais Horaah of Lakewood. It was remarkable – hundreds of talmidei chachomim crowding around to edge as close as possible and absorb the chiddushim. Even more remarkable was the sight of the other gedolei Yisrael sitting right in front of Rav Miller, fully focused on every word. And the simchas haTorah radiating from Rav Miller as the chiddushim unfolded was truly a spiritual delight! Inspiring Shalosh Seudos An extremely uplifting part of Shabbos was shalosh seudos as reflected by the messages of the gedolim who spoke. HaGaon HaRav Aharon Feldman, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisrael of Baltimore, cited the well-known Gemara that Mashiach will not come on Sunday. The Gemara explains the reason is that Eliyahu Hanavi has to precede Mashiach and he cannot come on Shabbos. “Why?” questioned Rav Aharon, “He cannot come on Shabbos because of an issur of techumim. Techumim is an issur derabbanan. That means Mashiach and the geulah can be delayed in order to not transgress an issur derabbanan! This shows the profound importance of having comprehensive knowledge of every Halacha so that one should not transgress any halacha even an issur derabbanan. Not knowing halacha,” concluded Rav Feldman, “is a churban!” HaGaon HaRav Yeruchem Olshin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, related the Gemara that

HaGaon HaRav Meir Shapiro cited when he instituted the Daf HaYomi. “A person nearly drowned. When asked how he was saved, he told people that he grabbed onto a daf shel sefinah, a plank from a boat. At that time (between the two World Wars), Rav Shapiro explained that Yidden were drowning in so many tzaros, they had to save themselves by grabbing onto the Daf of Torah, the daf Yomi. Today too,” thundered Rav Yeruchem, “Klal Yisrael is being buffeted by many tzaros. We see that we can’t rely on anybody, not even our ostensible friends. We need the hatzolah of a Daf! And the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is a gevaldige koach harabbim that has the power to immeasurably help Klal Yisrael!” Rav Olshin could not contain the depth of his emotion in describing the absolute achdus that he had seen permeating the halls where the convention was being held. “Dirshu has clearly shown us that the ultimate me’ached is the Torah hakedosha!” HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Choueka, shlita, Rav of Congregation Ohel Simha in Deal, New Jersey, said that every Jew has the ability to transform the impossible into something very possible! People constantly ask, ‘How is it possible to finish Shas, to complete Shulchan Aruch and be tested?’ The answer is that if one puts his full focus, if he is meyached his lev to achieve the will of Hashem, anything is possible!” The final speaker at shalosh seudos was HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Zalman Gips, shlita, Rav of Kehal Birchas Avraham, Rosh Yeshivas Yeshiva Nehardaah, and Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Maggid Shiur. Rav Gips cited the Gemara in Shabbos that states that Rav Zeira had to tell his talmidim to go and eat seudas Shabbos. Where today do we find that someone has to be told to eat seudas Shabbos?! Nobody needs to be told! The answer is that with lomdei Dirshu it happens all the time! They want to just finish… another Daf, another seif, another Mishnah Berurah…” Kedushas habayis, Kedushas HaTorah and Dirshu On Shabbos, one of the lomdei Dirshu related the following story. His friend’s son became engaged and it was time to purchase a ring. When the chosson’s father was discussing it with his son, the chosson insisted that he wanted to pay for the ring himself. “From where do you have money?” the father asked astounded. “Totty,” the chosson explained, “I have been taking Dirshu tests for several years now. Every time I earned a stipend I put the money aside. I would like to use that money to buy the ring because I want my new bayis to be built upon the foundation of the kedushas haTorah that I have worked so hard to attain.” Indeed, that was the underlying foundation one felt throughout the Dirshu Shabbos. The kedushas habayis and shalom bayis of hundreds upon hundreds of families has been immeasurably impacted and often transformed by their connection with Dirshu.

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Once-A-Year Eis Ratzon

Erev Pesach For the promise written by Hagaon Hamekubal Harav Shimshon of Ostropoli zt”l

Be Safe

All year long from all misfortune and unusual death and all evil

Moreinu HaRav Hagaon Chaim Kanievsky shlita praying on behalf of all Vaad Harabanim’s donors after reading “Igeres HaKodesh”


221 Regent Drive Lakewood, NJ 08701

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Fax: 1877-KVITTEL (1877-584-8835)

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In Canada: 5831 Esplanade Montreal Quebec Canada h2t3a2

All donations are tax deductible. Please make checks payable to Vaad Harabbanim In accordance with U.S. tax law requirements regarding deductibility of contributions, VAAD HARABBANIM L'INYANEI TZEDUKA INC. shall have full dominion, control and discretion over this gift. All contributions subject to final board approval.


MARCH 26, 2015


Banquet Raises Funds for Valley Village Yeshiva On Monday evening, March 16th, over 200 people gathered in the elegant Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel to celebrate the First Annual Yeshiva Ketana Banquet. In only its 3rd year of existence, Yeshiva Ketana’s enrollment has more than tripled, with almost 100 students expected for the upcoming school year.

Friends, family and supporters joined in this momentous occasion to demonstrate their appreciation for this incredible accomplishment. Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein, a Valley native, and his partner, Rabbi Aryeh Davidowitz, are the leaders behind Yeshiva Ketana’s rapid growth. Together,

Photos: David Miller Photography

they spearhead a team of highly-qualified education professionals, including the well-known and respected Mrs. Aida Forman. The school strives to meet the highest standards of excellence in Torah learning, Hashkafa, development of middos, secular education, and innovation, both in technology and educational tech-

niques. The Guests of Honor at this inaugural event were Mr. and Mrs. Moshe and Nechama Nafisi, who have been invaluable contributors to the school since its inception. Moshe, as a dedicated and involved board member, along with Nechama, the school’s event coordinator and graphic designer, have been the guiding force behind the establishment. They have two children who attend the school and enjoy being a part of the daily activities at Yeshiva Ketana. Another special honoree, Ms. Jennifer Manosh, was the recipient of the Hakaras Hatov award. Ms. Manosh attended the very first meeting to discuss the launch of Yeshiva Ketana four years ago and immediately enrolled her daughter as the first

Ms. Jennifer Manosh, recipient of the Hakaras Hatov Award and PTA Treasurer with a partial view of the crowd

student in the school. With her vision, will, and determination, Ms. Manosh continues to rally for the success of Yeshiva Ketana as an event coordinator and PTA treasurer. The school is forever indebted to these honorees for their tireless efforts to ensure the success it has and will I”YH continue to experience. As part of the Banquet’s program, attendees were treated to a selection of fine dining and several video presentations about Yeshiva Ketana and the honorees. Each of the honorees

L-R Rabbi Aryeh Davidowitz, Co-Menahel of the Yeshiva Ketana, Mr. Moshe Nafisi, Guest of Honor and YKLA Board Member, Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein Co-Menahel of Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles

received a unique Abecassis print with a personalized message. By the end of the energetic, heartfelt and fun-filled evening, through the help of a raffle and some last minute generosity from those present, Yeshiva Ketana raised over $100,000.


that they (fail to) recognize that they grew up. Treat them like adults,” he added, “but keep your eye on them.” Rabbi Feldman answered another question about parenting by saying that while parents are not perfect, it is not good for

parents to admit mistakes to their offspring. “A parent has to be somebody who is beyond reproach in a child’s eyes, (someone) that doesn’t make mistakes, “he said. “If it’s at all possible, he has to avoid admitting a mistake.”

MARCH 26, 2015

Photo: David Finnigan

About 100 people attended a lively, “Evening of Chizuk,” discussion at Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov-Ohr Eliyahu day school on March 16th. For this event, the school hosted two gedolay Torah from the East Coast who answered audience questions about a variety of family concerns. “All you need to do is just introduce them (children) to Torah,” said Rabbi Aharon Feldman of Baltimore. Alongside Rabbi Yisroel Belsky of Brooklyn, the Rabbis came to Los Angeles to raise funds for Israel’s Chinuch Atzmai system of independent religious schools. The evening ended with a heartfelt plea for the attendees to make $36 monthly pledges to support the transportation need for many of these schools’ estimated 30,000 students. “We have to save everyone and teach everyone, every single village and town,” said Rabbi Belsky. He described the girls in the system’s Bais Yaakovs and the boys in the Cheder, Talmud Torah and Yeshiva Ketana schools as part of, “a battle for survival for yiddishkayt…It’s a battle that has to be won.” The Israeli government has been making steep cuts in transportation subsidies for thousands of economically challenged families who send their kids to Chinuch Atzmai schools in the more remote regions of Israel that are not served by public transit. The Chinuch Atzmai system had paid bus drivers to collect these children but the Ministry of Education has cut the subsidies this school year, according to The Jewish Press. The rabbis answered questions that audience members had written on index cards. Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn, menahel at the Bais Yaakov School for Girls, read the questions from the dais. Both rabbis emphasized the power of Torah living and explained how keeping Torah and mitzvahs creates stable families when the world is, Feldman said, “blown by the winds of time. The only thing that’s stable is Torah.” “In our minds, in our communities, there’s no such thing as, `ancient,’ texts,” added Belsky. “The source for everything is in Torah.” At one point in the evening Bursztyn read a question from a parent trying to deal with a “smart-aleck” child, with Bursztyn then causing a ripple of audience laughter by saying that the anonymous questioner was, “obviously not a Bais Yaakov parent!” Rabbi Feldman readily sided with teenage children, supporting their need to grow. “The parents usually are not aware of the changes in the child,” he explained. “The fault is with the parents,

David Finnigan


An Evening of Chizuk

Emek’s Trustee Dinner Raises over $500,000! Emek Hebrew Academy held a record-breaking Trustee Dinner on February 25th, raising over half a million dollars for

the Shoham Scholarship Fund. The dinner, held at Cicada Restaurant in downtown LA, was reminiscent of a

1920’s gala with opulent gold and burgundy ornate décor. Emek parent and board member Mr. Nir Weinblut prepared a gas-

tronomical masterpiece with impeccable presentation, complemented by flower arrangements exquisitely designed by Mrs. Gali Studnik.


MARCH 26, 2015


Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, Head of School, with Ruth and Sol Teichman

A beautiful personalized book was presented to Chairman of the Board, Sol and Ruth Teichman, thanking them for their graciousness in hosting Emek staff at their home in November. Rabbi Mordechai Shifman and board president, Mr. Daniel Aharonoff, addressed the attendees, imploring them to maximize their support of Emek. A moving video was presented that included interviews with several families who are currently benefitting from the scholarship fund.

Steve Darrison, Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, Daniel Aharonoff (Board President) and Sandra R’bibo with Sue Darrison

The speeches were perfectly complemented by a nostalgic and heartwarming video of the memorialized honoree, Mr. David Weisman, ob”m. Mr. Lyle Weisman, David’s son, accepted the Legacy Award in recognition of his father’s dedication to Emek in its earliest days. Finally, there was a dedication to the efforts and unwavering loyalty of Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Sue Darrison. Mr. Darrison served on Emek’s Board for 16 years, several of those years as Board President and this was during a tumultuous time in Emek’s history. Mr. and Mrs. Darrison’s steadfast commitment to Emek’s long-term success has greatly contributed to the success of Emek today. It was a night to remember, as board member Steve Rodin explained, “The event was fabulous, which is not a word I use often!” Most importantly, the purpose of the evening, which was to raise funds to allow Jewish children the opportunity to receive an excellent Jewish education, was realized. $510,000 was raised for the scholarship fund, and due to the beneficence and benevolence of the Teichman Family, an additional $40,000 was raised at the event for new family scholarships.


The Four Expressions of Redemption :‫ מֹוצִ יא‬:‫ ָרחצָ ה‬:‫ מַ ּגִ יד‬:‫ יַחַ ץ‬:‫ ּכ ְַרּפַס‬:‫ ְּורחַ ץ‬:‫קַ דֵ ׁש‬ :‫ הַ ּלֵל‬:‫ ּבָ ֵרְך‬:‫ צָ פּון‬:‫עֹורְך‬ ֵ ‫ ׁשֻ לְ חָ ן‬:‫ּכֹורְך‬ ֵ :‫ מָ רֹור‬:‫מַ ּצָ ה‬ ‫נִ ְרצָ ה‬: The Order of Life The word “seder” means order, yet a closer glance at the night of the seder reveals that “order” is in chaos. The Haggadah reports that the cadence of the evening is supposed to begin with the negative and finish with the positive. If that’s what the evening calls for, everything should start with the negative and then move on to the positive. The problem is that the Haggadah doesn’t really follow its own recommendation. On one hand many have a custom to wear a kitul (white robe) that’s reminiscent of angels. When else does one wear these white shrouds? G-d Forbid, when someone’s buried. The Seder kicks off with Karpas which tells us how we got into this slavery mess in the first place, yet we celebrate with the story of maggid. We drink a cup of wine – festive – while at the same time it hints to the image of red blood inside of the cup. Is it actually that the whole order is off? Or the contrary? Is there actually a meaningful seder, an order, to this night? The idea of seder is actually that this is the seder of life. All of our lives are a mixture of up and down which is the normal order and progression of our lives. As you’re going through life you have certain moments that are going great, but even within the great moments, there’s always something that throws us a curve ball. That’s the seder! If the evening started with a negative and ended with a positive, that would be the order of nothing in life. Things don’t go that way. Seder is exactly the path of reality. It works out that there’s hills that go up and down and come back again, and even something that’s up, will hold a little negative as well. People who win the lottery complain that it ruins all their friendships because everyone wants to mooch off them and this makes their best friends into an enemy. That’s the seder of life.   15 Steps into the Seder The Seder has 15 parts to it: Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, etc. What does each part correspond to? The Maharal links the 15 parts of the seder to the 15 steps ascended into the Beis Hamikdash, the Temple. Our tradition compares our table to the mizbeach, the altar. This is certainly true on Pesach night when our family table is a tool that we use to achieve great spiritual heights. And likewise just as the Temple helped Israel understand the divine order of the world,

the seder, which means order, helps us understand G-d’s role in history. This vision of the Maharal is a great way to begin the seder. We imagine ourselves walking up into the Temple. The theme weaves through the seder as we connect to the Korban Pesach, the Pesach offering. Much of the evening is adorned with customs zecher l’Mikdash, in memory of the Temple.   :‫קַ דֵ ׁש‬ The View from on Top On an ordinary Shabbos or at another Yom Tov meal, the Kiddush comes before the washing. But Urchatz (the ritual washing that appears only on this night) is not the traditional washing and therefore the placement of Kadesh before Urchatz needs to be questioned. Shouldn’t an act of purification come before sanctification based upon the principle of sur m’rah v’asey tov – “turn away from the bad and do good”? Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam the Bobover Rebbe says that this detail is a great way to introduce the seder. The seder is supposed to begin with us at our lowest, mired in slavery and from that depth we work our way up. But you only really appreciate how far you’ve come if for a moment you can stand on a mountaintop and look down, or stand on a rooftop and get a whole perspective of where you’re headed on this evening. This is why we start the night from the kadesh. We start at the top, sanctification, on top of the cliff where from this vantage point we can look and appreciate how far we’ve come. Once we take grasp that perspective we are ready to begin the seder and turn back to the beginning. No Need for Blessings Rav Yaakov Enden asks how there is no bracha that is particular to the night of Pesach, like a special bracha She’asa Nissim, G-d who performs miracles? A bracha such as She’asa Nissim is typically instituted to commemorate a specific time in history that had something very unique about it. What is particular about the nature of Pesach? Maimonides tells us that on the night of Pesach we are obligated “lehoros”, to demonstrate to ourselves that right now we are experiencing our exodus. Adopting such a present perspective means that Pesach is not confined to one commemorative point in Jewish history. Since we bring the Pesach story to life in our present moment there is no need for a blessing recalling a past miracle. Once we embrace this concept we are able to take our Seder discussions in many different directions. Let us bring up a clas-

sic Pesach question. In Maimonides list of 613 commandments, he leaves out the daily obligation to recall the exodus from Egypt. How come? Rav Chaim Brisker says that the reason is because Maimonides left out all commandments that he felt would not apply in a future time when the Messiah has come. The problem with this approach is that Rambam does count the mitzvah of recalling the Exodus story on Pesach night? To defend Rav Chaim we can marshal Rav Yaakov Emdens approach cited previously. Remembering the Exodus is partially about recalling a tremendous redemption that happened in the past but at some point we are going to forget that because, G-d Willing, in the future the next redemption will outshine it. However Pesach night isn’t just recall, it is about experiencing something each year anew, that has nothing to do with the past. It’s just giving a template for redemption from the past, although the engagement is new and fresh and that feeling will never go away. The Value Vacuum What is Kadesh about? We lift up the cup of wine as a symbolic introduction to the evening. There will be 4 cups of wine in total. What do these 4 cups represent? The Talmud teaches us that the 4 cups of wine represent the 4 expressions of redemption used by the Torah, “I took you out”, “I saved you”, “I redeemed you”, “I took you”. Their placement in the Torah is slightly lopsided. The 1st and 2nd statements are at some distance from each other. The 2nd statement and the 3rd statement are also spaced considerably apart. But the 3rd and 4th expression are right next to each other. Why this imbalance? Rav Carlinshtein suggests a beautiful idea. The first 3 expressions are all a removal of some negativity that we don’t want in our lives anymore. G-d says “I’m taking you of that darkness, then I’m saving you from that darkness, and then I’m redeeming you from that darkness”. It’s all about the removal of negativity. At the same time, we can’t ever stop at the sur merah – the removal of evil.  Immediately we have to progress to the aseh tov, to the positive. It’s one thing to reject a certain value in your life and to get rid of a certain past but you can’t leave yourself empty. It is essential that we fill the void with something else, not just nothing. Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch echoes this beautifully with the words from the Torah “mischu U’kchoo lachem” - draw yourself from the idolatry and take. Take what? Take the new animal. What’s the idea? It’s one thing to draw yourself away

from an old value system that doesn’t work for you anymore but you need to immediately replace it with something else because the vacuum can be worse than the value that you’re running from. Man, in a state of nature, is like chaos without any boundaries. What’s the next step after we left Egypt and rejected that whole world? We had no values, there was nothing because we were waiting until we reached Mount Sinai and were given a whole new value system. With that progression it makes sense why we say in Pirkei Avos that there is no freedom except for that which was engraved on the tablets. Freedom only begins once you have a set of rules to live by, a value, to replace the old ones. A value vacuum is not a life. It’s a life that is left in chaos. That is why the 3rd and 4th cup at the Seder comes right away immediately next to each other. There are classically 4 special Torah portions read before Pesach. The 3rd portion is Parah, which talks about purification from past evils. The 4th reading is Hachodesh, which talks about renewal and beginning a new healthier identity. The 3rd and 4th fourth reading are placed next to each other because as soon as we wipe away a dark past, a new initiative awaits. Interestingly, right after the week of Parah we don’t have a week gap - the other readings are read on alternating weeks but not these two. Sanctifying our lives is not just about a purge. It’s also about bringing a positive value to replace the things you left behind.   A Little Different than Before Now that we have explained the concept of the 4 expressions of Redemption, the question is why are they commemorated over wine? Shouldn’t we be able to pick anything, any set of 4, 4 apples for instance. Why 4 cups of wine? Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach clarifies a big misunderstanding. These expressions are not 4 synonyms for freedom. It is so much more. These 4 statements are a progression within redemption. If it’s a progression, we need a food, or a liquid, or anything that allows us with each next quantity to go through a shift and epitomize a change. Wine has the ability to do that. With each cup that you drink you’re in a different place than the place that you were before. The other foods don’t do that, you just get fuller and fuller, and you’re sick of it and you don’t want more. Wine is the food that our tradition identifies as being endowed with the ability to change us gradually, with each cup, it takes us somewhere that is a little different from before.

MARCH 26, 2015

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Rav and Dean at Yeshivat Yavneh



MARCH 26, 2015

With Valor and Faith

This Shabbos, is known as Shabbos Hagadol, the Great Shabbos. Unlike every other special day on our calendar that is commemorated on the date of the month upon which the original neis occurred, Shabbos Hagadol commemorates an event that took place on the Shabbos prior to the Pesach holiday but it is not celebrated on the date of Yud Nissan when it actually transpired. The greatness of this Shabbos is the fact that the Jews in Mitzrayim were moser nefesh to tie the g-d of their persecutors to their beds. Sheep, the deity of Egypt, would be used as the sacrifice for the Korban Pesach four days later. The fact that Jews brought home sheep was not in itself a heroic act. They could have been bringing the sheep home to worship, or to feed and care for them. There was nothing inherent in the act of bringing home sheep that put the Jews’ lives at risk. The act of mesirus nefesh was that although they were not specifically commanded to do so, the Bnei Yisroel didn’t shy away from staring their oppressors in the eye and telling them, “We are bringing home these sheep because we will be slaughtering them.” For all time, we celebrate their act of mesirus nefesh, and their fearless act consecrated this Shabbos for all time as Shabbos Hagadol, the Great Shabbos. Shabbos is a remnant and hint of the olam hatikkun. During the week, we are subservient to our hosts in golus. We accept the curse of the sheishes yemei hamaaseh. We bow our heads and seek to overcome the prevalent darkness. On Shabbos, how-

ever, we are different. Shabbos is ushered in with the rousing song, “Lo seivoshi velo sikolmi,” proclaiming, “Klal Yisroel, today let us not be embarrassed.” Together with our neshamah yeseirah, let us enjoy this day of mei’ein Olam Haba, which provides us with a taste of the superiority we will yet enjoy, when we will hold our heads high, when nivnesah ihr al tilah will be a reality.” Therefore, it is on Shabbos that we commemorate what took place on the tenth day of Nissan, for the pride, confidence and courage of our forefathers are all represented by gifts associated with Shabbos. It is on the Shabbos prior to Pesach that we celebrate the brave dedication of the soon-to-be freed people to Hashem’s commandment. They braved threats of torture and death to bring home the sheep and tie them to their beds. On this Shabbos, we are reminded of their bravery, and their emunah and bitachon, and we seek to learn from them and follow their example. We know that hakol bishvil Yisroel, everything that occurs is, in some way, connected to us and our destiny and it exists so that we can learn.The mainstream me-

is not the case. It never made any sense that a candidate such as Yitzchak Herzog, with Tzipi Livni at his side, could win election as prime minster of a beleaguered country. Yet, everyone believed the story which was that they were ascending while Binyamin Netanyahu was descending. That story was conceived and promoted by the left and their media allies who despise Netanyahu and his right-wing ideology and partners. The idea was to lull everyone into thinking that the left can’t be beaten. It was timeless propaganda, meant to keep the right humble. It was also a lie. This is a technique familiar to us in America because the President’s team of advisors have honed the art of promotion to perfection. They tried to implement in Israel a strategy that worked so well in America. They tried to influence the outcome of the Israeli election, but their plan failed and their candidates lost. To win the election, Netanyahu didn’t get into the gutter with them. He didn’t react to their fallacious polls. Rather, he went back to his right-wing roots and strongly

ON SHABBOS HAGADOL, WE ARE REMINDED NOT TO BE APATHETIC AND NOT TO DO MITZVOS QUIETLY. dia tells us so many stories. Each one has some relevance to Klal Yisroel. Rav Simcha Bunim of Pshischa once commented that all the mitzvos of the Torah have one common theme: A person is commanded not to be a na’ar, a young boy. We must have seichel, intelligence. This directive is especially appropriate when it comes to processing the messages we are fed. As much as we don’t think that we are influenced by the narratives of the media, we still get fooled. We like to think the news doesn’t affect us, and that if we don’t read the popular publications, we are immune to their spin, but unfortunately, that

and proudly emphasized the principles that propelled him into leadership in the first place. Binyamin Netanyahu is no tzaddik, not by any measure, and he is not our role model, but he is a very fitting protagonist for a moshol, a speaker whose lesson is so relevant to us. The Israeli Prime Minister, no paragon of personal virtue, won an election by standing tall. If Hashgochah orchestrated that this storyline occur in the public sphere, and if the worldwide media and punditry are discussing and analyzing this unexpected victory, there must be a lesson in what transpired. Just as the Chofetz Chaim taught there are lessons for us to

learn from Chinese floods, the news from Eretz Yisroel also contains lessons for us all. In our lives, we often play at being a politician, even if we aren’t running for public office. We want to be popular. We see which way the winds are blowing and get in line. We don’t want to appear as losers. We don’t want to be on the losing team. Nor do we want to be portrayed as out of touch, backward, or not with the program. And sometimes, we let this negius make decisions for us, rather than having the courage to follow our convictions. This is why we can see things that we know are clearly wrong, but we have a muted response. When we see things that are contrary to all we stand for and the way we were brought up, we turn the other way. When we see the mesorah of our rabbeim corrupted, we remain silent. Why get involved? Why risk people saying that we are baalei machlokes? We have children to marry off and social obligations. We feel that we can’t say what we really think and what we know to be the truth. Ultimately, however, that type of attitude results in loss. Current realities and the age-old lessons of our mesorah have taught us otherwise. We need to absorb the lesson of this Shabbos and engage in personal mesirus nefesh to face evil with valor and faith, unafraid to express and defend our position. All that wickedness needs to triumph is for people of goodwill to remain silent. Our rabbeim and leaders have always stood up and risked everything for the truth. When Maran Rav Elozor Menachem Man Shach zt”l had something on his mind, he said it publicly, not fearing what people would say about him. If he knew he could make a difference, he did so. My Rebbi, Rav Elya Svei zt”l, would say that Madison Square Garden could be filled with people who despised him. Yet, he proudly carried the torch of Torah and mesorah without checking the polls. May we merit siyata diShmaya to continue on the straight path he forged for us. Let’s stop cowering. Let’s stop making cheshbonos. Let’s stand up to the falsifiers, the corruptors, the ones who veer from our traditions and disrespect the holy, and those who embrace the profane and bow to the


asked two questions. “Do you know his family’s financial situation?” “No,” they answered. “Do you know the matzav of shalom bayis between his parents?” “No,” they said. “How do you expect us to know these things?” Rav Shach pulled himself up in his chair, leaned on the desk and, with tears pouring down his cheeks, said to them, “Rodfim, leave my house. I don’t want to speak to you. You know nothing about what is going on in the boy’s life. You don’t know what is going on in his home. All you know is that you want to put him out on the street? Please leave.” When we must admonish people who step out of line, we must be so careful addressing the issue. But address it we must. Perhaps we can suggest a deeper connection between two seemingly contradictory attributes of Torah, neimus and emes. People don’t appreciate being lectured. No one likes receiving mussar. However, if the one who offers the rebuke loves us, we are more open to it. A mother tells her child, “Close your jacket. It’s cold outside,” and the child hears love. An unfamiliar passerby on the street offers the same suggestion and rarely is the advice appreciated. Our great rabbeim loved their talmidim enough to be able to give them mussar. Our rabbeim are intimately familiar with the needs and wants of their talmidim, so the rebuke is threaded with love. Rav Mendel Kaplan zt”l once traveled to a community, driving through the night

MARCH 26, 2015

Rav Moshe continued: “Since then, I have had no peace. What I did was proper and it was the correct way to proceed, but in the process I offended a fellow Yid. The pain of that realization sent me to bed.” This is the tightrope walked by gedolei Yisroel. Darchei noam. Emes. Yes, at times we have to admonish people, but we should try to do it in a way that doesn’t cause shame and embarrassment, and if it does, we should not gloat over what we have done, as necessary as it may have been. We should be pained by what we had to do. “Hochei’ach tochiach es amisecha velo sisa olov cheit,” the Torah says. The Rambam’s opinion (Hilchos Deios 6:7) is that this is a mitzvas asei to rebuke a person who is doing something wrong, fused with a lo sa’asei forbidding us to embarrass him while doing so. The Torah demands perfect harmony, combining courage with compassion. When Rav Elozor Menachem Man Shach was well advanced in age and had very little contact with the outside world, two roshei yeshiva insisted that they must see him. In his weakened state, he sat at his desk as they entered the room. He was bent over with age and the accumulated tzaros of Klal Yisroel and could barely hold himself up as they spoke. They told him of a boy they felt they had to expel from their yeshiva. They said that he was mechallel Shabbos in the dormitory and they could not have him around. Rav Shach listened as they spoke and then

and arriving at the local shul for Shacharis. He was exhausted. During Pesukei Dezimra, he remained seated during a time when the tzibbur rose. After Shacharis, a man went over to the guest and reminded him that halachah dictates that he should have stood up while saying Vayevorech Dovid. Rav Mendel thanked him and remarked, “If you see a guest in shul, worry about where he’s eating breakfast, not whether he stood up during Vayevorech Dovid.” Rav Mendel understood the power and potency of proper tochachah. He also knew that it can only be served up together with genuine ahavas Yisroel. The Alter of Slabodka zt”l traveled to his Rebbi and mentor, Rav Yisroel Salanter zt”l, to tell him that he planned on opening a yeshiva. “Rebbi, I want to open a yeshiva that will produce gedolei Torah. What should my role in the yeshiva be?” Rav Yisroel turned to the man who was responsible for much of the Torah we have today and said, “Your task should be ‘lehachayos lev nidko’im, ulehachayos ruach shefolim. You should be there to offer support and build up the morale of the students. Bochurim need to be reminded of the heights they can reach. Don’t let them become depressed. Don’t let them digress from the missions. Make sure they recognize their abilities and feel good about themselves.” Tochachah and mussar need not make people feel small. If you want people to excel and to improve, admonish them with care and love. If you are positive, not negative, you will accomplish a whole lot more. So, as Shabbos Hagadol approaches, we have to tap into the koach; pride and confidence to stand tall. The lesson of our forefathers who tied the sheep to their beds and then told the Mitzriyim of their plans, not seeking to curry favor with their overlords or conceal their intentions from them, should inspire us. Mishchu ukechu. Before we move forward with the mitzvos hechog, we have to speak up and do our part to right wrongs. Proudly, with the courage of our convictions and beliefs, coupled with proper middos and seichel hayoshor, we cling to the Torah of our avos and defend what is right. The mesirus nefesh unique to this Shabbos, of not being embarrassed of taking a stand and saying the truth because we are armed with emunah and bitachon, is what makes us a nation and ushers in Pesach. On Shabbos Hagadol, we are reminded not be apathetic and not to do mitzvos quietly. The Bnei Yisroel volunteered to the Mitzriyim what they were doing with the sheep. We, as well, need to embrace our role to stand tall and proud for Torah, emes, yosher and nitzchiyus. Truthful, straightforward and endless.


dollar instead of the Torah. Let’s be a mamleches kohanim vegoy kadosh. The Rama writes in Siman Alef of Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim that we should never feel embarrassed by the people who mock us: “Velo yisbayeish mipnei bnei adam hamaligim olov ba’avodas Hashem Yisborach.” The Mishnah Berurah hastens to explain that even in the service of Hashem, we should not employ the middah of azus, for it can influence our behavior in other areas. However, in the Biur Halacha, he states that this admonition of the Bais Yosef is only applicable when people mock one’s private observance of mitzvos, but when people rise up to effect changes in the Torah and its observance, it is a mitzvah to hate those people and to battle them, turning back their plans any way you can. Of course, the first approach should always be a peaceful one, for the Torah is “derocheha darchei noam vechol nesivoseha shalom.” Even when we must give tochachah, it should be with intelligence and thoughtfulness. Rav Chaim Leib Auerbach zt”l, father of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l, was once asked to what he attributed the fact that he merited such distinguished children. He answered that it was because he was once humiliated and he resolved to accept the scorn and never to respond. My wife’s great-aunt, Henche Leiman a”h, passed away last week at the age of 100. One of her relatives asked her recently to what she attributes her arichus yomim. She thought a moment and responded, “Maybe it is because I never embarrassed anyone.” The Torah way is one of sweetness and refinement. Yet, against that backdrop, the Torah personality never shies away from what’s right and true because of personal bashfulness. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l was once so upset that he felt ill and had to rest. He explained the cause of his anguish to his concerned family members. “This morning, a man came to me with a story about a certain rov who, he claimed, is accepting money to give a hechsher on a certain product. Although he has mashgichim in the plant, he turns a blind eye to the improprieties taking place there and the food is, in fact, treif. The man told me that he intends to go to war against that rov and publicize his allegations. He asked me for my blessings for the holy war he is about to engage in. I know the rov, and I know the mashgichim, and I know that what the man is alleging is a lie. I told the man that he is a nogeia bedovor, because this product competes with a product that is under his own hechsher. I told him in very strong terms that it is a lie. I told him very forcefully that what he intends to do is wrong. And I told him that I would defend the other rov and expose the accuser for what he is.”


MARCH 26, 2015


AIPAC: Reflections Rabbi Daniel Grama, Rabbi of Congregation Mogen David, Ashkenaz

The stirring power of AIPAC, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, lies in its pro-Israel mission. There are throngs of participants who now involve themselves in AIPAC events that encourage political engagement. You cannot walk away from the Annual Policy Conference, attended by 16,000 supporters, with anything less than inspiration. The group energy flows across religious, racial and political spectrums, sweeping you to the end goal; support of the Israeli government. On the political spectrum, AIPAC is truly a bi-partisan organization that has one agenda; empowering pro-Israel activists of all agendas, ages, religions and

races to be politically engaged and to build relationships with members of Congress that will promote the U.S. - Israel relationship. The AIPAC Conference offered a program that was exciting, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally heartwarming. A tremendous amount of credit goes to the Orthodox Union and Chabad, who, in recent years, have invested a great deal of time and resources in the policy conference and this year brought to life the multi-layered accomplishments of Israel and her people. Numerous stories and anecdotes in the areas of sports, politics, medicine, military and security were highlighted and shared with the participants.

The accomplishments are breathtaking. Danny Lacker, Deputy Director General of the Israel Water Authority, was recognized with honor as both a leader in Israel and a resource for the US. In January 2014, Danny read about The Elk River water contamination in Charleston, West Virginia. The city was forced to shut down their water supply when a water tank leaked contaminants. The plight of this community struck a chord in Danny and in March 2014, he visited Charleston with his team of Israeli water experts who gave guidance and information to the West Virginia National Guard, business leaders and the Jewish community. More importantly, Lacker advised city leaders on how future catastrophes could be prevented. There was also an interview with Republican Majority House leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, (Kentucky) and a speech from the Democratic US National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, amongst many others. In the religious arena, AIPAC facilitated a dual presentation with a conservative Baptist Minister and a liberal secular Jew that both work together for AIPAC. All food at the event is strictly kosher, (some of the food is even yoshson, and at times they provided cholov yisroel milk). On Shabbos, there were minyanim, shiurim, and approximately 600 people gathered together for the Shabbos meals. During the following days of the conference, there were multiple minyanim with Divrei Torah presented by a host of rabbis. With an array of great programing and amazingly fluid organization, the AIPAC Policy Conference is an extremely impressive and well organized event. Having said that, as a Torah Jew I am constantly cognizant of two issues that have possible non-Torah implications. First, AIPAC’s philosophy is to support the needs of Israel, regardless of the governing powers position on religious life. As we know, not all governments are created equal. There are some that are more sympathetic to the needs of the Torah community and others that are not. Some are more religiously liberal and some are more traditional. Therefore, giving unilateral support for AIPAC may compromise a particular person’s religious philosophies. This issue is indeed one that we in the Torah world constantly grapple with, as we often partner with organizations that do not necessarily have the same values as

us. The second issue, although certainly not a reason to avoid AIPAC, but rather, something that any Jew who believes in a Higher Authority needs to be very cautious about is Hashgacha Pratis, Divine Intervention vs Man. When you hear PM Netanyahu say with great emphasis and passion, that gone are the days when the Jews will be moved from place to place and the promise that Israel, if forced to, will stand alone and defend herself, it stirs us. We feel a sense of strength and pride, albeit, a potentially false sense of pride. When you listen to multiple speakers boast about the accomplishments of the secular state with no mention of Hashem’s hand in all these accomplishments, it can take a philosophical toll on one’s religious values. As an aside, other than Bibi, it was primarily the non-Jewish speakers who ended their presentations with, “Gd bless Israel and Gd bless America.” And yet, we must reflect and consider this; was it not specifically at the time when Bnei Yisroel stood at threat of annihilation, a hapless and weakened nation, surrounded by the Red Sea and the strongest military of its era that Moshe said to us, “And Hashem shall fight for you, and you shall remain silent”? Yes, I know we need an army, no less than we did when Yehoshua led our first battle, and we are on a level that undoubtedly requires hishtadlus, personal and communal effort. However, that does not free us from our religious obligation to believe only in the guiding hand of Hashem. Indeed, if anything, the need for hishtadlus makes it even harder. It is our faith in Hashem that supports our efforts. This is a value that is not often heard or felt at AIPAC, yet this is not a contradiction. There is a healthy balance of AIPAC’s political goals with Torah and a Torah Jew should be sure to maintain this balance. Now, as we stand between the two great months and their miracles, Adar with Purim and Nissan with Pesach, we are celebrating the wonderful miracles that Hashem has done for us. We must fortify our faith in Hashem. We must instill in our hearts that it is our faith in His eternal love for us, and His ever watching eye that will bring us the merit of His protection. So now, in the spirit of bipartisanship, I conclude these thoughts; G-d bless Israel, G-d bless America and may we merit to see Moshiach speedily in our days. Amen.



91 Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW

Instilling Deretz Eretz

My husband and I work hard to make our home a positive place for each of our children. Yet at times I feel that our children lack basic derech eretz. All of our lectures to them about the mitzvah of kibbud av v’em don’t seem to be getting us anywhere. I look at some of my neighbors’ children and cannot help but feel envious of the respect they show their parents. I know I shouldn’t be comparing but I can’t help feeling that way. Any suggestions?

focus on the mitzvah of kibbud av v’em, and that’s why there is such a dearth of respect. The rav smiled and replied that although we can always do more, that’s

Rabbi Staum Responds: There are many factors that may play a role in why children aren’t respectful, and it’s obviously impossible to address them all in this limited forum. But I would like to present one aspect to think about: A good rule of thumb is that if we want to be more effective, instead of increasing our words, we should decrease our words! It’s definitely not easy to do, and it feels counter-intuitive. But if we do so, we have a better chance of being heard. We should express to our children the behaviors we expect from them emphatically and succinctly. Although it is important as parents to discuss with our children the impor-

not the real solution. The fact is that most schools do have such programs in place, but there is a limit to how much such programs can accomplish. The better focus would be on how parents act toward their own parents, if they are zocheh to still have them. Young children hear how their parents talk about their own parents when talking to their friends. They also hear how they talk to their parents on the phone or in person. Those conversations make an impression on them. A father heard his young daughter speaking in a demeaning manner about her mother. When the father chastised his daughter for speaking that way, she innocently replied, “But that’s the way Mommy talks to Bubby!” My friend, Rabbi Naftali Eisgrau, often relates that he once asked a former neighbor how he came to have such wonderful children. The neighbor thought a moment and then replied that whenever he and his wife noticed any sort of deficiency in one of their children, they would work on themselves in that area before addressing that issue in their child. Another factor to consider is what the shalom bayis is like in the home – how the spouses treat and speak to each other in front of their children and how they speak about each other to their children. The more parents respect each other, the more their children will respect them. It’s always better for one parent to demand the respect of the other parent: “You are not allowed to speak that way to Mommy!” “If Abba said no, why are you asking me?” Dr. Shimon Russel noted that when his children were young, they would of-

tance and expectations of kibbud av v’em and the parameters of the mitzvah according to halacha, long-winded and repeated lectures will hardly be effective. In fact, this is a mistake that most of us as parents/teachers make. We lecture incessantly to our children about the behaviors we expect from them. The problem is that as soon as we begin ‘lecture mode’ our child has generally tuned out. Recently, I overheard a conversation where someone complained to his rav that our schools don’t place sufficient

ten ask him who he loves more – them or Mommy? He always immediately replied “Mommy.” He explained that far from making them feel uncomfortable,

Long-winded and repeated lectures will hardly be effective it made them feel more secure. Children thrive in a home where they feel secure, and the greatest security parents can grant them is when there is shalom bayis in the home. It’s also worth remembering that things are not always as they seem, especially in regards to what goes on behind closed doors. No one can ever know the

struggles parents have with their children that no one sees. No doubt you already expend great effort trying to inculcate your values and training your children to have good middos and derech eretz. Those efforts will undoubtedly take root and sprout in the future iy”H, though it may be hard to see it now. Still, we can always improve and become even better parents than we already are. Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, is the rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead. He is also fifth grade rebbe and guidance counselor in ASHAR in Monsey and Principal of Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor, NY. Rabbi Staum offers parenting classes based on the acclaimed Love & Logic Program. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. His website is www. stamtorah.info.

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confirmed when a journalist named Hubertus Czernin authored a series of articles exposing the history of the Klimt paintings acquired by the museum. In response, the Austrian government appointed a committee to investigate, and where applicable, offer restitution to the descendants of Austrian Jews who had artwork stolen by the Nazis during the war. Maria Altmann was the only surviving heir of Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer. She read about the new committee and its proposal, so she called her friend’s grandson, a 31-year-old attorney named Randy Schoenberg. Randy agreed to look into Maria’s case. He filed the necessary paperwork with the Austrian committee, but for months received no response. In June 1999, the committee informed Randy that it would not return the Klimt paintings to Maria Altmann, citing Adele’s will and donative intent to the museum. Randy and Maria considered suing the Austrian museum in the Austrian courts, but the court fees and costs were prohibitive. Undeterred, Randy filed Maria’s lawsuit against the Austrian museum in federal court in Los Angeles. He argued that the Bloch-Bauer’s Klimt paintings were seized in violation of international law; that Adele’s 1925 will was not binding; and the Klimt paintings should be returned to Maria. Before the Court could interpret Adele’s will, it had to decide a major procedural issue. Under a federal law called the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, a foreign government could not be sued in American courts, unless certain exceptions were applicable. Those exceptions were applicable in Maria Altmann’s case, but the issue was whether the 1976 law retroactively applied to events that occurred before the law’s enactment. No court had ever been asked to answer whether the law could be retroactively applied. The Austrian government argued that since any illegal seizure of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer’s property and artwork occurred in the late 1930s, Maria Altmann could not use the 1976 law to compel Austria’s participation in the case in American courts. Randy countered that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act applied to all claims, and did not have time limitations. Thus, Austria could not use the law as a procedural tool to avoid dealing with the underlying claims that it violated international law when it seized the Bloch-Bauers’ property. The trial court agreed with Randy, but Austria promptly appealed. At this point, the case began to generate attention, and Randy’s law firm told him to drop it. Randy refused to leave his client, so he opened his own law firm and continued pursuing the case. Shortly thereafter, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling that the 1976 law was retroactive. Austria tried one last-ditched effort to dismiss Maria’s case by appealing it to the United States Supreme Court. Incredibly, the U.S. State Department

wrote a brief supporting Austria’s position, arguing that it would be improper to force foreign governments to be hauled to American courts for events that happened decades earlier. Maria was disappointed that her own government supported Austria’s position and not hers. Most legal scholars expected Randy to lose Maria Altmann’s case at the Supreme Court. However, in a stunning 6-3 decision, the Court held in Republic of Austria v. Altmann that the 1976 law was retroactive. That meant that, after five years litigating this novel procedural issue, Maria Altmann could finally sue Austria in federal court. Unfortunately for Maria, who was 88-years-old at the time, it did not mean that she had won

Maria Altmann with the recovered Klimt painting

E. Randol Schoenberg - Yom HaShoah speech 2010

Maria Altmann as a child with her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer

the release of her family’s paintings. Randy and Maria began litigating the case again from square one, until an Austrian mediator proposed that Randy and Maria arbitrate the case in Austria in 2005. As Randy explains, the Austrian government was stalling the case, hoping that Maria would die before a decision could be made. By agreeing to arbitrate the case in front of a panel of three Austrian judges on Austrian soil, Randy and Maria forced Austria’s hand. This put the ball in the Austrian government’s court, and prevented any further tactics aimed at delaying the case. Randy urged Maria to agree to arbitration, and when she did, Randy traveled to Vienna for the arbitration hearing. The arbitration panel had to decide whether Adele Bloch-Bauer’s will was binding on her husband Ferdinand. The will asked Ferdinand to donate the Klimt paintings to the museum, but it did not instruct him to do so. The law distinguishes between a request and an instruction in a will, so Randy argued that Adele’s request was not binding on Ferdinand. Since the request was not binding, Ferdinand was under no obligation to give the paintings to the museum. Further, any donative intent on the part of the Bloch-Bauers would have been erased by the Austrian government’s complicity with the Nazis in the seizure of the Bloch-Bauer’s property. Therefore, argued Randy, the Klimt paintings belonged to Ferdinand’s heir, Maria Altmann. In another stunning victory, the Austrian arbitrators ruled 3—0 in Maria Altmann’s favor, and they ordered the museum to return the five Klimt paintings to her in Los Angeles. Maria received the paintings in 2006, and arranged for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to display them for a brief period. She later sold the paintings to various private art collectors for sums exceeding $300 million, and her 8-year mission to retrieve her paintings illegally seized by the Nazis was achieved. Randy’s participation in Maria Altmann’s case vindicated a great historical injustice. Even though Maria died in 2011, her case continues to be used as precedent by other courts in pending artwork litigation across the country. Several books and films about her case have been produced, including the upcoming film, “Woman In Gold” which will be released on April 3rd. Randy’s success with Maria’s case also allowed him and his wife Pamela to focus on philanthropy and service to the Jewish community. The Schoenbergs provided the initial seed grant for LAMOTH’s building campaign, and Randy continues to serve as the President of the museum. He is still active in Holocaust education, and continues to consult on artwork litigation as an expert in the field. The Los Angeles Jewish community is fortunate to benefit from the leadership, service, and dedication of E. Randol Schoenberg.

MARCH 26, 2015

On March 6th, The Wall Street Journal reported that an Austrian court had, “rejected a restitution claim for a sprawling Gustav Klimt fresco from the heirs of its prewar owner, a decision that keeps one of the artist’s most important surviving works in the country.” It was in the field of stolen art recovery that E. Randol Schoenberg, an LA attorney, first made his name. Since 2007, however, Schoenberg has also served as President of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH). Schoenberg was a driving force in the building and development of LAMOTH’s award-winning campus in Pan Pacific Park, which opened its doors in 2010. How Schoenberg fell into this important role is a fascinating story that ties back to his important work in recovering Nazi looted artwork. Schoenberg, or Randy as he is known, is the grandson of Austrian refugees who escaped Vienna as the war began. Both of his grandfathers - Eric Zeisl and Arnold Schoenberg - were famous Austrian musical composers whose works are still studied today. Randy’s father Ronald, now retired, was a Los Angeles Municipal Court judge for over twenty years, and both Randy and his sister are attorneys too. But it was one legal case that defined Randy’s legal career. The case pitted Randy’s client, Maria Altmann, against foreign governments, and drew international attention to the issue of artwork looted by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Maria Altmann, who died in 2011, was Austrian-Jewish and escaped Vienna and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1940s. She was the niece of a wealthy Viennese Jewish sugar tycoon named Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. He owned several famous paintings created by Gustav Klimt in the early 1900s. Ferdinand’s wife Adele died in 1925, and in her will she asked Ferdinand to donate the Klimt paintings to an Austrian museum after his own passing, which would not come until 1945. Maria Altmann’s case would center on the interpretation of her Aunt Adele’s will and the request that Ferdinand donate the paintings to the Austrian museum. In 1938, the Nazis stripped Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer of his sugar empire, and seized his real estate and artwork collection, including the Klimt paintings. Ferdinand escaped to Switzerland, where he died destitute just as the war ended. By this time, Ferdinand’s Klimt paintings had made their way to the Austrian museum after passing through the hands of high-ranking Nazi officials. When Ferdinand’s estate tried to retrieve the paintings after the war, the Austrian museum refused to return them, citing Adele’s will. Since Ferdinand had effectively carried out Adele’s wishes by “donating” them to the Austrian museum, they would not be returned. Almost six decades later, in 1998, allegations began to surface that the Austrian museum was displaying looted Jewish artwork in its exhibits. The allegations were


How a Looted Artwork Litigator became President of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust


MARCH 26, 2015

78 30

You Gotta be



Mr. Peterman was a very rich man who liked to see how smart the local kids were. One day he came into town with a little safe and announced that there was $1,000 in the safe for anyone who could get it open. He showed the crowd 5 different colored keys and the person who figured out which key was the correct one for the safe got to keep the money. Using the clues, do you think you could figure it out? Red: This key is somewhere to the left of the key to the door. Blue: This key is not at one of the ends. Green: This key is three spaces away from the key to the door (2 between). Yellow: This key is next to the key to the door. Orange: This key is in the middle. Answer on next page

Yankel finally achieved his lifelong goal—he had the winning lotto number, 49. Upon hearing the news, his friend David said, “Yankel! How did you happen to pick the winning numbers?” “I saw it in a dream. Six sevens appeared and danced before my eyes. Six times seven is 49, and that’s all there was to it,” said Yankel “But six times seven is 42 not 49,” responded David. Yankel looked at him and said, “Huh? Alright, so you be the mathematician!”

SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE BECOME AN ISRAELI  As soon as a traffic light turns green you shout, “Yalla”… even if you are the first person at the light.  A line is something that you follow in books only.  After every meal, you keep a toothpick in your mouth for 5 hours.  “Please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” are extinct dinosaurs.  Your second sentence upon meeting someone is “How much did it cost?”

 When angry, you are fluent in Arabic curse words.  You regard traffic signals and stop signs as suggestions.  You arrive 30 minutes late for a meeting but are the first person there.  You start a blog or website about Israel and Dead Sea products.  You prefer Turkish coffee (AKA “mud”) over Starbucks.  When referring to America, you say “the States.”

 You wear slacks and a buttoned, tucked out shirt to weddings.  You wear flip-flops to your own wedding.  You use the “rega” hand sign (thumb meets fingers in upwards motion) at least three a day.

 You think it is normal to buy milk in bags.  It takes you .00000000000000001 seconds to split a sunflower seed.  You don’t think sliced bread is that great anyway.

 You even eat your hotdogs with chummus.

 When you spit the sunflower seed shell out, it has a better spiral than Peyton Manning’s footballs.

 You use the word “Nu” at least 10 times when listening to a friend’s story.

 You think that nobody is qualified to be prime minister, except for you…even though you are a taxi driver.

79 31

2. Who was the first Israeli prime minister to be born in Israel? a. Yigal Allon b. Ehud Olmert c. Ehud Barak d. Yitzchak Rabin 3. Who is the person doing a headstand in this famous photograph? a. The founder of Israel’s Olympic aqua team, Yaakov Davidi b. Ilan Zoldan, who is said to have brought yoga to Israel from Russia c. Gil Mochai, who at age 81 held a world record for longest headstand. d. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion 4. Which Israeli prime minister grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? a. Benjamin Netanyahu b. Golda Meir c. Ehud Olmert d. Ehud Barak 5. Who was Israel’s second prime minister? a. David Ben Gurion b. Yigal Allon c. Moshe Sharett d. Levi Eshkol 6. How many of Israel’s 12 prime ministers served nonconsecutive terms in office? a. 2 b. 4 c. 5 d. 8

7. The Israeli elections of 1984 was a political draw, so prime ministership was split between the leaders of the Avoda and the Likud parties serving two years each in what was called “the rotation.” Who were they? a. Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir b. Shimon Peres and Menachem Begin c. Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir d. Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin Answer: 1. B- In 1946 the British placed a $50,000 reward on Begin’s head. He escaped the British dragnet by disguising himself Rabbi Israel Sassover and was known as “the Sassover Rav.” In his later years Begin recollected that it was hard for him to keep his disguise when he would walk into shul and people would come up to him and say, “Nu, Rav Sassover, did you hear what the Irgun did today?” 2. A 3. D- This photo of Ben Gurion standing on his head was taken on a Herzliya beach in 1957, while the then-prime minister was relaxing. Ben Gurion liked to stand on his head. He was an avid yogi and travelled to India to study meditation. This picture is of him at 71, in 1957, at the Herzeliya beach (where I am heading to lunch in a bit). 4. B- Golda Meir grew up in Milwaukee and made an aliyah when she was 23 years old. 5. C 6. C 7. A Wisdom Key: 5-7 correct: Aizeh keff atah! You win a bag of sunflower seeds. 3-4 correct: Not bad. You win sunflower seed shells! 0-2 correct: You really don’t know much about Israeli politics… so you have no future as an Israeli Comm Let the ission taxi driver. er



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MARCH 26, 2015

1. In 1946 when Menachem Begin was in hiding as the head of the underground group, the Irgun, what did he disguise himself as? a. A taxi driver b. A rabbi c. A homeless man d. A mute


Israeli Prime Minister Trivia

ANSWER TO RIDDLE: The order (from left to right) is Green, Red, Orange, Blue, and Yellow. The blue key is the key to the door.



MARCH 26, 2015



Notable Quotes


Compiled by Nate Davis

Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say“Say What?” What?” According to a professor at DePaul University, if a person randomly fills out his March Madness bracket, he has a one in 9.2 quintillion chance of getting it perfect. Or as gamblers put it, “So you’re saying I’ve got a chance!” - Jimmy Fallon

Uncle Sam has long been in the grip of many addictions, such as muscle-flexing, preaching and borrowing, but there has turned out to be one more: kibitzing. - China’s state media turning to Yiddish to criticize the United States meddling in the South China Sea issue

Mitt Romney announced he will fight former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in a charity boxing match. You can tell that Romney is serious about it. Today, his butler gave him a piggyback ride up the steps of the Philadelphia art museum. – Jimmy Fallon

I can fight anybody, so long as Candy Crowley isn’t the referee. - Mitt Romney discussing his upcoming charity boxing match with Evander Holyfield and recalling CNN’s Candy Crowley’s interference on behalf of President Obama during a 2012 presidential debate

Remember evil Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? He vanished for 10 days. He had disappeared and there were a lot of rumors. One rumor was he had disappeared because he had himself executed. – David Letterman

We are in Austin, Texas. I’ve been away from L.A. for five days. I’ve already forgotten what kale tastes like. I now eat my vegetables fried as G-d intended. – Jimmy Kimmel

As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults. And we need adult camps that you all run. Really. None of the serious stuff. None of the life-challenging stuff… more fun. I think we have a huge fun deficit in America. And we need to figure out how to fill that fun deficit, certainly for our kids but also for the rest of us. We need some fun from time to time, maybe some enrichment, certainly some time outdoors. Maybe actually spending time with people that we didn’t know before. - Hillary Clinton, speaking at the American Camp Association in New Jersey

March Madness is officially underway and there have already been some major upsets. For instance, I told my wife I was going to watch basketball all weekend and she was really upset. – Seth Myers

Of course, yes, death to America. – Ayatollah Khamenei at a rally in Tehran last week, when the crowd began chanting, “Death to America.”

During a speech yesterday, President Obama discussed the country’s successful economy and said, “I’m going to take a little credit.” Then the people at the rally said, “Dude, we’re all here in the middle of the day because we don’t have jobs. So stop talking about how good the economy is.” – Jimmy Fallon Obama discussed the successful economy and said “I’m going to take a little credit.” Then the economy got bad again and he said, “Republicans did it.” – Ibid

Mitt Romney, two-time Republican presidential candidate, is going to fight Evander Holyfield for charity. I hope they save some of that money for funeral expenses. – David Letterman

An occupation that has lasted almost 50 years must end. - White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough talking at the supposed “pro-Israel,” left- wing organization, J Street’s annual conference

I’m going to take a little credit. - President Obama discussing the improving economy at the City Club of Cleveland Everything’s a crisis, everything is terrible, everything is doomsday, everything is – if it doesn’t get solved tomorrow, you know, your presidency is going off the rails. There must have been what, 15, 20 things that over the last seven years folks have said, “This is it. It’s over.” You know, we had the Gulf oil spill, worst environmental disaster in history. Everybody said, “Ah, he’s handling this terribly.” A year later, nobody was talking about it, and in retrospect, it turns out that we handled that as well as any environmental crisis has been handled. – President Obama in an interview with the Huffington Post I think it’s hilarious and fantastic that Fox News is covering, you know, each hour that Obama had not — up until recently today, I guess — congratulated Bibi Netanyahu on his victory. It’s like, you know, “Has John Hinckley called to congratulate Ronald Reagan yet?” - Ann Coulter, on Fox News, referencing the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981

There wasn’t even a crash — if anything, it was just a lovetap to the gate of the White House. - Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy testifying in front of Congress regarding a recent incident in which drunk Secret Service agents crashed their car at the White House during a bomb threat




Republican Ted Cruz announced that he will run for president in 2016. So finally, Carnival is no longer the most dangerous cruise in America. – Ibid

Ted Cruz released a presidential campaign video in Spanish. Cruz explained, “It’s important for me to reach out to the people I’m trying to deport.” - Ibid

While credible witnesses gave varying accounts of exactly what Brown was doing with his hands as he moved toward Wilson – i.e., balling them, holding them out, or pulling up his pants up – and varying accounts of how he was moving – i.e., “charging,” moving in “slow motion,” or “running” – they all establish that Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him. Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and “charging” at Wilson. – A portion of the recently released Dept. of Justice report, regarding what happened between Michael Brown and Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri [The Justice Department reports] have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths: Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown. – Jonathan Capehart, acknowledging in the Washington Post that he was wrong about the Ferguson, Missouri, situation

College kids now are so politically correct. I mean, to the point where — I’ll give you an example. We had interns at the show, college interns. Like, the last year of the show, one of the interns comes and says, “Mr. Leno, I’m getting lunch. What do you want?” I said, “I don’t know, where are you going?” He said, “We’re getting Mexican.” I said, “I don’t really like Mexican.” He goes, “Whoa, that’s kind of racist.” That’s not racist. No, being anti-guacamole is not racist, okay? You have no idea what racism is. That’s not racist, you idiot! You moron. - Jay Leno in an interview with Seth Myers The president should get over it. Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President, it’s time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region, which is threatening the very fabric of the region. The least of your problems is what Bibi Netanyahu said during an election campaign. - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) on CNN discussing President Obama’s overt disdain for Netanyahu

These are the same Democrats that voted against Condoleezza Rice when she was appointed to be Secretary of State, and second, these are the same Democrats that blocked Miguel Estrada from even getting a vote in United States Senate, a very highly qualified Hispanic candidate for the federal judiciary. - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), responding to Sen. Durbin’s comments, on Fox News

Netanyahu can no longer be dismissed as a rogue. He has proved that his people stand behind him. They have given him more seats in parliament than he had before and a more hawkish coalition of ruling parties. We don’t have a Netanyahu problem anymore. We have an Israel problem. - Liberal columnist William Saletan, Slate.com Sure, Iran’s top ally may be dropping chlorine gas on civilians, but the real problem in the Middle East is the Israel electorate. “The Price Israel Must Pay: We no longer have a Netanyahu problem. We have an Israel problem”—not a Hamas problem, or Fatah problem, not a random-criminals-shooting-folks-in-markets problem, or a lack-of-a-civil-society-in-the-Middle-East problem, but an Israel problem. - David Harsani, the Federalist.com, in response to Saletan’s article

A lot of people were angry at the way Netanyahu won this election. They said it was racist that he said, at the last minute, “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls”… I heard a lot of commentators here say, it would been as if Mitt Romney, in 2012, on the eve of the election said, “Black voters are coming out in droves to the polls.” But I don’t know if that’s really a great analogy. I think that would be a good analogy if America was a country that was surrounded by 12 or 13 completely black nations who had militarily attacked us many times, including as recently as last year. Would we let them vote? I don’t know. When we were attacked by the Japanese, we didn’t just not let them vote, we rounded them up and put them in camps. - Bill Maher

Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. - Prime Minister Netanyahu on Election Day, urging his voters to get to the polls The United States and this administration is deeply concerned about rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens. – White House Spokesman Josh Earnest condemning Netanyahu for encouraging his base to vote by warning that the Arabs, who are part of the left-wing’s base, were all voting

I wouldn’t hire this administration to negotiate a one-month lease for me. - Alan Dershowitz discussing the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran


MARCH 26, 2015

Texas senator and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz announced he’s running for president. He pledged to lead America boldly forward into the 1950s. – Conan O’Brien

Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar. That is unfair. It’s unjust. It is beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate. - Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) when Lynch’s confirmation hearing was delayed because of an unrelated procedural issue


Texas Senator Ted Cruz officially announced that he’s running for president. Cruz said that after doing exhaustive research to see if he had a real chance to win, he said, “I’m gonna run anyway.” – Jimmy Fallon

MARCH 26, 2015


Kosher Marijuana? The Benefits and Risks of Medicinal Cannabis


Aaron Feigenbaum Marijuana is the name given to the dried flowers and leaves from the cannabis flowering plant. In several states, including Washington and Colorado, it is now legal to possess recreational marijuana. Many more have permitted medical marijuana which can be smoked, eaten or used in cooking. Marijuana is gaining increasing acceptance by American society. Now, the Orthodox Union is reportedly considering hechshering a company that producers medical marijuana edibles in Colorado. According to a New York Post interview this month with Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the OU’s Kashrus Department, the OU “Would not have a problem certifying” medical marijuana. The article noted that “As a plant, marijuana doesn’t have to be certified kosher, but when it comes to edibles, the other ingredients are the issue.” Many studies show that marijuana has medical benefits. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, works by targeting the CB1 receptor, a cannabinoid receptor found mainly in the brain but also in the liver, kidneys, lungs and nervous system. Studies have shown that THC is effective in combating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, Crohn’s, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Two FDA-approved, non-plant forms of THC, dronabinol and nabilone, have been shown to reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy. A 2007 study found that THC is proven effective at reducing pain caused by damaged nerves in HIV patients, something that opiates such as morphine cannot achieve. THC also has psychological benefits including anxiety relief, sedation and euphoria. As far as delivery methods go, smoking marijuana has been shown to be safer than smoking tobacco, although it is certainly possible for a heavy marijuana smoker to develop lung cancer. The leaf of the plant would not need a hechsher and vaporizers can be used which are safer than smoking since they heat, but don’t burn the leaves. There is concern that both methods carry a risk of asthma and bronchial spasms. Marijuana edibles such as oil, candies and brownies, on the other hand, carry no risk of carcinogens or lung issues. However, even more caution must be taken with edibles since their effects can be more potent and longer lasting and this is where the kosher certification would be needed. Meanwhile, studies showing the benefits of medical marijuana have been severely limited by the fact that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Before the medical marijuana movement caught

A sign advertising a medical marijuana dispensary on Venice Beach

Wild cannabis in Uttarakhnad, India

fire, researchers were forced to rely on one legal marijuana supplier, which is hampered by bureaucratic red tape. The longterm safety of medical marijuana has not been adequately studied. One 2013 report found that it caused, “diseases of the liver (particularly with co-existing hepatitis C), lungs, heart, and vasculature.” Unlike prescription drugs which have been rigorously safety-tested by the FDA, most marijuana products have not undergone FDA evaluation, a process which normally takes between 10 and 15 years from start to commercial product. The biggest danger lies with people who have a history of mental illness and who have a low tolerance to THC. Depending on many factors, THC could worsen pre-existing conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipo-

PHOTO CREDIT- Yann via Wikimedia

lar disorder. A 2015 British report lead by Dr. Marta Di Forti, found that extra-potent “skunk” marijuana is more likely to cause psychosis or psychotic disorders, hallucinations or paranoid delusions for those who smoke every day, especially when users started smoking by the age of 15. Marijuana dependency is a real possibility. Were California’s medical marijuana laws properly enforced, the risk to patients could be diminished. Instead, doctors at numerous cannabis clinics across Los Angeles are quick to give prescriptions to anyone who says they have a condition warranting the use of marijuana. State law requires proof of necessity from a primary physician, but no one is checking on these clinics to make sure that “patients” have a referral from a doctor who has fully evaluated the request. Clinic doctors may be

state licensed but their prescription allows for the purchase and use of any amount of marijuana. Contrast this to an actual prescription which specifies how much to take and how often. There is no requirement for labels to show the content of THC (or whatever else) is in their products, and there aren’t routine safety inspections. While some dispensaries in Los Angeles have been shut down due to the federal ban on marijuana, as well as the city ordinance limiting the number of total dispensaries to 135, the issue of patient safety has not been systematized. Beyond the need to pay a fee to a cannabis clinic or to L.A. County’s Medical Marijuana Identification Program, there is almost no difference between the sale of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use in California. Rabbi J. David Bleich, a medical ethics expert at Yeshiva University in New York points out, using marijuana for recreational purposes is, “pleasure for pleasure’s sake,” and, “certainly not that to which a Jew should aspire.” Yet he also agrees that medical marijuana is, “a perfectly acceptable use of a plant that grows in G-d’s garden.” At the same time, the overriding principle in Jewish medical ethics is pikuach nefesh. The Torah teaches us that it is a mitzvah to save a person’s life, even if it violates other halachos, (i.e. keeping Shabbos or dina d’malchuta dina). Some authorities extend this principle to reducing extreme suffering. For example, Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg, in his 1977 responsa collection Tzitz Eliezer, rules that the use of morphine is permissible for cases of severe pain, even though it could shorten the patient’s life and form an addiction. Rabbi Waldenberg applies this extreme example to more general instances of suffering in ruling that, “the undertaking of measures by a physician aimed at reducing suffering falls under the category of ‘medicine.’” Rabbi Moshe Tendler, son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Professor of Jewish Ethics at Yeshiva University, believes that concern over the risks of marijuana is “not adequate” to deny it to needy patients. Indeed, it may actually be preferable in cases where prescription drugs either don’t help or where their side effects are unbearable. At any rate the actuality of purchasing kosher marijuana is limited to the ability to regulate the production facility. Given California’s dysfunctional system, it seems unlikely that a kosher certification will be easy to locate any time soon.




Bartenura Moscato, Brachetto, or Pinot Grigio

Joyvin Red or White


Barkan Classic

Tulip Just Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon 22.99

Rashi Claret



Selected Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, or Carmel Moscato



Cabernet, Black Muscat, Pink Moscato, Duette


Askalon Arak


Castel Petit Castel



Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonay, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz



Los Arango Blanco

Teal Lake

Cabernet Merlot, Chardonnay, Shiraz


Baron Herzog Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot


Wines by W 6.99


Sabra Chocolate Orange or Coffee Liqueurs


12431 Burbank Boulevard 路 Valley Village, CA 91607 818.506.6661

Goose Bay Pinot Noir


MARCH 26, 2015

Royale French Wines

Ramon Cardova Rioja



Concord, Light Pink, Light White, Light Red


MARCH 26, 2015


‫ היומי בהלכה‬‫ של ד‬‫ העולמי למחזור הראשו‬‫דרשו סיו‬ ERETZ YISRAEL:















‫ העולמי‬‫דרשו סיו‬ ‫ היומי בהלכה‬‫ של ד‬‫למחזור הראשו‬

‫ הלכה‬‫תהא שנת עיו‬




“Bringing a topic to its Halachic conclusion is the goal. The Torah is our light. …it shows us where to go. One must learn Torah in order to know where to go. However, one can learn and learn and still not know the proper path - what does the light alone help? Learning Torah to a Halachic conclusion will guide you in this light…this is the ultimate purpose.”

“Knowing and recognizing the programs of Dirshu…and the great success of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, I say of them, there is no such thing as a “Siyum”– Completion.” It always has a continuity, and an added new beginning. It is a great zechus, and one needs a great zechus to succeed in it. May there be a blessing of hatzlacha in all the good activities of Dirshu, and a Yasher Koach on all its great matters.”

HAGAON HARAV DOVID COHEN, SHLITA Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivas Chevron

“The Dirshu organization has initiated a program to strengthen the study of Halacha in the Mishna Berurah, which is an obligation on every Jew. ... In this merit we will speedily see the complete redemption.”



SANZER REBBE, SHLITA “I reiterate...there should go out the call to strengthen the Dirshu organization’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, to make great effort in the daily study of halachos in the Sefer Mishnah Berurah...and especially at this time, that is an Eis Tzarah L’Yaakov especially in Eretz Yisrael...”

VIZHNITZER REBBE, SHLITA “Halacha is special. We find that, ‘Hashem loves the gates of halacha more than anything else…’ Halacha teaches a person how to conduct himself. The Torah was given to us so that we should fulfill it… This program gives every person the framework and ability to make a halacha seder each day and thereby merit Olam Habah. It is a tremendous zechus.”

Thousands worldwide are joined together and have benefitted from Daf HaYomi B’Halacha’s daily limud of Mishnah Berurah and Mussar from Sifrei Chofetz Chaim. Gedolei Yisrael have endorsed and encouraged Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program’s unique retention and accountability methods, as a way to master Halacha.

Now it's easier than ever to join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, the largest worldwide daily Halacha program: Join LIVE shiurim worldwide!

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Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivas Ponovezh


MARCH 26, 2015





Travel Guide: Idaho Aaron Feigenbaum


MARCH 26, 2015


Anne Frank, Human Rights Monument in Boise

Idaho is best known for its potatoes, but the underrated Gem State is also home to some of America’s most impressive natural wonders. Much of Idaho is pristine, untapped wilderness. Its snowy peaks, vast blue skies, and crystal clear waters are a magnet for skiers, kayakers, climbers and general nature lovers. The Idaho Panhandle in the north is full of deep woods and shimmering lakes, while the south’s potato and alfalfa fields stretch as far as the eye can see along the Snake River Plain.

Bald Eagle at the World Center for Birds of Prey

Idaho’s picturesque mountain towns like Coeur d’Alene are reminiscent of European alpine resorts. The capital, Boise, is quickly becoming one of the American West’s commercial, cultural, and educational hubs. From North America’s deepest gorge to one of the longest undammed rivers in the country to a 9,000 square mile section completely free from human interference, Idaho is a wild land offering countless adventures. As the old saying goes, “Idaho is as America was.”

Bogus Basin

History Indigenous tribes have inhabited the Idaho region for thousands of years. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 led to the first European exploration of Idaho by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The pioneering duo crossed Central Idaho with the hope of finding a route to the Pacific Ocean. Instead, they were met with the steep, imposing peaks of Lemhi Pass. Despite their lack of success, traders and trappers would follow in their wake and set up Kullyspell House, the first non-native settlement in the Northwest, in 1809. In 1830, Captain Benjamin Bonneville, the famous French-born U.S. Army officer and explorer, accompanied the first wagon train across southern Idaho. Fort Boise, later to be called just Boise, was established in 1834. In 1836, Henry Spalding opened Idaho’s very first school and grew the first Idaho potato, the precursor to what is now an almost $3 billion per year industry. The first permanent town in Idaho, Franklin, popped up in 1860. With the discovery of gold and silver, more towns including Pierce and Idaho City were established over the next few years. An influx of miners, ranchers and farmers settled in Idaho and developed the land enough to get federal recognition of the Idaho Territory in 1863, with Lewiston as the capital. The 1877 Nez Perce War pitted natives against pioneers, with Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe leading his people in a flight across Idaho and Montana before delivering his famous words, “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” The discovery of the country’s richest silver deposit near Coeur d’Alene in 1884 electrified the economy and fast tracked Idaho on the path to statehood. Idaho became America’s 43rd state in 1890 with a population of almost 90,000. Idaho caught the headlines once again when notorious criminal Butch Cassidy robbed a bank in Montpelier in 1896. After the turn of the century, Idaho experienced another economic boom as the new Milner Dam carried irrigation

water south and the nation’s largest sawmill opened in Potlatch. Idaho continued to make history by electing the nation’s first Jewish governor, Moses Alexander, in 1914. Since his time, many Idahoan Jews have served as mayors, state assemblymen and many other positions of power. Idaho was also the birthplace of Philo Farnsworth who made major contributions to the development of the first television set and J.R. Simplot who started in the potato industry and became a billionaire from his business exploits. A nuclear reactor prototype was established in the desert near Idaho Falls in 1949, and in 1951 it became the first place to use nuclear fission to produce electricity. Today, Idaho is a progressive, diverse, and ecology-minded state whose natural beauty leaves its hundreds of thousands of annual visitors awestruck. Attractions Boise: Set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Idaho’s capital has a number of interesting museums and plenty of outdoors activities. Downtown Boise and the North End district are every bit as much of Pacific Northwest Bohemian culture as Portland and Seattle are, while suburbs such as Meridian and Nampa embody the independent spirit of the Rocky Mountains. Arguably the best site here is the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile scenic pathway providing excellent opportunities for hiking, biking and jogging. Along the way, you can see Julia Davis Park which contains some of the city’s best museums. It boasts the Boise Zoo, the Idaho Historical Museum, the Discovery Center of Idaho and the Boise Art Museum. Be sure to see the simple, yet highly evocative Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, located near the library and Boise State University. The Idaho State Capitol Building is one of the most grandiose and exotic capitol buildings in the country. The intricate, Roman-inspired marble work and gold eagle adorning the dome make the seat of Idaho’s government measure up to its


A panoramic photo of Boise, Idaho from Camelsback Park - Patrick R. via Wkimedia Commons

counterpart in Washington, D.C. A free guided tour shows how this masterpiece of architecture was constructed, as well as providing illuminating displays about Idaho’s settler-era. For something very unique and family-friendly, check out the Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey. Owls, vultures, eagles and condors are just some of the majestic creatures on display. Guides and interactive exhibits explain the art of falconry, while a live falconry show in an indoor amphitheatre puts theory into practice. Boise’s diverse environment includes the largest Basque population living outside Spain. The Basque Museum and Cul-

Coeur d’Alene: The largest city in Northern Idaho, Coeur d’Alene is very much part of the Pacific Northwest both in terms of its scenery and culture. The centerpiece is the huge, serene lake - perfect for fishing, boating and swimming. The nearby two mile Tubbs Hill Nature Trail offer spectacular views of the lake and surrounding forests. Sun Valley: Arguably one of the best ski resorts in the West, Sun Valley is the Idahoan equivalent to Aspen, Colorado. Dollar Mountain offers gentle terrain for beginners while Bald Mountain will appeal to those looking for a challenge. Special events include World Class Ice Skating Performances at Sun Valley Ice Rink and

lo 14 astronauts visited this area in 1969 in preparation to learn about the moon’s geology in preparation for future trips to the moon. The park is one of America’s best preserved and most varied volcanic protected areas, with some of the world’s deepest open rift cracks. Daven and Eat The only Orthodox shul in Idaho is Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho in Boise. They are located at 6114 North Cape Arago Place and can be reached at (208) 8539200 or jewishidaho.com

There are no kosher restaurants in Idaho. A number of Boise markets such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods carry kosher products. For kosher meals, contact Chabad of Idaho in advance. Getting There Both roundtrip flights and Amtrak tickets from L.A. to Boise currently start at around $300 per person. Greyhound tickets start at about $360 per person. Driving there is about 13.5 hours or 840 miles. (Sources: Wikitravel, Lonely Planet, Tripadvisor, Fodor’s)


Snake River - Famartin via Wikimedia Commons

tural Center shows visitors the history of the Basque settlers in Idaho and gives insight into their unique, little-known culture and language. The Old Idaho Penitentiary, operating from 1872 to 1973, was where some of the West’s roughest and meanest criminals were housed. Visitors can now walk through cell blocks, solitary confinement, and the dreaded gallows while learning about the prison’s bold escapes, scandals and executions. Sitting right next to the prison are the Idaho Botanical Gardens which includes trees planted by the prisoners in the 1930’s and ‘40’s. Located about 20 miles away from Boise’s center is the Bogus Basin Ski Resort. Reasonably priced and featuring a variety of slopes for every skill level, Bogus Basin is Boise’s hidden gems. Even if you’re not a skier, the view of the city and Rocky Mountains makes it worth the short drive.

Wagon Days, a four day Old West-themed series of street theater, dances, parades and more. Nearby Ketchum is where Ernest Hemingway lived until his death in 1961. A nearby memorial to him reads: “Best of all he loved the fall, the leaves yellow on cottonwoods, leaves floating on trout streams, and above the hills the high blue windless skies.” Other attractions: Custer Ghost Town in Central Idaho is a remnant of the state’s mining glory days. At its height in 1896, 600 miners called this tiny town home until the end of the collapse of the nearby mines left Custer empty by 1910. Visitors can see the original schoolhouse, gold dredging machine, an interpretive slideshow, as well as nearby Bonanza Ghost Town. Craters of the Moon National Monument is an alien landscape of lava flows that, surprisingly, hosts a very diverse array of plants and animals. The Apol-

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Global 150 Killed as Plane Crashes into the Alps

On Tuesday, search teams combed the French Alps searching for survivors from a Germanwings flight that crashed into the southern French Alps on Tuesday morning 50 minutes into its flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. Searchers, though, didn’t expect to locate any survivors from the 150 people who were onboard the plane. Wreckage was spotted shortly after the crash in a snow-covered, remote area of the mountains at around 6,500 feet, France’s Interior Ministry told The Associated Press. Eric Ciotti, the head of the regional council, said search-and-rescue teams were headed to the crash site. The debris field, reportedly a two-hour hike from the nearest village, stretched for more than a mile. “This is a mourning period that we need to overcome because it’s a tragedy that has occurred on our land,” French President Francois Hollande after hearing about the crash. As of Tuesday morning, passenger names were not released, as the airline and authorities endeavored to contact the families of those who were flying. It was reported that 16 from a German high school and two of their teachers were aboard, as well as two babies. Less than an hour into the flight, the plane dropped from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet to around 6,800 feet. The 10-minute descent was unusually rapid but it seemed controlled. Even so, the plane was too low and not able to navigate the mountains. The owner of a campground near the crash site, Pierre Polizzi, told The Associated Press he heard a noise from the plane

shortly before it crashed. “I heard a series of loud noises in the air,” the owner of a campground near the crash site related. “There are often fighter jets flying over, so I thought it sounded just like that. I looked outside, but I couldn’t see any fighter planes.” The plane was built in 1991 and had always been in Lufthansa’s fleet. Winkelmann said at a Tuesday news conference hours after the crash that the pilot had more than 10 years’ experience and that the plane had been thoroughly inspected a day earlier. “We will do everything possible the clarify the causes of the accident as quickly as possible,” Germanwings official Thomas Winkelmann said. “We want to know what happened. That is our obligation.” The pilot had 10 years’ experience and the plane was thoroughly inspected the day before. “We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525,” Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told Sky News. “My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.”

South American Nazi Lair Discovered

A secret Nazi hideout has been uncovered by Argentinian archaeologists in one of the country’s remote jungles. The country is known to have been a safe haven for Nazis after World War II. The outpost of three thick-walled lookouts discovered in the Teyu Cuare Park contained German coins dating from 1938 to 1944. There was also porcelain from the country created during the same time period. “Apparently, halfway through World War II, the Nazis had a secret project to build shelters for top leaders in the event of defeat – inaccessible sites in the middle

of deserts, in the mountains, on a cliff or in the middle of the jungle like this,” archaeologist team leader Daniel Schavelzon said. Researchers believe the inaccessible lair, built just across the Rio Parana from Paraguay and not too much farther from the Brazilian border to the east, was just such an outpost. They do not believe the structures were ever used by Nazis, though local legend has it that Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary, built a different hideout somewhere in the Misiones region. Bormann never got the chance to use the shelter; he committed suicide as the Soviets closed in on Berlin in May 1945. Argentina was one of several South American countries that took in Nazis fleeing prosecution in post-war Europe. Criminals like Dr. Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann found refuge in the country, where President Juan Domingo Peron allowed them to live with full citizenship, often under false names. Eichmann was captured in 1960 by Israel’s Mossad, the Nazi-hunting intelligence service, and hanged in Israel.

London Synagogue Harassed by Mob

Six men have been placed under arrest after a group of 20 or so tried to violently force their way into a London synagogue on Sunday. A video posted to YouTube on March 22 appears to show the incident. In it, members of the Ahavas Torah synagogue in Stamford Hill can be seen defending themselves with chairs and other objects amid loud cursing and an apparent assault by an unseen group just outside a pair of doors with broken windows. Thankfully, only minor injuries were reported to have been sustained by those inside the shul. It is unclear what kicked off the incident, but police expressed doubt

it was a planned attack. “The incident is being treated as an anti-Semitic incident, due to remarks made by one of the group,” London’s Metropolitan police said in a statement. “However, there is nothing to suggest it was a planned or targeted attack.” “Again, Jews were murdered on European soil just because they were Jews,” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said after recent attacks on Jews in Denmark. “This wave of attacks is expected to continue, as well as murderous anti-Semitic attacks. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.” Netanyahu’s call has sparked a passionate debate about the safety of Jews in Europe amid a growing tide of anti-Semitism, as well as questions about whether officials there are doing everything they can to protect their Jewish populations.

Longtime Singapore Leader Dies Lee Kuan Yew, founder and 31-year leader of modern Singapore, has died at the age of 91. Lee is heavily credited for turning the small city-state into one of the world’s richest nations. He was admired and feared worldwide.

The country’s first and longest-serving prime minister, Lee guided Singapore through a traumatic split with Malaysia in 1965 and led the transformation of what was then a sleepy port city into a global trade and finance center. Although he could have remained in office for much longer, he stepped aside and handed over leadership of the ruling party, and the country, to a younger generation in 1990. Still, he remained an influential behind-the-scenes figure for many more years until his health deteriorated. “In the end, my greatest satisfaction in life comes from the fact that I have spent years gathering support, mustering the will to make this place meritocratic, corruption-free and equal for all races — and that it will endure beyond me, as it has,” Lee said in his 2013 book, One Man’s View of the World. Lee’s legacy includes an efficient government with little corruption, a successful public housing scheme, low tax rates to attract foreign investment, excel-


Medieval King Buried This Week

French Smog Prompts Car Ban

Israel Yehuda Avner, Adviser and Ambassador, dies at 86

Read the book, The Prime Ministers, or see the film and you’ll come out experiencing the first 50 years of Israel’s history. Ambassador Yehuda Avner, author of the book, lived the first 50 years of Israel’s history and was privy to and helped influence some of Israel’s first leaders. Avner died on Tuesday in Jerusalem at the age of 86.

Interestingly, Avner only realized the remarkable view he had on Israel’s history when he penned his 2010 memoir. He was an ambassador and a close adviser to five prime ministers—and enjoyed a frontrow seat and a behind-the-scenes peek into some of Israel’s most key moments. “Only after I finished my book did I realize that I was living the first 50 years of Israeli history. I never set out to write a history. I set out to write a story to bring these people I worked for and with to life,” Avner told The Times of Israel in October 2013 upon the release of a documentary film based on his book. “I didn’t have such clarity of mind at the time,” Avner recalled of the times when the events he recounted were actually unfolding. “It was all rather stressful and I was immersed in the job I was there to do.” His tenure included working as a secretary and speechwriter to Prime Ministers Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir, and as an adviser to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres. Later he represented Israel as a diplomat in New York and Washington, and eventually as Israeli ambassador to Great Britain and non-resident ambassador to the Republic of Ireland (1983-1988), and ambassador to Australia (1992-1995).

Qith Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1980

As the ambassador recounted in “The Prime Ministers,” he was present at and privy to some of the most decisive moments in Israeli military and diplomatic history, several of which come to life in the film version through a combination of



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Smog is choking France. French authorities scheduled an emergency traffic-limiting measure for Monday in Paris. The City of Light and much of northern France is suffering from a severe smog. City Mayor Anne Hidalgo had asked authorities to prevent one in every two cars from taking to the capital’s streets and make all public transport temporarily free in a bid to drive down pollution. “I am delighted the state has agreed to put in place a partial driving ban on Monday, which I have been requesting for several days,” she tweeted over the weekend. On Monday, only vehicles with number plates ending in an odd number were allowed to drive. Taxis, electric cars, and ambulances were excluded from the ban. In order to offer commuters and residents another transportation option, all public transportation was completely free in Paris and its suburbs. Last year, similar emergency measures were implements on March 7 during another particularly bad smog streak. On Saturday, air quality monitors predicted that concentrations of potentially

Five centuries after he died in battle, tens of thousands lined the streets this week to see the coffin of England’s Richard III taken in procession to his final burial. The remains of the last English monarch to die in battle were discovered buried under a municipal car park in 2012, almost 530 years after he was killed in 1485. The medieval king was finally laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral, central England, in the presence of royalty in a service broadcast live on national television. The Leicester county council said 35,000 people had lined the streets to watch the procession. The Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, said Richard’s death marked an “extraordinary moment” in English history. “It was a change of dynasty, an end of a period of violent civil war, the beginning of the period in which Shakespeare was to write his great tragedies, including Richard III, and a different way of governing the country,” he said. Richard, the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, ruled England from 1483 until he was killed near Leicester by soldiers loyal to Henry Tudor, later Henry VII. It was the last major conflict in the Wars of the Roses, and Richard’s defeat saw the crown pass from his House of York to the House of Tudor. The slain 32-year-old was originally buried without fanfare at Greyfriars monastery, which was demolished in the 1530s

during Tudor King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Richard’s remains were thought to have been lost. But members of the Richard III Society teamed up with Leicester University archaeologists to excavate the site, rightly predicting where in the old church he would have been buried. The group found a skeleton consistent with contemporary descriptions of the king, notably his curved spine and battle injuries. Radiocarbon dating showed the man died between 1455 and 1540. Their discovery was confirmed by a DNA match with Richard’s closest living relative – Canadian carpenter Michael Ibsen, who fittingly made the monarch’s English oak coffin. By coincidence, the remains were beneath a letter R indicating a reserved space in the parking lot.





MARCH 26, 2015

dangerous particulates in the air could again go over the recommended maximum. In Paris, authorities measure the concentration of particulates with a diameter of less than 10 microns – so-called PM10 – in the air to determine pollution levels. These particulates are created by vehicles, heating and heavy industry, and include the most dangerous particles that measure less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can penetrate deep into the lungs and the blood system and can cause cancer. The safe limit for PM10 is set at 80 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3). According to a 2011 World Health Organization report, the planet’s most polluted city was Ahvaz in Iran with an average of 372 mcg/m3. Beijing had an average of 121 mcg/m3, while Paris was measured at 38 mcg/m3.


lent schools, and clean and safe streets. Under his guidance, Singapore ranked consistently near the top of surveys of the most livable cities for expatriates. Lee’s reign is hardly free of any tarnish. He faced criticism for using tough tactics to consolidate power. He jailed some political rivals without trial for decades and brought defamation lawsuits against journalists and opposition politicians, which had a chilling effect on dissent. Lee insisted that strict limits on free speech and public protest were necessary to maintain stability in a multiethnic and multi-religious country that witnessed race riots in the 1960s. That stability, he added, was needed to enable growth and raise living standards in a country with few natural resources. One of his sons, Lee Hsien Loong, is Singapore’s current prime minister. The government declared seven days of national mourning after his death and ordered flags to fly at half-staff on state buildings.



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Avner’s compelling narrative and rare archival footage unearthed by director Richard Trank. Avner saved the confidential notes he took at all the high-level meetings he attended over the decades and made them the basis for his memoir. He admitted that he had probably broken the law by stashing away all those notes, but figured he’d be let off the hook given the circumstances. A Modern Orthodox Jew, Avner had immigrated to pre-state Israel in 1947 after completing high school in Manchester, England. He fought in the siege of Jerusalem in the 1948 War of Independence, and went on to help found Kibbutz Lavi, a religious kibbutz in Israel’s north, before moving temporarily back to the UK. Avner was articulate, speaking with his trademark Manchester accent despite his 68 years in Israel. Despite his way with words, he downplayed his abilities to capture an audience’s attention. “I’m actually a very soft-spoken guy,” Avner said, speaking about his appearance in the cinematic version of “The Prime Ministers.” “But I come across in the film as very passionate,” he admitted. He gave all the credit to Trank, saying it was the director’s skillful interviewing technique that prompted animated responses from him, and made him appear quite the storyteller. Regardless of Avner’s reservations about his image as an on-screen talking head, there is no doubt that by virtue of his words, he gave voice to some of the greatest leaders of the State of Israel, and by extension to the country as a whole. “He was a true servant of the Jewish people… In his role as adviser to the generation of legendary leaders of Israel he was never political, never took personal gain, never shied from conflict…with his bag always packed…he went,” his son-in-law wrote. “The consummate ambassador, he represented Israel during tumultuous times and was respected by friend and foe alike as he brought his skills to the corridors of power and the backrooms of deals.”

National Family Rescued after Losing their Way on Mt. This weekend, forest rangers were able to rescue a mother and two sons after the family got lost hiking in the Adirondacks. They were on their way down after reaching the summit of Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in New York State. Ning Cai, 39, and her two sons, 7 and 11, reached the summit of Mt. Marcy and

began trekking down late Saturday afternoon when they lost their way. Cai then called 911 to ask for help and rangers worked all night in extreme cold and high winds to locate the family. Finally, a state police helicopter spotted the threesome near the summit around 11am on Sunday. Forest rangers were hoisted down to rescue the mother and her boys. They were then transported to the hospital and are said to be in fair condition. “We are all grateful that the family is now safe, thanks to the exceptional work of the Forest Rangers and State Police,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Time and time again, DEC Forest Rangers, DEC Environmental Conservation Police and the New York State Police selflessly heed the call to help others in the most dire of situations to ensure the safety of the residents and visitors of New York State. I congratulate them all on a job well done.”

NYPD Mourns Loss of Loyal Officer

For many people when they enter a new job one of their first questions is how many vacation/sick days they are allowed (guilty!). But Sgy. Francis “Buddy” Murnane didn’t live for his off days; he lived for his job. According to records, the NYPD sergeant did not take a sick day in his entire 42-year career. Murnane was about to his celebrate his 63rd birthday and his retirement when he died of a heart attack in his home last week. Murnane is the NYPD’s longest-serving active officer. “He wasn’t just my big brother,” said Terence Murnane, a retired NYPD detective. “He was my best friend. He was also the person I went to whenever I was stumped on a case because he had seen and done it all so many times. He always knew the answer.” Murnane worked on nearly every major case in the last 20 years, including the 2011 killing of Brooklyn Officer Peter Figoski and the fatal stabbing of a 6-yearold boy in an elevator last summer, according to the New York Post.




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“If you are the bad guy, the worst of the worst ... Buddy Murnane has been part of the team looking for you to bring you to justice,” then-Councilman James Oddo said at a 2010 City Hall ceremony, according to the Staten Island Advance. “He has truly put community, city and country above all.”


MARCH 26, 2015


That’s Odd Around the World with 38 “I Do’s” Be happy that Cheetah Platt and Rhian Woodyard didn’t invite you to their wedding. That’s because you wouldn’t just need to get a babysitter for one night to attend their nuptials. You’d need someone to watch your kids 38 times—and quite a few plane tickets—to see this excited couple tie the knot.

some of our crazy adventures!!” Platt and Woodyard write on Honeyfund. The two professionally trained acrobats plan to “teach, train and perform” their skills all over the world as a way to share their passion and talents with others. Prior to their multi-continent wedding, Woodyard had never been out of the country. “I have been to three states,” the bride admitted. “I have never traveled before at all, so something else that inspired this wedding was the fact that Cheetah could give me this amazing experience at the same time, and we could learn about each other.” Now the new couple is in middle of their ceremony road trip that started on February 8. They’ve been married in front of the pyramids in Giza, the Ajanta Caves in Thana, India, a Masai village in Nairobi, Kenya, and a castle in Dublin, Ireland—along with many other global sites. When they come back to Los Angeles on May 2, they plan on tying the knot in front of their family and friends. Want to chip in for a new set of luggage for the new couple?

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The Los Angeles-based couple are so happy to be getting married that they want the world to know. They plan on holding 38 unique wedding ceremonies in 11 countries—all in just 83 days. They are both trained acrobats, so you can imagine the crazy photos they’ll be taking! “We live in California, which is a very expensive state,” Platt told The Huffington Post. “And weddings? Oh, they’re a lot of money. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money for a single day.” So how are they going to get married so many times and do it without breaking the bank? Well, they’ll just have everyone else pay for their marriage. Simple, right? “I really want people to know that this wedding, three months around the world with unbelievable adventures... is cheaper than throwing a good – not even a ‘great,’ not even an ‘epic’ – just a good wedding in California for one day,” Platt explained. Want to donate to the cause? They have set up a donation page and are now just shy of a little over $1,000 from their original budget of $6,000. “We’re lucky to already have a home full of everything we need, so please enjoy browsing our ‘alternative’ registry. Here you can contribute to our dream wedding AROUND THE WORLD and check out

He was a G-d-given gift, according to Asia Ford. Ms. Ford, 35, lost 217 pounds in just two years after turning her life around in an effort to become healthier. The Louisville mother of three was running her second 10K over the weekend when she started experiencing problems. Around mile four, she became “dizzy and sick” and told her son to call 911. EMS came, but she insisted on going the distance. “During mile five, I started crying because I knew my body was experiencing a shutdown,” she said. “I had one mile in front of me and said to my son, ‘It’s time to quit.’ I asked, ‘G-d, please let me take a few more steps.’ Right when I said that, G-d brought this man.” The gift was Louisville Metropolitan Police Lt. Aubrey Gregory. He helped Ford reach a personal record of two hours and seven minutes, which is three minutes shorter than her time last year. “He said, ‘I want you to look straight ahead of you. We have nothing but a mile ahead of you,’” Ford recalled. Together, they both finished the race. A photo of the kind policeman helping the woman went viral—people loving the kindness that was shown. “I just thank everyone for being so sweet and the kind words,” Ford said. “It’s really been a blessing. My coach says, ‘Believe in yourself. You’re worth it.” Not only do I feed off G-d and my kids. I feed off of those words, because I know I’m

Visiting Israel?

When a Florida woman looked under her bed for her lost cat, she found it—I mean him. The 61-year-old reached under the bed and “felt she had touched human skin.” It was then that the 25-year-old cat burglar bolted from the home. Police found him nearby and arrested the thief. Well, folks, look what the cat dragged in. Meow.

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Cycling up a Skyscraper

Like biking? I do too—especially on a beautiful spring day down a smooth, clear road. Polish cyclist Krystian Herba likes things a little bumpier. The Guinness World Record holder cycled up 3,139 steps in the Taipei 101 tower, formerly the tallest building on the planet with a height of 500 meters, in an astonishing feat of endurance on Sunday. He pedaled up the Taiwan landmark in two hours and 13 minutes, aiming to smash his own record for scaling the most number of steps on a bike—and he did it. The 33-year-old bested his climb of 2,919 stairs in Melbourne in February.

form of symbolism.” After they gave their views, the art fans were told the truth—that the print is worth just $10 and can be found at IKEA. Some laughed; others, devoid of a sense of humor, walked away in silence, furious with the hoax. I wonder if they still have that print at the store…my walls seem pretty bare.

Need some art for your living room? Time to head to IKEA. Yes, I know, IKEA art is generally reserved for college dorms (at best) but some art experts have recently given the prints a thumbs-up. Last week, footage on YouTube showed members of the Dutch “lifehunterstv” group placing an IKEA print in the Arnhem’s Museum for Modern Art. They claimed it was by the famous Swedish artist “IKE Andrews.” Presenter Boris Lange then asked 20 visitors how much they thought the work, which is available to buy from most of the company’s stores, was worth. Seems like these people were fooled. Some believed it could fetch $1,000—one person even suggested it would sell for a whopping $2.6 million at auction. The piece itself was praised, called “modern” and “shocking.” One hailed its “constructiveness of things on top of each other, inside each other.” Another said that one can “clearly see that it concerns a

Ikram Salhi uses her head. In fact, she is now the world’s “most talented” person after pulling a car weighing 1 ½ tons—with just her hair. Representing her home country of Morocco for a new reality TV program, Ikram Salhi showcased her special talent when she dragged a Mercedes-Benz across 32 feet of flat road. She accomplished the amazing feat with the strength of her body after ropes were attached to her ponytail and the front end of the car. Amazingly, in the video showcasing her prowess, Ikram assumes a crouching position and takes small steps as the crowd cheers. As the car starts to inch forward, Ikram stretches out her arms in front of her and picks up speed. Despite her slight build, the young girl increases her pace and surges forward with the car following obediently behind for 32 feet. After the jaw dropping feat, Ikram related, “I don’t feel anything when pulling the car. It doesn’t hurt…I’m proud to honor the Moroccan women in my country, and I hope to be the strongest woman in Morocco.” Ikram has been performing stunts of this caliber since the age of nine and says that the heaviest item she has ever pulled was a 4x4 Range Rover.

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Catch that Cat

“This was absolutely the most difficult challenge ever in my life, but definitely this is my biggest success,” he told reporters afterwards. “The first 50 floors I did not feel strong enough, I felt stressed a little bit. But after that, I felt stronger,” added Herba, who has climbed some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. Stress isn’t new to Herba. He’s a high school PE teacher and had prepared for the challenge for over six months by riding his bike repeatedly up a 17-story building in Rzeszow city in southeastern Poland. On Sunday, he climbed 60 floors, then went down in an elevator to the ground floor before pedaling up to the 91st to reach his target of 3,100 steps – something he said was permitted under Guinness regulations.


worth it. So I pass on those words to everybody else.” You know what they say about Fords—they’re built tough. Perhaps Ms. Ford is just as strong.



MARCH 26, 2015


Who Knows 7? Pesach and the Brooklyn Fire Tragedy Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn This year at the seder, just like every other year, we conclude the reading of the haggadah with the jovial perennial – Echad mi Yodea – “Who Knows One?” The 7th stanza is “Who knows Seven?” Sadly, this year we can answer that we know seven; 7 are the children of Gabriel and Gayle Sassoon, who were killed in the house fire this past Shabbos. Life for the Jewish people is seldom less than complex but as we go into Pesach 5775 the questions of the 4 sons are more conflicted than ever. The wise son asks “What are these laws that You, our G-d have commanded us?” The wise son is sharp and he probes with reason, “Why G-d, how can Your gift of Shabbos ever hurt us?” We answer him with Halacha, legally and logically. We do our best to speak his language. The wicked son, filled with disdain, asks “What is this service to you?” His body is in crisis. His sense of anger forces him to create a distance from his people. Maybe that is the only way for him to survive. We blunt his teeth. We grab him by the shoulders and tell him that regardless of his issues with G-d and Israel, his people need him now. The simple son lacks the ability to address a philosophically charged engagement like the wicked or the wise, instead he looks at the pictures in the news and reads the eulogy delivered by Mr. Sassoon and is dumbfounded. All he can muster is the simple words, “What is this?” “What the heck is this?” Perhaps most tragic of all is the one who has experienced too much trauma, too much internal strife that he or she no longer knows how to ask the questions – Sheino yodea Lish’ol. We open him up. We convince him to sit down with a therapist. We help him gain the tools that he needs to ask the questions and articulate his pain. Rav Riskin, in his commentary on the Haggadah points to a fascinating concept that I also heard in the name of Rav Shimon Shkop. The 4 children are really the 4 parts of our own persona. We all have

a smart side, a rebellious side, an innocent side, and a clueless side. Perhaps they are even four archetypes that we play. In actuality, our children, for the most part, won’t be asking these difficult Job-esque questions. The Seder is too late at night, their minds are too young, and the temptations of innocence draw them away from such inquiry. But you can bet that we all will be asking ourselves these questions. It is for this reason that the Halacha requires one having the Pesach Seder alone to ask themselves the 4 questions. Even two scholars sitting together in a meal must ask each other these questions. Why is that? No amount of study years can prepare any of us to cogently handle sadness at this level. There is no pithy response. The Bobover Rebbe asks why we break the middle matzah before Maggid, telling the story of the evening. He answers that no one of us have the full story. We need each other. Each of us form the aggregate and together we have a better understanding. But I think there is an additional layer here. We break the matzah before telling the story because we must understand that there are fissures and fault lines in our lives and those spaces must animate the story of the Haggada, the battle that we wage. The whole evening is filled with the tension and drama of our triumphs and our tragedies. We drink spirited wine to celebrate freedom but that wine ought to be red to remind us of blood. We crack jokes over this years’ sweet Choroses as we buckle under the weight of our Marror. We are all brilliant –Kulanu Chachamim, Kulanu Nevonim – but we are all depraved – Mitchilah Ovdei Avodah Zarah hayu Avoteinu. We have our people–Am Yisroel – but we seem to have lost Moshe, our teacher, somewhere in the Haggada. And so we sing – Baruch HaMakom, Baruch Hu – Blessed is The Place (a reference to G-d), Blessed is He. HaMakom is the appellation we use when consoling a mourner. But we also bless “the

place” where these seven angels are laid to rest. They will not be forgotten. Pesach night we are asked to stay up studying until sleep overtakes us. Stay up longer with your children over the next few nights and learn until sleep must take them. Pesach night we pray. The Hallel spontaneously cuts into our cerebral Seder. Take your children to a mincha or a maariv or help them daven on Shabbos morning. And most of all know that the Sassoon children will never be gone from G-d’s embrace: One is Hashem, One is Hashem, in the Heaven and the Earth.



By R a B B i P i n c h o s L i P s c h u t z By R a B B i P i n c h o s L i P s c h u t z

March 27, 2015 | 7 Nissan 5775

YatedNe’eman 1

MARCH 26, 2015

Sometimes a tragedy is so great, there is nothing to say. Sometimes a tragedy is so great, there is We cannot verbalize our feelings.nothing to say. We are stunned. We cannot verbalize our feelings. Hurt. We are stunned. Silent. Hurt. They broke down, Silent. Seeing They broke down, What can you say when seven siblings One aron,seven siblings Seeing are taken in a flash? What can you say when And another, One aron, Not by Muslim Arabs, Extremists are taken in a flash? And another, Thugs, Not by Arabs, And another, And another, And another, Or murderers, Thugs, And another, And another, But by Hashem Himself. Or murderers, And another, And another, But by Hashem Himself. And another. And another, Seven korbanos. And another. Olos. Seven korbanos. Children who had cried out Temimos. Olos. For their mother. Children who had cried out Asher ein bohem mum. Temimos. “Ima, save me!” For their mother. Asher ein bohem mum. “Ima, save us!” “Ima, save me!” Yorad dodi legano, “Ima, save us!” Lilkot bashoshanim, Yorad dodi legano, And there was nothing anyone could do. Kevosim temimim. Lilkot bashoshanim, Gezeirah hee min hashomayim.And there was nothing anyone could do. Kevosim temimim. Yorad dodi legano Gezeirah hee min hashomayim. We take life, Lilkot bashoshanim. Yorad dodi legano Health, We take life, Lilkot bashoshanim. And financial well-being Health, On Rosh Chodesh Hageulah, For granted. And financial well-being Higia zeman geulas On Rosh Chodesh Hageulah, For granted. Those holy neshamos. Higia zeman geulas We go through the day Those holy neshamos. Without making a cheshbon We go through the day pains of chevlei Moshiach At night. Without making The a cheshbon Searing our souls. The pains of chevlei Moshiach We don’t thank Hashem At night. Purifying, Searing our souls. For all the good. We don’t thank Hashem Purifying, We fail to think about all the little Forthings, all the good. Preparing them. May the day soon come Preparing them. And the big ones. We fail to think about all the little things, past, the day soon come And the big ones.When tragedy is a thing of the May All sick are healed, When tragedy is a thing of the past, Appreciate what we have, And the exiled are brought home. All sick are healed, Join together, Appreciate what we have, And the exiled are brought home. Rid our world of machlokes, Join together, the day soon come Silly disputes. Rid our world of May machlokes, When the souls of the departedMay the day soon come Silly disputes. Are reunited with us. When the souls of the departed Nobody asked Are reunited with us. Or cared Nobody asked Including those of About background Or cared Eliyan, Including those of Or community. About background Eliyan, Or community. Rivka, Dovid, Rivka, They were Jewish children, Yehoshua, Dovid, Boys and girls, They were Jewish children, Yehoshua, Holy neshamos, Boys and girls, Moshe, Moshe, Scooped up. Holy neshamos, Sarah, And Yaakov. Sarah, And all of Klal Yisroel mourned. Scooped up. And Yaakov. And all of Klal Yisroel mourned. Sincerest condolences to People couldn’t catch their breath. Reb Gavriel and Mrs. Gila Sassoon, Sincerest condolences to In the Jewish world, there wasn’t a dry People couldn’t catch their breath. And there to their precious Tzipora. Reb Gavriel and Mrs. Gila Sassoon, eye. In the Jewish world, wasn’t a dry May they be healed, And to their precious Tzipora. People flocked to the levayos, eye. strong, May they be healed, Mourning the tragedy. People flocked toAnd the levayos, Ad bias goel tzedek And strong, Mourning the tragedy. Bimeheirah beyomeinu. Amein.Ad bias goel tzedek Bimeheirah beyomeinu. Amein.





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