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The Week In News

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home


MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

JEWISH THOUGHT

Dear Readers,

Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

“Why is this night different from all other nights?” It’s fascinating

FEATURE Bringing Back Yiddish, One Speaker at a Time. . . 16

encouraged to ask so many questions. Indeed, the haggadah will provide us with questions to ask if we don’t have any of our own!

LIFESTYLES Humor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Jewish Home is distributed bi-weekly to: ANAHEIM AGOURA HILLS BEVERLY HILLS BURBANK CALABASAS CAMARILLO COSTA MESA ENCINO GLENDALE HUNTINGON BEACH IRVINE LONG BEACH LOS ANGELES -BEVERLY HILLS

that on the night we celebrate the beginning of our peoplehood, we’re

LOS ANGELESFAIRFAX LOS ANGELESLA BREA LOS ANGELESS. MONIA LOS ANGELES-PICO LOS ANGELES -WESTWOOD MALIBU MANHATTAN BEACH MARINA DEL REY MISSION VIEJO MOORPARK NEWBURY PARK

NORTH HOLLYWOOD PALM SPRINGS PACIFIC PALASADES PASADENA REDONDO BEACH SHERMAN OAKS SIMI VALLEY STUDIO CITY TEMECULA THOUSAND OAKS TORRANCE VALENCIA VAN NUYS WOODLAND HILLS

The seder weaves these questions and answers with ancient and eternal traditions passed from parents to children. These rituals contain contradictions which invite yet more questions. We are both a stiffnecked nation and people of the book. We are both a simple people and aristocratic. We eat the lechem oni and lean with the kings. An eternal people indeed. We may be here, but our hearts are in Jerusalem. This year in Jerusalem. Wishing you and the rest of the tribe a kasher un freilichen pesach,

Shalom

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


The Week In News Communicated

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Flaum’s, Celebrating a Century of Appetizing Food A family tradition from 1918-2018. For five generations, the Flaum family has been serving up fresh kosher pickles, herring, fish spreads, dips, and salads that bring the delightful taste of old-world tradition to every table. Celebrating its 100th year, the famed Flaum’s brand – which began in an appetizing store on Lee Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – has rolled out

a series of new products, including their new herring line. For immigrants who lived on the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, a trip to Flaum’s was an obligatory stop as a way of connecting with some of the foods of der alter heim. Today, Flaum’s is a leading producer of a full line of salads, Mediter-

ranean delicacies, dips, and fish products. Due to its exceptional taste, it has become the herring of choice at kiddush celebrations all over the country. Whether it’s a weekday or Shabbos, tens of thousands of people choose Flaum’s Appetizing for their spreads, dips, herring, and other delicious Jewish heritage food.

Training the Next Generation of Orthodox Jewish Mental Health Professionals The issue of mental health in the Orthodox Jewish community is fraught with emotions and complexities and often remains on the periphery. However, mental health issues are indeed prevalent within the Orthodox community, just as they are common in other communities. It is against that backdrop that Rabbi Pesach Lerner established the YIEP (Yeshiva Initiatives Educational Programs – www.theyiep.com) and developed a program that trains members of the Orthodox community seeking to enter the mental health field. Through a partnership with Bellevue University that began in 2004, YIEP offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including a specialized Master of Science in Clinical Counseling (MSCC). The Bellevue University MSCC is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the gold standard in the counseling field, and the YIEP cohort is the only mental health program geared for Orthodox students with CACREP’s endorsement. YIEP launched the MSCC program in October 2014 and will graduate its second cohort in May 2018, with three more cohorts in process. The next session is scheduled to begin in mid-August 2018 and then January 2019. The Bellevue University/YIEP Master of Science in Clinical Counseling program is unique because the students are all Orthodox Jews who receive specialized training and engage in specific coursework that prepares them to address mental health issues in the Orthodox community, as well as to serve in the broader Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Modeled after national licensing standards, the MSCC prepares students for the national licensing exam to become a professional mental health counselor. It’s a 60 credit-hour online graduate degree program, which includes a practicum and internship component that enables students to gain valuable experience in the field while being guided by a licensed professional. The MSCC coursework centers on the theoretical and applied principles of psychological counseling and trains students to ultimately engage in the as-

sessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families. Students are introduced to critical topics such as assessing and diagnosing mental health issues, psychotherapy, rehabilitation counseling, substance abuse, and prevention services. The MSCC is a regionally accredited graduate degree with an option for students to pursue licensure in their home state. While the courses offered by the Bellevue University/YIEP MSCC program are online, there is a four-day on-site seminar in Brooklyn, New York, where students meet their instructors and classmates. The practicum and internship can be done wherever the student resides. It is also noteworthy that degrees from yeshivos are accepted as fulfillment of the undergraduate degree requirement, and tuition is lower than New York area programs because it is based on Nebraska rates, which is home to Bellevue University. Professor Esther Lustig, LCSW-R, an instructor, professional advisor, and mentor of the YIEP MSCC program, spoke about its distinctive nature. “This is an important and valuable educational program that is transformative for the students and the community alike,” she said. Professor Lustig described a course she developed exclusively for the YIEP MSCC entitled “Orthodox Judaic Theoretical Perspectives.” “The unique piece to the YIEP program is that we have a very specific course that allows students to grapple with some of the major mental health issues that exist in the Orthodox community,” she said. “Nothing is off the table; everything is discussed, even the most difficult issues. These are issues that need to be faced and practitioners who want to work in the Orthodox community need to understand them.” One of the hallmarks of the YIEP MSCC is the internship requirement, with which Professor Lustig assists with placement and administration. “There is a strong experiential component to this program; it’s not just reading books,” she said. “We have students interning at so many interesting places because our program is recognized, and we have a good reputation.” Professor Lustig acknowledged the in-

tensive nature of the program, which she considers one of the best in the country. “There are many facets to this program and it gives students a really good foundation to start helping people,” she said. “We want to make sure they get the best education possible within the framework they’re comfortable with.” Past and current students also spoke enthusiastically about the program. “I am extremely impressed with how professional and helpful the program’s faculty members have been,” said one student. “They’re extremely accommodating and responsive, and look to be as helpful as possible. Although the coursework is intense, I am finding the course to be extremely interesting and hands-on.” “I greatly appreciate the sevivah (the environment), learning these concepts together with others who not only are frum Jews, but real bnei Torah,” said another student. “There are many advantages to getting a Master’s degree in this manner, as I can study and complete assignments during times I can carve out that are most convenient. In addition, the instructors, who are knowledgeable and committed to explaining the material, encourage the students to reach out to them with inquiries.” “The program is sensitive to the needs of the students and the class calendar fully accommodates the yomim tovim schedule,” added another student. “I owe Rabbi Lerner a debt of gratitude for his commitment and his concern that the program runs smoothly.” “The YIEP/Bellevue program is educational, professional and respectful, and it’s a culturally sensitive program that doesn’t compromise a quality education,” noted another student. Dr. Barb Daubenspeck, Ph.D., Program Director and instructor of the Bellevue University MSCC program, explained how the university’s Clinical Counseling faculty worked with Rabbi Lerner to establish a cohort that meets the unique needs of the Orthodox community in numerous ways, including structuring the schedules for the cohort around religious holidays and being mindful of the need to facilitate the completion of the program with the

students’ already busy schedule. “Course materials are continually reviewed to ensure that even as students are challenged to view things from a new perspective, their cultural values are respected,” she said. “Students complete their coursework moving course by course through the program in step together,” added Dr. Daubenspeck. “In this way the students are able to build supportive relationships with one another and are also able to connect with the Bellevue University faculty.” Rabbi Lerner noted that the YIEP MSCC “is probably the most Torah-sensitive program of this nature around.” “Our students receive a serious education,” he said. “As all our students are from the Orthodox community, some of whom even participate in the online coursework from Israel, there are no scheduling issues relating to Shabbos or yom tov. In addition, the YIEP and Bellevue University provide significant support for our students and play an integral role in helping them secure internships where they get practical experience that helps prepare them for a meaningful career in the mental health field.” Rabbi Lerner remarked that the YIEP attracts all types of Orthodox Jews, including Yeshivish, Chasidish and Modern Orthodox, and that classes are for both males and females, but is very sensitive to the guidelines of tznius and halachah. He added that many YIEP students were sent to the program by their roshei hayeshivos and community rebbes, with the hope that they will return to their community to work there as professionals. “The intersection of Torah values, Jewish ideals, and comprehensive academic training by top professionals and instructors makes the YIEP Master of Science in Clinical Counseling program a unique educational opportunity for Orthodox Jews who want to give back to their community through the provision of quality mental health services,” added Rabbi Lerner. For more information about the program, contact Rabbi Lerner at THEYIEP@ gmail.com.

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Communicated The Week In News

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Melamed Academy: The Online Yeshiva Day School & College Program Looking for the Right School? Melamed Academy Turns the School Year into a Success It’s the newest educational trend, and it’s here to stay. Find out why Melamed Academy enrollment is growing every year. The school year officially started in September, yet many students don’t have a school desk. It’s time to think out-of-thebox. Fortunately, a convenient inexpensive solution is readily available. Melamed Academy is a registered NJ private school, providing home-based students with a complete education, from Kindergarten through a High School diploma. Choose the track that fits your needs – Limudei Kodesh, General Studies, or both. Subject levels range from AP and Honors, to mesivta-style and remedial. Every student receives a customized placement, with a wide range of electives too. How does it work? Students receive a TAG-approved Melamed Kosher Chromebook laptop, and login to the classroom websites to do their schoolwork at any time of day, from any location. The engaging interactive lessons are designed to be completed independently while the Melamed teachers assign and supervise student work, answer questions, and grade assignments. It’s as simple as that. With a 99% graduation rate, Melamed Academy has the best track record of any online school. Melamed Academy graduates continue to top-tier yeshivos, seminaries, and colleges of their choice. Which brings us to the next division. Want to Be a College Graduate This Year? Melamed Academy College Program is for you! Melamed is different than other online college programs in some significant ways. Firstly, no high school diploma or GED is required. Melamed also provides customized math and English courses to meet the students’ starting point. Online courses with short video lessons and practice quizzes keep all students advancing towards their goals. Also, current high school students can earn both high school and college credit for the same course – in Torah and general subjects. Most importantly to the one footing the bill, Melamed’s college program is absolutely the lowest price for any regionally-accredited BA/BS degree. Melamed Academy’s philosophy is that a college degree is even more valuable when accompanied with practical career skills, such as web design, ecommerce or real estate, or others. Therefore, career training is included as a bonus to all of our students. Top-Tier Mesivtos and Bais Yaakov Schools Choose Melamed Academy The best endorsement of Melamed Academy comes from the menahalim and principals of leading chinuch institutions who choose our program, year after year.

Ranging the gamut from courses to replace classroom teachers, resource room lessons, courses for individual students, Regents courses, and credit-recovery courses – Melamed Academy proudly partners with yeshiva day schools and high schools across the U.S. every day to educate their students. With our TAG approved laptops, student placement tests,

and wide course variety, each school receives a custom solution fitting their needs and budget. Melamed Academy shares your chinuch standards and understands your needs. You can trust us with your precious children’s education. We accept new students every day of the year. For inquiries, please call (732)228-

8800 ext. 3, or email solutions@ melamedacademy.com See more at https://melamedacademy. com. Melamed Academy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution, servicing the Torah community. Program sponsorships and student scholarships are tax-deductible.


The Week In News

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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Living with the Times The Week In News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

As we approach one of the many peaks of the Seder, we raise the matzah and recite Ha Lachma Anya, opening the Maggid section. Speaking in unfamiliar Aramaic, we begin by stating that the matzah we are about to eat is the same matzah as our forefathers ate in Mitzrayim. We continue with a seemingly unconnected invitation to poor people to join our meal. We conclude with the declaration that this year we are here, in golus, but next year we will be in Eretz Yisroel. Now we are enslaved, but in the coming year we will be free. Why does this series of statements open the discussion about Yetzias Mitzrayim? What is the connection between these sentences? Why do we hold up the matzah? Repeatedly, the Torah refers to the Yom Tov of Pesach as Chag Hamatzos. In davening and Kiddush, we also refer to the Yom Tov as Yom Chag Hamatzos. Why is matzah the symbol of Pesach? The first time the Bnei Yisroel ate matzah was as they left Mitzrayim. Writing about that time, the Yalkut Shimoni in Parshas Beshalach says, “Lo nigalu Yisroel ela b’zechus emunah, shene’emar, ‘Vayamein ha’am.’” The Jews were redeemed from Mitzrayim because of their deep belief in Hashem. However, that statement apparently contradicts the Chazal that says the Jews and the Mitzrim were basically on the same low spiritual level at the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim, as expressed by their statement, “Halalu ovdei avodah zara vehalalu ovdei avodah zara. They were both idol worshipers.” If so, how can we then say that they were taken out of Mitzrayim because of their emunah in Hashem? Apparently, they were not believers. The Zohar refers to matzah as “michla

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Food of Faith and Freedom demehemnusah,” food of emunah. We can understand that to mean that upon eating the matzah while leaving Mitzrayim, the Bnei Yisroel were infused with emunah, and through that emunah, they merited the geulah. An explanation of the power of matzah

Hashem and place their faith in him see salvation is presented in pesukim, Chazal, Rishonim and Acharonim. It is the way we should lead our lives if we wish to merit success in all we do. The Ramban (Emunah Ubitachon 1) points out that the posuk in Tehillim

With our newfound emunah and bitachon, we are capable of transcending limitations and the challenges of golus.

appears in the Sefer Afikei Mayim, based on the shiurim of Rav Moshe Shapiro, who elucidates the often-discussed idea that matzah is a tikkun for the cheit of Adam Harishon. We can understand the connection through a Gemara (Brachos 40a) that cites the opinion of Rabi Yehuda who explains that the Eitz Hadaas from which Adam ate was wheat. The Gemara explains that we see that wheat is connected to daas, because a child cannot call his father or mother until he tastes wheat. When we partook of the matzah at the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim, our daas was enhanced and we gained the ability to connect to Hashem on a higher level. The idea that those who believe in

(37:3) states, “Betach baHashem va’asei tov - Have faith in Hashem and do good,” instead of stating, “Do good and trust in Hashem.” This is because bitachon is not dependent on a person’s good actions. The Brisker Rov expressed a similar idea. The posuk (Tehillim 33:21) states, “Ki vo yismach libeinu ki vesheim kadsho botochnu yehi chasdecha Hashem aleinu ka’asher yichalnu loch.” The Rov read it to be saying that the amount of faith we have in Hashem is the degree to which Hashem will deal with us mercifully. Rabbeinu Bachya writes explicitly (Kad Vekemach, Bitachon) that it was in merit of their belief that the Jews were redeemed from Mitzrayim. He cites the posuk in Tehillim (22:6) of “Eilecha zo’aku

venimlotu,” and says that the reason they were saved was because “becha votchu velo voshu,” they believed. The Meshech Chochmah, on the posuk of “Ushemartem es hamatzos” (Shemos 12:17), writes that when the Bnei Yisroel will be shomer the matzos (and other mitzvos of Nissan), Hashem will be shomer the night of the Seder to redeem them. Rabbeinu Yonah writes in Mishlei (3:26) that a person who trusts in Hashem is saved from a tzarah even if he deserved the tzarah. A person’s bitachon prevents the problem from afflicting him. As the Yalkut says in Tehillim (32), “even a rasha who has bitachon is surrounded by chesed.” The Chofetz Chaim (Sheim Olam, Nefutzos Yisroel 9) quotes the Vilna Gaon who said that bitachon is not dependent upon a person’s zechuyos. Even a person who is not properly observant but maintains strong belief is protected by his bitachon and Hashem acts charitably with him. Bitachon is not something that is reserved only for big tzaddikim. Any one of us, no matter our level, can have perfect emunah and bitachon. When faced with a problem, when it appears as if life is being tough with us, we all have the ability to be boteiach in Hashem and be helped. Matzah is the symbol of Pesach because it encompasses all the messages of the Seder. As we consider and contemplate the exalted moment when our forefathers left Mitzrayim, we eat the very same matzah, unchanged in formula and taste, at the very moment they did, on the same night, year after year, century after century, going back all the way to the day our nation was founded. With this matzah, we became a nation. We gave up avodah zora, left the shibbud Mitzrayim, and emerged as bnei chorin. This is as prescribed by the Rambam, who states (Hilchos Chometz Umatzah 7:1), “There is a positive commandment to discuss the miracles that were performed for our forefathers in Mitzrayim on the evening of the 15th of Nissan, as the posuk says, ‘Zachor, remember the day you left Mitzrayim…,’ and the posuk states, ‘Vehigadeta livincha,’ to tell your children on that night, meaning the night on which matzah and maror are placed before you.” The Ramban at the end of Parshas Bo


Living withIn theNews Times The Week

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

discusses the centrality of sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim to Jewish belief: “Because Hashem does not perform public miracles in each generation for scoffers to witness, He commanded us that we should make memorials for what we saw and tell our children what transpired so that they will know and pass along to their children the great miracles that were performed on our behalf. This is why so many mitzvos are zeicher l’Yetzias Mitzrayim, in commemoration of our redemption from Mitzrayim, so that future generations will remember what Hashem did for us then. “And just as Hashem publicly performed miracles for the Jews in Mitzrayim, so does He perform miracles for us every day of our lives. Those who observe the mitzvos are rewarded, and those who do not are punished.” This is the foundation of Jewish belief and what we refer to as Hashgocha Protis. When we sit at the Seder and retell the stories of the many miracles that took place at that time, we increase our emunah and bitachon, and that engenders more zechuyos for us. This is another indication and explanation of the statement of the Zohar that matzah is michla demehemnusah, the food of faith. With this in mind, we can explain why we begin the Seder by saying, “Ha lachma anya di achalu avhasana b’ara d’Mitzrayim.” We proclaim that this is the bread that our forefathers ate in Mitzrayim when they were still poor and lacking in their observance of mitzvos, as well as in their emunah and bitachon in Hashem. Upon eating the matzah, we were strengthened in our emunah and belief in Hashem and thus merited redemption from slavery. Thus, we advise people who are lacking in faith, “Kol ditzrich yeisei veyeichol. Join us and partake of the matzah, michla demehemnusah. Doing so will infuse you with faith.” Then we can say, “Hoshata hocha leshana haba’ah b’ara d’Yisroel.” Those who are still needy and lacking in their faith will, by eating the matzah, become strengthened in emunah and bitachon and worthy of the geulah sheleimah bekarov. “Hoshata avdi leshana haba’ah bnei chorin.” Before partaking of the matzah and discussing the exit from Mitzrayim, we are slaves to our desires. After the matzah and reliving the geulah experience, we become free. The Gemara in Maseches Brachos (17a) relates that Klal Yisroel tells Hashem, “Galui veyodua lefonecha sheretzoneinu laasos es retzonecha. Umi me’akeiv? Se’or sheba’isa. We wish to fulfill Your will, but

the se’or shebe’isa prevents us.” Rashi explains that se’or sheba’isa is the yeitzer hora, which ferments us as yeast ferments dough. Matzah is lechem geulim because it is baked without chimutz, without se’or. One who subjugates his yeitzer hora is a ga’ul. He is redeemed and free. Thus, Chazal state, “Ein lecha ben chorin ela mi she’oseik baTorah.” The free man is occupied with Torah, for he has conquered his yeitzer hora. The original matzah didn’t rise because, as we say in the Haggadah, “Lo hispik lehachmitz ad sheniglah aleihem Melech Malchei Hamelochim uge’olom.” Hashem redeemed the Jewish people from Mitzrayim suddenly, before the dough they were baking for their trip was able to rise, and thus they were left with matzah. Matzah symbolizes freedom, because it came into existence amidst the great urgency with which Hashem hurried His people out of Mitzrayim. The cause - Jewish nationhood - didn’t allow for the bread to reach completion. It didn’t allow for se’or and chimutz. Bread of freedom and a life of freedom are brought about by the same process: removal of se’or and chimutz. A person cleanses his soul of sin by being preoccupied with serving Hashem and studying Torah instead of feeding temptations. Doing so helps man break free from the various burdens and obligations life places upon him. We open our Seder with the statement that the night - the entire Yom Tov, in fact - is about the matzah, the food of freedom. The first phrase tells us that it was “eaten when we left Mitzrayim,” in reference to our being rushed out. It was baked without the se’or sheba’isah. We address the ditzrich, turning to those who are lacking in life and service to Hashem. “Join us!” we say. “Eat and learn from the matzah, and you will also be blessed and free along with us and all those who enjoy the blessings of Pesach. You will be impoverished no more.” We continue by acknowledging that while we are now unable to bring the Korban Pesach, if we have indeed internalized the message of the matzah, we will be able to offer Pesochim and Zevochim next year in Eretz Yisroel. Finally, we acknowledge that now we are still enslaved. The se’or sheba’isah interferes with our lives. We have been unable to expel it from our souls. We affirm our commitment to examining the message, studying the lessons of “Ha Lachma Anya.” Even though we are now captive to

the yeitzer hora, we resolve that by next year, we will be free of its domination over us. We remind ourselves that the matzah is lechem geulim. Not only is it the bread of the free, but it helps those enslaved to gain their freedom. Simple, unconstrained, and as free as the matzah. Fortunate is he who doesn’t require suffering or challenges to be reminded of his essence but is able to see it clearly in good times as well. With this insight into matzah and its message, we can begin to celebrate, starting with genus and marching our way on to geulah, a journey from Ha Lachma Anya through Afikoman. After partaking of the Afikoman matzah, we are forbidden to eat anything, for we must keep that message fresh on our palates. We must not forget what we have learned and experienced on this night. The Haggadah has seen us in times of

strength and apparent weakness, but always with faith in Hashem and our future. Always with the knowledge that come what may, we are the am hanivchor, chosen, blessed and free. We cherish the taste of matzah. We eat it and become transformed. We become strengthened in our belief and become worthy of geulah. With our newfound emunah and bitachon, we are capable of transcending limitations imposed by the se’or sheba’isah and the challenges of golus. No matter what ails and confounds us, and regardless of the difficulties we have in our daily lives, we remain steadfast in our faith in Hashem, acting as bnei chorin. Pesach is the Yom Tov of emunah. Let us learn its lessons, observe its mitzvos, partake in its matzah, and merit personal and communal geulah. Leshanah haba’ah bnei chorin be’ara d’Yisroel.

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Torah Musings The Week In News

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MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Powering Down to Connect to a Higher Power Sarah Pachter

I recently participated as a guest speaker on a radio show, and the hosts were intrigued by my level of religious observance. Among the many things that piqued their interest, Sabbath observance was one area that they continued to ask about. Like most people who have never experienced the magic of the Day of Rest, they couldn’t fathom going technology-free for 25 hours and all of the restrictions (No phone! No internet! No car!) it seemed to entail. I responded that in spite of all of the seeming limitations to the day, I actually view Shabbat as one of the best times of my week, and one of the most meaningful parts about being religious. Driving home, the radio host’s question really stuck with me. How could it be that a day filled with so many rules, boundaries, and seeming inconveniences can actually be such a beautiful experience for so many people? Personally, I know that my own children enjoy Shabbos, but sometimes get frustrated by the things they are not allowed to do. Unfortunately, far too many adults also focus on the smaller burdens of Shabbat, rather than seeing the bigger picture of the day, choosing to see Shabbat as one big NO. But, we need to reframe the NO into a YES by seeing all the incredible meaning Shabbat has to offer. Picture the scene: a mother takes her child to his first swim lesson. Once there,

the child asks, “Mom can I bring my ipod in the pool?” The mother responds, “No, I’m sorry you can’t.” “Mom can I wear my Superman costume in the pool?” The child asks persistently. The mom replies, “No,” yet again. The child tries another avenue, “Mom, can we play Guess Who in the pool?”  The mother, now agitated, says, “Not a good idea.” Swimming can seem like one big NO because there are many boundaries regarding what we can wear and play with in the pool. There are also many strict safety precautions that all swimmers must adhere to around the pool. However, rather than focusing on what one cannot do while in a swimming pool, ask the majority of the population and they will tell you that they love swimming, because they hone in on what they are doing. On a hot summer’s day, nothing is more refreshing and exhilarating than taking a dive in the deep end, swimming some laps, and playing with friends in the water (albeit without a game of Guess Who!). The same is true of many other activities and sports, and even holds true for Shabbat. One area of Shabbat observance in particular that has become in-

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creasingly difficult for many people in our cellphone-steeped generation is the prohibition of handling electronics. But rather than viewing lack of cellphone use as a detriment, I actually think being able to turn off our phones for 25 hours is the greatest gift we never knew we needed. Shabbat encourages us to disconnect from our day-to-day lives and instead focus on real, meaningful connection – enhancing deep relationships with our friends, family, and ultimately with Hashem. I love the feeling of waking up on Saturday mornings and thinking, Thank G-d it’s Shabbat. I don’t have to turn on my phone. I’m not a slave to technology today. If the word “slave” seems too intense, think again. Chances are you are reading this very article on a screen! A study from 2014 shows that the average person touches their phone 2617 times a day. This includes every type of interaction: tapping, swiping, clicking, and so on. The average American spends 7.4 hours looking at a screen in one 24-hour period. That means many people spend more hours in front of a screen than they do sleeping. And with the way technology continues changing at such a rapid pace, those numbers have most probably skyrocketed since 2014. As a nation, we are addicted. So, thinking back to the interviewer’s question, “Why do you love Shabbat?” Although I could list dozens of answers, in this day and age, I am particularly grateful to have the blessing and burden of technol-

ogy lifted from me for the entirety of the day. For 25 hours, I am able to focus completely on the people and experiences in my immediate reality, no screens needed. I am the first to acknowledge how challenging it is to shut off our phones, especially when we are in the middle of a task, text, or even random kitten video. The laws of inertia dictate this clearly – a body in motion stays in motion. Once we are on a device, it feels impossible to detach ourselves from it. Yet what we gain by putting away electronics is well worth the effort. One Shabbat, my son injured himself and I had to take him to the hospital. We spent most of the day waiting – first for a room and then to see the doctor. A nurse passing by offered to turn on the television in our room, yet I declined. While it would have been easier to veg out and allow the time to pass by watching TV, I was adamant – it was Shabbat. With no TV or electronics to distract us, my son and I found ourselves in the unique situation of sitting in the same room for several hours with nothing to do. Well wouldn’t you know it – we actually talked! We played games! I read to him! He shared with me some of his deepest secrets! That never would have happened if it was a random Tuesday afternoon, because when technology is available, we often use it for more time than we would like to admit. Interestingly enough, on the way home, my son told me that the best part of his day was talking with me in that hospital room. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade those hours for anything. So while I am the first to admit that it can be frustrating not to check my phone for the weather or take a quick photo of my daughter on the swing, powering down during Shabbat gives me the time I need to recharge my batteries, connect with my loved ones, and focus on the world around me – screen-free. Shabbat says yes to connection. And for that I am forever grateful.                                      


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Humor

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Humor: Pesach

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I don’t mind all the cleaning and shopping and cooking that leads up to Pesach – I just tell myself that seder is coming, my favorite night of the year. Knowing that work has a purpose makes me (mostly) happy to scrub and schlep and bake a hundred meringues. No, my grumbling commences once yom tov hits. Before I married my husband, he informed me he was a Levi. One of the jobs of the Leviim in the Temple was to sing and play instruments while the priests brought the sacrifices to the altar, and even now, Leviim have a reputation for being musical. “Singer” is in fact a last name often given to members of the tribe. Thus, I was surprised to discover that my husband is not much of a singer. Wanna guess who leads our seder? “Kadesh, urchatz…” generally goes fine – the kids know the melody well even if my husband loses the tune half-way through – and the kiddush over the first cup of wine is nearly identical to that said on the other holidays, so he has practiced that plenty. And of course, the Four Questions have been mastered by my kids for many years. But somewhere around “Ha Lachma Anya”, my husband launches into a tune only to lose the melody moments later. Oblivious, he keeps singing, convinced he’s singing correctly until everyone

else stops singing and starts staring at him. A few pages later in the haggadah, he’ll get a look on his face like I do when I step into the kitchen and then can’t remember why I headed there in the first place. What am I doing here again? My children are getting older, and they can often rescue our noble-hearted but somewhat tone deaf seder leader – if they can only agree on the same tune to use. (You wouldn’t believe the debates they have over Hallel.) Another irritant: picky eaters. As hard as it is to feed [name redacted], whose list of preferred foods is only about ten items long and includes several decidedly chometzdike items, it’s even harder to feed said child during Pesach. There are the squabbles over where to go during chol hamoed and the temper-tantrums by the losing side during extended games of Seven Wonders and Catan. I blame the yetzer hara entirely. We’re supposed to be happy on Jewish holidays – it’s an actual mitzvah! Clearly the yetzer is out to prevent us from being happy. So, I’m making a plan to defeat him. It involves a daily walk (alone), a new pair of earrings (a vintage shop score), and a visit to the beach (let’s hope that the unseasonably late rains here in L.A. have wound up by yom tov). It may also include meringues. Lots of meringues. Hopefully, this will result in a happy Passover and the creation of many humorous memories to savor in columns to come.

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29, | The Jewish Home Feature TheOCTOBER Week In2015 News

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

BRINGING BACK YIDDISH, ONE SPEAKER AT A TIME An Interview with Yiddish Linguist and Author Chaim Werdyger

R’ Chaim, as a Yiddish linguist you know a lot about the language. Let me tell you off the bat that I speak a wicked “Yinglish.” Well, that’s not the way I speak or teach it. I teach pure Yiddish. What is pure Yiddish? The way it was spoken pre-World War II, without English substitutions for Yiddish words. I know that the history of Yiddish is somewhat sketchy, but how did it originate? For nearly a thousand years, Yiddish was the primary, and sometimes only, language that Ashkenazi Jews spoke. Unlike most languages, which are spoken by the residents of a particular area or by a particular nationality, Yiddish, at the height of its usage, was spo-

ken by millions all over the world. The language is comprised basically of German, Slavic languages, and, of course, Hebrew and Aramaic. It was created in the 10th or 11th century for the Jews that were migrating from Spain northward into Holland, Scandinavia, and eastern European countries. The concept of Jews sticking to their own, unique language is not new. After all, the Midrash relates that the Jews were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of three things, one of which was that they didn’t change their unique spoken language. Over the generations the Yiddish language kept growing. Before World War II there were over 11 million Yiddish speakers in Eastern Europe. They weren’t necessarily frum people; everybody spoke Yiddish. Unfortunately, when 85% of those people were killed, Yiddish lost the bulk of its

speakers. Now, over 70 years after the war, there’s been a big Yiddish revival. There are places in the world where you would never imagine Yiddish is being taught. There is actually a Yiddish language course at the University of Japan. Why the revival? Once considered the language of the older generation, Yiddish is now being embraced by the frum and secular twenty- and thirty-something Jews. There is a significant growing number of this young population of Jews who are reconsidering, and considering for the first time, the meaning of their Ashkenazic Jewish heritage as an important part of their Jewish cultural identity and are studying and speaking the Yiddish language. How did you become interested

in it? I was born into it, as the child of a Holocaust survivor. We only spoke Yiddish at home. My father, Chazan Dovid Werdyger, a”h, composed and recorded many songs in Yiddish. Actually, my brothers and I talk only in Yiddish to each other as I do with many of my friends. What about Yiddish in the secular Jewish world? As I mentioned earlier, there is a young population learning and speaking Yiddish as a way to connect to their past, present and future, both religiously and culturally. I’ve met many of these young frum and secular young adults, and I’ve truly been inspired by them. There is also a group known as “Yiddishistin.” They are secular Jews who want to revive the Yiddish lan-


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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

guage through Yiddish literature, music and theatre. They are also part of the Yiddish language revival. Are you into the literature? Oh yes, I read lots of Yiddish literature. I’ve been reading anything and everything Yiddish since I’m a kid and am still immersed in all Yiddish literature, old and new. What’s the history of Yiddish literature? It is generally described as having three historical phases: Old Yiddish literature; Haskalah and Hasidic literature; and modern Yiddish literature. While firm dates for these periods are hard to pin down, Old Yiddish can be said to have existed roughly from 1300 to 1780; Haskalah and Hasidic literature from 1780 to about 1890; and modern Yiddish literature from 1864 to the present. Yiddish literature began with translations of and commentary on religious texts from Tanach and Talmud. For example, the Tzena Re’ena for women is sometimes called the “women’s bible.” It was a Yiddish prose work written in the 1590s whose structure parallels the weekly Torah portions. Additionally, there are lots of stories, expressions and idioms that we use in everyday English that were created by authors Shalom Aleichem, Mendele Mocher Seforim, and others during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Their writings were directly inspired by the Yidden in the shtetl! How do you teach Yiddish in a community where it’s not really spoken much, at least around here? I wrote a book called “Yiddish in 10 lessons,” which is divided into 10 chapters and has accompanying CDs. It’s a self-study program which teaches the Yiddish language in the correct way. You will learn grammar and the mechanics of Yiddish, so you will be able to understand and speak the language correctly. It’s not like the “Yinglish” spoken by many in America where every other word is an English word, for example: “Gey across de strit tsu de grosery un koyfe mir vegetables.” Understand what I mean?

How long does it generally take to complete the Yiddish course? Well, since it’s a self-study, it’s at your own pace but you have to be consistent when doing it. It’s also very important to listen to the CDs so you can hear each lesson as well. I understand that it’s a self-study but can one person do it without the interaction of speaking Yiddish to another person? It’s obviously going to be a lot faster if you have somebody to speak to. Many husbands and wives and families do the course together. There are also groups of friends in various communities doing the course together as well. But, certainly, even one person

say “to go” is gain. In Litvishe Yiddish it is pronounced “gain”; in Galitziana Yiddish, it’s pronounced “guyn.” Another example is the word “you.” In Litvishe Yiddish the word is pronounced “do”; in Galitziana Yiddish the word is pronounced “de.” So, the words are the same, but they are just pronounced differently. It’s similar, I guess, to some English words which are pronounced differently by people in the U.S. and people in England. Tomato, tomato, as they say.

course is in-person, interactive, and fun!

What is more popular these days, Litvishe or Galitziana Yiddish? Well, there are probably more people who speak with the chassidishe,

Who is writing good Yiddish songs these days? Lipa Schmeltzer, Pinky Weber, and others, who are extremely talented at writing Yiddish lyrics. If you want to put Yiddish lyrics to a melody, it has to fit like a glove. It has to fit perfectly – how it sounds, how it rhymes and how it fits to the music – and they do it very well.

“IF YOU WANT TO PUT YIDDISH LYRICS TO A MELODY, IT HAS TO FIT LIKE A GLOVE. IT HAS TO FIT PERFECTLY – HOW IT SOUNDS, HOW IT RHYMES AND HOW IT FITS TO THE MUSIC.”

can study it alone, and the CDs are very helpful for that. Realistically, how long would you say it takes to complete the course and be able to talk Yiddish? The course can be completed in 15 weeks. At the end of 15 weeks, most people will understand and be able to speak Yiddish. That’s fast! Less than four months to learn a new language. What about the different dialects of Yiddish; does that make it harder to teach? For teaching purposes, it’s not an issue because the words are the same. There’s the Galitziana Yiddish – which is also commonly called “chassidishe Yiddish” – and the Litvishe Yiddish. The words are the same, it’s just a matter of how the words are pronounced. For example, in Yiddish the way you

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Galitziana dialect. But, in the Litvishe world, a lot of the shiurim in yeshivos are in Yiddish. The top shiurim in Mir and Lakewood are mostly in Yiddish. A lot of yeshiva boys took my course before going to these yeshivos because they didn’t want to be limited in their shiur options. Do you have secular students as well? Of course. My book is sold internationally to Jews and non-Jews alike. In fact, I have a weekly Yiddish blog on Facebook and have about five thousand followers. Eighty percent of them are secular. Usually they have some connection through their parents or grandparents, and there are gentiles that are part of the group as well. Do you have a course for children? Yes. I teach children ages 9 to 13 how to read and speak Yiddish. The

Do children learn quicker than adults? Certainly. They are like sponges, learning the language easily and quickly. What about Yiddish music, does that still exist? Yes, it’s very popular in the chassidishe world.

Are there any movies with Yiddish subtitles? Not really. But there are Yiddish movies with English subtitles. The Jewish Heritage Museum in New York City together with the Folksbeine Yiddish Theatre have been successfully reviving the original Yiddish musicals which are performed at the museum. What additional work do you do with the Yiddish language? I translate medical, business and personal diaries, documents and books into three languages: Yiddish, English and Hebrew. Many Holocaust survivor children find all sorts of Yiddish manuscripts, letters and documents which I also translate for them into Hebrew or English. Additionally, I do real-time translations in person and over the phone. R’ Chaim, it was a pleasure speaking with you. I even think I’ve started to speak Yiddish a bit. How does my “zei gezunt” sound? Perfect! You’re well on your way to learning Yiddish, a vibrant, vital language. To connect with Chaim Werdyger or to learn more about speaking Yiddish, reach out to him at chaim365@gmail.com or 516-262-2144.

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The Week In News

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Peru’s New President

Peru’s new president, Martin Vizcarra, is promising to fight the corruption that has been plaguing the country. His predecessor was forced from office after a vote-buying scandal was exposed, and Vizcarra’s first message to his people was: “Don’t lose faith in our institutions; let us show you that Peru is bigger than its problems.” The former vice president gave a 15-minute inauguration speech that was

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

full of promise but light on specifics, aside from a promise to construct an entirely new Cabinet. He flew in from Canada to assume the role as he was serving as the ambassador during the past few months, which were some of the most tumultuous in the country’s recent history. His predecessor, 79-year-old President Kuczynski, submitted a letter of resignation after sitting trial for impeachment over a bribery scandal. The campaign to oust him from power took a huge upswing last week when a video emerged of the president’s allies attempting to buy the support of an opposition lawmaker to block his impeachment. The downfall of Kuczynski – and many other politicians – was his association with Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant that has admitted to spreading some $800 million in bribes to officials across Latin America, including $29 million in Peru. Kuczynski denied any ties to the construction giant for many months, but documents came to light that showed that his consulting firm had received $782,000 in payments from Odebrecht a decade ago, some of them when he was a government minister. Vizcarra, who was not recognized by 81 percent of Peruvians in a poll taken in March, is facing an uphill battle. Before becoming vice president in 2016, his only other political experience was as governor of Peru’s second-least populated province. In three weeks, he will face his first inter-

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national political test when he hosts President Donald Trump and other Western Hemisphere leaders at the Summit of the Americas in Lima.

3 Killed in Attack in France

France was struck by terror yet again on Friday when a gun-wielding terrorist stormed a grocery store on a quiet corner in southern France. The terrorist, Moroccan-born Redouane Lakdim, 25, was known to authorities for petty crime and drug-dealing. More importantly, he was already under surveillance since 2014, his name was supposedly registered in the “Fiche S” list, a government register of individuals suspected of being radicalized but who have yet to perform acts of terrorism. Despite this, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins there was “no warning sign” that Lakdim would carry out an extremist attack. Authorities are focusing the investigation on how the suspect obtained the weapons

used in the attack. The Islamic State group proudly claimed responsibility for the massacre that left three dead and at least 16 wounded. The four-hour saga started at 10:13 a.m. when Lakdim hijacked a car near the town of Carcassonne, killing one person in the car and wounding the other. He then fired six shots at police officers who were on their way back from jogging near Carcassonne, said Yves Lefebvre, secretary general of SGP Police-FO police union. The police were wearing athletic clothes with police insignia. One officer was hit in the shoulder, although the injury was not serious. Lakdim then drove to a Super U supermarket in nearby Trebes, where he stormed the store shouting, “Allahu akbar!” and said he was a “soldier of the Islamic State.” He shot and killed two people inside and took an unknown number of hostages. There were reportedly about 50 people inside the grocery. Shortly after, special police units converged on the scene while authorities blocked roads and warned residents to stay inside. The attacker was killed by elite police as they stormed the market. A heroic police officer who happened to have been shopping in the store at the time is credited with helping authorities move swiftly. The off-duty officer, Col. Arnaud Beltrame, offered himself up in a hostage swap but was able to leave his phone on connected to the police, and they were able to track the goings-on inside the

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store based on what they heard from Beltrame’s phone. He suffered life-threatening wounds and is in critical condition. “He saved lives,” France’s President Emmanuel Macron said. This is the deadliest attack in France since Macron took office last May. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo demanded that the lights of the Eiffel Tower be turned off at midnight in tribute to the victims of the attack. At the national stadium outside Paris, 80,000 soccer fans and the national teams of France and Colombia observed a minute of silence on Friday night to honor those killed in the attacks earlier in the day.

Iran Building Military Facilities in Syria

ings was started as supposed civilian residential buildings and only later revealed to be housing for Shiite fighters from Iran. Israeli news outlets are reporting sources inside of Iran say that the buildings were constructed close to Russian assets because Israel is not likely to risk attacking targets in such close proximity to Russian forces and angering Moscow. The Russian forces are being used as “human shields” to protect Iran’s interests in Syria. Iran, according to unnamed, high-level sources, is looking to change Syria from its Sunni majority. The Shiite militias sent there – over 10,000 of them – are not only there for fighting but are there to start seed communities by bringing over their families and friends so that hundreds of thousands of Shiites will live in Syria. These numbers are more impressive when taking into account that an estimate 5-6 million Sunni Syrians have left their homeland in the long, painful civil war.

Going the extra mile!

Holocaust Survivor Stabbed to Death Iran is building military facilities in Syria very close to large squadrons of Russian forces in the war-torn country. According to newly released reports, the construction of the secret military build-

Two men have been arrested over the killing of an 85-year-old Jewish woman, a Holocaust survivor, whose stabbed body was found after her Paris apartment was set ablaze, police said on Monday. Mirelle Kanol, who lived alone, was stabbed at least 11 times, an autopsy showed of her charred body. An arsonist had started a fire

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The Week In News in her apartment in at least five different areas. It is said that one suspect was a regular vistor to Kanol whom she treated “like a son” and had visited her that day. No details were given on the second suspect. A granddaughter of Kanol, Noa Goldfarb, wrote on Facebook that her grandmother was murdered by a neighbor who is a Muslim. “Twenty years ago, I left Paris knowing that neither my future nor that of the Jewish People is to be found there,” wrote Goldfarb, who lives in Herzliya, Israel. “But who would’ve thought that I was leaving my relatives where terrorism and cruelty would lead to such a tragedy. Grandmother was stabbed to death 11 times by a Muslim neighbor she knew well, who made sure to set fire to her home and left us not even one object, a letter, a photograph, to remember her by. All we have are our tears and each other.” A Paris lawmaker who spoke with one of the woman’s sons said that as a child Kanol had managed to evade the notorious 1942 roundup of over 13,000 Jews in Paris during World War II. Fewer than 100 of those who were detained at the socalled Vel d’Hiv cycling track and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived. The CRIF umbrella grouping of French Jewish organizations urged “the fullest transparency” by the authorities investigating the killing, “so that the motive of this barbarous crime is known as

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

quickly as possible.” France’s half-a-million-plus Jewish community has voiced increasing concern over a rise in violent anti-Semitic acts. “The barbarity of this murder sends us back to that of Sarah Halimi just one year ago,” Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, said. Halimi was a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician who prosecutors say was murdered by her Muslim neighbor in April partly in connection with her Jewish identity. Anti-Semitism was included in the indictment against Halimi’s suspected killer, Kobili Traore, 28, after CRIF and BNVCA vocally protested its absence from the draft document.

Flying over Saudi Arabia to Israel The first scheduled flight from New Delhi to Tel Aviv that was allowed to cross Saudi Arabian airspace took place this past week. “This is a historic moment,” said

Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz on the tarmac as the Boeing Dreamliner rolled to a halt. “It is the first time that there is an official connection between the state of Israel and Saudi Arabia,” he said. Allowing Israel-bound planes to cross over the Arab country is a clear sign of the improvement of ties between the Arab kingdom and the Jewish state. The flight marks the end of a decades-long ban on the use of Saudi airspace for Israeli commercial flights. There will be three flights in each direction each week. El Al currently operates a service to India, flying into Mumbai via the Red Sea, in order to avoid flying over Saudi Arabia and Iran. The newest flight approval comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described relations with the Arab world as the “best ever.” It is largely due to mutual concerns over Iran’s increased hostility and nuclear ambitions. Jonathan Spyer, director of Israel’s Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, says that the Saudi concession shows that positive signals are being sent even though there is no current Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. “I think that what this shows is even in the absence of that you can have small gestures that are of real meaning,” said Spyer. “That’s what I think that this Saudi decision to allow the overflights consists of. It’s small but significant.”

the Council’s “credibility.” “The United States continues to evaluate our membership in the Human Rights Council. Our patience is not unlimited. Today’s actions make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights,” she said. The five resolutions that were passed include a call to end all arms sales to Israel and calls on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights. The Jewish state was also condemned for human rights abuses against Palestinians. The last two called for an Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines and for Israel to halt any settlement activity.

Israel Says it Bombed Syrian Nuclear Reactor Over ten years after the destruction of a Syrian nuclear reactor, Israel has confirmed that its air force was responsible for the 2007 air raid. The Jewish State was widely believed to be behind the September 6, 2007 attack but never admitted it and censored any media reports that alleged its responsibility.

UN Told Off By Haley for AntiIsrael Resolutions

Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, called the members of the Human Right Council “foolish” last week for passing five resolutions which condemn Israel. The resolutions were passed during the Council’s 37th session, during which only one resolution was passed for North Korea, Iran, and Syria. “When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the Council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name,” Haley said in the statement. “It is time for the countries who know better to demand changes. Many countries agree that the Council’s agenda is grossly biased against Israel, but too few are willing to fight it. When that happens, as it did today, the Council fails to fulfill its duty to uphold human rights around the world.” Haley also reminded the UN that the United States is still deciding whether or not it will remain on the Council, saying that these resolutions are another blow to

It is now known that eight fighters flew on the secret mission at low altitude to the suspected plutonium nuclear reactor in the Deir el-Zour region of eastern Syria. “On the night between September 5-6, 2007, Israeli Air Force fighter jets successfully struck and destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in development,” an IDF statement said. “The reactor was close to being completed. The operation successfully removed an emerging existential threat to Israel and to the entire region, Syrian nuclear capabilities.” It is believed that North Korea helped Syria develop the nuclear reactor. Damascus has never admitted to developing a nuclear facility and did not say anything about the facility after the attack, only that their airspace had been violated. Israel stayed silent after the attack because the Jewish State feared retaliation and war. Privately, Israel’s political leaders and its military and intelligence chiefs contacted or met with their allies in the West – the U.S., UK, France and Germany — and in the Arab world — Egypt and Jordan — to share the information with them. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also called Russian leader Vladimir Putin. All of those players, in turn, kept silent. In 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it was “very likely” that the site was a nuclear reactor.


AskWeek the Attorney The In News

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Does Car Insurance Cover Drunk Driving? Michael Rubinstein, Esq.

Drunk driving is a serious problem. Despite the rise of ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft, crashes caused by drunk drivers still occur in Los Angeles. As a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, I have represented victims who were hurt by drunk drivers. A question I receive frequently is whether these cases are covered by insurance. The reason for the question probably has to do with a known exclusion applicable to insurance policies: intentional criminal acts. Insurance covers negligence. It does not typically cover intentional behavior. For example, if a driver intentionally drove into a crowd of pedestrians, the exclusion for intentional behavior might apply. But if the driver didn’t realize that he had a red light and hit a pedestrian crossing on a green light, ch”v, that could be a different story. The latter is an example of negligence, not criminal behavior.

In the DUI crash cases that I’ve handled in Los Angeles, auto insurance was available to cover the damages. For the most part, insurance companies view drunk driving crashes as negligence, not intentional criminal conduct. Of course, that’s not necessarily how law enforcement views things. Driving under the influence is a serious violation of the law and can lead to arrest, imprisonment, and prosecution. But on the civil side, auto insurance typically covers DUI cases when a drunk driver causes a crash that injures someone else. Sometimes, drunk driving cases can lead to punitive damages – that is, damages intended to punish the driver for driving under the influence of alcohol. Usually, insurance does not cover punitive damages. Punitive damages are a difficult subject. Their applicability is highly fact specific to each case. If you’ve consumed alcohol, don’t get

behind the wheel! Call a friend, a taxi, or use Uber or Lyft. It could save a life. Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles Continue to Rise Pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles are going up, not down. In February, The Los Angeles Times reported that pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles rose for the third straight year. 2017 had 16% more pedestrian deaths than 2016. These are dramatic increases from 2015. The numbers keep going up, despite Mayor Garcetti’s Vision Zero plan. Vision Zero seeks to completely eliminate pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles by the year 2025. In response to the increase in Los Angeles pedestrian deaths, the City Council recently released a list of speed limit reductions on many major Los Angeles streets. The speed limit is now 35 miles per hour on these streets. A list of the affected streets can be viewed by visiting:

https://drive.google.com/ fi l e / d / 1 s f E u F n K C I f 1 U M Z p s 5 k 8 N VZyd1SkvgK1G/view. Additionally, LAPD will be targeting many of these streets for increased traffic enforcement. Officers will be looking for illegal cell phone use and speeding. Stay safe as you walk out and about in our beautiful city. Wishing all a chag kasher v’sameach and safe travels! Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He may be reached by visiting www. rabbilawyer.com, or by calling 213-2936075. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He may be reached by visiting www. rabbilawyer.com, or by calling 213-2936075.

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The Week In News Dirshu

MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Gedolei Yisroel Encourage Dirshu As They Embark on Last Seder in Shas Chaim Gold

Vienna is where it all started. In 1923, Rav Meir Shapiro proposed the concept of a Daf HaYomi in Vienna. In Elul, 1929, the first Siyum haShas was held in the Sophiensaele Hall in Vienna and now, on 2 Nissan, 2018, a large siyum on Daf HaYomi Seder Nezikin, was held at the same Sophiensaele Hall in Vienna. The siyum was arranged by Dirshu, the worldwide Torah movement that has transformed Daf Yomi learning for tens of thousands of Yidden by establishing a testing regimen that insures that thousands of Yidden the world over not only “do” the daf but actually learn the daf, know the daf and are ready to get tested on it. They are rewarded for excellent results. HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Scheiner, shlita: “You Are Doing Revolutionary Things On Behalf Of Torah!” In advance of the siyum in Vienna and other siyumim in locales worldwide, the senior members of Dirshu’s hanhalah led by its Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, visited senior Gedolei Yisroel from Eretz Yisroel who not only gave heartfelt brachos to lomdei Dirshu on their accomplishments up until now, but with their far-reaching vision, were already looking ahead to the limud of Seder Kodshim, the final seder in the Daf Yomi cycle which will culminate in the next Dirshu World Siyum. The venerated Rosh Yeshiva of Kamenitz, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Scheiner, shlita, despite his advanced age and weakness, became infused with energy when he heard about the upcoming siyum in Vienna and that preparations were already underway for the next Dirshu World Siyum. Rav Scheiner exclaimed, “You are doing revolutionary things on behalf of Torah! Dirshu has accomplished things that have never been achieved before!” HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita: Different Bochurim, Different Yeshivos, Different Determinations At the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva, the Rosh Yeshiva received the Dirshu delegation with great warmth. When Rav Edelstein was told about the plans for the siyum in Vienna during the month of Nissan and the plans to also establish a Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur in every shul in Vienna, Rav Edelstein was impressed and inquired about the size and make-up of the community in Vienna. Rav Hofstedter then related to the Rosh Yeshiva the remarkable story that transpired at the most recent Dirshu Con-

Dirshu - Rav Dovid Hofstedter discussing the siyum with Harav Yitzchok Scheiner

vention in Stamford, Connecticut where a yungerman bought the one aliyah sold at the convention for 10,000 blatt Gemara! Rav Gershon was flabbergasted! “That is far more blatt than the entire Shas!,” he remarked. Rav Hofstedter explained the very systematic chazarah system that this talmid chacham implemented and told Rav Edelstein that just last month he participated in the siyum in New York that the man made on the 10,000 blatt learned in one year. Rav Gershon gave his heartfelt brachah for success in the upcoming limud of Seder Kodshim and the major Dirshu World Siyum that will follow. Achdus and Large Siyum Gatherings Increases Learning With great yiras hakovod, the hanhalah of Dirshu approached the humble abode of HaGaon HaRav Dov Landau, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva. Rav Landau gave his heartfelt brachah for hatzlachah rabbah in advance of the siyum on Nezikin and the Dirshu World Siyum as lomdei Dirshu embark on the last seder in the cycle. Rav Landau’s home is no stranger to Dirshu activities. Just a few months ago, a beautiful haschala of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha on hilchos Shabbos, Chelek Gimmel of Mishnah Berurah was held at the home of Rav Landau and attended by a number of poskim. In his remarks, Rav Dov said, “Those who understand the importance of learning hilchos Shabbos and facilitating the learning of hilchos Shabbos and halachah in general for others are worthy of tremendous brachah. A person cannot move on Shabbos

without the knowledge of hilchos Shabbos, in all of their myriad details. Learning hilchos Shabbos with a program enables a person over the course of time to learn all of the halachos and when he does that, he is zocheh to everything good!” HaGaon HaRav Shimon Baadani, Shlita: The Primacy of Chazarah One of Dirshu’s most enthusiastic supporters who, despite his advanced age is always ready to come and give chizuk to lomdei Dirshu has been the great Sephardic Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Shimon Baadani, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Torah V’Chaim and a senior member of the Shas Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah. In his fascinating recent meeting with Rav Hofstedter and other members of the Dirshu leadership, Rav Baadani emphasized that the most important thing is to encourage lomdei Torah to chazer, to repeatedly review what they learn, because no one has ever been successful in learning without constant review.” The Sanz-Klausenberg Rebbe, shlita: More People Are Joining The Daf Hayomi Because Of The Large Gatherings Made To Celebrate The Accomplishments Of The Lomdim One of the inspiring visits was the one to the Sanz-Klausenberg Rebbe, shlita, in Netanya. Rav Hofstedter highlighted how the Rebbe’s father, the previous Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, with the creation of Mifal HaShas, was the first one to encourage accountability in Torah with testing and served as an inspiration for Dirshu. When the Rebbe heard about the siyum before Pesach in Vienna and after Pesach in Australia, he said, “It is clear

that the fact that more and more people are joining the Daf HaYomi is because of the large gatherings made to celebrate the accomplishments of the lomdim. I recently travelled back and forth to America and on the trip, I saw so many Yidden, of all types siting and leaning the Daf HaYomi. This wasn’t always the case.” HaGaon HaRav Shraga Shteinman, shlita: “My father felt a shutfus, a partnership with Dirshu.” HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, had attached tremendous value to the role that Dirshu plays in facilitating limud haTorah and he possessed tremendous love for all lomdei Torah. He attended Dirshu’s major events, even the most recent Daf HaYomi B’Halacha siyum in the Nokia Stadium when he was over 100 years old. The hanhalah of Dirshu visited his son and successor as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, HaGaon HaRav Shraga Shteinman, shlita, who is also a son-in-law of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita. Rav Hofstedter related numerous stories about Rav Shteinman’s efforts on behalf of Dirshu and his personal friendship that exuded tremendous warmth. Rav Shraga nodded in agreement and said, “My father felt a shutfus, a partnership with Dirshu.” Rav Shraga Shteinman continued, “What you are doing – the Gemara and the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Mishnah Berurah program - are a tremendous zechus!” HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Abba Shaul, Rosh Yeshivas Ohr L’Tzion has also been an enthusiastic supporter of Dirshu and Dirshu’s programs for bochurim in his yeshiva. When Rav Abba Shaul heard about the siyum in Vienna and the upcoming siyumim in Australia, Budapest, and Berlin where so much Torah is being learned and where people are taking tests, he was filled with joy. “Pilei Pelaim! There is nothing greater than this degree of zikui harabbim,” he said. Perhaps the words of Rav Yitzchok Scheiner best encapsulated the thoughts and reactions of the numerous Gedolei Yisroel that Dirshu visited in advance of the upcoming siyumim. He said, “[Facilitating so much Torah learning with tests and accountability] is something that makes me jealous of Dirshu. I know that jealousy is generally not permitted, but in this case, I am jealous of the harbotzas Torah! Hashem should bentsch the entire mishpacha of Dirshu!”


MARCH 28, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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