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The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Beth Jacob is Deeply Honored to Welcome

Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau March 11-13, 2016

For an Historic Weekend In conjunction with our Tiferet Award Banquet

Friday Night Dinner at Pat’s March 11, 7:00 pm (Mincha/Maariv 5:45 pm at Beth Jacob) An exclusive, intimate Shabbat dinner with the Chief Rabbi $150 per person To reserve: 310.278.1911 or

Shabbat Morning Drasha March 12, 9:00 am Shacharit in Shapell Sanctuary

An Evening with Chief Rabbi Lau From Tel Aviv to Beverly Hills: Bringing Spirituality into a Secular World Saturday Night, March 12, 8:00 pm at Beth Jacob


abbi Yisrael Meir Lau is Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo and Chairman of Yad Vashem. He served as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003. Born in Poland in 1937, he endured the horrors of the Holocaust, and was liberated in Buchenwald at age 8, one of the youngest children to survive. He made Aliyah in 1945, and went on to study in Yeshivat Kol Torah with Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, as well as in Ponevezh and Knesses Chizkiyahu, earning Semicha in 1961. Prior to being elected Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rav Lau served as Chief Rabbi of Netanya (1978-1988), and Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo (1988-1993; 2005-present). Known as a powerful orator, unifier and consensus builder, he is respected and admired internationally by Jews and non-Jews, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, religious and secular alike. In 2005, Chief Rabbi Lau was awarded the Israel Prize for his special contribution to society and the State of Israel. His best-selling memoir, Out of the Depths, was published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald.

All weekend events open to the community.

Weekend generously sponsored by Carrol & Jack Fenigstein and Fela Shapell & family.

9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills • (310) 278-1911



The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home


COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

JEWISH THOUGHT Proud of our Mission. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

LIFESTYLES People: Rabbi Yoel Gold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Ask Dr. T.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Book Review: Healing From The Break . . . . . . . . . . 28 Health: The Beginning of Weight Loss. . . . . . . . . . . 30 Amulets, Accusations & Controversy. . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Travel Guide: Kyoto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

FEATURE Safety vs. Privacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Researchers Discover Fabrics Dating Back to Kings David and Solomon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31


Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47




Dear Readers, Well, well, well! It turns out the Iranian Ambassador to Beirut recently said that his country would pay $7000 to each family who has a son or daughter martyred trying to stab Jews in Israel, up to $30,000 if their house is destroyed following such an attack. Talk about being open about their feelings toward the Jewish people. Perfect timing to lift sanctions and release $100 billion, you think? Thank G-d, we’re in the months of Adar I and II, and we can feel Hashem’s embrace. We’ll soon celebrate another Purim, although at times, “They wanted to kill us, Hashem saved us, let’s eat!” seems a bit old. True, it’s great to know you have a guarantee your people will exist for eternity, but can’t the bad guys lose for good this time around!?! The cycle of very real pain is too much. Most years Parshos Veyakhel and Pikudei are read together. This year they’re separate, but either way, veyakhel – referring to “gathering” – always comes before pikudei – an “accounting” of separate items. We’re taught that the Jewish people are one body with many parts. Hands, toes, ears – we all complement each other, and we’re supposed to be as one body praying for the success of other constituent parts, even though we might have opposite functions.

However, sometimes we’re meant to take a step back and not even see the differences, pikudei, at all. Rather we should focus only on our being one, veyakhel. When we meet another Jew, whether for the first time or again after an acquaintance of many years, we are to view them as the other half of ourselves – the machtzis which completes our machtzis hashekel. They are the other in whom we find our complete self. This year being a Shnas Hakhel makes this especially relevant. It’s a time to come together and unite as one people, to strengthen each other l’yirah es Hashem Elokeichem. We are closer than ever to the time when G-d will reveal His master plan. Although it’s hard to keep track of all the revolutions and upheavals taking place in the world, we are certain they are leading to one place; our Father in Heaven finally taking off His mask and revealing Himself as the Creator and Life Force behind all of reality. May we experience it in the very near future. And may we have a joyful Shabbos filled with Jewish unity,


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



TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Community Members Will Train for LAPD Reserves Devorah Talia Gordon

Although L.A. boasts Hatzolah, Shomrim, and even Chaverim, now community members are being invited to join the Los Angeles Police Department as reserve officers, to protect the greater L.A. community, as well as serve in our own backyard.

The Reserve Officer and Volunteer Unit (ROVU) is the brainchild of Chaplain Shmuel Newman. As chaplain for the West Bureau and senior Jewish advisor to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Newman noticed that the Jewish community was underrepresented in the police department. Although becoming a police officer is not a typical career choice for frum young adults leaving college or yeshiva, some of Newman’s friends and acquaintances did express interest in being part of the reserves. Meanwhile, police department employees in the training division didn’t realize that there were Orthodox Jews who might be interested in pursuing reserve training. Thus, Newman facilitated the collaborative effort with both to formulate this new program’s parameters. The LAPD is excited to reach out to our community – a pool of people with appealing demographics. “They are doc-

tors, lawyers, businessmen, and not just looking for excitement in their life!” said Newman, explaining that the LAPD has a hard time getting qualified reserves “who can get through the whole training, have no felony convictions, no drug problems, and the like.” Out of one hundred reservist applicants, only a handful gets selected. Further, the LAPD is in dire need of reservists; there are only about 400 reserve officers now. They’d like to have 2000 on board. With more Jewish reservists, Newman believes community members will feel safer, and the frum community will be better helped by officers who understand our community. Also, said Newman, “in today’s day and age, other than protecting the community they [reservists] want to protect themselves.” According to crime statistics, there has been a small uptick in violent crime in the West Bureau (which includes Pico, La Brea, Hollywood and so on) by 1.7% compared to last year. However, property crime is down slightly from last year. Lieutenant Darnell Davenport, officer in charge of reserves and youth education, explained that this completely volunteer opportunity, “can be rewarding and exciting, and there’s nothing [no volunteer work] out there like this one.” About 60

men and women attended the informational meeting held on Thursday, February 25th, and about half of those in attendance, including three women, are planning to enroll in the program that begins with a comprehensive written exam on March 10, 2016, at the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center. Although the reserve program has existed in L.A. since 1947, Davenport explained that this is the first time it has targeted the Orthodox Jewish community. “This is what makes it unusual, but the belief is we will do it with other communities as well that aren’t represented in significant numbers. Without a representation of communities in the department, communication is diminished.” The reserve officers can communicate with the police officers and understand not only the needs of the community but also the bureaucracy of the department. According to Davenport, they can “bridge the disconnect that can sometimes happens, and we can better help that community.” Reserve officers can function at one of three levels within the reserve system; the department is looking for reservists to serve in Level 1 or Level 2. With this training, they will carry guns, drive police cars,

answer radio calls, respond to suspicious activity, give traffic citations, etc. “You won’t be able to distinguish them from any other police officers,” said Darnell. A reservist can reach Level 1 after nine months of training; Level 2 after seven months. “My expectation is that they will work in the communities where they live.” Once trained, reserve officers commit to serve at least one ten-hour shift per month. There is no conflict with Shabbos and yom tovim, and professionals can volunteer in areas where they will comfortable; for example, lawyers can work with detectives and look into criminal cases for their reserve duty. Once this program is in place, Newman envisions creating an even safer L.A. “The long-term objective is to get enough reserves in the community to set up a parallel program where they [reservists] can protect critical sites.” Right now, said Newman, “It is very hard to protect at every possible place that might be targeted. We are more reactive.” On Thursday, March 3, between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm, the ROVU will host another reserve officer community informational meeting to recruit Jewish and other community members to join the Reserve Corps. The meeting will be held in the Operations-West Bureau (OWB) community room. The OWB community room is located at 4849 West Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019. If you are interested in joining or learning more, call the Reserve Hotline: 310-342-3160, Monday through Friday between 7am and 3pm. Tell the officer that you are with the Jewish Community.


Lakewood’s Ralph Zucker and Yisroel Weisberger join as signatories for Orlando campaign! The revolutionary campaign to save Orlando Torah Academy’s building has seen incredible success in the past few weeks. Close to $1.3 million has been raised through loans and donations with only a little over $500k remaining to hit the goal of $1.8 million necessary to secure the facility. With the deadline of March 15th looming, the campaign is moving into the homestretch. Lakewood’s Mr. Ira Zlotowitz, President of Eastern Union Funding and the creative genius behind the innovative campaign that originated from just one Shabbos in Orlando says, “This is the first time Klal Yisroel got together-in

small amounts from $1,200-$40,000 to lend money to help save a school and buy their building.” While the majority of the funds collected already are from individuals who have loaned or donated $1,200 or less, 19 ambassadors (people committed to lending $40,000 or more) have made the commitment to keep this vital institution alive along with numerous other loans and donations from across the globe and spectrum of Judaism who have brought the campaign to this point. Security for this loan is of critical importance. When dealing with Klal Yisroel’s money every “i” must be dot-

ted and every “t” must be crossed. To that end, this loan has been arranged with all of the regular structures of any other loan. Legal documents have been prepared by prominent attorney Jeffrey Zwick; title insurance is in place; the appraisal process is almost complete; environmental and engineering reports have been completed and the loan is being administered by Cross River Savings Bank. What makes this loan really unique is that the building, and not the school, is the collateral. The school receives rent from other tenants, too, which covers its mortgage. Says Rabbi Zvi Bloom of Torah

Umesorah, “Every tzedaka project involving klal money needs two people to oversee each and every dollar. We are thrilled that Ralph and Yisroel have agreed to oversee every payment.” The pieces are now in place and with your help we will bridge the last $500k! History is being made; seize your part today and visit www. or call Rabbi Avrohom Wachsman at 407.864.3375

The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home





Competitive salaries commensurate with experience.




TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Another Successful Season Completed for Binyan Ariel Yehudis Litvak Last Motzaei Shabbos, Binyan Ariel, the family learning program at Congregation Bais Betzalel on Pico Boulevard, held its last session of the season. 80 children attended. Many of them came with their fathers, but some came with grandparents or uncles. This is what makes Binyan Ariel unique among learning programs, explains the director, Rabbi Zalmy Hecht. Binyan Ariel aims to include everyone, including those children whose fathers are no longer alive or are unable to participate for another reason. Moreover, Binyan Ariel reaches out not only to boys, but also to girls. Any child under bar or bas mitzvah is welcome to come and learn with a male family member. The program has existed for several years, but it was recently renamed Binyan Ariel, after Rabbi Ariel Rav-Noy, a”h, a young father who passed away last year and who used to attend the program with his children. Binyan is the Hebrew abbreviation for “sons/daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters,” as well as meaning “building.” This year, the program was attended by about 80 children of various ages, who came to learn with their family

members. “Some kids are learning Gemara, while others are learning the alef beis,” says Rabbi Hecht. The program runs for several months every winter, starting the week after clocks “fall back” and ending during the month of Adar. Early in the winter, Binyan Ariel runs from 7:00 pm till 8:15 pm, and as Shabbos ends later, the program moves to 7:30 pm till 8:45 pm. For the first 45 minutes, the children and adults learn

something together. They can choose any Torah topic – school homework, parsha, or anything they are interested in learning. During this time, Rabbi Hecht gives out tickets to all children who are learning. Then a pizza melave malka is served, and Rabbi Hecht tells the children stories. After everyone bentches out loud, a raffle is held, and those who have the winning tickets receive prizes. At the grand finale last Motzaei Shabbos, in addition to the

prizes, each child also received their own Megillas Esther. The program concluded with lively Adar dancing. Children love coming to the Binyan Ariel program. “It has a great energy and is a great way to start the week with Torah and fun,” says Rabbi Hecht. Throughout the year, Rabbi Hecht also runs Kol Avraham, a junior congregation at Bais Betzalel, where the children actively participate in their own minyan.

Pictures Of The Viznitzer Rebbe’s Visit To Los Angeles

The Week In News


MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home


PROJECT WITNESS proudly presents the SCREENING of an original full-length documentary commemorating the destruction of Polish Jewry



9786 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA BUFFET 6:30




Elie Ryzman


Rabbi Avraham Czapnik Jewish Learning Exchange

Ruth Lichtenstein Director, Project Witness

GENERAL ADMISSION $50 Additional sponsorships available RSVP: 323.937.0980


Please be considerate of the Museum’s residential neighbors and make every effort to avoid driving through single-family residential neighborhood streets.



TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Israeli-American Council Creates a New Entity: IANexus Hits the Ground Running Devorah Talia Gordon “We have an Israeli-American community that we didn’t have before, and we are all over the country,” said Shawn Evenhaim, chairman of the freshly-minted Israeli-American Nexus (IANexus). “Our goal is to lobby on behalf of this community for different issues,” he explained. The non-profit, bipartisan IANexus will begin by advocating to policymakers on the state and local level, but have their sights on the federal level as well. This organization, completely separate from the Israeli-American Council (IAC), has been in the development stage for some time. “We saw what was happening recently to the Jewish people,” said Evenhaim, “with an increase of attacks in the State of Israel and worldwide, and I and a few other members decided that we needed to get our community mobilized and fight the de-legitimization of Israel.” First on tap for the IANexus is the issue of fighting the outspoken, growing Boycott,

Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. This movement supports anti-Israel boycotts, which have been popping up around the world. Although on the surface the movement targets the Israeli economy, Evenhaim and the IANexus are also “concerned about the information spread on college campuses, and the lies they are telling about Israel. Without Israel, people couldn’t use their phones, benefit from bio tech, even drink water in some places. But they [BDS] claim they are a humanitarian organization. If so, what have they done for the people of Gaza? Where are the schools they have helped them build? Really, all they are doing is creating conflict, attracting the media, and making a lot of noise on campus or in stores.” In response to BDS, Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and House Representatives Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) introduced the Combating BDS Act of 2016, a

bill to defend against the BDS’s economic warfare against Israel. This new legislation would give state and local governments the ability to divest from companies engaged in BDS activities against Israel. The Combating BDS Act of 2016 is backed by many pro-Israel organizations, including the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Illinois was the first state to enact a law to divest public pension funds from companies engaging in BDS. The IANexus is involved in other advocacy efforts at the state and local level, here in California, to strengthen the U.S.– Israeli alliance. In the beginning of February, the Nexus helped facilitate a historic scientific research agreement between the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and Israel’s Ministry of Science, to promote collaboration in stem cell research. Evenhaim explains, “When you think about the benefit of Israel to the U.S., and

the U.S. to Israel…we are a force and will not allow in those who want to place a wedge in the relationship. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen. Think of all the things Israel brings to the world, the water (solving the drought problem), the bio-tech, tech and more…we also share the values of democracy and freedom with the U.S., and together we will continue to make a huge impact on the world.” Although it was launched only a few weeks ago, the IANexus hit the ground running. To show support for the Combating BDS Act, Evenhaim said that the organization asked the community to send letters of support of the bill; over 3,000 letters were sent to members of both houses. Another means to fight the BDS movement is the growing IAC program Mishelanu. Mishelanu, which started four years ago in the Silicon Valley, is an organization on college campuses that brings Israeli Americans together to connect to Israel and their Israeli/Jewish identity, and to build community. According to IAC co-founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet, “Members of Mishelanu are given the skills to face the BDS Movement, as college campuses are becoming less and less comfortable for Jews and Israelis, with more anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish sentiment. But the leaders of Mishelanu are really making a difference.”

TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Miles for Life: Where Miles Go a Long Way Yehudis Litvak When a family member asked Malky Kaufman of Monroe, NY, for help getting airplane tickets from New York to Cleveland to receive medical treatment, she volunteered to arrange the tickets using airline mileage. Later, the same relative had to go back to Cleveland for surgery, and again, Mrs. Kaufman booked the tickets. At the last minute, due to medical complications, the surgery had to be rescheduled. Mrs. Kaufman was amazed how easy it was to cancel all the reservations and rebook when the patient was ready to go. “If we would have paid cash for those tickets it would have been very expensive to change them,” says Mrs. Kaufman. Seeing a need in the community, Mrs. Kaufman and her husband, Kalman, founded an organization, Miles for Life, dedicated to arranging travel for Jewish patients using airline mileage donated by community members. While most of their patients travel from New York, Miles for Life has also helped patients from Denver, Chicago, and other U.S. communities, as well as Jews from Israel who begin their treatment on the East Coast but need to continue elsewhere in the U.S. Their most frequent destinations include the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, as well as several medical centers in Los Angeles. To date, Miles for Life has booked over 800 tickets, with the current rate of about eight tickets a day. Several nation-wide organizations, such as Chai Lifeline and RCCS, refer their patients to Miles for Life. “We understand what they are going through, and we want to make sure that the patient is comfortable,” says Mrs. Kaufman. The staff of Miles for Life has witnessed tremendous hashgacha pratis in their work. The most memorable story, recalls Mrs. Kaufman, was of a Brooklyn resident who donated miles that were about to expire, just enough for a one-way ticket. Mrs. Kaufman used these miles to book a ticket for a boy from Israel who needed brain surgery at Mayo Clinic. She noticed that the boy had the same last name as the miles donor. It turned out that the boy was the nephew of the miles donor, who at the time of the donation had been unaware of her nephew’s diagnosis and had not realized that her donation would help save her own nephew’s life. Baruch Hashem, the surgery was successful, and the boy is now back in Israel. Miles for Life is unique in that it only uses airline miles in its work. There is no fundraising and no middleman. All the miles donated go directly towards airline tickets for patients. They accept mileage from any airline, as well as miles accumulated in a credit card account. Mrs.

Kaufman emphasizes that the tickets purchased with the donated miles are worth a lot more than the miles’ cash value. “Most people don’t maximize their points,” she says. “We find real good deals, with the least amount of miles. We get ten times

more than their value in credit card cashback.” For more information, or to contribute miles, visit



TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Kollel Chatzos Opens World’s first Nighttime Bais Horaah This past Thursday, an inspiring event took place in the Toshnad Shul in Monsey, NY, as Kollel Chatzos opened the world’s first nighttime Bais Horaah. Two of the kollel’s most devout talmidei chachamim, R’ Berel Wieder, dometz Sanz-Klausen-

berg, and R’ Avraham Yitzchock Lunger, dometz Skvere, have been crowned the dayanim of Kollel Chatzos in Monsey. Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Wosner, grandchild of the Baal Shevet Halevi, praised this noteworthy venture, saying, “Just this

past night, at 2:30 am, I received a call with an important sheilah. Unfortunately, I only saw it in the morning. America needs a Bais Horaah during the night! There should never be a moment in the day when a yid shouldn’t have who to turn to with a

question!” Then, Rabbi Nechemye Hoffman, the menahel and founder of Kollel Chatzos, took the dais. With unbridled emotion he thanked Hashem for making this moment a reality. Kollel Chatzos is America’s only nightly kollel with 95 talmidei chachamim in four locations who immerse themselves in Torah every single night, ready to respond to questions of halachah. Kollel Chatzos has been Rabbi Hoffman’s mission ever since an elderly man introduced the concept to him during the years he spent in yeshiva in Israel. His small group of ten slowly blossomed into an army of 95, with a list of more waiting to be vetted. Kollel Chatzos invites people to take advantage of this important service they’ve made available to Yidden across America. From 1 am to 6 am, Sunday through Thursday, anyone with a sheilah can contact the Bais Horaah at 1855-242-8967, Extension 8. In the Monsey Location, Yidden are welcomed to walk in and pose their sheilos to the dayanim face-to-face. As Rabbi Hoffman closed the ceremony he said, “This is only the beginning. We never stop, we always set a new goal.” New kollel locations are slated to open in the coming few months and more talmidei chachamim are preparing to become dayanim. In the zechus of those who sacrifice their nights for Torah, may our days be filled with blessing and success. Call Kollel Chatzos’s nighttime Bais Horaah with any sheilah! Time: Sunday – Thursday, 1 am - 6 am Call: 1855-242-8967 Ext #8 Dayanim: Rav Berel Weider & Rav Avraham Yitzchock Lunger

TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

SOLA hosts Rabbi Manis Friedman in the Future Home of a New Mikvah Bracha Miriam Turner On Tuesday, February 16, Chabad of South La Cienega (SOLA) hosted a speech by Rabbi Manis Friedman on the subject of “Mikvah and Marriage.” The lecture took place a block south of SOLA in the anticipated site of a new mikvah. A crowd of both men and women filled the hall beyond capacity. The Eiden Project initiative seeks to raise $10-12 million in funding for an elaborate women’s mikvah, as well as a separate men’s mikvah. Hancock Park presently has four mikvaot serving its robust community, while Pico-Robertson only has one. The need for a new mikvah has been exacerbated by an expanding Jewish community in Pico-Robertson, which is steadily migrating southeast of La Cienega and Pico due to the greater affordability of housing in that section of the neighborhood. As the Pico-Robertson community continues to flourish, so does the demand on the current mikvah. “How long should a woman wait before entering a changing room?” asked one of the female leaders of the community. “The mikvah needs to be as easy and as accessible to all no matter what levels of religiosity. When there is a long delay due to so many women using the facility – this could, G-d forbid, discourage them from taking on the mitzvah of mikvah or having them delay the mikvah immersion.” With the full support of the present mikvah on Reeves Street, the goal is to increase convenience and decrease waiting times. “Since we moved here ten years ago from Brazil, it would not be an exaggeration to say that another 1000 mikvah-going families have moved to the area,” commented Rabbi Zajac, director of Chabad of SOLA. “Los Angeles is the third largest Jewish community in the world. Despite this, per ratio this is the least serviced area in the world in terms of having a mikvah...” There are hopes that greater investment in the southeast Pico community will allow growing families who wish to buy property more affordable options. Instead of having to relocate to other communities on the East Coast due or in the Midwest, future property owners might consider the fact that homes just two blocks south of Airdrome are 35% cheaper than homes in the adjacent areas. The mikvah entrance will be located off of Airdrome Avenue to afford the maximum amount of privacy. For those concerned with safety of the mikvah’s chosen destination, Rabbi Zajac observed that with the as the shomer Shabbat population rises in the neighborhood, the area will automatically become safer. “We were the first courageous few,” recalled Rabbi Zajac, “but we already broke through that five years ago. There is no doubt that now it’s much safer. Living here, we feel very safe.” SOLA hosts both Lubavitch and Sephardic minyanim and has outgrown three locations over the past several years. Currently, the diverse congregation boasts many young couples, and the pressure expand its premises has increased yet again. SOLA hopes to relocate its synagogue and Montessori preschool to the new location in conjunction with the mikvah. “We are building a community center,” said Zajac. “We are starting with the mikvah, which

is the central piece of that puzzle.” In his address, Rabbi Friedman mused with humor that despite the frank incompatibility of men and women as a whole, adhering to the laws of mikvah transforms real love and marriage. An anonymous woman, clearly moved by Rabbi Friedman’s talk, remarked while exiting the event, “I somewhat knew about the details

of mikvah from the Tyra Banks show, but now that I’ve learned more, I really find the practice beautiful and want to apply it to my life when I get married to elevate the spirituality of our unity.” The easy-to-understand nature of Rabbi Friedman’s talk made the subject matter relevant to a varied crowd. The first phase of the Eiden Project is estimated to be finished by the end of 2016. More

At the groundbreaking for the new center

information about the mikvah and the Eiden Project can be found on their website:


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The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Mr. & Mrs.

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Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

Yaakov rosenblatt

Yanki herzka

kesser sheM tov award

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shloMo Yehuda rechnitz a. Joseph stern

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Journal chairmen

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MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home


Rabbi Yoel Gold Rebecca Klempner

You might have seen one of Rabbi Yoel Gold’s videos – most likely “The Prayer and the Waiter” or “Little Giant Man” – on; on his YouTube channel, Nuggets of Inspiration; or even on a secular site like The Blaze. Each short clip teaches a character lesson or a principle from the Torah through interviews and storytelling. What many Angelenos don’t realize is that Rabbi Gold makes his home right here in L.A. Recently, I spoke to him about his Nuggets of Inspiration and the enthusiastic reception they’ve received. Rabbi Gold obtained his semicha from the Rabbanut and Rabbi Yitzchok Berkowitz while he and his wife lived in Ramat Eshkol, Israel. After a two-year stint at Aish Hatorah in Manchester, U.K., the Golds moved to Los Angeles two and a half years ago. He jokes that his wife – a native Angeleno herself – had tired of the cloudy English weather. Now the rav of Congregation Bais Naftoli and a twelfth-grade rebbe at Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok (MBY), Rabbi Gold has long used storytelling while teaching. Even at home, he loves to tell stories. Over the Shabbos table, Rabbi Gold holds his children rapt with tale after tale. “There’s no better way to convey a lesson,” he explains. “People love stories. They gravitate towards them, especially if they are true.” Following his move to L.A., Rabbi Gold started making videos about middos development. Rabbi Gold explains that research indicates that the attention span of someone who listens to audio input is only seconds long, yet the average attention span for someone watching a video is 2.7 minutes. Thus, videos make a particularly useful teaching strategy. Those first videos provided quick mussar lessons, usually in combination with a story, similar in style to those of Charlie Harary. While not wildly popular, they did win Rabbi Gold some fans. However, about six months ago, he had an idea for a new format. “I would interview the protagonists in these stories. It would lend a certain credibility to the story, so it would increase its impact.” The results of his new storytelling-through-interview format are striking. In his most recent video, “Little Giant Man,” Rabbi Gold takes a story that I’d already heard – about Rav Eliezer Geldzahler zt”l of Lakewood, NJ and his regular gas station attendant, Vinny – and instead of telling us the story in his own words, Rabbi Gold puts Rav Geldzahler’s daughter and Vinny on camera. They tell their own story to viewers, and it becomes

much more powerful, much more memorable than when we hear the story secondor third-hand. “[P]eople need an image of greatness,” Rabbi Gold explains. “When people see…it plants a seed in people’s heads.” Furthermore, sharing online can expand the influence of videos dramatically. “This is the new language – video and social media – and it’s important to use them to communicate Jewish ideas.” “Little Giant Man,” has over 40,000 views thus far, and Rabbi Gold’s most famous video, “The Waiter and the Prayer” went viral just before Rosh Hashanah. Well over 100,000 people have watched it thus far. Not only did Jews share the video widely, but many non-Jews did, as well. In addition to stories Rabbi Gold hears in daily life or reads in books, he collects stories via his email address: stories@ What makes a good story, one he’d like to capture on film? “When you hear it, there’s a fuzzy feeling inside…It has to move me personally. If I’m not moved, I won’t be able to make the video.” He adds that, “When someone behaves in a big way, when no one is looking,” it makes a big impression on him. Optimal stories also promote Torahdike values and can be communicated in three minutes or less. Even though has given Rabbi Gold excellent exposure, he doesn’t make his videos for Aish. He has a team of people he works with to create videos for his “Nuggets of Inspiration” YouTube channel. The research process for each video – hunting down all the players in a story – can take months, even before they start to film. After they complete a video,

he usually sends it to a few sites to see if they are interested in carrying it.

“The Prayer and the Waiter”

“Little Giant Man”

Amusingly, the most challenging video to create so far may have been his first, “The Waiter and the Prayer,” which features his own aunt. His aunt was initially reluctant to take part. “It took three weeks for me to convince her to participate!” he says. “My own aunt!” Then, once they’d already travelled to Israel to film, another glitch popped up: Barak, the soldier-turned-waiter featured

in the story, wanted to back out just as the crew was ready to shoot the video. Rabbi Gold had to persuade him to stick it out. Barak is now happy Rabbi Gold convinced him to participate. “You know the restaurant featured in that video?” Rabbi Gold explains. “Since we released it, there’s been an increase in sales. The waiter we interviewed got a raise!” Rabbi Gold has three new videos in the works, and he is currently setting up a website. On that new site, he plans to organize his videos by topic. This is especially important for educators, many of whom have welcomed his videos into their classrooms. Hundreds of thousands of people have watched Rabbi Gold’s videos already. He’s found the response rather overwhelming. He has received hundreds of texts and emails from both Jews and non-Jews. While inspiring so many viewers, where does Rabbi Gold find his own inspiration? “My role models are all quiet people,” he says, “maybe because I like to talk so much!” Chief among these: his teacher, Rabbi Naftoli Stern. Rabbi Gold describes Rabbi Stern as a leader who “never spoke loshon hara or even an extra word.” He also enjoys listening to gifted speakers like Rabbi Paysach Krohn. How do Rabbi Gold’s congregants feel about their rabbi’s YouTube popularity? He says they are proud of him. “Foreign and out-of-town relatives send my videos to congregants [not realizing the connection]. And they tell them, ‘That’s my rabbi!’”



Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

In Parshas Vayakhel, we find an announcement that was never heard before nor repeated in the Torah. The posuk recounts that when Moshe called for donations to the Mishkon (Shemos 36:6), there were so many contributions that a message went out that the campaign was over and the people should stop their donations: “Al ya’asu od melachah leterumas hakodesh, vayikolei ho’om meihovi.” The Chiddushei Harim wonders why it was necessary to make such a proclamation. Although the donations weren’t needed at that moment, they could certainly have come in handy later on. What would have been so terrible if they would have had extra material and more funds to put to use in the future? He answers that the mishkan belonged to Klal Yisroel. Had donations been accepted for the project even though they were no longer necessary, people would have assumed that what they had given didn’t necessarily go towards the mishkan and that their donations went to waste. No Jew is extra and should never be made to feel as if he is. By ending the campaign when the goal was reached, every contributor knew that he had a share in the mishkan. No Jew is extra and should never be made to feel as if he is. No Jew is superfluous, not then and not now. Every Jew has a share in Torah and fills a necessary role. No matter his social status or degree of wealth, everyone – back then in the dessert and today, as we enjoy a burgeoning population – deserves to be treated as vital members of our nation. Even Jews who are not yet religious have a role to play in Yiddishkeit. It is our duty to bring the message of Torah to them and apprise them of the deeper purpose of life that they are missing out as long as they cling to hedonism and remain estranged from their source. While in this country, for some reason, the effort to reach and educate unknowledgeable Jews has slowed and fallen from

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proud of our Mission the list of priorities, the kiruv effort in Eretz Yisroel is stronger than ever. Secular Israelis are learning about the faith of their grandparents, and many are seeing the light. I just returned from the holiest city in the world, in the center of a land dotted with programs, yeshivos and study groups established to quench these Jews’ thirst. I flew to Israel on United Airlines. It’s not the same as flying El Al, where even a non-Zionist like me feels something different about being on a Jewish plane, where all the food is certified kosher, and you are guaranteed to find a minyan and people you know. As I got comfortable in my seat, the first thing I noticed was that the vast majority of the people sitting around me were obviously Israeli Jews. Yet, regrettably, not one of them ordered a kosher meal. It is so upsetting to watch Yidden all around you eating neveilos and treifos.

Lev L’Achim, whose activities continue to grow, reaching an even greater segment of the population and changing the lives of even more people. If they had sufficient funds, they could reach so many more people. There is a feeling that the tide is turning and, in the future, more people who fly United will be ordering kosher meals. Of course, as hard as we work to increase the levels of kedushah, the Satan seeks to counter with tumah. It is our obligation to remain focused on our goal and not be deterred by what others refer to as “the facts.” During my visit, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the Sanzer Rebbe in his home in Kiryat Sanz, Netanya. We discussed various issues, but he was most passionate about the latest volley unleashed by the Reform movement. While their efforts are well-known to us here in America, in Israel they have not

MAYBE YOUR THICK SKIN WAS GIVEN TO YOU SO THAT YOU CAN FIGHT DESTRUCTIVE PEOPLE AND THEIR AGENDAS When you fly El Al, you are spared from seeing that. You arrive in Yerushalayim, stay in Geulah, Shaarei Chesed, Sorotzkin, or a kosher hotel, and you can be forgiven for thinking that the entire country is religious. Sadly, that is not the case. And it hurts to come to that realization as you set out on your trip. However, it is comforting to know that there are organizations – such as Lev L’Achim, Shuvu, Acheinu, and many others – that are dedicated to reaching these people and throwing them a lifeline. While in Eretz Yisroel, I met with Rabbis Eliezer Sorotzkin and Zvi Schwartz and heard about the latest activities of

had much influence. We see the spiritual holocaust their movement has caused, with the majority of their adherents virtually lost to the Jewish people. They have basically served as an assimilationist tool, purporting to satisfy the masses with a religious identity as they increasingly move further away from Sinai. The movement in the U.S. is badly wracked by attrition and increasing loss of membership and support. They and Conservative Jews lamely attempt to address their appalling losses by engaging in studies to establish a path to rebranding their product. They bend the laws even more to stay ahead of the progressive curve, and

when that fails, they claim to return to tradition, thinking that maybe that will ignite a spark of Jewish identity in the hearts of their adherents after they have lost all apparent interest in their contrivance. Their leadership perceives this and understands the threat it poses. The recent Pew report pulled away the curtain and showed for all their empty temples and declining membership lists. They come to Israel, where the vast majority of people know one type of Judaism, and that is halachic. While many are not observant, in their hearts burns a connection to their parents, grandparents, and traditions. In Eretz Yisroel, I bought a mezuzah case made of stone and fashioned to be reminiscent of the Kosel. In the airport, I went to the VAT desk for a refund of the taxes paid for that and other gifts I had purchased. The obviously irreligious Sephardic woman who examined the papers and, in Israeli style, stamped everything in triplicate saw that one of the purchased items was a mezuzah. “Atah medabeir Ivrit?” she asked me. When I answered in the affirmative, she told me her story. Her parents recently passed away and all the children came to their apartment to take what they wanted. She chose to take the various “Birkot Habayit” plaques that were hanging in the house. She hung them up in her apartment facing the front door, and every time she enters her home, she feels the brachot and is blessed. “Zeh hakotel sheli,” she said. “Tishma, from everything my parents left behind, this is what I wanted. I wanted to have a little piece of brachah, a connection to the world they came from. Atah meivin? This is my connection. Zeh mah sheyeish li. Atah meivin? Do you understand?” “Kein, kein, ani meivin,” I told her. I assured her that I did, indeed, understand, perhaps even better than her. She seeks a connection to yahadus. She wants to be connected to the religion of her parents. Who knows what her children look like? Who knows what her husband looks like? But at least there is hope. There are probably few mitzvos observed in that home, but there is definitely a spark that is kept alive, waiting for someone to come along and ignite it into a flame. Along comes the Reform movement and tries to establish a beachhead in the Holy Land from which to proclaim to women such as the one who hangs the Birkat Habayit in her home, knowing that she is not entirely loyal to her heritage, that she is a perfect Jew. They call out to her and hundreds of thousands like her and say,

Living with In theNews Times The Week

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

“No need to observe mitzvos. No need to eat kosher. You can live like a goy, with an Arab, and be a better Jew than those chareidim with their long beards and coats and modest clothing and wigs.” They are in panic mode, so they seek to gain space at the Kosel to show that they are just as good as people who believe in G-d and the Torah. They wish to convince others that people who intermarry are as good as those who are moser nefesh to follow the Shulchan Aruch, our guide of Jewish law and practice. We can’t let them make the same churban in Israel as they have around the world. I was reminded of their thinking while visiting a forest dedicated in memory of the three boys who were kidnapped last year and killed in Gush Etzion. I met a professor from a Virginia college who told me that he had spent three weeks in Palestine with his students and was now planning to spend three weeks in Israel. I told him that there is no such place as Palestine and a debate ensued. I pointed out that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people with an indigenous history and connection to this land. After some back and forth, the professor told me that it is not really important whether the Palestinians are native to the land. “They identify themselves as people whose land this is, and it is our duty to respect that,” he said. He wouldn’t budge from that position, no matter how silly it sounds. His argument represents the orthodoxy of liberalism as well as Reform. If someone identifies as something, then we have to accept them according to their supposed identity. If a person self-identifies as a major league baseball player, I asked the professor, are we obligated to accept him as such? He seemed stumped. Apparently, in academia, they hadn’t discussed that one yet. I felt an obligation to try to get through to him and plant some seeds of doubt in his mind. Maybe he will be honest enough to think about it and realize the falsity of his arguments and Palestinian claims. The discussion gave me a new understanding of the Reform position. They don’t observe any of the commandments at all. Many of them or their children are not even Jewish, but they say that if they identify as Jews, then they are Jews. We don’t have to accept their fiction. We have to do what we can to prove what they are all about. We have to be a step ahead of them as they prepare their assault on Yerushalayim and all of Israel. Only the truth will enliven their neshamot and bring them the inner peace and satisfaction their

forefathers enjoyed. Rav Yankel Galinsky recalled arriving at the home of the Chazon Ish, the nerve center of Torah Jewry, after a long day of trying to rescue Jewish children. He was disheartened from the seemingly successful efforts of the secular Zionist leadership, who were determined to snatch every Jewish soul arriving in Israel and prevent it from being exposed to a Torah education. He told the Chazon Ish of his inability to pierce the Zionist fence and reach those children. The Chazon Ish listened and then smiled. “Reb Yankev,” he said softly, “mir velen gevinen.” Three words: We will triumph. Those three words were enough to keep Rav Galinsky and his fellow forerunners of P’eylim/Lev L’Achim at work. Those words fueled daring, spirited campaigns that succeeded in saving many children. Were we to appreciate the inherent value and goodness in each neshamah, we would enthusiastically join the battle, knowing that the truth will emerge victorious. If we appreciate the value of every Jew, we would never treat others in our world as if they are superfluous, unneeded and expendable. Hashem sent us here with a mission. During my trip, I was further reminded of the beauty of each neshamah and exposed to the “nitzotz kedushah” of every Jew as I waited for a taxi with the sun beating down on me, “kechom hayom.” I stood on a corner in a neighborhood I had never visited before and waited in vain for a taxi to drive by. There is no better place to be reminded of the beauty of Jews than in Yerushalayim, and quite often it is a taxi driver who delivers that reminder. The protagonist of my story was rolling slowly down the hill, when I stuck out my hand to signal for him to stop. The driver of a gleaming new car stopped next to me and asked me to enter. I saw that there was a woman sitting in the back and asked her if she was okay with me intruding. I then sat down. The driver was smiling broadly as he

welcomed me to his car. “Ha’Elokim shalach oti eilecha,” my kippa-less driver laughed heartily. He was taking the woman to an office on a different street, but he had made a wrong turn and ended up on the street where I stood. With typical taxi-driver bravado, he told me, “Never before have I made a wrong turn. I never get lost. So if I’m on this street, I’m clearly not lost. Clearly, ha’Elokim shalach oti lepo lakachat otcha. Hashem sent me here to pick you up.” After he dropped off the woman, he explained the reason for his happiness. The car was brand new; I was the fourth person to sit in it. It was a fancy vehicle and his wife was annoyed with him that he spent so much money on the car he sat in all day. “Atah ro’eh? See how Hashem is looking out for me. I was thinking that maybe she is right. But now I see once again how ha’Elokim ozer li. He sent me here to pick you up while I still had another passenger in the car. Ha’Elokim wants to show me how He provides for me. He made me get lost in order to find you and be reminded that everything comes from Him. “Ha’Elokim shalach oti eilecha to remind me that every passenger I get is from Him and that He is always looking out for me and helping me. “He sent me on a mission to pick up a Jew to teach me that lesson.” I climbed out of the new car filled with a deep sense of ahavas Yisroel and an appreciation for the people whose neshamos carry that spark. It will take some convincing to persuade a person like him, who sees Hashem everywhere, that it’s enough to identify as a Jew. He knows the truth. He knows you can’t be a Yehudi without acknowledging Hashem and performing the mitzvot. He and people like him live with the knowledge that ha’Elokim shalach otanu. We all have a distinct mission, and any wrong turns we make are really right. They are all Divinely orchestrated. The taxi driver was merely echoing an age-old phrase. As Yosef’s brothers wept when he revealed his identity to them, he told them

(Bereishis 45:8), “Lo atem shalachtem osi, it is not you who sent me to Mitzrayim, ki ha’Elokim. It was all Hashem’s plan.” Mordechai Hatzaddik told Esther (Esther 4:14), “Umi yodeia, who knows, if perhaps the reason you were chosen as queen was Divinely ordained so that you will be able to appeal to Achashveirosh to save your brothers and sisters.” Chazal state that not only are the luchos kept in the aron, as the posuk prescribes, but the shivrei luchos are kept there as well (Bava Basra 14b). Not only the extant luchos, the holy repositories of the devar Hashem, are kept in the Kodesh Hakodoshim, but also the broken shards, which represent splinters of dashed hopes, are kept in the aron. They, too, are holy. We live in a generation of shivrei luchos. All of us carry those sparks of brokenness. Our task is to uncover the sparks of holiness and cause them to ignite. While the anti-halachic movements march on with their cynical agendas of covering up the kedushah, denying its existence and smothering its sparks, our assignment is to take the shivrei luchos and combine them with the luchos so that they may become full and holy. We need not fear them and their power. With pride and knowledge, we can combat them. I visited Rav Chaim Kanievsky last Thursday night and posed some questions. He looked at me and said, “Host peyos? Do you have peyos?” I answered in the affirmative. He said, “Nem zei arois. Remove them from behind your ears and put them in front.” When I did as he asked, a broad smile spread across his face as he said to me, “Du host azelecha sheine peyos. Far vos bahalst du zei? Foon vemen shemt ihr? You have such nice peyos. Why do you hide them? From whom are you embarrassed? “Di goyim? “Darfst nit shemen.” We must remember that we have nothing to be ashamed of. We have no one to be ashamed of. We have the truth. We observe the mitzvos as our parents and grandparents did, going back to Kabbolas HaTorah. We need to be proud of our heritage, proud of what we are able to accomplish. Our failures can also be holy. We need to learn from them and know that whatever happens, ha’Elokim shalach oti. Hashem sent us here with a mission. Let’s do our best to complete that mission properly, with pride. It can be done. Mir velen givenen.



The Parenting Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting Sara Teichman, Psy D.

Dear Dr. T., I’m not sure whether I have a problem or I am making a mountain out of a molehill. My two boys – ages 10 and 12 – share a room. I’ve been noticing that the older brother always gives in to the younger one for the sake of peace: letting him cheat at games, monopolize the room, etc. Yet, although the older one seems increasingly resentful, he makes no move to assert himself. Lately, for example, he’s allowed a lethal Lego “set up” to overtake the bedroom. So, do I leave well enough alone or do I intervene? Is the older brother displaying good character or just plain being passive? Sincerely, Rochelle G.

Dear Rochelle, My compliments to you for paying attention to family dynamics, especially when you could so easily – and conveniently – just turn a blind eye. We all realize that the family is where we learn future habits. Our childhood patterns haunt us down the road, well into adulthood. Start by talking to your older son and asking him how he feels about his “looking away.” This is probably easiest done in context, i.e. when there is an example on the table. The Lego example seems perfect: ask him what it’s like to have to risk life and limb to get to his bed. Does he honestly not care? Ideally, your son will voice some of his

resentment or a feeling that it’s “not fair.” But, I wouldn’t count on it. More than likely, he will parrot the refrain of, “It’s okay, it doesn’t matter,” and it will be up to you to ferret out the real deal. Before you begin the “talk,” think about the many reasons that a child may choose to behave like your son. Does he think it is good to give in graciously for the sake of peace? Have these feelings been reinforced by the praise he receives for engaging in such behavior? Does he suffer from low self-esteem and feel unentitled to having his wants or needs met? Or, could he be imitating the “nice guy” style from some other family member who lets people step on him? Of course, you will base your response on your son’s particular profile. But, here are a handful of suggestions that you can customize to your situation. Help your child learn that good character means caring for another person and making sure that our speech and behavior reflect that care. It does not mean putting other people’s needs before our own when it costs us self-respect or safety. A person of character chooses – but is not compelled – to put another person first, but does so without feeling victimized, put-upon, angry, or resentful. It doesn’t mean letting your brother cheat at Scrabble, but it may include letting a younger sib “win” at checkers. It does include lending both money and possessions, but with the expectation of return as per agreement. Help your child understand that we all have wants and needs that should be honored. Failure to attend to these issues often leads to frustration and rage, so while we don’t want to encourage selfishness, we do want to give our children the permission and the courage to take care of themselves, even in the face of disapproval. It’s great to play a game of touch football when your sibs “must” have you for the team, but, not if you want to work on your science project. And, it’s fine for you or your child to ask for that sweater back, even if the friend thinks you’re being petty. Teach your child to deal: to negotiate fairly without giving up his needs and wants. It’s not only “my” way or “your” way. We can also compromise or come up with a new way. Developing these skills in the safety of the family is a wonderful way to prepare your child for future relationships.

Asking me to handicap myself in a game because I am older is fair. Cheating is not. Your Lego creations are amazing! But, they need to be put out of the way at night so I have access to the room. I hope this is useful – not just for your son, but for you, as well. Though the line between taking care of ourselves vs. others is sometimes unclear, helping our children learn how to find it is well worth the effort. The Book Nook: Chinuch in Our Turbulent Time by Rabbi Dov Brezak, a parenting expert and author of “Parenting That Works” in Yated Ne’eman. This book tackles the hard topics like chutzpah and bullying – with a special emphasis on discipline. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, LA’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News

Safety vs. Privacy Silicon Valley and the FBI Battle over Encryption By Nachum Soroka

This was a battle that was bound to happen. Not necessarily with the exact players presently involved, but between a Silicon Valley, libertarian, corporate behemoth and the U.S. government, nonetheless.


or years, the technology industry has thumbed its nose at authorities, from the simple things like creating complex tax shelters to floating the idea of a government in the “cloud” whose citizens would not be subject to the shackles of U.S. law. Silicon Valley is everything big government is not; an efficient, un-bureaucratic meritocracy where failing fast is considered an objective and moon-shots are embraced. It

is above the law. Twenty-first century technology is here to liberate people from ancient societal restrictions; social networks span continents, traditional banking and government-issued currency are obsolete, the economy is based on “sharing,” and transportation is done by robotic cars. The Valley is here to save the world from its old self. To quote Elon Musk, founder pf PayPal and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, “I wanted to buy a better computer

to play better video games – [there’s] nothing like saving the world.” Now the FBI and Apple are battling it out over the forbidden fruit that is an un-accessible iPhone. On the surface the fight is about one man’s phone – in this case that of Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists – and the relevance of its contents to national security. The FBI cannot gain access to the phone without knowl-

edge of the passcode and, as anyone with a young child in his household knows, after a series of failed attempts to open the phone, it will “self-destruct,” or wipe all of its contents clean. Only Apple has the knowledge and capability to open the phone, much like a safe manufacturer has the expertise to access a sealed safe. Authorities have access to Farook’s iCloud account, which contains a backup of all the information on the

killer’s phone, but the regularly scheduled backup stopped occurring about a month and a half before the attack happened, leading authorities to believe that there is valuable information from that time period on the phone that the terrorist did not want moved to the cloud. As part of the U.S. Attorney’s court filing, the government notes, “This indicates to the FBI that Farook may have disabled the automatic iCloud backup function to



The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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hide evidence and demonstrates that there may be relevant, critical communications and data around the time of the shooting that has thus far not been accessed.” The government already has a warrant to search the phone and a court order for Apple’s assistance, but even the strongest warrant in the world cannot help authorities search a sealed device. Apple can create software which, when loaded onto the phone, will allow the FBI unlimited attempts at breaking its PIN code without affecting any of the data stored on it. But Apple claims that in order to comply with the government’s request it would have to create some new software, which it is wont to have in existence. Back in 2014, when the company created the current version of the operating software, iOS 8, Apple praised its new software, which for the first time did not give the company the ability to bypass one’s password, lauding, “It’s not

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

seems puzzling to some prosecutors who claim that Apple has indeed helped them unlock a number of iPhones owned by criminals. At the time of the meth dealer dispute, Assistant U.S. Attorney Saritha Komatireddy said in court, “[Apple] had an established procedure to routinely take any of these requests, comply with them, processing them,” and the prosecutors involved claimed that Apple helped them unlock phones in nearly seventy earlier cases.

a letter Apple CEO Tim Cook posted on the company website last week, claims that while “some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution, it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.” Cook argues that “in the wrong

is a backdoor for all. “They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products. They’re simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device,” he asserted. In truth, the case may be that Apple is concerned that once it opens itself up to cooperation with law en-

“Some of our most personal data is on the phone: our financial data, our health information, our conversations with our friends and family and co-workers. We do think that people want us to help them keep their lives private.” technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.” Now, in order to go along with the current investigation, it would have to release a program which something of its kind does not exist anywhere. Apple calls this a “backdoor” into the iPhone and, in


hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.” The government returned Apple’s volley with the claim that the uncooperative company is feeding the public false information. White House spokesman Josh Earnest directly rebutted the idea that a backdoor for one

forcement, the requests will keep on coming. “They don’t want this software in the world,” says Matthew Green, cryptographer and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University. “Once they build it, they’re potentially going to have to break it out every time the FBI comes back.” Aside from it being just plain bad for business for a

technology company to compromise customers’ privacy at will – security may be the number one concern clients have when choosing technology – Apple’s relationship with the FBI has not been of the collaborative kind in recent years. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that a senior Justice Department official warned Apple that its encryption technology would eventually lead to a child’s death because it renders iPhones and computers inaccessible to law enforcement. Back then, the company refused to cooperate with police looking to access a methamphetamine dealer’s iPhone. In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2015, Tim Cook vowed, “They would have to cart us out in a box before we would” create a backdoor for government investigations. “Some of our most personal data is on the phone: our financial data, our health information, our conversations with our friends and family and co-workers,” he said on another occasion. “We do think that people want us to help them keep their lives private.” Cook’s strong rhetoric

Notwithstanding the legal intricacies of the case, which revolve around a 1789 statute called the All Writs Act and its application to newfangled technologies, the debate brings attention to the ethos of Silicon Valley and its desire to rewrite the rules of just about everything, including law enforcement. Google CEO Sundar Pichai tried to keep himself and his company away from being associated with this case, but could not help blasting off a series of tweets in defense of Apple. “We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism,” he wrote. “We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders; but that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent.” Billionaire Mark Cuban invoked his (limited) Constitutional interpretation skills this past December when he said, “I view encryption like many view the 2nd Amendment. Encryption is a fundamental underpinning of the freedom of speech.” That comment was made in


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

response to the FBI’s claim that encrypted text messaging apps helped the Paris terrorists to carry out their massacre unnoticed. So much for the Silicon Valley folk, whose self-driving cars drive to the local Whole Foods and stock up on Soylent so they can focus on packing for an upcoming space odyssey. But what about us ordinary folk, who don’t have such grand visions of an Ayn Rand utopia nor any drug deals or arms sales to hide on our cellphones? Why should we care about a cold-blooded terrorist’s right to privacy or a corporation’s self-serving interpretation of the Constitution? We want to be safe, and whatever tools the FBI has at its disposal would only add to our security. That’s definitely Donald Trump’s

attitude. He demanded a boycott of all Apple products unless the company cooperates with the government. The presidential hopeful tweeted, “Boycott all Apple products until such time as

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Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal.” We all have things we want kept private: our financial information, text

messages – even the pictures from our four-year-old’s birthday party that no one would even care to see. That’s the tack the tech industry has taken in its campaign against cooperation. It’s all about

the customer and his or her need for privacy. “There are a number of private details that everybody has that they don’t want exposed and just having a surveillance state can change the way people converse and behave,” argues Peter Firstbrook of the technology research outfit Gartner. But the same logic applies to our homes and car trunks – things that are accessible with the help of a good locksmith or the right crowbar. People have managed to live with a sense of security until now, even with that knowledge. Should the government not be allowed to access a criminal’s lockbox or cellar out of fear that it would create an Orwellian precedent? The technology is new; the principles in question are not.

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Researchers Discover Fabrics Dating Back to Kings David and Solomon Aaron Feigenbaum In one of the most important archaeological discoveries from the era of Kings David and Solomon, Tel Aviv University researchers have unearthed a trove of over 100 fabric pieces dating back at least 3,000 years. Excavated near Eilat in the Timna copper mines of the Arava Valley (which is thought by some to be the location of King Solomon’s mines), the fabric collection is highly diverse and includes textiles and ropes made from various materials such as wool and goat hair. The pieces also differ in color, size (some pieces are as small as 5 cm x 5 cm), design, and technique. The team surmises that they were used not only for clothes but also for donkey saddles, cloth sacks, ropes, and tents. The fabrics are thought to have been imported to the mine site from far away, as the inhospitable desert made raising sheep and goats a difficult prospect. This discovery opens a new window into the lifestyles and social structures that defined Israel thousands of years ago. Due to their skill and the importance of metalwork to ancient Israel, the Edomite coppersmiths of Timna held a high position in society. According to Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef, the excavation team leader, “If a person had the exceptional knowledge to ‘create copper,’ he was considered well-versed in an extremely sophisticated technology. He would have been considered magical or supernatural, and his social status would have reflected this. Dr. Ben-Yosef goes on to say, “The wide variety of fabrics also provides new and important information about the Edomites, who, according to the Bible, warred with the Kingdom of Israel. We found simply woven, elaborately decorated fabrics worn by the upper echelon of their stratified society. Luxury-grade fabric adorned the highly skilled, highly respected craftsmen managing the copper furnaces. They were responsible for smelting the copper, which was a very complicated process.” While the fabrics are not thought to have belonged to Israelites, they do provide an insight into fashion during the reigns of David and Solomon. As Dr. Ben-Yosef says, “We do not claim these are clothing of the Kingdom of

Israel, but do assume the society in the 10th century BCE Arava wove cloth and dressed similarly to the manner in Jerusalem...They are the only textiles discovered from that era in the whole of the southern Levant. We have never found textile samples in Jerusalem, nor are we likely to.” Also found at the dig site were thousands of seeds of the seven species for which Israel is known. The seeds were radiocarbon dated to confirm the age of the site. As Dr. Ben-Yosef notes, “This is the first time seeds from this period have been found uncharred and in such large quantities. With the advancement of modern science, we now enjoy research options that were unthinkable a few decades ago. We can reconstruct wine typical of King David’s era, for example, and understand the cultivation and domestication processes that have been preserved in the DNA of the seed.” The fact that all these pieces have been preserved so well for thousands of years is due to to Timna’s unique environment. “The extreme aridity at Timna preserves organic remains that couldn’t have been preserved anywhere else, not at Megiddo or Lachish or Hatzor, and not even anywhere else in the Arava Valley.” Indeed, Timna is considered one of Israel’s best archaeological sites. It contains thousands of copper mines, rock drawings, furnaces, jewelry, and other items never before seen anywhere else in the world. Dr. Ben Yosef and his team’s discovery is part of an ongoing project started in 2013 that is looking at, among other things, “copper production technology and the introduction of iron” as well as “regional and global political interactions and the economy of the southern Levant at that period.” The Timna mines are believed to have reached peak production, where they produced copper ingots shipped and sold to far-away markets for use in toolmaking, ornaments, and stone cutting. With this discovery and others like it, we are beginning to see just how complex the culture was at Timna and in broader Eretz Yisrael during the reigns of David and Solomon.

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TheBook WeekReview In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Book Review:

Healing From The Break – Stories, Inspiration and Guidance for Anyone Touched by Divorce Edited by Avigail Rosenberg

Menucha Publishers

Reviewed by Devorah Talia Gordon

In Healing from the Break – Stories, Inspiration and Guidance for Anyone Touched by Divorce, Avigail Rosenberg confronts the pain and loss of divorce. Yet, from those broken threads, she weaves a rich tapestry of hope and transcendence. Rosenberg, who is writing under a pseudonym, divorced close to ten years ago and found that there was a lack of knowledge and help available in the frum community. In her search for meaning and support, Rosenberg compiled this book to demonstrate how many people faced with this nisayon “have found inner peace” even when faced with great suffering and loss. The anthology of essays by tens of

writers (using pen names), is a rich gamut of stories told from the perspective of everyone in the family affected by divorce: the divorced people themselves, the children, the parents of the couple, and even ex-in-laws. One of the most striking features of this book is the originality of voice and story – which comes as a pleasant surprise, given the uniform theme of the book. From the get-go, one reads of a woman being told by her mentor, “You can’t get divorced – you don’t know how awful it is to be divorced!” and the reader feels the raw pain of a woman experiencing not only emotional abuse, but the added sting of not having support from her mentor (p. 29). However, as in all the stories, the es-

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say doesn’t end there; the writer uses her own experience to exhort mentors and role models to be careful when they guide kallos and to be aware that marriage is not supposed to include suffering. The husband’s perspective is also included, including a challenging read about a woman’s obvious mental instability at home, while appearing soft-spoken and smiling in public. Despite his anguish, the writer is grateful for and devoted to his new daughter, and remains a dedicated father, despite such a painful divorce. Not surprisingly, the pieces written from the perspective of the children are hardest to read. Universal themes emerge, like being pulled in two directions, fantasizing about parents getting back together, and fears that they are the cause of their parents’ divorce. In “A Life from Scratch,” young Sender says, “…it seemed that the very foundations of our home were being split in half.” Fortunately, Sender develops into a healthy young man. He and his two sisters build happy marriages of their own. After the stories about the initial break, the essays shift into tales of remarriage, step-parenting and blended families. While some paint a prettier picture, others, such as Penina Sternberg’s “In The Blender,” are less rosy. Sternberg presents the struggle facing her new family since the children from the marriages were “polar opposites.” In the end, Sternberg com-

ments, “Each of us has come, gradually, to appreciate what the others have – as alien and occasionally annoying as it may feel – precisely because it is something that we ourselves lack (p. 248).” Following the personal essays, the section “Better instead of Bitter” includes practical articles from mentors, rebbetzins, and therapists. Again, as with the essays, each writer presents a refreshing outlook. The wonderful essay by Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz called, “Connecting to Torah, A Single Mother’s Guide,” addresses such important concerns as developing a kesher to a rav, being part of a community, and reaching out to establish relationships between sons and male role models. In the last section of the book, “Ensuring Your Child’s Success,” rabbis, therapists, and a life coach write for parents, teens, and adult children of divorce. These jam-packed essays contain pertinent ideas and sound advice. Finally, Rosenberg has included appendices about money management, dealing with yamim tovim, a message to teachers, a valuable resource list, and recommended reading. In the aftermath of her divorce, Avigail Rosenberg asked herself repeatedly, “Why me, and why this nisayon? Why not something else?” Indeed, the percentage of divorce in the frum community has been climbing over the past decade, although it is typically considered a last resort. Rosenberg believes, in agreement with mentors and rabbanim she’s spoken to, that in the period before Mashiach’s arrival “our most precious relationships are unraveling. We confront challenges to our emunah as our marriages dissolve, as unions that showed such potential fail to deliver.” This book takes an honest look at the nisayon of our time – but not in order to bemoan or question, but with the purpose of healing. Within its pages those who have experienced divorce will find comfort and understanding, and those who have been blessed not to have confronted divorce will learn how to be sensitive to those who have.

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MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Beginning of Weight Loss Muriel Levin, Certified Life Coach

I have seen women 200 lbs overweight buying big bag of potato chips for their snack and ordering french fries for their lunch. I have listened to the skinniest women calculating the calories on the menu faster than any app could do. Both amaze me. What are they doing with their bodies? From the very beginning of Bereshit, we are taught that this world is a dual world. That is why the Torah starts with the letter Bet, which has a numerical value of two. We can see that the world has a binary nature just by looking at ourselves: our body is infused with a soul, a commingling of physicality and spirit. What does this have to do with excessive talk about weight loss? It is very normal to approach weight loss with low calories, intense exercise, or restrictive diets. However, since these methods ultimately fail for the majority of

people, it is helpful to look to other dimensions. Because of cultural messages, women have a tendency to fight with their body image even more than men do. As they judge their bodies and themselves, they experience a mixture of anger and heartache. They feel that their body is not the way it should be. Many such women devote themselves to their family or community, yet they feel that their own body is betraying them. If they are so good inside, why don’t they look as good on the outside? Thinking in these terms often leads to more emotional stress, making it nearly impossible to have a loving relationship with their bodies. Indeed, the more we stress about weight loss, the harder it is to loose weight because the cortisol and insulin levels in our bodies increase. From Rabbi Akiva’s great Torah prin-

ciple, “Love you neighbor as yourself,” it is obvious you are supposed to love yourself. Yes, that means loving your body, too, without judging or comparing. Without love for yourself, taking care of your body feels like a burden. Eating healthy, exercising, enjoying relaxing moments, taking time to de-stress – all this takes time and energy. You will only follow through with these habits if you love who you are and love your body as part of yourself. It is interesting to note that we often sabotage our own success in weight loss by ignoring what our body really needs. Therefore, the first thing to do is to heal the relationship we entertain with our own body. Developing that kind, nurturing relationship will take time but it is a proven, lasting, and successful method to deal with weight loss or any body image issue. Start by expressing your frustration or anxiety.. Could you say it out loud, and even better, in front of a mirror? Don’t be afraid to voice the truth of what you feel right now. Without looking at the truth of your emotions, no lasting change can take place. It is safe to relax even if you don’t like these thoughts. They are there for a reason, so give them a voice. They will only go away after they have been heard, like a small child who keeps calling out until his mother pays attention. To begin, say out loud, “My body is betraying me.” How does that feel true? Give it a number from zero to ten, zero being “not true,” ten being “absolutely true.” (You will recheck the intensity of your feelings later.) Even if you feel that your body is betraying you, consider accepting yourself and how you feel. View yourself with compassion and remove any judgment internal or external. You might have questions about why your body is looking a certain way or putting on weight while you are starving yourself. You may be scared because you don’t feel in control. You might feel unlucky or isolated from others around you who (you believe) can eat all the junk they want without putting on weight. Allow yourself to express how you feel, explore your feelings, and consider all the thoughts that come up. In the past, you have tried to be strong and strict with yourself. There may be another way. Begin to honor the way you feel. Make the decision to stop your prejudices and external judgments. Accept your own body, clear of all harsh commentaries about its appearance. Next, accept all the feelings that come in and then begin to let them go. If there is a memory, thought, or feeling that needs to be heard, spend time listening to it before setting it aside. It is time to release these old emotions and finally forgive. Now, like the Tam in the Haggadah, who is not used to voicing his requests, open the conversation. Ask your body,

“What are you trying to tell me?” You have been fighting your body, but do you really need to fight? It could very well be that your body has been through a lot. You have been angry at your body. How can you get better while constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough? Change can only begin with love, compassion, and patience, and in the absence of toxic judgments. Listen and your body will let you know that it has not been betraying you but was simply trying to get your attention. Actually, your body does everything it can to survive! It wants to work together with you to thrive. Be in a loving partnership with your body. You cannot force your body towards health. Start to communicate with your body’s voice. Be creative and playful about it. How often do you speak to each other? Promise to listen better from now on. Spend the time to create a safe space for your thoughts to be accepted. What does your body need to tell you? Did it try to get your attention in ways that were disturbing? If you pay attention, maybe you can finally make a shift in your life. Be ready to listen and apologize for being so hard on the beautiful physical part of yourself that has been there for you all this time. Be peaceful and patient. Ask for and give it what it needs: More quiet time? More love? More praise? More fun? Your body has been trying to get your attention. Are you ready to listen? Are you ready to give it what it has been silently asking for? Isn’t it easy to take care of your body? How great is your body? It took over 400,000,000 trillion chances to make it happen. It is the most amazing creature! You have so much to be grateful about your body. You have so much to thank Hashem for. If your approach to health does not have spirituality in it, it is considered deficient. This is the beginning of a new relationship where your body and you begin to work together. Promise to be loving and above all patient. Do not criticize yourself. Health begins with self-love and self-care. Take time to care for the precious body that was given back to you this morning. Love and support your body no matter what happens. It is the most precious gift that Hashem gave you. Without it you would not be here! The key is to be at peace with your body and be humble about it. It is the home to your beautiful soul, your very own mikdash m’at. Treat it accordingly. Take a deep breath and with every breath, praise and thank G-d for giving you a perfect body. Kol hanesheemah tehallel Kah. If you have any question you would like to have addressed in this column, please email Muriel Levin at nlp.lacoach@gmail. com or (323)363-9140.


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Quotes The Week In News

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Bernie Sanders is the only Democratic candidate capable of winning the White House in 2016. Please name the last person to win the presidency alongside an ongoing FBI investigation, negative favorability ratings, questions about character linked to continual flip-flops, a dubious money trail of donors, and the genuine contempt of the rival political party. – Editorial on leftwing website Salon

My fiancée is fairly reluctant about marrying a Cheeseburger. That’s something we’re discussing a lot. No girl ever dreams of spending her big day marrying a man called Bacon. - A British man who took a bet and actually legally changed his name to “Bacon Double Cheeseburger”

The way for change and freeing yourselves from the pressure of lobbyists is not through the Republican or the Democratic parties, but through undertaking a great revolution for freedom: not to free Iraq from Saddam Hussein but to free the White House and to free [President Barack Obama] so he can implement the change you seek. It does not only include improvement of your economic situation and ensure your security, but more importantly, helps him in making a rational decision to save humanity from the harmful [greenhouse] gases that threaten its destiny. – A portion of a letter seized in the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011 and written by the terror mastermind that was released by the government this week

No broken bones yet but they’re trying. Running around, pushing things, jumping… Please tell me it gets easier.

President Obama has unveiled his plan to finally shut down Guantanamo Bay. And to make sure no one ever goes in there again, Obama is handing it over to the people who run RadioShack. – Conan O’Brien

Can I say oy vey?... In my rush between songwriting jams and musical recording frenzy, all I saw was the images of people dedicated to disarm us, I made no connection whatsoever to any religious affiliation. Everyone knows deep down that at 67 years of age I didn’t suddenly become antiSemitic. That’s patently ridiculous. - Rocker Ted Nugent apologizing after sending out a post indicating that it is all Jews who want to take away people’s guns

We have to end the game with the lead and that’s going to be important to us. - New Giants’ head coach Ben McAdoo disclosing his “creative” strategy while speaking at the NFL scouting combine about what the Giants strategy will be this year

- Prince William joking at an event about his two rambunctious children




Quotes The Week In News

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Do you want to be associated with a fascist? - Chuck Todd questioning Trump about a tweet he sent out stating when he refused to take back a retweet which stated “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep,” after he was informed that, in fact, the line was said by Mussolini

No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes. - Trump in response

Although she herself is an immigrant, Donald Trump’s wife Melania says she is fine with her husband’s tough anti-immigration stance. When asked why, Mrs. Trump said she had about 4.5 billion reasons. - Jimmy Fallon

It’s an election year, and candidates can’t stop speaking about our country’s problems (which, of course, only they can solve). As29,a2015 result of this OCTOBER | The Jewish Home negative 20 drumbeat, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as well as they themselves do. That view is dead wrong: The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history. – Warren Buffett in Berkshire’s annual letter

Having your pictures safe wouldn’t really stack up to being killed. – Bill Maher on Apple’s refusal to unlock the Saint Bernardino terrorist’s phone

We were not poor — we had everything we needed — but our parents argued, and what they argued about was money. I think a lot of politicians, if they’ve come from financially secure backgrounds, it doesn’t really resonate what it means to have these arguments and to have this tension. And Bernard, without wanting to have it, has it, and it hasn’t gone away. - Bernie Sanders’ brother, Larry, discussing the origins of his brother’s political philosophy, in an interview with AP

We killed a lot of time talking about basketball. - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid after a meeting that Congressional leaders had with President Obama about appointing a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia

I’d like to draw your attention to seat 29E, where you will find Eric, who is traveling with his wife Lisa. While you didn’t strike it rich here in Las Vegas, you did hit the jackpot. Congratulations, you’re about to be a dad. - Announcement made by the pilot on American Airlines Flight 607 from Las Vegas to Pennsylvania informing Eric Sadiwnyk that his wife Lisa (who was sitting near him) is expecting their first child

Ben Carson held a town hall event at a casino in Reno, and despite polling in last place, he said it’s too early to give up. Even the old ladies sitting at the slot machines said, “This is just depressing.”

Last night was the Republican caucus in Nevada, and Donald Trump scored a big victory, bringing him one step closer to the Republican nomination. A Trump presidency is getting so real, Mexico is starting to think a wall is a pretty great idea. – Jimmy Fallon

– Jimmy Fallon

Ms. Eisenstein, one question… - How Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas began when he asked a question during oral arguments for the first time in ten years



Quotes The Week In News

MARCH 3, 201629, | The Jewish OCTOBER 2015 | The Home Jewish Home


He put out a picture of me having makeup put on me at the debate. Which is amazing me to me, that the guy with the worst spray tan in America is attacking me for putting on makeup. - Marco Rubio attacking Trump

Donald Trump likes to sue people; he should sue whoever did that to his face. - Ibid.

Greed, fraud, dishonesty, arrogance. These are just some of the adjectives we use to describe Wall Street - A tweet the Bernie Sanders campaign took down earlier this week, perhaps because those are not adjectives

One of the things I’m gonna do, and this is only gonna make it tougher for me, and I’ve never said this before, but one of the things I’m gonna do if I win … is I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re gonna open up those libel laws. - Trump promising to take on the media if he’s elected The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


MORE QUOTES It is a weird election when Spike Lee is endorsing the oldest, whitest man the world has ever seen. Are we sure Spike isn’t confusing Bernie with Deion Sanders? – Jimmy Kimmel

I’m always amazed to be in the sessions where you spend a lot of time with us and your next answer is more brilliant than the last. Thank you so much. - Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-VT) to President Obama at a question and answer session during the National Governors Association meeting

I almost feel obliged to apologize for some of what my political colleagues said. It’s a heated campaign season and I just want you to know, Mr. President, that the most heated rhetoric you’ve heard from competitors for the nomination for president is not who we are as the American people. It is not the view that is the view of the majority of the American people. It’s the exact opposite. It’s the opposite view. – Vice President Joe Biden at a press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto

When asked about Cuba Gooding Jr.’s portrayal of him, O.J. Simpson said he’s “not tall enough and his head is too small.” Simpson then said, “Also, he didn’t kill my wife.” – Conan O’Brien


Jewish The WeekHistory In News By Rabbi Pini Dunner Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

Amulets, Accusations & Controversy: The Devastating Polemic Between Rabbi Yaakov Emden And Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz Part V THE STORY SO FAR: Despite the conversion to Islam of false messiah Shabbetai Tzvi in 1666, and his death in 1676, secret societies of Sabbatians who still believed in his messianic mission thrived in communities across Europe, and continued to be active well into the eighteenth century. One prominent rabbi who fell under suspicion was R. Yonason Eybeschutz, whose name emerged during a campaign to root out Sabbatians in 1725. Although he successfully dismissed the allegations, when he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the illustrious triple-community twenty-five years later the accusations resurfaced. Kabbalistic amulets he had given pregnant women for their protection were opened up, and R. Yaakov Emden claimed to have discovered references to Shabbetai Tzvi. Although his opinion was given on condition it would remain a secret, his verdict quickly came to the attention of the community leaders who called him to an emergency meeting on Tuesday, February 2, 1751. The following day R. Yaakov heard alarming news - that supporters of R. Yonason were preparing to have him harmed, possibly killed. His response was to publicly challenge R. Yonason to prove the amulets were not Sabbatian, so that the matter could be put to rest. Within hours the entire triple-community had heard about the announcement, and so had R. Yonason. A supporter of his who had been present when R. Yaakov spoke reported back to the Chief Rabbi. R. Yonason didn’t waste a second; he immediately called the community’s lay leaders to his home and informed them that R. Yaakov had spoken out publicly about the amulets and accused him of being a Sabbatian. Without attempting to hear what R. Yaakov had to say about the matter, the community board decided they could not allow anyone, and particularly someone of R. Yaakov’s stature, to undermine the community in this way. R. Yaakov was informed by messenger that his second meeting with the executive board later that day had been cancelled, and going forward he would no longer be permitted to hold daily prayer services at his home, as he had been doing for the past

eighteen years. He was also placed under house arrest, forbidden to leave his home until further notice. The following morning an announcement was made in the Great Synagogue that R. Yaakov had been put into ‘cherem’ (halachic excommunication), and no member of the community was permitted to interact with him, or they themselves would be excommunicated. This same pronouncement was read to R. Yaakov at his home later in the day. His response was simple and blunt: “Those who have excommunicated me are themselves excommunicated, as they have not followed halachic protocol before putting me into cherem. They have acted outside Torah law and made a mockery of Judaism.” This defiant reaction only made the community leaders angrier, and they responded by arranging to have R. Yaakov’s rights of residence in Altona withdrawn by the local gentile authorities. On the following Sunday he was ordered to leave Altona before six months was up, and never to return. By Monday guards had been posted outside R. Yaakov’s home preventing him from leaving, and anyone else from entering. R. Yonason’s faction appeared to have won the day, with R. Yaakov completely neutralized and the threat to the Chief Rabbi’s authority and community peace essentially over. But had anyone reached this conclusion over that cold February weekend, they would have been utterly mistaken. R. Yaakov Emden was not a man to be trifled with. As far as he was concerned, the ferocity of the reaction to his Thursday announcement simply confirmed what he had suspected all along: R. Yonason Eybeschutz was a secret Sabbatian who could not possibly survive any form of objective investigation into his amulets, and he knew it. And so, despite the incredible forces mounted against R. Yaakov, and probably because of them, his utter conviction that he was right spurred him on, as did his belief that the truth would ultimately prevail. With no one local willing to defend him or to take up his cause for fear of excommunication, R. Yaakov decided to reach out to three rabbinic colleagues with a plea for help. In detailed letters he carefully described the recent events, and explained how his initially reluctant involvement had ultimately resulted in the draconian measures being implemented against him. The three addressees were R. Shmuel Hilman - R. Yonason Ey-

beschutz’s replacement as Chief Rabbi of Metz; R. Arye Leib of Amsterdam, married to R. Yaakov’s sister; and R. Yaakov Yehoshua Falk - Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt, acclaimed author of ‘Pnei Yehoshua’ on Talmud, and without any doubt the most revered rabbi in Germany, and possibly all of Europe. R. Yaakov did not mince his words. Referring to his predicament as a ‘holy war’, he accused R. Yonason - whom he referred to disdainfully as ‘Eybeschutz’ - of ‘scandalous conduct’ and ‘Godless convictions.’ R. Yaakov asserted he had long known of R. Yonason’s Sabbatian leanings, although he conceded he had not objected to R. Yonason’s appointment as Chief Rabbi so as to avoid the inevitable communal strife this would have generated. His tolerance for R. Yonason had changed dramatically once the Sabbatian amulets had emerged, and particularly because R. Yonason had been unable or unwilling to come up with any kind of convincing explanation to exonerate himself. The three letters all ended with the same unequivocal summary that explained why R. Yaakov was calling on his colleagues to act immediately and decisively: “If, G-d forbid, we remain silent, how will we answer future generations when they ask, ‘why did you allow this stumbling block to remain, and neglect your duty to excise it?’ We must be courageous! We must be strong for our people and for G-d! We must publicize this abomination far and wide, so that the disease will not spread! And if we do, I am certain G-d Himself will repay us for this pious deed.” The letters were secretly dispatched and slowly wound their way across Europe. Meanwhile, R. Yaakov languished under house arrest with local police posted at his door to prevent any contact with the outside world. Initially it seemed that the plan to isolate R. Yaakov and his supporters, and to impose the will of the lay leadership on the community-at-large, had been successful. As time passed, however, it became evident that there was still an outstanding issue. Although the actions against R. Yaakov had shut down the opposition, it had done nothing to address the fact that R. Yonason had been openly accused of heresy by a distinguished and respected colleague, and had done absolutely nothing to dispel the accusations. Even within the lay leadership there were those who felt that the speculation needed to end, and

there was only one person who could end it – R. Yonason himself. A delegation of community notables met with R. Yonason and requested that he address a public meeting as soon as possible. He would have to unequivocally rebut R. Yaakov’s accusations, and also explain to the community how R. Yaakov could possibly have reached such a devastating conclusion. But most importantly R. Yonason would have to use his appearance to publicly renounce Shabbetai Tzvi and Sabbatians, and to repudiate Sabbatianism. So far R. Yonason had been reluctant to respond in public to the accusations, believing it would be below the dignity of his position, but after hearing from friends and colleagues how important it was to draw a line under the affair he agreed to give the speech on Sunday, February 21, 1751. Signs announcing the speech went up all over the city. The evening arrived and the synagogue was packed to the last seat. The Chief Rabbi sat at the front of the synagogue flanked by the city’s dayanim, and the executive of the board. After mincha prayers were over R. Yonason slowly made his way to the pulpit. Wherever he looked there were expectant faces. Even the women’s balcony was full, and outside, in the lobby of the synagogue, hundreds more people gathered hoping to hear, however faintly, what R. Yonason was going to say. The speech was outstanding. R. Yonason always spoke well, but on this occasion he pulled out all the stops and gave the speech of his life. He began with remarks about King David and his rebel son Avshalom, who in ancient Jewish history had tried to replace his father as king of the Jews - even though his father was the man designated by G-d to lead the nation. Weaving together an array of sources and ideas, all enhanced with the oratorical skill for which he was so famous, R. Yonason projected a vivid picture that depicted him as the suffering King David of his generation subjected to a vicious attack by a ruthless Avshalom. Having planted this powerful symmetry firmly into the minds of his audience R. Yonason now turned to the central theme of his speech, and for the first time in more than twenty-five years directly addressed the disturbing topic of his rumored association with Sabbatianism. “My friends, I didn’t come here today to give you a sermon. I came here today because I have been slandered. Rumors

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are circulating that I am a member of the me if I have ever included Shabbetai Tzvi’s Tzvi in an amulet. So, notwithstanding R. sect of Shabbetai Tzvi, may his memory accursed name in any of my amulets. May Yonason’s impressive oratorical presentabe erased.” all the curses reserved for heretics befall tion, to R. Yaakov’s supporters his defense “If it was only about my honor, per- me if I have ever attempted to entice peo- was nothing more than an unconvincing haps I would say nothing. But this matter ple to heresy or to beliefs that run counter attempt to present himself as uniquely involves the honor of my sainted fore- to our holy Torah. Because those who fol- qualified to understand the contents of ambears. It also involves the honor of my stu- low Shabbetai Tzvi are evil men, and their ulets, and any alternative explanation of dents, many of whom have become great presence in our midst is a grave danger. I the amulets could be summarily dismissed. rabbis and Torah scholars in their own wholeheartedly join with all our greatest The division within the community right. How could I ever allow it be said rabbis who say that these miscreants must began to intensify as these concerns were that their teacher is a phony, that the spring be publicly identified and excommunicat- voiced. For the R. Yonason faction there from which they drank was contaminat- ed. They are scoundrels and destroyers of was nothing more to discuss. R. Yonason ed? But more important than any of this our faith who can have no part in our re- had publicly explained himself, he had is the honor of the Torah itself. How can demption. Let us remain steadfast in our satisfactorily dismissed his accusers, and I let the Torah be vilified? Would it not be faith, and in our fervent hope for the true he had explicitly denounced Sabbatians. the ultimate desecration of G-d’s name if I redemption, so that we will merit to be a But for those in the community who were allowed such a thing to happen?” part of it, speedily in our days, Amen.” skeptical, their concerns about R. Yonason “I must therefore call G-d Himself as The congregation all responded had only increased after his speech. They my witness, and declare unambiguously ‘Amen!’ in unison and R. Yonason slowly were also angry at R. Yaakov’s continued that I am completely innocent of house arrest, and the total shutdown all the accusations against me! of any conversation about the amuNeither now nor in the past have lets. It seemed inevitable there would I ever been involved with the sect be an explosion. Tempers were short, that believes in Shabbetai Tzvi!” and anger bubbled just below the surThere was a collective gasp face. from the audience. The Chief RabThe explosion came on May bi’s statement was unequivocal. It 7, 1751, during Shabbat prayers at was a complete denial. And yet, it the Great Synagogue. The chazzan, just didn’t make any sense! What Moshe Kasswitz, a known supportabout R. Yaakov’s accusations? er of R. Yaakov, strode towards the Hadn’t R. Yaakov spotted clear chazzan’s lectern to begin leading the Sabbatian references in the amuprayers. But as he walked to the front let he had examined? Why would of the sanctuary three R. Yonason these references be there, if - as supporters stood in the aisle to block they had just heard - R. Yonason his way. was not a Sabbatian? “Excuse me,” he said, and atR. Yonason seemed prepared tempted to get past them. for this question, and immediately “You’re not going anywhere, addressed it: “There may be those young man,” one of them said, “you among you who are wondering are a disgusting individual, and dishow anyone can accuse me of begusting individuals cannot lead our ing a heretic if I am not. The ancommunity in prayer.” swer is simple – my accusers have “What are you talking about?” he R. Yaakov Emden published numerous books and pamphlets detailing R. no idea what they’re talking about! Yonason Eybeschutz secret Sabbatian side, and also giving his side of the story asked. He glared at them, and they I would be concerned if they were regarding the campaign against R. Yonason. One of the earliest such publications glared back. was ‘Akitzat Akrav’ (Scorpion’s Sting), published in 1752. The title page equipped with the knowledge “How dare you support the eneindicates it was printed in Amsterdam; in reality it was printed in in Altona needed to denounce me. But they my of our Chief Rabbi, that troubleare not. Don’t be fooled just bemaker Yaakov Emden? Do you really cause they are Torah scholars. They have made his way back to his seat. Dozens of think we want someone like you to be the no background whatsoever in Kabbalah, people crowded around him eager to shake chazzan of our community? We don’t want and have no idea how an amulet should his hand and congratulate him on his stir- you! Get back to your seat! Or better still be written. Only a real expert in Kabbal- ring speech. Late into the night the syna- – leave the synagogue, and never come ah knows how the words and the letters in gogue continued to buzz with the energy back!” an amulet relate to each other. The com- his words had generated. At last it seemed Others were now getting involved. position of an amulet is a complex secret that the saga was over, and that everyone They began remonstrating with the three known to very few people, handed down could move on from the rumors and insin- aisle-blockers, and tried to help the chazby masters of Kabbalah to a fraction of uations that had been plaguing the commu- zan push through to the front. People were their students. Only a fool would presume nity for so many months. shouting across the synagogue towards to know the meaning of amulets if they But rather than slow things down, R. the scene of the incident and at each othhave never been trained or educated in Yonason’s speech created a whole new lev- er. Suddenly one of the three men punched their configuration. Letters and words that el of tension in the community. R. Yonason the chazzan in the face. Kasswitz fell to the seem to say one thing can mean something had asserted – without mentioning him by ground, his mouth bleeding. else completely, and they would never name – that R. Yaakov Emden knew noth“That’s what happens to someone who know. Perhaps my enemies mean well, and ing about Kabbalah or the composition insults the greatest Torah scholar of our I bear them no grudge if they do. But one of amulets. While those who didn’t know generation!” The attacker grinned nastily, thing I know – they are wrong, and I am him might have imagined this to be true, and then spat at the dazed chazzan. innocent. It is as simple as that.” R. Yaakov’s close friends and associates Kasswitz was struggling to get up, Then, with a voice that filled the syna- knew him to be an accomplished Kabbal- blood dripping from his mouth. At that gogue sanctuary and could be heard clear- ist. The suggestion, therefore, that he was moment one of the chazzan’s friends, a big ly by those standing outside in the lobby, not ‘equipped’ to examine an amulet, or burly man, grabbed the attacker around R. Yonason concluded his address with that he had no ‘background’ in Kabbalah, the neck and began dragging him out of the following powerful words: “May God was untenable and seemed glib. That be- the synagogue, all the while slapping him judge me harshly if I have ever been any ing the case, R. Yaakov was certainly more around the face. Others were now joining part of the Sabbatian sect. May fire and than qualified to spot combinations of let- in, and suddenly the synagogue had deflames descend from heaven and destroy ters that contained references to Shabbetai scended into a violent riot. People who

Jewish Quotes History The Week In News minutes earlier had been calmly praying in their seats were now yelling offensive insults at each other, and kicking and punching each other. Little children cried as they watched their wild-eyed fathers behave like animals. Elderly people huddled in the pews, afraid to move. The scene was one of complete pandemonium. Within minutes the local police had arrived to break up the riot. They emptied the synagogue of people and insisted it remain closed until the community executive could guarantee the peace. But there was no guarantee. The mood in the community was far too volatile. For the time being the synagogues would need to remain empty as each faction began to pray in small groups at people’s homes. Even this separation was not sufficient to prevent outbreaks of violence. Time and again insulting remarks uttered in public would result in violent street brawls. The community was literally falling apart. As the crisis intensified R. Yonason’s supporters began to publicly threaten R. Yaakov, who they believed was actively behind the unrest. As soon as R. Yaakov heard this he reluctantly decided he had no choice but to leave Altona immediately, and go to Amsterdam, where he would stay with his sister and brother-in-law until the situation had calmed down. He informed the local authorities, but they warned him that leaving the city would not be simple. At least at his home he was somewhat safe, protected from harm by the local police force. Once he ventured outside there was a real danger he might be attacked, or even killed. It was therefore decided he would leave at midnight on a Saturday night, when the least number of people were present on the streets, and to further minimize any possibility of detection, his wife and children would need to stay behind. The farewell to his friends and family was extremely emotional. R. Yaakov blessed his crying children and then looked up at his house. Would he ever see it again? The situation seemed so bleak. How had he reached this low ebb? He shrugged and shook his head as he took his place in the carriage that would transport him out of the city. He took one last peek at his wife and children standing forlornly on the street in the pale moonlight. How would this nightmare ever end? NEXT TIME: The controversy spreads as the Chief Rabbi of Metz presents evidence in support of R. Yaakov, while R. Yaakov Yehoshua Falk of Frankfurt comes in to bat for R. Yaakov and takes the lead in the campaign against R. Yonason. Soon the King of Denmark has been drawn into the fray, as well as an apostate Jewish apologist for R. Yonason. What began as a local community dispute was about to evolve into an international scandal. Questions, comments welcome –



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Travel Guide: Kyoto Aaron Feigenbaum Modern Japan, especially Tokyo, is often associated with business, futuristic technology, and a hectic lifestyle. Kyoto, however, remains very much connected with Japan’s past. Having been the nation’s capital for over 1000 years, Kyoto was crucial in the development of Japan’s art, culture, religion, philosophy, and politics. From Kabuki theater to the time-honored tea ceremony, Kyoto is synonymous with the traditional Japanese lifestyle. The Imperial Palace is a striking reminder that this city was once the crown of one of Asia’s greatest empires. Watch geisha pass by as you walk through the narrow alleys of the historic Gion district. Take some time to relax meditating in the Ryoanji rock garden, strolling through the Arashiyama bamboo forest, or sitting under the cherry blossom trees of the Philosopher’s Path. Kyoto is also famous for having over 1000 Buddhist temples, the most famous of which is arguably the Golden Pavilion. When it comes to shopping, Kyoto has some of the finest crafts in the world. Kyoto’s craftsmen take great pride in their city and in their work, meaning that everything made in Kyoto is of the best quality. Overall, Kyoto has a winning combination of traditional Japanese culture and natural beauty that has made it one of Asia’s top tourist destinations. History Kyoto’s long history begins in 794 CE, when it was established as Japan’s capital under the name Heian-kyo. The city was planned around the Imperial Palace and became Japan’s center of commerce and crafts-


manship. Heian-kyo’s power waned over the next 200 years as residents moved out and the city became less urban and more rural. It was renamed Kyoto in the 11th or 12th century and came under military rule. In the medieval period, Kyoto became a center for Buddhism and many of the city’s most famous temples were built at the foot of the mountains that surround the city. Craftsmen who were once under government patronage were forced to become independent. They organized into cooperative associations to protect their businesses and in the process strengthened the city’s economy. However, with the Onin Civil War of 1467-1477, the city’s fortunes took a turn for the worse. The economy was devastated and the city landscape changed dramatically. A century later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, known as one of Japan’s “great unifiers,” ordered the city to be rebuilt. Kyoto once again became an integrated whole with the Imperial Palace rebuilt and the previously empty city

center filled in. Toyotomi and the Tokugawa regime which followed also made Kyoto into Japan’s preeminent center for religion and culture. Kyoto faced several major disasters in the 18th and 19th centuries and took a long time to recover because of the political changes associated with the Meiji Restoration. Despite protests by its citizens, Kyoto lost its capital status to Edo (now called Tokyo) in the late 1800s. To compensate for this severe blow to morale, Kyoto built factories as well as modern transportation, aqueducts, and improved city waterworks. After ten years of hard work, Kyoto became a truly modern city. Fortunately, it was spared the intense Allied bombing of WWII. Today, Kyoto is not just a living example of Japan as it was centuries ago but is also a center of industry, commerce, education, and science. Attractions Fushimi Inari-taisha: This highly popular Shinto shrine sits at the base of Inari Mountain and is one of the most well-known in Japan. The structure dates back to 711 CE, and it’s revered by businessmen and farmers to this day because they believe it brings prosperity and good fortune. While the shrine itself is impressive, it’s the torii (gates) that lead up to the shrine that make this site iconic. Torii in Shinto belief mark the boundary between the sacred and profane and are the easiest way to distinguish a Shinto shrine from a Buddhist temple. Each red gate stands majestically along the two-hour walk to the top of the mountain, and the sheer number of

Fushimi Inari Taisha

pan’s most recognizable buildings. Originally purchased by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in the late 1300s, the palace became a Buddhist temple after the Shogun’s death. The exterior of the palace is covered in gold leaf and is surrounded by beautiful gardens that mimic the views around the pavilion (a design philosophy called shakkei or “borrowed scenery”). The building and gardens sit on a small lake, making it an incredibly picturesque site. As before, go early in the morning or in late afternoon to beat the crowds. Imperial Palace: Until 1868, Kyoto’s Imperial Palace was the residence of the Imperial Family. The palace is located inside Kyoto Imperial Park along with several other attractions. Visitors are not allowed to go inside the palace but can view the grounds on a guided tour (be sure to book advance reservations). Besides the palace itself, visitors will enjoy the beautiful Kaninnomiya Mansion, once the residence of the court nobles, and the lush Sento garden complete with ponds, islands, and two teahouses. Additionally, the grounds include the quaint Sento Imperial Palace that was built for retired emperors. Ninomaru Palace: Built in 1603 as the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period, Ninomaru briefly became an imperial palace before becoming a museum. Unlike the Imperial Palace, visitors can tour inside and see how the most elite members of society lived in feudal Japan. The castle, surviving in its original form, includes an audio tour that narrates places like the main audience room where the shogun would meet top-ranking officials as well as the shogun’s offices and living quarters. Elaborately decorated wood carvings and painted doors are evidence of the late shogun’s vast power and influence. On the same grounds is the shogun’s secondary living space, Honmaru Castle. Honmaru is not open to visitors except on special occasion.

Kyoto Tower Hotel

Golden Staircase


gates speaks to the shrine’s popularity. Once at the top, visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the city below. Go early in the morning or in late afternoon to beat the crowds. Golden Pavilion: Known locally as Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion is one of Ja-

Ninomaru and Honmaru are surrounded by idyllic gardens filled with cherry and plum trees. Kiyomizudera: Located in the eastern hills of Kyoto, Kiyomizudera (whose name means “Pure Water Temple”) is one of Ja-

pan’s most revered Buddhist temples. Reportedly, the entire building was built from wood without using a single nail. Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that sticks out from the main hall and offers a spectacular view of the colorful cherry and maple trees as well as of the city in the distance. The way up to the temple is filled with shops selling unique, fine-crafted items, and the pathway is beautifully lit up during the lantern festival of Hanatoro. Nazenji Temple: Originally built as Emperor Kameyama’s retirement house in the 13th century, Nazenji has since developed as one of Japan’s most important Zen Buddhist temples. Visitors are first met by the imposing Sanmon Gate where they can climb up to the balcony for a view of the city. The main complex consists of several sub-temples including Nanzenin where Emperor Kameyama’s mausoleum is located. The most famous part of Nazenji though is the Hojo or priests’ quarters, which has what is considered one of the best Zen rock gardens (karesansui) as well as exquisite gold leaf paintings. Philosopher’s Path: This normally quiet part of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district bursts with color in spring as the cherry trees come into full bloom. It is one of the most popular places in Japan to observe hanami, the cherry blossom viewing festival. The path also passes by a number of famous temples and shops. Higashiyama: Once you’re done exploring the numerous mountainside temples, head down to Higashiyama and explore the many shops and restaurants. Even if you’re not buying, this beautiful district is absolutely charming with its narrow pathways, beautiful wooden buildings, and stores that go back centuries. The government even removed the telephone poles to ensure that visitors experience Kyoto as it was centuries ago. Arashiyama: Located just on the outskirts of Kyoto, this tranquil district is the

Himeji Castle

perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. It has long been a popular during cherry blossom viewing and fall color season. Activities include boat riding on the river, exploring bamboo groves and more hillside temples, biking, and taking pictures from the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge. A must-do is taking the Sagano Scenic Railway, which takes passengers on a 25-minute journey from Arashiyama to rural Kameoka. The scenery is awe-inspiring, especially in fall, and the experience of riding an old-fashioned train makes it all the more spectacular. On the way back, take a cruise down the Hozugawa River in a traditional flat-bottomed boat. Another popular sight in Arashiyama is the Monkey Park. There are almost 200 Japanese macaque monkeys in the park, and visitors are allowed to feed them and take photos of these very photogenic creatures. Be warned that it’s a steep climb from the ticket machine to the park. Gion: This is Kyoto’s biggest and most

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Golden Pavilion

famous traditional entertainment district. The streets are lined with old-style wood merchant houses (known as machiya), making them especially popular with tourists looking for a glimpse of old Japan. As they have for centuries prior, geisha roam the streets and tea houses in traditional garb. At Gion Corner, there is a show geared towards foreign tourists that is a condensed version of Japanese performance arts including a tea ceremony, puppet theater and dances by an apprentice geisha. If you happen to be visiting in late July then be sure to come to Gion to see the Gion Matsuri festival and parade. Kurama Onsen: No trip to Kyoto is complete without a visit to a hot springs. Kurama Onsen is a particularly beautiful one as it is situated outdoors in the mountains in full view of nature. The experience is especially serene in winter. Kyoto National Museum: One of Japan’s top-rated museums, the Kyoto National Museum has an impressive collection of ceramics, paintings, sculptures, costumes, calligraphy, and more. Kyoto Station: Standing out as strikingly modern in a very old city, Kyoto Station is the city’s main transportation hub. It’s the place to go for detailed tourist info as well as shopping, a hotel, an art museum, and more. Kyoto Tower: The city’s tallest building provides an observation deck with a 360-degree view as well as game machines and a hotel. On a clear day, one can see the surrounding mountains and even as far as Osaka. Day trips: Iga Ueno is famous for its ninja school. In feudal Japan, Iga was one of the two leading schools for ninjutsu (“the art of stealth”) along with the Koka school. Visitors can enjoy the small but impressive ninja museum complete with ninja costumes, weapons, and gadgets. The museum provides an in-depth look at the life of the ninja, as well as having live ninja demonstrations on its stage. On the same grounds of the museum is the elegant Ueno Castle, once home to several local nobles, and a memorial to

Matsuo Basho, one of Japan’s most famous poets. Mount Koya is known as the center of Shingon Buddhism, one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist sects, and has a small temple at its peak. The forested pathway to the top is one of the most enchanting walks in Japan, and visitors often spend the night at the temple. An absolute must-see is Himeji Castle, located about two hours from Kyoto. Himeji is considered by many to be Japan’s most beautiful castle. It’s also the largest and most visited castle in Japan. It dates back to 1333 and has survived the bombing of Himeji in WWII as well as a large earthquake in 1995. The maze-like approach to the castle was meant to confuse and slow down attackers. Visitors enter the castle through the lower floor and climb up a series of steep staircases. Each level becomes smaller as you go up. At the top is a small shrine and a 360-degree view of the outside. Himeji is also quite popular during cherry blossom season. Amanohashidate, located in northern Kyoto Prefecture, is a beautiful tree-covered sandbar that stretches across Miyazu Bay. It is considered one of Japan’s three most scenic views and has been admired for centuries. A dirt road allows visitors to cross from one end to the other. The nearby hills have an excellent viewing spot. Located nearby are the Nariaiji and Chionji temples. Daven and Eat While Kyoto may have an abundance of interesting sights and experiences, shuls and kosher options are almost non-existent. The closest shul is at the Jewish Community of Kansai in Kobe (located about 1.5 hours away by train). Their website is For information on services and kosher food, consult with them or try Chabad of Tokyo ( Additionally, be sure to consult beforehand with your local rabbi whether it is permitted to enter shrines and Buddhist temples, as they are Kyoto’s main attractions. Getting There Current round-trip tickets from LAX to

Osaka (the closest airport to Kyoto) start at around $800 per person. The best way to get from the airport to Kyoto is via bullet train (Shinkansen) at a trip length of just over one

hour. To get around Kyoto, the easiest way is by bus and/or subway. Both are very efficient and have plenty of English signs to help foreign visitors.



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Looking for a Quality Life?

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

ten of the list; Vancouver was the only North American city placed there, at fifth. San Francisco was deemed the best place in the U.S., but it was ranked 28th worldwide. The hilly streets must have turned off the judges. And the highest-ranking British city was London, which came in at 39. Must be all that bad pub-food. Surprisingly, the romantic city of Paris fell ten spots this year to 37 because of the recent terror attacks there. Tel Aviv was 104. And taking up the rear for quality of life in the world is Baghdad, Iraq. ISIS, anyone?

1989, dies, the assembly will appoint a new supreme leader. “The competition came to an end and now it is time to open a new way through consensus and convergence of the nation and government and by relying on opportunities created from outside, to open a new chapter in the growth and flourishing of national economy,” President Rouhani said. “The people showed their power once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government,” he added.

Partying Despite His Nation’s Poverty

Rouhani’s Landslide Win If you’re looking to finally settle down and get some quality of life, then it’s time to pull out the lederhosen and head on over to Austria. The country’s capital, Vienna, was recently placed at the top of the 229 city Mercer Quality of Life Survey. In fact, Germany, the Bavarian sister of Austria, had three of its cities proclaimed top ten. Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt ranked at four, six and seven, respectively. It must be all that beer and sauerkraut that tipped the rankings. Nothing in the U.S. made it to the top

In the first parliamentary election since the infamous Iran nuclear deal was signed, reformists and moderates have won all 30 seats in Tehran. President Hassan Rouhani, who is also gunning to become a member of the 88-member Assembly of Experts, received a big boost of confidence in his standing in the Iranian government. Rouhani and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate, are both likely to be inducted into the assembly. The assembly’s main tasks are supervising, dismissing and electing the Supreme Leader. When Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, 76, who has been in power since

Aref was followed by five other reformists. Many see the election as a referendum on the Iran nuclear deal; virtually every vocal critic of the deal was defeated. 12,000 people registered as candidates in the parliamentary election, but only half were allowed to run, including just 200 moderates. There was more than 60% turnout and voting had to be extended three times.

The result is significant because lawmakers from the capital generally determine the political direction of the house, experts said. However, they also said that reformists seem to have done less well in smaller towns. Former presidential candidate and former vice-president to Mohammad Khatami, Mohammed Reza Aref, led the race for the 30 seats in the 290-seat parliament.

He turned 92 and so he made sure to party like it’s 1999 – despite the poverty surrounding his subjects. “Dear father,” “his royal highness,” and “the Moses of Africa” are some ways that Robert Mugabe is referred to by his Zimbabwean subjects. Thousands made their way to Masvingo by bus, truck and on foot wearing the colors of his ruling party to his celebration. Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980, let 92 balloons into the air to start the festivities held at the historical Great Zimbabwe monument, about 15 miles from downtown Masvingo. During the televised event, school children performed military drills and recited poetry praising the leader and criticizing western nations. The birthday boy spoke for more than B”H

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an hour, criticizing the political jockeying in his party, and saying younger members who have spoken out against his wife Grace’s growing power must be disciplined. “It is shameful the way Mrs. Mugabe is being criticized,” he chastised, accusing them of leaking scandals to the press. “Who may be the enemy among us?” He added that he wants his birthday to be declared a national holiday. Many who turned out for the festivities wore outfits emblazoned with Mugabe’s portrait and feasted on beef and game meat. Political allies from the ruling parties of neighboring countries took turns to congratulate Mugabe, who led the guerrilla war in the 1970s when this country was white-minority-ruled Rhodesia. The event, dubbed the 21st February Movement after Mugabe’s actual birthday, has been held since 1986. The Zimbabwean president marked his birthday earlier this week in smaller celebrations that included blowing out candles on a multi-tiered cake with gold frosting surrounded by his family and a gala dinner attended the country’s elite. The opposition has criticized the celebrations as insensitive to the many Zimbabweans facing hunger due to drought and a struggling economy. Masvingo province is one of the areas worst hit by a drought that has been declared a disaster. Last year it was reported that poverty was so rampant in the country that people were digging up graves to resell the gravel and pit located there.

government throughout his lifetime. It’s hard to be related to such notorious siblings. Castro’s relationship with his brothers was strained. He said of Fidel, “I prefer to speak of him as my leader rather than my brother.”

American Student Detained in North Korea Otto Warmbier was an average adventurous college student when he set out to visit North Korea in late January, but he

never returned to U.S. soil. The University of Virginia undergraduate student has been detained in North Korea for committing an “anti-state crime” with “the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation.” Warmbier visited the country with Young Pioneer Tours, an agency specializing in travel to North Korea, which is strongly discouraged by the U.S. State Department. Young Pioneer describes itself on its website as providing “budget tours to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from.” The agency, based in China, also runs tours to Iran, Cuba, Turkmenistan, Iraq and other former Soviet countries. After Warmbier’s detention was re-

vealed, the agency insisted in a news release that this is the first of the 7,000 people it has taken to North Korea over the past eight years to face arrest. “Despite what you may hear, North Korea is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit,” it says on its website. Warmbier had been staying at the Yanggakdo International Hotel, which is located on an island in a river that runs through Pyongyang, the capital. He allegedly tried to steal a political banner from a staff-only section of the hotel. It is not uncommon for parts of tourist hotels to be sectioned off for North Korean staff and off-limits to foreigners. Following his arrest, no specific de-


Ramon Castro, the older brother of Cuban leaders Raul and Fidel, died last week at the age of 91. While he was less involved in his brother’s Communist revolution which overthrew Cuban President Fulgencio Batista in 1959, he was imprisoned alongside the revolutionaries and aided his brothers’ schemes throughout the revolution. His brothers were radicals; he was a farmer. As he told the Washington Post in 1997, “Fidel studies at the university. He became a lawyer. I didn’t study. I lived on the farm.” Ramon was not always on the side of the Communist government. A year after the revolution, it was reported that Fidel’s government appropriated land from Ramon’s 20,000+ acre farm. But he was also a founder of the country’s Communist Party and served as an agricultural official for the

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tails of what kind of charges or punishment Warmbier faces were immediately released. But on Monday he appeared on Pyongyang media and tearfully apologized for the incident. According to Warmbier’s statement, he wanted the banner with a political slogan on it as a trophy for the church member, who was the mother of a friend. Warmbier also claims that he was offered a used car worth $10,000 by a member of the church in exchange for the “trophy.” He said the church member told him the slogan would be hung on its wall. He also revealed that he was promised that if he was detained and didn’t return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation. Warmbier said he was also encouraged in his act by the “Z Society” at the University of Virginia, which he said he was trying to join. The magazine of the university’s alumni association describes the Z Society as a “semi-secret ring society” that was founded in 1892 and conducts philanthropy, puts on honorary dinners, and grants academic awards. Warmbier said he accepted the offer of money because his family is “suffering from very severe financial difficulties.” “I started to consider this as my only golden opportunity to earn money,” he said, adding that if he ever mentioned the involvement of the church, “no payments would come.” John Kasich, Ohio Governor and Republican presidential hopeful, called the arrest “inexcusable” while campaigning in New Hampshire. Kasich urged President Barack Obama to “make every effort to secure Mr. Warmbier’s immediate release and keep [his] family constantly apprised.” Kasich demanded that North Korea either provide evidence of the alleged anti-state activities or release Warmbier immediately. While travel to North Korea is legal and generally Americans who visit the country return home without incident, visitors – especially those from America – who break

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the country’s murky and harsh rules, risk detention, arrest and possible jail sentences. In previous cases, people who have been detained in North Korea and made public confessions often recanted those statements after their release. It is common for North Korea to accuse Washington and Seoul of sending spies to overthrow its government to enable the U.S.-backed South Korean government to control the Korean Peninsula. If history is any indication, it would not be surprising if North Korea detains the young adult until senior U.S. officials or statesmen come to personally bail him out.

Airline Crash Kills 23 in Nepal

The plane ride between Pokhara, a resort town near Kathmandu, Nepal, and Jomsom, a popular hiking destination, is short – only 18 minutes long – but very dangerous. The flight takes place between mountains and can only be completed by aircraft small enough to navigate the terrain. Last week, a Tara airlines aircraft carrying 23 people crashed into a mountain while attempting the flight in bad weather. All passengers, including two foreigners, were confirmed dead within hours of authorities finding the wreckage. The plane had lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after takeoff. On Friday, another plane was reported

to have crashed in the area, this time with two passengers confirmed dead.

Beijing: City of Billionaires

the 21st wealthiest worldwide. Other super wealthy Chinese include Jack Ma, who started Alibaba, and owners of tech companies Xiaomi, Tencent and Baidu. “What we showed today is that at the super-wealth creation level, the Chinese are now leading,” Hoogewerf said. “People will look at China the same way that people looked at Stanford or Silicon Valley in the 1990s.”

Is Syria Truce in Danger of Collapse? These days, the term “Made in China” has a new meaning. The Shanghai-based billionaire ranking firm Hurun has declared that Beijing has overtaken New York as the Billionaire Capital of the World, with 100 of the mega-rich residing there, compared to 95 in the Big Apple. For months, speculators have been saying that the Chinese city has blown past New York, despite the woes which plague China’s economy and stock market. According to Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun’s founder, the Chinese are benefitting from the recent wave of IPOs in the country’s stock market, which has allowed business owners and entrepreneurs to access vast sums of cash. In the past year, 32 Chinese became billionaires; only four New Yorkers did the same. The Chinese stock market has tumbled over 40% in the past year, but Hurun’s calculations were made based on market values on January 15th, which factor in the decline. The pre-crash billionaire count for Beijing is closer to 150. China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, is

Although UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insists the pause in fighting in Syria is still holding, a senior official from Syria’s main opposition group said on Monday that a fragile international attempt to halt nearly five years of fighting was in danger of collapse because of attacks by government forces. The cessation of hostilities drawn up by Washington and Moscow faced “complete nullification” because Syrian government attacks were violating the agreement, the official of the Saudi-backed opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said. France said there were reports of attacks on opposition forces in breach of the deal, which came into force on Saturday, and countries backing the Syrian peace process met to try to clarify the situation. The cessation deal does not include jihadist groups such as Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, and Russia, which is backing the Syrian government with air power, has made clear it intends to keep bombing those groups. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that he agreed that it was important for Russia to ensure that any strikes in Syria would focus only on those terrorist groups. The cessation of hostilities agreement, the first of its kind since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, is a less formal arrangement than a ceasefire. It is meant to allow peace talks to resume and aid to reach besieged communities. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was largely holding, with casualties greatly reduced compared with before the agreement took effect. But Syrian forces made some gains. The Observatory reported they had taken

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territory near Damascus on Monday after a battle with the Nusra Front and other Islamist rebels. Syrian government forces also regained control of a road to the northern city of Aleppo after making advances against Islamic State fighters. Aid trucks carrying non-food items such as blankets on Monday entered Mouadamiya, a suburb of Damascus under siege by government forces, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent said. The United Nations and other agencies hope to deliver aid to more than 150,000 people in besieged areas over the next five days. Kerry said he was concerned by reports the Syrian government was creating obstacles for the delivery of humanitarian aid and hoped it would stop its officials and troops from taking medicine or other supplies from the shipments. Asaad al-Zoubi, head of the HNC’s delegation to the peace talks, gave a gloomy assessment of the truce. “We are not facing a violation of the truce ... we are facing a complete nullification,” he said on Al Arabiya al Hadath TV. “I believe the international community has totally failed in all its experiments, and must take real, practical measures towards the [Syrian] regime,” Zoubi said, without elaborating. He said there were no signs of any preparations for peace talks, which the United Nations wants to reconvene on March 7. Talks in Geneva in early February collapsed before they started, with rebels saying they could not negotiate while they were being bombed.

Documenting Evil An insightful – and disturbing – documentary by a Norwegian filmmaker is attempting to uncover the thoughts of some of the most evil people in the world. “Dugma, the Button,” by Pal Refsdal follows the lives of three members of Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front in Syria who are waiting to martyr themselves by suicide bomb and lets the viewers do the judging; the film does not have any outside commentary. Al Nusra usually spaces out its suicide attacks; there are usually a number of weeks in between each bombing. Wannabe martyrs usually have to wait between one and two years until their turn is called, according to Refsdal. “They’re not like IS [the Islamic State group, which they are also fighting] which sends car bombs one after the other with very young drivers dying en masse,” he comments. Terrorists go about their daily lives while waiting for their time to kill. Viewers witness one of the subjects, Abu Basir al-Britani (“the Briton”), who was born Lucas Kinney to a Catholic family, break down when his young wife gets pregnant. “Now I can’t do that to my family,” he emotes. Another makes a humorous comment about reckless driving to his friend, “You’re on your way to martyrdom. Are you really going to worry about speeding?”

“I was surprised by the ease of relations with them, by their relaxed side,” said Refsdal, who converted to Islam in 2009. “If I hadn’t known they were Al-Qaeda, I would never have guessed based on my gut feeling alone,” he said. Refsdal has received opposition from people who believe he is giving the terrorist organization a venue to air their beliefs. “I understand that there may be people who disagree with it in principle and argue that Al-Qaeda attacked New York in 2001, Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, Paris and Charlie Hebdo,” Refsdal said. “But the film isn’t trying to tell people what to think – it’s just depicting their daily lives and then it’s

up to people to think what they want after having seen it.”

India Attempts to End Selfie Tragedies Death by selfie? The desire to tell all one’s social media “friends” how awesome someone is can be lethal. Since 2014, there have been 49 selfie-linked deaths worldwide. In India alone, 19 self-snappers died in the act, and that is causing authorities

there to crack down on the deadly practice. A few weeks ago, a college student fell over a dam in the city of Nashik while precariously posing in front of his cellphone atop a rock there. He died along with a friend who jumped in while attempting to save him. At Mumbai’s Bandstand Fort, a popular tourist spot, an 18-year-old woman fell and drowned while taking a picture of herself. In January 2014, three students succumbed to the temptations of the selfie on their way to the Taj Mahal when they posed in front of a speeding train which failed to stop in time. Mumbai police have now declared certain risky areas to be off limits when



The Week In News it comes to selfies. These areas include coastlines without any barriers or railings. Venture there and you risk a 1,200 rupee fine, even if you don’t take any offending photos with yourself.

Will selfie-madness end anytime soon in India in light of all the tragedies wrought by it? Keerti Sachdeva, a Mumbai psychologist, does not think so. “You know people have this sort of feeling in adolescent age, especially that they need to get this acceptance from everyone, that I am a smart person, I am a good-looking person,” Sachdeva said. “So for acceptance and recognition they are indulging in taking of selfies.”

Entire Iranian Village Wiped out for Drug Smuggling Iran is no stranger to cruel and unusual

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punishment. In fact, Iran is one of the world’s largest users of the death penalty, ranking second behind China in 2014, according to the most recent figures from Amnesty.

In the most recent shocking revelation from the Middle Eastern country, the entire male population of a village was executed for drug trafficking, a senior Iranian cabinet minister said. Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi exposed the appalling event on a Persian-language interview with semi-official Mehr news agency on Tuesday. She did not name the village or provide details as to when the executions were carried out. “We have a village in Sistan and Baluchistan province where every single man has been executed,” she said, according to a translation of her remarks by The Guardian. She warned that as a result violence there could increase. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for

these people.” Drug smuggling is a growing epidemic in Iran as it is the bridge from Afghanistan to Europe. Sistan and Baluchistan province, where the alleged executions happened, borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. This region has previously been the scene of fighting between smugglers and police. “If we do not act against these people, crime will return,” Euronews quoted Molaverdi saying. “Society is responsible for the families of those executed. Although the family support program was neglected for several years, it has now been relaunched as part of the sixth national development plan.” Ahmed Shaheed, a special investigator on human rights for the United Nations warned that executions in Iran have increased at an “exponential rate” since 2005 and could top 1,000 in 2015. According to Shaheed, Iran executes more people per capita than any other country, and many of the killings are of juveniles and non-violent offenders. Shaheed also revealed that 69% of the executions during the first six months of 2015 were reportedly for drug-related offenses.

Osama: $29M to Be Used for Jihad


Despite his demise on May 2, 2011, we are still unearthing information about the notorious terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. This week, his will was released along with a batch of more than 100 documents that were seized in the May 2011 raid that killed him in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In it, it was revealed that he planned to divide his massive fortune among his relatives, although the bulk of his wealth was set aside to continue to perpetrate terror and promote the terror network he set up to mastermind the 9/11 attacks. The will was undated, but bin Laden said $29 million was in Sudan, where he lived for several years in the 1990s. He left Sudan for Afghanistan in 1996, just before the Taliban seized control of the country and welcomed him. “I hope, for my brothers, sisters, and maternal aunts, to obey my will and to spend all the money that I have left in Sudan on jihad, for the sake of Allah,” bin Laden wrote. Media reports over the years have said

that bin Laden was not able to take his fortune with him from Sudan. The will also refers to the Afghan cities of Jalalabad and Kandahar, where bin Laden and al-Qaida operated in the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. It was not clear how much money he had at the time of his death or what happened to it. Bin Laden was aware that the West wanted to have him killed. “If I am to be killed,” he wrote in a 2008 letter to his father, “pray for me a lot and give continuous charities in my name, as I will be in great need for support to reach the permanent home.” The letters were included in a batch of documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They address a range of topics, including fractures between Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq, which eventually splintered off into what is now known as the Islamic State; and bin Laden’s concerns about his organization’s public image and his desire to depict it as a united network. In another letter, addressed to “The Islamic Community in General,” bin Laden offered an upbeat assessment of progress in his holy war since 9/11 and of U.S. failings in Afghanistan. The letter appears to have been written in 2010. “Here we are in the tenth year of the war, and America and its allies are still chasing a mirage, lost at sea without a beach,” he wrote. “They thought that the war would be easy and that they would accomplish their objectives in a few days or a few weeks, and they did not prepare for it financially, and there is no popular support that would enable it to carry on a war for a decade or more. The sons of Islam have opposed them and stood between them and their plans and objectives.” In an earlier letter, he compared the American combat position to that of the Soviet Union in the final years of its occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. “America appears to be hanging on by a thin thread. Due to the financial difficulties,” he wrote. “We need to be patient a bit longer. With patience, there is victory!” he encouraged.

Israel Welcomes Egypt Ambassador For the first time since 2012, Egypt has an ambassador stationed in Israel, and it may symbolize the making of a strong bilateral relationship. Egyptian Hazem Khairat has officially been welcomed to the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv by President Reuven Rivlin, who had many warm

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words to describe the incoming ambassador. “He told me that he is very happy and very proud to be in Israel and that he hopes that his presence here will bring about a situation in which the friendship between the Jewish people and the Arab people in general, and between the countries of the region, will be such that we can live in peace,” Rivlin said. The remarks followed an uncharacteristic toast behind closed doors between Rivlin and Khairat.

In 2011, the Israeli embassy in Cairo was attacked by angry mobs and abandoned by Israeli diplomats. But since current Egyptian president Mohammed Fatah Al Sissi took power, diplomatic relations between the two countries have improved, with Israeli diplomats returning to Cairo this past September. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, we succeeded in driving away the threats, and we’re working together for the sake of stability and prosperity in the Middle East,” Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold said at the time. In January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of Khairat’s installation on Tel Aviv warmly. “I welcome the re-stationing of an Egyptian ambassador to Israel, which will enable us to further strengthen relations with this important and central Arab country,” he said.

150 Days of Intifada On Sunday, Palestinians launched a mass media campaign celebrating the 150th day of the “Al-Quds intifada,” also known as the “knife intifada,” as the current terror wave has come to be called. The media campaign focuses on expressing support for the intifada and it’s “achievements” in the “struggle” against Israel by distributing explanatory material on the internet and on social networks tagged as “Intifada 150.” The Palestinians called on the public to support the intifada proclaiming, “The media is one of the most important tools in helping the intifada.” According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from September 13, 2015 to February 26, 2016, 33 people were killed, and 359 people were injured by Palestinian terrorists. The attacks included 192 stabbings, 75 shootings and 39 vehicular attacks.

Murder or Suicide? Palestinian Terrorist Dead in Bulgaria

Omar Nayef Zayed has been wanted by Israel since 1986 for killing an innocent yeshiva student in Jerusalem. All these years, he has been alive and well in Bulgaria – until last week when he was found dead. The circumstances surrounding his death are rather suspicious and mysterious. In 1986 Zayed was convicted in the murder of Eliyahu Amedi – whom he stabbed to death in Jerusalem’s Old City – along with two other Palestinian assailants. He was sentenced to life in prison. Four years after beginning his sentence, Zayed began a hunger strike and was moved to a Bethlehem hospital facility, from which he escaped. He fled to Bulgaria in 1994 and married a local woman with whom he had three children. According to a Bulgarian news reports, the terrorist fell from the upper floor of the Palestinian embassy building, leading many to believe that Zayed committed suicide or that it was staged to look as such. The circumstances leading up to Zayed’s death are undergoing an investigation but the timing definitely seems suspicious or ironic. At the time of his death the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov was visiting Israel. On Sunday he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Some Palestinians are speculating that Israel was involved in the death. Two months ago, Israel was denied Zayed’s extradition from Bulgaria. If Israel is involved, the Mossad, responsible for carrying out such special operations overseas, is the body that executed the mission. This would involve penetrating the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria where Zayed had sought shelter and which was certainly being guarded. Another theory being posed is that Zayed’s killer came from within the embassy and that they either worked in the embassy or was invited inside. Many are speculating that the operation was the joint work of the Israeli and Bulgarian intelligence services. Israel cooperated with the Bulgarian authorities following the Hezbollah bus bombing in 2012 that killed five Israelis and their local driver. For now, the only thing that is certain is that a terrorist has met his end.


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Clashes Ensue as Waze Leads Soldiers to Dangerous Area

Waze: You either love it or you don’t. On Tuesday, two Israeli soldiers mistakenly entered the Qalandia refugee camp in the West Bank when they followed directions from Waze. There, they were pelted with rocks and firebombs and were forced to flee from their jeep when it caught fire. One soldier escaped to a nearby Jewish neighborhood; another hid in a yard before being rescued by Israeli troops. When troops came to their aid, they were also put under attack, and a Palestinian man was killed in the clashes. Dozens were wounded. Ten members of Israeli military were wounded as well. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the soldiers appeared to go astray by following Waze, the Israeli-developed global

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traffic app, which showed them the shortest route from Jerusalem to their destination in the West Bank. He said the incident would be investigated further to make sure such a situation would not repeat itself. “I learned long ago, when the GPS was introduced, you can’t forget how to navigate using a map and you need to know your environment and not follow technology blindly,” Yaalon said. The rescue by the IDF employed the Hannibal Protocol, which grants troops near complete freedom of operation in order to prevent the capture of fellow soldiers. The rare protocol, considered a measure of last resort, is generally ordered to prevent the possible kidnap of Israeli troops and is considered a major operational undertaking, involving the possible use of massive firepower, even at the risk of endangering the kidnapped soldier’s life. The IDF said it employed the measure after realizing that one soldier was unaccounted for, in order to “keep everyone on the same page,” an IDF spokesperson said. “After locating one of the soldiers and [amid] the realization that another was missing, possibly abducted, the procedure was declared in the field in order to raise situation awareness and allocate the necessary military resources to locate the soldier,” the army said. The directive was in effect for approximately half an hour, until the second sol-

dier reached the nearby Kochav Ya’akov settlement and made contact with the army.

Israel Wiped off the Map

If you’re a third grader in a Palestinian school, you may have heard about Israel but it’s nowhere on a map in your textbook. Some Israeli cities, though, are now in Palestinian, killing yourself is lauded, and the Holocaust is never mentioned. Clearly education is crucial when growing up in the West Bank. According to Gal Berger, Israel Radio’s Palestinian affairs correspondent, there is a systematic blurring of Israel’s existence in Palestinian textbooks for grades 1-12.

“In the textbooks of the Palestinian Authority,” he pointed out, “there is no education towards two states or a Palestinian state [alongside Israel] within ’67 lines.” In history books for grades 10-12, there are full chapters dedicated to World War II but no mention of the Holocaust. “For a student in this [Palestinian education] system,” said Berger, “it is as if the Holocaust never happened.” In his examination of the Islamic studies textbooks, Berger found excerpts that celebrated martyrdom, including a fourth grade textbook that invites the children to write about a Palestinian martyr of their choice. A page of a ninth grade textbook of Islamic studies, which he said constituted praise for martyrdom, begins with a Koranic verse which instructs Muslims to kill or imprison nonbelievers. If a Muslim should die in the process, the verse says, “G-d will not send away their works…and (will) admit them into paradise.” The textbook’s interpretation of the verse, Berger said, states that the martyrs “will be given the highest place in paradise with the prophets and messengers.” The erasure of Israel’s physical existence begins early, with cartoons in first grade textbooks showing stores in Palestine – among them a pharmacy in Safed, a supermarket in Haifa and a candy store in Beersheba, Berger reported. (All three

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cities are in Israel.) It “continues like this through the different grades,” Berger noted. The same situation occurs in a seventh grade geography textbook, where Haifa, Beersheba, Jaffa, Safed, Ashdod and Ashkelon as said to located in Palestine. Ashraf al-Ajami, a political commentator and former Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs, countered that maps in Israel do not designate the borders of the state, or mark a distinction between sovereign Israeli territory and areas captured in the 1967 war. He also said that representatives of the European Union look over the books to ensure there’s no blatant incitement on their pages.

Iran Supports Families of Martyrs Flush with newfound cash, the Iranian government has decided to put to good use. No, the $100 billion recently unfrozen with the lifting of sanctions on the country is not being used to provide needed social services or economic stimuli in the country; it is going to fund even more Palestinian terror and attacks on Israelis.

Mohammad Fateh Ali, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, announced Tehran’s largesse in giving $7,000 to families of “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem” and a further “$30,000 to every family whose home the occupation has demolished for the participation of one of its sons.” Israel has long predicted that lifting sanctions on Iran would only allow it to further add to its support of worldwide terror. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement: “This is further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in support for anti-Israeli terrorism. After the [nuclear] agreement with world powers, Iran has allowed itself to continue as a major player in international terrorism.” Israeli TV also reported that Hamas leaders have recently met with Iranian AlQuds Force leader Qassem Suleimani, one of the most notorious backers of terror in the world. The report claimed that Suleimani “kissed the foreheads” of the terror group leaders and encouraged them to continue their anti-Israel engagements. A few months ago, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khameini wrote in a letter to Western youth, “The oppressed people of Palestine have experienced the worst kind of terrorism for the last sixty years. If the people of Europe have now taken refuge in their

homes for a few days and refrain from being present in busy places it is decades that a Palestinian family is not secure even in its own home from the Zionist regime’s death and destruction machinery.”

Trending Names

What’s in a name? The Israel Population and Immigration Ministry has been tracking the most popular names given in the country since its founding in 1948. Following the birth of the State, the most popular boys’ name was Moshe, followed by Yosef, Avraham, Dovid and Yitzchak. Popular girls’ names were Esther, followed by Rachel, Sarah, Shoshana and Miriam. In the 1960s, Israelis were still feeling biblical, but by then Yosef took over the top spot from Moshe for boys and Rachel claimed the prize from Esther. However, girls were being called more “modern” names by then, such as Ronit, Anat, Iris and Orly; Sarah dropped to tenth on the list. By the 1970s, boys’ names were also becoming modernized with Shai, in fourth place, Yaniv, in fifth place, and Oren, in ninth place on the list. Moshe was number one again for boys, but Rachel fell to tenth for girls who by now were being called Keren, Merav, Limor, Liat and Galit. In the 1990s Moshe finally fell from number one on the boys’ list, but only to the three spot; Daniel claimed top prize. Eden was the top girls name; number two was Sapir. In the current decade, Itay is reigning on top and is followed by Uri and Noam on the boys’ list. Shira is number one for girls, after which is Noa and Tamar. What is evident from all this is Israelis’ connection to biblical names, regardless of their secular views. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri remarked, “The list is proof that the public is emotionally tied to tradition and Biblical names,” he said. “Names like Yaakov, Moshe, Rachel, Rivka and Sarah may not always top the list, but they are always present, just as the tradition has been with us for years and years.”

Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, announced last week that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority are powerless to stop the ongoing surge in violence that he said was an “intifada.” “The intifada will continue and will become the greatest strategic turning point in the history of the Palestinian struggle,” Haniyeh thundered at an anti-Israel rally in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. “Nothing will be able to stop this intifada,” he asserted. “Not the occupying enemy and nor its security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority,” he said referring to long-standing joint defense initiatives between Jerusalem and Ramallah. During the rally, fighters from Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, staged a mock attack on Israeli settlers with an assault rifles. Masked Qassam fighters also staged a suicide bombing of an Israeli bus in front of the crowd. The terrorist group Hamas rules Gaza, the Palestinian enclave squeezed between Egypt and Israel and separated from the West Bank. Gaza has been the site of three wars between Israel and Hamas since 2008, but it has remained relatively calm amid a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks that began in October in the West Bank, Jerusalem and across Israel. The rash of violence has raised fears of a third Palestinian intifada. Though Haniyeh, who acts as Gaza’s de facto political leader, in recent weeks has denied Hamas is seeking a fresh round of hostilities with Israel, he has lauded the group’s ramped up efforts in digging underground tunnels designed to be used to attack Israel. Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders have praised the perpetrators of terror attacks in recent months, and have increasingly urged West Bank Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis. Hamas is avowedly committed to destroying Israel.

zations, were arrested in a joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police operation over the past few weeks. On November 6, 2015, Nasser and Akram met on the third floor of a building owned by their father located near Ma’arat Hamachpeila in Hebron. From that angle, Nasser, 23, who Shin Bet claims is a member of Hamas, and Akram, 33, fired into a group of Israelis who were praying near the holy site. Two Israelis were injured, one seriously and the other lightly. “After carrying out the attack, the two then went on to their cousin’s wedding celebration,” the Shin Bet said, citing their confession. On January 3, Nasser returned to the same location with the sniper rifle, which has since been confiscated by the Shin Bet, and shot at a group of soldiers, hitting a female cadet in the pelvis and seriously injuring her. Later that day, the two brothers are believed to have traveled to the nearby Kvasim Junction, where Akram again fired at a group of soldiers, lightly wounding one. The Badawi brothers said the sniper attacks were revenge for the killing of an elderly Hebron resident who was shot as she attempted to carry out a car ramming attack at the nearby Halhul Junction earlier that day. Authorities caught up with Nasser on January 9 and questioned him about his involvement in the attacks. Akram, his brother, carried out another shooting on January 16 in attempt to cover up the suspicion, although no one was injured in the attempt. Just a short while later, Akram was arrested as well. The brothers are also suspected of having carried out a number of shootings against groups of Israeli soldiers in Hebron and against nearby military outposts, in which no one was hurt. During their confession, the brothers told their interrogators they’d learned how to silence the sniper rifle using an old oil filter by watching videos on the Internet.

Happy 25th Birthday Centenarian

Brothers Arrested for Sniper Attacks Hamas Leader: Nothing Will Stop Intifada

Two brothers from Hebron have been arrested by Israeli security forces for carrying out multiple sniper attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers over the last few months. The Shin Bet security service announced on Monday that Nasser Faisal Mahmad Badawi and Akram Faisal Mehmed Badawi, along with a number of other suspected operatives in terror organi-

Happy birthday! She’s finally 25 – or maybe she’s 100? Maniya Bergson was born on February 29, 1916 in Poland. Now, she’s living in Israel and because her birthday only rolls



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around every 1,461 days, she’s lucky to finally be able to celebrate a quarter of a decade. “What blessing would you like on your 100th birthday?” anchor Oded Ben-Ami of Channel 2 News asked in a televised interview. “Health isn’t important to me anymore, yes?” Bergson quipped. “I’m close to the end, yes? The way I am now, I’m satisfied with that.” Bergson has always been a fighter. “After WWI, we belonged to Poland,” she related. She was enrolled in a private school network that taught Hebrew. “The Polish education minister approved it. So I began my studies in a Hebrew kindergarten.” She moved to Israel after WWII, in 1947. Her son, Amichai, was killed in combat during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. And despite her age, she keeps up with the political situation in the State. “When you look today, Maniya, at what is happening to us here, are you satisfied or are you critical?” Ben-Ami asked. “No, I’m disappointed in the government,” she answered, “I’m not happy with the government of Netanyahu. I’m not explicitly leftist, but I’m not satisfied.” There are around 9,700 people over 95 living in the Israel. No telling how many of them are only a quarter of a decade old, though.

Obamacare Riddled with Fraud All government entitlement programs are vulnerable to fraud and cheating, and Obamacare is no different. The subsidized health insurance program which is eligible only for people of certain income and health criteria is ripe for fraudulent claims, and a nonpartisan congressional report just released claims that the White House is not doing enough to stop the cheating by taking a “passive” approach to weeding out fraudsters.

The Obamacare website, HealthCare. gov, “is at risk of granting eligibility to, and making subsidy payments on behalf of, individuals who are ineligible to enroll,” said the report, which was composed by the GAO, or Government Accountability Of-

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

fice. Investigators cite numerous instances where the government has failed to verify basic questions revolving the eligibility of people applying for health insurance. The agency administering the health law – the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services – “has assumed a passive approach to identifying and preventing fraud,” the GAO report said. While the Obama administration has agreed with many of the recommendations given in the report, it still maintains that it has taken a “best practices” approach to dealing with the issues notes. The GAO report “raises many red flags,” said Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. “Perhaps the most unsettling is that while HHS agrees there are many vulnerabilities, the agency has no urgency or plan to fix these critical errors.” Proponents of the White House insist that the problems contained in the report are not due to fraudulent or malicious applications for insurance coverage; they are rather the product of the confusing amount of paperwork required for verification of coverage, leaving the information of many eligible citizens who receive coverage inadequate. Sounds like government at its finest.

as broke in. “This is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?” Eisenstein noted that violating other laws can, in some cases, limit a person’s free-speech rights under the First Amendment. “OK,” Thomas said. “So can you think of a First Amendment suspension or a suspension of a First Amendment right that is permanent?” February 22, 2006 marks the last time Thomas asked a question during court. In the past, Thomas’ habits have come under fire with many accusing him of neglecting his duties as a justice. However he has said he relies on the written briefs in a case and doesn’t feel the need to ask questions of the lawyers appearing in court. Thomas returned to his usual demeanor during the court’s second argument and did not speak. This is the second week the Supreme Court has heard arguments since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia was a close friend and fellow conservative of Thomas. They sat side by side for seven years. Scalia, though, was extremely vocal during court sessions. The seat next to Thomas is still draped in black in observance with Scalia’s February 13th death.

Supreme Court Judge Breaks his Silence

Living SEAL Member Receives Medal of Honor

Justice Clarence Thomas is a very quiet man. In fact, he’s spent the last decade on the bench mostly in silence. But on Monday, he finally broke his 10 years of courtroom silence during a Supreme Court oral argument. The audience reacted with shock as Thomas posed a series of questions in an exchange that continued for several minutes regarding gun rights.

The case was considering the reach of a federal law that bans people convicted of domestic violence from owning guns. The first 50 minutes of the session was business as usual in the court for Voisine v. United States until Thomas showered Justice Department lawyer Ilana Eisenstein with over 10 questions just as she was trying to wind up her argument. “Ms. Eisenstein, one question,” Thom-

Navy Senior Chief Edward C. Byers Jr., 36, will be one of the first living service members to ever receive the Medal of Honor for actions while serving in the highly secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). In a White House ceremony on Monday for his actions on December 8, 2012 he was honored as a hero. But that required a difficult decision for Byers, as he had to face the media, not a usual role for someone in his line of work. “I’ve lived my entire career a very private life,” Byers said on Friday in an interview at the Pentagon. “We don’t talk about what we do, and this honor carries with it some obligations that I need to carry out. You know, you follow those through. But, I plan to continue doing my job as normal and to continue being a SEAL. It’s something I love and grew up wanting to be.”

During a hostage rescue mission Byers bravely stormed into a dark room, not knowing who was inside, after a fellow Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, had just been shot in the head. He killed a Taliban fighter and then another terrorist while saving a hostage, Dilip Joseph’s life. At the same time, Byers pinned another enemy fighter to the wall with a hand to the throat until another SEAL shot the militant. “I was lucky. I made it out with very few scratches, and Nic Checque didn’t,” the SEAL said. “He made the ultimate sacrifice. But there have been a lot of our brothers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and they died like warriors die. I would like to think he would do that all over again. Very few people can say they died doing something they love, and he’ll forever be remembered in the pages of history as being a truly great hero.” Checque posthumously received the Navy Cross, one step down from the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the mission, Navy officials said. Byers, a native of Grand Rapids, Ohio, said his father served in the Navy during World War II and it was a childhood dream of his. “I liked everything about what they represented, or what I thought they represented,” Byers said. “The difficult missions they take on, the secrecy around what they do, the Special Operations aspect, the cool gear, the good equipment.” After high school in 1998 he enlisted, initially becoming a Navy corpsman and serving as a medic. He first served at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, a hospital in Chicago run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and as corpsman with the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He entered the famous Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL school in San Diego, better known as BUD/S, in 2002 a few months after U.S. military operations in Afghanistan began and while the Pentagon was preparing to invade Iraq the following year. He was assigned to his first operational SEAL team in May 2004, and has remained assigned to SEAL teams based in Little Creek, Va., according to biographical information released by the Navy. He has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. “U.S. Navy SEALs have a reputation as the toughest people on the planet, one they have rightly earned from their training and from the skill they’ve demonstrated in mission after mission,” the hostage, Dilip Joseph, wrote in his book about his experience. “But as I observed the faces of the men gathered around me, I saw more than a few eyes, like mine, filling up. A few of the SEALs had tears running down their cheeks.” When Byers, who has a wife and an 11year old daughter back at home, was asked about his work since the momentous night in 2012, he responded, “Whatever the nation has asked.”

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“Condolence Money” Not Enough On October 3, 2015, the U.S. military attacked a charity hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. There were 42 people killed and many wounded and now the U.S. is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to survivors and relatives of the deceased. They are offering $6,000 for those killed and $3,000 to the wounded. But Guilhem Molinie, spokesman in Afghanistan for Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian-aid group, says the U.S.’s “sorry money” is not enough to compensate for the loss of life. He told AP that his group has discussed the compensation with the U.S. military and called the amount of payments “ridiculous,” arguing that many families had lost their sole breadwinner and the funds would not be enough to support them for the long-term.

“These amounts are absolutely not compensation for loss of life,” he insisted. In the past, the U.S. has paid blood money of up to $50,000 per death in some incidents, including the multiple killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier in 2013. The condolence payments in the hospital bombing case, however, are not seen as blood money or damage payments, but rather condolence payments to help cover basic costs such as funerals. U.S. forces in Afghanistan have “expressed their condolences and offered condolence payment to more than 140 families and individuals,” Army Col. Mike Lawhorn, spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, told AP. All 460 staff working at the hospital at the time of the attack are expected to receive some type of compensation. President Obama has apologized for the attack which the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, called a mistake. A joint U.S.-NATO assessment says the AC-130 gunship fired 211 shells at the compound for a half hour before commanders realized the mistake and halted fire. Initially it was reported that the hospital was overrun by Taliban fighters but that report was referring to another building a few hundred yards away from the hospital. An official investigation by the U.S. military produced a 3,000-page report that has yet to be made public. Officials say the

public can expect to see the formal report once it has been redacted; no release date has been provided.

The Ortho-DogTist He’s a dentist for the dogs.

This week, the Harborfront Hospital for Animals in Spring Lake, Michigan, showed off a happy pooch with a silver smile. Wesley is a six-month-old Golden Retriever and he’s joined the metal mouth club with a brand new set of braces. “February is National Pet Dental Health month, so we thought this was a good time to let you know about the importance of your best buddy’s dental health,” the veterinary clinic captioned the picture on Facebook, which has been shared more than 270,000 times.

The puppy belongs to Molly Moore, the daughter of the clinic’s veterinarian, Dr. James Moore, who is called a “doggie dentist” in the Facebook post. Why did Molly add so much tinsel to her canine’s canines? “He wasn’t able to fully close his mouth and chew well and


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he stopped playing with his toys because of the pain and started losing weight because he couldn’t eat,” she related. The braces were put on Wesley on February 19 and should come off this week, according to Moore. “I think the only way he realizes anything is different is because we had to take his toys away so he doesn’t pull the braces off,” Moore said. “He’s still as puppy-ish as ever.” Moore added that her dad sees a lot of “unique cases” in his practice. “He does a lot of oral procedures and different orthodontia for dogs,” she said. Dentistry has gone to the dogs.

The Fake Kid His parents would be proud. Or maybe they’d be really, truly embarrassed. Asher Potts is a dream kid. He is a member of the National Honor Society at Harrisburg High School, is active in school, works with a student advisory group on a food bank and is a member of the school’s ROTC and Naval Sea Cadet programs. And he’s just months from graduation. But Potts won’t be graduating – high school, that is.

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

the stunt for almost four years. He lived with people he befriended. Marcel McCaskill knew Samarin from a seven week math and science program the two were selected to participate in at Penn State. He and Samarin were in a group together and did a presentation on cosmic rays and detecting radiation in the summer of 2013. “It’s totally mind-blowing to me,” said McCaskill, a freshman now in college. “Honestly, he was a very respectable guy. He was the perfect role model, someone you would want your son to look up to.” He admitted some other kids in the program would joke that Samarin was a Russian spy, mostly because of his accent, “but nothing was wrong with him from my perspective.” In fact, in January, Samarin participated as a panelist in a forum addressing violence and youth in the greater Harrisburg area. He also received an award from state Rep. Patty Kim in 2014. Seems like a whiz kid. Although, it certainly helps to excel if you’re not really a kid.

The Bald Bandit

His real name is Artur Samarin and he’s a 23-year-old Ukrainian national using a false identity after his visa expired. Now he’s heading to jail and he won’t be bringing any textbooks with him to the slammer. Samarin enrolled in the school as a freshmen and was able to pull off

He’s bald – and he’s going to do something about it. Police are scratching their heads, searching for a bald man who has been stealing Rogaine. The thief is bold with his burglaries, swiping a whopping $847 worth of hair growth and memory-aid products from various stores. A treatment of Rogaine typically costs around $50. Seems like this guy is serious about growing a new head of hair. “We’re scratching our heads at this, no pun intended, trying to figure out what it is about the Rogaine,” Mount Healthy Det. Chris Jones told WCPO Cincinnati. Perhaps this burglar should invest in hats. Because you know what they say, hair today, gone tomorrow.

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It was a gem of a dish. A few weeks ago, Lindsay Hasz was dining out with her husband in a restaurant near Seattle when she nearly broke a tooth. No, the chicken wasn’t overdone. Lindsay nearly swallowed a rare purple Quahog pearl that she found in her shellfish pasta. “It was pretty dark in the restaurant, so it was hard to tell what it was, but when I looked at it closer, it looked totally round and perfect,” she related. “Too perfect.” Lindsay showed the gem to a gemologist who confirmed that the pearl is worth around $600. Similar pearls are typically native to the New England area, and the chances of finding one are “one in a couple million.”

The pearl isn’t just precious to Lindsay; the restaurant has seen customers flocking in for the dish in the hopes of finding another gem. Take my word for it: the chef has made sure that every dish is now gemstone-free. This is not the first time someone nibbled on pearls while dining on dinner. Last April, a woman found 50 pearls in one fried oyster in a restaurant in Tennessee. Sounds like the pearl-fect dish.

Nothing but Potatoes


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He’s going cold turkey – or should we say hot potato? Andrew Taylor has made a deliberate decision to eat only potatoes for 12 months. The 35-year-old is doing it to break what he calls his “food addiction.” Because man can’t survive without sustenance, Taylor has pledged to make his diet as boring as possible. “The next best thing was to find one thing that sustained me healthily,” he said, adding that besides potatoes, he also considered mangoes, bananas and watermelon. After deciding there were more options with the humble spud, Taylor now eats as many as he wants each day, boiled, mashed

and even made into pancakes, occasionally flavoring them with seasonings such as garlic and salt. “I’m not having any fats, no butter, no meat, no dairy... no oil either,” the stay-athome dad said, adding he was coping well on day 54. Only 311 more days to go. Although he didn’t go on the spud diet to lose weight, Taylor says he’s lost 37 pounds so far. “I’m sleeping better and have better mental clarity and focus,” he said, adding that his joint pain from playing football had also disappeared. “People assume that I am going to be sick and die,” he jokes. “If I feel sick, I’ll just eat something else.” He also said he’s taking vitamins and is under a physician’s care. “Potatoes are a real powerhouse,” he cheers, adding that he was amazed at how his radical eating plan had attracted media interest worldwide. “The biggest surprise of all is that I’m enjoying it.” One potato, two potato, three potato, four... Eating only potatoes? Sounds like Pesach to me.

Goats Get Fired

There were pink slips for dinner that night when 75 billy and nanny goats were fired from their jobs at a popular park in Oregon’s state capital, Salem. The group of goats were brought in to landscape and eat Armenian blackberry and English ivy and other plants that were choking vegetation across the 1,200-acre park. The program started last fall and ended after six weeks and now officials are saying it won’t be renewed. Apparently, the goats were eating all the vegetation, cost more than human landscapers, and smelled far worse. According to officials, the animals ”had a barnyard aroma” and cost $20,719, including $4,203 for drinking water and a workers’ toilet, and $2,560 for monitoring, city staff said in a report to the city council this week. The cost was nearly five times the $4,245 for a normal parks maintenance man backed by a prison inmate work crew to do the job. This is not the first time goats have been used as gasoline-free lawnmowers. They have been munching grass at Alphabet Inc’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, and at the Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Looking for someone to trim your hedges? Perhaps try a goat. Hey, ewe never know!

MARCH 3, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Michael Rubinstein Esq. We Angelenos are known for the amount of time we spend in our cars. Unfortunately, many of us end up in auto accidents during our hours on the road. You can avoid two common accident types by taking a few safety measures when behind the wheel. Sideswipe Accidents In the past couple of weeks, my office has received a substantial number of phone calls from drivers involved in sideswipe, or “T-bone” accidents. A T-bone accident is when one car traveling straight collides with another car traveling from left to right, or right to left. The collision usually results in a twisted heap of metal that resembles the shape of a “T.” Many Los Angeles neighborhoods are seeing more and more of these types of devastating accidents. My theory is that they proliferate because many of our quaint, residential Los Angeles streets border busy east-west thoroughfares. These include Third Street, Sixth Street, and Beverly Boulevard in Hancock Park, as well as Olympic, Wilshire, and Pico on the West Side. Often, drivers exiting residential streets try cutting across these large roadway arteries to continue along the quieter residential streets. Many of these residential streets do not have stoplights controlling the intersections, but instead are controlled by stop signs. The absence of a stoplight forces drivers to aggressively assert themselves by cutting across these busy arteries, one lane at a time. For example, a driver heading north or south on Detroit Street will attempt to cut across Beverly Boulevard. What often happens is that some drivers on Beverly will yield to this driver, who may see one lane of traffic on Beverly yielding, assuming the adjacent lanes will, too. But it doesn’t always happen. Too many times, this driver will either T-bone a passing car on Beverly, or will get T-boned instead. In this example, the driver on Detroit Street who had the stop sign would be at fault for the resulting T-bone collision. A driver entering an intersection faced with a stop sign must always yield to cars that are already traveling on the roadway. The drivers on Beverly do not have a stop sign, while the driver on Detroit Street does. Hancock Park drivers should think twice before trying to cut across Beverly

Boulevard or Third Street at intersections that do not have stoplights. You may be in a rush to drop off or retrieve your child from yeshiva, but make sure you can get there safely. Cutting Across the Yellow Lines to Turn Left How often have you seen a driver cut to the left of the double yellow lanes to get around traffic? Usually the offending driver will do this dangerous maneuver to cut around traffic in order to reach the left-turning lane. Most of the time, this maneuver will require this driver to drive, briefly, on the wrong side of the road. The Vehicle Code prohibits driving to the left of the double yellow lines, except in limited circumstances. These include making a left turn into a driveway; making a U-turn where it’s permitted; moving out of

the way of an emergency vehicle; or to pass a slower moving vehicle when the inside yellow line is broken (and not solid). We’ve all cut across those yellow lines to get around stopped traffic, or have at least been tempted to do so. It can be agonizing knowing that you’re so close to the intersection and ready to turn left, but there are five cars stopped ahead of you blocking your path. Cutting across the double yellow lines is illegal and incredibly dangerous. What happens if you don’t see an oncoming car, and you begin to cut across the lines? You could be involved in a head-on collision. Stay safe and don’t chance it! Michael Rubinstein is a personal injury and accident attorney who can be reached at 213-293-6075. Website:

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