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The Week In News

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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

THE ARIZAL WRITES: "DEVER"- PLAGUE comes because of our "DIBUR"- SPEECH. Talking during Davening creates destructive Malachim that kill with plagues. LET'S STOP THE TALKING IN SHUL NOW!! ‫מכל דיבור נברא משחית‬ ‫ ודרש בכבתי‬,‫ובזה תבין על מה עשה ד' ככה ששלח בר מינן דבר בעולם‬ ‫האר"י ז"ל אל תקרי דבר אלא דיבור לפי שהיה מדבר בבית הכנסת נבראו‬ .'‫מלאכי חבלה וממיתין את האדם בשעת הדבר בר מינן וכו‬ CITICOM! 718.692.0999

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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

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

JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

FEATURE AIPAC 2018. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

LIFESTYLES Emotional Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, Maybe it’s only me, but following every Purim, I’m left wondering who the real “me” is. Is the real me the naturally joyous and positive person who greets neighbor and stranger alike with warmth and automatic connection? Or is it the pre- and post-Purim me, worn down by fulfilling life’s continuous demands, who longs for the missing spark we once had, even if only a for a fleeting day. Which one is the mask, and which one is me? The practical answer is it depends on us; the more we live with the commitment and spirit the Yidden had at the time of the Purim story, the more quotidian pressures become external and the joy of life itself becomes internal.

The more we connect daily to matters of the spirit, the more we’ll be able to respect, love, and appreciate others. The same feeling of brotherhood we had on the 14th of Adar with our year-round “nudnik neighbor” is suddenly reachable on a Monday morning. Our relationship with the Creator also evolves beyond a relationship of habit or even of force – “Since He exists, I must do what He says.” Rather, it becomes a personal and real connection. Hashem suddenly feels close. Mitzvot become a top priority and even enjoyable. Torah becomes a sweet delight. If we can choose to have Purim the entire year, shouldn’t we grab the chance? Wishing you a joyous Shabbos,

Shalom

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


The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Two New Torahs, 1000 Strong: Celebrate Legacy of Rabbi Gordon The greater Los Angeles Jewish community came out in strength to joyfully and fittingly celebrate the legacy of the esteemed and world-renowned Shliach and teacher, Rabbi Yehoshua Binyomin Gordon, obm, with the dedication of two newly-scribed Torah scrolls in his honor. Culminating what was launched a year earlier as the “Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon International Torah Campaign,” the event, held on Sunday, February 18th, in commemoration of Rabbi Gordon’s second yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing), consisted of four stirring segments: the siyum (Torah completion) ceremonies at the Gordon residence; the bold street-march along Ventura Boulevard; the Torah-induction and hakafot (dancing) festivities in the Chabad Synagogue of Encino; and a luncheon/concert in a sprawling tent on Chabad of Encino’s back lawn. In his 43 years of impactful leadership of Chabad of the Valley, Rabbi Joshua Gordon oversaw the establishment of 26 Chabad centers (since expanded to 27) throughout the greater San Fernando Valley region. He was also a mentor to many Chabad shluchim throughout the world and was reputed across the globe as a dynamic teacher of Torah through his “Rabbi Gordon Live” broadcasts on Chabad.org. “Taking his cue from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who launched global efforts for every Jew to have a letter written in their honor in a Sefer Torah, my father had a special place in his heart for the writing of new Torahs as a way of strengthening the outreach endeavors of Chabad of the Valley,” said Eli Gordon, Rabbi Gordon’s youngest son. “We thus thought it fitting to launch the writing of not one, but two, Torahs in his honor.” Opportunities to dedicate sections, passages, words, and letters in the “Living Legacy Torah,” dedicated by Gary and Rochelle Finder, and the “Wellsprings of Knowledge Torah,” dedicated by Daniel and Vardit Aharonoff, were extended to friends, admirers, and students of Rabbi Gordon in the Valley and beyond. The response was indeed overwhelming and widespread. That outpouring of love, enthusiasm, and admiration was certainly in evidence throughout the festivities welcoming the new Torahs and heralding the fact that

“The Legacy Lives On” – words which served as the title of a printed biography of Rabbi Gordon distributed at the event. The inscription of the final letters in both Torahs by the Finder and Aharonoff Families, respectively, through the hand of Crown Heights sofer and cousin of Rabbi Gordon, Rabbi Moshe Klein, in the presence of Rebbetzin Deborah Gordon in the home she shared with her illustrious husband, made for some of the day’s most poignant and moving moments. A recognized authority and aficionado in color and design, Mrs. Gordon was instrumental to the design of both colorful Torah mantels. Beyond the hundreds of onlookers who made it into the home, hundreds more were waiting outside to greet the two majestic Torahs in their first public appearance. Making their way under a large burgundy velvet canopy on wheels adorned by a decorative crown, the Torahs were held alternately by various leaders and members of the community, as the police-escorted procession followed and danced along to the up-tempo music blaring from an accompanying vehicle-mounted loudspeaker. Upon departing the Gordon home, the processional turned onto Ventura Boulevard, one of the most prominent thoroughfares in Southern California, famous as the longest avenue of contiguous businesses in the world. With traffic on the Boulevard held up in both directions, drivers got out of their cars to respectfully witness the spectacle as the Torah parade proceeded across the long stretch toward Hayvenhurst Avenue, location of Chabad of Encino, where Rabbi Gordon served as spiritual leader since being dispatched to the area by the Rebbe in 1973. “This is the sort of kiddush Hashem Rabbi Gordon would dream about when he first started out in a tiny storefront behind a pizza parlor on this very boulevard,” said Rabbi Mordechai Einbinder, Associate Director of Chabad of the Valley, pointing to a nondescript location just west of the processional. “Two Torahs in his honor being marched across Ventura with thousands of celebrants and onlookers sharing in the simchah – one could not script a more fitting tribute to his life and legacy than this! What a powerful scene! What a day!” The festivities would pick up further

Photos: Stanley Photography

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momentum still with hundreds more from throughout greater Los Angeles arriving at Chabad of Encino as the Torahs made their way into the elegant sanctuary greeted by the rhythmic sounds of the Shira Orchestra and vocal stylings of popular Chassidic singer, Benny Friedman. A nephew of Rabbi Gordon, for years, Friedman led the prayers at his uncle’s high holiday services in the same sanctuary. After an exultant opening dance and the traditional recital of the “Ata Haoraiso,” verses recited to fete the gifts of the Torah, the crowd joined in the seven ceremonial Hakafot dances with the community’s Torahs – old and new. All were then invited to Chabad of Encino’s back-lawn garden where a massive tent had been erected to accommodate scores of elegantly-set tables, several brunch buffet stations and three strategically-placed presentation stages: one for a full orchestra, another for performer Benny Friedman, and another for the speaker’s podium. Greetings by Jonathan Herzog, son-in-

law of Rabbi Gordon and co-coordinator of the event, were followed by messages by Rabbi Einbinder and Torah dedicators, Gary Finder and Daniel Aharonoff. These presentations were interspersed by soulful ballads and lively songs by Benny Friedman, including the singer’s recent hit “Reb Yehoshua Omer,” composed in tribute to Rabbi Gordon, featuring the lyrics that served as his life’s motto; a message conveyed to him and his wife by the Lubavitcher Rebbe when they first set out his Shluchim: “The main thing is to resolve to work with meretz (alacrity) and bitachon chazak (strong faith and trust [in G-d]).” That they certainly did, and 45 years later, on a Sunday morning in Encino, California, the community came out en masse to recognize the incredible fruit of that resolve, and to celebrate it accordingly. In the words of philanthropist Gary Finder, “Even as we miss Rabbi Gordon physically, spiritually, he is very much with us here today.”


The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

ALIYAH

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TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Hillel, Hamlet, and the Human Condition—a Talk by Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman at Beth Jacob Yehudis Litvak

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University (YU), spent a weekend in Los Angeles. He met with YU parents and supporters at a dessert reception at Beth Jacob Congregation, spoke at Beth Jacob on the subject of “Hillel, Hamlet, and the Human Condition,” and was a scholar-in-residence at YULA’s communi-

ty-wide shabbaton. In his talk at Beth Jacob, Rabbi Dr. Berman raised the big questions: “Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is our place in society?” He called three volunteers to reenact a scene from Hamlet, “the greatest play ever written,” where Hamlet looks at the skull of the king’s jester,

Yorick, and contemplates the futility of the human condition. The play’s protagonist, Hamlet, lived in a society which expected him to avenge his father’s murder by killing his uncle. Quoting Friedrich Nietzsche, Rabbi Dr. Berman explained that Hamlet hesitated to fulfill this mission because he recognized the futility of life and did not

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see the point in killing his uncle. The skull in Hamlet is a symbol of meaninglessness. Rabbi Dr. Berman contrasted this attitude toward life with the Jewish perspective, expressed by Hillel, who found a skull floating in the water. Hillel’s response was, “Because you drowned others, they drowned you. And in the end, they that drowned you will be drowned.” Unlike Hamlet, Hillel declared that life is meaningful. Rabbi Dr. Berman shared two interpretations of Hillel’s words. The first one is that Hillel made a theological comment – he stated that G-d is just. Rabbi Dr. Berman cautioned against using the concept of divine justice to blame people for their suffering. Often, things happen in the world that appear unjust to us, and we don’t understand why. But what’s crucial, he explained, is to have the sense of tzidduk hadin, to know that “somehow, some way, there is justice. There is G-d in the world, in good times and bad times.” The knowledge that G-d is with us is comforting in times of tragedy. Another interpretation, given recently by Emmanuel Levinas, a French Jewish philosopher, is that Hillel was not speaking about divine justice at all, but simply commenting on human condition. “History, left to itself, echoes crime,” explained Rabbi Dr. Berman. “The cycle of violence continues.” He asked what we can do to break the cycle. Citing the Rambam, Rabbi Dr. Berman said that the appropriate response to death is teshuvah. “We respond to evil by adding more goodness to the world,” he explained. “When there is darkness we add light… That is why we are here.” The story of Purim follows this pattern of response. “Purim is a time when Jews were going to be destroyed,” said Rabbi Dr. Berman. “How do we celebrate Purim? We give gifts to people, we give charity to the poor.” In response to tragedy, we ask ourselves what we can do to make life better for someone else. Today, our contribution of kindness to a world wrought with discord is more important than ever. “We as a community need to model the goodness we can add to the mix,” said Rabbi Dr. Berman. He concluded with examples of acts of kindness which he’d witnessed at YU and with his own children.


The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

OK Kosher West Coast Kashrus Seminar The OK Kosher, under the direction of Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, recently concluded a three-day kashrus training seminar for mashgichim in Los Angeles. The seminar was for the mashgichim working in the food service department (restaurants, catering, bakeries, markets, etc.) and served to provide them with in-depth training in all matters of halachah and policy relevant to their hashgachah work. It was held in the Glazer Lounge at the Sharei Tefila Shul. The seminar was organized by the OK Kosher West Coast office under the direction of Rabbis Sholom Kesselman and Shlomo Klein and in conjunction with the OK Kosher National Food Service Department under the direction of Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld. Over 120 mashgichim, serving the 70 food service establishments certified by OK Kosher in Los Angeles, were in attendance. They were treated to shiurim in relevant laws of kashrus: hashgachah, kashering, bedikas tola’im, Shabbos (for catered events held on Shabbos) and were trained in the day-to-day duties and responsibilities that hashgachah work entails. Emphasis was also placed on the need for mashgichim to be professional, presentable, and to always conduct them-

selves in a manner befitting people who represent Torah and halachah. The shiurim and presentations were given by Rabbis Weinfeld, Kesselman, and Klein. The mashgichim also had the privilege to hear words of chizzuk and brachah from leading rabbonim of the Los Angeles community. Rabbis Tauber, Raichik, Henig, Teichman, Langer, and Kesselman (Moshe) spoke to the mashgichim about the importance of their work and gave them chizzuk to continue with renewed chayus and energy. Mashgichim went away with a renewed sense of purpose and with additional knowledge and tools to help them continue their important work of providing kosher food. The OK would like to extend a special thank you to Noach Trainer of the OK Kosher West Coast office for all his help in arranging the seminar.

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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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Living with the Times The Week In News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Time to Build

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

Vayakhel and Pekudei conclude the five parshiyos that discuss the construction of the Mishkon. The Mishkon was constructed over a six-month period, beginning after Yom Kippur and concluding on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. The project required hundreds of workers and large amounts of material. To facilitate the construction, there was a large fundraising campaign, in which everyone participated. When the Mishkon was completed, a seven-day festivity ensued. Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky points out that for all that effort, the Mishkon was originally intended to stand for a short period of time. The Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim on Pesach and were to travel through the Sinai desert and then enter Eretz Yisroel, a short trek. It was the chet hameraglim that caused the Jews to wander in the desert for an extra thirty-nine years. Why, then, was so much effort and expense invested in constructing such a temporary edifice? After experiencing the joy of Purim and being reminded of our obligation to eradicate Amaleik, we can understand the necessity of the expenditure of time and effort for a building that would last but a few months. Throughout the generations, Amaleik has mocked us, as he seeks to throw doubt about Hashem’s Presence in our lives. Purim celebrates our victory over Haman, the embodiment of Amaleik in his time, and demonstrates for us that we can overcome evil if we unite and raise our level of commitment to Torah and mitzvos. On Purim, we are b’simcha and seek to be mesameiach others. We meet new people, make new friends, and reconnect with old ones. We are introduced to worthy causes and recruit others to causes we believe in. We gain an appreciation for what can be accomplished in one day. And then, even after the sun goes down, music plays and people continue to celebrate the miracles and messages of Purim. We learned last week in Parshas Ki

Sisa how the Jews sinned with the Eigel Hazohov. Misled by the Soton, they feared that Moshe Rabbeinu would not return and fashioned a golden image to replace him. The people desired leadership and a Divine relationship, but they were misguided. Following their teshuvah, they were granted their wish, along with the directions of how to construct a place among them where Hashem could be found. Although the Mishkon would be temporary, its effect would be eternal. While it was meant to last for several months, it represented the ideal that every day could

take advantage of the opportunity to become closer to Hashem and in that zechus enter Eretz Yisroel and build the permanent Bais Hamikdosh. Alas, that was not meant to be. They sinned again, this time with the meraglim, and didn’t merit entering Eretz Yisroel. Later on, the Botei Mikdosh were felled by internecine hatred and battles. A parable is told about a king who announced his intention to visit a certain town. The locals were excited to actually see their revered and beloved monarch, and they spent weeks cleaning the town

Let us remember that elections, political intrigue and world events are veils masking the work of Hashgochah. be spent in the presence of Hashem. No day, or even part of it, should be taken for granted or wasted. Every minute is precious and can generate greatness. Klal Yisroel, newly-cleansed from the chet ha’Eigel and desirous of a proper relationship with Hashem, appreciated the opportunity to construct a dirah batachtonim. They understood that building the Mishkon, and contributing to its construction, was teshuvah for their sin and immediately responded to the appeals. They engaged in a labor of love, determined to begin again. It did not matter that the Mishkon was to be temporary, for they would

and decorating the streets. A special tax was levied on the townspeople and a beautiful gift was purchased for the king. The great day arrived. Men, women and children lined the streets, waiting for the king’s entourage to appear. After a while, it was visible on the horizon. Everyone craned their necks and saw the magnificent horse-drawn carriage as it made its way toward them. Finally, the king himself, a tall, handsome man with royal bearing, appeared. He stepped out of the carriage and waved to the people. A special delegation, led by the mayor and local dignitaries, came forth

and presented him with the gift. The king smiled and held up his hand. “I appreciate the gift,” he said, “and in return I am giving this town a year with no taxes. In addition, I will send money to build new roads and a few parks.” The grateful crowd, overcome with emotion and gratitude, burst into applause. The king beamed at his people and continued on to the next town, leaving behind assurances of relief and assistance. The next week, a golden carriage pulled up in the town square. Out stepped an impressive looking man, surrounded by guards. There was no delegation to greet him and no crowds lining the streets. The irate man claimed to be the king. He was aghast that there was no welcoming ceremony for him. The mayor was summoned and hurried to the square to explain to the guest that the king had come the week before. The new visitor explained that he was the king and that the person who had visited must have been an imposter who had taken advantage of the impending royal visit. The mayor apologized profusely, describing to the king the expensive gift, the parades, and the cheering of the week before. The king was incensed over the mistake and prepared to leave in anger. A local wise man approached and begged for permission to speak. “Honored king,” he said, “last week, an impostor came to town. We gave him an expensive gift and we all came forth to show respect, but we thought it was you. That gift, that parade, that reception, they were all for you, even though you didn’t see them, and they all reflected our feelings for you. Please accept that what we did was our expression of how we feel toward you.” The king was calmed, as he recognized the truth of the wise man’s words. Our forefathers attributed Divine abilities to the golden calf they had fashioned from their own jewelry. Alas, they erred and served an imposter. The binyan haMishkon presented them with an opportunity to welcome the real King. Newly pardoned, they were given a second chance. The King was coming and they were charged with making the preparations for His arrival. This time, there would be no mistakes. They labored in joy, thrilled at the opportunity to welcome their beloved and revered King. They understood that even a short period of hashro’as haShechinah was worth everything. On Purim, we sensed and felt the


Living withIn theNews Times The Week

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

points of light and holiness that define us. We wished that we could keep those embers aflame longer and merit more of the joy and fulfillment we felt on that one day. On Purim, we dress differently, as virtual masks cover our faces. When Purim is over and we go back to our regular dress, we find ourselves freshly invigorated with a renewed sense of the abilities we each carry within us. On Purim, people shlepped with their children from rebbi to rebbi and teacher to teacher, with one eye on the road and the other on their watch. There was so much to accomplish in just a few hours. Yet, special simcha permeated the day. We should seek to maintain the sense of the opportunities we associate with Purim, the chance to do good, to increase and spread happiness and kedushah. We need to recognize that not only Purim, but every day, is a gift from Hashem and worthy of expending the effort to construct a Mishkon, a place for Hashem, in our hearts (bil’vovi mishkan evmeh . Every day presents new opportunities to grow, learn and achieve greatness. On Purim, we energetically performed the mitzvos hayom, giving as much as we thought we could, and then, when we thought we were done, we gave a little more. We must learn to stretch our spiritual reserves every day. When we have pushed ourselves to our maximum ability, we will merit the eternal blessings promised to the eternal people. The amount we accomplish from the time we think we have no strength left until we are really depleted is the difference between greatness and also-rans. The Chazon Ish would learn daily until he only had enough strength remaining to place a pillow under his head. Stories are told and retold of gedolim who would sit at their Gemaros with their feet in buckets of cold water to keep them awake. Last week, we learned that Rav Shmuel Auerbach would learn nightly in the bais medrash until he fell asleep over his seforim. Greatness means never saying, “What good is it? It’s only for a few minutes, a few days, or a few months.” Greatness means utilizing every opportunity and moment to gain knowledge and grow. Purim is a day when we put everything else aside and spend our time in revelry and high spirits. To do this, we mask a part of our lives, the things that are disappointing or painful. We subjugate the somber tendencies to the mitzvos of simcha and mishteh. For people who can accomplish this feat, simcha shines from them with a new radiance. Perhaps, the influence of yayin helps some gain a new perspective on life. They

realize that, for at least one day, they can set aside the pressures that sap their attention and energy. And so they smile. When Purim has ended, we find that we have a new look and a new face. We have a new perspective. You had a great Purim when you are able to maintain that fresh perspective after the yayin has worn off and after the last mishloach manos has been eaten. Keep your priorities straight. Look for the good. Concentrate on the positive. Sometimes, we need to be reminded to have faith in our convictions. We must have the moral courage to stand up for what we believe. A winner does not bend his beliefs to conform to popular ideas, even if not bending makes him appear to be a loser. The real loser is the one who has no courage, twists with the wind, and has no core beliefs that he is ready to fight and sacrifice for. Rather than fall prey to apathy, fatalism or self-serving causes, let us remain idealistic, dedicated to the ideals and values of the Torah. Let us remember that elections, political intrigue and world events are veils masking the work of Hashgochah. The posuk states, “Vayavou kol ish asher nesao libo” (35:21). Every man “whose heart lifted him” came to work on the construction of the Mishkon. The Ramban writes that none of the people who worked on building the Mishkon had learned that trade, nor did they have any previous experience. Those who built the Mishkon were the people who responded to the call of Hashem. Nosom libom, their hearts lifted them up. They were consumed with the desire to fulfill the wish of Hashem. They didn’t say that they weren’t trained for anything that the Mishkon required. They didn’t say that the work was too difficult. They didn’t say, “Leave it for someone better to do.” The Mishkon was built by men of greatness who ignored their shortcomings and pushed themselves to do what they didn’t know they could, to serve Hashem. They achieved greatness. They brought the Shechinah here. They received the brochah of “Viyhi noam” and the Mishkon lasted much longer than anyone thought it would. In fact, the Mishkon was never destroyed. It lies in hiding, waiting for the day when we can all join together and summon the inner strength we possess to put aside all differences and work together to reestablish a dirah laHashem batachtonim with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu. Purim is a day of chizuk that resonates in our age. As the story of Megillas Esther progressed, there was no obvious Yad Hashem involved. The people of Shushan read the newspaper and scrolled the news -

pun intended - and noted the comings and goings of the various ministers and King Achashveirosh. There was lots of palace intrigue as well, but no one attached any of it to the decree against the Jews. It was only in hindsight that the people were able to trace everything that transpired and recognize that Hashem had been pulling the strings all along. In our day, we see things happening that make no sense to us. This president was given no chance at winning the election and he swept the Electoral College into power. The Israeli prime minister is one of the most respected world leaders. He leads and lectures on vital matters that affect the entire world, yet he is going through the grinder at home. Though he has no obvious replacement, many wonder how much longer he will be able to remain in office. Why go through a mess like this now? Nobody knows. We see the evil emanating from Iran and North Korea as the world remains si-

lent. We see people starving in Venezuela, turmoil in Germany, and Muslim extremists sweeping across Europe. Nobody does anything about any of this, and nobody seems to even care. Why? Nobody knows. In our communities and lives, there are ups and downs, occurrences we understand and appreciate and many others that seem to defy logic. Purim recharges us and reminds us that we are children of Hashem who know that every move here is carried out by Him up there. There is no depression and despondency when we recognize and testify that the Borei is manhig. Thus, we bring joy to ourselves and salvation to the world. For just as the Mishkon was a reward for the Jews repenting for thinking the Eigel would lead them (Rashi 38:21), the realization of the truth in our day and placing our complete faith in Hashem will enable the Bais Hamikdosh to be built and bring about our redemption. What is stopping us? Chazak chazak venischazeik.

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Torah 2017 inMusings Review The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dealing with Difficult People, Part 3: Becoming BIG Sarah Pachter

As a single girl, I went to a class about marital harmony given by Rebbetzin Rachel Miller in Jerusalem. Single women are not typically invited to this class, but a friend and I asked if she would consider making an exception. To our delight, she agreed. I’ll never forget what Rebbetzin Miller said during that class. Though it didn’t resonate with me at the time, I kept it in my back pocket and found that later in life, it had a major impact on my relationships. She said, “Ladies, if you want to have shalom bayit, you have to remember these words, and these words alone: Learn how to bear the discomfort of the moment.” While the words were directed towards marital relationships, they can be applied more broadly. Difficult people are difficult. They enrage, sadden, and shock us with their words and behavior. They make jabs and snarky comments that hurt us inside. But isn’t it possible to get through the moment and view it as precisely that – one small moment? A moment which will pass? When we start to view it this way, each uncomfortable experience becomes more manageable. The hurt can sometimes feel like a huge wave of emotion, but it will eventually pass. This awareness provides us with the gift of serenity. If we don’t bear the discomfort of the moment, it is our loss. Typically, when someone says something rude, the person moves on without a care or concern (sometimes even memory) about what occurred. Meanwhile, we’re left wallowing in our anger – but only if we allow ourselves to. It is entirely possible to stay calm and allow for those hurtful moments to pass by, but what are our limits and boundaries? What if person X repeatedly hurts us, and a pattern of negative behavior has been established? The following famous quote sums it up succinctly: “First time, shame on you. Second time, shame on me.” We can and must try to create boundaries in order to protect ourselves from hurtful words and actions. This is imperative to maintaining inner balance. However, sometimes interaction with a difficult person is unavoidable. Maybe it’s our boss, a coworker, or a close relative. Family gatherings, vacations, and/or working with difficult people can certainly take its toll. Being in the difficult person’s

orbit is at times unavoidable. If this is the case, I offer the following story: I once saw a student of mine who was previously overweight and had lost a significant amount. She was feeling energized and looking fantastic. I said, “Wow, you look amazing! What have you been doing?” She answered, “Yeah, I’ve been working out with this trainer. She’s really mean, but she’s the best in the city.” “Tell me more!” “Well,” she replied, “I was in the middle of a side plank, clearly struggling like crazy, and rather than the trainer telling me that I could stop if I needed to, she got in my face and yelled, ‘Nothing’s gonna change if you don’t get uncomfortable!’ So that’s it, I just kept getting uncomfortable, again and again...” People spend an exorbitant amount of money on trainers, gym memberships, and workout equipment, in order to be healthy and in the best shape possible. We actually pay to experience such discomfort, because being uncomfortable changes you. This can also be applied in the spiritual realm. We must strive to bear the discomfort of the moment. It’s not comfortable when someone says something obnoxious. Yet, if we can view the offender as our personal trainer, helping us to move through our emotional and mental discomfort, the experience has the power to transform us. This person is now giving us the gift of change and personal growth That moment is precisely the segment of time that’s going to help make us grow. This leads me to the most important step in dealing with difficult people: We have to become big, as in being the “bigger person.” We forgive, or move on, not because what they did was so small; rather, because we are so big. When I was just five years old, I remember visiting my Aunt Laura’s house in North Carolina. She had a large home on approximately 200 acres of land. As a child, I would walk into the house, enchanted by how enormous it felt. Years later, as a teenager, I went back. When I walked inside, I looked up at the ceiling and realized that all along it was a typi-

cal two-story house. I realized then that I became big. It was only my perception as a small child that led me to believe it was bigger than it really was. Each time we experience discomfort by someone else’s cruel words or behavior, we are given the opportunity to practice building our boundaries and setting our limits. Eventually, we become big enough that what bothered us originally no longer even feels uncomfortable. We got this! But it is important to remember that nothing happens overnight. Even Hashem didn’t create the world overnight. Wouldn’t it have been much more impressive if He created the world in one hour, one minute, or one second? BOOM, ZAP! Here is the world! That would have been truly impressive. If G-d can do anything, why did He create the world in several days? He wanted to teach us the awesome lessons of process and of patience. G-d values the road to greatness, not just the outcome. In our society, it’s hard to feel that a process matters, because we live in a result-oriented world. One can be the second-fastest runner in the world, losing by a millisecond. Yet, no one cares, and you don’t get the Olympic gold medal (or the endorsements for Kellogg’s or Nike). It’s irrelevant to the world that you just spent the last four years practicing and training for that moment. Society values results. Yet G-d values the process. In my previous article, I mentioned that the key to getting along with others is finding common ground. One thing most people have in common is our struggle. I was giving a lecture once and said, “If only we knew the battle that the person sitting to our left is fighting each day, we would be absolutely humbled.” Every one of us has struggled with something, and that is what connects us all, and what makes us who we are.  

The big decisions in life are actually made up of all the previous small decisions, those moments, that we barely gave credence to. During World War II, Jewish people would knock on the door of a gentile stranger, begging to be hidden to save their lives. They were shivering in the cold, standing outside the door waiting for a response that would determine their fate. That gentile had moments to decide if he or she would let a stranger in. That decision wasn’t actually made in that moment, however. It was made years prior. What do I mean? Think about it. That huge decision was made by all of the tiny, positive decisions that person had made throughout his or her life; every time that gentile helped an elderly person cross a road, bore the discomfort of standing so a pregnant woman could sit, or smiled at a stranger. Small moments such as those flexed and built their spiritual muscles so that by the time the Jewish child came knocking on the door, it was hardly a decision at all. They had strengthened and enlarged their kindness trait so much that, of course, they would take a child in! They became the type of person who was big enough to open his or her home wholeheartedly – even in the face of fear. When journalists interviewed these gentiles after the war, the big question was, “How did you summon that enormous strength to allow a stranger into your home, given the risk?” These righteous gentiles looked baffled by the question and answered, “What do you mean? How could we not? Isn’t that obvious?” The decision to perform that huge act of kindness wasn’t made in just a moment. The big decision was prefaced by the small decisions before it. The small decisions are how we become big in life. Big enough to bear the discomfort of the moment. Big enough to deal with difficult people. Big enough to become uncomfortable and grow from it. Big enough to stand up to the oppressor and to stand up for the voiceless. My blessing to us all is that we learn to bear the small so that we can become big.


MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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Torah The Week In News

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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf

What is the status when prohibited material is merely a contributing factor? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of RealClearDaf.com

We learned about this in a lengthy discussion that began on 48b. In the mishnah there, R’ Yose and the rabbanan debate whether one may plant vegetables underneath an idolatrous asheira tree (during the winter when there would be no objection of deriving benefit from the asheira’s shade). The rabbanan permit it but R’ Yose does not, arguing that the vegetables will inevitably derive illegal benefit from the falling asheira leaves which will provide a kind of fertilizer. Apparently, the gemara observes, the rabbanan are of the opinion that we can disregard the benefit from the asheira’s fallen leaves since this benefit is of course only one factor that enables the vegetables to grow. When both this, a prohibited source, and this, a permitted source, are contributing factors, we needn’t be concerned. Before diving into the ensuing discus-

sion there, I’d like to make the observation that this argument of “this and this” needs some fleshing out; so, what that other permitted factors helped to produce what is before us – isn’t it clear that benefit is

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being derived from the prohibited source? What is the basis to be lenient? To use an extreme example (which will help us toward the answer), would anybody argue that if someone had a meal of pork and beans that he shouldn’t be liable since the beans also helped him get full?! But, of course, our case is quite different from the above example and that is the point I’d like to bring out: eating non-kosher is a clear and direct benefit from something prohibited whereas using prohibited fertilizer to grow vegetables is not an overt or direct benefit. Rather, when we try and point out the sin that was violated, we would need to provide more background. You see, these vegetables received nutrients from something that was prohibited, so we must clarify. The act of eating pork, by contrast, does not exactly require much in the way of commentary. Thus, the argument of “this and this” is: when you’re dealing with a potential illegal benefit that is not clear and present, and the illegal benefit is merely a contributing factor to the finished product before us, the halachah is not concerned. (The consideration of the presence of the prohibited element is an important aspect also when we discuss cases where non-kosher got mixed in with kosher food: the argument for saying that the prohibited element is “nullified” is reinforced if we can argue that the prohibited part does not have a significant presence.) The gemara proceeds to quote the mishnah back on 43b that appears to totally contradict the way the opinions of R’ Yose and the rabbanan are being presented in our mishnah. On 43b R’ Yose and the rabbanan argue about the proper procedure for disposing of metal idols. R’ Yose there allows the method of grinding up the idol and casting it to the wind but the rabbanan disqualify this method due to the concern

that the ground up metal can be utilized as fertilizer! But wait, the rabbanan in our mishnah were unconcerned about using idolatrous material as fertilizer! R’ Yose, too, appears to contradict himself. Why is he not concerned for this fertilizer problem there as he is in our mishnah? The gemara then says that we could answer for R’ Yose as follows: R’ Yose is indeed stringent even where the prohibited material is only a contributing factor, but in the case of 43b, there is no prohibited material whatsoever, for as soon as the person grinds up the idol, poof, it is nullified and is no longer prohibited. So, go right ahead and use that stuff for fertilizer – it’s not prohibited. The gemara also reconciles the rabbanan’s view by proposing that in fact even the rabbanan agree that utilizing prohibited material is not allowed – even if other permitted materials are part of the process. Hence, they reject the option of grinding up the idol since it might be used later for fertilizer (and they hold that even a broken idol is still prohibited). To explain why the rabbanan are nonetheless okay with planting vegetables underneath an asheira tree, the gemara invokes a statement of Rav Mari in Temurah: “What improves the hide spoils the meat,” Rav Mari said. Rav Mari there is dealing with the unrelated subject of the most economical way of skinning an animal that has sanctity. He rejects the other proposed method there (which retains more value in the hide) on the grounds that the adverse effect on the meat offsets the benefit to the hide. In other words, there’s no net gain by using that other method. Paraphrasing Rav Mari’s words, the gemara explains that the rabbanan reason here that we needn’t be concerned about the benefit that the asheira’s fallen leaves provide for the vegetables, since that benefit is offset by the adverse effect of the asheira blocking needed sunlight from the vegetables. Going back to our extreme example above we can question this argument as well: if the pork and beans meal had a harmful effect on the person equal to the benefit he received, could this somehow redeem his sin? Of course not! But, using the explanation we offered above, it could be suggested that we can invoke the “net gain” argument specifically in the kind of case we’re discussing where it’s not so obvious to begin with that the prohibited element should be a problem.


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Feature The Week In News

OCTOBER 2015 | The Home Jewish Home MARCH 8, 201829, | The Jewish

3 Days, 18,000 Supporters, 1 Powerful Bond By Noa Galon

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ith a palpable sense of excitement over the rekindled relationship between Israel and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now that a friend of Israel presides in the Oval Office, the 2018 AIPAC convention took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on Sunday through Tuesday of this week. As usual, the annual convention featured a full roster of speakers from both parties. This year, though, there was added hope in the air due to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the recent announcement that the U.S. Embassy will open in Jerusalem when Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary as a nation in May.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has strong pro-life convictions, began his keynote address on Monday night with a humorous slip of the tongue, “President Trump is the most pro-life … pro-Israel president,” he declared, to laughs from the crowd. In what was likely a dig at J Street – a supposed pro-Israel lobbying group which actually advocates many anti-Israel policies – Pence noted that AIPAC is the most “influential” Israel lobby in Washington. “Thanks to the president’s leadership, the alliance between America and Israel has never been stronger. The friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. And I stand before you today on his behalf to con-

vey a simple message: America stands with Israel, today, tomorrow, and always,” declared Mr. Pence to rousing applause. As is common when politicians speak to the pro-Israel conference, Pence sought to gently inform the audience that Israel will be asked in the coming months to make hard sacrifices for peace. “As we gather here, our team – Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and our great ambassador [David Friedman] – are hard at work crafting our administration’s vision for peace,” the vice president said. “And while any peace will undoubtedly require compromise, know this: The United States of America will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State

of Israel.” Furthermore, when Pence mentioned the “two-state solution” which has become American policy over the past two administrations, he shrewdly added a caveat, “if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution.” Mr. Pence also acknowledged the efforts of Ambassador David Friedman, of the Five Towns, and stated, “The United States of America was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize the State of Israel in 1948. And just as Harry Truman made history, President Trump will make history again, when, thanks to the strong efforts of Ambassador Friedman, in May of this year we will open the American Embassy in Jerusalem.”

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erhaps the biggest ovation at the convention took place on Monday night when U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who has quickly become perhaps Israel’s greatest advocate throughout the world, ascended the podium. She regaled the audience with her story of growing up in a Southern town and being the child of Indian immigrants and how there were times that she was bullied. This experience led her to starting an anti-bullying program when she was the governor of South Carolina. “It turns out bullying is a common practice in the United Nations,” she noted. “In the real world, Israel is a strong country with a vibrant economy and a first-class military. On the battlefield, Israel does not get bullied. The Iranians and Syrians can vouch for that,” she said to raucous applause. “But the UN is a different story. At the UN and throughout the UN agencies, Israel does get bullied. It gets bullied because the countries that don’t like Israel are used to being able to get away with it. Well, just like when I was that little girl in South Carolina, that just doesn’t sit well with me.” Ambassador Haley also addressed President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and touched on a finer point which is often missed when addressing that topic. “There’s one more principle I knew before I arrived at the UN. Like most Americans, I knew what the capital of Israel was. To be more clear, I knew that Jerusalem was, is, and will always be the capital of Israel. This is not something that was created by the location of an embassy. This is not something that was created by an American decision. America did not make Jerusalem Israel’s capital,” she reiterated. “What President Trump

MARCH 2018 | The29, Jewish The Jewish Home 8, | OCTOBER 2015Home

did, to his great credit, was recognize a reality that American presidents had denied for too long. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel – that’s a fact – and President Trump had the courage to recognize that fact when others would not.” Haley added that she hopes to be present “on the day when we open our brand-new American embassy in Jerusalem.”

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rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the convention on Tuesday morning. Despite his party’s popularity in Israel, the prime minister is in the fight for his

declared, referencing his meeting with Trump the day before. Netanyahu, comfortable on stage and with his audience, spoke about the “good, the bad, and the beautiful” when it comes to the State of Israel – the good, referring to Israel’s great strides and advancements; the bad when talking about its enemies, particularly Iran; and the beautiful, the strong, eternal alliance between Israel and the United States. He touted Israel’s strength, intelligence capabilities, freedom, and economy. “You know, these companies –

“I KNEW THAT JERUSALEM WAS, IS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WAS CREATED BY THE LOCATION OF AN EMBASSY. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WAS CREATED BY AN AMERICAN DECISION. AMERICA DID NOT MAKE JERUSALEM ISRAEL’S CAPITAL.”

political life back at home and very well may have been addressing AIPAC for the last time as Israel’s prime minister. Netanyahu began his speech by once again acknowledging President Trump’s courageous acknowledgment of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. “It’s always good to be here, but as I told President Trump yesterday, it’s especially great to be in America’s capital now that he has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thank you, President Trump, for that historic decision,” he

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook – guess what? They all have research centers in Israel!” he declared. He quipped, “This is a terrible sentence, but it’s the confluence of big data, connectivity, and artificial intelligence.” He also spoke about Israel’s innovative irrigation technology. “See that drone in the sky? Connected to a big database there are sensors in the field, in the field drip irrigation, fertilization, and now we can target with this tech the water we give, the fertilizer we

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give, down to the individual plant that needs it. That’s precision agriculture, that’s Israeli!” Never had an audience at AIPAC been so riveted by drip irrigation. Netanyahu also boasted about Israel’s role in cyber-security. “We’re one tenth of one percent [of the world’s population] and we get a whopping 20 percent of global private investment in cyber. We’re punching two hundred times above our weight. Not two times, not 10, but 200 times above our weight. That’s one heck of a punch. Very strong,” he stated, channeling his inner Trump, perhaps. Despite the UN’s continued bias against Israel and a rise in the anti-Israel left, Netanyahu painted a different picture, of Israel gaining acceptance around the world. “We’re coloring the world blue. I’ve been to Africa three times in 18 months; I’ve been to South America, Latin America – can you imagine in the 70 years of the history of Israel, a prime minister of Israel never went south of Texas? I love Texas but yeah, I do. “But we went to Argentina, we went to Columbia, to Mexico, and they say, come back, we want more. That is changing. All these countries are coming to us – India, China Mongolia, Kazakhstan, all of it, Azerbaijan, Muslim countries. [For the] first time I visited Australia, tremendous, far away, though. So we’re coloring the world blue. Remember when people talked about Israel’s isolation? Pretty soon the countries that don’t have relations with us, they’re going to be isolated.” “There are those who talk about boycotting Israel, we’ll boycott them!” he added. Netanyahu also sought to convey a sense of urgency regarding Iran.


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MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

“The force behind so much of what is bad is this radical tyranny in Tehran. If I have a message for you today, it’s a very simple one: we must stop Iran.” Using a screen to show Iran’s activities in the region, Netanyahu noted that “darkness is descending on our region”

as Iran builds an “aggressive empire, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, more to come.” Bibi also addressed President Trump’s effort to restart the peace process. “We appreciate the effort of Trump’s superb team – Jared Kush-

ner, Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman – thank you all for your hard work for peace. But to get peace, President Abbas has to embrace peace and stop supporting terror. Raise your hands high if you agree with me that President Abbas should stop paying terrorists to

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murder Jews,” he told the audience of 18,000 people. “You know how much he pays? He pays about $350 million a year to terrorists and their families. Each year. That’s about a little less than 10% of the total Palestinian budget. That’s an incredible number! He pays

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Hakim Awad, the terrorist who murdered this beautiful family of Ehud and Ruth Fogel and their three children and a 3-month-old baby girl, he pays Hakim Awad this murderer. Over the lifetime of this killer he will be receiving $2 million. I have a message for President Abbas,” Netanyahu said, “stop paying terrorists!”

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lthough Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current political crisis was not addressed explicitly, he received the warm endorsement of several speakers. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was shot and almost killed by a Bernie Sanders supporter while he played baseball last summer, recalled receiving a phone call from Netanyahu after he was shot. “By day three I woke up. And my wife was there. My family was there. They started sharing some of the stories of the people that were praying all around the world. And one of the things that stood out, they said, ‘Prime Minister Netanyahu called for you.’ And I said, ‘Prime Minister Netanyahu called for me?’ I know he’s busy. There’s so many threats and problems that he’s dealing with. And they said, ‘He wants you to call him when you’re able to.’ So finally, about another day went by and the fog had kind of lifted and I said, ‘Okay, I’d love to talk to him.’ And so we arranged the call, and we spent just a wonderful conversation on the phone. And he shared with me some of his personal experiences.” Scalise continued, “You all know his brother died in a shooting in his service to the military, but he also shared some other personal stories with me. And it was just such a warm expression of the

kind of person he is. The fact that he called told me a number of things about him, but it also said something about our relationship. Why would he call a member of the United States Congress who had been shot when he’s the prime minister of Israel? “You know why? Because our countries love each other. Our countries care about each other. This is a relationship that’s built on this kind of love and respect for what we do.”

like a completely reasonable position. My friends, it is not,” Friedman said. “Using that phrase plainly implies that there are people who are pro-Israel and anti-peace or even G-d forbid, pro-Israel and pro-war. Having served in the country of Israel now for almost a year, I can attest that such people, in anything but the smallest, most minute of numbers, simply do not exist. Pro-Israel and pro-peace is nothing more than a redundancy.”

“IF THERE IS NO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS WE SPEAK, AND REGRETTABLY, THERE IS NOT, I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT WE BLAME SOMEONE OTHER THAN ISRAEL FOR THIS PREDICAMENT.”

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mbassador David Friedman also spoke on Tuesday morning. The Woodmere resident, who now resides in Israel, highlighted certain experiences and lessons he learned during the past year. Although he quipped that what he’s discovered can fill a book and not a speech, he attempted to share some thoughts with the AIPAC audience. When the ambassador speaks to some American visitors, students or politicians he said that, at times, he hears the phrase that they are “pro-Israel and pro-peace.” “Pro-Israel and pro-peace sounds

He reiterated, “If you support Israel, then you must, by definition, support it living in peace with its neighbors. Peace is a core Israeli value, it is a core American value, it is the ultimate line of the priestly benediction that kohanim, of which I am one, bestow upon their congregations each and every day in the land of Israel. Yisa Hashem panav eilecha viyasem lecha shalom.” Citing everyday Israelis who yearn for peace – parents sending their children to the army, families living near Gaza, hotel owners – Ambassador Friedman said strongly, “If

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there is no peace in the Middle East as we speak, and regrettably, there is not, I strongly suggest that we blame someone other than Israel for this predicament.” Addressing his audience Friedman noted that the “ambassador” before his name is written with a capital “A.” “But all of you are ambassadors as well, perhaps just with a ‘lowercase a,’ if you will,” he said. Charging listeners with a mission, Ambassador Friedman exhorted, “As ambassadors, all of you share with me the responsibility for making the case for Israel.” He added, “When, as I know all of you will, you proclaim yourselves to be pro-Israel, please understand that those one and a half simple words without suffix and without apology, you are proclaiming yourselves pro-democracy, pro-religious freedom and perhaps most importantly, pro-American.” Friedman mentioned his father as he concluded his address. “Hashem oz l’amo yitein, Hashem yevarech et amo bashalom, may G-d give strength unto his peace, may G-d bless his people with peace. “My father of blessed memory, a pulpit rabbi for some 50 years, ended every one of his Shabbat morning services with this passage. I often wondered what King David meant. If he was asking for peace, why did he first have to ask for strength? “My friends, in this day and age, we all know the answer,” Friedman concluded. “We all know what King David, the great warrior poet, meant by his request. We will have peace, but first we must be strong.”


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The Challenge of Shame Rabbi Dov Heller, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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Shame is poison to the soul. It is the feeling generated from one’s perceptions that one is deficient, bad, or inferior and often leads to self-hate. When someone is thrown into a storm of self-hate, he is like a drowning person whose only concern is survival. Thus, shame is one of the greatest obstacles to personal growth and self-improvement. Yoni is a student in a Jewish school where the main focus of study is Talmud. Yoni’s Hebrew skills are not so good, and the logic of the Talmud often confuses him. Since Talmud study is what is most valued in the school, Yoni often feels ashamed. He feels stupid and often wonders if there’s something wrong with him. Other boys seem to “get it” so quickly, while he struggles painfully to keep up. He worries constantly about upcoming tests, fearing that they will reveal the truth about his intellectual limitations. This only serves to increase his shame. He feels jealous of his classmates and sometimes even hates the ones who excel. He has become increasingly isolated and depressed, hating himself and his life. His motivation to study has all but disappeared. He is unable to tell anyone how he feels, fearing ridicule and rejection. He feels like quitting altogether. People who suffer with shame, like Yoni, obsess about their limitations, looking for ways to rid themselves of their inner turmoil. Shame-ridden people live in a selfpreservation mode which precludes any true growth, self-development, or creativity because they are constantly preoccupied with their shame. Shame leads to self-absorption and isolation. Is there any hope for those like Yoni who suffer with shame and self-hate? In theory, there is always a choice between judging one’s limitations as indicators of one’s defectiveness, resulting in feeling shame, or accepting one’s limitations as facts and information about who one is, resulting in feeling at peace and empowered to work on improving oneself. Acceptance is the only way to liberate oneself from this prison of shame and self-hate. If Yoni was able to talk with someone about his shame,

it would help him move towards selfacceptance, which would allow him to grow and improve himself. For Yoni, this is how acceptance might look: He would have to accept the truth that he is not as intellectually gifted as some of the other students and that his language skills are average, at best. By accepting these two limitations as facts rather than as indictments, he would be able to create an approach to learning Talmud that would work for him. By taking ownership of his unique needs, he could create a program of study tailored to who he really is. This would begin to free him from shame. Acceptance puts an end to obsessing, and he would begin to feel empowered, expansive, and creative. One of the most important exercises a person can do to improve the quality of his or her life is to take a rigorous and honest inventory to identify any aspects of one’s life where he feels shame. Here’s a list of areas to explore: • Your feelings and moods • Attitudes, thoughts, desires, fantasies • Behaviors, character flaws, mistakes, failures, habits • Bodily blemishes and flaws • Relationships, family of origin issues, intimacy issues, your past • Your status in the community, career, money A good question to ask is: Which behaviors and actions of mine are shame-driven? If you discover any area in which you feel shame, you need to take responsibility. Face it, explore it, and understand it in order to start moving towards self-acceptance. One of the most powerful ways to transform shame into acceptance is to find the courage to share the shame with someone you trust who can process it with you. The only way to feel at peace with yourself is to transform your shame into self-acceptance. Dov Heller is in private practice offering psychotherapy and personal mentoring for individuals and couples. He can be contacted at Dov@ClarityTalk.com. You may also visit his website at www. ClarityTalk.com


The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Hung Parliament in Italy

This week’s elections in Italy left the country stunned – and speechless. Parliamentary elections delivered victories for populist, euro-skeptic parties but left no clear path forward for a new government. The party or coalition received enough votes to rule alone, and Italy now faces a hung parliament, in what European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker described last month as the “worst-case scenario” for Europe. With nearly all votes counted Monday night, 50% of voters showed support for populist or right-wing parties. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) become the largest single party in parliament with roughly 32.7% of the vote, according to Italy’s Interior Ministry, although it will not have enough seats for an outright majority. A right-wing coalition of parties won the most seats of any bloc in parliament with about 37% of the vote. The big winner in that group was the anti-immigrant and xenophobic League – formerly the Northern League – which garnered more votes than the center-right Forza Italia, its potential coalition partner. The swing toward the League, led by Matteo Salvini, looks set to give the party as many as 123 seats in the lower house, up from 22 seats, an almost six-fold increase. Former Prime Minister and Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi stepped down from his role after it suffered a worse than expected performance. The result will be met with alarm by European leaders who feared that big wins for Italy’s anti-establishment parties would spell further trouble for a continent already struggling to cope with the destabilizing rise of populist and far-right movements in France, Germany and elsewhere. Italy looks set to enter a period of political deadlock – facing weeks, if not months, of negotiations between groups with competing interests to form a government. Salvini, salivating at the unexpected surge for his party, said, “I have always said, I say now and I will always say that the euro is the wrong currency, and that it was a big mistake getting in it,” Salvini announced. “We have it very clear that the common currency is bound to end. And we want to come prepared to that moment.”

“We look towards the other European forces, that they call populist. I am and I will stay proudly populist, because the populists listen to the people, unlike the ‘radical chic’ that despise the workers and don’t do their groceries,” Salvini said. Italians have becoming increasingly frustrated after years of unprecedented migration and continued economic woes. Seizing on this dissatisfaction, rightwing parties had touted an anti-immigration agenda, with the League pledging to put “Italians first” and advocating for mass expulsions.

Putin Taunts with New Nuclear Missile According to Vladimir Putin, Russia has developed a new generation of advanced nuclear weapons including a hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The new missile is designed to be able to reach almost anywhere in the world and cannot be shot down by anti-missile

systems. Putin made the chilling claim during his annual presidential address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow. Putin announced that the new hypersonic nuclear-capable ICBM will be called the RS-28 Sarmat. It was developed so that the world will listen to Russia because, as Putin put it, “Countries only listen when we create new weapons systems.” NATO is calling the weapon “Satan 2.” The media has been reporting on the development of the new missile since 2014. Putin’s speech claims that all testing phases are over and that it has already

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The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

been deployed to the south of Russia. Putin’s showboating comes at a time when Russia is vying heavily for more power, particularly in the Middle East. Putin backed President Bashar al-Assad in Syria after the United States, Britain, and other allies decided not to fully enter the Syrian conflict. Russia has been helping the Syrian government steer the country financially and militarily. Russia and the United States are the two most heavily armed nuclear powers in the world. The most recent figures show that the U.S. has 652 deployed ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers, while Russia has 527. The U.S. State Department said that the United States possesses 1,350 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers, while Russia has 1,444.

clampdown on its citizens. In addition to the letter ban, terms such as “immortality” and “ascend the throne” were also deemed inappropriate to use on the internet. Victor Mair, a professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, said the government likely feared that “N” was referring to the number of terms of office, as in a mathematical equation N > 2.

China Bans the Letter “N”

The nixing of “N” was a temporary one. By Monday, use of the letter online was once again permitted, according to China Digital Times. Winnie the Pooh was under fire as well last week. For years, memes derisively comparing Xi to the honey-loving bear have circulated on the internet, so Pooh is periodically censored, like the character was on Sunday after the term limits announcement. The rest of the world first heard about this ban in 2013 when the Financial Times

Try to spell China without the letter “N” and you’re left with chia, a type of seed. But the Chinese weren’t laughing or planting seeds when the government banned the letter last week. After word got out that presidential term limits for President Xi Jinping might be dropped, the government banned the letter “N” as part of a widespread censorship

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reported on it and printed a long-circulated picture showing the bear strolling with his tiger friend, Tigger, next to a photo of Xi walking with his then-U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, in 2013. When the image first appeared online, Chinese netizens began posting photos of Xi in, what they considered, similar poses. They juxtaposed a picture of a frosty handshake between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with the image of Pooh and his gloomy donkey friend, Eeyore. Next to a photo that showed Xi inspecting troops from an open-top vehicle, they included Pooh standing in a tiny green car. The Chinese government was not laughing.

Poland’s Holocaust Law Sees First Case Poland’s controversial new Holocaust law is in full swing after it went live last Friday and activists are moving fast. The first victim of the new law is an Argentinian newspaper, Pagina 12. The new legislation forbids the accusation of the Polish state or nation for war crimes, punishable by up the three years in prison. Essentially it is now forbidden to damage the “good reputation of the Polish solders.” The bill labels anyone who refers to Nazi German death camps as Polish a criminal. This has understandably sparked outrage amongst Jewish groups and Israel, which says it will inhibit free speech when referring to the Holocaust. The United States also strongly opposes the legislation, warning it could hurt Poland’s strategic relations with Israel and the U.S. The first case in connection to the controversial law was brought by the Polish League Against Defamation (RDI), a non-profit, that claims that the Argentinian newspaper used an image of anti-Communist Polish resistance fighters from after World War II in an article about the Jedwabne pogrom, a 1941 massacre of more than 300 Jews by their Polish neighbors during the Nazi occupation. The article was published in December of last year, a month before the new law was voted in by parliament and three months before it took effect. If this case finds the newspaper guilty of the charges it would imply that the law is retroactive. RDI accused the newspaper and its journalist Federico Pavlovsky of “an action intended to harm the Polish nation and the good reputation of Polish soldiers” – endeavoring to silence anyone who refers to Poland’s shameful actions just a few decades ago.

Poland Seeks Compensation from Germany for WWII There were millions of casualties in

World War II. Unfortunately, many of the victims had no surviving relatives to fight for their justice. While some victims did bring lawsuits against the Germans and won compensation, that does not bring back their loved ones, and it requires tremendous emotional effort. Many survivors chose to move on and build a new life for themselves.

One of the lesser acknowledged victims of World War II is Poland. Last year, Poland’s ruling conservative nationalist Law and Justice Party stated that they are seeking compensation from Germany for the nation’s losses. Leading the team of lawmakers on the mission, Arkadiusz Mularczyk is estimating the amount due to account for the losses during German’s six-year occupation of Poland that left 6 million Polish citizens dead along with tremendous material loss. “We are talking about very large, but justified amounts of compensation for war crimes, for destroyed cities, villages and the lost demographic potential of our country,” Mularczyk said on Polsat News, a private broadcaster. No specific number has been presented yet, although the number $850 million has been thrown around by the media. Germany, however, has repeatedly said there is no legal basis for Poland’s reparation claims because the matter was settled in a 1953 agreement. That decision was dictated by Moscow when Poland was a satellite of the Soviet Union, which many argue makes the decision invalid.

Israel Defense Aid Package Sent to House Floor A bill has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives that would codify into law the memorandum of understanding between Israel and the United States that was signed in 2016. The bill would guarantee Israel $38 billion in defense assistance over the next ten years. The bill was written by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the chairwoman of the Middle East subcommittee, and Ted Deutch (D-FL), its ranking Democrat. Because each of them has senior positions in their respective House caucuses, the bill has a high likelihood of passing. The memorandum grants Israel $3.8 billion a year from 2018 through 2028. After the memorandum was signed, Republican senators said they would like to overturn part of it so Israel could receive even more aid. Senators Lindsey Graham, a leading Republican foreign policy voice,


The Week In News

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

and Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this week that they considered the provision of $38 billion over 10 years “a floor” and that the number should be heavily increased. In June 2017, the House Appropriations Committee and the House and Senate Armed Services Committees advanced $705 million worth of U.S.-Israel missile defense assistance and cooperation in the 2018 defense appropriations and authorizations bills. Those monies were allocated to research and development as well as to provide funding for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow – three U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense systems.

Iran: Counting the Days Until Israel’s Demise Iran is hosting a new festival. Unlike other festivals that are intended to give participants a good time, this festival has a vicious mission. The Persian nation has inducted an “Hourglass Festival” celebrating the “imminent collapse” of Israel. The idea stems from a secret “plan” by the Islamic Republic, announced in 2015, to destroy the Jewish state within 25 years, according to Iranian media. Anti-Israel art and media productions

will be displayed at the festival, symbolizing the country’s upcoming destruction, said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s former Deputy Foreign Minister and current assistant to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, at a press conference launching the event. Mahdi Qomi, the festival’s executive secretary, said, “The organizers will work with 2,400 anti-Israel NGOs in Europe, North America, Latin America and Eastern Asia to promote the festival across the world.” In 2015, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei predicted that by 2040 there will no longer be a State of Israel. At a Quds Day rally in Tehran in 2017, the regime unveiled a clock counting down to that proposed date. Amir-Abdollahian only recently reveal the regime’s exact plans of ensuring the destruction. He made it clear that a two-state solution is not an option, saying that the only route is “resistance.” The festival’s official website called for multimedia submissions on subjects including the “Zionist child-killing regime”; the “Quds-occupier regime (Israel) would not survive the next 25 years”; “Israel, a cancerous tumor”; and “Israel, a fake, racist and colonialist regime.” The website also slammed the United States and Saudi Arabia. “The International Hourglass Festival was formed with the aim of collecting and introducing anti-Zionism productions of justice supporters, monotheists and Mus-

lims all over the world in order to disclose the beastly and anti-human rights measures of Zionist occupier regime and its supporters particularly USA and ... Wahhabism,” the website reads. The winner of each section will win $1,800 and the overall winner will receive $2,700, according to the website. The festival is scheduled for April 21, which will be the last date for submissions.

Bezos World’s Richest Jeff Bezos is wearing the world’s most expensive crown, as he was named Forbes’ number one billionaire on its Annual World Billionaires List for the first time, unseating Bill Gates. Centi-billionaire Bezos’ fortune rose to $112 billion, the biggest single-year gain ever, allowing him to dethrone Gates, worth just $90 billion. Yes, we know, we can barely count that hgh. Gates has been the richest person in the world for 18 of the past 24 years. The Oracle of Omaha,

Warren Buffett, took the third spot on the list with a net worth of $84 billion. President Trump, worth $3.1 billion, ranked No. 766, falling from No. 544 in 2017. Trump’s fortune has fallen $400 million since last year’s list, due in part to falling values of Midtown Manhattan real estate and declining revenues at several Trump golf properties. More than 2,200 billionaires made the Forbes list, with a combined net worth is $9.1 trillion. This year, 259 newcomers were added to the list and the number of women rose to 256, up from 227 in 2017.  The United States is home to the greatest number of billionaires, with 585, followed by Greater China (including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) with 476; Germany with 123; India with 119; and Russia with 102. California alone has 144 billionaires, more than any single country besides the U.S. and China. Want to know whose bank accounts are overwhelming? Here’s are the top ten on this year’s Forbes’ Billionaires list: 1. Jeff Bezos: $112 billion 2. Bill Gates: $90 billion 3. Warren Buffett: $84 billion 4. Bernard Arnault & family: $72 billion 5. Mark Zuckerberg: $71 billion 6. Amancio Ortega: $70 billion 7. Carlos Slim Helu & family: $67.1 billion

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The Week In News 8. Charles Koch: $60 billion 9. David Koch: $60 billion 10. Larry Ellison: $58.5 billion

USS Lexington Found During the Battle of the Coral Sea from May 4-8, 1942, the USS Lexington played a big part. When she was attacked by the Japanese, more than 200 crew members died, more than 2,000 people were rescued, and 35 others went down with the ship. This week, the wreckage of the United States aircraft carrier, was found on the floor of the Coral Sea more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia. The carrier was discovered by a team of explorers led by billionaire Paul Allen, the U.S. Navy confirmed on Monday. It was found in surprisingly good condition. “To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Microsoft co-founder Allen said. “As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.” USS Lexington, which was one of the first U.S. aircraft carriers ever built, was known as “Lady Lex.” “Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII,” said Robert

MARCH 8, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Kraft, director of subsea operations for Allen. “Based on geography, time of year and other factors, I work with Paul Allen to determine what missions to pursue. We’ve been planning to locate the Lexington for about six months and it came together nicely.”

The U.S. Navy considers the aircraft carrier a war grave because it will not be retrieved, reports said. Last year in August, the Allen-led R/V Petrel expedition discovered the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, which sank in July 1945. It was struck by Japanese torpedoes and resulted in the deaths of nearly 900 crew members, while only 316 lived. “As we look back on our Navy throughout its history, we see evidence of an incredible amount of heroism and sacrifice. The actions of sailors from our past inspire us today,” Sam Cox, director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, told editors of Paul Allen’s site at the time. “So many ships, so many battles, so many acts of valor help inform what we do now.” Allen’s team has also found other vessels including a Japanese warship, the Musashi, and an Italian naval vessel, Artigliere — both from the same era.

Florida Updates its Gun Laws A bill banning assault weapons was voted down in the Florida Senate last week. After the bill was thrown out, a moment of silence was held for the victims of the horrific Parkland high school shooting that took place last month. The bill, which was to include a ban on the AR-15 which was used in the school shooting, lost by a 20-to-17 count. Senate President Joe Negron asked senators to take their seats after the vote was over and said that by the proclamation of Gov. Rick Scott there would be a moment of “silence and reflection” for the Parkland victims. “Today marks 17 days after those 17 fellow citizens lost their lives,” said Negron, who voted against the ban. “I would ask us to begin reflecting on their lives and the bravery that was shown on that day.” Although the gun ban failed, other gun restrictions have been passed in Florida since the shooting. Budget committees in the House and Senate signed off on a suite of bills that include raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 and mandating a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases. On Monday, the Florida Senate passed a bill, 20-18, that would allow certain teachers in schools to be armed. The

amendment narrowly tailored who qualifies as a classroom teacher – who would be prohibited from carrying firearms – to just those defined in state law as “staff members assigned the professional activity of instructing students in courses in classroom situations, including basic instruction, exceptional student education, career education, and adult education.” Librarians, media specialists, advisers and other school personnel would still be able to carry firearms. Additionally, classroom teachers who don’t teach exclusively — such as teachers who also coach sports — would be allowed to carry. Current service members, current or former law enforcement and teachers in a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program would also be allowed to bring guns to schools. The new program – called the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program after the assistant football coach at Stoneman Douglas who died protecting his students – would remain optional, with both county sheriffs and school district superintendents having to approve the measure and school staff having the option of participating in the new policy. In addition, the bill allocated $400 million in funding for mental health programs, school resource officers, school safety upgrades, and more. With the bill passed in the Senate, the House will need to amend its version before passing it to Gov. Rick Scott for signing.


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