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The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Vaad HaRabanim Kimcha d’Pischa of the Gedolei Hador shlita

for thousands of suffering families who cannot afford the basics for Yom Tov, including widows, orphans and other unfortunates Every Place In Eretz Yisrael


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



The Week In News CONTENTS


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


Spring to Geulah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Very Big Mitzvah We Did at Ralphs. . . . . . . . . . 22 Rabbi Berel Wein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28


Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz: Shining Light instead of Accepting Darkness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 In their Own Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Fix and Release: Los Angeles’s Sidewalk Repair Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39


Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47


Ask Dr. T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Recipe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Travel Guide: Reykjavik. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Health and Fitness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66


Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61




Dear Readers, Nisyonos – personal challenges – we all have them, though we wish we didn’t. They reside in that dark place inside us which tries to claim our soul, never tiring in trying to pull us down. What’s more, we face them alone. No fanfare or cheering crowd, just us and the urge to give in. In fact, most of the people we meet have no idea we are in the midst of a struggle and indeed might be jealous of our perceived tumult-less life! Yet it’s from these dry and often bitter conflicts that personal greatness arises. The poke we give our animal soul gives forth a spark which ignites our G-dly soul, building another brick of our spiritual being. This coming Shabbos, we’ll remember a test, a big test, perhaps one of the biggest tests in our history. The Yidden – while they were still in Mitzrayim – were told to take a sheep and tie it on their property. They would then tell those asking that they would be bringing it as a korban. A korban! The avoda zara of Mitzrayim, the very item which was worshipped as a deity by their neighbors, would be offered to the Creator of the world. The Yidden passed the test, bringing forth the great miracle we remember on Shabbos HaGadol. In truth there was an earlier test in

2016 | The Jewish Home Mitzrayim,APRIL the14,one with Yosef and aishes Potifar. There again, it was Yosef alone in a land of widespread immorality being challenged to define himself as a man of G-d. He withstood the test and eventually became the Yosef we know. “Bichol dor vador omdim aleinu l’chaloseinu – in every single generation there are those who arise to try and destroy us,” and like in Mitzrayim we need to counter these efforts by leaving our personal Mitzrayim. For some it’s our jealousy; for others, anger. It can be sadness, or it can be love of the physical. Whichever it is, we can and will face it head on until we’ve tamed the urge, eventually using the previously negative energy for Torah study, prayer and good deeds. What follows is “Hakadosh Baruch Hu matzileinu miyadam – the Holy One Blessed Be He saves us from their hands,” returns us to the Promised Land, in a way considered miraculous even relative to the great wonders experienced at the time of our exodus from Egypt! And this time, the nations of the world will celebrate with us. May we have an uplifting and miraculous Shabbos HaGadol,


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

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


olive oil for Pesach now in a new bottle

The lightest olive oil for cooking, frying, and marinades.

‫חג כשר‬ !‫ושמח‬ ‫כשר לפסח‬

‫מדקדקים בכשרות‬ ‫נוצען ליבער'ס‬ .‫שמן זית‬

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Hillel Holds First Annual Matzo Ball Run Carri Garelick

Hundreds of Hillel students, alumni, faculty, parents and grandparents, together with runners from all over Los Angeles, enjoyed a fabulous 5K and a 1K Kids Fun Run at Kenneth Hahn State

Park on April 10, 2016. The inspiration for the first annual Annual Matzo Ball Run began with a search for a healthy activity in which people of all ages and fitness levels

could participate. The idea spiraled into an amazing educational opportunity as well as a fabulous, fun program open to the entire community. The day began with warm-ups and

registration, with booths by the Matzo Ball Run sponsors: Manischewitz, Coffee Bean, Rita’s, Clif Bar, JDate, PRIV, Greentree Capital Group, Prero Orthodontics, and San Judas Medical Group. Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin made brief opening remarks of welcome and signaled the start of the 5K through scenic mountainous trails. The first participants crossed the finish line in less than 20 minutes and the rest of the crowd followed shortly thereafter. The youngsters’ entertainment included face painting, archery, arts and crafts projects, and a 1K Fun Run. A fabulous time was had by all. We’re looking forward to next year’s event, b’ezrat Hashem!

TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

YULA Boys School Teacher Impacts Students and Teachers Across the State Batsheva Isaac Tal Bentolila teaches the Israel Studies class, a mandatory one-semester course for seniors at YULA Boys School. The purpose of this class is to give students a profound understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Mrs. Bentolila – who holds a degree in Political Science and a Masters in Curriculum Development – has spent years reading and learning about Israel in order to enhance her class. “Students should feel that they have a good primary source education about the history and geo-politics of the Middle East in the 20th century. It is important for students to know that when they encounter propaganda and untruths about Israel, they will be able to know, from a factual point of view, that what they are hearing is untrue,” says Mrs. Bentolila. Mrs. Bentolila also extends her expertise and passion to teaching other teachers about media bias. On Sunday, March 6th, she – along with Liz Brough, the West Coast High School Co-coordinator for Stand With Us – presented a professional development seminar at the California Council for Social Studies Annual Conference in Orange County. The presentation – entitled, “Recognizing Media Bias, Differentiating Between Fact and Opinion” – was filled with high school teachers from public schools throughout California. Mrs. Bentolila used her academic background and expertise in the field of international relations, film, and photography to guide teachers on how to help students look effectively at news and social media. With many concrete examples in today’s media, they taught teachers how they can point out media bias, imbalanced reporting, and misleading headlines to their students. Several examples used in this presentation looked closely at media coverage of Israel, helping teachers explore how journalists and news stations often opt for opinions, omit relevant facts, have double standards, and/or miss context when reporting on the conflict. Mrs. Bentolila and Ms. Brough outlined the issues and the importance of teaching students to use critical analysis as a tool for sifting through information and news feeds. They also emphasized the importance of teachers using due diligence when sharing media in the classroom and how to help their teen-aged students navigate through “all things social media” with a critical eye. Mrs. Bentolila says that she created this seminar because “after 15 years teaching political Science and Language Arts, I have found that this multi-faceted approach towards complexity is imperative to the students’ healthy intellectual

growth.” She also said, “I don’t want to teach a conclusion, rather I want to give my students the tools to be able to analyze for themselves and come to their own educated opinion.” The teachers in attendance were engaged and expressed that they would uti-

lize what they learned in their classrooms. This seminar highlighted the responsibilities that teachers have in our social media reality to help their students become educated consumers.



The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


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The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

‫ברענגט שניידר צום סדר‬

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TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Thousands of Bochurim to Participate in Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bochurim Pesicha Shiurim by Prominent Rabbanim and Poskim in Twelve Locations Chaim Gold

Walk into any random shul or yeshiva this bein hazemanim, and one of the sights you will likely encounter is bochurim learning in pairs Mishnah Berurah, hilchos tefillah, and Dirshu’s well known Biurim U’Musafim additions. This is the fourth bein hazemanim with Dirshu providing its popular Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bochurim program. With the passing of time, however, participation and enthusiasm for the program has grown exponentially. One inspiring feature of the program is its inaugural halacha shiurim in the larger communities given by prominent rabbanim and poskim. The shiurim set the tone for the program and provide important background enabling every bochur to better understand the underlying principles of hilchos tefillah. Over this coming Pesach bein hazemanim, some 30 communities will participate in the program. Whether in Toronto, Providence, Boston, Baltimore, or St. Louis, thousands of bochurim will be learning daily Mishnah Berurah, getting a real taste for the learning and an appreciation for how learning daily halacha with a defined, accountable program can transform one’s day and one’s bein hazemanim. The Program The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Bein Hazemanim program, a special program designed for bochurim, will begin on 7 Nissan for high school-aged bochurim and on 3 Nissan for bochurim in yeshiva gedolos. The program culminates with a test on 24 Nissan/May 2. Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bochurim offers a daily program of halacha that accomplishes two important goals. It provides structure to bein hazemanim while simultaneously bringing bochurim into the world of practical and accountable limud halacha. It is divided into two separate tracks: one consisting of Shulchan Aruch, Mishnah Berurah and select portions of Mussaf Dirshu, with the advanced track consisting of Shulchan Aruch, Mishnah Berurah, Biur Halacha, Sha’ar Hatziyun, and Mussaf Dirshu. One particularly remarkable aspect of the program is Dirshu’s signature attention to detail. Nothing is overlooked. There are, of course, the halachos set forth in the Mishnah Berurah. In addition, however, the Biurim U’Musfim – containing so many practical halachos and tips – provides extensive supplementary information and piskei halacha.

Dirshu provides all participants in the program with numerous aids to ensure that every bochur has the optimum learning experience. Among those aids are: beautiful Dirshu Mishnah Berurah booklets with the daily schedule, specially designed English and Yiddish sikkum pamphlets summarizing each day’s learning, pre-recorded CD of shiurim in both English and Yiddish with separate tracks for each day’s learning material, exciting raffles throughout the program period for seforim and CDs, and the test at the culmination of the program, with monetary stipends based on test scores. Beginning Bein Hazemanim with a Shiur Towards the beginning of bein hazemanim, on either Sunday, 9 Nissan/ April 17, or Monday, 10 Nissan/April 18, depending on location, important and riveting pesicha shiurim and divrei chizuk

HaGaon HaRav Yochanon Wosner, shlita, Raavad D’Chassidei Skver and Skverer Dayan of Montreal, who will deliver a shiur. In Passaic, New Jersey, the pesicha shiur will be delivered by HaRav Asher Dovid May, shlita, Rosh Kollel of Yeshiva Gedolah of Passaic, at Congregation, Bais Torah U’Tefillah. Kehal Birchas Avrohom will be the site for HaRav Yitzchok Zalman Gipps, shlita, Rav of Kehal Birchas Avrohom and Rosh Yeshivas Nehardaah, to address the bochurim in Boro Park. Other locations include Khal Shearis Adas Yisrael in Lakewood where HaRav Zev Smith, shlita, will deliver a shiur; Kollel Institute of Greater Detroit in Detroit, Michigan, where the maggid shiur will be HaRav Aharon Sorscher, shlita, Rosh Mesivta of Mesivta Yagdil Torah; Agudas Yisrael of Cleveland, where there will be a shiur by HaRav Boruch Hirschfeld, shlita, Rav of Kehillas Ahavas Yisrael and

will be delivered at 12 locales across North America. In Flatbush, at the Agudas Yisrael Bais Binyonim, the inaugural halacha shiur for bochurim will be delivered by HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Ginsburg, shlita, Rav of Agudas Yisrael Zichron Shmuel and Rosh Kollel in the Mir Yeshiva of Flatbush. The shiur in the Five Towns will be held in the Agudas Yisrael of West Lawrence and will be addressed by HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Bender, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah. The Toldos Yaakov Yosef Bais Medrash of Skver in Montreal, Canada, will host the event for bochurim with

Rosh Kollel of Kollel Ateres Boruch; Bais Medrash Hagadol of Shikun Skver, where the maggid shiur will be the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggid shiur, HaRav Ephraim Greenbaum; Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed where HaRav Avrohom Lipschutz, shlita, Mashgiach of the Telshe Yeshiva of Chicago, will address the bochurim; in Los Angeles the maggid shiur will be HaRav Nochum Sauer, shlita, Rosh Kollel D’YULA, and in Baltimore the shiur be given at Kehillas Kol Torah, where HaRav Yosef Berger, shlita, Rav D’Kehillas Kol Torah, will address the bachurim. Profuse Praise from Roshei Yeshiva

Rabbi Ahron Gobioff, Dirshu’s American Director relates, “This will be the fourth bein hazemanim when we will merit having the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bochurim. Until now, the turnout has been increasing by leaps and bounds! The pesicha shiurim really bring the bochurim into the sugya with the rabbanim and roshei yeshiva impressing upon the bochurim the importance of what they are doing. Their involvement in a structured bein hazemanim daily learning program and more importantly their exposure to the world of practical halacha where they really encounter the fundamentals of learning Mishnah Berurah is a remarkable opportunity,” said Rabbi Gobioff. “I cannot tell you how many maggidei shiur and roshei yeshiva have thanked us for creating a program that affords bochurim tremendous sipuk while simultaneously helping structure their bein hazemanim learning and teaching them the responsibility of learning and reviewing in a way that they can be tested,” explained Rabbi Gobioff. We have more than 20 yeshivos that have officially enrolled, and individual bochurim from countless other yeshivos that are participating. “There is no question that Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bochurim has not only transformed bein hazemanim for untold numbers of bochurim, but in addition it has whet their appetite to devote time to learning Mishnah Berurah daily in a way that they will retain it for a lifetime!” Halacha: The Way One “Walks” Through Life Rav Zev Smith, who will speak in Lakewood, gave over a powerful message at the pesicha shiur at the previous Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bochurim program this past Sukkos. He said, “The Gemara tells us that Hashem has nothing in this world except for the daled amos of halacha. Hashem’s world – the real world – is the four amos of halacha! The Gemara says, ‘Dvar Hashem zu halacha.’ A person who thinks deeply into this should be overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he is doing. When he picks up a Mishnah Berurah, he is picking up Dvar Hashem!” “Why does the Gemara call learning the laws, ‘halacha?’ Wouldn’t ‘dinim’ be a more accurate term? The answer,” said Rav Smith, “is that halacha is much more than the dry learning of dinim. It is ‘hiluch.’ It is the way one ‘walks’ through life. He is traveling through life with Hashem’s word being the foremost thing in his mind!”

TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Five Los Angeles Students Win Medals in the International Sefer Hamitzvos Chidon in Crown Heights Batsheva Isaac Tzivios Hashem – the soldiers of Hashem – received their marching orders earlier this year: “Learn Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos.” Many students in Lubavitch schools throughout the world began their studies of the mitzvos using a series of books published by The Living Lessons Foundation called the Yahadus series. With workbooks and textbooks explaining each mitzvah, the main halachos, and their applications to life, the students prepared for a series of in-school tests that would qualify them to compete in the international Chidon Championship in Crown Heights, New York. This year, 1,832 students in Grades 4 through 8, from 45 schools, took the three qualifying tests to become eligible for the competition. 627 students from 62 cities around the world qualified to visit Crown Heights for two exciting weekends (one for boys and one for girls) of fun (ice-skating, bowling, etc.), spirituality, and intense test-taking. Those who qualified further then participated in a grand game show that was broadcast internationally. A number of students from Los Ange-

les qualified for the trip to Crown Heights; the 12 boys and 16 girls from fourth to eighth grade attend Bais Chaya Mushka, Bais Rebbe, and Cheder Menachem. Five of them won medals: From Cheder Menachem, Mendel Fisher of fifth grade won

in eighth. Rabbi Greenbaum, Menahel of Cheder Menachem states, “The boys learn a tremendous amount of knowledge while studying. The Yahadus curriculum breaks into five volumes, which will ultimately give the students the 613 mitzvos

amounts of knowledge the girls learned, but also by “[t]heir self-motivation and the rigor they displayed toward the learning.” Mrs. Newman also believes that the actual competition in Crown Heights was, “A unity of all the girls from around the world

a bronze and gold medals went to Yossie Heidingsfeld of fourth grade and Zali Raichek of eighth grade. Bais Chaya Mushka and Bais Rebbe each had a student win a silver medal: Chaya Mushka Brook of fifth grade and Mushka Heidingsfeld of eighth grade, respectively. The qualifying tests were grade-level based. The Yahadus curriculum that the students learn is completed in a five-year cycle, they begin in fourth grade and end

in-depth.” Rabbi Greenbaum was focused and proud of the learning the boys did. As for the actual competition, “It was a reward for their efforts and a chance for them to challenge themselves against their peers,” he explained. Mrs. Geula Newman, principal of Bais Rebbe, Chabad’s middle school for girls, is also very proud of her students. She was impressed not only by the amazing

all learning the same thing. They had pride in their school…[O]verall it was a very positive experience.” Both Rabbi Greenbaum and Mrs. Newman agree that the success from this year should encourage students next year to fully participate in the learning of the 613 mitzvos, for the Lubavitcher Rebbe was adamant that learning them brings many brachos.

Attorney Andrew Friedman Visits Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban Devorah Talia Gordon Hungarian-born Andrew Friedman escaped the country with his family during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution at age nine. Friedman, a graduate of UCLA, has been practicing law in Los Angeles for 45 years. He’s currently president of Congregation Bais Naftali and L.A. County Commissioner of the Government Service Commission. Although Friedman has lived in L.A. ever since his arrival from Hungary, he has kept in close contact with the Hungarian community not only due to his roots, but because “[i]t’s important for them to see people in the U.S. diligently monitoring what’s happening over there.” Last month, Hungarian Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi arranged for a private meeting for Andrew Friedman with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The two discussed numerous issues of import to the Jewish community, and Friedman returned to share Orban’s message with the L.A. Jewish community. The first issue was Hungary’s position regarding the Syrian migrants. “The Prime Minister explained to me that he has decided to build a fence to exclude the illegal immigrants, the reason being because ISIS has stated that they are going to infiltrate

these immigrants with terrorists,” said Friedman. “In addition, the Syrians would bring a different culture…which would also adversely affect the Jewish community, because the presence of a large number of Muslims who were educated to be anti-Zionist – read ‘anti-Jewish’ – would increase anti-Semitism in Hungary.” Another plus for Hungarian Jews is Orban’s statement that Hungary has “zero-tolerance” for anti-Semitism, and his expressed desire to “deal fairly” with Hun-

gary’s over 100,000 Jews, which Orban called ‟an authentic Jewish community.” (Hungary’s Jews are not transplanted, as in countries like Germany, but “never

left” the country, even during the War.) Also, in Hungary it is a crime to deny the Holocaust, and Friedman explained a new Parliamentary rule: if someone says something anti-Semitic during a Parliamentary meeting, the Speaker can shut off his microphone. This is in response to recent anti-Semitic remarks during meetings, particularly from those in the extreme right-wing Jobbik party, which have incensed Jews in Israel and the U.S. Interestingly, immediately after Friedman’s visit with the Prime Minister, a member of Jobbik, Tibor Agoston, was fined 750 thousand Hungarian forints for Holocaust denial speech. While the Parliament has an almost 20-percent representation of the right wing (which, in Europe, typically is comprised of anti-Semitic groups), there is an equal representation of the left wing. “As long as these proportions are kept, which is Orban’s goal, the situation is under control.” Friedman further explained, “No one from the extreme right has been or will be accepted in the Hungarian Government.” (While Hungary is a democracy and the citizens elect a Parliament, the government is under Orban’s leadership.) According to Friedman, the Hungarian

Jewish community is “thriving,” with new education, shuls, Chabad Houses, and the like. Also, there hardly exists any violence or hate crimes like those so prevalent in other European cities, like Paris, Brussels, and Antwerp. “In Budapest, you feel free to walk the streets with a kipah,” Friedman said. There is also a new government-funded program that will refurbish a number of synagogues and cemeteries throughout the country. Friedman thanked Orban for Hungary’s contribution to the film world with the production of “Son of Saul,” which, with its Holocaust-themed story, was awarded the 2015 Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. “He [Orban] agreed that it is important to have films of this nature as an educational tool.” Friedman also acknowledged Orban and his country for being the only one to vote with Israel in the European Parliament on the issue of labeling products from the West Bank, a decision which the Parliament approved back in September 2015, which opponents felt was an act of discrimination and boycott. Friedman presented Orban with an honorary certificate from the City of Los Angeles, signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paul Koretz. The prime minister presented Friedman with a certificate from Hungary for “exemplary activity for embracing his Hungarian roots and serving the local community, as well as his objective to fight against anti-Semitism.”



The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The World that Was: The Life and Art of David Labkovski Devorah Talia Gordon “My great-uncle had these intense blue eyes. He could look at you for two minutes and be able to draw you in great detail,” began Leora Raikin, who has made it her mission to tell the life story of her great uncle, artist David Labkovski. At the first of several upcoming art exhibitions in Southern California, Labkovski’s work will be on display at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills on Sunday, April 10, and for several days thereafter. Artist and speaker Raikin lectured on her great-uncle’s life and art at an event entitled, “From Prisoner in Siberia to Artist in Safed, Israel. The story of Jewish destruction, survival and renewal as seen through the images of artist, David Labkovski (1906-1991).” Labkovski was part of the group of artists and writers called “Jung Vilna,” which flourished in Vilna (the “Jerusalem of Lithuania”) in the 1920s; he held his first art exhibition in 1922. In 1932, he was accepted into one of the most prestigious art schools in the world, the Art Academy of Leningrad, one artist selected out of 500 applicants. However, Labkovski’s training at the Academy was cut short; within two years, under Stalin’s regime, he was forced to

enlist in the Red Army. In 1936, one of Labkovski’s family members was accused of anti-Soviet activity and was sentenced to ten years in Siberia. As a result, David was pulled out of the Army and, due to association, was shipped to Siberia for three

years. Prior to Siberia, he was imprisoned at the infamous KGB Lubyanka Prison, where Stalin jailed and tortured thousands of innocent victims.

One wouldn’t necessarily think it was a “move up” to go to Siberia, but, as Raikin said, “His time there actually saved his life. The environment was harsh, and the form of slavery (either having to cut logs in extreme temperatures or mine for coal) was difficult and, as an artist, Labkovski wasn’t a physically strong person. But one guard heard of his artistic ability and asked for a portrait.” Labkovski became the prison’s sketch and tattoo artist (various groups and gangs in Siberia had their own tattoos). In this way, he survived, by

the world, especially in the Diaspora.” Upon Labkovski’s death in 1989, a complicated, 25-year court case ensued regarding his collection. Four years ago the case went to the Israeli Supreme Court, and the artwork was finally awarded to Labkovski’s niece and her siblings, with it divided equally among relatives in South Africa, Israel, and Los Angeles. Raikin, an artist herself who lectures on the history of South African Jews, has undertaken to share Labkovski’s story and artwork with the world. “My great un-

acquiring some extra scraps of food and being exempt from the hard physical work. Following the annexing of Lithuania, with part under Stalin’s control and part under the Nazi regime, there was a mass deportation of 300,000 Lithuanian Jews to Siberia. Although 80 percent of these Jews survived Siberia, since these camps were never liberated, there was no video footage and the like. Consequently, one of the few ways to access this much-unknown part of the Holocaust is by viewing the art of David Labkovski. “His Siberian pictures are like finding intimate journal,” said Raikin. David and his wife Rivka were permitted to return to Vilna in 1946, but upon arriving realized everyone they knew, and everything they knew, were gone. “David started drawing the pictures of survivors, and how life used to be in the Jerusalem of Lithuania, which was the heart of learning, culture and rabbinic studies. He drew images of the ‘world that was.’” At the end of 1958, the Labkovskis were given permission to immigrate to Israel and settled in the artist’s colony of Tzfat, where he and Rifka lived “an exceptionally frugal existence.” Raikin said, “They had lived such a hard life. They couldn’t understand the need for two pairs of shoes.” In 1959, Labkovski held his first art exhibit in Israel, which portrayed life in Vilna and the horrors of the Holocaust. However, Raikin explained, “the world didn’t want to see it, and even Jews didn’t want to focus on it. They wanted to move on, wanted a new life.” David decided to keep documenting the “world that was,” but made a decision not to sell the art. “You put your heart and soul into it…the art is part of your very being. He dreamed one day a generation would appreciate it, and would want to learn about this part of

cle’s art was always part of my life. His art hangs on the walls of my grandparents’ home, was always a part of who I am. I started talking to people and I realized it’s so important to educate this generation about what happened, and using art as his tool.” With this goal, last year Raikin introduced an educational program at New Community Jewish High School, and this year has piloted the program at a charter school in Canoga Park for eighth graders. Of these students (with a 70-percent Hispanic base), not a single child knew about the Holocaust. Raikin has been given 16 hours of classroom time, with a multidisciplinary program of creative writing, art, history and social studies. At the end of May, the students themselves will display an exhibition of David’s art. Raikin hopes to continue tweaking and perfecting the curriculum, with the plan to make it accessible to all schools, both public and private. “His art is among the most tumultuous in Jewish and world history. The art depicts life before the War, impending gloom and horror, Holocaust and destruction, Siberia, and finally, in later life, Israel in gorgeous colors, with fruit, flowers. It’s renewal.” In order to fully grasp all that was lost in the Holocaust, Raikin said, it’s important not to teach about it in isolation. “You have to understand this vibrant Jewish community, with the artists and writers who were celebrated and admired. Only when you understand what was can you understand what was lost. By taking one person’s story, it becomes can’t imagine millions. But when I show the students a picture of me standing right next to them (David and Rivka), these are real people to them. You see they understand.”

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APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Tomchei LA Needs Our Help to Help Our Friends, Neighbors, and Family Tova Abady The Jewish nation went out together from Mitzrayim. Three million strong, we traveled to Har Sinai. Throughout our history, unity has been the key to achieving our mission to be a light unto the nations. It is essential that our community as a whole pulls together to make sure that no Jew is left behind. This is the guiding principle of Tomchei LA, an organization that is well known for their chessed to families needing a helping hand until they can stand on their feet again. However, Tomchei LA’s efforts can only continue with our support. Tomchei currently faces an urgent funding crisis. “If we don’t raise the necessary funds, the person standing next to

erty level and cannot even purchase food. These families approach Tomchei LA and fill out the six-page application. The paperwork “requires [an] income/expenses/ in-depth description of current family situation [to verify] they [are] unable to afford food for the week or Shabbos,” according to Braunstein. He adds, Tomchei confirms need via “a signature of a rabbi or a trusted communal leader that knows the family situation extremely well and has known the family for years.” Tomchei LA makes every effort to ensure they offer help with the utmost respect and discretion, fulfilling one of the highest forms of charity. Braunstein ex-

store. Weeks before Pesach, an additional thousand individuals are helped for the holiday. $50,000 in store credits from participating stores is distributed on a monthly basis, with an extra $50,000 on yom tov. Brand-new clothing – purchased directly from the manufacturers at sharply discounted prices – is distributed twice annually, and before Pesach, a full-fledged clothing department store is set up for those registered for this assistance. Additionally, 50 unemployed Jews were placed in full-time jobs this past year via the Job Link program. Participants receive help with their resumes, and they learn of job openings before they become

you in shul will not have food to eat and the child playing with your kid will not have what to wear,” Schneur Braunstein of Tomchei LA explains. It would be difficult to find one Jew in Los Angeles who hasn’t heard about the amazing work of Tomchei LA. The organization provides a safety net for families, seniors, and the disabled. Approximately 85% of those who apply for help are families with more than one working parent. Many of them are living below the pov-

plains, “Families are assigned codes…so the volunteers have no clue who the recipients are and the recipients have no clue who the donors or volunteers are.” The largest endeavor is food assistance. Tomchei LA distributes food to over 1500 individuals every Thursday evening. The food is purchased at rock-bottom prices from distributors without compromising quality or freshness. The meat, chicken, challah or Matzah, produce, and dry goods are the same quality as if purchased in a

public knowledge. Tomchei LA works hard to fulfill the ultimate mitzvah of providing the opportunity to become self-sufficient. Other programs offered include the hugely successful toy gemach, Second Chance furniture distribution, and Communigift (where it is arranged for children’s birthday presents to be given to those without). Coming soon – a bicycle gemach. None of this would be possible without the army of volunteers. Every Thursday, between eighty and a hundred volunteers gather in the two distribution centers to pack and deliver. Many of the volunteers are parents, who although tired after a long day, show up week after week. These amazing parents are not only giving of themselves, but educating the next generation of givers. They care more about their fellow Jews than their own rest. It is a sight to behold: the process begins at 6:00 pm. By 6:30, everything is packed; and by 7:00, delivered to the families. It is miraculous that this can be accomplished in this short window of time. It is a kiddush Hashem for the hundreds of people involved in many capacities under the Tomchei LA’s umbrella to act so selflessly. A special thank you to the students of Yeshiva Gedolah for taking time out on Purim to collect for Tomchei’s most

critical cases. Every participant can rest assured that they are the recipients of the love and appreciation of fellow Jews who often, unbeknownst to them, are a neighbor or a friend. Some of the individuals who receive help were formerly donors to Tomchei LA. What is this indicative of? Much has been said or written about the disappearing middle class in America. Economic hardships are becoming commonplace. In addition, housing costs in Los Angeles have become exorbitant, and health care costs are out of reach for many. The ability to purchase kosher food is difficult, especially before the holidays. School tuitions put a strain on budgets. There is now a waiting list for families and individuals needing assistance. In the next few weeks before Pesach,

an astronomical 50,000 pounds of food will be distributed. Pesach alone costs Tomchei LA in excess of $300,000. Tomchei LA relies on donations to continue to provide much needed relief. Donations of any amount are beneficial and the money goes a long way. The leaders of Tomchei LA are very proud that 96% of the money goes directly to recipients. It is a huge feat to operate with only a 4% overhead. Individuals interested in donating can do so by logging on to the website or by mailing a check to 345 North La Brea #208, LA, CA 90036. There will be a big drive in shuls on Shabbos HaGadol. In addition, Braunstein explains that there will be a Charidy 24hour event May 24th, coordinated with all Tomchei Shabbos organizations nationally, where every dollar given will be quadrupled. On July 11th, Tomchei will hold its 2nd Annual Golf Classic and Banquet on July 11th at the Mountain Gate Country Club. It is incumbent upon the entire community to take part in helping one another and to make sure that no one is left behind this Pesach and beyond.

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Spring to Geulah

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

After a winter when seemingly dormant trees stood bare, the song of birds was quieted, and flowers shriveled up and died, we begin to see life again. Branches bloom, grass turns green again, and robins scramble, seeking tasty worms. The sun shines brightly, warming our hearts and souls with a promise of hope and brightness. Elderly and sick people who were unable to venture outdoors because of the cold or the snow are now free to go about and enjoy the world Hashem created for us. Young and old soak in the pleasures of recreation, walking, throwing balls, or biking as they enjoy the lovely weather to strengthen their muscles and enhance their well-being. Pesach is the yom tov of the season of spring. We grab on to the rope of hope afforded to us by this glorious month. It was during this period that Hashem announced that the time had come. He told our beleaguered ancestors that this month of Nissan was to be for them the first month of the year. Hebrew months count from Nissan, even though Rosh Hashanah is in Tishrei. That month precedes the doom of winter, while Nissan heralds spring. It is fitting for our nation to begin counting months at the time that the world starts to get back to itself after lying in semi-hibernation. As they were mired in seemingly endless backbreaking slavery, the Jews heard these words and they were musical. For 210 years, they had known subjugation and torture. Now, finally, that would change. The nation had appeared withered as a tree in the depths of winter, broken by pain, hunger, and demoralizing servitude. Now, it would come to an end. Hachodesh hazeh lochem. A new month, a new season, a new reality. Lochem, given to you, a personal gift that you would recognize and appreciate. From this month forward, you will never be the same. Every day will be part of a greater

whole, each weekday leading up to Shabbos, and each Shabbos to rosh chodesh, which itself ushers in the tekufas hashanah. Every season will have meaning to you. No longer slaves, you will be an am kadosh. At the seder, we begin the tale of our redemption from Mitzrayim by recounting shameful episodes in our lineage and conclude with those worthy of praise. In the haggadah, we begin the story of our redemption by going back to the beginning, speaking about the misfortune that befell our forefathers as our nation was forming. We speak of what they endured, and then progress to their liberation and formation as a new people, for there is no spring that is not preceded by winter, no freedom that comes without agony, and no birth without pain. Therefore, it is crucial that we include the obstacles and challenges strewn in our

had two months of Adar. Perhaps we can also explain that the reason the posuk interjects that we were taken out of Mitzrayim in spring and at night, laylah, is to reinforce the concept that we were enshrouded in slavery, darkness and tumah. We were removed from that dark situation and placed in aviv, spring, with our newly-gained freedom and soon-to-be rebirth as a nation. Even after our formation as a people and even after receiving the Torah, there were ups and downs, as there are in our daily lives. The lesson of “Hachodesh hazeh lochem” reminds us that there is always opportunity for hischadshus, renewal, in our world. We should never despair. Cold will give way to heat, and sadness to joy. If things aren’t going right for us, we have to believe that there can be improvement and set ourselves to realize that goal. It may be difficult and it may take effort

IT WAS THE WINTER THAT ALLOWED SPRING TO BURST FORTH. path from the very beginning. Thus, the posuk states (Devorim 16:1), “Shamor es chodesh ha’aviv, v’osiso pesach laHashem Elokecha ki bechodesh ha’aviv hotziacha Hashem Elokecha miMitzrayim laylah - Watch the month of spring, and make in it the Korban Pesach to Hashem, because in spring Hashem removed you from Mitzrayim in the night.” Pesach is intrinsically tied to spring. We were taken out in this season and we must celebrate our delivery in this season. In fact, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 11a) understands from this posuk that the month of Nissan must be watched – shamor – to ensure that it is in the spring, and when it appears as if it will be in the winter, we must make a leap year, like this year, when we

and hard work, but there is no goal that is unattainable for a person of faith. Leading up to Pesach, we scramble, utilizing all our energy to clean our possessions. The drive to wash and vacuum every part of the house and clean every closet is widespread, even in instances where it is not halachically mandated. It hints to the fact that we remember our history and that before the geulah there was much hard work. The mekubolim reveal that the sweat that results from toiling to clean for Pesach purifies as a mikvah. Our travails will give birth to recuperation and success. Rav Shloime Halberstam zt”l, first rebbe of Bobov, visited the home of a wealthy follower before Pesach, soliciting funds

for the poor. The rebbe detected an aura of calm in the home. Although there were servants and maids everywhere, it was lacking that special feeling experienced in every Jewish home before yom tov. The man proudly explained to the rebbe that he owned a Pesach house, where he and his family spend the eight days of Pesach. “That way, we don’t have to labor over cleaning the mansion. We sell the chometz in this house and move into a separate place, where we celebrate yom tov with minimum aggravation.” The rebbe told the man that his grandfather, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, would say that the mitzvah is not to have a clean, chometz-free home. The mitzvah is to get rid of the chometz in your home, as the posuk states, “Tashbisu se’or miboteichem.” People seek to simplify mitzvos and make them easy to perform. They look for ways to sit back and enjoy the holy days with a minimum of exertion. They forget that to succeed in anything requires much effort. If we wish to benefit from the kedushah and brachos of the yom tov, we have to invest time and effort in the preparations. Otherwise, we risk losing the hashpa’os that Pesach offers. The connection between the labor and exertion of bedikas chometz and the enduring struggle against evil is referenced in Chazal, who compare the yeitzer hora to se’or shebe’isah, the layer of chometz in the dough. Chometz represents immorality, and by eradicating it, we undergo a profound spiritual cleansing. The toil and sweat of preparing for Pesach add much to our Jewish lives. Working hard to prepare for yom tov and make sure everything is in order turns us into more elevated and spiritually sensitive individuals. One year before Pesach, a young man asked Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach zt”l if it was permissible to perform bedikas chometz using a flashlight. Responding, Rav Shach asked him how his father conducts the search for chometz. The man answered that his father uses the light of a candle. The aged rosh yeshiva said to him, “If your father does bedikas chometz with a candle, why would you think to do it with a flashlight?” The young man replied that people say that with a flashlight, one is able to better examine cracks and crevices, as it provides a clearer light. With a wave of his hand, Rav Shach looked at the man quizzically and said, “Do you really think you can see better than your father?”

Living with In theNews Times The Week

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Grasp the candle tightly. It represents the search for impurity and illuminates the path to spiritual fulfillment, the fusion of Torah and mitzvos. The light of Torah endures. It has remained lit through so many generations, so many lands, and so many travails. Our fathers and grandfathers searched for chometz with a candle for thousands of years. It may be harder to search with a candle. It may require getting closer to the crevices, being more careful, and cleaning up drips, but since when is Pesach about being easy? Since when do we look for shortcuts in performing mitzvos? The harder we work, the more effort we put into the baking of matzos, grating the maror, search for chometz, preparing the home, and making sure everything is in order, the more regal we will be as we sit at the seder, celebrating our geulah and all the good we have been blessed with. The Kiss of New Life Rav Elimelech Biderman tells how Napoleon prepared for battle. Before attacking, the general would disguise himself and travel to the enemy’s land, where he would listen to the conversations and get a feel of the ebb and flow of life in the country. After learning about the people he would face, he would return home empowered to properly plot his assault. Once, a camouflaged Napoleon and an aide sat in a tavern in hostile territory, listening to the people around them. Military tactics and information flowed like the cheap whiskey, and the leader was making

mental notes when, suddenly, he detected a look on the face of one of the locals. “Isn’t that Napoleon?” the expression seemed to say, and the fellow began to whisper to his comrades. Napoleon panicked, realizing that if he was recognized, he would be killed. Suddenly, his aide leaned over and slapped him across the face. “You fool,” he shouted, kicking Napoleon’s chair out from under him. The subordinate stood up and poured his drink on to his leader, continuing to insult him. Napoleon was stunned, but within moments, he realized the wisdom of his aide. At the next table, someone immediately concluded that the unfamiliar face was clearly not the powerful general. After all, look how his friend was treating him. When he safely returned home, Napoleon summoned his troops and told them the story of his aide’s quick thinking. “Sometimes,” he said, “what appears to be a blow is the kiss of new life.” So too, says Rav Biderman, the g’nus, the shame and oppression of Mitzrayim, and the blows we endured, formed us into a people and prepared us for Kabbolas HaTorah. It was the winter that allowed spring to burst forth. One Source Seventy-five years ago, when murder and destruction spread across Europe, a small group of yeshivos were carried on eagles’ wings to faraway Shanghai, where they spent those awful years in relative peace. In hot Shanghai, they flourished in

learning and middos, their suffering bringing forth new kochos, gifting our people with a generation of gedolim and roshei yeshiva. When the war ended, the full brunt of their situation finally hit them. Free to travel, they realized that few among them had parents or families waiting to reunite with them. There was nowhere to go back to. Everyone had been killed. Everything had been destroyed. As a steady stream of talmidim headed to Eretz Yisroel and America, several remained behind, waiting for visas. For the first time, they were overtaken by despair. A group of Polish talmidim, students in the exiled Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, received a personal letter from the Imrei Emes of Ger. Understanding the challenge of finding strength when they felt like mourning, he sent them a missive filled with chizuk and encouragement. The main thing is to know that everything comes from Hashem and no bad emanates from Him. Everything is for the good... As the seforim teach, “Vayehi erev vayehi voker yom echod.” Both the darkness and kindness are from one source and for one goal: to illuminate the world for us later on. We believe that just as the tochechah, the prophecies foretelling difficult times, were fulfilled, so will the hopeful and comforting prophecies come to be. The hester ponim is a test, an illusion, and ultimately it will be very good.

The Imrei Emes quoted the Rambam’s Igeres Teiman, where he encouraged the beleaguered Jews of Yemen during a difficult time. Rabbeinu Maimon writes that a cord of Torah and mitzvos connects heaven and earth; to the degree that a person grasps it will he himself be strengthened... The rebbe signed it, “Ohavchem, the one who loves you, who shares in your pain, who looks forward to salvation and consolation.” The eternal message, that g’nus leads to shevach, winter leads to spring, and darkness leads to light, is as old as creation. Vayehi erev vayehi voker yom echod. Now, with winter’s end, with so many of us smarting from blows - challenges, hardships, sickness and discouraging news – some that only we know about, we grab on to the rope of hope afforded to us by this glorious month and the glorious yom tov. We work hard during these coming days preparing for Pesach, and as we do so, we study and internalize the lessons the yom tov beholds. Although it may appear to be laylah, armed with emunah and bitachon we fortify ourselves with additional strength even when we think we have none left. We sense that we are in chodesh ha’aviv and that our travails will give birth to recuperation and success. Sickness will give way to health, failures will lead to achievements, losses will lead to triumphs, and golus will lead to geulah. Amein.

ADVERTORIAL Have you ever taken a bite of a fresh concord grape? Felt the rush of the sweet juice as that wholesome grape flavor filled your mouth? This was the thought behind the newest partnership in the kosher industry between Welch’s, the nation’s largest grape juice producer, and Manischewitz, a leader and pioneer in kosher products. These two venerable brands have now joined forces and produced a new kosher grape juice for Pesach and Shabbos that has a natural, fresh concord grape taste with no added sulfites, preservatives, or chemicals. “This project didn’t happen overnight – far from it,” said Rabbi Aron Yonah Hayum, VP of Operations for the Manischewitz Company. “Over 18 months of kashrus planning and discussions have gone into bringing this product to the marketplace,” he added. Of the many conversations focused around the kashrus of the product, some of the questions included: Who will supervise the grape crush? Who will oversee the blending? At what point

will the juice become mevushal? Numerous and extensive meetings with the executive team at the OU, including site visits and conference calls with

representatives of Welch’s and Manischewitz, have resulted in this new and exciting product. No expenses were spared, and no corners cut, in ensuring the highest levels of kashrus of this new product. Only shomrei Shabbos employees handled

any juice prior to it being mevushal, and full kosherization was done on tanks, equipment, and bottling facilities that required it before the kosher juice was

produced. A mashgiach temidi supervised the entire process, from grapes to bottle. The juice is approved for kiddush and arba kosos for both Ashkenazim and Sephardim. With the kashrus supervision under control the focus was then on the prod-

uct itself. “The marketing teams from both Welch’s and Manischewitz wanted a product with no added sulfites and a fresh from the vine taste,” commented Sara Rivka Stromer, assistant brand manager at Manischewitz. She continued, “The new ‘grapey’ tasting juice is something different and refreshing.” The juice is very high quality with the majority of the blend being single-strength, meaning it is not from concentrate, but pure fresh squeezed juice. As is the case in all other grape juices, grape concentrate is added to ensure a consistent, fresh taste in every bottle. The heritage of kashrus and quality is something that has been maintained by the Manischewitz Company for over 120 years since the days of Rav Dov Ber Manischewitz himself. Best wishes for a ‫חג כשר ושמח‬. ‫יאכלו ענבים וישבעו‬ ‫בברכת חג כשר ושמח‬ The Manischewitz Co.


The Week In News Torah Musings


APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Very Big Mitzvah We Did at Ralphs Sarah Pachter

Recently, my aunt introduced me to the following phrase: “Oz-good.” Literally, it means “big ears.” This is a code word used among adults to describe a child who is eavesdropping or attempting to be part of a non-age appropriate conversation. Kids do not just have big ears. They are oversized with all their senses. Children are like sponges, absorbing and understanding more than we adults realize, for better or for worse. “Oz-good,” reminds adults of the presence of children, serving as a cue to resume the conversation at a

later time when “big ears” are not around. As human beings, we learn about our environment through exploration. This process begins at a very young age. Every adult can relate to this phenomenon, especially as the children in their lives become increasingly interested in their surroundings. The author of Curious George nailed it on the head! Just like our kids, George was a good little monkey but always very curious. Generally speaking, we tend to focus on shielding our children from hearing

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something negative. However, I recently learned that the opposite is equally true! Children absorb positive interactions and conversations in the same manner. This past Purim, our family set out on our mishloach manot delivery route. The day is always jam-packed and just does not seem to stop! We did not want to be late to our seudah but we were cutting it tight as we scrambled to deliver our last gifts to friends and family. As we passed by the local Ralphs, my son saw a homeless woman sitting by the bus stop. “Wait!” he called out to us. “We have to give to every poor person we see. Do we have any more money left to give her?” We paused. Wow. First of all, we had not realized that he really understood the depth and extent of the mitzvah. Secondly, we had already passed the bus stop and were running late. The Type A personality in me wanted to keep moving and finish delivering the intended mishloach manot. After all, I rationalized, there was only so much time and we were going to be late. Then a little voice inside me said, “Turn around. What’s the big deal? It’s Purim, and tzedakah changes our decree…” Out loud I responded, “Why don’t we turn around and give her? After all, it is Purim, and Josh is right. Let’s do a mitzvah.” We made a big deal of this suggestion and praised our son for his compassion. I quickly got out of the car and handed her a small bill. She was so grateful, praising both us and the Lord. My son was shocked at how happy she was with such a small amount. “See guys? Money is valuable!” I was pleased with the lesson imparted of the value of a dollar. We continued driving and we did not think much of that small act. The Shabbat immediately following Purim, I asked my kids at the table what their favorite part of Purim was. My son said, “Candy!” My baby answered, “Four!” (She is two years old in actuality, but tells everyone that she is four no matter what the question). My other daughter (who is actually four years old) replied, “The VERY BIG

mitzvah we did by the Ralphs...” I had had no idea that it had made an impression on her at all. Then my son proceeded to remind me of mitzvah we did years before by the Ralphs when we helped an older man who was short of breath by giving him a bottle of water. I had completely forgotten about that occurrence, but it clearly had remained etched in my child’s mind. All these small acts that I barely considered mitzvot at all turned out to be memorable to our children and clearly impacted them. What communicates most to our children is our actions, not our words. We learned that day that it is important to take advantage of even the seemingly tiny mitzvot that you do as a family. It does more than any book one can read about kindness or any lecture you preach to your child about sharing toys or including lonely children. When it is a natural occurrence, the lesson lasts the longest. Children learn the most through watching and absorbing. Do we praise them for good grades or for their kindness? We can preach charity all we want but if they see us turning people away or making excuses, what will they end up taking away? I once heard a fabulous quote in a parenting class. If children could, this is what they would tell us: “Your actions are so loud that I can’t hear you.” Children pick up and mimic our behavior for better or for worse. Although I had my hesitations about giving to an individual on the street (versus a traditional institution) I think the message of chessed and compassion had a positive end result. Take advantage of small opportunities because we do not realize the deep impact that they may have on our children. To us it was a small mitzvah by Ralphs. But my four year-old daughter has forever titled it, “The Very Big Mitzvah We Did at Ralphs.”

The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


Rabbi Mordechai Ungar shlita

L I F E ’ S


M O M E N T S .

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The Week In News

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APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Feature The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz: Shining Light instead of Accepting Darkness Devorah Talia Gordon Walking into a room such as Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz’s one would expect to find the shades drawn, people whispering and tiptoeing around so as not to disturb the patient. But this room is quite the opposite: filled with bright sunlight, spirited conversations, laughter and Torah learning. Life, clearly and purposefully, is being lived by “Rabbi Yitzi,” who suffers from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Rabbi Yitzi’s eyes are bright and communicative and his smile intact; he communicates through the use of a computer program with a sensor that tracks his eye movements. The words are typed on the monitor mounted over his bed, and broadcast through a speaker. The swift progression of the disease has not stopped Rabbi Yitzi from pursuing his goals of learning and spreading Torah. Yitzi maintains a packed schedule, typically learning every day from ten to two-thirty with various chavrusas. In addition to his learning and davening, Rabbi Yitzi maintains an active blog. “Yitzi has always been a teacher. He was never one to write anything down because he likes to communicate with people faceto-face. When that became impossible, he started writing. It was a way he could still teach.” Rabbi Yitzi’s inspiration divrei Torah reach people all over the world, and his message from the parashah often connects to his struggle with ALS. He writes it on Thursdays, with the goal of “finishing before Shabbos in Australia.” On the recent blog post from Parashah Shemini, something very special is included - a link to the music video, “Shine a Little Light” that has gone viral since its posting on March 31, reaching over 500,000 people. Over seven years ago, before the onset of the disease, Yitzi composed and recorded, “Shine a Little Light” on his cell phone. Last year, his daughter Fruma found the SIM card and the song was discovered. “Initially, hearing it was shocking,” Dina said. “We all sat there and just cried.” Thereafter, Dina asked Yitzi’s friends if they could learn this song and sing it to him on his birthday. “It was amazing,” Dina said. Then Yitzi’s classmate, producer Chaim Marcus, was visiting and heard it. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, “The whole world has to hear this song.” Dina figured perhaps Marcus could convince some of his brothers (8th Days’ Shmuel and Bentzion Marcus) to sing it, but didn’t know it was possible to do what he did. It took a year to put together, and

was filmed in New York, California and Israel. “It’s so professionally done, and perfect for a Hakhel year; gathering people from all over the world in a joint project, even if they are not physically next to each other,” said Dina. The video features many of the Jewish world’s top artists, including Yossi Green, Gad Elbaz, Benny Friedman, 8th Day, Maccabeats, Mordechai Ben David, and Yehoram Gaon. Also featured singing are school children, Israeli soldiers, yeshiva bachurim, Yitzi’s sons, and of course, Yitzi (whose voice from the original cell phone recording is used). “I never saw anybody like Yitzi,” Dina said, recalling when they first met. “He was always happy, and wherever he went he made other people happy.” The two wed in 1996, with the ever-musical Yitzi singing a song he composed for her at their wedding. Yitzi’s eyes grow even brighter and his smile widens at the mention of their meeting. After a couple of years, the Hurwitzs moved to California. “It was always Yitzi’s dream to be in shlichus,” said Dina, who grew up in Orange County, in a family of Chabad shluchim (emissaries). Temecula, a small town in the “Bible belt” of California with only a couple thousand Jews, turned out to be a good fit for the Hurwitzs. The Hurwitzs spent close to fifteen years doing the spiritual work of which Yitzi and Dina had always dreamed. After Yitzi’s diagnosis in 2013 of bulbar onset, a dreaded form of ALS, it soon became apparent that staying in Temecula was not an option. However, the couple was so dedicated to the community that, in the beginning, they returned to Temecula every Shabbos. Although it was hard to leave their community and home, their apartment next door to the Chabad yeshiva in the La Brea area has been “an unbelievable blessing for us.” The apartment is spacious and the building has an elevator, rarities among the old LA structures with staircases and narrow hallways. But the biggest part of the blessing is a spiritual one: “There’s a porch right out there,” Dina says, pointing to the south-facing window. “And every so often my boys sit there with chavrusas and my husband can see them.” Dina and Yitzi currently have two boys in the yeshiva, in ninth and tenth grades. The yeshiva has been a blessing for another reason as well: the bachurim hold minyanim in Yitzi’s room whenever there is Torah reading. In fact, thanks to the bachurim, the Hurwitzs now own their own sefer Torah.

Last summer, when Dina was on a trip to the Ukraine for women and girls, she told a woman on the trip, Mrs. Leah G., how much the LA yeshiva boys had done for her and her husband, including bringing a borrowed sefer Torah to the apartment several times a week for leining. Mrs. G. said she had an inheritance from her father and couldn’t think of anything better to do with the money. “It turned out, the bachurim were trying to buy us a Torah. I said to the boys, ‘You did get us the Torah. Because I told her [Mrs. G.] everything that you have done for us, she wanted to buy it for us.’ One of Rabbi Yitzi’s friends has purchased a crown for the Torah, and as soon as they receive it the Hurwitzs plan to build a beautiful aron kodesh. Despite his illness, Yitzi is as positive, upbeat and filled with emunah as always. “One day I walked in here and Yitzi was laughing,” Dina recalled. “I asked what he was laughing about. And he said, ‘Our whole life, we grow up learning about emunah and bitachon, and we never know when things get really tough what we will do with that knowledge.’ Then he said, ‘I know.’” For her part, Dina said, “Hashem is part of every conversation I have, and I don’t understand the tests that he puts people through, and sometimes I can’t get past that. And sometimes I’m happy to say that at least He knows what he is doing.” Dina writes her own “raw” diary about this journey on Yitzi’s blog, called “The Caffeinated Thinker.” As we are finishing up our visit, Yitzi types: “How I feel is summed up by last year’s blog on this week’s parashah, Metzora.” Yitzi wrote then: I remember when I was finished my first round of tests. The neurologist gave me his preliminary findings, “you have bulbar ALS.” I had no idea what it meant. He explained the severity of it to me and said he was going to refer me to an ALS specialist. I was there alone. Walking out of his office into the empty hallway I broke down in a fit of bitter tears. When I composed myself I headed out of the building. The first thing I witnessed stepping out was a young man falling to the ground having a seizure. I ran to help him. It dawned upon me that there is still much purpose for me. I decided that regardless of the outcome of any future “tests” I would remain positive and find ways to fill life with meaning and purpose. This has turned my life and the lives of those around me happier and by far more fulfilling. We all suffer hardships and pain, it’s what we do with them that makes the difference… What are the Hurwitzs doing with them? Yitzi and Dina are shining not a little light, but the greatest light imaginable, into the world. A group of rabbis graciously started a fund for the Hurwitzs: To read Rabbi Yitzi’s blog and view the song, go to yitzihurwitz.blogspot. com

The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


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Torah The Week In| The News APRIL 14,Thought 2016 Jewish Home

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Torah Thought

Shabbat Hagadol By Rabbi Berel Wein


he Shabbat preceding Pesach is titled “The Great Shabbat.” Over the ages there have been many reasons advanced as to why this Shabbat, over all others, deserves this title. I know that it is somehow presumptuous on my part to add my view on the matter when so many greater people than me have had their say. However, the Torah is so vast and all-encompassing and speaks to all times and generations that it always allows for everyone to advance one’s own ideas and insights in the hope that Torah will be enhanced. So, I am taking the liberty of advancing something that I’ve been thinking about for a number of months regarding this great Shabbat. This Shabbat is the gateway to the great holiday of Pesach. Since Pesach is regarded as being the holiday of our freedom, this Shabbat becomes in a metaphorical sense the gateway for freedom. All of human greatness throughout the ages has always been predicated on the necessity for freedom. Freedom of expression, of thought, of

choice and of imagination has always been the main ingredients of human progress and of spiritual and material advancement. Thought control has always been the tool of tyrants

It is freedom that inspires human greatness. The idea of Shabbat itself – a day of rest and escape from the mundane world that oftentimes overwhelms us – is an example of greatness and of

the opportunity to think differently than the rest of the world and to accept the Torah and all that it entailed at a time when the rest of the world rejected it. Shabbat opened for us the ability to

On the holiday of Pesach the greatness of Shabbat is apparent in all of its glory when it is coupled with the concept of freedom that it helped create and foster.

and despots. It was our father Avraham who first stood up against this type of tyranny in ancient Mesopotamia, risking his life to proclaim the belief in monotheism in an enforced pagan society. That is one of the reasons why our Pesach haggadah begins with the redemption from Egyptian bondage by recalling the story of Avraham. Freedom presupposes the right to be different and if there ever was a one-word description of the Jewish people over the millennia of our existence it certainly is the word “different.”

freedom. Without a Shabbat our exodus from Egypt would perhaps, in the long run of history, have been relatively meaningless. So many nations and peoples over the centuries have gained independence but eventually deteriorated and even disappeared from the human story. It is the consistency of the freedom of the Jewish people, with its constant renewal and revitalization, that makes our freedom so special and of such an historic nature. Freedom from Egyptian bondage gave us

be different as a people and a culture, allowing us to enrich all of humanity with G-dly and moral insights and behavior. It is on this Shabbat before Pesach, before we again remember and celebrate our physical release and freedom from Egyptian bondage, that we pay homage to the great gift granted us by our Creator. We acknowledge the greatness of that day that precedes, causes and defines our freedom both physically and spiritually. In reality every Shabbat is “great” but on the holiday of Pesach the

greatness of Shabbat is apparent in all of its glory when it is coupled with the concept of freedom that it helped create and foster. Greatness is never a temporary or faddish thing. It does not necessarily generate popularity or easy acceptance. But it always survives and is constantly effective. The Shabbat guarded and protected the inner freedom of the Jewish people over millennia and it continues to do so today. Jews lived for and tragically died for the Shabbat. It became the benchmark of Jewish loyalty and togetherness. It is the great sign of the eternal covenant between G-d and Israel, the beacon of light and hope for all times and circumstances. It is the task of our generation that has tasted the renaissance of Jewish freedom, physically, materially, and nationally, to restore the Shabbat to its deservedly exalted place of greatness and primacy. And perhaps is the message of this great Shabbat to us now. Shabbat shalom. Chag kosher v’sameach.

Feature The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

In their Own Words How the Current Wave of Terror is Affecting Israeli Businesses By Rafi Sackville


n the Western Galil where we live the majority of residents are not Jewish. Integration is quite normal, even if difficult for some. Na-if, our school security guard, is Druze. He carries a handgun with him at all times. No one would consider not coming to school because he is armed. The mall in our town is frequented as much by Druze and Arabs as it is by Jews. Apart from an errant rocket fired by Hezbollah into the outskirts of Nahariya in retaliation for the recent assassination of one of their operatives, there has been no major change in behavior by residents here. However, facts on the ground paint a different picture further south, particularly in places like Gush Etzion and Jerusalem. The former, just south of the capital, was the trigger point both in the war almost two years ago when three young teenagers were kidnapped and brutally murdered, and for the

recent spate of horrendous stabbings. The Central Bureau of Statistics’ website points to an 11.2% drop in people coming into the country. How does that figure and the corresponding 2% dip in Israeli travel translate on the ground? There has been a detected shift in the attitude of many Israelis. According to a December 5 article in the Jerusalem Post, one in five Israelis knows someone who was a victim to the latest wave of terror. Moreover, four in five admitted to having “changed their behavior as a result.” This change of habit constitutes a heightened awareness and restricting certain patterns of what was once acceptable behavior. Today the Gush Etzion junction has a beefed up security presence, in particular at the hitchhiking stations.


ast month we drove to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion to visit our good friends Penina and Yehuda Schwartz. We drove through the kibbutz to have a look at the famous lone, oak tree, which has stood there for centuries and is symbolic of the original Jewish dwellers who lived there prior to independence. Yehuda and Penina have lived on the kibbutz for almost 45 years. I asked Yehuda, who grew up in what was then Jewish Rosedale in New York, to compare the current situation to his prior experiences in the area.

Yehuda Schwartz

The past six months have been quite different from the previous wars and intifada. The feeling of unrest caused by the change in the methods of the terrorists – the stabbing of innocent citizens in all parts of the country – leaves us more tense, apprehensive and concerned. We hope and pray for days of tranquility in the near future.


lbeit a focus for much of the current terrorism, Gush Etzion in no way reflects the changes in tourist behavior a few miles north in the capital. Jerusalem is traditionally a magnet for international tourism, and despite what appeared to be typical, teeming pedestrian traffic in Machane Yehuda and the center of town, a different picture emerged. Aliza ben Yair has been selling vegetables in the shuk for 52 years. She remembers the bombing during the first intifada, and while not comparing the two periods, she sees certain similarities between now and then.

Aliza ben Yair

I don’t sell to a lot of tourists. My clientele are exclusively Israelis. Nevertheless, we are suffering a downturn in business. The current wave of terror has caused people to think twice before they venture out to the shuk. Fridays are still busy, because people are looking for bargains, but all in all the situation is not good.



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APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015



few months ago I wrote a story about the daughter of Uzi Eli, who runs an organic juice bar in the shuk. Luck would have it that Uzi was there to greet us with his famously warm smile and good cheer.

I want to say that I emigrated from Yemen 73 years ago. This store sells juices exclusively based on recipes from the Rambam. My business has dropped 25-30% since the stabbings began. I’m sure that once things get quiet people will continue coming to shuk Machane Yehuda. I have faith that things will get better.

Uzi Eli


ust down the alley from Uzi is the Teler Bakery shop. The bakery itself is further down Rehov Agripas. The shop is a famous landmark in the middle of the shuk. Shmuel Krasnianski has worked there for many years.

Shmuel Krasnianski

The current period has been extremely hard on the shuk. Sales are down. There are some businesses around here that have closed. It seems that people are staying close to their homes. Nevertheless, I have sensed some improvement recently. Don’t forget we’re Am Yisrael. We have always learned how to overcome such situations. After we get used to such difficulties we lift our heads and move on. Baruch Hashem, things are going to improve even if they are not as good as they were two years ago.


urther downtown at the end of Rehov Agripas and King George, Ilan, the proprietor of Gold Optics, shared a similar attitude to Shmuel. He admitted the current situation was bad, but refused to be drawn into a discussion that would in any way disparage the country.

Israel is one of the safest and most beautiful places in the world. I want any potential tourists to know this.



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APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


uval Klein runs Zuzu Tayarut (tourism). He was far more vociferous in discussing the state of tourism. Zuzu Travel’s problems began with the war in thesSummer of 2014 when the directors of training, office and sales were called into active duty. That long month put a large dent into their business. When the current round of terrorism began, Zuzu saw a 50% downturn in business. The extremely cold and wet months of January and February led to another drop of 40% compared to the similar period a year before. In total, the fall in tourists has all but decimated Zuzu. Today domestic tourism barely exists. In an effort to survive, Zuzu has moved most of its programs to Tel Aviv. Yuval hopes that come Pesach there will be a recovery of sorts, and Jerusalem will once again become the focus of domestic and inbound tourism. When I quoted the Bureau of Statistics numbers he became quite incensed.

Yuval Klein

There is more than one way to read statistics. While not distorting the facts, the government’s figures only include tourists entering and leaving the country. The Jerusalem tourist industry is collapsing. We are currently 70% down from the same time last year. You have to understand that Jerusalem is under siege. Tourist companies have been encouraged not to bring their business to the capital. Our company is unique because we do active tours. We take people on Segway trips, we have running and bicycling tourist tours. We even do tasting tours here and in Tel Aviv, but this line of our work has all but stopped in Jerusalem. Despite his disappointment, Yuval was still optimistic, particularly when he spoke about American Jewry.

I would like to convey a message of thanks and appreciation to American Jews who continue to come to Jerusalem in spite of the situation. There are no words to express just how grateful we are.


uval wasn’t the only one who addressed the lack of business in Jerusalem. Amitai Young is an event planner who has been witness to the changes over the last year.

Amitai Young

There used to be a very active night life in the city. Pubs were always full. Today they’re empty. A couple of years ago one would have to reserve a place in restaurants. Today you can walk in without waiting. Ze’ev Elkin, the current minister for the Office of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, has tried to initiate a program to encourage tourism in the city. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that his office has had any success.


error is a strange animal. It breeds on fear, which translates into potential tourists deciding not to visit. The same fear saw tourism drop in New York after 9/11, and France after the massacres at the end of last year. Many Israelis would consider such fear irrational, but that is a moot point. It is important to note that almost every person we spoke with was optimistic that tourism and business in general will improve in the coming months. Perhaps it’s best to leave the last word to Pam and Lenny Cohen from Chicago. They have been coming to Jerusalem since 1965. They have been here for three months and intend to return again at the end of summer.

When we want to come here, we come. Nothing keeps us away.

Pam & Lenny Cohen



The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



The Parenting Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr. T, To be totally honest, I really dread Pesach vacation. So many days off from school – I can’t even begin to think how I will keep my children occupied. I know that yom tov should be meaningful and uplifting for my family and me, but, frankly, I’ll be glad if I survive! I would appreciate any advice you might offer, Hadas Dear Hadas, I would imagine that like most of us you are overwhelmed and stressed-out from Pesach preparations, and the thought of another project – that of managing the yom tov wants and needs of your children – just pushes you over the edge. The good news is that it is doable, but you need to step away a bit, and begin to plan proactively. Begin at the end – as the saying goes, “No road is a good road if you don’t know where it’s going.” What are you goals for your family during yom tov? What choices can you make that will get you the results you want? What are the appropriate means to your end? Aside from our bread-and-butter concerns (like food, clothing, medical needs), most of us parents want our children to enjoy their childhood. We work hard at providing quality time, connection, and stimulating, positive experiences for our children. As Torah Jews, we particularly want our children to look back on memories of a happy childhood. This is both our chinuch responsibility and our insurance policy, for it has often been noted that people tend to stay in a system that works for them. Making the yom tov experience a positive one is a vital piece in bringing up our children to continue on the path we set for them. Let’s look at some possible choices that would support our goal of a relaxed, yet high-quality, yom tov experience for our family. In general: 1. Choose people over things. Always. You could make that fudge meringue dream while your children wait

around watching you melt the chocolate, beat the egg whites, prepare three layer pans…you get the drift. Desserts are a wonderful treat, but not at the expense of family time. 2. Choose mental health over that final straw – whatever it is. You know your limits. Before you’ve reached them, stop! No one activity is worth your peace of mind. It would be nice to invite your crotchety upstairs neighbor for all of yom tov – after all, she is lonely. But, you know that listening to her complain at every meal is way more than you handle, so you settle for having her for two lunch meals. More specifically: 3. Include your children in the planning stages to insure their buy-in and enjoyment. How do they want to participate at the seder – Ma Nishtana? Divrei Torah? Hallel? What chores are they good at – and enjoy? Do they want to invite a friend? Go to a friend? What is their idea of chol hamoed fun? 4. Yom tov involves lots of sitting at meals, more than some children – and adults – can bear. Develop a user-friendly time frame that factors in the age and stamina of each child. Discuss your expectations with each child before the meals begin and after the allotted time at the table, excuse the child gesunderheit. Prepare toys and games in another room so that the kids are occupied. You may even choose to have a rotation of teen or adults to supervise the little ones. 5. The seder is the centerpiece of Pesach, and while the older child may ap-

preciate its significance, younger children – afikomen notwithstanding – are often bored. It is a worthwhile challenge to figure out a way of including the younger set and catering to their interests while not ignoring the adults and invited guests. In a family with young children, you may want to skip the guests altogether in order to focus on the kids. Your cousin Harry from San Antonio is in town and wants to crash on your sofa for the first two nights to join you at your seder. Harry is an easy guest, and he can be quite funny – and distracting. You let him know that the last days of yom tov are a better option for your family. 6. Discuss the family guidelines for afikomen before the seder. By developing reasonable expectations beforehand, parents save both their children and themselves lots of anguish. Who will steal? Which night? What is a fair price – an American Girl doll or a 99 Cent Store prize? When can the child reasonably expect

to receive his prize? 7. Maintain some structure in the home, even if it is vacation. Serve three healthy meals and maintain a (relaxed) bedtime. Children behave well when they feel well; tired and hungry children tend to be cranky and contentious. I hope some of these ideas prove helpful and help you look forward to a chag kasher v’sameach. The Book Nook: Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson. Though not strictly a parenting title, this very short book talks about doing things differently when we want different results. Engaging and easy to read, this book is a must for any growing person interested in change. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, L.A.’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email

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APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Review TheBook Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Book Review: Prepare for Pesach…B’Simchah! by Chava Dumas (The Judaica Press 2014)

Pesach Guess Who?

by Ariella Stern, with illustrations by Patti Argoff (Hachai 2016) Reviewed by Rebecca Klempner

Just as in her first three “Lift the Flap” books (covering Chanukah, brachos, and Purim), Angeleno Ariella Stern fills her latest cook, Pesach Guess Who?, with wacky, rhyming riddles just right for the 4-8 year old set. Hachai teamed Stern up again with illustrator Patti Argoff – her colorful pictures depict a lively family cheerfully preparing and celebrating the Passover holiday. Younger children will learn about Passover, while older kids will enjoy testing their knowledge of the holiday. The book includes “bonus questions” and a glossary at the back. Pesach Guess Who? can be found at Jewish book retailers online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Really, the best time to read Prepare for Pesach…B’Simchah! by Chava Dumas is months ahead of Passover. Dumas takes the “slow but steady” approach to Pesach cleaning. “Although we can clean for Pesach in less than four weeks, the idea

of cleaning for Pesach b’simchah in forty days reflects this concept of utilizing forty days to change ourselves for the better.” (p. 27) Nonetheless, readers will find many strategies, tips, and nuggets of wisdom in Dumas’s Pesach primer that they can use even at this “late” stage in the game. The actual directions for Pesach cleaning come in the second half of the book. The guidelines are those of Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt”l, and, yibadel l’chaim, Rav Yitzchak Berkovits, shlit”a. Their rulings are are Ashkenazi but much more lenient than many other approaches, particularly in the Hareidi world. Dumas discusses all sorts of special situations – when health considerations prohibit cleaning for Pesach, when Pesach falls out on Motzei Shabbat, and how to react when things go wrong. Practical guidelines like how to feed yourself and

your family during the holiday and during those pre-Pesach days – including how to use up your chometz, tasty kitniyos meal ideas, and what to eat in those tricky hours on erev Pesach when you can no longer eat chometz and you can’t yet eat matzah. These sensible tips are accompanied by ways to enhance the spiritual aspects of the holiday. I particularly appreciated Dumas’s sage and frugal advice about chol hamoed activities. She also includes advice to engage all family members into Pesach preparations, among them jobs children of different ages can do, and offers safety guidelines and fun erev Pesach activities. Readers with children will benefit from these parenting pointers. Interspersed throughout the book are lots of snippets from personal essays and poems on the topic of Passover and Pass-

over cleaning. Many are hilarious, others are heartwarming, and you will want to share them with others. My favorite additions were a couple of techinos – informal prayers not found in standard siddurim – that Mrs. Dumas included. One was an English translation of an old Yiddish prayer to recite before cleaning for Pesach during the month of Nissan. I found it so inspirational that I printed it out and taped it to my wall! The other prayer, equally meaningful, was written by a contemporary woman who built her emunah by writing her own “Hallel” prayer where she elaborated upon her gratitude to Hashem. I did find fault with two aspects of the book: There are many, many pages devoted to how to spring clean and declutter even though Mrs. Dumas tells readers repeatedly that we don’t have to do these things at Pesach time. I would prefer not to have such topics at all covered in Pesach prep books – they just feed into the competitive attitude so many people adopt at this time of year. I also wondered at the chapter on food allergies and sensitivities – which veered a bit into the realm of “alternative medicine” and did not directly discuss Pesach preparation. In fact, Dumas didn’t really address how to cope with allergies and sensitivities while cooking yom tov meals at all, even though the abundance of eggs and nuts in Pesach cuisine makes this a particularly pertinent issue for many families. On the other hand, I very much appreciated some of the general reminders about using time wisely and easing stress that Dumas listed in Chapters 19 and 20. I’ll definitely be using those as we get ready for chag! Overall, I think that both newcomers to Passover preparation and “oldtimers” will appreciate Dumas’s Prepare for Pesach…B’Simchah! There are lots of workbook pages, calendars and charts which I’ll be adopting this year, and I found myself highlighting quotes all over the place as I read. “We don’t have to experience cleaning for Pesach as bondage, nor view the Seder night as our liberation from weeks of stress and anxiety,” Dumas writes (p. 16). With this nifty book, I think I might sit down at the Seder table with a truer, happier sense of liberty.

Extra Feature The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Fix and Release: Los Angeles’s Sidewalk Repair Plan Michael Rubinstein Esq. Cracked, uneven sidewalks. Raised slabs of concrete that will destroy your balance and shatter your walking equilibrium in a split-second. We’ve all seen or encountered dangerous Los Angeles sidewalks. Many of us know someone who has tripped and gotten hurt, whether walking to shul, or to relatives’ homes for meals during Shabbos or yom tov.

ception for sidewalk damage caused by city-owned trees and tree roots. Both the Code and several court decisions hold that if City-owned property (like trees) caused the damage, the City is responsible for repairing it. In many trouble spots, the City will make a temporary repair by filling in uneven sidewalks with black asphalt. But

Under the fix and release plan, the City has agreed to repair sidewalks next to commercial, industrial, and residential properties throughout Los Angeles, regardless of what caused the damage. The plan will cap payments made for each parcel so larger plots do not disproportionately exhaust the allocation of funds. The City will also offer rebates to

A solution to this long-overdue safety issue might be in the works. In March, the Los Angeles City Council announced a new plan to try and tackle the problem of Los Angeles sidewalks. Under the “fix and release” plan, the City will assume responsibility for repairing sidewalks, then transfer future repairs to adjacent property owners. The plan is controversial, and critics have pointed out its flaws. According to a recent Bureau of Street Services report, approximately 4600 miles of Los Angeles sidewalks need repairs. Will the City’s fix and release plan make any progress? Isn’t the City responsible for maintaining sidewalks? And how did the City get into this mess in the first place? Decades of Disrepair Los Angeles’s notorious sidewalk problems stretch back decades. During the 1970s, federal infrastructure funding became available, and the City voluntarily assumed responsibility for repairing all sidewalks. As a general rule, California law requires property owners to maintain the sidewalks that front their properties, but once federal funding became available, the City took on this responsibility. The federal funding was exhausted within a few years, and since then, the City has been slow to make proper repairs. While typically a property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of his or her property, the Los Angeles Municipal Code contains an ex-

these “repairs” usually are not permanent. What often happens is that the asphalt erodes, re-exposing the underlying dangerous portion of the sidewalk. Instead of permanently repairing dangerous areas, the City’s approach has been to simply put a “band-aid” that almost never completely eliminates the problem. Class Action Lawsuit The embarrassing state of Los Angeles’s sidewalks was litigated in a recent class-action lawsuit titled Willits v. City of Los Angeles. The case was brought by handicapped individuals who argued that hundreds of miles of Los Angeles sidewalks are not navigable for pedestrians, nor are they wheelchair compliant. Last year, the City settled the Willits case for over $1.3 billion. The Court ordered the City to spend $31 million annually over the next 30 years to repair sidewalks and make them more pedestrian-friendly and accommodating to individuals in wheel chairs. The City has nearly 10,000 miles of sidewalks to begin with, and in the past 5 years, it has received over 19,000 sidewalk complaints. Despite the City’s settlement in the Willits case, progress has been slow. And the settlement is no consolation to the thousands of pedestrians who have tripped on dangerous sidewalks and suffered fractures, dislocations, surgeries, and the implantation of metal hardware in their joints and appendages as a result of serious trip-and-fall injuries. Fix and Release

property owners who undertake to repair their sidewalks on their own. The City can reimburse up to 50% of the repairs made by homeowners, and it will also waive permit fees for property owners who make repairs on their own. The City will extend warranties for any sidewalk repair work it performs or authorizes. Residential sidewalks will be covered for 20 years, and sidewalks adjacent to commercial properties will be covered for five. The warranty would not cover damage or negligence caused by property owners. After the warranty period expires, private property owners would be responsible for making future repairs. Some citizen groups have expressed concerns with the fix and release plan. They argue that the City’s trees are responsible for most of the sidewalk damage, and the fix and release plan should not shift the responsibility to homeowners who didn’t plant the trees and aren’t responsible for maintaining them. Furthermore, they argue, taxpayers should be able to expect the City to use their tax dollars to repair sidewalks, just like the City does for streets and other important municipal infrastructure. Is the City Liable for Injuries? Trip-and-falls on the sidewalk can result in gruesome injuries. It’s important to keep in mind that the City is not necessarily responsible in every case. Every case is unique, which is why an attorney should be consulted. There is a considerable amount of case

law that has analyzed defective sidewalks. The size of the defective sidewalk is an important factor, but by no means the only one the court will consider. Other factors include the pedestrian’s familiarity with the area; lighting conditions; and whether the City knew about the defect in question. In trip-and-fall cases, the City might argue that it never knew about dangerous sidewalk areas. How can it keep track of thousands of miles of sidewalks that need repairs? In the law this issue is known as “notice.” It boils down to whether the City knew about the dangerous sidewalk. And even if the City did not receive any complaints, but a particularly dangerous area existed for such a period of time and was of such an obvious nature that the City, in the exercise of due care, should have discovered it, the law might impart what’s known as “constructive notice” on the City. Pedestrians can report defective sidewalks to the City by using the 311 app, or by calling 311, or filing a complaint online. If you see a sidewalk that concerns you, it’s very important that you let the City know immediately! You could help prevent serious injuries and close the door on the City’s potential arguments that it never knew about a dangerous sidewalk. Once a citizen complains about a dangerous sidewalk, the City has an obligation to repair it. In the event a pedestrian trips on the sidewalk and is hurt, an attorney should be consulted immediately. Claims against government entities have strict procedural rules that are different than regular claims. Failing to follow these unique procedures can be fatal to an otherwise valid personal injury claim. Don’t delay! Conclusion It’s too early to tell whether the fix and release plan will be a viable solution to the serious problem of Los Angeles sidewalks. One thing everyone can agree on is that the City has overlooked this safety hazard for far too long, and too many people have gotten hurt as a result. Remember that trip and falls on the sidewalk involve a unique area of law known as premises liability. If you or someone you know is injured ch”v, you should discuss your case with an attorney familiar with this area of law as soon as possible. The Gemara in Bava Kama (27b) says “Ein darkan shel b’nei adam l’hisbonen bidrachim – Pedestrians do not gaze at the ground while walking.” Despite what the City’s (and other defense-minded) lawyers might argue, it’s just not human nature for pedestrians to look down at the ground while walking on the sidewalk!


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


You gotta be


Johnny comes running into the house after his little league game. His father couldn’t attend the game and wanted to know what happened. “How did you do, son?” he asks excitedly. “You’ll never believe it!” says Johnny. “I was responsible for the winning run!” “Wow, how did you do that?!” asks his father. Johnny replies, “I dropped the ball in the bottom of the ninth and they scored.”

Centerfold ?

Riddle me this?

David, Joe, Sara, Mimi and Mike are playing in a baseball game with some other people. Each friend plays a different position (First base, Pitcher, Shortstop, Catcher, Right Field) and gets a different number of hits (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5). From the clues, can you figure out who did what? 1) David, the furthest from home base, had exactly twice as many hits as the pitcher. 2) The shortstop was tired after getting her fifth hit. 3) Mike had more hits than all the other infielders except for Sara. 4) Joe wears a mask. See answer below

In the Name of Baseball

Answer to riddle: David is the right fielder and he got 4 hits. Joe is the catcher and he got 1 hit. Sara is the shortstop and she got 5 hits. Mimi is the pitcher and she got 2 hits. Mike is the first baseman and he got 3 hits.



The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home


So You Think Umpin’ Is So Easy? The rules of baseball are complex. Take this test to see how you’d do as the big man behind the plate

1. Where on a batter body is the bottom of the strike zone? a. Just above the knee b. Mid-thigh c. Mid-shin d. Beneath the knee cap 2. What is the call when two runners end up on the same base? a. The lead runner must try to advance to the next base. b. Play is dead and the trailing run is permitted to return to the previous base. c. The lead runner is entitled to the base; the trailing runner must try to go back to the previous base. d. Both are automatically out. 3. A batter who is hit by a pitch without making an effort to get out of the way will not be awarded first base. a. True b. False 4. If in trying to make a catch in front of the outfield wall, the ball bounces off the fielder’s glove over the wall, it is a home run. a. True b. False 5. There is a runner on first when the batter hits the ball deep to right field and it is not caught. The runner who was on first falls down. May the batter, who is now rounding first, assist the runner ahead of him around the bases? a. Yes b. No

6. There is a runner on first and second when the batter bunts the ball 15 feet in the air. Instead of catching the ball the pitcher drops it and starts a 1-5-4-3 triple play (if you don’t know what that is, you obviously don’t know much about…soccer). What call should the umpire make? a. Intentional grounding b. Umpire should not make any call c. Infield fly rule d. Double play 7. A team has runners on first and third bases with one out when the batter hits a fly ball near the stands along the third-base line. The third baseman makes a leaping catch and falls into the stands, holding onto the ball. What happens next? a. It is live play and the runners may proceed and the third baseman can try to throw them out. b. Batter is out and runners do not advance bases. c. Automatically the runner on third scores and the runner on first goes to second. d. Ball is considered a foul. 8. With the bases loaded and two outs, the batter hits a grand slam. The runner on first base misses second base as he circles the

bases. What happens? a. The hitting team scores three runs and the inning is over b. The hitting team is granted 4 runs and the inning continues (because it was a Grand Slam, the player did not have to touch the base) c. The hitting team is awarded two runs (for those that scored before the player did not touch second) and the inning is over. d. The hitting team is not awarded any runs and the inning is over. Answers: 1. D 2. C 3. A 4. A 5. A- A runner can assist another runner as long as he did not score yet or was not yet ruled out. 6. B 7. C- When a fielder carries the ball into dead ball territory and controls the ball, he is credited with the catch but all runners are awarded one base on the play. 8. D- No runs can score when an inning ends in a force out. Scorecard: 6-8 correct: You belong behind the plate with an umpire’s mask (time to start rounding off that belly of yours). 4-5 correct: You are good, but prone to mistakes. Good thing we now have instant replay. 0-3 correct: Do you now understand why hitters are supposed to wear helmets?




The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



Recipe The Week In News

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Recipe The Week In News

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APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home



ew N A g n i c u Introd v Seminary Bais Yaako




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For more info call: 347-374-2982 or email Rabbi Yaakov Y. Greenberg Menahel


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Quotes The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Hotel and casino tycoon Steve Wynn is under fire after he said, “Rich people only like being around rich people. Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.” In related news, Donald Trump needs a new opening line for his inauguration speech. - Jimmy Fallon

We are making Sweden the first country in the world with its own phone number. – A Swedish tourism executive (The country now has an official number you can call to talk to a random Swede about all things Sweden)

House Speaker Paul Ryan today continued to shoot down rumors that he could be a surprise candidate at the Republican convention and said that he’s not the fresh face his party needs. I guess he hasn’t gotten a look at the other faces in contention. – Seth Myers

DIABETES HERE I COME. – What a Starbucks barista wrote on a label on a cup containing a white chocolate mocha before handing it to a customer in Florida

After weeks of back and forth, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have finally agreed to hold a debate in Brooklyn next Thursday. You know you’re in New York when you have to argue over the date of when you’re going to argue. – Jimmy Fallon

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have scheduled a debate for next Thursday in Brooklyn. Which is about as close as Bernie Sanders can get to Wall Street without spontaneously combusting. – Seth Myers

Chris Christie was the focus of a shaming campaign after a fan at a basketball game photographed him seemingly pouring a bag of M&Ms into a box of M&Ms… Chris Christie eating M&Ms isn’t something that should go viral. It’s basically what we expect. Like nobody would get excited if they caught Bernie Sanders cutting his own hair in a bus station bathroom. It’s just what he does. – James Corden

Hillary Clinton was campaigning in New York today and actually visited Yankee Stadium. Bernie Sanders spent the entire day looking for the Brooklyn Dodgers. “They were here when I left! Where did they go? Where are they?” – Jimmy Fallon




Quotes The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


I love the FBI because we aspire to, and I think we are, three things: We’re honest, we’re competent, we’re independent. I’ve stayed close to that investigation to ensure that it’s done that way. That we have the resources, the technology, the people and that there’s no outside influence. - FBI Director James Comey at Kenyon College in Ohio, responding to an audience member’s question about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails

What I also know, because I handle a lot of classified information, is that there are — there’s classified, and then there’s classified. There’s stuff that is really top-secret, top-secret, and there’s stuff that is being presented to the president or the secretary of state that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you could get in opensource. – President Obama when asked about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, on Fox News Sunday

I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case. – Ibid., when asked whether he will protect Hillary Clinton from prosecution

There is an ironclad rule of politics, which is no funny hats. — GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, declining to put on the iconic foam cheesehead hat while campaigning in Kenosha, Wisconsin

We are now four days away from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ Thursday night debate in Brooklyn, which means Hillary’s already tried 600 different ways to ask, “Is Brooklyn in the house?” - Seth Myers

My recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?... I don’t have it in my number...but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been. – Bernie Sanders criticizing Israel during a meeting with the editorial board of the New York Daily News (According to the Palestinians’ own numbers, which are probably heavily exaggerated, 1,462 “civilians” were killed in the conflict)

First of all, he should get his facts right. Secondly, he owes Israel an apology. He accused us of a blood libel. He accused us of bombing hospitals. He accused us of killing 10,000 Palestinian civilians. Don’t you think that merits an apology? – Israel Knesset Member Michael Oren

He doesn’t mention the many thousands of Hamas rockets fired at us. He doesn’t mention the fact that Hamas hides behind civilians. He doesn’t mention the fact that we pulled out of Gaza in order to give the Palestinians a chance to experiment with statehood, and they turned it into an experiment with terror. He doesn’t mention any of that. That, to me, is libelous. – Ibid.

Hamas provokes Israel. They often pretend to have people in civilian garb acting as though they are civilians who are Hamas fighters. It’s a very different undertaking for Israel to target those who are targeting them. And I think Israel has had to defend itself – has a right to defend itself. – Hillary Clinton, on CNN, refuting Bernie Sanders’ comments that called Israel’s response against Hamas “disproportionate.”



Quotes The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


On the Republican side, I saw that Ted Cruz visited a matzah factory in Brooklyn. Of course, matzah is the unleavened bread that Jewish people eat for Passover, and Ted Cruz is the presidential candidate that New Yorkers will definitely pass over. – Jimmy Fallon

We did it. #NeverTrump. - Tweet sent out by the Colorado Republican Party Twitter handle after all 34 Colorado delegates went to Ted Cruz

“Darling, you’re so brilliant, you’re so bright. Act presidential. It’s so easy for you.” Darling, I’ve got to win first, you know? — Donald Trump disclosing to the New York Times a conversation that he and his wife had

John Kasich had to move his campaign event to a larger venue when he got more RSVPs than expected. Kasich said, “We had to move it from a toll booth to a Sunglass Hut.” – Conan O’Brien The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


MORE QUOTES MAKE BASEBALL FUN AGAIN – Writing on a red cap that Washington Nationals player Bryce Harper wore immediately following the Washington Nationals’ season opener

Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, just gave birth last week and she’s already back on the campaign trail for her dad. Ivanka’s friends were like, “Shouldn’t you be with the baby?” And Ivanka was like, “Yeah, I’m campaigning for him.” – Jimmy Fallon

You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. - Bill Clinton, when he was heckled by Black Lives Matter protestors over a crime bill he signed into law as president

Here’s the thing. I like protesters, but the ones that won’t let you answer are afraid of the truth. That’s a simple rule. - Ibid., when the protestors refused to be quiet

You know, yeah, he’s a white guy, but he’s a really outstanding jurist. Sorry. - President Obama, during a question and answer session at University of Chicago Law School

While campaigning in New York today, Hillary Clinton rode the subway and had to swipe her MetroCard five times before getting through a turnstile. Though if you know Hillary Clinton, you know she’ll keep trying until she gets in. – Seth Myers

She swiped her MetroCard five times, which means it only took the crowd behind her 10 seconds to go from “Oh my G-d it’s Hillary!” to “Let’s go lady!” – Ibid


Travel The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Travel Guide: Reykjavik Aaron Feigenbaum Despite its relatively small size, Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is quickly becoming one of Scandinavia’s most vibrant, cosmopolitan, and quirky destinations. The city has a wide variety of interesting museums to see as well as world-class festivals, intriguing art galleries, and beautiful parks and historic buildings to tour. Then there’s the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s main tourist attractions and located just a short drive from Reykjavik. The Lagoon is one of the country’s many geothermal pools and is fed by the same geothermal power plant that powers Reykjavik itself. Beyond Reykjavik, you’ll find some of the planet’s most exotic and breathtaking landscapes. In fact, nature tours such as the highly popular Golden Circle tour are one of the most popular activities for both tourists and locals. If you decide to brave Iceland’s cold, dark winter months, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the aurora borealis. Overall, despite its wild northern climate, Reykjavik is a highly inviting and charming city to visit. It’s ranked as one of the safest places in the world, and most Icelanders speak English. It has top-notch cultural exhibits and incredible natural beauty sitting just outside the city limits. If you’re interested in something truly out of the ordinary, then consider making Reykjavik your next travel destination. History According to the Landnamabok,


a medieval book detailing the settlement of Iceland, Norwegian Vikings led by Ingolfur Arnarson first arrived on the island in 870 C.E. and settled in the Reykjavik region. Arnarson is said to have named the town after the steam he saw coming from the nearby hot springs (Reykjavik translates to “Steam Cove”). For many centuries after, historical records for Reykjavik are very sparse. It’s not until the 18th century that the city developed into an urban center. One of the biggest factors behind this change was the abolishment of Denmark’s century-old trade monopoly in 1786. This allowed Iceland’s small economy (mainly limited to fishing, mining and agriculture) to grow on its own. In the same year, Reykjavik officially incorporated as a city. As the Icelandic independence movement grew in the 19th century, Reykjavik grew in importance. The national assembly, Althingi, moved from Thingvellir to Reykjavik in 1845 and one of Iceland’s biggest companies, Innrettingar, based itself in the city. Iceland was granted a constitution in

1874, home rule in 1904, and sovereignty in 1918. During WWII, the U.K. saw Iceland as a strategic foothold against the Germans, and so sent in troops to occupy it, later to be replaced by U.S. soldiers. The occupation proved to be a boon for the country by creating new infrastructure and jobs. At the same time, though, it led to an increased call for full independence, which eventually came about in 1944. In the post-war years, Reykjavik has continued to expand as more Icelanders move in from the countryside. The city hosted famous events such as the 1972 world chess championship and the 1986 summit between Reagan and Gorbachev. Despite the troubles Iceland experienced during the 2008 financial crisis and is experiencing now during the Panama Papers crisis, Reykjavik is today a vibrant, diverse, and dynamic city. It’s home to friendly people, internationally renowned cultural spots and festivals, as well as nearby natural beauty. Attractions National Museum of Iceland: This incredible museum traces Iceland’s journey from a tiny collection of Viking farmers and traders to a modern country. The main section of the museum is divided thematically into sections covering early Icelanders adapting to the harsh environment, how the island was settled, Icelandic arts and crafts, and finally the Icelandic language. There are original Viking artifacts such as drinking


horns, swords, longships and more unusual things such as an ancient chess set. One of the museum’s most celebrated pieces is the elaborately carved Valthjofsstadur door, a medieval church door depicting the slaying of a lion. Beyond that, the main section has much more relating to the Viking, medieval, and early modern-modern periods. Current temporary exhibits include a look at Icelandic working women in the past century and a collection of black and white landscape photos. National Gallery of Iceland: The country’s premier art museum sits picturesquely overlooking Reykjavik’s small Tjornin lake. It contains more than 10,000 paintings and sculptures from the best Icelandic artists of the 20th and 19th centuries, as well as some pieces from international artists. Tickets also include admission to the Asgrimur Jonsson and Sigurjon Olafsson Museums, dedicated to two of Iceland’s most famous modern artists.

Reykjavik Settlement Exhibition: Based around a Viking settlement unearthed in 2001, this museum shows what life was like for Iceland’s early settlers. In fact, the museum’s 10th-century longhouse is one of the oldest signs of human habitation in Iceland and is located on exactly the spot where ancient sources say the first Icelandic settler made his home. The interactive exhibit is based on scientific and historical opinions from a wide range of experts and seeks to give visitors a real insight into what life was like back in ancient/medieval Iceland. Also on display as of last year are original copies of the Settlement Sagas, some of Iceland’s greatest national treasures. The Sagas are not only exquisite examples of the Old Icelandic language; they also form the basis of much of our knowledge about Icelandic history in the early settler era. Other exhibits in the museum cover cultural links between Scandinavian nations and the course of Viking expansion throughout Europe and North America. Volcano House: Iceland’s geology is some of the most unique in the world, and this museum helps to explain how it’s shaped both the land and its people. Visitors can handle samples of volcanic minerals, lava, and ash from volcanoes in addition to a collection of interesting rocks and minerals from around the country. The museum shows two films: one about the devastating 1973 Heimaey eruption, in which almost 5,000 people had to flee to the mainland by boat, and the other about the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption that wreaked havoc on European flight schedules. Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights may be one of Iceland’s most impressive sights, but not everyone relishes the thought


of visiting Iceland during its cold, dark winter to see them. If you’re one of those people, then Aurora Reykjavik is the next best thing. The exhibit uses state-of-the-art technology to bring the lights to life in a relaxing 7 minute long, continuously running movie. Additionally, you can learn about aurora folktales from around the world and learn how to adjust your camera to get the best possible aurora shots. Althingi: Iceland’s parliament was originally located in Thingvellir and was created in 930 C.E. It was a place where local chieftains and residents would discuss politics and vote on measures via a simple majority. Under the first few centuries of Danish rule, Iceland was ruled repressively, and its parliament was disbanded. It wasn’t until 1845 that it reconvened in its new home of Reykjavik where it has been ever since. With an appointment, visitors can tour the current parliament house and see Icelandic politics in action for free.

Day trips: The Blue Lagoon is by far one of most Iceland’s most popular attractions. Located just outside the small fishing town of Grindavik, the Blue Lagoon geothermal pool is renowned for its relaxing and (some say) healing properties. The water originates from a nearby lava flow and is refreshed every other day (the same source also powers Reykjavik and provides municipal hot water). The water averages 104 degrees Fahrenheit, so taking a dip in wintertime is no problem. If you’re interested in more than just taking a dip, consider the Blue Lagoon’s premier packages such as spa treatment, in-water massages and staying at their private lounge. (Note that the Lagoon pool is gender-mixed.) The best way to experience the natural beauty is to take a Golden Circle tour. Stops along the route include Geysir (Iceland’s answer to Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser), the awe-inspiring Gullfoss waterfall and the Kerid volcanic crater lake. Of special note on the Golden Circle route is Thingvellir, a rift valley full of incredible scenery that was once home to Iceland’s Althingi (the oldest continuous parliament in the world) and marks the center of medieval Icelandic culture. A single Icelandic flag on Logberg rock marks the spot where the parliament’s Lawspeaker would preside over the proceedings and read announcements aloud to the assembly. The annual meeting of parliament would attract thousands of merchants, chieftains and townsfolk from far and wide to decide on their country’s future. Visitors are welcome to walk around the meeting spot and view interactive exhibits explaining the site’s importance in Icelandic history. For the adventurous, nearby Silfra is rated as one of the world’s top diving sites for its excellent visibility and unique geology. The company Extreme Iceland has a large variety of

Grimsey Island Puffins

different tours that cover the Golden Circle including a regular minibus tour, off-road/ snowmobiling tour, whale watching combo, horses, helicopter, snorkeling and more. For a view of Iceland that people rarely see, consider hopping on the Iceland from Below tour. This breathtaking adventure takes visitors underground through ancient lava tube caves and craters. You’ll be sure to get a more in-depth look at how these exotic structures were formed than any museum can provide. After three hours of strenuous cave exploring, you’ll be rewarded with a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Needless to say, this isn’t a tour made for people with claustrophobia. Snaefellsnes Peninsula, located on Iceland’s western coast, is chock full of stunning scenery and charming towns. From lava caves to dramatic volcanic peaks to towering sea cliffs, Snaefellsnes is the kind of place where you never know what’s around the corner. Perhaps the most well-known site here is Snaefellsjokull, the glacier-topped volcano that gained fame in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Although

Travel The Week In News

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

there isn’t really a passage leading to Earth’s center here, it is still an amazing place to explore. Ascending to the summit is fairly easy, and several companies provide guided hikes. Grimsey Island, located off Iceland’s northern coast, is a bit far for a day trip from Reykjavik but definitely worth the journey. This serene island has beautiful cliffs, abundant greenery, and colonies of thousands upon thousands of puffins. A pole on the island marks the Arctic Circle (some companies will give you a certificate proving you’ve crossed the Arctic Circle.) Besides its famous birds, Grimsey has around 100 inhabitants and a few guesthouses in the main town of Sandvik. It’s not recommended to come in winter, as the puffins stay far away and the weather is usually stormy. Located on Hengill volcano just outside of Reykjavik, Hellisheidi is the world’s third largest geothermal plant and the largest in Iceland. In fact, it sits on one of the most geothermally active places in the world. The visitor’s center shows in-depth how geothermal power is produced, and why it’s one of the world’s most sustainable energy sources. Once you’re done, the surrounding Hengill recreational area is a great place for hiking and enjoying the diverse scenery of hot springs, rivers and mountains.

Langjokull Glacier Ice Cave

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Finally, there are the Langjokull Glacier ice tunnels. Langjokull is Europe’s second-largest glacier and was recently tunneled into. A monster-truck takes visitors nearly to the top of the glacier, where they enter the world’s longest ice tunnel. Guides explain how the tunnel was formed, and how the glacier was formed, as well as how global warming is affecting it. The tunnel’s multipurpose room is a popular spot for weddings. A day tour from Reykjavik to the glacier passes by the majestic Hraunfossar waterfall and Thingvellir.

Daven and Eat Unfortunately, when it comes both shuls and kosher food the options are quite limited in Iceland. There are no shuls, no permanent rabbis, no kosher restaurants and no kosher meat. However, Chabad does sponsor Pesach seders and meals for other yamim tovim in Reykjavik (check out and/or email Icelandseder@gmail. com for more info). Additionally, the Kesher Kosher Tours company offers a 9-day trip that touches on the best of what Iceland has to offer. The next trip to Iceland they have departs on August 15 and runs $4450 per person, including airfare. Getting There and Around If you’re not travelling with Kesher, then flights to Reykjavik currently start at around $870 per person. Be on the lookout for deep discounts from WOW Air (Iceland’s budget airline). With reliable public transportation and a bike-friendly attitude, getting around Reykjavik is quite easy. Driving a car isn’t really necessary unless you decide to travel outside the city not as part of a tour group.



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Growing Mistrust Between Saudi Arabia and Iran

The relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia seems to deteriorate more each day. In the latest sign of growing distrust

and aggression, the Islamic Republic of Iran has accused the Kingdom of masterminding terror attacks against it by training and funding terror organizations. Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Land Force Commander, Mohammad Packpour, told the press that Iran has recently arrested terrorists that confessed their affiliation with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “Striving to destabilize Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE train terrorist organizations to carry out attacks in the country,” Packpour argued.

Packpour added, “The military preparedness of the Revolutionary Guards has prevented terror attacks from taking place in Iran. We have intelligence about these terror groups and we will foil each move in its beginning.” Packpour also revealed that the Revolutionary Guards will conduct a special maneuver this week in the south-eastern region of the Islamic Republic, an area inhabited mainly by Sunni residents. According to the Iranian commander, the maneuver aims at maintaining the military preparedness of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to confront major security threats, such as terror attacks. Packpour also emphasized the importance of the role performed by the Revolutionary Guards in Syria, stating that “if we do not fight the terrorists in Syria, we will have to fight them on our land.”

Ukrainian PM Quits His Post

Ukraine is hardly a country with a stable political environment. Adding more uncertainty to the country’s future, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, the prime minister, announced his resignation this week. Yatsenyuk, an economist backed by Ukraine’s Western allies, including the United States, came to power two years ago behind the wave of anger that eventually led to the downfall of President Viktor F. Yanukovych. Yatsenyuk and Petro O. Poroshenko, who became president, emerged as the nation’s most prominent political figures. However, the revolution’s leaders soon turned on each other. Balance of power rules are in place to even out the influence of the president and the prime minister. When the two were not agreeing on important issues, Ukraine’s Western allies eventually sided with Poroshenko and pushed Yatsenyuk to aside. Shortly after the prime minister’s emergence as a popular figure, his support largely evaporated because of various scandals and missteps. A political ally, for example, was forced to resign from Parliament after it emerged that he was under investigation for money laundering in Switzerland. Yatsenyuk confronted tremendous challenges as prime minister. Russian annexation of Crimea and military intervention in the east during his tenure were not his only worries. Ukraine required a $40 billion international bailout package because of its financial problems. Both private citizens and fellow politicians often accused him

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of backroom dealings and shady business ventures and alliances. “He couldn’t abandon the former practice of consulting the oligarchs before making decisions,” Yuri V. Lutsenko, the head of the president’s faction in Parliament, pointed out. President Poroshenko, a chocolate and confectionary magnate whose offshore accounts surfaced in the leak of legal documents known as the Panama Papers, has also faced criticism of mixing business and politics, a longtime bane of Ukraine.

referring to the transfer of the two islands. “Here you have Salman coming to Egypt, pledging billions of dollars in aid and investment, and in exchange these islands are handed over,” Professor Shehata said. “It seems to many Egyptians that the president is selling land for Saudi riyals.” During his visit King Salman attended meetings at the presidential palace and visited the ancient Al Azhar mosque. Egyptian and Saudi officials signed at least 15 agreements during the king’s visit, including a development package for Sinai and an oil

deal worth $22 billion to Egypt over five years.

Group from N. Korea Seeks Asylum Thirteen North Korean restaurant workers are seeking political asylum in

South Korea in a new case of unprecedented defection. The twelve women and one man who managed a restaurant outside of the Hermit Kingdom arrived in South Korea last week and were admitted on humanitarian grounds. North Koreans who work abroad have felt increased pressure from Pyongyang to send cash back home as other income sources are crimped by tough U.N. sanctions. South Korea has discouraged its citizens from eating at North Korean restaurants abroad after it imposed new sanctions

Egypt Gifts Saudi Arabia with Two Islands

On Thursday the leader of Saudi Arabia arrived in Cairo for a five-day visit and he received some very special gifts. King Salman promised his Egyptian allies help and investment, and instead of a polite “thank you,” he received an appreciation gift in the form of two strategic islands. Egypt’s cabinet announced on Saturday that it was transferring sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir, arid and uninhabited islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, to Saudi Arabia. The two islands, which are less than five miles from the coastlines of both countries, are mostly unoccupied aside from a handful of soldiers, usually American, stationed on Tiran as part of the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. These islands were not always in Egypt’s hands. In 1950, Saudi Arabia transferred Tiran and Sanafir to Egypt because they were concerned that Israel would possibly seize them. Egypt’s cabinet is justifying the transfer – pending approval by Parliament – simply as a return of land. However, not all Egyptians view it as a simple transaction to return something that rightfully belonged to Saudi Arabia. There were protests across Egypt by those that considered the islands to be Egyptian land. Many accused President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of making a demeaning concession to a wealthy ally. A small demonstration erupted in Tahrir Square, the site of the 2011 protests that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. At least five people were arrested there on Sunday, an Interior Ministry official said. “Whatever the legal situation, the optics of this move are terrible,” said Samer Shehata, an associate professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma,



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against Pyongyang in March following a U.N. Security Council resolution triggered by the North’s fourth nuclear test. The restaurants, in countries such as China and Cambodia, generate an estimated $10 million in income annually which is channeled to the North, according to the South’s Unification Ministry. The North Korean restaurant workers often perform musical routines in addition to serving food, and are chosen in part for their perceived loyalty to the regime. It is unprec-

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edented that such a large group defected from the same North Korean restaurant abroad. About 29,000 people have fled from North Korea to the South as of March, including 1,276 last year, with numbers declining since a 2009 peak. North Korean defectors to South Korea typically travel through China to a third country before reaching the South. The North punishes those who are caught trying to defect along with their families.

Former Assad Advisor Sentenced in Terror Plot The former information minister of Lebanon has been sentenced to 13 years in prison with hard labor for attempting to carry out “terrorist acts.” Michel Samaha

was convicted of transporting explosives to carry out attacks and assassinations of political and religious figures in Lebanon with the help of Syrian security services. Samaha was arrested in 2012 and sentenced in May 2015 to four and a half years in prison, but that conviction was overturned a month later and a retrial ordered. His previous sentence was denounced as “scandalous” by Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi as it would have seen him released at the end of 2015 because of time served. “The prosecution asked for the death penalty but he was sentenced to 13 years with hard labor,” a courtroom source related. Under Lebanese law, the actual time Samaha has been sentenced to amounts to around 10 years. The former minister was also stripped of his right to vote or stand for public office.

Samaha, a Christian politician and former adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, admitted during his previous trial that he had transported the explosives from Syria for use in attacks in Lebanon. But he argued he should be acquitted because he was a victim of entrapment.

Cuba’s Beer Shortage

With the myriad Americans heading to Cuba these days, the country is in a real lager-jam. It seems that the thirsty tourists are draining the nation of its brew. 2015 saw 3.5 million visitors in Cuba – a record number. During that same period, American tourism rose 77 percent and the numbers are expected to continue to rise. Small restaurants that cater to both tourists and Cubans have flourished in the past five years since President Raul Castro formalized changes designed to loosen restrictions from the Communist state on many small-scale economic activities. But the proliferation of unregulated eateries has put a strain on businesses dependent on government supply. “Private bars can go out and find sup-

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plies where they can, I can only sell what the government gives me,” said one manager of a state-run bar that ran out of beer, while a private bar upstairs had a fridge full of cold bottles. According to reports in local media, Cuba’s breweries have signed contracts for more than 33 million cases of beer this week, which is far beyond current production capacity. To keep up with demand, Bucanero, the country’s largest beer maker, is reportedly planning to import three million cases of beer from nearby Dominica. Despite the recent rise in foreign visitors, this isn’t the first time Cuba has struggled to fulfill beer supply. In August 2014, Bucanero faced delayed imports of malted barley causing a sharp decline in production during one of the hottest summers on record. The shortage sparked beer hoarding nationwide and inflated prices. I say, let them drink water.

Executions Reach 25-Year High Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan have contributed heavily to a 25-year high in worldwide executions. According to new research by Amnesty International, at least 1,634 people were executed in 2015, a rise of 54 percent on the year before. 2015’s numbers are the highest total recorded by the charity since 1989 and does not include figures from China, where thousands of people are likely to have been executed in secret. The huge uptick in deaths, which Amnesty described as “profoundly disturbing,” was largely driven by a ramping up of executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Iran killed at least 977 people in 2015 – the vast majority for drug-related crimes – a rise of almost a third on the previous year. At least four of those killed were under 18 when they committed their alleged crimes. In Pakistan, the lifting of a moratorium on civilian executions in December 2014 resulted in more than 320 people being killed in 2015. In Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world to carry out the death penalty by beheading, at least 158 people were executed. The execution rate is not showing any signs of slowing in 2016. Saudi Arabia has already executed 82 people this year following the mass killing of 47 people in January, meaning that it is on course to behead twice as many prisoners as it did in 2015. Despite the spike in executions in 2015, four countries abolished the death penalty: Fiji, Madagascar, Republic of Congo and Suriname. The development means that for the first time a majority of the world’s countries do not execute people.

Chinese “Media” Censoring Scandal Mossack Fonseca, the company at the heart of the Panama Papers leak, has more

offices in China than any other country in the world. The leaked documents have linked offshore shell companies to many of the top politicians in China including relatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping. But if you were to search “Panama” on the web today in China, you’d probably get a message showing “no relevant results.”

According to Sarah Cook, director of the China Media Bulletin at Freedom House, the fact that so many top officials are involved in a scandal of this magnitude is not that surprising. Cook was also not shocked by the censorship that is taking place in the notoriously information sensitive country. What was striking for Cook


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was that not only is Xi implicated, but so are many current and former members of the Politburo Standing Committee of China’s Communist Party. “It’s not only people who might be considered Xi’s allies, but it’s also several people who might think, in terms of factional infighting, as being his rivals,” Cook says. “So it creates a situation where you actually have quite a spectrum of people within the Communist Party, the higher echelons of the party, being implicated in this. And in a lot of ways, that’s much more dangerous for them and much more sensitive for the party than if it was just a single official, even if that official were Xi Jinping.” Cook says the Panama Papers confirm the suspicions many people in China already have. “Not only that there might be corruption ... but also just that these [people] are super, super rich,” Cook says. “Having these types of accounts and shell companies ... it’s something that the super, super rich do.” According to Cook, that doesn’t sit well with ordinary people who are working day in and day out to try to earn some money, or the lower echelons of the Communist Party — many of whom have been hit very hard by President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.

The leak exposes something about the fear and insecurity that China’s wealthiest and topmost leaders feel about the future of their country. “They want to hedge their bets and so they don’t want to keep their money within China,” she says. “They want to be in a situation where if they need to escape they can.”

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Fines for Hate Speech in France A court in Paris has fined Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former leader of France’s far-right Front National, €30,000 for contesting crimes against humanity. The outspoken anti-Semite had said – and later reaffirmed – that the gas chambers used to kill Jews in the Holocaust were only a “detail” of history. Le Pen, 87, told a TV interviewer he had no regrets over calling the gas chambers a mere detail of the history of the Second World War, insisting he stood by that view “because it’s the truth.” Le Pen already has two civil court convictions for making the same comments about gas chambers. He first stated the view in 1987, and in later years repeated it in Germany and then in the European parliament. The judges ordered their verdict to be published in three newspapers and said Le Pen must also pay €10,001 in damages to three charities that brought the case. Marine Le Pen, his own daughter who now heads the Front National party, moved to expel Jean-Marie from the party he founded. Marine, who took over the party in 2011 and is running for French president next year, had led a public relations drive to “detoxify” the party and move away from its jack-booted imagery and anti-Semitic overtones. After years of working alongside her father, last April she blasted him for being “in a total spiral of strategy somewhere between scorched earth and political suicide.” Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted repeatedly for hate speech and contesting crimes against humanity. In 2012, he was convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying the Nazi occupation was “not particularly inhumane.” Aided by the collaborationist Vichy government, German authorities deported



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about 78,000 French Jews to death camps during the occupation from 1940 to 1944. Thousands of French civilians died in reprisals by the German army. France has strict laws against denying the Holocaust and contesting crimes against humanity.

Sanders, Get your Numbers Straight Many Iraqis Believe the U.S. Supports ISIS

After being at war with America for almost nine years, it is easy to understand why Iraqis may not care for the United States. However, some of the conspiracy theories that many Iraqis take seriously are very “out there” – to say the least. One-third of Iraqis believe that the U.S. “supports terrorism in general or ISIL [ISIS] specifically,” according to a State Department report. Based on information from October and November 2015, about 40% are certain that the U.S. is “working to destabilize Iraq and control its natural resources.” Overall, the U.S. “image among Iraqis has fallen from 38% favorable in December 2014 to 18% in August 2015.” The report also notes that “conspiracy theories” regarding the U.S.’s involvement in Iraq are being reported by official media. The State Department blamed the phenomenon on “active disinformation campaigns” and lingering suspicions about U.S. motives. Incredibly, many Iraqis believe the U.S. created ISIS to plunder Iraqi oil, according to John Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Additionally, they believe that ISIS was created by the U.S. because of our disapproval of a Sunni-Shia inclusive government in Iraq. ”What they see is the U.S. government saying ‘Stay open to the Sunnis’ and the U.S. government keeps talking about having more troops in Iraq,” he said. “There are people who argue ... that means the U.S. is creating this environment to serve its own interests.”

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders surpassed even Hamas’s predictions last week when he suggested Israel had killed “over 10,000 innocent” Palestinian civilians in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Sanders also claimed that the high casualties were the result of an “indiscriminate” Israeli military offensive. Hamas health authorities in Gaza have put the civilian death toll at about a seventh of that figure, while Israeli authorities put is even lower. In an interview with the New York Daily News, the Vermont senator acknowledged that he did not have the exact figures memorized, but twice said he believed that the Palestinian civilian death count surpassed 10,000. “Anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?” he said at first. When he was told that the number was “probably high,” Sanders responded: “I don’t have it in my number… but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled,” he went on. “Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.” According to Palestinian figures cited by the UN Human Rights Council, 1,462 civilians were killed out of a total of the 2,251 Gaza fatalities during the 51-day conflict. Israel has said that up to half of those killed on the Palestinian side were combatants, and has blamed the civilian death toll on Hamas for deliberately placing rocket launches, tunnels and other military installations among civilians. Seventy-three people were killed on the Israeli side of the conflict. When asked how he would manage the U.S.-Israel alliance if elected president, Sanders said the strength of Israel’s ties with the U.S. would depend upon how things are progressing with the Palestinians: “To the degree that they [the Israelis]

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want us to have a positive relationship,” he said, “I think they’re going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.” Sanders is currently trailing behind former secretary of state Hillary Clinton by 701 delegates, with Clinton holding 1,712 to Sanders’s 1,011. He is the only Jewish candidate eyeing the Oval Office.

AHAVA Sold to Chinese Investment Group Dead Sea skin products brand AHAVA is all set to be fully bought by a Chinese investment group for $77 million. The Fosun Group signed an agreement in Jerusalem this week to purchase the skin care products company, the Israeli business daily Globes reported. Ahava has been a target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel over its factory in Mitzpe Shalem, located about one mile from the western shores of the Dead Sea in the eastern West Bank. It has also come under fire by initiatives targeting only products made by Israelis in the West Bank and other disputed territories, namely the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.

Last month, the company confirmed plans to open a plant in Ein Gedi, located within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. It is not known if the new plant will eventually replace the factory in Mitzpe Shalem.

Nonviolent Intifada Planned from Prison Cell

Marwan Barghouti is currently imprisoned in Israel for murder. However the Fatah activist has supporters outside his prison cell who are joining forces with Hamas and Islamic Jihadis overseas to plot against

the Israeli occupation, Palestinian sources told The Times of Israel this week. Supposedly the plan is a “nonviolent resistance” and the primary goal is to force Israel out of all areas beyond the pre-1967 lines via a nonviolent intifada coordinated by a unified Palestinian leadership under Barghouti, who has been jailed by Israel since 2002 – he was sentenced to five life sentences. The leaders, who managed to secretly meet several times in recent months, included Fatah officials Qadura Fares, Sarhan Davikat, and Mohammed Horani. They met with Hamas and reached an agreement titled, “The People’s Peaceful Revolution,” the sources said. They also intend to establish a Palestinian state in the areas they will force Israel out of and to implement all international decisions relating to the Palestinians, including UN Security Council Resolution 194 on the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. They do not intend to implement the plan under the leadership of current PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Instead, Barghouti intends to run for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority in the next election, and even has Hamas’ full support. Barghouti’s supporters are currently preparing the ground for his election to the Palestinian presidency. Additionally, associates of Barghouti and his family are expected to launch an international campaign to field Barghouti as a candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. Oddly enough, regardless of his murder convictions, many Palestinians and others in the international community are taking this initiative seriously.

spokesman for the PA police, said that the three men were being interrogated about the circumstances of their disappearance. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the arrest of the three men was a “dangerous development and a sign of increased security coordination” between the PA and Israel. “This coordination is aimed at aborting the intifada and targeting the Palestinian resistance,” Abu Zuhri charged. “Hamas condemns the practices of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and holds the Palestinian Authority and Fatah leadership responsible for these unpatriotic measures.” Another Hamas official, Hussam Badran, held PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his security forces responsible for the arrests. “The leadership of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah are working openly to thwart the popular uprising,” Badran chided. He pointed out that PA security forces have arrested dozens of Palestinian youths in the past few days. Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, said that the three men were not wanted by the PA. “We searched many parts of the West Bank for the missing men at the request of their families,” he said. He strongly denied rumors to the effect that the PA security forces had handed the three men over to Israel. “Our role is to protect the Palestinian people,” Damiri insisted. He warned Palestinian factions, including Hamas, against taking advantage of the case to make baseless charges against the PA. He added that the PA will publish more details about the case as soon as the interrogation of the three men is completed.

Hamas Condemns PA for Arresting Terrorists

Global Judaism is a “Virus”

Hamas is calling out the Palestinian Authority for having arrested three Palestinians who were planning a terror attack. The three men from Chevron, aged 19-32, had left their shared apartment in Ramallah, disposed of their mobile phones, ID cards and laptops, and disappeared. When they couldn’t be contacted, their families filed a report with PA security forces. The PA’s General Intelligence Force arrested them one week after they went missing. Two of the terrorists had recently graduated with a degree in engineering from Bir Zeit University. The third worked in construction. The three men were arrested in a field near the village of Arourah west of Ramallah. Police officers took the men to the General Intelligence Force headquarters in Ramallah and notified their families that they had been found. Luay Zreikat, a

Dr. Fourad Bseiso, the former governor of the Palestinian Authority, has

come out with “proof” that the world’s economy is controlled by the Jews. “Global Judaism, which controls the world’s financial markets, constitutes a virus and a plague which strikes at the entire world,” asserted Dr. Fouad Bseiso, quoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forged text produced in Russia at the turn of the last century that purports to outline Jewish plans to take over the world as proof that the world economy is controlled by Jews. “What was written in the 4th protocol of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is now being implemented on the world’s economy through the global Jewish hegemony over the world’s financial markets,” Bseiso said. The former official, who was speaking to a television channel which is affiliated with Gaza-based terror group Hamas, said Jewish control of the markets is what led to the global financial crisis eight years ago. “Jews control the rise and fall of the prices of commodities and are the number one beneficiaries of fluctuations in the world’s financial markets. This was proven by the global financial crisis of 2007-2008,” he said. “They do it by inventing economic tools, bonds and financial derivatives which absorb most of the Arab savings,” Bseiso added.



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Life with President Trump?

Donald Trump for president is starting to become a very real possibility and many are speculating what the world would look like with the billionaire leading the U.S., one of the most powerful countries in the world. The Boston Globe decided to give their readers a taste, or a scare, depending on your political views, of what a front page may look like on a given day under the Trump Administration. The liberal newspaper published a fake front page featuring Donald

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Trump on its editorial page. The headline read, “Deportations to begin, President Trump calls for tripling of ICE (immigration and customs enforcement); riots continue.” The parody image was attached to a harsh editorial article saying Trump’s campaign “demands an active and engaged opposition.” The op-ed also called Trump’s proposed policies as “deeply disturbing” and “profoundly un-American”. In three short months the Republican National Convention will confirm the party’s nominee, and this seems like a final effort to sway their decision. The provocative article also featured other bogus articles, including one on U.S. soldiers refusing to obey orders to kill the families of members of the Islamic State group, another on a Republican-controlled Congress passing a libel law targeting “absolute scum” in the press. A sidebar from the editor at the bottom of the page informed readers that “what you read on this page is what might happen if the GOP frontrunner can put his ideas into practice, his words into action.” The satirical front page “is an exercise in taking a man at his word. And his vision of America promises to be as appalling in real life as it is in black and white on the page,” the editorial said. “If Trump were a politician running

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such a campaign in a foreign country right now, the U.S. State Department would probably be condemning him. For now, Republicans ought to focus on doing the right thing: putting up every legitimate roadblock to Trump that they can.” The Boston Globe is a widely distributed daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The liberal news outlet has a large online readership at BostonGlobe. com and is often included in top ten website lists.

How are We Teaching American History?

Across the U.S. ambitious teenagers have the opportunity to take elective courses that earn them college credits and embellish college resumes in their junior and senior years in high school. One popular Advanced Placement course is on U.S. history – the course covers the last 525 years of American history. This year’s exam is scheduled for May 6 and more than 470,000 students are expected to take the exam that will include 55 multiple choice questions and six short and long essay questions. In the last few years the curriculum for the course changed drastically after teachers complained that the previous framework was minimal and lacked direction, especially on what to focus on for the exam. Be careful what you wish for; the framework developed in 2014 from nine pages of course guidelines to 115 and incorporated a more modern approach to teaching history. Now the course veers away from memorization and instead focuses on “historical thinking skills,” encouraging students to use their knowledge to formulate their own personal opinion. But not all change is good. Conservatives thought some of the inclusions and omissions were suspicious and infused with identity politics and anti-American sentiment. Many educators agreed with the Conservatives’ concerns of the coursework that was largely compiled by liberal educators. Larry Krieger, a retired A.P. teacher in U.S. history and now an exam coach and textbook author, led the complaint against

the 2014 framework with a single-spaced 18-page critique. “It was poorly written, poorly organized and poorly balanced,” Mr. Krieger charged of the changes. “What we saw was a progressive outlook,” Ms. Robbins says. “It was a non-American, globalist perspective on a lot of issues. We were one country among many, and not a very good one at that. It was a depressing, slanted view of American history.” Krieger and Robbins campaigned across the nation to persuade legislators in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma and other states to try to change the course narrative or prohibit schools from teaching it. They earned the attention of the Republican National Committee, which demanded that the framework be delayed and rewritten, and that Congress withhold funding from the College Board. In Jefferson County, Colorado, school board members proposed a committee to review content and teaching materials to make sure they “promote citizenship and patriotism,” “present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage” and do not “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.” However, there was tremendous support for the current curriculum as well. Students and teachers in Jefferson County made national headlines by walking out of classes to protest attempts to “censor” the course. In some districts the debate sparked class discussions on First Amendment rights and government censorship. “I’ve never believed in leaving out the tragic information in our story,” says Stephanie Rossi, an A.P. history teacher at Wheat Ridge High School in Jefferson who vocally opposed the school board. But, she added, “It’s not our goal to make America look bad. America is a work in progress.” All the noise prompted College Board officials to reevaluate and analyze the framework of the course. After denying the allegations of their critics they eventually conceded and agreed that there are valid concerns. In response, they rewrote and reorganized the curriculum to amend for the supposed American negativity. Now, most teachers agree that the 2015 framework is a better-organized, politically correct version. The majority of the critics were satisfied. Now we can finally teach our children their nation’s history.

More Women Earning Title of “Breadwinner” There are now more women being labelled the “breadwinners” of their households than ever before. Historically, men have been the main provider for their

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households but that trend began changing rapidly over the last few decades.

Today, close to 50% of U.S. women are the primary earners in their homes, while two-thirds are either primary or co-breadwinners, according to SUM180, an online personal financial platform aimed at women. “The demands on female breadwinners are intense: buying homes, paying college expenses, caring for aging parents, investing for retirement – the pressure is on to plan and save to get there,” explains Carla Dearing, SUM180 CEO. “With the growing acceptance of this reality, it’s tremendously important for women to get their finances in order to support their future goals for themselves and their families. Fortunately, the actions women breadwinners take now can go a long way towards setting them up for long-term financial security.” The site suggest that women who play the role of breadwinner be aggressive about building a personal financial blueprint for themselves and their families. Being the breadwinner of the house is financially, emotionally and professionally taxing. Rebecca Schreiber, a certified financial planner and co-founder of Pure Financial Education, LLC, in Washington, D.C., said that women still comprise over 75% of primary caregivers in those households. “Caregivers typically use up paid leave and must revert to leave without pay, so emergency funds are critical to making ends meet through savings instead of credit card debt. The disability insurance is crucial to maintaining the family’s lifestyle, because if a caregiver is disabled, both their work income and expensive care-giving functions need to be replaced.” Many statistics suggest that there is still a visible pay gap between male and female workers. According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 2013, the median annual earnings for millennial women working full-time, year-round were $30,000 while their male counterparts earned $35,000. However, New York saw the opposite trend: between 2011 and 2013, young women in the Big Apple made $38,319, while men earned $37,542.

Revel. Muslim Population Will Overshadow Jewish Population

Currently, there are 5.5 million Jews living in America while the Muslim demographic is an estimated 3 million. However, that is expected to shift drastically within the next few years. Immigration of Muslims to America is rapidly increasing. The U.S. issued approximately 680,000 green cards to migrants from 49 Muslim-majority nations, as identified by Pew Research Center, in the five-year period from fiscal years 20092013. As a point of reference, consider that over the same timeframe under President Obama, the U.S. issued only about 270,000 green cards to Europeans. A green card allows immigrants to access welfare benefits, lifetime residency, work authorization and a fast track to U.S. citizenship. In the U.S., refugees have immediate access to state and federal welfare benefits, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or TANF, food stamps and Medicaid but they must apply for adjustments within one year of their arrival. Under Obama’s policy refugees can also petition for their relatives to join them here in the U.S. under the federal government’s “family reunification” program. “Assuming no change in immigration policies, the U.S. can expect to grant green cards to at least another 680,000 migrants from Muslim-majority nations over the next five years,” a statement issued Thursday by Sen. Jeff Sessions’ office read. “The numbers, however, could be higher still: Census Bureau data shows migration from the Middle East to be one of the fastest-growing categories.” If the current federal policy continues, it will lead to the U.S. Muslim population overtaking that of the U.S. Jewish population within two decades, pointed out a demographic researcher at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. Laurie Cardoza Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations at, a pro-Israel Christian organization, says if Muslims outnumber Jews it could become a real issue. “If we look at what’s happening in Europe, I think that’s a good barometer of what we can expect to happen here in the U.S.,” Moore said. “My concern about this whole Islamic migration into Europe and into the

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U.S. is that we did a tremendous disservice to these Muslims. If the real goal is the well-being of women and children, then why did the West take these migrants who are Muslim – their culture is completely different than Western culture – and why didn’t the leaders of the free world go to the leaders of the Muslim world and say, ‘Listen, your people are in trouble. Why don’t you open up your doors and let them in?’” Moore said people being anti-Muslim has been labeled “Islamaphobes” however, “Of course, you can be anti-Christian and you can be anti-Semitic but you can’t be anti-Islam,” she pointed out. Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said four separate and independent studies since 1998 have found that 80 percent of mosques in the U.S. preach hatred of Jews and Christians and the need ultimately to impose Shariah law here. As the Muslim population increases, the number of mosques does too. Since September 11, 2011 there are about 15 times more mosques – in 2011 there were about 200 and

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

now there is an estimated 2,500 to 3,000. A 2011 study by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi found that only 19 percent of U.S. mosques preached no violence whatsoever. The survey’s findings were that 51 percent of mosques used texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shariah-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.

flight officer, does not look very bright. Lin was privy to sensitive American intelligence information and is being accused of passing the secret information to Taiwan and possibly to China, U.S. officials have charged. Lin was born in Taiwan and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, clearly his loyalties remained with his birth country. Lin served as a flight officer assigned to the Special Projects Patrol Squadron, with experience managing the collection of electronic signals from the EP3-E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft. He possessed valuable information about how the U.S. Navy carries out such signals collection operations.

CIA Director: No More Torture The CIA has admitted to using controversial interrogation tactics in the past but this week CIA Director John Brennan vowed that those practices are being retired and will not be used in the future. Brennan said in an interview with NBC News on Sunday that techniques such as waterboarding will not be used by the spy agency even if the future president demands it.

U.S. Citizen Selling Secrets to China Espionage is serious offense in the U.S. Based on information that has come to light this week, the future for Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin, a former U.S. Navy

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A heavily redacted Navy charge sheet twice accused the suspect of communicating secret information and three times of attempting to do so “with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation.” The document was redacted to blot out Lin’s name and did not identify what foreign country or countries were involved. A U.S. official reported to Reuters that Lin was detained at an airport in Hawaii, perhaps while trying to leave the country. He has been apprehended in pretrial confinement for the last eight months or so, U.S. officials said. Lin enlisted in the Navy in 1999 and held a variety of positions over his 17-year carrier, including working on the staff of an assistant secretary of the Navy from 2012 to 2013. He served on the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Eisenhower from 2009 to 2010. The U.S. Navy profiled Lin in a 2008 article that focused on his naturalization as a U.S. citizen, saying his family left Taiwan when he was 14 and stopped in different countries before coming to America. “I always dreamt about coming to America, the ‘promised land,’” he was quoted at the time. “I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland.” Or to prison.

“I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,” he said. During the Bush administration the technique was allowed but President Barack Obama banned waterboarding soon after taking office in 2009. Recently, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has vowed on more than one occasion that he would revive the practice if he makes it to the White House. At a Republican debate in New Hampshire this past February, Trump said he would “bring back … a lot worse than waterboarding,” an interrogation technique in which a detainee is made to feel that he is drowning. Trump was careful to assure that he does not intend for a “widespread use” of the practice and that it would be reserved for extreme cases of national security. He did mention that he personally did not believe the practice classifies as torture. In December 2014, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report claiming the interrogation methods used by the CIA in the months after the September 11, 2001 attacks were “brutal and far worse” than the agency had represented to lawmakers. Brennan himself questioned the truth about how severe the tactics used were. But the report did read, “The intelligence gained from the program was critical to our understanding of al Qaeda and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day.” Brennan also questions the effectiveness of harsh techniques. Nevertheless, this is all for the sake of national security, which many view as the most critical focus of the current presidential campaign. Only time will tell if people are more protective of human rights or their own security.

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What’s in a Name? Some things in Hebrew don’t translate very well. Take Harakefet Street in Tsfat. The sign clearly states its name in Hebrew, but something gets lost in translation. The name in English, Hanarkis Street, is written right below it. According to Channel 2, rakefet means a small pink wildflower; a narkis refers to narcissus, a plant family which includes daffodils. So it seems to be a floral faux pas.

ried identical twin sisters, who also look so much alike that you can’t even tell them apart from their voices. In fact, even on their wedding day during the past Chinese New Year, the couples and their parents had to double-check several times to ensure they were not marrying the wrong partner. Friends and relatives have expressed frustration at not knowing who they are really talking to. And even the couples get confused. In fact, one night, one brother took a walk after dinner with his sister-inlaw thinking it was his wife. Now, in an effort to ensure that no more awkward situations ensue, they are undergoing minor plastic surgery to help them look less alike. Plastic surgery is still largely taboo in conservative Chinese societies, but they believe that a slight adjustment would do them a world of good.

Just Call Your Mom

Possibly explaining the confusion is the fact that Hanarkis Street is located just parallel to Harakefet Street, merely a hop, skip and a jump away. However, Hanarkis Street is correctly marked as such both in Hebrew and English on its sign. Apparently whoever was responsible for the signs in the Tsfat municipality was not an avid English student, although how specifically the typo came about remains a question for the ages. When asked, the Tsfat municipality sought to play down the embarrassing mistake with humor, saying, “This was a translator who was flower blind.” Yes, he clearly was barking up the wrong tree.

Seeing Double?

Zhao Xin and Zhao Xun, identical twin brothers, looks so much alike that it’s hard to tell them apart. But now they’re married, so that should be easy, right? Wrong. To complicate matters, the 22-year-olds mar-

It’s Pesach and the perfect time for getting together with family. Thankfully, no one has to force us to visit our wonderful parents. But in China, for those who forget about those who raised them, it may just end up costing them. Shanghai’s city government has announced that starting May 1, adults who don’t live with their parents must “visit or send greetings often.” For those who forgo those visits, parents have a right to file a lawsuit against their children for neglect. And for those who ignore the court? It will hit them where it hurts. Their credit ratings will be lowered as a result. Seems like there’s not much love lost here. Around 30% of Shanghai’s residents are over the age of 60. That number is expected to reach 5 million by 2018. The city is not the first to be concerned about their aging population. Back in 2013, Beijing instituted a similar law, although credit ratings were not mentioned. The new law in Shanghai is not without its critics. Some say that it’s too vague and doesn’t specify how often one should visit or call. Hey, you don’t need a law to tell you what to do. Just call your mom. You know she’s waiting to hear from you.

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A Fearless Feline

Maray is not a scaredy-cat. Oh no. In fact, the furry feline is the new doorman at the Serpukhov Museum of History and Art in Russia. It all started with a joke. On April 1, museum staff decided to trick the local media by writing up a fake job application letter from a cat that had been hanging around the building and greeting visitors. The application read: “As I am a direct relative of Maraeva [the museum’s ex-owner, who Maray was named after], I ask you to give me a job in your museum. Maray

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The Cat.” The note was even signed with a scribbled paw print. The faux application was sent to Russian media along with a fake press release announcing that they hired the bewhiskered visitor. But the joke was on them when the museum was inundated with inquiries about their new hire and they decided to take the prank even further – by hiring Maray as a permanent employee. Now, the cultured kitty wanders around the museum, greeting visitor from 9-5. He is allowed a lunch break and even an outdoor stroll once in a while. After his shift is over, Maray is able to take a catnap in a private tent. And for his salary, Maray is paid in food: fish and patties. So far, the feline is popular among his new co-workers. “All people who work in our museum love Maray,” museum employee Nina Strelkova told Buzzfeed. “Many bring him food from home and take pictures with him. So he gets a little fat now. And visitors love the cat too – lots of them taking selfies with him.” Maray isn’t the world’s only working feline. In south-central Japan, a fluffy cal-

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ico kitty named Nitama famously serves as “station master” at a train station near Wakayama City. A library in Novorossiysk, Russia, hired a tabby named Kuzya as an “assistant librarian” in 2013 and paid her a salary of 30 packs of cat food a month. And in the 1870s, the Belgian village of Liège trained 37 mail cats to deliver letters. When asked about all the hoopla about his hire, Maray had one thing to say: “Meow.”

ture of the U.S. leader on the wall, alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with what appears to be a drawn-on Adolf Hitler mustache. The Kremlin has not commented on whether Putin will be visiting the cafe in the Siberian town soon. If he does, I would advise you let him cut in front of you in line.

Calling Sweden Café President

He’s so inspiring, a café is named in his honor. Russian President Vladimir Putin is the muse behind Café President located in Krasnoyarsk in Russia. His face adorns the walls, a picture of him riding a bear graces the menu, and U.S. President Obama’s face is depicted on the toilet paper. The café also features other Russian figures including Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Photos of the cafe, though, published by pro-government tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, show that the Russian President is still the main inspiration. According to co-owner Dmitry Zhdanov, the cafe allows Russians to decompress from current problems facing the country such as the financial crisis and wars in Syria and Ukraine, and remember the good times. “I am a patriot, but I see that not everyone lives happily in our country,” he told local news site Sibnovosti. “That is why we decided to give people a place where they can eat well and inexpensively and also remind themselves about Russia’s achievements in a pleasant patriotic atmosphere.” The pleasantness starts at the entrance where a life-size cutout of Putin greets patrons at the door. The Russian national anthem plays every day at noon and customers enjoy red, white and blue cocktails – the colors of the Russian flag. Should a customer need to use the lavatory, they are instead directed to a door with “NATO Bloc” written on the door, with toilet paper sporting the U.S. president’s face on it. Besides Obama toilet paper, the washroom facilities in the cafe have a pic-

Halla. That’s hello in Swedish. It may be time to brush up on your language skills. Last week, the Swedish Tourist Association set up a hotline that allows callers to “get connected to a random Swede.” The nonprofit group says its aim in having people call total strangers across the world is “to spark people’s curiosity about Sweden – our culture, nature and mindset. To help us do this, we have the people of Sweden.” The initiative honors the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s 1766 Freedom of the Press Act, believed to be the world’s first law supporting the freedom of expression. Despite the hype of calling a “random Swede,” those who are answering the phones have volunteered to do so by downloading an app. But they are not vetted or given any instructions about what to say. “It’s like when Swedes travel the world. You don’t know who they’re going to talk to and what they’re going to say,” said Magnus Ling, the head of the Swedish Tourist Association. About 3,000 people had dialed the “Swedish Number” by midday Thursday, a day after it was launched, and roughly the same number of Swedes had signed up to answer calls. Guess who’s calling Sweden just to chat? Most of the incoming calls have been from Turkey. Interestingly, the Swedish Institute offers a similar initiative on Twitter. Since 2011 it lets a different Swedish citizen manage its official @Sweden account every week. Seems like I have to add another number to my Swede dial.

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Start Warming Up Your Texting Thumbs By Allan Rolnick, CPA

If you’re not already one of the millions of Americans with a smartphone glued to your hands, this story may make you reconsider...


ermont Senator Bernie Sanders has fired up the progressive left with his long-shot White House run. Sanders describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” and asks Americans, “What’s wrong with being more like Scandinavia?” Naturally, his platform includes Scandinavian-style higher taxes on America’s wealthy. Texas Senator Ted Cruz may be Sanders’ complete and polar opposite, an unabashed conservative who appears biologically allergic to anything related to government. Natu-

rally, his platform slashes taxes for nearly everyone. If that’s not enough, he wants to abolish the IRS entirely and replace them with taxes we can file on a postcard. So what do you think would happen if you locked Sanders and Cruz in a room and forced them to come up with a tax system they both could support? Well, it probably wouldn’t be pretty. (Seriously, can you imagine?) But those two unlikeliest of bedfellows just might come up with something to make April 15 look like any other day. Our current system couldn’t be much uglier. In January, your mailbox fills up with W-2s, 1095s, 1098s, and 1099s. Starting in February, you’ll get your K-1s and your corrected 1099s. (It’s enough to make you suspect the tax code is a conspiracy put together by paper and printer manufacturers.) Then it’s time to compile all that information and crunch those numbers

on brain-numbingly obtuse federal forms. In 2010, a White House panel estimated Americans spend 7.6 billion hours and 140 billion dollars keeping the IRS off their backs. (Hey now, we know what you’re thinking, and don’t blame us.) But what if we could avoid all that hassle? What if the IRS could do you taxes for you — then send you the forms, all ready to approve? In millions of cases, they already have all the information they would need to do that. (Computers, too, if they could just protect them from hackers.) That’s already reality in eight countries, including Sanders’ favorites Norway and Finland. In nearby Estonia, most taxpayers file online in less than five minutes. But the gold medalist in speed-filing may be everyone’s favorite sub-arctic socialist paradise, Sweden. In Sweden, most taxpayers just wait for the government to send their return, already filled out. But some of

them actually get it by text message. And if everything looks good, they text “yes” and they’re done. (That’s one Swedish policy that even Ted Cruz might be able to get behind!) Unfortunately, there are too many groups with vested interests in the current system to make that a reality here. But there is a silver lining, if you look hard enough. (Harder!) And that’s the fact that complexity creates opportunity. Every deduction, credit, loophole, and strategy that Washington throws into the code gives us a chance to help you pay less. And all you need is a plan. So whip out your smartphone — or even, G-d forbid, your landline — and call us!

Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 yea rs in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at


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Forgotten Her es

In the Shadows Intrepid Mossad Missions By Avi Heiligman

Skorzeny with the liberated Mussolini, September 1943

Intelligence agencies like to stay in the shadows even when an operation is over. The less the public knows about a mission – even 50 years later – the better the chance that enemies won’t learn their tactics. The operators work in secrecy and don’t want to be in the spotlight. That being said, some of the missions do become public knowledge and from these we can appreciate the tall task the agencies and their operators face on a regular basis.


Peter Zvi Malkin helped capture Eichmann

he Mossad has a few famous missions but there are others that will astound when just reading about the operation. One would think that hiring a former Nazi who was once dubbed “the most dangerous man in Europe” would be unthinkable for the Jewish country but then again the Mossad never plays by the standard rules. Otto Skorzeny’s record as Hitler’s favorite soldier is well-documented. Skorzeny was tasked with many missions during WWII, including rescuing former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and organizing 150 English speaking Germans to spread havoc behind American lines. After the war, he was tried for war crimes but escaped with the help of former SS officers dressed as American soldiers. In the 1950s, he went to Egypt to train the Egyptian Army and some Palestinians including Yasser Arafat. With this background it is al-

Otto Skorzeny in 1945

most inconceivable to imagine that Otto Skorzeny would even entertain the idea of helping the Jewish State but that’s exactly what happened in 1962. The Mossad tracked him down in Spain and followed him home. He pulled out a gun on the tracker and told him that he knew he was from the Mossad. The agent replied that he could have killed him weeks ago but his help was needed to eliminate German scientists working for the Egyptians. Incredibly, Skorzeny agreed and began to work for the Mossad in the hopes of being removed from Simon Wiesenthal’s most wanted Nazi list. Skorzeny arrived in the Middle East and gave the Israelis a list of the German scientists working for the Arabs as well the names of European companies helping the enemies of Israel. His two most important missions involved killing enemies of Israel. Rocket scientist

Heinz Krug was instrumental in advancing the Nazi rocket program during WWII and was recruited to work for the Egyptians 17 years after the war. The Mossad wanted him eliminated and turned to Skorzeny. Krug also turned to him for help to be protected from the Mossad who Krug knew was after him and other scientists. Skorzeny chose to help the Israelis and drove Krug out into the German woods and shot him. They buried him in a way that search dogs would not pick up his scent. Later, Skorzeny sent a bomb in the mail to an Egyptian munitions factory which killed five workers. Joe Raanan, the man who recruited Skorzeny, showed up under cover at the Nazi’s/Israeli agent’s funeral in 1975. While Skorzeny was driving with Krug, there was another car following them with three more Mossad agents. They were there to make sure that Krug was eliminat-

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ed and to dispose of the body. One of these agents had a very colorful undercover career including being the man to subdue Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Peter Zvi Malkin played a major role in many undercover Mossad operations. The Mossad relied upon Wiesenthal’s most wanted list for information to track down Eichmann. He was located in Argentina under a fake name. In 1960, the Mossad sent a team to capture Eichmann and they “cased” him out before jumping on him and taking him to a safe house. (“Casing” a person means that the agents study the target’s movements and determine the most vulnerable time that would be easiest to pounce.) Malkin asked him in Spanish if he had a spare moment, which was the trigger phrase to wrestle the Nazi


to the ground. In another amazing part of the story, the Mossad was able to smuggle Eichmann through security and onto a civilian flight without detection. Once in Israel, the Nazi was put on trial, convicted and hanged for crimes that he committed during the Holocaust. Assassinations of people who were a danger to Israeli security were always a major part of Mossad operations. Many of the targets were Arab terrorists who had orchestrated attacks against civilians. In 1972, the Mossad began Operation Wrath of God to hunt down the terrorists and masterminds behind the Munich Massacre. Eleven Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by terrorists of the Black September group during the Olympics and the Mossad sought out the perpetrators to get revenge. After several

prominent terrorists were killed, the Arab world was truly terrified that the Israelis could strike anywhere at any time. Three of the terrorists that had participated in the massacre survived the botched German rescue mission and had been released in exchange for other hostages in a seemingly unrelated incident. Two of them mysteriously disappeared in the years following the release and are thought to have been eliminated by the Mossad. Over the years, many other missions have been carried out secretly and are assumed to have been done by the Mossad. Nazi criminal and murderer of many Jews during the Holocaust Herbert Cukers was tracked and cornered in Uruguay. Yaakov Meidad was the Mossad agent who shot him several times and killed the Nazi murderer.

In all of these operations, Mossad agents performed their tasks undercover and only much later did the public learn who was behind the mission. Over time, more information about other covert missions will be released to the general public as they become declassified. There are several other missions, especially assassinations of dangerous individuals, which have been linked to the Mossad. All of these operations make the world a safer place as the Mossad continues their mission of intelligence gathering and counterterrorism.

Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor Questions, comments? Avi Heiligman can to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your be reached at comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at


In Good Spirits for Pesach Gabriel Geller Pesach comes with many traditional dishes that most of us usually eat only during this holiday. Wine and spirits, however, can be enjoyed throughout the year with some rare exceptions such as beer, scotch, and bourbon. Fortunately, the selection of liquors that are kosher for Pesach is growing every year. Let’s take a closer look at some of those spirits. Famous beverage-maker Zachlawi just released a handful of new products, each one more delicious than the next. Citrus Splash is a refreshing and crisp vodka that excites the palate with flavors of lime, orange, and grapefruit. Excellent on its own, it is a great basis for cocktails as well. The Orange Swirl is like a marvelous Creamsicle in a bottle with tantalizing aromas of orange and vanilla ice cream. And how about some Arak? Zachlawi’s Gourmet Black Arack features notes of orange peels, red pears, and licorice, accompanied by a luscious texture. Let’s of course not forget the classic cognac. Louis Royer is one of the most respected Cognac Houses in the world,

producing some of the finest grape brandies. An elegant and noble beverage with flavors of roasted nuts and citrus zest, it is the perfect way to end a meal on yom tov and Shabbat, as well as an alternative to scotch and bourbon on Pesach. Pesach is also the celebration of spring, known as Chag Ha’aviv. And with the spring come often the first warm days of the year, when a cold beer would be a most welcome refreshment. However, beer is chametz, so what would constitute an appropriate replacement? Royal Wine just released Appleation: a brand-new line of delightful hard apple ciders, made from the finest apples growing in the orchards of upstate New York. And they are all kosher for Pesach! Those who like something a bit sweet, with a touch of a kick, should be pleased with the sweet as well as the cinnamon-flavored ciders. As to the dry cider, it will even eclipse the thought of beer!

While Binyamina is famous for its extensive lineup of wines, this winery also produces some amazing liquors, which will accompany snacks and desserts very well. Amaretto, Limoncello – these sweet treats will pair very well with a fruit salad. Heavens Artisan Liqueurs also has a fantastic chocolate liquor that is kosher for Pesach. Poured over some vanilla ice cream, this should make for an unforgettable dessert. After so much good food, a nice digestif is in order. For now well over a century, the Bokobsa family have been crafting the finest Boukha, a de-

licious white spirit made from figs and best served well-chilled, with or without a few ice cubes. In the same category of fruit brandies, Jelinek makes the smooth, flavorful Silver, a kosher for Pesach Slivovitz crafted from wild plums grown in the Czech Republic. It’s a true delight with almond and coconut cookies. The aforementioned selection will ensure you can enjoy this coming Pesach in great spirits! Have an excellent and kosher Pesach! L’chaim!



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Health: Spring Finds At The Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.N. Spring has arrived; the flowers in Southern California are blooming, and the days are sunny and bright with occasional showers. The new season is a fresh start for all. Along with the gorgeous weather, spring brings many delectable fruits and vegetables. Several are best at this time of year, to the delight of the local foodies and the nutrition-conscious. Why not take advantage of the season and go shopping at the Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market? Below are some of my favorite spring picks. They are delicious and nutritious, and can be prepared in a number of ways to update your weekly menu. Seasonal Find: Tri-Colored Carrots Yes, we may see carrots year-round, but never do they taste as good as in the springtime. This year I encourage you to explore the wonderful flavors of white and purple carrots, as well. I call the purple carrots “Laker Carrots” because they are purple on the outside but a vibrant yellow in the center. Carrots are rich in carotenes and Vitamins A, B, and C; the antioxidant falcarinol; and the minerals copper, calci-

um, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. I love to roast these carrots whole with just a touch of olive oil and a pinch of salt, which allows them to caramelize. They are beautiful to arrange in salads or on a roasted vegetable platter. Seasonal Find: Blood Oranges Be sure to add organic blood oranges from McFarland Farms to your reusable bag this Sunday. These are distinctive in appearance; their flesh varies from pink to burgundy, and they may have red marks on their skin. Blood oranges are smaller in size than other sweet oranges, and as for taste, are described to be especially sweet with hints of raspberries or strawberries. Blood oranges get their red color from the antioxidant anthocyanin and are a good source of Vitamin C, folate, calcium, and Vitamin A. They can be used for fruit platters, salads, sauces, or for flavoring and dazzling your water pitcher. Seasonal Find: Oyster Mushrooms Oyster mushrooms, which you can find from the F and F Farm stand, are techni-

cally in season year round, but they pair particularly nicely with spring’s flavorful onions and garlic. Used in traditional Chinese medicine, oyster mushrooms benefit the body in numerous ways. They contain the antioxidant ergothioneine that protects cells. They also have been found to reduce bacteria in the body, and are helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels with the molecule lovastatin. They can be added to a stir fry or sauté and mixed with olive oil, herbs, and spices. Seasonal Find: Limequat To complete your Farmers’ Market shopping trip, you can purchase limequats. They are a cross between a lime and kumquat, are the size of a kumquat, and taste tart like a key lime. Limequats are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They contain compounds called limonoids, which were shown to help fight cancers in research studies. They can be used interchangeably for limes or tart lemons, and are great in guacamole, a salad dressing, or for flavoring sparkling water.

These are just a few fresh picks for the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. Enjoy these fruits and vegetables in new, creative recipes. They’ll keep you healthy and refreshed all season long. See you Sunday – you know where I’ll be! Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.N. is a Beverly Hills-based registered dietitian nutritionist. At UCLA, she has led a benchmark weight loss and health promotion program titled the Bruin Health Improvement Program (BHIP), and she is the dietitian on the hit show Fit to Fat to Fit on A&E.

APRIL 14, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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