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The Week In News


APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home


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The Week In News

CONTENTS COMMUNITY Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

FEATURE 18 Spectacularly Wrong Predictions Made Around the Time of the First Earth Day in 1970. . . . . . . . . . 16

LIFESTYLES Humor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 The Jewish Home is distributed bi-weekly to: ANAHEIM AGOURA HILLS BEVERLY HILLS BURBANK CALABASAS CAMARILLO COSTA MESA ENCINO GLENDALE HUNTINGON BEACH IRVINE LONG BEACH LOS ANGELES -BEVERLY HILLS



APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, There’s a saying: “Acharei mos, kedoshim,” suggesting that after someone passes away, we sing their praises and overlook their faults. While people usually express this truism with cynicism, is it really as negative as it sounds? Some will say that it’s easy to see the positive in a person once they aren’t actively challenging our ego or harming us. But I think that it’s more than that. In general, we appreciate something when we no longer have it and can only look back and remember it. This question might sound funny, but is it even possible to appreciate something while we still have it? Even if we currently possess something and can indeed appreciate it, to do so most of us will recall an earlier time in which we didn’t have it or compare ourselves with someone who doesn’t have it. It would seem, though, that with humility one can appreciate something they’ve always had as well as everyone around them. When one feels humble and leaves space for others, then the things they have and even the breaths they take are appreciated and bring joy like an unexpected gift. Being humble allows us to thrive in life as well. It allows us to listen to others, to see life in a realistic way, and to be in touch with our truest, innermost self (not to be confused with our selfish side..). It says that like Moshe Rabbeinu, Mashiach will be extremely humble. He will learn with the avos and yet will relate to the simple person. Cultivating the middah of modestly might be another fine way to prepare for his arrival. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and joyous Lag B’Omer!


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

TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home


Israel’s Fallen Remembered at the Saban Theatre More than 50 schools, synagogues, and other organizations partnered with sponsors FIDF, Temple of the Arts, and the Consul General of Israel for the Yom Hazikaron Community-Wide Night of Remembrance. The event was held on April 17th at the Saban Theatre. James Blatt, President of Temple of the Arts, told the packed audience, “Today we stand as one, bowing our heads and remembering the sons and daughters of the Israeli people who acted with courage and boundless dedication, and in memory of the victims of terror who lost their lives in senseless murderous acts.” The audience rose to listen to the siren that sounds in Israel signaling the moment of silence on the national holiday of Yom Hazikaron. Ari Ryan, Vice President of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Western Region and board member of the Temple of the Arts, told the audience that their presence sends message that the L.A. community stands with Israel. He praised the rabbi of the Temple of the Arts, David Baron, and the co-sponsors of the event, without whom the gathering at the Saban would not be possible. Then Ryan read two heartbreaking numbers: 23,646 IDF soldiers have fallen in eight wars fought against Israel’s existence, and 3134 civilians have been killed by Arab terrorists. Among those killed, Ryan said, were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, and friends. These include 23-year-old border police officer, Staff Sergeant Hadass Malka. Hadass was murdered in the Old City of Jerusalem on June 17, 2017. They also include Yosef, Chaya, and Elad Solomon, murdered by a 19-year-

Photo credits: Positive Vibes Productions

Tova Abady

old Arab terrorist in July 2017 as the family gathered for Shabbat to welcome their new grandchild; and Captain Tom Farkash, 23 years old, who was killed during a mission across the Lebanese border during clashes with Hezbollah terrorists. At that point, Iris Malkin took the stage to sing “A Million Kochavim,” which was sung at the funeral for Farkash. Eighteen memorial candles were lit by 18 honored community leaders in the memory of all Israel’s fallen. Sergeant Yaniv Levy, a sniper instructor at the school of counter terrorism, told the crowd that by wearing the IDF uniform he vowed an oath that Israel is a country that he would give his life for. Israel is a country that his friends and his friends’ friends also vowed they would give their lives for. Yaniv mentioned that he heard the following quote at an event he attended in Atlanta: “26,000 is a price we pay when we have a country, and six million is the price we paid without a country.” Adding, that that he is very proud to wear his uniform, Yaniv then re-

cited kaddish for all the fallen. Eden Kontez and the Jewish Community Children’s Choir under the direction of Michelle Green Willner sang “Ma Avarech,” followed by a video in Hebrew with English subtitles about elite IDF unit Tzevet Amrani and their incredible mesiras nefesh. The film showed two of the unit’s soldiers, who were killed shortly before their graduation when they were sent on very dangerous missions. Following the film, Nati Baram, the cantor of Beverly Hills Synagogue sang “Kel Malei Rachamim.” Tony Rubin, President of the Western Region of the FIDF, told the audience about his journey from Poland, including when they marched into Auschwitz with a Torah and his group’s joyful arrival in Israel on Yom HaZikaron. He was amazed at the complete standstill when the siren echoed throughout Israel. Consul General Sam Grundwerg said that while families mourning our losses every day of the year, on Yom HaZikaron,

the entire nation joins all the bereaved. He spoke of Eliyahu Drori, who came from Los Angeles and made aliyah with his family, and who just this past weekend lost his life defending our Jewish homeland. Ron Weinrich brought the entire crowd to their feet with his incredible voice and soul-stirring rendition of “Bring Him Home,” sung in English and Hebrew. Weinrich sustained a spinal cord injury when he served as a tank commander in the 401st Armored Division. Following a long stretch of rehabilitation, Ron established himself in Israel as a famed artist and then came to the United States to enter the music scene here. The program concluded with three cantors (Nati Baram, Cantor of Beverly Hills Synagogue; Marcus Feldman, Cantor of Sinai Temple; and Arik Wollheim, Cantor of Beth Jacob Congregation) singing “Lu Yehi” together. The musical director and pianist for the evening was Sharon Farber, with Marcy Vaj on violin and Shaul Kofler on cello.

Coffee, Torah, and Yeshuos in Meron Communicated If you’re in Meron on Lag B’Omer and find yourself trotting up the Derech Mehadrin, please do look out for the Kollel Chatzos representatives. Refresh yourself with a glass of coffee from our “chai rotel station,” and then rush ahead – you have a lot to experience! We at Kollel Chatzos can tell you all about the me’ara – its magnetic pull, the dramatically inspiring hisorerus, and the life-transformative yeshuos sourced at this very site. After all, we’re here every night of the year in Cheder Yaakov, located on the kohanim porch. While we learn here night after night, we are still taken by the power of the experience. We at the Kollel feel especially connected to Rabbi Shimon. For it’s Rabbi Shimon’s holy Zohar which inspires us

time and again about the tremendous merit of nightlong Torah learning. So, we feel like we’re living Rabbi Shimon’s directive all year long. We also see how Rabbi Shimon’s havtachos and promises are fulfilled. Each of us, individually, has our own personal experience of how brachah has permeated our lives in the zechus of nightlong Torah learning at the kever. And many of our donors, for whom we daven and learn, have also shared with us their breathtaking stories. If you’re zocheh to be in Meron on Lag B’Omer, we’re really happy for you. We understand the happiness you’re about to experience. And we invite you to join us in the Kollel. Like every night of the year, we’ll be spending the night learning, from chatzos to vasikin. You can pull over

a chair, open a sefer, and let yourself be pulled into the kol Torah. Experience the koach Rabbi Shimon describes again and again. But if you’re not in Meron, you could still have the zechus of Meron. Call up the Kollel Chatzos office and sponsor the Torah and tefilos on this special night. Better yet, partner with us and we’ll learn and daven in your zechus every night of the

year. We feel it’s a tremendous zechus to be your representative. We look forward to seeing you.

The Week In News



‫מ‬ ‫ורתו גן ל‬



APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Open House for Touro College Los Angeles Yehudis Litvak

you could be in Meron on

Lag Ba’Omer and all year long

Touro College Los Angeles (TCLA) held an Open House last week. Prospective students and their parents heard from three alumni, as well as the dean, Rabbi Dr. David Jacobson. The alumni spoke about their positive experiences at Touro. “Going to Touro was the best decision of my life,” said Deborah Noghreyan. “For students like me, who are shy and introverted, Touro is really great.” She explained that she was an average student in high school and didn’t know what she was going to do afterwards. At Touro, because of its small class sizes, Deborah was able to develop relationships with her teachers. For the first time in her life, teachers got to know her well and encouraged her to reach higher. “If you have potential, you can do more. Don’t settle for less,” one of her teachers told her. Deborah discovered her love for medicine and the sciences and majored in health sciences. After graduating as valedictorian, Deborah applied to a graduate program at Yale University, which she currently attends. “I’m at my dream program at Yale,” she said, “and the only reason I succeeded was because I went to Touro.” Another alumnus, Stephen Apfel, graduated Touro with a business degree. “The experience was amazing throughout,” he said, explaining that Touro had always been very accommodating. He began his degree when he was a fulltime yeshiva student and finished when he was working full time. The schedule at Touro worked well for him and allowed him to complete his degree without compromising his other commitments. Stephen said that Touro prepared him well for his career and helped him find his current job.

Leora Dahan came to Touro from Canada. “Touro welcomed me with open arms,” she said, adding that she is using the skills she gained at Touro both at work and in the MBA graduate program she currently attends. Dean Jacobson described the various programs Touro offers. “We are a Jewish school – this is our primary reason for existence,” he said. “At Touro, Jewish students help the world and help themselves make a living in an honorable way.” He explained that the local branch of Touro College is “a small outpost of the Touro College and University system,” with many graduate programs and over 19,000 students throughout the world. While TCLA aims to grow, it currently offers three undergraduate majors: psychology, with several areas of concentration, including health sciences/pre-med; business, with three areas of concentration; and Judaic Studies with concentration in Jewish education. TCLA offers separate men’s and women’s divisions. The small size of TCLA has its advantages. Dean Jacobson explained, “We look out for our students. We get to know every student, care about every student, help them succeed, and help them find internships and jobs.” TCLA also offers an Israel Option, where the student can enroll at Touro before attending a yeshiva or seminary in Israel and automatically receive college credits for the classes they take during their year in Israel. Dean Jacobson also discussed the financial aid options, federal, state, and private, need and merit based. More information about TCLA can be found at www.tcla.

The Week In News

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home


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TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Etta Inaugurates New Headquarters Tova Abady

ETTA held a grand opening for their new home in North Hollywood on Rosh Chodesh Iyar. Staff, clients, dignitaries, and community leaders attended the event. Shaina Barnett introduced Dr. Michael Held, Founder and Executive Director of ETTA Los Angeles. He told the audience that ETTA is now in its 25th year of operation here. For most of that time, its small, cramped offices were scattered in four locations across the area. Everything changed this March. A new landlord, Mr. George W. Schaeffer, provided ETTA with a new, comfortable space that will enable a high degree of collaboration. Dr. Held likened the success of ETTA to relay runners, each person passing the baton to the next in perfect teamwork. The ETTA team, numbering 200 employees, are working together to assemble funds for “The Village,” a state-of-the-art residential housing project, where ETTA

clients can live and have all their needs met in one community. The announcement for The Village was made at last year’s gala, and so far, five million dollars has been raised. Twenty million dollars more is needed. Dr. Held called several individuals to the stage. Shlomo Meyers, with the help of ETTA, is embarking on a new career as a public speaker on behalf of people with disabilities. Jacob Katz was a member of the very first ETTA program in 1993 and has graciously spread the word about ETTA. Manijeh Nehorai presides over the largest program in the city for Iranian American outreach. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Nehorai has worked tirelessly, building a board and pouring her heart and soul into helping families. Former board president, Dr. Irving Lebovics, was recognized for facilitating the partnership between ETTA and Ohel

Steve Cohn Photography



Children and Family Services located in New York. Ohel is the largest social service agency of its type with 500 individuals in residential care. Both the ETTA and Ohel boards decided on a merger in 2012, which has proved very beneficial. CEO of Ohel, David Mandel, flew in from New York and was on hand for the building dedication. State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg and Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin pledged their support for ETTA and will work hard at finding any possible resources to help. Next, Dr. Held pointed out a neon sign in the room reading “George’s Place.” The cafeteria at ETTA’s new facility was added by Mr. Schaeffer so his employees wouldn’t have to waste half their lunch hour driving somewhere in the city. Dr. Held said it is clear that everything George does is out of warmth and kindness. Also expressing gratitude to Mr. Schaeffer and his wife Irina were board members ETTA Co-Chairman Jaime Sohachesky, ETTA President Mr. Kambiz Babaoff, and Daniel Schwartz, a special young man who is part of the ETTA Community and has a long-standing friendship with Mr. Schaeffer. Daniel introduced Mr. Schaeffer, who said, “I can’t even express the feeling I have that this building will be a center point for helping so many families.” He thanked ETTA for allowing him to be a tiny part of that. Mr. Schaeffer related in an interview

earlier that he believed ETTA coming to him through the Jewish grapevine was bashert. He told the story of how he put mezuzahs on all the doors of his facility. When he decided to sell the building, a lawyer pointed at them and said, “What are those?” Mr. Schaeffer told him if it was an issue, he didn’t need his business or the sale. It was never brought up again. “I am not very religious,” said Mr. Schaeffer, “but I believe strongly in my Judaism and Jewish values.” One Jewish value Mr. Schaeffer humbly espouses is chessed. He has quietly supported many organizations in Israel for years and now is very happy to partner with ETTA. Jeff Remer, a fundraiser for ETTA, said, “One thing the community can do is become more aware of what ETTA does and what ETTA means to the community. When someone has a child that has special needs and they get to a certain age – 18 years or older – a lot of the support systems that are intact fall off. ETTA steps up and fills that void for their rest of their lives, because when parents are aging and if they have a concern about who is going to take care of their child. It’s still their child whether they are 30 or 50. ETTA provides a myriad of services depending on the level each adult child.” Mr. Remer suggested that the audience save the date for two events coming up, the Friends of ETTA Iranian-American Division Gala ETTA on October 18th and the ETTA Gala on November 28th.

The Week In News

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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Living with the Times The Week In News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Lives of Kedoshim

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

During World War I, Eastern European Jewry was displaced. When the war ended, many found themselves in different towns than the ones they had previous lived and been raised in. Separated from their shtetlach, rabbonim and shuls, many were cut off from their spiritual nourishment and were weakened in their Torah observance. A maggid arrived in the Radin Yeshiva as the Chofetz Chaim was addressing the bochurim, requesting that those blessed with oratory and communication skills use them to convince people to do teshuvah and return to the Yiddishkeit of their forbears. When the sage finished speaking, the guest approached him. “Rebbe,” he said, “I came here from the big city. While there, I learned that there was a slackening in the observance of the halachos of Shabbos and taharah. I walked up to the bimah to deliver words of protest and inspiration for improvement. Even before I was finished speaking, people began getting up and berating me. I hurriedly finished my drosha and was very embarrassingly chased from the shul. “Why are you setting up your talmidim for such failure? Perhaps, at a time like this, it is preferable to remain silent, for the people aren’t interested in hearing our message.” The Chofetz Chaim asked the traveling darshan, “Please portray for me how you addressed the people in that shul.” The maggid was surprised by the question. “How did I address them? What’s the question? I screamed the way a person screams when his house is going up in flames. Is there any other way to speak when people are trampling on all that is holy and dear?” Softly, the Chofetz Chaim responded to

the man, “Tell me, when you put on tefillin in the morning, did you also scream and yell? Explain to me, please, the difference between the observance of the mitzvah of tefillin and the mitzvah of tochacha. Just as there is no need to scream loudly when performing the mitzvah of ‘Ukeshartom le’os al yodecha’ (Devorim 6:8), there is

sinner without concern for his feelings. The Torah follows the commandment of “hochei’ach tochiach es amisecha” with “velo sisa olov cheit – and you should not carry a sin for this.” We are being told how to conduct ourselves. Ostensibly, it means that since “kol Yisroel areivim zeh lozeh,” we are responsible for each other

We all need to be living holy lives of kiddush Hashem. no need to scream when performing the mitzvah of ‘Hochei’ach tochiach es amisecha’ (Vayikra 19:17).” This week’s parsha of Kedoshim was given by Moshe “behakheil,” to the entirety of Klal Yisroel, the Toras Kohanim says, because “rov gufei Torah teluyim bah,” most of the rules of the Torah are dependent on it. Rishonim and Acharonim propose various explanations of the importance of Parshas Kedoshim. Perhaps we can explain that not only are the commandments and teachings of this week’s parsha relevant to daily life and to each person, but also are the deeper lessons and understandings derived from the nuances and study of the exact text of the commandment relevant to much of our daily social interaction. Take the commandment of tochacha, to reprove a person who sins. We might think that we admonish that person with spite and anger for their bad deed. We might believe that we should publicly shame the

and we are obligated to set others straight. It also means that when we find a need to rebuke someone, we should do so in a way in which we do not sin by causing the person embarrassment. Also, discussing the transgression with him prevents you from transgressing the sin that precedes the mitzvah of tochacha in the posuk, namely, “lo sisna es achicha b’levovecha,” secretly disliking a fellow Jew. All of this is included in the commandment that follows: “ve’ohavta lerei’acha kamocha,” to love every Jew as you love yourself. These mitzvos, and the others like them that are included in Parshas Kedoshim, are taught “behakheil,” because they are far reaching and represent what our core is. This is the meaning, as well, of Hillel Hazokein’s statement to the man who wanted to know the entire Torah while standing on one leg. Hillel said that it’s all about “ve’ohavta lerei’acha kamocha,” because that is the foundation of Judaism.

We learn in Pirkei Avos (6:6) that there are 48 methods with which a person acquires Torah. All of them pertain to proper middos, conduct and achdus, representative of the commandments listed in Parshas Kedoshim. Thus, without observing “ve’ohavta lerei’acha kamocha,” a person cannot acquire Torah. We are currently in the period of Sefiras Ha’omer. The Alter of Kelm would say that each day, we attempt to secure for ourselves another one of the 48 methods through which Torah is acquired. We refer to the act of daily counting during the seven weeks from the offering of the korban ha’omer until the day of kabbolas haTorah as “Sefiras Ha’omer,” the counting of the omer. Why? The counting, seemingly, has nothing to do with the omer. Rather, it is a countdown from the days when we were released from slavery in Mitzryaim to the day the Torah was given. Hashem freed us from Mitzrayim so that He could give us the Torah at Har Sinai on Shavuos. With anticipation, we count towards the great day. What does it have to do with the omer? It is commonly taught that se’orim, barley, of which the korban omer is comprised, is a “maachal beheimah,” a low form of grain that is grown for animal consumption. We count from the low level that we were on upon our exit from Mitzrayim and seek to improve daily until we reach the summit of Har Sinai and are worthy of accepting the Torah on Shavuos. In fact, the Rambam (Hilchos Temidim Umusofim 7:22) codifies the mitzvah of counting together with the halachos of the korban ha’omer, indicating that the count is connected to the omer offering. We begin at the low level of omer and count as we raise ourselves daily through the 48 devorim shehaTorah nikneis bohem to kabbolas haTorah. The 48 methods are the ikkar of Torah. Without them, we remain with the se’orim, like animals. We gathered behakheil to learn the mitzvos pertaining to how we must deal with each other, because it is only through observing them and treating other people the way we want to be treated that we become bnei and bnos Torah. If we don’t judge people properly, if

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

we peddle gossip, if we are petty and jealous and vengeful, if we are dishonest or we are disrespectful of our parents and elders, then we can’t grow properly in Torah. Just as those who aren’t punctilious in Shabbos observance cannot be considered shomrei Torah, those who are immoral, corrupt, depraved and shameless cannot be considered adherents to Torah. We live in a world of dishonesty and depravity, where the unprincipled and obscene are heralded, praised and lauded. We need to be reminded constantly that their way is not ours. We aim to be holy and chaste, while the culture seeks lewdness and licentious pleasures. We are told, “Kedoshim tihiyu. Be a holy and good people,” and we must live our lives by that credo. Why don’t we do all that is popular and attractive? Why isn’t proper conduct determined by the way prominent people of the surrounding culture act? Because we are commanded to be kedoshim. We live lives of holiness. We seek growth and advancement, not stagnation and decline. Our path leads to happiness and fulfillment, theirs to emptiness of substance. Kedoshim was said behakheil because it refers to everyone - men, women and children - not just to the upper crust. Every day we are tested anew, and every day we must prove that we really are different. Let the media mock us as insular when we cleave to a high moral rule, but let us not act in ways that allow them to mock us as dishonest and unpatriotic. Proclaim for all that we are keepers of a sacred trust. Our way of life traces itself back to the midbar, where Moshe Rabbeinu repeated to us the words of Hashem, “Kedoshim tihiyu.” Besides rebuilding the Ponovezher Yeshiva in Bnei Brak following the Second World War, the Ponovezher Rov also founded a children’s home for orphans who had survived the war and had nowhere to go. He once arrived to join in the celebration of the bar mitzvah of the only child who survived the Kovno Ghetto. The simcha took place during the week of Parshas Shemini, which discusses the deaths of Nodov and Avihu, sons of Aharon Hakohein.

The Week In News

Living with the Times

The Ponovezher Rov began speaking about the parsha, as he addressed the boy from Kovno. The pesukim discuss that Moshe Rabbeinu became angry at the two surviving sons, Elozor and Issomor. The posuk says, “Vayiktzof al Elozor ve’al Issomar bonov hanosarim leimor – And he became angry at Elozor and at Issomor, the remaining sons, saying.” Rashi explains the word leimor, saying, to mean that Moshe asked them to respond to what he had said. What, asked the Rov, did Moshe want them to respond to? The Rov cited the Chazal that Elozor and Issomor also should have been burned to death along with their brothers, but Hashem had mercy on Aharon and refrained from causing him the pain of losing his four sons. The Rov remarked, “Moshe turned to the surviving brothers and said to them, ‘Why did Hashem keep you alive if not for you to be mekadeish Sheim Hashem? Answer me, therefore, where is your kiddush Hashem?” He turned to the bar mitzvah boy and said, “From all the Jewish children in the Kovno Ghetto, you were the only one to survive. Do you know what Hashem says to you? ‘I kept you alive to be mekadeish Hashem.’ Hashem says, ‘Leimor, tell me, where is your kiddush Hashem?’ “And He doesn’t only say that to you,” the Rov continued. “Every Jewish child is a survivor. Hashem kept you alive to be mekadeish Hashem. Leimor, He calls out to you, ‘Answer Me. Answer and be mekadeish Hashem.’” Many years have passed since that speech, and many years have passed since the Holocaust, but those of us who are alive, those of us who lived through it and those who were born to those who did, are all survivors. We are all here for a higher purpose. We are all kedoshim. We all need to be living holy lives of kiddush Hashem. Leimor, let us all proclaim it loud and clear for all to hear and see. We are kedoshim. Our lives are kadosh. We seek to increase kedusha. We aspire to be mekadshei Hashem wherever we are and in whatever we do.

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Torah Musings The Week In News

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Lessons from the NFL: Conquering Fear through Focus Sarah Pachter

Walking up to the podium, my heart racing, I stare out into a sea of faces and suddenly feel a pit in my stomach as I struggle to remember the words of my presentation. The audience waits expectantly as a take a sip of my water, buying me a few extra seconds before the inevitable moment comes when I must open my mouth and begin. This may sound like the description of new speaker anxiety, but even after 13 years and countless public speaking engagements, I still feel a rush of nerves every time I am asked to present. The feelings of fear and anticipation can sometimes get the better of me, causing me to fluster, even when my preparations could not have been more thorough. Thankfully, a lesson from an unlikely source helped

me learn to conquer my fear and use it to my advantage during public presentations and in all areas of my life. Dave Ramsey, a financial guru and bestselling author, was lecturing to an NFL team and spoke with a few of the players post-speech. Risking being tackled to the floor, he asked one of the larger players a question that was laced with a bit of chutzpah: “There is something I never understood about football players. You are literally being paid millions of dollars to essentially do one thing: catch a ball. And yet, from time to time you mess up. Like the ball on a fumble, the game could end up slipping through your fingers. If it were me, and I were paid millions to catch the ball, I would make sure I succeeded every single time.” Thankfully, the player took it well. He laughed while responding, “You are actually spot on! The skill level of every

NFL player is actually so high that merely catching the football is an easy task. Our hand-eye coordination is so good that we could practically catch a ball in our sleep. If the ball is thrown correctly, there is no reason it should not be caught. There are only two things that can potentially get in the way: fear and loss of focus.” Despite already knowing that football players were brimming with strength, Ramsey was shocked by just how much these 300-pound men could destroy. They are so fast and strong that the impact of their body running into a car could total it.1 The player continued to explain to Ramsey that as they are about to catch a ball, players hear the pounding footsteps of their opponents running towards them for the tackle. The moment they hear these powerful bodies moving towards them, their hearts begin to race with fear, knowing the impact could be painful and destructive. The fear causes them to shift their focus, and by the time they turn their attention back to catching the ball, they have missed it. That one moment of fear can cause them to lose it all. The other obstacle to success is focus. Sometimes players are running towards the ball for a simple catch. They think they have it in the bag, and they know that with the catch, they will win the game. Images of the crowd going wild play across their mind. They can see themselves celebrating on the shoulders of their teammates and being interviewed on television. All these images cause them to momentarily lose focus, and it can even make them miss the catch. Hearing how these football players could go from catching every single ball thrown to them during practice to dropping a seemingly simple pass during a high-stakes game, I thought of my own experience speaking to large crowds. When running through the presentation in my head beforehand, I can easily remember every word. But when the time comes to stand in front of an audience, my confidence may go out the window – all thanks to that pesky little emotion known as fear. Fear can be paralyzing, even for the strongest of us. We freeze up and won’t take the risks we need to in order to achieve success. But allowing our fear to get the better of us can cost us not only success, it can also undermine our self-confidence and ability to achieve our goals. What is the solution to conquering this all-consuming fear? Focus.


Dave Ramsey, Entreleader pgs. 83-85

Focus is arguably one of the greatest challenges of our generation. We live in a world of minimal focus. Putting ADD and ADHD aside, the general population can hardly get through a normal chore without being tempted and succumbing to a multitude of distractions: scanning through social media, sending a few texts, or shooting off a quick email. People in the corporate world complain that they can be in the office for three hours and are only able to accomplish 30 minutes of the work they set out to perform because they are continuously receiving distracting emails that take them away from their initial assignment. I know many people who prefer to work in the early mornings or late into the evening to avoid this very problem. If we want to reach our goals, in any arena, long-term focus is a necessity. Much like in football, one cannot focus for a mere few minutes and become successful. Success takes focus over long stretches of time, and only with it can we achieve what we deeply desire. We see this concept in the Torah idea of kovea itim. We are asked to spend a consistent, focused amount of time on Torah study daily. Day after day we set aside time to delve into Hashem’s words and try to internalize them. It is a lifelong pursuit, not merely required for a few weeks or even years. This commitment is a training ground for achieving depth and success in every area of our lives. Just as wearing glasses focuses our eyes to perceive an image with better quality, focus in life leads to quality results. Through this, success can be gained, be it spiritual, financial, or even emotional. But here is the real kicker: focus can help you turn your fear into motivation. Fear, although paralyzing at times, can be an incredible motivator. When I know I have a large presentation coming up, rather than worrying about how many people will be in the audience, I use the idea of a large crowd and the initial fear it instills in me as a tool to work harder and prepare even more. The fear is merely a distraction that in no way deters me from my ultimate goal. By using my fears – the size of a large crowd, forgetting the words to my speech – I am motivated to use all my energy and focus on my goal, working even harder to ensure my presentation will be a success. The next time you feel the sensation of fear creeping up on you, try to control it. Use laser focus to harness that energy to achieve your goal – rather than fumbling at the finish line.

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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Can “shelo lishma” go from one avodah to another? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of

We discussed this topic at the bottom of 9b and on 10a this week in the daf. We learned that this question is a dispute between R’ Yochanan and Reish Lakish. First, let us clarify the case: someone slaughters his sacrifice with the intention that he will perform the zerika, application of the blood onto the altar, for the sake of a different offering. R’ Yochanan says this invalidates the sacrifice and Reish Lakish says it does not. What are they arguing about? Their dispute comes down to the question of whether there is legal significance to a shelo lishma (for the sake of a different offering) intention during one step in the service (e.g. shechita, the slaughtering) that was directed toward a different step in the service (e.g. the zerika). Logic would appear to be on the side of Reish Lakish: Why should an incorrect intention about avodah B have any legal significance where that intention was expressed during avodah A? However, the gemara on 10a presents a kal v’chomer (a fortiori argument) in favor of R’ Yochanan’s opinion from the invalidating intention of intending to complete the sacrifice in the wrong place. The gemara points out that the intention to bring the offering in the wrong place only invalidates the sacrifice where the person had the incorrect intention regarding a subsequent step in the service (e.g. he thought during the slaughtering that he intends to perform the zerika outside of the Temple courtyard). The following kal v’chomer argument therefore presents itself: supposing that the person is now performing the slaughtering, the “wrong place” intention will not invalidate if directed at the slaughtering, but it does if directed at the zerika. All the more so, then, should a shelo lishma intention – which even invalidates when directed at the slaughtering now being performed – invalidate if directed at the subsequent zerika, as R’ Yochanan rules. While the above argument conforms to the technical structure of a kal v’chomer, it appears to assume a strange premise regarding the halacha of shelo lishma. For the gemara’s argument would seem to be analogous to the following: We find that a “wrong place” intention invalidates during the slaughtering when directed at the zerika, but not when directed at the slaughtering. So the halachah that dis-

qualifies a proper slaughtering knife – which “even” invalidates the slaughtering – should certainly invalidate the zerika. Clearly, this would be a ludicrous argument for it is self-understood that the requirement of a proper shechita knife is specific to the shechita! Here as well: logic dictates that intending the shechita for the wrong sacrifice should only be a problem by the shechita!

The gemara is telling us to think about the halachah of shelo lishma in a different way. Rather than being just another detail of how to properly perform the shechita and other steps of the service, shelo lishma operates in a separate realm of sacrificial laws, the realm of “thoughts that disqualify.” That is, the Torah decrees that by attaching certain incorrect intentions to a sacrifice, the sacrifice becomes invalid. Understood in this light, we should find it perfectly reasonable for the incorrect intention to invalidate at any stage of the service, about any other stage of the service. However, the halachah does limit the type of invalidating intention. For instance, we know that an intention of shelo lishma does not invalidate by non-essential steps of the service like the burning of the sacrifice on the altar. Also, if, for example, someone intended his chattas sacrifice for a different type of chattas, it does not invalidate. In other words, the shelo lishma intention has to be meaningful in order to invalidate. However, R’ Yochanan’s kal v’chomer tells us not to limit shelo lishma to the avodah at hand: You can inject an invalidating intention of shelo lishma from one avodah to another! This was a fascinating discussion about going from avodah to avodah; may we all go from avodah to avodah, and from strength to strength in our journey through Seder Kodshim.

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home


Humor: Where is My Vacation Now that I’ve Earned It? Rebecca Klempner

Like many Jewish women, the weeks after Passover leave me feeling tuckered out. We’ve survived Purim preparation and Pesach preparation – and (unfortunately) in my case a little jaunt to the opposite coast for a funeral – and now I want nothing more than to lie on a beach. Yes, that’s what I want: one week in which to do nothing other than listen to seagulls, read novels, and pray that my SPF 50 sunscreen keeps the small quantities of bare flesh left exposed by my modest swimsuit and straw hat free of sunburn. Instead, I get to plan a bar mitzvah. The victim in question has been doing his part for many months. He’s practiced his Torah reading and is working on a speech to share over Shabbos dinner on Friday night. He helped pick out his invitations and let me know which friends to send them to in addition to all the classmates he’s ever had and every rebbe who has ever taught him. (He also gave me his opinion on the topic of cake, but after visiting the bakery recommended to me, I have discovered they do not offer the flavor of frosting he requested. I apologize in advance to all of you who were looking forward to mocha icing.) Even when you throw a super low-key, relatively inexpensive bar mitzvah which doesn’t involve musical entertainment, photo booths, or a safari, there’s still a lot to do. There are suits we have purchased, but which still need to be checked for shatnez. There are foods to purchase and foods to cook. There are paper goods to pick out,

folding tables and chairs to borrow, and various types of sun shade to price. I’m supposed to be doing all of this, of course, while keeping my house clean (or at least liveable), driving carpools, feeding hungry Klempners, editing, and writing. Plenty people have offered to help, thank G-d, but that still leaves me figuring out what help to ask for and who should do what. I need to go back for an MBA just to learn the management skills necessary to delegate all the tasks that need to be accomplished. We’re making progress: I successfully ordered and sent out invitations, wrote out a menu for Friday night dinner, and scheduled my meltdown for the middle of the week before the bar mitzvah when I realize that there’s no human way for everything to get done in time. (Maybe I should add “pray with intense focus” to my to-do list for that Wednesday.) My husband is in charge of purchasing tefillin and a black hat. He is writing a speech in which I expect he will reiterate the fact he owes me big-time and forever. I’m kinda hoping my bar mitzvah bachur mentions me in his speech, too – so long as it’s not for suggesting he make his own dinner while I stamp envelopes and call the caterer. In the meantime, I have two friends who posted on Facebook about their lovely, well-earned post-Pesach beach vacations. I’ll try not to be envious while I’m waiting for mine.

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Spectacularly Wrong Predictions Made Around the Time of the First Earth Day in 1970

The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong By Mark J. Perry unday, April 22 was Earth Day 2018, time for an Earth Day article. unday, April 22 was Earth Day time 2000 for an issue Earth of DayReaarIn 2018, the May ticle. son Magazine, award-winning sciIn correspondent Ronald the May 2000 issue of Reason ence Bailey Magazine, wrote an award-winning excellent articlescience titled correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an “Earth Day, Then and Now” to proexcellent article titled “Earth Day, Then vide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth



Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Daytoinprovide 1970, and inhistorical the years and Now” some perspective the 30th following, on there wasanniversary a “torrent ofof Earth Day. In that article, Bailey apocalyptic predictions” andnoted many that around the time of the first Earth of those predictions were featured Day in Reason 1970, and in the Well, years it’s followin his article. now ing, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, predictions” many those and a goodand time toofask thepredicquestion again that Bailey asked 18

years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first EarthinDay 1970?artiThe tions were featured his in Reason cle. Well, it’s“The now the 48th anniversary answer: prophets of doom ofwere Earthnot Day, and a wrong, good time to ask simply but specthe question again that Bailey asked tacularly wrong,” according 18to years ago: How accurate were the preBailey. dictions around the time of of the Heremade are 18 examples the first Earth Day inwrong 1970? The answer: spectacularly predictions made around 1970 when the “green

holy day” (aka Earth Day) started: 1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, spectacularly wrong,” will end but within 15 or 30 years according to Bailey. unless immediate action is taken Here are 18 examples of mankind.” the specagainst problems facing tacularly wrong made 2. “We are inpredictions an environmental around 1970 when the “green holy day” crisis which threatens the survival (aka Earthnation, Day) started: of this and of the world as a suitable place of human habita-

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home


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tion,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment. 3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” 4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” 5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By … [1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” 6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.” 7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the spring 1970 issue

of The Living Wilderness. 8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions… By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” 9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support… the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… By 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” 10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” 11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate. 12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.




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13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946… now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: according to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.8 years). 14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” 15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated that humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be

"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation," declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

gone before 1990. 16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

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17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than ninetenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the or-

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ganisms in these areas will vanish with it.” 18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” Let’s keep those spectacularly wrong predictions from the first Earth Day 1970 in mind when we’re bombarded in the next few days with media hype, and claims like this from the Earth Day website: “Global sea levels are rising at an alarmingly fast rate — 6.7 inches in the last century alone and going higher. Surface temperatures are setting new heat records about each year. The ice sheets continue to decline, glaciers are in retreat globally, and our oceans are more acidic than ever. We could go on… which is a whole other problem. “The majority of scientists are in agreement that human contributions to the greenhouse effect are the root cause. Essentially, gases in the atmosphere – such as methane and CO2 – trap heat and block it from escaping our planet. “So what happens next? More droughts and heat waves, which can have devastating effects on the poorest countries and communities. Hurricanes will intensify and

occur more frequently. Sea levels could rise up to four feet by 2100 – and that’s a conservative estimate among experts.”

Reality Check/ Inconvenient Fact

What you probably won’t hear about from the Earth Day supporters is the amazing “decarbonization” of the United States over the last decade or so, even as CO2 emissions from energy consumption have been rising throughout most of the rest of the world. Energy-related carbon emissions in the U.S. have been falling since the 2007 peak and were at their lowest level last year in a quarter century, going back to 1992. And the environmentalists and the “Earth Day” movement really had very little to do with this amazing “greening” of America. Rather, it’s mostly because of hydraulic fracturing and the increasing substitution of natural gas for coal as a fuel source for electric power. Finally, think about this question, posed by Ronald Bailey in 2000: What will Earth look like when Earth Day 60 rolls around in 2030? Bailey predicts a much cleaner, and much richer future world, with less hunger and malnutrition, less poverty, and longer life expectancy, and with lower mineral and metal prices. But he makes one final prediction about Earth Day 2030: “There will be a disproportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future – and the present – never looked so bleak.” In other words, the hype, hysteria and spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions will continue, promoted by the virtue signaling “environmental grievance hustlers.”

Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American. com and the AEIdeas blog.

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APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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Terror in Toronto It was an idyllic day in Toronto, one of the first warm days of spring. Suddenly, in the middle of the crowded lunch hour, around 1:30 p.m., a white rental van veered off the avenue and plowed onto the sidewalk, mowing people down for several blocks until it eventually came to a halt. Ten people were killed in the attack; more than a dozen were injured. Alek Minassian, 25, was apprehended by police officers as he waved an object at them after leaving the van. The murderer was held on ten counts of murder on Tuesday and 13 counts of attempted murder. Police are not yet confirming that it was terrorism. Witnesses say that Minassian was looking people in the eye as he drove, driving on the sidewalk as fast as 30 miles per hour on some blocks. He did not make any effort to stop, deliberating mowing down victims as he drove. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dis-

missed the possibility of terrorism, saying that authorities see no national security element in the case. He told a news conference that the incident “hasn’t changed the overall threat level in Canada,” though it occurred as Cabinet ministers from the G7 nations were meeting in Toronto. Minassian, who lived in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, had not been known to police previously. An online social media profile described him as a college student. The first victim to be identified in the attack was Anne Marie D’Amico. She worked at an investment management firm near the site of the attack and was known for her upbeat personality.

China Broadens Ban on Recyclables

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cyclable materials, including steel waste, used auto parts, and old ships. The trash import ban that Beijing implemented last year has been very problematic for the global recycling industry but has also led to the rethinking of how the world handles its waste. Many towns in Australia have been sending their recyclable wastes to landfills because they cannot afford to recycle it after China instituted the ban. In the United Kingdom, hundreds of tons of low-grade plastics are being stored and eventually sent to the incinerator because they are too expensive to recycle. The United States Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries is warning that China’s ban is disrupting global supply chains and may lead to companies using new materials over recycled ones. Experts say that most countries are now being forced into a wake-up call on how they handle trash. The United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Japan, and many other countries have been relying on China to buy their trash from them. Thirty-one percent of America’s scrap commodity exports were sent to China in 2017. Several countries are now talking about imposing taxes on some plastics in order for people to use fewer materials. Others, like Australia, have invested tens of millions of dollars to help local councils with the waste crisis. Simon Ellin, the chief executive of the Recycling Association in the United Kingdom, said the ban is prompting more investment into recycling technologies and should be seen as a good thing. China and other countries are still buying high-quality scrap materials that can be made into new items. Only the low-grade materials are being banned by Beijing. “It is inevitable that in the future other countries will follow China, looking into bringing similar quality standards, so the quality of our material has to be better,” Ellin said. “Slowing the [recycling] process down allows us to produce better-quality materials. Companies are adopting higher standards and much more stringent processes. There is more investment in technology,” he added.

Child Soldiers Freed in South Sudan Over 200 child soldiers have been freed in South Sudan. The special “laying down of arms ceremony” organized by UNICEF in the town of Yambio, in the southwest of the country, freed 112 boys and 95 girls, some as young as 14. UNICEF is hoping to have another 1,000 children released in the next few months. This year so far the UN agency has orchestrated the release of 500 child soldiers. Since 2013 thousands of children have been forced to join the military and other armed groups in South Sudan. The oil-rich country has been embroiled in a brutal civil war. According to figures released by UNICEF, there are as many as 19,000 children serving in the armed forces. “No child should be made to carry guns or weapon,” UNICEF Representative in South Sudan Mahimbo Mdoe said. The released children will be reunited with their families and provided with psychosocial support and the opportunity to get an education. “Reintegration is the most difficult part of the release process,” Mdoe added. According to the UN, more than one million children have escaped South Sudan due to escalating conflicts.

“Nut Rage” Heiresses Step Down

Two sisters are being removed from their management positions in their family’s Korean Air empire. The family-run company announced that Cho Hyun-ah, 43, and Cho Hyun-min, 35, will be stepping down because they were accused of abusing Korean Air employees.



The Week In News Cho Hyun-ah became infamous four years ago when she flew into a “nut rage” after she was served macadamia nuts in an unopened package, rather than on a plate while in first class. She made international headlines when she threw documents and insults at members of the flight crew and ordered flight attendants to kneel and beg for forgiveness. She then ordered the plane back to its terminal in John F. Kennedy Airport so that she could have the chief flight attendant removed. After the “nut rage” incident, Cho Hyun-ah was accused of violating airline safety laws and spent several months in prison. She quietly returned to the Hanjin conglomerate to run a hotel chain for her father, Cho Yang-ho, who is chairman of Hankin. “As chairman of Korean Air, as well as a father, I feel terrible about the immature actions of my daughters,” their father said in a statement. “Everything is my fault and my wrongdoing. I apologize to the people.” Cho Hyun-min, the younger of the two sisters, was recently accused of physically abusing an advertising executive and throwing water in his face during a business meeting. Cho claims that she threw the water at the floor and has apologized. The family has become so hated in South Korea that people have petitioned President Moon Jae-in to ban Korean Air from using “Korean” in its name.

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Kippah Attack Leads to Kippah March A victim of an anti-Semitic attack in Berlin was not Jewish. Adam Armoush, who lives in Germany, was wearing a kippah when he was whipped by a belt and attacked by three men yelling “Yahudi,” the Arabic word for Jew. Armoush, it turns out, is an Israeli Arab who was ironically wearing the kippah in order to prove that it is safe to do so in Berlin. The main suspect in the attack, which took place in the affluent neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, is a 19-year-old Syrian known only as Knaan S. He turned himself into police last week. It is not known yet if he is a refugee. Two others were reportedly involved in the attack as well. Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli citizen of Arab descent. “I’m not Jewish, I’m an Israeli, I grew up in Israel in an Arab family,” he told Deutsche Welle television. He lives in Berlin and was wearing the kippah to prove to a friend that it was not dangerous to wear a yarmulke in public. “I was saying it’s really safe and I wanted to prove it, but it ended like that,” he said. He was left with bruises and scratches after the assault. “Honestly, I’m a little sur-

prised a thing like this could happen,” he told an Israeli television station. Armoush said he would not allow the assault to stop him from venturing outside with a kippah on. “I’ll keep the kippah, no matter what others think,” the Arab said. Germany has seen an increase in anti-Semitic attacks recently. Angela Merkel described it as a “horrific incident” and vowed that the German authorities would respond with “full force and resolve.” In response to the incident the Jewish community in Berlin organized a “kippah march” on Wednesday of this week. During the march, which took place next to the Jewish community building, passersby were given thousands of kippahs to wear in Berlin in solidarity with the Jewish community there.

Asperger Was Nazi Doctor A famous doctor from Austria that was one of the pioneers of autism research took an active role in the Nazi regime during the Second World War. A new report based on previously unexamined documents and patient reports has found that Dr. Hans Asperger “publicly legitimized race hygiene policies, including forced sterilizations” and “actively cooperated” with the Nazis’ so-called child “euthanasia” program in which children with mental and physical disabilities were systematically killed.

Herwig Czech, a medical historian at the Medical University in Vienna, has published a research paper showing that Asperger routinely sent profoundly disabled children to the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, where kids were sent to die if they did not fit in with the Third Reich’s goal of a genetically “pure” society. These children were deemed “not worthy of life” and called a “burden” to society. Asperger has been hailed for his groundbreaking research in child psychology. He especially contributed to a deeper understanding of autism and recognized the existence of Asperger syndrome, which has been named after him. During his career, Asperger painted himself as a “principled opponent” and a “courageous defender of his patients against Nazi ‘euthanasia’ and other race hygiene measures,” Czech wrote. However, new

exploration of Asperger’s Nazi-era publications and previously unexplored personnel files and case records from his patients show that his self-assessment is far from accurate. Edith Sheffer, a historian and senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, recently wrote a book that drew the same conclusion. In “Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna,” Sheffer writes that “at least 5,000 children perished in around 37 ‘special wards.’” “Most of us never think about the man behind the name,” she adds, “But we should.”

Armenian PM Resigns

In the hopes of quelling mass anti-government protests that rocked the country, Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned unexpectedly on Monday. In response to the announcement, residents flooded the streets in jubilation. The resignation follows ten days of protests in Yerevan, the capital, against Sargsyan’s appointment as prime minister, which is part of a transition to a new governmental system that reduces the powers of the presidency and bolsters those of the premier. Critics saw the move as an attempt to stay in power by Sargsyan, who served as president from 2008 until term limits forced him out in March. Armen Sarkisian, a former prime minister and ambassador to Britain, was elected in his place. Thousands of anti-government protesters had been rallying the streets of Yerevan since April 13, and Sunday’s rally attracted some 50,000 demonstrators. “The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand,” Sargsyan said on Monday. “Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong. The situation has several solutions, but I will not take any of them... I am leaving office of the country’s leader, of prime minister.” Former Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan has taken over in his place. Nikol Pashinyan, the protest leader, was arrested on Sunday after he met the prime minister for talks. At least 200 others were arrested as well. He was released on Monday afternoon.

The Week In News

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Hamas Engineer Killed in Malaysia After Palestinian Hamas electrical engineer Fadi al-Batsh was mysteriously assassinated over the weekend in Malaysia, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah blamed Israel for the attack, calling it as a “Zionist crime.” “We must condemn this Israeli assassination of a Palestinian-Arab scientist and the martyr Fadi al-Batsh,” Nasrallah said during a speech delivered at an event organized by the Hezbollah terror group ahead of the Lebanese parliamentary elections next month. Hamas has also attributed 35-year-old Dr. Fadi al-Batsh’s murder to Israel. Al-Batsh was returning from dawn prayers to his home at around 6AM when two men, who were waiting on a motorcycle for around twenty minutes for him, shot him at least 14 times. “This is an expression of the ongoing Israeli plan that does not spare any Arab mind – a mind that contains knowledge,

expertise, experience, or a mind that may one day be part of the Arab nation,” Nasrallah said. “This is the reason that they are pursuing Arab scientists and academics, from Iran to Tunisia to Malaysia. Even a number of Lebanese minds were killed in the last weeks and months under mysterious circumstances around the world.” Al-batsh’s uncle Jamal Albatsh, speaking to Reuters in the Jabalia town in northern Gaza Strip, said he believed the killing was the work of Israel’s Mossad espionage service. “The Israeli Mossad stood behind the assassination of educated people and intellectuals, because Israel knows Palestine will be liberated by scientists. Therefore, they tracked this young educated man,” he said. Al-batsh, originally from Jabalia in the Gaza Strip, worked in Gaza’s electric company before leaving for Malaysia in 2011. He received his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering at the Islamic University of Gaza in 2006 and 2009, respectively, and received his PhD from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. He has won awards of excellence in his field in the past. His official biography said his research interests included power converters, power quality and renewable energy. However, Israeli media reported that he was also deeply involved in the Hamas drone devel-

opment project and rocket building. Al-batsh’s Facebook shows affiliation with Hamas. After the hit on senior Hamas military commanders during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Albatsh posted their photo and wrote “We’re all Hamas.” According to Malaysian police’s description, the two suspects who killed alBatsh are well-built, fair-skinned men, and approximately 5-foot-nine-inches tall, possibly of European origin. They were unsure if they were still in Malaysia or if they escaped after the assassination.

Palestinian Mayor Works for Israelis

The mayor of Beit Jala, a Christian town in the West Bank, is also a sales representative for Tnuva, the Israeli food processing cooperative specializing in milk and dairy products. Nicola Khamis admitted to working for the Israeli dairy giant during a television interview. Many are viewing his political position and his job as a severe blow

to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which seeks to promote boycotts on Israel and its companies. “Some say that the reason behind the recent decline in your popularity is attributed to the fact that in addition to your job as mayor, you are also the representative of the Israeli company Tnuva in the [Bethlehem] area. What is your response to this claim?” Khamis was asked. The mayor replied: “I’m glad you asked this question. I’m a representative of the Tnuva company,” he said, adding that he had been for some time. “I’m like any Palestinian citizen, like anyone from Palestine who goes out to work in settlements. We built their settlements, we built their houses, we paved their roads, we worked in their homes. This is our situation. All the people are seeking to earn a living.” “I work in accordance with the Palestinian law and regulations,” the Beit Jala mayor added. “Palestinian law does not ban Palestinians from working with Israel, including purchasing and selling.” He then assured the audience that if the law was changed, he would quit his job. “But I’m not going to stop working [with Tnuva] if someone comes to me and asks me to stop while others are doing the same thing,” he added. Khamis also pointed out that the Palestinians purchase cement and iron from Israel. “We bring many things from Israel, and I’m not different from anyone else,” he said.



The Week In News Dirshu

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dirshu Takes Australia by a Storm Over 450 People at Large Melbourne Siyum; Large Crowd at Torah Chizzuk Event in Sydney Chaim Gold

“The response to the Dirshu siyum in Melbourne has been unprecedented! Several new Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiurim have been added on top of the four existent shiurim, numerous new chavrusos on Daf HaYomi B’Halacha have also been started in shuls across the city. The entire community has joined together and has been further inspired to include more limud haTorah and specifically halachah as an integral part of their lives.” Those were the words of Reb Yumi Rosenbaum, a member of the Adass Shul in Melbourne and a tireless community askan, after participating in Dirshu’s recent “Evening of Chizzuk in Limud HaTorah” in conjunction with the Daf HaYomi siyum on Seder Nezikin, held on Sunday evening Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5778. “The event,” Reb Yumi related, “was unprecedented in many ways. Firstly, the size of the crowd – more than 450 people attended. Secondly, the remarkable achdus that it displayed. Melbourne Jews of all types came out en masse to participate in what was a pure Torah event, an event made solely to promote enhanced limud haTorah. There were Ashkenazim and Sefardim, Chassidim, Litvish, and Modern Orthodox all gathering to display their honor for Torah and their desire to bring a greater dedication to limud haTorah into their lives.” Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu, who came especially to Australia to participate was deeply impressed with the community, Rav Hofstedter, in introducing his remarks, spoke fervently about what a tremendous kavod it was for him to visit a community “on the other side of the world that is a true makom Torah!” Although this was Rav Hofstedter’s first visit to Australia, Dirshu has had a presence there for many years. After the major Daf HaYomi B’Halacha siyum just over three years ago, Dirshu Australia really took off. A number of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiurim opened in various shuls and in the kollel with an exponential increase in test-takers. Shiur at the Kollel, Renewal of a Four-Decade-Old Friendship Rav Hofstedter was also invited to deliver a shiur to the chavrei hakollel of Melbourne’s Kollel Beis Hatalmud, led by Rav Binyomin Wurzburger. In a fascinating historical postscript, Rav Hofstedter

explained why he had chosen to say a shiur on Perek Keitzad Mevorchin. “The Gemara teaches us that when one takes leave of one’s friend one should depart by sharing a dvar halachah because he will thereby remember his friend. More than forty years ago,” Rav Hofstedter continued, “when I was a bochur learning in Lakewood under Rav Shneur Kotler, zt”l, I had a daily shiur with a yungerman a few years older than I. We learned Perek Keitzad Mevorchin in Masechta Brachos together. That yungerman was your distinguished rosh kollel, Rav Binyomin Wurzburger, and I would like to give the shiur on one of the topics I vividly remember learning and discussing with him when we were chavrusos way back then in Lakewood.” The Purity of an Event Consecrated Solely to Enhance Limud HaTorah The main event, billed as a Maamad Chizuk Limud HaTorah and Siyum Seder Nezikin held at the prestigious Brighton International Hall, took the Melbourne community by a storm. In the aftermath of the event, one prominent community member was analyzing why the event so resonated with the community and was still the talk of the town even days later. “It is rare,” he explained, “to have such a turnout and such massive achdus that represents the entire cross-section of the Torah-observant community. I think the reason is that although we have no shortage of events in Australia, what moved and inspired everyone was the purity of this event. It was a pure Torah event. Here was

an organization that didn’t want anything from us other than seeking to enhance our spiritual lives by bringing more Torah learning, more halachah observance, and more accountability to our limud haTorah. They didn’t ask for support, for funds, in fact, quite the contrary – they are offering to give us money to learn! It was just so inspiring to be part of a movement that wants nothing but to be mezakeh Yidden with more Torah and more Olam Haba!” The siyum began with minchah and, after short, introductory remarks by the Chairman, Dr. Elli Franck, Rosh Kollel, Rav Binyomin Wurzburger delivered divrei brachah. Dayan Chaim Heimlich was then honored with making the hadran on Seder Nezikin and the siyum was followed by beautiful, spirited dancing accompanied by an a cappella medley of Torah-themed nigunim. The haschalah of Seder Kodshim was made by Rabbi Yosi Fromer, a long time Daf HaYomi maggid shiur. Rav Moshe Donnebaum, Rav of Heichal HaTorah, then spoke of the importance of “v’talmud Torah k’negged kulam” how the value of learning Torah is even greater than the greatest acts of mesiras nefesh. The Antidote to the Scourge of Superficiality The keynote address was given by Rav Hofstedter. After conveying his awe at the chessed, Torah and achdus in the Melbourne community, he said, “I have visited many places and generally when you go to locales far removed from the major Torah centers you don’t expect to find a makom Torah, but Baruch Hashem, Melbourne is a genuine, thriving makom Torah despite being on the other side of the world, and this is deeply gratifying.” Rav Hofstedter spoke about the unimaginable post Holocaust rebirth of Torah that we are experiencing throughout the world. “Torah is being learned at advanced levels everywhere. Who would have believed that there would be Torah in Berlin, Torah in Vienna? Look at Eretz Yisrael, America, Europe. There is so much Torah being learned, so many yeshivos, I don’t know if, since the bais hamikdosh, we have bli ayin hara, seen so much Torah!” Rav Dovid cautioned however, that, “We must be very vigilant not to let superficiality creep. We cannot pat our backs because we have a perfunctory daily seder

and think it inoculates us and gives us license to partake in the culture of the nonJews and the unbridled immersion in gashmiyus that it preaches, while assuaging our guilt with that seder. “We must learn Torah with pnimiyus, with mesiras nefesh, with a cheshbon, with chazara and testing, so that our Torah has meaning! Yes, some people have more time to learn and some people have less time but what we all must do is show Hashem that Torah is our life! If we do that and unite – heart and soul – to bring accountable limud haTorah b’lev v’nefesh into our lives, we will truly merit the coming of Mashiach!” During his visit, Rav Dovid addressed the Yesodei HaTorah High School boys in Melbourne. He also had breakfast with lomdei Dirshu of Melbourne replete with spirited discussions and feedback. Large Crowd for Chizzuk Event in Sydney The next day brought Rav Hofstedter to Sydney where an evening of chizzuk and inspiration was held at the Beit Yosef shul. The main event was addressed by Rav Reuven Klein, Rosh Kollel of the Sydney Kollel, Rabbi Michoel Gourarie director of Bina, and Rav Dovid Hofstedter. Rav Hofstedter stressed that the cheirus, the freedom of Pesach, is in essence the freedom to focus on what is important, not transient. True cheirus is focusing on limud haTorah and kabbolas haTorah. That is why we start the countdown to kabbolas haTorah on Pesach. He urged the community to internalize the primacy of Torah learning in their lives and to ensure that each person has a meaningful Torah seder in their lives. The next morning a shiur was given by Rav Hofstedter at the Sydney Kollel. Reb Yumi Rosenbaum echoed the feelings of so many others when he said, “When you live out here in Australia, down under and so far from other frum communities, you sometimes feel a sense of disconnect from the other Torah communities. Dirshu makes us feel a tremendous connection, an inextricable bond with the Torah communities throughout the world. The tremendous kavod haTorah and chizzuk in Torah that we experienced will remain with us for a long time to come!”

APRIL 26, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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