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MAY 15, 2014
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3 THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014
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MAY 15, 2014
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Moshiach is For Real. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
JEWISH THOUGHT All the Water in the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 An Appreciation of Rav Zundel Kroizer zt”l. . . . . . . . 18 Staying in the Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Shmuz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
EDUCATION Question and Answer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Judaism and Environmentalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
COVER STORY Quiet Heroes; Orthodox Mental Health Professionals in Los Angeles . . . . . . . . . 23 Does Psychology Contradict or Complement a Torah True Life? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Power of Lag B’omer and the Joy of our Celebration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
LIFESTYLES I’m Starting My Diet on Monday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at Orange Delight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Travel Guide: Sacramento . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Dear Readers, On Wednesday, 14th of Iyar, we marked Pesach Sheni or “the second Pesach” which has one of the most inspirational messages of the Jewish calendar. The setting is the dessert, first year after we left Egypt. There was a group of Yidden who were not able to bring the Korban Pesach due to their being impure. They get this idea that they should demand from Moshe Rabeinu, “Why should we lose out”? We also want to bring the Korban! When Moshe asks Hashem, incredible as it sounds, Hashem agrees that they should get another chance. Think about it. The law was clear; one who is impure cannot bring the Korban. It’s not a punishment, it’s a fact. One who is impure cannot bring a Korban. So what gave them the idea that asking, “Why should we lose out?” would change anything? That’s like someone who was forced to eat on Yom Kippur asking to fast on Chanukah! Yet maybe that was exactly it. There was no logic in their question, just a simple longing to connect with their creator through observing his commandment. No plan, no long term goal. Just a simple deep- rooted cry lamenting their loss. And their request was granted and they were indeed able to make up for the lost opportunity. They made the sacrifice a full month after Passover. They could accomplish what they missed the first time. And that’s the message. We all have a list of missed opportunities. Bad decisions. Sometimes our fault, sometimes not. Regardless, we are granted the opportunity to reach within ourselves bringing about the fulfillment of our wish for another chance. Another chance in accomplishing a goal we once had. Another chance in improving a relationship, and another chance to be the people we want to be. There is another opportunity. Take advantage of it. But even more than that, turn the once missed opportunity into a springboard so that we can accomplish much more this time around. An opportune time for this is Lag B’Omer. A unique day with rich spiritual significance. A day of joy and Jewish pride. A day which tells us that deeper than the color of our clothes, the schools we send our children to and the Shuls we frequent, is our being one people with one destiny. Let’s not get distracted by our natural reaction to someone who looks different than us, taking a deeper look and respect the person within. You never know, they might even teach us a thing or two! In our times, we still have these questions, “Why should we miss out? Why should we be unable to serve our creator with a complete heart? Why should we have such a hard time infusing our children with our rich spiritual inheritance? And why should we not be able to connect with our creator through all of the Torah’s commandments?” We hope that we do not receive a partial answer, solving only some of our challenges. We long for nothing less than our peoples return to their homeland. A world in which the hand of our creator is revealed. And in which justice, goodness and kindness prevail. Wishing you a most enjoyable Shabbos and a Lag B’Omer Sameach!
Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Mideast Peace Talks Fall Through Again. . . . . . . . . 48
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
Sgt. Anthony relayed his own personal story, beginning with a horrifying anti-semitic encounter he experienced as a teenager growing up in the United Kingdom. A group of adults attacked him and his brothers, and Sgt. Anthony learned from an early age the value of self-defense and protecting oneself against enemies set to destroy you. It is that same value system that carried him through the Israeli army, leading troops into battle on the front line, putting his life in danger to protect innocent civilians asleep in their beds. Amidst the myriad reasons given for the importance of Israel’s safekeeping, Sgt. Anthony stressed that above all else, Israel is the land of the Jews. As such, it is the responsibility of YULA students to do their upmost to protect Israel on college
campuses, fighting for her safety and defending her honor whenever possible and whenever needed. Making the transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut, YULA’s basketball court was transformed on Tuesday morning and covered in the blue and white Israeli flags. Students participated in an uplifting davening and Hallel led by Yossi Etshalom and then took part in round robin learning in their classrooms, hearing from different rebbeim on topics relating to the day and its significance. Then it was time for the celebrations! B’nei Akiva and YULA organized a joint program that included a scavenger hunt for the 9th and 10th graders along Pico Blvd. Stops included a sing-a-long with children at the Nursery in Magen David,
listening to a d’var Torah from Rabbi Muskin at YICC, visiting the Los Angeles Mikvah, and Tomchei Shabbos. All the teams worked extremely hard to gather all the pieces to complete the puzzle. The 11th and 12th grade students went to Griffith Park Observatory, where they took part in the well-known Yom Ha’atzmaut tradition of tiyulim, or hiking. After a steep hike up to Mount Hollywood, the boys were treated to a shiur by Rabbi Abramzcik about the mitzvah of living in Israel and wrap up by Rabbi Etshalom about the significance of Yom Ha’atzmaut and its relationship to the 7th day of Pesach. Everyone joined back together at school for a fun and festive BBQ from STUCO. Am Yisrael Chai!
Sgt. Benjamin Anthony addresses students at YULA
Rabbi Arye Sufrin, Rabbi Dovid Edelstein, Sgt. Benjamin Anthony and YULA Junior Jordan Lustman on Yom Hazikaron
The entire YULA Boys student body gathered to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut
YULA Students join Rabbi Dov Emerson and Rabbi Arye Sufrin at the Beth Jacob Yom Hazikaron/Yom Ha’atzmaut event
MAY 15, 2014
With the sound of the siren blaring over the school’s loudspeaker, a somber mood set over YULA Boys for the commemoration of Yom Hazikaron. The entire student body gathered in the Beit Midrash for a short video from One Family, with surviving family members speaking about lost loved ones. Rabbi Emerson then introduced the powerful speaker for the day, Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, a former IDF soldier who spoke at last year’s AIPAC Policy Conference and founded the non-profit organization Our Soldiers Speak. A pin drop could have been heard as students listened in rapt attention to Sgt. Anthony’s booming voice and moving message. Addressing the students as equals and as the future Jewish leaders in America and the world,
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Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut at YULA
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MAY 15, 2014
Beth Jacob’s Shabbat of Celebration Honoring Yom Ha’atzmaut Draws a Crowd of 600 On Shabbat morning, May 3, about 600 people packed Beth Jacob’s Shapell Sanctuary to participate in services, and to join together in song in honor of Israel’s 66th Independence Day. Cantor Arik Wollheim teamed up with a cappella group, the Pella Singers LA in leading lively prayer services sung to popular Israeli melodies. “This is one of the ways in which we show our solidarity with, and love for, the State of Israel and our Israeli brothers and sisters,” says Cantor Wollheim. “These songs will forever be implanted in our hearts and minds, and setting our Tefilah to their melodies serves as a salute to our beloved Jewish state.” In his drasha, Rabbi Kalman Topp, Beth Jacob’s senior rabbi, compared Sfirat Ha’omer, the time period between Pesach and Shavuot, to Chol Hamoed. Both Chol Hamoed and Sfirat Ha’omer are full of mixed imperatives and emotions – holy as well as mundane, joy as well as sorrow. We observe, in rapid succession, days of
mourning - Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron - as well as days of celebration Yom Ha’atzmaut, and Yom Yerushalayim. “We’re really living during a Chol Hamoed of Jewish history,” Rabbi Topp remarked. “It’s an in-between period of time – we are not in the depths of exile but also haven’t fully realized redemption. But in this intermediate period we make sure to give attention to the competing elements – the horrific tragedy of the Shoah and all the lives lost – but also the glorious simcha of Israel and the country it has become…. Israel has changed the way we view ourselves. We have renewed confidence as a people.” He noted that like Chol Hamoed “Israel may be a secular institution but it has tremendous sanctity.” This Shabbat of celebration was part of Beth Jacob’s year-long program aimed at energizing Tefilah and enhancing participation with a new focus on music. The effort had the desired effect, with a large crowd attending services this past Shab-
bat, and hundreds enthusiastically singing along to familiar tunes. Cantor Wollheim has brought the Pella Singers down twice.
fers from a traditional choir both in style and form. The idea of combining a contemporary sound with old text and tradi-
He has previously joined forces with the Maccabeats, who co-led Beth Jacob’s High Holiday services with record numbers in attendance. There are plans to host the Maccabeats again in the near future. “The sound of an a cappella group dif-
tional melodies, thus creating something new, is very exciting,” says Cantor Wollheim. “This hybrid approach to music in my mind also represents the philosophy of our shul: building a future that is connected to our past.”
Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Reflects and Celebrates At Hillel the students took their lessons out of the classroom and into school assemblies to memorialize and highlight critical and significant events in Jewish history. Each assembly left the students feeling empowered to continue living proud Jewish lives and inspired to honor those who came before them and sacrificed so much. Yom Hashoah Focusing on the theme of l’dor l’dor, the students put on a meaningful and moving assembly highlighting ways in which we as a Jewish people work towards standing on the shoulders of our past to maintain strength and achdut. Child survivor, Mrs. Dana Schwartz,
shared intimate memories with the students and urged our community to keep the memories of the kedoshim alive by living Jewishly and proudly. Yom Hazikaron Students entered a dimly lit room to memorialize those fallen soldiers who fought heroically for the establishment and survival of the State of Israel. Through a series of stories, the students were able to get a glimpse into the devotion and challenges that soldiers and their families face while serving their country. Rabbi Bouskilla, father of 8th grader Ilan Bouskilla, shared his personal memories of being a young American with a strong
drive to serve in the Israeli army and shared accounts of his time serving. Yom Ha’atzmaut After a festive Shacharit with Hallel, all of the students, Parent and me-8th grade, as well as many parents gathered in the outside yard as a kehilla to join in celebration. After a special daglanut, flag dance, by the 8th graders, dozens of balloons were handed out and on the count of three the sky filled with blue and white balloons. As everyone looked towards the sky, all involved couldn’t help but be thankful to Hashem for the living miracle, the State of Israel. The Hillel community joined together to march along the
street singing and waving Israeli flags tall and proud. As the cars honked in solidarity, the students cheered and sang even louder. When the students entered back into the yard, Israeli music was playing and all rejoiced through dance and celebration. The students continued the festivities throughout the day. The Early Childhood as well as the Elementary School students stayed on campus to experience “mini-Israel” while the middle school students went to Brandeis Bardin in Simi valley for Maccabia which ended in a barbeque and kumzitz.
to Mr. Teichman’s face and was complimented by Mr Siegel as being wonderfully memorable. Later, the Consul General was escorted by Head of School, Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, to the auditorium where the 4th-8th grades eagerly awaited his speech. Mr. Siegel spoke about the dangers facing Israel today. He went on to talk about the many strides Israel has made in
technology, with over 300 large companies, including Apple, planting their roots in Israel. Mr Siegel also explained Israel’s advancements in hydration and water technology as cutting edge innovations that will bring success to Israel. Mr. Siegel encouraged all the students to visit Israel and was overwhelmed to learn that at least 75% had already been to the Holy Land.
The Consul General ended his speech with an impressive question and answer session with our students. It was a very special interaction with such a remarkable figure. A video of the Israeli Consul General’s visit can be seen at: http://beta.emek.org/ videos
Jack’s Gourmet Sells Superior Sausages Jack Silberstein is a New York chef who turned his years of culinary knowledge into a successful line of quality kosher sausages and deli meats. Jack’s Gourmet was launched in 2010 at Kosherfest, the annual trade show that presents to the
kosher market. It wasn’t so easy to create a kosher line of meat products that were equal in flavor to their non kosher partners. Yet a chef with a mission is a chef with a vision. Where beef had to be substituted for pork, the denser flavor of the beef affected the impact of the spices used and there was much trial and error in the kitchen while Jack searched to create the perfect recipes that would capture the authentic flavors. Dedicated to wholesomeness and authenticity, Chef Jack has reproduced a line of ethnically diverse flavors. He admits to having eaten so many sausages in his first 6 months of business that he had to take
out a gym membership. But, his efforts paid off. Today, Jack is a slender chef with a mouth watering line of well distributed, kosher meats that are without fillers or additives, but instead reward the family chef with tasty, high protein meals. Jack explains his culinary style, “How do we make the best corned beef and pastrami brisket? The old fashioned way is the best. It’s not economical. It’s not practical. But when you pickle the beef for seven days and add fresh garlic and spices, it is a completely different product from a 24 hour pickling process that uses liquid
emulsifying seasonings and carageenan that increases the product by 50% with water saturation.” Sausages have been produced since the beginning of time. Ground meat was mixed with spices to create an economical meal that has been a staple on the tables of kings and queens as well as farmers, paupers and nomads. For a butcher, the sausage was the logical solution for leftover meat and in the days before refrigeration, the sausage was a meaningful business model for the selling of rancid meat that was just a step away from being poisonous.
Chef Jack believed the kosher marketplace was bereft of a quality sausage product, but researching the variety of sausages was endless; an English banger is chubbier than a Mexican chorizo, which is longer than an Iraqi kofta which is rounder than a Greek loukaniko. Finally, Jack chose an assortment of sausages that he produces at his New Jersey factory. The seven varieties are made with beef. From the Sweet Italian to the cured bratwurst, from the South African boerewors to the spicy
product that is hard to find in most kosher markets. Tasty facon. Jack’s kosher facon is perhaps his most successful product with a depth of flavor that livens up salads, hamburgers, sprout salads, pasta and more. While not yet a mainstream product, facon has a large and loyal following. Made from smoky and salted dry cured beef, in appearance and flavor tests the facon meat has a remarkable similarity with the non kosher breakfast food with a similar name. Facon is sometimes sold as a product made
southwestern, Jack’s gourmet kitchen uses an assortment of ingredients including malt vinegar , fennel seed, paprika, garlic, black pepper and more. The sausages from Jacks’ gourmet are distributed Nationwide including select Costco and Sprouts supermarkets. A full store listing is available on their website- jacksgouirmetkosher.com Sales have been impressive but demand has been equally strong for another
from vegetable protein. Jack, on the other hand, maintains his dedication to wholesomeness and he’s developed a beef facon that is made with beef, sugar and salt. It tastes as good as it sounds. If you’re interested to know more, visit www.jacksgourmetkosher.com
MAY 15, 2014
In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Emek students received a visit from David Siegel, Israeli Consul General. Mr. Sol Teichman and Mr. David Siegel were welcomed by Emek students in grades Pre-1 through 3 who lined the schools halls and sung the sweetest rendition of, “Heveinu Shalom Aleichem” while waving little Israeli flags. This welcome brought a huge smile
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Israeli Consul General Visits Emek
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MAY 15, 2014
Los Angeles Resident Stanley Treitel Plays Major Role at Jewish Heritage Celebration Highlighting Senate Passage of Peres Legislation
Dozens of Members of Congress, and Jewish community leaders gathered on May 7 to celebrate the Jewish American Heritage Month in the ornate LBJ Room of the US Capitol. The annual event, organized by The Friedlander group, highlighted the work of several individuals for their various contributions and achievements. Luncheon Co-Chair Stanley Treitel, a community leader from Los Angeles, who has been in the forefront of activities that reinforces the notion that all citizens are required to remain vigilant in the pursuit of tolerance, praised Senator Roger Wicker for his efforts Stanley Treitel introduces Congressman Eliot Engel for Congressional support of Iron Dome, an Israeli Defense system. Senator Wicker expressed his pride of supporting the bipartisan U.S.-Israel relationship in his 19 years in the Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. House and Senate. “The thing [Since the Election is on Erev Shavuos that impresses me about Israel we recommend voting by absentee ballot] is the fact that you can have an election over You can request a ballot by mail there, discuss (absentee ballot) by doing one of the following: the issues vigorously, and then Tear off and mail back the application on the back cover when the elecpage of your Sample Ballot booklet. tion is decided or Israelis pull together as patriVisit and submit your request online at www.lavote.net ots putting counor try first,” Sen. Send a letter signed by the voter that includes the voter’s residence Wicker said. address and where to send the Vote By Mail ballot: The proRegistrar-Recorder/County Clerk, P.O. Box 30450, Los Angeles, CA 90030-0450. gram also served as the Shimon If you are not already registered to vote: Peres Congressional Gold The last day to register to vote for this Election Medal tribute is Monday, May 19, 2014 luncheon celebrating the SenFor more information regarding voter registration, please contact the ate’s passage of legislation Secretary of State’s office at (800) 345-8683 or visit www.sos.ca.gov. that recognizes
NOTICE TO VOTERS
The California Primary Election is on Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Israeli President Shimon Peres’ lifelong commitment to the US-Israel relationship and the United States Congress’ endorsement of a mutually beneficial US-Israel relationship. “The underlying premise of the legislation to award President Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal is to send a very strong message to the world that the Congress of the United States stands in solidarity with the State of Israel “said Mr. Treitel. Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, acknowledged Senator Kelly Ayotte for introducing the Shimon Peres Congressional Gold Medal legislation, affirming the bipartisan support of Israel in the US Congress. Mr. Friedlander and the Shimon Peres Congressional Gold Medal Commemoration Committee presented Senator Ayotte with a charity box as a token of appreciation. Senator Kelly said, “President Shimon Peres is the surviving leader and an important member of that founding generation of Israel. President Peres has honorably served Israel for over 70 years and has played a leading role in forging the strong unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel.” In his keynote address, Senator John McCain stressed that there are very few leaders who’ve done so much to preserve freedom for future generations. “President Peres has been a leader for strength, building Israel’s military and defense capabilities; He’s been a leader for prosperity and a leader for peace, making difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions in persuading the Palestinians to pursue negotiations and finding peace for all,” said Sen. McCain. “In the time I’ve known Shimon Peres I have been inspired by his statesmanship, leadership, courage and civility,” he added. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, who introduced corresponding legislation in the House, announced that they hope to bring it for a vote soon, since it has the required co-sponsorship. “The Jewish American Heritage Month,” Rep. Kennedy said, “is a reminder of the contributions the Jewish community has made to this country in every aspect of our history, our culture and our traditions.” Adding, “The timing could not be more appropriate as we gather to celebrate the progress of a bill honoring a man whose influence has touched so many lives in Israel, the Middle East, in America and around the world.”
ism team in life-saving missions throughout the country. He wrote classified reports on terrorist courses of action and how to defend against them. And then, when his combat tour of duty in Iraq was extended, he prosecuted terrorists who had attacked and injured Americans. When Elan visits Sderot, as he has done on multiple occasions, he brings a personal understanding of what it is like to hear the scream of a rocket’s tail fin only seconds before feeling the ground heave beneath one’s feet from the terrible force of the explosion. As the current international president of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), Elan has been a leader in opposing efforts to delegitimize Israel on college campuses. He has made it one of AEPi’s top policy priorities to stand strongly with Israel and to oppose the notorious Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movements that are prevalent on college campuses today. By training hundreds of students to become leaders of the pro-Israel movements on their campuses, AEPi under his leadership has played a central role in opposing and often defeating anti-Israel legislation and activities on campuses throughout North America and Europe. Elan believes that the United States must stand strongly in support of Israel. He also believes that support for Israel must be a core principle of U.S. foreign policy,
MAY 15, 2014
A group of Jewish Community leaders and activists met with Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr who they feel is the most experienced and qualified Candidate running to replace Congressman Henry Waxman who is retiring. Elan has outlined his positions on Taxes, Jobs, Education, Healthcare, Immigration, National Defense, Environment, etc. To view his positions on these important issues visit www.ElanCarrForCongress.com. Some background on Elan Carr. Elan’s mother was a young girl in Iraq when Iraqi authorities arrested her father for being Jewish. She remembers having to leave him behind as she, her mother, and her baby brother fled to Israel as refugees. Like so many other Israelis, Elan’s mother, his step-father, and his father-inlaw each proudly wore the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces and defended, by arms, the right of Israel to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people. During the 10 months when he lived and worked in Israel, Elan saw first-hand the ravages of suicide bus bombings, watched as Hizbullah’s rockets rained down on northern Israel, and witnessed the angst felt by Israelis of all ages who struggled daily with existential threats to their families and their country. When he served as a U.S. Army officer in Iraq, Elan helped to lead an anti-terror-
Arie Mayer, Stanley Treitel, Yonatan Berdugo & Commissioner Howard Winkler with Candidate for U.S. Congress Elan Carr. (seated)
must be bi-partisan and unwavering, and must not depend in any way on which Israeli political party is democratically elected to lead Israel’s government. Elan is married to Dr. Dahlia Carr, a medical doctor specializing in rheumatology and a lifelong Democrat. As a physician in private practice, Dahlia is a small business owner who pays rent and creates jobs in the 33rd District. Having watched reimbursement rates to doctors drop and many doctors drop an increasing number of health insurance plans, Dahlia is deeply
concerned about the future of health care in America, and looks forward to joining with Elan in making our health care system work for everyone. Elan and Dahlia live in Los Angeles with their two daughters - Hannah and Rachelle - and have just welcomed their newest addition to the family, a son, Shmuel Lev. The California Primary Election will be held on June 3, 2014 which is Erev Shavuos. It is recommended that Jewish Voters obtain an absentee ballot and vote in advance so as not to miss voting for all the important candidates and issues in this Election.
One Seat; 3 Candidates fight for LA County Superior Court Judge Office 61 is one of the LA County Superior Court Judge seats being fought over in the upcoming elections. Three candidates are running for election: B. Otis Felder, Dayan Mathai, and Jacqueline H. Lewis. All three candidates have long careers in law, but they vary widely in their specialties. *Lewis has focused on domestic violence, working for the Department of Children and Family Services and serving for the past 17 years as first a Juvenile Court Referee then a Superior Court Commissioner. *Mathai’s focus has been prosecution. He is a Deputy District Attorney who has spent his career prosecuting difficult cases, including more than six years in the Hardcore Gangs Division. *Felder spent 20 years focused on civil litigation while practicing maritime law, but has also worked as a prosecutor and spent years volunteering as a temporary judge. Each of the candidates hopes to make an impact on the court system. *Felder wants to make sure that everyone has equal opportunity to seek justice,
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Jewish Community Leaders Support Elan Carr for U.S. Congress
something he is already working on by volunteering on the Los Angeles Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee. He also wants to ease the overburdened court system. “In the small claims area, I think we can help access to justice by
cess to the courts by all people in our community,” he explained. “I think the number one thing I want to bring to the bench is the ability to handle a very busy courtroom.” Lewis is also focused on allowing everyone the opportunity to be heard in court,
encouraging people to explore arbitration before coming to small claims,” he says. “Right now we have mediation. But if we had a process of arbitration, like a beis din, it would help cut down on the workload.” *Mathai is concerned with these same issues, but he sees the solution more in terms of efficiency. “Our courts are congested, and that really takes away from ac-
with a special emphasis on children and families. Their motivations for seeking this seat also differ, but the common denominator is public service. “When I decided to be a lawyer I wanted to be helpful to the community in which I lived,” says Mathai. “[As a DDA] I get to argue cases in front of juries, but also work closely with law
enforcement and help the community be safe.” Mathai, who is currently trying a capital murder case, has nothing but positive things to say about his experience in the DA’s office. He feels that the experience of working with many judges in a variety of cases has prepared him to best handle a courtroom. Felder credits his high school founder, Holocaust survivor George Roeper, with some of his motivation for public service. “Roeper actually wrote in my yearbook, ‘Make the world safe for peace.’ I always had the idea that one day I would be able to do public service work, and meet George’s challenge to make this world safer. I’m pursuing that now as a candidate for judge.” He feels his wide experience, including resolving disputes in civil litigation, being a prosecutor, and volunteering as a temporary judge, makes him an ideal candidate. “I want to give back. Ultimately what we’re here for and what gives us joy is being able to help other people.” To find out more about the candidates, you can visit http://www.smartvoter. org/2014/06/03/ca/la/race/13/
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MAY 15, 2014
Los Angeles County Sheriff Candidate’s Debate and Forum by Alisa Roberts
Those who think local politics are boring probably missed this week’s LA County Sheriff Candidate’s Debate. The event was sponsored by the Shomrim Society of
corruption and abuse allegations, most notably rampant prison brutality. Tension ran high on stage as six of the seven candidates stood shoulder to shoulder. KCRW
The event began with a moment of silence for the third fallen LAPD officer in as many months. Then Mr. Olney took the stage, set the rules for the debate, and let
Southern California and CivicCare, along with the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and other co-sponsors. The election comes in the wake of Sheriff Lee Baca’s resignation following
radio journalist Warren Olney moderated the debate between candidates James J. Hellmold, Jim McDonnell, Bob Olmstead, Todd Rogers, Paul Tanaka, and Lou Vince. Candidate Patrick Gomez was not present.
the candidates introduce themselves. Hellmold, a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department who currently commands all of the Department’s Patrol and Detective Divisions, appeared calm and at ease. He emphasized the decrease in crime under his command, and the policies which had accomplished this drop. He mentioned the recent scandals in a glancing way but did not make them his focus. McDonnell, Chief of Police for the city of Long Beach and former LAPD second in command, spoke with easy confidence in his Boston accent. He brought the scandal more to the fore, talking about the importance of the Sheriff’s Department but also about the appalling nature of what the Jail Commission found. He concluded with his hopes to create a new vision for the organization. Olmsted, a 32-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department and former Commander, looked most like the classic vision of an old-time sheriff with his grey hair and mustache. He showed immediately that he was not pulling any punches, saying that he had resigned three years prior out of disgust at the abuses in the jails and subsequently becoming the whistleblower that brought the situation to the attention of the FBI. With Tanaka standing mere inches from him on the stage, he boldly claimed he had brought these allegations to Tanaka, and that Tanaka had done nothing about the claims. Tanaka, Undersheriff from 2011 until his 2013 retirement and current Mayor of Gardena, was the only candidate who stood throughout the event. He emphasized his long and varied 33-year service as well as his accounting experience and explained how he had successfully applied both skill sets to balancing the Sheriff’s Department
budget and that of the city of Gardena. He made no mention of Baca, the scandals, or Olmsted’s comments. Rogers, Assistant Sheriff and Mayor of the city of Lakewood, peppered his comments with easy smiles and corny jokes. But he didn’t shy from the issues, explaining that he had been the one Baca had asked to restore integrity to the Department a year before. He spoke about transparency and community policing; his vision for a new kind of organization. Vince, a Senior Detective Supervisor and 20-year veteran of the LAPD, wore his passion on his sleeve. He began by stating that he was the first one in the race against Baca in 2013. He pointed out that there have only been four sheriffs in the past eight decades, going on to express his desire to bring the organization into the 21st century. Olney moderated with grace, keeping the conversation fluid and controlling the candidates as well as could be hoped, but he could not control the bitter accusations that bounced from Olmsted to Tanaka. The anger built as the debate progressed. Tanaka blamed the accusations leveled against him as political maneuvering. He refused to address specific accusations and denied any bad behavior or knowledge of misconduct on his part. Olmsted did not pass up an opportunity to badger him, answering one question with, “No, he is not being scapegoated; he is the problem with the organization.” Eventually, Tanaka ran out of patience and asked for an opportunity to respond to “a person who is doing nothing more than lying.” When Olney suggested the tone needed to be less personal, Tanaka angrily threw back, “Well you’ve been letting him get personal all night on me, sir.” At this point the audience loudly exploded into cheers and boos. Hellmold and Rogers both openly acknowledged ties to Bacca without becoming embroiled in the argument. “I did a lot of soul searching, but I did not sell my soul,” said Rogers. Hellmold took a balanced approach, saying “There were many fine things that Mr. Baca did,” but concluded, “We have not gotten any real political support from him.” The core issue may have been expressed by Tanaka when he said, “There’s nothing more important than the relationship that a law enforcement agency has with the public. Once the public loses trust…it doesn’t work.” This election may come down to which candidate – if any – the voters are willing to trust.
THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014
THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014 12
13 THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014
Turning your miles into cash
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MAY 15, 2014
Lakewood Visits Los Angeles On the weekend of Parshas Behar, Lakewood friends, parents and alumni gathered to greet the Roshei Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler and HaGaon HaRav Yeruchim Olshin, visiting LA for the Yeshiva’s Annual Shabbos of Chizuk and Community Reception. A beautiful Shabbos was enjoyed by all as the community united to daven and spend time with the Roshei Yeshiva in various shuls and homes, and to hear their divrei Torah v’bracha. Many came forward to express their friendship and hakoras hatov, and the expression of chizuk was mutual indeed. The Roshei Yeshiva, who have made numerous trips to LA over some thirty years, were impressed to encounter greater numbers of Bnei Torah than ever before, and warmly admired the clear and observable impact of local Kollelim and klei kodesh on the kehila as a whole. On Sunday morning, a beautiful breakfast reception was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Manoucheri for the Pico Robertson/ Beverly Hills community. All the Roshei Yeshiva and the Mashgiach shlita have had the opportunity to join the community for past events with the exception of HaRav
Yeruchim shlita, who was very pleased to be mashlim the circle. Bereaved of his father over Pesach, Mr. Manoucheri commented on the hashgacha pratis of being able to dedicate a special event to benefit Beth Medrash Govoha l’iluy nishmas Mr. Said Manoucheri a”h, paid tribute to his father’s lifetime of emunah peshuta. The Rosh HaYeshiva also paid tribute to the occasion, underscoring the relationship of emunah to Sefiras HaOmer. On Sunday evening, a large turn out filled Moshe Ganz Hall for the Annual Community Reception, a tradition hosted for many years by the late Dr. Charles Abbott a”h and now carried on by his family. The evening recognized the impact of numerous Lakewood Rabbinic alumni who serve the kehila in leadership roles. The Rosh HaYeshiva spoke about the transformative nature of Torah and how it illuminates and elevates the everyday substance of life, noting how the light of the Menorah shone upon the Shulchan. Special Guest Speaker Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff reflected on the influence of Moreinu HaGaon HaRav Aharon Kotler zt”l, the great builder of Torah in America, whose efforts and notable talmidim had a direct impact on LA. “It’s a personal chizuk to
Clockwise from top: Mr. Philip Manoucheri, Mr. Henry Manoucheri, host, at the Pico Breakfast - R Moshe Tuvia Lieff addressing the crowd at the LA Reception - R Malkiel Kotler addressing the crowd - Crowd at the BMG LA Reception - Rabbi Hirshman, Rav of the Pico Shul, and sons, greeting the Rosh Yeshiva - Mr. Tzvi Eilat, Host, and R’ Malkiel Kotler
spend time in a community whose Ahavas HaTorah is integral, and whose Kavod HaTorah is demonstrated in so many ways,” said Beth Medrash Govoha’s Rabbi Bin-
yomin Spear, the campaign coordinator, “Thanks to all who participated and support the continuous growth of Torah at the Yeshiva today.”
בית מדרש גבוה
Beth Medrash Govoha’s annual visit to La this past weekend met with great friendship and warmth from the entire community at large, which united in true kavod HaTorah to welcome the Roshei Yeshiva שליט"א,
A beAutiful ShAbboS of Chizuk wAS enjoyed, followed by An inSpiring breAkfASt in piCo robertSon/beverly hillS, And A memorAble Community reCeption on SundAy evening.
Special thanks to the following individuals, committee members, and hosts who invested time and effort to ensure a successful campaign: Family of Dr. Charls Abbott ע"ה Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz Duvi Blonder Moshe Chopp Zvi Eilat Chaim Freeman Aaron Dov Friedman Moshe Leib Haberman
Avi Hager David Hager Yehuda Hertz Dovi Jacobs Michael Kest Menachem Klein Chaim Kolodny Meir Levin Henry Manoucheri
Avi Mayer Jeff Mendell Frank Menlo Robert Millman Yaakov Rosenblatt Berel Weiss Zevi Wolmark Moshe Zyskind
MAY 15, 2014
! u o y k n Tha
THE JEWISH HOME
A L & d o o e k La tnership r a P h a r o T g n A Continui
All the Water in the World Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 15, 2014
The middle weeks of the Omer are a time of tremendous din or judgment. This time period marks the loss of Rebbi Akiva’s 24,000 students; it is a time of sadness and yet we must dance on Lag B’omer, right in the middle of this darkest of seasons. Lag B’Omer centers on our celebration of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai. Who is Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai that we celebrate his life almost more than any other religious figure? Lag B’omer celebrates the life of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, Rashbi as he is known. Rashbi once said “I can excuse every Jew from (Divine) judgment (Eruvin 65).” Rashbi had the ability to see the amazing spark that is in each of us. He could see and understand our flaws as part of a much bigger picture. This is like the Gerrer Rebbe’s interpretation of the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos – הוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות – we should judge the entire person. Meaning: when we can look at a holistic view of each other we can get past the tiny quirks. Why do we celebrate Lag B’omer? Numerous attempts have been made
to explain where our tradition regarding this day comes from. The Talmud in Yevamos 62 talks about the death of Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students but actually makes no mention of Lag B’Omer. According to the early commentator, the Meiri, Lag B’Omer is the day which Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying. The problem with that approach is that it doesn’t explain why we would celebrate; surely it’s mourning that should begin? An alternative and famous suggestion, stated notably by R. Chaim Vital is that Lag B’omer is the day Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away. This classic explanation is not mentioned in the earlier commentaries and therefore needs further exploration. Perhaps we can synthesize the classic views and suggest a third reason for our Lag B’omer celebrations. After losing 24,000 students Rabbi Akiva could have given up and said, “I can’t bear to teach any longer.” Instead he realized that his spiritual charge was greater than ever. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was hunted down by the Roman Government. While hiding in a cave with his son, he could have said, “What purpose is there anymore in my studies?” Instead, he began an intense program of Torah learning that would remain unparalleled in the future of Judaism. The Mishnah in Sanhedrin states that כל ישראל יש להם חלק לעולם הבא – “Every Jew has a portion in the world to come.” Rav Tzadok HaCohen of Lublin once said on this Mishnah that the empha-
sis is on “Kol Yisrael” because there is an entity called “all of Israel.” When we are connected to a group we have a share in the world to come. When we can learn to love “all of Israel,” then all the waters in the world cannot wash us away. Lag B’omer, then, is the festive story of the indomitable Jewish soul. It’s the realization that every individual, no matter how small, contains an infinite world waiting to be discovered. And when those individual worlds learn how to love each other, nothing can stand in their way. Love is a funny thing. It lends us a spirit that is so powerful. There is a tradition that we stay up on Shavuos night and learn Torah throughout the night. What is the purpose of this custom? If our intention is to celebrate receiving the Torah by learning more Torah, then wouldn’t it make more sense if we sought a good night’s sleep and learned the entire day from sunrise until midnight? Instead, we have thousands of people learning while half asleep and for a shorter period of time, why? There is a powerful verse in Shir HaShirim - מים רבים לא יכבו את האהבה – “Abundant waters cannot put out the love between G-d and His people.” When there is love, no storm, no hail, no earthquake can break our ability to stand strong. When I was in high school, at YULA, my Rosh Yeshiva was Rav Shalom Tendler Shlit”a. He told the
students the following anecdote: He was dating his soon to be bride and Rav Shalom went over to his Rebbe in the Mirrer Yeshiva of Brooklyn to ask him for dating advice. His Rebbe asked him, “When are you seeing her next?” Rav Shalom answered, “She’s taking a train in from Baltimore in the next few days.” The Rebbe told Rav Shalom “Don’t pick her up from the train station in New York.” Rav Shalom answered, “But it’s a snowstorm, why wouldn’t I pick her up?” His Rebbe answered, “That’s exactly the point, find out where the train stops half way on its journey and be there with flowers.” Why? What’s the message? To show somebody you care and that you love those means you have to be willing to do something a little extreme. Staying up all night may not be the perfect strategy for making the most of every minute of learning, but it is through an act that is wild and a little crazy that we can shows G-d our love is so abundant. מים רבים לא יכבו את האהבה. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org
17 THE JEWISH HOME
Moshiach is For Real
Question: What is the original source for the concept of Moshiach and a future redemption? Is it found in the Torah itself, was it first introduced by the Rabbis or is it simply Jewish folklore? Answer: The Bible (Tanach) is full of references about Moshiach and the redemption. The prophets received many prophecies about Moshiach and recorded them in their respective works. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Micha, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Daniel all contain clear and direct prophecies about the coming of Moshaich and detailed descriptions of what the world will be like during the era of the redemption. The Torah itself however (the five books of Moses) does not seem to contain any references to Moshiach nor any foretelling of a future redemption. This had led certain scholars to conclude that the concept of Moshiach and redemption only surfaced in Judaism during the era of the prophets and was nonexistent in Jewish teachings or tradition until then. Maimonides however adamantly rejects this position and argues very convincingly that Moshiach and redemption do in fact feature in the Torah. (Maimonides, laws of Kings, ch. 11): “…The Torah testified to his coming (Deuteronomy 30:3-5): “G-d will bring back your captivity and have mercy upon you. He will again gath-
MAY 15, 2014
By Rabbi Sholom Kesselman
er you from among the nations... Even if your Diaspora is at the ends of the heavens, G-d will gather you up from there... and bring you to the land....” Reference to Moshiach is also made in the portion of Bilaam who prophesized about two anointed kings: the first anointed king, David, who saved Israel from her oppressors; and the final anointed king who will arise from his descendants and save Israel in the end of days. That passage (Numbers 24:17-18) relates: “‘I see it, but not now’ - This refers to David; I perceive it, but not in the near future;” This refers to the Messianic king; A star shall go forth from Jacob’ - This refers to David; and a staff shall arise in Israel’ - This refers to the Messianic king; …” This leads Maimonides to his sub-
ly not some Jewish myth; it originates in the Torah itself and has been part of Jewish teachings and traditions from day one. It is interesting to note that the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin, 89A) records the opinion of a certain Rabbi Hillel who maintained, “There will be no Messiah for Israel”. Rashi there explains his position to be that G-d himself will redeem Israel. This Rabbi Hillel believed in a future redemption but maintained that it would be brought about by G-d Himself without the need for an actual Jewish king called Moshiach. From the words of Maimonides it is clear that this is not the accepted view. The second source that he brings – that of the prophecy of Bila’am proves conclusively that there will be
sequent conclusion: “Anyone who does not believe in him or does not await his coming, denies not only the statements of the other prophets, but those of the Torah and Moses, our teacher.” Rambam makes it very clear that Moshiach has a very definite source in the Torah and was prophesized by Moses himself. The concept of the Moshiach is thus not an invention of the prophets or the Rabbis and certain-
an actual Moshiach; a Jewish king of flesh and blood who will usher in the redemption. However, one can still argue and say these prophesies and predictions about Moshaich and redemption were only meant metaphorically. They have sublime spiritual interpretation and were never meant to be taken literally. Once again, Maimonides convincingly proves that this cannot be the case. He goes on to provide a third
source in the Torah for Moshiach. “… With regard to the cities of refuge it states (Deuteronomy 19:8-9): ‘When G-d will expand your borders... you must add three more cities.’ This command was never fulfilled. Surely, G-d did not give this command in vain.” His argument here is as follows: The Torah spoke of a time when G-d will widen the borders of Israel and it commands us to then add 3 additional cities of refuge. In the history of our people this has never happened and the Torah would never command in vain, we must therefore conclude that this will indeed happen sometime in the future. The benefit of this source is that it ties the concept of Moshiach to a Mitzva. A Mitzva is obviously meant to be taken literally and it would be heresy to suggest it is only true in a metaphoric sense. No one would ever dare say that the commandment of eating Matza on Pesach need not be fulfilled actually and literally. Moshiach then falls into the same category. Since we have a commandment to add 3 cities of refuge when G-d widens our borders, this Mitzva must be fulfilled in a real and literal sense. Moshiach then cannot be a spiritual concept or a metaphor of sorts; it must be an actual and real event that will take place in the future. In conclusion: The works of the prophets are full of references to Moshiach. The Torah itself in 3 places makes reference to the future redemption. These sources prove 3 things: A. There will be a future redemption. B. It will come about through a king Moshaich who is a man of flesh and blood. C. Moshiach cannot be a spiritual concept meant only in a metaphoric sense; it is a real and actual event that will come to happen. May it happen speedily in our days.
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 15, 2014
An Appreciation of Rav Zundel Kroizer zt”l
Have you ever noticed how the sun sets over Yerushalayim? The ball of fire that illuminates the world doesn’t just descend and disappear, causing the sky to slowly darken, as it does here in America. Instead, the sun seems to hover for a moment up in the sky, painting a city of red roofs and white stones with its brilliant, burning hue. And then, very quickly, the sun is gone. Night suddenly falls and darkness replaces the light. Last week, a sun set in Yerushalayim. There was a final moment of fire, a few days of intense prayer and longing, as Rav Zundel Kroizer zt”l slipped away. It was a final chance to contemplate the fact that he lived in the world as a special heir to the mesorah of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, Rav Shmuel Salant and Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin. And then he was gone. Rav Zundel, with his humble, unassuming simplicity, was illuminating. And now that light, the ohr hachamah, has gone. Inhabiting a different plane, he walked among us, davened with us, and was as accessible as a regular person. He blended in with the shopkeepers, scribes, scholars and other regulars in the high-ceilinged central shul at Zichron Moshe, yet if you looked closely, you saw that his face glowed. There was an aura of illumination and elevation resting on him, similar to the way people describe tzaddikim from years past. If you observed him, you saw that he was punctilious in every action. If you spoke to him, you learned that he was conversant in the entire Torah. If you never met people like Rav Zundel, you could be forgiven for thinking that Yerushalayim Shel Maalah, the place and dimension of storybooks, had ceased to exist. You could be forgiven for not believing that such sublime souls, with piercing intelligence and inner beauty bedecked in simplicity, walked the same
streets as you. We weep for Rav Zundel, but we also cry for his city, a shrinking realm of ancient Yerushalayim that he epitomized. Bnei Tzion yagilu bemalkom. There is a simple joy that suffuses the countenance of the Yerushalmi Jew. Identified as bnei Tzion, they are literal sons of the Holy City. Like a son absorbs and carries his father’s chiyus within him, these exceptional people radiate the chein and charm of their city. And just as the city captured nine measures of the splendor of creation, its inhabitants are equally blessed. There is a special feeling you get when you speak to them. They are unfazed by much of what is considered important in our world. Their hearts and minds are amazingly free of the clutter that complicates our own. Their
core is Torah. Their lives are Torah and revolve around Torah. The empti-
ness of their pockets is matched by the fullness of their vast hearts. They know that this world is transitory and they are only here temporarily to prepare for the real world. Their day to day lives attest that this vision is constantly before them. It may sound clichéd, but there is a magic to Jewish life as it’s been lived in Yerushalayim for generations. The settlement established by the students of the Vilna Gaon and the Baal Shem Tov - noble souls who abandoned their worldly possessions and comforts and moved to Eretz Yisroel to increase Torah and holiness in their lives and to hasten the redemption - still thrives. Their descendants, the Yerushalayimer Yidden, reflect their passion for Torah and kedushah. Rav Zundel was the paradigm of such people. Their chein is hard to define and quantify. The old Yerushalmi Jews are “the real thing.” They are pure. Their lives are not tainted by all the nonsense that contaminates and corrupts us. They are welcoming to everyone and so full of love, not because anyone told them to act that way, but because being good and kind is their essence. Dedicated to Torah, they are naturally good. These precious Yidden are authentic. Unfailingly humble, they seek neither honor nor glory, concerned only with fulfilling the wishes of Hashem and finding favor in His eyes. When we mourn Rav Zundel, we mourn an archetype of a community of happy, humble, sweet Yidden. They are a lesson for us. The values that define them are attainable for all of us. We have all read stories about Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin, Rav Shmuel Salant, Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, and the others who established the Yishuv Hayoshon in Yerushalay-
im. The stories of the poverty and deprivation with which they and their followers contended as they pursued a life of Torah are the stuff of legend. Kollel members in those days survived on the generosity of former townspeople back in the alter heim in Europe, who would send a portion of their meager incomes so that their brethren wouldn’t freeze or starve to death, real and ever-present dangers at the time. Life was difficult. The Holy City had its tradesmen, craftsmen and laborers who earned a few pounds here and there fixing shoes, tailoring, and delivering water or milk. When they weren’t working, they were plumbing the depths of Torah Shebiksav and Torah Shebaal Peh, niglah and nistar. These were the people who established the community inside the ancient walls of Yerushalayim and then, as the community grew, built the new neighborhoods of Meah Shearim and Shaarei Chesed. Their descendants are the people we know today as Yerushalayimers, who dress with a distinctive levush and demonstrate old-time ingenuity and practical wisdom built on Torah and years of deprivation, independence and fortitude. They have a different value
The Author receiving a Brachah from Rav Zundel
system that sets them apart from everyone else and enables them to maintain their equilibrium in a turbulent, ever-changing world. This was the community whose milkman, Reb Betzalel of Shaarei Chesed, was sometimes late delivering the milk. The people of Yerushalayim shrugged and smiled, because they knew that it meant that someone had stopped the milkman mid-route to ask a question in Torah, and the Milchiger, proficient in all of Shas, had been delayed. Milk was important, but to Reb Betzalel, his learning was life itself. The value system of the kehillah was perfectly aligned with the value system of the Rib-
bono Shel Olam. Rav Gershon Sirota of the Perushim community once told me the story of his grandfather, who eked out a living as a carpenter. Building bookcases in a community where most of the people barely had enough income to feed their hungry children wasn’t the best business plan, and when a newly arrived American entered the small shop, it looked like good times were imminent. The immigrant expressed interest in having a beautiful bookcase designed and built. After taking down the order, the carpenter asked the man who the fancy furniture was for. The man explained that he had just retired to Yerushalayim and desired the type of furniture he was accustomed to back home. The carpenter refused the order. Although he was desperate for the business, he couldn’t bring himself to complete the task. He explained to the would-be customer, “If a young couple comes to me and asks for a strong, sturdy, beautiful piece of furniture, I look at them and think that this young, happy couple is just starting out, with many years ahead of them. I am happy to build them the stuff of their dreams. But you are already older. You ought to know by now how temporary life is. How can you build yourself the type of furniture you’re describing to me?” The carpenter was so in touch with what is real and true that he was unable to fulfill the request. Nobody told him how to react. He didn’t run to his rov to ask a shailah. His own spiritual sensitivity led this simple son of Yerushalayimer Perushim, desperate as he was for income, to turn down the opportunity. No doubt, that Yid appeared as a simple craftsman, with the thick blue work-shirt, coarse fingers flecked with wood stain, and a pencil over his ear, but his inner refinement and sensitivity revealed his true spiritual status. Those Yidden were steeped in Torah and it permeated every aspect of their lives. Another such person was Rav Hirsh Kroizer, a descendant of Bais Harav, Rav Chaim of Volozhin, and a talmid of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. Rav Hirsh was a great gaon whose wife supported the family while he learned in Etz Chaim. A glimpse of the level attained by the chaburah of Rav Hirsh can be gleaned from what Rav Kroizer told a dear friend of mine. He said that talmidim of Rav Yosef Chaim who had no money at all would leave their homes not knowing where they would find the means to buy food. While walking to the makolet, they would invariably find coins on the ground, and
Rav Zundel participating in the demonstration against the planned forced drafting of Yeshivah students
glimpse of his spiritual stature. A story went around Yerushalayim about an incident that took place when Rav Zundel was already older and learned by himself at home. People would come by to check up on him and make sure that all was in order. One day, Rav Yaakov Trietsky arrived at Rav Zundel’s apartment and found him lying in his bed, badly bruised and unable to move. Alarmed, Rav Trietsky asked Rav Zundel what happened. Rav Zundel told him that he had collapsed and fallen on the floor. “But how did you get up on to the bed?” asked Rav Trietsky. The response floored him. “Der chavrusah hut mir oifgeheiben un geleikt oif der bet (My chavrusah picked me up and put me on my bed).” “But you don’t have a chavrusah,” wondered Rav Trietsky. “That’s all I’m telling you,” said Rav Zundel, ending the conversation abruptly and shifting topics. Everyone who knew Rav Zundel was certain that Eliyohu Hanovi had picked him up off the floor and put him on his bed. That’s the type of Yid he was. Until a few years ago, Rav Zundel had been reticent to give brachos and engage in activities that would take him away from his learning. Then he became very ill. His talmidim approached him and told him that when Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach was approximately 75 years old, he became very ill. When he recovered, he reasoned that Hashem kept him alive so that he could help people. Until that time, though well-known to talmidei chachomim, he was not involved in public matters. After he recuperated, he overcame his previous reluctance and became the leader of the Torah community. Rav Shach lived for another 30 years.
People close to Rav Zundel suggested to him that if he would undertake to give brachos to people in need of yeshuos, in that zechus he would recover from his grave illness. When convinced that people would derive chizuk from his brachos and that through them Jews would strengthen their emunah and bitachon, he agreed. In his humility, he said that if it was true that people would really be satisfied with a bracha from someone as unworthy as he, then he would do it. “Oib ich ken mesameiach machen a Yid… There is no greater source of merit than to make a Jew happy.” A friend described visiting Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz close to twenty years ago, desperate for a bracha for a choleh. Rav Gamliel encouraged the visitor and promised to daven, but the petitioner wasn’t content. He wanted to do more for the patient. Rav Gamliel, who learned bechavrusah with Rav Zundel, whispered in his ear, “Go to Rav Zundel Kroizer.” The visitor was unfamiliar with the name. “He doesn’t like doing this, but you care so much about the choleh,” said the respected mekubal, “so I am giving you good advice. Gei tzu Reb Zundel.” In time, Rav Gamliel’s advice and that of so many other gedolim, such as Rav Dovid Soloveitchik and Rav Meir Soloveitchik, spread. Rav Zundel’s reputation reached beyond the parameters of Yerushalayim. Many people sought his brachos and received great chizuk from them. Rav Gedaliah Sheinen recounted that he was a talmid of Rav Zundel when Rav Zundel delivered shiurim at Yeshiva Shaar Hatalmud. During that time, as a young energetic bochur, he assisted Rav Zundel in publishing his peirush on the Haggadah. Some thirty years later, the elderly Rav Zundel arrived at the bar mitzvah celebration of Rav Sheinin’s son. The astounded baal simcha asked him, “Rebbe, why were you matriach yourself to come?” The humble tzaddik replied that he came for “hakoras hatov.” “For what?” asked Rav Sheinin. Rav Zundel reminded him that he had helped him decades earlier with the publication of his Haggadah and he wanted to express his appreciation. Rav Sheinin told of the time he brought a wealthy American to Rav Zundel for a bracha. The man wished to express his gratitude with a gift of money. Rav Zundel refused to accept it. “Ich tor nisht nemen gelt far mir. Ich bin ah gevir. Ich hob ah dirah. Ich hob vos tzu esen. Ich bin ah gevir.” He told the man that he couldn’t accept anything for himself because he was a wealthy person. “I have a house. I have what to eat. I am wealthy,” he said. He wasn’t saying it to be cute. He meant it. And hearing him say it, you knew it was true. Several years ago, one of my sons joined a hafgonah called to protest a government blood libel against the residents of Emmanuel. It was a hot summer day and the sun was beating down on the people gathered on a sloping street that faces Rechov Yirmiyohu. People were fainting from the heat when my son noticed Rav Zundel standing next to him. Water was offered to people standing on the melting asphalt. Rav Zundel refused the drink. He was offered to sit in an air-conditioned car parked alongside the group, but he refused. “Ober rebbe, es iz azoi heis,” people said to him. “The heat is unbearable. Why not drink some water or sit in comfort? You can participate in the protest from the car as well. And what would be so bad if you took a sip of water
to replenish yourself?” With simple humility and greatness, Rav Zundel responded, “Der ikker iz tzu fillin mit. The main reason for standing here is to show the people who were wronged that we feel their pain. How can I say that if I take a drink or sit in a comfortable, cool car? Ich shtei doh. I am standing right here.”
Simple Yerushalmi goodness. Talmudic greatness and humility personified on a hot street, in a world spinning out of control.
I merited being welcomed into his home, receiving his brachos and purchasing his seforim several times. He beautifully and painstakingly inscribed a siddur for me, and it is a volume I treasure. As he finished writing, he looked up and, with a twinkle in his eye, signed with his initials in English, Z. K., as he often did. As great and holy as he was, he enjoyed the humorous flourish. There was a beauty to his ways, a perfect harmony in the fusion of steady, intense avodah and complete ordinariness that marks Yerushalmi Jewry. It’s a beauty that calls to mind the words uttered by Rav Elazar regarding Rav Yochanan: “Al hai shufra, for this beauty…I cry” (Brachos 5b). The Maharsha explains that Rav Elazar wept at the thought of Rav Yochanan’s passing because he was essentially mourning the Bais Hamikdosh. Rav Yochanan was the last of the beautiful people in Yerushalayim, and with his passing, the last vestige of that beauty and splendor would be gone forever… We mourn the passing of Rav Zundel, a person who embodied the magnificence of the city so beloved to the Creator. True beauty is based on proportions. Rav Naftoli Tropp once illustrated the greatness of the Chofetz Chaim by explaining the halacha that a kohein who has one arm longer than the other is a baal mum, even though that blemish does not affect his ability to serve. He explained that in order to achieve perfection, everything must be completely aligned. If something is lopsided, then it is not perfect. Thus, one limb extending further than the other renders a kohein a baal mum. Rav Naftoli concluded that the Chofetz Chaim was perfectly aligned. His Torah corresponded to his tzidkus, which corresponded to his middos, which corresponded to his humility. Last week, we lost a man who was perfect in that way. He used the language of brilliance and breadth in his voluminous Ohr Hachamah on all sections of Shas. He wrote with clear, easy language in his Ohr Hachamah on Tehillim and siddur. An intimate of gedolim - Rav Elyashiv considered him a chover, while the children of the Brisker Rov cherished him he was a friend to everyone who crossed his threshold. His peirush on Tehillim concludes: “This last posuk, ‘Kol haneshamah tehalel Koh,’ concludes the sefer that began with an ode of approval for one who avoids wrongdoing. Praised is he who started his journey being careful not to sit with scoffers and wicked ones… He is the one who can conclude with this posuk, ‘Kol haneshamah,’ for the entirety of his soul is one unbroken song…” The sun of the Ohr Hachamah has set. The song that he sang in this world is now being heard in the World to Come. May his memory and lessons be a blessing to all.
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“Bombs were exploding. The windows were shattering,” related Rav Zundel, “but I didn’t move from that room. It was under those harrowing conditions that I learned Kesubos and was mechadeish the Torah that is written in that notebook. I knew the fruits of that toil wouldn’t be permanently lost. I knew it would come back.” Rav Zundel rarely talked about himself, but sometimes the truth escaped and people got a
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they used that money to make their purchases. This friend remembers Rav Hirsh walking to the neighboring Machaneh Yehuda shuk in the mornings and giving drinking water to chickens that were scheduled to be shechted. He would explain that since they were soon going to be slaughtered, nobody bothered feeding them and they were doubtlessly thirsty. To relieve their suffering, the great and humble gaon would bend down to provide them with water to quench their thirst. The stories told and retold about the secret tzaddikim and gaonim of Yerushalayim are neither fiction nor hyperbole. They are factual accounts of a time and place where people lived the truth. Rav Zundel, who was Rav Hirsh Kroizer’s son, was such a person. He wrote and published seforim on all of Shas, Chumash, Nach and Tehillim. He even published a siddur and Haggadah with his own peirush. Yet most people never heard of him. Rav Chaim Brim, a Yerushalayimer giant who was steeped in Torah and all its secrets, is quoted as saying that if there are two people in whose merit the world currently stands, they are Rav Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Zundel Kroizer. If so, you will ask, how can it be that a man of such caliber remained unknown in a generation in which giants are so needed and so venerated? Rav Chaim Kanievsky observed that it was actually a gift from Hashem. Many years ago, he remarked that it must be that Hashem loved Rav Zundel more than he loves Rav Chaim, because He kept Rav Zundel hidden and people didn’t bother him with shailos and tzorchei tzibbur the way they do with Rav Chaim. Rav Zundel’s relative anonymity allowed him to spend his waking hours learning Torah. He awoke around chatzos every night to learn until daybreak, at which time he davened Shacharis kevosikin. He thus named his seforim “Ohr Hachamah.” Every Shabbos morning, after davening, the bochurim in his presence were treated to the special zechus of being able to ask him any question on any sugyah in Shas and receive his answers. The learning didn’t always come easy. There was a manuscript of his chiddushim on Maseches Kesubos that he uncharacteristically wouldn’t lend out. Finally, a young talmid chochom who was learned in that masechta pestered him to the point that Rav Zundel loaned it to him. The fellow took it with him to Meah Shearim and lost it. He was shattered and couldn’t conceive of returning to Rav Zundel without the manuscript. Finally, he mustered the courage and told Rav Zundel the truth: The manuscript was gone. Rav Zundel consoled him over the loss of the “hefteleh.” The fellow walked away remorsefully, assuming that was the end of the story and those chiddushim. Several months later, a man came to Rav Zundel with his writings and asked if they were his. The man was a collector of antique seforim. As he was sifting through piles of shaimos, a handwritten pamphlet grabbed his eye. He took it home, miraculously saving it from burial. He later showed it to someone, who recognized the handwriting to be Rav Zundel’s. Thus, the precious manuscript was returned to its owner. Rav Zundel thanked the man and told him that those chiddushim were written with tremendous mesirus nefesh as Yerushalayim was being bombed in 1948. With all the neighbors cramped into the dark bomb shelter, he found it impossible to learn, so he returned home.
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Question & Answer Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries. If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email educationqanda@hillelhebrew. org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks. All names will be held confidential. Every time I turn around someone in my family is arguing with someone else. Sometimes these arguments are even L’Shaim shamayim yet they never seem to end well. How do I teach my family members to show respect for one another? Can’t we all just get along? Dear Can’t We All Just Get Along: The key to the answer is in the very word you used in the question, “respect”. When we have respect for one another we can resolve differences and effect change around us. Respect creates the space for others to be heard and for opposing opinions to be true at the same time. We find ourselves in between Pesach and Shavuot, the time of sefirat ha’omer. In this period the Talmud recounts that Rabbi Akiva had 24,000 students who perished as a result of disrespecting each other. As a result, this is also a time of mourning. Why did they perish? The commentators question how Rabbi Akiva’s students could be accused of disrespecting each other. Rabbi Akiva is the author of the famous teaching that the commandment of Ve’ahavta Lerei’acha komocha -- “love your fellow like yourself” (parashat Kedoshim) is the most important rule in the Torah. How is it possible that his students did not have respect for one another?
T HTEH JE EJW EW I SIHS HH OHMOEM En nM AY M AY1 51,52014 , 2014
A famous approach taken by chazal is that the students actually did love each other. Rabbi Akiva’s students were dedicated to Rabbi Akiva’s teachings. Since each student is an individual, each one had a different perspective of Rabbi Akiva’s teachings. Each one claimed he knew the exact application of the Master Rabbi Akiva’s lesson. Out of love for his friend and companion he insisted his friend follow his interpretation of Rabbi Akiva’s teaching. However, the friend came out of Rabbi Akiva’s lesson with a different version and understanding. The first student claimed he was correct and out of love for his friend insisted that he should follow the interpretation that he came up with. This resulted in a lack of respect for differing opinions within Rabbi Akiva’s teachings. Due to this intense love for one another each one wanted to convince the other that he was right and insisted that his friend follow his interpretation. As a result, even though it was lesheim shamayim, it led to disrespect. The talmud in Eiruvin, when discussing the arguments between Hillel and Shammai, declares that eilu va’eilu divrei Elokim chaim --”Both are words of the living G-d.” It is imperative that people learn to respect differing and even opposing opinions. Differences in opinion should not be misconstrued as a divider. Differences should be considered as enrichers. Obviously when it comes to halacha we can
only follow one way, which is why the tractate in Eiruvin declares the halacha is like Hillel. But, it is okay to enrich our lives with differing opinions and customs. Here are some ideas that you can discuss with your children to help develop respect while allowing for multiple ideas: Perspective. Add this word into your family word bank. This is a key to respecting others. If two people draw an object from two different sides each one sees another perspective and therefore imagines a unique picture different than the other one. This is even though it is one picture. Appreciate the perspective of your sibling then you will begin to respect him. Listen. Here is another wonderful word for the family word bank. Listen to the other person before reacting. All too often a person seems to be hearing the other but is not listening to the other person. Do not react before allowing yourself to really listen. Talk, don’t yell or be argumentative Regarding the Torah, we are told derache-ha darchei noam --”its ways are pleasurable.” Divrei chachamim benachat nishma’im --”the words of our sages are heard with pleasure (and in soft tones.) The softer the voice the more powerful the opinion. Talk about the issue not the person. Most times the issue at hand is a disagreement about an idea or problem. Do not direct comments to-
wards the other person, but rather talk about the issue that is leading to the differences of opinion. Many times we get caught up in the emotions of the situation. We do not take the time to identify the real problem. It is important to identify the problem being addressed and to analyze what the problem is from the perspective of the other individual. A great strategy to incorporate these ideas is to paraphrase. By paraphrasing a person shows that he or she is listening. It also allows the person to take the time to think about the problem. It shows the other person that you value their opinion. Therefore, you are repeating it to ensure you understand prior to expressing your own opinion. The above ideas can be role played and discussed using scenarios that are not personal so that these skills are developed and then can come naturally when used in a real situation. To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, email@example.com. We want to hear your thoughts.
Rabbi's Rabbi's Musings Musings [& [& Amusings] Amusings]
This article was compiled by Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin and Rabbi Eli Broner Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Administration
Rabbi Dani Staum Rabbi Dani Staum
Staying Staying in in the the Game Game In the final game of the 1965 World In the game of the 1965Koufax World Series youfinal could see that Sandy Series you could see You that could Sandysee Koufax had almost nothing. that had almost nothing. You could see that his curve was hanging high in the early his curve was hanging high in the early innings and, as the game went on, you innings game went on, you could seeand, thatas hethe pretty much tucked the could see that he pretty much tucked the curve ball away and stuck to the fast curve ball away and stuck to the fast ball. And yet you also knew he was goball. yet(Article you alsobyknew he was going toAnd win. Ed Linn, Boy’s ing to win. (Article by Ed Linn, Boy’s Life, March 1967) Life, March 1967) No pitcher in baseball goes unNo pitcher in baseball defeated all season. What’s goes more, unno defeated season.has What’s more, no pitcher inall baseball “his best stuff” pitcher in baseball best stuff” every time he takeshas the“his mound. Even every time he takes have the mound. the greatest pitchers their off Even days the greatest pitchers have their and off days when their command is weak they when their command is weak and they can’t seem to throw the ball how and can’t to throw the ball how and whereseem they want it to go. where they Koufax want it toonce go. quipped that Sandy Sandy Koufax once that any pitcher should be ablequipped to win when any pitcher should be able to win when he has his best stuff. But a good pitchhe has keep his best a good er can his stuff. team But in the gamepitcheven er canhe keep his team when doesn’t have in histhe bestgame stuff.even when he doesn’t have his best stuff.
Even during a shaky outing a truly Even during a truly great pitcher hasa shaky enoughouting momentum great pitcher has enough momentum and confidence to mix his pitches and and confidence to mix his pitches and battle the opposing team. He knows battle the opposing team. He knows he’s going to give up more hits and runs he’s give more hits and than going he’d to like anduphe knows he’sruns not than he’d like and he knows he’s But not going to be all he can be that night. going to be all he can be that night. But he doesn’t allow that to overwhelm or he doesn’t allow that on, to overwhelm deter him. He forges one pitch atora deter him. He forges on, onetopitch time, doing the best he can giveathisa time, doing the best he can to give his team a chance. team a chance. We live in a society that doesn’t like We live a society that doesn’t second best.inWe want perfection andlike we second We wantand perfection and we demandbest. perfection, we are unsatisdemand and But we are fied withperfection, anything less. theunsatisbottom fied with anything less. But the bottom line is nothing in life is perfect. Our line is nothing in life is perfect. Our homes aren’t perfect, our cars aren’t homes aren’t perfect, our cars aren’t perfect, our spouses aren’t perfect, our perfect, spouses perfect, our spouse’sour spouse aren’taren’t perfect (with one spouse’s spouse aren’t perfect (with one notable exception), our vacations aren’t notable vacations aren’t perfect, exception), our schoolsour aren’t perfect, our perfect, our schools aren’t perfect, jobs aren’t perfect, and our children our arjobs aren’t perfect, and our children aren’t perfect. en’tAbove perfect.all, we are not perfect. But Above all, we are not perfect. But
our “all or nothing” mentality our mentality seeps“all in or andnothing” enervates us. We seeps in and We often have theenervates feeling thatus.if our often have the feeling that if our davening isn’t as passionate as davening isn’tKippur as passionate it is on Yom (which as is it is on Yom Kippur (which is just about every day), our learnjust about every day), our learning isn’t as perfect as Shavuos ing as perfect Shavuos nightisn’t (which is justasabout evnight (which is just about every day), and our performance ery day), and our performance of mitzvos isn’t as enthusiastic of isn’t as as enthusiastic andmitzvos passionate seder night and passionate as seder night (which is just about every day) then (which is use justofabout what’s the even every trying?!day) then what’s useServant of evenoftrying?! Thethe true G-d is not one true Servant G-d is or notisone whoThe is always nearlyofperfect alwho is always nearly perfect or is always on a spiritual high. Rather it is the ways on a spiritual high. Rather it is the person who can “stay in the game” even person who can “stay game” when he doesn’t haveinhisthebest stuff.even He when he doesn’t have his best stuff. He may have twenty things weighing heavmay have twenty things weighing heavily on his mind, including deadlines at ily on his mind, including work, mortgage payments deadlines due, and ata work, mortgage payments child sick at home with a due, high and fever,a child sick at home with a high fever, and he’s absolutely exhausted. Yet he and he’sthrow absolutely exhausted. he doesn’t in the towel on thatYet morndoesn’t throw in the towel on that morn-
ing’s shacharis. He knows it may not be ing’s shacharis. it may notthat be “his best outing”He butknows he is confident “his buthe hecan is confident if hebest doesouting” his best “stay in that the if he does can “stay in the game” and his pullbest off ahewin. game” and pull off a win.
Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, is the Rabbi of Rabbi Staum, LMSW, is theGuidance Rabbi of KehillatDani New Hempstead, and Kehillat New Hempstead, and Guidance Counselor/Rebbe at Yeshiva Bais HachiCounselor/Rebbe at Yeshiva Baisis the Hachinuch & Ashar in Monsey, NY. He aunuch & Ashar in Monsey, NY. He is the thor of Stam Torah and can be reachedauat thor of Stam Torah andHis canwebsite be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. is www. email@example.com. His website is www. stamtorah.info. stamtorah.info.
21 R’ Ben Tzion Shafier
If You Will Labor in Torah Study
The Torah lays out two divergent destinies for the Jewish people: “If you will go in the ways of my statues. . . I will give you rainfall in its time, the land will give forth with abundance, the trees of the field will produce fruit…you will eat until you are satisfied. . . There will be peace in land...” However, “if you do not guard my statutes . . . you will suffer diseases and famine. . . you will plant and not harvest. . . your enemies will chase you. . . the skies will turn to iron. . . wild animals will attack . . . [and finally,] an avenging sword will come into the land.” Rashi explains that the pivotal point of these two paths is: If you will labor in Torah. If you will labor in Torah, then you as a nation will find great success. Your enemies will fear you, and you will rise ever higher. If, however, you cease to labor in Torah study, then curses will befall you. In short, our success or failure as a nation hinges upon this one activity. However, as Rashi also points out, this concept of laboring in Torah study is not found in the posuk. The words are,
EACH ONE CRYING OUT TO FULFILL ITS NEEDS, EACH ONE DEMANDING ITS FILL. but there doesn’t seem to be any indication here that this statement is speaking about laboring in Torah study. How does Rashi know that this statement of “If you will go in the ways of my statutes” refers to laboring in Torah study, as opposed to any other mitzvah? The Inner Workings of the Human The answer to this question stems from understanding the inner nature of man. The Chovos Ha’Levovos (Shaar Avodas Elokim) explains that Hashem created man from two very distinct elements. Part of man is pure intellect and wisdom. This part of the person only wishes to do that which is noble and proper. It desires to be generous and giving. It needs to do that which is good and right. This part deeply hungers to experience Hashem. Chazal call this segment the “nefesh ha’sichili” – the pure soul. However, there is another component of the human personality that is pure instinct and desire. That part of the individual doesn’t care about anything but fulfilling its needs and wants. It is comprised of base appetites and inclinations. This is referred to as the “nefesh ha’bahami” – the animal soul. When Hashem created man, He took these two diverse segments and mixed them together, creating a new synthesis called man. Man has two competing sides to him, each one crying out to fulfill it needs, each one demanding its fill. These two elements are in competition for dominance of the person. Much like a muscle that grows stronger with use and atrophies with disuse, each side is constantly being strengthened or weakened. If a person gives into his animal instincts, those instincts become stronger and more dominant. If a person listens to his spiritual soul, it becomes stronger, gaining primacy over his personality. The human is in constant flux, with one side or the other always growing, always gaining supremacy and control over the person.
Man was put on this planet to grow. By resisting the pull of the animal soul and allowing the pure soul to flourish, man elevates himself and reaches the state of perfection of which he is capable. On the other hand, if he gives in to the cries of the animal soul, he elevates it, allowing it to take control of him. His appetites become stronger and dominate him until they effectively rule over him. He becomes more animal than man. The Torah: The Ultimate Guide for Self-Perfection The Torah, which is the ultimate guide of human perfection, warns us against certain activities that give an unusual advantage to the nefesh ha’bahami. These are the sins as outlined in the Torah. We are cautioned to avoid certain foods, and we are warned against certain activities because they give an unfair edge to the animal soul. However, any activity that a person engages in strengthens one side or the other. When a person eats, sleeps, works, or goes about all of his daily activities, these physical actions strengthen the nefesh ha’bahami. In a sense, there is an unfair lead given to the animal soul. All day long it is in its element, and by being utilized, it is thereby strengthened.
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“If you will go in the ways of my statutes.” Nowhere does it specify what this refers to. Rashi explains that it cannot refer to keeping the mitzvahs because that is specifically mentioned at the end of the posuk. So by process of elimination, he reasons that this must be referring to laboring in Torah study. This Rashi is difficult to understand. There seems to be no indication of the concept in the posuk. Granted, learning Torah is very significant, and we may know from other sources that laboring in Torah study is central to serving Hashem,
MAN HAS TWO COMPETING SIDES TO HIM,
To bring balance to the equation, Hashem gave us specific mitzvos to nourish the nefesh ha’sichili. The single greatest nutrient of the neshama is learning Torah. For the neshama, Torah is like rocket fuel. When a person learns Torah, his neshama is strengthened and invigorated. It becomes fortified and then takes the lead in the battle against the nefesh ha’bahami. However, without it, the neshama doesn’t stand a fighting chance because the animal soul is so much more in its element in this world. This seems to be the answer to Rashi. Since this expression, “If you will go in the ways of my statutes” is the pivotal point of the Jewish people’s destiny, it must be referring to that element that is the key to the equation: laboring in Torah study. Therefore, Rashi points this out almost as the translation of the words. There is a great lesson for us in this concept. The Jewish people are never stagnant. We are either going up towards great heights or down to the lowest abyss. The single greatest nourishment for the soul of the individual, and therefore for the soul of the nation, is laboring in Torah study. If we engage in it, support it, and actively pursue it, we will flourish as a people and enjoy unparalleled success. If not…
PUNCTUAL COURTEOUS RELIABLE HAIMISHE
MAY 15, 2014
“If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them. . .” — VaYikrah 26:2
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T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 1 5 , 2014
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Judaism and Environmentalism
Gan Eden is best known as a paradise from which Adam and Chava were expelled after they ate the Etz HaDaas and the fate of humanity was changed forever. And what about the garden itself? Bereishis 2:9 tells us “Hashem G-d caused to sprout from the ground every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food.” Thus, we see very early on that the Torah wishes for man to live harmoniously with his surroundings and to benefit from them. Gan Eden was a place where this ideal was fully realized and where everything Adam and Chava needed was provided for them. No trees had to be chopped down to build houses, no animals had to be killed for food, and no plants had to be uprooted for farming. However, after Adam and Chava sinned, man was destined to live off the land and all these things became necessities. The question we are faced with now is how to balance our needs in a mod-
ern society with the dictates of the Torah which call for respecting all of Creation and avoiding senseless destruction. Fortunately, the same Torah that told us of man’s perfect relationship with nature in Gan Eden also gave us a blueprint for treating our surroundings as best we can, not just for our sake but for G-d’s as well. A notable environmental ethic is the mitzvah to avoid bal tashchit or senseless destruction. It stems from Devarim 20:19-20:“When you besiege a city for many days to wage war against it to seize it, do not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them, for from it you will eat, and you shall not cut it down; is the tree of the field a man that it should enter the siege before you? Only a tree that you know is not a food tree, it you may destroy and cut down, and build a bulwark against the city that makes war with you, until it is conquered.” This statement has some very
powerful and profound implications. In Mishneh Torah, the Rambam derives from this the prohibition to not “smash household goods, tear clothes, demolish a building, stop up a spring, or destroy articles of food.” Sefer Hachinuch further elaborates on the mitzvah saying: “All destruction is included in this prohibition. The root of the mitzvah is known to teach our souls to love what is good and to subsequently cleave to it...This is the way of people of good deeds who love peace, rejoice in the good of creation and bring everyone close to the Torah. They do not destroy anything - even a mustard seed - and it troubles them to encounter any destruction or harm. If they can act to save anything from destruction, they use their entire strength to do so.” As this passage points out, there is a clear connection between wastefulness and spiritual decline, as well as between mindfulness of our property and surroundings and spiritual enrichment. But the Western world is still horribly wasteful. According to the EPA, “In 2012 alone, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent di-
verted from landfills and incinerators for composting.” That figure represents almost half of the U.S. food supply for 2012 or $165 billion worth of food. Another report from Washington State University notes that Americans represent 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy. Besides consumer wastefulness we also have industrial destruction of the environment in the forms of deforestation, carbon emissions, plastic pollution, overfishing, and nuclear waste (to name only a few of our most pressing environmental concerns). Wastefulness also hurts the poor as food that could go to charity instead gets
By Aaron Feigenbaum
thrown out. As Rabbi Samson Hirsch argues: Bal tashchit is “the most comprehensive warning to human beings not to misuse the position which G-d has given them as masters of the world.” Now is the time to heed the Torah’s message and adapt ourselves both technologically and spiritually to meet these challenges. Yet the Torah’s mitzvahs regarding the environment don’t stop there. Vayikra 35:1-5 ordains that the cities the Levites dwell shall be enclosed with open land. The Rambam in Mishneh Torah extends this to all cities in Israel. Rashi comments that the enclosure is meant for the “aesthetic enhancement of the city” (Arachin 33b). This has been carried over to modern times where many American and European cities have a green enclosure surrounding them. In regards to air pollution, the Mishnah tells us in Bava Basra 2:8 “A permanent threshing floor must be kept at a distance of 50 cubits from a town. One should not set up a permanent threshing floor on his own property unless there is a space of 50 cubits in every direction.” The Rambam interpreted this to limit air pollution and thus any industrial operations which cause dust injurious to humans and animals (Yad, Shekhenim 11:1.) Water pollution is also of great concern to the Mishnah. It tells us in Bava Basra that “Flax water must be kept away from vegetables” (11:10) and that it is forbidden to dig a cesspit near a neighbor’s well for fear that the well would be contaminated. As with the story of Cain and
Abel, the Mishnah here is instructing us that we have a duty to protect each other and stand up against injustice wherever we see it. From these teachings and others, we learn that protecting the environment is a Torah obligation that not only protects Hashem’s creation (including us), but also
teaches the principles of self-restraint, compassion, and empathy. While the environmental values taught in the Torah and Gemara don’t completely map onto the modern liberal movement of “environmen-
talism,” it is likely that the environmentalist movement was inspired by these values. Even if we don’t normally consider ourselves environmentalists, we should still do what we can to ensure a bright future for future generations. Perhaps we can help on an individual level by recycling or we can drive an energy-efficient car. Recognizing how fragile is our planet reminds us of the great responsibilities entrusted to us, not just for our own physical survival, but for the fulfillment of our Divine mission. However, individual action fulfills only part of this mission. We should stand up as a com-
munity for legislation that makes reckless destruction of our environment illegal and sends a clear message that Creation is not something that can be needlessly tampered with and exploited. If we stand together as a guiding light to the nations, then we can shape our destiny and create a better, cleaner, more peaceful and more spiritually aware world for tomorrow. (Sources: Jewish Virtual Library, Encyclopedia Judaica)
23 THE JEWISH HOME
Quiet Heroes; Orthodox Mental Health Professionals in Los Angeles By Yehudis Litvak vey Moss Auditorium at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It offered professional training, with continuing education credits for the mental health professionals, as well as a talk by Rabbi Avrohom Union, head of the Beis Din of the Rabbinical Council of California, who spoke about how rabbis and mental health professionals can work together for the benefit of the frum community. “The conference is incredible,” says Rabbi Dr. Baruch Amiri, a therapist and Nefesh member. “It re-energizes my work and gives me chizzuk. It helps me clarify for myself what I do and why.” Irine Schweitzer agreed, “The educational piece is great. It gives me something to take away and use in my private practice.” She explained that a therapist in private practice is very much on his or her own and that the conference is a great resource for networking and for getting support from other therapists who share her values. “We always learn from each other,” she said. Rabbi Dr. Amiri also appreciated the networking op-
Rabbi Dr. Amiri also finds himself in both roles. He says that even though he tells his clients to call him “Doctor,” they often call him “Rabbi.” He is the first rabbi psychologist in the Persian community, and he finds that members of his community feel much more comfortable consulting a therapist who is also a rabbi. He explains that his clients are wary of psychology and afraid of encountering kefira, and being a rabbi helps him assuage such fears and reach those who need help. Rebbetzin Summers says that overall, the local rabbis and rebbetzins are very aware of mental health issues and are open to and accepting of those who find themselves struggling. For example, as a kallah teacher, she attended a workshop on recognizing abuse in marriages. Since new kallos often turn to their kallah teachers when they encounter problems, the local kallah teachers felt it was important to undergo this training. Local Orthodox schools also embrace the idea of psychological help, arrange
portunities, as well as the chance to meet face to face the people with whom he has been corresponding through the Nefesh listserve. Several rabbis and rebbetzins also attended the event. Some attendees juggle both roles. Rebbetzin Debbie Summers, of Congregation Anshe Emes, is currently completing her training as a therapist. She says that her role as a rebbetzin and her involvement in the community naturally led to an interest in psychology. “Rabbis and rebbetzins are often in the front line,” says Rebbetzin Summers. Congregants struggling with mental health or relationship issues often come to us first,” she explained, “because we are free and people trust us.” She warned that it is important for rabbis and rebbetzins to be aware of their limitations, as well as of their power. It is important to recognize when the congregant should be referred to a mental health professional. As a rebbetzin, Mrs. Summers cannot provide therapy to a congregant as that would constitute a dual relationship. Instead, she refers to other therapists.
for evaluations, and provide support for students with particular trauma or special needs. Rabbi Union addressed the relationship between rabbis and therapists in his talk. He explained that sometimes rabbis and therapists don’t get along because they use different models to approach the issues they encounter. While therapists focus on obtaining the correct diagnosis and applying psychological tools to treat the client, rabbis view problems as moral struggles and apply the tools of mussar and chassidus. Depending on the situation, either one or the other approach is appropriate, and in theory, there shouldn’t be any conflict. In practice, however, it is not always clear if the problem at hand is a clinical or a moral one. And sometimes, unfortunately, due to lack of information or understanding, a rabbi might view a clinical problem through a moral lens, and consequently, fail to solve the problem. Rabbi Union went on to say that rabbis and therapists can work in partnership. He gave an example of a young woman who
experienced abuse as a child, G-d forbid, and who thought that it was a punishment for her sins. The young woman’s therapist encouraged her to contact a rabbi she trusted, anonymously, and ask him if the abuse was a punishment. The rabbi explained to her that what she experienced could not have possibly been a punishment for anything she could have done. This email exchange moved on to discuss the reasons that bad things happen to good people. The young woman found the rabbi’s words tremendously helpful, and the therapist felt that they contributed significantly to her healing. In this way, by providing a proper Torah perspective, a rabbi can become an ally in the therapeutic process. Rabbi Union’s talk was met with enthusiasm. “We need more rabbis like this,” was the sentiment heard around the conference room. Rabbi Union mentioned that a number of rabbis in Los Angeles are familiar with mental health issues and can be consulted by therapists who feel that they would benefit from rabbinical input. Debbie Fox, LCSW, says that there is an informal referral system in Los Angeles, and that it goes both ways. Sometimes a rabbi seeks a referral to a therapist for a congregant, and other times a therapist seeks a referral for a client to a rabbi who is psychologically astute. There are also “frum-friendly or frum-aware” therapists who have experience working with Orthodox clients. “Most people can find what they need,” says Mrs. Fox. With the west coast Nefesh conference proving to be a resounding success, plans are underway for future events. In addition, Nefesh is planning to hold webinars for its members, providing further training and networking opportunities for Orthodox mental health professionals wherever they are located. As the conference came to a close, I was overcome with tremendous admiration for the dedicated mental health professionals who attended and who expressed a sincere desire to incorporate what they learned in their own work so they could provide a better service to their clients. The problems they deal with on an everyday basis, the crises they witness and diffuse, are of tremendous significance. When one of the speakers, Dr. Abe Worenklein, spoke about the parental alienation syndrome, his examples nearly brought me to tears. And yet, those quiet heroes, the local Orthodox mental health professionals, take on these heartbreaking cases and work hard to bring relief to all kinds of families in crisis. May Hashem bless them with much success in all their endeavors!
MAY 15, 2014
Many crises in the Jewish community don’t become newspaper headlines. The drama takes place in the privacy of people’s homes, but can destroy families, relationships, and lives with misunderstanding and secrecy. Families and individuals struggle with shalom bayis, abuse, trauma, addictions, and various kinds of mental health issues. Those who respond to these crises do so without sirens, flashing lights, or fanfare. The quiet heroes who are involved in saving and repairing shattered lives are the mental health professionals who work within the Jewish community. There are over fifty Orthodox mental health professionals in the greater Los Angeles area. They all share a passion for helping people achieve wellbeing. They also share Torah values, which are sometimes at odds with the secular worldview. As Orthodox mental health professionals, they face the unique challenge of putting their secular training into practice while at the same time remaining true to their values. They need the support of local rabbis, as well as colleagues, in order to succeed in their mission of providing quality psychological care to the Jewish community within the framework of Torah and Halacha. Five years ago, therapists Natalie Zangan and Irine Schweitzer founded the Los Angeles Frum Therapist Network. At their meetings, as well as through their email list, the members are able to discuss issues of particular concern to the frum community. They network, and get answers to questions ranging from starting a private practice to handling a particularly difficult case. The network is volunteer run and there are no fees to join. Recently, local Orthodox mental health professionals had the opportunity to join forces with a larger organization. On May 4th, over twenty Orthodox mental health professionals in Los Angeles gathered together for the first west coast conference organized by Nefesh, the international network of Orthodox mental health professionals. Nefesh was founded twenty two years ago by two mental health professionals in New York. Its mission is “to bring Orthodox Jewish professionals and rabbis together to address mental health issues that we deal with daily on a professional and communal level.” Over the years, the organization has expanded greatly and now includes approximately 750 members from all around the world, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, Brazil, Belgium and Argentina. Nefesh holds an annual conference in the New York area every winter, but the west coast conference brought a taste of the inspiring Nefesh conferences to Los Angeles. The conference was held at the Har-
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 15, 2014
Does Psychology Contradict or Complement a Torah True Life? The Torah gives explicit permission for the practice of medicine with the words “Ve’rapo Yirape”, “and he (the doctor) shall provide healing”. For this reason, medical wisdom has always been sought and welcomed by Bnei Torah. However, psychology is a relatively new field in the history of the healing professions and its ideas are relatively new. Somewhat mysterious, perhaps even suspicious, these ideas connect to the internal, hidden self. Furthermore, at the turn of the century when psychology started to gain acceptance as a medical discipline, the Torah world was challenged by the influx of many new philosophies which resulted in a need to be increasingly guarded in accepting ideas from outside. Still today we debate the issue: does psychology have a place in a true Torah life? The Torah has always dealt with people as essentially psychological beings. The mitzvos are intended to affect our inner selves as well as our outer behavior. “Lezaref es Habrios” through which we mold ourselves into kinder, other-centered people and “Hanoseh b’ol im chaveiro” to carry together with one’s fellow the burdens in
life, is one of the middos Chazal tells us is essential to acquiring Torah. The necessity of developing our inner emotional muscles is reflected in many of our classical Jewish works over the ages, such as the famous “Chovos Halevavos” which only deals with the inner obligations of the heart, and in the work “Tomer Devorah” which teaches us to use our hearts as we imitate and reflect the ways of Hashem. The Jewish Nation has evolved through many stages of history and the manner in which the Torah has been transmitted and what has been emphasized has varied according to the needs of the time and circumstances of the Jewish people. So to in the area of the inner, emotional dimension of our people. In the times of the Mishna, students would leave their wives and children behind, and they would relocate them-
By Dr. Mark Levine, Los Angeles Clinical Psychologist the individual’s uniqueness. When used within a Torah framework, psychological ideas can address the emotional basis of a person, enabling us to develop and strengthen our own unique inner, spiritual and emotional framework. It is for this reason that gedolei Yisroel, such as Rav Shach, zt’l, sent students to psychologists, and Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt’l, permitted sending students only to religious psychologists. When we think of our tzaddikim, our great men, what comes to mind? Men immersed in Torah, who could feel the pain of those around them, and who could truly rejoice in others’ happiness. How could they do this? Only as the result of an inner, sensitive identity that had been constantly cultivated and developed in depth and scope. Not all of us will be gedolim in mastery of the entire Torah and have roles as public leaders. We are, however, all meant toI beGgedolim H Tin our : own private lives: in the strength of our emunah, in the clarity of our principles, and in the richness of the I G H Tto others. : way we relate We therefore need to address and nurture our inner emotional worlds, using every available tool to do so.
selves to live at the side of their Rebbi for many years, observing and learning from them how to live and how to perceive what was inside and around them. However, as time has passed, more people became vulnerable to keeping mitzvos in a context of inadequate development of the inner life. In the 18th century, the Chassidus movement developed and addressed this inner dimension. In the 19th century, Rav Yisroel Salanter developed the Mussar movement to rekindle the emphasis on this vital internal development. Today in our modern Western world, we find ourselves in an age of technology: an age which emphasizes efficiency and production, and leans towards the speed of communication and activity, rather than toward its depth. In this world, the inner dimension of the individual is not nurtured or addressed, and it is often forgotten altogether. Today, also, our T lives H I andN challenges K R are extremely individual. There is no “one solution fits all” answer. And this is where T H I properly, N K canR I believe psychology, if used be an invaluable tool. This is because psychology’s purpose is ultimately to address
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בס“ד THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014
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Lag B’Omer 5774 / Sunday, May 18 2014
W. Pico Blvd & S. Wetherly Dr.
A Project of
Program 10:00 a.m. | Parade 10:30 a.m. UNDER THE AUCPICES OF CONG. LEVI YITZCHOK
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WIISSHH HHOOMMEE nn MM , 2014 TTHHEE JJEEW AYAY2 41 ,5 2012
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 15, 2014
The Power of Lag B’Omer and THE PERIOD OF MOURNING BETWEEN PESACH AND SHAVUOS IS HALTED ON LAG B’OMER, THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF IYAR. IT IS ON THIS DAY THAT CELEBRATION AND SONG AND DANCE ARE FELT THROUGHOUT OUR NATION. CHILDREN GO ON OUTINGS WITH THEIR BOWS AND ARROWS, BONFIRES ARE LIT, WEDDINGS ARE HELD, AND YOUNG BOYS RECEIVE THEIR FIRST HAIRCUTS. IT IS A DAY OF UNITY WHERE ALL OF THE JEWISH NATION JOINS AS ONE IN CELEBRATION OF RABBI SHIMON BAR YOCHAI AND THE TORAH THAT HE REVEALED.
During the time of Rabbi Akiva, 24,000 of his students died from a plague during the days of sefira because they did not accord honor to each other. On Lag B’Omer, the plague stopped and Rabbi Akiva gave semicha to five talmidim on that day. One of those
five was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Rabbi Shimon grew in Torah and became a luminary for the future generation. It’s interesting to note that some say that the celebration on Lag B’Omer is for the five leaders of Klal Yisroel that Rabbi Akiva was able to ordain. If we are celebrating with such simcha for the five that Rabbi Akiva was able to transmit the Torah to, we can understand that sadness that we experience during sefira, for the 24,000 talmidim who were lost.
Torah in a Cave
After criticizing the Romans by stating that they built the bridges, bathhouses and marketplaces for their own benefit, Rabbi Shimon feared for his life, and he and his son, Rabbi Elazar, fled to a cave to hide from the enemy. Miraculously, a carob tree grew near the mouth of the cave and a spring with fresh water gave them the sustenance they would need throughout the twelve years they spent in hiding. All those years, Rabbi Shimon and his son delved into the Torah and learned the mystical secrets of kabbalah. When the Romans lost power, Eliyahu HaNavi came to the mouth of the cave and announced, “Who will notify Bar Yochai that the Caesar has died and the decree is nullified?” Rabbi Shimon and his son then understood that it was time for them to return home. But after learning all day without distractions, it was hard for Rabbi Shimon to acclimate to the world. He saw
people working in the fields and his holy eyes burned up what his saw as mundane. A voice came down from the Heavens: “Have you emerged to destroy my world?” At that point, Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar returned to the cave for another year. When they emerged once again, Rabbi Shimon was able to reconcile the mundane with his holy perception. (Rabbi Elazar, though, still burned things with this holy eyes and Rabbi Shimon would follow him to repair all that he burned.) One erev Shabbos, they saw a man hurrying with two myrtle branches in honor of Shabbos—one for zachor and one for shamor—and they were appeased at how to connect the mundane with the spiritual. “See how beloved the mitzvos are to Yisroel,” Rabbi Shimon said to his son.
Lag B’Omer is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Generally, we commemorate the death of a tzaddik with prayer and fasting. But on Rabbi Shimon’s yahrtzeit, we celebrate with song and dance. The Arizal calls Lag B’Omer “yom simchato,” the day of his happiness, because it is on Lag B’Omer that Rabbi Akiva gave semicha to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Some say that it is for this reason that one should visit the kevarim of all the five talmidim of Rabbi Akiva on Lag B’Omer because all five of them received their semicha on that day.
MAY 15, 2014
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the Joy of our Celebration Hillulah of Rabbi Shimon
Before Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai left this world, he gathered his students around him and revealed the deep secrets of kabbalah to them. The day of his demise was filled with great light for he taught them the beautiful and mystical secrets of the Torah. Additionally, daylight was extended for Rabbi Shimon until he revealed all that he had been permitted to reveal. As such, bonfires and candles are lit on Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s yahrtzeit, a symbol of the powerful light he left in this world.
The tradition of visiting Meron on Lag B’Omer goes back for many generations. In fact, the Ari Hakadosh visited Meron on Lag B’Omer and commanded Rabbi Yosef Caro to allow the celebrations of Lag B’Omer to take place. At that time, the rabbanim were concerned that proper decorum was not maintained during the celebrations, and they wanted to forbid Lag B’Omer celebrations in Meron. But the Ari directed them to allow the celebrations; he stated that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was happy with the celebrations of Lag B’Omer in Meron. Indeed, this is a custom that started from the gedolei Yisroel and there is much loftiness in the celebration. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his son are buried in Meron. Rabbi Yaakov Hillel shlita writes that
the greater part of a person’s soul comes down to the grave on a person’s yahrtzeit. He explains that the presence found at that time is like a ladder, connected to the world up high. Essentially, when we visit and daven at a tzaddik’s grave on his yahrtzeit, our prayers are lifted up to the heavens by the tzaddik’s soul. It is for this reason that so many come to Meron on Lag B’Omer to daven by Rabbi Shimon’s kever and beg for Hashem’s mercy. Many have felt that miracles have been performed after davening to Hashem in Meron on Lag B’Omer.
Traditionally, many children celebrate their upsherins on Lag B’Omer. The Arizal made the trip to Meron on Lag B’Omer to cut his three-year-old son’s hair. There is much singing and dancing and some throw the hair of the upsherin into the fire. When a child is three, it is their time of maturation from a small baby to a child ready to learn Torah. The upsherin is the third in a series of “cuts”—the first of the umbilical cord when they are born, the second of the bris, and the third of the haircut. A child is now independent and ready to move into society and Torah learning. Many teach their child the aleph bais on the day of their upsherin and give them honey and sweets to lick so they should taste the sweetness of Torah.
Some have the tradition of giving chai rotel at the kever of Rabbi Shimon on Lag B’Omer. A rotel is a liquid measure of approximately three liters; eighteen times that amount is the equivalent of about 54 liters. It is believed that if one offers a drink of that amount to those attending the celebrations on Lag B’Omer, the giver will be granted miraculous salvation. Many couples who were childless have had children after giving chai rotel. Indeed, Rav Ovadia MiBartenura and the Shelah HaKadosh have written about this practice.
Bows and Arrows
The bow and arrow symbolize a rainbow, a keshet. In the time of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a rainbow was not seen in the sky. The merit of the holy tzaddik was enough to protect the world from calamity and there was no need for the sign of the rainbow representing Hashem’s promise He made to us after the mabul. Now that Rabbi Shimon is no longer alive, we have reason to fear that if not for Hashem’s promise represented by the rainbow, the sins of the world would cause Hashem to bring another mabul. It is for this reason, some say, that children play with bows and arrows on Lag B’Omer. Photo credits: Kuvien Images
THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014 28
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A consumer habits data service company, Placed Inc., recently put out a list of America’s most visited stores. Can you figure out the correct order of the top ten stores, from store #1, which has the most visitors, and on? Target
A man died and went to heaven. There, the angels told him, “Before you meet with G-d, we should tell you — we’ve looked over your life, and to be honest you really didn’t do anything particularly good or bad. We’re not really sure what to do with you. Can you tell us anything you did that can help us make a decision?” The newly arrived soul thought for a moment and replied, “Yeah, once I was driving along and came upon a person who was being harassed by a group of thugs. So I pulled over, got out a bat, and went up to the leader of the thugs. He was a big, muscular guy with a ring pierced through his lip. Well, I tore the ring out of his lip, and told him he and his gang had better stop bothering this guy or they would have Comm Let the ission to deal with me!” er dec “Wow that’s impressive,” ide Send your s the angels replied. “When tuff to c e n did this happen?” t e r fivetow nsjewisfold@ “About three minutes hhome. com ago,” came the reply.
G OT FU N N Y?
CVS Pharmacy Burger King
Riddle! Five percent of all people living in a town have unlisted phone numbers. If you selected 100 names from the phone book, on average, how many of these people would be unlisted? Answer below
Answer to Knitty Griddy: above, adverb, ave, aver, brave, braved, braver, bravo, bravoed, deva, dove, drove, drover, ova, over, overboard, overbroad, overdo, rave, raved, raver, rev, rove, roved, rover, var, verb, voe.
You Gotta be
Answers to most frequented stores, in order: 1. Walmart, 2. McDonalds, 3. Subway, 4. Starbucks, 5. Walgreens, 6. Target, 7. CVS Pharmacy, 8. Burger King, 9. Taco Bell, 10. 7 -Eleven
How many can you find? Genius: 28 words. Excellent: 20 words. Good: 16 words. Average: 12 words. Answer below
Answer to riddle: Zero. You are selecting names from a phone book, so they all have listed phone numbers.
THE T H E JEWISH J E W I S HHOME H O M E nMAY M AY15, 2 42014 , 2012
Down 1. The 33rd president 3. The unconscious mind is the key to understanding our actions 4. In 1935 this baseball player hits his 714th and last home run 5. Made a great discovery 8. First bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan opens in May 1883 9. The first United States expedition to the Pacific Coast 12. Formed from a union between England and Scotland Across 2. Nixon’s VP forced to resign 6. Home of bin Laden 7. Composed “G-d Bless America” and other famous hits 10. Legendary bank robbers shot to death in police ambush in Louisiana 11. Author of Leaves of Grass 13. The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic 14. Israel’s Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974 15. Great to do, after a long winter 16. Defendant in the famous Supreme Court case brought by Brown, resulting in school desegregation Answers below
ACROSS 2. Spirow Agnew 6. Abbottabad 7. Irving Berlin 10. Bonnie And Clyde 11. Walt Whitman 13 Amelia Earhart 14. Golda Meir 15. Barbecue 16. Board of Education Down 1. Harry Truman 3. Sigmund Freud 4. Babe Ruth 5. Christopher Columbus 8. Brooklyn Bridge 9. Lewis And Clark 12. Great Britain
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Everything May Crossword Puzzle
T hTHE e J eJEWISH w i s h hHOME o m e n MAY m ay 15, 2 4 2014 , 2012
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“Say What?” I do … but I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run … I mean, I’ll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize, I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years. - Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) when asked on ABC’s “This Week” if he thinks he’s ready to be president
I could not be there with you on this big day, but being in space I was trying to figure out how to make this speech different than all the other commencement addresses that are given each year. - Astronaut Rick Mastracchio delivering the commencement address for the University Of Connecticut School Of Engineering from space
Listen, my friend, make a fist, like this. Next time the [Jews] come, punch them. Turn their faces into tomatoes. - Advice from a giant “fun-loving” bumblebee character to a little girl on a cartoon show which airs on Palestinian TV
On my third full day as secretary, January 29, I was supposed to have my first one-on-one meeting with President Obama. As I was about to walk into the Oval Office, Stephanie Cutter, a veteran Democratic operative who was handling our communications strategy, told me we would have a ‘pool spray,’ a photo opportunity for the White House press. The President and I would make brief remarks about executive compensation, responding to a report that Wall Street firms had paid their executives big bonuses while piling up record losses in 2008. “Here’s what you’re going to say,” Cutter said. She handed me the text, and I skimmed the outrage I was expected to express. I’m not very convincing as an angry populist, and I thought the artifice would look ridiculous. “I’m not doing this,” I said. Instead, I sat uncomfortably next to the President while he expressed outrage. - From former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s new book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises
tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf. #MissionMonday #NSA #news - Tweet sent out by the NSA last Monday Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each Monday in May as we explore careers essential to protecting our nation. - What the Tweet really said after it was decoded
Listen, I can’t predict what’s going to happen. I’m going to be 65-years-old in November; I never thought I’d live to be 60, so I’m living on borrowed time. - Chain-smoking Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), when asked whether he plans on being Speaker of the House for the next two years
Not like it’s the Nobel Prize. - Jewish Holocaust survivor, Alexander Imich (age 111) when asked how it feels to be the oldest man on Earth
There’s a guy on the Upper West Side in New York City who’s now the oldest man in the world. He is 111 years old. How about that? His medical expenses are fully covered by Coolidge Care. - David Letterman
There’s a new trend of people calling “Find My iPhone” to confront thieves who have stolen their iPhone. They use the app “Find My iPhone” to find the thief. And this explains the app called “Find My Stupid Friend Who Went After the Criminal Who Stole My iPhone” way to get murdered. - Conan O’Brien
The fraying of middle-class economic security did not begin during President George W. Bush’s terms, but earlier, in the later years of the Clinton administration. - Vice President Joe Biden, at a fundraiser in South Carolina, in comments that may be a signal of a pending primary battle
Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that. - Karl Rove, suggesting that Hillary Clinton may have brain damage since suffering from a fall in 2012
A new report came out that calls Venezuela the most miserable country on earth. After hearing this, Kim Jung Un said, “What do I have to do? What do you want from me?” - Conan O’Brien
With their loss to the Braves yesterday, the Chicago Cubs became the third team in baseball history to lose 10,000 games. The poor Cubs— they can’t even win a losing contest.
- Message appearing on electronic highway signs throughout Boston as part of a new safe driving campaign It’s terrible, and I got my receipt. And I told them I can’t eat that kind of sauce. The marinara sauce is terrible. They made my mom another sandwich without a problem, but they say they won’t make me a sandwich. - 37-year-old Bevalente Hall’s complaint when she called 911 to complain that Subway got her order wrong, leading to her being charged with making an unwarranted 911 call
- Jimmy Fallon
People who did not receive a response to a status update experienced lower levels of belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence than did those who received a response. - A recent study by Taylor & Francis Group about the negative impact of not being popular on Facebook
In a biography, Michael Jordan said that as a kid he saw so much racism that he began to hate, quote, “all white people.” Jordan said he only started to feel compassion for white people after watching them play basketball. - Conan O’Brien
I always knew I’d be more than happy to donate a kidney if I only knew how to go about it. When I saw that on there, I knew that was a sign and I had to do it. - Jacklyn Mellott of Ohio, 56, explaining why she responded to a “Wanted: kidney” ad on Craigslist and donated one of her kidneys to a stranger
Sony has invented a new kind of cassette tape that could store 47 million songs. They estimate that they’ll be ready to demonstrate the new cassette for the public sometime in the year 2267 when it finishes rewinding. - Seth Myers
Women would leave me after I told them that I murdered my previous wives. But I spent 14 years in jail. I have changed. - A disclosure made by a 62-yearold contestant on a dating show in Turkey
#BringBackOurGirls - Social media campaign in response to the recent mass kidnapping in Nigeria, which involves celebrities such as Michelle Obama posing with the hashtag The 5 stages of Western Reaction to Foreign Events: 1 Ignorance 2 Wikipedia wisdom 3 Outrage 4 #SolidarityHashtag 5 Tedious self-obsession - Tweet by Sudanese-born writer Nesrine Malik
Did the sponsor consider raisins as a potential official state snack? Perhaps pretzels? … What if the pretzel was dipped in yogurt? … Cheesecake? - Tough questions asked by NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) to Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, (R-Williamsville) who sponsored a bill to make yogurt the official New York State snack, during the one hour debate before the measure passed
I like my guns like Obama likes his voters: Undocumented. - Sign outside of a Texas gun shop
A public servant who accepts bribes is akin to a traitor. This is a man who was on top of the world. He served as prime minister, the most important position, and from there he reached the position of a man convicted of criminal offenses. - Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rozen, while sentencing former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to six years in prison.
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The Koch Brothers actions against the environment aren’t limited to toxic emissions. Charles and David Koch are waging a war against anything that protects the environment. Now I know that sounds absurd, but it’s true. While the Koch brothers admit to not being experts on the matter, these billionaire oil tycoons are certainly experts at contributing to climate change. That’s what they do very well. They are one of the main causes of this. Not a cause, the main cause. - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in a tirade against the Republican-backing Koch brothers
I am sure that 2014 will go into the annals of our whole country as the year when the nations living here firmly decided to be together with Russia, affirming fidelity to the historical truth and the memory of our ancestors. - Russian President Putin at a military parade in Crimea
Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah.
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We needed something surprising. We wanted to choose a presenter who is the worst presenter for a live app possible; you know, the person who did the worst mess up on live TV ever. - A representative of Livelens, an Israeli app company, explaining why they chose the imposter sign language interpreter from Nelson Mandela’s funeral to appear in their ad campaign
Thursday is the deadline for Iran to meet a series of measures to delay its nuclear program. Then Iran said, “Do you mean ‘DEADLINE deadline’ or ‘Sign up for Obamacare deadline?’” - Jimmy Fallon
T h e J e w i s h h o m e n m ay 2 4 , 2012
A guy got a tattoo on his leg of the KFC Double Down sandwich. He wanted to do something he would regret even more than eating a KFC Double Down sandwich. - Conan O’Brien
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Global Americans Thwart Al Qaeda Kidnapping in Yemen
An attempted kidnapping by al Qaeda militants in Yemen on April 24 went awry when two American security personnel fended off the terrorists while the Americans were in the middle of getting haircuts. The Americans, a CIA officer and a lieutenant colonel with the elite Joint Special Operations Command, were inside an Indian-owned barbershop on the popular commercial thoroughfare, Heda Street in Sanaa, when an SUV pulled up and armed militants burst out, yelling, “Police! Police!” The Americans quickly grabbed their weapons, killed the attackers and then jumped into their vehicle and drove off. They later met with Yemeni officials and cooperated with their investigation. The al Qaeda group that has been terrorizing Westerners in Yemen recently goes by the name Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and is considered by the US to be the most dangerous in the world. Last week, the US Embassy there had to close temporarily because of attacks on Westerners. A day before, gunmen opened fire on three French security guards at the European Union mission in Sanaa, killing one and wounding another.
Jo Goldenberg of Famous Paris Eatery Dies Jo Goldenberg, the owner of the famous, eponymous restaurant on Rue de Rosiers in Le Marais in Paris, Chez Jo Goldenberg, died at age 91. His restaurant was the site of an infamous terrorist attack in 1982 in which terrorists lobbed a grenade and opened up machine guns on the diners, killing six and wounding 22 before fleeing. They were never found, but they are believed to have been Palestinian.
The restaurant was a well-known eatery in the Jewish quarter even before World War II and served classic Ashkenazi food. In 2006, the restaurant was replaced with a clothing store called Jo Goldenberg. A sign commemorating the tragedy stands there today.
discuss further sanctions against North Korea, which has been intensely ramping up its nuclear program recently. South Korea has referred to North Korea’s insults as immoral and unacceptable. The U.S. State Department called out the racist slurs against Obama as “disgusting.”
Putin’s Line of Cars
Misha Defonseca is the author of the 1997 memoir, “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years.” In it, she recounts trekking through forests after her parents were arrested by Nazis, living with wolves, and fatally stabbing a Nazi officer. For all the heroics she recollected, though, none of them were true. Defonseca was born Monica De Wael and is not even Jewish. She spent the Holocaust years in a school in Brussels. Her parents were arrested, but not for their race; they were accused of being part on the anti-Nazi resistance. This week, a judge ordered Defonseca to pay her publisher $22.5 million for her fraud. In 1998, before she was exposed, Defonseca won $32.4 million in hidden profits from her publisher, Mt. Ivy Press. Now she will have to give most of it back. Jane Daniel, the head of Mt. Ivy, first discovered Defonseca after hearing her alleged story at a Massachusetts synagogue. “This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving,” Defonseca said in a statement to The Associated Press after the truth came out. That, Ms. Defonseca, is what we call fiction.
Koreas Keep Fighting North and South Korea have escalated their years-old conflict to one that looks like schoolyard bickering. After Pyongyang called the South Korean president Park Guen-he an old maid and referred to Barack Obama as a “monkey,” the South shot back that North Korea isn’t even a country; it exists solely for Kim Jong Un. An official also said that North Korea “must disappear soon.” This is a break from South Korea’s general policy of not publicly alluding to the failure of North Korea in order to keep relations between the two governments the least tense as possible. North Korea’s slurs came after Presidents Obama and Park met last month to
We already know that Vladimir Putin does not do things modestly. He spends over 50 billion dollars on the Olympic Games and invades countries on a whim. His push to strengthen Russia’s standing in the world has become something of a legend. Last week, for example, he banned cursing in all Russian movies, books, and concerts. For the past couple of years, Putin has personally overseen another effort at building a symbol of Russian strength: a new series of Russian-engineered limousines for himself and other potentates that would project the same kind of power that President Barack Obama’s Cadillac does. Known as “Project Cortege,” the plan involves several Russian automakers and, according to reports in Russia last week, engineering input from Porsche. Putin’s managers have laid out plans for a whole series of vehicles — limousines, vans, and SUVs — built in Russia from a Russian-engineered chassis. While the first prototypes won’t be built until later this year, and the first vehicles are not expected on the road until 2016, Russian officials showed off mockups a few weeks ago, complete with massive Russian seals on the doors and steering wheels. Obama’s Cadillac is actually a rebodied Chevrolet Kodiak medium-duty truck retrofitted with armor panels and other protection by General Motors under the Secret Service’s directives. Cadillac has provided the presidential limo since 1993. Currently, Putin and his entourage rely on stretched Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans for official transportation. While Russia has several truck makers and smaller car manufacturers who partner with Western firms, Project Cortege requires a new level of engineering resources — enough so that the Putin government is estimated to have dedicated somewhere between $150 million and $400 million to develop the new vehicle line. By 2016, Putin will only have two years left to his term as Russian president to enjoy riding the new vehicles, although
history suggests he’ll find a way to keep rolling in power well beyond that deadline.
Jordanian Journalists Turn Violent on Live TV
A small skirmish reminiscent of the Syrian civil war erupted during a televised debate on the subject. Two journalists in Jordan turned violent against each other while discussing the issue on-air. The program aired on the “Seven Stars” satellite television channel. It featured journalists Shaker al-Johari and Mohammad al-Jayousi talking about the three-year-old war pitting rebels against President Bashar Assad’s government, a conflict that activists say has killed more than 150,000 people. However, the debate fell apart as al-Jayousi accused al-Johari of supporting the Syrian rebels. Al-Johari then accused al-Jayousi of taking money for supporting Assad. The two men, obviously carried away by the debate, stood up, grabbed the edge of the studio table they had been seated at, and tried to fight each other. In the scuffle, the top of the table broke off and the rest of it toppled as the moderator and studio workers tried to stop the fight and finally separated the two journalists. Seems like they wanted to act out the violence in Syria for their audience.
Polish Immigrant is World’s Oldest Man
The world’s oldest man is now Alexander Imich, a 111-year-old Holocaust survivor living on New York City’s Upper West Side. According to the Gerontology Research Group of Torrance, California, Imich claimed the title of oldest man after the previous recipient died on April 24 at 111 years and 357 days old. Imich was born in Poland on Febru-
Millions of South Africans lined up last week to vote in the country’s first general election to give the “born free” generation a say. There are not too many serious contenders in the election, and the governing African National Congress (ANC) looks to be on course for another convincing victory under the controversial president, Jacob Zuma. But of 1.9 million voters aged 18 to 19, only one in three is registered to vote. Among those who stayed away from this year’s election is Mpho Masuku, a student from Springs near Johannesburg who turned 20 last week. “It makes me sad,” he said. “I haven’t found a political party that really convinces me to vote for them. I think the ANC are really criminals, and I don’t like them. They have stolen from us and all of them support the man [Zuma] who has actually stolen from the poor. The whole nation does not want that man.” Masuku also rejected the firebrand leftist Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), “I read the EFF manifesto and I found some pretty good stuff there, but they are so radical and so violent, they actually sound racist. They sound like they want to kill white people. It’s 20 years after democracy and we ha-
Nigeria Struggles to Fight Jihadists with Weak Army
Twenty years ago, Nigeria’s military was recognized as a force of stability in West Africa. But things have drastically changed, and now the country struggles to maintain security within its own borders as an Islamist insurgency in the northeast kills thousands. Nigeria’s armed services has suffered in the last two decades due to lack of investment in training, failure to preserve equipment, and diminishing cooperation with Western forces. Their weakened forces face a well-armed and unwavering enemy in Boko Haram. Boko Haram is a
militant organization founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002. Their mission is to stop Westernization and establish a “pure” Islamic state ruled by Sharia, Islamic law. The terrorist organization cold-bloodedly kidnapped more than 200 secondary school girls in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria on April 14. The military still has few clues as to the group of girls’ whereabouts. Last week, the Islamist militants released a 27-minute video that showed about 130 of the girls. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau stated that the children will be held until all imprisoned militants have been freed. Interior Minister Abba Moro rejected the deal, telling the BBC that it was “absurd” for a “terrorist group” to try to set conditions. President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Boko Haram has “infiltrated ... the armed forces and police,” sometimes giving the militants a head start. “The Nigerian military is a shadow of what it’s reputed to have once been,” said James Hall, a retired colonel and former British military attaché to Nigeria. “They’ve fallen apart.” Army spokesman Brigadier-General Olajide Laleye acknowledged the problem in a news conference on Tuesday. He said the army would “undertake an equipment audit ... with a view to identifying areas where equipment and material are in short supply, unserviceable, or even obsolete.” In 2014, security will swallow nearly 938 billion naira ($5.8 billion), a quarter of the federal budget.
P&G Recalls Offensive “Nazi” Soap Procter & Gamble wants to be clear: they do not support any neo-Nazism. The household product giant has apologized for “any false connotations” after stirring anger in Germany for unintentionally placing a neo-Nazi code on promotional packages for its Ariel laundry detergent. Social media sites were abuzz as outraged shoppers posted pictures online of Ariel powder boxes featuring a white soccer jersey with a large number “88.” The number is sensitive because far-right extremists in Germany often use it as a code to skirt a ban on the use of Nazi slogans in public. Since “H’’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, “88” represents the phrase “Heil Hitler.” Similarly, “18” is used to stand for “A.H.” or Adolf Hitler. Procter & Gamble acknowledged Friday that the number was “unintentionally ambiguous.” “We very much regret if there are any false associations and distance ourselves clearly from any far-right ideology,” company spokeswoman Gabi Hassig said in a statement. The number “88” was intended
to show number of loads of laundry per package. Haessig said the company has stopped shipping the offending powder as well as a liquid detergent that was being promoted as “Ariel 18.”
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First “Born-Free” South African Vote
ven’t found any political party capable of running this country. The rainbow nation is still a theory.” Opposition politicians also expressed concern at the “born free” generation’s relative lack of impact on the outcome. Voting at a church in Soweto township, Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance said, “It is disappointing. This is also their future. I’ve reflected long and hard about this. We have to ask why young people are not more engaged and find new ways to engage them in the future.” Maimane has been accused of imitating Barack Obama in a bid to woo the youth vote in Gauteng province. “If that’s the worst the ANC can accuse me of, it certainly beats allegations of corruption,” he said. “I think the ANC will come out bruised after this election. They won’t be as dominant as they think.” But opinion polls predict the ANC will cruise to around 64% of the vote, only a slight dip since the last election in 2009. “Do it for Madiba, vote ANC!” read some campaign posters, referring to the former president Nelson Mandela by his clan name, although few commentators believe that the statesman’s death at the age of 95 last December has been a significant factor. This election is the fifth multiracial election since the end of white minority rule in 1994, and incidents of political violence are generally in decline. But on the eve of the ballot in Bekkersdal, near Soweto, protesters threw rocks and set fire to a polling station. On voting day, however, the city’s residents were undeterred and determined to cast their vote.
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ary 4, 1903. He can remember the first car in his hometown and calls the airplane the greatest invention of his lifetime. He fought in the Polish-Soviet War, escaped the Holocaust, and immigrated to the United States in 1951. Imich holds a doctorate in chemistry from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow but later become a scholar of the supernatural. At the age of 92, Imich published a book on the paranormal. Imich told the New York Times he attributes his longevity to good genes, athletics, and a sparse diet. Though he used to smoke, he gave it up long ago and never drinks alcohol. When asked by the Times what it’s like to be the oldest man on Earth, Imich replied, “Not like it’s the Nobel Prize.” Though Imich may be the oldest man in the world, he is far from the oldest person. Sixty-six women throughout the world are older than him; his female counterpart, Misao Okawa of Japan, is 116.
London: Home to the World’s Billionaires
London is packing on the pounds these days. A new survey published in the Sunday Times of London shows that London has the most billionaires living there of any other city in the world and that Britain has the highest amount of billionaires per capita than any other country. London is home to 72 billionaires, way more than Moscow’s 48 and New York’s 43. Indian-born brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja are the wealthiest Londoners with 11.9 billion pounds (roughly $20 billion) to their names. They own the Hinduja Group, which has interests in oil, banking, the automotive industry, property and the media. Alisher Usmanov, a Jewish Russian billionaire fell from his perch on last year’s list to number two; troubles in the Russian stock market have affected his net worth. This comes as the Trussel Trust, a British food bank, revealed that the number of people that had approached them for emergency food had risen 163 percent to just over 913,000 people last year. According to the Trust, these numbers are greatly under-exaggerated, as they do not include people who sought assistance
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elsewhere or are too ashamed to beg. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times…
Remembering Life When Hitler was His Neighbor
Edgar Feuchtwanger is the nephew of Lion Feuchtwanger, who was one of the most popular Jewish German authors of the early 20th century and a fierce critic of Hitler. Now Edgar, 89, has published his own book, When Hitler Was Our Neighbor, which describes growing up in the early 1930s as Hitler’s neighbor as the German leader rose to power. “We were aware of the threat probably even in 1932,” Feuchtwanger recalls. “But of course we didn’t realize how radical that threat was, how lethal it would get. My father had got that quite wrong.” He even remembers bumping into the Fuhrer as a boy. “It so happened that just at the moment when we were in front of his door, he came out. He was in a nearly white mackintosh,” Feuchtwanger told AFP. “We were in his way. He looked at me and there were a few casual bystanders in the street – it was about half past eight in the morning and they of course shouted, ‘Heil Hitler!’ He just lifted his hat a little bit, as any democratic politician would do – he didn’t give the [straight-armed Nazi] salute – and then he got into his car.” But as time went on, it became clear that his family could not stay in Munich. “After about 1935-36, you couldn’t any longer walk past his front door. You were kept to the opposite side of the road but you could see these cars parked there so I knew he was there even before I left the house.” When Edgar was fourteen, he was sent to live with family in England. His parents joined him shortly thereafter. There he was bullied by classmates who called him “Fish-finger” and “Volkswagen.” He ultimately graduated from Cambridge and became a professor in history in Southampton. Feutchwanger’s memoir has drawn much attention. Munich-based national daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung says it reads
like a “spooky fairy tale – more Franz Kafka than the Brothers Grimm.” He is looking for a publisher to translate it to English.
Alcohol Kills One Person Every Ten Seconds
According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is the cause of one out of twenty deaths globally every year. It kills 3.3 million people worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined, and even more alarming is that alcohol consumption is one the rise. “This actually translates into one death every 10 seconds,” Shekhar Saxena, who heads the WHO’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse department, said. Unfortunately, more people in countries where alcohol consumption has traditionally been low, like China and India, are also increasingly taking up the habit as their wealth increases, it said. “More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,” Oleg Chestnov of the WHO’s Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health unit said in a statement launching a massive report on global alcohol consumption and its impact on public health. Drinking is linked to more than 200 health conditions, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. Alcohol abuse also makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases like tuberculosis, HIV and pneumonia, the report found. Most deaths attributed to alcohol are caused by associated cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Alcohol-related accidents, such as car crashes, were the second-highest killer, accounting for around 17.1 percent of all alcohol-related deaths. Binge drinking is especially damaging to health, approximately16 percent of the world’s drinkers abuse alcohol to excess. Alcohol abuse is not limited by wealth or lack thereof. While people in the world’s wealthiest nations, in Europe and the Americas especially, are boozier than people in poorer countries, rising wealth in emerging economies is also driving up alcohol consumption. Drinking in populous China and India is rising particularly fast as people earn more money, the WHO said, warning that the average annual intake in China was likely to swell by 1.5 litres of pure alcohol by 2025.
Still, Eastern Europe and Russia are home to the world’s biggest drinkers. Russian men who drink consumed an average of 32 liters of pure alcohol a year, according to 2010 statistics, followed by other Western countries including Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and South Africa. On average, every person above the age of 15 worldwide drinks 6.2 liters of pure alcohol in a year, according to the report. But there are many who don’t fall prey to the dangerous drink. Nearly half of all adults worldwide have never touched alcohol, and nearly 62 percent say they have not touched a drink in the past year. Abstinence, especially among women, is most common in low-income countries, while religious belief and social norms mean many Muslim countries are virtually alcohol-free.
Ex- Loyalist Exposes N. Korea
According to Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector who recently offered insights to Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, Kim Jong Un is not a powerful as one may think. Jang served as Kim Jong Il’s primary disseminator of propaganda, which allowed him to be up close and personal with the leader and his son, the country’s current dictator. Jang is the author of a new book, Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee – A Look Inside North Korea. Amanpour said that since Kim executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek last year, the 31-year-old dictator “has become an orphan – not just in terms of family connections, but in terms of politics.” Amanpour reveals the true source of power in the reclusive country: the Organization and Guidance Department. Jang described the OGD as a huge surveillance device with roots in an “old boys’ network.” He said the OGD provided Kim Jong Il with many university friends who became political confidants, but his son does not have the same network of friends. “Kim Jong Un may have friends in his Swiss school, but he has no one inside North Korea,” Jang said. Since taking leadership in 2011, Kim has relied on Kim Jong Il’s OGD to get things done, and according to Jang, the
OGD doesn’t respect him the way they did his father. “Until the day I met Kim Jong Il,” Jang told CNN, “I truly considered him divine, as someone more holy, like a sage — someone to be revered, someone who was better than us, who was sacrificing his own life for the people.” “You become immune from all prosecution, all harm,” Jang told CNN. “You’re protected by his divinity.” Then Jang described how his opinion changed when he met the great leader. “The man I saw standing in front of me was a man; he was a human being. He was not a holy man; he was not a saint; he was not a god. He was a man just like me.” His adulation for Kim changed even more dramatically when he visited his hometown after the brutal famine in the 1990s which claimed upwards of 3.5 million lives according to the South Korean NGO Good Friends Center for Peace, Human Rights, and Refugees. North Korean numbers estimate that 220,000 died of hunger. “In the past, there was only one thing to belong to, one thing that sustained you, one thing that kept your family going … loyalty to the cult of Kim,” Jang said. ”But now people have realized finally, after the famine, that it is not loyalty that feeds them. It is money. It is work. It is owning something. It’s individual property that feeds one.” Jang predicted, “Truth will set North Korea free. The people will set North Korea free. The erosion of control will set North Korea free, not engagement with the regime.”
Swiss Museum Names Sole Heir of Expansive Artwork Collection
The Kunstmuseum Bern, a museum in Switzerland, announced on Wednesday that it has been named the “unrestricted and unfettered sole heir” of a German art collector. Cornelius Gurlitt, who died at the age of 81, was the owner of about 1,280 major artworks. In February 2012, authorities found the trove of treasured artworks while investigating Gurlitt for possible tax evasion. His collection instigated anger last year under suspicion that it had been loot-
Thailand’s prime minister stepped down from her position last Wednesday after a court decided that Yingluck Shinawatra was guilty of abusing her power by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another position. This is a victory for anti-government protesters who have taken to the streets to demonstrate in the last six months. The Constitutional Court ruled that the transfer was carried out to benefit her politically powerful family and, therefore, violated the constitution. “Transferring government officials must be done in accordance with moral principle,” the court said in its ruling. “Transferring with a hidden agenda is not acceptable.” Throughout the trial, Shinawatra vehemently denied the accusations. The verdict forced a total of nine Cabinet members out of their positions. Two hours after the verdict was an-
Rebels Demolish Hotel in Syria
The Carlton Hotel was once a luxurious, historic hotel. In recent years, it became a government army base in the northern city of Aleppo in Syria. Rebels recently set off a huge explosion from under the complex, leveling the building and causing multiple casualties, though the death toll is not currently known. The attack was a powerful statement by rebels. It seems they were trying to show that they can still deliver destructive blows while enduring significant defeats elsewhere. On Thursday, rebels finalized their withdrawal from Homs in a negotiated evacuation that surrenders Syria’s third-largest city to full government control. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which maintains a network of activists on the ground, said at least 14 soldiers were killed in the blast. The Islamic Front, Syria’s biggest rebel alliance, took responsibility for the attack and claimed to have killed 50 soldiers in the attack. Neither claim has been confirmed.
Israel America Committed to Aid Israel US security advisor Susan Rice said that US investment in Israel’s defense systems shows the country’s commitment to
Israel’s security. Rice said that the Obama administration and Israel recently signed an agreement for further US investment in Israel’s Iron Dome system. The Iron Dome defends Israel against short-range rockets fired by militants in Gaza, Sinai, and Lebanon. It detects the rockets and strikes them in midair. Rice said that the new deal “will take our total investment in Iron Dome, which has saved countless of Israeli lives, to nearly $900 million, a sign of our continued commitment to Israel’s security.”
“Every American dollar spent on Israel’s security is an investment in protecting the many interests that our nations share. Whether that’s preventing rockets from terrorizing the Israeli people, defending against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region, or advancing our commitment to defend freedom and democracy,” she continued. Rice is currently in the Middle East meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Her visit comes soon after a futile round of US-backed Mideast peace talks. Washington remains determined to stop Iran from developing nuclear arms, the White House said.
Royal Romanians Visit the Holy Land
Last week, Israel hosted Romania’s Princess Margarita and her husband, Prince Radu. The visit culminated at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum with a touching meeting between the princess and ten Holocaust survivors who, as children, were saved from the Nazis by her grandmother, Queen Mother Elena. It was Princess Margarita’s first visit to Israel. At age 62, she is the oldest of
King Michael’s five daughters. Although she is his declared successor, full parliamentary approval is lacking. Her visit to Yad Vashem was marked by a special ceremony along the “Avenue of the Righteous,” an exhibit honoring those gentiles who, at great risk to themselves, went out of their way to protect Jews from the horrors of the Holocaust. Queen Mother Elena was officially honored as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” back in 1993. Both Prince Radu and Princess Margarita said a visit to Israel was one of their dreams. Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said he was glad they finally made it. “I explained to the prince and princess the importance of their support in European institutions,” Elkin told reporters following a meeting with the royals. “These days, we need all the help we can get … [and] there is no doubt that we need to further promote strong relations with Romania.”
Israeli Teens Win Physics Award The high school students from the Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center in Beer Sheva should feel pretty good about themselves this week. Once again, they were able to win a prize in an annual international competition known as the “First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics.” The award is widely considered the world’s most prestigious science prize for high school students. This year, ten of the best research projects were submitted to the prestigious USbased competition, and last week, the students’ research projects were presented to the wider Israeli public for the first time. From 2007-2014, the Ramon Center has made Israel the world leader in prizes for physics research conducted by high school students. The center has won a total of 45 prizes during that period, leaving countries like South Korea, the US, and Russia far behind. The Ramon Center operates in conjunction with physics teachers from across southern Israel to identify the most gifted students. The students write their research work with the guidance of experts from Ben-Gurion University.
Fake Interpreter Hired by Israeli Start-Up Sefi Shaked of Livelens, a start-up video-sharing app based out of Tel Aviv, has made an interesting hire for his new advertising campaign. “We needed some-
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Thailand’s PM Resigns amid Guilty Verdict
nounced, Yingluck appeared on national television. “We held true to the principles of honesty in running the country and never acted corruptly, as we were accused,” said Yingluck, 46, the country’s first female prime minister. Deputy Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan was immediately appointed the new acting leader.
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ed by the Nazis, for whom Gurlitt’s father worked. The art collection, which is under investigation, includes work by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Marc Chagall. The Bavarian Justice Ministry said ib Tuesday that a deal struck with Gurlitt before his death would be binding on all possible heirs. The museum located in Switzerland’s capital city, Bern, said it was “surprised and delighted” at the appointment. It said that the news “came like a bolt from the blue.” There is no history between the two. Cornelius Gurlitt’s lawyer, Christoph Edel, revealed the good news to the museum board. “At the same time, we do not wish to conceal the fact that this magnificent bequest brings with it a considerable burden of responsibility and a wealth of questions of the most difficult and sensitive kind, and questions in particular of a legal and ethical nature,” the statement read. Gurlitt was known as a recluse and hoarder who didn’t often venture out of his Munich apartment. Prosecutors say that Gurlitt’s father was ordered by Hitler to acquire and sell the “degenerate art” in order to help finance Nazi activities. The collection is worth an estimated $1.4 billion.
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thing surprising,” Shaked told reporters. “We wanted to choose a presenter who is the worst presenter for a live app possible; you know, the person who did the worst mess up on live TV — ever.” Livelens chose the disgraced sign language interpreter from Nelson Mandela’s funeral to make what is now a viral advertising video.
Thamsanqa Jantjie made headlines last December after he was ousted as a fraud for making meaningless gestures while working onstage as a sign language interpreter during famed civil rights leader Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, which was broadcast live internationally. During the service, he stood next to US President Barack Obama and other world leaders and dignitaries. After the service, Jantjie revealed that
he was schizophrenic and claimed that he was having hallucinations during the service. He checked himself into a psychiatric hospital. Reports later revealed that Jantjie has faced numerous criminal charges in the past for murder and kidnapping, among other things. In the Livelens video, Jantjie apologizes for the incident and also makes fun of himself by appearing as his own phony interpreter. According to a voiceover, as he apologizes, he is also signing, “Me famous celebrity. Now I do campaign for money.” The ad was shot in Johannesburg in February, according to Shaked, and Jantjie was only able to leave the hospital after he claimed he had a wedding to go to and somebody posed as a relative to escort him. Once a fraud, always a fraud.
Visa Crisis for Israelis
The Israel-US relationship has seen some tension over the past few months. The most recent chapter in the saga deals with reports that American intelligence
officials have linked the US visa crisis to Israeli espionage. US officials reportedly said in closed a conversation that “Israel crosses the line for espionage in the United States.” Some intelligence officials are firmly against relieving the Israelis, according to recent reports. Officials claimed that Israel “is the only country which takes advantage of the security cooperation with the US to spy on it.” The statements, if true, touch a delicate nerve in US-Israel relations: the recent “visa crisis.” Some have said that the belief in intelligence circles that Israeli spying on the US may be the cause behind the recent slowdown in approvals for Israelis for US visas. Last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an internal review into claims that hundreds of young Israelis were being barred from entering the US for political reasons. An initial investigation found that the rejection rate of visa applications for young Israelis ages 21-26 has doubled from 16 percent in 2009 to 32 percent in 2014. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stated that the trend will turn around. “The department will take immediate steps to increase the number of young Israelis that can travel to the US
according to our immigration laws,” Shapiro wrote in a Facebook post.
“The law dictates that applicants must prove that they intend to return to Israel in making the request, and that the visa does not allow recipients to stay beyond the designated time period or to work legally in the US.,” Shapiro said. ”But we are aware of the fact that although two-thirds of young applicants receive visas, some people harbor a misconception that young Israelis are not welcome in the U.S.A.” “Surely, that’s not true,” he continued. “Israel is one of the US.’s closest allies, and we welcome all networking between Israelis and Americans, including visits to the United States.” Israeli officials have yet to respond to the letter, which responds to earlier claims that political motivations were be-
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hind the visa rejections. Earlier this year, Israeli security officials also claimed they were being targeted by the US, and that hundreds of defense officials were turned away from making important visits to Washington.
National LA is Country’s Food Fiesta
Israel Arrests Weapons Dealer An Israeli man was arrested in Ben Gurion airport on charges that he tried dealing weapons to Iran. In May 2013, Eli Cohen was indicted in a US federal court for exporting US military equipment without a license, money laundering, and selling security equipment to Iran, which is banned by presidential decree. The US issued a warrant for his arrest which was finally carried out by the Israelis. A February report in Greece suggests that Cohen tried selling spare parts to an F4 Phantom jet to Iran. An extradition request is the expected from the US.
Move over Williamsburg! According to some foodies, New York is losing its title as the epicurean epicenter of the country to its cross-country rival, Los Angeles. Foodie blogger Kenny Porpora has compiled a list of the reasons why: While those of us who work in midtown Manhattan like lunching at Moshe’s falafel truck, the real serious leaders in the current food truck craze park themselves
on the streets of LA. In fact, food trucks have been a part of LA culture since the early nineties, long before the fad began. There you can get some world famous Korean tacos and grilled cheese literally a la carte! As for celebrity chefs, we all know that for anything celebrity, LA is king. Wolfgang Puck, the father of all celebrity chefs, started out there well over a decade ago. And even though we all love Carlos and Gabby’s Cedarhurst sandwich, LA’s Mexican food scene puts New York’s on siesta. Lastly, no one can argue with the fact that California produce is better and fresher than anything grown on a Brooklyn rooftop. Don’t worry, New York, no one wants to live in LA anyway. (Yeah, right!)
Washington Monument Reopens For three years, a trip to Washington, DC, was never really complete.
The Washington Monument was closed for construction due to a crack after an earthquake in the nation’s capital. But on Monday, the 130-year-old, 555-foottall towering obelisk was finally repaired, and crowds flocked to the monument for a chance to ride to the top. The patriotic symbol was built in honor of the nation’s first president between 1848 and 1884 and briefly reigned as the world’s tallest structure until it was eclipsed by the Eiffel Tower. Engineers spent nearly 1,000 days making repairs stone by stone. Now new exhibits have been installed, and the National Park Service is offering extended hours to visitors through the summer. For the hundreds of visitors, the trip to the top of the tallest structure in Washington is brief: It’s a 70-second ride to the top, and a more leisurely two minutes, 45 seconds back down. But the massive monument’s meaning is much more lasting for most Americans. “I just love American history, I love traveling to see American history, and this is it. You can’t get more historic than this,” said Marc Tanner of Boca Raton, Florida, who was one of the first to visit the top. “I used to be a stock broker; I
the company in 1999. Those claims will be decided by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who also will determine the penalties. A trial on remedies is scheduled for August 4. The Wylys denied wrongdoing, contending they were not legally the beneficial owners of securities held in the trusts
and had no duty to disclose them. Samuel Wyly was in Texas rather than the New York court on Monday. Andrew Ceresney, director of enforcement of the SEC, welcomed the jury’s findings. “We will continue to hold accountable, and bring to trial when necessary, those who commit fraud no matter
Ferrell Armstrong, 74, of Kinmundy, Illinois, and his wife, Connie, 70, visited with their son and were determined to be among the first visitors when he promised the family a stop in D.C. after he underwent treatments for cancer — now in remission — in Virginia. A visit for them was emotional. “It’s just immaculate. It’s just great that people that far back thought about building something this great that’s still here,” Ferrell said. “It symbolized to me a great man, George Washington.”
Texas Brothers Convicted in $550M Fraud
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On Monday, a Manhattan jury found that Texas business brothers Samuel and Charles Wyly committed fraud by creating a secret scheme involving offshore trusts that netted them $550 million in illegal trading profits. Samuel Wyly, 79, last appeared on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans in 2010 with a net worth of $1 billion. Charles Wyly died in a car crash in 2011, and an executor for his estate was substituted as a defendant. The trial followed years of litigation and investigation by the SEC and other authorities of the Wylys, who acknowledged creating a maze of trusts in the Isle of Man in an effort to obtain tax benefits. The case was seen as a test of the SEC’s trial capabilities following losses in some of its recent cases, including a verdict in
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which billionaire Mark Cuban was found not liable last October on insider trading charges. The SEC said the trusts were designed to conceal trading from 1992 to 2004 in four companies on whose boards the Wylys sat. The SEC also contends the Wylys earned $31.7 million from insider trading in Sterling Software after selling
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went through 9/11 as a broker, and ... it stands alone in the United States to represent freedom for me.”
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how complex their scheme or how hard they try to hide it,” Ceresney said in a statement.
Jewish MTA Lost & Found
A recent inspection of the MTA Lost and Found took inventory of its contents, and the findings are fun: 62 suits, 28,482 cell phones, 26 record players, 71 Walkmans, and 6 television sets were counted. Lost a pair of tefillin or a lulav on the subway? Luckily, there is now a “Jewish section” in the Lost and Found. This section had ten sets of tefillin and hundreds of siddurim. Yarmulkas and tallisim also fill up the bin. The MTA boasts an impressive 60 percent return rate, so the next time you can’t find your tallis, give the lost and found a shot.
I Love to Make a Living
is supposed to be a means to a paycheck and some health insurance and no more, right? Well, in some towns in the US, all the people there seem to be whistling while they work. Some areas that rank highly on the scale of worker satisfaction may not come as a surprise to anyone. Hey, if I lived in the Silicon Valley and worked for Facebook or Google, I’d also be pretty content with my lot! San Jose has the highest economic confidence level of any other city in the country, and the median salary in the tech-heavy area is over $90,000. Also, people in the Naples-Marco Island region of Florida are tanned and happy workers. Let me see…beach to the office to the boardwalk to the office? I can live with that. It’s no wonder that workers there report really low stress levels from their jobs! But in Kingsport, TN, the tenth most content city for workers, not only does the population have a low overall education level, the median income is under $38,000. Workers there, however, love the trusting and pleasant work environment (Jack Daniels, anyone?). 65% of employees in Kingsport feel they are treated like a partner to their bosses. What’s the city in the nation with the most satisfied workers? San Luis Obispo, CA. 90% of workers there are content with their jobs and feel stimulated by their work experiences. Also, the median income in San Luis Obispo is $60,264, well above the US average of $51,371.
Tilting Over Chicago
Don’t you just hate those coworkers of yours who seem to love their jobs? A job
Tourists to the Windy City are sure to be blown away by its newest attraction. TILT, a vertigo-inducing glass platform that shifts up to eight people at a time onto a sharp angle off the 94th floor of the John Hancock tower in Chicago, is every bit as adventurous as it sounds. The ride costs just five dollars and is the first of its kind. Patrick Abisseror, CEO of Montparnasse 56 Group, which owns TILT, said, “We had a vision for elevating the experience, and providing memories for guests that will last a lifetime. TILT is yet another example of the innovative and forward-thinking vision of Montparnasse 56 Group.” I’ll stick to a Ken’s pastrami burger, thank you very much.
Internet Addiction Rising Quickly
that issues like online bullying can escalate quickly.” The charity has seen a rapid increase in the number of children contacting ChildLine about online bullying, which leapt from 2,410 in 2011 to 4,507 from 2013. Dr. Barbie Clarke from Family Kids & Youth, the social market-research agency that conducted the research, said, “Many of the young people we spoke to simply did not feel they would be able to manage without [the Internet]. They did not feel able to function if they couldn’t get hold of their friends and look things up on the Internet.” Mark Griffiths, professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, said, “Studies suggest that between 1 and 3 percent of people may have a genuine Internet addiction. But there will be many more who exhibit habitual behavior that has become problematic. The extent to which it is problematic depends on the impact it is having on your life.”
NY Subway Goes Yadda, Yadda, Yadda A new British study has confirmed technology’s grasp over teens. Almost four in ten young people fear they are addicted to the Internet, prompting worries that youngsters are vulnerable to cyber-bullying. Two-thirds of 11- to 17-olds take their tablet, smartphone, or laptop to bed with them. Of those, only a third claim to be doing homework, while two-thirds use the devices to talk to friends online, play games, and watch films. The research is based on the responses of more than 2,200 young people. One 12-year-old girl in the study said, “The Internet nearly always controls my actions. I have been told that I am addicted to the Internet, and prefer its company rather than being with other people. I feel lost without the Internet.” Sadly, she doesn’t even see a problem in having the Internet as her main friend. Claire Lilley, head of online safety at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said, “While the Internet can be a great place for children to learn and socialize, it is worrying that so many feel that they are addicted to it. There is a lot of pressure on young people, including from their peers, to be ‘always on,’ and the 24/7 nature of children’s access to the Internet means
No TV show is more New York than “Seinfeld” and nothing in the world is more New York than the subway. So it should seem only natural for New York to have a Seinfeld- themed subway car. According to the Daily News, the number 7 line will be getting a Seinfeld makeover starting May 12. The car will take on the look of Monk’s Café, Jerry and George’s longtime favorite lunch spot. “For an entire month, a New York City subway will become the ‘Seinfeld 11 Train’ in honor of our ongoing commitment to this hilarious show and WPIX,” Sheraton Kalouria, chief marketing officer for Sony Pictures Television, said. So if you’ll be heading to Citi Field this month you’ll be taken back into the world of Seinfeld. “Nothing is more New York than Seinfeld, the subway, the Mets-Yankees rivalry and PIX11,” says Rich Graziano, president and general manager of PIX11. “Combining all of these is the perfect way to create an iconic New York experience for fans and viewers.”
90-Year-Old Heads to Prison
Congratulations Noah! You are never too old to break the law and never too old to serve the time. At the start of his ninth decade of life, an Indiana man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for hauling more than a ton of cocaine to
The Social Security Administration has just announced the top ten most selected names for newborns last year. Surprisingly, “Noah” was the most popular boys’ name, while “Sophia” remained the most popular girls’ name for the third year in a row.
The only surprise with top girls’ names this year, she notes, was that there has been very little movement. In fact, the very same 2013 winners – which include “Emma,” “Olivia” and “Abigail” – made up the top ten in 2012, in just a slightly different order. Here are the top 10 names for boys in 2013: 1. Noah 2. Liam 3. Jacob 4. Mason 5. William 6. Ethan 7. Michael 8. Alexander 9. Jayden 10. Daniel Here are the top 10 names for girls in 2013: 1. Sophia 2. Emma 3. Olivia 4. Isabella 5. Ava 6. Mia 7. Emily 8. Abigail 9. Madison 10. Elizabeth Other news from the Social Security Administration, which has been compiling baby-name rankings since 1880, includes data on the fastest-rising names, which are currently “Daleyza” for girls and “Jayceon” – pronounced “Jason” – for boys. The trend, Wattenberg says, nicely illustrates, as do names such as
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Stop stressing for a minute and read this article. In a new survey, New Yorkers were not found to be the most stressed-out Americans. Luckily, we’re only number two in the nation. This week, real estate blog Movoto published its list of the ten most stressed-out cities in the United States. In addition to the Big Apple, nearby Jersey City and Newark also made the list. Movoto measured stress by creating a list of seven criteria it felt best captured the causes of stress for most people. The list includes commuting time, unemployment, cost of living, crime rates, workday hours, population density, and cost of rent. So which cities should you avoid if you want to stop popping Xanax? Stay far away from our nation’s capital, Washington, DC, the top city on the list for stress. New York City followed in second place. Miami, San Francisco, and Jersey City rounded out the top five. Oakland, CA; Chicago; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia; and Los Angeles completed the top ten. Hey, New York, how about some good breathing exercises?
Noah comes as a surprise as it only entered the top ten in 2009, though it has climbed up the list every year since then. Another surprise for boys’ names was Liam, which rose to No. 2 in 2013 after entering the top ten the previous year. “‘Noah’ and ‘Liam’ are both smooth, little names,” Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard, explains. “I call them ‘raindrop names’ — they’re tiny, but they have more than one syllable, and they are totally smooth, with no hard stops or rough edges.”
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New Yorkers Learn to Chill
Michigan. “All I can tell you, Your Honor, is I’m really heartbroken. I did what I did,” Leo Sharp told a judge. “But it’s done.” There was no dispute over Sharp’s crimes: he admitted last fall that he drove loads of cocaine into Michigan for a Mexican drug organization, one of 19 people charged in the case. The government said he was paid more than $1 million. “I don’t doubt it will be difficult,” U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds told Sharp of prison, “but respect for the law requires there be some custody.” Defense lawyer Darryl Goldberg focused on Sharp’s past, not the trouble that landed him in court, while asking the judge to keep his client out of prison. Sharp isn’t a typical criminal. He fought Nazis in Italy during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star for it. The Michigan City, Indiana, man also is known for growing prize-winning daylilies and even contributed 5,000 plant bulbs to his community. “This is not how we honor our heroes, whether they’ve fallen from grace or not,” Goldberg said. Goldberg repeatedly warned that Sharp’s dementia would be a burden for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. He acknowledged that Sharp “went into this eyes wide open” but said his condition led him to use “bad judgment” and become a drug courier. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline pointed out that criminals do not get a pass simply because of prior military service. He noted that Sharp used his age and appearance as a tool to shake the suspicions of police on cross-country trips before he was finally busted during a traffic stop west of Detroit in 2011. “They bargained on him not getting caught,” the judge said in agreement. Despite going to prison, Sharp still got a significant break. The government was seeking a five-year sentence, even though sentencing guidelines call for a minimum of 14 years.
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“Jaxen” and “Jaxson,” the growing phenomenon of parents using creative spellings as a way to stick to popular sounds while also being unique. “Rankings can affect people’s thinking, but doesn’t change their taste,” she says, adding that parents of today are much more interested in finding a name that stands out rather than one that blends in. “Usually everybody wants to be No. 1 at everything — except with baby names.”
Clinton Slow to Label Terrorists
Barack Obama recently named Nigeria’s Boko Haram group, which last month kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls, “one of the worst regional or local terrorist organizations.” According to a controversial report, however, the State Department under Hillary Clinton “fought hard” for two years to avoid adding the group, which is believed to have links to al Qaeda, to its list of foreign terrorist organizations. It was reported last week that other government agencies, including the CIA and more than a dozen members of Congress, had urged the State Department under Clinton to officially designate the Nigerian Islamist group a terrorist organization. “The one thing she could have done, the one tool she had at her disposal, she didn’t use. And nobody can say she wasn’t urged to do it. It’s gross hypocrisy,” a former senior U.S. official who was involved in the debate told a reporter. “The FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department really wanted Boko Haram designated, they wanted the authorities…to go after them, and they voiced that repeatedly to elected officials,” he said. It seems that one reason for the State Department’s hesitation was that officially designating the group as a world-class terrorist organization would have added to its stature. To her credit, Clinton did just speak out about the mass kidnapping, calling it “abominable” and saying, “It’s criminal, it’s an act of terrorism, and it really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.” She also condemned the abduction in a tweet, writing in part, “We must stand up to terrorism.”
Insights of the World’s Oldest Vet
Richard Overton, 107, gets up every morning, puts on a clean dress shirt, trousers, tennis shoes, and a black cap with yellow lettering that reads “WWII Veteran.” A man who appreciates hard work, the oldest living World War II veteran spends many hours each week working on his yard, sweeping his driveway, and raking leaves. Overton was born in Bastrop County in 1906. As he approaches his 108th birthday, he still holds a Texas driver’s license and hasn’t lost his sense of humor. “I just keep a-going,” says Overton with a grin. “I don’t stop.” Overton has seen many loved ones and friends pass away, not just at home but overseas as well. Overton served in the U.S. Army and was sent to the West Pacific in 1945. He says his experience in WWII simply wasn’t fun. “I was shot over my head, between my legs, around my ears, and everything, but it wasn’t my day to go,” he muses. Many dignitaries and world leaders, most recently President Obama, have recognized Overton for his service. Overton gave the president a box of his favorite cigars when he met him. Overton is not a fan of all of the attention but appreciates the recognition. When it comes to longevity, he said he doesn’t have any secrets. He keeps everything in moderation, including a few vices such as whisky and cigars. “I’ve been drinking a little bit,” he said, “but I don’t drink much. I’ve smoked cigars ever since I was 18.” Overton doesn’t eat large meals, but does indulge every now and then on his two favorites: cookies and tacos. Overton said he avoids prescription medication and only takes aspirin to thin his blood. He should live many more healthy years.
The small city, located about 60 miles from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, is suffering a major water shortage. Businesses have been transporting water from outside the city, building permits have been put on hold, and the drought continues to dry up reservoirs, forcing the city to pump its only two wells to capacity.
Recently, officials imposed severe restrictions after receiving only about 6 inches of precipitation from October to April, about half the normal levels, and the forecast isn’t all that promising. “We knew we had to take some action to preserve the water,” Mayor John Moore said. As Williams waits for moisture, Moore said city officials are exploring whether new wells will help secure a more sustainable water source.
Americans Not Crazy for Cash
Cash is what? Certainly not king. A new Bankrate survey shows that close to ten percent of Americans don’t carry any cash on their person. 78% of people walk around with less than fifty dollars and 49% with less than twenty. The results either demonstrate a high consumer confidence or a more tech-comfortable population. “If we move to a truly cashless society, it won’t be much of an adjustment for most Americans,” Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst, said. “The vast majority of Americans carry $50 or less on a daily basis, which seems to indicate that it’s more out of necessity than a desire to pay with cash.” These people definitely don’t use my dry cleaners.
Arizona Town Declares Drought
Fewer Americans Reading
In the northern Arizona city of Williams, you don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth, and if you water your lawn or wash your car with potable water, you may be slapped with a fine.
A report released by Common Media Sense recently revealed that American children rarely read for pleasure. A meta-analysis of seven surveys and various tests by public and private groups
show that overall reading among pre-adolescents and youngsters has vastly declined in the last three decades. The data also discovered that fewer parents read to their children nowadays.
The change is being blamed on the technological revolution. Society has reached a major transition point in the history of reading. From children’s earliest ages, “reading” used to mean sitting down with a book and turning pages as a story unfolded. Today, it might mean sitting down with a device that offers multimedia experiences and blurs the line between books and toys. Much of the daily communication of older children is now handled in short bursts of written text, such as text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and tweets. All of this has led to a major disruption in how, what, when, and where children and teens read. Considering that a lot of this is new data, research is evolving in this area. The proportion of children who are daily readers drops significantly from childhood to the tween and teenage years. One study documents a drop in daily readers from 48 percent of 6- to 8-year-olds down to 24 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds; another shows a drop from 53 percent of 9-year-olds to 19 percent of 17-year-olds. There is a significant gap in reading achievement between white, black, and Hispanic children. There is also a gender gap – girls read for pleasure for an average of ten minutes more per day than boys; this discrepancy remains prominent from childhood through teenage years. Well, I know at least one person who is reading…Keep it up!
Where are the Jobs?
The job market is reflective of the economy’s condition. Naturally, when the economy is healthy, more people are working. Where are Americans finding their paychecks?
Timing is Everything We can rent everything from cars to houses to dog walkers. So why not luxury watches? A start-up called Eleven James is offering its subscribers a variety of luxurious timepieces to rent from Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and the like. Randy Brandoff, the company’s founder, is a
a sense of serenity after meditating their whole visit through. According to one visitor, “It is very suffocating, because I’m physically restrained. But on the other hand it is very helpful in that I can look into my inner self.” Meals are passed through a slot in the door and cell phone usage is limited to once daily. “I only hope this retreat offers visitor a chance to reflect on themselves,” Kwon Yeun Sek, the retreat’s founder, says. Going to prison to free yourself from stress…sounds like a very good punishment.
again. You can’t drop the ball. A gimmick only gets you a phone call or ensures your resume winds up in the right pile.” In any case, a “Lego resume” certainly won’t “block” you from a great position.
Make Your Own Makeup
Getting a Leg Up with Lego So what can you expect from a membership? The “connoisseur” plan will get you watches from the $15,000 to $30,000 range and will allow you to rotate six watches a year. The cost? A mere $9,700. If something a little more on the upscale side suits you, you might like the “virtuoso” option: only $17,250 a year for watches costing close to $50,000. What’s the motivation to rent and not buy? Says Brandoff, “Most watch lovers follow the same pattern. The first six months after they buy a watch, they love it. The second six months, they don’t love it as much. And by the third six months, it gets put on the pile and replaced by one or numerous others.” The company’s goal is to have 1,000 subscribers and it’s well on its way. After all, who doesn’t love a timeshare for timepieces?
This Prison Sets you Free
In North Korea, everyone’s worst nightmare is that he’ll be thrown into some squalid jail for solitary confinement. But in South Korea, people are actually willing to fork over close to $150 a night to sit in a solitary cell. At Prison Inside Me, a jail-like retreat just south of Seoul, guests hand in their cellphones and car keys in exchange for a prison jumpsuit and spend the night in a sixty square foot cell. Hundreds of South Koreans are flocking to the “retreat” for a much needed break from everyday life. “Inmates” report feeling overcome by
Leah Bowman, a junior at Northwestern University, literally built herself an impressive resume to land a summer internship. While home on spring break, Bowman decided to build her resume out of Lego blocks. “It came to me on a Saturday morning, and by Sunday night I’d designed it – an ad for myself. I assembled it on Monday,” she said. So she made a “mini-me” along with a poster that said: “LEAH. Build the perfect Account Service intern! New for 2014!” Her resume quickly went viral and got her noticed from out of a pile of 1,000 applicants at a Chicago-based ad agency, Energy BBDO, and she was chosen to be one of the company’s sixteen summer interns. According to Kristen Quinlan, an HR manager at the firm, “She created a splash. She definitely got herself noticed from her gimmick. I wanted to talk to her. I’ve gotten a few wacky, unique things over the years from people trying to get their foot in the door.” She continued, “She did it in a good way, a very positive way. She got herself noticed.” But don’t think that Lego-building skills can always get you in the door. The main reason Leah was offered a position was that she demonstrated that she had substance at an interview. “She was a very smart, bright, articulate young woman -- and she had some prior experience already,” Quinlan said.
A Harvard Business School grad is looking to disrupt the multibillion dollar cosmetics industry, and she’s doing it with a printer. Grace Choi presented her 3D printer, Mink, at the Disrupt NewYork Tech conference as an alternative for women who are stuck with a limited selection of makeup colors at major retailers like CVS. She laments that only the boring or “safe” colors get marketed at major stores and if anyone needs something more edgy she’d have to head off to a specialty retailer. Choi’s printer would allow a user to take a color off of anything—from Pinterest to a flower—and upload it onto the device. The printer would spit out her lipstick or eye shadow moments later. “The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of garbage, and they do this by charging a huge premium on one thing that technology provides for free. And that one thing is color,” says Choi. “Mink enables the Web to become the biggest beauty store in the world. We’re going to live in a world where you can take a picture of your friend’s lipstick and print it out.” The all-inclusive device is set to launch later this year for around $300 on GraceMink.com. At the show, Choi printed out a pink eye shadow in less than 40 seconds. Wow! Color me beautiful in less than a minute—I like that!
Your Phone or Your Life?
Says Bowman, “You’ve got to wow an employer with something that goes beyond your resume. You’ve got to be prepared, when you pick up the phone, to wow them
In the ‘80’s, the big question was, “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” Nowadays, that question has taken a more meaningful form: “What would you do for your lost phone?” And for many people, the answer is pretty extreme. A new survey by the company Lookout suggests that most people would put themselves at bodily risk to retrieve their phone which often contains highly personal and confidential information. Sixty eight percent of survey respondents cared
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former executive of the private, jet-sharing company Netjets. Brandoff says that leasing luxury items is not a novelty for today’s money-smart wealthy class. “The vast majority of our target consumers have leased a car rather than buying it, rented a vacation home or enjoyed other prized possessions without purchasing them,” he claims.
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Well, according to Martin Kohli, chief regional economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industry growth trends play an important role in job totals. Workers in the nation’s most popular occupations “are employed in industries that have also been expanding,” Kohli said. For example, food service employees are wildly popular, reflecting an expanding food industry, explains Kohli. Conversely, many of the nation’s least common jobs are in industries that are shrinking, such as in the manufacturing sector. Many of these jobs, Kohli added, “are clearly on the decline because the industries that employ them, and the technologies they use, are on the decline.” For instance, the BLS predicts that the number of animal breeders will decrease by 23 percent between 2012 and 2022, and the amount of fabric menders will fall by 10 percent. The number of radio operators and wood pattern-makers is expected to remain the same. The least common jobs nowadays tend to be higher earning positions. The average geographer earned more than $75,000 annually as of 2013, and the average industrial-organizational psychologist earned nearly $88,000 annually. Those two professions are expected to grow by 29% and 53%, respectively, between 2012 and 2022. Consequently, the most common jobs tend to require little formal education or experience and therefore lower wages. Cashiers, waiters, and food preparation workers earned, on average, less than $25,000 annually, while the average U.S. worker earned more than $46,000 per year. These occupations are usually not unionized, which probably explains the lower wages, said Kohli. The ten most common jobs in America today include: janitors and cleaners (2.1 million jobs); secretaries and administrative assistants (2.2 million jobs); hand laborers (2.3 million jobs); customer service representatives (2.4 million jobs); waiters and waitresses (2.4 million jobs); nurses (2.7 million jobs); office clerks (2.8 million jobs); food preparation workers (3 million jobs); cashiers (3.3 million jobs) and retail salespersons (4.5 million jobs).
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MAY 15, 2014
more about the risk to their phones’ data than they cared about risks posed to themselves. And half of the people surveyed said they’d be willing to fork over $500 to get their phones back. Roughly a third would give up $1,000.
Alicia diVittorio, Lookout’s Director of Security Communications, said that the study demonstrates that “phones carry highly personal information from banking credentials to corporate email, making them extremely valuable to the owner, as well as thieves. For this reason, smartphone victims are willing to go to extreme lengths to recover their devices including putting themselves in danger and coughing up a great deal of money to keep their phones and the data they carry safe.” Unsurprisingly, the most common way to lose your phone is by leaving it in a public place. Although it makes great headlines, only eleven percent of people whose phones went missing had it stolen from their person, and only five percent had it stolen on public transportation. Restaurants were the most common area where phones got taken, and from noon till five is high time for phone pilfering. So if you’re heading out to lunch on Central Avenue today, leave your phone at home. Besides, people who talk on the phone in a public eatery are really annoying.
Planting her Inheritance
Some eccentric millionaires leave their fortunes to their cats. Now, a woman in Pittsburgh has created a completely new type of heir in her will: her trusty 42-yearold philodendron, a seven foot house plant. Ronna Scoratow, 63, received her beloved plant in 1972 and has watched it grow
from just a foot tall. “This is my girl! This plant will definitely outlive me. After I pass don’t want her to go unloved,” she explains. So Scoratow, who has no children and does not feel that her siblings share her ardor for her fauna, told her attorney, James Wood, to place a provision in her will for $5,000 for a friend to care for her plant. “It was interesting. I’ve done provisions for pets but never a plant,” said Wood. Her other plants, however, have yet to get the same treatment. ”I don’t have the same love with them. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t want to be cold or anything.” Who knows, maybe the rest of them will grow on her before her demise.
Zooming Along at 2,824 MPG
women ages 36 to 52 suggests that a nagging spouse may shorten your life. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen claim nagging may cause an extra three deaths per one hundred people and is linked to heart disease and cancer. Men are more likely to be affected by nagging spouses. Husbands who reported significant demands from their wives were twice as likely to die as compared to 34% of women who felt that way. That may be because men don’t share their issues with their close friends and prefer to bottle it all up inside. Researchers from the study concluded that “men were especially vulnerable to frequent worries/ demands from their partner, contradicting earlier findings suggesting that women were more vulnerable.”
Say No to Nagging A nagging spouse may be dangerous to your health. A recent study of Danish men and
UPS Delivers a Shidduch
A Prize for Politeness
I know, I know, all you self-righteous tree huggers. Your Prius gets 50 miles per gallon while my 1992 Ford Bronco does about eight. But compared to the car invented by students at the Universite Laval in Quebec, the Prius looks like a jumbo jet. The students’ three-wheeled, tearshaped car is able to get 2,824 miles per gallon. It overcame a number of issues, such as excess friction short circuits, to achieve that number, which means that the car can zoom from New York to Los Angeles on less than a gallon of fuel.
Interestingly, the gas-sipping vehicle doesn’t come close to what the school invented last year with a prototype that netted 3,587 mpg. The car was built at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition in Houston, where competing schools vie for the top prize in fuel efficiency. Still doesn’t beat the bike I take to work daily.
place.” Still, Daley and his wife, Alicia, frequented the place for dates before having their daughter, Evie, and they had a hankering on Sunday. Luckily, Evie was having a good day. “Our daughter is like most babies,” Welsh says. “She has her on and off days. We avoid taking her out if she’s fussy.” Thankfully, she was sweet and well-mannered on Sunday.
What’s the best present for a mother? How about well-behaved children and an award for their best behavior? A Canadian family got a special surprise on Mother’s Day when they received their bill for their celebratory Sunday brunch. At the bottom of the receipt from the Japanese bistro, the store included a discount for “Well Behaved Kids”—$5 off their meal. Daley Welsh, the father of the angelic children, said, “I feel it was just a really nice gesture,” he says, “and it really made my wife’s Mother’s Day special, affirming her hard work as a parent for the last year.” The owner of the restaurant, Toshi Carino, said, “We welcome the kids and wanted to show some appreciation for kids (of course for parents!) with dining manners.” She adds that Welshes were a “beautiful family” with a baby who was impressively “calm in the crowd.” The eatery has special significance for the Welshes. The restaurant is a small, 35-seat eatery that has no room for strollers and is “not the most kid-friendly
Matchmaking is an art…that just about anyone can do. Mazal Tov to Zev Goldin and Chana Simon upon their engagement, and congratulations to the shadchan, UPS worker Terry Spiers. The shidduch started to brew two years ago when Spiers got to know Regina Simon, who worked in an office on his Eastern Parkway route in Crown Heights. In their conversations, Regina would often mention her 21-year-old daughter Chana, who is studying psychology at Touro College. One day, Spiers mentioned that he knew the perfect guy for Chana, Zev Goldin, 25, who lives just a few blocks away. Spiers assured Mrs. Simon that Zev, who works in real estate, comes from a wonderful family. Then he approached the Goldins and attempted to convince them to give the idea a shot. “Initially, we didn’t take it very seriously,” Goldin recalled. But Terry Spiers was determined and did not give up. Spiers himself helped the families exchange “shidduch resumes,” leading to a first date. Now Goldin admits that he knew that Chana was the one for him early on in the relationship. “The second date, I knew, but I waited a very, very long time to make sure.” “[Spiers] asked a million and a half questions. All he was hoping was that he’d make one shidduch before he retires,” said Goldin. Delivering the perfect spouse…now we know what brown can do for you.
47 THE JEWISH HOME
I’m Starting My Diet on Monday By Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.
The reason why people choose Monday mornings as the day to start their diets is because their Shabbos eating habits are typically out of control. Come Wednesday, and the determination to eat healthy food slips out of your mind as quickly as it takes to order fast food. The trick to sustaining a healthy diet, and, by extension, a healthy weight, is by dropping the all-or-nothing attitude and by taking on one new healthy habit at a time. Once a good habit is set and
comes naturally, you can take on another. Weight loss and healthy living isn’t a destination, it is a way of life. There will always be something to improve, but if you try and take on a new diet all at one time, the likelihood of failing increases exponentially.
Let’s see; if you are a fairly sedentary individual, it is unlikely you will wake up Monday morning and run five miles straight. Instead, why not set your alarm to go off at noon every day and take a fifteen-minute walk around the block? Keep it up and you might increase your efforts to include another fifteen minutes of walking after dinner. As a professional weight loss counselor who myself lost loads of weight, I advise my private clients and others at UCLA to remember the incredible power of vegetables. Those veggies that your mother always forced you to eat are still packed with vitamins and are a mineral powerhouse. When you’re looking to lose weight, they are your best friend and an incredibly powerful tool. Low in calories and packed with water and fiber, vegetables keep your stomach comfortably full. Nobody likes to feel hungry, so start by eating more vegetables. Set your sites on filling half your plate with veggies at every meal and you actually halve the amount of higher calorie foods that would normally fill your plate and make up your meal. I am
always surprised when I meet with a new client and figure out that he barely eats one vegetable serving for the entire day (and that’s when I count the thin slice of onion on his burger or the tomato sauce on his pasta). The next best tip for weight loss is to drink more water. Hunger and thirst are
both controlled by the hypothalamus area in the brain and they are often confused. Often we think we are hungry when really we are just thirsty. Water is more essential to life than food and we need to start drinking more water to prevent unnecessary overeating. At the base of our stomach lies the hormone ghrelin which induces hunger. When the stomach is light and empty, ghrelin growls. However, when there is weight in the stomach from water or even vegetables, ghrelin is suppressed. One new goal; have 1 tall glass of water before each meal. You will soon find that it will take you less food to feel satisfied. You might also find yourself in the bathroom more often, but that is okay because it means more exercise! Keep increasing your water-drinking habits until you reach a goal of drinking about half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, drink 85 ounces, or the equivalent of 5 Arrowhead
water bottles, per day. Water needs also increase with increased exercise, stress and sun exposure. Make sure to drink more than usual this summer, especially after swimming when we typically forget that we’ve been exercising. These three tips may seem obvious and simple, but I promise they are effective and essential to long-term weight management. And weight loss goals aside, increasing activity plus vegetable and water intake are critical steps for optimal health and disease prevention- now that’s a good reason to get started. Ilana Muhlstein, R.D., is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Private Practice in Los Angeles. She also works at UCLA where she meets with patients and leads a weekly seminar on weight loss and health promotion . More on Ilana at ilanamuhlstein.com and find her daily tips at instagram.com/beautifulnutrition.
MAY 15, 2014
Registered Dietitian in Private Practice and at UCLA
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MAY 15, 2014
This may be the easiest article I’ve ever written. Regular readers of this column can tell if I am truly excited about a restaurant. This week I’m not holding back my enthusiasm. The star of this week’s column is Orange Delite and Grill, a restaurant whose roots are close to my heart. Like many, many people in the valley, I have been a steady customer of Orange Delite since it opened in August of 1991. In the early 90s the valley was a different breed, with few eating options outside of La Pizza and Falafel Village. Correct me if I’m wrong, but to my dusty elementary school memory, not a single kosher burger joint existed in the valley before OD and G opened. We valley folk thought of ourselves as pioneers, hard-working families who cared more about community and less about walking a couple miles to shul in over one hundred and ten degrees in the summer heat with no eruv on the horizon. I remember looking for broken sprinklers to sip from on the seemingly never ending walk to Chabad of Encino. The owner of Orange Delite, Brooke Hecht (nee Laniado) has been a friend of mine for over 25 years. We were actually in nursery school together. After Brooke graduated Gan Israel Preschool, which still exists under the same administration (hello Renee and Rabbi Greene!) and is going strong, we parted ways as I attended Emek and she ventured into the local public school. We touched base every summer at Camp Gan Israel of the Valley and it was there that Brooke began her path which led to a frum life, and of course, Orange Delite. Brooke was about 13 years old when she asked Rabbi Meyer Greene if she could be a Junior Counselor in camp instead of a camper. He agreed, but gently explained that she would have to wear skirts every day. She bought a few skirts
and joined the staff. After that fantastic summer Brooke decided she wanted to attend a Jewish high school in the fall and enrolled in Valley Torah. As she took on more and more Mitzvos, she realized the lack of a great fast food restaurant nearby. She sat down with her contractor dad, Shlomo Laniado (obm), and told him that she wished he would open a kosher burger restaurant and immediately he replied with his famous phrase, “Okey dokey!” For those of you who did not merit
at the bar, among large, colorful jars of pickled vegetables, staring out the window as cars zoomed by on the boulevard. Orange Delite was immediately a huge hit and our family, along with dozens of others, enjoyed our Brooke Salads and Burgers nearly every Sunday. In January 2006, Orange Delite upgraded to a location that is 4 times the size of the original hut. It remains today at 13628 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. Orange Delite is a family friendly restaurant. Once, when a
to meet Shlomo, this may be difficult to understand. What busy, employed father would agree to open an expensive, risky business venture after a 2 minute conversation with his preteen? But, Shlomo, who was taken too soon from a terrible disease, was a warm, sincere, and humble man. He cared deeply for the Jewish community and understood that this restaurant would be a huge asset to the San Fernando Valley. The first location took over a traif burger stand and only had enough space for a handful of people to dine outside on the patio. The rest of us took our place
little girl was a bit noisy in the restaurant another customer complained to Shlomo Laniado. He replied, “I’m not telling her she has to be quiet, this is a family friendly restaurant and she’s acting like a kid should act.” I ask Brooke what it’s like to run the restaurant alongside her awesome husband, Avi Hecht, and her sweet, warm Mom, Ronit Laniado, now that her father is gone. She admits that at first it was very difficult, because everything, from the water pitcher to the stove, reminded her of her father. However, she feels that “he’s here with us and we are making
him proud. Orange Delite is his legacy and he opened it for me and for the Jewish people. Tons of people, who would not necessarily eat Kosher, come here and eat kosher meals.” There are tons of tasty options on the vast menu, and the two dishes I recommend are the Southwest Chicken Salad which has been their most popular entrée since opening day, and their legendary Kobe Beef Burger. Once you’ve tried those, go on to the BBQ Beef Sub made of pulled brisket, which all the males in my family are obsessed with. Try them for office lunches when you’re in the vicinity, my husband’s company meetings love to include an Orange Delite spread with heapings of deli wraps, salads, and shakes. They do fabulous catering for any size party - even weddings and bar mitzvahs. Orange Delite is constantly packed, but you will always get awesome service. Brooke, Avi, and their wait staff will treat you like you are the only customer in the room. Brooke is proud of what she and her father have built together and she is very grateful that her customers continue to support them. Brooke tells me, “We are very grateful for customers. Our people keep coming, and we can make a parnassah providing good, kosher food. We appreciate every single customer. My dad would be proud.” Indeed he is.
Please call (818) 788-9896 to order. Open 10 AM-10 PM. Bring your family!
Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids. She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.
THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 15, 2014
Travel Guide: Sacramento By Aaron Feigenbaum
While our state’s capital might be better known as a political battleground, Sacramento is actually a booming metropolis with a rich history and plenty of fascinating attractions for the whole family. Originally populated by the Nisenan Native Americans and later conquered by the Spanish, the Sacramento Valley area fell into the hands of John Sutter Jr in 1839. Sutter, a Swiss immigrant, established Sutter’s Fort (also known as New Helvetia) in 1840. After the discovery of gold in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill, the once sleepy fort town began to thrive and Sacramento became California’s very first incorporated city in 1849. Sacramento became the state’s permanent capital in 1879. Despite problems such as floods and ethnic tensions in the early part of the city’s history, Sacramento developed into a major commercial and agricultural hub and is now California’s sixth largest city and the 35th largest in
the nation. What to Do and See: California State Capitol: Completed in the late 1800‘s and modeled on the Capitol building in Washington D.C., this beautiful Neoclassical structure houses the California State Legislature and the governor’s office. Free tours run 8-5 on weekdays and 9-5 on weekends. Be sure to take a stroll through the pleasant World Peace Rose Garden surrounding the Capitol. Sutter’s Fort: The birthplace of Sacramento, Sutter’s Fort was built by settler John Sutter in 1839. It was abandoned after the discovery of gold and only the main building remains. The fort houses a number of artifacts relating to the fort’s pioneering history. You can also witness cannon and musket demonstrations throughout the day. The current special exhibit focuses on social diversity at the fort and features scavenger hunts and doll-making. Admission is $5 for adults,
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$3 for ages 5-17, and free for children under 5. State Indian Museum: Right next to
Sutter’s Fort is this tribute to one of the nation’s largest and most diverse indigenous populations. You can see great examples of traditional baskets, hunting and fishing tools, a canoe and more. The gift shop has Native American jewelry, dolls, and books among other things. The museum is open 10-5 daily and entry prices are the same as the fort. Crocker Art Museum: Dating back to 1869, Crocker is the oldest continuously operating museum in the West. It has an impressive range of paintings from all over the world along with one of America’s largest ceramics collections. You’ll see art from such renowned figures as Renoir, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Rembrandt. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, $5 for youth 7-17, and free for children 6 and under. Be sure to check their website to see the latest exhibitions. California Auto Museum: Whether you’re a car buff or not, you’ll almost certainly appreciate the over 160 beautifully restored cars housed here representing the whole range of automobile history. From the earliest cars of the 1890‘s to the Model T to contemporary alternative energy vehicles, this fascinating museum shows you the evolution of the automobile from a science project to being a staple of modern society. Hours are 10-7 every day. General admission is $8 ($4 for students, and no charge for children under 5). Old Sacramento: One of Sacramento’s main highlights, Old Town is chock full of sights and activities. The California State Railroad Museum features 21 restored trains and cars, as well as a general history on the railroad system and its impact on American society. ($10 for adults, $3 ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under) If you happen to be in Sacramento April-September, hop on a steam train for a fun 40 minute ride through Sacramento’s levees. Admission prices are the same as the Railroad Museum. Finally, the Sacramento History Museum in Old Town lies in
picturesque spot just feet away from the Sacramento River and takes you through the history of Sacramento from its founding to the present. Be sure to drop by the B.F. Hastings Building which served as the endpoint for the Pony Express as well as the location for the first California Supreme Court. Adults get in for $6, ages 6-17 for $4, and children under 6 for free. Underground Tours: For a walk on the wild side, take an hour-long guided tour through Sacramento’s nearly 150 year old underground past. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for ages 6-17, and free, but not recommended, for children under 6. Check historicoldsac.org or call (916) 808-7059 for available times. Raging Waters: If history isn’t your thing, take the whole family to one of America’s premier water parks and have a blast on the wave pool, half-pipe, and numerous slides. At $31.99 for adults and $21.99 for kids, prices are a bit steep but your ticket will also gain you access to the State Fair. Eat and Daven: There are two frum shuls to choose from in Sacramento: 1. Chabad of Sacramento - 945 Evelyn Lane, (916) 455-1400 2. Knesset Israel Torah Center (Modern Orthodox) - 1165 Morse Avenue, (916) 481-1159 Unfortunately, there are no kosher restaurants per se, but you can contact Chef Yair Luria at Kosher Gourmet Catering ((916) 396-9123/koshergourmetcatering.com) or visit Chef Luria for dinner at the dining room of the Albert Einstein Residence Center (1935 Wright St, (916) 972-9555. There’s also an extensive kosher selection at the SaveMart at 2501 Fair Oaks Blvd (916) 484-7994. Getting There: Driving from L.A. to Sacramento is a pretty straightforward 5 and a half hour drive along the I-5N. Alternatively, the cheapest flights cost between $200 and $300. Greyhound can also take you there for around $70 and Amtrak can also do it for $60 and up. Trivia: -The Pony Express, the precursor to the U.S. Postal Service, stretched from Sacramento to St. Joseph, Missouri 2,000 miles away. -Blue Diamond in Sacramento is the world’s largest almond processing plant. During the harvest period, over 12 million pounds of almonds are processed every day. -Mark Twain was a reporter for the Sacramento Union newspaper in the 1860’s and reported on the city’s happenings.
THE JEWISH HOME MAY 15, 2014
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