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MAY 20, 2015

In View of Recent Events in Europe; an Invitation to Join us at a Panel Discussion Open to the Leaders and Members of the Community


Bringing Awareness  Sharing Knowledge  Protecting Our Children  Safeguarding our Community  Safety over those at Prayer

Sunday June 7th - Panel Discussion "Community Responsibility-Community Preparedness" 11:45AM at Nessah Congregation, Host Sponsor of Event,142 S. Rexford St., Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Light Refreshments will be served, RSVP is Required, See Below for Registration

For Panel Discussion online Registration go to: wcfpanel.eventbrite.com Panel Chairman and members: Rabbi Abraham Cooper Chairman of Panel, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Lydia Lanxner

Coordinator of Disaster Preparedness & Training Jewish European Community Leaders Laniado Hospital, Israel

Yaki Lopez

Consul for Political Affairs, of the Israel Consulate, Los Angeles Greetings

Michael Downing

Deputy Chief LAPD & Commander of Counter Terrorism & Special Operations Bureau, LAPD

Ivan Wolkind

Chief Operating and Financial Officer & Chairman of Ad Hoc Security Committee of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles

Urie Lieberman

Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital Final Remarks

For more information on the Panel and other events: www.wcf-laniado.org or email: uml@wcf-laniado.org or Tel. 310-385-9293 at the office of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital

EVERY patient matters. EVERY minute counts

This will be the third time during the last 5 years that Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Israel is placing Disaster Preparedness on the Los Angeles community agenda.

Laniado Hospital Week, June 4th - 14th In addition to the Panel Discussion; lectures throughout the Los Angeles community and a Breakfast Reception with Special Guest Speakers from Israel. West Coast Friends Medical Board Planning Committee of Panel Discussion: Dr. E. Agatstein, Dr. R. Levine, Dr. N. Kahen, Dr. I. Lebovics, Dr. A. Naziri, Dr. S. Presser, Dr. R. Sadeghi & Dr. D. Wohlgelernter Sol Teichman, Joseph Kornwasser & Sol Goldner, Chairmen of West Coast Friends Urie Lieberman, Director of West Coast Friends



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

JEWISH THOUGHT “The Ten Commandments are Not Multiple choice” – G-d. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Trouble at a Mountain Called Sinai. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 How We Outsmart our Genes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

COVER STORY The Shock and the Aftershocks of the Nepal Earthquake; a Personal Account. . . . . . . . . . 22

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Uncle Moishy Fun Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

LIFESTYLES Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Courage of the Harel Brigade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 The Dead Sea Scrolls in Los Angeles . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Travel Guide: Connecticut. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Grandeur of a Well- Groomed Groom. . . . . . . 39 The Expulsion of Jews from Lithuania and Courland 1915. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37


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


MAY 20, 2015

Blessed with All. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Once again, as we prepare to receive and recommit ourselves to learn our Torah and fulfill its mitzvoth, we can’t help but marvel at the journey we’ve taken since standing at the foot of Har Sinai! We started as a newborn nation, with pagan practices like all the other nations. After receiving the Torah we slowly, taking baby steps, grew into an admired people in the land promised to our forefathers. Then we ate from the fat of the land, causing us to forget our responsibilities, thinking that we were “entitled” to it all. As we ignored our prophets and leaders, who were practically begging us to return to a moral and G-dly life, we left our creator no choice but to take away the apple of our eye and disperse us among other nations. After returning to Yerushalayim without having internalized the message, we were fatefully cast far and wide in what turned out to be a most brutal exile. Our travels have been fraught with danger. Indeed, other than a few decades here and there, we’ve been for the most part a persecuted people, ridiculed by so many because of our unwavering faith in Hashem and his Torah. We, in the United States, have been extremely fortunate with the rights and even respect we’ve received during the past century. Indeed, Memorial Day for us Jews is a time to appreciate and honor the millions of soldiers who have given their lives for the values of this great country which has been our haven. It’s been so good that our challenge has, thank G-d, reversed. It is harder to remember our mission whilst living a plentiful life. We no longer need to show our commitment because of an inquisition or a frenzied Cossack mob. Rather, we need to muster our original dedication of, “Na’aseh v’nishma.” We will first do and then we will seek to understand. We

must find the strength from within to express that we are first and foremost a Jew and that although we, thank G-d, don’t have to risk our lives for it, we remain deeply cognizant of our first and essential identity. Living in the modern world can easily dull our sense of purpose. Still, we must relate to our history and eternal mission described at length in Tanach. Let us remember who we are and most importantly, let us remember that we were sent into exile for a limited amount of time and that we will one day return to our own land. Indeed, this is hard to imagine in the literal sense, yet believing in the face of strong opposition is something us Jews have been accustomed to for many centuries. It is also helpful to look up the sources in Tanach, Medrashim and Halacha and see for oneself a description of the final redemption. The dichotomy is that our world has become more evil and wonderfully kind at the same time. For us, these are expressions of the deepest darkness as well as the first rays of light of a new and fresh day. One which will rejuvenate us and the rest of the world, forever. As is written in this week’s Haftorah (Hosea 2:1): “The children of Yehuda and Yisrael will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one head. They will go up (from the land of their exile to their own land), for great is the day when G-d’s scattered people will be gathered… On that day, I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky and the creeping things of the earth. I will banish the bow, the sword, and war from the earth, and I will let them lie safely… I will betroth you to me with faith, and you will know G-d.” May we accept the Torah with joy and renewed commitment,



Dear Readers,


MAY 20, 2015


Chabad to Host “Evening of Song and Solidarity” At the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza - Dudu Fisher and Tony Orlando to Share Stage On Wednesday, June 10, Chabad of the Conejo will be hosting a community-wide “Evening of Jewish Song and Solidarity” at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Headlined by Israeli-born singer and Broadway star, Dudu Fisher, the program is will be an entertaining and inspiring experience, centered on the theme: “Stand Strong! Stand Proud!” “With the latest troubling events unfolding throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, I think the depth of Jewish community’s commitment to our core values and ideals, and to the State of Israel, is being tested in ways I don’t think we’ve ever seen before,” said Rabbi Moshe Bryski, Executive Director of Chabad of the Conejo. “This is why it is important that we come together now and demonstrate our unbridled sense of pride and solidarity, as well as our adherence to the principles of goodness and decency that are at the core of the Jewish idea. Nothing can express all of that quite as poignantly and soulfully as Jewish music.” In addition to Dudu Fisher’s eclectic musical repertoire – covering a range of songs from “Fiddler” to Elvis, Broadway

to Jerusalem, Ashkenazic to Sephardic selections, and many points in between, the Evening of Jewish Song and Solidarity will feature a special appearance by legendary American entertainer, Tony Orlando, who will be receiving the evening’s “Voice of Courage Award” in recognition of his fre-

quent outspokenness on behalf of Israel and American patriotism. Many in the Jewish community remember Tony Orlando’s visit with the families of the three

Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped last summer, and his public and passionate plea for their safe return. Upon receiving his award, Orlando will perform some American and Jewish favorites, including a number of duets with his longtime friend, Dudu Fisher. The program will also mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps with a memorial tribute to the six million who perished in the Holocaust. There will be a presentation of the “Champions of the Spirit Award” to Martin and Sandi Glade. Martin Glade, whose parents and five out of six siblings perished at Auschwitz, is a survivor who cheated death many times over, as he was marched by the from one slave-labor and concentration camp to another during many dark and horrific days back in 1944-5. “The mission of Chabad is to heighten a sense of Jewish identity and awareness amongst all segments of the community,” said Rabbi Bryski. “We create warm and welcoming, lively and loving, environments in which every man, woman and child is proud to stand up and be counted!” It is that spirit of joy and solidarity that the

coordinators of the upcoming concert are hoping to capture and put forth throughout the evening. “Every bit of darkness in today’s world must be countered by new saturations of light,” said Rabbi Yisroel Levine, Associate Director of Chabad of the Conejo. “Every bit of hatred must be countered by a hundred-fold measures of love, and every bit of despair must be overcome by abounding expressions of joy… When Dudu Fisher brings the audience at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza to its feet – dancing, singing and clapping along – I think we’ll know that we’ve accomplished all of those things!” Sponsorships for the Evening of Song and Solidarity are available via www. chabadgala.com or by calling (818) 9910991. Sponsors will be invited to partake in an exclusive pre-concert “Patron’s Cocktail Reception” and will be provided with preferred seating and mention in the evening’s printed program. For concert tickets only, please visit www.dudu2015. com.

As Sephardim Embrace Genetic Testing, Dor Yeshorim Stands Ready HaRav Yitzchak Yosef, Rishon L’Tzion of Israel, has recently announced that he urges all young Sephardim to receive genetic testing before finalizing their shidduchim with a vort. In his discourse, HaRav Yosef referred to a former colleague from his yeshiva days, “who “till this very day suffers the consequences of not having genetic tests done.” Dor Yeshorim, the preeminent genetic screening organization for the Jewish community, initially geared its testing toward the Ashkenzic population. As time went on, Dor Yeshorim included testing for specific mutations of more commonly found Ashkenazic diseases that can be found in Sephardic populations. Recently, in addition to the standard panel of testing,

a supplementary panel that screens for 13 genetic diseases prevalent in the Sephardic community was additionally made available. The Sephardi panel of tests are currently administered upon request. A few other Sephardic genetic diseases exist that have thus far not been included in any of the test panels. Dor Yeshorim researchers are presently researching these diseases and are working to develop reliable screening methods so they may be included at some future date in standard tests. As a non-profit organization, the advancement of Dor Yeshorim’s research depends largely on community support. To date, Dor Yeshorim can boast an unparalleled accuracy rate in its testing for genetic compatibility. While there are

numerous options available in the 21st century for people who seek genetic testing, Dor Yeshorim is the only organization conducting testing on a massive scale throughout the Jewish community worldwide, with screenings done in hundreds of high schools and yeshivos and the resulting data centralized in one database. The use of a unique, confidential numbering system means the absolute privacy of all participants is guaranteed, and rabbinic guidance ensures that every aspect of the process is carried out in Torah-true fashion. While best known for premarital genetic screening, Dor Yeshorim’s services extend well beyond. If a child is born with a rare genetic-based disease, r”l, Dor Yeshorim will help the parents with guidance and medical referrals. The Dor Yeshorim staff, in collaboration with medical professionals, will painstakingly identify the genetic mutation in question, and work to develop case-specific screening methods to prevent the reoccurrence of the disease in

the family. Always at the forefront of its field, Dor Yeshorim constantly invests in research in genetic diseases that affect the Jewish com-

munity, developing ever-more extensive and reliable ways to prevent the occurrence of fatal or debilitating conditions. With the Sephardic community now encouraging its young people to undergo screenings, Dor Yeshorim can expect to amass an even greater volume and variety of valuable information. Even more importantly, the Sephardic community will henceforth be better equipped to prevent the occurrence of tragic diseases. For further information, contact Dor Yeshorim at 718-384-6060 or email info@ doryeshorim.com.


Spiritual, educational and lay leaders of the community, parents of school children and synagogue members are invited to participate at a Panel Discussion at 11.45am on June 7th at Nessah Synagogue on Rexford Drive. The program is designed to raise awareness and open a community dialogue that will help build a plan of action on the subject of community and security preparedness. Urie Lieberman is Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital and explained the unique nature of this first ever event, “To have such a discussion in the open is important. It gives the opportunity to raise awareness and open a community dialog and it’s a different mindset that is created when preparedness becomes a public matter. Of course, certain parts of these discussions are held discretely at our institutions, but the lesson we should learn from the recent violence against Jews in Europe, is that everyone needs to have a plan and an understanding of what they can do. “In Toulouse, the aftermath of the attack at the school was that the children stayed home and parents stopped going to work. The community was paralyzed. The families weren’t prepared and the caring agencies were not ready. We believe that disaster and community preparedness can alleviate this kind of outcome and sometimes prevent the event from happening all together. A sense of personal and community control and security must be developed. Emotionally and psychologically, every family and institution should have a disaster plan that can be used in a dire emergency. The key thing first is to build awareness. Be prepared!” Now, things don’t just happen, they are made to happen. Lieberman explained, “An interesting set of events has led us to organize this Disaster Preparedness Discussion,” After Lieberman returned from a trip to Israel in January 2015. He was determined to set plans back on track for preparing a Third Laniado Hospital Week in Los Angeles. A Board of Governors meeting was organized to decide on a new community project and the Circle of Per-

sian Friends was to be inaugurated. It was at that time that the massacre took place at the Charlie Hebdo Magazine offices and at the Jewish Supermarket in France. Lieberman received a moving email titled, “Europe under Attack” from a colleague, Lydia Lanxner, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator at Laniado Hospital. She shared an email that she had sent to her European friends, “…can’t stop thinking of the Jewish communities who are faced with the current wave of terrorism in France as well as potentially throughout Europe……You guys need to reach out to one another, strengthen the weaker families, engage yourselves in schools on the subject of “Arvout Hadadit” (community responsibility” and what it means practically in time of potential terrorism….” Lanxner was speaking from her longtime experience in handling and receiving terror victims as Coordinator of Disaster Preparedness since 1995 at Laniado Hospital in Israel; Lanxner is also Head Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and was chosen by the Israel Security establishment to be part of a special training team preparing the Jewish European Leadership for Disaster Preparedness. Lanxner, under the unfortunate circumstances of the Intifada, has gained invaluable experience and First Responders

come from all over the world to learn from her methods. She stands out as one of Israel’s leading experts in the management of mass casualty events. Two years ago she visited Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and shared with them her knowledge and experience in a joint disaster preparedness seminar built between Laniado Hospital and Children’s Hospital. Lieberman shared the email that he had received from her at the Governor’s meeting. They decided to adopt a new community project to be partner between Laniado Hospital and the Los Angeles community; to immediately help in the urgent construction of an Underground and Missile Safe Dialysis Center. Dr. Rami Sadeghi, one of the local doctors, told Urie, that Laniado Hospital has already visited the Los Angeles community and both times the doctors from Laniado Hospital had shared their disaster preparedness skills with other doctors and hospitals. In view of what recently happened in France, perhaps Laniado Hospital would consider opening such a discussion before the lay leaders and members of the community as a whole? He explained that he was with a group of people at a Shabbat meal when the host turned to his guests and asked, ‘’How many of you think that what happened there in France can take

MAY 20, 2015

Community Preparedness Event launches in LA - Lydia Lanxner speaking before Group of European First Responders

place here in Los Angeles.” There was not one person who didn’t think that such a tragedy could happen in Los Angeles and Dr. Sadeghi had the distinct feeling of helplessness from not being prepared, not being ready. This is how, with a sense of urgency, the Disaster Preparedness panel came together. Nessah Congregation are the host sponsor of the event and the wider community are invited to come and learn. The focus is on our responsibility and community preparedness. Lanaido Hospital is a unique place, conceived and built as a living memorial to the six million who perished. Rabbi Yehutiel Yehuda Halberstam Zt’l, known as the Grand Rabbi of Sands, or the Kausenberger Rabbi, was a holocaust survivor who lost his first wife and 11 children in the Shoah, and is the legacy founder of the hospital. The establishment of Laniado is the fulfillment of a vow he made after he was shot by the Germans during the infamous Death March from the Warsaw Ghetto to Dachau, that should he survive, he would build a hospital in Israel. He wanted to give the chance of life to others. The name Laniado came as a result of a trust fund set up by the Laniado brothers, who were bankers in Switzerland, who originated from Aleppo, Syria. They designated part of their funds for the building of a hospital in Israel. The Panel members are; Lydia Lanxner, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator of Laniado Hospital, Michael Downing, Deputy Chief LAPD, and Head of Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, LAPD, and Ivan Wolkind, Chief Operating and Financial Officer and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Security Committee of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is Chairman of the Panel Discussion. Yaki Lopez, Consul for Political Affairs, of the Israel Consulate, Los Angeles will deliver greetings. Urie Lieberman, Director of the West Coast Friends will make final remarks. Laniado Hospital is additionally working with West Coast medical students as the hospital offers its seventh year pre med program, sponsored by West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital. Pre Med students who either study or live on the West Coast are eligible for the exclusive program and should contact Urie Lieberman. For more information visit www.nessah.org. The event will be held on Sunday, June 7th at 11.45 am at Nessah Congregation Simcha Hall, 142, S. Rexford St, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. To reach Uri Lieberman, Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital, email: uml@wcf-laniado.org


Are We Ready? Are We Prepared?


MAY 20, 2015


Even Heroes Need Support Community Lecture To Address The Importance Of Mental Health Mia Adler Ozair is a Los Angeles clinical psychotherapist who is hosting a lecture and discussion on Monday, June 15th. The event will make public a discussion within the religious Jewish community on matters pertaining to mental health and wellness. In addition, Ozair will be giving away 50 copies of her snappy new book, Insider’s Secrets: How to Choose an Exceptional Therapist (and How to Avoid the Bad Ones.) To be sure that sensitive questions are discussed with care at the event, participants will be able to anonymously write questions on a card and Ozair will answer them without knowing their source. Ozair works as a therapist, primarily in the Jewish community, and as the mother of nine kids, she knows that help and guidance are very much needed. Ozair wants people to remember that there are many different situations that can benefit from the support of a therapist. “I think in general, you have to distinguish between people who face a problem, as opposed to those who are burdened by a mental illness. If you struggle with a stressful

issue and you can still continue with your responsibilities, you have a challenge. If you suddenly stop or are unable to continue with your daily responsibilities, and the situation lasts more than two weeks, you must seek professional help. For instance, a person who stays in bed for two weeks, who suddenly increases their alcohol use, or who stays home from work, this could indicate that a challenge has progressed to mental illness. This type of thing might be handled differently than, for example, an overwhelmed parent facing financial burden, sickness in the family, aging parents, or stress at work.” Statistically speaking, all cultures and religions across humanity suffer from mental health issues, but the Jewish community has the added layer of secrecy and fear about therapy because we are a more closeknit community and there is an element of confidentiality that people are concerned will be breached. Many feel they will be judged or chastised by their need for help. Is this fear-based or the reality? Today, many places of employment provide mental

health benefits and vacation days. There is no proof that seeking help for mental health issues will create community judgement or that others will even know. Many Jewish families are large, and with more children, there are additional complexities. Each family member’s personal experience will collide at times with others in the family and with the parents as well. How does everyone get their own needs met? Ozair says, “It’s very complicated. This is why therapy should be commonplace. We need guidance and support! We’re so good at being stoic and pushing on and there is a long-standing belief in the heroic nature of Jewish men and women who have a history of dealing with complicated issues. We should expand this heroism to include recognizing when it is time to seek the help of qualified professionals.” Individual, marriage, and family counselling are crucial for community members who could bring more happiness to their lives together. Ozair explained, “This is why I wrote my book. Unfortunately, I’ve met people who have been given very bad ad-

vice. People must understand that they need help but they must listen to the right person at the time when they need it. Well-meaning advice from an untrained person can be disastrous—clinical therapists train for years to understand the deep and varied context of the human psyche. If a married couple comes to see me early enough in their relationship challenges, I am confident their marriage can be saved. People wait too long. When they come and tell me the reasons why they don’t like their partner, I know there is hope to make a change. However, if they don’t care any longer and are ambivalent, then I have to perform CPR on the marriage. This is far more difficult and divorce is not the easy way out. I’m a huge believer that all people need help as early as possible when any life challenges arise.” Mia Adler Ozair can be reached at mia@bhcounselingcenter.com. For event registration visit www.miaadlerozair.com.

Young Rabbinical Students Go Back To School Valley Torah High School’s Boys division is ending the school year with the addition of four young rabbinic students from Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, who have joined the Torah Studies staff. These four young men, Ariel Darrison, Noson Felt, Yehoshua Dear and Asher Hennes, have been hosted by the Valley Village community for almost two months. Rabbi Stulberger, Dean of Valley Torah, says that bringing these young men to Valley Torah aligns with the school’s mission of inspiring its students towards a love of Torah and spiritual growth. “What these Bachurim can accomplish in connecting to high school students and serving as incredible role models cannot be equaled by even the best Rebbeim. The relationships formed during these months very often last for years and make an incredible imprint upon the souls of the students.” “It’s absolutely phenomenal,” said Ariel Darrison, “to see the way students react to the realization that Yeshiva Bochurim and Bnei Torah are regular guys just like us. The unique dynamics of our relationships allow for an extremely close connection with the students, one that fosters an open and wel-

coming avenue of discussion, friendship and

advice. All in all, this privilege has been life changing and it is our sincere hope that many of the students feel the same way.” The success of the rabbinic students, bodes well for the future of the event and Valley Torah is already looking forward to next year’s program.



‫בית‬ ‫מדרש‬ ‫גבוה‬

MR. & MRS. RoBERt MiLLMAN cordially invite you to attend a

HARAv ARYEH MALKiEL KotLER ‫שליט"א‬ and HARAv DoviD SCHuStAL ‫שליט"א‬ sundAy Morning, June 7, 2015 9:00 AM at the Manoucheri home, 431 S. Beverwil Drive, Beverly Hills, CA


Farid Esfandi, Mike Horowitz, Yaakov Siegel

Join Us!

Honorary Committee

Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz

Co-Chairman, Board of Governors

Duvi Blonder David Hager Michael Kest Chaim Kolodny Meir Levin Berel Weiss Zevi Wolmark

Reception Committee Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz

Reception Chairman

Moshe Chopp Zvi Eilat Chaim Freeman Aaron Dov Friedman Reuvain Gradon Avi Hager Menachem Klein Henry Manoucheri Avi Mayer Jeff Mendell Robert Millman Yaakov Rosenblatt Yonatan Weiss Moshe Zyskind

Shabbos of Chizuk ‫שבת קודש‬ ‫פרשת בהעלותך‬ venues to be announced

Annual CommunityReception in honor of the Roshei HaYeshiva of

Beth MedrAsh govohA

Sunday EvEning JunE 7, 2015 - 8:00 pm at the home of

Mr. & Mrs. Meir Levin 148 North Las Palmas Avenue Los Angeles, California

Divrei Chizuk by

HARAv ARYEH MALKiEL KotLER ‫שליט"א‬ Rosh HaYeshiva

Looking forward to greeting you, RECEPtioN CoMMittEE

DYNAGRAFiK 845.352.1266

for our Pico-Robertson/ Beverly Hills community in honor of the esteemed Roshei HaYeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha,

BMG Board of Governors

MAY 20, 2015

Breakfast Reception

A Continuing torAh PArtnershiP


MAY 20, 2015


Surviving an Insane World Ohr Somayach International completed its weeklong tour of North America Tuesday night, May 5th, at the Nessah Educational and Cultural Center. “Surviving an Insane World: The Torah’s Sane Approach to our Unique Times,” was elucidated by Rabbi Dr. Yitzchok Breitowitz, Rabbi Dovid Kaplan, and Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb. Rabbi Breitowitz explained that although Chazal teach there will be four exiles, midrashim say there will be a fifth. The fifth and current exile, the Yishmaelite exile, is not a separate exile in itself, but an amplification of the Roman exile, coming at the tail end and creating a union of the power of Yishmael and Esav (Edom). This terrifying combination leads to the most difficult exile. The Vilna Gaon teaches that of the seventy nations that persecute the Jews, thirty-five get their spiritual power from Edom, while the other thirty-five get their strength from Yishmael. Edom is epitomized by materialism and the denial of Hashem, while Yishmael taps into dark, spiritual forces and uses them for unparalleled cruelty. Most dangerous, Breitowitz explained, is the fact that the Yishmaelim do not care to die, or blow up the entire world.

Devorah Talia Gordon affection to his children. Kaplan described the Shabbos table as a place for communication, not education. “It’s not a classroom or a lecture.” Divrei Torah should be woven naturally into the conversation; it’s part and parcel of our speech and our communication, but not presented as a formal lecture.

Since Malchus Yishmael is acting out of a (distorted) spiritual ideal, Rabbi Breitowitz maintained that Yishmael can be fought only by spiritual means. Also, since there is nothing we can do to stop Yishmael, the illusion that we have any control is removed. “When this happens, new vistas of emunah and bitachon can be accessed.” The next speaker, Rabbi Dovid Kaplan, addressed the topic of raising well-adjusted children. The greater ‘insane’ society focuses on the “I,” while the Jewish goal is to be focused on our relationships, and particularly our children, “our life’s mission.” Firstly, Kaplan spoke about the need to lead by example, which is always more powerful than the words a parent says. For instance, Kaplan recounted the story of a family who, although living somewhere with no Jews, left an empty chair and setting at the Shabbos table. The mother wanted the family to remember that they would eventually have guests again, and be prepared for them. “That was how she communicated values. That empty place is something her children will never forget.” Another way to survive in our insane society is by creating a home that’s a “warm bird’s nest;” in particular, Kaplan emphasized the need for a father to show

Kaplan concluded his talk by emphasizing the primary need for tefillah, not as an afterthought (“well, it couldn’t hurt”), but that we always need to daven for success with our children. The final speaker, Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb, addressed the topic of creating a successful marriage. Citing the fact that the first man was both male and female, Gottlieb said, “We need an integrated identity.” This identity is epitomized in the

J U LY 3 0 , 2 0 1 5

Ohr Sameach - Rabbi Breitowitz addressing the crowd

story of Rabbi Aryeh Levin going with his wife to the doctor and saying, “Our foot hurts.” A tool to get to this point, Gottlieb explained, is based on the central idea in Rav Dessler’s pivotal essay, “On Loving Kindness.” Dessler teaches that in order to, ‘love your friend as yourself,’ you have to give to that person. Then, a part of you is in that person. This investment leads to love. In an ideal relationship, with each partner giving and receiving, each one feels invested. Gottlieb posed the question, “When was the last time you said ‘I need you’ to someone? If I can’t say it, the other person doesn’t have a sense of value and importance.” Rabbi Gottlieb summed up his presentation with a story of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt’l. At his wife’s levaya, Rav Auerbach did not ask forgiveness from his wife, as is the custom, because in over fifty years of marriage he had nothing to ask forgiveness for. Although we are not on the level of creating such a gan eden as the Auerbachs, Gottlieb said, “We have to use that as a beacon of what can be accomplished by basser v’dam and try to make a little improvement in that direction.”





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1500 Attend LA Lag B’Omer Unity Concert On Thursday, May 7th, at the unlikely time of 10.30am, an even more unlikely event took place. The historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Hancock Park was turned into a major concert venue with over 1,500 children who came to hear a Lag B’Omer Unity Concert. Many schools were pleased to participate and it turned out to be much more than a concert. Before the curtain lifted, one of Hollywood’s top jugglers entertained the arriving attendees, putting them immediately in the spirit of Lag B’Omer. Suddenly a drum roll was heard, the lights dimmed and the Chassidic pop rock band, 8th Day, hit the stage and started singing with their famous hit song, “Hooleh!” For the next few minutes the entire crowd was on their feet cheering brothers Benzi and Shmuly Marcus. Rabbi Meir Greene, Shliach of Chabad of Tarzana, who served as the MC, welcomed everyone and introduced an inspiring video of the Rebbe about the importance of Lag B’Omer. After the video, Rabbi Baruch Shlomo Cunin, head Shliach on the West Coast, gave an energetic keynote address telling the children, “The Rebbe, our Tatty, will never leave us alone, always watching over us and our job is to stay connected to him.” Following Rabbi Cunin’s address and an energized interaction with the children, Levi Farkash, a twelve year old student of Cheder Menachem, was asked to come up to the stage by Rabbi Greene, telling the crowd that Levi is the first cousin of Chaya Spalter and is rep-

resenting Chaya’s family who could not be at the event due to Shiva. Levi recited the Rebbe’s Kapital followed by a beautiful repertoire of the 8th Day. As 8th Day exited the stage, Levi Cohen, the elected president of Kol Yaakov Yehuda, The Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners, delivered a heartfelt message thanking all the attendees for all their great wishes for the Bar Mitzvah of Kol Yaakov Yehuda that had been held the night before at an exclusive catered Seudois Mitzvah dinner. He impressed upon them to take up the Hachlatah that when one davens it should be while you are looking into the siddur. After Cohen finished his speech he received a standing ovation. Rabbi Greene then introduced, Rabbi Mendel Duchman, Founder and Director of the Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners, firstly by congratulating him on KYY’s Bar Mitzvah and then asking him to run the Tzivos Hashem Pisukim portion of the Concert. Children from as far away as Huntington Beach Hebrew Academy and all the way to Santa Barbara, were called up to recite Pisukim. Finally, the entire crowd went into hysteria, as the Twins from France debuted in California, and appeared on the stage in disguise of a horse and rider. For the next forty minutes all you can hear from the crowd was “ooo!” and “ahhh!” The celebration ended with 8th Day joining the Twins for a very grand finale. “What was best at this year’s celebration






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was the combo of these two groups.” Commented one of the principals who brought his school to the event. The Lag B’Omer Celebration was also saluting 50 years of Chabad Headquarters on the West Coast, located in Westwood, and the Bar Mitzvah of Kol Yaakov Yehuda, The Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners which is a meaningful youth group that is under the auspices of Congregation Levi Yitzchok in Hancock Park. The event was coordinated by Reb Yossi Burston activist and coordinator of many

Yossi Percia Photography


MAY 20, 2015


Peulos in Los Angeles, Rabbi Tzemach Cunin, Shliach of Chabad of Century City, Rabbi Meir Greene, Shliach of Tarzana and Rabbi Mendel Duchman, of Kol Yakov Yehuda.


and the comradery has broadened with annual shabbaton’s and other events. At the gatherings, the children are separated into boys and girls groups, older and younger groups, and this

year also saw the launch of a gesher group for kids with special needs. The new division is proud to have 12 members! Rabbi Duchman designed the Kol Yakov

Yehuda program with prizes that the kids can win with Shabbat coins and then they make their claim online after Shabbat is out. There is also a Tuesday evening, “Laugh and Learn,” for girls in the community. The group has just been named, “Chaya’s Laugh and Learn,” in honor of Chaya Muska Spalter, who had been a member of the group until her untimely passing last month. For more information, visit http://www. kolyakovyehuda.com/ or email Rabbi Duchman at rmd@kolyakovyehuda.com

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MAY 20, 2015

Rabbi Mendel Duchman hosted the first Kol Yakov Yehuda Kid’s Bar Mitzvah on May 6th. The event was the culmination of his vibrant kid’s minyan that has been running for thirteen years. The Bar Mitzvah event was a black tie evening where 175 children walked the red carpet in their Shabbat clothes and enjoyed kiddie cocktail hour, magicians, hors d’oeuvres and more. Having raised funds on the crowd funding site, Go Fund Me, the entrance tickets were reduced to an affordable $13 per child. Rabbi Duchman explained that he started the program because he thought his son was getting lost at shul. The first year was a success and so the program grew from there. This year, the Rabbi’s son is running the same program in South Africa where he is spending a year in study, now having reached the age of 21. “We’ve raised the bar for youth programs!” Rabbi Duchman announced. “Schools and youth groups that are successful for today’s kids are having to think outside of the box to stay significant. Traditional ways are not relevant. Ordinary thinking is now creative thinking. The kids run this program and I just supervise and this keeps the activities pertinent. For instance, the Rabbi of the week is the boy with a birthday and he prepares a speech as well. We have another shul in Pico/Robertson who will be adopting our program and I’ve been contacted by East Coast synagogues too.” The program is under the auspices of Congregation Levi Yizchok. Every Shabbat the children daven together and learn as a group


The Shul for the Kids, by the Kids


MAY 20, 2015


Patriotism Begins at Home; Jewish Support for Jewish Chaplains It is worth remembering that there are around 15,000 Jewish soldiers in the US armed forces and likely many more who choose to stay incognito. To raise public understanding of the role of Jewish chaplains in the armed services, Shabbat with our Troops, was held for Jewish community members and Jewish chaplains in training, over the May 14th weekend. With Memorial Day approaching, the five day event hooked into the theme of patriotism. The Shabbat with our Troops Shabbaton was created by Rabbi David Becker, Director of the Office of Chaplain Services at Jewish Friends of the Armed Services (JFAAS). JFAAS are one of the organizations responsible for training, ordaining and endorsing Jewish Chaplains for the Department of Defense. Enthusiasm was plentiful at Beth Jacob, Pico Shul, Young Israel of Century City, Link Kollel and at the homes of local hosts who generously opened their

homes to participants. Across the weekend, events were packed with more than 250 people attending. Rabbi Becker was not surprised by the turnout, “This city has many Jewish residents who are connected to the military character of


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Israeli society. At the same time, this country has given freedom and liberty to Jews at a level that no other country has ever achieved. I am not surprised that the community is patriotic and supportive of the American Armed Forces. This is correct and inevitable.” Jewish Chaplains work in all branches of the military, building Jewish communities on military bases throughout the world. They are also front line counselors who are supported by JFAAS in their Jewish Life programming. Their mission is also to ensure that Jewish rights and practices in the service of Ha’Shem are recognized and accepted in the US Armed Forces. The Shabbaton included keynote speakers who lead conversations on a variety of subjects including, Suicide Awareness, Keeping Kosher in Non-Kosher environments, and Safeguarding Relations with Chaplains of other Faiths. Entertainment was provided by the vibrant Pico Shul Moshav Band who performed at Beth Jacob on Motzei Shabbos. Rabbi Becker explained that there is a parallel to being a religious Jew and to being an American soldier. There is a need to start the day early, to eat in the right way, to speak with honor and to hold one’s personal morals and ethics at a meaningful level. He offered mesmerizing stories, “I was on a nuclear submarine with another Rabbi and there was a guy wearing a kippah. He had been deep under the water for three months and here he was, more clear in his religious beliefs than even before. We sent him matzah…Another time I was at Camp Pendleton and I was handling the Rosh Hashanah services. A large man approached me, wearing a black wetsuit. ‘When’s the shofar’ he asked in a deep resonating voice.

I told him it was in 10 minutes or so. He replied, ‘I’ll stay. I had to show up. My Mom told me I had to hear it.’ ‘And what do you do?’ asked Rabbi Becker, ‘I do bad things to bad people’ was all he would say.” Jewish Chaplains in the military are responsible for the spiritual and psychological well-being of every soldier which includes all religions, all kinds of people, men and women. “But it’s meaningful work because soldiers understand they have a higher purpose,” added Rabbi Becker. “I don’t have to bribe them with pizza. They want to come to services, to lunch and learn, to holiday events. We had 150 marines who showed up at Camp Pendleton one Shabbat, and they come back for more. Fort Hood has even more because there are many Jewish engineers working there.” The work of an army chaplain is superbly challenging as they look to impart spiritual values that befit the warriors of the Armed Forces. The work of a Jewish chaplain is that much more sensitive because of the Jewish experience. Meanwhile, there are few Jews in the military and their communities are special, small and varied. Any support is meaningful and this was the heart of the message at Shabbat with our Troops.


Berenice Famili

MAY 20, 2015

Julius, FCLA’s behavioral therapist with Steven Birnbaum, FC young adult and Levi Isaac, FC volunteer and recipient of the Henini Award

commitment to the organization and her buddy, Wendy. In her acceptance speech, she explained, “Not only have I learned patience and perseverance with these amazing children, but I have also learned the story of Passover and the traditions of Shabbat.” Specifically, Valerie says that her flourishing friendship with Wendy inspired her to advocate for the special needs community and also developed her desire to live a Jewish life as she plans to undergo a conversion at the appropriate time. Levi Issac, who will be joining the IDF in the fall, was awarded the Hineni Award for his relentless determination and pioneering success in learning how to effectively work with the kids at Friendship Circle. During his acceptance speech, Isaac shared two of the biggest lessons he has learned from his work with kids like Steven and Abie. Firstly, “everyone has abilities, some of us express them in different

Some of the volunteers

ways.” Secondly, “the only disability in life is the inability to recognize other people’s capabilities.” He further expressed how Friendship Circle has enabled him to find more meaning and purpose in his life, while opening his eyes to the importance of giving back to the community. Keynote speaker Tikvah Juni, a renowned inclusion advocate, gave an incredibly moving speech about her personal challenges and triumphs of living life with Down syndrome. She said, “I am sharing my life story with you because I hope that my experience will motivate you to make the rest of the world a more welcoming place.” She concluded with a poignant message asking for the end of prejudice and fear. She recognized the importance of creating a more inclusive community. Guests also enjoyed a spirited Fellowship Award Ceremony where 39 students received

easy. simple. cash.


the prestigious Fellowship Award for their extraordinary commitment to volunteering and enhancing their knowledge in the field of special education. Awards were presented by David Suissa, President of Tribe Media Corp/ Jewish Journal and Miriam Maya, Director of Caring for Jews in Need, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Another highlight of the evening was a video profiling volunteers and the impact Friendship Circle has had on their High School years titled, “Friendship Comes Full Circle.” Miriam Rav-Noy, Program Director of the Friendship Circle, concluded the evening with a message dedicated to the volunteers and staff. “All you give to Friendship Circle is seen in the joy of our children’s faces. Thank you for your dedication and commitment and working everyday to ensure a more inclusive world for our kids.”

Shimmy Lautman Photography

Over 400 guests attended Friendship Circle of Los Angeles’ (FCLA) Garden Party on May 13th at Nessah Synagogue, honoring 370 volunteers. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour that included a sushi buffet and decadent dessert bar followed by an inspirational ceremony celebrating a new year of inclusion and giving back. Volunteers from 71 schools across Los Angeles dedicate their time to their buddies with special needs through Friendship Circle’s 18 programs. Volunteers attend workshops, an orientation and receive ongoing support from the Friendship Circle, building strong relationships with their buddies and creating lasting friendships. This year was especially exciting with the introduction of the Let’s Play inclusion program. Beth Freishtat, Program Officer, Jewish Education and Engagement at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, presented FCLA’s executive director, Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy a grant of $35,000 to the Friendship Circle Volunteer Club. Beth remarked that this was, “to support their work providing Jewish teens with a valuable experience of Judaism-in-action as they help members of the special needs community.” “Our volunteers are compassionate, productive and giving members of the Jewish community,” said Chana Fogelman of the Friendship Circle. “This evening is a salute to them, the friendships they have built and the good they have accomplished.” Valerie Lopez, a senior at Renaissance Arts Academy, was awarded The Spirit of Friendship Award for her five-year devotion and


Friendship Circle Garden Party

“The Ten Commandments are Not Multiple choice” – G-d Rabbi Asher Brander, Founder and Director of the Link Kollel


MAY 20, 2015


That line, which adorns my office wall, never ceases to evince smiles. Shavuos celebrates that magnificent day of Hashem’s revelation and His proclaiming the

Ten Commandments to the world. A classic dispute is whether the first commandment, Anochi, is a commandment at all. The discerning Jew knows that the phrase, the Ten Commandments, is inaccurate and is surely one of Judaism’s greatest misnomers. The relationship between ten and commandments is false because The Ten are not commandments.  They are dibros or devarim [cf. Shemos, 34:28; Devarim, 4:13] which can mean statements, expressions or things, but certainly not commandments Meanwhile, the  Commandments are not ten. According to the monei hamitzvos, our classical mitzvah-counters, 13 or 14 commandments are contained within the “Ten Commandments” and there are a wide array of sources that deem the Ten Commandments as categories for all 613 commandments [cf. Rashi Shemos, 24:12.] Back to our story: Is that first expres-

sion of  Anochi,“ I am Hashem your G-d that you took out of Egypt – from a house of slaves to be for you a G-d,” a commandment? In other words, is there a mitzvah to believe in G-d? [Don’t stop reading; this is good!] Talmudic proofs abound. Some claim that Anochi, which is not written in command mode, [Know that I exist] and this implies that it is not a mitzvah. When G-d says “Anochi,” the first word of the aseret hadibrot, He is asking, “Who am I, how can you know me? I shall put myself in Torah so that you can know me better by learning Torah.” Is this a command? Behag and Rabbi Chisdai Crescas, amongst many [1], raise the inherent paradox and make a positive claim. Consider: A commandment (mitzvah) implies a Commander (metzaveh). [One who has no Commander cannot be commanded]. Thus I must first believe in or acknowledge the presence of a Commander before a command becomes meaningful. Initial acceptance of the Commander must come from the self.  Ergo, it is not a mitzvah to believe. So then, what is the expression of Anochi? It’s the foundation of all mitzvos.  Herein, Ramban’s formulation in defense of Behag [Sefer HaMitzvos, Hasaga 1] “.. belief in Hashem’s reality that He demonstrated to us through signs and wonders is the principle and the root from which the mitzvos are born and therefore it is not numbered in the mitzvah count” Charity, or a simple act of kindness without belief in G-d , is done for a generic goodness and is ipso facto, not a mitzvah. Belief in G-d, and thus in a commander, transforms good deeds into commandments. The Rambam disagrees [Yesodei Hatorah, 1:1,6] and says, “It is the most basic of basic principles and a support for wisdom to know that there is something [namely G-d] that existed before anything else did and that He created everything that there is. Everything in the skies, on the ground and in between exists only because of the fact that He created them. ..It is a positive commandment to know these matters [2], for it is written, “I am the Lord your G-d”. Anyone who even speculates that there might be a god other than the Lord is transgressing a negative commandment, for it is written, “You shall have no other g-ds besides Me”. Anyone who denies this principle is [in effect] denying everything, for it is on this important principle that everything depends. And what is Rambam do with Behag’s

paradox? Ba’al HaTanya, among many, answers that belief, or better stated, emunah, is not a discrete object.  Either you have it or you don’t is too simplistic a notion and is proven manifestly false for all who believe in Hashem and still manage to knowingly sin. Anochi transcends the first step and demands that we bond with Hashem. Indeed, Rambam’s terminology of knowledge (ibid, yedias davar zeh) may not only require intellectual inquiry, but will also imply Biblical knowledge – aka, deveikus[3] i.e. the obligation to bond with Hashem. The obligation never ends, for the pursuit of emunah entails a constant and consistent demand to completely integrate Hashem’s reality in our lives.  Consider this notion in a practical light. In the sense of love or ahava, Hashem is an ever-present reality, then I will never be alone. I always have someone to whom I can turn [4]. Speaking of fear, when nothing but temptation and vice is in the room, will mean that my strong belief in Hashem’s presence will prevent me from going awry. One final question: For Rambam and all those that believe anochi is a mitzvah, why is it not written in imperative form? There are two possible notions: Firstly, even Rambam agrees that the first step of accepting the commander is not a mitzvah. Anochi encompasses the first step as well. Secondly, if it is not a mitzvah, how can the Jew be obligated to get beyond the first step? Many ask this question. A beautiful piece of Talmud [Shabbos, 105a] will lead us to Rabbi Johanan on his own authority quoted. Anochi = [ana] Myself [nafshi] have written the Script [Kethibah Yehabith]. [‫כ�ת‬ ‫נפשי‬ ‫אנא‬  = ‫אניכי‬ ‫יהבית‬ ‫]בית‬ When my friend is in the room, I need not prove his existence. It might even be insulting. My friend’s presence is not simply intuited, it is real. Anochi teaches that for a Jew to believe, he need not look very far. Hashem says, “I am here in the room with you. I have etched My very essence in the Torah I gave you. It is yours now. But I am in there. Don’t try to prove Me. Learn Me. Find me in Bereishis, Bava Kama or whatever strikes your fancy. Get to Know Me!” That’s what the Jews will be doing on Shavuos. Knowing G-d through His beautiful Torah An inspirational and meaningful Shavuos to all.



e would be dishonest if we did not admit that we Jews are troublesome folk. Take Avrohom, for example. The whole world was very happy, thank you very much, doing things the way people had been doing them for twenty generations. Then along came a very troublesome individual and upset everyone. Not only did he tell them what they believed was false, he did it with humor. Everyone knows the story of when he smashed his father’s idols; or at least most people know a bit of the story. He certainly was left in charge of his father’s boutique, Idol Salon. Before he took a hammer to the latest in designer deities though, two other things happened according to the Yalkut Shimoni. An old lady came in to buy a new set of “house” idols. Someone had broken into her home and stolen her family’s personal idols that sat on a little table by the door guarding the house. Avrohom smiled and told her he would be happy to help her but before he did he wanted to ask her a question, “If your idols were not able to guard themselves from being stolen, how could they guard your family and you?” The old lady left without purchasing anything. As she left another client entered. In the eighties he would have been called a Yuppie and he was looking for something exclusive and very expensive. His Porsche Chariot stood double parked outside and once more Avrohom assured him that he could help. Before he showed him something from Prada’s “Sensational Summer Statues” collection he asked a question, “May I ask how old you are?” The client (boutiques do not have customers, only clients) answered that he was thirty-eight and Avrohom continued, “Can I ask how it is possible that a grown man of thirty eight years is going to bow down to something that was made yesterday and is one day old?” He too left without buying anything and that is when Avrohom got busy with his hammer. His father, Terach, was horrified at his actions. People were outraged; this kid came from a rich home and an establishment family, why was he causing trouble? Nimrod, the king, told him he had to recant his heresy and fall into line. He had to declare that he accepted the gods (including Nimrod) or he would be burned to death. His mother begged him to deny the truth and just say the words even if he did not believe them. Avrohom simply refused. Avrohom was a very troublesome individual. When he miraculously survived his execution the world decided to come to an accommodation with this first Jew. He was just one individual after all. Let him gather a few other malcontents around him. Their attachment to their beliefs would die when their charismatic leader did. Their prediction was correct. Avrohom’s converts left their faith behind the moment he left this world. The story of one troublesome, childless Jew and his barren wife should have ended there, except for another miracle.

His son Yitzchok was born. He too proved to be a troublesome Jew as did his son Yaakov. Six generations later, one Jew had become millions and when they walked out of Egypt, the world still hoped that a new people would walk an old road and become like every other people.


e nearly did, with the encouragement of some Egyptians who had a designer idol of their own tucked up their sleeves in the form of a Golden Calf. We faltered and considered for a few moments becoming just like everyone else.

Klausenberger Rebbe once observed that the UN building in New York so resembles a gravestone because “The truth lies buried there!” In today’s world we would have fit right in. The Spanish Philosopher Jose Ortega Y Gasset accurately described our time as one in which people “want to march through life together, along the collective path, shoulder to shoulder, wool rubbing wool and the head down.” Shavuos was the time we decided we would not travel that road. Hashem may indeed have given us the Torah and the mitzvos...but only after we declared that we wanted them! The Jewish people stood at a little mountain called Sinai and eschewed taking the easy path, burying the truth and opted to remain troublesome. Afterwards we “dropped the ball” and Moshe dropped the luchos... but we picked them up again. We have been carrying them ever since; after all, we were and are descendants of Avrohom. The world hated us for it. It hates us for it now. Mount Sinai comes from the word sinah, which means hatred. It was at Shavuos when we declared that it was just not in our DNA to walk along the collective path with head down.

I And just think for a second how much easier and happier the story of Klal Yisroel would have been if only we had rejected the troublesome legacy of our forefather Avrohom and decided to do precisely that. That’s exactly what Moshe told Hashem, according to Rabbeinu Bachya, “Almighty if we were uncircumcised like them and worshiped idols like everyone else, they wouldn’t hate us. The reason they hate us so much is because of the Torah and mitzvos you gave us.” What a different world it would have been if only we had taken the easy path. We would have been just like all the rest: the Chinese, Russians, French, Germans and...the Jews! There would have been no expulsion from the land of Israel by the Romans and according to Josephus, three million killed. There would have been no persecution by the Crusaders nor victims of the Inquisition. There would have been no Holocaust. We would not be the subject of almost every condemnatory motion passed at the UN. Then again, sickening hypocrisy and denying the truth is the real raison d’etre of the UN. The

recall once being interviewed by the BBC about what religion means to me. I answered that if religion merely echoes what society believes and what people want to hear (as so many do), then what is the point of religion? For a religion to be relevant and have value it has to have its own beliefs that it invites people to consider and accept. Only then does it have a relevance and a point. Jews who truly celebrate Shavuos and what it stands for celebrate that we didn’t take and don’t take the easy path. Instead we reaffirm every year that if we have to accept being hated for not denying the truth in order to fit in, we will. Mark Twain famously wrote about us, “He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, and have vanished. “The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities, of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality? “ The secret is a little mountain called Sinai and a people who were brave enough to endure a world’s hatred to show it a different road—one in which people walk along with their heads held up and their heads held high. 

MAY 20, 2015



Trouble at a Mountain Called Sinai




MAY 20, 2015

Blessed with All

Every Yom Tov has its sights, sounds and smells. Sukkos has the pleasing aroma of the Dalet Minim and the warmth and contentment of the sukkah. Pesach has the taste of wine and crisp matzos, the scent of chrein being chopped, and the fumes of chometz being burnt. Shavuos carries strains of Akdamus’ moving tones, milchigs, flowers and the poignant pesukim of Megillas Rus. The kriah has us pause to reflect on Rus and her journey from the heights of royalty to the depths of despair, back to the pinnacle as the mother of malchus. In the diaspora, Shavuos is a two-day Yom Tov and Rus is read on the second day, when most are well-rested. In Eretz Yisroel, however, Shavuos is only one day, and the reading of Megillas Rus takes place during the traditional vosikin minyan at the end of a long night of learning Torah. Most people are exhausted by then. At Yeshivas Mir, the legendary Yerushalayimer baal kriah, Reb Yechiel, reads Megillas Rus slowly and carefully. At times, his voice is choked with tears, as the pesukim speak of the lows. There is anticipation in his voice as Rus manages to maintain her dignity and refinement even amidst her misery. In his voice, you hear the joy at her ultimate triumph. Some people at the Mir used to complain about the length of the kriah. At the end of such a long, wearying night, they were eager for some rest. The rosh yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, cherished the baal kriah and, in particular, his reading of Rus. The rosh yeshiva felt that this tale is most fitting close to the avodah of Shavuos

night. Therefore, the extra few minutes it took to lain Megillas Rus with heart were not to be perceived as inconvenience, for they enhanced the tale central to the theme of Shavuos. Perhaps we might add an insight to the many reasons offered for why we lain this story on Shavuos. We contemplate the situation of Elimelech, Na’ami and their children. They were wealthy and prestigious, leaders of their people, yet when economic circumstances in Eretz Yisroel worsened and they were faced with many requests for help, they opted to leave. They had it all, but they were lacking one thing: rachmonus. Because they didn’t emulate their Creator - mah Hu rachum, af atoh rachum and their hearts and fists were shut tight, they lost everything. They closed their ears to the Torah’s mandate of vehechezakta bo and turned their backs on the flow of blessing and thus, became destitute. Theirs was a tale of riches to rags, prominence to anonymity and anguish. Contrast that with the account of Rus. A giyores, driven by her pure heart to join Klal Yisroel, she was widowed and poor

nothing, had everything. They held fast to their middos, as Chazal say, “Lo shinu es shemom, lo shinu es leshonam, lo shinu es malbushom..” They adapted to a life of servitude and endured, because they put much effort into maintaining their identifying characteristics. This is reinforced by the Haggadah Shel Pesach, which states, “Vayehi shom legoy - melameid shehoyu metzuyonim shom.” Their middos sustained them. During the hot summer of 1959, a woman crossing a street in Bnei Brak was struck by a car and killed. A large crowd immediately gathered. On her Teudat Zahut, the identifying papers that every Israeli carries at all times, were her name and address in the city of Cholon. Someone was dispatched to notify the woman’s family of her tragic fate. In the meantime, activists moved the body to a cool room to maintain and protect kavod hameis. The police arrived as well, eager to take the body for an autopsy. It was a time of great friction between the Torah camp and the chilonim in Eretz Yisroel. It seemed like every hospital had a pathology department anxious to study the bodies of the deceased. One of the most

ALL OF US, IN OUR LIVES, WHEREVER WE ARE AND WHATEVER WE DO, CAN BE SHLUCHEI MITZVAH LIKE RAV YISROEL. and she was forced to beg for food. She lost it all, but she retained her middos, refinement and modesty. And she ended up with everything! The grains that she gathered in the fields of Boaz were the seeds of her own success, as she ultimately married him and gave birth to the lineage of Dovid Hamelech and Moshiach. A nation of slaves was rushed out of Mitzrayim, yet they were blessed b’rechush gadol. They stood at Har Sinai much like Rus stood before Boaz, dedicated and committed to live with Hashem and His Torah. Like her, they had it all. They, too, in the depths of their affliction, when it appeared that they had

prominent physicians in the country had made headlines by announcing, “To bury a complete body is a waste: cheating medical science.” When the messengers returned from Cholon with the news that the woman had lived alone, a poor immigrant with neither family nor friends, rabbonim ruled that she was a meis mitzvah. A huge crowd of talmidei chachomim formed, reciting Tehillim around the body. The police called for reinforcements, making clear their intention to seize the body. The locals responded in kind, drawing a huge crowd of bochurim, who encircled the meis and said Tehillim. Once the woman had a status of meis mitzvah, they

insisted, she belonged to all of them. They were the next of kin and they would not let her go. For a few hours, it seemed like a war was imminent, but, eventually, the policemen realized that it was a losing battle and they left. The unknown woman was prepared for burial and thousands of mourners accompanied her through Bnei Brak, stopping near each shul to recite Kaddish. A resourceful young man decided to follow up on the story and find out the woman’s background. There had to be something in the history of this anonymous individual that could explain why she had merited such an impressive kavod acharon. The man discovered that she came from the town of Kossova, birthplace of the Chazon Ish, and his sister, who married Rav Yisroel Yaakov Kanievsky – the Steipler Gaon. Rav Chaim Kanievsky asked his mother if she remembered the woman. Rebbetzin Kanievsky recalled that she came from a family that had no connection with Yiddishkeit and didn’t even fast on Yom Kippur. They had been completely irreligious. The curious talmid chochom continued his investigation and found an old woman who had arrived in Israel from Poland following the Holocaust. She told him that she remembered the woman from the wartime ghetto, where they had lived together in a tiny apartment. She recalled that the woman spent the dark days searching out bodies of Yidden who had died, either of starvation or by the Nazi bullet, and brought them to kever Yisroel. The meis mitzvah who merited the levayah and kevurah of a tzadeikes earned her final recognition through her acts of greatness. Imagine a Polish war survivor living in poverty in Cholon with no acquaintances or friends. She has nothing. She is struck down by a car and killed. What a tragedy! And then, thousands come out and say Tehillim, recite Kaddish, and accompany her body. She has everything. She performed chessed shel emes, kindness that endures, and it endured for her. So, she lived with nothing, yet died with everything. In our times, along with the assault on decency and values, middos, refinement,


of the reasons is that Torah provides a person with the ability to desist, to withstand temptations, to rise above negative middos and stop - la’atzor - his natural inclination. Torah is the tool we use to remain sublime, elevated and refined. Humility is our calling card. Ostentation and the pursuit of honor and glory are anathema to our goals. If we view ourselves as lacking, we can grow and have it all, but if we become conceited and view ourselves as accomplished, we risk squandering everything. Remaining connected to Har Sinai also means remembering why that mountain was chosen as the location to deliver the Torah to the Jewish people. Hakadosh Boruch Hu overlooked towering peaks and soaring crests, instead selecting a humble mountain on which to transmit his treasure to the Chosen People. He chose as his messenger Moshe Rabbeinu, the humblest of men. The late rosh yeshiva of Tchebin, Rav Avrohom Genechovsky, once reflected on the famed success of Rav Shmuel Rozovsky as Ponovezher rosh yeshiva. “Do you know why Rav Shmuel has become the maggid shiur to a generation of maggidei shiur? Do you know why he is zocheh to be quoted by them and their talmidim, and why his Torah is blessed with such chein?” Rav Avrohom shared a memory. He’d been a bochur in Ponovezh just after its founding. Alongside the yeshiva, the Ponovezher Rov had established a bais yesomim, a home for the many war orphans. The children had classes and activities during the day, designed to educate them and rehabilitate them emotionally. “What they were missing was a tatte, a father to review with them at night what they had learned that day,” recalled Rav Avrohom. He recounted that every evening, Rav Shmuel Rozovsky would arrive at the orphanage and sit with the children, reviewing in a sing-song voice, ‘Kometz

MAY 20, 2015

and sets off for Yerushalayim. When he arrives there, he meets up with a kohein and approaches the mizbei’ach in the Bais Hamikdosh to liturgically recall the trials Yaakov Avinu endured, followed by the account of our forefathers’ suffering in Mitzrayim. He then relates how Hashem rescued us with scores of miracles and led us to the Promised Land, which flows with milk and honey. Following that climactic event, the Jew presents the first fruits of his labors and returns home. He is then ready for the next part of the mitzvah, “Vesomachta bechol hatov,” the obligation to rejoice, “with all the goodness Hashem, your G-d, has given you and your household.” The obligation to be thankful for the blessings Hashem has bestowed upon us, and to contrast that goodness with the difficult time that preceded it, appears to be the key to true happiness. Once again, we see this interface: The Jew brings a single fruit, seemingly nothing, yet it’s symbolic of Hashem’s goodness, which is everything. Bechol hatov. We have to constantly scrutinize our actions, always aiming to improve. We begin by stating, “Arami oveid avi,” and recalling the slavery in Mitzrayim and times when it appeared that we had nothing. Then we recall Hakadosh Boruch Hu’s mercy and kindness in accepting our prayers and rescuing us from those awful situations. A man looks out at his orchard through the winter, viewing his barren trees with trepidation. He doesn’t know if they will ever bear fruit again. And then spring arrives and his fears turn to joy as he views the blossoms emerging. He sees Hashem’s blessing on the way, as his tree fills with blooms. This is the message of Shavuos, the day when the people who a few months ago had nothing, now have everything. Shavuos is referred to as Atzeres. One

alef, oh. Kometz bais, boh.” This would continue until the Ponovezher Rov would arrive to bid the children good night, telling Rav Shmuel, “Ihr kent tzurik gein in bais medrash. I’ll take over.” “Can you imagine how pleasing Rav Shmuel’s Torah was when he went back to the bais medrash?” exclaimed Rav Genechovsky. “The special chein of his learning with the Aibishter’s kinderlach stamped his learning through the night and made it so beloved to his own eventual talmidim.” With humility, kindness and love, Rav Shmuel ended up with everything. Not only was he blessed, but those poor children who arrived in Eretz Yisroel with nothing - no possessions, no family, and, it seemed, no future - were blessed with everything thanks to the Torah giant who took them under his wing. That has always been the mark of Torah. On Shavuos, we reaffirm our commitment to Torah and its ways, accepting it with gratitude and joy and reminding ourselves of what Torah living really entails. During the period in which Rav Yisroel Salanter lived in Paris to spread Torah there, he once fell down a long flight of stairs, lost consciousness, and suffered serious wounds. He miraculously recovered after a few days. He later related that even as he was falling, he was not scared. “I was living in Paris only to do Hashem’s work, with no ulterior motives or benefits. I knew that I wouldn’t be harmed.” All of us, in our lives, wherever we are and whatever we do, can be shluchei mitzvah like Rav Yisroel. We can act altruistically, not looking at what’s in it for us, but for what we can do to help others. We can act with the Torah, and not our egos or wallets, as our guide. We can remember our roots, our destiny, and why we are here, and ensure that every action we take causes a kiddush Hashem. If we are as fortunate to live as Rus did, as good Jews have lived throughout the years, and as the humble farmer riding his donkey to Yerushalayim with his basket of fruits did, cleaving to the Torah and its lessons, we will be blessed as well. Kol halomeid Torah lishmah zocheh l’devorim harbei. With everything.


tznius, modesty and gentleness are all seen as archaic values. The media and the surrounding culture condition people to respect those who are “hip” and “out there.” Arrogance and intemperance are hailed as virtues. We have to remember why we were created and what our mission is. We are on the brink of welcoming Moshiach, but the only way we can merit his arrival is if we conduct ourselves as our forefathers in Mitzrayim did, holding steadfast to our core values and character traits that make us great. We must not fall prey to the vagaries of the moment. Even as we build and improve our yeshivos, mosdos and organizations, we must remain cognizant of our goals. With caring and love, we must ensure that we do not dilute that which makes us great or take refuge in the land of easy excuses for inaction. We must treat each child as if he were our own and treat our own as we wish to be treated ourselves. In good times and in those of difficulty, we should never give up hope and never turn to hatred and rancor. Human excellence should be our goal and motivator in all we do. The way we conduct ourselves, with middos tovos, is the prerequisite for the Torah. Those values ought to govern the language we speak and the way we act, as well as what lies unspoken but is felt in our hearts and minds. Rav Chaim Vital famously asks why, if good middos are so important, there is no specific commandant in the Torah to behave properly. He answers that the Torah was only given to baalei middos, those who display a tzelem Elokim. Middos are the hakdamah, the prerequisite, making one worthy of the Torah. This, explains the Maharal, is what is meant by “Atem kruyin adam.” Adam Harishon embodied the properties of tzelem Elokim, as the Mishnah says, “Choviv adam shenivra betzelem.” However, when he sinned, Adam fell from the lofty plateau. Tzuras ha’adam had been defiled. Then, at Mattan Torah, man returned to those original heights of tzelem Elokim. Thus, Chazal states that only you, Yisroel, are referred to as adam, because only you, Yisroel, protect and project the tzelem Elokim, once you have received the Torah. The refinement of Rus led her to return to the peak. Thus, we read her story on the day we commemorate the reintroduction of Heavenly dimensions to human beings. On this day, as a people, we rose to our original heights. On this day, every individual has the potential to raise themselves in Hashem’s image. Perhaps, with this understanding, we can glean insight into another of the mitzvos hayom. Shavuos is the day upon which Jews would bring the korban of Bikkurim. After months of toiling in his orchard, a Jew reaps the first fruits of his harvest



by Chana Zauderer, illustrated by Mary Abadi (Feldheim 2015)


by Sara Miriam Gross (Menucha Publishers 2014)

Reviewed by Rebecca Klempner


MAY 20, 2015


Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions




Like many Jewish Angelenos, I know Chana Zauderer in her capacity as an English studies principal at Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn. Her career as a teacher and school administrator has spanned a couple decades. Now, Mrs. Zauderer can add the job title “author” to her resumé, since Feld-

Junior published two well-received fiction columns by Ms. Gross, first “Lemonade Girls” and then “Best Friends Forever.” Menucha Publishers combined those stories with new material featuring the same characters and published them as a book late last year.

heim recently published her first picture book, Avigail. Avigail is the littlest child in her family, the last to do anything, and always dressed in hand-me-downs previously worn by her three older sisters. Naturally, she feels somewhat put-upon. If you weren’t an Avigail growing up, you certainly knew one. When Avigail’s youngest aunt arrives to borrow the wedding dress her mother wore many years before, the girl’s perspective on being “last” and getting the “leftovers” changes. Mrs. Zauderer couches this educational message in adorable rhyming text that will remind some readers of a certain other, secular picture book about another girl who was the littlest. Illustrator Mary Abadi clearly took her cue from this: the illustrations will remind readers of Madeleine in several places. The book does, however, put an original spin on the set-up. Avigail won my kids over instantly, and I enjoyed it very much, as well. On my favorite page, page 29, Avigail and her sisters doze off on the way home from Aunt Mindy’s wedding. Ms. Abadi painted in the dreams of each girl borrowing the same wedding dress on their own big day. Any parent who has seen the twinkles in their daughter’s eyes after attending a wedding will understand why this picture appealed to me so much. Avigail is available in Jewish bookstores throughout L.A., as well as online. I recommend it for ages 3 through 7. Older readers might want to check out Sara Miriam Gross’s Lemonade Girls Forever! A couple years back, Mishpacha

The Lemonade Girls are four friends, Chavi, Devorah, Shiffy, and Avigayil. Together, they strive to turn the “lemons” Hashem sends their way into lemonade. Their misadventures include separation from neighborhood friends when attending different schools, coping with the chronic loss of school supplies, and the last-minute breakage of Chavi’s family’s shmura matzah. The second half of the book focuses more on Chavi and Devorah and less on the other two girls. I actually preferred these stories. They held more hilarity and plot twists, particularly “Pen Pal Pandemonium,” in which Devorah decides that if she wants to receive mail, she’d better start sending out some. She reasons that the more letters she sends to pen pals, the more letters she’ll get in her mailbox, so she keeps writing one letter after another. Pretty soon, she discovers that the more letters she finds in the mail, the more she’ll have to reply! While reading that chapter, I had one of those moments when you read the main character doing something you know will lead to trouble and then wish you could stop her before it’s too late! Readers 7 to 10 will find the lighthearted adventures of Chavi, Devorah, Shiffy, and Avigayil entertaining, and the short, largely self-contained chapters make perfect bite-sized servings for Shabbos afternoons or long summer days. However, more sophisticated readers might find themselves wanting a bit more depth and detail than they’ll find in the book. You’ll find Lemonade Girls Forever! both online and in Jewish bookstores.

MAY 20, 2015

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The Shock and the Aftershocks of the Nepal Earthquake; a Personal Account Ruth Judah

On April 26th, during morning prayers at Chabad house in Kathmandu, a powerful 7.8 earthquake struck. It was a particularly violent earthquake. Reports confirm a staggering 8,000 killed and 17,000 injured. “The buildings in Nepal shook, the wind was blowing buildings like paper in the air. Houses are unsafe and the electricity is out,” reported Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, Chabad representative to the country, to-

the multitude of first round aftershocks were dwarfed by a massive 7.2 tremor. Although a quarter as strong as the initial jolt, the May 12th quake caused new loss of life and destruction. Mansour Kohanteb, 67 years old and an excellent hiker, lives in Orange County and was visiting Nepal at the time of the first earthquake. His son, Dr. Arash Kohanteb, is an ER doctor who had suggested

Image of an avalanche heading to one of the base camps on Mount Everest

gether with his wife Chani. “The sight is horrific - many are walking around with open wounds.” The epicenter was near Mount Everest Base Camp, a popular tourist site for post-Army Israelis trekking the Himalayas, but the quake was felt throughout the country and further beyond. Before the earthquake, Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, was a delightful city, although it was a city with poor building codes, potholed streets, narrow pathways, open garbage areas and white cows that roamed at will. The effects of this earthquake on an already impoverished country have been dramatic. More than 1,000 Jews visit Nepal for the annual Seder and there were estimated to be more than 500 Israelis in Nepal at the time, as well as Jews from other countries. Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately announced that, “Israel’s top priority is to locate and extricate Israelis in distress and to help them return safely to Israel.” Indeed, the first plane to reach Israel returned 338 Israelis and 25 infants, less than 2 days after the earthquake. There were many other tourists in the country at the time, various nationalities; trekkers and adventure travelers. Along with the 28 million who live in Nepal, everyone faced chaos and danger in a country because so little has changed over the last 50 years. As if to mock further, nature showed its power again on May 12th, when

mountains. The weather was so poor that our plane couldn’t take off, so we waited with a Dutch family of five, and we were all so frustrated by the wait, but now I see this was a miracle as the delay kept us out of the worst areas. We finally decided to take a three day break until the storm passed. We went south to Chitwan National Park, then finally, we returned to catch our flight and we reached Lukla. Lukla

Israeli tourists at the Chabad House in Nepal

the trip. They decided to make the trek to Everest base camp because it was an experience that would bring, they imagined, a connection to nature and mountains and a magical culture. Now back in Orange County, Kohanteb spoke with The Jewish Home about his extraordinary time. “It was an experience I will never forget, but I don’t wish it on anyone. It was a trip full of miracles and in retrospect I recognize more and more of them. We arrived in Nepal about a week before the earthquake. We were trying to reach the tiny airport of Lukla, which is in the

offers a starting point for a hike that for us would have been a twelve day round trip to Everest Base Camp. “For two days we had been hiking through areas of steep mountain cliffs and occasional meadows of flat grassland. An Israeli walker passed us as we climbed the mountain on the third day. He was walking faster than everyone and we were impressed with his immense strength and fitness. A porter took our backpacks ahead of us, so we had only our day backpack when we went for lunch at a small trailside inn. We finished eating and were slinging

Monsour at the start of the trek up the mountain, two days prior to the earthquake

our daypacks into action when the earthquake hit. “I’ve been in earthquakes before, but this was more severe than any. I told my son we must be at the epicenter. We could not even stand, and had to hold each other. The quake was long, although we managed to get outside. The aftershocks were endless and we could see this little lunch house was on a steep mountainside, on

Offering food to local Nepalese

the edge of a cliff. Rocks were tumbling down; it was very dangerous. “Fortunately we texted my wife and daughter in Orange County. They calmly replied to our text, without having any idea of the severity of the situation, but we were so pleased to have thought to write immediately as it became very difficult to communicate after that. Then, we half-ran back, across unstable paths, to a meadow, an open space that we had passed earlier. There was a tea house, barely standing in the clearing. Many other hikers arrived here and we were all scared because giant boulders were falling down the cliffs ahead of us and trees were being snatched up on the way and we had nothing to protect ourselves. Half the little café was destroyed, but the restaurant was made of wood and it was still standing. “The owner, a kind Nepalese woman, offered her dining hall for us to stay overnight. We decided it was far too dangerous to hike down the mountain on the first day and we stayed together the rest of the day. Later, my son went to the small villages dotted all around, to see if he could help people who might be injured. At one home there was a man with a severe laceration to his head, but my son didn’t have his first aid kit because our porter had it with him. He came back to our impromptu camp and asked everyone to lay out any supplies they had with them and everyone


was pleased to offer their first aid kits. “The strange thing about human beings is how they come together in difficult times. It was this closeness that we saw as everyone disregarded nationality, religion and language. It was tense but we functioned as a wonderful family. We all thought the same way. It was too cold to sleep outside, perhaps zero degrees, but the dining room could fit us all, so we filled it with mattresses so there was shelter for the night. The Nepalese owner unnecessarily apologized for not giving us a menu and instead she made spaghetti for everyone to eat for dinner. I can say that it was the very best meal I have ever eaten! “The aftershocks were still severe and we were vulnerable and far from home and I knew that we had to have faith. There is a time when logic is no good. Once you

people. We went to the Lukla hospital and it was partly damaged and had no X-ray so there was really nothing my son could do there. Then we spoke with a group of three Jewish New Yorkers and also with a group of Israelis and everyone was discussing ways to leave. Suddenly, one of the Israe-

One of the base camps hit by an avalanche

accept that bottom line truth, that faith is all there is, and you firmly believe in it and you know it’s true, everything is easier to handle. “The next day, after a broken night because of the aftershocks, we had an oatmeal breakfast and most people left to brave the dangerous descent. We thought it unwise because there were so many shocks so we remained for 3 more days. Later, some villagers brought a food package to my son because they were appreciative that he had been to help them. It was food that had first been given to their temple. We didn’t want it because we thought they need it more than we do, but they insisted and were hurt by our rejection, so we took it to show them respect. “Finally, we decided we had to make our way down to Lukla and to the airport. We arrived to a scene of utter chaos. There were a team of Israelis who were searching for the speed walking hiker whom we had passed before. Back in Orange County we heard that they eventually found his body; he was way up the mountain. Sometimes you don’t know what waits ahead, but there he was running towards his appointment with fate and destiny. It was very sad. “The airport at Lukla has a very small capacity per day, there were probably 3,000 or so, all clambering to get a seat on the small planes that could hold about 14

lis gave word that Chabad had charted a place and would fly people to Kathmandu! “I texted my wife to contact our Chabad Rabbi in Mission Viejo as he knows us. She reached him and he became very active in trying to reach Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz in Nepal! Finally we met Yehuda, a young, brilliant man, who was organizing the plane for Chabad. I told him we were from LA and he said he had received all our messages and we were on the list for two of the seats on the plane. That was another miracle. They didn’t charge us anything and soon we landed in Kathmandu, yet this was even more disorganized than Lukla. “We made our way to Chabad house and it wasn’t like a normal Chabad house

Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, Chabad Nepal, in a borrowed helicoptor searching for those stranded by the earthquake

because Rabbi Chezki’s kids had been sent to Israel on the first plane that left after the earthquake. It’s not often that I visit a Chabad house without kids! Rebbetzin Chani was about to visit a neighborhood

Rescuing stranded climbers

and we kept asking people if they knew what had happened to them. No-one had any news and we knew they had planned to hike for 20 days so we were very worried. On our last day in Nepal we were walking up a small street and we saw them coming towards us. This was amazing! This was

MDA evacuated newborn Israeli babies and their parents from Nepal to Israel

that needed food, blankets and supplies so we went along in case there was a need for medical help. The atmosphere was incredible. “In contrast to the chaos on the streets, the Israeli contingency at Chabad house were completely calm. You could tell that Israelis are used to rough conditions and they were relaxed and accepting, especially compared to us. I asked an Israeli how quickly he would get home and he laughed at me and said his trip was not over, he was going to India. Israelis are more experienced, especially in their twenties. They’ve seen more, they’ve been trained in preparedness. It shows. “We were worried about the Dutch family who had met earlier in the trip and we never saw them after the earthquake

like the feeling of the closest family and we were very emotional. In situations like this you find a very close connection with people who you would previously never have bonded with. “The Dutch family had contacted their embassy and had been told to get to the airport in Kathmandu for a plane chartered by the Dutch government for a flight on May 4th. The Israelis had organized evacuation for every Israeli, and the Indian government had made arrangements to evacuate citizens. “We visited the IDF field hospital in Kathmandu. We were overwhelmed by the setup; there was a surgery tent and a full set up of the most advanced equipment, it was as modern and efficient as any hospital. The team was leaving within the next couple of days, but they immediately returned after the second earthquake on May 12th. We were so proud of Israel. The best thing that ever happened to the Jewish people was to have that country. Israel changes all the time, the infrastructure and the innovation. Such a stark contrast to the immense poverty in Nepal. Nepal is so beautiful and so poor while the people are phenomenal and yet they have so little. Now, after these earthquakes, they have even less. I’m still traumatized from the experience, but I learned much and one of the things was the value of humanity; the Nepalese are the very kindest people.”


MAY 20, 2015


Natural Colors and Flavors



THET JEWISH HOME MAY 20, 2015 H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 9 , 2014

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Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.

TJH Staff

How We Outsmart our Genes


hat’s who I am,” he said. “Look, that’s my personality. I can’t help it,” she said. “I know it’s not nice,” he said. “I know I shouldn’t do it, but my whole family is like that. That’s just the way we Greenfields are.” Is he? Is she? Are you? Really? If you think that the way you are is etched in stone and there is no way you can change, then let me ask you a question: Are you exactly the same as you were ten years ago? Twenty? See? I thought you’d say that. We absolutely do change. What’s more, we are supposed to. Wrong holiday, but you know that’s what teshuvah is all about. What’s that you’re saying? That we can change a little but to a large extent, we are governed by our genes – and we have no control over them? In order to answer that properly— and being that Shavuos is upon us— let’s take a detour first into the Giving of the Torah. The study of genetics is quite fascinating in light of the Second Commandment, which, according to the Arscroll translation is, in part: “I am Hashem, your G-d, a jealous G-d, Who visits the sin of the fathers upon children to the third and fourth generation, for My enemies; but Who shows kindness for thousands of generations to those who love Me and observe My commandments” (Shemos, 20:5-6 and Devorim, 5:9-10; briefly also in Bamidbar, 14:18). Haven’t you ever wondered how it works out that sinners are only punished for three or four generations while those who love Hashem are treated well for thousands? There’s a huge gap there. From a genetic point of view, this is impossible. If a trait is passed down and you can’t help it, you can’t help it; it is built into every cell of your body. Except if it’s a no-no. To understand how this could possibly work, you have to understand the change process. You also have to understand the learning process. Yes, a newborn baby will have certain traits: Some are good eaters, some are good sleepers. I was blessed with babies who weren’t either one. Oh, well. But those babies have two parents who interact with them, and if they’re lucky, grand-

parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, all of whom bring their own idiosyncratic gene pools into the mix. And so a process of socialization occurs through all sorts of random interactions in which the baby’s natural tendencies are challenged by the efforts of those around them. Who that child

Where do I start on this journey? So they, too, struggle. But in His kindness, G-d said, “You know what? These people want something better. They want to know Me. They want to connect. I’m going to make an absolute miracle. According to My laws of nature, one generation

ARE YOU EXACTLY THE SAME AS YOU WERE TEN YEARS AGO? becomes will be a combination of nature and nurture. It is very difficult for a person to overcome his history and his nature. A person born into a family who have shown him how to “do depression” by reacting to life as victims will find it nearly impossible to escape this and be cheerful. How can another person, born into a family that looks down on people who don’t think as they do, change so as to accept and respect differences? How can a person who was unsupervised growing up and who therefore learned devious ways of “earning” money, learn to hold himself to a higher standard? In all cases, the answer is that it is difficult. And here is where Hashem literally changed His own rules of nature. We are looking at how very strong the pull of what you are used to is. We are looking at how natural it is for a person to believe deep inside, “This is who I am and I can’t change.” Of course they can but they don’t know where to begin. They don’t have the genetics, the education, the guidance, the supervision, the socialization to do so. No nature, no nurture. They stumble; they make feeble attempts. Their children are also bewildered:

should hand down to the next the same old genes, the same old cultural norms. And then every generation should be like the one that preceded it. Sure they have free choice, but with the impact of their genetics and environment, they keep on making the same lousy choices! But when I see My people trying, even if they are making a poor job of it, I’m going to cut them some slack. I will abridge these laws of nature for them: They will only be left stumbling around in the dark for three, or at the very most, four generations.” That is G-d’s chessed to us, maybe the biggest chessed we could get. It is as if G-d Himself stood on the Scale and tipped it in our favor. What, exactly, does that mean? What is happening behind the scenes so as to re-write the laws of nature? Actually, He didn’t. Instead, He included a mechanism that would alter the effects of nature and nurture. That mechanism would also be perfectly natural. Just like genes and acculturation, it would be part of nature, too. However, it would alter what seems invariant. In that way, we could never again get away with, “This is who I am.” That mechanism is bechira chofshis. It alters everything. And it is part of nature. The way it works is incredibly powerful and it explains why a ba’al te-

shuvah is considered to stand at a higher level than someone who always did strive to connect with his Master. Here is how it works: A person only needs to turn around just enough to orient himself toward Hashem. He was turned away, so his Creator was turned away from him. Now he adjusts his position. He does something small. For example, he decides to learn one mishnah of Pirkei Avos every morning and think about it during his busy day. Or she decides to select a time to daven, quietly with full attention. Or he actually listens to the Rabbi’s Shabbos morning drasha instead of sleeping in shul. One small thing. Small, indeed, but it is like plugging into a high-voltage outlet. Suddenly, one is connected! Connected to the Source! What should have taken generations to change by the nature and nurture rules, can change in a flash through making this simple decision which defies your genes and your upbringing. Once connected to the Source of all things, you have the capacity, the energy, the will, the hope, the belief that you can change the rest. You can change shyness, awkwardness, depression, anxiety, abuse, pain. It all begins with a decision. You see, I can give you tools all day – that’s my job – but they only work when you make the decision that they will. Hashem smiled at you and wiped away three or four generations of blindly being dictated by nature and nurture. It wasn’t a miracle after all. It was your decision to make a change. And that process was built into the rules, too.

Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist best-selling of The Dr. Deband Hirschorn is aauthor marriage & Healing Mutual:and Marriage Empowerment family Is therapist best selling author Tools to Rebuild Trust Respect—Togethof The Healing Isand Mutual: Marriage er, is proud to announce readers ofTrust The Empowerment Tools that to Rebuild Jewish Home willPlease receive visit a $50www.drdeb. discount on and Respect. every to her Woodmere office. Listen to com visit for further info. her new show called “Kids and Parents” on Chazaq Radio live from 3-4 on Thursdays. The call in phone number is 718-285-9132. Attend the Food For Thought lectures at Cravingz Cafe, 410 Central Ave, Cedarhurst, on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Any questions, call 646-54-DRDEB or check out her website at http://drdeb.com.


110 m ay 1 4 , 2013

The Courage of the Harel Brigade


he Israeli War of Independence which was established on April 16, in 1948-49 was a struggle for 1948. The brigade consisted of about a tiny, fledgling country to sur- 1,400 soldiers originally from Palmach vive against enormous odds. She was units, and they were divided into three attacked by sevbattalions. Israel eral countries couldn’t afford that had powto provide the erful armies time for forand wanted mal training, war, unlike and they didn’t most countries need it anywhich were ways, so they sick of war at were sent to the the time. front lines right There were away. two types of Immediateexperienced ly after their soldiers in the formation, they newly created were given their IDF—Machal first assignment. volunteers from The mission was abroad and Palmach to assist in Operaveterans. While the tion Nachshon, which Machal soldiers helped had begun on April the country survive, it 5. They were to capture was the former Palmach the roads near Yerushalaymen and women that im and break through The insignia of the Brigade formed the backbone the Arab defenses. Arab of the army. One of the patrols weren’t letting units that were created from Palmach truck convoys with vital supplies and veterans was the Harel Brigade under food for the starving city pass on the the command of a future prime min- roads. The brigade, along with units ister. from Givati Brigade, opened the roads The Palmach was the military and pushed towards Yerushalayim. arm of the Haganah during the Brit- The Arabs weren’t organized properly and their villages were taken over by the Israelis. The Arab leader was killed and the mission was for the most part a success even though not all the supplies made it through. More missions were required to help break the siege around Yerushalayim. Immediately after Operation Rabin (left) was put in charge of the Harel Brigade Nachshon, the ish mandate. Several notable person- brigade partook in Operation Yevusi. alities served in their ranks including The objective was to capture villages Yitzchak Rabin. He became the first around Yerushalayim in the two weeks commander of the Harel (10th) Brigade prior to the declaration of the state. In

gade died fighting in the War of Independence. The Harel Brigade remained as a permanent unit in the IDF. They fought during the Suez Crisis in 1956, and three years later, they trained to become an armored brigade. They were used in this capacity during the Six Day War in 1967. Tanks from the brigade were vital in the capture of Radar Hill and Kever Shmuel, and they fought in one of the few tank battles that took place after WWII. Three Jordanian tanks were knocked out by the M-50 tanks from Harel Brigade, and members of the Harel Brigade in the ruins of a village in 1948 they captured key positions at Mivtar of the battle took place at Katamon, Hill, French Hill, Neve Yaakov and and the brigade lost 19 men. The Brit- Ramallah before reaching Yericho ish declared a ceasefire, and the Jews north of Yerushalayim. The Harel Brigade is still active in couldn’t complete the operation. Still, they conquered important neighbor- the IDF Reserve, and they were called up in the Yom Kippur hoods and acquired War as well the 1982 food for the starving and 2006 Lebanon Jewish population of Wars. They are part of the city. the much larger IsraThe brigade then el Defense Forces and participated in the with their courageousOperation Maccabi ness, they went from around Latrun to rea ragtag group in the open roads to YerushaPalmach to a force to layim. They succeeded be reckoned with that in opening up part of all Jews and Israelis the road and went into can be proud of and apthe Jewish Quarter of preciate. Without them the Old City. However, it is doubtful that any the overall operation part of Yerushalayim failed as the Jordaniwould have been capans retained control of Rafael Eitan, commander tured before the 1967. East Yerushalayim and o f the 4th Battalion of the the Old City including Harel Brigade in 1948 the Kosel. Several battles were fought to capture Latrun but they failed. These included Operations Danny and Horev in which the Harel Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to Heiligman is a contributor Jewish Home. He welcomes your comBrigade participated. For Operation The Avi to The Home. future He welcomes andJewish suggestions.for columns Danny, Yitzhak Rabin was promoted ments your cancomments andat suggestions.for be reached aviheiligman@ to the deputy commander for the op- and future columns and can be reached at eration which included four brigades. gmail.com. Altogether, 274 members of the bri- aviheiligman@gmail.com. the first week of the battle, the fighting was concentrated near Kever Shmuel with the brigade losing 33 men. They moved onto another village before the British intervened and declared it a demilitarized zone. The second week

MAY 20, 2015

The Jewish home n

avi heiligman


Forgotten Heroes




MAY 20, 2015



Notable Quotes

Compiled by Nate Davis Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say“Say What?” What?” A lot of folks like to joke about the odd couple that was Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, but I think Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama may have them outdone. I had to warn reporters not to faint last week before offering the president some praise on trade. I’m even getting handwritten notes from the president these days. He sent one the other day to thank me for supporting the nomination of Loretta Lynch. - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-WI) noting a thaw in his longtime adversarial relationship with the president

Give me the ball and get out of the way. - LeBron James to teammates before hitting a buzzer-beating threepointer to win game four of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

I love free speech, but what I see in Pam Geller’s behavior is causing people to lose their focus on free speech as the essential right of American life – instead they are focusing on her antics because she engaged in gratuitous offensive behavior that led to the deaths of two people. - Juan Williams on Fox News (The “two people” that “died” were ISIS terrorists who were killed when they tried shooting up a gathering of people who were present at the Muhammed cartoon contest organized by Pam Geller)


We deeply apologize for causing trouble to many people over the naming of the first baby [monkey]. We take these opinions seriously. - A Japanese zoo’s apology after being criticized for naming a baby monkey Charlotte after the newborn British princess A zoo in Japan had to issue an apology today because of the name they gave a newborn monkey. They named her Charlotte after the new royal baby in England. The zoo was flooded with angry calls and emails. Can you imagine calling a zoo to complain about what they named a monkey? – Jimmy Kimmel When you think about it, this monkey will be fed and housed in comfort for the rest of its life. The only thing it has to do is get looked at by people. It’s the same thing that a member of the royal family does. – Ibid. The zoo has apologized and they are going to consult the British embassy to find out what to do about it. Meanwhile, if you remember, William and Kate named their first kid after Curious George, which is a monkey by the way. – Ibid.

Good, bad, indifferent, there are a lot of people that don’t like Tom Brady, and I’m OK with that. Like I said, I have teammates that I love and support that love and support me. I have fans, I have family. I’m very blessed. - Tom Brady, in an interview with Jim Gray

Every member of “The Price Is Right” studio audience has a chance to be selected to play. Prizes are determined in advance of the show and are not decided based on the contestants. - A rep for the CBS show, “The Price Is Right,” after a wheelchairbound double amputee won a treadmill on the show

I am happy we chose principles and not portfolios. What’s being built is not a national camp, but a government that smacks of opportunism…This government has no intention of overthrowing the Hamas regime - Avigdor Liberman announcing that the Yisrael Beytenu party will not join the new Israeli government

The birth certificate of the royal baby lists her parents’ occupations as being “the prince and princess of the United Kingdom.” It says that under occupation, which I guess sounds better than “unemployed.” – Conan O’Brien



He’s my friend, he’ll always be my friend. I don’t know what happened, I don’t have much more than that for you. - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning when asked about Tom Brady being implicated in “Deflategate” The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else. - President Obama in an interview with Yahoo! News, calling out Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for being a vocal opponent of an international trade deal that he is pushing I think the president was disrespectful to her by the way he did that...made this more personal. I think referring to her as her first name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps…I’ve said enough. - Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), criticizing President Obama’s treatment of Senator Warren

It obviously was a provocation. But this is America. Do we not have the right to draw whatever we want? [To blame Pamela Geller for the violence] assumes that we just have to accept that Muslims are unable to control themselves the way we would ask everyone else in the world. To me that’s bigotry. That’s the soft bigotry of low expectations. - Bill Maher, HBO, defending the right of Pamela Geller to hold the Muhammed cartoon contest A lot of people outside New York City understand what happened in the first year of New York City better than the people in New York City. But I’m convinced something very special happened here. - Mayor Bill De Blasio in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine I mean, for G-d’s sake, when there was a critical op-ed in The New York Times about Goldman Sachs, he went to Goldman and gave a pep talk to the employees! When a struggling school was having troubles in East New York, he didn’t go there and give a pep talk. - Ibid, talking about the perception that NYC Mayor Bloomberg was rich enough to not be beholden to money interests

I agree that he was good at selling himself, and a lot of media over-accepted his version of the story. So, yeah, do you give him credit for figuring out a way to get more credit than he deserves? Sure, if that’s credit. - Ibid., dismissing the notion that former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani deserves the bulk of the credit for restoring order and safety to the city

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced that it raised over $1.5 million in the 24 hours after he announced his bid. Meanwhile, a 12-year-old on Kickstarter just raised $7 million in five minutes after announcing his idea for juice box water guns. – Jimmy Fallon Many American companies do not offer paid leave after the birth of a child, which means they probably shouldn’t run sappy Mother’s Day ads. - John Oliver The 89-year-old queen of England met her new greatgranddaughter for the first time. Both cried a little, burped, and then fell asleep. – Conan O’Brien

As potentially the first African-American first lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman? - First Lady Michelle Obama in her commencement address at Tuskegee University, describing the trials and tribulations she believes she has faced as the first African-American first lady

A holistic doctor has developed a trick to help you fall asleep in 60 seconds. The doctor says all it takes is $99 and a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch. – Conan O’Brien

In New Hampshire, a 95-yearold World War II veteran successfully defended himself against a mugger by hitting him with his cane. The veteran will now face Floyd Mayweather next Saturday on pay-per-view. – Conan O’Brien You still don’t believe me? No it’s me! Okay, give me a test ... Ask me about anything. - President Obama to Patricia Church when he called to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and she said that she didn’t believe that it was actually the president on the line with her Happy Mother’s Day. Yesterday, President Obama personally called three mothers who had written him letters recently. Man, do I feel sorry for any of their kids who forgot to call. – Seth Myers I would have and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got… So just for the news flash to the world: if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those. - Jeb Bush on Fox News, stating that he would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq just like his brother, George W. Bush, did

MAY 20, 2015

I wonder if any aspirant for the presidency except Hillary Clinton could survive such a book [Clinton Cash]. I suspect she can because the Clintons are unique in the annals of American politics: They are protected from charges of corruption by their reputation for corruption. It’s not news anymore. They’re like … Bonnie and Clyde go on a spree, hold up a bunch of banks, it causes a sensation, there’s a trial, and they’re acquitted. They walk out of the courthouse, get in a car, rob a bank, get hauled in, complain they’re being picked on—“Why are you always following us?”—and again, not guilty. They rob the next bank and no one cares. “That’s just Bonnie and Clyde doing what Bonnie and Clyde do. No one else cares, why should I?” - Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal




MAY 20, 2015


The Dead Sea Scrolls in Los Angeles Yehudis Litvak

For the next few months, Los Angeles residents will have a unique opportunity to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and other artifacts from both the First and the Second Temple periods. Previously hosted by Discovery Times Square in New York City, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, and several other U. S. locations, this display of the largest Dead Sea Scrolls collection outside of Israel is now hosted by the California Science Center.The Dead

suddenly had the feeling that I was privileged by destiny to gaze upon a Hebrew Scroll which had not been read for more than 2,000 years.” Soon both Bedouin treasure hunters

Dead Sea Scrolls on display in Amman, Jordan

Sea Scrolls, were discovered in 1947 in a cave in Qumran, near the Dead Sea. A young Bedouin shepherd was following a stray goat when he saw an opening leading to a cave. He threw a rock inside and was surprised to hear the sounds of pottery shattering. On entering the cave he saw several large earthenware vessels full of scroll fragments. He took some scrolls with him and sold them to an antiquities dealer, who urged him to get more. The first scrolls were sold to the Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem. Soon other antiquities dealers became involved, and the word spread. When Professor Eliezer Lipa Sukenik of the Hebrew University heard about the scrolls, he was determined to investigate their significance, despite the ongoing political tensions at the time. He secretly met with an Armenian dealer in a British military zone, and later traveled with the dealer to Bethlehem to see the scrolls for himself. Holding the twothousand-year-old parchment fragments proved to be a profound experience. Professor Sukenik wrote in his diary, “My hands shook as I started to unwrap one of them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms, but the text was unknown to me. I looked and looked, and I

and professional archeologists set out to explore the Qumran caves in search of additional scrolls. Eventually, eleven caves containing scroll fragments were found. In total, the caves contained close to 900 scrolls, written between 2nd century BCE and 2nd century CE, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Most of the scrolls are written on parchment, some on papyrus, and one on metal. Most are written in Hebrew, in a script similar to the one we use today. Several scrolls are written in paleo-Hebrew, an ancient Hebrew script used in the First Temple period. About 15% of the scrolls are in Aramaic, and several are in Greek. The scrolls contain both Biblical and non-Biblical texts. The Biblical texts include every book of the Tanach, except for Megillas Esther (though other documents found contain references to Megillas Esther). The scrolls also include Tefillin and mezuzos. Some of the Aramaic and Greek texts are translations of parts of the Tanach. The non-Biblical texts include: apocrypha – religious texts not included in the Tanach, such the books of Ben Sirah and Tobit; calendrical texts that contain precise calculations of Jewish holidays

and the schedule of Temple services; midrash-like commentaries on Tanach and halacha and retelling of stories found in Tanach. There are historical texts; prayers and poetry; works that offer practical advice about daily life as well as legal

gue there is no connection,” says Dr. David Bibas, a curator at the California Science Center. The scrolls might have been hidden in the caves by refugees from Jerusalem escaping Roman persecution. Some scholars believe that the scrolls, written by many different people, were collected in a library over a period of several centuries. Others believe that the scrolls were written and hidden in caves by the Essenes, a Jewish sect living in Qumran

matters and “sectarian texts” – rules and regulations that governed the community where these texts were originally written and used. The scrolls also contain letters and legal documents, such as marriage contracts, land deeds, and bills of sale. For the next forty years after the scrolls’ discovery a small international team of scholars studied the scroll fragments, assembling them a little at a time, like a puzzle. Publication of the scrolls was a slow and drawn out process, and the scrolls’ content was accessible only to the select few. In the early 1990s, the Israel Antiquities Authority took steps to expedite the publication and today all the scrolls are available to the public and may be viewed, in high resolution, at the website maintained by the Israel Antiquities Authority, www.deadseascrolls.org.il. Over the years, the Dead Sea Scrolls triggered many heated debates among scholars. The main question, of who wrote the scrolls, remains a controversy. Still now, archeologists are hard at work in Qumran, discovering new evidence that could shed light on the connection between the scrolls and the people who lived in that region two thousand years ago. “Some ar-

towards the end of the Second Temple period. Rabbi Avraham Lieberman, a historian and Head of YULA Girls’ School, describes the Essenes as pious and learned. They were strict in matters of halacha, and especially in matters of ritual purity. Many Essenes did not get married, choosing to dedicate themselves to Torah study instead. They lived in a commune, sharing their possessions. Women had their own commune. They went to the mikva every day, davened three times a day, and spent much of their time learning. They were also sofrim who copied Torah texts. It is not clear whether they had to do other work to support themselves. Josephus spent two years with the Essenes and thought highly of them, says Rabbi Lieberman. In his writings, Josephus praises their piety and devotion to G-d. He writes, “It also deserves our admiration, how much they exceed all other men that addict themselves to virtue, and this in righteousness; and indeed to such a degree, that as it hath never appeared among any other man… it endured a long while among them. This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs which will not suffer anything to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of his own wealth than he who hath nothing at all. There


are about four thousand men that live in this way, and neither marry wives, nor are desirous to keep servants…” (Jewish Antiquities, translated by William Whiston, Wordsworth Editions 2006, page 775). One of the scrolls, called Manual of Discipline or Community Rule, details the rules that each potential member of the community was required to accept upon themselves in order to join. The members are enjoined, “to seek G-d; to do what is good and right before Him, as He commanded through Moses and through all His servants, the prophets; and to love everything that He has chosen, and to hate everything that He has rejected; to keep far from every evil and to cling to every good deed; and to practice truth and righteousness and justice in the land; and to walk no more in the stubbornness of a guilty heart and of lustful eyes so as to do any evil.” (English translation by William Hugh Brownlee, published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research in 1951.) The manual continues to delineate communal rules, including not speaking angrily, resolving grievances and avoiding bearing grudges, dining together, remaining awake for a third of the nights of the year to learn, avoiding improper speech and slander, and others. Overall, the community required exceptionally high levels in both piety and interpersonal conduct. The Essenes made their home in Qumran because they wanted to separate themselves from the corruption taking place in Jerusalem and in the Beis Hamikdash. Rabbi Lieberman explains that their description of corruption is consistent with the account found in the Gemara. Chazal tell us that in those times, kehuna was bought and kohanim gedolim were far from righteous. The Essenes chose to move far enough away so that they wouldn’t be obligated to visit the Beis Hamikdash. There are a number of letters from the people of Qumran, addressed to the Kohen Gadol in Jerusalem, where they agree to return to Jerusalem on the condition that the Jerusalemites accept twenty two halachos listed in the letters. The halachos are mostly consistent with normative halacha as accepted today. Apparently, the Kohen Gadol did not accept this condition, as the Essenes never returned. The community was destroyed by the Romans prior to the

destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash, in 68 CE. Archeological finds show that Qumran was burnt to the ground, according to Professor Lawrence Schiffman of New York University. The scrolls, however, carefully hidden in the caves of Qumran, escaped Roman persecution and remained untouched until the young Bedouin’s discovery in 1947. The dark caves preserved their precious cargo remarkably well. But the frequent, and often rough, handling of the scrolls once they were removed from the caves caused some damage. Some researchers used scotch tape to glue scroll fragments together, or put them under a glass pane that applied pressure to the scrolls. Even simple exposure to light was damaging to the ancient parchment. Now that the scrolls have been deciphered and published the bulk of the current research focuses on reversing the damage and conserving the scrolls for another two thousand years, says Dr. Bibas. California Science Center takes great care to protect the scrolls at the exhibit. They are displayed in a climate-controlled, dimly lit room, with minimal light exposure. After three months, the scrolls currently on exhibit will be put in storage for five years in Israel. They will be replaced by other scrolls from the Israeli collection. The transportation of the scrolls between Israel and Los Angles is no simple matter. They are transported in specially designed climate controlled capsules, brought into the airplane cabin, two at a time, by specially appointed couriers. The exhibit will remain in Los Angeles for six months, through September 7th. It is off to a good start, says Dr. Bibas, attracting many visitors since its opening in March. The Science Center brings a unique scientific perspective to the Dead Sea Scrolls, illustrating the science involved in the research, such as DNA analysis of different pieces of parchment to determine which fragments came from the same animal. Besides the scrolls, the exhibit also features many other artifacts that paint a picture of life in the times of the Beis Hamikdash. Some of them are sadly reminiscent of what we read in the Tanach, such as household altars and figurines that were popular during the first Beis Hamikdash, or the stones and arrowheads used by the

Babylonians when they occupied Eretz Yisrael. Artifacts from the time of the second Beis Hamikdash are more benign, such as pottery, sandals, and other household objects. Most of them were found in Qumran or Masada. A large stone, found in the excavations at the base of the Western Wall, is on display. It is believed to have toppled during the Roman siege preceding the destruction. Dr. Bibas encourages everyone to visit the exhibit. “It is a unique opportunity to be in the presence of two-thousand-yearold artifacts,” he says. While the exhibit is

Two of the scrolls in the Qumran Caves

popular among all segments of Los Angeles residents, it is especially significant for us as religious Jews. “The scrolls are the greatest proofs to our mesorah,” noted Rabbi Lieberman. “Exactly what Chazal said is right there.” He explains that the scrolls found in the Qumran caves are almost identical to our text of the Tanach, with the only differences being in spelling of some of the words – malei vs. chaser. These are the oldest copies of Torah that we have, and the text stayed exactly the same throughout thousands of years.


MAY 20, 2015


Travel Guide: Connecticut Aaron Feigenbaum

Connecticut’s most popular tourist destination, was established as a separate colony in 1638. The New England Confederation of 1643 linked together the Connecticut, New Haven, Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies in a mutual defense pact. The British government granted Connecticut a royal charter merged with New Haven. Though the colonial governor of Connecticut was fiercely anti-British, the colony saw relatively little fighting in the American Revolution. Connecticut became one of the first states to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1799. Connecticut’s economy in the early 19th century was mainly based on shipping, but this changed when the Embargo Act of 1807, and devastation caused by the War of 1812, crippled Connecticut’s ports and shipyards. Instead, the state turned to manufacturing and wildly succeeded in this area. Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin and a key contributor to the Industrial Revolution, manufactured his invention in Connecticut in 1793. Connecticut had already abolished slavery by the time of the Civil War and so The GREAT Barrier Reef • The GREAT Wall of China was a strong Union The GREAT Outback • The GREAT Ocean Road • GREAT Inspiration & Speakers supporter, sendGREAT Shabbosim in Melbourne, Shanghai and Hong Kong ing about 60,000 troops to fight for GREAT Five-Star Accommodations • GREAT Catered Mehadrin Meals the cause. The post-war years saw an influx of European immigration and economic boom until the Great DeTHE GREAT Rabbi Rabbi pression. Like in JEWISH TOUR many other states, Mordechai Yaakov OF the economy was Becher Lehrfield July 7-16, 2015 revived by munitions manufacturing during WWII. THE MAGNIFICENT The first nucleSCENIC SPLENDOR AND ar-powered submaJEWISH LIFE OF rine was launched at Groton in 1954, August 3-13, 2015 and Connecticut remained a miliFOR INFORMATION PLEASE CALL MIRIAM SCHREIBER AT tary manufacturing hub throughout the 773-583-0590 OR 224-735-0015 Cold War. With the LEGACYKOSHER@AOL.COM growth of tourism, finance and real es-

Connecticut is often viewed as a stepping stone on the way to New York or Boston, but those who belittle its splendor are missing out on some of New England’s most spectacular sights. Connecticut’s laid-back lifestyle, scenic roads, reconstructed Colonial villages, and maritime heritage have earned this State the nickname of “New England’s front porch.” Don’t think that means there’s no excitement. New Haven and Yale University are two of the region’s most vibrant destinations with plenty of shops, museums and other interesting attractions for the whole family. Connecticut may be one of America’s smallest states, but it has all the charm and history of New England without excessive crowds or hassle. As the old truism

goes, big things come in small packages. History Connecticut was inhabited by Algonquian tribes prior to European settlement. The first Europeans to arrive, were the group headed by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, who traveled the Connecticut River in 1614. The Dutch presence in Connecticut was short-lived as English settlers began to push out the Dutch starting in 1632. Connecticut’s main inhabitants in the 17th century were Puritan émigrés from the Massachusetts Bay Company. They established successful settlements and trading posts. However, their presence was resented by Pequot Indians, who were defeated in the brief Pequot War of 1637. New Haven, now






tate, Connecticut is now one of the wealthiest states in the country. Attractions New Haven: Known as the “Cultural Capital of Connecticut,” New Haven is a sophisticated, dynamic college metropolis that dates back to the 17th century. It was here that Yale University, one of the most prestigious colleges in the world, was established in 1701, and it has been the prime tourist attraction ever since. Yale has numerous world-class museums. One of these is the Peabody Museum of Natural History, one of the oldest of its kind in the world. The eclectic displays here include wildlife dioramas, Japanese samurai artifacts and moon rocks. The Yale Art Gallery has an amazingly diverse collection representing global cultures. Its thousands of items range from prehistoric art to famous modern painters including Picasso, Degas and Van Gogh. And the best part is that it’s free! Even if that hasn’t quenched your thirst for the arts, you can find more excitement at the Yale Center for British Art, which contains the largest collection of British art outside the U.K. There may not be many famous paintings here, but the ones that are on display are definitely impressive enough. Besides paintings: sculptures, manuscripts, books and prints, are other important parts of the center’s vast collection. Complementing the two art museums is the equally spectacular Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The building’s unique modern architecture adds luster to the priceless works housed within. Some of the world’s most prominent intellectuals and authors are represented including Benjamin Franklin, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and more. A few of the most visually pleasing documents on display are John Audubon’s brilliantly illustrated, “The Birds of America,” and the enigmatic Voynich manuscript. Also be sure to check out Yale’s massive Sterling Memorial Library. Over 4 million volumes are kept within its walls. The building’s intricate and elaborate decoration is reason enough to visit, but of course the main draw is the incredible collection of books and manuscripts. From the diplomatic papers of Henry Kissinger to ancient Babylonian cuneiform to the Holocaust Video Archive, one could spend hours here and still not see even a tenth of all the library has to offer. Once you’re done at Yale, take a break from the hustle and bustle of the campus and head to the beautiful Lighthouse Point Park. Not only does it have one of the state’s most iconic lighthouses, but it also has a picnic area and old-fashioned carousel for the kids. Hartford: Connecticut’s capital is perhaps most famous as the birthplace of Mark Twain’s beloved fictional characters Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Indeed, Mark Twain’s House and Museum is the most visited attraction in the city. This beautiful, painstakingly restored Victorian house is where Twain lived from 1874 to 1891, and


Hartford, CT

is where he wrote some of his most famous works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Nearby is fellow author, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house. She was responsible for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, one of the preeminent anti-slavery novels in American literature. The castle-like Wadsworth Atheneum was once home to artist Daniel Wadsworth and is now an art museum housing his works along with many others. Besides Wadsworth, some of the most famous artists represented here include Dali, Picasso and Caravaggio. The Connecticut Science Center is a great family attraction in Hartford. Current exhibits let visitors fly into a virtual black hole, feel sound, take control of the first ever Mars Flyover and more. The lavishly appointed Connecticut State Capitol building is certain to leave an impression on visitors. Free tours take you through its beautiful domed center and Colonial-style legislative room. Norwalk: Located just one hour from New York City, Norwalk is a quaint little town that holds one of the state’s biggest attractions - namely, the Maritime Aquarium. Sharks, stingrays, seals, jellyfish and crocodiles are just some of the fascinating creatures on display here. Kids will love the stingray and jellyfish touch tanks. The museum also has an IMAX theater that is currently playing films about the Great White Shark, the lemurs of Madagascar and humpback whales. An excellent outdoors adventure is the Sheffield Island Lighthouse and Nature Trail. From May through September, visitors can hop aboard the Norwalk Seaport Association’s boat to the island and get unparalleled views of the Long Island Sound. The interior of the lighthouse is a museum that details the lighthouse’s almost two-century history. Mystic: This charming town on the coast, truly embodies the maritime culture of New England. The famous Mystic Seaport is a recreation of a traditional New England fishing village and needs a considerable amount of time to fully explore. The grounds cover 19 acres and include a working shipyard, 19th-century style village and many historic

ships. One of the highlights of the ship collection is the majestic Charles W. Morgan, the world’s oldest merchant ship and last wooden whaling ship in the world. A little-known ship docked at Mystic is the tiny Gerda III. It was originally a lighthouse support vessel but was then used by the Danish in WWII to smuggle about 300 Jews to Sweden. The shipyard is one of the most interesting parts of the Seaport. You can learn about traditional shipbuilding techniques and see a full recreation of the slave ship La Amistad (featured in the Spielberg movie Amistad). Costumed actors demonstrate maritime skills such as rescuing sailors from a damaged ship, setting square sails and whaling. The nearby Treworgy Planetarium explains how 19th-century sailors used the stars to navigate. Another must-see attraction in Mystic is the Mystic Aquarium. Besides the extraordinary collection of creatures in the aquarium itself, including rare beluga whales and stellar sea lions, the main highlight of this renowned institution is the Ocean Exploration Center, which is dedicated to Dr. Robert Ballard’s exploration of the Black Sea and the wreck of the Titanic. On the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, three years ago, the museum opened up a special exhibit that takes you right into the moment where Ballard made history. Through imagery, soundscapes, hands-on activities and more, you can be right there with Ballard in 1985 as he discovered the legendary vessel on the bottom of the Atlantic. Another aspect of the Center is the daily live deep sea exploration shows featuring the Nautilus explorer. After you’re done at the Aquarium, step outside to the historic Olde Mistick Village for some top-notch boutique shopping. Daven and Eat Connecticut has a large number of Orthodox shuls. These include Chabad of Yale (chabadyale.org/203-498-9770), Westville Shul in New Haven (westvilleshul.org/203389-9513), Beth David Shul in Hartford (bethdavidwh.org/860-236-1241) and others. For a complete listing visit http://www. maven.co.il/synagogues/C3304RA. Connecticut also has many high quality kosher restaurants and markets. Some of the highlights are Edge of the Woods in New

Haven (a combination bakery, restaurant and tearoom) and The Crown Market in Hartford. A full listing can be found at the Kosher database at www.shmash.org. Getting There Flights from LAX to Hartford currently start around $350 per person round trip, and flights to New Haven can be found for approximately $500. Amtrak to Hartford starts

at around $270, and the same trip to New Haven is approximately $300 per person round trip. Greyhound tickets to Hartford or New Haven start at $500. Driving from Los Angeles to either Hartford or New Haven takes about 43 hours and covers a distance of almost 3,000 miles. (Sources: Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, Wikitravel)

Brooklyn: 1981 Coney Island Avenue I 718.382.6500 Five Towns: 311 Central Avenue I 516.569.9690 Lakewood: 242 4th street I 732.987.4621


MAY 20, 2015


Global Grave Discovery at Lithuanian Power Plant

Giedruis Sakalauskas made a chilling discovery when he noticed that an electrical substation in the center of Vilnius, Lithuania, was built with granite blocks instead of regular bricks. Upon closer examination, he discovered that dozens of those stones had Hebrew or Yiddish inscriptions. “I touched the stones and I realized that they’re really gravestones,” he related.

And he had a strong hunch about where they came from: Across the street there used to be a Jewish cemetery that was demolished in the 1960s when Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union. Sakalauskas posted pictures of his discovery on social media, setting off an emotional discussion about a dark chapter in Lithuania’s history that didn’t end when a Nazi occupation was replaced by a Soviet one in 1944. Lithuania’s once-vibrant Jewish community was nearly annihilated by the Nazis and the few who survived found little sympathy from their new communist rulers. “Hitler wanted to destroy Jews physically,” said Simonas Gurevicius, whose family escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to Russia and returned to Lithuania after the war. “Stalin came, and he wanted to destroy the whole memory of the Jewish people, making sure that nothing will stay.” The etchings on the substation are hard to spot unless you know what you are looking for. They’re only visible in the gaps where the slabs overlay each other. Archaeologists confirmed this week that the electrical substation was built with tombstones pilfered from a Jewish cemetery. Vilinius Mayor Remigijus Simasius said he’s already asked the utility compa-

Honoring Our Traditions

nies that own the substation, which feeds electricity to thousands of homes, to find a way to move them to a “proper resting place.” But many are questioning if this discovery ends here. How many other structures are built with Jewish tombstones, and why only now is it coming to light—25 years after Lithuania declared independence? In fact, this is not the first discovery of Jewish graves being desecrated. In the 1990s, authorities removed steps leading up to the Tauro hill, one of the highest points in Vilnius, after finding out they were made with stones taken from a Jewish graveyard. The mayor said two other cases are being investigated: the steps leading up to the Reformed Evangelical Church in Vilnius — which was turned into a movie theater by the Communists — and a wall outside a high school in the city. “This Soviet-era legacy is a disgrace for our city,” Simasius said. “Monuments must be respected. We are talking to the Jewish community to find a proper solution.” The issue has touched a raw nerve in a country that has been accused of not confronting the role some Lithuanians played in killing Jews during the 1941-44 Nazi occupation. More than 90 percent of Lithuania’s prewar Jewish population of 240,000 was killed. With Jewish life all but eradicated from Vilnius, Jewish cemeteries were seen as “easily accessible and free building material” during the Soviet era, Jurgita Verbickiene, a historian at Vilnius University, pointed out.

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publican Army (IRA). In a statement issued ahead of the visit, Adams referred to Charles using his title as colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, which he said was responsible for a number of deaths during the Northern Ireland conflict known as “The Troubles.” “But he [Charles] also has been bereaved by the actions of republicans,” said Adams, the veteran leader of the Sinn Fein party, which was the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). “Thankfully the conflict is over. But there remains unresolved injustices. These must be rectified and a healing process developed. There is a responsibility on us all to promote reconciliation and seek to promote healing,” he added. There’s a deep conflict between the two. The IRA blew up a boat carrying Charles’ godfather and great-uncle Lord Mountbatten off the west coast of Ireland in 1979, in one of the most high-profile assassinations during three decades of sectarian unrest that killed 3,500 people. The 79-year-old royal was killed along with two relatives and Paul Maxwell, a 14-yearold local boy, who worked on the fishing boat. On Wednesday, the British royal was expected to travel to the rugged stretch of coastline near where the killing took place in Mullaghmore, becoming the first royal to do so on a visit that palace aides have said is aimed at promoting “peace and reconciliation.” The heir to the throne had a close relationship with his godfather and the visit will be an emotional one for him. Mountbatten’s grandson, Timothy Knatchbull, who survived the blast, is also expected to attend, along with Peter McHugh, a local resident who helped pull bodies from the sea. Adams and other senior Sinn Fein members boycotted Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Ireland in 2011, the first by a British monarch since the future Republic of Ireland gained independence from Britain in 1922. But Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a member of Sinn Fein who was an IRA commander in the 1970s, later shook hands with the queen during her visit to Belfast in 2012.

It was an historic visit on Tuesday: Prince Charles became the first British royal to meet with Northern Irish republican leader Gerry Adams. The meeting was held to promote peace and reconciliation between the two nations. At an event in Galway in western Ireland, the heir to the British throne shook hands with the head of the Sinn Fein party, the former political wing of the Irish Re-






Iran Already Caught Breaking the Rules

tracked another nuclear procurement network for Tehran. Under an interim deal struck between world powers and Iran, the Islamic Republic agreed to scale back its nuclear activities, including stopping higher levels of enrichment, in exchange for a negotiated relief to international sanctions. Israel and several Arab states have criticized the emerging deal. The U.S. and other negotiating powers have said Iran has complied with the conditions set by the interim deal. A final nuclear deal is scheduled to be set at the end of June.

Israel Hezbollah Replenishing Rocket Arsenals

MAY 20, 2015

Czech officials have discovered that the Iranian government has attempted to purchase technology that can be used in its nuclear program using false documentation. The move is in direct violation of international sanctions. After Iran’s attempt, the Czech were able to prevent the sale, according to the latest annual report of the UN Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee. The incident is likely to reinforce

concerns that the Iranian regime may not adhere to a major nuclear deal Tehran is negotiating with world powers. The report details Iran’s attempt to purchase compressors manufactured by the Prague-based American-owned company Howden CKD Compressors using a “false end user.” “The procurer and transport company involved in the deal had provided false documentation in order to hide the origins, movement and destination of the consignment with the intention of bypassing export controls and sanctions,” the report said. Compressors of certain types — the exact type of compressor being purchased has not been reported — are useful in the uranium enrichment process required to produce both nuclear energy, and at higher levels of enrichment, also nuclear weapons. The contract was valued at $61 million. The parties attempting to make the purchase said the compressors were “needed for a compressor station, such as the kind used to transport natural gas from one relay station to another,” according to a Czech official. According to the UN panel, the Czech incident wasn’t the only piece of evidence Tehran is actively seeking to circumvent sanctions. Britain, the report said, had


Rapoport finally received her well-deserved PhD when she passed her PhD defense exam 77 years after she completed her thesis on diphtheria. The German neonatologist is 102-years-old. Syllm-Rapoport had been refused entrance to the oral exam in 1938 by the Nazi authorities because her mother was Jewish. “This is about principle, not about me,” she told the Daily Tagesspiegel over the weekend. “I did not defend the work for my own sake; that whole situation was not easy for me at 102 years old. I did it for the victims. The university wanted to make amends for wrongs and has shown great patience, for which I am grateful.” She immigrated to the United States in 1938 and was required to study for two additional years to be certified as a doctor, despite graduating from a German medical school. She married in 1946 and the couple returned to Germany after her husband was persecuted by anti-Communist efforts during the McCarthy era. Syllm-Rapoport retired in 1973 from Berlin’s renowned Charite Hospital as a full professor of pediatrics and head of the Neonatology Department. She will receive her doctoral certificate on June 9.


MAY 20, 2015


According to the Israeli intelligence committee, Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group, has built up a huge arsenal of nearly 100,000 short range rockets and other advanced weapons. Civilians within range of Shi’ite villages in southern Lebanon are being told they are at risk if war breaks out. Several thousand of the missiles can reportedly reach Tel Aviv and central Israel while hundreds more may be able to strike the entire country. Most of the weapons have been transferred to Lebanon through war-torn Syria, coming from Hezbollah’s key allies, the Syrian government and Iran. An official showed reporters satellite photos of what Israeli intelligence believes are Hezbollah positions in dozens of Shiite villages in southern Lebanon. The photos were marked with dozens of red icons, signaling what are believed to be missile launchers, arms depots, underground tunnels and command posts. One photo showed the village of Muhaybib, with a population of around 1,000 people and 90 buildings, of which more than a third had been marked as Hezbollah assets. In the larger village of Shaqra, with some 4,000 people, Israeli intelligence identified Hezbollah targets in around 400 out of some 1,200 buildings. If war breaks out and Hezbollah fires missiles at Israel, these buildings will be

targeted by Israel’s air force, the official said, adding that Israel would give civilians time to evacuate. Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war in 2006 that killed some 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis and caused heavy damage to Lebanon’s infrastructure. Though another Israel-Hezbollah war is always possible, analysts say the group has no interest in renewing hostilities while it is busy fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces against rebels trying to topple him in Syria.

Bus Stop Attack Injures 4 Four students were injured in a terrorist attack in the West Bank after a vehicle drove into a bus stop on Thursday afternoon. The attack occurred outside the Alon Shvut settlement, south of Jerusalem, at the site of a similar fatal attack in November. The deputy head of the Etzion settlement bloc council Moshe Savil said that the driver came from the direction of nearby Kfar Etzion. “He crossed the highway and with great force struck a group of students who were waiting for the bus,” he said. The black Subaru escaped from the scene but a suspect was arrested a short

while later and was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning. Muhammed Arfaaya, 22, a Palestinian resident of Hebron, admitted to perpetrating the attack. One person was seriously injured, another moderately, and two more lightly hurt in the incident. All four were evacuated to a nearby Jerusalem hospital. The victims are between 16 and 25 years old. Savil added in a statement made at the scene of the attack, “I call on the army and security forces to return security to the settlement bloc, to increase security, to restrict the entrance of Palestinians to areas with large groups of people like this.” “This is a hard day for the Etzion settlement bloc. This junction has experienced many tough incidents,” Savil said, referring to an attack that occurred near the junction where a Palestinian driver ran into a bus stop, running over Israeli Dalia Lemkus, 26, and then stabbing her to death. There have been a spate of vehicular terror attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem since the fall.

How Educated are Israeli Children? In a major education report that was

published this week, Israeli schoolchildren came in at 39th out of 76 nations, according to standardized test scores. Asian nations led the rankings, published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with Singapore taking first place, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taipei. European nations were next in line, with Finland at sixth place followed by Estonia, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The OECD issued a special warning about the decline of Sweden in the rankings. The Scandinavian country now places at 35th place, four slots ahead of Israel. The U.S. ranks 28th on the list; Britain is 20th. The report uses a new method for scoring international tests such as PISA and TIMSS that created a shared standard for comparing diverse countries’ performance across multiple tests. “This is the first time we have a truly global scale of the quality of education,” OECD education director Andreas Schleicher said of the report. “The idea is to give more countries—rich and poor—access to comparing themselves against the world’s education leaders, to discover their relative strengths and weaknesses, and to see what the long-term economic gains from improved quality in schooling could be for them.” The report was prepared for the World


In a truly miraculous story, a Chassidish woman of 65 gave birth to a healthy baby boy this week. Chaya Sarah Shachar became a mother for the first time at the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. The ecstatic parents had been trying to have children for over 45 years. Shachar and her husband, Shmuel, had unsuccessfully tried to have children since they were married at the ages of 19 and 21, respectively. The couple had sought fertility treatments as well as blessings from religious figures. The proud parents, who are affiliated with the Nadvorna Chasidic dynasty, attributed the “miracle” to a blessing from their rebbe, who died three years ago.

National Lamaze Co-Founder Dies at 100 Elisabeth Bing was an expert in her field; she revolutionized childbirth in the U.S. Last Friday, the pioneer Lamaze instructor passed away at the age of 100 in her New York home. Bing was born Elisabeth Dorothea Koenigsberger in a Berlin suburb in 1914 to Jewish parents. Her family immigrated to England in the 1930s. In London, she studied physiotherapy, and among her patients were women in maternity wards who were confined to bed for as long as 10 days after childbirth. Bing was disturbed that women were being sedated during childbirth and having little or no control over the birthing process. During WWII, Bing pursued the study of natural childbirth while working as an ambulance driver. The turning point of her career came in 1949, when she visited her sister living in the U.S. During her visit she came up with the idea of helping obstetricians who were not knowledgeable about childbirth at the time. Bing wound up remaining in the U.S. and developing her practice in New York after meeting and marrying Fred Max

Where Have all the Good Bees Gone? According to a federal survey, more than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year. Perhaps most surprisingly was that the worst dieoff was in the summer. Since April 2014, beekeepers lost 42.1 percent of their colonies, the second highest loss rate in nine years, according to an annual survey conducted by a bee partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“What we’re seeing with this bee problem is just a loud signal that there’s some bad things happening with our agro-ecosystems,” said study co-author Keith Delaplane at the University of Georgia. “We just happen to notice it with the honeybee because they are so easy to count.” That doesn’t mean bees are about to become endangered. After a colony dies, beekeepers split their surviving colonies, start new ones, and the numbers go back up again, said Delaplane and study co-author Dennis van Engelsdorp of the University of Maryland. What truly had entomologists stumped was the season of all the dying hives; it is much more common for bees to die in the winter than in the summer. Seeing massive colony losses in summer is like seeing “a higher rate of flu deaths in the summer than winter,” van Engelsdorp said. “You just don’t expect colonies to die at this rate in the summer.” The places with the most prevalent bee deaths are Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin; all those states had more than 60 percent of their hives die since April 2014, according to the report. Scientists say that a mixture of mites, poor nutrition and pesticides are to blame for the bee deaths.

That’s Odd How White is White? It’s a matter of color. There are many issues that can split up a town. This one, though, is making waves—waves of color. Minneha Township is building a wall along East Central, east of K-96, in front of the Southern Village subdivision. The township board plans to paint the wall bright white, the same color it painted the



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Police detectives in Kibbutz Shoval were shocked to discover 13 rifles, including automatic weapons, in the home of an elderly woman. The officers were conducting a weapons search after receiving a tipoff that unauthorized guns were being held in the area of the northern Negev. When they arrived at the woman’s home, they asked her if she was storing any weapons in her house, and she assured them she wasn’t. But Police decided to carry out a search anyway and found an arsenal in her attic— including AK-47s, an air rifle, a Czech-made rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, a Mauser handgun, Berettas, flares, as well as ammunition for all of the weapons. The entire stash was confiscated and sent to the Netivot police station. The woman, in her 80s, told police the guns had belonged to her late husband but she was adamant that she didn’t know he had kept them in the house. Superintendent Menny Ohayon of the Netivot police explained that police had heard that an “illegal weapon” was being used somewhere in the vicinity of the kibbutz. “After some legwork, we located the house and officers went in to look for the gun. To their surprise, they found a whole stash in the attic, with many weapons above and beyond the specific gun they were looking for. “In the stash, there was even one weapon from British Mandate days,” Ohayon said. “The rest of the weapons were usable and manufactured in recent decades. Among others, we found four AK-47 assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, a Czech rifle, five Beretta handguns, a Mauser hand gun, a Tommy gun and a flare gun. We also found a silencer, cartridges, telescope sights and enough ammo that a whole Is-

Miracle Baby Born to 65-Year-Old

Bing. She began by coaching local expectant parents in the studio she ran on the main floor of her Upper West Side apartment building. Eventually she evolved into one of the best-known faces of the natural childbirth movement in the United States, promoting and teaching what she preferred to call “educated childbirth.” Soon after that in 1951 about, Mount Sinai Hospital approached her about teaching at its newly opened maternity ward. She became the clinical assistant professor at New York Medical College in the 1960’s. Eventually, she and Marjorie Karmel established the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics, now known as Lamaze International, to inform the public of the natural childbirth approach developed by the French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze. Although Bing encouraged women to depend on relaxation techniques to cope with labor pains, she did not discount the option of using anesthesia when necessary. “You certainly must not feel any guilt or sense or failure if you require some medication, or if you experience discomfort,” she wrote in her 1967 book “Six Practical Lessons for an Easier Childbirth.” Ironically, she herself received an epidural when she gave birth at age 40 to her only son Peter.





MAY 20, 2015

Widow’s Weapons Cache

rael Defense Forces platoon wouldn’t be ashamed of.”


Education Forum slated to take place in South Korea next week, which will deal with raising global education standards. Titled “Universal Basic Skills: What Countries Stand to Gain,” it argues that universal education in basic skills in math and science will lead to a dramatic economic boon for the countries tested. The Arab world trailed far behind on the list, with one headline in the report noting diplomatically that “high-quality schooling and oil don’t mix easily.” “The high-income non-OECD countries, as a group, would see an added economic value equivalent to almost five times the value of their current GDP – if they equipped all students with at least basic skills. So there is an important message for countries rich in natural resources: the wealth that lies hidden in the undeveloped skills of their populations is far greater than what they now reap by extracting wealth from natural resources,” the report pointed out.


MAY 20, 2015


walls in front of two nearby subdivisions, all bordering the southern edge of Crestview Country Club. But their wishes to paint the walls white are raising the ire of many members of the homeowners association who want it painted off-white to match the color of the subdivision’s decade-old entryway. White or off-white? That seems to be the question and the issue has many of its residents showing their true colors. Longtime resident and homeowners association officer Bob McGrath has led the charge after learning about the color of paint. He dubs it “stark white.” He polled the subdivision’s residents. He still has forms from 46 of the 55 homes indicating they preferred the off-white, while just three preferred the bright white. The rest had no preference or didn’t respond. Don Gragg, the trustee of Minneha Township, who lives a couple of houses away from McGrath, said the bright white color was set in a meeting last year with the two other subdivisions, and the board just continued it with this project. The paint has already been ordered, he said. The paint and the labor to paint the wall would be about $40,000. John Wells, a Southern Village Homeowners Association board member, ac-

knowledged that the whole thing could seem petty to outsiders. “It may seem a trivial issue,” he said. “It’s not to us. We have to see that every day. We just want it toned down a little.” And they’re not going to whitewash it.

The Cat’s Meow Let’s hear it for Merlin the cat—or maybe we should just hear her. The black and white house cat that belongs to Tracy Westwood of Torquay, England, has set the record for the loudest purr by a domestic cat—measuring at 67.8 decibels. The competition was fierce— Merlin narrowly beat the previous record of 67.68 decibels set in 2011 by Smokey, another British cat. The average house cat’s purr reportedly measures 25 decibels. A normal conversation between people registers between 60 and 70 decibels. Merlin, who is 13 years old, can be so loud that Westwood says she occasionally has to repeat herself in conversation. In a preview clip for “Cats Make You Laugh Out 2,” Westwood said her cat’s purr has previously been measured even louder.

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“When you’re watching films, you have to turn the telly up or put him out of the room. If he’s eating he’ll purr loudly. I can hear him when I’m drying my hair,” she said in a news release from the Guinness Records. “If he’s cleaning, he gets louder. And sometimes if the telephone rings, I do get people asking me what’s that noise in the background. I tell them it’s the cat, but I don’t know if they believe me.” That’s what we call a cat cacophony.

A Toy Sneezer Steve Easton has finally found his toy. He may not want to play with it now, though, considering that he’s 51-years-old and the suction cup from one of his toy darts has been found up his nose. When Steve was about seven years old, his parents noticed that the suction cup was missing and they were concerned that he had either inhaled or swallowed it. But trips to the doctor didn’t reveal anything and Steve was in the clear—or so they thought. In subsequent years, Steve suffered from sniffles and headaches he believed were the result of allergies. But now doctors were proven wrong. More than four decades later, after a particularly powerful sneeze accompanied by what he calls “a very uncomfortable sensation,” the suction cup finally emerged from Steve’s nose. “I started a sneezing fit and it came out of my left nostril,” the British man relates. “I thought, ‘What’s this?’… and pulled out this rubber sucker.” Steve called his mom, who told him about the hospital visit—about which he had apparently forgotten. He’s happy to share this new nose news with anyone who’d like to hear. As you know, the nose knows!

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Leigh Erceg was an athlete who loved NASCAR, a fun-loving woman who worked on a ranch in remote northwestern Colorado. But now the 47-year-old is a changed person. After suffering a traumatic brain injury several years ago, Erceg is a gifted artist and poet. She enjoys spending time puzzling over mathematical equations. And she can “see” sounds and “hear” colors when she listens to music, although she is extremely sensitive to light. She remembers nothing about her prior life. She doesn’t even recognize her own mother. Erceg’s condition is so incredibly rare that it took numerous scientific studies and brain scans to diagnose her with what is

called “savant syndrome.” Savant syndrome is described as vastly enhanced cognitive ability in an area such as art and math. Acquired savant syndrome is when a person isn’t born with the condition, which is the case with Erceg. She also suffers from “synesthesia,” a mixing of senses, where the person can see a sound, or hear a color as a series of numbers and letters. “Leigh is the only woman in the world who has acquired savant syndrome and synesthesia following brain injury that I know of,” said Dr. Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Miami who has been studying her. Erceg’s life changed in 2009 when she fell into a ravine as she was feeding chickens on a ranch she was managing. She suffered catastrophic spine and brain injuries. “I don’t know what type of fall it was but it must have been pretty dramatic,” she relates. “I just remember them saying, ‘Leigh, keep breathing.’ I remember it was a sheriff, and he said, ‘Leigh keep breathing.’ There isn’t pictures, there is just words, ‘Leigh keep breathing.’” Doctors were initially unsure she would ever walk again. What no one knew at the time was that her brain suffered the most severe damage, but in a unique way. Erceg has no memory of her old life, not even her childhood. She relies on Amber Anastasio, who she has been best friends with since the fifth grade, to help her understand who she used to be. In addition to her memories, Erceg also lost her ability to feel emotion, which doctors describe as “flat affect.” She has since learned to smile or chuckle as a response to social cues, but says she doesn’t feel or understand the reaction. She said she was initially misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Leigh was a total extrovert. She was very confident,” Anastasio said of her friend’s former life. “I just know that she is different now. It’s not a bad different. It’s just different. It’s who she is now.” Erceg has a home now filled with mathematical equations and art – her interpretations of how she sees the world. All of her drawings are done with headphones on, music blaring and a Sharpie in hand. When she’s drawing, Erceg said “all the dimensions of the house” run through her mind. “At one point, all theoretical designs come in occupancy of a triangle, of a linear line, of circulations,” she said, describing one of her drawings. “Most people, if you ask them to draw a house or a car, they will start with the outline of the car or house, and they will fill in the windows and door, and the wheels,” Brogaard said. “When you ask Leigh to draw something, she will start with the details. She will start with the windows or the wheels – the details, and fill out that way. She is attending to details before she is attending to the whole.” And although her genius is accidental, she is embracing her new life and trying to piece together what life was life before her new life began.


An Icy Adventure

It’s finally here—the coolest vacation ever. Beginning June 1, tourists to Iceland will be able to walk deep into Europe’s second-largest ice cap glacier via tunnels carved through the ice in a destination called Into the Glacier. Iceland’s newest tourist attraction explores part of the Langjökull Glacier Ice Cap with its vastness of ice that is up to 1,900-feet thick, 31 miles long and up to 12 miles wide. The adventure puts the “ice” in Iceland, as visitors will see magnificent blue ice buried deep beneath the surface. A variety of tours starting at $137 will allow tourists to walk along a 1,312-foot corridor carved through the ice. A few chambers have also been hollowed out along the route with educational exhibits and even a chapel for under ice weddings. It took some time for the idea to get out of the freezer. Baldvin Einarsson and Hallgrímur Örn Arngrímsson thought of the concept in 2010. Instead of taking tourists on tours around and onto the ice, why not take them inside the ice? They combined their passion, energy and drive with science, engineering, finance and political support to build what is thought to be the world’s first and biggest manmade Ice Cap Glacier Ice Cave. According to the Into the Glacier website: “Never before has anyone been able to see the beautiful blue ice at the heart of an Ice Cap Glacier; it is not quite a Jules Verne journey to the center of the earth, or even to the absolute center of the glacier, but it feels like an exciting and magical journey, deep within the glacier, and it is deep enough to reach another world, a world of magnificent, stunning blue ice.” Sounds like the coolest trip ever.

Andrew Lock

When the bride walks around the groom under the whiteness of the chuppah, the chassan will be pleased to know that he is looking his best. Seven times she circles him, and for the previous seven days he has not seen his kallah. Now, he appears to her, a little grand, formidable even, and certainly well dressed. For this, however, a little advice from a menswear professional can make all the difference in how you look and feel on your special day. A timeless ensemble that is chosen and designed with care, will keep wonderful memories forever. Most people don’t expect much of a discussion about color when considering wedding suits because black is the default. Today, you can take a moment to consider a more flattering shade, such as midnight blue, which can both complement and brighten facial features, eyes, and skin tones in a way that black fabric cannot. The oft-dismissed blue appears darker and crisper than black under fluorescent and photo lights. A true midnight blue is so dark that most would assume it is black unless compared directly to a black fabric. Despite being less traditional, the right hue exudes sophistication and elegance at even the most formal affairs. Certainly, a midnight blue tuxedo for an upscale wedding is a tasteful and timeless choice. Today, a tuxedo should offer a perfect fit with its design rooted in tradition. You cannot be mistaken for a waiter at your own wedding. Always choose a peak or shawl lapel of appropriate width, a one or two button jacket with the fastening button set low, straight jetted pockets, and either no vent or side vents in the back. A traditional tuxedo ensemble also includes a cummerbund as well as a self-tied bowtie made of grosgrain or satin to match the lapel. If you choose to forego the cummerbund, a low cut vest is appropriate as well. Otherwise, try to keep the tuxedo buttoned when possible, so that the waist of your trousers does not show. For a more traditional one or two button wedding suit, a notch or peak lapels provide elegant additions. This leads to extremely important advice; avoid gimmicks! Your goal should be to wear the most elegant suit that highlights your personal style and taste. Stay within the scope of classic style and you cannot go wrong. Do you like notch lapels? Great! Prefer a more comfortable fit

than what is currently en vogue? No problem, as long as the suit has a nice shape. Don’t like to wear a belt? Perfect! Use side adjusters. Want inch wide lapels, slanted buttonholes on your sleeves, and two colored buttonholes on your lapel? Perhaps it is time to rethink your priorities. The final choices are based on the fact that a groom should never wear a suit that he might regret when he returns to the photo album some years down the line. Tuxedo and suit wearers should pair their outfits with a solid stark white shirt. A little texture may be a nice touch, but try to avoid a heavy texture on both. Point collars visually narrow the wearer’s face, while spread collars appear to widen the face but allow for wider tie knots. Opt for a collar that balances out the shape of your face regardless of style. The cuffs of your wedding shirt should be comfortable, but tight enough that they don’t slide over your hands or get caught in the sleeve opening, particularly in more modern slim-fitting suits. Choosing barrel versus French cuffs are a matter of choice, although French cuffs are more formal and should be worn when wearing a tuxedo. If you have the option, choose a shirt without a pocket for a clean, sophisticated look. Grooms often pair a bright white tie with their suits, not realizing that the tie will be completely lost in the flare of the photographer’s flash. Consider instead a tie with a hint of silver, small dots of another color, perhaps the wedding color, or a neat pattern or paisley cream tie to keep the look sharp yet appropriately ceremonial. A neatly folded white pocket square adds another touch of elegance. The design of your trousers is a matter of style and comfort. Some like a flat front look, while others prefer the extra room offered by a pleat. One pleat is a cleaner choice than two, while offering the same benefits in comfort. Cuffs look sharp at the two inch mark. A belt, if desired, should always match the shoes. When buying shoes, keep it clean and classy. Lace-up oxfords with simple or no designs are dressier than loafers. Try not to pair a tuxedo with patent leather shoes, which scream prom rental. Instead, select a smooth calfskin oxford and shine it well. Socks should match your suit color in order to visually lengthen your legs. Be sure that the socks are long enough that your legs do not peek out when you sit. Using this head-to-toe advice, you should be able to put together a dapper wardrobe that will be right at home at the most important and formal occasion. A proper suit can be a big investment and you should choose one that will not quickly become tiresome or outdated. The salesman at your local menswear shop can be invaluable in helping you make the right decisions. Finally, always pick style above fashion and you will be guaranteed to look your absolute best. Andrew Lock is the proprietor of Andrew Lock Custom Menswear in Cedarhurst, NY. He also makes monthly visits to Los Angeles. For more information, call 516.619.6264 to schedule a fitting.

MAY 20, 2015

Think your kids are eating a lot of junk? Be happy you don’t live in Utah—they could be eating double! According to a recent study by Hershey Co., the sweet-tooth capital of the United State is, ironically, the Beehive State. Yes, Utah is the state that loves all things sweet. Residents buys confections at the highest rate in the nation – almost double the U.S. average – Hershey researchers found. Twizzlers are especially popular in the Salt Lake City area, according to the company. Some of their love of candy can be attributed to their beliefs. More than 60 percent of Utah’s residents are Mormons, who typically abstain from alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. With those vices frowned upon, candy is an acceptable treat, said Glenn Christensen, a marketing professor Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Sweets are ubiquitous at family gatherings and church events, he said. “We don’t drink alcohol, we don’t smoke, we avoid coffee … but we certainly do sugar,” Christensen said. “It’s the only allowed indulgence.” In addition to a big Mormon population, Utah has a bountiful number of candy’s biggest fans – children. In 2013, 31 percent of the state’s residents were under 18, compared with 23 percent for the national average. “We have tons of kids,” Christensen related. Utah’s penchant for candy wasn’t the only statistical quirk unearthed by Hershey researchers. They found that customers in Minnesota buy six-packs of Hershey bars at higher rates than any other Americans, particularly in the summer. The reason: s’mores. Minnesotans flock to the state’s lakes and campgrounds during the warmer months. In fact, sales slipped in 2012 when Minnesota banned campfires because of hot, dry weather. “All of this stuff is steeped in tradition,” Bob Goodpaster, Hershey’s chief global knowledge officer, said. “They’ve been doing s’mores in the Midwest for a long time.” It’s a sweet life.

The Grandeur of a Well- Groomed Groom


Candy Capital


Jewish History

99 Larry Domnitch


MAY 20, 2015

The Expulsion of Jews from Lithuania and Courland 1915 One Century Later


was a time of trial and tribulation for world Jewry. Shavuot 1915 was one of the largest single expulsions of Jews since Roman times. Over 200,000 Jews in Lithuania and Courland would be abruptly forced from their homes into dire circumstances. With the advance of the German army on the Eastern front in the spring of 1915, retreating Russian forces vented their fury against the Jews and blamed them for their losses. They leveled spurious accusations of treason and spying for the enemy and sought to keep a distance between Jews and German forces to prevent contact by expelling Jews near the warfront. From province to province throughout Poland, multitudes of Jews were expelled. Many also fled from their homes as German forces moved eastward. By March, German forces approached Lithuania as Russian forces continued their retreat. The first expulsion in Lithuania took place in a small town of Botki. In April, at the town of Kuzhi, the local Jews were accused of hiding German troops in their homes. Although proofs brought by members of the Duma exposed the charges as fiction, the accusations had already spread throughout Russia via newspaper reports and became another pretext to persecute Russian Jewry. Soon after, the mass expulsion from Lithuania commenced.


preparing for the upcoming Shavuot holiday, notices appeared calling for the Jews living in areas closer to the warfront to vacate their homes over the next day or two. Most of the notices gave 24 hours or even less to those who had to leave their homes. In just a few days, Lithuanian Jewry, which had a legacy of hundreds of years, made a hasty exit, ordered to move eastward. Even the sick and the infirmed were included in the decree. Those who did not comply faced execution. With the evening of May 5 approaching, multitudes of Jews headed out into an environment of unknown perils. Most fled by foot, with few provisions, harassed and robbed, facing attacks on the roads as they began their desperate search for refuge. Out in

the open fields facing numerous dangers, kiddush for the holidays was recited and minyanim were organized to recite the holiday prayers. In Courland, otherwise known as Latvia, Jews faced a similar fate, although the expulsion was enforced a day or two later; mostly on the holiday itself. A Jewish military physician watched as hundreds of Jews of the town of Keidan hastily gathered their belongings. In shock and despair he asked them why they were being expelled. They responded, “Because we are Jews!” With tears in his eyes he replied, “I risk my head for them and they exile my brothers.” Such was the case for the over one half million Russian Jews who valiantly served in the Tsar’s army while so many of their families faced persecution. As the exodus began in Keidan, according to one eyewitness, “People bid farewell. On our last night in Keidan, they slept on their bundles as cannon fire shook the walls of their homes.” Thirty cars filled with men, women, and children on Friday, May 8, and headed towards the city of Homel. From there they would be forced further east. The mood in Lithuania was beyond description. It was also a time when Jewish communities bestowed tremendous kindness upon one another. Assistance was offered to refugees who arrived at their towns, which included food, lodging, and sometimes employment. The Yekapo organization, an abbreviation for the “Jewish Community Relief War Victims,” would wait at train stations and other locations to offer aid. Sometimes, the very communities assisting the refugees would soon become refugees themselves, forced out by the same or a subsequent decree. Some of those who were exiled went to Vilna, where there was no expulsion. One rabbi described

the reaction of the Vilna community to their arrival, “It was the first day of Shavuot and the Jews of Vilna went to synagogue not knowing that the first train with all those expelled was already arriving at Novo-Vileika … Notwithstanding that it was a holy day, meeting places where quickly organized and each Jewish family of Vilna was required to bring something edible … In the course of two hours, thousands of kilograms of bread, sugar, meat, cheese, eggs, boiled meat and herring were collected.”


expulsion decree did not last. Soon after, Nikolai Nikolayevich informed the military authorities that mass expulsions of Jews were no longer desired since the economy was damaged as a result. He proposed that Jews should be expelled only from one place at a time, where it was deemed “necessary.” The long-term impact of the expulsion was significant. With the dismantling of Jewish communities, the religious life of Russian Jewry markedly declined. The religious institutions that are the lifeline of the community such as the cheder, the mikveh, the synagogue, and the yeshiva were diminished by the massive sudden dislodging of Lithuanian Jewry. Jewish life in Russia would never be the same. Due to the severity of the expulsions, the Pale Settlement which forcibly confined Russia’s Jews since the end of the 18th century officially ended with a decree in August 1915 allowing Jews to move to Eastern Russia. The intention was not to free the Jews from the confinement of the Pale but to keep them out of the proximity of the warfront due to irrational suspicions of Jewish disloyalty. Shavuot 1915 marked a time of tragedy and challenge once again faced by Jewry. In one small, vacant Lithuanian synagogue on the first day of Shavuot, Jewish refugees had gathered to pray. A rabbi among the group arose and stood before the shocked and traumatized group and offered the following brief consoling words. “We have faced other difficulties before. Someday, this too shall pass. Now, let us say the Hallel prayers.” 





Walders & Pineapple

Walders Creamsicle


of a glass of Walders Vodka & Vanilla

1 1/2 fl oz Walders Vodka & Vanilla


of a glass Pineapple Juice


fl oz Chocolate Liqueur

Crushed Ice

1 Scoop Orange Sorbet

Fill the glass with crushed ice and pour a

Shake all three ingredients together

third of the glass with Walders Vodka &

and strain into a martini glass.

Vanilla and the remainder of the glass

Garnish with some Cocoa powder

with Pineapple juice so the cocktail is

sprinkled on top...

right to the top of the glass. Stir and garnish with pineapple...


! m u Y m u Y

Dair y Free

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Jewish Home LA - 5-20-15  

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