THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 29, 2014
SPECIALS Newt Mus Try
Whole Brisket (U.S.)
Glicks Pie Crusts
Chuck Eye Roast
PV Cucumber in Brine 7/9
Sterns Cheese Cake
Old City Mac & Cheese
J & J Sour Cream
Liebers Chocolate Chips
Mehadrin Greek Yogurt
Anna Lasagne Noodles
9 x 13 Aluminum pans
Zakon Red Muscatini
REG. 7.99lb GRAIN FED - ANTIBIOTIC & HORMONE FREE
Ahi Tuna Steaks
Pomadori Frozen Pizza
REG. 6.99ea - Cholov Yisroel
Picoe or Joyvin red & White St REG. 10.39ea
DELI SPECIAL: 2 Roasted Chickens & 1 Kugel Pico Store
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7.99ea 19.99 REG. 28.00
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3 ו טוב ולא רע כל ימי חייה דרשה צמר ופשתים ותעש בחפץ כפיה היתה כאנית סחר ממרחק תביא לחמה ותקם בעד לילה ותתן טרף לביתה וחק לנערתיה זממה שדה ותקחהו מפרי כפיה נטעה כרם חגרה בעז מתניה ותאמץ זרעתיה טעמה כי טוב סחרה לא יכבה
A Life of Compassion. A Life of Inspiration. A Life of Benevolence. A Life of Grace.
INSPIRATI N IXTY-FIRST ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP DINNE
Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn · Torath Emeth Academy of Los Angeles Sunday, June 8, 2014 · 10 Sivan 5774 Beverly Hilton Hotel · 9876 Wilshire Boulevard · Beverly Hills, California
For journal opportunities, please contact: www.torasemes.net email@example.com 323-549-3180 SHLOMO YEHUDA RECHNITZ DINNER CHAIRMAN
ALAN FRIEDMAN . SHEMAYA MANDELBAUM JOURNAL CHAIRMEN
DINNER COMMITTEE IRVING BAUMAN . YOSEF DAVIS . RABBI YEHUDA FEIGEN . RABBI SIDNEY GLENNER . SHIMON LEFKOWITZ . MOSHE MENDLOWITZ RABBI YAAKOV RECHNITZ . ITCHE ROSENBAUM . LEE SAMSON . RUBY SCHRON . RABBI DR. CHAIM WAKSLAK . DR. MENACHEM WAKSLAK
בלילה נרה ידיה שלחה בכישר וכפיה תמכו פלך כפה פרשה לעני וידיה שלחה לאביון לא תירא לביתה משלג כי כל ביתה לבש שנים מרבדים עשתה לה שש וארגמן לבשה נדע בשערים בעל
Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn · Torath Emeth Academy · 540 North La Brea Avenue · Los Angeles, California 90036 P: 323-549-3180 F: 323-938-5232 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY 29, 2014
MRS. AVIGAIL RECHNITZ
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שבתו עם זקני ארץ סדין עשתה ותמכר וחגר נתנה לכנעני עז והדר לבשה ותשחק ליום אחרן פיה פתחה בחכמה ותרת חסד על לשנה צופיה הליכת ביתה ולחם עצלת לא תאכל קמו בניה ויאשרה בעלה ויהללה רבת בנת עשו חיל ואת עלית על כלנה שקר החן
והבל היפי אשה יראת ה‘ היא תתהלל תנו לה מפרי ידיה ויהללה בשערים מעשיה
אשת חיל מי ימצא ורחק מפנינים מכרה בטח בה לב בעלה ושלל לא יחסר גמלתה
MAY 29, 2014
THE JEWISH HOME
What’s New. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Op-Ed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
When Yom Yerushalayim met Shavuos . . . . . . . . . 19 The Fire of Torah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Moshiach Matters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Dr. Deb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
EDUCATION Forgotten Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 The Magic of Shavuot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
COVER STORY Start Up Nation; Israeli Chutzpah is Alive and Well . . . . . . . . . . . 24 A Conversation With Bobby Shriver: Continuing A Family Tradition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: San Diego. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Photo Credit: The photos printed on page 14 of the May 15 edition of the Jewish Home were taken by Arye D Gordon.
Stress; one of the biggest impacts on our health, is something we all face. For some it’s the education of their children, for others it’s the monthly bills. For young people it’s related to their social scene or the grades they’re receiving at school. Whatever its source, stress begins as a logical expression of a real issue. Then, before we know what’s happened, we become consumed with the problem and it takes a life of its own. At times, it might help to take a step backwards and ponder on the bigger picture. What are we here for in the first place? Once we’ve found an underlying purpose to our daily routine, we are able to see the whole story and we have the tools to tackle the next challenge. In fact, we might even grow from the trial itself, finding a way to take a deep breath inwards so that we can exhale with the certainty of new opportunity. Then we can be more productive in our family lives, in our work and with our own communities. For the 3,326th time we are heading to the Yom Tov of Shavuos; the day on which our creator gave us our mission in this world. Back then the holiday was the culmination of our journey from Mitzrayim. Today it’s when we finish counting Sefirat HaOmer. Back then it was preceded by our standing at the foot of Sinai “as one person, with one heart” and today we try and reach out to fellow Jews and perceive each other as family. It’s been a long road since the original Matan Torah. A road in which we faced every challenge imaginable. Yet here we are, celebrating it as a current event. Whether in the Valley or on Pico, at La Brea or by Beverly Hills, you will find Jews celebrating our ancient gift. More than that, it is our purpose in life and life itself. Let us find rejuvenation. May we all thrive and reenergize. May we be recommitted to who we are so that we can focus on what’s real, lasting and eternal. When our elders are asked for the secret of longevity they frequently answer that it’s happiness. Their calm demeanor and appreciation for what they do have keeps them young at heart and light of spirit. If we deeply consider, we should be able to do the same. I hope and pray that just as we celebrate the anniversary of our mission, and recommit to the premise of Naaseh and then Nishma, we experience the completion of that ancient mission. May the world be filled with the knowledge of our creator and may jealousy, hunger, pain and war be eradicated from our earth forever. Have a wonderful Shabbos. May we receive the Torah B’simcha Ubipnimiyut,
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
5 THE JEWISH HOME
Learn to make beautiful art work that can be a gift or that you can keep yourself with Mussi Greenberg. She is offering affordable, professional painting classes
for elementary, high school and adult students. Classes are at 1728 S. Corning between 18th and Airdrome. To sign up and get more details email mussigreenberg@ gmail.com or call 310-963-4376. Sunset Karner MA., ATR, uses her artistic talents to help others. Sunset is a Registered Art Therapist with a new private practice in Beverly Hills. Art therapy can be helpful for those dealing with anxiety, emotional conflicts or other issues. See her website arttherapywithsunset.com, or email her at email@example.com, or call 323-464-1210. Dancing is another way to improve your happiness. Check out DanceFit with Karen which combines jazz, Latin and Israeli dance moves for a fun and serious workout. She also offers Barre and Stretch classes. Classes are held at 8503 Pickford
St. in Los Angeles and drop-ins are welcome. Classes are just $10. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-467-3952 for more information. My talented, patient, personal trainer, Mina Herskowitz, is opening her own fitness studio! I’m very excited about this because Mina is awesome and she’ll be offering a variety of classes including an indoor surfing class that you may have heard about from Shark Tank. It’s called Sandbox Fitness which will have its grand opening on June 22nd with free classes all day 8 AM to 5 PM. Sandbox Fitness is located at 13557 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. Sara Griffith is selling hats, tichels, and hair covering accessories from Israel. She has delightfully unique merchandise and sets up shop in people’s homes. If you’d like to host a sale at your house call
New programs begin October 2014
323-360-1044. Regular readers know I’m a big fan of chiropractors. Take care of your back this summer with a new chiropractor. Dr. Ida Molayem has a new private practice located in the Miracle Mile/Beverly Grove area of Los Angeles. Please call 310-864-0086 for an appointment. Here’s a novel way to keep cool this summer: elastomeric roofing. This is a coating that goes on your roof and keeps interior temperatures cool. There is a 10 year warranty and the elastomeric layer resists mildew. Call YY Painting today for an estimate and to learn more about the process and benefits: 323-898-8119. To include your new business, club, school, or shul in the next What’s New article email email@example.com with details about your new thing and include your contact information.
MAY 29, 2014
In my family we call the summer period from June to August the “season of giving” because there are so many family birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries that everyone coughs up a few shekels to chip in for gift after gift after gift. It can be hard to come up with a unique idea but the newly opened Jemma Gifts might have the answer for my family and for yours. Cindy Factor has procured some of the cutest, most useful present ideas including beach towels, baby blankets, beach bags, makeup bags and more. All Jemma Gifts can be personalized. See her adorable products on her Facebook page at Facebook.com/JemmaGifts or text 8186247274 for orders.
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 29, 2014
2014 Chidon Competition; Largest Number of LA Teens Ever to Participate The 2014 Chidon Ha Tanach competition was held on May 11th in New York. This year saw an increase in the number of participating schools from LA. At the finals there were 3 candidates from Yula Girls High School and 1 from Yula Boys High School, 2 from Yavneh Hebrew Academy and 4 from Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy as well as 3 from Maimonides School. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, dean of Yeshivat Yavneh, worked with 17 Yavneh students from Grades 6 through 8 and several hours a week was invested in the learning program. Ari and Yaakov Willner were the most successful Yavneh candidates. The brothers worked hard and they will not forget their trip to New York for the finals. Rabbi Einhorn was proud of his student’s performance, “We will offer the program again. Our school has a commitment to a well rounded Jewish education, a love of Tanach and a love for Israel. We already offer the 8th grade kids a public speaking elective so the Chidon competition is an excellent fit for our schools values and skills.” Rabbi Yaakov Jaffe, himself a national champion when he was young, tutored the boys at Maimonedes. Using learning systems and regular classes, the school has a long history in the Chidon competition. In fact, they had their first national champion back in 1988 and three times since then. This year Elad Jesselsohn came in 15th place and, although only in 8th Grade, proudly joins the legacy. Perhaps in high school he will come home the national champion. Rabbi Ezra Frazer coordinated the na-
tional event which included 134 boys and girls from schools across America. For the first time this year, there was a Film element to the competition. Groups of kids
a riddle and the test requires a vast and detailed knowledge of all things Torah, learned by memory. Keen to bring the competition to kids with differing backgrounds and skills, Rabbi Frazer is pleased to include Jewish kids from public school as well as Jewish day schools. The public school kids perform well after determinedly learning the program in a structured setting such as a local Sunday school, or with a private tutor. This year there were 7 public school kids in the finals. The 75 top winners from around the world are flown to Israel with a maximum of 4 kids from America, so the standard
L-R Jacob Feitelberg, Ella Keller, Penina Waghalter and Noa Segal of Hillel Hebrew Academy
were encouraged to create a short movie about the biblical character that they find most inspiring, and submit the movie in competition. Entrances came from schools across the country, but LA, as the film capital of the world, was most successful and entered Video from Yula Girls School, Harkham Hillel and Yavneh Hebrew Academy. The winning school video was Yula Girls School and you can watch their winning entry at Youtube, YULA Chidon 2014. The participants were tested with a multiple choice paper that required a well memorized knowledge of Tanach, including the Torah, Prophets, and 11 books of Ketuvim. The final paper had 124 questions for Middle School students and 134 for High School. Chidon means” quiz”, deriving from the Hebrew word chidah,
Brothers Ari and Yaakov Willner of Yeshivat Yavneh
is high in this country of nearly 7 million Jews. Croatia entered one student last year and they faced far less of a burden to compete. The televised championships and the 16 finalists appear in a well-viewed Israeli television and radio broadcast that each year involves Israel’s Prime Minister as the Israeli Government sponsors the event. The competition was established by David Ben Gurion and has remained a much-
loved tradition with the finals being held on the morning of Yom Haatzmaut. In 2013, for the first time in twenty five years, an American student won the competition although Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, today a faculty member in Yeshiva University, was the first American to win the prize in 1988. These victories continue to inspire individual students and raises the profile of the US Chidon competition. Not only does participation increase knowledge, but it requires a focused and dedicated attitude. At the same time, public speaking skills are developed as the students work together in lunch recesses and throughout the year to absorb all the information. It is not surprising that siblings often compete; having a partner is immensely helpful. This year, Penina Waghalter was 11th on the Hebrew Middle School test, and Miriam Waghalter of YULA was 7th on the Hebrew High School Rabbi Frazer was the US champion in 1994. Now, a well respected Tanach specialist which developed from his early learning for the Chidon competition, Rabbi Frazer explained the competition’s appeal, “Some kids are just delighted to have learned enough to merit the trip to New York but for others there is a strong competitive element. The winners launch their study program for the following year’s competition on the day after the current Chidon competition is held. These students learn in their school’s recess time and through their vacations and their dedication is impressive. While we recognize that the competitors are young, it is impossible to take all the stress out of the event and the finals are, of course, very exciting.”
Chidon HaTanach; The Window to Torah By Amira Felsenthal Chidon HaTanach, or the Bible Contest for Jews, is a competition that enables participants to acquire a unique set of skills. When Miriam Waghalter, Michaela Rosenberg, and Amira Felsenthal joined a Chidon HaTanach class offered at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, they had no idea what was in store for them. Now freshmen at YULA, the girls could tell you just how enhanced their abilities and experiences are since beginning Chidon. After completing their first year of Chidon and all placing in the top 25 of their division, the girls couldn’t imagine not participating again so they spoke with Rabbi Lieberman about continuing to do Chidon HaTanach while at YULA. Let’s just say Rabbi Lieberman was more than happy to oblige. The girls competed in the Hebrew High School division where their syllabus included 100 perekim from Bereishit, Shoftim, Tehillim, and Yechezkel. The girls began studying in the summer and continued once starting YULA by learn-
ing with Rabbi Lieberman and learning with their Hillel Chidon teacher Morah Klein. For the first round, the girls took 3 tests that were distributed throughout the country to those in their division. Those tests determined which students met the requirements to move on to nationals. All three girls met the requirement and started preparing for nationals. There was also a video contest where each school was able to submit a video about someone from the syllabus that inspires them. The girls put a lot of effort into a video about Yehuda and his journey into becoming a better person. After a lot of intense studying, the girls hopped on a plane to attend the American National Chidon HaTanach at Manhattan Day School in New York. At the competition, the girls had to take 2 incredibly difficult tests and afterwards watched as the top 5 in each division took another test in front of everybody to decide who the ultimate winners would be.
Miriam Waghalter, Amira Felsenthal and Michaela Rosenberg
While the judges graded the tests, Rabbi Frazer, the American Chidon HaTanach coordinator, presented the top 2 videos from the video contest, one of which was the YULA girl’s video. After showing the videos there was a live vote where the whole audience could text in which video they wanted to win. The YULA girls won by over 30 points and were invited onto
the stage by Rabbi Frazer to receive a plaque. Overall, this year’s Chidon HaTanach was a great experience for these girls because it strengthened their ability to learn Torah independently and to love the Tanach. Miriam Waghalter said, “Chidon is the window to Torah that I was never quite able to open on my own.” The girls are looking forward to doing Chidon again next year with the support of YULA!
school in reaching out to the whole family to complete the students’ educational environment. He is the first identifying Orthodox head of school to win this accolade. In its press release announcing the award recipients, Covenant Foundation wrote about Rabbi Sufrin, “His philosophy, which places the student at the center, surrounded and buttressed by talented teachers, engaged parents, caring community and immersive tools fuels HHHA’s success and has made it one of the nation’s preeminent Jewish day schools….” The Award will encourage the school community to continue the development of the programs noted above and extend that progress to new initiatives already underway such as CoLab -collaborative learning spaces, and an original Tefilla program, which integrates versions of the newly published Koren Siddur that are tailored for Ashkenazic and Sephardic students of all ages.
Harry Nelson, President of Hillel’s Board of Directors, stated, “This award allows Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy to continue on our path to increase our profile as a nationally recognized institution that continuously innovates and enhances a creative and superior learning environment in both general and Judaic studies.” The Covenant Foundation (www.covenantfn.org), a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies, honors outstanding Jewish educators and supports creative approaches to programming in an effort to strengthen educational endeavors that perpetuate the identity, continuity and heritage of the Jewish people.
MAY 29, 2014
On May 19 the Covenant Foundation today announced that Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin, Head of School at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy (www.hillelhebrew.org), has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Covenant Award. The Prize is awarded to three outstanding Jewish educators each year in recognition and support of those who make an impact on Jewish life through innovative programming and a commitment to propelling the field of Jewish education forward. Rabbi Sufrin was nominated for his relentless pursuit of educational progress and investment in professional development. Under Rabbi Sufrin’s leadership, the school has undertaken cutting edge advancements in its math, writing, Hebrew language, Judaic studies and music programs. Uniquely, these advances have not only been focused on enhancing the learning within the school, but also beyond the walls of the
Wearing a Kippah with Pride Amidst the 500 people in attendance at the Anti-Defamation League Entertainment Industry Dinner this year, one young man wearing a kippah stood out from the crowd of donors and celebrities: YULA Boys Junior Jordan Lustman. But Jordan wasn’t just there to mingle with the industry bigwigs. Jordan had been handpicked by the ADL to address the dinner participants in a speech that described his experiences facing anti-Semitism. The ADL National Youth Leadership Mission in Washington, DC, is a national conference that brings together 140 students from across the country each year. They share experiences and learn tools to fight bias and bigotry in their schools. Jordan had heard about the amazing work that the ADL does in defending Jews and other minorities around the world and was intrigued. Along with other teens from the US, most of whom were not Jewish, Jordan decided to attend the ADL workshop in November 2013. Over the course of four days, students participated in workshops on how to combat bias and prejudice and they shared their personal stories and experiences. “It was fascinating to meet with other students outside of my usual bubble,” said Jordan. “One of the most eye-opening experiences was my interaction with students who had never met a Jewish person before.” Throughout the program, Jordan identified as the only participant with a kippah on his head. “I wore my kippah with pride,” said Jordan. “Walking through the Holocaust Museum, people assumed that I knew a lot about the Holocaust and Judaism. I felt like I really had something to teach and share, because of my personal experiences and unfortunate run-ins with
anti-Semitism.” After the trip, Jordan was approached to speak at the ADL’s annual Entertainment Industry Dinner. Not only did Jordan have the chance to meet powerful people in the entertainment and non-profit world, he also had the chance to address them in his speech, “The Jews Killed Jesus” where Jordan’s impactful opening words grabbed the audience’s attention. The night was a great success and the dinner raised 1 million dollars for the ADL. You can read a full summary of the evening here. (http://la.adl. org/news/anti-defamation-league-entertainment-industry-dinner-honors-roma-downey-and-mark-burnett/) Through his involvement with the
involvement and passion for the organization. Jordan enthused that, “Meeting Steven Spielberg was a great experience. It was very powerful to meet the person who is responsible for creating this heroic work of Holocaust remembrance and for recording testimonials that will live on forever, even when the survivors of the Shoah are no longer here to tell their stories”. Over the course of his time at YULA, Jordan has taken an increasingly active leadership role. “Before attending YULA, I wasn’t as involved with communal affairs. I’ve branched out, and have become involved with several school activities, including the Israel Advocacy club. YULA has given me the opportunity to be an activist with a voice and has taught me how to use my voice effectively in order to be heard.”
ADL, Jordan went on to participate in a project at the USC Shoah labs, watching testimonies of survivors. When looking for a student to grace the cover of the Shoah Magazine alongside Steven Spielberg, the ADL recommended Jordan because of his
THE JEWISH HOME
Hillel’s Rabbi Sufrin Recipient of Prestigious Covenant Award
What is at the root of this 11th grader’s impactful work? Jordan is the grandson of Holocaust survivors and acknowledges, “Israel is my home and the driving force in the work I do.” After he finishes YULA and graduates, Jordan is hoping to go to Israel to learn in a yeshiva and to one day join the Israeli Defense Forces.
CIJE Class San Francisco Trip By: Aliza Amsellem and Sarah Frieman On Sunday, May 18th, the 9th and 10th grade students from the CIJE engineering program embarked on a rewarding adventure to San Francisco. Despite the delayed plane, we squeezed in numerous activities in just two days. Right after we landed in San Francisco, we made our way to the famous Maker Faire, where we saw and interacted with original and exciting innovations. There were technologies including the new 3-D printers, robots, innovative crafts, kinetic structures, intricate light fixtures and, static machines. Later, we hurried to the heart of San Francisco, where we happily situated ourselves in our hotel rooms. Soon after, we jumped on a bus to the Fisherman’s Wharf, near the bay, where we toured small tourist
shops, relaxed at the sight of a beautiful sunset and ate a delicious meal from Sabra Grill. The morning started bright and early for another jam-packed day, beginning with a visit to a Start Up data-organizing company named Splunk. There, we
a visit to the iconic Facebook headquarters. There, two employees gave us a tour of the campus, which was modeled like a downtown center. The warm environment included several restaurants, gyms, pools, volleyball courts, and other every-day resources to make the working experience
learned about the company and how it was founded and also got cool t-shirts with funny quotes like, “Finding your faults, just like mom.” We soon moved on to our next activity;
most enjoyable. Moving on to the Google headquarters was thrilling and their campus was huge, around four miles in radius. A staff member gave us a detailed tour of the campus
and Google proved to be a home-like environment, similar to Facebook. After the busy day, which had not yet ended, we went to a local kosher bagel shop to eat dinner. Then, we made our way to the Stanford college campus where a YULA alumnus showed us around and talked to us about the Jewish community. It was all very informative and inspired us to pursue our academic endeavors and dream big. The entire CIJE class would like to give a huge thank you to our chaperones: Mr. Potapenko, Mrs. Drebin, and Alison Snyder; you truly made this trip an unforgettable experience.
Pittsburgher Rebbe spends Lag b’Omer in Los Angeles by Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
With the advent of Lag b’Omer, the question many were asking, “Is the Pittsburgher Rebbe of Ashdod coming back this year?” The answer was, “Of course he is!” To the joy and excitement of the Los Angeles community, the Rebbe, who has been a regular visitor to our city, returned again this year for almost two weeks. During that time the Rebbe managed to visit the various Los Angeles communities, offering, guidance, inspiration, hope and advice to all who wanted it. The Pittsburgher Rebbe arrived in Los Angeles on May 8th, and spent the first Shabbos, Parshas Behar, in the Pico-Robertson area. The weekend program had the Rebbe davening in different shuls in the neighborhood. A Friday night tisch at Anshe Emes on Robertson Avenue was well attended. Sharing a tisch with a Rebbe is an interesting experience, especially if you have never done so. From Motzai Shabbos May 10th until Monday night May 12th, the Rebbe remained in Pico-Robertson and made himself available for all who wished to see him privately. The Rebbe spent Shabbos Bechukosai in the Fairfax-Hancock Park community. The Rebbe, whose stay was hosted by Esther and Rafi Katz, davened Friday night kabolas Shabbos at the Kollel Yechiel
Yehuda, the “chasidishe Kollel, and held a tisch there later in the evening. Shabbos morning the Rebbe davened at Beis Medrash Shaarei Torah and Mincha and Shalosh Seudos at Young Israel of Hancock Park. The Pittsburgher Rebbe, grew up, in of all places, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1924, his grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Leifer was the first to carry the name of Pittsburgher Rebbe. The Pittsburgher is a descendant of Rabbi Mordechai of Nadvorna, whose Chasidic dynasty is represented by many Nadvorna Rebbes, with hyphenated extensions to their title. This is one of the few Hasidic dynasties named after an American city. The others are Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. After almost half a century in America, the present Rebbe’s father, Rav Avraham Abba Leifer made the move to Israel and settled in Ashdod.
Pittsburgher Rebbe lights bonfire at Los Angeles Cheder on Lag b’Omer
Today, his son, Rav Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer, who became Rebbe in 1990, presides over families and educational institutions in Ashdod. The Rebbe also has chassidim living in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, New York and California. On Motzai Shabbos the Rebbe made Havdalah in the home of his hosts, Rafi and Esther Katz. I was invited to attend and got an opportunity to take a series of pictures during Havdalah. Afterwards, the Rebbe asked me, “Who is going to take your picture?” Tzvi Fleischmann, a sonin-law of the Katz’s, offered to take some pictures of me with the Rebbe. Always behind the camera, I guess I don’t think of getting into some of the pictures. In perfect English, the Rebbe asked about my family. Thinking this would be of interest, I told the Rebbe that my grandson is a descendant of Rebbe’s on his mother’s side and his father’s side. From his moth-
er, he is a direct descendant of the Tosher Tzaddik, Meshulem Feish Lowy. From his father’s side he is a direct descendant of the Munchatcher Rebbe the famed Minchas Elazar, “But I,” I told the Rebbe, “am a Litvak.” The Rebbe looked at me and smiled. “At least you are not a misnagid.” As in years past, the Lag B’omer celebration and bonfire was held at the Los Angeles Cheder. On Motzaei Shabbos the courtyard of the Cheder was packed with young children carrying their bows and arrows, along with parents and Rabbeim, joyously singing and dancing to the light of the Lag b’Omer fire. Everyone was inspired to raise their voices in song as the Rebbe waved his arms on high in a stirring and lebidik fashion. While it was not Meron, for the Los Angeles Jewish Community, it was the next best thing. Next Year in Meron!!
Photo credit: Arye D Gordon
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MAY 29, 2014
plains Rabbi Wolf. “As a kid, I would go to a shul in Borough Park, where the Lag Ba’Omer celebration was very special. I would wait for it all year long. As I got older I understood that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai taught the soul of the Torah, and I was always drawn to that part of the Torah. He shows that even if sometimes as Jews, we feel a little disconnected, that is only in our external lives, not in our internal essence. That’s where people identify with Rav Shimon Bar Yochai. Half a million people, from all across the spectrum, come to celebrate his yartzheit – more than any other tzaddik. He’s like a magnet, pulling Jews from all over.” With this strong personal connection
to the holiday, one of the first things that Rabbi Wolf investigated after opening Maayon Yisroel was other city events for Lag Ba’Omer. While there were many celebrations to choose from, he didn’t connect strongly to these. “I didn’t feel the fire of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai. So I always wanted to create something in Los Angeles that would give that neshama feeling.” He found that feeling in this year’s event. From 9:30pm to 12:30am the Western Kosher parking lot was filled with food, music, and dancing. Visitors represented a wide cross-section of the Los Angeles communities. There was also a food truck that, thanks to a donor, gave away 200 free meals. There were popcorn and icees and
plenty of entertainment. A live band provided the perfect music for dancing, which included torch dancing and a video feed to Meron, which was projected on a large screen. “It captivated,” says Rabbi Wolf. “The dancing was seamless from the roads of Israel to the streets of Los Angeles. It was a moment of not only real spirited dancing, but of achdus.” While this was Maayon Yisroel’s first outdoor event, it won’t be the last. They are hoping to add more fire, more people, and more spirited celebrations in the coming years.
MAY 29, 2014
On Lag Ba’Omer/motzei Shabbos Maayon Yisroel threw their first outdoor Lag Ba’Omer event. While this is the fifth year that Maayon Yisroel has put on a Lag Ba’Omer event, in previous years it was held at the center. “We didn’t know if anyone was going to come, because it’s a little out of the neighborhood; not in La Brea or Pico but in between,” says Rabbi Wolf, Rabbi and Program Director at Maayon Yisroel. He shouldn’t have worried. While in the past the event has drawn between 150 and 250 people, this year around 500 people participated. The inspiration for this event goes back many years. “I always had a very strong connection to Lag Ba’Omer, even as a young child,” ex-
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Maayon Yisroel Celebrates Lag Ba’Omer with Outdoor Event
A Tour Of Israel; Celebrate Israel Festival was to make the festival a community-wide event, not just an Israeli event. There was a tremendous effort made toward all sectors of the Jewish community.” Organizers reached out to the Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Chabad, Syrian, and other Jewish communities to ensure that it would be an event that was welcoming to everyone. Organizers sat down with various community leaders to make this happen. For the first time the event was held on Lag Ba’Omer and made fully glatt kosher so the Orthodox community would feel at home. “Walking through the festival you could see that it was an ideal mix,” says Stern. “There were Israeli-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Orthodox Jews. Whereas in past years the festival attendees might have leaned heavily to one sector, this year everyone was
represented appropriately.” The main stage hosted a variety of entertainment throughout the day, including a speech given by the mayor. The children had their own stage, which included performers throughout the day. There were also arts and crafts and a petting zoo. For older kids there were amusement park rides and festival games – and of course the free camel rides. The teenagers were pleased to find a rock climbing wall and Israeli army obstacle courses to keep them on their toes. The adults explored a myriad of vendor booths, Mini-Israel, and the High Tech Pavilion, which showcased several successful Israeli Start Up companies. There was also a TED talk presentation every 30 minutes. It was hard to pick a favorite moment. “My little daughter enjoyed playing in the
Tel Aviv sand, my wife and I enjoyed the concerts and amusement park rides, and my parents enjoyed the vendor pavilion,” says Stern. “Everyone felt a robust connection to Israel.” This, after all, was the point. “The main goal of the festival was to celebrate Israel. We succeeded in bringing the experience of Israel to Los Angeles and giving everyone a taste of Israel. It was also one of the only events in LA where the whole community, Jews from the entire religious and political spectrum, came together to demonstrate strong support and solidarity for Israel.” With over 15,000 people participating in the festival, LA’s unified solidarity for Israel was clearly demonstrated.
Photo credit: VVK Photoraphy
This Lag Ba’Omer, Israel came to Los Angeles. The theme for this year’s Celebrate Israel Festival, organized by the Israeli American Council (IAC), was “A Tour of Israel.” As AJ Stern, the festival’s lead volunteer organizer explains, “The overriding message is having a strong connection to Israel. Instead of people journeying to Israel, we try to bring Israel to Los Angeles.” The festival certainly rose to the occasion. The park was sectioned into different regions in Israel. Children played in the ‘sandy beaches of Tel Aviv.’ People rode camels in the Negev area. There was even a mini-Kotel! “We tried to ensure people got a feeling for each region of Israel, not just one place, but the whole country.” Wholeness wasn’t only represented by the theme. “One of the main goals this year
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The Great Parade Styled after the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Lag Ba’Omer parade in Crown Heights and in celebration of 50 years of West Coast Chabad, Pico Blvd was closed to accommodate The Great Parade on Lag Ba’Omer. Thousands of people showed up to enjoy the spectacle and participate in the festivities. This was the 15th Lag Ba’Omer Great Parade in Los Angeles. As a reminder of the previous processions, there was a replica of 770, constructed behind the stage as well as a video of the Rebbe speaking at a former event which was projected onto a 30-foot screen. Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, Chabad’s Head Shliach of the West Coast, was honored for his 50 years of service in California. He opened the festivities by saying, “The unity that stands before us today – thousands of souls united – brings true joy to our Rebbe.” Rabbi Mayer Greene and Rabbi Chaim Mentz served as Masters of Ceremonies and led the program which included Rabbi Ezra Schochet, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad, Rabbi Mendel Duchman, Parade Director, and Naftoli Finkel of Shira Orchestra. The event included the reading of the Twelve Pesukim by children from schools across California, giving of tzedakah, a clown costume contest, and a raffle. Then the floats moved along the streets, amidst a colorful shower of confetti and streamers. Led by a Los Angeles Police Department motorcade, the march included the
Cheder Menchem Marching Band & Flag Procession, a special presentation of “The Keilim of the Bais Hamikdosh” built by the Bochurim of Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad, an Upsherin Train with over twenty children, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the famed Pasadena Scottish Pipes and Drums, Ross Harper’s Island Time Steel Drum Band, The Junior Clowns, and a grand finale by the Los Angeles Clippers Drum Line. The procession also included beautiful floats that had been designed and constructed by kids and community members from several LA area shuls and schools. The floats’ themes revolved around the Rebbe’s Mitzvah Campaigns. “The kids love it,” said Rabbi Duchman. “They love the marching and all the schools made floats and banners – it’s a way for the kids to show their creativity.” As the last groups came into the finishing line, an Extreme Trampoline show stunned the crowd with its jaw-dropping grand finale. “It was great to see everyone participating,” said Rabbi Duchman. “It was a beautiful event of Jewish identity.” The event was accurately promoted with the words, “The Great Parade Just Got Better!” The Great Parade was a project of Chabad of California and Kol Yakov Yehuda -Jr. Cong. of Los Angeles which is under the auspices of Cong. Levi Yitzchok of Hancock Park.
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AISH Los Angeles Gala; Sending more Moms and Dads to Israel The Annual Aish Los Angeles Gala, with an oversell crowd of 950 attendees, took place on Wednesday evening, May 21, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The multigenerational crowd included 300 singles under the age of 35 representing the Young Professional programs MyAish, Aish Ignite and NextGen headed byRabbis Yitz Jacobs, Mordechai Teller and Yehuda Levin. Hollywood Producer and Writer Saul Blinkoff MC’ed the evening which focused on Aish’s mission to connect Jews to Judaism and each other. Blinkoff’s opening rendition of Mr Rogers’ “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” created a warm and inclusive energy which was a theme of the evening. He continued by reading a children’s story book on unity that Aish had created specifically for the evening. Rabbi Aryeh Markman , Executive Director of Aish LA, spoke about the Aish Hasbara Fellowships program, funded by the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, which is under attack on the
UCLA campus. Hasbara works to educate and empower college students to engage in Israel advocacy on university and college grounds across the country. Markman thanked Aish International President Dick and Beverly Horowitz for their ongoing leadership, support and vision. Chana Heller and Sharon Shenker, Directors of the Jewish Women’s Initiative ( JWI) presented the Leadership Award to Sheri Levy and Phyllis Shinbane for the award-winning cook book, “Try It, You’ll Like It”, which they created along with other JWI women. This mouth watering cookbook has raised $25,000 to date and funds a scholarship program which has sent 150 Moms to Israel on a subsidized birthright-style trip. You can read more at www.jwrp.org. The next group is made up of 48 Moms and leaves for Israel on October 27. The Jewish Men’s Initiative will be taking an equal number of Dads on November 9. The JWI and JMI are inspiring and educating hundreds of parents to bring Jewish values back into our homes and to connect our children to Judaism.
L-R Sharon Shenker, Associate Director of JWI; Sheri Levy and Phyllis Shinbane, Creators of the award winning “Try it, You Will Like It” cookbook receiving the Aish LA Leadership Award; Chana Heller, Director of JWI
The evening’s Honorees, Jack and Linda Nourafshan, Kambiz and Lily Babaoff, and Roy and Nahal Rayn, recently launched the newest date-to marry singles program. “Soul Search” not only provides a way to meet other singles but has an educational component designed to help singles date smart, choose wisely and create healthy marriages. The evening concluded with keynote speaker Charlie Harary, CEO of H3 & Company, whose riveting multi-media musical message reminded us to channel
our drive for greatness as we unify the Jewish People. The program was created by Sarah Weintraub of Sarah Weintraub Productions, Saul Blinkoff and Aish COO, Rabbi Azriel Aharon,Tali Merewitz of Events Enchanted and Sanaz Sazegar, Aish Executive Coordinator, organized the seating and Banquet administration. For more info or to receive video clips from the Gala contact Aryeh Markman 310-278-8672 Ext 601 amarkman@ aishla.com
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MAY 29, 2014
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Kerem B’Yavneh Thanks the Los Angeles Community Los Angeles Alumni and Friends of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh Celebrate 60 Years of Success and Accomplishment The Greater Los Angeles community composed of alumni, parents and friends recently honored the avodat hakodesh of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh at its 60th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, May 7 in the Sephardic Temple. A special video presentation highlighting the Los Angeles alumni throughout the six decades of Kerem B’Yavneh’s illustrious history provided the participants with a unique nostalgia and beautiful memories. Over two hundred participants enjoyed the festivities and delicious cuisine by Pat’s Catering. Rabbi Mordechai Greenberg, shlita, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh delivered greetings, and the featured speaker was Rabbi Hershel Schachter, shlita, Rosh Kollel of the Marcos and Adi-
na Katz Kollel of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Rav Schachter eloquently articulated the uniqueness of the Kerem B’Yavneh talmid and his contribution to both the Torah and professional arenas. The Yeshiva honored the memory of Sam Krieger, a”h, and the memories of Maurice and Judith Kandel, a”h. Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh recognized the devotion of the following preeminent individuals: Rabbi Joseph and Dr. Leila Bronner, Alan and Lisa Stern, Mrs. Bertie Krieger, and Rabbi Zev and Dr. Michal Goldberg. Each of these honorees has been involved with Kerem B’Yavneh for many years and has given their time, generosity and kindness for the enhancement of the Yeshiva. Dr. Bernard and Temi Monderer, Rabbi Joseph Bronner and Dr. Leila Bronner, standing behind: Walter and Esther Feinblum
Photo credit: Joe Shalmoni
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MAY 29, 2014
Clockwise from the left: Lisa Stern, AJ and Yael Stern, Jonny and Rachie Heller | Arieh Greenbaum and Mr. Jack Nagel | Rabbi Zev Goldberg and Dr. Michal Goldberg | Esther and Mrs. Bertie Krieger | Extended Stern Family
Table for 8; Adas Torah Singles’ Friday Night Dinner and Oneg On Friday night, May 9th, singles from the LA community and beyond gathered together for a lovely evening planned by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Revah, Ariella Teichman and Yossi Parry. Following Kabbalat Shabbat, participants split into groups of eight and enjoyed Friday night dinner
at one of six Adas Torah host families’ homes. Later everyone came together for a beautiful Oneg hosted by Bracha and Eitan Tashman. A Dvar Torah was delivered by Rabbi Revah and there was a vibrant social hour as the singles met each other over dessert. The program brought togeth-
er over 60 participants and 20 married facilitators, including Rav and Rebbetzin Hershel Schachter from Yeshiva University. The facilitators have been busy following up on ideas that were generated from the evening and we look forward to more to come.
To get involved as a facilitator or participant and to find out about our next events, please email Tfor8AdasTorah@ gmail.com.
goal,” said Hill, “and it is very clear and focused about achieving it. Simply put, the goal is to be marbitz Torah.” After a moving video presentation illustrating how the Hills have enriched LINK, Hill delivered an equally moving acceptance speech with his wife at his side, noting that without her, he would be “homeless.” Allan Shoff was then presented the Lifetime Achievement Award which was given to him by his son and LINK East Rabbi Elchanan Shoff. Allan Shoff accepted on behalf of himself and his wife, Karen, who could not attend the event.
Rabbi Shoff spoke about his parents who have dedicated their lives to the Los Angeles Jewish community, turned their home into a venue for Torah learning and kiruv, and hosted hundreds of families for Shabbos meals. Rabbi Jeff Wohlgelernter of congregation Adat Yeshurun in La Jolla then delivered an inspiring drash, underlining LINK’s dedication to teaching Torah. In illustrating his point, Rabbi Wohlgelernter spoke of an older gentleman acquaintance who, as a young man, went to learn in Yeshiva without having
any prior Torah learning. When the Rosh Yeshiva told the man he couldn’t learn there due to his ignorance, the man broke out in sobs and cried, “I just want to learn Torah!” The Rosh Yeshiva let him stay and LINK carries this tradition today; the rabbis at LINK will turn no one away due to lack of Torah knowledge. David Sacks served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, and Shmueli Schwartz provided quality musical entertainment during dinner. The inspiring evening ended with a raffle drawing, which included Disneyland passes and dinner at Herzog Winery’s Tierra Sur restaurant. Currently, LINK Kollel and Shul offers over 50 weekly classes, in addition to its inspiring speakers and Shabbatonim. LINK recently opened LINK East, on Pico and Crescent Heights, to serve the burgeoning Orthodox community east of La Cienega Blvd.
MAY 29, 2014
Rabbi Asher Brander sounded exuberant at the podium of Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills, where LINK kollel and shul held its 12th Annual Banquet of Tribute on May 20. Since its inception 12 years ago, LINK has offered the Los Angeles Jewish community an exciting atmosphere to learn the word of Hashem. Rabbi Brander described how the avreichim at LINK begin their day as the sun comes up and eagerly learn Torah until the day draws to a close after a late-night davening of Ma’ariv. After coming to the first LINK Shabbos in Pico/Robertson, when Rabbis Brander and Eli Stern moved the kollel from Westwood nearly three years ago, Community Leadership Award recipients Daniel and Leah Hill continue to call LINK their home shul. Daniel Hill created new classes in Gemara and Tefilla for the many eager students of Torah, and has taken a significant leadership role in LINK’s infrastructure. “LINK has had the wisdom to set a
Photo credit: Yosef Ober
By Brenda Goldstein
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Chain of Inspiration
Friendship Circle’s Salute to Young Leadership buddies with special needs. The volunteers from Friendship Circle’s Friends at Home Program, Hebrew School, Sunday Circle, Basketball and Karate Clubs attend workshops, orientations and receive ongoing support from Friendship Circle, so they can build meaningful relationships with their buddies and create lasting friendships. Adam Rokah, student at Shalhevet High School was awarded the Hineni Award for his vision, initiative and leadership in founding the Friendship Circle Karate Club at the start of the year. A National Karate Champion, Adam brought together a group of teenagers and fellow friends from Shalhevet to train and teach kids with special needs at his father’s dojo. In his acceptance speech, Adam noted how martial arts, particularly Karate, is scientifically proven to boost the per-
formance of kids with special needs as well as their confidence. He reflected on the satisfaction and fulfilment he has felt from watching the physical and emotional growth of participants. Leadership awards were also presented to Maddie Appel and Lauren Katz, seniors at Windward School, who received the Spirit of Friendship Award for their dedicated four year friendship to Shauna, a child with cerebral palsy. Guests enjoyed a spirited Fellowship Award Ceremony where 23 students received the prestigious Fellowship Award for their extraordinary commitment to volunteering and for enhancing their knowledge in the field of special education. Awards were present by Dr Gil Graff, executive director of Builders of Jewish Education and Dr Kimberley Schwartz, Milken Upper School Principal.
Guests heard from Rabbi Michy RavNoy, Executive Director of the Friendship Circle and parent of Friendship Circle participant, as well as founder and spiritual leader of Maayon Yisroel, Rabbi Reuven Wolf. A highlight of the evening was a video profiling volunteers and the impact Friendship Circle has had on their High School years titled, “A Salute To Young Leadership”. Mrs Miriam Rav-Noy, program director at the Friendship Circle concluded the evening with a message to volunteers. “You are the voice and visionaries of children with special needs”, said Rav-Noy. “Use your experiences and all you have learned to promote acceptance and inclusion.”
Photo credit: David Miller Photography
Over 300 guests attended Friendship Circle of Los Angeles’ Garden Party on Wednesday, May 21st at the Gilmore Adobe Gardens. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and an inspiring ceremony celebrating a year of giving. The evening’s theme, “Celebrating Young Leadership”, acknowledged the dedication and commitment of 360 volunteers to the children of the Friendship Circle and their contribution to the Los Angeles Jewish Community. “Our volunteers are compassionate, productive and giving members of the Jewish community”, said Chana Fogelman of the Friendship Circle. “This evening was a salute to them, the friendships they have built and the good they have accomplished.” Volunteers from 58 schools across Los Angeles dedicate their time each week to
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MAY 29, 2014
Yachad Family Shabbaton Yachad, the Orthodox Union’s agency for those with disabilities, will present its first West Coast Family Shabbaton in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Agoura Hills from Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15. Yachad Family Shabbatons (weekend retreats) first made their appearance in the Northeast and spread across the country, providing one-of-a-kind weekends of support, education, networking, and inspiration within the context of a beautiful Shabbat for families who have children with
special needs. Featured presenters include psychologist and disabilities expert Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, International Director of Yachad, and clinical psychologists Dr. Alan Samson and Dr. Esther Hess. Sessions will feature topics ranging from balancing familial needs to providing young adults with tools to transition into the workforce, and managing stress to finding appropriate educa-
tional opportunities. Adira Botwinick, MSW and MSC Coordinator for Yachad, will be leading Sibshops, a discussion group for siblings. Allison Horowitz will run programming for Yachad members that includes games, summer-related activities and even a luau. Orit Faguet, Director of Los Angeles Yachad, shared, “The Yachad Family Shabbaton is a really wonderful oppor-
tunity to bring families together and give them the chance to connect with each other while offering cutting edge information and support. This Shabbaton is also an opportunity to project the unique and valuable inclusion services and programs which Yachad offers to the West Coast community at large.” For further information contact Orit Faguet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-613-8285.
A Time for Dance Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Wizard of Oz On June 8th A Time for Dance will be celebrating its tenth anniversary with two showings of The Wizard of Oz. The shows, with two casts of different age groups, incorporate music, acting and various styles of dance. There is a yellow brick road ballet, a twister gymnastics dance, and even a duet ballet to a song from Wicked. In addition to the show, there will be an earlier preschool performance where ten classes will perform in a Wizard of Oz themed dance recital. Sheila Meyer, Executive Director of A Time for Dance, is excited about this anniversary performance. “It’s a large scale, onstage performance with professional lighting and sound,” she explained, adding that there will even be a red carpet for this milestone event. “Each year we recognize students for their dedication to the arts by honoring five year students with a special trophy and slideshow. Because it’s our tenth year, we’ve invited former students, and there are hundreds of them to come and celebrate with us. My staff and I feel connected to each dancer we’ve taught.” Meyer grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and developed a love of dance at an early age. “My mother signed me up for dance class when I was five, and I loved it. I took dance all my life, multiple times a week, but eventually I got to a point where I couldn’t perform because the costumes weren’t modest and the performances were on Shabbos. I always had this dream that someday I would have my own dance school.” In 2000, she made that dream a reality, opening a dance school in Atlanta. When she moved to LA in 2004, continuing that dream was her first priority. “I found a place and started teaching classes right away. Then the second year I hired teachers so we had more classes and more dance styles. And every year it’s grown.” Since 2004, A Time for Dance has grown into a program with three studio locations, classes at many area schools, and has started both a summer camp and a non-profit dance ensemble to provide Jewish outreach through dance. The school offers ballet, gymnastics, tap dance, jazz,
Zumba, hip hop, and modern dance as well as acting and various other art classes. The students range from toddlers to adults. “It’s a dance and fine arts program that provides professional-quality instruction and strong technique classes in a heimishe environment. Our goal is to teach the girls strong technique and skills and give them grace, poise, and self-confidence at the same time,” says Meyer. It’s a goal she is meeting. “My daughter has been in the drama program for six years,” says Chava Axelrod. “She started in second grade. It’s really helped her to develop and grow. Over the years she’s become much more self-confident and she’s developed so much self-esteem. It also keeps her busy on Sundays – it’s a really good social outlet for her too.” Similar care goes into creating a heimishe environment. The performances are for women only, and thought goes into the costume and music choices. “Girls who would have gone to a regular dance school would not be able to perform as the performances are on Shabbos, or in front of men. I want the girls to have a passion for dance and for performing.” That passion is encouraged beyond the classroom. In preparation for the upcoming show there was a crafting night where the students were invited to help paint the backdrop pieces and finish the costumes. Apart from the fun of the evening, it built anticipation for the performance. “Everyone was so excited,” says Meyer, who sounds excited herself as she describes some of her own preparation for the event. “I’m making a slideshow of pictures through the years. It’s amazing to watch the growth of the little ballerinas who started at age two and are now twelve years old.” Axelrod is also looking forward to the show. “I think the shows are adorable,” she says, having attended several past events. “All the women in the community go; it’s such a nice community unifier.” But she’s most excited for
the girls. “The girls work so hard and they feel good about it. They really put their hearts and souls into it.” While the earlier show is brimming with character, the 3pm teen performance cast is more experienced and these talented actresses often want to delve into acting and stage craft on a more advanced level.
Their performance will be a community show and is also good for those who don’t know people in the cast. For more information or to purchase tickets online, go towww.atime4dance. com or call 323 404-0827 and speak to Sheila Meyer.
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
THE JEWISH HOME
When Yom Yerushalayim met Shavuos
MAY 29, 2014
There’s a minor debate over which line came first: what does that have to do with the “price of tea in China” or “price of eggs”. The oldest known usage of a similar line is the one made famous by Rashi when he quotes “mah inyan shemitah eztel Har Sinai” – effectually “why is Shemitah placed next to Har Sinai?” Let us redirect this question and ask “mah inyan Yom Yerushalayim ezel Har Sinai (Shavuos)” – “why is Yom Yerushalayim right before Shavuos?” We may see their link as historical serendipity or we can choose to see beyond the surface. Let us explore a possible understanding that can help to underscore the significance of the transition from Yom Yerushalayaim to Shavuos. There is no doubt that the central focus of Shavuos in its current iteration is Limmud Torah – Torah study. Beyond the specific reading of the Decalogue on the 1st Day, and the Halachickly loyal sentiments of Sefer Rus, many have a custom to spend the entire night studying Torah. This all-night marathon is a potential waste of time if we don’t appreciate the profound gift that we were given with the Torah. To understand a fraction of its significance let us pose a question. According to the mystical sources the world begins with an Ohr Ayn Sof – a primordial infinite light. The entire world emanates from this initial Ohr Ayn Sof. Likewise, when humanity has completed its journey, the mystics teach us that the world will go back to a state of Ohr Ayn Sof. If the world starts in Ohr Ayn Sof and ends in Ohr Ayn Sof, what use can be of this lowly world in between? What’s the point of this earthly existence if eventually everything going to return to the state that it begin in? The great contemporary Kabbalist and Sage – Rav Itcha Meir Mor-
genstern comments that this world allows for the emergence of Torah. When Torah manifests in the world it allows the Ohr Ayn Sof, which will return at the end of time, to blaze with an even brighter and stronger power than it did before it came into the word. Torah brings a certain unique energy into the world this is totally impacting and changing. Moreover, the singular impact of Torah is unique in that it affects each of us differently. According to the first Lubavitch Rebbe – the Tanya (Ch. 51 Likutei Amarim) he writes: “For the higher worlds receive this vitality and light in a somewhat more revealed form than do the lower; and all creatures therein receive the revealed aspect of vitality, albeit each according to its capacity and nature.” Each of our natures are distinct. We vary at different levels as to the intensity by which we can receive a Divine vitality. Allow your nature to be open to the most radiant light. This is just a glimpse of the tremendous power of Torah. It is so powerful that it alters the nature of the untouchable Ohr Ayn Sof at the end of time. And on the other hand, it is so strangely malleable allowing each of us to relate to its energy at different levels. But what is it about the Torah that can at one time be so potent, granting greater vibrancy to the Ohr Ayn Sof, and at the time so diverse that it can be grasped on so many levels? I believe Yom Yerushalayim has the key to answer that question. After Tisha B’av we read 7 haftorah’s called the Shiva D’nechemta - the 7 of consolation. According to the Chozeh of Lublin each one of the שבעה דנחמתא relate numerically to the lower 7 Kabbalistic Sefiros. Therefore the haftorah of the first week is Chessed. The haftorah of the second week is Gevura. The haftorah of the third week is Tiferet - Splendor, beauty, symmetry. In that third haftorah we read the 54th chapter of Isaiah. There is one verse in particular that is quite challenging to translate. The prophet is talking about what Jerusalem will be like in the future: "ושמתי כדכד שמ־ "שותיך –“I will make your windows of precious stones” (I.E. the walls of Jeru-
salem)."ושעריך לאבני אקדח וכל גבולך לאבני "חפץ – “and your gates will be precious stones and your borders desirous.” What does this mean? The Talmud in Bava Basra (75) asks “what’s ‘kadchod’? Listen to the Talmud’s explanation: there’s an argument between two angels in heaven over what stone is this verse referring to. This debate is waged in the celestial world between Michael and Gavriel and in the present world between two brother Chizkiya and Rav Yehudah. One angel is of the opinion that the stone is the – shoham (translucent quartz)– and the other angel says yashpeh (jasper, reddish brown). Hashem says that let us resolve כדין וכדין – like him and like him. That’s כדכד. In this very esoteric exchange, G-d says that Jerusalem’s reality will make way for both stones. Both identities and colors will have a space in the character of Jerusalem. The breastplate of the High Priest had 12 stones. Each stone was connected to a different tribe. Rabbeinu Bachayei says that shoham was Yosef. The yashpeh was for Benyamin. Shoham spells Hashem. G-d was always with Yosef. It’s also known that he was spectacularly beautiful. Red, in the yashpeh represents gevura – power, restraint. Yashpeh stands for Yesh Peh, there is a mouth. All the years Yosef was missing Benyamin knew what happened. He knew it was the will of G-d not to say anything so he restrained his thought. Gevura is the ability to hold back. Yosef is from the side of Chesed. Binyamin is from the side of redness – power. The two angels arguing in heaven were Michael who is water and Gavriel who is fire. Yosef and Benyamin. Michael comes to tell Avraham he’s having a child. Gavriel comes to destroy Sedom. Gavriel corresponds to Chizkya – from Chazak – strong. Their opinion is that Jerusalem will be marked by power, yirah, fear. Michael and Rav Yehudah say that Jerusalem will be marked by beauty and grandeur. In the end, Jerusalem is both. It is like Yaakov, the attribute of tifferet – synthesis, harmony. Jerusaelm or Yerushalayim comprises both qualities in its name Yeru is yira and shalayim is peace, equanimity.
Jerusalem is a representation of the very magnificence of Torah. On one hand, it is gevurah, so powerful that it can even bolster the Ohr Ayn Sof. And on the other hand, it is so pleasant, so beautiful that it can make itself meaningful and relevant to each one of us on our own levels. The power of the Torah is that it exposed to us the possibility of Kedusha in a bifurcated world. The perfect Torah was given to a complex people who will turn their hearts and their attention to a complex city. Jerusalem is a city of contradictions and dichotomy. The Torah teaches the Ohr Ayn Sof how to live in a different world than the one it once knew. So this is Yom Yerushalayim’s connection to Shavuos. On Yom Yerushalayim we celebrate the city of two stones – two perspectives – two worlds. Dichotomary, fracture, machlokes, that is all part of the splendor of the Torah. The Torah is received on Shavuos. And from then on – the Ohr Ayn Sof is changed… utterly. I close with the words of Eliezer Whartman, an Israeli journalist writing to the New York Times in 1969: For the first time since the year 70 there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put the torch to the Temple everyone has equal rights. (You preferred to have some more equal than others). We loathe the sword -–but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace – but we are not going back to the peace of 1967 as you would like us to. We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not are not leaving. We have redeemed the pledge made by our forefathers. Jerusalem is being rebuilt. “Next year” – and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time – “in Jerusalem!”
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at email@example.com
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MAY 29, 2014
The Fire of Torah
Yomim Tovim commemorate events that transpired in the past and contributed to the formation of our destiny as a people. On these special days, the Divine energy that generated the original supernatural occurrence flows once again and we are able to attain historic levels if we properly prepare ourselves. On Shavuos, enter almost any bais medrash anywhere and all through the night you will hear a happy din comprised of voices raised in argument combined with others singing and humming softly to themselves. You will witness people rising above fatigue, and nature itself, standing and shuckeling by a shtender. The hubbub proclaims a resounding call of “Boruch shenosan Torah le’amo Yisroel.” We are thankful that Hashem chose to give us the Torah. It defines us and our lives, providing life with meaning and joy. Those sounds sing out the eternal song of the Jewish people, demonstrating for all that we seek to relive the moment at Sinai on this night, and every day of the year. We feel the energy present on this day and attempt to tap into it so that we may be reinforced in the way we live our lives. Today, surrounded by all sorts of challenges, personally and communally, our dedication to our goal remains as strong as ever. There are problems with chinuch, parnossah, shidduchim, kids-at-risk and abuse, to name a few, but we resolve to deal with them in the spirit of Torah. Yeshivos and the religious community of Eretz Yisroel are beleaguered by an onslaught of hate, but we are not defeated. Instead, we
seek to recreate that moment at Sinai, as all generations have done since that day in Sivan thousands of years ago. My dear friend, the very eloquent Rav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, was instrumental in transforming the community of Minneapolis, Minnesota, into a Torah stronghold, with a first-rate kollel, yeshiva and flourishing kehillah. During his years as rov there, he suggested a new direction for the school and some of the baalei batim balked, feeling his approach was too radical. The rov suggested that they travel together to discuss the innovation with his rosh yeshiva, Rav Shmuel Berenbaum. Rav Shmuel greeted the group and listened to the question. He removed a Gemara Shabbos from the shelf and read the account (daf 88) describing Maamad Har Sinai and the manner in which Hakadosh Boruch Hu was “kofa aleihem har kegigis.” Hashem held the mountain over the Jewish nation and told them that if they wouldn’t accept the Torah, it would crash down upon them. Why, Tosafos famously asks, was this necessary? Hadn’t they just said, “Na’aseh venishma”? Tosafos answers that there was a possibility that they would be frightened and regret their quick acceptance when they would see the fire with which the Torah would be given. Therefore, they needed the additional impetus of the threatening mountain. Why, asked Rav Shmuel, was the fire itself necessary? Why couldn’t Hashem deliver the Torah to the Jewish people without the fire, obviating the need to hold the mountain over the heads of the Jews? “It’s because Torah un aish, Torah without fire, iz kein Torah nit, is not Torah!” the rosh yeshiva explained. “The fire isn’t merely an added ingredient, but the actual essence of Torah, even in Minneapolis, Minnesota.” The delegation got the message, returning home even more committed to properly teaching Torah. Anyone who visits that beautiful kehillah knows that they were successful. The music to your ears that is heard in the bais medrash is the hiss and crackle of that aish, the fire that is Torah. To those who possess refined hearing, it can be perceived throughout the year, but on the
night of Shavuos everyone can hear it. Torah is life itself. That is why we recite a brochah each morning asking Hashem, “Veha’arev na,” to make the Torah sweet for us. We don’t recite that brochah upon observing any other mitzvah. Torah is not a pursuit. We don’t study and follow it because it’s a mitzvah, but rather because it is life itself. As we say each evening, “Ki heim chayeinu ve’orech yomeinu.” A bochur at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim was involved in a shidduch when some issues cropped up. Generally a diligent and focused masmid, the boy was having trouble concentrating on his learning, as he was preoccupied with the challenges he was facing. He decided to leave the bais medrash and take a walk outside. As he was making his way through the bustling hallway of the great yeshiva, he passed Rav Elya Boruch Finkel. The perceptive maggid shiur noticed the bochur’s demeanor and pulled him aside. “Moishe,” he said, “is everything okay? You look anxious.” The young man told Rav Elya Boruch about his quandaries, explaining that the situation was weighing him down and he was unable to concentrate on his learning. “Bist nisht in di sugya?” Rav Elya Boruch asked in alarm. “How terrible! Let’s fix that right now.” Rav Elya Boruch took the young man by the arm and led him into his office. The maggid shiur locked the door, putting his schedule of shiurim, chaburos, vaadim and chavrusos on hold. He spent the next three hours with the bochur, thoroughly learning the sugya. They didn’t discuss the shidduch or its impact on the talmid. They focused only on Rashi’s p’shat, the questions of Tosafos, the diyuk in the Rashba and a nuance of the Rambam. Three hours after walking into the room, the bochur felt like a new person. He was newly energized, happy, clear-minded and ready to face the world with a smile. Why? Because the wise rebbi discerned that there is no anguish quite like that of “not being in the sugya.” When in the sugya, one has the vigor to face any challenge, because Torah is life. Without it, man is weak and listless. With it, he is vibrant and recharged. Ki heim chayeinu.
The Chofetz Chaim once explained this concept with a moshol. The posuk says regarding the Torah, “Ki lo dovor reik hu mikem - It is not something empty from you” (Devorim 34:27). The Chofetz Chaim would say that when a bottle of milk is emptied, it still remains a milk bottle. Although the drink that defines it is no longer inside, the vessel is still a milk bottle, albeit an empty one. But a person without Torah, said the Chofetz Chaim, is not only an empty person; he is actually lacking in life itself. Man’s identity is tied to his connection to Torah. Without it, he isn’t merely empty. It is as if he doesn’t exist. We can thus explain the statement of Chazal, “Resha’im bechayeihem kruyim meisim - The wicked, even when they are physically alive, are referred to as dead.” We recently celebrated the special day of Lag Ba’omer, commemorating the life and lessons of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai. One of his enduring teachings was his refusal to accept the opinion that “Torah will be forgotten from Yisroel” (Shabbos 138b). Rabi Shimon argued with his colleagues and proclaimed, “Chas veshalom. Torah will never be forgotten.” To prove his contention, he quoted the posuk which states, “Ki lo sishokach mipi zaro.” Chassidic masters point out that the last letters of those words spell the name Yochai, hinting to his name. People ask why there is a custom to celebrate the hilulah of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai through lighting fires. Perhaps it is to remind us of this message. On this day of Lag Ba’omer, the plague affecting the talmidim of Rabi Akiva - the shoresh of Torah Shebaal Peh - ceased wreaking havoc, and the transmission of Torah from Har Sinai was able to continue, as it does until this very day. On the day of Lag Ba’omer, the Toras Hasod of Rabi Shimon, talmid of Rabi Akiva, was sealed and delivered. Jews the world over celebrate the events so important to Torah study by remembering that Torah is given and studied through fire, with burning enthusiasm. We danced and sang, secure in the knowledge that the Torah is as real and vibrant today as when given at Sinai, in fire, with thunder and flashes of light. The miracle is that we still feel it. Even as the flame under the collective Jewish soul
21 THE JEWISH HOME MAY 29, 2014
gets turned lower and lower and darkness sweeps across the earth, we still sense the fire of Torah. The Gemara in Maseches Shabbos relates that Moshe Rabbeinu told the malochim that the Torah was more suited to the lower worlds than to the heavens, arguing that they had no parents, no yeitzer hora, and no work-week. The commandments of the Torah clearly don’t apply to them, he said. In giving us the Torah, Hashem was proclaiming His desire for His holy, precious Torah to rest among the lowest form of life, namely man. Hashem passed over the serofim, the ofanim and the chayos hakodesh, gifting the Torah instead to adam, whom he had created min ha’adomah. This is the meaning of the shirah that the malochim sang, conceding to Moshe at the time, “Hashem Elokeinu, mah adir Shimcha bechol ha’aretz.” Through giving the Torah to us, Hashem’s Name will be glorious in all the worlds, in the lowest regions and spheres as well. Our Torah speaks to us in all situations, in all places, and at all times. Rav Yerachmiel Bauer, a prominent Bnei Brak mechanech, noticed Maran Rav Elozor Menachem Man Shach toiling to prepare a shiur. He wondered why the rosh yeshiva, who had been delivering shiurim for decades and learned each sugya numerous times, needed to spend so much time preparing. Rav Shach explained that the actual substance of the shiur was not what took so much time. He knew what he wanted to say. “Most of my time and energy goes into one thing: If I say a shiur that will satisfy the brightest students, then the mediocre and weaker talmidim are being deprived.
If I lower it to suit their level, then I am cheating the metzuyonim out of the challenge they deserve. So I work hard, going through the shiur again and again, to make sure that the points are understandable to every talmid and the shiur will still stimulate the bright talmidim as well. The responsibility of the maggid shiur,” concluded the aged rosh yeshiva, “is to everyone, because the Torah belongs to everyone.” This is what we celebrate on Shavuos. The Torah belongs to everyone. Even if someone has learned less than he would have liked to, even if he feels distant, he should be heartened by the fact that Hakadosh Boruch Hu didn’t choose to give his most precious treasure to angels. He chose lowly man. As we say in the piyut of Asher Eimasecha on Yom Kippur, “Yet You desire praise, from clods of earth, who dwell in a valley, of meager accomplishment, whose works are poor.” He chose us. Asher bochar bonu. He gave us the Torah, despite our limitations and struggles. For more than 3,300 years, it has been our oxygen, our sustenance and our nourishment. Let us draw it close to our hearts and rejoice, confident in its ability to lift us, stimulate us and make us whole. The Torah speaks to everyone on their level. We should never become disenchanted or depressed, feeling that we have sunk so low that we are not worthy of redemption any longer. Although we are human, we are special. All of us, not only those who are bright and accomplished, are gifted. We all stood at Har Sinai. We all heard the word of Hashem and received the Torah. There is something there for each one of us. It has the power to enhance our lives and give it meaning, no matter where and who
we are. On Shavuos, we celebrate that fact. Every Yom Tov has its own mitzvos. Pesach has matzah. Sukkos has sukkah and Arba Minim. Why doesn’t Shavuos have any identifying mitzvah? Because we commemorate the day we received the Torah at Har Sinai by living as Jews and fulfilling the mitzvos. We celebrate Shavuos by living a life of Torah and following all its precepts. The Gemara in Maseches Pesochim (68b) states that half of the Shavuos day is dedicated to the service of Hashem and the other half is for our own physical benefit. Because we are people and not angels. We have physical needs and limitations. We note that the Torah is spiritual and that it governs the physical. The famous words of Rav Yosef related in Maseches Pesochim (ibid) are often quoted to convey the extraordinary spiritual power of the day. On Shavuos, Rav Yosef would partake of a meal consisting of the finest meat. He explained: “Ih lav hai yoma dekogorim kama Yosef ika beshuka - If not for this day, there would be no difference between me and all the other Joes in the street.” The greatness of this day is that it celebrates this transformative force of the Torah on all aspects of our lives. If we remain with the same personality we possessed prior to our study, then we are just another Joe. Limud haTorah must transform us, channeling our lives toward a steady upward journey of elevated performance and accomplishments. It is often repeated that the 600,000 letters which comprise the Torah correspond to the collective tally of the Jews in the midbar. This is to symbolize that there is a letter in the Torah for each Jew and that
each Jew has a letter in the Torah. The Torah is the collective embodiment of every individual Jew who adheres to its precepts and commandments. Every Jew can find their place there. Life is full of nisyonos, tests. There are always confrontational people and ideas seeking for us to deviate from the words we heard at Sinai. There are countless temptations lurking wherever we turn, attempting to cause us to veer from our Divine mission. Our generation is blessed in many ways. The Olam HaTorah is growing by leaps and bounds. More people than ever have dedicated their lives to Torah study. Mitzvos that once required mesirus nefesh are easily observable, and difficulties in matters of kashrus and shemiras Shabbos are things of the past. As an am kadosh, we are commanded to behave differently than the “Yosef beshuka.” As recipients and bearers of the Toras Emes and the Toras Chesed, we have to cleave to the values that have helped us endure the dark exile surrounded by the “Yosefs beshuka.” During the Sefirah period, we climbed the ladder of the 48 ways with which Torah is acquired. We have refined our character and prepared to recreate the acceptance of Torah on the date it was originally given. Let us strive to strain our ears to hear that song, and for our mouths to sing it and our faculties to play it, so that we can be zocheh to kabbolas haTorah on these great days of 6 and 7 Sivan. Chag someiach. Ah gutten Yom Tov.
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MAY 29, 2014
Contradictions Resolved; The Arrival of Moshiach By Rabbi Sholom Kesselman
When will he come? How will he come? What will it be like after he comes? Will we build the Bet Hamikdash or will it majestically descend from heaven? The answers to these questions can be found throughout the works of our prophets and sages. The problem however, is that there are many conflicting and contradictory statements in their writings, making it rather difficult to gain a clear picture of what will really happen. To mention a few: Contradiction One: How will Moshiach arrive? (Daniel 7:13): “I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him. And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” The “man” in Daniel’s vision is king Moshiach and he sees him coming with the clouds of heaven. The assumption is that Moshiach will arrive, riding on the clouds of heaven.
However we find a conflicting prophecy in the book of Zechariah (9:10): “Be exceedingly happy, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold! Your king shall come to you. He is just and victorious; humble, and riding a donkey … And I will cut off the chariots from Ephraim, and the horses from Jerusalem; and the bow of war shall be cut off. And he shall speak peace to the nations, and his rule shall be from the sea to the west and from the river to the ends of the earth.” Zechariah too is prophesying about king Moshiach, but he sees him arriving as a humble man riding on a donkey. How then will Moshiach arrive? Will he come, riding on the clouds of heaven or as a poor man riding on a donkey? Contradiction Two: When will Moshiach come? (Isaiah 60:22) “The smallest shall become a thousand and the least a mighty nation; I am the Lord, in its time I will hasten it.” In this prophecy concerning the redemption, Isaiah seems to contradict himself. First he says: “In its time”. This implies that there is predetermined date and time for Moshiach’s coming and he will come only then. But then he says: “I will hasten it”. This implies that G-d will hasten Moshiach’s coming and he may therefore arrive at any time. Which way is it? Is there a fixed date for Moshiach to come or can everyday be the day? Contraction Three: Who will build the third temple? (Rambam, laws of kings, 11:1) “In the
future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel.” From this comment of Rambam it is clear that the third Bet Hamikdash will be built by Moshiach. He will lead the rest of the Jews in the physical and natural process of its building. However, Rashi (Sukkah 41A) writes: “The third temple will descend perfectly built from heaven.” Clearly then Moshiach will not have to build the temple, as it will miraculously descend from heaven created to perfection by G-d Himself. Which one is it? Will it be built naturally by man or miraculously by G-d? Contradiction 4: What will the world be like after he comes? (Rambam, laws of kings, 12:1) “Do not presume that in the Messianic age any facet of the world’s nature will change or there will be innovations in the work of creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern. Although Isaiah (11:6) states: ‘The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the young goat,’ these words are a metaphor and a parable. The interpretation of the prophecy is as follows: Israel will dwell securely together with the wicked gentiles who are likened to a wolf and leopard. Similarly, other Messianic prophecies of this nature are metaphors. In the Messianic era, everyone will realize which matters were implied by these metaphors and which allusions they contained. Our Sages taught: “There will be no difference between the current age and the Messianic era except the emancipation from our subjugation to the gentile kingdoms.” The opinion of Rambam it seems is that life after Moshiach comes will be pretty much the same as it is now and we should not expect anything miraculous and supernatural to happen. However many other Rabbis disagree with Rambam. They insist that the biblical prophecies were meant literally: the wolf will lie with the lamb, all trees will bear fruit, even those that presently don’t, the sick will be healed, the earth will grow garments that are ready to wear etc.
The truth is even Rambam himself seems to change his mind. In Iggeret Techiat Hamesim he writes: “This that I wrote concerning the prophecies that they are meant in the metaphoric sense, may indeed not be so as they could come true in the literal sense as well.” Furthermore, one of Rambam’s 13 principles of faith is the resurrection of the dead. This is certainly miraculous and a change in the ways of the world. So once again, which way is it? Will the world continue to run in the same natural way that it does now or will it dramatically change to run in a miraculous and supernatural way? The Answer: The Talmud in Sanhedrin (98A) resolves two of the contradictions regarding how he will come and when he will come, in the following way: If the Jews are meritorious he will come on the clouds of heaven and his coming will be hastened. If we are not found to be meritorious, Moshiach will come on a donkey at the predetermined time. But if we closely examine all of the four contradictions mentioned above, we will find that in truth, the same underlying principle is being questioned in all of them: will Moshiach’s coming be something of a natural process or will it be miraculous? The logic of the Talmud therefore can be extended to answer all four of the questions as such: If we are worthy G-d will send him in a miraculous way. This includes his coming early before his time, arriving on clouds, the Bet Hamikdash descending from heaven and various other supernatural events taking place. If we are not worthy then he will come by means of a natural process. He will come only in his time, riding an animal, he will build the Bet Hamikdash and nothing miraculous will happen after his coming. This would explain the uncertainty of Rambam on this matter, since it’s not possible to predict which way it will be. This also explains the issue with the resurrection of the dead. Even if Moshiach came and we were not worthy, at some point after his coming we would eventually become worthy and then the resurrection will happen. May we truly merit Moshiach’s coming speedily in our days.
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MAY 29, 2014
Start Up Nation; Israeli Chutzpah is Alive and Well
In 2009 Start Up Nation was published. Written by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, the book flows with brilliant stories of Israeli entrepreneurial prowess. The authors defined the Israeli culture as the perfect balance of interconnectedness, questioning mentality and motivated independent citizens. Most likely the army creates or develops this mentality in the young recruits. No–one is certain but doubtless there is an impact of compulsory service. 5 years since the book was released to accolades and bestseller lists, the Israeli Start Up industry is alive and well. A Forbes article (Geromel, 5/16/2012) is but one source of the latest figures. *Today Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than Europe, Japan, Korea, India and China combined. *Israel raises 2.5 times more global venture capital as the US and 30 times
more than Europe, 80 times more than India and 350 times more than China. *34% of Israeli’s hold a university degree compared with 30% of Americans and Chinese. *Israel has the highest level of R and D spending relative to GDP in the world. Wharton Business School defined Israeli Start Up companies ( 02/27/2014) as following, “a trajectory that starts with forming a team and developing an idea, then raising two or three rounds of venture capital and ending within a few years by selling out to a larger firm.” This does not mean that Start Up companies are small businesses or entrepreneurial. Yet they mostly are both and they are funded with enough investment to allow the innovation and creation of new technology. If the business model works, the sale of the companies in a few years from
creation likely results in a multi-million dollar payout to the venture capitalist and to the creators. The Start Up company typically becomes the R & D division of a large, often global company. The tragedy is that Israel loses the talent and product which the inventors have created as the purchaser is rarely Israel. At the same time, the wealth is focused on a small number of people and the social divide gets wider. Success is its own magnet and predictably, the current energy in Israel is blossoming today with constantly innovating entrepreneurial activity. A GEM report of 2012 researched the motivation for this unprecedented cultural success. The numbers show that the motive for creating new ventures in Israel comes from opportunity as opposed to necessity. The opportunities are available for fund raising and mentors are in place to guide creative thinking. It’s therefore quite common for post army twenty-something’s to try their hand at a Start Up. In the same way that Management Consultancy and Finance are career paths that are made electrifyingly easy, appealing and available to graduates from top US universities, today the small company financing, guidance and innovational paths are the prize waiting for young Israelis. The process is streamlined in such a succinct way that The Taglit Birthright Organization started a Start Up Nation group in 2012 for young Jewish entre-
By Ruth Judah
preneurs. Kids on this program are taken to Israel where they are introduced to newly started up companies in Herziliya and Tel Aviv and then visit students enrolled in a cutting edge program offered at IDC Herziliya in Entrepreneurship. These Americans are given the chance, often for the first time in their lives, to pitch and evaluate their business ideas with several venture capitalists. The Taglit group’s co-leader, Craig Kramer, said the program is unique because it allows participants the first-hand experience of meeting successful entrepreneurs. “They get to pitch their ideas and get direct feedback from people who have been there and done that,” said Kramer. “First-hand experience in Israel lets them bridge the gap from idea to reality much more easily.” On May 1st in Santa Monica, Bina LA, an organization that works to develop interaction and interrelationship with young Israeli’s and young Americans, held a lecture called, Israel’s High Tech Heroes. A delegation of four young Israeli entrepreneurs was brought to LA by The Jewish Federation and UCLA Hillel and they spoke at a well attended evening event. They all credited their military service with providing training, camaraderie and competition that provided them with tools, network, skills, attitude, fearlessness, creativity and determination to be the successful entrepreneur that they wanted to be. In various ways the foursome described the Israel business framework that
25 THE JEWISH HOME
computer chip designer for Elbit Systems in Israel. Vizelthen founded Zeekit, an online company that allows a person to virtually try on clothes for a better e-commerce experience.
MAY 29, 2014
now, more than ever, creates a continual outpouring of young Israeli’s who are able to find success in Start-Ups. Of course there are many small businesses that don’t innovate with the use of hitch but it is frequently the cyber military back ground that exposes young minds to creative and productive innovation. Combining that stimulation with an ecosystem of services, mentors and investors, is a proven path to repeated success. Each of the High Tech Heroes has a background in the most elite IDF units, both cyber/tech and combat units, and now each of them lead an enterprise although they cover a spectrum of industries. The delegation members include Guy Katsovich an alumnus of the prestigious IDF cyber unit 8200. He currently heads up marketing and business development for the Israeli start-up Veribo. Veribo is a company specializing in online reputation management. Yael Vizel served in the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) elite tech unit and became the first woman commander of the unit. As an expert computer scientist, Yael was responsible for leading IAF groundtech and aerial-tech combat missions. Following a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technion University she went on to work for five years as a
Roei Deutch sold his first media start-up at the age of 15. During his army years he joined the prestigious cyber unit 8200 and served mandatory time but Roei now serves as the Director of New Media for the Israeli political party Yesh Atid. New Media and Social Media outreach are widely credited for sparking Yesh Atid’s rise in the polls to win a surprising 19 seats in the 2013 Israeli Knesset Elections. Shiri Ladelsky is also an alumnus of the prestigious IDF cyber unit 8200. While serving in 8200, Ladelsky specialized in psychological analysis and linguistics. While the details of her intelligence service remain top secret, it was certainly an experience that primed her for her role in a software Start Up called Vibits. Now a Computer Science and Linguistics student at Tel Aviv University, Ladelsky runs Vibits, a company which focuses on personality features for human resource departments via visualized CV and psychological analysis and prediction. The concept sounds impressive but there is currently little more known about the company’s potential. Israel is still the world’s leading Start Up Nation. The past was only a hint of the future inventions and innovations. Israeli Military intelligence has been the backbone of an endless list of new ideas that have been developed by small companies or R&D divisions of larger organizations. Back in 1950, it was the sweet creation of the Golden Hamster as a pet that was recognized. Today, the list is vastly more
impressive. In no particular order, you might have heard of Dr Gabi Iddan from Given Imagine developing the PillCam capsule endoscope, an ingestible camera in a pill that can detect GI disorders. There is the World’s smallest camera, just 0.99mm in diameter, which was also an invention that was birthed in Israeli military intelligence. Then there’s the creation of reusable plastic trays by Tal-Ya Water Technologies which successfully captures and reuses dew from the air, reducing the need to water crops by up to 50 percent. Have you come across the super iron battery, a new class of a rechargeable electric battery that is more environmentally friendly because the super-iron eventually rusts? The scope of creativity reaches everywhere including various board games in-
cluding Rummikum and Hidato. In the 1950’s there was demand for the Wonder Pot, a Pot that can bake food on the stove. The internet abounds in lists of the top 64 inventions that have recently come from Israel and yet the story doesn’t end here. It is not the creation of a single product that brands Israeli Start Up culture. Israel will walk the world into the next decades because of its continual innovation and design mentality. Perhaps since the Greek and Roman Empires there has been no country which produced a culture blossoming with such innovation and invention. The future is looking good and Golda Meir would not be surprised. She set the tone for Start Up culture when she said, all those years ago, “We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 29, 2014
A Conversation With Bobby Shriver: Continuing A Family Tradition Bobby Shriver is making a bid for election for Los Angeles County Supervisor. The primary will be on June 3rd and the General election will be on November 4, 2014. Success in the election will place him in a job that leaves him in charge of $26 billion that is spent each year on 10 million Californians. Shriver has invested heavily in his election bid and the polls are showing that he might just win. While you may or may not support him, it is rewarding to consider his heritage. Shriver’s parents immersed their five kids in the idea of public service. Sargent Shriver became director and founder of the United States Peace Corps in 1961 and the Peace Corps still functions today, working to eradicate disease and poverty in the 134 countries where it sends volunteers. Shriver’s mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, against immense adversity, created the Special Olympics. With a childhood already steeped in social awareness, it is fascinating to learn that Shriver came of age in Israel, where his parents sent him during the summers of his teen years. This week, Bobby Shriver talked with The Jewish Home about his longstanding relationship with Israel. “I certainly had a fun time in Israel as a teenager. My father was very intent that I learned about Israel so that I would understand what was going on. I went there several times. I visited a kibbutz one summer and I went another summer when my father got me a job on a movie and I drove a truck and went around picking up stuff and carting it to different sets. I didn’t learn a lot of Hebrew, but as a teenager driving a truck all summer I am sure you can imagine the kinds of words I did learn! Living in East Jerusalem and driving a truck in 1970was very, very interesting indeed. In that era, it was perceived to be less dangerous than it is now. A tough war had already been fought, and it is not like today for many Israeli’s that live in fear of rockets coming over. It was a very hopeful and exciting time and the idealism and self-determinism of the Israeli people that I met there was terrific. I hope to travel to Israel many times in the future. As a teenager, in 1970 I was able to experience a Country that few of my peers had the chance to experience firsthand. Some of the most impacting memories I have are from the times I met with Golda Meir and Mr. Ben Gurion. I remember Mr. Ben Gurion specifically telling me I should get a haircut, because in those days it was the fashion to have longer hair. I liked him even though he had short hair. Golda Meir had been a school teacher in America and she asked me what books I was reading. I had some good answers and she asked me
By Ruth Judah
my views on the book. She was a character. They were both characters. Ben Gurion as much as Golda Meir. They had a very nice
health emergencies that effect many people in Africa. “I think my parents, being so involved with charity and with people set
sense of humor, both of them, I remember. They needed it, given everything that they went through. You had to have a laugh here and there; otherwise you’d spend all your time crying.” The Shriver family connection with Israel goes back to January 9, 1964. Sargent Shriver, brother in law of John F Kennedy, had been chosen to deliver a letter from President Johnson to the Premier of Israel, Levi Eshkol. The letter promised Israel continued friendship and support for Israel from the US. Mr. Shriver was also welcomed to a lunch hosted by Golda Meir, then foreign minister. A report released this month by the Associated Press, confirms these details, noting that White House tapes have recently reiterated President Johnson’s ,“personal and often emotional connection to Israel” LBJ, as he was known, was president from 1963 to 1969 and in that time, “The United States became Israel’s chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.” This was fragile times, just two months after the assassination of John F Kennedy and four years before the Yom Kippur war. With just two months of his presidency behind him, President Johnson wanted to make a clear statement of support for the State of Israel. Johnson had long supported the Jewish cause. Back in 1938 he arranged for visas to be given to Jews seeking asylum from Warsaw, Poland, as well as securing the safety of hundreds of Jews who arrived illegally in America via the port of Galveston, Texas, which was Johnson’s home state. Sargent Shriver worked closely with LBJ and went on to run President Johnson’s programs that were set up to help families out of poverty. Shriver has a law degree from Yale University and worked in finance before he became the cofounder and chairman of (Product) RED and co founder of DATA and has spent the last ten years working to eliminate issues relating to financial and
me up to be who I am.” We all want to honor our parents and learn from them. I saw my Mom creating stuff and my Dad doing so much that was great. I saw what a great impact this had on people. All over the world you realize that you can have an impact. I had a text today from a friend of mine who is in Florence and he’s walking
down the street and saw a poster for the Special Olympics. It’s kind of incredible that all these years later, the organization is doing so well. I’ve already done a lot for charity, although I earned money for them, I didn’t come up with the idea. I didn’t execute the idea with advisors telling me that I was crazy as people did to my mom. My mom was working in a different era and she was very brave to create the Special Olympics in a time when many did not fully accept adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. I produced records that earned a lot of money and helped individuals, on the other hand my Mother executed her plans for the Special Olympics and that was a much tougher thing to achieve. The link to Africa was from my Father who got me involved when I was young because of his work with the Peace Corps. He wanted us to know about Africa, yet he was also the one who very strongly wanted me to go to Israel as well and to learn what was going on there. My parents thought we should go and learn things in summer
vacations and so we rarely went on vacation to more fashionable or fun places. We were always sent on educational projects in the summer so that we would understand the world and I think my dad got that from his own childhood of travelling around Europe when he was a young man and he learned there are many, many things to be learned which you couldn’t learn from books. You had to see people to understand their struggle. I try to do it with my children. I’ve taken both of them to Africa; it was a powerful thing.” The role of Los Angeles County Supervisor is not a glamorous job, or a job based with the political elite in Washington, yet County Supervisor is a role that can substantially help to cure and support those people who are most in need. The primary focus is on mental health issues, mass transit, prisons, orphans, adoptions, fostering, and the extreme needs of low income adults and their children throughout the state. Shriver discussed the role in some detail, explaining, “I think the values that come out of the Jewish and Christian faith are reflected in much of the work the county does. As Supervisor you have to look after the needs of foster children, deal with a crisis in the community or working out the needs of social workers. Another part of the job is looking after the mentally ill, looking after people who are suffering, or who have suffered from mental illness, and these are things that our faith empowers us to do and where we learn the values of education and community and looking after the weak. I think this job is strong in faith based values. I moved into politics later in my life because I got into a fight with local government. In dealing with what should have been an easy issue to solve, with respect and humanity, what I found was a system that was condescending to my community. It was the arrogance that I met that I couldn’t accept and that’s why I got involved. I had to stand for something. Israeli’s have to do this on a daily basis. In a world that is changing rapidly and unpredictably, there is something comforting about lineage in our political candidates. We like to feel that their dedication to political and social issues comes from a deep set of values, not something that might pass. We want the power of their position to be true. From a kibbutz in Israel in the ‘70’s to the Hall of Supervisors, Shriver is bringing his family tradition that just might impact Los Angeles County for the better.
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Travel Guide: San Diego By Aaron Feigenbaum The second-largest city in California and birthplace of the state, San Diego has built itself up from a sleepy backwater of the Spanish empire to America’s 8th-largest city and a center for tourism, shipping, naval activities, and, recently, biotechnology. Located just 20 minutes away from the San Ysidro Mexican border crossing, San Diego is a decidedly international city with a huge diversity of people, languages, and cultures. San Diego not only offers countless fascinating attractions, but, rather surprisingly, a slower-paced, more small-town feel than one might expect. Originally settled by the Kumeyaay tribe, the area now known as San Diego was claimed for the Spanish empire in 1542 by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1769, Gaspar de Portola, who also founded Monterey, founded the city which started out as the fort on Presidio Hill. The Presidio was slowly deserted after Mexico took over the area from
Spain in the early 1800‘s. After a series of bloody battles in the Mexican-American war, San Diego, along with the rest of California, was surrendered by Mexico to
the United States in 1848. The city went on to host two World’s Fairs and really grew in WWII where it became a major naval and arms manufacturing hub. There was a population boom just after the war but the city suffered from budget cuts during the Cold War, and the collapse of the tuna fishing and cannery industries in the late 20th century, San Diego is now a center for tourism, science, and commerce.
What to Do and See:
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San Diego Zoo/Safari Park: Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego zoo is one of the most renowned in the world. It houses almost 4,000 animals, some of which are found at no other zoo in the world. You will see polar bears, hippos, gorillas and the giant panda which is a rarity for zoos. For a more authentic, wild experience visit the zoo’s sister Safari Park 35 miles north of downtown. It’s a huge expanse of land where you can see rhinos, giraffes, lions and gazelles all in their natural, albeit transplanted, habitat. There’s even a replica of an African fishing village, as well as
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a tram ride through the park or a balloon ride for an extra fee. Tickets for the zoo run at $46 per adult $36 per child. The Safari Park has a large range of experiences to choose from which cost from $45 per person all the way to $599. Sea World: Home to the always-popular Shamu, the killer whale, Sea World is an aquatic theme park extraordinaire. Among other things, you can enjoy whale shows, dolphin displays, sea-lion/otter programs and then ride a roller-coaster and take a gondola ride over Mission Bay. There’s also a walk-through aquarium with sharks, manta rays, and more. This family-friendly adventure will cost at least $64 per person. If you’re willing to spend a bit more you can bundle your tickets those for the zoo and other attractions. Coronado Island: Home to a naval air station and a Navy SEALS center, Coronado Island is also a pleasant, picturesque locale that’s great for a relaxed day of strolling, swimming and sunbathing. You can see the house that Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum rented, or take a tour of the stunning Hotel del Coronado. Downtown San Diego: The downtown area hosts a wide range of attractions including the Gaslamp Quarter which showcases a number of impressive Victorian homes and the Maritime Museum which is home to many vessels including the world’s oldest active sailing ship Star of India. There’s also the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, one of San Diego’s star attractions. For $20 per adult $10 per youth you can get an in-depth history of the vessel’s Cold War history and see how
sailors lived in it for months on end. There are fighter jets on the top deck, as well as older aircraft below. Legoland: If you’re driving with kids to San Diego then this is a perfect stop along the way. Located in Carlsbad half an hour north of San Diego, Legoland is chock full of family fun with drivable Lego cars, a Lego water park, a pirate-themed ship ride, a rail ride through a Lego medieval castle themed area, and Lego replicas of famous American cities. If you only want to buy tickets to Legoland, the online prices run from $76 per adult and $66 per child. The water park and aquarium are charged additionally.
Eat and Daven:
The Grille is San Diego’s only glatt kosher restaurant. It’s a bit out of the way but the drive might be worth it for the unique menu that blends American, Israeli, and Mexican cuisine. The Emet Market is attached to the restaurant for your shopping needs. (6548 El Cajon Blvd., (888)418-1437, thegrillesd.com) There is a Ralph’s and Albertson’s downtown, both of which carry select kosher items. You can also find a Ralph’s kosher experience in the upscale La Jolla district (8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, (858)597-1550). There are a number of frum shuls in San Diego including: 1. Beth Jacob Congregation at 4855 College Avenue (858)-287-9890) 2. Chabad of Downtown San Diego at 472 Third Ave. (619) 702-8518 3. Kehillas Torah at 14133 Via Alisal (858) 829-9648
-The Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island has hosted 10 U.S. Presidents and has the distinction of hosting the first presidential dinner outside the White House in 1970. The hotel is also the largest wooden structure in the U.S. -The library of UC San Diego owns the world’s largest collection of Dr. Seuss manuscripts. Dr. Seuss, otherwise known as Ted Geisel, lived in La Jolla. -Charles Lindbergh had his plane Spirit of St. Louis built in San Diego and he tested it on the runway of what’s now the San Diego International Airport, before his famous 1927 transatlantic flight.
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Righting the wrong in Rialto
Samantha Hauptman, MA, ed
The Rialto Unified School District in San Bernadino thought it was a good idea to develop the critical thinking of young adolescents by introducing them to Holocaust Denial. In April they were given an assignment to debate whether the Holocaust actually happened or whether it was a hoax. The assignment read as follows: When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political monetary gain. You will read and discuss multiple, credible articles on the issue, and write an argumentative essay, based upon textual evidence, in which you will explain whether or not you believe this was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. At worst, the assignment was immoral and insensitive. At best, the assignment was an indicator of what we will be forced to defend in the near future. As a Holocaust Studies teacher, I have been following the story closely and was encouraged that the students would be visiting the Museum of Tolerance, as a result of the Museum’s invitation by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, to students and teachers from the school. My Holocaust Studies class from Ohel Chana High School was scheduled to visit the museum on May 20th, the same day as the Rialto students. I did not know our trip would coincide with the Rialto visit. The trip would be a culmination of our yearlong class that met twice a week and studied everything from the German defeat in World War I, through Liberation of the extermination camps. My class was prepared for what they would experience at The Museum of Tolerance. My Holocaust lessons focus on collaborators and bystanders; the reasons the Holocaust reached epic proportions. Through Holocaust education we will continue to shape our humanity. We must continue to struggle with the question, how was the Holocaust possible? Not, did the Holocaust happen? The voices of survivors are dying and I worry that we still have not internalized the lesson of tolerance. I started class this year reminding my students they would be the last generation to see and hear from witnesses of the Holocaust: people whose lives were irrevocably changed through the collaboration of a desperate country. They are the last to hear firsthand the stories of the generation who could not console their
starving children, save their parents from certain selection at death camps, or hold onto the hands of siblings. To bring the lesson home, I told my students that this year Alice Sommer died at the age of 110. She was the oldest Holocaust survivor. As my students made their way up the spiral ramp for our encounter with a Holocaust survivor, close to one hundred students were descending. I asked our docent if these were the students from the Rialto School District and was answered in the affirmative. Divine Intervention had crossed our paths. The Rialto students were on their journey to having their eyes opened to the truth. I studied their faces and tried to crawl into their minds. I observed them throughout the afternoon. I was witnessing history. As we exited our three-hour tour, the students from Rialto were concluding their crash course in Holocaust Studies. Most of the students had never been introduced to the Holocaust before the assignment. Although it felt awkward, I asked our docent if I could speak with the volunteer who had led their group. I needed to know what message they would leave with. The students were shy at first, but one brave student named Dylan said he was leaving “enlightened”. He was leaving with the understanding that “hatred can go anywhere” and we cannot forget. Other students used the words “compelled” and “overwhelmed”. If we believe everything happens for a reason, then maybe the purpose of the assignment was to remind us to never forget. In an ironic twist, the Holocaust can be a lesson in hope, faith and endurance: faith in the heroes who chose not to be bystanders and save the Jews, endurance through the survivors who rose like the phoenix from the ashes, and hope that the future really will be ‘never again’. By teaching The Holocaust, we can illuminate the darkest chapter in history by transforming ourselves into lamplighters for the future generations once the voices are gone. In the words of Simon Wiesenthal, “Hope Lives When People Remember.” Samantha Hauptman, MA, ed. is a veteran educator and administrator, specializing in the teaching of Holocaust Studies. She currently teaches Holocaust Studies at Ohel Chana High School. She is also Director of Student Services at Yeshiva High Tech. Samantha can be reached at bchs. firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.
Is There a Problem with Being Content with Your Lot?
e were all sitting around a cozy kitchen enjoying a late shalosh seudos and listening to the ba’al habayis read Pirkei Avos. He got to the one we know so well: Who is rich? – The person who is happy with his lot. “Wait a minute!” someone at the table chimed in, “I don’t think it’s good to be contented with where you are at; it’s better for a person to strive for more.” She gave an example of an artist who wants his work to be better and better. He should not be satisfied with the level that he is at in the moment. Those at the table argued that this contentment is meant to be with material things and that we should be satisfied with what G-d gives us. That did not satisfy her: She was adamant that discontent is a great motivator to work harder and strive for more. Is it? My friend could be correct. Research shows that children raised with constant praise may not strive as hard as those on a more sparse diet. On the other hand, research also shows that parents who lead their child to believe that he is never going to measure up to their expectations may have a kid who stops trying. “Whoa!” You might be about to say: “This Mishnah is about material accomplishment, not about learning or achievement.” Is it? Your “cheilek” in life is the totality of what has been given to you by the Giver of everything. Therefore, there is no way to separate out the big (or small) house from the cleverness, industriousness, and hard work that you may (or may not) have had so as to earn it. Your cheilek includes your children, to whom you married, what country you live in, your talents, all of it. You know very well that you can consider yourself rich if you have wonderful children. And simcha is that state of being in which you know in your bones that you are a partner with G-d and based on your choices, He gave you what He felt you needed. And you appreciate HaKodosh Baruch Hu for that. So now you’re going to ask: But what if my children didn’t turn out
right? What if my marriage didn’t? For Pete’s sake, what if I didn’t? How am I supposed to be b’simcha? And that is an excellent question. Here’s how I see it: We are all artists here. We were
bly didn’t. After all, we start out as novices; we only learn how much better we could have done it much later when it is too late to erase and start over. The issue is not whether you did a good job
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER IS: DID YOU DO A DECENT JOB WITH WHAT YOU WERE GIVEN?
given certain colors, a bit of canvas, a brush, and told, “Go make Me a picture!” And years later, we can look with the eye of an expert and say, “Well, I don’t like how this turned out. It could have used more blue in this corner and yellow in that.”
but whether you tried to do one. And assuming you made every effort that you could have at the time, you can now look back and be pleased with what G-d gave you. You see, there are two perspectives here – yours and G-d’s. You invested
Except that you didn’t have the blue at the time nor the yellow. You weren’t so sure how to hold the paintbrush or how much color to get on it when you were ready. Your hand wasn’t so steady and you couldn’t possibly have had the vision when you were twelve or twenty two that you do now. The self-criticism is misplaced. Looking backward at what materials you were given and the job you did with them, the most important thing to consider is: Did you do a decent job with what you were given? It’s not even right to ask if you did the best you could because you proba-
time, brains, and energy to create something, your “lot.” Theoretically, your investment of these things should result in an outcome commensurate with them. But there is also G-d looking at you and wondering how He can best help you. Is there something else that you could learn? And so He gives you the outcome commensurate with what He thinks would benefit you. He gives you what, from His perspective, you need. So, if, for example, you’ve had hardships – and there are very few people that haven’t had them – and you tackled life anyway, then you’ve really utilized the tools He gave you very well even if
the outcome is not what you were striving toward. In that case, you have to be pleased with yourself and thankful to Him. What if you don’t think you did a good job with what you were given? My best guess is that you are too hard on yourself. If you worked hard and thought through things well to try to make good choices, then you did well. And you’re not dead yet! You can now go forward making improvements in your choices. Here is the key: While you are doing that, you should, indeed, be b’simcha. You should be happy for the fact that you tried hard to do the right thing. You should be happy that you finally figured out what you did wrong and what you can do different. You should be happy that you have a future in which to make those changes. So while you are figuring out what to do better tomorrow, you are happy today. Just because you want to do better doesn’t mean you can’t be b’simcha with your efforts thus far. Indeed, the very fact that you realize that you didn’t always make the best decisions is something to be very happy about: It means you have more tools today to do better than you did previously. Your awareness is itself a blessing. Knowing that the whole thing comes from G-d and that we can improve until the day we die is a cause for simcha. I can’t figure out a way you could not be b’simcha. What am I missing?
Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist best-selling of The Dr. Deb and Hirschorn is aauthor marriage & Healingtherapist Is Mutual:and Marriage Empowerment family best selling author Tools to Rebuild Trust Respect—Togethof The Healing Is and Mutual: Marriage er, is proud to announce readers of The Empowerment Tools to that Rebuild Trust and Jewish Home willvisit receive a $50 discount for on Respect. Please www.drdeb.com further info. every visit to her Woodmere office. Listen to 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.
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Riddle! Some people’s names (such as “Will Power”) suggest a certain personality or career choice. Given below are some last names and professions. Can you think of a first name for each of the listed last names which would be suggestive of their professions? For example: Sonny Day would suggest a meteorologist. Each last name and profession may be used just once. Last Names: Ball, King, Major, Mee, Soares, Turner Professions: Paleontologist, Author, Musician, Plumber, Astrologer, Lawyer Answer on next page
You Gotta be
Bill Gates decides to organize a convention to find the next chairman for Microsoft. 5,000 candidates are assembled in a large room. One of the candidates is Yankel Cohen. Mr. Gates thanks all the candidates for coming and asks all those who do not know the programming language Java Plus to rise and leave. 2,000 people leave the room. But Yankel says to himself, “I don’t know this language, but what do I have to lose if I stay? I’ll give it a try.” Bill Gates then asks the remaining candidates who have never been team managers to leave. 2,000 people rise and leave the room. But Yankel says to himself, “Oy, I never managed anyone but myself, but what have I got to lose if I stay? What can happen to me?” So he stays. Bill Gates then asks all remaining candidates who don’t have a degree from an Ivy League university to rise and leave. 500 people leave the room. But Yankel says to himself, “Oy vay, I left school at 15 so I never went to university, but what do I have to lose if I stay?” So he stays in the room. Bill Gates finally asks all the remaining candidates who don’t speak Serbo-Croat to rise and leave. 498 people rise and leave the room. But Yankel says to himself, “Oy vay zmir, I don’t speak Serbo-Croat, but whatever, I have nothing to lose.” So he stays in the room and finds himself alone with one other candidate – everyone else has left. Bill Gates turns to them and says, “Apparently you are the only two candidates who speak Serbo-Croat, so I’d now like to hear you both have a little conversation in that language.” Calmly, Yankel turns to the other candidate and says to him, “Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol halelot?” The other candidate answers, “Shebechol halelot anu ochlin chametz u’matzah.”
t s a L s u o Fam Words “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”– Western Union internal memo, 1876. “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”– A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.) “Who wants to hear actors talk?”– H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927, rejecting the idea of sound in film “A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” – Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles in 1962 “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895 “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
G OT FU N N Y?
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You may not remember every line in a book, but do you remember which classic book each of these opening lines are from? child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
1. “Call me Ishmael.” 2. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
9. “Where’s Papa going with that axe?”
3. “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.”
10. “The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.”
4. “When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.”
11. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal.”
5. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...”
13. “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”
12. “Life is difficult.”
14. “Who is John Galt?”
6. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like….”
15. “Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.” 16. “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”
8. “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own
Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
The Road Less Traveled, Robert Frost
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
M. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Matilda, Roald Dahl
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
To Kill a Mockingbird, Nelle Harper Lee
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Wisdom key: 12-16 correct: Look at you, all proud of yourself…with your upturned nose. Vous êtes si cultivés. 0-5 correct: Hmmm. Perhaps you should start your reading career with Dr. Seuss…Dum, diddy dum, diddy dum dum dum
9-E 10-I 11-A 12-C 13-H 14-N 15-P 16-G
6-11 correct: Remember, “C students” are captains of industry.
Answers: 1-K 2-M 3-B 4-L 5-O 6- J 7-D 8-F
7. “It was a pleasure to burn.”
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Famous Opening Lines Trivia
Answer to riddle: Crystal Ball - Astrologer ; Dinah Soares - Paleontologist ;Paige Turner - Author; Dee Major - Musician; Lee King - Plumber; Sue Mee - Lawyer
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” A man in Phoenix accidentally shot himself in the leg while in line at Walmart on Saturday. Or, as they call that in Arizona, “taking a selfie.” - Seth Myers
CNN had to fire an editor after discovering that she plagiarized 50 stories. CNN said, “Can you imagine if somebody actually saw them?” - Jimmy Fallon
We know that people die every day. - Sen. Bernie Sanders (VASocialist) on CNN arguing that the disclosure that many vets died due to inferior service at VA hospitals is not a scandal
According to the court’s ruling, the Zionist director of the company of Facebook, or his official attorney, must appear in court to defend himself and pay for possible losses. - An Iranian Internet official after an Iranian court ruled that Facebook causes privacy violations
Today, Merriam-Webster announced 150 new words being added to the dictionary, including selfie, dubstep, hashtag, and spoiler alert. Also, they’re considering removing the word “dictionary.” - Seth Myers A high school girl has invited Joe Biden to be her prom date. Isn’t that nice? However, her father is refusing to let her go with a guy who can’t really describe what he does for a living. - Conan O’Brien I’m sorry; we’re doing a science fair…C’mon. C’mon. - President Obama when a reporter asked him a question about Afghanistan while he was visiting a children’s science fair
Scientists in London say they have invented a process that can actually turn light into matter, but warned people that their results won’t be visible to the human eye. Well, in that case, I invented it too. - Jimmy Fallon Welcome to San Diego. If you love animals like I do, stay away from SeaWorld. – A billboard put up by PETA at San Diego airport
While the hypotheses described in that original story seemed right at the time, climate scientists now know that they were seriously incomplete. - Peter Gwynne, who in 1975 wrote a Newsweek article about impending doom due to global cooling, recanting that article in a new article featured in Inside Science News Service
This week is the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube. If you kids don’t know what a Rubik’s Cube is, it’s what people would stare at without human interaction before cellphones. – Conan O’Brien Are you real? - A surprised tourist to the president, when he went for an unannounced walk along the National Mall Yes, I am. I’m not wax. - President Obama in response
We’ve proved that Communism works. If you give everybody a good government job, there’s no crime. - Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla), discussing a city which has a high rate of government workers and a low crime rate
It’s springtime and earlier today Chris Christie closed the George Washington Bridge for a pollen study. – David Letterman The NBA gave Donald Sterling until Tuesday to respond. His lawyer asked for a three-month extension to prepare. I’ll tell you what’s happening here. He is stalling. Sterling is going to keep this in court until he dies. He is basically trying to run out the clock on being alive. - Jimmy Kimmel Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously? If he wants to judge people, why doesn’t he get a job in court somewhere? - Vladimir Putin in an interview with CNBC, dismissing President Obama’s criticism of Russia An optometrist is saying that Google Glass can cause sharp eye pain. Yeah, especially when people see you wearing it and punch your face in. – Conan O’Brien
Kraft is recalling more than a million cases of cottage cheese because they weren’t stored at the right temperature. Isn’t that how you make cottage cheese? – Jimmy Fallon
One day after recalling 2.4 million vehicles, GM has announced it’s recalling another 218,000 Chevy Aveos. Apparently, their defect is that they’re Chevy Aveos. – Seth Myers Tomorrow the chareidi tzibur will not have a bus. - Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid at a conference, saying what will happen if Chareidim don’t stop the practice of having separate bus sections for men and women
That the White House was very upset and that I needed to call the president and apologize. - Dr. Ben Carson, disclosing what organizers of the National Prayer breakfast told him after he famously bashed Obamacare in the presence of the president last year
But why are we surprised the government that runs the post office badly and runs Amtrak badly can’t run a health care system? Delivering a postcard from A to B or a passenger from point A to point B is a lot simpler than delivering health care. So, we shouldn’t be surprised by this. – George Will on Fox News, discussing the Veterans Administration scandal A group of scientists have started attaching sensors to sharks to help predict hurricane intensity. They’re hoping the information they gather will save enough lives to offset the number of lives lost attaching sensors to sharks. – Seth Myers
President Obama has declared the month of May Jewish American Heritage Month. He is calling it an opportunity to renew our “unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.” And he knows it’s unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it for the last five years. – Jay Leno at an awards ceremony in Israel I’ve been doing my research. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, here in Israel the most popular boys name is Noam. The least popular boy’s name? John Kerry. - Ibid You guys are tough. You sentenced your former Prime Minister to six years in prison! Did you hear Olmert’s defense? Not the best strategy. He blamed the whole thing on the Jews. - Ibid I was stunned by how many Israeli politicians are going to prison. When you ask an Israeli politician what his cell number is, it has a whole other meaning. - Ibid
Some Republicans are taking aim at Hillary Clinton’s age, saying she will be almost 70 when she runs. Republicans said, “Being old and white is our thing.” - Conan O’Brien
Republicans are antigovernance, they’re antiscience, they’re anti-Obama. They’re a triple threat. They have a trifecta going. Everything is to obstruct the president. Anything that is evidence-based is unimportant to them…One evidence of governance would be how we rolled out the Affordable Care Act—it is intact; it’s beautiful. - House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a recent interview The New York Times: Unfair to Jill Abramson? Definitely Unfair to Israel. - A new billboard across the street from the New York Times’ Manhattan headquarters
Here is my one sentence, all-purpose commencement speech: Now get out there and do stuff until you die. -Conan O’Brien We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) interests…guns don’t kill people—Americans kill people. - Facebook posting by Michael Moore after the recent shooting in Santa Barbara
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A 24-year-old-cat in England has been named the world’s oldest cat. That cat is so old, if you give it a ball of yarn, it knits. - Seth Myers
At some point in your life, you have to sort of take sides. I tend to side with the Jewish point of view on many things, especially issues like this one. I realize how important Israel is. I’m a huge supporter of Israel and always have been. It is a democracy in the Middle East and I don’t like to see the little guy getting picked on by the big guy. - Jay Leno in an interview with the Associated Press during his trip to Israel
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– President Obama during a White House announcement about a troop drawdown in Afghanistan
Google is continuing its mission to make sure we’re never NOT looking at ads. Google says it hopes to put ads on refrigerators, dashboards, glasses, watches, and other items. This is what the smartest people in the country are working on. Instead of winning a Nobel Prize, their obituary is going to say, “Bill used his 187 IQ to figure out how to put commercials on your windshield.” - Jimmy Kimmel
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I think Americans have learned that it’s harder to end wars than it is to begin them.
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Serving their Country with Honor The Emanuel-Twiggs and Myers Families
hile the Jewish population in 1814, he was released and returned to the United States has always the marines. Levi fought in the Semibeen just a small percentage nole Wars in 1836 and 1837, and by the of the nation, there have been many outbreak of the Mexican-American War who have made (1846-1848), he was their mark in hisa major. At the Battory. Families emitle of Chapultepec grated from Europe near Mexico City in and settled across September 1847, he the fruited plain, led the marine deand during the tachment against a Revolutionary War well-entrenched en(1775-1783), they emy. It was a bloody helped out in any battle and all of the way possible. The commissioned and E m a n u e l - Tw i g g s non-commissioned families certainmarine officers were ly did their share killed storming the while living in the castle, including Deep South for the Levi. Two destroyfirst century of our ers, one in each Lt. Gen. John Twiggs Myers country’s existence. world war, bearing The most prominent of this family was the name USS Twiggs were named in General David Emanuel Twiggs, who, his memory. at the age of 70, became the oldest ConMany famed army officers also federate general. saw action at the Battle of ChapulteJohn Twiggs was a Revolutionary pec including Ulysses S. Grant, RobWar hero who served in the Georgia ert E. Lee and Levi’s brother, David militia and was wounded on a battle- Emanuel Twiggs. David volunteered to field in South Carolina. He married the serve during the War of 1812 and was sister of one of his soldiers in his unit, appointed a captain in the infantry. In David Emanuel. Not much is known 1836, he was promoted to colonel in about David’s early life except that he the 2nd Dragoons (mounted infantry). was born in Pennsylvania to a Jewish The unit saw action during the Texas family. After the war, he was president Revolution and in the Seminole Wars. of the Georgia Senate, and in 1801, At the outbreak of the Mexican Amerhe was appointed the 24th governor of ican War, Twiggs led the dragoons in Georgia when his predecessor resigned. several battles and served valiantly unHe was the first Jewish governor of any der future president Zachary Taylor at state but he did not seek reelection and Palo Alto. Twiggs was promoted to brigaserved for only eight months. Emanuel County in Georgia is named as a trib- dier general and given command of a ute for the service he performed for the division before they received new orders. They were to join General Winstate. John Twiggs and Ruth Emanuel field’s Scott’s expedition into the heart had six children and two became war of Mexico. However, at the Battle of heroes—David and Levi. Levi was the Chapultepec—the same fight where his youngest of the Twiggs and became a brother was killed—David was woundlieutenant in the marines. He was sta- ed. His injuries weren’t debilitating so tioned on the frigate USS President he continued on all the way to capture when it was captured by the British of Mexico City. Many battles were during the War of 1812. The President fought as the Mexicans contested forfought a tough battle against four Brit- eigners in their country and it took a ish ships but couldn’t hold them off, general like Twiggs to lead attacks and and Levi was sent to a prisoner camp in give the rank and file soldier courage to Bermuda. After the Treaty of Ghent in continue fighting. For his bravery, Da-
vid was appointed as the military gov- him in 1863, which left Myers bitter ernor of Vera Cruz and was recognized for a long time. The family wound up by Congress for his actions. The Medal moving to Germany for ten years probof Honor didn’t make an appearance ably because he couldn’t bear to see his for bravery on the battlefield until the country in shambles. Before the war Civil War so he was awarded a com- broke out, his father-in-law named the city of Ft. Myers, Florida, in his honor. memorative sword instead. The son of Abraham Myers was For David’s commitment to the army, he was promoted to the rank of also a war hero who carried on the hisbrevet major general and given the De- toric name from his maternal heritage. partment of Texas as his new command. John Twiggs Myers was born when his Even in the mid-1800s, there was vio- family was in Germany and attended lence on the Mexican-American bor- the U.S. Naval Academy before joining the marines. He saw action der and a fifth of his command was during the Spanish-Amerused to patrol this area. When ican War, Philippines states began to secede from War, the Boxer Revthe Union in 1861, Twiggs olution, several was asked by Confederexpeditions, and ate representatives to World War I. surrender every miliDuring the Boxtary installation and er Revolution in all personnel in TexChina in 1900, as. Being from the Myers led a South, having the charge that gave itch to return home his forces an adto Georgia and havvantage against ing tendencies for the rebels. He the Southern cause, was injured in the he gave everything leg by a spear and to them. To the North issued the rare brevet this was considered medal for his actions. treason and he was subseDuring World War I, quently dismissed from Brig. Gen. David E. Twiggs he was the counterinthe army. The South telligence officer for gladly made him a major general and gave him the command the Atlantic Fleet. After his retirement, in Louisiana. Even so, he wasn’t able Abraham was promoted to lieutenant to take command because he was too general (3 stars) making him the highold and frail at the age of 70 and so he est ranking officer of his storied famiretired. David died a year later and is ly’s heritage. buried in Georgia. The three swords that he earned for his service in Mexico fell into Union hands and many years Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to later were returned to his family. They The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comare now on display in a Civil War mu- ments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@ seum in Pennsylvania. Many officers left the Union to fight gmail.com. for their home-states including David Twiggs’ son-in-law, Abraham Myers. A graduate of West Point, Myers also served during the Mexican-American War as the quartermaster general for the troops fighting in Mexico. He held the same position for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced
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Tragedy struck this week when the Jewish Museum of Belgium was the attacked by a lone gunman. Three men and a woman lost their lives. Two of them were a middle-aged Israeli couple from Tel Aviv. The shooter arrived by car at the museum in Central Brussels, entered, and quickly opened fire with an AK-47 before fleeing the scene, Belgian Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said. The shooter remains at large, and the nation’s terror alert level has been raised. Authorities say their efforts at locating the gunman has been hampered because he was wearing a baseball cap. Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders, who was nearby when the shooting occurred, told reporters he saw the victims inside the museum, called the emergency services, and put witnesses in touch with police. “It seems that a car was double-parked and that a person went in and came out of the museum quickly after shots were fired,” Reynders said. One witness managed to see the license plate of the vehicle used in the attack. “You can’t help thinking, when you see a Jewish museum, to think about an anti-Semitic act, but the investigation will tell more,” he said. The person involved in the attack was carrying bags, and police were asked to look inside the museum to ensure that no devices were left behind, Reynders added. Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo swiftly condemned the attack and said Belgium stands united with the Jewish community of 40,000. His office said he also called Netanyahu “to express the deep solidarity of Belgium with the Israeli population.” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, pointed out, “Attacks on Jewish targets in Europe do not exist in a vacuum, but are part and parcel of an overall climate of hate and incitement against Jewish communities.” “This is once again, much like the savage murders in Toulouse, a clear example
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4 Killed in Belgium’s Jewish Museum
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of where hate and anti-Semitism leads,” he said. “European governments must send out a clear message of zero tolerance towards any manifestation of anti-Semitism.” Henry Goodman, president of the Jewish Community Center in Brussels, also drew a parallel with the attacks by a gunman in Toulouse, France, two years ago when a rabbi, three Jewish children, and three French paratroopers were killed, saying it “must be the same logic.” He added, “They, whoever they are, are not going to close the community activities. Jewish people know what anti-Semitism means. They are not going to silence us. ... We are going to survive and fight.” Goodman told reporters he was “horrified” by what had happened Saturday. “We didn’t expect such a terrible act. Since we don’t know who has done it or the reason, we can only imagine that it is an act of pure anti-Semitism,” he said. The Consistoire Central and the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations have opened a crisis center, and community leaders are in direct and permanent contact with police, local authorities, and emergency services.
Prince Charles Compares Putin to Hitler
Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions Tensions between England and Russia have been high for the past few months. In a recent incident, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, likened Russian President Vladimir Putin to German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler over his stance on Ukraine. During a royal tour of Canada, the 65-year-old prince told a Jewish woman who fled from Poland during World War II that “Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler.” Charles’s remarks, described by a royal source as “well-intentioned” and not meant to be publicilized, were leading news reports in Britain where the government has been a strong critic of Moscow over its public support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Several high-profile figures have hinted at similarities between Russian moves against Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea, and German aggression leading to World War II. In March, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to clarify her remarks suggesting that Putin’s
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justification for his incursion of Crimea to protect ethnic Russians was reminiscent of claims made by Hitler over foreign territories. “Now, if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ‘30s,” she said, later explaining she had not meant to make a comparison but said lessons could be learned from history. Russia dismisses such comparisons and says Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine are under threat from a Kiev government in the sway of militant Ukrainian nationalists.
Chinese Province Banning Burials
China is so overpopulated that one province is making room in a draconian way. As of June 1, those who die in Anhui province will have to have their bodies cremated instead of buried. There will be no more burials in the province because officials say that cemeteries take up too much space in the already overcrowded town. Authorities are taking this ban seriously and have been visiting funeral parlors and smashing coffins in anticipation of the ban. Sadly, in a desperate attempt to give themselves a dignified burial, some of the elderly living in Anhui province have been committing suicide so they can have a proper burial prior to the June 1 ban. The new rules were published on April 1. Regional officials said: “Before June 1 people can still consign their bodies for burial, but after that the only option offered will be cremation.” Many living in rural areas, where the concept of cremation is abhorrent, were shocked by the new law. On May 13, Zhang Wenying, 81, killed herself. She left behind a note saying she had ended it all to make sure she could have a decent death, and she expected to be buried. There have also been deaths in the provincial capital, and in three villages elders recorded at least seven people who have committed suicide to make sure they are buried instead of cremated. “It’s hard for the old people to accept the policy, so the government should give them more time to think about it, but not
carry out the policy on such short notice,” one elder noted.
Amsterdam Returns Fines to Holocaust Survivors
Amsterdam is finally repaying some of its Jewish residents who had to flee from the Nazis in World War II and were forced to pay overdue taxes if they were lucky enough to return. The compensation will include all of the late fees that the taxpayers were charged during their time in concentration camps. The city council said in a statement that it will repay survivors or their families 820,000 euros ($1.1 million). It plans a wider investigation into unfair postwar charges. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said, “With the eyes of today, but also with the eyes of then, the city levying fines on war victims was formalistic and inappropriate.” A student, Charlotte van den Berg, found documentary evidence of the abusive practices in 2011 in city archives. Letters from Holocaust survivors complained that the city was charging them for property seized after their deportation to Nazi concentration camps.
Japan Takes the Day Off
Japan’s workers are so overworked and stressed the country is practically forcing them to take off. The Japanese government has created a 16th national holiday, called Mountain Day, scheduled for August 11. The holiday, which officially recognizes the country’s beautiful mountainous regions, is ostensibly a way to make sure the already overworked population takes a day off. In the U.S., there are only ten
national holidays, but the average worker takes another 10 out of 14 paid vacation days. In Japan, workers take an average of 8.6 days off a year. “In Japan, there is of course paid vacation, but people don’t take it,” Seishiro Eto, a member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which led support for the new holiday, said. “I hope with Mountain Day, people will be able to take more of their vacation.” In fact, Japan as a country is so overworked, they have a word there that describes the stressful condition brought on by the trauma: karoshi, which literally means “death from overwork.” A 2012 Pulitzer Foundation investigation concluded that “with the recession of the 1990s, many Japanese companies departed from the tradition of lifetime employment and went through massive layoffs, replacing costly full-time workers with low-paid temporary workers who have no benefits or job security. As a result, salarymen increasingly work longer hours because of a shortage of manpower and the fear of losing jobs.” Is workaholism necessarily a condition for productivity? In France, a county wellknown for its relaxed working attitude and generous mandatory vacation policies, the worker productivity ranks among the highest worldwide. “When you have a longer working day, at some point because you’re becoming tired, it decreases your productivity,” French economist Renaud Bourlès pointed out to Businessweek. But mandatory vacation may not be an answer for the workingman’s blues. For one, national holidays just mean congested roadways and high airline ticket prices for most people. I guess the only solution is to work like the French. I’ll drink to that!
port said the execution came after Iran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence. Khosravi’s lawyer, Gholam Ali Riahi, was quoted as saying that the death sentence was carried out without his being given any notice. “I had not been informed about the execution of my client,” Riahi said. “All the assets of my client are at the disposal of the prosecutor’s office.” This was the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The fraud involved using forged documents to obtain credit at one of Iran’s top financial institutions, Bank Saderat, to purchase assets, including state-owned companies like major steel producer Khuzestan Steel Co. Khosravi’s business empire included more than 35 companies from mineral water producers to a football club to meat importers from Brazil. According to Iranian media reports, the bank fraud began in 2007. A total of 39 defendants were convicted in the case. Four received death sentences, two were given life sentences, and the rest received sentences of up to 25 years in prison. The trials raised questions about corruption at senior levels in Iran’s tightly controlled economy during the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Thailand’s Bloodless Coup
Billionaire Executed for Fraud in Iran
Capital punishment is pretty popular these days in Iran, and even financial criminals can receive the death penalty. Last week, Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, a billionaire businessman involved in a $2.6 billion state bank scam in Iran, was executed on Saturday. Authorities put Khosravi to death at Evin prison, just north of Tehran. The re-
Thailand’s powerful military seized control of the unstable Southeast Asian nation on Thursday without firing a single shot. This was an attempt to finally end the political turmoil that has been plaguing the country for the past 6 months. The takeover of the democratically elected government was achieved in just a few minutes. When the corrupt government refused to resign, Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that he was taking power and becoming the new leader. The constitution was suspended and Cabinet members were detained. Prayuth claimed someone needed to restore stability immediately and “quickly bring the situation back to normal.” Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political analyst at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, is predicting that the situation is far from settled. There’s a strong possibility of
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violent resistance from the ousted government’s supporters. “We’re likely to see dark days ahead,” Pongsudhirak said. The overthrown administration of acting Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan appears to have retracted into hiding and made no statement condemning the rebellion. Four of its ministers, ordered to an army compound for talks earlier in the day, were in custody, along with top protest leaders. “The rest of us who are outside are still fine and in safe places,” said the ex-premier’s adviser, Paradorn Pattanathabutr. “The situation is very worrying. We ... don’t know what else can happen.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the coup and warned it would “have negative implications for the U.S.Thai relationship,” but he did not announce any immediate plan of action. The State Department said it is currently reviewing millions in aid. “There is no justification for this military coup,” Kerry said in a statement. In recent years, the country’s deep divide led to turmoil and violence. The latest episode that began in November claimed 28 lives and left more than 800 wounded.
World’s Former Heaviest Man Dies
On Monday, the man who was the world’s heaviest person at one point died at the age of 48. Manuel Uribe once weighed a whopping 1,230 pounds, certified in 2006 as a Guinness World Record. He had slimmed down to about 867 pounds since then. Uribe, a resident of Mexico, was confined to his bed for years, unable to walk on his own. He was taken to the hospital by crane on May 2. Uribe’s weight gain wasn’t just a recent thing. He was chubby as a child, weighing 250 pounds as an adolescent. Unfortunately, his weight prevented him from partaking in many activities we take for granted. Since 2002, Uribe had been bedridden. His mother and friends took turns feeding and cleaning him.
Mubarak Accused of Embezzling Millions
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to three years in prison last Wednesday for embezzling millions of dollars of public funds for extravagant renovations to family properties. The state funds were allocated for the renovation of presidential palaces but instead were diverted to renovating family residences. Mubarak served as Egypt’s autocratic leader for close to 30 years before a 2011 uprising toppled him. Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, were sentenced to four years in jail on the same charges by the Cairo court. Mubarak and his sons were also fined 21.197 million Egyptian pounds ($2.98 million) and ordered to repay about 125 million Egyptian pounds of funds they were accused of stealing. “He [Mubarak] should have treated people close and far from him equally,” said Judge Osama Shaheen. “Instead of abiding by the constitution and laws, he gave himself and his sons the freedom to take from public funds whatever they wanted to without oversight and without regard.” Mubarak spent 23 months in jail following his overthrow and was later transferred to house arrest where he is currently awaiting retrial in a case of complicity in killings protesters during the 2011 revolt. He is also accused in two other cases of corruption that have yet to reach court. It was not immediately clear how much of the time already served will be applied to Wednesday’s sentence, but judicial sources told Reuters that they don’t expect Mubarak to serve the entire three years. His sons, who have already served three years in jail, will probably not serve their complete sentences either.
Karzai Says No to Meeting Obama On Sunday, President Obama arrived at Bagram Air Base outside of Kabul in a surprise visit before Memorial Day. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was offered a meeting with the president, but declined to meet with him.
U.S. authorities said they were not surprised by his refusal to meet with the American leader. “As we said, we weren’t planning for a bilateral meeting with President Karzai or a trip to the palace, as this trip is focused on thanking our troops,” an official said.
“We did offer him the opportunity to come to Bagram, but we’re not surprised that it didn’t work on short notice. The president will likely be speaking by phone with President Karzai in the days to come, and also looks forward to working with Afghanistan’s next president after the election is complete.” Obama and Karzai are not best of friends and have a rocky relationship. Washington has been deeply frustrated by the outgoing Afghan leader’s refusal to sign a bilateral security agreement that would allow it to lock in a post-2014 US troop training mission in the country.
ment more freedom, has said the closure of newspapers is “a last resort.” But the press watchdog has so far banned three reformist dailies since he took office in August.
Terrorist Killed By His Own Bomb A member of a well-known terrorist group was killed this week when planting a bomb. Security officials in El-Arish, Egypt, say the would-be bomber was planting a roadside bomb when it detonated prematurely. The explosion took place in the restive Sinai Peninsula. The bomber’s father lost an arm as well. Both men are members of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has been blamed for some of the bloodiest attacks in Egypt in recent years. Their assaults increased dramatically after the overthrow of the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July. The two terrorists were trying to plant the bomb on a road frequently used by the army.
31 Killed in Terrorist Attack in China’s Xinjiang Region
Iran Convicts Editor of Insulting Islam Be careful what you print in Iran. An Iranian court just convicted the editor and a contributor of a banned newspaper of a series of charges, including lying about Islam and spreading anti-regime propaganda. The country banned the reformist Bahar daily in October of last year after it published an article the authorities deemed insulting to Shiite Islam for questioning one of its core beliefs. Its editor-in-chief, Saeed Pourazizi, who was detained and released on bail following the closure, has now been convicted of “propaganda against the establishment and spreading lies and rumors,” ISNA news agency reported. The Tehran criminal court found Ali Asghar Gharavi, the article’s author, guilty of writing “against the standards of Islam” and “spreading lies and rumors.” The court also ruled that the newspaper was guilty of spreading “propaganda against the establishment and insulting Islam and its sanctities.” The decision could lead to Bahar’s permanent termination, while Pourazizi and Gharavi wait for the court’s ruling on their sentences. President Hassan Rouhani, a self-declared moderate who has pledged to imple-
An early morning attack in the busy street market of Urumqi in China last Thursday killed 31 people and injured 90. The Xinjiang regional government said in a statement that the attack was “a serious violent terrorist incident of a particularly vile nature.” At 7:50 am, the assailants crashed through metal barriers in a pair of SUVs and plowed through crowds of shoppers while setting off explosives, authorities said. Fang Shaoying, the owner of a small supermarket located near the attack, described the scene, “I heard four or five explosions. I was very scared. I saw three or four people lying on the ground.” The incident is being blamed on radical separatist Muslims. Other recent violent acts in the region are being blamed on extremists from Xinjiang’s native Turkic Uighur Muslim ethnic group who are seeking to overthrow Chinese rule in the region. In response to Thursday’s attack, Chi-
Kids Strike Gold
Talk about a wealth of education! Sixteen gold and eight silver medallions with Arabic inscriptions were unearthed by a group of fifth graders from the Ramat Korazim School in northern Israel on a class archeological dig at the Korari National Park. The treasures are assumed to be from the Ottoman era. “We hope the find that was uncovered on the first day of excavations will be a harbinger of more interesting and historically valuable finds that will spill more light on the past of the Korazim town,” said Dr. Yossi Bordovitz, an archaeologist employed by the Parks Authority. “The young archaeologists of the Ramat Korazim dug excitedly — at the moment the medallions were discovered, the excitement was great,” he described. Korazim is an ancient town, located just north of the Sea of Galilee. The Talmud mentions the site as producing fine wheat. Remnants of a shul and a mikvah have already been uncovered at the site.
On Monday, the Shin Bet announced that they arrested an Israeli Bedouin man on suspicion of aiding two men travel to Syria and join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadi organization. According to authorities, the suspect, 23-year-old Idris Abu Al-Kia’an of Hura in the Negev, is affiliated with the Salafi-jihadi movement, and helped his borther, Athman Abu Alkia’an, and a second relative, Shafik Abu Al-Kia’an, both Israeli Bedouins, travel to Syria to fight against the Assad regime. During questioning, Al-Kia’an confessed to knowing the two other men would travel to Syria and hiding this fact from others, the Shin Bet said. The investigation also revealed that the jihadi volunteers traveled to Syria via Turkey, and that the suspect allegedly transferred cash to them to fund their travels. “The exit of Arab citizens of Israel for the purpose of fighting in Syria is a known phenomenon, but this is the first time Arabs from the Negev have been found to join the Syrian war,” the Shin Bet said. “This is a dangerous phenomenon, as those who travel to this area undergo military training, are exposed to extreme global jihad ideology, and there are suspicions that they will be exploited to carry out terror attacks against the state of Israel at the end of the day,” it added. Earlier this month, the Shin Bet and Israel Police arrested an Israeli Arab resident of Umm El-Fahem on suspicion of joining a Syrian global jihad organization while volunteering to fight the Assad regime in Syria. The suspect, 23-year-old Ahmed Hiri Shurbaji, travelled to Syria in January and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). He allegedly took part in military combat training, learned how to oper-
Jordan Releases 2 Israelis Held on Suspicion
Two Israelis and a man from Britain were released last week at the Jordan-Israel border. The men had been held in Jordan for four days on suspicion of fraud and counterfeiting currency charges. The three men “were released and deported to their countries,” said a Jordanian official to the press. “They were interrogated, and the authorities got the necessary information from them,” he said, refusing to give any other details. A spokeswoman for the Israeli foreign ministry said that they were aware that two Israelis had been arrested, but gave no further details. Jordan and Israel have a peace treaty agreement that has been active since 1994.
Tnuva Sells Major Stake to Chinese
MAY 29, 2014
Israel Arrests Bedouin in Aiding Men to Join Terrorist Group
ate light firearms and heavy machine guns, and studied the use of grenades and RPG launchers, as well as learning about hand to hand combat. He then took part in battles against Assad loyalist forces. “During questioning, Shurbaji confessed to travelling to Syria in order to take part in the struggle against the Syrian army,” the intelligence agency said. He fought in areas close to the Syrian-Iraqi border, it added.
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na’s President Xi Jinping pledged to “severely punish terrorists and spare no efforts in maintaining stability,” Xinhua news reported. Tensions between Chinese and ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang have been simmering for years, but recent attacks — while still relatively crude — show an audaciousness and deliberateness different from what was seen before. They are also increasingly going after civilians, rather than the police and government targets of past years. Last year, three Uighurs rammed a vehicle into crowds in a suicide attack near the Forbidden City gate in the heart of Beijing, killing themselves and two tourists. In March, 29 people were slashed and stabbed to death at a train station in the southern city of Yunnan blamed on Uighur extremists bent on waging jihad.
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 29, 2014
Israeli dairy firm Tnuva, the country’s largest food company, has announced that it will be selling 56 percent of their company to Bright Food Group, which is owned by the Chinese government. According to the deal, Bright Food will make the purchase via British private equity house Apax Partners. Although the
agreed-upon price is undisclosed, Tnuva is reportedly valued at 8.6 billion shekels, or $2.5 billion. The deal, one of the largest in the history of the Israeli market, will give Bright Food access to Israel’s technologically advanced dairy production. Tnuva earned more 7.17 billion shekels, or $2.05 billion,
in 2013. “Israel is a country with highly developed agriculture and animal husbandry techniques. Tnuva, as Israel’s largest food company, has a long history and various products and large market share,” a Bright Food spokesman said.
Shin Bet Heads Off Kidnapping
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A kidnapping suspect was arrested in the Western Galilee this week. The Shin Bet and the Israeli police arrested the Palestinian man on suspicion of planning to kidnap an Israeli in Avtalion. The suspect, 25-year-old Murad Hassan Ali-Hassin of Kabatiya, confessed to plotting to kidnap an Israeli. Affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, Ali-Hassin was jailed in 2008 and 2009 after being convicted of plotting to stab a soldier at a West Bank checkpoint. “He confessed during questioning by the Shin Bet to carrying out a number of attempted terrorist attacks in the Misgav Regional Council in April 2014, including an attempted kidnapping,” the agency said. “On April 19, 2014, he attempted to enter a house in Avtalion, near Karmiel, armed with a knife, to kidnap one of the home’s residents for the purpose of negotiating the release of Palestinian [security] prisoners. The plot failed after he was chased away from the area by the home’s residents,” the Shin Bet added. The suspect also confessed to hurling firebombs in April at Israeli vehicles traveling along Route 7955 – which connects Avtalion to the Maslahit junction – and at a vehicle near Kibbutz Eshbol. There were no injuries in those attacks. The terrorist acted alone, but confessed to trying to get other Palestinians who were in the country illegally to join him in carrying out terrorist attacks. Several Palestinians were arrested along with him on suspicion of being involved in the attacks or knowing about them. Haifa District prosecutors charged Ali-Hassin with attempted kidnapping for murder or blackmail, breaking and entering, aggravated assault, armed offenses, and deliberately endangering human life on a transportation route. Shin Bet sources said the case was the latest indication of the “big risk inherent in the illegal entry of Palestinians into Israel,” and stressed the need to close gaps in the West Bank security barrier that enable infiltrators to pass. “Recently we’ve seen growing involvement of Palestinians who are in Israel illegally in terrorist attacks, including the Tel Aviv bus bombing of De-
Car Thieves Love Accords
If you’ve ever stolen a Honda Accord, you’re not alone. It seems that this cute car seems to attract thieves like bees to a hive. For the fifth year in a row, the Honda Accord is the favorite among car thieves, leading a list of the 10 most stolen and recovered vehicles for 2013. According to a list released by LoJack
trolled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a bill to direct the U.S. Postal Service to convert 15 million addresses over the next decade from door delivery to communal or curbside boxes. Although this method will be less convenient for residents, it is less costly for USPS. Converting to communal or curbside delivery could save $2 billion annually. Thankfully, individuals with disabilities who are unable to leave their homes would be able to get waivers. And if you don’t think that you will be able to manage the change, you could pay extra for door delivery.
You’ve Got Mail, But Not at Your Door On Wednesday, the Republican-con-
project “provides an interim opportunity to achieve some significant cost savings.” Apparently, door delivery costs $380 annually per address compared with $240 for curbside and $170 for centralized methods. Democrats objected to the plan. “I think it’s a lousy idea,” Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said. Other lawmakers raised concerns that in urban areas there is no place on streets to put banks of “cluster boxes” with separate compartments for each address. Issa pointed out that communal boxes offer a safe locked location for packages, eliminating the need for carriers to leave packages on porches and subject to theft and inclement weather conditions. The postal service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months this year despite continued cost-cutting, a 2.3 percent rise in operating revenue, and increased employee productivity.
Work Perks The committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., mentioned that this
Want to whistle while you work and bring home a nice paycheck? Forbes has compiled a list of America’s best compa-
MAY 29, 2014
Corp, the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Silverado were the next most popular stolen cars. Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were the Acura Integra, Cadillac Escalade, Ford F350, Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Tahoe. (It’s interesting to note that the Integra was last available in the U.S. as a sedan or coupe in 2001. Where are these thieves getting them from?) But it’s not just about type of car you have that makes you vulnerable to car theft. Residents of California had the most thefts and recoveries in 2013. (Guess they should have just surfed to work.) Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Georgia and Washington were the next most popular places for thieves to pilfer vehicles. Wherever you live, if you want to hold onto your vehicle, you’ll be best off staying far away from black colored cars. Buy a turquoise one instead. No joke.
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cember 2012, the abduction and murder of soldier Tomer Hazan in September 2013, and the murder of soldier Eden Atias in Afula in November 2013,” authorities said.
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nies for compensation and benefits. Turns out that happiness 9 to 5 is not as elusive as we may think. The top company to work for in the U.S. according to this list is…Google. Well, I’d be happy to with free all-day meals that serve employees dishes like porcini-encrusted grass-fed beef and parmesan creamed onions. Yum. Can I have seconds?
That’s not all that Google workers enjoy. In addition to fat paychecks, the company offers free buses that pick up employees around the Bay Area for work. If you don’t like mass transit, the company also offers bikes to commute around campus and even a fleet of electric cars for certain work outings. Healthy insurance is amazing and even more than that, if someone should pass on, their spouses get 50% of their salary for the next decade and any children receive $1,000 a month until they reach 19, or 23 if the child is a full-time student. But Google wants their employees happy and healthy. There are the on-site doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors, smoking cessation programs, cooking classes. Do you like shopping at Costco? Well, it seems that Costco’s workers really like working there. Part-time employees are offered full insurance benefits, and cashier assistants, entry level employees who bag items and check prices, make $11.75 an hour; front-end cashiers, who handle check out, start at $16.07. No surprise that it’s number 2 on the list. Facebook is number 3 on the list and their employees really feel like they’re all “friends.” With these perks, they are certainly sure to “like” going to work. According to spokesperson Slater Tow, Facebook offers: “Three free meals a day – and our campus includes two main cafes, a BBQ shack, a salad bar, a noodle bar, a hamburger stand, and others (yesterday we even had our annual luau), 100% paid health insurance, four weeks vacation per year, on-site, free dry-cleaning and laundry service, annual game day, where we take a day off of work to go outside and play games as a company, new parent benefits that include $4,000 in cash for each new baby, four months of paid leave for parents of either gender and subsidized daycare.” Wow! Can I submit my resume? Adobe, Epic, Intuit, USAA, Chevron,
Salesforce.com, and Monsanto all rounded out the top ten places for compensation and perks for employees to work in the U.S. Keep smiling!
grounds that it was free speech protected by the Constitution.
eBay Site Hacked
A Piece of Fahrenheit
Controversial Bus Ads in Washington Bash Islam
Buses passing through the streets of one of the world’s most politically charged cities are donning ads that compare Islam with Nazism. This bold statement has obviously sparked much controversy. The ad features a photo of Adolf Hitler in deep conversation with “his staunch ally” Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem during World War II. The ad declares: “Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two-thirds of all U.S. aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism. End all aid to Islamic countries.” At the bottom is a fine-print disclaimer from the Metro Transit Authority. Al-Husseini is a symbol of anti-Semitism in the Arab world. In 2013, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called the mufti “his hero” and spoke passionately of the mufti’s “legacy” of hatred. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) funded the ads, which are to run on 20 city buses through mid-June. According to its website, the group aims to “raise awareness of the depredations of Islamic supremacism.” AFDI co-founder Pamela Geller called the campaign a direct response to ads seen in April paid for by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) which read, “Stop U.S. aid to Israel’s occupation.” “So many folks are unaware of Islamic history and the role of Muslim world during the Holocaust... Let’s buy more ads,” she said. The campaign plans to raise $20,000 to purchase more ad space. In response to the controversial posters, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) criticized that the ads, adding that its intent is “to promote hatred of Islam and Muslims.” Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said that CAIR is giving away free Korans and developing its own bus ads “to promote mutual understanding as a response to Geller’s hate ad.” According to constitutional rights, the ads can remain on public buses due to freedom of speech. “We’re not able to refuse ads on the basis of content,” a spokeswoman for Metro said, citing a 2012 court case that allowed another AFDI bus ad on the
The late eccentric science fiction author Ray Bradbury’s house is up for sale for $1.5 million. The three bedroom, three bath home on the Westside of Los Angeles may be stripped of all the Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine’s author’s personal effects, but his imprint on the abode is indelible. The split level house still has a worn out grab-bar that helped support the 91-year-old’s hefty frame built into the wall, and the refrigerator handle remains soiled from all his late night binges. Of course, the house’s exterior is painted a cheery dandelion-yellow. Upstairs in the house, there are countless shelves which held everything from stuffed animals, books, “golf balls, bird nests, [and] bits of iron from the demolished railroad tracks,” according to his friend Bill Goodwin. The walk-in shower even contains shelves as does the basement, where Bradbury did most of his writing. Interestingly, Bradbury used to credit an event that took place in 1932, when he was just a young boy, for his love of reading and writing. During a visit to the carnival with his mother, an entertainer, Mr. Electrico, touched the young Ray on his nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!” Years later, Bradbury remarked, “I felt that something strange and wonderful had happened to me because of my encounter with Mr. Electrico...[he] gave me a future...I began to write, full-time. I have written every single day of my life since that day 69 years ago.” The author never attended college and was a big supporter of libraries. “Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years,” he once said. Although there is talk of a group of collectors buying the home in order to preserve it, the LA home market is so hot that such an outcome is unlikely. If only a group of Martians would be able to move in.
Last week, eBay Inc. confessed that their network was hacked. Hackers gained access to 145 million users’ records three months ago. The company said that the breach was detected in early May, and security experts and law enforcement officials were immediately brought in to investigate. The records that were obtained included passwords as well as email addresses, birth dates, mailing addresses, and other personal information; thankfully, credit card numbers or other personal financial information was not released. This is being considered one of the biggest data breaches in history, based on the number of accounts compromised. Customers were strongly advised to change passwords instantly and to be on the alert for fraud, especially if they are in the habit of using the same passwords for other accounts. “People need to stop reusing passwords and should change their affected passwords immediately across all the sites where they are used,” advised Trey Ford, global security strategist with cybersecurity firm Rapid7.
The Twist is Out The tourists have done it! In an ironic “twist,” the San Francisco MTA is shutting down the famously crooked Lombard Street, a longtime tourist attraction in the city, during weekends in the summer because of the amount of congestion caused by sightseers. An average of 2,000 vehicles generally descends the street on weekend days. The closure will not affect residents of the area. The street, which has eight hairpin turns, has been the subject of complaints by residents because of gridlock caused by posing tourists. “This will be a test to improve the safety for residents, pedestrians and motorists in the area,” MTA spokesman Paul Rose said. “There are often a lot of people who come to either take pictures or drive down the street and it can cause lengthy delays.” Tourist Dylan Giordano, 21, of Los Angeles, agreed. “It’s an insane amount of traffic and it must be difficult and obnoxious for the wealthy residents who live here and can’t even get into their own driveway.” Those crooked tourists!
“Colorado, for example, is always at or near the best in the nation for the lowest obesity rate,” reports Gallup. “Utah has the fewest smokers. Massachusetts has boasted the highest level of residents with health insurance all six years. New Jersey has the lowest levels of depression. [Say what?!] And Vermont rules America every year in produce consumption.” But it’s Middle America that’s got the best overall outlook. Montanans have incredibly low obesity rates and tremendous job satisfaction; Minnesotans are a bundle of energy and are very good to their teeth (seriously); Nebraskans, while not being so keen on exercise, are very “well rested”; and the Dakotas love their jobs, have great healthcare and have the fewest headaches in the U.S., making those states the highest ranked on the well-being index. The dourest of all states? West Virginia. I guess cheap beer and cigarettes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Big and Bigger in Texas
That’s Odd Elliot Rodger turned the seaside California college town of Isla Vista into a nightmare last Friday night. The 22-yearold killed his two roommates, four other people, and himself. Thirteen people were injured. Prior to his killing spree, Rodger, the son of a Hollywood movie director, wrote a manifesto entitled “My Twisted World,” explaining his motivations. He said he deeply hated women because they teased him and never treated him kindly. Deputies found three semi-automatic handguns with 400 unspent rounds in Rodger’s black BMW. All were purchased legally. Rodger had been a student at nearby Santa Barbara City College but was no longer in any classes, the school said in a statement. Many were outraged when learning that authorities had looked into Rodger three times in the past year. On April 30, officials went to his Isla Vista apartment to
Pack ‘n’ Pay As if sleep away camp isn’t expensive
enough, the New York Post’s Tara Palmeri reports that parents are hiring pros to pack their children’s suitcases. Well-paid organizational consultants are inundated by calls from mothers who want to make sure their children will be just as comfortable at camp as they are at home. While sending plastic bins and drawers to camp is not new, hiring someone to pack it certainly is. And some mothers have requested that the packers help parents recreate their child’s room so that the little camper won’t feel homesick. The consultants make sure to order all the right linen and accouterments for clients—like scented candles and special soaps—and are paid $250 per hour for services. On average, each suitcase needs three to four hours of packing time. Yes, that’s right—$1,000 to pack one suitcase. And note the timing of this article: yes, some little campers have suitcases are all ready to go—two months in advance.
Rescuer Reunited In a heartwarming story, an Illinois Good Samaritan who rescued an abandoned newborn from a cemetery surprised her once again by stopping in on her graduation at Charleston High School in Charleston, Illinois. In 1995, Charlie Heflin found a blood-covered newborn, still attached to its umbilical cord and clinging to life, lying in a graveyard. The infant, Skyler James, was adopted by a local family five days later and always wanted to meet the man who gave her a chance to live and hear his version of the miraculous events surrounding her birth. Skyler’s adoptive mother, Bonnie, spent years searching for Skyler’s rescuer and finally found Heflin on Facebook just weeks before Skyler’s graduation. At the tearful graduation/reunion, Heflin shared newspaper clippings and photographs of when the two first met, and even gave Skyler the leather jacket he was
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Everything may be big in Texas, but in some fast growing cities there, things don’t seem to be big enough. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Lone Star State is home to 3 out of the country’s 5 fastest growing cities and 7 of the top 15. The explosive growth has been the product of a recent oil boom. And while people are flocking to Texas, developers are having
California Loner Kills 6
check on him at the request of his family. Deputies reported back that he was shy, polite and having a difficult social life but did not need to be taken in for mental health reasons. Rodger wrote in his manifesto, “If they had demanded to search my room... That would have ended everything. For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over.” Attorney Alan Shifman said the Rodger family had also called police after being alarmed by YouTube videos “regarding suicide and the killing of people” that Elliot Rodger had been posting. In Rodger’s manifesto, he detailed an incident that took place last year on his 22nd birthday. On July 20, 2013, Rodger decided to party with California students giving female students a “last chance.” But the loner was snubbed and became enraged when no one paid attention to him. While sitting onto a ledge, he snapped. “That was the last straw,” he wrote about no one speaking with him. “A dark, hate-fueled rage overcame my entire being, and I tried to push as many of them [who were sitting on the ledge] as I could from the 10-foot ledge.” He didn’t succeed. The students pushed him back, and Rodger fell onto the street, breaking his ankle. He stumbled away, and fought with students who called him names in his drunken stupor. When police questioned him, he made up a story to cover his guilt. As he recovered from his broken ankle, Rodger focused on his “Day of Retribution,” a plan he would carry to fruition 10 months later. Hundreds of students and members of the community gathered on Saturday night to mourn the victims of the rampage.
PUNCTUAL COURTEOUS RELIABLE HAIMISHE
MAY 29, 2014
I’m in a New York state of mind…try North Dakota. According to Gallup’s new well-being index, there’s a lot that goes into having a positive outlook, including physical and emotional health, along with work opportunities—even one’s gleaming incisors. So while cities like San Jose and San Francisco may rank high on the well-being index because they are host to quite a few billionaires, the rest of the state of California does not fare as well.
a hard time keeping up with the demand for homes and infrastructure, such as roads and schools. In Odessa, TX, the eleventh fastest growing U.S. city, for example, the school system is bursting at the seams and the water supply is stretched thin after a recent drought. The city has benefitted from high salaries and work opportunities that came about through oil fracking. “It’s a challenge to continue to provide services to the rising population when you’re competing with the same workforce and labor that the oil field is. So that means that the municipalities have to adjust their pay scale ... to try to attract the labor,” said Richard Morton, Odessa’s city manager. “We’re growing, but we’re not growing fast enough.” San Marcos, TX, the number one fastest growing city in the nation, was right on track in keeping up with the population surge. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the city had enough money socked away to feed the boom, but then the Great Recession hit and all development had to come to a grinding halt. Now, it is forced to pick up in the middle of all the projects that were left abandoned a few years ago. “So throughout San Marcos you see a multitude of construction,” Guerrero said. I guess there’s a reason they call us the Supersized Nation.
THE JEWISH HOME
Dakota’s Da Place to Live
THE JEWISH HOME
MAY 29, 2014
wearing the night he found her. “They took me over to Charlie and he introduced himself to me and told me the whole story again,” Skyler said. “I was totally shocked. It’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid, and it’s amazing.” Heflin says that Skyler’s story was the inspiration for the Illinois “safe haven” law, which allows unwilling parents to abandon their infants at fire and police stations.
able to escape immediately. One, who was trapped, was rescued a short while later. Thankfully, none of the 120 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the boat. Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama said, “I’m just happy to be on the ground.” An incident management team is looking into the incident. Rolling in the deep.
A Pie in the Sky
New Yorkers got their own version of bizarre crime drama; let’s call it Breaking Bread. Queens bakery Grimaldi’s Home of Bread had its truck hijacked by a man wearing nothing but his underwear while stopping for a delivery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. While the thief, David Bastar, could have made off with thousands of dollars of fresh and crusty baguettes and thrown himself a yeasty feast, he instead decided to finish the delivery route, only not to the bakery’s proper costumers. “The bread was left somewhere. Where, I don’t know,” owner Joe Grimaldi said. “He dropped a lot of bread.” Bastar was arrested at LaGuardia Airport after a driver he was tailgating for hours on the highway called the police. He was taken to the hospital for evaluation. The truck was later recovered and Grimaldi was able to accommodate the bakery’s real costumers. An airport shuttle driver who witnessed the arrest told Grimaldi, “If you need a driver, I’ll work for you.” I guess he’s looking for some extra dough.
One Twitter user wrote: “‘Really? What century is it in?” In Triberg, Germany, a similar plan was scrapped a few years ago. Triberg Mayor Gallus Strobel said he was accused of “male pigheadedness.” Some South Koreans are supportive of the plan, noting that the spots’ proximity to elevators and escalators at malls is a positive touch. Whether or not male drivers with poor parking skills will be fined for using the spots is unclear. Any plans for newly-licensed teenager spots? Mama Mia! Soon you may not have to wait for the pizza delivery guy to putter up to your front door with your already cold order. A pizza chain in Mumbai has done something that only Amazon.com had previously ventured toward: a delivery drone. The drone flew at speeds of 30 km per hour from the pizza outlet to an apartment building 3 km away before it dropped a half kilo, 13inch Margherita pie onto the 21st floor roof. Whether the pizza arrived more intact than a Domino’s pie is unknown. The entire delivery took less than 10 minutes; the average manual delivery takes 30. The CEO of the unnamed chain said that he had his auto engineer friend design the custom made robot for his business. In India, however, regulations do not permit the sale of goods via commercial drones. The pizza delivery was made to a friend of the CEO’s, and thus was not a sale, but the CEO insists that his company will be at the forefront of drone deliveries when his country’s regulations are modified to allow drones. “While the technology exists, we cannot use it commercially at present,” a company official said. Watch your rooftops!
Pretty in Pink Parking
In a million dollar disaster, an 85-foot yacht capsized into the water as it prepared to launch on its maiden voyage. Six people were aboard the Northern Marine Industries boat in Anacortes, Alaska, as the boat tipped over; none were hurt. As the boat began to roll forward, several crew members ran to the engine room to adjust the ballast, but the room soon filled with water. Five people were
ing hide and seek with strangers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The anonymous man, who is a successful real estate investor, is hiding envelopes stuffed with greenbacks across town, waiting for people to find his hidden treasure. “People complain that the price of real estate here is pretty high and I have benefited from that,” he told ABC News. “I wanted to do something fun for the city of San Francisco, something that would get people excited.”
That’s not chauvinistic at all! The city of Seoul is spending over $100 million in initiatives aimed at women, including 7,000 female restrooms throughout the city and sidewalks made from spongey materials which are easier for high heel wearers to walk on. That all sounds very gracious, almost chivalrous, to most people, except when they hear of the other special initiative targeted at women: female parking spots. The spots, dubbed “she-spots” are wider and, better lit and not located near concrete pillars, in a silent testament to women’s parking abilities. They are outlined in pink and feature a pink skirted outline to mark their special status.
Heading to a Cell because of His Cell
A London thief’s sticky fingers were not sticky enough to keep him from leaving his cellphone smack in the middle of the scene of the crime. After Germain Ibrahim Fofana made off with two diamond engagement rings and a wedding band from a Kingston jewelry shop, employees of the store noticed that the crook left behind an iPhone with his smiling countenance as the screensaver. Fofana first came into the store with a female accomplice and a baby purportedly to look at engagement jewelry. He returned a while later by himself and quietly made off with the merchandise. The jewelry was valued at £18,000. Fofana is also a suspect in other jewel robberies. If only Siri would’ve stayed in the getaway car.
Hunting for Cash Want $100? Start searching. A millionaire with cash to burn is play-
Luckily, the cash isn’t hidden in random places. The donor has set up a treasure hunt by posting clues about his hiding places on Twitter. He had given away nearly $4,000 in just four days—and lucky for us, he plans on heading to New York and Los Angeles soon. The happy finders of the cash have posted their smiling countenances on social media. Some have found their stash taped to ATMS, on parking meters or under benches. Richard Rodriguez was one of the lucky ones. He raced to a street in San Francisco’s Mission district on Sunday seconds after the Twitter account gave a hint the cash would be hidden on a parking meter there. “It’s about 10 blocks from us, so we did a power walk down there,” he said. “When we got to the parking meter it wasn’t there and we thought, ‘Wow, how could anyone have gotten here so fast? Then a guy was driving by and threw an envelope out the window. I guess he didn’t even have a chance to drop it off!” Inside the envelope was $66 in cash and a lottery ticket Rodriguez cashed in for $5. “The money was great but it was also so much fun doing something like this. It was a scavenger hunt,” he said. “It’s not a lot of money. It’s not going to change your life. But the camaraderie it brings out in people is a lot of fun,” he added. “You’re usually feeding them but today they’re feeding you” was the clue that led Sergio Loza to a parking meter that held the cash. “It’s like a riddle,” he said. “I’m giving right now about a thousand a day,” the very private—and fun—philanthropist said. “For me, that’s definitely manageable. I know that for most people it’s more than they earn, but I’m in the top 1 percent. I can keep doing this.” If he’s looking for more clues, I’ll gladly give him my address.
Jewish History Larry Domnitch
ver the last two millennia, Jews have visited Jerusalem in honor of the festivals in lieu of the Biblically ordained pilgrimages. On the holiday of Shavuot there was also the custom to visit the grave of King David on Mount Zion, since according to tradition, the date of his birth and passing is on Shavuot. When Shavuot arrived in 1948, it was one month after the establishment of the State of Israel and Jews could no longer continue to make the pilgrimage to the Western Wall. The Jordanians, who occupied the eastern half of the city since the War of Independence, blocked all rights of passage. However, the pilgrimage to King David’s tomb on nearby Mount Zion, located on the Israeli side of divided Jerusalem, continued. Over the next nineteen years, crowds made their way to Mount Zion, where they could view the “Old City,” and the Temple Mount. On the morning of Shavuot, June 15, 1967, just six days after the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem following the Six Day War, the Old City was officially opened to the Israeli public. For the first time in almost two thousand years, masses of Jews could visit the Western Wall and walk through the cherished streets of Judaism’s capital city as members of the sovereign Jewish nation. Each Jew who ventured to the Western Wall on that unforgettable day represented the living realization of their ancestors’ dreams over the millennia; it one of those rare euphoric moments in history. From the late hours of the night, thousands of Jerusalem residents streamed towards the Zion gate, eagerly awaiting entry into the Old City. At 4 a.m., the accumulating crowds were finally allowed to enter the area of the Western Wall. The first Minyan soon began. Over fifteen hundred people shared that special moment. As the sun continued to rise, there was a steady flow of thousands who made their way to the Old City. A reported 200,000 visited the Western Wall on that day. It was the first pilgrimage en masse of Jews to Jewish-controlled Jerusalem on a At the Kotel on Shavuos 1967
Jews straining to see the Kotel, circa 1929
Jewish festival in two thousand years—since Temple times. The Jerusalem Post described the epic scene: Every section of the population was represented. Kibbutz members and soldiers rubbing shoulders with Neturei Karta. Mothers came with children in prams, and old men trudged steeply up Mount Zion, supported by youngsters on either side, to see the wall of the Temple before the end of their days. Some wept, but most faces were wreathed in smiles. For thirteen continuous hours a colorful variety of all peoples trudged along in perfect order, stepping patiently when told to do so at each of six successive barriers set up by the police to regulate the flow. An eyewitness described the moment: “I’ve never known so electric an atmosphere before or since. Wherever we stopped, we began to dance. Holding aloft Torah scrolls, we swayed and danced and sang at the tops of our voices. So many of the Psalms and songs are about Jerusalem and Zion and the words reached into us a new life. As the sky lightened, we reached the Zion gate. Still singing and dancing, we poured into the narrow alleyways beyond.” On Shavuot, three thousand, two hundred and seventy nine years earlier, the Israelites stood at Mount Sinai and felt the gravity of the moment as a unique relationship was formed between themselves and their Creator. On the day of Shavuot following Israel’s amazing victory of the Six Day War, multitudes ascended to the Western Wall, as their ancestors had done in the past, and they celebrated the holiday just a short distance from the Temple Mount. They too, felt the magic of the moment.
MAY 29, 2014
The Magic of
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Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, International Director - Yachad
JUNE 13-15, 2014 visit yachad.org/family
I am confident that the brocha of “I will command my blessings” which the Torah bestows on shomrei shviis, will extend to the precincts of Paris, abundantly increasing your own fortune, as a keeper of the sabbatical year.... HaGaon HaRav Yehoshua Leib Diskin In a letter to Baron Rothchild
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What on earth are We doing? What does our partnership With farmers do for the advancement of shmittah? a whole lot. aside for giving those of us in Chutz La'aretz the rare and fleeting opportunity to carry out the mitzvah of shmiras shviis, our partnership provides real assistance to farmers struggling to overcome the challenges of Shmittah. Plus, by enabling our partners to keep Shmittah, we're publicly helping them be mekadesh shem shomayim by being mekadesh eretz hakodesh.
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