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An evening of Jewish song & solidarity


Chabad of the Conejo presents

MAY 7, 2015


SPecial Guest AppeaRance

In ConceRt


The Voice of JeRusalem & BROadway

Wednesday At 7:30 pm


LegendaRy EnteRtaineR and FRiend of IsRael

Tickets 22, $30, $42, $ 54, $78, $90, $ 108, $180


Please contact us for tickets, VIP seating, group reservations and/or further information at



Tickets are also available at Tickemaster.com – Additional Ticketmaster fees will apply




MAY 7, 2015

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


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

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

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

Lydia Lanxner

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

Yaki Lopez

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

Michael Downing

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

Ivan Wolkind

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

Urie Lieberman

Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital Final Remarks

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

EVERY patient matters. EVERY minute counts

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

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



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

JEWISH THOUGHT OP-ED: The Case for Reporting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Hope Of Continuity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Whispering Flames - The Fire of Lag B’Omer. . . . . 20 LAG B’OMER - The Yahrtzeit of the Holy Rabbi Moshe Isserles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

COVER STORY Actor, Friend of Israel, Political Activist; A Conversation with Jon Voight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Uncle Moishy Fun Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Nova Scotia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Redefining the “Shabbos Treat”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Two Important Tips for L.A. Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40


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


MAY 7, 2015

Measuring Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

The boy who cried wolf. We all know the story and it’s playing out in current events. It seems that after years of the Palestinians saying that they’re being massacred by Israel, the world has simply become immune to claims of such atrocities. Deep down everyone knows that the pictures shown by the media over the years, which tried to depict the IDF as cruel bloodthirsty soldiers who kill indiscriminately, were either staged, misrepresented, or were part of a bigger story. When the same type of images are seen again they are discounted as, “this isn’t really happening.” Meanwhile, in the month of April, thousands of people were killed in the name of Jihad, almost all Muslim victims living in the Middle East. Looking at pictures of starving or critically wounded children simply crushes the heart. I’d like to believe that the average American is not indifferent to this but has just not registered the unacceptable disregard of life taking place in that region. The reality is that it’s looking more and more like Israel is the safest destination for Muslims being persecuted in the Middle East. One can even imagine that in the not so distant future, the safest place to be a Muslim in the Middle East will be in Israel! Our local community experienced another tragedy in the passing of 11 year old Chaya Spalter. A source of light and joy to those who knew her, her passing brought close to 2,000 people together Sunday night to show their respect for a truly unique child. While standing and listening to her grandfather, the Rosh Yeshivah at Ohr Elchonon Chabad, speak words of encouragement to those gathered, I couldn’t help but marvel at the expression of pure faith that was tangible in the room. Accepting G-d’s judgement,

but pleading that He put an end to suffering. Knowing that G-d is in complete control, with life and death coming directly from Him, but still asking why. Why do children suffer? What can possibly be the purpose of such immense pain? We have no one to turn to but him, and so we do. We turn to him saying that we can’t handle the questions any longer. The Jewish exile has given us enough questions and we’re looking for answers. Not answers which will explain why bad things happen, but rather we yearn for the times when joy, happiness and light which will make all the suffering worthwhile. While impossible to comprehend this now, we are believers, even when our minds can’t grasp its truth. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for Gola, (exile) and Geulah have the same letters; gimmel vov lamed hey - except that there’s an Aleph in the word Geulah. Perhaps that aleph represents the “Alufo shel olam,” the creator of the world, teaching us that our job is to bring our belief, knowledge and connection to G-d into all the areas of our lives. This adds an aleph, representing Hashem, and Gola is raised up to Geulah. Many of us have a hard time relating to a transformed world, one in which we would leave our current “comfort zones,” but the above teaches us that the only difference between now and the future is the aleph. Now the aleph, Hashem, is hidden and so reality looks one way, but once the aleph is visible and the world’s source of life becomes tangible, all else will fall into place with miracles and tremendous joy being a natural accompaniment to this revelation. Our belief is being tried and tested. We are now ready to see its truth. May we experience the Yom shekulo Shabbos,



Dear Readers,


MAY 7, 2015


The Largest Gathering of Jews in North America is coming to Celebrate Israel Festival Celebrate Israel Festival is being held on May 17th at Rancho Park, Los Angeles. “This is the largest Jewish gathering in North America!” said a smiling Dikla Kadosh, Regional Director of the Israeli American Council. This year, Los Angeles IAC is advising four other cities so they will also be successful in holding their first ever Celebrate Israel Festival. Las Vegas, Florida, New York and Boston are now planning events in May and Adee Drory, Director of the Festival, has made several trips to these cities so the organizers can understand how to run the program, how to bring in the crowds and how to make the event meaningful. “We have a vibrant community here in LA,” added Kadosh. “Last year’s attendees confirmed the make- up of Festival goers. 38% of last year’s festival goers were American Jews and with more than 200,000 Israeli’s in Greater Los Angeles, it’s not surprising that half of last year’s ticket sales were to Israeli’s. We have the largest Israeli community outside of Israel. It’s no wonder that the IAC organization was started in this city!” Drory explained the purpose of the event, “Independence Day is very important for Jewish identity, but we know that we need to celebrate Israel every day because its very existence is a modern day miracle. This event is more than just an

Israel Independence Day festival. We were going through different names and we chose Celebrate Israel because that is the essence of what we are creating at the event. We want all Jewish people in America to embrace Israel and actually, there are also non-Jewish supporters who attend.” The theme for this year’s event is Jerusalem of Gold because the event falls on Yom Yerushalyim. There are 14 artists from Israel coming to sell their crafts in the marketplace and there are many musicians performing live. Then there’s an area with

Kotel in Jerusalem. More than 15,000 people attended last year’s event and more are expected this year, so everything is being well planned and there will be enough space to ensure no-one is turned away. There will be also be Glatt Kosher food (Kehilla and KSA) at the temporary shuk that is being erected. Fresh humus and soft pita will be in ready supply, along with more substantial meals. There is also a quiet area which will be available for Minchah. A 16 foot tunnel is being built with a theater room at the end

kid’s activities, another with privacy for teenage socializing, and the list goes on. At the Kotel, yes, a replica, you can post a note on the wall. After the event, Drory has sorted a beautiful plan with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowiz, Head Rabbi of the Kotel in Jerusalem. Drory will hand deliver all the messages to Rabbi Rabinowitz and he will see that each one is placed at the

and visitors can watch a 3D virtual tour of Jerusalem and learn about the discovery of the Kotel. The Head of the Kotel Tunnels is also flying to Rancho Park and will be giving a lecture on the tunnels every half hour. The organization of Celebrate Israel is well detailed. “There will be more security than the UN!” explained Kadosh.

“We have arranged for 80 Officers from the LAPD, 68 additional private security guards and undercover security as well. There are also cameras and metal detectors to screen everyone who enters. We are very aware that security is important and it consumes a big chunk of our total budget, but it’s worth it!” If you’re planning to attend, don’t miss the first morning event arranged by the StandWithUs organization. They want to remind American Jews of Israel’s struggles and achievements and are, ”Dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues.” StandWithUs has worked alongside the IAC to arrange for this hour long walk that will start at Rancho Park at 10am and will make its way to the Museum of Tolerance before returning to the Festival. There will be many youth groups and local schools who will be participating in the walk. This is topped by a total of 150 Jewish organizations who are supporting the Festival. Get your tickets now! There is little doubt that Celebrate Festival will bring the community together. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.celebrateisraelfestival.com. Tickets are $6 a person online, or $10 at the door. Children 3 and under are free.

Special Tribute to Howard Elinson O’B’M, at the The Bostoner Bais Medrash of Lawrence Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz is a native of Los Angeles, and is the grandson of Rabbi and Rebbitzen Eliezer Adler, the Zviller Rebbe of Los Angeles, who were well known and beloved figures of pre and post WWII Southern California. Arriving in 1939, Rabbi Adler served the city of Los Angeles for 68 years until his passing in 2007. Rabbi Horowitz lives in Boston and is the spiritual leader of the Bostoner Bais Medrash of Lawrence (BBML) which is celebrating its 23rd anniversary. Rabbi Horowitz was the founder of the BBML shul and as the Marah Dasrah, has built the congregation so that the BBML has become a very popular place to daven and learn for the greater Five Towns, Far Rockaway community of New York. The shul provides innovative youth programs, nursery, morning Kollel and numerous community service projects. Their late night minyanim can boast attendance of over 150 people. This year’s annual breakfast is held on May 17th and will pay special tribute to Howard Elinson, long time Gabbai of Congregation Ohel David, and close friend and Chassid of the Zviller Rebbe of Los Angeles. Elinson passed away in 2005 but he was a prominent faculty member of UCLA, and

an important figure in California politics. He was instrumental in helping launch the political career of Henry Waxman, elect-

ment. Elinson was an active and articulate spokesman for the Orthodox Jewish community of Los Angeles. A bequest to the

Howard and Mark Elinson

ed to the California assembly in 1969 and then became Congressman of California’s 33rd congressional district from 1975 until 2015; rising to national prominence as Chairman of the Economy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environ-

library of the BBML is being made by his brother, Mark Elinson, to mark his 10th Yartzeit. “My brother and Rabbi Horowitz were very close, and I know he would be pleased that his memory will be honored at BBML,” Mark Elinson said.

The bequest will kick off a fundraising drive which aims to raise $25,000 for educational material for the library at the Bostoner Bais Medrash. The section of the library housing books on Talmudic Commentaries will be named for Howard Elinson. There is no question that this library will be greatly appreciated and hugely enjoyed,” added Louis Greenspan, Director of BBML’s Father & Son Youth program. “The Chassidic warmth and good feeling, already engendered by all who frequent the Bais Medrash, will certainly provide a fertile field for the learning of Torah in this special makom Torah (place of Torah).” Rabbi Horowitz was touched by the donation and special tribute “I am very grateful and delighted by this very kind bequest. It is most appropriate that this library, which will surely inspire the young and old of our community, will be connected to Howard’s memory. Howard was always a singularly important person to me. His wisdom, wit and compassion, were of tremendous significance during the formative years of my youth. He will forever remain a great source of inspiration to me for the rest of my life.”


Michelle Stone, wanted to create something different this year and they have done so. On Sunday, May 31st, the 10th anniversary of the company will be celebrated with a unique performance. In recognition of the milestone, there will be a revue by 36 women who have each been part of the company at some time over the past decade. The show will include a presentation of two numbers from each of the musicals that have previously been performed. Before the entertainment begins, there will be a marvelous dessert reception and silent auction. So much work is invested in each production and the Producers know it is little short of a miracle that they have found such success. They remember quite clearly how they were told the idea of a Women’s Rep company was not realistic, too expensive, unpopular and would not find an audience in the LA community who were far more attached to feature films and television than live theater. Yet, the idea has proven itself time and

Tornadoes in a Shoebox There wasn’t a cloud in the sky on Sunday, April 26, but if there were, students at Cheder Menachem could tell you how they got there. Weather patterns was one of the many scientific topics displayed at the annual Cheder Menachem Science Fair. Students from first through eighth grade marched into school with their heavily detailed three paned display boards. Each student, or team of students, displayed their projects in the school shul, where judges made their way through the labyrinth of volcanoes and elephant toothpaste. The projects were creative and varied, from ink made of berries to a battery charger made of fruit. Projects on the harmful effects of smoking and pollution showed how young minds are already tuned to the public good. Students and faculty remarked that it was a quite a year for science at the Cheder and they look forward to the future of science and especially student science projects. The students did tremendous research

Josh Inselberg

and their presentation skills were impressive. The judges were asked to review the projects without the students present at first and then students were called in to demonstrate their projects. Award winners were presented with ribbons and medals.

again. Today, the ladies of the group laugh at the naysayers because the success is beyond reproach. How is this so? Horowitz explains, “I think it is because there are so many in the community who are so dedicated to performing and a large crowd who are loyal ticket buyers. Our productions are successful because the performers do their best work and because we have never lost money on a production. As well, we have always been able to make a donation to Jewish Family Services. Even in our community, more than we like to think, there are women who need the protection and support of Jewish Family Services as they pull themselves out of relationships that are violent, that face alcohol or drug abuse. Every year we raise a little more for this fabulous charity.” What advice does Horowitz have to offer? “Just because people say something can’t be done, you have to keep focused. If you have the drive, you have to work at your dream and remember that a small idea in your sitting room can translate to a gala

performance. I’m also a piano teacher, but I still find time to put about 8 hours of work into the Company each week. I get emails from people all the time because they want to start their own group. In New York and Israel this is more common, but not many other cities. Our first production cost $7,000 but now we spend around $50,000 on a production and we have better sets, a better location and we donate a good sum as well. Always remember that a good idea will find success. 30% of this is due to my hard work, 40% is the hard work of the actresses to put on a polished product, and 30% is reliant on the goodwill and support of our audience.” This year’s Gala is aiming to sell 200 tickets and a sell-out is expected. For more information about the 10th Anniversary Gala Performance on Sunday, May 31st, visit visit www.jewishwomenstheater.com or call 310-997-0598.

MAY 7, 2015

The Jewish Women’s Repertory Company (JWRC) was founded in 2005 by Margy Horowitz and Linda Freedman. The idea of creating these events was just a pipe dream 10 years ago, when Horowitz heard of a group in Chicago who were already doing this and ideas were discussed. The founders wanted to give Jewish women in Los Angeles the chance to perform in professional musical theater productions for all-female audiences. They also wanted to raise funds for a charity they believed in; women at risk. Since those dreams were put into action, many mothers and daughters, girlfriends and singles have enjoyed the JWRC performances of popular shows including The Mikado (2005), Once Upon a Mattress (2006), Guys & Dolls (2007), The Pirates of Penzance (2008), Annie Get Your Gun (2009), Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2010), Me & My Girl (2011), Les Miserables (2012),The Drowsy Chaperone (2013) and Into the Woods (2014). Horowitz and JWRC Vice President


Jewish Women’s Repertory Plans 10th Anniversary Revue


MAY 7, 2015


Order your Groceries Online. Confirm A Delivery Time. Await the Ring of Your Doorbell. Relax and Repeat! Western Kosher Supermarkets, the vintage food establishment with the oldest glatt kosher butcher store, is entering the world of hi tech. City shoppers can luxuriate in a new online shopping option. No

longer does a housebound retiree, a family with a new baby or an office-bound parent have to clear their schedule or pay the housekeeper in order to shop for their weekly groceries. You can avoid the stress, gas prices, parking and the burden of spontaneous purchases by ordering your market needs

online and having your glatt kosher food order brought to your home. If orders are placed by noon, the delivery is on the same day. Your online shopping list can be input when you the baby is sleeping and you reach for your iPad. Then complete it during a coffee break. The site also allows you to save your shopping list for repeat use. A Shabbat Shopping List can be stored for another week, challah and all. Vacationing with your 6 kids in Redondo

Beach? Now have the groceries delivered with the brands you like best and save yourself the trouble of squeezing the shopping into the limited trunk space. Online shoppers spend more than $6.5 billion dollars in the US and Western Kosher is leading the way into this market for Los Angelinos. With just the click of the mouse, you can order your groceries and sushi besides. Pricing is the same exact price as in the store and the only charge is a $3.95 service fee with no membership fees charged. Western Kosher delivers in Los Angeles, Hancock Park, Fairfax, Pico-Robertson, Beverly Hills, Beverlywood and West Hollywood. Delivery is also possible for Long Beach, Redondo Beach and Palo Alto. Director of Online Sales, Aaron Pinson, said the online site creates more work for him, but it is a service that moves the store into the tech world in which we live. “We wanted to accommodate the emailed and faxed orders with a more modern approach. There are many customers who find this service works better than making time to shop. We also allow customers to collect their order at the store so they can still pick up last minute items. Otherwise, we call the customer and schedule a delivery time when they will be home. We have three vans that provide local delivery and we have a refrigerated truck that handles delivery for homes that are further away.” In order to place the order, the shopper will visit the WesternKosher.com website and confirm their delivery zip code is within the delivery area. The site is user friendly and there is also a Smartphone app. Set up your account and then browse through the vast selection of options, all represented by bright, clear images. Pinson spoke to the Jewish Home while, in the background, the store photographer was snapping HD images of the newest items. “Every two weeks we have to order more pictures because we are always adding new products. Every two hours I have to update the site with new prices as well!” In addition to the online shopping option, Western Kosher is on the verge of announcing a new points system that will, for the first time, allow customers to earn redeemable points for monies spent at the store. To learn more, visit www.WesternKosher.com.

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MAY 7, 2015


a project of

jewish friends of the american armed forces

shabbat with our troops shabbat parashat behar b’chukotai may 15--16 2015

Come Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend a Week Early! Honor These Jewish Heroes Serving Over 21 000 Jewish Soldiers in Our Nation’s Military

Lt. Aaron Kleinman USN

SGT. Karsten Kessler USAR

Cpt. Raziel Amar USAR

LCDR. Neal Kreisler USN

LT. Jacob Hill USAF

Lt. David Becker USAR

LCDR. Kevin Bemel USN

Be Riveted by the Davening on Friday Night Early Kabbalat Shabbat at 6:05 pm at the Link Kollel 1453 South Robertson Blvd

CPT. Asher Finsley USAF

CPT. David Ruderman USAR

Lt. Dovid Egert USAR

Lt. Col. Alan Kalinsky USAF, Retired

Join us for Friday Night Dinner After Ma’ariv at the Link Kollel $25 per Person, $80 a Family R.S.V.P by May 10th office@linkla.org 310.470.5465 Shacharit on Shabbat at 9 o’clock at Congregation Mogen David 9717 West Pico Blvd Followed byKiddush for the Community Shabbat Lunch Sponsored by Pico Shul 9041 West Pico Blvd. Closed Chaplain Lunch Panel Discussion at 6 pm Hosted by Rabbi Alan Kalinsky Followed by Mincha and Seudat Shlishit at Young Israel of Century City 9317 West Pico Blvd




Motzei Shabbos 9:30 pm at pico shul 9041 West pico Blvd $20 entrance fee at the door

at the Dinner Friday Night as Well as YICC for the Panel Discussion

thank you to congregation beth jacob for hosting the chaplain training event on may 14 and 15 for more information visit www.jfaaf.org contact us at info@jfaaf.org 310.625.3481


amount of money to provide seed money for the next program. Now, the program distributes car magnets with the school logo and awards prizes for photos taken with the logo at interesting and different places, for example, when skiing at Big Bear or hiking in the mountains. There is YOHA Apparel

which also encourages family members and students to wear school branded clothing and

also take pictures wherever they go. There is a Presidential Fitness Challenge, which will help raise funds to renovate the kitchen facilities and improve the PE program and is held on Presidents Day. There is also the Or Hachaim Academy IDF Soldier Project. This is designed as part of a larger goal of instilling Jewish pride in students. Students from all grade levels are actively involved in interviewing past and present IDF soldiers and their family members as well as collecting photos and mementos from all the wars and conflicts those soldiers fought in. This will be published as a media site and book. The Tehillim Project was launched in Adar and will now be an annual event, promising more goodwill for the community. The kids were set the goal of raising $100 as a class or approximately $5 each student to sponsor one family’s meals through Shabbat. They went to family and friends and asked for sponsorship of 10 cents per Tehillim, which they would read for an hour, in someone’s honor, at the Thursday Tehillim Assembly. In the end the total amount raised by the kids was $1,700 across 300 students. Kraut, along with others in the school, reached out to the greater community to find matching funds so they were able to double the funds

easy. simple. cash.


and the first year’s Tehillim Project raised an impressive $3,400. Kraut was thrilled with what the program achieved. “I think the reason we were successful is that the school wanted to micro-fundraise. The idea and our goals were small,l so the children could handle the program with just an understanding of the power of Tehillim and raw enthusiasm. Parents are donation-tired by this time of the year so we had to position this as something spiritual, compassionate but inexpensive and make it easy for both the students and donors. Although the students only asked for 10 cents a sponsor, they found that far larger amounts were being donated. It was very exciting.” The Chinese Auction was also a success for the school with 37 prizes including tickets to Laser Tag, a bicycle, an alarm system and a year’s supply of spices. For more information on Or Hachaim Acedemy and the YOHA Experience contact Jonathan Kraut at jonathankraut. YOHA@gmail.com and to learn about the Or Hachaim IDF Soldier Project contact IDFProject.YOHA@gmail.com. To donate to Tomchei Shabbos contact Schneur Braunstein at Tomchei LA, 345 North La Brea, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90036

MAY 7, 2015

On April 29th, Or Hachaim’s students proudly handed over a check to Schneur Braunstein of Tomchei LA. At the Or Hachaim Chinese Auction, Braunstein accepted the check on behalf of Tomchei Shabbos saying, “LA spends $100 for each of the 150 families who receive Shabbat meals from our organization each week. May you always be on the donating end and not the receiving end of this program.” Rabbi Gabay is Dean of Yeshivat at Or Hachaim Academy and Rabbi of Congregation Adat Yeshurun, in North Hollywood. Tomchei Shabbos organizes its weekly distributions from the shul, which is next to the school, so it made perfect sense for his students to focus their attention on this charity. Finding a fresh idea for a fundraising program needed creativity, but this came from the entrepreneurial Jonathan Kraut, parent of three students in the school and YOHA Experience Coordinator who designed The Tehillim Project. Last year, Kraut, and his wife, Michal, created The YOHA Experience as an umbrella program that families would find “fun and exciting.” This program increased in size and scope as the year progressed and will now be a prominent part of the school experience. Each program raises a small


Or Hachaim raises $3,400 for Tomchei Shabbos


Yad Eliezer is a charitable organization which helps solve issues relating to poverty in Israel. There is a division in Los Angeles and soon after Pesach, the Yad Eliezer ladies, gear up for the annual fundraiser. At the home of Dena Bess, a committee member, everyone is asked to bring someone new to the planning meeting and jobs are assigned, based on personal talents. ”This is a bi-costal event! There is a pre -Shavuos bake sale in Brooklyn as well as in LA,” explained Rachel Haberman, another committee member. “This is a community-wide kosher bake sale that involves or-

thodox Jews from different neighborhoods; Pico, the Valley, Hancock Park and elsewhere. We are not linked to any one shul

or school, but we ask everyone to volunteer. The enthusiasm is overwhelming and about 150 families offer to bake!” This year’s plans also include a schedule for volunteers to join a Baking Party. Mothers and daughters are encouraged to visit an assigned home in the weeks before the sale and baking will take place in a vibrant and fun environment. Elisheva Dorfman, the newest committee member, is pleased to see the enthusiasm, “We want lots of volunteers to join a baking party in their neighborhood.” In order to help with everyone’s kashrut sensibility, each item is labelled with infor-

• # P E Y D D R E A M VAC AT I O N S W E E P S TA K E S •




mation as to who baked it, whether it was baked in a pareve, milk or meat oven and whether it is from a halav yisrael home. This year there will also be emphasis on gluten free offerings. “We have to stay on trend and it all tastes great!” said member, Sharona Bittan, and whispered, “People ask me who the best baker is but even if I know the answer, I’d never share! You just have to get there early to get the best baked goods. You can’t reserve items. We sell everything on the spot.” “Over seven hundred thousand children in Israel live below the poverty line,” notes the first lines of the Yad Eliezer website. It was back in 1980 that the Weisel family began distributing food boxes to Israeli families to help those who have so little. The program has grown from there and Yad Eliezer now provides counseling services and financial help for a variety of needs. The demand has grown because Israeli’s have neither government food stamps nor social welfare programs that provide food to those without the money to feed themselves or their family. Yad Eliezer’s food boxes are given to 1,600 families each week, but it is the infants who still face hunger issues because baby milk is not provided in the food packages. Without sufficient formula, babies in the poorest families are malnourished and this can even lead to brain damage. Some mothers will use the water from boiled rice water just to still their baby’s cries. Of


6 WAYS TO ENTER, NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN! Follow PEYD on any of our social media accounts or sign up for our email list. Just scan the QR code or visit www.getpeyd.com/blog/peyd-dream-vacation





MAY 7, 2015

A Piece of Cake for You… Peace of Mind for a Jewish Mother

course, many are able to nurse their infants, but others cannot produce enough milk for a variety of reasons. The situation can be dire. At the same time, charitable help can help substantially and the Los Angeles Bake Sale is an important donator, raising between $12,000 and $15,000 dollars each year. This is a meaningful contribution to the baby formula program, which costs Yad Eliezer $1 a day per baby. If you want to see where your money goes, Yad Eliezer also invites donators to visit the warehouse in Israel to pack the food boxes that will be distributed. To organize a baking party in your home, visit Yad Eliezer Baby Formula Bake Sale on Facebook. To learn more about the program, visit Yad Eliezer at www.YadEliezer. org/feedababy.


A piece of cake for you...


MAY 7, 2015

...Peace of mind for a Jewish Mother

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MAY 7, 2015


The Power of Lag B’Omer Kollel Chatzos Nighttime Learning Captures True Essence of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai Every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather in the storied hills of ancient Meron to celebrate the yarzheit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai at Lag B’Omer. Every year they dance, sing, light fires and cut little boys’ hair; partaking in the joyous and uplifting traditions of the day. Tucked away on a quiet street, entrance #9, in house #56, in the shul of Rabbi Naftali Friedman and at a special Lag B’Omer location, the talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos, Meron celebrate Lag B’Omer with the ultimate fulfillment of the essence of Rabbi Shimon: Torah

learning throughout the night. Unlike the thousands who travel to the kever of Rabbi Shimon for just this one night, the members of Kollel Chatzos gather every midnight throughout the year at the kever in Meron and also in in three locations in the United States. As the rest of the world sleeps, they immerse themselves in vibrant torah learning, bringing zechusim and yeshuos to klal yisroel. “In the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai states over and over, more than 130 times, that chatzos halaila is such a special time to learn,” explains Rabbi Nechemye Hoffman, Founder and Director of Kollel Chatzos. “Between the Kollel Chatzos locations in the United States and the one in Meron, Torah is being learned 24 hours a day.” As a bochur learning in Eretz Yisroel, Rabbi Hoffman visited Meron on Lag B’Omer and left with a small set of Zohar. The numerous references to the tremendous gadlus of learning Torah through the night kindled something within him and he began waking at midnight to study Torah. Once back in the United States, he married and settled in upstate New York with a regular day kollel schedule. Yet he sorely missed his nighttime learning, and with the support and encouragement of his wife, he founded the first Kollel Chatzos. Four years later, each location has a waiting list. There have always been those who feel a deep connection to segulos and yeshuos and Lag B’Omer at the Kever of the holy Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai has long been revered as a source of powerful potential bracha. But for anyone with a true understanding of the immense tzidkus of Rabbi Shimon, and the brilliant light of Torah he brought to the world, there can be no greater way to mark his yarzheit than by immersing in Torah learning. Rabbi Shimon Halperin, Rosh Kollel of Kollel Chatzos Meron, expounds. “People come to Meron from across the country and across the world. At the kever there is a huge commotion with dancing, davening, tehillim, singing and upsherin going on. The Kollel Chatzos talmidei chachomim, who are sitting quietly and learning the entire night, they are truly connected with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, fulfilling his holy will.” As more and more people across the globe reach out to support the nighttime Torah learning of Kollel Chatzos, the recognition is growing of the enormous bracha inherent in supporting continuous, 24 hour a day, Torah learning. Kollel Chatzos partners continuously share their amazing stories of yeshuos, refuos and besuros tovos that came to fruition after they began supporting the nighttime Torah learning of the Kollel. “When people hear the power and zechus of supporting Kollel Chatzos, and what it brings, they realize that there is definitely a koach to supporting Torah and being learned b’chatzos halailah,” shares Rabbi Hoffman. You can reach the ultimate level of bracha from Lag B’Omer and throughout the year by supporting the nighttime learning of Kollel Chatzos in Meron as well as Brooklyn, Monsey and Monroe. Contact Kollel Chatzos today for special partnership options. 1-855-CHATZOS (2428967) or 1-718-887-9114 mail@kollelchatzos. com, 46 Main St. #104 Monsey NY 10952, www1855chatzos.org


in and out of the classroom. They explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities. That includes working with each other — and with Apple — to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere.” Among those selected was Rabbi Michael Cohen, Director of Educational Technology at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. Rabbi Eli Broner, Director of Campus Life at Harkham Hillel explained how there are so many ways that technology plays a part in the learning curriculum at Hillel. “In 2012 Rabbi Cohen started at Hillel as a computer teacher in our computer lab, but technology has gone beyond the walls of the lab. Now, he supports every one of our educators in their classrooms and helps them design curriculum that focuses on technology as a tool versus an experience. From a shared Macbook Cart in elementary to 1:1 iPads 5th through 8th, all the technology at Hillel is used with thoughtful intent with a focus on meaningful learning, not meaningful technology. Through the use of technology, learning is no longer confined to the classroom alone. We might have a class running in six different locations on the campus, where small groups of students are filming each other or acting something out, researching a project or creating in other ways.” Our 7th grade students used their iPads on their recent trip to the Olympic Park Institute in Seattle. This wasn’t to play games. The iPads let them record their trip with details that would otherwise have been overlooked or forgotten culminating in their first attempt at filming a nature documentary. Our 8th graders recently created a 3D model of the Mishkan including even the most minute detail to scale using Google Sketch-Up, a 3D architecture program. Using DARQI’s augmented reality software, student were then able to view their model through the lens of their device in 360 degrees. Technology must have a purpose says Rabbi Cohen. “For my students, the iPad is a tool for curating purposeful learning. A tool for developing meaning and value when learning. The iPad provides student a vehicle for personalizing their learning experiences. My students

see technology as way to socialize learning and develop valuable collaborative skills built on sharing and supporting colleagues. These are requirements for success in EVERY industry today. My students learn together, reflect together, and share together, regardless of whether they are inches apart or a two thousand miles away.” Not all our learning is high-tech but we live in a high tech world and so our classes have to be designed with this in mind.. We also use iPads for note taking and to enhance ideas, to modify a presentation and frequently to redefine how the subjects are learned.”

“It is exciting to be a part of an educational environment that allows its educational staff to pioneer on behalf of the students,” explained Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin, Head of School and Covenant Educator Award Recipient. “Students of the 21st Century thrive when their educators open vistas and allow them room to discover.” The school prides itself on its willingness to include technology. Jason Ablin, General Studies Principal of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, serves as the educational mentor and guide to the students. He ensures that Rabbi Cohen, has the platform to engage and col-

laborate with the school staff and community while integrating the latest in Apple technology into the curriculum. Hillel’s 600 students and extended community of learners are privileged to have these learning options and are proud, but not surprised, that Rabbi Cohen has been acknowledged. To view ADE educators’ creative teaching ideas in action visit http://www.apple.com/education/apple-distinguished-educator. Rabbi Michael Cohen ADE can be tweeted at @TheTechRabbi

MAY 7, 2015

Apple announced the awardees of the highly coveted Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program for 2015, a biennial award given to teachers who, “are part of a global community of education leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology


Harkham Hillel Rabbi Recognized as Apple® 2015 Distinguished Educator (ADE)

The Case for Reporting Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger, Dean of Valley Torah High School ing it and condemning those spoken about without verifying the truth of the claim is not appropriate. Had the people in the audience that night, instead of applauding the denigration, listened to the mesmerizing account of this young lady’s horror and gone home and thought about what they just heard, they would have realized that this is an extremely complicated situation with no easy answers. If a victim were to come to a Rav and offer information regarding abuse on the condition of complete and total confidentiality, it is of supreme importance that the Rav respect that confidentiality. Protecting the community from a sexual predator is a critical consideration, but it is just as important that no action is taken which would further shatter the victim’s already fragile world. Should the victim choose to inform the police of the crime, her case will gain strength and credibility. However, the fact that she has chosen not to make a police report creates a much more difficult and complicated situation for the Rabbis. Without formal charges, or a name and a face to attach to the victim, the community response is very often cynical and skeptical. Although the victim and her family may want “Rabbi X” to be publicly labeled a sexual predator, this is not necessarily the most effective


MAY 7, 2015


A young lady’s poignant and gut wrenching account of sexual abuse at a recent Jewish Community Watch event has clearly raised our collective awareness of this horrific scourge. For her courage and for making us more aware, we should stand up and applaud. On the other hand, to stand up and applaud the harsh criticism of four local Rabbanim, is an entirely different matter. When we hear Lashon Hara, even if it is spoken in a purposeful context, we are still halachically prohibited from believing it. Investigating and being concerned about the information is certainly appropriate. Believ-

Lag B’Omer may be over, but you can still partner with Kollel Chatzos.

...‫בר יוחאי‬ ‫אשרי העם‬ ‫הם לומדיך‬ Bar Yochai…

Fortunate is the nation that absorbs your teachings!


Become a Chatzos partner today and help bring bracha to your loved ones and klal yisroel by supporting the nighttime learning of Kollel Chatzos.

1.855.CHATZOS 2


718.887.9114 (24 HOURS) mail@kollelchatzos.com www.1855chatzos.org 46 MAIN ST #104 Monsey NY 10952






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he talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos fulfill the teachings of Rabbi Shimon -- every day of the year. Each midnight they gather at the kever in Meron, as well as in Brooklyn, Monsey and Monroe, to learn Torah throughout the night.


JOIN US Come in to any of our 4 locations and learn alongside the Kollel Chatzos members.


‫ציון הרשב"י‬ ‫חדר יעקב אבינו‬

BROOKLYN: MONSEY: MONROE: 500 Bedford Ave 2 Howard Drive 18 Getzil Berger Dr. Brooklyn, NY 11211 Spring Valley, NY 10977 Monroe, NY 10950

course of action. When the abuser is a popular rabbinic figure, it is not unusual to hear comments such as, “This is a witch-hunt motivated by jealous rabbis listening to baseless rumors, “or, “If there is no police report, it never happened.” When that occurs, the abuser is emboldened by the perceived community support, the Rabbis lose whatever leverage they had to force the perpetrator into a therapeutic and guarded environment, and the victim and her family are further traumatized. Additionally, if the victim requests anonymity it is unrealistic to think that a Rav can truthfully say to the victim, “I will let everyone know that Rabbi X is guilty of sexual molestation but don’t worry, no one will know it’s you.” Can a Rav guarantee that our community, which is gifted with a talent for ferreting out information, will not discover the victim’s name? If the main goal is to protect the emotional and mental health of the victim, it would be logical for the Rav to say to the family, “You have no moral, legal, ethical or Halachic obligation to let people know what occurred since doing so may worsen your situation and there are other ways to deal with the perpetrator.” In this tragic and local case the Rav involved may well have feared the outcome

which transpired. There were indeed members of the community who turned against the victimized family and accused them of firing an innocent Rabbi. The Rav was simply saying, “You don’t have an obligation to put yourself through such suffering. In this type of murky scenario, the community is likely better served by rabbis gaining the trust of the abuser and getting him into a recovery program that demands ongoing therapy. There, he will be humbled by the professionals and clergy with an ongoing focus on his whereabouts, activities, and progress. The Rabbonim that the victim reported to in this case, are men respected for their wisdom and experience. It is reasonable to assume that the complexity of the considerations above guided their response. Analysis has shown that knee-jerk reactions to complex dilemmas are unacceptable. As listeners or viewers, it is vital that we analyze the issues presented extremely carefully, lest we succumb to a mob mentality. Even more so when it provokes the degradation of dedicated and selfless Torah scholars. Let us hope and pray that we have no more victims in Klal Yisroel. But if chas veshalom we do, let us not exacerbate the chillul Hashem by rushing to condemn our community leaders.


The Hope Of Continuity By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Rav and Dean at Yeshivat Yavneh

We celebrate because they stopped dying. That notion never sat well with me. The Talmud in Yevamos (62b) teaches us that 12,000 pairs of students of Rabbi Akiva perished during the timeframe of the Omer. On the 33rd of the Omer ‘pasku lamos’, they stopped dying. The fact that Rabbi Akiva’s students “stopped” dying does not seem like much to celebrate. On the contrary, the commencement of a period of mourning would be more appropriate at this moment. The Halacha even reflects a sense of joy on this day as the Tur (493) rules that “some cut their hair from Lag B’omer and onward because we say that they ‘stopped dying’. “ What is the meaning of this joy? Rav Chezkia de Silva in his Pri Chadash (493:2) raises our problem. I want to share his solution but not in his words, rather in the words of the great Jerusalem scholar known as the Chida (Tov Ayin, 18:87) who said, “And on the 33rd day of the Omer, (Rabbi Akiva) began to teach Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, Rebbe Meir, Reb Yossi, etc and it became clear to them that Torah was returning, therefore we rejoice.” Yes! Lag B’omer has a very sad component to it, almost overwhelming, but at the same time it represents the hope of continuity. As an analogy, imagine a person who is ill and for 8 months is getting sicker and sicker until ultimately the doctor walks in and says, “We finally found a pill, this one is going to save you!” You can never bring back those eight lost months but there is a profound joy when we discover the remedy. Rabbi Akiva thought Torah may actually come to an end. He considered that the mesorah (tradition) may end with him and his lost students. Then, suddenly, in the middle of the darkest night of the year, the embers started to flicker and a flame was born anew. The Arizal (Shaar HaKavanos, Sefiras Ha’omer 12) seems to echo this sentiment when he writes that after the time of smallness (SE – a period of a perceived dimming of cosmic light,) we welcome in a time of greatness. The five lights that bring in this period of greatness are the five students of Rabbi Akiva. This per-

spective on why we celebrate Lag B’omer also explains the custom that some have to light a candle on Lag B’omer. According to the Bnei Yissoschar (Iyaar, 3:3) it reflects the spark of Torah that began to flicker again on Lag B’omer. Lag B’omer reminds us in every generation it may seem we enter into a period where Torah does not have the same stature in the world that it once did, yet, it will rise again. In the period of Ezra, the nation almost completely forgot Torah until Ezra began a revolution. This ebb and flow is a constant pattern throughout our people’s history. Let’s take this one level deeper. Lag B’omer is also, according to our tradition, the day on which Rav Shimon Bar Yochai passed away. This means that of the five surviving students of Rabbi Akiva, Lag B’omer is most intimately associated with his one student, Rav Shimon Bar Yochai. It’s his day. This gives us an additional window into understanding the happiness of Lag B’omer. Not only was it evident to Rabbi Akiva on this day that Torah is going to survive, it was evident to Rabbi Akiva that Torah was going to thrive and that Rav Shimon Bar Yochai would reveal the deeper teachings of Torah. This was no ordinary student. Rav Shimon Bar Yochai brought the world the Zohar. The Zohar brought us a new way of seeing how Torah can change our lives. In the irony of ironies, if the students of Rabbi Akiva are never gone then Rav Shimon Bar Yochai never has the chance for an intimate teacher-student relationship with Rabbi Akiva. If that relationship is never fostered we may never have access to the hidden treasures embedded in the Torah.

To give an example of how the profundity of the Zohar impacted our worldview, the Zohar teaches us that G-d, “looked into the Torah and created our world.” This means that the whole world is encoded with the DNA of the Torah. The whole world is suffused with the truth of Gd’s greater wisdom. Maimonides writes, “What’s the way to come to love Gd and fear Gd? When a person thinks about his actions and Gd’s creations and sees the great wisdom, with no end, he begins to appreciate Gd.” It is our job to look at this world, at ourselves, at new life and at what Gd has done. And then we appreciate. That’s how you find what it is you need to learn about this world. The beginning of the Zohar says that Gd opened up a Torah scroll and from that He created the world. What does that mean? This whole word is encrypted with the words of Torah. When the Baal Hatanya, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi, was on his deathbed, his students asked him what he was seeing now that he was in the process of transferring into the next world. As he was lying down looking up, he responded that where once he saw a beam on his ceiling, he now saw the Hebrew letters kuf, vav, resh, heh – spelling the word kora, translating to “beam.” He was seeing what is really the metaphysical foundation of this entire world. The Hebrew letters stand as the basis, because Gd looked into the Torah and created the world. Rav Shimon Bar Yochai taught us to see so much differently. There is a wellknown passage in Rav. Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Halakhic Man It describes how Rav Soloveitchik and his father were watching

the sun set at the end of Yom Kippur while speaking outdoors (p. 38): “I remember how once, on the Day of Atonement, I went outside into the synagogue courtyard with my father [Rav Moses Soloveitchik], just before the Ne’ilah service. It had been a fresh, clear day, one of the fine, almost delicate days of summer’s end, filled with sunshine and light. Evening was fast approaching, and an exquisite autumn sun was sinking in the west, beyond the trees of the cemetery, into a sea of purple and gold. Rav Moses, a halakhic man par excellence, turned to me and said, “This sunset differs from ordinary sunsets, for with its forgiveness is bestowed upon us our sins.” The Day of Atonement and the forgiveness of sins merged and blended here with the splendor and beauty of the world and with the hidden lawfulness of the order of creation and the whole was transformed into one living, holy, cosmic phenomenon. With this understanding, the analogy I mentioned above, changes. The old idea was to imagine a person who has been ill for 8 months, is getting sicker and sicker until ultimately the doctor walks in and says they finally found a pill and that this one is going to save the patient. Now here’s the new analogy. Imagine a person who is ill who for 8 months is getting sicker and sicker until ultimately the doctor walks in and says we finally found a pill, this one is going to save you. “And the amazing thing is,” adds the doctor, “Not only is it going to save you, it’s going to make you ten times stronger than before.” That, my friends, is the joy of Lag B’omer.



MAY 7, 2015

Measuring Up

The roots of the Sefirah period can be found in this week’s parsha of Emor, where we learn of the korban ha’omer and the mitzvah to count seven complete weeks from Pesach until Shavuos. The posuk (23:10) states the obligation to bring, “omer reishis ketzirchem el hakohein,” an omer amount of the first barley of the season, to the kohein. The posuk (23:15) states the mitzvah of counting seven weeks from the day of the omer offering and then commands us to bring a minchas bikkurim of wheat at the culmination of the count. After discussing the other korbanos that are brought along with the bread, the Torah (23:22) says that the day that korban is brought is mikra kodesh, a holiday, when it is prohibited to do labor. The Maharal in Tiferes Yisroel (25) discusses why the initial offering is of barley and on Shavuos it is of wheat. The Torah does not give a name to the korban that is brought on the first day of Pesach. It also does not refer to the counting period as Sefiras Ha’omer. Finally, there is no name given for the Yom Tov at the culmination of the count. It’s remarkable that the Torah, whose every word is precise and direct, seems to shroud these korbanos in mystery. The Tur (Orach Chaim 493) compares the seven weeks of counting that we refer to as Sefiras Ha’omer, to the seven years of counting of Shmittah and Yovel. He cites an ancient custom to refrain from work in the evenings between Pesach and Shavuos based on this comparison. Just as it is forbidden to work the land during Shmittah, so too did they refrain from work at

the time the counting is supposed to take place. He cites, as well, a second reason for the custom: The talmidim of Rabi Akiva perished at shkiah time and were buried following shkiah. Since people did not work during that time, we desist as well. The comparison to the counting of Shmittah and Yovel bears a deeper understanding. Based on the Maharal (ibid.), we can explain that at the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim, we had just been freed. Krias Yam Suf was an essential component of the founding of our nation; at which time the revelation of Hashem’s glory elevated and sanctified us. Thus, we bring a korban of barley, which is animal feed, because we began the journey one day after leaving Mitzrayim, when we were still at a very low level. Then, Gilui Shechinah and Mattan Torah created people, human beings in their most elevated form. We count 49 days and on each day we raise ourselves one more rung from the low level we were at during Yetzias Mitzrayim. By the time we reach the culmination of the count, we are expected to have attained the level necessary for receiving the Torah,

ipe calls for precision, effort and toil. The finished product will justify the work. The korban we bring at the outset of the count has no biblical name. Rather, it is referred to by the measurement of barley it consists of, namely an omer. The period of counting is not given a name, nor is the festival that celebrates the end of the count, because the entire period is about counting and about measurements, omer and shavuos. It’s about measuring up. It’s a progression. Raw materials that have yet to be defined are mixed and purified to perfection. Ingredients take shape and become a product. In order to acquire the Torah and reach the level of perfection which Hashem intended for us, we have to be exacting in the counting and measuring. There are no shortcuts. There must be an omer and there must be seven complete weeks of daily steps. Anything less invalidates the process. We call the seven-week period following Pesach, Sefiras Ha’omer and we call the Yom Tov at the end of the count Shavuos, literally weeks, to signify that we used every day of that time to perfect our mid-

THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE TORAH THEY LEARN CHANGES THEM. TORAH BUILDS AND REBUILDS A PERSON. which was given to our people on the day the seven-week count concluded. Hence the name of that day. We refer to it as “Shavuos,” meaning weeks, because we counted for seven weeks and each day we perfected another of the middos necessary for acquiring Torah. Thus, at the end of the seven weeks, we offer the kohein a korban of wheat, because we have fulfilled the destiny for which man was created and earned the Torah. Step into a kitchen on Erev Shabbos as preparations for Shabbos are in full swing. You’ll see bowls and pots half-filled, bags of flour and sugar, and an open carton of eggs. You understand that you are witnessing the process, not a finished result. A rec-

dos and measurements and make ourselves worthy of the Torah. An aged Russian woman created a stir upon her arrival in Israel, saying that she was a granddaughter of the Chofetz Chaim. Grandchildren of the Chofetz Chaim traveled to speak to her and hear what she remembered about the illustrious gaon and tzaddik. The woman, who led a secular life, recalled that as a young girl, she had read the works of the Maskilim and, like many others of her time, was drawn by them and fascinated by the ideas they presented. Slowly, she gave up religion and made her way to a university. During that period, she went to visit her grandfather, the Chofetz

Chaim. “Zaide,” she told him, brimming with youthful enthusiasm, “you have to step out of your insular shtetel and discover the new world. You’ll see that it’s a new era. Technology and science are creating a new reality. Zaide, you have to let go of your old-fashioned ideas and get with the times. Soak in the excitement and learn of the many possibilities that exist in today’s world.” She recounted that the Chofetz Chaim told her, “Tochterel, I want you to know this: With their innovations and inventions, they will one day reach a point where they make a bomb that will kill thousands of people. Ubber mir machen mentchen. Mir machen mentchen. Do you hear? We are making people. They will destroy people.” Torah makes people, refining and raising humanity. As part of a series of well-intentioned efforts to familiarize secular Israelis with their chareidi counterparts, a group of military personnel, generals and officers went to see the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak to observe yeshiva bochurim in their natural habitat. The officers were given a tour of the yeshiva and then taken to greet the rosh yeshiva, Rav Elozor Menachem Man Shach. The rosh yeshiva asked the visitors if they had been impressed by the young men they saw. “Absolutely,” said one. “They are polite, studious and refined. They dress neatly and seem engaged in their studies. They are clearly invested in their friends’ academic success as well, studying as they do in groups. They are certainly impressive.” The elderly rosh yeshiva, responding, cited the posuk which states, “Ki yeitzer leiv ho’odom ra mene’urav - Man’s heart is evil from the time of his creation” (Bereishis 8:21). “Man is created with a yeitzer hora, a pull to do bad,” said Rav Shach. “The young men you saw today are like other young men you know, with the same inclinations and desires. So how come you know so many teenagers who are wild, lazy, angry or apathetic? Do you think that our students are made any differently? The difference is that the Torah they learn changes them. Torah is a force. It builds and rebuilds a person.”


do that.” As a young boy, Rav Greineman learned Mishnayos Shviis with his uncle, the Chazon Ish. This is how they learned: The Chazon Ish taught the boy the Mishnah very clearly and thoroughly in a way that he was able to understand. Then Chaim reviewed the Mishnah 100 times. When he finished, the Chazon Ish taught him a second Mishnah. This is a story about a man who passed away just a few weeks ago. We can do it, too, if we would only apply ourselves and

MAY 7, 2015

Building, Rav Hutner felt, connotes a static process, brick after brick. Planting is to be a partner with creation. Seeds become plants and develop buds, which bloom and flourish, producing fruit. Spreading Torah is an effort akin to planting. Growth in Torah is hard work, but success is guaranteed for those who dedicate themselves to its pursuit. Upon the passing of Rav Chaim Greineman, Rav Yaakov Edelstein reminisced of the time, way back in 1944, when he, Rav Greineman and four others comprised the fledgling Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. Rav Chaim was then 18 years old. One of the other bochurim asked him as he was walking in the bais medrash, if he would submit to a test on Shas. He said that they can ask him on everything except Maseches Eiruvin, because he had not reviewed it enough times. Rav Edelstein conducted the test. He held up the bottoms of pages of different masechtos throughout Shas and Rav Chaim passed the test. The other bochurim were amazed. One remarked, “Wow! He has such a great memory!” Rav Greineman responded, “If you would learn and review each Gemara sixty times, you could also

really want to accomplish this feat. There are no secrets and no shortcuts. You have to measure up, Mishnah by Mishnah, daf by daf. Rabi Akiva (Pesochim 49b) said about himself that when he was still an ignorant am haaretz, his hatred of a talmid chochom was such that, “If I saw a talmid chochom, I wished to bite him like a donkey (which hurts more than a dog bite).” Yet, just as water bores a hole in a rock through persistence and consistency, Torah permeates the soul. Rabi Akiva became the paradigm of Torah study and was the link in transmitting Torah to 24,000 talmidim. Sadly, they were not able to maintain the 48 levels necessary for the acquisition of Torah, and since they failed in their mission, they were taken from this world. We mourn them until today as a reminder to ourselves of the levels man can reach. We celebrate Rabi Akiva and his talmid, Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai, and focus on the need to constantly measure up or, chas veshalom, lose the ability to be sustained in this world, which was created for Klal Yisroel and the Torah. Just as a skilled farmer uses the dirt, the chaff, the sun and the shade to produce delicious fruit and nutritious grains, the Torah takes all of man’s various qualities and elevates them. Man is complex. But life is a process. These weeks, we are given directions to refine ourselves and we are provided with an example: If an unlearned shepherd was able to master the levels of middos, reaching the zenith of creation and experiencing the cheirus of Yovel, then each and every one of us can do so as well. We mourn the tragedy of those who grew in his shadow but could not be lights on their own and fell before the challenge of rising to the next level. In the fires of Lag Ba’omer, we see lives consumed and potential is cut short, but we also see the fuel of rebirth, a bright light showing us the way. With the strains of music playing in the background, we offer our tefillos that we merit counting each day, making each day count, and using them as they were intended, to climb the ladder, rung by rung, to eternity.


When Shavuos arrives, we achieve our freedom. Ein lecha ben chorin ela mi she’oseik baTorah. The ultimate freedom belongs to those who live according to the Torah. At Mattan Torah, we attained the pinnacle of our existence, having reached the plateau Hashem intended when he created the world, bishvil Yisroel shenikre’u reishis and bishvil haTorah shenikra reishis, for the sake of the Torah and the sake of Yisroel, who, upon creation, were both referred to as “beginning.” A beginning is a spark that contains potential and hope for the future. The creation of the world and the establishment of Klal Yisroel were just the start of a process. At Har Sinai, the potential was finally realized, when the children of the avos became the Bnei Yisroel. When we reenact the climb every year during this period, we achieve the level Hashem intended for us. We can now understand the Tur’s comparison of the counting of the seven weeks to the counting of Shmittah and Yovel. That count leads to Yovel, the celebration of freedom, just as this one does. When we think of Sefirah, we think of the simonei aveilus we follow in memory of Rabi Akiva’s 24,000 students who perished during this period. There is no better example of the process that demonstrates that through toil, ameilus and work, man can remake himself. Rabi Akiva was the personification of man’s potential and ability to grow through Torah. He can begin from nothing and reach the highest level. Rabi Akiva began his climb as a lowly shepherd. At his apex, he was the shoresh of Torah Shebaal Peh. Rabbi Akiva demonstrated that man can begin from the level the Bnei Yisroel were on at Yetzias Mitzrayim. By working on himself, Rabi Akiva was able to rise, level by level, until he reached the level of Kabbolas HaTorah. If we understand the depth of the connection between Shmittah and these seven weeks, perhaps we can clarify our avodah during this period. We are taught that the punishment for failing to count the years of Shmittah and abstaining from working the fields during the years of Shmittah and Yovel is to be cut off from the land. The Sefer Hachinuch (mitzvah 84) writes that the purpose of Shmittah is to remember that Hashem created the land and causes it to grow and give forth fruit. Similarly, if we wish to grow, develop and thrive, we need to “work the land” during this time to remember that Hashem created us, and the world, for a reason. When Rav Yitzchok Hutner arrived in Eretz Yisroel towards the end of his life, he came with a dream of building a new yeshiva like the one he headed in Brooklyn. “Is it true that the rosh yeshiva wants to build Torah here as well?” he was asked. “No,” he retorted. “It is not true. I don’t want to build Torah. I want to plant Torah.”


Lag B’Omer

75 93 Rabbi Doniel Baron

Whispering F la mes

The F ire of Lag B’Omer

Tapping into the fiery, spiritual energy that is embedded in every iota of creation.


ire. With dancing, leaping, flashing tongues of flame, fire lights up the Lag B’Omer night sky. Jews light bonfires to commemorate the holiday, continuing a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Lag B’Omer is the day on which Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai revealed the chief mystical work, the Zohar, through an explosion of fire, and it is the day on which he died. The tongues of flame whisper a message. What is the mysterious, inner meaning of all the fire? To unravel the mystery, we need to go 3,500 years back in time to young Abraham, left to mind his father’s idol shop. He looked at the sun, the moon, the stars and heavenly bodies and concluded that it would be ridiculous to think that inanimate, man-made idols had control over these things. As he contemplated more and more evidence of design in the world, he concluded that there must be a Creator who controls all. The world around him thought otherwise, and even united to build a tower to “fight” their conception of G-d. But the more Abraham saw in the world, the more he realized that everything is guided by the hand of the Creator. Abraham’s discovery is expressed through a metaphor that sheds light on the deeper meaning of fire. Abraham coming to recognize G-d is compared to a wanderer who sees a mansion engulfed in flames and subsequently concludes that the mansion must have an owner. The master of the house then sees the wanderer and introduces himself. Abraham similarly looked at the world and concluded that it must have a Master, and merited the Master’s acknowledgement (Bereishit Rabba 39:1). This is a difficult parable to understand. A burning mansion is more a sign of neglect than of ownership. What did Abraham, the wanderer of the parable, see that pointed to a Master? The Hebrew language, the language of creation according to Jewish tradition, provides us with the key to unlocking the metaphor. The Hebrew word for “thing,” the generic word that captures all physical objects, is “davar.” Davar derives from the Hebrew root “dibur” which means “to speak.” This is no coincidence. It teaches us that every davar expresses a dibur – a spoken message. Every physical object or phenomenon, in addition to its physical reality, conveys a spiritual comment on existence.

For example, a rose, on the surface level, is aesethetically pleasing and fragrant. But the rose also conveys a deeper message: intricacy and symmetry that points to intelligent design and a Designer. The external message is readily apparent. However, the inner meaning of an object can be elusive, and sometimes one needs to develop a sensitivity before one can understand the dibur – the message, that lies hidden within every davar – thing.

To Rabbi Shimon, the world was ablaze with spiritual energy, abounding with tongues of fire whispering messages about the Creator. The fire of the mansion was an allusion to the dibur in every object in the world. Abraham saw the mansion – the world – on fire. Fire is a unique phenomenon. It has the power to transform anything that comes into contact with it into fire itself. The release of the latent energy in the object cast into the flames gives rise to a more powerful fire. Fire reveals that within everything, in addition to the practical function of a davar, a thing, there lies hidden energy that, when tapped, gives off light that was not apparent to one looking only at the practical function of the object. That energy is the metaphor for the dibur – the message embedded in everything in the world. Abraham was able to look at the world and see the fire burning. As a child, he contemplated the sun, the moon and the stars and concluded that they were too sophisticated to be the product of chance. There had to have been a Creator, a Designer who fashioned everything in the world, and continues to control it all. For Abraham, the sun served more than its practical external functions of giving off warmth and light. It

broadcasted the message that something so awesome could not have come about by itself. Physics teaches the laws of entropy. Left alone, things in nature move from a state of higher order to lower order, marching toward chaos. Abraham realized that it is impossible to understand the world as the product of chance. To Abraham, everything in the world expressed a deeper meaning, intelligent design and a Designer who continues to guide his creation. Abraham saw the mansion burning. The flames, however, were not the fire of destruction. Instead, they represented the hidden energy in the mansion of the world, the inner message, the dibur, that points to the greatness of the Creator who could form such a place. The figurative flames whisper that in addition to the simple function of every davar in the word, there lies a deeper meaning that points to G-d for those like Abraham who had the eyes to see it. It is no wonder that we commemorate Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai with fire. Rabbi Shimon lived in both realms at the same time; in the world of the physical as we know it, and in the realm where the spirituality in everything physical, the dibur in everything, was apparent. To Rabbi Shimon, the world was ablaze with spiritual energy, abounding with tongues of fire whispering messages about the Creator. Not surprisingly, Rabbi Shimon gave us the Zohar, the book of the mystical inner meaning that belies everything. The ancient, the mystical and the spiritual have applications in modern times. The practical challenge of Lag B’Omer is to see the potential energy in every object and every person, instead of being fooled by the facade of the external. Spirituality and providence are everywhere, even for those of us who are not Rabbi Shimon. However, we can easily smother the flames of inner meaning by covering over any sparks of life and attributing everything to chance. Lag B’Omer invites us to look deeper and to hear the ever-present broadcast throughout creation. The flames of Lag B’Omer call to us and whisper that there is more to every person and every object than meets the eye—that one should never give up even if a situation looks hopeless. Look beyond the superficial and acknowledge deeper realms of existence; embrace worlds that we cannot see or touch, but which are every bit as real as the one in which we live. Reprinted with permission from aish.com.

TThHE e JJeEWISH w i s h hHOME o m e nn MAY a p r i2l 42, 52012 , 2013

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Actor, Friend of Israel, Political Activist; A Conversation with Jon Voight Ruth Judah

Jon Voight has been an outspoken supporter of Israel for many years and has repeatedly encouraged a love and understanding of Israel. On March 15th, he posted a one minute video on YouTube that received more than 160,000 hits, and encouraged support of Israel and votes for Netanyahu in the pending elections. He is responsible for raising many millions of dollars for Jewish charities, of influencing American politics in the funding of Israeli causes, and for supporting the influential evangelical movement’s support of Israel. At the same time, Mr. Voight continues to en-

Florida Holocaust Museum. How did you first become involved with Jewish charities? Jon Voight: In the eighties, the Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, instructed Rabbi Yossi Raichik to find a way to airlift children from the contaminated area of Chernobyl to hospitals In Israel for treatment. I became friends with Yossi’s brother, Avi, who introduced me to the charity in the early nineties. I was asked to emcee an event for them and it went OK and they’ve asked me back every year since. I became acquainted with people in Israel through

In the early years of the Chabad Telethon joy star status as a world famous actor whose recent film and television work has received the highest awards, ratings and status. This month, Mr. Voight gave an interview to The Jewish Home LA. TJH: You’ve been in Israel many times and your public support of Israeli causes is meaningful and well reported. When did you first visit Israel? Jon Voight: I first went in the early ‘80s when I did a film and I was there for just one day and I didn’t see much. I was not connected to the country, not as focused as I became later on. TJH: This year will be your 25th appearance at the Chabad Telethon, which raises more than $3million annually. You also emcee The Children of Chernobyl Fundraiser and you’ve been on the advisory board of the

this program and eventually I went and visited. TJH: Rabbi Cunin, Chabad’s West Coast Director, calls you, “A real, super mensch.” It’s an unusual friendship; how did it come about? Jon Voight: I met him through Rabbi Jerry Cutler. I had been working on support for the Hopi Indians, an extremely spiritual people, and I wanted a proper place to present their message to the press. I had trouble finding a spiritual backdrop for the press conference. My longtime friend, Hank Paul, suggested that I contact Rabbi Jerry Cutler, and so I reached out to him. He was immediately enthusiastic. He said, “Not only will I offer you Temple Beth El, but I’ll throw in coffee and Danish as well.” This was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The Press Conference was very successful, with Elizabeth Taylor and Tyne Daly

and Cheech Marin attending and I was in high spirits. I said to Jerry Cutler, “Now that you’ve given me this help, I owe you.” He quickly replied, “As a matter of fact, I run a telethon for a wonderful group called Chabad. They help people in need. Would you come on the telethon and say a few words for them?” I said, “I’m sure they are a good organization if you recommend them, but I don’t know anything about it, let me look into it.” He sent me to the drug program which they ran on Robertson Blvd. When I walked into the courtyard there, I was faced with a line of rough

nothing. They say that no one who goes to Chabad is turned away and I was to witness this in action. Rabbi Cunin’s outer office had a couple of chairs and a couch and really nothing much else. There were two people sitting there and waiting, a young husband and wife and they were clearly very poor and he asked them what they might need. They said they had nothing in their apartment. Could he help them with some furniture? He looked around the room and said, “How about this couch?” They were delighted, so the Rabbi told me to take one end and help him carry the couch to

Jon Voight visits Israel terror victims. Photo Chabad.org looking guys with tattoos and these men were lining up in front of a small table. I walk up to see what is going on and I see there is a robust fellow with a black beard and a black hat and he has rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt and he’s arm wrestling with these men… and he’s winning! Then he sees me, he stops everything and runs over to give me a bear hug which knocked the wind out of me; it was such a powerful embrace. I immediately liked this guy and this was my introduction to Rabbi Shlomo Baruch Cunin. He filled me in on all the details of the drug program and then asked me back to his Westwood office. His headquarters were upstairs on the third floor, which you reached by squeezing into a tiny elevator. You could tell all the money that was raised went into the program because nothing was being spent on the decor. I mean

the elevator. We all got in the elevator, we were face to face, jammed in together with the couch. When we got downstairs the Rabbi and I heaved the sofa into my Cherokee because they couldn’t do this on their own. I delivered the sofa. I was happy to be part of this Chabad energy that was so pure and full of love. That told me all I needed to know in order to make the decision to go on the telethon. I must say that I was a little timid at my first appearance on the telethon. I said a few simple words and that was all I could get out and then someone said, “And here’s the tote!” Before I knew it, I was grabbed by the arm and was dancing in a circle of bearded Rabbi’s. I remember I was laughing so much. I had long blonde hair in those days and I looked nothing like the perfect guy for the job! I knew very well how ridiculous it must have seemed and I couldn’t stop smil-


full of Chassidic Rabbis who supported causes. Once again, Abraham Joshua Heschel, is a good example. He was very outspoken. Eli Wiesel was very active on the part of the Russian Jews and received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Yet, for the most part, orthodox Jews don’t talk so much to the outside world. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was world renown because he, “had the ear of everybody.” He did speak to the people in power at the time, but only because those people came to him. TJH: You’ve attended dinners that have raised money for the Republican Party and conservatives have taken pride in your public stands. Given your success in the political arena and your popularity as an actor, might you run for office in some capacity? Jon Voight: The things I do are good things, but I think the career politicians are very good people and there is al-

people can’t see. We’re a participatory democracy. It’s a republic of the people. If we don’t educate ourselves, how can we participate? If I have something to contribute at this hour, I’d say, start taking an interest. Look for the truth. You may have to go a little distance, but it’s out there. You can find it if you keep looking. It’s a serious time in the world. TJH: Could the Jewish Vote be more productive? Could American Jews have greater impact in the political arena? Jon Voight: I think the voice of the Jewish people has been heard. They twice voted for this administration. They haven’t paid attention to what is going on. The recent dealings with Netanyahu from this White House and the public hostility he has faced is unforgivable. The Jewish people must understand that this President is allowing Iran to get a nuclear bomb. This President

TJH: Clearly you have an extraordinary knowledge of Jewish History. How have you learned so much on the subject? Jon Voight: Jewish history is the most amazing tale. I would recommend Paul Johnson’s, A History of the Jews. It’s so beautifully written. There are so many books, the bible of course, being the center of all the books. I’ve made a little journey through all the Jewish literature around the bible. I’ve been quoted as saying that the greatest wonder of the world is Jewish literature and all these magnificent writings that are commentaries from the bible. It’s true. The geniuses of each generation, for thousands of years, have contributed to this literature. Their names are legend. Rashi, the Maharal of Prague, Maimonides, right

history. People don’t read the prophets as much as they should and this is a sad state. In my lifetime, I understand now that this great prophecy of the Jews returning to their land, their historic homeland, has come about. This is an amazing time in the history of human beings. Not just for the Jews. This, in part, explains my love for the Jewish people and Israel. TJH: You have achieved enormous global success as an actor and yet the orthodox Jewish Community know you for your meaningful support of Israel and Jewish causes. Do you think it strange that there are no orthodox Jews who have a public image like you do? Jon Voight: Religious Jews are not meant to be political, although history is

ways room for more of them. I have not, however, been a career politician. It’s a specific vocation and there are many good people now in the Republican Party and I will leave it to them. There are some meaningful statesman in the conservative ranks; Ted Cruz, Governor Huckerbee, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker from Wisconsin. There are very good people out there. The democratic side has few good leaders. If you see nothing else from the last four and a half years, you can see there are no strong leaders on the left. When Clinton faces no one who offers an alternative leadership option, this is a party in trouble. Yes, I think I will get involved with the election as much as I can. I speak out because I do my homework and maybe because of that I can see a few things that other

directs attention to Iran by continuing these endless talks. We are in very dangerous times. To allow the Middle East to become a nuclear region is unthinkable. Thank G-d, Netanyahu spoke so well and his words were important. Hopefully they reached every Jewish person as well. Obama has responded poorly, to say the least. And this has always been the way. The first time Netanyahu came to visit him in the US, Obama was very rude and made him enter through the back door, and then, took a break for more than an hour when he went off for a meal and didn’t even offer food to Netanyahu. The Jewish people have to realize that if it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck! It’s very important that they wake up.

MAY 7, 2015

down to the last century which gave us all of the Chassidic teachings. There are people today, who are continuing this legacy of insight. People like the great Eli Wiesel, the Rebbe, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschl, who wrote extraordinary volumes of work and was a dear friend of Martin Luther King and walked arm in arm with him in the great final march in Selma. Being a film actor, perhaps I am most intrigued by the writings of the prophets. This is extraordinary drama. Imagine a young person being visited by an angel or G-d or whatever spiritual entity gives him the power to speak. This moment when this human being is given this office, this destiny and accepts it, with all its inner dangers and this has given us a chart of events that were to come. It’s so moving and reading the words, even in English, one is left with no doubt as to the authenticity of these moments in


ing. And it turned out my performance was entertaining to a lot of people, and they’ve asked me back every year since. I’ve stayed friendly with Rabbi Cunin. He’s an amazing energy and tremendously entertaining. When he’s on the telethon, you never know what might happen. He has no board or teleprompter and he gets inspired to speak and he’s always fantastic. You just don’t know what he will do next. It’s always dangerous and fun. Actually, I’ve become famous for my dancing, but maybe infamous is a better word! Many people only know me from the telethon. Once, I was shopping in the supermarket. I turned a corner and a strong hand grabbed my arm. I looked down to see an elderly woman. She put a finger in my face and said, “Boychik! You’re a good dancer… and you’re getting better!!!” That’s what she told me! So that’s the adventure of the telethon.

TJH: The 2014 Pew Research Report showed that in many ways, evangelical Christians are more supportive of Israel than American Jews. How is this so?

the Jews in fighting back. The evangelicals take the bible seriously. They’re more educated in this aspect than the secular world. When I was in Israel with Glenn Beck in August 2011, we were

get into the Western Wall and there was going to be a big event, maybe 1,000 people. I felt my job was to visit with the folks as they waited in the slow line. I signed my name when I was asked and

pend on the media. If someone gives your kids bad books you would home school them. We have to home school ourselves because the media are no longer giving us the facts. The news

Jon Voight: These are good people and if Israel were attacked tomorrow, I dare say they would be more serious than

with a group of evangelical Christians. It was a large group. I spoke to them as a group, and one night we were waiting to

so forth and I worked my way up to the front of the line which was down some stairs to the entrance doorway. There was suddenly a huge cheer from the front of the line. I thought, “Is Elvis in the house?” I climbed up onto these ancient rocks and then I was high enough to see what was the cause of the excitement. There was a squad of Israeli soldiers crossing the road. This had caused the cheer. It was deeply moving. I stood on these ancient rocks feeling connected to the past, but it was so beautiful to see that this group of Americans had got it right in understanding that these soldiers were creating the future. We need to thank those soldiers and we need to look up to this Prime Minister who has been a great war hero. Look, he lost his brother in Entebbe and he knows the price of Israel’s existence and we should stand strong with him. He has a capability that is surpassing. What has Obama done to support Netanyahu? After Netanyahu spoke in Washington, Obama released documents that told of the nuclear facilities in Israel. This is a very bad situation now. We should speak out when necessary. Everyone is very timid around our President and this is wrong. Does it make us a racist to criticize him? People have a knee-jerk reaction and aren’t independent thinkers and aren’t getting the accurate, true facts. TJH: Are Jewish Americans ignorant of the politics because our media is slanted, incomplete or cheaply created? Jon Voight: We can no longer de-

is impotent. We have to search for the truth. We can’t rely on the media that reports news based on the subjects that get the rating’s numbers up. We must ask everyone and share and consider the different information. This is what can be done to help. Each individual should talk to their friends and share the truth as they see it. You should talk to your congressman as well about these issues. When we start to recognize a lie is being repeated, then we can decide what is our responsibility. Not all of us can step in front of a microphone. Most people have to work in other circles. TJH: So where do we go from here, as Jews? Jon Voight: We need to see the truth and understand what is happening in our world. We need to watch what kids are taught. The colleges are very harmful and anti-Israel. If, I go to speak at a college, I would be attacked and they wouldn’t even invite me, anyway. But Ahmadinejad? They invited him to speak at Columbia University. How absurd! Spiritual values are being attacked. This has led to renewed anti-Semitism which has reached new heights at this time. Denial needs to go. We should be certain we know what is going on around us and make decisions accordingly. Denial needs to be overwhelmed by truth. Every Jew is, in some way a holocaust survivor. Jews are amazing at surviving, but Jewish people have to realize that assimilation is not the highest virtue and denial is not the answer and will not protect you from today’s reality.


MAY 7, 2015



Natural Colors and Flavors



MAY 7, 2015



Notable Quotes


Compiled by Nate Davis Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say “Say What?” What?” Congrats to Prince William and Kate Middleton, who welcomed a baby girl on Saturday. The royal baby weighed eight pounds — or around 12 American dollars. - Jimmy Fallon

Oh, yeah. I’ve got to pay our bills. - Bill Clinton, when asked by NBC whether he will continue to get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches now that his wife is running for president

Back home in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao is a congressman — which may explain why he didn’t do much of anything the other night. - Conan O’Brien

I asked Hillary about this. She said, “No one’s ever tried to influence me by helping you.” - Bill Clinton, in an interview with NBC, definitively laying to rest all concerns raised by the blockbuster book Clinton Cash, which alleges that hundreds of millions of dollars was given to Bill Clinton to influence Hillary while she was secretary of state

I would have definitely paid $100 to watch someone beat up my congressman. – Ibid. I had my credit card, my license, my grandchildren’s pictures in there and all sorts of stuff it would have been wicked for me to replace. - 95-year-old World War II veteran Arthur Kamberis of New Hampshire explaining why he beat a mugger with his cane rather than hand over his wallet

His iconic big red shoes will remain the same. - Statement from McDonald’s explaining that Ronald McDonald has gone through a fashion makeover in preparation for a greater social media role

I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person. - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recent Q&A session

Blackberry is being criticized after it misspelled the word “won” in an ad celebrating a design award. Instead of w-o-n they put o-n-e. Blackberry apologized for the spelling mistake and promised the person responsible has been fried. – Jimmy Fallon

I’m saying to people around this nation right now: Stop being loyal to a party or to a man and use your brain to think for yourself. That is really the key to us as a nation becoming successful again. - Neurosurgeon Ben Carson in his announcement that he is running in the Republican primaries

Prince William’s pregnant wife, Kate Middleton, is past her due date. Doctors may have to induce labor. To speed up the birth, doctors have been telling the baby, “Come on out. You will never have to work a day in your life.” – Conan O’Brien

Donald Trump is talking about running for president. He hasn’t made an announcement, but I want to tell you something. The fake suspense is killing me. – David Letterman

A 91-year-old woman in the U.K. recently got engaged to her 102-year-old boyfriend, which would make them the oldest newlyweds in the world. They’re really happy and said they can’t wait to spend the rest of their week together. – Jimmy Fallon

There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy. – Ibid. I love the phrase knowingly inappropriate. Do you know any normal person who says that? I didn’t do anything knowingly inappropriate. You say I didn’t do anything inappropriate. This is classic Clinton speech. Somebody ought to make a dictionary. We have a dictionary of Klingon; we ought to have a dictionary of Clintonism. This is how they parse, this is how they dodge. And then he says there’s a limited attempt to take us down. No facts not known now that were not known in ‘08? That’s absolutely untrue. The allegations are about what happened since ‘08 when she was secretary of state. - Charles Krauthammer


Hillary Clinton wrote an OpEd for a paper in Iowa about her plans to help the middle class. Middle class Americans said, “Why didn’t you just say that in a speech?” and she said, “Because I charge $200,000 for a speech.” – Jimmy Fallon

To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for “No justice, no peace.” - Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby announcing charges against six police officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death The decision to file charges was made not based on considerations of justice, but on considerations of crowd control. - Alan Dershowitz, talking about Mosby’s charging of the police officers BMW’s new Deluxe 7 Series will allow drivers to simply press a button on their key fob to make the car park itself. And because it’s an expensive BMW it’ll park itself across two spaces. – Jimmy Fallon

In countries in Scandinavia like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, they are very democratic countries. Voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, healthcare is the right of all people; college education and graduate school is free; retirement benefits, child care are stronger than the United States of America. In those countries by and large government works for ordinary people and the middle class, rather than, as is the case right now in our country, for the billionaire class. - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who recently announced that he is running for president, on ABC News

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly has had 15 of his top officials executed. So the lesson here is when Kim Jong Un comes to work with a new haircut, you tell him, “Looking good, Un.” – Conan O’Brien Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other. They already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material. Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal. – Vice President Joe Biden at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Starbucks will now offer cookie straws. And they come in a variety of flavors, like type 1 and type 2. – Seth Myers

I think you’ve sort of covered everything about that question. – A middle school student who was interviewing President Obama, cutting the president off when he was going on and on about his affection for reading

Ford just recalled almost 1 million cars for steering problems and because the doors fly open. This explains Chevrolet’s new slogan: “Ford just recalled almost 1 million cars for steering problems and because the doors fly open.” – Conan O’Brien

The Kentucky Derby is a race that lets rich people throw money at a bunch of weird sounding names — which is another way of describing the presidential race so far. Do I want to bet on Jeb? Rand? – Jimmy Fallon

I don’t see smiles on the faces of people at Whole Foods. - Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting explaining why Berkshire continues to hold stakes in CocaCola Co. and other sugary-treat companies

Scientists have discovered that Tyrannosaurus Rex may have had a vegetarian cousin. Man, it must [stink] to have a vegetarian in the family when your arms are too short to cover your ears. – Seth Myers

We will have inspectors in there every single day. There is a lot of hysteria about this deal. - Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to Israel’s Channel 10 television about the Iran deal

Miami Dolphins lineman A.J. Francis just tweeted that he has signed up to be an Uber driver during the offseason. But since he’s with the Dolphins he can only drive 15 yards before he has to punt. – Jimmy Fallon A rare and beautiful thing was seen today — a quadruple rainbow. That’s four rainbows. They were seen by all seven of the people who looked up from their phones today. – Jimmy Kimmel


MAY 7, 2015

A new study reveals that one-third of babies in the U.S. have used a smartphone. Yeah, and one-third of babies in China have made a smartphone. – Conan O’Brien

During a recent press conference, former President Jimmy Carter said he could never run for president today because he doesn’t have a lot of money. Well, that and the fact that he’s the famously bad President Jimmy Carter. - Jimmy Fallon


The new Apple Watch officially launched today. There’s a new trend — people cutting actual apples and strapping them to their wrists in celebration of the Apple Watch. And if you shop at Whole Foods, it actually ends up costing as much as the real thing. – Jimmy Fallon






The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program consists of learning a daily amud of Mishnah Berurah and an amud of “Biurim Umusafim” contemporary halachic applications from today’s Gedolei Haposkim, as well as a selection of Mussar from Sifrei Chofetz Chaim. To join, simply learn the daily Halacha limud of Mishnah Berurah. Additionally, you can join a Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur in your neighborhood.




Rav Reuven Drucker

Rav Dovid Pearl

Rav Refoel Shochet

Agudas Yisroel of Edison; 1131 Raritan Ave. S-Th 7:25-8:00 pm



Rav Mordechai Frankel

Agudath Israel of Baltimore 6200 Park Heights Avenue S 8:30–9 pm M–Th 8:20–9 pm (Maariv 9:00)

Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kivelevitz JEC Reibel Bais Medrash, Elmora Shul

330 Elmora Ave; S-Th 8:30 pm (followed by Maariv)


Rav Menachem Feifer

Rav Moshe Ravinowitz

Agudas Yisroel of Bayswater; 2422 Bayswater Ave S-Th 9:30-10 pm (Maariv 10:00)

YIWB/Shar Hashamayim; 2716 Healy Ave S-Th 6:15-6:45 pm



Rav Shlomo Cynaman

Young Israel of Greater Cleveland 2463 South Green Road M-F 7:25 am (Shacharis 6:45 & 7:50), S-T 10:15 pm

BORO PARK Khal Birkas Avrohom; 1319 50th St S–Th 8:30 pm (Maariv 9:20)

Rav Yehudah Leibish Frand

Bais Medrash Radomsk; 4304 14th Ave. S-Th 9:00 am

Rav Yisroel Moshe Russak

‫ביה”ח ד’ גור זכרון אברהם‬

1401 55th St.; S-Th 9:55 pm (Maariv 9:45)

Rav Avraham Aber Itzkowitz Khal Brisdovitz; 1721 58th Street M-F 8:15-8:40 am


Rav Dovid Bielory

Yeshivas Ohr Yisroel 74 Corey Road; S 9:30 am, M-F 8:40 am

Rav Ephraim Epstein

Rav Zev Smith

Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin; 2913 Ave. L S 8:30 pm (Maariv before & after Shiur)

Rav Shmuel Choueka

Ohel Simha Congregation; 295 Park Avenue M-F 8-8:30 am

Deal Kollel; 9:15 Chaburos

Rav Avrohom Reit

Rav Doniel Neustadt

Congregation Bnei Israel Beth Yehudah 15400 W 10 Mile Road; M-F 6:30 am

The New Monsey Night seder Bais Medrash at Bais Medrash Shaarei Tefilla; 29 Parker Blvd. S-Th 8:55-9:40 pm

Bais Medrash of Westgate (Upstairs) 100 Ropshitz Ct. S-Th 10:00-10:30 pm (Maariv 9:40 & 10:40)

Rav Gedaliah Jaffe

Congregation Ahavas Yisrael; 1587 Route 27 M– F 6:00 am

Rav Yosef Meir Kantor

Rav Nuta Silber

‫ביהמ”ד בית אשר מרדכי‬

27 Neil Road; S-Th 9-9:30 pm (Maariv 9:30)

Rav Pinchas Shapiro

Rav Yisroel Brodsky


Rav Meir Waxman

Seattle Kollel; 5305 52nd Ave. South S-Th 8:00-8:30 pm (Maariv 9:00)


Rav Eli Reingold

Yeshiva of Greater Washington; 1216 Arcola Ave. M, W, Th 8:00-8:40 pm Young Israel Shomrai Emunah T 8:00-9:00 pm (followed by Maariv)

S - Rav Avraham Sussuman M - Rav Shlomo Katz T - Rav Raphael Mendlowitz W - Rav Mordechai Rhine Th - Rav Joshua Musicante

Ohel Yaakov; 1 Challenger Court; M-F 7:25-7:45 am

Southeast Hebrew Congregation S-Th 9:15-9:45 pm



Rav Efraim Greenbaum

Bais Medresh Skver; 11 Truman Ave. S-Th 9:00-9:30 pm

Rav Aaron Lauer

Or Torah; 3800 Dempster Street M-F 8:40 am (Shacharis 8:00)



Rav Dovid Wachs

Rav Gidon Nitsun

Cong. Ahavas Torah; 1425 Rhawn Street S, W, Th 8:20 M,T 9:20

Agudas Yisroel of St. Louis; 8202 Delmar Blvd. S-Th 6:15-6:45 pm

Bais Medrash Govoha - Carey Street S-T-W 9:40 am, M&Th 9:45 am Kollel Ner Avrohom 104 Arbutis Drive; S-Th 8:45 pm (Maariv 8:30)



Rav Boruch Meir Levine


Kol Aryeh; M-F 7:20-7:45 am

Rav Yisroel Zucker

Lakewood Courtyard Shul; 52 Madison Ave S-Th between Mincha & Maariv (Mincha 15 minutes before shkiah) Rachmastrivka Beis Medrash S-Th 50 min. after Shkia followed by Maariv

Rav Shimon Prag

Zichron Chaim (The Villa’s Shul) 901 East Kennedy Blvd. M-F 7:20–8:00 am, followed by Shacharis

Rav Moshe Chaim Kahan

Bais Medrash Govoha - Ateres Brocha S-Th 8:45 pm (Maariv 9:15)


Rav Ayson Ganeles

Rav Elchanan Kasnett Rav Pinchas Garfunkel Rav Binyamin Kaplan Rav Yosef Licht

Rav Moshe Ahron Blum

Kollel Avreichim of Greater Detroit 15120 West Lincoln M-F after 8:30 Shacharis (upstairs)

Machzikei Hadas; 600 Monroe Ave. S-Th 9:30 pm (Maariv 10:00)


Rav Chaim Weg

Morning Shiur after Shacharis, Evening Shiur after Maariv



Rav Shmuel Kestenbaum

Cong. Bnei Brith Jacob (in the chapel) 5444 AberCorn Street


The Milwaukee Kollel; 5007 Keefe Avenue S 8:30 pm, M, W, Th 9:00 pm

Rav Eliezer Ralbag

Rabbi Eliyahu Yellin

Beth Jacob Congregation; 4855 College Ave For more information: rabbiroth@bjsd.org

Kollel Yechiel Yehudah; 444 N. La Brea Ave Mincha 6:00 pm, followed by a Shiur

Congregation Ahavas Achim; 549 E. 2nd St. S-Th 9:30 pm (Maariv 10:00)

Rabbi Eliyahu Yellin


Rav Yochanan Henig


15751 West Lincoln Drive; S-Th 9:30 pm (Maariv 10:10)

Yagdil Torah; 17100 West Ten Mile Road M-F after 7:00 Shacharis, S-T 9:55 pm

Rav Pinny Roth

Country Place Club House; 1400 South Lake Drive S, M, T and Th 7:45 pm; W 6:15 pm


Bais Medrash Govoha - Forest Ave Limud B’Chavrusah after 7 am Shacharis Shiur Klali - F 8:00-8:30

Agudas Yisrael Magen Avrohom


Rav Shlomo Caplan

Cong. Tiferes Avrohom Zidichev; 4017 Ave P M-F 6:30-7:00 am & 8:35-9:05 am

Rav Moshe Zev Feldman

Rav Asher Eisenberger

5 minute shiur after Maariv; Limud B’chavrusah before Maariv

2141 Coney Island Avenue S-Th 8:45-9:30 pm (Maariv 9:30)

Bais Medrash Presidential Estates S-Th 9:00 pm (Maariv 8:45)


Kehilas Ahavas Yisroel; 147-02 73rd Avenue S-Th 9:45–10:15 pm (Maariv 9:30)

Lakeview Shul

Rav Yechezkel Eichenstein

Rav Moshe Peretz Schwartz


Rav Moshe Bilitzky

Rav Avrohom Koslowitz

Agudas Yisroel Snif Zichron Shmuel

Toldos Yitzchok; S-Th 9:25-10 pm

Kollel Ateres Chaim Boruch; 1861 S. Taylor Rd. S-Th 9:30 pm (Maariv 10:00)


Rav Yoni Maccabi

Rav Avrohom Yeshaya Frand

Rav Boruch Hirschfeld

Sons of Israel; 590 Madison Ave; S-Th 8:15 pm

Rav Dovia Halpern

Kollel Los Angeles; 7216 Beverly Blvd (upstairs) S-Th 8:15-9:00 pm (Maariv 9:00)

Khal Zichron Yaakov; S-Th 9:15 pm


Providence Community Kollel; 671 E. Ave. S 8:30-9 pm, M-Th 9-9:30 pm (Maariv 9:30)

Rav Boaz Bar-Dea

M-F 7:25 am (Shacharis 6:45 & 8:00)

Kollel Ahavas Torah; 3115 Devon Avenue S-Th 8:45-9:15 pm

Rav Shmuel Tendler



Rav Chaim Mordechai Turin

Rav Dovid Bielory

Rav Chaim Trainer

Sons of Israel of Cherry Hill 720 Cooper Landing Rd.


Bais Medrash Kol Yehudah (Brookhill Ashkenaz) 1009 Brook Road; S-Th 8:45 pm


Rav Teitelbaum’s Shul; 122-31 Metroplitan Ave S-Th 8:40-9:00 pm


Providence Community Kollel; 671 E. Ave. S 8:40 M-F 7:40 am

K’hal Bnei Torah - Kollel Dirshu 2925 Ave K. (corner Ave. K & Nostrand) M–F 8:30-9 am, S 9:30-10 (Shacharis 7:30) Tehila Ledavid; 1950 E. 21 Street (Bet. R & S) S 7:10-8 am, M-F 6:10-6:50 am

Rav Yitzchok Zalman Gips

Rav Dovid Shanik

Forest Park Shul; S-Th 10:15 pm


Rav Naphtali Burnstein

Shemen L’mincha; M-F 6:00 am

Rav Hillel Feldman

Bais Medrash of Arlington Khal Rayim Ahuvim M-F 8:00-8:30 am

Rav Shmuel Witkin

KBH - 575 Hungry Harbor Road S Following Mincha/Maariv; M-Th 9:15pm (Maariv 9:00)

Rav Chaim Krause

Agudas Yisroel Bircas Yaakov 262 Terhune Avenue M-F 6:40-7:10 am (Shacharis 7:10) BTU Bais Torah U’ Tefilah; 218 Aycrigg Ave S-Th 9:45-10:15 pm (Maariv 10:15)


Rav Uri Yehudah Greenspan

LMS; 123 Old Lancaster Avenue M-T 10:35-11:15 am, F 11:30 am Philadelphia Community Kollel 364 Montgomery Avenue; S-W 8:15 pm


Rav Nosson Ungar

Congregation Ohr Hatorah 6516 North 7th Street Suite 202 M–F 7:30 am (Shacharis 6:45)


Rav Chanan Spivak

Cong Kesser Israel; 6698 SW Capital Highway S-Th 8:45 pm, followed by Maariv

Rav Gavriel Fried

Khal Agudas Shomrei Hadas; 98 Rupert Ave. S-Th 9:15-9:55 pm


Rav Dovid Hofstedter

Dirshu Bais Medrash; 4576 Yonge St. M-F 8:25-8:55 am

Rav Uri Kaufman

Agudas Yisroel Anshei Kielce; 2941 Bathurst St. S-Th 20 minutes before Mincha

Rav Chesky Weiss

Shovei Mayim; S 6:35-7:00; M-F 6:05-6:30

Rav Shmuel Heller

Viewmount Shul; 1 Viewmount Ave M-F 6:55-7:25 pm


Rav Tzvi Thaler

Yeshiva Gedolah Ateres Shmuel of Waterbury 359 Cooke St.; S-Th 8-8:30pm (Maariv 8:30) WICKLIFFE

Rav Chanina Weinberg

Yeshivas Tiferes Avigdor; S–Th 4:00 pm

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MAY 7, 2015

The limud of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha limud is currently up to: ‫ית‬‫י‬ ‫ת‬ekld ,'‫ א‬wlg a"n


MAY 7, 2015


Travel Guide: Nova Scotia Aaron Feigenbaum

Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces, is a place of remarkable contrasts. On the one hand, it’s an island of natural and pastoral beauty with lighthouses, rocky coastlines, picturesque villages and farms, towering lighthouses, thick forests and the wild highlands of Cape Breton Island, yet, it’s also home to a vibrant metropolitan culture as seen in its capital Halifax, also referred to as a “miniSan Francisco.” Still, even in Halifax one gets a sense of the remote, rugged charm of this land, a quality complemented by Nova Scotia’s fiercely independent, yet unreservedly friendly inhabitants. Nova Scotia isn’t just a place to unwind; it’s an arena for exploration, adventure and self-discovery. Those who venture to this off-the-beaten-path destination will find themselves richly rewarded. History The first inhabitants of Nova Scotia were the Mi’kmaq people, who were skilled hunters, fishers and traders. European exploration might have started with

the Norse Vikings in the 11th century, but it can be most reliably dated to John Cabot’s expedition in 1497. After Cabot, French explorers such as Samuel de Champlain, established fledgling colonies and French immigrants to the island gave rise to Canada’s Acadian culture. The island was officially named Nova Scotia (New Scotland) in 1621, by decree of the British King James I. France saw this as a violation of its sovereignty, and so a war raged between Britain and France throughout the 17th century, until the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht gave the colony, except for Cape Breton Island and Ile Saint-Jean, to England. The capital, Halifax, was founded in 1749 as a military outpost and a means of competing with France’s Fortress of Louisbourg at Cape Breton. The Seven Years War between Britain and France brought major upheaval to Nova Scotia. In 1755, the British, fearing that the colony’s Acadian population would side with the French, rounded up

Louisbourg Fortress

over 6,000 Acadians and forced them onto ships bound for America. 3 years later, Louisbourg fell to the British. The Treaty of Paris of 1763 gave Cape Breton Island to the British, thus uniting Nova Scotia under British rule. In the aftermath of the American Revolution, Nova Scotia became a safe haven for pro-British Loyalists, former slaves and European immigrants. The island developed a strong economy based on fishing, lumber, shipbuilding and trade. The establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 brought resentment from many Nova Scotians who did not enjoy the idea of losing their oceanic trade links with America. Nevertheless, the province has since been well integrated into an independent Canada. Nova Scotia today is highly diverse population and culture-wise, and has an economy increasingly dominated by tourism. Attractions Halifax: The most popular attraction in Nova Scotia’s capital is Citadel Hill, (a.k.a. Fort George.) It’s on this beautiful hill with encompassing views of downtown that Halifax was founded, and it’s here that the British defended against both the French and American Revolutionary armies. In a sad chapter of Canada’s history, the Fort served as an internment camp for over 8,000 immigrants from “enemy countries” during World War I. Visitors can experience daily live military re-enactments courtesy of the British 78th Highlanders and Royal Artillery. Those who come after hours will be treated to the Citadel Ghost Walk and hear spooky stories dating back to the early 1800’s. The Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest Victorian gardens in North America. The park is well-maintained and is a perfect spot for strolling or picnicking. The best time to come is during spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has an expansive collection relating to Canada’s ship history. Of particular note

is the CSS Acadia. The Acadia is the only ship to have served in the Royal Canadian Navy in both World Wars and, in its later life, charted almost all of Eastern Canada’s coastline. It has been featured in numerous films and documentaries, but the primary reason to visit the Maritime Museum is the Titanic collection, representing the largest of its kind in the world. The Titanic collection includes personal items from

Peggy’s Point Lighthouse

the ship’s crew and passengers, a model lifeboat and interactive displays about the ship’s doomed voyage. Another fantastic museum to visit is Pier 21. This complex of unassuming brick buildings was once known as “Canada’s Ellis Island.” From 1928 to 1971, it processed over 1 million immigrants and served as the departure point for almost half a million Canadian military personnel during the World Wars. The museum tells the stories of immigrants who came to Canada with little more than the clothes on their backs and ended up helping make Canada what it is today. Province House is the meeting place for the Nova Scotia legislature and is Canada’s oldest provincial parliament building still in use. It’s also the home of Britain’s first overseas self-government. This “gem of Georgian architecture” (in the words of author Charles Dickens) can be toured for free.


South Shore: A short drive out of Halifax, the South Shore is one of the most scenic coastlines in Canada. The 211-mile route from Halifax to Yarmouth is known as Lighthouse Route. The most famous site along this route is Peggy’s Cove, one of Nova Scotia’s many picturesque fishing villages. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is one of Canada’s most well-known and possibly most photographed lighthouse. Lunenburg is another excellent stop on the way. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fishing town’s colorful red buildings and charming boutique shops make it seem as though it was ripped straight from a postcard. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic gives visitors an in-depth look at this vital Canadian industry and provides a neat aquarium for the kids. Cape Breton Island: Just off the northeastern tip of the Nova Scotian mainland lies the rugged Cape Breton Island, famed for its Scottish heritage and outdoors activities. Sydney, the largest city on the island and second-largest in Nova Scotia, doesn’t have a whole lot to see besides the world’s largest fiddle, but it’s a good jumping-off point for exploring the rest of Cape Breton. Cape Breton Highlands National Park is inarguably the highlight of outdoors Nova Scotia. Spectacular wildlife, mountains, waterfalls, stunning cliffs, deep green forests, and majestic ocean views are some of the many reasons to go here. Hiking, climbing, kayaking, whale watching and the Highlands Links golf course (rated among the world’s top 100 courses by Gold Magazine) are among the park’s best activities. Adjoining the park is the Cabot Trail. This scenic drive starts at Baddeck, most famous as the location of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell’s home. Bell was attracted by the island’s beauty and peacefulness. He nicknamed the house Beinn Bhreagh (“beautiful mountain” in

Cabot Trail

Scottish Gaelic) and built an adjacent lab where he conducted research in powered flight and hydrofoil technology. The estate itself is not open to the public, but the nearby Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site has many original artifacts and documents relating to Bell’s personal life and work. At the end of the Cabot Trail lies Meat Cove, the northernmost settlement on Cape Breton Island. The sweeping ocean views, towering cliffs, whale watching opportunities and camping spots make it worth the extra driving. Besides the Highlands and Cabot Trail, one of the best sights on the island is the Fortress of Louisbourg. When the original complex still stood in the 18th century, it was one of the largest and most expensive European colonial forts. The fort was painstakingly reconstructed by the Canadian government in 1961 and turned into a National Historic Site. The site has costumed guides who demonstrate 18th century style cooking, crafts, music and military reenactments. Be sure to bring warm clothes as Louisbourg can get chilly. Once you’re done stepping back in time, hike over to the highly photogenic Louisbourg lighthouse and take a moment to admire the uniquely Nova Scotian view. Daven and Eat There are two Orthodox shuls in Nova Scotia: Chabad of the Maritimes in Halifax can be reached at chabadmaritimes.com or by calling (902) 422-4222. The other is Beth Israel Synagogue in Halifax (Modern Orthodox) which can be reached at thebethisrael.com or (902) 422-1301. Nova Scotia has no kosher restaurants but kosher food can be obtained through Chabad of the Maritimes. The main supermarkets - Sobey’s and Superstore - carry a limited kosher selection. For a full list of Halifax markets carrying kosher items, go to http://theajc.ns.ca/halifax-nova-scotia-kosher-food/.

Getting There Currently, a flight from LAX to Halifax costs about $560 per person round trip via Air Canada. The island, which is really more of a peninsula, is connected to New Brunswick on the mainland via a narrow

spit of land so driving all the way there is possible. Driving distance from L.A. is just over 3,600 miles or about 54 hours. Cape Breton Island can be reached via Highway 104 which is part of the Trans-Canada Highway.

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

Global Russians: Stalin Wasn’t too Bad Joseph Stalin was one of the most murderous dictators in history. His regime of terror caused death and suffering to tens of millions. In fact, Stalin’s name meant “man of steel” and the unflinching Russia leader lived up to it. He oversaw

the war machine that helped defeat Nazism and was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century. There seems to be no question that Stalin was a murderer. But recently, some Russians are seeing the dictator in a more positive, heroic light. Law student Mikhail Kosyrev used to have a negative view of Stalin but his attitude has drastically changed in recent years, he said, insisting the wartime tyrant meant well. “Over the past five years I’ve often watched documentary films about Stalin, about that time on television and learnt more about him,” the 29-year-old

said. “And now I don’t have any negative feelings towards him. He had good intentions.” Since President Vladimir Putin took power in 2000, there has been a growing chorus of Russians who take a positive view of the Soviet tyrant’s role in history. Those attitudes have changed so dramatically on the back of a recent burst of patriotic fervor whipped up by state-controlled media that some analysts speak of a creeping rehabilitation of Stalin. The palpable change in how Russians perceive the moustachioed despot has particularly come into stark focus in the



MAY 7, 2015




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run-up to Russia’s celebrations of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in WWII.

Banners featuring Stalin whose name is inseparably tied to the history of the 1941-1945 conflict known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War were spotted in Moscow and Magadan, a former transit point in a vast network of Stalinist labor camps. A poster praising Stalin appeared in a Saint Petersburg high school last month, while Kremlin-backed military enthusiasts are preparing to open a museum dedicated to the Soviet dictator in a village west of Moscow. In February, Russia unveiled a monument to the watershed 1945 “Big Three” Yalta summit that features Stalin along with U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, despite objections from Crimean Tatars, an ethnic group persecuted under his rule. “Stalin’s rehabilitation is being steadily implemented,” Nikita Petrov, a historian at Memorial, Russia’s most prominent rights organization, related. “It’s a sign of unlearnt history lessons, a reluctance to look at yourself and honestly admit that we took the wrong path and that our country committed a host of crimes against its own people and the people of neighboring states.” He said officials, who are nostalgic for the superpower status of the USSR, have consciously been promoting Stalin as a tough leader who led the Soviet Union to victory in WWII and presided over the country’s industrialization. Those sentiments are now shared by many everyday Russians. According to a study by the respected Levada Centre pollster, 45 percent of respondents said in March that sacrifices sustained by people under Stalin were justified by the country’s “great goals,” up from 27 percent in October 2008. On top of that, the number of those who viewed Stalin negatively fell to 20 percent from 43 percent in April 2001, the poll revealed.

Liberland Proclaimed to be World’s Newest Country Liberland, a tiny patch of woodland and fields on the sandy banks of the River Danube, is the world’s newest declared country. The establishment of the pocket-sized nation was declared earlier this

If you’re interested in getting a Liberland passport, know that the first 100 people to turn up to the site, which lies at the end of a dusty road on the west bank of the Danube, will be granted honorary citizenship. Liberland has not been recognized by any other country, least of all Serbia or Croatia, but that has not stopped 300,000 people around the world from applying for honorary citizenship. Citizenship is open to anyone unless they have “Communist, Nazi or any other extremist past” or have a criminal record, according to the microstate’s constitution. Its founders insist that the fact that their new country occupies less than three square miles is no impediment to nationhood. Both the Vatican City State and Monaco are smaller. The founders claim that Liberland is neither a stunt nor an elaborate joke but a serious proposition based on the fact that the patch of land is “terra nullius” – unclaimed by any other country. Liberland is the latest in a long history of micro-nations that have declared independence, generally on dubious legal and constitutional grounds.  The micro-nation of Sealand was established on a Second World War anti-aircraft gun platform off the coast of Suffolk in 1967 by a former British Army major.  A grain farmer named Leonard Casley set up the Principality of

Hutt River in Western Australia in 1970 after falling-out with the authorities over wheat quotas. The 29-square mile plot of farmland grew into a tourist attraction. Last year, Jeremiah Heaton from Virginia declared himself the ruler of the Kingdom of North Sudan, an unclaimed patch of desert that he identified between Egypt and Sudan.  He wanted to fulfill the dreams of his seven-year-old daughter, who told him she longed to be a princess.

MAY 7, 2015

month on land wedged between Croatia and Serbia which, its founders argue, was never properly claimed by either country. Liberland has its own flag, which features an eagle and a sun, a constitution, and a motto – “To live and let live.” Its self-appointed ruler is Vit Jedlicka, a conservative, anti-EU Czech politician. Known officially as the Free Republic of Liberland, the country’s independence was formally declared on April 13. Some 120 would-be citizens are expected to arrive this week for what has been dubbed the state’s first Liberty Day.  Prospective Liberlanders are encouraged to bring food, beer and “all necessary equipment for comfortable survival in nature,” including tents and sleeping bags.  As yet, there are no houses or other buildings on the no-man’s-land sliver of territory.

Iran Bans Spiky Haircuts

If you’re a man and like to wear your hair in a spiky hairdo, it’s best that you stay far from Iran. “Devil worshipping hairstyles are now forbidden,” said Mostafa Govahi, the head of Iran’s Barbers Union, cited by the ISNA news agency. “Any shop that cuts hair in the devil worshipping style will be harshly dealt with and their license revoked,” he said, noting that if a business cut hair in such a style this will “violate the Islamic system’s regulations.” Recently, spiky haircuts have become popular among Iran’s youth but authorities have been divided as some have viewed the style as western and un-Islamic. Tattoos and eyebrow plucking for men were also placed under the ban.

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National Top Cop Defends Policing Policies NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has taken to the podium to mount a fierce defense of his “Broken Windows” approach to crime-fighting. During a briefing at the Police Academy, he revealed a report that shows his policy has drastically reduced crime in the Big Apple and lowered the jail population. “We need it now more than ever,” Bratton stressed. The top cop, whose proven police strategy is under attack by the City Council, cited an incident last week as the perfect example of why Broken Windows system works. A Brooklyn man was busted for


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As a member of the Orthodox community, I am pleased to have joined the Mount Sinai family as an Advance Planning Representative. Mount Sinai is committed to respecting the Halachic needs of our community; and I look forward to working with you. Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills 5950 Forest Lawn Drive Los Angeles, CA 90069

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Our parks are open Sunday through Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily except Saturday in observance of the Sabbath.

MY DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION: Naomi Silbermintz 323-769-1374 nsilbermintz@ mountsinaiparks.org





MAY 7, 2015


biking on the sidewalk, and it turned out he had a stolen, loaded gun and an open warrant. Bratton said the arrest was made possible by the quality-of-life policies being targeted in a decriminalization push by council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “That quality-of-life bicycle stop was essential in getting a gun off the street and getting basically a career criminal once again put back in the system,” he said. According to Bratton’s 41-page report, cracking down on low-level offenses has led to a 36 percent decrease in major felonies since 1994 — during Bratton’s first turn as police commissioner. “By applying summonses to violations and arrests to misdemeanor crimes, rather than looking the other way because these offenses are ‘too insignificant,’ officers were correcting conditions early,” the report reveals. “Arresting someone for a misdemeanor frequently prevents him from graduating to committing felonies, for which severe sanctions like prison may result.” The report added that less than 1 percent of those arrested for minor crimes are jailed pending a court appearance and that most of those who get locked up have multiple prior arrests, more than half of them for felonies. It also revealed a significant drop in both the city and state jail population in the 20 years of Broken Windows


Working More than 9 to 5

“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living…” Americans nowadays are looking at the past wistfully as they punch the clock and sit at their desks for hours on end. No longer are 40-hour workweeks de rigueur. According to a new survey from tax and consulting firm EY, about half of all managers work more than 40 hours a week and 39% report that their hours have increased in the past five years. Little wonder, then, that one-third of workers say it’s getting more difficult to balance work and life. The survey raises some questions about the sustainability of the current pace of work, said Karyn Twaronite, who heads up diversity and inclusion efforts for EY

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and commissioned the study. In general, work responsibilities have increased; wages have plateaued. And company-provided computers and smartphones are convenient, but they tie employees to their job seven days a week. Fifty-eight percent of managers in the U.S. report working more than 40 hours a week, surpassed only by managers in Mexico, where 61% say they’re working those hours. By comparison, just over a third of U.K. managers and under a fifth of managers in China report working beyond 40 hours. The reported shift in working hours appears to have hit parents particularly hard. Some 41% of managers who have kids say they’ve seen their hours increase in the last five years, as compared to 37% of managers who do not have children. Working women and parents also rated the task of managing their work and personal lives as slightly more difficult than men and those without children, but respondents of both genders and all generations reported that they’re feeling the crunch. What’s making it so hard to navigate career and family? Participants blame flat salaries and rising expenses, along with the increased workload. Managers in the U.S. say they have a hard time getting enough sleep, finding time for themselves and han-

dling more responsibility. “There really isn’t any downtime any longer where people could sign off for the day and be done,” Twaronite points out. Some companies are trying to remedy the situation by letting workers leave early or take off Fridays, for example. But flex arrangements are a perfect solution, employees grumble. Some say that they have “suffered a negative consequence as a result of having a flexible work schedule,” such as being passed over for a promotion or losing a job.

That’s Odd He’s Gonna Live the Dream Hey, you! Yes, you, the man with the backwards baseball cap driving the truck. Come here—I owe you $74,925 and I want to make sure you get paid. This week, a lucky winner won a


A Rapid Ascent

Flour Power Looking for a million dollars? If you’re living with Fred Morgan, better check in the sack of flour sitting on your kitchen counter. The postal worker said he couldn’t eat

What is Happiness?

After much consideration, the couple finally cashed in their ticket with dusty fingers and will enjoy their lucky dough. I gotta say that this story just takes the cake.

poll conducted last year. One factor that hasn’t changed, though, is the importance people place on luck – 40% believed good fortune was vital to their happiness both back then and in 2014. And in both eras, most people said they didn’t think happiness was related to material possessions and wealth. “The overall impression from the correspondence in 1938 is that happiness factors were rooted in everyday lives at home and within the community,” said McHugh. “In 2014, many comments value family and friends, with good humor and leisure time also ranked highly.” Happiness is a state of mind.

A Full Facial

An Elite Seat

Would you ever purchase a chair that its designer concedes “was never really intended to be comfortable”? Well, this week, Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge was sold for a whopping $3.7 million—an all-time world-record price for an object by a living designer. The purchaser? He decided to remain anonymous, which I can understand considering that he probably paid a bit too much for this chair. The seat was called the original “blobject” and was once featured in an article called “Furniture without Pity.” When the designer produced a dozen or so of the chairs, he couldn’t get rid of them and they sold in the low four figures in the 1980s. It’s called Lockheed in a nod to its airplane-like riveted cladding, but that wasn’t the original intent. The image Newson had in mind was one liquid “globule of mercury,” he told the BBC two decades after that first groundbreaking work. Though the chair looks industrial, Newson’s process was actually a laborious effort by hand to achieve such curves. It’s made of carved foam sheathed in aluminum plates, with rubber feet. So why would anyone pay more than a few bucks for this chair? When you look at it, “you can see where the design has come from and where it’s going in the future,” Alexander Payne, Phillips’ design director, professes. “You can see silhouettes and lines there from

Think we’re just as happy now as we were years ago? A psychologist from the University of Bolton in the U.K. has recreated a famous study conducted in the same town almost eight decades ago that sought to find out what made people happy. In 1938, an advertisement was placed in the local paper asking readers, “What is happiness?” After rating the importance of ten factors from 226 people, researchers found that people believed security, knowledge and religion were the most important aspects of happiness. But those factors have changed. Last year, Sandie McHugh and Professor Jerome Carson repeated the social experiment and found that while security was still in the top three, good humor and leisure were important as well. Religion, though, is not as popular as in 1938. It fell to the bottom of the list in the happiness

We know that a lot of people live in China, but where does someone have to go to get a few minutes of relaxation? Well, you probably should have stayed away from Jinan, China, on Monday if you were looking for a calming facial this week. The Guinness World Records confirmed that a thousand people in a football stadium enjoyed a mass facial that lasted 30 minutes and included “cleansing, masks, moisturizing and massage.” The crowded beauty treatment broke the record for most people getting facials. They sure came out with shining faces, although they probably needed a hot cup of tea to calm their nerves after spending so much time with so many people.



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Wonder how long it takes to build a 57-story skyscraper? If you’re in China, it takes just 19 days. Last week, the Broad Sustainable Building Co. put up the rectangular, glassand-steel Mini Sky City in the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha using a modular method, assembling three floors per day. The Chinese construction company is claiming to be the world’s fastest builder. “With the traditional method, they have to build a skyscraper brick by brick, but with our method, we just need to assemble the blocks,” company engineer Chen Xiangqian said. The busy builders are not stopping there. The company has ambition to build the world’s tallest skyscraper with 220 floors in only three months. Mini Sky City, which has 19 atriums, 800 apartments and office space for 4,000 people, goes on sale in May. The structure is safe and can withstand earthquakes, Xiao said. Although the company is boasting that the building took only 19 days to complete, the company spent 4 ½ months putting together the building’s 2,736 modules before construction began. The 19 days of building was also not done consecutively. The first 20 floors were completed last year, and the remaining 37 were built from January 31 to February 17 this year. No matter how strong they say this building is, I’d stay away. I don’t know how long it’ll last, ‘cuz, you know, it’s made in China.

anything from the Apple Watch to new cars that are being designed today, jets, television screens and day-to-day objects.” Not entirely coincidentally, Newson was recently hired by Apple and is thought to have had a hand in designing the Apple Watch. This all sounds like a bunch of hot (ch) air.





MAY 7, 2015

But wait! $75 is small change for the winner who really won $75,000. Now, the clerk, realizing his mistake, is trying to track down the Good Luck Chuck to make sure he receives what he’s due. He better hurry—he has six months to claim the $74,925 that’s owed to him. Don’t let the big one get away.

or sleep for three days when he discovered that he had five winning numbers in the April 17 Mega Millions game and realized that he won the cash. But the windfall was too much for Fred to take in all at once, so he and his wife hid the winning ticket in a container of flour because no one would “check for anything valuable in the flour.”


straight flush on a Wild West lottery ticket. When he came to claim his prize, the clerk at the gas station in California handed him $75 and he was on his way.

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Lag B’Omer


MAY 7, 2015

Yaakov Wasilewicz

LAG B’OMER The Yahrtzeit of the Holy Rabbi Moshe Isserles


the 18th day of Iyar, the day of Lag

because each one of those great students didn’t see the

B’Omer, many people travel to Meron

uniqueness of their friend. It’s very hard for us to under-

to pray by the grave of the holy Rab-

stand how Rabbi Akiva’s great students were unable to see

bi Shimon Bar Yochai on the day of his yahrtzeit. Rabbi

that uniqueness in their friends. Yet, we must take that as

Shimon Bar Yochai was one of the five students of Rabbi

a lesson for our everyday life and try to see our friends for

Akiva who stayed alive after the 24,000 students of Rabbi

who they really are and appreciate their uniqueness be-

Akiva passed away. The reason why they passed away was

cause every person truly is unique and special.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was the author of the holy Zohar and after Rabbi Akiva was murdered by the Romans, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, together with his son Rabbi Elazar, went into hiding in a cave in the mountains near Peki’in in the Galilee, where they stayed for 13 years. There, he wrote the Zohar. This body of mystical knowledge was given orally by Hashem to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. These teachings were lost to most people, until R’ Shimon, fearing a permanent loss of this knowledge, recorded them in the Zohar. After being hidden for a 1,000 years, the Zohar was rediscovered by Rabbi Moshe de Leon of Spain in the 13th century. While everybody celebrates the day of Lag B’Omer in celebration of the day when the Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying and for the yahrtzeit of the holy Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who before passing away revealed to us the deep secrets of the holy

Zohar, many of us forget about another great personality in Jewish history who greatly impacted our lives, Rav Moshe Isserles, or the ReMa of Krakow, whose yahrtzeit also falls on Lag B’Omer.


’ Israel Isserl was one of the most well-known storeowners in Krakow, Poland, during the sixteenth century. He owned a large store that sold many different types of items and was extremely wealthy. Customers would frequent his store not just because of what he sold but also because Israel was known to be an extremely honest man. Every Friday, exactly at noon, R’ Israel would close his store and go home to prepare for the holy Shabbos. When the clock would show the 12th hour, he would nicely ask his clients to leave the store. One Friday, very close to the noon, a customer came to his store. This was no ordinary patron; he

was a very famous buyer who would buy and sell tailor equipment. The customer announced that he would be making a large purchase and started to look at the shelves around the store for things to buy. Slowly, he took things down from the shelves and put them down on the floor; those things that he was planning on buying he would put on aside. When the clock showed the 12th hour, R’ Israel went over to the buyer and said, “I’m really sorry but I have to close the store now. Come after Shabbos to complete your purchase.” The buyer replied, “It’s only a noon. We still have a few hours before Shabbos starts. Don’t worry; we’ll for sure finish our transaction before the holy day begins. I was given a big job to purchase all different things for many tailors who must make dresses for the people in the king’s palace. I would like to buy half of your store, and this is not the last purchase in this store that

Rabbi Moshe Isserles was considered to be the posek of the generation. People from all over the world would ask him questions. Even though he lived a short life, Rabbi Moshe Isserles was an author of many great works. One of such works is “Mechir Yayin” – a commentary to the Book of Esther written in Szydlow, Poland, in 1556. The title means “the worth of the wine.” He wrote this book instead of getting drunk on Purim that year, since there was not enough of wine in the city, and it was impossible to fulfill that mitzvah. He gave the sefer to his father as a present on Purim instead of wine. R’ Moshe also wrote Toras HaOla, which talks about the symbolism of the Bais Hamikdash and the way of bringing the korbanos. It also contains opinions on the topic of philosophy, astronomy, and kabbalah, since the Bais Hamikdash is a miniature of the whole world. Next to the synagogue, which R’ Israel Isserl build for his family, is an old Jewish cemetery. In this cemetery, the bodies of the greatest and most famous rabbis that lived in Poland in the sixteenth and seventeenth century rest. Some of the headstones in the cemetery were destroyed during the war. But the gravestone of Rav Moshe Isserles, one of the greatest of the Polish rabbis, was never destroyed and is standing until today.


ne day, a messenger came to Krakow from the holy city of Tzfat in Eretz Israel where at that time lived many great rabbis. This messenger would

Jews visiting the grave of the ReMa on Lag B’Omer, the yahrtzeit of his passing


ccording to one source, Moshe was born in the year between 1520 and 1525; other sources say he was born in 1539. He studied in Lublin in the yeshiva of Rabbi Shalom Shachne, who was the student of Rabbi Jakub Polak. His first wife was the daughter of his teacher. When he returned to Krakow, he was chosen to be the Chief Rabbi of Krakow. It has been said that he was not going to be accepted for this position, but Hashem made a miracle and overnight his beard turned white. Using family funds, R’ Moshe established a yeshiva in Krakow, which soon after became famous in the whole Jewish world. The students not only came from around Poland but also those from Central and Eastern Europe would attend the yeshiva in Krakow.

travel from one country to the next one, collecting money for the Jewish community of that city. Filled with dust after a long journey, looking very unusual, he knocked to the door of Rav Moshe Isserles. Rav Moshe was very happy to see such a guest and invited him inside to his house and gave him something to eat. After eating a big meal, the messenger from Eretz Israel told Rav Moshe, “You gave me the set table, and so I will also give you the set table.” He took out a sefer from his bag and gave it to Rav Moshe. It was the Shulchan Aruch, the freshly printed work of Rabbi Yossef Karo from Tzfat. Rav Moshe Isserles looked inside the sefer and became very sad. He also wrote a book which was identical to the one that the messenger just gave him, but his book

was a little bigger and richer. Besides for all the halachos, his book contained all different opinions of the Ashkenazy rabbis and Ashkenazy traditions. Rav Moshe understood that most of his work was a waste of time. He decided to publish only those parts of the book that he wrote that had to do with the opinions of the Ashkenazy rabbis, and the traditions of the Ashkenazy Jews. The handwritThe famous tree that protected the ReMa’s grave ten work that was the same as the book of Rabbi Yosef Karo he buried at night on the cemetery. In the place where he buried those papers grew a tree. And when a few years later, on Lag B’Omer, 18th day of Iyar, 5332 (May 2, 1572) Rabbi Moshe Isserles left this world, they buried him under this tree, which surrounds his grave. The tree bothered the chassidim who would come to the grave of the holy Rabbi Moshe Isserles, since they couldn’t visit the grave from all the sides; they wanted to get rid of it. But when the axe touched the tree, a storm broke out, thunder and lightning pierced the air, an abrupt sound on a day filled with clear blue skies. The scared chassidim ran away and no one has tried to remove the tree since then. During WWII, when the Germans were occupying the city of Krakow, they wanted to destroy the grave of the ReMa. But the tree’s branches were filled with leaves that covered the grave, hiding it from the rabid Nazis. After the war, when Jews came back to Krakow, they found the cemetery to be totally devastated. The only grave that was standing, untouched, was the grave of the holy Rabbi Moshe Isserles.


ews from all over the world still visit the grave of the ReMa in the old Jewish cemetery in Krakow, especially on Lag B’Omer, the day of his passing. “Mi’Moshe v’ad Moshe, lo kam k’Moshe b’Israel” is written on his gravestone, alluding to the special love Polish Jews had for their great leader. His ideas are alive today as we learn from his words and we delve into the seforim that he authored. Yaakov welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at jakubwasilewicz@tlen.pl.

T H E J E W I SHOME H H O M E MAY n M 7, AY 2 4 , 2012 THE T H EJEWISH JEWISH HOME n M AY 2015 1 5 , 2014

I’m planning on making. If I will be able to get them the necessary items, I will become their main, favored delivery person for the king’s tailors.” He continued, “And if I purchase by you now, from now on I will only buy things by you. If you throw me out, now that I already selected the things that I want to buy, I will not have enough time to look for them and purchase them anywhere else before Shabbos—and later it’s going to be too late. I will not deliver what I was asked to, and I will lose the opportunity to be the main delivery person in the king’s palace! You can be sure that if that happens, I will never buy anything by you, and I will tell all the different buyers not to purchase anything in your store,” the buyer threatened. “I’m really sorry,” said R’ Israel. “This is my tradition, and I will not change that for any riches of this world! “If that’s so, from now on I will be buying somewhere else.” R’ Israel sighed, “That’s OK. I have to close my store now so I can rush home for Shabbos.” Summarily, he left all the items on the store that the buyer selected, turned and walked out of the store along with the customer, and locked up his shop. It was a really big loss. R’ Israel could have sold half of his store! Besides that, the buyer never came to his store again. He therefore lost a very good customer. Nevertheless, he was paid back in spades when nine months later his wife gave birth to a son, who they named Moshe.

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MAY 7, 2015


Redefining The “Shabbos Treat”

Two Important Tips for L.A. Drivers

Ilana Muhlstein, R.D. Registered Dietitian in Private Practice and at UCLA

Michael Rubinstein Esq.

I work with many overweight kids who face endless struggles in their will to attain a healthier weight. Temptations are everywhere for all of my clients, but for the kids I work with, losing weight feels like running a marathon in quick sand. Their food environments sabotage their efforts. They are faced with junk foods and food triggers in every direction they turn. It seems impossible to follow a healthy eating plan. For kids who live with so much junk food, the reality is that there are only so many candies that they will deny before finally caving in. Even if a child passes on every third cookie, cake or candy offered, they will still end up eating a minimum of four pieces of junk food in a given week. When meeting with frum families, I ask if there is a Shabbos treat scheduled each week. The answer is always, “yes!” and involves something like sugary breakfast cereals before shul, mom’s rice krispy treats or brownies, regularly soda available on Friday night, or cake disguised as challah.  Lately I’ve noticed that having a “Rosh Chodesh Treat” is also gaining in popularity and takes the form of doughnuts, ice cream or roasting marshmallows. I am not saying that these foods are “bad” because there is definitely room for some sugary goodies in a child’s upbringing, but there must be some degree of moderation. Even for “naturally thin” children, this environment  is forming a dangerous dependence on sugar and teaching kids that it is normal for these foods to be a casual and frequent occurrence in their diets.  This is where most parents argue, “But it’s not casual, it’s just weekly on Shabbos... and once a month for Rosh Chodesh.” This is where I need to respond by helping parents break down the schedule for a kid in the yeshiva system. First of

all, the kids will likely be offered "Shabbos Treats" and "Rosh Chodesh Treats” outside of their home and at Shul, in other people’s homes, during Shabbatons, and for in-school Chagigas. Additionally, if there are 20 kids in your child’s class it means that in a school year, there will be roughly 16 birthday cakes distributed in school. Those 16 kids will also likely each have a birthday party on a Sunday in which cake and candy will not only be provided at the party, but perhaps in goody bags for your child to stash away for another day. For a family of 6, there are 6 additional birthday cakes a year. Then there are the holidays! In preparation for Rosh Hashanah, the kids get doused with honey-filled desserts. For Purim, its hamentashen and unfathomable amounts of candy. For Chanukah, it’s Suf Ganiyot and a feast of deep fried foods. For Shavuos, its cheesecake. For Pesach, its macaroons and impressive potato-based cakes, for Yom HaAtzmaut, its blue colored icies, and so forth. Don’t forget the “special treats” for play dates,  sleepovers, trips to the mall, getting a good grade on a test, the class completing a book, a mother and daughter learning event, winning a baseball game, and of course, a trip to Bubby’s.  When you add up all of these sugar and fat-latent junk foods, you can quickly figure out why the pediatric obesity rates in our community have become such an issue. I am doing my best to help, speaking to the administrators and students in the yeshiva day schools one-by-one to improve the food environments and I work privately with families, but in the meantime, it is a very good idea to start redefining the term, “Shabbos Treat” in your own home. Instead consider extra time with daddy and quality time with mom. We need to express our gratitude for Shabbos, acknowledge that it brings us away from work and home work and provides us with more time for say, a family puzzle, afternoon walk, or even zmirot. It’s a special time for no technological distractions and full attention with siblings. These along with, more hugs, stories, games, and laughter need to be considered ‘treats’ in and of themselves so we can set our children up to understand the real treats of life; family, friends, and shalom bayis. Not sugar and food dye.  I hope you take this into consideration and reshape the traditions in your home starting this week. Shabbat Shalom. 

Do NOT Give A Recorded Statement! As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, clients frequently contact me in the aftermath of a car accident. Whether it’s a minor accident, or a more serious one, G-d forbid, an issue that often arises involves the giving of a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance carrier. Typically, after each party reports an accident to his or her insurance company, the case is assigned to an adjuster. The adjuster will reach out to the other driver involved in the accident, and will ask to take their recorded statement. Unfortunately, too many people acquiesce and allow the adjuster to take their recorded statement, which often causes serious damage to an otherwise valid personal injury claim. We have discussed this issue before, but it bears repeating. DON’T DO IT! The insurance adjuster may be friendly and cordial, and may express concern about your health following the accident. Do not allow the adjuster’s friendliness and perceived care for your wellbeing distract you from the real purpose of taking your recorded statement, which is to find a way to minimize your claim, or to outright deny it. Adjusters are trained in investigation and they know how to frame the narrative in a way that benefits the insurance company. Keep in mind that the insurance company’s goal is to maximize profits by keeping down its expenses, like any other business. The insurance company has a self-interest in paying as little as possible on your claim. The adjuster who seeks to take your recorded statement may act like he’s your friend, but he really is not. There is no law that requires the adjuster to take your recorded statement, despite what he or she may tell you. Clients sometimes approach me after their claims are denied, feeling like the insurance company dealt unfairly with them. Most of the time, they are right. This issue can usually be avoided by hiring a lawyer before discussing the accident with an insurance company adjuster. I have seen cases where another car turned into my client’s car, but the insurance company denied liability based on the recorded statement my client gave before hiring me. Somehow, the adjuster used my client’s recorded statement to deny liability, saying that my client improperly merged into the offending vehicle’s lane, instead of acknowledging what really happened. Recorded statements are also used to minimize claims. In the days after an accident, your injuries may not be as bad as

you think—car accident injuries can take time to manifest themselves. Insurance companies are notorious for using the recorded statement to argue that the symptoms you may complain of months later were not present when they interviewed you, so you must be lying about your injuries. This deceptive tactic works too often. A recent case inquiry involved a car that ran a stop sign, causing serious injuries to the driver who was hit. The insurance company claimed that the driver who was hit could not have required physical therapy six months after the accident, because he did not mention those particular injuries during the recorded statement. It happens too often that a blameless driver gives a recorded statement, negotiates on his own, and then hires a lawyer when he is unsatisfied how the insurance company treats his claim. Remember that, under California law, you have two years to settle with the insurance company after an accident. There is no rush to answer the adjuster’s questions. You are well within your rights to discuss the case with an attorney first to ensure your rights are protected. Put Your License Plates On Your Car! My office has received several calls recently from drivers who were ticketed for not displaying their license plates. If the DMV issues you license plates, the Vehicle Code requires you to affix them to your car. Police officers are cracking down on this issue, and it’s not worth the ticket or headache. Officers will not believe you if you claim that you just bought the car. They can access the DMV database using your vehicle identification number. They can see when you bought or leased the car, and also if you’ve been issued license plates. If you have, chances are you will be cited. One caller told me he was pulled over for no license plate, and during the stop the officer discovered that his driver license expired! He had to pay over $1,100 to correct these two problems. The typical ticket requires a visit to the DMV or police station to prove you corrected the problem (known as a “fix it ticket”). Who has time for this? You can and should avoid the problem by affixing license plates to your car. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based accident attorney. Visit his website at www.mrubinsteinlaw.com, or contact him at Michael@mrubinsteinlaw.com, or by calling 213 293 6075.


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