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The YULA Administration, Faculty & Staff wishes the YULA Graduates of 2014/5774

‫מזל טוב‬

Sarah Ahdout, Eva Agi, Ariella Azair, Estie Berkowitz, Rachel Brunelle, Leeron Chalamish, Leah Cohen, Yael Davoudpour, Dalia Dunner, Rebecca Fhima, Shoshana Frend, Gwynne Gershenson, Maayan Gerson, Yael Gichtin, Ilana Gindi, Naomi Greenfield, Eliana Gross, Rachel Haber, Bracha Hassid, Lauren Ibgui, Jenna Jacob, Melody Jadidollahi, Eliana Kahan, Lishai Kamjoo, Robbie Lurie, Sarit Mafouda, Sabrina Mahboubi, Michal Malka, Elizab Elizabeth Mandelbaum, Yael Manzour, Estee Miller, Jasmine Sogol Naim, Yael Nissanoff, Jasmine Peled, Aliza Penn, Simcha Peretz, Irene Razi, Yasmine Razi, Ziva Rimmon, Rebecca Samouha, Yardena Samson, Dina Sasoones, Kimberly Schames, Lizzy Schlesinger, Aliza Bram Seidenfeld, Lara Siegal, Zahava Stark, Hannah Sophia Weiss, Shira Yomtov, Eli-Or Youshaei, Sara Zakaria, Sorna Zoleykhayan

Jonah Anderson, Joshua Banafsheha, Joseph Bloom, Zackery Brazina, Yoseph Etshalom, Yair Fax, Natan Golfiz, Boruch Gralnik, Matthew Guenoun, Borzoo Haghighat, Ethan Haik, Joseph Hami, Be Benjamin Harkham, Dovid C. Herman, Jacob Hershkovich, Yonah Hiller, Josiah Himmelman, Micah Hyman, Yehuda Kashanian, Jack Kirschenbaum, Jacob Kohanoff, Edwin Korouri, Benjamin Kurnick, Adoram Lalezari, Michael Lazovsky, Adam Liber, Chet McLees, Asher Naghi, Naphtali Nektalov, Isaiah Paul, Avrohom Piekarski, Akiva Rogawski, Jesse Roshanshad, Noah Schiff, Samuel Schultz, Rafael Shapiro, Mi Mitchell Silberberg, Ariel Sokol, Menachem Solomon, Zohar Tito, Jonathan Weinblut, Moshe Willner, Jonathan Wizman

These outstanding graduates and future leaders have been accepted at these prestigious

Seminaries and Yeshivot: Ahavas Chaim, Ashreinu, Ba'er Miryam, Bnot Torah Institute (Sharfman's), Derech, Derech Eitz Chaim, Gush, Hakotel, Emunah V’Omanut U’ Maginah, Kerem B’Yavneh, Lev HaTorah, L.Y.A., Machon Maayan, Mevaseret Tzion, Michlelet Mevasseret Yerushalayim (MMY), Midreshet Amit, Midreshet Harovah, Midreshet Lindenbaum, Midreshet Moriah, Midreshet Tehillah, Migdal Oz, Netiv Aryeh, Nishmat, Ohr Yerushalayim, Orayta, Reishit, Ruach Chaim, Sha’alvim, Sha’alvim for Women, Tiferet Yerushalayim, Tomer Devorah, Torat Shraga, Yesod, Yesod HaTorah, Yesodei Hatorah

Universities and Colleges Bar Ilan University, Barnard College, Binghamton University, Boston University, Brandeis University, California State University Northridge, Case Western Reserve University, Chapman University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Drexel University, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Los Angeles, Hofstra University, Indiana University Bloomington, John Hopkins University, New York University, Northeastern University, Princeton University, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, San No Diego State University, Stern College for Women, Temple University, The Ohio State University, University of Arizona, University of British Columbia, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of Maryland College Park, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Puget Sound, University of Southern Calfornia, Yeshiva University YULA Boys High School Nagel Family Campus


YULA Girls High School Gindi Family Campus


RABBI Y. BORUCH SUFRIN on being granted the prestigious

COVENANT FOUNDATION 2014 AWARD Recognizing Global Leadership & Innovation in Jewish Education

Choosing a school requires great thought and consideration. We at Hillel are proud to be building a strong foundation of positive Judaism to create tomorrow’s community leaders. Hillel students are inspired learners, utilizing the latest in technology to master both Jewish & general studies and are ever mindful of respect and responsibility inherent in global citizenship.

– Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin, Head of School

For more information, please contact admissions at info@hillelhebrew.org or (310) 276-6135 www.HillelHebrew.org @hillelhebrew Harkham Hillel 9120 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Accreditations & Funding Partners: Blue Ribbon, NAEYC, CAIS, JIM JOSEPH, The Jewish Federation, BJE, Generations LA

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The Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Board of Directors congratulates our Head of School,





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

JEWISH THOUGHT A Stanza in a Poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 After the Cheesecake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Dr. Deb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

COVER STORY The Rebbe – A Critique Of Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s Modern Look At Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson . . . . . . . . . 14 70 Years Since the Normandy Landings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 The Drought; California’s Water Shortage And Our Effect On It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

LIFESTYLES Kosherology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Travel Guide: San Francisco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Dear Readers, It is becoming more apparent every day that we are living in uniquely conflicted times, and I know you’ve heard that before… These are the times when a most outrageous story of corruption doesn’t startle us, although a courageous act of kindness doesn’t surprise us. When Torah study has become more widespread than in the past two millennia, yet teenagers dropping out of the school system have become all too common. Still our beloved Land of Israel is surrounded by enemies looking for war, while daily reports emerge of failed attacks. We take pleasure from seeing amazing growth in our communities while, with alarming frequency, our generation receives instant news of terrible tragedies. At home it’s the same. While we have luxuries which were the dreams of our grandparents, we struggle with inner challenges and anxieties which might have overwhelmed previous generations. Simply living in the context of our culture seems to be the biggest challenge of all. In this week’s Parshah, Yehoshua and Calev bravely face off with the naysayers of their generation who think the challenges are too great. We’re told that Calev, “followed G-d wholly” (Devarim 1:34-35) and “Kalev silenced the people before Moshe and said, ‘Let us go up and possess it, for we are well able to prevail over it’” (Shelach; verse 30). We can definitely use a dose of such firm belief; for two thousand years, our grandparents and their grandparents, back to our ancestors who were exiled from the land of Israel, have held firmly onto the belief that “even though he may tarry I await his coming every day”. Persecution, hunger, tyranny and all the terrible suffering did not weaken their belief that the time will come when we will be redeemed. The end of that road is nearing. Let’s remember what we have been tasked with accomplishing. Our mission is nothing less than the complete redemption of all humanity. This is a gigantic goal, but is being realized through our daily Torah study, our performance of the Mitzvoth and our acts of kindness. The next performance of a Mitzvah, no matter its size, might just be what’s needed to tip the scales and bring about salvation for the entire world. We know this in our souls, let’s bring it to life through our actions. With blessings for a most enjoyable Shabbos,


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


canyon as well. “I was amazed at the incredible friendship and achdus (unity) that I witnessed on this trip,” commented VTHS Dean, Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger, explaining why the school goes out of its way each year to organize enlightening expeditions, such as this one to Utah. “Education is not merely about imparting information. It is about impacting our students and opening up their hearts and minds to the beauty of our Torah and the purpose of our existence. Trips like this are rare in schools today,” Rabbi Stulberger continued, “but very often leave indelible imprints on our children that the conventional classroom experience cannot match. Moshe Judah graduates from Valley Torah

this June and he described the trip as memorable in ways he had not imagined, “It wasn’t the events that were offered that made strong memories, it was the camaraderie from being together on the bus for the long journey. There were two buses and that was the best fun. At the same time, I guess the water hike was a most unusual experience. Zion has icy rivers with pockets of forests on the sides and some sandstone cliffs. We walked through the water, then the river became deeper and some of us swum through. That’s an experience I won’t be able to forget!” One parent was overheard complimenting Rabbi Stulberger, “This trip was life altering for my son.’” And you can’t beat that.

American Friends of Magen David Adom; the Jewish Pioneer in Emergency Medical Response On May 30th, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg dedicated a new torah scroll at the Magen David Adom station in Jerusalem. Along with his sister, Marjorie Tiven, and accompanied by Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat and Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yitzchak Yosef, Bloomberg dedicated the Torah scroll inside the newly opened synagogue at the station. The intimate dedication was made in the name of the Bloomberg parents. Mayor Bloomberg explained that his father “grew up in a world where he never dreamed he would go to Israel. For most of his life, Israel didn’t exist. But I’m sure he’s looking down now with a big smile on his face, mainly because this is an organization that saves lives and that’s what it’s all about.” Magen David Adom, MDA, is the Israeli version of the Red Cross. The Israeli Government has mandated its role as a stand alone organization that abides by international Red Cross standards while providing emergency help for all people,

regardless of ethnicity. Funded heavily by private donations, MDA is Israel’s largest volunteer NGO, with a team of 14,000 paramedics and 13,000 of them are volunteers. The efficiency of the organization is the result of its experience working through Is-

explained, “An important piece of MDA’s work is its worldwide activities and it has become a pioneer in terms of quality emergency medical response.” In 2010, MDA was the first aid organization on the ground after the 7.0 Haiti earthquake and MDA still has a presence

raeli intifadas and worse, but this expertise has created a worldwide role for the institution, wherever disaster strikes. In certain dire events, the response from MDA is essential for saving lives and MDA is ready and willing to share its unique knowledge. Erik Levis, spokesman for the American Friends of Magen David Adom, AFMDA,

in Haiti today. Since April of 2010, rotations of Israeli doctors have been deployed to the government hospital in Haiti’s capital, Port Au Prince. These caregivers include orthopedic doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and prosthetic technicians. Closer to home, AFMDA is now focus-

ing attention on Los Angeles. American Red Cross is active in the city, and given this giant metropolis sits on a major fault line, the possibility of a major earthquake has to be taken seriously. Such an event would likely cause mass devastation and MDA wants to help raise awareness and preparedness by sharing its expertise. On Sunday, June 22, the Western division of AFMDA is dedicating three new Mobile Intensive Care Units to Israel. The Units have been funded and furnished with state of the art equipment. The June event will be held at the Skirball Museum and offers Angeleno’s free admittance to the Noah’s Ark exhibit alongside a blood donation center which will be actively collecting for local hospitals. There will also be MDA volunteers who will be teaching preparedness techniques and disaster education. AFMDA knows that preparedness is a crucial part of earthquake safety. It’s also the backbone of American culture, as Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

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This May, the students of Valley Torah High School were able to experience the beauty of Utah’s canyons while connecting with each other and Hashem. It was an unforgettable adventure for the 75 boys and cemented their traditional school study with a real life experience. On the way to Utah, the teens spent an eventful night in Las Vegas, where they enjoyed a pizza and sushi dinner, trampoline bouncing, laser tag and wall climbing. Once the buses reached Zion the next day, the adventure began with a strenuous hike along Zion National Park’s Virgin River trail which lead to the Zion Canyon Narrows. The boys were then able to drive ATVs (all terrain vehicles) along the rim of the magnificent Bryce Canyon, and they rode horses into the


From the Beauty of Torah to the Beauty of Utah; Valley Torah Boys Bond Outside the Classroom


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Gan Israel; Kids Create a Green Shavuot March Last week Gan Israel preschool and day school created a new program for their Shavuot celebration. This year a highly memorable day was created for the 180 kids aged two to five. With a nod to the Reggio Emilia teaching style, which focuses on community and creativity, the teachers devised a wholesome new format party. In the morning, the children showed up for school carrying one of the original species of fruit that were found in Israel. A variety of basket designs were then created by each child to carry their olives, dates, grapes and pomegranates. The little pilgrims used recyclable materials to build a Har Sinai with flowers, a redesigned trash can with the Ten Commandments and paper towel rolls were reconfigured in beautifully creative ways. The reenactment of the journey to Jerusalem that was customary before Shavuot was then recreated in the playground. With the teachers dressed in white, the children donned crowns and the youngsters marched proudly around

the yard while the school’s pianist played Salenu Al Ktefenu. Just like Israel, the delightful event was followed by delicious ice creams from Trader Joe’s. This was the first year the school created an event that combined the spiritual with the environment, the historical with the cultural. Chanie Teitelbaum, a teacher at the school, said, “The children were engrossed in the event because they participated in the art, the nature and the performance. Gan Israel prides itself on teaching traditional Jewish values while including contemporary learning styles. It was fun to give the kids a very personal and hands-on experience.”

Getting a Head Start in Business their Senior Year By second semester of senior year, most 12th grade students are dreaming of graduation and eagerly anticipating the long summer ahead. To help combat the feelings of senioritis, this year, YULA Boys School began a pilot internship program for a select group of 12th graders. The goal of the program was to make senior year more meaningful and fulfilling. Students were asked to submit a cover letter and resume, as well as participate in a rigorous interview process. Out of many applicants, YULA seniors Sammy Schultz and Asher Naghi were accepted. Two days a week, Sammy has been working in the editorial department at Edmunds.com, reviewing documents and writing reviews for cars. As an intern, part of Sammy’s job has included converting documents to be more accessible for the company and easier to share internally. “I’m very grateful to YULA for this opportunity”, said Sammy. “One of the most impactful things for me has been observing how people relate to each other in a work environment, learning how to work and talk with a new group of people”. According to Sammy, “being a face for YULA – as an ambassador working with prospective students and at the Golf Tourmanent, helped me socially and taught me how to interact with a wide range of individuals. I have been able to apply those skills to the work environment.” After graduation, Sammy will be attending Yeshivat Shaalavim, followed by the Sy Syms Honors program at Ye-

shiva University. For YULA senior Asher Naghi, anticipating the lull that takes place for second semester seniors, he decided to challenge himself and do something productive, taking on the role of intern at Beverly Hills Investing Company LLC three days a week. Asher spends

his time assisting with researching financial data and potential investors, gaining skills in data analysis and synthesizing research. “I’m very grateful to YULA for this opportunity and would highly recommend it to other seniors looking for a meaningful way to finish their high school experience.” Asher will be continuing his work throughout the summer, after which he will attend Yeshivat Gush Etzion, followed by UCLA. According to Rabbi Arye Sufrin, Assistant Principal, who helped bring the program to life, “I remember from time as an intern at Deloitte how much I learned from the culture of corporate America and what it means to be a professional. This is something that I thought would be great for our students to experience.”


One Click Sends Sick Children To Camp Simcha: Chai Lifeline Introduces Shop4chai.com book, Twitter and Instagram. Everyone who comments and shares on those sites will be eligible to win gift cards to their favorite site vendors. Several raffles are planned for the first few weeks.

Using Shop4Chai.com is easy, emphasized Rabbi Scholar. “Instead of going directly to a site like Amazon, you open Shop4Chai.com and click on the site you want. It is literally one extra click, and the benefit to Chai Lifeline is significant.” The idea came from a successful online marketing entrepreneur who had seen the impact that Chai Lifeline can make on the life of a sick child. “She has a nephew who goes to Camp Simcha and marveled at both the impact of camp on the child and how

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If you could help send sick children to Camp Simcha with one extra click every time you shopped online, you’d do it, right? That’s the theory behind Shop4Chai.com, the new website introduced this week by Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network. Shop4Chai.com is a portal to some of the Internet’s most frequented merchants, including Amazon.com, Zappos, and retailers Nordstrom and Macys. Chai Lifeline receives a portion of all sales that originate through the site. “Chai Lifeline will receive significant revenue from its online partners,” explained Rabbi Simcha Scholar, the organization’s executive vice president. In some cases, we receive 8% of sales made through Shop4Chai. com. It’s a win-win-win. It costs shoppers nothing: all the revenue comes from the retailers. Anyone who shops online has the ability to direct a portion of their purchase to us, and the money directly benefits thousands of children and families living with pediatric illnesses.” The site launched on Wednesday morning with an initial list of 24 major online sites representing a wide range of retailers. New sites will be added frequently, and visitors can sign up for an e-newsletter that alerts them to sales and offers from site partners. Shop4Chai.com has devised incentives to get users to share the site’s URL on Face-

Chai Lifeline’s services changed the lives of everyone in the family,” continued Rabbi Scholar. “On the business side, Chai Lifeline’s positive name recognition and national programs gave it a natural affinity for this type of program.” Shop4Chai.com hit the Internet on Wednesday morning. In the first 24 hours, it garnered thousands of visitors. (The site does not track where users go from the portal, so it was impossible to know how many of those first clicks resulted in sales.) Nevertheless, the ultimate success of Shop4Chai.com will come from people who return each time they

shop online. “I’ve already bookmarked it and shared it with everyone on my social networks and email lists. It’s really a no-brainer,” said one of the first people to use the portal. “It’s the easiest way to give to Chai Lifeline, since it’s just one extra click. All you have to do is remember to use it.” For more information, contact: Melanie Kwestel Director of Communications 212 699-6638 201 632-1733

Perutz Etz Jacob, Celebrating a Unique Event in a Unique Way On Sunday, June 1st, the Perutz Etz Jacob Hebrew Academy invited the mothers and grandmothers, friends and sisters of the middle school girls for a performance of beautiful and moving Israeli music. In recognition that it was at Hag Shavuot that Jews brought the first fruits to Jerusalem and to celebrate Yom Yerushalyim, the concert was a reconnection that let everyone feel a little piece of Yerushalyim deep within. The music was traditional and nostalgic and accompanying dances created a lively atmosphere where mothers were singing along with their daughters and many a tear was shed. Under the direction of Musical Director, Morah Racheli Eliyahu, the students worked tirelessly to create a meaningful performance through the power of song and verse, in honor of this special day. The girls brought that reality to life with a narrative where the seven gates were advocating why the soldiers should go through each of them. Finally, it was Sha’ar Ha’arayot, the Lions’ Gate, who was left to speak: It began to speak in a soft voice, “G-d in Heaven. From all directions I see soldiers fighting and being wounded.

My heart is breaking and I cannot bear to watch any longer. It doesn’t matter through which gate the soldiers enter. Just make the fighting stop”. G-d and the angels heard these words and whispered among themselves. Then G-d turned to the Lions’ Gate and said, “All the other gates are interested in their own honor. But you care more about the soldiers of Israel than about yourself. Therefore, we have decided that the soldiers of Israel will enter the Old City through you. Let the young lions go forth and enter through the Lions’ gate.” Thank you to our supportive parent body and to the community for coming to watch this most memorable Yom Yerushalyim event.


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US Decision to Work with PA-Hamas Government a Victory for Terrorism; Emboldens Anti-Semites The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization expressed its shock and deep disappointment that the Obama Administration has declared it will work with the new hybrid Palestinian Authority-Hamas government. “The mirage of technocrats in charge of the economy cannot disguise the reality that terrorists remain in charge of the rockets. Today, no one in the Middle East believes this is anything but a victory for Hamas, a terrorist organization that has consistently shown through words and deadly actions that it has not backed away from its founding charter seeking the Jewish State’s destruction,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and founder and associate dean of the human rights NGO.

Meeting of Hamas-Palestinian Unity government - June 2, 2014

“There is no fig leaf large enough to cover Hamas’ blood-drenched legacy. No Israeli leader, left, right, or center, would

ever agree to a Palestinian State as its immediate neighbor that includes lackeys of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, who have lobbed thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers and unleashed suicide

bombers murdering and maiming innocent men women and children in Israel,” they added. “We applaud US Secretary of State John Kerry’s tenacity in trying to bring Israeli and Palestinians closer to peace. Unfortunately, the decision to defacto legitimize an unrepentant Hamas empowers not the peacemakers but the bomb throwers,” Hier and Cooper added. “The table for peace in the Middle East will be set when the US and the European Union hold President Abbas’ PA accountable for the billions in aid they received, foreswear violence and introduce a curriculum of peace instead of one that demonizes and delegitimizes its Jewish neighbors,” they concluded.

Yom Yerushalayim at Emek Yom Yerushalayim commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 SixDay War. Emek marked the day with special assemblies for the Pre-1st to 5th grade boys and girls. The ceremonies began with a beautiful rendition of Hatikva. The children then sang songs about Israel and Jerusalem such as “Yerushalayim shel Zahav” to a full house as parents watched on. Emek is proud to pay homage to our Holy Land and to educate our students about the trials and tribulations, as well as the victories that have made Israel the strong and resilient country that it is today.

Rabbis And Civic Leaders Attend Bais Naftoli Breakfast A Standing Room Only audience celebrated the 22nd Anniversary Breakfast of Congregation Bais Naftoli, honoring Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell and community leader and philanthropist Ira Frankel. The Los Angeles Rabbinic leadership joined the festivities, including Roshei Kollel - Rabbis Chaim Fasman and Yochanan Henig- Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Halberstam, Rabbi Joel Burstyn, Rabbi Reuben Huttler, Rabbi Shalom Rubanowitz, Rabbi Pinchas Gruman, Rabbi Naftoli Estulin, Rabbi Alan Kalinsky and Rabbi Shlomo Klein. Commissioner Andrew Friedman,

President of Congregation Bais Naftoli, welcomed honorees Ira Frankel and Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell, a candidate for Los Angeles County Sheriff who received 49% of the votes in the primary. They were joined by Congressman Edward R. Royce, City Councilman Paul Koretz, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Judge Andrew

Cooper, City Controller Ron Galperin, LAPD Captain Eric Davis, retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, LAPD Commander Stuart Maislin, County Supervisor candidate Bobby Shriver, County Assessor candidate Jeffrey Prang, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Chief Investigator Dominick Rivetti, Hungarian Consul Szilard Teleki , German Consul Stefan Biedermann, as well as numerous representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, DEA and FBI.


By Chaim Gold community members packed the hall to be inspired by a drasha during the Sheloshes Yemei Hagbalah in preparation for Shavuos, by Rav Yissocher Frand, one of the pre-eminent speakers in the Jewish world. Of the Yetzer Hara, Beginning Ma-

complete other masechtos.” Rav Zundel asked, “The language is not uniform. Why does it begin, “Just as I merited completing” without saying “beginning and completing”, whereas at the end it says both, “begin and complete”? Either it should say

sechtos and Completing Masechtos In his remarks, Rav Frand related an amazing story about HaGaon HaRav Zundel Korizer, zt”l, the great Yerushalmi Gaon who recently passed away. Rav Zundel was once scheduled to undergo a very important medical test. The results of that test could mean serious illness, r”l, or it could be something benign and just a scare. The night before the test, Rav Zundel told family members and close friends that he desired to remain awake the whole night and learn an entire masechta as a zechus. He chose Masechta Bava Basra, one of the most difficult Masechtos and the Masechta

“begin and complete” in either instances, or just “complete” in both instances. Why the incongruence and inconsistency in language? Rav Zundel’s powerful, inspiring answer is relevant to this august accomplishment of the Dirshu Silver Spring Kollel. He said, “The yetzer hara has little difficulty letting a person begin a masechta. He knows that most people, for all of their good intentions, begin many masechtos but so often fail to complete them. When a person, however, has merited to complete a masechta he has shown the yetzer hara that he is one of the special, serious peo-

with the most pages in the entire Shas! At the siyum that he made the next morning, Rav Zundel related a profound, timely and deep vort. He said, “In the hadran that we say upon the completion of a masechta we say, “just as I merited completing this masechta, so too, may I merit to begin and

ple who actually starts, perseveres through thick and thin, and merits completing the entire masechta! Only then does the yetzer hara realize that this man is a serious learner who completes masechtos and therefore he must do everything in his power to stop him from starting another

masechta because he will complete that one too! Thus, at a siyum such as this, it is incumbent to ask Hashem for the zechus and siyatta d’shmayah to start another masechta without the yetzer hara throwing obstacles in the way.” Dirshu, The Organization of Accountable Limud HaTorah Rav Frand emotionally explained, “Dirshu is an organization, a movement where people don’t just start Masechtos and taper off. It is a movement all about achrayus, responsibility, in limud haTorah, accountability in limud haTorah and most of all about ameilus, working and toiling in Torah learning. This chaburah and all of Dirshu’s myriad programs are programs where people don’t just start Masechtos, they finish them! They don’t just finish Masechtos perfunctorily, but they learn them, review, review again and then take tests on them! Learning and taking tests on the entire Seder Moed is a colossal accomplishment that all of you and your families should be deeply proud of.” Of Revolutions and Unity! Indeed, the Dirshu Baalei Batim Kollel in Silver Spring is just one component in Dirshu’s numerous programs of accountable limud haTorah where Masechtos and sefarim are both started and completed. Dirshu’s Kinyan Torah Daf Hayomi testing program that has produced untold numbers of bekiim in Shas and Dirshu’s Kinyan Halacha program that is preparing the poskim for the next generation are two of Dirshu’s most popular programs. Then of course, there is the new Daf HaYomi, Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learned by many thousands the world over. Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program, which began six years ago, is currently on the last chelek of Mishna Berurah and is marching towards the historic siyum of its first machzor scheduled for April of this coming year. The siyum in Silver Spring is a part of that ameilus b’Torah revolution that Dirshu has precipitated. Perhaps long time Dirshu participant, Neil Stiber, put it best, “As someone who has learned with Dirshu for twelve years (in Detroit and Silver Spring) I continue to be inspired by Dirshu’s ability to unify Jews through Torah. In Silver Spring we learn at separate tables and different battei midrash at different times of the day, but we are unified by our common curriculum, the current masechta. This gives us a shared language and experience. Beyond Silver Spring, Dirshu International connects Jews from varied backgrounds across the world. Those connections, even with people whom I will never meet in person, are inspiring and sublime and demonstrate how our common heritage in Torah can unify us.”

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“All learning is good, bekiyus, iyun, Chumash, Gemarah, Mishnayos, but still nothing comes to ameilus b’Torah. What you people have done here - learned the entire Seder Moed, chazered it, taken bechinos on it and knowing it - that is the gold standard! You should be very proud of yourselves and your wives should be so proud of you!” Those were the words of HaRav Yissocher Frand, long time R”M at Yeshiva Ner Israel of Baltimore, at a unique Dirshu Siyum on Seder Moed this past Sunday 3 Sivan/June 1, in Silver Spring, Maryland. 12 Years, 17 Masechtos, 1 Kollel! The siyum by the Dirshu Baalei Batim Kollel was a deeply inspiring event given that it depicted people who spend their days earning parnassah to sustain their families yet do not give up on ameilus in Torah. The Dirshu Kollel for Baalei Battim in Silver Spring is one of the most remarkable and successful baalei batim programs. Today it features over 40 participants. The program, which has been in existence for 12 years, has completed 17 masechtos! Over those years, hundreds of people have participated in the Dirshu Kollel which has remained virtually unchanged in form. There is still an early morning and evening program in two locales, the Yeshiva of Greater Washington in Kemp Mill and South East Hebrew Congregation in White Oak. The cornerstone of Kollel Dirshu Silver Spring is Rav Eliyahu Reingold, Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington. Rav Reingold is the driving force who gives the morning shiur at the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, writes the tests and gives the review shiurim. There are a number of other maggidei shiur as well. The deeply devoted administrative and spiritual driving force behind the Kollel, is Dr. Hirsh Komarow. Together, they have enabled the program to achieve phenomenal success. Learning Shas, One “Slice” at a Time! One of the most poignant presentations came from a document distributed in the journal published in honor of the siyum and which showed a pie-chart. The graph showed how many pieces of the “Shas Pie” have already been completed by Kollel Dirshu of Silver Spring. More than a third of Shas has been learned, reviewed and tested! Just as they slowly and systematically learned, reviewed, and were examined until they completed Seder Moed, we see they will persevere to complete the entire Shas! As befitting such a momentous simcha, the siyum at the Shomrai Emunah Shul was a beautiful, catered event for the misaymim and their families. Many additional


Dirshu Siyum on Seder Moed in Silver Spring

Large Turnout for the Annual Breakfast of the Mesivta of Los Angeles By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon

On Sunday morning June 8, 2014, the Annual Breakfast of the Mesivta of Los Angeles was held in Kanner Hall. Reb Hillel Zeitlin, chairman of the Me-

Rosh Mesivta, Rav Nechemia Langer, speaking at the Mesivta of Los Angeles Breakfast

sivta, the usual Master of Ceremonies, was not there to extended greetings to the packed audience. Harav Nechemia Langer the Rosh Mesivta did the welcoming this year. Rav Langer, who is also the Rov of Shaare Torah, known as the “Twin Towers, “thanked the supporters of the Mesivta. The Mesivta of Los Angeles was established to offer an option for the graduates of the Los Angeles Cheder and others, to learn in an environment and engage in a seder lemud following in a seamless continuum of

the Cheder’s study structure. Rav Langer was the perfect person to direct the Mesivta. A talmid chocham, whose years of learning are a combination of Telz and the Brisk Yeshvia of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik of Yerushalayim, wrapped in a chassidishe background, combined all the necessary ingredients. Add to that his warmth, generosity, ahavas Yisroel and recognition of the importance of limud hatorah and there is nothing more required to guarantee the success of this endeavor. Yet there is more. The Rebbeim and magadei shiurim of the Mesivta. Among them are Harav Yochanon Henig, te Titular Head of the Chasiddishe Kollel, Harav Shlomo Klein, mara d’asra Ohr HaChaim, Rav Pesach Oelbaum, Rav Moshe Chill , who teaches night seder and the Mashgiach, Rav Yoel Weiss. A special thanks was extended to the family of Rav Yonah Ganzweig zt”l for providing the use of their shul as a home for the Mesivta learning program during the day and to the Ohr Hachayim shul, its Rov, Rav Shlomo Klein and Ronnie Mayer for the use of their facilities for the Night Learning Program. Rav Langer made sure to thank Reb Ahron Schellemberg and ABI Graphics for printing invitations, flyers and handling other printing needs of the Mesivta. Those in attendance were presented with

the gift of a sefer “Chochmas Mesivta” which was replete with insights in the talmid learning of these teenage students of the Mesivta.

is brimming with individuals that learn torah daily, recognize the importance of learning and joyously support our torah institutions.

The sefer was provided by the Blonder family, in memory of Rav Menachem Yechezkel Bitterman z”l. Following a dvar torah, the Rosh Hayeshiva concluded by saying, “We are fortunate here in Los Angeles to have a community that

May we all continue to grow in torah and in the merit of our learning, may we be fortunate to witness the geula shileima bimheira b’yameinu amen. The breakfast ended with the berkas hamazon.

Photo credits: Arye D. Gordon


JUNE 12, 2014




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JUNE 12, 2014

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Nadav Davis, Maor Ben-Harosh, Tal Shemen, Jonathan J. Arashebn, Brian Paknoosh,,Joseph A. Schoen, Shayan Shamtoob, Samuel H. Forman, Akiva E. Leyton, Michael Kawas, Ariel Han,. Top Row, Left to Right: Doniel Dror, Moshe Yaakov Shapiro, Noam Y. Nutkiewicz, Jacob G. Stone, Eliyahu Y. Yifrach, Boruch S. Allison, Aron J. Silverman, Jacob Gurstein, Joshua Scharf. Not pictured: Yishaya Gedzelman and Raphael M. Raboy

Sitting, Left to Right: Sophia Blumenstrauch, Hilla Levi, Iara Serur, Austin Turell,Top Row: Left to Right, Yehudis Levine, Lital Swisa, Shani Sarusi, Miriam Neissany, Chanie Frankel, Sarah Lucas, Bracha Smith, Rena Ohana, Chaya Kamionski, Deena Denbo

For more information on Valley Torah High School visit our website, blog.vths.org, or contact us at: Boys Division: 12517 Chandler Blvd.,Valley Village, CA 91607, (818) 505-7999 email: vths@vths.org Girls Division: 12003 Riverside Dr., Valley Village, CA 91607, (818) 755-1697, email: vthsg@sbcglobal.net

Students Memorized 108,337 Lines Of Mishnayos, Tanya For the 14th year in a row, students at Cheder Menachem, Los Angeles present-


JUNE 12, 2014


ed a special and most befitting gift to the Lubavitcher Rebbe. In honor of Yud Alef Nissan, the Rebbe’s 112th birthday, talmidim once again dedicated their free time between Yud Shvat through Yud Alef Nissan to the study of Torah Be’Al Peh for their annual Mishnayos Baal Peh Program.

Together, the talmidim were tested on a total of 108,337 lines of Mishnayos, Tanya, Siddur and Yediyos Klaliyos. This number includes 7,984 Mishnayos, including 118 complete Masechtos and 972 Perakim, as well as 229 Perakim of Tanya Baal Peh, totaling 16,059 lines of Tanya Beal Peh. This year’s highest achievers include, Yossi Raeburn, 7th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed, Masechtos Brochos and Avos , as well the first 12 Perakim of Tanya; Levi Cohen, 5th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed in addition to many other Mesechtos and Perakim of Tanya, totaling 112 Perakim; Dovi Spalter, 6th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed as well as the first Perakim of Tanya; Mendel Schmukler, 5th Grade, who learned 11 of the 12 Masechtos in Seder Moed, and has committed to complete the Seder, even after the official program has finished. On Sunday, Gimmel Sivan, the annual MBP Awards ceremony took place in a large Public School auditorium. Talmidim were awarded Seforim of their choosing for their efforts and achievements. Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshivos, Shluchim, Mashpiyim, parents and friends joined together to recognize and congratulate the achievements of the students. Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, Menahel of Cheder Menachem, welcomed everyone with a D’var Torah and gave a Yasher Koach to the talmidim. Words of Bracha were shared by Rabbi Yosef Y. Shusterman, Shliach of the Rebbe to North Beverly Hills and one of the communities’ Mara D’Asra. A special presentation was made to Reb Yankel Ginsburg, the “Zevulun” of the Cheder’s MBP Program, who sponsores the Seforim on a yearly basis, L’iluy Nishmas his father, Reb Dov Reuven ben Dovid HaLevi o.b.m. The Cheder presented Reb Yan-

kel with a proclamation from the city of Los Angeles, recognizing his contribution to the furtherance of education. Rabbi Sholom Heidingsfeld, the coordinator of the Mishnayos Be’al Peh program, announced the accomplishments of this year’s MBP, which was followed by the awarding of Seforim to the four talmidim with the highest accomplishments. After this,

Clockwise starting from the top left: 7th Grader Yossi Raeburn receiving a Megillah for memorizing the entire Seder Moed and 12 Perakim Tanya by heart 5th Grader Levi Cohen receiving his Seforim for memorizing the entire Seder Moed as well as other Mesechtos and Perakim of Tanya Dovi Spalter receiving his Seforim for the many Mesechtos and Perakim of Tanya memorized by heart

ize to maxiim your m les

cas h in every talmid received a prize. A special thank you to Mrs. Ruchie Stillman, R’ Nochum Labkowsky, Rabbi Leibel Cohen, Mr. Sam Kustanovich and the Cheder board for all their help in ensuring the success of the day’s events. Some of the Rabonim and Shluchim who attended include: Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, Head Shliach of the Rebbe to the West Coast, Rabbi Shimon Raichik, Rav of Anash and Rabbi of Congregation Levi Yitzchok, Rabbi Ezra B. Schochet, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr Elchonon, Rabbi Yosef Y. Shusterman, Rav of Anash and Chabad of North Beverly Hills, Rabbi Mendel Cohen, Mashpia in Yeshivas Ohr Elchonon, Rabbi Amram Farkash, Menahel of the Mesivta Ohr Elchonon, as well as Rabbonim and Shluchim from all over Southern California. Photo Credits: Shmuly Berger & Yudi Vogel – 8th Grade Cheder Menachem) Glenna pc 5.5x8.5:Glenna pc 5.5x8.5

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The Rebbe – A Critique Of Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s Modern Look At Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn How does Modern Man conceive of a Gadol, a giant in Torah leadership? This question challenges Rabbi Joseph Telushkin when he writes about the Rebbe, HaRav Menachem Mendel Schneerson ZT”L in

his new biography entitled, “Rebbe”, published by Harper Collins. Unlike Gedolim biographies that have been criticized for their attempt to delete the flaws of history and erase any stains that Judaism may have created, Telushkin’s book is different. Too frequently, the formula goes like this; Giant X was born a genius, rose to the top of Yeshiva Y, mastered his character traits and never looked back. Some of the more daring biographies might make mention of a minor challenge or two, yet nothing too serious is mentioned and any character flaw is justified as a springboard for why that challenge truly made the individual great. Rabbi J.J. Schachter, Senior Scholar at Yeshiva University, penned an article in the Torah U’Maddah Journal called, “Facing the Truths of History”. This essay debates the issue of truth in biography. What parts of the life of a Torah giant ought to be revealed and what ought not to be revealed? When does knowing too much hinder our understanding of the notable, and when does complete clarity and knowledge enable us to grasp the truth more clearly and learn from the ways of our Leaders? This pitfall of leaving out the negative poses two challenges. First of all, smoothing over the cracks disengages us from understanding the path to true growth. Rav Hutner writes in his letters that too many times we skip over the essence of what truly makes a Gadol great. “7 times the

Tzaddik Falls and gets Back up,” (Mishlei 24:16). Rav Hutner says that the fall is not incidental to the rise. On the contrary it is necessary to the rise. To comprehend how our Great Ones have struggled is essential to knowing how they emerged triumphant. In that way we may glean a lesson that can apply in our own lives. It is said that the Imrei Emes used to give mussar to his son with the following analogy. Imagine a young man lost in the forest. He’s wandering around looking for a way out. Months go by with no luck. He feels down and dejected when suddenly he meets an elderly fellow with a long white beard. He’s so excited. Finally he will find a way out. He turns to the elderly fellow and asks “I’m lost, do you know how I may find my way home?” The elderly man says back to him, “I’m sorry I too am lost. I’ve been wandering for 30 years.” The boy is crushed. Totally defeated. Then suddenly the old man says, “BUT! I’ve taken many wrong roads in life and so I can tell you the ones not to go down. And perhaps, with that, you can find the true path.” The Chazon Ish in his letters similarly wrote, “Humans in this world are like those wandering around the forest aimlessly. If it were not for the ones walking with us who have already made the mistakes….” If we don’t know about the Gadol’s setbacks, struggles and inner turmoil, how may we grow from them? The second challenge in glossing over the shadow side of our heroes is that prior to the emergence of the internet when the ease of capturing became a source for retaining every conversation, it was possible for us to perceive humans as angels. But now we know too much, we’ve seen too much. Nobody is perfect and G-d didn’t create angels; G-d created humans. Now we are exposed to the reality. We all fail, we hurt, we quarrel and in many ways our greatest gift is our discontentment. So these are the challenges facing a modernist and a scholar like Telushkin as he sits down to write this 617 page biography on the Rebbe. The challenge becomes more enticing as we watch Telushkin submit to the greatness of the Rebbe. The book begins with statements that demonstrate that Telushkin refuses to wear rose colored glasses: “But the Rebbe’s popularity and legacy were not without controversy (p.6),” or in the way he addresses the feelings of families sent on shlichus, “The family would likely feel isolated and lonely in so nonreligious an environment (p.12).” Next, in the initial apathy toward the Rebbe’s cause, he explains, “we also know of the Rebbe’s disappointment that more couples did not volunteer to be sent as emissaries without

having to be asked. (P.77).” But as the book marches on, Telushkin

Ariel Sharon with the Rebbe

struggles to retain the human side of the Rebbe. He is simply so much larger than life. His magnificence abounds. Not by his chassidim, but by scholars, rabonim, and political and military leaders. And as we near the middle of the book Telushkin also submits. He is forced to, and as readers we are as well. I dare you to read this book and not think more than once about what your life would be like in the service of the Rebbe. Even though the author relents and is overwhelmed by the greatness of the Reb-

main. The modernity imbedded in Telushkin’s work manifests when you look at the structure. The book is elegantly organized by subject material as opposed to chronology. Those looking for a chronology of the Rebbe’s life can turn to Chapter 30. You don’t need to read this book straightforward you can pick your subject. The Rebbe and his approach to the secular world can be read about in Chapter 13. The Rebbe’s relationship with the Reform and Conservative movement can be found in Chapter 16. This is a compelling structure that allows the reader to pick up and put down the book as one’s time and temperament allows. It also lets us use the book as an inspirational reference guide gleaned from the Rebbe’s life. The scope of diversity captured by the interviews and anecdotes are so tremendously vast. Whether it is a discussion with the Rebbe’s secretaries like Rabbi Groner and Rabbi Krinsky or whether it is a discussion with political titans like Ariel Sharon and Robert Kennedy, all trains somehow lead back to the Rebbe. Rav Joseph Dov Soloveitchik was a contemporary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and a classmate (there’s a wonderful picture of these two titans shaking hands after not having seen each other for years). Students of the Rav love to note that he was like a prism. Everyone who knew him had a

The Rebbe in front of 770 Eastern Parkway, Chabad.org archives

be and in a matter of pages is forced to express his own admiration, it is good that his credentials as a modern scholar still re-

different view of what he was about and what he believed. The complexity of his personality lent itself to the refracted views of his persona. The Rebbe, on the other


Rav Schneerson. 20 years after the Rebbe’s passing, the hot button question for so many is whether he was the Moshiach. I recently dealt with

JUNE 12, 2014

hand, was the inverse. He was viewed by so many people, on so many different sides of the political and religious spectrum, and the amazing thing is that they all viewed

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The Rebbe and the Rav greeting each other at the Farbrengen

him the same way. They all recognized his passion for the Jewish people, his love for humanity, and his tremendous leadership skills. That is clear in this book. What I found wanting by the time I finished “The Rebbe” was the issue of intimacy. I was blown away by the Rebbe. I was motivated to be better because of the Rebbe. But to be totally honest, I don’t feel like I know the Rebbe. I don’t know what he felt about assuming the mantle of leadership instead of his brother-in- law. I don’t know what kept him up late at night. I don’t know what he dreamed of as a brilliant teenager. I don’t know what I was expecting; in previous years other biographers went way too far in trying to guess the Rebbe’s motivations and it was obviously agenda driven. But we would like a small glimpse in the Rebbe’s inner world. This may not be the fault of Telushkin; it could simply be like many great heroes the Rebbe never revealed his thoughts. Such self-exposure may have been pointless for

this hot button question in my Shavuos class at Yavneh. Rabbi Telushkin claims that the Rebbe despised being referred to as the Moshiach. Others have told me that they disagree with that assertion. Far be it for me to know the truth about what the Rebbe felt, but I did find it interesting to see Rabbi Telushkin take a stand on that issue as he does on several other critical subjects. Bottom line – can the Rebbe be Moshiach? Before we answer that question I challenge our broader community to first get to know the Rebbe as painted by Joseph Telushkin. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Rabbieinhorn@ gmail.com The book may purchased from your local bookstore, as well as amazon.com.

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JUNE 12, 2014

A Stanza in a Poem

Shavuos is a day that celebrates the receipt of the Torah and its centrality in our lives. But it also celebrates the eternity of our people. Despite all the present adversity and everything our people have suffered throughout the millennia, we are still around and will be forever. Despite the current battles with the same old, tired arguments, some clad in modern garb and expressed with current slang, the fact that the people of the Torah are eternal is proven daily. I had the special zechus of spending the Yom Tov in Yerushalayim, where I attended a family simcha. Being there rejuvenated me. How? Walk with me down a quiet side-street atop the Geulah neighborhood, through a small courtyard, and, suddenly, as in so many spots around the holiest city on earth, time seems to stand still. It is this place that is referred to in Kabbalistic literature as “Pischa Dekarta,” literally translated as “the door to the city.” The site is referred to in Gemara Sanhedrin (98), the Zohar in Parshas Shelach, and the sefer Yahel Ohr (Parshas Shelach) from the Vilna Gaon as being the spiritual home of Moshiach ben Yosef. In another era, the elevated grassy knoll was the first location Jews being oleh regel to Yerushalayim would be able to see the makom haMikdosh from. Talmidim of the Vilna Gaon would conduct tefillos there, particularly on leil Shabbos. The community would rent space from the Arab owner and engage in limud hanistar at the mystical location. In 1812, the group joined with Sefardic mekubo-

lim and erected a large tent, referred to as “Ohel Moshiach ben Yosef.” Then, about 120 years ago, they managed to purchase the area. They erected a more permanent tent, where they would gather and daven for Moshiach ben Yosef to overcome those who stop him from his mission and that he be speedily dispatched to fulfill it. That structure stood for seventy years and then, mysteriously, fell out of use. Over time, tzaddikim would sometimes stand there in secluded prayer, especially in times of danger, Rachmana litzlan. When I had the merit of being in Yerushalayim last week, I decided to daven at this hallowed spot. It was an otherworldly feeling to be standing in prayer at a holy site integrally tied to the ultimate geulah, where great tzaddikim prayed for so many years, yet to be there alone, in complete solitude. It was, in a sense, a microcosm of the golus itself: holy spots, holy stones, holy pathways waiting for their redemption, a city pining for her people to merit the great awakening. All over, there are yechidim, lone souls, struggling to usher in a better, happier time. The geulah is so close, so attainable, even though it sometimes seems so far. On the flight returning to America, while contemplating the greatness of a city and its inhabitants, I recalled the words of the Chiddushei Harim, who explains the posuk we recited in Hallel on Shavuos: “Hashomayim shomayim laHashem veha’aretz nosan livnei odom.” The Ribbono Shel Olam has the entirety of the celestial spheres, which are His holy realm. He gave us the earth, so that we might invest it with holiness. Our job is to take the aretz and make it shomayimdik. In the city selected by Hashem, one sees how a kehillah, in our day and age, has taken a few miles and invested them with the sanctity of the Divine. Despite all the adversity, despite the resistance and tension, despite the fact that their choices subject them to ridicule and scorn, the people of Yerushalayim, in their role as the am haTorah, stand tall and proud. Tova ha’aretz me’od me’od. To me, Yerushalayim is more than a geographical location, a dot on a map

representing a city where people live and work. It’s a dimension beyond

time and space, the embodiment of thousands of years of yearning and hope. To me, Yerushalayim is poet-

ry. To walk its streets is to be a stanza in that poem. Observing its citizens, young and old, as they go about their daily chores, you find yourself wishing for a camera capable of capturing the special aura on their faces. Their emunah and bitachon are plainly evident. People who live in tiny cramped apartments, with bare refrigerators and few physical comforts smile and radiate a contented glow. The temperature on Shavuos day was an oppressive 97 degrees. One of our relatives who came to visit on Yom Tov Sheini Shel Goluyos, mentioned matter-of-factly that there was no air conditioning in her apartment and not even a fan. She said it with a broad smile and without any air of martyrdom or self-pity. When I mentioned that I would be happy to buy her a few fans, she responded that they don’t have room in the apartment. She, and her family, exude serenity and contentment, without fans or creature comforts. The source of their joy has little to do with the pleasures of this world. Rather than an exception, this is the rule in that splendid city. Reb Bentzion Oiring, whose name might be familiar to you from some of our appeals on his behalf over the years, came by to visit along with his wife and children. These destitute people seem perfectly satisfied. You see their wide smiles, their amiable natures, their easy camaraderie with others and with each other, and you marvel at their normalness. Then you notice that the wife is missing her front teeth because a visit to the dentist is a luxury that simply doesn’t fit into their budget. A visit to that city and an honest look at the people remind you that the reality facing the Yerushalayimer Yidden is far different than ours. It makes you realize that when a Yerushalmi Yid comes knocking on your door, you shouldn’t view him as just another person in a long line of people who disturb your peace, but as an ambassador from a world where heaven touches

earth. It is a city of overwhelmed fathers, carrying the burdens of wives without teeth, good women charged with feeding families after they’ve exhausted the makolet bills and the proprietor’s patience. They live in cramped apartments with no room for electric fans, and yet they smile, offering spirited thanks and praise as they daven in Zichron Moshe and the many other shtiblach and shuls that dot the holy streets. The davening… Oh the davening! Every Shacharis, Minchah and Maariv is different. It isn’t the length of time that makes their tefillos different. Sometimes they daven quite quickly. It’s the intensity and genuine passion. There is nothing official, stilted and staged. You hear tefillos that emanate from deep within the Jewish soul and the people’s complete faith in the power of the words - and the Master to whom they are directed - is evident. Formality is admirable, but the vitality one feels there is so uplifting. There are few experiences as spiritually elevating as joining the massive crowd of Jews, joined by nothing other than the commonality of their neshamos, descending on the Kosel in time for vosikin on Shavuos morning. Just as on any other day, they come like hungry children surrounding their mother’s table for breakfast; desperate, focused and entirely certain that their tefillos will be welcomed. You watch the first rays of the rising sun penetrate the sky and paint the ancient stones a soft orange and you feel enwrapped by the presence of the Shechinah, which has never departed. To stroll along the streets that have been tread by so many giants, knowing that you are fulfilling a mitzvah with each daled amos you traverse, is to allow your feet to be pulled by your soul and to feel at home. The reward received for the performance of the mitzvah is immediate, as you become uplifted breathing the avira d’ara. On Shabbos and Yom Tov, children play in the street without a care in the world, and you can’t help but be swept along with their youthful optimism, blissful joy, charm and delight. Even the shopkeepers are different. I happened to meet a friend in a small Geulah shop. During the course of conversa-

mountains surrounding it. I had the opportunity to speak to a son of Rav Zundel Kroizer, who shared with me a letter written by his father. Rav Zundel had lived in Lugano, Switzerland, for a short time, and he wrote a loving note to his granddaughter on the occasion of her bas mitzvah. He described his surroundings to the young girl, the majestic snow-capped mountains glistening pure white. “May your life,” the loving zaide wrote, “be

You look at the landmarks of Yerushalayim - the Kosel, site of the ultimate churban, yet with stirrings of so much binyan just under the surface; and the newly re-erected Churvah shul, with its history of rising and falling - and you realize that setbacks force greater resilience and stamina; but are not permanent. Those who tormented us are gone and forgotten. Torah and the life it provides remain as vibrant as ever. You visit the great men of that country, giants such as the recently departed Rav Zundel Kroizer zt”l and, ybl”c, Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a, who gives the clarity of the Urim Vetumim to our generation. The New York Times and the Forward can write as they please. Ours is a community producing people capable of transcending human limitations, climbing the heights of spiritual greatness. We have among us living portrayals of mivchar ha’anushi and nothing that anyone says about us can dispute that fact. We all have the ability to be holy and great. Perhaps we derive this lesson from the posuk (Tehillim 125:1) which states, “Habotchim baHashem, people of faith, kehar Tzion lo yimot, as the mountains surrounding Yerushalayim stand,” reminding us that those chosen by Him endure. Bitachon, conviction and courage in these trying times, comes from that city and the

pure and clean as the snow.” When a car ventures out in this pristine snow without proper chains on the tires, he continued, the vehicle will spin and spin, but make no progress. “In order for you to successfully traverse the channel that is life, you must remember to remain chained to the traditions of your parents and grandparents,” the tzaddik concluded. We carry a rich mesorah, and it fuels us to reach higher and battle on. We are so close to the end, yet still so far. There is a chasm we must bridge. While in Yerushalayim, I noticed signs advertising organized buses to the kever of Rav Ovadiah M’Bartenurah in honor of his yahrtzeit. The site was described as being four minutes from the Kosel. As I was leaving the Kosel, I asked a taxi driver to take me there. The Rav, as he is known, is the rebbi of any Yid who ever learned Mishnayos properly, so I wanted to take advantage of the time to daven at his kever, something I had never done before. Following the paper signs that were posted for the occasion, we made our way down a steep mountain. At the end of the road, down in a deep valley, was the cave said to be the final resting place of the Rav M’Bartenurah. We recited some Tehillim and tefillos together with the few people who were there. Just as we were ready to leave, oth-

ers came running back, fear in their eyes. “Zorkim avanim. Zorkim! You can’t leave. The Arabs are throwing stones.” A hail of stones of all sizes poured down from high above us. We quickly returned to the safety of the kever area and police were called. After a long wait, they finally arrived once the stones had stopped falling. We left. It was a bittersweet taste, so close yet so far. We were at the kever of our rebbi, yet under threat of harm. The Bartenurah’s storied letters to his father tell the tale of his arduous journey to Yerushalayim and of the hardships he endured so that he can live between the mountains of Tzion. He merited writing a peirush that illuminates each and every Mishnah, the result of his travails and efforts. Let his lesson inspire us as well. I was traveling in a car with Radio Kol Chai playing in the background when I heard the voice of my dear friend, Rabbi Eliezer Sorotzkin. It was the evening before Shavuos and the station was reporting that a group of totally secular teenage boys with whom Lev L’Achim volunteers began learning Gemara was brought to Yeshivas Mir Brachfeld to see a yeshiva for the first time in their lives. Rabbi Sorotzkin was asked how his organization was withstanding the constant propaganda and governmental battles against religion. How, he was asked, are they impacting the work of Lev L’Achim? He answered that the only difference is that there is a sharp increase in the number of questions secular people ask Lev L’Achim volunteers who seek to educate them in Torah. Once the answers are provided and the truth is laid out, the people are as receptive as ever to the eternal message from Sinai. Yes, there are problems, many problems, some of them unprecedented, but we must know that aloh na’aleh, we are on the ascendancy, and we will emerge victorious in the end if we stand together with strength, pride and unity. This week, we read the parsha of the meraglim, who sinned by speaking ill of Eretz Yisroel. They, much like many today, saw Am Yisroel’s enemies as being too large and too powerful to overcome. Intimidated, they displayed a lack of faith. Kalev sought to reassure our forefathers and mothers, telling them, “Aloh na’aleh…ki yachol nuchal lah” (13:30). Do not become dejected, he said. Do not fall for the messages of the naysayers and don’t pay attention to those who mock the word of Hashem. We will triumph. We will beat back our enemies, and those whose belief in Hashem is unchallenged will enter the Promised Land. His words resound through the ages, rallying us today as well. There were those who doubted their own abilities to merit Eretz Yisroel. Today, we look at that country as a source of inspiration, its cobblestone alleyways, dusty paths and glorious buildings encouraging us to stand tall and proud.

Like it, the land bound up with our collective soul since before time, we will triumph. Aloh na’aleh,

speedily in our days.


JUNE 12, 2014

thodox, and that their beliefs, teachings, writings and practices have regrettably removed them from the ranks of observant Jewry and placed them in the same category as the Conservative and Reform deviationist groups. We don’t need anyone to preach to us or the Novominsker Rebbe: a man who lives not for honor, power or wealth, but to learn Torah, serve his Maker and guide his people. And in this we take heart.


tion, I mentioned that I had been to visit Rav Yaakov Edelstein in Ramat Hasharon. The shopkeeper interjected. “Hu Yehudi kadosh. Ani agid lachem sippur.” The young Sefardi man shared his tale. One evening, Rav Edelstein left a wedding and mistakenly entered a car he thought was that of his driver. After sitting down in the passenger seat and turning his head to say hello to his nahag, he realized, to his dismay, that the driver was not the person he expected it to be, but was, rather, a young woman. He quickly said, “Selichah,” and exited the vehicle. The girl’s friend who witnessed the episode told her that she had the zechus of having a big tzaddik in her car, albeit for a moment and by mistake. “His name is Rav Yaakov Edelstein and you should ask him for a brochah.” The next day, the girl called the rov and introduced herself as the accidental driver. “I am the girl whose car you mistakenly entered last night. I would like a brochah for a shidduch.” The rov responded with an assurance that she would be engaged within a month. The shopkeeper concluded his story. “A month later she was engaged. To me.” The good people of Yerushalayim hearten us and embolden us to face our own challenges. We so often hear tales of woe and prophecies of doom. There is way too much sadness in our community. Too many poor people. Too many sick people. Too many lonely people. People who were abused. Children who aren’t given a chance. Awful winds of dissension, extremism, injustice, negativity and cynicism are blowing, and there are people working to destroy our religion and way of life. Bnei Tzion yogilu bemalkom. The people of Yerushalayim are a reminder that we must forge on with spirit and verve. We must not become meyuash. We must remain positive and battle that which confronts us, working to remedy that which ails us. Let us not attach undue import to the spiteful words that appear in the New York Times and secular Jewish organs chastising an individual like the Novominsker Rebbe. We need to be confident and strong, proud that we have leaders courageous enough to speak the truth. It is surprising that people still expect respect and fair treatment from our secular brethren and are upset when our faith in them is proven misplaced. They are the ones with an agenda to undermine and weaken our authentic faith, while the Rebbe has no agenda, other than to share and spread the Torah’s truth. We cannot hide our heads in the sand and ignore the danger they represent. They have veered far from the course charted at Sinai. Some are affected by their saccharine words and express self-doubt and a lack of confidence in our ability to battle and overcome them. We, however, are heartened that we are no longer alone in our crusade against the Open Orthodox, their small school, and their growing influence and acceptance as legitimate Orthodox Jews. We welcome the prominent voices being added to our call that they not be recognized as Or-

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The Observant Jew Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz

After the Cheesecake


omeone I spoke to before Shavuos ended an e-mail with, “I’ll talk to you after the cheesecake.” He didn’t have to explain further, as I automatically knew he meant after the yom tov of Shavuos. The food is so integrally associated with the holiday that the term cheesecake was almost interchangeable. In fact, not only did it get the message across, but it did so in a light-hearted way that made me smile. This isn’t the only holiday that is associated foods. Purim has hamantaschen, Chanukah has latkes, Rosh Hashana has an apple and honey, and Shabbos has its chicken soup. Let’s face it, as the joke says, most Jewish holidays can be described as, “They tried to kill us; we won; let’s eat!” Traditionally, there have been “Jewish” foods over the years though they differ in different regions. Gefilte fish was created specifically to provide a fish with no bones to avoid transgressing the sin of borer/separating mixtures on Shabbos, and, just as the world learned at the 2013 Scripps Spelling Bee that a “knaidel” is a German-Yiddish word for a round, leavened dumpling, those of us in the know could have told you that matzah balls are a uniquely Jewish food. I wonder. What’s so important about food that it becomes inextricably linked to our Jewish observances? Why should the focus of the holidays be on the food? Isn’t that cheapening the experience of holiness that we should feel? Isn’t it time I started answering questions instead of asking them? The first point to make is that as Jews, nothing is purely physical. Our job in this world is to take the physical and uplift it. We eat food which is a physical act, but we make a blessing over it, which raises it into the realm of the spiritual. We don’t just break bread. At certain times the bread is flat and unleavened because of a miracle that took place (Pesach) and sometimes we have two loaves (Shabbos) to commemorate the maan Hashem gave us in the desert. By associating a food with a spiritual aspect, such as eating cheesecake on Shavuos because the Jews at Sinai ate dairy since their previously-used pots were not kosher, we are doing much more than just consuming the actual food. However, even if you remove the

spiritual aspect or reason for the food, there is a great reason to celebrate Chag HaCheesecake. We find in the Torah that food is a strong producer of positive feeling. We are told that Yitzchak loved Eisav because of the fresh meat he provided his father. While there are other, less literal, explanations of this possuk, the simple one does not go away. It’s likely the source of the expression, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Because we associate good feelings with food, the source of that food also gains a fondness in our eyes. That said, when we celebrate Shavuos by eating cheesecake, the cake itself is making us happy about the holiday, and in turn, about the Torah. The mitzvah of being happy on yom tov is what guides us to eat meat and drink wine for Chazal say, “There is no joy without meat and wine.” Is this true? Would one absolutely be unable to be happy on a holiday without these items? Perhaps not, but certainly one who enjoys a meal complete with meat and wine will be in a good mood and this positive mindset will spill over into the yom tov. Much as a child riding a bike downhill gets enough momentum to help him keep going when he reaches the bottom of the hill, the external forces that give us joy can be converted into energy to push us forward in our performance of mitzvos with a smile. It is said that Rabbeinu Tam, one of the authors of the Tosfos commentary on the Gemara, had an interesting practice when faced with a difficult piece of Torah that he needed all his strength to get through. He would take out a stack of gold coins and start counting them. The joy that he got from this, not just seeing on a spiritual level how much Hashem had blessed him, but from the simple satisfaction of having some money in his pocket, enabled him to focus better on the task at hand. When approaching Judaism, the Torah, and the mitzvos, the most powerful tool for finding joy in them is rec-

ognizing the opportunities they provide us for basic pleasure. Eating delicious foods on Shabbos, enjoying conversation around the table (no lashon hara of course), spending time with people we love and who love us, and even getting dressed up for the holidays, are all ways for us to find tangible joy in our Yiddishkeit and use it to enhance our relationship with Hashem. After all, He’s the reason for our celebration. If you want someone to see the beauty of Shabbos, don’t talk about it. Just give him a steaming bowl of cholent and a big smile. You’ll get a lot farther that way. And if someone wants

to know what’s so great about being a Jew? Tell him you’ll answer him after the cheesecake.

Jonathan Gewirtz is an inspirational writer whose work has appeared in publications around the world. He also operates JewishSpeechWriter.com, where you can order a custom-made speech for your next special occasion. Look for “The Observant Jew,” a compilation of some of the best of these articles, distributed by Feldheim, in your favorite Jewish bookstore! For more information, or to sign up for or sponsor the Migdal Ohr, his weekly PDF Dvar Torah in English, e-mail info@JewishSpeechWriter.com and put Subscribe or Sponsor in the subject. © 2014 by Jonathan Gewirtz. All rights reserved.

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Cover Story

70 Years Since the NORMANDY LANDINGS


While there were many seaborne invasions during World War II, none were as big and as important as the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. It was a very complex and bloody invasion that was to finally destroy the Nazi hold on Europe for good. The landings themselves were just the first step in reaching Berlin but after that one fateful day, the Allies had a toehold in liberating Europe. Last week marked 70 years since D-Day, one of the greatest invasions in history.


n army with soldiers, sailors and airmen from twelve countries made up the invasion force, with the United States and Great Britain leading the way. While Free French troops fought with the British, thousands of French resistance fighters fought the Germans behind the lines, destroying rail lines, communications and disrupting German activity. The overall Allied commander was General Dwight David Eisenhower who postponed D-Day by one day due to weather reports. The ground commander was British General Bernard Law Montgomery who defeated German General Erwin Rommel, nicknamed the Desert Fox, in North Africa. “Monty,” who the American troops disliked, was to face off against his fierce rival again in France. Although they knew an invasion was likely, the Germans were confused as to where and when the invasion would take place. Most German generals thought it would be in an area called the Pas-de-Calais and no one thought that the Allies would strike on the 6th due to the tough weather conditions. Rommel had even gone back to Germany to celebrate his wife’s birthday, and with their radar stations out of commission due to the pre-invasion bombings, the Germans had no clue that anything was about to happen until it was too late.

16th infantry regiment landing on Omaha Beach

The terms D-Day and H-Hour are generic for seaborne landings but since this is the most famous D-Day in history, the term “D-Day” without a date references to June 6. The invasion was the execution of a very elaborate plan that took

two years to devise. To discuss the entire operation, codenamed Overlord, it would take books and much longer than the space allotted here but the American invasion from the sea can be summed up in this article. Even though over 2,000 American infantrymen paid the ultimate sacrifice that day, it opened up a corridor for millions of other men to defeat the Germans for good.


ive American divisions took part in Overlord and were given specific targets on that day. (As a side point, after those objectives were achieved, very few plans were put in place for the fighting in the months to come. The Norman hedgerows proved to be a major obstacle that no one was prepared for and took seven weeks to overcome.) The 82nd and 101st airborne divisions, nicknamed All American and the Screaming Eagles respectively, were dropped in the predawn hours and were to block German reinforcements from reach-

Reinforcements landing on Omaha

ing the beaches. The two divisions were badly scattered and a few brave men took the objectives even though they were badly outnumbered. Five beaches were designated as landing zones with the British storming Gold and Sword. The Canadians, instilling payback for an earlier failed invasion, landed on Juno Beach, and the Americans invaded Omaha and Utah. The 4th Infantry Division was tasked to land from their Higgins boats at Utah and the veteran 1st and 29th divisions were at Omaha. Along with another three infantry divisions that were to land in the days following D-Day, these eight divisions were comprised of the First Army and were commanded by General Omar Bradley. In addition to all of these men, 200 Rangers under the command of Lt. Col. James Rudder were to scale the cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc. They were to destroy the coastal guns that had the potential to wreak havoc on the beaches and the ships protecting the landings. At 12:15 AM on June 6, the first of 13,000 paratroopers began to land behind the lines in France. Coming in on C-47 Skytrains and motor-less gliders, the troop were badly scattered across the countryside. Several groups of small men—

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most groups had soldiers from many units—gathered and went to secure their objectives. There was even one group with two generals, a colonel and a few enlisted men. One of the generals, Maxwell Taylor, said, “Never were so few led by so many.” This particular group gathered about 100 men and fought to open a causeway that opened up to Utah Beach. The Germans kept on sending back messages that there were many more paratroopers than actually had landed. Thus, the scattered drops had an unexpected effect. The Germans still thought that the main landings were elsewhere and that this was a diversionary attack even though the German Seventh Army reported heavy troop concentrations before sunrise. At 11:10 AM, the 4th Division and the 101st linked up and the infantry headed inland. The 82nd Division was to parachute in at 2:30 Famous photo by Jewish photographer Robert Capa of troops struggling to get to shore AM and capture two key bridges over the Merderet River. However, their landings were more widespread than the 101st and many men drowned in swamps that the only advantage Omaha Beach had was Rudder’s 200 the Germans created from opening dykes. One of the bridges elite members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion. They brought was captured but the Germans took it back as the troopers had rock climbing and grappling equipment along with ladders few reinforcements and even less ammunition. On D-Day + donated from the London Fire Department to scale the 100 1 (June 7) only one-third of the paratroopers from both divi- foot cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc. Casualties had to be evacusions had been accounted for, and it would take a week or ated by these same ropes and the process was very slow. more for everyone to reach American lines. Six 155mm cannon in reinforced concrete awaited them on The 4th Division, like the airborne, profited from mistakes top, ready to fire on the beach, but for some reason they in landing zones. Utah Beach was the westernmost landing had been abandoned. These were quickly destroyed but the zone of the entire invasion and needed to be captured on soldiers ran into a lot of resistance from fortified bunkers. D-Day to pro- The battalion became isolated and only on D-Day+2 were tect the Allied they reinforced. By then, Rudder had only 90 men and had flank. 32,000 run out of ammunition so they were using captured German A m e r i c a n s guns. They were the first Americans to complete their miswere scheduled sions on D-Day and they never gave up the positions in the to land so the subsequent counterattacks. The movie Saving Private Ryan timetable was shows the Rangers landing but not scaling the cliffs that tight. The first gave the planners and the commandos so much trouble. In wave landed total, nine companies of Rangers landed on Omaha Beach a few minutes on D-Day. Omaha Beach was divided into several landing zones but behind schedule because they when the actual invasion came, soldiers that were to land at had to wade in these designated zones became hopelessly entangled with Utah Beach Landing the last 100 or other units in the mad dash to the beach. Specialized tanks, so yards to the called DD tanks, were outfitted with “skirts” so they could beach. They encountered only sporadic enemy fire but real- swim to the beach. However, they were offloaded from the ized that they had landed over a mile off the intended tar- landing craft too far in the English Channel and most of get beach due to the drifting of the landing craft. There were the tanks with their crews drowned. This meant that the intwo choices to make: one was to reload the landing craft and fantry would be without close-in heavy gun support until redo the landings at the correct beach but that was bound to the artillery could be landed. That couldn’t happen until the cause a lot of confusion. Instead, the highest ranking officer beach was cleared but for hours after the landings, murderon the beach, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., held ous machine gun fire was raining down on the hapless sola council of war in a bomb crater to discuss their options. diers. Some tanks did The 56-year-old cane-wielding son of the famous president make it to the beach supposedly said, “We’ll start the war from here!” He made and even though they the right choice, and the landings continued without further couldn’t move off of confusion. The troops encountered less resistance than at the it, they provided vital support for the infanoriginally planned landing areas. By the end of the day, the entire division had landed and try. The entire 1st Diwas headed inland. Compared to their brothers in arms on th Omaha Beach, the 4 Division suffered only light casualties vision, veterans of but had 200 fatalities. For his actions on that day, Roosevelt the North Africa and was awarded the Medal of Honor and a month later was pro- Sicily campaigns and moted to major general and the command of his own division. most of the untested Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack before he could take 29th Division, with command. many Maryland Guard members in its ranks he most heavily defended beach in Normandy was including several frum Omaha and the only way to take it was by having infan- soldiers, thought that try dig out the enemy. Most of the resources, including they were facing one Rangers scaling the cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc the two airborne divisions, were to help Utah Beach, and regiment of second



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Helping wounded soldiers onto Omaha Beach. There was no going back once the ramp on the boats went down

rate soldiers. Instead, the tough 352nd Infantry of the Wehrmacht (the German Army) was entrenched on the high ground. Even before reaching the beach, many men became seasick in the Higgins landing boats. The boats were driven by members of the U.S. and British navies and some didn’t want to come close to the murderous fire coming from the beach. Tough U.S. Army officers forced them by gunpoint to go in closer so the men wouldn’t drown under their heavy packs. Still, some cowardly coxswains let them out in water over their heads, and unfortunately, these men didn’t survive. When the remnants of the first wave hit the beach, they realized that the heavy bombardment from the ships and aircraft did nothing to soften up the enemy machine gun and artillery positions that zeroed in on the landing zone.


he reports coming into General Bradley were looking so bad that he considered calling off the invasion and save the rest of the men. However, they continued the landings and by nightfall, the beachhead was secure. The price was a heavy one to pay for freedom. 2,000 Americans were killed and thousands more were wounded. The Germans lost 1,200 men but this hurt even more when they realized that reinforcements weren’t


here was a shingle that the men hid behind and above that was a bluff that the Germans were pouring fire from every type of weapon available. The first wave was devastated. A Company of the 116th Regiment, 29th Division started that morning with 200 men but by dark had just eight men who could still fight. On one of their landing craft, every man was killed before they hit the water and another one just vaporized. No one knew whether it was from artillery or hitting a mine. The first wave was a mess and when the engineers came on the beach it wasn’t clear but they still went about their job and cleared a few gaps for the incoming wave of infantry. The second wave met with the same stiff resistance as the first but again was unable to clear the beach. The beach masters decided that until they could clear the enemy guns off the bluff no more infantry would be landed. Small leaderless groups were huddled on the beach and were comprised of a mix of soldiers from different units who had landed nowhere near their intended zones. At about 7:30, Rangers, along with men from the 116th Regiment, began to assault the Vierville draw and soon other units began assaulting the bluff. By 9:00 Men in Higgins boats. AM, several hunPart of the second wave off of Omaha Beach

The USS McCook, the ship that blasted so many Germans into oblivion

coming. The Allies still had hundreds of thousands of men to land in the subsequent weeks. D-Day was just the first day of eleven months of war in Western Europe that led to the collapse of the Nazi regime on May 7, 1945. Rommel, who was not a member of the Nazi party, took the blame for the failure of the Wehrmacht in Normandy and was forced to commit suicide by Hitler ym”sh. (Hitler also wanted him killed because he was a suspected member of the group that attempted to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944.) The Normandy landing was the largest seaborne invasion in history and the 175,000 men who stepped foot on German-held Europe that day brought freedom with them as well as punishment for the Nazis. Operation Overlord achieved its objectives with the elements of surprise, firepower and the sheer fighting will of the enlisted soldier. In total, 4,500 Allied soldiers gave their lives for freedom, and the entire Allied army was well on its way to total victory. Generals don’t fight the battles—the enlisted and junior officers do—and these were the true heroes of D-Day. Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@gmail.com.

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dred soldiers made it to the top and began clearing the defenses. At noon, the German artillery began running low on ammunition and were destroyed by the advancing infantry which allowed vehicles to come off the beach. Several navy ships were stationed off the coast to provide artillery support for the infantry. 5,000 ships participated in the operation including several large warships. In many cases, this was all the help that the infantry got on D-Day as the land artillery, tanks and jeeps with mounted weapons got stuck in the water and beaches. The destroyer USS McCook in particular provided vital gun support as she took out pillboxes, 75mm artillery guns and 13 machine gun nests within an hour of H-Hour. Her gunners were so good that they took on targets of opportunity and scored hits on several machine guns and snipers that were giving the troops a lot of trouble.

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JUNE 12, 2014


The Drought; California’s Water Shortage And Our Effect On It

So you’ve had a rough week and want to reward yourself with a long, relaxing shower or a luxurious day at the spa? The car’s a little dirty, better get it cleaned? And a little hungry? Better head to the local market and buy some inexpensive, fresh produce. A few dishes in the sink might induce you to run the dishwasher and get them out of the way? Suits has a little smut—send it out to the dry cleaners. We forget how heavily we rely on water. We take water for granted and readily wash it down the drain, un-recycled, never to be seen again. Following the driest year on record in over a century, Californians are urged to save water and there are signs that water rationing may be coming. Well before the onset of summer, Southern California has been hit with a heat wave, low rainfall and fires. According to the United States Drought Monitor, drought conditions in California have hit us harder this year and this is serious. Most of the state is facing severe drought conditions. The agency measures both Los Angeles and San Diego as “Extreme” drought regions, experiencing the second-to-most-pervasive-water-shortage possible on the scale. While some believe that California is naturally a dry climate, the evidence points otherwise. In Northern California which is historically moister than the rest of the state, drought conditions have risen in the past decade to measure as “Extreme” on the Drought Monitor. Already stagnating in drought for the three previous years, California needs to be more resourceful. The greatest pull on our water resources is in agriculture and grocery store prices are sure to rise if water shortages continue. According to a report by NPR, California grows 95 percent of America’s broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country’s artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods. The majority of freshwater consumed goes towards the production of these food as well as clothing, and even manufactured products like cars. At the same time our domestic use of water has been heedlessly unconscious. Nor is this the first time severe drought has occurred. Between 1987 and 1991, the state of California imposed mandatory reduction orders and heavy financial penalties for those who failed to comply. The worst drought on state record was between 1929 and 1934 which set the standard of

By Bracha Turner

how California handles shortages in our water reservoirs. Historically, well before the establishment of the state, tree rings (from stumps discovered below lakes) reveal patterns where water runoff from the Sierra Nevada mountains was extremely low for years on end and the result was not

water supply to their homes, in order to take action? This water shortage is a call for us to remember that all prosperity is in HaShem’s hands. “R’ Yochanan said: Three keys the Holy One blessed be He, has retained in His own hands and not entrusted

pretty. Heavy drought existed in medieval times at an interval of at least every 100 years. Prosperity in urban and agricultural California is dependent on an assumption that the past century’s wetness will continue in the future. It is a problem when such a precious commodity that is essential for survival costs less than your Smartphone bill. Will Californians carelessly wait until they feel the pinch of a drought directly affecting their pocket, or even scarier, the

to the hand of any messenger, namely, the Key of Rain, the Key of Childbirth, and the Key of the Revival of the Dead” (Taanit 2a). From time immemorial, people have turned Heavenward to ask for Hashem’s mercy in delivering rainwater for crops to grow, and for life on Earth to flourish. The key of water is itself the universal link to all of life in the past, present, and future. Sixty five percent of the human body is comprised of water and each living being descends merely from a “putrid drop.” Ac-

cording to Midrash, even the revival of the dead at Mt. Sinai was dependent on dew descending on the body and reviving the soul. The drought is a reminder of our dependence on Hashem’s open hand for water and for life. Water molecules are generated over the course of nine days and form clouds which can last less than an hour before they dissipate. Those clouds contain enough water to fill lakes. An inch of rainwater over an acre of land (a little less than the size of a football field) yields 27,154 gallons of water. If you knew that the water coming out of the faucet traveled 250 miles over the course of over nine days before entering your cup would you say a bracha with a lot more kavana? In the past, people would dwell close to sources of water because water meant life. Our ancestors, notably Avraham and Yitzchak, earned a reputation for digging wells throughout the Holy Land where rainwater was often scarce. Here, too, in Southern California, with climates similar to that of the Mediterranean, rainwater is a dire need. With rains increasingly scarce, we rely heavily on groundwater to sustain our domestic and agricultural needs. Water remains a remarkably cheap commodity relative to the scarce allocation of it. Only 1% of the world’s water is consumable as freshwater. As of yet, water shortages have not yet affected the bottom line cost of farming since farmers receiving less water from municipal water sources instead draw from groundwater. Meanwhile, the water table shrinks down and farmers have no statistical knowledge of when it will run dry. At home, we don’t think twice about wasting freshwater while waiting for the shower to warm or flushing the toilet needlessly. Where did that water from the tap originate? Although most water in Southern California primarily derives from the California Aqueduct, Colorado River Aqueduct or the Los Angeles Aqueduct, with the current drought, the majority of freshwater in our pipes comes from groundwater (aquifers). Most of this water emits from the Sierra Nevada snowpack which drip water slowly throughout spring and summer into our water supply. Without the use of aqueducts, Southern California could have sustained only 3 million people. Following an increase in the water supply pumped from elsewhere, there has also been a tre-


mendous population growth in the past 50 years to the area. There are now over 16 million residents in Southern California and the number is increasing. If Californians collectively becomes more water conscious, billions of gallons of water could be saved a year. According to the EPA, the average American family household of four uses 400 gallons of water a day. With California’s total population growing to more than 38 million, this draws upon a staggering demand for water, and state officials are concerned about what the future may hold. At the same time, research shows that all we need as a minimum to survive is 5 gallons of water a day. It is far easier to understand why our predecessors took care in saving and recycling water; they had to physically exert themselves to bring water home. In doing so, it was easier to appreciate every drop yet we are not carrying our water from wells. We are far removed from the delivery process. What can you do about your water usage? Adding inexpensive aerators to faucets, converting an old toilet to a water efficient toilet, and reducing runoff and evaporation in the backyard by installing a drip irrigation system are just some small ways you can make a difference. Perhaps if we mimic the way nature dispels water, in slow and measured flows, we will be better prepared to deal with any future drought. See below for additional lively suggestions.

Interesting water facts: The average faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute. Taking a bath requires up to 70 gallons of water. A five-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons. Tell your children not to play with the garden hose. Saves 10 gallons a minute. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. If you drink your daily recommended 8 glasses of water per day from the tap, it will cost you about 50 cents per year. If you choose to drink it from water bottles, it can cost you up to $1,400 dollars.



JUNE 12, 2014


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







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You Gotta be



A hockey team has 9 players. Half of them are boys. How is that possible?

Yankel and Moshe are strolling along one day when Yankel sees a thick looking envelope on the ground. He quickly picks it up and to his amazement, it contains a receipt and $350 in cash. “Would you believe my luck!” he says to Moshe. “I’ve just found $350 in a wage packet. It’s my lucky day.” “Let me see the receipt inside the envelope,” says Moshe. Yankel gives the receipt to Moshe. Moshe glances at the figures on the receipt then says to Yankel, “I wouldn’t call it lucky. Just look at the amount of tax you paid!”

Answer on next page

Errors on the Cup As the oldest and most revered trophy in professional sports, there is no greater honor than having your name engraved in the Stanley Cup. But the engravers don’t always get it right. In fact, it seems like they should get a big fat “F” based on the errors they have made. Here is a list of the errors to date (maybe it will list the Rangers as the 2014 winners too!! Ha ha!) 1937-38: [Chicago Blackhawks] – Pete Palangio‘s name appears twice; it’s spelled correctly once and incorrectly as “Palagio.”

1971-72: [Boston Bruins] – The team name is misspelled as BQSTQN BRUINS.

1941-42: [Toronto Maple Leafs] – Goaltender Turk Broda is represented twice, once as TURK BRODA and again as WALTER BRODA (his real name).

1974-75: [Montreal Canadiens] – Forward Bob Gainey’s name is misspelled as GAINY.

1946-47: [Toronto Maple Leafs] – Forward Gaye Stewart is misspelled as GAVE STEWART. 1951-52: [Detroit Red Wings] – Coach Tommy Ivan’s name is misspelled as TOMMY NIVAN; center Alex Delvecchio‘s name is misspelled as ALEX BELVECCHIO. 1956 thru 1960: [Montreal Canadiens] – Hall of Fame goaltender Jacques Plante won the Stanley Cup five consecutive years, his name is spelled differently each time. 1962-63: [Toronto Maple Leafs] – The team name is misspelled as TORONTO MAPLE LEAES.

1980-81: [New York Islanders] – The team’s name is misspelled as NEW YORK ILANDERS. 1983-84: [Edmonton Oilers] – Owner Peter Pocklington included the name of his father, Basil Pocklington, who was unaffiliated with the team. After the NHL learned of the move, it ordered the name removed. The name is now covered by a string of 16 X’s. 1995-96: [Colorado Avalanche] – Forward Adam Deadmarsh‘s name was misspelled as ADAM DEADMARCH. It was later corrected, a Stanley Cup first. 2001-02: [Detroit Red Wings] – Goaltender Manny Legace‘s name was misspelled as MANNY LAGASE; it was later corrected.


Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff


to fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com

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1. Which NHL team has the most Stanley Cup championships? a. Detroit Red Wings b. Montreal Canadians c. Toronto Maple Leafs d. New York Rangers 2. Who is the only player who was the captain of two different NHL teams and led them both to championships? a. Mark Messier b. Wayne Gretzky c. Jacques Lemaire d. Jaromír Jágr

3. Phil Housley played in the NHL from 1982 to 2003. How many Stanley Cup championships did he win? a. 14 b. 11 c. 7 d. 6 e. 5 f. 4 g. 3 h. 2 i. 1 j. 0 4. Which NHL player has the most Stanley Cups? a. Yvan Cournoyer b. Claude Provost c. Henri Richard d. Red Kelly

Answers 1. B- The Montreal Canadians have 23 Stanley Cup championships (plus one before the league was known as the NHL). 2. A- Of Messier’s six Stanley Cup champions, he was the captain of the Oilers in 1990 and the Rangers in 1994. 3. J- Poor Phil Housley played for 21 years, and all of those broken teeth later, he never got to drink out of the Cup. 4. C- From 1956 to 1974, Richard won 11 Cups with the Montreal Canadians. 5. D- The Islanders won all of their Cups from the 1980 season through the 1983 season. 6. C- “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” Perhaps the most memorable play-by-play call in sports history took place when Stephane Matteau scored in double-overtime of game 7, earning the Rangers a trip to the Stanley Cup. The call was made by Howie Rose.

5. The NY Islanders won a total of 4 Stanley Cups. Over how many years did they win those Cups? a. 23 b. 8 c. 6 d. 4 6. Who scored the double-overtime goal in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals to send the Rangers to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1940? a. Adam Graves b. Stephane Matteau c. Mark Messier d. Brian Leetch

Scorecard 5-6 correct: If it was up to me, your name would be engraved in the Cup! 3-4 correct: Not bad, I guess you got a Hat Trick. 0-2 correct: You really don’t know anything about \hockey…”Hey Francesca, I didn’t know you were a Centerfold fan!” (You have to listen to sports radio to get that, sorry.)

Can you guess which one of these people is the only one who never played in the NHL? Cal Clutterbuck

Rob Klinkhammer

Par Djoos

Jordan Schmaltz

Fred Sasakamoose

Steve Passmore

Radek Bonk

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

Kevin Shattenkirk

Zarley Zalapski

Adam Smith

Dustin Byfuglien

Bill Quackenbush

Miroslav Satan

Jordin Tootoo Yutaka Fukufuji

Answer: Adam Smith

Jonathan Cheechoo

Answer to riddle: The team is all boys. Therefore, one half of the team consists of boys, and so does the other half.

Dave Snuggerud

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Stanley Cup Trivia


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Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say What?” I think the second term is getting to President Obama. He is saying that he wishes he could be anonymous. And I say: “Hey, according to the new approval ratings, you’re pretty close.” - David Letterman Newly leaked documents show the NSA has been collecting millions of pictures of people online for its sophisticated facial recognition program. Americans said it’s a huge violation of their privacy – then they went back to posting selfies every 30 seconds. - Jimmy Fallon

One, I’m taking the stand to confirm my guilt—innocence rather. - Jonathan Truluck’s statement to the jury in Brooklyn Supreme Court when he took the stand during his trial for beating two cops with a padlock

This morning, President Obama announced a new 600-page proposal to lower carbon emissions and help stop global warming. Step one: Stop printing 600page proposals. - Seth Meyers

Last night, the Los Angeles Kings won game one of the Stanley Cup finals in overtime. Fans in L.A. went crazy after they heard about it this morning at work. – Conan O’Brien

There are basically no Russian troops abroad while U.S. troops are everywhere. There are U.S. military bases everywhere around the world and they are always involved in the fates of other countries even though they are thousands of kilometers away from U.S. borders. So it is ironic that our U.S. partners accuse us of breaching some of these rules. - Vladimir Putin in an interview with France’s Radio Europe One It’s better not to argue with women. When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong, but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman. - Ibid., when asked about Hillary Clinton’s recent criticism of Russia When asked about criticism from Hillary Clinton, Russia’s President Putin said he doesn’t like to argue with women. Putin is either being a misogynist, or else, ladies, he’s the perfect catch. - Conan O’Brien

A liberal arts education must not be an education in the art of liberalism…Today, on many campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas, even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species…A university cannot be great if its faculty is politically homogenous…There is an idea floating around college campuses – including here at Harvard – that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There’s a word for that idea: censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism.  - Michael Bloomberg during his commencement speech at Harvard

This Bergdahl guy was in a Taliban prison for five years, and he’s now recovering in a hospital in Germany. The reason he is in Germany is because he couldn’t get into a VA hospital until 2020. - David Letterman

Last week a 13-yearold girl became the youngest female to climb Mount Everest. She didn’t mean to. She was just texting her friend and the next thing she knew she was on top of Mount Everest. - Conan O’Brien Tim Tebow said that he’s staying in shape in case he gets another opportunity to play in the NFL. Then his boss said, “That’s great, but these Waffle Tacos ain’t going to make themselves, so . . .” - Jimmy Fallon

Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy said that allowing Finland to join NATO could lead to World War III. Yes, if there’s one country that’s definitely going to start World War III, it’s Finland. – Seth Meyers We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy. - Hillary Clinton in an interview with Diane Sawyer (Ms. Clinton was given an $8 million dollar advance for her book before leaving the White House and she and her husband have made in excess of $200 million, to date)

He is at best a deserter, and at worst a traitor. - U.S. Army Sgt. Josh Korder who served with Bergdahl before he walked away from the post, on CNN


It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird. – A senior Taliban commander to TIME magazine We regard the Taliban as an enemy combatant in a conflict that has been going on, and in which the United States has been involved for more than a decade. - White House Spokesman Jay Carney, when asked whether the U.S. negotiated with terrorists for the release of Bergdahl The Taliban is part of the fabric of Afghanistan. They were part of the leadership of that country before we engaged there. So to say that they are terrorists, at this point, is not necessarily accurate. - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA)on MSNBC

A lot of people this weekend were talking about the hammock bear, a bear that wandered into someone’s backyard and got into their hammock. It’s very sweet. He’s like, “What do I do now?” The bear is having a midlife crisis…“What does it all mean?” - Conan O’Brien The beer is loose. - President Obama’s selfproclamation while taking an impromptu walk from the White House to a Starbucks

Last week Apple bought Beats headphones for $3 billion. Guess what? They already lost it. They think they left it on the plane. - Jimmy Kimmel

Hillary Clinton said she wants to travel this year and won’t make any announcements about her plans to run for president until 2015. When asked where she’ll travel, she said, “New Hampshire, Iowa, and maybe spend a few months in Florida.” - Jimmy Fallon South Carolina made history this year by passing education reform. We will no longer educate children. - Tweet by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), who didn’t realize that there was a 140 character limit on tweets originating as captions on Instagram photos

ANDREW WEINSTOCK: You know I’m the public defender. I have a right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my client. JUDGE MURPHY: If you want to

fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat [you up]. I will catch my breath eventually. Man, I’m an old man. - Judge Murphy, upon returning to the bench after the fight The Clippers are gonna be bought by the former CEO of Microsoft. Apparently he’s looking for something to occupy himself while Windows is installing “critical updates.” - Seth Meyers

Scientists have developed a robot that can converse exactly like a teenager. When the scientists unveiled the robot, it screamed, “I hate you” and slammed the door to its room. - Conan O’Brien Tells West Point Cadets that Critics Misread His Cautious Reponse to World Crisis. - A typo appearing in the subtitle of an above-the-fold front page article of The New York Times on May 29, 2014

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Hillary Clinton said she would make her decision on running for president “by the end of the year.” Specifically, the year 1998. - Seth Meyers I thought, “What type of man do I want my grandkids to think I am? I want them to think I’m a just man that does the right thing and I did the right thing. - Joe Cornell, who found $125,000 which fell off of a Brinks truck in Fresno, CA, and promptly returned it, despite the fact that he is so poor that he only had $1 on him for lunch that day

This week it was announced that golfer Phil Mickelson is under investigation by the FBI for insider trading of Clorox stock. By the way, insider trading of Clorox stock by a professional golfer is the whitest collar crime possible. – Seth Meyers

JUNE 12, 2014

I don’t understand why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason. - Sgt. Matt Vierkant, who served in Bergdahl’s platoon

know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now. Stop [upsetting] me... Just sit down.

There was a video that was just leaked that shows President Obama lifting weights, doing lunges and using elliptical machines at his hotel gym this week. When Chris Christie saw it, he said, “This would never happen if I were president! This is the type of stuff that would never happen!” - Jimmy Fallon


Exchange in a Florida courtroom, which led to a fist fight between the judge and lawyer in the back hallway

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He served the United States with honor and distinction. - National Security Adviser Susan Rice on ABC’s “This Week,” talking about Bowe Bergdahl

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Global Women Who Rule the World

Recently, Forbes announced the world’s most influential women. Seems like the females who rule the world come in all types—politicians, financial leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists, activists, billionaires, and celebrities. The traditional definition of power is political and economic might. Although we’ve come a long way since the feminist movement, there is still a noticeable shortage of women in global positions of authority. Less than 5% of the top U.S. companies have women CEOs. Just a bit more than 10% of the 1,645 Forbes billionaires are female. Worldwide, there are 14 female heads of state. America has yet to have a female lead our country. The list features nine heads of state, 28 corporate CEOs, 18 outstanding women who started their own companies or foundations. This year’s list welcomes 18 new members, including new Federal Reserve chair and the first woman to hold the position, Janet Yellen. Since its initial print in 2004, there are eight women who remain on the list since its inception. Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Queen Elizabeth II have all graced the list for the last decade. So who are the women who rule the world? The top ten most powerful women around the globe are: 1. Angela Merkel 2. Janet Yellen 3. Melinda Gates 4. Dilma Rousseff 5. Christine Lagarde 6. Hillary Clinton 7. Mary Barra 8. Michelle Obama 9. Sheryl Sandberg 10. Virginia Romett

D-Day Déjà vu

Seventy years after D-Day, Jim Martin

did a tandem parachute jump from a plane over Utah Beach in France. But he wasn’t just commemorating D-Day; Martin, 93, was commemorating the first time he had made the jump, 70 years ago. “It didn’t [compare],” Martin said, “because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.” Martin, 23 at the time, was among a few dozen members of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted over Utah Beach into enemy-controlled territory the night before the invasion of Normandy. As part of the ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, several veterans parachuted over Utah Beach, but Martin was the only one from his generation to jump. Martin says he fought for 43 days as part of the Normandy campaign before being part of an invasion of Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. The former soldier admitted to being motivated by ego and wanting to prove he could still parachute at age 93. “And also I just want to show all the people that you don’t have to sit and die just because you get old,” Martin told reporters. “Keep doing things.”  

Bolts, a Jew of Syrian ancestry, said that the Syrian Jewish community is only the latest victim of Assad’s strategy to target religious and cultural institutions. “This is hardly the only place of worship to be destroyed by the Assad regime. The Umm al-Zinar Church [a house of worship in Homs that locals say dates back to the first centuries of Christianity], the [1,400 year-old] Khalid Ibn Walid Mosque, and countless other irreplaceable cultural sites are now lost to history due to a dictator’s manic desire to keep power at all costs,” he said. Before the conflict, the shul held thousands of religious and cultural treasures, including hundreds-years-old Torah scrolls, historical texts, precious diningware, and ancient Judaica. Some of the items were reportedly looted in the early days of the war. Some were reportedly placed in safekeeping. Many remained in the building until its destruction.

to selling only the cleanest grades of gasoline and diesel. China failed to meet official pollution-reduction goals for 2011-2013; this proactive approach is hoping to achieve those goals. The recent announcement called the country’s environmental situation “extremely grim.” There have been reports of rising health and economic costs due to pollution. Vehicles registered before 2005 that fail to meet cleaner emissions standards will be “phased out,” although the statement did not specify how they will be removed or confiscated. Old vehicles in Beijing, the nearby port of Tianjin, and the deltas of the Yangtze River, around Shanghai, and the Pearl River, around the southern business center of Guangzhou, will be retired from the roads.

Qatar Enforces Strict Dress Code

Assad Levels Oldest Syrian Shul

Syrian Arab Army forces flattened the Eliyahu Hanavi Shul in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus last weekend. The attack not only wrecked a site that’s at least 400 years old, it may have destroyed thousands of irreplaceable Jewish artifacts contained inside the synagogue.

The area where the shul once stood has been under bombardment by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for months. The Syrian regime is laying siege to the town, one of the few rebel strongholds in the area. It’s all part of what the opposition calls Assad’s “scorched earth” policy, which includes random and violent attacks on civilian populations. “I am deeply saddened to learn of the destruction of Jobar Synagogue, which was a treasure of Jewish and Syrian cultural heritage,” said Shlomo Bolts, an official at the Syrian American Council, an American charity connected to the Syrian opposition.

Tourists visiting Qatar are asked to kindly adhere to the local dress code and dress modestly. The country provides specific guidelines asking that visitors cover from their “shoulders to knees.” Additionally, Qatar offers more direct advice, asking that women not wear tight fitting clothing and men always wear a shirt in public. According to their rules, leggings do not qualify as pants in public. These pieces of advice and tips for tourists on how to dress modestly come in preparation for the Football World Cup it will be hosting in 2022. Visitors will be asked to help preserve Qatar’s culture and values. “If you are in Qatar, you are one of us. Please dress modestly in public places,” the ads announce.

Additionally, the government is continuing to promote the development of the electric car manufacturing industry. According to the Ministry of Public Security, China hosts about 240 million vehicles. The Communist state is the world’s biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold. Sales rose 15.7 percent last year to 17.9 million vehicles. Sales growth is slowing but analysts still expect an increase of 8 to 10 percent this year.

Spain Proposes New Jewish Citizenship Reform

China Plans to Eliminate 6M Cars from its Streets In an effort to improve conditions in the smog-filled cities of China, the government plans to remove 6 million older vehicles from the streets this year. The Cabinet statement released last Monday includes plans to obligate gas stations in Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities to switch

Spain has approved a Sephardic Jew Citizenship in an attempt to fix a “historic mistake.” The “mistake” refers to the time when the Jews were sent into exile in 1492 and were forced to convert to Catholicism


A sudden river surge in a Himalayan valley in northern India left 24 students there missing. The students, who stopped near the Beas River to pose for photographs, were washed away when a dam released water and washed them downstream. They were studying engineering in VNR College in Hyderabad. “I am deeply pained over the tragic incident of engineering students getting drowned in a flash flood in Himachal Pradesh,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on his official Twitter account. “I have instructed the authorities to dispatch a rescue team for immediate action and save precious lives trapped in the floods.”

Many in the region are blaming the government for the calamity. A local official blame a hydropower plant located upstream. Hydropower projects have previously been blamed in reports of floods

3 Canadian Police Killed in Attack

A 30-hour hunt for a Canadian man charged with shooting three Royal Canadian Mounted police has finally come to an end with the shooter being arrested. The manhunt forced schools and highways to closeandresidentstostayinside.                                                       Police said that they received a tip that led them to a wooded residential part of Moncton, New Brunswick, where they found 24-year-old Justin Bourque, suspected in the deadliest attack on Canada’s national police force in nearly a decade. Armed with high-powered long firearms, Bourque was spotted three times as he evaded the manhunt that all but shut down the normally tranquil city about of about 60,000 people east of the Maine border. Nearly 300 police officers searched for Bourque, who was seen going in and out of a wooded area. Bearded and shaggy-haired, Bourque made a brief court appearance, where he was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. In aqua-colored jail clothes, he stared ahead intently, clearly paying attention but showing little emotion. He nodded when the judge said his name. During the manhunt, police asked residents of the city’s northwest section to remain indoors with their doors locked and exterior lights on to help the search. Much of Moncton, including its popular downtown area, was completely shut down. Some businesses placed signs in windows saying they were closed because of the manhunt. Gun violence is rare in eastern Canada. This was the deadliest attack on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since four officers were killed by a gunman on a farm in the western Canadian province of Alberta in 2005. That attack remains the deadliest on Canadian police officers in 120 years.

Nigerian Military Accused of Spying for Boko Haram Nigerian media outlets revealed last week that ten generals and five other senior military officers have been found guilty in court martials of providing arms and information to Boko Haram extremists. Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, who recently denied reports, reiterated his stance in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the defense headquarters “wishes to state once again categorically that there is no truth whatsoever in the report.” Politicians and soldiers have been accusing senior officers of helping the Islamic extremists.

President Goodluck Jonathan said last year that he believed that some members of the military and even of his own government, including some Cabinet ministers, sympathized with Boko Haram or belonged to the group. Jonathan in January fired his entire military command and weeks later replaced the defense minister. Leadership newspaper quoted one officer saying that four other officers, in addition to the 15, were found guilty of “being disloyal and for working for the members of the sect.” Olukolade called the accusations a “falsehood” concocted by those who “appear hell-bent on misleading Nigerians and the international community to give credence to the negative impression they are so keen to propagate about the Nigerian military.” However Nigeria’s military has been known to deny facts in order to protect themselves. They have covered up killings of civilians and detainees in the past. The country has also been accused of severe human rights violations. Islamic uprising by Boko Haram has killed thousands during this 5 year dispute. Boko Haram has attracted international condemnation and U.N. sanctions since its April 15 abduction of more than 300 schoolgirls; 272 of those still remain in captivity. Johnathan’s government and military have been harshly criticized for lack of action that has led to the schoolgirls’ extended captivity. Last week, defense chief Air Marshal Alex Badeh admitted that the military knows the location of the girls but is hesitant to use force because it could risk

their lives. President Jonathan is under increasing pressure to garner a deal with the insurgents, who are demanding he free detained fighters in return for the girls.

El Sissi Inaugurated in Egypt The recent military junta in Egypt is coming to a climax, as the newly elected president, former army chief Abdel Fatah el Sissi, was sworn in this week. A national holiday was declared to mark the day of his inauguration. El Sissi overthrew previous president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi just a year ago and began a reign of terror, killing hundreds and arresting thousands of the opposition. He is the eighth Egyptian president since the monarchy was overthrown in 1953 after a military coup. Most of those eight presidents have hailed from the military, Morsi being one notable exception.

Morsi’s supporters have long accused el Sissi of ruining the infant democracy that was taking hold in Egypt. They claim that he has brought the country back to the Mubarak-era of a police state. Muslim Brotherhood supporters boycotted this past vote, in which el Sissi was favored. El Sissi is now tasked with stabilizing a turbulent country that lacks security and stability. “It is time for us to build a future that is more stable and pen a new reality for the future of this nation,” he said. Hard work, something that he has repeatedly called for in recent weeks, will allow Egyptians to “pay attention to rights and freedoms [to] deepen and develop them. Let us differ for the sake of our nation and not over it; let us do that as part of a unifying national march in which every party listens to the other objectively and without ulterior motives,” he said.

Reward MH370 Campaign A new campaign is being made by families of the passengers of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 to help resolve the mystery of the disappearing jumbo jet. “Reward MH370” was launched on crowdfunding site Indiegogo and hopes to raise $5 million “to encourage a whistleblower to come forward with informa-

JUNE 12, 2014

24 Students Drown in Flood in India

which killed thousands of people last year. Locals and tourists blocked roads in the region to protest against the government that failed to warn anyone of the release of water from the dam.


or risk being burned at the stake. The reform will allow descendants of Jews forced into exile hundreds of years ago to obtain dual citizenship. Applicants will be required to take a Spanish culture test. Any Sephardic Jews who want to apply will have to have their heritage researched by the Spanish Federation of Jewish Communities or by their local rabbi. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said that the details of the culture test will be composed by the Cervantes Institute, which promotes Spanish language and culture abroad. Currently, Spain only allows Latin Americans to keep their citizenship and become a Spanish citizen as well. This new reform will allow Jews to apply for dual citizenship regardless of their country of origin. “With this gesture, Spain is doing justice and fixing the mistake that led to the expulsion of the Jews,” the federation said in a statement. I can’t really call this justice; it’s just another way to assuage their guilt.


JUNE 12, 2014


tion.” The airliner went missing on March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lampur to Beijing with 239 passengers aboard. It is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but so far no evidence of the jet has turned up. “We are convinced that somewhere, someone knows something, and we hope this reward will entice him or her to come forward,” said Ethan Hunt, a technology company chief who is heading the “Reward MH370” project. Sarah Bajc, whose friend Philip Wood was on the doomed plane, said, “Governments and agencies have given it their best shot but have failed to turn up a single shred of evidence, either because of a faulty approach or due to intentional misdirection by one or more individuals.” They hope that by working together, perhaps they will be able to find an answer to how their loved ones were lost.

Russian Critic’s Killers Sentenced Anna Politkovskaya was a fierce critic of Kremlin policies in Chechnya and its other human rights violations. As a renowned journalist, her criticism was respected throughout Russia. In 2006, Politkovskaya was shot to death by hired gunmen in the elevator of the Moscow building she lived in. This week, a Russian court sentenced two men to life in prison and three others to significant sentences in relation to Politkovskaya’s murder. Gunman Rustam Makhmudov and his uncle, Lom-Ali Gaitukayev — who was convicted of organizing the shooting — were sentenced to life. A policeman and two of Makhmudov’s brothers were sentenced to terms from 12 to 20 years as accomplices. It is still unclear who ordered the killing. “For us, the most important thing is to find the person who ordered the killing,” Anna’s son, Ilya Politkovsky, said after the sentences were announced. In Russia, perhaps the most important thing is to not criticize the government.

Afghani Candidate Survives an Assassination Attempt Abdullah Abdullah barely escaped assassination on Friday when two bombs struck his convoy. Abdullah is the front-runner for the Afghan presidency. The upcoming election will be the country’s first democratic transfer of power and it comes as foreign combat troops with-

draw at the end of this year. Thankfully, Abdullah survived unscathed and defiantly vowed to move ahead with his campaign. He announced at an election rally, “The aim of this incident was to create fear and anxiety among the people and prevent them from deciding their own destiny.”

Simranjeet Singh Mann, turned violent and then were chased away by temple guards. They were shouting slogans for an independent Sikh homeland.

Tuftan. A connection between the bombings and the airport attack is unclear.

Israel Rivlin Elected 10th President of Israel At least 10 people, including three in Abdullah’s entourage, were killed and dozens were wounded in the attack. The front of his armored car was damaged and several vehicles and storefronts were destroyed. No organization immediately claimed responsibility but the bombings bore the hallmarks of Taliban militants who have vowed to disrupt the election as part of their fight against the Western-backed government. Abdullah is the leading contender in the runoff, facing former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. In the initial balloting, he garnered 45 percent of votes while Ahmadzai came in second with 31.6 percent. “The people behind this are undoubtedly the enemies of this country who are taking the lives of innocents,” Ahmadzai said. “These people don’t want Afghanistan to be seen as a democratic country.” “Abdullah is my opponent, but I would not want any harm to come to him,” he told the AP during a visit to the southern city of Kandahar. “I want it to be purely the people’s choice whom they want to be their next leader.” “The enemy cannot defeat us or prevent the decision of the people of Afghanistan,” Abdullah declared after Friday’s attack.

Swordfight at Indian Shrine Sikhs wielding swords and sticks and chanting for a new homeland clashed with guards at the faith’s holiest shrine in India on Friday. Six people were wounded. The fight broke out during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the storming of the shrine by the Indian army in June 1984 in the northern city of Amritsar. Kiran Jyoti Kaur, a Golden Temple management spokeswoman, said that supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal, led by

Many stores closed due to the rapidly rising tension and nearly 50 people were detained.

23 Killed in Suicide Attacks in Pakistan

At the same time that suicide bombers blew up 23 civilians in southwest Pakistan, terrorists staged a shootout with police in the Karachi airport there. The gunmen stormed an area used for VIPs and cargo and were able to kill five people. A spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines was able to confirm that all passengers at the airport were safe. All flight operations at the airport were suspended after the attack. Sarmad Hussain, an official with Pakistan International Airlines, said, “I was working at my office when I heard big blasts — several blasts — and then there were heavy gunshots.” The army and military commandos were called in to ward off the gunmen. In 2011, terrorists staged an 18 hour battle at a naval base in Karachi, and recently the Pakistani government has been trying to negotiate with Islamist militant groups in the country. The Taliban has been gaining a foothold in the city recently. The suicide bombings targeted Shiite Muslims returning from Iran at a hotel in the town of

On Tuesday, Likud candidate Reuven Rivlin emerged victorious from Israel’s presidential elections at the Knesset, winning the post by a 63 to 53 margin after two rounds of voting. The president-elect beat out Hatnua candidate Meir Sheetrit, a veteran MK from the center of the political spectrum. He will take over the office of the president after President Shimon Peres steps down after seven years on July 26. Rivlin was considered the favorite coming into the race after he secured the public support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several weeks ago. But there was considerable speculation that outsider Sheetrit would clip him on the second round run-off. Rivlin had failed to win the presidency seven years ago when Peres beat him, and many analysts believed he was about to fail again. At a toast following the announcement, Rivlin pledged to abandon party politics and become “a man of the nation.” The President’s Residence, which he will shortly occupy, is “the house of all Israelis,” he said. The president-elect briefly put on a skullcap and recited the peace blessing. He also turned to Sheetrit during his address and said, “What a fight you put up.” “Citizens of Israel,” Rivlin said in closing. “I thank you for your trust. Long live Israeli democracy, long live the state of Israel.”


Apparently, life in the Middle East is a lot about echad b’peh, v’echad b’lev. On Sunday, a senior Hamas spokesman reassured Palestinians that the conciliatory language toward Israel coming out of Palestinian unity government talks is all for show, and that ultimately no one recognizes the Jewish state’s right to exist. Writing on his Facebook page in Arabic, Hamas spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein revealed that “behind closed doors,” even Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the darling of Western leaders, admitted that remarks in English are to be ignored by the Arab masses. According to al-Ghussein, Abbas told him and other Palestinian leaders that “when I go out and say that the government is my government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans.” Apparently, statements coming out of Gaza are meant only for Western ears. “Guys, let me [continue] saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation [i.e., Israel], not for you,” explained al-Ghussein. “What’s important is what we agree on among ourselves. …Don’t harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media.”

PA TV Show Questioned Israeli police raided the Palestinian Authority TV studio in Jerusalem last week and detained three staff members for questioning about inciting violence. “Police carried out searches at the headquarters of the television channel as part of an investigation into the content of its programs,” spokesperson Luba Samri said. “Three employees were arrest-

Arabs Disagree Over Jerusalem

The first Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) International Forum on Islamic Tourism was held in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta this week. A Palestinian Authority official announced that the OIC chose Jerusalem as the “capital of Islamic tourism” for 2016. According to PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habbash, the Forum decided on Jerusalem as a means of “breaking Israel’s siege” of the 3,000-year-old Jewish capital. Habbash claimed that regardless of the Jewish presence in the Israeli capital, “Jerusalem is the religious and political capital of Palestine.” He added his hopes that Arab and Islamic delegates would visit Jerusalem. The PA and Hamas have been di-

JUNE 12, 2014

Less Israelis are visiting the United States. The annual report of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries at the American Department of Commerce shows that Israel has fallen from the 19th place on the list of the top inbound overseas markets – to the 23rd place. These numbers are despite the low exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the Israeli shekel, and a wider variety of direct flights and connecting flights.            The number of arrivals from Israel to the U.S. in 2013 was only 331,359 – a 9% increase compared to 2012, but lower than the record number of 332,257 in 2005. In the following years, the number of visits from Israel dropped to an average of 305,000 entries a year. The report also shows that only 14% of Israeli visitors arrive in the U.S. for business purposes. Most arrive for a vacation, a visit or a trip. The surveys conducted by the American Department of Commerce further reveal that more than 80% of the tourists arriving from Israel say shopping is the most attractive component of their vacation. The report reveals an impressive recovery in the overall number of visitors to the U.S. in recent years. Since 2005, there has been an increase of nearly 42% in the number of arrivals, reaching almost 70 million visitors in 2013. Israelis are not the only ones to visit B&H. Figures presented by New York City officials show that more than 10 million tourists who visited the city in the past year saw it as the most popular destination for shopping. According to estimates, 25 cents of each dollar spent by a tourist in New York is on shopping. In numbers, tourists have spent more than $8 billion purchasing products in New York City alone, adding some $750 million in sales tax to the municipal coffers. Turns out that the word “sale” is

Official: Abbas “Tricking” the US

ed, questioned and released,” Samri added, saying, “No programs were interrupted and the investigation is ongoing.” The Arab news agency Wafa  claimed that the “Good Morning Jerusalem” program was targeted in the police investigation, because the show’s producer, Nadar Bibars, cameraman, and guest, Ala’a Al-Hadad, are members of the Prisoners’ Council in Jerusalem, which works on behalf of the jailed terrorists. According to the Arab news source, the show was interrupted and taken off air. “Good Morning Jerusalem” was caught last January hosting a guest, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Ola Awad, who insinuated “there is an Israeli policy” to get local Arabs addicted to drugs. Awad said, “This policy is clear Judaization of Jerusalemites in a direct manner.” In a separate incident, IDF soldiers raided the office of a Hamas-affiliated newspaper in Ramallah last week, ordering it to stop printing publications for the terrorist organization.    


Israeli Tourists in USA Declining

the same is every language.


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vided over the issue of Muslims visiting Jerusalem. Muslim leaders in Jordan issued a “fatwa” (religious edict) on April 30, ending a ban on visits to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque despite it being “under Israeli occupation.” According to the ruling, “Palestinians...regardless of their nationalities” and “Muslims with passports from countries outside the Muslim World” could visit Jerusalem, as long as they didn’t financially aid the “occupation.” Hamas rejected the ruling, saying it gives the appearance of recognizing the rule of the “occupation,” and constitutes a de facto normalization with Israel. The terrorist organization called on Muslims not to visit Jerusalem. Not all Muslims agree with the claims that Jerusalem is the “capital of Palestine.” Jordanian Islamic scholar Sheikh Ahmad Adwan pointed out in March that “the direction of prayer of the Muslim people is to Mecca, and the direction of Jewish prayer is to Jerusalem. ...According to our faith, Allah promised Israel to the Jewish people, and they are the sole official inheritors of that land.” Similarly, Adwan said in February, “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in the Koran. Your demand for the Land of Israel is a falsehood and it constitutes an attack on the Koran, on the Jews and

their land. Therefore you won’t succeed, and Allah will fail you and humiliate you, because Allah is the one who will protect them [the Jews].”

Largest Shabbat Meal in Tel Aviv?

On June 13, the city of Tel Aviv will be attempting to set the Guinness World Record for “Largest Shabbat Meal,” and in a global movement of unity and support, Jews all over the world are pledging “Shabbat Shalom 613 – one day, one hour and one dollar” to bring peace in the Middle East. White City Shabbat, the non-profit organization running the event, has hosted over 10,000 guests during Shabbat and holiday meals in Tel Aviv over the last seven years and is made up of entirely

volunteers. Deborah Danan, one of the event organizers, said the goal is to draw attention to Tel Aviv as “the best place for young Jews to be in today and, more than that, to restore the beauty of Shabbat in what is primarily known as Israel’s secular city.” The event will be hosted by Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai, as well as Israel’s former Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, and will be attended by thousands of participants in Hangar 11. White City Shabbat raised over $25,000 in crowd-funding on indigogo.com to ensure that seats will be available to any guest who wishes to attend free of charge. With anti-Semitism on the rise resulting in incidents like the brutal attack in Brussels on the Jewish museum, many world leaders have begun calling for increased measures of peace. In the spirit of unity, many Jews have taken it upon themselves to pledge 25 hours of peace by keeping the Shabbos on 6-13. Synagogues worldwide have asked congregants to light candles at a designated time and eat a traditional meal. “Those of us who can’t physically attend the Largest Shabbat Meal want to be counted in spirit,” said Shira Nussdorf. “World peace begins when everyone in the world can commit to at least one day of peace with their brothers.” With initiatives

like the International Shabbos Project and Shabbat Across America on the horizon many are looking towards this Guinness event as a census marker to see how many Jews can keep just one Shabbos.

National Living Not So Large in the Lone Star State

Things may be bigger in Texas, but when it comes to the cost of living, one need not be living large to survive in the Lone Star State. A recent study conducted


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by Kiplinger’s, which takes into account housing prices, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and goods and services, ranks three Texas cities in the top ten cheapest places to live in America. According to Kiplinger’s, although Augusta, GA, has a pricey reputation that comes from its being host to the Masters golf tournament, for less than the $1.6 million prize given to the best golfer one can get himself a full 50 acres, complete with two sprawling houses and 19 stocked ponds. Houses in the Southern city are a full 26.5% less than the national average; groceries are 14% cheaper. The Texas cities of Temple, Wichita Falls and Harlingen have houses for less than $100,000. Temple is just an hour north of the state capital, Austin, and Wichita Falls has solid employment opportunities from a nearby army base. Harlingen boasts the fourth cheapest grocery prices nationwide. And if you’re feeling a little bluesy, head to Memphis, TN, where a decent dose of soulful music and cheap housing will have you heading straight to Graceland. Memphis is also home to three Fortune 500 companies and some great colleges. Just watch out for that annual tornado!

Bergdahl Swap Angers Americans

The recent swap conducted between the U.S. and Taliban of five high profile terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay for U.S. Sergeant Bowe Berghdal has left many in Washington both steaming mad and scratching their heads. One major question that should be answered in the next week or so is did Sgt. Bergdahl in fact leave his post on June 30, 2009, the night he was captured by Taliban forces in Afghanistan, and even if he did desert his post then, was his desertion a spiteful proclamation against U.S. policy or just an innocent meander? Pentagon officials have said that Bergdahl’s actions on the night of his disappearance are “unclear.” According to

firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary. At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for him, according to soldiers involved in the operations to find him. Critics of the swap have claimed that the Bergdahl was dissatisfied with his deployment in Afghanistan and had slipped away from his post numerous times before his final desertion. E-mails reported by the late Michael Hastings in Rolling Stone in 2012 reveal what Bergdahl’s fellow infantrymen learned within days of his disappearance: He told people that he no longer supported the U.S. effort in Afghanistan. “The future is too good to waste on lies,” he supposedly wrote to his parents. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting…I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.” Supporters of Bergdahl have described him as an athletic and studious individual

who enjoyed taking long hikes back in the U.S. without notifying anyone. They say his disappearance was not a desertion of the army. Another issue concerning the prisoner swap is Bergdahl’s behavior while in captivity. Last week, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the Associated Press that Bergdahl was treated very well while under Taliban control and was even allowed to play soccer with his captors. “You can ask him in America about his life [in captivity]. He will not complain,” Mujahid said. Mujahid claims that the captive was fed fresh fruit daily and was allowed to read English books about Islam. It has been reported, though, that Bergdahl was kept in a dark cage or box during his captivity. This all comes after the Obama administration’s defense that its abrupt deal with the Taliban was due to Bergdahl’s clearly declining health and the specter of his being killed if the negotiations were made public. Congress is by law required to be given thirty days’ notice of a prisoner’s release from Guantanamo Bay; they were not notified at all prior to this deal. “We had both specific and general indications that Sgt Bergdahl’s recovery – and potentially his life – could be jeopardized if the


Billionaire Cities

LA is U.S. Traffic King

We all pass by certain palatial estates and wistfully imagine we owned them. But what do billionaires like Bill Gates dream of? Buying a whole city? Real estate website Redfin crunched some numbers to figure out which wealthy American could actually buy certain metropolises. That means every square foot in

You know what the only thing I’d rather be doing than sitting on a hammock in my backyard on a cool spring day is? You’ve probably guessed it: sitting on the Van Wyck for hours on end on a stifling August day. Don’t we all just love traffic?! It doesn’t stress anyone out and waste any valuable time, right? Well, TomTom,

So which city can Mr. Gates actually afford to buy on his own? Not his hometown Seattle; he should leave that to the Walton family of Walmart. Seattle is valued at $111.5 billion; Gates is worth less than 80. He should probably go for a cheaper town like, say, Boston whose 114,717 residences add up to a $76.6 billion price tag. The Waltons, on the other hand, have the world’s greatest combined net worth and could afford places like Las Vegas ($86.5 billion) or Dallas ($109.4 billion). As for the internet tycoons, Googler Larry Page would feel comfortable purchasing all 99,964 homes in Boca Raton for a mere $29.5 billion; Amazon’s Jeff Bezos could get himself a load of vine if he were to pick up Napa, CA, for $30.5 billion; and poor Mark Zuckerberg would have to settle for St. Paul, MN—his $27 billon dollars would get him that city’s 139,124 homes. Although Donald Trump loves Atlantic City, he’d have to settle for Commerce City, CO. And Oprah Winfrey, a real Chicagoan, would have to move to Mokena, IL, which, at $2.9 billion is more in her price range. Where would the country’s most beloved billionaire, Warren Buffett, settle? Charlotte, NC, seems like a nice place move in. After all, his current home’s $650,000 price tag is no way near the $56 billion cost of the city. Man, if I could be their real estate broker, I could buy my own city.

the GPS company whose job is to rescue drivers from congestion has come up with this year’s Congestion Index, which tracks cities’ traffic levels and there are relatively few surprises on it.

are Kansas City and Indianapolis. Only 9% of a commuter’s trip is taken up by traffic in Kansas City and in Indy, only 10%. I guess tractors really don’t take up too much roadway.

Brands that Rule the Nation

The Empire State is the 8th most congested city and costs drivers an extra 26% of their normal commute time. But the most congested city in the U.S. is—unsurprisingly—Los Angeles which has claimed the top spot for consecutive years. The average 30 minute LA commute can turn into a 90 minute smogfest. Worldwide, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo have the worst traffic; Brazilian drivers spend an hour extra in traffic if they travel during rush hours. The least congested cities in the U.S.

It’s Marketing 101: build a better product, attain icon status, charge a premium for your product and enjoy tremendously high profit margins and net profits. It’s what has allowed brands from Coca Cola to Marlboro to deliver amazing shareholder returns for decades and decades without changing their strategy very much. All in all, it’s the brand that delivers.

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every single house in a city. Not included in the calculation, however, is any building—from a Boston skyscraper to a co op in Seattle. “In this fictional real estate investment, the 30 billionaires on our list, with a combined fortune of $582 billion, could afford to own a staggering 6 percent of the total U.S. home equity,” the chief economist for Redfin, Nela Richardson, said.


detainee exchange proceedings were disclosed or derailed,” a senior U.S. administration official said. Other reports, however, seem to indicate that Bergdahl’s sojourn with the Taliban had its ups and downs. Some reports indicate that the soldier had at one point converted to Islam and had declared himself a “mujahid” or a holy warrior. Other reports claim that he at one point escaped from his captors and was locked up in an animal cage for five days after being found. But eventually, Bergdahl was accepted into his captors’ group and was even allowed to carry a gun. Now, President Obama is vocal about defending his decision to release the terrorists for Bergdahl regardless of the circumstances. “Whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop,” he announced. Bergdahl has yet to be allowed to even phone his parents, as the process of “reintegration,” when former prisoners of war are slowly acclimated back into their former lives, begins for him. After being held captive for over five years and also being a potential defendant of army desertion, Bergdahl’s reintegration may take up to three weeks. He must be prepared to face seemingly innocuous things in real life that may trigger flashbacks to his captivity. That assistance is provided by psychologists familiar with what the military calls Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape (SERE) techniques. He must also be ready to face an onslaught of media attention and criticism, as well as debriefing U.S. intelligence officials of his experiences in captivity. His behavior while being under Taliban control will also be heavily scrutinized. As for the five terrorists released in exchange for Bergdhal, Senator Lindsey Graham has referred to them as the “terrorist dream team” and knocked the notion that one soldier who voluntarily left his post is worth the security of thousands. The White House says that the five terrorists will be in Qatar and that the U.S. will be keeping close watch on them in the future. “You’ve just released five extremely dangerous people, who in my opinion ... will rejoin the battlefield,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said. Noorullah Noori, one of the freed prisoners, has pledged to return and fight Americans in Afghanistan already.


JUNE 12, 2014


So which brands have been delivering year after year in the U.S. of A.? Harley Davidson, the iconic American Dream Machine, offers its customers the exclusivity of being part of its special club which has special events, rallies, and specialty bike trips. The brand, founded over 100 years ago, enjoys 20% profit margins. Over half of all new motorcycle registrations in the U.S. last year were Harleys, making it the brand that rules the road. For those who have young children, this brand will be familiar to you. Enfamil is the number one pediatrician recommended formula brand in the world and has been profitable for the last ten years running. While the U.S. birth rate may be declining, rising populations in Asia have helped boost Enfamil’s bottom line. Always Coca Cola. For the past 128 years, Coke has been synonymous with “refreshing” and is the leader in worldwide beverage sales, controlling 42% of the market. It sold over 28 billion cases of soda just last year. Despite being one of the most lethal products available, Marlboro still beckons many consumers to come to where the flavor is. It controls over 40% of the U.S. market and sold 111 billon packs of smokes last year. While smoking is in decline, the company has effortlessly shifted into becoming a leader in the smokeless tobacco industry, shipping 787 million units of smokeless tobacco in 2013. Lastly, it’s sleek and simple and the prize of every subway hoodlum. The iPhone is the world’s most valuable brand, accounting for 45% of the ever-growing smartphone market. Apple enjoys 41% profit margins from the product , which it sold 150 million of in 2013. Then of course there’s TJH…a unparalleled brand in the Five Towns.

Less Bang for Your Buck

Sometimes a dollar is not really a dollar. It may all depends on where you live. Recently, NPR decided to crunch some numbers to figure out in which areas is the median income similar to the “real” median income, which is based on the local cost of living. Turns out, if you want some real bang for your buck, time to hitch up the wagons and head out to the heartland. In places like Rochester, MN, the median salary of $35,844 jumped to $36,279 on NPR’s index, and Danville, IL, saw its median leap from $30,000 to $36,000 based on their

numbers. And if you think the name Texarkana, AR, sounds goofy, the rise in its real median salary isn’t. DC dwellers have it hard; their income dropped $10,000 when the cost of living by the Beltway was factored in. New Yorkers saw a steep decline of $9,000. Even though its lights will inspire you, your wallet really is thinner here.

That’s Odd

practically born hitting the ground running and recently set the world record for fastest half marathon for a person his age. Reinhardt, a natural runner, begged his parents to allow him to enter the Alexandria Running Festival half marathon and finally forced his dad, a running coach, to acquiesce. Amazingly, Harrison ended up setting the record of 1:35:02, a full two minutes faster than the previous record. He claims that he could have gone faster but his father insisted he treat the race like a practice run.

Quench Your Thirst for $55 at Starbucks

As if the standard Starbucks order is not expensive enough, a Texas man has posted on Twitter his recent order of a Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino, which is a whopping 128 ounces and costs a mere $55. The drink contains a wee bit too much caffeine for most people’s taste (60 espresso shots) with a mocha and caramel drizzle. The customer, who is only known by the name Andrew, had to bring in his own glass to the store, knowing that Starbucks would not have one in that size in stock. The drink sets a new record for Starbucks frivolousness; last year a man ordered a $47 Frappuccino. Andrew’s tab, though, was no way near the said $55. As a gold member, he is entitled to one free drink after every twelve purchased, and this time around he made sure to get his money’s worth. He says, “It took a few minutes to figure out all the math, but in the end, it took about 55 shots to get us over the $50 line, and we just rounded it up to 60 to make it easy, and I gotta say, it was delicious.” In an unrelated story, a man reported to the ER with heart palpitations and sweat the color of a mocha latte.

10 Year Old Sets Half Marathon Record Run Reinhardt! Run! Ten year old Reinhardt Harrison was

“He’s actually beating me now,” his father Dennis Harrison, 54, said. “I keep telling him I still got a few more years. I might be able to get faster. Age is not on my side.” Running long distances at a young age is a controversial subject, and Dennis Harrison agrees that it isn’t for everyone. “Ten or 15 years ago, I think the answer you would have gotten from most of us is no,” Dr. Alex Diamond says. “The trend has definitely shifted to, in a select few, it’s probably OK to do that.” “This is a highly motivated, unique kid,” the doctor praised. Whatever the case, it sure beats video games.

Sky High Escape

In a jailbreak made for Hollywood, three gangsters broke out of the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec by means of a mysterious green helicopter. The getaway chopper landed in the middle of the prison courtyard and took off with the three inmates moments later. The escapees, Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and Serge Pomerleau, 49, are convicted drug traffick-

ers; Denis and Lefebvre are also convicted murderers. This is the second time in two years that prison inmates escaped a Quebec jail via chopper. In March 2013, a helicopter was commandeered by gunpoint into a prison there in order to help two prisoners escape. Those two inmates, along with the helicopter hijackers, were later caught and arrested. This time, local police are scouring all areas in search of the escaped convicts. “We have co-operation with all the police forces across the country and abroad also,” said Sgt. Gregory Gomez. “We have many, many officers who are scattering all the areas possible. Investigators are, of course, checking every lead.” Police have also turned to social media to ask for everyone’s assistance in spotting the escapees. They warn, however, that the felons are dangerous and should not be approached by the public if they are sighted. They say it’s the escaping that’s easy; staying “escaped” is the tough part.

How Many Deer Do they Have in Philly?

“Deer” me! A group of people in Philadelphia were arrested for using deer carcasses in staged car accidents in order to collect insurance money. Ronald Galati stored deer carcasses, blood and fur in the back of his auto body shop. He coached customers on how to stage run-ins with deer in order to have them considered “no fault” by insurance companies and receive a nice insurance payout without having their premiums raised. Lest you think that Galati was a deer-lover, investigators also found geese, dogs, cartons of fruit and chunks of metal and concrete in his shop—all used to create “Hollywood” accidents. The scam netted $5 million. Galati’s wife, son, and daughter, a city official, a police officer and several tow truck drivers and insurance adjusters were among the 41 people arrested. According to grand jury witnesses, Galati would say, “I live my life to cheat insurance companies…My high every day is to cheat insurance companies.” At one point, Galati would copy key to his customers’ cars, have an associate steal


The top spot for the world’s oldest man in the Guinness Book of World Records has just opened up after the death of Alexander Imich, a retired chemist and parapsychologist in New York City. Imich was 111. The secret to his longevity was, in his opinion, his good genes, proper nutrition and exercise and the fact that he did not have any children. His wife died in 1986. He was born in Poland in 1903 and fled from the Nazis in 1939 with his wife. He moved to the U.S. in 1951. A friend of his, Michael Mannion, said Imich’s “enormous curiosity and ability to turn even great adversity into something positive were important factors in his long life. These qualities were evident even in his last weeks and days of life.” Imich’s shining moments appear to have been in the last part of his life. At 93, he enrolled at the IM School of Healing Arts for a degree in self-awareness and healing. “He wanted to learn more about love,” said Mannion. His book, Incredible Tales of the Paranormal, was published in 1995 when he was 92. Guinness is now researching the claims of a Japanese man, Sakari Momoi, who says he is 111 also. Japanese woman Misao Okawa is 116 and the world’s oldest person.

Dog Gets Yearbook Picture Rachel Benke, 14, does not go anywhere without her epilepsy service dog, Taxi. So it is only fitting that Taxi was placed prominently next to Rachel in her seventh grade yearbook this year. The idea started as a joke from her mom after she noticed Taxi’s omission from the yearbook last year. “Last year when their yearbooks came out, I said, ‘Hey, where’s Taxi’s picture?’ But I was kind of joking,” Rachel’s mom, Teresa Benke, said. So after Rachel’s turn at picture day this year,

113 Year Old Bride

Ahh! To be young and happy! Or maybe just happy. A 113-year-old Chinese woman finally agreed to settle down and marry a man who has been (literally) dying for her hand in matrimony. Azatihan Sawuti first rejected Aimti Ahemti’s proposal after they met in December for a good reason: he was too young. At only 70-years-old (or young), Ahmeti is over 40 years Sawuti’s junior and that fact caused her to reject his original overtures. (Didn’t she ever hear of the NASI project?) Eventually, as it always does, love won out, and the two married in a simple ceremony at their Chinese nursing home. Sawuti’s feelings for his new bride? Pure love: “She takes good care of me and gives me her portion of meat during meals,” he said. Love really knows no age.

Truvia No Friend to Flies No baking soda and vinegar volca-

noes for one sixth grader’s science project. Simon Kashchock-Marenda, the son of Drexel professor Dr. Daniel Marenda, decided to research something novel about insects, a species that fascinates him, for his science fair. He started testing the effect of different sugars and sweeteners on fly health. And his results have caused a buzz. So much, that his father ended up coauthoring a study at his university with his son based on his findings. Marenda was shocked to find that while most flies, on average, were able to survive on various sugars and sweeteners for almost fifty days, the flies that were given Truvia, a sweetener which uses the stevia plant, all “dropped” dead after only six days.

“After six days of testing these flies in our house, he came back to me and said, ‘Dad, all the flies in the Truvia vials are dead,’” the elder Marenda said. “To which I responded, ‘OK…we must have messed up somehow. Let’s repeat the experiment!’” It was no mess up, and now a team of researchers at Drexel are working on how to turn Truvia into a safe insecticide for plants. Researchers have concluded that it is not the stevia component in Truvia that is toxic to flies; PureVia, a sweetener that also contains stevia, is not deadly to insects. “Indeed what we found is that the main component of Truvia, the sugar erythritol, appears to have pretty potent insecticidal activity in our flies,” Marenda said. Dr. Sean O’Donnell of Drexel says that “the chances for widespread crop application are slim” for erythritol products, “but on a small scale, in places where insects will come to a bait, consume it and die, this could be huge.” Whether or not Truvia does take off in the insecticide market remains to be seen, but let’s hope Simon takes home first place at school. Sure beats flyswatters.

Paying it Forward for our Firefighters A group of firefighters were doing some Memorial Day shopping at a Costco store in Vacaville, CA, when they were forced to abandon cart and head off to an emergency. When they returned, they were greeted with a nice surprise: the $123 tab was paid for. By who? No one knows.

The anonymous patriot just left this note: “Firefighters –Thanks for being there for us! Have a good weekend.” She had signed it: “Air Force wife.” So how do you repay someone who won’t even let you know her identity? By paying it forward. “Later that day [Sunday] the crew was at Lucky’s,” Battalion Chief Jeff Ryder said. “There was an older couple behind them buying flowers [that] appeared to be for Memorial Day ... and the crew took some of that money and bought the flowers for them.”

On Facebook, commenters were moved. “That’s what I like about Vacaville, it still has that small town heart and shows there’s still good people out there,” Mary Coursey wrote. Carolyn Tipton Wold wrote, “What a wonderful woman. It is an awesome reminder that the world is filled with all kinds of people; some who strive only to hurt others and some, like this woman, who strive to spread kindness. G-d bless her and her family.” “This was special because it’s Memorial Day weekend, and it happened to be an Air Force wife that did this for us,” Chief Ryder said. Just a small token of appreciation for our local heroes.

A Couple of Senior Crooks What can you do for some thrills when you’re too old to hit the slopes? How about pulling a little grand larceny on the church charity box? Two wealthy seniors in Switzerland were nabbed by local police after pulling off a string of thefts at local churches in Lucerne. They told police their motive was purely for the adrenaline rush. In the thefts, the 73 year old husband would keep watch as his 70 year old wife would empty the congregation’s collection box. All in all, the couple seems to have made a few hundred francs from their crime spree. They were never arrested for any crime before. In Switzerland, even the crooks are classy.

JUNE 12, 2014

World’s Oldest Man Dies at 111

Teresa told the photographer to shoot a photo of Taxi. He complied. Rachel, who had to have part of her brain removed at age 6 in order to stop the hundreds of daily seizures she was experiencing, is on the developmental level of a 7 year old. Taxi, who flunked Seeing Eye dog school because of a “cat distraction” problem, helps predict the onset of major seizures about to happen. “I can’t tell you how many times she’s just dropped on the pavement,” Teresa Benke says through tears. “She’s been bruised up her whole life. But you’ve also got to let her live. So when we got Taxi, it was just such a relief.” Once, while Rachel was in the pool, Taxi jumped in and started splashing wildly to alert people of a pending grand mal seizure. He can sense seizures 10 to 15 minutes before they happen. Rachel’s elementary school principal at Northside Independent School in San Antonio has frequently complained of the distraction Taxi is at school, so the yearbook photos are a nice sendoff for Rachel, who finishes there this year. “It’s been so much fun watching her,” Teresa says of her daughter, who’s been tickled to see their story picked up as far away as Japan. “She’s eating it up. It’s so cute.” I wonder if Taxi got his hair and makeup done for the photo.


them and then crash them into other cars owned by his customers to create more work for himself. He really knew how to work the system.

42 2014 T H ETHE J E WJEWISH I S H H OHOME M E n J UJUNE N E 1 12, 2 , 2014



Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.

TJH Staff

Do Parents Demand Too Much of Their Children?


efore Pesach, I wrote an article about “getting” kids to listen, do laundry and eat what you give them. It was a facetious title, meant to show that whatever it is you want to “get” children to do, you have to begin with the same set of rules. In that same issue of The Jewish Home, there was another pre-Pesach article meant to assist parents in corralling children into much-needed chores. I heard some flack about both articles. From the children. They didn’t so much like being “gotten” to do things. (As it happens, I’m having a new internet radio show, beginning today, Thursday, from 3-4. That seemed like it would be a great opportunity to hear from everyone on this topic. You can actually call me up and argue with me. Anonymously. Go to jStream on your Android or Jewish Radio on your iPhone or to Chazaq.org to listen on your computer. Then call me at 718-2859132 while the show is running.) Clearly, chores make sense: A child has to learn how things work and doing chores is a way to do just that. But here is the flack that I got with a few questions that I’m adding: 1. Where should parents draw the line? Should they put their feet up on the ottoman while Cinderella slaves in the kitchen? 2. If a child feels the chores are unfair, how should he or she respond? 3. Is it possible to give too few chores? 4. Should parents pay children for chores? 5. How do you get the kids to do any chores at all? 6. Is it smart to give overtaxed children chores in the first place? 7. Should all the children get the same chores? 8. At what age do you start? Yesterday, at our Food For Thought program, we discussed item #1. One of the things we concluded is that giving chores is a sign of respect. It means you believe in the child’s capability and it also means that you value his contribution. How does that answer the first question above? Here is my thought: If the

child is truly a valuable member of the family, then his efforts combined with your own efforts, added together, get things done. He feels like he is part of a team. But that certainly does not mean that you put your feet up and relax while your child works – unless he will

country – and I took that as a clear sign from Hashem. We got rid of the sizzling heap and never replaced it.) If there really isn’t much time left, give the children something to do so as to show them that you value their contribution. As my kids grew up, I had them alternate garbage days. That was

GIVING CHORES IS A SIGN OF RESPECT. also get some relaxing time for himself as well. Let’s say, for example, that you are a Family Therapist. You have a full schedule; you’re in grad school. You also have started a private practice. You must market the practice so you give talks and you write articles. When you get home to your four kids, you are pooped. Do you have a right to sit down with your feet up while they work? It depends. Your child may leave the house at 7 AM, do extra-curricular activities designed to broaden his skills, and then must do homework and study. When does he have the chance to sit and put his feet up? I have spoken to many parents who tell me they live very busy lives, yet they can’t resist sharing with me the latest episode of their favorite TV show. When do they find time for this? The same thing goes for their kids: They manage to fiddle with their cellphones for 43 hours a day. Now, if you don’t fall into that category and neither does your child, then I wonder when anyone has time for chores. I was that grad student described above when my children were growing up and I had very little time to breathe let alone watch TV. (In fact lightning struck our television one day – Florida is the lightning capitol of the

a two-minute chore and extremely valuable. It also was a great way to inculcate responsibility. One of my kids, I won’t mention who, might occasionally forget his chore. If you forgot one day, you had to do it two extra days. What if you forgot one of those days? Then you had to do four extra days. You can see where this would go if the child is a bit spacey. Well, this particular child was, indeed, spacey. And he ended up doing the garbage for over a month. His siblings were happy to remind him that it was not their turn. And you know what? Like his siblings, he grew up to be a very responsible adult. He is also happy. That’s a piece of the puzzle, too. If you are showing a child respect by giving him chores, then you surely should do it respectfully. If you treat a child with respect, how can he be unhappy? Throwing in an understanding smile when you mention that he is now up to five weeks of garbage doesn’t hurt either. The children also alternated doing dishes and they certainly had to clear up after themselves. When they got older, they cooked, too. There was a point in time when I noticed that the older two were doing all the post-meal clean up; they were just very responsible kids.

The two younger ones, on the other hand, were happy to let their older sibs shoulder the burden. At that point, I forbade the older two from doing any more clean-up for a while: I thought it was important to be fair. So the younger ones had to step up to the plate and do dishes, too. So what chores did I do when I got home from all of my outside responsibilities? Well, there were dust bunnies under the furniture, I can vouch for that. The children saw that I participated in shopping, cooking, and cleaning. It was clear to them that although we all had outside responsibilities, we all chipped in inside. We really were a team. So, yes, parents can put their feet up on the ottoman as long as the children get a break, too. I wanted my kids to be physically healthy, not just spiritually healthy, so I encouraged sports. When they were younger, they ran around the backyard. When they got older, I enrolled them in ju-jitsu. So they did get their break to the degree a yeshiva program would allow. Cinderella does not belong in Jewish families. But neither does The Little Prince. Tune in to Chazaq Radio today to hear the rest of the items on the list. And come to Food Thought& Dr. next Deb week Hirschorn is aFor marriage to hear the one and only Chava family therapist and best selling Willig author Levy, was respected – of Thesomeone Healing who Is Mutual: Marriage and expected (to contribute) – in spite Empowerment Tools to Rebuild Trust and of early Please childhood Find out her Respect. visitpolio. www.drdeb.com for parents’ secrets on June 18 at 10 AM at further info. Cravingz Café. Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist and best-selling author of The Healing Is Mutual: Marriage Empowerment Tools to Rebuild Trust and Respect—Together, is proud to announce that readers of The Jewish Home will receive a $50 discount on every visit to her Woodmere office. Listen to her new show called “Kids and Parents” on Chazaq Radio live from 3-4 on Thursdays. The call in phone number is 718-285-9132. Attend the Food For Thought lectures at Cravingz Cafe, 410 Central Ave, Cedarhurst, on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Any questions, call 646-54-DRDEB or check out her website at http://drdeb.com.


Alex Idov

The Art of the Fond A J E W I S H LO O K AT CL A SSI C FR E N CH CO O K I N G


y first semester of my Culinary Sustainability program has come to an end—and with it my classes in nutrition, vegan cuisine, and organic agriculture. This summer I am signed up for some exciting courses. I already began classes in Study of World Cuisines and Sustainable Facility Design (it’s as interesting as it sounds, depending on how you take it), and will soon (please G-d) be taking classes in Culinary Skills, and a class in Sprits, Beers, and Brews (I have to learn to appreciate alcohol sometime). I have already begun to learn some interesting things in my world cuisines class...some new, some refreshers. I really enjoyed learning about the world of French cuisine, partly because one of my great-grandmothers was from Paris (and it’s nice to feel like I have that connection) and because I was able to connect what I learned about their culinary fundamentals to Jewish

cuisine, in particular chicken soup. In French cuisine, the fond, meaning base, is the foundation of French cooking. The basic fond is what we call “stock,” a flavorful liquid made by extracting protein and flavor from a fortifying ingredient (e.g. chicken or beef) and to use this lightly flavored liquid in place of water in various recipes. The difference between stock and a broth is that stock is an ingredient and broth is a dish, meaning that one’s stock should be lightly seasoned and neutral in flavor and used as a base for soups/ sauces/glazes, while broth is seasoned and ready to eat “as is.” Our chicken soup, traditionally served on Shabbos and holiday meals, is a broth…Making a great chicken broth, however, starts with a great stock—fond de poulet. You may be thinking, “What’s so difficult about making a great chicken broth? There’s nothing to it!” WRONG! I have had some unappetizing chicken soups at various places—all because

whoever prepared the broth did not handle/prepare it correctly, starting with the stock. To break down chicken soup- there are four elements to a stock. These are: 1) the fortifying element (i.e. chicken, meat, bones), 2) liquid (water), 3) mirepoix (vegetable mix: traditionally onion, carrots, and celery), and 4) aromatic (garlic, bouquet garn (parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn)). The key to the ingredients is that whatever the meat/bone weight of the fortifying ingredient is the mirepoix should be 10%-15% the weight of that ingredient. So if you have 10 pounds of chicken bones, for instance, you should have 1 ½ pounds of mirepoix. The traditional mirepoix should consist of 50% onion, 25% celery, and 25% carrots. There are seven steps in properly preparing a stock: 1) Put fortifying ingredient (chicken or bones) in cold water to cover. 2) Bring liquid to a simmer.

TRADITIONAL CHICKEN SOUP Ingredients 4-5 pieces of chicken or chicken bones and trimmings 3 quarts water 1 carrot, sliced 2 stalks celery 1 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced

3) Skim away foam. 4) Simmer for 4 hours. 5) Add mirepoix and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 6) Add bouquet garn and strain and cool. 7) Remove the fat. The last step is very crucial for allowing the full flavor of the soup to come through, and is much healthier (and something I have noticed many people forget to do). It is best to remove the fat after the broth/soup has been cooled in the fridge until gelatinous (which is the mark of a good stock.) On a personal note, I like to add my mirepoix, seasoning and the bouquet garn during step #1 to give my soup a stronger flavor (against definition, yes....but sooooo good...There go my chances at being a professional, classic French chef! Enjoy my “no fail” recipe for chicken broth.

2 sprigs parsley 1 bay leaf 1 TBS kosher salt ¼ tsp pepper Preparation In a 4-6 quart pot, bring all ingredients to a simmer. Simmer for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender, skimming the fat/foam throughout cooking. Remove from heat and strain soup two times and refrigerate until fat has congealed on top of the surface of the soup. Skim off fat. Reheat, serve, and enjoy.

Alex Idov is a kosher food blogger who runs the award-winning site, “Kosherology,” and a regular contributing food columnist to The Five Towns Jewish Home magazine, LA Jewish Home magazine, and the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is currently studying for his bachelor’s degree in Culinary Sustainability & Hospitality. Visit “Kosherology” at www.exploretheworldofkosher.com and like “Kosherology” on Facebook.

JUNE 12, 2014




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Travel Guide: San Francisco By Aaron Feigenbaum

JUNE 12, 2014

Best known for the social upheaval of the late 1960‘s and early 1970‘s, San Francisco is now a charming bay-side metropolis that offers a relaxed atmosphere, mild weather, unique architecture, beautiful scenery, cultural diversity, and no shortage of interesting sights and experiences. Like many other major Californian cities, San Francisco started out as a home to a Native American tribe, in this case the Yelamu tribe, and was later settled by the Spanish in the late 1700’s as a mission. After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821 and took over the region, the land was privatized and many European settlers came in including the Englishman William Richardson who founded Yerba Buena, later to be called San Francisco. San Francisco, along with the rest of California, became part of the U.S. after the Mexican-American war ended in 1848 and California was admitted to the Union in 1850. The Gold Rush of 1848 brought in vast numbers of immigrants including many from China who would settle in what’s now one of the country’s largest Chinatowns. Living conditions were deplorable for these immigrants due to lack of adequate infrastructure and poor city planning. What resulted was disease, crime, violence (particularly against immigrants), and corruption. Hopes revitalizing the city were dashed in the devastating 1906 earthquake which killed around 3,000 people and leveled 80% of the city. San Francisco rebounded during World War II as a central supply point for the Pacific war and became synonymous with both the Beat movement of the 1950‘s

and the Hippie/Counterculture movement of the 1960‘s and 70‘s. San Francisco is today a commercial, technological, and tourist hub boasting friendly people and a rich history to explore. What to See and Do: Alcatraz Island: One of San Francisco’s most well-known attraction, Alcatraz started out as a military installation and served as one of the world’s most famous prisons from 1933 to 1963 housing such infamous figures as Al Capone and Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz). Alcatraz once again attracted headlines in 1969 when a group of Native Americans occupied the island in protest of government policies. Conditions on the island deteriorated the group left in 1973. While there is no cost to enter the prison museum itself as it is owned and operated by the federal government, getting to the island will cost around $40 in the daytime (around $50 at

night). Golden Gate Bridge: The most iconic part of San Francisco, the 1.7 mile-long Golden Gate Bridge is one of the wonders of civil engineering and is, perhaps, the most photographed bridge in the world. Completed in 1937, the bridge connects San Francisco city and peninsula with Marin County to the north. There are observation areas for pedestrians with incredible views of the bay strewn along the bridge and there are parking lots at both ends. Be aware that pedestrian and bike traffic is free but vehicles must pay a $6 toll. Golden Gate Park: This gigantic park, even larger than New York’s Central Park, located in the northwest part of the city offers a relaxed, back-to-nature experience in the midst of a crowded city. Among its attractions are the gorgeous Japanese Tea Garden and Botanical Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, the California Academy of Sciences, lakes with boat rentals, and Kezar Stadium for soccer and high school football games. Fisherman’s Wharf: This tourist center on the city’s north coast is well worth braving the crowds in order to see, among other things, Pier 39 which features the Aquarium of the Bay with an underwater tunnel and petting opportunities. (Admission is $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for children 4-12). Pier 39’s K-Dock has a huge population of sea lions which is always a treat for the kids. At Pier 45 get a tour inside the USS Pampanito submarine and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, the latter of which is the only survivor of the D-Day armada from WWII. On nearby Jefferson Street check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum and the Wax Museum.

Lombard Street: This street with eight zig-zag turns is one of the crookedest in the world and though it doesn’t take long to get from one end to the other, the drive is still very fun and unforgettable. (For an even twistier adventure go to Vermont Street on Potrero Hill.) Coit Tower: Not too far from Lombard Street in the Telegraph Hill district is the beautiful art-deco style Coit Tower built in

1933 and funded by volunteer firefighter/ socialite Lillie Coit. Non-resident fees for the elevator are $7 for adults, $5 for youth 12-17, and $2 for children 5-11. At the top enjoy spectacular views of the city. The Presidio: Located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio was the longest-running U.S. military base from its founding in 1776 until


JUNE 12, 2014


its closing in 1994. Among many other things, the Presidio hosts Lucasworks

(George Lucas’ film studio), the magnificent Palace of Fine Arts rotunda situated


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on a lake, the Walt Disney museum, the kid-friendly Exploratorium science museum, Fort Point which protected San Francisco during the Civil War, and plenty of hiking trails with rare flowers and excellent coastal views. Cable Cars/Cable Car Museum: What trip to San Francisco would be complete without a ride on one of the city’s legendary cable cars? There are three main routes, all of which can be found at sfcablecar.com, and the price is $5 for adults and youth. You can also buy a one day passport which allows you to ride on cable cars, buses, and streetcars. Be sure to check out the Cable Car Museum on Nob Hill which features excellent working cable car displays, some dating back to the 1870‘s. Museum admission is free. Contemporary Jewish Museum: Last but certainly not least is this striking cubeshaped museum located in the SoMa district of downtown San Francisco. There are no permanent exhibits so the ones currently on display as of this writing include an exhibit about Jewish midcentury modern architects, one dealing with the incredible art of Arthur Szyk’s famed hagaddah, and a fascinating display about the history of Israeli kibbutzim. Adults get in for $12 while ages 18 and aren’t charged. Eat and Daven: San Francisco has a fairly large selection of frum shuls. Among these are:

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877.CELL.PHONE | www.travelcell.com Brooklyn: 1981 Coney Island Avenue | 718.382.6500 Lakewood: 242 4th St. | 732.987.4621 Teaneck  Chicago  Baltimore  Five Towns  Los Angeles  Florida

1. Congregation Adath Israel (Modern Orthodox) at 1851 Noriega St. (415) 5645665, adathisraelsf.org 2. Chabad of SF at 830 28th Ave. (415) 668-6178, chabadsf.org 3. Keneseth Israel (one of San Francisco’s oldest) at 873 Sutter St. (415) 7713420, kenesethisraelsf.org

4. Congregation Chevra Thilim (Modern Orthodox) at 751 25th Ave. (415) 7522866, sfshul.org For kosher restaurants check out: 1. The Middle Eastern place Sabra Grill at 419 Grant Ave. (415) 982-3656, adka.org/sabra/#.U5av7ihLInQ 2. Shangri-La Chinese/Vegetarian at 2026 Irving St., (415) 731-2548, shangrilavgrest.com 3. Israel Kosher Meat, Poultry, and Deli Market at 5621 Geary Blvd. (415) 752-3064 You can also contact Chabad of San Francisco for take-out/catering options. If you’re feeling adventurous, head up north to Napa Valley and visit Hagafen Wine Cellars (hagafen.com) or Covenant Wines (covenantwines.com) Trivia: -The U.N. Charter was created and signed in San Francisco in 1945. -The bear featured on California’s flag was inspired by a grizzly named Monarch who was kept at Golden Gate Park. -Vermont and Lombard may be San Francisco’s twistiest street but Filbert holds the title of the city’s steepest street with a maximum 31.5% (17.5 degree) gradient. -Often called the “Ellis Island of the West,” Angel Island once saw almost 200,000 Chinese and Japanese immigrants waiting to enter the U.S. San Francisco is now home to the world’s largest Chinese population outside China.


In honor of

20th Yahrtzeit-Hilulah of The Lubavitcher Rebbe

TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014 3 TAMMUZ, 5774 • 6:00 PM BAIS MENACHEM CHABAD HOUSE 18181 Burbank Blvd, Tarzana No Fee • Dinner will be Served



Rabbi Chaim Miller Rabbi Chaim Miller is a Britishborn author living and teaching in New York. He is best-known as the compiler of the popular fivevolume Gutnick Edition of the Chumash and the recently published anthology of Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith. Rabbi Miller is a great communicator and an engaging speaker. He currently lectures on the fundamental principles of Judaism.

A program of: The Menachem Institute Machon Menachem Chabad of the Valley The Finder & Schaeffer Family Centers Farbrengen funded by a grant from The Finder Family Educational Center

For more information please visit CHABADOFTHEVALLEY.ORG or call 818.758.1818

JUNE 12, 2014




You are cordially invited to attend a Chassidic gathering of warmth & inspiration

We don’t know when the next earthquake will hit, but we do know how to prepare. Join American Friends of Magen David Adom and Vera and Paul Guerin, AFMDA Western chairman, as they dedicate three Mobile Intensive Care Units to the people of Israel at the

Emergency Preparedness Event & Community Blood Drive Guerin Pavilion at the Skirball Center • 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

Sunday, June 22, 2014 Ambulance Dedication, 11:00 a.m.

Preparedness Event & Blood Drive, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

$5 in advance. $10 at the door. Free to blood donors and their families.



preparedness techniques from the experts at Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency response agency, and our community partners.

the imaginative world of the interactive Noah’s Ark exhibit at the Skirball Center. Free admission.

GIVE blood to benefit Children’s Hospital, City of Hope, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the National Bone Marrow Registry. Visit www.afmda.org/la-preparedness for more details and to reserve your spot (free for blood donors and their families). For more information, contact us at western@afmda.org or 323.655.4655. Featured Sponsors

Partner Organizations


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