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JUNE 4, 2015
Valley Torah High School is proud to congratulate our
irt-eight raduatin lases
Yeshiva Tzvi Dov v'Ephraim - Menlo Family Boys' Division Back: Moshe Cohen, Simcha Menlo, Yonah Bastomski, Shmuel Stock, Eden Isaschar, Julian Gershon, Shawn Begelfer Front: Samuel Leibowitz, Miad Fasazadeh, Yehuda Kelman, Shaya Escovitz, David Ohana, Aaron Barkhordar, David Shraga, Gedaliah Bloch, Daniel Mishail, Raphael Flicker This year's Graduates have been accepted to the following Yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel: Ateret Yerushalayim (AJ) Midrash Shmuel Ohr Yerushalayim (OJ) Shaarei Mevaseret Yeshiva Tiferet (TJ) Derech Derech Etz Chaim Har Etzion (Gush) Yeshivat Sha'alvim Merkaz HaTorah Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim
Ateres Malka v'Sara Esther - Menlo Family Girls' Division
Back: Reena Levy, Calanit Serur, Miriam Yifrach, Elianna Winchell, Gittie Freeman, Laura Kawas, Chana Litenatsky, Tehilla Ornstein, Zipporah Levine, Esther Packer Center: Shoshana Shapiro, Shiri Feldman, Melody Daneshrad, Esther Chulpaev Front: Bathsheva Sloves, Orah Shafa, Dina Ohana, Sarai Matsri This year's Graduates have been accepted to the following Seminaries in Eretz Yisroel: BnotYaakov Torah Institute Darchei Binah Bais Levavi (Sharfmans) Bnot Torah Institute (Sharfmans) Bais Yaakov Levavi Midreshet Tehillah Darchei Binah Machon Raaya MidreshetMevasertet Yeud Tiferet Me'ohr BaisTehillah Yaakov Michlelet Yerushalayim Midreshet Tomer Devorah Sha'alvim for Women Midreshet Yeud Me'ohr Bais Yaakov Machon Raaya Yerushalayim Sha'alvim for Women Michlelet Tiferet Mevaseret Tomer Devorah
Graduates from both divisions have been accepted to the following Colleges: University of California, Los Angeles Cal Lutheran University of California, Merced University of Southern California University of Miami University of the Pacific University of California Berkeley University of Florida Stern Honors Program Boston University Florida International University Touro New York Kent State Yeshiva University Honors Program San Diego State UC Irvive California State University Northridge: Honors Program Fisher College
JUNE 4, 2015
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Jerusalem Life, Country Living +972-52-718-2013
JUNE 4, 2015
Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
JEWISH THOUGHT OP-ED: Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
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Zeh Lo Maspik. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
COVER STORY The Guardian of Israel neither Slumbers nor Sleeps: Memories of Jerusalem, June 1967. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Uncle Moishy Fun Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Hawaii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Dear Readers, Our world has turned upside down. Right is wrong, wrong feels right. A man can be a woman, and being married to one person and raising a family is a value from the dark ages! Meanwhile, the “best friend” of the Jews despises the Jewish State’s democratically elected Prime Minister, and then bends over backwards to accommodate the demands of countries led by rabid, totalitarian, cruel anti-Semites. After years of being assured that “all options are on the table” we are now let known that is no longer the case. We’re told he only has our “best interest in mind.” History has taught us to see through sweet talk and to judge actions for what they are, even if the leaders did not intend the outcome. It would be like Harvard University defending their recent alleged discrimination of Asian applicants by saying they held the Asian community in such high esteem they were holding them to impossible standards. When the “outside street” loses its moral compass, we Jews dig into our roots and connect with our teachings which gives us strength to stay the course. The feelgood movements come and go while eternal truths are always here to stay. We were given these axioms by our forefathers who toiled, sweated and at times gave their lives to remain G-dly, moral and compassionate individuals. Our ancestors didn’t make online statements, hug trees, or seek media attention for their kindness. They were focused on their studies, their marriages and the future of their family. They built Jewish communities and shared their extra bread with a stranger. That’s how one creates real change. Running to help a foreigner before protecting one’s
own family or having misplaced pity rather than mature insight, might create the extra news item, but is ultimately destructive. We have a daunting, and at times seemingly insurmountable task, of ignoring the popularity polls and trudging ahead with the essential truths we’ve been teaching from the times of Avraham Avinu. It is the creator of the world who enshrined a moral code for all to follow. Whether the winds of times are idolatry, worshiping the power of the dollar or perceived progressivism, we stay with the basic values from bygone days. Some things don’t change. Being kind to one’s spouse, studying with our children, being good neighbors and, by example, teaching others how to do the same, is still the best way to repair the world. One would be amazed if they experienced their first sunrise later in life. We have become so reliant on the miracle of our existence that we take our very lives for granted. Haaretz this week ran an article describing the Northern border as the safest it’s ever been. Hamas has started setting up checkpoints in Gaza to protect itself from ISIS and Iran is being bogged down in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Even though events in the Middle East change at a moment’s notice, we are certain that G-d will continue protecting his people alongside the rest of humanity. A year ago we united as one family for our three kidnapped brothers in Israel. Let us tap into that unity and reach out to one another so that our Father in heaven will embrace his exiled children and return us to the Holy Land of Yisroel. May it take place sooner than we imagine. Have a wonderful 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
5 THE JEWISH HOME
Maya Abucasis, Aliza Agatstein, Daniella Azizi, Allison Barak, Osnat Barazani, Tehilla Benabou, Cloe Bohbot, Limor Dawoody, Rachel Elias, Rachel Frieman, Shoshana Gofman, Rebecca Golbari, Melissa Faith Goldstein, Emma Jane Gurfinkel, Melody Hashemieh, Aaliyah Hay, Estee Kessler, Hannah Kessler, Rachie Kessler, Olivia Levkowitz, Loffman, Toni Mankowitz, Rachel Mund, Michelle Naim, Sarah Lipman, Rachel Lo Rachel Perets, Sarah Michelle Porgess, Sarah Rosen, Shaylee Omrany, Serena Schneier, Mana Shalikar, Eden Shamooelian, Rachel Showghy, Lily Swartz, Natasha Talasazan, Talia Talassazan, Eshley Taranto, Sarah-Leah Thompson, Rivka Winter, Shaily Yashar, Ronel Zollelhyan
YULA Boys High School Nagel Family Campus
JUNE 4, 2015
Joshua Addes, Ariel Jacob Amsellem, Natan Amsterdam, Joshua Aranoff, Ilan Atri, Don Aynesazan, Matthew Behboud, Yoni Cagan, Daniel David Elias, Eli Chaim Friedman, Avraham Khaim Gabay, Jesse Jacob Glaser, Ori Hamburg, Zev Hirt, Jonah Kasdan, Noah Alexander Kest, Michael Kohan, Daniel Isaac Lapidot, Ilan Lavian, Jordan Lustman, Joshua Manesh, David Samuel Markson, Eitan Meisels, Benjamin Miles, Yosef Chaim Noorani, Isaac Gabriel Pomerance, Noam Posner, Avi Schnall, Zachary Schoen, Michael Shadpour, Ariel Shafa, Chananya Shapiro, Yehuda Simons, Michael Somekh, Rafi Sudaley, Noah Tarko, Daniel Tzion, Alon Uralevich, Evan Weinreb, Daniel Chaim Yellin, Mordechai Zilberstein
YULA Girls High School Gindi Family Campus
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JUNE 4, 2015
Lessons from a Lockdown
Emek Hebrew Academy Shares Wisdom and Worries following their first Lockdown Ruth Judah On May 21st, Emek Hebrew Academy enforced a lockdown after a male intruder was seen running through a side gate at the edge of the campus. The lockdown lasted one hour, during which time, the students and teachers were locked in their classrooms, lights were turned out, and the children sat underneath their desks and away from doors. Pre-first graders were told there was a snake that had escaped from the science room, first graders listened to whispered stories and older students recited tehillim or quietly read books while waiting for further instructions. Some children had a hard time processing the event and for many the lockdown experience was dramatic and emotional. From large interior windows, they could hear helicopters overhead, see policemen and a swat team scouring the school grounds and hear media trucks arriving with cameras and journalists. Most parents believed the school acted professionally and efficiently. Information about the lockdown was sent at 10.24am and at 10.36am there was a second email that informed parents that the school was back in session. On the other hand, a few students had retrieved hidden cell phones from their backpacks and their texts were emotional. When parents raced to the school, they were kept out of the building until the event had passed. Only then could they come and find their kids and emotions were running sky high. In 2013, Michigan passed a law that required 3 lockdown drills per year. Many lockdowns happen every year in America. California, on the other hand, has not made lockdowns compulsory, perhaps because of the cost involved in enforcing the drills. The Wire has reported a shooting, lockdown or gun scare somewhere in the United States nearly every day of this year. Emek started running lockdown drills in 2014. The National Fire Protection Association confirms that death by fire on school property has virtually disappeared because of the implementation of compulsory fire drills and fire codes. Could lockdown drills save lives and reduce incidents? Are they meaningful? Sandy Hook Elementary school had a lockdown procedure the week before the massacre and still the outcome was tragic. On the other hand, there is no incident of a gunned intruder entering a classroom when the lights are off, the door is locked, the room is quiet and there is no way of seeing inside the room. Los Angeles Police Department Officer Charles Dinse speaks about active-shooter drills. He explains, there is no right or wrong way to react to a difficult scenario. At the same time, it’s obvious that lock-
down drills, for instance the drill promoted by the Alice Training Institute, make it simpler for all the adults at a school to
make split-second plans that will maximize safety for one and all.. “Everyone, from yard workers to principals, needs to know what they’re going to do,” explained Dinse, “Even the kids have a responsibility.” Emek follows a lockdown system that is distinct from their fire alarm procedure. Teachers know how to lock classroom doors, and cover up windows. The children have been taught to listen when an adult tells them to hide. “If you don’t know how to lock your door under low
Rabbi Solomon with the school security guard
stress, you’re not going to be able to lock your door during go time,” Dinse told The Huffington Post. “The quicker the school can respond to protect themselves, the less likely they are to have casualties. Without that training, you just have chaos.” Rabbi Solomon, Principal of Emek, was in charge of the lockdown and shared his experience and wisdom with The Jewish Home. ”Rabbi Shifman, our Head of School, called to tell me we were going to call a lockdown because there was a possibility there was somebody on the premises
who should not be there. Rabbi Shifman immediately called 911, while I ordered the lockdown over the intercom and in a few minutes we had the students settled in their classrooms. “People have subsequently asked if it was wise to call the police so quickly. Once they were involved, things were slowed down considerably and the event lasted an hour, although our cameras showed the intruder was not on the premises, so we could have handled this internally in 15 or 20 minutes. The cameras showed that the intruder had entered the trash can alley that separates the school from the adjacent apartment building but had actually never reached the school grounds. I don’t believe there is a law that required us to call 911, but ethically we wanted to make sure that we had done all that we could to ensure safety. I’m sure this was the correct way to respond. “It took about five minutes for the police to arrive. In the meantime, the vice principals and I did a quick sweep of the school to make sure the hallways were clear and the classrooms were locked and there were no kids in the restrooms or corridors. In truth, I was initially alarmed. Some of the kids told me afterwards that they knew the lockdown wasn’t a drill be-
the children, especially in the time it takes before security arrives. I am not trained in firearms, although I am considering making a change in this area. “Every school, as far as I know, has security cameras and they are essential for this kind of situation. Security cameras help us locate somebody who is on the premises who should not be there. We can also see the hallways and be certain there is no-one roaming around who doesn’t understand there is a lockdown. Lastly, the cameras allowed us to rewind the event and watch it over again to understand the specific details of what happened. In this way, we could see our excellent security guard, Yaakov Eini giving chase down the alley, but we could also see there was noone ahead of him. “This was the first time in the history of Emek that we had to put the school in lockdown. In fact, a few weeks ago, there was a shooting incident in Van Nuys and we were in contact with the Van Nuys Police Department and considered whether we needed to lockdown, but that time we were told the situation was not close by. In contrast, Valley Beth Shalom went into precautionary lockdown when they heard what was happening at Emek. “Given this experience, I think it is critical and imperative that Jewish day schools have some defensive system. That
cause they heard my voice quavering when I spoke on the intercom. At the same time, I was calmed when I checked from the top auditorium window and could see there was no-one on the grounds of the school. I went to check outside and I could see one of our security guards through the bushes. Our systems were working. I have to look after myself as well and keep out of harm’s way, so, I situated myself in front of the security cameras behind a locked door. In retrospect, I think that the principals of a school should have some sort of defensive weapon in their office because we are responsible for the safety of
should include a lockdown and safety drill. They should put this in practice and rehearse a few times a year because you never know when that drill will be needed for real. This was our third lockdown of the year and the previous two were practices. Initially, the teachers thought this was another practice and I had to immediately make it known through the loudspeaker system, that this was for real. The distinction was important. “Until a real event happens, you don’t know how teachers and students will react. The true test of a person is how they will behave under fire. I know that some
it would be far more sensible for every school to have a communications exec. who is not on campus and who could communicate with other schools, parents and the media. Getting accurate and timely information is the job of the school principal, but sharing the information is the job of a PR person and every school should assign someone who could be called on at a time like this. We now have one. “There were incidents of parents demanding the attention of the police whose attention should have been entirely focused on checking the facility. Some parents called the school phone repeatedly and blocked the phone lines. It’s essential for adults to respect the school’s procedure and keep the intensity and hysteria out of the way. Parents have every right to see their child after such an event, but in this most students were able to deal with the situation without having to recover at home. Should parents take their child home after a lockdown? If a parent feels their child is a nervous wreck, then it makes sense. “Parents have a deep desire to protect their children, but parents need to understand that it doesn’t help if they are looking out for the interest of their child as an isolated goal. They have to trust the school to act in the very best interests of every single person. During an event like
this, parents forget to trust and this, combined with the diversity of the parents, lead to more emotional drama that we felt was in the best interests of those involved. “We also called a school wide assembly straight afterwards and gave credit to the students on how well they behaved and how well they performed. They needed to hear that we have a safe campus and it remains safe, they needed closure; the event was over. It was incredible, but few children went home when classes resumed. “Emek has a policy of no cellphones on campus. I can’t imagine how a school, which allows kids to have phones, would have dealt with the nightmare of fearsome texts being sent during a lockdown. Cellphones are becoming more and more common and parents have the right to rely on them and they are a great tool, but at the same time they can create problems. “You practice, you practice, you practice, but nothing really prepares you for the real deal and what we went through has enabled us to get a greater sense of what needs to happen. Some changes will be minor, some more substantial. Practice often and practice early. Practice sets you up to know the systems. Every school needs a lockdown procedure and they need to rehearse it. This is not a financial consideration, it’s sound judgement.
Jewish High Schools Create Hundreds of Young Engineers Third Annual CIJE Young Engineers Conference On May 18, Tarbut V’Torah High School in Irvine, hosted the third Annual CIJE Young Engineers Conference. Several hundred students from southern California Jewish high schools attended the event. On view were a variety of innovative, working projects. A number of the designs were focused on California’s water crisis and addressed the issue of conservation around the home. Other ideas included medicine dispensers and self-tying shoes. Electronic and biomedical innovations of all types were on display. Projects were required to have some socially redeeming value and student solutions included a variety of robots and sophisticated electronic products. The projects fostered teamwork, problem solving and electronic engineering skills taught as part of the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based curriculum. Thirteen Jewish high schools across the denominational spectrum offer CIJE’s pioneering high school engineering program which is taught as CIJE-Tech. In addition to Tarbut V’Torah Jewish the other participating schools included Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok (Los Angeles); New Community Jewish High School (West Hills); Shalhevet High School (Los Angeles); San Diego Jewish Academy (San Diego); Valley Torah High Schools (Boys & Girls) (Valley
Village) and Yeshiva High Tech (Los Angeles) and Yeshiva University of Los Angeles High Schools (Boys & Girls). “These student teams have created some impressive solutions to real world problems using the engineering principles they’ve learned throughout the year,” ex-
Henry Roland and Elliot Freeman, New Community Jewish High School
plained Judy Lebovits, Vice President and Director of CIJE. “We are preparing students for future careers and providing the necessary skills to compete and work collaboratively.” Parmis Fakheri, Celine Mansoory, Batsheva Berkowitz and Laura Nickowitz are 10th graders at Valley Torah High School for Girls. They developed a unique solution to encourage people with bad posture to sit up straight. Their invention vibrates
with an electronic sensor when activated by poor posture. Called The Posture Patch, this was one of the hundreds of projects displayed at the conference. Valley Torah Principal Shandi Gross explained, “I think that this program is going to encourage students, teachers and administrators and
Parmis Fakheri, Celine Mansoory and Laura Nickowitz, Valley Torah High School
that it should be a springboard for more. Perhaps it will encourage more students to pursue engineering.” CIJE-TECH is a discovery-focused, interactive curriculum which provides a year-long program for scientific research and another year on biomedical engineering. The vibrant program exposes students to a diverse range of science and technical knowledge areas while helping develop multidisciplinary and abstract think-
ing as well as leadership and teamwork skills. The CIJE Tech enrichment program provides stimulating research projects, mind-bending math problems and puzzles that challenge students to reason, explore and calculate. CIJE also provides on-going teacher mentoring as well as science laboratory equipment and materials. “California schools are offering a truly exceptional STEM curriculum based on our CIJE-Tech program, which is now offered in close to 40 schools nationwide,” explained CIJE president Jason Cury. “We congratulate each of the teams for the creativity and hard work that ware exhibited in each of their submissions.” The Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) strengthens and enriches education in U.S., Jewish schools across the denominational spectrum. CIJE currently provides funding for programs at 150 schools nationwide including advanced technology, engaging curricula, teacher training and vital support in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects. Since 2001, CIJE has built 100 computer laboratories, 25 stateof-the-art science laboratories and donated more than 500 smart boards. For more information, please visit www.thecije.org.
JUNE 4, 2015
“I’ve been through different seminars with the BJE, (Builders of Jewish Education), which have discussed ways to run a lockdown or a fire drill or an earthquake. Still, I found that common sense was also integral to my plans. For instance, every ten minutes, I went on the intercom and gave the whole school a short update. This was immensely helpful and calming. “Nearly every parent who tours Emek has a question about security and this school has a full safety procedure based on the manual of the LA Unified School District. Every school should have one. We have a system in place for an Incident Command Center to handle the unlikely event of a Fire or Earthquake or Act of Violence. Every school worth their salt should have these plans laid out. Each year we educate the teachers with these procedures and make sure they can implement the safety procedures in the required timeframe. “Information sharing from those in command, is essential. We were focused on running the logistics and this was crucial in allaying children’s fears. An organized classroom with a structure and a system, boosts kid’s confidence. The kids have to feel that somebody has their back. During a lockdown we are focused inwards on the event. For outside and parent information
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teachers found the situation very stressful, but the teachers were professional and efficient. Their job was to make sure that the children were calm and they succeeded. “When the police arrived, they sectioned of the area and circled a helicopter to have an aerial view. I think there was second helicopter from a TV station. The police were excellent and came with a 15 people Swat team with rifles. Their response was fast, efficient and thorough. That was crucial. “The event has opened our eyes to experiencing the drama of a lockdown without having been in a truly devastating situation. The students and the teachers now know what to expect which will have long term benefits. We’ve followed up with a survey to the teachers to find out what we could do, both large and small details that could make a situation less stressful. Ideas, for instance, include a text messaging group for emergencies so teachers can be regularly updated without worrying the kids. We’re also meeting with the head of the security company to discuss some changes to the way we will position our security guards in the future. We will add snacks to classroom supplies in case a lockdown were to be lengthy, and also bags in case someone needs the restroom or throws up.
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JUNE 4, 2015
Mass Participation at Second Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Test Torah World Celebrates Release of New Dirshu Sefer Chofetz Chaim “Es shmekt der Geulah - It has the aroma of the geulah!” exclaimed the venerated senior Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, upon seeing and perusing Dirshu’s new edition of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim with its Biurim and Musafim. The new sample edition of Sefer Chofetz Chaim provides a running explanation of the sefer as well as an extensive and comprehensive Biurim and Musafim commentary. The sefer was released this past Rosh Chodesh Iyar in conjunction with the second machzor of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program wherein it embarked on learning Sefer Chofetz Chaim in its mussar component. In fact, leading members of Dirshu’s hanhalah were highly impressed with the results of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha’s recent second test in the present machzor. Rabbi Shlomo Rozenstein, Dirshu’s director of Public Affairs, related that, “Usually, with the start of a new machzor there is a tremendous increase in enrollment as the hischadshus of starting the Mishnah Berurah attracts large crowds. Additionally, the halachos of Birchos Hashachar featured on the first test, are halachos with which many are familiar and thus great numbers at the first test were to be expected. However, with the advent of the complex and less familiar halachos of tzitzis, we realized that we might see a tapering off from the astronomical numbers of some 30,000 test takers that we experienced during the first test. We were wrong! The colossal numbers remained steady even in the second test. The fact that the material was more difficult and less familiar did not deter lomdei Dirshu,” Rav Rozenstein said, “This attests to the deep inroads and bond that Dirshu has forged with the communities comprising the entire cross-section of Torah observant Jewry,” The Vital Mussar Component One of the lesser known areas of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is the mussar component. In addition to learning a page of Sefer Mishnah Berurah with the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah’s Biurim U’musafim, lomdei Daf HaYomi B’Halacha also learn a daily quota of mussar from the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim. This past Rosh Chodesh Iyar
the program embarked on the Sefer Chofetz Chaim on Hilchos Lashon Hara. The new Dirshu edition of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim is a groundbreaking creation that brings hundreds of citations from the other poskim as well as piskei halacha and words of gedolei haposkim and baalei mussar that shed light on the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim. It was upon perusing this new groundbreaking work that caused the Rosh Yeshiva
the comprehensive learning of these halachos with the aids present in this edition of the Chofetz Chaim can help bring the geulah closer. During the visit to Rav Shteinman led by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, and other senior members of Dirshu’s hanhalah, Rav Shteinman was told that there are citations in the Biurim U’Musafim from words that he had said. Rav Shteinman asked if
Dirshu - At the test in Bet Shemesh
Dirshu - Rav Hofstedter presenting Dirshu’s new edition of Sefer Chofetz Chaim to HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman
HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman to say, “Es shmekt der Geulah.” The Chofetz Chaim himself writes in his introduction that one of reasons Moshiach has not yet arrived is because we have not yet managed to rectify the colossal sin of lashon hara. Inherent in Rav Shteinman’s words was the fact that
they could cite one example and they pointed to where the Chofetz Chaim writes that a person who speaks lashon hara transgresses the prohibition of chillul Hashem because lashon hara does not afford physical pleasure and thus people should not lust after it. The fact that people do desire to speak and hear lashon hara, therefore constitutes a chillul Hashem. Rav Shteinman, in his sefer E’eleh b’Tamar, explains that he heard from the Chazon Ish that based on this explanation of the Chofetz Chaim it is clear that the Chofetz Chaim himself did not derive pleasure from speaking lashon hara. Rav Shteinman also cited from the Mashgiach of Mir and Ponovezh, the great tzaddik, HaGaon HaRav Chatzkel Levenstein, zt”l, who essentially said that lashon hara is not a taavah, but once a person immerses himself in it and talks lashon hara without inhibition, he develops a taavah for it. A smile lit up Rav Shteiman’s countenance upon hearing those important citations from his own shmuessen. HaGaon HaRav Gerson Edelstein, Shlita: The Sin Still Has Not Been Rectified
Rav Hofstedter and the hanhalah also went to the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, senior Rosh Yeshiva at the Ponovezh Yeshiva where they presented him with the sefer. Rav Edelstein was visibly impressed with the sefer and remarked that when the Chofetz Chaim wrote and published his Sefer Chofetz Chaim his intention was to try and repair the tremendous breach in this vital area of Yiddishkeit that had become so neglected. Although the Chofetz Chaim created a tremendous awareness with his sefer, to our great distress to this very day the sin has still not been rectified as it should. Perhaps the publishing of this sefer will lead to additional rectification of the aveirah of lashon hara and the terrible spiritual toll that it has on the collective body of Klal Yisrael, Rav Edelstein concluded. During his visit to Eretz Yisrael, Rav Hofstedter, in addition to his visits to numerous Gedolei Yisrael to present them with the new Dirshu edition of the Chofetz Chaim, gave a number of addresses. Notable among them was a powerful address to the talmidim of the Gerer Yeshiva, Nezer HaTorah in the city of Rishon L’Tzion. The derashah was given in the presence of the Gerrer Rebbe, shlita. As the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha proceeds with learning hilchos tzitzis and then hilchos tefillin there is tremendous momentum building with more and more kehillos embarking on the serious learning of daily halacha. In fact, in his address to his Chassidim on Motzoei Shavuos, the Belzer Rebbe, shlita stressed the importance of daily limud halacha. Now is the Time to Finally Learn Hilchos Tefillin! Rabbi Aharon Gobioff, Dirshu’s North American Director related, “Many lomdei halacha who have learned the first chelek of Mishnah Berurah in the past would skip the complex and difficult halachos of tefillin. Now, with Dirshu inching towards the end of hilchos tzitizis and the beginning of hilchos tefillin, it is the opportune time to finally learn the halachos of tefillin and take advantage of the koach harabbim and the many shiurim currently available.” One Dirshu participant related, “I used to learn halacha quite often, but I always skipped the halachos of tzitzis and tefillin because they were not so easy to understand. Now that I am in the framework of a Dirshu program, boruch Hashem, I am on the way to completing hilchos tzitzis and soon I will embark on hilchos tefillin! It is such a zechus to be part of this program! There are so many halachos that I thought I knew before but now I realize how little I really knew. I am thrilled to be able to be mikayem these vital halachos in the most lechatchiladige way!” To join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and bring daily halacha into your life, please call, 1888 5 Dirshu or e-mail, Info@kollelDirshu.org
shABBos & sundAy BMG Board of Governors
Co-Chairman, Board of Governors
duvi Blonder david Hager Michael kest Chaim kolodny Meir Levin Raphi Nissel dov osina Berel Weiss Zevi Wolmark
Reception Committee shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz
Moshe Chopp Zvi eilat Chaim freeman Aaron dov friedman Reuvain gradon Avi Hager Menachem klein Henry Manoucheri Avi Mayer Jeff Mendell Robert Millman Yaakov Rosenblatt Yonatan Weiss Moshe Zyskind
Annual CommunityReception in honor of the Roshei HaYeshiva of
Beth MedrAsh govohA
Sunday EvEning, JunE 7, 2015 - 8:00 pm at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Meir Levin 148 North Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, California
Divrei Chizuk by
HARAv ARYeH MALkieL kotLeR שליט"א Rosh HaYeshiva
Looking forward to seeing you, ReCePtioN CoMMittee
Shabbos of Chizuk
שבת קודש פרשת בהעלותך- sCHeduLe harav hagaon r’ Aryeh Malkiel Kotler שליט“א
harav hagaon r’ dovid schustal שליט“א
אכסניא Mr. & Mrs. dov osina
אכסניא Mr. & Mrs. Yonatan Weiss
קבלת שבת בית מדרש חוג Rabbi shmuel einhorn שליט“א 7200 Beverly Blvd.
מנחה ערב שבת עדת תורה Rabbi dovid Revah שליט“א 1135 south Beverly drive
שחרית קהילת יעקב Rabbi gershon Bess שליט“א 7211 Beverly Blvd.
שחרית Chasidishe kollel Rabbi Yochanan Henig שליט“א 444 N. La Brea · 9:00 am
סעודת שבת Mr. & Mrs. shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz
סעודת שבת dr. & Mrs. irving Lebovics
שיעור Young israel of Hancock Park Rabbi Yakov krause שליט“א 225 s. La Brea Avenue · 6:25 pm
בענין עוסק במצות תלמוד תורה אם פטור מן המצות
כולל בית אברהם Rabbi Chaim fasman שליט“א 7159 Beverly Blvd. · 6:15 pm סעודה שלישית/מנחה שערי תורה Rabbi Nechemia Langer שליט“א 340 N. La Brea
סעודה שלישית/מנחה Young israel of Hancock Park 7:25 pm
shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz
A Continuing torAh PArtnershiP
JUNE 4, 2015
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בית מדרש גבוה
ATTENTION YOUNG MEN (AGES 18-22)
New Learning Program for the Underserved Twenty-Something Crowd
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JUNE 4, 2015
AN EXCITING NEW
POST HIGH SCHOOL YESHIVA MORNING LEARNING PROGRAM S TA R T I N G T H I S FA L L !
UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF
RABBI ASHER BRANDER Learn with skilled and warm Rabbeim who will work with each student to help him reach his potential and imbue him with an ahava for learning
Our goal is to keep students more connected & growing in their learning each morning as they pursue a College Education or Career
Continue your Torah learning in an atmosphere of camaraderie, growth and spirit that will bring out your best.
OFFERING A BACHELOR’S OF LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE with a focus in business, pre-law, psychology, computers, or education
Rabbi Asher Brander announced this week the launch of a new learning program at the Link Kollel in Los Angeles. The program is being created to provide a learning environment for young men who have finished high school and are in their first years of adult life. The program requires two hours study a day and the 10 young men who will be pioneers of this new group will find guidance and serious learning available to them as they balance the demands of the workplace with ongoing Torah study. The learning program will also provide college credits for a local college or for other well- known places of higher education. Rabbi Brander explained, “The years between 18 and 23 are the most formative and this is the time that young adults create a sense of self-identity, as they emerge from teenage years with a greater sense of their own identity.” The program will be a game changer because such a learning schedule has never previously been available in LA and Rabbi Brander is quick to confirm his willingness to discuss the course with parents and potential students. Of course, the Link Kollel has been a vibrant place of learning since 2002, offering a broad selection of 55 classes for all ages, all levels of religiosity, men and women. Now, with this newly launched program, young men who should be increasing their learning, during the last years before they start their own family, will be included. More than 100 students,
of all ages study at the Link Kollel every day. The young women who study at the Torah Learning Center (TLC,) have gone on to marry men who work but who also have a daily Torah learning program which they bring to the marriage. The great balance is to include work and learning with Torah values. In this way, every day demands and problems can make sense. Again, Rabbi Brander emphasizes, “Torah is a lifetime labor of love which is how we connect to it. You need the right environment in order to learn and the young men we are interested in, will recognize that it takes a certain maturity and commitment to join the program. I want to find these young men, who might have returned from a year in Israel, or who might be studying at Yeshiva College or secular ones. This program will provide a supportive Rebbe and a learning home at our Beit Midrash in the Pico Robertson neighborhood. A key factor to ongoing study is finding the right environment. The Link Kollel classes have this. Also, we have also designed a faster learning track for stronger students.” To contact Rabbi Asher Brander, email www.linkla.org or call 1453 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, Phone: 310-470-5465. Link Kollel is located 3 blocks south of Pico at Robertson Blvd and Saturn St. Classes and programs are open to Jewish men and women of all backgrounds, without charge, unless otherwise noted.
Remembering a Gadol: Memorial for Rav Aharon Lichtenstein ZT”L Bracha Turner Following the shloshim of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, one of the major leaders of Modern Orthodoxy in Israel, and by extension in the U.S., a dozen organizations
School on Sunday, May 31st and over 120 people attended which demonstrated the wide impact and deep reverence that the Rav commanded.
We also endeavor to receive College Accreditation for the Morning Learning.
At one of his Shiurim
LINK 1453 S. Robertson Blvd. LA, CA 90035 For more information call: 310-278-3472
collaborated to remember a Torah leader who had a personal impact on many of the rabbis and individuals throughout Los Angeles. The memorial for Rav Aharon Lichtenstein was held at YULA Girls
Between a series of hespedim (eulogies), a short film depicted an intimate account of the Rav’s history and his legacy. From the poignant voices of the speakers who gave hespedim, it was easy to see how
grounds. He was one of the major proponents of the Hesder-concept Yeshiva which combined army service and yeshiva study. He legitimized both as deeply significant and honorable ways to serve Hashem. In describing his tremendous drive for Avodat Hashem (serving G-d), Rabbi Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob reflected on how “there was always a bounce under his step.” He was remembered particularly for carrying a large handful of seforim (books) to and from the beit midrash (study hall),
for answering the payphone in the yeshiva halls with a friendly, “It’s Aharon,” and proceeding to search for and even deliver messages for students from their family and friends. One of the speakers comically noted the dreadful surprise of having the Rav deliver a message to a student saying, “Your girlfriend called...” His incisive grasp of Torah is how he will be most remembered, whether as Talmudic teacher and Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, or as Rosh Yeshiva of Har
shaarei tefila A CHATZOS PARTNER EXPERIENCE. 1.855.CHATZOS
My daughter passed her 30th birthday without having found her bashert; it was heartbreaking. I noticed an ad for Kollel Chatzos and the concept of supporting Torah learning throughout the night as a zechus for a shidduch sounded very special. I signed up and submitted her name on March 22nd, hoping for a yeshua.
EVERY MIDNIGHT the distinguished talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos gather in locations across the globe.
The next day I got a ride to a chasunah. The women’s daughter was driving and we started talking about the challenges of shidduchim. “Everyone gets married in the end,” I said. It suddenly got very quiet. When we arrived at the hall I asked, “What’s your daughter’s married name?” The woman answered softly, “She’s in her 40’s and still single”. I felt absolutely terrible!! I promised to daven for her and we exchanged tehillim names.
During the darkest hours, when the rest of the world sleeps, they immerse themselves in vibrant Torah learning, bringing zechusim and yeshuos to klal yisroel.
4 LOCATIONS NEW YORK
The following Monday night, March 30th, my daughter became a kallah.
The whole night I kept thinking about the Kollel Chatzos learning taking place on my daughter’s behalf and how much I hoped the zechus w o u l d bear fruit, for her and maybe for this girl too. I was thrilled and surprised when a shidduch was suggested – with a boy who lived right around the corner! The following Monday night, March 30th, my daughter became a kallah. The next afternoon the phone rang--the other women’s daughter was also engaged!
MONROE MONSEY ISRAEL
Torah & Tefilla 12 AM -7 AM
As told to Shoshana Bernstein
BECOME A CHATZOS PARTNER TODAY
and experience the zechus of sustaining Torah learning.
46 Main St #104 Monsey NY 10952
with Guest Speaker
ben shapiro • Are we American Jews or Jewish Americans? • What is more dangerous: Islamic fundamentalism or leftism? • I am a republican in California, does my vote count?
friday, tammuz 9 - june 26
Ben Shapiro is senior editor-at-large of Breitbart News. Shapiro is the New York Times bestselling author of “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (2012), “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV” (2011), and “Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth” (2004), among others. His latest book is “The People vs. Barack Obama” (2014). Shapiro is also a nationally syndicated columnist since age 17, a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, and the host of The Morning Answer on KRLA 870 in Los Angeles and The Ben Shapiro Show on KTTH 770 in Seattle.
718.887.9114 (24 HOURS) email@example.com www.1855chatzos.org
friday night dinner
6:30 pm, Mincha & Kabbolat Shabbat in Main Sanctuary 7:30 pm, Seudat Shabbat in Kanner Hall
Adults: $36 • Children: $20
Babysitting for duration of program in Youth Rooms
1 . 8 5 5 . CHAT ZOS
RSVP at shaareitefila.org or (323) 938-7147 Limited seating available
JUNE 4, 2015
In conversation with the Rav of the Kotel, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz
Etzion Yeshiva, or as Rosh Kollel of Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, an affiliate of Yeshiva University. He would also never belittle people with whom he disagreed. Instead, he would say, “We can learn from their community and they can learn from us.” He believed in maximizing every moment to the utmost and liked using sports as a paradigm of humanity, pushing ourselves to our limits. Once, when the outcome of the Superbowl was decided in the last seconds, he remarked excitedly, “Look at what can be accomplished in 19 seconds!” In the breakout sessions, participants studied a variety of topics. Rav Aharon was a strong supporter of women learning Torah She-Baal Peh (the oral Torah) so this focus group was full to capacity. While being committed to Torah, Rav Aharon found, as Rabbi Topp expressed so precisely, “the balance between openness to Western thought and a responsibility to the surrounding world in which we live.” In Rav Aharon’s own words, “Learning is not only cognitive awareness of Torah and halakha, or personal ethics and faith. All these things need to be symbiotically intertwined.” And this is his legacy.
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the Rav became so beloved and adored by his students. The event featured a morning of ‘Reflection and Learning.’ Following a series of personal and revealing accounts of the Rav, participants met in “breakout sessions” to learn in his merit and to arrive at an expanded introduction to the Rav’s Torah philosophy and worldview. Rav Aharon was born in Paris, France to holocaust survivors. At a young age, his family moved to the United States. A child prodigy, he graduated high school at the young age of 14 and received his rabbinic ordination and B.A. at Yeshiva University. From there he went to Harvard University where he graduated with a Ph.D. in English literature. He married the daughter of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and is survived by his wife and six children. Rav Aharon was beloved by many and through a series of anecdotes, it was made clear that there was much to be learned from him besides his erudition in Torah. As Rosh Yeshiva of Har Etzion Yeshiva in Alon Shvut, along with the late Rabbi Yehuda Amital, he was known for a sense of integrity throughout his life with humility, honesty, and love of Jews from all back-
LINK Kollel in LA Celebrates Its “Bar Mitzvah” Anniversary Honors Dr. Blumenstrauch and Rabbi Niehaus
Rabbi Niehaus addressing the crowd
Over 360 supporters from many different backgrounds crowded into the ballroom of the Nessah shul in Beverly Hills to celebrate the completion of 13 years of Torah study and community outreach of the Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel (LINK) on the evening of May 18, Rosh Chodesh Sivan. The gala anniversary dinner also honored two prominent community couples: Rabbi and Mrs. Ephraim Niehaus, a beloved, veteran M’chanech and now part-time Avreich at LINK, and Dr. and Mrs. Roy Blumenstrauch, leading
supporters of Torah institutions across Los Angeles. It was back in 2002 that Rabbi Asher Brander, then the Rav of the Westwood Kehilla shul, had the far-sighted vision to open a new Community Kollel in the Westwood neighborhood of LA. From those modest beginnings, the Kollel has burgeoned into a major force in the Pico-Robertson community, where it relocated in 2011. It now employs 16 full and part-time Talmidei Chachomim who both learn amongst themselves and teach
hundreds of students of all ages and backgrounds every week. On this night, Rabbi Brander’s prescience was clearly vindicated as the community of students and supporters turned out in force to celebrate the achievement of LINK’s milestone anniversary. In his remarks, Rabbi Brander paid tribute to the avreichims’ “love affair” with Talmud Torah and their mesirus nefesh for learning and teaching from 6am until 10pm daily. He analyzed the progression in the wording of the Birchas HaTorah that we recite daily. When we study Torah in depth, it brings us to true joy and delight, which in turn inspires our children and our students to follow in the path of Hashem. Rabbi Brander proceeded to explain why Dr. Blumenstrauch was so worthy of the Community Leadership award. He noted the dedication that Roy and his wife have put into the chinuch of their children, their quiet chesed on behalf of many as well as their leading role in the founding
Tendler, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Birchas Yitzchok, presented Dr. Blumenstrauch with the Distinguished Harbatzas HaTorah award. Rabbi Tendler had been Rabbi Niehaus’ Menahel for most of the latter’s 35 years in Chinuch at YULA High School. Rabbi Tendler called Rabbi Niehaus the quintessential “Ben Torah.” A son, he averred, reflects the essence of his father. A “Ben Torah” reflects what Torah is all about. This, he concluded, is the ultimate compliment to Rabbi Niehaus, since he has been such a warm and compelling role model for his hundreds of talmidim throughout the years. In a deeply-moving gesture of Hakoras HaTov, dozens of Rabbi Niehaus’ talmidim in the audience came up onstage to personally thank him for all that he has done for them throughout the years. In his acceptance speech, Rabbi Niehaus explained how the ten Dibros were uttered at once, meaning that ultimately, they all have one
Photos: Manny Saltiel
THE JEWISH HOME
JUNE 4, 2015
Rabbi Shalom Tendler, Rabbi Asher Brander, Rabbi Ephraim Niehaus and Mrs. Zahava Niehaus
of several Torah institutions (in addition to their steadfast support for LINK from its inception). Dr. Blumenstrauch in turn thanked LINK for all it has done for his family. He hearkened back to the searing lesson in Jewish continuity that he learned from his late parents who survived the gehinom of the Holocaust and built a new life, first in Israel and then in America. In particular, he related how his mother, who miraculously escaped the concentration camps while on the run form the Nazis, was shocked and ultimately heartened when she realized that she and her family were not the only Jews left in Europe after the war. She inculcated the imperative of Jewish continuity to her son, which has motivated him to this day. Following an inspiring video presentation about LINK and another one about Rabbi Niehaus, created from interviews with his former talmidim, Rabbi Shalom
source: Hashem. “Indeed,” he continued, “Chazal say all 613 mitzvos were hinted at in these 10 Commandments and thus all of them are ultimately from one shoresh – the will of Hashem that we must dedicate ourselves to unconditionally.” He concluded by reflecting on the various stages of his life: His years as a yeshiva bochur, yungerman, busy father, his career in chinuch, and his recent move back to Kollel after so many years. He exhorted his audience to remember that if a person makes Torah study his focal point throughout his life, regardless of whatever he may do for a living/parnosa, then when he retires, his return to the Beis Medrash will be effortless because he never really left. With those powerful words, LINK’s most successful banquet to date concluded, leaving its audience deeply inspired and poised to accept the Torah anew on Shavuos, a mere five days away.
Rehearsing for the play
we’ve redeemed more than
Themes of the dances include an adorable “Sandy” dog gymnastics routine, a NYC themed ballet dance and a Hard Knock Life hip hop dance. The older acting and dance classes will be putting on a full length Annie Musical and Dance production at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm that day. The show is a culmination of the studio’s classes from the year. All of the dances complement the drama program which make for a fun and entertaining program. Performers range from age seven through teen, so the program is for women and girls only. The studio has evolved since opening its doors 11 years ago. Executive Director, Sheila Meyer had a vision to create a “real dance studio” experience for girls and women of the orthodox Jewish community. Sheila grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and
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attended dance classes at studios which did not cater to observant Jews. Despite that limitation, she really loved being part of a dance studio and the joy of performing. This is what inspired her to open a dance studio catering to the orthodox community. Classes at A Time for Dance are taught by professionally trained teachers, professional actresses, singers, dancers and gymnasts. Many of the staff are regular performers on television, at Disneyland, Universal Studios, in musicals at local theater houses and even touring with popular musicians. Many of A Time for Dance’s students return year after year and go on to high school to perform in the bi-annual Bais Yaakov Halelli show. At the studio, students find an outlet to explore their creative talents which build self-esteem and self-confidence. The studio has three locations and provides onsite classes at several local schools. Private lessons are offered as well. A Time for Dance offers classes year round and throughout the summer. To purchase tickets for the show, visit: www.atime4dance.com. There are also summer camp options in the city and valley. Check out the schedule on their website.
JUNE 4, 2015
A Time for Dance, the neighborhood dance and performing arts studio which caters to the orthodox Jewish community, will be hosting their 11th Annual Performance on Sunday, June 7 at Bancroft Auditorium. Students will perform three exciting performances. The first performance, at 9:30 is an Annie themed dance and gymnastics recital for all pre-school aged students. Each group will showcase their dance style.
THE JEWISH HOME
A Time for Dance hosts 11th Annual Performance
Pesa Chaya Fauman
THE JEWISH HOME
JUNE 4, 2015
“Think Good and It Will be Good” - A New Understanding
The potential power of our thoughts is tremendous. In fact, the secret to success lies in the power of thought” - Sara Yosef. About eight months ago, I came across Rabanit Sara Yosef’s book, “It’s All in Your Mind” through my “Sisters in Simcha” Shabbos learning group. I had no idea how this book would affect my life. I was coming off a very challenging two years, and although I have done a tremendous amount of work on developing myself through Mussar and other very effective character refinement programs, this book came at a moment when I was ready and open to understand this material and it brought new meaning to me. I am so grateful to Hashem for placing this knowledge in front of me, because I have now incorporated this Torah-sourced positive thinking into my life and it is having a definite impact. For the past eight years my husband and I yearned so deeply to return to Eretz Yisrael, but there was always something that didn’t allow for it to happen. This is how I thought, until I realized it was my own thinking that was not allowing Hashem’s abundance and beneficence to come down into our life. Because I had bought into the belief of the difficulty of our circumstances, I always expected results to take longer and this was closing the pipeline of abundance that would otherwise have come down to us. I didn’t fully believe that Hashem is in charge of everything, that nothing is too difficult for Him. Now, with the new understanding I received from Rabanit Yosef’s book, I started visualizing positive things happening and I started to repeat, “Hashem, only You can enable a trip to Eretz Yisrael for Pesach to celebrate our anniversary, a trip that we can afford, with some work that is
needed for my husband, and we still have to pay our bills!” When the trip miraculously materialized, I knew I had to make it my business to find Rabanit Sara Yosef to thank her in person for having such a deep effect on my life. I called my dear friend and Rebbetzin in Israel and said, “PLEASE HELP ME FIND HER!” Hashem delivered a life-changing five week trip with two amazing jobs for my husband and my opportunity to meet Rabanit Yosef. Rabanit Sara Yosef is the daughter-inlaw of the late Gadol Rabbi Yosef Ovadia, zt’l. She resides in Holon, Israel with her husband, Rav Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Holon, and family. As an events coordinator for various Rebbetzins and Rabbis that have come to Los Angeles in the past, I was astounded at how Hashem brought me to her door step to meet and find out that she was planning to come to Los Angeles after Shavuot and needed someone to coordinate her trip! I finally understand the phrase, “Think Good and It Will be Good.” This truly is a way to increase one’s emunah and bitachon. When you yearn for results, and you understand that they come directly from Hashem, as a gift, this deepens your trust, and your life is surrounded with peace, because you realize Hashem can change anything at any moment. And then, of course, you never know what a shift in thinking can lead to. Maybe to Eretz Yisrael. Maybe to meet the author whose work affected me so deeply. And maybe to be shaleach for other women to have the opportunity to increase their abundance by experiencing Rabanit Sara
Yosef for themselves. And so I invite all of you, beautiful Jewish women, to give yourselves a gift on this coming Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, to hear Rabanit Yosef’s life-changing, positive-thinking workshop on Tuesday, June 16 at Torat Hayim, and on Thursday, June 18, at Adat Yeshurun in North Hollywood. Both workshops will be in Hebrew with simultaneous professional English translation. For additional questions, please contact Pesa Chaya Fauman at pesa613@ hotmail.com or text 818-720-5118. Event information: Tuesday, June 16 at Torat
Hayim, 1026 South Robertson, 90035, 2nd floor Simcha Hall, and Thursday, June 18, at Adat Yeshurun, 2405 Sylvan St. North Hollywood, Los Angeles 91607. Doors open at 7pm and workshops begin promptly at 7.30pm. The cost of each workshop is $25.00 at the door, $20.00 if you sign up by June 9. To reserve a headset please RSVP by June 12. The Rabanit will also be available for private consultations the week of June 16. It’s All In Your Mind by Sara Josef, can be purchased from amazon.com.
5 Talmidim who studied the first 12 Perakim of Tanya Be’al Peh
On Sunday 13 Sivan, the wonderful talmidim of Cheder Menachem Los Angeles , together with their parents, grandparents, relatives and friends, Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshivos and shluchim gathered together to mark the culmination of two months of learning Mishnayos and Tanya Baal Peh. The event was created as a present to the Rebbe, in honor of Yud Alef Nissan. To date, in the 15 years that the program has been happening, the talmidim have passed the 1,000,000 line mark of Mishnayos Baal Peh! Together, this year’s talmidim learned and were tested on a total of 100,000 lines of Mishnayos, Tanya, Siddur and Yediyos Klaliyos. This number includes 6,660 Mishnayos, including 103 complete Masechtos and 799 Perakim, as well as 207 Perakim of Tanya Baal Peh, totaling 14,603 lines of Tanya Beal Peh. Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, Menahel of
Cheder Menachem, welcomed everyone with a D’var Torah and giving a yasher koach to the talmidim. Words of bracha were shared by Rabbi Shimon Halevi Raichik, Shliach of the Rebbe and Rav of Anash and Congregation Levi Yitzchok. In the spirit of Maalin Bakodesh, a new segment of the program was added. A special video presentation was then shown with a sicha where the Rebbe spoke about learning mishnayos Baal Peh and there were clips of young boys going by Dollars and presenting the mishnayos they learned to the Rebbe. A special presentation was made to Reb Yankel Ginsburg, the “Zevulun” of the Cheder’s MBP Program, who sponsors the Seforim on a yearly basis and L’iluy Nishmas his father, Reb Dov Reuven ben Dovid HaLevi o.b.m. Rabbi Sholom Heidingsfeld, the coor-
dinator of the Mishnayos Be’al Peh program, announced the accomplishments of this year’s MBP, which was followed by awarding books to the four talmidim with the highest accomplishments. Talmidim were awarded seforim of their choosing, based on their point total, for their efforts and achievements. This year’s achievements include, Yossi Raeburn, 8th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed bvas achas, Masechtos Brochos and Avos , as well the first 12 perakim of Tanya and being tested on them bvas achas ; Dovi Spalter, 7th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed as well as Masechtos Avos, Brochos, Horayos and the first perakim of Tanya; Mendel Schmukler, 6th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed, as well as Maschta Brochos and Levi Cohen, 6th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed in addition to Mesechtos Brochos, Midos, Horayos and Avos and six perakim of Tanya. A presentation was made to 5 boys who
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Yossi Raeburn, 8th Grade learned the entire Seder Moed, Masechtos Brochos and Avos as well the first 12 perakim of Tanya
completed the first 12 perakim of Tanya Baal Peh. As part of the Cheder’s Twelve Perakim club. At the Twelve Perakim club, talmidim gather for monthly meetings where they discuss where they are holding and make goals for their learning for the next month, together with some nosh and review games for the Tanya. These 5 talmidim, Yossi Raeburn, Mendel Kramer, Shlomo Feldman, Kasriel Lezak and Mendel Lipsker, received a leather Chitas as well as a leather tefillin mirror and tzedakah pouch. The awards were given out by Rabbi Sholom Heidingsfeld together with Rabbi Levi Eisenberg, who founded the club in memory of HaTomim Nosson Nota ben Reb Zalman Yuda Deitch a”h. A special thank you to Mrs. Ruchie Stillman, R’ Nochum Labkowsky, Mr. Sam Kustanovich and the Cheder board for all their help in ensuring the success of the day’s events.
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Dovi Spalter, 7th Grade, learned the entire Seder Moed, Masechtos Avos, Brochos, Horayos and the first perakim of Tanya
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One Million Lines Learned by Cheder Menachem Talmidim!
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Rabbi Sender Haber, Rav of B’nai Israel Congregation, Norfolk, Virginia
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Important Note: This article discusses the film “Gett” in response to the way it was received by audiences in the United States. Although this editorial inevitably
touches on the Agunah issues in Israel, it is a criticism of the film’s presentation of the issues and not an attempt to minimize the importance or scope of the issues themselves. This movie was first released in February and has grossed, so far, an impressive $944,000. “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” is the fictional story of Viviane Amsalem, a woman who has been applying for divorce for three years but without success. Her husband’s cold intransigence, fires Viviane’s determination to fight for her freedom. Most of the movie takes place in the courtroom where the battle is played out. The movie has drawn intense responses from all kinds of movie goers. People who had never met an Orthodox Jew began railing against the abusive nature of “these people”. Pressure groups used the movie as a platform to discuss everything from uneducated women to Sharia Law.
I was recently invited to review the movie and at the screening I attended, one panelist later apologized to me in a private email that some of the ‘facts’ shared had been inaccurate and one woman at the theater accused me, a graduate of Lakewood Yeshiva, of ‘not really being Orthodox’ because I didn’t fit the stereotype presented by the movie. Although I was gratified to see people identifying with the pain of the Agunah and discussing solutions, I felt compelled to write the following article based on the remarks that I shared in the theater. As an Orthodox rabbi, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to be involved in more than a few Orthodox Jewish divorces. While a divorce is inherently painful, the ancient and divine wisdom that it embodies is breathtaking. Despite the apparent irony, I have seen people walk away inspired from what is often the most intense afternoon that they will ever spend with an Orthodox Rabbi. It is a powerful process. That isn’t to say that it is a pleasant experience. Neither is a funeral. But it is a meaningful, solemn and biblically legal way of separating two people who were previously joined together in the strongest religious bond known to mankind. The description of the film doesn’t agree. It reads as follows: “In Israel there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce. Only rabbis can legitimate a marriage or its dissolution. But this dissolution is only possible with full consent from the husband, who in the end has more power than the judges. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for divorce for three years. But her husband Elisha will not agree … (and their) tragedy vies with absurdity, and everything is brought out for judgment, apart from the initial request.” So Viviane wants a gett from Elisha, her husband of thirty years, who is controlling and possibly abusive. The Beis Din [Rabbinic Court] fails miserably and she only receives her gett after several years and only after agreeing never to marry anyone else. This is a sad story, albeit a fictional one. However, it is not a story about the Jewish laws of divorce; it is a story about incompetent judges who happen to be serving in a Jewish Court of Law. Jewish Courts of Law are not perfect, but Orthodox Jews certainly don’t have the monopoly on incompetent arbitrators. A quick fact check is in order: In 2013 (the year prior to the filming of the movie), the Israeli rabbinate presided over 11,219 Jewish divorces. The average amount of time it took to complete a divorce was 96
days. According to the Rackman Center, which takes more cases into consideration, the overall average time for the completion of a divorce in Israel is fifteen months. That is a long time to wait, but it is not unreasonable when compared to the mandatory waiting period in Virginia of one year, and it is nowhere close to the three to five years of waiting portrayed in the film. A women’s advocacy organization called “Mavoi Satum” cites one case in which the Rabbinate waited six years before imposing sanctions. Eventually Rabbi Lau, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, stepped in and put a stop to the delays. This was a very sad situation, but certainly not typical. Dr. Rachel Levmore, a Rabbinic Court Advocate in Israel, wrote about the film in the Forward. She felt that although it is, “unlikely that all of the incidents would be concentrated in one specific woman’s case. Nevertheless, it is probable that one or more of the troublesome situations will arise in any given woman’s plea for freedom.” Dr. Levmore goes on to explain how the concept of “Ma’is Alai” is not a universally accepted grounds for coercion. Dr. Levmore makes the point that this film will help Rabbis and Judges empathize with the plight of the Agunos. As a case in point, the Rabbinate in Israel is screening the film for their judges to help them empathize and to educate them on possible abuses of the system and their negative reputation in the eyes of the Israeli public. I have only respect for Dr. Levmore’s work in assisting Agunos in Israel and I hesitate to argue with her. I disagree, however, with the idea of creating a film that shows what amounts to a caricature of the actual situation and is perceived (at least in the United States) as the norm. It has the end result of portraying Rabbis as uncaring people and orthodox men as abusive husbands. I think that both ethics and the women who are suffering would be better served by a more accurate presentation. Director Shlomi Elkabetz claimed in an interview that there are 45,000 women in Israel waiting for a divorce. That is simply not true. There are 45,000 open cases in the Rabbinical Court, but at least 35,000 of those cases are not even divorce cases. Of the 10,000 women that actually are “waiting for a divorce” (which includes those who just filed yesterday,) the vast majority will be resolved in an expedient and efficient manner. Even one Agunah is too much, but the number of Agunos waiting over a year for their divorce is nowhere close to the unfounded figure cited by the
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breaking and tragic. Is this film an accurate portrayal of the issues or of the Israeli Rabbinate? Not in the way it has been received here in the United States. I can see where a non-Orthodox person would want to move in and change the system, but they need to remember that they are the ones making the change to an old and wise tradition. They can lobby for better oversight, better judges, civil marriages, or other forms of recognition, but they cannot justify a film like “Gett” that inaccurately blames Jewish Tradition and the entire Israeli Rabbinate for the behavior of three fictional judges and one imaginary husband. I have personally lost sleep over the Agunah issue and have put many hours into dealing with recalcitrant husbands. Any rabbi should. In addition, I have encouraged couples to sign Halachic prenuptials which effectively give the American Jewish Courts legal basis to deal with recalcitrant husbands. I have shed tears and tried to be part of the solution. But not at the price of abandoning a divine tradition that we have clung to and that has served us well for thousands of years. In closing, I share a touching story about Rav Ovadiah Yosef, the recently deceased Chief Rabbi of Israel. Rav Yosef was once rushed to the hospital for an acute medical condition. Israel’s top surgeons examined him and quickly determined that the only solution was a risky surgery and they scheduled it for that afternoon. Since there were three hours left until the surgery, Rav Ovadiah asked to be taken home and brought back in three hours. Why did he go home? It turned out that there was a woman, an agunah, whose husband had disappeared. Halachically it was unclear if she would be able to remarry. Rav Ovadiah was in the middle of researching and writing a ruling that would allow her to remarry halachically. He knew that if he died ‘under the knife’ there would be nobody else with the authority and the knowledge to write the ruling to help that woman. We need to follow the Chief Rabbi’s example. The ultimate solution for all women will definitely not come as a result of bigotry and misrepresentation. It will be a product of genuine caring and heartfelt concern. In his classic Lecha Dodi, the original Shlomo Elkabetz compared the Jewish people to G-d’s bride. If we can help every woman find the joy that she deserves, G-d will reflect that love in his compassion for us. He will wipe away all of our tears and
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director of the film. The fact is that the Rabbinate in Israel has made some of the greatest strides in Jewish history to eradicate the Agunah issue. One in five women, according to mavoi satum, experience some form of extortion over their gett, but the Rabbinate is dealing with it. A husband who refuses to grant a gett has no chance of ever getting married by a competent rabbi. That is not always sufficient incentive, so the Rabbinate in Israel has developed a powerful arsenal: The Rabbinic Courts have the ability to freeze bank accounts, revoke driver’s licenses, seize property, and incarcerate husbands who refuse to grant a gett. They can order solitary confinement or send a husband to a prison where they will not receive religious privileges granted to other prisoners. They can hire private investigators to track down recalcitrant husbands. They have even found ways to compel husbands who have fled the country to return and grant a gett. It is true that many women in Israel have reported on disturbingly unprofessional behavior on the part of the Rabbinic judges and the Rackman Center has released some very troublesome statistics online. Still, as opposed to what the film would like you to think, women do regularly file for divorce and plead their cases before Rabbinic courts. In addition, there are male and female “Rabbinic Advocates” (some of whom are secular Jews) who stand ready to represent their clients in a professional, effective, and empathetic manner. In their eagerness to prove a point, the writers of the film give us an absurd scenario in which the husband does not have a driver’s license because “he is afraid he will drive on the Sabbath”. They create a character with no checking accounts or credit cards that can be frozen. They do not explain why the husband is released from prison, even as he continues to refuse to cooperate. They also create a Halachic impossibility of a woman who accepts a gett on the condition that she will never marry again. In addition, it is difficult to watch the film without being revolted by the bigotry of the film makers. All of the ‘good guys’ are secular; all of the ‘bad guys’ are religious. Sephardic men are portrayed as abusive and controlling husbands. The negative stereotyping was unnecessary for the plot and very disturbing. Are there women out there waiting for their Jewish divorce? Yes, and it is heart-
we will know of no further sorrow.
A previous version of the article first appeared on jewinthecity.com
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Zeh Lo Maspik
I returned on Sunday from a ten day visit to Eretz Yisroel, where I saw many things that gave me hope for the future. I was inspired so many times that I lost count. I was touched by things people said and actions I witnessed. I returned, recharged and ready to take on new challenges, with Hashem’s help. At the home of Rav Zvi Schvartz in Rechovot, I met Yehuda Barkan, an Israeli actor-turned-baal teshuvah. We had an enlightening conversation about his life. He said that he grew up in Netanya, where his parents ran a coffee shop. “I didn’t know about anything,” he told me. “I didn’t know about Kiddush. Nothing. Efes. In school, I was a poor student, but my parents never figured that out. They couldn’t read Hebrew, so when my report cards would arrive, they would ask their friend, Yoske, to read it and tell them how I was doing. He covered for me and told them that I was doing well enough. My father would say, ‘Genug iz genug,’ and that was the end of it.” The Gulf War changed him. “Scuds were flying everywhere in Israel and no one was getting killed. I happened to meet some religious people and we were discussing it. They said that it is Hashgochah Elyonah. I said that if that is so, then I want to get to know the Mashgiach. The One who watches over us. Since then, I’ve been talking to Hashem and learning Torah with Rav Schvartz.” As I nodded approvingly, he said, “You know, Shlomo Hamelech says, ‘Hevel havolim,’ that everything in the outside world is silliness. You don’t appreciate
what it means, because you were never there. You don’t know what it means. “Let me explain,” he continued. “Way back in the ‘70s, I made a film that was very popular. It was sold to an American distributor and we were flown to New York. They dressed us in tuxedos and ties and brought us in a limousine to the film’s premiere. When we exited the car, flashbulbs went off. They couldn’t take enough pictures of us. Everyone swarmed around us and we were brought to the stage as the crowd clapped. “Then, when the show was over, we looked around and everyone was gone. It was just me and my friend. We were left there backstage in our tuxedos and ties and not a dime in our pockets. We didn’t know where to go or how to get anywhere. “Hevel havolim. It’s all just flash. They use you for what they need and then, when they are done with you, it’s over. You’re all alone. “You can’t possibly appreciate that, because you weren’t ever in that world. It’s flash, flash, flash, and then it’s over. Like a steak on the grill. The outside may look fully cooked, but the inside is raw. And it’s raw there. Believe me.” On Shavuos, we celebrate the penimiyus of Torah. We celebrate the blessings of
theirs, she’atah madlik umeitiv ess haneiros, because you will ignite and clean out the lights of the menorah.” The mitzvah of hadlokas haneiros was meant to assuage Aharon’s distress at having missed out on the chanukas hanesi’im. Meforshim offer various explanations
A Bar Mitzvah boy puts on Tefillin at the Kosel
of the opportunity that hadlokas haneiros afforded that the nesi’im had not merited. An idea expressed by many is that the
DEEP INSIDE THE HEART OF A JEW, THERE IS A SINGLE, OFTEN UNEXPRESSED, SENTIMENT: ZEH LO MASPIK. content. We celebrate that we are not impressed by the flashbulbs. We are a nation of penimiyus and tochen. Rashi, at the beginning of this week’s parsha, famously provides insight into the most elusive goal: man’s often-unrealized aspirations. After Aharon Hakohein expressed his disappointment over being left out of the inauguration of the Mishkon and not participating in the daily korban offered by each of the nesi’im, Hashem responded, “Chayecha, shelecha gedolah mishelohem, your mitzvah is greater than
chanukas hanesi’im, the korbanos brought each day by the twelve nesi’im during the inauguration of the Mishkon, were a means of creating something new. The excitement and enthusiasm that the nation felt due to the presence of the mishkon, Hashem’s dwelling place, in their midst was conveyed through their daily offerings. People are always able to muster up eagerness for something new for instance on Dalet Minim, the first day of Sukkos, hadlokas neiros on the first night of Chanukah, a bar mitzvah boy with his new te-
fillin, and so on. Novelty inspires passion. That is no secret. The secret has always been in maintaining that initial excitement and fervor. How does one hold on to a sense of eagerness? Since time immemorial, man has been seeking ways to maintain that feeling of sippuk, meaning and passion. In the best-seller section of any bookstore, you’ll find titles that promise a sense of freshness in marriage, at work, and in life in general. People think that in order to be happy and generate excitement in their lives, they need to constantly update their possessions and acquire new stuff. What they really need is to appreciate what they have and be happy with their blessings, maintaining the original vitality and joy. The formula for this was hadlokas haneiros, day after day, without change, without modification, at the same time, in the same fashion. There was no flash and there were no crowds watching. It was just Aharon and Hashem. He stood there behind the curtains of the Mishkon, preparing and lighting the menorah. With that, he was placated. About this mitzvah, we are told that Aharon is praised shelo shina that he didn’t change. The original sense of chiddush never waned. How? The week I just spent in Yerushalayim was not just any week, but the week of the Yom Tov of Shavuos. I was privileged to bask in the light and happiness of the anniversary of Kabbolas HaTorah, amidst people who have never stopped thanking Hashem for this gift. Somehow, spending time in Eretz Yisroel provides you with an answer to this question. If you live your life on a deeper level, and you live your life connected to your base and roots, then it always feels fresh. It’s easy for the superficiality of American life to affect us, depriving us of the chiyus and energy that lie in each mitzvah. If someone spends too many hours and too much money buying a Yom Tov wardrobe, but too little time on learning the holiday’s halachos and penimiyus, he won’t feel very much of the Yom Tov. Its effect will last as long as the crease of his new pants. Among the Jews that I encountered in Yerushalayim, there seemed to be more
turn around and walk straight now.” But the boy insisted on walking backwards. “Lo, abba. Zeh lo maspik.” He was walking with a backpack, heading to a car on Shabbos, r”l, but he wanted more. Zeh lo maspik. It’s not enough. He was hungry for more kedushah. I traveled to Naharia to visit Rav David Abuchatzeira. As soon as we met, he turned to me and said that I probably wonder what types of issues he deals with. “What do people ask for? Let me tell you,” he said. “Let me show you. The koach hatumah has been strengthened, and it is taking a toll on our people. You have to fight the tumah, bringing light to people and inspire them to do teshuvah. “It takes on various guises, but at the root, it is the fact that tumah is in the air. Tumah is fought with kedushah and with teshuvah. Get that message across. Help and inspire people to seek out kedushah and teshuvah.” For the first time, I went to meet Rav Yaakov Meir Schechter, the aged tzaddik who lives in the Bais Yisroel neighborhood of Yerushalayim,, near Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim. He told me, “You have to go and write. Tell people that they should not give up when they feel the tug of the yeitzer hora.” This is a topic that Rav Schechter has frequently written and spoken about. The Rav seemed to be suffering from a sore throat. The gabbai suggested that he tell me the message so the Rav didn’t have to strain himself but the Rav did not agree and said, “Nein, nein. Ich vill em zogen. Ich vill
The author with Rav Yaakov Meir Schechter
those pictures with fondness. And when the opportunity presents itself and a hand is extended to them, they will be able to accept it. While davening at the Kosel on Shabbos, I saw a sight that made me a little happy and a little sad. It was bittersweet and moving, and it offered reason for hope. A young boy and his father, who were obviously not religious, were leaving the Kosel. They were returning to their car, the keys audibly jangling in the father’s hand. The boy insisted on walking backwards, as some do. He didn’t want to lose sight of the holy wall. His father berated him. “Maspik! It’s enough,” he said. “You can
ehr zol dos heren richtig fun mir. I want to make sure that he gets the message. I have to tell him myself!” “The yeitzer hora is ever-present. That’s his job. That is what Hashem created him for. Tell people that when they feel him, they shouldn’t think that they are failures. He does his job, but they have to do theirs. The yeitzer hora was created by Hashem, but he was created with the purpose that he shouldn’t be listened to. Fight back and beat him. When you refuse his entreaties you are being mamlich Hakadosh Boruch Hu. If you remember that you are here to serve Hashem you will triumph. Just because you feel his presence
doesn’t mean you are a failure.” Rav Schechter sits in his corner of Yerushalayim and worries about people in America who become depressed and lose the self-respect and strength they need to battle on. So, be strong. You can do it. If you fail, pick yourself up and start over again. Never give up. Don’t look for the superficial. Go for the depth, recognize what is important and never be deterred by disappointment. People of spirit find ways to forge on. They are able to pick up the proverbial pieces and conquer. We are urged to be besimcha, because upbeat people have the ability to persevere. The joy in the streets of Yerushalayim is the joy of people fulfilled, people who toil to accomplish, people for whom “zeh lo maspik” is a way of life. Tens of thousands streamed to the Kosel on the night of Shavuos. There are no cars, busses, trains or taxis on the streets, just masses of people, a rush hour of Jews of all types, trekking to the place from where the Shechinah never departed. What a sight it was. For some people, the walk is easy. For others, it is harder. But I am sure that the one who had the hardest time of all was Rabbi Yossi Sorotzkin. Born with spina bifida, Reb Yossi lives with his wife in Bayit Vegan. His legs have no strength. He gets around on crutches, which, for all practical purposes, replace his legs. He has nothing to lean on, no place to balance his weight, except his hands. He walked on Shavuos night to the Kosel, all four miles, all by himself. He felt at times that he couldn’t go on, but he pushed himself. He stopped along the way, because his hands became blistered. He knocked on the door of an apartment on Rechov Azza. He asked the nice person who answered for something to wrap his hands in so that he could continue on. And continue he did. He made it there. He davened and then pulled himself back the four miles. His ruach carried him. His desire to connect to Hashem pushed him onward. For Yossi Sorotzkin, “zeh lo maspik” is a way of life. He doesn’t sit home, wallowing in sadness and mourning the tragedy of the way he was born. He pushes onward and forward. With a smile, he succeeds in knocking down one hurdle after another. We must do the same. Aharon Hakohein felt bad. He wanted to participate in the chanukas haMishkon. He had many zechuyos. Hashem spoke to him. He was the kohein gadol, a leader of the nation. But he felt “zeh lo maspik.” He wanted more. Hashem gave him a chance to teach the world how one can live in a constant state of “chanukah,” of constant freshness and vitality. We all have that ability, every day, in every deed. Deep inside the heart of a Jew, there is a single, often unexpressed, sentiment: zeh lo maspik. Let us resolve to awaken that feeling and express it, in ourselves and in others. Let’s spread the simcha, increase the kedushah, and make the world a better place so that we can all be in Yerushalayim bemeheirah.
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on the home of the Brisker Rov, it is a small and narrow street and a car is a rare sight there. “Mah atah shoel? Of course I know that street. That’s where I grew up. And do you know what? The Rov of Brisk lived on that street. Did you know that?” I asked what the Rov was like. “Do you remember him?” “Of course I remember him,” the driver said. “I was eight years old when he was niftar. We would play on the street and he would sit there studying Torah.” “Did he seem special to you in any way?” “Mah atah shoel? He was like a malach! He was an adam kadosh. He gave me a brachah. Do you know why I have a nice taxi and parnassah? It’s all because he blessed me when I was a little boy.” In Yerushalayim, there are no simple people. Scratch the surface and there’s a good story there. Shortly after I arrived for Yom Tov, I headed for the Kosel to witness a ceremony held for 350 Shuvu students celebrating their bar mitzvah. Unfortunately, the event was finished by the time I arrived but I was fortunate to enjoy the atmosphere. It seemed as if every child from around the country who was having a bar mitzvah was at the Kosel. Children who were obviously not religious came to be photographed putting on tefillin and reading from a Sefer Torah as their families watched with beaming smiles. Distant as they might appear, they aren’t gone. The connection is frayed, but it is still there, waiting to be tapped. Who knows when these young men will next put on tefillin? At least they will look at
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of a push and drive to understand things on a deeper level, to live life with faith and hopefulness. The Shemoneh Esrei of a weekday Minchah in Zichron Moshe sees cheeks wet with tears and hands outstretched. Everything seems so much more real. Their bekeshes may be worn and their shtreimels are narrow and old-fashioned, but they, as people, have depth and charm in all they do. In the shtieblach, you see shleppers davening alongside world-class talmidei chachomim. You are sure that in the group there are at least a few lamid-vovniks. The only difficulty you have is trying to figure out which ones they are, because they can’t all be lamid-vovniks…or can they? Like Aharon Hakohein and his menorah, being among those Yerushalmis reminds one that the daily avodah can be performed in a way that never feels repetitive. Humility, simplicity, and an innate intelligence about what is important put those people on a separate plane. Mr. Julius Klugman zt”l was one of the most respected baalei batim in Washington Heights, NY, embodying the emes and ehrlichkeit of Rav Breuer’s kehillah. Marked by a fervent respect and love for talmidei chachomim, he was among the first baalei batim to appreciate the authenticity of Brisk. He merited meeting the Brisker Rov, who noted the unique ma’alos of the American visitor. When Rav Berel Soloveitchik tried to stabilize the finances of Yeshivas Brisk, he reached out to Mr. Klugman and his brother for help. Mr. Klugman threw himself into the task of helping Yeshivas Brisk at a time when there were very few who understood its uniqueness. For decades, he raised money and gave money. Eventually, Rav Berel had the opportunity to purchase the current building of Yeshivas Brisk on the site of the Brisker Rov’s apartment. There were generous donors ready to help. Rav Berel didn’t say a word to Mr. Klugman, who heard about the campaign from others. Surprised, he asked Rav Berel why he - the most active lay leader for the yeshiva - hadn’t been contacted for help. The rosh yeshiva thanked him for volunteering to donate to the building but turned him down. “Your role is to help with the dayto-day expenses of the yeshiva,” he said. Two years ago, when Mr. Klugman passed away, Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Soloveitchik, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Brisk, dedicated a Chumash shiur to his memory. Rav Soloveitchik retold the above exchange and said, “In this story, one has a hargashah that this is what Chazal meant when they said, ‘Shelecha gedolah mishelohem.’ This is the maalah of hadlokas haneiros over the chanukas haMishkon. Good Jews appreciate the opportunity and zechus to help create something new. It takes a special vision to perceive the glory in the day-to-day. Someone who possesses that vision feels fortunate to help in the more ‘mundane’ ways as well.” What would an article about Eretz Yisroel be without a taxi driver story? I took a ride in a cab and directed the driver to take me to Rechov Press. I asked the nahag if he knew the location as many drivers are not familiar with it. Although the building houses Yeshivas Brisk, built
Honoring Our Traditions
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JUNE 4, 2015
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Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions
THE JEWISH HOME JUNE 4, 2015
JUNE 4, 2015
The Guardian of Israel neither Slumbers nor Sleeps:
Memories of Jerusalem, June 1967
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By Schwartzie a.k.a Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz After the War for Israel’s Independence in 1948, the Kottel, or Western Wall, came under Jordanian control and Jews were not allowed to visit their holiest site. Article VIII of the 1949 Armistice Agreement guaranteed that Jews would have access, but Jordan refused to honor this clause. From 1948 until the great miracle of the Six Day War, we weren’t allowed to visit our Holy Wall. This was a waiting period of 19 years! Finally, events unfolded that would fix the situation and irrevocably change the status quo. In 1967, the capital city of Jerusalem was surrounded on three sides by the artificially created country of Jordan. I was a young rabbinical student going to school in Jerusalem. The program at the Seminary gave us a full schedule, but Friday afternoon, before Shabbat, we were “off”. What does a rabbinical student do in his time off? It wasn’t “R.C” (Religiously Correct) to go to the movies or a bar. On the other hand, just five blocks away was the famous Mandelbaum Gate. That was a crossing from Jordan into Israel. We liked to stand as close as we could get on the Israeli side and stare at the Jordanian Legionnaires, enemy soldiers, standing opposite us in spiffy uniforms with large rifles. Tensions were rising. At that time, even my parents, who were very big Zionists, contacted me with the suggestion that maybe it was a good time for me to move to Tel Aviv because it would be safer. Even they knew that war was imminent. I refused. Now, our large Yeshiva building, so close to the border and with a huge backyard, was taken over by the Israeli Defense Force, the IDF. They dug three huge foxholes in the grounds and put three large mortar guns in the fox-
holes. About 40 soldiers then moved in, although the war was not to start for another two weeks. You must understand that since we were so close to the border the soldiers recognized the value of the Yeshiva. They wouldn’t have to aim their weapons. Mortar shells could just be lobbed in the general direction of “Jordan” and you were sure to hit the enemy. The American Embassy sent a memo, then a second and then a “Final Notice” to all American Citizens in Israel. It was actually pretty awesome. It went something like; “WAR is imminent! No transportation will be provided! Leave the Country NOW!” You get it; short, direct and to the point. We understood the memo, but what many don’t know is that at that time the airport was crowded with Americans who were already trying to leave. On the other hand, the religious orthodox Americans had a serious moral dilemma: What to do? Was it morally justifiable to leave? We Chasidim, who were disciples, followers and devotees, of our great Spiritual Moses icon, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, also weren’t sure. I’m an only son, born to elderly parents post Holocaust, after they found out that most of their siblings and their spouses and their children had been murdered. Three of my four grandparents were murdered by the Nazis. You get the picture; I was painfully aware of the distress that I could cause my parents. I began to entertain pessimistic ideas about someone ringing my parent’s doorbell back in Atlantic City and telling my mom the bad news about her 21 year old, her only son, who had been killed in the most recent war in Israel. In my Yeshiva there were four fellows from the US. Although we weren’t relat-
Jewish Legion soldiers at the Western Wall after British conquest, 1917
ed, we soon received similar telegrams from our folks back home. Basically, they were all the same instruction, “Son, come home!” In the end, we composed a telegram to the Rebbe and signed our names. We simply said, “We don’t know what to do. But we are your Chasidim so we will happily do whatever you advise.” His reply to us was printed on the front page of the most popular Maariv Newspaper, which is even today the number two paper in the country. The answer was short, to the point and quite uplifting. The Israeli Government, citing security measures had stopped the newspapers from printing the story about the airport being crowded with Americans trying to “escape” the War. Instead, I guess the Government thought this telegram would be a good shot-in-the-arm to pump up the morale of the populace and stop the panic and fleeing. Not unsurprisingly, the Maariv found it newsworthy enough to print on page one. The Rebbe’s telegram read, “Continue studying diligently. The Guardian of Israel (G-d), does neither slumber nor sleep. We will hear good news.” Haaretz also printed the words of the Rebbe, “There is no reason to frighten others. I am displeased with the exaggerations being disseminated and the panicking of the citizens in Israel....G d Is Watching over the Holy Land, and Salvation Is Near. By next Shabbos, we will be celebrating in Jerusalem!” After that virtually no Chasidim or even Orthodox Jews left Israel. And the days passed with no war. Every morning, we Yeshiva students would go out to the large backyard and put Tefillin on the soldiers hanging out with us. We even became friendly with some of them. Then our
King Hussein of Jordan, President Nasser of Egypt and Egyptian Army Chief of Staff Abdel Hakim Amer prior to signing the the joint Egyptian-Jordanian-Iraqi defense pact
Yeshiva sent us to study first aid because it was clear there would be a tremendous need for medical help with the upcoming war. No one was expecting the miracle of a six day war, which obviously reduced
The Jerusalem border seperating the Israeli and Jordanian parts of the city
the number of fatalities and the number of wounded. One sentence that made an impression on all of us rabbinical interns and students was the dour remark by our first aid instructor, “Remember, if there’s a war, never volunteer!” The following Sunday, before the War started, a large cattle truck pulled up to our Yeshiva and asked for volunteers for non-combat work. Without a second thought, I went with 30 from the Yeshiva student body and we climbed into that dirty cattle truck with absolutely no idea where we were going or what we were supposed to do. Being young Chasidim, we trusted in the Rebbe’s blessings and our enthusiasm to help the war effort was greater than
The neck of the bottle - the Straits of Tiran, Rose al Youssef, Egypt, May 29, 1967. Via elderofziyon.blogspot
23 THE JEWISH HOME JUNE 4, 2015
A UNEF officer saying goodbye to his Israeli counterpart as they evacuate the Sinai border. Photo by Bruner Ilan-Israel National Photo Archive
our thoughts of self-preservation. It turned out there were some new apartment buildings that didn’t have a shelter. Worse still, they were right on the border, next to a huge open field that led to Jordan. We were informed that it was now our job to dig trenches for the people living in these new apartments. Soon, I learned something. Before you dig trenches, you have to remove the larger rocks in the field. And they didn’t give us gloves. After a few hours, all our hands were bleeding. There was one soldier with a pistol and he had to supervise our group of Torah scholars. It was pretty obvious that he really didn’t like babysitting us young, orthodox, spoiled Americans. Around noon I noticed that he was standing at the end of the property and letting us boys look through his army binoculars at Jordan. I had to get in line and see for myself. At my turn I saw that the “abandoned” buildings, in Jordan, which were about one block away, had a nice amount of people on their second story roof and they were looking at us with their binoculars. It was a little unsettling and I suggested that now was an opportune time to break for lunch. Instead, I received a really dirty look from our commanding officer, who barked, “Just keep working!” By this time, the trenches were about knee deep. My intuition had not failed me. Perhaps ten minutes later, for the very first time in my life, I heard and experienced the sound of machine gun fire and it was directed at me. All of us leaped into the freshly dug trenches, whose security, we had just created by the blood of our hands. During those exciting moments, I started entertaining many thoughts and once again some more pessimistic visions. A strange thought occurred to me that in many ways it almost didn’t matter if there was a war, or who won. I had just seen the reality. Even if Israel won, our new neighbors could so easily just walk one block and take us out. My group of unarmed Yeshiva boys couldn’t have beaten them, and if this happened on that very day, we wouldn’t
“The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” The Rebbe at a Lag BaOmer children’s rally May 28, 1967
Letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe instructing the students to study diligently and there would be good news
Israeli newspapers reporting on the Rebbe’s stating there would be a great salvation
even know the outcome of the War. Meantime, there was nothing we could do. The small arms fire increased its intensity and bullets were clearly directed to us. I hated not being pro-active at such a time. Then, I had this brilliant idea. I started singing an uplifting, happy Chasidic melody! Immediately the rest of the students joined me. As you can imagine, our commanding Officer went ballistic. I don’t really know what he screamed at us in Hebrew. We all knew that the Jordanian soldiers clearly saw our position, so what difference did it make? Truth to tell, we were far away from the main part of the City, on the desolate outskirts. We weren’t sure that anyone knew we were in trouble, that we were still alive or that we were being fired upon. Thank G-d almighty, after ten minutes, we heard returning fire from Israel. After another five minutes, things quietened. Then Israeli army jeeps, with huge machine guns in the back, pulled up into the dirt field about a half block away. We were told to crawl in the dirt of the field, not something I was used to, but a solider accompanied us to the jeeps and we were taken back to the Yeshiva. Now that we had the IDF at the Yeshiva, the Yeshiva phone needed someone to await calls at all hours of the night and day in case of official business. The night after being shot at, turned out to be the last night
before the war and it was also my turn to babysit the phone. I was fine with this in theory, yet they never really told us what to do if the phone rang. So now it’s 3am and Jerusalem is deathly quiet and I’m sitting in the office alone. I thought I heard the phone ring and I couldn’t move. I was faced with a moment of self-doubt. I thought to myself, “What should I do? Does this mean that if I do NOT answer the phone that there’s NOT going to be a War?” Then, I clearly and distinctly heard the phone ring again. There was no denying this; I had no choice and slowly answered. The operator on the line said, in that distinctive, almost obnoxious traditional standard operator voice, “We have a person to person call from Atlantic City, New Jersey for Shlomo Schwartz.” Certain that I was hallucinating, I struggled to answer, “Speaking.” And it
Puttin on Tefillin with a soldier
was my parents wanting to know, “Whassup?!” So, I told them that the idea of a war was all a bunch of hype and the media was blowing everything out of proportion, and everything was really just fine and dandy.
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JUNE 4, 2015
Destroyed Egyptian planes. Most of the Egyptian Airforce was out of commision following the first day of the six day war
We had a great call and I felt great about reassuring my concerned family that everything was settling down. The next day the War started. It was Monday morning and by Wednesday, we could only hear explosions in the far distance. It was the beginning of June in the Middle East, the sun was shining, and it was truly a warm and beautiful day. Gradually we floated outside onto the quiet deserted street. It certainly seemed that the War was moving away from our neighborhood. It seemed that it was already over. We knew this was unrealistic, but after being incarcerated for almost 72 hours, and having survived a never to be forgotten bombardment that had lasted for four solid hours on the first day, you can understand our feelings. It was a deep pleasure to stand outside in the quietude of the glorious blue Israeli sky. Nature coerced us into meaningful thoughts of mortality, spirituality, personal goals and thoughts of grandeur. Suddenly some Army jeeps screech up to our group and the officer shouts out, “We need volunteers!” And again we weren’t sure what to do. They told us that eight blocks from our yeshiva were two overcrowded shelters full of civilian women and children. While the men had gone to the battlefronts, the little children and women were left in the path of the war. Some were screaming hysterically because they had no food. The soldiers told us they had bags of fresh loaves of bread and bottles of milk but they needed them distributed. Then we needed to build a temporary toilet for those in the shelter. The order was clear, “Get in the Jeeps!” I cannot tell you how we were welcomed by the panic stricken, traumatized women and children. And then, quite suddenly, a new bombardment started. This was very close to the two shelters were close to 80 people were already in a high state of nervousness. War is not pleasant. The war was over in six days. Even then, the IDF would not allow civilians to reach the Kottel because there were mine fields leading to the Wall. The Arabs were clearly aware that after they had deprived
Schwartzie, third from the right, with his fellow students
Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan And Gen. Uzi Narkass at the entrance to the old City. Photo by Ilan Bruner via Wikimedia Commons
Israeli forces looking at the Western Wall just before it was secured by the IDF
us of visiting our most hallowed site for 19 years, there would be a rush to the old city. They had therefore prepared a welcome with mines which they hoped would kill and maim us. All the paths, all the shortcuts that the older generation remembered, were fully supplied with anti- personnel mines that were designed to cause maximum injury that would burden us, and hurt our new population as we rebuilt the country. It took our army a full two weeks to clear out the explosives. We had to wait. This wasn’t the time to be adventurous and we knew that if the Good Lord , Almighty G-d , had saved us with the miracle of the Six Day War, we could not be a nudnik to the Almighty. I’ll conclude with the incredible mind-blowing, never to be forgotten scene, when the IDF finally permitted us to touch the Holy Wall. That was a long time ago, although everyone who was an eyewitness remembers the event vividly. That includes me. This is how it happened. It was the Holiday of Shavuot and I was with a group of 30 young men who were studying Torah through the night, as is the custom. Around 4.30am, a strange noise was heard outside the study hall of the Yeshiva. We quickly looked out our very small window at the narrow street below, Mayeh Sharim
Street. There, we could see a quickly moving mass of humanity who had totally filled the ancient, narrow street. Their shoes were shuffling in the ancient cobblestone streets and this was making the strange noise. We didn’t have to verbalize the obvious question. We just looked at the first Jew who made eye contact Major General Ariel Sharon putting on Tefillin at the Western Wall and he confirmed the news. The army had finally cleaned up a lonbe a positive sound. I listened to the difger, but safe way to reach the Kotel. We ferent melodies carrying heart-wrenching, ran to the mikveh and then raced to join devotional, sincere prayers. This was now what appeared to be a rushing river of thou- Shavuot and the timing couldn’t have been sands. As we were being directed along better synchronized. Our prayers, the holithe safe path by the soldiers, dawn was ap- day, the sounds were all painful, yet joyful proaching and the excitement rose with it. at the same time. We blended into the growing crowd; the It was about four hours later, with the excitement was palpable. Almost no-one sun fully beating down on us, and we had talked, which you have to admit is strange prayed up a good storm, that we headed in itself, but this was the spontaneous reac- back to our dorm. When we turned around tion to the event. We were a unified group from the Wall to return, we saw that the with a single purpose. river of people had further grown about And then we reached the Wall. five times in size. Of course! This was There were already two rows of Jews the first Shavuot in 19 years that the Jews spreading across the space in front of the were permitted to prey at their holiest site Wall. It was still getting light, although on G-d’s Universe. What a Shavuot! the sun hadn’t fully risen. The sound was I have been blessed with many Shavuot painful as we wept and we prayed and we holidays since then, but none have cappoured our hearts out. I watched in wonder. tured that mesmerizing event when we It was intensely moving to be there and ob- touched the unreachable and were truly serve everything. All the while, hundreds unified with so many Jewish souls. In fact, more people continued to arrive and each it was 48 years ago on June 11th. group started their own service. It was the first time that I realized a cacophony can
In View of Recent Events in Europe; an Invitation to Join us at a Panel Discussion Open to the Leaders and Members of the Community
Bringing Awareness Sharing Knowledge Protecting Our Children Safeguarding our Community Safety over those at Prayer
11:45AM at Nessah Congregation, Host Sponsor of Event,142 S. Rexford St., Beverly Hills, CA 90212 RSVP is Required, For Registration online for Panel Discussion go to: wcfpanel.eventbrite.com *Light Refreshments will be served Panel Chairman and members: Rabbi Abraham Cooper Chairman of Panel, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Coordinator of Disaster Preparedness & Training Jewish European Community Leaders Laniado Hospital, Israel
Consul for Political Affairs, of the Israel Consulate, Los Angeles Greetings
Deputy Chief LAPD & Commander of Counter Terrorism & Special Operations Bureau, LAPD
This will be the third time during the last 5 years that Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Israel is placing Disaster Preparedness on the Los Angeles community agenda.
Laniado Hospital Week, June 4th - 14th
Chief Operating and Financial Officer & Chairman of Ad Hoc Security Committee of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles
Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital Final Remarks
For more information on the Panel and other events: www.wcf-laniado.org or email: email@example.com or Tel. 310-385-9293 at the office of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital
Sol Teichman, Joseph Kornwasser & Sol Goldner, Chairmen of West Coast Friends Urie Lieberman, Director of West Coast Friends
LANIADO WEST COAST FRIENDS
SANZ MEDICAL CENTER
EVERY patient matters. EVERY minute counts
JUNE 4, 2015
Sunday June 7th - Panel Discussion "Community Responsibility-Community Preparedness"
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“COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITYCOMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS”
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JUNE 4, 2015
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say“Say What?” What?”
Compiled by Nate Davis
A lawyer from Africa wants to marry Malia Obama in exchange for goats, sheep, and cows. In response, President Obama said, “Don’t be ridiculous. My daughter isn’t marrying a lawyer.” – Conan O’Brien I’m fine, they’re really pampering me here. - Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, 92, when she was mobbed by wellwishers after completing the San Diego Marathon last week
I worked out about 10 times. I would love to come back two months from now. I know I could reach home plate with a decent curveball. I’m not kidding. I’m almost 93, but I feel like I’m 51, 49, right in there. - 92-year-old Tony Gianunzio, who threw out the first pitch in Wrigley Field 70 years after giving up a promising pitching career to go fight in WWII, vowing that the ball will reach the plate without bouncing next time I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage. – What a woman told a recycling company when she dropped off a box of electronics, which she didn’t realize included a vintage Apple I computer worth $200,000
For the second year in a row, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie with two winners. Or as each of their parents put it to their kids, “I told you that you shouldn’t have gone outside to play that one time.” - Jimmy Fallon
Palaces have been built for you, planes bought, Mercedes cars purchased... golden seats have been bought, that’s how you use the toilet. - Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the Turkish opposition, criticizing Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for his lavish spending, which includes recently building a $600 million palace WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco. - The warning that San Francisco lawmakers are proposing to be mandatory on all soda and sugary soda advertisements People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia, and today once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth… It was on that basis we were able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and try to work with our partners in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the reason why we are moving in the direction to normalize relations with Cuba and the nuclear deal that we are trying to negotiate with Iran. - President Obama at a recent town hall meeting
Today is the first official day of the 2015 hurricane season. And this is amazing — the New York Knicks have already been eliminated. – Seth Myers
I’ve got one simple message. I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you, Hillary! - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announcing that he is seeking the 2016 Republican nomination
Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. I bet he would. Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street: The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families. It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States. - Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, announcing that he is running for the 2016 Democratic nomination
During a speech in Iowa this weekend, Bernie Sanders criticized the billionaire class and said they “can’t have it all.” Billionaires would’ve responded but they were busy this weekend literally having it all. - Jimmy Fallon
I invite him to please come and take a tour... I wonder if he will be able to find such a golden toilet seat in any of these washrooms. If he finds it, I will resign from the presidency. - President Erdogan responding to the criticism
I don’t know. Maybe we were not skeptical enough. – Now retired Bob Schieffer, during his last broadcast ever of Face the Nation, “courageously” acknowledging that the media gave President Obama an easy ride during his 2008 campaign and failed to do their job, which is to be skeptical of all candidates
Israel is the root cause of economic, political and cultural problems facing Muslim nations in recent decades. - Conclusion reached by a gathering of Muslim clerics in Beirut, Lebanon, last week No. - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, when asked on CNBC whether a top tax rate of 90% would be too high
It is important to say that this land is ours—all of it is ours. We didn’t come here to apologize for this. - Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely telling Israeli officials that they should reference the Torah in presenting the historical rights of the Jewish people to the entire land of Israel Some of them I think secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me. – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggesting that those who oppose his opposition to the Patriot Act want there to be a terrorist attack so that they can blame him for it
I may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I have one big advantage: I’ve been coloring my hair for years. So you’re not going to see me turn white in the White House. - Hillary Clinton
You’re gonna be really mad at me when I put mine in. - What amateur golfer Janet Blundy joked to her amateur golfer husband, Tony, right after he hit a hole-in-one. Her next shot was a hole in one. (The odds of this feat, which was witnessed by independent witnesses, taking place is 26,000,000 to 1)
No getting around it— filling up your gas tank at certain stations in Detroit can be hazardous to your health… I’d probably be very aware of my surroundings. - Detroit Police Chief James Craig at a news conference after a man was shot while pumping gas at night
I have new watches! I’m supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs. But that seems too tuhao [rich and vulgar] so I kept it down to two, which totally fits my status. Do you have one? - Caption of a photo placed on a Chinese social media site by a Chinese mogul who purchased two gold Apple Watches for his dog, valued at $24,000
Officials from the soccer organization, FIFA, which decides which cities get to host the World Cup, are accused of accepting bribes when making their decision. Of course the toughest part for the soccer officials was taking bribes without using their hands. – Jimmy Fallon
It’s another clear attempt by the USA to spread its jurisdiction to other states… The U.S. prosecutor, as our media report, has already said that those FIFA officials have committed a crime. As if the prosecutor didn’t know about the principle of the presumption of innocence. - Russian President Vladimir Putin criticizing the U.S. indictment of high level World Soccer officials.
Criminals feel empowered now. There is no respect. Police are under siege in every quarter. They are more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty. - Baltimore City police union President, Lt. Gene Ryan, explaining why the police are standing down as crime skyrockets in the city
In Michigan, the world’s oldest person recently turned 116. When the president called to congratulate her, she said, “Tell McKinley I’m busy.” – Conan O’Brien
JUNE 4, 2015
The procedure at The Daily Item is for the person editing letters to review the content for offensive language and ad hominem attacks. Publication is, however, a signal that the opinion is not one we would readily suppress, which can accurately be interpreted as an endorsement of acceptability — much to our chagrin in this instance. - Part of an editorial apology printed in a Pennsylvania newspaper after it printed a letter to the editor calling for President Obama’s execution
It is simply unbelievable that a person whose way of operating is so famously and chronically sketchy can be chosen as president. [Hillary’s] policy judgments throughout her career will come under question. She is good at politics in terms of how she perceives the game and generally makes decisions within it—good enough to be an almost certain presidential nominee. Yet she is charmless on the stump and seems always to be hiding something in interviews. In speeches she continues to do strange things, such as speaking with a Southern accent this week in South Carolina. - Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal
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They don’t understand the game. They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they… complain because we don’t have a plan. - Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. responding to fan outrage upon hearing that he may trade their star players
There’s massive corruption, a massive scandal, in international soccer. The first clue was when a soccer team scored a suspiciously high three goals in one game. – Conan O’Brien
JUNE 4, 2015
• TJH CENTERFOLD
• TJH CENTERFOLD
You Gotta be
Four students, Sara, Leah, Tova and Rachel, took a Chumash test, and were guessing their grades. Sara says: “If I get an A, so does Leah.” Leah says: “If I get an A, so does Tova.” Tova says: “If I get an A, so does Rachel.” They all guessed correctly, but in fact, only two of them got an A. Who are they? See answer on next page
For their anniversary, Bill decides to take his aunt and uncle to a classic kosher delicatessen in Brooklyn. “I’ll have the kreplach,” says Bill to the waiter. “The kreplach are from last night,” explains the waiter. “Better you should order something freshly made – like stuffed peppers.” “Alright, let it be stuffed peppers,” says Bill. The waiter turns to Aunt Sue. “And you?” “Please bring the pot roast.” “Look, lady, the pot roast is strictly for cheap people. You want somethin’ special, try the flanken.” “Alright then, so bring the flanken,” she says. Uncle Abe studies the menu carefully, then says, “Waiter, I can’t make up my mind. What do you suggest?” “Suggest!” cries the waiter. “On a busy night like this who has time for suggestions?”
Know Your Spelling Bee Words? The following are some of the words that the champions of the 2015 National Spelling Bee, Vanya Shivashankar (age 13) and Gokul Venkatachalam (age 14), spelled correctly. Match the words with their meaning: 1. Cytopoiesis 2. Cocozelle 3. Zygoneure 4. Nixtamal 5. Bruxellois 6. Scherenschnitte 7. Nunatak 8. Bouquetière 9. Scytale 10. Hippocrepiform
A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J.
Shaped like a horseshoe The art of cutting paper into decorative designs Production of cells A native or resident of Brussels, Belgium Limed kernels of corn that are ready to be ground into masa A hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice A connecting neuron A method of cipher writing Garnished with vegetables A variety of zucchini
ANSWERS: 1-C; 2-J; 3-G; 4-E; 5-D; 6-B; 7- F; 8- I; 9- H; 10- A
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WISDOM KEY: If you got even one right you are a super genius. Everyone else—you’re normal!
• TJH CENTERFOLD
• TJH CENTERFOLD
May is National Hamburger month (but the CF Commissioner observes it in June as well).
Americans eat nearly 50 billion burgers a year. That’s three burgers a week for every single person in the United States.
Burgers account for 40 percent of all sandwiches sold. Take that club sandwich.
According to McDonald’s, the chain sells 75 burgers every single second of every minute of every hour of every single day.
The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen of Louis Lunch sandwich shop in New Haven, CT, as the creator of the hamburger as we know it.
The Hamburger Hall of Fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin.
60% of sandwiches sold globally are actually burgers.
In 2000, Kim Jong Il of North Korea said that he created the “hamburger.”
PETA once offered the town of Hamburg, NY, $15,000 to change their name to Veggieburg. • The largest burger ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was 777 pounds and was cooked at California’s Alameda Country Fair on July 4, 2011. The custom grill that was used to cook it was over 72,000 pounds and took the creators 35 hours to make. The burger was estimated to have approximately 1.2 million calories, which is enough calories to fulfill one person’s standard 2,000 calorie diet for 22 months. • The Heart Attack Grill in Nevada serves burgers under the names of single, double, triple, and quadruple bypass burgers. The Quadruple Bypass weighs in at an amazing 8,000 calories.
Elvis Presley was known to be quite particular about his burgers and would constantly add ingredients to his burgers such as bananas, peanut butter, syrup, and egg. Elvis insisted that the inside of the buns be burnt black to a crisp.
Brain Teaser Stare at the stairs and watch it change in front of your eyes
GO FUNNT Y?
Comm Let the ission er dec Send
your s t
to fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com
ANSWER TO RIDDLE: Tova and Rachel each got an A. (If Sara got an A, then all four students got an A, which contradicts the fact that only two got an A. If Leah got an A, then so did Tova and Rachel, which also can’t be true.)
JUNE 4, 2015
Read Between the Buns: Happy Hamburger Facts
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JUNE 4, 2015
Travel Guide: Hawaii Aaron Feigenbaum
From lush rainforests to towering volcanoes and virtually every type of beach imaginable, Hawaii is like no other place on Earth. The laid-back Polynesian culture makes Hawaii as warm and inviting a destination as its year-round balmy weather.
you’d find in Hollywood movies, and then some. Whether soaking in the sun on Waikiki Beach, watching a traditional fire dance, swimming through colorful coral reefs, trekking through otherworldly lava fields, or skygazing from the top of Mau-
Diamond Head crator
Hawaii’s incredible natural beauty and six unique main islands, endear it to the millions of visitors who come to the Aloha State every year. Hawaii is everything
History Hawaii’s first inhabitants sailed from the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia about 1,500 years ago, having made an incredible journey of over 2,000 miles by
na Kea, Hawaii’s endless opportunities for adventure make it one of the best vacation spots in the world. Once you’re there, you might never want to leave.
starlight alone. Little is known about them, and their dominance in Hawaii waned as Tahitian immigrants arrived in 1000 C.E. The Tahitians brought their religion and culture with them. They instituted a strict matriarchal society based on the kapu (taboo) system, a legal code which covered virtually every aspect of life. The first contact with the outside world came in 1778 when famed British explorer Captain James Cook arrived at Waimea Bay on Kauai Island. He named the islands the Sandwich Islands after his sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich. Captain Cook was tragically killed one year later at Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island. The circumstances surrounding his death are a matter of controversy to this day. In the 1790’s, King Kamehameha, chief of the Big Island, unified all the Hawaiian Islands and brought peace to a society that was often victim to war and the power struggles of the ruling class. He formally established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810 and preserved his nation’s independence during his rule. The policies of Kamehameha’s son and successor, however, were strikingly different from those of his father. He destroyed Hawaiian temples, disbanded the priestly class and virtually eliminated the traditional kapu system. Taking advantage of this internal strife, Christian missionaries arrived in 1820, later to be followed by European and American whalers and traders. Westerners turned Hawaii into the center of trade and commerce in the South Pacific. They bought up large tracts of land for sugarcane plantations and brought in workers from Japan, China, the Philippines and elsewhere. Laihana and Honolulu became the biggest whaling stations in the South Pacific. This rapid economic change heavily impacted native Hawaiians, many of whom were displaced. The culmination of Western influence
in Hawaii came in 1893 when a group of American businessmen successfully overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and ended the Hawaiian monarchy. The U.S. government initially opposed the coup but, after realizing the strategic and economic importance
of the islands, annexed them in 1898. Hawaii features in more recent history as the place where America’s involvement in WWII began with the bombing of the naval base at Pearl Harbor in 1941. It’s also where WWII officially ended with Japan’s signing of its unconditional surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945. Hawaii officially became a state in 1959 and has enjoyed a thriving tourist industry ever since. Attractions Honolulu: Located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii’s capital is one of the most stunning cities in America. With incredible scenery and a seemingly endless amount of sights and activities to take in, Honolulu is the perfect place to start your Hawaiian adventure. If you don’t mind the crowds, head to pristine Waikiki Beach and take in the sun and surf alongside volleyball and racquetball nets Waikiki is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world, and the surrounding boardwalk has lots of great boutique souvenir shops. For some fun on the water, visit the rental shops for kayaking, snorkeling, surfing and water bicycling equipment. Bring a camera with you to the beach at sunrise or sunset and snap a beautiful shot of the Diamond Head volcanic cone. Speaking of Diamond Head, you can take a relatively short hike up to the peak and get an impressive view of Honolulu and the surrounding bay. Other excellent Honolulu hiking opportunities include the strenuous trail that leads to the top of Koko Crater, as well as the picturesque Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. For a more secluded and less touristy beach experience, check out Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Nestled between two volcanic craters, this serene bay is ideal for sunbathing and snorkeling. The setting and
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Haleakalā National Park, Maui County
huge diversity of wildlife make it one of the most captivating places in Hawaii. The floating U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is an absolute must-see in Hawaii. Right below the memorial lies the wreck of the Arizona. With over 1,700 crewmen lost, it suffered the heaviest losses of any ship in the Pearl Harbor attack over 73 years ago. A marble wall lists the names of all those who perished. Right near the memorial is the U.S.S. Missouri, one of the most storied ships to have ever served in the Navy. It participated in the bombardments of Okinawa and the Japanese mainland during WWII, and is most famous as the site of the Japanese surrender in 1945. It later served in the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm before it became a museum ship in 1999. If you have extra time, take a quick visit to the WWII-era USS Bowfin submarine and see firsthand the cramped conditions submariners of that time had to live in. To learn about the history and culture of the native people of Hawaii, head to the Bishop Museum. Besides the top-notch interactive displays, the price of admission includes tickets to the museum’s planetarium where visitors can learn about Polynesian celestial navigation. The beautiful European-style Lolani Palace is where the last reigning king and queen of Hawaii resided. Highlights include the queen’s jewel collection and the room where the queen was imprisoned while awaiting trial by the U.S. military. Hawaii Island: The Big Island is home to two of Hawaii’s most spectacular natural wonders. One of these is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which includes Mauna Loa and Kilauea, two of the largest and most active volcanoes on the planet. Hike along the Kilauea Iki Trail which takes visitors through a rainforest and into a volcanic crater. Lava flows and volcanic eruptions look spectacular, especially at night. The other wonder is Mauna Kea, the highest point in Hawaii. At a dizzying height of 14,000 feet, the mountain offers phenomenal views of Kilauea and the valley below. However, the most breathtaking sights can only be seen at night above the cloudline. With some of the clearest skies
on the planet, Mauna Kea’s summit offers a fantastic view of the universe and it’s no coincidence that the Keck Observatory, boasting one of the most powerful telescopes in the world, is situated right at the top. In the town of Papaikou is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, a stunning collection of plants and flowers. An added bonus is the sweeping view of nearby Onomea Bay. Maui: Hawaii’s second-largest island is home to one its most iconic beaches: Ka’anapali, located in Lahaina. Like Waikiki, Ka’anapali offers radiant sunshine year-round, lots of outdoor activities, and plenty of shops and luxurious resort hotels nearby. If crowds aren’t your thing, head to the equally beautiful Napili Beach, situated just up the road from Lahaina. Lahaina was once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and remnants of this bygone era can be seen in historic Front Street. Famous shops, museums, art galleries and more are nestled within painstakingly restored period buildings. Lahaina’s history as a whaling center is detailed at the highly informative Whalers Village Museum. One of Maui’s most majestic sights is the peak of Haleakala Crater, a dormant volcano stretching 10,000 feet above sea level. Though it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Mauna Kea, the views from the top are just as impressive. Near the base of the crater is the Pipiwai Trail - a scenic walk (or horseback ride) through a bamboo forest that culminates in the gigantic Waimoku Falls. Finally, be sure to make the 40 mile drive from the big city of Kahului to the isolated hamlet of Hana. This drive, acclaimed by many as one of the most beautiful in the world, takes travelers through lush greenery, waterfalls, tall mountains, bamboo forests and many varieties of beaches. Be extra cautious when driving this road as it’s filled with sharp hairpin turns. Daven and Eat There are three Orthodox shuls in Hawaii. One is Chabad of Hawaii in Honolulu. It is located at 410 Atkinson Dr. (808-
735-8161/chabadofhawaii.com) Another is the Chabad-run Maui Mitzvah Center in Kahului at 360 Hoohana St. #208 (808-249-8770/Jewishmaui.com). The third is Chabad of the Big Island in Kailua-Kona at 75-5995 Kuakini Highway #323 (808-499-4573/Jewishbigisland.org) Hawaii has no kosher restaurants. Kosher food can be ordered through either of the Chabad Centers. Other catering options include Oahu Kosher in Honolulu
(808-383-3650/oahukosher.com) and the online-only Mini Israel (hawaiisrael.com) Otherwise, supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Costco and Safeway carry a decent selection of kosher products. Getting There Flights from LAX to Honolulu currently start at around $600 per person round trip. Cruises start at around $1,500 per person.
Brooklyn: 1981 Coney Island Avenue I 718.382.6500 Five Towns: 311 Central Avenue I 516.569.9690 Lakewood: 242 4th street I 732.987.4621
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Natural Colors and Flavors
“The word Jew itself is dirty. If I were in Israel, frankly, I would do to the Jews what they do with the Palestinians — slaughter each and every one of them.” These were the words of a junior police officer in Belgium, Mohamed N., who is now facing dismissal after posting this on Facebook on Friday. The officer was using the pseudonym Bebeto Gladiateur and he was asked to tone down his comments by others in a debate on the social media site. Molenbeek Mayor Françoise Schepmans responded to the news of Mohamed’s rant, “If this is true, this gentleman will see the door. There is no question about it. The guardians of the peace assume a role of mediation in the community. They are the image of communal authority. His words shocked me…I cannot tolerate such an attitude of a communal agent.” Belgian reports indicated that the officer was going to be dismissed by the police and that the dismissal process had already started. “It will be done according to procedure,” Schepmans assured. “There are two things particularly questionable about this case,” said Joël Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League against Anti-Semitism (LBCA). “Firstly, [there is] the fact that a ‘guardian of the peace’ would publicly speak something that is so antithetical to the values he is supposed to embody, promote and defend. Secondly, there is the anti-Semitic speech that I am concerned expresses itself increasingly uninhibitedly in certain circles.” Rubinfeld has warned in the past that rising anti-Semitism is spurring a Jewish exodus from Belgium. Last year, a terrorist opened fire at the Brussels Jewish Museum, murdering four people.
Russia and U.S. Military Tangle Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting “aggressively” in the Black Sea, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday, but the Pentagon has denied any unusual behavior. RIA quoted an anonymous source in Russia’s armed forces in Crimea as saying that the guided missile destroyer USS Ross was moving along the edge of Russia’s territorial waters and heading in their direction. “The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned
But Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said the USS Ross was “well within international waters at all times, performing routine operations.” “The U.S. Navy operates routinely in the Black Sea, in accordance with international law,” Lainez said, noting the Ross’s deployment to the Black Sea had been publicly announced. Earlier this month, both Britain and Sweden said that they had scrambled fighters to intercept Russian bombers near their territory. The United States said last month that it was filing a complaint to Russia over a Russian fighter’s “sloppy” and unsafe interception of a U.S. reconnaissance plane in international aerospace over the Baltic Sea.
Under the legislation that went into effect this week, those who flout the law in Beijing will be fined 200 yuan ($32) and businesses that turn a blind eye could be fined up to 10,000 yuan. Repeat offenders will be named and shamed on a government website, according to the Reuters news agency. The new law also cracks down on tobacco advertising across the city. The World Health Organization has welcomed the new tougher regulations. “When implemented, this new law will permanently bring clean air to all of Beijing’s indoor public places – in doing so, protecting Beijing’s more than 20 million residents from the deadly effects of exposure to toxic second-hand smoke,” said its representative in China, Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander. Others don’t agree. Smoking is so engrained, they say, that regulations will be difficult to enforce. Yang Gonghuan, former vice director of China’s center for disease control, said, “It is unrealistic to
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It’s about time. With over 300 million smokers and more than a million Chinese dying each year from smoking-related illnesses, the country is taking an initiative to prevent more deaths. On Monday, public smoking was officially banned in Beijing, China’s capital. Smoking bans have already existed, but tougher regulations, enforced by thousands of inspectors, now ban lighting up in restaurants, offices and on public transport in Beijing. On the first day of the ban, a hotpot restaurant in Beijing became the first venue to receive an official warning. Inspectors found cigarette butts inside the restau-
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Belgian Officer’s AntiSemitic Rant
rant, which had also failed to promote a smoking complaint hotline. Smoking in China is almost a national pastime; the country consumes a third of the world’s cigarettes. More than half of Chinese men smoke; women, in contrast, are rarely seen smoking. A common greeting among men is to offer a cigarette—the more expensive, the better. A carton of cigarettes is a popular gift. Anti-tobacco campaigners say many smokers are simply unaware of the health risks of their habit. They accuse the authorities of being addicted to the tax revenues generated by cigarette sales and not warning smokers about the dangers. But now there are signs the government has changed its mind. In the past, China’s leaders such as Chairman Mao and his successor Deng Xiaoping were rarely seen without a cigarette in hand. But the current President Xi Jinping has bucked the trend: he’s quit. And he’s also banned officials from smoking in public in order to set an example.
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the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet,” RIA quoted the source as saying. “Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country.”
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absolutely abolish ‘indoor smoking’ since too many people smoke.” Only time will tell.
Putin Critic Mysteriously Ill
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition figure who is an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, was rushed to a Moscow hospital last week after suddenly falling ill. Kara-Murza, 33, was a close political ally of Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near the Kremlin earlier this year two days before he was supposed to lead an opposition rally against the Russian president. Kara-Murza’s wife, who says that her husband lost consciousness and had exhibited “symptoms of poisoning,” is seeking his evacuation to Europe or Israel for treatment and toxicology tests. However, doctors at the Moscow hospital have refused to transport him because they say his condition won’t allow it. Kara-Murza serves as a coordinator for Open Russia, a nongovernmental organization founded by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin who spent over a decade in prison in Russia and now lives in Switzerland. He fell ill one day after the group released a documentary film accusing the government of Russia’s republic of Chechnya of corruption and human rights abuses under the region’s strongman leader, Kremlin ally Ramzan Kadyrov. If Kara-Murza was poisoned, this would not be the first such case of a Putin critic meeting such a fate. In 2006, a noted Putin critic, Alexander Litvinenko, suddenly became ill after he fled to Britain. He died three weeks later, becoming
the first confirmed victim of lethal polonium-210-induced acute radiation syndrome. While he was dying, Litvinenko penned an essay titled, “Why I Believe Putin Wanted Me Dead,” in which he declared, “You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilized value. You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilized men and women. You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life.” A word to the wise: if you are a Putin critic, when he sends you a birthday cake, don’t eat it.
N. Korea Looking for Tourists
Last summer, as the spread of the Ebola virus was all the rage, North Korea banned all foreigners from entering its country in attempt to maintain immunity from the deadly disease. But now the country is ready to show off its “socialist fairyland” to tourists. If your dream vacation is a heavy dose of socialist propaganda and leader worship, book the next outgoing flight to North Korea. The focus on tourism is the blessing of Kim Jong Un himself and officials have set high goals in their effort to please their beloved leader. Last year, about 100,000 tourists came to North Korea, mostly from neighboring China. Kim Sang Hak, a senior
economist at the influential Academy of Social Sciences, said the North hopes that by around 2017 there will be 10 times as many tourists and that the number will hit 2 million by 2020. “About 80 percent of the tourists who come are from neighboring countries,” state tourism official Kim Yong Il pointed out. “It’s normal to develop tourism within your region, so our country is not exceptional in that way. But we are also expanding to European countries as well.” Some popular attractions include a new, high-tech shooting range where visitors can hunt animated tigers with laser guns. There is also a new equestrian center, a huge water park, and revamped “fun fairs” replete with roller coasters, fast-food stands and a 5-D theater. After a year of construction, Pyongyang’s new international airport terminal may be open as early as next month. Officials have also been focusing on developing the area around Mount Kumgang and Wonsan, a port city on the east coast. A luxury ski resort was recently opened just outside of Wonsan and a number of new restaurants have sprung up along the city’s beachfront area, which is popular with tourists and locals alike for swimming, clambakes and outdoor barbeques. Pyongyang’s interest in attracting tourists may sound inconsistent with a country that is preoccupied with sheltering itself from the outside world. But tourism is potentially a very lucrative source of revenue. Many experts see this as an attempt by North Korea to reclaim its image and counter stereotypes of a starving, backward and relentlessly bleak country. “Tourism can produce a lot of profit relative to the investment required, so that’s why our country is putting priority on it,” Kim Sang Hak said in a recent interview in Pyongyang, adding that the country boasts scenic mountains, isolated beaches and an expansive collection of monuments and museums. “Many people in foreign countries think in a wrong way about our country,” Kim said, brushing aside criticisms of its human rights record, lack of freedoms and problems with hunger in the countryside. “Though the economic sanctions of the U.S. imperialists are increasing, we are developing our economy. So I think many people are curious about our country.” Keep in mind that for safety reasons the State Department strongly advises U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea. Tourists should expect to be constantly and closely monitored and should expect severe consequences for breaking the laws of the land. But if you do end up in North Korea, expect to see a fun show all for you, including model hospitals, schools and farms, along with well-staged events intended to impress and promote the socialist government. There will be minimal opportunities to interact with average people or observe their real-life daily lifestyle.
400 Missing after Cruise Ship Disaster in China As a storm raged on Monday night, a cruise ship from Nanjing heading to the southwestern city of Chongqing in China capsized with 458 people onboard. Sadly, as of Tuesday morning, at least five people were confirmed dead, with at least 400 people still missing. Hope, though, was still alive as divers pulled at least three living people from inside the capsized cruise ship on the Yangtze River.
Many of those on the ship were elderly. Some of the survivors swam ashore, but others were rescued more than 12 hours after the ship went down, after search teams climbed aboard the upside-down hull and heard people calling out from within. Rescuers used hammers to tap on the hull of the boat, listening for a response as a sign of life. The overturned ship had drifted about 3 kilometers downstream before coming to rest close to the river shore, where choppy waters made the rescue difficult. The Yangtze is the world’s third-longest river and sometimes floods during the summer monsoon season. 6 inches of rain had fallen in the region over the past 24 hours and winds reached 80 mph during the accident.
Israel Record-Setting Magic
It was a magic trick for the ages: 1,576 children, one card trick and one brilliant magician. On Monday, Israeli magician Israel Cagliostro set a Guinness World Record for the largest magic lesson by teaching a group of 1,576 fifth and sixth graders from Haifa a card trick. Cagliostro was aiming to break an ex-
Turkey: Israel is Biggest Threat A survey that was recently conducted in Turkey found that nearly 50 percent of Turkish citizens see Israel as the country’s biggest security threat, followed by
the United States and then Syria. The poll, which was answered by 1,000 respondents, was conducted by Istanbul’s Kadir Has University.
Asked which country they think poses the biggest threat to Turkey, 42.6 percent of participants chose Israel, while 35.5% said the U.S. Just 22.1% named Syria, which shares a border with Turkey and has been ravaged by a four year civil war, as the biggest threat to their country. Turkey has in the past fired at Syrian positions across the border after wayward shells from the civil war landed in its territory. A similar poll in 2013 found 41% saw the United States as Turkey’s biggest threat, while 37.1% named Israel. Asked about the Islamic State group, which has carved out large swaths of Iraq and Syria for its self-declared caliphate, 85% said they considered the jihadist organization a terrorist group and 65.4% saw it as a threat to Turkey. Twenty-four percent said ISIS was not a threat to Turkey and 10.1% were undecided.
Israel and Turkey have been at odds ever since the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. In the ensuing melee, after the Israeli soldiers were attacked with iron bars and wooden bats, troops opened fire and nine Turkish activists were killed; 10 Israeli soldiers were injured. The incident triggered a crisis in relations between Israel and Turkey, which were already strained since Israel’s military campaign in Gaza in 2008-2009. Israel issued a formal apology to Turkey in March 2013 but disagreements persist over Ankara’s demand that Israel pay damages to families of the deceased and to the wounded. Ties between the two countries have yet to recover, with Turkish officials often unleashing scathing rebukes of Israel. In January Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, of killing Palestinian children and radicalizing the Muslim world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is known for his angry outbursts at the Jewish state, declaring in July 2014 that Israel had “surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” Turkey under his rule has been a consistent supporter of Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza.
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the card that the person had chosen mysteriously rose up out of the deck. “Teaching a trick like this is really complicated with so many people,” Cagliostro pointed out. “It’s not every day that you get to break a Guinness World Record. It was a really hard thing to do, to get so many people together from so many schools to work as one and break the record,” agreed 11-yearold Hadar. Cagliostro wasn’t just breaking the world record, he was actually reclaiming it. According to the magician, he set the record for the largest magic lesson in August 2012 with 644 students. Just two months later, Kevin McMahon broke it with 1,063 students. “The record is important to me,” said Cagliostro. “I’m an Israeli and I’m a fighter. I was going to get it back.”
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isting record set by Scottish magician Kevin McMahon in 2012. But record breaking aside, the real magic came in the peace he was aiming to promote. “Haifa Magic for Peace” brought together students from all cultures across Haifa for a day of fun and interaction. It was organized by the Haifa Municipality and Beit HaGefen, a Jewish-Arab cultural center. “It was really interesting, and the fact that it was magic for peace made it all the more special. I believe that peace is in our hands and working together as one I really felt that it was within reach,” said Shira, 10, from the Hofit school in Haifa. Although Shira spoke figuratively, peace was literally in the children’s hands, as they each held a special deck of eight cards. Each card had printed on it a word representing a concept with which a peace process could begin: honor, togetherness, dialogue, listening, hope, tolerance, consideration, and brotherhood. The trick that Cagliostro taught the massive group involved each “magician” having someone else choose from the deck the card they thought had the most important word for moving toward peace. The person put the card back in the deck without the magician looking at it. Then the magician put a small wooden wand inside the holes that were punched out at the top of the cards. After a special spell was cast,
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Iran: Israeli Arms in Saudi Embassy An Iranian news agency is reporting that a number of Israeli-manufactured weapons were discovered in the Saudi embassy in Sana’a. The report, which was not independently verified, did not identify specific weapons the Saudis are supposedly using in Yemen that would have been supplied by Israel. Saudi Arabia purchases the bulk of its military arms from the United States.
Houthi forces claim to have overrun the embassy after driving 40 guards from the premises in retaliation for the Saudi-led assault on the Houthis. The report also claimed that documents uncovered from the embassy revealed U.S. plans to build a naval base at Yemen’s Perim Island at the entrance to the Bab al-Mandeb strait of the Red Sea between Yemen and Djibouti, which the report falsely attributed to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia ordered its Sana’a embassy closed in February as fighting intensified in the capital between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The Houthis have received material support from Iran since 2009, according to a UN report released in May.
Law Proposes Longer Sentence for Rock Throwers
throwers in Israel to 20 years behind bars. The law also seeks to alleviate the burden on the state to prove “intent to harm” during prosecution. The legislation is the first major move by the new justice minister seeking to put a measure back on track that was approved by the cabinet last year but failed to become law. Currently, convicted stone throwers generally receive only up to two years’ jail time. That gap, explained a written draft from Shaked’s office, demonstrated a need for new legislative action because current sentences do not properly reflect the actual severity of the crime. The new legislation would introduce a harsher punishment for people who throw stones at moving vehicles or police officers in the line of duty, lengthening the sentence of people convicted for this offense. The bill would create two tiers of offense, in which the lower one, when clear intent to harm cannot be proven, would be punished with a shorter length of jail time, while more severe crimes would trigger the maximum sentence. Rock throwing by Palestinians protesting settler activity is a frequent occurrence on West Bank roads, as well as in East Jerusalem, and in some parts of Israel proper during protests. While the attacks usually cause damage and minor injuries, there have been a number of cases of fatalities and serious injuries from rocks being thrown. “The goal of this legislative amendment is to help deal with the phenomenon of stone-throwing at moving vehicles, whether they belong to civilians or law enforcement, which has become common over the last several years and resulted in roughly 1,000 indictments being filed,” an introduction to the draft stated. The proposal last year was pushed forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and came amid an uptick in attacks in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as tensions rose over the status of the Temple Mount. “Israel is taking vigorous action against terrorists and those who throw stones, firebombs and fireworks,” Netanyahu said ahead of a ministerial vote on the matter. “We will also pass stronger legislation on the issue. All of this is in order to restore quiet and security throughout Jerusalem.”
Embassy Hosts Garage Sale
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked reintroduced a draft law this week that would extend the maximum sentence for stone
Looking for a new refrigerator, printer, or American flag? Head out this weekend to the U.S. Embassy in Israel to fill all your household needs. For the first time in its history, the U.S. Embassy in Israel has decided to place thousands of its second-hand items on sale – direct to the public. Part of the massive collection available
online includes used furniture from the homes of Ambassador Dan Shapiro and other American officials and delegates, as well as the embassy compound. Among the goods placed on the auction block are a number of living room sets, dining room sets, cabinets, dressers, beds, and mattress
.se The U.S. embassy is also looking to off-load a scooter, a Subaru, and a long line of electrical appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, ovens, generators, vacuums, air conditioning units, and a variety of office supplies and equipment. The items all have one thing in common: They are property of the United States government. According to American law, all embassies must offer second-hand equipment for sale after it has been worn out or replaced. Until now, the American embassy has tended to sell mostly to vendors who would take a commission and offer the goods to the public. This time, the embassy decided to sell directly to the Israeli public and allow it to place bids online for a range of goods. It has even posted a catalog with photographs of everything on sale. Happy hunting!
currence and immediately sought aggressive treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington. His family was with him when he died. The Bidens have known much tragedy in their lives. In 1972, several weeks after Joe Biden won Delaware’s U.S. Senate elections, his wife and daughter, Naomi, were killed in a tragic car crash. Beau and his brother, Hunter, who were also in the car, survived but were seriously injured. Joe Biden, who was 30 at the time, considered resigning before even taking office so that he could take care of his two sons but was convinced to take the seat. Biden was sworn into office at tBeau’s hospital bedside at the time. Beau, who served a year-long tour in Iraq as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard, served as attorney general in Delaware for eight years. He was courted by Democrats to run in a special election to fill his father’s senate seat in 2010 and to run for the seat in the 2014 elections, but on both occasions he declined to run. A grief-stricken Vice President Joe Biden spoke about his son’s professional accomplishments but added that more than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. “His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.” He added, “In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.”
TSA: A Major Failure?
Biden’s Son Dies at 46
Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of brain cancer over the weekend at the age of 46. Although the Bidens had been private about Beau’s medical condition, it is known that he had been battling an illness for several years. In 2010, he suffered a mild stroke. In 2013, he had brain surgery and underwent chemotherapy, after which he was given a clean bill of health. Sadly, this spring, however, Beau suffered a re-
As much as the Transportation Security Administration spends their time rifling through your suitcases, they may not be really doing their jobs. According to ABC News, in a series of trials the Department of Homeland Security was able to smuggle fake explosives, weapons and other contraband past airport screeners in major cities across the country. Officials briefed on the Homeland Security Inspector General’s investigation told the station that the TSA failed 67 out of 70 tests conducted by the department’s Red Teams – undercover passengers tasked with identifying weaknesses in the screening. During the tests, DHS agents each tried to bring a banned item
It’s nearly 100 years, but two World War I Army heroes—one Jewish and one black—will finally receive their Medals of Honor that they had been denied because of discrimination. Sgt. William Shemin repeatedly dodged gunfire to pull wounded comrades to safety during three days of bloody battle. And Pvt. Henry Johnson rescued a wounded comrade from his all-black regiment while single-handedly fighting off a surprise German attack. President Barack Obama posthumously bestowed the nation’s highest military honor on both men for their actions in
deaf. Shrapnel wounds eventually left him barely able to walk, although he earned a degree from Syracuse University and started a nursery business in the Bronx.
procedures associated with inactivating anthrax. Dugway, in a desolate stretch of the Utah desert, has been testing chemical weapons since it opened in 1942.
Pentagon Chief Vows to Investigate Anthrax Mishap
Kerry’s Biking Accident Ends Scheduled Trip
Live anthrax samples from the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah were mistakenly sent to 24 laboratories last week, including ones in Australia and South Korea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Sunday that he is committed to figuring out who was responsible for the mistaken shipments since eleven of them went to eleven U.S. states. Carter vowed to hold those responsible “accountable” for the mistake.
Calling the shipments an “unfortunate incident,” Carter said the Pentagon will make “sure that any public health consequences of this are avoided” and that this type of error doesn’t happen again. He said he is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address the problem. CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said four people at labs in Delaware, Texas and Wisconsin were recommended to take antibiotics as a precaution, although they are not sick. About two dozen people were being treated for possible exposure at Osan Air Base in South Korea. Many questions are being asked regarding Dugway’s procedures to ensure that anthrax samples were made fully inert before shipping them to labs. Deputy U.S. Defense Secretary Bob Work has ordered a comprehensive review of laboratory
While on a four-nation trip this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry crashed his bike as he bicycled through Geneva. Kerry suffered a fracture to his right femur and had to be transported to Geneva’s main medical center. Ultimately, he was sent back to the United States for treatment. Kerry has been spotted riding his bike around many foreign countries as he journeys on an international conference to combat Islamic State group. He often takes along his own bike on his trips, and he was riding his own bike when he hit the curb. Kerry had been in Geneva for six hours of meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday as the sides now work to seal a comprehensive accord by June 30. Due to his injury Kerry was forced to cancel the rest of his planned four-nation trip. He had been scheduled to stop in Madrid for meetings with Spain’s king and prime minister before spending two days in Paris for an international gathering to combat Islamic State. Kerry returned back to U.S. soil to Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital for further treatment with the doctor who previously operated on his hip, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “The secretary is stable and never lost consciousness, his injury is not life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery,” Kirby said in a statement.
JUNE 4, 2015
Black and Jewish Heroes Finally Receive Medal of Honor
1918 during a White House ceremony on Tuesday. The award comes after tireless efforts by advocates for the two men led Congress to pass an exemption from Medal of Honor rules specifying that heroic actions have to have taken place within five years to be considered. Shemin’s daughter, Elsie Shemin-Roth of suburban St. Louis, worked for years to gather documents in support of the bid for her father and plans to accept the award from Obama on his behalf. In the early 2000s, she learned of a law that reviewed cases of Jews who may have been denied medals they earned in World War II and fought for passage of a law to provide similar review for Jewish World War I veterans. “This was anti-Semitism, no question about it,” Shemin-Roth, who is in her 80s, said in an interview in December when Congress passed the exemption for her father, who died in 1973. “Now a wrong has been made right and all is forgiven.” Johnson supporters pushed for the Medal of Honor for decades — with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer taking up the case and initially being rebuffed for lack of documentation. His staff picked up the case again years later when a trove of military records became available online, including a communique from Gen. John Pershing describing his brave acts after coming under attack by at least 12 German soldiers while on night sentry duty on May 15, 1918. Johnson, a Virginia native who worked as a train station porter in Albany, enlisted in the 369th, a New York National Guard unit based in Manhattan. The “Harlem Hellfighters,” as the unit became known, served under French command because U.S. armed forces were segregated at the time. He died a destitute alcoholic at the age of 32. Shemin was 19 when his platoon was involved in a bloody fight. “Sergeant Shemin left the cover of his platoon’s trench and crossed open space, repeatedly exposing himself to heavy machine gun and rifle fire to rescue the wounded,” the White House announcement said. The young sergeant took shrapnel but survived. He led the platoon out of harm’s way for the next three days, until a German bullet pierced his helmet and lodged behind his left ear. Shemin was hospitalized for three months and was left partly
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past TSA screeners. They succeeded 95 percent of the time. The TSA has said that Red Team agents are “super terrorists” who “push the boundaries of our people, processes and technology” but the test results were disconcerting, to say the least. According to ABC, in one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-up pat down. This incident took place recently. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests. “Red Team testing of the aviation security network has been part of TSA’s mission advancement for 13 years,” a DHS spokesman said. “The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security.” The administration still touts its dedication to safety and security. In a weekly report published May 29, TSA officials said they found 45 firearms and continue to discover inert grenades and other weapons “on a weekly basis.” Many of the guns found were in carry-on luggage and had rounds in the chamber. In 2014, the TSA confiscated 2,212 firearms at 224 airports after screening 653 million passengers.
Who Owns our Nation’s Oldest Shul?
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JUNE 4, 2015
Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, is the nation’s oldest synagogue, but its existence is currently being threatened, its congregants claim. The congregation that formally owns the synagogue accused the Newport congregation of lawlessness for agreeing to sell a pair of bells valued at more than $7 million. This week, the case will be tried in U.S. District Court in order to determine who should control the institution. Lawyers are planning to use more than 1,000 exhibits dating as early on as 1773 to make their cases. Dedicated and established in 1763, the Touro Synagogue has become a landmark; it is a National Historic Site. It stands majestically atop a hill in Newport, a charming seaside town with cobblestone streets lined with Colonial homes. Three former U.S. presidents visited the shul: George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. In the 1790s, as Jews left the city, the synagogue closed temporarily and its contents were transferred to the nation’s oldest Jewish congregation in New York, Congregation Shearith Israel, established in 1654. In the late 1800s, Jews re-established themselves in Newport and began using the synagogue again. Congregation Shearith Israel sent the items back, including two pairs of rimonim, bells placed on the handles of a Torah scroll. They were made by Myer Myers, among the premier silversmiths of the Colonial era. Sometime in the early 1900s, a lawsuit determined that the congregation that worships in Touro, Congregation Jeshuat Israel, will be in control by signing a lease in 1903 to rent Touro from Congregation Shearith Israel for $1 per year. The Newport congregation acknowledges in its lawsuit that the New York congregation owns Touro, but argues it holds it in trust for the Newport congregation’s benefit. It now wants them removed as a trustee. It also states that it fully owns the rimonim. The Newport congregation, though, says it decided to sell them reluctantly, and only because the congregation, which has around 100 families, needs the money. Although tens of thousands of visitors visit the shul each year, it claims
that it barely has the money to pay for its expenses after attempting but failing to raise donations. The sale offer was from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston who offered $7.4 million for the bells in 2011; the offer had to be rejected for now amid the ownership dispute. “Jeshuat Israel is just one unforeseen expense away from financial disaster,” its lawyers wrote in a pretrial filing. The Newport congregation says that before the New York congregation “came out of the woodwork” to claim it owned the bells, it had abandoned Touro. It says the last time the New York congregation provided any financial help was likely in 1983, when it gave $100. Before that, it says, the last time was the 1960s. Congregation Shearith Israel, which overlooks Central Park on New York City’s Upper West Side, says that it is not the trustee of Touro, but rather a “benevolent landlord” that has overseen the property for nearly 200 years, long before a “new” group of Jews came to Newport and began worshipping at Touro. It says any financial problems are the result of poor management. “Shearith Israel wants future generations of worshippers to be able to experience these historic treasures and the fullness of Touro Synagogue’s rich history,” its lawyers wrote. The trial is expected to last two weeks, but the judge will issue a decision later. The state of Rhode Island, which intervened in the case, will weigh in with the judge after the trial concludes.
May was Baltimore’s Deadliest Month in 40 Years It’s been 40 years since Baltimore has seen such violence. As the month of May concluded on Sunday, three more men lost their lives in shootings, making it 43 who were killed in the month of May in the city. The record number surpassed the 42 homicides the city saw in August 1990 and left Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake defending police and her administration.
Speaking at a morning ceremony to honor McKenzie Elliott, a 3-year-old killed by a stray bullet in August, Rawlings-Blake said it’s time to stop finger-pointing and assigning blame for the recent violence.
The killing of African-Americans in Baltimore has to stop, she said, noting that 189 of the 208 killed last year were black men. For the city to improve, all homicides need to drop, she added. “We have to do better,” the mayor said. “We have to want more.” In the month since Freddie Gray’s death and the ensuing riots, there has been a severe uptick in homicides which has been attributed to police being fearful to do their jobs due to anti-police rage on the street and the fear of being prosecuted for their actions. After Gray’s death, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged the six officers involved on charges which included murder. She justified the charges by declaring that she heeded the calls of “no justice, no peace.” Law enforcement experts say police cannot be proactive if they believe politicians and prosecutors are treating them unfairly. “The criminals are taking advantage of the situation in Baltimore since the unrest,” said Lt. Gene Ryan, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, which represents officers in Baltimore. “Criminals feel empowered now. There is no respect. Police are under siege in every quarter. They are more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty.” “I’m afraid to go outside,” said Antoinette Perrine, whose brother was shot and killed shot down three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in West Baltimore. Ever since, she has barricaded her door and added metal slabs inside her windows to deflect gunfire. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside,” Perrine said. “People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.” Although many in Baltimore are calling for the police to resume policing the street, the police say that they’re being surrounded by mobs when they arrive to crime locations and that they fear taking action.
National Spelling Bee Ends in Tie
For the second year in a row, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie last week as a 14-year-old from Chesterfield, Missouri, and a 13-year-old from
Olathe, Kansas, were crowned champions. Until last year, the World Series of spellers hadn’t seen a tied win in more than five decades. This year’s spelling bee also made history as it is the first time that the sibling of a previous champion won. More than 11 million spellers participated in regional bees to yield the 283 who began this year’s national bee. The two winners beat out the other eight finalists. By the 11th round, when there were only two players standing, the championship word list was exhausted and both players were crowned as champions. The words in the last round included “thamakau,” “hippocrepiform,” “scherenschnitte,” “sprachgefühl,” “pipsissewa,” and “pyrrhuloxia.” Perhaps the two winners got into spelling when they learned to spell their own names—the 14-year-old’s name is Gokul Venkatachalam; the 13-year-old is Vanya Shivashankar. Go figure.
That’s Odd China: Park First, Buy Car Later
We know they do things differently in China, but now they seem to have gotten their car priorities mixed up. Recently Deputy Mayor Zhang Yankun announced that next year residents of Beijing will have to show proof of access to a parking spot before they can purchase a vehicle. Seems like they’re putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. The plan is being implemented in the hopes of addressing the city’s extreme parking shortage in an area facing soaring levels of car ownership. It’s not the first time the city of 11.5 million residents has tried to tackle its driving and congestion problem. Since 2011, Beijing has been awarding driving licenses via a lottery system. Even so, the city was home to nearly 5.6 million at the end of last year, with the total number of parking spots to be estimated at just 2.9
Sometimes the junk in your attic isn’t really junk, especially if it is a first-generation desktop computer built by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976. One such computer, which was one of only about 200 first-generation desktop computers that the trio built and called Apple I, was discovered inside a box of electronics that a widow recently dropped off at a recycling company in Milpitas, CA, after her husband passed away.
Although the recycling company’s policy is to split proceeds 50-50 with the donor, when the woman dropped off the box of electronics she refused to leave her name or take a receipt. “She said, ‘I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage,’” company Vice President Victor Gichun recalls. “I said, ‘Do you need a tax receipt?’ and she said, ‘No, I don’t need anything.’” Perhaps she’d reconsider if she’d realize what she dropped off. The recycling company sold the Apple I this month for $200,000 to a private collection. The company is now looking for the woman so that they can give her the 50 percent share of the proceeds which she is entitled to. “To prove who she is,” Gichun said, “I just need to look at her.” And then you wonder why your father-in-law refuses to clean out the attic. Do you know what those double cassette boom boxes could be worth?
Famed Physicist Sells His Nobel Famed physicist Leon Lederman sold his 1988 Nobel Prize gold medal for
After winning the prize, Lederman parlayed his Nobel Prize and enthusiasm for physics to spread his love for science in all kinds of venues, even setting up a makeshift table on sidewalks in New York and Chicago so passersby could ask the Nobel laureate a question. Dr. Lederman’s wife, Ellen, organized the sale of the medal saying that her husband has enjoyed owning the Nobel Prize medal for many years “but feels it is time for someone else who shares his love of science to treasure his medal. He hopes this sale raises the awareness of the importance of physics.” The pricey $765,002 is the fourth most expensive resale of a Nobel Prize gold medal out of a total of ten such gold medals that have been auctioned off. My Nobel Prize for poetry is not for sale, as my mother always told me, “Don’t sell your Nobel.”
for the weekend. More than 100 babies faced off in the sumo ring on Saturday in an annual contest pitting crying toddlers against each other in a Japanese tradition believed to bring infants good health.
The “crying sumo” event, held at Tokyo’s Sensoji Temple in the historic Asakusa district, saw hulking sumo wrestlers attempt to make 120 babies bawl on command to the delight of parents and onlookers. This is not a new fad. They have been making babies cry for years. The ceremony dates back some 400 years and is held at shrines and temples nationwide. The rules vary from region to region – in some versions the babies are raced against each other to see who will cry first, while in others the first crier is the loser. In the Asakusa event, which has itself been running since 1991, pairs of toddlers were brought into the sumo ring, where real sumo wrestlers held them and shook them gently as a referee shouted, “Cry! Cry!” The winner was judged to be the infant who cried the quickest and loudest. Some burst out screaming with little prompting, but others required judges enter the ring wearing a devil mask, drawing laughter from the audience. And the prize goes to: the biggest crybaby. Waaah!
The Crying Contest
Losing Locks of Love
Your baby can’t stop crying? You should have sent him (or her) to Tokyo
The City of Light is getting lighter. This week, Paris city officials started to re-
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So, you’ve always wanted to run in a marathon, but you feel like you are too old, right? Well, if you are less than 92 years old, Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, proves that you can still do it. At the age of 92, Ms. Thompson, who is a cancer survivor, completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego last week in 7 hours, 24 minutes, 36 seconds. This is not the first race she’s run. This was the seventh marathon that Thompson completed. Thompson, who is a classically trained pianist, says she mentally plays old piano pieces she had performed to help her get through the 26 miles, 385 yards. After
Apple Computer Discarded as Junk Sells for $200K
$765,002 at auction in Los Angeles this week in anticipation of mounting medical bills following a diagnosis of dementia for the Nobel-winning physicist. Lederman, 92, won a share of the physics prize for his role in the discovery of the muon neutrino — but he’s arguably best-known for his 1993 book about the search for the Higgs particle, called “The G-d Particle.”
JUNE 4, 2015
How Old is too Old to Run the Marathon?
being mobbed by well-wishers at the finish line, she quipped, “I’m fine, they’re really pampering me here.” It’s a shame I’m not a classically trained pianist—maybe I’d be able to run the marathon if I was.
PUNCTUAL COURTEOUS RELIABLE HAIMISHE
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million. Where are they parking all those cars? In Chinese takeout containers? According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “Motorists often park illegally on side roads, or in residential compounds, blocking traffic and causing heated disputes.” Sounds like a classic example of road rage. Understandably, when supply is so limited and demand is so high, prices have skyrocketed. Underground residential spaces in Beijing were going for the equivalent of $160,000 last year. Will the new initiative help in solving the car crush in such a crowded city? Well, some point out, requiring a parking space even before a vehicle purchase builds an extra layer of cost into the equation, limiting access to some. It seems that Beijing has someplace to look to for help. There’s precedent for this policy in not-too-faraway Tokyo. Asian-policy scholar Paul Barter of the National University of Singapore has argued that Tokyo’s plan created a robust market for parking and obviated the “parking minimum” standards that lead American developers to create too many spaces. The plan is not without its critics. One skeptic recently wrote online: “You already need an apartment before you can get a wife. Soon you’ll need a cemetery plot before you can die.” There are those who point out that the high cost of spaces needed before even considering to purchase a car will price out those in the lower-income bracket. Regardless of price, I wouldn’t give up my car, not for all the tea in China.
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JUNE 4, 2015
move padlocks symbolically fastened to one of the French capital’s main bridges by married couples. It’s a tradition that’s been held for many years—close to one million couples have fastened a “love lock” to the bridge before throwing the key into the River Seine below. But so many expressions of happiness can become heavy and part of the bridge’s railings have collapsed under the weight last year. That’s understandable since the locks weigh over 45 tons. On Monday workers endeavored to shear off the metal padlocks from the side of the Pont des Arts, the first iron bridge built in France in 1804. To ensure that no more locks are added, the railings will be replaced with transparent panels later this year.
“It’s the end of the padlocks,” said Bruno Julliard, Paris deputy mayor. “They spoil the aesthetics of the bridge, are structurally bad for it and can cause accidents.” Apparently he didn’t appreciate the tradition. Well, good “lock” to him.
God’s Credit Nightmare
God has settled his debts—although they didn’t make it easy. A Brighton Beach man named God Gazarov has settled his federal lawsuit against credit-reporting giant Equifax after the company finally agreed to enter his unusual m oniker into its database. The credit ag ency refuse d to recognize his given first name and so he was branded as having no credit history, making it impossible for him to secure basic loans for his jewelry business.
But fina lly the cre dit agency—after a year of haggling—gave into Gazarov’s request s. He now boasts a 820 credit score. God is named after his grandfather and exp lains that his name is not uncommon in his native land. “This was my grandfather’s name,” he said. “I was named after him. I’m sort of like God Jr.” And now God has good credit. Thank G-d for that.
2 Apples for a Dog
If you don’t have an Apple Watch, don’t feel too bad. It’s for the dogs. The 27-year-old son of China’s richest man cau sed quite a stir in Shanghai after posting photos of his dog wearing two gold Apple Watches with the caption, “I have new watches! I’m supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs. But tha t seems too uncouth so I kept it down to two, which totally fits my status. Do you have one?” The photos were uploaded to Chinese social media site Weibo, where Wang Sicong ma intains a page dedicated to his dog. The posts have received more than 6,000 comments so far – many of which weren’t too happy for the lucky dog. Apple’s gold watches retail for between $ 10,000 and $17,000 per watch depending on specifications and currently have a 3 to 4 week wait time. So why not buy some for man’s best friend? Wang Sicong is the son of Wang Jianlin who runs the real estate development company Dalian Wanda and is worth approximately $34 billion. This is n’t the first time the younger Wang has caused an uproar. On May 1 he posted a photo of the same Husky with a Fendi bag around his neck with the caption, “My daddy said I am a sled dog and count a s part of the workforce. He got me this bag as a gift for Labor Day.” The dog rep ortedly lives a lavish lifestyle. According to Chinese news agencies, he only drinks Fiji water and is walked with Hermes leashes. Wonder if Wang has any real friends— you know, the kind that walk on only two legs.
The Car Ahead Of Me Short-Stopped! Michael Rubinstein Esq. As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, I am frequently contacted by frantic drivers caught in a familiar scenario: Rear-ending the car in front of them after that car unexpectedly slammed its brakes. The question invariably is about who is at fault—the short-stopping car, or the one who hits it? As a general rule, the Vehicle Code requires every driver to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead. There is no set rule on what constitutes a safe following distance, but several factors must be considered. These include physical road conditions, weather, and the speed of traffic. The Los Angeles Police Department and other experts advise drivers to follow the “three-second rule.” This means that if you observe the car ahead of you pass a landmark, it should be at least three seconds before you pass the same point. Following the three-second rule will allow you to react quickly in the event the car ahead of you short-stops, and it should
ment agencies will not dispatch police if there are no injuries, but many times a patrol car driving nearby will still receive the call and visit the scene to investigate, if they can. Give the officer your version of events, and get the names of anyone who may have witnessed the collision. You should also call a lawyer before discussing the accident with the other driver’s insurance company.
also give you enough room to come to a complete stop without hitting that car. Based on this, it is usually the second car that is at fault in the above-scenario. Even though the first car short-stopped, the second driver is most likely liable for rear-ending the short-stopping car. The accident would likely not have occurred had the second car been following from a safer distance. The Los Angeles Police Department says that this is the number one cause of accidents in LA. Of course, like with anything, there are exceptions to this general presumption. A car is prohibited from stopping at a green light or on the freeway, unless that car is complying with a traffic officer’s instructions, yielding to an emergency vehicle or situation, or there is a vehicle malfunction. But if none of these conditions are applicable, a driver who improperly stops would probably be liable in the event he or she is rear-ended. Always call the police if you’re involved in an accident. Some law enforce-
your insurance will step in and cover the driver who borrowed your car. There are exceptions to this rule, such as a driver who is specifically excluded under the policy. Usually, excluded drivers must be listed by name on the policy. If there is no mention of an excluded driver, it can be presumed that there would be coverage. Will your insurance rates increase as a result of an accident caused by your friend who borrowed your car? Every situation is different, but many times the answer is yes. You should discuss your coverage and any questions you have pertaining to your policy with your licensed insurance broker or agent.
Someone Borrowed My Car and Got Into an Accident! Another question I am regularly asked, “What happens when a driver borrows someone else’s car and is in an accident? Does the car owner’s insurance cover this situation? As a general rule, car insurance follows the car. This means that anyone who uses your car should be covered by your policy as if you were driving it. Accordingly, if someone borrows your car, is in an accident, and is found to be at fault,
Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based accident attorney. Visit his website at www.mrubinsteinlaw.com, or contact him at Michael@mrubinsteinlaw.com, or by calling 213 293 6075.
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