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JULY 10, 2014



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JULY 10, 2014


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

JEWISH THOUGHT Tzelafchad, Rabbi Akiva and the Day After . . . . . 16 True and Enduring Achdus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

COVER STORY Unrest in the Holy Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 California’s Best National Parks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

OP-ED No, Not All Mothers Are The Same. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

LIFESTYLES My Israel Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 How to Build a Healthier, Better BBQ. . . . . . . . . . . . 41 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

EDUCATION The Jews of Iraq: Fallen Glory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Parenting, the Third Requirement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Dear Readers, Where to begin. So much has happened... It seems like so long ago when we were hopeful our brothers would be found. Instead, three young Jewish men were murdered in cold blood as they returned home from the religious school they attended on the West Bank. Who would do such a thing? Netanyahu has confirmed that Hamas are responsible for the premeditated attack. The tragedy continued. Just as we’re beginning to mourn we discover that someone from the other side was murdered and 3 Jews have been arrested… suddenly we had to condemn some of our own. This is a tragedy. “Are we like everyone else?” “I thought we were different!” “How could this happen?” “Have we lost our morals and ethics?” These thoughts keep twirling in our heads. As of this writing Israeli soldiers are camping outside the border with Gaza ready to enter if they are so ordered. 40,000 reservists have been called up for Operation Protective Edge. Weren’t we there already? Didn’t the “world promise” we wouldn’t be threatened with missiles again, and that if we were… One would hope that this wouldn’t be considered a two sided and morally equivalent story any longer. In all other areas of life we determine that if one person starts aggressive behavior they will be responsible for the outcome and blamed for the conflict. It is intentional that criminals are hurt more frequently than police officers, and that’s a good thing. To the nations of the world Israel is different, and though it comes from a sinister and unfair place, global opinion is correct in many ways. Israeli’s and the Diaspora are different. We’re unlike other people because we tackle psychopathic behavior by taking all measures possible to ensure perpetrators are outcasts. The murder of anyone is strongly condemned by all Jewish leaders although a typical response in other countries would be, “What do you expect happens when you live under all the pressures of rock throwing, missiles, terror attacks, abductions, the murder of students and more? Despite our rational desire for revenge against a society which celebrated the kidnapping and murder of 3 innocent human beings, we don’t act out on it. We are different. Despite our having every right to level the homes of terrorists who give the orders for missiles to be launched at our cities, we do so only after issuing a well communicated warning so that ordinary citizens, and the terrorists themselves, have the chance and the choice of whether to get out. Perhaps we need to change our attitude. Instead of explaining every move with videos, charts and press releases, we should act first, explain second and keep moving forwards. Maybe too much moralizing gives the impression we are not convinced by our own argument. Israel has the right to defend itself because Israel has the right to defend itself and the right to live as a sovereign nation without having to make excuses. As with an operation to remove a cancer, the

longer it takes the more it spreads and more individuals on both sides will lose their lives. The Israeli army should be given orders to get the job done; remove Hamas from power and give any moderate voices still left in Gaza a chance to govern. After all, before Mohamed Abu Khdeir was killed the excuse for targeting Jews was because of the Gaza blockade… or that we were living in Chevron… we established a state… or we were returning to Israel… we were too poor… no, too rich… we look different… and have a different religion… Yes! We will continue to have the most moral army in the world. We will continue to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and remain ever hopeful that there will come a generation of Arabs who would rather have a good and meaningful life, benefiting from their neighboring country, Israel, than suffer and make others suffer. We don’t do this so that we can tell the world, “See how good we are.” We do this because we are different. We respect human life and citizens from all countries even while defending our own. We believe in a creator who has set up a moral code for all the nations of the world to follow and we will continue being a light unto the nations by retaining our humanity and faith even as the rest of the world vilifies us once again. (Have they forgotten that widespread hate such as this usually starts with the Jews but rarely ever ends with them…?) Our enemies are right on one essential point; no matter what we look like on the outside, inside we’re a Jew with all the traditions and Jewish way of life built into our DNA. Let us continue to reach out to all our brethren, perhaps and specifically when dressed differently. It might be a good idea to daven once a week in the “Shul down the block”, or perhaps find a different excuse to mingle with a crowd other than our own. A mass gathering which would include tens of thousands of Los Angeles Jews from all walks of life would be another great way to bring out our unity and show unequivocal support in Israel’s right and obligation to protect her citizens. This would be the true legacy of the three Kedoshim; we are first and foremost one family with one mission and which, according our leaders, we are on the verge of accomplishing. Let us hold unto each other as we finish the job entrusted to us at Sinai in making this world a moral and spiritual one in which G-d can be revealed, understood and felt by all the nations of the world. This letter would not be complete without pointing out the miracles which we have been experiencing both through the successful operations, offensive and defensive, of the IDF as well as the continued protection from the 260+ rockets launched at Israel in the past 36 hours. We thank G-d for these incredible miracles and pray he continue showing his protective hand until we experience the fulfillment of the prophecy; I will show you wonders as in the days when you left Egypt. With blessings that we share good news,


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


By Alisa Roberts

ward to light three memorial candles. Then David Siegel, Consul General for Israel in Los Angeles, takes the stage. “For 18 days, 452 hours, we held our breath as one collective body and soul, in Israel and around the world,” he says, “hoping, praying, and believing that three beautiful boys in the prime of their lives, Gil-Ad, Naftali, and Eyal, would somehow come home safely.” His voice is quiet, slightly hoarse. “Sadly, we’re left with the heart-wrenching images of three bodies wrapped in the prayer shawls of their fathers and draped in blue and white flags.” He speaks of the difference between the boys and the evil that ended their lives,

When you cut it, the reed does not die. It regenerates, for it has roots that run deep; a depth of nearly 4000 years. No storm, no enemy, no evil will ever uproot us. We may bend when necessary, but ultimately the storms subside, the enemy is himself destroyed, and we still stand tall. That is who we are.” He praises the strength and faith of the families of the boys, and the unity the Jewish people has shown these past weeks. “We are one Nation, from Beverly Hills to Jerusalem.” His consolation comes with an assurance and a reminder that terrorism is not an Israeli problem: “Israel will do what is necessary to bring these murderous terrorists to justice. We will not rest and we will not sleep until they are captured. Israel will take the steps that this country, and any country, would take to defend its people, and will leave no stone unturned – literally – until justice is done. Terrorism is a global threat and no one is immune. Our challenge is to stand together with one voice, around the world, against terrorism.

Silence is a terrible accessory to terror.” He closes with words of Torah, and intro-

duces Leehy Shaer, Gil-Ad’s aunt. The room is silent as Leehy moves to the front.

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” she begins, her voice quiet but steady. She speaks of the total faith she had had that the boys would be brought safely home, until the terrible news was confirmed on Monday. “The victims were three helpless, innocent boys, who had done nothing hurtful to anyone.” She speaks about the boys, about her nephew. How he was a leader, how devoted he was to his five sisters. “He was my wonderful, talented, bright, and cool nephew. I would frequently talk with him on Skype and keep up with him on Facebook. He had my smile and we loved to laugh together. His parents named him Gil-Ad to mean happy forever. I always thought he would be Gil-Ad – happy forever. His parents and siblings only thought he would be happy forever. But the terrorists brought a sudden end to forever.” She shares her shock and horror on hearing the news, says it left her shaking. “I will never see my smile on Gil-Ad’s face ever again. All I have left is the photo of his smile. In the last hours, my brother and his wife, along with the other fathers and mothers, each had to bury their son. Parents are not supposed to bury their sons.” But even in her grief, she has words of inspiration. “We, the Jewish people, are a religion of life – chaim. Life is so important and precious to us. Our terrorist neighbors understand that and therefore prey upon us, thinking that they found our weakness. They don’t realize that life is our strength, and we will not be broken by any of their actions.” She waits for the applause to quiet again. She thanks the IDF and the Israeli government, and then the community in Los Angeles for standing with her during this time. “Upon the return of the boys I had hoped, I really had hoped, to plan a huge seuda todaya, a thanksgiving meal, for all of you, to thank Hashem and to thank you for all your help to bring the boys home. That was my dream.” “I and all my family pray that these are the last three boys who will ever be the victims of terror…I pray that the leaders of the world will join together to stop terror-

ism and stop the teaching of hate. As a nation we come together. We did everything possible to find the three boys. As a nation we must remain together to never let the world forget our three boys… May justice be upheld, may evil be wiped out, and may the memory of Gil-Ad, Eyal, and Naftali stay alive forever.” Jay Sanderson, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation, and Richard Bloom, Assembly member for District 50, offer condolences and chizzuk. Donald R. Cook, on behalf of CUFI, shares words of friendship and solidarity. Hundreds of people pour back out onto

the street yet not everyone is ready to go. Crowds line the steps and the sidewalk. People wait in line to speak to Leehy; others gather in groups to talk to one another. Raphael Nemes, new to LA, is overwhelmed by the turnout. “This has been such a powerful and moving show of support for the families and a show of unity for the Jewish People,” he said. Rabbi Posy had ended the remembrance service with a story that everyone is still discussing. “Just a few weeks ago,

on Friday afternoon,” he said, “Racheli Fraenkel, who is Naftali’s mother, spent the last few minutes of her preparations for Shabbat on a phone call with hundreds of American rabbis. On that call she said these words that we will never forget; she said that if Hamas realized how their actions would have unified the Jewish people, they never would have done it.”

Photo credits:Joe Shalmoni

“Tonight is a night for three things: For prayer, for remembrance, and for unity,” says Rabbi Adir Posy, opening the memorial service for Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, the three kidnapped teenagers whose bodies were found on Monday. Prayer permeates the service, beginning with a reading of Tehillim. Teenage representatives from Bnei Akiva come for-

and then quotes from Melachim, “‘There are times when we stand proud like the cedars of Lebanon. But there are times when we seem to bend like a pliable reed that tosses in the wind.’ Our enemies have tried to break us. But the Talmud teaches us… that the Jewish people are like the reed.

JULY 10, 2014

Olympic Boulevard is thick with people. Some are talking, others walk with heads down, but they all converge on the steps of Beth Jacob. They fill the main synagogue. They fill the overflow room. When there is nowhere left to sit, they stand in the lobby. No one turns to leave.


From Beverly Hills to Jerusalem: a Nation Mourns

LINK Kollel Holds Special Asifa of Divrei Hisorrerus In Memory of the Three Kidoshim By Eli Stern

On Monday evening June 30, a few scant hours after the shocking and horrific news from Eretz Yisroel of the murders of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach Hy”d, the LINK Kollel in Los Angeles organized an evening of reflection

and hisorrerus. Nearly 100 people crowded into the LINK Beis Medreash on short notice to hear penetrating words from Rabbis Eli Stern and Daniel Weinstock {Rabbi Asher Brander, LINK’s Rosh Kollel, was enroute

to Eretz Yisroel at that moment}.Several chapters of Tehilim were also recited for the safety of Klal Yisroel in the Holy Land. The shock of hearing of the murders-

find some area of self-improvement. In addition, he announced that LINK was undertaking a Siyum Shas Mishnayos in memory of the three boys, in time for the

after 18 intense days of tefilla and maisim tovim that had unified all segments of Klal Yisroel- left many people looking for a measure of comfort and direction. Rabbi Stern stressed that no sincere tefillos or tears are left completely unanswered. Whether in allowing the bodies to be recovered for a proper burial or in helping the neshamos of the Kedoshim ascend to even greater heights in Gan Eden or in helping Klal Yisroel in so many other ways, the copious tefillos were not in vain. Indeed, it now became clear that the boys had been killed before Klal Yisroel was even notified of their plight; thus the davening was ultimately never about saving their lives but about edifying our own and creating an unprecedented unity amongst the Jewish people. The main point he stressed was that this was a wake-up call for all of us - we can’t proceed with business as usual. Everyone was encouraged to introspect and

Sheloshim and many signed up on the spot for learning one of the 64 tractates. Rabbi Weinstock said we should take the inspiration from this moment and commit it to action without procrastination. He related a poignant and moving story of a man estranged from his erstwhile religious son, endeavoring to reach him - after years of no contact- before the father passed away. The effort was futile and the son only found out later that the father had passed away. The son felt regret that he had not attempted to reconcile with his father during all those years, all the while moving very far away from the Yiddishkeit he was raised in. Rabbi Weinstock urged his listeners to make choices that would enable their inspiration to last into the future and to do it without delay. After Tehilim, the program concluded with a heartfelt rendition of Maariv.

New programs begin October 2014

Photo credits:Yosef Ober


JULY 10, 2014



The evening was highlighted by the world renowned scholar and author Rabbi Chaim Miller who inspired the crowd by relating his own personal spiritual journey, and how the Rebbe constantly inspires him. People listened intently and spellbound as Rabbi Miller, who recently wrote a biography of the Rebbe, entitled Turning Judaism Outward, regaled the audience with stories, lessons and anecdotes about the Rebbe and his leadership of the ChabadLubavitch movement. Rabbi Miller’s book was released in paperback this May and has received excellent reviews. The book is presented as a beautiful presentation of the life of the Rebbe, from 1902 to 1994. The book takes the reader on a “soaring journey through the life, mind and struggles of one of the most interesting religious personalities of the Twentieth Century.” Afterwards a full dinner was served and provided free of charge. The Farbrengen was once again generously sponsored by Gary and Rochelle Finder and Family and the Finder Family Educational Center who also addressed the attendees of this most memorable evening.

JULY 10, 2014

This past Tuesday evening, some 1,000 people from all walks of life gathered at Chabad of the Valley Headquarters in Tarzana for a beautiful Farbrengen in honor of the 20th Yahrtziet – Hilulah of the Rebbe.


Rabbi Miller Shares Insights About the Rebbe at Chabad of Tarzana

Rebbetzins Corner


JULY 10, 2014


By Bracha Turner “I have placed HASHEM before me always” (16:8) I imagine that it’s easy for a rabbi who is always preparing for the next weeks sermon and learning or teaching on a daily basis, to have Hashem constantly in his mind. But what about the rest of us? How do we keep Hashem in our consciousness? It can be most difficult to find Hashem while we are dealing with the more mundane aspects of our life. While running errands, preparing dinner, feeding the baby, waiting in line at the bank, or sitting in traffic, Hashem may feel far away. If you are focused on living, how do you keep Hashem in your ordinary, daily thoughts, sentiments and stressful situations? Rebbetzin Ruchama Muskin: That all of our actions are informed by Torah and mitzvot is a simple way that this idea, ‘I envision Hashem before me always’ holds true. Whether it’s the big decision of how to be mechanech, or educate

your children, or what schools to choose for them, or what community to live in--all these decisions are informed by our understanding of Torah and mitzvot. And likewise this awareness trickles down to the small decisions, how we act, speak, or interface with people. And do we return the cart to the supermarket after we use it? I find my relationship with Hashem specifically during davening, not only in the words of the siddur itself, but wherever I can insert my own tefillot or personal prayer, I feel a oneness with Hashem at this time. When I’m going through every day life... you know you’re always in a conversation or tefilla with Hashem. This is obvious because you are hoping certain things will turn out a certain way, so it is not necessarily during shacharit or mincha that we can feel connected, rather, it is throughout the day we are having these conversations. Whenever you have a concern you are speaking to Hashem in your head. It can be anything; it does not have to be a heavyweight concern. How do you see this is your daily life? I see it in my job--my job is to create traditions--in yom tov food for instance. Not necessarily in prayer, is where you find Hashem most easily. Even in preserv-

ing our traditions in food for yom tov, you can feel Hashem there. Or when you are with your children, if you’re role modeling the path you wish them to follow, your role as a woman is truly being one with Hashem. As a woman, your role in chinuch, or educating one’s children, is an incomparably significant way that connects us to Hashem. When you make peace with all your decisions you will feel Hashem most. If a person thinks she is only with Hashem when she daavens, she will be very frustrated. At this stage of your life when you have obligations to your family, this is how you connect. You simply meditate on how you are one with yourself and one with Hashem. Is being one with yourself and one with Hashem synonymous? If your mission in life is to be one with Hashem and to follow his will, then when you are one with yourself you will be one with Hashem. If you live your life according to derech Hashem, the path of Hashem, then both paths are one and the same. Women are entrusted to be the ones to bear children. As a mother of Israel, teaching your children character traits that are in accordance with the path of Hashem is a clear way to envision Him before you always. The process as continuous as life itself. As long as you are alive, you are one with Hashem. Dr. Hindi Posy: You can find G-dliness in everything, I assume. Involving ourselves in all walks of life, in any interaction with another human being that has some positive effect channels G-d’s influence in this world. Even just driving carpool, for exam-

ple. Driving carpool means having time to give dedicated attention to your child and/ or children’s friends; reading a book to your child and connecting mind to mind, G-d is there, too; delivering a baby, a new soul, into the world--there is nothing more G-dly than that. So I would say interaction with any human being brings Hashem in our lives in all ways. As a high-risk obstetrician, how do you especially see Hashem s influence guiding you? I think faith in G-d is truthfully what can get people through the hard time. Others don’t have any way to explain “bad” things happening. If you are left to believe that something is happenstance or bad luck, there’s nowhere to turn in that moment of distress. But if you believe in G-d, then everything has a purpose and has a reason, whether good or bad, and that is the most comforting thing of all. That’s very comforting. Certainly when it comes to major crises or stresses, I think we believe that if Hashem is the controller of everything, we would not have to trouble ourselves in finding a reason to explain or to understand. Do you ever sweat the small stuff? When I do have a moment, I take a step back and think that with all the opportunities in my life comes small moments of stress that are positive. For instance, I put it into perspective: “If I didn’t have these beautiful children, I wouldn’t have the stress.” I can’t say I say that every moment but... you know what, thank G-d, I have a beautiful family and things that allow me to get busy or stressed.

Remembering the LAX Terror Attack Alisa Roberts

This past Friday, as many prepared for barbecues and fireworks, a small crowd gathered near Terminal 6 at LAX. Standing on the grass around a small plaque, they came together on the anniversary of one of LA’s worst terror attacks. Twelve years earlier, on July 4th, 2002, just 10 months after 9/11, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet walked into LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal. Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national, opened fire at the El-Al check-in counter, wounding several and killing Yaakov Aminov, a 46-year-old father of five young children, as well as Victoria Hen, just 25 years old. “We gather together once a year to remember,” said Rabbi Zvi Block. “But it’s also important to remember that for the family, the loss of Victoria bat Avinoam and Rachel is a memorial that lives on in their hearts every single day.”

Consul General of Israel, David Siegel, spoke about the loss. “The void and pain is enormous, for these families, for this community, and for the US and Israeli community... We buried three of our boys on Monday and we’re here on Friday to memorialize one of our daughters… We need to understand what is at stake.” He then addressed Rachel and Avi Hen, the parents of victim Vicky Hen: “You are never alone…We’re all in this together and we’re all here for each other.” Klaus Hackel, El-Al Airlines 2002 LAX Station Chief, was at the desk on that day 12 years ago. He spoke movingly of Vicky. “She impressed every person with her beautiful smile, her passion and attention to make one feel special. Vicky, I am proud to be one of the many lives you enriched by your grace and beauty.”

Avi Hen, Vicky’s father, spoke in Hebrew. Then, at 11:21, the exact time of the attack, everyone stood for a moment of silence. Avi Hen summed up the importance of the event: “Every year we come here, not to remember – everybody remembers – but to give respect to my daughter. And to give the public some idea of what happened in 2002.” Ramin Parsa, human rights activist and Founder of Arabs for Israel, spoke as well as Elan Carr, US Congressional Candidate. Carr referenced the timing of the attack: “The fourth of July represents freedom, democracy, decency, and tolerance…The enemies that murdered Vicky and Yaakov in cold blood are the enemies not only of the State of Israel and the Jewish People; they are the enemies of the United States of America, and they are the enemies of civilization itself.”


by Yehudis Litvak

produced by the Rebbe. The little booklets soon turned into sichos on Rashi that created a revolution in the way Rashi was studied. Rabbi Lieberman marveled at the Rebbe’s ability to delve deeply into the well-known commentary, familiar even to young schoolchildren, and bring out the secrets that remained hidden in the previous one thousand years of extensive study of Rashi’s commentary. Rabbi Lieberman encouraged the audience to take advantage of many published books, in many different languages, of the Rebbe’s sichos on Rashi. The next speaker, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, dean of Yeshivas Yavneh, spoke about the Rebbe’s Torah scholarship, giving two examples of his brilliant chiddushim. He concluded by noting that the Rebbe encompassed every single derech

within Judaism, whether it’s chassidus, halachic insights, or involvement in politics. Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, a Torah scholar and professor of Loyola University, began with a disclaimer that ideologically and temperamentally, he stands as far away from chassidus as possible. At the same time, he considers the Rebbe’s leadership unique. Only the Rebbe was able to act as a general, dispatching troops everywhere in the world where something could be accomplished. Moreover, among the chareidi world, only the Rebbe was able to engage the outside world without bringing its tuma into his own world, and to give this ability to thousands of his chassidim. Rabbi Adlerstein pointed out that while other leaders tend to have their specialties, the Rebbe had a very broad range of interests and was involved in many areas that affected the Jewish people, and the world as a whole. Israeli generals came to the Rebbe for guidance. The creation of the education department in the US government was largely his doing. The Rebbe’s interest in science allowed him to explain his views from a position of strength. His influence spread over to men and women on the street and gave koach to them as well. He strove to reach every single Jew, no matter how far that Jew was from Judaism. He viewed such a person not as an object of kiruv, but as a holy neshama, and loved them not for any particular accomplishment, nor any future accomplishment, but simply as a child of Hashem. Countless lives were enriched by the light and paternal warmth of the Rebbe. Rabbi Moshe Bryski, a shaliach of the Rebbe, head of Chabad of Conejo Valley, spoke about the challenges the Rebbe faced at the beginning of his leadership. It was a difficult time in history, shortly after the Holocaust, when millions of Jews were lost and those who survived were still

mourning the losses. The Rebbe took upon himself the task of lifting up this generation and embracing every single Jew in the world. With only a few broken orphans at his side, he began a revolution that was to change the world, one Jew at a time and one mitzvah at a time. The Rebbe was not interested in masses, but in the individual, in the heart and soul of every Jew. Rabbi Bryski remembered how, when he came back to New York for the first time after being sent as a shaliach to Conejo Valley, a non-Lubavitcher interrogated him about the religious life in Conejo Valley, which at the time was practically non-existent, and expressed disappointment that the Rebbe had sent him to such an unholy city. Now, thirty years later,

Conejo Valley boasts a large Torah observant community, with seven shuls, many communal institutions, and thousands of people who come to learn Torah. Rabbi Bryski encouraged the audience to follow in the Rebbe’s directives to bring Yiddishkeit to every single Jew, to kindle every neshama, one at a time. Rabbi Reuven Wolf, director of Maayon Yisroel, asked from where the Rebbe derived his inspiration and motivation. He explained that while we cannot fully comprehend the thoughts of tzaddikim, we can

begin to understand the Rebbe’s source of energy by examining the beginning of his leadership. The Rebbe was the continuation of a golden chain of seven tzaddikim who were masters of the Torah and great communal leaders. The chain goes back to the Baal Shem Tov, whose core teaching was the unity of G-d. He summed up the total of all existence as nothing other than manifestation of Hashem, Who concealed Himself in this world to allow His creations to look for Him and peel away the layers of concealment until the world is filled with Divine knowledge. While the Baal Shem Tov delivered this truth into the neshama of every Jew, it wasn’t possible to understand this idea intellectually, until the Alter Rebbe brought this truth to be absorbed by intellect. With each next tzaddik these ideas became more graspable, until the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe brought them down to the next frontier – the realm of the physical. The Rebbe intended for this generation to break through the last concealment, until there is no place on earth where mitzvos are not done. Rabbi Wolf explained that Hashem’s oneness is expressed in every Chabad House. Mivtzoim, the Rebbe’s mitzvah campaigns, such as encouraging non-observant Jews to put on tefillin or light Shabbos candles, have touched thousands of Jews across the world and are also helping bring down the Shechina into the physical world. Rabbi Wolf encouraged the audience to do their part by revealing G-d wherever we find ourselves. The evening concluded with more beautiful music as the participants absorbed the inspiring words they had heard, which, as Rabbi Kesselman said, will hopefully help all of us become better Jews tomorrow than we are today.

JULY 10, 2014

On Sunday night, June 29th, Kanner Hall was filled with men and women from various segments of the Los Angeles Jewish community who gathered to reflect on the legacy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, ztz”l, twenty years after his passing. The event was organized by Maayon Yisroel Chassidic Center, hosted by Congregation Shaarei Tefila, and sponsored by Alan and Lisa Stern, in memory of their parents. Rabbi Moshe Kesselman, of Congregation Shaarei Tefila, was the master of ceremonies. Throughout the program, Rabbi Dovid Lipson, pianist, a Rosh Kollel from Eretz Yisrael, and Mr. Ami Levy, violinist performed moving niggunim of the Rebbe. The speakers at the event, most of them not affiliated with Chabad, highlighted different aspects of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s leadership and influence. They pointed out that the sprouts of the seeds he planted can be seen in every single aspect of individual and communal life. Rabbi Avraham Lieberman, a historian and dean of YULA girls’ high school, spoke of the unparalleled vision and influence of the Rebbe. He reminisced about the radio programs in Yiddish he used to listen to as a young boy, and the Torah booklets distributed in every shul, both


Twenty Years: Reflections on the Lubavitcher Rebbe


Visiting Israel?


Vicky Hen’s Father is Still Waiting By Alisa Roberts

knows about it.” While the Jewish community of Los Angeles might remember that terror attack, Avi Hen contends that

most people are still unaware of the circumstances surrounding it. He has spent thousands of dollars and many years of his life investigating the terrible incident. He has interviewed eyewitnesses who were in the terminal that fateful day and he has tracked down family members of

the gunman in Egypt. What he has learned is chilling. According to his investigation, on that day in 2002, just 10 months after the September 11th attacks, airport police were pulled from the terminal in order to cover other areas of the city. It took between 7 and 10 minutes for the first officer to arrive on the scene after the shooting. Worse, it took almost 25 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. “We were told that Vicky died instantly, but that was a lie,” Avi recalls. He speaks calmly, but his anger and sadness are palpable. “It took Klaus [Klaus Hackel, ElAl Airlines LAX Station Chief at the time] at least seven minutes to get there, and he said she was still looking at him, moving her eyes... She might only have had a 2% chance, but there was a chance if someone had been there to help her.” At the same time Avi Hen’s research shows that the shooter had already been removed from the terminal several times for suspicious behavior, and he was known to the FBI. Despite this, after the attacks happened there was no organization, not the FBI nor the LAPD or airport security who admitted to a security breakdown. No one so much as lost their job. This was unacceptable to Hen and he felt it necessary to start work

on a lawsuit against the city. After months of painstakingly gathering evidence with the help of several high-powered attorneys, the case came before the court. It was dismissed almost immediately. “The judge opened the file, glanced at the first pages, and dismissed it. I didn’t

even get to speak.” Several appeals were also denied. The Hen family has been through


too much. Just four months after Victoria was killed, their 18-year-old son Nimrod died in a routine surgery following a car accident. Mired in these tragedies and their aftermath, the Hen’s financial situation quickly deteriorated. Avi had spent over $400,000 on the lawsuit, as well as time away from work to focus on the investigation. In 2010 it got so bad that they almost lost their home. While they managed to keep it, they are still struggling. “The only money we got was $5000 for the funeral – which they took back when we filed the lawsuit.” This isn’t the only way the family feels ignored and disrespected by the city, “Vicky was killed on city land. But no one from the city ever shows up at any memorial.” Avi recalls promises made and broken by politicians and others. “They forgot about us.” After more than a decade, Avi is still waiting. While no longer pursuing lawsuits, he is still certain that his daughter died because of a failure in security that could have been avoided. He wants someone to be held accountable for that failure. So each year he goes back to LAX, with photos of his beautiful daughter and posters filled with information about the attack. “People need to know,” he says. If you are interested in helping the Hen family, please contact Avi at avi@avicoreus. com

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JULY 10, 2014

Each year, the Hen family goes back to LAX to pay respects to Vicky Hen and the other victims who were killed and injured in the 2002 terror attack at the El-Al counter. However for Avi Hen, Vicky’s father, there is another important reason to make the trip. “If you ask 1000 people at the airport if they know there was a terror attack here in 2002, no one will say,” yes””, he explains. “No one


84 12 JULY 10, 2014

T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012

Cover Story


warned Israel, “Sons of Zion, this is an oath to the Lord of the Heavens: Prepare all the bags you can for your body parts” and “Sons of Fatah will turn your settlements into balls of fire and increase your horror.”

After a wave of rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge


HOLY LAND Operation Protective Edge is Launched to Help Restore Peace By Brendy J. Siev


n the wake of the June 12 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, a cycle of violence has erupted in Israel. With the horrifying abduction of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach hy”d, Hamas, whose operatives committed the murders, began firing rockets from Gaza into Israel. After the boys’ funerals, in a shocking and un-Jewish act of revenge, three Israelis burned a Palestinian teenager to death. This Hamas has used to justify further and more widespread assaults, firing hundreds of rockets into Israel and sparking riots all over the country. In retaliation, the IDF has begun Operation Protective Edge, a long-term offensive against Hamas. The military hopes to destroy the infrastructure of Hamas and is preparing for a possible ground war. The offensive includes targeted bombing of Gaza; more than 1,500 reservists have been called up to active duty.

By early in the week, Hamas launched more than 300 rockets into Israel. The Israelis retaliated with air strikes, targeting terrorist areas and rocket launchers. A tunnel in Rafah, an area in southern Gaza, that Hamas claims was used for “resistance,” a euphemism, of course, for “arms and terrorist smuggling,” blew up, killing seven Hamas, the biggest loss for the terrorist group in months. Two more militants, from what the New York Times calls “a radical Salafi group,” were killed in Israeli overnight airstrikes, as well. With these deaths, Hamas posted on its website that “the Zionist enemy will pay a heavy price.” They further posted a short video, accusing Israel of bringing death and destruction to Gaza and warning residents of Beersheba to run “before it is too late.” By Monday, Hamas vowed to avenge the deaths of their fighters. An official Fatah Facebook status

The President Responds In light of this violence, the U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki denounced the volley of fire from Gaza, maintaining that Israel has a right to defend its citizens. On Tuesday morning, Haaretz published an OpEd penned by President Barack Obama before June 30 for a Haaretz-sponsored conference. Obama, who has been upsettingly reticent on the murder of the three boys, decried the violence and pressured both parties to reach peace. He opened by stating that “as a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain endured by the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were tragically kidnapped and murdered in June. I am also heartbroken by the senseless abduction and murder of Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir, whose life was stolen from him and his family. At this dangerous moment, all parties must protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution.” Obama, in line with the State Department’s statements, continued, “From Harry Truman through today, the United States has always been Israel’s greatest friend. As I’ve said time and again, neither I nor the United States will ever waver in our commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people, and our support for peace will always remain a bedrock foundation of that commitment.” He further emphasized the United States’ fiscal aid commitment to Israel and support for the country and peace. The Mood in Israel With the kidnapping of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach hy”d a month ago, tensions, already strong in the region, increased. Israel at the time rightly blamed Hamas, the terrorist group that dominates in the Gaza Strip. The terrorist organization condoned the kidnappings, but denied any involvement. This was a departure from Hamas’ usual egotistical behavior: Hamas usually flaunts their murders and kidnappings. They like to take responsibility for attacks. On the other hand, the kidnapping takes the fighting between militants and armies to the lowest level: attacks on children, a move abhorred, at least initially, even by the Palestinian Authority. While the military conducted an 18-day search for the kidnapped boys and Jews around the world gathered together in tefilah, Israel began to clamp down on the Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank. Israel raided institutions and arrested close to 400 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas. Six were killed in confrontations in the West Bank. Hamas began attacking by sending rockets from Gaza into Israel. While the search was ongoing, Israeli intelligence identified the perpetrators (one, a known Hamas militant, has since been arrested). Sadly,


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after an exhausting 18-day search, the boys’ bodies were found dead. At least one has been arrested. The boys’ funerals were heartbreaking; their parents responded with dignity; the Jewish world mourned together. But then, on the day of the funerals, hundreds of young right-wing Israelis marched through Jerusalem screaming for revenge and yelling, “Death to Arabs.” Only hours later, 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir, waiting to leave for prayers, was abducted and burned alive. His body was found in the forest outside Jerusalem. Ninety percent of it was covered in burns; his lungs show that he was alive when they set him on fire.

and condemned them, Hamas delighted in supporting the kidnapping and murders. In contrast, with Abu Khdeir’s murder, the Jewish community has gone further than condemnation and collaboration: we feel horrified that Jews would murder a child in cold blood. And we are ashamed by what was done.

Reacting with Dignity and Humanity: The Israeli Government Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sworn that he will bring justice for the Abu Khdeir murder. He called the youth’s father, Hussein Abu Khdeir, on Monday, saying, “I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son.” His administration is firm that the suspects will be treated as terrorists. Unlike Hamas, “We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial, and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.” Netanyahu called for calm, saying, “Experience proves that at such times we must act responsibly and with equanimity, not hastily. We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security Peres: “We mustn’t be such people” who kill for revenge to the south.” President Shimon Peres Unjustified Revenge phoned Hussein Abu Khdeir to offer his condolence, By Sunday, six extremists connected with the as well, emphasizing that “there will be no compaskilling of Abu Khdeir were arrested. The killers con- sion for the murderers.” fessed and reenacted the murder for police. Their “I know what you and your family is going identity has been kept secret by the Shin Bet. Heart- through. I am full of shame and share in your grief. breakingly, however, we know one thing for certain: He was murdered by criminals. I am ashamed on they are Jewish. behalf of my nation and grieve with you. The only Media reports have leaked some information, thing left for all of us to do is to ensure that no more though. For one, when kidnapping and killing the children are murdered, and no more tears are shed boy, the extremists dressed as Chareidim. At least are by mothers,” the president said. two are brothers; some have criminal records. One is the son of a rabbi. They come from Beit Shemesh and nearby Adam, prompting an emergency meeting of the local government. They attempted to kidnap another boy the night before. One mother of a suspect told Ynet, “We are broken and are having a very difficult time…. It’s crazy. He’s only 16.” The perpetrators have been sent for psychiatric evaluations. They face charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, murder of a minor, kidnapping with the intent of murder or extortion, conspiracy, purchasing of weapons or ammunition parts, and racially-motivated crimes.

Rodfei Shalom: The Torah Reaction In stark contrast to Palestinian religious leadership, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau condemned the murder of 16-year-old Abu Khdeir, saying “This is not the way of the Torah.” The killing was further condemned by the Israeli religious organizations, including the Eida Hachareidis. “With pain and horror,” they wrote in statement, they heard of the “foolish, and very severe act.” “It is clear and simple” that “it is forbidden according to the Torah, for a Jew to spill blood.” The Eida claimed that the murder was even worse because the killers dressed “in Haredi garb.” “There is no room for the continued bloodshed from either side, and we must act to calm the public,” he said. Earlier, Rabbi Shalom Cohen, the Shas spiritual leader, fiercely denounced the murder. He said that the punishment for those with “innocent blood on their hands” was “indescribable.” Aim B’Yisrael: Rachelle Fraenkel Offers Condolences to Abu Khdeir Family Moreover, Rachelle Fraenkel, mother of Naftali Fraenkel, hy”d, denounced the killing and offered condolences to the grieving family. In a public statement, she said, “No mother or father should ever have to go through what we are going through, and we share the pain of Muhammed’s parents. “Even in the abyss of mourning for Gil-ad, Eyal and Naftali, it is difficult for me to describe how distressed we are by the outrage committed in Jerusalem—the shedding of innocent blood in defiance of all morality, of the Torah, of the foundation of the lives of our boys and of all of us in this country. “Only the murderers of our sons, along with those who sent them and those who helped them and incited them to murder—and not innocent people— will be brought to justice: by the army, the police, and the judiciary; not by vigilantes.” Mrs. Fraenkel added that despite “the pain of this terrible act, we take pride in our country’s zeal

Not the Jewish Way Because the murderers are Jewish, the Jewish world and the Israeli press are horrified. Headlines reflect disappointment, shame and shock. President Shimon Peres says that Israel feels that it is in a deep crisis of morality, because we “mustn’t be such a people.” A Clear Difference While the Palestinian Authority was upset about the kidnappings of the three Israeli boys

1,500 reservists were called up for active duty to help restore peace

85 T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012


to investigate, to arrest the criminals and to stop the horror, and we hope that calm will return to the streets of our country.” She, a mother still in the early stages of mourning, emphasized that the legacy of the three slain

“There is no room for the continued bloodshed from either side.”


JULY 10, 2014

out their sacred [act of] vengeance by torturing him were put into a ward that doubles as a bomb shelter and burning him to death, in a crime reminiscent of in anticipation of further rocket attacks. Final exams their holy matzos that became part of their history at the Beersheba campus of Ben Gurion University of betrayal and murder – for the culture of violence were cancelled. Day camps were cancelled. Magen and blood grew among the Jews to such an extent David Adom went into high alert. that it seeped into their sacred rites and prayers…” Hamas has about 10,000 rockets in its arsenal, he wrote. and while they may continue to attack, they do not “The unjust world – from the U.S. and the EU to have, according to Israeli spokesmen, any kind of the president of the Palestinian Authority – greatly “game-changing Doomsday weapon.” Even so, lamented the death of the three settlers, but it does Hamas vowed to start attacking central Israel and not lament the death of the Palestinian boy Abu Kh- Tel Aviv. deir, since he belongs to the group whose blood is The IDF has announced that they would focus not [considered] sacred, according to the interna- their operation on specific figures and targeted hits. tional community’s classification of human, ethnic They will be escalating attacks on Gaza targets, speand political groups, which places Israel high on the cifically against the tunnels on the Gaza-Israel borladder and the Palestinians low,” he charged. der. The country has entered “war footing,” broadteenagers “is one of love, of humanity, of national “The international comunity, and of integrity.” munity’s double standard regarding Israeli and PalA Call for Peace, Even in Pain estinian blood revives the The grandfather of Gil-ad Shaar spoke with the heritage of the Nazi theory. father of the dead East Jerusalem teen on television. The Jews, with their crimiThe grandfather told Abu Khdeir that “if he comes nal behavior, adopt the vito Shuafat to offer his condolences to the Abu Kh- sion of Hitler, which was deir family, will Hussein come back with him to the based on classifying people Shaar family.” Abu Khdeir said, “Why not?” at first. into superior races, like the He then said that Cohen should not come now due Aryan race, versus inferior to the chaos in the area. Cohen told him that if Abu races, like the blacks, Arabs Khdeir comes to Talmon, “not a hair on his head and Jews, [and held that] would be harmed.” the superiority of the white race over all other peoples Hamas Escalates Violence, entitles it to many absolute Riots broke out in the aftermath of the death of the Palestinian boy Uses Abu Khdeir as an Excuse rights, such as the right to Abu Khdeir’s funeral, held on the first day of Ra- rule over other peoples,” madan—always a time of regional tension—drove said Afifa. many to riot. In Qalansawe, protesters pulled over a “Similarly, we see that Israel believes that the casting red alert sirens, interviewing generals, and car driven by a Jew. They pulled him out of the car superiority of the Jewish race endows it with the ab- interrupting regular broadcasting on television and and torched it. solute right to occupy, build settlements, take ven- radio. Others took an electric saw to destroy the light geance and spill blood. That is how they baked their PA President Mahmoud Abbas asked Israel to rail that joins East and West Jerusalem. sacred bread in the past, and that is how they hold stop the Gaza airstrikes. their sacred rites of vengeance in the present, whose victim [this Hamas’ Double Standard time] was the boy Abu Khder,” Alan Dershowitz, civil rights lawyer and HarAfifa wrote. vard professor, writes that “revenge killings, vigilante killings are completely inconsistent with the Overtures Shunned values of the Israeli government. They are not inDespite the overtures of peace consistent, however, with the values of Hamas.” from the Israelis and families of Everyone is shocked by Israeli revenge killings the three kidnapped boys, the Abu because “the world expects much more of Israel Khdeir family has rejected the than they do of Hamas,” an outlook Dershowitz condolences of the Israeli govern- claims “is a form of racism.” ment. And Hamas has escalated He pointed out the lopsided actions. “It’s Israel their rocket fire from Gaza. taking military actions, which are legitimate, and By late Monday, the Israeli se- then Palestinian leaders and Hamas using human curity cabinet gave the go-ahead shields and attacking civilians and killing civilians,” to the military to “toughen the re- he said. “That’s not a cycle of violence. That’s a sponse to Hamas.” They ordered one-way approach to violence.” a call-up of 1,500 reservists and Netanyahu: “We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security to the south.” began Operation Protective Edge, Yachad an initiative that will hopefully As justice minister Tzipi Livni said in a meetAbu Khdeir’s cousin, Tariq, attacked police and disable Hamas. They are preparing for a possible ing with Arab Israeli leaders, “I want to send a meswas therefore beaten. Tariq, an American citizen ground initiative as well. sage for reducing the flames. Stop the incitement who goes to school in Florida, was found with a 220 people were arrested in riots in East Jeru- and the violence – and it does not matter in which slingshot on him. Fellow protesters had knives. salem; 36 police officers were lightly injured in the language.” Inflammatory commentary abounded in Arab riots. Hundreds of rockets have been fired at Israel; Indeed, photos from June 30 showed Israelis media. The editor of Hamas’s paper Al-Risalah, at least 7 were intercepted by the Iron Dome over gathered in mourning, lighting candles and prayWisam Afifa, associated the death of Mohammed Ashdod and five others over Netivot. ing. For 18 days, the Jewish nation prayed as one, Abu-Khder with the blood libel. “The settlers used By late Monday, Hamas’ rocket fire penetrated brought together by tragedy and hope. May the futhe body of 17-year-old Mohammed Hussein Abu deep into Israel, hitting Ashkelon and Ashdod. Pre- ture see us standing together as one, as peace comes TJH Khder, from Shuafat in northern Jerusalem, to carry mature babies in Beersheba Soroka Medical Center for our brothers in the Holy Land. 


T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012


Tzelafchad, Rabbi Akiva and the Day After Rabbi Asher Brander


JULY 10, 2014


In honor of the Chayalei Tzahal who nobly place themselves in harm’s way - especially in this period of extreme danger. May Hashem protect them all. An apparent footnote in the daughters of Tzelafchad story offers great intrigue. The daughters want their father’s land in Eretz Yisrael [there are no boys]. They turn to Moshe with an ultimately successful argument. It is their prelude to their halachic question that raises wonder: [Bamidbar, 27:3] “Our father died in the desert, but he was not in the assembly that banded together against the Lord in Korah’s assembly, but he died for his own sin, and he had no sons. Much is difficult in their words. Why must they mention how their father did not die and how he did – especially if it is connected to sin. “Yes our father was a sinner – but it was his own variety” just does not seem so appropriate. A simple mention that he died in the desert (G’shtorben is G’shtorben) and [thus deserves a share in the land] should be sufficient, period. I. Herein three classic samplings – we commence with Rashi:  Since they were going to say that “he died for his own sin,” they had to say that it was not for the sin of those who grumbled, and [that he was] not in Korach’s company who incited [the people] against the Holy One, blessed is He, but he died for his own sin alone, ad he did not cause others to sin with him Rashi [#1] commences with a cryptic line. For some reason, [which we shall yet revisit] they had to say that he

died from sin. Given that assumption, a 2nd point needs to be clarified: this was not one of THOSE sins, this was a loner sin – which did not negatively influence other people. And in the narrow scheme of things, in the context of a request for land – what difference does it make if the sin was private or a negative influencer? On this Rashi is quiet. We shall momentarily return to this loose end, but first Ramban’s [#2] halachic notion [rooted in Bava Basra 118b] According to our Rabbis, they needed to say they were not part of the Korach community – for they did not have a share in the land – [and so those that complained with the community of Korach] – and this was heard amongst the people from Moshe’s Beit Din. If Tzelafchad died in the broad Korach congregation (or as one of the Meraglim [cf. footnote 3]), then he would have forfeited his rights to land. We now understand why, in their request for land, they need mention which sin was not their father’s. Fascinatingly, the gemara does not source why the Korach congregation lost their share of the land. [for the Meraglim, it is quite obvious. Their essential sin was rejection of the land]. What is axiomatic to the gemara, needs clarification, and with this we can precisely return to Rashi and his negative influence point. The land of Israel is open to sinners – but the moment that one peddles in contamination of the environment, one has lost his share in the land. Thus Yerova’am, who sins and creates sin, sows the metaphysical seeds of exile [Shabbos 56b] and thus Sodom must be destroyed for the land of Israel cannot tolerate an environment of sin. Ramban [#3] prefers the psychological route: My opinion regarding the plain meaning of the text is they said this because they thought that Moshe hated the Korach community more than all the other sinners that dies in the desert – for they were the ones that went against him and denied all his actions and they thought in his hatred for them he would say [to Hashem] not have mercy …. Therefore they informed Moshe that he [Tzelofchad] was not from them So it’s not about land. It’s about getting a fair hearing. Incredible as it sounds, they were worried that Moshe might have personal bias against anyone involved in the Korach rebellion. Ohr

HaChaim finds the same notion lurking in the Zohar [Balak, p. 205] and raises the obvious, but we are talking about Moshe Rabbeinu question and concludes with a depressing and realistic note: How can these righteous women think to suspect a kosher one like Moshe - and perhaps it is to teach us the way of life? II. To the heart of the matter: now we know the truth of Tzelafchad’s sin. Why do we need to state anything more? A fascinating Talmudic dispute is the struggle to identify Tzelafchad’s precise sin: [Shabbos 96b] Our Rabbis taught: The mekosheish [gatherer cf. Bamidbar 15:32 – the Shabbos violater] was Tzelafchad And thus it is said, and while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man [gathering sticks, etc.]; whilst elsewhere it is said, our father died in the wilderness; just as there Tzelafchad [is meant], so here too Tzelafchad [is meant]: this is R. Akiba’s view. Said R. Judah b. Bathyra to him, ‘Akiba! in either case you will have to give an account [for your statement]: if you are right, the Torah shielded30 him, while you reveal him; and if not, you cast a stigma upon a righteous man.’ ….Then of which [sinners] was he?-Of those who ‘presumed [to go up to the top of the mountain].’ [Bamidbar, 14:44] Rabbi Akiva pinpoints Tzlefachad’s sin as being the Shabbos violater of the desert. Rabbi Yehuda castigates Rabbi Akiva for this assertion: either you revealed a secret or impugned a righteous man. He then pinpoints Tzelafchad’s sin as being from the ma’apilim – those that in the aftermath of the meraglim story, insisted on ascending to Eretz Yisrael, against Moshe’s command, and suffered catastrophic results. There is much that confuses here. First, note the irony: Immediately after rebuking Rabbi Akiva for revealing that which is to remain hidden, Rabbi Yehuda divulges Tzelafchad’s sin?!! Further, even if the Torah does hides it, Moshe was told the particular sin, and we still have no clue why either one [Ma’apilim or Mekosheish] is important to their daughter’s claim for land. An unbelievable Midrashic tradition [cited by Tosafos Bava Basra 119b] gives us a window: [Warning: this is heavy stuff – do not experiment with this at home] For he intended for the sake of Heav-

en, for the Jews were saying that once it was decreed upon them not to enter the land from the episode of the meraglim, they were no longer obligated in mitzvos – he then stood up and violated Shabbos so that he should be killed and others should see Tzelafchad saw a dejected nation on the brink of abandoning mitzvos, who reasoned (errantly) that: are they (mitzvos) not also dependent upon the dream (Eretz Yisrael) that was not to be? Thus Tzelafchad sows, with the ultimate sacrifice, seeds of hope for a forlorn people: Yes you had dreams of Eretz Yisrael - but a relationship with Hashem is not land based. Echoes of Rabbi Akiva, the ultimate [Cf. Yoma 86] hope artist who teaches that you can connect to Hashem without a Beis HaMikdash and you feel Him in the darkest places [Cf. Makkos 24] reverberate through time. Both Tzelafchad and Rabbi Akiva teach: Wherever you are, Hashem wants to hear you. Your life matters and there is always purpose. God really cares about what you do and don’t do. I’ll prove it to you….. Rabbi Yehuda fundamentally agrees. Both sins come right after the 1st Tisha B’av: the Ma’apilim did not give up on the dream of Eretz Yisrael. They were of course, off in their timing and guilty of misplaced priorities – but in their desire to go to Eretz Yisrael and in their acknowledgement of their sins, they recognize a proud Jewish future. Thus the daughters of Tzelafchad mention their father’s sin – to advocate for their father: not only is he not from the Korach chevra, but he, like you, Moshe, believed with his very fiber in Eretz Yisrael and the eternal Jewish future – a message of redemptive hope absolutely critical to impart to the many wilderness generations to come [even in Los Angeles, NY, and Ramat Beit Shemesh] until we reach the moment of triumphant Jewish destiny, bimheira b’yameinu. ________________________ Rabbi Asher Brander is the Founder of the LINK Kollel and Shul, located on 1453 S. Robertson Blvd and is a Rebbe at the wonderful Bnos Devorah Girls High School.


No, Not All Mothers Are The Same

Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

JULY 10, 2014

Among the many heartbreaking images associated with the kidnap-murder of three Israeli teenagers was a televised interview on June 29 with the mother of one of the Hamas terrorists named as a prime suspect in the killings. “If they [the Israelis] accuse him of this [the kidnapping], and if it is a true accusation, I will be proud of him until Judgment Day,” she declared. “If the accusation that he did it is true...My boys are all righteous, pious and pure. The goal of my children is the triumph of Islam.” Not that she is the first Middle Eastern mother to rejoice at the thought of her son murdering innocent children. The fifth chapter of the biblical Book of Judges describes the mother of the barbaric Canaanite general, Sisera, anxiously waiting by the window for her son to return from his latest slaughter. Sisera’s mother was calmed only by her attendants’ reassurance that he must have been delayed because he was busy ravaging women and pillaging their homes. Author and pundit Erica Brown, a scholar at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, D.C. and columnist for the New York Jewish Week, last week invoked Sisera in a misguided comparison to the situation of the three kidnapped teenagers. Just as Sisera waited by the window, she wrote, “as a community, we have all been waiting by that window for weeks, checking the news constantly and asking if there are any updates, any developments about our three kidnapped boys.” All mothers have something in common, Ms. Brown argued. It’s true Sisera had a mother who cared about him. So did Adolf Eichmann and Osama Bin Laden and presumably the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped and murdered the boys. But that does not mean that Jewish mothers “waiting by the window” should be compared in any way to the mothers of murderers waiting by the window. No, not all mothers are the same. In fact, the sad truth about Palestinian Arab society is that the mother of the kidnapper is only one of many Palestinian mothers who are proud of their murderous children and who have expressed delight when their children have died while killing Jews. Just last year (on January 27, 2013),

the Facebook page of Fatah, the movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, posted a feature about

All children at his age do. He always cared for me. I would have preferred that one of his other brothers would have attained

I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED THAT ONE OF HIS OTHER BROTHERS WOULD HAVE ATTAINED SHAHADA INSTEAD OF HIM, BECAUSE HE WAS THE JOY OF MY LIFE. the mother of 23 year-old Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. She murdered one Israeli, and wounded over 100, by blowing herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket in 2002. The posting quoted Wafa’s mother as saying “She is a hero… My daughter is a Martyr (Shahida).” The Fatah page added: “Wafa’s mother said that she is proud of her daughter, and hopes that more girls will follow in her footsteps.” The Hamas website on January 1, 2006 presented a film about a woman named Um Nidal and her son, Muhammad. First they are shown just before the heavilyarmed Muhammad sets out on a terrorist attack. His mother declares: “By Allah, today is the best day of my life…I wish to sacrifice more [sons].... It’s true that there’s nothing more precious than children, but for the sake of Allah – what is precious becomes cheap.” Then, after her son has been killed while carrying out the attack, Um Nidal says: “I gave my son to Jihad for Allah. It’s our religious obligation….The greatest honor [my son] showed me was his Martyrdom.” On September 24, 2002, PA Television showed a woman it called “the mother of a Martyr” announcing: “The honor is mine, I have a son who is a Shahid (Martyr) ... I’m willing to offer all my seven children to redeem Jerusalem, to redeem Jerusalem, to redeem Jerusalem.” Of course, that is not to say that no Palestinian mothers have any regrets about their children carrying out suicide bombing. For example, on June 6, 2004, PA Television broadcast these remarks by the mother of a 15 year-old who died during a suicide attack: “It was sad and joyous what happened to him, meaning, he always liked the Shahada (Martyrdom).

Shahada instead of him, because he was the joy of my life.” (All translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.) Undoubtedly there are exceptions, but the large number of Palestinian mothers who feel this way says something deeply

troubling about Palestinian society. One does not need to be a sociologist or a psychologist to recognize that the normative values of Israeli society and those of Palestinian society are profoundly different. Israeli mothers do not long for the day that their children will murder other children. They do not hope their children grow up to be suicide bombers. They want their children to live, not to die, to defend their country, but not to be mass murderers or suicide bombers. The proud mothers of Palestinian terrorists, not the mothers of Israel, are the ones who deserve to be compared to the mother of Sisera. [The authors are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.]



JULY 10, 2014

True and Enduring Achdus

Any Jew with a soul and a heartbeat felt something significant transpire over the past few weeks. Upon hearing that three boys were kidnapped in Eretz Yisroel, Jews everywhere joined in prayer, asking the Baal Hayeshuos for mercy. When the tragic result of the frantic searches reached us, we turned to the Baal Hanechamos, beseeching Him to shower the families and all of us, a nation in mourning - with comfort. We were horrified by the news that Jews killed an Arab boy in retaliation. The world quickly equated the two acts: Jews kill, Arabs kill, and it is all the same. Once again, the Jew was faulted for not exercising restraint and calm. Misdirected young boys acted contrary to their upbringing and Torah. Their actions were quickly condemned, yet their dastardly act permitted the world to shift its focus from the terror Israelis live with to a fictitious story of victimhood peddled by the Palestinians. Hamas mocked Israel, lobbing a steady stream of rockets on Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva. Rechovot was also targeted. Sirens went off in Yerushalayim as authorities warned Israelis everywhere to be prepared for the worst. Southern citizens were told not to ever be more than 15 seconds from a bomb shelter. At the time of this writing, Israeli troops are massing on the Gaza border and the Air Force has begun bombing runs in Gaza. Hamas has targeted cities as far north as Chaifa. Sirens are wailing across the country as millions of people cower in shelters, fearing for their lives. Once again, we were experiencing an eis tzorah leYaa-

kov. The tinder box that is the tiny Jewish country was apparently on the verge of yet another existential battle as Operation Protective Edge got underway. Tzaros ha’achronos meshakchos es harishonos. The past few weeks, we worried about the fate of three boys and their families. Now virtually the entire country is in mortal danger. Explosions were heard across Yerushalayim and as far north as Chadeira. Millions of lives were interrupted. People ran wildly while a chupah was getting underway in Ashdod as sirens wailed. Children in Bnei Brak took shelter under benches, while in Tel Aviv, busses emptied their passengers who dashed off into shelters. As the war began, Israel discovered, to its dismay, that the Gazan terrorists had four times more long-range weapons than they had previously estimated. Our brethren were whipsawed, having just experienced eighteen harrowing days, followed by more tragedy, and then they were thrown into what appeared to be a full-scale war with madmen attempting to annihilate them. Our thoughts and tefillos go out to them. We hope that they will all emerge unscathed from the battles after having forced Hamas and its allies to retreat. We join Jews and people of goodwill the world over davening for peace and security for all Israelis during this terrible time. Fortunately, during the eighteen fateful days the kidnapping saga played out, we saw who we are and what Klal Yisroel is composed of. It became evident that at our core, we are essentially a nation joined by Torah and the long, lonely struggle we have faced together. We infuse each other with hope, we gain strength from coming together, and we reach out to Hashem in prayer, aware that there is no other dominant power or force. Even the sad aftermath, when the ending was radically different than what we had hoped for, brought to the fore reservoirs of chizuk, tziduk hadin and bitachon. We were, and are, very sad, but at the same time there was a sense of satisfaction. We were united as one, feeling the pain of golus, but because we were b’achdus, we saw the light of redemption. We were saying, “Shechorah ani venava.” We are

black, enveloped in clothes of mourning, but at the same time, the enduring, untarnished beauty of a nation shone through as Jews everywhere shed tears for three boys they didn’t know. Let us internalize what we learned from the process and what it means for us moving forward. Together, we can achieve and affect change. Separately, we are irrelevant and weak. We have previously experienced tragic episodes that brought everyone together. We prayed that the love would endure, yet, with time, it dissipated. Why? What can we do to make it last this time? The achdus that we all tangibly sensed over this period can be explained with a simple truth: No one focused on each other or what the other one was or was not doing. Rather, we were all single-minded in our focus on Heaven. We worked side by side. We prayed side by side. The nature of the situation was that it didn’t allow for division to separate us. We were too intent on achieving salvation and earning Divine grace. When we focus on a common goal and not on each other, we can achieve achdus. Many mistakenly think that achdus is achieved when we swallow our differences and blur the lines until we become a homogeneous mass. That’s not the achdus Hashem seeks and not what we should be aiming for. This week’s parshah provides direction on how achdus is achieved and sustained among people of goodwill who share a goal. At the conclusion of Parshas Balak last week, we learned that following Bilam’s attempt to curse the Jewish people, they began to sin with the daughters of Moav. A nesi bais av committed a sinful act with a daughter of the leader of Midyan in full view of Moshe and all of the Bnei Yisroel. The Torah relates that as that transpired, the entire nation stood around weeping, not knowing how to react. They knew that Zimri had committed an awful crime, but they were plagued by terrible anomia. They were upset, reduced to tears, but were unable to act upon their feelings of dread. Their personal feelings may have also contributed to their inaction. They may

have been paralyzed by the fear of what would happen to them if they were to take a stand. How would it affect their children’s’ shidduchim prospects? Would their ainiklach be accepted into good schools? They were frozen in place, unable to act. The result of their fear wasn’t just that the horrific act went unpunished. It was a tacit endorsement as well, empowering the baal aveirah to grow more confident and arrogant. Hashem sent a plague as punishment to His people when Pinchos selflessly rose from amongst the crowd and did what needed to be done. Pinchos was not over-zealous blinded by rage. In fact, he was the only one calm enough to remember the halacha, the lone member of Klal Yisroel with the presence of mind to react according to the Torah. Ignoring his own interests, he remained focused on the issue at hand. He disregarded the scoffers and sprang forward to plunge a spear into the bodies of Zimri and his partner. By acting as the shliach of an inert, if well-intentioned, people, he stopped the plague and brought a swift end to yet another inglorious chapter in our people’s history. While others contented themselves with tearful sighs, he acted and thus staved off suffering for all of them. We are shown the reward for his courageous, bold act in the opening of this week’s parshah. Hashem tells Moshe, “Pinchos the son of Elozor the son of Aharon the kohein turned back G-d’s wrath from the people of Yisroel with his act of kana’us, and Hashem did not destroy the Bnei Yisroel in His anger. Therefore, say [the following]: Hashem is bestowing upon Pinchos His covenant of peace. He and his children who follow him shall be privileged with the covenant of kehunah forever.” By following the dictates he had been taught by Moshe and properly utilizing the thought process as trained by his rebbi, Pinchos merited the blessing of eternal peace. Peace, in the pedestrian way of thinking, means standing on the sidelines and refusing to get involved. The Torah says that the opposite is true. To be aware of what is transpiring and then powerlessly weep as evil is strengthened is not to

Reb Mendel Futerfass, who endured decades of imprisonment and torture for his beliefs, emigrated from Russia towards the end of his life and shared lessons he had learned under Communist rule. He recalled witnessing a tightrope walker, who charged money from onlookers to watch as he made the dangerous walk across a wire suspended between two mountains. Each step caused new worries amongst the crowd, who feared it would be his last. Somehow, the skilled showman made it across in one piece. Once, upon completing his walk, the tightrope artist asked for a child volunteer from the audience. He said that he would push the child in a wheelbarrow across the wire to the other side. Needless to say, there were absolutely no takers. It was true that somehow he made it across the rope suspended between the two ridges, but there was no way that anyone would endanger their life or the life of their child and be part of his experiment.

The showman made the request a second time, and from the back of the crowd a small boy slowly came forward. The people looked on shockingly as the child climbed into a wheelbarrow. The tightrope walker proceeded to gingerly push him across the wire. The crowd gasped as the wire trembled, but the tightrope walker moved forward, step after painstaking step, until he finally reached the other end. After the successful conclusion, the child came down from the mountain and Reb Mendel overheard as someone

asked the boy why he was crazy enough to trust the showman.

“Simple,” the boy replied. “He’s my father.” Reb Mendel would retell the story with a message: When you trust the one who sends you, you aren’t worried, even when everyone else is gasping in fright and trying to dissuade you. Pinchos was attuned to the will of his Father, and the potential criticism of onlookers was not of any concern to him. We must remember who we are, what our goals are, and who we work for. We’ve sustained a serious blow, but an eis tzarah is meant as a clarion call to us to do teshuvah and help return the world to a condition of sheleimus. Tragedy calls out

to people of inner greatness to conquer the urge to remain passive and to take action to return our world and our people to sheleimus through Torah. The only way to merit peace and tranquility is by following the path of shalom and sheleimus as defined in the Torah. We just experienced a period of incredible achdus. We must all endeavor, each in our own distinct way, to maintain that level of achdus and seek to increase it in our world. But in order to achieve achdus, we must be cognizant of what it means. If the goal is clear, then we can attempt to reach it and achieve it. If the goal is fuzzy, we can’t possibly work toward achieving it. Achdus means that we care about each other on a deep level. We realize that bnei av echod kulonu, we are all children of a loving father, and thus seek the best for each other. We recognize that there are differences, that no two people are totally alike, and that even brothers have different ideas and goals, yet we still remain attached. We recognize that others have faltered along the way. We acknowledge that some have erred and are off the proper path, but we love them anyway and reach out our hand in friendship to help them climb back to where they belong. The definition of achdus is not shallow back-slapping, smiling and grandstanding. When we are a splintered nation comprised of individuals and factions acting independently without concern for the greater good, we delay the arrival of Moshiach. If we seek to make our world a better place, through displaying love and compassion at all times and expressing admonition when necessary, we will be able to achieve an enduring brotherhood of true achdus. Chazal remind us that hateful and spiteful behavior between Jews holds back the geulah. In times of struggle, Jews appreciate and value one another. We have miraculously risen so high from the ashes of the Holocaust that sometimes we fail to appreciate our revival. The love and appreciation for fellow Jews that survivors demonstrated seem to dissipate as we grow and prosper. We permit differences to cloud relationships and cause us to look at others with a jaundiced eye and speak intemperately of - and to - others. The Satmar Rebbe, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum zt”l, was once asked why he speaks harshly of other Jews. He explained that he saw his role as that of a mochiach, pointing out the fallacies of what he saw as wrongful movements and ideas. But, he said, engaging in that mode of behavior was not the opposite of ahavas Yisroel. “You only hear how I speak with my back to the aron kodesh and face to the people,” the Rebbe said, “but not how I speak when my back is to the people and I face the aron kodesh. You have no idea how much I love every Jew and how I speak to the Ribbono Shel Olam on their behalf.” Achdus means being able to appreciate the differences and that when chastising is in order, we do so with love. Every soul has its tune, pitch and melody. One is happy, one is sad, one contemporary, another ancient. One is loud, one is soft, and an-


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the ultimate service of putting him in his place and allowing him to experience true peace, the inner shalom that comes with knowing one’s role in the sheleimus of creation. Pinchos’s ancestry is traced by the posuk back to Aharon Hakohein to underscore this point. The task of the kohein gadol was to remove the barrier between man and his Creator, whether through bringing korbanos or offering ketores, depending on the situation. With all of the countless misfortunes besieging our people as yechidim and as a klal, at times it seems as though we are living through a period of mageifah. The news is foreboding and we wonder how to get past such tragedy. Perhaps this parshah is a reminder to us that we need more Pinchos-type individuals to come forward and stop the plague. We need people whose loyalty to Torah compels them to arise from the mourners and act courageously on behalf of the community. There are no prophets among us and no one can say why specific tragedies befall us, but we are all aware of evils being perpetrated that nobody is battling. We all know that most things are not b’shleimus in our world. We are all aware of people who suffer and urgently need someone to rush to their aid. Apathy and even fear prevent us from carrying out these missions of mercy and justice. The Chovos Halevavos, in Shaar Habitachon (perek 3), offers several explanations of why the righteous suffer. One is because “einenu mekanei l’Elokim lokachas dino mei’anshei doro.” He is punished because he fails to act to avenge justice from the wicked on behalf of Hashem. Who among us can say with a full conscience that when he sees evil being committed, he steps in to right the wrong and be mekanei l’Elokim? These days, when we see that the middas hadin is rampant, especially in the months of Tammuz and Av, we should follow the lesson of Pinchos, remember the halachos, discuss them with our teachers and leaders, and not be afraid to fight the good battle lesheim Shomayim. We need to learn the parshah and realize that standing silent isn’t just useless, it actually empowers despots like Zimri, who count on the passivity and fear of the masses to be perceived as baalei machlokes. They expertly play the game of brinkmanship and take advantage of people’s reluctance to rise up against injustice. They take advantage of this to promote their agendas and gain power. There are examples right here, in our safe country, where the left propagates this idea, and in the more dangerous climates, such as in Iraq and Syria, where those promoting radical and evil agendas around the globe flourish. We have to seek to achieve perfection in our personal lives so that we may have the courage to selflessly slay the demons that lurk inside our camp and in each one of us. How does one derive strength to act as Pinchos did; ignoring the displeasure of a world that confuses peace with inaction?


be acting peacefully, but rather is quite destructive. Quietly watching is not the greatness to which we aspire, but an act of apathy that encourages evil and enables it to develop and grow. The Torah traces the yichus of Pinchos to Aharon to remind us that he is the progeny of the quintessential man of peace, the oheiv shalom verodef shalom, who is deemed worthy of carrying the torch of kehunah forward. It was he who maintained the calm necessary to act properly. Pinchos was given the eternal blessing of peace because he made peace possible amongst Klal Yisroel by exterminating evil. Pinchos halted the plague that had already killed 24,000 Jews because he had the moral courage and clarity to act when others were confounded and immobilized. Sometimes, we get dissuaded by popular opinion and we confuse doing nothing with peace, when the very opposite is true. Pinchos understood that shalom and sheleimus are connected. He understood that the oheiv shalom verodef shalom achieves his goal by acting courageously, even if his response invites misunderstanding and recrimination. This, in turn, creates true harmony, with each individual empowered to act as he should. When we say, “Talmidei chachomim marbim shalom ba’olam,” it doesn’t mean that talmidei chachomim don’t argue and battle in learning. In fact, the opposite is true. Interactions between lomdei Torah are characterized by raised voices and vehement disagreement. But their disputes lead to deep friendship. Following the Divine blueprint leads to sheleimus, authentic shalom. Only when everything is proper, complete and whole is it possible to also have shalom. If you are lacking in sheleimus, you cannot have shalom. Torah is the absolute truth. The world was created with Torah and it serves as the guide in defining our behavior. If we follow its rules, we will be blessed with peace. If we compromise or seek neutrality when ikkrim are at stake, we empower the Soton and engender peirud. A wealthy American philanthropist met the Mirrer rosh yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, who asked him for a significant sum of money. The gvir agreed to the rosh yeshiva’s request and offered even more money, albeit with a condition. He wanted the yeshiva to institute a short daily seder, for just a few minutes, in a particular sefer that the rosh yeshiva cherished. Rav Nosson Tzvi immediately rejected the offer. “There is an expression that he who is the baal hameah is also the baal hadeiah, meaning that the one with the money has the right to an opinion,” said Rav Nosson Tzvi. “But not in our yeshiva. In our yeshiva, the roshei yeshiva are the only baalei deiah. Do you know why? Because we believe that every person should be a baal deiah in their area of expertise. Thanks for your generous offer, but we won’t be accepting it, because your role is not to advise us on how to run the yeshiva.” Rav Nosson Tzvi turned to go, and as the gvir later testified, he was overcome with love and respect for the Mirrer rosh yeshiva. Rav Nosson Tzvi had done him

other is plaintive. One says mussar, another learns Torah, and a third is involved in avodah. Those blessed people whose souls follow the word of Hashem are chords in the Divine symphony, combining to harmonize the melody that is achdus. While writing this article, a friend sent

and refused to permit him to deliver the Shabbos morning sermon. He told the rabbi that while he could accept being rejected for the sermon, perhaps the rabbi would permit him to simply say shalom aleichem to the people in the shul. Not realizing who he was dealing with, the rabbi agreed to

ponents and shoot them before they themselves were shot. “At that very moment, the sky cleared and the field of battle was lit up by the moon. The soldiers were amazed and shocked. They saw that the men they were about to shoot were actually their own

me a moving video that he said has brought hisorerus to people. It’s a clip of a young Israeli boy, a sweet Sefardi child, who was blind. He went through his childhood years in complete darkness, and just days before his bar mitzvah, he received the best gift ever. His eyesight was restored, a present from the Pokeiach Ivrim Himself. The young man rose at his bar mitzvah celebration and sang shirah, an ode of gratitude and praise to the Ribbono Shel Olam. He sang of challenges, obstacles and pain - and the fact that he always felt Hashem at his side. “Even when I was in darkness, You were a light before me…thank You for happiness, for both tears and laughter; even when it is sometimes difficult, it is also You, because You are never far away…. We live in a dark world of pain, and at times it is difficult to see past the darkness. This week’s parshah illuminates a path for us. With courage and trust in the Father who gives us life and hope, we can create a new reality. By letting each person sing the song and lyrics written for him in the great symphony of life, we can create true harmony. Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman zt”l, rov of pre-Holocaust Ponovezh and founder of the Bnei Brak yeshiva he built to commemorate what the Nazis destroyed, traveled the world seeking donations to sustain his dream. Like any successful fundraiser, the Rov was accustomed to not always receiving the proper respect and he was adept at dealing with setbacks and embarrassment. He once found himself in a shul whose rabbi didn’t take too kindly to his mission

the simple request. The brilliant orator ascended the amud after laining and said to the assembled mispallelim, “Shalom aleichem, shalom aleichem, shalom aleichem.” He continued: “Why did I say shalom aleichem three times? Because that’s what we do during Kiddush Levonah. We say shalom aleichem three times. “But please don’t ask me why we say it three times when we are mekadeish the levonah. I promised the rabbi that I wouldn’t be engaging in any homiletics and I must keep my word. Have a good Shabbos.” With that, Rav Kahaneman stepped away from the amud and began to slowly return to his seat. A slight smile appeared on his saintly face as the people approached him and begged him to answer his question. He looked at the rabbi and the rabbi looked at him. With his eyes, the rabbi told the rov that he could return to the amud and provide the answer. “I’ll answer the question with a story,” he said when he was safely back at the lectern and all eyes were trained upon him. “Two countries were at war. Their border was a river. Each side had its soldiers lined up on its end of the river, ready for the slightest provocation that would set off a war. As the skies darkened, one of the generals sent some soldiers to slip across to the other side to gauge the opposition. “The soldiers swam across the river and snuck around, trying to find the best point of attack. All of a sudden, in the still of night, they heard the most awful sound from behind them: the click of three guns. Fearing for their lives, they grabbed their guns and swung around to face their op-

countrymen, from a different brigade, who had also been sent to spy out the enemy fortifications. “Instantly, they said to each other, ‘Oy, shalom aleichem, shalom aleichem, shalom Aleichem. Oy my brother! We aren’t enemies. We are brothers.’” And so, the Ponovezher Rov cried out to the people in the shul with the unfriendly rabbi, “Shalom aleichem, meineh tayereh breeder.” Too often, we are split and splintered because of disputes that transpired decades ago, the details of which no one even remembers. Some are from centuries ago, others from a generation back, and some are only a couple of years old. But when the battles are long forgotten and all that remains is the rift, perhaps it is time to heal the fissure. We have new battles to fight today, and winning them requires for people of goodwill to band together, with a unified stance in true achdus. Back in the days when chassidim were real chassidim and misnagdim were equally as passionate, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk worked with the Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch for the good of the people. They were equally proud of, and committed to, their individual paths. They understood that shalom doesn’t mean that everyone has to see everything the same way. It means recognizing that Yiddishkeit includes many paths. They didn’t send out press releases talking about their plans and successes. They didn’t grandstand. They sat together, communicated with each other, and, when necessary, traveled for the benefit of Am Yisroel. With respect and dignity, they did what had to be done.

Their achdus was deep and enduring, not shallow and fleeting.

It is interesting to note that a kohein who has killed someone is forbidden from duchening, even if the murder was committed accidentally, and even if he has since repented from his act (Orach Chaim


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128:35). If that is so, we may wonder why Pinchos was rewarded for killing Zimri with the gift of kehunah. The very act that he committed and for which he was rewarded is one that precludes him from performing the avodah of the kehunah. Perhaps the words of the Mishnah Berurah (ibid.) shed light on this question. He explains that even if the kohein repented for causing a death, he is still ineligible because of the rule of ein kateigor naaseh saneigor, which literally means that a prosecutor cannot later act for the defense. Based upon that we can understand that Pinchos stepped forward, selflessly carrying out his halachically permitted act in order to bring about sheleimus and to reconnect the Jewish people with Hashem. His act was life-giving. He was not a kateigor, but rather a saneigor. He rose up on behalf of the Jewish people to connect them which their Maker and thus earned the right to perform the avodah of kehunah which unites the Bnei Yisroel with Hashem. Pinchos lives on as Eliyohu Mevaser Tov, who will announce to us the arrival of Moshiach when enough of us follow in his path. That path was forged for him by his rebbi, Moshe Rabbeinu. In every generation, there are individuals who carry a nitzutz, a spark, of the neshomah of Moshe Rabbeinu, and continue to light up that path. Let us seek them out - not only the ones who say what we wish to hear, but also those who say what we need to hear. Let’s respond to their call and bring sheleimus to the world so that we merit hearing the call that the geulah sheleimah has arrived.


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California’s Best National Parks By Aaron Feigenbaum

Yosemite: California’s most wellknown national park and one of the best-known in the nation, Yosemite is a breathtaking land of adventure and excitement. Originally home to the Ahwahneechee tribe and later to Gold Rush miners in the mid-1800’s, President Lincoln set aside this gem of the Sierra Nevada mountains for public use 150 years ago. Teddy Roosevelt gave Yosemite

Another good pick is the Ahwahnee Hotel, a National Historic Landmark. Fees to enter the park are $20 per vehicle or you can purchase a $40 oneyear pass. If you’re coming in by foot or bike then it’s $10. Sequoia and Kings Canyon: 130 miles south of the main entrance to Yosemite lies this highly underrated area

tree species. Until the area was made a national park in 1968, almost 90% of the redwoods had been chopped down. Today restoration efforts continue to rehabilitate the redwood population. The park also houses rare animal species such as the bald eagle and northern spotted owl. On the coastal section of the park, you can see numerous tidepools filled with anemones,

a walk on the wild side, visit Mt. Tehama and the nearby geothermal area called by the odd, yet fitting name of Bumpass Hell. This otherworldly, multicolored landscape was formed over many eons and features hot springs, fumaroles (gas vents) and mud pots (an acidic version of a hot spring). Essentially, you can think of it as the Yellowstone of California. It can be

Photo credits:Wikimedia


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Bumpass Hell at Lassen Volcanic National Park

further protection at the insistence of his friend and renowned conservationist John Muir, and Yosemite became the nation’s first national park in 1916. Today Yosemite is visited by almost 4 million people annually and is inhabited by an impressive array of wildlife including deer, bears, owls, and bobcats. The main attraction of Yosemite National Park is Yosemite Valley. In the Valley you can view the park’s most impressive natural features such as the jaw-dropping Yosemite Falls as well as cliffs, meadows, and the towering Half Dome which proudly juts out into the sky and features on the reverse of the California state quarter. Avid climbers will get a thrill out of the vertical El Capitan rock face, a daunting climb that is not for the inexperienced. If climbing’s not your thing, there is no shortage of hiking opportunities ranging from a half mile stroll to the 17 mile hike to the top of Half Dome (permit is required). If you’re coming in the winter then skiing and snowboarding are recommended activities. And if you’re the kind that just wants to lay back and soak in the atmosphere, then there’s plenty of shopping opportunities as well as interesting museums to see such as the Yosemite Museum which tells the history and culture of the Ahwahneechee people.

of natural beauty. Sequoia may not get as much attention as its northern neighbor, but it still packs quite a few worthwhile attractions that may convince you to give it a whirl. Perhaps the single most recognizable feature of this park is the General Sherman tree, the world’s oldest and tallest tree at 2,300-2,700 years and 275 feet. Another must-see is the almost 2.5 mile long Crystal Cave where a spider-web door leads you into a magnificent cave system filled with narrow passages and huge stalactites all wrapped in a familyfriendly package. (Note that entrance to the cave costs $12 per adult and $6 per child.) If you’re coming in the spring or summer then be sure to check out Crescent Meadow. It’s doesn’t have many flowers, but the open space and soaring trees make it very picturesque and a worthwhile place to visit. Like Yosemite, the park has a $20 entrance fee per vehicle. Watch out for bears and the occasional mountain lion. Lodging, camping, and backcountry options are all available. Redwood National Park: Located on California’s far north coast in the biggest seismic hot spot in the U.S., Redwood N.P. is home to the world’s tallest and biggest

Anacapa Island

sea stars and other sea life. The Tall Trees Grove section, accessible by permit only, features the Libbey Tree which was at one time was the world’s tallest tree. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and fishing. Taking a stroll through the forest in the misty morning fog gives one a sense of awe and mystery. It’s surely one of California’s most beautiful hikes and a must-do for any visitor. The park also has five different visitor centers, several of which feature exhibits on the park’s redwood trees, wildlife, and conservation efforts. Lassen Volcanic National Park: For something a bit more off the beaten path, this oddball park located in the Shasta Cascades of Northeastern California is a great choice. The most noteworthy attraction here is Lassen Peak, the biggest plug dome volcano in the world; it’s made all the more enchanting by the surrounding pristine lakes, meadows, and glaciers. For

reached via a 3-mile trail from the parking lot. Finally, you can make a 4-mile round trip down to the bottom of the volcanic cinder cone of Mt. Tehama located in the Butte Lake area of the park. Channel Islands: Most people associate California’s Channel Islands with Catalina and the beautiful little port town of Avalon. However, there are also seven other islands in the chain, five of which are part of the Channel Islands National Park system. Once home to the Chumash people (many Chumash archaeological sites still remain throughout the islands), the Channel Islands boast an incredible diversity of plant and wildlife ranging from whales, bald eagles, sharks and seals, with some species entirely native to the Islands. One of the most spectacular islands to visit is Anacapa, a narrow island which features a 2-mile hiking trail complete with stunning flower fields set against the backdrop of pounding waves, the sounds


The beach at Santa Cruze Island

caves including one of the world’s largest: Painted Cave. In addition, Santa Cruz has tidepools, cliffs, unique species that can be found no where else in the world, and a rich Chumash history stretching back over 10,000 years. Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and the rest of the islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park are each a unique experience that highlights the diversity of life and the beauty of nature in a way that not many other places on Earth can do. These islands are sitting right in L.A.’s backyard just waiting for you to explore them so if you have the money and time then why not take an unforgettable adventure into one of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders? Death Valley: No discussion of California’s national parks would be complete without a mention of the infamous Death Valley. Located in southeastern California near the Nevada border and often serving as NASA’s analogue for the surface of Mars, this inferno of a park boasts the world record for the hottest temperature ever of 134

Wars filming location, where you’ll think you’ve traveled to the Sahara. The hike through the twists and turns of Mosaic Canyon is, by itself, proof enough of Death Valley’s unusual beauty. Also consider taking a trip to Racetrack Playa to see the bizarre “sailing stones” which somehow

highest point, is an incredibly rewarding experience that offers you an amazing view of the parched wilderness. If you want a little civilization in Death Valley then the best place to go is Furnace Creek. The Visitor Center and Museum can give you some background on the

Half Dome at Yosemite National park

the trained eye there is a lot of beauty and variety to be found. Take Zabriskie Point, for instance, where you get a view of the battered, yet hauntingly beautiful rock formations. Or take the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, a Star

move a few times a year. Geologists are still struggling to understand this phenomenon. If you’re in top physical condition and can stand the heat as well as the drastic elevation changes, a trip to the top of Telescope Peak, Death Valley’s

history and culture of the area as well as help you decide where you want to go next. Museum-lovers should also check out Scotty’s Castle, a Spanish-style villa that tells a uniquely Western tale of fraud and shattered dreams. Tour guides in the castle dress in 1930’s period garb and can guide you through the underground section which contains the powerhouse and thousands of tiles for a never-completed swimming pool. Death Valley might not sound like the most desirable place to visit, but if you’re willing to give it a chance, you’ll find it has a certain charm and sense of excitement about it that other parks don’t. If you decide to go, doing so in the summer is not for the faint of heart, especially in August, as that’s when the park reaches peak temperatures. No matter when you decide to go, be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and fill up on gas as gas stations are few and far between. (Sources: Wikitravel, National Park Service)

Vernal Falls at Yosemite National Park

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degrees recorded in July 1913 at Furnace Creek. Another record set in Death Valley is that of lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin (so-called because of the undrinkable salt water that flows from the local spring). Death Valley may seem like a boring, barren wilderness to most but to


of sea and avian life, a quaint lighthouse, and a fantastic view of the mainland. The best way to get there is from Ventura or Santa Barbara via companies such as Island Packers or Santa Barbara Adventure Co. The latter company also offers a kayak tour of Santa Cruz Island’s incredible sea


JULY 10, 2014



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JULY 10, 2014

Wood Grilled Rib Eye


CALBRE# 01300275

mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions

Keller Williams Realty





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Riddle! You are a counselor in a camp and the head counselor comes into the bunk and hands you a basket with 11 apples. She tells you to divide them among the 11 campers and to keep one in the basket. How do you divide them in the quickest amount of time? Answer on next page

You Gotta be


A man approaches an ice cream van and says, “I’d like two scoops of chocolate ice cream, please.” The girl behind the counter replies, “I’m very sorry, sir, but our delivery didn’t come this morning. We’re out of chocolate.” “In that case,” the man continues, “I’ll have two scoops of chocolate ice cream.” “You don’t understand, sir,” the girl says. “We have no chocolate.” “Then just give me some chocolate,” he insists. Getting angrier by the second, the girl says, “Sir, will you spell ‘van,’ as in ‘vanilla’?” The man spells, “V-A-N.” “Now spell ‘straw,’ as in ‘strawberry.’” “OK. S-T-R-A-W.” “Now,” the girl asked, “spell ‘stink,’ as in chocolate.” The man hesitates in confusion, then replies, “There is no stink in chocolate.” “That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you!” she screams.

By the Numbers: NATHAN’S HOT DOG EATING CHAMP JOEY CHESTNUT Think Joey is just a hot dog eating champion? Guess again! This monster chomper can eat anything…well, almost anything… and he’ll do it in almost no time! Here’s what Joey has chowed down in the past few years in various speed eating contests.  103 burgers in eight minutes  141 hardboiled eggs in eight minutes  182 chicken wings in 30 minutes  390 shrimp wontons in eight minutes  24 pounds of Poutine (fries, gravy and cheese curds) in 10 minutes  78 matzah balls in eight minutes  69 hot dogs in 10 minutes (a total of 27,600 calories)  12.8 pounds asparagus in 10 minutes (Okay, excuse me while I barf )

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In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month, citing the food’s “nutritious and wholesome” qualities. He decreed that patriotic Americans should mark the month with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” (Take that Michelle…What are you going to do? Make August “Asparagus Month” or something?) The U.S. enjoys an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person, per year— more than any other country. (Now there’s a fact that I can personally verify!) It takes 12 lbs. of milk to make just one gallon of ice cream. (About the same amount of milk in your “freebie” iced coffee.) It takes an average of 50 licks to polish off a single-scoop ice cream cone. (Wow, my tongue is cold right now!)

The biggest ice cream sundae in history was made in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1988, and weighed in at over 24 tons (54,917 pounds, to be precise). (Supposedly the biggest ice cream sundae in Canada this year is Mayor Rob Ford.) The ice cream cone’s invention is linked to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. An ice cream vendor reportedly didn’t have enough dishes to keep up with the demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor who rolled his waffles into cones! (May his soul be blessed.) Immigrants at Ellis Island were served vanilla ice cream as part of their Welcome to America meal. (No, they don’t give free ice cream at the Ellis Island museum…which is why I have never been there. Yes, they do serve chocolate at the Hershey Factory museum…which is why I have been there multiple times.) Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream(30%), followed by chocolate (9%). (“The ultimate dichotomy: people are amazing because they eat tons of ice cream. Yet, they are so vanilla.”)

"So How Corny Are You?" Trivia 11 questions to see how corny your brain really is 1. What do you get from a pampered cow? 2. What does a mixed-up hen lay? 3. Why did the banana go to the doctor? 4. What did the nut say when it sneezed? 5. Why couldn’t the teddy bear eat his lunch?

Answers: 1. Spoiled milk; 2. Scrambled eggs; 3. Because it wasn’t peeling well; 4. Cashew; 5. Because he was stuffed; 6. They gave him the cold shoulder; 7. Nacho cheese; 8. Lemon aid; 9. It had a byte; 10. Fry-day; 11. Leeks

6. What happened to the cannibal who was late to dinner? 7. What do you call cheese that’s not yours? 8. What do you give to a sick lemon? 9. What did the computer do at lunchtime? 10. What day do potatoes hate the most? 11. What’s the worst vegetable to serve on a boat

Cornometer 10-12 correct: Wow! You are pop-corn! 5-9 correct: You have a healthy dosage of corn— you’d be the perfect corn muffin! 0-4 correct: You are way too buttoned up—the only thing corny about you is the amount of starch on your stiff shirt!


Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff


to c e n t e r fivetow nsjewisfold@ hhome. com


Ice Cream Screams

Answer to riddle: 10 kids get an apple (one apple for each one of them) and the 11th kid gets an apple with the basket still containing the apple.


T HTHE E JJEWISH E W I S H HOME H O M E n JULY M AY 10, 2 42014 , 2012




Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say What?” An 81-year-old woman in the U.K. went skydiving to help raise money for a local hospital. They didn’t raise a lot of money, but they did get a new patient. – Seth Myers

Yesterday Michelle Obama said she wants Americans to elect a woman president “as soon as possible.” So even she has had enough of President Obama. – Conan O’Brien Every time I get an opponent — I mean, every time I get a chance, I’m home. - Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), who is in a hotly contested race for reelection, during a radio interview responding to an allegation that he lives in Washington, D.C. and not Kansas

But all work stopped this afternoon when the game went into overtime. Productivity did suffer. I’m sure that happened in a lot of offices across the country. There are no sporting events that increase productivity. It’s not like you hear, “Wow, this U.S. Open makes me want to crank out these expense reports.” – Jimmy Kimmel

Yo, we might not be going to the movies. I got a knife sticking out of my back. - What Andrew Hardy was overheard saying on the phone, as he walked into McDonalds with a knife sticking out of his back

Yesterday Starbucks introduced their new decaf soda called Fizzio. It’s an Italian word that means “tastes OK, costs too much.” – Conan O’Brien

A guy outside of a McDonald’s tried to break up a fight and he got stabbed in the back….The guy goes back into the McDonald’s with the knife sticking out of his back and he says, “Is there a McDoctor in the house?” – David Letterman

The print is ready for hanging or framing and would make a great addition to your home or office.

A man walked into McDonald’s with a knife in his back. Yeah, with a knife in his back. His heart wasn’t in danger until he ordered the food, said doctors. – Conan O’Brien

I say “Have a blessed day” all of the time. I don’t think there’s any better kind of day you can have than a blessed day. - Polly Neace of Kentucky in a TV interview after she was fired from U.S. Bank for telling customers to have a blessed day

– Description of a picture of the Dachau Concentration camp which was available on Walmart’s website (Walmart has since taken it down and blamed the blunder on a third party vendor) Some of Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics from 1965 went up for auction and got $2 million. Paying $2 million for Bob Dylan lyrics is a good way to know that Bob Dylan would have hated you in 1965. – Jimmy Kimmel The reason the Dylan lyrics are so valuable is because if you buy them, you’ll be the only one in the world who knows what Dylan is singing. – Ibid.

So sue me. - President Obama’s response to Speaker of the House Boehner’s threat to sue him for disobeying the Constitution If you really think about the things you need to make yourself happy – housing, security, opportunity for your kids ... it’s not that hard for us to provide those things. The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people’s needs is not true. - Google co-founder Larry Page in a rare interview talking about how the wave of the future will be part-time employment, supplemented by automation

We had two Roosevelts. We had two Adams. - Hillary Clinton to German magazine Der Spiegel, when asked whether America will turn into a monarchy if another Clinton is elected

Trusting in the L-rd, hard work and loving everybody. - Gertrude Weaver cited three factors for her longevity, on July 4th, her 116th birthday

- Jimmy Fallon Last week the U.S. was eliminated by Belgium at the World Cup. And next week Belgium will be eliminated by drones. - Seth Myers

At the World Cup, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit a player from Italy’s team. It’s the third time he’s done it. The last time he bit a Chinese player and then claimed he was hungry an hour later. – Conan O’Brien

Congrats to Joey Chestnut. On Friday, he won the Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest by eating 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Another guy said, “But I ate a hundred!” Then the judges said, “You have to wait until we say, ‘Go!’ Governor Christie.” - Jimmy Fallon It’s not crazy, it’s not socialism. It’s not the imperial presidency -- no laws are broken. We’re just building roads and bridges like we’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 50, 100 years. But so far, House Republicans have refused to act on this idea. I haven’t heard a good reason why they haven’t acted – it’s not like they’ve been busy with other stuff. No, seriously. I mean, they’re not doing anything. Why don’t they do this? - President Obama discussing a plan to build highways

I don’t know what he does— whether he puts crack in them. - President Obama talking about how good the White House pastry chef’s pies are

More evidence soccer is for girls. Player from Uruguay caught BITING an opponent yesterday. Not punching. Not a cross-body block. BITING! - Ibid. in a tweet Today was the annual Running of the Bulls in Spain. So if you’re sick of all the fake injuries at the World Cup, get ready for some real ones. - Seth Myers

Well you have to be a little bit crazy to run for president, let me just put it like that, because you have to be so totally immersed and so convinced that you can bring something to that office that your vision about what you can do to help Americans…I also know that it’s a very hard job, and it’s a job that, you know, you have to be totally consumed by, and that’s kind of the definition of being a little bit crazy, I think. – Hillary Clinton on PBS

The only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state. - President Obama in an Op-Ed in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper

I want to send a question to Obama: Did you prepare enough diapers for your soldiers or not? – A terrorist in a propaganda film for ISIS

Hillary Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices, has dipped in sales nearly 50% after its first week. Many believe it’s because the title doesn’t exactly jump off of the page. So we thought of some new titles…There’s What to Expect When You're Expecting To Be President. – Jimmy Fallon

According to a new poll, one third of voters think Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II. While two-thirds of Republicans think he started World War II. – Seth Myers I am so sorry, I had no idea. – The note attached to an American flag which was returned after the owners made a public plea to the thief to return the flag draped the coffin of their firefighter relative who was killed on 9/11

You’re basically going to have to trust me. - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford when asked by a radio host to guarantee that he will stay sober if reelected

JULY 10, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner is threatening to sue President Obama for using executive actions to create laws, instead of going through Congress first. Then Obama shrugged and made a new law that you can’t sue the president.

- Charles Krauthammer on Fox News arguing for a border fence

If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch affected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time. - Ann Coulter


#Warning: Possible nuclear leak in region after 2 rockets hit Dimona nuclear facility. - Tweet on the IDF Twitter handle posted by Arab hackers

If fences don’t work, why is there one around the White House?

T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012

Once the World Cup is over, soccer in the U.S. will return to its sick bed and dream of glory. - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in TIME magazine, arguing that Americans will never truly be soccer fans



JULY 10, 2014


Global ISIS Leader Debuts Online Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of the ISIS, the Sunni extremist group that has declared an Islamic state in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria. He made an unusual “public” debut in a 21-minute video sermon posted online. The sermon was reportedly delivered on Friday at the Great Mosque in the northern city of Mosul in Iraq. The video bore the logo of its media arm, but it was not possible confirm if the person in the video was indeed al-Baghdadi. Until just a few weeks ago, there were almost no pictures of the elusive leader. There are very few known photographs of al-Baghdadi, a ruthless Iraqi militant believed to be in his early 40s with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head. Since taking control of the group in 2010, he has transformed it from a local branch of al Qaeda into an independent transnational military force, positioning himself as perhaps the pre-eminent figure in the global jihadi community. The boldness of his alleged appearance, almost unheard of among the most prominent global jihad figures, suggests the Islamic State’s confidence in their rule of Mosul. “The fact that he has done this without any consequences in Mosul’s biggest mosque is a sign of [the Islamic State group’s] power within the city,” an analyst points out. In the video, the man said to be al-Baghdadi says that “the mujahedeen have been rewarded victory by G-d after years of jihad, and they were able to achieve their aim and hurried to announce the caliphate and choose the Imam.” “It is a burden to accept this responsibility to be in charge of you,” he adds. “I am not better than you or more virtuous than you. If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me. And obey me as far as I obey G-d,” he urges. Al-Baghdadi is dressed in a black robe and turban on the video, a sign that he claims descent from the Prophet Muhammad. He spoke in classical Arabic with little emotion. Many viewers were most interested in the timepiece that al-Baghdadi chose to wear. Peeking out from his black sleeve was a sleek watch that may even be a Rolex or an Omega Seamaster, according to London’s Daily Telegraph, which costs thousands of dollars. “I do not promise you what the kings and rulers promise their subjects and followers — luxury and security and leisure,” al-Baghdadi says. “But I promise what G-d promises those who believe in him.”

some considering that Bolivia is a signatory a U.N. convention that sets 14 as the minimum age for child labor. The Bolivian legislation is to be signed into law shortly by President Evo Morales.

The leader is known for his expertise at fundraising, a hint as to how he may have been able to afford his luxury timepiece.

“Perfect Aryan” is Really Jewish

In an ironic, not-so-funny twist, an anti-Semitic Nazi campaign featured a Jewish child as the “The ideal Aryan child” in pre-war Germany. The baby was handpicked by the head of the Nazi propaganda machine, Joseph Goebbels himself. Hessy Taft, now an 80-year-old professor of chemistry in New York, recently presented Yad Vashem with the cover of a 1935 Nazi magazine on which she appeared. Taft’s opera singer parents, Pauline and Jacob, moved from Lavtia to Germany in 1928, but by 1935 the Nazis’ anti-Jewish laws meant that they could no longer perform. Her father managed to scrape together enough money for professional photographer Hans Ballin to snap a photo of their cherubic baby. A few months later, the family was shocked to discover that their daughter’s image was on the front cover of a Nazi propaganda magazine called “Sun in the House,” which was edited by Kurt Herrman, a friend of Hermann Goering and a staunch Nazi.  Ballin deliberately entered the photograph in a contest for the most beautiful Aryan baby, and when Taft’s mother questioned his actions, he told her: “I know, but I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous.” Goebbels personally chose the winning photograph.  The family fled Germany to Paris in 1938, and then moved to Cuba before arriving in the United States in 1949.The Nazis never discovered that their perfect baby, whose image they heavily disseminated, was, in fact, Jewish.        

Putin Places Ban on Swearing  There will be a lot less foul language under Putin as a Russian ban on swearing in films, plays and books came into force this week. The policy was designed to appeal to conservatives, although Vladimir Putin’s critics condemned the policy as a further move against free speech in the nation.

Spy Documents Revealed Under the legislation that was passed in May, films containing “foul language” will be banned from wide release and books with swear words will have to be sold in sealed packages with obscenity warnings. Theaters will not be allowed to stage productions containing obscenities according to the law, which imposes fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($1,500) for each infraction. Russian media have reported that software known as the “swear-bot” will be used to police cursing on the Internet. The law is meant to ensure “the protection and development of linguistic culture,” according to a statement on the Kremlin’s website. But critics say it is reminiscent of Soviet-era censorship and will suppress free expression. Putin has struck a conservative tone in his latest presidential term, praising what he calls traditional values and holding up the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral authority. Last month, communications watchdog Roskomnadzor planned to use a search program to root out rude words in online articles and comments attached to them. The 25 million-ruble ($729,500) system will search the 5,000 mass media sites that are already monitored manually. The swearing law follows stricter rules on bloggers and restrictions on non-state media that critics say were part of a campaign to bring independent media under Kremlin control, something the government denies.

Bolivia Legalizes Work for 10-Year-Olds A very controversial law has been passed in Bolivia. Recently, legislation was introduced and approved to lower the minimum working age to ten years old. This is considered legal as long as the job does not interfere with the child’s education. The work must also be done to help the child’s family survive and not for the child to accrue personal wealth. A child whose family is not dependent on extra work to make ends meet is allowed to work at the ripe, old age of 12 in Bolivia. A regional official with the U.N. International Labor Organization, Carmen Moreno, says the legislation makes Bolivia the first country to make work by 10-year-olds legal. Moreno called the legislation worri-

Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction. On Monday, original documents from one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history were released after being secretly held for two decades. The papers spent years hidden in a milk churn beneath a Russian dacha and read like an encyclopedia of Cold War espionage. The files were smuggled out of Russia in 1992 by senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin and describe sabotage plots, booby-trapped weapons caches and armies of agents under cover in the West. The papers reveal that many of the agents proved to be loose-lipped, drunk or unreliable. It seems that good spies were hard to come by. Intelligence historian Christopher Andrew said the vast dossier, released by the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge University, was considered “the most important single intelligence source ever” by British and American authorities. Mitrokhin was a senior archivist at the KGB’s foreign intelligence headquarters — and a secret dissident. For more than a decade, he secretly took files home, copied them in longhand, and then typed and collated them into volumes. He hid the papers at his country cottage, or dacha, some stuffed into a milk churn and buried. After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Mitrokhin traveled to a Baltic state — which one has never been confirmed — and took a sample of his files to the U.S. Embassy, only to be turned away. So he tried the British embassy, where a junior diplomat sat him down and asked, “Would you like a cup of tea?” “That was the sentence that changed his life,” Andrew said. Smuggled out of Russia, Mitrokhin spent the rest of his life in Britain under a false name and police protection, dying in 2004 at 81. The world did not learn of Mitrokhin until Andrew published a book based on his files in 1999. It caused a sensation by exposing the identities of KGB agents including 87-year-old Melita Norwood, the


Chinese President Visits Seoul, Angering North Korea The high school cafeteria that is world politics got a little bit more heated this week. For the first time, a president of China visited South Korea before North Korea. The dictatorship in the north was angered, and others looking on definitely took notice. The U.S. and Japan both have a watchful eye on China’s increasing influence in South Korea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spent two days in Seoul, where he was greeted by cheering schoolchildren and red carpets. North Korea, meanwhile, welcomed the leader of its only major ally and cru-

cial source of fuel and food to the Korean Peninsula with a flurry of recent rocket and missile tests. The launches, as well as a vow by North Korea’s military to conduct more tests, are seen in part as the North demonstrating its anger at being jilted for its archrival. After their talks, South Korean President Park Geun-hye told reporters that she and Xi agreed on the need to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons and would resolutely oppose any more nuclear tests. North Korea is thought to have a handful of crude nuclear weapons and has conducted three atomic tests since 2006, the most recent last year. Xi’s decision to meet with Park over North Korean leader Kim Jong Un upends the practice since Beijing and Seoul forged diplomatic ties in 1992 of Chinese presidents choosing to make North Korea their first official destination on the Korean Peninsula. Beijing, entangled in hostile territorial disputes across Asia, may see an opportunity to boost its influence with the rare neighbor that feels generally positive about China. Money has long been the focus of the relationship between China, the world’s second-largest economy, and South Korea, the fourth-biggest economy in Asia. China is South Korea’s largest trading part-

JULY 10, 2014

unclear how many such weapons dumps have been tracked down by Western authorities. While some agents targeted the West, many more were deployed inside the Soviet bloc. The files list undercover agents sent to then-Czechoslovakia to infiltrate the dissidents behind the 1968 Prague Spring pro-democracy uprising. Others targeted the entourage of Polish cleric Karol Wojtyla, who would later become Pope John Paul II. The Churchill Archive is giving researchers access to 19 boxes containing thousands of Russian-language files, typed by Mitrokhin from his original handwritten notes. The notes themselves remain classified. There are glimpses of Mitrokhin’s mindset in the titles he gave the volumes, including “The Accursed Regime” and “The Mousetrap.” Andrew said Mitrokhin took huge risks, knowing that “a single bullet in the back of the head” would be his fate if he was caught. “The material mattered to him so desperately that he was prepared to put his life on the line for it,” Andrew said.


“great-granny spy,” who had passed British atomic secrets to the Soviets for years. Mitrokhin’s files describe Norwood as a “loyal, trustworthy, disciplined agent” who was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour for her service. She was more reliable than the famous “Cambridge Spies,” the high-ranking British intelligence officials who worked secretly for the Soviets. The files describe Guy Burgess as “constantly under the influence of alcohol,” while Donald Maclean was “not very good at keeping secrets.” The newly released papers include a list of KGB agents in America over several decades. It runs to 40 pages and about 1,000 names. One of the most notorious was codenamed “Dan.” He was Robert Lipka, a National Security Agency employee who was paid $27,000 for handing secrets to Russia in the 1960s. After Mitrokhin’s information was passed by Britain to U.S. intelligence services, Lipka was arrested and sentenced to 18 years in prison. The volumes also reveal that Soviet agents stashed weapons and communications equipment in secret locations around NATO countries. Included is a map of Rome showing three caches, along with detailed instructions for finding them. It’s


JULY 10, 2014


ner, and Seoul says two-way trade topped $220 billion last year. That’s larger than the combined value of South Korea’s trade with the United States and Japan. Analysts don’t think Xi will abandon North Korea entirely as long as Seoul remains loyal to an alliance with Washington that has shielded the South from North Korean aggression and allowed it to build its impressive economy. China also craves stability and worries that too much pressure on North Korea could cause it to collapse, pushing swarms of refugees over the countries’ shared border. Still, the worries about North Korea have helped draw Seoul and Beijing together. Officials in Seoul now expect China to take strong action over future provocations, especially if North Korea conducts another nuclear test as it moves toward building an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that could reach the United States.

More Unrest in Nigeria

The death toll in Nigeria has gone up yet again in the heavily militarized NorthGlenna pc region. 5.5x8.5:Glenna eastern This time,pc535.5x8.5 fighters 1/27/14 from

the Islamist Boko Haram group contributed to the body count. The count rose when the Nigerian military announced it had repelled an attack on a military base in the town of Damboa. A statement from defense spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade added that five soldiers and a senior military officer had also been killed in an exchange of fire. The military often reports high casualty figures for the rebels and relatively low ones on its own side. It is usually not possible to verify these reports independently. Boko Haram has killed many thousands since launching an uprising in 2009, and several hundred in the past two months, as it has stepped up a campaign against civilians in the northeast. The militants, who are fighting for an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria, see all who do not subscribe to their brand of Sunni Islam as enemies, and often attack mosques as well as churches, especially ones they regard as too moderate. They have become by far the biggest security threat to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, largest economy and leading energy producer. The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram from the village of Chibok in April made world headlines. Despite pledges of Western support and promises by President Goodluck Jonathan to free them, they remain in captivity. On Friday, it was reported that 63 women and girls who were abducted managed to escape their captors. 3:56 PM

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North Korea’s Cyber Army Grows

Amazon Tribe Discovered

The Asian computer-adept stereotype has just gotten another boost. According to a South Korean news agency, North Korea has doubled the number of its elite cyber warriors over the past two years and established overseas bases for hacking attacks. Their cyber war unit two years ago was comprised of only 3,000 people. It now has over 5,900 personnel. “The Communist country operates a hacking unit under its General Bureau of Reconnaissance, which is home to some 1,200 professional hackers,” a military source was quoted as saying. North Korean hackers have launched cyber attacks through overseas bases in countries such as China, the source said. In recent years, hackers have used malware deployments and virus-carrying emails to carry out cyber-attacks on South Korean military institutions, commercial banks, government agencies, TV broadcasters and media websites. Investigations

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Just when you thought everyone had Facebook, an indigenous tribe with no prior contact to the outside world has emerged from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The group made contact with a group of settled Indians, after being spotted migrating to evade illegal loggers, advocates say. The news comes after sightings of the “uncontacted” Indians in Brazil near the border with Peru. Officials with Survival International had warned last month that the isolated tribes face threats of disease and violence as they move into new territory and possibly encounter other people.

“Something serious must have happened,” said José Carlos Meirelles, a former official with the Brazilian Indian Affairs Department FUNAI, in a statement. “It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way. This is a completely new and worrying situation, and we currently do not know what has caused it.” Survival International officials said dozens of uncontacted Indians were recently spotted close to the home of the Ashaninka Indians in Brazil’s Acre state along the Envira River. A government investigation in the region uncovered more ephemeral traces of the tribe on the move: footprints, temporary camps and food leftovers.

In N. Korea, Kim Jon Un Spoof is No Laughing Matter Nobody likes being the butt of a joke but someone’s gotta take one for the team… A hilarious, provocative movie is about to be released in America unless the U.S.


Overpass Crushes Bus in Brazil

The mood in the city of Belo Horizonte quickly went from cheerful to catastrophic when an unfinished overpass collapsed. The city is the host of the Brazilian World Cup and the accident happened about two miles (3km) from the Mineirao Stadium, where the games are being played. Emergency officials confirmed that at least two people were reported dead when the overpass collapsed and crushed the front of a passenger bus driving on the roadway below and several other vehicles. A spokeswoman for the Minas Gerais state health department told Reuters that there have been 19 reported injuries, The cause of the collapse remains unclear at this time. The overpass was part of a network of bus lanes that Brazil planned to have ready for the World Cup, but was not finished on time due to long delays in infrastructure projects and heavy government spending. “We were traveling normally and then there was a terrible noise,” Renata Soares, who said she was on the bus at the moment of the accident, told GloboNews TV. “I am sure that more people in other cars were underneath the debris.”

Israel Our Nation Mourns Our Three Brothers The Jewish nation is in deep sorrow as we mourn the heartless killings of the three teenagers who went missing over three weeks ago. The manhunt concluded last Monday when the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach hy”d were discovered in an empty field just outside of Chevron in the West Bank, close to where they went missing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement to the wounded nation, “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called on the international community “to end all aid to the Palestinian Authority and its Hamas-backed government.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “cannot continue to claim to want peace with Israel, while at the same time partnering with Hamas as they kidnap and brutally murder teenagers,” he said.

JULY 10, 2014

The movie, “The Interview,” stars two famous actors/comedians and talk-show hosts. Randall Park, a Korean-American actor, is portraying Kim Jong Un in “The Interview.” Trailers have been released for the movie, which is set to hit theaters in the U.S. in October. The North Korean spokesman said that the “reckless U.S. provocative insanity” of

mobilizing a “gangster filmmaker” to challenge the North’s leadership is triggering “a gust of hatred and rage” among North Korean people and soldiers. “Apparently, Kim Jong Un plans on watching ‘The Interview,’” one of the actors tweeted last Friday. “I hope he likes it!!” The funnyman later posted on Wednesday, “People don’t usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they’ve paid 12 bucks for it.”


government heeds North Korea’s warning and blocks the movie’s release. The comedy’s main character is Kim Jong Un and the plot tells a funny and detailed story of an assassination attempt of the dictator. An unidentified spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said on state media last Wednesday that it will view the release of the movie as an “act of war” if it is actually released. The country vowed that if the movie gets released as planned, then the U.S. will face “stern” and “merciless” retaliation.


JULY 10, 2014


Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned Israel against retaliation. “Netanyahu should know that threats don’t scare Hamas, and if he wages a war on Gaza, the gates of hell will open on him,” he said. The three teens were mourned in a joint funeral on Tuesday with tens of thousands of friends, relatives, and complete strangers in attendance. They were buried side by side in a cemetery in Modi’in. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres both eulogized the teens. “Today has spontaneously become a national day of mourning,” Netanyahu said. The bodies were wrapped in Israeli flags to show that despite terror and heartache, the Jewish people will remain strong and support their promised land. Earlier, the families conducted separate services and eulogies in their respective hometowns. Eyal’s tearful father, Uri, spoke in Elad, noting that his son “had a special love for all people.” “Your mother said you’d whisper in G-d’s ear, ask Him to give us strength. It will be hard without you, we need strength, ask Him to give us strength. You are holy, you were holy in your life; you gave strength to so many people, now give us strength here at home,” he begged.

Gilad’s father, Ofir, spoke in Talmon, movingly relating how “I sit in your room, I look at your bar mitzvah photo album, and refuse to digest it.” “How can your life be concentrated into a few words?” he asked, adding “great strength was required from me and your mother, which we drew on from the nation of Israel.” In Sha’alvim, the hometown of the Frenkel family located near Modi’in, Naftali’s father, Avraham, spoke, praising his son and the other two terror victims for “paving the way for us to learn to be better people”. Remarking on Naftali’s late grandfather Ya’akov, with whom Naftali shares his middle name, Avraham recalled how he told his grandson at his own bar mitzvah to be a good person and a good Jew. He honored his son for having lived up to his grandfather’s words. “Mom and me and the rest of the family, we don’t forget not even for a moment, you’re our child, and you always will be, rest in peace my dear son,” concluded the bereaved father. Naftali’s mother, Racheli, then spoke up, condemning the terrorists who murdered her son as being out on a “hunting drive.” “From the first day, we told ourselves that even if it ends badly, G-d has reward-

ed us,” Naftali’s mother said, noting their strong and caring family, and wonderful community. “Rest in peace my child. We’ll learn to sing without you. Your voice will also be heard in our souls,” she concluded.

IDF’s Twitter Gets Hacked

Next time you see a shocking or strange message on someone’s Twitter account, assume it is a hacker, as this seems to be the most popular epidemic in social media. Hackers seem to be invading the accounts of the most famous, successful, and powerful people, businesses, and organizations. Just last week, hackers spammed many Israelis after they hacked the IDF’s account and warned residents of a nuclear leak. On Thursday, July 3 at 11:15 pm, user @IDFSpokesperson tweeted “#WARNING: Possible nuclear leak in the region after 2 rockets hit Dimona nuclear

facility.” The false tweet was quickly noticed and removed. The IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that its Twitter account had been compromised and a military spokeswoman said that the IDF was currently dealing with the specific issue. Following the incident, the IDF apologized on the social networking platform for the incorrect tweets, vowing to fight against cyber-terrorism to prevent such incidents. The pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army Computer hackers group proudly took responsibility for the hack. The group took to its own Twitter, posting its claim along with a screen shot of the fraudulent tweet. ”The whole ‘Israeli army’ propaganda was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army,” read a tweet on the hacktivists’ account.  Will the real @IDFSpokesperson please stand up?!


MLK Jr. never imagined having this broad an impact. Bringing together Republicans and Democrats half a century after his death is quite an accomplishment—albeit an awkward one. Members of Congress joined hands this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. A video of the ceremony has been circulating the Internet and is being called the most awkward moment in bipartisanship history.

In the video, Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell joined hands and swayed with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They put aside their differences for the day, but the looks on their faces certainly show that acceptance is not one of their top priorities.

Supreme Court: Cellphones off Limits for Cops

The Obama administration and the state of California, defending the cellphone searches, said cellphones should have no greater protection from a search than anything else police find. But the defendants in these cases, backed by civil libertarians, librarians and news media groups, argued that cellphones, especially smartphones, are increasingly powerful computers that can store troves of sensitive personal information. One exception to the warrant requirement left open by the decision is a case in which officers reasonably fear for their safety or the lives of others. Authorities concerned about the destruction of evidence can take steps to prevent the remote erasure of a phone’s contents or the activation of encryption, Roberts said.

Town for Sale…Going Once…Going Twice

Living on the Cheap These days, everyone’s looking for more bang for their buck. The average U.S. home price is near $300,000, and people pay close to $200 monthly for electricity. Some places, however, boast low costs of living and allow residents there to squeeze out every copper cent from their dollar.

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Head to South Carolina and you’ll be living a peachy life. The country’s peach producer is ranked 10th in the country in terms of cost of living. Need a little milk after cruising through a victory lap at the Indy 500? Well, in Indiana, the 7th cheapest state in the nation, milk is 17 cents less than the national average of $2.31 a gallon (did these guys ever see cholov Yisroel?). In Oklahoma, the third cheapest state in the U.S., not only is milk cheaper, but gas is less than $3.25 a gallon. At that price, you’ll even want to add some to your coffee! The state with the lowest cost of living of all is Kentucky, where milk is $2.19 a gallon, homes are less than $250,000 and, of course, fried chicken is the cheapest in the nation. Colonel Sanders would be proud.

JULY 10, 2014

Holding Hands for Civil Rights

Why not get yourself a whole new town all for your very own. A new town has come on the market and the price may be just right. Coldwell Banker is selling the town of Swett, South Dakota, for a mere $399,000. For that price, you’ll get a three-bedroom home, a tire shop, three trailer houses and a bar called the Swett Tavern, “the only watering hole within a 10-mile radius,” says the local paper. Lest you are not yet impressed, the town also comes with its own 1990 Volvo semi, which you can use to haul trailers anytime your heart desires. Lance Benson, who wants to focus on its travelling concession business, currently owns the town. ”I hate to get rid of it,” he told the local newspaper. “If I don’t sell it this first year, I would probably keep it.” Benson has owned the town since 1998. Its official population right now is two people – not counting a dog named Daisy. This isn’t the first time a whole town has been put up for sale. Two years ago, Buford, Wyoming, sold for $900,000 at auction. Bids started at $100,000. The Grove, Texas, sold for about $200,000 in 2010. Several towns have also been auctioned off on eBay – including Albert, Texas, and Bridgeville, California. Better take out your checkbook— Swett sounds like a swell deal.  



erts said. “Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life,” he pointed out.


JULY 10, 2014


Double Deserter Faces Charges Deserting your country after signing up for military service is a major crime. Doing it twice is just unbelievable. Still, a U.S. Marine has done just that. Ten years ago, in June 2004, Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun disappeared from his base in Fallujah, Iraq. Within days he appeared in a poorly staged hostage video, and within a month he mysteriously showed up unharmed at the U.S. embassy in Beirut. After a five-month investigation back in the United States, military prosecutors accused Hassoun of faking his kidnapping and charged him with desertion and theft of a Humvee, which he allegedly used to drive off his base in Fallujah. In January 2005, Hassoun fled the U.S. through Canada, returned to Lebanon where he was born, and the Marines charged him with a second count of desertion. Ten years later, Hassoun has turned himself into NCIS investigators in Bahrain. Officials say Hassoun is willing to return to the U.S. because he reportedly fears for his life in Lebanon. “The Naval Criminal Investigative Service worked with Cpl. Hassoun to turn himself in and return to the United States to face charges under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice,” the Marines said in a statement.

Target Says Do Target Practice Elsewhere

Target has a few expectations for their shoppers. Please wear a shirt and shoes, and please leave your guns at home. The megastore is asking its devoted customers to kindly not bring firearms into its stores, even in places where it is technically allowed by law. In a statement on the retailer’s corporate blog, interim CEO John Mulligan said that Target wants a “safe and inviting” atmosphere for its shoppers and employees. “Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create,” he said. In recent weeks, people had been

questioning the superstore’s policy on the “open carry” of firearms in its stores and this announcement has come as a response. Apparently, Target provided the correct answer to its customers; the Minneapolis company’s stock added 53 cents to $58.90 in Wednesday morning trading.

handbags, scalping tickets to shows, jaywalking… fuhgeddaboudit.

Subway Acrobats Get the Boot from NY’s Metro System

A Flag of Conscience

Your subway ride is about to get more boring, or more peaceful, depending on how you look at it. NYPD is beginning a crackdown on underground acrobats, self-proclaimed dancers who use NYC’s subway system as their stage. These acrobats dance, flip, and somersault on crowded subways hoping to gain the recognition of the audience. This is, in fact, illegal. The NYPD says this behavior is inappropriate and negatively affects the quality of life of New Yorkers. To date this year, more than 240 people have been arrested in a misdemeanor related to acrobatics. Just this time last year there were fewer than 40 arrests in relation to subway acrobats. Police Commissioner William Bratton acknowledges he is targeting subway acrobats as part of his embrace of the “broken windows” theory of policing, that lowgrade lawlessness can cultivate a greater sense of disorder and embolden more dangerous offenders. “Is it a significant crime? Certainly not,” Bratton said recently. But the question is, he added, “Does it have the potential both for creating a level of fear as well as a level of risk that you want to deal with?” Safety is also an issue, although no injuries related to subway acrobatics have been reported. However, subway acrobats insist that their only goal is simply to entertain. “We all, as New Yorkers, get these force fields around us. We just try to go inside the train and change the vibe,” said a performer named Besnkheru. While some riders seem to be bothered as they try to dose off, one New Yorker, Joli Tribuzio, raised a good point recently, “It’s such a part of New York culture,” she said. That can be said about many illegal insignificant activities happening on the streets of Manhattan: counterfeit designer

That’s Odd

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police station. But how was Talley to get it all the way back to his hometown of Detroit after 33 years? Enter GM. The car manufacturer arranged for the estranged vehicle to be sent back to its Detroit headquarters and presented Talley with his long-lost prized possession. GM executive VP Mark Reuss said, “That car belonged home in Detroit, with its rightful owner.”

The Snoozer Loser

Oops! A thief who stole an American flag off of a Long Island porch did not realize he was taking something of real sentimental value. Melissa Brengel, whose brother, Jonathan Iepi, was only 29 when he was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 as part of FDNY Squad 288, was given a flag that flew over the World Trade Center by the September 11th Families Association. Brengel only puts the flag out sporadically to remember her brother. When the pilferer found out about the nature of his loot, he was quick to repent. The flag showed back up on Brengel’s porch with a note: “I am so sorry. I had no idea.” At least some crooks have a conscience.

Cruising Detroit with his Beloved Corvette— 33 Years Later

George Talley loves muscle cars, especially Corvettes. His favorite, a 1979 model, was stolen off of a Detroit street in 1981. He thought that was the end of their relationship, but last month AAA notified him that his beloved vehicle was up and running and waiting to be picked up at a

On April 13, a tired Andrew Rector fell asleep during a game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The game was televised across the nation on ESPN and his snooze was caught on tape and commented on by commentators John Kruk and Dan Shulman. Videos of the sleeping spectator hit social media, included in shots labeled “Tired fan naps in the stands.” Around the country, people made fun of the lumbering fan sleeping in the stands. But now, the 26-year-old New York Yankees fan wants people to know that it’s not OK to make fun of his slumber. He has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Yankees, MLB, ESPN, Kruk and Shulman. Rector is seeking $10 million in damages after the “unending verbal crusade.” According to the lawsuit, “Announcers like Dan Shulman and John Kruck [sic] unleashed avalanche of disparaging words against the person of and concerning the plaintiff. These words, include but not limited to ‘stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid’ knowing and intending the same to be heard and listened to by millions of people all over the world.” Interestingly, although Kruk and Shulman did poke fun of Rector, pointing out that a ballpark is probably not the right place for a nap and saying he was “oblivious,” they hardly hurled an “avalanche of disparaging words” at him. Looks like this is just a vicious cycle. Rector is upset because people were laughing at him online, and now...they continue to laugh at him and his frivolous lawsuit online. Seems like this snoozer may just end up being a loser.

Hot Dog! She Said Yes! In this year’s most unromantic marriage proposal, champion eater Joey Chestnut sucked down 61 hot dogs and buns just minutes after proposing to Neslie Ricasa.


10 Year Old Graduates High School “I felt like I could eat anything. The proposal went great. She said ‘yes,’ and I’m a happy guy all around,” said the champion eater. Said Ricasa, “I never imagined that I would be proposed to onstage before the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.” Second place in the contest went to Matt Stonie, who wolfed down 56 dogs and third went to Tim Janus who could only polish off 44 footlongs in the ten minutes. Chestnut failed to best his 2013 world record of 69 hot dogs, but he showed no disappointment. “The dogs cooled down and turned really hard to eat today,” he explained. “It was hard today. They sat out in the cold. They were hard to eat and hard to swallow.” With a wedding coming up, perhaps it’s time to diet.

It’s Fine not to Pay the Fine…If It’s 61 Years Later

Sometimes coming clean is the best policy. Ron Webster, 91, of Derbyshire, England, discovered a library book that had been in his possession since 1953. The book, Structure and Function in Primitive Society, was too good for Webster to return to the University of Liverpool library when he left the school 61 years ago. Now, decades later, Mr. Webster discovered that he still had the book—and a £4,510 or $7,651 fine to go with it. Librarian Phil Sykes said, “They called me and said, ‘You’ve got to come down, there’s a gentleman trying to return a book

Talk about a brainiac! A ten year old in Sacramento, CA, just graduated high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Tanishq Abraham, who was home schooled, graduated in a private ceremony that was attended by family and friends. The genius also received a congratulatory letter from the White House.

The youth claimed that his scholastic feat was not too difficult. “The way my brain works is that when you give me something, information about that topic comes into my mind,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but that’s how it is for me.” His mom, Taj, discovered his gifted abilities when he was an infant and enrolled him in Mensa at the age of four. Up next for the prodigy is some college level courses. Tanishq wants to be a scientist one day and hopes to also enter UC Davis Medical School and cure cancer. He would like to be president one day, too. Unfortunately for him, being U.S. president is generally reserved for people of limited intelligence.

A Case of Mistaken Destination

Edward Gamson is a cultured American dentist who always dreamed of visiting the castles of Granada, Spain. So while

on vacation in England, Gamson booked a first class ticket to the European city. To his surprise, the flight, which should have taken two hours, lasted nine hours and took him 4,500 miles to the tropical paradise of Grenada in the Caribbean. Gamson claims that the British Airways booking agent that set him up in Florida is to blame. “I made it absolutely clear that I wanted to go to Granada in Spain. Why on earth would I want to go to Grenada in the Caribbean if I was flying back to America from Lisbon?” Unfortunately, it seems that his agent was not as bright as a dental school graduate and he ended up in a third world country. Dr. Gamson is suing the airline for $34,000 after he was stuck drinking Mai Tais in tropical paradise for three days. At least Grenada the country is not as bad as Camp Grenada.

Finding Peace in America’s 50 States

Kelly Will, 34, had it with her job as a gossip columnist in New York City. She was sick and tired of writing about and following all the sleaze and trash that people are interested in. So she picked herself up, sold all her worldly possessions, and headed off to travel to all 50 U.S. states. Along the trip, which spanned from May 2013 till May 2014, Will made new friends and solidified old relationships. To get through the trip, Will sold everything from her designer shoes to her artwork. She kept her trusty Honda CR-V and kept to a $175 weekly budget. Every day was a challenge and she had to learn to cope with the feeling of not knowing where her next warm bed would be. “Every morning I woke up to meditate and try to sweep the fear away. The mind game was and still is rough on me. It will always be my greatest challenge. Living in the moment is hard,” she says. After 36,000 miles, 600 new friends and 164 different beds, when her trip was finally over in Hawaii, Will was overcome by a feeling of depression; she had come to find security in living on the road. “It took a few days to calm myself down and soak up the Aloha State,” she recounts.   According to Will, “Travel is the greatest education I have ever given myself. It has taught me that everyone has a great story to tell.  I understand how important

people are in my life. I used to be much more of a loner. I am inspired by the human experience: listening, interacting and watching people live their daily lives.” Sometimes, the path to winning is to by quitting.

The Language of the Skies

Roger that, 10-4. Air travel is full of some great slang but there are certain terms only used by insiders. Here’s a bit of a primer for the next time you’re sitting next to the flight attendants and just can’t make out what they’re saying. If a crew member notifies the pilot that the plane is out of “Blue Juice,” hold off on the lavatory, it may be out of water. If your flight attendant is a “commuter,” be wary; that means she’s had to fly in from her hometown to get to this job, and she is exhausted. That may still beat being service by a “dinosaur,” or a really senior crew member. Those pumps crew members wear on their feet as they march through the terminal—those are called “concourse shoes” and used ones are even available on eBay, if they strike your fancy. Remember, keep those tray tables up and seatbacks in their upright positions! We have reached our destination.

3 College Degrees, Still in High School Maadhav Shah is only 16. But already he’s earned three college degrees in math, political science, and social science from American River College in Sacramento and just scored a perfect 2400 on his SAT exam. Shah began his college education when he was only 10. The college usually allows students to begin at 16, but made an exception for the gifted Shah. Amazingly, Maadhav was not expecting his SAT score. ”When I saw it [the score], I checked to make sure it was my name and my email, and then I was really happy,” he said. Last year only 500 SAT takers scored perfectly, or .03 of students. Up next for the super genius is to actually graduate high school and enter an engineering program at either Cal Tech or Stanford. Hopefully, he can turn his B.S. or PhD into a J.O.B.

JULY 10, 2014

he took out in 1953. He’s 91-years-old!’” Out of the goodness of his heart, Sykes waived the fee. ”Of course, I cannot condone the late return of books but I remitted the fine of £4,510 on the condition that Mr. Webster agreed, henceforth, to live an exemplary life and return all his books on time.” Hmm….Now all I have to do is wait another sixty years to return all those Harry Potter books I still have from the library.


Chestnut, also called “Jaws,” asked Ricasa for her hand in marriage right before this year’s Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest.


JULY 10, 2014


The Jews of Iraq: Fallen Glory By Aaron Feigenbaum “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept...” - Tehilim 137:1 With the recent takeover of large portions of Iraq by the ISIS terrorist army and the possibility that Iraq will no longer exist as a nation, it’s worth stepping back and marveling at the millenia of incredibly rich and beautiful Jewish history that was all but lost within the span of less than a century. Indeed, it almost defies the imagination to think that Iraq, a country now plagued by violence and sectarianism, has a Jewish history stretching back to Biblical times. The history starts in 722 B.C.E. when a large portion of Jews in northern Israel were exiled to Babylonia by the invading Assyrian army. The Babylonian exile officially started in 586 B.C.E. at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar II and his destruction of the First Temple. Some 50 years later the Persians took over Babylonia and King Cyrus gave the Jews permission to return to their homeland. In subsequent centuries, Babylonia would be conquered first by the Greeks under Alexander the Great and then the Persians again (known at that time as the Parthian Empire). After the destruction of the Second Temple, Babylonia became the epicenter of Jewish life and learning. It was in the Babylonian academies of Sura and Pumbedita that what we now know as the Babylonian Talmud was compiled. Like Yavneh in Eretz Yisrael, Sura and Pumbedita became guiding lights to the Jewish nation and helped found Rabbinic Judaism. Babylonia is also important to ancient Jewish history in that it contains a number of burial sites of Jewish prophets. For example, the tomb of Ezekiel is believed to be located in Al-Kifl. Nahum is buried in the shul in Alqosh and Ezra is buried in the town of Al-Uzair on the shore of the Euphrates river. In 661, the Muslim Arab empire conquered Babylonia from the Sassanid Persians and treated the Jews as dhimmis or “people of the book.” In practical terms, this meant that Jews would have to pay a poll/protection tax or jizya in exchange for religious autonomy and the right to be exempted from military service. Except for relatively brief periods of persecution, Jewish life in Muslim imperial Iraq was

stable and anti-Semitism never reached the levels seen in medieval Europe. As the traveler Rabbi Pethahiah of Regensburg wrote on his trip to Iraq in the late 1100‘s, “… Babylonia is an entirely different world, their occupation consisting of Torah study and the fear of heaven, even the Ishmaelites are trustworthy … in Babylon there are 30 synagogues in addition to that of Daniel …” (Sibbuv Rabbi Petahyah (1905), 8, 24).

All this would change with the Mongol invasion of 1258 when Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike faced widespread destruction of their communities. While at first it appeared that the Mongols, having appointed several Jews to high positions, might treat the Jewish community fairly, they soon proved to be have little regard for Jewish property or life or anyone else’s for that matter. After the Ottoman Turks conquered Baghdad in 1534, life began to improve for Iraqi Jews. The Ottoman authorities instituted a moderate poll tax and allowed for a great deal of religious freedom. Except for occasional outbreaks of discrimination on the part of anti-Semitic leaders, Iraqi Jews enjoyed an enormous degree of stability from 1534 to the Ottoman Empire’s dissolution in 1917. Life got even better under British

occupation (1917-1921). The UK granted Iraqi Jews full and equal rights, and Jews were crucial to the British colonial enterprise in Iraq with many helping to develop the judicial and postal systems. Britain’s favorable policies towards the Jews continued under the British-appointed King Faisal whose reign lasted from 1921 to the independence of Iraq in 1932. One of the most prominent figures of this time was the Jew Sassoon Eskell who would become Iraq’s first finance minister. A thriving Zionist underground began to emerge and, along with it, an Arab anti-Zionist reaction. With the death of King Faisal and the establishment of Iraq as a sovereign state, the situation for Iraqi Jews began to spiral downwards. Nazi propaganda filtered into the country via the German ambassador F. Grobba and calls for violence against Jews increased. These calls weren’t put into action until the Arab revolt in Palestine in 1936. The reaction to the revolt in Iraq was immediately felt as a four-week campaign of terror began leaving three Jews dead and several wounded. A public statement by the head of the Baghdad Jewish community affirming his support of the Palestinian cause didn’t do much to alleviate the dire situation. In 1941, the pro-Nazi sympathizer Rashid Ali took over in a coup and his government went to war with British troops stationed in Iraq to rid the country of British influence. Ali’s forces were beaten back by the British and he was removed on May 29 after only two months in power. On Shavuos (June 1), Ali’s supporters perpetrated one of the most traumatic events in the history of the modern Jewish Middle East. In what’s known as the Farhud scores of civilians and soldiers began a pogrom in Baghdad that resulted in the murder of 180 Jews, the looting of hundreds of businesses and homes, and scores wounded. The bloodbath was stopped on June 2nd by the deaths of hundreds of rioters at the hands of forces loyal to the pro-British Regent Abdullah According to many scholars, this event marks a turning point for Iraq’s Jews as the impetus to emigrate was now clear. Yet, the mass emigration that was expected didn’t happen until the great Jewish exodus from Arab lands of 1948-1951. After the end of WWII, Zionism was outlawed and restrictions were imposed on the Jewish community such as on travel and property usage. Many Jewish

civil servants were removed from office and anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist propaganda was broadcast by official state media. The Iraqi Parliament passed a bill in 1950 allowing Jews to leave so long as they renounce their citizenship, sell their home, and take no more than a certain amount of cash and valuables with them. 120,000 Jews were air-lifted from Iraq to Israel in the period of 1949-1951 as part of Operation Ezra & Nehemiah. The Jews who stayed in Iraq soon found themselves in another dire predicament. The Parliament changed its mind and banned Jewish emigration in 1952 leaving Jews once again hostages in their own country. After the rise of the Ba’ath party in 1963 and the Six Day War of 1967, Jews were placed under even more severe restrictions culminating in the Soviet-style anti-Semitic purges of 1968 in which 11 Jews were publicly hung for “spying.” Some Jews were allowed to leave in the 1970‘s, but the state-sponsored terror against them continued into Saddam Hussein’s rule. A New York Times article from November 2013 reports only 5 Jews, all too old to emigrate, that remain in the country.This is sharply down from the 150,000 Jews living in Iraq in 1948. The once mighty Jewish civilization that produced the Talmud and contributed so much to every government that ruled Iraq is now effectively gone from that country. Yet, even in the violence and chaos of contemporary Iraq there are still traces of that legacy which remain. A PBS report from a few months ago shows a trove of almost 3,000 priceless Jewish texts, including an 18th century Talmud and Torah scroll, that were discovered in the flooded basement of Saddam’s intelligence headquarters at the start of the war. There’s a profound Jewish lesson to be learned in that: The more our persecutors try to bury our past and identity in the basement, the stronger the Jewish people become. The history of the Iraqi Jews, perhaps more than that of any other national Jewish group, has profoundly impacted Judaism and shaped the course of Jewish history as a whole. Their single greatest contribution, the Babylonian Talmud, is their legacy to the world and one that remains with us to this day. (Sources: Jewish Virtual Library, New York Times, PBS, A Nostalgic Trip into the History of the Jews of Iraq by Rizq and Ghanimah)


Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.

TJH Staff

Parenting, the Third Requirement

veryone knows what the first two requirements of parenting are, right? Well, okay, you haven’t necessarily internalized them but if someone says what they are, you’d say, “Oh, of course.” This refers to love and discipline. You need both and you knew that. But no one talks about the third requirement, yet it may be more important than the rest: simcha. I got into this subject on my new internet radio show, Parents and Kids, and while I’m going to give you an overview here, you might want to go to the archives and listen to the programs. They can be found at: http://www.chazaqradio.com/parents-and-kids-with-drdeb-hirschhorn and simcha is the third program. Simcha is the language through which you convey the rest. What do I mean? Let’s take the frequent problem that parents have of “getting” kids to “do” something, anything. How do you convey that? A parent could plead, nag, threaten, punish and not get anywhere. Yes, the rewards could work, maybe. Without simcha, they probably won’t work. Imagine the following conversation: Father (who has learned not to say, “If you don’t clean up your room, I’m taking away your computer privileges”): [with a kind of snarly face] “I have a wonderful treat for you if you clean up your room.” Child: I don’t care. See how far we’ve gotten? Why didn’t the child “care”? I’ve heard from many parents that they cannot promise their children rewards because the children “don’t care.” Could it be that children don’t care about things? If that is true, then I wonder what’s wrong with those children. Did they lose their joie d’vivre (joy in living)? Are they just so saturated with rewards that the rewards have lost their fun? Either way, what is needed is the simcha to replace the tangible objects. When you add simcha to the mix, you can reduce the number of prizes you offer your children. So how do we do that? Our morning davening – a tefilah so important we stand while saying it – requests ivdu es Hashem b’simcha . I think it’s more than a good suggestion; I see it as a require-

ment for life. We, the parents, need to get our acts together in order to correctly pass down to our children this concept. The foundation of simcha is believe in Hashem. This past Shabbos, Rebbetzin Aviva Feiner spoke beautifully about how our true faith in Hashem will help us get through this terrible time in our national existence. She explained that we, the Jewish people, are Hashem’s friend; we are that close. He knows the

Now, let us return to our scenario with the parent and child. This parent, we will call him, Dov, has worked hard on himself to chase away the blues. He’s gone to many job interviews and has not landed a job. He tells himself that there is something he must learn here and he puts even more effort into his next interviews. He strives for an attitude of simcha. Now, he wants his daughter, we will call her, Kayla, to clean up her room.

WHEN YOU ADD SIMCHA TO THE MIX, YOU CAN REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PRIZES YOU OFFER YOUR CHILDREN. future because He is outside of time. The past, present, and future are all one to Him; that is part of His Oneness. With this faith, we then must recognize that Hashem wants the best for us. We cannot understand how this could be at times like this, but it is nevertheless true. That is what faith really is; not understanding but not needing to. Knowing this and knowing that Hashem runs the world means that all we have to do is accept Hashem’s Kingship. Since He is running the world, we don’t have to. That lightens our burdens tremendously. It allows us to be b’simcha. If we take mizmor l’todah (from Tehillim 100) as a command rather than a suggestion, then it does not mean, “I know things are bad, but you’ll feel better if you cheer up.” Rather, it means, “You are not allowed to get depressed because that is showing a lack of faith in Hashem. So you must pull yourself together and be b’simcha in spite of your burdens.” That is, if you believe 1. Hashem runs the world. 2. He knows how to do it. 3. In doing it, He cares about each one of us. —Then, there is no reason not to be b’simcha.

He smiles at her warmly whenever their eyes meet. Kayla knows, deep down, that her father loves her just from that smile. He gives her a hug and kiss – she does not get tired of these – what child would (especially when material rewards are not so plentiful)? And he gently asks her to clean up her room. Do you get the difference in tone? His love is combined with that inner simcha, the job of serving Hashem that he experiences and which he wants to give over to his daughter. Most likely she will care; she will do the job. Let’s take a look at the flipside. Suppose he must discipline her. After all, she’s a normal, healthy kid, and it is possible that Dov’s love is not quite enough. She cleaned up her room but got busy reading a book and never did her homework. Now, it’s bedtime. If he lets her do her homework, then she will be up way too late. If he sends her to bed without doing it, she may be very happy because she doesn’t mind getting a lower grade the next day in school. With simcha in his heart, he goes over to Kayla and tells her to get ready for bed. Before he says the shema, he says, “We are all ovdei Hashem here. As such, we all have different jobs. Yours is to do well in school. You are taking

a summer class because you needed improvement in this particular subject. Your job here on Earth at this moment is to learn this material. Do you understand me?” Dov has delivered his message so lightly, so lovingly, how can Kayla rebel? When you don’t come down hard, when your approach is not only one of love for your child but humility before G-d, it doesn’t give a child much to rebel against. Kayla will understand and Dov will get a commitment out of her to do extra work tomorrow to make up for today. Do you agree or disagree with this line of thought? Either way, I would love you to call in to my radio show with arguments, questions, whatever. I’ll be happy to hear all of it. Please listen to the live broadcast every Thursday from 3-4 by either: 1. Going to chazaqradio.com on your computer or your phone and clicking the embedded player or 2. Calling (401) 283-6664 or 3. Going to your phone’s store and downloading the app “Jstream” (which is free) if you have an Android or Jewish Music (also free) if you have an iPhone. Then select “chazaq radio” and click the play button. Then PLEASE call me and I will answer your questions live! You don’t need to identify yourself. The call-in phone number is 718-285-6120, line 101. A reward – with love and simcha! – the first five callers will receive “Chapter 9, Getting Control” of my as-yet unpublished book, How To Get Your Kids to WANT to Do What YOU Want Them To for free! Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Dr. Therapist and best-selling of The Deb Hirschorn is a author marriage & Healing Is Mutual: Marriage Empowerment family therapist and best selling author Respect—TogethofTools Theto Rebuild HealingTrust Is and Mutual: Marriage er, is proud to announce that readers of and The Empowerment Tools to Rebuild Trust Jewish Home will receive a $50 discount on Respect. Please visit www.drdeb.com for every visit further info.to her Woodmere office. Listen to her new show called “Kids and Parents” on Chazaq Radio live from 3-4 on Thursdays. The call in phone number is 718-285-9132. Attend the Food For Thought lectures at Cravingz Cafe, 410 Central Ave, Cedarhurst, on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Any questions, call 646-54-DRDEB or check out her website at http://drdeb.com.

2014 T H E JTHE E WJEWISH I S H H O MHOME E n J U JULY LY 1 010, , 2014


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JULY 10, 2014


My Israel Home Gedaliah Borvick

All About Dogs . . . Part I Question: I live in Los Angeles, and my neighbor’s dog does not stop barking. Can we do anything about this nuisance? Answer: A barking dog can adversely impact your family’s quality of life. The Los Angeles Municipal Code prohibits a dog owner from allowing his or her animal to emit excessive noise. This is defined as noise that is annoying or unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of one’s property. Based on this, a barking or whining dog would probably qualify as “excessive noise.” The noise must be continuously audible for more than ten minutes, or intermittently audible for thirty minutes within a three-hour period. Before the animal’s owner can be compelled to take action, a written complaint must be made to the Los Angeles Animal Care and Control Center servicing your area. To find the Center servicing your area, visit http://www.laanimalservices. com/shelters/. The requirements for filing a complaint are available at http://www. animalcare.lacounty.gov. Like most bureaucratic matters, the complaint process can be tedious and might not solve the problem. A good idea might be to politely ask the dog’s owner if he or she can take affirmative steps to control the dog. The owner might not be home when the dog usually misbehaves, and therefore might not be aware of the problem. Nevertheless, if you hear a dog making unusual noise, or you are concerned about the safety of the dog, call 3-1-1 to alert the proper authorities about this problem.

are the only places where an owner may remove the leash and let the dog run free. The Code provides that violations of this rule can result in fines, but, as you can tell, this rule is not heavily enforced. As with the above, you can contact your local Animal Care Center to file a complaint about the dog, or visit www.lacity.org/ residents/CitywideServices/ServiceDetail/ index.htm?laServiceId=3079 for more information. However, using common sense may be the best option. If you are genuinely uncomfortable with this dog approaching you, respectfully ask your neighbor to restrain the dog. If the owner tries to reassure you that the dog is friendly— accept this overture. Politely remind him that the dog should be leashed for its own safety and to prevent it from running into traffic.

Question: My neighbor has a really hyper dog, and he doesn’t use a leash when he walks him. Is this legal? Answer: No. As a general rule, the dog owner must attach his dog to a chain or leash that does not exceed six feet in length. There are many designated dog parks throughout the City, and these

Stay tuned for next week’s article, where we discuss DOG BITES.

Question: My neighbor’s dog uses my lawn as a toilet. That’s definitely illegal, right? Answer: Right!! It’s one of those inconveniences we all experience from time to time—you or your child walks on the lawn and “steps in it!” Dog owners must clean up after their dogs when in public, and failure to do so can result in a whopping $20.00 fine. As inconvenient as this is, it’s one of those laws that does not attract much attention from law enforcement—and rightfully so. With all the other significant public safety concerns facing our community, police officers must direct their attention to more serious matters!

Do you have a general question about legal matters that you’d like answered here in the future? Submit your questions to Michael.E.Rubinstein@gmail.com


Efrat: An Oasis for Olim

estled in the Judean Hills just eight miles south of Jerusalem, Efrat is a picturesque community and a popular destination for English-speaking olim. Efrat boasts excellent schools, an efficient service-oriented local government, a beautiful library with an extensive English book section, many Torah classes for men and women, a mix of retail stores and restaurants, lovely parks, and an active community center offering dozens of programs for adults and children.

The largest settlement in Yesha’s (Yehuda and Shomron) Gush Etzion region with over 1,800 families and 9,500 residents, Efrat is divided into seven neighborhoods, each named for one of the seven species of the Land of Israel: Gefen (grape), Te’ena (fig), Rimon (pomegranate), Dekel (date palm), Dagan (grain), Tamar (date) and Zayit (olives). The city is in growth mode: new housing projects being constructed on the northern end of Efrat are attracting many young religious families, and the city is expected to double its size within the next decade. Efrat rises to a height of 3,150 feet above sea level, and shares the same beautiful mountain climate as Jerusalem, offering relatively mild summers and cool

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winters. The city’s population is primarily Dati Leumi (religious Zionist) and also has a Chardal (Charedi Leumi – or Yeshivish Zionist) crowd. There are more than twenty Orthodox shuls – mostly Ashkenazic, but Sephardic and Yemenite synagogues also exist – in addition to several post-high school Yeshivas and Kollels,

plus there is an active women’s learning program. Efrat’s English-speaking residents comprise 35% of the population, and are very active in all aspects of the community: they provide leadership within the local schools and are involved in many important chessed projects and in local shul programming – delivering shiurim and running educational, spiritual and social activities. Most residents work in the greater Jerusalem area or have home-based businesses, while some travel to Tel Aviv or farther away via car or the train in Bet Shemesh. Thanks to a highway linking Jerusalem with Gush Etzion, Efrat is a mere fifteen minute drive from Jerusalem. In fact, a number of my clients who desired to live in Jerusalem but either had budgetary constraints or preferred to live in a more suburban environment have found Efrat to be a wonderful option as it provides a warm, urbane community close to the capital. Efrat is accessible via public and private

transportation, although living there without a car can be challenging. Efrat in some ways mirrors the Jewish communities located abroad, as families are often drawn together through their connection to their shuls, and their social lives to some extent revolve around their synagogues. What only thirty five years was a mere dream of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin – then a young rabbi at the Upper West Side’s Lincoln Square Synagogue – Efrat has grown and flourished while retaining the intimacy of a small town. Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home, a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at gborvick@gmail.com. Please visit his blog at www.myisraelhome.com.



emorial Day marks the official start of summer, with many of us firing up the grill. Now that July 4th has slipped by, the summer is really starting to roll. Barbecues can be healthy and delicious or, on the other hand, catastrophically caloric and fattening. You can easily indulge in some barbecue favorites without wrecking your diet simply by adhering to the following guidelines.

Burger Patty: A moderately sized 5 oz. all beef patty can pack more than 400 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat, and that’s before the bun and toppings. Making the switch to extra lean beef (at least 93% lean) will drop those stats to 135 calories and 2.3 grams of saturated fat. Bison, ground turkey or chicken burgers are also excellent alternatives to beef and are much lower in fat and cholesterol. Chicken: It’s the best protein option at any BBQ, and should be your first choice if availUsing lean beef in your burger able. Boneless, skinless will help trim fat and calories chicken is ideal, but if it was grilled with the skin on, please take it off before eating! Steak:

Look for lean cuts and trim off any visible fats. Keep track of your red meats throughout the week and try to keep it to a twice a week limit.


Switching to a whole grain bun will boost the fiber content, but calorically will be about the same as white buns. Try whole grain sandwich thins; they are about 100 calories, are usually parve and round like a bun. I love the idea of nixing the bun altogether and just having the patty with salad or veggies, or using Portobello mushroom caps instead of a bun.

Avoid the Dogs:

A hot dog is one of the worst foods you could ever put into your body. Putting aside the cancercausing nitrates, they are about 242 calories and 14.5 grams of fat EACH! Nitrate-free turkey or chicken dogs are better options, but

Offer guests yummy grilled vegetables as a nutritious and filling side dish

usually still high in sodium.

Sauces Spreads:

Try capping your burger with a portobello mushroom instead of a bun

little as possible.


Mustard is low in calories, but ketchup may contain a lot of sugar, so look for lower sugar or sugar-free brands, and use them minimally. This same rule should be used with any barbecue sauces; use as

Veggies: Fill up on salad and grilled veggies and avoid the corn and potatoes. Think roasted peppers, or grilled onions, or zucchini. Coleslaw (drained) is a much better option than potato or corn salad. Downsize:

Too much of a good thing is not good either. Watch your portion sizes, consider making 2 oz. sliders instead of burgers, and eat slowly. The longer it takes you to eat that meal, the less you will eat in the long run. Barbecues can be a fun and nutritious way of celebrating the summer months, but have led many down the wrong path of high fat, high calories, and very high sodium eating. When hosting a barbecue, make sure you have healthy options available for yourself and your Chicken on the grill is delicious and healthy! guests, and when you are a guest at someone else’s, just choose the best option available. Having a hot dog a couple of times a year is not tragic, but having one at every barbecue this season will be problematic on so many levels. Enjoy and have a great summer! Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a Master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show. Aliza’s new line of prepared, healthy mealsto-go are available at Gourmet Glatt. Aliza can be reached at alizabeer@ gmail.com.

JULY 10, 2014

How to Build a Healthier, Better BBQ


Aliza Beer, MS, RD

T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012

Health & Fitness





JULY 10, 2014

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