The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
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The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
CONTENTS COMMUNITY Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
LIFESTYLES Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
FEATURE Inching Towards a Trade War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
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Dear Readers, There once was family a banished from the land for a 100-year period. Upon the first anniversary of their banishment, they gathered together grieving for all they had lost. The second year as well, they got together remembering the good times and mourning their current displacement. And so it was, year after year they would get together to remember what was compared to what is. As time went on, they settled down in their new land, and their mourning grew less and less. This was due to two different things. On the one hand, they forgot how good their old home had been; and on the other, they became overly satisfied with what they now had. But there was also a positive element. As they moved farther from year one and closer to 100, they started to focus on the future, first by discussing the reason they were cast away many years prior, and then by actually looking forward for the quickly-approaching moment their banishment would end. We are currently in the Three Weeks. 1000 years after the Churban, we still wailed and grieved for our past glory. But as more time passes, and we wander through more countries, memories of where we come from have become more of something we believe intellectually than feel, and the focus has become mainly on improving ourselves. Then there’s the future. Tisha B’Av ends on a positive note, leaving us with a tangible feeling that we will certainly go home when the right time comes. All Jewish spiritual leaders agree that we are currently living in the period ushering in the final redemption. Witness the upheaval and fast-changing political realities such as the break up of Syria, moderation of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the current weakening of the Anti-Semitic regime in Iran (and, by extension, Hezbollah and Hamas). The absolutely miraculous worldwide leadership position Israel has taken in many areas is another sign of the great blessings promised us at the end of our exile. Regarding the destruction of Yerushalayim, we’re told, “Those who mourn her destruction will rejoice in her rebuilding.” We’ve had plenty of mourning; let’s begin rejoicing for her immediate return as a moral and spiritual light for all the nations of the world. Wishing you a meaningful Three Weeks and an enjoyable Shabbos – (by) next year in Yerushalayim!
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
TheHappenings Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Devastating Update on Klatzkin Family Communicated Many may recall the news in February of Beit Shemesh father of nine, Eliyahu Klatzkin. Klatzkin was diagnosed in 2016 with an aggressive case of cancer. For many months, the family fought for his survival, including flying to the United States to undergo extensive surgery to remove two cancerous tumors. After the tumors were removed, the illness tragically remained. Klatzkin returned to Israel to begin what was then his only hope: medication which was not covered by the national insurance. Thus began the family’s terrifying monthly race, to acquire the $14,000 per month necessary to procure the life-prolonging medication. In a desperate appeal to the public, Eliyahu’s wife pled, “Our kids need their Abba back.” The “race,” however, was not won. We are pained to report that on Monday of this week, July 2nd, Eliyahu lost his battle with cancer. Nine children sat shivah in their
Beit Shemesh home. The youngest is just one year old. A friend of the family recalls the bris of the youngest, which took place in a time when most knew that Eliyahu’s survival was unlikely: “There wasn’t a dry eye as Reb Eliyahu was sandek of his newborn son,” he writes, “as everyone was thinking about the poor child, doomed to a life without a father, a life without anyone to walk him to shul, a life with no one to learn with him at Avos Ubanim.” An emergency fund has been started on the widow’s behalf. Mrs. Klatzkin is now on her own with a large family, and deeply burdened by immense medical debt, as well as the other expenses which went unpaid during their period of financial strain. During his lifetime, Rabbi Klatzkin took pride in providing for his family. Now, donations are being saved to help his wife pick up the pieces. The campaign’s goal is to allow the
young mother to mourn her husband in peace, and to provide a stable future for herself and her children. Please mail your tax-deductible contributions to Vaad Harabonim: 221 Regent Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701 (Tax ID 37-
1456890). Or call: 877.722.2646 and make your contribution to FUND 4346/ Klatzkin FUND.
YPLA Partners with YIEP to Offer College Degrees Yehudis Litvak Yeshiva Program Los Angeles (YPLA), a program for post-high school young men, hosted two open houses to introduce the community to its new partnership with the Yeshiva Initiatives Educational Programs (YIEP). Now the local students will be able to complete a college degree at YPLA. YPLA, under the auspices of the LINK Kollel, is a dynamic morning learning program, offering yeshiva level learning while allowing the students to study or work in the afternoons. The morning seder consists of chavrusa time and a Gemara shi-
ur by Rabbi Yisroel Casen, Maggid Shiur and Mashgiach Ruchani at YPLA, as well as halachah and hashkafah shiurim, peer workshops on tefillah and mussar, and open Q&A sessions, where the students can discuss pressing issues with their mentors. In addition, YPLA offers trips and shabbatons. There is also a full night seder, open to post-high school young men. Rabbi Aryeh Steinman, Program Director, says that over 100 students have benefited from YPLA in the three years of its existence. But Rabbi Steinman has a broader vision. He would like to expand
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the program and enable his students to also earn a college degree “in an environment of kedushah.” Towards that goal, YPLA is joining forces with YIEP, which provides a college education to many yeshivos and seminaries across the country. YIEP, headed by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, works together with Bellevue University, a fully accredited university in Omaha, Nebraska, to provide an online program which is equivalent in quality to the in-person program offered to students of Bellevue University. The online program offered by YIEP is especially designed for the Orthodox community and adjusted to the Jewish calendar. The students never have to worry about missing class on yom tov. Everyone in the class is Orthodox, as are some of the professors. Other professors are not Jewish, but very familiar with the Orthodox community and sensitive to the students’ needs. Another advantage of YIEP is that it has “documented that Judaism is real knowledge,” explains Rabbi Lerner. The students get college credits for their yeshiva classes, thus fulfilling the core non-major requirements. They are able to begin their chosen major right away and finish their degree within two years. YIEP currently offers Bachelor’s degrees in Business, Behavioral Science/ Human Services, and Cyber Security and other computer related fields. Other majors may be available upon request.
On a graduate level, YIEP offers MS in clinical counseling, Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), MA in educational leadership, and Master of Business Administration (MBA). Rabbi Lerner is especially excited about the counseling program, which allows yeshiva and seminary graduates to pursue a professional career and provide counseling to the Orthodox community without being exposed to aspects of secular counseling courses that are not appropriate for our community. Those students who wish to pursue graduate education elsewhere are able to do so with an undergraduate degree from Bellevue University. YIEP graduates have been accepted into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU and other graduate programs of their choice. “I’m not aware of any student who was not accepted where they wanted to go,” says Rabbi Lerner. The open houses generated enthusiasm in Los Angeles and beyond. Over 20 interested individuals attended, and some already requested application materials. There is also some interest from students outside of Los Angeles, and Rabbi Steinman is hoping to eventually provide dorm accommodations for out of town students. “Since this was the first time YPLA and YIEP created a partnership, we feel it’s a good start,” concludes Rabbi Lerner. More information on YPLA can be found at https://www.ypla.org, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Mark your contributions for fund 4346, for the 9 KLATZKIN orphans
221 Regent Drive Lakewood, NJ 08701
Tax ID# 37-1456890
Fax: 1877-KVITTEL (1877-584-8835)
1888-36-36-248 international toll-free number
In Canada: 5831 Esplanade Montreal Quebec Canada h2t3a2
All donations are tax deductible. Please make checks payable to Vaad Harabbanim In accordance with U.S. tax law requirements regarding deductibility of contributions, VAAD HARABBANIM L'INYANEI TZEDUKA INC. shall have full dominion, control and discretion over this gift. All contributions subject to final board approval.
Communicated The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
The Story of How “Tu B’Av Together” – the Global Day for Shidduchim – Came to Be This Tu B’Av will be a great day… in fact it’s been a great day for shidduchim for thousands of years! Nosson Gold Thousands of Jews from across the globe, will unite in tefillah for all singles in Klal Yisrael. This momentous occasion will take place this coming Friday, July 27th, the holy day of Tu B’Av, at 7 a.m. In a special initiative called “Tu B’Av Together,” the wellknown kiruv and rescue organization Yad L’Achim has spearheaded this movement as a zechus so that the women they rescue merit finding their bashert. At the same time that a minyan of talmidei chachamim will be davening in Amuka (names can be submitted for free), all of Klal Yisrael will get together wherever they are and recite the following eight chapters of tehillim. How did Tu B’Av Together come to be? What is the story behind this special initiative to benefit all singles in Klal Yisrael? With the support of gedolei Yisrael, Yad L’Achim was founded over 60 years ago by Rav Sholom Dov Lifshitz, ztz”l, to help with new immigrants to Eretz Yisrael. One of the first kiruv organizations ever created, over the years Yad L’Achim helped with Russian and French immigrants, placing thousands of boys and girls into yeshivos throughout Eretz Yisrael. After receiving many calls about Jewish women trapped in Arab Villages, Yad L’Achim established an entire division dedicated to prevention as well as the rescue of
trapped women and children. Often, these women are rescued with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing at the time. Yad L’Achim helps rehabilitate them and make sure they are put on the healthy road to a new life. This involves, of course, food, shelter, and clothing as well as help in many aspects of their lives. With Hashem’s help, many women rescued have gone on to marry bnei Torah and establish beautiful Jewish homes that will iy”H last for generations. For many years, Yad L’Achim would arrange for talmidei chachamim to daven on behalf of these women so that they merit finding their bashert. As time went on, Yad L’Achim began accepting names from Jews throughout the world who wanted tefillah for a shidduch or any other personal request. Names can always be submitted for tefillah to Yad L’Achim even without a donation, according to a policy instituted by Rav Lifschitz, zt”l. One of the most popular times of the year when people would submit their names was before the holy day of Tu B’Av, the 15th day of Av. Tu B’Av has been synonymous with shidduchim from the times of Chazal and is mentioned as a joyous day in Maseches Taanis, “There have never been such good days for Klal Yisrael like Tu B’Av and Yom Kippur.”
From time to time, Yad L’Achim hosts special events featuring a speech by women who were rescued through Yad L’Achim. Other times, the speaker would be someone who did the rescuing. After all events, a common occurrence took place. Attendees approached the speaker or Yad L’Achim staff and asked for the names of the rescued women and children and to daven for Yad L’Achim’s success. The natural desire of Jews to help other Jews shined through. Mi k’amcha Yisrael! The Jewish people have been connected through tefillah in times of happiness and sorrow. Klal Yisrael have a natural desire to help each other and one of the great ways is to daven for one another. In light of all of the above, after consultation with rabbonim and gedolei Yisrael, Tu
B’Av Together was established. A day when the Jewish people can unite in tefillah for all singles in Klal Yisrael in need of a shidduch. The talmidei chachamim will be in Amuka all day of Tu B’Av to daven for all the names submitted to Yad L’Achim. (No donation is required to submit names.) However, for a few moments all of Klal Yisrael will unite in tefillah. Of significance is the Chazal, “Kol hamispallel b’ad chavero hu ne’eneh techila.” On Friday morning, Tu B’Av, (July 27th), at 10 a.m. EST, Yidden from all stripes of life will recite the following kapitlach: ,ל”ב קכ"ח, קכ"ז, קכ”ד, קכ”א, פ”ב,‘ ע,( ל”חPsalms 32,38,70,82,121,124, 127,128). It would be wonderful if people would get together, share the message of Tu B’Av Together and daven for each other on this special day. Yad L’Achim has established the website WWW.TUBAV.ORG where people can Download the tehillim for Tu B’Av Together. Submit names for tefillah in Amuka – no donation required to submit names. Learn more about this special day. For more information or to submit names call Yad L’Achim at 1-866-923-5224 or visit WWW.TUBAV.ORG.
The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Tisha B’Av Schedule
FOR WOMEN ONLY Motzei Shabbos July 21st 8:21pm Fast Begins 9:30pm Maariv/Eicha 10:30pm Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein Is This the End of the World As We Know It?
Sunday July 22nd 11am-12pm Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein Kinos 12:15pm-1pm Rabbi Label Lam Struggling with Struggling 1:15pm-2pm Mr. Charlie Harary Reconnecting with Our Father 2:15pm-3pm Mrs. Chaya (Ivy) Kalazan Tisha B’Av: Separation and Connection 3:15pm Feeling the Pain of Another Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Video B Rabbi Yechiel Spero, David Lieberman, Ph.D., Mr. Charlie Harary 5:15pm-6pm Rebbetzin Shira Smiles Desiring and Delving 6:15pm Feeling the Pain of Another Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Video A HaRav Elimelech Biderman, Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Rabbi Paysach Krohn 8:15pm-9pm Rabbi Shalom Yona Weis Not Believing in Your Own Significance, The Real Destruction! 9:09pm Fast Ends !לשנה הבאה בירושלים
Can’t Make It? If you are unable to attend, you can view all the shiurim
from your own home at www.ohrnaava.com.
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On Location Night Program $18; On Location Day Program $18 On Location Night & Day Program Package $25 On Location admission tickets available online at www.ohrnaava.com or at the door. *The Chofetz Chaim video is ONLY available for viewing On Location. There is a SEPARATE fee of $15 cash or check made out to CCHF, collected at the door. (Fee includes viewing of one or both videos) **Please note: The shul will be davening Mincha at 2PM & 7:40PM. Maariv will be at 8:25PM
LOCATION: 2201 East 23rd Street (corner of Ave V), Brooklyn, NY 11229 718.Ohr Naava (718.647.6228) ∙ www.ohrnaava.com
Tisha B’Av program dedicated by Dr. Gary and Miriam Schreiber in memory of their parents, Moshe and Sema Menora
TheHappenings Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Three Local Investors Participate in Warren Buffet’s Israel Bonds Event Yehudis Litvak
At an exclusive event hosted by the world-renowned investor and billionaire Warren Buffet in Omaha, Nebraska, three investors from Los Angeles committed to a minimum of a million-dollar investment into Israel Bonds, also known as Development Corporation for Israel (DCI), which underwrites Israeli bonds in the United States. The three local investors are Jef-
frey Gross of Beverly Hills, California, Owner of Mickey Fine Pharmacy; Joan Ashton of Beverly Hills, California; and Stanley Black of Beverly Hills, California, Founder of Black Equities. Over 70 investors from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico attended the event, and total of $80 million in Israel Bonds investments was raised. Warren Buffet, Chairman, President,
and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has been an ardent supporter of Israel and its economy. “I’ve lived through Israel’s entire 70year history, and I believe it is one of the most remarkable countries in the world,” he said in a press release. “I’m delighted to own Israel bonds.” This was the third event that Buffet has hosted with Israel Bonds in the past 18
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months, and a second in Omaha. Besides the investors, the event was attended by Israeli dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps. Israel Bonds President and CEO Israel Maimon said in a press release, “The Israel Bonds organization has played a significant role in the realization of one of Israel’s most remarkable accomplishments – the building of a robust, resilient economy. Investors the world over, including Warren Buffett, have taken notice.”
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Jeffrey Gross with Mr. Buffett
Buffet, known as “the Oracle of Omaha” for his knack for profitable investments, commented in a press release, “I have nothing but good feelings about what I am doing. The United States and Israel will always be linked. It is a good thing for Israel that there is an America, and it is a good thing for America that there is an Israel.” Jeffrey Gross, one of the local investors, has a long history of investing into Israel bonds. His grandparents used to give him Israel Bonds as Chanukah gifts every year. Now, every year when the bonds come up, he is reminded of his grandparents, who are long gone. “It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving,” he says. Mr. Gross grew up with a special connection to Israel. When asked what he loves about Israel, he responds with a laugh, “What’s not to love?” Starting seven or eight years ago, he and his family have been traveling to Israel every year. “No matter how much you’re there, there is more to learn,” he says. “The amount of history we study in school – even in a religious, Orthodox school – cannot compare to actually being there.” Investing in Israel Bonds, says Mr. Gross, is “a vote for the state of Israel,” letting its government and citizens know that the Jews in the diaspora care about them. At the same time, he explains, the Israeli economy is booming, and the bonds produce a solid return. The investment is worth it in many ways.
The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
The following is a partial listing. To view all times and locations please visit: www.powerofspeech.org/tishabav Calabasas The Calabasas shul 24650 Park Miramar 1:30 A 6:00 B
la Jolla Cong. adat Yeshurun 8625 La Jolla Scenic Dr. N. 5:00 A & B
EnCino Heichal Moshe 18402 Venture Blvd. TBA Makor HaChaim 17815 Ventura Blvd 1:00 & 3:00 B 5:45 A
los angElEs adas Torah 1135 S. Beverly Dr. 12:45 & 4:45 A & B anshe Emes 1490 S. Robertson Blvd. 3:00 A 5:30 B bet Midrash Torat Hayim 1026 S. Robertson Blvd. Jul. 21, 9:30 pm A Jul. 22, 3:00 B
irvinE beth Jacob Cong. 3900 Michaelson Dr. Continuously throughout the day from 1:00pm
Kehilas Yaakov The Community shul 100 South Citrus Ave 9100 West Pico Blvd. TBA 2:30 Jewish learning Young israel of Exchange Hancock Park 512 North La Brea Ave. 540 North La Brea 12:00 & 4:00 A 2:00 A 6:00 B 2:00 & 6:00 B norTH Ohr Haemet HollYwood 1030 South Roberston bais Medrash ohr 4:00 A 5:30 B Simcha CC linK Kollel 12430 Oxnard St. 1453 S. Robertson Blvd. 4:00 A 6:00 B 4:00 A 5:45 B norTHridgE shaarei Tefilah Y.i. of northridge 7269 Beverly Blvd. 17511 Devonshire St. 2:30 A 5:00 B 12:00 A 4:00 B
Palo alTo Cong. Emek bracha 4102 El Camino Real TBA san diEgo beth Jacob Cong. 4855 College Ave. 2:00 A 6:00 B san JosE Cong. am Echad 1504 Meridian Ave. 3:00 A 6:00 B sunnYvalE bar Yochai Minyan 1030 Astoria Dr. 5:15 A 6:45 B
Tarzana vallEY villagE Mishkan Torah Em Habanim valley Com. sephardic Cong. 5552 Reseda Blvd. 5850 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Jul. 21, 9:30 pm A 2:30 A 4:15 B Jul. 22, 5:30 pm B shaarey Yerushalayim bet Medrash Mevaser 12435 Chandler Blvd. Tov 5:00 A 6:30 B 18500 Ventura Blvd. shaarey zedek Cong. Jul. 21, 10:30 pm B 12800 Chandler Blvd. Jul. 22, 5:30 pm A 2:15 & 5:30 A ohel rachel beth vEniCE Midrash Home of alan irsch 18750 Oxnard St. #401 1102 Maplpe St. Jul. 21, 10:00pm A 5:00 Jul. 22, 10:00am A 6:00pm B
Living with the Times The Week In News
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman
There is a new word, used mostly by young Leftists and often chanted at their anti-Trump rallies. “Stay woke!” they shout. They mean: “Stay focused on the goal of ousting Donald Trump and don’t be sidetracked by things the president says or does to cause you to shift focus. Wake up and ‘stay woke’ in the fight for social justice,” the revolutionaries proclaim. Though at first the mantra may sound silly, it grows on you and slowly takes hold. As we go through the Three Weeks and are about to begin the Nine Days, “stay woke” is an appropriate message for us golus creatures. It is not sufficient to merely go through the motions of refraining from music and haircuts. We must develop a focus during this period and keep to it. Why are we in golus in the first place? Why are we in exile from our homeland? Why have we been sent from place to place? Why do the nations of the world despise us? Why is there a double standard? Why is there so much sadness and loneliness? These days are meant to help us understand why, and right the wrongs that caused us to end up here. If we remain focused on the goal of achieving redemption, wholeness and happiness, then we can achieve it. If we aren’t “woke” and we become sidetracked by silliness and speed bumps along the way, we will be unable to escape the misery of homelessness. We have to remain focused on going home. Before engaging in an action, we should ponder whether it will get us closer to home or push us further away. If the action will help bring about the geulah, then we should expend the effort. If it won’t, then why bother? Why do something that will have no positive outcome?
When people get us upset or do silly things, the urge is to smack them down and tell them off. But will that achieve anything? Will it bring us closer to Hashem? If it will cause peirud instead of achdus, we should drop it. If acting in kind will create animosity, we should realize that ignoring the perceived slight or infraction would be a better course of action. If there is a machlokes, why become involved and cause further friction? Save your energy for causes that bring people together and cause Hashem to view us in a positive light. Negative energy and petty
scene was repeated every few decades. We were exiled from one country, found residence in another, flourished, and were then sent packing again. Despite what transpired, wherever they were, and how bad their condition was, the faithful never lost sight of their goal. Auto-da-fes, pogroms, the Inquisition, holocausts, public executions, murder and pillage were experienced by the Jewish people. Their suffering was enough to exterminate them many times over, but the Jews hobbled on to a better place, resuscitated themselves and thrived. This was
We never gave up, for we were focused. grievances weigh a person down. Focusing on acts that contribute to bringing about geulah frees a person to rise. This week’s parshiyos of Mattos and Masei are always read during the period in which we especially mourn the churban. They speak of the travels of the Bnei Yisroel in the desert. The nation crossed the Yam Suf and began traveling to the Promised Land. Then they stopped and set up camp. They decamped and traveled to another location. They stayed there for a while and were then uprooted and on the move again. So has it been since churban Bayis Sheini, when we were sent into exile. Millions were massacred. A people was beaten, sold into slavery, and set afloat, refugees in search of a place to regroup. The
possible because they were “woke,” focused on their goal of meriting the geulah. It was a Sisyphusthian existence, but they never floundered and never gave up. Speaking of moving from place to place, these weeks, wherever you happen to find yourself in the Jewish world, you see vehicles loaded with families heading off to the country. You peer inside and see duffel bags labeled for camp and the children who will accompany them. You see parents looking forward to clean air and a slower pace of life. But while the intensity of life hopefully dials down, allowing people to relax and release some of their stress, our mandate remains the same. We can’t lose focus. Summer heat, mountain air, dusty bungalows, hot grills, tantalizing barbecues, and
poolside shmoozing should not distract us from our goal. In bungalow colonies, toddlers play as their mothers sit close by, chatting and taking in the serene surroundings. The men take it easy as well, learning, davening, playing ball, and enjoying the leisurely pace of country life. Children run off to day camp, leaving in the morning and sometimes not returning until dusk, tired, messy, and out of breath, but sporting smiles that convey the joys of summer for a youngster. It’s a special time for all, and even those of us not privileged to relocate or alter our schedules should allow the slower pace of the season to positively impact us. One of the most productive and exhilarating seasons in the pre-war olam hayeshivos were these summer months, when bnei yeshiva - separated from each other most of the year by very long distances, at a time when there were no telephones, cars or buses - gathered in dacha locations. The black and white pictures of the era show leafy trees and sun-dotted paths, smiling bochurim gathered around leading roshei yeshiva, their plainly evident simchas haTorah adding to the pictures a color all their own. The photographs capture their sheer joy at being together, united in a setting conducive to pilpul chaveirim and chilutz atzamos. So many of the stories retold in the olam haTorah took place in the dachas in places such as Kremenchuk, a town none of us can find on a map but anyone who has been through the yeshiva system has heard of repeatedly. There was another small hamlet called Druskenik, where many would go for dacha during the summer. Even though the local householders waited all year for the summer months, when they could generate some much-needed income by renting out space, the rov of the town would make it his mission to ensure that poor bochurim who had no money for room and board were also welcomed. He arranged for a few homes to be set aside for this purpose, with free space for bnei yeshiva. Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, virtual king of Lithuanian Jewry and champion of the bnei Torah, would go there. He carried
Living with the The Week In Times News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
the burdens of a nation and its individuals, and had no respite from the endless lines and requests that came to his door. He was always available for everyone who needed him, writing classic teshuvos in response to the most intricate halachic questions from around the world, helping the poor and forlorn, and providing guidance to rabbonim, roshei yeshiva and yeshiva bochurim. His much anticipated short summer break allowed him to sit in the forest with talmidei chachomim and yeshiva students discussing the havayos Abaye v’Rava in the pleasant air, with fewer of the pressing issues occupying his time. Many pictures exist of rabbonim and roshei yeshiva with the great giant, seated comfortably in a forest clearing. In our day, as well, roshei yeshiva and rabbonim escape the city rigors and benefit from the break. Their talmidim fan out across the small towns and campsites that dot the Catskills and other country locales. Summer is a gift. Vacation and a relaxed pace are gifts. As with any gift, without proper awareness of how to utilize it, the gift is worthless. We must be ever vigilant for ourselves and our children, especially during this care-free period. In this week’s parsha, in the middle of
relating the names of the various places where Klal Yisroel camped, reassembling the Mishkon and then dismantling it again, the posuk tells us, “Az yoshir Bnei Yisroel es hashirah hazos.” They sang a song. They understood that each leg of the journey was part of a larger plan. They knew that each stop along the way was part of a process of preparing them for their arrival in Eretz Hakodesh. Midroshim and meforshim interpret the names of various places as referring to different experiences and lessons throughout the travels and travails of the Jewish people. During the season of travels and summer homes, we must remain focused on the goals these three weeks remind us of. We must be safe spiritually and physically. Having a good time should not be at the expense of others. We should be cognizant not to cause a chillul Hashem, but to be mekadeish Hashem wherever we go. As we venture out of our daled amos, we must ascertain that we remain within the daled amos shel halacha. The Rambam famously writes in Hilchos Taanis that the purpose of fast days is to focus on teshuvah, examining our actions and improving our ways. Perhaps we can say as well that the purpose of the Three Weeks and the Nine Days is
not only to conduct ourselves as mourners, as we lament the many tragedies that took place during this time period, but to also ponder our actions and examine what we can do to repent for the sins that caused the destruction of the Botei Mikdosh and have stalled its return. We seek ways to increase achdus, brotherhood and togetherness among our people. We improve the way we deal with others, the way we treat them and speak to them, so that we may merit the return of the Bais Hamikdosh speedily in our days. The pesukim in Tehillim (137) speak of the period following the churban: “We sat at the waters of Bavel and cried as we remembered Tzion. Al naharos Bovel shom yoshavnu gam bochinu bezochreinu es Tzion. How can we sing the holy tunes in a strange land. Eich noshir es shir Hashem al admas neichor. “Just as it is impossible to forget my right hand, I can never forget Yerushalayim. My tongue should stick to my palate if I don’t remember Yerushalayim, if I don’t place Yerushalayim at my celebrations. Im eshkocheich Yerushalayim tishkach yemini. Tidbak leshoni lechiki im lo ezkereichi im lo a’aleh es Yerushalayim al rosh simchosi.” We know those words. We sing them
and we live them. We never forget Yerushalayim. We never forget where we came from and where we are headed. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we must stay focused on ensuring that our actions are bringing us closer to Yerushalayim. At a wedding, we place ash on a chosson’s head and smash a glass to remind us of the loss of Yerushalayim. At the same time, we are rebuilding another of the many churvos of the holy city and bringing the geulah that much closer. When we were evicted from one land, picking up our belongings and heading to the next, as painful as it was, we never gave up, for we were focused and knew that as sad as it was, we were one stop closer to our final trip to Yerushalayim. When we were so tragically thrown out of Europe in the past century, some refugees went to Israel and many others to America, the last stop on the way to the geulah. We really are on our way to Eretz Yisroel, making many stops along the way, as our forefathers did in the desert. They experienced much pain, many losses, copious tears, colossal sins, and extraordinary teshuvah. Ultimately, they made it to Eretz Yisroel. May we, as well, merit going there speedily, in our days.
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Torah Musings The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Black Diamond Sarah Pachter
One winter vacation, our family went skiing in beautiful Park City, Utah. While in the ski lodge taking a break, I saw a woman wearing a shirt with the following sentence written across the top: I’m difficult. A picture of a black diamond appeared just below those words. I thought it was cute and didn’t think much more of it. But later, back on the slopes, I wondered: How does the mountain resort determine if a slope is green, blue, or black diamond-level? What are the elements that make for a difficult terrain? How do they measure such levels of difficulty? There are, in fact, three factors that determine a slope’s degree of difficulty: how narrow the path is, how steep the mountain is, and how many moguls and bumps there are.1 Black diamonds are known to have icier patches, and the run may be groomed less often, on purpose. As I thought about that woman’s shirt, I realized it wasn’t such a bad analogy for human behavior. Difficult people are, in fact, quite like black diamonds! Difficult people may be inflexible and narrow-minded. They might have dramatic highs and lows, resulting in bumpy personalities; their anger might be very steep,
with a short fuse. Ultimately, these people will trip you up when you least expect it. They are unpredictable. And let’s not forget, they may ice you out at a moment’s notice. While reflecting on this, I couldn’t help but muse: I certainly fit into some – or all – of those categories at times! When it comes to labeling people as “difficult,” we often want to keep people in their place. If she is the difficult one, then I am absolved from all responsibility. Although we are quick to point fingers at others’ difficult behavior, sometimes we ourselves are the difficult ones in a given situation. We all have moments of inflexibility; we all have our ups and downs. And who hasn’t succumbed to the steep territories of anger? I’m not saying we should wear these traits with pride, but no one is perfect. And just as it’s helpful to develop strategies to deal with difficult people, when we are the ones who are difficult, we must learn to manage ourselves. One Shabbos afternoon, I was walking with my children and a few of their friends, pushing a double stroller. At one point, the sidewalk in front of us was blocked by a huge Nerf gun lying on the ground. Nearby, a young boy was perched on his front stoop, watching our approach. I watched his eyes land on his Nerf gun, which was
clearly an obstruction to our path. Without missing a beat, he stood up and raced towards the toy, picking it up, and said politely, “Good Shabbos.” Wishing him a good Shabbos, as well, I thanked him. “That was so helpful!” However, as we continued walking, one of the children said to me, “That was nice and all, but he’s usually really mean.” She almost wanted the other person to stay difficult. Children do this often, but we do it as adults, too. Why? Because if the other person is as difficult as we make them out to be, then we can simply throw our hands up and walk away without exerting ourselves – guiltlessly. However, if we see a commonality between us, that they have a good side as well as a bad one, we have to take some responsibility and set to work to improve the relationship. How, then, do we begin to manage our own inner difficultness? On the ski slopes I noticed a sign that said, “Be a control freak,” and another that said, “Stay in control.” We must find the inner strength to be in control of ourselves at all times, regardless of the terrain. Recently, I watched a show called The Crown, a TV series about Queen Elizabeth II. Seeing the interactions of the royal family with each other at all times was humbling. I couldn’t help thinking how difficult it must be to always speak properly, eat in a refined manner, and constantly be “on.” I thought to myself, Goodness, they always have to be in control of themselves. They can never eat with their fingers or say something out of line. Every aspect of their lives has to reflect regal decorum. We, as humans, are the children of G-d. G-d is the true King of the universe, which makes us all princes and princesses. Just like Queen Elizabeth must abide by etiquette that requires tremendous control, we too are expected as Jewish people to be a light unto the nations – by behaving at all times in the proper manner. This concept is beautiful to watch but very difficult to execute. Sarah Yocheved
Rigler gives us insight into how to practically put this into play. “We have zero percent control over input,” she writes, “but one hundred percent control over output. We control nothing in our lives except how we react. What comes into our life: no control. But what we put out: total control.” She came to this conclusion when interviewing a holocaust survivor. The woman said to Rigler, “Auschwitz wasn’t a bad place.” “Wait, did I hear you correctly?” “Yes. It wasn’t a bad place because a bad place is where you can’t do mitzvot. We have no control of our environment or another person’s behavior, but we have total control of ourselves.”2 Contrary to popular belief – barring any major psychological disorders – the average, emotionally healthy individual has a lot of control over oneself. We hold the reins when it comes to our attitude and reaction to others. Stay in control, and we will have the power to tame our inner demons. Having control over our tempers doesn’t mean being a pushover. If my children are acting with chutzpah, I don’t say, Oh well, I have no control. I’ll give up trying to control how they behave. No! It means stating my desired outcome from my children, while sticking to consequences if they do not comply – without lowering my own dignity by screaming or reacting with anger. We can remain calm in the face of the difficult child, friend, or relative, yet consistent with our values. Just like tumbles down the ski slopes happen, tumbles down the slopes of life happen, too. But we can get back up, shake it off, and regain control! That’s the beauty of being a human: We are expected to mess up, but have an opportunity to improve each time. One day, we master the black diamond; on another, it masters us. Life is difficult, others can be difficult, and we, too, can be difficult.
Review TheBook Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Miracles: The Extraordinary Life of Frieda Bassman, One Woman’s Inspiring Account of Courage, Faith, and Hope by Michael Lesher and Malky Feig. Feldheim Publishers, 368 pp. Reviewed by Devorah Talia Gordon
Just hearing the title of the book Miracles: The Extraordinary Life of Frieda Bassman inspires curiosity – what was so extraordinary about this woman’s life? I hadn’t heard of Frieda Knoll Bassman before reading Miracles, and perhaps you also have not. But, rest assured, her story is miraculous. Equally astounding, if not miraculous, is Mrs. Bassman’s perspective on her life, given the fact that she was a Holocaust survivor who not only witnessed losing almost her entire family, but experienced unspeakable sufferings at the hands of the Nazis, yemach shemam. Mrs. Bassman was passionate about her life story being made public for only one reason: “[E]ven more than recalling the atrocities, remembering was about the tremendous chassodim of the Ribbono Shel Olam during those horrendously difficult times.” However, the Tosher Rebbe, whom she often sought for advice, did not want her memoir printed in her lifetime. Thus, after her passing, it became her children’s mission to bring her dream to fruition. The book is written in first-person, which draws the reader close to the heroine. The writing itself is clear and precise, capturing the details of the story, but also Freida’s powerful emotions. It is expertly done by Michael Lesher and well-known author Malky Feig (Mountain Climbers, Mirrors and Windows). In May 1944, the Knoll family was deported, along with the other Jews of Yasina (a tiny town on the Carpathian Mountains) to the Mateszalka ghetto in Eastern Europe. Thus begins the eventual destruction of Frieda’s family. With detail, the reader learns of the conditions in the ghetto, the cattle cars, the camps, and the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen. One such passage is a prime example of the compelling writing and intensity of the story: “There is no experience in the world that can serve as a point of reference for the insufferable conditions that
we endured in those cars. We lost all track of time in the darkness. It seemed as if we had passed over some unknown threshold into a timeless zone; a place where nothing else existed but the bumping and rattling of the cars that had swallowed us into their squelching confines.” As the book progresses, one becomes increasingly amazed by Freida Knoll’s bravery (she barges into a prison to demand the release of her father), care for other Jews (saving more than one person in the camps from death, including her niece), and determination to see the loving Hand of Hashem in her trials. This perspective, however, does not preclude Bassman from feeling, and expressing, the pain she experienced. There is often a risk when one writes of nissim, that one could repress the pain that she is experiencing. Not so here. The book is real, gut-wrenching, yet manages to be full of hope – not a small accomplishment. Another wonderful feature of Miracles is, although the first half is hard to read and even harder to internalize, the entire second half takes place post-liberation. Those pages document Mrs. Bassman’s journey and immigration to America, including her marriage and relocation to Chicago, having children, and her devotion to nursing. We see her navigating this major transition as she remains steadfast to Torah, while being candid about her challenges in these areas. These pages, although not fraught with tragic details, are compelling in their own right. Freida’s intense desire to help others, inherited from her beloved Mameh, inspired her to found a nursing home in Chicago. Elder care became her life’s call-
ing. As her daughter writes, “Not all those who needed assistance actually fit into the nursing-home setting, for one reason or another, but this did not deter Mommy from adopting them…Everyone in Chicago knew that if someone needed a home, it could be found at 838 Junior Terrace: room, board, and medical care, gratis.” Not only did Freida Bassman learn the nursing home business and work hard in it for almost fifty years, but she spent her inexhaustible amount of energy on other causes as well, like saving Jewish children from public schools, taking in families who couldn’t make it on their own, and bolstering the morale of Israeli soldiers. From her daughters’ writing in the epilogue, we learn a great deal more about Freida’s mindset; about her dynamism, simplicity, and drive
to give to others and take nothing material for herself. This part of the book beautifully rounds out the first-person narrative, adding richness to her personality and story. Something else I appreciated was the painstaking detail to record the fate of Freida’s relatives, including siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, most of whom did not survive the Churban. A nice perk of Miracles is the publisher’s decision to print pictures of Freida, her siblings and many family members. It is always a nice addition to have a face to attach to a story, especially such an evocative memoir, and it is easy to see Mrs. Bassman’s joy of life and determination on her face. One may be surprised by the fact that Mrs. Bassman so openly shared her history, while many survivors did not. “Unlike other children of survivors, whose identities floated in a silent, sterile vacuum, we were tethered securely to our roots by the robust fibers of Mommy’s animated tales…” her daughter writes. “Her sharing didn’t end with nostalgic whimsy, however. Mommy wasn’t afraid to take us to Auschwitz, to let us into the naked brutality of the barracks, the inhuman cold of tzeil appel…Mommy’s was a sturdy belief in the resilience of humanity, a psychology cemented in the trust not only of survival, but the ability to extend beyond the parameters of self.” It is this legacy that Freida Knoll Bassman passed on, and it is this fundamental of yiddishkeit that all who read the book will take with them.
The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
The Weekly Daf
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What happens to the bones of a korban olah? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of RealClearDaf.com
We discussed this question in the daf this week on 85b-86a. The mishnah on 85b rules that the bones of a korban olah may be burned along with the rest of the animal – if they are still attached. If, however, they were removed from the animal then they cannot be put on the mizbe’ach. What if they were put on the mizbe’ach in violation of this halachah? On 86a, Rebbi rules that they would have to be taken down. Rabbah there notes that this implies that the bones still bear the unique prohibited status of things designated for the mizbe’ach called me’ila – in other words the bones remain as material with mizbe’ach sanctity that have become disqualified. Rabbah goes on to assert that the bones are only imbued with mizbe’ach sanctity if they are attached at the time of the blood application, or zerika, to the mizbe’ach (it is a fundamental principle that regarding korbanos that eaten by their owners, no part of the korban becomes me’ila until the zerika is done). When the bones are attached at the time of the zerika, since attached bones are fit for the mizbe’ach, the zerika indeed designates them for that purpose and thus if they later become detached they will be deemed me’ila. If however the bones were not attached during the critical step of the zerika, they do not become me’ila by virtue of altar sanctity being that detached bones are unfit for the mizbe’ach. Now we might suppose that even though these bones do not receive altar sanctity, they should still be me’ila like any other consecrated material that wasn’t rendered permissible for consumption. Not so, Rabbah asserts. Rather, the kohanim may use the bones as they please – even to make knife handles from them should they so desire. But why? How did the consecrated bones shed their prohibited status? The gemara explains that Rabbah accepts the
drashah of R’ Yishmael which links olah to asham: just as the Torah permits even the bones of asham for the kohanim, so too by olah. But, Rabbah understands, this concept only has practical application where somehow the bones avoided becoming designated for the mizbe’ach. This occurs only if the bones were not attached at the time of the zerika. The gemara then presents the approach of R’ Elazar which is the mirror opposite of Rabbah’s understanding. R’ Elazar asserts that the bones become me’ila specifically where they were not attached at the time of zerika; and if they were attached during zerika, then they lose their me’ila status (if they subsequently became detached; see further). R’ Elazar’s argument is as follows: Since the entire basis for saying that the zerika can permit an olah’s bones for the kohanim is the connection to asham, we must limit this law to only a circumstance that is similar to that of asham, i.e. where the bones become permitted along with the meat. So, if the olah bones were still attached during the zerika, the zerika designates the bones for the mizbe’ach and also creates a kind of contingency clause that says that in the event that the bones become detached from the korban (which thereby disqualifies them from the mizbe’ach), they shall become property of the kohanim. But if the bones were not attached at the time of the zerika, R’ Elazar holds that the zerika has no impact on the bones: It cannot designate them for the mizbe’ach (because they’re not attached), nor can it permit them for the kohanim, because once the meat is off the bones we are no longer within the realm of the permit taught to us by asham. So, the end result is that the bones are left as consecrated material that never received a permit to be consumed and thus they will bear me’ila status in this case.
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29, 2015 | The Jewish Home Feature TheOCTOBER Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
Inching Towards a Trade War
China & the U.S. Engage in a Tariff Tiff By Susan Schwamm
he first shots in what may become a global trade war were fired last Friday when the Trump administration levied a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S. Despite understandable trepidation about a trade war, this may be a war of necessity rather than one of choice. And, ironically, it may be a war that China has been waging against the U.S. long before we ever realized there was a conflict. Even so, as in any war, dangers lurk and things can quickly spiral out of control. It’s important to be vigilant, cautious, and to plan the right attacks.
n his last day before being ousted from the White House in August of 2017, then-senior advisor to President Trump Steven Bannon bared his soul in an interview with the American Prospect. Of all the issues facing the U.S. his primary concern was China. “We’re at economic war with China,” he declared. “It’s in all
their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing.” Bannon warned that “the economic war with China is everything.” He urged the U.S. to be “maniacally focused on that.” He added, “If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.” Bannon may long be gone from the White House, but his views on China may still be front and center in the Oval Office. In fact, those very views – not often articulated in such a stark and combative tone – seem to be the very views shared by his former boss, President Donald J. Trump. Anyone who paid attention to candidate Trump in the 2016 campaign knows that Mr. Trump has been complaining about China’s economic practices for a long time. Despite the media’s fixation on Trump’s fixation with “CHIY-NA,” most agree with Trump that China is a problem. The vast bastion of communism, with its 1.4 billion people, is the world’s
second largest economy, and its practices have been placing the U.S. economy – which is tepidly holding on to its status as the world’s largest economy – at a disadvantage. While the U.S. is a melting pot of ideologies and a unified national conviction is not necessarily what drives our decisions (in other words, we are preoccupied with the latest video games, celebrity gossip and food blogs), China is hyper-focused on strengthening its ideology and increasing its global strength vis-à-vis the U.S. In fact, according to documents recently obtained by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, the Chinese government in Beijing has a plan to overhaul its military in order to expand its armed forces to “manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war,” and make the country stronger than the U.S. When it comes to gaining a competitive economic edge against the U.S., China has long taken an “all of the above” approach. China has for years been pillaging
the intellectual property of American companies. Whether it is infringing on American patents, stealing proprietary software, counterfeiting American designer clothing, or pirating American movies (until Netlflix came along, at least), China has been brazenly robbing American businesses in broad daylight. According to a 2013 report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, Chinese companies illegally steal over $200 billion worth of American business secrets each year. According to a more recent report, the number may be closer to $600 billion annually. This theft of U.S. intellectual property takes place not only through classic cyber theft, but also through laws in China which facilitate the theft. For example, as per China’s “joint venture requirement,” companies that want to produce in China and sell in the Chinese market must enter into joint ventures that result in their technology being turned over to their Chinese partners. Other Chinese laws also facilitate the transfer of intel-
Feature The Week In News 79
The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
lectual property secrets to China. According to Peter Navarro, who is director of the White House National Trade Council, “These forms of state-sponsored forced technology transfer are truly a devil’s bargain. When an American company turns over its technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market of today, it has effectively created a Chinese competitor in the global markets of tomorrow.” Aside for the billions of dollars that American companies lose through China’s theft of intellectual property, it is estimated that over 2 million jobs would return to the United States if China had laws to protect business secrets like the U.S. does. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump disclosed how he will deal with this problem. “If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs,” he declared.
nother way that China has over the past several decades attempted to gain an unfair competitive edge is by currency manipulation. Through methods such as buying foreign currency, especially U.S. Treasury notes, China has been able to keep the value of its yuan lower – by purchasing U.S. Treasury notes, the value of the dollar appreciates, causing the yuan to depreciate relative to it. Through cheapening its currency, China makes its exports cheaper, thus gaining a competitive edge over the U.S. Even though as a member of the International Monetary Fund China is prohibited from manipulating its currency, China has gotten around the provision by claiming that it manages its currency to ensure domestic stability, not to cheat trading partners. (As in most global agreements, it is only the U.S. that is strictly forced to adhere to the agreement, other countries usually get the benefits without abiding by the rules.) Although there are indications that over the past year China has not blatantly depreciated its currency relative to the dollar, the competitive edge it gained through its decades-long practice has led to where we are today. And where we are today is a $375
billion trade deficit with China. The last time that the U.S. ran a trade surplus with China was in April 1986. In 2017, U. S. exports to China were $130 billion, while imports from China were $506 billion. According to data released by the Census Bureau last Friday, the U.S. trade deficit with China hit a record for the first five months of 2018. From January through May, the United States ex-
decried the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China. “Trade between our nations…has been very unfair, for a very long time. This situation is no longer sustainable,” he noted. Trump told reporters last Friday that his administration is imposing the tariffs “because we have to, because we’ve been treated very unfairly.” China responded by saying that it would impose 25 percent tariffs
What China is to Trump, Japan was to Reagan in the eighties. ported $52,902,300,000 in goods to China while importing a whopping $205,139,800,000 in goods from China. The top items imported from China to the U.S are cell phones, computers, telecommunications equipment, toys, games and sporting goods. The top items exported by the U.S. to China are civilian aircraft, engines, equipment and parts ($16,264,533,000); soybeans, cars, semiconductors and industrial machines. Apparently there are still some things you just can’t produce efficiently in China.
hen announcing the plan, last month, to place tariffs on China, President Trump
on about $34 billion worth of U.S. products, including meat, seafood, dairy products, beans, nuts and cars. “China doesn’t want a trade war,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Friday in a statement. “However, confronted by such short-sighted act that hurts both U.S. itself and others, China has no choice but to fight back forcefully, to firmly safeguard the interests of the nation and its people and uphold economic globalization and the multilateral trading system.” But after that announcement, President Trump warned that if China retaliates, he may raise tariffs on more than $500 billion in Chinese products – nearly the total value of U.S. imports from China last year.
lthough countries placing tariffs on imports is nothing new, over the past 70 years globalization has been the rage and tariffs are seen as the stick in the eye of free trade. All the more so, when a country places a tariff on another country in order to weaken that country’s economic position, that is a shot across the bow which can trigger a trade war. This would not be the first time the U.S. has waded into trade war territory. Almost 90 years ago, in order to protect American farmers from cheap agricultural imports, Congress enacted the Tariff Act of 1930 which placed tariffs on more than 800 goods. Other countries responded with their own protectionist measures. Things did not work out as Congress hoped they would. As a result of the Tariff Act, import prices rose 45 percent and farm exports decreased by two-thirds over a threeyear period, exactly the opposite effect of the intended consequence. Global trade plummeted by 65 percent. Many argue that this protectionist era formed the backdrop that led to World War II. Despite the dangers of trade wars, President Trump is not the first modern-era commander-in-chief to toy with tariffs. Presidents use their power to slap tariffs as the ying to the yang of free trade agreements. Although President Ronald Reagan considered himself to be an advocate of free trade, in 1987 he imposed a 100% tariff on Japanese-made computers, televisions and power tools. He implemented the tariffs because Japan was trying to take over the semiconductor industry by selling semiconductors in the U.S. below market prices and refusing to allow American semiconductor producers to sell in Japan. As a result, Japan buckled to Reagan’s measures. Although that specific tariff succeeded, other tariffs that President Reagan placed on Japan to even the trade balance did not succeed. What China is to Trump, Japan was to Reagan in the eighties. Despite Regan’s wielding the tariff stick against them, the trade imbalance with Japan was never rectified. This leads many to conclude that aside for the dangers of a trade war the goal of balancing trade will work no better for the president who wants to “Make America Great Again” than it did in the eighties for the GOP president who advocated for “America First.”
OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home
Feature The Week In News
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
lthough tariffs are a weapon to be used with caution, business as usual – with China gaining an unfair competitive advantage – is not an option. Even more, free trade deals such as NAFTA have wreaked havoc on the heartland. If the U.S. was made great by the Industrial Revolution, it is currently in the process of becoming a post-industrial nation. Aside for national security concerns of a dwindling industrial sector (in World War II, U.S. industries became the main engine of the military effort), the middle class in the U.S. is dependent on industrial and manufacturing type jobs. To that end, Trump is not only targeting China, but many others as well, including those right on our border – Canada and Mexico – to ameliorate this situation. But it is China that will likely remain the main front in this battle to level the playing field. Despite the bluster on both sides, neither the U.S. nor China would benefit from a full-on trade war. China’s stock market has declined more
than twenty percent over the past six months and the U.S. has finally regained its economic footing over the past several years and can easily slide into an economic malaise. A U.S. and China trade war would likely have a great impact on the global economy as well. The Chinese and the U.S. economy is not only intertwined
in trade but in, perhaps, a more significant way as well. Through its purchase of U.S. Treasury notes, China is essentially the largest lender to the United States. This helps keep U.S. interest rates low. If China were to stop buying Treasuries, interest rates would rise dramatically and likely result in a global recession.
But not everyone is afraid of a trade war. Economist Rick Santelli of CNBC, who is credited with starting the Tea Party in 2009, recently said, “When I hear so many people from so many countries that are bureaucracies say the following, ‘There are no winners in a trade war,’ I would say, ‘Horse hockey.’ My answer would be why do so many people all over the world go on strike? ... Because one or both sides over time, once the new agreement is made, will make up for lost time and they’ll have a better logistical set-up. And that’s why they go on strike.” Regarding a possible trade war with China, he noted, “I’m not sure how it’s going to end but I feel fairly confident that the conventional wisdom description will not be the accurate one.” In other words, hang on to your Chinese-made hat as you sip your American coffee in a Chinese paper cup while reading the American headlines in the morning. Things are going to be just fine.
JULY 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home
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