THE JEWISH HOME JULY 16, 2015 2
THE JEWISH HOME JULY 16, 2015
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
JEWISH THOUGHT Don’t Settle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Jarring Episode Of Shabbetai Tzvi Infamous Messianic Deceiver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
FEATURE Giving away Gush Katif: Ten Years Later. . . . . . . . . 20
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Uncle Moishy Fun Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Yukon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Out with the Old and In with the New? . . . . . . . . . 40 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Dear Readers, We all saw it coming. Nevertheless we feel a pit in our stomach when we read that a deal has been reached. With the end of sanctions, there will now be billions of dollars flowing into Iranian coffers, rescuing their economy and making it far easier for them to cheat and, heaven forbid, produce chemical weapons. Iran is the country which is single-handedly keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, Assad, the person responsible for killing the most people in the last decade. Who are we making this agreement with? Iran does not recognize one of the United States closest allies, Israel, and has made clear that it would like to see it disappear from the Middle East. Such a country doesn’t deserve the moral boost of an agreement, the financial means to instigate another mini-war, and it definitely doesn’t deserve anyone’s trust that it won’t pursue a nuclear weapon. We all know that if they become nuclear, it would push the Middle East to all-out war. One wonders. What would Iran need to do in the next six months for deal supporters to agree that Iran is not to be negotiated with? Does Iran need to start another war? Start a war with Israel via Hezbollah in the north, or Hamas in the south? Employ one of their proxies to commit an act of terror? In 1980, following the Iranian Revolution, the storming of the American Embassy, and the subsequent hostage crisis, the Agudas Harabonim of America called for a half day fast. The thinking was that if a Muslim extremist group can challenge America and hold their hostages for 444 days, then this was an es tzara for the entire world. 35 years might have passed, but judging by the celebration in the streets of Teheran and the hero’s welcome the Iranian Foreign Minister is receiving, they definitely view this as a big step in their openly stated goal of bringing the downfall of the great Satan, America, and her ally in the Middle
East. Although in the past this column has taken a positive outlook when analyzing world events, we have to make sure not to overlook or make light of the highly precarious situation we are currently facing. At best our President does not seem to have a full understanding on how to handle suicidal groups or governments. At worst we voted in a leader who seems to doubt the moral superiority of our cause. Once again, most of the world seems to be okay with a tolerable amount of Jew hatred. Here is a small taste of the terror our ancestors must have felt in previous centuries when the winds of anti-Semitism were picking up. The difference is that now, thank G-d, there are many individuals and organizations who are relentlessly standing at our side and we have a Jewish army. But most importantly for the final time in exile, Hashem will perform miracles for the Jewish people,”Shebichol dor vador omdim aleinu lichaloseinu vihakadosh baruch hu matzileinu miyadam.” In every generation there are those who stand up and try to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their hands. As with the story of Purim, Haman was riding high and seeking permission to hang Mordechai only to experience the beginning of his downfall. So too with modern day Persia, may the celebrating be short lived as it becomes clear that those who start up with the Jews are starting up with the creator of the world, as Rashi comments in this week’s Parsha. We will then experience light, joy and gladness in its fullest sense. May we have a meaningful and enjoyable Shabbos,
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THE JEWISH HOME JULY 16, 2015
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
Summer@ETTA Life Skills Program Doubles Registration Summer@ETTA is now in full swing! Summer@ETTA is a unique social and life skills summer program designed specifically for Jewish teens and young adults with special needs. This year enrollment has nearly doubled and over 100 people every day are attending the 20th year of this amazing five-week summer program. The program started with a carnival that was equipped with a dunk tank, moon bounce and basketball hoops. The week capped off with a trip to the California Science Center, a screening of the movie, Jerusalem 3D and a viewing of the Endeavor Space Shuttle. During the second week, Summer@ ETTA took a trip to Hollywood and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The CAP Program, a Summer@ETTA companion program geared towards individuals who have a high level of functioning skills, also had an amazing first two weeks at the program. They made honeypots out of clay which the participants will be using at Rosh Hashanah. Then they took a trip to the Hollywood Bowl and heard a rehearsal of the LA Philharmonic.
They also travelled to the Venice Canals where they learned about the history of the canals before walking the streets and seeing Venice street art. The friendships forming among par-
ticipants and counselors, old and new, are the inspiring heart of the program. One counselor shared, “There are moments in life when you realize that the one you are helping is actually the one helping you. The client I work with is my superhero.”
ETTA, founded in 1993 in Los Angeles, California, and merged with OHEL in 2012, provides a full spectrum of services for adults with special needs. To contact ETTA visit www.etta.org or email josh@ etta.org
Money, Moods and Mommy Matters On July 12th, Shaarey Zedek Shul hosted 48 women for a Ladies Night Out that included discussion of two very important topics. The event was organized by Miriam Uvsitzky who has plans to bring the program to the Pico/Robinson neighborhood over the next months. With a welcome that included wine, light refreshments and a great raffle, the event also brought two excellent speakers to share their wisdom. The first speaker was Sarah Chana Silverstein, a popular herbalist who has received plenty of media attention for her knowledge of herbal remedies. Silverstein explained how a woman’s mood can change hormonally. That said, a wife and mother has to remain strong with her endless responsibilities. Women can naturally preserve their equilibrium by taking certain plant extracts that will bring calm when there might otherwise be a tendency to unravel. Among her suggestions for building this shield is the plant extract, Skullcap. Studies have shown that, Skullcap can help eliminate trouble sleeping, anxiety and nervous tension. The perfect product for the visit of the In-law’s this summer! The second speaker was Dina Michael,
a mother and entrepreneur who gave the ladies a list of the ten most important tips we should be using to ensure financial stability. The list included the importance
with life insurance – which is really “love insurance”. The importance of properly preparing for retirement is equally critical as Social Security payments and pension
activities that works for several areas of a busy woman’s life. Now that this program has been launched so successfully, I can’t wait until the next event.”
of setting up a will. It’s easy to delay but this is an essential estate planning document that protects and helps your family. Michael also discussed the importance of families properly protecting themselves
payments are no longer adequate. Uvsitzky was pleased with the event adding, “Today’s Mom’s are multi-tasking all the time. This Night Out was designed to offer a variety of entertaining ideas and
For more information contact Miriam Uvsitzky at firstname.lastname@example.org. To reach Sarah Chana Silverstien, email email@example.com or visit her website at sarachana.com
Kevin Gres, Dennis Brown and Michoel Bloom in front of the Ness Center
They also award an annual grant. “We get, as a total allocation, around $40,000 a year from the city,” explained Gres. “We decide how much to apportion to Neighborhood Purpose Grants, usually around $5000.” How does an organization qualify for one of these grants? “All you need is to be a 501-c3 or a public school (with supporting documents including a business tax registration certificate with the city of Los Angeles, a w-9, and an IRS determination letter); serve the greater community of South Robertson, which includes Pico Robertson, Beverlywood, and Crestview; and fill out the application, which is two pages. Once you submit the application, there is a brief presentation at the general board meeting where a representative of the organization gives a two-minute talk on who you are and why you need the grant, and answers any questions from the Council.” The Ness Center navigated this process smoothly. “Dennis said that he turns away between 20 and 25 people a day who just can’t afford his services, even though he works on a sliding scale. He let us know
that any amount of money we could get him would go a long way,” explained Gres, who sponsored the vote. “I forwarded him the application and went over it with him; he got it to me within a week. He was at the next board meeting and gave a really great presentation, answering some tough questions from the Council. The Council unanimously voted to award the $5,000. Three weeks later he got a check in the mail.”
Neighborhood Purpose Grants don’t usually all go to one organization, but there have been a lack of applicants recently. Gres’s theory is that people just aren’t aware of the work the Council does, or that the grants exist. “That needs to change; we need deserving applicants. If you think you are an organization, or know one, that qualifies, contact me. I will walk through the entire grant process with you.”
SORO NC holds a general board meeting the third Thursday of every month, at 7 p.m. at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. They strongly encourage people to come out and attend. If you think you know an organization that qualifies for a grant, or for more information, contact Kevin Gres at kevingres@ soronc.org, or visit www.soronc.org.
JULY 16, 2015
The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council has awarded their annual Neighborhood Purpose Grant to the Ness Center. “Last year I was put in touch with Dennis Brown of the Ness Center through another Council member, Michoel Bloom. Dennis seemed like a great candidate; the Ness Center helps a lot of Jewish and non-Jewish people in and around South Robertson with all kinds of addiction problems,” said Kevin Gres, a local criminal defense attorney who also serves as the Vice President of the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council. The SORO Neighborhoods Council acts as an advisory committee to LA City Council members. When LA City Council members Paul Koretz or Herb Wesson want to know what the neighborhood thinks about an issue, this is who they consult. The 26seat Neighborhoods Council deals with issues involving land use, parking restrictions, traffic, public safety, education, and more.
THE JEWISH HOME
South Robertson Neighborhoods Council Awards Grant
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
Nugen Launches in Los Angeles. What Flavor Suits You? Calcium and Magnesium are often missing from our diet. On a hot summer’s day, you may need sodium and if you’ve been standing in a scorching line at Disneyland, you may also need potassium. The truth is that mineral drinks can be a meaningful source of these essential vitamins and are a far healthier choice than other sugared beverages. Unfortunately, the glatt kosher consumer has been limited to water because the number of kosher nutritional drinks is limited. Worse yet, the Cholov Yisroel consumer has no meal replacement drinks available….until now. Yossi Spiegler is the managing director of an innovative Australian beverage company. Two years ago at a meeting in New York with a kosher beverage purchaser, he was told there was a massive lacking in the nutritional drinks market. The current drinks have a chalky after taste because of the vitamins and minerals and they are dairy. Being a kosher consumer himself, this was an area close to his heart. He returned home and spent six months working with a nutritionist and a food technologist
to formulate the healthy kosher ingredients that he could use to create this new drink.
The success was better than he imagined and NUGEN was launched. Nugen tastes mighty similar to Choco. Kosher and cholov yisroel besides, it makes an easy meal on the go or a meal replacement when needed. Kosherfest was the initial
launchpad of Nugen where Spiegler met with enthusiasm from kosher and non-kosher beverage purchasers who were overly impressed with the taste. Tuvtaam is the US distribution partner quickly coming on board after they saw the potential in this new product. Company owner Ahron Nutovics was delighted with Speigler’s creation which is set to fill the gap in the market. Elderly customers had previously been forced to drink unpleasant liquids. Those days are gone! Shelf stable, the drink comes in a plastic bottle and needs no preparation, although it tastes best when ice cold. The only decision is whether to choose chocolate or caramel vanilla flavor. According to the FDA there are enough minerals and vitamins in a bottle of caramel Nugen to consider the drink as a full meal replacement. Made without genetically modified ingredients, this is a dairy drink with whole milk goodness which suits a food sensitive child, a parent running from the gym or an octogenarian who needs a simple dinner alternative.
Spiegler has been travelling to many kosher stores in July as he builds a grass roots marketing campaign for Nugen. He has also been offering taste tests in Los Angeles kosher supermarkets, including Glatt Mart, Westen Kosher and Cambridge Farms. Spiegler said, “Last Thursday I was in upstate New York and an ultra-orthodox Mum with a 2 year old daughter stopped at my booth and told me the problem she was facing with her little girl who is a very picky eater. Her daughter walked around the store drinking the sample and moments later her Mom returned to buy 12 bottles!” The next two flavors are going to be coffee and mixed berry. Spiegler explained, “We’ve had many people requesting a real-caffeine coffee so this one was a no-brainer but we also wanted to have an additional option that was not synthetic. We avoided kiddie flavors and came up with a great mixed berry. I just tasted the final version and I was very impressed.”
Summer Yogurt; It’s All About Light And Healthy Eating “This is life. Period.” This is the positive theme coming from the east coast dairy, Normans. The motivation is perfect for reminding us of healthy living choices during the summer season. Norman’s Dairy is enthusiastically helping customers create the summer experience they dream about. With the sun shining and temperatures rising, it is only natural to want lighter meals and to go easy on the calories. Norman’s aims to do that without leaving the consumer feeling deprived. Whether you find yourself on the road, at the beach, or at camp this summer, there is nothing like Norman’s yogurts which are protein-packed, healthy, con-
venient and a wholesome option. During the summer, many find themselves swapping heavy wintery meals for lighter meal
choices. Yogurt is made for summer eating as the protein satisfies hunger which keeps stomachs quiet. After swimming or a day at the beach, Greek yogurt will settle your hunger before your stomach growls for salty, high-calorie snacks. Yogurt is no longer just eaten from the cup, but it’s fun to jazz up the options with seasonal fruits berries, nuts, cereal or dried fruit. You can also have the fun of mixing a smoothie or pop some plastic containers in the freezer to quickly create homemade popsicles. “Norman’s yogurt is not simply something that lurks around your refrigerator. It is part of your life, a healthy staple that comes along with you, stays with you
during all your summer fun-filled moments,” said a spokesperson for Norman’s. Committed to providing the highest quality yogurt, Norman’s delicious yogurt lines include – Taste, Low-Fat, 80 Lite, and Poppers in an extensive range of delectable flavors. Their award-winning Greek yogurt lines include Greek Original, Light, Creamy Blends, and Kids and are available in all kosher supermarkets around the country and overseas. For further details about Norman’s products, check out www.normansdairy. com
Darko Los Angeles hires new Principal/Judaics Director, Rabbi Aaron Parry On July 6th, Darko Los Angeles announced the hiring of esteemed and internationally renowned educator Rabbi Aaron Parry as the Principal/Judaics Director. Rav Parry will begin his new leadership position at Darko during the 2015/2016 school year. School Founder and Director Shimon Shain said, “We are extremely fortunate to have Rav Parry join our team of cutting edge educators. Rav Parry comes to us with over 25 years of experience in the field of education and a focus in Judaic
curriculum development and implementation. He has studied internationally and is a great addition to our school family.” Rav Parry is the former Director of Education at Irvine Hebrew Day School as well as a premier faculty member and Lecturer of Talmud and Halacha at the Academy of Jewish Religion. He has over 25 years of education and leadership experience, and a curriculum vitae including pulpit rabbi of Young Israel of Beverly Hills and member of the Beis Din of Los Angeles.
Rav Parry’s expertise includes Judaic curriculum development, staff education as well as being a great team builder and leader. Rav Parry is also the famed author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Talmud and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hebrew Scriptures. Rav Parry holds a B.A. from Tenenbaum College and UC San Diego, a Master’s in Education from SUNY ¬ Touro College, N.Y. and Rabbinical Ordination from Rav Pam Zt”l. Darko LA is the only Jewish Montessori Elementary and Middle School in Los
Angeles. The school gives every child the opportunity to learn “Al Pi Darko” ¬ according to their way. At Darko, teaching is more than just imparting knowledge. The primary directive is to cultivate a love of learning. For more information about Darko Learning Academy call 323 244 ¬4136, email info@DarkoLA.org or visit www. DarkoLA.org
9 THE JEWISH HOME JULY 16, 2015
Hello Summer. â€“ #hellonormans
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JULY 16, 2015
Em Habanim Starts Summer Learning Program After a successful Father and Son and Chavrusa Learning program during the fall and winter months, Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation kicked off a new summer learning program which runs throughout July and August, when schools and yeshivas will re-open. “Every year several fathers ask me if there is a way to continue the winter Motzei Shabbat learning program which ends at the start of daylight savings time. It is just too late to bring the boys back to the synagogue after Havdalah motzei Shabbat,” explained Leibel Winegard. “By moving the program to Sunday mornings, we can continue our learning and develop the program in new ways.” Rabbi Joshua Bittan agreed, “Our Summer Sunday Morning Learning Program is a natural continuation of our winter Avot Ubanim program. Last year we were pleased to have, Barukh Hashem, on-average, 40 to 60 boys each Motzei Shabbat. We start with Shacharit at 8:30 am which is a free of charge community program. Ashkanazi, Sephardic, and Chabad nusachs participate. When possible, we will have teenage boys lead the davening. Afterwards, we serve breakfast from 9:15 am to 9:30 am. Because of the kind sponsor-
ship by Moshe and Sharona Bittan, the fathers and sons were also fueled by a great breakfast before the 45 minute learning program.” It was by utilizing Em Habanim’s
time. It probably means more to me than to them. They ae not getting any younger and I am really proud to see how each one of them has progressed in their learning and maturity.”
help build personal libraries.” Em Habanim encourages everyone to join the program this summer - or during the winter after the clocks change. Since the programs are open to the entire com-
state-of-the-art kitchen that Sharona and Judy Winegard were able to cook 100’s of mouthwatering plain and chocolate chip pancakes. “Taking the time to daven and have a menchledike-breakfast with my son before learning on a Sunday morning was really special for me,” shared Winegard. “During the year, my sons are in school on Sundays so I just don’t have this special
The learning program ends with a D’var Torah presented by one of the boys; a story by Rabbi Bittan; and a raffle for one or two seforim. This summer’s special end-of-the-program raffle will be a hard cover set of Kahati’s Mishnayot. Rabbi Bittan notes, “We select Sifrei Kodesh prizes that will be used by winners throughout their school year and that will
munity, donations are welcome and sponsorships of Torah learning are an ideal means to commemorate those we’ve lost, or to celebrate a wonderful family simcha. For more information, please contact Leibel Winegard at either (818) 634-4405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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JULY 16, 2015
THE JEWISH HOME
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
Segulah for Yeshuos on the Yarzheit of the Arizal “With the approaching yarzheit of the holy Arizal, the very pinnacle of segulos and yeshuos is within reach of yidden the world over” Ketores Segulah. Monday evening, the 5th of Av, July 21st, marks the yahrzeit of the Arizal, who illuminated and transformed the world with his unique Torah greatness. In his lifetime, the Arizal revealed the power of the Ketores Segulah, stating, “If a minyan of pious Jews will gather after midnight and they will recite the special Ketores Segulah together with concentration, it will definitely make a deep impression and whatever they ask for will be accomplished in Heaven!” It is well known that the yarzheit of a great Tzaddik provides an especially auspicious time to daven and implore that our bakoshos be heard and answered. This is particularly true for the yarzheit of the Arizal, in whose zechus the prayers of thousands of Jews have been answered over the years. Like their counterparts in Monsey, Brooklyn and Monroe, the illustrious and dedicated Kollel Chatzos Meron members leave home every midnight to immerse themselves in Torah and tefilla. They devote a portion of each night to daven for their Chatzos Partners -- Jews across the world that recognize the tremendous bra-
cha inherent in supporting nighttime Torah learning. The Arizal extolled the virtues of nighttime learning explaining, “There is no end to the merits of learning Torah after chatzos. What they daven for on earth is fulfilled in the heavens. There is nothing
greater than learning at midnight. (שער ) הכוונות.” The exemplary talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos Meron, who rise at midnight every night to learn at the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, provide the ultimate means through which Jews the world over can participate in the Ketores Segulah. The Kollel members fulfill all the criteria to perform this segulah at its highest level: they are talmidei chachomim, gathering at midnight, at the kever of the Arizal, on his yarzheit. In the days approaching the Arizal’s yarzheit, the Meron Kollel members devote time and effort to review the teach-
ings of the Ari, delving into the special tefillos and insights contained within the unique and powerful Ketores Segulah. On Monday night, instead of heading directly to learn in Meron, the talmidei chachomim will first travel to the renowned and massive bais hachaim in Tzefas to the kever of the Arizal. As thousands of Jews from all walks of life gather at the Arizal’s gravesite to daven, the Kollel Chatzos members will congregate at a separate, more private location nearby. Surrounded by quiet darkness and strengthened by the deep understanding of the potential magnitude and impact of their tefillos, the Kollel will fervently recite tikun chatzos and then recite the tefillos of the Ketores Segulah. Upon completion they will daven for the hundreds of sponsors of the evening’s Ketores segulah as a zechus for yeshuos in all areas. “This is a minyan of ehrliche yidden, talmidei chachomim, who are coming to
the Arizal’s kever with tremendous feelings of joy and intense concentration and emotion,” explained Rabbi Shimon Halperin, Rosh Kollel of Kollel Chatzos, Meron. “It is a very special eis ratzon, to be at the kever, on the yarzheit after chatzos. To have these talmidei chachomim davening for all the Chatzos partners and for klal yisroel; there can be no greater moment.” Last year, hundreds of people from around the world called the central office of Kollel Chatzos, and signed up before the yarzheit so they could also be a part of the Ketores Segulah. In the weeks that followed Kollel Chatzos received scores of emails and phone calls in which elated sponsors described the yeshuos they experienced as a result. Now is your chance to be a part of this potentially life altering Ketores Segulah. In the merit of the Arizal and the Ketores Segulah, Kollel Chatzos wishes its many partners, supporters and the entire klal yisroel all forms of yeshuos: health, wealth, children, nachas, shidduchim and success. Call Kollel Chatzos today and sign up to have your name included in this year’s Ketores Segulah. 1-855-Chatzos (242-8967) or 718-8879114.
Touch of Kindness Holds Golf Tournament You Are Invited To Join Klal Yisroel And Partake In The Once-a-year Ultimate Segulah For Yeshuos!
EVERY MIDNIGHT the distinguished talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos gather in locations across the globe. During the darkest hours, when the rest of the world sleeps, they immerse themselves in vibrant Torah learning, bringing zechusim and yeshuos to klal yisroel.
Ketores Segulah Klal Yisroel’s oldest segulah traces back to the time of Moshe Rabbeinu.
Midnight on the 5th of Av, the Yarzheit of the holy Arizal
At the kever of the Arizal in Tzefas, Eretz Yisroel
A minyan of illustrious talmidei chachomim from Kollel Chatzos, Meron will begin their nightly learning with a special visit to Tzefas to recite the Ketores Segulah on your behalf.
THE ARIZAL STATES: If a minyan of devout Jews will gather after midnight and perform the special Ketores Segulah with concentration, it will make a tremendous impression and they will accomplish everything that they will pray for!
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1 . 8 5 5 . CHAT ZOS
Touch of Kindness will be hosting a Golf Tournament on July 27th at Mountain Gate Country Club. The tournament will benefit “Tomchei LA” which runs a broad array of programs in Los Angeles. Founded in 1978, Touch of Kindness is dedicated to assisting the Jewish needy of Los Angeles in a wide range of areas. At all hours they provide a variety of family services with the utmost level of dignity and discretion. The vibrant joblink program helps those without work because it is a burden to find a new job opportunity or start a new businesses and earn a livelihood. Approximately 100 households each year successfully use the Job Placement assistance program. Touch of Kindness also has a clothing program which distributes outfits twice yearly. Over 2,400 individuals receive from this much needed service. There is even the possibility for assistance with utilities and rent costs in emergency situations. One of the largest divisions is the food program which provides meals for hundreds of Los Angeles families on a weekly basis. The food and hardship assistance program is estimated to feed 1,500 people each week which is more than 150 families. Touch of Kindness helps children ob-
tain an education and they direct those in need to the social service organizations that can help them best. Over a 100 families monthly are given diapers and several hundred families annually are given furniture. Each one of their programs restores hope to families, who often need help temporarily. The immediate and personalized support allows people to get back on their feet. Even more impressive is the fact that Touch of Kindness is run almost entirely by volunteers! There is just one full-time employee. For those who play Golf the Tournament will include great contests and prizes. Food and drink will be catered by the popular La Gondola restaurant. For those who do not play golf, cocktails will be served at 4pm and there will be a wine tasting provided by Herzog Wine Cellars. Hand rolled cigars, a lavish buffet, a raffle with great prizes and a live sports memorabilia auction will also bring success to the fundraiser. Please come! For more information contact Schneur Braunstein at Tomchei LA, email@example.com or website:www. tomcheila.org Touch of Kindness, Inc. is a California Non-Profit Tax Exempt 501(c) (3) organization.
Simcha hall available for up to 100 people
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JULY 16, 2015
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JULY 16, 2015
CUFI, America’s Largest Supporter of Israel, celebrates their Tenth Year Anniversary
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) celebrated their tenth summit on July 12th and 13th with a 2 day conference held in Washington DC. CUFI is the US’s largest pro-Israel organization and a powerful educational group that has a lobby presence in Washington DC. where education and political advocacy are their focus. David Brog, Executive Director of CUFI, is proud that the organization has built a fantastic following from Christian Americans since its creation a little more than ten years ago. Brog welcomed the 5,000 delegates to the 2015 event and to loud applause he spoke from the heart saying, “ We have a sure source of wisdom: We trust G-d! Thank G-d you are here!” 5,000 delegates were rewarded with two days of mesmerizing lectures and events. The golden list of speakers included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the fiercely independent Dennis Prager. There was a screening of the new full length movie produced by CUFI, Israel through the Looking Glass which was followed by grass roots speakers who were Jewish, Christian and Arab Israeli’s, all talking about the threats that face the country. Later, there was a forum where top tier presidential candidates shared their perspectives on Israel and the current situation in the Middle East. The candidates included Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Lindsey Graham, Governor Mike Huckerbee, Governor George Pataki and Senator Rick Santorum. These formidable speakers held the audience’s rapt attention. Huckerbee explained once again, “Israel has a right to safe and secure borders that are enforceable. Our roots are very much tied to the Middle East. It is a spiritual, not just a political, heritage.” Santorum explained his position, “We can stand with Israel 100%. Protecting Israel is a high priority for us. .I support a process led by the Israelis to achieve an accommodation with the Palestinians. The US must not dictate a solution.” This was followed by a two hour briefing from influential decision makers and opinion leaders who updated the audience on recent developments in Israel, the Middle East and Washington, D.C. The next day included a presentation by members of US Congress who briefed the delegates on legislation affecting Israel and the Middle East. Brog explained that the session, “Let people hear more from Congress in an hour and a half that most people will have heard in a lifetime.” Much attention was given to the issue of Iran’s nuclear proliferation. Brog shared his concerns saying, “We’ve known that this agreement was pending for some time and we discussed this event at the
conference. There is nothing more important than working to counter a bad deal. We thought the deal would be completed last week, but despite the delays an agreement will ultimately happen. There is nothing more important for our efforts than fighting this bad deal with Iran. The deal that has been finally created is going to be a terrible deal. In fact, the deal is a Presidential Executive decision and it will not have two-thirds ratification. It could therefore be changed down the road, but this would be difficult. “Our focus has been on getting the support of Senators and Congress to understand the problems with the deal. On Sunday, July 12th, we took 5,000 delegates from the Conference to Capitol Hill. This was a larger group than usually presents themselves. We met with politicians and their aides and they listened to our concerns. Given that we represent large numbers of Christians from their communities, they showed up in force to give attention to the issues that we care about. Approximately 85% of Congress were present. David Walker, CUFI On Campus National Campus Coordinator spoke to the students attending and said, “You are our students who are learning how you can make a difference for Israel from our CUFI On Campus leadership. Looking at your faces, I believe that it is no coincidence that you are here.” Brog expanded on the importance of the CUFI student program which is now active on 300 campuses. This is just the tip of the iceberg given there are more than 4,000 US colleges, if you count all two and four year colleges, including those that are for-profit. “We understand that our efforts need to be focused on college students who are overwhelmingly misinformed and under-informed of the importance of Israel. Our campus program is extremely important to us and it is an area for which we are looking to raise additional funding. There is an abundance of anti-Israel professors and students typically come out of college less supportive of Israel than when they went in. “This makes our campus work a top priority. Have we done enough in this area? Absolutely not, but we’ve done a great deal. We turn students into pro-Israel voters and we’ve had graduates that have been in our program who have moved on to work for professional organizations that support Israel. In fact, in Los Angeles we worked with Joshua Hoyt when he was a student and he is now employed at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles. “We are pleased to sponsor certain numbers of students so they can afford to attend the summit. This year we invited 500 and it was a packed room of CUFI on
Campus attendees. These are the kids who fearlessly defend Israel on their college
Our nation does not HAVE to stand with Israel. We GET to stand with Israel. Senator Tim Scott
grounds. When we bring them to Capitol Hill they have an entirely new understanding of the processes involved. “If we don’t look at the future we will not be able to meaningfully support Israel and it takes a great deal of work to get the trust and understanding of undergraduates who are the future voters. We have to recruit people to communicate the passionate issues that are at stake and every year
we reward 130 kids with a trip to Israel and they can then connect the dots and they almost always leave with a lifelong love and understanding of Israel. “There’s nothing like a trip to Israel to change people’s understanding of what is at stake. Whether you are Jewish or Christian, you never understand the situation better than when you have experienced the conflict up close. We’d love to bring more people, but we can only do so much. Each winter we are bringing a group of pastors and leaders of some Christian communities. “We have a new focus on the millennial generation. This group includes young people from ages 10 to 35 and they are surprisingly different from their parents. They do not accept their religion in the same way. Their Pastors and leaders are often in their twenties, often city characters with tattoos so they have street credibility and these church community members have a rebellious streak that suits their youthfulness. “The Millennial Generation is strong on supporting those who are downtrodden and so there’s an easy path for them to support the Palestinians. If a church leader does not understand the history and the events that have passed in Israel, they can miss the actual truth which is that Israeli’s are the downtrodden. The problems with the Millennial Generation communities is that the wrong voice can be heard and can influence a large number of young Christians and this is a disaster. “The false narrative about Israel is growing. When we started CUFI we had more support than we find today, especially among younger Christians. We’ve lost the support of the Presbyterian Church for example, but while support may fluctuate and hostility is aimed at us and at Israel we have to stay focused on the reality. Israel is the only country in the region that has a democratic government. When we receive criticism, when we are condemned, we can’t let this influence the truth. The right thing has to be done. The event closed with a special banquet for delegates who had donated more than $1,000. Special guest Eli Wiesel, spoke passionately during the dinner that honored CUFI members, including pastors of some of the largest Christian communities in America. As the event drew to a close, the response was stellar. “We came to learn from the brightest and the best, and this was exactly what happened!” beamed Rebecca Chavez, a Pastor’s wife and mother of two boys.
honest….I pray a lot. And yet, Baruch Hashem, I’ve found some fun and inexpensive ways to enjoy my summer without becoming a member of the local looney bin. Sky High indoor trampoline park has been amazing for our family. They offer an affordable summer pass that is valid from the beginning of June until the end of August. The boys have unlimited jumping time everyday of the week. They offer an air conditioned arena that is desperately needed during the hot Valley summer days when nobody wants to be at the park. Sky High is great for me too. I love that they have a quiet parent lounge where I can watch my kids play on a big screen. Their free wifi access has allowed me to listen to hours of Torah classes that I access on LearnTorah.com. So many relevant topics such as parenting, emunah, marriage, mashiach, parsha, etc. and all for free! Rabbi Joey Haber is one of the best speakers. Pinz Bowling Center offers two free bowling games per child during the sum-
mer on a weekly basis. I just had to register online and they send me the daily coupons. My kids have a great time here too. When we’re not jumping or bowling, we’re getting affordable swim lessons at Valley Community College. The instructors have worked wonders with my boys. Free Thursdays at the Skirball Cultural Center has also been a find. The kids play at the Noah’s Ark interactive exhibit and then spend the afternoon in the art studio turning recycled materials into masterpieces. Other fun field trips include going on the rides at Santa Monica Pier (discounted for AAA members), riding bikes at the beach, the occasional splurge at a restaurant and spending the day at the Orange County Fair. The Orange County Fair has a low admission rate and offers kids rides, circus shows, petting zoos, pony rides, indoor play areas, magic shows, and lots of shopping for the moms. The public library is a fabulous free resource as is the science museum in downtown Los Angeles.
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Playdates with friends and cousins have helped maintain my sanity. They are also cherished memories I’m sure my kids will treasure one day. Not to mention the joy of spending time with mommy when she is not stressed from a hard day of work. I know the day will come soon when my kids won’t want to spend their summer with Mom. The idea is both sad and liberating at the same time. Watching my babies learn to swim, dive, tie shoelaces and ride a bike has been a true blessing. “Mom,” my eight year old said secretively the other night, “I’m going to teach you how to play basketball this summer!” So now, I can add “ref” to my job description! For more information on summer events contact Valley College Swimming, lavalley.augusoft.net, Pinz Bowling at www.pinzbowlingcenter.com, Sky High at www.jumpskyhigh.com, Orange County Fair at www.ocfair.com, Skirball at www. skirball.org, Santa Monica Pier at santamonicapier.or
JULY 16, 2015
Spring break had sadly ended and as I was turning my kitchen over after Pesach, I couldn’t help but think of our next vacation because I really didn’t want this one to end. I was happily looking forward to having more fun with my kids. You see, as a school teacher, my year is divided by winter break, spring break, and the coveted months of summer vacation. Now that I am married and the proud mother of two active boys, summertime has taken on a new meaning, far different from my single days. These months now have a double agenda: Figure out a way to entertain my children and save money to pay for their Jewish day school tuition. For my family this has meant enrolling my eight and seven year old boys into… “Mommy Camp!” I’ve been running Mommy Camp for the past four years. I’m the camp director, counselor, bus driver, field trip coordinator, cook and nurse. It’s a grand job. Other moms have called me anything from brave to downright insane. I think I must be a little bit of both. I have to be
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The Good, The Brave and The Totally Unexpected
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
As we are currently in the midst of the Three Weeks, when we mourn the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh, we must also concentrate on what we should do to merit its return. With small gestures, we seek to impress upon ourselves the great loss, as we aspire to reach the levels of our forefathers with a home for the Shechinah in our world. This week, we will read Parshas Mattos, recounting the voyage of the Jewish people throughout the desert and the stops they made along the way to the Promised Land. Sifrei Kabbolah and drush are replete with deeper meanings and the significance of each station along Klal Yisroel’s journey through the midbar. They teach that the 42 masa’os correspond to the 42-letter name of Hashem, the holy “Sheim Mem Bais.” The journey, with all its forks, turns, hills and valleys, was a necessary process to prepare the nation for acquiring Hashem’s land, Eretz Yisroel. As we study the parshah and follow the journey, we hop along for the ride, with our eyes and ears attuned to the mussar and chizuk encoded here. As we recount the difficult times and the exalted moments, we find direction for the masa’os of our own lives as well. We know that whatever transpires is but a sentence in an unfolding autobiography. Chapters have been completed and many more remain to be written. We must forge ahead to our destiny, neither tiring nor being satisfied with past accomplishments, nor becoming bogged down by failure. We do not know which of our deeds
will be the one that earns us eternal life. Something we say to someone today, can have an impact in later years and bring the person around to a life of Torah. We can’t expect instant success and we must not be deterred by temporary failure. I spent this past Shabbos in Oorah’s camp, The Zone. The stay was invigorating and inspiring, offering much hope for the future. Under the Oorah umbrella, hundreds of children who would otherwise be spending their summers in surroundings that would be foreign to Torah values, are exposed to the beauty of the Torah way of life. Coming from public school, many experience Shabbos for the first time. An all-volunteer staff of bnei and bnos Torah runs separate camps for boys and girls. They touch their neshamos and light a tiny spark within them. Sometimes the spark touches off an immediate fire, while other times it takes a dozen years for the flame to glow. The organization stays in touch with the campers throughout the year in a bid to cause the flickering embers to stay lit. The staff told me about twin sisters who had been in the camp in 2004, eleven years ago. The girls returned home, went to public school, and did not become Shabbos observant. The message finally hit home this summer, and they will be go-
portunities to act positively and put things in motion. We never know how they will turn out, but if we work lesheim Shomayim and give it all we have, we will have written yet another chapter in our book, made the world a better place, and brought us all one step closer to Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdosh. Adam le’ameil yulad. Man was created with the purpose of working hard towards a goal. Each of us has masa’os, trips, toward a destination. Some are smooth rides, while others are bumpier. There are many trips that are filled with “construction sites” and detours. Whichever masoh we are on, we must do what we can to ensure that we never stop moving forward. During a visit to the United States, Rav Elya Lopian traveled to Rav Aharon Kotler’s yeshiva, Bais Medrash Govoah, in Lakewood, NJ. Asked to deliver a shmuess, he stood up and spoke for forty-five minutes. He then paused and said, “Un doss iz geven di hakdomah. That was the introduction.” Worried that the elderly mashgiach was over-exerting himself, Rav Aharon interrupted to ask if he wished to rest before continuing. “No, no,” he responded. “Adam le’ameil yulad.” Rav Aharon placed his head on his
LIKE TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO IN BEITAR, WE WERE SO CLOSE TO REDEMPTION, BUT WE TRANSGRESSED. ing to a seminary in Yerushalayim to get connected to Yiddishkeit. There was no way of knowing that eventually they would come around. These devoted staff members work as hard as they can, with love and patience, and await each neshamah’s transformation and redemption. They earned their Olam Haba for things they said eleven years ago and had long forgotten. The seeds they planted lay dormant all that time but they have finally produced fruit. In our daily lives, we have many op-
shtender and began to sob. He was a person who drove himself beyond what was considered human endurance, laboring in learning, providing leadership for the Torah community, and going from place to place raising money for Torah and causes. Yet, even he was inspired by the weak, elderly Rav Elya’s implicit mussar that man must never rest. We have to dream large, for we each have great potential that can be realized if we keep sowing. We must all keep planting, building and hoping. Following the tragic experience of the
Eigel, Hakadosh Boruch Hu told Moshe of His displeasure with Klal Yisroel and His plan to wipe them out, as they are an am keshei oref, a stiff-necked people (Shemos 32:9). Moshe begged and pleaded on behalf of the people and attained forgiveness. He asked Hashem (34:9), “Please go in our midst, as they are an am keshei oref.” The same characteristic that was cited as the reason for their punishment was used as the reason for mercy. The explanation is given that Moshe was arguing that the very middah that led them to sin would be a catalyst for their success. Stubbornness will be necessary, he was saying, for the nation that pledged to follow the Torah and mitzvos to carry faith in their hearts through a long and bitter golus, serving as ambassadors of kavod Shomayim in a dark world. When Rav Shlomo Elyashiv, famed author of the classic Kabbalistic work Leshem Shevo Ve’achlama, left Lithuania to move to Eretz Yisroel, he stopped in Radin, seeking a brochah from the Chofetz Chaim. The Leshem was accompanied by his young grandson, and he asked for a brochah for the boy as well. “May he be a talmid chochom,” the Chofetz Chaim said. The Leshem stood there without leaving, so the Chofetz Chaim continued. “May he know Shas.” “Bavli and Yerushalmi?” asked the Leshem. The Chofetz Chaim blessed the boy that he would know both. The Leshem wasn’t yet satisfied. He persisted. “Safra? Sifri? Medrash?” “Yes,” the elderly sage responded. We know that boy as Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, whose third yahrtzeit is marked this week. Surely, his mastery of Torah was a product of his diligence and determination, but that drive had its roots in the brochah he received in Radin. His grandfather and the Chofetz Chaim planted into his young psyche seeds of greatness. His entire life, he nurtured those seeds, never tiring in his pursuit of Torah proficiency. Many people derived practical lessons from the recent jail-break and search, a story that captured the public’s attention for weeks. The two prisoners expended
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lowing despondency to show. On the first Shavuos after the liberation, the rebbe wept. “Ribbono Shel Olam,” he cried, “we endured the suffering and oppression with the hope of being redeemed, but not by soldiers. We dreamt of liberation, not by military personnel or armored trucks. We expected to see Your malochim. We thought that You would take us by the hand and lead us to our home in Yerushalayim. We were holding out for everything. We wanted to go all the way...” On Tisha B’Av, we mourn the tragedy of the loss of the Bais Hamikdosh. We also mourn the loss of Beitar. While we commonly understand that the tragedy of Beitar was that tens of thousands of Jews were killed in that city by the Romans after the churban, the Rambam (Hilchos Taanis 5) describes it a little differently: “A great city by the name of Beitar was captured. Inside it were many tens of thousands of Jewish people. They had a great king whom all of Yisroel and the rabbis believed was the king Moshiach. He fell into the hands of the gentiles and they were all killed. It was a great tragedy, as great as
the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh.” Rav Moshe Schapiro explains that the tragedy was that their king, Bar Kochva, who could have indeed been Moshiach, was killed. What could have been a period of redemption instead became one of destruction. Through their sins, an era that could have returned the Jews to the state they have awaited for since the chet hameraglim turned into tragedy. That is what we mourn on Tisha B’Av. We have come so close to the redemption that we can hear the footsteps of Moshiach, and suffer from the chevlei Moshiach. Before Moshiach’s arrival, the tumah of the world increases, as the Soton fights to prevent his arrival. When the world will assume the state that Hashem intended, the koach hatumah will wilt. Amaleik will cease to exist after the geulah. So, in the period leading up to Moshiach, tumah rises and becomes strengthened, as the forces of evil endeavor to prevent the Jewish nation from reaching the levels that Hashem intended. We must work hard. We must strengthen ourselves and seek to raise the levels of kedushah in this world so that it can
overcome the kochos hatumah and permit Moshiach to reveal himself. It is plainly evident to anyone that tumah is spreading rapidly. It has a foothold everywhere. Many are entrapped in its clutches. The only way to fight back is through ameilus in Torah and maasim tovim. As the posuk states, “Tzion bemishpot tipodeh veshoveha betzedakah.” If we engage in righteousness and charity, we strengthen kedushah in the world and weaken the koach hatumah. When tumah is in its death throes, Moshiach can reveal himself and bring about the geulah. Nisyonos abound. The test of greatness is how you handle a moment you didn’t expect. If you have fortified and energized yourself, you will be able to withstand difficult situations. The yeitzer hora won’t be able to destroy you. Even if you temporarily fail, you will be able to rebound. The Satmar Rebbe, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, would say that following the awful tragedies of the Holocaust Hashem was about to bring Moshiach. As a taste of the redemption to come, He gave the Jewish people possession of the Land of Israel. It wasn’t complete ownership; it was in the hands of scoffers. The Bais Hamikdosh wasn’t returned; halachah did not rule. It was a taste of things to come. But the Jewish people were happy with the bone that had been thrown to them, so Hashem said, “If so, you aren’t deserving of the redemption,” and we were left with this small semblance of what could be. Like two thousand years ago in Beitar, we were so close to redemption, but we transgressed. The blood that could have been the fuel of geulah was spilled in yet another churban. When we abstain from swimming, music, and wearing new clothing, we should be cognizant of what is going wrong. In order to rectify our ways, we have to know where we erred. We must increase kedushah, battle tumah, and know that it is in our hands to bring about the geulah. Let’s not settle for anything less.
JULY 16, 2015
much effort to escape, working nightly on their scheme. Nothing deterred them. For every problem, they found a solution. They realized that their lives were on the line, so there was no room for pessimism. Doubtlessly, there were more than enough reasons for them to lose hope in breaking out, but they kept going. Most writers and historians play up the image of the Jew in the ghettos and concentration camps as feeble and pathetic, submitting to their Nazi oppressors like sheep. In contrast, books by religious writers depicting the Holocaust era leave the reader astonished by the indomitable spirit of these Yidden. You are amazed, knowing that the Jews were stronger than any Nazi beast. Part of that strength was an acceptance of Hashem’s will, plan and design. A jarring personal diary of a frum man on the run from the Nazis was recently published. Reb Chaim Yitzchok Wolgerlenter wrote for posterity so that the generations to come would know what befell him, his family and millions more. As I read his book I felt his pain, appreciated his faith and gained a fresh perspective on why we refer to victims of the Nazi Holocaust as kedoshim. The book is so heartrendingly sad that you want to stop reading it, but is so gripping that you can’t put it down. The book overwhelms with dual feelings of sadness and of the majesty of the Jewish people. Reading the diary – and others like it - provides a perception of the tragedy of the entire Jewish exile since the churban, particularly during the Holocaust period. But the greatness of the eternal people is evident as well. The words of the people fighting for their lives are infused with spirit, blood and tears in an elegy of death and of life. They died with the name of the L-rd on their lips as they paid the ultimate price for their loyalty to the Creator. Jews who died alone and together; lined up at forest pits and in ghettos; saying Shema Yisroel and singing Hallel. The chevlei moshiach swallowed them up; in their merit we live and prosper in freedom. Just weeks after the liberation of the concentration camps, the Klausenberger Rebbe led a large community of survivors in the Feldafing Displaced Persons camp. The rebbe had lost a wife and eleven children in the horrors. If ever anyone had a reason for despair, it was he. Yet, he was filled with chiyus and words of hope. He spent his time restoring the will to live and faith in the One who gives life, never al-
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
The Jarring Episode Of Shabbetai Tzvi Infamous Messianic Deceiver Rabbi Pini Dunner, Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills
PART TWO Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain & Portugal, and a sudden focus on Messianic belief in the teachings of the Tzfat kabbalists, a young rabbi from Izmir called Shabbetai Tzvi would become one of the most infamous Messianic pretenders in Jewish history. In the first article of this series we discovered how he began to show signs of severe bipolar disorder as a young man, how he was married and divorced twice, and how he eventually came to the attention of the rabbis in Izmir as a result of his strange behavior. After some deliberation, the rabbis of Izmir told Shabbetai Tzvi to stop behaving so bizarrely, or face the consequences - but their warning was to no avail. Consequently, in 1651, Shabbetai Tzvi was expelled from Izmir and he began to drift from community to community. Before we follow him on his journey, let us pause to consider Shabbetai Tzvi the man. Numerous people who knew him during these wilderness years - detractors, supporters and neutral observers – would subsequently offer their observations and reflections, describing all the facets of his fascinating, if troubled personality. The picture that emerges is mesmerizing. He was incredibly charming and charismatic. He was also musically talented, handsome, extremely kind and generous spirited, diplomatic, and a brilliant conversationalist. He was fluent in several languages, and extremely knowledgeable in numerous subjects. All this, combined with his family’s relative wealth, ensured he was welcomed wherever he went. It also enabled him to befriend anyone he met. Those who
met Shabbetai Tzvi were immediately impressed, and he was always able to win people over with his endearing personality and acute intelligence. Sadly, this also meant that people were blinded - at least initially - to his severe mental illness. After his expulsion from Izmir, Shabbetai Tzvi proceeded to Salonika, now known as Thessaloniki, Greece. There he was well received, and he quickly befriended the local rabbis. But the honeymoon was shortlived. Within weeks his behavior had deteriorated dramatically. One fateful day, he invited all the local rabbis to his residence. They arrived to discover he had set up a wedding canopy under which he proceeded to perform a marriage ceremony between himself and a Torah scroll. Within days he was unceremoniously evicted from Salonika. He drifted on to Athens, then Peloponnese, then Patras, and finally in 1658, he was back in Constantinople (Istanbul), where he remained for several months. By now his outlandish behavior had escalated even further. In one notorious incident, he purchased a large dead fish, and publicly dressed it up in baby clothes and put it in a crib, announcing to startled onlookers that fish represented liberation and salvation and that this particular fish was the childlike Jewish nation in need of salvation. Shortly after this bizarre episode, Shabbetai Tzvi implemented a ‘three festival week’. During the course of seven days he celebrated every major Jewish festival - Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot with all the associated laws, customs, and prayers. He claimed he was atoning for all the sins committed by any Jew throughout history who had ever sinned during any of these festivals, or had not observed them properly. At the conclusion of this strange week Shabbetai Tzvi innovated a blessing over sin – ‘mattir issurim’ – a corruption of the daily blessing ‘mattir assurim’. ‘Mattir assurim’ describes G-d as, ‘He who liberates the imprisoned.’ ‘Mattir issurim’ describes G-d as ‘He who permits the forbidden’. At this stage he was in full manic mode, announcing to the group of bewildered spectators that a new era had begun, with new laws and commandments, and by doing what he was about to do, he would effect the final mystical perfection of God’s physical creation. He then took a piece of pork, uttered the ‘mattir issurim’ benediction, and proceeded to eat it.
The local community went into complete shock. Local rabbis, infuriated, and compelled to react, arranged for him to be publicly flogged and then had him excommunicated. No one was permitted to speak to him, feed him, or house him. Shunned by every Jew in the city, Shabbetai Tzvi returned to his birthplace, Izmir, where he kept a very low profile for about three years. By 1662 he had recovered his confidence, and he departed for Eretz Yisrael. On his way to the Holy Land he spent time in Egypt, where he once again befriended rabbis and community leaders, and in particular a man called Raphael Joseph, the government appointed ‘Chelebi’ or Community President of Egyptian Jewry. A few months later he arrived in Jerusalem, where he impressed the small community. After spending a year there, Jerusalem’s community leaders trusted him sufficiently to send him back to Egypt
as their official fundraiser. On 31 March, 1664, in Egypt, Shabbetai Tzvi wed for the third time. Sarah, his bride, was a girl with her own remarkable life story. Orphaned during the infamous Chmielnicki massacres of 1648/9 in Poland and Ukraine, she was brought up by gentiles as a Christian. In adulthood, she discovered her Jewish origins, whereupon she began drifting from community to community, possibly in search of her family; a rootless girl, very beautiful, and very seductive. She gained a reputation for immoral behavior, but nevertheless often made the strange claim that she was destined to marry the ‘Messiah’, a prediction that was treated with great amusement by all who knew her. How she came across Shabbetai Tzvi in Egypt, and what convinced her to marry
him, or indeed him to marry her, is hard to determine – but the wedding took place at the home of Raphael Joseph. At this point let us turn to the one person besides for Shabbetai Tzvi himself, whose prominence in this tragic story cannot be overstated: Abraham Nathan ben Elisha Chaim Ashkenazi, known to Messianic believers as Natan Hanavi (Nathan the Prophet,) and to everyone else as Natan Azzati (Nathan of Gaza.) Nathan was born in approximately 1643, in Jerusalem. Despite being born into an Ashkenazi family – hence his last name - his father lived among the Sephardim of Jerusalem. In truth, however, his father was rarely there, as he spent the majority of his time collecting money for the Jerusalem community in communities outside Eretz Yisrael. Nathan was highly intelligent, extremely learned, and a gifted writer. At the age of 20 he married the daughter of a wealthy Jew from Gaza, and with the promise of full support by his wife’s family, moved there and took up the study of kabbalah. The change from Talmud and Jewish law to kabbalah seems to have been explosive for Nathan. He withdrew from society, began to fast regularly, and to engage in intense prayer and ritual bathing, as well as other forms of self-mortification. Before long he let it be known that he was regularly having visions, with angels appearing to him to tell him about the past, present, and future. Like Shabbetai Tzvi, Nathan was an incredibly talented and engaging individual, but he had many qualities that Shabbetai Tzvi did not. He was by nature a persistent campaigner for his ideals, highly motivated and focused; he was consistent, and unimpeachably mitzvah observant, with none of the highs and lows, or aberrant behaviors, of Shabbetai Tzvi. He was an original and systematic thinker, and fast on his feet. Last but not least, he was an exceptionally talented writer, which would prove critical in the Messianic propaganda campaign. Nathan would ultimately be the catalyst that allowed a messianic movement to flourish around the flawed character of Shabbetai Tzvi. Before him, Shabbetai Tzvi had not succeeded at anything much, except for attracting attention to himself for the wrong reasons in a dozen communities across the Jewish world. Most likely, without Nathan, Shabbetai Tzvi would
19 THE JEWISH HOME
When Shabbetai Tzvi and Nathan arrived in Jerusalem, they were ridiculed. Shabbetai Tzvi tried to gain entry to Temple Mount to bring a sacrifice, but was prevented from doing so. Soon a fight erupted about monies he had collected in Egypt for the community, which some people claimed had been misappropriated. The case was brought in front of the local Muslim ruler and Shabbetai Tzvi was exonerated, with his supporters claiming this legal victory was a miracle that proved he was the Messiah. Soon he was in trouble again. At a victory celebration he personally cooked and served non-kosher meat, and recited the ‘mattir issurim’ benediction. Nathan’s teacher and former mentor, the highly regarded Rabbi Jacob Chagiz, called together the local rabbis and they decided to excommunicate both Shabbetai Tzvi and Nathan. The two imposters were expelled from the Holy City, and although they left defiantly, they were never to return. The rabbis of Jerusalem were not yet done. Extremely concerned by the actions of the two intoxicated fraudsters and their awestruck supporters, and alarmed by the possible repercussions of their actions and claims, they wrote dozens of letters to rabbis across the world, to warn them of the dangers posed by this double act, and to inform them what had transpired in Jerusalem. Sadly, getting Shabbetai Tzvi and Nathan out of their jurisdiction had been fairly simple, but putting a stop to the nascent false-Messianic movement would prove to be completely beyond their grasp. NEXT TIME: The Messianic campaign goes viral, and Shabbetai Tzvi travels to Constantinople to confer with the Sultan of Turkey. But as Jewish communities across the world welcome the news of the Messiah’s arrival, the movement hits a brick wall when it becomes evident the gentiles are not taking the Messiah declaration seriously, and the Turkish authorities are becoming concerned that Shabbetai Tzvi’s campaign might lead to violent insurrection. How did this episode conclude, and what was to become of Shabbetai Tzvi and Nathan? Find out in the final article of this series.
JULY 16, 2015
have disappeared without trace, confined to the trashcan of forgotten historical weirdos who have proliferated throughout Jewish history. But that was not to be. Their fateful meeting would create a toxic partnership that wreaked havoc across the Jewish world. In 1665, Raphael Joseph heard about the young man in Gaza who claimed to be having spectacular visions and was being visited by countless pilgrims. Joseph informed Shabbetai Tzvi about Nathan, and he decided to visit the ‘healer’ and ask for help with his tormented soul. He travelled as quickly as he could from Egypt to Gaza, and sought an appointment with Nathan. Upon entering Nathan’s room, the young healer fell to the ground in a trance. When he awoke, he gushingly informed Shabbetai Tzvi that he was none other than the Messiah himself. Shabbetai Tzvi burst into laughter, and dismissed Nathan’s pronunciation, but Nathan refused to give up. For three weeks he relentlessly cajoled Shabbetai Tzvi to see the light, and to concede that he was the King Messiah, destined to lead the Jews out of exile and back to the Promised Land. Nathan accompanied Shabbetai Tzvi to Jerusalem and Hebron, to pray at holy sites. When they returned to Gaza, Shabbetai Tzvi fell into one of his periodic depressions. It was the festival of Shavuot, and during the first night Torah study session, Nathan once again fell into a trance, and in that state said some incredible things about Shabbetai Tzvi. Once awake, he informed his stunned audience that numerous visions had informed him that Shabbetai Tzvi was the Messiah. With the pressure now piling on, it took just one more week for Shabbetai Tzvi himself to concede, and on 17 Sivan, coinciding with 31 May, 1665, Shabbetai Tzvi publicly declared himself as the Messiah, King of the Jews and Redeemer of Israel. His first act as Messiah was to abolish the fast of 17 Tammuz. In Gaza the decree was greeted enthusiastically, and not only did the community not fast - they recited hallel, they feasted, and they rejoiced with live music, singing and dancing. The community in Hebron was next to join the believers. But in Jerusalem the story was quite different. That community knew Shabbetai Tzvi, and the rabbis were incredulous, refusing to accept that the man they all knew so well was truly the Messiah.
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
Giving away Gush Katif: Ten Years Later Ruth Judah It has been ten years since the population of Gush Katif was ordered to move from their homes. The enforced evacuation was an agonizing episode that has been
A final Mincha
recorded with tears in the annals of Israeli history. Many soldiers were forced to execute a plan with which they disagreed and images of IDF soldiers confronting Israeli residents during the evacuation were heartbreaking. Even today. Many residents were religious, but there were countless non religious Jews as well. The community of 8,600 were confident that the sand dunes of this ocean side area could be productive farming land and they worked hard to develop this smallest region. In nourishing the desert, Israel gained another area that could flourish. Nezer Hazani was the first Gazan Jewish village that was established in modern times and for the next 38 years the community revitalized itself, using ingenuity and passion. It was never easy. Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister at the time, personally affixed the mezuzah to the doorpost of one of the first homes. Ancient Jewish life in Gaza was beginning again. Rabin said, “This is a great day for the State of Israel and this Jewish settlement. It is a day that symbolizes the fortification of our presence in this area, which since the Six Day War has become an integral part of the state and its security.” The communities were sometimes small and in the last years, there were times when there were as many soldiers as residents, perhaps even more soldiers, but Israel stood by the efforts of those who perceived value in this stretch of land, while facing daily issues of life and death. Indeed, the residents of the Gush Katif area were in serious danger from Arab attacks. Many thousands of incidents were reported and the settler-only roads leading to the communities of Gush Katif were heavily guarded by the Gaza Division of the IDF. The Gush Katif and Northern Samaria Commemoration Center confirmed
that 42 people lost their lives during the years. Despite the problems, the Katif Bloc’s greenhouses innovated a technology that
unrest in Israel, the Disengagement Plan was ultimately approved by the Israeli Parliament a year later. The vote was carried by a majority of 67 with seven abstentions.
Gazans burning the abandoned Synagogue in Netzarim
grew bug-free leafy vegetables, which fulfilled the strictest health and religious requirements. Also, the community of Atzmona grew a plant nursery that was the
Security measures were promised by Sharon’s office. “The State of Israel agrees that by coordination with it, advice, assistance and training will be provided to
During the evacuation of Gush Katif
largest in all of the country and the second largest dairy in Israel was in Katif. And yet, this wasn’t enough. In 2004, Ariel Sharon, then Prime Minister of Israel, made the decision that it was not worth the heartache of maintaining Gush Katif. He presented a plan for the unilateral withdrawal and uprooting of the 21 Gush Katif communities along with the destruction of four communities in the Northern Shomron. There was no mutual exchange of land. Despite intense internal conflict with the proposal that suggested severe civil
the Palestinian security forces for the implementation of their obligations to combat terrorism and maintain public order, by American, British, Egyptian, Jordanian or other experts, as agreed therewith.” But, this did not come to pass. Among other things, removing Jews from the land increased the terror element from the Arabs in the area and it allowed explosive weapons to reach further inside Israel. Everyone knew that the outcome for the area was uncertain and fragile. Alvaro De Soto, the United Nations Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, told the Security Council that Israel’s disengagement from
A greenhouse in Gush Katif
Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank was, “a moment pregnant with hope, but also fraught with peril.” Although residents knew the date and time when they would be forced to leave, many refused to pack up their family home and it was during breakfast that Israeli soldiers had to enter Jewish homes and evacuate grandparents, parents and children. Many residents subsequently returned to collect belongings, but it was a pitiful event which took eight long days, until August 22nd, 2005. Finally, the homes and schools, the community centers, stores and farms, were dismantled and the land was bulldozed so there was no sign of the vibrant community that had lived on this beachside land, the same land where Jews have lived since the Hasmonean period. The synagogues that were left as World Heritage sites were soon decimated by Arabs in the Gaza Strip. Today, the area is known as Asda’a City and it includes Hamas’ TV and radio station, a recreational park and agricultural land that has been leased to local farmers. Government payouts to those who lost their homes ranged from $450,000 to $750,000, but many families found it difficult to find their way, others made poor investments or started construction on a new home but lacked the funds to complete. Several charities still support those who are struggling. The residents of the region have been gone for ten years, but the memories are strong. Today, you can visit the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem and the event is remembered each year on Gush Katif Day, celebrated on February 11th by every school in the Israeli Educational system. “The Gush Katif Committee and the Gush Katif and Northern Shomron Heritage Center decided that there is an education-
camped out in tents for an entire year, determined to reach a community-wide solution. Kibbutz Palmachim seemed the answer to their prayers. A beachside community, it reminded them strongly of their previous life. It then took nine more
A destroyed greenhouse
Israeli army entering Gaza in 1967
Sarita Maoz is a lawyer and also functions as a community coordinator, while Dror Maoz, her husband, is an architect. Originally from Elei Sinai, Gush Katif, they are married with three kids. In April 2014, their family was the first to move into Kibbutz Palmachim, it is a newly-built neighborhood, with homes that Dror designed. Following the uprooting, the Maoz’s community from Elei Sinai
years of hard work and bureaucracy issues and they are still fundraising for the synagogue. The Kibbutz never had one, but they have agreed that one should be built for the Gush Katif families. The Israeli’s who lived in the Gush Katif region, came with love for the land of Israel. Amos and Sarah Avraham were farmers, living in the settlement of Tel Katifa. When interviewed in 2005, Sar-
ah explained the sadness of the event. “Amos was called up for reserve duty this summer. His unit is supposed to train for the evacuation. He called the army and asked, ‘Do you expect me to evacuate my wife and children?’ Two weeks later he got a letter canceling his reserve duty. You know, many of the soldiers stationed here are very upset. They have a real bond with the community. They’re invited for Shabbat dinner whenever they’re off duty. The teenagers of Gush Katif built a kind of clubhouse for the soldiers. We keep it stocked with homemade cakes and drinks. The soldiers leave letters there thanking the people. They write: ‘Don’t let them take you away. Be strong. We’re with you.’” When the soldiers now return to the Gush Katif region, there is no synagogue, no clubhouse, no community to greet them. Perhaps they have returned to the exact same location during subsequent military conflicts, but it would be hard to recognize. The memory of homemade cakes is now just a dream that floats across the devastated hills that were once the thriving community of Gush Katif.
JobKatif still helps Gush Katif residents find new work Ilene Bloch-Levy Director of Marketing, JobKatif JobKatif was founded by Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon and a handful of volunteers after the expulsion from Gush Katif in 2005. At that time, the Rav visited hotels in Jerusalem where hundreds of Gush Katif families were being housed. The Israeli government said the temporary relocation would be for a ‘few days’ but it ended up being upwards of more than half a year. In any event, the Rav quickly realized that while there were innumerable issues the families had to deal with, one of the key issues was unemployment. This was a difficult matter because unemployment for families living in Gush Katif was around 3%. The day after the expulsion, the unemployment rate of the uprooted men and women, skyrocketed to 85%. Only 15% of the Gush Katif families had worked outside of the Gush; 85% worked in the community. The Rav decided to gather some 150 volunteers from around the country, and he put in place a kind of ‘shidduch’ service: matching employees with employers. This was the background to the creation of JobKatif. The basic focus was employment placement. Some 400 individuals made their living in agriculture - Gush Katif was an agricultural success story that has never been topped. Still today, less than 20% of the farmers have returned to farming. So, what can an individual who has been working in agriculture for two to three decades move into when he no longer has a farm to manage?
The staff of JobKatif soon realized that new jobs weren’t all that was needed. In addition to helping with employment placement, JobKatif created a network of supplementary services to ensure that Gush Katif evacuees could maximize their employment potential. Included in the services were academic scholarships for younger people and subsidized professional retraining programs, employment subsidy programs, small business mentoring and start-up support and bridge to work programs which transformed volunteer programs into paid employment programs. To date, JobKatif has helped 2,650 people find gainful employment. There are more than 100 small businesses operating successfully. Some 600 people took advantage of subsidized professional retraining courses and 203 students received academic scholarships. During 2015 JobKatif has committed themselves to helping an additional 330 people, which would bring the unemployment rate among Gush Katif evacuees to be in line with that of the national average in Israel. There are so many stories of people who have been helped with new employment and they have been able to rebuild their lives. For example, Yossi & Tova Hadad were farmers in Cfar Darom. Today they live in Avnei Eitan in Ramat Hagolan. They tried a few ventures shortly after the disengagement, but nothing really worked for them. Then they turned to
Gush Katif Museum
JobKatif for counseling help and received assistance in building a business plan for a tourist-focused business. Today, Tova runs their third tzimmer and Yossi runs the tourist-attractions which run throughout the year. Geula Plesser is a neighbor of Tova and
Yossi Hadad, and today runs a successful ceramics business. Not only does she sell what she creates, but she runs a variety of one-day workshops for visiting groups as well as an afterschool ceramics program for kids and teens. We have stories of Gush Katif farmers who had a professional retraining and are now operating supermarkets, electrical equipment stores and even pizzerias. For many of the Gush Katif families it was difficult to undergo a major ‘overhaul’ in their thinking. They suffered from trauma, depression and stress. In many cases, personal health deteriorated. For me, personally, the most moving aspect of the story is that Jews around the world reached out to help the Gush Katif families. People very quickly understood that the government was slow in providing practical solutions for the evacuee families and therefore, good Jews around the world ‘stepped up to the plate’ and made the difference. The motivation for this global effort came from a deep place in the heart of thousands of people. Ten years later there are many who still want to help in any way possible. Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon is still a leader in this area and was awarded the President’s Award for Volunteerism and the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism in recognition for his efforts in this field. Ilene Bloch-Levy can be reached at email@example.com. Job Katif website is found at www.jobkatif.org
JULY 16, 2015
looking,” she explained, “and nobody offered me help in that direction. That was even more difficult than losing my home – losing my work, losing the sense of getting up in the morning with somewhere to go. And I had loved it.”
THE JEWISH HOME
al value to the Gush Katif story. The 22nd of Shvat, is a day that celebrates religious faith, Zionism, settlements, and the Israeli State as well as discussing their complexity. This day was chosen as Gush Katif Day because it is the anniversary of the day when Netzer Hazani, the first civilian community in Gush Katif, was founded.” The longest residents of Gush Katif, were mostly in their 50’s when they were forced to leave their homes and businesses and rebuild their lives in Israel. Bracha and Assaf Assis were geranium growers in Ganei Tal. Three years ago, they moved to a permanent home and Bracha explained the difference, “I feel calmer since we moved into our new home. After two months in Hafetz Haim and six years in Yad Binyamin, now that we’re living in the new Ganei Tal, I can say that the wound is beginning to heal.” Ruti Cohen also lived in Gush Katif ten years ago. Today, she and her family are living in Yad Binyamin, in a house that is half the size of their family home in Gush Katif. 10 years ago, Ruti worked as a lab technician, although after leaving Gush Katif, she never found a new job in the arena, “I didn’t have the strength to start
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 16, 2015
The Failure of the Gush Katif Disengagement Plan It has been ten years since Gaza Strip residents were forced out of their homes. From picturesque Gush Katif, to the rolling hills of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and from four small settlements in the northern West Bank. The ticket? Peace
improve Israel’s security and international status. He promised that the move out of Gaza would lead to an end to the longstanding destruction that was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The U.S. President at the time, George
[Palestinian] Authority.” Later that evening, Major-General Dan Harel signed a declaration nullifying the 6 June 1967 decree, which had established Israeli military rule in Gaza. And so it was that Israel publicly displayed to the world that its most
the illusion that by leaving Gaza, we will leave the problems of Gaza behind us.” Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post that he remembers much about that dis-
At a Hamas rally in Gaza
and renewed international support for Israel. The action was emotional and highly controversial. The residents knew they provided an important defense buffer against attacks by Palestinians. “The Jews living in Gaza did not steal Palestinian land. The “settlers” of Gush Katif took sand dunes that were never inhabited by the Arabs and with the sweat of their brow turned them into a paradise and a financial
W Bush, complimented the plan as a positive step towards the road map for peace. At a joint press conference with Ariel Sharon on April 11, 2005 he told the media, “I strongly support [Prime Minister Sharon’s] courageous initiative to disengage from Gaza and part of the West Bank. The Prime Minister is willing to coordinate the implementation of the disengagement plan with the Palestinians. I urge the Palestinian leadership to accept his offer.”
Remains of the rockets which landed in Sderot
powerhouse.” Still, the government of Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, argued that remaining in Gaza was too costly in both money and lives. Ariel Sharon said his plan would
Before exiting through the gates of Kissufim Crossing, the head of Israel’s mission in Gaza, Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi said, “The responsibility for whatever takes place inside falls upon the
recent 38-year presence in Gaza had come to an end. Natan Sharansky was the Diaspora Affairs and Jerusalem minister in Sharon’s government at the time, although on May 2, 2005, he resigned from the cabinet because of his fundamental disagreement with the viability of the Disengagement Plan. He has publicly shared the content of his resignation letter, the consequence of his disgust at the evacuation. Sharansky
appointing and tumultuous time. He said that Sharon had explained to him, “Once Israel leaves Gaza, it will be a situation where we will be here, they will be there. If they shoot one missile at us, we will destroy them, and at least for ten years – I am not naïve, I can’t say forever – but at least for ten years if they fire one shot we can do whatever we want because it is a
wrote that the plan, “is a tragic mistake that will exacerbate the conflict with the Palestinians, increase terrorism, and dim the prospects of forging a genuine peace. The guiding principle behind the Disengagement Plan is based on
border, a clear border. We are not there, it is all theirs, and they can do whatever they want. We know how to fight. We will destroy everything there, and the world will be with us. I can’t promise forever, but for ten years I guarantee that they will be with
Room hit by Qassam rocket
vga, ctc v” ga,
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JULY 16, 2015
us.” Sharansky said he remembers replying, “You will not have ten days, let alone ten years.” And he was correct; Sharon’s political dreams were far from reality. The withdrawal from Gaza did not bring peace with the Palestinians, nor support from world powers. It did not bring harmony to the region of any kind. Israel is not, and has never been a stronger nation as a result of the evacuation. Moreover, the event permanently shamed Sharon’s otherwise meaningful political career, which was the opposite of what Sharon anticipated. Today, Sharansky tells reporters, “I couldn’t believe then, and I don’t believe now, that he believed what he was saying. Maybe he believed that we could slam them, but I didn’t believe he really thought the world would be with us.” As a result of the withdrawal from Gaza, Fatah did not win the elections in 2006. It was Hamas who became the political party of the Palestinian government. Hamas, a noted terrorist organization, was created in 1998 and has always sought the outright destruction of Israel and the taking of Israel by Palestinians. In April 2014, the 63 year old Hamas leader, Abu Marzouk still maintained, “This is a red line that cannot be crossed.” In contrast, Fatah, founded in 1950 and headed for many
ian capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the small war saw large-scale conventional warfare in Gaza. It was the first major ground operation in the Strip since Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan was implemented. Israel’s stated goals in Operation Summer Rains were to suppress the firing of Qassam rockets from Gaza into the western Negev, and to secure the release of Shalit, who had been captured by Hamas on June 25. According to the Israeli government, 757 missiles from Gaza had hit Israel between the withdrawal and the end of June 2006. On August 15, 2006, a senior Hamas official said there would be no release of Shalit, except in exchange for the release of thousands of Palestinian detainees held in Israel. So much for Sharon’s confidence that Israeli’s “know how to fight.” The unsuccessful Operation Summer Rains was followed by Operation Autumn Clouds, launched on November 1, 2006. When Autumn Clouds ended on November 26, with an Israeli withdrawal and ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, there was still absolutely no deal for the release of Shalit. Soon, the ceasefire broke down completely. Worse yet, a dramatic conflict was now being played out by Hamas and Fatah.
has not yet come to fruition. Conflict has never disappeared and once again it flared in November 2012 with Operation Pillar of Defense. Hamas fired over 1,456 rockets at southern Israel, killing 6, including a pregnant woman, and injuring hundreds. Rockets were fired at Jerusalem for the first time and at Tel Aviv for the first time since the first Gulf War. A bus was bombed in Tel Aviv on November 21, wounding 28 civilians. Israel retaliated by bombing hundreds of military sites in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Air force killed Ahmed Jabari, the second in command of the military wing of Hamas and struck approximately 1,500 sites in Gaza, including rocket launch pads, weapon depots, government facilities and apartment blocks. A cold peace was temporarily constructed. As summer vacation arrived in 2014, Israel was forced into another round of Hamas violence. This time 4,700 rockets were fired into Israel and the infamous terrorist tunnels were discovered. Operation Protective Edge lasted 50 days, with Israeli’s dealing with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. The Anti-Defamation League confirmed that, “Over the course of the operation, the IDF uncovered and destroyed 32 tunnels and over 60 tunnel shafts exit points in Israel which were discovered under kibbutz dining halls, in fields near
no more favorable to the Israeli situation now. Most recently, on July 10th, the United Nations Human Rights Council decided to adopt a resolution condemning Israel after the July release of the United Nations commission of inquiry on Operation Protective Edge. 41 countries vote in favor of the resolution, only the U.S. voted against the resolution. Prime Minister Netanyahu explained the bias of the resolution saying, “On a day when Israel is under fire from Sinai, and while in Egypt ISIS is carrying out cruel terror attacks, Assad is slaughtering his own people in Syria and in Iran the number of arbitrary executions rises year after year – the United Nations Human Rights Council decides to wrongfully condemn Israel… which acted to defend itself from a murderous terrorist organization. Israel is the most stable democracy in the Middle East, ensuring equal rights to all of its citizens and operating in accordance with international law. Those who are afraid to openly attack terror will end up being attacked by terror.” Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu’s remarks on the UNHRC, “(Which has adopted to this day,) more resolutions against Israel than all of its resolutions against other countries.” We are ten years wiser but we are no closer to getting fair support from the na-
Operation Summer Rains
Weapons cache found in a tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel
years by Yasser Arafat, recognized Israel’s right to exist in 1993, although it is by no means an ally. And so it was that Israel, the U.S. and a number of European governments refused to recognize Hamas’ election victory of 2006 and went ahead with an economic blockade on Gaza. This was the background to Operation Summer Rains of June 2006. Prompted by the Palestin-
By June 2007 the Fatah–Hamas conflict had reached a level of severe internal civil conflict that escalated into The Battle of Gaza. Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip and Fatah’s leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was forced to relocate to the West Bank where they still maintain control. Seven years later, Fatah and Hamas are talking of forming a unity government, although this
Terrorists reenacting the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit
Israeli towns and on the outskirts of Israeli communities all along the border with Gaza. It is estimated that the construction of each tunnel required over 4,000 tons of concrete each, at a cost of over one million dollars.” Hamas bases were thus targeted once again, and of course, some were located where Gush Katif had once stood. If the world were against Israel before the Disengagement Plan, they are certainly
tions of the world. Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement Plan did not improve Israel’s security or its international status. Israeli land has always been in short supply and the giving of this land was a gross misjudgment with lasting ramifications. Meanwhile, the longstanding and grueling conundrum of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.
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You Gotta be It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and a man leaves home in a hurry. He makes three left turns and returns home. Upon getting home he finds two masked men waiting for him. Who are the men? See answer on next page
Did You Know?
Yankel and Moshe are out one afternoon on a lake when their boat starts sinking. Yankel says to Moshe, “So listen, Moshe, you know I don’t swim so well.” Moshe remembers how to carry another swimmer from his lifeguard class when he was just a kid, so he begins tugging Yankel toward shore. After ten minutes, he begins to tire. Finally about 100 feet from shore, Moshe asks Yankel, “So Yankel, do you suppose you could float alone?” Yankel replies, “Moshe, please, this is the wrong time to be asking for money!”
My, How it's Changed! Baseball’s customs for most of the 1800s
A walk was six balls, not four. A batter is out on a batted ball, fair or foul, if caught on the fly or after one bounce. If a batter was hit by a pitched ball, it only counted as a ball. A hitter was out if a fielder threw the ball at him and hit him while he was running between the bases.
The batters were allowed to request for a low or high pitches.
One side of the bat could be flat.
No gloves were used.
Pitchers were called hurlers.
Fans were called cranks.
Pitchers threw underhand.
If a batter did not swing at five or more hittable pitches, he got a warning.
If a pitcher failed to throw enough strikes, he got a warning, and then the umpire would begin to call balls.
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• TJH CENTERFOLD
2. How are the managers selected for the All-Star game? a. The managers of the previous World Series teams are selected b. Managers with the best records in the previous season are selected c. Players vote d. Fans vote 3. In 1983, this American League outfielder hit the first grand slam in All-Star history. Who was he? a. Fred Lynn b. George Brett c. Reggie Jackson d. Dave Winfield 4. Who is the first manager to win three consecutive All-Star games? a. John McGraw b. Casey Stengel c. Joe Torre d. Tony La Russa 5. Stan Musial, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron are tied for playing in the most All-Star games. How many did they play in? a. 13 b. 15 c. 17 d. 19 e. 21 f. 24 6. Since the year 2000, how many times has the National League won the All-Star game? a. 3 b. 5 c. 7
d. 9 e. 12 7. The first All-Star game was played in 1933 in what ballpark? a. Yankee Stadium, New York b. Municipal Stadium, Cleveland c. Comiskey Park, Chicago d. Polo Grounds, New York 8. Which of these sluggers never won the All-Star Home Run Derby? a. Ken Griffey Jr. b. Mark McGwire c. Sammy Sosa d. Jose Canseco 9. Why did the 2002 All-Star game ended in a tie? a. It was rained out b. Both teams ran out of pitchers c. There was a bomb scare d. Time constraints Answers: 1. C 2. B 3. A 4. D 5. F 6. A 7. C 8. D 9. C Scorecard: 7-9 Correct: You are an All-Star starter! (I guess you don’t play for the Yankees or the Mets) 4-6 Correct: You are an All-Star backup player… so if game goes into the 19th inning, maybe you’ll get to play for a few minutes. All three people who are still watching the game will get to witness this historical moment. 0-3 Correct: What are you, from Nigeria or something?! OK, we’ll do cricket trivia Comm Let the next week. issio
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JULY 16, 2015
1. From 1959 through 1962 what of the following was done to raise money for players’ pensions? a. There was a $2 surcharge for each ticket purchased for the All-Star game that went towards player pensions b. The All-Star players went on a tour of five major cities and signed autographs for fees, which went to the pension fund c. There were two All-Star games each year d. There was a pay-per-view fee to watch the game on television
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All-Star Game Trivia
ANSWER TO RIDDLE: Umpire and catcher. (Why was it 2AM? Well, I guess the game went into extra
JULY 16, 2015
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say“Say What?” What?”
Today Scott Walker announced that he is running for president, making him the 15th Republican candidate to enter the race. Which I think means we get the 16th one for free. I’ve got a punch card.
I want to thank de Blasio for taking it easy on us. It’s easier for me to get by. Because of him, nobody bothers me… It’s not like 10 or 20 years ago, when I would get harassed by police all the time. People just leave me alone, and I get some money sometimes, too. – A homeless man in Manhattan praising Mayor Bill de Blasio to the New York Post Twenty-two months of negotiation means we have managed to charm the world, and it’s an art. – Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, during a meeting last weekend
Today we are all witnessing today, perhaps, truly the beginning of the end of the Civil War. - Author Isabel Wilkerson on MSNBC, as the Confederate flag was removed from South Carolina’s State House
These are two Roman ballista balls from Gamla, from a residential quarter at the foot of the summit. I stole them in July 1995 and since then they have brought me nothing but trouble. Please, do not steal antiquities. - An anonymous note left with two 2,000-year-old Roman sling stones which were returned to a museum in Israel, after having been stolen 20 years ago
El Chapo and the Mexican drug cartels use the border unimpeded like it was a vacuum cleaner, sucking drugs and death right into the U.S. - Tweet by Donald Trump after Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo Guzman escaped from a highsecurity Mexican prison Keep [messing] around and I’m going to make you eat your … words. - Tweet by El Chapo Guzman in response to Trump.
Compiled by Nate Davis
– Jimmy Fallon
About the hatred we have against the Jewish people: As Palestinians, first, we don’t have hatred. Second, we don’t recognize the existence of the Jewish people—there is no Jewish people. - PLO Ambassador to Chile Nabil Jada at a Chilean conference for Peace in Palestine and Israel
For him to be paid to raise money for veterans that were wounded in combat under his orders, I don’t think that’s right. … It’s kind of a slap in the face. - Former Marine Eddie Wright, who lost both hands in a rocket attack in Iraq in 2004, after learning that former President George W. Bush received a $100,000 speaking fee at a fundraising event for wounded warriors
Mexico’s No. 1 drug lord has escaped from prison and may be headed to the U.S. So Donald Trump was wrong. They are sending us their best. – Conan O’Brien
He never responded to me at all. Not once. - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban after free-agent center DeAndre Jordan reneged on an $80 million deal to play for the Mavs, went into seclusion and refused to accept calls from Cuban before re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers
– Donald Trump during a campaign speech in Phoenix, bemoaning the fact that polls show that he and Jeb Bush are leading the Republican pack The drug lord is on the run. His name is El Chapo. Donald Trump is in a Twitter feud with this Mexican drug lord. It’s historic — the first time Americans have ever sided with a Mexican drug lord. – Conan O’Brien I personally am trying to lose weight. - Mayor de Blasio dismissing former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato’s suggestion that de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo, both of Italian heritage, have a “pasta summit” to sort out their differences. I have to watch my waistline. - Governor Cuomo, dismissing the idea as well The G-d of Israel, have mercy upon your humiliated brothers. - Writing recently found on a piece of beam in an attic of a home in the Dutch town of Bilthoven, where a Jewish couple hid during the Holocaust
Chuck Schumer is supposed to be the guardian of Israel. He goes around everywhere and says, “My name is Schumer. It means guardian of Israel.” Well, if you care about Israel, you will not put her in this box. If you care about the United States, you will not allow our chief antagonist to become a nuclear threshold nation guaranteed in nature with no restrictions for them to go beyond that. - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) This is a bad mistake of historic proportions…One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: “Death to America.” We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement. We did commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and this commitment still stands. - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after the Iran deal was reached this week [Netanyahu] said the same thing about the interim agreement and he was wrong. The fact is, is that he’s frankly been making comments that are way over the top. - U.S. State Secretary John Kerry on MSNBC If a nuclear bomb explodes in London or New York, we know that we can trace it down to July 14, 2015. - Israel’s Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi’s party chief Naftali Bennett on CNN Isn’t it odd how every pundit and politician who’s been antagonistic towards Israel is also super excited about an Iranian deal that’s allegedly going to help protect the Jewish State from the threat of nuclear Iran? - David Harsani, The Federalist
And you @EPN, don’t call me a delinquent because I give people work unlike you, you cowardly politician. – Tweet by El Chapo Guzman directed at Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Never say never, this world keeps turning. In this life, he who risks nothing cannot win. - Ibid., addressing the fact that Mexican officials said he would never be able to break out of prison
After 17 hours of negotiations, European leaders agreed early this morning to a tentative deal to resolve the debt crisis in Greece. Seventeen hours — or as Greeks call that, a workweek. – Seth Myers
My aspirations for the country – and I believe we can achieve it – is for 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive. Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we are going to get out of this rut that we’re in. - Jeb Bush in an interview with a New Hampshire newspaper
Scott Walker’s campaign slogan is “Reform. Growth. Safety.” Which is actually similar to Donald Trump’s new slogan: “Mexico. Money. Crazy.” – Jimmy Fallon
JULY 16, 2015
Jeb Bush… oy, yoy, yoy. How can I be tied with this guy? He’s terrible. Terrible.
Let us have faith that America is incapable of any misstep [against Iran], and that it cannot even attack Iranian facilities without the White House being destroyed in under 10 minutes. Let us have faith that the old “village leader” [i.e. the U.S.] has fallen onto his deathbed, and that even in his youth, he never made the mistake [of daring to attack Iran], and that he, like Israel, remains mired in quicksand. - Editorial in an Iranian newspaper affiliated with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
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Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of “likes” could lead him on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous. - Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to Russia’s interior minister, explaining why the government issued a list of recommendations for practicing “safe selfies”
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JULY 16, 2015
Travel Guide: Yukon Aaron Feigenbaum
Located next-door to Alaska, Canada’s Yukon Territory is raw nature with the most breathtaking views. If you’re expecting strip malls and amusement parks, look elsewhere. The sparsely populated Yukon has made its name as an outdoors destination par excellence. Vast patches of wilderness, small frontier towns, indigenous First Nations culture and an exciting gold rush history have attracted visitors to this exotic locale for decades. Allegedly, moose outnumber people 2 to 1 in Yukon, and grizzly bears on the highway are also a common occurrence. From river rafting on the Yukon River to climbing Canada’s tallest mountains to exploring glaciers and waterfalls, Yukon is synonymous with freedom, exploration and unspoiled natural beauty. If you’ve been yearning for an epic adventure into the unknown and a chance to get away from it all, there are few destinations that can match the grandeur of Yukon. History Yukon is one of North America’s oldest continuously inhabited places. It’s thought that the original inhabitants crossed over from Siberia via the Bering Strait. First Nations groups in Yukon are diverse and have historically thrived on salmon fishing and caribou hunting. Russian explorers first reached Yukon in the 1740’s, followed by their British counterparts in the 1770’s. The British built extensive trading networks, but it
er, by 1906, all the easily accessible gold dried up and with it, Yukon’s economy. Shortly thereafter, Yukon rebounded as it switched its focus to other minerals including silver and lead. The fur trade helped to develop the region’s nascent tourism industry in attracting big game hunters. The economy received another boost during WWII with the construction of the Alaska Highway, which brought in
mining companies as well as tourists, industries and goods. Yukon’s capital was switched from Dawson to Whitehorse in 1953. Since the economic collapse of the mining industry in the 1980’s, Yukon’s main industries are tourism and renewable resource development. Attractions
White pass and Yukon route
wasn’t until the Hudson Bay Company arrived in 1840 that a lasting colonial presence was established. The late 19th century marked Yukon’s most celebrated era: the Klondike Gold Rush. After the 1896 discovery of gold in Bonanza Creek - one of the Klondike River’s tributaries - hordes of gold prospectors filtered into Yukon from British Columbia, Alberta and Alaska. The newly built town of Dawson became the Gold Rush’s nerve center and the largest Canadian locale west of Winnipeg. Not surprisingly, Yukon was declared an official territory just two years later, with Dawson as its capital. Howev-
of Whitehorse. Kids will especially enjoy panning for gold and watching historical skits. The Yukon Transportation Museum covers Yukon’s little-known history as a transportation innovator. Exhibits include Gold Rush-era trains, vintage cars and vintage planes. If you’re looking to match nature with relaxation, then look no further than Takh-
of gold prospectors, Dawson is now a sleepy community with unpaved roads and a welcoming atmosphere. You can see the original wood cabin of author Jack London, whose stay in Yukon inspired him to write, “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang.” The Klondike National Historic Site shows life as it was in 1896 at the height of the Gold Rush. Costumed guides guide visitors through the restored saloon,
ini Hot Springs, located about 18 miles north of Whitehorse. Take a soothing bath in the outdoor mineral pools and, if you wish, spend the night at the nearby campgrounds. Right next door to the Hot Springs is the Yukon Wildlife Reserve, which features 10 animal species unique to the Far North. These include moose, muskox, lynx and more.
post office and more. Scarred valleys around Dawson speak to the once massive gold mining operations that took place. Dredge No. 4 is perhaps the most important relic of the Klondike Gold Rush. Situated on the Bonanza Creek, the dredge is a massive machine that once tore up the landscape. Also located on the creek is the Discovery Claim
Whitehorse: As Yukon’s capital and its most populated city, Whitehorse is the perfect place to start your Yukon adventure. One of the city’s most popular attractions is the S.S. Klondike, one of the largest and last sternwheeler boats built for the Yukon Navigation Company in the early 20th century. The boat currently sits on the bank of the Yukon River, and its interior has over 7,000 original artifacts on display. Another must-see is the MacBride Museum. This museum outlines the history of Yukon from early First Nations settlement to the present day, with special emphasis on the Gold Rush era and the birth
For one of Yukon’s most impressive natural wonders, take the scenic Klondike Highway and stop off at Emerald Lake. As the name suggests, this lake shimmers with an intense green hue that matches the surrounding forest. For serious hiking in the Whitehorse area, one of the best options is the Grey Canyon mountain trail. An approximately 3 mile route takes hikers to sweeping views of Whitehorse and the surrounding area. For a more easygoing hike, consider Miles Canyon for scenery, a picnic or to just watch the sunset. Dawson: Once inhabited by thousands
Yukon gold rush
site, which is where the Gold Rush began. Even though tens of thousands of prospectors once flocked to this site, there’s still actual gold left so it might be worth investing in gold panning. Also be sure to check out the Goldbottom Mine, where guides explain everything from the mining process to staking a claim and selling gold. Last, but certainly not least, be sure to visit Dawson’s tiny Bet Chaim Jewish cemetery, lovingly restored by volunteers. This tiny plot of land attests to the little-known history of Jewish prospectors in the Klondike Gold Rush. The Great Outdoors: Tombstone Ter-
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ritorial Park is Yukon at its most primal and majestic. Snow-capped mountains, vast plains, crystal clear alpine lakes, diverse wildlife, breathtaking hiking trails and incredible autumn colors which give this park an almost surreal quality. The park is also a fantastic choice for winter sports such as snowboarding, snowmobiling and skiing. Kluane National Park, located near Alaska and British Columbia, is home to Canada’s highest mountain - Mt. Logan. Reaching a height of almost 20,000 feet and a bitter low of -49 degrees Fahrenheit,
Tombstone Territorial Park
it’s certainly no easy feat to climb. More popular activities in the park include boating on Kathleen Lake, rafting on the Alsek River, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, helicopter tours and more. Be on the lookout for (and keep a distance from) the park’s rare animals including grizzly bears, bald eagles and wolves. If you want to go way off the beaten path, check out Herschel Island Territorial Park. Located just a few miles off Yukon’s northern shore in the Beaufort Sea, this island was once home to native hunters and American whalers. It was also home to traders and headquarters to the famous Mounted Police dogsled patrols. Though the island is currently uninhabited, rem-
nants of its past are strewn throughout. The island is perfect for bird watching, hiking, photos and camping. Note that the park is only open in the summer, where visitors are provided interpretive tours by park rangers. Finally, no trip to Yukon would be complete without a glimpse of the spectacular aurora borealis (aka the Northern Lights). Located in Watson Lake near the British Columbia border, the Northern Lights Centre uses an IMAX-like theater setting to explain both the science and folklore behind this amazing natural phenomenon.
MacBride Museum, Whitehorse
Of course, there’s nothing like seeing the aurora in wintertime with your own eyes, but even if you’re here any other time of the year, you can still watch the fantastic aurora movie. Daven and Eat: Unfortunately, Yukon has no shuls or kosher restaurants. Reportedly kosher food can be obtained in Whitehorse from any of several supermarkets. Getting There: Yukon’s largest airport is Whitehorse (serviced directly by Air Canada and Air North), but the most common way to get in is by road. Most people drive from Alaska or British Columbia. Another option is the highly scenic White Pass & Yukon Railroad which departs from Skagway, Alaska and ends
up in Whitehorse. Travelling within Yukon (i.e. from Whitehorse to Dawson) is quite a feat as towns are extremely spread out, but if you’re not bothered by the distances then rent a car and enjoy the scenery.
Otherwise, Air North is the main regional carrier in Yukon, flying to Dawson and the tiny First Nations settlement of Old Crow.
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JULY 16, 2015
Global El Chapo Escapes Mexican Prison—Again
He’s Mexico’s most notorious drug lord and now Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has another title to add to his name: serial prison escapee. The leader of the Sinaloa cartel was arrested last year in Mexico after eluding authorities for 13 years. He initially escaped from a maximum security prison in 2001 in a laundry cart. After his arrest, the United States begged Mexico to extradite him, pointing to the power of the cartels in the country and high levels of corruption. But Mexico was confident in their ability to keep Guzman in jail. His arrest was a victory in their war against the cartels. On Saturday night, though, he stepped into a shower and vanished through a hole in the floor, squeezing through a mile-long tunnel dug just for him. Guzman undoubtedly had extensive help from both the outside and inside of the prison walls in order to carry off the escape. There was a video monitoring his every move in his cell and he was wearing an electronic bracelet to track his activities. The video, though, had two blind spots which he exploited and the bracelet was left behind in his cell during his escape. An extensive manhunt is underway. Highway checkpoints were set up, border security was amped up, and an international airport was temporarily shut down but there was no trace of “El Chapo.” The government put up a reward of 60 million pesos ($3.8 million) for information that leads to his capture. “All the accolades that Mexico has received in their counter-drug efforts will be erased by this one event” if Guzman is not recaptured, Michael S. Vigil, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief of international operations, pointed out. Previously Mexico was pressured into extraditing drug lords to the U.S. but they insisted they could deal with imprisoning and punishing drug cartels on their own soil. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service in May, extraditions from Mexico to the U.S. peaked at 115 in 2012, the last year of President Pena Nieto’s predecessor, Felipe Calderon.
There were only 66 last year. The national pride that appeared to motivate Pena Nieto’s administration to prosecute drug lords like Guzman through its own court system has now turned into a national embarrassment, proving them incapable. “This is regrettable, very bad, because it without doubt affects the image of Mexico in the world,” Mexican Sen. Luis Miguel Barbosa told journalists. “You have to completely renew the Mexican prison system. The arrest of all warders and managers is not enough,” he said. “This happened due to collaboration from within the jail at the highest level.” Guzman is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, which the U.S. Justice Department says is “one of the world’s most prolific, violent and powerful drug cartels.” He was considered the world’s most powerful drug lord until his last arrest. “It’s estimated that he may have murdered or ordered the murders of more than 10,000 people,” Tom Fuentes, a CNN law enforcement analyst and a former assistant director of the FBI, said. “He is a complete savage,” Fuentes added. “What they do, and how they do business, is based on complete terror. ... They kill journalists, politicians, police officers, corrections officers. And then not just that person, but every member of their family.” The Sinaloa cartel moves drugs by land, air and sea, including cargo aircraft, private aircraft, buses, fishing vessels and even submarines. The cartel has become so powerful that Forbes magazine listed Guzman among the ranks of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in its 2009 list of “selfmade” billionaires. Guzman’s estimated fortune at the time was $1 billion.
Volcano Strands Hundreds
Sometimes there is bad weather that delays flights at an airport for a while. But this week, it’s terrible weather—a volcanic eruption—and a very long while—a whole week—that delayed flights in Indonesia. Five airports have been closed amid an eruption of Mount Raung in East Java, which has caused 250 flights to be cancelled and left thousands of vacationers stranded.
The country’s Garuda Indonesia airline cancelled all its flights, with the airport closures also affecting the popular tourist islands of Bali and Lombok. “Bali is our second largest hub and this will also affect our international connecting flights,” said Garuda Indonesia airline spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, but Bali is an enclave of Hinduism in the country. It attracts millions of foreign tourists each year, and the volcano cancellations come amid peak holiday season. Many Australians are heading home after the spending school break in Bali and millions of Indonesian tourists are setting off on holiday ahead of the Muslim celebration of Eid. “It’s pretty chaotic,” Katie Nagar, an American expatriate living in Indonesia, told reporters at the airport. She said that she had arrived at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport only to find that her Monday morning Jakarta flight was rescheduled to Sunday. “There is basically just hundreds of people camped out on the grassy lawns in front of the airport. There are lines of hundreds of people waiting to talk to customer service.”
the old door with the text left by the couple, hoping that their family members would hear about it. “I would like to contact their relatives and relay the message to them,” Kapitein said. The list of Pages of Testimony on the Yad Vashem website contains names identical to the ones of the Jewish couple which hid in the Bilthoven attic. According to the Friends of Yad Vashem association in Holland, Levi Sajet and Ester Zilberstein were murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz.
Record Prices for Items Once Belonging to Lubavitcher Rebbe
A Message from the Holocaust behind the Walls
While he was renovating his house in the Dutch town of Bilthoven, Jelle Kapitein dismantled a wooden panel of an attic door frame and spotted an old, unclear text. A restoration of the panel revealed the pencil-written request from a few Jews who had hid in the house during the Holocaust: Locate our family. The couple, Levie Sajet and Ester Zilberstein, wrote their personal details, dates of birth and address in the message in 1942, and asked that whoever found it would try to find their relatives after the war. They added a blessing for the person who would discover their message, saying: “The G-d of Israel, have mercy upon your humiliated brothers.” The house’s owner, who was not able to find information about the couple’s fate and whether they or their relatives survived the Holocaust, turned to a local television station and invited a crew to take pictures of
Nine sentimental items which once belonged to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, were sold last week to a collector for over $80,000 (NIS 300,000). The items were all used or associated with the Lubavitcher Rebbe before his death 21 years ago. The items include a Tehillim used by him, a siddur signed by him, and Shabbos tableware. Experts say the items were sold for record prices for such artifacts in the past generation. Many of the items were kept at the Rebbe’s home in Brooklyn, New York, and some have been exchanging hands over the years. Some items were under the authority of the shul managers, and some were under the ownership of ordinary Chasidim. In last week’s sale, $21,650 was paid for the siddur, $14,425 for silver and glass utensils for serving compote, and $13,230 for a silver platter with the letters MS engraved on it, the initials of Rebbetzin Mushka Schneerson. A cloth napkin was sold for $6,600, a silver napkin holder for $4,800, a spoon with the letter S – for Schneerson – engraved on it was sold for $4,300, and a similar sum was paid for the Tehillim. In addition, a $100 bill was auctioned off for $6,000; it was given by the
demanded Tsipras’s commitment to accept close international oversight. Since his election in January, Tsipras and his radical left-wing government have vowed to stand up to the creditors, but the payoff of the marathon negotiations in Brussels was clear: about 85 billion euros ($95.07 billion) in loans and financial support over three years, preserving Greek membership in the euro, and helping their country evade financial ruin. “We managed to avoid the most extreme measures,” Tsipras assured after the summit. What does that mean for the ordinary Greek citizen? They will face higher taxes, deep spending cuts, and reforms. The negotiations that lasted nine hours on Sunday were fueled with bitterness. “Trust needs to be rebuilt,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that with the Monday deal, “Greece has a chance to return to the path of growth.” “The Greeks have to show they’re credible, show that they mean it,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup of Eurozone finance ministers and a longtime critic of the Tsipras government.
In weeks to come, Greece will have to make further changes to its economy, such as open to competition industries that have long been protected, such as the energy sector. If all requirements to the agreement are met, Greece will get a three-year rescue program and a commitment to restructure its debt, which is unsustainably high at around 320 billion euros, or around 180 percent of annual GDP. Its creditors promised they would help Greece in the short term to repay its debts since a full agreement on the third bailout still lies ahead. Greece will need help making a 4.2 billion euro debt repayment on July 20. It is also in debt on about 1.5 billion euros owed to the International Monetary Fund.
Iran Flag-Burning Holiday Millions of Iranians took part in anti-Israel and anti-U.S. rallies across Iran last week, chanting “Down with America” and “Death to Israel” on Al-Quds Day, ob-
JULY 16, 2015
Last Minute Deal to Save Greece
There’s a teenager recklessly running loose at the mall with your credit card and no one can stop her. Her name is Greece. On Monday, Greece finally got itself a preliminary deal to avoid financial collapse that will include levels of austerity for Greek citizens and the government. This is Greece’s third bailout in five years. Since 2010, Greece has received two other bailouts, totaling 240 billion euros ($268 billion). Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras flew back home after the negotiations to sell the plan to skeptical lawmakers and political allies, some of whom accused him of putting Greece at the mercy of its foreign creditors. To close the deal with its partners in the Eurozone, Greece had to consent to a raft of austerity measures, including sales tax hikes and reforms to pensions and the labor market. Tsipras said he successfully got creditors to drop a demand that Greek assets be transferred abroad as a form of collateral, and that the deal reached was less harsh than proposals from creditors his country’s voters rejected a week ago. Many of Greece’s 18 Eurozone partners were apprehensive of its sincerity and
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Rebbe as a donation for a mikvah in South Africa. The first printed version of the Tanya, written by Lubavitch’s founder, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi in the Ukrainian city of Slavuta about 220 years ago, was sold for $19,100. Meron Aran, one of the owners of the Kedem Auction House, related, “The reason for the high prices is mainly a very high demand for such items among Chabad Hasidim and people associated with the Hasidic movement abroad.”
served annually on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan. The controversial holiday was dedicated in 1979 by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a religious duty for all Muslims to rally in solidarity against Israel and for the “liberation” of Jerusalem.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attended the protest but did not speak at the main rally in Tehran, which coincided with the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers led by the United States. Some protesters in Tehran burned Israeli and American flags. Posters showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi King Salman and US. .President Barack Obama in flames.
Large demonstrations were also held in Iraq and Lebanon. Using the al-Quds Day hashtag, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted: “There are two sides in oppression: oppressor & the oppressed. We back the oppressed and are against oppressors.” The annual event drew massive crowds, despite the scorching temperatures in Tehran. Rallies were held in cities throughout the country. Arch-rival Saudi Arabia was also publicly condemned at the mass rallies over its air campaign against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since March. The main slogan of the event denouncing the killing of children in “Gaza and Yemen.” The crowd in Tehran chanted “Down with U.S., Israel and the House of Saud” and carried placards that declared “Zionist soldiers kill Muslims” and “the Saudi family will fall.”
One Egyptian was killed and ten oth-
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ers wounded when a bomb exploded at the Italian consulate in Cairo over the weekend. The terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for the car bombing, according to a health ministry spokesperson. The blast nearly completely destroyed the main entrance to the consulate, shattering windows and flooding the building by causing water pipes to burst. According to the state news agency MENA, two policemen were among the ten wounded. In a message online, ISIS wrote, “Through G-d’s blessing, Islamic State soldiers were able to detonate a parked car bomb carrying 450 kg of explosive material on the headquarters of the Italian consulate in central Cairo.”
Explosion at Italian Consulate in Cairo
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“We recommend that Muslims stay clear of these security dens because they are legitimate targets for the mujahideen’s [jihadists’] strikes,” it added, warning of future attacks on sites like the consulate. ISIS has targeted Egyptian soldiers and policemen up until now, with the attack on the Italian consulate constituting the first attack on a Western target. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni reported that no Italian citizens were wounded in the blast, asserting, “Italy will not be intimidated.” Egypt has been engaged in a fierce struggle against ISIS forces in Sinai, where the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis recently swore allegiance to ISIS and changed its name to Sinai Province. The terrorist group has been responsible for several massive lethal attacks, including a multi-pronged assault earlier this month that left 50 Egyptian soldiers dead.
Kim Jong Un has been leading the Hermit Kingdom, but those years have been pretty bloody. So far, since 2011, 70 officials have been killed in a “reign of terror.” At a forum in Seoul, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se compared Kim Jong Un’s 70 executions with those of his late father, Kim Jong Il, who he said executed about 10 officials during his first years in power. An official from South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, who refused to be named citing office rules, confirmed that the spy agency believes the younger Kim has executed about 70 officials but wouldn’t reveal how it obtained the information. High-level government purges have a long history in North Korea. Despite the claims, North Korea, an authoritarian nation ruled by the Kim family since its founding in 1948, is secretive about its government’s inner workings, and information collected by outsiders is often impossible to confirm. The most spectacular execution to date was the 2013 execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, for alleged treason. Jang was married to Kim Jong Il’s sister and was once considered the second most powerful man in North Korea. In May of this year, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers that Kim ordered his then-defense chief Hyon Yong Chol executed with an anti-aircraft gun for complaining about the young ruler, talking back to him and nodding off during a meeting. North Korea confirmed his death over the weekend.
Telegram Addressed to Hitler Sells for $55K
70 Officials Killed by Kim Jong Un
It’s been less than four years since
A treasonous telegram from No. 2 Nazi Hermann Goering to Hitler was sold on Tuesday at an auction for $55,000. It is regarded as one of the most crucial documents from the most critical moments in World War II. The message is accredited to leading to Hitler’s suicide in his underground Berlin bunker. Despite its deep impact on World War II, the memorandum ended up inside a South Carolina safe, nearly forgotten for
Iran Rules U.S. Should Pay High Price
This week, an Iranian court ordered the United States to compensate the Islamic Republic with $50 billion for damages incurred since the 1979 revolution. The expensive verdict was announced by Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, formerly the attorney general, as world powers and Iran in Vienna were working to finalize a nuclear deal. The ruling maintains the Obama administration must “compensate for a part of the losses it has inflicted on Iranian legal entities and real persons.” “Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the U.S. has inflicted heavy loss and damage on the country, including killing the Iranian nationals by assisting their enemies, including Saddam and different terrorist groups against Tehran,” said a news report, explaining the verdict. The decision came as diplomats from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany were negotiating with Tehran for a deal that would see Iran scale down its atomic activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
Russia Offers Help for those Addicted to Selfies The word “selfie” has been trending heavily lately. In fact, people have created careers and products from this popular trend. People have been taking photos of themselves for years. The term, though, is
relatively new. As always, with new trends comes a whole new slew of issues and problems. Selfie-taking has become an addiction for some teenagers and young adults. Youngsters are taking so many selfies and are sometimes even putting themselves in dangerous situations just to capture their selfie-moment. In response, Russia has begun a campaign against the dangers of taking selfies, promoting “safe selfies.” Moscow authorities introduced 24/7 phone support for anyone who is concerned that they might be addicted to taking the arms-length snaps. The head of Moscow’s narcology unit, Yevgeny Bryun, announced, “More and more Muscovites suffer from selfie addiction, putting themselves in danger. We have created a round-the-clock emergency service providing psychological support by the MNPC narcology for such aficionados [of selfies].”
“If you feel that you cannot live without selfies, call our psychology desk – you will receive counselling and be offered support,” Bryun added. Later in the week, the Interior Ministry issued leaflets warning young people against posing for pics in dangerous places. The Interior Ministry posted a memo on its website which instructs young people on how to take a selfie without hurting themselves. The campaign’s leaflet shows a stick figure getting injured while taking a selfie in hazardous surroundings such as in front of a wild animal, on a rooftop and even while holding a gun. The campaign is in response to the
JULY 16, 2015
theory was given fresh support when another radio message from Goering arrived. I pocketed a copy which in the general confusion lay unnoticed in the bunker. It read: To Reich Minister von Ribbentrop I have asked the Fuehrer to provide me with instructions by 10 p.m. April 23. If by this time it is apparent that the Fuehrer has been deprived of his freedom of action to conduct the affairs of the Reich, his decree of June 29, 1941, becomes effective, according to which I am heir to all his offices as his deputy. [If] by 12 midnight April 23, 1945, you receive no other word either from the Fuehrer directly or from me, you are to come to me at once by air. (Signed) Goering, Reich Marshal This was proof for Bormann. “Goering is engaged in treason!” he exclaimed excitedly. “He’s already sending telegrams to members of the government and announcing that on the basis of his powers he will assume your office at twelve o’clock tonight, mein Fuhrer.” Hitler eventually became furious and said: “I’ve known it all along. I know that Goering is lazy. He let the air force go to pot. He was corrupt. His example made corruption possible in our state. Besides he’s been a drug addict for years. I’ve known it all along.” A week later, Hitler and his companion, Eva Braun, killed themselves. Shortly after Hitler’s suicide, his Berlin bunker was overrun by Soviet soldiers. More than a month later, when U.S. Army Capt. Benjamin M. Bradin entered the bunker and brought home documents that he found in Hitler’s lair. Apparently unaware of their contents, he put them in his local bank vault, where they stayed until 1958. Years later Bradin’s son James took the papers to his history professor who examined the telegram and immediately realized its importance. He encouraged James Bradin to base his senior thesis on the documents. Bradin gave the telegram to Rieke as part of his senior thesis. On Tuesday, the Maryland-based auction house put the telegram up for sale. It was expected to sell for between $15,000 and 20,000 but sold for $54,675 to an unnamed North American buyer. The Bradin family will not get a profit. Goering was put under house arrest but freed by the Luftwaffe, the Nazi air force. He then made his way west in the hope of surrendering to the Americans instead of the Soviets. He was captured by the U.S. Army on May 6 and imprisoned in Luxembourg and later Nuremberg, where he was among the top Nazi officials to be put on trial. He was sentenced to hang but killed himself hours before by swallowing a cyanide capsule.
THE JEWISH HOME
more than a decade until a college student made it his senior thesis. The telegram was sent on April 23, 1945, almost a year after American troops landed at Normandy. Americans had crossed the Rhine in early March, but it was Soviet troops that now had Hitler and many of his top advisers surrounded, but not Hermann Goering. An ace fighter pilot in World War I, Goering had helped Hitler take power in 1933 and remained with him throughout the war. He was Hitler’s designated successor; in June of 1941 Hitler issued a secret decree announcing that if he is captured or killed Goering should take over. However, as the war carried on, the megalomaniac leader became suspicious of his No. 2. And as the Soviets advanced to within two blocks of Hitler’s bunker, Goering was nowhere to be found. He was holed up nearly 500 miles south in the Bavarian Alps. From a Nazi base in the mountainous town of Berchtesgaden, Goering sent a telegram to Hitler shortly after midnight: My Führer: General Koller today gave me a briefing on the basis of communications given to him by Colonel General Jodl and General Christian, according to which you had referred certain decisions to me and emphasized that I, in case negotiations would become necessary, would be in an easier position than you in Berlin. These views were so surprising and serious to me that I felt obligated to assume, in case by 2200 o’clock no answer is forthcoming, that you have lost your freedom of action. I shall then view the conditions of your decree as fulfilled and take action for the well being of Nation and Fatherland. You know what I feel for you in these most difficult hours of my life and I cannot express this in words. G-d protect you and allow you despite everything to come here as soon as possible. Your faithful Hermann Goering According to an autobiography by Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect turned minister of armaments and war production, which was written while serving 20 years in prison following his trial at Nuremberg, those close to Hitler used the telegram to pollute Hitler’s already crumbling attitude towards Goering: . . . there was a flurry of excitement in the vestibule. A telegram had arrived from Goering, which Bormann hastily brought to Hitler. … In the telegram Goering merely asked Hitler whether, in keeping with the decree on succession, he should assume the leadership of the entire Reich if Hitler remained in Fortress Berlin. But Bormann claimed that Goering had launched a coup d’etat; perhaps this was Bormann’s last effort to induce Hitler to fly to Berchtesgaden and take control there. At first, Hitler responded to this news with the same apathy he had shown all day long. But Bormann’s
THE JEWISH HOME
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death of several young people who were killed while trying to take selfies. In April of last year, 17-year-old Xenia Ignatyeva fell to her death from a bridge in St. Petersburg while trying to take a photo of herself, and in January two teenage boys died after posing for a photo with a grenade with the pin pulled out. Councilors from Russia’s ruling United Russia party in Moscow have discussed extending the initiative to building signs in sites across the capital where young people may be at risk of taking an “unsafe selfie,” estimating that as many as 100 people a year get injured in the capital while taking a photo of themselves.
Over 4 Million Syrian Refugees
neighboring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, where many live in poverty with few legal protections. “Worsening conditions are driving growing numbers towards Europe and further afield,” Guterres said, adding that poverty was also driving increased child labor and early marriage among refugees. Turkey has taken in the majority of the refugees, giving 1.8 million Syrians a new home. Lebanon has opened its doors to 1.7 million. UNHCR estimated that $5.5 billion are needed this year to help Syrian refugees and the increasingly overwhelmed communities hosting them. By June it had received just 24 percent of that amount.
Israel Jerusalem: Time’s Bucket List Destination
Since the beginning of Syria’s civil war more than four million Syrians have fled their country, with many now despairing that they will never return to their conflict-wracked homeland. “I dream of leaving to Europe,” Osama al-Raqa, 22, who missed out on university because of the war, said. Syria’s conflict began with anti-government protests but spiraled into a war after a regime crackdown. It has since claimed more than 230,000 lives, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor. The UN refugee agency UNHCR recently said that the number of Syrian refugees now stands at 4,013,000 people, with another 7.6 million displaced inside the country. “This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,” UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres pointed out. UNHCR said one million Syrians had become refugees in just the last 10 months, and the overall number could grow to 4.27 million by the end of the year if the pace continues. The crisis is the largest handled by UNHCR in a single conflict for nearly 25 years, since the agency assisted some 4.6 million Afghan refugees in 1992. Most Syrian refugees are sheltering in
It turns out I have spent a lot of time in the 10th-best world city to visit, according to Time magazine’s latest travel bucket list. Jerusalem, according to Time’s website, is one of the most “energetic, diverse destinations” on the planet, among a select group of cities “intent on preserving local heritage, revitalizing undervalued neighborhoods” and possessing “distinct personalities.” Despite the fact that “Jerusalem, the controversial capital of Israel, is at the crux of an ancient and ongoing conflict,” Time says the ancient city has “new upmarket appeal” thanks to its new luxury apartments and high-end eateries. Among the 4,000-year-old city’s highlights mentioned in the list are the Western Wall, excavations near the Temple Mount, and the Old City’s Austrian Hospice. Jerusalem came in at No. 10 behind Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Krakow, Poland; Bangkok, Thailand; Rome and Florence, Italy; Siem Reap, Cambodia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Kyoto, Japan.
No Exchange for Missing Israelis Israeli security officials have officially announced that Israel will not release Hamas prisoners in return for two Israelis who are currently held in Gaza. Israel has engaged in prisoner swaps with Hamas in the past, most notably in 2011, when Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Dozens of those ex-prisoners have been rounded up by Israel since, outraging Hamas, which signaled that until they were freed again it would refuse to respond to charges that they are holding two Israeli captives. “There will be no talk about a prisoner swap before Israel releases all Palestinians who were re-arrested in the West Bank after they had been freed in the 2011 Shalit deal,” said Mahmoud al-Zahar, a top Hamas official.
One of the two missing Israelis is Avraham Mangisto, a 29-year-old from Ashkelon. Mangisto went missing in the early hours of September 8, 2014, when he crossed the border into Gaza. A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, crossed the border into the Strip, also of his own accord, in April 2015. The young Bedouin is said to be mentally ill and had tried to cross into Gaza in the past. Mangisto was last seen walking on the beach, heading south. An IDF lookout identified suspicious movement and pointed the observation camera at Mangisto’s direction. At this point, Mangisto touched the electric fence, which set off an alarm with troops from the IDF Gaza Division’s northern brigade. The army lookouts sent a patrol unit to the area, but Mangisto managed to jump over the fence and cross into Gaza before the troops got there. The troops fired in the air as a warning sign and called on Mangisto to return to Israel, but he ignored them. He was seen joining a group of fishermen, but his trail has since gone cold. Mangisto crossed the border only two weeks after the end of Operation Protective Edge. During that time, there was still a lot of commotion around the Gaza Strip, with many troops still in the area. Along the Gaza border fence, the IDF’s radars, observation cameras and troops are all pointed
south or west – towards the Strip, and not towards Israel. That is why any civilian who wants to cross into Gaza can do so in only a minute or two of climbing the fence. On Friday, Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the Mangisto family and insisted that Israel “will do everything” to get back their son.
BBC Caught Taking Sides
Broadcasting giant BBC has admitted that it distorts the truth in order to make the Palestinians appear more sympathetic to their viewers. A new documentary, entitled, “Children of Gaza,” aims to depict how Operation Protective Edge affected children living in and around the Gaza Strip. The program has not yet aired, but according to reports, the Palestinians’ testimonies were mistranslated in order to cover up frequent anti-Semitic comments. The Palestinian children regularly used the word “yahud,” meaning “Jew,” when talking about their enemies. In the documentary, BBC’s translators insisted on changing “Jews” to “Israelis” in order to make the Palestinians appear more tolerant. In one instance, a child claims that “the Jews are massacring us,” which appears in the subtitles as “Israel is massacring us.” The station’s chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, justified the edits by saying, “We talked to people in Gaza, we talked to translators. When [the children] say ‘Jews,’ they mean ‘Israelis.’” Despite the translators’ claims, examples of Palestinian children being taught to hate Jews collectively are well-documented. For example, it has been reported that there are summer camps in Gaza where children learn to glorify terrorism and recite anti-Semitic chants that date back to centuries before the State of Israel’s founding. Doucet’s tweets promoting “Children of Gaza” also shed light on the channel’s coverage of last year’s war. One screenshot depicts an Israeli child hiding in a bomb shelter after having only 14 seconds warning that a rocket would strike. During the war, watchdog organizations argued that the news station focused on portraying Gazans as victims and Israelis as aggres-
The Removal of the Flag On Friday, the Confederate flag that was flying on the Capitol of South Carolina was summarily taken down. It was taken to the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum and placed in storage until it could be decided how it should be displayed. Over the last 15 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been boycotting the state of South Carolina but since the flag was taken down, it has agreed to reconcile. Back in 2000, when the Confederate flag was placed on top of the State House as a Confederate memorial on the Capital grounds, the boycott started. The boycott was also observed by the NCAA and United Auto Workers, among other groups. The NAACP tweeted Saturday that the National Board of Directors voted in an emergency resolution to end the boycott. NAACP President Cornell William Brooks praised the state’s action in a Thursday statement, saying their decision “will make South Carolina more welcoming and affirming of all people irrespective of their skin color.”
The South Carolina state legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds last week. The state legislature debated the issue after a tragic shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, left 9 dead, reigniting impassioned opposition to the flag’s presence at the Capitol.
45 Years for Doctor Swindler Instead of healing his patients, Dr. Farid Fata used his medical license to fraud the
my mouth — I have one tooth left,” he said. “They had no idea how I was sitting in their office. … I will never be the same.” Teddy Howard was another former patient of Fata’s. He does not have cancer and now must take additional medicine for the rest of his life as a result of the phony treatments. “What really makes me angry is the fact that he lied,” Howard said. “He knew he was lying, he gave the drugs to me anyway, and I had no knowledge of it, and now my life is turned upside down. I can’t do anything about it. I don’t know how long I’m going to live.”
De Blasio: No More Need for Bail for Some Offenders
Dr. Soe Maunglav, a colleague of Fata, began noticing something off in patient records soon after he was hired at Fata’s practice in 2012. Some of the patients never showed signs or symptoms of having cancer at all; it was entirely fabricated by Fata. “Farid Fata, I hate you,” said Laura Stedtfeld, whose father passed away while under Fata’s medical care, according to US News & World Report. “You are repulsive. You disgust me. You are a monster. … You poisoned, tortured, and murdered my dad.” According to former patient Christopher Sobieray, doctors he consulted after Fata’s scheme was exposed were “appalled” by his massive overtreatment for testicular cancer. “Look at what’s left of
The de Blasio administration made a big announcement on Wednesday that will change the justice system in New York for low-level or non-violent crimes. The mayor proposed a plan for all these detainees to be freed without posting bail. A $17.8 million fund will allow judges to substitute bail for an estimated 3,000 low-risk defendants with a modern supervision system beginning next year. The supervision would include daily check-ins, text message notices, and linking them with drug counseling and behavior treatment. Studies have illustrated
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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has directly linked his group’s military campaign to the “Palestinian cause.” In remarks in honor of the Iranian Quds Day, Nasrallah also claimed that all opponents of Iran oppose “Palestine” as well. The Hezbollah chief trumpeted Iran’s role in the region, saying that the Islamic Republic was the only state that posed an existential threat to Israel. “After G-d, Iran is the only remaining hope to free Palestine,” Nasrallah declared, admitting that while his group poses a strategic threat to Israel, it could not destroy it. “If you are an enemy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, then you are an enemy of Palestine,” he insisted. Nasrallah has continuously threatened Israel. Only a month ago he threatened that his group would displace “millions” in Israel if the Jewish state attacks Lebanon. His threat came in a televised address weeks after an Israeli army official warned that Israel would “have to” target civilian areas in Lebanon in a future confrontation with Hezbollah. Even though he has continued to threaten Israel, Nasrallah has admitted in the past that his terrorist group is incapable of defeating Israel on its own. In a recent interview with Syrian state TV, Nasrallah ex-
sick and vulnerable. On Friday, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The fifty-year-old doctor was accused of misdiagnosing at least 2,000 patients and giving them unnecessary chemotherapy treatments. He admitted to purposely misdiagnosing and exposing his cancer patients to unnecessary and excessive rounds of chemotherapy to collect payments from both them and their insurance companies. In total, his scam affected roughly 550 victims and racked up $34.7 million in payments. Fata’s restitution hearing is still coming; he has already agreed to turn over $17.6 million.
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JULY 16, 2015
Nasrallah: Iran Only Hope for Palestine
plained that despite boasts by himself and other Hezbollah leaders about the group’s capabilities, it is incapable of mounting a war against Israel independently.
THE JEWISH HOME
sors. In fact, media monitoring group BBC Watch has pointed out that the station clearly had footage of Israelis having to run for shelter as their homes were being attacked, yet chose not to air it. The BBC has long been criticized for bias in favor of Palestinians. After several high-profile instances, such as when one journalist described her tears at seeing Yassir Arafat in poor health, senior editorial advisor Malcolm Balin conducted an investigation into the station’s objectivity. Completed in 2004, the BBC still refuses to publicly release the Balin Report; the station even spent almost $460,000 fighting against Freedom of Information Act appeals in order to ensure that the public could not read it.
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that poor minorities accused of low-level crimes are more likely to get stuck in jail because they can’t afford to post even small amounts of money for bail. “There is a very real human cost to how our criminal justice system treats people while they wait for trial,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “Money bail is a problem because — as the system currently operates in New York — some people are being detained based on the size of their bank account, not the risk they pose.” “That is unacceptable,” de Blasio said. “If people can be safely supervised in the community, they should be allowed to remain there regardless of their ability to pay.” The initiative will be funded by $4 million from the city and $13.8 million from seized assets collected by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. About 41% of criminal defendants who pass through city courts each year are released on their own recognizance and another 14%, or 45,500 people, are held on bail, authorities said. This plan still needs to be approved by state lawmakers in Albany.
The Good Life for a Chinese Counterfeiter
It is widely known that the making and selling of counterfeit luxury goods is illegal across the globe. The act of buying one of these items seems to be more of a gray area. While the majority of fakes are made in China, many are sold in America. In the U.S., counterfeiting is rarely prosecuted as a crime but rather as a civil case brought by victimized companies, enabling counterfeiters to continue their successful businesses. Lawyers say criminal cases, which carry the possibility of jail time, are a more effective deterrent. “A person is more likely to be struck by lightning than imprisoned for counterfeiting,” Geoffrey Potter, an intellectual property lawyer at New York’s Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, pointed out. Xu Ting, 45, of China, created a career for herself out of the sales of “fake” designer handbags. Eventually she was caught and sued by eight luxury brands. She cur-
rently owes Chanel Inc. $6.9 million for selling products online under its brand name. But that hefty fine and the legal action taken against her have not stopped Ms. Ting from living a happy and comfortable life. Xu Ting is currently a legal resident of California. She resides in a comfortable suburban town in San Diego with her husband and toddler son. Xu Ting obtained a green card in February 2014. Dan Kowalski, an immigration attorney and editor of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, said it’s likely that immigration officials did not know about Xu Ting’s legal problems, but even if they did they probably didn’t consider them a disqualification. Grounds for denying a green card range from committing a serious crime to having communicable disease but there’s nothing about civil liabilities. “There’s a million ways to game the system,” said Dan Plane, an intellectual property lawyer in Hong Kong. “Probably the only thing that’s going to stop her is when she passes away – probably on an island resort somewhere – or if she gets arrested.” To date, Xu Ting has failed to show up in court. According to public records, she recently purchased a home for $585,000 and accumulated at least $890,000 in bank accounts in China. She has attended San Diego State University where she is working towards a graduate degree. “The essential point for Chanel is really shutting down the counterfeiting operations which we did successfully,” Chanel spokeswoman Kathrin Schurrer wrote in an email. Schurrer added that the legal process is ongoing and declined further comment, but did note that “California has a law prohibiting the civil seizure of a home if it is a primary residence.” In 2009, a Florida judge ruled against Xu Ting and shut down seven websites selling fake Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Celine. In 2010, Gucci and other brands in France’s Kering group filed a lawsuit in New York federal court against Xu Ting, her future husband, and eight others who allegedly sold more than $2 million worth of fake handbags and wallets online to U.S. customers.
The Youngest Looking Cities in the U.S. By now it’s been proven that unfortunately there is no fountain of youth. But there are factors that have quite the opposite effect and can contribute to making a person look older. In a recent survey, researchers analyzed cities in which people look younger. The survey considered lifestyle factors that af-
fect skin aging, like sun exposure, stress, pollution, average sleep logged, fitness levels, and the prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption in American cities with populations over 300,000. Yes, products and attentive skincare can certainly help skin look younger, but it’s our daily lifestyles that influence the way we look the most.
“Age management has to do with managing your stress levels and learning to say ‘no’ when you’re overwhelmed, taking care of yourself and making sure you exercise regularly,” says Montclair, New Jersey, dermatologist, Jeanine B. Downie, MD. “As we get older, we need to sleep more to help our bodies recover,” she adds. “As you get older, regularly exercising more intensely for shorter bursts of time is one of the best ways to stay fit and young as we age in our stressful society,” advises Downie. Interval training, short 15 to 20 minute bursts of high intensity workouts as opposed to longer light or moderate workouts, is shown to oxygenate the body to help relieve stress, and also offers a variety of anti-aging benefits, including burning more fat and moving sugar out of the bloodstream for healthier blood sugar levels. So where do the young-looking people hang out? Seems we better move soon if we want to look a little younger. Consider these ten cities in the nation: 1. Minneapolis, MN 2. Seattle, WA 3. San Francisco, CA 4. Salt Lake City, UT 5. Honolulu, HI 6. Raleigh, NC 7. San Diego, CA 8. Pittsburgh, PA 9. Washington, DC 10 .Cincinnati, OH Higher rates of obesity, smoking, drinking, and poor sleep habits all plunged cities like New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City to the bottom of the list.
NYC to Pay $5.9M to Family of Eric Garner According to the New York Times, the
City of New York and the family of Eric Garner have reached an agreement. The wife of Garner is suing the city for the wrongful death of her husband who died on July 17, 2014 in Staten Island after he was questioned for selling loose cigarettes. A police officer allegedly put him in a chokehold after he resisted arrest for about 15 to 19 seconds. A video taken on a passerby’s cellphone shows the middle-aged man saying, “I can’t breathe.” The officers called for medical attention but later in the day Garner was pronounced dead. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office attributed Garner’s death to a combination of a chokehold, compression of his chest, and poor health. New York City Police Department policy prohibits the use of chokeholds, and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a NYPD police union, has said that the officer did not use a chokehold. According to the New York Times, NYC agreed to pay $5.9 million to Garner’s widow in order to resolve the claim.
Hack Bigger than We Thought
The previously announced number of people whose information was hacked off of the Office of Personnel Management’s computer system has been raised by almost 500 percent. The OPM now says that over 21.5 million people—much more than the original 4.2 million—were affected. Victims include current and former employees, contractors and their families and friends. The breach was arguably the most consequential cyber intrusion in U.S. government history. Administration officials have privately said they were traced to the Chinese government and appear to be for the purposes of traditional espionage. The 21.5 million figure includes 19.7 million individuals who applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, predominantly spouses or people who live with the applicants. Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators, and about 1.1 million include fingerprints, officials said. The lapse enabled hackers to gain access not only to personnel files but also personal details about millions of individuals with government security clearances
That’s Odd Feeding the Hungry
forwarded to the Humane Society or another organization for animals.” McCubbins actually has all his papers filed with the FEC. Weiss points out that just by running McCubbins is showing that much needs to be done with regards to election reform. Others issues that are close to this kitten’s heart? Protecting the environment and the legalization of catnip are things worth campaigning for. What does the candidate do in his spare time? “Sleeping, playing with his scratching post” and tearing paper – especially model government paraphernalia – the cat-didate’s owner and co-campaign manager, 18-year-old Emilee McCubbins, says. “He’s a good cat,” she adds. Weiss, the ever-positive campaign manager, knows that McCubbins deserves a shot at the White House. “For over 200 years, man has been running the show,” he says. “And now, it’s cats’ turn to help lead the way.” The time is meow.
11,000 Pennies in Protest
The Newest Demo-Cat
Obama Commutes 46 Sentences of Nonviolent Offenders
On Monday, 46 nonviolent drug offenders were extremely grateful to President Obama as he commuted their sentences as part of a bigger effort to try to ease such people out of the federal prison system. The president introduced this initiative last year when he vowed to free nonviolent offenders who were, according to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, “deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety.” More than 35,000 inmates have applied for early releases under this new
this person to my restaurant. I gave him my business card and told him to come and eat whenever he wants. Then I thought, ‘Why not invite all of them?’ So I did.” Now he partners with Baltimore’s shelters to bring in as many homeless people as possible from July 20 to 25. The shelters will bus in people with volunteer drivers, and more than 200 people volunteered to work the week for free as greeters, buffet staff and servers. “Our staff is volunteering, too, because they believe it’s a great cause. Management also offered a flat fee of $100 a shift from noon until 7 p.m. as an average income,” Tabrizi said. “Many employees declined; they want to do it for free.” What’s on the menu? The lucky diners will be treated to chicken Cordon Bleu, salad, sparkling apple cider, and ice cream in a waffle cup. They can choose to eat at the restaurant at 1pm, 3pm or 5pm daily. “It feels right, it looks right and it tastes right! Seeing happy shiny eyes of a forgotten homeless person is priceless. Giving the homeless a feeling of hope and respect is everything they want,” Tabrizi exuded. “I receive hundreds of emails a days from people across the country and overseas commending this gesture. “My reply to all these kind people is to do one good [deed] to a stranger every day, even a smile. It goes a long way.” It doesn’t hurt when you fill their bellies with gourmet, delicious food, too.
Next week, restaurant goers in Baltimore will be lining up for sumptuous dinners at a discounted price during the city’s Restaurant Week. Tabrizi’s, though, will be feeding a different clientele that other eateries in the area. The Mediterranean restaurant will be hosting “Homeless Restaurant Week” and will be feeding 1,000 meals to the city’s homeless population over the course of six days. Sorry, your money won’t be good here. “I live in the city and see homeless people all the time going home late night. I saw a sign a homeless man was holding at the traffic light [that read], ‘I am hungry, will work for food,’” owner Michael Tabrizi related. “I felt a warm urge to invite
Watch out Hillary. There’s fierce competition in the presidential race. The newest 2016 hopeful is sweet and adorable. In fact, what may set him apart from other 458 candidates is that he loves tuna—maybe a bit too much. Limberbutt McCubbins is a registered Democrat but his campaign literature describe him as a “Demo-cat.” The furry feline is confident about the upcoming election. His slogan is “Together, we cat.” Want to contribute to Mr. McCubbins’ campaign? As opposed to his opponents, your dollars aren’t good here. “We are not taking donations at this time,” says 17-year-old Isaac Weiss, one of the cat’s two campaign managers. “If we later decided to take them, they will most likely be
When is a penny not just a penny? When it’s a penny for a cause. Stephen Coyle used 11,000 pennies in protest at his college when he had to pay a $110 fine. The student at University of North Carolina got two parking tickets in June and then learned that only 20 percent of monies collected through fines are used on campus. The rest are redistributed to other schools. “We have a beautiful campus, but there’s some severely neglected buildings. Lecture halls have missing seats, ceiling tiles are missing – some of that money can be reinvested into the buildings,” the 26-year-old said. Coyle went to three local banks and collected 11,000 pennies to pay his fines. “There were 25 dollars in each box and 50 rolls,” he explained. “I brought the pennies in loose – in three separate buckets.” Because pennies are legal currency, the office had to accept them. The office initially said he would have to count the pennies in front of their employees, but then Coyle argued that it was their responsibility to ensure all the money was there.
JULY 16, 2015
enterprise. According to Obama, many of these prisoners were sent to jail during a different era, when sentencing guidelines were much stricter. As such, the offenders may be serving longer prison sentences than necessary; if they would be sentenced for such crimes today, they would be sent to jail for a shorter term than they initially received. Interestingly, a presidential commutation is generally rarer than a presidential pardon. The commutations granted on Monday, though, more than double the amount that he’s issued since taking office. Before this week, he had granted 43 commutations and 64 pardons. Obama has now commuted more sentences than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson, who commuted 226 sentences during his time in the Oval Office, according to federal statistics. He has also commuted more sentences than the number granted by his four immediate predecessors — Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
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— information a foreign intelligence service could potentially use to recruit spies. Because the exposed records included information on individuals who served as references on security clearance applications, U.S. officials said that stolen data includes details on certain employees’ relatives and friends. Although officials have said that the hackers worked for the Chinese government, the Obama administration has not formally accused Beijing. “It is an enormous breach, and a huge amount of data that is personal and sensitive … was available to adversaries,” FBI Director James Comey said at a Senate Intelligence Committee “We’re talking about millions and millions of people affected by this,” he said. “I’m sure the adversary has my SF86 now,” referring to the Standard Form 86, which all applicants for security clearances must fill out. He noted it lists “every place I’ve lived since I was 18, every foreign trip I’ve taken, all of my family and their addresses… I’ve got siblings. I’ve got five kids. All of that is in there.” The government has already begun taking steps to mitigate the damage in the intelligence and counterintelligence arena, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said. “We’re going to be doing that for years, in terms of the whole range of steps that we’ll have to take to protect our people and our sources and methods.” He added: “The consequences will be very far-reaching.”
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JULY 16, 2015
It took two of the office’s employees three hours and 40 minutes to count the coins. You know what they say: in for a penny, in for a pound—of protest.
The Money Tree
You know that money doesn’t grow on trees. But this weekend, passersby at a campsite in a small German town may have thought differently when 50 euro notes (which around $200,000) in cash starting falling from the trees. A plastic bag had been hanging on a pipe between two branches but after a heatwave struck the area, the pipe bent and the bag opened, sending the paper money floating to the ground. Who owns the cash is not certain. Police suspect the bag may have to do with a cottage fire that took place on the campsite earlier in the week. If the owner is not found within six months, the people who found the money will be entitled to the entire sum. They have already been rewarded $6,000 for reporting the findings.
came the oldest person to throw a ceremonial first pitch at a major league game. The previous record holder was 105-year-old Agnes McKee, who threw out a pitch before a San Diego Padres game on July 2014 ,20. The team didn’t let her down on Saturday, winning 0-5 against the Los Angeles Angels. The avid fan lives in a retirement community but heads to her room to watch the Mariners play so the other residents don’t disturb her focus on the game. When she’s not rooting for the home team, Ms. Jones passes the time doing crossword puzzles, reading, and watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. According to the Seattle Times, the oldest player on the Mariners is Joe Beimel, who is 38. He was born in 1977, when Ms. Jones was 70. Taijuan Walker, the youngest player on the team, is 23. He was born in 1992, when Ms. Jones was 85. Yes, age is just a number and baseball seems to unite young and old.
A Hotspot up High
Pitching at 108
She’s 108 and she’s still rooting for the home team. On Saturday, Seattle Mariners fan Evelyn Jones celebrated her 108th birthday in epic and record-breaking fashion. The centenarian has been a Mariners fan for the team’s whole life; she was 69 when they debuted in 1977. This year, she was invited to Safeco Field to throw out the ceremonial pitch. As she wound up for the pitch, Ms. Jones be-
Looking for free Wi-Fi? You may want to head north—and we mean way up high. In an effort to boost its annual visitor numbers to 20 million before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics, the country is now offering free Wi-Fi on Mt. Fuji. Now, after climbing the highest mountain in Japan, one can check their email and send out smiling selfies 3,776 meters in the air. There are eight hotspots on the mountain for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who visit every year. “We hope people will use the service not only to tell about the attractions of Mount Fuji to people abroad but also to obtain weather and other information to ensure their safety,” a tourism official related. Besides for free Wi-Fi, the government is pressuring banks to make more of their ATMs compatible with foreign cards, long on the wish list of visitors and expats. In May, the nation’s “travel balance”—the amount that foreign visitors spend in Japan less what Japanese spend overseas—turned positive for the first time 55 years. Must all that free Wi-Fi that’s making people flock to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Out with the Old and In with the New? by Aaron Revere
We hear a lot about new home construction because neighbors complain about the building noise and style choice of the owners, but there are benefits to new construction which are unbeatable. I just finished helping one of my clients buy a new construction property and here are some of the things they were pleased to know. First of all, one of the great things about buying new construction isn’t just that you have the newest materials and plumbing that isn’t older than your grandmother; it is the fact that you get a very generous warranty. Structural items, including load bearing walls and foundation footings, are covered for not one, not three, but ten years! Also, the roof, electrical, and plumbing work are covered for the first four years after completion. Compare this to the purchase of an older home. If the electricity decides to quit a year after you move in, it’s entirely your problem. In contrast, a new home purchase comes with a homebuilder warranty that covers many things that might go wrong over the next 48 months. Does the fact that the home is new and there is an extensive warranty mean you don’t need to inspect the home during escrow? No. You should still have the home checked out by a professional inspector and don’t be surprised if that inspector has concerns. Commonly, a few items will need a final adjustment. What you need to discover is the quality of the workmanship on the new home. You will always receive a better warranty with a newly constructed home but it comes
at a price. For a brand new home you might have to pay 10% above a pre-owned home in the same area. At the same time, your warranty is only as good as the contractor who provides it, so if you learn that there is sloppy construction work, you want to be extra vigilant that a third party inspector concurs that the work has been corrected before you complete the purchase. Another thing to remember is that any fixes need to be done by the original contractor. If you hire your own electrician to work on the main panel, you will have waived your warranty on the panel. The developer is going to blame the person you hired for any subsequent problems and refuse to cover future repairs. If possible, try to find out about the developer who built your home. How many other homes has the developer built? Are they similar to the one you like, or was this their first experience with a house of this size or location? If your home is on a hill, then have they built other homes on a slope before? Some of this research is applicable for the purchase of an older home as well. Don’t be shy to ask all your questions and make sure you get the home thoroughly inspected. Once you are satisfied with the condition, you will still want to get a home warranty which is typically paid for by the seller. This provides for certain protection after the close of escrow, even though a home warranty on an old building does not cover everything. With the limited availability of homes for sale in Los Angeles, it is more likely that you will buy a pre-owned home and with the right agent walking you through the process you should be thrilled with your new purchase. Still, remember your options. A newly built home comes with meaningful advantages. For more information contact Aaron Revere, Realtor. Email: email@example.com
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Your summer activities need
The following is a partial listing of times and locations. To see a complete listing of worldwide locations visit powerspeech.org
1135 S. Beverly Dr. Program 1: 12:15 Program 2: 4:30
1490 S. Robertson Blvd. Program 1: 3:00
155 S. La Brea Ave. After Shacharis Program 1 After Mincha Program 2
Kehilat Mogen David 9717 N. Pico Blvd. Program 1: 11:00 Program 2: 12:45
Jewish Learning Exchange 512 North La Brea Ave. Program 1: 12:00 & 3:30 Program 2: 1:30 & 6:00
Ohr Haemet 1030 South Roberston Program 1: 4:00 Program 2: 5:30
LINK Kollel 1453 S. Robertson Blvd. Program 1: 4:00 Program 2: 5:45
Shaarei Tefilah 7269 Beverly Blvd. Program 1: 2:30 Program 2: 5:00
Torat Chaim Sephardic 1026 S. Robertson Blvd. July 25, after Eicha Program 1 July 26, 3:30 Program 2
10523 St. Monica Blvd. Program 1: 1:00 Program 2: 5:30
Jewish Home LA - 7-16-15