THE JEWISH HOME JULY 30, 2015 2
THE JEWISH HOME JULY 30, 2015
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 30, 2015
Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
JEWISH THOUGHT Embracing Comfort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Jarring Episode Of Shabbetai Tzvi Infamous Messianic Deceiver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
FEATURE The Jewish Home Interviews Consul General David Siegel Regarding the Nuclear Agreement with Iran
“This is an Extreme Situation”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Matchmaking in Los Angeles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Uncle Moishy Fun Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Bermuda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 How to Talk About Weight with Your Kids. . . . . . . 33 Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Dear Readers, Nachamu nachamu ami. These words, comfort, comfort my people uttered by Yeshaya Hanavi, have accompanied us for over 2,000 years yet they have not become outdated or stale. They still reassure us like they did in the times of the Rambam and Rashi, Rabeinu Hakadosh and during the times of the second Beis Hamikdosh. They comfort us because we know that our daily struggles are temporary. Emotional, familial and financial challenges are not here to stay. Yes, today we need to do what we can but there will be a day when these struggles will simply go away. Knowing this gives us the sometimes super human strength needed to withstand temptation and overcome the urge to do what’s convenient and easy. We have much to make us proud. I doubt anyone alive at the time the above eternal words were said would have thought that two millennia later there would be Jews in Los Angeles, Montana, New York and indeed throughout the world who would be reading this Haftorah, drawing strength from it, as if the words were uttered today. Challenges abound just as in the past, perhaps now more than ever. Indeed, it says that Moshe Rabeinu was humbled when he saw the challenges with which the generation before the coming Moshiach would be faced.
Still, the Torah is our life and the length of our days and we are 100% certain that the “cure was given before the illness.” The promise of a perfect world preceded the trials and suffering which followed and we are heading into the fulfillment of that original guarantee. Perhaps the madness we are currently witnessing is the fulfilment of a Medrash. Maybe there is a meaning in our President’s irrational insistence on bowing before and enabling those who want Islam to rule the world. Or it could be that it’s all a test to see if we have the faith and fortitude to face a suicidal enemy. Whatever it is, the pnimiyus, the inner meaning for us is definitely to take the coming seven Haftorahs of comfort to heart, knowing that just as the prophesies of destruction which preceded Tisha B’av were fulfilled, so too, please G-d, very soon in our days we will see the fulfillment of these prophesies ushering in a time when justice, truth and kindness will be the running currency on the street. We are ready, let us just open our doors and welcome it in. Wishing you a comforting and enjoyable Shabbos nachamu,
T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM
form actually paves the way to a nuclear Iran within the next 15 years. That a coun-
Lorraine Coconato, Rabbi Elazar Muskin of Young Israel of Century City, Rabbi Da-
try that shouts “Death to America, Death to England and Death to Israel” and who created and funds the terrorist group Hezbollah, (with cells around the world) should not be trusted. Los Angeles rally speakers included StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein who also introduced each person. Speakers included: Reza Farahan, TV star, Dennis Prager, syndicated radio talk show host; Roozbeh Farahanipour, head of Iranian anti-regime dissident group “Marz-e por Gohar;” Televangelist Hazem Farraj; Pastor
Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs addressing the crowd vid Wolpe, Sinai Temple; LA District Attorney Elan Carr; Pastor Waymen Ming, David Suissa, about the grave threat a nuclear Iran poses journalist, Pastor Kevin Dieckilman, Rabbi to the world. Speakers in San Diego includYonah Bookstein of the Pico Shul and Rab- ed: Sara Schoonmaker, Associate Director bi Marvin Hier from the Simon Wiesenthal of StandWithUs San Diego, AIPAC representative Daniel Schwimmer, Rabbi Arnold Center. Caroline Glick, managing editor of the Kopikis, Pastor Jim Garlow and Rosemary Jerusalem Post was one of the speakers at Schindler Garlow, college student Gracie the San Diego rally, riveting the audience as Walker, attorney Mitch Danzig, and politishe also did a week before when she spoke cian Philip Graham. The American National to 12,000 people who attended the STOP Anthem was sung by songwriter, Jonathan IRAN New York rally on July 21. In San Valverde.
Diego, Emcee John Davidi kept the rally moving as speakers gave impassioned talks
AIPAC, IAC and StandWithUS Want a Better Deal Since the Nuclear Agreement was signed with Iran, we have seen a conflicted reality for those who support Israel and a nuclear-free Iran and those who support the values and decisions of the American government. This is, more or less, the exact same people. The wording of public statements released by leading lobby groups, organizations and non-profits who support Israel reflects this understanding, while driving for crucial changes in the Agreement. The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) posted a message which said: AIPAC has consistently supported diplomatic efforts to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and we appreciate the commitment and dedication of President Obama and his administration throughout these negotiations. Unfortunately, this proposed agreement fails to halt Iran’s nuclear quest. Instead, it would facilitate rather than prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror. We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal. Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a bet-
ter deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to oppose the bad deal with Iran. The Key points to discuss: 1. The proposed deal does not ensure “anytime, anywhere” short-notice inspections; 2. The proposed deal does not clearly condition sanctions relief on full Iranian cooperation in satisfying International Atomic Energy Agency concerns over the possible military dimensions of Tehran’s program; 3. The proposed deal lifts sanctions as soon as the agreement commences, rather than gradually as Iran demonstrates sustained adherence to the agreement; 4. The proposed deal lifts key restrictions in as few as eight years; 5. The proposed deal would dis-
connect and store centrifuges in an easily reversible manner, but it requires no dismantlement of centrifuges or any Iranian nuclear facility. The Israeli American Council is similarly petitioning supporters saying, “As Israeli-Americans, we have a unique interest in the security of our home, the United States, and our homeland, Israel. Having reviewed the points released in the agreement between the P5+1 and Iran, it appears that on July 14th, 2015, our world became a more dangerous place. We support the deep diplomatic efforts to resolve this global threat, however we are gravely concerned that the deal excuses Iran’s deceptive attempts to achieve nuclear capability and legitimizes Iran’s aspirations to become a nuclear regional superpower.” StandWithUs, the non-profit organization that informs the public about Israel
and combats extremism and anti-Semitism, has posted their to-do list and Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs CEO and co-founder articulated the problem, “Caring individuals do not want to permit a nuclear-armed Iran to develop in our lifetime. This is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of life and death. The stakes are too high and this will impact the world for generations. In the not too distant past, liberal democracies failed to stop a fascist, racist, anti-Semitic regime. We cannot afford to repeat that mistake. Congress should hold fast to the critically important terms of a good deal if the region, the United States and the world is to be safe from a nuclear-armed regime in Iran” Want to get involved? Then call, write, or visit your representative and local senators and insist on incorporating the necessary changes to the agreement.
Photos: Jonah Light Photography
JULY 30, 2015
STOP IRAN NOW rallies took place on Sunday, July 26, as thousands gathered to protest the Iran Nuclear Deal in Los Angeles and San Diego. Students and community members of all faiths stood together in both cities to urge Congress to vote NO and hold strong for an agreement that would protect the U.S. and our allies and prevent a nuclear Iran and the high likelihood of nuclear terrorism. Brandishing signs that implored, “The World Cannot Afford a Nuclear Iran,” and, “A Nuclear Iran Threatens All of Us,” they warned, “Don’t Let Our Kids Inherit a Nuclear Iran.” The signs and speakers conveyed the clear message: People will not tolerate a nuclear Iran, nor a congress that allows that to happen. Letters were signed in English and Spanish, which will be delivered to Congress. People were urged to continue their activism for the next 50 days. Attendees were told to pick up a pen, a phone and let congress hear their voices on this dangerous moment in history. A message repeated by many speakers at both rallies included the grave concern that giving funds to the most dangerous exporter of terrorism today would endanger the entire world. That the Iran deal in its current
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Thousands Attend Mega Rally and Send Congress a Clear Message
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JULY 30, 2015
Rabbi Orlowek Visits from Jerusalem and Speaks on Harmony in the Home For the second year, Torat Hayim’s Outreach Center, known as Yachad, hosted scholar-in-residence Rabbi Noach Orlowek over the Shabbat of July 11th. Rabbi Orlowek is an international lecturer and educator from Yeshivat Torah Ohr in Jerusalem. He is also a successful author having written about the ways we can raise spiritually healthy children in today’s society. The subject of the talk he gave was, “Creating Love and Harmony in the Family.” Over a hundred people, families as well as singles, attended. The rabbi explained that happiness is derived from the home and that it is easy to observe which children come from secure, happy homes and which children come from disrupted homes. Rabbi Orlowek spoke of the necessity of happiness as, “an asset, not a goal,” meaning there is nothing more crucial for a peaceful home than the work we invest in creating it. Happiness is not something to be ‘pursued’ but rather an imperative choice that every parent must make as they try and raise a healthy family. Recent studies show that a positive attitude in the home positively correlates with raising children with good self-esteem. It can be
fostered by playing happy, upbeat music in the home. It is also evident when parents speak softly to their children without having to repeat themselves. “Tell your children requests only once—otherwise they will get into the habit of tuning you out,” he reminded the audience.
When children see the parents are happy and at peace, explained Rabbi Orlowek, they will be more confident and exude a natural sense of healthy self-esteem. Moreover, to raise happy children, the children’s strengths need to be recognized, appreciated, and utilized. If you have children who love cooking, praise their ability to cook and provide for them opportunities to do so, he suggested. He also emphasized that while frum
communities highly value good academics, not all children are good at learning. “If you have children who are good learners,” said Rabbi Orlowek, “that’s wonderful, but don’t expect all your children to excel at learning. Some children are good learners. Some are good at midot (character traits). Some are good with their unique talents.” It is a matter of importance that we recognize each child’s natural talents and bring those talents to the forefront. When children see that academics is all that their parent appreciates, this can damage their spirit, especially if they are not academically inclined. Those children might have other strengths such as musical and artistic talents that are unappreciated or undeveloped because they are less valued. Besides academics, it is important for parents to pay attention to their children’s social life. Most children will get along and make friends with their peers but if you notice that your child is having difficulty, then you can make it easier for them. The rabbi suggested inviting the children’s friends over and easing the social situation by providing them with a table of nosh and allowing them to slowly overcome their shyness. The last factor that is within parents’
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control is the love within the family itself. When children feel loved and have a sense of security coming from their home, they can overcome outside influences more easily. It is not necessary to constantly denounce society, or music, or different world philosophies and religions in order for your observant lifestyle to be credible to your children. Concerning those baalei teshuva whose grandparents or cousins are not observant, children can still value their own lifestyle without their parents disparaging others’ beliefs. Do your children believe that the life you live is good? If so they will carry their beliefs with pride even if they see their values in conflict with the rest of their family or society. Rabbi Orlowek, emphasized the importance of speaking to grandparents with respect, whether or not they are religious. Without this, children will hear and investigate a perceived conflict and this can be unhealthy for the entire family. It is important to teach children they must not speak lashon hara (slander) and they must be respectful to other people. It is most valuable to maintain a good relationship with one’s parents and parents-in-law as long as mutual respect exists between parents and grandparents.
A CHATZOS PARTNER EXPERIENCE.
After searching for a shidduch for my son for many months, I picked up the phone and signed up for a one month membership with Kollel Chatzos as a zechus. The month passed, nothing happened, and I never called back.
EVERY MIDNIGHT the distinguished talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos gather in locations across the globe.
Several months later, on Tuesday, July 7th, out of the blue the main office called and asked if I wanted to sign up again. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to or not. It wasn’t until the Kollel Chatzos representative reminded me that in addition to helping my son, I would be supporting the talmidei chachomim of the kollel that I decided to go ahead.
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THE JEWISH HOME JULY 30, 2015
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 30, 2015
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JULY 30, 2015
Chai Lifeline Girls Enjoy a Day of Beauty Girls heading out to a beauty salon is hardly unusual but when the girls in the salon chair are battling cancer or other serious illness, the salon date becomes an exciting event anticipated weeks in ad-
support. Serious illness, and the medical treatment needed to cure or contain it, exacts a heavy toll on a girl’s self-image as much as on her physical health,” explained Randi
vance. On June 28, 40 such girls and their sisters traded the isolation of living with illness when they were invited for extreme pampering at Chai Lifeline West Coast’s “Beauty Makeover and Arts and Crafts Party.” Chai Lifeline West Coast is the regional branch of the acclaimed international health service organization that provides emotional, social and financial support to families coping with the short and longterm repercussions of life-threatening and lifelong pediatric illness. In the sixteen years since the Chai Lifeline West Coast office opened, the Los Angeles-based region has enabled the families of thousands of children to find joy and hope as they fight the devastating emotional, social, and financial tolls of serious pediatric illness. Sponsored by the Fischer Family Fund, Beauty Day attracted girls from all corners of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Mona Mostadim, owner of The Wig Fairy in Los Angeles, opened up her charming salon for the event. With Mona and her expert staff, the girls had their hair fashioned in every which way from French braids to sleek, ironed styles. When it came to nails, blues and bright colors proved to be the most popular nail adornment. While they were being pampered, the girls were able to bond with one another, relating their feelings and experiences surrounding their illness. As they developed and strengthened supportive friendships with one another, their mothers did the same, trading stories, advice, and
Grossman, MPH, director of Chai Lifeline West Coast. “A day of focusing on hair and nails, things that other girls take for granted, gives them a chance to begin to think of themselves in positive terms once again.” Beth , whose eight-year-old daughter battles a rare and debilitating illness said, “My daughter couldn’t sleep last night she was so excited about Beauty Day. Watching her today, laughing and smiling, and feeling like a princess brings tears to my eyes.” This day is special for the siblings of sick children, too. It gives them the chance to have some fun, spend some rare time focusing on themselves, and bond with others who understand their experiences. “With a brother who has cancer, my daughter is sometimes resentful of the attention he gets,” observed Rachel. “Beauty Day is all about her; it’s a day where she can shine and bond with other girls who share similar experiences.” For more information about Beauty Day or Chai Lifeline West Coast’s other programs contact Randi Grossman at Chai Lifeline West Coast, Sohacheski Family Center at 310 274-6331 or 877 374-6331 or email Rgrossman@chailifeline.org. On the West Coast, the Sohacheski Family Center offers over two-dozen year-round, free programs and services to children, their families and communities. For more information about becoming a Chai Lifeline volunteer or donor, or for assistance, contact the Sohacheski Family Center at 310 274-6331.
$100,000 Matching Campaign for Valley Yeshiva This month, a grandparent of a student at Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles challenged the Yeshiva to raise $100,000 by Rosh Hashana and he will match what is raised with his own gift of $100,000. The Yeshiva has had similar campaigns in the past, but those have only been for $25,000. Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein, Menahel of the Yeshiva, said “this is an incredible opportunity for us to kick-start the year with a seriously sizable donation”. “The money used from this campaign will cover the cost for additional class-
rooms currently under construction over the summer. In addition, a portion of the money raised will go towards the Yeshiva’s scholarship fund”. Every donation to a school is always very much valued, but there is something special when the gift is received from a grandparent of a student. It demonstrates the willingness of the grandparent to be proactive in ensuring their grandchildren will have the highest level of quality education possible.
cently the widening of the freeway at the north end of the Valley has required week-
ly repairs to the eruv which has eaten away the budget that was available. Another
such larger repair is anticipated for 2016. The Valley Eruv Society was originally established in 1983 and, after 5 years of permit processing, installed in June 1988. In 2006, Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz became the Rav HaMachshir of the Eruv. He is the first line of decision for halachik eruv issues, yet it was not to him that the budgeting issue was presented. Blumenstein turned to the community and was ultimately impressed with the way the problem was resolved. He explained, “I run the eruv on a shoestring. There is no equivocation about our level of checking. Meanwhile, I don’t think one person should have their name on it because it is a community service and it was indeed our community who fixed this week’s problem. Two local families were kind enough to each make a large commitment totaling over $1,500. We were therefore able to get the work completed. Also one of the Rabbaim offered to loan the monies if we had needed it tem-
porarily. This is one of those things that people care about on a Friday afternoon, but they quickly forget about by Sunday morning. We are very grateful to the donors who came to our rescue.” There is little doubt that the Valley Village Jewish community developed and expanded because the eruv was in place. It was built, and has been maintained, according to the highest halachic standards. Blumenstein hopes that this last weekend’s debacle can be avoided in the future. He’s back in action with his ongoing campaign to encourage the 1,800 families of Valley Village to contribute with a $52 annual donation. For more information or to make a donation visit www.ValleyEruv.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The information line is updated each Friday after 2.30pm. Please mail donations to Valley Eruv Society, P. O. Box 4201, Valley Village, CA 91617.
Em Habanim Girls’ Tehillim Group Learns 110 Chapters And Builds Model Bet Hamikdash Baruch Hashem, the Girls’ Tehillim Be’al Peh group at Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation in Valley Village, held another beautiful event this past Sunday, celebrating the 110 chapters learned in this round by the participants: Liel Cohen, Ariella Kublin, Chaya Kublin, Hodaya Levy, Leah Schwartz, Shira Michaela Totayev, Ruthy Wolf and Shira Zer-Chen. The program opened with Ruthy leading the assembled girls and moms in chapter 100. Next each girl was presented with a certificate of achievement, her cash prize, and a dollar for tzedakah – while in our
previous events we gave a $1 bill for this purpose, we have now changed to two rolls of pennies, so the girls can give two cents
every day for 50 days, getting 50 mitzvot, instead of one mitzvah for giving $1 once. The girls who were not present for the second round each received a blank tzedakah
box to decorate at home. Finally, each new participant also received a little gold butterfly pin as a reminder that just like a little butterfly flapping its wings in California changes the weather in China, a Jewish girl saying Tehillim changes the spiritual “weather” in the world for the better by bringing down extra kedushah. Following the presentation everyone enjoyed cake and ice cream. Being that we are in the Nine Days, the
theme of this round’s event was the Bet HaMikdash. Two girls shared art projects they made at home depicting the Bet HaMikdash, then the girls built a beautiful model Bet HaMikdash which is now on display in the Em Habanim foyer. Before leaving, each family received a complete kit to enable everyone to build a model at home. The theme of our next round’s event will be Tishrei, and the event will be in the latter part of Elul. We look forward to new participants joining, please contact Ellen Kronick at email@example.com to enroll your daughters. Participation is free.
Mind Your Business - Yitzchok Saftlas’s New Radio Program Jumpstart your workweek by listening to the newest business radio program, Mind Your Business, launched on July 12th. The program airs on Sunday nights live from New York at 11pm-midnight so you can receive it via live stream at www.WABCBizRadio.com at 8 – 9 pm in Los Angeles. Yitzchok Saftlas hosts the program and blends his characteristic zest and enthusiasm, alongside 25 years of proven experience in marketing, branding and advertising, bringing listeners valuable tips and sage advice that will help you and your business grow. Each Sunday night, Saftlas will communicate his personal insights, as well as treat his listeners to a series of high-caliber and knowledgeable guests who will inspire listeners with new ideas.
Saftlas is president and founder of the Bottom Line Marketing Group in Brooklyn, New York. He has worked with hundreds of clients, including the likes of Allied Importers, Dirshu, Michael Bloomberg and Select Brand and has achieved results for businesses, nonprofits and elected officials. The first show featured Josh Mohrer, New York general manager for Uber. Mohrer shared the remarkable story and marketing strategies behind Uber’s rapid climb in five short years from a Start-Up to a global transportation company with a private market valuation by Forbes of $50 billion. The following show featured savvy advice from leading political and corporate communications consultants, when guests William O’Reilly and Jessica Proud of The
November Team joined Saftlas on the air. O’Reilly has worked on and advised dozens of political and public affairs campaigns in his 30-year career. His biweekly columns in Newsday have become a must-read for people looking for common-sense political commentary. Ms. Proud is a veteran public affairs and crisis communications professional. She has trained top corporate, government, and political officials in traditional and new media strategies. The show is promising an intriguing weekly program, chock-full of business insights and marketing strategies. Podcasts of past shows are also available on www.WABCBizRadio.com.
JULY 30, 2015
The smell of Shabbat cooking was in the air and the sad holiday of Tisha Ba’av was just around the corner, but an even more unusual event was transpiring. On July 24th, The Valley Eruv Society were forced to send a message to the Valley Village Jewish community that for the fourth time in the history of the eruv, it would not be functioning on Shabbat because of repairs that were needed but were unfunded. Dr. Yisroel Blumenstein heads the Eruv Society alongside his position as General Studies Principal at Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad. The Eruv Society works with the Valley Eruv Committee weekly and their work is most important. There are five people who are the Valley Eruv’s backbone and their effort is crucial because the eruv does not take care of itself. Monies are needed for fixes and each week the Eruv Checker must spend time certifying the boundaries are in order. Next, they have to arrange for repairs according to the kosher requirements. Re-
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The Valley Eruv Society, underfunded, over popular
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 30, 2015
When you walk into a room where people are sitting close to the floor with ripped, dirty clothing, the atmosphere is heavy and sad. Not a word is exchanged. Then a menachem, a comforter, walks into the room. Initially, the people look at him with sad, knowing eyes. Then they slowly come alive, sharing stories of their departed loved one, exchanging reminiscences. “What do you remember?” they ask. “What can you share?” They then accept words of chizuk as expressed in the eternal words of nechomah: HaMakom yenacheim es’chem. During the first nine days of Av, we are all mourners, sitting in despair and pain. We speak of the days when the Bais Hamikdosh sat in the center of Yerushalayim. We reflect on how different and blessed life was at that time. Then Hashem Himself arrives to be menachem us. He offers words of comfort, reassuring us and promising a brighter future. The novi loudly proclaims in words lovingly repeated ever since they were first uttered following the churban, “Nachamu, nachamu ami. Be comforted, My people, be comforted.” On the fast day of Tisha B’Av, many of the components of other fast days are missing. We do not recite Avinu Malkeinu or Tachanun, prayers that lead to introspection and teshuvah. This is because Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning. We all know that the second Bais Hamidkosh was destroyed because sinas chinom was prevalent amongst Jews at that time (Yoma 9b). However, the Gemara in Maseches Sanhedrin (104b) points to the chet hameraglim
as the cause of the destruction. It was on this day that the Jews in the desert cried for naught. Their “bechiyah shel chinom” echoes all these years, giving generation after generation many reasons to cry. The meraglim lacked the ability to see themselves for who they were. They were reduced to the size of insects in their own eyes, because they accepted the attitudes of others as fact. They let themselves feel small and insignificant, because they viewed themselves the way they believed others did. The Jews heard their report of their mission to the land Hashem promised them and broke down in tears. “Woe is to us,” they cried. “We are being led to a country that will wipe us off the map.” They were insecure about their ability to merit Hashem’s blessing and protection. They feared that they wouldn’t be worthy of the promises that they would inherit the Land. They didn’t perceive their own greatness.
believed that they had been cast aside. Because they lacked self-confidence, they were easily misled and taken in by apocalyptic predictions. Years later, during the period of Bayis Sheini, although the Jewish people were religiously committed, the rot at the root of the chet hameraglim was still present. Because the people were cynical, negative and pessimistic, they didn’t feel Hashem’s love, nor did they appreciate His proximity. They didn’t see the Jewish people as being worthy of Divine love, so they hated each other. They wrote sifrei krisus to each other because they didn’t appreciate the greatness inherent in every Yid. Insecure, they were blind to their own worth, and like the Jews at the time of the chet hameraglim, because they felt undeserving, they didn’t appreciate the gifts they had and what they were given. On Tisha B’Av, mourning is how we repent. We sit on the floor, reciting Kinnos, recalling how good we had it, how
The historical accounts of the churban Bais Hamikdosh appear in Maseches Gittin because the break between Klal Yisroel and Hakadosh Boruch Hu was a tragedy not unlike a get. The novi Yeshayahu states (50:1), “Eizeh sefer krisus imchem asher shelachtiha - Which get has Hashem sent you.” Hashem, however, never ceased loving His people. He never divorced Himself from them. There was no get. There was a people singled out and set apart with privileges unavailable to others, yet they
much love there was, how close we were to Hashem, and the holiness and unity that were apparent in our lives. We bemoan the losses we suffered. We recognize through our tears how much Hashem loved us, and we proclaim that we know that He still loves us and that we are worthy of that love. That is how we repent for the sins of the meraglim and sinas chinom. Many of our problems are rooted in the sin of low self-esteem, of not realizing who we are. People give up before starting. They are easily knocked off course
and lose motivation to succeed and excel, because they don’t believe in themselves. Last week, thousands traveled to Lakewood, NJ, and sat in the presence of Torah royalty, the Lakewood rosh yeshiva and his distinguished siblings, as they mourned the passing of their mother, Rebbetzin Rischel Kotler a”h. While I was there, they shared many stories. Inspiring and deeply moving, they had a similar theme. The rebbetzin was heir to the gadlus of Kelm and Slabodka and sought to raise the level of all who came in contact with her. One son recalled that the rebbetzin met a young girl, whose mother had recently passed away. “What is your name?” the rebbetzin asked. “Yehudis,” the girl replied. “No, I mean what did your mother call you?” the rebbetzin asked. “My mother used to call me Yehudis’l.” The rebbetzin would make it her business to see that girl, and when she would, she’d say to her, “How are you, Yehudis’l?” She would refer to her as her loving mother did when she was alive. In the absence of a loving mother, the rebbetzin subliminally reminded her that she was still loved. Her mother was no longer alive, but there was someone else who had expectations and hopes for her. She was worthy of love. One day, the rebbetzin saw a yungerman shuffling down the street, his face pointed downward. She offered him pithy advice. “If you look down, you’ll see pennies,” she told him, “so why not look up and find dollar bills?” She was an effective counselor for young couples, realizing early on that a community filled with young marrieds needs someone with a listening ear, who can provide the guidance and support of a wise friend. She became that friend, helping many families through difficult moments. A husband came to her complaining of the shalom bayis situation in his home. She quickly diagnosed the problem. “Have you been to your rebbi to discuss your problem?” “Yes.”
WE RECOGNIZE THAT JUST BECAUSE WE LOOK DIFFERENTLY AND ACT DIFFERENTLY DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE ARE INHERENTLY DIFFERENT. what we are, who are, and what we can achieve. This, says the Sefas Emes, is what’s meant by the brochah we recite in Birkas Hamazon referring to Hashem as the “bonei (presently building) berachamov Yerushalayim.” Rebuilding the Holy City is a steady, ongoing process. At any given moment, Hashem is rebuilding Yerushalayim. It is destructive to think that we can’t play a role in that process. When Rebbetzin Kotler’s father, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Friedman, parted from his young daughter, he knew it was a final farewell. He left her with a short piece of advice: Don’t dress like the others, don’t appear like others, and be careful to keep cholov Yisroel. The father’s parting message was deep enough to sear itself into her young soul. What he was really telling her was, “Know who you are!” And she knew. We stand up from the floor, dusting ourselves off from Tisha B’Av’s grief, and we are comforted. No, we do not yet see the Bais Hamikdosh standing, but now we know who we are. We know what we’re capable of. We know that each of us has a role to play. We lost the Bais Hamikdosh because of two related sins: bechiyah shel chinom, a
ma’asim tovim of our friends and see their efforts with an ayin tovah. In a Tisha B’Av shmuess given this year, Rav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi succinctly commented, “One who looks at his friend with sinas chinom and mocks the efforts of his fellow Jew isn’t just a hater, but an idol-worshipper. Why? Because he wants every person around him to act as he does, think as he does, and agree with him about everything. He worships no one but himself.” On Tisha B’Av, we see that no one is chinom and nothing they do is chinom. We re-learn how to love. We recognize that just because we look differently and act differently doesn’t mean that we are inherently different. On Tisha B’Av, we said in unison, “Hashiveinu, Hashem eilecha… Hashem, bring us back to You…” People all over say and sing these words with love and inspiration. Hashem, we know that Your arms are opened wide, waiting to receive us. We know that we are worthy of Your embrace. Bring us back. Take us back. We’re ready. Be comforted for knowing that. Nachamu, nachamu ami.
JULY 30, 2015
futile cry, and sinas chinom, baseless hatred. Rav Yechiel Yaakovson, an Israeli mechanech, recalled the time he was walking down a Bayit Vegan street as part of a group of bochurim speaking in learning with Rav Chatzkel Abramsky. Suddenly, something caught Rav Abramsky’s attention. He walked to a small courtyard and approached a weeping young girl. “Why are you crying?” he asked. “Because my friend said that my dress is ugly,” the girl replied. Rav Abramsky smiled and said, “Well, you go tell your friend that a big rov is also your friend, and he said that the dress is beautiful.” As the beaming girl headed off, Rav Abramsky shared an insight with the talmidim. He quoted the posuk which states, “Umachah Hashem dimah mei’al kol ponim.” He explained that the posuk is stating that Hakadosh Boruch Hu will wipe the tears off of every Jewish face. “Now, if every Jew is precious enough to Hashem that He takes the time to wipe the tears off of every face,” he said, “then we also have to do our part to erase Yiddishe trerren.” Our every act, word and tear has a purpose, they are not for naught, chinom. Realizing what a Yid represents is the greatest and most effective antidote to sinas chinom. Each of us carries so much power. We have to appreciate the mitzvos and
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“Have you been to your rosh yeshiva?” “Yes.” “Have you told your chavrusah?” “Yes.” “And everyone has rachmonus on you, right?” “Yes.” “And you have rachmonus on yourself?” “Yes.” “And your wife also has rachmonus on you?” “Yes.” “Stop being a nebachel, looking for people to have rachmonus on you,” said the rebbetzin. “Pull yourself together. Carry yourself like a choshuve person. Buy your wife a gift. Behave with greatness and everything will work out.” And it did. Chazal famously teach us that a generation that doesn’t merit the return of the Bais Hamikdosh is viewed as having had the Bais Hamikdosh destroyed in its time. The Sefas Emes explains that anyone who doesn’t believe that their actions can contribute to the building of the Bais Hamikdosh is accountable for its destruction. Those who don’t perceive that they possess the power to bring about the return of the Bais Hamikdosh have a part in its destruction. To believe that we make no difference is part of the churban. Our response to churban is to know
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JULY 30, 2015
The Jarring Episode Of Shabbetai Tzvi Infamous Messianic Deceiver Rabbi Pini Dunner, Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills
PART THREE In the first two parts of this series we discovered how a charismatic Turkish rabbi suffering from mental illness, Shabbetai Tzvi, wandered for a number of years from community to community, dazzling and horrifying people with behavior that fluctuated from deep depression to public insanity. After a fateful meeting with a young kabbalist, Nathan of Gaza, Shabbetai Tzvi declared himself the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, redeemer of the scattered Jewish nation and the Divinely designated King of the Jews. This unlikely pair first tried their luck in Jerusalem, where they were met with derision. Defiant, despite the rejection, Shabbetai Tzvi and Nathan decided to launch a massive international Messianic campaign so they could gain recognition by Jew and non-Jew alike. It was a fateful decision that would devastate the Jewish world in an unprecedented debacle of hubris and disappointment. After their expulsion from Jerusalem, Shabbetai Tzvi and Nathan split up. Nathan returned to Gaza – which he declared the new holy city of Judaism – while Shabbetai Tzvi travelled back to Izmir. On his way he stopped at all the towns and cities with a Jewish community. The news of his Messianic declaration had travelled ahead of him and wherever he went he was enthusiastically welcomed. Although his behavior remained erratic, the enthusiasm generated by the belief that he was the Messiah rendered any aberration irrelevant – whether he behaved normally or strangely, his personal conduct was completely overshadowed by the euphoric feelings of the thousands of Jews
who believed he had come to liberate them from exile. As Shabbetai Tzvi meandered triumphantly from community to community, Nathan simultaneously launched a feverish propaganda campaign. In numerous letters dispatched to every major Jewish center he called for mass repentance in anticipation of the imminent redemption. He began to refer to Shabbetai Tzvi as “AMIRAH” – ‘Adonenu Malkeinu Yarum Hodo’ – ‘Our Lord, our King, may his majesty be exalted’. His flowery predictions of the great redemption and how it would unfold became more fanciful with each letter. His ‘prophecies’ were apocalyptic
and supernatural. A blazing fire would surround Jerusalem and Hebron, he wrote, to prevent any uncircumcised gentiles from entering these holy places. Mosques and churches would spontaneously disappear without trace. These predictions were lapped up by the masses, as fact and fiction became indistinguishable. With hindsight, it is evident that Nathan had set himself and the entire Messianic movement up for crushing failure from the very earliest moment. Shabbetai Tzvi arrived in Izmir in September 1665, and stayed there for four months. He secluded himself upon arrival, and rarely emerged. Through-
out this time, letters from supporters and detractors piled up at the homes of local rabbis and leaders. Two distinct groups emerged – those who enthusiastically believed in him, and those who emphatically did not. At the head of the unbelievers was the Chief Rabbi of the city, Rabbi Chaim Benveniste, acclaimed author of the authoritative halachic work, Knesset Ha-Gedolah. Tension in the city mounted until, on 12 December 1665, coinciding with Shabbat Vayikra, Shabbetai Tzvi led a mob of supporters to the Portuguese synagogue, where he disrupted the service and read the Torah portion from a book instead of the Torah. He announced that he was appointing one of his brothers as the new Sultan of Turkey, and another brother was to become Emperor of Rome. While everyone watched disbelievingly, he began to hurl insults at the rabbis, including Rabbi Benveniste. “Why has Jesus been so abused by Jewish tradition?” he asked them disparagingly, declaring that he would ensure Jesus would be counted among the Jewish prophets from now on. He then performed a number of weird rituals, and announced to the stunned worshippers that the date of the Messianic redemption, led by him, would be 15 Sivan, 1666. At this point Rabbi Benveniste stood up and demanded proof that he was the Messiah. Shabbetai Tzvi sneered, hurled more insults at him, and then threatened him with excommunication. The synagogue erupted in complete pandemonium, with Shabbetai Tzvi screaming abuse and the rabbi’s supporters screaming back at him. Inexplicably, within a matter of days Rabbi Benveniste reconciled with Shabbetai Tzvi and he suddenly became one of the Messianic imposter’s most ardent supporters. Rabbi Benveniste was a man with a stellar international reputation, both as a pious Jew and as a wise and learned rabbi, and his support was a turning point in the Messianic campaign, as numerous doubters noted his support and changed sides to join the believers. In gratitude, Shabbetai Tzvi arranged for a rival local rabbi to be fired, and began to treat the elderly rabbi with great respect. Izmir’s Jews, now led by their Chief Rabbi, erupted with Messianic fervor, and the unbelievers were utterly marginalized. Sadly, the respected
Rabbi’s support for Shabbetai Tzvi persisted until the conclusion of the episode nine months later, a tragic mistake that stained his reputation for the remainder of his life. While all this was going on, Nathan continued his energetic campaign to promote the redemption. Believers began to proliferate throughout the Jewish world. The legend fed on itself – the more people who believed that Shabbetai Tzvi was the Messiah, the more ambassadors there were for the cause. With the excitement growing, and the anticipation increasing, Shabbetai Tzvi and his acolytes decided it was time to inform the Ottoman authorities, and in particular the Sultan, about his Messianic mission, and to demand their full cooperation. In early 1666, Shabbetai Tzvi set sail for Constantinople. Rough seas disrupted the ten-day journey, and the ship floundered for more than a month. Meanwhile, the news of his imminent appearance in the Ottoman capital created a massive stir, and the Jewish community leadership struggled to formulate a cogent strategy. While they were ready to believe it possible that Shabbetai Tzvi was who he claimed to be, they knew that acknowledging him as Messiah, King of the Jews, was a treasonable offense, punishable by imprisonment or execution. On the other hand, if he was actually the Messiah, not welcoming him enthusiastically would be a blatant denial of his status, and would be a terrible dishonor, as well as a desecration of G-d’s name. There were also people in the community who simply refused to believe the Messianic claims at all, and some even urged the community leaders to arrange for Shabbetai Tzvi’s assassination. While all this was being deliberated in Constantinople, such was the power of the propaganda emanating from Gaza and Izmir, that Jews as far away as Germany, Holland, Poland and North Africa, were selling up their businesses and wrapping up their affairs as they prepared for the impending Messianic redemption and the long-awaited return to Zion. The Turkish authorities had by this time caught wind of the affair, and an emergency meeting was called with the Jewish leadership to decide what to do. After examining the evidence, and based on first-hand accounts of the pretender’s personal history, everyone concluded that he was, in fact, an imposter, and that he
centric pretender, a man who had proven to be nothing more than a disappointing phony. Shabbetai Tzvi lived on for another ten years. At times he assumed the role of a pious Muslim and spoke ill of Judaism; at other times he associated with Jews and acted as a Jew. In March 1668 he claimed to have had a prophetic vision that revealed he was still the true Messiah, in spite of his conversion, and that the conversion was a holy act meant to attract Muslims to Judaism as part of the redemption process. This and other shenanigans proved to be too much for the authorities to tolerate. His salary was terminated and he was banished to a Muslim district of Constantinople, with strict instructions not to interact with the Jewish community. He was unable to stay out of trouble. Within a short period he was discovered leading Jewish prayer groups, and was immediately banished to a small coastal village in Montenegro. There he died in isolation, possibly on September 17, 1676, which coincided with Yom Kippur. He was hastily buried in an unmarked grave, and his burial site is unknown to this day.
The vast majority of those who had believed that he was the Messiah rejected him as soon as the truth of his conversion to Islam was confirmed. But there was a significant group who tenaciously clung to his Messianic promises, finding convoluted kabbalistic explanations to prove that the conversion was part of the Messianic scheme. Most prominent among these believers was none other than Nathan of Gaza, who spent the remainder of his life traveling nomadically around the world, shoring up belief in the Muslim Messiah, even after he had died. Then, in 1780, Nathan unexpectedly dropped dead at the age of 37, in Skopje, Macedonia. Despite the death of the movement’s main life-force, belief in Shabbetai Tzvi and the mystical teachings he had espoused persisted for well over a century, and it wasn’t until the end of the 1700’s, and only after numerous notorious and bitter battles, that the remnants of Shabbetai Tzvi’s Messianic movement finally disappeared from the mainstream Jewish world, bringing to an end one of Jewish history’s strangest and most damaging affairs.
JULY 30, 2015
al activities with young women who were being supplied to him on a regular basis. The Sultan, who had been receiving reports from his Grand Vizier about the strange prisoner and his following, decided that the matter needed to be addressed urgently, before it got completely out of hand. In September, Shabbetai Tzvi was spirited away to Adrianople without any warning. Adrianople was where the Sultan resided during the summer months. Shabbetai Tzvi was brought to the palace for an audience with the Sultan, who was joined by a group of senior advisors, as well as the Royal Physician, who was a Jewish convert to Islam. Questioned about his Messianic pretensions, Shabbetai Tzvi simply denied that he was the Messiah, and claimed that the entire story was a fabrication. When it was pointed out to him that a Messianic movement had grown around him, and that the movement was in danger of escalating into a rebellion against Ottoman rule, he just shrugged his shoulders dismissively. One of the Sultan’s advisors mentioned that he had heard Shabbetai Tzvi was a miracle worker, and politely requested that he perform a miracle for them, but the now bashful Messiah tactfully declined. The apostate royal physician then told him that the situation was untenable, and that the solution to the crisis would be his immediate conversion to Islam, or the Sultan would have no choice but to have him executed on the spot, on the grounds that he was a dangerous revolutionary. Shabbetai Tzvi didn’t bat an eyelid. He tore off his Jewish cap and spat on it, and began to speak viciously against the Jewish faith. A Muslim cleric was quickly summoned to convert him, and after the conversion was concluded the Sultan presented him with a special turban and changed his name was to Aziz Mehemed Effendi. Without further ado he was appointed keeper of the palace gates, and was awarded a generous government sponsored salary. Those who were at the meeting reported later that both Shabbetai Tzvi and the Sultan appeared delighted by the result of the meeting, and parted from each other in good spirits. The Messiah’s conversion was widely publicized even before the day was out. At first the news was dismissed as a fabrication. For the believers, it was inconceivable that their Messiah would choose apostasy over martyrdom, while the unbelievers couldn’t believe that the Sultan had allowed him to remain alive. Confusion reigned. As the days went by, and Jews in Adrianople saw the turbaned Shabbetai Tzvi manning the palace gates, the news began to percolate through the Jewish world, and so began a long and tortured journey back to normality for the masses of Jews who had been hyped up by this ec-
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had to be stopped in his tracks. And so, when Shabbetai Tzvi’s ship finally reached Constantinople on 5 February 1666, a group of Turkish soldiers sailed up to his vessel before it was able to dock, unceremoniously arrested him and escorted him to shore. The arrest essentially marked the anticlimactic end of the Messianic adventure in any kind of practical sense, and Shabbetai Tzvi was carted off into custody like a common criminal. The authorities were unsure what to do with this unlikely revolutionary leader, so it was decided that the Grand Vizier, a young but extremely powerful man called Ahmed Koprulu, would take personal charge of the case. Shabbetai Tzvi did not present a military threat to the Ottomans, and it seems no one was concerned by his political ambitions either. The main problem posed by the eccentric rabbi and his following was economic. With Jews in control of so many trade routes, the potential disruption to Turkey’s trade and industry as a result of a religious awakening provoked by the Messianic furore was of grave concern to the Ottoman ruling class, and they recognized that this matter needed careful handling. In the meantime, as his fate was being deliberated, Shabbetai Tzvi was treated benignly, a fact misinterpreted by his supporters as further proof that he was the Messiah. He was kept in a comfortable suite of rooms at the prison, and friends and supporters were permitted to visit him in a constant stream. Then, shortly before Pesach, Shabbetai Tzvi was transported just under two hundred miles, to a fortress across the water from Gallipoli. Thousands of believers travelled from all over the world to catch a glimpse of their Messiah. So great was the influx of pilgrims that food prices began to rise, while local boat owners charged exorbitant rates to ferry the believers to the prison fortress and back. This surreal pantomime continued for several months and meanwhile the date of redemption came and went. But the hysteria continued unabated. On the fast of 17 Tammuz, Shabbetai Tzvi ate heartily and so did his supporters. Then, during the traditional three weeks of mourning that followed, Shabbetai Tzvi announced he was cancelling the fast of Tisha B’Av, a decision hailed by his followers as the ultimate crystallization of the redemptive era. But by now the penny was beginning to drop. Things were clearly not going as planned, and nothing that was happening seemed to match Nathan’s ever escalating predictions and ‘prophecies’. It didn’t take a great genius to work out that Shabbetai Tzvi was not leading the Jews to redemption. In fact, he wasn’t even getting out of jail. In addition, there were worrying rumors emerging from the jail of his immor-
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JULY 30, 2015
The Jewish Home Interviews Consul General David Siegel Regarding the Nuclear Agreement with Iran Ruth Judah “This is an Extreme Situation” The Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles, David Siegel, is working furiously to educate members of Congress on the nature and implication of the Iran nuclear deal. Following the July 14 agreement, Consul General Siegel spoke with The Jewish Home. Consul General David Siegel (DS): “There are very significant weaknesses in this deal. Iran was harmed significantly by the 2012 sanctions which successfully disconnected Iran with the global banking system. The Iranians were forced to return
Bushehr nuclear reactor
to negotiations and this should have been productive. Instead it was a slippery slope of negotiations that lasted three years. During that time the goalpost was completely changed.” Jewish Home LA (JHLA): Is this the first time Israel is openly, directly trying to influence Congress as a counter weight to the president? Will that reduce the global political power for America with Europe, China and Russia believing that American is too influenced by Israel? DS: Israel will not inject itself in US politics. It does not need to and it has no reason to. On the other hand, Israel is focused on the ramifications of the agreement. Israel is in its right to defend itself and finding a solution to this turn of events is crucial. The solution that is most viable, requires American support. JHLA: Reports note that Iran is fighting Al-Qaeda and Isis. Is this something good they are doing? Is there anything good that comes out of Iran? DS: Iran has its own interests and they might be fighting Sunnis extremists and that might be a good thing but they certainly play both sides of the Sunni/Shiite conflict to get what they can. When you look at Iran you have to take into account its vast terror network which has been active
for more than thirty years and across five continents. Go back 21 years and there was the Buenos Aires attack and many since then. There are today an unknown amount of sleeper cells that exist throughout the world and they are extremely dangerous. There is absolutely nothing good coming out of Iran. Iran executes more citizens except for China, and more kids under the age of 18 than anyone in the world. Iran is an Islamist Extremist country, a very dangerous place and this is a painfully unsta-
with a vast array of research and development work in the nuclear industry and for the next ten years there will be no limitation on the ways they are legitimately allowed to improve their nuclear industry.” JHLA: How will the Agreement be secured? DS: UN intelligence groups and inspectors will notify Iran of a security trip and after several weeks have passed, they will be allowed into the country. Supposedly and hopefully this will protect the world from Iranian nuclear wrongdoing.
Iran has said it has 150,000 missles pointed at Israel
ble time. In the midst of negotiations and in the aftermath of the agreement, Iranians are on the street, burning the US flag and screaming for death to Americans and to the American President. Given the culture of cruelty that is Iran, an enhancement of their military weaponry would serve against global interests and likely lead to war. Iran is a country of religious fanatics with a moral compass indistinguishable from ISIS, even after the election of a more moderate presidential candidate in 2013, Hassan Rouhani. The country suffers from extraordinary human rights violations of those who seek political, religious, media, sexual, gender or artistic freedom. JHLA: The global agreement allows the world’s nations to use nuclear power for the maintenance of domestic infrastructure and it was this logic that led the politicians to persist with the accord. Is Israel opposed to any deal with the current regime of Iran? Has Israel always believed a deal with Iran is impossible? DS: Nuclear dismantlement was the goal of the original talks and Israel wholly supported an agreement on this basis. Iran would disengage in nuclear enrichment and sanctions would be lifted. It’s incredible to see how differently the negotiations developed. At the final instance we have a situation where Iran is allowed to maintain its nuclear program. They can continue
If deviant behavior is discovered, new sanctions and military action remain a possible consequence. Perhaps we have forgotten the success of Iran in hiding vast underground nuclear facilities? We will never know the exact number of nuclear facilities hidden in deep underground tunnels but it is certain that former President Ahmadinejad was highly knowledgeable and competent in tunnel building. Latest estimates are that 19 tunnel systems exist with many different entrances and exits. A huge network connects many of them through the mountainous region. The facility at Qom, which Iran successfully hid from international inspectors for many years, is buried deep inside a mountain. It was never suspected, despite the intelligence work of the world’s highly competent intelligence teams Mossad, the CIA and MI5. JHLA: Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls the Agreement, a “stunning historical mistake.” Will Iran honor the terms of the agreement? DS: The global agreement changed goals somewhere along the way. Now, Iran does not need to breach the terms of the agreement because they are granted such freedom within it that they can continue with their nuclear program unhindered. Their confidence has immediately risen to dangerous heights on the mega publicity of their inevitable nuclear power. This
Agreement should not have happened. JHLA: The Agreement allows Iran to build and develop Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, (ICBM’s which are designed to carry nuclear and possibly chemical warheads to distances in excess of 3,400 miles. The US Institute of Peace confirms that already, “Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East. (Israel has more capable ballistic missiles, but fewer in number and type.)” How come this was agreed? DS: Previously, Iran could not create
Consul General David Siegel
the key ingredients to ICBM’s but now they will have the freedom to develop these fearful weapons of destruction. In fact, major portions of their current nuclear program are allowed to remain and can be strengthened. There are several ways to create nuclear warheads and Iran is allowed to enrich plutonium but their main interest is to enrich uranium by using spinning centrifuges. 15,000 centrifuges are currently spinning and Iran has the capacity to generate 19,000; a far greater number than the 500 which were approved in the discussions of 2012. For the next years, Iran has agreed that everything will be shut off but it can just as easily be put back into action. JHLA: As a result of this agreement, Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch enemy, alongside Egypt and Jordan, has announced that it will increase its nuclear strength. How will this pan out? DS: By all reports, the region will build more nuclear weapons which is another terrifying element to the deal. It will be too easy for terrorists to get their hands on some of these. JHLA: As Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia work together, they are focused on achieving goals that are shared by Israel. Will there be a change to their relationship? DS: The conflict between these countries may evolve in unexpected ways. This
you speaking to? DS: There are 72 politicians who live in the South Western states of America. This includes Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who lives in San Francisco and Harry
Senior Revolutionary Guards of Iran in Syria helping keep Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power
gotiating table because of the US demand for financial sanctions. They will have to come again. Congress has an enormous and meaningful voice. If Congress votes to veto the deal there will be complicated constitutional issues that will likely result in longstanding litigation on the matter. JHLA: Given that a nuclear Iran will affect the safety of Americans, who are
Reid, the Senior Congressman who lives in Nevada. We are supporting the many voices of local and national leadership including rabbinical groups and orthodox leadership. Given that the US Army has a high percentage of Hispanic soldiers, I speak with diverse groups including Latino American leaders. JHLA: What can we do to make a dif-
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ference? DS: It is our job as responsible citizens and as caring parents to speak to our Rabbi’s, our Jewish organizations and to share with our business networks so that the truth is heard. Speaking out is crucial. This is a defining moment in our history. This is a regime who calls for the destruction of America, even on the day they signed the agreement. They are the source of the 5,000 missiles that fell on Jerusalem last summer. This is why it is important to come together and make a difference. Community power is strong and it resonates with our congressmen who are waiting to hear from the people they represent. We hope that with G-d’s help, we’ll get through this but we are not confident. This is an extreme situation.” Currently Congress is considering the 159 pages of this agreement and there is grave concern from all sides. The head of the Muslim Guard is also concerned and things are happening across the country. Florida, Chicago and New York have already made meaningful statements against the Agreement. JHLA: Will Israel ultimately turn to military action? DS: We do not comment on such matters.
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unsafe, unpredictable and destructive. The only way forward is to renegotiate the deal. Ultimately Congress has an important voice in the matter. China, Russia and Europe initially came to the ne-
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is a new spin on the didactic relationships of the Middle East. Israel is becoming less the pariah and we are hearing more of her rational and competent voice. JHLA: What’s next? DS: The United Nations Security Council already adopted the Vienna Agreement of July 14 and nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be removed over the next months. Iran will be approximately $150 billion richer for agreeing to new monitoring system that supposedly guarantees it, “will under no circumstances ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” And what will this $150 billion dollar budget be used for? Iran will be free to build up its weapons of destruction, some it will doubtless purchase for Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the region and beyond. JHLA: How should the world respond? DS: The obvious response is to increase investment in our armed forces, in our nuclear programs and in weaponry so that Iran will not be able to overwhelm the nations it seeks to destroy. But this is the opposite of Obama’s intent. By insisting the deal is safe, predictable and realistic, there can be no justifiable use of funds for protecting citizens from an Iran which is
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Matchmaking in Los Angeles Yehudis Litvak not willing to date uneducated men. Mrs. Hirsch tells a story of an FFB woman from Boro Park who got a college degree. While she was in college she received a shidduch suggestion which she turned down because the boy was learning in a yeshiva and wasn’t planning on getting a secular education. Several years later, when the woman was 28, the same young man was suggested to her. By that time, she had a Master’s degree and he was a Rebbi. She turned him down again. At age 36, the same man was suggested to her, and this time she agreed to meet him. They eventually married and had two children. But she could have saved herself many years of loneliness. “Much more important [than education] is a soul connection,“ Mrs.
Hirsch says. “I can’t blame women for getting an education – life has become more expensive, and they need to work. But it has changed the equation.” Higher costs of living also affect men. Some men today are afraid of the responsibility of supporting a family. They need to earn a lot more than in their parents’ generation. But men are easier to please, says Mrs. Hirsch. “They want to feel a connection.” “Everyone has become very picky,” adds Mrs. Levine “If a girl is not a size 4 or 6 then she is too fat. Sometimes they ask ridiculous questions, such as where the girl shops.” “Many people have unrealistic expectations that lead to disappointment,” agrees Mrs. Frankel. “Some come from the exposure to the outside world. They want beauty. On the other hand, kids are seeing many divorces and unhappy marriages. They want more. They want to be in love.” Mrs. Frankel says that the most important things are middos tovos, yiras shamayim, and health, not “would she look good
walking next to me in the street.” “It used to be that women didn’t care if the guy was overweight,” adds Mrs. Hirsch. “They used to date men a decade older. They just wanted to find a mentch. Now women date more like men. They want younger, attractive, fit men.” Mrs. Hirsch feels that these requirements are distracting women from what is truly important. Mrs. Orloff says the biggest change is fear of the shidduch crisis. Mothers panic if they’re not getting any shidduch suggestions the moment a girl comes home from seminary. While there is some truth to the notion that there are more girls than boys, this hysteria is not justified, says Mrs. Orloff. “Most kids do eventually get married,” says Mrs. Frankel. She does encounter more girls than boys, but she says that in some communities, there is a shortage of girls. In chassidish communities, where boys marry girls the same age, the shidduch crisis is non-existent. “If we would adapt that [and encourage boys to] marry girls same age or older, we’d go a long way to even the field,” she says. Mrs. Levine agrees. In one of her shidduchim, a boy married a girl who was four years older than him – he was 23 and she was 27. “She looked young,” Mrs. Levine says. “They have a wonderful family and are very happy.” She says that while four years’ difference is unusual, two years is becoming much more common. When asked about the biggest challenge they face, the shadchanim concur that often, people are too quick to say no. “It’s hard to convince both sides to give it a chance,” says Mrs. Levine Mrs. Orloff tells a story of a shidduch she worked on where the girl’s family was told by another shadchan that the boy was not for her. It took a year and a half to convince the girl’s family to consider this boy. But now they are married and have three children. “Don’t passul things too quickly,” says Mrs. Orloff. Both Mrs. Orloff and Mrs. Levine emphasize that it’s important to give the boy or girl a fair chance. Both encourage young people to go out at least twice, and sometimes more. “Sometimes on a second date you see the person in a different light,” says Mrs. Levine She tells of a shidduch where after several dates the boy said no because he thought the girl was too quiet. After a couple of years, Mrs. Levine suggested the same girl. She convinced the boy to meet her again, telling him that she knew the girl very well and that she was not quiet. Eventually, they got married. In
another shidduch, the girl said no after the first date. Mrs. Levine convinced her to go out again, and this time the boy became more confident and opened up. They ended up marrying. Another advantage of additional dates, says Mrs. Orloff, is being able to say no with absolute certainty. She tells a story of an LA girl who went out with a boy from Chicago who was in LA for a wedding. After four dates, the girl was pretty sure it wasn’t for her, but she wasn’t 100% sure. During her vacation she made a special trip to Chicago to go out one more time. She called Mrs. Orloff very excited – this time she knew for sure it wasn’t going to work. Mrs. Orloff tells another story where a girl went on many dates with a boy. She wasn’t ready to say yes, but she didn’t have a good reason to say no. Then they had a disagreement, and she felt misunderstood. She was ready to never see him again. But an older friend advised her, “You want to go to sleep at night knowing you didn’t pass up your bashert.” The girl reconsidered, went out with the boy again, and eventually they got married. When asked about the LA shidduch scene, the shadchanim say that most young people marry outside of LA, while older singles tend to marry local. Mrs. Frankel tells the families to consider the local suggestions first. But, says Mrs. Orloff, many people are reluctant to consider local shidduchim because it would be too uncomfortable if it didn’t work out. “Girls from LA need to be ready to travel,” adds Mrs. Orloff. The shadchanim offer encouragement to singles. “Never give up hope!” says Mrs. Hirsch. “Hashem has a plan. While single, work on yourself to become the best person you can be.” “Know your selfworth,” adds Mrs. Orloff. “Know you have a lot to offer. And always put your best foot forward on dates. First impressions last forever.” Mrs. Frankel adds another component to successful matchmaking – tefillah. She tells about the shidduchim Tehillim in her shul, Congregation Levi Yitzchok. Last year, there were no engagements in the shul, and the women decided to say Tehillim together at every Shabbos Kiddush. They say Tehillim 32, 38, 70, 71, 121, and 124, and they mention names of those in need of a shidduch. The week after they began, a girl got engaged, then another two girls, and on another week they had four engagements. Last week, the women also got together on Thursday night, to do hafrashas challah together and daven for singles. “Everybody is welcome to join us,” says Mrs. Frankel.
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In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, finding a shidduch was simple. On Tu B’Av, young women would dance in the vineyards, wearing borrowed white garments. Young men in search of a wife would go there and choose who to marry (Gemara Taanis 31a). Since then, finding a spouse has become increasingly complicated. Today, many shadchanim work tirelessly, helping singles find their bashert. We spoke with several Los Angeles-based shadchanim to find out what matchmaking involves these days. The work of a shadchan is not easy. “It’s a 24/7 job,” says Mrs. Yehudis Orloff. “I feel like I have a phone glued to my ear,” agrees Mrs. Tzirel Frankel. “I could be answering emails, phone calls, and texts all day.” Mrs. Orloff says that on any given day, she could get fifty phone calls and thirty emails. Whenever she attends a wedding people approach her, bombarding her with requests for shidduch suggestions. “I try to give everybody time,” says Mrs. Orloff. “Sometimes people don’t know that I’m working on something for them. I don’t want to disappoint them, so I only tell them once the other party says yes. It’s hard, because sometimes people get offended.” The shadchanim find their work very rewarding. “I feel very grateful to be zoche to be involved with singles,” says Mrs. Rena Hirsch. “It’s beautiful to watch people find each other.” “When I finally make a shidduch it’s an amazing feeling, worth the hard work,” agrees Mrs. Tova Levine. All of them attribute their success to Hashem. “I’ve become very humbled over the past twenty five years,” says Mrs. Hirsch. “It’s all min hashamayim. I’m just a connector.” “I get to see Hashem running the show from the get go,” says Mrs. Frankel. “All my success is through siyata dishmaya,” says Mrs. Orloff. The job of a shadchan has evolved over the years. “It used to be much easier to make a shidduch,” says Mrs. Levine “There were no profiles.” While helpful, profiles often do not provide a complete picture of the person. “There is nothing like a human connection,” agrees Mrs. Hirsch. Even with the popularity of matchmaking websites, singles still call her to inquire about somebody they saw online. The singles themselves have changed as well. There are a lot more educated women now, explains Mrs. Hirsch, while the number of educated men did not increase as much. But educated women are
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say “Say What?” What?”
Researchers here in New York created a robot that actually passed a self-awareness test. So if you’re keeping score, that’s robots: 1, Donald Trump: 0. – Jimmy Fallon
The Congress and Senate are very strongly pro-Israel... In a sense, Obama is like a gift to Israel – the big brother you realize can’t take care of you when you are a teenager, so you have to take care of yourself. - Dr. Harold Rhode, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute
A couple who got married in Illinois on Friday has the last names Burger and King. Which makes sense because in a few years most of their conversations will end with “Fine, have it your way!” - Seth Myers So Lindsey Graham says to me, “Please whatever you can do.” What is this guy, a beggar? He’s like begging me to help him get on Fox & Friends. So I say, okay. I’ll mention your name... And he gave me his number. And I found the card! I wrote the number down, I don’t know if it’s the right number, let’s try it... (202) 228-0292…So, I dunno, give it a shot…Your local politician, he won’t fix anything but at least he’ll talk to you. – Donald Trump, who is upset at Senator Graham for criticizing him, recalling, during a political rally, an incident from several years ago when Senator Lindsey Graham asked Trump to help him get on Fox News. (Reporters quickly called the number and it was, in fact, Senator Graham’s private cell number) Probably getting a new phone. iPhone or Android? - Tweet by Senator Lindsey Graham after Donald Trump revealed his private cell number to the public
Compiled by Nate Davis
It was announced today that Iran has reached a deal with the U.S. to limit its nuclear program and send most of its uranium to Russia. Then Americans said, “That’s great! Wait, WHAT?” - Jimmy Fallon
Hey, I’m sorry if I delayed your show five minutes. But you got a lot of attention from this, so maybe I made your show a little better [known]. - Nick Silvestri, 19, who climbed onto the set of a Broadway show before it started to plug his cellphone into a socket onstage, when his actions were discovered and were widely condemned
The president of Iran prematurely announced the nuclear deal on Twitter yesterday before it was official. Which isn’t that big a deal until you realize the guy who almost had nukes is known for accidentally hitting “Send.” - Jimmy Fallon
I’m just happy that he’s willing to review my status. When I sit down with him, I’ll tell him everything I did as a player and as a manager. We’ll go from there. I’ll be as honest as I can with him. I’m not going to make any odds. - Pete Rose, who was banned from baseball for gambling, discussing his upcoming meeting with MLB’s commissioner about possible reinstatement From what I hear, he is coming now as the president of the United States. He should have at least informed us as his family. - 57-year-old Malik Abon’go Obama during an interview at his home in Kogelo, Kenya
Yesterday President Obama announced that he is commuting the sentences of 46 prisoners, most of whom committed nonviolent crimes. Then those 46 convicts said, “Actually we already escaped. Thanks for thinking of us, though.” – Jimmy Fallon
Yes, it is real, it is possible, and, in fact, we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now. – National Security Advisor Susan Rice when asked on CNN if any of the $100 billion that is being released to Iran might go to fund terror in the region
The U.S. won the International Math Olympiad. If you don’t think Americans can compete with Asia in math, maybe you should talk to some of the members of the American team, like Shyam Narayanan, Yang Liu, and Allen Liu. And their coach, Po-Shen Loh. - Seth Myers
Donald Trump got in some trouble for saying that John McCain is not a war hero and said, “I like people that weren’t captured.” Not good. In fact, Trump’s people are telling him to lay low for a while until all this combs over. – Jimmy Fallon
The pile officially melted. - The mayor of Boston sharing the good news on July 14th that the last of the snow from the city’s epic winter is finally gone
Disney revealed its plans for its upcoming resort and theme park in Shanghai, which will open next year. It’s great news for anyone who loves theme parks but wished the lines were a billion times longer. - Jimmy Fallon
President Obama said yesterday that education is the key to reducing the prison population. Though apparently power tools also works. – Seth Myers
I’ve got to give you credit Major for how you craft those questions. The notion that I’m content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails, Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better. - President Obama in response
Police in Germany are trying to find the owner of a plastic bag filled with $200,000 after it recently fell from a tree at a local campsite. Then Greece said, “Can we get like 10 million of those trees?” - Jimmy Fallon Senseless? Unfathomable? Terrorism? I doubt it… Not every act of political violence is terrorism. If we target a training site, and if the only people we kill are the fighters or trainees inside, our hands are clean. And that seems to be what Abdulazeez did to our own men in Chattanooga. We don’t yet know his motive. But if it turns out that he was angry about U.S. military action abroad—and if his response was to kill U.S. military personnel—does that make him a terrorist? Or just an enemy combatant? - William Saletan writing on hyper-left wing website Slate. com, shamelessly making a treasonous argument that if we go after ISIS recruits they should be able to target our military recruiting centers
The Obama administration announced a deal with Iran that would prevent the Iranians from making a nuclear weapon. In exchange, we’re giving the Iranians Netflix. – Conan O’Brien
Mexico is offering a $3.8 million reward for information leading to the capture of the escaped billionaire drug lord, El Chapo. Mexico said they’ll get the money by borrowing it from El Chapo. - Conan O’Brien Shepard Fairey, the street artist responsible for President Obama’s “Hope” poster, is now facing vandalism charges in Detroit. It’s pretty serious. Detroit officials say the artist’s spray paint caused over $9,000 worth of improvements. – Jimmy Fallon
Has the administration reached out to the Steinle family, to your knowledge? -Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, during a Congressional hearing about sanctuary cities in the aftermath of Kate Steinle being randomly shot by an illegal alien while touring San Francisco with her father To who? - Secretary Johnson in response
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– Seth Myers
To the four Marines that have been killed, it has been a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion. - President Obama after four Marines (and a sailor who has since succumbed to his injuries) were brutally gunned down by a radical Muslim terrorist
As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran: Three held on trumped-up charges, according to your administration, and one, whereabouts unknown. Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans? - CBS News’ Major Garrett to President Obama at his press conference about the Iran deal
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Tomorrow, July 15, is a rare day when no professional sporting events will take place in the U.S. It’s causing millions of fathers everywhere to ask, “Why can’t your dance recital be today?”
Who would have supposed that there were ice mountains? It’s just blowing my mind. - Hal Weaver, a scientist on NASA’s New Horizons project, which provided mankind with its first up-close glimpse of Pluto this week
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Global Chinese Curator Forges 140 Paintings
China is known for selling fake items to the public but this case has made headlines for the boldness of the ruse. Xiao Yuan, 57, a curator at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in southern China, has admitted to stealing more than 140 paintings by Chinese masters from a university and replacing them with his own forgeries. He sold 125 of the paintings for approximately $6 million. Interestingly, Xiao defended his actions, telling Guangzhou People’s Intermediate Court there were already fakes in the storeroom when he started to work there. Xiao, who had a key to the university storeroom, substituted famous works by masters including Zhu Da, Qi Baishi and Zhang Daqian between 2004 and 2011. During this time, some of his forgeries were stolen by someone else and then replaced with yet another copy. “I realized someone else had replaced my paintings with their own because I could clearly discern that their works were terribly bad,” he said. University policy allowed students and professors to take out paintings the same way one could borrow library books. In 2012 Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that art forgery was “increasingly rampant” in the country. That year it became the world’s largest market for art and antiques, according to the European Fine Art Foundation.
FBI: Syrian Atrocities are Real After a year of analysis, the FBI has concluded that controversial photographs showing the torture of Syrian political prisoners are indeed authentic. The findings provide powerful new evidence to support charges of extensive human rights violations by Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The photographs, smuggled out of Syria by a defector two years ago, show no evidence of being manipulated and “appear to depict real people and events,” the FBI concluded in a report compiled at the request of the State Department. A top State Department official said the FBI report could provide fresh impetus for international war crimes prosecutors to bring criminal charges against top Syrian officials. The pictures were taken by a former official government photographer-turned-defector who, using the codename “Caesar,” smuggled them out of Syria two years ago on thumb drives concealed in his shoes. When the photos first surfaced last year, Assad officials denounced them as forgeries concocted by Syrian rebel groups. Any expert “could easily find out that these pictures are fake and that they have no relation to prisoners or detainees in Syrian prisons,” the Syrian Justice Ministry said in a statement at the time. But the FBI report contradicts that claim. The bodies and scenes depicted in the 242 samples analyzed by FBI analysts “exhibit no artifacts or inconsistencies that would indicate that they have been manipulated … [or] are the result of computer-generated effects,” states the report by the FBI’s Digital Evidence Laboratory. Stephen Rapp, the State Department ambassador for global criminal justice, said that the FBI report has already been shared with officials at a United Nations commission investigating Syrian human rights abuses.
99.97% of N. Korea Participates in “Election”
part in elections and 99 percent of them cast affirmative votes for uncontested candidates. “All participants took part in the elections with extraordinary enthusiasm to cement the revolutionary power through the elections of deputies to the local people’s assemblies,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said. The small percentage of citizens who did not vote were mostly out of the country, KCNA said. The ill and elderly were able to cast votes via “mobile ballot boxes.” Leader Kim Jong-Un cast his own ballot in the capital. In 2011, 28,116 representatives were elected as deputies to local assemblies with not a single vote of opposition to the candidates. During each four-year term, the local assemblies convene once or twice a year to approve budgets and endorse leaders appointed by the ruling party. North Korea, which the Kim dynasty has ruled with an iron fist for more than six decades, held elections for its rubber-stamp parliament last year. Amazingly, those polls also saw turnout of 99.97 percent. Many believe these formal elections are one way for the dictating party to determine if there are any obvious names that are absent. South Korean intelligence officials say dozens of senior North Korean officials have been purged since Kim JongUn took power. Kim suspiciously replaced his defense minister in April. The most high-profile purge was of Kim Jong-Un’s once powerful uncle Jang Song-Thaek, who was condemned as “factionalist scum” following his execution in 2013.
who were not researched in the study. Interestingly, for Ashkenazi Jews, the scores for “visual-spatial” were particularly low. Math and language scores, however, were astonishing. According to the study, “Ashkenazi Jews comprise 2.2% of the USA population, but they represent 30% of faculty at elite colleges, 21% of Ivy League students, 25% of the Turing Award winners, 23% of the wealthiest Americans, and 38% of the Oscar-winning film directors.” But the disproportion does not just stop at braininess. According to the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, “Since 1950, 29% of the Oslo awards have gone to Ashkenazim, even though they represent only 0.25% of humanity. Ashkenazi achievement in this arena is 117 times greater than their population.”
250 Hamas Operatives Arrested A potentially deadly series of terrorist attacks were thwarted this week when over 250 Hamas members were arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank. According to the PA, the Hamas cells planned to kidnap Israelis, fire at vehicles on main arteries in the West Bank, launch attacks on IDF checkpoints and assassinate senior PA security officials. The PA also confiscated funds in possession of the Hamas operatives and seized weapons and explosives.
Israel Top Marks for Jewish IQ
Say yes—because you have to. State-controlled local elections in North Korea this week touted a 99.97 percent voter participation rate, state media reported, in polls to elect new representatives put forward by the ruling party. Typically, 99 percent of North Korean voters in the de facto single-party state take
A new study recently published by conducted at Cambridge University called, “From Chance to Choice: Genetic and Justice,” found that Ashkenazi Jews have a median IQ of 117. That’s 10 points higher than the “accepted” IQ of their biggest competition, those from Northeast Asia, and 20% higher than the global average. Ashkenazim make up approximately 80% of all Jews who descend from Medieval Germany and throughout Europe. The other 20% is made up of Sephardic Jews,
Behind the plot was a core of veteran Hamas fighters known as the “West Bank office,” comprised of former convicted terrorists from the West Bank who were released from Israeli prisons to the Gaza Strip in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal. The cells were managed by senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri. The aim, a PA official said, was to destroy any ties between Israel and the PA and to cause Israel to make a drastic move which would inflame the West Bank. Earlier this month, Hamas alleged that more than 200 of its members were arrested by the Palestinian Authority recently, with most of them tortured, threatening to widen a rift between Palestinian factions. “Hamas
On June 30, Malachi Rosenfeld lost his life when he was shot by a terrorist in a car. Earlier this month, Israeli security forces arrested his murderers, who were also behind a shooting two days earlier at a Magen David Adom ambulance and other vehicles near Beitin. The family of terrorists and the rest of their cell admitted to have committed these attacks and attempting to commit another attack on June 6, 2015. The brains behind the “family business” terror cell, Ahmad Najar, a Hamas operative, was not among the suspects arrested. He was imprisoned in Israel several times in the past, most recently from December 2003 until October 2011, over his involvement in a shooting attack that claimed the lives of six Israelis. After his release as part of the Shalit deal and expulsion to Gaza, Najar moved to Jordan, where he has been working to organize and fund terror attacks. His brother, Amjad Najar, also a Hamas operative, was arrested on July 7. In his interrogation he admitted to facilitating the transfer of instructions, weapons and funding from his brother in Jordan to the West Bank for the attack. He was previously arrested in the 1990s for involvement in terror activities. Jamal Younes, Ahmad Najar’s fatherin-law, was arrested on July 10. In his interrogation, he admitted to scrapping the car used in the attack, mediating on an arms deal for the attack, and to meeting Ahmad Najar in Jordan. Abdallah Ischak was also arrested on July 7. In his interrogation, the terrorist admitted to being directly involved in the two attacks, saying he drove the car used by the cell and participated in other armed activity. He was previously in Israeli jail in 2010-2011 for arms trade and terror activities. In 2006, he was involved in the planning of a terror attack.
Adallom: Latest Israeli Start-Up Buy-Out Rumors are swirling about another huge acquisition of an Israeli tech start-up. According to many industry sources, Microsoft is set to acquire Israeli cloud security firm Adallom, making it the company’s tenth outright acquisition in Israel. If the reported acquisition price is correct, the Israeli start-up will cost Microsoft $320 million. According to reports, Tel Aviv-based Adallom, currently with about 60 employees, will continue to operate in Israel and will expand to become Microsoft’s cyber-security development headquarters in Israel. $320 million would be the most Microsoft ever paid for an Israeli tech firm and would place Adallom among the top 25 biggest buyouts made by Microsoft. The software behemoth has made 179 acquisitions since 1987.
as corporate mail and messaging systems, is to ensure that not only is the data itself safe but that it is being used in a legitimate manner even by company employees, said Ami Luttwak, co-founder of Adallom. The system keeps tabs on many other security issues as well. If a user generally reads or downloads 3-5 technical documents a day, Adallom’s system will send out an alert if it sees the user downloading hundreds of documents; perhaps the employee is planning to quit that very day and is taking along some data “souvenirs” before leaving. If the system notices that there is a great deal of browser activity and many access requests, that could be evidence of malware operating on a user’s system, sucking up data from an employee’s computer or from the network. A quick alert dispatched by Adallom’s security solution allows administrators to put a clamp on that user’s access privileges. Adallom was established in 2011 by Luttwak, Assaf Rappaport, and Roy Reznik, who all previously served in the Israeli Intelligence Corps (“unit 8200”). Since then it has become a go-to enterprise solution for companies like HP, SAP, FireEye, LinkedIn, Pixar, Netflix and DropBox. Adallom also has specific solutions for SaaS-cloud services like Google Docs, Office365, Salesforce.com, and many others.
Hebrew U Ranked among World’s Best by Saudi Think Tank Adallom’s product is designed to prevent misuse of online Software as a Service (Saas) systems within organizations by keeping an eye on how they are being used. The key to SaaS data security, such
High marks were given to Israel’s universities by a Saudi Arabia-based consultancy this week. The Jeddah-based Center for World University Rankings listed three Israeli universities in the world’s best 100, and a total of seven in the world’s best
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Ten years later, a majority of Israelis maintain they opposed the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip, and over half believe Israel should resettle the territory. According to a survey by the think tank Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Studies, 63 percent of respondents say they were against the evacuation at the time, while 51% say Israeli civilians should move back into the coastal enclave. Nearly half of respondents (47%) also oppose evacuating West Bank Jewish settlements, while 53% support such a move under certain circumstances, such as a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Prof. Efraim Inbar, the head of the think tank, said the results indicate that many Israelis regret supporting the 2005 plan — which saw the dismantling of 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, evacuation of over 8,000 Israelis, and an end of Israeli control over the coastal enclave — and that some respondents lied on the survey about their past support. “Since we know a majority of the public in 2005 supported the disengagement, it’s very clear that some of the respondents don’t feel comfortable with their past support for the disengagement and therefore testify today that they opposed it,” Inbar noted. The majority support for territorial withdrawal in the West Bank under certain conditions, namely a peace deal, is “not surprising,” he added. “Most Israelis are
Malachi Rosenfeld’s Murderers Arrested
Fa’ez Hamed, a Hamas commander, was arrested on July 9 for his part in the attacks. In his interrogation, he admitted to planning the attacks and being involved in another attempted attack. He was arrested several times in the past for his activity within Hamas.
PUNCTUAL COURTEOUS RELIABLE HAIMISHE
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Gush Katif Poll Shows Change of Heart
willing to make territorial compromises, in particular in areas that have a large Arab population.” That most Israelis want to resettle Gaza is, however, “surprising,” and requires further research, he said.
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members in the occupied West Bank are being submitted to their worst campaign of arrests — their biggest and longest,” Hamas official Abdurahman Shadid told journalists. He said more than 200 had been arrested since July 2 in the West Bank and “most have been severely tortured.”
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1,000 — eclipsing institutions in the Middle East and the Arab world and standing on par with some of the best universities in Europe, Asia and the U.S. Jerusalem’s Hebrew University was ranked as Israel’s best institution, taking the 23rd spot worldwide — down from 22nd place in 2014. The Weizmann Institute of Science secured 39th place, and Tel Aviv University clinched 86th spot. Rounding off the list, the Technion came in at No. 136, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was ranked No. 349, Bar-Ilan University came in at 521, while the University of Haifa was ranked 700. The highest-ranked institution in the region outside of Israel was the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, at No. 470. Unsurprisingly, Ivy League universities, together with Cambridge and Oxford universities in Britain, completed the world’s top ten list. Harvard University was ranked the world’s No. 1, followed by Stanford and MIT. These results differ substantially from a June survey run by the British daily The Times, which indicated a considerable drop in Israel’s university rankings. On that list, Tel Aviv University placed 22nd on the list of Asian nations, while Hebrew University ranked 25th. Turkey’s Middle East Technical University ranked as the best institution in the region, beating out its Israeli counterparts.
Court Awards Kafka Collection to Library
50 years and many court cases after his death, Franz Kafka’s publisher’s estate will be legally placed in the safe hands of the National Library of Israel. The Court’s decision to hand over Max Brod’s possessions ended a longstanding dispute between Eva and Ruti Hoffe – the daughters of Brod’s secretary, Esther Hoffe, whom Brod had left in charge of his estate upon his death in 1968 – and Israel’s National Library, which was suing for possession of the documents. The judges found that upon her death in 2007, Ester Hoffe had illegally bequeathed the collection to her daughters, after having, also illegally, sold several of its most
important manuscripts to private archives around the world for impressive sums. “Is the placing of Kafka’s personal writings – which he ordered to be destroyed – for public sale to the highest bidder by the secretary of his friend and by her daughters in keeping with justice? It appears that the answer to this is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling. At the heart of the debate lay the equivocal legal status of the Kafka estate. Brod – himself a major cultural figure known for his work as a novelist, journalist, Zionist activist and composer – had received the collection from Kafka. Several decades later, he made a present of it to his secretary and associate Hoffe, whom he also named sole executor of his estate in his will. He left the fate of the material to Hoffe’s discretion, providing a list of institutions – headed by the National Library – to which she should donate the estate upon her death, if not before. The court’s decision confirmed that Brod’s ultimate request – that the collection be donated to a public institution – was the decisive factor in the story. “Just as Max Brod saw it as his indisputable duty to publish Kafka’s works as overriding any consideration against their publication, so it is our duty and our privilege to realize this aim,” Justice Kobi Vardi wrote in the Court’s decision. “And even if someone claims we were wrong, everyone will at least agree that this was a truly first-rate Kafkaesque story,” he added.
Kerem Shalom Crossing Used by Hamas to Smuggle in Goods
According to reports, Hamas members and Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip are still working tirelessly to continue their network of underground tunnels. Ramadan, a month of fasting that took place this year in the hot summer months, didn’t even stop them. However, in recent weeks, construction has slowed due to a severe shortage of materials that are essential for the tunnel industry.
Many Israeli defense experts assume that, a year after Operation Protective Edge, it is likely that Hamas already has one or more tunnels crossing the border fence and reaching inside Israel. When Israel realized that materials vital to the tunnel industry were being smuggled from Israel into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, they put a stop to it. Some of the resources are dual-use materials and some illegal material was hidden in aboveboard supply deliveries. Material for rocket manufacture was also brought into the Strip via Israel in this way. Recent inspections and seizures at the Kerem Shalom border crossing led to a discovery of an attempt to smuggle enough rocket fuel for 4,480 20-kilometer-range rockets. The fuel had been hidden in bags containing a different material. Excavating tunnels requires heavy labor, shovels, steel cables, engines, pulley blocks, batteries, concrete or wooden panels, metal pallets and various chemicals. The manufacture of rockets, meanwhile, requires electrodes, explosive materials and rocket fuel, among other things. Hamas was managing to smuggle all those things into the Gaza Strip until fairly recently — not through tunnels from Sinai or by sea, but from Israel via Kerem Shalom. Many of the necessary tools and items can be disguised as harmless parts of civilian equipment but is easily repurposed for arms manufacture and for digging tunnels. For example, refrigerator motors can be ordered without raising a red flag and then parts of it can be used for tunnel excavations. Supposedly Hamas set up an extensive hierarchy of funds and personnel for purchasing and acquisition in Israel and the West Bank. This apparatus receives orders from all of Hamas’s various departments: the military wing, of course, and military outposts, installations, tunnels and arms-manufacturing plants. Hamas also set up a network of Palestinian merchants in Gaza to buy the goods; some know nothing of their role in the organization while others are well aware of it. Their job is to supply Hamas indirectly or directly with everything it needs: electronics, communications equipment and construction materials. Despite the recent revelations of goods being smuggled in for tunnel excavation and arms manufacture through the Kerem Shalom crossing, the transfer of goods is continuing—about 600 enormous trucks filled with goods from Israel enter the Gaza Strip every day. But at the same time, the defense establishment has heightened its efforts to prevent those dual-purpose materials from getting into the Strip.
Because of the tightening of controls, Hamas’s purchasing and acquisitions department is suffering from a shortage of electrodes and chemical materials. A package of electrodes that until recently cost 60 shekels in Gaza now costs 800 shekels. The price for explosives smuggled into Gaza, once $10,000 per ton, has soared to $70,000. It seems that the price of terrorism has gone up.
National Best & Worst Cities for Drivers
New Yorkers, here is some serious validation. New York City has been ranked the worst city in the United States for drivers. Yes, there is more excitement, entertainment, and opportunity in the Big Apple than in Lubbock, Texas, the city ranked best for drivers, but in terms of driving, we lose. Personal finance website WalletHub published the Top 10 Best Cities for Drivers and the Top 10 Worst Cities for Drivers last week. Cities were ranked based on factors like average gas prices, average annual traffic delays, rates of car theft and car clubs per capita. Where should drivers be honking their horns? Here are the best cities for drivers in the United States: 1. Lubbock, TX 2. Corpus Christi, TX 3. Lincoln, NE 4. Greensboro, NC 5. Tucson, AZ 6. Reno, NV 7. Durham, NC 8. Colorado Springs, CO 9. Winston-Salem, NC 10. Raleigh, NC Here are the ten cities to avoid if you’re behind the wheel:
Team USA Victorious in Int’l Math Olympiad
Gun Storeowner: No Muslims Allowed In response to the recent murders in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a Florida gun shop owner has banned Muslim customers from
Worrying recent reports revealed that U.S. students score significantly lower on standardized tests than students from other developed countries. In a March 2015 report by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. was ranked 28th among 76 countries for school performance. The OECD report ranked countries based on 15-year-old students’ average scores specifically in math and science. But there is no better way to prove we’ve got brains than winning the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad. Recently, the smartest math students from across the globe from more than 100 countries congregated in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for some healthy and brainy competition. The International Mathematical Olympiad took place on July 10 and 11 at Chiang Mai’s Lotus Pang Suankaew hotel. Students were given three complex math problems to solve. Po-Shen Loh, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and Team USA’s head coach, explained, “If you can even solve one question, you’re a bit of a genius.” For the first time in over two decades, the U.S. claimed a victory. The American team won the competition with 185 points, just beating out China’s team, which scored 181. South Korea clinched third place. “It’s been 21 years,” Team USA’s head coach, Po-Shen Loh, told The Washington Post. “This is a huge deal.” Loh said that he hopes the recent Olympiad victory will “inspire large areas of the [American] population to try harder in mathematics than they ever thought they could.”
his store. On Saturday, Andy Hallinan declared Florida Gun Supply a “Muslim-free zone” after four Marines and one sailor were killed in Abdulazeez’s shooting spree.
“I have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all patriots in my community, and so effective immediately, I’m declaring Florida Gun Supply as a Muslim-free zone,” he said in a video as he stood against the backdrop of the
Confederate flag. “I will not arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots.” “I’m not going to be asking every person who walks in what their religious background is. That’s not my business,” he told the media. “But I do have the right to deny firearms and training to anyone I deem as a threat.” “We are in battle, patriots, but not only with Islamic extremism,” Hallinan added in the video. “We’re also in battle against extreme political correctness that threatens our lives, because if we can’t call evil, evil for fear of offending people, then we can’t really defeat our enemies.” In order to help people become better protected against other terrorist attacks, the store will also be offering free conceal carry classes and open its practice shoot-
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JULY 30, 2015
“[A competition like the Olympiad] plays the same role as the Olympics does in sports: to have some sort of far destination that all of our hundreds of thousands or millions of people in America can reach towards, like a pinnacle in the distance,” Loh said. “It pushes people to reach farther in mathematics.” The last time America won the Olympiad was in 1994.
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1. New York, NY 2. Washington, DC 3. Philadelphia, PA 4. San Francisco, CA 5. Detroit, MI 6. Newark, NJ 7. Boston, MA 8. Chicago, IL 9. Baltimore, MD 10. Los Angeles, CA
THE JEWISH HOME
JULY 30, 2015
ing range to the public. “Our leaders are telling you that Islam is a peaceful religion full of tolerance and love and hope. Don’t believe their lies,” he said in the video. In terms of the colorful backdrop in the video, Hallinan defended the Confederate flag, which has been the center of recent debates. “This flag represents nothing but the rich heritage of the South,” he declared. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for the Department of Justice to review the no-Muslim policy, which it claimed violates federal civil rights laws. “These bigoted declarations are no different than ‘whites only’ signs posted in businesses during a period of our nation’s history that we had hoped was over,” CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper told the media.
That’s Odd The Fashion of Food
To raise awareness for a new variety of Special K cereal, a designer created a special dress. This dress is no ordinary dress. No, this dress has no cotton or silk or wool. It’s made of cereal ingredients and no doubt will make the wearer pretty hungry. Four thousand stalks of braided wheat structured the shoulders, bodice, and skirt, and 500 almonds, hand-sewn together, are interspersed throughout. The train is composed of 450 red apples, and flowers were tastefully placed for decoration, not eating. But wait, there’s more! The dress also has 800 cut almonds, 50 vanilla pods, 50 vanilla flowers and 100 apple peels. “I’ve created some weird and wonderful things in my time but to make a dress 100 percent out of the ingredients of a cereal recipe was a huge challenge and involved a lot of hard work,” designer Petra Storrs said. It took 200 hours to complete the dress, with five people working together.
Let’s just call it the food frock. Make sure not to fress when you wear this dress!
One Bid for Spanish Airport
Want to buy your own airport to land your private jet? It won’t cost too much— just a few thousand euros and you can call it your own. This week, one of Spain’s “ghost airports”—expensive projects that were virtually unused—received just one bid in a bankruptcy auction. The bid was from a Chinese group who offered just 10,000 euros for Ciudad Real’s Central airport 150 miles south of Madrid. Want to guess how much it cost to build the airport? 1.1 billion euros. The airport became a symbol of the country’s wasteful spending during a construction boom that deflated in the 2008 financial crisis—the year the airport opened. After failing to draw enough traffic, the operator of the airport went bust in 2012. Although the Chinese group bid 10,000 euros for the complex, a minimum price of 28 million euros was set previously. If no better bid is found by September the sale will go through. Time to take out your checkbooks. Central has one of Europe’s longest runways and was designed to handle 2.5 million passengers a year. Should be enough space for all my flying gear.
unmarked police vehicle with an officer sitting in the driver’s seat. The suspect reportedly threw himself in the back of the car yelling, “Drive, drive!” which is what the detective did— straight to the police station. The police were called when a woman said she saw someone trying to break into a home in the area. When police arrived, the suspect already was at another residence trying to break in. At one point, the thief realized he was being targeted and ran straight into what he thought was a getaway car. Police said they were placing him under arrest for his sense of foolishness. (Just kidding.)
He Won the Game but Didn’t Have to Play You know what they say: you have to be in it to win it. But that’s not necessarily true. Kevin Foster just happens to be one lucky guy. In 2012, though, he didn’t feel too lucky. True, he just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in cross-cultural studies, so he could be proud of his BA. But he also came out of college carrying a load of debt of $32,000. And really, Kevin, what do you do with a degree in cross-cultural studies? It seems that Kevin decided to tackle his student debt the old fashioned way: via the internet. He signed up for an innovative new pay-to-play online trivia game called Givling earlier this year. He hoped that one of the company’s promises—to pay off some members’ student debt—would apply to him.
that his debts were all clear. “I started freaking out,” he recalled. How do you win the jackpot like Kevin? People with student loan debt can sign up for Givling in order to be placed in a queue based on the time and date of their registration to have their debts paid. But these students don’t have to play any games on Givling to be eligible for loan repayment. Separately, trivia gamers sign up and are randomly placed into teams of three. Team members answer true or false questions to rack up points. The highest-scoring funding team is eligible for a $4 million prize. In addition to the large $4 million prize, there are smaller daily prize amounts awarded. Givling costs $0.50 to play a round and an additional $0.30 for a transaction fee. Players also receive one free game a day. Despite signing up with Givling, Kevin had no illusions that it was a (very) long shot. He continued to pay off his student debts—around $500 a month—and worked three jobs: at a kitchen at Manhattan Christian College, as a paraeducator in a special-education classroom for a local high school, and as server in a restaurant at Meadowlark Hills, a retirement home. Sounds very cross-cultural to me. Although the gift of no-more student debt came through for Kevin, he and his wife are still not in the clear: she has about $10,000 in student debt in her name. I know a website she can go to.
JFK Airport is for the Dogs
Go Straight to Jail
A life of crime is not for the smartest members of society, but his thief takes the cake. A 28-year-old resident of Ramle in Israel was arrested on Sunday morning after trying to flee the scene of a crime in an
Seems like a long shot? It was. But it paid off. Last month, Givling showed up at Foster’s door, telling the shocked Kevin
Sometimes JFK Airport seems like a zoo. Pretty soon animals can look forward to their own $48 million private facility in the busy airport aptly called The ARK at JFK. The luxury terminal will handle more than 70,000 animals flying in and out of the airport every year—from cats and dogs to horses, cows, and even sloths and aardvarks. The animals will be living large. The bigger animals will enjoy their own cli-
Looking for a good snooze? You may want to visit the town of Kalachi. The 600 person village in Kazakhstan has been struck by a mysterious phenomenon that has scientists baffled as to the cause. Villagers have been falling asleep at random times—in schools, at home, even on a motorcycle—and sometimes even sleeping for days at a time. Last week, local officials officially ruled that the town has been hit with carbon monoxide poisoning suspected to be coming from a nearby uranium mine. But the mine is inactive, and scientists are not convinced. Villagers also don’t suffer from other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and some have thought that meningitis or even bad vodka was the culprit for the tired town. Just to be safe, the Kazakh government has decided to relocate the villagers. Which, of course, is a whole new headache.
The Proper Way to Walk
The New Burger Kings
In New York, you don’t just walk down the street. There are rules—and you better keep to ‘em! A few months ago, the NYC Depart-
“I now pronounce you the Burger King and Queen.” On Friday, Joel Burger and Ashley King had it their way when they married in Illinois in front of family and friends. The two made headlines when Burger King promised to foot the bill to their nuptials after they announced their engagement.
Eric Hirschhorn related. “On so many levels, it felt like fate. They found each other and their story found us.” Burger, 24, and King, 25, have known each other since they were children in the small village of New Berlin but they didn’t always connect their last names with the fast food giant. King is taking her husband’s last name, so she is now a Burger. “But it will forever be Burger King,” the new husband said after the ceremony. Family and friends said it was a whopper of a wedding. I wonder if they served more than just hamburgers at the smorgasbord. The bride and groom posed in paper crowns from the burger chain, and the groomsmen wore Burger King T-shirts under their suits. “When we heard about the happy Burger-King couple, we felt an overwhelming urge to celebrate their upcoming marriage,” Burger King spokesman
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A Sleepy Town
ment of Pedestrian Etiquette issued the following proclamation: “Effective April 1, 2016, all new residents and visitors to New York City [o]ver the age of 16 will be required to take a mandatory training session on Proper Etiquette for navigating the sidewalks and streets of the greater metropolitan area.” The sign, which is obviously (we hope!) a spoof, was affixed to posts in certain neighborhoods in the city. Some violations pedestrians should make sure to avoid: • Blocking the sidewalk or any public area in a large group or just standing in the middle of pedestrian traffic. Also referred to as “Clumping.” • Weaving from side to side oblivious to busy New Yorkers trying to get around you. • Walking with your face in a map or mobile device. • Excessive arm swinging or bag swinging. • Stopping on a bike path with a big group to take pictures of squirrels. • Or any rude or offensive pedestrian behavior as deemed unsuitable by the NYC DPE Patrol Units whose judgment shall be final. The consequences for those incurring “three strikes” against the code? Removal of the offender and denial of permission to re-enter the city for five years. Of course, there’s no real Department of Pedestrian Etiquette, but with more than 56 million visitors a year, “clumping” is a sure problem—especially in tourist magnets like Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the falafel cart. And this is not the first time a New Yorker decided to take the pedestrian problem in hand. Previously we’ve seen Pedestrian Penalty Cards and pop-up sidewalk lanes separating tourists from locals. You know what they say: if you can make it (down the block) here, you can make it anywhere.
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mate-controlled stalls, and dogs will occupy hotel suites featuring flat-screen TVs, bone-shaped splashing pools and spa services. Wonder what they’re watching on the tube. “It’s a Dog’s Life”? Pet owners will be able to monitor their pooches through webcams. Sounds like the perfect ‘port for your pooch. Wonder if I can get in there while I wait for my flight in the dingy, dark terminal we humans are forced to use.
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Travel Guide: Bermuda Aaron Feigenbaum
Just a two-hour flight off the eastern U.S. coast, the tranquil island of Bermuda is a truly unique place to unwind and take a well-deserved vacation. Bermuda’s colorful British buildings blend naturally with its serene blue waters and glistening pink-
history in the historic town of Hamilton to water sports, shipwreck diving, championship golfing, snorkeling, hiking, shopping, whale watching, relaxing on the world famous Elbow Beach and much more. Add to that the nearly year-round excellent
Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo
sand beaches. The island may be small in size, but in terms of the sheer amount of fun to be had, Bermuda is truly a tropical playground. Here, you have the freedom to do things most people have only dreamed about: from exploring the island’s colonial
weather and you’ll see why Bermuda is at the top of so many travel itineraries. History Bermuda was first discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Bermudez in the early 1500’s. In 1609, British Admiral
Sir George Somers’ ship Sea Venture ran aground on the island’s reefs while en route to the nascent American colony of Jamestown. Three of the ship’s crew remained on the island and thus became Bermuda’s first European settlers. More
Independence was finally achieved in 1995 via a democratic vote. Since then, Bermuda has encountered a number of problems including the devastating Hurricane Fabian of 2003, increased pollution and traffic, increased economic inequality
colonists followed in the next few years, founding the town of St. George’s in 1612. Bermuda became an official British colony in 1620 and has the oldest parliament in the British Commonwealth. Slavery was an integral part of the Bermudan economy until 1834 when the British emancipated all its slaves. Bermuda had established close trade links with the American colonies but these ties were cut during the American Revolution, leading to great hardship for the Bermudans. Bermuda served as a British military port in the War of 1812 and as a coordinator of an anti-Union cotton blockade in the Civil War. The island also profited greatly from illegal rum-running during the U.S. Prohibition. Bermuda’s most well-known period though is during WWII. Underneath the Hamilton Princess Hotel, a secret British counterespionage staff decoded German submarine radio signals. Bermuda became a refueling stop for British and American military aircraft. Furthermore, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton served as the base of operations for the so-called “trappers” or intelligence agents who would carefully open intercepted mail and tap into a vast German spy network. In a more disappointing episode in Bermuda’s history, the island was the site of the Bermuda Conference of 1943, which debated how to rescue the Jews of Europe but ultimately failed to produce anything substantial. Scores of Jews immigrated to Bermuda after the war but were not well received by the local population. Bermuda’s importance in international relations led Britain to upgrade its status to self-governing colony in 1957. However, the road to full independence was not an easy one. Riots broke out in 1968, for which British troops had to be called in to restore order. Then, the island’s governor, Sir Richard Sharples, was assassinated in 1973.
and overfishing. Nonetheless, Bermuda has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes, and its beautiful beaches and relaxing atmosphere have made it a magnet for travelers around the world. Attractions Hamilton: Bermuda’s capital and largest city has great museums, historic architecture, shopping and entertainment, and gorgeous scenery. Start your adventure at the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum and Zoo, showing off some of the Caribbean’s most impressive creatures including colorful birds, sharks, turtles, seals, monkeys and one of the world’s largest living coral reef exhibits. Kids will love the aquarium’s touch pools. The natural history section is where you can learn about the island’s geological and ecological development over time, including an exhibit on Bermuda’s key role as a migratory bird stop. Afterwards, continue your learning experience at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. This 40,000 square foot facility includes the Jack Lighbourn Shell Collection. With over 1,200 specimens representing 1,000 species, the collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world. However, the Institute’s real highlight is its 12,000 feet virtual submarine dive, which shakes and rattles as you encounter Bermuda’s stunning underwater life. The museum also lets you step inside a replica of the bathysphere used by William Bebe and Otis Barton during their 1934 record-setting dive. Finally, don’t miss the shipwreck wing, where the treasures of over 300 sunken ships are on display. Admiralty House Park is one of Hamilton’s best outdoors adventures. This serene, off-the-beaten-path coastal park is known for its clear turquoise waters, cliff diving and excellent photo-taking opportunities. Nearby Spanish Point Park is also worth checking out for its secluded beach and tide pools.
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Pink sand beach
For a bit of Bermudan culture and fine shopping, Front Street is your best bet. The street has numerous department stores, crafts merchants and native Gombey dancers. Finally, for a picturesque view of Hamilton, head to Fort Hamilton. Built in the late 1800’s to protect the nearby dockyard, the Fort now offers sweeping views of the city and harbor. St. George’s: Until it was replaced by Hamilton in 1815, St. George’s was Bermuda’s capital. St. George’s is commonly referred to as the oldest continually inhabited British settlement in the Western hemisphere. The town has been largely unchanged for centuries, leading to its designation in 1990 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fascinating Bermuda National Trust Museum is dedicated to Bermuda’s role in the American Civil War. A short video on Bermuda’s history is followed by displays about pro-Confederate blockade-running ships and how life was like for the sailors serving on them. Ordnance Island was once a storage depot for both the British and American armies. Today, it is the site of a full-size replica of the Deliverance, the ship that let Admiral Sir George Somers and his men complete their journey to Jamestown after being stranded on a reef near St. George’s. Visitors can tour inside the ship and see the extremely cramped living conditions, as well as mannequins in period dress. Tobacco Bay is one of Bermuda’s best beaches. If you don’t mind crowds, this is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling. The beautiful limestone columns and diverse sea life, easily viewable in the shallow water, give Tobacco Bay a flavor unto its own. Fort St. Catherine is one of the most impressive historical structures in Bermuda. It was built in 1612 by Bermuda’s first governor, Richard Moore, as a de-
fense against Spanish attacks. The museum houses a collection of antique weapons and dioramas depicting Bermuda’s history. Don’t forget to have your camera at the ready to snap some photos of the magnificent views. Other Sites: Horseshoe Bay Beach is by far Bermuda’s most popular beach. It is world-renowned for its beautiful pink sand and rocky snorkeling areas. An equally good option is Elbow Beach, which is surrounded by three hotels. For one of Bermuda’s most spectacular views, head to the lighthouse in the town of Gibb’s Hill. It’s reportedly the world’s oldest cast-iron lighthouse. The 180+ stair climb is well worth the exertion for the majestic view and cool breeze at the top. If you’re taking a cruise to Bermuda, then the first site you’ll likely explore after pulling into the Royal Dockyard is the National Museum. Here, you can tour the Commissioner’s House, learn about Bermuda’s history and take a relaxing dolphin swim. Bermuda is also known for its amazing caves. The most popular ones are the Crystal and Fantasy Caves. Located 120 feet below ground, the caves hide glowing, crystal clear blue lakes that visitors can walk across via suspension bridge. For a truly off-the-beaten-path Bermuda experience, book a tour with Hidden Gems of Bermuda. Their activities include jungle hiking, cave exploring, swimming, snorkeling and more. Daven and Eat Unfortunately, there are no shuls or kosher restaurants in Bermuda. Some markets may carry a limited supply of kosher products. If you’re thinking of going to Bermuda, be sure to contact the Jewish Community of Bermuda by going to jewishbermuda.com, calling 441-291-1785 or stopping off at the Jewish Community Center at 75 St. John’s Road in Pembroke.
Getting There Flights from LAX to Bermuda International Airport currently start at around $750 per person round trip. Cruises leave from various ports on the East Coast in-
cluding New York, Baltimore and Boston. Cruise tickets currently range from about $500 for an interior cabin to as much as $2,000 for a suite.
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Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.
We can’t ignore the fact that more than a third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. We need to approach this topic with our curious children but the question is “how?” Parents Magazine recently stated that parents should “never discuss weight” with their kids. This is a nice concept, however, many parents say that their kids are the ones who bring it up! Most kids begin to notice their weight at around eight years old, especially when it is obvious that they are the bigger ones in the class or home. We can’t keep dismissing children when they ask, “Why do I have this big belly?” Of course it makes a child upset when classmates make fun of them, but most parents skip around the issue, out of fear of saying the wrong things. When kids approach you with these concerns, I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful and very powerful learning opportunity. It is imperative that you compassionately listen to their concerns. Let them know that you are willing and excited to get them on a healthier path by making changes as a family. Living a healthy lifestyle is a quintessential life skill like reading and writing. It is a learned skill that needs to be taught. The best way to transmit this information is by keeping the concept of weight a small part of the discussion and turning the conversation towards words of healthfulness, fitness, growth, confidence, strength, immunity, energy, balance, focus, and feeling your best. Unlike learning how to tie a shoe, which is a topic that needs to be addressed only a few times, healthy living should be a part of an ongoing discussion in the household. And the best way to approach this is as an entire family. It isn’t just about leading by example, it’s about leading as a whole. I have to emphasize that it is important to create a whole family approach to health. One of the biggest obstacles I encounter when working with overweight children is that there is a thinner child in the home that the parents leave out of the conversation. The worst thing a parent could do, in my opinion, is single out the heavier child in the home for the discussion. These new healthy habits are not just to help your one overweight child lose weight. These habits will prioritize the importance of taking
care of your body. If the whole family isn’t encouraged to make healthy choices together, the most overweight child will associate the changed behavior with punishment and resentment will follow. Then, it will be harder to feel the benefits of eating well. Yes, there are long-term consequences of being overweight as a kid, but weight doesn’t need to be the whole focus. The main goal is to build a healthy relationship with food and exercise. One example is to read food labels with your kids. You can explain to kids that protein and fiber contribute to the feeling of fullness and that too much sugar isn’t healthy. This way when your kids ask for a snack because they are hungry, you can compare a pack of almonds with 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar to Twizzlers which have zero grams of protein and fiber and 16 grams of sugar. We must empower kids to make educated decisions when choosing snacks. Another healthy living habit is to take your kids food shopping and teach them to fill the shopping cart with a variety of fruits and vegetables. This will help them make the connection that fruits and vegetables are the mainstay of a healthy eating plan. With your older kids, you can even teach them that every color in fruits and vegetables represents different antioxidants that help keep the family from getting sick. To follow that lesson, you can challenge your son or daughter to pick one fruit or vegetable from every color of the rainbow every time you go to the market. It is also important to repeat the mantra, “no meal is complete without a fruit or a vegetable,” so it becomes a staple in your child’s upbringing. In just a few weeks of setting these healthy behaviors, kids tell me they feel more confident and excited about eating healthier and their parents usually state that their kid appears fitter, more energized, and even better mannered. Most overweight children do not even need to lose weight, they just have to grow into their current weight. As long as these children are developing healthier lifestyle habits and adopting a healthier relationship with food, and maintaining their weight as they grow, we never need to weigh them. Eventually these children will slim down to a good weight as they consistently and happily continue gravitating towards healthier foods. Still, if weight, food and nutrition are being approached with conflict, and if it is a constant struggle to get your kids to eat well, I strongly recommend hiring a Registered Dietitian to come to your home for a positive and refreshing meeting. It is important that you remain the loving parent and not the nutrition police so your kids foster a welcoming association with these lifestyle choices. Ilana Muhlstein is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Private Practice and at UCLA. You can reach her at IlanaMuhlstein.com
Michael Rubinstein Esq. A question I am frequently asked as a Los Angeles car accident lawyer is whether using Waze or other cellphone GPS apps is allowed under California law. It’s an interesting issue, and until recently, even the courts had a hard time grappling with it. That was until the California Court of Appeals decided People v. Spriggs in 2014. A little background is important here. In 2008, California banned the use of handheld devices while driving. Vehicle Code Section 23123 (a) states that “a person shall not drive a
present in the vehicle creates a serious mental distraction. In contrast, just looking at the GPS app on a cell phone screen does not present the same hazards. To quote the Court, ‘”Had the Legislature intended to prohibit drivers from holding the telephone, it would not have limited the telephone’s required design and configuration to hands-free listening and talking, but would have used broader language such as hands-free operation or use.’” The result from the Spriggs case is that using Waze or any other map or
motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking.” A few years after this law was enacted, Steven Spriggs was pulled over by the Highway Patrol in Fresno for using a GPS app on his cell phone. The officer cited Spriggs for violating this Vehicle Code provision. Spriggs contested his citation, arguing that he wasn’t “listening or talking” on his phone. Spriggs was convicted, but last year the California Court of Appeals overturned his conviction. The Court analyzed Section 23123 and poured over its legislative history. The issue boiled down to what is considered “using” a wireless telephone. The Court reasoned that the focus of the law is on talking, not using a map application or just looking at the phone. The statute does not say that the phone must be used in a manner that allows hands-free looking, but rather, hands-free talking. The Court found support for this analysis in empirical studies showing that holding a handheld device while talking is the type of distracting behavior the law was intended to eliminate. Holding a cellphone while carrying on a conversation with someone else not
GPS app is permissible for California drivers. Nevertheless, prudence dictates that drivers should be cautious while using Waze or other apps so as to limit distractions that might cause an accident, ch’v. On a related note, it is illegal to text message or compose an email on your phone while driving in California. Margot Grabie, a concerned mother in our community, is working hard to help educate drivers and stop the texting while driving epidemic. You can support her campaign and learn more about it by visiting www. driveeasy.com. Lastly, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone in any manner, for any purpose, even if it’s to use a GPS app. Wishing all readers a safe and enjoyable summer vacation. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He can be reached by calling 213-293-6075, or visiting www.rabbilawyer.com. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based accident attorney. Visit his website at www.mrubinsteinlaw.com, or contact him at Michael@mrubinsteinlaw. com, or by calling 213 293 6075.
JULY 30, 2015
Registered Dietitian in Private Practice and at UCLA
Can I Use Waze on My Phone While Driving?
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How to Talk About Weight with Your Kids
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