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AUGUST 13, 2015

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5




JEWISH THOUGHT Seeing Eyes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Curious Tale Of Lord George Gordon. . . . . . . . 22

Escape From Tehran - A Local Jew’s Story . . . . . . . 16 Los Angeles Life Coaches Help People Grow . . . . 21

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

LIFESTYLES OP-ED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Travel Guide: Wyoming. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Dear Readers, Well, the script is playing out as in previous generations. First, Jewish products are targeted by BDS, then a Jewish Senator and upcoming leader of his political party is being accused of dual loyalty. It always went downhill from there. While the world is busy reporting on all things Jewish, the regime in Iran recognizes the gift of the deal they’ve been given. At a minimum they have a clear message that the free world will look the other way while it acts on its stated ambition to change the modern world as we know it. Militarily if need be. Meanwhile, defying a UN Security Council travel ban, the head of Iran’s elite military Quds Force, Commander Qassem Soleimani, visited Russia to further develop the ties between the two countries. Thus followed war games played out by Russian and Iranian ships. And still, as of this Thursday, Switzerland will lift sanctions with Iran and return to normalized business dealings. This week the Shin Bet has disclosed that they, thank G-d, apprehended a 21 year old Hamas operative and tunnel digger who disclosed a wealth of information on the close ties between Hamas and the Iranian regime. The young terrorist detailed how his superiors are constantly planning and preparing for the next round of terror, with Iran heavily supporting these efforts. In Syria, Iran has become the de facto representative of Bashar al-Assad with direct negotiations taking place between

Iran and the rebels. Being that their intentions are so clear, why are there self-prescribed intellectuals and thinkers who find it difficult to see what’s going on? It’s almost as if a basic description is just too simple. If one wants to be sophisticated you have to explain how bad is good, how surrendering is winning and somehow, by empowering a dangerous group of thugs, we are creating the path to peace! Perhaps the answer is simple. This, like all negotiations, is a test of perseverance and will. The leaders in Iran won with their unending certainty and focus. They certainly believe in their cause and are committed to it until the end. We are represented by those who have expressed doubt at the justice of our cause and seem to have a weakness for theocrats. The result? They got everything they wanted and we’re left scratching our heads trying to make heads and tails. Despite all of this, in the end goodness and truth always wins. We need to fight and pray that it happen soon. Yeshuas hashem, kiheref ayin, G-d’s salvation is in the blink of an eye. We daven and hope that the situation be transformed from a world engulfed in madness to one of light, joy and gladness. Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable Shabbos,


T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM


pant in the entire Los Angeles community. In particular, Silverman emphasized how women’s philanthropy is one of the fastest growing segments of philanthropy today. “Women today have a lot of say in philanthropic decisions for their families and for themselves, says Silverman. More than ever before, women feel empowered and want to have an active leadership role where they can offer their help and support to an organization that lines up with their core beliefs.” The Woman’s Philanthropy of the Valley Alliance has seventy diverse board members. The intergenerational relationship allows the women to learn from each other and grow as a cohesive group, while standing strong in their mission of securing the Jewish future. Kathy Guccione, who hosted the event at Pinot Palette, serves as the Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Chair for Valley Alliance. She oversees all of the fundraising in

FIDF Legacy Program Brings Bar/Bat Mitzvah Teens to LA While schmoozing with Tal Peleg, Adi Meiri and Orian Avigdori at the welcome dinner for the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) LEGACY program, it’s hard to imagine that each of these upbeat Israeli girls have suffered the tragedy of losing a brother in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). “My brother was sent on a mission and had an accident in an SUV,” said 12 year old Adi Meiri. Tal Peleg, also12, recounted how her twenty-year-old brother was killed in a terrorist attack while off-duty. “For most of the kids some time has passed,” explained IDF Commander Liron Shaul, one of the two commanders in charge of the group, “their grief is not so fresh.” Even so, behind each of the twenty-one smiling faces, there is a tragic story of loss. All the children, who are in their bar- or bat-mitzvah year, are children or siblings of fallen IDF soldiers, as are the four counsellors accompanying them. Aside from meeting local FIDF supporters and touring LA, the children enjoyed a typical American recreation camp experience, spending eleven days at Kibbutz Bob Waldorf (owned by the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters) on the Max Straus Campus in Glendale. There they participated in archery, swimming, arts & crafts, and ropes’ course, as well as singing, Israeli dancing and Torah learning. The welcome dinner at the new O’WOKS restaurant on July 12 was hosted by longtime FIDF Western Region supporters Eli and Nava Marmur. Addressing the full-house of donors, campers and counselors, Mr. Marmur expressed his appreciation for those defending the state of Israel. “We are very, very fortunate that we have a strong state, because we all know what happened when we didn’t….Thanks

to their sacrifice, Israel is safe, secure and strong. Supporting the LEGACY program is the least we can do to show them how much we love them, care for them, and stand by them.” Mr. Marmur proceeded to present each camper with a personalized, miniature Oscar award. The LEGACY program, conceived in 2006, has the goal of supporting the fami-

the Women’s Philanthropy department and works closely with other campaign leaders to raise funds through phone sessions and events. Her eight-year involvement has enabled her to actively see the growth in campaigns and the increasingly thoughtful and creative ideas created for each program. “Over the years we have turned our events into something that has more meaning,” she explained. Now people come and take away something that touches their soul. We want to continue to build an understanding of our message in taking care of the Jewish community and spread good work from birth on.” To learn more about Women’s Philanthropy, please call 818-668-2340 or email: JFields@JewishLA.org

Devorah Talia Gordon

ly members of fallen IDF soldiers through a variety of activities, financial support, and life-cycle celebrations. The program brings about 120 bar/bat mitzvah age-children to the U.S. each year for similar trips; another group is slated to arrive in LA on August 11, with many of those children having lost a sibling in Operation Protective Edge last summer. Miri Nash, emcee of the evening and executive director of the FIDF Western Region, can relate to such tragedy, having lost many family members in the Holocaust, then in Israel. “I’m told I wear my heart on my sleeve,” said Mrs. Nash, a second-gen survivor, whose family originates from Warsaw. “In my office [at the Federation Building] you’ll see a big poster of my 19-year-old cousin Yigal, a tank commander and medic, who was killed in the Yom Kippur War. Then there’s a large photo of another cousin, Edi, a soldier who was killed at age 25. Whatever Hitler didn’t finish, whatever was left of my family, they were killed in Israel. I felt that I wanted to make a difference, to do something.” The Western Region of the FIDF was thus created, by Western Region Founder and Chairman Leo David and Miri Nash

(as the FIDF professional), following the founding of FIDF in New York by 200 Holocaust survivors. The non-profit now has fifteen regional offices throughout the US and Panama, with a mission to provide educational, social, cultural and recreational programs for the members of the IDF and their families. Back at home, Commanders Scarlet Cohen and Liron Shaul, both part of the IDF’s Department of Wounded and Casualties, support the families who have suffered losses. “We take care of the families, from the hour they get the news, we are there. We help with everything,” said Commander Cohen. In fact, Commander Cohen was already acquainted with several of the kids on the trip from her work with their families in Israel. Before the trip to LA, Cohen and Shaul, as well as the counsellors, met all the children who were chosen for the LEGACY program. The children spent time together as well, and joined a WhatsApp group to facilitate pre-trip bonding. From the grinning faces and camaraderie present at the welcome dinner, it’s obvious the bonding has been successful; perhaps initially from a shared sorrow, but now through a shared joy.

Photo courtesy of FIDF

Federation’s Valley Alliance of Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy event. Jenna Fields, The Women’s Philanthropy Director of Jewish Federation’s Valley Alliance expressed her enthusiasm saying, “I am really excited that we have created an opportunity to bring together young women from the Jewish community. The women will be able to connect with each other and learn more about the initiatives of the Jewish Federation. Tonight they will also learn about Tour de Summer Camps, the Federation’s annual bike ride to raise funds for Jewish summer camps in the area.” Ellen Silverman, the Women’s Philanthropy Chair for the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance, who also attended the event, discussed the Women Philanthropy’s mission in ensuring the Jewish future by engaging not only the Jewish community, but also the significance in being an active partici-

AUGUST 13, 2015

August 6th, was the date for another memorable evening held by the “San Fernando Valley Young Women’s Education Series,” which brings together Jewish women, particularly moms in their late twenties to forties. The education series included a cooking class in January with Starlight Catering and a screening in April of Brave Miss World, followed by a guest lecture by Linor Abargil, the heroine of the documentary, known as an Israeli beauty queen and global advocate in the fight against sexual violence. The Wine and Paint theme of the most recent event was enjoyed by Jewish women who socialized while supporting the Federation’s support of Jewish life here in Los Angeles, in Israel and around the world. Wine, paintbrushes and blank canvases decorated the location of Pinot Palette as a group of forty-five gathered for the Jewish

Berenice Famili


Women’s Philanthropy Event is a Success


AUGUST 13, 2015


‫ברוכים הבאים בשם ה׳‬



With summer still in full swing, it is difficult to imagine that in just four weeks Klal Yisroel will be standing before the King of all kings, davening for a year filled with bracha.

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Beth Jacob to Welcome Former IAF Commander in Chief Major General (Res.) Elyezer Shkedy It’s All About Optimism On August 15th, Beth Jacob is welcoming Major General (Res.) Elyezer Shkedy as Shabbat Scholar in Residence. Major General Shkedy will be joined by First Lieutenant Ohad Roisblatt, who was Max Steinberg z”l’s commander. Beth Jacob will also be hosting an FIDF delegation of bereaved children. Major General (Res.) Elyezer Shkedy

was Commander in Chief of the Israel Air Force from 2004 to 2008 and President and CEO of El Al, Israel Airlines from 2010 to 2014. Throughout his 33 years of service in the Air Force, Major General (Res.) Shkedy accumulated over 3000 flight hours on a large variety of airplanes, and played an important role in the planning and implementation of many operations.




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the plight of wounded soldiers. Major General (Res.) Shkedy will be accompanied throughout his weekend at Beth Jacob by First Lieutenant Ohad Roisblatt, who was wounded at the battle of Shejaiya, Gaza, during Operation Protective Edge. On July 20, 2014, Commander Roisblatt was wounded and seven of his soldiers, including St.-Sgt. Max Steinberg z”l, were killed when an anti-tank missile tore the hull of their stalled armored personnel carrier. St. Sgt. Max Steinberg’s

parents, Evelyn and Stuart Steinberg, will also participate in the Shabbat morning services. Additionally, the Shul will be hosting an FIDF delegation of 35 bereaved children and siblings of fallen IDF soldiers to coincide with Major General (Res.) Shkedy’s visit, for a community expression of support and solidarity. The Shabbat Morning Address will take place in the Shapell Sanctuary and services begin at 8:45 am. The topic is The State of Israel and the Jewish People: It’s All About Optimism. This will be followed by a reservation-only Community Lunch in Bayer Hall. The Shabbat Afternoon Keynote Lecture takes place at 2:00 pm and is open to those not attending the lunch. The weekend is generously sponsored by Aviva and Isaac Tivon, and by Greta Bayer and Nelly Kahn. Programs for Shabbat, August 15 will take place at Beth Jacob, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills and are free of charge unless otherwise noted. Programs include reservation only. $42 adult; $25 child. To reserve and for more information, call (310) 278-1911 or visit www.bethjacob. org.


“The Program is 1,000 Times Better than we Dreamt!” Rabbi Yisroel Lefkovitz of Camp Achim exclaimed, “The program is one thousand times better than we ever dreamed! We have 110 bachurim learning hilchos tefillin every day. We even have waiters, lifeguards and other staff members coming by at night to participate in the program! Our maggid shiur, Rabbi Avi Indich, is a distinguished talmid chacham who spends hours preparing the shiur each day. You can see the direct, successful fruits of his labor when watching how the bachurim literally eat the shiur out of his hand, absorbing every word, asking and commenting. In fact almost every boy that participates is taking weekly chazrah sheets and the comprehensive test at the end of the month.” Indeed, this is the second year that Dirshu is running its Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bachurim program in select camps. This year, the program is bigger and better than the one held last year. Rabbi Yehuda Soleimani, Dirshu’s National Field Director, who oversees the program, relates, “Last year, after extensive consultation with a number of camps, Dirshu designed a summer halacha program tailor-made for summer camps.

The program, the material and incentives provided, were designed in conjunction with the spiritual leadership of each camp so that the bachurim would derive maximum benefit from participating in such a groundbreaking initiative. Last year, when we launched the program we had four participating camps. This year, there has been an explosive increase in both the number of camps that have adopted the program as well as the number of bachurim participating. Camp Agudah of Ferndale has some 200 bachurim participating, Camp Toras Chaim Tashbar 210, Camp Degel HaTo-

I have had has been phenomenal. Even on Shabbos when there is no official seder I have full participation in the shiur as no one wants to miss anything. Recently the camp took a major trip. I can’t tell you how many young bachurim approached me and said, “Rebbi, let’s do Dirshu on the trip while we travel. The fact that the halachos are so practical and the boys find out halachos that they didn’t know and immediately incorporate that new knowledge, enhancing their performance of the mitzvah of tefillin every day, is deeply gratifying.” Rabbi Aharon Tashman of Camp Degel HaTorah explained that the daily shiur

rience who bring the sugyos learned, to life. Dirshu also provides incentives for the bachurim thereby making the learning even sweeter. The response has been overwhelming.”

rah 225 and Camp Toras Chessed also has around 200 in their Dirshu program. Camp Rayim, 45 and Camp Rayim Mesivta has 65 particpants. Camp Achim 125, Camp Agudah Toronto 80 and Chaburas Bein Hazemanim has 20. All in all, there are some 1,000 bachurim participating in the program, gaining a comprehensive knowledge of hilchos tefillin.” “In truth,” explained Rabbi Ahron Gobioff, Dirshu’s American Director, “as we got closer to the summer, numerous other camps deeply desired to join the program but by that time it was already late and we were not able to incorporate them before the summer started. I am certain that next year the program will be even larger. Good news travels fast and the news of the remarkable success of the Dirshu program has inspired camps and learning directors everywhere.” Rabbi Yehuda Schwebel, of Camp Agudah in Ferndale related, “The response

in Daf HaYomi B’Halacha for bachurim takes about half an hour, but in truth that is just the beginning. After the shiur the bachurim spend some 45 minutes talking in learning and arguing over the fine points of the halachos. Seeing these bachurim are so involved, so animated and excited to give up their own time to gain more clarity in the halachos is a testament to both the wonderful love of learning displayed by the bachurim and the attention to detail that the hanhalah of Dirshu has invested in the program! Rabbi Soleimani related, “Dirshu anticipates each and every need and provides all of the materials that one may possibly require. Every bachur participating in the program receives a special pamphlet with the text of the Mishnah Berurah, and Biurim U’Musafim, as well as a sikum of the halachic conclusions on the material learned. The maggidei shiur are all wellknown mechanchim with years of expe-

fim with so many practical halachos and tips provides so much additional information and piskei halacha. This enables very bright talmidim to achieve their potential while others can suffice with the Mishnah Berurah itself and still retain a comprehensive knowledge of the halachos. In this program, even the weakest talmidim have so many questions because everyone puts on tefillin and learning the halachos awakens them to the importance of doing the mitzvah in the most lechatchilah fashion. Perhaps the greatest testament to the effectiveness of the program and the longterm love of limud halacha with accountability that it facilitated can be gleaned from the comments of two of the maggidei shiur. One is a Rebbi in the Cheder of Flatbush and the other in the Mirrer Yeshiva’s Yeshiva Ketana. They both said, “I want to speak to my principal about the possibility of bringing this Dirshu program to my school!”

Something for Everyone! Rabbi Schmelzer related, “One amazing quality about the program is Dirshu’s signature attention to detail. Nothing is overlooked. The material is a potpourri of areas of halacha that appeal to virtually every participant. There are, of course, the halachos set forth in the Mishnah Berurah. In addition, however, the Biurim U’Mus-

AUGUST 13, 2015

It was 4:00 a.m. The boys in Camp Toras Chaim Tashbar had just come home from a remarkably exciting trip. With just over an hour until they could daven vasikin, it made no sense to go to sleep. What should a large group of exhausted young bachurim do instead? One bachur piped up, “Let’s do Dirshu!” The positive response was overwhelming! In the middle of the night about an hour before alos hashachar all of the bachurim packed into the beis medrash for a shiur on hilchos teffilin in the special Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha L’Bachurim summer camp program. Anyone entering the beis medrash at that outrageously early hour would have rubbed their eyes in wonderment at the sight of the maggid shiur, Rabbi Menachem Schmelzcer, delivering the shiur as bachurim animatedly asked questions, commented and engaged in the milchemta shel Torah. “I can’t tell you how much the Dirshu program has enhanced the learning of our bachurim this summer,” said Rabbi Schmelzcer. “It has transformed night seder in camp from a difficult seder to a most geshmak seder. Not only is it unnecessary for the Rabbeim to motivate the bachurim to learn, the bachurim are practically begging to start the shiur!”

Chaim Gold


Dirshu Bachurim Camp Program an Unprecedented Success Over 1000 Bachurim in 9 Camps Participating in Daily Halacha Program


AUGUST 13, 2015


Cheder Menachem Young Leadership Hosts Book Signing The young leadership of the Cheder Menachem in Los Angeles hosted a preview event and book signing launch of veteran Shliach, Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie’s new book, “The Secret of Chabad -Inside the world’s most successful Jewish movement”. The book is slated for release on August 17th and has already climbed to the number one title in Amazon’s section for new books on Judaism and history. The book tells how the Rebbe transformed the agenda of modern Jewry, moving Chabad from a small Chassidic group to the largest Jewish organization in the world. It promises to follow in the wake of last year’s bestsellers on the Rebbe. Rabbi Eliezrie focused in his remarks on six crucial ideas that formed the core of the revolution the Rebbe brought the Jewish world. The Cheder wishes tremendous hatzlucha to Rabbi Eliezrie as he begins his 12 month book tour which will take him to many cities around the world. Hosted in the backyard of Tzvika and Rivka Ferszt. MC’d by Mendel Schwartz. Dvar Torah by Dean of Cheder Menachem, Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum. Production by Yossi Burston.

Chai Lifeline Teams with the Dodgers Brings Smiles to Sick Children 200 children with cancer and other serious illnesses, along with their families, were treated to an all-star baseball extravaganza on Wednesday July 29th. It was an evening at Dodger’s Stadium where they

roar of the crowd, “This is just one of dozens of recreational and social events we run throughout the year for our children and families. It is powerful to watch how the camaraderie, set against the backdrop

were treated to an exciting pro baseball game between the LA Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics. Every time jumbo-tron asked the crowd to make some noise, Dodger Stadium erupted in raucous cheers. But the Chai Lifeline section, where the sick children, their siblings, parents and counselors sat, was significantly louder than the rest. This group was not going to let chronic pediatric illness hold them back. The evening is a highly anticipated favorite among Chai Lifeline families. They get to enjoy excellent baseball, feast on hotdogs generously sponsored by Jeff’s Gourmet Hotdogs, and receive baseballs, Dodger lanyards, “Chai Lifeline Loves the LA Dodgers” lunchboxes, sweet treats and more at every inning. As the Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics provided excitement on the field, Chai Lifeline’s enthusiastic team of volunteers got the families “pumped up,” creating almost as much action in the stands as there was on the field. With their unlimited energy, the volunteers barely sat for more than a few minutes as they moved from family to family ensuring that they were having a good time. Chai Lifeline’s partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers has flourished over 15 years, growing from a small delegation of families to its current size. Dodger Night is one of two-dozen programs and services that bring joy and laughter back into the lives of families whose lives have been irrevocably disrupted by pediatric illness. All Chai Lifeline programs and services are offered at no cost to participants. Randi Grossman, Chai Lifeline’s West Coast Regional Director, gushed over the

of Dodger baseball, helps dispel the loneliness and isolation these families feel. We are so honored to partner with the Dodgers and Jeff’s again this year to make this happen!” Chai Lifeline has grown from a small, community-based summer camp program for children with cancer to one of the preeminent international health support networks supporting seriously ill children, their families, and communities. Today, the organization impacts the lives of more than 4,300 seriously ill children and their

families in the US and around the world. Chai Lifeline West Coast, headquartered in Los Angeles, helps hundreds of children and families in nine western states. For more information contact Randi Grossman, West Coast Region Director at 310 274-6331 or email rgrossman@chailifeline.org


Chaim Gold

put signs up in major Jewish centers, bachurim from yeshivos all over the country, from Kiryat Ata and Haifa in the North to Tifrach and Ofakim in the South and so many places in between, felt compelled to come. They knew this event could make a marked difference in their lives and in their ability to transition properly from the very controlled environment of Yeshiva Ketanah to the more mature, seemingly open environment of Yeshiva Gedolah.” Rav Uri Weisblaum, long time Mashgiach and talmid muvhak of the Mashgiach, Rav Shlomo Wolbe, zt”l, opened the eyes of the bachurim to the many growth opportunities available in Yeshiva Gedolah and the pitfalls for which they should be aware. He spoke about many of the new things that a bachur confronts in Yeshiva

el. He said a person must have a Rebbi to whom he attaches himself, who will not only teach him Torah and halacha but will give him day-to-day guidance in life and in yiras shamayim. “Today too,” said Rav Hofstedter passionately, “we live in a difficult world. If a bachur wants to succeed in Torah and avodas Hashem, he must attach himself to a Rebbi in all ways - in lomdus, halacha and mussar. He must honor his Rebbe.” Rav Dovid continued, “Before the war my father’s Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shmuel Schwartz, zt”l, would preface each shiur with a shiur in Chovos Halevavos. After a few minutes of learning the mussar, Rav Schwartz would break down and begin to weep. With great effort he composed himself and went on with the shiur. A Rebbi

can learn easier limudim or Gemara with Rashi. The main thing is that even “time off” should not be hefker.” A Fresh Start Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsh, Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka related, “The first thing a bachur should know is that on Rosh Chodesh Elul, you will be making what might be the most transformative change of your life. One’s entire life is built on the foundation that you make in Yeshiva Gedolah.” Rav Hirsh gave guidance in several areas. “Firstly,” he said “a bachur must know that while being more independent can help one grow, it is also a nisayon. In order to pass this nisayon, he must realize that in the overwhelming majority of cases his Rosh Yeshiva and Mashgiach understand better.”

1,700 who filled the two large Armanot Chein Hall’s to hear divrei chizuk in advance of their upcoming transition from Yeshiva Ketanah (high school age) to Yeshiva Gedolah (beis medrash). They were addressed by numerous Gedolei Yisrael, including HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, senior Rosh Yeshiva at the Ponovezh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka, HaGaon HaRav Uri Weisblum, shlita, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Nachlas Haleviim, HaGaon HaRav Naftali Nussbaum, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Chayei Moshe and Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu.

Gedolah that require mental preparation. “The schedule is different, the way halacha is learned is different and of course, the fact that in Yeshiva Gedolah one sleeps in the dormitory is a huge difference. Acclimating to a dorm and cultivating the personal discipline to both go to sleep and wake up on time is new and requires thought and effort. This new independence becomes much easier to navigate when a bachur enters Yeshiva Gedolah aware of what he will face,” Rav Weisblum stressed.

is a person from whom you receive guidance not only in lomdus but in every area of life.”

Another important point Rav Hirsh made, is that Yeshiva Gedolah is a fresh slate! Even someone who was not so successful in Yeshiva Ketanah is empowered to make a fresh start and should come in with great she’ifos. After Rav Binyamin Birenzweig read the important guidance from Rav Shteinman, Rav Naftoli Nussbaum, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Chayei Moshe spoke. He stressed the importance of remaining a ben Torah even when not in Yeshiva and how important it was for every bachur to learn and know practical halacha. As the bachurim were exiting, Rav Nati Weingarten remarked, “The achdus here is phenomenal. Over 1,700 bachurim - Litvishe, Sephardic, Chassidic, all the same age coming to hear guidance from Gedolei Yisrael. This is Dirshu! Enhancing limud haTorah for all Yidden of all ages and affiliations!”

Understanding the Transition, the Growth and the Pitfalls Rabbi Nati Weingarten of Dirshu, a primary organizer of the event, related, “I can’t even describe how motivated bachurim were to come hear guidance from the Gedolim this year. Although I only

A Rebbi… for Life Rav Dovid Hofstedter gave a comprehensive Torah address connecting the Nine Days of mourning over the churban with the evening’s goal for chizuk haTorah and achdus. Rav Hofstedter then explained the Mishnah in Avos where Rav Yehoshua Ben Perachia enjoins, “Make yourself a Rav”. “Rav Yehoshua Ben Perachia lived in difficult times when the heretical Beisusim were wreaking havoc on Klal Yisra-

The Importance of a Scheduled Bein Hazemanim There was a hush in the hall as the venerated nonagenarian, senior Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovezh, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, began to speak. As the gathering was held right before bein hazemanim, Rav Gershon took a few minutes to address how bein hazemanim should be spent. “Certainly, it is important that every bachur rest, have time for himself to gather strength for the coming zman. That being said,” Rav Gershon reminded, “bein hazemanim is not hefker. Every bachur should make a schedule and maintain it. Part of that schedule is davening every day at the same time in the same place. Another part should be scheduling set daily learning times either with or without a chavrusah in the same place. One

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“Every bachur must realize that he was created to serve Hashem according to the abilities that Hashem gave him. Not every person has the same ability as his friend. A bachur who does not look over his shoulder at his friend will feel content and thus able to ascend to become a talmid chacham and a yarei shamayim!” Those heartfelt words of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, were read publically at Dirshu’s remarkable kinus in Israel, for bachurim entering Yeshiva Gedolah on July 23rd. Rav Shteinman was scheduled to personally address the event, but was precluded by his weakness. Nevertheless, he sent a signed, dated letter to be read aloud with advice for the bachurim. The massive kinus attracted more than


Over 1700 Bachurim Hear Guidance from Senior Gedolei Yisrael Dirshu’s Event for Bachurim Entering Yeshiva Gedolah a Resounding Success



AUGUST 13, 2015

Seeing Eyes

One day, Rav Shlomo Kluger zt”l was looking out the window and noticed an unfamiliar person passing by. The rov went outside and invited the stranger into his house and asked him where he lived. The man told him that he lived in the town of Podheitz. “That is perfect,” the rov exclaimed. “I have a letter that must go to the Rov of Podheitz. Can I ask you to bring it home with you and deliver it to him?” The visitor agreed. Rav Shlomo went to the next room and returned with a sealed envelope containing a letter. A few months later, the Podheitzer merchant returned to Brod on business and met one of the talmidim of Rav Shlomo Kluger. The merchant told the talmid of his introduction to his rebbi. The talmid expressed amazement at the “moifes.” Just when his rebbi needed a messenger to deliver a letter to Podheitz, he looked out the window, saw a stranger, invited him inside, and, miraculously, he was from that very town. “Well, not exactly,” the Podheitzer said. “Let me tell you the whole story, even though it’s quite embarrassing. What happened was that when your rov looked out the window, he saw me eating in the street. He quickly called me in and found out where I was from. He dashed into his study and wrote a letter to the rov of my town to warn him that I should not be relied upon as a witness, since one who is ochel beshuk is posul l’eidus, disqualified from serving as a witness (Kiddushin 40b; Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 31:18). “Your rebbi wasn’t looking for the rov

of Podheitz. He was looking for the rov of the city where I lived, so that he could make him aware of my failing and prevent a michshol.” This story highlights Rav Shlomo Kluger’s astuteness and halachic responsibility. But the anecdote also draws attention to the seriousness with which Chazal view a lack of refinement. Eating is a significant act and one deserving of respect. Someone who eats in public is considered crude and lacking the depth to attentively witness what is transpiring around him. His vision is one-dimensional and thus his testimony is lacking. He can’t really see, so he is disqualified from serving as a witness for halachic matters. In Rav Shlomo Kluger’s time, eating in the street was apparently rare. Today, we live in an era when no one thinks twice about it. Vendors and trucks sell all types of foodstuffs on the street. Prestigious businessmen walk through Manhattan carrying coffee-cups as if they are some sort of standard accessory. Were someone to focus on the greatestEditor’s failing ofView our culture, sucontinued perficiality would be high on the where I lived, he could make him aware list, along withso that a general apathy of my failing and prevent a michshol.” about weighty matters and a This story highlights Rav ShlomofixaKluger’s andof halachic But the tion onastuteness matters littleresponsibility. importance. anecdote also draws attention to the seriousThe shofar’s blast ushers in ness with which Chazal view a lack of refinement. Eating us is aeach significant one deElul, prodding dayacttoandwake serving of respect. Someone who eats in public up, focus, and see things deeper. is considered crude and lacking the depth to Elul is a call forwhat awareness, attentively witness is transpiringjoltaround Histo vision is one-dimensional and thus ing us him. back reality. his testimony is lacking. The Kotzker Rebbe asked He can’t really see, soonce he is disqualified from serving as for halachic matters. what is meant bya witness the obligation to In Rav Shlomo Kluger’s time, eating in the be “mispallel with koved rosh, street was apparently rare. Today, we deep live in an era when no one thinks twice about it. Vendors concentration.” and trucks sell all types of foodstuffs on the Hisstreet. chassidim looked at Prestigious businessmen walkeach through carrying coffee-cups they are other, Manhattan not understanding theas ifpoint some sort of standard accessory. of the question. Were someone to focus on the greatest failingRebbe of our culture, superficialityelucidatwould be high The responded, the list, along with a general apathy about ing hison question: “Is there anything weighty matters and a fixation on matters of little importance. that should not be done with koved The shofar’s blast ushers in Elul, prodding rosh?”us each day to wake up, focus, and see things That is really the message of deeper. Elul is arosh. call for awareness, us back Elul. Koved Life is jolting serious to reality. business.The It is meant to once be taken se- is Kotzker Rebbe asked what the obligation be “mispallel riouslymeant andbynot wastedtowith banal-with koved rosh, deep concentration.” ities. His chassidim looked at each other, not understanding point offirst the question. Last week,the the RepubliThe rebbe responded, elucidating his quescan presidential debate was held. tion: “Is there anything that should not be done with koved rosh?” That is really the message of Elul. Koved rosh. Life is serious business. It is meant to be taken seriously and not wasted with banalities.

The country is veering to the left under the current administration, causing angst to Republicans. The country is sinking in insurmountable debt, with taxes consuming a greater percentage of income. Social Security and Medicare are not sustainable. More Americans are jobless than ever before and illegal immigrants are sucking jobs and money out of the system. The country has gone down a dangerous path in its foreign policy. The Arab world is in shambles, Iraq is a disaster, Syria is wracked by civil war, Afghanistan is descending into chaos, and Iran has been given the path to a nuclear weapon. ISIS is gobbling up more territory with each passing day, and al-Qaeda is more feared than ever. The West is sending billions of dollars into the pockets of the largest supporter of terror, and Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other bad actors out there will thus be redoubling their efforts. The Iran deal got scant coverage in the Republican debate. Neither did the Russian hacking of the State Department or the “coincidence” that the Iranian terror

He was selling and nobody was buying. Then the rebbe came and sat down at his table.

be a serious moment. You would think that the candidates would be given a chance to clearly

head, who is under international sanctions not to leave his country, was in Russia the day of the hacking. President Obama delivered a major speech castigating Israel and its prime minister, portraying them as rejectionist war-mongers. With a mixture of half-truths and bluster, he castigated in ugly terms anyone who opposes his flawed deal. The Jewish senator in line to become Democrat Senate leader was warned by the administration that he will not realize his ambition because he came out against the deal. With the vindictive administration as a backdrop, 17 accomplished people are vying for the Republican nomination to run for president. You would think that the debate would be a serious moment. You would think that the candidates would be given a chance to clearly explain their positions and offer solutions for the problems the country faces. Millions of people tuned in to hear the candidates discuss serious issues. Instead, the debate began with silliness, and coverage of it was basically limited to game show aspects. The “gotcha” moments were carefully analyzed along with the dayonimtrivialities. passed away. TheMedia local rabbonim other and lay leaders gathered to discuss creating a consumers searched in so pension fund for the widowed rebbetzin that she could live insolutions basic dignity. to vain to find One of the rabbonim resisted, arguing real that theproblems. widow could go to work or find some other means andat thestake, campaign was Withofsosupport much unnecessary. “It is not our responsibility to America focused on suworry about someone’s wife,” he callously perficiality. We run the remarked. Rav Hirschprung normally a milddanger of thewas surroundmanned, soft-spoken individual. However, ing hearing culture affecting us irate. upon that response, he became Instead of lecturingus theto selfish individual, he and causing become looked at him and said, “We don’t only mean shallow individuals - irhis wife. We also mean your wife!” The message hituncaring home. responsible, and When we analyze with depth and responunthinking. sibility, and ponder the future, the correct courseAs of action becomes obvious. always, we search The posuk tells us to give generously, befor truth and depth thethat no cause when we see deeper, wein realize one is assured thatThis they won’t ever be forced parshah. week’s to accept tzedakah. By doing our part and parshah of aRe’eh, making the world better andlike more so charitable place, we of ensure there is enough many thethatparshiyos of tzedakah money to go around should we ever need the Torah, demonstrates it, G-d forbid. The Torah trains us to think rewhat isandexpected ustimes. as sponsibly act selflesslyof at all Elul isand here and it’s time to live seriously. Jews as people. The One year, on the Motzoei Shabbos of the pesukim how we first Selichos, adetail simple Sephardic Jew set up aare smallto table in Bnei Brakthe nearweak the Vizhnitzer deal with bais medrash in order to sell Selichos bookamong us,Selichot,” what he ourcalled ob-out, but lets. “Selichot. no one even stopped ligations are toto look. the Everyone poor, was arriving with their Selichos in hand, and the andmanhow are toempty lead poor stood we there hearing echoes of

hag. If he was, in fact, davening, why at the rear corner, facing the wall?

his lonely calls. “Selichot. Selichot,” he continued to shout, thinking that maybe people would stop by and purchase a booklet or two. Finally, his faith was rewarded. The Vizh-


AUGUST 13, 2015

Rav Hirschprung was normally a mildmanned, soft-spoken individual. However, upon hearing that response, he became irate. Instead of lecturing the selfish individual, he looked at him and said, “We don’t only mean his wife. We also mean your wife!” The message hit home. When we analyze with depth and responsibility, and ponder the future, the correct course of action becomes obvious. The posuk tells us to give generously, because when we see deeper, we realize that no one is assured that they won’t ever be forced to accept tzedakah. By doing our part and making the world a better and more charitable place, we ensure that there is enough tzedakah money to go around should we ever need it, G-d forbid. The Torah trains us to think responsibly and act selflessly at all times. Elul is here and it’s time to live seriously. One year, on the Motzoei Shabbos of the first Selichos, a simple Sephardic Jew set up a small table in Bnei Brak near the Vizhnitzer bais medrash in order to sell Selichos booklets. “Selichot. Selichot,” he called out, but no one even stopped to look. Everyone was arriving with their Selichos in hand, and the poor man stood there hearing empty echoes of his lonely calls. “Selichot. Selichot,” he continued to shout, thinking that maybe people would stop by and purchase a booklet or two. Finally, his faith was rewarded. The Vizhnitzer Rebbe, the Imrei Chaim zt”l, passed with his entourage. The rebbe saw the humble Jew with a pile of unsold Selichos booklets and grasped the situation. The rebbe walked over and took his place behind the table. “Selichos,” the rebbe called out. “Ver vil koifen? Who wants to buy?” Immediately, a crowd formed. Which chossid would turn down an opportunity to use a Selichos received from the rebbe’s own hand? In no time, the booklets were sold out. “Do you have more?” the rebbe asked the vendor. “Yes, I have another case in my machsan,” he said. “Then hurry and go get it,” the rebbe said, maintaining his post. The rebbe sold out the second batch as well, handing the dumbfounded seller piles of money he no doubt put to good use. With that done, the rebbe continued to the bais medrash to recite Selichos. The rebbe had taught his chassidim a valuable lesson. He demonstrated the glory of helping another Jew. He showed them that the opportunities are everywhere, and those blessed with good vision take advantage of them. There was no introduction more fitting to Selichos for those looking for Heavenly mercy. Do you want “Selichot”? Do you want Hashem to forgive your sins? Help another Jew. Look beyond your comfort zone and take note of what is going on around you. “Re’eh.” Look. Really look and you will find the “Anochi nosein lifneichem hayom brochah.” Re’eh. See opportunities. See the needs of other Jews. See your own potential. Open your eyes to the reality of life. Open your eyes to the opportunities for greatness, growth, forgiveness and blessing.


our lives on a higher, more thoughtful plane. The Torah’s injunction to see, “Re’eh,” is actually a call for depth, just like that of the shofar. Look, observe, and contemplate, and you will see that blessing comes with learning Torah and observing its mitzvos, while those who choose the opposite, end up dejected and empty. We are reminded that the blessed life is arrived at by following the mitzvos, not through vanity and hedonism. Go beyond the superficial, look deeper, and you will see it. Rav Yechiel Mordechai Gordon zt”l, the Lomza Rosh Yeshiva, had an interesting habit. He would stop at a particular corner of the bais medrash each day and spend a few moments in silent contemplation, as if in prayer. One day, a talmid mustered the courage to ask the rosh yeshiva about the intriguing minhag. If he was, in fact, davening, why at the rear corner, facing the wall? Rav Yechiel Mordechai explained that in that corner, there was a small plaque marking the gift of a certain donor. “I realized that it’s all too easy to forget and overlook his contribution to our yeshiva, so I wait until seder is in full swing and, with the happy noise and commotion of lomdei Torah filling the room, I pause by the plaque and remember his kindness.” The Lomza rosh yeshiva was teaching his talmidim that mindless observation isn’t enough. One has to look and think. The parshah begins with a commandment to look, to see deeper, and to consider the ramifications of mitzvos and aveiros. Towards the end of the parshah, we are commanded to give tzedakah generously. The posuk provides a reason to be charitable, telling us that we should give “ki lo yechdal evyon mikerev ha’aretz - destitute people will not cease to exist within the land” (Devorim 15:11). We need to understand why the fact that there will always be needy people is a reason to give. If there will always be poor people, why bother waging a war on poverty? We give charity because we have compassion on the less fortunate and don’t want others to go to bed hungry. We give because we don’t want people to suffer due to no fault of their own. However, there are people who are not that altruistic and actually only care about themselves. Some Rishonim explain that the Torah is speaking to those people and offering an incentive for them to give. The Torah says to them, “Even though things are going good for you and you don’t really care about the poor, give anyway, because no one is assured that one day they won’t need to ask for tzedakah. When Rav Pinchos Hirschprung zt”l was a member of Montreal’s vaad harabbonim prior to his ascension as rav harashi, one of the dayonim passed away. The local rabbonim and lay leaders gathered to create a pension fund for the widowed rebbetzin so that she could live in basic dignity. One of the rabbonim resisted, arguing that the widow could go to work or find some other means of support and the campaign was unnecessary. “It is not our responsibility to worry about someone’s wife,” he callously remarked.


AUGUST 13, 2015


Escape From Tehran - A Local Jew’s Story Elliott Michaels

Jewish organizations the world-over have expressed serious concerns with President Obama’s proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. Republicans and Democrats seem intent on killing the deal, and opposition to the President’s plan is widespread in the United States and Israel. Can the Iranian government be trusted? Are there moderates in Iran who really want change? We might attempt to answer these questions by reflecting on one local man’s miraculous escape from Iran nearly thirty years ago. His name is Azaria Khermanshahi. Readers might recognize him as the owner and proprietor of Eye Opener on Beverly Boulevard. What they might not know

believe that they would need to escape and start their lives over somewhere else. While the Shah was in power, Azaria attended an Otzar Hatorah school in Tehran. Otzar Hatorah was a yeshiva system financed by American Sephardic philanthropists that offered Torah chinuch to Iranian-Jewish schoolchildren. The network of schools still exists in other Sephardic countries, but after the Revolution, the new Islamic government seized control of all Otzar Hatorah schools in Iran. Jewish subjects were removed from the curricula. Every morning at the beginning of the school day, students were forced to chant “Death to America and Israel” in between reading verses from the Koran.

A class in Shiraz, 1966. Photo Ida Cowen. Beit Hatfutsot, the Visual Documentation Center.

is how he risked his life to escape Iran in 1986 to come to the United States so he could live without persecution as a Torah-observant Jew. Azaria was born in Tehran in 1971. His family’s roots in Iran date to just after the Churban Habayit. Prior to the Iranian Revolution in 1978-79, over 250,000 Jews lived in the country, many tracing their roots to the same era. Azaria’s father was a successful bank manager, and many Jews enjoyed prosperous careers under the Shah. Azaria and his two siblings enjoyed a peaceful life until communist students and Islamic revolutionaries overthrew the Shah in 1979. Azaria noticed as a child how the revolution brought dramatic changes to daily life. Television captured images of dead bodies piling up in the streets as the Shah used the military to enforce martial law and crush the rebellion. As the rebellion grew in size, many wealthy Jews began leaving the country. Israeli secret agents used to visit the shuls of Tehran, warning the Jews that more trouble was coming. Sadly, thousands of Jews, mostly middle-class, viewed these warnings with skepticism. They simply did not want to

news developments and world affairs untainted by the Islamic government’s propaganda. As Azaria continued through high school, he and his parents realized that the future was bleak for Jews in Iran. The Ayatollah had promised free education to everyone, and naturally, this created an oversupply of students. To solve this problem, the government had to find ways to arbitrarily weed out university candidates. It did so by preventing Jews from pursuing higher education and professions. Government officials would conduct background checks on Jews reaching university age. Anyone who was Jewish was labeled a Zionist and prohibited from enrolling.

Burning the Israeli flag during a demonstration

Despite these changes, Jews in Tehran secured permission from the government to teach Chumash and other subjects after hours. Many of the classes were taught by a melamed affectionately called “Mr.” Hakakian. Mr. Hakakian worked in conjunction with the Tsadik, Rabbi Uriel Davidi, to ensure Jewish children in Tehran continued their Torah learning. Rabbi Davidi later moved to Eretz Yisroel, where he passed away in 2006. His son, Rabbi Nissim Davidi, lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Rabbinical Council of California. There were other ways the Jews of Tehran expressed their silent resistance to the Islamic government. The festival of Purim was more subdued because of the historical implications for the gentile Iranians, but this did not stop Azaria and others from traveling to Hamadan to daven at the kever of Mordechai and Esther. Azaria’s bar mitzvah in 1984 was a humble celebration in his parents’ home. Mr. Hakakian taught him how to pray with Tefillin, which had to be done privately, away from the watchful eye of Islamic government officials. Similarly, for an hour every afternoon, the Jews of Tehran secretly listened to Israeli radio to keep abreast of

Escaping Iran surreptitiously was the only viable option. Jews could not leave openly because the government confiscated their passports in most cases. Those Jews who were allowed to leave, for medical reasons or the like, were forced to return. If they did not, their relatives would be arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Against this backdrop, Azaria’s parents paid smugglers to sneak him out of the country in January 1986. Before his escape, Azaria sought the blessing of Rabbi Davidi. The Rabbi placed one hand on Azaria’s head, and the other on the mezuzah. Rabbi Davidi closed his eyes, davened with kavanah, and began crying uncontrollably. He gave

Hostages taken from the US Embassy during the Iranian revolution

Conscription in the Iranian Army was the only other alternative for young Jewish men like Azaria. At the time, Iran was engaged in a bloody war with Iraq. Azaria’s cousin was a soldier fighting in that war. Risking his life to fight for a country that discriminated against him was not something Azaria was prepared to do. Forced with these impossible options, Azaria and his family came up with a daring plan for

him to escape Tehran and travel to America, where he could live freely as a Jew and pursue any career he wanted.

Azaria his bracha for a safe journey, and told him to stay strong in his commitment to Torah and Mitzvot. Azaria left his parents, his home, and his community, not knowing whether he would see them ever again. Azaria’s goal was to travel to the United States, where he had an uncle living in Los Angeles. The journey required Azaria and a friend to fly from Tehran to Zahedan, a city near the border with Pakistan. From Zahedan, the group would meet up with other Jewish escapees from across Iran, and drive across the rugged border into Pakistan. A network of smugglers ferried escapees along this route, with the goal of reaching Karachi, Pakistan. From there, escapees could obtain asylum from the United Nations. The journey to Karachi was supposed to take two days. Azaria arrived in Zahedan, where a pre-arranged taxi picked him up from the airport and took him to a safe house. When he arrived there, 11 other Jews were waiting to begin the arduous trek. Shortly afterwards, a pickup truck crashed into the wall of the house, and everyone was whisked into the bed of the truck to begin the escape. Less than an hour into the drive to-


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AUGUST 13, 2015


wards Pakistan, machine-gun bullets broke the silence of the moonless night. Azaria was sitting in the back of the truck as he saw and felt tracers whizzing by his head. He ducked and davened to Hashem as best as he could remember. The truck evaded the assault, which had been mounted by an Iranian Border Patrol Half-Track. Nobody was hurt, but the truck was damaged beyond repair. The smugglers pulled into a dry riverbed, and forced everyone out of the truck. They told Azaria and the others that they would be back the next day with a new truck to continue the journey out of Iran. Azaria and the group were left in the middle of nowhere with no food or water. Azaria had brought some water tablets and dried fruits, but the water tablets had gotten lost during the shootout with the Border Patrol. Members of the group began to panic, thinking that the smugglers would never return. Azaria davened to Hashem and hoped for the best. Thankfully, the smugglers did return with another truck to continue the escape later that evening. The bad news for the group was that the Iranian Border Patrol vamped up its efforts to apprehend them. The border was sealed. The group would have to drive close to the Pakinstani border, and then climb steep, rugged terrain to cross the border on foot. Once everyone reached

the summit of a particular mountain, another group of smugglers, people of the Bahai persuasion, would lead them across the border into Pakistan. This would add

and the group had crossed into Pakistan, where the next group of smugglers awaited with two trucks—one bulletproof, and one not. You can guess which one was re-

Iranian refugess in Kurdistan

more time to the trek. As Azaria and his group continued the exhausting journey, thirst began to overcome everyone. Along the mountainous path, little pools of rainwater had gathered among the rocks. Azaria used a cup to scoop water to drink—and his hand to sift out the frogs captured in his cup. Azaria neared the top of the summit, and once he reached it, he recited chapter 150 of Tehillim. Never before did he pray with such kavana as he did that day when saying “Halleluka B’Rekia Uzo.” Finally, Azaria

served for the Jews. The trucks began driving in procession towards Karachi, but the group’s troubles were far from over. As the trucks began descending the mountain path, Pakistani soldiers opened fire, and soldiers with machine guns surrounded the trucks. One soldier threw a large bolder towards Azaria’s truck after the driver refused to turn around. In another miracle for the seemingly endless journey, the bolder narrowly missed Azaria’s head. Azaria was the only one who spoke English among the

group, and he negotiated a $1,000 bribe. This persuaded the Pakistani soldiers to grant passage to both trucks. After passing that point and paying the bribe, the trucks continued on a more circuitous path towards Karachi. The group had to avoid additional checkpoints and greedy Pakinstani soldiers expecting bribe money. An eight-hour drive would instead become a 5-day journey. The caravan stopped in remote villages along the way, and Azaria made sure to only buy bread or yogurt. He kept in mind thoughts of his family, and the words of Rabbi Davidi who urged him to keep Torah and Mitzvot no matter what. Finally, as the group approached the Karachi city limits, a roadblock stood in the way. The truck driver drove right through the gates and oncoming bullets of Pakistani soldiers. Alas, Azaria had made it to Karachi. The goal was to secure exit visas as refugees from the United Nations in Karachi. Azaria and the others in his group were taken in by the Jewish community in Karachi, which had a small shul, sefer Torah, and even a shochet. The group was put up in a hotel, where Azaria was finally able to call his family, nine days after escaping Tehran. He and his parents cried, and Azaria learned that his father had fasted for three days in supplication to Hashem after not hearing from Azaria as planned


was soon bound for Vienna, Austria. Thousands of Jews who had escaped from Iran over the years had stopped in

Rav Uriel Davidi

Refugees in Vienna

Tomb of Mordechai and Esther

al in Karachi, the Rabbi exclaimed that he had had a premonition that the group would encounter struggles along the way. That was why he davened so fervently and cried out to Hashem on Azaria’s behalf. The visa process took approximately four months. Azaria spent Pesach in Karachi. The small shul had some seforim which Azaria used for daily Torah study. Unfortunately, no shemura Matza was available, but the community shared one box of machine-made matzot just to fulfill the holiday obligation. Two weeks after Pesach, Azaria secured his exit visa. He

Vienna before reaching their final destinations. Rabbi Michoel Pressburger, a noted Talmid Chacham in the city, took responsibility for these immigrants. He opened a yeshiva with a dormitory, and established a strong community infrastructure for these émigrés. Azaria enrolled in Rabbi Pressburger’s yeshiva, which had over 70 talmidim at the time. It would take another 11 months for him to secure a visa to the United States, and he spoke to his parents on the telephone once per week. Azaria spent almost a year in Vienna, finally arriving in Los Angeles in April 1987.

ther again, and it was a tremendously emotional reunification. There was not a dry eye in attendance at Azaria’s wedding in 1993 to his wife Milkah, of Mexico City. He became a licensed optician in 1995, and has owned Eye Opener on Beverly Boulevard since 2000. What does Azaria think of America’s nuclear agreement with Iran? While not professing to be an expert in political discussion, having lived through anti-Semitism in Iran, he understands the Iranian psyche better than most. The hard-line Iranian government calls for the destruction of Israel every day. Anyone who does not follow the government’s rigid view of Islam is labeled an infidel and faces torture or death. Does Iran intend to comply with the agreement? Azaria says no. And he would know. Throughout his journey, Azaria saw the Yad Hashem guiding him on his path towards freedom. His miraculous journey enabled him to see the Hashgacha Pratis in everything, and it’s something he teaches his six children about every day. Whether Congress ratifies the current agreement with Iran or not, Yidden must remember that “Hakol B’ydei Shomayim.” Ultimately, our protection comes from the Ribbono Shel Olam, and no one else.

AUGUST 13, 2015

Iranian revolution, 1979

B’Chasdei Hashem, he made it to America, but new challenges awaited. Azaria’s uncle was not an observant man, and he suggested that Azaria enroll at Beverly Hills High School. Many students who attended the school were Iranian, so his uncle thought he would fit in and make friends there. Nevertheless, Azaria kept in mind the words of Rabbi Davidi, and he convinced his uncle to enroll him in Yeshiva Gedolah instead. Azaria’s uncle was concerned about paying for Azaria’s yeshiva tuition, when public school was free. Through the kindness of Rabbi Eliezer Gross, the Rosh Yeshiva, Azaria was allowed to stay in the Yeshiva dormitory and enroll, tuition-free. It was a tremendous chesed for which Azaria is thankful to this day. The next year, the Heyman family took Azaria into their home, and to this day, he is affectionately considered part of their family. Dr. Heyman A’H and his wife Silvia were instrumental in making Azaria’s shidduch a few years later. After graduating Yeshiva Gedolah High School, Azaria attended Yeshiva University. Two years after he escaped Tehran, his mother and siblings escaped to Israel. His father later escaped Iran through Turkey, arriving in Israel in 1990. That was the same year Azaria saw his fa-


after day two of the journey. Later, when Azaria’s father approached Rabbi Davidi to share the good news of Azaria’s arriv-


AUGUST 13, 2015


Dershowitz: The President Gets Personal About the Iran Deal


Debbie Fox, with Michal Eisikowitz (Menucha Publishers 2015) President Obama, in his desperation to save his Iran deal, has taken to attacking its opponents in personal ways. He has accused critics of his deal of being the same republican war mongers who drove us into the ground war against Iraq and has warned that they would offer “overheated” and often dishonest arguments. He has complained about the influence of lobbyists and money on the process of deciding this important issue, as if lobbying and money were not involved in other important matters before Congress. These types of ad hominem arguments are becoming less and less convincing as more democratic members of Congress, more liberal supporters of the President, more nuclear experts and more foreign policy gurus are expressing deep concern, and sometimes strong opposition to the deal that is currently before Congress.

I, myself, am a liberal Democrat who twice voted for President Obama and who was opposed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Part of the reason I was opposed was because I considered, and still consider, Iran a much greater threat to the security of the world and to the stability of the Middle East than Iraq ever was. In my newly published e-book The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran From Getting Nukes?, I make arguments that I believe are honest, fair and compelling. I recognize some advantages in the deal, but strongly believe that the disadvantages considerably outweigh them and that the risks of failure are considerable. My assessment is shared by a considerable number of other academics, policy experts and other liberal Democrats who support President Obama’s domestic policies, who admire Secretary Kerry for his determination, and who do not see evil intentions in the deal. The President would be well advised to stop attacking his critics and to start answering their hard questions with specific and credible answers. Questions that need answering include the following: Even after the expiration of the nuclear

agreement, will American policy remain that Iran will never under any circumstances be allowed to develop nuclear weapons? Or is it now our policy that Iran will be free to do whatever it wants to do once the deal expires? After the major constraints contained in the deal end, or were the deal to collapse at any point, how long would it take Iran to produce a deliverable nuclear bomb? Would the United States allow Iran to begin production of a nuclear arsenal when the major constraints of the deal end? Does the deal reflect a reversal in policy from President Obama’s pre-reelection promise that “My policy is not containment; my policy is to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon”? If not, will President Obama now announce that it is still the policy of the United States that Iran will not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon? How exactly will the inspections regime work? Precisely how much time will the Iranians have between a request for inspection and the inspection itself? What precisely will they be permitted to do during this hiatus? And why do they need so much time if they don’t plan to cheat? What will President Obama do if Iran is caught cheating on this deal during his administration? Precisely when will which sanctions be lifted under the agreement? Do provisions that prevent the P5+1 from imposing new sanctions apply even if Iran is found to be in violation of its commitments under the agreement? When exactly will sanctions prohibiting the sale of weapons, and particularly missile technology, be lifted? If and when these and other important questions about the deal are answered— directly, candidly, and unambiguously— Congress will be in a better position to answer the fundamental questions now before it: would rejecting this deeply flawed deal produce more dangerous results than not rejecting it? If so, what can we now do to assure that Iran will not acquire a nuclear arsenal? The answers to those questions may profoundly affect the future of the world. So the President should spend more time on substance and less on personal attacks. Alan Dershowitz is an emeritus professor of law at Harvard Law School. His new e-book, The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran From Getting Nukes?, is now available. Reprinted from algemeiner.com.

Reviewed by Rebecca Klempner Designer of the pioneering Safety Kid program and founder of Magen Yeladim International1, Debbie Fox has made a name for herself teaching kids the skills they need to avoid potential threats to their physical and mental wellbeing. She has now turned her expertise as a clinical social worker towards a new audience: young women entering seminary. In her recently released book, Seminary Savvy, Fox offers guidance on how they can maximize the pleasures of their Israel year and minimize its hazards. Seminary Savvy came about because of a conversation Fox had around her dining room table with eight staff members from local Jewish high schools. She writes, “As the evening unfolded, humorous, touching, and meaningful stories of our own seminary years rose to the surface. By the end of the night, however, every woman present had also disclosed a disturbing or uncomfortable incident that occurred during her time in seminary (p. 17).” At the beginning of the book, some of the tips will sound familiar to those who have seen Safety Kid materials. However, the book quickly heads into less well-known territory. Topics include transportation to and around Israel, sleep, homesickness, dealing with relatives in Israel, how to be a good Shabbos guest, doing chessed, interacting with males, friendships, and how to report abuse, mental health issues, or the like. A registered dietician and specialist in eating disorders, Dina Cohen, contributed chapters on nutrition and eating disorders. Some of the problems Seminary Savvy addresses would never have occurred to me if Fox hadn’t brought them up. Fox recommends that parents and their teens read the book together and use it for a springboard into discussion of delicate subject matter. Parents might be concerned about how sensitive topics are handled. Fox employs clear but dignified language throughout. The book has an impressive list of haskamos including those from Rabbi Zev Leff of Moshav Matityahu and Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski. All of the rabbis and professionals offering endorsements felt the subject matter was appropriate. Seminary Savvy is more than a list of dos and don’ts. It is well-designed 1 Full disclosure: I’ve done a little freelance editing for Magen Yeladim in the past, although I’ve never met Debbie Fox in person.

and very readable, with a friendly and engaging tone. Each chapter is followed by a “Make it Real” scenario, where the young lady puts herself in the shoes of a protagonist in a tricky situation and then must decide what she would do in her place. Fox based these little sketches on

actual interviews she did with seminary students and alumnae, and their realism made them really resonate with me. On the other hand, I giggled over the cartoons which pepper the text. These really helped to lighten up the serious material. A few peccadilloes: I wished that a little bit more practical advice were offered on the less touchy topics. For example, I think a lot of teens could use direction about laundry and light housekeeping (while many will have learned these things at home, others won’t have), creating and sticking to a budget, and also more specific advice about guarding oneself against ID theft and other online threats. I also would like to see a companion guide for young men headed off to yeshiva out-of-state or out-of-country. While we can never protect our children from every misadventure or challenge they might encounter – whether they are still small or all grown up – we owe them preparation before they venture out into the world. Seminary Savvy will be a wonderful resource for young ladies heading to seminary in the coming weeks, and in the years to come, as well as for their families and teachers.


Los Angeles Life Coaches Help People Grow Yehudis Litvak

and women, agreed. Generally she avoids telling people what decisions to make. At the same time, she recognizes there are different approaches within coaching. “My goal is to help a person feel better, think better, and do better. I do whatever is best for the client,” Levin explains. “Sometimes people need to be told what to do [initially], and once they move forward and feel stronger they can make their own decisions.” Yehudit Eichenblatt, who coaches women, says, “I consider myself a spiritual coach – I coach the higher soul. My goal is to get people more in touch with their neshama, connect to their belief in G-d, their desire to do G-d’s will, and experience the delight and pleasure of being connected to G-d.” Eichenblatt started out as a teacher of Chassidus, with the blessing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Early on she saw that teaching Torah was only part of the learning that would make a difference in people’s lives. She wanted to give her students tools to apply what they learned to their daily living. “Women need to be coached on how to integrate the knowledge into their own lives, how to remain connected to G-d and their higher goals in everything they are doing, not just when

they are in a good mood,” she adds. Levin also has a teaching background, but it was her experience as a shadchan that led to her coaching career. She finds that both men and women in shidduchim benefit tremendously from coaching. “Talking to a friend is good,” she says, “but it might not change your life. [As a coach] I’m there to support them on a consistent basis.” Unlike therapy, coaching is not regulated. “It allows us to do what therapists can’t do,” explains Levin. “I can call the client, meet over coffee, and take a walk together.” In coaching, there is no assumption that something is wrong with the client. “I assume that all is well and they need some help. I don’t have to know everything about their whole life. Coaching is much faster and helps right away.” When working with couples, Levin usually meets with both spouses together for a short session, but then works with each one separately, one on one. “Usually, the problem is what’s happening inside them,” she explains. “I build them up, help them become more confident, and then put them together.” Eichenblatt agrees that in coaching, she helps her clients with what is bothering them inside themselves. “I help them look at themselves objectively

and very deeply.” Once the client understands her own difficulty she is able to use her higher soul to bring Hashem into the picture. “When they deal with their own issues it has an effect on other people,” she adds. Levin uses different techniques in her coaching, depending on the client’s needs. Often people know what they must work on, but they don’t know how. “When people want to change they need to change their brain,” Levin explains. Levin follows the latest neurological research and includes techniques that enable her clients to change the way they use their brains, for instance NLP, EFT, meditation, and relaxation techniques. She finds them very effective. “Nine out of ten people who hire a coach improve quickly,” she says. Levin also gives her clients tools to do the work on their own. All the coaches enjoy their work tremendously. “It’s my passion,” says Levin. “I love to see people’s neshamos light up,” agrees Eichenblatt. “It also helps me understand myself better. I learned the most from working with other women.” “I enjoy seeing people come up with their game plan and carry it through [successfully],” Rabbi Berkowitz concurs. The main challenge coaches encounter is with clients who are not willing to put in the work required to get the desired results. “People expect a quick fix,” says Rabbi Berkowitz. “They need to give it time.” “People feel they’re done when they need to continue,” adds Levin. Eichenblatt admits that it is challenging to maintain the balance between being empathetic and keeping perspective. “I need to be able to see the good in every struggle to help each woman experience the positive in her challenge, to gain strength and happiness from working through it.” When asked about advice for this coming year the coaches enthusiastically recommend coaching. “Find a coach that is able to connect you to your higher neshama and who will teach you how to use the ten powers of your unique soul,” says Eichenblatt. “Where people get stuck is knowing how to change,” Levin explains. “You can go to a lot of lectures and change slowly. But in one session of coaching you can learn right away how to change.” Rabbi Berkowitz lists the three steps of growth. First, define one area where you’d like to grow. Then determine where you are in that area and accept yourself as you are. “This step is crucial,” says Rabbi Berkowitz. “You can’t go forward if you can’t accept the present.” The third step is prayer. “You’re allowed to ask Hashem for help even in spiritual matters and in teshuva!”

AUGUST 13, 2015

It’s almost Elul – the month when we evaluate the year that is about to end and set goals for the coming one. It’s often helpful to work with a professional when you look at your goals. Our community has skilled people who have made it their profession to help others achieve their goals. These are life coaches, providing coaching and support to various segments of the population dealing with all kinds of challenges. We spoke to three Los Angeles-based coaches to find out what they do, how they can help, and what advice they would give to those who would like to grow this coming year. “As a life coach, I help people make a plan for their success,” says Rabbi Nesanel Berkowitz, who coaches men and women both within and outside the frum community. He explains two ways in which a coach differs from a therapist: coaches don’t deal with the past, with any traumas or psychological issues, but only focus on the present and the future, and coaches do not give advice, instead asking their clients questions and helping them formulate their own game plan. “Most feel that they own the plan if they come up with it themselves,” he explained. Muriel Levin, who coaches frum men


AUGUST 13, 2015


The Curious Tale Of Lord George Gordon Modern History’s Most Unlikely Convert To Judaism Rabbi Pini Dunner, Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

The story of Lord George Gordon, firebrand political agitator turned pious Jew, is one of the most curious episodes of early modern Jewish history. A British aristocrat whose anti-establishment views irritated his peers, his involvement in the violent riots that bear his name was extremely controversial. But much more stunning was his unexpected subsequent conversion to Judaism and imprisonment for libel. In this two part series we will discover the origins of this eccentric aristocrat, and follow the twists and turns of his rollercoaster life. About ten years ago I selected as part of my summer vacation reading the recently published biography of William Pitt ‘the Younger’, Prime Minister of Great Britain for some twenty years during the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth century. The book was excellent, written by William Hague, the youthful former leader of the UK’s Conservative Party and Parliamentary opposition, who later served as Britain’s Foreign Secretary. In describing the background to Pitt’s remarkable ascent to the position of Prime Minister at the tender age of 24 in 1883, Hague mentioned the notorious Gordon Riots of 1780, the worst outbreak of civil unrest in modern British history. The riots were named for a man called Lord George Gordon, a young, devoutly Protestant, anti-Catholic agitator, who, as a member of the British parliament, was trying to reverse the recent repeal of the anti-Catholic laws. His role as the actual instigator of the riots was dubious, as we shall see, but the effect of a week of widespread uncontrolled violence was extremely significant at the time, whoever was ultimately to blame. I recalled having

previously heard about Lord George Gordon in some kind of Jewish context, but could not quite remember the details. In those pre-WiFi days I was unable to instantly turn to Wikipedia to pin it down, so I made a mental note to research Gordon when I returned to London after our vacation in Israel. That was August. For one reason or another I never checked him out and now it was the month of November. Finally I began my research and what I discovered was utterly remarkable. Lord George Gordon, the Protestant firebrand of the eponymous Gordon Riots, later abandoned Christianity and converted to Judaism, to become a fully-fledged, mitzvah observant Jew, even adopting the beard and

clothing of the Polish Jews of his day. More remarkably, he died in jail relatively young, after being incarcerated for five years for the ridiculous crime of insulting the French queen, Marie Antoinette. I was so intrigued by this story that I began to look for any books that could better inform me about Gordon and his background. Charles Dickens wrote a fictionalized account of the riots called Barnaby Rudge, and a number of political history books describe Gordon during that period. But his conversion to Judaism, which is what really interested me, always seemed to be a footnote. There was, however, one

book that caught my eye. Written by his faithful secretary, Robert Watson, it was published just two years after his death, in 1795, but was never subsequently republished. I scoured book dealer websites to see if I could get my hands on a copy and eventually found one at a rural secondhand bookstore for £125. I called the owner to ascertain the condition of the book, and we agreed a slightly lower price, but I told him I needed to think about it and that I would call back to confirm, or to cancel. Just to be sure I wasn’t being overcharged for this obscure eighteenth century biography, I telephoned a Hasidic book dealer in Stamford Hill, North London. This was a man who had been dealing in antiquarian books for fifty years, and knew every aspect of this murky trade. I trusted his judgment and integrity and wanted his nod before I made the purchase. He answered the phone and I asked him if he had ever heard of Lord George Gordon. There was a long pause at the other end of the line. ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘why do you want to know?’ I explained how I had become intrigued by Gordon and wanted to buy this book about him, and was calling to check that the price made sense. ‘But why today?’ he asked me, ‘why specifically today?’ ‘You’re right,’ I responded, ‘I should have done this in August when Gordon’s name first cropped up, but you know how it is – between one thing and another, it has taken me until today to finally look him up. That’s why it’s today.’ This time the pause was a little longer. ‘That’s really very strange,’ he said, finally, ‘because today is Lord George Gordon’s yahrtzeit, and this morning I was part of a minyan that went out to the site of his burial in Central London to say Tehillim and Kaddish.’ I was totally speechless. After a while he added, “buy the book – it’s a good price - and say some Tehillim today for his neshama. His Hebrew name was Yisrael ben Avraham Avinu.” Reb Yisrael ben Avraham Avinu Lord George Gordon. Who exactly was this enigmatic convert to Judaism? What was his background? How did he come to be identified with the violent insurrection that bears his name? Why did he become a Jew, and when did it happen? And last but by no means least, how was it that he ended up dying in jail? Lord George Gordon was born into privilege; the Gordon family was a ducal

dynasty from Scotland. The first duke, also called George Gordon, was original-

ly known as the Marquess of Huntly. A Catholic, he supported James II, the last Catholic monarch of Great Britain. His grandson, the third duke, was Cosmo Gordon, and he was our protagonist’s father. Cosmo married his first cousin, Catherine Gordon, a feisty woman, and the entire Gordon family was widely considered to be eccentric. George was their fourth son, born in 1751. Cosmo died the following year, and Catherine was soon remarried to someone seventeen years her junior. The young George was unsurprisingly a neglected child, and at the age of 11 he was packed off to boarding school at Eton. He never returned home. After Eton his mother arranged for him to become a commissioned officer in the British Navy, and within a year he was at sea. By nature a social activist and very outspoken, the new young officer made himself unpopular with his seniors by trying to raise the general conditions for ordinary sailors, and the admiralty board concluded that he was ‘wholly unsuitable for promotion’. On shore leave in the American colonies he became fascinated by the social conditions of the blacks, both slaves and freed slaves, whom he concluded were very badly treated by the whites. Gordon was an indefatigable and tireless fighter


and as each day progressed the anarchy increased, and the carnage escalated. The homes of leading politicians were burned the ground. Catholic churches and homes of leading Catholics were attacked and looted. Prisons were broken into and prisoners freed. Eventually the military were mobilized with shoot-to-kill dispensation. Within hours hundreds of rioters had been killed. While all this was unfolding, Gordon came to the realization that his plans had badly backfired. But his attempts to quell the riots as the week progressed were ignored by the mobs marauding through London. He had become irrelevant. A week after the original demonstration, on June 9, Gordon was arrested and taken to the Tower of London. Several of the leading rioters were also arrested that day and summarily executed for treason. But Gordon’s trial did not materialize for months. Then, in late December, he was charged with High Treason, a crime punishable by the gruesome execution of being hung, drawn and quartered. But Gordon was no common criminal. Although

not a respected politician, his aristocratic origins and wealthy family meant that he would be properly defended, despite the grave misgivings over his role in the affair. With financial help from family, friends and sympathizers, Gordon hired the top trial lawyer of the day, Lloyd Kenyon, and his brilliant assistant, Thomas Erskine, to defend him at the trial. Erskine was a devout protestant and a gifted orator. Nevertheless he later wrote that he had advised his client that acquittal was unlikely. The attorney general himself led the prosecution team and the judge was the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, whose house had been burnt down. The bets were not on Gordon walking free. In Part Two of this series, discover how Lord George Gordon escaped the death penalty and walked free, only to be later rearrested for insulting the French queen, and the British judiciary. The amazing story of this unusual British aristocrat gets even more remarkable, as he morphs into a pious Orthodox Jew.

AUGUST 13, 2015

not. This marriage of convenience would set off a chain of events that would prove to be a disaster for Gordon. In early 1780 the Association began to compile a petition for the repeal of the detested law. Notices went out inviting the public to come and sign the petition at Gordon’s home in Central London. Despite warnings that he was being used by people with less than honorable motives, he refused to resign his position. When the Prime Minister, Lord North, refused to present the petition to King George III, Gordon exercised his right as the son of a Duke to demand an audience with the monarch. He met the King three times, but by the third meeting his behavior had become so offensive, that when he attempted to arrange a fourth meeting he was politely but firmly turned away. The King – by nature a tolerant man who was quite happy to do away with England’s outdated laws against Catholics – refused point-blank to recommend the petition to Parliament. But the petition kept on growing until it had 100,000 names. The political establishment began to sense danger. The Prime Minister called in Gordon and tried to bribe him with a significant sum of money and a senior government position if he deserted the Association, but Gordon could not be bought, and instead he called for a public protest on the morning of Friday June 2, 1780. Fifty thousand people turned up to march towards the Houses of Parliament. Initially the rally was peaceful, but the unusual heat that day, and the crowded streets, resulted in the mood changing from peaceful to disorderly, and within a few hours the protestors were out of control. Government officials leaving Parliament were forced out of their carriages and beaten up and their carriages were destroyed. Demagogic speakers ranted against the Catholics and the government. Gordon was in the House of Commons where he got up to speak with the noise of the demonstrators outside clearly audible as he began. He produced the rolls and rolls of paper containing the signatures of the petitioners, and demanded that the petition’s demands be adopted by the elected members. A heated debate ensued. Without exception every speaker opposed Gordon’s suggestion, the petition, and the unseemly protest in the streets below. The debate lasted for over six hours and a vote was finally taken in the late evening. Gordon’s motion was soundly defeated 190 to 8, with no abstentions. Troops were then called in to disperse the demonstrators, and everyone went home thinking that the saga was finally over. But by midnight gangs of drunken violent men began a rampage across London. The violence would last an entire week,


for causes he believed in and was full of energy, initiative, innovation, and a capacity for hard work and long hours. So it was, at the age of 22, he left the navy and become a member of the British parliament. He began to campaign for a seat in Scotland, endearing himself to local voters by learning to speak Gaelic and to play the bagpipes. He also threw lavish and quite raunchy parties that were open to all, and as time progressed it looked as if things were going his way. The sitting member for that constituency was a man called General Fraser, who was pretty unhappy at the prospect of losing his seat, so he put some pressure on George’s eldest brother, the Duke of Gordon, and the younger Gordon was forced to withdraw his candidacy. Instead, he stood – unopposed - for another constituency in southern England, and joined the House of Commons in 1774. It didn’t take him long to become embroiled in controversy. In speech after impassioned speech he railed at what he saw as the British government’s obsession with subduing restless American colonists through military force. Bitterly opposed to the lack of real democracy in Great Britain because of the direct involvement of the monarch, King George III, he became a vocal supporter of the colonists in their fight against British imperialism. He quickly established a reputation as a great parliamentary performer – a role he truly enjoyed. The trouble was, although he was a fierce critic of the administration, he could be equally critical of the opposition. As a result, in spite of the fact that his approach was independent and refreshing, it was not politically effective - in politics you need allies, and he had none. As the 1770s drew to a close, the political ‘hot-potato’ was the proposed repeal of the Anti-Catholic Laws. It wasn’t that Catholics were particularly persecuted anymore, but the law needed to be changed so that the wording of the oath for soldiers entering the army – which was desperately in need of soldiers for the war in the American colonies – could be changed. The law was drafted, proposed and quietly passed in the late spring of 1778. As the details emerged, however, radical Protestants began to vigorously protest on the basis that Catholics had dual loyalties, because of their allegiance to Rome. Gordon became the leading campaigner against the new law, mainly because he realized that the whole thing was a charade to get more men to fight in the American War, to which he was ideologically opposed. His notoriety and family ties were valuable to radical Protestants, and they appointed him President of the London Protestant Association, a position he gladly accepted, despite advice that he should


AUGUST 13, 2015


Global Hostages Rescued in Mali Attack Ten people died this week in the first attack by Islamic extremists on a central Mali town. Three of the attackers were also killed, and seven suspected militants were detained, the government said. Four U.N. employees were rescued, including two South Africans, a Russian and a Ukrainian who are all in good health, said U.N. mission in Mali spokeswoman Radhia Achouri. Sevare, a garrison town about 600 kilometers (375 miles) northeast of the capital, Bamako, is at the heart of Mali’s tourism industry and up until now had not been targeted in the attacks more common in the northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu. The militants targeted the Hotel Debo before assaulting the Hotel Byblos, popular with U.N. staff, to take hostages, according to the U.N. official. “It’s a troubling sign that the armed Islamist groups are intent on stepping up the pressure both on the Malian government and on the U.N. and French presence,” said Bruce Whitehouse, Mali expert and associate professor at Lehigh University. “They want to show they are not just contained within the north and that they’re not afraid to confront their primary enemies where they’re strongest.” A White House spokesman said the attack was likely intended “to signal all Malians everywhere that neither their government nor the U.N. can keep them safe,” but he noted the rapid response by Mali’s forces. The attackers may be followers of Ama-

dou Koufa, a leader who has been linked to attacks on Mali’s army including a January attack that killed 10 soldiers in Nampala, said Col. Souleymane Maiga, chief spokesman for the military. Islamic extremists took over Mali’s north in 2012. A French-led offensive ousted them from the northern cities in early 2013. Remnants of the extremists have staged attacks on U.N. peacekeepers and Malian forces. Mali’s jihadi groups have been moving their attacks further south. The most recent extremist attack in the capital occurred in March when masked gunman opened fire in a restaurant popular with foreigners, killing five people.

New Leads in MH370 Disappearance

It’s been almost a year and a half since flight MH370 disappeared into thin air. The aircraft was last seen and heard from on March 8, 2014 and investigators are still stumped as to what may have transpired on the mysterious flight in which 239 were killed. On Monday, the transport minister of Malaysia revealed that they will send a team to the Maldives to determine whether debris reportedly found there is further wreckage from flight MH370. Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Malaysia had been “officially notified” by authorities in the Maldives of objects found there, whose origin remains unverified.



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“We will be dispatching a team to the Maldives to view the debris as well as conduct preliminary verification of the debris,” he said in a statement. “At this stage, it is highly premature to speculate on whether this debris is in any way connected to MH370,” he cautioned. The Maldives has joined a regional search for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight following reports that islanders in the Indian Ocean nation had spotted unidentified debris, police there said on Sunday. Apparently, police received reports of sightings of several items washing up along the northern atolls of the archipelago. Last week, Malaysia claimed an airplane wing part washed ashore on the French island of Reunion and said it belonged to the Malaysian aircraft. That would mark the first confirmed evidence that the jet, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew, met a tragic end in the Indian Ocean in March 2014. Malaysian authorities alerted nearby Madagascar and the South African coast to be on the lookout, saying it was possible debris would wash up in those locations.

won a prize for recycling 73 percent of all trash it produced. Despite the free WiFi, the population of Sellia has dwindled to just 537 people, most of whom are widows over age 75. In the 1960s, though the town was never a booming metropolis, Sellia had over 1,300 residents. The new law is meant to encourage people to seek preventive medicine instead of constantly getting sick, according to the mayor. One measure of the new legislation requires all residents to have an annual physical to ensure their health at a new medical center that was built just one month ago for this purpose. Failure to comply with the annual checkup will result in a ten euro tax. Despite the small fine, over 100 people—or around 20 percent of the population—have rushed to make appointments at the medical center. “Our citizens’ response has been more than encouraging. It’s a result that embraces the spirit of this initiative,” the mayor said. Long live the residents of Sellia.

Italian Town Bans Dying

Tensions Flare between the Koreas

If you’re living in Sellia, Italy, you better not die. The small town is home to approximately 500 people and the mayor is hoping that the ban will keep its population stagnant while encouraging healthier living. Failure to comply with the law will result in higher taxes, he warned. “We’ve put this measure into effect not as a joke, but as something truly serious,” said Mayor Davide Zicchinella. “Sellia, as many other towns in Southern Italy, is affected by depopulation.” The birth rate in Italy has been declining for the past 50 years and is now at an alltime low, with fewer babies born in 2014 than in any other year since 1861. Sellia is a scenic, medieval village that has made a name for itself in the past few years for Zicchinella’s often unorthodox measures. The town was one of the first to institute free WiFi for everyone, and in 2010 the village

For the first time in 11 years, South Korea restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border with rival North Korea this week. The move came in retaliation for the North planting land mines last week that maimed two South Korean soldiers. The anti-North Korean broadcasts over loudspeakers aimed across the world’s most heavily armed border are sure to worsen already tense ties between the Koreas and infuriate the North, which is extremely sensitive to any outside criticism of the authoritarian leadership of Kim Jong Un. South Korea’s military promised unspecified “searing” consequences for the mine blasts last week in the Seoul-controlled southern part of the Demilitarized Zone that has bisected the Korean Peninsula since the end of fighting in the Korean War in 1953. South Korean officials said they may take additional punitive measures depending on how North Korea reacts. It was unclear how long the broadcasts will


It’s the war Olympics—and Russia is aiming for the gold. Last week, Russia opened its first International Military Games, a medley of martial sports designed to highlight Russia’s military prowess as it competes against 16 other countries, including prominent importers of its weapons like China and India. None of the participants are members

sia. “Tanks don’t need visas!” he said. Despite the celebration during its recent events, there have been some mishaps. A pilot was killed when a Mi-28 helicopter crashed last Sunday during the aviadarts competition. And a Kuwaiti crew flipped their tank while attempting to skid around a turn during the tank biathlon. The crew were not seriously injured.

Israel Team Israel Wins Bronze at International Chemistry Olympiad

AUGUST 13, 2015

Russia Leads in First International Military Games

of NATO. Some of the featured events include the tank biathlon, a combined obstacle course and shooting range that vaguely resembles the winter sport popular in Nordic countries. In aviadarts, fighter jets and military helicopters compete to perform the most accurate aerial bombardment. Other events are self-explanatory, like “Masters of Artillery Fire.” Unsurprisingly, Russia, which invented most of the 13 events, is in first place. Putin wouldn’t have it any other way. Lt. Gen. Ivan Buvaltsev, head of training for Russia’s military, issued a challenge for NATO countries to join the games next year, saying Russia would be waiting ”with arms wide open.” The games are just one in a series of events and celebrations in Russia to promote the military since the Russian annexation of Crimea last March and the collapse of relations with the West. President Vladimir V. Putin has championed a 22-trillion ruble ($343 billion) program to modernize Russia’s military, which he has presented to the country as a guarantor of Russia’s security from NATO. Russia’s military has been on near-constant alert this year, holding massive training drills as tensions have risen with the West over the war in Ukraine. Some of the recent advances in Russia’s military have been notable, like the expertly-trained spetsnaz units without identifying marks that seized the airport and other infrastructure in Crimea last March. At this year’s celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany, Russia unveiled a new battle tank with a remote-controlled turret considered one of the most advanced in the world (though one of the tanks stalled during the ceremony). Russia is not only ramping up its military with more advanced weapons. It’s using its public relations to increase its public profile as well. The army is opening a patriotic theme park next year. It has a new clothing store on Tverskaya Street, Moscow’s Fifth Avenue, that sells gold iPhones and leather jackets depicting the storming of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1945. And the army has launched its own television station, Zvezda, which means Star, that broadcasts  patriotic programming and news reports from east Ukraine that favor pro-Russian separatists there. Private businesses have also sought to cash in on patriotism. Tourists arriving at some of Moscow’s airports are greeted by a souvenir stand with a cardboard cutout of a “polite person,” the Russian soldiers in Crimea. Vending machines carry Vladimir Putin T-shirts. Dmitry Rogozin, the hawkish deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry, captured the zeitgeist when he dismissed Western concerns about Rus-


continue. The U.S.-led U.N. Command conducted an investigation that laid blame at North Korea for the mines. It condemned what it called violations of the armistice that ended fighting in the war, which still technically continues because the participants have never signed a peace treaty. The soldiers were on a routine patrol near a wire fence in the southern side of the border when the explosions took place. One of the soldiers lost both legs, while the other lost one leg. In 2004, the two Koreas stopped the decades’ long practice of propaganda warfare along the border to reduce tension. The practice had included loudspeaker and radio broadcasts, billboards, and leaflets. In 2010, South Korea restarted radio broadcasts and restored 11 loudspeakers as part of punitive measures taken after a warship sinking blamed on North Korea that killed 46 South Korean sailors earlier that year. But South Korea didn’t go ahead with plans to resume loudspeaker broadcasts at the time. More than a million mines are believed to be buried inside the DMZ, and North Korean mines have occasionally washed down a river into the South, killing or injuring civilians. But North Korean soldiers crossing the border and planting mines is highly unusual. Things are expected to get worse next week when Seoul and Washington launch annual summertime military drills, which the allies say are routine but North Korea calls an invasion rehearsal.

330 kids from 75 countries gathered in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the end of July to compete at the oldest high school competition, the International Chemistry Olympiad. Three members of Team Israel walked away with bronze medals during the event. Now in its 47th year, the IChO is the granddaddy of international academic challenges for high school students, combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills. IchO is a much more difficult contest than other Olympiads like math, say organizers, because of its practical components. In this year’s contest, teams were asked to use chemicals in order to synthesize material (specifically, monobrominated thiophene derivative) and identify unknown elements. In the final results, reviewed by top


AUGUST 13, 2015


chemistry faculty of Moscow State University (Baku branch), graders said that “all mistakes that are typical of these experiments were found in the work of students.” The Israeli medal winners were Itai Zvieli, a 12th grader from Haifa; Nadav Ginnosar, an 11th grader from Modiin; and Ran Solan, a 10th grader from Rishon Lezion. The students were trained and led by Professor Zeev Gross of the Technion’s chemistry faculty as well as Dr. Izana Nigel-Ettinger and Mira Katz, also of the Technion. The students also worked closely with other Techion faculty to prepare for the event. “The content the students were tested on in the Olympiad was very advanced, and far ahead of the chemistry taught in Israeli high schools,” said Gross. “We worked very hard to achieve our goals, and I am very happy we were able to win three bronze medals.” Most of the gold and silver medals were won by students from Asian countries, with the top student hailing from Uzbekistan. “The medals are just a bonus,” added Gross. “The real benefit is the increased awareness of the importance of science in general, and of chemistry in particular. During these contests, students garner a great deal of knowledge and experience that will serve them well later in life, equipping them for key positions in academia and industry.”

Arrest Leads to Insight into Hamas’ Operations Early in July, Israeli police and Shin Bet operatives arrested Ibrahim Adel Shehadeh Shaer, a resident of Rafah and Hamas fighter. During questioning, it was revealed that the 21-year-old had significant knowledge of Hamas’ actions in Rafah and tunnel digging. The information was cleared for the public this week on Tuesday. During the interrogation, the Shin Bet was able to confirm that a road recently built by Hamas along the border fence was intended for a surprise attack on Israel involving vehicles that would cross the border.  The terrorist also disclosed specific emergency procedures followed by Hamas and the organization’s intention of using tunnels rebuilt since last year’s Operation Protective Edge to launch attacks in Israel. In particular, Shaer was able to supply the specific locations, paths, and digging sites of tunnels in the Rafah area leading in the direction of the Kerem Shalom border crossing. 

As a Hamas operative, Shaer was personally involved in a wide variety of training including combat, command, use of advanced weapons and explosives. During Operation Protective Edge, Shaer was active in a logistics and support company that helped transport military equipment and explosives to fighters in the field. He was also directly involved in combat zones including planting anti-tank mines and observation duties.  The Shin Bet said that Shaer had been privy to the details of many of Hamas’ senior officials. During his investigation, he talked about Hamas’ relationship with Iran which he said was shipping military aid to the Gaza Strip to strengthen the organization.  Shaer said that Iran was sending money, advanced weapons and electronic equipment to the Gaza Strip including devices to disrupt radio frequencies meant to help down Israeli UAVs above the Gaza Strip. He also claimed that Iran had trained Hamas operatives in paragliding with the goal of infiltrating Israel.  The Shin Bet also said that Shaer provided information regarding the formation of Hamas’ elite units, their anti-tank abilities, anti-air abilities and observation abilities. Shaer explained that Hamas has the ability to film at a distance of approximately three kilometers into Israeli territory.  He also detailed changes in strategy and unit formations since Operation Protective Edge.  Shaer told interrogators that Hamas used materials allowed into the Strip for reconstruction to make weapons. In addition, despite danger to civilians, the organization regularly stores explosives in residential structures due to the fear that Israel would attack separate storage facilities for weapons.

li towns near the Gaza border fence – are complaining of a new tactic Gazan Arabs are using to make their lives miserable. With the failure of Gaza terrorists to penetrate Israel’s Iron Dome defense system with their rockets, they have resorted to “garbage terrorism,” bulking up a dump that was set up right next to the border fence. These piles of refuse are located upwind of Israeli towns, which get the full brunt of the odors carried in their direction by westerly winds. The IDF is treating the presence of the dump as a legitimate security threat, concerned that terrorists may hide in the piles of rubbish and spy on Israeli troop movements along the border fence road. Tons of Gaza waste are added to the dump on a daily basis. The trash often sits out in the open for days at a time and is turned into landfill only once every few days. Israeli health officials fear that Gaza-sourced vermin, which can easily slip through the fence, will thrive under the fetid conditions created by Gaza authorities during the hot weather.

National Two Illegal Immigrants Appointed City Commissions

Gazans’ Garbage Terrorism

Arab residents of the Gaza Strip have a classy new move to get Israelis to leave. Residents of the Gaza belt area – the Israe-

When Karina Macias was elected mayor of Huntington Park, a small city in Los Angeles County, she noticed that many of its commissions were no longer active. In response, the city encouraged new applicants. The city’s residents are mostly Latino and according to the new guidelines, anyone can apply regardless of their immigration status. Last Monday, two new city commissions were appointed, both who are in the U.S. illegally. “They bring a lot to the table,” said Macias, who was elected mayor two years ago.

“And it really empowers, or at least gives a voice, for those undocumented in the community.” This is a historic move; the appointments are believed to be among the first in the nation in which an immigrant without legal status in the U.S. has been appointed to serve in a government position. Ironically, these two individuals do not have the right vote or seek elected office. In accordance with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, U.S. employers are prohibited from hiring anyone they know is not authorized to work in the country. However, city leaders have argued that their selected commissions are legally permitted because they both agreed to serve as volunteers without pay. Huntington Park commissioners generally receive a monthly stipend of $25 to $75. Despite the loophole, some do not approve of the selection. During the Huntington Park City Council meeting on Monday, one woman shouted to city leaders, “You are out of order!” Daniel Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for tighter immigration controls, called the appointments the “evolution of a breakdown in national immigration controls and the sanctity of American citizenship.” “Where does it end?” he asked rhetorically One appointee, Julian Zatarain, 21, will serve on the parks and recreation commission. The college student came to the U.S. when he was 13 from the Mexican state of Sinaloa and has volunteered with the Red Cross. “We are letting people know it doesn’t matter if you are undocumented or not,” Zatarain said. “You can be an engaged resident of this city.” The other, Francisco Medina, 29, crossed the border with his brother when he was 16 and is a college graduate who will serve on the health and education commission.

That’s Odd A Luxury Cruise Have 128 days and $100,000 to squander? Well, have I got a cruise for you. Recently, Regent Seven Seas announced a round-the-world getaway in 2017 that will offer vacationers a glimpse into six out of seven continents in high style. Within just hours of the announcement, over 70 percent of the ship was booked—at a mere $109,998 per couple. For those of you who


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Attention husbands. When your wife asks you to head out to the store for milk, it’s worth it for you to listen. John Rumpel is ecstatic that he was chosen for the task. While picking up a gallon of milk for his wife, the Wisconsin man bought a lottery ticket. And that ticket turned out to be golden. In fact, Rumpel became the largest Megabucks jackpot winner in the state’s history—with a total score of $22.2 million. Rumpel took his time bringing home the dough, er milk. He only realized his

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The Milk Millionaire


are interested, we are sorry to disappoint you: the cruise is sold out, and yes, there are those who purchased the largest rooms which went for $319,998 per couple. What can the royal cruisers expect at such a price? No, they won’t be dining on gold-plated dinnerware. But travelers will enjoy first-class round-trip airfare to and from Miami, shore excursions, a pre-cruise hotel room, complimentary phone time from their suite, free onboard medical care, and, of course, free wi-fi onboard the ship. They will be wined and dined for 128 days, beginning on January 5 in Miami, and will stop at 62 ports in 31 countries on six continents, including 29 UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you’re disappointed that you missed the boat on this royal excursion, there are other over-the-top ones to choose from. Consider Crystal Cruises with its own 102-day world cruise in 2016 for a mere $205,720 per person. For that price, we better make sure to visit Antarctica.

Honoring Our Traditions


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win until after he sat down to watch television. “It wasn’t until after the drawing that I flipped on the news and saw that the winning ticket was sold in Milwaukee and I looked up and saw the convenience store on there and I went, ‘Oh man, that might be me.’” After taking home the cash option, the

Rumpel are now $15.7 million richer. Now they can have their milk delivered. Mooo.

12 Yr Old Tops Einstein’s IQ

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Nicole Barr has raised the bar. The 12-year-old from the U.K. has received a perfect score on her Mensa IQ test—ranking two points above geniuses Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking in the society’s elite group of members. She took the test at the same time as father a few weeks ago and received her results on Thursday—an astounding 162. Her father, though, wasn’t too surprised. He said that he had a feeling that Nicole would be admitted to Mensa—despite its low acceptance rate: only those who score in the top 2 percent are accepted. “I was expecting her to do well. I knew she had a quick mind for working out problems and puzzles,” Jim said. “I didn’t want to put any pressure on her, so we went for

the fun of it. I had the idea in my mind that she would get into Mensa, but when I got the results back, I thought, ‘Wow that’s a high score!’ It wasn’t until later that I learned it was the top score possible on that test.” Ann Clarkson, communications manager for British Mensa, confirmed Nicole’s score. “[A score of] 162 puts her in the top one percent of the population, so it is exceptional by any definition,” she says. Barr says he decided to sign his daughter up for the test because he thought she’d have fun. “She’s always loved numbers and puzzles, and she’s always been excellent at math, performing several years ahead of her age group in school,” he says. “It’s just the type of thing she likes to do. She likes challenging herself.” Even during the test, Nicole didn’t seem to be working too hard. “It was split into several sections, each with a time limit, and she finished each one early,” he says. “In the last section, at the four-minute warning, I quickly glanced up to see if Nicole was feeling the pressure, and she already had put her pen down. There were questions I didn’t finish at all.”


No Ordinary Hat

3,000 weaves per square inch sold for $25,000, and Black sells hats priced even higher. If this hat sells, its price could be as unprecedented as the hat itself. Ironically, despite its name, Panama hats aren’t from Panama. Their origins lie in Montecristi and the towns and villages surrounding it, where people have been weaving toquilla-straw hats for generations. In the 19th century, a Spanish exile named Manuel Alfaro landed in Ecuador and had the idea to sell these hats more widely. He collected the weavers and organized production, then marketed the hats in Panama to travelers passing through on their way to California for the Gold Rush. The hats were such a success, they became associated with Panama, and made Alfaro rich. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt added to the Panama connection by wearing one in a famous picture taken when he visited the Panama Canal. But it was always back in the small, lowland villages of coastal Ecuador that they were made. Mr. Espinal, we take our hat off to you!

AUGUST 13, 2015

Nicole has showed an above-average aptitude for problem-solving since she was very young. “Before she was 2, she was adding numbers up and doing calculations,” her father recalls. “At 2, she could use a Nintendo DS with absolute ease — it would amaze family and friends how easily she could work anything technical.” But Nicole still enjoys other, more “mundane” activities. “She likes playing soccer, and she’s performing in a Shakespeare play coming up,” Jim says. “She does enjoy acting, and she loves singing — even if it’s just to herself.” What does the future hold for the little Einstein? Nicole would like to become a doctor and “maybe invent a new medicine.” Sounds like a smart plan.



Simon Espinal lives in the village of Pile the hills outside of Montecristi in Ecuador. He is a maker of hats—but not just any hats. Espinal’s latest masterwork will create waves in the world of Panama hats; this hat took around eight months to complete, with nearly 1,000 hours of work. The process to make a traditional Panama hat is intricate and laborious. The iconic brimmed straw hats are created from fine strips of toquilla straw, harvested from palm trees that grow along the Ecuadorian coast. A single hat can take up to six months to complete, and the best ones are formed from around 3,000 weaves per square inch. Espinal has taken millinery to a new level. This hat was formed from an unheard-of 4,000 weaves per square inch. The strain on his eyes and mind from working so painstakingly for eight months was so great that he has vowed to never attempt such a hat again. The result appears to be the finest Panama hat ever made. “My hope is that it will go to a museum,” Brent Black, a Panama hat dealer who sells Espinal’s work, said. “This is not a hat that should be on anybody’s head. This is the very pinnacle of an old and very beautiful art.” It’s difficult to judge what such a hat might fetch at sale. Panama hats are desirable for their lightweight, smooth cream color, and beautiful weaving, and knowledgeable buyers pay handsomely for them. A previous hat by Espinal composed of

The Cosmetics Case

Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions Looks can be deceiving. An Algerian man is suing his new wife for $20,000 in damages due to “psychological distress.” It seems that he managed to see her without makeup for the first time after they were married—and he could barely recognize her sans face paint. In fact, the groom told an Algerian court that his wife looked so different that he thought she was an intruder. Prior to their marriage, the wife had always worn makeup and the groom had found her “very beautiful and attractive,” said a source who was present at the trial. A similar story made the rounds in November, when a Saudi man immediately divorced his wife after the wedding ceremony upon seeing her face. Apparently, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder—but only if the person you’re looking at is wearing makeup.





AUGUST 13, 2015


Travel Guide: Wyoming Aaron Feigenbaum

Wyoming, America’s least populated state, has been a draw for nature-lovers and those who want to experience the Wild West lifestyle in person. Cowboys, ranches and rodeos mix freely with ski resorts and idyllic landscapes. The state’s main draw, Yellowstone National Park, brings in millions of visitors every year. While Wyoming has lots of city attractions, most visitors come to the Cowboy State for its first-class outdoors adventures, majestic scenery, and to glimpse a traditional way of life that’s not often seen in modern America. From snow-capped peaks to

Big Boy Steam Engine

crystalline lakes to towering geysers along with warm, hospitable people, Wyoming is truly a unique and unforgettable off-thebeaten-path adventure. History Wyoming’s first inhabitants were Native American tribes such as the Blackfeet, Sioux and Cheyenne. Prehistoric Native American stone structures such as the mysterious Medicine Wheel attest to a presence dating back thousands of years. Sacajawea, the native guide for the Lewish & Clark Expedition, is buried near the town of Fort Washakie. One of the first Europeans to set foot in Wyoming was the explorer John Colter, who in 1807 discovered the area that would later be known as Yellowstone National Park. Wyoming’s settlements grew in the early 1800’s as the popularity of fur hats in Europe drove the beaver-trapper industry to new lands. Wyoming continued to grow in the late 1800’s as the California Gold Rush led many pioneer wagons to cross through this fledgling territory. These gold-seeking convoys were frequently robbed, leading the federal government to send in troops and build forts to protect them. One of the biggest of these forts was Ft. Laramie, which served both as a stagecoach station and a military base during the wars with the Plains Indians. It was in Wyoming that the last of the battles between the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans took place. One of the most noteworthy of these was in 1866 when 81 U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed by a coalition of tribes led by Crazy Horse. By 1890, the Native Americans were de-

feated and driven into reservations, and the wild frontier became closed. Wyoming’s cowboy legacy was further cemented by one of its most famous citizens, Buffalo Bill Cody. Cody not only helped settle Wyoming, but also took his cowboy show on the road across America and Europe and was mostly responsible for making the Old West a key part of American pop culture. Wyoming is also famous as the first state to give women the right to vote (1869) and to elect the country’s first female governor (1924). The Wyoming Ter-

Museum. Its exhibits cover the history of Cheyenne’s renowned Frontier Days rodeo, the history of the city itself, old fashioned horse-drawn carriages, early cars and more. You can also check out the Nelson Museum of the West, which features an impressive collection of military uniforms, Native American art, vintage weapons and other Old West artifacts. Modeled after its counterpart in Washington, D.C., the Wyoming State Capitol building is the center of Wyoming’s politics. In front of this beautiful Corinthian building stands a monument to Esther

Buffalo Bill Museum

ritory was carved out of parts of Dakota, Utah and Colorado in 1869, and Wyoming officially became the 44th state in 1889. Wyoming today still clings proudly to its cowboy traditions and has remained almost as beautiful and unspoiled as when it was first settled. Attractions Cheyenne: Wyoming’s capital and largest city, Cheyenne was founded as a

Hobart Morris, the first modern woman to hold judicial office. Tours are free. Keep in mind that the Capitol will be temporarily closed to visitors at the end of August due to renovations. Also be sure to visit the nearby Historic Governor’s Mansion. Built in the Colonial Revival style, it served Wyoming’s governors from 1905 to 1976. Like the Capitol, the Mansion can be toured for free.

Devils Tower National Monument

railroad town and has since become home to some of America’s best-known rodeos and Old West attractions. Start your trip off at the no-cost Wyoming State Museum. For a few hours, you can learn all about Wyoming’s rich and wild history including everything from Native Americans, cowboys, art, natural history and the coal industry. If you want a more abbreviated learning experience, head to the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center. Fans of cowboy movies will appreciate the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West

For a look at Cheyenne’s train history, the Depot Museum tells the story of how Union Pacific’s railroads helped make Cheyenne a key Western trading hub. It has a neat model train exhibit, and you can purchase tickets for the narrated trolley ride through historic Cheyenne. Be sure not to miss the Big Boy Steam Engine a.k.a. Old Number 4004, currently the world’s largest steam locomotive. Though you can’t actually hop aboard the train, its massive size gives it more than enough reason to stop by and snap a few photos. For a quick day trip from Cheyenne,

consider going to the Terry Bison Ranch. As its name suggests, this massive ranch stretching across Wyoming and Colorado is home to Wyoming’s most iconic symbol: the buffalo. A train ride takes you through the animals prairie. You can also interact with the ranch’s other creatures such as camels, ostriches and alpacas or even go horseback riding. Cody: Founded by legendary cowboy William Cody (aka Buffalo Bill), the town of Cody is proof that the spirit of the Old West is very much alive and well. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, an affiliate of

Cheyenne Frontier Old West Museum

the Smithsonian, is America’s Old West museum par excellence. The museum is split into several sections, each of which focuses on a different part of Old West culture and folklore. For example, there’s the Buffalo Bill section which focuses on the life and times of the man himself. Then there’s the Plains Indian Museum, which contains important artifacts such as pottery, quilts and headdresses. The Cody Firearms Museum contains a breathtaking array of weapons from almost every gun manufacturer in the world including a special section dedicated to antique Winchester rifles. And for those who are interested in Wyoming’s natural history, the Draper Museum has interactive exhibits covering geology, wildlife, the human impact on Wyoming and more. Yellowstone National Park: By far Wyoming’s most popular site, the massive Yellowstone is one of America’s most captivating and diverse outdoors destinations. Every 94 minutes, the Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone’s star attraction, erupts sending thousands of gallons of water over 100 feet into the air. But Old Faithful is only one of 300 geysers found within the park; they constitute a whopping two-thirds of all geysers in the world. In particular, the Steamboat Geyser is the world’s tallest active geyser, though its eruptions are not quite as predictable as Old Faithful. Another noteworthy geothermal feature in the park is the dazzling and bizarre Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. This rainbow-colored, steaming lake is famous not only for its color but also for hosting some of Earth’s hardiest organisms - the cyano-


Grand Teton National Park

bacteria, which live at temperatures few other living things can survive. There’s also Sulphur Cauldron, a hot spring whose extreme acidity and otherworldly appearance belie its abundance of bacteria thriving within. Yellowstone has no shortage of amazing hiking trails including the serene South Rim Trail, considered the easiest way to see the incredible Yellowstone Grand Can-

Moulton Ranch at sunrise

yon. At the end of the trail, you’ll arrive at the aptly named Artist Point, which provides an unparalleled view of the mighty Yellowstone Falls. One of Yellowstone’s most unique attractions is Mammoth Hot Springs. Its steaming calcium carbonate terraces have many odd shapes and colors not usually found in a natural setting. If you’re interested in the park’s history, check out the nearby Albright Visitor Center, which has exhibits covering the park’s natural history, culture and wildlife. For top-notch fishing and boating, visit the enchanting Yellowstone Lake. Visitors can see bald eagles, grizzly bears and bison roaming the forested lakeside. Beyond all that, there are opportunities for horseback riding, camping, swimming, skiing and more. A minimum of 3 days is recommended to get a good overview of what the park has to offer. Grand Teton National Park: Located in the Rocky Mountains south of Yellowstone, Grand Teton is a quieter, less touristed alternative to its northern brother. While Grand Teton lacks the exotic volcanic landscapes of Yellowstone, it still packs a huge punch with eye-catching glaciers, virtually limitless amount of outdoors ac-

tivities and unspoiled vistas. If you’re planning a trip to Grand Teton, the best place to start is in the nearby ski town of Jackson. There are several great ski resorts in the area such as Snow King and Grand Targhee, and, like in Aspen, many celebrities buy vacation homes here. Once you enter Grand Teton, you’ll be met with the incredible mountain scenery that has made this park a hit with skiers, climbers and hikers alike. With vast meadows, cozy chalets and towering alpine peaks, you’d be forgiven for thinking you accidentally went to Switzerland instead of Wyoming. If you’re planning to take things easy, rent a boat and spend some time on the Jenny Lake, whose crystal clear waters and surrounding glacial mountains give it a postcard-perfect quality. For hiking, there’s really no way to do it wrong in Grand Teton, but some of the best trails include the secluded Dunanda Falls and the somewhat more risky (but very rewarding) Static Peak climb. For a bit more of an adrenaline rush, consider a river rafting trip on the Snake River or climbing one of the Grand Teton mountains with the help of a professional guide. And if you’re wondering where to stay, the Moulton Ranch Cabins offer an authentically Western experience. The Moulton Ranch is arguably the most photographed barn in America - not surprising given its remote, picturesque location and its rustic beauty. Devil’s Tower National Monument: Best known for its role in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the visually jarring monolithic stone tower known as Devil’s Tower extends over 800 feet in the air with nothing but prairie surrounding it. Climbing to the summit takes 4-6 hours. (Note that climbing is not allowed in June in consideration of Native American religious rituals.) There are also surrounding hiking trails. Come at night for an incredible view of the stars. Daven and Eat

The only Orthodox shul in Wyoming is Chabad Lubavitch of Jackson. They can be reached at 307-462-0847 or at jewishwyoming.com Kosher food can be ordered from jewishwyoming.com except for Aug. 10 - Sep. 10 this year. Otherwise, the local supermarkets should have a limited selection of kosher products. Getting There

Most visitors enter and exit Wyoming by car. Driving from L.A. to Jackson takes about 14 hours while driving to Cheyenne takes over 15 hours. Flights to Jackson Hole Airport start at just over $600 per person roundtrip while flights to Casper and Cheyenne are $330 and $460 respectively. Another option worth considering is to fly to Denver and then drive a rental car into Wyoming.

AUGUST 13, 2015





Notable Quotes


Compiled by Nate Davis Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say“Say What?” What?” Donald Trump’s phone number has been leaked. When you call Trump’s cellphone number it plays a campaign message. If you want to hear Trump’s message in English, press one. If you want to hear it in Spanish, you probably don’t follow the news. – Conan O’Brien

Over the weekend in Iran, temperatures reached 165 degrees, one of the highest temperatures ever recorded on Earth. In fact, it was so hot in Iran, American flags burst into flames on their own. – Jimmy Fallon

It was one small bite for man, one giant leap for #NASAVEGGIE - Tweet by astronaut Scott Kelly after he became one of the first to try space-grown lettuce…in space

The International Olympic Committee is officially recognizing ultimate Frisbee, which means it might actually be in the next Olympics. They say ultimate Frisbee will be the first Olympic sport where athletes are disqualified for not testing positive for drugs. – Jimmy Fallon

You know that racist flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down. Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about the POW/MIA flag. – Rick Perlstein bizarrely writing in Newsweek that the POW/MIA flag is “racist” because it distorts Americans as being the victims during the Vietnam War

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore officially announced his campaign yesterday, bringing the total number of Republican candidates to 17. Here’s how I know that’s too many: If I saw 17 people in line for the bathroom, I’d be like, “Nope! I’ll hold it in until 2020.” – Jimmy Fallon

You can be an expert on computers but you are incapable of doing anything else. - Chinese psychiatrist Tao Ran, who runs a government militarystyle rehab camp aimed at curing young people of internet addictions, in an interview with the Daily Mail

The speculation about my candidacy reminds me of a lesson from a great Jewish leader. A decade ago, I visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem with [Rav] Nosson Tzvi Finkel, a widely respected rabbi in Israel. As we approached one of the holiest sites in Judaism, the rabbi halted about 10 yards away as a crowd of admirers gathered nearby. I beckoned him further. “I’ve never been closer than this,” the rabbi told me. Astounded, I asked why. “You go,” he said. “I’m not worthy.” - Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a New York Times op-ed discussing the trait of humility, while addressing speculation that he may run for president

I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins, the only one to operate on babies while they were still in the mothers’ womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it. - Neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, telling a national debate audience what sets him apart from the other candidates




– Jimmy Fallon Do me a favor. Pull your pants up. I cannot stand seeing someone with their underwear hanging out - Tim Head of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to a burglar who held him up in his home as police were arresting the bandit

Ben from Ben & Jerry’s has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. After hearing this, Chris Christie said, “After all we’ve been through together?” – Conan O’Brien

Lay’s is once again letting people vote on its newest flavor of potato chips. Or as Americans put it, “Finally, an election we care about.” – Jimmy Fallon

I’m looking for 10,000 in the midst of a million. Ten thousand fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny. Death is sweeter than continuing to live and bury our children while the white folks give our killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from G-d to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government won’t intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us; stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling! - Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan inciting violence at a church in Miami last week

Sources say the Obama administration is in the “final stages” of planning the closing of Guantanamo Bay. The way it’s gonna work is, they’re going to put a Radio Shack sign out front and let nature take its course. – Seth Myers

There’s a rumor out there that the CEO of Starbucks might run for president. In fact, he opened up his first campaign headquarters and another one right across the street. - Conan O’Brien

If I was in my prime, could I beat Lebron in a one-on-one game? No question. - Michael Jordan, during a recent Q&A A new study finds that Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program may have caused people to actually gain weight. Many mistook the slogan to mean: let’s move next door to a Cinnabon. – Conan O’Brien

By the way I don’t hunt lions - A sign outside a dental office in Arkansas

The International Olympic Committee has officially recognized Ultimate Frisbee as an Olympic sport. The news was greeted with excitement by thousands of guys named Chad. Guys named Chad everywhere: “This is awesome! I’m going to the Olympics!” - Conan O’Brien Oreo has come out with a new lower calorie cookie called Oreo Thins. Which is also a good way to describe people who eat them. “I wouldn’t say you’re fat, I’d say you’re ... Oreo Thin.” - Seth Myers

Those [Iranian] hard-liners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal … are making common cause with the Republican caucus. - President Obama defending the Iran deal in a speech at American University


AUGUST 13, 2015

Nintendo announced a profit this quarter, marking a turnaround from its recent earnings slide. They were actually close to going bankrupt until they hit up-updown-down-leftright-B-A-selectstart and got more lives.

When I’m attacked, I fight back, but I was attacked viciously by those women. Of course it’s very hard for them to attack me on looks, because I’m so good looking. But I was attacked very viciously by those women. And frankly, again, we get back to the words political correctness. Am I allowed to defend myself? What they said about me is far worse than what I said about them. - Donald Trump’s response when asked on NBC about nasty things he has said about certain women


Another American is in trouble for hunting a lion. First a dentist, now a doctor is also being accused of illegal lion hunting in Zimbabwe. Here’s my question: Whatever happened to golf, seriously? They used to play golf, doctors, right? - Conan O’Brien





















The Beverly















Profile for Jewish Home LA

Jewish Home LA - 8-13-15  

Jewish Home LA - 8-13-15

Jewish Home LA - 8-13-15  

Jewish Home LA - 8-13-15