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Scholar in Residence
Rabbi Yissachar Frand August 30-31, 2013 24-25 Elul Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech
Friday Night Dâ€™var Torah Shabbat Drasha Shabbat Afternoon Halacha Shiur 5:45 p.m. Motzei shabbat Pre-Selichot Drasha 9:15 p.m.
For more information please contact yeshivat yavneh at (323) 931-5808
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Great Milk and Great Cream
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Renowned National Ice Cream Scientist For Over 40 Years
"The sourcing of milk and fresh cream is an ongoing effort. The farmers know to save the best for the Kleinâ€™s, who are not shy in telling them to put aside the best for their ice cream, and will pay top dollar for it. Nature has a grading system as well, there is good milk and cream, and GREAT milk and cream."
www.koshericecream.com Distributed in California by Nick Trading Int'l
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Community Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 LA ’s Coming of Age. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 What’s New at West Coast OU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Camp Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
One “Tribe” TWO CHIEFS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 7 Questions with Rabbi Reuven Nathanson. . . . . 25
jewish thought Poetic Comfort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 How to Dream Big and Stay Grounded. . . . . . . . . . 16
parsha To My Beloved. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Mooncap - a Novel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Israel Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
As the summer begins to wrap up and the “winds” of the high holidays are heading our way, it’s a good time to begin reflecting on the past year with its blessings, challenges, accomplishments and failures, so we can appreciate and accept our lot, become strengthened, and strive for change as we head into a new year. We live in interesting times: countries come and go, there are constant shake-ups in almost every area of our lives, and one easily becomes confused in seeing the right train track to lead us to the station. Indeed, the Jewish leaders of our generation have stated that the challenges and frustrations we feel both on a national and personal level are expressions of our being “at the end of the road,” with the possibility of the “curtains being drawn” at any moment. Bottom line? Let’s be a better spouse, parent, friend, neighbor and spiritual being, so that we can be ready when that moment arrives. This week we’ve dedicated another feature to contrasting the LA of yesteryear to the one of today, through the eyes of one of the oldest Jewish organizations in America. LA has come a long way but there’s still so much work for us to do! Rabbi Einhorn shows us how to dream big while keeping our feet on the ground so that our dreams actually get realized. Rabbi Wolf brings the positive side into the repentance experience, and Rabbi Lipschutz makes some great points about transforming the sorrows of our past into the brightness of the future. Check out these profound thoughts in addition to the happenings, pictures and entertainment, plus the two new columns on career building and making the perfect event! With blessings for the comfort promised us in this week’s haftorah which finishes “You will not leave in chaos, nor will you go in flight; for hashem will go before you…” Wishing you a most wonderful Shabbos,
History The Demise of Germany’s Secret Weapon: The Bismarck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Lifestyles New Column – Career Corner What Your Resume Really Says About You . . . . . . . . 20 New Column – Plan it like a Pro The Facts about “F.L.O.P.S .” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at Café Souffle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Recipe: A Sweeter Take on Cookies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
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Correction: In the July 18 issue of The Jewish Home on page 13 it left out the Kosher certification for Milky’s at 1429 S Robertson. It is certified as Kosher by Rabbi Buchsbaum. On page 16 the contact info for JVS should be: Please visit jvsla.org or to schedule an appointment at an America’s Job Center run by JVS, call 310-309-6000.
The premier Jewish newspaper for LA’s Orthodox community 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.
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Sir Nicholas Winton and his Children by Mushki Boteach Naparstek
‘Nicky’s Family,’ an award-winning documentary about the mostly unknown story of Sir Nicholas Winton, has recently hit theaters in Los Angeles. The British gentile Sir Winton, now 104, was singlehandedly responsible for the rescue of 669 Jewish Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. In the 1930’s, Sir Winton was getting ready to go on a skiing vacation when he received a call from a friend in Prague, begging for his aid in rescuing Jews before war broke out. He canceled his trip and worked and continued helping children until the War started and he had no choice but to stop. He did everything possible to transport these children safely to Britain, faking passports when needed to ensure that there were no problems at the border. Once the children safely reached England, they were placed into foster homes. At the time, it seamed heartless to tear these children away from their loving parents to protect them. Ultimately it was a blessing in disguise; this group of children did not meet the unfortunate fate that so many others, left in Europe, met. Sir Nicholas Winton did not speak about his pre war project for over fifty
Nicholas Winton with rescued children
years. He hid away the photographs and documents, keeping everything secret. In fact, his actions may have been completely forgotten if his wife hadn’t found a suitcase in the attic, containing old documents and transport plans. As a result of his heroic efforts, today there are over 6,000 descendants who live all over the World. California resident, Dave Lux, is one such child saved by Sir Winton’s efforts. Now residing in Northridge, California, Dave reminisces about his past and his first meeting with Sir Winton. “ I met him for first time at a 50 year kinder transport reunion in London. It was quite a shock because we had never even heard of him. We didn’t know he was responsible for saving our lives.” Dave shares how at six years old he was taken away from his parents, “When I left my parents in Czechoslovakia, I didn’t understand what was happening. It was right before the occupation and Jews were being held in buildings waiting for their fate to be decided- we were misplaced people. Winton had volunteers who worked for him- they went to parents living in these buildings and told them the situation and that they could save their children. I
don’t know how these volunteers succeeded, how they persuaded my parents to let us leave them. All I remember is the departure; when we left my mother was crying hysterically, asking us over and over, “ are you sure you want to go?” I never saw my parents again.” Dave was taken to England, along with his older brother and placed in a Jewish boys home, “ It was there that I became a passionate Zionist- it was around the time when Israel became a state. I wanted to go to Israel to be a pioneer.” So, Dave left for Israel as soon as he turned 16. He joined the army where he was part of the first Israeli airborne. After he left the service he got various labor jobs, as he had no skills and just needed an income and money to live on. Circumstance then brought him to Tel Aviv where he got a job as an apprentice at a printing press. It was here that he discovered a first cousin- his first living relative. “ Growing up in England, my brother and I didn’t know of a living relative. We felt deprived because the kids at the home would get mail from relatives and we never got anything. Through this cousin we found out that we had other cousins living in America. That’s how I
Nicky’s extended family
came to the US. I was hungry for the love of family, something that I never had.” Dave traveled to New York, to live with his aunt who resided there. However, he disliked the craziness of the city and decided to relocate in Cleveland where he had other relatives. “ It was there that I met my wife, we went to California for a honeymoon, we loved it and we decided to move there. We now have five children, and three grandchildren who all live near us.” Luckily for Dave, coming to America was easier for him than for most holocaust survivors because he had learnt English and spoke it well. “I was able to get better jobs more easily because I spoke the language. My wife and I had struggles just like anyone else, buying a home, supporting family, etc. I had to work hard to make a living.” Its goes without saying that no hardships in America could ever compare to what Dave has already lived through growing up as a child of the kinder transport.
Young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child Photo credit Menemsha Films
Yeshiva Principal Named Among Nation’s Best K-8 Principals Rabbi Moshe Dear, Headmaster of Yavneh Academy in Los Angeles, CA was selected to represent private schools as a 2013 National Distinguished Principal. The 2013 celebration marks the 30th year that the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has presented this prestigious award. Rabbi Dear is one of only six private school principals from across the country, and the fourth yeshiva principal ever, to receive this award. Rabbi Dear was nominated and selected by a committee of yeshiva principals and administrators through a search process conducted by the yeshiva services division of Agudath Israel of America and by Torah Umesorah – The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, said Agudath Israel Education Affairs Associate Mr. Dovid Tanenbaum. Rabbi Dear previously held the position of Headmaster of the Heritage Academy in Longmeadow, MA, and Director of Judaic Studies at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, VA. He has served as Headmas-
Rabbi Dear in a talk to students commemorating 9/11
ter of Yavneh Academy since 1999. “At the helm of every successful school is a successful principal,” said Gail Connelly, NAESP’s Executive Director. “Our National Distinguished Principals program provides us with an opportunity to recognize the outstanding leadership of these principals and their commitment to creating successful learning communities. Because of them, students thrive academically, teachers grow professionally, and
communities are strengthened.” In October, Rabbi Dear will travel to Washington, D.C., for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary and middle-level educators chosen by the states, the District of Columbia, plus private and overseas schools. Criteria for selection of the principals require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations. Rabbi Dear received his Smicha, Rabbinical ordination, from Ner Yisroel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, and a graduate degree from John Hopkins. He has been named Educator of the Year and Distinguished Educator during his tenure
in Tidewater VA, and served as a Board Member of the Los Angeles Board of Jewish Education. Rabbi Dear and his wife live in Los Angeles and are members of the Young Israel of Hancock Park. Torah Umesorah is the National Sociey for Hebrew day Schools and Agudath Israel advocates on behalf of, and serves the interests of, those schools. Agudah and TU maintain close ties with the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Elementary School Principals and its 20,000 members worldwide. The National Distinguished Principals program is made possible through the corporate sponsorship of VALIC, an active supporter of NAESP for over two decades. For more than half a century, VALIC has served as a leading plan provider for K-12 schools, higher education and healthcare institutions and manages plans for nearly 25,000 groups, serving nearly two million plan participants.
Kiddush and Chillul Hashem. Rabbi Osgood brought stories and lessons from the Semag (Rabbi Moshe Coucy the Sefer Mitzvot Gedolot,) Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rambam and from current events, to demonstrate his point. The children worked together to create art projects depicting the Beit Hamikdash, bearing the words “Im Eskochech Yerushalayim Tishkach Yemini”- (If I forget Yerushalayim let me lose my right hand.) After the artwork was completed, Photojournalist Joe Shalmoni, shared his personal story about when he was flown to Haiti, in January 2010, right after the earthquake. Stand with Us (a Los Angeles based Israel Advocacy Group) had sponsored his trip, in order so that he would take pictures of the humanitarian work being done by the Israeli military. Joe exhibited large posters of some of his most touching pictures he had taken in Haiti (he removed any graphic images that may have disturbed the children.) Israel’s involvement in Haiti was a beautiful example of a Kiddush Hashem.
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Over the past few years, various shuls in the community, including Beth Jacob, YICC and Bnei David, have put together special Tisha B’Av services for the youth. School is out and children who are not in camp often do not get a real understanding of the seriousness of the day. As a parent and educator, Rabbi Efraim Osgood noticed a void in any type of meaningful children’s program for Tisha B’av, “ This day is a sensitive and challenging one when it comes to dealing with children. I decided that we should design a community wide program for kids with an age appropriate message. That is what we endeavored to do. The shuls and local camps all endorsed the idea and the challenge was set.” On the morning of Tisha B’av, about 35 children between 1st and 5th grade age, gathered at Beth Jacob for morning tefillah and a special Kinot service. The program was divided into three parts all connected by the theme of how Kiddush Hashem can lead to Geula. There were various interactive classes outlining the fundamental principles of both
Campers from Toras Emes Participate in Summer Drama Club by Robert Cordas
As part of Camp Tiferes Bonim, campers composed of 2nd thru 4th grades performed “The Tehillim that Saved a Life” for parents and members of the community. The camp is located on the Torat Emeth Academy campus. Rabbi Yitzchak Bader oversees the drama aspect of the camp, where campers from the junior, intermediate and senior divisions are given the opportunity to perform one play on a voluntary basis. “It’s a unique in that while most camps have plays, our camp lets the boys get to make their own play,” he explained. The summer drama club has been operating for a number of years, providing an outlet for young B’nei Torah to express themselves under the supervision of a
Rebbe, while also learning a full Seder in the morning as part of the camp schedule. A significant amount of resources have been raised and effort expended to make the plays as engaging and entertaining as possible. Full arrays of costumes are used in the plays and wireless microphones are available to most of the main characters. The camp’s junior counselors operate a backstage lighting and sound system under Rabbi Bader’s supervision. “This program gives the campers something they can’t get during the year,” stated camp director Rabbi Dovid Tyner. “One father told me his son looks forward to this the whole year.” This play was just one myriad of activities, the campers participate in at Camp
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Beth Jacob Tisha B’Av Youth Program
Tiferes Bonim; others include sports, day trips, and overnight camping trips after a learning seder each morning. “The Tehilim that Saved a Life” tells the story of a prominent Rav ‘s adventures traveling from New York to Saint Louis, Missouri in the late 1800’s. The only sefer the Rav is able to carry with him is a small tehillim. When a group of bandits attacks the Rabbi’s stagecoach, the bandit’s leader, Terrible Nate, forces the Rabbi to empty out his pockets. When the Rav shows that all he has is a Tehillim, Nate tells his gang to leave without taking a thing, raising questions about who Nate really is. Rabbi Bader allows all campers who want to participate a chance to be a part of the plays.
The campers are not given lines to memorize, but rather are given a chance to improvise based on the plot of the story and what needs to happen in each scene. “I feel proud of myself after doing my part,” explained Penny Strauss, one of the actors in the play. “I enjoy wearing the costumes. In this one I get to wear a moustache,” said Mordechai Quinn. Yochanan Saks, the father of one of the drama club members, appreciates what the drama program does for all the campers. “There are introverted children and there are extroverted children. Its great to let both get a chance to shine in something like this.”
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Bais Toras Menachem Establishes Yeshiva College Program On Monday July 29th, the Yeshiva program ‘Bais Toras Menachem,’ joint forces with ORT-College to establish a Yeshiva College Program. This historic agreement will provide tailored classes in Business Management that will ultimately lead to an associate’s degree specifically designed for Orthodox men. Students will now be able to focus on their yeshiva education, while simultaneously studying toward a degree. All Judaic studies will take place in the morning, while English college courses will be taken in evenings. The young men will be able to complete their associate’s degree in only two years!
Taking a (Kosher) Bite Out of Crime
By Adinah Lindner and Lewis Van Gelder.
A group of a dozen or more neighbors, all of whom reside near Link Kollel in the Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles, were tired of hearing about recent home and apartment break- ins in the vicinity, and decided to do something about it. They called the West L.A. Police Division and asked to have a speaker come to their neighborhood and meet with them regarding crime and safety issues. These no-nonsense neighbors lucked out one evening recently when LAPD Senior Lead Officer Mario Gonzalez spent more than an hour with them at Kosher Pizza Station, at Pico Boulevard and Crest Drive. Officer Gonzalez not only knows the neighborhood well, but could advise on a range of issues including alarm systems, security cameras, and locks, as well as the need to stay alert with regard to potential crime, and what to be on the lookout for. Amid helpings of pizza, salads, and drinks generously provided by Kosher Pizza Station, the attendees really sat up and took notice when Officer Gonzalez spoke comfortably and easily about Shabbos and shuls. He grew up among Jews, in Boyle Heights, and particularly enjoys reaching out to the Jewish community. If you or your group would like Officer Gonzalez to meet with you, he can be reached at 310 444-0740. And will be happy to oblige. Let’s all be safe out there!
Dirshu Mishna Berurah has brought Yom Tov to Klal Yisrael early this year By Chaim Gold
Contemporary Questions, AgeOld Rulings That talmid chacham, who was gratified with his Yom Tov present of Chelek Vav, was in truth, expressing the collective sentiment of thousands of talmidei chachamim the world over – talmidei chachamim who have come to see the Dirshu Mishna Berurah as an absolutely indispensible sefer for modern-day halachic observance. In the Dirshu Mishna Berurah one can learn the hallowed words of the Mishna Berurah, absorb the foundations of halacha and simultaneously quickly reference all of the myriad, contemporary sh’eilos that have cropped up since the Chofetz Chaim wrote the Mishna Berurah more than 100 years ago. The Dirshu Biurim U’Musafim published opposite the Mishna Berurah enables the learner to learn the halacha and look at the opposite page to see all of the relevant halachic rulings from the great poskim that came after the Mishna Berurah, right through the poskim of our time. Especially when it comes to the Yomim Tovim, there are so many new
realities that have not specifically been discussed in the Mishna Berurah. In the more than 700 pages packed with fascinating she’ilos and crossreferences one can find questions such as: “Can one wear Crocs on Yom Kippur? On the one hand they are more comfortable than most shoes, on the other hand they are not made of leather? What about fake leather shoes? Must one worry about the fact that people might mistakenly think you are wearing l e a t h e r shoes? “Are the gedolim pictures that people hang up in the sukkah muktzah? Can one use Crazy Glue to glue together a lulav whose middle leaf has split?” In addition, the new Dirshu Mishna Berurah has nuggets that can shed light on practical halacha in Eretz Yisrael in our time. “When the Chazon Ish and the Steipler Gaon came to Yerushalayim, at what point did they tear their clothing in mourning over the churban Bais Hamikdosh as proscribed by halacha? “Why did the previous SanzKlausenberger Rebbe close his eyes from the time he came to the Old City until he arrived at the Kosel?” Biurim U’Musafim – Completing the Picture The Biurim U’Musafim have become an indispensible tool in limud halacha throughout Klal Yisrael and for good reason. Every effort has been expended to maximize its benefit. Two entire kollelim comprised of talmidei chachomim were established for the express purpose of compiling the “Biurim U’Musafim” section accompanying every page of the Mishna Berurah. One of the kollelim is headed by one of the Gedolei Horaah in Eretz Yisrael, HaGaon HaRav Nosson Kopschitz, shlita, Rav of the Kehillas Hacharedim of Beit
Shemesh. The purpose of the copious, voluminous research was to give those learning Mishna Berurah the most comprehensive picture possible, of all the material pertaining to the applicable halachos. CrossReferencing through Musafim T h e B i u r i m U’Musafim section really performs four different functions. Firstly the “Musafim” component adds the M i s h n a B e r u r a h ’s o w n additional words and rulings culled from other areas on the subject at hand. For example, if the Mishna Berurah, when expounding on the laws of Yom Kippur, discusses one topic at length and in the laws of Tisha B’Av discusses the same topic in a shorter, less elaborate way, the Dirshu edition will bring the Mishna Berurah’s words from the other location. This frequently sheds light on the halachic ruling and enables the learner to see how the Chofetz Chaim himself ruled on a similar matter in a different place. Halachic Rulings and Their Backgrounds… in One Place The second component is that of the Biurim. Often, in the main body of the Mishna Berurah the Chofetz Chaim only writes the actual psak halacha - halachic ruling, without giving the reasons behind that ruling. It is not uncommon however, for the Chofetz Chaim to elaborate on the reasoning in his commentaries, Shaar Hatzion and Biur Halacha. These commentaries also present halachic rulings not contained in the Mishna Berurah which shed insight on the topic at hand. In a wonderfully cogent, concise manner, the Biurim part of the Dirshu Mishna Berurah cites these rulings, thereby offering the learner a quick, comprehensive listing of related halachic rulings and explanations
from the Chofetz Chaim in his other seforim. Likutei Teshuvos – Current Rulings Concurrently Perhaps the most exciting component of the new Dirshu Mishna Berurah is the “Likutei Teshuvos” section of the Biurim U’Musafim. The Chofetz Chaim completed the Mishna Berurah in 1907. Over the past century, umpteen technological advances and countless questions relevant to today’s lifestyle have arisen. All of these rulings are of course rooted in the original words of the Shulchan Aruch and poskim. The Dirshu edition of the Mishna Berurah brings literally thousands of rulings from the gedolei haposkim of the previous generation as well as from contemporary poskim, each in its proper place in the Mishna Berurah. Therefore, while learning the words of the Mishna Berurah, the learner is empowered with the ability to know and understand the rulings of the great poskim on thousands of modern practical questions. Even more important, he can learn and understand how these modern day rulings have their source in the original words of the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Berurah! The rulings included in the Dirshu Mishna Berurah are from such revered poskim as HaGaon HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, zt”l, the Tchebiner Rav, zt”l, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Kamenetzky, zt”l, the Steipler Gaon, zt”l, HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt”l, and even our current poskim, ybl”ch, HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, and HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz, shlita. In addition, all of the Chazon Ish’s rulings that pertain to the words of the Mishna Berurah are brought in the Dirshu Mishna Berurah. It is thus no wonder that in the short few years since the Dirshu edition of the Mishna Berurah burst onto the Torah scene it has conquered the hearts of lomdei Torah throughout the world. With the completion of Chelek Vav of the Mishna Berurah, Dirshu has brought Yom Tov to Klal Yisrael early this year!
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“It is the best Yom Tov gift that I could have gotten!” That is the way one prominent talmid chacham expressed his joy at the release of Chelek Vav of the Dirshu Mishna Berurah. Indeed, the release of the new Chelek Vav of the Dirshu Mishna Berurah in the summer, before the onset of Rosh Chodesh Elul, the Yomim Noraim and the Sukkos season has been joyously greeted by the Torah community worldwide. Chelek Vav covers all of the Yomim Tovim including Chol Hamoed, in addition to Tisha B’Av and Chanukah and Purim as well. The completion of this sixth chelek is a true milestone affording lomdei Torah access to the special qualities of the Dirshu Mishna Berurah in all six volumes.Another extremely important, groundbreaking addition to the Dirshu Mishna Berurah is the copious diagrams throughout hilchos lulav. One of the most difficult aspects of learning the sixth chelek has always been the laws of the four species. It was often difficult for even an accomplished learner to comprehend the varied scenarios regarding the kashrus of a lulav, esrog, haddasim or aravos. The Dirshu Mishna Berurah’s precise diagrams bring an entirely new dimension to learning these important halachos.
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Excitement in the Torah World over Release of Chelek Vav of the Dirshu Mishna Berurah
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Friendship Circle LA introduces ‘My Backyard’ By Mushki Boteach Naparstek On Sunday, July 21, Friendship Circle LA celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony of “ My Backyard,” a new stateof-the-art playground for children with special needs. With the help of an $80,000 grant from the Real Estate Principals Organization of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, the construction of a playground, unlike no other, can commence. In a moving ceremony, Friendship Circle LA founder, Rabbi Michy Rav- Noy and his wife Miriam, director of programing, introduced the concept of this special haven for children with special needs: “ A place where play can lead children to new discoveries, sensory delights and in-
teractive growth… a playground that every child can call their own.” The couple, along with some close friends and supporters of The Friendship Circle, took shovels and literally “ broke ground” together. After which, the crowd broke out in applause and the men joined in a dancing celebration. After speeches from Rabbi Michy and Miriam Rav- Noy, the audience heard from Scott Minkow, Vice President of Partnership and Innovation for the Jewish Federation and Mr. Bezhad Kianmahd, a donor and friend of Friendship Circle. His son, Natan, a member of Friendship Circle program has Down syndrome. In an emotion-
Summer Learnin’ at VTHS School’s out for the summer but the learning continues in the Valley Torah High School boys beis medrash, which drew approximately 60 young men, 1825, for its July 18 mishmar session. Each weekly mishmar begins with Mincha at 7:45 p.m. followed by chevrusa learning and a brief vaad by VTHS Dean Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger. Rabbi Stulberger has been preparing the attendees for Elul and the High Holy Days by speaking about character development, such as the connection between humility and repentance. The evening concludes with Maariv at 9:30 followed by a much anticipated and delicious chulent and sushi. The program, which has been very successful, was created to “help our graduates stay connected to Torah studies while on vacation,” noted Rabbi Stulberger. The last two sessions are August 1 and 8 and all young men in the community are invited to attend.
al discourse, Bezhad conveyed the kind of impact that Friendship Circle has had on his son, “from the first time he came to friendship circle, he was truly a different person. He was content and happy- always having a big smile on his face. There are not many organizations as loving and caring as this one.” The playground, will feature California’s only integration carousel, which allows children who have physical challenges to enjoy the feeling of speed and rotation, along with other children on a ground level carousel. The Playground will also include a ‘ Garden of Friendship,’ a handicap accessible raised bed garden
for children to learn about growing vegetables, flowers or to just play with dirt! Some other exciting playground parts include a water play system, sand area and of course, a jungle gym. These are just some of the fun rides and play activities to come. David Johnson, of CO Architect’s, explains the thought process behind it, “I think this is going to be an oasis in the city- that’s really the main design idea here. Unique playground equipment and a beautiful landscape environment for the kids.” The playground will hopefully be ready for playing by the end of September.
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15 The Jewish Home august 1, 2013
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Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Shoot for the Stars and Hold On to the Earth – How to Dream Big and Stay Grounded Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
The Jewish Home
august 1, 2013
One of the most famous moments in baseball history came during Game 3 of the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. It was the 5th inning when Babe Ruth came up to bat. The count was two balls and two strikes. The formidable Charlie Root was on the mound. The mighty Babe did something that no Major League Baseball player has done before. He pointed to the center field bleachers. The pitch came down the pike and Babe Ruth bashed one of the longest home runs ever hit out of Wrigley Field, right above the spot he had pointed to. This moment became the paradigm of mortal man reaching for the stars. Often in our lives we hear the mantra “reach for the stars.” The implication is that when setting goals, one should reach for the highest possible prize. On the other hand, we’re familiar with the phrase, or at least its meaning, that when you hunt for two rabbits, you miss them both. This implies that we should make our goals more realistic, more down to earth, than somewhere catapulted into the stars. “Reaching for the Stars” means that we believe that our ability is unlimited, we can do anything we like, and we can become as great as we want. It is a very American view of life: nothing can stand in the way of a dream. As the composer Antonio Salieri cries in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, “I wanted to blaze like a comet across the sky.” On the other hand, we want to be practical, realistic. We know all too well that trying to do too much leaves each area of pursuit unfulfilled. What is the Torah’s approach to this dilemma – do we play it safe or do we set our sights on the greatest trophy? The Talmud in Sukkah (5a) mentions the dictum “ ”תפסת מרובה לא תפסת - One who grabs too much, grabs nothing. This passage would seem to suggest a more tempered outlook on life. However, Maimonides (Laws of Repentance, Ch. 5) says “don’t think what the non- intelligent of the world think, that G-d decreed our future from the beginning. It’s not so, rather humans can be as righteous as Moses.”
Moses is one of the greatest heroes of the Bible. He is seen as the quintessential leader. Setting the bar with Moses means that we should in fact, in some sense make our aims tremendous. Talk about lofty goals, we can be like Moses! What then of “one who grabs too much, grabs nothing”? In order to develop a proper mystical approach, let us analyze these two sources a little bit closer: 1) – תפסת מרובה לא תפסתone who grabs too much, grabs nothing. When the Talmud uses this phrase it is in the context of ascertaining the height of the ark in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). When trying to use a certain metric for discovering the height of the ark, the Talmud questions whether that metric should be arrived at through a comparison with a bigger item in the Temple or a smaller item? To that end, the Talmud teaches us that one who grabs too much, grabs nothing. This tells us that “one who grabs too much, grabs nothing” is not an issue in the quality of the goal, but rather it is an issue pertaining to the quantity of the goal. The mystical sources are teaching us that we should strive for greatness, we should seek to climb the highest mountain tops – but our goal for right now should be one mountain, one achievement; searching for too many goals and not the size of the goal is the problem. Your goal can be great, but one step at a time. You can chase the fastest rabbit in the world, but only one at a time. Let us look back at the second source, Maimonides: 2) “Don’t think what the non- intelligent of the world think, that G-d decreed our future from the beginning. It’s not so, rather humans can be as righteous as Moses.” Does this place a limitless cap on our goals? Does Judaism promote setting goals way beyond our level, even to the point of absurdity? No. There is a limit. A great 20th century Rabbi, Elchanan Wasserman, explains this passage from Maimonides. The meaning of this law is that just as Moses filled his potential, we can be like him in this very same way. We can reach our personal potentials. The first source - one who grabs too much, grabs nothing - teaches us that our goals should be tackled one at a time. On the other hand, Maimonides, as interpreted by Rav Elchanan Wasserman, teaches us that our goals need to take into account our potential.
In life we’re asked not to reach for the stars, but to reach for our personal stars. This Jewish approach is echoed in both scholarly research and current popular trends. In the groundbreaking book, Raising Resilient Children, the great child psychologist, Dr. Bob Brooks, writes that: Resilience is the ability of a child to deal more effectively with stress and pressure, to cope with everyday challenges, to balance back from disappointments, adversity, and trauma, to develop clear and
miracles. From the ten plagues in Egypt to the splitting of the Red Sea to the giving of the Torah, they witnessed the most remarkable miracles in history, and all in an extremely short span of time. They didn’t have a chance to reflect on the enormity of these miracles and incorporate its message within themselves; they remained virtually unaffected by them. Miracles became an every-day occurrence, nothing special. As soon as anything went wrong, they were primed for a descent. Trace the story of the great Rabbi Akiva. What were Akiva’s beginnings? According to the source Avot De Rabbi Natan, Ch.1, up to the age of forty, he had not yet studied a thing. One time, while standing by the mouth of a well in Lydda, he inquired, “Who hollowed out this stone?” and was told, “Akiva, haven’t you read in Scripture that ‘water wears away stone’ (Job 14:19)?- It was water from the well falling upon it constantly, day after day.” At that, R. Akiva asked himself: “Is my mind harder than this stone? I will go and study at least one section of Torah.” He went directly to a schoolhouse, and he and his son began reading from a child’s tablet. Rabbi Akiva took hold of one end of the tablet, and his son took hold of the other end. The teacher wrote down alef and bet for him, and he teamed them; alef to tav, and he learned them; the book of Leviticus, and he teamed it. He went on studying until he teamed the whole Torah. This passage, so reminiscent of Shawshank Redemption’s Andy Dufresne whose elaborate and gradual prison wall picking, little by little each and every day, one mountain at a time, bought him the freedom he had longed for. Allow your dreams to soar. But measure them, know your potential, and take the path to your dream step by step. As the legendary John Wooden put it, “Mix idealism with realism and add hard work. This will often bring much more than you could ever hope for.”
Mix idealism with realism and add hard work realistic goals, to solve problems, to relate comfortably with others, and to treat oneself and others with respect. When educating our children, if we set their bar way above their potential, then we set them up for failure and frustration; conversely, if we set the bar too low, they’re never given a chance to emerge from their true shell. In up to date psychology this approach finds sanction as well. From Dr. Phil to Zig Ziglar and many others, they all recommend a variation of a similar schema to the one mentioned below: 1) Be specific 2) Use measurable goals 3) Assign a timeline to the goal 4) Choose a goal that you can control 5) Plan a program to get there 6) Define a goal in terms of steps 7) Create accountability Diet Plans, programs for spiritual renewal and growth, 12 Steps initiatives these all fail when the goal is unrealistic, too much at once. Step by Step. Let us test our hypothesis. Upon hearing about the many fantastic miracles of the exodus, we cannot help but be overwhelmed by the enormity of the miracles that G-d performed for the Jewish people. To actually live through those remarkable wonders must have been the experience of a lifetime, something that would really transform a nation. How are we to understand the subsequent events? Just after the flight from Egypt and Hashem’s awesome revelation at Mt. Sinai, the Jewish people worshipped a golden calf. How could they have fallen so far and so fast? One who grabs too much, grabs nothing. The Jewish people in the desert could not truly appreciate G-d’s revelation because of the intensity and frequency of their spiritual experiences. They were bombarded with
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at email@example.com
Rabbi Reuven Wolf
do that will assure that we won’t lose this opportunity and that this period will indeed be the time when we renew and rejuvenate our relationship with Hashem? So there is a second Posuk in Shir HaShirim; it’s almost identical to the one after which Elul is name—but only “almost.” It’s Posuk 6:3: Dodi li, va-anu lo—“My beloved is mine, and I am His.” Both pasukim deal
was widely known as a person who prayed and did Mitzvos with great enthusiasm and high emotion. He not only swayed when he prayed, but he would often run around the Shul and all but dance as he sang out the prayers. He once wanted to visit the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Reb Boruch of Mezibozh, for Shabbos, but Reb Boruch, a more reserved person, was
we can each reach greater levels every year with the reunion and encounter between us and Hashem, but there’s a difference— and it’s a big one: In the “Elul” Posuk, the “Ani” comes first—we are the ones who initiate the reunion. It begins with us seeking to come closer to our beloved, to Hashem, and He responds by coming closer to us. In the other Posuk, the reunion is initiated by the “Dodi”—by Hashem, and then we respond. If we take the initiative during Elul and strive to come closer to Hashem, then the reunion will be a joyous one, and Teshuvah will take place in an atmosphere of reconciliation and joyful encounter with Hashem. And there are so many ways in which such an initiative can be taken: • We can start a seder, a routine of learning before we daven, which will energize our prayers and make that a more meaningful experience. • Speaking of prayer, concentrate more carefully during the prayers: listen to chazaras hashatz—the repetition of the Amidah and answer amein with real kavanah. • When the Torah is read during services, really listen to what is being said and allow the meaning and the message to move you and impact your mind and heart. • Don’t sleep away those long, hot, lazy Shabbos afternoons, but get up and study—with a child or a neighbor or attend a shiur—at your shul or somewhere else. Why do these things especially during Elul and not the rest of the year? Well, while it wouldn’t do any harm to do it always, Elul is a special time when such efforts will be more successful and more effective. As the Ari-Zal tells us, Elul is a time when the Thirteen Attributes of Hashem are palpably present in the world— they radiate with full intensity and there is an aura about that supports such efforts and rewards them with renewed closeness between us and the Shechina. This reminds me of a famous story of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Barditchev, the great Chassidic master. Reb Levi Yitzchak
afraid of the tumult that Reb Levi Yitzchak would cause if he prayed with him in his Shtibbl. Finally, after Reb Levi Yitzchak promised he would contain himself, Reb Boruch invited him. During the Friday evening prayer, Reb Levi Yitzchak was overwhelmed with the intensity of Reb Boruch’s prayer and the deep feeling of the songs with which he greeted the Shabbos. But he contained himself and prayed quietly and in place. Finally, when the time came for the singing of “Sholom Aleichem” before Kiddush at the beginning of the Se’udah, the Shabbat meal, Reb Levi Yitzchak was overwhelmed with the soulful singing and the deep feeling he felt coming from Reb Boruch and all the Chassidim around the Shabbos table. Yet he still contained himself—until a waiter serving the fish to he people at the table asked Reb Levi Yiztchak, “Hos du lieb Yoch?”—“Do you like sauce on your fish?” Reb Levi Yitzcak couldn’t contain himself an longer: he jumped up and shouted, “Yoch ho ich lieb? Der Aibishter hob ich lieb!”— ’Do I love fish sauce,’ you ask me? No, it is Almighty G-d above that I love!” When Reb Levi Yitzchak jumped up and declared this with joy and exuberance, he bumped into the waiter, who spilled the fish and the sauce all over Reb Boruch’s white Kittel (robe) that he wore
to the Shabbat table. Though the Kittel was cleaned after Shabbos, the stain of the fish sauce remained, and though Reb Boruch had other, totally clean and white Beh-kisheh (coat) that he could wear to the Shabbos table, from that Shabbos on, he always wore that coat, stained though it was, as a reminder and a symbol of the joy and exuberance of Reb Levi Yitzchak in expressing his love of Hashem. Not everyone can express or experience Ahavas Hashem as Reb Levi Yitzchak did, but we each can achieve a love of Hashem, and we can reach levels greater each year—and even levels we could never imagine we could reach. But it has to start with an effort by us. And this week’s Parsha supports that idea. The first Posuk reads: Re-eh nasati lifneichem hayom bracha uk’lalah—“Behold see that on this day I place before you Blessing and curse.” The Torah emphasizes that what is being placed before us is not an abstract promise, but something you can see—it’s right “before your eyes,” palpably existent in the world—especially during this time of reunion with Hashem. As Elul approaches, may we find the insight, the vision, and the inspiration to look carefully at and within ourselves—each person’s “Ani”—an make this a joyous time in which we find both the resolution to make our lives richer and more meaningful in service to Hashem, and more joyous in reconnecting with the source of our Neshama, our souls. Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.
august 1, 2013
This week’s Parsha, Parshas Re-eh, is also Shabbos Mevorchim—the Shabbos on which we make a blessing for the upcoming Rosh Chodesh, the coming of the month of Elul, just a few days away. Elul is a somber time of year—a month during which the shofar is blown every day until the day before Rosh Hashanah, reminding us of the approaching Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment. But in truth, Elul should be a time of great joy—a time when the “marriage” that took place between Hashem and Am Yisroel is celebrated. As is the case with flesh-and-blood husband and wife, there is great joy and anticipation as a married couple celebrate their marriage with the love they have for one another. They must take time off and attend to each other’s feelings, needs and longings So it is with Hashem and Israel: we delight in the love Hashem has in us, and during this time of year, we set aside time and emotional energy to return that love and attend to our relationship with the Almighty. This is encapsulated in the very name “Elul.” For the Sages tell us that “Elul” is an acronym of a Posuk in Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs (6:3): Ani le’dodi, ve-dodi li—“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” In this Posuk, King Solomon expresses the great love that exists between Hashem and Am Yisroel. As is the case—and ought to be the case—with human husband and wife, we devote our energies and soul’s emotions to our beloved, to Hashem; and He devotes Himself and His love to us. This is contained in the very name of the month of Elul. So it’s not simply a time of fear and trepidation; it’s a time of love and devotion. This should be a time of excited joy as we prepare to come together with our beloved. We should be feeling that sense of joy and anticipation that couples feel as they look forward to reuniting after a long absence. So while there are some serious and sobering moments and activities we need to experience during this time of year, but we also need to feel the great love and connection between us and Hashem—a connection that will erupt in a joyous celebration in the Sukkos holiday that follows the Yomim Nora’im, the Days of Awe. The “disconnect” and change of tone that we sometimes feel in going from the somber moods of the High Holy Days to the joyous celebration of Sukkos is really an illusion—or, at least ought to be. The joy and love of the entire month of Elul— that love that is contained in the very name of “Elul”—must continue into Rosh HaShanah, the Ten Days of Repentance, Yom Kippur (even through all the chest-beating of the al-chet’s, and into Sukkos. Now the question is: what can we
The Jewish Home
To My Beloved
The Jewish Home august 1, 2013 18
We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song Though we had no Sifrei Torah to clutch close to our hearts In their place we held the future of a past so torn apart Though we had no Sifrei Torah to gather in our arms In their place we held those children, the Jewish people would live on… Though we had no Sifrei Torah to clutch and hold up high In their place we held those children, am Yisroel chai
The words and the sights combined to touch the neshamos of everyone present. We have lost so much. So many are gone. There is so much pain. So many tears. A golus like no other. Vilna today boasts a cemetery and empty shuls. That Simchas Torah after liberation, when people were broken in body and spirit, lonely and alone in this world, they clawed their way back home, looking to see if anyone had survived. There was no Sefer Torah in the bloodstained shul, yet when they discovered two infant children crying there, they found solace. They perceived that there was a future. The Jewish people would survive. In a place of destruction they found nechomah. The children would grow and so would they. They had each other and they had the children. Am Yisroel chai. They scooped up the children and danced the night away. As Abie’s words sunk in on Shabbos Nachamu in a Monsey hall, the scene was remarkable - a bar mitzvah bochur, a survivor, and friends and family reliving tragedy and comfort, destruction and rebuilding, churban and binyan, ovar and osid. The tears flowed as the simple poetry sunk in. And then we sang and danced as if the world had done no wrong, knowing that the pain and torture would soon end. Loneliness would be a thing of the past, while tragedy and suffering will be transformed into a joyous, bright future. Nachamu nachamu ami. The haftoros of the Shivah Dinechmemta contain lyrical words and buoyant assurances that can touch any neshomah, bringing joy and consolation, yet, at the same time, they share a very deep message. Yeshayahu not only prophesized assurances of the future glory, but also admonished the Jewish people that destruction and desolation were looming. Yet, despite his nevuos of criticism and coming disaster, he is the eternal novi of nechomah and consolation. The word nechomah has double meaning. Besides connoting comfort, it has another implication, as evident from the posuk which states, “Vayinochem Hashem ki asah ess ha’adam” (Bereishis 6:6). Rashi offers two explanations of the posuk. The first is that Hashem was comforted for having created man. The second is that Hashem reconsidered and regretted the creation of man. Rav Moshe Shapiro of Yerushalayim explains that the basis for nechomah, comfort, is derived from viewing the past and reassessing what you had previously thought was reality. You look again, you examine what transpired, and you perceive a different metzius. Take, for example, the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh. At first glance, it appeared that all was lost. Life was over as we had known it. There was no Bais Hamikdosh. We were driven from our land, sold into slavery, mocked and vilified, and unwanted by all, seemingly by Hashem as well. Hashem no longer had any interest in our korbanos and no desire for His dirah betachtonim. The place that was the depository of Jewish hope, connection, greatness and holiness was gone. We were lonely and forsaken, unable to go on living. At that juncture, the novi Yeshayahu offered a nevuah of comfort. He declared, “Nachamu nachamu.” He told the Jewish nation that Hashem still views us as His people. “Ami. You are still mine. Be comforted. Nachamu
nachamu ami. All is not lost. Happier times will come. There is still reason to smile.” You can still dance round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong... It may be that there are no Sifrei Torah to gather in your arms and close to your hearts... The Jewish people still have a glorious future, though the past is so torn apart. We are still Hashem’s nation. Our children will grow and prosper. The Jewish people will live on. Am Yisroel chai. Nachamu. Reconsider what you have and you will find comfort. Rav Yaakov Meir Schechter, one of the tzaddikei Yerushalayim, told a story about a man who was walking in Tiveria one rainy winter evening and heard singing. He followed the sound and found that it was coming from behind a broken basement window. He crouched on his knees and peered through the broken glass to see into the dank basement. Through the window, he saw Reb Michel, a Breslover chossid, dancing and singing as rain dripped into his horrid basement apartment. The place was a picture of poverty and deprivation. Reb Michel seemed oblivious to his surroundings as he sang and danced. The man couldn’t control himself. He knocked on the door and was welcomed into the small basement. “Reb Michel,” he exclaimed, “look around you. Your children are cold, the place is soaked, and there is suffering all around. How can you dance?” “My dear friend,” Reb Michel answered, “don’t we both believe that ess vet ah mol zein gut, there will come a time when things will be good?” “Yes,” the visitor responded. “One day it will be good.” “Az voss geit eich un oib ich borg ah tantz fuhn yenneh tzeiten - Why do you care if I borrow a dance for today from that happy time?” Rav Yaakov Meir uses this true story to explain how we can draw on the promises that are the bedrock of our faith, to rejoice today, comforted in the knowledge that the nechomah is sure to come. The pesukim of Yeshayahu are more than enlightened poetry. They are the blocks of binyan, forming the design with which we forge on through golus until the great day comes. While they foretell of a brilliant future, they also invest the present with much meaning. Golus is not a dead end. It is part of a Divine plan, where there is room, purpose and a destiny for every Jew. People with sensitive neshamos feel the message of these prophecies and pesukim, experiencing their relevance. Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Be’er Yaakov, lived with nechomah, feeling and expressing it during every stage of his life. He once shared with his talmidim how he learned to live with that vision. He related that he became engaged to his wife in 1946, at a time when Klal Yisroel was still in the throes of mourning and shock following the Holocaust. After the engagement, the young chossan and kallah went for a walk on the grounds of Yerushalayim’s Reich Hotel. The young couple strolled for a while, oblivious to their surroundings. Suddenly, they looked up and saw a most distinguishedlooking Jew watching them. “That distinguished looking man is the
Ponovezher Rov,” the chosson whispered to his kallah. Rav Yosef Shlomo Kanaheman had lost most of his own family, his yeshiva, his town and almost everything else he had ever known and owned to the Nazis. If there was someone who should have been shattered by tragedy and distress, it was the Ponovezher Rov. Yet, despite it all, he was consumed by his ambitious plan to rebuild the yeshiva he had lost. He stood in the yard of Pension Reich with a wide smile on his lips, as his eyes followed the chosson and kallah on their blissful walk. He called out to them, “Freit zach kinder. Freit zach. Rejoice, children. Rejoice. For as much as you will rejoice with each other, the Ribbono Shel Olam will rejoice with us. That’s what the posuk tells us: ‘Kimsos chosson al kallah, yosis olayich Elokayich. Like a groom rejoices in his bride will Hashem rejoice over you.’ “You are the moshol, the metaphor, for Hashem’s eventual delight in us. Freit zach kinder. Freit zach!” The Rov walked on smiling, having reassured himself of a bright future and providing the future rosh yeshiva and his rebbetzin a memorable insight into life, as well as a new appreciation for the poetic words of the novi. A few years before that walk took place, two yeshiva bochurim were hiding in an underground bunker. They knew that being found would mean a certain and cruel death for them both. The two young men, prize talmidim of the glorious yeshiva of Telz, had been on the run for so long and experienced so much inhuman suffering and torment. Now, as they sat in an awful, cold, dark underground bunker seeking momentary salvation, they once again sensed impending danger. They heard loud footsteps of murderous soldiers on top of their heads, pounding out a tune of sadism and brutality. With those steps ringing in their ears, Rav Chaim Stein looked at his friend, Rav Meir Zelig Mann. “Meir Zelig,’ he said, “you have musical abilities. Can you compose a niggun to the words ‘Mah navu al hehorim raglei mevaser tov’?” In the footsteps of murderers, the future Telzer rosh yeshiva heard a herald of the raglei mevaser, the footsteps of the one who will come bearing the most joyous tidings in history. The pesukim of the haftorah that we read during these summer months are laden with promise and hope. They offer us a means of endurance in the darkness of the exile until the day of redemption arrives. They provide a glimpse of the bright future and grant significance to the bumpy road we are on, assuring us that there is a plan unfolding and that we are a part of it. They tell us that instead of seeing darkness, we should reconsider and see the light beneath it. Instead of seeing impediments all around, we should reconsider and sense the holy struggles that will lead to our redemption. Instead of lamenting the uphill climb we face, we should reconsider and see the ladder to everlasting joy, the contentment awaiting us when we reach the top of the mountain.
august 1, 2013
The Jewish calendar year, with its peaks and valleys, days of rejoicing and days of sorrow, defines our moods. There are very few periods of time that contain the unique healing properties of the Shivah Dinechemta. These seven weeks represent uninterrupted Divine whispers of consolation to the Jewish people as expressed by the novi Yeshayahu. The comforting expressions began last Shabbos with the immortal words of Yeshayahu, “Nachamu nachamu ami.” If we pay attention to his words of consolation, they will energize us for the next six weeks. Poetry is the language of the soul. The saddest, most tragic occurrences are easier explained and understood when expressed in poetry, rather than in prose. Poetry affects our emotions and touches the neshomah. With but a few succinct words, they awaken dulled senses, while hundreds of sentences may only scratch the surface. Poetry finds beauty where none is obvious, reason where it appears to be lacking, sympathy when all are indifferent, love in loneliness, and light in darkness. Poetry is music to a soul lost in exile. Poetry is the response to those who cannot find words to express their pleasure, disdain, joy or sadness. Ideas and concepts that defy lengthy explanations can often be summed up in a few words strung together adeptly. This past Shabbos, I sat with friends in stunned silence as we watched Abie Rotenberg sing his extraordinary composition, The Man from Vilna. We had all heard it many times previously, but this time was different. The crowd was small, sitting around a table. It was the bar mitzvah of his grandson Nochum Levitan. It was Shabbos Nachamu. Everyone was joyous and festive. One of the relatives is a survivor. A Litvak. He had never heard the song. He sat next to Abie as the master composer and lyricist slowly and softly began to mouth his poetic words. On the other side of him sat the bar mitzvah bochur. The song is so mournful and yet so happy at the same time. Sitting next to Abie was a man who lost almost everything in the Holocaust. As he sang, all were humming along, but, suddenly, as the libretto describing the Simchas Torah after liberation in Vilna began to touch their souls, the humming became duller. The listeners gazed at the survivor on one side and the young boy on the other. Here was a man who had experienced the worst humankind has to offer, listening and reliving the experiences. The old man sat quietly, as if in a trance. The bar mitzvah boy was engrossed, watching his grandfather sing. There was no way he could appreciate the thoughts going through the mind of that old man and the others around the table.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman
The Jewish Home
The Jewish Home
august 1, 2013
What Your Resume Really Says About You (Part I - The Bad)
This series discusses the discrepancy between what you think your resume says and what your resume is actually saying to a potential employer, both the bad and the ugly. Let’s start by counting down the top 5 resume mistakes. #5: The “I” ResumeIn the generation of iPhones, iPads and iPods it is all about “I”. When it comes to your resume you can rest assured knowing that the reader understands who the subject is and does not need to be reminded by reading 20 statements that all start with “I”. #4: Personal InformationThe above does not belong on your resume. In fact, under most circumstances, it is illegal for an employer to even inquire about your gender, race, age or religion, so do not volunteer the information.
#3: ParagraphsUnless you are writing an academic CV (curriculum vitae) or applying to work for a family member, nobody cares enough about your employment history to read paragraphs in an attempt to identify relevant information. Under the best circumstances a hiring manager will spend 30 seconds looking at your resume. If, within that time, they do not find certain key words, your resume has successfully made it to one place, the waste basket. Be concise, use bullets and make sure all information is relevant to the job you are applying for. #2: Tasks vs. Accomplishments By copying and pasting a job description the only thing you have done well is, plagiarize. A hiring manager does not want to know what tasks you were given; they want to know your accomplishments. The difference is this:
August trips 2013 DAy
wedneSday, auguSt 7 rosh chodesh eLuL with eve harow
Sunday, auguSt 11 5 eLuL with eLiana Passentin
in the Shomron
Sweet morning! In Tapuach at the Seter Hamadrega Farm, we will learn all about the honey making process including a visit to a hive and a sticky treat. Then out to Eynavi's in Barkan for a gourmet chocolate workshop after a tour of the town with journalist Noam Orr. This 'strenuous' morning will be followed by a gourmet meat lunch and wine tasting at the award winning Tura Winery in Rachelim.
Ancient Shiloh- See remarkable new finds and the just opened multimedia production of the Ro-eh Tower. Join archaeologists in uncovering thousands of years of history. In Eli visit Talmud Torah Hadar-Yosef, and the Hayovel Hilltop neighborhood of Israeli war heroes Roi Klein Hy"d and Eliraz Peretz Hy"d and meet the residents to learn of their struggle to save their homes.
Good Gastronomic LivinG
Down to Gush Shilo; at Esh Kodesh see vineyards and olive groves and digest their security situation before stopping at top olive oil producer Meshek Achiya. Top off the day at Shilo Winery for tasting. Opportunities to purchase for chagim all thru the day. cost for the day incLudinG Gourmet Lunch: $90/adult $80/student in israel or child under 12
we leave from the Liberty Bell Parking lot promptly at 8:30am, return approximately 6:30pm (august 20th returns approcimately 9:30pm). for reservations & further information visit
WWW.OnEiSRaElfund.ORG/dayTRipS or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org in us: ruthie Kohn / 516.239.9202 x10
on ancient soiL
Enjoy a delicious mehadrin dairy lunch at Safta Chana's Café in Yitzhar. In Chavat Alumot in Itamar meet Yifat Meshulami and learn how she creates delicious award winning organic goat cheese. Collect eggs with the farmers in free range chicken coops. With Rachel Tzimmerman at her ecological organic farm. "Pick your own" produce and sample delicious sour dough bread, organic granola and Yoghurts. Learn about her geoponic inventions and new ideas for agriculture in Israel. End the day in 'France' of Ofra at the Domaine Ventura Winery with tasting and a visit to the vineyards. cost for the day incLudinG Lunch: $75/adult $65/student in israel or child under 12
tuesday, august 20 14 elul wIth eve harow
Wining dining in the heartland t the peak of Israel’s grape harvest, let’s revel In the mIraculous renewal of wInemakIng In the lands of efraIm, menashe and BInyamIn, wIth the halachot unIque to the land of Israel and the tangIBle remaIns of our forefathers Industry at our feet.
at Maale Shomron see the storage hut from Bayit sheini and taste homemade honey from, well, pre-Bayit shlishi times in Karnei Shomron. then a tour of Kedumim on the way to the Ofra of Gideon the Judge -on har gerizim? at Rachelim imbibe at the award winning tura winery along with a delicious dairy lunch. the town of Barkan is home to Eynavi’s Boutique chocolate, a great place for dessert. now thirsty again, we make our way to Givat Harel and the unique blends of Gvaot Winery. at sunset we will go the verdant vineyards in modern Ofra and end our day at the Tanya Winery with a delectable gourmet lamb and steak dinner accompanied by, natch, award winning wines. COST fOR THE day inCludinG lunCH & dinnER: $175/adult $335/couple
The task may have been “planning special events”. The accomplishment was “Planning and implementing a fundraiser with over 200 guests raising $50,000 for student scholarships”. Whenever possible, quantify. The goal is to make sure the employer understands the skills you already have and, therefore, he/she will not need to waste time or resources training you to acquire them. #1: Spelling/Grammar ErrorsThis is one of the most common, and therefore most irritating, mistakes a job seeker makes. The only thing worse than finding these errors in a resume is when they are accompanied by a job-seeker claiming they are “detail oriented”. Always run your resume through the spell check and whenever possible ask a trustworthy friend or professional to give it a read. A fresh set of eyes will often catch the mistakes you missed.
Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression and you want to make sure it is a good one. About the Author: Jessica Yuz, MBA is the Founder of Yuz Career Advisers, dedicated to helping individuals identify their interests and set realistic goals so they can take control of their future. With nearly a decade of experience in higher education, Jessica works with high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of career exploration, resume writing, interview skills, job search and placement, goal setting, time and stress management, and related fields. Jessica also specializes in assisting professionals of all ages’ transition between employment, finding fulfillment in their work and achieving a life-work balance. You can follow Jessica’s career blog at ycadvisers.blogspot.com or contact her at ycadvisers@gmail. com.
By Tali Merewitz, Events Enchanted
when making a simcha. We see this in events so clearly. Everyone has something that is (seemingly) most important to them. To some its photography or the gowns, for a “foodie” the menu can take weeks to perfect, a musical family will insist the orchestra be the priority. What is F.L.O.P.S.?
If the families are following the F.L.O.P.S. formula and one item is a priority to one family but not their responsibility, we see that often they will supplement that vendor. A grooms family to whom the food is important may add items to the menu and pay separately, a bride who wants the flowers to be more extravagant then her in laws have in mind can supplement the order so she feels she has
A Final Thought… and a Plea For Sanity
Decision-Making and Setting a Budget: Initial discussions about the wedding often will start even before the engagement with the L’Chaim and Vort, but these events pale in comparison to the major decisions about the “when, where and how” of a wedding. The couple and their family are faced with various expectations and emotions around the wedding. A hundred and one decisions need to be made with little time and each decision has monetary consequences. One of the first items on our “To Do List” is to have the families figure out what each side’s financial obligation to making the wedding. This discussion is critical to help with all of the decision-making. This conversation takes courage and honesty. Families need to be honest about what they want in a wedding and their ability to pay. Most families have to make a wedding with a limited budget. Everyone involved has different areas in which they desire to focus their resources. This is true in our homes, the cars we drive, how we vacation and certainly
event. In this case each side should either have the desire to work together on the various elements of the wedding or divide the responsibilities but work within an agreed upon budget. Most families have a dollar figure in mind when they come to the table to negotiate the wedding with their future mechutanim, and often the two numbers are very different. When there differing visions for the wedding tensions can run high. We suggest in situations like these that the family who had a dollar figure in mind, and doesn’t want to stretch their limits or get into serious machlokes with the other side, simply step back. Give the amount they want to spend for the wedding and allow the other family to plan and design the event. Of course they or their child can suggest what they would like to see happen, but they allow the dominant side to create the event.
“F.L.O.P.S.” was developed as a way to divide the expenses of a wedding somewhat equally between the families. Traditionally, the groom’s side pays for Flowers, Liquor, Orchestra, Photography (and videography), and (more recently added) Shaitel. The bride’s family takes care of the Venue and the Caterer. With weddings usually held in the bride’s hometown, most of the guests will be from her side. With the catering and hall expenses being the largest per person expense the FLOPS split tries to make the financial obligation somewhat even. However, adjustments are needed. Approaching the finances with this formula gives each side a role in making the event and to make decisions within their means. All of the other miscellaneous expenses, (invitations, travel, gowns, etc.) are covered by each family for themselves.
what she wants. It is very common for the basic (F.L.O.P.S.) element to come from the responsible party and have the extra expenses taken care of by the other. Alternatives to F.L.O.P.S: F.L.O.P.S. is not always the automatic formula; it can be a place to start the discussion. We are also seeing the emergence of the “Hybrid F.L.O.P.S.” based on where the wedding is held and how many people each side will be inviting or the different financial ability or desires of the families. We often see that the wedding expenses are being split between the sides, bypassing the F.L.O.P.S. formula. When two families have similar financial means and are comfortable with the same style, splitting costs can be the best way to come to a beautiful
Although the wedding is important, and a huge time of a couple’s life, the amount of anger and resentment that can build over the financial element is not worth the negative effect it can have on the future relationships. A new home is being created; the foundation should stand on good middos. Whether the traditional F.L.O.P.S. formula or a variation is followed, everyone should make sure to keep the focus on the couple and their future. Finally, it is critically important that the bride and groom identify what’s important to them so the wedding can reflect them individually and as a couple. Then the families can make decisions with that focus in mind. Tali Merewitz is the owner of Events Enchanted and has been involved in Jewish and corporate events since 1999. She has been involved in all aspects of event planning for 2-15,000 people, vendor and venue negotiations, decision-making and event coordination. She can be reached at Tali@ EventsEnchanted.com or www.EventsEnchanted.com
august 1, 2013
Mazel tov, your kids are engaged! While this is an exciting time, the fulfillment of your prayers, and one of the happiest times in life, it can also be a challenging time. If you thought the shidduchim process was full of twists and turns, just wait. You are now faced with coming together with another family -- that you may not know at all -- to plan and pay for the chasuna. Through the wedding planning, parents are in a position of working and making decisions (sometimes) with practical strangers. Moreover, families are forced to discuss finances, something most people don’t even talk about with their closest friends. These two dynamics can cause tremendous strain and test even the most grounded people. Don’t forget, the halachic requirements for the wedding are few; however the community expectations can be great. Take a breath, act like a mensch, you will get through this and create special memories for a lifetime.
The Jewish Home
The Facts about “F.L.O.P.S .” (and Alternative Ways to Split Wedding Costs)
The Jewish Home
august 1, 2013
LA’s Coming of Age Through the Eyes of the OU
Talk to any old-timer from the LA community here and they’ll tell you how the Jewish community has exploded over the past two decades. Twenty years ago LA still felt like a small, out-of-town Jewish community where everyone knew each other and shuls were strong and steady, but small. Even more tellingly, you could count the number of kosher establishments in Pico-Robertson on one or two hands. But with hefty attractions like terrific weather, a robust cultural scene and an influential and diverse community, the Orthodox population has mushroomed. In a nod to the LA’s growing numbers, influence and activism, the Orthodox Union (OU) recently installed Martin Nachimson from Los Angeles as its new president, the first ever from outside the New York Metropolitan area. Mr. Nachimson, who has been a key lay leader at his synagogue, Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Valley Village, for more than 30 years, has held leadership positions at the OU for years, and was previously chairman of the OU’s Synagogue Standards Commission, for which he visited OU synagogues and potential OU synagogues throughout North America. Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president of the OU who was previously the rabbi of Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills for nine years and developed a close working relationship with Mr. Nachimson, said, “For four decades, Marty has mentored, supported, and nurtured the OU and all of its activities. I am delighted that he now can bring his
By Rachel Wizenfeld
What’s New at West Coast OU Prepping for Kapparos
Yachad training with coach Jaz
talents and enthusiasm to the OU’s most senior lay leadership position.” “I think that Mr. Nachimson’s election is a strong statement or signal [of LA’s growing influence] but it goes deeper than any one lay leader,” says Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, director of the OU West Coast. “There’s a tremendous amount of wealth in our community, and a tremendous amount of people who want to get involved and make a difference, and they are very motivated for the perpetuation of Jewish life as we see it.” When Mr. Kalinsky arrived in Los Angeles nearly 30 years ago, the nexus of the community was still on Fairfax Boulevard, but that changed as people began moving west to Pico-Robertson in greater numbers, while those who wanted more of a right-wing community gravitated towards Hancock Park. And the valley? He remembers it as a sleepy town, so limited in its Jewish infrastructure that people in the valley were constantly coming over the hill to the city. “Their needs were not met Jewishly,” he says. “[The valley] has also experienced a similar explosion of growth and has somewhat become self-sufficient.” “What has evolved over the last quarter century is that LA, which was always seen as a tourist destinaRabbi Martin Nachimson, the new President of the OU tion, was transformed as
a viable population,” Rabbi Kalinsky points out. Many young people who grew up in LA and went off to college, came back, usually married, and they began starting families. And that really caused the explosion. Before this, many schools existed, but they were not as robust. Now there are so many different yeshivot for every stride of orthodoxy. Every need and every shade of the spectrum is met. The shuls have grown as well. When Rabbi Kalinsky first arrived, B’nei David-Judea on Pico Boulevard did not yet have a mechitza. In 1987 the OU helped introduce it, and the rabbi at the time, Rabbi Philip Schroit, put one in as his concluding act of a 50-year rabbinate. The shul lost members, many of whom went up the street to Mogen David, which then brought a mechitza into its own congregation 10 years later. “There was no one in those neighborhoods who were looking for that type of synagogue,” he says, “So they made a painful decision to adapt and adopt serious Orthodox practice.” Now the shuls here are strong across the Orthodox spectrum. While part of the OU’s mission is to help synagogues implement programming, he’s found that the shuls here are very self-sufficient with a broad membership base, allowing them to provide very quality programming on their own. Rabbi Adir Posy, assistant director of OU West Coast and assistant
While most certainly a spiritual and meaningful custom, kapparos in most areas is illegal, due to public health and safety concerns. A liaison for Councilman Paul Koretz has already reached out to Rabbi Kalinsky to stay ahead of the curve and to avoid any potential problems as the High Holidays approach. There are a number of outlets where in years past hundreds of chickens have been used for kapparos, and the OU is helping to create a plan of action to keep the situation under control.
Meeting with the LAPD The OU West Coast recently hosted a breakfast for the LAPD to show a level of hakaras hatov to the officers who are responsible for public safety. “As an Orthodox community, we feel quite vulnerable because of events in the world and anti-Semitism; it’s good to have relationships with people in the LAPD to make certain that when there are issues, we have the ability to call on people.” Occasionally Rabbi Kalinsky will attend an LAPD roll call, where he meets with a sergeant to talk about frontline issues that affect the Jewish community.
AIPAC The OU has partnered with AIPAC on several programs and has been very involved in growing Orthodox support and involvement with the Israel advocacy organization. While 10 years ago you could count the number of kippahs at the annual AIPAC conference on one hand, according to Rabbi Kalinsky, today more than 25% of the thousands of attendees are Orthodox. And 10-15% of them are from LA. “That’s a big chunk when you consider people have to get on an airplane and fly,” he says.
The Jewish Home august 1, 2013
The Jewish Home
august 1, 2013
rabbi of Congregation Beth Jacob, echoes that the shuls here are a huge benefit to the community. “While I like to hold up Beth Jacob as a shining example, there are many shuls that are doing a great job of opening up their doors and making a communal home with options across the hashkafic spectrum,” he says. “While there is of course more work to do in this area, we are blessed with a plethora of great communal institutions that provide a variety of options.” The key is to find a good portal of entry, such as family, a social group or a welcoming shul, he says. When you really evaluate the total package of a community, you look at schools, mikvaot, kosher establishments and eateries, higher learning and summer camps, says Rabbi Kalinsky. Now with its own Orthodox summer camps (Moshava Malibu and Camp Judah West) and institution of higher learning, Touro College, LA has really “come of age, whereby people are recognizing that the 3,000 mile jaunt to NY is certainly contested by LA.” This was brought home for him during a car ride with the LAPD in 2005. After a bombing attempt at two shuls on Pico Boulevard, Rabbi Kalinsky took a ride with a local councilman and member of the LAPD to give them an overview of all the Jewish institutions on Pico, including schools, shuls and bakeries. The number of Jewish institutions on Pico Boulevard alone was somewhere around 60, and that was nearly 10 years ago!
As for specific numbers of the Jewish community in LA, no one can say exactly. Many Jewish groups have complained about the lack of a community-wide study, which has not been undertaken in years. But Kalinsky says the number usually bandied about is a total of a half million Jews in LA, an overwhelming majority of that being unaffiliated or Israeli, and the Orthodox community making up 10%, or 50,000. But with the community’s growth comes its challenges. Housing is always a problem here, and putting down roots is far beyond the reach of any young family without significant outside financial help, says Rabbi Posy. In addition, he’s found that tuition costs are on par or higher than many of the larger metropolitan areas with significant Jewish communities; compared to cities like Baltimore or Detroit, big cities that also have a thriving Jewish infrastructure, the tuition costs here are significantly higher “It is important to note that this is not per se due to any factors that are in the schools’ control, but rather the school’s pay per student being similar to what many of the parallel public school districts pay per student,” he points out. “Nonetheless, these are very significant after-tax dollars to come up with.” Some of the tuition increases are positive signs that teachers are being compensated appropriately, says Rabbi Kalinsky, who remembers first coming to LA and finding that day school teachers weren’t even
given medical insurance. Other increases are due to new schools being built and facility expansions, which are quite expensive (More on this in Jewish Home’s next issue – stay tuned!). Solving the tuition crisis is one of the OU’s national priorities, but while this year the OU secured over 55 million in state funding for Jewish day schools, none of that was from California. “California in particular is a very democratic state, and democrats and liberals are at the forefront of public, and not private, education,” he says. Recently Rabbi Kalinsky led a group to Sacramento to meet with assemblymen and state senators, all democrats, who he says were all happy to meet but unwilling to sponsor any kind of bill this year to support private education in any way. Fortunately the OU and other organizations have had more success with pursuing philanthropy and support from within. “LA as a community – and this goes beyond the Orthodox community, has been targeted by many institutions for philanthropy and leadership,” Rabbi Kalinsky says. Whether it’s AIPAC, Tomchei Shabbos, universities in Israel, the Holocaust museum and many more, the LA community is very involved with so many national and international organizations. “One of the additional blessings of this community is there’s a great deal of activism,” he says. “People don’t just write a check.”
Kosher Ralph’s Branching Out Due to the success of the new Ralphs Kosher Experience in Hancock Park, Ralphs will be opening two more Kosher Experience locations in the coming year: one on Ventura Boulevard in Encino, and one on Pico Boulevard and Beverwil in West LA. They will be nearly identical to the current location on La Brea and Third Street. Because Kroger, which owns Ralphs, is a national chain, they selected the OU – a national hashgacha, for their certification. The OU then works with local rabbis to serve as onsite mashgichim. Rabbi Kalinsky notes that representatives from Kroger have been amazed at how the Kosher Experience has developed and by the excitement it has generated thanks to creative cuisine, such as teriyaki salmon and fish ‘n chips during the nine days. It’s also gaining a reputation for Shabbos takeout, ribs and sushi.
NCSY This year NCSY launched a new learning program called iLearn, in which students engage in one-on-one Torah study with an advisor over the phone, through Skype or at a coffee shop. Over forty NCSYers participate in the program, and those who reach specific benchmarks with their chavruta receive anything from discounts on summer programs to promotional packages.
NCSY leaders have also developed their altruistic skills in the Teen Philanthropy Movement. Over three months, seven groups of students dedicated their time to researching non-profit organizations, were paired with a philanthropic mentor to guide them in their nonprofit research, and studied the Jewish perspective of giving back.
Inaugural Kinus Teshuva Program Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur , the OU will be sending speakers to OU synagogues in the greater LA area to offer inspirational teshuva messages during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, so keep your eyes out!
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky at the Mayoral debate in Beth Jacob earlier this year
25 The Jewish Home august 1, 2013
7 Questions with Rabbi Reuven Nathanson Director of the West Coast Kashrus Division of the Orthodox Union
By Mushki Boteach Naparstek 1) Where are you from and what is your background? I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I attended undergraduate school in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduate school in New Orleans. I also went to the Rabbinical College of America in New Jersey. 2) How did you get involved with the OU and what’s your role there? The OU wanted a local representative in New Orleans, as they had been flying someone out there monthly from another state. I was working in New Orleans and a local Rabbi recommended me to do the job. I am currently a Senior Rabbinical Field Representative (senior mashgiach) and Director of the West Coast Kashrus Division of the Orthodox Union. I am administratively responsible for OU Kosher “West of the Rockies”. In practice, since we have very experienced mashgichim making the routine inspections, I help
when there is a problem at a plant regarding kosherization and/or equipment changes. 3) Does your job require a lot of traveling? My normal commute involves a plane and a rental car. Once, I was been pulled aside by TSA at LAX; they wanted to know why they didn’t see me the previous week. 4) What’s the most interesting part of your job? I really enjoy meeting new people, seeing different cities that I would probably never get to on my own and helping in the creation of new products. On one occasion I was talking with the Research & Development Director in the hallway at a Company. The owner walked by and said good morning. A while later he passed us again and said in jest, “How much is this conversation costing me?” The R&D
Director replied, “Thus far you probably saved $50,000 because he is telling me exactly where to find the ingredients I need for some projects.” The Owner replied, “Can I get you chairs and some coffee?” 5) What motto do you live by that would in some way relate to kashrus? As far as work is concerned, we all try to remember to expect the unexpected. Complacency or presumption can have disastrous results with repercussions across the country. We really have to stay sharp and focused. 6) What’s something in kashrus that people are often not aware of that they should be? I don’t think people are aware of the issues that arise when you have non-Jewish help in the home. Newer stoves don’t have continuous pilot lights to say nothing about microwaves. By Rabbinic decree, certain foods need to be cooked by
a Jew to be kosher. If non – Jewish help cooks these food the vessels used must be re-kosherized before they can be used again. The food that was prepared is not kosher even though all the ingredients are kosher, ( this isn’t the forum to get into the specific details…) There also is an issue with raw, unsealed meat and poultry. Under certain conditions when it’s left in the house with only the non-Jewish help at home it can lose its kosher status even if it isn’t cooked. 7) What’s next for Rabbi Nathanson and the OU in Los Angeles? The OU has an internal Peer Review system to help us maintain the highest kashrus standards. We are currently discussing ways to improve and expand that program. We are also involved with assisting the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) as they work to upgrade their certification program.
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, Retreats, Fundraising Events, Corporate Events, Private Parties, or any event you would rather have someone else worry about.
Tali Merewitz www.EventsEnchanted.com 323-937-0980
The Jewish Home
august 1, 2013
In each issue The Jewish Home will feature a different restaurant & highlight their 2 best dishes...
Café Souffle is easy to miss. It’s one of about a dozen Jewish businesses on Burbank boulevard, the valley’s equivalent to Pico’s restaurant lane. From the outside, it’s a squat and plain storefront, and when I open the door I’m surprised how packed it is for an early lunch on a Thursday. The restaurant is bright white with cheerful hand painted pastel lines and flowers. Bench seating with colorful pillows line each side of the eatery and there are a few outdoor tables as well. The diverse crowd ranges from a frum family and a young couple to a trio at a business meeting, and biker dudes. Intrigued, I approached the guys who didn’t seem to belong in a humble Kosher restaurant. “So, I’m guessing you came here because you wanted Kosher food?” They laugh. The friendly one said, “We were supposed to eat somewhere else, but we couldn’t find it so we came here. We like it so much we keep coming back.” I meet the owner, the unpretentious and engaging Motty Elyahu. While running back and forth between Café Souffle and his other restaurant, Shnitz Burger, we talked about his life in Israel, his love of gourmet, his return to Judaism and desire to create something special for the Orthodox community. Motty was raised in Tirat Carmel (near Haifa) and trained professionally as a chef. He opened a pizza place
in Israel and while on a quick trip to America in 2004, left his business partner in charge of the restaurant. His short vacation turned from days to months until one day he confessed to himself and his partner that he felt a sense of serenity in America that he had never felt before. He felt like “he was meant to be here” and cancelled his return ticket. After realizing he was here to stay, he opened an Israeli restaurant called Aroma (Aroma does NOT have a hechsher and is open on Shabbos) where he was their first chef for 4 years. He then had an opportunity to open another restaurant, the famous and very missed, Nana Café, where he was the chef for another 4 years. Nana Café was an immediate hit with trademark dishes like macaroni and cheese balls and gourmet pizza. It was in Nana Café that his life changed and he understood why he felt called to live in America. He met and became friends with many religious diners while simultaneously befriending his Orthodox neighbor. He went with his neighbor to shul and met Rabbi Moshe Chafuta of Daat Torah who encouraged him to learn Gemara, keep Shabbos and Kosher. When Nana closed down, he decided to open his own restaurant in the valley to serve the Orthodox community with high quality Kosher food at reasonable prices. Knowing that he was onto something with Nana’s cuisine, he kept most of Nana Café’s former menu and tweaked and added a few dishes unique to his new restaurant Café Souffle. I was pleased to see many of my old favorites on Café Souffle’s menu. I ordered the Beet Salad and an Ahi
Tuna Shawarma. The Beet Salad is possibly the most perfect salad I’ve ever consumed. It’s a symphony of colors, textures and flavors. The feta cheese is finely shredded into delicate bits, the pear and orange pieces are a little larger than expected, but somehow combine splendidly with the smaller, smoother beets. The dressing is sweet and tangy, light and does not overpower the vegetables and fruits in the salad. Tha Ahi Tuna Shawarma is very different, but equally appetizing. One thing that impresses me is how tightly the wrap is wrapped. Ever try swaddling a newborn just like the nurse does in the hospital? With her technique the baby cannot come out unless you struggle to unwrap her, while your swaddle follows the same technique, yet the baby’s arms and legs flail about like a crab turned on its back while the blanket slithers to the floor. Well, a food wrap is the same. My homemade wraps explode with chicken and vegetables leaping to freedom. This food wrap tightly swaddles its delectable insides
which include a generous portion of Ahi Tuna that has the heaviness and texture of baked chicken, a small amount of salad greens, and hummus and tahina joining to create a fabulous faux-Shawarma experience. The wrap stays neat and though slim in appearance, the dish is filling enough to share. I remark to my new pals at the table next to me how fresh and perfect everything is. They agree, “We’ve been here a bunch of times and haven’t had anything bad yet.” It’s true, I recommend the 2 dishes above and despite its unassuming exterior, Café Souffle has remarkably good food.
Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids. She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.
Join us As we start off the
Rosh hashanah & Yom KippuR seRvices
With Rabbi M. Kesselman & World Renowned Cantor S. Helfgot
Spend your High Holidays with us! Reserve your seat today: www.shaareitefila.org Or call: (323) 938-7147 Shaarei Tefila 7269 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
august 1, 2013
with a most Inspiring & Delightful
27 The Jewish Home
New Year 5774
28 Jewish 1, 2013 T h eT HE JThe ew i s h h o HOME mHome e n nA UMGaugust U S T2 41,, 2012 2013 J EWISH AY
You Gotta be
A man goes to a bar with his dog. He goes up to the bar and asks for a drink. The bartender says, “You can’t bring that dog in here!” The guy, without missing a beat, says, “This is my guide dog.” “Oh man,” the bartender says, “I’m sorry, here, the first one’s on me.” The man takes his drink and goes to a table near the door. Another guy walks in the bar with a Chihuahua. The first guy sees him, stops him and says, “You can’t bring that dog in here unless you tell him it’s a guide dog.” The second man graciously thanks the first man and continues to the bar. He asks for a drink. The bartender says, “Hey, you can’t bring that dog in here!”
Riddle Mr. Smith hit his head while fixing the roof earlier today. In the hospital they asked him his age, but he couldn’t remember. Finally, he remembered something that would help determine his age. He told the doctor: “If you add my age and my son’s age, you get 55. My age is my son’s age reversed.” The doctor nodded and wrote down Mr. Smith’s age. What was it? Answer on next page
The second man replies, “This is my guide dog.” The bartender says, “No, I don’t think so. They do not have Chihuahuas as guide dogs.” The man pauses for a half-second and replies, “What?!?! They gave me a Chihuahua?!?”
Curious Prince George V Although George Alexander Louis (AKA His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge) is less than three weeks old, here are some of the questions that he may have: V You mean I will have to smile at commoners for the next 89 years? V Who is older: Great Grandma Elizabeth or Stonehenge? V Don’t they realize they are driving on the wrong side of the road? V Why is everyone’s teeth so bad around here? V Wait, if I am the king I won’t get to drown my misery out at the local pub. As a British male, what else is there for me to do? V I’ve been alive for seven days and it hasn’t stopped raining yet. What’s the deal? V Yes, I am fortunate to be Prince William’s heir, but do I have to inherit his hair as well? V Has anyone aside for Winston Churchill ever said anything smart in this country?
V Let me see if I get this—the extent of my powers as king will be to bestow knighthood on washed out 1960s rock stars? V Why do Americans scream, “The British are coming! The British are coming”? Do we really smell that bad? V Wow, I am royalty in a really smart country—the friggin’ bridge is falling down and instead of fixing it, they write a song about it, but when their local team loses a soccer match, 87 people are stampeded to death. V So let me get this straight, Grandpa Charles is jealous of Great Grandma Elizabeth because she has been queen for too long and he is waiting to become king. But isn’t he her son? And if she is no longer queen doesn’t that mean that his mother died? And I’m supposed to be proud of being part of this family? V Does Camilla bite? V Since the Beatles, did this country produce anything of value anyway? V Wiww ay ewew get wis wiwlver fhoon ouwt of my mouf?
If you think you can walk the streets of England and have no language barrier, think again. Take this test to see how you will do. Choose the correct meaning of each of the 10 sentences.
1. Mate, I went to this barmy restaurant called Twitteos. It is an ace place and the food is the bees knees. a. Mate, I went to this crazy restaurant called Twitteos. It is an awesome place and the food is fabulous. b. Mate, I went to this small restaurant called Twitteos. It is an expensive place and the food is horrible.
7. Just a little nap and he’s full of beans. a. Just a little nap and he has loads of energy. b. Just a little breakfast and he’s not hungry anymore.
2. You are causing aggro with all of your codswallop. I am getting gutted. a. You are causing traffic with all of your wagons. I am getting antsy. b. You are causing trouble with all of your baloney. I am getting really upset.
8. The event was completely pear shaped and even though it’s horses for courses I suppose, I decided Bob’s your uncle and said, “Tara.” a. The event was completely crowded at the entrance and even though it’s free admission, I suppose, I decided to use connections and said “VIP coming.” b. The event was completely a disaster and even though it’s to each his own, I suppose, I decided that’s it and said goodbye.
3. The London rain threw a spanner in the works and put paid to our outdoor party. a. The London rain was a problem and put an end to our outdoor party. b. The London rain was misty and enhanced our outdoor party.
9. Give us a bell mate. It’s been yonks; I hear things are tickety-boo, you must be swotting. a. Warn me, friend. It’s been scary; I hear things are paranormal, you must be cautious. b. Call me, friend. It’s been ages; I hear things are going well, you must be studying hard.
4. You may be brill but you are you off your trolley and blinkered and mug. a. You may be certain of yourself but you are in the wrong place lost and late. b. You may be brilliant but you are crazy and narrow-minded and gullible. 5. I made a dog’s dinner when I dropped a clanger it was really naff . a. I made a pot of spaghetti when I put a cube of sugar, it was really sweet. b. I made a mess when I said a gaffe it was really not cool. 6. I offered a bung and ended up being in Her Majesty’s pleasure. a. I offered a compliment and ended up being in the Queen’s good graces. b. I offered a bribe and ended up being put in prison.
10. Everything was blinding until the bloke offered me a knuckle sandwich. It was quit blimey, I guess now I understand why he is being made redundant. a. Everything was awesome until the fellow offered me a punch in the face. It was quite surprising, I guess now I understand why he is being laid off. b. Everything was dark until the light offered me radiance. It was quite lucky, I guess now I understand why he is being made the hero.
Answers: 1- A; 2-B; 3-A; 4-B; 5-B; 6-B; 7-A; 8-B; 9-B; 10- A Wisdom Key: 8-10 correct: You are a British English boffin (expert). 4-7 correct : You are bog-standard (completely ordinary) 0-3 correct: You are quite gormless (not really smart), simply a pleb (lower class person)... Okay, that was grommy (not nice) of me to say.
Answer to riddle: Mr. Smith is 41 and Jones Jr., his son, is 14.
GOT FUNNY? Let the Commissioner decide. Send your stuff to email@example.com
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So You Think You Speak British?
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” I have an affinity for the Brits because they’ll eventually have a king with big ears and we currently have a king with big ears. - Dennis Miller
According to a new study, lying gets easier over time. People get better at lying the more they do it. See, that’s why you have to have term limits. - Jay Leno One major problem [with Obamacare] is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them. - Howard Dean, a supporter of Obamacare, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, alluding to the “death panels” that many warned about
Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make our wages supersized! - Chant by striking fast-food workers in New York
Despite it all, we do not live in fear. - Chabad shaliach of Derbent, Dagestan, Rabbi Ovadia Isakov, after being shot in an attack near his home This is summer political theater in New York. We laugh because if we didn’t laugh, we would cry, right? – Governor Andrew Cuomo on Anthony Weiner
If I went any faster, they’d fine me. The speedometer isn’t manipulated. - 2012 Facebook posting by operator of last week’s deadly train accident in Spain, alongside a picture of the train’s speedometer at 124 mph
With this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. This needs to stop. - President Obama at his economic address at Knox College, Galesburg, IL [Obama’s] wrong. My son is dead. How could that be phony? - Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who was slain in Benghazi, responding to President Obama’s assertion
I know Anthony Weiner. I’ve known him for a long time, and he’s a very sick puppy. There’s no question about it. - Donald Trump on Fox news
As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought... These esoteric, intellectual debates – I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have. I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don’t. And I remember what we felt like on September 12, 2001. - Governor Christ Christie (R-NJ) criticizing Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) for his stance on civil liberties I would remind [Chris Christie] that I think what’s dangerous in our country is to forget that we have a Bill of Rights, to forget about privacy, to give up on all of our liberty to say, “Oh, we’re going to catch terrorism, but you have to live in a police state.” And it’s really, I think, kind of sad and cheap that he would use the cloak of 9/11 victims and say, “Oh, I’m the only one who cares about these victims.” Hogwash! If he cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn’t be in this “gimme gimme gimme gimme all the money you have in Washington”–or don’t have–and he’d be a little more fiscally responsive and know that the way we defend our country, the way we have enough money for national defense is by being frugal, and not by saying “gimme gimme gimme” all the time. - Senator Ran Paul, on Fox News, responding to Chris Christie’s criticism Maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending he brings home to Kentucky. But I doubt he will, because most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get re-elected. - Governor Chris Christie, responding to Senator Rand Paul
Experts are predicting that the royal baby could pump $380 million into the British economy. So the question is: How do we get this kid to move to Detroit? - Conan O’Brien
President Obama has issued a statement about the royal baby. He told him to hang onto the birth certificate. Those things come in handy. - Conan O’Brien
In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands. - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, at a press conference, on the eve of new peace talks
CNN’s Piers Morgan interviewing Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s Ken Hanson, who gave George Zimmerman and his family money to purchase guns, training and personal protection:
Piers Morgan: What if Trayvon Martin’s older brother is walking in the same area in a few months’ time; George Zimmerman happens to be passing, finds him suspicious as he did Trayvon…and decides to shoot him as well? Ken Hanson: If someone is on top of Mr. Zimmerman, again repeatedly bashing his head into the concrete, and he acts in self-defense, that’s incredible bad luck he found himself in that situation twice. But we’ll sleep soundly.
NASA released pictures of earth taken from 900 miles away. From 900 miles away, you can make out the Great Wall of China. In Newark, you can make out the governor of New Jersey. - David Letterman The head of the TSA said beginning later this year people can pay an $85 fee that will allow them to go through the airport line very quickly with minimal checking. Or as terrorists call that, money well spent. - Jay Leno The royal baby finally has a name. It took a few days but they named him Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. The parents said they wanted a name that reflects his country’s great history and gets him beaten up at school every day. –Conan O’Brien
President Obama’s got a big retreat coming up. He invited all his Cabinet members to Camp David. Unfortunately, Joe Biden couldn’t make the retreat because he’s in Asia. That’s because Obama told him the retreat was in Asia. - Jimmy Fallon In a speech about the economy, President Obama said we’ve all been distracted by phony scandals. It’s time we started getting distracted by the phony recovery. - Jay Leno
Eight years ago, I came here to deliver the commencement address for the class of 2005. Things were a little different back then. I didn’t have any gray hair, for example. Or a motorcade. I didn’t even have a teleprompter. In fact, there was a problem in terms of printing out the speech because the printer didn’t work here and we had to drive it in from somewhere. - President Obama at his economic address at Knox College, Galesburg, IL The president called his speech “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class,” but no president has done worse by the middle class in modern times. - Wall Street Journal editorial on President Obama’s recent economic speech
It’s my hope that that will be able to happen as procedures are put in place by both countries in order to empower that. - Secretary of State Kerry talking about resuming peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority Did I say that? - Ibid., when asked by a reporter if the State Department now considers the Palestinian Authority to be a country
When I see quotes like I did today from someone named Dan Pfeiffer, who apparently works for the president…He tweeted out today that our plan is to “allow some kids to stay but deport their parents.” He summarized this entire debate with that tweet. So I want to compliment you and thank you for not being a demagogic, selfserving, political hack who can’t even be elected to a Parent Advisory Committee, much less Congress. Which is what Mr. Pfeiffer is. I want to thank you for not being that and understanding these are complex issues where reasonable minds can perhaps differ. - Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) at an immigration reform hearing, after having a thoughtful discussion with several experts with differing opinions on the topic
The Obama administration has admitted that under Obamacare, you might not be able to keep your doctor. At first the president guaranteed you’d be able to keep your doctor, and now they’re saying you “might” be able to. Today, Obama changed his slogan from “Yes we can” to “Perhaps we could try. Can’t promise anything.” - Jay Leno
The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized last night. Somebody snuck in the Lincoln Memorial and threw green paint all over Lincoln. How is that even possible? I mean, 148 years later this guy still can’t get any security? Come on. - Jay Leno
Interesting story in the paper today: neural scientists at MIT say they can plant false memories in your brain. No, that is not new. Politicians have been doing that for years...They’re called campaign promises. - Jay Leno
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It’s an honor to be back in India and to be here in Mumbai. Off script for a second here, I was reminded — I was elected to the United States Senate when I was a 29-year-old kid back in 1972, and one of the first letters I received and I regret I never followed up on it. Maybe some genealogist in audience can follow up for me, but I received a letter from a gentleman named Biden — Biden, my name — from Mumbai, asserting that we were related. Seriously. Suggesting that our mutual, great, great, great, something or other worked for the East India Trading Company back in the 1700s and came to Mumbai. And so I was thinking about it, if that’s true, I might run here in India for office. I might be qualified. But I’ve never followed up on it. But now that I’m back for the multiple times, I’m going to follow up to find out whether there is a Biden and whether we’re related. I hope he’s in good standing if we are. - Vice President Joe Biden in India last week
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by Shiffy Friedman ©
august 1, 2013
Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Recap: On his night off at the steakhouse, Davie decides to visit his father in his quest for petty cash. Lisa stands at Becca’s door, ready to threaten her with spilling the secret, when she hears a male voice talking authoritatively to Becca inside. Lisa Stein Marcus His voice is full as he speaks and I could see in my mind the bobbing of his adam’s apple. “Okay, then, Becca, I’m going to get the bag from my car.” “Go,” she says quietly. I don’t know what I’m thinking but I continue to stand at the door, dangerously positioned for a head-on collision, anxious to take a peek at the contents of a bag so powerful it can rip relationships asunder. No. No. I don’t want him to see me here. Not now, not ever. I don’t know from where the brother I once idolized now draws the gall to pat our father’s back. Back in the day, he was so cute I begged him to hold my hand on our way home from shul on Shabbos. Not anymore. Is his brain so small, so empty of gray matter, that he doesn’t remember the crashing of the glass, the wreck of a childhood he was served? “What did I do to deserve this?” Mom cried to me, only once. I couldn’t answer her, not because I didn’t know what to say but because the tears had caused a blockage in my throat. I well remembered those early mornings, the sky still a pudding of pink, when she stood at his bed and woke him softly. While he’d groan lazily from under the covers, Mom would stand there patiently, begging. Often, it was only the squeak of the front door heralding Dad’s return from Shacharis that would propel Davie into his morning routine and out the door. Then, Mom was temporarily released from her agitating ritual. She didn’t breathe freely, though. Davie was out the door in no time but Dad was home.
I hate Davie. I hate him so much that the thought of him has my fists form tight balls. The closet is the first thing I see when I turn to my right. I lunge toward it, pulling the round knob until it gives. Coats of every size hang messily from the rod, their buttons facing both directions. I squeeze my frame inside as the smell of damp wool greets my nose too closely. I twist my legs into a pretzel, pulling them tightly to my chest, as I strain my ears to listen to the goings on outside my shelter. “I’ll wait here,” Becca says. “The kids are still up.” His reply is confident. He likes what he’s doing. “Sure, Becca, the kids come first.” When did he become such a sensible young man? When he comes into the hall, Becca asks, “Did you bring your jacket with you?” And all I want to do is dissipate, to melt to the ground in a puddle of nothingness, as if I’ve never existed. No, no, no. Please, G-d. Right Davie never wears a jacket, not even when the the blood congeals from the icy winter frost? Surely not today. I picture him yank the door open to find the ball that is me on the closet floor below. “I like the coziness of this room,” I can hear myself say, feigning confidence as I flatten the static hairs of my wig and stare into the eyes of the giant towering above my head. “I know, I know. It’s weird, isn’t it?” And he would be rolling his eyeballs, thinking perhaps that this is the product of the mess of a home in which we were raised. Only he doesn’t think that way, Lisa. He doesn’t even realize the craziness of his past. “Me? A jacket? Come on, Becca. I thought you knew me better than that.” A puff. Of breath. The stench of wet wool is suddenly perfume to my nose. I’m grateful for the safety of this cluttered cubicle, grateful that the door is of dark brown wood. While Davie sprints down the stairs,
two at a time, Becca calls after him, “Ten bottles you’re bringing, right? He could use as much as you have.” “I only have five this time,” he yells back from the foot of the stairs. Becca doesn’t close the door behind herself after she retreats into her apartment. I take a gamble because the need for fresh air bursts from my lungs. I open the closet door, just a sliver. The kitchen sink that comes into view as I uncurl my aching back is so full that the dishes spill in a slope onto the counter. Becca sits on a chair nearby, her legs stretched. In her hand she holds an apple. I commend her in my mind for the tenacious grip she holds on her healthful eating habits. I couldn’t do that when my life was shipwrecked. Perhaps this is the lone place of control in her life? She chomps on the fruit, bite after quick bite. I’m hungry. Dinner didn’t appeal to me with my muscles so taut. I look at my watch. The confrontation should’ve been over by now, if not for Davie’s unexpected appearance. Naughty Davie. He’s skipping up the stairs so fast I don’t have time to shut the door. But he’s too excited to notice me, his silly little sister standing against the other side of the wall. He takes wide steps into Becca’s kitchen, the “Shop Smart” plastic bag he holds slapping against his feet as he walks. “Oh,” Becca says. “You’re back.” “What did you think? I know how much Aron needs these. I’m here to help.” Davie unfastens the knot. He wipes the sweat on his forehead with his sleeve. “One, two, three,” he counts as he empties the contents of his bag onto the counter, clearing its clutter to make place for more. The bottles are white and large, about the size of the prenatal supplements in my medicine chest back home. Why does Aron need these? I know Davie is up to no good. I can’t kid myself that much. But Aron? One tainted body is not enough? Is this Becca’s scheme to keep him forever incapacitated, tied to her throne like a lame duck?
“Five pieces,” he says as he crunches up the bag in his hands. “Should be enough for another while, no?” “Should be,” Becca says, “He takes like four a day.” “Okay,” Davie clears his throat. “My part of the deal is done. Now you make sure to stick to yours,” he warns, his eyes narrow. “Not a word to Mom. As if you don’t know her, remember?” I’m dizzy. I close my eyes tight and drop my chin to my chest. Poor Becca, torn and misled by a brother who holds the bait before her eyes. She shakes her head like a little child. I suck in a deep breath, my nostrils two gaping caverns. The gall! From where does Davie draw the gall to snare weary Becca away from her mother’s apron? If he chooses to disconnect, to run so far away as if Mom carries an infectious disease, then too bad on his madness. But to drag Becca along in the mud is just ludicrous-- a crime too great for penalty. I grit my teeth, seething. I want to bang the door down. “I’ll get going here,” the imbecile says. “I’m already two hours late to work.” “Have a great one, Davie,” Becca walks him to the door. I don’t care if they see me now, my eyes shooting sparks. The perfect words are ripe on my lips, the rebuke that will make them shudder they’ll get on their knees, begging for forgiveness. “Let me know when you’re done with these,” he says. “And send my kisses to the kids. They’re so cute!” Becca smiles as she readjusts her kerchief. Proud mother, detached daughter. So much confusion, a being gravid with chaos. I take a long look at this sister of mine, a deep look that has me shake my head sadly. My eyes prickle. Then it happens. Just like that. A most brilliant idea that comes to me with such clarity I can’t imagine why I haven’t thought of it before.
The Demise of Germany’s Secret Weapon: The Bismarck
here was a time during WWII that only one country stood between Hitler ym”sh and victory in Europe. Between May 1940 and June 1941, Great Britain was the only country that Germany hadn’t defeated. The Nazis used all of their weapons in their arsenal to try and make Churchill surrender but the British prime minister was just as tough-skinned as the rest of the country. German planes bombed England day and night but couldn’t win the Battle of Britain. Submarines, known as U-boats, sank myriad ships but couldn’t put a complete stranglehold on British supplies coming across the Atlantic. Troops couldn’t be sent to invade the islands until the skies and sea lanes had been cleared. Finally, Hitler decided it was time to unleash his most frightful weapon built to date—the super battleship Bismarck. England had to sink her before she wreaked havoc and changed the course of the war. After WWI, Germany’s military was to be reduced under international law. However, Hitler was secretly building up forces including warships. The Bismarck’s keel was laid down in 1936 and was commissioned in 1940. She displaced 41,000 tons, making her Europe’s largest battleship to operate during WWII. She carried a crew of over 2,000 men and officers and was captained by Günther Lütjens. The Bismarck had eight 15-inch guns that fired warheads weighing 1,700 pounds. There was thick arma-
2,200 Germans died in the battle
ment, and her maximum speed was 32.5 knots, which is very fast for a ship that size. Their first mission was to sink as many enemy ships and merchantmen as possible. The heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen was to accompany the massive battleship. There were some mistakes surrounding the Bismarck that proved fatal in her first voyage. The first had to do with the overall planning of the German Navy.
The high command did not see the advantages on building an aircraft carrier, and there would be some parts of the ocean that the ships would be sailing that were out of range from supporting landbased aircraft. The British, on the other hand, learned about the upcoming trip and sent the Ark Royal, an aircraft carrier, to attack if the opportunity presented itself. Another error was that the ship’s fuel tanks were damaged and weren’t repaired in time. Additionally, fuel was used at an incredible rate and therefore, the ship ran out at a critical time. There were other defects with the ship, such as the radar was placed near the guns and were disabled when the Bismarck fired her first salvo. Her anti-aircraft guns were antiquated and even though they were supposed to be replaced, she went into battle without proper defense against aircraft. The two-ship convoy left Poland on May 19, 1941. There were additional sailors aboard in the occasion that if the Bismarck captured a ship, it wouldn’t have to be sunk; the German sailors would be able to navigate it back to Germany. The next day, a flight of Swedish planes spotted the Germans and reported their positions. On the 21st, planes from the British Coastal Command reported that the Germans were nearing Norway. The Brits then sent two cruisers, the Norfolk and the Suffolk, to the Denmark Straits to intercept them. The Germans were fully aware that the British knew of their movements but continued north anyways. The Bismarck fired her guns for the first time on May 23rd at the two British cruisers. There were no hits and the British called for reinforcements against the behemoth ship. Two of the biggest ships in the British Navy, the battleship Prince of Wales and the battle cruiser Hood, joined the chase as it went into the next day. The Battle of the Denmark Strait started just before 6AM on the 24th when the Hood fired upon what she thought was the Bismarck. It was the Prinz Eugen and it was some time before she corrected her firing target. Other British ships joined the battle, and the Bismarck was hit and flooding reduced her speed a little. Both German ships focused their guns on the Hood, and she was hit. Bismarck then launched a 15-inch shell, which caused a huge explosion on the
Hood. She sank in three minutes, taking down 1,400 sailors with her. There were only three survivors. Fortunately, the Prince of Wales got away before the Bismarck was able to set course and follow. Calls for a revenge action were in the air as the British now knew of the devastating potential of the Bismarck. Several other British ships, including three battleships and an aircraft carrier, started in pursuit of the Bismarck as the Germans made another huge blunder by detaching the Prinz Eugen. The carrier Victorious sent off nine Swordfish torpedo bombers. Although one scored a hit, the Bismarck sustained minimal damage. Another small action was taken on the 24th with no hits recorded. The Bismarck was now being trailed by several huge British ships and more were on their way to intercept her. Admiral Lutjens told his crew that several U-boats were on their way to help but their situation was dire. The best they could expect to do was sink another battleship or two. The crew became depressed when they found that they were headed towards France instead of going back to Norway. During the night, the Bismarck slipped away from the screening ships and would have lost the British completely if only a Catalina flying boat from the Coastal Command that was at the extreme range of her patrol zone had not seen her. The plane reported the new position to the British Navy who immediately began to tack her again. On the 26th, the carrier Ark Royal was within striking range and sent two flights of Swordfish torpedo bombers off her deck. The weather was foul and the planes would have a tough time finding the super battleship. The first flight was ineffectual and even began attacking a British cruiser but the second round struck home. Three torpedoes hit the Bismarck with devastating effect. One of them wrecked the steering gear and damaged the rudder so that the Bismarck was only able to turn in slow circles. Her speed was reduced to a slow 10 knots as the British sent in even more ships to shadow her and close in at the perfect time. The Bismarck, though severely wounded, still had her powerful guns that were pointed towards the trailing British. By now, the Germans knew they
august 1, 2013
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Germany's secret weapon, the Bismarck
were doomed as Lutjens informed headquarters that they will fight to the last shell. Hitler promised help in the form of Junkers bombers and U-boats but the help never came. The Brits were still on the prowl and even though some ships had to leave the fight due to low fuel, five destroyers kept an eye on their enemy all night. Three of them attacked with torpedoes but were only able to inflict minimal damage. At dawn on the 27th, the battleship King George V led the attack. She and the Rodney poured 14 inch shells in the direction of the Bismarck. They were soon hitting their target. The Bismarck was still firing despite being hit multiple times and directed her fire solely on the Rodney. But soon, the Bismarck was startled from scores of shells coming in from multiple ships. Her decks were on fire and her main turrets were out of commission. An hour and a half later, the battle ended with the Bismarck dead in the water and most of her crew, especially the ones stationed topside, dead. Still the Bismarck wouldn’t sink. The Germans themselves scuttled the ship and the survivors jumped into the icy waters. Probably 300 sailors made it into the water but only 110 were picked up by British destroyers. Two more were picked up the next day by a German weather ship. Altogether, 2,200 Germans drowned and the pride of the German Navy was no longer a threat. Within a year, both the Russians and Americans were embroiled in the war and the threat to invade Britain never materialized. Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at email@example.com.
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august 1, 2013
Global Pakistani TV Show Baby Giveaway
New lows have been reached on Pakistani reality television. During Ramadan, Pakistani stations compete for ratings during the nightly break-the-fast. Families gather each night for 30 days around the TV to eat for the first time all day, and it seems that TV stations will do just about anything to raise their ratings. This year, one TV cleric is trying to gain his share of the Ramadan viewing figures through a unique prize giveaway. The prize? Babies. Aamit Liaquat Hussain has given away two abandoned babies so far, in what he insists is actually an act of kindness to childless couples. “This is the beautiful girl who was thrown on a pile of garbage by somebody. See how beautiful and innocent she is,” he declared, showing the baby girl to the camera. Hussain is quite used to controversy for ratings. In 2008, he hosted a show with other Islamic clerics in which he declared that members of the Ahmadi minority Muslim sect “deserved to die” as heretics. During his religious-orientated programs, viewers constantly call in to donate money. Some Middle Eastern media observers, however, may fail to see what all the fuss is about, given the use of prime-time Ramadan TV slots to air virulently anti-Semitic TV shows in the Arab world. It’s all about the ratings and viewers will tune in to view any such drivel.
China’s Public Health Care Overwhelmed with Bribery China’s public hospitals are running on bribery and corruption. Industry experts say that without these illegal payments, the health system would struggle to survive since doctors and administrators are extremely low paid. They say government policies are partly to blame for a system in which doctors
and other staff expect to be paid extra fees to perform operations and take rewards from pharmaceutical firms and medical-equipment suppliers. Doctors’ salaries are set by a pay scale for government employees. Hospitals can award bonuses but since they have very limited funding, compensations tend to be very low. The ugliness of this practice was revealed when authorities accused British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline of bribing officials and doctors for six years to boost sales and the price of its medicines. In response, GSK called the allegations “shameful” and admitted that it appears that some of their Chinese executives may have broken the law.
Hospital administrators have the authority to set fees for in-patient care, nursing and laboratory tests. But the state fixes the cost of operations to make surgery affordable to the average citizen. The government also suggests a price on most prescription medications, effectively capping the cost. On the other hand, the market for pharmaceutical firms and medical-equipment is a tremendous industry. It is expected to nearly triple to $1 trillion by 2020 from $357 billion in 2011, according to consulting firm McKinsey. Just out of medical school, a doctor in Beijing earns about 3,000 yuan ($490) a month including bonuses. Taxi drivers make roughly the same salary. A doctor with 10 years of experience earns around 10,000 yuan ($1630) a month. One Chinese doctor who used to hold a senior position at a prominent hospital in Beijing said 80 percent of his income came from bribes. Without it, he would have earned less than $600 a month. The doctor left China five years ago to live in Britain where he continues to practice medicine. “These sums [bribes] are essential. You cannot survive on your salary,” said the 50-year-old physician.
Beware of the Cats in France Generally, street cats tend to mind their own business and don’t bother pedestrians. And that’s why it was so surprising when six cats pounced on a woman who
was walking her poodle on the streets of Belfort in France. The furry monsters bit the 31-year-old woman multiple times and she suffered from a torn artery. The dog was also badly injured. She was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where her wounds were treated and she was given precautionary injections including a vaccine that fights off rabies. Her pet was treated at a nearby vet.
of color and all non-Aryans.”
The café opened its doors in 2011, but only recently gained media attention after reports of its Nazi-related memorabilia, including a red wall with a portrait of Adolf Hitler and a flag with a swastika symbol, prompted worldwide outrage.
Experts insist that this is unusual behavior for the generally tame cats but caution tourists to be wary of the felines. “Tourists from countries like Britain should certainly be wary – they should certainly not approach these cats, or try to feed them,” a police spokesman cautioned. According to records, an estimated 8,000 feral cats are born in France every day. Under normal circumstances they are not considered to be harmful. I guess you can say, me-oww!
Syria’s Civil War Leaves 100K Dead
Nazi-Themed Coffee House Closes Amidst Public Outrage
Syria’s civil war is raging and with that, the death toll continues to rise. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced last Thursday that more than 100,000 people are dead because of this two-and-a-half year conflict. Last month, the number was at 93,000. Last week, Ban urged the Syrian government and opposition to cease the violence, saying it is “imperative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible.” During the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stood nearby. “There is no military solution to Syria,” Kerry told reporters. “There is only a political solution, and that will require leadership in order to bring people to the table.”
A tiny coffee shop in Indonesia caught the public’s attention due to its offensive theme. Henry Mulyana owns Soldatenkaffee, a Nazi-themed café in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung. After being pressured by the international community, Mulyana has agreed to close down his café. He claims that he did not intend harm, and he was simply using the theme and symbols to attract customers. Officials and anti-hate groups were concerned about the café’s motives and worried it may provoke hate and racism. The Simon Wiesenthal Center had been “reaching out to senior Indonesian diplomats to express on behalf of our 400,000 members and victims of the Nazi Holocaust our outrage and disgust,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper said. “We expect that all appropriate measures will be taken to close down this business celebrating a genocidal ideology that at its core denigrates people
The United States and Russia are trying to convene an international conference in Geneva, along with the United Nations, to try to agree on a transitional government based on a plan adopted in Geneva a year ago. Kerry claims he spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday and that both countries remained committed to bringing the warring
Looking to travel the globe this summer? Travel+Leisure magazine asked their readers to help them compile their 18th annual list of the World’s Best Awards for hotels around the world. Readers were asked to consider room accommodations, location, room service, customer service, food, and value. Some of the destinations are for the brave or for the rich, located in middle of the wilderness and will cost you a pretty penny. Some of the other winners are luxurious five-star hotels that will run you upwards of $1,000 per night during peak season. Even if it’s just to dream about… here are the most desirable vacation destinations. 1. Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana This African safari costs $2,199 per person per night but it is guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests camp out in luxurious tents and can bird watch from their private balconies. The camp promises privacy and tranquility. While strolling on the raised walkways, guests can wave to rhinos, elephants, and other animals. 2. Castello di Casole—A Timbers Resort in Casole d’Elsa, Italy The cypress-lined road leads to the rolling 4,200-acre Tuscan estate, whose castle dates back to the 10th century. During the peak summer season, a standard room costs about $730. The suites have scenic oil paintings hanging on the walls and guests can relax in the first-rate spa. 3. Singita Kruger National Park in South Africa Two lavish lodges with treetop suites and riverside rooms make this destination very attractive to travelers. The glasswalled Lebombo Lodge overlooks the plains and the Lebombo Mountain Range, while the Sweni Lodge is nestled among trees along the Sweni River. Guests can be escorted on nature walks to see exotic animals such as zebras, giraffes, and impalas. 4. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens in La Fortuna, Costa Rica Costa Rica is a popular destination due to its range of attractions. Tourists can choose from white-water rafting and kayaking to hikes that promise wildlife spottings. Leo Ghitis, owner of the resort, outfitted the 50 villas with expansive patios (some have hot tubs), plantation furniture, and avocado-colored walls. 5. Four Seasons Resort Bora-Bora in French Polynesia The resort’s most deluxe accommodations are the quaint bungalows positioned over the turquoise sea. The rest of the
France: It’s OK to Be Rude to the President
Back in 1881, the French parliament created legislation that made being rude to the president an offense. Last Thursday, parliament agreed to amend that law in favor of freedom of speech. Until now, any rude remark risked an automatic fine for “offending the head of state.” Now the president has the same status as ministers and parliamentarians and in order to press charges would need to prove that the victim was guilty of slander or defamation. Any person who does get convicted of slander before a judge can face a fine of up to 45,000 euros ($5,970). The revision came after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in March that France violated a demonstrator’s right to freedom of expression when it fined him for holding a banner up to former President Nicolas Sarkozy reading: “Get lost, jerk.” That one-liner has now become infamous across France after the public realized that Sarkozy used the line himself in 2008 to insult a man who refused to shake his hand. The court judged that the left-wing activist Herve Eon was being humorous with his protest banner by simply mimicking the president’s very own words. It said his conviction and 30-euro ($40) fine were out of proportion to his protest and that his right to freedom of expression had been violated. So much for French manners.
80 Killed in Spain Train Wreck The tragic train accident in Spain that claimed the lives of more than 80 innocent people was captured on video. It was the worse train wreck in Spain in 70 years.
The eight-carriage train can be seen speeding along the tracks and then derailing as it turns a bend. The vehicle hit the barrier wall and erupted in flames just outside the vacation destination in northwestern Spain last Wednesday evening. The disaster happened at 8:41 p.m. (2:41 p.m. ET). Authorities say the impact was so severe that one train car flew several feet into the air and landed on the other side of a high concrete barrier. The driver of the train, Francisco Garzón, 52, is accused of driving more than double the allowed speed limit. He has been released on bail after admitting that he had been behaving recklessly. He has been charged with manslaughter caused by recklessness. It has been learned that he was talking on the phone to company personnel and possibly looking at company documents at the time of the crash. Vacationers onboard the train were heading to Santiago de Compostela to celebrate a Christian festival. Authorities immediately cancelled festivities in the city and instead, the city was plunged into mourning.
There were 247 passengers aboard the train; 80 are dead and 131 are injured. Of the 94 injured, 35 of them are in critical condition including four children. One of those killed was a U.S. citizen. “We heard a massive noise and we went down the tracks. I helped get a few injured and bodies out of the train. I went into one of the cars but I’d rather not tell you what I saw there,” Ricardo Martinez, a 47-year old baker from Santiago de Compostela, said. Newspapers cited witnesses as saying the driver, Francisco Jose Garzon, who helped rescue victims, shouted into a phone, “I’ve derailed! What do I do?” The 52-year-old had been a train driver for 30 years. He was the only driver on the train according to a court source. The media claims the driver approached the bend at 190 kilometer per hour (120 mph) when the speed limit in that stretch of the tracks was 80 kph (50 mph). Investigators are currently trying to figure out why security devices that generally keep the train within permitted speed limits had
not slowed down the train. Spain’s rail safety record is better than the European average, ranking 18th out of 27 countries in terms of railway deaths per kilometers traveled, the European Railway Agency said. There were 218 train accidents in Spain between 2008-2011, well below the EU average of 426 for the same period. This accident is being regarded as one of the worst in European history.
Israel Male Holocaust Survivors Live Longer Than Their Peers An interesting study at the University of Haifa and Leiden University (the Netherlands) has concluded that male survivors of the Holocaust have a longer life expectancy than their peers who did not suffer under the Nazi regime. The study examined more than 55,000 Polish Jewish men who immigrated to Israel before and after WWII.
“Holocaust survivors not only suffered grave psychosocial trauma but also famine, malnutrition, and lack of hygienic and medical facilities, leading us to believe these damaged their later health and reduced life expectancy,” said Professor Avi Sagi- Schwartz of the University of Haifa. Previous studies have shown that traumatic events have led to a shortened life expectancy. But this study has shown that despite enduring the horrific and tragic events of the Holocaust, male survivors tend to live fourteen months longer than those who immigrated to Israel before World War II. Female survivors, on the other hand, tend to have the same life expectancy as those who didn’t go through the Holocaust. The findings were even more defined depending on the age of the male survivors during the Holocaust. “Men who were 10- to 15-years-old during the war and in their early adolescence showed a 10-months-longer life expectancy compared to the comparison group. Men who lived through the Holocaust when they were 16 to 20 showed an even greater difference in life expectancy – 18 months
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The World’s Best Hotels
rooms are scattered along the beachside on the resort’s private little inlet. All rooms have an extraordinary view of the bright blue, coral-filled South Pacific, and some select rooms offer views of the grandiose black-rock peaks of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. Expect to spend about $1,000 to $1,600 a night. These hotels sound like a blast! Sharing my vacation with the zebras and giraffes—I couldn’t ask for more (except for some kosher food!).
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parties together to promote peace efforts. “We will try our hardest to make that happen as soon as is possible,” Kerry said.
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longer – than their peers who didn’t experience the Holocaust,” said Sagi-Schwartz. According to the researchers, one possible explanation for these findings might be the “post-traumatic growth” phenomenon, whereby the traumatic, life-threatening experiences Holocaust survivors faced, which engendered high levels of psychological distress, could have also served as potential stimuli for developing personal and inter-personal skills, gaining new insights and a deeper meaning to life. All these factors could have contributed to their longer life expectancy. “The results of this research give us hope and teach us quite a bit about the resilience of the human spirit when faced with brutal and traumatic events,” concluded Sagi-Schwartz.
ber of the Fatah Central Committee, calls Abbas a “dictator” and claims that his reign of power is only slightly smaller than that of his predecessor Yasser Arafat. Dahlan is seen as a potential leadership rival and has threatened to provide evidence exposing the vast corruption that continues to plague the Palestinian Authority.
Turkey Clears Bird of Spying for Israel
When a bird was discovered by residents of Altinavya, a village in Turkey, they were alarmed. The kestrel was wearing a metallic ring stamped with the words “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel.” Vigilant citizens alerted the authorities with the suspicion that the bird was spying for Israel. Initially, medical personnel identified the fowl as “Israeli Spy” in their registration documents. After numerous tests, including an X-ray, the bird was found to be, indeed, just a bird. In the end, they let the feathered creature go on its way. This incident just highlights the degree of paranoia against Israel that is found amongst many in Turkish society. It also comes as talks between the two countries over compensation for families killed in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident have stalled.
PA Official: “Abbas is a Dictator” As new peace talks are being arranged, more testimony has come to light highlighting the Palestinian Authority’s corruption. An insider of the Abbas regime has filed an international lawsuit against the Palestinian leader that accuses him of widespread corruption. Mohammed Dahlan, a former PA security chief and mem-
In the lawsuit, which was filed by an Israeli firm with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Dahlan accused Abbas of “tyrannical behavior the utter corruption of which, along with the corruption of his family, is damaging to the Palestinian people and the [PA’s] institutions.” In remarks carried by Israeli newspapers, Dahlan continued, “In practice, government in the authority is a tyrannical rule of one person — Mr. Mahmoud Abbas — and all of the [PA’s] institutes, its budgets and international relations are nothing other than means available to Abbas and his family and their financial, political and personal interests.” In fact, that is very much how Abbas’ predecessor and mentor, Yasser Arafat, ran the show before his death in 2004. Arafat was widely criticized and even condemned for his less-than-democratic ways, while world leaders, including Israeli President Shimon Peres, continued to heap praise on the “moderate” Abbas. There are mounting efforts to convince the U.S. government and the European Union to stop funneling billions of dollars to the Abbas regime in light of both its ongoing corruption and its refusal to meet basic peace commitments, like recognizing Israel’s right to exist.
Iranians Caught Using Fake Israeli Passports On Thursday, seven Iranians were caught using forged Israeli passports at Vancouver International Airport. They were posing as the Solomons family from Rehovot and listed the family as Mona, 48; Tomer, 40; Nadine, 15; Narin, 11; Binyamin, 9, Marin, 6 and Nermin, 5. But
the passports contained Hebrew errors and mismatched translations which allowed authorities to identify them as fakes. They were stolen from their original owners and then doctored to meet the descriptions of the Iranians.
This is not a lone incident. In the past few years, several Iranians have tried to enter various countries using Israeli passports. In this case, Israelis do not need to produce a visa to enter Canada but Iranians do. It may be that this was the reason they used the forged documents although a more sinister motive may be more plausible.
New Chief Rabbis Elected The Ministry for Religious Affairs held elections to choose a new chief rabbi in Israel this week. Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau were chosen as Israel’s next Sephardic and Ashkenazi chief rabbis, respectively. The Deputy Ministry for Religious Affairs, Eli Ben-Dahan, made the announcement after the votes of 147 board members were counted. Ben-Dahan is the chairman of the board that elects the chief rabbi. Rabbi Lau is the son of former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi and Tel Aviv’s Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, and Rabbi Yosef is the son of former Sephardic Chief Rav Ovadia Yosef. The elections followed a long and heated race. Six candidates made it to the final stage: Rabbis Lau, Stav, and Yaakov Shapira, who competed for the title of Ashkenazi chief rabbi, and Rabbis Yosef, Eliyahu, and Zion Boaron, who ran for the position of Sephardic chief rabbi. Voting began at 3 pm, with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai among the first to vote. The voting caused controversy as it involved a lot of political agendas and many ideological differences. Many wished to do away with two chief rabbis and consolidate the position to just one person in order to unite Ashkenazim and Sephardim. Others see both groups being represented as an opportunity to have everyone’s voice be heard. The new chief rabbis will replace Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, and will hold their new posts for the next 10 years.
Abbas: No Israeli in Future Palestinian State As Palestinian and Israeli leaders gather in Washington to negotiate peace, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his vision for what he thinks is the utopian Palestinian state. The Palestinian leader stated that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state. He also stated that all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied since the 1967 Six Day War would be deemed illegal by Palestinian authorities. “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands,” Abbas said in a briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists. But, he continued, “an international, multinational presence like in Sinai, Lebanon and Syria, we are with that,” he said, referring to United Nations peacekeeping operations in those places. These words seem to be a challenge to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s hopes that the terms of the peace negotiations be kept secret until they are concluded. Previously, Israel has said that it needs a military presence in the West Bank at the Jordan border to ensure that weapons would not be transferred to the wrong hands. But Abbas maintains that in talks with former-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, it was agreed that NATO forces would be able to maintain peace in the territory. The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a two-state solution in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state created in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Abbas insists, “We’ve already made all the necessary concessions. East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine ... if there were and must be some kind of small exchange [of land] equal in size and value, we are ready to discuss this – no more, no less,” he said. Before agreeing to return to talks last week, Palestinian officials were adamant that negotiations should have three main prerequisites: the release of veteran Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, a full settlement freeze, and an acknowledgment of the 1967 lines as the basis for future borders.
Waze Price Tag Revealed Google has released the exact amount that was paid for the Israeli traffic app Waze. The Internet giant had to file regulatory documents outlining all of the acquisitions that were made in the month of June. Google said it paid $966 million to buy the online mapping service. Another $53 million was also spent on seven smaller companies last month. When it announced the acquisition
Feds Bust Biggest Credit Card Hack in History The biggest cybercrime in U.S. history was unraveled in Newark, New Jersey, last week. Federal prosecutors have charged five men responsible for a hacking and credit card fraud spree that cost companies more $300 million. Two of the suspects are in custody.
Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy
In a surprising verdict, Pfc. Bradley Manning, 25, the former Army intelligence officer who sent 700,000 secret government documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, was acquitted on Tuesday of aiding the enemy. He was convicted of most other charges. The remaining 20 other charges included leaking intelligence knowing it would be accessible to the enemy, releasing classified information and disobeying the enemy. The charge he was acquitted of was the most serious charge and carried a potential life sentence. The judge found that the officer had “no intent” to provide the enemy with classified information but
tors said they conservatively estimate that the group of five men from Russia and Ukraine helped steal at least 160 million payment card numbers, resulting in losses in excess of $300 million. Authorities in New Jersey charged that each of the defendants had specialized tasks: Russians Vladimir Drinkman, 32, and Alexandr Kalinin, 26, hacked into networks, while Roman Kotov, 32, mined them for data. They allegedly hid their activities using anonymous web-hosting services provided by Mikhail Rytikov, 26, of Ukraine. Russian Dmitriy Smilianets, 29, is accused of selling the stolen data and distributing the profits. Prosecutors said he charged $10 for U.S. cards, $15 for ones from Canada and $50 for European cards, which are more expensive because they have computer chips that make them more secure. The five hid their efforts by disabling the anti-virus software of their victims and storing data on multiple hacking platforms, prosecutors said. They sold payment card numbers to resellers, who then sold them on online forums or to “cashers” who encode the numbers onto blank plastic cards. “This type of crime is the cutting edge,” said New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. “Those who have the expertise and the inclination to break into our computer networks threaten our economic wellbeing, our privacy and our national security.” The indictment cited Albert Gonzalez as a co-conspirator. He is already serving 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to helping mastermind one of the biggest hacking fraud schemes in U.S. history, helping steal millions of credit and debit cards.
Lights Out for LIPA Companies targeted by the hackers include a Visa Inc. licensee, J.C. Penney Co, JetBlue Airways Corp and French retailer Carrefour SA. Authorities have been pursuing the hackers for years. Prosecu-
Court: Bloomberg’s Ban on Super-Sized Sodas Unconstitutional
In a blow to Mayor Bloomberg’s city health initiative, a New York appeals court upheld a ruling that deemed the mayor’s
was “negligent” in releasing the documents. Manning will be sentenced later; the charges of which he was convicted carry a total of 154 years of imprisonment. During the trial, Manning’s lawyer insisted that he was “trying to ply his knowledge to hopefully save lives” and was young and naïve. Manning has stated that he was disillusioned by American foreign policy bent on “killing and capturing people.” But prosecutors painted the officer not as a whistle-blower but as a traitor to his country. They said that Manning knew that enemies of the United States could turn to WikiLeaks for information and that some of the information could end up in al Qaeda’s hands.
Last October, thousands of LIPA customers were left in the dark for the weeks and months after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast. On Monday, Gover-
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Waze, which has almost 50 million users, announced on June 11 that it had accepted an offer to join Google. “The Google Maps teams have been following our progress closely and are excited about what we’ve accomplished,” Waze CEO Noam Bardin wrote. “They share our vision of a global mapping service, updated in real time by local communities, and wish to help us accelerate. We are excited about the prospect of working with the Google Maps team to enhance our search capabilities and to join them in their ongoing efforts to build the best map of the world.” The announcement came after weeks of speculation that the app would be bought out, including some reports that Google was in a bidding war with Facebook over Waze. There were also many rumors circulating that Apple Inc. was also involved in the bidding. Apple has denied any interest in the Israeli company.
ban on super-sized sugary drinks to be unconstitutional. On Tuesday, the court ruled that the ban that would have prohibited the sale of sodas over 16 ounces by restaurants and city eateries was an illegal overreach of executive power. The law “violated the state principle of separation of powers,” the First Department of the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division said in a unanimous decision. In March, a state supreme court justice in Manhattan had ruled the new regulation was “arbitrary and capricious” a day before the regulation was due to take effect, ruling it invalid after the American Beverage Association and other business groups sued New York City, challenging the ban. But Bloomberg seems to be undeterred in his efforts to make New Yorkers healthier. “Since New York City’s ground-breaking limit on the portion size of sugary beverages was prevented from going into effect on March 12th, more than 2,000 New Yorkers have died from the effects of diabetes,” Bloomberg said on Tuesday in a statement. “Today’s decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic.” This is just one initiative the mayor tried to institute in his “healthy agenda.” Earlier this month, the mayor signed an executive order requiring city agencies to promote the use of stairs over elevators. He instituted the CitiBike program this summer. The mayor has fought a crusade against trans fats in restaurants, and in April, proposed raising the legal age limit to purchase cigarettes to 21.
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of Waze, Google had withheld the exact price of the purchase. Most media outlets estimated that the purchase price was $1 billion, based on information from people familiar with the negotiations.
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nor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to overhaul the utility company. Under the new law, New Jersey-based utility PSEG will replace LIPA as the electric provider for Nassau and Suffolk counties. The law also freezes electric rates until the end of 2015. PSEG will take over operations on January 1, 2014.
Tian Jiamel, 58, was arrested shortly after the green paint was found on Monday. Investigators were hoping to question her about the paint that was splattered on Friday but a language barrier delayed the interrogation. She will be charged with destruction of property. It may take a few days for all the paint to be washed off, officials say.
Fort Hood Terrorist Still Being Paid Salary by Uncle Sam
Although many LIPA customers welcome this news, some say the takeover is not necessarily a good thing for Long Island taxpayers and are calling for more oversight of the new utility.
Painting the Town Green Last week, on early Friday morning, the Lincoln Memorial was found splattered with green paint. Later in the day, symbols painted in green paint were found on another statue in Washington’s Mall. Police searched for the culprit and finally arrested someone on Monday after more paint was found splattered inside two chapels at the Washington National Cathedral.
Uncle Sam has been paying criminals in the military for a long time, and Congress has finally passed a law that may put an end to it. When members of the military are charged with crimes, they are still kept on the payroll until they are convicted. This may sound fair, however, consider Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who allegedly gunned down more than a dozen American servicemen at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009. For nearly four years since Hasan was charged, U.S. taxpayers have continued to pay his salary – to the tune of around $300,000 so far. New legislation called the “Stop Pay for Violent Offenders Act” was introduced on Monday in the House of Representatives and would authorize the military to suspend pay for Hasan and other members
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of the military for any serious offenses. Current law allows the military to suspend the pay of civilian employees, but an Army spokesperson explained that it cannot stop paying Hasan, who is still officially in the Army, at his usual pay grade unless he’s convicted. Hasan has admitted to shooting his fellow soldiers, saying in June that the attack on Fort Hood in Texas was done in the “defense of others,” in his case, the Taliban. Hasan has repeatedly refused to enter a plea, so earlier this month the military pleaded “not guilty” for him. While Hasan continues to draw about $80,000 per year, many of the Fort Hood victims say they’ve been denied financial and medical benefits due to the military’s refusal to categorize the massacre as an act of terrorism, instead discussing it as “workplace violence.” In addition to his recent admission about his support for the Taliban, soon after the shooting, evidence emerged showing that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack. But in a letter in late May, a top Army attorney said, “The available evidence in this case does not, at this time, support a finding that the shooting at Fort Hood was an act of international terrorism.” It is particularly troubling that the Hasan case has taken so long to come to trial, enabling the alleged shooter to draw his salary for such a long time. After many delays, Hasan’s trial is set to get under way on August 6. He is charged with premeditated murder and attempted murder. He is acting as his own attorney, but according to Wolf, the military is footing the bill for legal advisors to assist him in his defense. Hasan’s court martial has cost the Army about $4 million in personnel and other expenditures.
Bush and his wife, Barbara, lost their second child, 4-year-old daughter Robin, to the disease 60 years ago. According to a news release from Bush’s spokesperson, the former president and his wife have also made a donation to help pay for Patrick’s medical bills.
2 Gitmo Detainees to be Transferred to Algeria In an effort to close Guantanamo Bay, the White House has announced that two detainees will be transferred to Algeria. “We are taking this step in consultation with the Congress, and in a responsible manner that protects our national security,” the statement from White House spokesman Jay Carney read on Friday. “We continue to call on Congress to join us in supporting these efforts by lifting the current restrictions that significantly limit our ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo, even those who have been approved for transfer.”
Bush Sr. Shaves Head Supporting Cancer People have many different thoughts when they hear the name George H.W. Bush. Some of them are good and some of them are, well, not. But no one will have trouble expressing admiration for the former president when they see the picture of him holding a two-year-old leukemia patient on his lap. What makes the picture so special is that both the child and former President Bush are bald. Young Patrick has no hair because he is being treated with chemotherapy, and the former president is bald because he shaved it in solidarity with the sick toddler. Patrick is the son of one of the members of Bush’s Secret Service detail. All the members of Bush’s U.S. Secret Service Protective Detail – about two dozen men – also shaved their heads in solidarity with
Officials have not released the names of those who will be released and an agreement with the Algerian government regarding their incarceration about the transfer has not yet been reached. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said he supports the president’s goal of closing Guantanamo Bay. The president made closing the detention center in Cuba one of his campaign promises in the election five years ago. But the detention center re-
North Colorado: the 51st State?
Residents of northern Colorado are sick of those Denver city-folk telling them what to do. Fed up with what they see as a lack of representation, several rural counties are now seriously considering seceding to form their own state: North Colorado. At a public meeting last week, most of the 50 people in attendance supported
Fast Food Employees Demanding Wage Hike Hundreds of low-wage workers at fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s have been seen protesting in the streets of New York. There have been
demonstrations in several major cities demanding the right to unionize and pressing to double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Protesters, many who earn less than the $11 per hour threshold many economists consider the cutoff for poverty-level wages, said they had nothing to lose by speaking out against their employers. The protesting workers, who are getting support from unions, and community and religious groups, are also planning demonstrations in Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee and Flint, Michigan, this week. Opponents of the campaign, in their highest profile response to the workers yet, put out a full-page ad in USA Today that said catering to those demands would kill
jobs. The Washington, D.C.-based Employment Policies Institute (EPI) ad stated that raising the minimum wage to $15 would hurt restaurant operators and force them to “replace employees with less-costly, automated alternatives like touchscreen ordering and payment devices.” “The dollar menu is going to be the $5 menu and [restaurants] are going to lose sales, or they’re going to have to find a way to provide the same product with less service,” Michael Saltsman, EPI’s research director, pointed out. Restaurant owners are already testing automated ordering and payments systems to save money. They also work to boost profits by moving workers to part-time from full-time and by assigning very short shifts to cover busy periods.
Worst Employers in America Several issues ago we discussed the best companies to work for in America. Now let’s see which companies are the farthest from that list. Recently, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of America’s worst companies. The company’s ratings were mainly based on em-
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the move. A Facebook page for the 51st State Initiative has more than 10,000 likes. Commissioners say they hope to put the North Colorado idea to a public vote in November. “We believe there’s an attack on oil and gas,” says one commissioner. “We believe there’s an attack on agriculture. I don’t think those down in Denver understand any of it.” Residents are also concerned about gun control, water rights, and education. But secession will take more than a few town meetings—it will require an act of Congress. At the very least, the movement should make those urbanites take notice, says another commissioner. “We have to address a growing problem that was clearly evidenced here, tonight,” he says. “There’s a disconnect. People feel politically disenfranchised, and we’re trying to figure out a way to reengage.”
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mains open and the question of what to do with these criminals and terrorists is up for debate. The last detainee transfer occurred in September 2012, when Omar Khadr was transferred to Canada, his country of origin, to serve out his remaining sentence.
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ployee satisfaction. It seems that specific industries tend to have a lower employee satisfaction rate in general. There were four companies on the list that are in retail and many of the others provide services that require installation and repair like satellite TV companies.
Predictably, the factors that employees complained about the most were low pay and poor benefits. Most complaints were issued by sales representatives, customer service agents, and technicians. These were generally lower-paid, front-line workers dealing directly with customers. Issues with middle management were universal among the employees of these companies. Depending on the company, employees felt they were micromanaged, treated unfairly, treated like children, or asked to meet extreme demands. So, if you’re looking for a job, steer clear of the following companies. You’ll only just end up hating it. Dish Network topped the list as the worst company to work for. Express Scripts, Dillard’s, Dollar General and Radio Shack rounded out the top five. ADT and Sears followed in slots six and seven. Keep forwarding that resume on to other companies.
That’s Odd This Bud’s for You and You and You John Milkovisch is known for two things: his love of beer and being a packrat. In fact, he put those two things together and now his legacy lives on in his home that is now a Texas landmark. As a child of the Great Depression, Milkovisch never threw anything away— even the empty beer cans he would guzzle every afternoon with his wife. And it turns out, those cans came in handy when he de-
cided to redecorate his home. In 1968, he purchased a metal canopy for his backyard so he and his wife could enjoy the shade while drinking their afternoon brew. Deciding that lawn-mowing wasn’t his thing, he began installing concrete blocks throughout the yard, embedding them with marbles he had collected as a boy. (See, I told you he never threw anything away!) And then, when the sun shone through on a sunny day, his backyard would be awash in a cacophony of colors, bouncing off the marbles and beer bottles.
And then he decided to decorate the exterior of his home. (His wife gave him free rein, as long as he didn’t mess with the inside of their abode.) Milkovisch climbed up to the attic where he stored the empty beer cans he had saved and painstakingly cut each one open and flattened each one to use as a “wallpaper” for the exterior of his home. For 17 months he toiled, using approximately 50,000 cans of Budweiser, Texas Pride, Shiner—whatever was on sale—that he had accumulated throughout the years. He even created long garlands from beer can tops and hung them along the eaves at the front and sides of his home. His exterior decorating skills did not go unnoticed. As soon as he finished decorating the front of his home, people would drive by, slow down, stare and honk. They would ask questions and of course, Milkovisch did what came most naturally to him: he’d invite them in for a beer. Milkovisch passed away in the mid1980’s and his wife, Mary, still lived here until her demise. Their sons would repair any rusty cans and any damage to the exterior. Even when the neighborhood changed and middle class homes gave way to upper class condos and lofts, the home still maintained its cachet and visitors would drive by to see the attraction. Now, the home is owned by the local nonprofit Orange Show for Visionary Art and it’s open to the public. Hey Bud-dy, when they say this Bud’s for you, they really meant it.
Raining Money at the Game
Fans watching the game in Safeco Field in Seattle on Sunday got more than just peanuts and cracker jacks during the seventh inning stretch. As the 35,087 people watched the Minnesota Twins play against the Seattle Mariners, someone from the upper deck released $6,000 in $1 bills. Obviously, this caused quite a stir among spectators, and the start of the bottom of the inning was temporarily delayed until all the cash was collected. But don’t think that someone accidentally released the contents of their wallet. (Who carries around $6K in singles?!) This was a stunt to draw attention to the 5K Tailgate—a color run-style race where participants get doused in blue, green and silver before the race. It certainly drew major attention to the race; the website got so many hits following the stunt that it crashed due to excessive traffic. Oh, and after counting out all those singles, are you even interested in hearing who won the game? The game went to the Mariners, 6-4. How I wish I got taken out to this ballgame!
Lost & Found – 45 Years Later
Steve Earl Cantrell, 63, graduated from Biloxi High in Mississippi nearly 45 years ago. At the time, his parents surprised him with 10-carat gold ring to congratulate him on his graduation. He cherished that ring dearly. However, shortly after, on a hot summer day in 1968, the ring slipped out of his pocket while he was swimming in the Biloxi River and disappeared into the water. “I only owned the ring for a few months and didn’t want to lose it, so before
I jumped off the cliff and into the river, I put it in the pocket of my cut-off shorts,” Cantrell said. “It was a heavy ring so when it slipped out, I knew immediately.” Cantrell and his friends searched for the $40 ring in the 14-foot-deep water but came up empty-handed. “My parents understood but I was really bummed, and all summer when we went to the river, we searched for it.” Eventually Cantrell forgot about it and moved on. By now you’ve probably already guessed the happy ending to this story. Yes, Cantrell was finally reunited with his lost ring! About a week ago, he received a phone call. “A friend of the family said that photos of my class ring were all over Facebook. I was skeptical until he told me that the initials ‘SEC’ were engraved on it. I broke out my old yearbook and saw that no one else in my class had my initials.” A few days later, Cantrell’s phone rang again. “It was a woman named Mary Kay Johnson from Gulfport,” said Cantrell. “She said her grandchildren found my ring on a sandbar of the river. I couldn’t believe it.” On Wednesday, Cantrell and his wife of 32 years, Donna, made the 20-minute drive to Johnson’s catering business. “Mary was so excited to give me the ring, and I got quite emotional about it,” he said. Donna said, “I’d heard about the lost ring many times, and we figured we would never see it again. Mary could have done anything with the ring—sold it, kept it, not bothered to contact us. It’s a reminder that with all the bad in the world, people still do good things.”
MLB’s Golden Ticket Major League Baseball has a golden ticket of its own. Exclusive players receive a Lifetime Pass that grants free admission to any MLB game for life to any player, manager, coach or umpire with at least eight years of MLB experience. Full-time front office personnel, including general managers, marketing and public relations officials, receive it after 25 years of service. “It’s a nice little reward for putting in a lot of hard work,” said Jay Bell, a former All-Star second baseman and shortstop, “and having the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the big leagues.” The presentation of the Gold Card Club is not as glamorous as one would imagine. MLB associates generally just mail the pass to the player’s home or team clubhouse. Sometimes if the player happens to be in New York with his team upon reaching the eight years of service, then he will receive it at the MLB headquarters in New York.
Cargo Company Discovers 61 Tons of Silver from Shipwreck
A U.S. deep water salvage and exploration company claims they have recovered more than 61 tons of silver bullion this month from a British cargo ship that was torpedoed during World War II. The SS Gairsoppa is a 412-foot steelhulled British cargo ship sunk in 1941 by a German U-boat about 300 miles off Ireland’s coast. It sits 15,420 feet deep. Odyssey Marine Exploration said the recovery includes 1,574 silver ingots weighing about 1,100 ounces each. The silver was recovered from a depth of nearly three miles, and marks a record for the deepest and largest precious metal recovery from a shipwreck, the company said. The silver has been moved to a secure facility in the U.K. Its contract with the U.K. Department of Transport dictates that the company can retain only 80% of the salvaged value of the cargo. Odyssey operated remote vehicles to recover the silver. The company said the recovery was complicated due to the size and structure of the Gairsoppa. The latest discovery was extra tough because it was stored in a small compartment that was difficult to access. At current silver prices, the silver should be worth over $35 million. That’s a real treasure buried beneath the sea!
Most wedding invitations look pretty much identical aside from varying names, locations, and dates. That’s why this Chicago couple’s invitation quickly caught the public’s attention and went viral. “My phone really started blowing up after it got put on MSN,” Katie Kerr, of Chicago, Ill., said. “It was even ahead of the royal baby.” Kerr and her fiancé, Chris Sabino, sent guests a check-off list to inform the couple as to why they would be attending or why they could not attend their wedding.Their clever RSVP card got the world chuckling. Guests who planned on attending their wedding had the option to say they were coming because: “Two words: Free. Booze,” or “I’m in your wedding party… Wait, is this optional?” And if the guest needed to decline their invitation, they were forced to choose from answers like, “I’m lame. On a scale of one to ten, my lameness would be in the 9.5 to 9.8 range.” Or “I will be visiting, um, Yemen. Yeah, Yemen. But it’s a secret trip. So if you ask anyone, they will have no clue what you’re talking about.” Their guests are sure to remember their invitation and I bet that their wedding will be just as fun as the invite.
World’s Oldest Man Lives in New York According to Guinness World Records, Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, 112, became the world’s oldest man when Jiroemon Kimura died on June 12 at age 116. He is living in New York. The world’s oldest person is a woman, 115-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan. Robert Young, senior gerontology consultant with Guinness World Records, said 90 percent of all supercentenarians are female and Salustiano is currently the only male born in 1901 with proof of birth.
Couple Married for 75 Years, Shared a Birthday, Dies One Day Apart Helen and Les Brown first met in high school. Coincidently, they shared the same exact birthday. They got married young despite their parents’ protests. Everyone said it wouldn’t last but they proved everyone wrong; they were married for 75 years after eloping on September 19, 1937. Strangely enough, the California couple died one day apart. Helen passed away on July 16, and Les died the next day. They were 94-years-old. Les suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and Helen had stomach cancer. “It was a real love match, wasn’t it?” their oldest son, Les Jr., told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “They were together every day for 75 years.” The couple relocated to Long Beach in 1963, where Helen was a housewife with a knack for buying and selling area properties while Les owned a photography
World’s First Blowup Hotel If you’ve got $50,000 to blow, then consider spending the night at the world’s first bouncy house hotel. But if you’re afraid of heights, then it’s not for you since its suspended 22 feet in the air. Hotel Rehearsal is an inflatable hotel room that features a bed, a couch and a small bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. It is an architectural art installation by artist Alex Schweder that was created as part of the Biennial of Americas. Since it can be deflated and inflated, it can easily move around. It is scheduled to travel through downtown Denver through August 23. The expensive price tag includes some other extras like luxurious airport transportation via limousine, cocktails and snacks, a Tiffany diamond pendant and earring set, a set of Swarovski binoculars, an i-Pad Mini, two iPod Nanos, and more. Sounds like a lot of money for a bunch of hot air.
Pool on Wheels This is a different kind of carpool than you’re used to. It’s doesn’t involve car seats or kids throwing up in your backseat. This car pool literally is a car and a pool. A German policeman patrolling the streets in a motorcycle was shocked to see four men in a convertible BMW splashing around in a pool of water. The car was driving down a sleepy east German village on a scorching Sunday afternoon. Chemnitz police spokesman Frank Fischer says the men pulled over and jumped into a nearby river as soon as they saw the officer, clearly aware that their vehicle was illegal. One man later returned to fetch his clothes. The car was seized by police. Fischer said on Thursday that police were still investigating which of the men drove and if he was intoxicated. He said the vehicle itself “probably didn’t have a road permit.” Whether they had a permit or not, this is probably the coolest (and wettest) car around!
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Surprisingly, no other professional sports leagues have such a program, not the NFL, NBA, or NHL. I would think that playing baseball for thousands of dollars a year would be enough of an award.
Salustiano was born June 8, 1901, in village of El Tejado de Bejar, Spain. As a teenager, he and his older brother Pedro, moved to Cuba. In 1920, he came to the United States through Ellis Island and worked in the coal mines in Kentucky. Eventually, he moved to the Niagara Falls area of New York, where he still lives, and worked in construction and in the industrial furnaces. He married his wife, Pearl, in 1934. Salustiano, nicknamed “Shorty,” said he was humbled by the attention, saying he didn’t feel he accomplished anything special just because he has lived longer than most. “He says, ‘I’m an old man and let’s leave it at that,’” said his daughter, 69-yearold Irene Johnson. Salustiano lived with his daughter in Grand Island after his wife died in 1988; he moved to a nursing home in 2007. He believes his longevity can be attributed to eating one banana a day and his daily dose of six Anacin tablets. “I think it’s just because he’s an independent, stubborn man,” his daughter said. Salutiano also has a 76-year-old son, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. May he have many more long, happy years!
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studio, serving as a photographer for the Navy. Their son says they truly embodied their vows of “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” …Or as we say, “Totally bashert!”.
A Unique Wedding Invitation
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Cover Story Matt Solomon
TWO CHIEFS for
One “Tribe” D
uring the past three weeks of consolation, the two Chief Rabbis of Israel were elected, Rabbi David Lau for the Ashkenazi community and Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef representing the Sephardic Jews of Israel, who also refer to this position as the Rishon LeTziyon. The timing could not have been more symbolic. The battles for chief rabbis were circa 70 of the Common Era with tremendous infighting and ongoing verbal battles amongst Jews across the tabloids and media of Israel for months. This past election will be remembered for its rancor and discord. Accusations flew in every direction both in the court of public opinion and in actual court. All this activity seems to have raised the focus on these positions to new levels. This may be the unfortunate legacy of this past election. The concept of the chief rabbi is not unique to Israel. Throughout the Diaspora, many nations have an official religious representative of the Jewish community whose title is chief rabbi. Probably the most famous is Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of Great Britain. Chief rabbis around the world attend official State functions as the “ambassador” of the domestic Jewish community. A case in point would be my friend, the former Chief Rabbi of Norway who was invited to attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies during his tenure. Nice benefit of the position. But that is about it in the Diaspora. In Israel, the job, however, comes with considerably more influence and benefits and that is why the role of Chief Rabbi in Israel is such a contested position.
The Position and the Process The office of Chief Rabbi in Israel dates back to the Ottoman period when the leader of the Jewish community throughout the empire, including the Jews of Israel’s Old Yishuv, was called by the honorific the “Rishon LeTziyon,” the By holding these positions, which they will “First of Zion.” The British victrade after five years, the chief rabbis control tory in World War I led to the all official institutions that run organized establishment of the British Mandate, and the apJewish religious life in Israel.
pointment of a British High Commissioner for Palestine who established the Orthodox Rabbinate by adding the position of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi to the pre-existing position of Rishon LeTziyon. The first Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi was Rav Avraham Isaac Kook, appointed by the British in 1921. Rav Kook remains arguably the post’s most notable and influential selection. The chief rabbis are elected by an assembly comprised of 150 members: 80 rabbis and 70 representatives of the public. The group of rabbis includes the rabbis of major Israeli cities,
with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
towns and regional councils, as well as ten religious judges. The second group is made up of two government ministers, five members of the Knesset and the mayors and heads of religious councils of Israel’s largest towns and regional councils. Their vote elects each chief rabbi to a ten-year term split into two fiveyear periods trading places at the helm of the Chief Rabbinate Council and the presidency of the High Rabbinic Court in Jerusalem. During their term, they are Israel’s official religious emissaries to the world. They will, as mentioned, attend and serve in many ceremonial functions of State both in Israel and abroad. Last year, for example, when President Obama visited Israel, Ashkenaz Chief Rabbi Metzger and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar both were on the tarmac as part of the receiving delegation for the American president. The chief rabbi has a far more relevant and powerful role to play in Israel than merely serving on the welcoming committee for dignitaries. As mentioned, the chief rabbi will serve as the heads of the Council of the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Grand Court, respectively. The chief rabbi who is not acting as
Meet the Rabbis If the newly elected Chief Rabbis Lau and Yosef have familiar surnames it should not be surprising. Each is the son of an illustrious former chief rabbi who remains amongst the world’s most prominent rabbis, retaining great name recognition internationally. The father to the newly elected Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi is Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau who served as Chief Rabbi from 19932003 and is the 35th consecutive rabbi in his family lineage. His son, the newly elected chief rabbi, is the 36th, truly an astounding fact considering virtually all of Rav Yisrael Meir Lau’s family was wiped out in the Holocaust. The senior Rav Lau survived Buchenwald, immigrating to Israel at the age of 8. He is amongst the very few rabbis to have close ties with the Hareidi, Modern Orthodox and Sephardi worlds. Rav Lau is respected internationally by both Jews and Gentiles alike and is a leader in interfaith work. In recognition of these relationships, Rav Lau was awarded the Israel Prize in May 2005 for amongst other accomplishments “bridging rifts in Israeli society.” Rav Ovadia Yosef, New Chief Rabbi David Lau father to the newly with his father Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau
elected Rishon LeZiyon, is regarded as the preeminent Sephardi halachic authority, the unquestioned leader of the Sephardi world internationally and is the spiritual force behind the Shas political party in Israel, champions of the Sephardi political agenda. It was Rav Ovadia’s support that secured victory for his son and
New Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef with his father, Rav Ovadiah Yosef
by doing so rejuvenated the Shas party which did poorly in the last Israeli elections and presently sits amongst the opposition in the Knesset. Uniting Diversity From the moment each was elected last week, Chief Rabbi David Lau and Chief Rabbi Yitchak Yosef has been promising to create “a Rabbinate for everyone.” Chief Rabbi Lau, who until his elevation to his new position was the chief rabbi of the religiously diverse city of Modiin, offered his city as an example of diversity that can work through respect and tolerance. He pledged the same sort of inclusiveness for which his father is famous. It is said that Rabbi Lau, junior, is the most liberal rabbi that the Hareidim can tolerate and the most Hareidi rabbi that the secular people can accept. Similarly, Chief Rabbi Yitchak Yosef promises to follow in his father’s footsteps by taking a lenient approach in religious rulings engendering greater tolerance. Both are considered worthy sons and worthy material to be chief rabbi. The newly elected chief rabbis have illustrious family reputations to maintain and, with Hashem’s help, enhance. Let us hope the proverbial apple does not fall far from the tree—in this case, the Etz HaChaim, the Torah. Matt Solomon is a writer, analyst and commentator living in Alon Shvut, Israel, with his wife and two children. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the moment each was elected last week, Chief Rabbi David Lau and Chief Rabbi Yitchak Yosef have been promising to create “a Rabbinate for everyone.”
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the head of the Chief Rabbinate Council serves as the president of the Grand Rabbinic Court. It is important to remember that Rabbinic Court judges, like all other judges, have judicial independence and freedom. The chief rabbi serving as president of the Grand Rabbinic Court can rule on appeals and determine Jewish law on various matters, but cannot issue guidelines for rulings or instruct judges. The chief rabbis also sit on the Judicial Appointments Committee, which appoints Rabbinic Court judges, so that in the long run they can bring in the judges they want into system. By holding these positions, which they will trade after five years, the chief rabbis control all official institutions that run organized Jewish religious life in Israel, including major life cycle events. Their good office holds exclusive jurisdiction over all personal status issues such as Jewish marriage and divorce, Jewish burial, conversions to Judaism, kashrut, determination of “Who is a Jew?,” supervision of Jewish holy sites such as the Kotel, mikvaot, and supervision of Israel’s Rabbinical court system. The Rabbinic courts have parallel jurisdiction with district courts in matters of personal status, alimony, child support, custody, and inheritance, and their verdicts are implemented and enforced—just as with the civil court system—by the police and other relevant agencies. The influence of the office of the chief rabbi extends far beyond the halachic enforcement, deep into the bureaucratic, controlling senior appointments, large budgets and councils throughout the country. Ironically, the influence of the office of the chief rabbi has to date carried less gravity in halachic, religious or moral pronouncements.
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In the Kitchen
A Sweeter Take on Cookies Soft ‘n Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies Ingredients ½ cup salted butter or margarine, softened to room temperature ½ cup light brown sugar ¼ cup sugar 1 egg ¾ cup creamy peanut butter 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp baking soda 1-¼ cups flour ½ tsp salt if you are not using salted butter Preparation Cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides as needed. Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not over-mix. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°. Roll dough into balls. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will be soft and may appear undone. They will firm up as they cool. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Chocolate Meringue Cookies Ingredients 6 egg whites, room temperature 1/16 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/16 teaspoon salt 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar ¼ cup cocoa powder Preparation Beat egg whites on low speed, while mixing in the cream of tartar, salt, confectioners’ sugar, and dark cocoa powder, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure all the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the egg whites, and then increase the beater speed to medium-high and whip the mixture until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pipe 2-inch rounds of the meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, place the meringues into the oven and shut the door. Turn off the heat and allow the “forgotten” cookies to slowly bake overnight, for approximately 8 hours.
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Black & White Cookies Ingredients ½ cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened to room temperature ½ cup granulated ½ cup brown sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup flour ½ cup + 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 TBS milk or soymilk 1-¼ cup white chocolate chips, plus a few more to sprinkle on top Preparation Cream the butter on medium speed and then add the sugars. Cream until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In a separate medium-size bowl, toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly add to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick. By hand, stir in the milk, then fold in the white chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and very sticky. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 36 hours, covered. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Take 2 TBS of chilled dough and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheet and press a few more white chocolate chips on the tops, if desired. Bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Press down (gently) if cookies are too puffy. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies Ingredients ½ cup plus 6 TBS butter or margarine, softened ¾ cup brown sugar ½ cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1-½ cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp salt (optional) 3 cups oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) 1 cup raisins Preparation Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely before serving.
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The Jewish Home august 1, 2013
Touro College Los Angeles
An Education You Can Depend On
Open House Information Session: Wednesday, August 7th at 8pm.
Please call to RSVP and for location information Fall 2013 Semester Begins August 26th For more information, please call 323-822-9700 x 85155 or email email@example.com TOURO COLLEGE LOS ANGELES IS A DIVISION OF TOURO UNIVERSITY WORLDWIDE, WHICH IS ACCREDITED BY THE ACCREDITING COMMISSION FOR SENIOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITIES OF THE WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES: 985 ATLANTIC AVE. #100, ALAMEDA, CA 94501-6444: TEL. 510-748-9001. TOURO COLLEGE LOS ANGELES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY INSTITUTION.
Separate Men’s & Women’s Divisions
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