THE JEWISH HOME
AUGUST 21, 2014
Monday august 25/ av 29
n to Shomron Grow ow n Inte r nat ional Ren
with Eve Harow
Har Bracha Vineyards on Har Gerizim; the grape harvest, shemitah thoughts and the Har Bracha Winery Tura Winery in Rachelim - so much more than just wine... honey, apple cider and olive oil, too Gvaot Winery in Givat Harel for a gourmet meat lunch with...wine Gush Shilo, view of the Jordan Valley and experimental vineyards avodat Ivrit Achiya Oil Press in Shilo for award winning olive oil The unique Tanya Winery in Ofra for Happy Hour Price includes lunch and all tastings. Purchasing available at all sites.
Cost Per Person $130 / $250 per couple Trip departs from the Liberty Bell Parking Lot promptly at 8:30am and return approximately 6:30pm. For reservations & additional information Visit www.oneisraelfund.org/daytrips Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact: In US: Ruthie 516.239.9202 x10 â€˘ In Israel: Chaim 058-650-9974
For terms and conditions, please visit the website or contact our oFFice. itinerary subject to change as determined by security and weather considerations.
in a warm and engaging atmosphere
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Experience A Torah Community
AUGUST 21, 2014
We invite you and your family to Beth Jacob, a vibrant community that is caring, inclusive, and committed to Torah and Am Yisrael. Find new meaning at one of our many shiurim and programs. Use your talents to advocate for Israel. Add inspiration to your Tefilot. Let our youth department excite your children. Experience the joy of becoming part of something bigger. Celebrate the Yamim Noraim at Beth Jacob like never before. Join Rabbi Kalman Topp, Chazan Arik Wollheim and the acclaimed Maccabeats for spirited, harmonious Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in Shapell Sanctuary (concluding by 1:00 pm.)
Chazan Arik Wollheim
Rabbi Kalman Topp
For more information or to make reservations today, please call our office at (310) 278-1911 or visit bethjacob.org.
Living Torah – Building Community – Meaningful Tefilah – Supporting Israel – Inspiring Youth – Engaging in Social Justice Kalman Topp, Senior Rabbi • Adir Posy, Associate Rabbi • Arye Sufrin, Assistant Rabbi • Arik Wollheim, Cantor Jack Fenigstein, President • Allen Ishakis, Executive Director • Hugo Rose, Chairman of the Board
Connected to the Past – Committed to the Future
9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills • (310) 278-1911 • www.bethjacob.org
THE JEWISH HOME
AUGUST 21, 2014
CONTENTS COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
JEWISH THOUGHT The Tempter Within and Without . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Life: The School of Growth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Enjoy Already! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
COVER STORY The Epidemic of Western European Anti-Semitism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Israel’s Technological Advantage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 California’s Most Unusual Attractions . . . . . . . . . . . 32
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
LIFESTYLES 7 Questions with Sgt. Benjamin Anthony. . . . . . . 18 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
EDUCATION Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Dear Readers, Now the war with Hamas seems to be starting up again and the rest of the world is beginning to realize that we might be in this for the long haul. It helps that we’re in the weeks of the “Shiva d’nichemta”; the seven Shabosim following the “three weeks” in which we read the comforting words of our Neviim, our prophets of old.
This helps give a clearer perspective on the madness which is all around us. True we’ve had a half a century of relative peace. We’ve been allowed to create our successes along with our wishes, but alas we are still in exile. This is an exile where the good and the truth are hated and despised and the bad and falsehoods of the world are allowed to succeed. In our world the kind have to give an explanation for any faults they have and the aggressors are recognized for the little truth they might claim for their cause. It is extremely frustrating when one realizes that no matter what proof we give, the other side always has the freedom to stick their “heads in the ground” and say it isn’t so. We yearn for the day when truth will be tangible, kindness will equal success and honesty will be the sought after currency. We will then be free to be true to ourselves and connect with others without anyone’s selfish intentions or personal gain getting in the way. The enemy does indeed lie within, which is why at approximately 35,000 a year, the number one cause of intentional death in the United States is suicide, not murder or terrorism. An overwhelming feeling of loneliness, sadness, despair and meaning-
lessness makes some people believe that living becomes more torturous than leaving this world. The knowledge that being alive is an end in itself goes a long way in helping one deal with feelings of insignificance and self-loathing. Perhaps the anecdote to despondency lies in the difference between those who worship death and those who worship life. To the latter, the more heartless they can become in the savage way they kill men women and children, the better. To the former, the more life and happiness we can bring to another human, the better. Look at the American, Make a Wish Foundation. If the doctors give someone a short time to live, what difference does it make if they have “a day they always dreamt of”? Our belief however is that eternal reward is earned specifically through actions we do while living here on earth. Through an act of human kindnesss, we can turn any measurement of time into a G-dly one. This is where the comforting words come in. We are told by our creator that although we have been sent away from our land, cast into other lands to be treated as unwanted possessions, we know that this is temporary and there will be an end of days when G-d will comfort the nation of Israel, protecting her from her enemies and gather in her exiles to once again become a nation in its land, serving our creator together with rest of the nations of the world. Wishing you a most comforting Shabbos,
T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM
by Yehudis Litvak
the children into two levels, according to their skills and regardless of age, so that each child will get the most out of the program. The curriculum is intended to keep the children up to par with the Jewish education provided by Jewish schools. The
families. They will learn about Jewish holidays and other topics in Yahadus, as well as stories from the Tanach. The curriculum will also include conversational Hebrew. The principal of Nagel Jewish Academy is Chana Leah Margolis and she is
lower level will work on Hebrew reading and Chumash skills. The higher level will learn Chumash with Rashi. The children will learn the weekly parsha and bring home parsha questions to share with their
thrilled to be running the program. After ten years of teaching at Hebrew school she is excited to bring a full Jewish curriculum to neighborhood children. “With classes four days a week, the program is pretty
intense,” she says. “It requires a commitment but we want the children to come because they want to be there. This is going to be exciting for them.” Mrs. Margolis is designing the curriculum with extra activities which the students can look forward to, such as a brachos fair and a menorah contest. Mrs. Margolis said the community response has been incredible. Twenty children registered within the first four days of advertising in the Jewish Home. (The Nagel Jewish Academy can accommodate sixty children total in the coming school year.) The majority of children registered attend public school but some children are homeschooled, some come from shomer Shabbos families while others are unaffiliated. There are children from the Pico and La Brea areas as well as a bus coming in from the valley. At the time of printing 50+ children have registered and philanthropist Shlomo Rechnitz called in (unsolicited) insisting on participating with an initial $5,000 donation toward this revolutionary endeavor. For more information or to register, Mrs. Margolis can be contacted at 310883-4490 or Nageljewishacademy@ gmail.com.
High Holiday Services and Retreat at Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel Chabad of the Conejo will be holding its High Holiday Services at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel, one of the finest hotels in the Conejo region. Fifteen hundred adults and children are anticipated to join Chabad over the High Holidays for these services, turning the hotel into a “little Jerusalem”. The program is designed to accommodate those who do not live in the immediate area and wish to enjoy a most delightful, inspiring and relaxing Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur. Chabad and the Hyatt are offering a program that allows for an inspiring synthesis of delights for body and soul. The atmosphere is as physically comfortable as it is spiritually warm and inviting. Services are not only about prayers and rituals, but are about celebrating one’s Judaism as a dynamic and enriching community experience; an experience harmoniously shared by Jews of any and all backgrounds. This year, Rosh Hashanah will amount to a 3-day celebration as Rosh Hashanah leads directly into Shabbos. All meals will be catered by Embassy Caterers of Los Angeles and served in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt. In true Embassy style, meals will be sumptuous, plentiful and elegantly pre-
pared with full course lunches and dinners and light breakfasts being served at the hotel. The hotel is also in walking distance to the Westlake Lake allowing for an inspiring Tashlich Walk on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. The Hyatt offers a special reduced rate for those joining the retreat as well as a special late check-out fee. Whether you’ve joined Chabad at the Westlake Hyatt for High Holidays past or whether this could be your first time, families can look forward to
ushering in the New Year enveloped by the uplifting spirit of joy, discovery and solidarity that is the hallmark of this program. Services are led by Rabbi Moshe Bryski, the executive Director of Chabad of the Conejo and a world renowned orator. He will be accompanied by Rabbis Shlomo Bistritzky, Yisroel Levine Yossi Bryski, Laibel Kahanov and Eli Laber. A full staff of educators will be conducting Junior Congregation and youth activities.
For further information about the High Holiday Retreat, or to make your reservations, please visit www.chabadconejo.com/ hyatt or call 818-991-0991.
AUGUST 21, 2014
A unique Jewish educational program is opening its doors this coming school year. The Nagel Jewish Academy will provide Jewish education free of charge to any Jewish child not enrolled in a Jewish school. The sponsor of the program believes that no child should be denied a Jewish education because of the cost of tuition at a Jewish school. Unfortunately, there are many families in Los Angeles who would have liked to enroll their children in Jewish schools but who are deterred by the cost. Nagel Jewish Academy will address this problem by providing free after school classes for children attending public school. All Jewish children between the ages of 5 and 10 are invited to register, regardless of their religious affiliation and prior background. Nagel Jewish Academy will be hosted by the Friendship Circle, at 1952 S Robertson Blvd, in Los Angeles. The classes will be held four days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 2:45-4:45 pm and Tuesdays 1:45-4:00 p.m. Children who attend the nearest public school, Canfield Elementary, can be picked up from school by the Nagel teachers who will walk them to Nagel Jewish Academy, providing a seamless integration of the Jewish program with the public school curriculum. The new program is designed to divide
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Nagel Jewish Academy, Providing Free Jewish Education for Every Jewish Child
THE JEWISH HOME
AUGUST 21, 2014
South Korea – The Land of “One Jew” By David Finnigan
Imagine a Fairfax District in which there are no parking regulations and many cars park unlocked. This is common in South Korea. The capital, Seoul, has few neighborhood parking rules and people park at night wherever they can fit in. Now, because Korea has a very low crime rate, many people leave their cars unlocked with the gear levers left in neutral. This allows other people, on their way to work in the morning, to open your car door and push your car a few feet so they can squeeze into their Kia or Hyundai. I spent three weeks in Korea this summer, coaching speech and debate to energetic, determined middle school and elementary school kids who already spoke fluent English. I quickly learned that Koreans have a serious respect for Jewish culture: both peoples have large, successful Diaspora populations and maintain a strong sense of identity despite centuries of suffering. Jews and Koreans emphasize education, hard work, family values and believe it best to marry within one’s culture. Seoul has a small Jewish community of foreign business executives, diplomats, American military personnel and their families and since 2008, a Chabad house has served these Korean families. Despite this article’s headline, Korea is not the, “Land of One Jew.” My wife and I visited six cities including a lovely place called Wonju; I kept pronouncing it, “Juan-Joo,” and the locals kept correcting me – Wonju literally is pronounced, “One-Jew.” Just as Jews long for peace in Israel, Koreans hope for that day when madmen stop ruling North Korea and the entire Korean Peninsula can unite as one democratic
nation. For me it was an education to watch Seoul newscasts with weather maps also showing storm clouds and drizzle over North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. For those who gripe about congestion on North Orange Drive or Detroit Street, consider that about 72 percent of Korea is
Bnos Devorah High School Debate Team Captain Shoshi Wyszynski (left) tied for 1st place with Korean-American debater Lisa Jang from North Hollywood High School at the June 20th Early Summer Jewish Public Forum Debate Tournament at Touro College. At right is 2nd place winner and Valley Torah Girls Debate Team Captain Zipporah Levine.
covered by mountain ranges; most of the country’s highly urbanized population of 50 million lives on the remaining 28 percent of valleys and other flat terrain. Massive, copycat, cream-colored apartment danji complex-
es ring the perimeters of every Korean city. Little towns near major highways have small, traditional hanok homes which are attractive. Then there is the visual shock of otherwise pastoral landscapes facing the intrusion of 10 and sometimes 15-story danji, skyscrapers which tower over ancient village roads.
Korea, sadly, is overwhelmed by stress. Pressures that Jewish American students experience in the path to academic success are at least tenfold stronger in Korean families. Public schools there, like here, are under-funded but there is a near-total lack of private schools. Instead, education is supplemented by a massive, powerful industry of poorly regulated, after-school hagwons (“academies”), where students as young as 6,
8 or 10 years old cram for years as they prepare for the most important high school College Scholastic Ability Test, Korea’s much harder version of our SATs. High schools seniors who despair after receiving less-than-perfect national test scores contribute to Korea’s high suicide rate, but educators are slowly working to de-stress the next generation with kinder hagwons. One odd sign of stress: at the conference center hosting my debate workshops, many Koreans didn’t drink anything at meal times because at home, the kids have to eat quickly and quietly so that everyone can get back to work or studying sooner. Instead of drinking during meals, Koreans often drink a glass of plum juice afterwards, to help digestion. I saw children getting off city buses at 10 p.m. after a long evening of hagwon drills, subsisting often on just six hours of sleep per night. Some burst into tears from stress but they remain sweet children. I brought seven of my Disney Lilo & Stitch pins with me and whenever I broke them out during debate class, my kids would surround me, smile broadly, and hold the pins like precious stones. I could make kids and adults smile just by saying, “Mr. Chu!” the title of a current Korean pop hit by the bubblegum girl group APink. At Incheon International Airport, even a stern-looking border officer burst out laughing when my last words to her were - “APink…Mr. Chu!” David Finnigan is the Speech and Debate Coach at the Bnos Devorah and Valley Torah Girls high schools and is executive director and founder of the Jewish Speech and Debate League.
Beth Jacob Kollel completes another successful summer with YULA students! Over the month of July, the Beth Jacob Mens’ Summer Kollel had another successful program. Comprised of a group of ten YULA alumni from the Classes of 2012 and 2013, under the tutelage of Rabbi Avner Shapiro, the Kollel helped create a vibrant Makom Torah, place of Torah, in the community. Every weeknight, the Kollel members devoted their entire evening to the program, a big investment of time, especially for those members living in other neighborhoods who needed to travel. Part of their evening was devoted to their own learning on a high-caliber level, similar to the learning they were accustomed to in the Yeshivot in Israel they had studied in. Additionally, they committed part of their evening to reaching out and being involved in the community. One night a week, this involved participation in a Shiur given for both the Kollel and the community. The Shiur was given by a rotation of rabbis from Beth Jacob, including Rabbi Sufrin, as well as a Shiur given by Rabbi Emerson. Every weeknight, a member of the Kollel gave
the Dvar Torah between Mincha and Maariv at the minyan in Beth Jacob. Additionally, from Tuesday- Thursday, each member made himself available for an hour to learn with any members in the community who were interested. Ethan Yousefzadeh was a member of the Kollel for the second year in a row. Said Ethan, “This Beth Jacob kollel summer program was magnificent, as I was able to both learn myself and to teach many others.” Many of those who benefited from learning with the Kollel members were countless YULA students. It was a wonderful opportunity for the current students to learn from and be inspired by fellow graduates just a few years older than them. “I enjoyed the learning I was able to experience with my chavrutot. There were many topics I wished to discuss and learn more about, and through my chavrutot, and the insight they had to offer, I was able to gain a great deal of knowledge and understanding this summer,”
expressed incoming Junior Michael Hassid when asked how he benefited by coming to the Kollel. On any one of these given nights, anyone entering the Beit Midrash would be struck by the sight of YULA alumni learning together with current YULA students, a true Kiddush Hashem in the community. Community member Mr. Steve Berger, in a letter expressing his admiration for the Kollel, commented, “The young students gave a vibrancy and youthful feel to the beit medrash. They were smiling, enjoying, and really learning Torah”. All in all, it was a wonderful experience for all those who benefited from the program. Much Hakarat HaTov is due to Rabbi Topp and Rabbi Posy, the Beth Jacob Congregation, and the various sponsors, for making the Kollel possible. Thank you as well to Rabbi Avner Shapiro for successfully coordinating the program and all of the Torah learning!
THE JEWISH HOME AUGUST 21, 2014
THE JEWISH HOME
AUGUST 21, 2014
Dirshu’s Bein Hazemanim Program in Eretz Yisrael Answers the Call of the Gedolim Thousands of Bnei Yeshiva Learning Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Hilchos Sukkah By Chaim Gold “Once again Dirshu is stepping into the breach at a time of great difficulty for Klal Yisrael.” That is the way Rabbi Shlomo Rozenstein, Dirshu’s Director of Public Affairs, described Dirshu’s revolutionary Bein Hazemanim Program in Eretz Yisrael. Dirshu’s Bein Hazemanim Program is immeasurably enhancing the summer bein hazemanim for thousands of bachurim throughout Eretz Yisrael while affording them a practical way to answer the call of the leading Gedolei Hador to strengthen themselves in learning during this bein hazemanim. Rabbi Rozenstein explains, “This summer in Eretz Yisrael has been one of the most difficult summers in memory. The country has been at war with an implacable foe. Soldiers are fighting on an extremely difficult battlefield and our bnei yeshiva are fighting with the koach of Yaakov, the kol Yaakov - unremitting dedication to Torah and tefillah. “The Gedolei Yisrael from across the spectrum addressed these trying times and encouraged all bnei yeshiva to learn and daven with tremendous mesiras nefesh to invoke rachmei shamayim on behalf of Am Yisrael. “The gedolim also cautioned that this bein hazemanim must be different than a regular summer bein hazemanim. Regardless of whether or not there is a viable ceasefire, the situation facing Am Yisrael both in Eretz Yisrael and in the diaspora is not simple. Although certainly, bnei yeshiva need a change of pace, nevertheless, the kol Yaakov of limud haTorah and tefillah must be heard strongly during bein hazemanim too,” the gedolim declared. “Dirshu Displayed its Unique Koach” One younger Rosh Yeshiva of a very large yeshiva gedolah in Eretz Yisrael related, “We heard the call of the ziknei hador, but on a practical level, it was difficult to enact. This is where Dirshu displayed its unique koach. Dirshu stepped in with a practical method to implement the call of the Gedolei Hador. Showing the remarkable ahavas haTorah that characterizes the organization and using its organizational talents and sparing no effort or resources, Dirshu created a program that would formulate the learning during bein hazemanim into an organized program with small incentives. This program is aimed to ensure that the kol Yaakov of thousands of bnei Yeshiva will resonate strongly throughout bein hazemanim arousing the resultant Divine Protection that comes through the pure limud haTorah of bnei yeshiva, especially during bein hazemanim - a time when it is often difficult to maintain the kol Torah on such a
scope and scale.” The gedolei Roshei Yeshiva enthusiastically greeted the news that Dirshu will be running a special bein hazemanim program. Not only did they express their grati-
hazemanim with comprehensive knowledge of a significant part of the halachos of Sukkah. Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, a senior member of Dirshu’s hanhala, explained,
Rav Dovid Hofstedter visiting with HaRav Yitzchok Scheiner
tude and admiration to Dirshu for stepping into the breach, but they have strongly encouraged their talmidim to join the program, thus continuing to participate in the defense of Eretz Yisroel during this very difficult summer. The Program Dirshu designed a learning program to appeal to a wide range of bachurim from every segment of Klal Yisrael. Providentially, Dirshu’s popular Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Program has just begun learning Hilchos Sukkah, the often complex laws of Sukkah. The hanhala of Dirshu has designed a special Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program for this bein hazemanim that will allow bnei yeshiva to come out from bein
“With Sukkos just around the corner, it is truly a “davar b’ito,” a timely limud. Moreover, many bnei yeshiva do not have the time, during Sukkos, to learn the halachos of building the Sukkah and what constitutes a kosher Sukkah. During the Elul zeman when the focus is on teshuvah and the Yamim Noraim, the halachos of Sukkah are not usually learned. Once Yom Kippur comes, Sukkos is just days away. Dirshu has especially published 20,000 beautifully designed Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Sukkos booklets containing the daily limud with helpful diagrams and other important material to enhance the understanding of the halachos and to offer chizuk.”
How it Works In Eretz Yisrael, there exists a yeshivas bein hazemanim system in virtually every Chareidi neighborhood. Yeshivas bein hazemanim enables bnei yeshiva to come learn together in a local beis medrash in an organized fashion. It generally consists of one seder per day with prizes such as sefarim or small stipends awarded for steady attendance. Dirshu has linked with yeshivas bein hazemanim programs across the length and breadth of Eretz Yisroel sharing not only its program, but offering a matching grant program doubling the sefarim rewards given by each of the respective yeshivas bein hazemanim. Dirshu has also liaised with numerous yeshiva camps in Eretz Yisrael, who have also adapted the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha on Hilchos Sukkah as their summer limud. In addition, Dirshu will be giving a special stipend to any talmid who takes the test on the entire program spanning from Siman 625-630. “In truth,” says Rabbi Motti Kroizer, a senior member of Dirshu’s hanhala, “the prizes and stipends are not what have made the program so popular with the thousands of participants. The fact that Dirshu understands the learning needs of bnei yeshiva and invests time and effort to create a structured program is the real reason for the program’s phenomenal success. The prizes and stipends are merely sweeteners gifted to bnei yeshiva who are already learning, that show how much Dirshu values the avodas hakodesh of our most precious commodity, the bnei yeshiva!” “Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is the perfect limud for a summer bein hazemanim,” says Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein. “It is an opportunity to learn the complex halachos of Sukkah in a comprehensive fashion with the Mishna Berurah. Dirshu’s new edition, with its voluminous Biurim and Musafim that brings so much context and depth as well as piskei halacha of all the leading gedolim past and present who lived after the Mishna Berurah was published, offers the talmidim a wide-ranging knowledge and an extremely engaging seder. “I recently toured the country visiting a wide array of Dirshu Yeshivas Bein Hazemanim locales and watched bachurim learn and debate the halachos of Sukkah. It was an eye-opening experience! I developed an even greater understanding of why the Gedolei Yisrael so trust Dirshu and appreciate its role in facilitating limud haTorah on an unimaginable scope and scale. The resultant rachamei shamayim invoked on behalf of Klal Yisrael is certainly also on an unimaginable scope and scale!”
By Bracha Turner
Hachayim in the Beverly/La Brea area. This shul is home to many Sefardic Jews from Morocco, Syria, and Egypt. Fortunately Rebbetzin Kin doesn’t see her Ashkenazi background as a hindrance to her work. “We daven a little differently, our foods are different, but people are not that much different,” she explained and because the Rebbetzin speaks Hebrew, she feels very comfortable in her role as the community’s Rebbetzin. Rebbetzin Kin says that part of her role is to be there for her husband, acting as his secretary at times and handling phone calls. Rebbetzin Kin also speaks to women privately, answering questions ranging from kashrus to interpersonal relationships. Some rebbetzins serve the needs of their communities by giving lectures and teaching women one-on-one. Rebbetzin Kin is involved in helping women who are in the process of becoming baalei teshuva. Sometimes she teaches a shiur, but most of her work involves one-onone conversations and answering questions that arise with women on their journey towards greater Torah observance. The questions are as individual as the women who ask them, and they often cannot be answered by a shiur. Sometimes Rebbetzin Kin helps women with their clothes shopping when they make the transition to a more modest wardrobe. She sees her task as being a role model for the women in her community and is aware that people are looking at her and her family, and she must constantly try to be a good example. Rebbetzin Kin says that sometimes the issues her congregants face are complicated, and she needs to encourage the congregants to get professional help. This can be a delicate matter and she tries to stay warm and accepting, no matter what the outcome. Rebbetzin Kin also hosts a lot of young couples for Shabbat meals. Just like Rebbetzin Zargari, she doesn’t usually know how many guests are coming for any given meal. Each community’s needs are also unique. Some synagogues require more hands on involvement. Rebbetzin Debbie Eidlitz, of Beis Midrash Mordechai Yaakov in Valley Village, takes care of all of her shul’s physical needs, such as preparing Kiddush every week, complete with cholent and home-baked chocolate chip cookies, keeping the shul well stocked with drinks and supplies, washing the tablecloths and more. “I am a food nurturer,” she laughs. Rebbetzin Eidlitz is also involved in shidduchim. Rebbetzin Sterna Citron, of Ahavas Yisroel Synagogue in the La Brea area, says some of her duties are quite mundane: seeing that the cleaning lady and the girls in charge of the children’s program get paid. Most importantly, though, is greeting everyone with a smiling face and making sure that coming to shul is a pleasant experience for everyone. Rebbetzin Citron says that everything handed to us allows us to grow. She finds that being a rebbetzin is a meaningful opportunity that has helped her accept all kinds of people, with all of their quirks, and appreciate the unique nature of those who come to her shul. “Everyone is important,” she says. “There is no such thing as an insignificant person.” Rebbetzin Chana Liba Raichik, of Congregation Levi Yitzchok, says that in addition to
helping women who come to her for advice, she often finds herself reaching out to those who don’t attend services. She feels that her shul is run like a family and that it is her task to care deeply for her community congregants and be there for them in a very sincere way. Sometimes it involves listening when somebody is having a hard time, and other times it involves giving advice or directive from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rebbetzin Raichik also finds her role overwhelming at times. She says that her task is to always stay positive. “No matter what I hear, what I know about anybody, I never think of them in a negative way,” she says. “A Jew has a neshama, a part of Hashem. Everyone is allowed to fail, things happen, but I believe in everyone and look at them with a positive eye, connect in a positive way, and most importantly, help them connect with themselves.” She sees her task as bringing out the inner beauty of everybody, and their inner strength. All the rebbetzins we spoke to find their roles very rewarding. “I get so much more out of being a rebbetzin than I give back,” says Rebbetzin Eidlitz. She explained that her minyan is
focused on a pure home for davening, with no distractions whatsoever. Although the congregation is different; some black hat, some kippa sruga, some Sefardim, everyone gets along and agrees on the important details. She finds this is what makes for a beautiful experience and she is always inspired by the people who come to daven and learn. “It is my pleasure to serve in any way I can,” she explained. Rebbetzin Citron finds it rewarding to see children learning how to sit and daven nicely in shul, and to see everyone in shul getting along, “kind of like one big family.” She has special nachas when she sees someone getting inspired to do more, attend more shiurim, and become more serious about Yiddishkeit. Rebbetzin Raichik says that she loves the people in her shul and always thanks Hashem Who put her in such a wonderful community. On behalf of the Los Angeles Jewish community we would also like to express our appreciation to Hashem for the wonderful rebbetzins He blessed us with, and to the rebbetzins themselves for all their hard work and dedication to the needs of their communities.
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AUGUST 21, 2014
The Greater Los Angeles Jewish community is blessed with many synagogues, each serving a different and unique segment of the local community. The synagogue rabbi, traditionally at the helm, makes decisions, answers halachik questions and counsels congregants on personal issues. Naturally he receives the credit, and perhaps some criticism, for everything that goes on within his community. But most synagogues would not be running smoothly without the devoted involvement of their rebbetzins. They are rarely in the spotlight, and in fact, often shy away from public attention. As a result of this, they are not recognized for their hard work and dedication to the eclectic needs of their communities. It is time to shine a light on the activities that our local rebbetzins perform and see what they find rewarding and challenging about their roles. Just as every community is unique so is the rebbetzin. Sometimes a rebbetzin shares the same cultural background as the members of her community, for instance, Rebbetzin Shulamit Zargari, the wife of Rabbi Yosef Zargari of Torat Chayim Synagogue in the Pico/Robertson neighborhood. Rebbetzin Shulamit says that Persian Jewish women find it easy to turn to her because of her Persian background. Some communities need the rebbetzin’s help in matters of relationships and parenting. Rebbetzin Zargari says that women often come to her with chinuch questions, especially because she also works as a school director. She also teaches kallot and stays in touch with them after their wedding, remaining available in case of any problem in their marriage. Sometimes married couples ask to meet with both her and her husband to help them with shalom bayit issues. Another area of our rebbetzins’ community involvement is hosting guests. The Zargaris have an open house, and often host yeshiva boys, as well as regulars. “We invite the kind of people that nobody else wants to invite,” says Rebbetzin Zargari. She has learned to respect all her guests just the way they are, without judging them and she feels responsible for her visitors and finds them other places to stay whenever she and her husband are away Rebbetzin Zargari says that she doesn’t find it difficult to have an open house. Growing up in Yerushalyim, she watched her parents do the same. Her children had to get used to having so many guests, but now they look forwards to Shabbat meals and ask who is coming. What she does find difficult, however, is the different issues that people in her community are facing. These are very different from the ones she experienced growing up in a very religious neighborhood of Yerushalyim, where strict adherence to religion was never in question. In Los Angeles, she gets involved in issues like preventing intermarriage and other challenges to the fundamental aspects of a Jewish life. At times, it’s heartbreaking for her to watch people stray so far. Rebbetzin Zargari explains that the emotional challenges are more demanding than the physical work involved in running an open house. Other rebbetzins come from a very different background than their congregants, such as Rebbetzin Bunia Kin, of Congregation Ohr
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A Glimpse Into The Lives Of Five Los Angeles Rebbetzins
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The Epidemic of Western European Anti-Semitism by Aaron Feigenbaum
Anti-Semitism is commonly thought of as hatred of the Jews as a racial and/ or religious group, but in today’s politically volatile climate, this age-old phenomenon has, in many cases, taken on the guise of anti-Zionism. One of the regions most afflicted with this new politically charged anti-Semitism is the once liberal, tolerant Western Europe where opinion polls indicate that anti-Semitism is at its highest levels since the Nazi era. It is also seeing a sharp uptick in physical attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions. While other regions such as Eastern Europe and the Arab world have higher levels of anti-Semitism, these regions are traditional anti-Semitic strong-holds that are not expected to change anytime soon. Contrast this with Western Europe where anti-Semitism was supposed to be a thing of the past but is now making a resurgence due to high levels of Muslim and right-wing extremism combined with tough economic conditions. We now see that the region prized as the bastion of liberty, democracy, and equality is slowly becoming anything but for the Jews living there. The Anti-Defamation League’s most recent comprehensive survey on Western European anti-Semitism indicates a whopping 24% of the population harbors some kind of anti-Semitic belief. These polls presented 332,000 randomly chosen Europeans with anti-Semitic statements such as “Jews are more loyal to Israel than this country” and “Jews have too much power in the business world.” In fact, out of the 11 statements included in the poll, these two statements were the two most widely believed anti-Semitic stereotypes. Looking at the data by country, Greece and France, at 37% and 69% respectively, are far and away the most anti-Semitic countries. On the other hand, Denmark, U.K., Holland, and Sweden all score below 10% but still show an increase from previous years. The takeaway from this poll is not only that anti-Semitism in almost every Western European country is experiencing a significant increase in the prevalence of anti-Semitic opinions, but also that these opinions are couched in criticism of Israel and Zionism. The ADL’s findings are complemented by an EU government study in which large majorities of Western European Jews felt that anti-Semitism was on
the rise. Not surprisingly 29% were considering emigrating. Indeed, the Jewish Agency for Israel reported almost 3,300
the Sarcelles riots last month in which Jewish businesses and shuls were vandalized and looted. A major cause of the
The Meandros flag of the Greek Golden Dawn party
Members of the Golden Dawn party marching in Greece
Jews leaving France for Israel last year, a 72% increase from the previous year. Over 2,000 have left France so far this year. France is now one of the most notorious anti-Semitic hot-spots in the world. Attacks on Jews have gone up sharply in addition to shul bombings, hate mail, and anti-Semitic graffiti. Some of the more notable cases of Muslim anti-Semitism there include the brutal kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006, the attack on the Jewish day school in Toulouse in 2012, and
resurgence of anti-Semitism in France is Islamic extremism and racism, especially among young, often poor immigrants from North Africa. However, we should be careful not to say that anti-Semitism is caused by poverty. At most, poverty is a catalyst for pre-existing anti-Semitism. The resurgence seems to have been prompted by the immigrants’ parents and imams (Islamic clerics) who taught them to hate, the anti-Israel media, extremist politicians, “anti-racist” groups who are often anything but, and a government
which hasn’t responded adequately to this growing threat. Nor can we say that this alarming trend is merely a reaction to recent events. Yonathan Arfi, vice-president of CRIF (the French Jewish council), “utterly rejects” the notion that the recent surge in anti-Semitism is due to the Gaza conflict. Rather, “The Muslim anti-Semitism we see today is mainly the result of an extreme interpretation of Islam and a corresponding culture which promotes hatred of Jews and which often conflates Jews with Israel/Zionism.” But anti-Semitism in France is far from restricted to the Muslim community. The well-known French “comedian” Dieudonne has done, perhaps, more than anyone else to popularize and “normalize” anti-Semitism in French culture. His vile, thoroughly anti-Semitic “jokes” (if they can so be called) have crossed virtually every line of decency and have gained him both popularity and infamy throughout the country. Such “jokes” include him portraying an Israeli settler as a Nazi and creating the quenelle which can be described as a reverse Nazi salute. The French government succeeded in shutting down his TV show earlier this year and several major French cities have banned him from performing. Despite his setbacks, he is still supported by a fairly significant 16% of the population as of the last poll. As for the U.K., we see a country that is near the bottom of the ADL’s list yet whose anti-Semitism levels are some of the fastest rising in Western Europe. According to CST (a British Jewish advocacy group), there have been over 200 anti-Semitic incidents just in the past six weeks throughout the U.K. The U.K. is also notable for the widespread adoption of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions program. Just last month, the U.K.’s largest labor union endorsed the movement, joining several universities and teacher unions who had already done so years before. Sweden, which has the lowest rate of anti-Semitism in Western Europe, has seen its share of significant anti-Semitic incidents. Most notably, the southern Swedish city of Malmö has been an epicenter of anti-Semitic incidents including Molotov cocktails being thrown at a Jewish cemetary and physical and verbal attacks against Jews. A 2009 soccer match between Israel and Sweden
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got 16% of the vote in the Athens mayoral election this year. While the violent, gangster-esque Golden Dawn are a threat to the couple-thousand Jews living in Greece, their hatred has mainly been directed against Muslims and immigrants. Violent attacks against Jews and vandalism of Jewish property are quite rare compared to France which leads the continent in anti-Semitic violence. Jews are routinely blamed in Greece for causing the financial crisis but statements of this kind more often than not don’t materialize into violent actions. Overall, while it’s unlikely that Europe will once again plunge into the nightmare world of Nazism anytime soon, these times are certainly the worst we’ve seen since that horrible era. Criticism of Israeli policy does not in and of itself constitute anti-Semitism. After all, Israel is a democracy and its government is routinely criticized by its citizens as would be the case in any other democracy. However, much of what we’ve seen in Europe and elsewhere crosses the line. Criticizing the recent operation in Gaza is one thing but lumping Israel and the Jews into the same category, much less associating Israel with Nazism, is when mere political rhetoric becomes hate speech. Hate speech should never be tolerated and it’s shameful that the governments of Europe have failed to stem the tide. Because of government inaction, some Jewish Europeans such as those belonging to the French branch of the Jewish Defense League have decided to form a vigilante militia to patrol the streets and protect Jews and Jewish property from anti-Semitic rioters. The community felt that it had no alternative. This highlights the fact that governments should be doing much more to not only protect their Jewish populations, but also to better educate young people and root out jihadist elements before the riots start. If the governments of Europe truly want to show they’ve learned the lessons of the Holocaust, they’ll stand up for what’s right and commit themselves to eliminating anti-Semitism once and for all. (Sources: ADL, The Guardian, Haaretz, Algemeiner, Forward, NY Times, France 24)
AUGUST 21, 2014
in which Israel won erupted into one of Sweden’s largest anti-Israel demonstrations. What’s worse is that the former mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu denied that there were attacks on Jews in his city. Judith Popinski, a Holocaust survivor who found refuge in Malmö during the war, said that “Malmo reminds me of the anti-Semitism I felt as a child in Poland before the war. I am not safe as a Jew in Sweden anymore.” Germany, the birthplace of Nazism, has also been affected by the anti-Semitic tidal wave. Much like France and the U.K., anti-Semitism in modern Germany comes mostly from Muslim immigrants and their descendants. Where Germany differs though is in the strict enforcement of its regulations against anti-Semitism, some of the toughest in Europe. A pro-Palestinian rally in Germany does not feature Israeli flag burning or any overtly racist slogans (especially not pro-Nazi ones). Yet despite the government’s praiseworthy efforts, anti-Semitic feelings still run deep. Outright racist slogans still make their way into the demonstrations. An imam in Berlin openly called for the destruction of the “Zionist Jews.” Violence and vandalism against Jews, Jewish businesses, and shuls is happening more frequently. Greece has traditionally been hailed as the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization but now has the unfortunate distinction of being the most anti-Semitic country in Europe. Greece faces two of the biggest threats to its way of life it has ever seen. However, these threats do not include Islamic extremism (at least not to any significant degree), but rather the quasi-fascist, openly pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic Golden Dawn Party as well as the crippling economic conditions which helped give that party political power. To give one of the more notable examples of this dangerous party’s anti-Semitic outbursts, their spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, sporting a swastika tattoo, read from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in parliament without protest. The party’s leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos is a Holocaust denier. A Golden Dawn MP recently praised Hitler and promulgated the notion of a onerace Greece. As of this year, the party holds about 7% of the seats in Greek Parliament and about 10% of the seats in the European Parliament. Golden Dawn
At a protest in Edinburgh
At a demostration in London
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The Tempter Within and Without Rabbi Asher Brander
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In this weeks parsha, we are introduced to the sinister character known as the meisis (the tempter), If one shall incite you, [your brother, or the wife of your bosom, or your neighbor who is your soul mate,] clandestinely, saying, “Let us go and serve other g-ds” whom you never knew--- neither you nor your forefathers. Do not be favorably inclined towards him, and do not listen to him; and do not view him compassionately, ... For you must surely execute him … for he sought to mislead you from Adnoy, your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. These are tough words. The tempter must be dealt with harshly; even as he is ultimately unsuccessful, he is subject to no mercy or favor. We shall probe the potential rationale[2b]. First, let us briefly explore a basic halachic point. Given its context, it would appear that the law of the meisit is unique to idolatry. Because the sin is so grave, it needs to be greatly discouraged. However a Talmudic section confounds [Sanhedrin 29a]: In capital cases, if the defendant himself did not advocate, we advocate for him. ...with the exception of the meisis ... R. Samuel b. Nahman said in R. Jonathan’s name: How do we know that we do not advocate for the meisis - From the [story of] the ancient serpent. for R. Simlai said: The serpent had many pleas to put forward but did not do so. Then why did not the Holy One, blessed be He, plead on
its behalf? Because it offered none itself. [What could it have said [to justify itself?] - ‘When the words of the teacher and those of the pupil [are contradictory], whose words should be hearkened to; surely the teacher’s!] The serpent, it would seem did not tempt Chava to engage in idolatry; thus the whole application of meisis seems misplaced. Baalei Hatosafos and others bridge the gap [Bereishis, 3:14 - cf. Rashi, ad loc.] י"ל כיון שאמר.וא"ת והא אין מסית כי אם ע"ז לה והייתם כאלהים יודעי טוב ורע כלומר בוראי עו־ .למות הוי כמסית לע"ז And if you shall ask? There is no meisis save for idolatry. Since the serpent told her that you shall be like G-d who knows good and bad, in other words - you will be endowed with the power to create worlds, that it was The serpent’s intoxicating offer to Chava was an idolatrous one in the sense that it offered her Divine powers [and by implication limited real Divinity]. It was an offer she was unable to refuse. Thus one may justifiably apply the laws of the tempter to the primordial sin - for it was an ofshoot of idolatry Others argue. Indeed Ramah [Kiddushin 43] derives precisely from our Talmudic section that the categorical meisis applies in all aspects of Torah life. About 500 years later, in a fascinating responsa, R. Moshe Feinstein [Igros Moshe-Orach Chaim, 1:99] assumes this to be normative halacha - and applies it beyond a mere idolatrous context. Thus in dealing with the question of whether one may invite a non-observant Jew to a Shabbat meal in a way that will perforce require him to violate Shabbos, Rav Moshe writes: And I believe that to invite one to come for Shabbos in a manner that they have no choice but to violate Shabbos is worse than lifnei iveir [placing a stumbling block before the blind] - but rather is in violation of meisis which applies to the whole Torah - as we see from the story of the Serpent The particular issue with which Rav Moshe deals is a complex and weighty one that has drawn different halachic approaches. Rav Moshe’s striking application gives us pause to ponder where to draw the line between the prohibition of lifnei iveir [placing a stumbling block in front of the blind] and the greater prohi-
bition of meisis - for the latter category evoking the Torah’s no advocacy and no mercy rule is also a halacha that requires understanding. Here’s one possible notion: Lifnei Iveir is marked by the raw temptation. The tempter is fundamentally irrelevant. The moment that the dieter is shown the donut, the nazir offered the pinot noir or the addict offered the cocaine, he may give in simply because of the enormity of the temptation. In the Torah paradigm of meisis, the tempter is a fundamental part of the challenge. He is your sibling, spouse or close friend and he/she leverages the relationship for unholy ends; Caught in a gripping and poignant drama, the victim must choose which relationship to give up. Pain lurks at every turn. Certainly some will fail. It is the meisis who creates this terrible dilemma. For this alone, his cruelty is remarkable. He abuses his position and creates psychological havoc. To overcome, the intended victim must elevate cold and hard logic above all else. To extricate oneself from the grasp of the meisis, who preys on one’s emotional reality, the Torah demands rationality to the extreme. So much of the growing Jew’s challenge is inherent in this dynamic. It may be the parent who leverages family against religion or the spouse who demands religious concession [or the child who wields religion ...]. As we make key decisions in life, a key notion to consider is that whom we choose in our voluntary relationships, and what pressures and choices we may create for others in our familial relationships, do matter. May G-d give us the strength to harbor pristine motivations and be ever so careful in our relationship choices. Let us also honestly consider how we may allow our children, friends, spouses, and students to grow in a healthy manner. As I pen these words, I pray to Hashem to allow me to overcome even the unwitting meisis and more importantly I ask Hashem to allow me to give room for others who do not think exactly like me to grow closer to Hashem in a sincere [even if somewhat different] way.
 Sefer HaChinuch explains that even though the meisis is ultimately unsuccessful, the temporary doubt that he might have evoked in the potential victim is a terrible irretrievable loss - for every moment of life is of inestimable value  Many unique halachos govern the meisis: the victims themselves may testify against him as valid witnesses [as opposed to the reuirement that the witnesses not be the ba’alei din; once found guilty - one does not reopen the case to attempt to exonerate the meisis; the victim takes an active role in the killing of the meisis [2b] A famous mussar vort attributed to Rav Simcha Zissel makes the point that one can only imagine how much reward one who pines to inspire others and is not succesful will receive - even as he has failed - for the Torah is far more rewarding [500x] than it is punishing.  Of course the capital punishment associated with meisit only applies for the idolatrous tempter; nevertheless in theme and in prohibition - it is universal. Rav Moshe’s formulation is that a generic.  Cf. Igros Moshe, Yoreh Deah, 1:149 for another application of this idea. Rav Moshe rejects Ba’alei HaTosafos notion that the serpent is a manifestation of idolatry since he views the prohibition of meisis as relating only to the essential act that the tempter seeks to engage the victim in. The particular argumentation to convince the victim is irrelevant. The act of eating from the tree was not inherently an idolatrous one.  Cf. Ramban, Ibn Ezra who explain the challenge due to the closeness of the relative. Cf. also Ohr HaChaim for an incredible explanation of these words as being escalated gradations of imbibing the yetzer hara to the point that it becomes reiacha asher kinafshecha. He also connects this to the fourfold formulation of lo toveh, tishma, tichaseh and tachmol ________________________ Rabbi Asher Brander is the Founder of the LINK Kollel and Shul, located on 1453 S. Robertson Blvd and is a Rebbe at the wonderful Bnos Devorah Girls High School.
R’ Ben Tzion Shafier
Life: The School of Growth “See I have placed in front of you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing: if you will listen to all of the mitzvahs of Hashem your G-d as I have commanded you today…” — Devarim 11:21 There are two paths in front of you… In these posukim, the Torah sets out two divergent paths. One path leads to ultimate success and blessing, and the other to devastation and curses. If you follow in the ways of Hashem, you will be richly rewarded. You will look back at your years of sacrifice with enormous joy and satisfaction, saying to yourself, “Whatever price I paid was so worth it. I am now being compensated beyond anything I could have imagined.” On the other hand, if you don’t follow the Torah’s ways, there will come a time when
you will deeply regret your mistake and you will look back and say, “Woe is me! How could I have been so foolish? How could I have chosen so poorly?”
A Mashal for Life The Daas Zakainim brings light to this concept with a mashal. He says it is comparable to a crossroads. One road begins as a difficult thorny trail, then it opens up, and the rest of the way is clear. The other path begins as a smooth
This Daas Zakainim is difficult to understand because the meanings of the posukim seem self-evident – serve Hashem and you will receive blessing; violate the mitzvos and you will be cursed. It doesn’t seem that he is adding much to our understanding with this
WHO I BECOME IS A RESULT OF MY ATTITUDE AND THE WAY I HANDLE MY CHALLENGES.
passageway, but ends in a thicket of thorns. An old man sits at the crossroads and warns the passersby, “Be careful. This road begins smoothly, but ends up all thorns. Rather choose the other road. Even though it begins as a difficult path, it opens up and will carry you well.” Anyone who listens to the man will work at the outset of his journey, but will travel in peace the rest of the way; whereas anyone who ignores the advice of the old man will get caught in the thorns for rest of his passage. The Daas Zakainim explains that this is what the Torah is telling us. If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world, but when he dies, he will go to Gehennom, which is all thorns. However, if one works in this world and labors in Torah study and mitzvos, he will merit the World to Come, which is all goodness, joy, and happiness.
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mashal. If the point is that punishment and reward aren’t in this world, but rather in the Next, that concept doesn’t need a parable. Simply state, “The Torah is referring to the World to Come.” What point is the Daas Zakainim trying to bring home to us with this mashal? To understand this, we need a different perspective of life. Progressive Weight Training A rather yeshivishe fellow went to a power-lifting gym to learn how to work out. As a kid, he had little experience with sports and was clearly out of his element. Recognizing this, the coach showed him various exercises and worked closely with him. One day, this fellow was overheard saying, “That coach, I don’t know what’s with him. Every time I get the exercise right, he goes and adds more weight to the bar. What’s wrong with him?” The point this fellow missed was that progressive weight training is all about increasing the load. The goal of the activity is to coax the body to grow. By gradually increasing the work load, the body is called upon to respond. The work should never be easy. The nature of the activity is to incrementally increase the demand placed on the body, thereby causing it to grow. This is a good parable because in life we are put into many situations. If a person doesn’t understand why he is on this planet, he will have many questions. Why is life so difficult? Why is it that when I finally get things under control, a whole new set of circumstances arises that sets everything out of kilter? Why can’t life just be easy? The point that he is missing is the very purpose of life. Hashem put us on
this planet to grow. Many of the challenges and situations are given to us specifically for that reason. It isn’t by accident, and it isn’t because Hashem doesn’t pay attention. Quite the opposite; these situations were hand-designed to demand from us. They are catalysts to change who we are. In weight training, the movement of the bar isn’t the significant part; the demand on the body is. So, too, in life, the situations I face are far less significant than my reactions to them. Who I become is a result of my attitude and the way I handle my challenges. When a person understands this perspective, then life itself makes sense. If not, then the situations in life seem arbitrary and unfair. The answer to the Daas Zakainim seems to be that this mashal defines our path in life. The road that we are being asked to take isn’t easy. It isn’t laden with roses and doesn’t smell like lilacs. It has thorns. A life properly led will have moments of doubt, pain, and confusion. That doesn’t mean that we are on the wrong path. Quite the opposite: if life is going too smoothly, it’s a bad sign. Since the purpose of life is to grow, we need the challenges of life to help us reach our potential. If the road is too level, that is likely a sign that we have chosen the wrong path. Hashem wants us to enjoy our stay on this planet, but there is a plan and a purpose to it all. If a person lives his life in accordance with the Torah, he finds deep satisfaction, an inner sense of peace and tranquility, and true simcha. But it isn’t a walk in the park. There is much work along the way. There are trials, travails, and circumstances that demand growth. If a person responds appropriately, he finds a sense of inner peace because he is in synch with his purpose in life. That sense of balance is an indicator that he is on the right path, and the work that he puts in on that path will bring him to true joy, happiness, and elation in this world, and much more so in the World to Come. Get the new Shmuz APP! Access hundreds of audio, videos, and articles from the Shmuz. Simply go to the App store, or Google Play, and search for “TheShmuz” or go to www. theShmuz.com.
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7 Questions with Sgt. Benjamin Anthony; Founder of Our Soldiers Speak This interview was conducted in May, 2014, before the current round of violence directed at Israel. Sgt. Anthony has since been called up to serve. 1. Tell us a little about yourself and your organization. I was born, raised, and educated in the United Kingdom. Following graduation, I moved to Israel. I was then drafted into the IDF. I had a very eventful and varied service, the most eventful aspect of which was full participation in the second Lebanon war of 2006, where I served inside Lebanon. Once my military service concluded, I established Our Soldiers Speak. We specialize in bringing the proud truth of the IDF to the campuses and the communities of the English-speaking world – and now even to the seats of Congress, governance, and public office in the English-speaking democracies of the world. What makes our work unique is that we take our platform to neutral ground on college campuses, and we invite the pro, the anti, and the undecided elements of the student and faculty community to attend. They hear a presentation about the realities of combat in the IDF from a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, and then have the opportunity to ask any questions that they might like to ask. We’ve reached over 300 university campuses to date. 2. How did Our Soldiers Speak get started? I began this organization by accident. Shortly after my release from the IDF, a synagogue, local to me in the United Kingdom, asked if I would speak about my experiences in the army on Yom Hazikaron. I reluctantly agreed to do so, and afterwards that synagogue sent me to another shul. Then I met a charitable man who told me the real work was needed in the United States and he funded a trip to the US. I started to speak about Israel in synagogues, but was told to visit university campuses. Immediately, I could see the students needed intelligent debate and conversation about Israel and I realized that I needed to create an organization that could best handle this. It was alarming to find such a level of anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses
By Alisa Roberts
in the United States, worse than in the UK, and I believe the result is increasingly critical here because diplomatic support for Israel stems from the US. If the students of today do not find favor in the story of Israel, we worry that the policy makers of tomorrow will not find favor in the story of
support and not take it for granted), I think there’s an even higher virtue in allowing those friends of Israel to hear, by way of the questions of our opponents, some of the most vitriolic accusations. This can show that there is a meaningful response. Our work is to respect the au-
times they are Israeli officers who I’ve read about in the newspaper who have a particularly interesting story. Sometimes I interview soldiers for a challenging venue that needs a certain kind of speaker. A major general from the IDF is not appropriate for an audience where there will be
Israel either. I felt the job had to be done and that’s why I made it a full time endeavor. 3. Why did you decide to invite the anti groups? Do you train your speakers with specific skills to handle these kinds of groups? If we believe in our Jewish viewpoints, our presence in Israel and the appropriateness of our actions, both as soldiers in the military and as a people – we ought to be able to withstand rigorous challenge and difficult debate. So while there is certainly value in speaking to friends of Israel (I believe we have to shore up that kind of
dience even if they virulently oppose our viewpoint. We won’t underestimate them and we prepare ourselves for having a verbal and intellectual joust and debate for the benefit of all. Realistically, I don’t think that somebody who detests the State of Israel will be turned to support the State of Israel, but by ensuring question are heard and debunked, we actually benefit from the opposition whose opinions are oftentimes grounded in nothing but slanderous supposition. I have a very close working relationship with the IDF. I visit them regularly and interview potential speakers; some-
screaming and shouting; he’s more fitting for members of Congress. But a young, experienced soldier, who can present the human side of combat for the consideration of the listener, is perfect for university campuses. 4. What was your most memorable speaking engagement? On many university campuses where I speak, the most virulently outspoken opponents of Israel, and particularly the IDF, are Jewish students. These students oftentimes have an insufficient grounding in Israel education and particularly the history of Israel. In many Jewish high schools
19 brings some of the highest-ranking and most specialized officers of the IDF to groups in the US. Just in February we brought over Deputy Military Advocate General Colonel Eli Baron, who’s the second in command of the IDF’s legal branch. He spoke to leading law firms in the US, think tanks in Washington, DC, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and to advisors for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This program also takes IDF officers with particular specialties and brings them as guest lecturers to the corresponding course of study on university campuses. For example, we’re bringing IDF lawyers to lecture to law students in leading universities. We’re bringing IDF diplomats to lecture to the diplomatic students, and IDF doctors to lecture to medical students. We’re excited about this program for three reasons. First, we believe that there are certain subject matters that lend themselves to rigorous debate, without hysteria. Secondly, we want the conversations to focus on the merit of what’s being said, rather than on false allegations that tend to be bandied about. And thirdly, we’re looking to cause a generation-long shift, whereby
knowledge of what to say in response. We want to fix that; not by advocacy, not by a three-week course, not by a workshop, but by teaching “Israel” in the same manner that every other subject is taught: rigorously and completely. The other memorable thing about speaking is that there are those occasions where people have entered the room virulently opposed to Israel, and then they realize that there’s another side. They will occasionally turn their opinion, or at least consider that there’s another viewpoint different to that which they’d prescribed. For example, at Brandeis University I gave
from the conversation. These are concrete results, but of course much of this is immeasurable. One can never measure the impact that a given individual will have across the long term. And that is how we view our projects – as a generational project, the impact of which might only be measured 10 or 20 years down the line, but the seeds for which are sown during our lectures and presentations. 6. What are the next steps for the organization? Two years ago we were very pleased to form Our Soldiers Speak Elite, which
the next generation of professional leaders has a sympathetic place for Israel in their heart, in their actions, and in their vote. Our final new program is OSS Forward. We’ve had our first young professional’s event. We look forward to bringing an educational component to social events that are for young professionals. 7. How can people become involved? The first thing is to learn more about the organization by visiting our website, which is www.oursoldiersspeak.org. If people decide they want to become involved, they should know that despite the
fact we’re a 501C-3, their contribution need not be financial. If they wish to open up their homes and communities with a message from one of our soldiers about the importance of Diaspora support then we invite them to do that. They can contact us via the website. Next, if they know a student on a university campus – their son, or daughter, or anybody on university grounds anywhere – and they feel that those individuals ought to have a lecture by an IDF officer at their campus, they should reach out to us. The other thing is that if they are parents of children in a Jewish day school, they ought to talk to us about how we might bring the Israel and World Relations curriculum to their Jewish high school. It doesn’t matter whether it is a formal or informal Jewish high school, an after school program, an Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform Jewish high school. None of that matters because the history and meaning of Israel is a subject that needs teaching, transcending political argument and this must be based in a good educational program. I would urge people, regardless of the amount of pressure, to keep perspective. What we have is worthy of being defended. If Israel the country thrives, Israel the people will succeed everywhere in the world. Increasingly, people are becoming weary of the discussion about Israel. They’re losing their conviction and wondering whether this constant struggle is worth it. I would call upon anyone who carries Israel in their hearts and in their minds to realize that we live in what is probably the most glorious epoch of recent Jewish memory. This is a time when the Jewish people are able to self-determine, when they’re able to be actors in their lives rather than bystanders in their destiny. And that’s worthy of being celebrated, worthy of being protected, and it’s worthy of finding pride within that story.
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a presentation where there was a tremendous amount of anti-Israel sentiment in the room. One student came up to me afterwards and said that he doesn’t know which narrative is true or whose side is correct, but he knows now that there is another story and that he would go away and research that story as well. That, to me, is a victory. 5. What other kinds of impact have you seen? We’ve had a varied degree of impact. Firstly, we’re successfully implementing the Israel in World Relations curriculum in Jewish high schools. Over the course of the last 12 months, more than a thousand Jewish students have been studying Israeli history for the first time in their lives. That’s a tremendous impact in and of itself. Many of these Jewish students will now graduate to college campuses and become our permanent campus emissaries. We’ve also had a substantial number of members who have moved to live in Israel and to serve in the IDF as a consequence of our workshops, seminars, and lectures. The third impact is that we have worked with individuals who have opened footholds for the conversation about Israel in venues which were trying to walk away
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there is a Jewish history or Jewish studies course, in which Israel forms a component, but there is no Israel history course. Students from these schools turn their faces against the story of Israel very quickly when they’re bombarded with the very slick, emotive Palestinian narrative. That’s a huge issue and a great challenge for me. It has caused me to review the entire process of how Jewish students are educated in the United States. In fact, this led us to partner with an organization which has built an entire high school curriculum to be implemented as part of the core studies in Jewish day schools across grade 11 and grade 12. This is not as part of another course, but an educational curriculum that’s as rigorous as any other subject. Incidentally, no curriculum existed before this one. If a school wanted to teach the story of Israel, an individual faculty member would be charged with building a curriculum. I think American Jewry is the most glorious incarnation of Diaspora Jewry anywhere in the world. Having said that, the recent anti-Israel feeling on campuses demands that we change our strategy. Jewish students are bombarded with a very anti- Israel narrative without having any
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Israel’s Technological Advantage by Aaron Feigenbaum
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AUGUST 21, 2014
The X-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Israeli military technology is often lauded as some of the best in the world. In fact, Israel is the world’s largest arms exporter. Israel is such a technological innovator that some Israeli defense companies have begun selling their tech to the mighty U.S. military. Herewith some highlights of effective technologies Israel is currently using to defend itself. Iron Dome: Developed by leading tech company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and funded in significant part by the U.S. government, the Iron Dome is Israel’s primary defense against Hamas’ rockets. It’s designed to shoot down artillery shells and short-range rockets fired from up to 43 miles away. An estimated 400 rockets from Gaza were shot down in the recent war at a cost of around $60,000 per interceptor and $50 million per missile battery. Some experts dispute the effectiveness of the system in shooting down rockets but Israeli and U.S. officials claim a 90% success rate, up 6% from the last Gaza war in 2012. Plans are in the works to co-produce the system with U.S. contractor Raytheon, and several countries such as the U.S. and Singapore are interested in integrating the system into their own defense networks. Israel recently debuted a variation on the Iron Dome called the Iron Beam which uses a laser beam which can destroy small targets such as shells, rockets, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in only a few seconds. David’s Sling: Designed as Iron Dome’s counterpart for shooting down long-range missiles, David’s Sling is a highly advanced system with a range of up to 185 miles. It is designed to meet the
Aerial view of the nuclear reactor in Demona
The Apache Helicopter
The Heron Drone
threat of Iranian long-range technology which has fallen into the hands of Hamas and Hazbollah. Unfortunately, the project has been hampered by budget constraints and is currently not operational. The U.S. and Indian militaries have shown interest in adopting it.
Tunnel detection: Hamas is notorious for their use of tunnels to smuggle rockets and fighters into Gaza. Researchers from the Talpiot division of the IDF are now working on an advanced sensor system that’s designed to detect when a tunnel is being dug. The system has been tested in the recent Gaza war. Should the system prove viable, the IDF plans to combine it with a subterranean wall placed near the Gaza border. Initial tests of the system in Tel Aviv have proven successful. Drones: Israel is the world leader in both drone innovation and sales. One of Israel’s most widely used reconnaisance drones is the IAI Heron-1 which features GPS navigation, infrared surveillance, radar, and the ability to automatically return to base if communications are lost. Much like the U.S. has done for years in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Heron is able to target individuals and vehicles on the ground and take them out. Many countries are using a variant of the Heron system including Israel’s one-time ally Turkey. Israeli Aerospace Industries recently unveiled the Super Heron, a much larger version of the Heron that boasts longer flight-time, faster speed, less maintenance, and better sensors. To assist soldiers on the ground, Israeli company ODF Optronics is developing a mini-drone called EyeBall which can peer into rooms and map the interior. Other drones reported to be in the works include ones that can rescue injured soldiers and take off vertically. Israel’s drone tech isn’t just restricted to the air either. Israeli companies have developed the Protector and Guardian vehicles to augment the military’s unmanned
capabilities. The Protector is a fast, unmanned boat with advanced sensors that can sniff out threats to Israeli ships. The Guardian is an unmanned land vehicle that looks like a tank compressed to about twice the size of a SmartCar. Its purpose is to remotely detect targets and coordinate ground and aerial assaults. The Guardian has also been adopted by the U.S. Border Patrol. F-35 Fighter Jet: Created by U.S. company Lockheed Martin and adopted by the Israeli Air Force, the F-35 is both the most sophisticated and expensive jet ever made. One of the things that sets this aircraft apart from all the others is the incredible augmented reality helmet the pilots use. The helmet, looking like something out of Star Wars, allows them to get a 360-degree view at all times. The plane itself is virtually undetectable due to its shape and low heat emissions. It can do all sorts of stunts and even hover through its software, thus requiring little input from the pilot. The F-35 can be equipped with virtually every type of missile and bomb including nuclear weapons. Israel plans on buying 19 of the planes in 2016 and modifying them from the original American design. Dolphin-class submarines: These submarines, developed by German company HDW and sold to the Israeli Navy, are some of the most advanced in the world. Israel currently has 5 of these vessels. Each one costs around half a billion dollars making it the most expensive item in Israel’s military arsenal. Among the Dolphins’ impressive features are a longrange air defense system and the capability to launch a large variety of torpedos and
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Windbreaker system which is able to shoot down RPG and anti-tank rounds. Apache AH-64 Helicopter: This powerful warbird was developed by Boeing and has been adopted by many countries including Israel which received 42 of them in 1990.
natural gas. Merkava IV Tank: The latest version of the Merkava is Israel’s most advanced tank. Its features include anti-reflective paint to reduce the possibility of being detected, a sophisticated driving system designed to conquer harsh terrain, and the ability to fire a variety of rounds including anti-tank rounds and a laser-guided homing missile. The tank provides its drivers with infrared vision and the ability to track targets. A variant of the tank includes the
Unlike Israel’s other military equipment, the Apache has not been replaced with a newer model but has rather been continuously upgraded. The helicopter is heavily armored and uses a number of weapons including AGM air-to-surface missiles, 30mm rounds, and Hydra 70 rockets. The Apache has been active in a number of conflicts including the 2006 Lebanon war, Operation Cast Lead in 2009, and the assassination of Ahmed Yassin in 2004. CornerShot: As the name sug-
(Sources: Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, The Guardian, Reuters, Quartz, Times of Israel, INSS, Telegraph, Arms Control Association)
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The Merkava IV Tank
cruise missiles including ones with nuclear warheads. However, the submarines are not currently being used offensively, but rather to prevent weapons from reaching Gaza and to protect Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone in which lies huge deposits of
gests, this Israeli-developed gun allows its user to shoot around corners. Its method of operation, dating back to WWI, is fairly simple: It has a pistol attached to a barrel which can pivot around a corner. The user sees enemies through a digital camera and is able to shoot without exposing him or herself to danger. The gun has proven very popular for Special Forces units and SWAT teams around the world. Besides Israel, it is currently used in the U.S., Russia, China, Mexico and a number of other countries. TecSAR: TecSAR is one of the world’s most advanced satellite systems and helps Israel to monitor international threats such as Iran. It was launched from India in 2008 via an Israeli-designed space vehicle. Through radar, it can see in the night and through heavy cloud cover. It also has different zoom modes with different resolutions. Potentially, Israel could develop its satellite technology to carry a space-based weapon. The nuclear arsenal: Israel has been tight-lipped about its nuclear arsenal but it’s widely assumed by many governments and defense experts that it does indeed exist. Israel is believed to possess anywhere from 75 to 400 nukes, all of which were developed at the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona. Much of the information about Israel’s nuke program comes from the controversial defector Mordechai Vanunu who worked as a technician the Negev facility in the 1980’s. Israel has a number of ways to launch its nukes including by submarine, jet fighter, and the Jericho intercontinental ballistic missile system.
THE JEWISH HOME AUGUST 21, 2014 24
25 THE JEWISH HOME
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Watergate Trivia Redux
Riddle! Mr. Pitman was a very rich man who liked to see how smart the local kids were. One day, he came into town with a little safe and announced that there was $1,000 in the safe for anyone who could get it open. He showed the crowd five different colored keys and the person who figured out which key was the correct one for the safe got to keep the money. Using the clues, do you think you could figure it out and win $1,000? Red: This key is somewhere to the left of the key to the door. Blue: This key is not at one of the ends. Green: This key is three spaces away from the key to the door (2 between). Yellow: This key is next to the key to the door. Orange: This key is in the middle. Answer on next page
You Gotta be
As your Centerfold Commissioner, last week I was summoned to do a Watergate Trivia in honor of the 40th anniversary of Mr. Nixon’s resignation. I laid down my non-alcoholic martini and got to writing. It turns out that in my summer stupor, I mismatched two of the answers. Normal people make mistakes; Centerfold Commissioners do not. As such, “I hereby resign the Office of Centerfold Commissioner of The Jewish Home.” Well, maybe not…I don’t want to cause mass demonstrations. Anyway, let’s try this again; here are the two questions with the correct answers: 1. On what basis did Nixon argue that he shouldn’t have to hand over the White House tapes? a. The Right to Privacy b. Executive Privilege c. Due Process d. National Security concerns 2. How was the burglary on the Democratic National Committee’s office uncovered? a. Nixon’s campaign started using information that only the DNC had, which led to an investigation which uncovered the burglary b. One of the burglars told his friend and the friend went to the press c. The burglars were seen on videotapes which were present in various parts of the DNC’s offices d. The burglars used tape to hold open the latches on door locks and a sharp-eyed security guard saw some tape which was left there and called the police Answers 1. B 2. D
A state trooper pulls a car over on a lonely back road and approaches the driver and asks for his license. The officer sees that the driver, Jimbo, has a fairly clean driving record so he says, “Jimbo, is there a reason that you’re weaving all over the road?” Jimbo replies, “Oh, officer, thank goodness you’re here! I almost had an accident. I looked up and there was a tree right in front of me. I swerved to the left and there was another tree in front of me. I swerved to the right and there was another tree in front of me!” Reaching through the window to the rearview mirror, the officer replies, “Jimbo, that’s your air freshener.”
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Dog Days Trivia Information obtained from National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Washington, D.C.
1. Name the only Major League Baseball ballpark that sells more sausages than hot dogs per season? a. Yankee Stadium in New York b. Wrigley Field in Chicago c. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles d. Miller Park in Milwaukee 2. What is the average weight, fully loaded, of a baseball park hot dog vendor’s bin? a. 25 lbs b. b. 100 lbs c. c. 10 lbs d. d. 40 lbs 3. It is well known that Babe Ruth loved hot dogs. In fact, he once ate how many hot dogs between two games of a double header? a. 2 b. 5 c. 8 d. 12 4. How many hotdogs do Americans eat between Memorial Day and Labor Day? a. 80 million b. 300 million c. 750 million d. 7 billion 5. In which city are the most hot dogs eaten? a. Dallas b. New York City c. Chicago d. Los Angeles 6. How much does Thomas Makkos pay the city every year to sell hot dogs at a pushcart outside of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art? a. $17,050 b. $24,320 c. $68,552 d. $415,670 Answers 1 - D. Out of all 30 MLB parks, Miller Park in Milwaukee is the only
one in which sausages outsell hotdogs per season. Miller Park is home to the famous “Sausage Race” during each game. 2- D. A fully loaded bin weights approximately 40 pounds—and vendors typically walk 4 to 5 miles per game, up and down steps. 3- D. Legend has it the Babe once ate 12 hot dogs and eight bottles of soda between games of a doubleheader. 4 - D. Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs during peak season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That’s 818 hot dogs per second. 5 - D. Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city, beating out New York and San Antonio/Corpus Christi, Texas. 6 - D. Thomas Makkos pays $415,670 per year for the city’s top dog spot, which is right outside of the Met. That’s right—what do all of those “cultured stiff shirts” want after staring at Rembrandts for 6 hours? A hot dog with sauerkraut and baked beans! A bunch of frauds! So how did you do? 4-6 correct: You are really good at hot dog trivia. Give yourself a pat on the back…if your hand can actually reach that far. 1-3 correct: You are just a typical American…make sure to get your 47 hot dogs this summer. 0 correct: Truth is I can’t figure you out. You played the game so you can’t be such a “stiff.” But you didn’t even get 1 answer right! Maybe you Comm Let the are just in a hot dog-inission duced coma. er d
Answer to riddle: The order (from left to right) is Green, Red, Orange, Blue, Yellow. The blue key is the key to the door.
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ecide Send your s tuff to c
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” President Obama went to the beach yesterday while he’s vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. Which got weird when he took out his metal detector to search for $16 trillion in quarters. - Jimmy Fallon
1980’s rock star Bret Michaels is holding a motivational seminar at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando this September called “Life Rocks.” So if you’re going, yours doesn’t. - Seth Myers
Today is National Middle Child Day. And, appropriately, it won’t get any attention.
President Obama is apparently back on speaking terms with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I guess their disagreements over Israel have made their relationship somewhat complicated. But not as complicated as the name, “Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” - Jimmy Fallon
- Seth Myers This is now a national, central issue, and anyone running for president needs to come up with a formula, or, in my opinion, they forfeit their right to be taken seriously. I’m amazed that we’re not hearing from leading candidates ... Chris Christie or Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. I land in New York this morning, and I see Chris Christie dancing. - Al Sharpton discussing the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, the day after Chris Christie danced at a fundraiser (and President Obama danced at a friend’s birthday party in Martha’s Vineyard)
You’re welcome. I’m awesome! - A charged-up Rick Perry after his Iowa State Fair speech when thanked by the moderator
I’m sorry. Our intentions were good. - Ethan Zuckerman writing in The Atlantic about his invention: popup ads To commemorate the 25th anniversary of “Field of Dreams,” the Iowa State Fair is displaying a 200-pound butter sculpture of Kevin Costner. Or as Paula Deen put it, “If you build it . . . I will come.” - Jimmy Fallon
There’s a luxury Middle Eastern airline that’s going to start offering first-class passengers a suite with bedrooms, a kitchenette, and shower. United Airlines says you can enjoy the same amenities if you cancel your flight and stay home. - Conan O’Brien
Oh, this isn’t good. The Secret Service just arrested 13 people in New Jersey who were making counterfeit money. Which got worse when the counterfeiters said, “Are you sure this isn’t something a seven-dollar bill can’t get me out of?” - Jimmy Fallon
I would have been inclined to talk about crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, all of which I think can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the state of Israel….When [the term] “genocide” was invented there was no court at all. There was no court for crimes against humanity, but we have them now. And with a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering we can get them before the courts. - William Schabas, who has been tapped to head the United Nations’ investigation into Israel’s actions during Operation Protective Edge, speaking at a 2013 conference about the Middle East
I bet you can tell I’m a woman and I suspect the rest of the world can, too. My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could [not take seriously].
A 14-year-old Texas boy lived in a Walmart for four days before he was discovered. Employees got suspicious when they noticed something in a Walmart that was made in America. - Conan O’Brien
- New NBA Player’s Union head Michele Roberts to a gathering of NBA players During a fundraiser last night, President Obama suggested that one or more Supreme Court justices may retire soon. Which got awkward when Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “You can have this gavel when you pry it out of my even colder, deader fingers.” - Jimmy Fallon
An Oregon man called Portland police on Monday to report that traffic was being held up by a chicken attempting to cross a road. Then on Tuesday, he called back to report a priest and a rabbi walking into a bar. – Seth Myers
Yesterday a fight broke out between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys during a joint practice. Referees told them there’s a proper way for NFL players to settle their disputes. It’s called murder. - Conan O’Brien We are continuing our struggle. ALLAH IS OUR GOAL, THE PROPHET IS OUR LEADER, JIHAD IS OUR WAY, AND DEATH FOR ALLAH IS OUR MOST EXALTED WISH - Tweet sent out by the military arm of Hamas while they were in the middle of cease-fire talks in Egypt
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been indicted after he threatened to veto funding for a district attorney’s office unless she stepped down. He’s now the most controversial governor in the country — which is why today he got a gift basket from Chris Christie. - Jimmy Fallon
• Owner emeritus • Clippers Number One Fan - Names bestowed upon Shelly Sterling in the contract for the sale of the Clippers from her and her husband to Steve Ballmer
Kobe Bryant and Nike have teamed up to make a Beethoven-themed sneaker. They’re motto is “Play basketball like an 18th century deaf German.” - Conan O’Brien
I’m proud of us. We deserve this. – A looter in Ferguson, Missouri, to the Washington Post
A woman was arrested at LaGuardia Airport this week after she was seen stealing an iPad and iPhone. The woman could be sentenced to as much as six months at LaGuardia. – Seth Myers
The world is exploding all over. - Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel addressing a group of Marines
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said that he is still sober and he’ll never be caught doing anything illegal ever again. Then he said, “Unless someone’s taping me. Then I’ll get caught probably.” - Jimmy Fallon
I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries, but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation. - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in a radio interview in France, urging President Obama to return to the White House to deal with the ISIS threat This week a town in Minnesota elected a dog named Duke as its mayor. Yeah, they elected a mayor that … sleeps on the floor and eats out of the garbage. Then Toronto said, “Been there!” - Jimmy Fallon
- A sign being held up by a protestor in Ferguson, Missouri, while CNN was showing live footage of the demonstrations
Rob Ford also said that he is committed to living a healthier life, and his days of going to the liquor store are over. Which would be great, if he weren’t addicted to crack. - Ibid Customers at a Georgia Subway restaurant located inside a Walmart started throwing things at the workers because the store’s lettuce looked brown… because there is no customer with more discriminating taste than one who eats at a Georgia Subway in a Walmart. - Seth Myers
AUGUST 21, 2014
A survey found that 75 percent of Americans don’t use up all their vacation days. While the rest apparently loaned them to President Obama—he’s on vacation again! - Jimmy Fallon
I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation. - Executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police Jim Pasco in an interview with The Hill, criticizing President Obama’s remarks about law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri
Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future…Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home. – A warning by the recently-exiled Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, about radical Islam taking over the world
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- Conan O’Brien
People are still fighting about immigration. Congress is suing the president. I’m not saying things are bad, but the Middle East just sent diplomats to negotiate peace in our country. - Jimmy Fallon
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Apple announced it will ban two toxic chemicals that are used in the production of iPhones. In a related story, that iPhone in your pocket right now is made of toxic chemicals.
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AUGUST 21, 2014
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California’s Most Unusual Attractions By Dale Rosen
Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City: Arguably L.A.’s most bizarre museum, the Museum of Jurassic Technology on Venice Boulevard will leave you scratching your head at its sheer weirdness. The museum claims it’s dedicated to exploring the “Lower Jurassic” but leaves that term’s meaning open to interpretation. The displays range from Soviet canine cosmonauts to x-rays of flowers to watching live doves fly about. The randomness of the exhibits can be off-putting but the exhibition is described as “intriguing,” “defying simple explanation,” and won-
contrast to the beautiful beach. Ostrichland USA, Solvang: An unusual stop near Santa Barbara, this farm features ostriches and emus and is great fun for the whole family. For a small fee you can feed and pet the animals. Be sure to check out the gift shop where you can choose ostrich and emu gifts including real eggs. Admission is $4 and feeding is $1 per bowl. Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Fremont: Dedicated to the mostly forgotten art form, this museum has everything related to silent films: vintage projectors, movie
Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad: This amazing interactive museum consists of playable guitars, mandolins, drums, and exotic instruments like the electric harp. The display portion of the museum fills you in on the history of American popular music from the 1890‘s to today and features almost 500 vintage instruments. The museum is small but the amount of fun, engaging activities and low admission cost (free, but
Shipwreck Hike, Rancho Palos Verdes
Wave Organ, San Francisco: Built by the Exploratorium, this is an amazing piece of art located on a jetty in the San Francisco Bay. As the name suggests, the waves that hit the PVC pipes of the sculpture produce a subtle sound when listened
Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Wende Museum, Culver City
derfully “creepy.” Adult admission is $8, children are $5. Wende Museum, Culver City: Not nearly as weird as the previous museum, but fascinating nonetheless, this hidden gem explores the history of the Cold War. You can see actual artifacts and documents pertaining to the Cold War including a real chunk of the Berlin Wall and busts of Lenin and Stalin. Admission is free but reservations are required. Murphy’s Ranch, Pacific Palisades: If you take the trail near the corner of Capri and Casale off Sunset Blvd, you can reach a concrete bunker that was built by the Nazi-sympathizing Silver Legion of America. The builders planned on using the building as a base of operations for a potential Nazi invasion but it was shut down by the authorities after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The bunker, now owned by the city, is covered in graffiti but has survived calls for its demolition. Shipwreck Hike, Rancho Palos Verdes: The wreckage of the WWII-era Liberty Freighter the SS Dominator that ran aground in 1961 lies strewn across the beach near Paseo del Mar and Cloyden. The hike is a little dangerous as it involves walking down a large pipe but it’s well worth the reward of seeing a rusted ship in
posters, and, of course, movie screenings with live piano accompaniment (only on Saturday nights). This is also where Charlie Chaplin got his start in the movie business two years after the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company came to the tiny town of Niles in 1912. If silent films appeal to you then this place is a must-see, especially with a movie ad- Preamplifier at the National Ignition Facility mission price of only $5! (For something a lot $5 sugcloser to home, check out gested dothe Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax.) nation) makes it well worth the time. Safetyville USA, Sacramento: This Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga: Ever 3-acre size oddity is a miniature version of wanted to visit a medieval castle but can’t Sacramento that you can walk through. It is afford airfare to Europe? Then here’s the mainly geared toward children and teach- next best thing. Located in the heart of es them how to be safe through hands-on Napa Valley, the castle is actually a winery experience rather than a classroom lecture. but sadly the wine is not kosher. Despite Activities include fire safety, electrical that, the castle itself is breathtaking. From safety, learning to look both ways before the beautiful medieval-style wall paintings crossing a street, and making a mock 911 to the armor displays to the torture chamcall. For adults, it’s worth it to go there just ber with an authentic iron maiden device, to see the cute mini-version of the Capitol this is an architectural marvel that rivals Building. some of Europe’s best castles.
to closely. It’s outdoors so admission is free but be prepared for a long walk to the end of Yacht Road. It’s best to go during a high tide. Goldstone Deep Space Network, Fort Irwin: Located in the Mojave Desert, this is a radio telescope/communication array operated by NASA that is mainly used for communication for space missions, but is also used to search for extraterrestrial life and make radar maps of moons and planets, among other things. It forms part of the Deep Space Network along with two other arrays in Spain and Australia. You can get an escorted tour as you follow your
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Museum of Jurrasic Technology
Calico Ghost Town
HAVE TRAVEL PLANS THIS SUMMER? Museum of Making Music
Goldstone Deep Space Communication Complex
guide’s vehicle in your own. Tours are free but must be scheduled in advance. Calico Ghost Town, Yermo: Calico is undoubtedly one of America’s most famous ghost towns. It was a mining center in the late 1800‘s but its fortunes soured by the turn of the century with a sharp decrease in the price of silver. Many of the buildings standing today are not original so the town is pretty touristy but there’s still plenty of exciting things to see and do that make it worthwhile. Some of these things include a mine tour, seeing gun stunt shows, and gold panning. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for youth. International Banana Museum, Mecca: For something a bit wacky, check out this museum near the Salton Sea that’s dedicated entirely to the banana. The museum claims to have over 20,000 banana-related items. They also have a banana shake that can be purchased a substitute for the cost of admission (not sure it it’s kosher though). The museum may be small but it certainly it memorable. National Ignition Facility, Livermore: Included on the tour of Lawrence Livermore National Lab is a tour of the National Ignition Facility which houses one of the
Castello di Amorosa
world’s most powerful lasers and was recently used to crush a diamond, the hardest known substance. You’ll be awestruck by the machine’s sheer complexity. You can also reserve a separate tour of the lab’s Site 300 explosives testing-ground. The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz: This little building located in the redwood forests outside Santa Cruz is full of great optical illusions where the laws of gravity seem to be defied. You can expect to be disoriented but also have a lot of fun. Admission is $6 per person and parking is $5. Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze, San Francisco: If you’re in San Francisco, be sure to stop by Pier 39 for a weird, psychedelic trip through a hall of 77 neon-lit mirrors. For just $5 you can go through the maze as many times as you like. Musee Mecanique, San Francisco: And while you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf you can head over to Pier 45 to visit this museum/ arcade filled with vintage penny and nickel arcade games ranging from arm wrestling to baseball pinball to Pong (arguably the first video game). Admission is free. (Sources: Wikitravel, Atlas Obscura)
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Global London Most Influential City in the World
Hold onto your hats, New Yorkers. This piece of news will rock you off your high horse. Recently, business magazine Forbes named London the world’s most influential city. Much of the world’s super-rich call London their home; its historic capital of the English language contributes to its eminence in the eyes of the world’s elite. The city was praised for its strong transport links, long history as a global financial hub and lack of regulations owing to its position outside the U.S. and the Eurozone. “Compared to New York, it is also time-zone advantaged for doing business in Asia, and has the second best global air connections of any city after Dubai, with nonstop flights at least three times a week to 89 per cent of global cities outside of its home region of Europe,” Forbes pointed out. It also holds the position of Europe’s top technology startup center with more than 3,000 tech start-up firms as well as Google’s largest office outside Silicon Valley. Despite the accolades and its top position, Forbes did point out that London is not the city it once was—suffering from the UK’s decline to a “second rate power.” New York, with a population of 8.4 million, came in at a close second to London. Most of the world’s top investment banks and hedge funds call the Big Apple their home. And the world’s markets are busier here than ever; stock market trade levels are 10 times that of London and four times that of Tokyo. Paris managed to come in at number three on the world’s most influential list. Despite its ranking, it’s important to note that the French city comes in way below the top two—London and New York. “Paris may rank third in our survey, but it is way below New York and London by virtually every critical measure, and the city’s future is not promising given that France, and much of the EU, are mired in relative economic stagnation. “Elsewhere, Europe boast a veritable archipelago of globally competitive cit-
ies — Munich, Rome, Hamburg — but none is large enough, or unique enough, to break into the top 10 in the future. East Asia is likely to place more cities at the top of the list,” Forbes concluded. Singapore came in as the fourth most influential city; it has been named as the best place in the world to do business and attracts the highest level of foreign direct investment. Tokyo came in at five and is the world’s largest city in terms of gross domestic product. Hong Kong, the largest financial center in the world after London and New York, came in at sixth place. Dubai, with a population of 2.1 million, scored top for diversity, with 86 percent of its residents born abroad. It came in at seventh on the list. Beijing and Sydney tied for 8th place. In the tenth place, the San Francisco Bay area managed to jump into the top ten this year, with a wide array of the world’s top technology companies. Los Angeles and Toronto also tied for tenth place this year.
Saudi Prince Carjacked in Paris
Late on Sunday, the motorcade of a Saudi prince was attacked by heavily armed robbers who made off with 250,000 euros in cash and diplomatic papers in northern Paris. The attack came as the motorcade was making its way from a plush hotel on the Champs Elysees to an airport in Le Bourget, said police, who confirmed there were no injuries. A gang of “between five and eight” thieves in two BMWs hijacked the first of around 10 vehicles in the convoy, driving off with the three occupants before letting them go. The Saudis’ Mercedes and one of the thieves’ BMWs were later found abandoned and burned approximately 25 miles from the scene of the crime. “It’s quite an unusual attack. They were obviously well-informed. It’s true that it’s quite a rare way of operating,” one police source said. The head of a national police union, Nicolas Comte, said: “We need to find out what they were looking for, the money or the documents.” Obviously, if they were looking for the documents, the investigation will be focused on that. It seems as if the robbers knew exactly which car would hold those documents. He added, “I hope
we will also have efficient cooperation with the Saudi authorities.” “Once again, unfortunately, we see that these individuals had no fear of the police and were not concerned about the consequences of their actions,” an official noted.
Yazidis Minority Massacred by ISIS
As President Obama enjoyed his vacation last week, the U.S. began airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group in northern Iraq. Tens of thousands of Yazidis are being forced to flee to barren mountains as Islamic militants close in. The Yazidis are a centuries-old religious minority viewed as apostates by the Islamic State. Meanwhile, warplanes targeted insurgents around a large dam that was captured by the Islamic State extremist group a few weeks ago. In a statement, U.S. Central Command said the airstrikes on Saturday were launched under the authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect U.S. personnel and facilities. Central Command said the nine airstrikes carried out so far had destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle. Despite the strikes, on Saturday, Islamic State fighters besieged the village of Kocho and commanded all residents to convert or die. Yazidi lawmaker Mahma Khalil said the Yazidis in Kocho were given the choice to abandon their religion for that of the fighters. When they refused, “the massacre took place,” he said. Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for Kurdish security forces, said the militants took the women and children of Kocho to a nearby city. An eyewitness and the brother of the Kocho mayor, Nayef Jassem, who said he obtained his details from another witness, said the militants told villagers to gather in a school, promising them the opportunity to leave Kocho after their details were recorded. The militants separated the men from the women and children under 12 years old. They took men and male teens away in large groups and shot them on the edge of the village, according to a wounded man who escaped by faking his death. The 42-year-old man recounted that the
fighters used pistols to finish off anyone who appeared to still be alive. He spoke to the press by phone from an undisclosed location where he is hiding. Of course, he spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety. “They thought we were dead, and when they went away, we ran away. We hid in a valley until sundown, and then we fled to the mountains,” the terrified survivor recalled. An exact number of men killed is still unavailable but Iraqi and Kurdish officials believe it was at least 80. However, Yazidi residents said they believed the number was higher, because there were at least 175 families in Kocho, and few were able to escape before the militants surrounded their hamlet. The Islamic State group is in control of massive parts of northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq. The magnitude of the humanitarian crisis prompted the U.N. to declare its highest level of emergency earlier this week. Since the Islamic State’s rapid advance began in June, nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced. Even with the airstrikes last week, Khalil is urging the U.S. to do more to help protect Yazidis. He lamented,, “We have been calling on the U.S. administration and Iraqi government to intervene and help the innocent people,” Khalil said. “But it seems that nobody is listening.”
2 Die in Chess Tournament
When you think of activities during which people might die, chess is not on the top of the list. But this week, the most prestigious international chess tournament ended on a somber note after two players died suddenly, one while he was in the middle of a match. Hundreds of spectators attending the 41st Chess Olympiad in Troms, Norway, reacted with shock after Kurt Meier, 67, a Swiss-born member of the Seychelles team, collapsed during his final match of the marathon two-week contest. Despite immediate medical attention at the scene, he later died in the hospital. A player from Uzbekistan, who has not yet been named, also died in his hotel room during the tournament. Norwegian police and the event’s organizers said they were not treating the
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deaths as suspicious. The Olympiad involved 1,800 competitors from 174 countries, accompanied by more than 1,000 coaches, delegates and fans. The event sees players compete in national teams over 11 rounds, often playing matches that last for up to six hours, and claims a worldwide online audience of tens of millions. Meier is not the first player to die in the middle of a match; in 2000, Vladimir Bagirov, a Latvian grandmaster, had a fatal heart attack during a tournament in Finland, while in the same year, another Latvian, Aivars Gipslis, suffered a stroke while playing in Berlin from which he later died. While the causes of the two men’s deaths are still unknown, they will raise questions about the mental and physical stress that tournaments place on players. One of Australia’s leading players, Ian Rogers, retired abruptly from chess in 2007, saying his doctors had warned him that the stress of top-level competitions was causing him serious health problems.
ba, to those walking the streets of Bradford. Several visitors posed for pictures with the Israeli flag against the background of different sites in the city. The sightseers then uploaded the photos to Twitter, adding the hashtag #galloway, to ensure that he would catch sight of the protest. “I was surprised how many had actually heard of his speech and knew what he said and were embarrassed,” Odze told the British press. “I don’t think he has as much support as he thinks. Later in the day, some pro-Palestinian demonstrators came from another demonstration happening at the same time. We spoke about the conflict, and even though one side is never going to convince the other, it was a respectful discussion and we shared our biscuits,” Odze added. Yorkshire Police have announced that they will launch an investigation into Galloway’s comments.
A Dollar and a Doughnut
Israelis Visit “IsraeliFree Zone” Best way to ensure your random hometown becomes a popular Israeli tourist destination? Declare it an “Israel-free zone.” After British parliament member George Galloway declared that Israeli tourists are not welcome in Bradford, groups of Israelis and British Jews arrived in the city in the past week—just to spite the controversial MP. Last week, Rabbi Shneur Odze from Manchester organized a pilgrimage to the area, in order to “prove a point,” he said. “We wanted to show that you can’t make a city an ‘Israel-free zone,’” he added. “Got my Israeli flag, passport and tee shirt, Bradford here we come! Sorry George Galloway ;-),” Odze wrote in a tweet.
The visitors uploaded videos to social networks documenting their “infiltration into enemy territory,” in which they performed tasks such as ordering coffee at Starbucks while displaying a passport, and distributing Israeli products, such as Bam-
Want to know what a dollar’s worth? It seems that it’s all about location, location, location. Where you are will determine what that buck’s really worth. Amazingly, a dollar can get you a bottle of wine or even a full meal depending on the different countries around the world. “Don’t think you can get very far on a single dollar anymore? Think again. When Lonely Planet asked its readers what $1 can buy in their neighborhood, the answers were astounding,” the Lonely Planet website reads. The company created an infographic to show readers just how far their dollar can stretch depending on where they live. “Sure, one hour of parking may not seem all that extravagant, but as it turns out, in certain parts of our world, a lonely Washington can get you an unlimited meal, a pretty serious back massage, and even an entire bottle of wine,” it added. In you’re living in L.A., a dollar can only buy you an hour of parking. Obviously, that seems cheap compared to Manhattan prices—and your dollar will become expensive if you forget to feed the meter. On the other side of the world, customers in Nepal can eat 10 dumplings and a
Coke for just a buck, and in Vietnam, you can purchase 3 pairs of sandals. In case your feet are aching from your flip flops, you can head to the Philippines, where a dollar will give you a half-hour foot massage. Or better yet, head to England, where you can just buy some gas—1/2 liter—for your car and give your aching feet a rest. “Where will you spend your next dollar?” the website asks. Maybe try the lotto—after all, it’s a dollar and a dream.
Anti-Semitism against New Zealand PM Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand is Jewish. But the small, 7,500 person Jewish community in New Zealand was stunned this week when campaign posters for Key’s reelection were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti. One of the defaced campaign posters featured a picture of John Key that was spray-painted to resemble an observant Jew with a black hat. Painted next to the picture were the words “Lying Jew.” Key, who was born to an Austrian-Jewish mother and has family members who died in the Holocaust, has served as New Zealand’s prime minister from the center-right National Party since 2008. “The Jewish community in New Zealand, they are hard-working, decent people and they don’t deserve to be brought into some sort of personal campaign that’s directed at me,” Key said in statement.
Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told the Australia and New Zealand Jewish news website J-Wire that New Zealand’s Jewish community “is concerned about the rise in anti-Semitic acts and statements being made at present.” Goodman strongly said that anti-Semitism “must be dealt with swiftly; it has no place in our culture.”
Will France Change the Name of the City Called ‘Death to Jews’? This town in France is number one on my list of places I don’t want to live.
French authorities will next month consider changing the name of a tiny town near Paris which is officially known as La-Mort-aux-Juifs (“Death to Jews”) after a top Jewish group protested. “We will look at this problem right at the beginning of September” to find “a new name for the hamlet,” said Serge Montagne, a senior official from the village of Courtemaux. Montagne explained that the name, which dates back at least as far as the Middle Ages, is still on the official cadastral list, although the tiny hamlet of one farm and two houses has been known as “Route de Louzouer” on the postal register since 1992. A possible name change will be on the agenda of the next municipal council meeting, said Paul Laville, a town hall official.
The hamlet shot to prominence after the Simon Wiesenthal Center spoke to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve about the name. “It is extremely shocking that this name has slipped under the radar in the 70 years that have passed since France was liberated from Nazism and the [pro-Nazi] Vichy regime,” wrote the group’s director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels. But on Tuesday, the deputy mayor of Courtemaux (population 289) dismissed the concerns as “ridiculous.” “Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names,” Marie-Elizabeth Secretand said. In 1992, an anti-racism organization lobbied the interior minister and the authorities at the time in vain to get the name changed. In May, residents of a town in Spain with a similar name, Castrillo Matajudios (“Castrillo Kill Jews”), voted to change the name of that town. They voted 29-19 in favor of scrapping the northern Spanish town’s name, in existence since at least 1623, opting for the less offensive, older name, Mota de Judios, or “Hill of the Jews.”
Jailed US Citizen Faces ISIS Death Threats According to his wife in Idaho, an Iranian-American Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran for nearly two years has received death threats from Islamic State militants held in the same detention center.
When you walk along a main street in a Jewish neighborhood, you are bound to see two things: Chinese restaurants and sheitel shops. Turns out, they both may come from the same place. While China is best known for exporting Oriental rugs and herbal teas, human hair has now become one of China’s hottest commodities. Taihe, in the eastern province of Anhui, is home to more than 400 companies processing human hair into a variety of styles, including curly extensions, wigs and Afros, which end up on heads in the United States, Europe and Africa. It is one of many “industrial clusters”—areas that specialize on a single product—that have emerged in recent decades as a result of the booming Chinese economy. Fu Quanguo, 64, pioneered the trade in the 1970s. He explains how he “used to collect the human hair locally, but now
Israel 93 Arrested by Shin Bet in Plot to Start Third Intifada
More than 90 Hamas operatives were arrested in May and June by the Shin Bet,
the security service announced on Monday. The mass arrest thwarted a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank aimed at toppling Mahmoud Abbas and starting a third intifada uprising. Dozens of weapons that were smuggled into the West Bank were confiscated and more than $170,000 earmarked for the attacks were seized. When the Shin Bet announced its successes, it produced photos of the confiscated weapons and a flowchart of the operatives who had been questioned who were planning a series of massive attacks against Israeli targets—including Temple Mount. Terror cells were set up in dozens of Palestinian West Bank towns and villages — including in and around Jenin, Nablus, eastern Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Hebron. Many of those recruited for the cells were students studying chemistry and engineering, and academics. According to the Shin Bet, the plot was orchestrated by senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri, who is based in Turkey and enjoys the support of the local officials there. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 from forces loyal to Abbas. It is currently negotiating in Cairo over a ceasefire to formally end the past six weeks of Israel-Hamas conflict. The Israel-Hamas fighting was preceded by Israeli arrests of hundreds of Hamas members in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June. The Shin Bet said it uncovered the West Bank coup plot due to information gleaned from those arrests. Detailing what it said was the thwarted bid to topple the PA in the West Bank, the Shin Bet said on Monday that Hamas military cells in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, run through headquarters in Turkey, sought to execute a string of attacks against Israel, overthrow the PA, and establish a second front against Israel during Operation Protective Edge. During the three-month operation, the Shin Bet arrested 93 activists and confiscated 24 rifles, six pistols, seven rocket launchers, a large amount of ammunition, a getaway car, and funds amounting to over NIS 600,000 (some $170,000). It said that the infrastructure for the unusually “severe” string of attacks was based, also, on a “forward front in Jordan.” Using a network of couriers to Jor-
dan and Turkey, the Shin Bet said, the Hamas activists transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars of funds into the West Bank, with the intention of purchasing arms, and preparing safe houses, warehouses for weapons and laboratories for manufacturing rockets. The leader of the operation, Riad Nasser, a resident of the village Dir Kadis, was recruited by al-Arouri, the head of West Bank operations for Hamas abroad. Al-Arouri was one of the founders of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing. The Shin Bet called the network “one of the most widespread we have known,” and said that its existence pointed to the danger of Hamas operations abroad, particularly in light “of Hamas’ strategic intentions of toppling the PA.”
Drivers to Search Suspicious Passengers
Recently, the Transportation Ministry announced that it will soon begin to certify drivers to search for suspicious passengers on the country’s buses. The drivers will be enrolled in a special course to teach them how to hopefully thwart terrorist activity. Once the drivers have completed the course, their certificates will grant them the authority to perform body searches on passengers and on their possessions and hold them, if necessary, until a police officer arrives. They will also be able to confiscate objects that may threaten the public security—such as knives or other weapons. The certificates will enable them to demand the identification of passengers, including name, address and official identity card, the ministry said. The course will help drivers identity
AUGUST 21, 2014
Chinese Hair Market Growing
it comes from all kinds of countries, like Myanmar and Vietnam. In the past, making hair products was tough, and we did it all by hand. Now we’ve gone from small to big and are selling internationally.” In the workplaces, the hair is first disinfected in two huge barrels, before workers use paddles to stir clumps of strands in steaming water. It is dyed in colors from white to black and is then dried in ovens, brushed and sewn into hair extensions. Prices can go for as much as 5,400 yuan – $880 – for cuts of 20 inches. Mr. Quanguo’s son, Fu Qianwei, 36, has a company with the English name Anna and export sales of $8 million a year, mostly to the United States. He employs more than 200 people full time. He explains, “Each country has different demands on length, thickness and quality. As Africa’s economy grows, the market is growing and moving towards higher quality. Because the value of hair is so high, people call it black gold.” According to the World Trade Organization’s International Trade Centre, China exported nearly 75 percent of the world’s “bird skin, feathers and human hair” products in 2012.
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Saeed Abedini, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was sentenced to eight years in prison by an Iranian court last year. His crime was undermining national security by setting up home-based Christian churches in his native country from 2000 to 2005. His wife, Naghmeh Abedini, of Boise, Idaho, said threats to his life from lack of healthcare and nutritious food were compounded this week when cellmates told him Sunni Muslim prisoners who have aligned themselves with the Islamic State, or ISIS, have targeted him for death. It was not clear if the detained militants were Iraqis or Iranians. Abedini relayed the information to his mother, who visited him this week at Rajai Shahr prison, west of the Iranian capital of Tehran. “He’s already under threat because he is a convert to Christianity. Now we understand that ISIS members in the prison have said he is their number one target,” she said. Abedini is in the same ward but a separate section from the Islamic State adherents, his wife said, adding that he is afraid to leave his cell and join the general prison population in the yard for exercise. “I fear for his life,” she said, adding that the couple’s young children have submitted a video to President Barack Obama pleading with him to bring their father safely home.
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suspects and teach them how to handle explosives. They will be trained about passengers’ rights and teach them self-defense as well. Regarding the program’s launch, Transportation Minister Israel Katz stressed that the course will allow drivers “to better cope with attempted terrorist attacks on public transportation and help prevent hostile individuals from harming the security of the public and passengers.”
tified as 28-year-old Darren Wilson, a sixyear police veteran who had no previous complaints filed against him. The Ferguson Police Department has refused to say anything about Wilson’s whereabouts. Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
my; in the first quarter of 2014, retail sales were 2.4% higher than the same time last year. A huge contributor to that increase is a 15% rise in e-commerce sales—online shopping is growing more and more popular in our nation.
San Fran Loves Bran
National State of Emergency in Ferguson, MO This week, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb where an 18-year-old black teenager was killed last week by a white police officer. The town is also seeing a curfew from midnight till five in the morning. Nixon said that although many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community Tensions in Ferguson flared after police released the name of the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown and documents showing Brown robbed a store before he died. Nixon also said the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its investigation into the shooting. 40 FBI agents have going door-to-door talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting.
Brown’s death has already ignited several days of clashes with furious protesters. Tensions eased a bit after Nixon turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Local officers faced strong criticism earlier in the week for their use of tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters The officer who shot Brown was iden-
As Americans, we all know that we have to step away from the all-you-can-eat buffets and start lacing up those sneakers and snacking on kale. We are the “fattest country” in the developed world; according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 70 percent of adults in the United States are overweight—and half of that number qualify as being obese. But not every state in the nation tips the scales. Some areas are more healthy than not and people there have learned to bike to work and nosh on lettuce. So where are the healthiest Americans residing? Well, according to Yummly, a website which helps people find recipes, if you love to snack on carrots, San Francisco is the place to be. It takes the cake as the healthiest city in the nation, followed by San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, OR. Residents in these towns often search for healthy, filling recipes to serve their families. Where do the least healthy city fall on the map? If you’re living in St. Louis, you aren’t serving up healthy dishes for your fam. Neither are residents of Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Charlotte, NC, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Here are some other food facts, according to Yummly. In St. Louis, residents consistently search for recipes with bacon, cheese, cake and pie. Heartburn city! In New York, Boston, and D.C., residents are more likely to search for chicken dishes than beef. And people in Atlanta and Houston are the biggest fans of fried foods.
Amazon Leads the Pack in Business Growth Things are looking up for our econo-
Which companies are growing the most in this market? Interestingly, there are some retailers—like Family Dollar— that are benefiting from the slump in our economy. Some other companies, like Whole Foods, target a specific segment of the population that don’t generally shop in general retailers. Starbucks came in at number ten on list of the top growing businesses in the country. Although they seem to be everywhere, there are 11,513 Starbucks stores in the nation. Other stores in the top ten include AT&T Wireless, Whole Foods, Apple, Family Dollar, Chick-fil A, and Sherwin Williams. Amazon.com came in at number one on this list. The retailer achieved 27.2% growth this year and made $43.9 billion in retail sales in the U.S. in 2013. Seems like Americans like the concept of free shipping.
That’s Odd He’s a W-I-N-N-E-R
Every letter really counts in this game. On Wednesday, 24-year-old Conrad Bassett-Bouchard beat Jason Li, 29, of Montreal, in the final round of the five day 25th National Scrabble Championship. The playoff was played at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The playing was
intense and the stakes were high. After the extreme games, the final score was 477350, with the champion playing the word “tidy” on his final turn and Li putting down “qua” for his last stand. Unbelievably, 525 players from 11 countries joined in the championship to compete for the $10,000 top prize. Although the tournament began just days after the new Official Scrabble Players Dictionary debuted, the players were not able to use the 5,000 new words that were added to the dictionary. Some words they will be able to use next year include da (short for dad), gi (a martial arts garment), po (a chamber pot), and te (a variant of the musical note “ti”). Qajaq is another word that was added which created a lot of buzz. It’s another word for a kayak and will require players to use a blank tile to spell since there is only one letter “q” in the Scrabble game. Love Scrabble as much as champion Conrad? Well, probably not as much, but here are some Scrabble facts that may interest you: Architect Alfred Butts liked to build more than just buildings; he devised the game during the Great Depression. America just loves to play this word game. Hasbro sells 2 million copies each year in the U.S. There are 100 tiles in a game; the letters Q and Z are each worth 10 points. Groups of six letters that combine with another letter for a valuable seven-letter word are called bingo stems. SATINE, SATIRE and RETINA are considered the best bingo stems. Think you’re a champion—just like Conrad? You’ll never beat this: the highest word score recorded in a sanctioned NASPA tournament was braziers, which earned T.A. Sanders 311 points in 1997 in Tyler, Texas. Bet you can’t top that.
Largest Gator in Alabama
In Alabama, catching an alligator is a family affair. On Saturday, five members of the Stokes family caught a monster alligator; it took them 10 hours of close-knit family time to wrangle the beast.
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Lego sets from one storage facility to another and trying to sell them on eBay for a profit. They were reportedly worth about $60,000. And this Lego obsession is nothing new. Last year, it was reported that a Silicon Valley executive pleaded no contest to stealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Legos and hiding them in his $2 million home. Wonder if he was able to build himself some sort of alibi with all those blocks he was hiding.
Ferrari Sold for $34M
Rev up your engines and take out your wallets, car-lovers. This will get your heart a-racing. A rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO once owned by a famed racing driver and Olympic gold medalist has sold for $34.65 million. Thursday’s auction in California is believed to be a record public auction price for a classic car, topping the nearly $30 million paid for a Mercedes W196 last year in England. The Los Angeles Times reports the $38 million total price — including 10 percent buyer fees — is half of what experts said it could fetch. One example reportedly sold for $52 million in a private transaction. The car is one of just 39 Ferrari GTOs produced and was once owned by racer and retired Olympic gold medal skier Henri Oreiller, who died after crashing it into a building.
LOL Rules of the Road Officials in Massachusetts want drivers in their state to enjoy driving—but they also want them to be safe. Recently, the Department of Transportation unveiled some humorous signs meant to remind drivers of road safety—all with tongue in cheek. In May, drivers were reminded to “Use Yah Blinkah” when changing lanes. “With the ‘Use Yah Blinkah’ sign, we got people’s attention,” said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “By changing the routine messages, we hope to bring a new light to important public safety messages that sometimes may be overlooked.”
Because of the success of the “Blinkah” road sign, officials created a contest for motorists to submit a humorous sign about road safety. So which ones made the cut? On Thursday, the winners were announced—and it may just be hard to keep your eyes on the road when driving. “Make yah Ma proud, wear yah seatbelt,” “Keep Calm and Drive On,” and “Put down the phone! Your LOLs and OMGs can wait” were the three that grabbed authorities’ attention. The lucky drivers who submitted the winning entries received gift cards from gas stations and restaurants and their message will appear on hundreds of boards. How about a sign about not double parking on Central Avenue—or is there nothing funny about that?
Lego Laundering Scheme
It took five months of investigating, but Arizona police have finally made an arrest in a major Lego heist that has been plaguing the Phoenix area. Authorities uncovered a whopping $200,000 worth of Legos and at least $40,000 worth of children’s toys that were stolen from neighborhood Toys R Us stores after they raided the homes of four suspects. The four thieves would steal Lego sets that cost between $99 to $500 each by walking out of the stores without setting off any alarms. They would then sell them at a discounted price on the streets and one suspect sold them online. It turns out that you don’t have to be worried about thieves stealing your wallets anymore. Lego is all the rage. Over the weekend, a Long Island woman was accused of stealing hundreds of boxes of
The Paper Cocktail
Want to know what the coolest, newest drink tastes like? Well, it sort of tastes like paper. Recently, Remy Savage of Little Red Door won the top prize at Bombay Sapphire’s World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition. Turns out, he’s the only bartender out there who mixed up a drink that tastes like paper—and that seemed to wow the judges. Remy said he got the idea for a ginbased drink with notes of paper after touring the brand’s Laverstoke Mill distillery, which used to produce the paper used for English cash. “The real challenge was trying to find something that could taste and smell like paper – without using any paper, because that’s obviously going to be disgusting,” he related. Remy ended up making a pulp from cane sugar, vanilla beans, water, Martini Bianco, “smoky, peaty whiskey,” dried gentian root and grass. His cocktail beat out other boozy competitors from around the world. I guess that the judges really like their booze to taste like their banknotes. Yum, the taste of money.
Facebook Photo Leads to Death
Selfies can be dangerous. Last weekend, a Mexican man shot and killed himself while he was taking a selfie with a gun. Before the tragic incident, Oscar Otero Aguilar was drinking with two friends. “I heard a gunshot, and then I heard somebody screaming and realized somebody had been hurt. I called the police straight away and when they arrived they found that he was still alive,” neighbor Manfredo Paez Paez said. Authorities said that the 21-year-old’s death was an accident. Oscar meant to post the photo with the gun on Facebook. He posted many photos of himself on the social media site. Previous photos of Oscar show him lounging next to alcoholic beverages and standing near several cars.
Flying One Handed
While piloting the Flybe flight from Birmingham to Belfast City Airport last February, the pilot was forced to fly one-handed. You see, as he was navigating the aircraft through the gusty conditions, his arm fell off. Although the 46-year-old insisted that he checked his prosthetic lower left arm, the appendage fell off right before touching down. Thankfully, he was able to use his right hand to make the landing and all went smoothly for the passengers. “He did this, but with power still applied and possibly a gust affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily,” the Air Accidents Investigation Branch reported last Thursday. The pilot has vowed to be more cautious about checking the attachment on his prosthesis in the future.
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The water monster measured a whopping 15 feet, and it weighed a scale-tipping 1,011.5 pounds—making it the largest gator ever captured in Alabama. They sure have some fun family activities down South. Now, pass the remote please.
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AUGUST 21, 2014
MOTORCYCYLES AND BIKES . . . Part I
Question: Is it legal for motorcyclists to drive between cars? I was making a turn, and I nearly collided with a motorcycle that came out of nowhere! Answer: What you describe is a practice known as “lane-splitting”, or “lane-sharing”, and it is very common. In fact, 87 percent of motorcyclists admit to lane-splitting, and it’s probably something that drivers see every day. It is particularly noticeable when a motorcycle hurtles between lanes while traffic is moving slowly or stopped. You might be surprised to learn that California is the only state that allows this practice. According to one California
Highway Patrol estimate, nearly 10,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2010, partly as a result of unsafe lane-splitting. To help educate drivers and motorcyclists about lane-splitting, the California Highway Patrol published a lane-splitting resource guide with safety tips last year. Motorcyclists are advised not to lane-split at speeds more than ten miles per hour faster than traffic, and are urged to avoid lane-splitting at speeds above 30 miles per hour. The CHP stopped publishing the lane-splitting guide earlier this year. The practice remains lawful as long as motorcyclists follow the above rules and exercise due care while riding. Safety Tip: Motorcycle collisions
can cause gruesome injuries, even if the motorcycle is traveling at slow speeds. Always look out for motorcyclists who might be lane-splitting, especially while changing lanes. Pay close attention when turning left at busy intersections, where lane-splitting accidents frequently occur. Question: My 16 year old son was riding his bicycle home from yeshiva, and was cited for not wearing a helmet. Isn’t wearing a helmet optional? Answer: You are partially correct. The California Vehicle Code applies to bicycles as well as vehicles. The Code requires all persons under the age of 18 to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet while operating a bicycle. Persons above the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets, though it is still probably a good idea to do so. Since your son is 16, he must wear a helmet while riding his bicycle. Question: I was riding my bicycle, and didn’t stop at a stop sign. A police officer gave me a stern warning, but he let me go. Did I break the law? Answer: Yes! As mentioned, bicyclists have all the rights, and are subject to all the provisions of the Vehicle Code. This means that bicyclists must obey the rules of the road, including stopping at stop signs, red lights, and not operating the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol. Consider yourself lucky that the officer did not give you a ticket, and be sure to follow the rules whenever you ride your bike. Question: I was walking on the sidewalk in front of my house, and a bicyclist hit me. Is it legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk? Answer: The Vehicle Code does not discuss the legality of riding on the sidewalk, but instead leaves that decision to local municipalities and cities. As such, this is one of those tricky areas of the law where a direct yes or no answer is inappropriate because every city has its own rules. In Los Angeles, for example, the Municipal Code forbids the riding of a bicycle on the sidewalk in a manner that displays wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others. It is unclear what “wanton or willful” mean, and the City Council considered clarifying this language several
years ago, but no changes were made. West Hollywood, on the other hand, forbids riding on the sidewalk when there is an adjacent bicycle lane available for riders. If there is no adjacent bicycle lane, bicyclists may ride on the sidewalk at a safe speed travelling in the same direction as traffic. Bicyclists must also yield to pedestrians, and not ride at dangerous speeds or display wanton disregard for the safety of others. Beverly Hills forbids sidewalk riding in any “business district”. It is not completely clear what is a “business district”, so it is probably better to avoid riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in Beverly Hills. As you can tell, the legality of sidewalk riding changes depending on your location. You can find information about other Los Angeles County cities’ sidewalk riding laws by visiting http://la-bike.org/ resources/california-bicycle-laws/sidewalk-riding-codes. Be aware, though, that it is not unusual for police officers to issue tickets to bicyclists riding on the sidewalk, especially since the law varies from city to city. Nevertheless, if you are going to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, be sure to ride in the same direction as traffic, and maintain a safe speed to avoid causing injuries to yourself or others. Be especially cautious around driveways and parking lots, as drivers exiting or entering these areas are typically looking out for other cars, not bicyclists. And of course, if you are injured in a bicycle accident, contact a personal injury attorney right away, as you might be entitled to compensation. You can learn more about bicycle laws by visiting http:// www.bicyclela.org/Law.htm. In the next article, we will discuss more bicycle issues and upcoming changes in the law that you won’t want to miss! Michael Rubinstein is a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. If you have a personal injury or other legal matter, you are invited to call Michael at 213-2936075. Michael welcomes your questions or comments at Michael.E.Rubinstein@ gmail.com.
Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz
ave you heard about the cruise ship just for Jewish mothers? It’s called the S. S. Mein Kindt. OK, that joke was probably a lot funnier for most people years ago when Yiddish was spoken by everyone and no mother would ever suggest her bubbaleh go on a diet. Ess, ess, mein kindt (eat, eat, my child) was a common refrain. My grandfather related how his mother’s last words to him, as a scrawny eleven-year old, were, “Trink dein milich,” drink your milk. The point of the matter is that a parent loves to see his or her child enjoying themselves. When we see other people smiling and enjoying themselves (not at another’s expense,) we enjoy that as well and want to be part of it. My sister really likes cheese Danishes from New York. When I go down to visit her in Maryland and want to bring something I know she’ll enjoy, I’ll pick up a few Danishes. Knowing how excited she will be with this special treat is a treat for me as well. The same goes for the candies I know my father and father-in-law like and I try to bring them this indulgence when appropriate. When I was in yeshiva, there was a young man who taught himself to play the keyboard and I saw how he loved music. Now, years later, when I see him, Yossi Newman, directing the Yeshiva Boys Choir, doing what he loves, I find it heartwarming and
gratifying. It makes me happy to see him happy. It sounds crazy but I know that my friend’s wife likes cotton candy. I don’t have occasion to use that knowledge much, because I’m not going out
WE SHOULD FOCUS ON ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE AND FINDING THE ENJOYABLE THINGS IN IT.
and buy it for her, but when we’ve had occasion to buy them something, I remembered that cotton candy should be on the list because she likes it. It’s not so much that I am fixated on her likes as much as that when I find something that makes anyone happy, I file that information away to be used later. For example, I know my wife’s favorite flower. Let me correct that – I know what flower my wife USED to like, until I bought it for her so much that she got sick of it and doesn’t like it anymore. That’s a blow to me. Not because I’m insulted, but because now I don’t get a slam dunk of a gift knowing that she will like what I buy. Being aware of what makes others happy is a fantastic thing because it means you care enough to want to see them happy, and the feeling you get when you make someone else happy is unbelievable. Now, you don’t need
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to actually know some secret passion they have to give people something they’ll enjoy because some things are universal. People like to be listened to. No matter who, people enjoy sharing their
opinions and views with others. They like to show that they have a brain and if you hear them out, nodding and actually taking in their words, you will be giving them something that rivals a favorite candy. In fact, it’s better since it doesn’t come with cavities or calories. That’s not to say you should listen to lashon hara or other gossip, G-d forbid, just to make them happy, but when the topic is acceptable, your attention is a treat. Sometimes just letting someone vent is quite cathartic and if nobody else gives them the chance, they’ll appreciate it from you. People like compliments and thank yous. If your child listened to you and cleaned his room, say something. Tell him you like how he did it. Thank him for listening right away (assuming it didn’t take four days of begging and pleading for him to do it). Tell your daughter that the way she made her hair today looks especially pretty, even if you, as a “boy,” don’t get what all the fuss is about. Compliment a co-worker on a well-written paper or thank your child’s teacher when she gets a good grade on a paper. And there’s even more to the concept of “Enjoy!” The reason we were put on this planet is to enjoy the world Hashem made for us and to enjoy each moment of the gift of life He gives us. He gave us the Torah to guide us to the most enjoyable experience during that life,
and Hashem, like most of us, enjoys it when we’re enjoying ourselves. If that’s what He wants, then we should focus on enjoying every moment of life and finding the enjoyable things in it. The night before my grandmother’s funeral, we were all at my sister’s home eating Chinese food. My mother a”h, who was going to be sitting shiva the next day, had her camera out and was taking pictures. We asked her how she could do that. Her response, so typical for her personality which sought out and found the enjoyment in every moment of life, was, “I’ll cry tomorrow but right now all my kids are here together.” That’s my message. For you, for the people you love, from Hashem: Enjoy!
Now in bookstores, The Observant Jew, a compilation of some of Rabbi Gewirtz’s best articles from years past, is receiving critical acclaim. With short, funny, insightful selections, this book is the perfect summertime companion. Look for it in your favorite Jewish Book Store or visit Feldheim.com. Jonathan Gewirtz is an inspirational writer and speaker whose work has appeared in publications around the world. He also operates JewishSpeechWriter. com, where you can order a custom-made speech for your next special occasion. Sign up for the Migdal Ohr, his weekly PDF Dvar Torah in English. E-mail info@ JewishSpeechWriter.com and put Subscribe in the subject. © 2014 by Jonathan Gewirtz. All rights reserved.
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