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The Jewish Home september 12, 2013 2


The Jewish Home september 12, 2013

The Jewish Home september 12, 2013 4

Community Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 The Changing Needs of California’s Holocaust Survivors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Spotlight on Homegrown Talent LA’s Own Singing Sensation, Shmueli Schwartz. . . 14

Dear Readers, Not surprisingly, the responses to last week’s question were split evenly down the middle. (We asked our readers to weigh in on if we should be highlighting the good going on in our communities, or focus more on drama and unfortunate events, which is what usually makes the news.) One half of respondents were of the mind that “It’s naïve to think there’s only good going on;” “Unfortunately,


looks into them they continue to raise money and enhance their own standing in the community;”

7 Questions with Chazan Arik Wollheim. . . . . . . . . 26

and “The fluff content is disturbing.” On the other hand, we got reactions such as, “Finally we get

jewish thought Captain Kirk and the Wife of Potiphar. . . . . . . . . . . 17 Op-Ed - Al Jazeera And The Jews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

to see events which have been going on all along, but were never reported on;” and “Focusing on the good is the better option, as at least it will promote more of the same.” Truth be told, I’m not completely sure which is the correct path. But for now it seems that what’s needed is a focus on the untold stories of kindness, goodness and success in the Orthodox communi-


ty. This way we can strengthen ourselves, and each other, in these last few days of galut. And if there’s

Achieving the Sukkos Joy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

the occasional unfortunate need to take care of and report on a “wart” or the like, we will address that

The Lost Torah Scroll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

as well.

education Lessons Unforgotten—1: The Kotzk Principle. . . . 22

We upped the content for this Yom Kippur and Sukkot issue by marking the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, checking into the changing, and increasing, needs of Holocaust survivors in LA, and highlighting the fantastic debut album of one of our own. All this in addition to the many

Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Moon Cap: A Novel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

columns, stories, happenings and much more to keep you busy throughout this jam-packed Yom Tov season. The current events taking place in the international arena remind me of when I was a student in Yeshiva. There was a fellow student who used to bring back an extra meal each time he went to the dining hall a block away, and would put a napkin on top stating, “A random act of kindness, please enjoy.” It seems a small act to simply help someone who didn’t have time to make the trip to the

National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

dining hall, but think about it: if we all were to continuously do small acts like these on a daily basis,

That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

perhaps we could create a “kindness revolution,” in contrast to the revolutions taking place in many countries right now. Revolutions where each person is an entire world, and each act can directly


impact the rest of the world for the good.

The Yom Kippur War – TJH Interviews one of the Fighters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Wishing all of our readers a Gmar chatima tova. May you be signed for a year full of only happy,

Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

healthy and sweet events, and experience a most joyous holiday of Sukkot: spending time with family

Lifestyles Career Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Real Estate: Is It Too Good To Be True?. . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at Chayo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Recipes by Chef Gabe of Tierra Sur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

and friends and schlepping the joy into the rest of the year! May this be the year all of us are united as one family, in our own land, with the coming of Mashiach, who will usher in a time of peace and happiness for all of humanity. Have a wonderful Shabbos and an inspiring Yom Kippur,


Shalom Rubashkin

Publisher & editor


Yitzy Halpern

managing editor


Rachel Wizenfeld For ad submissions, Alisa Roberts please email Robert Cordas ads@jewishhomela.com Mushki Boteach-Naparstek Contributing Writers

Josh Bernstein

joshua.bernstein@hotmail.com Account Executive

Sara Dubrawsky Copy Editor

Berish Edelman Design & Production

118 S Orange Dr, Los Angeles CA 90036 Phone 323-932-1106 Fax 323-843-9391

The premier Jewish newspaper for LA’s Orthodox community The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

september 12, 2013

there are many organizations that raise money by telling wonderful stories, and as long as nobody

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Large Turnout in Los Angeles for Annual Ohr Naava Event by Sarit Rubenstein

This past Wednesday evening, August 28th, close to 500 women and men gathered at Nessah Synagogue for a night of inspiration at the annual Avinu Malkeinu event. Founded in memory of Naava Katlowitz a”h, Ohr Naava, the legendary worldwide network of Jewish women’s education, has sponsored the annual Avinu Malkeinu event. Galvanized by Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder and director, this event brings out internationally renowned speakers known for their riveting presentations to inspire all who attend before the Yomim Noraim. This year’s speakers were Mr. Charlie Harary and Rabbi Wallerstein. Guest speaker Mr. Charlie Harary spoke of a Jew’s constant need to find the secret to success – in marriage, in business and in life. He stressed that so much

Photo credit: David Miller Studios

Guest Speaker Charlie Harary

of what makes us successful is how others perceive us, and that is largely the result of the way we communicate and the messages we send. He beautifully tied in the story of the most successful and influential individual in our Jewish history, Yosef HaTzadik. Interspersing his words with humor and wit, the audience was mesmerized by his delivery and content. But the true highlight of the evening was Rabbi Wallerstein’s description of Avigail Rechnitz, in whose memory the event was dedicated. He stressed the greatness of Avigail Rechnitz, an integral player in making the Avinu Malkeinu events an annual occurrence in Los Angeles. Rabbi Wallerstein spoke of Hakaras Hatov and how important this middah was to Avigail a”h. She never simply said thank you, but expressed in detail why she was grateful. He then introduced his Ohr Naava’s “Thank You Initiative Campaign”, writing Hakaras Hatov letters. Following the petira of Avigail, many lamented that they never got a chance to fully appreciate the tzadekes that she was, or express to her what she meant in their lives. Rabbi Wallerstein asked the audience not to miss this opportunity to express our thanks to our loved

ones. He asked that this Rosh Hashanah, every child, young and old, take time to write a letter to their parents, expressing their gratitude. That we adults as well, recognize the good that others have done for us and thank them. As for my letter…I wrote it to Avigail Rechnitz. As the coordinator of the Los Angeles Avinu Malkeinu Events, I worked closely over the past 3 years with Avigail. As her neighbor and former high school classmate, I knew her on a more personal level as well. I never thanked her enough for the time she cooked an entire Shabbos for my family after the birth of our second child. It was meals complete with fresh baked challah, homemade salads and dips, and a delicious crockpot of cholent. I never truly thanked her for all the times she greeted me with warmth and friendship, when we first settled in Los Angeles. Or for the hours on the phone, helping me decide on the Speakers for Avinu Malkeinu that would best be suited for the Los Angeles community. Or her generous offer to sponsor the costs of the Event. And finally, thanking her for the most moving experience I had with my 13-yearold son, who upon hearing that his friend’s mother, Avigail was nifteres, approached me with a most thoughtful question. Sitting close by my side, he asked, “Mommy, what can I do when I become a parent to make sure that my kids appreciate me? I think kids don’t really realize how amazing their parents are!”

Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder and director of Ohr Naava

For the remainder of that evening and many days following, the hugs and kisses and words of love that I was showered with by my son, will be cherished forever. So thank you Avigail for showing me and everyone else that was privileged to know you what it means to be a mother, wife, friend, and all-around good Jew. I will forever cherish the memories I have of you and as I tuck my kids into bed at night and read to them “only one more story”, I will be thinking of you and thanking you once again for being my role-model, both in life and even now as you sit next to our Avinu Malkeinu, ba’shamayim. May we all experience a New Year of Bracha and Gezunt. For more information on Ohr Naava Women’s Center, log on to www.ohrnaava. com or call 718-647-6228. To watch video of Mr. Charlie Harary’s speech, log on to www.ohrnaavaevents.com.

LINK Kollel in LA Hosts Special Guest Speakers For the Yomim Noraim The Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel (LINK) began its 12th year of programming with a flurry of special guest speakers, focusing on the deeper meaning of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. On Labor Day, many took advantage of their day off to hear an uplifting talk by Rabbi Boruch Kupfer, Principal of the Maimonides Day School and a renowned baal machshava. His riveting presentation focused on the concept of malchus- What does it truly mean to coronate Hashem as King? He discussed the notion of consistently accepting G-d’s sovereignty in all aspects of our lives as a prerequisite for us to proclaim Him as the Melech over the entire world.  He also analyzed the similarities and differences between kabolas ohl malchus Shamayim (the acceptance of Hashem’s sovereignty) in the Shema that we say everyday and the unique concept of the coronation of Hashem on Rosh Hashana. Finally, Rabbi Kupfer showed how the true internalization of Hashem’s malchus leads to greater internal happiness and intercommunity harmony. Rabbi Asher Brander, the Rosh Kol-

lel and Founder of LINK, gave his annual Shabbos Shuva Drasha to an overflow crowd in the LINK Bais Medrash on the topic of the viduy of Yom Kippur. By analyzing several seeming contradictions in the Rambam’s Hilchos Teshuva, Rabbi Brander developed a deeper understanding of the role of viduy in the Teshuva process on Yom Kippur as opposed to all year round. The ultimate goal of viduy (even the “positive” viduy ma’aser for one’s tithing) is developing a closer relationship with Hashem by both “admitting to” and “thanking” Him for all that He does for us {the etymological connection between the Hebrew words modeh and todah}. On Sunday morning, September 8th, LINK was privileged to host Rabbi Reuven Wolf, Rav of Congregation Ma’ayon Yisrael in LA.  Rabbi Wolf has become a very popular inspirational speaker on topics relating to the soul and the mystical universe and has a unique way of making them “real” and meaningful to his listeners. He very much lived up to that reputation in his masterful presentation to over 30 people on the topic of Teshuva. He de-

tailed three areas of Teshuva and how to attain them. Specifically, he differentiated between the nefesh, ruach, and neshama- the three aspects of our spiritual existence. While Teshuva for the nefesh (the lowest level) involves restoring our fidelity to the Shulchan Aruch, Teshuva on the highest level of the neshama relates to restoring our deepest connection to Hashem. Rabbi Wolf speaking at LINK on Sept. 8.

Photo credit: Yosef Ober

The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013


Rabbi Baruch Kupfer, Labor Day talk


by Rabbi Arye Don Gordon

the suffering of the Holocaust Generation. Nor did we undergo the test of Jews who came to America and had to decide whether to work on Shabbos or have no job. We live now in a Malchus shel Chesed. We have an Eretz Yisroel. We have been fortunate. But just like a muscle that is not used atrophies, so too has our midas hagivurah weakened. However that ability, which is the hallmark of the Jewish people lies dormant within us. It can be awakened. And there are many situations in our daily lives that we must call on our midas hagevura and invoke our national heritage our spiritual DNA. Rabbi Frand related other stories and events all moving, inspiring and uplifting. He then concluded, “The midah that defines the Jewish people, giborei hakoach, strength of character. That is our legacy. When we are faced with challenges in our daily lives, we should look back to our parents and grandparents and the generations of Jews who stood up to the challenge because of this giborei hakoach, this legacy of strength. Ksiva vechasima tova and a gut gebentched yohr.

Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon

Most Tenacious of Minorities: the Jews of Italy”. That can be said of the Jews in general, not just of Italy. We are the Most Tenacious of Minorities. What is the secret of the strength of Jews throughout the Ages. In an essay written by Harav Eli Lopian, “Am HaNivchar,” he discusses this issue. Among the nations of the world we are viewed as pushy, aggressive and money hungry. And he adds, “It is true. But these are not negative traits. They are positive ones, because if you look at the rule of nature you will see that Hashem gave every organism the tools needed to survive. When Hashem chose us as his nation, he knew that we would live in a world that would oppress us and torture us and attempt to eradicate us. What are the tools that Hashem gave us so that we may survive? Rav Lopian goes on to say, quoting chazal, “We are an Am Keshai Oref,” a stubborn people. Bold, chutzpadik, persistent, determined. These are our strengths. However, those traits, left unchecked can be used negatively as well. It is only the torah that keeps those traits on the right track. It is only in the last 50 years or so that we did not have to employ those traits to insure our survival. We did not experience

Rabbi Topp’s Tells of “ Rosh Hashanah’s Greatest Hits” On Tuesday, August 27th, Beth Jacobs Rabbi, Rabbi Topp, gave a shiur in his synagogue, titled “ Rosh Hashanah’s Greatest Hit’s,” in which he explored the classical prayers, rhythm and themes of the Rosh Hashanah service. Rabbi Naphtali Zvi of Ropshitz teaches a Rosh Hashanah parable: A Russian foot soldier once saved his Czar on the battlefield. In turn, the king summoned his provincial subject to the palace and addressed him in a fit of gratitude. “Loyal subject, I wish to reward you for saving my life. Speak and your any request shall be granted.” The peasant thought for a moment and replied. “I only wish to be transferred to a different unit. My present commander is very hard on me and all I want is to be placed under another mans command.” The Czar sighed heavily. “My dear

subject, you are a fool! You could have requested anything in the world. You could have asked to become commander in his stead...but instead, you set your sights so low.” On Rosh Hashanah we are faced with the Creator of the whole world and can approach Him for the important thingseven the Redemption itself. And yet, most people do not. In the presence of such a supreme King, all too often we make the mistake of thinking too small. Why? Because we do not comprehend the significance of the date and the significance of ourselves. On Rosh Hashanah we coronate Gd as our King. The word “Hamelech”, “our king” is scattered across the pages of the machzar and the theme is emphasized by the royal trumpet blasts echoing from the shofar throughout the day. It is the day that our Talmud declares to be the anniversary

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The last Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah has become extra special for the Los Angeles Community. This year that Shabbos weekend of Netzavim-VaYelech, August 30-31 2013, saw the Return of Rabbi Yissachar Frand as a Scholar-in-Residence at Yeshivat Yavneh. Rabbi Frand has been coming here for the last 6 years, hosted by Yeshivat Yavneh, to awaken us and remind us that the Yom haDin is here. Aside from the inspiring shiurim and derashos delivered on Shabbos, the Motzaei Shabbos Pre-selichos drasha drew over 700 men and women who filled the Yeshivat Yavneh Nagel Auditorium to hear divrei chizuk and mussar from this renowned orator and talmid chocham. Rabbi Moshe Dear, Headmaster of Yeshivat Yavneh, thanked the sponsors of the weekend with Rabbi Frand. He went on to mention Rabbi Jacob Friedman and family, Mr and Mrs. David Rubin and Rabbi and Mrs. Aron Dov Friedman who hosted Rabbi Frand’s visit. Rabbi Dear pointed out that, “As the days of Elul dwindle down to a precious

few, and Rosh Hashana looms closer, we look for the words of inspiration that will lead us successfully into Rosh Hashana. Our Scholar-in-Residence over Shabbat is one of those truly rare individuals for whom an introduction is superfluous. It is a zechus for me to introduce Rabbi Yissachar Frand.” Rabbi Frand began by thanking all those who extended their hospitality to him during this and other visits to Los Angeles. “This year’s drasha will begin differently than in the past. It is similar to our elementary school days assignment to write about “What I did Last Summer”. That is what this drasha is about. My tour group trip to Italy. There are lessons that I learnt on this trip from that experience that can help us prepare for the Yomim Noraim. To begin with, the Jewish community of Rome goes back to the time of the Bayis Sheni, however the golden period for the Jews was in the 16th and 17th centuries. In fact in the 16th century many seforim were printed in Venetzia (Venice). Because of the Inquisition at the end of the 1400’s, many Jews Left Spain and settled in Italy. Some Jews remained in Spain and did in fact convert, however they lived secretly as Jews. They lived constantly under the threat of death, if they were found out. We visited the Jewish ghettos in the Italian cities. In preparation for this trip I read the book by Prof. Sara Reguer, called, “The

The Jewish Home

An Inspirational Los Angeles Shabbos with Rabbi Yissachar Frand

of mans creation. The day in which Gd created the subjects through whom He could now be served. Until this day G-d could not be a coronated for “there can be no king without a nation”. This is the vital lesson of Rosh Hashanah. It is a day on which we put emphasis on the words: “our King”both the “our” and the “king” and the Divine dynamic that these counterparts create in unison. If G-d himself asks us to coronate Him, then we must be important. He must need us, so to speak. We can emulate Him, be like Him and become partners with Him to achieve His final goal in creation. On Rosh Hashanah we recognize a singular truth: that the world takes on significance through mankind.

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september 12, 2013


YICC Youth Kick- Off Event On Sunday September 1st, Young Israel of Century City’s youth department had their annual beginning- of-the- year kick-off event. Over one hundred kids and parents came to create special Rosh Hashanah arts and craft project’s and participate in Sukkah decoration making. After everyone had completed their crafts, they were treated to a special Shofar Factory show which taught them all about how the shofar is made from start to end. After an action packed day, the children enjoyed a free pizza dinner together.

‘Shabbat Kits:’ The Ultimate Shabbat Gift by Mushki Boteach Naparstek

To an extent, Shabbat was always one of those things that people had to part with when they checked into a hospital bed. But today, in some Los Angeles hospitals, Shabbat will find them. It comes in the form of challahs, grape juice, and a pair of electric candles. They call it the “Shabbat Kit”. The Shabbat Kits project began only eight months ago; a project started by Jeremie Braun and his wife Michal. Having spent a few weekends with close family members at hospitals themselves, they knew firsthand just how difficult it could be to feel a sense of the holy day from a hospital room. “No one proactively came to us and offered candles or challah, or said Shabbat shalom” Jeremie explains; “and…it was a Jewish hospital, clearly.” The Hospital did offer electric candles to patients who requested them. Still, as Jeremie points out, “if you don’t know to ask, you won’t ask”. He and his wife sought to change that. Jeremie contacted Rabbi Jason Wiener, who was in charge of the hospital’s

spiritual care department, in order to reach out to the hospital’s other Jewish patients. The first list he received was of patients who chose to come forward and request a Shabbat Kit. That was “a very short list, of course,” notes Jeremie. However, he also got another list of all patients who had checked the “Jewish” box in their hospital entry forms. Naturally, that list was a lot bigger. And even though these patients never asked for a Shabbat kit, they still seemed to want them. “Nine out of ten take it,” says Jeremie. The Shabbat Kits were designed by Jeremie’s wife, Michal, and are packed by volunteers every other Thursday night, at the Chabad of Southern La Cienega. The two challahs are partially sponsored Schwartz Bakeries, and the wine by Shalom and Sons, a downtown distributer. “The electric candles, I actually bought on E-Bay,” Jeremie says with a laugh. The total cost-per-kit is only two dollars and fifty cents; and to sponsor a week costs an easy hundred bucks. So far, Jeremie and Michal have been able to raise about

twenty-five hundred dollars from family and friends. They’ve also acquired a few volunteers. “Initially, it was just myself,” says Jeremie. And while they started by serving the patients of Cedar Hospital, they’ve now expanded their services to the Guardian Rehabilitation Hospital and Beverly Hills Rehabilitation Center. “And we’re still looking to grow”, says Jeremie, confidently. The Shabbat Kits Website is the place to keep in touch with the group, and follow their progress. It features news, press, and even the stories and photos of their newest sponsors. Leading the page is a picture of the special Rosh Hashanah edition of the Kits, which includes and apple and a

bear-shaped bottle of honey. A later post shows a girl surrounded by her friends at her Bat Mitzvah as they all pack Shabbat Kits together and write personalized cards to go inside. Another shows a father with his newborn daughter, in whose honor he dedicated last week’s run of Shabbat kits. But perhaps the most important feature of the site is the shiny, golden button to right that reads: “Donate.”

had been featured in the LA times and he along with his community decided to step in. That’s when Rabbi Greenwald contacted Bloom, who has been involved with the Chevra Kadisha of Los Angeles for over thirty years. “This cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Los Angeles,” says Bloom. “It sits between Agudas Achim and Beth Israel, both of which are owned by Chevra Kadisha. The ownership of this cemetery is actually unknown. It appears that it may belong to the Jewish federation, although it isn’t really clear.” Bloom painfully described the “terrible condition” of the Jewish burial site. “It has not been maintained at all. There has been significant damage there over the last fifteen to twenty years, mainly caused by vandalism.” The abandoned cemetery recently came to public attention when a man paid a visit in search for the grave of a wellknown Yiddish writer. He was met with a

mess of upturned monuments and graffiti. Shocked by the destruction, he quickly approached a Los Angeles Times writer who then wrote an article about it. “Since the article came out” Bloom continued, “about 30 graves have been repaired although there are several hundred more to go.” Efforts to restore the cemetery are continuous. Several large donations have been made and an architect has been brought in to re-plot the entire burial ground. Another one hundred and thirty graves are already marked and identified and their restoration will begin soon. Our Rabbis taught that caring for the dead is a “chesed shel emes”- “a good deed of truth”- because it comes from a place within us that in entirely sincere and seeks no reward. For more information about the restoration of gravesites at Mount Zion Cemetery, visit ‘Friends of Mount Zion,’ on facebook.

Kever Avot at Historic Mt Zion Cemetery

Kever Avot- For generations, there has been a tradition to visit the gravesites of friends and loved ones on the Sunday between the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. As is the custom, there is the visitation and a short ceremonial service. This ceremony serves both to commemorate those buried at the site as well as those whose final burial place is unknown- the many victims murdered in the holocaust or killed in the countless other acts of aggression against our people. The absence of their names and gravesites make it our responsibility to cherish their memory and to pray that their souls will rest in peacefully in the heaven.

‘Home of Peace,’ the oldest Jewish cemetery in Los Angeles, has been holding these ceremonies for many years. This year, historic Mount Zion Cemetery, which is around the block from Home of Peace, led their own services led by two thoughtful and scholarly Rabbis, Rabbi Yisroel Kelmer and Rabbi Akiva Gerstein. Rabbi Moshe Greenwald, a Chabad Rabbi dedicated himself to a noble cause that most have us have long forgotten. He pioneers the fundraising to restore small cemeteries next to ‘Home of Piece’. These cemeteries house the bodies of a Jewish community that has long since passed and sadly but steadily, they are being abandoned. Baruch Bloom is helping Rabbi Greenwald with the tireless fundraising that this task entails. As a Chabad shliach in downtown Los Angeles, Rabbi Greenwald was approached by his community, with an urgent request. An article describing the decrepit state of the old Jewish Cemeteries


Acheinu Talmidim Inspire Klal Yisrael by Overcoming All Odds by Yosef Sosnow

effort to fill up his discretionary time with limud haTorah and ruchniyus. So how does Ofir’s day currently look? He wakes up very early every morning to go to selichos and davening. Then he goes to school. In Israel, schools end at 1:00 PM. By second seder Ofir is ensconced in a yeshiva kedoshah learning both second seder and night seder. He is shteiging tremendously while peace and harmony reign in his home. That is the story of one of Acheinu’s charges that is not yet in Yeshiva. The Torani Division More Active than Ever This Elul alone Acheinu placed 1,500 bachurim in yeshivos kedoshos throughout Eretz Yisrael - the largest number of placements that Acheinu has made since its establishment 20 years ago! Rabbi Chaim Goldberg, one of the most active leaders of Acheinu, says, “I think 1,500 new bachurim in yeshivos is the best 20th birthday present that we could have given to Acheinu!” Acheinu was also extremely successful in placing children from traditional homes who attended Torani schools into yeshivos kedoshos. Children in Torani schools usually live outside of the main cities and are sent to those schools because their parents, who are somewhat traditional, want them to have a modicum of Jewish knowledge. The vast majority of parents, however, do not want them to continue learning in yeshivos. This is where Acheinu comes in. Acheinu has an entire division devoted to reaching out to eighth grade boys in Torani schools. They work with the schools as well as with numerous yeshivos to find the right yeshiva for each boy. They then follow up with him while he is in yeshiva, smoothing the inevitable wrinkles that crop up with parents and make sure that he is adapting properly. The ‘Hot’ Hotline: Making the Yeshiva/Bachur Connection Another very important component in Acheinu’s efforts is its “Yeshiva Hotline”. Acheinu came to realize that one of the most difficult tasks is finding the right yeshiva; the yeshiva that is fitting for each bachur. This task of finding the right yeshiva, Acheinu soon came to realize, is not limited to finding Yeshivos for

baalei teshuvah. Many ‘frum-from-birth’ bochurim and their families also need assistance with finding the Yeshiva with the right fit. Acheinu’s hotline is manned by Avreichim who are intimately familiar and connected with hundreds of yeshivos. They direct each person to the yeshiva most appropriate for him. In the past few months, more than 2000 people have turned to the Acheinu Yeshiva Hotline for assistance. There is a tremendous need for such a service in Eretz Yisrael and the Acheinu Yeshiva Hotline is filling that need in a remarkable fashion. Take for example the recent story of two teens from Mexico who came to Israel on a birthright trip. They were very moved by a trip to the Kosel and by being in close contact with their heritage. They decided they would like to stay longer and learn about Judaism in a yeshiva. Their sister, a baalas teshuvah, turned to her Rav for assistance. The Rav immediately called Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hotline and explained the situation. Today, those boys are learning in an Acheinu-affiliated yeshiva in Givat Zev. From the iPhone to the Gemara! Another extremely successful program related to Acheinu’s Midrashiya program is the Thursday night “mishmar” program. Hundreds of kids from state schools gather in several locations throughout the country every Thursday night for Torah learning and hashkafa discussions. It is on these Thursday nights that they first come into contact with Gemara learning. Unbelievably, in today’s day - the age of iPhones, instant communication and over stimulation - these boys find Gemara a source of intellectual stimulation, a

mesikus haTorah that they don’t find anywhere else in their lives. Acheinu activist Yossi explains, “They have tried everything. They realize that all of the enticements that outwardly look so tempting are fleeting. They are interested in something that is truly lasting, something eternal and they are finding that in the Gemara! Yossi relates the story of Nir. Nir was the “king” of his class; the most popular boy in his class. His cell phone never stopped ringing. Everyone sought his company, everyone sought to party with him and, after attending Acheinu’s summer program this year he decided to go to yeshiva. “Baruch Hashem, Nir loves learning,” says Yossi. “But he is still struggling. His friends keep on calling, asking, “What happened to you?” They invite him to hang out at night clubs, but thus far he is resisting. The learning is keeping him in check, but he is still conflicted and needs much siyatta d’shmaya. We, at Acheinu try to give him all the moral support that he needs to overcome his nisyonos. That is what Acheinu follow-up is all about!” Indeed, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman recently told a group of Acheinu activists, “Just as in Mitzrayim, the Torah tells us that “so much as they were oppressed, so did they increase and spread out,” so too, as much as the Torah community is under fire with those seeking to curb their lifestyle, so are increasing and spreading out!” If proof to Rav Shteinman’s words are needed, just look at Acheinu’s 1,500 new enrollees!

september 12, 2013

Ofir Shaked was a regular Israeli kid from a well-to-do family living in one of Tel Aviv’s suburbs and lacking nothing. His life was unremarkable until he met Yossi. Yossi, an Acheinu activist, spends his mornings learning in a Bnei Brak Kollel and his afternoons engaged in reaching out to wonderful neshamos, wonderful kids like Ofir. Yossi met Ofir about a year and a half ago. Ofir, a boy who had everything he needed or wanted in the world, still felt empty. Yossi, after striking up a friendship with Ofir, shmuessing with him, showing that he understands the life Ofir leads, suggested that Ofir come one night a week to a local Midrashiya to get acquainted with his heritage. The Non-Yeshiva Bachur, Yeshiva Bachur The Midrashiya, one of Acheinu’s most potent tools in introducing young men to Yiddishkeit, is a non-judgmental local meeting place or clubhouse where classes are held on Judaism. When he started truly listening and absorbing, Ofir-initially a bit skeptical--finally started getting what his neshamah had been so craving. It began with his listening and progressed to asking questions from Yossi and getting into deep meaningful discussions. Over the course of the year, Ofir came to the conclusion that he wanted to go to yeshiva. There was a tremendous problem standing in his way. Throughout the year, Ofir’s mother tolerated her son going to the Midrashiya once a week and even deemed it to be a character building experience. When it came to his education, however, she was adamant that he must complete his education in the upper-class private school that he attended. As per the instructions of its previous Nasi, HaGaon HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, zt”l, and ybl”ch, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, Acheinu seeks whenever possible to minimize confrontation within the families of its charges. Yossi understood how badly Ofir wanted to go to yeshiva, but he did not want to alienate Ofir’s mother. He wanted her to revel in her son’s spiritual accomplishments, not battle them. He therefore consulted Rav Shteinman who recommended that at this juncture, Ofir should complete his studies in his present school while simultaneously making every

The Jewish Home

Unprecedented Success as Acheinu Places More than 1,500 baalei Teshuva in Yeshivos Kedoshos

The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013


Achdut Comes Alive: YULA Boys School Back in Session After a long and rejuvenating summer, last week YULA Boys School was filled once again with the lively sounds of its students and teachers, back on campus for the new school year. The week was jampacked with orientation events and grade retreats, making the transition back to school a lot smoother. New Head of School Rabbi Dov Emerson started the year off welcoming the students and introducing the theme for the school year, that of Achdut, or unity. In Rabbi Emerson’s opening remarks, he discussed the various support systems that are in place for the students at YULA: fellow students, faculty, administrators, and parents. He related the Midrash commentary on the Torah book “The Song of Songs,” in which G-d tells the Jewish people “open for me a hole like the eye of the needle, and I will open for you [the rest] like the entranceway to a great hall.” The message conveyed is that if we put in a good faith effort, G-d will carry us to heights we never dreamed we could reach. Similarly, the support system in YULA, comprised of people who love and care about the students, can carry them to great heights, when they demonstrate their desire to grow by putting in clear and direct effort. When we all come together to help our students and sons grow, that is true Achdut. YULA unity permeated back to school week, starting with the opening event for the incoming YULA class of 2017 at the Levkowitz home. The evening was a great opportunity for the new students to meet and bond, and for the incoming parents to engage in conversation about enhancing the school-parent partnership. The sophomore class enjoyed a fun miniretreat at the Richter home, where they reconnected with classmates and had a great time swimming and chavruta learning. Incoming freshmen got to know each other even better on a two-day retreat in the San Bernardino National Forest, where the theme of the retreat was building a legacy in YULA and the Jewish community. Students discussed the meaning of leadership, qualities of a leader, and what

steps they can take to earn leadership roles and leave a lasting legacy. The retreat concluded with a moving welcome ceremony in which the students received their own black and yellow YULA kippot, making the transition from cub to Panther complete. The boys left the retreat inspired by the charge to represent their school and community as YULA leaders and b’nei Torah. Rounding out the week was an inspiring and engaging parent-son learning program, where Rabbi Etshalom delivered a shiur on Sefer Yonah and Teshuva. No back to school week would be complete without great Shabbat programming. Rabbi and Mrs. Emerson hosted a fun Tish/Oneg on Friday night for the 9th and 10th grade classes, complete with great singing and delicious food. Rabbi and Mrs. Sufrin had a special Pre-Slichot Melava Malka for 11th and 12th graders, where the students got in the mindset for Slichot with beautiful singing and Divrei Torah from Rabbi Abramczik, Rabbi Emerson, and Rabbi Sufrin. With over half the student population in attendance between the two Shabbat events, YULA nation was out in full force to celebrate the first week back with a bang. If the first week back to school is any indication of things to come, it’s going to be a busy and exciting year at YULA Boys School!


by Mushki Boteach-Naparstek

start college. “ORT offers these students GED preperation classes, so while they are working on obtaining their credentials from ORT, they can work toward getting their GED credentials simultaneously. “ There are different track levels for students on different learning levels, regardless, all students come out of Ort College with marketable skills that can ultimately lead them to making a respectable parnasa. People who are not in the smicha program and are interested in attending the specialized ORT College courses, are welcome to join as well. The program is open to anyone who is looking for this type of college experience. Unfortunately, the program is not yet open for female students, but Keivanfar is eager for the program to continue to grow and hopefully by next year welcome the launch of a women’s program. The reason that ORT started with a men’s program is that he saw more of a demand from men looking to take part in such a program. Keivanfar claims that this program is truly on of a kind in the area, “ To our knowledge, this program is unique in Los Angeles. The program is not about academics, it is about preparing students to be able to make a living. I do not think there is any other program in the area that is aimed at development in a short period of time that is in a customized setting for yeshiva students.”

“The Gift of Yom Kippur” An Inspiring Kinus Teshuva On Monday night, September 9, Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center, Yeshivas Ner Aryeh, and Valley Torah High School Menlo Family Boys and Girls Division jointly sponsored a Kinus Teshuva entitled “The Gift of Yom Kippur.” Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, Emek Hebrew Academy Head of School, and Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger, VTHS Dean & Rosh HaYeshiva, spoke at the event, which attracted nearly 50 people. Rabbi Shifman spoke about the transformative power of speech and its connection to Kol Nidre, prayer, tesuhva and the viduy process. “The message of Kol Nidrei is that through our speech, we can effectuate our own transformation. Therefore, the concept of vows defines the nature of Yom Kippur, the day when we beseech Hashem to transform us through his forgiveness,” said Rabbi Shifman. “The only transaction in Jewish law which requires speech is the marriage ceremony, for communication is the most essential element of the entire relationship,” Rabbi Shifman elaborated. “Communication is the component necessary to transform two individuals into one reality. This is the message that Rabbi

Yehuda Hanasi was conveying when he placed the Tractate of Nedarim, i.e. the ability to transform reality through speech, in the Order of Nashim, the laws of marriage and interpersonal relationships.” Rabbi Stulberger delivered an upbeat message about the cleansing process of Yom Kippur itself. “G-d watches over us and cleanses us. We just need the desire to get close to Him,” said Rabbi Stulberger. “In today’s world, being a committed Jew is such a challenge.” That in itself is a tremendous merit and speaks volumes about our connection to G-d. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the challenge, we should embraced it and recognize that we’ve overcome so much to be where we are. God recognizes every nuance of our challenges. We shouldn’t sell ourselves short of who we are and what we’ve accomplished.”

september 12, 2013

be looking at jobs that are purely religious oriented which are very narrow, but will also be able to look in jobs within other industries such as accounting or business management,“ explains Keivanfar. “The problem that these students have faced so far is that traditional community colleges would not provide an environment that is sensitive to their observances and tradition as well as offering a choice of what they would like to accomplish in their lives. “ Because of this, the religious students have basically alienated any chance of a getting a secular education. Ort College understands this problem and has customized a program that fits with the religious observances and with the career goals of the students. ORT has created a class calendar that fits right into the yeshiva calendar in terms of when all the Chagim and Jewish Holidays fall out. The rabbinical students study at their Yeshiva in the morning and don’t finish there until late afternoon. Ort College has adapted their class schedule to fit into the boys schedule by making all college courses take place in the evening. These tailored classes at ORT have also been made men only, so that the rabbinical students need not worry about co-ed education. Keivanfar points out that a problem that many of the men in the Smicha program face, is that they have not been given a full secular education or have not even graduated high school and are not equipped with the tools they need to

Los Angeles ORT College is a career college that provides technical training programs in the areas of occupational demand in technology, business and health care fields. They also have a program that offers English as a second language for immigrants. Fred Keivanfar is director of admissions and finance at ORT College. He is a Persian Jew who came to America about thirty years ago around the time of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Once he had gotten his masters in electronic engineering in the US, he began working at ORT College in 1985. He knew he wanted to work at there because of the ORT College that was open in Iran. It was a well-respected organization and he wanted to be apart of it. With the encouragement of Keivanfar, Ort College has just entered into a partnership with Yeshivas Beis Torah Menachem, a Smicha program in Los Angeles, to help their students with marketable skills for today’s job market. This program was open with the hopes that when the students graduate they will have something to look forward to in terms of employment. “ It will broaden their employment horizons so that they will not only

The Jewish Home

ORT College’s Specialized Program for Rabbinical Students

The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013


The Changing Needs of California’s Holocaust Survivors by Rachel Wizenfeld

More than 15,000 Holocaust survivors reside in California, and like survivors elsewhere in the country, their needs are growing. As survivors age, their needs increase, whether for healthcare, homecare, social services or social activity. The current average age of Holocaust survivors is 82, according to data from the Claims Conference, an organization dedicated to securing direct grants and funding for social services for Holocaust survivors from the German government. And the poor economy means that agencies, both government and nonprofit, have cut back on services to the elderly. “This is what happens for all our frail and low-income seniors,” says Susie Forer-Dehrey, COO of Jewish Family Service of LA (JFS). “The issue of government cutbacks makes it very hard for them to get what they need.” She said that they have made it a priority there to keep trying to attract donors to provide services that were cut, such as adult day health care, as well as proper medical care, case management and social activities. “The demand is going up,” says Lori Klein, senior vice president at the Jewish Federation of LA, who is involved with making allocations for Holocaust services. “As survivors age they become more frail, which means they need even more hours of in-home care, meals both on-site and home delivered meals, and there are just fewer resources.” This year the Federation started funding Café Shalom, a social club for Russian survivors, which had previously been funded by a private donor who was no longer able to do so. Café Europa, the better-known social club for survivors, is administered by JFS and funded by the Claims Conference. Sadly, Holocaust survivors are significantly more likely to be living in poverty in comparison to other elderly individuals. Survey research from the Claims Conference shows that 25 percent of all Nazi victims live at or below the official U.S. poverty threshold, compared to 5 percent of American Jewish elderly who are not Nazi victims and 9 percent of all U.S. elderly. And as is the case with survivors living in other countries, Nazi victims in the U.S. who are poor are also more likely to be disabled. Currently, approximately one-fifth of the Nazi victim population is estimated to be poor and disabled. “There are quite a few survivors who are wealthy, but many, many more that

live at poverty or just above that,” says Forer-Dehrey of JFS. Shockingly, according to a demographic study conducted in 2009, nearly 50% of survivors in the L.A. area are poor or low income. Bet Tzedek, a local legal advocacy organization that assists low-income elderly and Holocaust survivors with a full range of legal issues, estimates that about one-third of survivors in the L.A. area are living on incomes below the federal poverty level. Bet Tzedek is very involved with obtaining money for back payments, monthly pensions and reparations for survivors through their Holocaust Survivors Justice Network. Currently helping approximately 1,000 survivors in the LA area, their work has helped secure millions of dollars for survivors nationwide who need representation in filling out the intricate and time-sensitive applications and in pleading their cases. According to Lisa Hoffman, Holocaust Services Program Director at Bet Tzedek, the landscape of Holocaust reparations is constantly changing. As existing programs wind down or close, new ones are created and existing ones may undergo revisions and open up to new applicants, making the need for expert assistance in this area all the more critical. And the growing age of survivors makes this more challenging as well. Increased incidents of dementia, memo-

ry loss and Alzheimer’s mean survivors may no longer be able to tell their stories or draw on their memories, making their claims more complicated. The challenge with the youngest survivors, who were born during the war or a few years before, is that they were sometimes so young that they don’t know all the facts of where they were. “Their memories are limited, and sometimes their families didn’t want to talk about it after the war, so they never

got a clear history of their whereabouts and experiences” that would be required for these claims, says Hoffman. That’s where Bet Tzedek’s expertise can come in handy, to help piece together circumstan-

tial evidence to make a case. The needs of child survivors are growing in other ways as well, says Forer-Dehrey. While years ago these individuals may have volunteered with JFS, now they are coming into old age, experiencing frailties or difficulties with illness and having trouble moving around. One of the challenges Forer-Dehrey sees often with child survivors is that they pretty much grew up without their parents and so had no role models in how to be a parent or how to age. “When I think of my mother, I watched her age and go through different lifecycle events,” she says, “like marrying off children, going to her grandkids bar and bat mitzvahs. Child survivors have no frame of reference from that, and sometimes the older survivors don’t necessarily have that either. They’ve never seen a parent age,” – and now they’re aging. In addition, while some are of the mindset that child survivors are in less need of support, having largely avoided the concentration camps, they also have had difficult experiences whether living in hiding or being taken as Catholic children. “We want to be able to serve those child survivors over the next 10-15 years as they age, and provide the same kind of support,” she says. “The challenge is to provide the funding until that very last survivor passes away – and the Jewish community has to be dedicated to making sure that that happens.” Keeping survivors independent is also critical. While living in an institution for anybody can be difficult, no matter how amazing the institution or senior living fa-

cility, for a survivor it can trigger extremely painful emotions or memories, even if they’re cognitively aware and oriented. “If a nurse says, ‘we’re going to take a shower, or let’s line-up,’ even decades after the Holocaust it may trigger PTSD,” she says. And for someone who has some sort of memory impairment, it can be even more devastating or even frightening. To stay independent, survivors often need increased case management and financial assistance for transportation and home care and medications, which JFS tries to provide. Currently, JFS provides help and support to approximately 2,000 low-income survivors and their family members. Bet Tzedek has also made it a priority to help advocate for survivors who need legal assistance in getting the home care hours they need or are eligible for. Besides JFS, Bikur Cholim’s Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program was awarded $60,000 by the Claims Conference to be used for the neediest victims of Nazi persecution. This money is used for social services and medical subsidies, with homecare, case management/patient advocacy, and medical services such as health care, medications, therapy and medical equipment. But in addition to the social services, it’s the social activities and get-togethers that are perhaps even of equal importance for survivors. “There’s this idea that survivors understand survivors. You walk into a room and you don’t have to explain anything; it’s almost like sitting with their siblings,” says Forer-Dehrey. While this is not to say that each story is the same, it’s a time that survivors can put down their guard and be with each other and understand each other. “They get the trauma that they went through and now they can celebrate life together – and yes there are times when it’s also difficult.” In addition to Café Europa, a weekly social gathering that draws 120 people weekly to locations in the city and valley, JFS also organizes a Hanukkah party and a Sukkot luxury cruise in Marina Del Ray, in which 200 survivors are taken on a cruise with a beautiful lunch and entertainment, and a Yom Hashoah commemoration at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park. While at these programs, “there’s just a bond that’s inexplicable – you can’t describe it in words,” says Forer-Dehrey. “These are people who have lost their families. They are each other’s families.


The Jewish Home september 12, 2013

The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013



LA’s Own Singing Sensation, Shmueli Schwartz, Discusses his Debut Album, Believe by Rachel Wizenfeld

The music is fresh, full, heartfelt and scintillating all at the same time. Weaving English and Hebrew lyrics with masterful symphony accompaniment and tunes to rival a Disney score, it’s an album to make any community kvell. It’s also what happens when you mix a top producer from LA’s entertainment industry with talented musicians and a 2012 finalist from the A Jewish Star competition. Believe is Shmueli Schwartz’s first album, but the LA native – he grew up in Hancock Park and now lives in Pico – has been singing for years. Besides being the star of the YULA plays in years past and performing at numerous weddings and concerts, he also produced a video to memorialize the Fogel victims, a”h, in 2011, which was used by schools and organizations to help process the tragedy and also raised money for the OU’s Victims of Terror fund. That video, titled “The Last Time,” featured Shmueli’s own original lyrics and singing and earned him an entry into the 2012 A Jewish Star contest. Since then, in his spare time between work and home – he is a social worker at the LA Jewish Home of the Aging and a father to newborn twins - he has been busy putting the final touches on his debut album, which was released just two weeks ago. The ten songs on Believe are unique in their sound, fusing the classical feeling of a full orchestra with catchy, modern music. While it’s nearly impossible to sing a piece by Beethoven or Mozart due to the complicated melodies and arrangements, the genre of classical pop gives the listener that full orchestra feeling with strings, wind and percussion instruments, along with a tune that’s easy and fun to hum along. It’s one thing that Shmueli believes makes his album most unique: “With my music the audience can feel like they are at a symphony, and yet sing along,” he says. The musicians on the album have impressive credits of their own – the pianist and producer, John Sawoski, worked on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast among many other TV and music scores, and the percussionist was in Indiana Jones and King Kong. Shmueli himself receives voice training with Dave Stroud, a leading voice coach in Hollywood. Besides the intricate melodies and harmonies, the words are spiritually uplifting, including “Just One Move” about inspiring others with your individual light, and “Vahaviosim” which includes a soft rap pleading Hashem to accept our prayers on high. Other songs include “Shalom Aleichem,” “Chasdei Hashem,” “Mi Adir” and more. In short, Believe is a great way to musically inspire yourself this High Holiday season, as well as show support for a fellow Angeleno. Available on iTunes, at local

Judaica stores and directly through www. shmuelimusic.com. Here’s the inside scoop on Believe from Shmueli himself:

passing violins, violas, bass, and cello, and the rhythm instruments include drums, timpani, chimes, and cymbals.    JH: Which song on your album are you most proud of, and why? Shmueli: “Just One Move”- The lyrics and melody are very moving. When someone listens to the song, he or she wants to do something positive afterwards.  Musically, the melody is very popular and the arrangement and orchestration develop the pop feel.  JH: What do you hope to achieve with your music? Shmueli: I have been performing in front of crowds for years. I enjoy connecting with my audience and spreading my messages of spirituality, hope and inspiration.    JH: Can you give us a peek into your songwriting process how do you come up with the melodies and words?  Shmueli: I use the piano to compose my melodies. I play a couple chords

JH: What inspired you to produce your own album? Shmueli: I realized that G-d has given me a talent to sing and compose music. The Torah writes that one should honor Hashem from what he has: “kabed Hashem m’honcha,” and chazal explain that you should read it “m’choncha,” which means the talents that one was given.  To me, this is an obligation  of mine that is spiritually motivated.   JH: You spent a long time putting this album together – what are your thoughts on this journey? Shmueli: I began composing over ten years ago. My first songs were “Chasdei Hashem” and “Mi Adir.” The most recent song was “Just One Move.” It takes time to create a good product and I have been revising this music for years. I only want to release my best. I have already started working on songs for my next album. JH: Which song on your album took the most work, and why? Shmueli: “Al Naharos Bovel.” The song has very complex arrangements and orchestration. There is a full string section encom-

and sing on top of them until something catchy and moving develops. I keep playing until I come up with something that speaks to me. I use the emotion of the song to help me find the right words. I also get help from my family - I might write lyrics or parts of a melody to a song, have them listen to it, and allow them to critique it.  JH: Who are your musical inspirations and role models?  Shmueli: My Jewish musical inspiration has to be Abie Rotenberg. I find that his music hits a deep spiritual chord and speak to the heart.  The tunes are catchy, as most of us have heard them sung in shul or at weddings, like “Acheinu” and “Hamalach.”   JH: What was the hardest part of producing this album? Shmueli: The time it took to complete the project.  Some people think that all it takes is a recording studio and some musicians to create a song or an album, but to create a good product, it takes planning, revisions, and hours of analyzing the performance.  It takes time and patience, but when it is all done, you look back at it thinking that all that work was worth it.


The Jewish Home september 12, 2013

16 september 12, 2013

(:g zekxa)

eizepye eini el oikix`n xeaivd mr eizeiyxt milynd lk

The Jewish Home


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Captain Kirk and the Wife of Potiphar: What to do with our Turbulent Emotions

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

passage is illustrating that even the darkest source has deep within it a holy spot. There is a purpose to the emotional turbulence that we experience in our lives. Let us explore a second distinction when dealing with difficult emotions. Anybody trained in marketing psychology knows that a strong salesman looks to create a certain level of pain for the prospective client and the close is achieved by showing how your product is the one to take it away. For example, an ad may show an elderly person holding his back with an ad caption that reads: “Is your back pain killing you?” or “Are you having a tough time playing with your grandchildren?” Next comes the close: “Well, we have the kayachupetz posturepedic bed that’s able to float in the air, and you’ll never feel that pain again.” That’s marketing at its most extreme. We will do whatever we can to avoid pain in our lives. The items we tend to buy in our lives, on some level, help us avoid pain. We’ll pay a much higher monthly premium for faster internet services so that we don’t have to wait for the answers. Likewise, G-d gave us some great gifts to minimize pain. The Talmud says that a person should “yargiz” – anger or encourage their good impulse, to fight with their dark impulse, as it says, “Have trepidation and do not sin.” The Talmud continues and qualifies: “If you could win that way, great, if not go and study Torah for Torah is also a remedy.” And in a final piece of advice: “If you can beat that dark side of yourself, great, if not, think of the day of your death.” Needless to say, this is a very strange passage. Can some sense be made of it? I think the key to this Talmudic source is to acknowledge that we mistranslated the opening line. We said that a person should “fight” with their dark impulse. That’s incorrect. The Talmud never says that we should wage a battle. Perhaps the opposite is true. On some level the message of fighting our dark impulse is futile, it’s ineffective. “Yargiz” means to excite. We know that trying to educate children through the modality of fear, yelling at them and telling them they’re worthless, and if they do this they’ll suffer for the rest of their lives – that simply doesn’t work. The Saba of Kelm pointed out many years ago what we know now - “hellfire” instruction died a long time ago; it stopped moving people. We don’t fight your darker side in that way. We can’t cut ourselves off. Judaism doesn’t recognize the religious value of becoming a hermit. There is a tradition that first born male children go through a ceremony called pidyon haben 30 days after they are born. The gist of the ceremony is that a Kohen (one of priestly lineage) “sells” the baby back to the rightful parent. The ceremony culminates with a major celebratory feast. Why do we make a party? On the contrary, the child was supposed to live a rarified life in the service of the priestly family. The child was supposed to live a G-d totally removed from the physical world. Why are we celebrating? Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky tackles this problem and says that our ideal is not to live a separatist life divorced from the world. Our goal in this world is to transform the mundane, not escape it. Life is not meant to be avoided. The emotional torrents of our soul are not meant to be medicated away. On Passover, leavened bread – chametz - is viewed as a symbol of all that is bad in this world. It is puffed up, pretending to be more than it is. It draws us in causing to escape the realities of life. If chametz is so vilified on Passover, why is the matzah - unleavened bread - featured front and center as the main mitzvah of the night? Unleavened bread is simply moments away from becoming chametz. Shouldn’t then the main mitzvah of the evening be a fruit or some other object that can’t possibly become chametz? Speaking to our point,

the Kozhnitzer Maggid says that our work on Passover night is not to run away; it’s to live right there at the line, at the edge with confidence and with the knowledge that you can be okay, that you can thrive. You need not expel the shadow within. You just have to watch it. There is no battle that needs to be waged within yourself. There is, however, another way to view pain and emotional distress. Pain can be viewed as a lesson instructing you to do something different with your life. Joseph’s brothers threw him in a pit. Nothing productive became of Joseph’s brothers while he was gone. How come? Because they lived through the pain and darkness of their actions and spent their lives shackled by that very atrocity. There’s no valuable story of the brothers after Joseph is gone, zero. Now look at Joseph. What does he make of his personal hell? Joseph only begins to live the moment he is thrown into the pit. Meaning – the minute Joseph is thrown into pain and trauma he uses that as an opportunity to teach the rest of the world a lesson, to reshape the destiny of humanity. He teaches us what it means to resist temptations in the episode with the seductive wife of Potiphar. He inspires us about what it means to have courage, to say no, to rise from a pit, to come out from below and share a message to the world, about leadership, how to save money, how to be flexible, how to adapt to your surroundings while retaining our identity. Joseph only begins to become the messenger the moment he goes through pain. The brothers allowed their pain to devour them. Joseph used his pain as an anchor by which to hone his talents, his mission, and his life’s passion. Let’s apply this to a specific emotion – anger, for example. What is one is supposed to do with anger? One approach to anger is anger release. A therapist may suggest that we take a pillow and beat the garbage out of it. Express our anger and scream it out. This is not the Torah method. Fighting our anger with more anger only teaches us to accentuate that emotion or middah. This goes back to what we said above that to “yargiz,” our good side against our dark side, doesn’t mean to have them do battle, it means to excite the good over the bad. And what does that mean? The witness. Rav Eliyahu Dessler, Rav Chaim Volozhin, and many great sages throughout the millennia understood that with anger, you’re supposed to look at it, watch it like a baby, take care of it. Take care of the anger. The prohibition is to continue the anger. Feeling anger is an emotion. That’s not the problem. That just comes at you. It’s the dwelling upon the anger, fighting anger with more anger, that’s the prohibition according to the Torah. Rav Dessler says that a person becomes angry only when they know in the depths of their heart that they’re wrong, and they use their anger to cover their mistake. This is precisely why we should watch our anger, study it as a witness, because it’s sending us a message. It’s telling us that the reason why we are feeling so angry is because something has touched a nerve inside of us, maybe guilt, and it’s causing that emotion to come out. This is the bottom line message. Do not look at our emotions as defining us, but rather as a part of us that we can stand outside of and deal with, and in that way we can come to a better, more powerful, higher place.

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at rabbieinhorn@gmail.com

september 12, 2013

We all would love to constantly live in an enlightened state. A state where nothing can hurt us and we only make good decisions. Read any selfhelp book you like yet sometimes there’s simply nothing we can do with all the negative messages percolating in our heads. Follow all of the rules and still sometimes we can’t shake the way we feel. The human condition doesn’t allow us to retain the feeling of inspired majesty after watching a sunset. The question is, what do you do when you have the voice in your head, whether it’s depression or anger? And I’m not talking about a chemical problem, some things are a chemical imbalance, or as the research shows, boils down to medicine. I’m talking about on a situational level. What is the Torah’s view of how we deal with the emotional tempest that rages within each of us? The manifestation of negativity is addressed by the rabbinic tradition via the imagery of the Yetzer HaRah, the Evil Impulse. At the creation of the world Adam and Eve were warned to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. After they ignored G-d’s charge and sinned, an impure impulse, the Yetzer HaRah, entered into their daily life. If there was no dark impulse there to begin with, then how did they make this mistake of eating from the tree? And if there was always a darker force operating within them, what changed after the sin? Rav Chaim Volozhin suggests a compelling resolution. Once upon a time there was a snake, a cunning servant called the Yetzer HaRah. This serpent came and calmly whispered persuasive dark thoughts into the ear of the human being: “Live a little, take from the tree.” Once the serpent was able to corrupt Adam and Eve, the darkness of the Yetzer HaRah was no longer an external beast whispering in our ear, rather it became so much more devastating. It became an internal voice leading us away from our proper path. The philosopher Rav Eliyahu Dessler puts it pithily: “Before eating from the tree, YOU tried to get me to the sin. After eating from the tree, it’s I who want to sin.” Is this shift clear? External to internal. The gnawing darkness became a part of the process that we go through in our mind; it became internal and a component to our drives. There’s one more step here. “Ki teiztze l’milchma al Oyvecha” - when you go out to war against your enemy (Devarim 21:10). The mystical tradition explains that this enemy is not referring to a physical enemy on the battlefield; rather it refers to the internal Yetzer HaRah. A shift happened in the world whereby our tendency to think negative thoughts, to go to a dark place, a dark mood, has crept inside of us and is no longer solely external. However the key of this teaching – when you wage war against your enemy - is that it’s still an enemy. It’s not YOU. It’s not you. What a powerful realization. We may have internalized an inclination toward chaos, but it’s still not who we are. The negativity is not you. There’s nothing more integral or empowering to true growth than realizing that YOU are not the voice in your mind. There’s a voice telling you, “Forget it. Don’t do anything. It’s useless. Don’t

volunteer. You’re just going to complain and bicker.” Or there’s the voice that tells you, “Why would you go and help that person? They’re probably just going to use that money to buy liquor.” There’s always a voice pulling us back, stunting our growth, giving us negativity. It’s time to stand apart from that pull and realize that we are not the voice but rather we are the witness to that voice. The moment we find ourselves inching toward a disturbing thought, a negative and angry emotion, or a depressed sense of purpose, stand back and become the witness to that thought. Near the end of the Torah, in the portion called Ha’azinu, G-d beckons the heavens and the earth to bear witness to His law. When Moses is no longer around, who else will attest to the covenant made with the people if not nature? The Biblical commentator Ohr Hachaim suggests an alternative understanding of “heaven” and “earth”. Heaven refers to those who stand high – the leaders, the innovators, the officers. Earth refers to the common individual. G-d was summoning humanity – from the people at the top, to the people at the bottom, all to stand as the witness of the Torah. The Midrash says that if not for the Yetzer HaRah we would never build a house, get married, have children or get a job. What is the link between the presence of a baser impulse and our achievements? There is a famous Star Trek episode called “The Enemy Within.” Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise is transported to another planet to engage an enemy combatant. As he is being transported, however, there is a glitch in the system and it splits him into two Kirks. Kirk #1 is peaceful, loving, simple and innocent. Kirk #2 is tough, mean and vindictive. His loyal crew is trying to figure out which one is the Kirk that they should follow. They make the decision that, we know that Kirk is a good person so obviously we should follow the merciful and compassionate and kind one. When they’re following him, they have to make a decision, literally a fork in the road but because he’s so soft and nice, he can’t make the decision for them. He crumbles to the ground and starts to cry. They realize that they had thought they chose to follow the better Kirk, but that they had in fact made a mistake. The lesson here is that in order to properly function we need the totality of our human experience; we need to be the witness, to watch the full human experience and understand why G-d gave us that other impulse. Only someone who can get hurt is capable of being somebody who can properly love. This, perhaps, is why were given such permeating darkness. It’s a gift. And therefore when you have these negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, instead of curling up into them and surrendering to the negativity, what you would be doing instead is witnessing, watching, or asking yourself, “What is this emotion asking me to do differently?” For example the most technical example is when you feel anxiety about something, you can feel anxiety and just get overwhelmed or you can stop and say it’s sending me a message. Why am I feeling anxiety? Maybe I’m not prepared about something. Or if there’s no way to get prepared, wrap yourself around the fact that it’s ok if you fail. That’s what the message of anxiety is telling you - you need to respond differently so that you don’t feel this way anymore. It’s all a message. We become the witness, the one who is watching what is happening. That is the meaning of the teaching we noted above that if not for the Yetzer HaRah, we never would have built a house, we never would get married, and we never would have children because you need to have that impulse, that drive. The Talmud in Avoda Zara says that the day the will to do idolatry was cosmically crushed, the nerve that helped us with prophecy was also obliterated. What does one have to do with the other? This

The Jewish Home

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

Al Jazeera And The Jews By Rabbi Avi Shafran

The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013


Even as Al Jazeera America – the new offshoot of the Qatar-based news organization – was making its broadcast debut recently on cable carriers in the United States, its parent organization back on the Arabian peninsula featured a commentary by former Muslim Brotherhood official Gamal Nassar, in which he claimed that the Egyptian military (and currently political) leader Abdel Fattah Al Sisi is a Jew. He didn’t mean it as a compliment. Mr. Nassar cited an Algerian newspaper (“All the slander that’s fit to sling”?) to the effect that Mr. Al Sisi’s uncle was “a member of the Jewish Haganah organization” and that the nephew “is implementing a Zionist plan to divide Egypt.” The Al Jazeera commentator helpfully added that “Whoever reads The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the writings of [the Jews], including those who were writing in the U.S., realizes that this plot was premeditated.” Maybe it’s not fair to visit the sins of the father – Al Jazeera in Arabia – so to speak, onto the son – Al Jazeera America. The latter organization claims to be “a completely different channel from… all of the other channels in the Al Jazeera Media Network” and has its “own board and advisory board.” And the American operation asserts that it will be delivering “unbiased, fact-based and in-depth journalism,” which, if true, will become apparent in time. But, with the baggage of its family name’s reputation, “AJAM”’s battle will be uphill. As it happens, not long ago, in my capacity as Agudath Israel’s public affairs director, I was contacted by a reporter for Al Jazeera – the original, Qatar operation. He worked for its English-language version, which is no longer accessible in the US, and was helping produce a television segment for the network, about the religious-secular divide in Israel. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to become involved, even as a mere resource, with an Arab-centered, less-than-sympathetic-to-Israel operation. A good friend of mine who also deals with media advised me to demur. But I decided to interact with the reporter (who turned out to be very friendly, and Jewish, to boot) all the same, and offered him some background information

about the topic he wouldn’t likely glean from most Jewish media, and some suggestions for whom he might wish to feature as guests on the segment. A few weeks later, he sent me a link to a recording of the program, which I watched carefully. The guests included a religious Israeli politician and an American proponent of dismantling the rabbinate and creating a more “democratic” state that didn’t favor Orthodox Judaism. The segment, I had to admit, was excellent. Both sides made their cases, of course, but the moderator was outstanding, asking informed, probing questions not only of the politician but of the activist too, and letting her guests know when they didn’t address what had been asked. Another journalist on the program was monitoring personal media in real time, and the tweets and postings she shared with the audience were balanced, representing both sides of each issue. Afterward, I sat back and pondered the contrast between mainstream Jewish media’s reportage of Jewish religious issues and what I had witnessed on Al Jazeera’s program. When it comes to things like the segment’s subject, many media, including some major Jewish media, are transparently biased against Jewish Orthodoxy. That’s not surprising, as most journalists, as a Pew poll several years back revealed, are less than sympathetic to religion. And most Jewish journalists are non-Orthodox Jews with, by their profession, an interest in the Jewish community; hence they bring some personal baggage to their keyboards. Al Jazeera, however, lacks any dog in the race, and so it addressed the subject in a refreshingly objective way. That it did so recalled to me something I had said before an audience of my own, at the 92nd St. Y a few months ago. In an offhand comment that drew some gasps (and, surprisingly, some applause), I asserted that the reporters most qualified to write for Jewish newspapers are non-Jews. They, I explained, are less likely to be burdened by preconceptions or guided, even subconsciously, by agendas. I know Al Jazeera – the parent, that is – well enough to not expect it to report objectively on Israel. It doesn’t expend the effort to see beyond the Jewish state’s real or imagined warts, to its human face. Nor would I expect it to feature – although it should – opinion pieces defending Israel against the libels regularly hurled at her by much of the Arab world. But, optimist that I am, I wonder whether Al Jazeera America, which aims to focus mainly on American news, might prove itself, at least in the realm of reportage on Jewish religious issues, to be a breath of unpolluted air. Time will tell. How disturbing, though, to have to be looking to an Arab news network for balance in Jewish issues. © 2013 Rabbi Avi Shafran


T h e J e w i S h h o m e n S e p T. 1 6 , 2010

n October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur day, twelve Arab countries joined forces and in a surprise offensive attacked Israel. The attack was calculated to catch Israel totally off guard. The Arabs figured that since it was Yom Kippur, Israel would basically be at a stand-still. They knew that Israeli TV and radio stations, which were used to broadcast the code words of different army units in order to give mobilization instructions, would be shut down. Their plan succeeded. Israel was totally caught off guard. The Israeli intelligence failure will forever be analyzed and debated. All the signs of war were present. The Arab countries barely hid the fact that they were preparing for war. They publicly built up their arsenals and armies, trained and made war plans. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat repeatedly claimed he was ready “to sacrifice a million Egyptian soldiers” to recover the lands lost in the Six-Day War. Israeli intelligence even ignored blatant warnings by the CIA that war was pending. One possible explanation for Israel’s intelligence failure was that after Israel’s decisive victory in the Six Day War in 1967, Israel intelligence and military were confident that the Arabs would not have the courage to attack again. Also, several times in the months leading up to the war the Israeli military mobilized because of perceived threats of imminent war. Each of these mobilizations was costly, and Israel was reluctant to undertake another mobilization for yet another false alarm. The Arabs began the war by attacking on two fronts, the North and South. On the Southern front the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal and advanced approximately three miles into the Sinai Desert, which had been in Israel’s control since the Six- Day War. The Egyptians met little resistance as they built temporary bridges and maneuvered approximately eight hundred and fifty tanks across the Suez Canal into the Sinai Desert. After several days the Israeli army stabilized the front lines and

Setting up temporary bridge to cross Suez Canal

The Yom Kippur


In this exclusive interview, the Jewish Home staff met with Five Towns resident, Yehuda Daphna who fought for the Israeli army during the Yom Kippur War.

by Nate Davis

the Watergate scandal at the time, came to Israel’s aid in an unprecedented fashion and airlifted fighter planes, weapons, supplies, food and anything Israel needed. Approximately 2,300 Israeli soldiers perished in the Yom Kippur war. Approximately 12,000 Arab soldiers were killed on the Southern front and 3,000 Syrian soldiers were killed on the Northern front. While Israel lost approximately 400 tanks, the Arab armies lost approximately 2,100 tanks. Additionally, Israel lost 105 fighter planes; the Arab armies lost 370 fighter planes. By the end of October, 1973, when a cease fire was declared, it was clear that the Israelis successfully fought off twelve Arab nations that sought to destroy Israel. The Israeli army not only pushed back the Syrians on the Northern front, they actually came within 20 miles of the capital of Syria, Damascus. On the Southern front ,the Israeli army pushed back and was advancing toward Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Had a cease fire not been declared, Israel could have overtaken both Syria and Egypt.

IntervIew began their counter-attack. The Israeli army built multiple temporary bridges over the Suez Canal and advanced deep into Egypt. Prior to the Yom kippur War were you At the same time as the Egyptians attacked from in active duty in the Israeli Army? the South the Syrians attacked the Golan Heights I was in the reserves. I already served my time from the North. The Golan Heights front was more in the army as part of an intelligence unit. Once I important to the Israeli military because if the Syrians completed my service I spent some time in Europe. I were to capture the Golan Heights they could easily was actually in England right before the Yom Kippur advance on Tiveria, Safed,  Chaifa,Netanya, and  Tel War started. Aviv. Reservists were directed to the Golan as quickly as possible. They were assigned to tanks and sent to the front as soon as they arrived at army depots, without waiting for the crews they trained with to arrive. During the initial Syrian assault the Israeli line of defense was tremendously outnumbered and overrun. However within a few days the Israelis regrouped and began pushing back the Syrians. The Yom Kippur war was not just a conflict in the Middle East, it actually involved the world’s greatest superpowers. The Arab armies were predominantly equipped (Left) Yehuda Daphna in his IDF days, and (Right) today with Soviet-made weapons while Israel was armed with mostly Western-made Where were you when the Yom kippur weapons from the United States. As the Arabs began War broke out? losing ground, the Soviet Union began supplying war I was in a shul. Even though I wasn’t religious, it aid to Egypt and Syria by air and by sea at a rapid was Yom Kippur so I went to shul. All of a sudden pace. Although the United States had been sending word spread that Israel was attacked. There were a aid to Israel for a while, once the war began, the bunch of Israelis in the shul and we all went straight United States accelerated the pace of its aid to Israel. to the Israeli Embassy to figure out what to do. The The Nixon administration, which was embroiled in Israeli Embassy sent us straight to Heathrow Airport continued on page 7

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WAR from page 6

so we could fly back to Israel to fight. When I got to Heathrow Airport it was packed with Israelis who gathered from all over England to go back to Israel to fight. They loaded us on to El Al cargo planes that were filled with ammunition coming from America. There were no seats; we

————————————————— By the end of october, 1973, when a cease fire was declared, it was clear that the israelis successfully fought off twelve arab nations that sought to destroy israel.

————————————————— literally sat on boxes of ammunition. It was amazing because next to the El Al planes, which were loaded with Israelis trying to get back to Israel, there were planes belonging to all the Arab countries and they were all empty; no Arabs were trying to get back to fight. As we approached Israel I remember looking out the window of the plane and seeing totally darkness, there were no lights. I thought the country was destroyed and gone. You know, usually you see lights from streets, buildings, cars etc., but because of the war all electricity was off and nobody was on the streets. There weren’t even lights on the runway. They lit flares on the sides of the runway so we could land. What happened once you landed in Israel?

Israeli soldiers praying on the road to Damascus, 22 kilometers from the Syrian capital

Right when we landed they sent us up North to fight on the Syrian front. I got to a military base in Rosh Pina, which is a few miles from the Golan Heights, at 10:00 am the day after Yom Kippur. There was complete chaos at the military base. The army base was deserted because everyone was away for Yom Kippur and nobody expected a war. Israel was caught totally off-guard. In fact, all the tanks were in the process of being switched from gasoline to diesel fuel so they were all stripped

down and locked in warehouses. We had to bust the warehouse doors open to get to the tanks. We then had to basically put the tanks together,we needed to put the treading back on; we had to load them with ammunition; we had to adjust the cannons, which takes a while to do. As this was happening we could literally hear the explosions from the Golan Heights. It was only a matter of time before the Syrians would reach us. We couldn’t waste a second. While this was happening, I was the most senior military person on the base so I was the temporary commanding officer. All the tank operators were saying that they had to adjust the cannons before driving out to the war front. I was part of an intelligence unit and not a tank operator, therefore I really didn’t know much about tanks; but I knew that we didn’t have a second to spare. I remember telling the tank men, “Go! Go! Go! You will adjust your tanks on the way.” how close were the Syrians to you at this point? They were 10 miles away in Qunetra. They attacked from the Golan in the North and could have marched straight into Israel because we were totally unprepared. But a miracle occurred and they stopped their march at Qunetra. The only reason they stopped was because they became suspicious that there wasn’t any resistance from the Israeli army, so they thought it was an ambush. They figured that we were trying to trap them. Had they not stopped in Qunetra there would have been no way for us to organize and prevent their advance.

tanks. Besides for the tanks they had hundreds of thousands of foot soldiers. Part of their strategy was to just overrun Israel with soldiers. One of my strongest memories is the sight of thousands of Syrian soldiers walking down the hills towards us. It looked like an ant march; there were so many of them. They planned on literally just walking into Israel. once you began pushing back, how long did the battle last for? The battle lasted for about 10 days. We fought day and night. We barely had any food and we didn’t sleep, besides for little cat naps. But the adrenaline kept us going. During that push we had one of the biggest tank battles in history. We kept pushing them back and eventually they retreated. We pushed

IDf soldiers taking a break from combat

into Syria and were actually close to Damascus. how did you stop the Syrian We set up camp on a high ground on a mountain overlooking Damascus. advance? With binoculars we were Well, it took us three to four able to see into buildings days to get organized and then in Damascus. The Syrians we began pushing them back. thought we were coming The reason it took so long to and prepared Damascus get organized is because our for war. With our communication capabilities binoculars we watched were totally cut-off. The Syrians them build trenches were only several miles away around the city. and were listening to all our We would have gone communications. Usually in war into Damascus but Prime you have “code maps” which are Minister Golda Meir used to secretly communicate ordered us to stop. when the enemy is listening to your communications. However, Why didn’t you we only had code maps of enemy have adequate territory. But we didn’t have food? code maps of the Golan because We didn’t have the that was our territory and we didn’t basic necessities since anticipate that an enemy would Defense Minister Moshe Dayan speaking with IDF Israel was totally not penetrate our territory. They broke soldiers in the Sinai desert prepared for the war. our codes which was a big thing The army did not have adequate amounts of food because we couldn’t communicate. It also took time for all the reserve troops that were called up to fight. for soldiers to arrive in the North. So it took 3-4 days President Nixon sent shipments of army rations for us to get things together in order to push back. from America. But he sent us the left over rations dating back to World War II. I remember receiving You must have been heavily a tin can that said “biscuits” and when I opened it outnumbered as well? worms came out. Well, we had 200 tanks and they had over 500 continued on page 8

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We literally ate grass and leaves from trees. I remember breaking into warehouses in Syria looking for food. Eventually, once things calmed down, the army started sending us more food.

bombs at the approaching Syrians. Obviously, these bombs had a devastating effect on the approaching Syrians. The Israeli army heard the bombing and came to my assistance and the Syrians retreated.

As you marched toward Damascus did you pass through Syrian villages? Actually, between Israel and Damascus, it is all a military zone. All of the villages were empty because the Syrian military fled.

Did you think your life was over when you saw the Syrians approaching? The only thing I was thinking about at that point was what I could do to survive this situation and live. For many years after, I had nightmares about this incident. The truth is that even though the Syrians were our enemy ,it was very hard for me to come to terms with the fact that many of them were killed because of my actions. I eventually spoke to my Rabbi who helped me focus on the fact that I did what I had to do in order to protect myself, other Jewish soldiers and all Israelis from an enemy that was trying to invade their country and would have brutally destroyed us. You know, even though we had to protect Israel we were sensitive when dealing with dead Arab soldiers. On the other hand whenever we had Arab captives helping us bury enemy soldiers they would loot the soldiers, take their wallets and check all their pockets before burying them. We never did that. We were more sensitive to their dead soldiers than they were.

After the Syrians started the war, what happened when you fought back? They ran like crazy. Once the initial battle was done we advanced very fast and were pushing into Syria. how long did you stay in Syria for? We stayed in Syria for several months. It was very difficult though. Shortly after we set up a military camp on the high grounds in Syria it began to rain and snow. Even though it was only November at this point, our camp was on the mountain tops where it starts snowing early. We were from Israel and totally not used to the weather and not equipped to deal with it. President Nixon sent us anti-freeze for our tanks, coats, blankets and other materials to help us winterize our camp. In fact, at one point we were trying to get to a mountain top in order to place the Israeli flag

Egyptian tank in the Suez Canal

there but because of the snow we weren’t able to get to the peak. There were some Scandinavian UN workers visiting our camp, who were experienced in climbing snow covered mountains due to the large amount of snow in Scandinavia. They actually volunteered to climb to the mountain top and put up the Israeli flag. Imagine the UN doing that for Israel today. I heard that you received a bravery medal for something that happened during the battle. Can you tell us about that experience? Okay. I was scouting for enemy positions one night so I was a few miles ahead of the Israeli army. We did this all the time. We would drive ahead, see what’s going on and go back and report our findings. This time, all of a sudden, I saw the Syrians approaching. It was like one of the ant marches where they were all just walking down the hill. My jeep only had small arms fire on it, which is no match for thousands of Syrian soldiers. I quickly scanned the area and located a damaged Israeli tank nearby. Although the engine was destroyed, the cannon still worked because tank cannons are not dependent on an engine. The canon was facing the wrong way so I had to manually turn around the cannon, which weighed approximately 180 pounds. Eventually I got the cannon to face the right direction. There were ten napalm fire bombs stocked in the tank. These bombs, although effective against people, are primarily used in tank battles to create markings at night. I fired all ten of the

Tank crossing Suez Canal

While you were fighting did you feel like it was a miracle that you were able to fight off the Syrians? Well, actually I was not religious during the war and the truth is that we were very focused on the fight and didn’t really think about religious things too much. I only had one thought throughout the fighting; how do I survive and continue to live and protect ourselves from this enemy. However, many years later I became religious and gained an understanding of how Hashem works, and now when I look back at what happened I see that it was all a total miracle. Seeing where my life is today, I also now realize that all these experiences happened to me for a reason.

september 12, 2013

T h e J e w i S h h o m e n S e p T. 1 6 , 2010


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WAR from page 7

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september 12, 2013


Lessons Unforgotten—1: The By Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz

“Are you sure about this?” he asked. “Sure about ‘what’? That secular knowledge is important in understanding things in religious studies—in Limudei Kodesh?” I answered, “Yes, I’m sure.” “But look at all the abuse and condemnation that is heaped on secular knowledge by our Sages, by the greats of our Rabbis. Why, even Yehudah Halevi, the author of the Kuzari, one of the seminal works in Jewish Philosophy, calls it Philosfia Arurah—‘cursed philosophy’. I understand that in order to work in the modern world at anything remotely like a high-level and well-paying job, you need a secular education and a ‘sheepskin’—a degree and the training that goes with it. But what does have to do with understanding Torah and comprehending the Will of Hashem? Isn’t that the bottom line—does it or does it not come in handy in learning the Daf? In understanding what’s on a page of Talmud or in a Teshuvah, a responsum, on a complex Halakhic question?” “Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? I can answer it only by telling you about the time I first came to suspect—and believe me, it’s still only a suspicion, though a very strong one— that secular knowledge, and an ability to think in ways that are developed in a person’s mind while gaining secular knowledge, is useful in learning Torah.” It was long time ago (I continued)—I was a not yet Bar Mitzvah and I was growing up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. This was in the late 1950s, a strange period in Williamsburg’s history. The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway had already driven many Jewish families to southern Brooklyn, or to Queens or Long Island. Six huge Synagogues had been torn down in the process and community activism (Jewish or otherwise) had not yet been invented. This gave the Chassidic refugees who were limping to America after the disaster in Europe a place to move in. It would take another decade or two for Satmar to become the dominant Chassidic force in Williamsburg. My family was among those Misnagdim who stayed—my parents had a dry-goods store on Havemeyer Street, and I attended, first Torah Vodaas, and then Yeshiva College up in Washington Heights. There I encountered Rav Aharon Lichtenstein—a son-in-law of Rav Soloveitchik, zt”l, who taught a deeply analytic style of Gemara, tinged with allusions from English literature (a subject in which Rav Lichtenstein had a Harvard PhD). I dug it (as we used to say): It allowed me to go full-tilt in Talmud studies and full-tilt in secular studies. But that was during the week. On Shabbos, I came home and would spend Shabbos afternoons “Shtibl hopping”—going from one Chassidic synagogue to another all over the neighborhood, attending classes (all in Yiddish) given by Chassidic Rabbis, some with great reputations I was too young to appreciate or even recognize. On one Shabbat afternoon, I heard a shiur, a class, about what I call, “The Kotzk Principle.” The class consisted of about a dozen adult men, half of them in Chassidic garb and half in dark suits and black hats in the Orthodox manner—and one kid dressed much the same way as the non-Chassidic men (and pretty much the same way he dresses today!). I was the only young person there—everyone

Kotzk Principle

else was in a business of some sort. In fact, I knew some of them as proprietors of stores on Havemeyer St. The Rabbi began with the statement that, while everyone believes that giving Tzedakah, charity, is a voluntary action—something a person gives out of the goodness of his heart—the great Kotzker Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern, the early 19th-centur Chassidic Rabbi of Kotzk and of the fourth generation of disciples of the Baal Shem Tov) taught that such is not the case. When any poor man comes to you, the Kotzker taught, and asks you for a nedavah—a gift of charity—you must give him something. It’s not a voluntary act—it’s a Chi-yuv—an obligatory Mitzvah— no less incumbent on a Jew than circumcising his son or eating Matzah on Passover. We all looked at the Rabbi with blank and astonished stares. How could that be? Isn’t the whole point of Tzedakah that it is voluntary—a free-willed act of kindness in a helping another human being in need? Yes, there are some “gifts” that are mandated by the Halakhah—tithes of produce and portions of a field that must be left for the poor to harvest. But in the synagogues of Williamsburg, one could easily be approached by twenty or thirty people begging for charity every morning. The idea that giving these people—all of them—some money was something a Jew was commanded to do seemed absurd to all the men in the class that day, and no less so to me. But, the Rabbi said, the Kotzker would say one has to think of it this way: You can never know when it will happen that the few coins that you give to a poor person will make the difference for that person on that day between life and death, between surviving and succumbing—to hunger, to sickness, to the cold. Those pennies may someday save that person’s life. Oh, but what are the odds of that? I asked (probably the first time I spoke aloud in that or any of the classes). Silence. No answer. After a few moments, the class went on to other matters. But the idea burned inside my brain and during the week that followed, I speculated on what might be an answer to that question: What are the odds? Let’s see: On most days (back then), I would be accosted by about ten to fifteen people during morning services. In the course of a day walking through the streets of Williamsburg, I would see at least another ten such people begging. Keeping track that week, I counted, conservatively, 200 people—or more accurately, 200 opportunities—some were people with signs sitting in front of a store or the synagogue and not actually asking anyone for anything. Over the years, I have often taken note of how many “TO”s (“Tzedakah Opportunities”) I would have on a given day or during a given week. Working in Manhattan, I would say that number was very high—at least 200 TO’s per week; living in a Boston suburb (but attending an urban University), that number was cut in half; and even in Encino, where I live now, that number is about 100 per week. That’s right—100 TO’s per week, even in hot, pedestrian-averse; and modern-hip Los Angeles; there are people asking for help in front of the Rite-Aids, the Ralph’s, the Kosher Butchers, even on the streets of Hancock Park and

at virtually every off-ramp of the Freeways. If I had to pick a weekly average for the last 50 years of my life, I’d say 100 per week is reasonable—even conservative. (Feel free to do your own figuring.) That makes 5,000 per year, or 250,000 over a 50-year life-span—more if you are fortunate enough to live a longer adult life (or in places where more people are forced to beg to survive). Now the second part of the calculation: the odds of a poor person succumbing and dying because they are a small amount of money short. In my experience, this happens more frequently than most people would be willing to admit or acknowledge, but for the sake of argument (which is what I did back in Williamsburg) I took that to be “one-in-a-million.” One person out of a million who will ask me for Tzedakah will find themselves in a predicament later that day where not having the small amount of money I might give them will make the difference between them living (through the night; the storm; the hunger; the sickness— whatever), or not making it. But that means that in the course of my lifetime—perhaps only once or twice over 50 years—there is a high probability (at least 25-percent) that I will be asked for Tzedakah by someone for whom my small amount of Tzedakah would make the difference between life and death. Given how great a tragedy such a death would be (the number anyone might assign to that would be incalculable), I can understand what the Kotzker was saying. If we knew that the person whose life would be saved by our Tzedakah was this person asking me for something right now—even with a 25-percent chance—why, I’d certainly give him something. But we can’t know that. All we can know is that there is a finite and not very small chance that it will happen at some time in our lives. And that is the Kotzk Principle: We are commanded to give poor people begging for small amounts something each time they ask because this may be one of those “one-in-a-million cases” in which our small gift will save that person’s life. The next Shabbos, I went to the same class-and I screwed up my courage and spoke up immediately. I told them about my calculations, being as clear as I could be without the benefit of a blackboard or pen and paper.

I asked them to estimate the number of times they are asked for Tzedakah in any given week—their estimates were all greater than mine. Then I asked how many times it happens that a small amount of money makes the difference between life and death for a poor person. Surprisingly, their estimates were all much higher than mine. That, I argued, was what the Kotzker was talking about. Some of the men in that class agreed (“Der yingel iz gerecht—the boy is right,” they said to one another); but some just didn’t see it. I explained again. Still nothing for about half of them. Then the class resumed. As I looked around, it seemed to me that the men whom I knew were in business—who had to deal with numbers and figures and probabilities in life—were the ones who understood the Kotzk Principle; the ones who weren’t in business did not—including the Rabbi teaching the class. “And this proves…” he asked, after a moment’s reflective pause. “’Prove?’ It doesn’t prove anything. Except that I’m certain a kind of mathematical thinking very much like what I went through then was at work in the mind of the Kotzker. And it was only with that kind of thinking, derived either from native abilities or learned in a classroom—a math classroom—that could have made it clear to me, then as now, that the Kotzker was right: one must give something— something, however small—to any poor person asking you for Tzedakah. And also clear to me is that some secular wisdoms and intellectual abilities are important tools in Talmud Torah. P.S. The editor of this paper has told me that the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt’l, always gave every poor person asking him for a nedavah some small amount, no matter how many times he was asked. ____________________________________ “Touro Corner” is edited by Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz, a product of Williamsburg, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Yeshiva University; former Rav of Cong. Beth Israel of Malden, Massachusetts; and producer-publisher of many books for leading publishers. He is also a member of the TCLA Faculty, teaching both secular subjects and Limudei Kodesh.


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september 12, 2013

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The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013


Chayo I’ve heard so much about Chayo for so long that I was surprised to learn it only opened 2 weeks ago. Everyone, it seems, has been raving about this new, chic eatery in “Redondo” (or Torrance, but the cool people say “Redondo” minus the “Beach”). I finally checked it out and was delighted. Chayo is a dairy bistro that specializes in pizza, salads and soups. The engine behind Chayo is Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a nifty, Jewish owned and operated, search engine site that allows users to earn money (or swag) just by utilizing their site instead of Google or Yahoo. Swagbucks headquarters is in Redondo Beach and, according to Chayo’s owner Levi Chayo, has 80 employees, many of whom are Orthodox Jews. This tight knit group codes together and wanted to dine together, and were annoyed at the lack of good Kosher restaurants in Swagland. Many swagbuckeneers approached Abe Chayo, who has gourmet restaurant experience (Wolf and Lamb in New York and Gourmet Carrot in Florida) but he was busy with other ventures. The computer engineers would not lay off, so Abe called his younger brother Levi who was still in yeshiva at the time, and they both were excited about the opportunity. Having no previous restaurant experience, Levi smartly worked in a New York restaurant for half a year to gain experience serving, ordering, dealing with customers, and running the day to day operations of a restaurant. With Abe as a consultant, and Levi with some practical experience under his belt, they felt ready to open one of the only Kosher restaurants in the city. Levi and Abe were

determined to do things right and hired a high end interior designer to space plan and decorate the new restaurant. The location used to house a non-Kosher pizza chain store, who moved and took everything, including the ovens, with them, so Chayo had to start from scratch. I loved the result and could immediately tell that it was done by a professional. The neutral palate and glossy, modern fixtures, create a modern, light and fun atmosphere; it is both classy and inviting. The brothers also resolved to use only fresh ingredients and healthy cooking methods. Levi Chayo refused to

purchase a freezer nor a deep fryer, so he has no choice but to use fresh, in season ingredients. Their chef also works for Wolfgang Puck, and together they planned a menu which appeals to anyone seeking crisp salads, savory soups, gourmet pizzas, and freshly baked bread. They also have salads and sandwiches pre-packed to grab on the go. I like their vegetable pizza which features grilled vegetables, but their soups and salads are exceptional. I had a mushroom bisque, which is blended and thick, with a rich mushroom flavor and savory flavor. Their portabella

mushroom salad was so much more than I expected, it included generous slices of sautéed portabella mushrooms, sweet tomatoes and high quality fresh buffalo mozzarella, stacked in layers, resting on a large amount of baby arugula with a gentle, tangy dressing. Not only is the food delicious, but the prices are very reasonable. They have many appetizers for $3.00, their pizzas are $12.00, soups are $4.00, and the salad I ordered was $6.95. I expected the prices to be 50% higher due to the location and quality, but Levi Chayo explains that they do everything in house in order to keep prices low. That explains the incredible, freshly baked bread. If you haven’t been to Torrance/Redondo it’s a nice city to visit, with a beachy, vacationy vibe and little traffic on weekends. Go to the beach (5 minute drive from Chayo), have a nice lunch at Chayo, finish the day with a trip to the beautiful outdoor mall around the corner. One more thing: Chayo is located in a strip mall and it’s easy to miss from the street. This is the one time I would not recommend using the Waze GPS app that I love, go with your old GPS and you’ll get there. It’s about 25 minutes from Los Angeles with no traffic. Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids.  She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.  


The Jewish Home september 12, 2013

The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013


7 Questions with Chazan Arik Wollheim By Mushki Boteach Naparstek 1.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Azor, a little suburb of Tel Aviv. When I became a Bar Mitzvah I started leading services in the little shtibel where we davened. I followed in my father’s footsteps in that regard. I graduated from Yeshivat Yavneh in Israel, joined the IDF and served as the head of the military choir for three years, where I was exposed to the world of music in a more professional way and decided to pursue that path. After the army I started my studies in the Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and after a year I received a scholarship to continue my education in New York City where I graduated and received my Masters in Music. At the same time I started serving as the chazzan of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT where I remained for 12 years until my move to Beth Jacob in Feb 2013. 
 2) What inspired you to become a cantor? What do you enjoy most about your job? My father is a great lover of Chazzanut and a great Ba’al T’filah so I grew up listening

to old LP records of the great Chazzanim of years past. As a teenager my plan was to be a lawyer and lead davening as a hobby, later on I was drawn to the music more and more and never made it to law school. I like many things about my job: helping and supporting my congregants both at joyous and sad times, singing the music I love most, teaching and inspiring adults and youth, and working together with the leadership of Beth Jacob to make a difference in people’s lives. 
 3) How did you come to Beth Jacob? How long have you been working there?  I started serving as the Chazzan of Beth Jacob Congregation in February 2013. During the last five years, while serving as the Chazzan in Conneticut, I was living in Jerusalem and commuting to Stamford every month. When we found out that we were soon to be blessed with a second child, my wife and I decided to end the commute. I had learned of the opening for the cantor position at Beth Jacob and applied for it. My wife Tehilah and I feel very fortunate that we’ve found Beth Jacob and made L.A. our home. 

4) How do you enjoy living in Los Angeles? How does the Jewish community here compare to the other communities you have lived in? Since my wife’s family is from L.A, I have been here before; nevertheless, I did not realize how large and influential the Jewish community of L.A is. The number of synagogues, kosher eateries and other Jewish institutions is second only to NY and Israel. Living in the Pico-Robertson area sometimes makes me feel as if I never left Israel. The Jewish community of L.A has a very strong identity yet at the same time is integrated into the greater L.A community. 
 5) Tell us an interesting story that happened to you in your work as a chazzan? I have had many interesting, funny, challenging and unusual moments as a Chazzan; nevertheless, the most important ones are the times where I felt that because of my actions or behavior I was able to sanctify Hashem’s name in this world. Collaborating with Gos-

pel singers or singing a memorial prayer in the House of Representatives, singing to foreign dignitaries and collaborating with cantors of other denominations all taught me that music, and especially Jewish music, has the ability to cross bridges that no speech can ever do. 
 6) Which chazzonim and singers do you admire? Who has most inspired you in your lifetime? As mentioned, I grew up listening to old records of Kussevtzki, Rossenblatt, Kwartin, Hershman, Roitman, Stern, Oisher, Gentchoff, and many others, together with Israeli singers like Yehoram Gaon. Perhaps the biggest influence though, growing up, was Dudu Fisher whom I proudly consider my friend. I’m very excited to have him join me on November 17th in giving a special concert here at Beth Jacob. 
 7) What motto or quote do you live by?  “Living well includes Praying well.” 

69 .

27 The Jewish Home


september 12, 2013


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The Jewish Home september 12, 2013


The Jewish Home

september 12, 2013

Achieving the Sukkos Joy

The days leading up to Sukkos are filled with lists. This one needs a new suit. That one needs a hat. We need another package of nails and one more two-by-four for the sukkah. From the kitchen, there are calls for two more of flour, eggs, chicken and meat. There is the urge to go out and buy more posters, signs and chains with which to beautify the sukkah we will be living in for a week. Way on top of the list of necessary pursuits are the Dalet Minim, the delightful search for the precious objects that we are commanded to hold on Sukkos. Finally, it all comes together. The sukkah is up, food is cooking, the Dalet Minim are safely stored, and the magnificent artwork of children and ainiklach are displayed across the festive sukkah walls. There is, however, one final ingredient necessary to bring everything together and make the holiday of Sukkos complete. Simcha is the super ingredient without which Sukkos is lacking. Just as the choicest cut of meat will fail to cook even in the most expensive oven unless there is a fire, the various components of Yom Tov won’t accomplish their goals without the simcha that fuels them. The Rambam at the end of Hilchos Lulav writes, “Hasimcha sheyismach ha’adam ba’asiyas hamitzvah

ube’ahavas haKeil shetzivah bohen avodah gedolah hee - It is a great feat to achieve simcha when performing mitzvos…” The state of simcha we are to attain during the yemei hachag is not reached by simply assuming a superficial smile and repeating clichéd platitudes about being happy and thinking positively. Rather, the simcha arises from the depths of a Jewish heart following the proper performance of the mitzvos hayom and an appreciation of Hashem who commanded us to perform them. Simcha is present when one has achieved shleimus in what one is doing. When we perform a mitzvah in its entirety, an inner simcha that overwhelms all negativity is achieved. A love of Hashem sweeps over us and we attain the level of simcha that the Rambam describes as being an avodah gedolah. Rashi writes on the posuk (Devorim 16:15), “Shivas yomim tachog laHashem Elokecha… Vehoyisah ach someiach,” that vehoyisah ach someiach is not a commandment, but rather a guarantee. Apparently, the explanation of Rashi’s words is that if you follow Hashem’s words and celebrate the chag in an exemplary way, that itself will cause you to be in a state of simcha. Look at those people who spent so much time going from place to place



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picking out their Dalet Minim. Watch as they recite Hallel, holding their lulav and esrog aloft. Their faces are radiant. You can see their intense spiritual joy. By watching them, you can see that they have attained the simcha described by the Rambam. Had you been in their sukkah the night before as they made Kiddush, recited the brachos of Leisheiv Basukkah and Shehecheyonu, and consumed the first kezayis [preferably a k’beitzah, see Mishnah Berurah 639, 22] of challah in the sukkah they worked so hard to put together, you would have seen an angelic glow on their faces. Sukkos is accompanied by a tangible simcha of so many mitzvos. How can you not be happy? In the sukkah, we sit beTzilah Demehemnusah, in the Shade of Hashem. We perform His mitzvos and await the visit of the biblical guests. We are besimcha. We know that we are on a different plane, with a singular way of life and a set of goals totally unique from anything out there in the world outside of our sukkah. The strength of the sukkah is not in its walls, but in the people inside it. We feel as safe in our sukkah as if we were in the teivah of Noach, because we look up and recognize that we are in the shadow of G-d’s glory. No harm can befall us as long as we appreciate what we have. A Jew who knows that he sits beTzilah Demehemnusah, performing Hashem’s commandments, cannot help but be happy. In the sukkah of an ehrliche Yid, that joy is almost palpable. Rav Chaim Brim would recount an anecdote involving an acquaintance of his. A Yerushalmi bochur learned in Bnei Brak, where he developed a close relationship with the Chazon Ish. Following the Sukkos bein hazemanim one year, when he returned to Bnei Brak, the Chazon Ish asked him how his Yom Tov had been. Without waiting for an answer, he asked the young bochur, “Were you besimcha?” The bochur didn’t answer. The Chazon Ish gently grasped the boy by his shoulders and swayed with him. “How can someone not be

joyous,” asked the Chazon Ish, “when he says the words ‘Atoh vechartonu mikol ho’amim?” One of the great souls of Yerushalayim would offer a special, personal tefillah on Erev Shabbos: “Ribono Shel Olam, You have given me food for Shabbos and clothing for Shabbos. Now I ask You: Please give me Shabbos for Shabbos.” As we surround ourselves with the objects necessary to properly perform a mitzvah, we must ensure that we do not lose sight of the goal. We have to maintain our emotional involvement and experience the correct inner connection to the mitzvah. As Sukkos arrives, we ask that just as Hashem provided us with a sukkah, Dalet Minim, and many other blessings, so may He give us a taste of Sukkos for Sukkos, complete with genuine satisfaction and simcha. People who merit being in Eretz Yisroel for Yom Tov make a point of participating in the Simchas Bais Hashoeivah celebrations at Toldos Aharon, at Yeshiva Meah Shearim, at Pinsk-Karlin, and at many other yeshivos, botei medrash and shuls across the country. There, they watch as people who have little by way of material goods, dance. Those they are watching probably do not have large sukkos or individual sets of Dalet Minim for each child, but what they do have is sublime Sukkos sentiment. They have the simcha that eludes people who are blessed with many more physical possessions than they have. In fact, you should not have to travel far to experience that ecstatic feeling of joy. You can sense that joy in your local shul. You can feel it in your own home. You can experience it in your own sukkah. On Sukkos, the sense of being chosen, loved, glorified and blessed with special mitzvos is palpable. Just as we lovingly and carefully select our esrogim, that is how Hakadosh Boruch Hu selected us. The Dalet Minim, we are taught, hint to the totality of Knesses Yisroel. He selected us, He cherishes us, and He lovingly protects us. Appreciating being chosen and gifted

might not fall at the desired location and time. Hashem commands us to sit in the sukkah: “Lemaan yeidu doroseichem ki basukkos hoshavti es Bnei Yisroel behotzi’i osam mei’eretz Mitzrayim - So that your future generations will know that I placed the Jewish people in sukkos when I took them out of Mitzrayim.” If it rains on the Yom Tov of Sukkos, it is as if there is a Heavenly proclamation that our service is not appreciated. But this, too, is a chessed, because the window is still wide open. Mayim, which represents chessed, is poured at us in a fit of anger, kevayachol, to encourage us to rectify our ways before Hoshanah Rabbah, so that we will merit a year of proper blessing, proper rainfall and life. With this idea, we can understand as well why one who sits in the sukkah as rain is falling is termed a hedyot, a fool, by Chazal. Rain on Sukkos is a message to us that we must work harder to find favor in the eyes of Hashem. We are in danger because our teshuvah and avodah during the Yomim Noraim were not sufficient. Someone who ignores that message is a hedyot. The proper response is sadness over being turned away and engaging in teshuvah in order to be welcomed back in the Tzilah Demehemnusah. There is still time to complete the teshuvah and still an abundance of Divine favor to tap into. Don’t just sit there. Do something! To ignore the call of the hour represents simplicity and a lack of understanding. The posuk in Parshas Ki Savo (Devorim 28:2) states, “Uvau alecha kol habrachos ha’eileh vehisigucha These blessings will come upon you and they will reach you.” Meforshim explain the double lashon, stating that it is not sufficient to have a flow of brachos directed at us. They have to reach us, overtake us, and saturate our homes and lives. The judgment of Sukkos decides how the brachos of Rosh Hashanah will rain down on us. We hope that we will be so fortunate as to merit vehisigucha,that they will reach us. We hope that the snow and rain will fall where we can benefit from them. When speaking at sheva brachos, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky would often say that the teaching of Chazal that a chosson is forgiven for his sins is a condition to his mitzvah of simcha. One who carries the burden of aveiros cannot be happy. The Tchebiner Rov explained that this is the reason why Sukkos, with its special obligation of simcha, is celebrated after Yom Kippur. Following the day of forgiveness, we are able to carry out the mitzvah of being besimcha. We come into Sukkos fresh and pure, determined to stay holy and clean, enjoying the full simcha of a Yom Tov that celebrates our redemption from the mire and morass of cheit. It is no secret that we celebrate Sukkos this year under a cloudy sky.

Winds of war and uncertainty are blowing very strongly. The enemies of the Jews fought very hard on Rosh Hashanah, as they do every year, for permission to destroy us. We hope that the merit of our Torah, avodah and gemillus chassodim, coupled with our teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah, were ma’avir the ro’a hagezeirah, and that we were chosen by Hashem to be granted a year of good health and happiness. In the times of the Beis Hamikdosh, Sukkos was a Yom Tov that benefited not only us, but all the nations. The Gemara in Maseches Sukkah [55b] describes how various korbanos brought throughout the Yom Tov would benefit the umos ha’olam, each korbon bringing sustenance to another nation. The Gemara says that the enemies of the Jewish people should have realized how much they were harming themselves by destroying the Bais Hamikdosh. When they destroyed the mekor habracha, they essentially cut off their own flow and the mizbei’ach which forgave them for their sins. Rav Chaim Kanievsky applied this Chazal to the realities all around us when he recently remarked that the politicians and activists determined to do battle with the yeshivos don’t realize how much they depend on those very yeshivos they are trying to close down. They are unaware of how much bracha and protection the Torah affords them. Age-old lessons, still not learned. We, who appreciate the birchos hachag and Atoh Vechartonu live in the sukkah for seven days and become so ingrained with the inherent simcha that Sukkos engenders that when it is over, we celebrate Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. The customs of singing and dancing that we celebrate on Simchas Torah are not Biblical or Talmudic in origin. If you delve into the seforim of the poskim in an attempt to trace the roots of our celebration, it becomes apparent that the holiday was actually created by the Jewish people. Over the course of many centuries, ehrliche Yidden channeled their overflowing simcha with the Torah into the rich display of joy and festivity that became the hallmark of Simchas Torah as we practice it today. After living in the sukkah and reigniting our faith in the Almighty as we inculcate the lessons of the Jews who followed Hashem into the midbar, we reach a state of spontaneous ecstasy that carries us through the oncoming winter season and the continuing exile. We celebrate the Atoh Vechartonu and the fact that Hashem gave us the Torah. May all the nights of Sukkos be balmy, all its days sunny, and all members of our nation happy and joyful.


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or if it is to commemorate the Ananei Hakavod that protected us during that period. Ananim, clouds, are composed of water. But the connection goes deeper. Among the four annual judgment periods, the Mishnah in Maseches Rosh Hashanah lists Sukkos as the time of judgment for water in the coming year. The Acharonim ask that if we are judged for life on Rosh Hashanah, shouldn’t that judgment include how much water we will be blessed with in the coming year? After all, man cannot live without water. The answer given is that we are judged on how much water we will be granted, but if we are later found unworthy, that water comes to earth in the form of floods and in places and times when the rain is not needed. The Chofetz Chaim would tell of a simple peddler who eked out his meager living by traveling from one hamlet to another with his wares piled high on a sled. As long as the snow was plentiful, his old, tired horse was able to easily pull the sled. One year, though, the snow melted early and the sled was stuck. The simple Jew raised his eyes to a nearby mountain, its peak topped with a beautiful cap of white snow. “Ribono Shel Olam,” sighed the Jew, “all that snow that You created You put up there, on top of the high mountain. Can’t I get just a little bit of it here so that my sled can slide on?” The Chofetz Chaim would use this parable to explain the posuk in Tehillim which states, “Ach tov l’Yisroel.” Dovid Hamelech asks for only good for Klal Yisroel. The Chofetz Chaim explains that the request is that the bounty and shefa that come to the world should be directed towards Klal Yisroel, so that they can benefit from the blessings. The judgment for water that the Mishnah tells us takes place on Sukkos is to determine whether the amount of water that was decided upon on Rosh Hashanah will bring blessing where we need it or if it will fall in desolate, empty areas. On Sukkos, we daven for blessed water that will fulfill the mandate of mayim chaim, representing chessed and rachamim, Hashem’s great mercy. Coming on the heels of the yemei hadin, Sukkos represents our first test to determine how we made out in our din. We are joyous and hopeful that by the end of Yom Kippur, we successfully repented for our sins and earned Hashem’s mercy. We anticipate the Yom Tov as well as the yom hadin on mayim, confident that we will merit more joy and success, waters of bounty and purity. And so, when rain falls on Sukkos, it’s an indication to us that we may not have earned the middas hachessed. If the rain falls on our cheftzah shel mitzvah and we are prevented from carrying out the tzivuy Hashem, we see that as a bad portent for the coming year, because it hints that the water destined for us

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infuses us with that vital ingredient of simcha, enabling us to march into the sukkah with happiness and enthusiasm. There is still one thing that can dampen our enthusiasm: drops of rain on the very first night of Sukkos, a downpour that comes between us and our beloved sukkah, when, filled with holy anticipation, we just want to enter and make Kiddush. The entire family peers longingly into the room they worked so hard to construct and decorate. Instead of being able to go inside and recite Shehechiyonu, thanking Hashem for enabling them to live for this moment and partaking of the requisite amount of challah before enjoying a tasty meal, they stand outside with long faces, hoping and praying that the rain will stop and they will be able to properly observe the mitzvah of sukkah. Rain on Sukkos is distressing for a deeper reason than ruined meals and sukkah decorations. There is a Divine message inherent in the driving downpour. The Mishnah in Sukkah (28b) relates that rain on Sukkos is compared to a servant who pours a drink for his master, only to have the master throw it in his face. Rashi (ibid.) explains that when it rains, it is as if the master is throwing water in the servant’s face. The Mishnah didn’t state what type of liquid was involved. What compelled Rashi to specify that it is water? To address this question, we need to examine the deeper relationship between the Yom Tov of Sukkos and water. The Yom Tov of Sukkos is intertwined with water. Back at the very beginning, there was conflict between the mayim elyonim, the higher waters, and their lower counterpart, the mayim tachtonim. The waters relegated to earth complained that the upper waters enjoyed closer proximity to the Master of the Universe. Hashem assured the lower waters that although they are distant, they would enjoy the unique and special merit of being brought on the mizbeiach on Sukkos. This is an explanation of the great simcha of nisuch hamayim, the distant waters coming from the lowest spheres to bring Him glory, are representative of a nation of fresh baalei teshuvah climbing the rungs back towards home. Chazal say that one who did not merit witnessing the Simchas Bais Hashoeivah never saw true joy, because there is no joy quite like perfect teshuvah, something coming back to its source. At creation, all the waters were one. Then they were separated, and at the exalted moment of nisuch hamayim, they come back. Perfect joy. The harmony of the cosmos. There is a rabbinic dispute as to whether the mitzvah of sukkah is to remember actual sukkos in which the Jews dwelled as they traveled through the midbar on their way to Eretz Yisroel

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Submitted By Noam Slamowitz Yankel finally agrees to go with his friend Morris to the senior citizen center. When they arrive, Yankel observed a group of elderly men sitting in a circle. One of them calls out, “44,” and everyone in the circle, starts laughing. Another one calls out, “63” and again they all laugh loudly. Another says, “142,” and again everybody laughs. Yankel asks Morris what is going on. Morris explains, “We all enjoy a good joke, but to save time telling the jokes, each one has been given a number and we just call out the numbers.” Yankel likes the idea and decides to get involved. In between laughs, he calls out “32.” But nobody laughs. He calls out “32” once again, and again no one laughs. “Morris, why didn’t anyone laugh?” he asks his friend. “Yankel, you know it’s all about delivery,” says Morris.

Fruitrivia 1. Befitting an ancient fruit, the pomegranate’s name comes from the Latin “pomum granatus.” What does “pomum granatus” mean? a. Seeded apple b. Tart fruit c. Red pulp d. It means: If you stain yourself with this fruit, you will have to send your shirt to the cleaners 7 times to get the stain out. So pick up that napkin and tuck and make yourself into a big macho man! 2. What part of a grape can be pressed to produce an oil? a. Pulp b. Stem c. Skin d. Seeds 3. What is contained in an apple seed? a. Oil b. Vitamin D c. Cyanide d. Vitamin B 17 4. Which country grows and exports the most pears in the world? a. U.S.A.

Seven people are sitting on the same bench in shul. Based on the following clues, where are they seated? • Aliza is not first or last • Batya is not next to Aliza • Chaya is fourth • Debby is not next to Chaya or Fayge • Ella is second • Batya is four away from Fayge • Aliza is one away from Chaya • Fayge is not first • Fayge is three away from Chaya • Sarah is not in the third spot Answer on next page

b. Argentina c. China d. Columbia

5. How long can olive trees live? a. 10-20 years b. Over 50 years c. Over 100 years d. Over 2,000 years 6. The common garden strawberry is genetically an octoploid, meaning it has eight sets of what? a. Chromosomes b. Chloroplasts c. Tentacles d. Nucleobases Answers 1. A 2. D 3. B- That is right, apple seeds do not contain Vitamin D, but they do contain small traces of cyanide. It is not dangerous to eat apple seeds because the cyanide that is being released is usually in small enough doses that it either passes through the digestive system or the body can combat it. 4. C- It’s not just your Apple iPods that are made in China. 55% of worldwide production of pears is in China. (Ever feel like you are eating a “knock-off” pear?

5. D- On Har Hazeisim, there are olive trees that are believed to be approximately 2,000-years-old. A botanist from Bar Ilan University in Israel supposedly located an olive tree near Beer Sheva that is believed to be to be close to 3,000-years-old. 6. Humans are diploids, meaning they have two copies of each chromosome, one from the mother and one from the father. Strawberries have eight. Polyploidy (multiple sets of chromosomes) is common in plants, but extremely rare in animals. Strawberries’ polyploidy has made them good candidates in the field of genetic research.

Wisdom key 4-6 correct: You know a mighty lot about fruits. I guess you are a fruitcake! 2-3 correct: A moderate amount of fruit is still better than nothing; a moderate amount of knowledge will get you nowhere, though. 0-1 correct: My friend, it is all about the acai berries!! It’s not that you are not smart; it’s just that your brain is missing some key nutrients. Stop snacking on all of those apple seeds. Call me ASAP and I will set you up on an acai berry program. You will see the changes right away. (Due to high demand, those whose names start with A through M can begin calling today; the rest of you can start calling tomorrow.) Call for your free sample; shipping and handling not included.

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English Class Uncopyrightable Screeched The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter.


The longest one-syllable word in the English language.

“I am.” I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality counterbalancing indecipherability transcendentalizes intercommunication’s incomprehensibleness.

The shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States.

Feedback Each word’s position in the sentence has the corresponding amount of letters—the first word has 1 letter…the sixth word has 6 letters….the thirteenth word has 13 letters, etc.

The shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef

A big cuddly dog emitted fierce growls, happily ignoring joyful kids licking many noodles on pretty quick rotten smelly toadstools underneath vampires who x-rayed young zombies. The first letter of each word in this sentence makes up the entire alphabet in order! No words in the English language rhyme with any of these words.


The only English word that ends in the letters “mt.”

Month, orange, silver, and purple

In this sentence, the combination “ough” is pronounced in nine different ways.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. This sentence is used to test typewriters or keyboards because it uses every letter in the alphabet.

Bookkeeper “Hungry” and “angry”

The only words in the English language that end with “gry.”

The only unhyphenated English word with three consecutive double letters

A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.


The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is the name of a disease.


Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff

Answer to riddle: Debby is first, second is Ella, third is Batya, fourth is Chaya, fifth is Aliza, sixth is Sarah, and last is Fayge


to fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com

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“Say What?” Gas masks? They are for Purim! - Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s response when he was asked whether people in Israel should get gas masks

We are not the warmongerers. We are a peaceful nation seeking stability in the area, because instability will serve only the Israeli interests. - Syria’s ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari Do not be fooled. He is not giving his life. We are taking his life. This is not his gift to G-d. This is his debt to society. - Lead army prosecutor Col. Michael Mulligan on Nidal Hassan getting the death penalty for massacring 13 soldiers in Fort Hood

Al Jazeera has been the leader in that they are literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective. In fact, viewership of al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners. - Statement by Hillary Clinton in 2011, which is now part of Al Jazeera America’s promotional commercial


Nowadays, instead of... publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place. - From U.S. Department of Defense education materials

John Kerry said it’s “undeniable” that the president of Syria is using weapons of mass destruction. Kerry said President Obama needs to build a coalition of countries and attack soon, no matter what others might say. Today former President George Bush said, “Hey, good luck with that. Let me know how it works out.” - Jay Leno

It was a mistake. - A smirking Joel Grasman after he stole a NTA cherry picker and caused over $500,000 in damage by riding through Elmont and tearing down trees, street lights and telephone poles

Staff is armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force. - Signs around the campus of a private elementary school in Arkansas

He fell asleep twice! - Republican candidate Joe Lhota after a Republican candidate forum in Boro Park talking about his opponent John Catsimatidis Many times he closes his eyes and listens as people talk. He’s not sleeping. - John Catsimatidis spokesman in response

Whether the Congress gives the red or green light for an aggression, and whether the prospects of war have been enhanced or faded, President Obama has announced yesterday, by prevaricating or hinting, the start of the historic American retreat. - Syrian state-run newspaper Al-Thawra I would respectfully suggest that Martin Luther King did not live and die to hear his heirs whine about political gridlock. - Bill Clinton, in the presence of President Obama, at the 50th Anniversary rally of the March on Washington

[High taxes is] not making me want to go out and work harder. - Golfer Phil Mickelson I have a chance to spend time with CEOs, a lot of them who are quality individuals having a hard time hiring right now because of so much uncertainty going on in the financial world whether it’s taxes, whether it’s the healthcare, whether it’s all the obligations that are placed on the employer. - Ibid.

[Assad] crossed that red line and I think he was then encouraged to do more since he was not held to account for his previous breaches. But all of these leaks, when strikes are going to take place, where, what’s going to be used, if I were Bashar Assad, I think I would declare tomorrow a snow day and keep everybody from work. This is crazy. These leaks are just crazy. - Sen. John McCain on Fox News

Compiled by Nate Davis When I was a kid, my mom told me that if I ever wanted to I could affirmatively choose to claim Canadian citizenship. But I got a U.S. passport when I was in high school; I never did anything to affirmatively claim citizenship, so I thought that was the end of the matter. Then the Dallas Morning News ran a headline where they went and talked with some immigration lawyers that said technically I still had dual citizenship. Serving as a U.S. Senator, I think it’s an appropriate that I be only American. - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) explaining on CNN why he renounced his Canadian citizenship I am secretly a citizen of Ethiopia. - Sen. Ted Cruz joking to media members The state attorney general of New York is suing Donald Trump for $40 million, claiming that Donald Trump University is not a real university. The state claims it’s not a real college because students get very little education and were unable to find jobs after they graduated. Sounds like a real college to me. - Jay Leno I guess the attorney general got suspicious it wasn’t a real college when Donald took the senior class on a field trip to try and find President Obama’s birth certificate. - Jay Leno

I don’t care how much money’s on the table ... nobody’s cutting me! - Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson upon turning down a razor blade company’s $1 million offer for him to cut his beard

The Tea Party is the resurrection of the Confederacy. - Jesse Jackson to Politico

I am a global warming denier. I don’t deny that. - Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) during a speech last week

The treasury secretary has now asked Congress to raise the debt limit for borrowing more money as soon as possible. The secretary of the treasury said if Congress doesn’t act soon, the government will have to work with only the money it has now. You know, like the rest of us do. - Jay Leno

Reports devastating: 100s dead in streets, including kids killed by chem weapons. UN must get there fast & if true, perps must face justice. - Tweet by Samantha Power after the Syrian chemical attack which took place 19 days after she assumed her post as United Nations ambassador. (She tweeted from Ireland, where she was on vacation)

This guy is a political hack looking to get publicity. By the way, he meets with President Obama on Thursday evening in Syracuse. On Saturday at 1:00, he files a suit. Who ever heard of a government agency bringing a lawsuit on Saturday afternoon? He’s been looking into this thing for two years. He brings a lawsuit on Saturday afternoon, right after he meets with President Obama. Maybe it’s a mini IRS. - Donald Trump on ABC News discussing the NY attorney general suing Trump University for fraud “DEATH NOTICE” for “THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP”: Died at home after a sudden illness on Thursday, August 29, 2013, aged 67. Beloved offspring of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Dearly loved by Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, John Major, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and George W. Bush. Funeral to be held at The French Embassy, 58 Knighsbridge, London SW1X 7JT. No flowers please. - British newspaper The Sun, after the British Parliament voted against joining with America in military action against Syria

Today there are no white sheets, but there are judges in black robes in the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates in many states to pass more voter ID laws... with the goal of ensuring we never see a black man elected to the president, or woman, of the United states of America. - Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, equating the KKK to the Supreme Court (which includes in its ranks an African American, Latino and two Jews)

12 hours we waited...48 hours, they said, we’re waiting...they may have the best army in the world, maybe the best airplanes, ships, tanks than ours, but soldiers? No one has soldiers like the ones we do in Syria. If you ask me what rank would I rank American “soldiers,” I wouldn’t rank them in the worst...I just want them to attack soooo much, because I want them to make this huge mistake of beginning something that they don’t know the end of it. - From a Facebook posting by Syrian President Assad’s 11-yearold son

Let Allah sort it out... We’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot? - Sara Palin

This is going to be controversial, but what the heck ... I’m in my second term, so I can say it, I believe, for example, that law schools would be wise to think about being two years instead of three years. - President Obama at a forum on lowering college costs

What I would ask John Kerry is—you know, he’s famous for saying, “How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?” I would ask John Kerry, how can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake? I would ask John Kerry, do you think that it’s less likely or more likely that chemical weapons will be used again if we bomb [Bashar al] Assad? I will ask him if it’s more likely or less likely that we’ll have more refugees in Jordan or that Israel might suffer attack. I think all of the bad things you can imagine are all more likely if we get involved in the Syrian civil war. - Sen. Rand Paul on Meet the Press arguing against military intervention in Syria Today is a special day for Joe and me because five years ago today... I announced in Springfield, Illinois, my home state, that Joe Biden was going to be my running mate. And it was the best decision that I ever made politically... There’s not a day that goes by when Joe doesn’t talk about where he’s come from. - President Obama at a rally with Joe Biden in Scranton

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This is a holdup. Give me a dollar. - The note that Tim Alsip gave to a Bank of America teller in Oregon, so that he can be arrested and get much needed health care in prison. (The ploy worked)

The requested variances will alter the essential character of the neighborhood. - Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals explaining why they won’t allow an eiruv to be put up in Southampton

At least they were honest [during King’s era]. Today in American politics you have people like Donald Trump who hangs around with Mitt Romney, talking about the president being an illegal immigrant, basically being a con artist on a street corner... The pattern is rejection of his legitimacy at the first point, saying he’s not really here legally. It’s rejection of the law he passed, the landmark bill passed in 2010...These guys today use all the techniques of nullification and talking about illegitimacy and accusing the president of being a crook basically for even being president ‘cause he’s here illegally. - MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

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Ask. Recieve. - New tattoo on the arms of NBA player Larry Sanders, who forgot the rule “i before e except after c”

Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed, and Congress changed, and, yes, eventually, the White House changed. - President Obama at the 50th Anniversary rally of the March on Washington

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Just keep living...and behave yourself. - Ermin and Erma Johnston, discussing the secrets to a successful marriage, after just celebrating their 80th Anniversary

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by Shiffy Friedman ©

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Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at passionforthepen@gmail.com.

The Jewish Home

Part One

Chapter Ten

Recap: Davie is hoping that Tuvia’s job interview goes well, although he doesn’t necessarily appreciate that Tuvia plans to pool his savings toward rehab. Lisa phones Rifka to inform her of her new project: her own family. Lisa Stein Marcus “Your own family?” Rifka asks. “You mean your siblings?” “Yeah,” I say plainly. Who else? My head falls back on the seat and I find myself staring at a squiggly line Debbie drew several days ago when she discovered the power of a pen. My eyes follow her work of art back and forth, forth and back, while Rifka pauses for too long. “I’m not sure I like the idea,” she finally admits. “Why not?” I feel like a child. I don’t want my lollipop, I need it. “There are too many issues involved, Lisa.” I start the car. This conversation will take longer than I thought it would. “Let me hear. I have time now.” I can hear Rifka suck the air from between her teeth, her throat-clearing equivalent before she launches into a talk. “Okay, so it’s like this: First of all, this case will be too close to home. Some of the issues your siblings-- a brother and a sister, right?--” “Uh huh,” “So some of the issues your brother and sister have are things you’re still grappling with. It’s hard to heal completely from abuse. Our goal is to move past it, right?” I’m not ready to give up-- not so fast. Defeat is not my definition of success. “I’m not sure I agree with you,” I say. “In a way I feel that because no one in the world understands them better than I, no one knows the ugly truth of how they’ve suffered and still do, I’m the best candidate to guide them toward clarity, no?” The connection turns static as I turn

onto my block. “Do you hear me?” I ask, hoping I won’t have to repeat my little defense plea. “This reason I actually see as a huge benefit.” Rifka is a good listener, almost too good. Where is she? “I’m here,” she chimes in, as if she read my mind. “So what do you say?” “Still thinking.” She sighs. “What can I tell you? I’m not convinced. I’m afraid this could bring more harm than good. I see where you’re coming from and I’m impressed with your idealism and true desire to help, but I don’t think this is something you should do.” My shoulders sag. My cute little house is calling from the window. I’m done with this. One minute, I was in awe of my idea, excitedly weaving its future. The next, I’m sitting here, deflated. Still, I can’t part from the exquisite picture of unity and love I’ve drawn in my mind. “Rifka,” I beg, “Will you let me try? Just so I can see for myself whether this makes any sense?” Her short laugh has me sit up with a start. I didn’t realize how slumped my shoulders were. “Try? I’m not here to disappoint you or steal the excitement, Lisa. This is your wellbeing I’m concerned about. You’ve come so far and I don’t want you to fall back while trying to pull others from the wreck.” I think-- long and hard. “But… what if I really want to do this? What if I feel deep down that I really can?” “Then?” “Then can my family serve as my trial for this competition? Is it still possible for me to join?” I don’t care that my voice is the voice of a child, a desperate child. “Listen, if you want to try, then it’s up to you. I can’t give you my full endorsement, though.”

Oh no. Now I’m really done with this. But then she continues, her words the resuscitation of my dying dream. “This doesn’t mean I won’t guide you through the process, Lisa.” “I knew I could count on you!” I exclaim. “I knew it!” Celebration calls for air-- cool, spring air. I get out of the car, phone to my ears. “When do we start?” I ask as I take giant steps toward the front lawn. “I’d say as soon as you’re ready. The other contestants have all gotten to work by now.” “Tomorrow?” I ask, waving to Nathan who’d apparently been alerted of my homecoming thanks to my vocal powers, especially at exciting times like these. “Tomorrow,” Rifka echoes. And as I strut down the path, a song floats magically in my mind. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow… you’re only a day away. *** Davie Stein “Hard work, huh?” I call from the bedroom when I hear Tuvia fall into the couch with a sigh. “Yeah, especially at the beginning,” he yells back. Today was his third day on the construction job. “But it never killed anyone, did it?” “I wonder,” I laugh. “It sure kills the brain to take fifty orders of rib steak and garlic potatoes in one night. Yesterday, I was seriously going to pour some mushroom soup over the head of the next customer who would have the audacity to order the same menu again.” “Did you?” “Thankfully, he never came.” “Glad I wasn’t him,” Tuvia says. He walks to the kitchen and putters at the microwave. Three minutes later, he’s in the room, a plate of steaming macaroni in his hands. He eats quickly, hungrily.

Between bites, he says, “At least I’ll start to pay my share of rent these days. Talking of killing, believe me, being unemployed is the ultimate killer. It’s horrible.” “No need to convince me,” I say. Those days are behind me now, but they’re in my memory still. Tuvia’s eyes open wide. “And then I also get to save up some money. How cool is that?” “Cool,” I say, my voice flat. When was the last time I saved a dime? My earnings were lucky if they saw my pocket one week past the end of the month. Usually, they journeyed immediately away, away from my sight in exchange for better stuff. “I want to buy myself a safe, just a small one.” He’s dreaming big, the guy. “We’ll keep it right here, under my bed.” He bends down, his head under the post. “Sounds like a plan to me,” I say, even if it doesn’t. I walk toward the stereo system and turn the volume up to max. When Tuvia says something, he means it. He scares me. “What’s up, Davie?” he asks. “I’m good,” I say. “You’ll help me count on the day I leave this place, right?” He doesn’t get it. I don’t answer. “You can always join me, Davie.” He slaps me on the back, hard. It hurts. I look at Tuvia, the newly-employed ambitious roommate of mine. His eyes are twinkling with idealism, as if he doesn’t know of disappointment, as if he’d never been smitten. “You’re crazy,” I say, and I walk into the bathroom, toward the mirrored chest.



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Pakistan to Release Taliban’s Number 2

of any future talks. “I can’t say whether [Baradar] was co-founder of the Taliban or not, but he was very close to Mullah Omer and he may play some role in peace talks.” 

Hitler’s Bodyguard Dies

Kevin Rudd announced that he would not run again for the leadership of the Labor Party, saying it was ‘‘time for renewal.” In his concession speech, Rudd eloquently said that he felt, “A couple more days we might have got there.”

Rochus Misch has finally died at the age of 96. Misch was Adolf Hitler’s ym”sh personal bodyguard and was the last surviving witness of the Nazi dictator’s final days in his bunker towards the end of World War II. Misch died in Berlin after failing to recover from a heart attack. In order to help facilitate the peace process between itself and Afghanistan, Pakistan is set to release the Afghan Taliban’s second-in-command. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was close to the Taliban’s reclusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who gave him his nom de guerre “Baradar” or “brother.” He was captured in Pakistan in 2010. “We have decided in principle to release Mullah Baradar and he will be released at an appropriate time,” Pakistan foreign office spokesman Azaz Chaudry said. “He will be released soon, but will not be handed over to the Afghan government.” Seven members of the Afghan Taliban have been let go by the Pakistanis in the last week. Baradar’s release is key to Afghanistan’s efforts to kick-start the stalled peace process as NATO prepares to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and anxiety grows over what will happen to the country once international troops leave. Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has spent years calling for Baradar’s release because he believes the former number-two is more open to dialogue than many of his comrades. So far, American officials have been mum on the subject of the imminent release, but Michael Keating, consulting professor at Chatham House, said the timing of the release of a major Taliban leader on the eve of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is “very odd, but I would be very surprised if it has anything to do with Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S.” He added, “My understanding is that his release is symbolic, and important, because it is a signal that Pakistan does not want to get in the way of efforts to get a reconciliation started [between Afghanistan and the Taliban].” Pakistan has proposed to help arrange a meeting of Afghan Taliban and Karzai’s High Peace Council, a top aide to Pakistani Prime Minister confirmed. Aziz Ahmed Khan, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to Afghanistan, weighed in on Baradar’s potential significance in terms

Meanwhile, Liberal Party supporters were in a full-blown celebratory mood throughout the Australian island. “I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed,” the victor, Abbott, said to a cheering crowd. ‘”From today, I declare that Australia is under new management and that Australia is once more open for business.” Misch was among those who joined the Nazi leader in his bunker where Hitler eventually committed suicide days before Germany’s surrender. In a 2005 interview, Misch described how he had seen the Nazi leader and his wife Eva Braun dead in their bunker deep under the shattered city of Berlin. “I remember that he said goodbye in the corridor and went into the rooms. He said he didn’t want to be disturbed,” he recalled. Misch added that it was not a surprise. “The commanders had all wanted to evacuate Hitler, but he said no, he was staying in Berlin.”     Hitler poisoned Braun and shot himself in the head. Historians believe their bodies were then soaked with fuel and burned. Two days later, Misch, then aged 27, was one of the last people to flee the bunker. After the war, he was taken prisoner by Soviet forces and held captive in Kazakhstan and Siberia until 1953. Upon his release he took up work as a housepainter and was not made famous until he published a book about his time spent in the bunker titled The Last Witness.

Average Height Climbs 10 Cm in a Century From 1870 to 1980, the height of the average European man has increased by over 11 centimeters according to new research. The increase is a reflection of more health awareness across the region in the last hundred years. Interestingly, the study also found that average height accelerated in the period spanning the two World Wars and the Great Depression, when poverty, food rationing and hardship of war might have been expected to limit people’s growth. The swift advance may have been due to people deciding to have fewer children in this period, the researchers said. Smaller family size has previously been found to be linked to increasing average height.

New Australia PM: Australia Open for Business Australia held federal elections last week and the Labor Party found itself ousted from power. Liberal Party head Tony Abbott has been chosen to be the country’s new prime minister. Upon conceding defeat, Prime Minister

“Increases in human stature are a key indicator of improvements in the average health of populations,” said Timothy Hatton, a professor at Britain’s University of Essex who led the study. He said the evi-

dence – which shows the average height of a European male growing from 167 cm to 178 cm in a little over a 100 years – suggests an environment of improving health and decreasing disease “is the single most important factor driving the increase in height.” The study, published online in the journal Oxford Economic Papers, analyzed data on average men’s height at around the age of 21 from the 1870s up to around 1980 in 15 European countries. The study only looked at men, the researchers said, because extensive historical data on women’s heights is hard to come by. Other height-boosting factors included higher per capita incomes, more sanitary housing and living conditions, better education about health and nutrition and better social services and health systems.

“Disappearance” of North Korean Prisoners Recent pictures taken by a human rights group of a North Korean labor camp show that several thousand inmates may have disappeared. Human Rights in North Korea, or HRNK, says that North Korea’s Camp 22, which is located near the Chinese border, was thought to have once held between 30,000 to 50,000 prisoners. Most of the detainees were suspected of being disloyal to the regime or were related to people who had shown disloyalty. The camp may have closed sometime in 2012 after a series of bad harvests (combined with a currency devaluation in 2009) created a food shortage that caused a “large number of prisoners” to perish, the report says, citing a Radio Free Asia article written by a North Korean reporter who defected from the country.

When Camp 22 shut down, an estimated 7,000-8,000 prisoners were transferred to other labor camps. The report says that trains holding inmates were seen departing the area at night, heading south. But that still leaves many thousands of prisoners unaccounted for. Their fates are unknown for the time being, as information from inside the so-called “Hermit Kingdom” often takes years to leak to the outside world,


‫מדוע ביכר יצחק את עשו‬ ?‫על פני יעקב‬ Why did Yitzchak choose to bestow his blessing on Eisav rather than on Yaakov?

Olympics 2020 Destination Decided

In this unique work, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of the internationally acclaimed Dirshu Torah organization, addresses these questions and so many others. Every maamar in Dorash Dovid on the Torah begins with several questions, then develops an in-depth approach, opening new vistas that enable one to truly grasp the messages that the Torah and our Sages impart.

For those of you who have been holding your breath since 2012, the location of the 2020 Olympics has been decided and announced. The 2020 Games will be held in Tokyo, according to the International Olympic Comity. The other finalist was Istanbul but when the final ballots were cast, the Japanese capital was rewarded with the title. It is the first time that an Asian city will host the Games more than once. Tokyo was last the home of the Olympic Games in 1964. Madrid had attempted three straight times to win the Games, but failed yet again despite a pitch for a “sensible, reliable and trustworthy” Olympics. Tokyo, meanwhile, positioned itself as a safe option, indicating that no radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster would affect the Games in any way. “Some may have concerns about Fukushima,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking in English. “Let me assure you the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”

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Istanbul’s bid was reportedly hampered by the ongoing war in neighboring Syria. But members of the Turkish delegation painted their nation as a bridge between Europe and Asia. “Our country is a place where there is a lot of unity and diversity, and that is the idea that we can share on a broader scale with the Olympics Games being hosted in Turkey,” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “We believe,” he continued, “that hosting the Olympics in Istanbul will give this signal, this spirit of friendship and sharing and peace.” The voters didn’t agree. Let the games begin.  



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‫מהו עומק הקשר‬ ‫שבין סיפור הבריאה‬ ?‫ובין מצוות התורה ומהותן‬

if it gets out at all. Human rights researcher David Hawk, a former United Nations official and former executive director of Amnesty International USA, wrote the report. HRNK Co-chair Roberta Cohen said in a statement, “International arrangements should be negotiated for the entry of the International Committee of the Red Cross into the camps.” North Korea’s leaders have never publicly admitted that the prison labor camps exist, even though as many as 200,000 people are thought to be imprisoned by their Supreme Enlightened Great Leader Kim Jong Un.

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Arrest at Buckingham Two men have been arrested by British police after breaking into Buckingham Palace. The break-in is one of the most serious security breaches at Queen Elizabeth’s London residence in about 30 years. A police spokesman said one man was found in the palace in an area that is open to the public at about 10:30 p.m. He had scaled a fence to gain entry to the palace grounds. He was arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage, while a second man was arrested outside the palace on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary. Both men were released on bail. “No members of the royal family were at Buckingham Palace at the time of the incident,” the police spokesman said. “A review of the specific circumstances of this incident is being carried out.”

Escape from the Taliban in 2003. Fearing for her life, she fled Afghanistan in 1995 and only recently returned to her husband, Jaanbaz Khan.

News of her death rocked her community in the provincial capital city of Kharana, where she worked as a health care provider. One neighbor, Sayeed Kamal, described her as “very helpful to our women.” Several prominent women have been the targets of violence in Afghanistan in recent weeks. Female senator Roh Gul Khairzad and her husband were injured and their daughter was killed in a highway ambush in Ghazni province. A separate kidnapping incident involving female lawmaker Fariba Ahmadi Kakar and her three young children occurred days later.

Nyad Swims from Cuba to Florida at 64 Buckingham Palace had no comment to make on the incident, saying it was a matter for the police. This is not the first time intruders have broken into Buckingham Palace. The most famous security breach was in 1982, when Michael Fagan scaled a palace drainpipe and broke into the queen’s bedroom where she was sleeping. He reportedly sat on the bed and chatted with the monarch before he was arrested.

Taliban Executes Outspoken Critic An outspoken critic of the Taliban in Afghanistan has been murdered. Author Sushmita Banerjee, who has published her memoirs about marrying an Afghan man and escaping the Taliban, was brutally shot outside her home last week. Shah Wali, head of the Afghan Police Criminal Investigation Department for the eastern province of Paktika, blamed the Taliban for the killing. Banerjee wrote A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife which chronicled her daring marriage to an Afghan businessman and her struggles during Taliban rule in the 1990s. The book was a bestseller in India, before being turned into the Bollywood movie

Most of can’t accomplish this at 20 but Diana Nyad did it at the age of 64! Nyad made history last Monday when she completed the 110 mile swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, a shark-proof metal cage that many swimmers and scuba divers use to protect them from sharks. The swim down the Florida Strait has only been done once before by Australian Susie Maroney. But last week, Nyad set a new record since Maroney used a protective cage during her 1997 swim. She was welcomed onto the shoreline of Key West by cheering crowds just before 2:00pm on September 2. The swimmer had a Coast Guard escort during the 53 hour journey for safety reasons. She was immediately transferred to a stretcher and taken to a local hospital for an evaluation but not before she told the crowd, “Never give up.” This was Nyad’s fifth attempt to complete the swim since 1978. She told NBC News, “I’m beaming with pride.” Nyad has previous notable accomplishments: in 1975, she swam around the island of Manhattan and in 1979, she swam from the Bahamas to Florida. Of course, the swim was extremely challenging. On Sunday night, Nyad was too cold that her handlers didn’t stop to feed her, figuring she would stay warmer if she kept moving. Her tongue and lips were swollen by sun and seawater, and she had abrasions in her mouth from a special

silicone mask meant to keep the jellyfish at bay.

Two miles before she reached her goal, Nyad stopped to thank the 10 boats of people that had helped her accomplish this amazing task. “I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean,” she told her handlers as she closed in on Key West, according to her blog. “This is a lifelong dream of mine and I’m very, very glad to be with you,” she added, praising her team. “So let’s get going so we can have a whopping party.” According to Nyad’s Twitter, she officially spent 52 hours, 54 minutes, and 18.6 seconds swimming.

Dennis Rodman Shows Affection for Kim Jong Un, Again While most retired athletes spend their retirement days on exotic islands and cashing in on endorsement deals, Dennis Rodman, retired NBA star, befriends dictators. Rodman professed his affection for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as he departed from North Korea on Saturday. The basketball star showed off photos of him and Kim hugging, laughing, dining, and watching a basketball game. Clearly the two are BFFs.

He also irritably rejected calls to lobby for the release of Kenneth Bae, an American citizen imprisoned in North Korea. Bae was arrested in November and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what Pyongyang described as hostile acts against the state. Kim has the power to grant special pardons under the North’s constitution. Several months ago, Rodman tweeted for Kim to “do me a solid” and release Bae

but now the infamous athlete is claiming that Bae’s release is none of his business. “Guess what? That’s not my job to ask about Kenneth Bae,” Rodman told reporters upon arrival at the airport in China’s capital, Beijing. “Ask [President Barack] Obama about that. Ask Hillary Clinton,” an obviously irate Rodman shouted. This is the NBA Hall of Famer’s second trip to the isolated Communist dictatorship. “He’s my friend for life. I don’t care what you guys think about him,” Rodman said. Rodman told The Associated Press as he was leaving his hotel in Pyongyang that Kim had spoken about his visiting again, and that Kim “really actually wants to change things.” He said Kim had encouraged Rodman when he goes back to the United States to “say some very good, positive, and very good things about this country, that’s what we talked about a lot.” North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, said in a brief report that the two had “a cordial talk,” and that Kim invited Rodman back again “any time.”

New Research Reveals Method for Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system in the brain that causes shaking and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. Sadly, each year about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is generally diagnosed by a physician but unfortunately the diagnosis usually comes after clinical symptoms have developed and the disease has progressed significantly. Doctors often use a test called SPECT, which uses radioactive material to image the brain which exposes the patient to unnecessary radiation. New research from researchers at the University of Haifa and Rambam Hospital reveal that a person’s penmanship may help doctors diagnose the degenerative disease at the early stages. Researchers compared the writing process of 40 sick and healthy subjects to analyze the data.

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42 “Identifying the changes in handwriting could lead to an early diagnosis of the illness and neurological intervention at a critical moment,” explains Professor Sara Rosenblum of the University of Haifa’s Department of Occupational Therapy who instigated the study. According to estimates, about 7 to 10 million individuals suffer from Parkinson’s disease globally. This discovery can potentially bring a groundbreaking and noninvasive method of diagnosing Parkinson’s to the medical world.

Israel Attacks by Kotel on Rosh Hashana On the second day of Rosh Hashana as thousands davened at the Kotel, attackers violently threw rocks. Police had to resort to using riot-controlling tactics to deter the attackers. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the official rav of the Kotel told the media after yom tov that the attacks were intended to injure innocent people and said, “All acts of violence should be condemned, but such acts should be condemned sevenfold as it is a Jewish holy site. The world should release condemnatory statements expressing contempt over the attempt to injure mispallalim at the Kotel on the holy day.” He added, “Just a month ago, the Muslims celebrated Ramadan and the Jews respected this religious right despite their services significantly complicating matters for many trying to get to the Kotel.” He also praised to police for responding so quickly and settling the unrest. Luckily, no serious injuries were reported.

Plot to Overthrow Hamas in Gaza Strip Exposed

Hamas authorities released a video of a Palestinian man with his face blocked who “confessed” that he took part in a plan to initiate strife and disorder and chaos in the Gaza Strip. The terror group said its security forces arrested several Palestinians on suspicion of involvement with the new

anti-Hamas Tamarod (“rebellion”) group. The group’s mission is to take over the Hamas regime. “I understood that the goal was to stage a coup [against] Hamas,” the man in the video said, adding that PA officers belonging to the Preventive Security Force had met with him in the Gaza Strip. “I was told that blood would be up to the ankles in the Gaza Strip,” he said. According to the man, PA agents whom he met with told him that the mission should be accomplished in six months. “They instructed me to form cells in the southern Gaza Strip,” he added. “They told me that they have their own groups and enough weapons in the northern Gaza Strip and that they are prepared to put an end to Hamas’s injustice. They also said that they have a lot of money.” The unidentified man claimed that not only was the Palestinian Authority and some Arab countries behind the plot, but Israel was on board as well. He did not specify which Arab countries were involved. He added that the ultimate goal is to return the PA to the Gaza Strip and re-appoint former Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan as president.

Israel’s Population Reaches 8M

In an annual report by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel has an estimated population of 8.081 million. According to most calculations, Israel is the world’s 100th smallest country. The report released on Monday reveals that about 75.1% of the population is Jewish, which is about 6.066 million people, while the Arab population represents 20.7% of the population, about 1.670 million people. The remaining 4.2%, approximately 345,000 people, include non-Arab Christians and individuals of other religions plus people who have no religious affiliation. The census also revealed that in the last year about 163,000 babies were born in Israel, while 40,000 deaths were recorded. The most popular baby names for girls were Noa, Shira, Tamar, Talia, and Yael. The most common names for boys were Itai, Daniel, Ori, Yosef, and Noam. The most populated city in the country is Jerusalem followed by Tel Aviv.

Technion University Ranked Seventh Best In a new ranking by Bloomberg, Israel’s Technion University ranked the seventh best undergraduate institution in the world. The rankings were based on an analysis of the undergraduate schools of 250 CEOs of U.S. tech companies with a market value of over $1bn. Technion had company in the seventh spot; it was joined by MIT, Rice University and the University of Texas, Austin. It is the only institution listed in the top ten from outside the U.S.

Bloomberg commended the Haifa based university for its impressive high tech hubs which it said “proves its commitment to technology.” Technion is currently collaborating with Cornell University on a project to build a $2 billion tech campus and a start-up incubator on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, a narrow island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Technion President, Professor Peretz Lavie, received the prestigious ranking as “an indication of the University’s prominent status throughout the world.” Adding, “The Technion has played a pivotal role in transforming Israel to a start-up powerhouse.”

Iranian President Wishes Shana Tova to All Jews

While the Jewish people prepared for Rosh Hashana and called their friends, family, and acquaintances to wish them a happy sweet new year, the Iranian President, Hasan Rohani, sent out a tweet. “As the sun is about to set here in Tehran, I wish all of the Jews, and especially those

in Iran, a happy Rosh Hashana.” Later on, Iran’s official Fars agency quoted Rohani’s advisor saying that Rohani does not have a Twitter account and the tweet was a scam. Even if the tweets were in fact from Rohani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unimpressed and dubious of its motives. “The greetings come out of the mouth of a regime that only last week threatened to destroy the state of Israel,” the Israeli Prime Minister said. “The Iranian regime will be judged solely on its deeds, not its greetings, whose only purpose it to distract attention from the fact that even after the elections it continues to enrich uranium and build a plutonium reactor with the aim of acquiring a nuclear weapon which will threaten Israel and the whole world.” Just last Thursday, Iran’s army chief of staff General Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency saying that a US-led military strike against Tehran’s ally, Syria, would leave Israel “in flames.”

National Hating ObamaCare— and Telling the World

Times Square is considered the Crossroads of the World. Advertisers pay top dollar to hawk their products on giant billboards. This week, New Yorkers and those visiting the Big Apple will be greeted by a six-story billboard on 42nd Street with a haunting message: “Warning— ObamaCare may be hazardous to your health.” The ad is part of The Heritage Foundation’s continuing public education campaign to inform the American people about the dangerous side-effects of what they consider to be an unfair, unaffordable and unworkable law, and how it can be stopped. So how will ObamaCare be harming our health? According to The Heritage Foundation, here are some of the worst side effects of the plan. Many Americans will lose their current health coverage; their current plan will no longer meet the requirements of the law. And new plans may force them to pay for coverage of things they may not


George Zimmerman’s Domestic Issues Receive Media Attention

Clinton: I Want those Socks This week, former President Clinton enjoyed his annual lunch with former President H.W. Bush and his wonderful wife, Barbara. But instead of walking away talking about the menu, Clinton confessed that he has “sock envy.” He tweeted to his one million followers: “Enjoyed my annual lunch with President and Mrs. Bush in Maine. Envious of his ‘western cactus’-themed socks.”

Less than two months after his acquittal, George Zimmerman is in the news again, although this time the story is only newsworthy due to his history. Shortly after 2pm on Monday, police arrived at Shellie Zimmerman’s father’s home in Florida after Shellie, George’s estranged wife, dialed 911 following a domestic dispute. Shellie claimed that her soon to be ex-husband was threatening her with a gun. Zimmerman was not arrested and authorities are still trying to determine what actually happened. Shellie Zimmerman has said she will not press charges. Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell said, “We’ve only heard one side of the story so far.” In a divorce petition she filed last week, Shellie Zimmerman  said she said she and her husband separated a month after Zimmerman was acquitted of any crime for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. According to the divorce petition, Shellie Zimmerman is demanding that her husband pay for a permanent life insurance policy with her as beneficiary. Last Friday, ABC’s “Good Morning America” aired an interview with George Zimmerman’s wife. Shellie Zimmerman said her husband left her with “a bunch of pieces of broken glass” after the acquittal. During the interview she said, “I have a selfish husband and I think George is all about George.” Last month, Shellie Zimmerman, 26,

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SWAT Team Kills 107-Year-Old Man This week, a 107-year-old man died in a shootout with police and SWAT members. Officers responded to a disturbance call at his residence and then determined that Monroe Isadore, 107, held a weapon pointed at police. After making sure the others in the home got out safely, officers approached the door of the bedroom where Isadore was holed up. Negotiations went on for some time, and SWAT was able to insert a camera into the room and confirmed that the centenarian was armed. Unfortunately, Isadore shot at the officers and continued to shoot, until officers were forced to engage in fire. The 107-year-old lost his life in a shootout with police.

million pounds of steel. Riders will be seated in 28 glass capsules as opposed to rickety basket-like vessels seen at local amusement parks, and it will take about 30 minutes to make a complete orbit. Tickets will be about $30 per person But The High Roller may have to hand over its crown of “Tallest in the World” soon. Last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to build a 625-foot ride on Staten Island’s waterfront.

Vegas will soon be home to the world’s largest Ferris wheel. The tremendous structure can be seen from all over the city as it towers over the skyline of the Vegas Strip. The outer wheel of the 55-story High Roller ride was hoisted into place on Tuesday. It had been under construction since 2011. Early in 2014, it will be embellished with 1,500 LED lights and will start its slow spin. “It’s going to be an icon,” Project Director David Codiga said. “It’s going to be a part of your visit to Las Vegas if you ride it or not. It’s more or less impossible not to see it if you come here.” The project is being funded by Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns more casinos than any other U.S. gambling company. The Ferris wheel is a counterpart to the $550 million Linq development, an outdoor plaza across the street from Caesars Palace. The mall is expected to open to the public this winter. The High Roller will stand at 550 feet tall, 100 feet taller than the London Eye, 30 feet taller than China’s Star of Nanchang, and 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer. It will be compromised of over 3.5

Last week, TJH compiled a list of the top ten most expensive universities in America. This week we are back to let you know which schools give you the highest odds of becoming the CEO of a major company. The list is based on the alma maters of Fortune Global 500 CEOs. So where should you be sending your future CEOs? Yale University is ninth highest on the list with 6 CEO’s including Ellis Jones (Wasserstein Perella & Co.) and James McNerney (Boeing Company). Then comes Columbia at number 8, with Ursula Burns (Xerox), Michael Gould (Bloomingdale’s), César Alierta (Telefónica) all having gone there. Cesare Mainardi (Booz & Company), Thomas J. Wilson (Allstate Corporation), Andrew S. Duff (Piper Jaffray) have all graduated from Northwestern University putting it in 7th place. If you have ever stayed at a Hyatt Hotel, you can thank CEO Mark Hoplmazian who is an alum of #6 University of Chicago along with Brady Dougan (Crédit Suisse Group) and J. Patrick Doyle (Domino’s Pizza). Cornell University ranked fifth with notable graduates Irene Rosenfeld (Mondelēz International), Lowell McAdam (Verizon Communications), and Herbert Fisk Johnson III (S.C. Johnson & Son). Number four goes to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Charles Koch (Koch Industries), Drew Houston (Dropbox), and Alan Mulally (Ford Motor Company) all having gone there. Cracking open the top three is University of Pennsylvania. Penn was the school of Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Harold McGraw III (McGraw Hill Financial),

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Bush 41, 89, has been wearing wacky socks over the years and enjoys showing them off. It seems that Clinton has a sock-fetish of his own: his famed (and now deceased) cat was named Socks.

pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying about the couple’s finances during a bail hearing following her husband’s arrest after Martin’s shooting. Shellie Zimmerman was sentenced to a year’s probation and 100 hours of community service. Her husband did not attend the sentencing hearing in the Sanford courtroom. Since the incident, George Zimmerman and his lawyers have made no public statements. George Zimmerman’s brother Robert Zimmerman Jr., tweeted that “we’ve learned from GZ case not to ‘jump to conclusions,’ to wait for facts, & to avoid speculation. ‘News’ is a business — not your friend.” In has come to light that there was no gun involved in the recent incident, contrary to what was previously reported.

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need. Some Americans will lose access to the doctors who have been treating them for many years. Many of ObamaCare Exchanges will have limited physician networks. To choose to use the doctor who has been treating them for years, Americans will have to pay high out-of-network costs. Millions of patients will be forced to use Medicaid, a health program that many doctors do not accept. Some don’t even call Medicaid a “real insurance.” And reductions to Medicare can spell disaster for millions of seniors who rely on the program for their healthcare needs. And what about America’s fiscal health? If Congress does not act, on January 1, 2014, Washington will tap a gusher of new federal spending on ObamaCare. Over the next decade, the cost of the law’s new entitlements will soar more than fivefold, from $48 billion in 2014 to $250 billion in 2023.  This fall, Congress will have an opportunity to use its “power of the purse” to block ObamaCare from going forward.  And The Heritage Foundation hopes that they will use it wisely to keep America physically and fiscally healthy.

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and Steve Wynn (Wynn Resorts). The silver medal goes to Stanford University for having educated 11 CEO’s worth over 492.5 billion dollars including Reed Hastings (Netflix), Rodney O’Neal (Delphi Automotive), Richard Fairbank (Capital One). And the top spot on our list is not much of a surprise. With over 25 CEOs having received their higher education there, Harvard University is number one. Their combined worth is $1,548.3 billion dollars, and the list includes many household names. Most notable on their mailing list include Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs), and Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase).

Texas Reclaims Title: Most Illegally Entered State For the first time in ten years, Texas has seen the most illegal immigration in the country. The amount of people crossing illegally into South Texas has doubled in the last four years, making it the busiest section along the Southwest border. The increase in traffic has led to a beefed up police presence and more arrests. The patrollers are now being supplied with night vision goggles and mobile towers. By the end of this year, the Rio Grande Valley Sector expects to have 600 more agents. However, even with a record amount of manpower and infrastructure along the entire southern border, the Rio Grande Valley has the fewest number of agents per mile compared to other places. It also has the least amount of fencing. In some places the only deterrent is a few ground sensors.

This year, Border Patrol has detained nearly 200,000 people from Del Rio to Brownsville. While apprehensions across the southern border are at record lows, South Texas is the one spot where the numbers are rising again. “We could apprehend anywhere between 100 and 200 a shift,” said Mark Foster, a Border Patrol supervisor. “On the weekend it’s very hard to get all the incursions dealt with, with the manpower that we have.” A large part of what makes it so dif-

ficult to patrol is the terrain of the land itself. The Rio Grande swerves a lot when it gets close to the American border. There are cliffs, wildlife refuges and gravel pits make for a very tricky patrol. There are also private residences and farmland, where locals can make a pretty profit cooperating with smugglers. There are also smugglers who operate within the county. Recently, sheriff deputies stopped a U-Haul trailer stuffed with 70 migrants. Daniel Perez is a newly minted Border Patrol agent who moved from Arizona to South Texas to start his job a year ago. “It’s a big change down here,” Perez said. “You got the river and then they come into this jungle gym of a brush that we’ve got here and hiding spaces everywhere.” The majority of those coming across now are from Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Violence in that region has made their lives impossible, they say, so they flee to America hoping for a better life.

That’s Odd A Nanny in the Sky

Do you remember Mary Poppins, the perfect nanny who flew in on an umbrella? Well, now, United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways has made Mary Poppins a reality. The airline will launch a program that provides child-care for families flying with children or for children who are flying alone. They are there to help settle and seat children, provide games and activities, and support frazzled parents. “Children’s behavior is unpredictable,” said an Etihad spokeswoman. “So of course having that helping hand onboard enhances that experience and enables them to enjoy that flight.” Etihad has sent 300 crewmembers through the prestigious U.K. nanny training school, Norland College. The airline said it will have a crew of 500 Flying Nannies by the end of the year. Besides their training, the nannies will also come equipped with toys and arts and crafts projects to engage the children by, for instance, making animals and puppets out of cups and cardboard. The program even has its own theme song: “There’s a very special person you should know, She can take you anywhere

you want to go, When you come up on the plane say hello, and she will take good care of you, Flying Nanny, Flying Nanny, She’s your nanny in the air, Flying Nanny, Flying Nanny…” This just an example of how airlines are dealing with the many tots who fly the friendly skies. Singapore-based Scoot airlines announced it was creating “Scoot in Silence” sections which ban anyone under 12. AirAsia X introduced kid-free “Quiet Zones” on some of its aircraft, and last year, Malaysia Airlines booted all children from its upper decks and first class cabins. This nanny sounds practically perfect in every way.

The Greatest Gator in Mississippi Alligators seem to be the rage in Mississippi this week. For the third time in a week, the alligator hunting record was broken after the state’s heaviest gator was caught. Dalco Turner was the lucky hunter who nabbed the 13-foot, 6.5-inch gator which weighed a whopping 741.5 pounds on Sunday morning. It took Turner and two other hunters an hour to actually snare the beast. “He broke three lines, and I had the only hook that stayed in him the whole time,” Turner recounted.

Initially, Turner didn’t think the reptile would be a winner. “We passed it by the first time,” he said. “We really didn’t think he was big enough to go after.” Luckily for Turner, his catch came a week after the state record for heaviest gator was broken twice within hours. On September 1, a 723.5 pound gator was caught by Beth Trammel. An hour after the record was certified, Dustin Bockman caught a 727-pound alligator in the Mississippi River. Despite having his record broken, Bockman knows what he’s going to have for supper. “We’re going to cook it for sure,” Bockman said. “There’s plenty for me and everybody else.” Both Trammell and Bockman’s catches fell short of the state record for length. In 2008, a 13-foot, 6.5-inch gator was

caught on the Pascagoula River. But Turner’s massive catch tied the mark. Watch out Turner: “Having a state record for an alligator in Mississippi is a lot like living in a glass house,” Brian Albert Broom wrote in the Clarion-Ledger. “It’s going to get broken.” Despite all the giant gators running around Mississippi, steer clear of Texas if you’re scared of these massive reptiles. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a record 800-pound alligator was caught during a public hunt in May. The 14-foot, 3-inch gator was estimated to be between 30 to 50 years old. Let’s just call it the deadliest catch.

Living Like it’s 1986 Some people pine for the good, ol’ days, when people were more polite and had more conservative views. But the McMillans yearn for the ‘80’s for another reason: they are hung up on its technology, or lack of it. This Canadian family has given up on all technology introduced into the world after 1986. Visitors to the McMillan home will see a TV in the living room, but no cable. There are phones, but no iPhones and no texting or cell phones. Photos but no Facebook. For a year that started in April, the family has been doing their banking in person. They have been reading a lot more. They took a road trip this summer and used paper maps to navigate their travels.

The 1986 fever does not end with technology. Blair, the father of the family, wears his hair in a mullet and his kids do, too. So what prompted this drastic change for a normal family like the McMillans? Blair insists that this is a way to help recapture his family’s relationship that he felt was stolen from their reliance on modern-day technology. The “project just to get closer and reunite the family,” McMillan says, has been “working out awesome.” Just earlier this year, Blair asked his 5-year-old son to join him outside but his son was too busy with his iPad. “That’s kind of when it hit me,” Blair recounts, “because I’m like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside.” So Blair and Morgan, the matriarch of


Going Back to the Scene of the Crime

Bradley Northcote, a prize-winning Maryland gardener, grew a 150-pound watermelon. But after seeing it at 7:30pm on Thursday, the next day, when he returned to his yard, the behemoth melon was gone. It is valued at $1,500. “It appeared that suspects cut the vine and removed it,” police spokesperson Edward Hopkins said. On Facebook, the sheriff’s office noted that the missing watermelon “is 3 and a half feet long and would need at least two people to move it.” A police spokesperson said that law enforcement officials are investigating all leads, and that those responsible may be charged with a felony. “I’m just amazed at the effort someone went to in order to steal a watermelon,” Northcote said of the heist. “You really need a strategy for a theft like this; not just because of the size, but it was located on the most inaccessible part of the property.” Guard your watermelons!

More than a decade ago, Keosavanh Xayarath, owner of the InterAsian Market & Deli in Nashville, Tennessee, was robbed at gunpoint. The terror of that night is still forefront in his mind. But just recently, Keosavanh and his son, Somboon Wu, were surprised when a man came into their store and insisted they take a mysterious envelope. The storeowner was hesitant to take it. After all, what could it be? But the man told them it was money and that it was important. Inside, Keosavanh found a handwritten letter and four $100 bills. The letter was written by the man who said he was a drug addict and robbed the store of $300 11 years ago. The anonymous apology stated, “I do not use drugs anymore and I feal [sic] I must make amends to the people I have hurt in the past.” The confession and restitution shocked the storeowners. “It’s just, it’s amazing. It’s inspirational really, for somebody to have the courage, to come back and face the person you’ve done wrong… Even though um, it’s hard sometimes, we need to give people a second chance.” Somboon added, “Wherever life takes you, just know that we, we forgive you for what you did.” The family was so touched by the apology that they decided to post the note on their store Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages to ensure “Anonymous” would know he was forgiven. “Obviously he has, he has a great heart, but he just got caught up in a really, some bad situations,” said Somboon. “We feel for the guy and we,

The Case of the Stolen Watermelon

ing he was so happy. I was his baby daughter. He had never worn a proper three-piece suit. As he was about to walk me down the aisle he started to cry. It was the first time I’ve seen him cry and it started me off. It was such a hot day. When we were having the meal I told him to take his jacket off but he wouldn’t. He looked so smart.” Camela never got to hear her father’s speech and revealed how she struggled to read his card message the following day. “To be honest, opening the card was the hardest part,” she said. “I opened it the next day. He had given us money towards our honeymoon. We were thinking of going to Mexico but we had to cancel it. Now I can’t put my wedding cards up because I have so many sympathy cards.” Jagan Babwah is survived by his wife Shanty, 67, and four children.

Found Alive after 4 Months in the Mountains After four months of being lost in the remote Andes Mountains, searchers gave up hope of finding Raul Fernando Gomez Circunegui. But this week, Argentine officials found the Uruguayan man alive after spending a brutal winter eating rats and raisins to survive.

Just in time for Aseres Yimei Teshuva, a man in Brazil has developed what doctors are calling pathological generosity. The change in behavior came after a stroke damaged parts of his brain. The 49-year-old, known only as “Mr. A,” began to give away money, food and drinks excessively after a stroke disrupted the part of his brain related to higher thinking and decision-making. Researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro concluded the man was left with “excessive and persistent generosity” by the stroke, which was brought on by bleeding in his brain. Doctors were able to determine the stroke occurred in a subcortical region of Mr. A’s brain, which controls higher-level thinking, and therefore could have affected areas associated with regulating normal behavior. Bleeding in the brain, a side effect of the man’s high blood pressure, caused the stroke. Dr. Larry Goldstein, a neurologist and director of the Stroke Centre at Duke University said, “Although the observation of personality change is not that unusual, this particular one is apparently novel.” The doctor explained, “[A] stroke can cause a whole variety of neuropsychological and behavioral changes,” adding that brain damage caused by low oxygen supply can lead to emotional changes with depression being the most common.

Amazing Art by Chimpanzees

Joy Turns to Mourning It was supposed to be Camela Babwah Taylor’s happiest day of her life. She had invited 160 guests to a 14th century castle to celebrate her marriage to John Taylor. In a tragic turn of events, Taylor’s father Jagan Babwah, 73, was eating lamb during the dinner and began choking. He was taken outside to be treated. Guests attempted to do the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the piece of meat but the elderly man suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead at the scene by time paramedics had arrived. Instead of the party stopping and Babwah’s family going into mourning, the bride decided that her father wouldn’t have wanted to stop the celebration for his death so they kept the show going. Camela said, “It would have been what Dad wanted. We have been planning the wedding for two-and-a-half years and he was forever talking about it. In the morn-

The 58-year-old tried to the cross the mountains from Chile to Argentina on foot because his motorcycle broke down. But survival in the mountains is almost impossible without the proper supplies. Luckily, Circunegui stumbled upon a shelter and managed to survive the last four months. Argentine officials found him in the shelter 2,840 meters above sea level when they traveled there to record snow levels. He was severely dehydrated and lost 20 kilos during the ordeal. “The truth is that this is a miracle. We still can’t believe it,” San Juan Governor Jose Luis Gioja told the local Diario de Cuyo newspaper.

Brazilian Diagnosed with Excessive Generosity

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that within the U.S. there are more than 1,000 chimpanzees living in laboratories, private homes, and entertainment facilities. Oftentimes, these animals are maltreated and many are kept in confinement for many years. Properly caring for an older chimp after it’s retired or abandoned is challenging and expensive so HSUS raises money for chimp care. The HSUS launched its Chimpanzee Art Contest to raise money for the members of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, which provide outstanding care for these intelligent creatures. Apparently, chimpanzees love to paint so the organization created a contest for chimpanzees to submit their artwork and compete for the winning title. Six sanctuaries submitted

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we just hope that, you know, that whatever he does after this, that it’s great things for him.” Teshuva from the heart.

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the family, decided to go back in the past to reclaim a normal family relationship. Goodbye cell phones, goodbye cable. They established a box for visitors to stash their phones and gadgets when visiting. Blair has even lost business because of this endeavor—imagine using only a fax machine in this day and age. But, Blair says, the family saves money for not paying for cable and cell phone plans. What’s so special about the year 1986? Well, that’s the year that both Blair and Morgan were born. “We’re parenting our kids the same way we were parented for a year just to see what it’s like,” Blair explains. Back to the future indeed.

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46 artwork on behalf of the chimpanzees. There were more than 27,000 online votes, and renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall also weighed in on her favorite. “All of the art was beautiful and unique, just like chimpanzees!” said Goodall in a statement. “It was difficult to choose. It’s so important that the public support all of these sanctuaries in their mission to provide exceptional care to chimpanzees, and other primates, who have suffered through so much.” All six sanctuaries received a financial grant from the HSUS for participating, and the beautiful works of art will be auctioned on Ebay later this year. These chimps aren’t monkeying around.

Notre Dame started the football season with a big bang and a big mistake. The promotional cups at the Notre Dame Stadium read, “Fig Thing Irish” instead of “Fighting Irish.” Notre Dame Stadium has the capacity to host 80,795 fans. Many of the fans noticed the error and it went viral. For all those football fans out there… hopefully they have a stronger athletic department than their English department.

Cheapest Wedding Ever?

Notre Dame Starts the Season with Mistake

Between the wedding hall, photographers, a band and a gown, not to mention all the other expenses, weddings can be pretty pricey. But one couple from ScotB”H

land has found a way to make their wedding for less than a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts. Artist Georgina Porteous, 36, and 39-year-old singer-songwriter Sid Innes budgeted just one dollar and fifty-six cents for their big day. Yes, you read that right. The pair is dedicated to recycling and self-sufficiency, so they put the time in to keep it simple. So how did the couple accommodate their 70 guests at such a low price? Porteous and Innes had their wedding ceremony in a barn on their property behind their cottage. Porteous spent $1.56 on a vintage ivory wedding gown that she found on freecycle.org, a network of exchanges and gifting, while Innes wore an old tweed suit. The couple’s rings were handmade by Porteous using antlers she found in her garden. Her mother officiated the ceremony. For the reception, the venue was decorated with locally grown flowers, hay bales, and lanterns that community farmers contributed. The newlyweds asked their guests to bring food and drinks for a potluck picnic and Porteous’s aunt baked the cake. The wedding photographer who captured the festivities bartered his services in exchange for some film editing by Porteous. And the affair’s music came courtesy of the bride’s father, who played jazz on the saxophone. “We thought we’d do our wedding differently and we started to become quite obsessed with it and ways to save money. It was exciting, fun and a challenge,” Innes said. Wonder if Ateres Avrohom would mind a potluck shmorg…

Mugged Man Walks 800 Miles Name: Address:

Credit Card Processing Made

Contact: Email:

Bank Name:


Account Number: Routing Number:

Ari Markowitz 424-256-7251 x103


Social Security Number: ------www.bmswestcoast.com  Copy Of Void Check

Better Service. Better Rates. Better Business.

A Japanese man set out from the city of Kitakyushu after being mugged and arrived back at his home in Sendai, in the northeast of Japan, 11 days later. The man’s mother had reported her son missing after he failed to catch his return flight. “I was shocked and thought I was seeing a ghost when he arrived,” she told reporters. “I’m just thrilled that he is back and I’m very sorry to everyone who was worried about him.” She added that he had got a good tan during his journey. The 25-year-old man was attending a major playing card convention but was stopped on a street around 10pm by a group of five men who demanded that he hand over his wallet and mobile phone. Fortunately, the man had concealed an extra Y2,000 ($20.00) in a shoe. Instead of using it to call his family and explain his situation or of reporting the attack to police, he started walking. “I used the money I had hidden in my shoe to buy bread and water to fight off the hunger,” the man said. “It was good to be able to get home, but I did not want to cause any problems for

anyone,” he said. “I’m sorry to everyone that I inconvenienced.” The man added that the trip had not been a complete disaster as he had been able to find a rare card to add to his collection and that the muggers had failed to steal it. His shoes sure are made for walking.

Telemarketers Pay Him to Call

The cold calls keep on coming at all hours of the day from all types of companies. The telemarketers seem to be the only ones calling landlines these days. So Lee Beaumont decided instead of being frustrated by constantly being bombarded by unsolicited sales calls, he would profit from them. Beaumont of the UK changed his phone number settings so that incoming callers are required to pay him a small fee to connect. The phone service, PhonepayPlus, charges 10 pence to connect a call and additional fee for the minutes spent on the phone. Beaumont gets 70% of the fees. Now Beaumont loves getting cold calls. Not only does Beaumont answer his phone, he always gives the telemarketers the time of day, often engaging them in conversation. Remember, the longer he stays on the line, the more money in his pocket. Beaumont says he’s made about 300 pounds ($464) since he changed his number in November 2011. “I’m getting annoyed with PPI phone calls when I’m trying to watch Coronation Street so I’d rather make 10p a minute,” he told the BBC. “I want cold calls.” The savvy entrepreneur says he’s careful to fully disclose the charges when companies ask for his number. PhonepayPlus said it discourages individuals from setting up similar lines. “Premium rate numbers are not designed to be used in this way and we would strongly discourage any listeners from adopting this idea, as they will be liable under our code for any breaches and subsequent fines that result,” the company told the BBC. If you’re wondering if Beaumont has any friends left and if they ever call him… he keeps a private number for personal calls. Smart guy.


Is It Too Good To Be True? by Michelle Hirsch

I spent a number of years working as a career counselor for a private University in Los Angeles. During this time I had the pleasure of counseling and mentoring hundreds of students. Almost universally, I was able to categorize the students into one of three groups with regard to their drive, or lack thereof, in preparing for the future: The Active, The Passive & The Apathetic. The Active: They may be few and far between, but you know one when you see one. These are the campus leaders who somehow manage to be club president, score a prestigious internship, maintain a solid GPA and balance their social life. These students are not always blessed with a high IQ or natural talent, they are simply motivated and hard working. What really makes these students stand out is their drive to begin career planning as early as their freshman year, eager to map out the next four years so they do not miss a beat. I rarely have to worry about these students because even if they do not have a concrete career direction, they are actively working on their next step and the best plan to get there. This means keeping their resumes up to date, meeting with a career counselor to take advantages of assessment and planning tools and taking an active role in their future. The Passive: Even at prestigious universities, the contagious symptoms of the “whatever” generation have spread like wildfire. These students, who have become the sad norm, sit around waiting for life to happen to them. They rarely, if ever, take the time for proper career exploration to create a plan for their future. Furthermore, they do not make leadership experience or internships a priority, and often have either no solid plan upon graduation or a vague idea: “maybe I’ll go to law school” or “maybe I’ll go work for my parents”. The most frustrating, and avoidable, characteristic of the Passive student is the frantic phone call I will inevitably receive, about six months after graduation, that sounds something like this: Student: It has been almost 6 months since graduation and I cannot find a job! Me: Have you updated your resume? Did you take advantage of any internship opportunities? Have you done anything

productive with your time? S: No… Me: So, what field do you aspire to work in? S: (Awkward silence) uh… I don’t know… This could all be avoided if the Passive student takes just a little time out of their college years to create a plan for their future. Instead, they often end up unemployed, with their student loan pay-off knocking at their door. The Apathetic: The most distinguishing feature of The Apathetic student is having no remorse for blowing $20,000+ in tuition money without so much as a passing grade to show for it. I am not talking about the student who is dealing with major life issues, I am speaking of the student who simply does not care enough to show up for class, take notes or participate in a lecture. Likely, they are not ready for College and would benefit from taking a year or more off to work, serve or volunteer. Not only would these activities mature the Apathetic, they are a great start to help them learn about themselves, their skills and future career directions. High school and college students, the choice of whether to be Active, Passive or Apathetic is yours. Are you going to be one of the students who ends up employed, in graduate school and/or with a solid career plan? Or not? About the Author: Jessica Yuz, MBA is the Founder of Yuz Career Advisers, dedicated to helping individuals identify their interests and set realistic goals so they can take control of their future. With nearly a decade of experience in higher education, Jessica works with high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of career exploration, resume writing, interview skills, job search and placement, goal setting, time and stress management, and related fields. Jessica also specializes in assisting professionals of all ages’ transition between employment, finding fulfillment in their work and achieving a lifework balance. You can follow Jessica’s career blog at ycadvisers.blogspot.com or contact her at ycadvisers@gmail.com.

As the economy improves and you find yourself in a position to make real estate investments, but don’t have millions to do it, you might wonder how to get started. Investing in a rental property can be a lucrative venture… if done right. As an example, look no further than Valley Village. In Valley Village (where I live) we have a major shortage of rental properties. This means, there are more renters than property to fill their needs. It would be great if we had duplexes and triplexes like the “city” does, but we don’t. So, when a young family is looking for a new place for their family, or when an existing family grows out of their two bedroom apartment, and wants to rent a house, the “Valley” rarely has ANY inventory. Just this summer I had 7 families who needed homes to rent, most were relocating from out of state. Out of the 7 families, I was able to get only two into a house. The other 5 are still waiting, living in temporary housing, out of the area. What’s the point of everything I am yapping about? I have been asking (begging) all of my investor clients to buy homes in Valley Village, just so we can start having more rentals in the neighborhood. Just to give you an idea… on average a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1700 square foot house is currently renting, EASILY for about $3,200 a month. To buy a house with the required specs, you would be spending between $575,000- $675,000. If that is still out of your price range, investing in a condo might be a good first investment. A two bedroom condo sells for anywhere between $220,000$330,000 (on average) and those are being rented for about $1,950 a month. Depending on the amount of money you have to work with, both of these options can yield a nice return on your investment, especially in a neighborhood where values are still continuing to rise, and the community is continuing to grow. As big as the “Valley” currently is, it is continuing to grow at a very fast pace, both for renters and buyers. As the real estate market recovers, and people are still finding it challenging to invest in the Westside market, are now realizing it’s time to shift their focus to the Valley and own a home that is more affordable. Along with that, because Los Angeles is already a huge financial leap when families are relocating from other parts of the country, many consider moving to the Valley.

So, is it too good to be true? Can you really get a great entry level real estate investment in the Los Angeles area? Not at all!! Here is the math: Home Purchase Price: $600,000 Down payment: $200,000 Mortgage, Property tax, & Insurance: (based on 5% interest rate) approximately $2,800.00 a month Rental income: $3,200 a month What this means, is that after the tenant’s rent goes directly to paying your mortgage, you will have an additional $400 a month from the rental income to be able to set aside for any repairs that may be needed down the road, or to help cover a temporary vacancy. So basically, you would get to own a property that someone else is paying the mortgage on, but at the same time receive the benefits of a conservative annual 3% appreciation on the property. Now, skip ahead 10 years. Keeping in mind the calculation of standard appreciation, in 10 years the $600,000 property will be worth around $780,000. If you’ve made all your mortgage payments on time, your loan balance will be about $320,000. Therefore the investment after 10 years, if you were to sell, would yield you $460,000 in equity. If you subtract your original $200K down payment, this comes to about a $26K annual return! Does your 401K do that? With all of these numbers we have not even taken into consideration the average rental increases that happen over a 10 year time period. Consider your equity growth a nest egg for retirement, your kids’ education or as a piggy bank for savings to offset future investments. Obviously, it goes without saying that every area is different and knowing the neighborhood you are investing in, is important. The Valley Village/Sherman Oaks community is just one example of a great opportunity right now, especially if you are not ready for the million dollar plus investments. Michelle Hirsch has been a top producing agent for the last 9 years. When meeting her for the first time, you will notice one of the friendliest and inviting personalities in Real Estate. At the same time her strong negotiation skills and experience, ensure a high success rate for accomplishing her client’s goals. Michelle can be reached at 818-5124226, michelle@michellehirsch.com, and through her website: www.michellehirsch.com

september 12, 2013

by Jessica Yuz

The Jewish Home

College Students: The Active, the Passive & the Apathetic


Simchas Torah

T h eThe J e Jewish w i s h hHome o m e n september s e p T e m b e r12, 2 82013 , 2012


Rabbi Binyamin Pruzansky

Bringing Torah Home


he little kids quickly formed a train, each with his hands on the shoulders of the boy in front of him. They lurched into motion, running madly around the periphery of the shul as throngs of people danced in concentric rings around the bima. Some carried Torah scrolls, adorned in silver crowns and velvet finery. Others carried their small children on their shoulders. As one song ended, another one caught on, and no one wanted to stop. Observing the action was a girl name Rachel, one of a group of teenage girls who were guests at the home of Rabbi Benzion Klatzko. Dressed in her fashionable best, she watched the frenetic scene with glee; this was an experience unlike any she had encountered thus far in Judaism. To Rachel, the spirit of the night was an injection of life itself, a salve for her ailing soul. All at once, Rachel snapped into sharp focus. Their host, Rabbi Klatzko, stood up on a chair in front of the bima, clutching a miniature Torah scroll in his hands. He had a story to tell, and the men, women and children packed into the shul were eager to hear it. Rachel strained to hear every word of the tale, for she knew that it would speak to her. “Every week, in my home, I have the privilege of hosting about 30 to 40 people for Shabbos meals. Most of them are college students who are Jewish but have never had the chance to experience a Shabbos. They come from all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of places across the country, and they join together at my home and get a taste of what Shabbos is about. “The only thing is, many of them are uncomfortable about going to a traditional shul. They’d rather stay at my house and wait until I come home. The drawback to that is that they never have the chance to see the beauty of a real Shabbos davening. So I decided that the best thing to do would be to buy my own Torah scroll and ark for my living room. That way, I could have the davening at home, and they could take part in it and still feel comfortable. Plus, it would give many of them a chance for an aliyah, some who haven’t had one since their bar mitzvah. And there are those that didn’t even have a bar mitz-

The Lost Torah Scroll vah and have never been called up to the Torah in their lives. “The question was, how would I ever find a kosher Torah scroll at a decent price? And an ark would also be

thing off, and the Torah scroll was the only thing they kept. It had been sitting in his closet unused for 50 years, and now he felt it was time to sell that as well.

a big investment. So it seemed that, short of a miracle, my idea would be impossible to pull off. However, God doesn’t just perform miracles for you. You have to do your part and hope that He will take care of the rest.

“Although he wanted quite a bit of money for it and the price was a bit steep for me, I told him that I would like to take a look at it. He agreed to come to my home to show me the Torah.

now g-d gave the torah a home and would hopefully brIng thIs lonely jew back In the near future as well. “So I opened up the papers and looked around to see if anyone had a Torah scroll for sale. And believe it or not, someone did. I immediately called the number and on the other end of the phone was an elderly man who said he had a very small Torah scroll that he was selling. It was 11 inches tall. “I asked him where he got it, and he told me that his father had been a rabbi of a shul in the Catskills which eventually died out. They auctioned every-

“A few days later Mr. Foreman came. He showed me a beautiful Torah scroll – over 200 years old but in perfect condition. He asked me why I needed it, and I explained about my Shabbos guests and my idea to enable them to daven at my home, where they would be comfortable. “He stared at me for a moment seeming very moved by the idea that this Torah would help people come closer to Judaism. All of a sudden, he

started crying – I mean really crying with tears streaming down his face. I was trying to get him to talk, but he literally couldn’t get any words out. Finally, he explained. He had drifted away from Judaism and married a Buddhist woman. This Torah scroll was his only connection, and at this point, he felt so cut off that he thought he might as well sell it. But when he found out that this Torah would help reconnect people to Judaism, he wanted to give it to me as a gift. In this way, he felt he would perhaps have the merit to be reconnected too and find his way home at last. “I didn’t know what to say, but I certainly appreciated his incredible gift. I realized that this was a Torah that had been basically homeless for the past 50 years. There was no one to read it, hold it or keep it properly, and now G-d gave the Torah a home, and would hopefully bring this lonely Jew back in the near future as well. “Now, what about an ark? That’s a story of its own. I found an online ad for an old Jewish artifact, a Jewish chest. The sellers weren’t Jewish, but they had bought it from a priest who told them it was of Jewish origin. “When I opened the online pictures of the chest, I saw before me what seemed to be a beautifully crafted ark. It was small, so it wouldn’t be able to hold a regular sized Torah, but would be perfect for the Torah we had. But when I viewed a picture of the top of the ark, I almost fainted. There was a large cross attached to it. All of a sudden, I was not at all sure that this was an item of Jewish origin. “Suddenly I noticed a small plaque at the bottom of it. I asked the sellers to send me a photo of the plaque which appeared to have Hebrew writing on it. They sent me a picture where there was a clear inscription in Hebrew that said, ‘Behold, the guardian of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers’ (Psalms 121), which proved that the item must be Jewish. The cross upon closer examination, they said, was a separate piece that had been attached. I realized that the priest who bought this ark must have made that addition. I was deeply moved, and was certain that the hand of G-d was clearly guiding me. “I bought the ark and had it deliv-

joicing. It was where it belonged, in the center of it all Later that night, Rabbi Klatzko brought the Torah home and secured it inside the ark in his living room. To Rachel, it was not just the sense of tranquility and warmth that Rachel relished. It was the awesome, indescribable feeling of this unique Torah scroll. The meal ended late, and at last, the

There, she spoke her heart to G-d, praying that the sweetness of this home would be hers, in her own life, some day. These were the first prayers her lips had uttered for many years. The bitterness of her own family home – the constant fighting, the blame and anger, the storm clouds that threatened to blow through the front door at any moment – had acted like a razor-sharp

“my dear, holy torah scroll, you know what It’s lIke to be neglected. you know how It feels to lIve wIth people who don’t see the beauty In you.”

contented but exhausted group headed to their rooms for a night’s sleep. Rachel, lay in bed, eyes wide open, with the sound of her heart beating in her ears. She waited a long time, perhaps an hour or more, until she was certain that no one in the house remained awake. She slipped out of bed and tiptoed into the living room. There stood the ark, as if it had been waiting for her.

wire-cutter, severing her connection to G-d. Here at the Klatzko’s home, she could feel the connection being mended; the power was sputtering back into her being, and once again beginning to flow. Recalling the Torah scroll’s exile, she thought of herself. “My dear, holy Torah scroll, you know what it’s like to be neglected. You know how it feels

Daven For Me matches up people in need of the same type of tefilos, to say Tehilim for each other. It was founded based on the Talmudic dictum:

Just imagine the impact in Shamayim when “Daven For Me and I’ll Daven For You” tefilos collectively storm the heavens! Can any tefilos be more powerful than when we set aside our own worries and offer tefilos paired with love and compassion, on behalf of a fellow Jew who awaits a similar yeshua.

to live with people who don’t see the beauty in you and don’t understand what you are worth. I’ve lived that way my whole life, but you’ve lived like that so much longer. Fifty whole years you stood there and no one kissed you or carried you or looked inside you to see what was there. But you’ve given me hope, because even after 50 years, look what happened! Look what a night you just had! Everyone hugged you and kissed you. Everyone wanted to dance with you. You were the star of the show. The Almighty doesn’t sleep. He keeps watch over His people, and He’s keeping watch over me. “Please, G-d, I’m begging you, may I be like this Torah scroll. I know there is still holiness in me. Please let me hold onto it, just like this Torah did. And when the time is right, bring me a husband who will honor me and love me the way a wife should be honored. Let me have a home that’s happy, and holy, and full of children and guests and kindness, just like this home. Please, G-d, find me, too, and bring me home.” Reprinted with permission from aish.com.



T The h e JJewish e w i s h Home h o m e nseptember s e p T e m b e12, r 22013 8 , 2012

ered to my home. The cross was removed and I marveled at the verse that was inscribed. I have never seen this particular verse inscribed on an ark before. And I realized that there was a message here. It was as if G-d were saying that although this ark was lost for many years, He would never forget about it. He didn’t rest until it finally was brought home to Jewish hands. “My dear friends, look at what we have here. A Torah that was neglected for so many years was finally given a home in an ark that had been used by a priest. Yet the message was clear that G-d would never give up on them. He had not forgotten about this lost ark and Torah scroll, and finally the two of them were brought together and can now be used to bring young men and woman back to their Father in Heaven as well. “This Torah has not been danced with for over 50 years, and now we have the chance to welcome it home. Let’s give it the welcome it deserves.” As if on cue, the entire shul erupted in singing and dancing. The tiny Torah scroll was in the center of it all, soaking up the overflowing love and honor it had been missing for decades. It was no longer locked away, unused and untouched on this holiday meant for re-

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