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Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
JEWISH THOUGHT The Shmuz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Sweet New Torah Treats for Rosh Hashanah. . . . . 17 The Teshuva Process through the Eyes of Psychology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 What Happens after Moshiach?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 The Fear of Elul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
COVER STORY The Origins of Tashlich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Portland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
EDUCATION Ask the Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Dr. Deb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Dear Readers, Well, it’s time to start our departure from this incredible year. What a year. On the international front, the Arab Spring has taken a sharp left and spiraled into a bunch of extremist Islamist groups competing to see who is the most “authentic” Jihadist. How bizarre that the silver lining in this conflict is that these various groups have more of a hatred for each other than for the Jewish people! This has created a begrudging understanding of the political turmoil Israeli’s have faced in the preceding months and indeed, in the previous decades. The indefatigable enemy who doesn’t want to “live and let live” and who consistently demands that the region is, “Yours or mine, no room for both,” is now exposed. Only time will tell how this will all play out. On the Israel front, Jews throughout the globe experienced the thrilling taste of Jewish unity as we rallied behind our sisters and brothers in Israel. Many articles have since been written on possible ways we can draw from this inspiration and continue this attitude even as we returned to our daily lives and differences. There was also the wave of inspiration which came along with the unpredictable success of the Iron Dome, the discovery and destruction of so many of the “terror tunnels” and the exceptional number of miracles that were documented throughout Operation Protective Edge.
For those following these recent upheavals in the media, there is fear that the recent months are a prelude to pending destruction. For the first time, Israeli intelligence has issued a strong warning about the possibility of a serious terror attack targeting Jews in Western Europe. In fact, you might say that with the power of the internet and the prevalence of modern technology, the potential for chaos is even greater than it was in the 1930’s. Deep felt concern for our future is logical but maybe misplaced. Now, for some reason we are calm. We believe this time it will be different. We have certainty that somehow it will all end well. Perhaps after centuries of Jews believing in the end of days, this belief is ingrained in our DNA so that we sense and know that the creator will deliver on his promise to show great wonders as he remembers his people and “takes each one by the hand” out of this exile. That instead of there being a caliphate which will terrorize humanity there will be a light unto the nations which will teach peace and understanding. Let us hope that that the “crowning” of our creator this Rosh Hashanah will indeed be fulfilled in its literal sense when all the nations of the world will recognize the purpose for which we were created. Wishing everyone a wonderful Shabbos and a happy healthy sweet New Year,
T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM
with the English language and uses it when appropriate and necessary. His message to the Talmidim? “Your time now in the yeshiva is very special. Make good use of it and don’t waste a moment.” The Rebbe concluded with wishing the bochurim a shana tova umesuka. In the afternoon the Rebbe visited THE CHEDER, Los Angeles’s answer to the chasiddishe parents in LA looking for an elementary school that meets their needs. The CHEDER is headed by Rav Simcha Ullman who is also hosting the Rebbe during his stay. Rav Ullman introduced the Rebbe, a descendant of the Ruzhiner Chassidishe Dynasty by retelling his experience meeting the Rebbe’s father, Rav Avrohom Yaakov Friedman zt”l , and the impression it made on him. Speaking in Yiddish, the Rebbe told them that meeting these children who are learning Torah in yiddish, so far away from large chassidishe centers, is inspiring and heartwarming. Said the Rebbe, “this time before Rosh Hashana, before the Yom Hadin, our future is uncertain. It is the tefilos of children, your tefilos that will make the difference and the scales will balance in our favor.” The children sang and then lined up to greet the Rebbe and receive some candy. On Friday morning the Rebbe davened with the talmidim of Yeshivat Yavneh. The Dean, Rabbi
Shlomo Einhorn introduced the Rebbe by relating the history of the Sadigur Dynasty and the prominence of its various Rebbes. Once again the Rebbe spoke in English and told the talmidim how impressed he was with their davening. Said the Rebbe, “we pray for the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash and that can only happen if we are united as one. Uniting as one includes the children as well.” At 11:00am, the Rebbe met with the upper grade talmidim of Toras Emes and was introduced by Rav Yaakov Krause, Dean of the Yeshiva. After divrei chizuk from the Rebbe, the talmidim lined up to greet and welcome him. Following a Shabbos of tehilos vsishbachos, the Rebbe attended seuda shlishis at the Chasiddishe Kollel, made Havdalah at the home of his host Rabbi and Rebbetzin Simcha Ullman and was the honored guest at a Melava Malka hosted by Reb Berel “Barry” and Mrs. Weiss. Sunday morning, the Rebbe davened at the Ohr Eliyahu elementary school. Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg, Principal of Ohr Eliyahu, welcomed the Rebbe and asked that he address the talmidim. The Rebbe spoke words of inspiration and encouragement and was then greeted by the talmidim who lined up to give the Rebbe “Shalom”. As the Rebbe has done so many times before in the other mekomos hatorah that he visited, the Rebbe stopped every third or fourth child to ask his name, ask some question, give a bracha and pat a cheek before he moved on to meet the next one. The Rebbe’s trip made a tremendous impression on the community and Los Angeles looks forward to future visits.
Emek Weekend Programming Unites Fathers and Sons in the Valley Community This past Shabbos, Parshas Ki Seitzei saw over sixty boys with their fathers sitting and learning in the Teichman Family Beis Midrash. The crowd diligently studied the parsha and were well prepared to win extra raffle tickets when Emek’s Rabbi Tropper asked questions. The excitement continued with raffle prizes and a delicious Kiddush generously sponsored by Rabbi and Mrs. Israel Hirsch. This community wide Father/Son learning program is off to an outstanding start. The program takes place each Shabbos at 10:45 am and includes learning, Divrei Torah from the boys, stories, prizes and treats. Additionally, there is a monthly Kiddush every Shabbos Mevarchim, the
Shabbos that precedes Rosh Chodesh. Additionally, Emek’s Sunday program began this past Sunday and also looks to be a great success with over thirty students in attendance at the first event. Every Sunday morning fathers and sons now gather from different parts of the valley. They daven together, enjoy a delicious breakfast and enjoy the perfect atmosphere that creates a father/son bonding. After breakfast the program continues with classes for both students and adults given by Rabbi Shifman, Rabbi Majeski, Rabbi Alt and Rabbi Chaiton. This program is a community event and everyone is welcome. To join the Emek family next Shab-
bos, please contact Rabbi Moshe Tropper, email@example.com. To join the Sunday breakfast event at 8:30 am at the Teichman
Family Beis Midrash, please contact Rabbi Yechiel Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
It has been an exciting week in Los Angeles since the arrival of the Sadigur Rebbe from Eretz Yisroel on Wednesday September 10, 2014. The Rebbe wasted no time in engaging first-hand in the Los Angeles Community. Having never been to the West Coast, the 6th Rebbe of Sadigur wanted to see what kind of a torah community has developed out here. Following the Rebbe, HaRav Tzvi Yisrael Moshe Friedman shlita, during his stay in Los Angeles, the experience afforded me the opportunity to hear the message the Rebbe extended to our community and hear his response to what he had seen. On Thursday morning, the Rebbe paid his first visit to Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok , a yeshiva high school that was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Sholom Tendler. HaRav Tendler, a Rosh Hayeshiva, a talmid chocham and a marbetz torah par excellence took the initiative to start a Mesivta that is constantly growing and making its mark in the Torah world. The Rebbe who spent some of his formative years in America, is comfortable
Photos: Arye D. Gordon
By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
THE JEWISH HOME
Sadigur Rebbe, Rav Tzvi Yisrael Moshe Friedman shlita, spends a week with the Los Angeles Community
THE JEWISH HOME
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
JNF National Convention held in LA By David Finnigan
The Jewish National Fund’s 2014 National Conference was held on September 12th-16th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. More than 500 members were in attendance, the largest group ever to participate. The four days of lectures and presentations allowed participants to choose from a variety of subjects. The opening plenary was on The Hollywood/Israel entertainment connection and later talks discussed ways to strengthen Israel’s global image. The panel discussion on the Hollywood-Israel connection included Howard
homecoming: “To go to Israel that is far away and actually feel like you’re home is very moving.” Former Paramount Pictures and Fox Broadcasting president Gail Berman, who brought the popular programs, “American Idol,” and, “House,” into American homes, explained that she had been shooting the TV miniseries, “Dig,” in Israel this summer although they moved production to Croatia due to Operation Protective Edge. The beautiful Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik, she said, “makes for a very nice Jerusalem double.”
Palisades Charter High School student Joel Rosenthal talking to fellow students during the teen leadership training day at the conference
Gordon, who created the Fox TV terrorism drama, “24”. Gordon had first visited Israel as a teenager but then went back as an adult to work on another show and he explained that the second visit was an unexpected
Another lecture was called, “The Negev’s Role in Israel’s Emerging Technology Market”. The Jewish National Fund is known for its massive tree-planting campaigns and that making-the-desert-bloom
approach, is expanding in Be’er Sheva in the
Negev. Be’er Sheva will be a future center of Israel’s cyber-security infrastructure. Between 20,000 and 30,000 military personnel will be moving to Be’er Sheva in the next 10 years alongside 2,000 civilian workers, all of them working on cyber-security and living in the 35,000 new apartment units that will be built. Less known is JNF’s work with 15% of Israel’s water resources and there are plans to add some 100 million cubic feet of water to the country through JNF’s Parsons Water Fund. “The JNF public image,” explained water fund Vice Chair Rob Rubin, “is still too focused on tree planting without enough emphasis being placed on the other things we do.” Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni, consul general in New York, emphasized in one breakout session that for too many supporters of Israel, “the biggest mistake we make in understanding Israeli Jewish life is that we believe it’s all about historical facts. We
should be less worried about winning debates. We must build relationships with people that matter. The vast majority of Americans are not deterred by hearing of the conflicts. Most Americans still support Israel.” Jewish teenagers from secular and religious schools came to the JNF weekend on Sunday to learn how to be better advocates for Israel and also write letter to IDF soldiers, and making blankets to send to poor people in the Negev city of Sderot. Shana Sragovicz and her friend Rony Amsalem left San Diego before 7 a.m. to get to the Beverly Hilton for seven-hour teen leadership seminar. Sragovicz is the only the frum girl at her public high school and often has to makeup work when skipping school to observe the high holidays. Next year, she said, she’s transferring to Torah High School of San Diego. The JNF’s closing session attracted large numbers of students from Maimonides Academy and YULA Girls High School who came to the Hilton’s International Ballroom to listen to Israel’s Moldovan-born Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. Liberman talked about his first job in Israel in 1978 as a porter at Ben-Gurion Airport and then went on to explain how he was able to rise up with a political career in the Israeli Cabinet as well as other Knesset posts. He explained that his journey proves that, “Israel is more America than America.” About 10 minutes into Liberman’s speech, two anti-Israel activists stood up while yelling at Liberman but they were quickly removed by security before they could unfurl a banner. The foreign minister took this all in stride and said, “I really was surprised that this provocation took so much time,” which prompted massive applause. Indeed it was on this confident high note that the 2014 JNF conference finally came to an end.
NCSY Celebrates 60 Memorable Years This past Sunday, West Coast NCSY celebrated 60 years of success with almost 200 alumni, community members and leaders at a retro club in downtown Los Angeles. Today, the organization is a vibrant youth program that is sponsored by the Orthodox Union and focusses on teen programs, outreach, shabbatons and teaching traditional Jewish lifestyle behaviors to adolescents. The evening began and ended with the feeling of family and unity. Lee Samson, founder of West Coast NCSY, addressed the crowd and shared the history of how the organization came to be established back in the late ‘60’s. Mr. Samson reminisced about the momentous occasions through the years and he generously shared many of the different experiences he had enjoyed with NCSY. Marc Rohatiner was asked to present a sentimental gift to Mr. Samson as a small
gesture of hakaros hatov for his hard work and devotion to the organization. The program ended with a memorable video highlighting the ways of the past while noting the success of NCSY today. In the video, Dr. Josh Penn, Executive Board Chairman said, “We believe in the importance of the continuity and survival of the Jewish people. And we believe the Jewish people continue to have an important role to play in the world, in their communities, and the lives of each individual person. And there is no organization, over the last 60 years that has provided that connection and context for people to make a connection the way NCSY has.” After watching the inspiring video, Dina Leeds, executive board member, shared her personal experiences with NCSY as a teen and also as a mother watching her children grow up with the group. She went on to
Marc Rohatiner presents Lee Samson a montage of memorable pictures and quotes from alumni.
mention the many ways the organization has performed valuable work in different communities. “This event was truly remarkable,” said Rabbi Effie Goldberg, West Coast Executive
Director. “Watching old friends reunite and share nostalgic memories was exhilarating. All you could see was a room full of smiles.”
At the same time, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Koslovsky are pleased to reorganize their local activities in the original location that was established after many years of fundraising by the Hertzberg’s. Shabbat and holiday meals will be available as well as accommodation and other outreach programs. India was a center for Jewish life since the destruction of the first temple but after the State of Israel was established in 1948, the majority of Jewish Indians emigrated because of the intense violence that existed in India during its separation from British rule. Jewish life today is miniscule or even nonexistent but more than 40,000 Israeli’s are estimated to visit each year and the ties between the Indian and Israeli government are strong. The sales of military equipment between the countries was estimated to have reached an astronomical $9 billion in 2009. The attack of 2008 was therefore extraordinary given that India has an excellent relationship with Israel and had no history of conflict with Jews. Jewish travelers were less concerned about facing religious antagonism and more concerned about the anti-American flavor that could be felt knife sharp in Moslem settings on Friday’s, their day of rest. Indeed, there is not even a word for “anti-Semitism” in Hindi or in the other Indian languages. Before Chabad, there were two shuls in Mumbai – The Magen David Synagogue and the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue built in 1884 by Jacob Sassoon. A visit to the Sassoon shul, a large light blue building, is a memorable visit for anyone who makes the effort and is undaunted by the complexity of locating the building. Situated behind walls, now with a security
guard at all times, the synagogue is decorated with an inordinate amount of multi colored lightbulbs, all of which are turned on for Shabbat and glow insipid colors from the rain gutters around the roof of the building. The entrance to the synagogue is impressive and grand, decorated with stone plaques that have been bequeathed by communities long gone. The Sassoon family events are the most predominant-
ly noted, not surprising given the families long standing relationship with Bombay, as the city was known at that time. On stepping inside the Indian-esque style lobby, the high ceilinged building boasts a substantial woman’s section. You must understand that the building is severely dilapidated and the few men who are praying from a siddur, will stop a woman from certain injury if she tries to make her way upstairs. A Torah scroll is rumored to be
hidden inside the ark but you cannot be too certain that this is actually so. There is, quite sadly, nothing Judaic about the experience of visiting the shul. Perhaps it is why the terrorists chose to attack the far smaller home of Chabad on 26th August 2008. It would have been shameful to their ancestors to have focused on destroying the older synagogues that exist as a relic to the past, when Bombay’s Bene Israel were peacefully absorbed into local life. Instead the terror group attacked the only Jewish group who pave a path in India for a Jewish future. It is true to say there was no meaningful or available outreach program before the Holtzberg’s arrived. Only since 2003 has Chabad established synagogues in India, in Goa and Bangalore as well as Mumbai. It is recorded that a total of 33 synagogues still remain in India but many are out of use and beyond repair. As well as the new Nariman House there are, however, others still worth a visit. The oldest remaining shul is in Cochin. Built in 1568 on the very southern tip of India, the Paradesi shul is adorned in blue with hand-painted Portuguese tiles warming the floor while the tinkling glass chandeliers from Belgium move in the sometimes breeze. It is more peaceful than a visit to the Taj Mahal. This community is the oldest recorded, perhaps as ancient as 392 CE, arriving when the first temple fell while another wave of immigrants arrived after the second temple fell and subsequent Jewish immigrants who came to escape the Spanish expulsion of 1492. India is a country with approximately 5,000 Jews melted into a sub-continent with a population of 1.2 billion people who are mostly Hindu. There is also a strong love of Buddhism, the nontheistic philosophical movement. In India spirituality is rife, often magical and usually mystical. At the same time, the Hindu ways are the antithesis of Jewish philosophy. Hindu’s create and adore images of their G-d’s which produces an infinite number of idols, often made from plaster-of-paris and costing pennies; many Indian’s will offer you a G-d for fun. Easy come, easy go. It can be a circular conversation when explaining that we believe in the oneness of G-d. “What a waste. Have a few more.” say the locals, the shopkeepers and the tour guides alike. If only a few G-d’s more could have changed the outcome of the events at Nariman House. But good things will continue to come out of the Mumbai Jewish community in spite of the sad history. Rabbi Kotlarsky, spoke on behalf of the educational arm of Chabad and explained, “Their selfless love will live on with all the people they touched.”
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Nariman House, the Chabad center in Mumbai that endured a terrorist attack six years ago, was reopened August 26th, with an investment of more than $2million. The center will not only provide a shul for travelling Jews and a home for the small local Jewish community, but it is also rebuilt with a museum that offers an education for the unknowing of the Jewish way of living and the Jewish religion. The top two floors of the six story building, will be transformed into a museum while keeping intact the bullet-ridden interiors. “The museum and memorial to the Mumbai terror attacks will be reflecting the horrors of terrorism and remembering those who have fallen as victims of terrorist activity,” said Nick Appelbaum, who is in-charge of the museum and memorial design at Nariman House.
By Ruth Judah
THE JEWISH HOME
Nariman House, Mumbai’s New Synagogue Lives On
JScreen; Understanding Risk and Preventing Genetic Disease By Ruth Judah
This week marks the first year anniversary of JScreen. JScreen is a national nonprofit organization that provides genetic screening for a panel of more than 80 diseases, 40 of which are more common in the Ashkenazi, Sephardic or Mizrahi populations. Approximately 33% of the population will be a carrier for at least one of these diseases. If a couple are both carriers of the disease, there is a strong reproductive risk that their child will face life threatening disorders. There has been little effort in the medical community to publicize and educate about the ease, availability and success of genetic screening. Yet, the reality is that with the use of a simple saliva-based home test, JScreen doctors and genetic counselors can provide an accurate and complete genetic evaluation that confirms whether a person is a genetic disease carrier. Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid is a Senior Director of JScreen and she explained, “With JScreen, people are educated online
at JScreen.org, register for a screening kit, collect their saliva sample at home, and send their kit to the lab. The test results are made available three weeks later and for a total cost of $99 with medical insurance. This enables young couples, or those looking to extend their family, to easily and accurately find out whether they are carriers of genetic disease. Usually, there is no sign that someone is a carrier because other family members have not married carriers and the resulting children are therefore not affected with genetic disorders. Importantly, each sibling of a carrier has a 50% chance of carrying the same disease gene and other family members are also at risk. .” She explained that the JScreen program provides the results and if necessary, counselling and a range of other services. Although many diseases are more commonly found in the Jewish community, they are also found in the wider population. Some of the most common diseases include
Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The Dor Yeshorim genetic screening program has been servicing the orthodox Jewish community since the early 1980’s and uses a blood test to test for ten or more of the most common genetic diseases that are predominately found in the Ashkenazi world. JScreen is building its reputation on testing for a broader number of diseases and with a simpler test procedure. The organization is funded by the Marcus Foundation, which is the creation of Bernie Marcus, whose parents were Jewish Russian immigrants. Marcus cofounded Home Depot and he is one of the largest charitable donors in America today. Other individual groups are now involved in the funding as well. The Marcus Foundation chose to become involved with JScreen when they became aware of a 2012 study of 1400 young Jewish adults that concluded 76% of those interviewed were not aware
of the need for screening. JScreen has serviced more than 2000 requests for screening in its first year, from 38 states in America. This coming year they anticipate the number will be far greater as their service is becoming more widely known. This is the only national at-home gene screen program and many doctors who have written the prescription that allows for the test, are henceforth suggesting the service for their patients prior to pregnancy. The medical component of the program has been established with Emory University and all testing is now performed using a new sequencing technology that ensures very high accuracy in the results. As Rosh Hashanah approaches, Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid added, “We all want to be written in the book of life. With quality genetic screening we can help promote quality of life in our children and grandchildren.”
Walk4Friendship LA in Purple By Berenice Famili
Clad in “Walk With Your Heart” purple shirts, Friendship Circle families from all Jewish backgrounds, unaffiliated and observant, accompanied by teen volunteers from over 58 schools, gathered in attendance for the 5th annual Walk4Friendship LA on September 14th. The 3k walk and festival raised beneficial funds and was successful in building community awareness for Friendship Circle of Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that provides programs and support to children with special needs and their families. The organization raised $158,000 prior to the event and money is still coming in. Development Director, Gail Rollman remarked, “I am thrilled with the collaborative fundraising efforts of our volunteers, families and donors. We are extremely close to reaching our goal of $175,000 because of the generosity of those who believe in the work we do in the community. It is an honor to be part of such a dedicated staff and incredible organization.” The Sunday event kicked off with an inspirational opening ceremony. The most unforgettable moment during the ceremony was when teen volunteers discussed the unbreakable bonds they had formed with their special need buddies. Milken Community High School Junior, Melissa Simon said in her speech, “My buddy’s positive attitude has taught me to appreciate life and always keep going, no matter what obstruction might be present. The love and joy that Liza and I share together is a feeling I want other children with special needs to experience.” The DJ played “The Macarena” and DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide” pumped up the
crowd before the crowd left on the walk. Later, the post-walk celebration was set up in a way that fulfilled every little kid’s dream come true. With Rancho Park as the backdrop, the festival was designed like a giant carnival filled with a plethora of tents and endless fun activities, including train rides, rock wall climbing, a puppy party, a toddler play area, a mobile mural lab and other sensory sensations. What made the event even more special was the incorporation of the Rosh Hashana fair with a photo booth section that allowed participants to make Rosh Hashana cards. Every aspect of the event flowed seamlessly while live music played and a Kosher BBQ by Abba’s was served. The ultimate beauty of this empowering event was the positive feeling of unity as everyone came together to support an organization that undeniably does great work.
Yitz Epstein Photography
THE JEWISH HOME
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
To learn more about how you can become a volunteer or to support Friendship Circle, please call 310.280.0955 or email email@example.com
By N. Aaron Troodler
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed his efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran in order to keep the Iranian
government honest and curtail its illicit enrichment program. “Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon,” said Senator Menendez. Senator Menendez also spoke about his staunch support for the State of Israel. “I believe that Israel has the right to defend itself, just like any other country in the world,” he said. “I will continue working to keep Israel safe and secure.” The Senator decried Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ marriage to the terrorist group Hamas and noted that he is exploring the imposition of financial consequences in response to the PA’s actions. Referring to his feelings about the BDS movement, Senator Menendez made his position extremely clear. “Any talk about boycotts of Israel are condemnable by me,” he said. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was unequivocal in conveying his sentiments about a nuclear Iran. “We cannot look at Iran in a vacuum,” he said. “It’s not just about nuclear weapons; they pose threats all over the region.” “Iran remains the single greatest threat as a nation, as far as I am concerned,” added Senator McCain. Senator McCain also expressed his strong support for Israel and noted his disappointment in the European reaction to the conflict in Gaza. “We’re seeing neo-fascist activity in Europe,” he said. In addition, Senator McCain spent some time discussing ISIS and the threat that ISIS poses to the United States and Israel. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, emphatically stated that, “[t]here is no moral equivalency between what Israel was doing to protect innocent lives and what Hamas was doing to kill innocent lives.” Senator Cardin told the Young Israel leaders that he wants the United Nations to investigate Hamas’ actions and stop focusing all of its attention on Israel.
Noting that, “Iran does not want to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions,” Senator Cardin declared that Israel is absolutely right to say that they have no confidence in Iran. On the issue of sanctions against Iran, the Senator noted that sanctions brought Iran to the table. “They are critically important and they must be strengthened,” he said. “We need to keep the pressure on Iran.” Senator Cardin also discussed the recent rise in anti-Semitism around the world. “There are governments that are encouraging anti-Semitism and governments that are supporting anti-Semitism and that’s very scary,” he said. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship and noted that the recent situation in Gaza is exactly why the U.S.-Israel relationship must grow even stronger. “I feel a natural affinity and connection to the State of Israel,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “I will always voice my sup-
batting ISIS. “They need to tell the Muslim world that this is not Islam; its savagery,” he said. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) discussed the issue of Iran and talked about the ramifications of a nuclear-armed Iran. “You get terrorism with impunity from Iran,” he said. Congressman Sherman also offered his thoughts on Hamas’ actions during its latest conflict with Israel. “Hamas’ goal is the maximum number of deaths on either side,” he said. “They ask, how many funerals can we throw? Body bag counting is not a moral substitute for sound analysis.” “Every rocket fired by Hamas at an Israeli city is a separate war crime,” said Congressman Sherman. The Young Israel mission participants were also visited by Rep. Brad Schneider (DIL), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and long-term activist within the Chicago Jewish community, who discussed the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel. “Congress stands together with a sin-
port for Israel’s right to defend itself.” The Congresswoman denounced Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields in an attempt to have the world condemn Israel. “Israel warned people in Gaza to get out; Hamas ordered them to stay,” she said. “We need to show Israel’s enemies that the United States stands steadfast with Israel and our support for Israel is strong and unwavering,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “As long as America is strong, Israel will be strong.” The National Council of Young Israel also heard from Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) about the terrorist group ISIS in advance of President Obama’s address to the nation about ISIS that was to take place later that evening. “ISIS is a direct threat to U.S. national security,” said Congressman Engel. “If we don’t get them, they will get us.” Congressman Schiff noted the important role that Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait can play in com-
gle voice for support for Israel,” said Congressman Schneider. “We need to hold the Palestinian Authority and Hamas accountable,” he added. On the issue of Israel’s security, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) told the Young Israel mission that, “Israel has the right to defend itself.” Referring to Iran, Congressman Salmon said, “[w]e need to eliminate the possibility of developing a nuclear weapon in Iran – to me, that’s non-negotiable.” “In light of the numerous challenges facing the State of Israel and Jewish communities across the globe, it is critical that the American Jewish community make its concerns known on Capitol Hill and take steps to ensure that our voices are heard by the decision-makers in our nation’s capital,” said NCYI Chairman of the Board Bob Levi. “The National Council of Young Israel is greatly appreciative to the Obama administration and the Members of Congress for meeting with us and engaging in an honest and constructive dialogue on the issues that matter most to our constituents and our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel.”
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In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, during which Hamas terrorists launched indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israel and Israel endured unwarranted criticism from many in the international community, the state of the U.S.-Israel relationship is as important as ever before. As the diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions continue, it is essential that Israel’s legitimate concerns about its safety and security be duly addressed. With global anti-Semitism increasing at a rapid and frightening pace, the effort to combat the hatred is absolutely vital. It was against that backdrop that the National Council of Young Israel’s (NCYI) Executive Board traveled to the nation’s capital on September 10, 2014 for its Leadership Mission to Washington, DC. Hailing from California, Florida, and various cities up and down the East Coast, the Young Israel leaders spent the day interacting with White House officials and key lawmakers in Congress. Participants in the mission included NCYI President Farley Weiss, Chairman of the Board Bob Levi, 1st Vice President Yosef Poplack, Recording Secretary Bea Seinuk-Ackerman, and Associate Vice Presidents Asher Miller, Stanley Treitel, and Baila Weiss. The day began with a special White House briefing that was organized by Matt Nosanchuk, Director of Outreach for the National Security Council and the Obama administration’s liaison to the Jewish community, at which time the Young Israel mission participants were updated on a number of important issues. Two senior staff members from President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), Maher Bitar, Director for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs at the NSC, and Nitin Chadda, Director for Iran at the NSC, provided timely information relating to Israel’s security needs in the wake of Hamas’ attacks on Israeli citizens, continuing peace discussions between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, the status of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear capabilities, the troubling situation with regard to Turkey, and the emergent threat posed by ISIL. In addition, Stacy Bernard Davis, Senior Advisor for the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. Department of State, made a presentation about government-to-government discussions relating to the shocking rise in anti-Semitic attacks on European Jewish communities, as well as engagement with the Jewish communities themselves. The Young Israel mission participants then traveled to the U.S. Capitol, where they were addressed by Senators and Representatives that play a formative role in constructing legislation to enhance the relationship between the United States and the State of Israel.
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Young Israel Goes To Washington, DC
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Avinu Malkeinu; An Inspiring Evening in Preparation for Rosh Hashana By Yehudis Litvak
About five hundred men and women gathered at the beautiful Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on Sunday night to be inspired at the Avinu Malkeinu event brought to Los Angeles by Ohr Naava Women’s Torah Center of Brooklyn, NY. Ohr Naava started as a nightly program of activities for post-seminary women who were looking for positive and productive ways to enjoy their free time. Over the years, it morphed into a center for women’s issues, where any girl or woman can turn for support and inspiration. Currently, Ohr Naava operates a high school for girls who do not fit into the Bais Yaakov system, often due to family or personal circumstances. It provides a home for the girls, both physically, in its dorm, and emotionally, by maintaining a very high staff to student ratio that allows the girls to form close re-
lationships with the staff members. Over the years, the school has witnessed many success stories as its students have moved on to earn college degrees and build their own homes. Ohr Naava also operates a year and a half long seminary program, where the girls can study limudei kodesh in the morning and earn a Bachelor’s degree in the afternoon. The students come from all over the world, including Los Angeles. Another program run by Ohr Naava that has made its way to Los Angeles is Gal Zone, intended to inspire and connect teenage girls. It was brought to Los Angeles by Sarit Rubenstein who was involved with Ohr Naava in New York before her move to Los Angeles. The Avinu Malkeinu events have a dual purpose. While they serve as fundraisers to support Ohr Naava programs they are also intended to raise the kedusha and provide inspiration to the world. The Los Angeles
event, held annually for the fourth time, is one of twelve centers that are located throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel. It was organized by Avivit Mikhli, director of program development at Ohr Naava, who was assisted locally by Rochel Haberman. The worldwide events were dedicated in memory of Shlomo Zakheim, z”l, a Flatbush businessman who passed away last year. Mr. Zakheim was a philanthropist who supported many Torah institutions, a baal chesed who took great care of every little detail for anyone in need, a Hatzalah volunteer, and a husband and father dedicated to his family. The Los Angeles event was also dedicated in memory of Avigail Rechnitz, a”h. Mrs. Rechnitz, who was the head of local Bikur Cholim, was instrumental in bringing Avinu Malkeinu to Los Angeles four years ago. The emcee of the evening, Yanky Elephant, executive director of Ohr Naava, introduced the world renowned speakers, Charlie Harary and Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein. Mr. Harary, a leading social entrepreneur and Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Syms School of Business in Yeshiva University, described the court case conducted in Heaven on Rosh Hashana, where the prosecutor, the Satan, brings various accusations against us. He asked why we are not given an opportunity to defend ourselves. Mr Harary explained that there are different ways in which G-d relates to us; through Creation and with strict justice, where there is law and order and everything makes sense, and in a higher way, through Providence, which contains mercy and which we cannot understand. We spend much of our lives trying to make
us. Whenever we are judgmental towards others we bring more strict justice into the world and thus seal our ultimate fate.
Rabbi Wallerstein, the founder and director of Ohr Naava, spoke about the value of time. He said that being created in
There is only one person who can save us from a harsh judgment, and that is Avraham Avinu. Avraham did not look for order when G-d commanded him to sacrifice Yitzchak, even though this command made no sense and invalidated all of his life’s work. He was ready to follow through because the only thing that mattered to him was G-d’s will. It was not about him, but about G-d. That is why on Rosh Hashana, when we blow the shofar, which represents the ram that Avraham sacrificed in place of Yitzchak, the Satan loses his power without our speaking any words in our defense. Rosh Hashana is not about us, but about G-d, and our job on Rosh Hashana is to
sense of this, looking for explanations of why things happen, especially when they are upsetting. But in searching for order we inadvertently invite strict justice, and thus give power to the Satan to accuse
make G-d King over our lives. Mr. Harary urged everyone to let go of the “me” when we stand before G-d on Rosh Hashana so that our lives will become worthy of the book of life.
the image of G-d means that we are similar to G-d, and just as G-d is One so is each individual person. We are all unique, with irreplaceable potential and a single responsibility. Wasted time is irretrievable because no one else can possibly achieve what we could have accomplished with that time. Rabbi Wallerstein said that this Rosh Hashana we will face a new din that the previous generations didn’t have because of the time we have wasted on various technology. Time is our most valuable commodity, and it is by giving time to others – our spouses and our children -- that we show we truly care. He encouraged everyone to give more time to those we love, to take time to get to know ourselves, and to invest time in developing our relationship with G-d. When we show G-d that we are serious about using our time wisely then we can ask Him for more time and for another year. Rabbi Wallerstein also spoke about the importance of gratitude and suggested keeping a “sefer zichronos” where we keep daily notes of all the positive things other people have done for us. Both speakers concluded with blessings for the upcoming new year. The audience came away uplifted and better prepared for Rosh Hashana. The recordings of some of the Avinu Malkeinu events, for those who were unable to attend, are available through the Ohr Naava website at http://www.ohrnaava.com.
11 THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
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83 R’ Ben Tzion Shafier
Parshas Nitzavim “It is not in the heavens for you to say, ‘Who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us so that we can listen to it and perform it?’. . . Rather the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and your heart, to perform it.” – Devarim 30:12-14
An Amazing Feat of Strength In 1997, in Tallahassee, Florida,
what does that say about the rest of my life? Have I wasted it?” After further discussion, Dr. Garfield asked her what she would like to do. She explained that she had never had the opportunity to further her education after high school. So after some
“IF I WAS ABLE TO DO THIS, WHEN I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS POSSIBLE, WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE REST OF MY LIFE?”
ground, and freed the boy – a feat of amazing strength. The unusual part of the story is that the hero, the one who lifted the car, was not a trained emergency professional or some big, burly fireman; she was the boy’s 63-year-old grandmother who had never before lifted anything heavier than a bag of dog food. The story became a media sensation and Dr. Charles Garfield, the author of a book of fantastic sports feats entitled Peak Performance, decided he wanted to interview her. However, she wasn’t interested in talking to him. She wouldn’t return his calls, and she did everything she could to avoid discussing the event. Finally, Dr. Garfield, being a convincing fellow, got her to agree to a meeting, and the reason she was reluctant to discuss the act turned out to be almost as amazing as the event itself. During the discussion, the grandmother said she didn’t like to talk about the incident because it challenged her beliefs about what she could and could not do — about what was possible. “If I was able to do this, when I didn’t think it was possible,
coaching, Mrs. Laura Shultz began college at the age of 63. She received her degree and then went on to teach science in a community college. Our Attitude Determines our Altitude This story is illustrative of a very human tendency. Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us. If I were smarter, I would have. . . If I were more talented, I could have. . . but I just can’t do it. Yet some people, who aren’t any more talented, who weren’t given all the breaks, just seem to plow through and somehow make the seemingly impossible happen. It almost seems that their attitude is their single greatest asset.
This seems to be the answer to this Rashi. The Torah isn’t telling us that we need to sprout wings and fly. Rather, this is a mashal for the drive that a person must have to succeed. If a person’s attitude is: “Whatever it takes. No mountain is too high, no obstacle too difficult. If it were up in the heavens, I would fly there,” then he will reach heights. However, if that enthusiasm is lacking, no matter how close the Torah is, he will not acquire it. You don’t need to fly to the skies, but you need be ready to. Once that drive is in place, nothing can stop you. No matter what a person’s natural capacity and life circumstances, if he sets his goal as the attainment of Torah, Hashem will help so that he can reach the stars. Is the journey difficult? While there are many challenges along the way, the ways of the Torah are pleasant, and a Jew has unique aptitude to absorb it. The only difficult part is setting our sights high enough and holding the course. However, if a person sets out with a drive to do whatever it takes, even if it means “flying to the heavens,” then Hashem helps, and that person can reach his personal level of greatness on par with the greatest of Torah giants. Get the new Shmuz APP! Access hundreds of audio, videos, and articles from the Shmuz. Simply go to the App store, or Google Play, and search for “TheShmuz” or go to www.theShmuz.com.
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After many grave warnings against leaving the ways of the Torah, Moshe Rabbeinu tells Klal Yisroel that learning and keeping the Torah is within easy grasp of each of us. “Acquiring it doesn’t require wings to fly to the heavens, and studying it doesn’t demand crossing oceans.” Rather, Torah is well within the reach of each person. Rashi, in commenting on the words, “It is not in the heavens,” adds the explanation: “For if it were in the heavens, you would be obligated to go up after it to learn it.” This Rashi is difficult to understand. Rashi’s role in Chumash is to clarify what the Torah means. As an aid to understanding, he may use examples and parables, but the goal is always to explain the pshat — the straightforward meaning of the posuk. Not only doesn’t this comment help us understand what the Torah is telling us—it isn’t true. Since time immemorial man has dreamed about flying, but man cannot sprout wings and fly. How can the Torah expect the impossible from us? And even more, this explanation is the opposite of what the Torah is trying to tell us. The entire paragraph outlines how close the Torah is and how easy it is to attain it. What is Rashi trying to teach us with his comment, “If it were in the heavens, you would be obligated to go up after it to learn it?” The answer to this can best be understood with a mashal:
a young boy was involved in an accident, and ended up being pinned under the wheel of a car. Rescuers couldn’t help him; he was trapped. An onlooker, seeing the danger, rushed over, and almost without thinking, reached for the fender of the car, lifted it off the
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Sweet New Torah Treats for Rosh Hashanah Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
I Life is a Battlefield The Koidenover Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Tzvi Ehrlich (Nachalei Orah Journal, #182) explains "“"כי תצא למלחמהWhen you got out to battle…” metaphorically. We are all creatures of habit. We wake up and go about our morning routines in the same way each and every day. Those patterns and recurring behaviors are helpful when the activities that we repeat are beneficial. For example, praying each day is wonderful and healing. But what if the habits and behaviors that are so much part of our routine no longer seem to be helping us? What about the fact that our impulse to talk negatively about somebody else is so ingrained in our daily dialogue that we can’t seem to shake it? Says the Koidenover Rebbe, we need to live life at war. We need to live in a state of dissatisfaction with our situation. We need to be moved by the impulse to fight over and over again for what we know to be right. “Even 30 times a day.” Even if we fall we need to get up and prepare ourselves like a soldier so we can perform our avodah, our holy service. In this Yomim Noraim season the Koidenover Rebbe’s words are emboldening. Gird yourself and fight the good fight because changing an unwanted behavior is war. II You Gotta Start Somewhere The iconic Chassidic figure, Rav Zushya of Anipoli Zt”L, brother of Noam Elimelech, always understood that change is hard. He explained that once we make a true accounting of where we stand with our deeds and sins we will shudder when thinking about the delta we need to cross as we travel from where we are to where we should be. The solving of a misdeed and the prospect of doing teshuva may be too overwhelming. In order to make it more manageable for us we must start simply with the “beginning teshuva”. What is the “beginning of teshuva”? Teshu-
III The Mitzvah to Delete a Mitzvah Perhaps the cornerstone mitzvah of this time of the year is the mitzvah of teshuvah, repentance. The Ramban writes that the source for this mitzvah is Devarim 30:11. The wording of the Rambam (Teshuvah, 1:1), however, seems to indicate that teshuvah is not an independent mitzvah. The Minchas Chinuch feels that the Rambam assumes teshuvah to be part of the mitzvah of viduy – confession. Other Achronim suggest that the Rambam doesn’t list teshuvah independently because it is a component of every mitzvah. There is something very fascinating about this mitzvah. If teshuvah is adhered to in its ideal sense then effectively we could delete this mitzvah. Let me explain. If I perform the mitzvah of eating matzah, no matter how well I fulfill this mitzvah the opportunity will return the following year. That is true, albeit with variation, for every mitzvah. Nevertheless, when it comes to the mitzvah of teshuvah the irony is that the better I am at completely repairing what I did wrong, the less teshuvah will need to be done. With enough work and with enough strength, hypothetically, we can actually remove a mitzvah from our list. Yes, it is true that nobody is perfect on this Earth, but I find it fascinating that teshuvah is the singular mitzvah which is designed to be phased out. On one hand, there is no question here. It could simply be that G-d would create one mitzvah in which He challenges us to perfect to such a level that there is no need for it. But it strikes me that this is not the case. Why would all 612 mitzvahs have one design while teshuvah stands as an outlier? We can suggest that there are two aspects to teshuvah – –עזיבת החטאleaving the sin behind us and –קרבת אלוקיםcoming close to G-d. If teshuvah is translated as “repentance”
or the making right of something we did wrong, then our question will still stand. But if teshuvah is true to the etymology of its word, “return”, then teshuvah is marked by our connecting with Hashem. And if the defining marker is coming close to our Maker then there is no end to this mitzvah. IV Behind a Cage Many of the classic Elul mussar schmoozen make use of the homily presented by the Shelah. The Shelah cites the verse in Amos (3:8) – אריה “ –ישאג מי לא יראThe lion roars, who will not fear?”. He takes the word א'ר'י'הand breaks it down into ה'ושענה ,י'ום כיפור ,ר'אש השנה ,א'לול רבה, the 4 main phases of renewal during this time. The message is that with such an intense influence of holiness and opportunity who cannot help but awaken with reverence and passion similar to hearing the call of the lion. Rav Elyashiv Zt”L takes this thought one step further. “The lion roars, who will not fear.” That pasuk is meant to be read rhetorically. However, adds Rav Elyashiv, in our generation it can be read as a question with an answer: “The lion roars, who will not fear?” The answer is, “a person who hears the lion roar at a zoo.” At a zoo the majestic scream of the lion causes us to tremble a little less because the lion is locked behind a cage. Rav Elyashiv says that in our modern world we have locked our hearts behind a cage of skepticism, coldness, and distance. When the lion roars we don’t tremble like we should. What a powerful call initiated by Rav Elyashiv. Unlock and unhinge our hearts from our religious experiences. Stale Judaism has no place on Rosh Hashanah. Awaken and arise! V And a Story I’d like to close with a fantastic story buried in the great work Derech HaMelech by Rav Kalonymous Kalman Shapiro of Piaseczna (p.313, translation David Rovan). I will leave the story open ended. Find your own meaning within: Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled over many lands and peoples. Some of them were close to his castle and some were on lands that were not away. There was one group of people who lived on distant mountains. They were known to be wild and barbaric. These people ate weird and foul foods and dressed in strange rags with animal hides. They were known to be dangerous but the king gathered his noblemen together and declared, “One of you must go to the wild people and rule them in my name.” All the noblemen shook their heads and refused. They were too afraid to go. Finally the king turned to the Prince, his beloved son. “Maybe you will go and be the new ruler of the wild people?” he asked. “Yes, father,” answered the son, “I will go but with two conditions. You must help me whenever I need assistance and if I really get into trouble, you must come in person.” “By all means!” agreed the King. “Yes! I promise to help you.” So, the king’s son travelled to the distant land of the wild people. At first, it was very difficult for him. Their food was vulgar and not at all like the delicacies he ate in the King’s palace. The clothing was so strange and rough, not at all like the beautiful, soft clothing he had worn in his father’s court. Despite this, as time passed he
slowly grew used to the ways of the wild people. And, of course, he wrote letters to his father, reporting on his progress and telling him how much he missed him. As time went one, he slowly managed to take charge of this strange people and their distant lands. However, the prince then began to forget the language he had spoken in the palace. Soon, he could not remember the courtly language at all and that is when the trouble began. Even though the prince was a good man, he had enemies. Whenever he wrote a letter to the King in the language of the wild people, his enemies would open them before they were sent to the king. The enemies changed the contents and erased the sentences about the prince missing his father, the king. Once or twice, the prince succeeded in convincing his father to come and inspect the land of the wild people. “I hope he will come and we will spend some time together,” said the prince. The king made the long journey and hoped to see his son, but the enemies made sure that the son would be somewhere else on official business so he would miss the visit of his father, the king. The son became very sad. He had no idea what his enemies were doing to him, but he did know that he wanted to see his father and he was very upset that he could not remember the language of the palace and how the delicious food tasted or how the beautiful clothes felt. Most of all, he missed his father. One day, he was sitting in his office all alone and feeling very sad, when he remembered that his father had given him something very special. “When you are in trouble,” said the king to his son, the prince, before he left, “and you need me to come in a hurry, just take out this magical bell. Ring the bell loudly and I will come.” The prince jumped out of his chair and ran to the cupboard and started to search for the magical bell. He grabbed fists full of papers and threw them over his shoulders as he dug deeper and deeper into all of the things stored in the cupboard. Finally, he found the bag with the magic bell. He took it out and with a big smile on his face and a tear in his eye, he rang the bell. The prince was happy that he had finally rung the bell, but he was still sad that the king was so far away. Feeling hopeless, he sat down and buried his head in his hands. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder and when he looked up, he saw the king. The magic had worked and his father had come to visit him. The king sat down at the table next to his son and the prince began to explain why he rang the bell. “I was not in any real danger, but I missed you so much. I was hoping that you would come often to visit me. I even invited you many times but you did not come.” Then the prince began to cry. The king explained to his son how the wild people had changed his letters and even when he did come, the wild people kept the prince away from him. This brought his son to tears again. “Father, I really don’t care that I have to eat their terrible food or dress in their strange clothes. I am here to work for you, my father, my king. But I am so unhappy because you are so far away from me.” The king gave his son a hug and promised to visit his son more often. And so the king returned to his palace and his son, the prince, went happily back to work.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Rosh Hashanah is a time of tremendous renewal and creativity (see Rav Shmuel Auerbach, Ohel Rachel – Elul, p.34). The potential for innovation and great paradigm shifts is magnified as Elul progresses. We need this powerful capability for rejuvenation so that we can fulfill the primary function of the Shofar according to the Rambam (Teshuva, 3:4): “Even though the Shofar blowing is mandated by the Torah, it is also hinted in the matter of ‘wake up you sleepers from your slumber.’” Our personal attachment to Judaism needs to be alive and vibrant and what better way to arouse our spirituality than to share some of the new insights into the High Holidays that have been emerging over the last few months?
va in Hebrew is spelled 'ת'ש'ו'ב'ה. Start with the beginning = 'ת' ש' ו. Those letters stand for ת'מים –תיהי עם ה' אלוקיךyou should be sincere with Hashem. ש'ויתי ה' לנגדי תמיד- I will place G-d in front of me constantly. –ו'אהבת לרעך כמוך and you should love your neighbor as yourself. The process of returning to G-d must start somewhere. Rav Zushya argues that the best place to start is with the core tenets of our relationship with G-d: #1 – sincerity in our relationship with Hashem. Be honest and be real. Don’t turn our Judaism into shtick. #2 – placing G-d in front means that in all of my troubles and triumphs, G-d is a part of my conscious being. Rebbe Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl Zt”L was known for his piety and profound prayers. One day his students overheard his prayer “G-d, please, the housekeeper that assists my wife, please put in her mind not to leave us.” Upon hearing this his students turned to him and asked, “This is what the great master prays for?” The Rebbe’s answer is so simple and so utterly earth shaking: “And to whom else should I turn to if not G-d?” (V’ani Tefilah by Rav Moshe Wolfson, p.4). And finally, #3 – to love your neighbor means that G-d wants our Divine repair to start with mending our relationships below. We can’t possibly be distant from our friends and family, yet be close to G-d. Judaism does not accept the vision of a prophet detached on a mountaintop. Only when we are “one people with one heart” do we deserve the Torah.
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
The Teshuva Process through the Eyes of Psychology
by Yehudis Litvak
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are unique holidays which evoke different emotions in different people. While some of us are looking forward to the influx of spiritual energy that permeates this time of year many others have negative associations with Yamim Noraim. It is not uncommon to feel consumed by guilt and shame and some people may avoid the process of teshuva altogether and experience the holidays on a superficial level, not making use of their transformative power. Here, three Los Angeles psychotherapists have addressed the question of how to experience Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in a productive and meaningful way. Debbie Summers, MA, MFTI. Debbie Summers is Rebbitzen of Anshe Emes Synagogue and is a JME certified Pre-marriage education instructor and a teacher at Bais Yaakov Los Angeles. She is also a registered therapist intern “Teshuva is an integral part of Judaism. It says that Hashem created teshuva before He created the world. Teshuva is a gift from Hashem that enables us to come closer to Him. Teshuva is often mistranslated as repentance. What it really means is to come back. We are all born pure, but through our actions we distance ourselves from our spiritual source. Teshuva is a reparative process that enables us to come back, to fix what went wrong, and to reconnect with Hashem. Fear might block us from experiencing teshuva in a positive way. We might feel that Hashem expects us to be perfect. We are afraid that we might do teshuva and then, after Yom Kippur, make another mistake. We worry that the new mistakes would discount all of our previous efforts. It is important to keep in mind that Hashem is looking for progress, not perfection. Spiritual growth is best accomplished one step at a time. It is a process that takes time. Perfection is unrealistic. We shouldn’t expect that after we do teshuva we will never make the same mistakes. There is a concept of “b’chezkas teshuva,” which can be understood as teshuva mode. It means that we are in the process of doing teshuva, and that
every day we take a step towards our goal. Hashem wants to see that we are trying, that we are in teshuva mode. When we have realistic expectations and aim to grow one step at a time it is much easier to be positive about teshuva. Another aspect of Yamim Noraim is forgiveness and letting go. It is part of teshuva to ask others to forgive us and to forgive other people who ask us to forgive them. It is something we do for ourselves so that we can move forward. We are not tolerating or condoning wrongness, but we let go of bitterness and negative resentment in order to free ourselves to move on. It is good for our relationships, and it is also very healthy for us. Guilt and shame are two different emotions that come up for some people at this time of year. Guilt is an uncomfortable feeling we experience when we do something wrong that goes against our personal values. Guilt concerns behavior, and it can be a useful guide in bein adam l’chaveiro issues. It means that our conscience is working. But there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy guilt. Healthy guilt is constructive because it stops us from doing wrong and motivates us to improve ourselves and repair the wrong. Unhealthy guilt can make you feel depressed and drained of strength, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If we feel guilty we should ask ourselves if this feeling energizes us and motivates us to action or if it paralyzes us, in which case we should try our best to avoid it. Shame is a painful emotion we experience when we feel that something is bad or wrong with us. It is not behavior-based, but has to do with seeing ourselves as tainted or defective in some way. With guilt, we can do something about it, but with shame, there is no way out. Everyone feels shame at times. We all feel that we are not perfect and have faults. But shame becomes a problem when it clings to us and accumulates. Then we have to work through it and let go of it. Some people have especially strong feelings of shame, perhaps due to negative beliefs or messages they absorbed while growing up. It is therapeutic to work through these feelings. The first step is to recognize the shame, which is sometimes masked by other feelings and behaviors, such as anger, blaming others, or withdrawal. Once recognized, it may be helpful to talk about shame with someone we trust. In a spiritual sense, teshuva is designed to ad-
be good.” Mikhla Dauer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-892-6988. Larissa Adler, M.A., LMFT Larissa Adler is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice in Beverly Hills. Mrs. Adler is passionate about helping children, adolescents and adults learn the tools they need to live happier and more effective lives. “The month of Elul invites us to set forth on a fresh path. We seek forgiveness from Hashem and the people around us in order to move forward in our lives. However, sometimes it is the fear of changing that can prevent people from moving forward. Other times they simply don’t believe they can change. They say, “This is who I am, and I’ve been this way for many years.” But we all have the ability to become a different person. Forgiveness has to start with you; you have to forgive yourself first before you can accept forgiveness from anyone else. When you can put the past behind and begin again you can move forward. You can erase all the ill feeling towards yourself and create the mental space to feel deserving of all the good things you are asking Hashem to give you in the coming year. Learning to forgive ourselves is a process. You can start small and forgive yourself for one little mistake a day – a typo,
leaving your headlights on, losing your keys. Then you can move on to more significant mistakes like losing patience with your child or spouse. When you make a mistake, call it what it is – a mistake. It doesn’t reflect on you as a person. It doesn’t need to label you as forgetful, irresponsible, or unkind. Another part of building self-love is catching something good about yourself once a day. You can take sticky notes and fill one note a day. It could be something small, like “I like my shoes,” or “I made a nice lunch today.” You can put the sticky notes in a shoe-box, or you can even post them around your home. When you are feeling down you can look at these validating notes and find something to appreciate in you. When we take this approach towards ourselves it also helps us look more favorably at other people. It trains us to see other people’s mistakes as just mistakes, and not get worked up when somebody forgets our birthday. When we train ourselves to look at others and ourselves with positive eyes it also helps us to avoid lashon hara. Slowly, our outlook changes, and we no longer experience the negative thoughts that influence us to speak lashon hara or to be upset with other people.” For a consultation please contact Mrs. Adler at email@example.com.
What Happens after Moshiach? By Rabbi Sholom Kesselman
Question: Throughout our history we have experienced a number of redemptions. There was the exodus from Egypt which led to the establishment of the land of Israel as our homeland and the building of the first Bet Hamikdash and then much later there was the redemption from Babylon which resulted in our returning to the land of Israel and the rebuilding of the second Bet Hamikdash. Both of these redemptions were temporary and were followed by the Bet Hamikdash being destroyed and us returning to a life in exile. Will the same pattern repeat itself again with the future redemption and is it possible that even after Moshiach comes we may yet again find ourselves returning to exile with our 3rd Bet Hamikdash destroyed?
Answer: This is absolutely not possible. It is clear throughout all the prophecies of the bible, that the future redemption and 3rd Bet Hamikdash will be everlasting and eternal. There cannot and will not be any future exiles after Moshiach comes, rather we will enjoy this state of freedom and redemption until the end of all time. For these reasons this redemption is remembered as the “true and complete redemption,” meaning it is forever. Sometime after Moshiach comes, the resurrection of the dead will occur. This is mentioned countless times in the prophecies about Moshaich and is also listed by Rambam in his 13 principles of faith. This way, all Jews will get to experience and be a part of the redemption, not only the generations following Moshiach’s coming. Once all the dead have come to life, it doesn’t seem logical that people will continue to die, rather from this point onwards we will live forever. In Isaiah ch. 25, he clearly states: “and death will be swallowed up forever and G-d will wipe away the tears from all faces”. This too seems to suggest that there will be no more death and all Jews (including the resurrected ones) will live on for all eternity.
In truth however there is a disagreement on this matter between Rambam (Maimonides) and Ramban (Nachmonides). Rambam maintains that eventually this entire physical world will cease to exist. It only exists because G-d created it and after 6000 years He will undo His creation and stop forming it. At this point the era of redemption and Moshiach will end and all of mankind will die. Our souls however will enter “the world to come” and continue their spiritual existence forever. Ramban however maintains that G-d will never undo His creation. The world will continue to exist forever and so will we. The “world to come” refers to the time after the resurrection of the dead and we will live in it as physical human beings (body and soul) forever. Thus according to him the era of redemption never ends and it will continue forever along with the continued existence of the world. The idea of eternal life can be extremely disturbing and seems almost impossible to comprehend. After all what is the point of living forever and wouldn’t the experience of living indefinitely become insanely boring? Perhaps the following can be suggested. Rambam writes that after Moshiach
comes, the occupation of the entire world will be exclusively focused so that we can “know G-d,” to grasp who and what G-d is. G-d is infinite and his wisdom and greatness are infinite. Thus it is never really possible to know G-d because as much as one comes to know and understand, G-d is more than that. This is why the world and life will have to continue forever, as it takes an infinite amount of time to come to “know” the infinite G-d. During this infinite amount of time we will be very busy, learning about and coming to “know” G-d. Living eternally becomes essential and we will never become bored. Furthermore, it is possible that we may not even feel the passing of time. We will be so preoccupied with “knowing” the infinite G-d that time will seem to just stand still. In an eternal world, time loses its meaning and significance. We stop measuring time and we no longer use it to shape our life. There is only the experience of living and only the present exists. May we merit the final and complete redemption speedily in our days.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
a systematic way. Begin with some of the things you’ve accomplished, what went well this year, what you’d like to do more in the coming year. Be aware of the positive, of what you did right. If something didn’t work out well it is not necessary to get upset or feel devastated. You can stay constructive and positive. My approach is cognitive, using the brain rather than emotions. You can analyze what went wrong intellectually, without getting caught up in negative emotions. Coming from a Lubavitch background, I’ve learned to approach teshuva b’simcha, in a positive way. It is a beautiful time of the year, when Hashem comes out to the field to be close to us. He is giving us an opportunity to talk to Him and connect with Him. There is time for admitting our sins, but it has to be in this context. Seeing it as negative and depressing is against chassidus, and really against Judaism. The main thing is action, and we can improve our actions. Guilt is a trick of the yetzer hara. You don’t have to buy into it. You can tell the yetzer hara, “I won’t listen to you. I’ll think positive, I’ll be objective.” It is a wonderful time, when we are given a clean slate, and we are able to talk to Hashem and achieve greater depth and connection in our relationship with Him. While it might be scary because we don’t know what Hashem has in store for us, we can think positive and believe that it will
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dress those feelings. The davening of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is a powerful way to work through shame and release it. There are two ways we connect with our prayers. We acknowledge that Hashem is our King but Hashem is also our Father Who loves us unconditionally. The minhagim of this time of the year also contain these two themes. Through blowing the shofar we recognize that we’ve done wrong. But we also recite Perek 27 of Tehillim which reinforces the message that Hashem loves us and protects us, and even if our own parents abandon us, Hashem will gather us in. So this is definitely the time to self-reflect on what we’ve done wrong and what we can improve, but at the same time, we need to remember that Hashem is our Father who loves us unconditionally and wants us to come close to Him just the way we are. And we begin saying Perek 27 in Elul, before we even started teshuva! Balancing these two themes is the key to healthy teshuva.” Debbie Summers is seeing clients at JFS Pico Robertson Counseling Center. Mikhla Dauer, Ph.D. Dr. Mikhla Dauer has a Master’s degrees in art and psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a registered board-certified art therapist. “It is important to approach teshuva in
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
The Fear of Elul
Fear is a uniquely Jewish attribute. The posuk praises people who constantly fear, “Ashrei odom mefacheid tomid” (Mishlei 28:24). The yorei Shomayim, the choreid ledvar Hashem, is never entirely relaxed. He is always fearful, wanting to ensure that he lives the proper life. The legendary Brisker gaon, Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin, was an awe-inspiring figure. It was well-known in Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah that when he davened on leil Shabbos and reached the words “lefonov na’avod beyirah vofachad,” a vein in his forehead would begin throbbing. His face would turn the color of fire and he would tremble. The people of the Holy City would avert their eyes, unable to look at the holy countenance aflame. Yet, this same very angelic figure would be overcome by awe when he approached the Kosel, barely able to articulate his tefillos because of his reverence for the sacred site. In fact, a window of his humble home faced the Kosel and the Har Habayis. He was so sensitive to the kedushah and churban evidenced by the view that he always kept that window covered, lest he catch a glimpse of the holy site and be overcome. It is said that Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, author of the Ohr Somayach and Meshech Chochmah, once encountered Reb Yehoshua Leib. He was so overcome with fright that he was unable to utter the words “Shalom Aleichem.” As fearful as the great Rav Meir Simcha was of Rav Yehoshua Leib, Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz of Kamenitz once met Rav Meir Simcha and couldn’t bring
himself to greet the gaon of Dvinsk. He explained his reluctance: “My rebbi, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, referred to the Ohr Somayach as a ‘sar haTorah’ and I should greet him as a friend?” A holy chain of fear. The reverence was transmitted through the generations, from gadol to gadol and from talmid to talmid. In our generation, when yirah has become a forgotten word and respect is all but lost, it is hard to conceive that it was not long ago that there existed such a tangible fear born out of respect. Rashi, at the beginning of this week’s parsha, offers a puzzling explanation for the juxtaposition of parshiyos (Devorim 29: 9). He quotes the Medrash which states that after Klal Yisroel heard the 98 klalos as described in Parshas Ki Savo, they were so distressed and frightened that their faces turned green. They were despondent, as they felt ill-equipped to handle all the Torah’s commandments and were mortified by the ramifications of non-observance. Moshe reassured them, saying, “Atem nitzovim hayom. Although you’ve angered Hashem numerous times over the years
penalty. Once Moshe saw that “peneihem morikos,” their faces had changed color, he understood that the klalos had achieved their desired effect and the people would behave properly. This is Jewish fear. It is not a fear that leads to despair or brokenness, but a fear that leads to Vegilu biradah, rejoicing in trembling. Tzaddikim such as Rav Yehoshua Leib, Rav Meir Simcha and Rav Boruch Ber were inspired, optimistic people. Their fear did not hold them back. It motivated them. When people talk about the mood and attitude in the great Torah centers of prewar Lithuania during the days of Elul, what they are describing is yiras Shomayim, not depression. When we hear about the women who fainted when the chazzan recited Rosh Chodesh bentching for Elul or the imagery of fish in the sea trembling, we should understand that it was not due to panic or dread, but rather reverence and awe generated by being in the Presence of Hashem. The holy fusion of fear and joy found amongst tzaddikim is an expression of
Don’t grow despondent. Don’t think the job is too difficult for you. Don’t think that you can’t overcome the nisyonos that you are faced with. - with the meraglim, the Eigel, and other sins - you are still standing here and haven’t been destroyed.” At first glance, the answer seems self-defeating. Imagine a parent warning his children that if they misbehave, they will suffer serious consequences. When the children react with fright, the parent reassures them that the threat isn’t actually that serious and then brings a proof to that effect. The Lucerne rosh yeshiva, Rav Yitzchok Dov Kopelman, explained that Divine punishment is not meant as a consequence or retribution for a sinful act. It is merely a tool used by a loving Father to guide His wayward children onto the correct path. What is important is that they behave properly, not the imposition of the
their deep vision, their ability to perceive that the fear itself, the peneihem morikos, is the reaction hoped for by Heaven. Shomayim doesn’t punish. It reminds. Ehrliche Yidden are attuned to these reminders. Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and his wife, Rebbetzin Baila Hinda, were joyous people, yet they lived with this awareness, an ever-present sense that the Creator was with them. One day, as the rebbetzin prepared a glass of tea for her husband, the cup suddenly shattered in her hand, scalding her and causing her pain. Within moments, she sat down with her husband to consider why it had happened and what the message was. “Did you perhaps display a ‘closed hand,’ not giving tzedakah when requested?” the rosh yeshiva wondered.
The rebbetzin recalled that when she was doing her shopping earlier that day in the Machane Yehudah shuk, a collector approached her for money. The rebbetzin, who only had a large bill with her, asked the poor man to wait a moment while she got change from one of the kiosks. She changed the bill into smaller denominations, but when she returned back to the beggar, he was gone. “Yes,” concluded the rosh yeshiva, “that must be why you endured this accident.” For tzaddikim, reminders suffice. Dai lechakima beremiza, say Chazal. The wise man needs only a hint. The best way to appreciate this season is to approach it as chachomim, with our eyes open and hearts awake to the messages being sent our way. It is easy to ignore them, to be apathetic or stubbornly refuse to consider that those messages are directed at us. But then the messages become more insistent. Peneihem morikos, Rashi teaches us. The fright itself should be enough to evoke Divine rachamim. Think about it. If used correctly, fear can be the healthiest of emotions, a tool to craft a blessed new year for us and our families. At one of his Thursday night shiurim, when all sorts of questions were welcomed from the audience, Rav Avigdor Miller explained the nature of bitachon. “Bitachon means Hashem will take care of you if you trust in Him, but that trust requires you to do what He wants you to do, and He wants you to be ‘mefashfeish bema’asov,’ to search into your ways. Self-scrutiny is a mitzvah like tefillin is a mitzvah. “If a man has a toothache,” continued Rav Miller, “and he goes to the dentist, and the dentist says, ‘Open wide,’ he should think, ‘Why do I have to open my mouth wide? Because I shouldn’t have opened my mouth so wide at other times. I opened my mouth against my wife; that’s why I have to open it for the dentist now. I opened my mouth against my fellow Jew, so now I have to deal with this.’” Seeing Hashem’s message in all occurrences is empowering, because it underscores how relevant is our every action and how important it is to Him to prod us
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on to the right path. Perhaps this answers the paradox regarding the nature of Rosh Hashanah. On this day we have the obligation of experiencing the joy of a yom tov, yet, at the same time, it is the fear of judgment that is just as essential. We can understand this by comparing these feelings to the fear experienced by someone who has sat in conversation with a gadol. Sure, you are overcome by awe, it is difficult to speak, and you choose your words carefully, but despite that, at the same time, you have never felt more alive and relevant than when you are in his presence. I remember way back when I sat with Maran Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach zt”l for the first time. I was very young and clean-shaven. Rav Shach overwhelmed me with Torah, love and guidance, and it was difficult for me to speak. The nicer he was to me, the more self-conscious I was about the fact that I didn’t have a beard. I was charged and enthused about my mission, but I resolved then and there that it would be the last time I appeared before him without a beard. As I was leaving, one of the gate-keepers commented on how nice the rosh yeshiva was to me. I responded by telling him about how unworthy I felt, a young Amerikaner without a beard. He assured me that Rav Shach didn’t judge a person by his chitzoniyus and that I shouldn’t have felt insecure. When one is in the presence of greatness, especially when the great person reacts in a kind and loving fashion, one is
at the same time joyful and fearful, as the pasuk states, “vegilu biradah.” Rav Chaim Brim would recall the fear that overcame him when he was in the presence of the Brisker Rov. He retold his experience when the Rov spoke at the celebration of a sheva brachos for his son, Rav Meir Soloveitchik. He recounted that the Rov said that the words we recite affirming our belief in the imminent arrival of Moshiach, “achakeh lo bechol yom sheyavo,” do not mean that a person waits for Moshiach each day once a day. Rather, it means “kol hayom,” throughout the entire day. We await the arrival of Moshiach all day. “When the Rov said this vort,” testified Rav Chaim, “we all lowered our heads in shame in the face of his obvious, tangible emunah and our own low levels. It was humiliating.” Yet Rav Chaim and his contemporaries seized every moment to spend time in the presence of the Rov, welcoming the humiliation and shame, embracing the simcha of true bushah. During these days, it is our certainty of Hashem’s proximity and our assurance that He is listening closely that is the cause of both our simcha at the opportunity it affords and the fear of the magnitude of His power and might. “Dirshu Hashem behimatzo - Seek out Hashem when He is accessible,” says the pasuk. This is the most empowering time of the year, the exalted moments when we are being ushered into His Presence. Yes,
He will scrutinize our actions and seek to help us improve, but by being vigilant and attuned to His will, we ask that He give us the opportunity to improve without being rebuked or disciplined. “Hashem ori,” we say twice each day between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Shemini Atzeres. He illuminates the path before us, helping us identify mistakes we have made and a path to repair them. This way, we can experience teshuvah without the reprimand and closeness without the push, and thus “veyishi,” Hashem is my salvation, so “mimi ira,” from who shall I fear? If we truly fear Him, then we need not fear others. If we fear Him, then we perceive that, indeed, there is nothing to fear at all. The Gemara in Maseches Chagigah (5b) relates that Rav Papa said, “Ein atzivus lifnei Hakadosh Boruch Hu - There is no grief in Hakadosh Boruch Hu’s presence.” Now that we are in the period when we are closest to Hashem, there should be no grief, even as we approach the Day of Judgment, when all of mankind will undergo Heavenly scrutiny. There is a new Israeli song that has gone viral. The words, which are from Likkutei Maharan, provide succor for us during these days of Elul, the Yomim Noraim, and throughout the year: Hashem says, “Anochi hastir astir Ponai bayom hahu,” but the rebbe says, “V’afilu behastorah shebesoch hastorah bevadai gam shom nimtza Hashem Yisborach. Gam mei’achorei hadevorim ha-
koshim ha’omdim alecha ani omeid. Hashem says, “If you disobey My commandments, I will hide Myself from the Jewish people,” but the rebbe says that even when Hashem is hiding, know that He is there and ever-present, and He stands behind the difficult things that happen to you. We are all faced by so many difficult tribulations and wonder how we can withstand them. Know that you are not alone. Hashem is there right alongside you, guiding and assisting you as you seek to find your way in the darkness. He is there all year, yet He is even closer during these days of Elul and the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah. Don’t grow despondent. Don’t think the job is too difficult for you. Don’t think that you can’t overcome the nisyonos that you are faced with. Don’t worry that you won’t succeed in doing a proper teshuvah for your aveiros. Don’t think that you won’t be able to bring yourself to the level that will ensure that you emerge zakai in din. Those who fear Hashem feel Him. Those who fear Hashem merit His closeness. Those who fear Hashem know that He is there with them, helping them approach Him. May we all merit to be anoshim chareidim, people who fear Hashem, and thus emerge meritorious on the Yom Hadin.
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
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“John is a very rich man!” said Bob. “As a matter of fact, he owns 100 or more cars.” “Not a chance,” replied Mike. “I know for a fact he owns fewer than 100 cars.” Frank joined in, “Well, he owns at least one car.” If only one of their statements is true, how many cars does John own? Answer on next page
You Gotta be
At the U.N. General Assembly, the following questions was posed: “Would you please give your opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?” The survey was a huge failure: In Latin America, they didn’t know what please meant. In China, they didn’t know what opinion meant. In the Middle East, they didn’t know what solution meant. In Europe, they didn’t know what shortage meant. In Africa, they didn’t know what food meant. In the United States, they didn’t know what the rest of the world meant.
Trivia Which of the following people never held the position of the Secretary General of the U.N.? • • • • • • • • •
Ban Ki-moon Kofi Annan Boutros Boutros-Ghali Javier Perez de Cuellar Kurt Waldheim U Thant Dag Hammarskjöld Trygve Lie Alexander Smith Answer: Alexander Smith
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Photographer Anelia Loubser embarked on a project of presenting photographs of upside down heads to illustrate that “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
U.N. Trivia 1. Kurt Waldheim of Austria served as U.N. Secretary General from 1972 to 1981. In 1985, Waldheim became embroiled in the “Waldheim Affair,” when it was discovered that: a. He accepted bribes from Arab countries while he was U.N. Secretary General. b. He was in the Nazi German army during World War II. c. He stole stashes of food from the U.N. food banks and resold them on the black market. d. He falsified data about nuclear material in the U.S.S.R. to protect them from world condemnation. 2. President Roosevelt came up with the name “United Nations” and ran the name by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Where was Churchill when Roosevelt told him the name? a. He was visiting with the Queen of England and quickly turned to her and asked her if she approved of the name. When she said, “Aye,” he congratulated Roosevelt for coming up with the winning name. b. He was in a hospital bed recovering from gallbladder surgery. The nurse had to scream the name into his ear several times and then told Roosevelt—who was waiting on the phone line—that Churchill approved and was wiggling his toes in a “yes formation.” c. Churchill was on a tour of Hitler’s bunker and a military aid passed him a telegraph from Roosevelt. He sent a telegraph back saying: “As I tour the darkest of places, I am comforted by the light that shall shine forth from the United Nations.” d. Churchill was sitting in a White House bathtub when Roosevelt excitedly burst in and told him the name that he came up with.
3. Which of the following countries is not currently on the Human Rights Council? a. China b. Cuba c. Kuwait d. Saudi Arabia e. Pakistan f. Britain 4. At the 1960 U.N. Assembly meeting, the delegate from the Philippines declared that Eastern Europe had been “deprived of political and civil rights” and had effectively been “swallowed up by the Soviet Union.” What did the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who took offense to the comments, do? a. He stood up, spat towards the podium and then walked out. b. He shouted “Хотите совершить экскурсию Сибири?” (translation: Want to take a tour of Siberia?) c. He started banging a table with both his fists and then took off his right shoe and started banging it on the table. d. He punched the delegate in the face when he finished his speech and was walking back to his seat. 5. In 1975, the U.N. passed Resolution 3379, which said that: a. Women in the Middle East should not be forced into unwilling marriages b. Tribes in Africa should stop killing all of those who prescribe to different religious beliefs c. The U.S.S.R. should allow the sick to leave the Iron Curtain for medical treatment d. Zionism is racism
been several omissions about Waldheim’s life between 1938 and 1945 in his then-recently published autobiography. The World Jewish Congress and other organizations then conducted an investigation and discovered that Waldheim fought for the Nazis. Waldheim won the Austrian elections anyway, providing further proof that the country of Hitler’s birth remained deeply anti-Semitic. Throughout his term as president, Waldheim and his wife Elisabeth were put on a watch list of persons banned from entering the United States. 2. D- I guess we also can learn from this story that Churchill didn’t lock the bathroom door when he took a bath. 3. F 4. C 5. D- The U.N finally revoked the resolution in 1991. Wisdom Key 4-5 correct: You could be the next Secretary General of the United Nations…if your name is something like BakaWaka DingDong. 2-3 correct: You don’t know much…you belong in the U.N. 0-1 correct: I must say, congratulations! The less you know about the U.N., the better it is!
Answers: 1. B- While running for president of Austria in 1986, it was revealed that here had
Answer to riddle: John doesn’t own any cars. If the first statement is true, then the last is true as well. If the last is true, then so is either the first or the second statement. But if the second is true, the first and last aren’t necessarily true. John can own no cars, making the first and third false, but the second statement true. Since only one can be true, the second is true. He owns zero cars. I guess he likes to walk.
G OT FU N N Y?
Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff
to fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com
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“Say What?” Mike Tyson, for reasons unknown, stopped by City Hall to meet with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Mike Tyson and Rob Ford — what could possibly go right? – Jimmy Kimmel
As an American, I was embarrassed and appalled. I think our efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance, you know? It didn’t seem to be in our strategic interest, if you will. I was appalled as an American. Jim would have been saddened. Jim believed until the end that his country would come to their aid. I pray that our government would be willing to learn from the mistakes that were made and to acknowledge that there are better ways for American citizens to be treated. – Jim Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN
Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic primary after a close race against an opponent named Zephyr Teachout. I know what you’re thinking: Is Zypher Teachout a man or a woman? And the answer is . . . probably. - Jimmy Fallon
A young violinist from Lithuania played violin for three hours while she was undergoing brain surgery. Yeah, she was undergoing brain surgery and she played the violin the whole time. Man, those are some strict parents. – Conan O’Brien
After just a few minutes, I had no choice. I told them that if you will not stand with Israel, if you will not stand with the Jews, then I will not stand with you. – Senator Ted Cruz, explaining why he walked off the stage at a Christian organization’s dinner, after he was booed by a vocal minority while explaining the importance of supporting Israel
Joe Biden will be in Baltimore this weekend to celebrate the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Yeah, 200 years — or, roughly how long it takes today’s pop singers to finish the national anthem. - Jimmy Fallon
Hello, Iowa, I’m baaaaack! - Hillary Clinton at an annual steak fry in Iowa (before holding up a pre-cooked steak which she pretended to grill)
New York City is now selling something like 10 prime parking spots. Each parking spot will cost you a million dollars. In a related story, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will pay you a million dollars for the spot he’s in. – David Letterman
President Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night delivered a simple, clear, and forceful message: “Don’t blame me.”
A new condo development in New York is charging a million dollars for parking spots. A million dollars to park your car — wouldn’t it be cheaper to just get a ticket every day for the rest of your life and park wherever you want? - Jimmy Kimmel
- David Frum, in The Atlantic, summing up President Obama’s primetime speech about ISIS
This is epic. - Apple CEO Tim Cook talking to USA Today about the new iWatch
Earlier tonight, President Obama spoke to Americans. Obama is getting tough with ISIS. He’s now going to force them to sell their NBA team. - David Letterman Here is Obama’s 3-part plan. First, we’re going to gather intelligence. Next, we’re going to launch air strikes. And third, his plan is to lose the midterm elections. So he’s got a full plate ahead of him. - Ibid
At the Apple store, the people waiting in line for the iPhone 6 were trampled by the people waiting for the iPhone 7. – David Letterman
In order to get where we want to go, we have to be clear where we are and how we got here. And it’s clear in my judgment that this president has stood by with a golf club in his hands and watched the blood-bought gains of those who secured Iraq before evaporate, and I believe that he owes a profound apology to George Bush and every man and woman in the United States who died in Iraq securing those gains. - Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks on Thursday after attending a classified briefing on ISIS
If we don’t force [Netanyahu] to have peace, we won’t have peace … Netanyahu is not the guy. - A pro-Palestinian activist at a rally in Iowa I agree with that. - Bill Clinton, in response
Stop killing each other and unite against the American campaign and its evil coalition that threatens us all. Make the unity of the infidel nations against you a reason for your unity against them. - From a joint statement by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Apple is now saying that the new Apple Watch needs to be charged every single day. Also charged every single day: someone in the NFL. – Conan O’Brien
Our dad would want you to know that you should move forward with your life. You should not let this define you. You should love yourself – and love your family. Some day we hope that we can meet you, hug you, and tell you that it’s okay. - The four children of Charles Vacca, the gun instructor who was killed when a nine-year-old girl lost control of an Uzi at an Arizona gun range last month, in a video message to the unnamed girl
The President & FLOTUS joined millions to #Remember911 with service by assembling backpacks with @KaBOOM volunteers. - Tweet sent out by Michele Obama on September 11th (the one day they would have been better served by visiting an organization of a different name)
I believe that every person has the right to be a member of an independent nation, to have sovereignty, to live in peace and to enjoy equality…I believe independence will be positive as it will encourage personal exchanges and provide both countries with business chances. North Korea is rich in natural resources and we like the taste of Scotch whisky, so we can be beneficial to each other. - Editorial by the managing editor of the North Korean-backed Choson Sinbo newspaper, persuading Scotland to secede from Britain
I think the United States needs to get busy and we need to bomb them. We need to take them out. I would like for us to hit them so hard and so often that every time they hear a propeller on a plane or a jet aircraft engine they urinate down both legs.
Microsoft plans on renaming its smartphone. So far, their first choice is the “Microsoft iPhone.” - Conan O’Brien
The New York Times had to issue a correction after an article referred to Dick Cheney as president of the United States. The Times apologized to Dick Cheney and changed his title to “former president of the United States.” - Conan O’Brien
- Texas Sheriff Gary Painter on Fox News, on what the U.S. should do about ISIS (which he believes will be coming into the U.S. through the open Mexican border)
Today, The New York Times had to issue a correction after it mistakenly referred to Dick Cheney as a former president. Of course, George W. Bush made that same mistake all the time. - Seth Myers
The National Organization for Women is calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign. They made their demand in a video that Commissioner Goodell said he will watch in five months. – Conan O’Brien
Apple announced the iPhone 6 today, which they say has a more durable screen that won’t crack or scratch as easily. Or as your kids put it, “Challenge accepted!” - Jimmy Fallon
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
It’s never good news when the president addresses the nation in prime time. He never comes out and says, “Great job, everybody. I’m throwing y’all a pizza party.” - Jimmy Kimmel
– Jimmy Fallon
Don’t think, “I’m frustrated with politics right now, so I’ll walk out the door and never come back.” If you don’t like me, I won’t be here forever. If you don’t like this government, it won’t last forever. But if you leave the UK, that will be forever. - Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron in a final plea to Scottish voters in advance of their referendum on whether Scotland should secede from Britain
31 THE JEWISH HOME
Tonight President Obama will make a prime-time speech about how we’re going to deal with violent extremists and their sickening behavior. And when he’s done talking about the NFL, he’ll talk about ISIS. - Conan O’Brien
During a speech last night, President Obama announced that the U.S. will lead a huge multination coalition to fight the terror groups in Iraq. Of course, most people just turned it off because they thought it was a rerun.
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We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league. - NFL sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, in a statement on their website
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
The Origins of Tashlich By Aaron Feigenbaum
Tashlich is one of the staples of the High Holiday season and is performed by Jews around the world. It is a way of inspiring repentance and purifying ourselves before Yom Kippur. But what is the story behind this age-old ceremony? What are the sources for Tashlikh and how did it develop into a widely accepted practice? The earliest direct mention of Tashlich is in the writings of the medieval-era Rabbi Yaakov Moelin (better known as the Maharil) who codified the Ashkenazi minhagim. The Maharil connected the custom of Tashlich with a Midrashic story. In the story Avraham and Yitzchak are on the way to perform the Akeidah when they are blocked by the Satan who assumes the guise of a river. Avraham immerses himself in the river and recites a prayer from Tehillim 69:2 “Save me, O God, for water has come up to my soul.” In response, G-d dries up the river and allows Avraham and Yitzchak to proceed. The Maharil explains that Tashlich is meant to remind us of Avraham’s selflessness in service of his Divine mission. Just as Avraham merited Divine favor when he threw himself into the river, so should we merit to have our sins erased when we throw them into the water. While the Maharil is credited with developing the practice of Tashlich as we now know it, the fact that he was writing about it in the first place suggests that it must already have been an established tradition well before his time. Indeed, the Rashban finds several Biblical precedents for the custom. The most well-known of these is the verse in Micah,“ He will again be merciful unto us; He will suppress our iniquities; And cast into the depths of the sea all their sins.” This verse is found in the actual Tashlich prayers. Other sources
Reciting Tashlich in Tel Aviv, 1928
of inspiration for the custom include King Shlomo’s coronation at Gihon Spring
(Book of Kings 1:38, 33) and Ezra assembling the community on Rosh Hashanah at the nearest water source for a public Torah reading (Nehemiah 8:1). As the Zohar states: “Whatever falls into the deep is lost forever; . . . it acts like the scapegoat for the ablution of sins” (Leviticus, p. 101a, b) It is preferred, but not required, to perform Tashlich near a body of water that contains fish as they symbolize the temptations that we experience in our lives. Additionally, fish eyes are always open which symbolize G-d’s constant watching over his people. As a historical practice, Tashlich (or some approximation of it) can be traced as far back as the first century C.E. Philo, notable as the first Jewish philosopher, described a prayer recited at the seashore on Hoshana Rabbah. Tertullian the Christian historian mentions in the late 2nd century C.E. a similar practice that took place on Yom Kippur. Josephus, one of the most famous Jewish historians, noted that there was a tradition of building shuls by the sea. Skipping ahead some centuries, Rashi describes what could be the direct predecessor of the Tashlich ritual. He says that a few weeks before Rosh Hashanah, Jews would make baskets from palm leaves and fill them with soil. Then they would plant a bean in the soil. On the day before Rosh Hashanah, the plant would have sprouted
and Jews would wave the basket around their head seven times and then throw the basket into a river, thus combining to some degree what we now know now as
Tashlich with Kapparot. Tashlich came to gain the approval of the Arizal in the 16th century and the custom became accepted by the vast majority of both Ashkenazim and Sephardim. However, a sticking point for many rabbis was the long-standing custom of throwing bread into the water to feed fish. The Maharil himself opposed this custom as did noted Kabbalist Rabbi Isaiah Hurwitz. The Maharil’s main argument against the custom is that one is not allowed to feed animals on Yom Tov that are not under your responsibility (i.e. pets or farm animals, see Rashi, Beitzah 23b). Another reason cited is that since fish found in seas, lakes, and rivers are not dependent on humans for sustenance, carrying bread outside an Eruv is unnecessary and therefore a vio-
Gierymski Feast of trumpets
lation of Yom Tov. Some authorities like the Mateh Efrayim prefer that one shake out soil from one’s garment into the water while saying the word “Tashlich” rather than throw bread. Others (Likkutei Mahariach) restrict it to the dust from one’s tallis katan. Of course, if one performs Tashlich during the intermediate days (except for Shabbos) then throwing bread isn’t a halakhic problem. When it comes to shaking out one’s garments, the vast majority of rabbinic authorities readily approved of this custom. Both Mateh Efrayim and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch describe it as a symbolic means of purifying oneself of sins. Rashban traces it back to Biblical times when people would symbolically perform a duty or ask a request; in this case, casting one’s sins into the depths of the seas. Despite the popularity of Tashlich, some rabbis disliked it entirely because of perceived superstitious connotations. One of them was the ardent opponent of
Chassidus, the Gaon of Vilna, of whom it was said that he would not go to the river to say tashlikh. Another daringly wrote in 1936 “The Halakhah, the arch-enemy of superstition, will ultimately be the cause of the complete abolition of the Tashlik (sic) ceremony which in spite of all rationalizing interpretations and symbolic meanings given to it, has its roots in ancient heathen superstitions.” And criticism of Tashlich wasn’t only restricted to the Jewish world. Rabbis in the time of the Black Death were often forced to prohibit Tashlich observance amid Christian anti-Semitic rumors of well-poisoning. Such rumors often had catastrophic effects on European Jewish populations such as in the town of Basel where the entire Jewish community was
burned at the stake in 1349 after having been accused of well-poisoning. While Tashlich may smack of superstition to some, it is important to remember that it is in no way a substitute for real teshuva. Rather, it should be seen as an aid to teshuva and a way to connect oneself to G-d by appreciating His works in person. According to Rabbi Moshe Isserles (paraphrased by Rabbi Moshe Herzfeld) “When one sees a sea, one realizes the greatness of God and the limits of man; this realization provokes humility and penance.” The wide open sea is a visual representation of the clean spiritual slate we can achieve through teshuva. That’s something we should all strive for during the upcoming High Holidays. (Sources: The Jewish Festivals: A Guide to Their History and Observance By Hayyim Schauss, Entering the High Holy Days By Reuven Hammer, Tzarich Iyun: Tashlich by Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky, Appreciating Tashlich by Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff, Tashlich: The People’s Prayer by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, Jewish Encyclopedia)
33 THE JEWISH HOME
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Travel Guide: Portland By Aaron Feigenbaum
Portland, Oregon is a clean, beautiful city with pleasant weather and plenty of interesting attractions to see. Long inhabited by Upper Chinook Indians and several other Native American Groups, the first Europeans who explored the area now known as Portland were the legend-
ary Lewis and Clark duo whose reports attracted settlers to the region. As the story goes, two of the settlers were William Overton and Asa Lovejoy. Overton sold his share to F.W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine. Lovejoy and Pettygrove wanted to name the newly emerging town after their
The Chinese Classical Garden
USS Blueback at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
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one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the U.S. It’s located right across the street from the Historical Museum. Adults are $15.00 and kids 17 and younger are free. Oregon Maritime Museum: This isn’t your run-of-the-mill museum building. Rather, the “museum” is actually the last
Science playground at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
land began to gain a reputation, one that persists to this day, as a liberal-minded city that excelled in the arts, urban design, and environmental policy.
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respective hometowns so they flipped a coin and Pettygrove ended up the winner. Portland became a trade partner with San Francisco and its prosperity was further propelled by a boom of local industry. The city became a steel, lumber, and railroad town through the 1970‘s. After that Port-
Things to See and Do: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry: The OMSI is an exceptional science museum with lots of very unique exhibits. Perhaps the most well-known of these is the USS Blueback, a Navy submarine that served during the Cold War and appeared in the 1990 film “The Hunt for Red October.” Check out the Turbine Hall where you can see interactive displays about everything from holograms to steam power to biochemistry to robots. Then head over to the Earth Science Hall for some excellent geologic exhibits, and then the Planetarium to catch one its daily light shows. The museum also has an adjacent IMAX theater. Finally, the Science Playground is the perfect way to get kids to learn and play at the same time. Admission is $13 for adults and $9.50 for kids. Oregon Historical Society Museum: This museum is dedicated to telling the story of Portland and Oregon’s past and present. Current exhibits include: the history of dredging in the Port of Portland, local artists’ interpretation of Oregonian vineyards, the story of the Battleship Oregon which sailed to Cuba in the Spanish-American War, and an overall history of the region from early settlement to now. Adults are $11 and youth are $5.00 Portland Art Museum: Symbolic of Portland’s love of the arts, the Art Museum is richly endowed with paintings by artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, and Renoir. Founded in 1892, the museum is
operating sternwheel tug boat in the U.S. You can get a guided tour of the whole ship and see ship models and maritime artifacts relating to steam power, underwater diving, the battleship Oregon, and WWII-era shipyards. Adults are $7.00 and youth are $3.00 Pittock Mansion: Nestled in the beautiful hills of western Portland, this stunning Victorian mansion was first built in 1909 for Henry Pittock, publisher of The Oregonian newspaper, and his wife Georgiana. The property was bought by the city in 1964 after extensive storm damage, and it was later featured in several movies and TV shows. The mansion looks the same as it did when it was built over a hundred years ago. You can take a walk through the mansion’s luxurious interior at the cost of $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for youth. Portland Japanese Garden: This gorgeous oasis of tranquility has been called one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside Japan. Indeed, from the zen garden to the koi ponds to the quaint teahouse, there is no doubt that the creators of this garden strove to make it as authentic and beautiful as they possibly could. To top it all off the east veranda overlooks Mt. Hood which stands in for Mt. Fuji. Admission is $9.50 for adults and $6.75 for youth. Lan Su Chinese Garden: Not to be out-done, Lan Su is as beautiful as its Japanese counterpart, with pavilions, ponds, an authentic teahouse with a full assortment of teas, and a lake at the center. Adults get in for $9.50 and youth for $7.00 Forest Park: True to Portland’s reputation as a leader in ecology, the gigan-
35 THE JEWISH HOME
Entrance to the Oregon Historical Society
tic Forest Park consists of 5,000 acres of woodland, thus making it the nation’s largest urban park. The park gives you over 70 miles of hiking trails, the longest of which is the Wildwood Trail at 30 miles. Forest Park is a world apart from the hustle and bustle of downtown Portland. There is an incredible diversity of wildlife both in the forest itself and in the numerous creeks that run through it. International Rose Test Garden: A mecca for rose-lovers everywhere, this exquisite garden is one of the largest of its kind in the world. There are 7,000 rose flowers representing over 500 different varieties. There’s also an amphitheater
which hosts free classical concerts and Shakespeare plays. In fact, the garden has a separate Shakespeare section which features all the flowers mentioned in his plays. Come May-July to see the flowers in full bloom. Admission is free. Portland Aerial Tram: Not only does the tram provide convenience in connecting the South Waterfront neighborhood with the Oregon Health Sciences University campus, but it also provides stunning views of downtown and the mountains beyond. Roundtrip fare is only $4.35. Underground Portland: For something off the beaten path, Portland Walking Tours offers a guided tour of the underground. According to the company, “We walk through the remains of the physi-
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Portland Japanese Garden and Creek
cal underground as well as exploring the underground subcultures, political underground and immoral underground of the city’s sordid history, and expose the myths behind the legends of the so-called “Shanghai Tunnels.” Tours must be booked in advance. The cost is $18.99 for adults, $17.00 for youth, and $9.00 for children. Powell’s Books: In a time where Barnes and Noble and Amazon are dominating the bookselling market, some traditional brick-and-mortar, independent bookstores still manage to survive. Powell’s,located in the heart of downtown Portland, is just such a bookstore. It’s one of Portland’s most popular attractions and it claims to be the world’s largest independent bookstore. Powell’s Books Indeed, the store is so big that employees hand out maps to patrons. Avid book fans could spend days combing through the shelves. Oregon Jewish Museum: Last, but certainly not least, is Portland’s fascinating Jewish museum. Current exhibits include an overview of a century of Sephardic life in Portland, Israeli society visually represented through light and shadow, and a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. Admission is $6.00 for adults and free for children under 12 accompanied by parent or guardian. Where to Daven and Eat: Congregation Kesser Israel is, according to their site, Portland’s longest-established Orthodox shul. Their address is 6698 SW Capitol Hwy and can be reached at (503) 222-1239 or info@kesserisrael. org Congregation Ahavath Achim is a Modern Orthodox Sephardic shul located at 3225 SW Barbur Blvd . You can contact them at (503) 610-3850 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also several Chabad shuls in Portland: The main one is Chabad of Oregon at 6612 SW Capitol Hwy and
can be reached at (503) 977-9947. Another is Chabad of the Eastside at 2125 Ne 45th Ave./(503)-309-4490. There’s also Congregation Bais Menachem at 2317 SW Vermont St./ (503) 977-9947. Finally, there’s a Chabad house located on the campus of Reed College; its address is 3355 SE Steele St. and it can be reached at (503)-236-6642. Portland only has one kosher restaurant, Cafe @ the J, which is under the supervision of Oregon Kosher. Kosher catering is available through MJCC Kosher Catering Facilties and Century Catering. There is also a kosher shop called Sunny’s Legendary Frozen Yogurt. Otherwise, markets such as Albertson’s, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway carry a wide variety of kosher products. Getting There: Reaching Portland is straightforward and can be accomplished in several ways: The most direct car route is taking the I-5N all the way from Los Angeles. Otherwise, you can fly into Portland International Airport, take Amtrak, or take Greyhound. (Sources: Wikitravel, Time, Oregon Kosher)
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Qatar Asks Muslim Brotherhood Leaders to Leave
Lagarde: Women are Essential to Global Economy Recovery
On Sunday, it was revealed that several top members of the Muslim Brotherhood were asked to leave Qatar. The request from the Arab country comes amid longstanding pressure against the Brotherhood in the region. The members found refuge there following the overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the crackdown on his supporters. “We appreciate the great role of the state of Qatar in supporting the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta, and well understand the circumstances faced by the region,” said Dr. Amr Darrag, a leading member of Freedom and Justice Party, said in a statement online. The Freedom and Justice Party is the banned political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The members were “asked by authorities to move their residence outside the state of Qatar,” the statement said. Qatar was a close ally of Morsi, naturally making it a safe haven for the Brotherhood but their presence in Qatar had put a tremendous strain on Doha’s relations with Egypt as well as with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. They all regard the 85-year-old Islamist movement as a threat. “I decided to move outside of the beloved Qatar ... so as not to cause any annoyance, embarrassment or problems for our brothers in Qatar,” cleric Wagdi Ghoneim said in a video message posted on his official Facebook page. The highest ranking member of
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde addressed a gathering organized by the Japanese government and business groups last week. In her speeches, Lagarde emphasized the importance of women in the workplace. She stressed that the global economy’s recovery is dependent on women. The lecture was part of a campaign led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to promote a bigger role for women in the economy. Abe has made greater gender equality a priority in his “Abenomics” program intended to take the world’s third-largest economy out of a deep pit. “Even after the crisis abates, we will face grave challenges to growth,” Lagarde said. The global economy is not utilizing women effectively and is “tossing away economic growth at a time when it cannot afford such wanton waste,” she said, mentioning the impact of women, who are responsible for about 70% of all consumer spending. Japan faces a worker shortage as people retiring earlier, and the country needs females to fill the gap and help drive economic growth. Japanese women are generally highly educated but in their culture many women put their careers on hold while they raise families. Many women to return to work after their children are grown, but gen-
erally only work part-time at low paying jobs. The country has limited access to affordable child care and many women are responsible for caring for their elderly parents, making long working hours unfeasible. Additionally, the tax system is structured against working moms; sometimes it’s more beneficial for families tax-wise when mothers stay at home instead of working. Lagarde shared practical suggestions to encourage and promote women to hop aboard the work train. She said countries need to change policies and laws, and on a more complex level, she also feels that institutions, attitudes and cultures need to be reformed in order to boost growth potential by better using female talent. Abe told the conference, “Women will come to shoulder important decision-making. They will also change the way we work. So it means changing the rules of the game that penetrate society.” Some firms have started responding to Abe’s campaign to appoint at least one woman to their board of directors. Corporations and businesses also are beginning to take women’s ideas into consideration in product development, such as making car doors open wider to accommodate women holding children, or laptop computers easy to open without damaging a manicure.
CIA: ISIS Bigger Than We Thought
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New numbers have been released from Washington detailing how many fighters ISIS has in their ranks. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria now have about 20,000 to 31,500 fighters on the ground, which is much higher than a previous estimate of 10,000. Among those in Syria are 15,000 foreign fighters, including 2,000
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the group residing in Qatar is Mahmoud Hussein, the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to Rassd, a news agency affiliated with the group, Hussein is among those who will be leaving the country. This expulsion will further isolate the group; the agency said they are in search for another refuge and are strongly considering Turkey.
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Westerners who have joined ISIS. The newest figures were revealed one day after President Barack Obama vowed to expand an offensive against IS extremists, a plan which foresees new airstrikes against IS in Syria, expanded attacks in Iraq, and new support for Iraqi government forces. CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani pointed out, “This new total reflects an increase in members because of stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity, and additional intelligence.” Senior US officials have voiced concern with the presence of foreign fighters among the Sunni extremists who hold Western passports, potentially enabling them to return from the battlefield prepared to carry out terror attacks in Europe or the United States. IS militants have seized large swathes of territory in Iraq in recent months, displaying brutal tactics and releasing videos of the grisly executions of foreigners. The White House has insisted that President Barack Obama is authorized to strike IS in Iraq and Syria under a law passed by Congress after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Malala Yousafzai’s Attacker Arrested In 2012, Malala Yousafzai became a household name when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen for promoting women’s education in Pakistan. Malala survived the shooting and went on to earn international praise for her courageous and determined fight for all children to have the right to go to school. Almost immediately after the attack, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility, but no arrests had been made—until now. According to the Pakistani army, the gunmen who shot Malala have finally been found. The detention of the 10 suspects involved the army, police and intelligence agencies and was part of the Pakistani military’s ongoing offensive against the TTP and other extremist outfits. Bringing the men to trial will likely be a long process – in Pakistan’s legal system, cases grind through the courts for years, making little progress. Major General Asim Bajwasaid the group had a hit list of 22 targets in addition to Malala, all ordered by the TTP’s
current leader Maulana Fazlullah. But a spokesman for the TTP’s new hardline Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction Ehsanullah Ehsan denied the military’s claims. “Three people were involved in that attack, one of them is martyred and two are alive,” Ehsan said in a statement. After narrowly surviving the shooting – one bullet grazed her brain and passed through her neck before lodging in her shoulder – Malala was taken to Britain with her family for treatment, where she now lives. The TTP has said they will try again to kill her if she ever returns to Pakistan. Despite the attack, Malala continues to advocate for women’s rights in her country. She has won the EU’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize last year and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Israel Ashkenazi Jews Descended from Just 350 People A new study found that the majority of Ashkenazi Jews can be traced back to a small group of 350 people who lived in Europe anywhere between 600 and 800 years ago. Israeli scientist Itsik Pe’er, an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science, led the study. The study, published in the Nature Communications journal last Tuesday, found that most Ashkenazi Jews living across the world can be traced back to what is referred as a “bottleneck” of just 350 people. The researchers analyzed the genomes of 128 Ashkenazi Jews, and then marked the contrast between those of European non-Jews to discover what genetic traits Ashkenazim possess that made them unique. They also compared their genes to the DNA of 26 Flemish people from Belgium.
The result was slightly unsettling, with
researchers finding the Ashkenazi’s genetic similarities inordinately sharp, tracing their genes back to the “bottleneck” from the Middle Ages. In an interview with Live Science Professor Pe’er noted that within Ashkenazi Jews “everyone’s a 30th cousin.” Currently, there are ten million Ashkenazi Jews around the world, 2.8 million of which reside in Israel. The intention of the study was to prove that genetic disorders amongst Ashkenazi Jews are a real problem and that further research into the matter is required. Given the fact that they descend from just a few families highlights the potential medical problems that can arise.
4 Israeli Universities Best in the World According to the QS World University Rankings, four Israeli universities are among the 300 best in the world, with Ben-Gurion University leaping into the club after being left out for years. Hebrew University of Jerusalem was named the best university in Israel, coming in 138th overall – just behind Dartmouth College and just ahead of the University of Virginia. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was Israel’s next highest, at 190th, followed by Tel Aviv University, at 195th, and Ben-Gurion University, at 292nd.
While the top three Israeli universities stayed more or less where they were on the list last year, Ben-Gurion University moved up 39 spots, from 331st. In 2012, the university was nearly 100 spots lower, at 385th. The last time the university was in the top 300 was in 2008. “With all the criticism of ranking systems, it is an international measurement that the higher education system and the public assiduously follow each year,” said Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Rivka Carmi. “We are pleased that the sense of advancement and development that we feel is bolstered by an international objective opinion.” The QS World University Rankings, which have come out annually since 2004, ranks more than 800 universities around the world from a pool of more than 3,000.
Take It with A Grain of...Pepper?
Feds Hunt Treasure Hunter
In 1989, Tommy Thompson docked a ship in Norfolk, Virginia, as hundreds
cheered. The boat was crammed with what was described as the greatest lost treasure in American history— thousands of pounds of gold that sat in the ocean for 131 years after the ship carrying it sank during a hurricane. Since then, the victorious grin on Thompson’s face has faltered and the U.S. Marshals Service is hunting Thompson down for skipping a court date to explain to investors what happened to the riches. The rise and fall of the intrepid explorer is the stuff of storybooks, a tale receiving renewed attention amid a new expedition
Scan on Sunday
“Please pass the salt” may just be a more dangerous request than we thought. It turns out that 9 of 10 American children consume too much salt, which greatly raises their risk of high blood pressure and heart disease as they grow older. According a recent report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40 percent of the sodium children consume comes from what are typically their favorite foods, including pizza, sandwich meats, cheese, chicken nuggets and pasta dishes. Children between the ages of 6-18 eat an average of about 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day before salt is added at the table, the report said. That is far higher than the 2,300 milligrams per day recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. “Too many children are consuming way too much sodium, and the result will be risks of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future,” CDC director Tom Frieden stated. “Most sodium is from processed and restaurant food, not the salt shaker. Reducing sodium intake will help our children avoid tragic and expensive health problems,” he pointed out. Lunch and dinner are usually the saltiest meals of the day, said the report. “Most sodium is already in food before you buy it or order it. About 65 percent comes from store foods, 13 percent from fast food and pizza restaurant foods, and nine percent from school cafeteria foods.” Parents and caregivers are urged to give kids plenty of fruit and vegetables, alongside wholesome, unprocessed foods as often as pos-
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sible. Schools could help by reducing sodium in food and putting lower-sodium alternatives in vending machines and cafeterias. “The dangerously high levels of sodium children are consuming demand action from the Food and Drug Administration,” said the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer group. “We are sentencing all too many children to premature death from heart disease and stroke.”
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Universities’ scores are based half on global surveys of reputation among academics and employers and half on hard data. The data measures faculty-student ratio, citations per faculty, and international-student and faculty ratios. Earlier this year, QS put Ben-Gurion University on its Top 50 Under 50, a list of the top 50 universities in the world established in the past 50 years. The university opened its gates in 1969 to promote the development of the Negev region in line with the vision of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
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begun this year to the sunken ship. One of the last times anyone ever saw Tommy Thompson, he was walking on the pool deck of a Florida mansion wearing nothing but eye glasses, leather shoes, socks and underwear, his brown hair growing wild. That was two years ago. “I think he had calculated it, whatever you want to call it, an escape plan,” Marshals agent Brad Fleming said. “I think he’s had that for a long time.” Around 1983, Thompson grew obsessed with tracking down the SS Central America. When the ship went down off the South Carolina coast in 1857, 425 people drowned and gold worth millions was lost. Thompson, an oceanic engineer at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, convinced 161 people to invest in his quest, raising $12.7 million. On Oct. 1, 1988, he finally found the treasure, which he would later describe as “otherworldly in its splendor.” But his joy faded fast. Thirty-nine insurance companies sued Thompson, claiming they had insured the gold in 1857 and that it belonged to them. In 1996, Thompson’s company was awarded 92 percent of the treasure, and the rest was divided among some of the insurers. Four years later, Thompson’s company netted $50 million after selling 532 gold bars and thousands of coins to a gold marketing group. But fortune wasn’t smiling down on him. By 2005, Thompson’s investors still had not been paid, and two sued — a now-deceased investment firm president who put in some $250,000 and the Dispatch Printing Company, which publishes The Columbus Dispatch newspaper and invested about $1 million. The following year, nine members of Thompson’s crew also sued, saying they, too, were promised some proceeds. Thompson went into seclusion, moving into a mansion in Vero Beach, Florida. After that, his behavior turned bizarre. He refused to use his real name on his utility bills. He would walk around the pool only wearing socks, shoes and dirty underwear. It’s unclear when Thompson, now 62, disappeared. On Aug. 13, 2012, he failed to appear at a hearing in the court battles, and a federal judge found him in contempt and issued an arrest warrant. Not long af-
ter, Kennedy went inside the Florida mansion and found pre-paid disposable cellphones and bank wraps for $10,000, along with a book called “How to Live Your Life Invisible.” The Marshals Service has splashed Thompson’s face on electronic billboards and run down hundreds of tips — from the guy who thought he might have shared an elevator with Thompson to a report that the name “Tommy” was signed on a memorial website for a dead friend of the treasure hunter. Nothing has panned out. A “Wanted” poster even hangs in the barge making a new voyage to the Central America in a new expedition to recover more treasure from the “Ship of Gold.” Since April, Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration has brought up millions of dollars in gold and silver bars and coins. That work will continue indefinitely, an Odyssey spokeswoman said, and Thompson’s original investors are expected to receive part of the recovered riches.
Kids Better at Smartphones than at Tying their Shoes
their shoes, and less could tell time on an analog clock. The study was originally done to study the impact of technology on children’s eyesight. “The issues surrounding childhood obesity have been hammered home to us in recent years, but what about our children’s digital diet, and in particular, the impact this has on their eyesight?” the authors wrote. The average 2-4 year-old spends 2 hours and 35 minutes on a digital device such as a television and a smartphone. Ages 5-7 spend over three hours. 8-10-year-olds spend almost four hours a day staring at a screen. For 14-16-year-olds, those numbers jump to four hours and fifty minutes a day, with over 83 percent owning their own smartphone. Aside from the shocking findings of the study, some suggestions were made to help developing eyes from getting damaged. Eyes should be kept level with the screen. Overhead lights should be kept dim to avoid glare, and chairs should be positioned to maintain correct distances from the screen. Another tip given is having children put their phones away for 40-50 minutes before bedtime to allow their brains to “unwind” and their eyes to relax before going to sleep.
Honolulu’s Homeless Hurting Tourism If you are two-years-old and reading this on your smartphone, put it down and go play with some blocks. A new survey conducted in London has found that kids are better at navigating smartphones and other tablet devices than completing common tasks like tying their shoes. This is not that big of a surprise as 75 percent of children under 8-years-old have access to a mobile devices of some sort. The survey of 2,000 parents with children age 2-to 16-years old, found 59 percent could confidently use a tablet; 57 percent felt the same way about their children’s use of a smartphone. However, only 53 percent said their kids could swim or tie
The Honolulu City Council has taken new measures to crack down on homeless people in the busy city. Several measures have been approved that ban activities such as sitting and lying down on sidewalks. The laws aimed at moving home-
less people out of tourist hotspots were approved in a council meeting this week. The council was under pressure from the tourism industry. Hotel representatives say visitors complain about safety and cleanliness. Critics say the proposals will criminalize homelessness. Councilman Breene Harimoto, who voted against most of the bills, says the council is helping the public view homeless people as objects to be swept away. The city is also planning a temporary legal campsite on a remote, mostly industrial island far from resorts, parts of which were previously used as an internment camp and former dump.
Tesla’s Battery Factory Moving to Nevada
Nevada is about to gain more national attention and it doesn’t have anything to do with gambling. Tesla Motors’ $5 billion battery factory is coming to the Silver State. Last week, Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law an extraordinary deal of incentives that sealed the deal to bring Tesla’s factory, along with 20,000 jobs, into Western state. This “gigafactory” is expected to bring more than $100 billion into Nevada’s economy over the next 20 years. It will be the biggest lithium battery factory in the world. The electric care company has plans to vamp up their mass marketing and create more affordable cars within the next three years. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Sandoval said as he put his signature to four bills late Thursday night, shortly after the state Legislature unanimously approved the package that includes tax credits and other incentives worth up to $1.3 billion. “This is some of the most important legislation that’s hit this state in perhaps our history,” the Republican governor said. “We have changed the trajectory of this state, perhaps forever.” Surrounded by legislative leaders and lawmakers, Sandoval presented a Nevada license plate with “TESLA” to Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president for business development who helped pick the site at an industrial park along Interstate 80 about 15 miles east of Sparks. “We are really excited to get going on this project,” O’Connell said, which will bring prices down for batteries to power its upcoming line of cars with a price tag less than $40,000. “It means so much for our
More and more, we are hearing of infections that are resistant to antibiotics because of the trend of overprescribing. A bug will respond to certain antibiotics more than others. But as strains of infections mutate and are exposed to antibiotics, they will naturally develop a resistance to the medicine and need to be treated with a different antidote. A new study released this week suggests that doctors in many U.S. hospitals are unnecessarily prescribing multiple antibiotics for several days when just one would do the job. The study focuses on a new issue — when hospital doctors throw more than one antibiotic at a mystery infection. Faced with a feverish and deteriorating patient entering the hospital, doctors will at first prescribe a couple of antibiotics. That happens “when we’re not exactly sure what we’re dealing with,” as a bet that at least one of the drugs will help, explained Dr. Barry Fox. He is an expert on antibiotic use at the University of Wisconsin, and was not involved in the study. Once tests are run and the bug is identified, doctors are supposed to drop any unnecessary second antibiotic, Fox explained. But research found that often doesn’t happen. In three-quarters of the 500 hospitals studied, patients were still on more than one intravenous antibiotic after two days. The researchers looked at hospital
Trump Plaza Closes its Doors
Majority of Americans Support Obama’s Air Strike Bid against IS
It seems that Americans are scarred from our last war against terrorism that President George Bush led us into following the September 11th attacks. The wound remains open since there are still troops in Afghanistan today. That may explain why a recent poll shows that Americans are opposed to a long campaign against the Islamic State. Despite that contention, an online Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that 64% of people support Obama’s air strike campaign against IS as long as it is focused and has an end date in sight. About 21% are opposed to any war effort at all and 16% admitted that they were unsure. This week, Obama addressed the nation and discussed his plans to escalate the strike and spread beyond Syria while containing war tactics to only air strikes against the terrorist group. Ipsos pollster Julia Clark explained Americans support air strikes because they don’t see that they can lead to a long, drawn-out conflict. “People see air strikes as surgical. They think we are able to go in and do something that affects in a negative way this horrible group of people, and we are able to extract ourselves with only a very low risk to American lives,” Clark said. When respondents were asked if they would still support the air campaign even if it lasted two to three years, the support for Obama’s plan dropped to 53%. “There’s absolutely no appetite for re-engagement in that region in any prolonged way so we see that support drop off,” Clark pointed out. When asked what the best response to the threat posed by the Islamic State is, 44% of people polled said airstrikes while only 9% felt sending in troops would be a good idea. About 25% feel the U.S. should fund and support a multinational intervention against the group.
On Tuesday, Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino closed its door, making it the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly-up this year. When Donald Trump opened the casino on May 14, 1984, he declared it the finest building in Atlantic City—and possibly the nation. But since then, the Don has left town and was no longer associated with the casino, despite it sharing his name. The downward spiral that saw it ranked last among the city’s casinos ended on Tuesday morning as about a half-dozen gamblers who stayed to the end got up from the lone blackjack table in operation
or from a few slot machines and walked out beneath the dozens of glittery chandeliers for the last time. Dealer Ruth Hardrick worked at Trump Plaza for 26 of its 30 years, but is now without a job. She’s not alone: about 8,000 Atlantic City casino workers have lost their jobs this year, and another 3,000 could join them if Trump Plaza’s parent company makes good on its threat to shutter the Trump Taj Mahal Casino resort in November. “What’s the next step? Where do we go from here?” she asked. “It’s happening all over. A lot of us are in the same boat. You think something will come along [to save the casino]. And it didn’t.” Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos. It now has eight. It was obvious that the end was nearing for Trump Plaza for years now. Gamblers had been abandoning the casino for newer, ritzier spots. Its owners, Trump Entertainment Resorts, let it deteriorate in recent years, particularly after a sale for the bargain-basement price of $20 million to a California firm fell through last year. Jim Redmond is a 60-year-old from Montreal who loves Atlantic City and regularly stayed at Trump Plaza. He says its decline was obvious over the last seven
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Too Much Antibiotics
records for 2008 through 2011. According to the authors, use of multiple, useless antibiotics can drive up medical costs and increase side effects like diarrhea.
THE JEWISH HOME
mission, which is to catalyze sustainable transportation by creating a mass market for electric vehicles.” Tesla will receive up to $1.1 billion in tax abatements and will pay no property taxes or payroll taxes for up to 10 years and no local sales or use taxes for up to 20 years, a sweet deal for the California-based company. However, the clause states that in the case that they fail to spend $3.5 billion in the state within 10 years, they will need to give some or all of the tax money back. The agreement also mandates that 50% of jobs go to Nevada residents. The factory is expected to employ 6,000-plus and construction for the site should employ about 3,000. “This really is the definition of the rising tide lifting all boats,” said Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “It wasn’t that long ago we were suffering through one of the worst recessions in Nevada history with 14.5 percent unemployment.”
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years. “It did slip every year. This year they had no bedspreads and they totally gave up on the ice machines,” Jim Redmond from Montreal said. “This year the Plaza bar was closed and the 24 hour cafe closed at 2 p.m. The higher-end restaurants were closed. It was so sad to see it get a little worse every year. They really seemed to give up about five years ago.” Redmond regularly stayed at Trump Plaza on his jaunts to Atlantic City. Illuminated letters advertising the casino’s name on its front and back facades burned out and were never replaced. Visitors to the Miss America pageant last week at Boardwalk Hall next door saw a neon sign proclaiming “Trump Plaz Hotel & Cas.” On the Boardwalk side, the sign read, “U Laza.” It was a sure bet to gamblers that Trump Plaza was on its way down.
So how much should you leave? Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson says $1 to $5 per night, depending on the room rate. Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, says his research shows that “30 percent of people stiff the maid,” while 70 percent said they usually leave a tip. Sorenson noted that housekeepers “are less frequently tipped” than other hotel workers because they do an “invisible task.” In contrast, workers who carry bags, hail cabs and park cars tend to get tipped because they “make a personal connection” with guests, he said. But not everyone is welcoming the nudge to pay room cleaners. “It is not Marriott’s responsibility to remind customers to tip; it’s their responsibility to pay their workers enough so that tips aren’t necessary,” said author Barbara Ehrenreich, who tried working as a hotel maid for her 2001 book “Nickel and Dimed,” which chronicled her experiences in low-wage jobs.
A Quarter for a Cause
Paying for a Clean Stay
Like how you can bounce a quarter off the bed in your hotel room? Make sure to leave a few coins for your room attendant. Marriott is launching a new program with Maria Shriver, the former first lady of California, to put envelopes in its hotel rooms to encourage tipping. The campaign, called “The Envelope Please,” begins this week. Envelopes will be placed in 160,000 rooms in the U.S. and Canada. The name of the person who cleans the room will be written on the envelope along with a message: “Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts.” Shriver, who founded an organization called A Woman’s Nation that aims to empower women, says many travelers don’t realize tipping hotel room attendants is customary. “There’s a huge education of the traveler that needs to occur,” she said. “If you tell them, they ask, ‘How do I do that?’” She said envelopes make it easy for guests to leave cash for the right person in a secure way.
When people in Pasadena, California, are feeding the meter, they are really feeding the homeless. The Los Angeles suburb is turning 14 parking meters into repositories for donations to nonprofits that serve the city’s homeless. Pasadena’s housing director, Bill Huang, says the hope is that people who might be reluctant to hand spare change to a panhandler will be more open to putting it in a meter. “This is a clear alternative where people contributing know that all the money will go to effective services,” Huang said. The meters, painted bright orange and covered with smiley faces and inspirational sayings, are also designed to raise awareness of homelessness. And they’ve been doing a good job. In just three weeks, the first two meters raised about $270— that’s a lot of change. Pasadena is the first city in Los Angeles County to try the meter approach to raising funds for the homeless. Officials said the primary purpose is to raise awareness about homelessness, although they acknowledge it could also reduce panhandling. Denver, with 55 meters, says it has
raised more than $30,000 annually for homeless programs while seeing panhandling decrease. But in Orlando, Florida, 15 meters have raised just $2,027 in three years, $27 more than it cost to install them. At least drivers there know that their change is going to help make good changes in their city.
and dancing on parade because nobody in living memory has had the cheek to do it. But this guardsman’s senior officers were livid when they saw the footage. His conduct is contrary to everything being a guardsman is about.”
The Qwerty Effect Want to know why you named your daughter Miriam? Well, it could be the Qwerty Effect. A recent study suggests that the layout of the keyboard may play a part in how parents name their children. Researchers suggested that keys on the right hand side are viewed as more positive, because of the dominant right hand, while those on the left are viewed as more negative. And they found that people tend to favor names with letters from the right side of a keyboard – but only since the rise in popularity of the Qwerty keyboard in 1990. Keys on the right side include the letters Y, I, O, P, H, K, L, M and N. Those on the left include the letters W, R, E, T, A, S, D, F, G, C, and B. An earlier study by Dr. Daniel Casasanto, who ran this study, revealed that people viewed words typed on the right hand side of the keyboard as more positive than those typed on the left side of the keyboard since most people are right-handed and tend to associate “good” with their more dominant hand.
Dancing Soldier may Go to Jail We all love watching those British soldier guarding the royal palaces with their stern expressions and stoic demeanor. But this week, a Grenadier Guardsman who broke strict rules by dancing on parade outside Buckingham Palace is potentially facing a 21-day prison sentence and a £1,000 fine. Footage of the unnamed soldier, nicknamed “Private Dancer,” performing a series of ballet-style pirouettes while on guard duty became an internet sensation. As tourists laughed and cheered, he repeatedly spun around, stopped mid-stride with his foot in the air for several seconds, brushed dust off his rifle and bent down as if to pick something up. But fame wasn’t necessarily good to this soldier. Army top brass officials reacted furiously to his antics and now the guardsman is facing their ire. A source said: “There’s no charge in the disciplinary manuals for silly walks
The source continued, “He is facing a stint in the jail with no pay and, when he returns to the Grenadiers, he could lose privileges such as going out in London with the other lads in his company. Twenty-one days has been discussed as a prison sentence. The hierarchy want to put a marker down so no guardsman dares prance around outside Buckingham Palace again.” I guess the British don’t love seeing the march of the wooden soldier.
$1 Million Parking Spot
In New York, a million dollars could buy you a nice home, but in certain neighborhoods, like in New York City’s SoHo district, a million dollars will only buy you a parking spot. The New York Times reports that 10 underground spots at 42 Crosby St., a condo development, will cost more per square foot than the apartments upstairs. The parking spots will run between $5,000 and $6,666 a square foot. The three-bedroom apartments will cost around $8 million to $10 million, or about $3,100 a square foot. Brokerage firm CEO Shaun Osher says there are “few to no options” for parking in SoHo, just northeast of the World Trade Center site. He says his firm is “looking at
At San Diego International Airport, cabbies are crying foul over a new test that they have to pass. Among 52 criteria for the cabdrivers is the body odor test, but cabbies are insisting that the assessment is just perpetuating stereotypes and smacks of prejudice and discrimination. For years, inspectors with the San Diego Regional Airport Authority run down their checklist for each cabbie — proof of insurance, functioning windshield wipers, adequate tire treads, good brakes. Drivers are graded pass, fail, or needs fixing. Anyone who flunks the smell test is told to change before picking up another customer. Leaders of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego union say the test perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad. A 2013 survey of 331 drivers by San Diego State University and Center on Policy Initiatives found 94 percent were immigrants and 65 percent were from East Africa. Additionally, there’s “no standard process” to the smell test. Who really smells? Only the nose knows—and it varies depending on whose nose it is. Another criteria for inspection is the smell test for “foul interior odors” in the vehicle, which may include gasoline, vomit or mildew. “If they want to bring their smell detector, they can use it to test the customers and the drivers,” said driver Negus Gebrenarian, 39, from Ethiopia. He, like other drivers, said the stench is just as likely to come from the back seat as it is from the front. The airport authority says it is enforcing a policy of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, which regulates taxis throughout the region, that prohibits foul-smelling drivers and promotes regular bathing. It also says the practice is about satisfying customers. “Taxi drivers are often the first impres-
Stealing Some ZZZs
A really tired thief took a nap in a Florida home—and ended up in handcuffs before he was able to steal anything more than a few Zzzs. The man – apparently overcome with exhaustion in planning his major heist – lay down on a bed at the home during a burglary on Monday, and fell into a deep sleep. The woman who was cleaning the home found the cat-burglar/cat-napper and called police. Officials got a laugh when they took photos of the slumbering thief moments before his arrest. He was lying next a plastic bag filled with jewelry he planned to steal.
MOTORCYCYLES AND BIKES . . . Part II Question: I have seen some very close calls when a bicyclist hogging the lane was nearly hit by a car. I might add that it is very frustrating driving behind a bicyclist who is slowing down traffic. What are the rules for bicyclists sharing the road with drivers? Answer: This is an excellent and timely question. As you may have realized, Southern California is ahead of the pack when it comes to bicycle safety issues. The warm weather, health consciousness, and environmental awareness have all contributed to the southland’s appeal to bicycle commuters. The Vehicle Code requires bicyclists who travel at speeds slower than the normal speed of traffic to ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway. There are exceptions to this requirement in the following situations: (1) When overtaking or passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same directions; (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection; (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid “conditions” that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the roadway. These “conditions” include moving objects, other vehicles or bicycles, pedestrians, animals, narrow lanes, or surface hazards. This broad exception can cause the scenario that you described above. If you see a bicyclist slowing down traffic or taking up the entire lane, keep in mind the above-mentioned rule. Although it can be frustrating when you’re in a hurry and stuck behind a bicyclist, remember that thousands of bicyclists are killed or injured each year in California. Even if you get frustrated, don’t lose your temper like Dr. Christopher Thompson of Brentwood. Dr. Thompson was convicted in 2010 of intentionally assaulting two bicyclists with his car by pulling ahead of them and slamming on his brakes. He tried to teach them a lesson, but it was he who learned his lesson by sitting in prison for five years! You may have also seen bus advertisements throughout the city advising that “every lane is a bike lane.” Now you know why!
Question: I heard an advertisement on the radio warning drivers about the three foot rule going into effect soon. Can you explain this? Answer: You are probably referring to the “Three Feet For Safety Act” which takes effect September 16, 2014. Similar to the issues raised in the previous question, this is a new law intended to increase bicycle safety on California roads. Prior to September 16th, drivers could pass bicyclists as long as it was safe to do so. Now, drivers can only pass bicyclists if there is a minimum of three feet of clearance between the driver and bicycle. If there is less than three feet of clearance, it is illegal to pass the bicyclist. Here are some more safety tips: For Drivers • Do not pass a bicyclist unless you have three feet of clearance • Slow down when approaching a bicyclist • Avoid distractions while driving, such as cell phones or other devices • Look out for oncoming bicyclists while making left turns • Always check your blind spot before turning or changing lanes For Bicyclists • Ride in the same direction as traffic, not against it • Obey the rules of the road and stop at stop signs and red lights • If riding at night, ensure your bicycle is visible and has proper illumination (white in front, red in back) • Do not zig-zag; ride in a straight line • Maintain a safe distance from parked cars to avoid opening car doors Michael Rubinstein is a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. If you have a personal injury or other legal matter, you are invited to call Michael at 213-2936075. Michael welcomes your questions or comments at Michael.E.Rubinstein@ gmail.com.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Cabbies to Pass Body Odor Test
sion that travelers receive when arriving into San Diego and we want to encourage a positive experience,” airport authority spokeswoman Rebecca Bloomfield said. Only about three drivers fail to get a passing grade each year, she said. This odor-detecting test is nothing new. Inspectors have been smelling drivers for years. There was no controversy until a union employee waded through a 568-page airport board agenda and noticed the checklist, which had been approved in July for revisions unrelated to the body odor test. San Diego’s policy appears to be unusually explicit about sniffing out smelly cabbies. Chicago requires that drivers be “clean and neat in their appearance.” New York City’s wording is similarly broad. Seattle long evaluated cabbies for body odor associated with infrequent bathing and not washing clothes but dropped that test last month for a more general requirement on cleanliness. “The industry didn’t like it and they felt that we were kind of overstepping: Why are we dictating to them? We don’t tell city employees that you’ve got to shower more often,” said Denise Movius, Seattle’s deputy director of finance and administrative services. Sitting in a stuffy cab in traffic? Maybe just keep the deodorant on hand—and feel free to share.
THE JEWISH HOME
setting the benchmark.” For that price, I’ll just hire a chauffeur.
44 SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 THE JEWISH HOME
can remember watching my children playing on the floor and wondering how parents can come to hurt their kids. When I realized that those parents themselves were perhaps hurt, it challenged me to figure out just what would be the best place to intervene: With the adults or with the children? I still don’t know so I work all sides of the matter. One thing I have created to help the children is through my new internet radio show, “Parents and Kids.” It is on the Chazaq organization’s radio station. (They are based in Queens and have done wonderful work with children, teens, and their parents.) For the last two weeks, my program (which can be found at chazaqradio. com on Thursdays from 3-4) has been pre-recorded because I have visited several schools and spoken to teachers and principals on just exactly what are the key ingredients of helping children get the new school year off to a great start. If you can’t listen at the time the broadcast goes on, you can access these recordings in the archive section and I think they are well worth it. For example, on September 4, Ms. Temmy Gober an English Language Arts teacher from the Jewish Institute of Queens and the Ohr Chana High School, was gracious enough to spend the full hour with me. Amongst other things, she explained what an IEP is – Individualized Educational Programming – and how a child could benefit from it. Often parents are uncomfortable with the idea that their child is not the most brilliant one in the class. However, only one person can ever be at the top, so her wise advice on appreciating just who your child really is will give enormous relief to parents who may very well want to avail themselves of such services. On September 11, I had the privilege of speaking to two illustrious educators. Rabbi Leibel Lamm of Shaarei Tzion in Forest Hills shared with me some counterintuitive advice. He maintains, among other things covered in the program, that the worst possible way to get cooperation out of a misbehaving child is to get into a battle of wills with him. If you want your child to be ready in the morning to rise and shine, be sure to
Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.
Kids and School create the right environment the night before. To Rabbi Lamm, the right environment is created with words, words that affirm the goodness of the child and your belief in advance that your child really wants to do the right thing. The key to getting that cooperation is making bedtime fun, paying attention
able to read; it was a mystery, but Mrs. Brander set about clearing that up. For example, she suggested that a parent can listen to a child read and ask the child to picture in his mind what is happening in the story. Now, at that point, I was surprised and I asked her, “Don’t people normally picture what is
THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT IS CREATED WITH WORDS, WORDS THAT AFFIRM THE GOODNESS OF THE CHILD.
to them, and pleasantly implanting a message of the wonderful day they will have tomorrow. He also suggested that saying the Shema will help children get past fears of the night, among the many great ideas that he presented. One secret he offers is that there should be no surprises for children: Warn them of approaching bedtime. Also, he suggests parents offer children choices, for example: Do you want to go to bed now or in 5 minutes? Next on the same program was Mrs.
Ellyn Brander. Those of you who are or were Queens residents may recognize the name Brander as belonging to the principal of Yeshiva Central Queens for 30 years. Indeed, that is Rabbi Brander and his wife, Mrs. Brander, was a reading teacher for many years. I always thought, when my children passed through pre-school into kindergarten, that somehow the teachers worked magic on them for they would come out knowing how to read. I never understood what alchemistry had to be worked on children to get them to be
happening in their minds as they read?” She explained that little kids who are struggling to pronounce each word may very well lose the storyline in their minds. By stopping them and asking them to picture what they are reading, it not only holds the storyline in their awareness but that in turn helps them figure out what the words probably are as they read them. Mrs. Brander also recommends making word searches and crossword puzzles for children of all ages to make the whole process fun.
There is far more that each of the interviewees contributed than I could possibly go over here, and each idea was a true gem. When I started the radio program, I was hoping to get callers calling into the show when it aired live. The phone number to do that, incidentally, is 718285-6120. But people are shy sometimes and I didn’t fill my hour with call-ins. Now I have to tell you that it is not fun to speak “to” a microphone. It is one thing to speak into a microphone but quite another when the only one lis-
tening is that inanimate object. So I decided, or rather, the founder of the Chazaq organization, Yaniv Meirov, suggested that I do interviews. And it works! I like talking to people so if they are not going to be callers, then expert educators will do. While the Yomim Noraim are upon us, don’t think for a minute that school should take a back seat. To children, school is their work and although they may be off a few extra days for yom tov, their social ease, their academic achievement, in fact, their very identities, are all formed to a large degree at school. For that reason, for the next few weeks, except for the days of yom tov, I will be continuing these interviews. The topic right now is: What can parents do to help their children get a great start in the school year? But after that, we will move into other school-related themes. If you would like to recommend a teacher or principal who has a great message for the radio audience, let me know or have them contact me. If you prefer to listen on your phone, why not get the app so you can access the show with just a click? Download JStream for Android and Jewish Radio for iPhone. Or just listen by dialing 401-283-6664. School has a powerful effect on children, not only academically. It affects their happiness, their social adaptation, and even their identity. See how you can help your children and grandchildren get off to a great start in the new school year. Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist best-selling of The Dr. Deband Hirschorn is aauthor marriage & Healing Is Mutual: Marriage Empowerfamily therapist and best selling author ment ToolsHealing to Rebuild and Respect— of The Is Trust Mutual: Marriage Together, is proud Tools to announce that readers Empowerment to Rebuild Trust Please visit www.drdeb. ofand The Respect. Jewish Home will receive a $50 discom on forevery further count visitinfo. to her Woodmere office. Listen to her new show called “Kids and Parents” on Chazaq Radio live from 3-4 on Thursdays. The call in phone number is 718285-9132. Attend the Food For Thought lectures at Cravingz Cafe, 410 Central Ave, Cedarhurst, on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Any questions, call 646-54-DRDEB or check out her website at http://drdeb.com.
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n S E P T E M B E R 1 8 , 2014
THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 46
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