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High Holiday Services & retreat at the
Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel
High Holiday Retreat Rosh Hashanah Retreat First Class Accomodations Glatt Kosher Gourmet Meals By Embassy Caterers Special Hotel Room Rates and Late Check Out Available Popular Meaningful Youth Programs and Jr. Congregation Community Tashlich Walk to Lake Inspiring and â€œWalk-Freeâ€? Yom Kippur at Hyatt
Space is limited, please reserve early! For seat reservations, further information, and/or a detailed brochure, please call
818-991-0991 or visit www.ChabadConejo.com/Hyatt
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Join Chabad of the Conejo as we start the New Year off with a most inspiring, delightful and relaxing
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COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
JEWISH THOUGHT I’d Be the First to Thank Hashem, If... . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Middle Way is Killing You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Choose Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
COVER STORY Consequences of a Fragile Ceasefire . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Remembering the Heroes of 9/11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Baja California. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Packing Healthy Snacks for School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 JWI Cookbook – A Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
EDUCATION Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Dr. Deb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
ISRAEL Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Ah, the beauty of a fresh start. As we begin hearing the Shofar in Shul during the month of Elul, we are reminded that we can always shift directions and become better people in the coming year. Lost opportunities due to laziness or underestimating ourselves become a thing of the past. Family members we have become distant from, Torah study we have neglected and Mitzvot we might have overlooked are weaknesses recognized and we resolve to make our next year better than this one now passing. For me this has an even more personal ring as my birthday is in Elul making it the most perfect time to contemplate on the purpose of our being in this world. The energy of the approaching high holidays gives us renewed strength to look around and see our world with clear eyes. It seems we are again descending into a jungle where the “stronger one wins” and a reality in which tomorrow’s news will make today’s harsh headlines feel like a side story. We must remain strong with the knowledge that our planet has a creator and that nothing is by chance. While we cannot comprehend why events need to be this way or why the potential for so much suffering was created in the first place, we nevertheless accept that some things are unknowable, like a child who cannot fathom the teachings of a great professor even though that very child might one day become a professor himself. Take this belief to the next step and we realize that the one above created the poor man with the expectation that our individual and community efforts will reverse his status and help put the needy back on their feet. We want our davening to remember the evil and selfish forces and with Tefilla we pray that the negativity will be stopped before madness engulfs additional populations. Of course, this is why we request and demand for the future redemption so many times during our
three daily prayers, the grace after meals and with almost any other Tefilla we say. True, G-d is the one who sent us into exile and he is the one who will decide when the moment of our return has come. At the same time he wants us to be fed up with the “status quo”. It should bother us that while we can control our inclination to make poor decisions, we cannot completely remove our negative impulses. Indeed, every Elul sees us dealing once again with self-improvement issues such as laziness or jealousy, lust or selfishness. At a certain level this frustrates us but not in the sense of self-loathing, for He is the one who created us this way. Instead we recognize that we are blessed with a sense of yearning for a time when there will be moral and spiritual clarity. Then goodness will feel sweet and everyone will recognize that negative events are bitter. It is then we will spend time in spiritual pursuits and that will be perfectly natural. This is also true when focusing on the world outside our personal ones. When we encounter a sad individual, one who can’t seem to find inner peace, or someone simply struggling with life’s basic challenges of health, livelihood or Nachas from their children, we should offer a small prayer asking G-d that in addition to solving the immediate issue at hand, he also solve the root of all issues returning the world to its original perfect state. How much more so when we see images online of our fellow human beings facing unimaginable suffering. It tears at our heart and with every fiber of our being we pray that He fulfill the second part of the verse in this week’s Haftorah: “For, but a brief moment have I forsaken you, and with abundant mercy will I gather you in.” May we have a peaceful and enjoyable Shabbos,
T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM
by Rena Udkoff
subjects was a long time coming,” he explained. “In today’s world we have expectations about scholarship that include measurement, repeatability, and commonality, and that’s what standards are all about. These educational tools have been present for years in the secular educational community. Why shouldn’t they be available in the Jewish world? There is nothing more important to Jewish learning than the study of Torah and with standards, we can make sure that everyone is getting everything they can out of the experience.” “Standards are key to any learning community,” explained Rabbi Greenbaum. “Without distinct goals, lessons can become a blur of material to be covered instead of what they should be: teaching the skills needed for students to obtain mastery and become passionate, independent Chumash learners.” The workshop was met with much enthusiasm from the participating educators, who described the program as containing “a wealth of information.” “There was a lot of interest in the ideas that were presented,” said Wagshul,”and teachers were very excited to implement what they learned.” MEF is currently counting down to its new website launch, which will provide a home for the Zekelman Standards for Judaic Studies program, as well as accompanying resources. MEF plans to build a community of educators that use the program. Ultimately, the project aims to enable a new generation of Jewish students to find joy and success in their Chumash learning, and give them the keys to unlock their heritage. To find out more, visit www.zekelmanstandards.org.
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On August 11, a groundbreaking seminar by the Menachem Education Foundation (MEF), co-hosted by Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and Emek Hebrew Academy, presented the Zekelman Standards to West Coast educators for the first time. With nearly three dozen educators from eight schools in attendance, the event, “Unlocking the Chumash,” was the first major inroad that presented standards for teaching Judaic studies in the mainstream Orthodox communities of the US and abroad. Dedicated to raising the bar in Jewish education, MEF introduced The Zekelman Standards for Judaic Studies to provide a concise, clearly articulated description of what students should know and be able to do at any specific stage of their educational journey. The standards were recently completed to include grades 1-8. Rabbi Avrohom Wagshul, of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, learned about the Zekelman Standards from a Jewish news website and was immediately “struck by what a fantastic idea it was.” Wagshul, who has taught Judaics for 9 years, had come across the concept of national standards while teaching general studies. He recognized that it would be a useful tool for teaching Torah subjects and he reached out to MEF to learn more about this project. When he heard about a New York seminar introducing this program, he took the initiative to bring a similar event to Los Angeles. The day-long seminar was presented by Cheder Menachem principal Rabbi Mendy Greenbaum. Alan Zekelman is the philanthropist behind the Zekelman Standards for Chumash. “The need for standards in Judaic
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The Zekelman Standards; Raising Practices in Jewish Education
Los Angeles Reception in Honor of Senator Lindsay Graham By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
When it comes to political supporters of Israel, the consensus in the Jewish Community appears to be that it makes no difference whether the support is coming from a Democrat or a Republican, the support is welcomed and reciprocated. Last week, members of the Los Angeles community from both sides of the aisle, stepped forward to attend a reception in honor of United States Senator, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, hosted by Robert and Melanie Rechnitz in their home. “Bobby”, as Robert Rechnitz is fondly referred to, is the International Chairman of the Jerusalem Conference and was a creative force behind the Iron Dome Tribute Event which was created in appreciation of the United States Congress and the Obama Administration’s support of the Iron Dome Anti-Missile Defense Program. As Chairmen of the Iron Dome Tribute Event which was held in the Kennedy Caucus Room at the US Capital on February 27, 2013, Mr. Rechnitz now welcomed the attendees of this event at his home. “I stand before you as a proud American in paying tribute to our great country, the United States of America, whose anthem pledge is ‘Liberty and Justice for all’. We gather here today in unity as a non-partisan group that has no agenda but to show gratitude to our country for showing unbridled military support for its only trustworthy and close ally in the Middle East, the State of Israel.” In a follow up of support for those who have gone the extra mile on behalf of Israel, Senator Lindsay Graham ranks at the top of the list. A senator from a state with an extremely small Jewish population, Senator Graham understands the important role that Israel plays on the world stage and is unwavering in his support of Israel. He has earned a reputation as a conservative, a problem-solv-
er, and a leader who gets things done. Robert Rechnitz related how recently there were very few bills being passed in Congress and all its members were preparing to leave on summer recess but Senator Graham worked tirelessly to secure the passing of a bill which granted additional funding for the Iron Dome system.
to world peace. He concluded by reminding us that Israel has the overwhelming support of Congress. Mr. Rechnitz then introduced U.S. Representative Ed Royce, who is serving his eleventh term in Congress representing Southern California’s 39th District. While Congressman Royce has served on the House
(R-L) Senator Lindsay Graham with Robert Rechnitz
Foreign Affairs Committee since 1993, for this, 113th Congress, Royce was selected to be Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Prior to becoming Chairman of the Committee, Congressman Royce served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. He has, therefore, an exceptionally solid grasp and awareness of the role Israel plays in the safety and security of the Middle East. Congressman Royce then gave his assessment of the world situation, of the machinations of Iran and the state of terrorism around the world. A well-known story is told of the time when Congressman Royce was taken to on a Middle East visit and met Dr. Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. The Congressman was not cautious in speaking his
Rechnitz made the introduction with these words, “It was through the tireless efforts of Senator Graham that in the 11th hour, as Congressman headed for the door and their vacation that he overcame numerous obstacles and had Congressman stay and vote for $237 million dollars in additional funding for the Iron Dome Defense system for Israel. Need I say more? It is a pleasure for me to introduce to you a great leader, a fantastic American, a fine, fine, friend, Senator Lindsay Graham.” Senator Graham presented a comprehensive analysis of the Middle East situation and offered his insights into Hamas and the assorted terrorist organizations that have reared their ugly heads, as well as the threat of Iran
mind and the interaction was poignant, “Dr. Abbas, I understand that you question the existence of the Holocaust perpetrated on the Jewish People. I must tell you that my father was a soldier in the United States Army and participated in the liberation of the Dachau Concentration camp. He saw first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust. Are you sir, suggesting that when my father told us of his experience at Dachau that he was lying?” It is said that the color drained from the face of Dr. Abbas and he was much subdued by the Congressman’s words. Finally Mr. Rechnitz introduced Elan Carr who is running for Congress looking to represent California’s 33rd Congressional District. A strong supporter of Israel, we look forward to his successful election. Rechnitz explained, “Elan Carr is the son of immigrants. His mother fled to Israel from Iraq after watching her father be taken away by Iraqi authorities. His step-father fled to Israel from Nazi-occupied Bulgaria. Both eventually immigrated to the United States and became proud American citizens. Determined to serve his country, Elan joined the United States Army a few months before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. While serving in Iraq, he received international media attention for leading Hanukkah and other Jewish services in the former presidential palace of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Due to his intimate knowledge and firsthand experience with Israel and the Middle East, Elan was invited by Israel’s Ministry of Justice to help create a public defender’s office in Israel – the first in the country’s history.” And finally, not to be overlooked, there was a delicious and elegant lunch that was served and hosted by Melanie Rechnitz. May the supporters of Israel continue to grow and succeed in all their endeavors.
Photos: Arye D. Gordon
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SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Reuven Nathanson who are highly competent kashrus professionals. The Vaad is not a kashrus endorsing agency. Blessed to have highly reputable Hashgacha providers, the Vaad exists to be an extra set of eyes by carrying out
Mishmeres HaKashrus whose goal is to fulfill an important religious function in the kosher world of the Los Angeles Jewish community. Los Angeles is fortunate to have a number of kosher supervisions that are serviced by talented and devoted individuals. While kashrus professionals are experts in the field of kosher supervision, communal Rabbis bear the responsibility of ensuring that appropriate standards of kashrus are set and that each establishment is meeting these standards. Kashrus agencies can best provide the highest standards of supervision when there is a partnership between kashrus professionals and local Rabbonim. The Vaad is the organization that works to smooth the relationship between these two groups. It is after many years of effort and collaboration between Los Angeles Rabbonim and the Kashrus agencies that the organization has now been established. The Vaad is unaffiliated with any specific kashrus supervising agency and provides all its services free of charge. When invited by the establishment and the Hashgacha organization, the Vaad will inspect any food establishment or retail food provider. Local rabbanim and Bnei Torah volunteers are enlisted and trained by Rabbis Yosef Bodenstein, Binyamin Kaplan and
ongoing inspections. As Rabbi Sholom Ginsburg, Rov of Kehillas Yitzchok, one of the senior Rabbonim of the Los Angeles community, explained, “The purpose of the Vaad from its inception is to work hand in hand with Kashrus organizations, to help raise the standard of Kashrus in our community to be highly reliable, so that all community members will be comfortable.” After an inspection is made, the inspector reports to the Vaad and the Vaad shares any issues needing attention with the respective kashrus agency. Baruch Hashem, current efforts have met with great success. The Vaad enjoys a warm working relationship with the certifying agencies and additional recommendations are consistently implemented. In the developing stages, the Vaad sought council and guidance from Kashrus agencies across America. In particular, Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the OU Kashrus department, and Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Executive Rabbinic Coordinator of OU Kosher, were extremely helpful in this regard. Rabbi Yosef Bodenstein, a local kashrus expert, was a driving force in establishing the Vaad and continues to offer ongoing guidance and direction to the Vaad. Rabbi Bodenstein explains that “the
goal of the Vaad is to establish national standards of kashrus here in L.A.” The Vaad’s involvement promotes strong consumer confidence in the communal standards of kashrus as well as the kashrus of each establishment and fosters even greater trust and respect in the supervising agency. Rabbi Daniel Grama, Rov of Congregation Mogen David commented, “Anyone who knows Jewish LA knows that we enjoy our restaurants. The Vaad wants ensure the kosher consumer can have complete confidence in where they are eating.” Rabbi Shimon Raichick of Congregation Levi Yitzchok is one of the founders of the Vaad HaKashrus. He reflects upon his life in the LA Jewish community and how he has “watched the standards of Kashrus advance over the years; we must always make it better.” He notes that LA is the second largest Jewish community in the United States and “our standards should be on the highest level.”
Rabbonim of the Vaad represent a cross section of rabbonim from the Los Angeles community. The participating Rabbonim are Rabbi David Akhamzadeh, Rabbi Yechezkel Cohen, Rabbi Dovid Edelstein, Rabbi Sholom Ginsberg, Rabbi Daniel Grama, Rabbi Dovid Grossman, Rabbi Yaakov Gruen, Rabbi Yochanan Henig, Rabbi Nechemia Langer and Rabbi Shimon Raichik. While the Vaad does not impose its program on any store, and non-participation with the Vaad is not an indication of inferior supervision, the organization hopes that more and more establishments will take advantage of the services offered and be proud to add Vaad Mishmeres HaKashrus certification to their restaurant or store. Updates of establishments participating in the Vaad program can be found on the Vaad website at www.vaad-la.org or by sending an email to email@example.com.
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A number of months ago, without publicity or fanfare, a historic gathering of a small group of Los Angeles rabbonim met up in a local shul. From this modest beginning, emerged a new and exciting organization named the Los Angeles Vaad
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LA’s New Vaad Mishmeres HaKashrus Program is Established
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SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Acheinu Enrolls 1,500 New Talmidim For Elul By Yosef Sosnow
On the outside it looks like a regular house in the town of Givat Zev, located just a couple of miles northwest of Yerushalayim. Upon opening and entering the front door, however, one is struck by the difference; one’s ears are overwhelmed by a thunderous sound, the back and forth of a spirited Torah discussion; young faces aflame with passion, as they debate the fine points of the Gemarah. The sound is reminiscent of the resounding kol Torah heard in the Lakewood, Mir, or Ponovezh Yeshivos, but a quick look inside the nondescript house sitting on the edge of a hill with a gorgeous panoramic view of the hills surrounding Yerushalayim, paints an unexpected picture. It is a room filled with young people wearing shirts of different colors, sporting yarmulkas of different sizes and fabrics, and learning together with chareidi avreichim. They clearly seem to love every minute. Their passion and enthusiasm is almost contagious. “Welcome to Acheinu’s Yeshiva “Dover Tov,” says Rabbi Chaim Goldberg, Acheinu’s Director of Yeshivos. Rabbi Goldberg, continues, “Yes, it sounds like a normal yeshiva scene. If you look behind the outer trappings it seems like the regular kol Torah that you would hear in any yeshiva, the bachurim here seem to be learning like regular yeshiva bachurim. What is most remarkable is that this is the middle of their summer vacation! These are teenagers who, just several months ago, knew nothing about Torah and had posters of the leading soccer players or pop stars adorning the walls around their beds. Now the only thing on their minds is the machlokes between Abaye and Rava on the sugya that they are learning. This is the power of Acheinu’s Yeshiva Dover Tov!” Acheinu’s Yeshiva Dover Tov was opened about a year ago in Givat Zev by its Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Dov Sloschitz, shlita. Harav Sloschitz is a close talmid of the well-known gaon and baal machshava, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shapiro, shlita. Harav Shapiro who understood Rav Sloschitz’s prodigious talents in kiruv rechokim and his love and deeply caring heart for every Jew, saw Rav Sloschitz as the ideal Rosh Yeshiva for a kiruv yeshiva seeking to produce not just baalei teshuva but talmidei chachomim as well. Rav Sloschitz, a son-in-law of the unforgettable Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Dov Ber Schwartzman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Bais HaTalmud of Yerushalayim, named the Yeshiva, Yeshiva “Dover (Dov Ber) Tov” in memory of his illustrious father-in-law. Learning Torah: Opening Minds… and Making Inroads
“The main thing,” says Rav Sloschitz, “is that we learn Torah with them. The light of the Torah is the greatest kiruv tool available. We have seen that, more than discussions about lofty hashkafa subjects,
ally transform our biggest detractors into our most loyal patrons!” “We Don’t Go Down, We Raise them Up” When asked how avreichim raised in a
the actual Gemara’s discussions about “Arba avos nezikin” purifies their minds and brings them close to Hashem. Just setting up a chavrusa partnership with a yungerman is all they need and they begin to shine, to love Torah and to even want to give up their summer vacation in order to stay in yeshiva!” Unfortunately, the yeshiva’s sojourn in Givat Zev has not been a bed of roses. Rav Meir Weinberger, one of Acheinu’s devoted activists relates, “When the yeshiva opened in a non-religious neighborhood in Givat Zev, some neighbors and others who
sheltered environment can find a common language with their charges, he explains, “At the first Acheinu Kiruv Conference, HaGaon HaRav Matisyahu Solomon, shlita, told over a profound thought that really encapsulates Acheinu’s chinuch philosophy. One of the climaxes of the Yamim Noraim davening is the beautiful piyut beginning, ‘Veye’esayu kol l’avdecha’. The piyut describes the exalted time during yemos haMashiach when all the nations will serve Hashem and recognize His sovereignty over the world. The piyut eloquently describes how the nations will abandon
sought to inflame sectarian discord, tried to do everything possible to close the yeshiva. We did our best to try calming things but it has not been easy. I am confident, however, that the kedushas haTorah that is suffusing this neighborhood simply from the Torah being learned in it, will eventu-
their idols and offer sacrifices to Hashem. It culminates triumphantly, ‘Veyitnu lecha keser melucha—they will give You the crown of sovereignty.’ Those words are immediately preceded by ‘Veyishmu rechokim veyavou—Those from afar will hear and will come.’ Those words contain
the foundation of our approach to kiruv rechokim. “The purpose,” said the Mashgiach, “behind rechokim hearing about Hashem is, “Veyavou—they should come to us. Kiruv rechokim means drawing rechokim close to us! Not bringing ourselves down to their level! Kiruv rechokim must be the outgrowth of a feeling emanating from within a ben Torah, a feeling of, ‘My burning love for Hashem and His Torah is so powerful, how can I not try to share it with my fellow Jews?’” Acheinu Enrolls 1,500 New Bachurim into Yeshivos Yeshiva Dover Tov is the latest of Acheinu’s yeshivos, joining its three other yeshivos that cater to talmidim at different levels of the kiruv chain. Another milestone was reached this summer as Acheinu broke all previous yeshiva enrollment records. In addition to Acheinu’s own yeshivos, they work with hundreds of yeshivos across Eretz Yisrael finding just the right fit for each of its charges. This Elul, Acheinu enrolled more than 1,500 new talmidim in yeshivos! “It is because of Acheinu’s tremendous devotion to follow up, that we have had such success in not only enrolling boys into yeshivos, but keeping them in yeshivos until they become true bnei Torah,” said Rabbi Shlomo Rozenstein, Acheinu’s Director of Public Affairs. Acheinu’s Placement Division at the Forefront of Kiruv Kerovim That brings us to another vital service that Acheinu has been providing to the general community. Follow up is perhaps the most important word in the Acheinu dictionary. That is why they have a whopping 93% success rate in retaining the young people whom they are mekarev. They place their charges in mainstream yeshivos tailor made to each boy. As a result, Acheinu yungeleit have a comprehensive, intimate knowledge of hundreds of yeshivos throughout the country. This expertise has been remarkably effective as a kiruv kerovim tool as well. When bachurim are having difficulty, either picking an appropriate yeshiva or getting accepted to a yeshiva, the first number their parents call is Acheinu. With Acheinu’s knowledge of yeshivos and ongoing relationships with Roshei Yeshiva who truly trust them, they have been successful in placing hundreds of bachurim from chareidi homes into yeshivos that suit them. After all, as its name implies, Acheniu’s mission is to care for and be mekarev all of our brothers, and bring them me’afeilah l’or gadol!
By Vicky Judah
Yorem Globus, Golan acquired Cannon Films and went on a blitz of producing low budget action movies in America. They successfully appealed to young audiences. Many of these movies birthed sequels, sometimes as many as seven, and for a time they brought a huge income to Canon Films. They were not the kind of
movies with oh-so-polished sales people. And he did. It was late in the day when I met with Golan, with his alluring Israeli brashness and his imposing Israeli accent. I enthusiastically explained how the road movie I wanted to produce was perfectly commercial with a spiritual edge. The predictable
stories which have quality and longevity that contribute to the global library of cinematography, but they were solid low-brow entertainment. My dealings with Golan were many years later. I was a young twenty-something English woman with no Zionist or religious conscience and was working at the Cannes Film Festival. My attendance at the Festival was motivating and I was wonderfully fearless to the likelihood of my complete failure in any film making capacity in which I would immerse myself. It was then that I found myself sitting with Golan in his expansive offices on the ground floor of the elegant Carlton Hotel. I had known that Golan’s company financed independent movies and I had witnessed firsthand the sleek young men and women working his huge open-plan office that he set up at the Mifed Film Market in Milan, the previous fall. Golan understood that he could best sell his less respectable
story was of two heroes made their way through the Californian desert on their way to deliver a package to Las Vegas. Golan listened intently for a few minutes. He knew absolutely nothing about me, about my lack of film making education and experience and he had no interest in my specifics. But the story caught his imagination. He had an electrifying response to the details. As I remember it, he said, “The sweat needs to pour down their faces. The sand needs to be a character in the movie. The car they drive must be a character in its own right. And the heat, the heat must be everywhere. They can’t escape it. Lots of sweat. I think they even fall in love with it. And of course with each other.” I was transfixed by his charisma. There was nothing about what he said that was so creative but the words he spoke were liquid gold. Then, in an instant, he said he would fund the movie for the pitiful sum
of $250,000. My response was instantaneous; that would be perfect. The following morning I returned early to his office to collect an enormous contract which I was to sign… by the end of the day. With the gratifying innocence of a first time producer, I went out to the Carlton Terrace and ordered an exorbitant cup of coffee under the shade of the palm trees while movie stars glided past. And I began to read. Did I say it was an exceedingly lengthy contract? I reasoned that I could allow a quantity of other people to each receive producer credit on the movie, although they would have nothing to do with the project. Did it really matter? And I could agree to do the editing of the movie in another country. Oh, and the sound work in yet another country? The contract noted that I would have the right to cast the movie, except that the lead actor and actress would be chosen by Golan and the director would have no say in the matter. Hhmm. I do not remember all the details but there was certainly something about the financing. It would be coming from an unnamed person somewhere in the unknown reaches of the world. There was no denying it; the complexity and detail of the paperwork was unworkable for anyone with any sense of traditional values. Although I spent the day laboring at the fax machine in Golan’s office, trying to send the epic contract to my LA attorney, my innocence left with the pages on the fax machine. The deal was a dud. Soon after, I produced Destination Vegas, but not with Menachem Golan. Although I nodded respectfully when I saw him at film markets, I never had dealings with him again. It was said that more recently he had made and lost a fortune producing stage-musicals in Israel. I had no doubt that he would remake his fortune again. It was therefore quite sad to hear of his passing and it lead me to wonder as well. Had he been interested in my movie because it reminded him of the Negev desert? Was he just out to take advantage of a young film producer or could he perhaps see that I was a hopelessly lost Jew and he felt kindly to me? In the bigger scheme of things, did he miraculously know that the young Israeli who had watched him filming that day in Tel Aviv airport, would find a shared knowledge with his brideto-be because they had both been utterly hypnotized by the one and only Menachem Golan? Perhaps not, but then in movies, anything is possible.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
On August 8, in Jaffa, Israel, Menachem Golan died at the age of 85. He was a man who was endlessly enigmatic and charismatic. He leaves behind his wife and three children but a legacy besides. He produced an immense library of feature films spanning a vast spectrum of genres and then there is the memory of his leadership in the global film world. My husband, born in Haifa in 1960, attributes his emigration to Los Angeles, to the icon that was Menachem Golan. The story goes that when he was a young teen, he took a bus to the airport in Tel Aviv to meet his parents from a long trip but the plane was endlessly delayed. At the same time, Golan was filming a movie at the airport. He remembers the area being cordoned off and he spent the day watching the film set and the incredible producer, who was sitting on a high chair, barking orders through a megaphone. For a teenager, the atmosphere was mesmerizing; there was an electric charge in the air and a feeling of watching something being birthed. By the end of the day, he decided that he would have to walk in the footsteps of this Menachem Golan and fifteen years later, he moved to LA with the goal of studying film. Life ultimately dealt him a different path, but the future is still to come. Golan started producing movies after serving as a fighter pilot in the 1948 War of Independence. His first movie, produced in 1964, was the humorous Sallah Shabati with Topol in the lead role. The movie’s intelligent, sensitive but oh-so-true depiction of life as new Israeli immigrants, went on to win a Golden Globe, Israel’s first Oscar for Best Foreign Film and other prestigious awards. In Israel, it was the best performing movie ever with more than 1.3 million tickets sold in the first year. This was Golan at his best. Given the success of this first movie, it is not surprising that Golan went on to produce 23 movies in the 70’s alone and this was when my husband bumped into the cigar smoking oh-so-grand producer. The set was buzzing and was, most probably, the production of Golan’s next most successful film, Mivtsa Jonatan, the story of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane as it left Tel Aviv for France. The retelling of the daring recapture of the Jewish passengers from Entebbe, Africa, and the loss of life of Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, Jonatan, was the story he successfully brought to the screen. It would have been a great contribution to the cinema archives if Golan had continued to produce movies that were of specifically Israeli issues and society. But this was not to be. Along with his cousin,
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Obituary: Remembering Menachem Golan
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SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
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Consequences of a Fragile Ceasefire BY SUSAN SCHWAMM
On August 26, after 50 days of fighting, a long-term ceasefire was
Ban Ki-moon cautioned, “Any peace effort that does not tackle the
agreed upon between Israelis and Palestinian militants in the Gaza
root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the
Strip. It is unknown how long the Egypt-brokered truce will hold—
next cycle of violence.” His warning came as the two sides continued
and who exactly benefits from the agreement.
to trade fire. Two Israeli civilians were killed in the Eshkol Regional
Despite the announcement of the ceasefire, UN Secretary General
ceasefire proposal called for an indefinite end to hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza’s crossings with Israel and Egypt, and an extension of the territory’s Mediterranean fishing zone. With the openings of the crossings, both Israel and Egypt were demanding of the Palestinian leadership a guarantee that weapons would not be smuggled into Gaza. In a month’s time, should the truce hold, both sides will once again come to the table to discuss the construction of a seaport and airport in Gaza and the freeing of about 100 prisoners. Israel has also asked for the remains of slain Israeli soldiers held by Hamas and the disarmament of the terrorist group, something it has flatly rejected in the past. When the announcement of the ceasefire reached Palestinians, there were shouts of victory heard in the streets. Thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and the West Bank, waving the green flag of Hamas, and mosques blared out with calls of “Allah akbar!” In Israel, the ceasefire was greeted more mutely. Many were skittish about the truce, having been burned too many times before by Palestinians violating brokered peace. Quite a few were skeptical that this was Israel’s answer. Even so, both sides welcome the immediate relief from threats of rockets and attacks in what has been the longest, deadliest and most destructive of three wars the two sides have fought in the last six years in the Gaza Strip. But did Hamas get all that they wanted?
Council and six Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes.
Did Israel concede too much in the name of peace? Is it possible to come to “peace” with an organization whose premise is for your ultimate destruction? Although Israel speaks of dealing a “devastating” blow to Hamas during Operation Protective Edge, the truth is that Hamas demonstrated a surprising resilience in this campaign. Many have criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for not dealing a decisive defeat of the terrorist group. Why not eradicate Hamas once and for all and cripple them entirely? In a recent interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman echoed this sentiment. “The question is if it’s possible to do something and to achieve a stable and sustainable ceasefire or peace agreement,” he related. “The last speeches that we saw from Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza and Khaled Meshaal in Qatar, they clarified their position. They explained that they will fight Israel and their goal is to wipe out the state of Israel,” Liberman explained. The foreign minister added that Israel should be dealing a death blow to Hamas instead of sitting at the table with them agreeing to a truce. “I think that we have enough force to finish this story and to topple this terrorist organization, and I don’t see any differences between Hamas and ISIS and al Qaeda,” he said. “We saw their executions in the Gaza Strip. It’s exactly like Islamic State’s or al Qaeda.” Ultimately, Liberman concluded, the ceasefire is “a really bad choice for the state of Israel.” Others in the Knesset have also voiced their criti-
cism for the ceasefire and Netanyahu’s decision to broker peace with the Palestinians. “I ask myself, ‘What have we accomplished?’” said Danny Danon of Netanyahu’s Likud Party who is often at odds with the prime minister on Army Radio. “If we would have acted much more aggressively to begin with, we would have ended this fighting with a much lower price and much preferable conditions.” Zehava Galon, head of the left-wing Meretz Party in Parliament, said that the ceasefire came “50 days too late” and that “its terms prove once and for all that this operation was Netanyahu’s strategic failure for embarking on this war without goals and ending it by giving Hamas support.”
are here today to declare the victory of the resistance, the victory of Gaza, with the help of G-d, and the steadfastness of our people and the noble resistance,” a spokesman for Hamas said. Many predicted that the war would decimate the area and that Palestinians would see the destruction and throw out the Hamas leadership. But a recent poll suggests otherwise. Out of the 1,270 adults questioned in Gaza and the West Bank between August 26-30, 94% of respondents said they were satisfied with Hamas’ performance against the IDF and 78% said they were pleased with its defense of civilians in Gaza. 79% said that Hamas had won the war against Israel. And 74% of those
tunnels and infrastructure have been damaged. Israel lost many precious lives and Israelis have had their psyches shattered with the constant barrage of attacks. There were many losers in this war. Haviv Rettig Gur, a political correspondent for The Times of Israel, points out that there really is no true victor after seven weeks of fighting. Many have pointed fingers, laid blame and lamented the lack of a true peace. In an interesting point, Gur writes how one of the many losers in this fight may be the relationship shared between Israel and the United States. On July 27, just three weeks into Operation Protective Edge, after Hamas rejected Egypt’s peace proposal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry clumsily attempted to negotiate peace in Paris with his Qatari and Turkish counterparts. A preliminary draft was produced, listing a few issues that Hamas and Israel would discuss in Cairo under Egyptian eyes, and sent to Netanyahu for “comment and input.” The reaction from Israel both surprised and shocked the Kerry. An incensed Netanyahu brought the proposal to the eight-member security cabinet, where it was voted down 8-0. News of the document’s contents and the Israeli cabinet’s displeasure leaked immediately. It was thought that perhaps the United States was intentionally trying to undermine Israel’s position in the
conflict. Nothing—no, nothing—will be offered until Hamas fire ceased to exist, Netanyahu thundered. It could be that Americans just didn’t understand Israel’s position. At the time, Kerry believed that his task would be to bring Hamas to the negotiating table in Cairo, where talks for a ceasefire could commence, and where the United States would back the IsraeliEgyptian position. And the only way Kerry believed he could bring Hamas to negotiate would be by agreeing to place their demands as issues for discussion in Cairo. He hoped the agenda he proposed would entice the terrorist organization to hold their fire and head to the bargaining table. “It was about establishing the ability to convey a clear message and to receive a response,” a senior official said. Clearly, Kerry’s proposal was misdirected. For Netanyahu, Hamas needed to be taught a lesson. They needed to learn that their constant barrage of rockets wouldn’t bring them any benefits. They needed to stop
Why not eradicate Hamas once and for all and cripple them entirely? their aggression before any whiff of ceasefire negotiations would begin. For America to not understand this central premise made many Israelis feel that their ally let them down. Additionally, the United States was not able to pressure Qatar, an ally of the United States and of Hamas, to squeeze Hamas politically and financially. The U.S. has vast interests in the country, yet was unable to apply enough pressure for them to choke Israel’s enemy. Despite the misunderstandings, Israel has not lost the United States. Last week, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni proposed that Israel seek a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Hamas disarm. But a move like that coming from Israel would most certainly backfire—if not for the help of its ally, the United States. Indeed, some are saying that the U.S. may already be working on a disarmament resolution at the UN. If America will be able to shepherd the resolution through the UN, Israelis would once again see the strength of a relationship between the United States and the state of Israel.
the many victories Israel achieved in the war—particularly the discovery and destruction of Hamas’s terrorist tunnel infrastructure—many wonder if Netanyahu’s coalition will be able to survive the backlash from the war’s end and what Israelis see as an indecisive conclusion to the fighting. There are two challenges now facing Netanyahu in the mirror: the immediate fallout from the conflict and the looming budget crisis set to begin in mid-September. Those who may be considering leaving the coalition and forcing new elections — Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman among them — are carefully watching the postwar mood this week for signs that Netanyahu is weakening. In Israel, where government coalitions are generally shaky, the political sharks are
constantly circling for a whiff of political failure. In 2006, the immediate public backlash against then-premier Ehud Olmert, in the wake of the Second Lebanon War’s ambiguous conclusion, sent him into a downward spiral from which he never recovered. Even those on the right, who have also been criticized for the war, will keep Netanyahu’s numbers in their sights. But as long as the prime minister doesn’t seem to have fallen out of favor with too many citizens, they are unlikely to topple their own coalition. On Thursday, a Channel 2 poll revealed that Israelis were unhappy with the conflict, but not with Netanyahu’s leadership during the war. They opposed the ceasefire by 54% to 37%, and only 29% believed Israel defeated Hamas. 83% said that the IDF did their part well. But how many Israelis approve of Netanyahu? 32% are happy with their leader—not high, but in-line with how Netanyahu has polled much of the last five years. And when asked who would be best to lead their country, 28% of those polled said Netanyahu. Naftali Bennett received 15% of the vote. Right now, it seems that Netanyahu is still holding onto his seat. Barring a major downturn in the polls, his coalition still remains strong. That may change in a few weeks, when budget talks loom. Finance Minister Yair Lapid is slated to present the 2015 national budget to the government for a vote in mid-September. If it passes in the cabinet, it is likely to pass easily in the Knesset, but it won’t be easy to pass in the cabinet. One of the toughest parts of the budget battle is due to the expected growth of the defense budget this year due to the war in Gaza. To pay for such an increase, Lapid decided in recent days to increase the government’s deficit spending target — to avoid the specter of tax increases or benefit cuts to the middleclass voters upon which his political future depends. Lapid clearly remembers the spending cuts of last year’s budgets, which cost him as many as half his voting base in polls. The deficit decision led to a bitter public spat between him and Bank of Israel governor Karnit Flug. The Bank is warning that increased deficits could have painful repercussions for the economy as a whole at a time of weakening performance. Just last week, the Central Bureau of Statistics published performance figures for the second quarter of 2014 that showed just 1.7% growth, down from 2.8% in the previous quarter and 5.3% in the same quarter last year. Those figures are from before the start of the fighting and the resulting increase in defense outlays and the bludgeoning of Israel’s tourism industry. Lapid has a tough challenge—one that is hard to wiggle out of. With just weeks to go, he is unlikely to leave the government to escape publishing the budget under his name. But he may present a more palatable budget and then let the cabinet vote on necessary changes. And then, of course, he can place the blame for the painful measures on Netanyahu. Ultimately, if the polls remain unflattering but steady and cabinet ministers don’t let the budget showmanship get the better of them, Netanyahu’s government will last until the start of the winter Knesset session in October. Then, with politicians back to their usual bickering and calm hopefully being maintained in the region, Israel—and the world—will finally be able to deal with TJH Hamas—for once and for all.
THETTHHJEWISH WIISHOME SHH HHOOMMEESEPTEMBER 4 4, ,B2012 EE JJEEW nn MS EAYP T 2E M E2014 R 4 , 2014
questioned in Gaza said they supported transferring Hamas’s model of armed resistance to the West Bank. So much for eradicating the terrorist group in Israel. It seems like the war just strengthened Palestinians’ commitment to terror. In light of this, Israel is trying to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the region. In a symbolic gesture, Abbas was allowed to give early word of the ceasefire in a speech delivered before the formal announcement by Egyptian mediators in Cairo. Abbas has made it clear that he wants to build “peace” with Israel, although it’s uncertain how much Israel can really trust the Palestinian leader. The United States has made it clear that it rejects the Hamas leadership in Gaza. After word of the ceasefire, Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the truce and promised U.S. participation in Gaza’s reconstruction in coordination with Abbas and not for the benefit of “Hamas and other terrorist organizations.” Israel once again is forced to deal with Abbas who is the lesser of the evils found in the region. On Tuesday, the PLO showed just how much of a partner of peace it is with Israel when they declared their intention to seek a UN Security Council resolution setting a three year deadline for an Israeli pullout from the Palestinian territories. “We should know that the occupation will end within three years,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, declared, even though she acknowledged that the United States would veto the resolution. And if that’s not enough, Ashrawi reminded listeners of the PLO’s intention to take Israel to international court. “We are intending to take Israel to the ICC. We do not have a timeframe, we have a program of action,” she said. In this region, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The PLO is anxious to wrest power from Hamas; Israel wishes for Hamas’s destruction; Israel is forced to make peace with Abbas and bolster the PLO. Can there ever truly be peace under these conditions?
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THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 14
15 THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
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SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2014
R’ Ben Tzion Shafier
Parshas Ki Teitzei
I’d Be the First to Thank Hashem, If… “You shall not reject an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not reject an Egyptian, for you were a sojourner in his land.” – Devarim 23:8 Our Attitude toward the Mitzrim The Torah lays out our attitude and approach to the different nations and tells us, “The Mitzrim cannot be totally rejected because you lived in their country.” Rashi is bothered by this mixed expression. If we are supposed to be grateful for the good that the Mitzrim did for us, why use the expression “don’t reject them?” This doesn’t sound very appreciative. Rashi answers that the Torah is teaching us precisely that point. Our attitude towards the Mitzrim should be mixed. On the one hand, we don’t forget that they threw our infant boys into the Nile. On the other hand, they did provide a home for us. So we have ambivalent feelings. We don’t completely accept them, but we can’t reject them either. When we think about the background, this Rashi is very difficult to understand. Our stay in Mitzrayim was not pleasant. Tortured and bled, oppressed and hounded, the Jew was treated far worse than a beast of burden. We had no rights. We had no life. We couldn’t choose our destiny or protect our children. What possible debt do we owe to them? But even more telling is that the Mitzrim weren’t doing us a favor by allowing us to stay in their land. We were the backbone of their economy. Their
entire production was based on slave labor, and we were the slaves. They didn’t feed us for our good; they did it so that we could produce for them. They didn’t give us a place to sleep for our comfort; they did it so that we could be awakened at dawn, to the crack of the whip, to slave away in the sweltering heat. In plain language, we were property –
BY NATURE A PERSON IS GRATEFUL; THE DIFFICULTY LIES IN RECOGNIZING WHAT WE HAVE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR. owned by the Mitzrim, kept for their profit. Any good that they did for us was only for their selfish interests. Do we owe such people ha’karas ha’tov? This question can best be answered with a mashal brought by the Chovos Ha’Levovos. The Ungrateful Teenager Two teenage brothers living in a grand estate are having a conversation. One says to the other, “Father is such a wonderful man! He is so generous with us, and so concerned for our good. Look at the entire program he has created for us – private teachers and tutors – all to benefit us. Everything that he does is focused on our betterment. I feel so grateful to him.” His brother looks over and says, “Oh, I don’t know about that. First off,
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What is the difference between the two teenagers? One is adopted; the other isn’t. You see, the adopted son grew up without. He knows what it means to suffer. Having had lived in an orphanage for two years, he knows what it is like to go to bed hungry, to sleep in a cold, dank cellar. When his adopted father took him in, everything was a vast improvement, so he has an unending sense of appreciation for what he now has. His brother, on the other hand, grew up in the lap of luxury. Since he first opened his eyes, all that he has ever known is comfort and abundance, and so none of it means anything to him. He is a spoiled brat. The expression ha’karas ha’tov is highly illustrative of this concept. The word ha’karah means to recognize, to discern. Chazal were teaching us that this issue pivots on perception. By nature a person is grateful; the difficulty lies in recognizing what we have to be grateful for. This seems to be the answer to this Rashi. There is no question that the Mitzrim’s motivation when they were playing host to the Jewish nation was not for the Jews’ benefit but for their own. However, the Jews did benefit. For 210 years they had a land in which to live, food to eat, and a place to sleep.
In that sense, their very existence is attributed to the Mitzrim. Granted the Mitzrim didn’t intend for the good of the Jews, but the Jews were the recipients of it. For that we owe a debt of gratitude – albeit mixed – but a debt nevertheless. The Torah is teaching us that if I have received something, I must recognize that, even if it is a mixed blessing. Therefore, while we don’t completely welcome the Mitzrim into our midst, we can’t reject them either. One of the most motivating forces in our avodas Hashem is a sense of “I need to pay back.” How can I not do everything in my power to pay back the huge debt that I have to Hashem? However, this is based on my understanding of the sheer amount of good that I receive. Unfortunately, we are a bit like
the spoiled teenager who has everything and therefore has nothing. It is difficult for us to thank Hashem. It isn’t that we don’t have; it is that we don’t perceive it. When I train myself to appreciate the great wealth that I enjoy, I gain an automatic sense of wanting to pay back. By doing this, I enjoy my stay in this world to a much greater extent, I am grateful for what others do for me, and I have an unending sense of appreciation for all that the blessings I have received from Hashem. 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.
17 THE JEWISH HOME
The Middle Way is Killing You Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
waiter at an amazing wedding. He hears the dynamic band, he gets to taste the same delicious food, and he sees the same important people that everybody else at the wedding gets to see. But something is different. He’s estranged, detached, removed. Why? Because he isn’t truly part of the simcha. He is there but he is not there. This “waiter story” nails the necessity of our full engagement and integration with our Jewish experience. We can’t stand on the sideline watching our mitzvos go by. We can’t just let Shacharis be something that we observe and go through the motions. We need to fully integrate the experience. Why are we davening? Who are we davening to? Go totally in. Our effort to be in the middle is simply killing us. Our effort to be neutral, “modern” or normal is sucking the life out of our experience. Living as a modern orthodox Jew is not about being in the middle or in one space in the Jewish time continuum; it’s about living with Hashem fully in EVERYTHING that we do. This past week was the yahrzeit of the saintly Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook. Rav Kook in his Orot HaKodesh writes that the great tzadikim are the ones who see the world in all of its beauty and respect it. They see the exaltedness of the world. They don’t look around and say “feh, this world is treif.” They look at history, at art, at creativity and notice the awesome power that Hashem has bestowed onto humanity. They notice that even among the backdrop of intense horror there is a tremendous capacity for love and healing. The tzadik’s Judaism is total and complete; it embraces the light of the entire world. This is our “Aha Moment.” It’s the realization that the best shot we have at our struggles and challenges is to live with a holistic yiddishkeit. Hashem is our advisor in shul but also in school, on Wall Street, and on the street. I’d like to close with a very moving story. Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginzberg of the Chofetz Chaim Torah Center in Long Island related the following story. The son of one of his congregants went to learn in Israel and decided to enroll in a Hesder Yeshiva. In the summer of 2005, during the Gaza Disengagement, the army had to forcibly remove Jewish settlers who refused to leave. This American soldier was very distraught about the assignment, but as a soldier he followed orders and participated in the forced evacuation. When his unit arrived at one of the settlements, his job was to ensure that the settlers boarded the buses to be evacuated. He worked in tandem with the Rabbi of the settlement. The settlers gathered in the town’s
synagogue where the Rabbi spoke, followed by the soldier. They all wept together, before filing out of the shul and boarding the bus. Before the bus left, this soldier took out a siddur from his backpack, dug a hole, and buried it there. When the Rabbi asked him why he was doing so, he replied that perhaps at some point in the future someone will return and may find the siddur, and will realize that they had left begrudgingly, and that they left their hearts and prayers behind. Eleven months later, in the summer of 2006, Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas militants in Gaza. When Israel decided to reinvade Gaza in an attempt to find him, the unit of that American soldier was sent back into Gaza to set up a base of operations. They entered Gaza under the cover of darkness and although they did not know exactly where they were, they set up camp in a deserted area. The next morning, the soldier looked around, disoriented, not recognizing anything. Everything had been destroyed. Still he knelt down on the ground and started digging. To his shock he found the siddur he had buried. He was shaken by the experience and called his father in America to recount to him the uncanny story. He asked his father to ask his Rabbi to interpret the significance of what had occurred. Rabbi Ginsberg himself was mystified by the story and arranged for the soldier to have a private meeting with Rav Chaim Kanievsky. Rav Chaim asked him what he did when he found out that he would have to evict the settlers. The soldier replied that he had begged his commanding officers to abandon their plans, and he davened fervently that the evacuation be aborted. Rav Chaim then asked him what he did when he found out that he would have to proceed with the evacuation. The soldier replied that once he was told they were going ahead with it, he stopped davening for it not to happen. Rav Chaim replied that Hashem was sending him a message that one should never stop davening! “You buried the siddur because you felt it was futile to continue to pray. G-d returned it to you so you should realize that it’s never too late, or too hopeless, to pray.” There is much to take away from the story, but what I see in it is that Rav Chaim Kanievsky understood that with tefilah, it’s not an on and off occupation. With prayer, we are all in. There is no middle way, there is the complete way where every experience of our lives is worth a prayer. Let us live our Elul fully and in that merit may there arrive a truly life changing Rosh Hashanah.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
An “Aha Moment”, according to the Webster Dictionary, is a moment of sudden realization, insight or comprehension. As we begin Elul, how do we identify our “Aha Moment”? How do we pinpoint the paradigm shift that allows us to tackle the issues that keep us up at night such as raising children, connecting with Hashem in a meaningful way, finding financial success, and other struggles? Just recently Professor Jack Wertheimer in Mosaic magazine raised the elephant in the room question – can Modern Orthodoxy survive? This spurned a response from writers at all ends of the spectrum. The question is disturbing to those of us who are interested in a serious yiddishkeit that is fully committed to the Torah and its Chachamim and at the same time are not afraid to engage the modern world and totally encourage and support the State of Israel – we wonder, is there a future for this fascinating and small demographic? Let us leave our questions behind and explore an idea that may give us chizuk during this great month. In 1976, Philip Glass and Robert Wilson premiered an opera called Einstein on the Beach. It lasted for five hours, and you were invited to come in and walk out at will. Movements within the opera repeated over and over, dance numbers went on for extended periods of time. As Robert Wilson said of Einstein on the Beach, “It’s a work where you can go and get lost. That’s the idea.” The creative concept was to have the audience lose themselves entirely to the piece. When I reflect upon the Opera of Einstein on the Beach I think about what our Judaism wants of us. It doesn’t want our partial and lukewarm engagement. Hashem wants us to lose ourselves within the experience. We don’t just coldly shake a Lulav. We are asked to live the mandate and meaning behind the Lulav. In a sense, Hashem wants us totally immersed. Even the simplest mitzvah and the most common act of living should be committed with intensity and passion. The great mystic and Chassidic Rebbe in Bnei Brak, the Koidenover Rebbe, interprets the words of our past weeks parsha “שופטים ”ושוטרים תתן לך בכל שעריך- Judges and
Officers you shall place at all of your gates – as meaning “Observance and Commitment should be placed at all the ‘gates,’ all the vistas of our lives.” Judaism is not just reserved for our relatively few moments in shul. No, we must be totally invested. Judaism is alive when we sit down for breakfast, Judaism is being experienced when we help our children with their homework. It’s always observing and vibrating in every part of our life. L’havdil, the radical 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche presented an illustration of a camel, a lion, and a child. He presented the idea that the camel just bears the load of that which is placed upon it, the lion rips apart all that dare stand in his way, but the child learns how to live comfortably with the load of the past and the uncertain tempest that the future may bring. A meaningful and heart pumping Judaism knows how to comfortably bring forward our past legacy, heritage, and identity and integrate it with a strange modern world. This world we exist in now is a foreign one for the wandering Jew, but when we are totally immersed in our Judaism and it is in every part of our lives, the unknown becomes a bit more knowable. Our past informs our future and our future is an opportunity for bringing Judaism to a world that can so use it. Being a Jew in the modern world doesn’t mean that we are committing ourselves to a middle way. Middle way is pareve, boring, and insipid. We are proud and we are strong because we carry the totality of time as we move through it. I recently picked up a new sefer that is over 300 pages of halachic analysis on issues that have newly risen because of the Internet. It is projects like this that reflect how our tradition is meant to be totally lived, not partially. Judaism is not a 9 to 5 experience. When learning the laws of Dayanus (Judges) at the beginning of Choshen Mishpat there is a clear imperative to choose peshara – loosely translated as a settlement. Rav Yehoshua Falk, known as the Sema, insists that a peshara is not about some middle unsettling agreement that undermines the true will of both parties. No, it is a more complete way that honors and respects both the narrative of the claimer and the claimant. This is the Jewish way. The Rambam notoriously emphasized the shevil hazahav, the golden mean. He never meant the boring middle. No, the Rambam referred to a space that is totally committed to finding a balance that honors both ends of a given spectrum. Another new sefer I’m reading is called Shteigen. It’s filled with anecdotes and sources aimed at building greater enthusiasm for learning Torah. Let me share with you a stark illustration used in the book. Imagine a
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If you would have to sum up all that the Torah encompasses in one commandment, what would you choose? Would it be kashrus? Would it be limud haTorah? Maybe you would pick the obligation to remember that Hashem redeemed us from Mitzrayim. Some would say the mitzvah of Krias Shema or the 39 melachos of Shabbos. Others would point to the three cardinal sins of avodah zorah, shefichas domim and giluy arayos. Many years ago, this question was answered for us by Hillel Hazokein, who said that the entire Torah is based upon the mitzvah of “Ve’ohavta lereiacha kamocha,” loving other people like you love yourself. All the rest is commentary. In this week’s parsha of Ki Seitzei, we come across yet another example of the Torah’s concern about protecting the dignity of every human. A person sinned so egregiously that he was put to death. The Torah commands that when a condemned man is hanged, “Lo solin nivlaso al ha’eitz…ki kilelas Elokim talui,” his body must be removed from the gallows and buried by nightfall (Devorim 21:23). The Ohr Hachaim explains the posuk in an interesting fashion. Quoting an injunction of Chazal that one who witnesses a talmid chochom sin should not agonize about it the next day, for certainly the scholar has by then already repented, he explains the posuk to mean, “Lo solin, do not sleep, nivlaso, on the sin, al ha’eitz, you saw the talmid chochom commit, ki kavor sikbirenu, you should bury thinking about that cheit.” He says that the posuk is commanding
the hamon am not to spend time contemplating and analyzing mistakes of a talmid chochom, for by daybreak, his sin is certain to have been erased by virtue of his teshuvah. Should a person not heed this admonition and instead harp on the sin he witnessed, kilelas Elokim talui, he will cause the curse of Hashem to be hung upon him, because he was meharher achar talmid chochom. The Ohr Hachaim completes his understanding of the posuk, Velo sitamei es admos’cha, explaining that this is referring to the lesson of Chazal (Shabbos 119b) that the destruction of Yerushalayim was caused by the people who embarrassed talmidei chachomim. If you will behave disrespectfully towards talmidei chachomim you will cause destruction and defilement of your land. A person who slanders a talmid chochom, is not only inviting personal disaster on himself, but on the entire nation. We must protest those who engage in missions to vilify holy and good people, lest we be complicit in their crimes. The chachomim in Maseches Avos,
They would do themselves well to be selective in their choice of words and methods. At minimum, they should be at least as concerned about the kavod of rabbonim and other Jews as they profess to be about infectious diseases and illness. They should also study the topic they claim to be so concerned about to ensure that they are not engaging in pseudo-science and faux medicine. There is no scientific and medical connection between any of the children who took ill and metzizah, but that doesn’t stop them from seeking to “protect” us from our customs. Professor Marci A. Hamilton, of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, wrote on Justia.com, “This is all a distraction from what truly matters: the protection of children… A line must be drawn to prevent adults, even religious believers, from causing a child’s death and/or permanent disability. This practice easily crosses that line. There does not even need to be a regulation specific to the practice. The neglect laws are neutral, generally applicable laws that apply to all parents who medically neglect their children.”
Well-meaning, sincere individuals waste hours online, but they may never do teshuvah because they don’t realize that they erred. which is designed to guide, advise and empower Jews to live wise, healthy and productive lives, warn that one who treats gedolei Torah in a cavalier or irreverent manner is literally playing with fire. The Mishnah in Avos (2, 10) admonishes such people to tread cautiously: “Vehevei zohir begachalton shelo sikoveh - Be wary of their coals lest you get burnt.” The rabbis, doctors, professors and general do-gooders who eagerly warn our community of the dangers inherent in metzizah b’peh in a bid to save us from our own primitive selves, and readily mock and disparage rabbonim and gedolim to score their points, would do well to study Avos. Its chochmah is the source of the knowledge that has sustained our people throughout the millennia.
What she is saying is that our community is unconcerned about our children’s health and safety. We care more about engaging in some ridiculous, dangerous practice than we do about protecting the lives of our children. Really now, professor? The people who practice this custom are the very same ones who spawned and created many advanced and efficient medical referral organizations, screening programs, and health networks. They have given the world Hatzolah, RCCS, Bikur Cholim groups of all types, Ezer Mizion, Echo, Dor Yeshorim and so many other life-saving organizations. Professor, do you really think that we need to be lectured about protecting our children? Do you think that the community whose prime motivation is caring
for the next generation and assisting the elderly engages in suicidal conduct to satisfy some old rabbinic requirement? Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the RCA, told the Jewish Link of Bergen County (JLBC) that most of the members of the RCA insist on using a pipette when performing bris milah and not having direct oral contact with the wound. “This is something that has been practiced for generations and supported by Halachic authorities. Where we’re concerned about the tradition, we’re concerned about the health and welfare of our children.” The blood libel against Orthodox Jews is repeated as JLBC reports that Rabbi Dratch said there have been more efforts at fighting the New York City Health Department than fighting the potential threat to children. In other worlds, we don’t care about children and threats to their lives. What we want to do is fight City Hall. JLBC says that they asked the good rabbi whether, in the interests of “pikuach nefesh,” efforts should be led “to get legislation passed preventing this practice, as it can endanger the life of the child.” Rabbi Dratch said, “I think if there’s even a small chance of this happening, then it’s not necessary, because there are other ways to satisfy the ritual requirements. We continue to urge them that if they don’t want government regulation on this, then they have to find ways to ensure that the children are safe.” He cares about children safety. We don’t. That’s the message. Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah also weighed in on the matter. He, too, is very upset with our community, the defenders of metzitzah b’peh. He, too, understands what’s really at play here: disregard for halacha. According to JLBC, he said that “in America, where there is empowerment, ‘we get away with all this stuff, not following the proper halacha wherever there is a risk of life, that takes priority. It’s American that we ignore halacha and just flex our political muscles and our political muscles are we want to do it our way.” Poor Rabbi Lopatin. The zealous, loyal defender of halacha looks on in anguish as a community tramples on the sacred
There are disenchanted people everywhere eagerly waiting to scoop up the latest gossip and treat it as absolute truth. Those who dignify blogs by taking them seriously and paying attention to their half-stories and lies are as guilty as the purveyors. At a recent gathering, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman discussed the threat of technology. He quoted Rabbeinu Yonah, who wondered why one who embarrasses another person loses his portion in Olam Haba. Even actual murder does not have such a frightening consequence. Rabbeinu Yonah explains that one who actually sheds blood is well aware of the harshness of his crime and might eventually repent. He who shames someone is not aware of the seriousness of what he has done. He will rationalize his behavior and reason that he didn’t really do anything wrong. He says, “What did I do already? It’s just words. Words don’t kill.” Therefore, he will neglect to repent for his actions. As such, he remains with his aveirah and the heinous deed never receives the tikkun of teshuvah. Rav Shteinman compared this to
of water that collected after flowing from another source. The term mayim chaim requires explanation. Why is water from an independent source referred to by the Torah as mayim chaim? The Maharal explains that chaim, life, means not having to depend on something else for its existence. Mayim chaim refers to water that emanates and pools directly from the ground. To understand the Medrash, Rav Freifeld explained that there are two ways a person can feel big. He can either act big and accomplish big things, or he can make those around him small and tower over them. The difference is that the person whose positive thoughts and actions cause him to be big is independent of other people. He provides himself with the means to rise. The person who feels big by putting others down is entirely dependent on other people, for he elevates himself only by putting them down. Without them, he remains small. This is what the peddler taught Rav Yannai. “Mi ho’ish hechofeitz chaim? Who wants to really live? Who wants to be self-sufficient? Netzor leshoncha meira, train your lips to refrain from pettiness and slander. Don’t use other people to feel big. Be independently great. If you do so, you will really be alive and one whom the Torah refers to as a chai.” Bloggers and those who supply them with their “merchandise” depend on the talmidei chachomim they disparage for their own existence. Rather than rising by virtue of doing and accomplishing for humanity, they seek to raise their own standing by putting others down. Is that the life we seek? When an ill-advised person sets himself up as a bar plugta with a gadol, he shrinks and his life loses value. It is interesting to note that sophisticated and distinguished people are always
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can be destroyed instantaneously by a noxious peddler.
the nisayon of the internet. He said that well-meaning, sincere individuals waste hours online, but they may never do teshuvah because they don’t realize that they erred. So too, we may say that people who utilize the internet to slam others may not fully comprehend the severity of their actions and will fail to seek to repent for their cheit. The Medrash in Parshas Metzorah tells of a certain peddler who traveled around announcing that he was selling a potion guaranteeing a long life. Wherever he went, crowds quickly formed to hear about the amazing product. One time, it happened that the Tanna, Rav Yannai, was in the marketplace when the peddler made his bold announcement. He gathered around the man along with a large crowd. The salesman noted the presence of the Tanna and told him that someone such as he had no need for the merchandise he was selling. When Rav Yannai persisted, the peddler opened a Tehillim and read the pesukim of “Mi ho’ish hechofeitz chaim…” “Netzor leshoncha meira…” (Tehillim 34:13-14). “Pure speech is a recipe for long life,” he proclaimed. Rav Yannai praised the interpretation and thanked the peddler for enlightening him. Since Rav Yannai was a Tanna, we can safely assume that he was familiar with the pesukim in Tehillim that the itinerant peddler read to him. What was so fascinating about the man’s lesson that Rav Yannai was so thankful and the Medrash saw fit to recount it for eternity? Rav Shlomo Freifeld explained that when referring to the type of water from which a mikvah must be constituted, the Torah calls it “mayim chaim,” literally “living waters.” The Torah is referring to a body of forty sa’ah of water formed from its own source, as opposed to forty sa’ah
careful to treat people respectfully. The Chasam Sofer was once delivering a shiur and someone interjected with a question based on a ruling of Rav Meshulam Igra. The Chasam Sofer waved away the argument and continued the shiur. Suddenly, the Chasam Sofer found that his mind had gone blank and he was unable to remember the shiur he had prepared. The Rabbon Shel Yisroel was abruptly deprived of his clear, pristine Torah. Without hesitating, he ended the shiur and gathered a minyan of talmidim to accompany him to the grave of Rav Meshulam Igra. He arrived there and begged mechilah for the perception of a slight to the opinion of the gaon. As he finished his tefillah, he recalled the rest of the shiur. The Chasam Sofer was eminently qualified to disagree, kedarkan shel talmidei chachomim, but he felt that in the heat of the moment, he had been too casual in his manner of arguing. He understood the severity of his action, because he appreciated talmidei chochomim. He perceived the danger of even remotely expressing a lack of respect for a master of Torah. As soon as he waved off the questioner, his mind went blank out of fear of what he had done. Immediately, he ran to do teshuvah and ask mechilah so that he would not be harmed by the gacheles of a talmid chochom. We can understand the posuk in Mishlei (6:23) which states, “Vederech chaim tochachas mussar - The path to life is through accepting mussar admonishment.” A person who is desirous of leading a life of chaim, as described by the Maharal, attains the ability to grow through his actions and contributions by learning mussar. The study of mussar will discipline you into seeking growth through positive actions and not by undermining others. Similarly, the posuk in Mishlei (3:18), referring to the Torah, states, “Eitz chaim hi lamachazikim boh vesomcheha meushar - The Torah is a tree of life to those who grab onto it, and those who support it are blessed.” A person who cleaves to the way of Torah will attain the proper and good life, chaim, and will grow as a tree, benefitting himself and others. Those who support the person who seeks greatness through growth will themselves also be blessed. We are now in the season of chaim, beseeching Hashem to allow us to experience life, another year of chaim. We wish for ourselves and our families to be inscribed in the Book of Life. A most appropriate way to have that wish fulfilled is to take steps towards life, as the Maharal taught, by living lives that don’t depend on belittling others for meaning and relevance. Let our encounters with other people be aimed only at building them up and being mechazeik, helping and supporting them. Then, not only will we be living properly, but in that zechus we will merit another year of life.
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poskim of the Shulchan Aruch. It must hurt. All the nasty Chareidim care about is flexing political power. They ignore halacha and the needs of their children in order to feel empowered. That’s how Rabbi Lopatin views us. There is an expression in Hebrew, “hakozak hanigzal,” used to evoke sarcastic pity for a Cossack who complains that he was robbed. The imagery is ironic. Cossacks were brutal ruffians who plundered and rampaged through Europe, taking whatever they wished from whomever they wanted. A simple villager swiped the scarf of one of these hooligans and the poor Cossack went around whining about the injustice done to him. Rabbi Lopatin crying that we ignore halacha is as funny as the original tale. But it’s worse than that. In our day, bizayon talmidei chachomim is easier to commit than ever before. Whereas in the past it required some element of courage to publicly take issue with rabbinic leadership, now that is no longer necessary. These days, if you have a beef with the establishment, there is an army of bloggers ready to do your dirty work. To go after rabbonim, or anyone else for that matter, all you have to do is tip off a lonely blogger, share a story, allegation, rumor or innuendo, and your bitterness goes viral. Referring to such activity, the posuk says, “Lo seileich rochil be’amecha. Do not behave as a mean-spirited peddler circulating from town to town and spreading hateful tales.” Today, to condemn, disparage and demean, you no longer have to leave the comforts of your home. The internet does it all for you. A person’s reputation
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Cover Story by Nachum Soroka
A Museum Rises from the Ashes Remembering the Heroes of 9/11
The traumas of September 11, 2001 were unique to every person.
We found shelter in those who spoke confidently, with sure footing and a
Some watched the horror on their television sets or out in Long Island; othlistened on radios
plan of action. The president’s pledge to bring those responsible for the ag-
ers were trapped in the underground subway system for hours. Some
gression to justice was perhaps the only comforting words spoken that day
were orphaned and others were widowed. Loved ones and acquaintances
to many Americans.
were lost, and heroes were made. But for all the divergent experiences felt
What followed—two decade-long wars that have divided the country,
that day, the chaos and confusion brought about by a group of terrorists
thousands of lost lives, and looming nuclear threats—run along the theme
were felt by all, in some form or another. No longer did we feel secure in
of disharmony that began on 9/11. Yet, somehow, the turmoil itself, and all
our erstwhile unassailable city. Our protectors from the NYPD and FDNY
the wounds it left, help us find not only a way to reflect but a cord that
were as vulnerable as any protective force in a doomsday horror movie.
helps us to share in each other’s distress.
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ast Thursday, week, on May 15, at the opening of the NaOn tional September 11th Memorial Museum, President Obama spoke about the profundity of the tribute on Ground Zero, “Here, at this memorial, this museum, we come together. We stand in the footprints of two mighty towers, graced by the rush of eternal waters. We look into the faces of nearly 3,000 innocent souls – men and women and children of every race, every creed, and every corner of the world.” The museum, a reminder and monument to the upheaval and damage felt that day and the weeks that followed, serves as a binding agent for everyone—those directly involved in the attacks, foreigners and even those who were unborn at the time—to reflect on the tragedy together. Despite our differences, we are all united in our sorrow and in our hope for the future. The museum, which is described as aesthetically spare, was designed by the firm Davis Brody Bond LLP, and delivers its powerful message through many simple artifacts which were recovered from the ruins—a stack of personal letters, a pair of shoes, a wallet, a wedding ring, even the ash-smothered jeans and t-shirts still hanging off their racks from the nearby Chelsea Jeans store. These all craft a narrative about the enormity of the lives lost and aid in their memory. Then there are the battered firefighter helmets on display, some so warped it is hard to imagine that they were designed to protect in the first place. Indeed, the museum’s curator had a difficult time in deciding what upper limit—if any—there should be for the exhibition. “We all had our different thresholds about what was the right thing to do,” curator Jan Ramirez said. “We want to remind people why 9/11 was unlike any other day the country has experienced. But we did not
want to cross a threshold where a visitor’s empathy shuts down. That would be a horrible misfire of our objectives.” Hence, the divided sections of the museum that are marked clearly in a cautionary manner, such as an alcove with famous, yet disturbing photographs. There is the separate section with unidentified human remains. But, it is the names of the 2,983 victims that are inscribed on 76 brass plates at the entrance to the World Trade Center site, arranged based on each victim’s location at the time of the attacks, which are most poignant. The plates form the edges of the two one-
morialized on the South Pool side, site S-50, age 24. A former volunteer firefighter who worked on the very top of the South Tower in a finance firm, Crowther’s heroism earned him the name, “the man in the red bandana,” the mysterious male who helped guide scared, huddled office workers on the 78th floor amid all the smoke and flames. “And then, there came a voice: clear, calm, saying he had found the stairs. A young man, in his 20’s, strong, emerged from the smoke and, over his nose and his mouth, he wore a red handkerchief. … He led those survivors down the stairs to safety and carried a
A stack of personal letters, a pair of shoes, a wallet, a wedding ring, even the ash-smothered jeans and t-shirts still hanging off their racks from the nearby Chelsea Jeans store. acre pools that fill the empty footprints of the towers, their cascading waterfalls meant to embody the void left by the loss of both the people and towers. At the entry pavilion to the fully underground museum are two of the tridents of the World Trade Center that gave it its distinct design and one of the museum walls is the “slurry wall,” the retaining wall that holds back the Hudson River and that had remained secure on 9/11.
ach brass inscription holds a story, most of which are unknown. And those which are known serve only as a quiet suggestion of what really happened that day. In speech that on Thursday, President In his speech Thursday, President Obama recounted the story of Welles Crowther, me-
woman on his shoulders down 17 flights,” the president said. “And then he went back.” Those he saved did not know his real identity until much later, when his mother, Allison, recognized from the story that it was indeed her son, who had walked around with his red bandana in his wallet since childhood, who had given his life for others. “For us he lives on in the people he helped and in the memory of what he chose to do that Tuesday in September,” she said. “When people come here and see Welles’ red bandana, they will remember how people helped each other that day, and they will be inspired to do the same.... This is the true legacy of September 11th.” Ling Young, one of the women Welles saved, also spoke at the
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dedication, saying simply, “I’m here today because of Welles, a man I did not get the chance to thank. It was hard for me to come here today, but I wanted to do so, so I could thank his parents, my new friends, Jeff and Alison.” Abe Zelmanowitz, hy”d, memorialized on the North Pool side, site N-65, was a computer programmer on the 27th floor of Tower One. With the elevators out and the stairs the only means to safety, Zelmanowitz stayed back to help reassure a quadriplegic friend,
don’t have a good feeling about today.” Benjamin told him to go back to sleep; it was the first day of school and he would need his rest. When his building was hit, Benjamin made sure that everyone in his company’s office was safely exiting the building before he made his own exit down the stairway. At the 78th floor, he paused to assist a woman in a wheelchair. He never made it out. An official at his company, Fiduciary Trust Company, would later credit him for saving hundreds of lives.
“We can touch their names and hear their voices and glimpse the small items that speak to the beauty of their lives.” Ed Beyea, until assistance came to carry him down. When smoke filled the office and it became difficult to breathe, he sent Beyea’s aide away to safety, knowing that he himself would likely not survive. The following Friday, at the National Cathedral, President Bush remembered the man who stayed behind to help his handicapped comrade. The two friends prayed together and died together; their names are now inscribed next to one another. Every September 11, precisely at midnight, Elsie Clark drapes a flag from her front yard fence with the following inscription: “In Loving Memory/ Benjamin Keefe Clark/ 9/11/01.” Her son, Benjamin, memorialized at the South Pool side, S-39, a father of five, was a chef on the 96th floor of the South Tower and a former Marine. At 4 am on the morning of September 11, as he was preparing to leave to work, his son, Taj, awoke and told him, “Dad, don’t go to work today, I
Leonard Hatton, memorialized at the South Pool side, S-26, was an FBI specialist in explosives and evidence recovery. On the morning of September 11, on his commute into Manhattan to the FBI’s Joint Bank Robbery Task Force office, he saw the flames and billowing smoke coming out of the towers. An experienced volunteer firefighter, Leonard abandoned his car near the Marriot hotel and rushed to the hotel’s roof for a better look. He radioed to his squad that people were jumping from the towers and rushed to aid the New York firefighters in the towers’ evacuation. Leonard was killed when they collapsed. “He didn’t have to go in. But that was his nature. That was truly his nature,” said his wife, JoAnne Hatton. “If he had gone to work, he would be here today. But I would have expected no less from him,” she said. Danny Lewin, hy”d, memorialized at the North Pool side, N-75, was a former captain in the elite IDF
unit, Sayeret Matkal, and graduate of the Technion Institute in Haifa. A brilliant mathematician, Lewin was cofounder of the internet powerhouse company, Akamai Technologies, and was named one of the most influential figures of the internet age. On September 11, Danny was onboard American Airlines flight 11 to Los Angeles when it was hijacked by five terrorists. Danny’s seat was 9B; hijacker Satam al Suqami was seated directly behind him in 10B. With his elite antiterror skills and fluency in Arabic, Danny was able to ascertain that a hijacking was underway. It is speculated that he tried confronting one of the hijackers who was sitting in front of him, only to be mortally stabbed by Suqami, who Danny was unaware had a seat directly behind him. Danny was the first fatality of the thousands that day. “Those who knew him feel like the world was robbed,” says Molly Knight Raskin, the author of No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet. “He was always searching for something greater.”
hile so many of us who suffered the traumas of that day will always live with its memory unsullied, the younger generation possesses no frame through which to memorialize the most harrowing events to ever encroach on their country; next this year’s bar mitzvah class was born after the events of 9/11. It is only at a 110,000-square foot institution in lower Manhattan that, in the words of President Obama, “we can touch their names and hear their voices and glimpse the small items that speak to the beauty of their lives — a wedding ring, a dusty helmet, a shining badge. Here we tell their story so that generations yet unborn will never forget.”
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THE JEWISH HOME
You Gotta be
If it takes six men one hour to dig six holes, how long does it take one man to dig half a hole?
A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.” A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”
Answer on next page
As you get set to return to school, it’s time to sharpen those brain cells with the following game: 1) The (6) lunatic (5) the entire town to the ground. 2) He could remember what the castle’s (5) looked like years later from (4). 3) If they do not serve (4) in this restaurant, we will (5). 4) (6) a quarter in the game or it will remain (5). 5) He was so shy that he remained (5) the whole time he was at the party. He was afraid of looking like a (4). 6) The (5) scene is known as the (6). 7) I’m surprised that you found the (5) to be (6). I’ve always liked the striped animal. 8) The possibility of acquiring the company drew the industry (7) to the meeting like a (6). 9) The soldier began to (5) liquor before every battle, and unless he had some, he became (6) and unable to fight. 10) The children laughed when the teacher promised a (4) to the student who scored the highest on the (5) test.
wo numbers are given in each sentence that need to be replaced by words that have the amount of letters indicated by the number. Each word is an anagram of the other (just to remind you: an anagram is a type of word play where you rearrange the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase), except that one word contains an additional letter that the other word lacks. Based on the clues given in each sentence, do your best to figure out what the two words are. The numbers given in each sentence indicate the number of letters in each word. Some of the words may be formed without rearranging the letters, and the only difference between the words in this case is the one letter that has been added to one of the words. If you get 5 correct, you are pretty good. If you get seven or more correct, this school year is going to be a breeze for you!
1) Crazed, Razed; 2) Tower, Rote; 3) Veal, Leave; 4) Insert, Inert; 5) Aloof, Fool; 6) Final, Finale; 7) Zebra, Brazen; 8) Magnate, Magnet; 9) Crave, Craven; 10) Dime, Timed
THET HJEWISH 2014 E J E W I HOME S H H O M ESEPTEMBER n M AY 2 4 ,4,2012
E J E W I SHOME H H O M E SEPTEMBER n M AY 2 4 , 4,2012 THET HJEWISH 2014
Letter to Teacher Template Form To: Teacher _____________________________ From: ________________________________________
____ your class was far too boring. ____ sleep-inducing.
I think my grade in your course, _____, should be changed from _____ to _____ for the following reasons: ____1. The persons who copied my paper got a higher grade than I did. ____2. The person whose paper I copied got a higher grade than I did. ____3. This course will lower my grade point average and I won’t get into: ____Medical School
____ all jokes and not enough material. ____ all of the above. Also, in the event that I ever fail to do my homework, it will have been because of one or more of the following reasons: ____ The stuffed dog ate it
____ I made it into a paper airplane and it fell off the radar, without sending a mayday call
____ I ate if for supper by accident, instead of the meatballs
____ Accounting School
____ I was so engrossed in studying the other topics that by the time the morning came I realized that I didn’t even go to sleep at night and I didn’t even get to do the wonderful homework assignment that you gave
____Plumbing School ____The Mickey Mouse Club ____4. I have to get an A in this course to balance the F in ____________. ____5. I’ll lose my scholarship to _________________________. ____6. I didn’t come to class and the person whose notes I used did not cover the material asked for on the exam. ____7. If I flunk out of school my father will cut my allowance. ____8. I was unable to do well in this course because of the following illness: ____ Mono ____ Broken pinky finger ____ Nausea ____ Schoolidice ____9. The lectures were: ____ too detailed to pick out important points. ____ not explained in any sufficient detail.
Answer to riddle: There is no such thing as half a hole.
____ A weird phenomenon took place last night and for 4 hours I was only able to read Mandarin Chinese. (Thankfully the condition went away, otherwise I would have had to miss school today to see a neurologist.) ____ After spending hours on the homework, I realized that I accidentally used my invisible ink pen. Additionally, please note that I am usually sick on the following occasions: ____ The morning after any important sports game ____When there is a really big test that I am not prepared for ____ Whenever it was supposed to snow and I was supposed to get a day off, but the meteorologist lied and it was perfectly clear outside. I look forward to a wonderful year together!
G OT FU N N Y?
Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff
to fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com
THET HJEWISH 2014 E J E W I SHOME H H O M ESEPTEMBER n M AY 2 4 4, , 2012
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” It’s part of who I am. - Nahche Gilboa, 77, the oldest combat soldier in Israeli history, explaining why he is still in the IDF Reserves Apple is secretly developing a new product rumored to be the largest iPad they’ve ever made. It’s said to be 12.9 inches across, and it will be the first iPad that folds out into a full-size bed. – Jimmy Kimmel An iPad that’s 12.9 inches — it doesn’t sound big, but it is big. And it’s going to make those people that take pictures with their iPad look even more ridiculous. – ibid.
The Sharia will be implemented in America. - English Imam Anjem Choudary to Sean Hannity on Fox News Every radical Islamist like you will be wiped off the face of the Earth. - Sean Hannity in response
Our own government did more harm to the liberties of the American people than bin Laden did. - Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in a recent interview
It’s Labor Day weekend. Labor Day, of course, is a holiday where people take three days off from being unemployed. – David Letterman I don’t always drive drunk at 3x the legal blood alcohol limit … but when I do, I indict Gov. Perry for calling me out about it. I am the most drunk Democrat in Texas. - An “unauthorized” tweet sent out from Governor Rick Perry’s Twitter account, featuring an unflattering mock image of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who was convicted of drunken driving in April 2013 and who recently indicted Governor Perry in an act of retribution for his withholding funds from her office because she refused to resign
Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem… The time has come for us to say, that our true war is not aimed at opening the border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing. - A Hamas spokesman at a rally last week
Russia’s partners…should understand it’s best not to mess with us. Thank G-d, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers. - Vladimir Putin speaking at a pro-Kremlin youth camp last week If I want, I will take Kiev in two weeks. - Vladimir Putin during a meeting with outgoing European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso
The world has seen no respite in recent years, particularly since the European Economic Community, under the strict and unconditional leadership of the United States, decided the time had come to settle scores with what was left of two great nations [Russia and China] that…had carried out the heroic deed of putting an end to the imperialist colonial order imposed on the world by Europe and the United States. –Fidel Castro, writing a column published in Cuban state media
Did you hear about the earthquake in California’s Napa Valley? That’s wine country. The Red Cross now says they want some donations of Merlot. - David Letterman
I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. - President Obama when asked at last week’s press conference how he plans on dealing with ISIS For him to walk out — I’m not trying to be trivial here — in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy. This is a week after Jim Foley was beheaded and he’s trying to act like real Americans care about the economy, not about ISIS and not about terrorism. And then he goes on to say he has no strategy. - Rep. Peter King (R-NY), responding to President Obama’s press conference and the taupe suit he was wearing
I know people who can put a bomb on you. - Threat made by Ailina Tsarnaeva, sister of the Boston Marathon bombers, to a woman she was fighting with, resulting in her arrest
Frankly, I think I was on their side [Democrats] when I was in the other party [Republicans]. - Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist after winning the Democrat primary in Florida
They wouldn’t give me the time of day. - Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) telling Newsmax what happened when he asked the White House for a few minutes with President Obama when he was in Wisconsin to discuss ways to advance bipartisanship
• Yes we tan! • The Audacity of Taupe! • I’m sorry but you can’t declare war in a suit like that! - Some of the many online comments about President Obama’s out-of-character tan suit which he wore to last week’s press conference
When Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself. - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), at recent town hall meeting, shocking the Far Left, of which she is seen as the leader
The greatest country on earth is being bullied from within. Actions of Republicans in Congress are worse than ISIL. – Tweet by Jesse Smith, Democrat candidate for Alabama’s 3rd congressional district
According to a report from the United Nations, the damage from global warming could be irreversible. It’s clear we need to do something. We need to give the Earth the ice bucket challenge. – Jimmy Kimmel
When the gut-twisting image stuck in your head is of a masked madman holding a crude knife to the neck of an American on his knees in the desert, when you’re reading about crucifixions in the 21st century, when you’re hearing about women sold by jihadists… and when British leaders have just raised the threat level in their country to “severe,” the last thing that you want to be told is that it’s par for the historical course, all a matter of perspective and not so cosmically dire…And maybe the secondto-last thing that you want to be told is that technology and social media amplify peril in a new way and may be the reason you’re feeling especially on edge. - Frank Bruni in a New York Times Op-Ed, responding to President Obama’s comments
How many of you have kids heading off to college? Well, don’t you worry, because that liberal arts degree, that thing is a license to print money.
We’ll just stay on them. We’ll just keep at it. That’s how I got Michelle to marry me — I just wore her down. Persistence — you just stay at it. - President Obama at a Labor Day rally talking about getting Republicans to cave to pressure to raise the minimum wage
– David Letterman
What and where would you like to tick off on your bucket list, and explain why? - One of the questions from a real contest titled “My Ultimate Bucket List” by Malaysia Airlines (The winner will receive tickets to a Malaysia Air flight)
You like to take care of snakes? Come, I’ll give you a few. – Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu joking with an elementary school student who told him that he likes snakes
Burger King is moving to Canada; they bought the doughnut place, Tim Horton’s. Financed by Warren Buffett, Burger King will be moving to Canada to avoid paying taxes. Hearing about it, President Obama immediately took away Buffett’s Medal of Freedom. – David Letterman
Chinese authorities have seized 30,000 tons of what? Chicken feet. Because they’re tainted… Is there really a difference between tainted chicken feet and non-tainted chicken feet? It’s negligible. – David Letterman
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
In 2009, a Swedish report came out exposing some Israeli troops of selling organs of Palestinians who died in their custody. - A claim made in a TIME magazine online video (the claim was eventually edited out of the online video after it was criticized for being based on a report which was proven to be patently false)
If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart…The truth of the matter is, is that the world has always been messy…In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through. - President Obama at a fundraiser last week
29 THE JEWISH HOME
You can now buy a pack of beer containing 99 cans. A 99-can pack of beer. Who says America has lost its competitive edge? - David Letterman
According to an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, who spent years studying this, Hello Kitty is not actually a cat…The anthropologist said she was preparing for a museum exhibit and according to the company that makes Hello Kitty, she is not a cat. She is a cartoon character. And a little girl. But not a cat. That makes as much sense as Hasbro announcing that Mr. Potato Head wasn’t a potato. - Jimmy Kimmel
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012
I’m 81 — I could go at any moment, I could fall over right here and you all could say, “I was there!” - Comedian Joan Rivers, during a show the night before she went into cardiac arrest
THE JEWISH HOME
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
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31 THE JEWISH HOME
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Travel Guide: Baja California By Aaron Feigenbaum
Located just on the other side of the California border with Mexico, Baja California is an enchanting peninsula of beaches, deserts, coral reefs, stunning views, and charming coastal towns dating back to the Colonial era. The Mediterranean climate and laid-back lifestyle makes visitors feel at ease as they soak in the sun and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this underrated gem of a vacation spot. Whether you’re in Baja for a little R&R in the peninsula’s countless resort towns, or if you want some fast-paced fun and excitement in the big cities, this unique region of Mexico will grant your wish and leave you with memories that’ll last a lifetime. A little background on Baja: Human settlement in the region dates back thousands of years ago. Native Americans groups such as Kiliwa and Quechan lived in the north while the Cochimi dominated the sparsely populated south. European exploration of Baja began in the 1500’s and it remained part of the Spanish New World until 1822, one year after Mexican independence. Tijuana, Baja’s biggest city, is now Mexico’s leading center for the controversial maquiladoras or lowwage, duty-free manufacturing plants. Baja is also a leading agricultural producer, bringing in many immigrants from other Latin American countries, and its major port city of Ensenada is one of Mexico’s largest fishing areas. Tijuana: This huge metropolis just south of San Diego has garnered a bad reputation over the years for criminality. The good news is that crime has gone down sharply in recent times and the city is mostly safe to explore. One of Tijuana’s best attractions is the Avenida Revolucion in the city’s center. It’s not only the safest part of the city, but it’s also full of numerous souvenir shops selling exotic trinkets at bargain prices. The Avenida is a great representation of Tijuana’s cultural diversity. For a more traditional shopping experience, visit the Mercado Hidalgo open-air market, selling a huge variety of spices and exotic produce. For something family-friendly, the small Mundo Divertido Amusement Park has mini golf, batting cages, and various amusement rides. History buffs can check out Museo de las Californias which has great displays on the region’s past including replica cave paintings and replica Spanish ships. For an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, take a cruise around the nearby Coronado Islands. The islands themselves cannot be visited, but the surrounding waters are prime locations for whale watching, bird watching, and scuba diving. At the same time, be sure to keep up to date with State Department travel warnings and keep on
the lookout for pickpockets as well as corrupt police while visiting Tijuana.
The Baja Peninsula Tecate: For those who want a quick dip into Baja but want a quieter alternative to Tijuana, Tecate is the perfect choice. Tecate is right near the U.S. border about
Ensenada 25 miles east of Tijuana. The city is best known for Tecate beer which is enormously popular on both sides of the border. You can take a guided tour of the Cuauhtemoc brewery and get a free sample of their freshly made beer. Other attractions in Tecate include the Parque Hidalgo where
you can indulge in the beauty of a small lake and a topiary clock. To make your trip extra relaxing, visit the 3,000 acre Rancho La Puerta spa where you’ll be treated to fitness activities, manicured gardens, wonderful hiking trails, and scenic views. Rosarito Beach: Located only 10 miles south of the border, Rosarito is a popular beach town that is perfect for fishing and surfing. A highly unique attraction is the film set of the movie “Titanic” where you can see the full-scale model ship that was made for the movie. Boulevard Juarez offers great shopping opportunities where visitors can see the best that local artisans have to offer including onyx chess sets, silver work, and more. Cap off your visit by taking a camel ride along the beach or through nearby Rosarito Canyon. Ensenada: The biggest city in Baja, Ensenada is a vital international trading port and tourist center. One of the best attractions is the former Riviera del Pacifico hotel/casino, now called the Centro Social Cívico y Cultural de Ensenada. In addition to beautiful gardens, an open-air theater,
El Salto’s claim to fame is its majestic 100 foot waterfall. 19 miles north of Ensenada lies one of Baja’s most visited attractions: the soaring La Bufadora geyser, one of the largest in North America. Finally, take a dip in the Rancho San Carlos Hot Springs set in a tranquil oasis of the Sierra Juarez mountains. La Paz: This peaceful city is the capital of southern Baja and sits right on the Sea of Cortez which famous ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau called “the aquarium of the world.” In fact, La Paz is one of the few areas in any part of the world where you can go snorkeling with whale sharks. La Paz may be a big city, but it’s very relaxed and offers phenomenal beaches set against the crystal-blue waters of the Sea of Cortez and the surrounding desert landscape. Cabo San Lucas: This resort city at the southern tip of the peninsula is undoubtedly one of Mexico’s finest gems. Cabo boasts some of the best scuba diving and fishing in the world. Right off the coast are colorful coral reefs teeming with
and mosaic art, it houses a historical museum that educates visitors about Baja’s rich history. If you want fun and festivities, come late February through early March for the Carnaval Ensenada, one of Mexico’s largest street festivals. For a great hiking trip, check out the El Salto Canyon between Tijuana and La Mision.
a huge diversity of marine life including sea turtles, tropical fish, and beautiful sponges. If you don’t want to get wet, you can take a ride on the Cabo submarine in an air-conditioned semi-submersible. If you’re in an especially adventurous mood, you can rent an ATV or mountain bike and tour the breathtaking scenery of sand
33 THE JEWISH HOME
dunes, mountains, and beaches around Cabo. The city also has dozens of golf courses to choose from and no shortage of condos if you’re thinking of moving or living there part-time. An underrated attraction in Cabo is the glass factory where you can see the time-honored tradition of glass blowing first-hand. Todos Santos: While Cabo San Lucas has great charm and beauty, some may find the crowds of American tourists and tacky souvenir shops a bit too much for their liking. The picturesque artist colony of Todos Santos, one hour north of Cabo, offers a great alternative to Cabo’s party atmosphere. Todos Santos sits on the Magadalena Bay where gray whales migrate in the winter mating season. This little town is only one of 30 in Mexico to receive the honor of “Magical Town” for having retained its cultural integrity and natural beauty. Todos Santos has great beaches, surfing, whale-watching, and an art festival held every February. One of the best places to stay is the Hacienda Cerritos, a classical Spanish-style resort set on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Where to Daven: -Tijuana has the Centro Social Israelita de Baja California, complete with mikvah and kosher restaurant, that’s located at Boulevard Cuauhtemoc Sur Ote., No 3000. You can call them at 011 52 664 686 2692 There is also Chabad Without Borders located at Av. 16 de Septiembre (Carretera Libre Ensenada) No. 18, Colonia Gabilondo (1-619-7264645) If you’re in Cabo San Lucas, you can go to the Cabo Chabad Jewish Center/ Casa Shalom at Plaza Gali, Paseo de la
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Clipper Ship at Los Arcos - Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas Bay Marina, Boulevard Marina,, Suite #66, 23430. Their number is (52)-624-1431951. And if your destination is La Paz, there is the Beth Yona Chabad located at Jose Maria Morelos #589, Colonia Centro; it can reached at 52-1-612-348-8808. Where to Eat: As mentioned before, the Centro Social Israelita de Baja California has a kosher restaurant, named Tante Jane. In Cabo, all catering for events at Casa Shalom are kosher and you can probably order kosher take-out directly from the shul (call them for more info). Otherwise there is a local Costco where kosher food might be available. Getting around: Going from Tijuana, Highway 1 will take you all the way to Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the peninsula and many places in between. It’ll also let you experience some phenom-
enal scenery along the way. Otherwise, many cruise lines sail to Baja and all of
Baja’s major cities have their own airport.
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SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Global UN to Investigate ISIS War Crimes
On Monday, the U.N.’s top human rights body overwhelmingly approved the Iraqi government’s request for an investigation into alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and parts of Iraq. The fact-finding mission will cost approximately $1.2 million. Iraq’s request for the U.N. to investigate alleged abuses by the IS was included in a resolution that more broadly condemns the group’s severe tactics but also calls on Iraq’s government to protect human rights. Its aim is to provide the Geneva-based council with a report and evidence next March that could shed further light on Iraqi atrocities and be used as part of any international war crimes prosecution. “We are facing a terrorist monster,”
Iraq’s human rights minister, Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, said shortly before the vote. He said his country needs the world’s support because the group “is not an Iraqi phenomenon, it is a transnational organization that is an imminent danger for all countries of the world.” He reiterated, “Their movement must be curbed. Their assets should be frozen and confiscated. Their military capacities must be destroyed.” Diplomats convened after the U.S. launched a series of airstrikes to prevent the group from advancing on the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil and to help protect members of the Yazidi minority who were stranded in Iraq’s northwest. In Geneva, U.N. officials expressed grave concern Monday at the reported atrocities in Iraq committed by both sides. Flavia Pansieri, the U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, said the militants’ widespread, systematic persecution of ethnic and religious groups likely amounts to a crime against humanity. She said Iraqi government forces’ execution of detainees and its shelling of civilian areas may also amount to war crimes.
sular society came into being. In the 1940s, an evangelical pastor, Anisio Pereira, took one of the town’s 16-year-old girls as his wife and founded a church there, imposing strict puritanical rules. When he died in 1995, the town’s women determined that they would never again be subject to male domination, and they dismantled Pereira’s church. Out of that was born this women-dominated town. Resident Nelma Fernandes, 23, says, “The only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us…. We all dream of getting married. But we like living here and don’t want to have to leave the town to find a husband.” All they need is just a few good men.
Great Escape for Filipino Soldiers
Small Island Nation Gets Rich off Streaming
Brazil’s WomenOnly Town
It’s hard to find a male in the town of Noiva do Cordeiro, Brazil. The rural town is inhabited and governed almost entirely by women. Its population of more than 600 is mostly single women aged 20 to 25. Sons are sent away at 18, and spouses generally leave town to work the mines during the week. However, now the women are making an appeal to encourage more single men to come to the town, on condition that they follow the rules. Incoming men have to follow all the guidelines that the women enacted, from town planning to farming and religion. The town was founded in 1891 by Maria Senhorinha de Lima, who had been excommunicated after walking away from a man she had been forced to marry. Over time, she was joined by other single women and female-headed families, and the in-
were picked up from their position by Irish UN soldiers in armored vehicles. The remaining 40 soldiers engaged in a “seven-hour firefight” with rebels who tried to ram the gates with pick-up trucks carrying anti-aircraft guns. The soldiers, who were armed only with machine-guns and rifles, held off the rebels who even used a mortar to shell their positions. The troops later walked to safety after midnight, to a UN position just over two kilometers away. Filipino President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Herminio Coloma issued a statement thanking the UN force as well as Syria, Israel, Qatar and the United States for their assistance in the crisis. “It is in our nation’s interest to give priority to [the soldiers’] safety but we will not turn our backs on our commitment to global security particularly in the Golan Heights and the Middle East,” Coloma said. He did not elaborate on the help provided by the other countries, although the head of peacekeeping operations, Colonel Roberto Ancan, said separately that the Syrians had provided “indirect fire support” that took the pressure off the besieged Filipinos.
It has been quite a few harrowing days for 75 UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. Dozens of Filipino soldiers serving with the United Nations had been surrounded by al Qaeda forces, did not surrender, and ultimately escaped under the cover of darkness. The Golan Heights has been tense since the start of the civil war in Syria. The fighting in Syria has more than once spilled over to the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. Over the past year, the UN force has had its peacekeepers seized by armed groups, its observation posts attacked and looted, and its freedom of movement reduced. Military chief General Gregorio Catapang called it “the greatest escape” and praised the soldiers. “Although they were surrounded and outnumbered they held their ground,” he told reporters. However, the fate of 44 UN peacekeepers from Fiji remained unknown. Rebels took the Fijians captive just before the Filipinos were besieged. The troops are part of a UN peacekeeping force, which has been stationed in the Golan Heights since 1974 to monitor a ceasefire between Israel and Syria. An initial group of 35 Filipino troops
On Monday, Amazon said it would pay $1.1 billion for a website that streams people playing video games, Twitch.tv—not to be confused with Twitch.com. The current trend shows that videos are being watched more on smartphones and laptops than on actual TVs which has made the .tv suffix highly sought after. Last month, 190 million Americans watched online video content, according to comScore. Back in the 1990s, the .tv suffix was assigned to a small South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu. At the peak of the Internet gold rush, in 1999, a start-up named DotTV paid Tuvalu $50 million over 12 years for the right to sell .tv to other companies. The .tv suffix represented two of the most recognizable letters in the world, and DotTV’s founders believed .tv could be bigger than .com because TV viewing would soon migrate to the web, a prediction that
Israel 77-Year-Old Still Fighting for the Holy Land
Most Israelis put in a few days every so often for reserve duty for the IDF, even in their 40s. But Nahum “Nahche” Gilboa is still fight-
ing—even though he’s 77-years-old. His time in the army during Operation Protective Edge made him the oldest combat soldier in Israeli history. Having first served as a reservist in the IDF’s 1956 Operation Kadesh in the Sinai Peninsula, Gilboa donned the IDF’s green uniform this summer in the Paratroopers Brigade. He’s served in the IDF for a staggering 59 years. Gilboa, a farmer from Lachish, a community near Kiryat Gat, told Israel’s Channel 2 news he enjoys his time with the younger soldiers, and that reserve duty — and hard work on the farm — help keep him young. “It’s part of who I am,” the stalwart soldier says. Gilboa said he has a reserve duty ID card that expires in 2017, and he hopes the IDF will let him renew it.
Support for Hamas Grows
An overwhelming majority of Palestinians believes that Hamas defeated Israel in the recent conflict and supports the continuation of rocket attacks against Israel if the blockade against Gaza is not removed. According to the data collected on August 26-30 by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) headed by pollster Khalil Shikaki, 79 percent of Palestinians questioned in Gaza and the West Bank said that Hamas had won the war against Israel, while only 3% said Israel had won. A similar majority believed that Israel was responsible for the breakout of the war. The results of this poll is surprising to many Israelis who felt that the extent of damage in Gaza would turn the Palestinian population against Hamas. But 94% of respondents said they were satisfied with Hamas’s performance in confronting the IDF, and 78% were pleased with
the movement’s defense of civilians in Gaza. Eighty-six percent of the 1,270 adults questioned in the survey said they supported the continuation of rocket attacks at Israel as long as the blockade on Gaza is maintained. Asked whether they supported transferring Hamas’s model of armed resistance to the West Bank, 74% of respondents in Gaza and 70% in the West Bank eerily answered in the affirmative. The results of the poll signify the most significant shift in Palestinian public opinion toward Hamas since the Islamic movement won internationally monitored elections in 2006. The support for Hamas has taken away approval from the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. Hamas received 88% approval for its performance during the war, and its political chief Khaled Mashaal won 78% approval. The Palestinian Authority came in significantly lower, with just 36% approval; its leaders, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, received 39% and 35%, respectively. Clearly, Palestinians are cheering on the terrorist organization in their territory. Paradoxically, and worryingly for Israel, Hamas received higher support in the PA-controlled West Bank than it did in Gaza. The poll found that if elections were held today, former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh would easily defeat Abbas with 61% of the popular vote versus 32%. Sixty-six percent of respondents in the West Bank said they supported Haniyeh, compared to 53% in the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, Abbas received just 25% approval, as opposed to 43% in Gaza. Overall support for the Palestinian Authority president plummeted 11% points in two months, from 50% in June to 39% in August, the poll found. Nashat Aqtash, a communications professor at Ramallah’s Bir Zeit University who served as media adviser to Hamas in the 2006 elections, said he was not surprised by the new data on Hamas’s popularity. “In some parts of the world, pressure begets explosion. In the case of Hamas, [Israeli] pressure yields solidarity and power,” Aqtash told The Times of Israel. The secret to Hamas’s attraction, he added, was its appealing religious message as well as the effectiveness of its security forces in Gaza. Aqtash predicts that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would unite ahead of
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we can all agree was very accurate. A .tv web address has become “important from a branding point of view,” said Tony Lorenz, the chief executive of BOB.tv, a company that streams videos related to best business practices. China.tv was sold for 100,000$ a year to an Internet service provider in China, according to Lou Kerner, a venture capitalist who, in 2000, left his job at Goldman Sachs to become chief executive of DotTV. In 2002, Verisign, a large manager of web addresses, acquired the company and still operates the .tv domain today. It agreed in 2011 to manage the .tv address through 2021, and the payments to Tuvalu’s government are said to be a couple million dollars a year. The dividends received from selling their domain are the primary source of income for the small country that has a population of barely 10,000. Citizens live on a tiny cluster of coral atolls and islands about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. The financial success of Tuvalu has led other countries to explore their leverage using their domain names. Montenegro, for example, has the extension. me that can offer a personal touch to a Web address; and Colombia’s .co has emerged as a logical, less expensive substitute for .com.
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the parliamentary elections expected in early 2015 and together receive at least 70% of the popular vote. “The PLO can get no more than 30 percent,” he said.
34% Americans Sympathize “A Lot” with Israel A new poll shows that Americans have more sympathy for Israel than Palestinians after the seven-week long conflict in Gaza. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has released a survey that found that 34 percent of Americans sympathized “a lot” with Israel, with another 32% of respondents sympathizing “some” with the Jewish state. In comparison, the poll found less sympathy from the American public for the Palestinians, with 11% sympathizing “a lot” with the Palestinians, although 35% said they had “some” sympathy for them. While the results of the survey conducted August 20-24 showed that 15% of Americans held little sympathy for Israel and 12% feeling “not at all” sympathetic, nearly half of the respondents said they had “not much” (20%) or no (27%) sympathy for the Palestinians.
However, among the 1,501 adult Americans surveyed, 37% overall said their sympathies were not mutually exclusive to either side in the Middle East conflict. A higher number, though, said they sympathized with Israel and not the Palestinians while fewer sympathized with the Palestinians and not Israel. Twenty-nine percent of those questioned responded with one-sided sympathy for Israel while 8% said they sympathized solely with the Palestinians. The poll found that 18% did not sympathize with either side. In terms of a peaceful two-state solution, the figures showed that the American public remains divided in light of the most recent fighting between the IDF and Palestinian factions in Gaza. While 43% said they believe Israel and an independent Palestinian state could coexist peacefully, 48% said they did not believe the situation was feasible.
National How Slow Can You Go? It’s been four decades since President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a mandate that set the maximum national speed limit at 55 mph. Nixon sealed this initiative to help fend off an oil crisis in the nation and surely many road trippers rued the day the speed limit was diminished. But years later, the law was repealed and it’s now up to the states to decide how fast—or how slow—drivers should go. So which state’s the fastest in the nation? Well, we all know that “everything’s bigger in Texas” and driving is no different. The Lone Star State not only lays claim to the fastest posted limit—85 mph—on a single highway in the U.S., it also boasts the greatest overall top speed when you average the highest allowable speeds on its rural interstates, urban interstates and other limited access roads—78.3 mph. Idaho speeds into second in the nation—it has a top limit of 80 mph and an average top speed of 76.7 mph.
On the other end of the speed spectrum, meandering along, are Alaska and the District of Columbia, both of which have a top speed and average top speed of 55 mph. The high-speed portion of Texas State Highway 130, which stretches 91 miles between San Antonio and Austin, became the nation’s first 85-mph toll road in late 2012. Also, as of late July, Idaho raised speed limits to 80 mph on stretches of several interstates. Utah and Wyoming also have authorized speed limits of at least 80 mph. A dozen more states have top speed limits of 75 mph, including Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Moreover, 22 additional states have a top speed limit of 70 mph, five of which (Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee) average 70 mph across their urban and rural interstates and other limited-access roads. When hitting Delaware, Hawaii, New
York, Rhode Island and Vermont make sure to slam on your breaks. These states all have top speeds of no more than 65 mph and average top speeds in just the high-50s.
Cops in Ferguson Don Cameras
In a bid to calm local anger and chaos, police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, are now wearing body cameras. Thousands have been protesting the fatal shooting for Michael Brown, 18, on August 9 by a police officer. Some in the St. Louis suburb have also lashed out at the police response to the protests – which turned violent on several occasions – accusing authorities of unnecessarily heavy-handed tactics. On Saturday, Ferguson police began wearing the cameras, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, quoting the town’s police chief Tom Jackson as saying the force – which is overwhelmingly white – received the cameras as a donation from two companies. Critics believe police will be more accountable if they wear cameras, which will also allow judges and juries to view for themselves police action in disputed incidents. A grand jury is hearing evidence to determine whether police officer Darren Wilson, 28, used excessive force in fatally shooting Brown, who was hit at least six times.
Oh, Say You Can See What Americans are Doing Right Now
is here. Retale.com has come up with an ever-changing chart that is designed to tell you in “real time” how many Americans are eating, sleeping, working, relaxing, and much more. The list of numbers and colors changes every second based on national data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can also see just how routines shift along age, gender and employment lines. It helps me to type these words knowing at this very moment approximately 8,710,278 Americans are also working. Of course, according to the shifting table, 259,764,339 people are sleeping right now, which is a convincing argument as well…
What’s in Your Cart? What are people in your state shopping for on eBay? If you live in New York, it’s Fire Arms & Supplies. But if you’re a California gal, it’s high-end apparel and accessories. The Internet-auction website recently created a map revealing the items each state purchases the most when using the online bidding service. While some matches seem pretty obvious or expected—like Texans buying tactical and hunting goods or residents of the District of Columbia purchasing luggage (politicians travel a lot)—some seem to be rather bizarre. Alaskans fill their carts with hats, Hawaiians just can’t seem to get enough vitamins, New Hampshire residents must be sending a lot of packages because they are buying loads of packing materials, and Wyoming must be home to lots of creative souls since art supplies were a top seller there.
At the end of 2013, eBay had 137.4 million active accounts globally. By the second quarter of 2014, the site reached 148.9 million users.
American Killed while Fighting for ISIS Ever wonder what your fellow Americans are up to right now? Well, the answer
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, an American citizen, was reportedly killed last week while fighting for the Islam-
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So who are the ones who have the fattest bank accounts on the Hill? 5. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX, worth an average $143,153,910 4. Rep. John K. Delaney, D-MD, worth an average $154,601,580 3. Rep. Jared Polis, D-CO, worth an average $197,945,705 2. Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, worth an average $257,481,658 1. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, worth an average $464,115,018 No wonder they’re all so concerned for the little guy on the street.
That’s Odd A Slice of Royalty Last week, someone paid royally for a slice of cake that’s over 33 years old. A private collector bought a piece of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding cake for $1,375. The slice of history was still in its original wax paper and presentation box with a card reading, “With best wishes from Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince & Princess of Wales.” Despite the impeccable appearance, the buyer was warned not to eat it. “The cake turns to crumbs and dust . . . It’s not the cake that’s of value — it’s the box,” said Alicia Carroll of memorabilia dealer Everything Royal, which has sold dozens of slices of historical cakes.
Richest Members on the Hill
99 Bottles of Beer
Ever went on vacation with an annoying brother and had to endure “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” for hours on end? Well, one company in Texas decided to make the song a semi-reality. Austin Beerworks has launched a 99-pack of its “Peacemaker” ale. The 7-foot-long (2.13-meter-long) pack consists of three rows of 33 cans that tip the scales at 82 pounds (37 kg) and is priced at about $99. “We made it at first as a joke,” said Michael Graham, co-founder of the Austin-based craft brewery. And it’s made quite a few beer-lovers—and their friends—happy. All 20 of the packs that were offered were sold out in just one day. The pack are too big for refrigerators— duh!—but are designed so that once a pack is opened, the beer can be covered in ice. Or you can just invite 98 other people to share in the alcohol overdose.
Hillary Clinton: Secretary of Style
Unbelievably, there are a dedicated number of British royal cake collectors. Some had even bought cakes dating back
Apparently, being a member of Congress is a well-paying job. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) collected data in order to identify the five richest members of Congress. Turns out that it’s not just the white-shirted, stiff Republicans who have all the dough. Three out of the top five are Democrats.
to Britain’s Queen Victoria, who got married in 1840. Diana and Charles were married in July 1981 and were officially divorced in 1996.
The people of Kosovo have wonderful fashion sense. In fact, they emulate the style of one of the most influential women in America…Hillary Clinton. Standing tall over Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina, Kosovo, there’s a gleaming statue of the former president,
honoring Clinton for his assistance to the Kosovo people during their struggle with the former government of Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War. And just around the corner, there’s an homage to his wife—in a different way. The Hillary clothing shop sells skirt and pantsuits inspired by the former first lady, senator and secretary of state. Guests from all over Kosovo and the rest of the Balkans region flock to this mecca of fashion. “We respect her name and her personality here,” said store owner Besian Morina. “Our clothes are modeled after her own fashion.” The red pantsuits are the most popular items in the store, although navy is a top seller as well.
The store was honored in 2012, when Hillary Clinton herself visited the shop. They presented her with one of their navy suits. Two photos of Hillary hang proudly above the store’s dressing rooms, an inspiration to those trying on their fashions. “Since she visited here, we are even more popular and we have been able to expand into another room,” Morina said. “We thank her very much for that.” What can we say? They are certainly learning fashion from the very best America has to offer.
Dreaming of IKEA Want to be lulled to sleep surrounded by do-it-yourself furniture? Well, three families got to live their dream when they
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ic State in Syria. McCain grew up in Minnesota and last moved to San Diego where he attended San Diego City College. College officials confirmed his attendance but declined to provide additional details. On McCain’s Facebook he referred to himself as Duale ThaslaveofAllah. Since his death, though, the Facebook page has been taken down. On a Twitter account identified as belonging to McCain, he used the name Duale Khalid and wrote, “It’s Islam over everything.” The terrorist wrote in one Twitter message regarding his conversion to Islam, “I will never look back the best thing that ever happen to me.” Another tweet reads: “It’s funny to me how all these so call Muslim claim that they love Allah but always curse the one who try to implement his laws.” White House officials confirmed his death on Tuesday. “We were aware of U.S. Citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain’s presence in Syria and can confirm his death,” said a statement released by Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. “We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from traveling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return.” A prime concern of U.S. officials is that Americans who join militant groups fighting in Syria and Iraq may return to America to launch jihadist attacks. Officials estimate that there are anywhere between several dozen to 100 Americans fighting with Syrian-based terrorist groups.
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slept in an IKEA in Sydney, Australia this week. The furniture giant advertised three rooms on Airbnb, with listings worded like the site’s rental ads. One “room” promises “Rustic Charm… reminiscent of a Swedish summer cottage.”
In order to participate, families were asked to apply online and explain why they should be invited to the IKEA sleepover. Of course, the event was covered by the media—make sure to brush your teeth!— and guests were advised that they would be “woken in the morning in a remarkable way.” But the company added, “Nothing frightening — we promise.” This is not the first time people vied to sleep in the furniture store. In 2012, the company invited 100 IKEA fans to crash for a night at its Essex store in the UK. And some locations in China encourage shoppers to field test the mattresses and couches. Wonder what they got for breakfast. Swedish meatballs, anyone?
An Art of Gold
An August 28, folks flocked to Folkestone, England, in a modern-day gold rush. As part of an innovative public art installation, German artist Michael Sailstorfer buried $16,000 worth of gold bars in the sand of Outer Harbor beach. The mad dash came in the afternoon, when the tide went out. It was finders, keepers for the lucky hunters. What’s so artsy about burying gold? Well, according to Lewis Biggs, the Folkestone Triennial curator, the art is more about what the finders will do with the gold than about the precious metal itself. “Do you take it to the pawnbrokers or do you take it to Sotheby’s? Or do you keep it
on the mantelpiece because you think it is going to be worth more later?” Claire Doherty, the director of the group who commissioned Sailstorfer’s piece, told The Guardian that the beauty of the project is that it will endure even after all the gold is found, sold or displayed: “A lot of people won’t admit to having found one even if they have. Would you?” How about just giving me the gold without me having to dig for it? That’s a beautiful piece of art right there.
shocking revelation came to light when a Hawaii-based academic specializing in items of “kawaii” (“cute” in Japanese) asked Sanrio to fact-check captions for an exhibition she was curating to mark the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty. Christine Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, said that she “was corrected — very firmly” by Sanrio that Kitty was not a cat. “That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show,” she said.
Shaun and Shrek: World’s Wooliest
Thought your kids needed a haircut before school? Meet Shaun the sheep. He could have been the wooliest sheep in the world. The Tasmanian sheep was found by Peter and Netty Hazel as he wandered by them on Sunday. “He couldn’t see very well because of the wool over his face, so I snuck up behind him and grabbed ahold of him,” farmer Peter Hazell recalled. It is thought that the six-year-old Merino ram had never been shorn. But despite his wooly coat being a half a meter thick, Shaun’s 52 lb. of wool was not enough to take away the title of world’s wooliest sheep from Shrek, the current New Zealand record holder, whose fleece weighed a whopping 60lb. Shaun’s haircut took 20 minutes, and his new owners kept a rug nearby to wrap him in after his haircut to keep him warm. The celebrated fleece will tour the state agricultural show circuit and Netty Hazel says Shaun will do some appearances as well. What do people think of his new haircut? It’s pretty baaa-d.
Hello Kitty Not a Kitty Cat Believe it or not, Hello Kitty is not a cat. Despite her whiskers and pointed ears, the cute character is, according to brand owner Sanrio, “a cheerful and happy little girl with a heart of gold.” Can’t believe this news? Well, this
“Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature,” Sanrio reiterated. “It is a 100-percent personified character,” a Sanrio spokesman told AFP in Tokyo. “The design takes the motif of a cat, but there is no element of a cat in Hello Kitty’s setting.” To explain even further, the spokesman revealed more about the Hello Kitty character. Her real name is Kitty White, and she was born in southern England on November 1, 1974. She is a Scorpio and blood type A. She has a twin sister, Minny White, and lives in an unnamed suburb of London with father, George, and mother, Mary. And she has her own pet cat: Charmmy Kitty. Hello Kitty first appeared in 1974 on a coin purse in Japan. Since then, she has graced tens of thousands of products in some 130 countries. And remember, even though she looks like a cat and her name sounds like a cat, your favorite feline-looking character is categorically not a cat.
Painting the Grass Green
Don’t want to spring for a sprinkler? No problem—it’s time to paint the town green. Thanks to California’s chronic drought and watering restrictions, there’s no shortage of dry, dusty-brown lawns. And that’s led to a growth in business for a remedy that doesn’t involve wasting water or risking fines: lawn painting. Using nontoxic, emerald-hued paints, lawn painters can transform even completely dead lawns to look about as lush as a golf green. On a recent July afternoon, David Bartlett, owner of Xtreme Green Grass, stood on the yellowing grass of a Folsom home, a backpack sprayer on his back, walking slowly back and forth dousing the grass in a natural, pigment-based paint. Bartlett started painting lawns three years ago, but this summer business has tripled, he said. What used to be 10 yards a month has increased to a couple a day. “People that have brown yards are obviously concerned about water, or they are afraid to get a $500 ticket, otherwise they would water their yard,” Bartlett said. “I’m cheaper than a ticket.” Bartlett, 36, paints lawns for homeowners who are tired of brown yards as well as people who are selling their home and want to increase its curb appeal, he said. Based in Sacramento, Bartlett said he gets lawn-painting jobs from customers as far away as San Francisco and Redding. Of course, the faux healthy lawn is nothing new. Golf course, athletic fields and hotels have been sprucing up their foliage with paint for years. But this year’s drought has brought out even the simple homeowner, who is concerned about their brown lawn. And real estate agents have been using the lawn-painting business to bring new life to a potential buyers. At 15 to 20 cents a square foot, a typical yard-painting job costs between $150 and $200. Lawn paint, touted as safe for humans, pets and the environment, generally lasts three to six months. It usually takes about an hour to dry and doesn’t rub off on shoes or bare feet, even when watered or mowed, according to turf professionals. If a yard is completely dead when sprayed, it lasts longer because it is not being mowed. “It’s just like hair dye; as your hair grows, the roots are going to come up,” said Bartlett, who markets his company online, through Craigslist ads, and by leaving his signs in a customer’s front yard after completing a job. His startup costs were minimal: the sprayer and gallons of eco-friendly lawn paint. Homeowners beware: a green lawn in California may just make your neighbors green with envy.
Star Athlete, Brave Soldier, Brilliant Businessman
or the past century, athletes have been a part of the American Armed Forces. Some of these soldiers/athletes were top notch players before and after their service. For example, Ted Williams was a marine fighter pilot during WWII and the Korean War. He had a hair-raising experience in Korea when his fighter jet burst into flames after a “belly-up” landing. There were some athletes who paid the highest price for freedom. This included the entire starting football team for Montana State during WWII. Pat Tillman was a safety for the Arizona Cardinals who turned down a multi-year contract to join the army after September 11. He was killed in Afghanistan while a member of the
elite Airborne is an active Rangers. Bob Navy SEAL, Kalsu was the presently as starting guard an instructor, for the Buffalo who has seen Bills who left action in sevto become an eral countries officer in the worldwide. 101st Airborne The most interDivision. In esting of these 1970, he was athlete-solkilled by mordiers was John tar fire in VietSlade. (In case nam. you were wonOn a hapdering, catcher pier note, the Moe Berg was John Slade, the businessman feel-good stoa civilian spy ry this year can be Tom Hruby if he and did not join the military.) makes the Northwestern squad as a John Slade’s real name was Hans walk-on. Currently, the 32-year-old Schlesinger, and he was born in Frankfort, Germany, in 1908. His family was prosperous from the real estate business and were assimilated Jews. Even so, he felt connected to Judaism and to his parents’ surprise, prepared for his bar mitzvah on his own. A top athlete throughout school, John excelled in the sport of field hockey. He was the country’s top goalie in field hockey and was a shoe-in to make the 1936 Olympics. However, under Hitler’s ym”sh Nuremberg Laws, Jews were prohibited from competing in national sports and he was forced to resign from his club. He stayed in Germany for a year before coming to New York. It was in the U.S. that he changed his name to Slade and took a job at Bear Sterns. John made enough money to bring his family to the U.S., thus saving them from the horrors of the Holocaust. Even though he was climbing the corporate ladder, he chose to enter the army in 1942. He said, “I decided that if a guy from Oklahoma could fight against Hitler, then I, too, must fight.” German-speaking soldiers were needed to interrogate captured Nazi officers. The American Army has a strange way of doing things (the saying goes, “there’s the right way, the wrong way and the army way”) and many German-speaking soldiers found themselves fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese. On the oppo-
site side of the world, an entire battalion of Japanese-speaking Americans fought against the Germans. The only way for a soldier to be sure that his language skills would properly be put to use was to volunteer as an interrogator. Slade wanted to help his brethren in need and interrogated German officers after their capture. One of the officers he interrogated was the notorious Jurgen Stroop who destroyed the Warsaw Ghetto. Slade was also on the frontlines as the Allies needed every man for the breakthrough into Germany during the spring of 1945. Slade was commanding a small group of soldiers when they stumbled upon a Bavarian castle. A hundred Nazi officers were holing up in the castle and were preparing for a fight. Without regard for his personal safety, he approached the front entrance and in German demanded their surrender. The Nazis gave up without a shot being fired. Slade was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions. After the war, he returned to New York and continued working at Bear Stearns. In 1948, Slade tried out for the American national field hockey and made it along with another Jewish immigrant refugee. The team lost every game in the Olympics, but Slade, who was 40 years old at the time, could care less. Slade continued to rise at Bear Stearns and became a managing director, publishing a weekly financial report that had a wide circulation. He died in 2005 at 97 and was believed at the time to be the oldest active member of the New York Stock Exchange. While his story is unique, his success was certainly shared by many Jewish refugees. Having to leave wealth and fame behind in a country that wanted to kill him, John Slade came back to fight for his Jewish brethren and once again succeed in the United States.
Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@ gmail.com.
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T H E J E W I S H H O M E n S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2014
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After Betrayal WHERE DO YOU GO AFTER BETRAYAL? minute, that you “deserved” the betrayal or that it was through this horrible event that G-d punished you. This is how I see the pain of life: It could be that our poor choices led to where we are today – or not. Often, it is completely out of our control. But let’s say for a moment that you are right and it is due to poor choices. Why did you make them? Are you or were you evil?
I didn’t think so. And you weren’t stupid. Perhaps naïve. Perhaps uninformed, inexperienced. But not stupid. Because if you were stupid, then you could be totally forgiven for making such mistakes. After all, you didn’t have the mental ability to do better. You made the choices you made because you used whatever tools you had at your disposal. It is also possible that you were battling with poor coping skills. Well, that isn’t your fault either. I understand you might have gotten blamed growing up. That is why you are trying so hard to blame yourself right now. But, don’t! You didn’t deserve it then and you don’t deserve it now. No, to those of you who think I’m trying to get people off the hook and not have to take responsibility, no, that is not the point, here. In fact, if you think about it logically, the point is exactly the opposite: When you stop blaming yourself and start loving who you are, that is the very moment you can more coolly and rationally evaluate the terrible situation you are in right now – and
take responsibility. But here is the difference between the blaming kind of taking responsibility and the loving kind. What I am suggesting you do is take responsibility for where you will go next. Where you’ve been really doesn’t matter. You made mistakes and now have suffered because of them: You were betrayed. Now, can you embrace yourself? Can you recog-
nize you may have made a poor choice and not hold it against yourself? Can you forgive yourself and make a good choice in the present moment? The next order of business is to wonder about the person who betrayed you. Was it malicious? Are you quite sure? Maybe it was an act of desperation – to gain attention, perhaps? Or maybe the
result of a weak character. What can be done for this person? Is it your responsibility to help the person who hurt you? These are the Big Questions. When you look at things in your life in this way – with a wide-angle lens – it takes the pressure off of you to scrutinize yourself too carefully. Sure, you must look at yourself; that is precisely what Elul is for. But not with an ayin ra – an eye that is looking to dig up dirt about yourself so you can be mad at yourself. Your job is to understand and put into context all your mistakes and the weird and unpleasant things that happened to you as well. Putting them into context means understanding the tools, information, and your own background that brought you right here to this moment. When you can truly see how you got to this bad place, you know exactly what you need to do to leave it behind. That’s also what Elul is for; yes, it’s for looking back – up to a point – but it’s for looking ahead even more. It’s not about beating yourself up. Dr. Deb Hirschhorn, a Marriage & Family Therapist best-selling of The& Dr. Deband Hirschorn is aauthor marriage Healing Is Mutual: and Marriage family therapist best Empowerment selling author Tools to Rebuild TrustIsandMutual: Respect—Togethof The Healing Marriage er, is proud to announce readers of The Empowerment Tools tothat Rebuild Trust and Jewish Home will receive a $50 discount on Respect. Please visit www.drdeb.com for every visit to her Woodmere office. Listen to further info. her new show called “Kids and Parents” on Chazaq Radio live from 3-4 on Thursdays. The call in phone number is 718-285-9132. 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.
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ucky is the person who hasn’t been betrayed in one way or another. I knew someone whose uncle promised to pay for her law school education. The conversation had come up so casually. She got back from her year in seminary, studied psychology and didn’t like it. She was trying to figure out what to do with her life so she went to a bookstore – that was in the days before Amazon annihilated bookstores – and sat there, going through the LSAT exam. That seemed to be fun and she mistakenly reported the story to her uncle. Next thing you know, he made an offer, as they say, that she couldn’t refuse. She started law school, except midway in her first semester, he told her he would pay it “later” and later never came. Then there is the story of the father who unexpectedly turned against his son. His son made a remark, perhaps not a very complimentary one, about his father’s line of business which had more downs than ups and seemed unstable. The son wanted to encourage the father to reconsider his work but instead it permanently ruptured the relationship. Suddenly, the son was making a bar mitzvah and his father wanted no part of him, so in one fell swoop, the son was deprived of a father and the grandson, a grandpa. Someone told me some time ago of a therapist who just dropped her. Just like that. They were having what she thought was a productive foray into worlds you don’t touch without help and suddenly she was left without a guide or a listening ear. There are the rabbis who disappoint and the friends who don’t show up. There is a world order you thought you could count on which you can’t after all. And then there is marital betrayal. Another kind of marital betrayal we don’t talk about is what happens as you get older, into your bubby and zaidy years and then the wife that you thought you always knew isn’t quite “there.” Suddenly, your partner in life is gone but no one warned you. And no one out there knows; no one can commiserate with you because it doesn’t show. “These are not the ‘golden years’ I was expecting,” said one person. Where do you go after betrayal? After your world turns upside down and you look at the shattered pieces of your dreams, what do you do? I’d begin by taking a look at yourself – with love. Don’t ever think, not for one
Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.
PUNCTUAL COURTEOUS RELIABLE HAIMISHE
T H E J E W I S H H O M E n S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2014
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Snacks are incredibly useful for boosting the behavior of school-age children. A sensible snack can help improve energy and focus in the classroom, reduce fatigue, maintain blood sugar levels, and prevent overeating later in the day. To be successful, a snack should contain all-natural wholesome ingredients. Items with refined sugars, artificial colors and over-processed ingredients can actually have the opposite effect and are liable to increase fatigue, raise blood sugar levels and decrease energy and focus. I know it is easy to brush off the idea of healthy snacks for kids. It’s simple to say, “They are just kids, why worry so much? What’s wrong with a pack of Oreos as a snack anyway?” But the truth is that Oreos and processed cookies are packed with refined sugars (which spike blood sugar levels and can lead to obesity and diabetes), hydrogenated fats (which can lead to high cholesterol and triglycerides) and salt (which can increase blood pressure). Alternative snacks that provide filling water, fiber and protein, will help your child stay full and satisfied until their next
meal. We also need to steer away from referring to cookies and other sugared treats as snacks because it will greatly confuse a child. School-age children are being bombarded with “special treats” on an almost daily basis. If there are 20 kids in a class, and 10 months in a school year, they are liable to receive 2 special birthday treats each month. On top of that there is a special snack each week for a Shabbos party plus 1 “special candy” on Rosh Chodesh and there are extra special delicacies when learning about different holidays like Rosh Hashana and Channukah. Meanwhile you can’t forget about the multitude of extra special delights provided at Shabbos Kiddishes, play dates and of course, grandma’s house. This is why we need to educate our children to understand that snacks are important for curbing hunger between meals and are meant as an opportunity to fill our bodies with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients to keep us feeling strong and energized between meals. Snack time is not to be confused with another opportunity to overindulge in large quantities of sugar, salt and fat. Somewhat active children ages 4-8 years old need 1,4001,600 calories per day, which means that snacks should be kept at roughly 75-150 calories and will vary depending on activity, age, gender, and number of snacks eaten per day. A balanced
snack should also contain fiber and protein to keep your child feeling satiated between meals and fuel their active lifestyles. Below are some great examples of healthy snacks to pack for Back-2-School! • 1 Cup Fresh Fruit or 1 Medium Fruit (i.e. sliced cantaloupe, oranges, apples) = 80 calories, 1.5g protein, 1.5g fiber • ½ cup of Sunflower Seeds (in shell)= 100 calories, 5g protein, 1.5g fiber • 1 oz. Bag Simply 7 Quinoa Chips = 140 calories, 9g protein, 0.5g fiber • 2 Cups Skinny Pop Popcorn, Similar Brand or similarly made at home=
80 calories, 2g fiber, 1g protein • Bamba by Osem, 1 cup or 1oz bag = 150 calories, 1g fiber, 4g protein • 1 cup Raw Jicama Sticks and 1 100-calorie pack of Guacamole= 145 calories, 2g protein, 9g fiber • Sabra Hummus Classic Singles and 1 cup Celery Sticks= 170 calories, 5g protein, 4g fiber • 1 Dry Roasted Edamame Snack Pack= 100 calories, 6g fiber, 11g protein • Mamma Chia Squeeze Pack = 70 calories, 2g protein, 4g fiber
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
By Ilana Muhlstein, R.D. Registered Dietitian in Private Practice and at UCLA
THE JEWISH HOME
Packing Healthy Snacks for Back-2-School
THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 42
THE JEWISH HOME SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
F o u n d e d i n l o v i n g m e m o r y o f N a a v a K a t l o w i t z ע”ה
Avinu Malkeinu9 N I N T H A N N U A L N I G H T O F I N S P I R AT I O N
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