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The Week In News

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SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

We wish all of Klal Yisroel a ‫כתיבה וחתימה טובה‬. A year filled with all the goodness earned through your devotion to ‫כבוד בית כנסת‬. We are gratified that thousands around the world have joined our movement

and raised the levels of tefillah to the lofty level it truly deserves. May Hashem bless us all with a ‫שנת גאולה וישועה‬

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The Week In News

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The Week In News

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CONTENTS JEWISH THOUGHT Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

FEATURE Empowering Through Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

LIFESTYLE People. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD PALM SPRINGS PACIFIC PALASADES PASADENA REDONDO BEACH SHERMAN OAKS SIMI VALLEY STUDIO CITY TEMECULA THOUSAND OAKS TORRANCE VALENCIA VAN NUYS WOODLAND HILLS

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, Each night, year-round, we lie down in bed expecting to wake up refreshed and revitalized from the fatigue of the previous day. The same is true each Elul/Tishrei season in a more general sense: all the previous months, with their specific yomim tovim and events are behind us. We’re ready to say goodbye to this past year and begin a new one full of energy and potential. All our midrashim, parables, and stories about the unique qualities of this time of year are not just feel-good material. This time of year really is a ripe time for us to learn to be humble, to change, to let go of certain rigid “I wills,” and “I won’ts.” Now’s the time to start being more respectful of our spouse, parents, in-laws, and all human beings with whom we come in contact. The first Lubavitcher Rebbe was once asked, “What’s greater: ahavas Hashem or ahavas Yisrael?” He answered, “Ahavti eschem amar Hashem: Hashem has said He loves us, which means ahavas Yisrael is greater, for one loves the one whom the beloved loves.” The reality is, we need to constantly improve our character traits in order to love someone else and not view them as an extension of ourselves. By us listening to and looking out for each other, we can be guaranteed that the One above will look out for us all, giving us a year full of joy, health, success, and all blessings that each one of us needs. May this be the year our dispersed family is brought back to our home with the coming of Mashiach now. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos, and ah gut gebentcht yahr!

Shalom

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


The Week In News

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Living with the The Week In Times News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Kingship

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

My grandfather, Rav Eliezer Levin zt”l, who learned in the famed yeshiva of Kelm for seven years, once told me that during Elul there was a sign hanging in the yeshiva. It read: “Ein Melech belo am There is no King without a people.” I understood the message to refer to the need of the Jewish people to affirm Hashem’s Kingship on Rosh Hashanah. As Chazal say (Rosh Hashanah 34b), we recite the pesukim of Malchiyos in Shemoneh Esrei “kedei shetamlichuni aleichem,” in order to accept Hashem’s dominion over us. On Rosh Hashanah, we blow the shofar and declare, “Hayom haras olam. Today is the birthday of the world. Today is the anniversary of Hashem’s melucha.” The avodah of Rosh Hashanah is to declare Hashem our Melech on the day His Kingship is celebrated and reaffirmed. The theme of malchus is integral to the day. In the Shemoneh Esrei of Rosh Hashanah, we recite ten pesukim of Malchiyos. During the ten days between the onset of Rosh Hashanah and the completion of Yom Kippur, we conclude the third brocha of Shemoneh Esrei with the words “Hamelech Hakadosh,” Rav Chaim Volozhiner writes that his rebbi, the Vilna Gaon, would rejoice as the shofar was blown on Rosh Hashanah. He would say that just as the nations celebrate the coronation of a king, when we blow shofar on Rosh Hashanah, we, as Hashem’s people, coronate Him over all the worlds. The Alter of Kelm states (Chochmah Umussar 2:152) that the avodah of shetamlichuni aleichem necessitates that the king’s subjects be united and work together, for the king’s rule is weakened if they are divided. It is likely that this is the message that was signified by the sign that hung for the month of Elul in the pantheon of mussar and greatness known as Kelm. Soldiers focus on victory and aren’t challenged by different roles and different ranks. Everyone involved is on the same team, an agudah achas, united by the same

goal. Their own personal wants are set aside for the greater good. Men of different backgrounds and social standing fight together and sacrifice for one another. They recognize that the greater cause is larger than each individual. Effective people see beyond their own personal honor and comforts. When this time of year comes around, everyone realizes that the focus is on kevod Shomayim. Personal egos and agendas are cast aside, as we all unite to allow Hashem’s glory to shine. Rav Nochum Zev of Kelm, son of the Alter of Kelm and leader of the Kelmer Yeshiva, was invited to address a large gathering. When his turn came, he ascended the podium, apologized that he was unable to speak, and returned to his seat. He later explained to his daughter that although he had prepared a drosha, he noted that the rov who addressed the gathering before

would have involved causing embarrassment to a person he might not have known, the message he had traveled far to deliver lost its importance and value. His mission wasn’t about himself and self-aggrandizement. Rather, it was about Hashem and His people. Thus, if his action would hurt another member of the group, he would remain silent. When we undertake an action, we need to ascertain that it will help bring us closer to Hashem and bring honor to Him and His people. When faced by a dilemma and uncertain as to how to proceed, we need to take the path that the Torah would suggest. Should we tell a lie, a tiny lie, and make a few more dollars on a deal, or should we be honest, even though that would cause us to incur a loss? Inherently, we know the answer, but our greed sometimes gets the better of us. Should we take advantage of someone

Humility is the underlying ingredient of selfimprovement. him spoke poorly. The Kelmer tzaddik feared that his own speech would reflect negatively on the previous speaker. Rather than cause embarrassment to another Jew, he refrained from speaking. No doubt, the message he prepared was laden with depth and inspiration. He spent time and effort preparing it, and he clearly believed that it held important lessons for the people in the crowd or he wouldn’t have planned to deliver it. Yet, the giant of Kelmer mussar sacrificed his presentation because he was part of an agudah achas, sensitive to the feelings of another person on the team. Though he could have shone and inspired, nevertheless, since doing so

else and earn money, praise or honor for ourselves, or should we act with humility and unpretentiousness, allowing another person to shine, even at the expense of us missing out on an opportunity for advancement? If we view ourselves as part of the greater community and consider other people’s feelings, needs and desires, we create harmony among Hashem’s creations and bring honor to our Melech. The man who was the chazzan for Mussaf in the shul in which Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld served as rov passed away two weeks before Rosh Hashanah. The shul’s members asked the rov how they should go

about finding a good chazzan so close to Rosh Hashanah. He told them not to worry. “I’ll find someone,” he said. A few days passed. Rosh Hashanah was fast approaching, with no word of who the chazzan would be. The mispallelim fretted, but they didn’t say anything to the rov. The first night of Selichos approached and still there was no chazzan. A representative of the group approached the rov and asked him how the search was going. “Have no fear,” said Rav Yosef Chaim. “I will find an appropriate person.” Rosh Hashanah came and there was no word about who would lead the august congregation in their Yomim Noraim prayers. Curiosity was at its apex, yet the rov would not reveal who he had found for the task. When laining was over on the first day of Yom Tov, dozens of pairs of eyes gazed at the rov. Rav Yosef Chaim stood up and motioned towards the son of the chazzan who had passed away. He said to him, “You have to be the baal tefillah. Go to the amud and lead Mussaf just as your father would have done had he been here.” The young man was stunned. He stammered that he had never davened for the amud and had not prepared for the task. The sagacious rov told him not to worry. “You heard your father daven for many years and are familiar with the way he davened. You will do just fine.” Senior members of the community approached Rav Yosef Chaim after davening. They told him that they accepted his choice but wondered why he would send an avel to lead the davening, when the Shulchan Aruch rules that a mourner should not be the chazzan on the Yomim Noraim. Rav Yosef Chaim responded, “The widow of the departed chazzan was in the ezras noshim of our shul. How do you think she felt remembering that her husband had led the davening here for so many years? Think about her pain as the fresh wound was reopened. “Now think about how much more it would have hurt had someone else taken her husband’s position, and instead of hearing him, she would have heard the voice of a stranger. “I wanted to minimize the pain of the widow as much as possible. Therefore, I decided to choose the person closest to her husband. That would be her son. The Mishnah Berurah rules that when there is no other choice, it is permissible for a mourner to be the chazzan. “In this case, with the widow present in shul, I felt that there was no other choice.” Such is the sensitivity of people


Living with In theNews Times The Week

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

steeped in Torah who care about others and the greater good. Rav Yosef Chaim, the beloved rov of Yerushalayim, would do nothing that would hurt the feelings of another person. He emulated the middos of Hakadosh Boruch Hu. As Chazal (Sotah 14) say, “Mah hu rachum af atah heyei rachum, mah Hakadosh Boruch Hu nikra chanun af atah heyei chanun... Just as Hashem is merciful, so are we to be merciful. Just as He is righteous, so must the Jewish people be righteous…” And so must we. The Vilna Gaon writes in Even Sheleimah (1:1,3) that the root of sin is bad middos. A person’s task in this world is to break those middos and improve his character. Someone who wants to repent and do teshuvah for sins he committed should begin by rectifying his middos. The key to change involves examining middos and perfecting character traits. At the root of the teshuvah process is becoming a better person. At the root of becoming a better person is perfecting your character. Doing so will not only help you get along better with other people, but will allow you to join b’achdus and be part of something great. One of the most integral elements of teshuvah is viewing ourselves as part of the group of Am Yisroel and appreciating what that means. Teshuvah involves us not seeing ourselves as superior to others or more important or better than they but appreciating the goodness in everyone. Humility is the underlying ingredient of self-improvement, getting along with people, caring about others, influencing them, and living b’achdus. People who are consumed with themselves don’t give to others, don’t bend for others, and don’t compromise for others. It’s all about them. People driven by superficiality are selfish and consumed by self-gratification. They don’t bring Hashem into their lives. Life becomes a long expedition of pleasure-seeking and power-grabbing, without thought of communal responsibility or a serious examination of life. Achdus is imperative for malchus to happen. The cleansing process of Elul and the yemei hadin, the honesty and self-awareness brought about by the awesomeness of these days, coupled with proper reflection, brings us to a level where we can do our part in being mamlich Hashem. Rav Yisroel Salanter advised that to be granted life on Rosh Hashanah, it is vital for a person to be an active member of a community. His advice is usually under-

stood to mean that if we wish to be granted life, health and happiness, we have to make ourselves needed. The more that people need us, and the more goodness and happiness we bring into the world, the more reason for Hashem to keep us here. The merit of performing important functions for Am Yisroel helps us when we are judged for the coming year. But there is another way to understand his admonition. In order to be a person who is involved with the klal, and in order to be able to work with others b’achdus, you have to have perfected your middos. Someone who is caught up with himself, lacking depth and humility, cannot be involved with the klal. A klal mentch, a person who assumes responsibility to help others because he is interested in helping people, is a person who has refined his middos and character. Rosh Hashanah is a time of repentance. We review our acts of the past year and seek to correct our faults. We examine where we have gone wrong and failed, and we seek to improve ourselves so that we will act correctly in the coming year. The Rambam (Hilchos Teshuvah 7:3) writes that just as we are commanded to do teshuvah for sins that are of an active sinful nature, we must rid ourselves of improper ideas. We have to do teshuvah for the times we were angry, for hatred of other people, for jealousy, for improper competition, for cynicism and mockery, for the pursuit of money and honor, and for gluttony. The Rambam adds that it is more difficult to atone for these character sins than for those that involve sinful acts, because we become accustomed to those traits and thoughts. Teshuvah is not only for what we are used to calling aveiros, but also for our latent urges for prestige and money, and for our jealousy of other people. The Rambam states in Moreh Nevuchim (3:17) that people are punished for an improper act, even if there is no specific commandment not to do it, if it is an act that human intelligence warns man to desist from. He adds that, conversely, if a person performs a positive act, then even if it is not a specific commandment, he is rewarded. The same idea is put forward by Rabbeinu Nissim Gaon, Rav Yaakov Emden and the Sefer Chassidim. In the Siddur HaGra, the Al Cheit of “Shechatanu lefonecha bevli daas” is explained in this way. We beg forgiveness for not thinking through our actions properly, for we are

commanded to carefully consider our actions, and if we don’t, we have sinned. If something doesn’t make sense, we shouldn’t do it. If we don’t want to be treated a certain way, we should not treat people that way, even if it doesn’t say anywhere in the Torah that it is forbidden. When tempted to act unscrupulously, we must resist the temptation, even if we are promised that there is nothing wrong, because we are smart enough to realize that there is. If we let financial incentives override our intelligence, we have sinned. The Yomim Noraim demand that we take a serious look at ourselves. One year, on Erev Rosh Hashanah, a chossid rushed before his rebbe, Rav Yitzchok of Nadvorna, to bid him a good year. “Where are you rushing to?” the rebbe asked the man. “I am a chazzan and I have to examine the machzor and prepare the tefillos,” responded the chosid. The rebbe told him, “The machzor hasn’t changed since last year. It would be wiser for you to examine your actions and improve yourself in preparation for the yom hadin.” Recognizing our place in the world leads us to care about other people and utilizing our talents to improve their lives. Introspection leads to achdus and to becoming an integral part of a klal. That is what Rav Yisroel Salanter was referring to. When we are alone, we are vulnerable and isolated. Uniting with others allows us to benefit from their support. We then have people with whom to celebrate and lighten sadness. If you live only for yourself, then your life is as small as you are. You never allow the strengths you have been blessed with to develop and flourish as they would if you’d be involved with others. You wallow and decline because Hashem endowed us with strengths in order to use them for communal benefit and for causes of Torah. Every person has an individual mission to carry out. Whatever your life task is, it involves other people. The more we affect the lives of other people, the more we become a vital part of Klal Yisroel. The more we realize that we are part of a group ruled by Hashem, the closer we will be to realizing our goal. When we remember that we are small when we stand alone, but can achieve much when we are united, we will find favor in Hashem’s eyes and in the hearts of our fellow Jews. “Useshuvah, usefillah, utzedokah maavirin es ro’a hagezeirah.” The Maharal writes that when a person pities and contributes to the poor, he causes Hashem to shine upon him midah of

rachamamim, mercy. The Chofetz Chaim takes this concept further and writes (Ahavas Chesed) that when a person acts charitably with others in this world, he arouses the midah of chesed in Shomayim. He explains that this is what is meant by the posuk (Shemos 15:13), “nochisu b’chasdecha, am zu goalta.” Because the Jews in Mitzrayim gathered together and resolved to be charitable with each other, Hashem miraculously freed them from the evil clutches of Mitzrayim. A person who seeks to improve himself and chart a better course for the new year cleanses himself of his wrongdoings. He turns to Hashem and asks to be returned to His good graces along with the rest of Klal Yisroel. He rises above selfishness and apathy. Tzedokah tatzil mimovess, for the more we give, the more we share with others, the more unselfish and humble we are, the more we live b’achdus with everyone and the greater our chances of a favorable outcome. We give tzedokah and cause Hashem to view us charitably. The sefer Ohr Hayoshar, written by a talmid of talmidei Ha’arizal, states that Hashem is merciful with anyone who is merciful with others; his tefillos are accepted and he accrues many advocates who argue for him during his judgement in the Beis Din Shel Ma’alah. Chasidim relate that the Kamarna Rebbe said in the name of Rav Mordechai of Chernobel, who said in the name of the Baal Shem Tov, who heard from Eliyohu Hanovi that every time that one Jew blesses another “Kesiva vachasimah tovah,” malachim advocate for him. On Rosh Hashanah, we seek to unite as an agudah achas, acting charitably to each other and wishing the best for all. Before Yom Kippur, we ask mechilah from each other. On Sukkos, we grasp four minim, symbolizing all sorts of Jews. Then, finally, on Simchas Torah, we dance as one, with no more barriers between us. To view ourselves as members of a larger group, caring about each other, as soldiers in a fighting army, to think about how Hashem would want us to act, that is the avodah of Malchiyos. May we merit seeing the realization of the tefillos, “Meloch al kol ha’olam kulo bichvodecha,” which will take place when “Veyei’asu kulam agudah achas,” Jews will once again unite “la’asos retzoncha beleivov shaleim.” May it happen soon. A shenas geulah veyeshuah to all.

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The Week In News Torah

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf Does nullification apply to a mixture of similar items? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of RealClearDaf.com The daf of last Shabbos gave us the opportunity to review the mishnah in Zevachim that discusses this question. The mishnah there discusses a case where some sacrificial blood got mixed in with non-sacrificial blood. If there is a majority of non-sacrificial blood, do we say that the

sacrificial blood is legally nullified and thus cannot be applied to the mizbeach? The Rabbanan and R’ Yehuda debate this question: The Rabbanan say the sacrificial blood is nullified and R’ Yehuda says it isn’t. As the gemara explains, the underly-

ing question is what the rule is in a case of two similar items as our case where both elements in the mixture are blood. R’ Yehuda asserts that nullification does apply in this situation. Indeed, there is a powerful logic to what R’ Yehuda is saying: The whole idea of nullification is that the

element of lesser quantity loses its identity to the element that makes up the majority of the mixture. How then does it make sense to say that blood loses its identity to...blood? Thus R’ Yehuda says that the sacrificial blood doesn’t go away, no matter how much non-sacrificial blood is added to the mixture. So, what do the Rabbanan say back? The Ran in Nedarim (52a) offers an interesting explanation. He says that the Rabbanan actually agree that if we were dealing with two elements of the same type that nullification wouldn’t apply. However, the Rabbanan argue that the two elements here are not considered the same: for one (the sacrificial blood) is permitted for the mizbeach and the other (the non-sacrificial blood) is prohibited for the mizbeach. In other words, the Rabbanan hold that the “type” that a given item fits into depends not on its physical makeup but on its halachic makeup. Things get even more interesting when we are presented on 23a with an Amoraic teaching about the exact understanding of R’ Yehuda’s opinion. The gemara discusses what R’ Yehuda would rule by a mixture of kosher and non-kosher (i.e. from an animal that wasn’t properly slaughtered) meat. Rav Chisda there states that if a bit of non-kosher meat mixed with a majority of kosher meat, the former would be halachically nullified (i.e. for the purposes of tumah; see Rashi there)—even according to R’ Yehuda. But wait, I thought R’ Yehuda says that nullification does not apply when the items of the mixture are of the same type? As the gemara there explains, Rav Chisda holds that since the majority item (i.e. the kosher meat) can never become like the minority item (the non-kosher meat; meaning that the kosher meat will never suddenly become a source of tumah like the non-kosher meat is), even R’ Yehuda agrees that this is judged as a mixture of dissimilar items and therefore nullification does apply. But this seems to only deepen the mystery: I thought R’ Yehuda goes by the physical makeup of the items when determining the type that an item is? Apparently, even R’ Yehuda agrees that we have to also put on our “halachic glasses” when judging what an item’s type is. That is, only when we see two items that are a) physically the same and b) can hypothetically become halachically the same will we judge this a mixture of items of the same type which will not be subject to nullification. Wishes to all for a sweet new year filled with brachah and happiness!


Torah Musings The Week In News

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Freedom to Forgive, Part II: The Gift of Forgiveness Sarah Pachter

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ‒Lewis B. Smedes I have a theory about the popularity of the song “Let it Go” from Frozen. Yes, the tune was beautiful, and it happened to accompany one of the most popular animated Disney films in the past decade. But let’s be real: it wasn’t just children singing along to the soundtrack. Perhaps many adults subconsciously connected to the song because we had something we deeply wanted to let go of. Inherently, we know that releasing the grudge, anger, or a painful memory can provide tremendous internal relief and emotional freedom. The Torah even states: “Do not hate your brother in your heart.”1 And also decrees that we should not take revenge or bear grudges.2 Many of us know and feel the benefits of these statements, but practically applying them can take a lifetime of effort. Life is like a theater, and each person we interact with is another actor playing out the scenes of Hashem’s script. As Yom Kippur rapidly approaches, we can use the following three theatrical concepts to help let go of grudges holding us back in our lives. Just Cut the Scene Imagine a director watching an actor and actress act out a scene from his play or movie. After a few minutes, he confidently calls out: “Cut!” The actress stops in mid-sentence and stares at him. “No, no, no,” he continues. “It’s just not going to work.” Yes, the scene happened, and, yes, the actors’ performances have been filmed, but the interaction isn’t necessary to the director’s grand vision. Therefore, he’s not going to allow it to remain part of the film, where it could be viewed (again and again) by millions. There is no emotion involved. The director simply removes the scene and continues on with his next task. We are the directors of our own thoughts and can control what we allow our mind to play and replay. We have the power to cut any scene we want from our memory. By not nourishing negative thoughts or experiences, they will lose

1 Ibid. 19:17 2 Leviticus 19:18

strength and eventually disappear. Visualize yourself saying “cut!” and then delete that scene from your mind. Similarly, have you ever tried to take a picture with your camera or phone, only to discover that its memory is full? Just like we would delete old, inferior photos in order to make space for new pictures, we must to learn to delete the unflattering and blurry moments of life. In this way, we will have space for more positive, new memories. Sometimes we hold on to the negative “scene” or “picture” because we think that if we let go, we are letting them win. We search for inner and outer validation and therefore keep the memory strong in our minds to feel power over the situation. But feeding our feelings of anger and/or revenge is like swallowing poison and hoping the other person will die. Ultimately, who wins when we forgive others? We do. Move on to the Next Act If you are unable to cut the scene completely, at least move on to the next act. Rabbi Zelig Pliskin3 writes that whenever you find your mind rehashing a negative experience, just stop yourself and mentally say, “Next!” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer shares a beautiful insight: Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play. Embrace them all and move on to the next act.4 In a similar vein, my father-in-law once shared a personal quote, which has since become one of my mantras. He calls it . This formula stands for: Some will, some won’t, so what? NEXT. This is a great phrase to keep in mind when faced with rejection, difficult people, and a plethora of other challenging situations. Essentially, what I have learned from my father-in-law is to move on before a grudge can even brew inside.

3 Marriage by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin,

page 354

4 https://www.drwaynedyer.com/

blog/how-to-forgive-someone-in-15-steps/

Mimic a Graceful Actor I recently took my daughters to see Cinderella, the play. Towards the end, Cinderella, after years of being treated as a maidservant by her stepmother and stepsisters, marries the sought-after prince. When her stepmother and stepsisters realize she is going to be queen, they tremble with fear in her presence and apologize profusely. Cinderella then appears, wearing a stunning gown and a crown upon her head. Magnanimously, she forgives them completely. It may seem silly, but this scene really stuck with me. How beautiful and grand she appeared, not only in her gown, but through her gracious act of forgiveness. We too can envision ourselves doing as Cinderella did. In truth, every time we forgive another, no matter how small the misdeed, it is a magnanimous act which creates more and more grace within us. In Sefer Bereishit, Yosef also forgave his siblings when in a position of power. After his brothers sold him into slavery, despite living in Egypt and isolated from his family, he became viceroy. They too trembled and bowed before him, realizing their mistake and the power he had to potentially exert revenge.   His inner grace was revealed when he did not take revenge, but forgave and gently rebuked them in private with the famous words: “Ani Yosef—I am Joseph.” This is a perfect example of fulfilling the Torah’s commandment not to take revenge. In order to accomplish what Yosef did, (and Cinderella, as well), we must be able to envision someone who has achieved this level of grace. A dear friend of mine shared another quote that has stuck with me throughout the years, “You can’t be who you can’t see.” If we can’t see it, we don’t have ways to imitate it. Even Yosef, when faced with

his own nisayon, “saw” who he wanted to be. In a moment of temptation, he conjured up the image of his father, and was able to pass his test. Find someone to mimic— be it a parent, Torah personality, teacher, friend, or even an actor. Through this, we too can build grace. Jeff Harris, Program Manager for the Employee Assistance Program at the University of Southern California, suggests another technique to building grace: I encourage [people] to adopt an advanced form of forgiveness, what I call grace. To practice grace is to prepackage forgiveness and set it on the shelf, in anticipation of a future hurtful action from someone who matters to you: a spouse, partner, child, parent, or co-worker. When we’ve already forgiven others for future offenses, we bypass the formation of grudges altogether.5 Any time you revisit the hurt, instead visualize yourself forgiving that person. One can even imagine a scenario that might require forgiveness preemptively. It’s a prepackaged gift you give not only to the other person, but also to yourself. Yes, it is hard, but forgiveness and letting go doesn’t have to be reserved for the select few, like Yosef. When the Torah gives halachah, is it something every Jew can achieve. In the theater of life, we have the capacity to cut the scene, move to the next act, and build grace through visualization. Not only does forgiveness free us emotionally, but our health and quality of life will be better off as a result, as well.6 Forgiveness is the ultimate gift from Hashem, and we have the power to share that with others.

5 https://health.usnews.com/healthnews/health-wellness/articles/2016-01-27/12steps-to-let-go-of-a-grudge 6 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/ health/healthy_aging/healthy_connections/ forgiveness-your-health-depends-on-it

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SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Four Fateful Hours on Erev Rosh Hashanah L. Berman

Rosh Hashanah of 5779 is just four hours away. The tempo of activity in each Jewish household increases as each moment hurries by. There are simanim to prepare, new clothes for each child, and te-

fillos for the new year murmured between each task. Who has the time now to go to the Kosel to daven? The gedolei hador do. On behalf of the

donors to Vaad Harabanim, at this fateful time, a most prominent group of the leaders of our generation will convene at the holiest site in the world. With only four hours left until the Day of Judgement begins the venerable leaders of all the Jewish People will petition and plead for the donors to Vaad Harabanim. This traditional prayer gathering was founded at the behest of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, ztz”l, Maran Posek Hador. At the initiative of Rav Elyashiv, ztz”l, the greatest leaders of our generation have gathered at the Kosel HaMaaravi to pray for those who donate to Vaad Harabanim every Erev Rosh Hashanah. This year, many of the gedolei hador have personally requested to attend the prayer gathering. The list of gedolim who will assemble at the Kosel is long: Harav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, Shlita; the Rebbe of Biale, Shlita; Harav Yitzchak Sheiner, Shlita; Harav Dovid Cohen, Shlita; Harav M. Y. Shlesinger, Shlita; the Rebbe of Rachmestrivka, Shlita; the Rebbe of Pinsk Karlin, Shlita; the Rebbe of Lelov, Shlita; Harav Ezriel Auerbach, Shlita; Harav Yaakov Hillel, Shlita; Harav Reuven Elbaz, Shlita; Harav Binyamin Finkel, Shlita; Harav Moshe Tzadka, Shlita; Harav M. Elyashiv, Shlita. You can be assured that their prayers will be accepted

and will form an effective defense on your behalf on the Day of Judgement. Yes, on your behalf because you are not going to miss out this year. Every year you’ve seen the salvation and blessing that resulted from this awesome gathering on the eve of judgment. This year is the year that you too will be included in the powerful prayers of the gedolei hador right before Rosh Hashanah for a good year. In addition to the merit of the prayers at the Kosel, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita has penned in his own handwriting a powerful brachah for those who donate to Vaad Harabanim: “The donors of Vaad Harabanim will merit a good year.” A clear and compelling reason to donate to Vaad Harabanim. Can you pass up the opportunity to be blessed by the Sar HaTorah himself? Send in your donation right away to Vaad Harabanim, don’t forget to include your name and the names of those you love to be included in the list of the gedolei hador. During the most fateful four hours of the year the gedolei hador want to daven for you at the Kosel. With their prayers standing at your side you can be assured of a good year for you and your family.    Call (1) 877-722-2646 or go to www. vaadharabbanim.com to make your tax-deductible donation.   


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Elul in the War Years Brenda Goldstein

On Friday, September 1, 1939—the 17th Elul, 5699—Germany invaded Poland, an act widely seen at the start of World War II. While Jews across Europe prepared for Shabbos and the upcoming High Holidays, their world turned into a Gehinnom. As Tishrei and the Yomim Noraim approach, many of us concern ourselves more with whom we will invite for the yom tov meals and when we will start shopping than how we will do teshuvah so that Hashem Yisbarach will, G-d willing, inscribe us in the Book of Life. But, not so long ago, the feared alternative loomed all too close to our people. Young Mietek Weintraub of Lodz looked forward to his bar mitzvah in November. Instead, two weeks before the simchah, the Nazis, yemach shemam, burned down his synagogue. “We were watching the synagogue go up in flames,” Weintraub, now known as Mitchell Winthrop, remembers. “They (the Nazis) didn’t even call the fire department.” The Germans sent Mietek and his family to the Lodz Ghetto, and then to Auschwitz

Marie Kaufman

in 1944. Rabbi Shaya Berkowitz recounts an amazing story about his father during the war, whom the Nazis forced into the front line of the Hungarian army, “ready to blow up if the Russians exploded the railroad,” he says. “To keep, then, a record of Rosh

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Mietek Weintraub

Hashana and Yom Kippur was a very difficult thing to do.” But, he explains, his father knew that erev Yom Kippur lay just ahead, and wanted to go to the mikvah. “They were on a mountain top. Under the eyes of the Nazis, they were digging out sand from the mountain, and the clouds were dripping into it. By the time erev Yom Kippur came, they [could toivel in it.] If they (the Nazis) would have noticed, if they would have realized what they were doing, they would have killed them.” But, not all survivors had the privilege of serving Hashem during this horrible time. “You couldn’t practice anything in hiding,” remembers Marie Kaufman, who, as a young girl, hid with her family in southern France. “There were no apples and honey to be had,” recalls Masha Schweitzer, who spent the war years in the Soviet Union with her family after moving from her

German-controlled hometown in Poland to Russian-controlled Brest (Brisk). “It was a very repressive society of expression of any kind. Keeping the symbols of the holidays alive was a big deal.” “You think of (Jews) doing the religious practices in secret,” said Henry Slucki, who hid in southern France as a child, and later escaped to Spain, before emigrating to the United States via Portugal. “But it was not that widespread. And, after a while, especially with the Occupation, people just didn’t want to risk it at all.” “One miracle after another, just to survive the day,” Winthrop says of his experience. “I didn’t even know what day it was. We were just counting the time from when we would get the next meal. That was our only concern in life.” World War II officially ended on September 2, 1945—the 24 of Elul, 5705.

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Yom Kippur in the Lodz Ghetto

Photo: Yad Vashem


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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Empowering Through Education How Rabbi Menachem Bombach is Revolutionizing the Charedi World By Tammy Mark

he energetic rabbi with the beard and the long black coat – what differentiates him from the countless other dedicated rabbis and educators in yeshivas in Israel? It may seem like it was the video of his classroom lesson on Yom Hazikaron which went viral last spring, but in actuality it’s his groundbreaking way of preserving traditional values that is attracting the most attention. Rabbi Menachem Bombach is the founder and principal of the Hasidic Midrasha - Torah Academy of Israel, an exceptional school for charedi boys in the Beitar Illit community of Jerusalem. The Midrasha is a yeshiva where students can achieve the highest levels of Torah learning, yet also an institution that provides them the opportunity to expand their minds – and prepare themselves for a more promising future. Rabbi Bombach is working to preserve the sustainability of the charedi community by changing the status quo, empowering students through education. Picture young, Chassidic boys, with their peyos, white shirts and black pants, learning Torah but also studying science or farming. The Midrasha provides a full range of general studies in which students graduate with a complete Bagrut matriculation certificate, and offers the students everything from math and chemistry to farming. While conventional charedi models focus exclusively on fulltime Torah studies, Rabbi Bombach’s program educates the boys in areas that will allow them to support themselves while still remaining within the framework of their traditional values. Torah Academy is the first high school in Israel to offer an integrated program for the Hasidic community. Rabbi Bombach has certainly made an impact on his community in Israel, and this past May he made a surprising impact on the Jewish world at-large.

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Feature The Week In News

6, 2018 | The Jewish Home TheSEPTEMBER Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

“You see that you can really educate them and they are still inside the community and love the community – and be proud of the community.”

O

n Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, a video circulated the internet of a rabbi giving a lesson to his students in commemoration of the national holiday. At first glance, it may have looked like another touching tribute to the fallen soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who protect the land of Israel. Upon

further examination of the context, the video represented much more than a tribute, but rather a transformative moment in time. In most schools across Israel, even the youngest students are familiar with the soldiers of the IDF – some are their very own brothers, cousins or neighbors. Many have already experienced personal loss. But in many charedi schools across

the country, many of the children are unaware of Yom Hazikaron and have never met someone who served in the IDF. The rabbi in this particular classroom on the video was Rabbi Bombach, and the charedi students in Rabbi Bombach’s class have never been taught about Yom Hazikaron, and most likely do not know any soldiers personally. Due to divergent beliefs and charedi underrepresentation in the IDF, Rabbi Bombach needed to drive the message and solemnness of the day home to his students in a unique and impactful way. He presented his students with a picture of a young boy draped over his father’s grave. Rabbi Bombach explained to the boys that this boy’s father went off to war so that others, like themselves, would be able to study Torah. The lesson went even deeper. He asked the students what they saw and how they felt. Rabbi Bombach then discussed the emotions of empathy and gratitude – concepts that are seldom developed in a typical social studies lesson. He presented the lesson in a simple yet careful way and was able to present a complex concept to boys who have never acknowledged the national holiday. Additional handouts told of other fallen Israeli soldiers and explained how they all died defending their homeland and that they were sanctifying G-d’s name. The lesson continued with the recitation of Tehillim and the names of the soldiers, and concluded by calling the boys up to light candles in their memory. The display of the intersection of two ideologies garnered considerable attention. The visual images alone drove the point home; Rabbi Bombach not only elicited true empathy from his impressionable students, but as the video went viral it touched the hearts of so many people around the world.

R

abbi Bombach’s lessons are not just given to educate his students and give them more information about topics they may not know much

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about. His classes are much more than that. Rabbi Bombach’s goal is to preserve the charedi community by empowering it to survive. He explains that the statistics indicate extremely difficult circumstances to come for the charedi community if things remain status quo. “Right now, there are 16,00017,000 charedim who finish school every year and enter the real world. Most of them do not have the required skills to make it,” he notes. “Understand how much this is detrimental, not only to Israel’s economy – which in my opinion is very important – but also detrimental to the charedim. They do not have the ability to provide for their children. We must change this,” Rabbi Bombach stresses. He adds that in the charedi city of Beitar Illit, 60% of the children are classified as impoverished. “Outright poverty. It’s very simple: their lot is to be poor children,” he laments. Rabbi Bombach believes that these numbers are also part of a bigger picture. Not only will the situation lower their self-esteem and their confidence, it will increase the societal gap and tensions between Israel’s populations. “It’s a disaster for Israel and for themselves,” he projects. Charedi parents are realizing that they want more, and need more, for their children. Rabbi Bombach explains that some of the parents are choosing the Midrasha as the preferred alternative to traditional charedi yeshiva, while some are concerned that their child won’t succeed on the conventional path. Other families are seeking solutions and a way to prevent their children from struggling with drugs and other issues that a charedi yeshiva is not equipped to combat. While the need for change is evident, Rabbi Bombach has experienced his share of pushback. “I think there is a majority who really support us, maybe not publicly,” he says. “The resistance comes from the real edges, the extremist of communities who are identified with the extremism. But they do not really present the majority of the charedi community. I think we


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29, | The Jewish Home Feature TheOCTOBER Week In2015 News

In the charedi city of Beitar Illit, 60% of the children are classiffied as impoverished.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

have much encouragement inside the community,” he says in his perpetually positive manner. As for the video that took the world by storm, the release came as a complete surprise to him. “I was shocked – I didn’t send it,” he says. “Someone took it from the whole movie – it was a one hour movie on Channel 10. Someone took the movie and removed the Yom Hazikaron segment.” The bigger surprise was the feedback he received. “I was really shocked and I felt blessed, because I really believe in kiddush Hashem. I educate the kids on kiddush Hashem and understood that it was such a very spiritual moment,” he says. “It gives me so much excitement and recognition.” He believes the impact goes far deeper. ”I’ll tell you more,” he says contemplatively. “Maybe it gives some message for the secular or daati community, but those things also come inside the community and also give them a new point of view, a new way to look of those kinds of things. The charedim are not making ceremonies about Yom Hazikaron, and now they can see it’s not about Zionism – just hakarat hatov – gratitude. That’s the point.” Journalist Raviv Drucker spent a year in the Midrasha and Rabbi Bombach gave Drucker free range. Rabbi Bombach says he is so proud of what he’s doing at the yeshiva that he felt comfortable and confident enough to allow the cameras go anywhere, at any time. The fulllength video shows the students learning, tending to a vegetable garden, hiking and playing ball. “I feel like those kinds of things can give a look inside, not just as an anthropological experience, but inside the community. You see that you can really educate them and they are still inside the community and love the community – and be proud of the community. It will be different because they will be able to finance themselves and be identified with Israel,” says Rabbi Bombach. “This is a very very important issue for me. I have to say that without solidarity with Israel, I wouldn’t want this school. This is like an anchor and that anchor can

save the future of Israel.” Asked if all of the parent body is fully supportive Rabbi Bombach says that they are, even if some aspects may make some parents uncomfortable. “I used to say this is a package. I have no conflicts with the parents. They know I’m very assertive about the idea and how I look at it.” He elaborates, “I also know the circumstances so I’m not judgmental; I know we just need to help. I look at it with compassion. We need to do the best that we can even if it’s not easy, and there could be even regression.” Rabbi Bombach feels fortunate to have a team of like-minded educators alongside him. “I worked in education for many years,” he says. “The success is not about me, but because I know how to hire the best people.”

H

is journey began as a personal one. “The source of motivation usually begins with pain. I began with pain,” he admits. “That’s good for short term, but for the long term you need pleasure. I’m full of pleasure now because I believe this is the future of Israel.” Conversing remarkably well in both Hebrew and English, Rabbi Bombach is self-taught, having spoken only Yiddish until age 20. It was his own experiences that helped shape his ideology, beginning when he got married and went to work and discovered how much basic knowledge he was lacking. Having studied at the Mir Yeshiva, Rabbi Bombach went on to pursue a B.A. in education and an M.A. in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He founded a preparatory program at Hebrew University to provide young charedi men with the background and tools needed to succeed in university. As more and more men were unable to keep up, Rabbi Bombach realized that a university preparatory program was not enough and he embarked on his current mission to educate at the high school level. Rabbi Bombach does not receive much support from his parents,


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“This is like an anchor and that anchor can save the future of Israel.” which hasn’t been easy. “I force myself to honor and respect them,” he says. “I teach to tolerance, and believe in tolerance, and believe in the common good. So I’m also tolerant to the extremes in my community.” His wife is charedi as well and is very supportive of his work. “She’s amazing. Without her I couldn’t survive by myself. She’s my best friend,” he says. Their son, Yossi, is in the longer version of the video, and their children are definitely affected by his progressive work. “It’s not easy for them – absolutely not – because there’s some tension in the community, because everybody

knows me,” Rabbi Bombach admits. “They don’t feel so safe sometimes, but I can say they are very proud. I used to say that maybe I lost my freedom in life but I promised my kids to make it meaningful. This is the best present ever I can provide for my kids. “

I

n June, Rabbi Bombach visited New York to address a supportive audience at the Weinreb home in Woodmere. After a heartfelt Introduction by

Rabbi Moshe Weinberger of Congregation Aish Kodesh, Rabbi Bombach had the opportunity to share his story and mission. He recalled his wonderful childhood memories and the love he felt growing up in Mea Shearim and explained how times have changed, saying that it used to be good to be protected from outside world. He joked that he made Aliyah at 20 from Mea Shearim. “But now we need to provide new tools for the new generation – if we don’t provide new tools, they’ll drop out,” he asserted. Rabbi Bombach laments how so many men with shtreimlich in the community have no connection with G-d and believes that not all people are designed to just sit with Torah all day. Yet he teaches his students that Torah is the ultimate goal. He says he has such pleasure when he looks into the eyes of his students and makes sure that with all the other subjects in school Torah learning doesn’t falter. On the contrary, says Rabbi Bombach. “This teaches them to love Gemara even more. The students in the yeshiva, they are studying Torah more than the average bochur.” Rabbi Bombach experienced much support while visiting the States and made a stop in New York City to witness the Celebrate Israel Parade, which proved quite emotional. “I had so many tears from this parade, you cannot imagine. I had tears and tears. I sent a message to my kids and I told them, ‘Some time you have to come to America to see how proud people are to be part of Am Yisrael!’” Other communities are reaching out to Rabbi Bombach for help with their own schools. “In America so many communities see us as a model and they ask us, ‘Please save us, we need your help,’” he says. Rabbi Bombach visited Satmar communities while in New York. His unlikely colleague in the U.S. is Rabbi Moshe Klein, a young, enthusiastic educator and a Satmar Hassid from Williamsburg, who must balance values that may seem to come in conflict with one another. “I think this is the most important thing that we’re doing,

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that we’re making a change in the charedi community for education over here as well,” says Rabbi Klein. Unfortunately, some misinterpret Rabbi Bombach’s goals and not every welcome is as warm. Oftentimes, though events are well received and the words he shares receive overwhelming support, the pushback comes later – commonly by those who were not in attendance.

I

n Israel, Rabbi Bombach and his Midrasha continue to attract positive attention and receive rabbinical support from his community, as well as others. Over the summer the Midrasha hosted Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, as a guest lecturer, and Rosh Yeshiva Rav Meir Goldvicht visited last winter. The Midrasha began its fifth year, with a tremendous amount of applications and 160 students currently in grades 9-12. It is also the second year for Bnos Chayil, the seminary Rabbi Bombach established for girls. Whereas the girls in the charedi community do study a range of secular topics, Rabbi Bombach’s programs are taught at a higher level than the existing ones. As the Midrasha program maintains a demanding program with high standards for both Torah learning and secular studies, when he saw that some boys couldn’t succeed at that rigorous academic level, Rabbi Bombach launched a vocational program this year to meet their needs.

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hough some say he’s an agent of change, Rabbi Bombach says he’s an agent of preservation; Rabbi Bombach’s ultimate goal is to help all of the community’s children succeed. And when our children succeed, our nation will continue to thrive.


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The Week In News

The Week In News

From Exile to Senate

Back in 2006, 65 men were killed when a methane explosion destroyed the Pasta de Conchos coal mine in northern Mexico. At the time, many blamed Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, the leader of the country’s largest miner’s union, since he signed off on a government report that deemed the mine safe just two weeks before the explosion. Later that year, Gomez was accused by federal officials of pocketing tens of millions of dollars from a workers’ trust fund. In the aftermath of the double scandals, Gomez skipped town with his family. The International Criminal Police Organization issued a warrant for his arrest but the charges were dropped in 2014. Last week Gomez returned home from his self-imposed exile, and upon arrival was sworn in as a senator. This was all made possible by the country’s newest president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Gomez, who had continued to lead the Mexican Union of Miners and Metalworkers from abroad, had advised his group’s thousands of members to vote for Lopez Obrador. As a thank you for his endorsement, Lopez Obrador promised to name Gomez as a lawmaker representing Morena, the political party he founded. Most senators are elected by the public but some seats are reserved for political parties to distribute according to the votes the parties receive. In an attempt to offset the obvious crookedness, Lopez Obrador wrote in a Facebook post earlier this year that he “has been perse-

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

cuted and stigmatized by official and unofficial propaganda.” Ironically, Lopez Obrador’s campaign focused heavily on fighting corruption in what he called Mexico’s “mafia of power.” Gomez has thousands of backers who echo Lopez Obrador’s sentiment that Gomez was targeted by officials. On the day he was sworn in, thousands of union members, many of them in hard hats, gathered outside the Senate to show their support. At a news conference on Thursday, Gomez described his past problems as “an unjust, unnecessary, arbitrary conflict that was totally created by the groups of political and economic power that attacked me in order to destroy a union.” “I am very happy to have led this fight,” he said.

Trashy Town A health emergency has been declared in the beach town of Acapulco because of how many tons of uncollected garbage have piled up. The health secretary of the state of Guerrero, Carlos de la Peña, said that city authorities had ignored previous warnings and now there are “impressive columns of garbage” located in several places. Peña added that state officials need to fumigate the area in order to prevent diseases from becoming rampant. He laid blame on the city for not properly collecting garbage and said that Governor Hector Astudillo Flores decided to take precautionary cleaning measures before schools, restaurants, and houses needed to be shut down. Forty percent of the area’s population appears to not have had garbage collection service, which led to the accumulation of trash. “We had to take action in the face of inaction by the authorities. Acapulco is not the only municipality where we have acted. We have done it in Chilpancingo and Zihuatanejo, for identical situations, garbage problems – we have to protect the citizenship,” Flores explained. In response, Acapulco Mayor Evodio Velazquez said that the garbage was indeed being picked up and that his town would be running efficiently except the state government was not providing the appropriate funding. “My government has reinforced

clean-up actions to lower black spots, despite this, the state government issued a health alert for no reason,” he tweeted. Acapulco is known for its beautiful beaches, but it’s also gaining a reputation for being dangerous. Guerrero had a rate of 64.2 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017, which is taking a toll on tourism. A State Department travel advisory issued on August 22 listed Mexico as a level two threat, meaning tourists should exercise increased caution when traveling to the area. Citizens were encouraged to not travel to Guerrero, which was listed as a level four, because of crime. The travel advisory prohibits government employees from traveling to Guerrero, including Acapulco.

UN Expelled from Nicaragua

of victims have been young men, under 30 years old, coinciding with the average profile of the protesters, including university students and young professionals,” the report noted. President Ortega – a former revolutionary whose Sandinista rebels overthrew Nicaraguan strongman Anastasio Somoza in the 1970s – said the UN report was “nothing more than an instrument of the policy of death, of the policy of terror, of the policy of lying, of the policy of infamy” before expelling the UN group. First lady Rosario Murillo, who is also her husband’s vice president, has compared protesters to “vampires,” “coup-mongers” and “devils.” In a speech on Wednesday, Murillo said protesters were “demons who for three months lashed out at Nicaragua, kidnapping peace, wanting to break the unity, but they could not and will not,” adding that “the people are more unified than ever!” She also recently said that the situation in the country has “normalized.”

Iranian Missiles Closer to Tel Aviv

Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, is throwing a United Nations human rights team out of his country. The expulsion came two days after the body put out a report that was critical of Ortega’s government for their violent repression of opposition protests. Guillermo Fernandez Maldonado, chief of the UN’s human rights mission in Nicaragua, said that he is “suspending any planned activity.” The UN regional human rights office for Central America said that they had received a letter from the foreign ministry letting them know that their invitation was over. ”The letter indicates that said invitation was extended with the purpose of accompanying the Verification and Monitoring Commission and that with the reasons, causes and conditions finished that spurred said invitation, the invitation is considered concluded,” according to his office’s statement. The United Nations has promised to continue monitoring the situation in Nicaragua remotely. At least 322 people have been killed since the popular protests started in April. Thousands have been injured, and hundreds have been detained. Twenty-one percent of those killed were police officers; 23 were children or teenagers. The government official death toll total is only 198. The demonstrations began in response to social security cuts. The UN report which likely led to organization’s expulsion demanded that the government stop persecuting protestors. The report that was published last week accused the government of using torture and excessive violence in their efforts to shut further protests down. “The majority

Tensions between the United States and Iran have been heightened ever since the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal. However, they have worsened yet again in the past few days as Tehran has decided to move ballistic missiles to Iraq. Two Iraqi intelligence sources, a few western intelligence sources, and three Iranian officials have confirmed that in the past few months, Iran has moved short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq. “The logic was to have a backup plan if Iran was attacked,” one senior Iranian said. “The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary.” Iran has maintained that its ballistic missile activities are all defensive in nature. Iranian officials have been unwilling to comment so far when asked about their military’s latest moves. The ranges of the missiles in question – The Zelzal, Fateh-110, and Zolfaqar – are about 200 km to 700 km. Such distances would put Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh or Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in striking range from southern Iraq. Though Israel has not given any official comment on Iran’s latest activities, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said last week that anybody that threatens to wipe Israel out “would put themselves in a similar danger.”

  

UK Labour Defines Anti-Semitism The Labour Party in the UK has been getting a black eye recently with party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s sentiments and comments on display. This week, the party decided to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism amid major public outcry, but also added a state-


The Week In News

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News ment that emphasized the right to “free speech” on Israel – drawing more criticism from Jewish groups.

“The NEC has today adopted all of the IHRA examples of anti-Semitism, in addition to the IHRA definition which Labour adopted in 2016, alongside a statement which ensures this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians,” a Labour spokesperson told the Guardian. Corbyn has been vocal in his support for Palestinians and members of Hamas. “The NEC welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s statement to the meeting about action against anti-Semitism, solidarity with the Jewish community and protection of Palestinian rights, as an important contribution to the consultation on Labour’s code of conduct,” it added. Labour Friends of Israel slammed the party and Corbyn for including the clarification.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

“It is appalling that the Labour party has once again ignored the view clearly and repeatedly stated by the Jewish community: that it should adopt the full IHRA definition without additions, omissions or caveats,” its director Jennifer Gerber said in a statement. “A ‘freedom of expression on Israel’ clause is unnecessary and totally undermines the other examples the party has supposedly just adopted. Labour appears determined to provide a safe space for anti-Semites. This decision is a sad reflection on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party and the culture it has instilled,” she added. The crisis over anti-Semitism in the Labour party has caused a major schism within its ranks and led to Jews to express fears over the future in the country. Corbyn has said that anti-Semitism has no place in the Labour Party, but he has been roundly criticized over reports of rampant anti-Jewish prejudice, for his own allegedly anti-Semitic statements and activities, and for not backing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Last week, veteran lawmaker Frank Field quit Labour’s grouping in Parliament, saying the party had become a “force for anti-Semitism.” Corbyn has been accused of failing to expel party members who express anti-Semitic views and has received personal criticism for past statements, including a 2010 speech in which he compared Israel’s blockade of Gaza – intended to pre-

vent weapons from reaching the Hamas terror group – to Nazi Germany’s sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad during World War II. In the 1980s, he was also active in a Labour movement that called to “eradicate Zionism” and for a secular Palestinian state in the whole of British mandatory Palestine. Critics have also condemned him for attending a 2014 wreath-laying to Palestinians whom Israel has linked to the murder of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

U.S. Withholds $300M From Pakistan The United States will not be giving $300 million in aid to Pakistan. The cancelation was made due to Islamabad’s failure to take action against militants. The Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in Pakistani aid that President Trump announced at the beginning of the year. So far, $800 million in funds have been stripped from the South Asian country this year. In January, President Trump accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance from the U.S. with “nothing but lies & deceit.” The White House has accused Pakistan of granting safe haven to insurgents who have been waging a war with neighboring Afghanistan for the past 17 years.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had the option to authorize the $300 million in CSF funds but chose not to. Faulkner said the Pentagon intends to spend the $300 million on “other urgent priorities” if approved by Congress. Since 2002, Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in U.S. assistance, including more than $14 billion in CSF, a U.S. Defense Department program to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-insurgency operations.

China Using LinkedIn to Recruit Spies

China is on a mission to recruit American spies, and their marketplace is LinkedIn, according to William Evanina, U.S. counter-intelligence chief. Evanina claims that Chinese espionage


The Week In News

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

agencies are using fake LinkedIn accounts to try to recruit Americans with access to government and commercial secrets. Evanina and law enforcement officials are pressuring LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft Corp., to shut down their accounts and stop China’s “super aggressive” efforts on the site. This isn’t a new tactic. German and British authorities have warned citizens about the spy seekers from Beijing months ago. Evanina did not reveal how many accounts are associated with the scheme or how many American users have been contacted and if there have been any victories for China on this platform. Other social media platforms, including Twitter, Google, and Facebook, have purged fake accounts linked to Iranian and Russian intelligence agencies, and U.S. officials are expecting LinkedIn to take similar action. LinkedIn boasts 562 million users in more than 200 counties and territories, including 149 million U.S. members. “I recently saw that Twitter is canceling, I don’t know, millions of fake accounts, and our request would be maybe LinkedIn could go ahead and be part of that,” said Evanina, who heads the U.S. National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center. Although no formal solution has been provided by LinkedIn, the head of trust and safety, Paul Rockwell, confirmed the company is talking to U.S. law enforcement agencies about Chinese espionage efforts. “We are doing everything we can to identify and stop this activity,” Rockwell told Reuters. “We’ve never waited for requests to act and actively identify bad actors and remove bad accounts using information we uncover and intelligence from a variety of sources including government agencies.” Rockwell said the company takes “very prompt action to restrict accounts and mitigate and stop any essential damage that can happen” but gave no details. In the meantime, China is denying the allegations. “We do not know what evidence the relevant U.S. officials you cite have to reach this conclusion. What they say is complete nonsense and has ulterior motives,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Stabber Targeted Americans An Afghan citizen was shot and detained after stabbing two people in an Amsterdam subway this week. Dutch authorities have said that the 19-year-old had a “terrorist motive,” based on statements the suspect made to police after his apprehension. The suspect, who was identified only as Jawed S., holds a German residency permit. He stabbed two American tourists. The victims both suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries. They are recovering in the hospital. Pete Hoekstra, the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands,

issued a written statement saying that embassy officials had been in touch with the victims or their families. “We wish them a speedy recovery and are working closely with the City of Amsterdam to provide assistance to them and their families,” Hoekstra said. The stabbings took place in Central Station in downtown Amsterdam, right before noon on Friday. Central Station is a busy entry and exit point for visitors to Amsterdam. An estimated 250,000 travelers use the station every day. It is patrolled by armed police and other security staff.

Journalists Sentenced to Prison This week, a Myanmar court sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison for breaking the Official Secrets Act while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were originally detained in December 2017 after working on an investigation for the news outlet on the mass killing of a number of Rohingya villagers in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The violence was part of a conflict which the United Nations has described as a form of “ethnic cleansing,”  with military operations forcing more than 700,000 Rohingya, a minority Muslim group, to flee Myanmar to Bangladesh. The two journalists were charged with breaching the colonial era act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, in July. The two men, both Myanmar nationals, pleaded not guilty. Kyaw maintained the pair’s innocence after the verdict was announced at the Yangon court, adding that they were unsurprised by the verdict. “We didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “We’re not exactly shocked by the verdict.” Reuters stands by the reporters and the investigation, which included photographic evidence of the massacre, editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said. The men were detained before the story published in February, suggesting that the government arrested them in an attempt to confiscate the photos and prevent the report from publishing, Adler said. “They were just doing their jobs. They were operating with integrity, with freedom from bias,” Adler told CNN. The case has been viewed as a litmus test of press freedom and democratic rights in the Southeast Asian country. Monday’s verdict prompted immediate international censure and increased criticism of Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has also faced a loss in support for her handling of the Rohingya issue. Suu Kyi was feted around the world for helping transition the country from military junta to semi-democracy, but now the legacy of the Nobel laureate is in doubt.

Activists and commentators called on Suu Kyi’s government to issue a pardon for the imprisoned journalists. Last month, an independent United Nations investigation into alleged human rights abuses carried out against the Rohingya called for the country’s military leaders to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The report contains allegations of murder, imprisonment and sexual violence against the Rohingyas, carried out by the Myanmar military. The report alleges the military attacks were carried out under the guise of a crackdown on terrorists, and against a backdrop of impunity that effectively placed military leaders above the law.

More Children in China? The number of children in Chinese families will soon be more than two. The aging population and a dropping birth rate have led to the Chinese government to rethink its role in how many children a Chinese woman can legally bear. Currently, Chinese couples are allowed to have two children. The famous “onechild policy,” which was introduced in 1979, was eased in 2016 to allow for pop-

ulation growth. However, the current birth rate is only 1.6, which is well below the 2.1 birth rate that is needed to maintain current population levels. A new law is being drafted to further relax the country’s Civil Code, potentially allowing couples to have multiple children without penalty. A brief statement released by the National People’s Congress said that the revised code will “no longer retain the relevant content of family planning.” The new code will not be completed until mid-2020, and there is no indication yet as to what the changes will be. Experts have predicted a change in the country’s strict family planning rules for a long time. “The government will lift the policy – to what degree they then go further with pro-natal policy is another issue – but I think they’ll lift the policy in the foreseeable future,” opined Therese Hesketh, a professor at the University College London’s Institute for Global Health. The main reason for the reversal of the one-child law in 2016 was a falling birth rate. The policy has always been controversial as it is seen by many to have led to infanticide, forced abortions, and child abandonment. The male-dominant culture translated into families wanting their only child to be a boy and taking drastic, illegal, and immoral measures to make sure their child was not a girl.

Honoring Our Traditions As a member of the Orthodox community, I am pleased to have joined the Mount Sinai family as an Advance Planning Representative. Mount Sinai is committed to respecting the Halachic needs of our community; and I look forward to working with you. Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills 5950 Forest Lawn Drive Los Angeles, CA 90069

Mount Sinai Simi Valley 6150 Mount Sinai Drive Simi Valley, CA 93063

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 28 The Week Quotes In News

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 | The Jewish Home

There’s no doubt that, like others, we’re currently benefiting from a very strong consumer environment — perhaps the strongest I’ve seen in my career. - Target CEO Brian Cornell to analysts on a call Wednesday, relating that the economy is red-hot

I love this country. I stand by the Constitution and I stand by the Second Amendment, and it’s something that I take pride in. It’s something that I’ll back up. – Red Sox slugger JD Martinez, responding to criticism for an Instagram post stating, “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”

In many ways — and I don’t mean to sound overly, I don’t know, hyperbolic on this — Trump and Osama Bin Laden have a tremendous amount in common. - Democratic congressional candidate Sean Casten (DIL)

The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great. - Meghan McCain, at her father’s memorial service, dinging Pres. Trump (who was not invited) while Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were in the audience

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! - President Trump’s four word response to Meghan McCain

Here’s a message for the hotheads of the community: don’t do that stuff. Good people carry guns. And they will shoot you a lot. Graveyard dead. Leave people alone. It’s a new day in the State of Florida and the United States. - Polk County (FLA) Sheriff Grady Judd, at a news conference last week, defending a driver who in selfdefense shot a man who cut him off and then exited his vehicle and threatened to kill him while holding his hand up in a manner that made it look like he had a gun

Sooner the better. - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer when asked this week by someone on a Brooklyn street, “When are y’all gonna impeach Trump?”

What we’ve heard is the noise of democracy. - Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) defending hecklers who kept on breaking the rules and interrupting the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh this week

He’s an artist. - The lawyer for Jem Ibrahimov, 42, who was caught Saturday morning painting swastikas on FDNY ambulances, defending his client’s actions in court


The Week In News

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September 2018 Rosh Hashanah 5779

At this time of year, as families gather to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we at Empire® want to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your holidays for the past 80 years and to reiterate our commitment to you ahead of the New Year. Since 1938, when the Katz family founded Empire®, kashrus and healthy eating have been the heart of the Empire® brand. Throughout our history we have been dedicated to producing high quality, wholesome poultry that feeds our families – and yours – while promoting worker and animal welfare, protecting the environment and supporting small family farmers. We want to remind you of safe handling practices for all raw chicken including cooking it properly to 165°F so that you can continue to have full confidence in chicken products. Please call us at 1-877-627-2803 to speak to a specialist if you have any questions.

‫כתיבה וחתימה טובה‬ From all of us at Empire®, best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Sweet New Year.

Jeff Brown President and CEO Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. © 2018 Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc.

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© 2018 Cedars-Sinai

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TO THIS YEAR BEING SWEETER, AND HEALTHIER, THAN THE LAST. Going into 5779, we renew our community. Since our founding in 1902, we’ve strived to improve the lives of Angelenos by providing the best care possible. Wishing you happiness and health, Shanah Tovah U’Metukah. In 1902, Cedars-Sinai was founded as Kaspare Cohn Hospital in Angelino Heights.

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commitment to the health of the

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