__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


The Week In News

2

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

#2

IN A SERIES

“YOU’RE TALKING TO THE MELECH FOR ALL OF YOUR NEEDS, HOW CAN YOU HAVE THE CHUTZPAH TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE?” ~ Rav Reuven Feinstein, Shlita CITICOM! 718.692.0999

Full video message can be seen at theyeshivaworld.com

FOR A FREE DISPLAY FOR YOUR SHUL, PLEASE EMAIL STOPTHETALKING@GMAIL.COM


FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Vera | Vision | Values

Dear Beverly Hills Resident,

Our City Council election will be held Tuesday, March 7th. As a candidate for City Council, I urge you to vote and let your voice be heard, whether you make your home in a house, condominium or apartment. I decided to run for City Council because of the lack of leadership in City Hall and the divisiveness that exists in our community. As a member of the Young Israel Community, I have a vision for our City that will improve all of our lives. My priorities are to strengthen the police and get our crime rate down; reduce traffic and impediments on Beverly Hills streets; and cut the red tape of City bureaucracy so small businesses (and residents) can thrive. As a newly elected City Councilmember, I will bring opposing factions together to achieve this and more. Beverly Hills has been my home for 50 years. My main reason for running for office is to restore our beautiful City to be the high-quality City we all deserve. After running a large, successful medical practice for 30 years, as well as a multi-million-dollar cancer foundation, I understand how to get results for individuals, businesses, and government. I can do this on behalf of all of us. Over the years, I have co-founded a world-class children's museum, implemented a career internship program in our high school, and served on numerous community and non-profit boards. I am an alumna of Team Beverly Hills, which prepares our residents for civic leadership. I am both proud and grateful to say that more than 400 community groups and individuals have endorsed me as their candidate for Beverly Hills City Council. Please visit my website at www.vera4bh.com for more information or email me directly at vera@vera4bh.com and I’ll be happy to address any questions or ideas that you may have. I think you will find that I am the candidate who will actually make a positive difference in your life. Thank you for your consideration, and remember to vote March 7th, or earlier by absentee ballot. I would be honored to have your vote.

Sincerely,

Vera Markowitz for Beverly Hills City Council 2017 | FPPC# 1391104 369 South Doheny #303, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 www.vera4bh.com | vera@vera4bh.com | 310-553-2353

3


4

The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

CONTENTS COMMUNITY

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

JEWISH THOUGHT Hanging with the Stars: An Unexpected Lesson. 20 Respect and Self-Respect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Dirshu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

FEATURE Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, OBM, 71 Years Young . . 18 Police Dogs That Bite: Unconstitutional Use of Force? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

PARENTING Dr. T.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

LIFESTYLES Voting (and the March 7th Upcoming Elections). . . . . . . . . 15 Travelling like a Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Memoirs Of A Forgotten Rabbi The Troubled Life Of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

The Jewish Home is distributed bi-weekly to: ANAHEIM AGOURA HILLS BEVERLY HILLS BURBANK CALABASAS CAMARILLO COSTA MESA ENCINO GLENDALE HUNTINGON BEACH IRVINE LONG BEACH LOS ANGELES -BEVERLY HILLS

LOS ANGELESFAIRFAX LOS ANGELESLA BREA LOS ANGELESS. MONIA LOS ANGELES-PICO LOS ANGELES -WESTWOOD MALIBU MANHATTAN BEACH MARINA DEL REY MISSION VIEJO MOORPARK NEWBURY PARK

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

Dear Readers, After beginning with a very harsh rebuke and prophesy of terrible punishment, this week’s haftorah ends, “I will not cast away the descendants of Yaakov, and David my servant, from taking of their descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, for I will return their captivity to their land, and have mercy on them.” Regardless of whether you think having people such as David Friedman, Nikki Haley, or Jared Kushner in major leadership positions is the best thing to have happened to the Jewish people or it’s the apocalypse, it isn’t the end game. Our mission has always been a spiritual one, first in the Holy Land, eventually throughout the rest of the world. When we do a mitzvah, learn some Torah, or promote a G-dly moral code around us, we are drawing G-dliness into this world in a very real way. We don’t see it now but we will once our job in exile is done. “The Torah has already promised that, ultimately, Israel will repent towards the end of her exile and, immediately, she will be redeemed.” (Rambam Hilchos Teshuvah 7:5) The miraculous success and the terrible suffering of the Jewish people are connected to a bigger picture of a long road with spectacular ending – or more correctly, beginning! “The sages of the previous generations have already informed us that man does not have the potential to appreciate the good of the world to come in a full sense nor can anyone know its greatness, beauty, and power except G-d… the good of the life of the world to come has no comparison or likeness, nor was it described by the prophets, lest with such a description, they diminish it.” (Rambam ibid 8:7) So if you’re the category aghast by the election of the Trump administration, know that gam ze yaavor, this is part of the divine process which will hopefully be complete very soon. And if you’re ecstatic, and you think Mr. Trump is the greatest friend the Jewish people ever had, remember that he’s not the messiah and even if we were to grow and prosper like never before our sights are set on the real deal: the arrival of Moshiach ben David who will usher in a time when “the occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d.” (Rambam Hilchos Milachim 12:5) Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and joyous Chodesh Adar!

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

5


6

TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Press Release: Migdal Ohr Shines Its Light Farther than Ever

Migdal Ohr, which translates to “Tower of Light,” is one of Israel’s leading nonprofit organizations. What began with 18 young men in 1972 is now a network that helps nearly 12,000 at-risk, impoverished, and orphaned children and young adults each year. Over 44 years ago, Israel Prize winner Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman first opened up the school that would become Migdal Ohr. Based in Migdal Ha’Emek in northern Israel, he saw the need to provide stability and structure to a troubled, young population. In the decades since its inception, the organization has grown into three education campuses and 160 afterschool youth clubs all over the country. The main campus is still located in Migdal Ha’Emek. There, students receive an outstanding education, a loving home for those without a family or home of their own, food and clothing, medical care, and counseling – all free of charge. This campus is made up

of several schools including multiple daycare centers, kindergartens, and elementary, middle and high schools. Migdal Ohr is partially subsidized by the Israeli government and they have fundraising offices around the world to continue to change the lives of Israel’s neediest youth. The magic of Migdal Ohr is that it is more than simply a school – Migdal Ohr’s students receive endless love and support that continues even after their school days end. In addition to a comprehensive education, there is a focus on life values and instilling the drive and motivation to succeed and flourish following graduation. Once a student comes to Migdal Ohr, they are part of a family for life and Migdal Ohr guides them through all major life events. It’s not uncommon for those without parents to have a Migdal Ohr staff member walking them down the aisle on their wedding day! Following graduation, many of Migdal Ohr’s students go on to serve in the Israel

Defense Forces or participate in National Service, and then go on to pursue higher education, leading them towards lives as productive adults. The other two academic campuses opened in 2012 in towns outside of Jerusalem and have continued to cater to their niche populations. The Zoharim Agricultural-Educational Youth Village was created to help ultra-Orthodox teenage men who have rejected the yeshivot of their upbringing and have since been ostracized by their families. At Zoharim, high school students take traditional education courses while also learning a vocation. On site there is a horse ranch, greenhouse, carpentry workshop, and more to train students in skills that can lead to a sustainable profession following graduation. Additionally, the staff works to repair the relationships with the boys’ families. The third campus, called the Gan Yavne Academic College, also serves the

ultra-Orthodox population. As a joint initiative with the Academic College of Ashkelon, religious men who are unable to thrive in the traditional university setting can attend Gan Yavne and obtain a university degree. Many of these men come from communities where the men learn in yeshivot all day and do not achieve higher education. Most of Gan Yavne’s students are in their late-twenties or early-thirties, married with several children, and looking for an opportunity to better provide for their families. Here, they can obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management, Education, Computer Science, and Political Science. For information about more of Migdal Ohr’s innovative programs or to donate to this worthwhile organization, please visit www.migdalohrusa.org.

Spiritual Antidotes to Today’s Challenges: Mrs. Chani Juravel in Los Angeles Yehudis Litvak The Torah Umesorah Los Angeles Teacher Center hosted a special event for teachers and mothers on February 5th. The guest speaker, Mrs. Chani Juravel, gave a talk entitled Combating the Pain of Our Time: The Spiritual Antidote. Mrs. Juravel – a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from Monsey, New York, and a popular lecturer and writer – immediately connected with her eager audience as she brought examples from her own life and from her practice that the listeners could easily relate to. She explained that the struggles of our current exile, galus Edom, are contained within each one of us. The Torah describes Eisav, the forefather of Edom, as tired, hungry, and hopeless.

If we can overcome those three qualities, then we can be free of Eisav and on the way out of galus. In her talk, Mrs. Juravel elaborated on each of these qualities, describing the antidote to Eisav’s influence. When the Torah says that Eisav was tired, Rashi comments that he was tired from his sins. “When we are not involved in growing, in feeling something new, then we don’t feel simchah, we feel tired,” said Mrs. Juravel. Simchah comes from the body and soul being in sync, she explained. Hopelessness is the notion that change is impossible. Eisav was born fully formed, signifying his inability to grow. Yaakov, on the other hand, represents process, contin-

uous change. Mrs. Juravel explained that we tend to limit ourselves by our thoughts, telling ourselves, “I can’t,” or “I won’t.” We need to remember that “change is always an option,” she said. Hunger is common to this generation, but many of us don’t know what we are hungry for. “Some of us know we’re hungry for inspiration, and still land up eating or shopping instead.,” said Mrs. Juravel. There are two types of psychological needs, she explained – real needs, like shelter and warmth, and illusory needs which by definition cannot be filled. The illusory needs are often composed of the three qualities mentioned in Pirkei Avos that take a person out of this world: jealou-

sy, desire, and honor. What are the antidotes to tiredness, hopelessness, and hunger? “A connection to a positive source of energy,” said Mrs. Juravel, “…really believing in Hakadosh Baruch Hu creating the moments in my life that I need to be living.” She explained, “By nature, our minds are wired for negativity. The way out is to find another thought… [that] makes us feel energized and full.” Mrs. Juravel then spoke about the power of women “to take the world and infuse it with Hakadosh Baruch Hu,” encouraging her audience to believe in themselves and their significance in the world.


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Gordon Family & Chabad oF The Valley

‫בס"ד‬

Cordially inViTe The CommuniTy To The

st

1

Ya h r

z e i t c o m m e m o r at

ion

of our beloved

Rabbi Joshua b. GoRdon ‫ז"ל‬

join us For The launCh oF a hisToriC

I nter natIonal S efer t or ah Ca mpaIgn in supporT oF The

r abbI JoShua b. g ordon l IvIng l egaCy f und tora

h DeDicator

s

T he l iVinG l eGaCy T orah

T he W ellsprinGs oF k noWledGe T orah

Gary & Rochelle Finder

Daniel & Vardit Aharonoff

S unday, f ebruary 26, 2017

‫ תשע"ז‬,‫א' ד'ראש חודש אדר‬ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm Chabad oF The Valley | The TeiChman Family soCial hall 18181 burbank blVd | Tarzana, CaliFornia

7


8

TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Young Israel of Northridge Hosts YULA Girl’s Shabbaton On Shabbos Parshas Bo, the Young Israel of Northridge community welcomed YULA Girl’s 10th grade to their annual YULA Northridge Shabbaton. The girls look forward to the shabbaton throughout the year, as it has cultivated a reputation from previous years as one of the most exciting shabbatons. Led by their 10th grade mechanechet, Rebbetzin Michelle Klein, this year the students welcomed Mrs. Klein’s co-mechanechet Mrs. Melissa Beck and her family. Carol and Mel Maller – tremendous baalei chessed and pillars of the Northridge community – hosted the Shabbos sleepover for nearly forty girls. The YULA girls enjoyed a beautiful dinner at the Mallers, a combination of Lieder’s fantastic catering and Rebbetzin Klein’s delicious home-cooked recipes. Shabbos day lunch was hosted in the Klein home, with girls sitting from wall to wall, bonding and engaging in uplifting conversation. Shabbos lunch was focused on developing and recognizing deeper concepts of hakaras hatov, gratitude, which engaged the girls and challenged them to express their appreciation for their fellow classmates in a public forum. Rabbi Nachi Klein facilitated the discussion, which gave the girls an opportunity to look outside of themselves and see their classmates’ true abilities and, in turn, to recognize their own. The Northridge shabbaton is often recalled as one of the favorite Shabbos experiences over the course of their four years at YULA. At the Maller home, the girls not only bonded with one another, but also experienced first-hand the beauty of a home devoted to pure chessed. The Young Israel of Northridge community looks forward to hosting the girls again in the future, for there is no greater sense of satisfaction than seeing our youth come away uplifted and inspired.


TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Press Release: Upcoming Evening of Chizuk, Elegance, and Entertainment to Benefit the Valley Night Kollel Yehudis Litvak

On Sunday, February 26th, the Valley Night Kollel will hold its annual fundraising event, an Evening of Chizuk, Elegance, and Entertainment. The event will take place in the historic Alexandria Ballrooms. The guest speaker will be Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder and director of Ohr Naava Women’s Torah Center in New York. The live music will be provided by the renowned Jewish musician Eitan Katz. Food will be catered by Shilo’s restaurant. This will be the Valley Night Kollel’s third annual fundraiser. Since its opening in 2014, the Kollel has been constantly growing, adding not only individual chavrusos, but also shiurim, series of lectures, guest speakers, and legal holiday programs. “We are always looking for new opportunities,” says Assistant Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Dovid Morris. The Valley Night Kollel is spearheaded by Rabbi Yisroel Majeski, who is passionate about encouraging everyone to come learn Torah. The attendees vary tremendously in age and background, ranging from high school students to retirees and from beginners learning the Hebrew alphabet to advanced Torah scholars. Some fathers even come with their school-age sons and help them review their homework at the Kollel. “The Kollel has created an environment where it’s exciting to learn,” says Rabbi Morris. The Kollel operates Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. till 9:45 p.m. Some of the regulars attend every night, while others come once or twice a week. Everyone has their own schedule and their own learning program. Some people bring their own chavrusos, others request to learn with a Kollel member, and yet others attend shiurim. The attendees appreciate the learning opportunities. Rabbi Morris tells of a participant who once could not attend his weekly session due to work commitments, but he was so sad to miss a whole week of learning that he begged his chavrusah to learn with him for just five minutes. Another participant got so involved in a difficult question on the Ge-

mara that he returned to that Gemara the next day during his lunch break at work. At the Evening of Chizuk, Elegance, and Entertainment the participants and

supporters of the Valley Night Kollel will hear words of chizzuk and inspiration about the importance of Torah learning from Rabbi Wallerstein. The evening will

serve as another milestone in the Kollel’s growth.

cheaper than online. BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHTS

luxusfly@gmail.com

732.534.6740

www.flyluxus.com

9


10

TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Holistic Torah Study: Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum in Los Angeles Yehudis Litvak Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum visited Los Angeles this past week, bringing her special flavor of spirituality from Eretz Yisrael to Jewish women here. On Monday, February 13th, Rebbetzin Siegelbaum – an author and seminary director – conducted an annual dinner to benefit

AT&T

8:15 AM

her seminary, Midreshet Be’erot Bat Ayin, where women of all ages engage in holistic Torah study. The dinner was hosted by Rena Hirsch in the La Brea neighborhood. After the dinner, Rebbetzin Siegelbaum gave a lecture, open to the community, entitled Conscious Eating as a Mitzvah

85%

AT&T

8:15 AM

85%

SEARCH

BEST DEALS

Infinity QX50 base 12,000 INT

2017 MI YR

36

the Torah Way. She mentioned that food takes a central place in our tradition, to the extent that even completely unaffiliated Jews maintain “a culinary connection,” enjoying Jewish cuisine. “Food connects people on a very deep level,” said Rebbetzin Siegelbaum.

85%

8:15 AM

AT&T

Infinity QX50 base, 2017 EXT

INT

MNTH

Infinity QX50 base

$ 303 add to showroom

enter Make and Model

INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 311

or check out our best deals

ID: JK603490

add to showroom INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 309

5 seats (bench)

4 doors

18"/8" wheels

GPS

6 CY L

INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 315 add to showroom INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 318

$ 309 INCLUDING

navigation

24H /17C mileage

AW D

moon roof

automatic trans

12,000

MI YR

36

MNTH

TA X E S

$1,312 due at signing

lease extras

LEASE

add to showroom

Lease your new car in three swipes, with free delivery, at the lowest price guaranteed!

Download our app, join Honcker, and enjoy your car-leasing.

honcker.com

Just like human beings, food has both body and soul, she explained. There is also a connection between the soul of the person who cooks the food and the soul of the food. “If you put love into food, then whoever eats it feels the love,” Rebbetzin Siegelbaum said. The current month of Shevat is an auspicious time to work on our eating, according to Sefer Yetzira. “In the month of Shevat, we’re able to elevate all the unholy eating throughout the year,” Rebbetzin Siegelbaum said. She explained that holy eating, which is what distinguishes a human being from an animal, is eating in order to know Hashem, so that we can serve Hashem in good health. Many of us find it challenging to eat for the right reasons. While we should take pleasure in the variety of tasty food that Hashem created, our motivation for eating should be to satisfy our souls. One aspect of holy eating is eating slowly, chewing our food thoroughly. Other practical aspects are eating small portions and eating at prescribed times. “The more we eat in holiness the more we can focus in prayer,” said Rebbetzin Siegelbaum. “… When we say brachos and eat in a holy way, we also get spiritual nourishment.” Rebbetzin Siegelbaum recommended asking Hashem in the beginning of each meal to help us eat this meal in holiness. On Tuesday, February 14th, Rebbetzin Siegelbaum gave a lecture in the Pico area, entitled, From Chava to the Mother of Mashiach. In a cozy atmosphere, Rebbetzin Siegelbaum spoke to a mesmerized audience about the role of women throughout history, from Creation to the coming of Mashiach. In addition, former students of the Rebbetzin spoke about their positive and uplifting experiences at Midreshet Be’erot Bat Ayin.


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

WE SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY’S CANDIDATE A

U S

L

D

MARTAYAN 4 D T IS T R IC

MARTAYAN FOR SCHOOL BOARD

PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: MR. ANDREW FRIEDMAN, MAN, ESQ. MR. STANLEY TREITEL EL MR. GREGORY MARTAYAN TAYAN RABBI YOEL GOLD RABBI ZVI BOYARSKY Y

VOTE ON MARCH 7, 2017

Mr. Terry Hara Ms. Jacqueline Castillo Mr. Andrew Friedman, Esq. (Campaign Co-Chair) *Children’s Advocate (Campaign Co-Chair) *LAPD Deputy Chief (ret.) *Los Angeles County Commissioner "The top ten reasons why I believe in "Martayan proved time and time again that he “A great leader! Gregory Martayan Gregory Martayan for District Four was willing to put his life on the line to protect has always partnered with our School Board Member is: the community of our City. On many occasions he community and has been a true ally 1) He will keep our schools and stepped up to the plate and stepped into harms since day one. His recent visit to communities safe way in order to thwart evil. He is an honest and Israel is a perfect display of the 2) He is a person of integrity compassionate human being." type of leader he will continue to 3) He will protect our children be on the LAUSD Board. A great 4) He is compassionate collaborator and a protector of our 5) He believes in children and families. He is the accountability only one I trust to lead our schools. 6) He believes in transparency My family, friends and I continue at all levels to call upon all those we know to 7) He is committed to the join us in supporting Gregory. He success of all students has a proven track record on 8) He is relentless policies which keep our 9) He has a vision for the communities safe and in supporting future of our schools policies abroad which keep our 10) He is a leader! brothers and sisters in Israel safe.” Vote YES for Gregory!"

Ms. Nancy Pearlman *Los Angeles Community College Trustee "Gregory Martayan's platform includes green schools and sustainability which continue to be two of many reasons I have endorsed him and believe in his goals to educate our young people. Gregory understands the issues and has solutions which will work. Join me in supporting our community's candidate for School Board, Gregory Martayan."

Mr. Matthew Dababneh *California State Assemblymember "Greg Martayan has been a great supporter of my effort to improve educational opportunity in our community and across our state. I am proud that he has decided to run for public office. I know that Greg has the background and knowledge to be a great school board member who will make sure that all our schools are providing the best education possible to students in our community. I also know that Greg’s experience working with law enforcement has provided him with the knowledge that will serve him well to make sure that all LAUSD schools are safe places for learning. I wish my friend Greg Martayan great success in his campaign and look forward to serving with him in the future." *For Identification Purposes Only

SAFE SCHOOLS

ACCOUNTABILITY

TRANSPARENCY

www.VOTEMARTAYAN.com 650 S Hill Street, Suite 331 Los Angeles, CA 90014

Paid for by Martayan for Los Angeles Unified School Board 2017 ID# 1391482

(213) 725 - VOTE

11


12

Happenings

The Week In News

F R O M

#31

O U R

VOICEMAILS

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Learning League: A Program for Fathers and Sons at YAYOE Yehudis Litvak

When money is tight, the home’s atmosphere is suffocating… And when you’re the breadwinner, you feel the chokehold even more strongly… So when my boss called me into his office – just one day after I signed a Chatzos partnership-and offered me a raise, I didn’t just exhale; I felt like I – and my family – just received a new lease on life… A.S.B., Monsey

The Kollel Chatzos

Bais Hora'ah Dayanim at every Kollel Chatzos Location are ready to answer your Question - in person or on the phone

Every Motzaei Shabbos, Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu (YAYOE) hosts a unique father-son learning program for its students and their fathers. The program, proposed by Jim Kapenstein, combines Torah learning and sports. It is intended for boys in 3rd through 8th grade. The younger division, 3rd through 5th grade, play basketball while their fathers watch, cheer, and coach them. Meanwhile, the boys from the older division, 6th through 8th grade, learn together with their fathers, or sometimes with a tutor, a rebbi, or a chavrusah. Three of the YAYOE rebbeim are present throughout the program, available to answer questions or help out with the learning. Then all the fathers and sons gather together in the beis midrash, and one of the rebbeim gives a dvar Torah or tells a story. Afterwards, the divisions switch, with the older boys continuing the evening playing basketball as the younger boys learn. At the end of the second learning session, a rebbi speaks to all the boys and their fathers, and then they come out into the courtyard and enjoy a pizza melaveh malkah and a raffle, where all participants

can win prizes. About 45 boys and their fathers currently attend the program, which is now in its second year. Rabbi Jacknis, the 8th grade rebbi at YAYOE, says that the program has a nice atmosphere and gives the boys and their fathers something positive to do after Shabbos. Basketball adds more energy, gives the students “more impetus to come out,” says Rabbi Jacknis. Moreover, since the program provides the boys with an opportunity to review what they are learning in school, it gives those boys who take advantage of it an edge in the classroom. The fathers appreciate the opportunity to learn with their children at the Learning League. “I treasure the time together with my son,” says Yaakov Rosenblatt, a YAYOE parent. “It gives me a time just to focus on him.” Dr. Dan Doostan has two sons attending the program, one in the younger division and one in the older division. “I learn with my older son first, then with my younger son,” he says. “They don’t have to sit together and get bored, and they each get one on one time. This is a very successful program.”

Press Release: New Hashtag To Help Teachers Collaborate

Boro Park Williamsburg Monsey Monroe Meron

‫להצלחת נתנאל דוד‬ ‫בן רות‬ '‫וכל משפ‬

Looking for new ideas in the classroom? Want to brainstorm and network with like-minded Jewish educators around the world? Want to collaborate from Morot and Rabbeim in other schools? Welcome to #JSchat! Technology has made the world a much smaller place than ever before. Thanks to social media, we are now able to share our messages and communicate with others instantly, no matter how far the distance. This past summer a number of Rabbeim and Morot from around the world worked together to start a monthly Twitter chat and hashtag called, #JSchat. Through Twitter, like-minded Judaic Studies educators have

the ability to connect, problem solve, share ideas and support each other. We each have so much we can learn from each other and need to strive to build a culture of sharing and working together for the benefit of our students. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Rabbi Zach Swigard, zswigard@hillelhebrew.org or @zachswigard on Twitter.


TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Thursday Night Live: A Mishmar Program at YPLA Yehudis Litvak

Every Thursday night, the Yeshiva Program of Los Angeles (YPLA) hosts a Thursday Night Live event, open to young men, ages 18-30, of all Jewish backgrounds. The program takes place at the LINK Kollel in the Pico area. Rabbi Aryeh Steinman, Programming Director of YPLA, explains that the program attracts a truly diverse audience – Ashkenazim and Sephardim, residents of the city and the Valley, beginners in Torah learning as well as yeshiva graduates. “Everyone comes together,” says Rabbi Steinman. “That’s the beauty of it.” On a typical Thursday night, between 10 to 25 men attend the program, where they learn b’chavrusah for an hour or attend Rabbi Steinman’s Pirkei Avos shiur. Then a guest speaker addresses the young men, speaking on a subject of interest to them. The guest speakers run the gamut, explains Rabbi Steinman, ranging from scholarly rabbis to frum professionals in various industries. A frequent speaker is Rabbi Tzvi Rubin, a LINK Kollel mem-

ber, who speaks about the mysteries of creation. Other speakers included Rabbi Elchonon Tauber of Congregation Bais Yehuda, who spoke about what holds us back from happiness; Steven Spira, President, Worldwide Business Affairs, Warner Brothers, whose talk was about “how he got to be where he is and what we can learn;” and Dr. Arnold Ross, a local podiatrist, whose talk was entitled, “How I came to be frum from my profession.” The goal,

Enjoying a shiur with Rabbi Tauber

Communicated: Norman’s Dairy’s New Campaign Highlights Innovation, Natural Ingredients, Quality Control, and Factory Ownership Be in the know! Norman’s Dairy has embarked on a new campaign to educate consumers about what sets them apart in the dairy aisle. Using a witty tone to demonstrate the unique qualities of the brand, the campaign focuses on Norman’s leadership role in the chalav yisrael industry, their own dairy farm, probiotic cultures, superior quality control, and higher kashrus standards – and of course their delicious tasting yogurt. “When choosing a yogurt brand, one should think about all the factors that have brought that product into being,” explains a company spokesman. “Yogurt is primarily about taste and quality, but how the company created that taste and ensures that quality is also important. We want our loyal customers to know that unlike other brands, we own a dairy farm in upstate New York, so our yogurts are made from the freshest milk possible. We want our customers to know that we are the only chalav yisrael dairy company with our own factory, allowing superior quality control, the highest kashrus standards possible, and

the capacity for greater innovation. They should know that the cultures in our probiotic yogurt never disappear over time as they do with other yogurts. And it’s important that consumers are aware that we use real fruit to achieve the taste and color in our yogurt rather than artificial flavors and colors. Plus when there is even a slight suspicion of bugs we only use fruit juice, ensuring our products are 100% bug free.” It’s no wonder that Norman’s is leading the way in the chalav yisrael market! Norman’s award-winning yogurt lines including Greek Original, Light, Creamy Blends, Pro+ , Kids, and Stackers, as well as Kiddies, Low-Fat, 80 Lite, and Poppers. There’s something for every age and palate, with an extensive range of delectable flavors to choose from. Most recently Norman’s introduced their first non-dairy product, Vegan Margarine. It has been met with rave reviews for it taste, versatility, and lack of trans fats. For the latest on Norman’s products, news, and recipes check out www.normansdairy.com.

says Rabbi Steinman, is to connect the attendees with different community members who can serve as role models, especially for those of them who are currently choosing a career. The formal part of the program is followed by a kumzits, where the young men enjoy cholent, chicken wings, and live music, sometimes provided by Moshe Storch of the Funky Kumzitser band. “It’s a real energizing event,” says Rabbi Steinman. The attendees enjoy the program. Aaron Kosman, a young man who occasionally leads the kumzits, says, “The Thursday Night Live completely takes a person temporarily away from all the distraction of L.A. into an atmosphere of feeling con-

nected to Hashem. No better way to bring yourself into Shabbos .” Amiel Taban adds, “After coming back from yeshiva I felt a lack of connection to yiddishkeit in Los Angeles. Thankfully, [on] the Thursday night mishmar I can once again rekindle that fire.” YPLA, which is currently offering a morning yeshiva program, is looking to expand its operation to a full scale part time yeshiva with a dormitory. Rabbi Steinman also hopes to expand the Thursday Night Live program into a “Big Brother Mishmar Event,” where the frum professionals will come not only to speak, but to learn oneon-one with the attendees.

Lively dancing following a Moshe Storch Kumzits

13


14

TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Uniting the World through Emunah: Junity’s Annual Unity Conference Yehudis Litvak Junity, an organization dedicated to promoting unity, held its second annual Unity Conference on February 7th in Beverly Hills and February 8th in Tarzana. The theme of the events was Find Happiness and Reach Your Full Potential through Faith. Over 2000 people, of all faiths and walks of life, attended the conference, coming together “to change the world forever through unity and faith in our One G-d,” according to the motto of the event. The featured speaker at the Unity Conference was Rabbi Shalom Arush, a best-selling Israeli author whose books have changed the lives of Jews and nonJews alike. Rabbi Arush spoke in Hebrew, with live translation into English and Spanish. “It was very inspiring to see Jews and non-Jews together,” says Joshua Cohen, who attended the Tarzana event. “We can’t teach non-Jews Torah, but we can teach them emunah, and that’s what [this event] was about. The message was strong and universal.” Daniel Breslow, another Tarzana attendee, adds, “The message is simple and easy to understand for everyone – not just the Jewish people, or just

religious Jews, or just non-religious Jews, but everyone. We all come from the same Creator. Nobody can be offended by such a simple, beautiful message.” Joshua had read Rabbi Arush’s books before the conference. “They completely

changed my life 180 degrees,” he says, explaining that he gained a clearer perspective on relationships in general and on marriage in particular. He enjoyed the opportunity to hear Rabbi Arush in person. Daniel was also very impressed with Rabbi Arush. “I’ve been fortunate to travel and meet a lot of people,” he says, “but I’d never seen such light in a person in my life… Ultimately, the credit goes to Hashem. [Rabbi Arush] is not trying to bring at-

tention to himself. Everything goes to the Creator.” Daniel appreciated Rabbi Arush’s teaching about “trusting Hashem, knowing that everything He does is for ultimate best, even if it doesn’t look like it.” He also learned about patience and gratitude. “I am a work in progress,” he says, “but at least I know it now.” Rina Bethea came to the Unity Conference from Baltimore, Maryland. She led a group of about fifteen women, from Maryland, New York, and Texas, who volunteered at the conference. Rina had read Rabbi Arush’s books before the conference and found them impactful. She learned about the Unity Conference through Facebook and responded to Junity’s request for volunteers. As a convert to Judaism, Rina feels the responsibility of being a light onto the nations, and she was excited to participate in an event that brought both Jews and non-Jews together. On a personal level, Rina says, “I could use a boost of emunah.” She went through a divorce last year and felt very sad that her children would be growing up in a divorced home. Rina found Rabbi Arush’s

message inspiring and comforting, especially the point that “there is a G-d Who is orchestrating every single thing,” she explains. “[My divorce] is still from Hashem. My kids being from a divorced home is somehow for the best.” Rabbi Arush’s teachings are helping Rina reach acceptance. She quotes another teaching that speaks to her. “Hashem wants to give us abundance, but if there is no vessel to hold it we can’t receive it. Gratitude is the vessel that allows us to receive.” Like many other participants, Rina returned home “on fire,” and is hoping to keep growing. Conference attendees are grateful to Ariel Perets, founder of Junity, who organized and largely sponsored the events, offering free admission to everyone. “His self-sacrifice to make this happen is truly inspirational,” says Joshua. “He put this together with his heart and his resources,” adds Rina. Many people saw positive changes in their lives as a result of attending Junity’s events.

Press Release: Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh’s Newly Appointed Leaders Visit NYC Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh (KBY) has appointed Rav Aharon Friedman, shlit”a, and Rav Gavriel Saraf, shlit”a, to the post of Assistant Roshei HaYeshiva. At the start of the next school year, in August, they will become Co-Roshei HaYeshiva. At that time, the current Rosh HaYeshiva, HaRav Mordechai Greenberg, shlit”a, will relinquish his administrative duties, while continuing to teach the students of KBY, hopefully for many years to come. Rav Friedman and Rav Saraf traveled to New York City to participate in the azkara program that was held on February 2nd at Yeshiva University, in memory of KBY’s longtime director, Mr. Eli Klein, and to meet with KBY alumni in the New York area. As young students, Rav Saraf and Rav Friedman learned in the hesder (military) program of KBY, and have served as ramim (lecturers in Talmud) at KBY since 2008. Rav Saraf, age 44, was born in Be’er Sheva. After completing his service in the

Rav Aharon Friedman

Israeli army’s Golani Brigade, he returned to KBY to continue his advanced Torah studies in its kollel program. After qualifying for rabbinic ordination and to serve as a judge (dayan) on a religious court, Rav Saraf served for two years as a halachic advisor to the Chief Rabbi of Israel.

Rav Gavriel Saraf

Rav Friedman, age 42, was born in Jerusalem. He served in an artillery unit in the Israeli army and is currently a reserve Battalion Rabbi in the artillery corps. Rav Friedman returned to KBY to continue his advanced Talmudic studies. He also studied Tanach (Bible) with Rav Yaakov Med-

an of Yeshivat Har Etzion, and under Rav Yitzchak Shlomo Zylberman. In addition to his daily Talmud lectures, Rav Friedman teaches Tanach to KBY students and a weekly class attended by over 80 local laymen. He is also known for the original essays and rabbinic commentaries he has published, and his public lectures in southern Israeli towns near the KBY campus. Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh was opened in 1954 by its founding Rosh HaYeshiva, Harav Chayim Goldvicht, of blessed memory, a few miles east of the port city of Ashdod. Rav Goldvicht and KBY initiated the hesder yeshiva program in cooperation with the Israeli army in 1954. Today there are more than 60 hesder yeshivot throughout Israel, with a total of over 8,500 student-soldiers. In addition to its Israeli students, KBY operates an overseas program for English-speaking college students from the U.S. and other countries around the world.


Op-Ed The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Voting (and the March 7th Upcoming Elections) Ari Bussel

Why is it important to vote? Some of us prefer to vote by mail. Many are “absentee voters.”  Once we receive the ballot, normally within the next few days we mail back the ballot, and thus we have completed our civic duty. Some of us prefer to vote in person.  We like to take our kids or grandkids along, so that they, too, will learn that this is something important, positive, and worthwhile. They get a sticker (reading “I voted” or with the American flag), sometime a cookie and most often an encouraging smile from the volunteers at the polling place. But most of us neglect to vote.  We do not know the candidates (especially the judges) or the measures, and we really do not care. Thus, we see miserable voter turnout and we hear constant complaints:  “We do not like this, we do not like that.” We take voting, like so many other privileges and freedom, for granted.  We should not.  It is a great honor and privilege to vote, so we should exercise it to the fullest. The City of Beverly Hills On March 7th, in the City of Beverly Hills, eight candidates are running for three open seats on the City Council. The term is four years.  There are five members of the City Council, and mayorship is by rotation.  Serving on the Council quickly turns out to a full time job that only pays a very humble honorarium.   The Council has three employees:  City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney.  All other people work for the City Manager (i.e. Police, Fire and all other departments).  There is only one other elected official in the City Government (as separate from the School District) and that is the City Treasurer. Beverly Hills is unique is very many

For all others, go out and vote. But do something extra urge your family or friends who might live in Beverly Hills to vote for Vera. ways, but for us it is unique for it is one safe haven of Israel support.  It is a beacon of light, a “sanctuary city” for all things-Israel. Where in other places anti-Israel venom is commonplace, poisoning the minds and hearts of people, not so in Beverly Hills. The Council stands with Israel in good times and in bad.  It is unanimous in its support.  It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel (similar to the MOU signed between Israel and California), and has already held day long conferences on Water and Cyber Security. The Orthodox Candidate Among the candidates, one is called the “Orthodox Candidate.”  Vera Markowitz, a fifty year resident of Beverly Hills, has been featured in our Jewish Home LA November 3rd, 2016 issue.  For many years, Vera could be seen standing in line at Schwartz Bakery on Pico on Friday mornings.  A friend and member of Beth Jacob and Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, Vera is a relatively “newcomer” to politics, but not to Jewish causes and communal organizations and activities. Vera promises to be the residents’ voice on the Council, a “peacemaker”-conciliator.  Having ran her husband’s practice (Dr. Harold Markowitz), Vera understands the fine line between running a business and caring for patients, becoming involved and part of her “clients’” lives.  She has done it for decades, now she intends to do so on the Council. For those of us in Beverly Hills, go out and vote.  Consider giving one of your three votes to Vera.  It is easy to remember:  VOTE VERA * VISION * VALUES. Values.  Integrity.  Wisdom.  Ancient wisdom (we all call Judaism).

Why is it important? Because it will send a signal that our community cares, and that we can spring to action when needed.  Vera is already called “The Orthodox Candidate.”  Let us make all of us proud, by justifying this label.  Let us make sure Vera gets elected in the upcoming March 7th Elections! The leap from talk to action can easily be done, but we need to do it.  Let us

try with something seemingly so simple like a local election in one city. For if we do not succeed here, how can we hope to stand against much greater challengers, such as BDS or the planned anti-Israel activities for “50 years of Occupation” (what we will be celebrating as the 50 years for the reunification of our eternal capital, the City of Jerusalem)? Ari Bussel is the co-author with Norma Zager of the series “Postcards from America - Postcards from Israel” and the cohost of “Conversations Eye to Eye,” the Jewish voice on Christian radio To contact Vera (she calls back!) or to learn more, please visit:  vera4bh.com

15


16

The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles is growing and looking for talented and motivated new team members. There are Rebbi, Morah, Lead Teacher and Teacher’s Aide positions available in both the early childhood and elementary divisions. Also needed:

Executive Assistant

Competitive salaries commensurate with experience.

PLEASE EMAIL RESUMES TO OFFICE@YKLA.ORG ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE TREATED CONFIDENTIALLY.


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

We invite you to a

Yeshiva University/RIETS L.A. Community Weekend February 23–26, 2017 • Parshat Mishpatim

We lo ok

RABBI HERSHEL SCHACHTER

Rosh Yeshiva and Rosh Kollel, RIETS

YU ALUMNI SHIUR

RABBI MEIR GOLDWICHT

THURSDAY NIGHT

RABBI JEREMY WIEDER

FRIDAY MORNING

Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS

Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS

RABBI MENACHEM PENNER

FRIDAY NIGHT

Max and Marion Grill Dean, RIETS

DR. CHAVIVA LEVIN

Assistant Professor of Jewish History, Yeshiva University

SHABBAT MORNING

David Mitzner Dean, YU Center for the Jewish Future

SHABBAT AFTERNOON

Dean, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration

Weekend generously sponsored by Joey and Tracey Goldstein Dr. Ron and Cheryl Nagel Steven and Helena Usdan For more information about the Yeshiva University Shabbaton, please contact Joey Small at jsmall@yu.edu

At the home of Dr. Steven and Danielle Kupferman • 8:30 p.m. • RSVP to westcoast@yu.edu RABBI JEREMY WIEDER Ger Vetoshav: Immigration Laws Through a Torah Perspective

RIETS ROSHEI YESHIVA AND YESHIVA UNIVERSITY FACULTY VISIT SCHOOLS ACROSS L.A. RABBI MENACHEM PENNER Dvar Torah after Kabbalat Shabbat LINK Kollel RABBI YAAKOV GLASSER Dvar Torah after Kabbalat Shabbat WESTSIDE SHUL RABBI MENACHEM PENNER Drasha Adas Torah

RABBI YAAKOV GLASSER

DR. RONA NOVICK

! u forward t o y h t o spending Shabbat wi

RABBI YAAKOV GLASSER Drasha Beth Jacob Congregation

RABBI JEREMY WIEDER The Use of Ancient Near Eastern Sources in the Study of Tanakh B’nai David-Judea Congregation 6:30 p.m. • Dinner and Lecture To register for dinner call 310.276.9269

RABBI MEIR GOLDWICHT, RABBI MENACHEM PENNER, RABBI JEREMY WIEDER Friday Night Oneg • 8:30 p.m. Adas Torah

RABBI JEREMY WIEDER Drasha: V’eileh Hamishpatim: Tzelem Elohim as a Foundational Principle in Jewish Law B’nai David-Judea Congregation

DR. RONA NOVICK Drasha: Becoming a People, Being Human: Mishpatim and Bein Adam L’Chavero Young Israel of Century City Meeting at Mogen David Ashkenazi Minyan

RABBI HERSHEL SCHACHTER Drasha Yavneh Hebrew Academy

DR. CHAVIVA LEVIN Drasha: Adolescents, Anxiety and Medieval Ashkenaz Following 8:25 a.m. Minyan B’nai David-Judea Congregation

RABBI MEIR GOLDWICHT The Key to Redemption: Honoring Our Parents and Educating Our Children Women’s Shiur – 3:45 p.m. Home of Jackie and Bruria Siegal Email westcoast@yu.edu for the address

DR. CHAVIVA LEVIN What to Do With Something New? Coffee, Coffeehouses, and Early Modern Jewry Mincha and Seduah Shlishit – 4:50 p.m. B’nai David-Judea Congregation

RABBI HERSHEL SCHACHTER Standing At Har Sinai: Halachic Implications Pre-Mincha Shiur – 4:15 p.m. Young Israel of Hancock Park

RABBI MEIR GOLDWICHT Mishenichnas Adar: Simchat Purim and Life Lessons Seudah Shlishit Adas Torah

RABBI MEIR GOLDWICHT Shiur: Na’aseh V’nishmah: Attaining the Right Perspective Adas Torah After Shacharit RABBI YAAKOV GLASSER, DR. RONA NOVICK, RABBI MENACHEM PENNER Panel: Inspiring Our Children: Are we Succeeding? Mincha and Seudah Shlishit – 4:45 p.m. Panel – 5:30 p.m. Young Israel of Century City (at Bais YICC)

INSPIRATIONAL SEFER TORAH PROGRAM IN HONOR OF RAV HERSHEL SCHACHTER

MOTZEI SHABBAT

At the home Of Drs. Josh and Ronne Penn • 8 p.m. • RSVP to westcoast@yu.edu

WITH RABBI HERSHEL SCHACHTER AND YU ROSHEI YESHIVA OPPORTUNITY TO INSCRIBE AND DEDICATE A LETTER IN THE SEFER TORAH BEING WRITTEN TO HONOR RAV SCHACHTER’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO YU AND THE JEWISH COMMUNITY

KOLLEL YOM RISHON AND BREAKFAST

SUNDAY MORNING

Sha’arey Zedek Congregation • 10 a.m. Light Refreshments

10:30 a.m. SHIUR #1: Inyanei Rosh Chodesh RABBI HERSHEL SCHACHTER

11:15 a.m. SHIUR #2: Building Resilience in Ourselves and Our Children in Challenging Times DR. RONA NOVICK

17


18

Feature The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, OBM, 71 Years Young Ruth Judah

Schwartzie

With Rebbetzin Olivia Schwartz promoting Yiddishkeit on the Venice boardwalk Letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Schwartzie and the other students assuring them there would be good news and that they should stay in Jerusalem and study

Father and son, Rabbi Mendel Schwartz, at a Chai Center Purim celebration

The Schwartz family in Vienna

As a Chabad Shliach at UCLA in the early 70's

Schwartzie, third from right, with fellow students in Jerusalem during the Six Day War

There is nothing more painful than the early demise of someone who hasn’t finished living. Such is the sadness that accompanies the passing of Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, OBM, on February 8th, the 12th Shvat 5777. Born in Atlantic City, Shlomo Schwartz was the youngest child. His parents were Holocaust survivors from Vienna, Austria. His father had seven siblings, his mother had nine, but most of his family were taken in the war. Rabbi Schwartz recollected, “We were a very small family. We had no other family because everyone had been killed. This made me jealous of the goyim who had grandparents.” In Atlantic City, as in Vienna, his father was a popular cantor, and Shlomo Schwartz was the young son who shared his father’s vocal skills

and would sing popular Yiddish songs at the chaggim. They had a comfortable life, with Schwartz Senior running The Vienna Corset store for 40 years. As a teenager, Schwartz left home to further his Jewish education and was soon connected with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He studied in New Jersey before moving to Israel in 1966. His colorful stories of his yeshiva days in Jerusalem during the Six Day War are the stuff of history. “My intuition had not failed me. Perhaps ten minutes later, for the very first time in my life, I heard and experienced the sound of machine gun fire and it was directed at me.” Returning to Crown Heights, Schwartz enjoyed a unique relationship with the Rebbe. Schwartzie, as he was affectionately known, frequented services at 770, sometimes wearing a brightly colored shirt or multi-colored suspenders. He created a

distinctly non-conformist impression but his prayers were heartfelt, his tears were genuine, and his presence was respected. In 1969, married and with his first baby, Schwartzie went on shlichus to California, where he lived for the rest of his life. Rabbi Shlomo Cunin assigned Schwartzie to establish the first Chabad House on the UCLA campus in Westwood. Schwartzie’s success with college students was bashert. He was sensitive and open-minded, which won the hearts of many non-observant teenagers in the heady days of the sixties. Always with a good schtick, but without judgement, he drove his bumper-stickerclad station wagon to campus events and brought young Jewish kids to a life of G-dliness. Schwartzie was the organic Chassid who loved to reminisce about his role as the unofficial rabbi to the 400,000 participants at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. Rabbi Schwartz had a zappy wisdom that was created by his unique background. He guided the young and the old, the observant and the newbies, explaining, “Humor is the medium that dispels the misconception that Judaism is uptight and serious, retrospective and Holocaust-oriented.” It was this mantra that guided the formation of his organization, the Chai Center, established in the eighties, “For Conservative, Reform, and any Jew that moves.” Schwartzie was an expert at creating pithy advertising that drew crowds

to his “very not-for-profit organization,” which continues to preserve, recover, and support Jewish life. This is a charity built on all-inclusive no-cost membership and dedicated to promoting Jewish authenticity with a support structure for thousands of non-frum but wholly Jewish people living in L.A. It’s unusual to offer no-cost High Holiday services at the elegant WGA building or a highly affordable seder dinner at the snazzy Olympic Collection. Schwartzie did this. He was happy to offer a Jewish stranger an invitation to his home for Shabbat dinner. Here, guests would enjoy a memorable serving of Rebbetzin Olivia Schwartz’s famous whole wheat bread. How better to meet a possible soulmate? Or build your social life, find your Jewish roots, and focus your spiritual growth? Olivia, a powerhouse of her own, has taught classes and retreats to huge numbers of women while Schwartzie provided free house visits to affix mezuzos, “Stump the Rabbi” events, and more. There have been few charities who have been thrilled to meet “Any Jew that Moves.” Rabbi Schwartz wanted to meet them all and he was jazzed to meet everyone. He was not a neighborhood Rabbi, although he had ample opportunity to have his own shul. Instead, he functioned as The Chief Southern California Rabbi who influenced, supported and entertained Jews who shared his favorite characteristic: a Jewish soul. Black hat or baseball cap, young or old, famous or immigrant, Schwartzie was the rabbi who would ask you which tribe your family came from. For many, this was a question that took visitors back to roots they had never considered. Then he directed participants to find their local shul where many families continue their Jewish life today. Is there a synagogue in the city without someone who came through the Chai Center? More recently Schwartzie started an ever-so-groovy Talmud group, where he taught kabbalah concepts at a weekly meeting in the Farmer’s Market. And as always, without cost. It’s hardly surprising that the Chai Center has built a following of thousands who attend or refer friends to this community of 10,000+ annual attendees. Always aware that the future of Judaism is at stake, Schwartzie spent the last years passing on the leadership of his Chai Center to one of his sons, Rabbi Mendel, who will continue to lead the Chai Center


Feature The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

with his own style and magnificence, even without the unique leadership provided by his father. Another son, Rabbi Mayshe Schwartz, already runs a successful Chai Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Chai Center wasn’t Schwartzie’s only legacy. He sat on interfaith groups and a Cedars Sinai-based marriage advisory group. He has advised and supported thousands of couples and offered marriage advice of the highest level. Without a situation of alcoholism or mental disease, G-d forbid, Schwartzie was convinced that every marriage could be saved and enhanced. He shared information that is difficult to find. “I’ve asked at least a thousand people maybe more, maybe two thousand people, why do you get divorced? Because when people get married everybody is in love with each other.” He taught the art of meaningful dating. “Dating is lying. It should be six months. Three months is too soon!” and he knew there were only three

ways to fix a marriage; therapy, date night, and perhaps an apology. Rabbi Schwartz affected the lives of so many, and his legacy continues with the guidance and memories he has created. “I’ve performed marriage ceremonies on more than 2000 couples, so I’ve stopped counting,” he said. When asked if he charges for this services, he would shrug his shoulders. Schwartzie was bereft of a desire for wealth, claiming that his parents taught him to enjoy what he had and not to worry about having any more. Still, it took tenacity and dedication to raise sufficient funds to cover the cost of the Chai Center events. Schwartzie strongly believed that life was a joyful path of synchronicity. He reminded people that nothing proved G-dliness more than synchronized events that we find in our daily lives. Schwartzie designed a comedic shorthand writing style which he used to write funky newsletters

which included stories of Jews meeting up in long lost places and unpredictable environments, but always in harmony. In his home there is a picture of two dolphins leaping from the waves in perfect unison. He loved this proof of G-dliness on earth. Always wanting to teach and grow his spiritual self, Schwartzie started spending his summers at the Ascent Center in Tsfat, the holy city in the north of Israel where he had studied as a young man. Schwartzie was welcomed as the Scholar-in-Residence for a total of twenty consecutive summers. He loved to sit on the balcony, look over the valley and teach kabbalah. Sitting out the war in the bomb shelters of Tsfat during the summer of 2014 was no picnic, but it did nothing to deter his enthusiasm for this peaceful enclave. Little wonder that he chose his final resting place in the burial ground of this ancient town which teams with the souls of the righteous that went before him.

Schwartzie was the proud father of twelve children and many more grandchildren. Towards the end of his life, his children spent increasingly more time with him, and the youngest grandchildren brought noise and laughter to his home. This was his joy, as he explained, “There is no sweeter sound.” It is hardly surprising that so many came to know, admire, and appreciate the wisdom and kindness of Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz. His influence has been magnificent and will continue. Not all Jews show respect and love to others who have different levels of observancy and customs. Schwartzie did all this and far more. His passing at the young age of 71, leaves a vacuum that will be hard to fill. May his legacy sustain countless stories for future generations to enjoy. May his followers bring more light to the world in his honor.

H O R T E E N L O N V E A W T E LY D

PRESENTERS R’ Mordechai Becher R’ Gavriel Friedman R' Jonathan Rietti R’ Yonason Shippel R’ Mordechai Suchard R’ Akiva Tatz R' Moshe Meir Weiss

GATEWAYS

LUXURY

PESACH 5777

MONDAY, APRIL 10 – TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2017 H I L T O N

F OR

|

S T A M F O R D ,

M OR E

gatewaysluxurypesach.org

C T

I N F OR M AT ION

845.290.8710

@

office@gatewaysonline.org

CONNECTIONS Featuring Gateways Shadchanim CAMP DIRECTORS Master Storyteller & Mechanech R' Avi & Mrs. Tziri Frank CATERING Nesher of Weiss Brothers Hashgacha: R' Shmuel Dovid Edelstein, KAJ • Gourmet meals • Lavish Kiddushim • Fully stocked 24hr tea room • Grab and Go Café • Non-Gebrokts RETREAT FEATURES • Entire Hotel Exclusive to our Guests • Private Seder Rooms • Shabbos key locks & elevators • Indoor pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center • Walking paths & tennis courts • Wifi throughout • Complimentary parking • 45 miles from Brooklyn, Manhattan and 5 Towns

19


20

Torah Musings The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Hanging with the Stars: An Unexpected Lesson Sarah Pachter

Trying a little too hard to appear casual, my friend Kim and I sauntered down the street. It was my first movie premier, and inwardly I was bursting with excitement. Kim had gotten me invited because the A-lister starring in this new movie was her relative. Not only that, but she’d even gotten me included in the after-party!  As we confidently (at least outwardly) strolled, my friend pointed out who was who. I felt a bit guilty having been “chosen” to join. Unless the person was a household name and face, I was clueless. I noticed people trying to figure out if the two of us were “somebody” as we did the same.   In the Jewish community where I live, the nicer you are to people, the better. Here, the reverse seemed true. There was a smugness in the air as my friend introduced me to someone she knew in the industry. I was friendly, but my demeanor was not quite returned.  However, there was one exception to this rule. It seemed that the higher up someone was on the celebrity totem pole, the nicer and more down to earth they actually were; as if the ones who felt that they needed to prove themselves most acted the most important rather than those who actually were the most important. We made our way through the crowd, toward the large screening room where the film would be shown for the first time. After introductions, the movie started. It was fabulous, hilarious, and I enjoyed it with the carefree joy that only a mother of three kids who never gets out can experience. After the movie ended, we ascended to the penthouse floor of the building to celebrate. There were lines with hundreds of people waiting for access to the elevator up, while we were guided to a back elevator with the brother of the lead actor. Once on the rooftop terrace, we mingled and chatted with the rest of the family of the star. I watched as the lead actress behaved graciously toward everyone around her. She took the time to meet and greet each person that approached her. She made everyone feel like they were the most important person of the night, and expressed

extreme gratitude for them being there to support her. I was struck by her humility in such a setting. She has been to my home on several occasions, and I to hers. Although she is a celebrity, she carries herself as though she is a “regular” person. She was especially relatable as she stood with her husband’s suit jacket around her shoulders and her stilettos in hand, casually standing barefoot in the crowd. This woman has achieved unprecedented success, and yet remains kind and humble. While impressed by her success, I was even more impressed with her sterling personal character. I was introduced to the lead actress’s father that evening, and we struck up a conversation. As I looked at his child, who was in the spotlight and yet so modest, I wondered to myself what he did right to raise such a human. Not one to be shy, I asked him, “Please tell me your secrets to raising successful and modest children! Both your daughter and son are exemplary. You must have done something right. Can you pinpoint anything in particular you did that helped them become who they are?” After I summoned the courage to ask him this small question, it led to a forty-minute long conversation that would have a profound impact on my parenting style and perspective overall. He looked at me and said, “Well, you have to understand that parenting is the single-most important job in your adult life. Your kids need to see that they are the priority in your life, and that there is nothing more valuable or important than raising them.    “Our kids need to feel that we aren’t just rushing through their needs to get back to whatever we were doing beforehand. Rather, they have to know that we only do those other things so that we can be with them more. Or do more for them. They have to see the enjoyment in our eyes when spending time with them. The concept of raising kids needs to be so important to parents that the kids just pick up on that feeling.” “How does one practically do that?” I asked.

“Well, I can tell you this much – it’s a lot harder now than it was when I was raising my kids. We didn’t have iPhones back then to distract us, and I shudder to think what will become of the children of millennials. Oftentimes I see parents with their children, out and about, but also incredibly distracted. They are basically just making sure that the child in front of them isn’t dying. There’s no eye contact or interaction between them. It’s scary.” He continued, “Show the children that they are the priority, not a burden that you have to merely keep alive. My wife and I rarely, if ever, vacationed without our kids, and we didn’t have a ton of personal friends. Frankly, we weren’t out at evenings like this – ever. They knew that they were our essence, our joy.” I slowly started to metaphorically shrink into the floor, as I felt guilty for being away from my kids on a girls’ night out. I wanted to interrupt and say, I promise I never get out – this is so rare! Instead, I asked, “Yes, but how do you maintain that perspective when the kids are so young, and endlessly needy? Sometimes as parents, we need a break, too!” To that he answered, “You just have to remember the goal. At the end of your life, and even just when your kids are grown, you can’t go back and give them what you wish you had.”   After pondering this, I became curious about his thoughts on raising financially successful children. He explained that it was important to cultivate independence at a young age. “Give your kids independence and responsibilities as early and as soon as you can. Let them do things for themselves.” He shared with me that often when driving with his daughter, even as young as seven years old, he would ask her, “Which way next?” He knew the direction, but he wanted to let her guide him. Anything they can do for themselves should be allowed and encouraged – even if it takes you a little longer. The last thing this man mentioned, and perhaps the most eye-opening (yet difficult to implement), is the following: “I hardly ever said ‘no’ to my kids.”

I skeptically asked, “Really? But they seem so well-mannered. Did you tolerate chaos in your home when they were young?” “Quite the opposite.” He explained that he hardly ever needed to say no to them. In line with helping his kids become independent, they actually usually made positive choices on their own, without him having to redirect them. When I asked him how on earth he managed to swing that, he replied that instead of outright turning them down, he provided them with information and problem solving skills so they could come to a conclusion on their own. The other benefit to verbalizing ‘no’ as little as possible is that when he did need to use that word, it worked the first time. This is a tall order for most parents – myself included. How are we to give lengthy explanations and present choices to small children? Sometimes, it’s just easier to say no. He called a “pay now or pay later” concept. Instead of dictating boundaries, they actually create themselves as children exercise independent cognitive discipline. In the beginning it’s hard, but as time passes, you are left with a child who is making excellent choices on his own, which inevitably leads to a successful adult. It was somewhat humorous that in the middle of a posh Hollywood party, I was taking a one-on-one parenting class from this man. I entered the premier that evening thinking that I was the luckiest girl that night because I was privileged to meet celebrities and experience this movie during its first showing. But truthfully, it was my lucky day because I met the father of that celebrity, who gave me such priceless parenting advice. It is the words he shared that have stayed with me until today, long past the hilarious lines of the movie.   Stay tuned for next week’s tips on how to follow this advice and stay in the moment while with our children.  


The Week In News

3.16.17

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

MR AND MRS IRVING

& LINDA RUBENSTEIN GUESTS OF HONOR

MR

SHLOMO FUCHS MR EZRA LANIADO HAKARAS HATOV AWARD MR

DAVID STRIKS BANQUET CHAIRMAN DR

ARNIE ROSS

JOURNAL CHAIRMAN

FIFTH

ANNIVERSARY BANQUET

MARCH 16, 2017 6:00PM RECEPTION 7:00PM DINNER $600 couple

UNIVERSAL HILTON 555 UNIVERSAL HOLLYWOOD DR UNIVERSAL CITY, CA 91608 To make a reservation or for more information

EVENTS@YKLA.ORG / 818.766.7610 / WWW.YKLA.ORG

21


22

Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

This week, in Parshas Mishpotim, we see the grandeur and glory of Matan Torah from Parshas Yisro segue into the practical details of the actual laws of the Torah. The two parshiyos are dependent upon each other. The incredible revelation at the mountain lives on through the Torah and these halachos, which are comprised of the rules and boundaries that govern everyday life. There is an additional layer to the connection. It lies in the precise and perfect way these parshiyos discuss Matan Torah by informing us not only of the deliverance of the Ten Commandments, but also what preceded that world-changing occurrence. The discussion of Matan Torah is preceded by the story of Yisro, father-in-law of Moshe. He came to join the Jewish people, and while he was with them, he dispensed advice to Moshe. The leader of the Jewish people treated Moshe’s heathen relative as a prince, imparting the lesson to all that “derech eretz kodmah laTorah.” Prior to ascending to heaven to accept the Luchos, Moshe Rabbeinu served as a waiter at a meal that was held to honor his father-in-law. Part of his preparation for speaking to Hashem and delivering the Torah was to engage in acts portraying humility and respect for others to impart to Klal Yisroel that without them, we are not worthy of Torah. Common decency and proper manners are prerequisites to Torah. A person who is not a mentch cannot be a student of Torah and lacks in his observance of the Torah’s teachings. It’s interesting that in Lashon Kodesh, the language of reality, the trait of courteousness, or dignity, is referred to as derech eretz. What does derech eretz really mean and why is it used in this context? The Alter of Kelm states that it refers to the need for people to conform to what is socially acceptable and forego their wants for the benefit of the communal good of

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Respect and Self-Respect the land. This is the intention of Chazal who say (Kiddushin 40b), “Kol she’ein bo derech eretz eino min hayishuv - Whoever is lacking in the attribute of derech eretz is not a proper citizen.” The world is bigger and broader than any one of us. We have to adapt and develop ourselves to live in harmony with its demands. Before we can receive the Torah as a nation and individually, we have to perfect our middos and conform with decency, respect and proper regard for the feelings of others. In our superficial world where people crave attention, feelings of others are sacrificed on the altar of instant gratifica-

day as well. Every time we address a person, it should be as if we care about that person and are mindful of their needs and feelings. Every casual comment reflects on us and our people. Someone who doesn’t treat people properly is engaging in chillul Hashem, the worst sin of all. The Mesillas Yeshorim states that a person should always speak respectfully and not in an embarrassing fashion. He quotes the Gemara (Yoma 86a) which says that people should always address others in a calm tone. Being a good Jew means not talking to people in a tactless, offensive manner.

Seeing involves more than good eyesight. It takes focus, clarity and a passion for truth. tion. We put people down with arrogance and spite, and give little thought to the effect of our spoken words, as long as they elicit laughs and provide a momentary jolt. The Torah is replete with lessons of derech eretz, from early in Bereishis until the end of Devorim. We are all familiar, as well, with Pirkei Avos and Maseches Derech Eretz. And following the period of Chazal, all through the ages of the Gaonim, Rishonim and Acharonim, down to our day, the great people of Am Yisroel have always excelled in middos tovos, and written and spoken extensively about the way we should behave with each other and with members of the other nations of the world. The Igeres HaRamban is a letter for the ages, in which the famed teacher of our nation writes to always speak gently and to be humble. He says to treat every person as if they are better than you and always conduct yourself as if you are before Hashem. This is the way of a Torah Jew, in our

It begins by training children at a young age to behave nicely, not to scream in the presence of older people, and to address others softly and with respect. If not properly educated, cute children grow to be overly aggressive loudmouths. It is only through care, devotion and love that children can be successfully guided not to be egocentric. A parent who slackens in the responsibility to be mechaneich his children properly is guilty when the child misbehaves. Though we view the child as the one with aberrant behavior, we cannot expect any better from a young person who was never taught how to walk, talk and conduct himself in public. Parshas Yisro introduces the receiving of the Aseres Hadibros with the account of Yisro’s arrival to teach us to treat people respectfully. In Parshas Mishpotim, we learn that when asked by Moshe if they would accept the Torah, the Jewish people answered

unanimously, “Na’aseh venishma. We will do and we will hear.” There is extensive discussion regarding the enormity of the response, as the Jews agreed to observe the mitzvos before knowing what they were, stating first, “Na’aseh, we will do the will of Hashem,” and then, “Nishma, we will hear the laws.” Perhaps we can explain the statement a little differently than it is commonly understood. Maybe we can understand that what the Jews were really saying back then was “na’aseh,” we will do what it takes to prove ourselves worthy of the Torah, and na’aseh, we will become those people and prepare properly. Not only will we purify our bodies and our souls so that we can become higher, holier people, but we will improve our middos. We know that without proper derech eretz, we cannot merit the Torah. Perhaps we can explain that the word “na’aseh” hints to the first time that the word is used in the Torah. When He created man, Hashem said, “Na’aseh odom - Let us make man.” Although expressing Himself that way could hint to scoffers that Hashem required the help of others, it is written that way in the Torah as a lesson in derech eretz and how to speak to people. Be inclusive and kind. Make them feel part of what is happening without talking down to them. Prior to accepting the Torah at Har Sinai, the people joined together with humility and proclaimed, “Na’aseh.” We will hearken back to the lesson learned from the first biblical use of the word. “Na’aseh.” We will be humble, kind and thoughtful. We will be a people of derech eretz. “Na’aseh.” We are committed to be the fine and holy “odom” Hashem intended for us to be when He proclaimed, “Na’aseh odom.” We will be human beings ready to be receptacles for the Torah’s light. Masters of halacha and great talmidei chachomim embody that derech eretz, the innate respect needed to be a vessel for Torah. And we all can, as well. Rav Chaim Vital famously asks why the Torah does not make any mention of the obligation to possess proper middos, fundamental as they are to serving Hashem. In his Sefer Sha’arei Kedusha, Rav Chaim explains that the Torah is only given to people with refined character. It is kodmah laTorah, a precondition to the Torah being received. After Rav Reuven Grozovsky suffered a debilitating stroke, his talmidim took turns assisting him throughout the day.


Living with In theNews Times The Week

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The bochurim would help him wash negel vasser, wrap tefillin on his arm and head, and hold his siddur. The rosh yeshiva’s hands would occasionally shake, making the task difficult. One day, a bochur who had not previously been in the rotation had the zechus of being meshamesh the rosh yeshiva. The boy was quite nervous, and as Rav Reuven’s hand shook, the anxious boy poured out the contents of the negel vasser cup, completely missing the hands of the rosh yeshiva. Humiliated, the boy tried again. He was already so frantic that the water ended up on Rav Reuven’s bed and clothing. The boy stopped and calmed himself before trying a third time, and he successfully washed Rav Reuven’s hands. He helped put the rosh yeshiva’s tefillin on for him and assisted him in saying the brachos. He was ready to leave when Rav Reuven called him over and thanked him, chatting with him for several moments. Calmed and relieved, the bochur left.  Later, he learned that the rosh yeshiva had never before spoken of mundane matters while wearing tefillin. Rav Reuven saw the bochur’s embarrassment and forfeited his own kabbolah to put the young man at ease. Kavod for a talmid. His meticulously observed custom was put aside in favor of derech eretz, which precedes Torah and is the backdrop for all of the Torah. Not just gedolei Torah, but Torah personalities - machzikei Torah, lomdei Torah, those who revere the Torah - have always conducted themselves with the utmost derech eretz. Reb Moshe Reichmann was a master of dignity and respect. When he entered a boardroom, associates would instinctively rise in deference and, as a construction worker commented after Reb Moshe’s passing, no one would use inappropriate language in his presence. It was unthinkable. His role as a mechubad came because he was a mechabeid. He respected everyone and therefore everyone respected him. A close friend and chavrusah remembered how one Shabbos afternoon, after completing their learning seder, they walked to shul for Mincha. As they entered the large bais medrash, they realized that the rov was in the middle of speaking and the regular Mincha minyan was taking place in a side room. The chavrusah slipped out. He soon noticed that Reb Moshe didn’t follow him to daven Mincha in the other room.

Later, Reb Moshe explained his reasoning. “I figured that I would be able to find a later minyan, and if not, I could daven by myself, because once my entrance was noticed, if I were to turn around and step out, that would have been disrespectful to the rov. So I stayed until he finished.” Those who give respect get respect in return. The Beirach Moshe of Satmar recounted that when he was a young man in Sighet, there was a fabulously wealthy shoemaker in town. A fine though simple person, no one in his family had any wealth. He didn’t inherit the money, and as a practicing shoemaker, there was no way that he was earning it from making and repairing shoes. The future Satmar Rebbe waited for the appropriate time to ask the man his secret. It was a festive occasion when he asked him about the source of his wealth. The shoemaker began his tale: “It was your grandfather, the Atzei Chaim, the rov of this city, who blessed me. I’ll tell you the story. “The rebbe needed a pair of shoes and his gabbai came to my shop, providing me with the measurements of the rebbe’s feet and ordering a pair of shoes. A few days later, the gabbai returned and demanded the shoes. I told him that I was working on them, but they were not yet finished. I asked him to return in a few days. “For some reason, he was very insistent. He said that he needs the shoes right then and that I must give them to him. I did as he asked and gave him the shoes. He paid me and left. “The gabbai ran to the rebbe and presented them to him. The footwear looked complete, so neither the rebbe nor the gabbai examined them carefully enough to note that a nail had not yet been removed from one of the shoes. “When the rebbe put on the shoe, that nail cut into his foot. He began to experience pain and bled profusely. “When I came to shul, the rebbe called me over to a private corner and rebuked me for not finishing the job and for giving him a shoe with a nail in it. He asked me to be more careful in the future because poor workmanship can cause pain and wounds. “He was the rov and I was a simple shoemaker, so I knew my place and would never argue with him. I held my head low and accepted his words in silence. “When the rebbe left to return home, the gabbai came clean and told the rebbe what really happened. He accepted the blame upon himself. The rebbe was crestfallen.

“I was sitting in my humble shop in my work clothes fixing a shoe. I looked up, and there, in front of me, was the rebbe. The holy rebbe was at my table. He was weeping. He couldn’t stop crying. He begged me for forgiveness. I also began crying. “I didn’t answer him when he spoke me that morning in shul, but believe me, I was hurt. I was so hurt. I began to cry uncontrollably when reminded of what happened. “So there was the rebbe, begging me to forgive him, saying, ‘Zeitz moichel,’ again and again, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to get over the thought that I had been careless. “Finally, the rebbe said, ‘The Hungarian state lottery is taking place this week. Go buy a ticket. That will be payment for my having thought ill of you.’ “With that, I was able to forgive him. I told him that I was moichel him b’lev sholeim and he left. I ran across the street and bought a ticket. Now you know how I became wealthy.” The derech eretz of a poor, simple shoemaker earned him riches he could never dream of. His manners, his decency and his humility made him worthy of blessing. We don’t behave the way we do in order to earn the respect of others or to win lotteries. We act that way because we are bnei and bnos Torah. We don’t just look at the here and now. We don’t put ourselves in positions we don’t belong. And we don’t speak rashly or impetuously for fleeting enjoyment or attention. We recognize our place. We are humble, refined, honest and generous. We endeavor to act in a way that brings honor to us and our people. We seek to always be mekadshei Hashem and to never cause a chillul Hashem. The Jewish people recognizable by their mercy, self-effacement and the help they render to others, as Chazal (Yevamos 79a – see also Bamidbor Rabba 8) state, “Shlosha simonim yesh b’umah zu, harachmanim, v’habaishonin vgomlei chasodim.” Reb Yossi Cohen, a talmid of Bais Medrash Elyon, became a successful businessman. He and his wife were once leaving a wedding when they noticed Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky getting his coat. They offered him a ride. The rosh yeshiva considered it and then asked to see their car. It was a large, luxurious vehicle, and Rav Yaakov peered inside, as if inspecting it, before accepting the offer.

It seemed strange. Reb Yossi, a talmid chochom and yorei Shomayim, asked the rosh yeshiva for an explanation. “I realized,” Rav Yaakov said, “that your wife would be sitting in the back if I came along. I wanted to make sure that it is spacious back there and that she won’t be uncomfortable or cramped because of me.” Respect for a talmid chochom, who returned that very respect. Proper respect - kavod - is the underpinning of the nation of the Torah. The central theme of the world is “kulo omer kavod,” to reflect the dignity and majesty of the creation. By emulating the middos of Hashem, giving kavod, living with self-respect, and speaking with respect, we raise all of creation. The smallest Jewish child, regardless of how little he has learned, instinctively feels discomfort when a sefer falls and hurries to give it a kiss. A Torah Jew notices shaimos on the floor and feels a stab of pain. It is the innate respect that precedes the Torah, the knowledge that more than information, these letters are the means of bringing honor and goodness to ourselves and the world, so we cherish and honor those tiny slips of paper from precious seforim. We all know the story of the man who told Hillel that he wanted to convert but wishes to hear all of Torah while standing on one leg (Shabbos 31a). Hillel responded with a few, precise words. He said, “D’alach sani lechavroch lo sa’avid… ve’idach peirusha. Zil gemor. Don’t do to your friend that which is despised by you. The rest is commentary. Go and learn.” Can it be that Hillel summed up the entirety of Torah in a few pithy words? Perhaps what he was telling the man was that if he was seriously interested in studying and observing Torah, he needed to act as the Jews at Har Sinai did and prepare himself to be ready for the Torah. Na’aseh. He should accept upon himself the obligations of derech eretz. When you have done that, the Torah becomes relevant to you, nishma. Rid yourself of hate and acrimony. Speak nicely and softly, and put down the stick. Feel for others. Think about the consequences of your words and actions. “V’idach peirusha,” the rest is commentary. Internalize becoming a mentch, a person worthy of Torah, so that we can study its holy words.

23


24

PEYD The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Travelling like a Pro: How the PEYD Team Traveled This Winter Vacation Using Airline Miles & Credit Card Points Michael Rubinstein, Esq.

www

PART 1 - Married Couple with Young Child Take a West Coast Trip Winter break is always a challenging time of year to get hold of affordable airfare and travel packages. Nevertheless, this stood as no deterrent for the PEYD Team in planning their family vacations with members and staff traveling this winter season to California, Israel, Florida, Las Vegas, and even Thailand. And we are happy to share our insider tricks, methods

and best practices which can help minimize any out of pocket expenses the next time you wish to take a family vacation. For the purposes of this article we will focus on the steps one of the PEYD partners took when he went on vacation with his wife and young child using airline miles and credit card points, and in the next series we will focus on additional live scenarios other members of the PEYD Team planned their vacations by taking

MEET THE PEYD TEAM...

advantage of available credit card rewards and travel partnership programs. This past Chanukah coincided with another major holiday, and the most desirable travel dates of the season, making tickets and hotels very expensive. Today, we’ll fill you in on how our PEYD Partner Dudi brought his family to sunny L.A. without paying any money out of pocket! Dudi had been earning Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit card points from

PINNY ACKERMAN

GET TO KNOW THE PARTNERS! Our company name ‘Get PEYD’ and its corresponding logo represents the first name of each of the partners, Pinny, Eli, Yaakov, and Dudi. Together, and along with our outstanding staff, we help our customers and the public navigate the credit card rewards and travel industries.

ELI SCHREIBER

We recently celebrated our 5-year anniversary with more than 2 BILLION MILES redeemed and 10,000 FLIGHTS booked.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY FOR YEARS TO COME.

CALL TODAY! 888.404 PEYD(7393) WWW.PEYD.COM | INFO@GETPEYD.COM

YAAKOV PORTNOY

DUDI AKERMAN

his credit card usage of the American Express SPG Credit Card and was hoping to take his accumulated points and transfer them into an airline and book a “mileage” ticket. Upon realizing that airline tickets to California were requiring more miles than off-peak times, he kicked into travel agent mode and pursued other options. Instead of transferring his SPG points directly into an airline like Delta or American Airline and having to put in enough points to cover the cost of the more expensive tickets, he instead took 90,000 SPG points and transferred them into 270,000 Marriott points. (SPG points transfer into Marriott at a rate of three Marriott points for every SPG point). He then took advantage of a special Marriott Hotel & Air Vacation Package where Marriott offers bonus airline miles with the airline of your choice when you book a hotel vacation package. He chose Southwest as his airline and transferred this Marriott points to Southwest equaling 120,000 SW miles – more than the 110,000 magic number required to earning a Southwest “Companion Pass.” For those not familiar, a Companion Pass is a special promotion that kicks in when you transfer or earn over 110,000 SW miles. With this pass, Southwest airlines let’s you bring an additional passenger on your itinerary for no added cost, every time you fly, for a year, and even with tickets that are booked using your SW miles. By the time all these transfers had occurred Southwest was offering tickets to California for an affordable 50,000 points, and due to the fact that Dudi’s wife was now able to fly with him for free using the SW Companion Pass, the 110,000 SW miles Dudi earned covered himself and his son with his wife flying for free. As a side note, Dudi kept checking the Southwest rates to California knowing that they would reduce the ticket prices in accordance with that day’s particular rate. When he saw prices to L.A. had dropped, he cancelled his initial reservation and then immediately re-booked his tickets and the final price for his tickets only cost 38,000 Southwest points per ticket (about $450) to make it to beautiful L.A. during the busiest week of the season. The best part? Dudi’s wife can now fly with him for free every time he chooses to fly with SW for the remaining calendar year. Stay tuned for our next series as we continue to educate the public how you can take your next vacation and minimize your out of pocket expense and travel in style the PEYD way. For more information about PEYD please visit our website www.getPEYD. com.

Please note after March 31, 2017, transferring hotel points to Southwest no longer counts towards the Companion Pass.


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Going the extra mile!

Revel.

Wood Grilled Rib Eye

10 YEARS WITH THOUSANDS OF SECURE TRANSACTIONS.

732.987.7765 WWW.SELLMILESNOW.COM

mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions

28

27

23

25


26

The Week In News

AT&T

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

8:15 AM

85%

AT&T

8:15 AM

85%

SEARCH

BEST DEALS

Infinity QX50 base 12,000 INT

2017 MI YR

36

85%

8:15 AM

AT&T

Infinity QX50 base, 2017 EXT

INT

MNTH

Infinity QX50 base

$ 303 add to showroom

enter Make and Model

INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 311

or check out our best deals

ID: JK603490

add to showroom INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 309

5 seats (bench)

4 doors

18"/8" wheels

GPS

6 CY L

24H /17C mileage

AW D

moon roof INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 315 add to showroom INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 318

$ 309 INCLUDING

navigation

automatic trans

12,000

MI YR

36

MNTH

TA X E S

$1,312 due at signing

lease extras

LEASE

add to showroom

Lease your new car in three swipes, with free delivery, at the lowest price guaranteed!

Download our app, join Honcker, and enjoy your car-leasing.

honcker.com


Bonus The WeekFeature In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

27

Police Dogs That Bite: Unconstitutional Use of Force?

Police dogs are helpful partners in law enforcement. However, many police departments in California employ an “attack first, ask questions later” approach when it comes to using dogs to help apprehend a crime suspect. Does such a policy violate the U.S. Constitution? This is an issue currently being considered by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals here in California. The closely watched case, Lowry v. City of San Diego, could affect how police agencies deploy canines in the course of police work. California Dog-Bite Law in General In California, any dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by his or her dog. In some other states, dog owners are afforded a “one-free bite” pass. This is similar to the concept from the Gemara, where an ox must establish its violent propensity, earning the distinction of a muad. In states with a “one-free bite” rule, this means that if a dog has never attacked before, the owner will not be liable the first time the dog bites someone. The dog owner would be responsible for any injuries caused by his or her dog after the first bite. California does not have a one-free bite rule. The Civil Code imposes liability on a dog owner any time the dog bites, including the first time. There is an exception to this strict liability rule, and that is for police and military dogs. If a police dog attacks a crime suspect, the police are immune from lawsuits stemming from the attack. If, however, a police dog attacks an innocent bystander who is not suspected of criminal activity, there is no immunity. Granted, the police might be immune from civil dog bite liability under the Civil Code. But can the use of a police dog violate the federal constitution? The Case of Sara Lowry One night in February 2010, Sara Lowry was sleeping on a couch in her office in San Diego. When she woke up to use the restroom, she accidentally triggered a silent alarm in her office building. San Diego police arrived on scene with a police dog named Bak, suspecting a burglar had broken into the office building. A canine officer announced that he would unleash Bak into the dark office to assist officers in apprehending the potential burglary suspect. Ms. Lowry was sleeping on the couch and did not respond to the officer’s warnings. The officer then let Bak off her leash,

and she pounced on a sleeping Ms. Lowry. Bak bit Ms. Lowry’s face and would not release her grip until the officer commanded her to do so. Ms. Lowry’s lip was nearly torn off, and she required several stitches. Ms. Lowry sued the San Diego Police Department, arguing that the use of a police dog to bite Ms. Lowry, who was not engaging in any criminal activity, was an unconstitutional use of force under the federal constitution. Bite and Hold: Lowry v. San Diego The federal District Court in San Diego originally dismissed Ms. Lowry’s lawsuit, saying no reasonable jury could find that the San Diego police used excessive force when Bak attacked her. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year disagreed, holding that a reasonable jury could in fact hold that the police used excessive force through employing a “bite and hold” policy. A key issue for the Court was testimony from police officers that Bak is trained to bite the first person she encounters – regardless of whether that person is a child or a burglar. As was the case with Ms. Lowry, who was sleeping on a couch, a police dog can get it wrong and attack an innocent individual. The officer in Ms. Lowry’s case testified that, after subduing Bak, he was surprised that the dog did not rip Ms. Lowry’s face off. While the Court noted that Ms. Lowry was lucky to escape

the attack without more serious injury, “a fundamental purpose of Section 1983 (the federal civil rights statute) is to deter the use of unreasonable force in the future to avoid what could be much more serious harm to the next person.” This is not to say that police officers can never use force. The question is how much force may be used. While courts are deferential to officers’ safety, there must be objective factors to justify police using force. Furthermore, the Court noted that most burglar alarms are false – in San Diego the number is more than 95%. Ms. Lowry did not engage in threatening behavior, nor did she resist police commands. She was simply sleeping on a couch. Thus, the Court held that a reasonable jury could agree that she did not pose an immediate threat to anyone, let alone the police who arrived on scene. The Court therefore held that it was improper for the District Court to dismiss Ms. Lowry’s lawsuit before letting a jury hear all the evidence. The Ninth Circuit reheard this case en banc last month. That means that while the original panel voted 2-1 to send Ms. Lowry’s case back to the jury, the full panel of 11 judges is now reconsidering the issues in this case. During oral argument, lawyers representing the city of San Diego conceded that under the department’s policy, innocent people can and likely will be wounded by police dogs should the bite

and hold policy be upheld. Will the full Ninth Circuit panel send Ms. Lowry’s case to the jury to decide if the San Diego Police Department’s “bite and hold” policy violates the constitution? Or will it decide that no reasonable jury could find that police using dogs to bite and apprehend a suspect is within the bounds of appropriate legal force? A decision is expected in the coming months. Los Angeles-Area Law Enforcement Use of Dogs Lowry v. City of San Diego could impose sweeping changes on law enforcement agencies throughout California. Many police departments use dogs, and a ruling that a “bite and hold” is unconstitutional could affect these agencies. It’s interesting to note that the Los Angeles Police Department stopped using bite and hold in the early 1990s. Sgt. Michael Goosby, LAPD’s chief canine trainer, says the department now uses a “find and bark” policy. Police dogs approach a suspect and bark while holding their position, alerting nearby officers and letting them come in make an arrest. The policy change among LAPD’s 19 dogs reduced litigation and has saved the City substantial amounts. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, in contrast, still uses a bite and hold policy, similar to the one used by San Diego. The Sheriff’s Department has about half the number of dogs as LAPD – and has paid over $1.1 million in dog attack settlements since 2009. In 2012, LASD’s dogs bit about 50% more often as LAPD’s dogs. Conclusion Lowry v. City of San Diego is an important case that could impact police agencies using dogs throughout California. Police dogs can assist police officers with many of their dangerous crime-fighting tasks. When police train and authorize a dog to bite first and ask questions later, this can result in serious injuries to innocent civilians. Whether the infliction of these injuries is an unconstitutional use of force remains to be seen. (Sources: Civil Code 3342; Lowry v. City of San Diego; San Gabriel Valley Tribune; NY Times.)

Photo: Michael Brian

Michael Rubinstein, Esq.


28

Quotes The Parenting Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

A Different Kind of Teen Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., I am having trouble understanding what’s up with my tenth-grade daughter. Let me give you some background. She was an extraverted child in an extraverted family. She loved all things social, although – in all honesty – she liked solitary activities as well. I never worried about her because she seemed so cheerful and well-liked. Fast forward to high school, and I don’t recognize my child in the teen she has become. Instead of the social butterfly, she’s a bit more of a homebody. She loves her books, studies, and music. She also seems to enjoy spending lots of family time. This includes helping me in the kitchen and playing with her younger siblings. I find it so odd that she doesn’t care to have much of a social life. She chose not to be in a school production (“It’s so boring!”) or to go to summer camp (“I need a break!”). On Shabbos, she will go out with a friend if a friend comes over, but does not initiate any visits. She talks some on the phone, but often says she is not a “phone person.” The weird part is that she seems genuinely happy and upbeat – no crying, tantrums, or complaining. The teachers report that she does really well socially – hi-fiving everyone in the hall and sitting with her friends at lunch and recess. In fact, they describe her as really “into it.” Do you think I should push her to go out more with her classmates? And, if yes, then why? Reena Though I am tempted to go with “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I have a hunch that there is a bit more to your question. I think you may be of the opinion that there is a right way to be a teen, a gold standard if you will – and wonder if your daughter falls short. Obviously, you don’t want to “mess with success,” but you don’t want to ignore an unhealthy pattern either. But, here’s the thing: There is no one way to be in this world. There are many kinds of teens, and many different forms of success. Your daughter has chosen her own way. She is happy and not looking for change. She seems to have healthy interests, and reports indicate that she is doing

just fine. Whether this is just a stage, or the beginning of a new pattern of behavior, is not clear at this point. So who owns this problem – the parent or the child? You or your daughter? Well, since you are the one with qualms, not her, let me address my response to you. As parents, we want the very best for our children – that they be happy, successful, and accepted by their peers. We want to see them as “one of the gang,” with all the studying, fun, and projects that teens typically enjoy. We see their special nature and talents. We project into the future and want to see our children develop those unique qualities. These are not selfish

dreams on our part, but rather our fondest hopes for their future. But here’s something for you to consider: Your daughter may – or may not – want to follow her star. She may choose to do the typical, or to take a less-travelled road. She may want to be a real camp kid, or the quintessential Bais Yaakov girl – or she may elect to do her own thing. Unless your daughter asks for your help, makes really

Hard as it is to admit, their way may not be our way. There simply is no prescribed way of being a child, teen, or adult. In addition, the reality is that a teen is just too old for parent intervention. So, while you may work behind the scenes in your younger child’s social life and orchestrate friendships and the like, a teen generally resents such maneuvers. As you can imagine, your teen will not take kindly to your

bad decisions, or seems to be doing poorly, your role is to respect your daughter’s choices and support her in them. Though you may have envisioned a rah-rah girl, that is not who your child chooses to be at this point in her life. I do want to add a disclaimer here that my response applies only if you believe that your child is truly doing okay and not hiding and/or displaying any unhealthy behaviors or symptoms. Certainly, it is worthwhile for parents to monitor and watch carefully for any changes in their child that call for reconsidering what’s going on. The truth is that there are many ways to be happy and successful. There’s an art to letting go. Realize that if your child is doing reasonably well, you don’t get to decide how they do things. Rather, let’s work on ourselves to respect our children for who they are, what makes them tick, and for the everyday decisions that they make.

manipulating any part of her environment – even for her benefit. But, if you have reached the happy conclusion that there is no need for concern at this point, give it a rest. Enjoy your teen, be glad for her that she is happy, and leave it at that. The Book Nook: The Fear Fix by Sarah Chana Radcliffe provides solutions for every child’s moments of worry, panic, and fear. The author writes about helping children cope with issues like imaginary fears, nighttime anxieties, and fears triggered by bad experiences. Of particular interest is the chapter on helping your child deal with the fear of emotional pain. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, L.A.’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com.


22

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Quotes The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

29

There isn’t enough money in the ACA as structured, even with the fees and taxes, to support the population that needs to be served… It is in a death spiral. - Aetna Insurance’s CEO Mark Bertolini in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about Obamacare

At times it feels like winning the lottery has ruined my life. I thought it would make it 10 times better but it’s made it 10 times worse. I wish I had no money most days. I say to myself, “My life would be so much easier if I hadn’t won.” People look at me and think, “I wish I had her lifestyle, I wish I had her money.” But they don’t realize the extent of my stress. I have material things but apart from that, my life is empty. - Jane Park, 21, who won $1.25 million playing Euromillions at age 17 , in an interview with the UK Mirror about how unhealthy it was for her to win the lotto

Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist. – Pope Francis

MORE QUOTES com

Jewish Link Designs 323.965.1544

mail. e atnlabrea12@g n i nl baso er orea.com or ab d r b la o

n bbaso www.a

try our s deliCiou ! ig s yap

Be a queen at your own seder! abba’s fine catering gourmet to go eat in

129 N La Brea ave. Los aNgeLes, 90036 323-658-7730

We supply all your Passover needs: • Stuffed Cabbadge • Chopped Liver • Gefilte Fish • Matzoh Ball Soup

• Roast Turkey • Roast Beef • Brisket • Kugels

• Salads • And More...

open Chol Hamoed We Cater To Hotels

Keep the Chometz out of your house

Come join us at abba's for your shabbat hagadol meals!


30

The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home


Dirshu The Week In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Gedolei Yisroel the World Over Address the Launch of New Dirshu Inyan Chochman Program Chaim Gold

It was shalosh seudos time at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim. The year was 1979. The gadol hador, the posek hador, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, came to the yeshiva for shalosh seudos. That week, Rav Moshe was not feeling well and did not feel capable of speaking. He turned to a young Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen, a bochur at the time, and asked if perhaps he would like to say the dvar Torah. At the Dirshu test in Lakewood this past Sunday night, Rav Cohen recalled, “I told the Rosh Yeshiva that I did not have a dvar Torah on that week’s parshah, only on the previous week’s parshah. There was a very small crowd in attendance, about 15-18 people and one person, a baal habayis who was not even from the Lower East Side, turned to Rav Moshe and said, ‘I can say a dvar Torah but I can’t say it in Yiddish, only in English.’ Rav Moshe replied, ‘So say it in English.’ That yid proceeded to say a dvar Torah. You had to watch Rav Moshe while the man was speaking. He sat on the edge of his chair, fully focused, not taking his eyes off of the speaker, smiling and nodding his head the entire time. The thing is, I knew that Rav Moshe barely understood a word of English! “Thus, after Shabbos, when I joined Rav Moshe in the car to return to his home, I asked him, ‘Did the Rosh Yeshiva understand the dvar Torah?’ He responded, ‘Only two words.’ When I asked why he had gazed so intently at the person, appearing completely focused on what the man was saying, Rav Moshe answered, ‘Chazal tell us that ‘derech eretz kodmah l’Torah – derech eretz comes before Torah.’ If a person is speaking publically, and I don’t look at him and show him that I am listening, how will I be able to pasken and say shiurim?! If I don’t have derech eretz how will I merit to learn Torah, to pasken and deliver shiurim?!’” “That,” exclaimed Rav Cohen, “is mussar! Rav Moshe was telling us that without mussar, how can we be successful in Torah?! That is why it is appropriate that the mossad hakodesh, Dirshu, has added its new Kinyan Chochma mussar program to its existing programs where so many are tested on what they learn. Ashrei Dirshu, fortunate is Dirshu that they have established such an important program!” A Journey Through the Mussar Sefarim This past Sunday tens of thousands of participants in Dirshu’s learning programs embarked on a new journey as they embraced Dirshu’s newest program, entitled “Kinyan Chochma.” Kinyan Chochma is a mussar program wherein a short piece of one of the mussar classics will be learned

daily. The program has been instituted to encourage daily learning of mussar among all members of Klal Yisrael. The gedolei yisrael from both Eretz Yisrael and chutz la’aretz have enthusiastically called on yidden the world over to join the program and incorporate the daily learning of mussar into their lives together with their other learning sedarim. Lomdei Dirshu participating in the Kinyan Torah program and Daf HaYomi B’Halacha programs will be

Moshe Wolfson, Shlita In America, two of the great mashgichim of our generation, HaGaon HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, Mashgiach Ruchani of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood and HaGaon HaRav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Rav of Kehal Emunas Yisrael of Boro Park, wrote enthusiastic approbations to the program which were published at the front of the new “Kuntres Kinyan Chochma.”

Dirshu - HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok HaCohen Kook speaking at the Dirshu testing site in Rechovot.jpg

able to take a monthly test on the mussar learned and receive a stipend for excellent results. The Guidance of HaGaonim HaRav Gershon Edlestein and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita Dirshu embarked on the program with the enthusiastic support of the senior gedolei yisrael from both Eretz Yisrael and America. Last week, HaGaon HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky, shlita, Menahel Ruchani of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, visited the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva, as well as the home of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, who praised the ideal of mussar learning as an important component in the Torah learning of every individual. Rav Mishkovsky added that the imperative to learn took on added urgency as a vehicle to arouse rachmei shomayim on behalf of the Gadol Hador, HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Ben Gittel Feiga Shteinman shlita. At the most recent Dirshu test, numerous gedolim and rabbonim addressed the lomdei Dirshu in the various testing sites throughout Eretz Yisrael, Europe, North America, and South America, encouraging all to undertake that few minutes a day of limud hamussar that, they explained, can have a transformative spiritual impact on one’s entire day. The Haskamos of the Mashgichim, HaRav Matisyahu Solomon, and HaRav

Avrohom Halberstam, son of the Sanzer Rebbe, spoke in Netanya. . In Monsey, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Weisberger, shlita, Mashgiach in Yeshivas Ohel Torah and Bais Mikrah addressed the lomdei Dirshu. At Kollel Kesser Torah in Montreal, the Dirshu testing site HaGaon HaRav Yoel Chonon Wenger, shlita, Rav of Kehal Eitz Chaim addressed the test takers. HaGaon HaRav Efroim Greenbaum, shlita, a Dayan in Shikun Skver, spoke at

Dirshu - HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky at the home of Harav Chaim Kanievsky.jpg

HaGaon HaRav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg, added his signature to Rav Matisyahu’s haskamah encouraging all to undertake the daily learning of mussar. HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Schorr, Shlita: “Selling You Honey!” At the Dirshu testing site in Boro Park, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Schorr, shlita, Rav of Kehal Nezer Gedalyahu of Flatbush, addressed the packed beis medrash. After asking mechilah from the talmidei chachomim for disrupting their concentration, Rav Schorr quipped, “I have been asked to sell honey to you for the word devash is the same gematria as mussar!” The connotation was clear. Mussar makes life sweet. A person who lives a life influenced by mussar has a sweet life. In Eretz Yisrael, luminaries such as the well-known mashgiach, HaGaon HaRav Don Segal, shlita, spoke at the testing site at Yeshivas Mir, Yerushalayim; HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, Av Beis Din Shaarei Horaah and a talmid muvhak of Rav Shmuel Wosner spoke at Beis Medrash Chanichei Yeshivas Chevron in Bnei Brak; Rav Yaakov Mordechai Hager, son of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, spoke at Vizhnitz, Bnei Brak, HaGaon HaRav Yisrael Gans, shlita, Rav of the Mattersdorf neighborhood of Yerushalayim and R”M at Yeshiva Kol Torah, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Kook, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Me’or Hatalmud; and Rav

the testing site in Shikun Skver. “Mussar Is The Pillar that Supports our Learning of Halachah and Shas in Dirshu’s Programs” At the testing site in Modiin Illit, Eretz Yisrael, HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Zicherman, Rav of the Brachfeld neighborhood of Modin Illit, feelingly echoed what was on the minds of so many; the condition of the gadol hador, the senior Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita. Rav Zicherman said, “In these difficult days when each and every one of us is deeply concerned and worried about the welfare of Rav Shteinman; in these days when we are all davening and literally storming the Heavens begging Hashem to send a refuah to Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib ben Gittel Feiga, it is incumbent on us to follow the guidance of the senior gedolim [Rav Gershon Edelstein and Rav Chaim Kanievsky] and add mussar learning to our schedules. Mussar is the pillar that supports our learning of halachah and Shas that we do in Dirshu’s programs. It is our tefillah, our deepest supplication to Hashem that this Kinyan Chochma mussar learning that we are adding, should be the support that will invoke a refuah sheleimah for the venerated Rosh Yeshiva and that he will continue to lead and guide us until the coming of Moshiach!”

31


32

Jewish The WeekHistory In News By Rabbi Pini Dunner Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

Memoirs Of A Forgotten Rabbi The Troubled Life Of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber

Part III Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber (1883-1966) was a Lithuanian-born Torah scholar who spent most of his adult life as the spiritual leader of a small community in the West End of London. He remained there for over 50 years, struggling to maintain his dignity and his principles in a setting that was completely indifferent to the things he found important. His relationship with the lay-leadership of his community, as well as with his fellow employees, was fraught with difficulty and tension, as they were all people devoid of any sensitivity to Jewish ritual law and they tended to run the synagogue as a moneymaking operation, without taking Jewish law or the rabbi into consideration. In the first two article of this series, Rabbi Dunner began to tell the story of Rabbi Ferber’s memoirs, which he began writing as a cathartic literary project following the death of his wife in 1934. The memoirs were not published during Rabbi Ferber’s lifetime, despite the publication of numerous other books he had authored, and despite the great effort he put into compiling the memoirs over many years. After his death, the memoirs manuscript was passed into the possession of his only son, Rabbi Jack Ferber, who did not publish them. The manuscript lay untouched for over 30 years until eventually, after Rabbi Jack Ferber passed away in 1998, and his wife and daughter were forced to sell their house a couple of years later, the manuscript was accidentally sold along with the entire Ferber library, to a Judaica dealer in New York called Yossel Goldman. Goldman tried to sell the manuscript at auction, but it failed to meet the reserve and quickly disappeared back onto a dusty shelf, this time at Goldman’s home in Flatbush, New York. Quite by chance Rabbi Dunner was informed of its existence and of Goldman’s ownership. Desperate to own this precious journal, he worked out a deal with Goldman and the manuscript changed hands again, this time passing into Rabbi Dunner’s possession. Initially Rabbi Dunner had no thoughts of publishing the memoirs; his interest in them was purely curiosity. But once he had read them and it became evident how important Rabbi Ferber’s personal story was, he decided to prepare the memoirs for publication. There were still a few hurdles and considerations, however, and in this article Rabbi Dunner describes the process that has led to the memoirs being published for the very first time. Before sharing the memoirs with you, let me first share with you some concerns and

housekeeping matters that needed careful consideration before the memoirs were published. As I read through the memoirs I noticed numerous repetitions, but rather than becoming an editor who ruthlessly excludes any material that renders the narrative too verbose, I decided to keep editing down to an absolute minimum. Only where a change was needed for a sentence to flow, or on the rare occasions where a word was illegible, I stepped in to make sure the narrative flowed properly. I decided that it was not appropriate to turn this unique composition into a scholarly publication of some ancient manuscript. The memoirs were not written by Rabbi Ferber to be dissected and analysed by a bunch of university trained academics, to then be published so that a handful of other intellectuals could read it and then use a few choice quotes for their obscure articles in academic journals. Absolutely not! Rabbi Ferber wrote the memoirs so that all those who could benefit from reading them would have the chance to do so. And I saw my job as the editor to ensure that I would carry out those wishes properly. But there was one issue that I really grappled with as I prepared the manuscript for publication - whether or not to include the names of Rabbi Ferber’s antagonists. It is clear from the original manuscript that Rabbi Ferber himself was unsure how to proceed on this point. In many cases he included only the first and last letter of a name. In other instances he added a missing name into the text at a later date. Often names that are hidden from the reader in one chapter are explicitly included in the following chapter, sometimes in relation to the same event. Obviously, many of the names of his antagonists will mean nothing to the contemporary reader. They are the names of long forgotten individuals who were in positions of power within Rabbi Ferber’s community, and who abused that power often to the detriment of Jewish law and community life. On other occasions, however, the names he mentions are of distinguished rabbis who to this day are held in high regard. Indeed, it is often in the case of this latter category that Rabbi Ferber purposely writes the full names! It was this fact and a chance piece of luck that helped me decide how to proceed on this point - whether to include names or whether to delete them completely. Some years ago I wrote a letter that was published in the letters page of the Jewish Chronicle, a newspaper in London that caters for a wide spectrum of the Jewish community. I appealed for anyone with relevant information, or photos, or other material that I might find helpful in the publication of the Ferber memoirs, to get in contact with me. The letter resulted in a great response, and I was deluged with excited emails from peo-

ple who remembered Rabbi Ferber or his family. But one of the replies was different from the others. It was from Rabbi Ferber’s great-grandson, who informed me that he was about to publish the memoirs of Rabbi Ferber’s son-in-law, Chaim Lewis, who had recently passed away. I eagerly inquired if Chaim had written anything about Rabbi Ferber in his memoirs, and was informed me that he had, and shortly afterwards I received the

The original headstone over Rabbi Ferber’s grave at the Adath Yisrael Cemetery, in Enfield, North London. The stone was changed by the family several years ago. Rabbi Ferber insisted on being buried at this strictly orthodox cemetery, rather than being buried next to his wife at the cemetery he set up for his community in Streatham, South London

book, which included a whole chapter about Rabbi Ferber. The chapter was fascinating, as was the entire book, and having known Chaim Lewis well, I found that his autobiography truly encapsulated his fascinating character and shed light on his interesting and eventful life. What particularly struck me within the chapter on Rabbi Ferber was in relation to the names inclusion dilemma, as it emerged out of an episode that almost resulted in the publication of the memoirs during his lifetime: The rabbi, gentle and forgiving in most things, was implacable in his opposition to those who sought to ‘modernize’ Judaism. Any brand of Reform was anathema to him. He insisted that Judaism represented God’s way to man and man’s way to God - a rule of the spirit on which the whole order of Jewish existence depends. It was not to be treated as a human artifact for tinkering with. Those who did so had no understanding of its mysteries. He scorned the notion that Judaism must be made relevant to modern times - ‘relevant to the vanities of our day’ - ‘havlei ha’zeman’ -

was how he dismissed it. ‘God stood above time - and his Torah, like the order of nature, was His immutable will revealed to us.’ He held fast to this conviction even to the point of severing relations with scholars for whom otherwise he had a great personal regard. One such scholar was a Professor Finkelstein from America - he pronounced the name ‘Finkelshtein’, Yiddish-fashion. He had first met the Professor at prayer in his synagogue. He was obviously a visitor and the Rabbi, as was his custom, extended a friendly word of welcome to such visitors. Week by week the Professor would attend the service, taking particular pleasure in the Rabbi’s drosha which followed the sabbath afternoon service. Out of these brief encounters there soon ripened a friendship between the two schol-

Chaim Lewis, Rabbi Ferber’s son-in-law. In his own memoirs, published shortly after he died, Chaim Lewis wrote fondly of his wife’s father, and also revealed the abortive attempt to publish Rabbi Ferber’s memoirs while he was alive

ars. From time to time the Rabbi would tell the family at home of a remarkable scholar he had met in ‘shul’. He seemed as much taken by the Professor’s family background as by his Judaic learning. He gloried in genealogies. Mention a family name and the place of origin - it might be some obscure shtetl in the backwoods of the Jewish Pale - and he would have the details of whatever distinction that family can lay claim to. Rabbis and other notabilities however far back in the family line were for him a cause for due pride. He likened the noble Jewish family - the ‘mishpocha’ - to the cedars of Lebanon; they were the proud bearers of the Temple of Judaism. The Professor apparently spent all his summer vacations in London. They were working holidays for him, given over to research at the British Museum Reading Room. I can only presume that he found in the Rabbi of Soho a happy distraction from his labors. He was his sabbath retreat and delight. There were occasions, I learnt later, when on his visits to the Rabbi he brought with him some of his distinguished students. They had only history’s report of the image of a Rabbi in the great Lithuanian tradition - here was its living exemplar.


Jewish The WeekHistory In News

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

When the Rabbi was in hospital recovering from an operation - it was his first experience of hospital life and the devoted work of the nurses who tended him - the Professor would come to visit him, bringing him a basket of fruit and the shared joy of scholarly discourse. For a long time I never troubled to look into the credentials of the Professor. For all I knew he might have been a Professor of Sanskrit. I was glad that the Rabbi had found a kindred spirit in him, one sharing his Orthodox faith and devotion to Judaic learning. Because of his short stays in London I never had the good fortune of meeting him on any one of my regular visits to the Rabbi. I was particularly happy to learn that the Professor who had a publication fund in his gift had volunteered to publish one of the Rabbi’s works. The Rabbi was a prolific writer; his works alone took up a shelf of space in his vast library - mainly commentaries on the Bible and other homiletic and Halachic works.

The mysterious Professor “Finkelshtein” who befriended Rabbi Ferber in the 1950s, and who agreed to pay for the publication of the rabbi’s memoirs, turned out to be Dr. Louis Finkelstein, of the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary. When Rabbi Ferber found out who he was, he returned the advance money and the memoirs were not published

He had just completed his autobiography and it was this manuscript that the Professor had agreed to sponsor. [My underlining. P.D.] It was only then that it dawned on me that the Professor ‘Finkelshtein’, in the Rabbi’s pronunciation of the name, was none other than Professor Louis I. Finkelstein, the distinguished Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He was the author of a number of notable works on the Pharisees. I was familiar with much of his writing and was greatly impressed by it. However his obvious links with the Conservative faction of Reform would distress the Rabbi. Should I now tell him of this and disturb what basically was an innocuous friendship? In the meantime the Professor had sent an advance towards the publication of the Rabbi’s manuscript. Chance now takes a hand. The London Jewish Chronicle of that week had just arrived; it was a festive bumper number. As a rule the Rabbi took little interest in its pages. He got his news of the Jewish world through the Hebrew and Yiddish press. He had only

a basic knowledge of English. This time for no apparent reason he picked up the Jewish Chronicle to scan its headlines. As he flicked through the pages he caught sight of a large portrait picture of the Professor and the article accompanying it. His curiosity was aroused. For all his meager English he guessed the drift of it and discovered for the first time to his profound sorrow that the Professor was one of those who in the Talmudic phrase ‘had learned and strayed from the path’. There and then he went to his desk, drafted a formal letter of thanks enclosing the check he had received. It marked the end of a truly disinterested friendship. There is so much in this short episode that truly describes the greatness of Rabbi Ferber – his unconditional love of every Jew, his ability to connect and communicate with those so distant from his own perspective, and his absolute integrity when it came to his principles. How he had toiled on his memoirs. How happy he must have been when his American friend agreed to finance their publication. And how disappointed he must have been when he had felt compelled to return the money to his benefactor. But return it he did and, as we know, he never got to publish his memoirs in his lifetime. But the fact that he wished to publish his memoirs during his lifetime, and in particular during the time that he was friendly with Professor Finkelstein, which must have been in the mid-to-late 1950s, is particularly revealing with regard to the names he had obscured in the text of the narrative written until that time. The names that were left out were all of his employers and colleagues at the synagogue of which he was the rabbi – the names of the president, the board, the cantor, the secretary – all of whom might have caused terrible problems for him and endangered his livelihood had they been explicitly named in uncomplimentary ways in the memoirs – and nothing written about them was complimentary! So Rabbi Ferber decided that although it was important to publish in full detail the stories of the terrible behaviour of the employees and their supporters at his synagogue, and even if there was no transgression of the Jewish laws of slander in naming them, his livelihood was certainly more important than mentioning their names. The first and last letter of their names would be enough and would not get him into trouble. The names of those unconnected with his livelihood, however, even if they were important people, considered by others to be from the most prominent rabbis and communal activists of the time, were not to be spared – they could be named and shamed, and this is why he left their names in, clearly and explicitly. So it was clear to me what I should do. Rabbi Ferber deliberately included the names of those who he criticized, unless the mention of their names would affect his livelihood. As none of the people he mentioned in this context could affect his livelihood anymore, it being fifty years since he died, and as Rabbi Ferber clearly felt there was some positive benefit in mentioning the names of his antagonists, not only was there no longer any reason to leave any names out, I believed it was my obligation to include each and every name. So this is exactly what I have done. No

one can be offended if the names of long forgotten desecrators of Jewish law, enemies of Torah and its obligations who tried to undermine Rabbi Ferber every step of his career, are included in his published memoirs. But there might be those who are critical when they read long forgotten negative facts and stories about rabbis and strictly observant Jews who in some way crossed swords with Rabbi Ferber, and whose names he felt ought to be mentioned with reference to whatever the matter was. But I have nevertheless chosen to remain faithful to Rabbi Ferber himself, who clearly meant for the names of all his antagonists to be published for all to see - and as I have relied on Rabbi Ferber’s own wishes, on his Torah wisdom, I am sure that even those critical of this decision will hold their peace. There is one more thing that I wish to mention. It relates to the omission of some names and stories, omissions so remarkable and startling, that I am not sure myself how to interpret them. I will leave it as a riddle for you to puzzle over and try to understand. There are quite a few episodes of consequence that Rabbi Ferber simply leaves out of his narrative. These were matters of importance which must have been known to him, and about which he must have had some opinion. The one that is most obvious to me, as I am writing a separate book about its protagonist and his life, is the infamous episode of the London based Rabbi Joseph Shapotshnick and his spurious dispensation for Agunot, also known as ‘chained wives’, to remarry, endorsed by what turned out later to be the forged signatures of several prominent European rabbis. Six hundred of Shapotshnick’s rabbinic colleagues from around the world, including the leading rabbi of Lithuanian Jewry, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzenski, and the leading Polish Hasidic leader of the era, the Rebbe of Gur, Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai Alter, signed a public declaration against Rabbi Shapotshnick in 1928. A number of English rabbis were amongst the signatories on the anti-Shapotshnick declaration. But not Rabbi Ferber. Nor does he mention the whole episode in his memoirs, despite the fact that it rocked the rabbinic world at the time. It is hard to know why – I simply mention it as an example of a noteworthy omission. But this, and any other omission pale into insignificance in relation to an omission that occurs in the very first few pages of the memoirs. In these pages Rabbi Ferber describes in great detail, and with great enthusiasm, the town of Slabodka in which he grew up. He talks about the history of the Jewish community in Slabodka, and of course Kovno – the neighbouring larger town. He recalls great events. He details the positive and negative attributes of the various rabbis who lived in Slabodka. It seems that he leaves nothing out, until you realize that he has left out the one person who the world – to this day – most identifies with Slabodka – the man known as the “Alter of Slabodka”, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the founder and spiritual mentor of the Knesset Yisrael Yeshiva, which moved to Hebron in 1924, where its students were massacred by Arabs in 1929. Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel lived in Slabodka before Rabbi Ferber was born and left Slabodka long after Rabbi Ferber had

moved to England. The whole of Slabodka was made up of a few insignificant streets – it was a tiny little town. Rabbi Ferber even mentions the Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbi Finkel’s yeshiva, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein, and in the same connection he mentions Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer. But Rabbi Finkel’s name is not mentioned once. As Rabbi Ferber himself makes clear, he studied at the rival Knesset Beit Yitzchak yeshiva in Slabodka, so he obviously belonged to the ‘anti-mussar’ faction in the famous dispute he describes that led to the fateful split in Slabodka yeshiva. His reverence for Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, the rabbi of Kovno, who was universally recognized in his day as the world’s leading rabbi and after whom the yeshiva was named, as well as for Rabbi Spektor’s son and successor, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Rabinovitch, is evident from the narrative. But this, and his allegiance to Knesset Beit Yitchok, does not explain the omission of Rabbi Finkel’s name. Furthermore, it is obvious that Rabbi Ferber was not in principle ‘anti mussar’. He describes how Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer, a devoted disciple of the founder of the mussar movement Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, made a strong impression on him, and elsewhere he mentions how he used mussar in his own homilies and public addresses to exhort and influence his audience. Moreover, he was married to Rabbi Salanter’s great-niece, as he mentions with great pride on a number of occasions. So can we draw the conclusion that the ‘anti mussar’ faction in the Slabodka yeshiva in fact an ‘anti Rabbi Finkel’ faction? Is it possible that this controversy was primarily due to personality clashes rather than a clash of principles? And whatever the answer to these questions, did Rabbi Ferber decide not to mention Rabbi Finkel because he did not want to mention anything bad about someone widely considered – at least by the time the memoirs were written – as a great and revered leader, even if this was not Rabbi Ferber’s own view? Or did he not mention Rabbi Finkel because he felt that saying nothing about his role in the dispute would be dishonest, and that as nothing negative could be written about him, even if it was true, it would be best not to mention him at all? Or was there some other reason why Rabbi Ferber did not mention him? Whatever the reason, the omission of Rabbi Finkel from the memoirs is a puzzle worth considering and I leave it to you, dear reader, to draw your own conclusions. With these words I can wrap up my introduction and begin to share Rabbi Ferber in his own words. The actual memoirs were written in Hebrew and will be published in full with copious footnotes when the editing process - currently in full swing with the help of an international team of scholars - is complete. The translation offered here in the columns of this newspaper will be extracted and somewhat abbreviated, arranged in such a way as to give you a taste of Rabbi Ferber’s troubled and eventful life. NEXT TIME: IN RABBI FERBER’S OWN WORDS – “MEMORIES OF MY YOUTH IN SLABODKA, AND THE HISTORY OF THIS UNIQUE JEWISH COMMUNITY”

33


34

The Week In News

AT&T

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

8:15 AM

85%

AT&T

8:15 AM

85%

SEARCH

BEST DEALS

Infinity QX50 base 12,000 INT

2017 MI YR

36

85%

8:15 AM

AT&T

Infinity QX50 base, 2017 EXT

INT

MNTH

Infinity QX50 base

$ 303 add to showroom

enter Make and Model

INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 311

or check out our best deals

ID: JK603490

add to showroom INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 309

5 seats (bench)

4 doors

18"/8" wheels

GPS

6 CY L

24H /17C mileage

AW D

moon roof INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 315 add to showroom INT

Infinity QX50 base

$ 318

$ 309

navigation

automatic trans

12,000

MI YR

36

MNTH

I N C LU D I N G TA X E S

$1,312 due at signing

lease extras

LEASE

add to showroom

Lease your new car in three swipes, with free delivery, at the lowest price guaranteed!

Download our app, join Honcker, and enjoy your car-leasing.

honcker.com


FEBRUARY 23, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

35


Profile for Jewish Home LA

Jewish Home LA - 2-23-17  

Jewish Home LA - 2-23-17

Jewish Home LA - 2-23-17  

Jewish Home LA - 2-23-17