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The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home


MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

The Educational Revolution We All Felt in the Summer of 2014 is Coming to LA! The way Yeshivat Makor Chaim handled the tragic kidnapping and murder of their students brought about an unparalleled feeling of Jewish unity throughout the world. In Israel, Makor Chaim has long been widely recognized as one of the nation’s foremost, cutting-edge innovative educational powerhouses. Founded by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, referred to by Time Magazine as a “Once in a Millenium Scholar”, Makor Chaim has been headed for 32 years by Rav Dov Singer whom Maariv newspaper termed as “One of the 100 Most Inspiring Israelis”. With a unique combination of modern psychology stressing emotional intelligence, together with traditional Jewish and Chassidic sources, Makor Chaim has succeeded in confronting the great challenges of our time: alienation from G-d, nation and family, loss of religious feeling, substance abuse and more. Rabbi Dov Singer, who also heads Makor Chaim’s Teacher Training Program “Lifnei V’Lifnim” operated in conjunction with Herzog College, is coming to Los Angeles for a special Sunday morning workshop for educators, for parents and the general public.

Makor Chaim Presents: Reach & Teach with Your Heart!   

Holistic Education – Treating the Class or the School as an Organism The Key to Success – Students Improve Teachers! Working with the “Third Partner” – Hashem in the Classroom

Sunday morning March 26, 2016, 9 AM –12 Noon at:

Yeshiva of Los Angeles Girls High School

1619 S. Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035 Registration & Information: Rabbi Abraham Lieberman alieberman@yula.org TEL: 310.203.0755 EXT. 302 For more information on Makor Chaim’s new campus being built on the historic “Derech Ha’Avot” Contact: Yossi Baumol 718-734-6524 yossi.makor@gmail.com www.makorchaim.org

Join us at Beth Jacob Shabbat afternoon March 25 at 6:50 PM for Seuda Shleesheet!

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

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

JEWISH THOUGHT The Face of Purim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Enjoying the Moment With Our Kids: The Practical Piece. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Dr. T - Purim Woes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

FEATURE From Refugee to Rescuer: A Conversation with Zoreh Mizrahi. . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

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

LIFESTYLES Memoirs Of A Forgotten Rabbi

The Troubled Life Of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Meir Kay Spreads His Unique Brand of Happiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Book Review - For My Child. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

NEWS

Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

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

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,

Are we naturally happy or sad? Are we believers or doubters? Sweet or rotten? At first glance it seems that as soon as we dig deeper into a person’s character we find contradictions: The smile and outgoing personality is covering a deep sadness. The minyan-goer isn’t comfortable with the fundamentals of our faith. What we thought was altruism had an ulterior goal. It’s said Freud dug deep into a person’s psyche and found his selfish nature. The Torah looks deeper and finds the innermost drive called the soul. Freud described man’s search for pleasure, Frankl man’s search for meaning, however the Torah teaches it’s about man’s search for truth. If we find truth, it will be followed by everything else. If our sarcasm, sadness, or selfishness was all we were about, the world would be in a sorry state indeed. Perhaps, though real parts of our nature, they are drives, sort of like tools through which we operate. Our goal should be to ultimately control these emotions and use them in our search for truth. The wisest of all men said there’s a time to love, a time to hate. A time for war, a time for peace. Sadness can be used when focusing on the suffering of others, sarcasm and doubt can be used for fake news, and when honed correctly selfishness can be used as a drive for truth. (“I want the truth and nothing but the truth.”) Just as the details of the Purim story are different once seen with a deeper lens, so too are the many levels of our personalities different once seen through the correct lens. Our yearning for truth and holiness are evident even in times of moral failing. It just takes the Purim mindset to see it. I may dress up like this or that, but inside it’s me. This mindset is very much connected to the time of the ultimate redemption; all that we see now will be revealed as gears in a very large machine run by the Creator. May He take the mask off speedily in our days. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a freilichan Purim!!

Shalom

T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM


The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

‫בס״ד‬

Make a Bring

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difference this Purim. to 711 widows and 4,172 orphans with your Matanos L’evyonim.

!‫מתנות לאביונים בו ביום‬ Puts food on widows’ tables. Fills orphans’ hearts with joy. Fulfills your Matanos L’evyonim obligation in a special way!

A minyan of yerei shamayim will pray for you on Purim at the Kever of Mordechai V’Esther.

Be mezakeh your entire family.

Skulener Rebbe, shlita, giving matanos l’evyonim to Mesamche Lev, Purim 5776

)‫(רבמ״ם הל׳ דעות פרק פ״ו‬

‫קבר מרדכי ואסתר‬ Hamadan, Iran

per name

‫חייב אדם להיזהר ביתומים ואלמנות‬

‫בהמלצת גדולי ומאורי הדור שליט"א‬ ‫תפילות על קבר מרדכי הצדיק ואסתר‬ ‫המלכה בעצם יום הפורים‬

‫מתנות לאביונים ביום הפורים‬ ‫אלמנות ויתומים‬ ‫עניי אר"י ועניי עירך‬

Donate today and your Matonos L'Evyonim will be distributed on Purim- Bo B'Yom.

Call

24 hrs:

718.506.1400

FAX: 718.838.3310 MAIL: 1364 53rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219 ONLINE: www.mesamchelev.org

All Contributions are tax deductible

per family


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TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

International Torah Campaign highlights Rabbi Gordon’s 1st Yahrtzeit Shabbos Chof-Tes Teves marked the first yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehoshua Binyomin Gordon, ob”m. Hundreds turned out in person and thousands more tuned in online live via Chabad.org and Collive.com to participate in a special commemoration event. The event rounded off an inspirational weekend which included the participation of Rabbi Gordon’s family, siblings from across the world, shluchim of the Valley and beyond, and the Los Angeles community at large. The weekend of events was culminated with the launch of a historic International

Sefer Torah Campaign (www.rabbigordon. com) in support of the Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon Living Legacy Fund, which was established to perpetuate and grow his remarkable legacy. The evening, organized by Rabbi Gordon’s son-in-law Jonathan Herzog, together with Chabad of the Valley’s Rabbi Yochonon Baitelman and Rabbi Mayer Greene, was not only a most befitting tribute but also a call to action to continue advancing the lifelong work of this legendary sheliach. After opening remarks from West Coast Director

of Chabad Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin and tehillim recited by Chabad of Encino’s Rabbi Ari Herzog, Chabad of the Valley’s Associate Director Rabbi Mordechai Einbinder, who chaired the proceedings, spoke about the importance of the Sefer Torah Campaign and its significance to his longtime colleague Rabbi Gordon. Rabbi Einbinder then made a historic announcement that Chabad of the Valley would be opening its 27th Chabad House in the Lake Balboa district of the Valley. New shluchim, Rabbi Eli and Mushkie Gurary were wel-

Rabbi Eli and Mushkie Gurary, newly announced Chabad Shluchim to the Valley

Starting the Sefer Torah

comed on stage to a standing ovation in the filled banquet hall. The excitement was clearly evident as Rabbi Einbinder conveyed that “the sheliach oiseh sheliach” theme was being implemented by Rabbi Gordon, z”l, from the heavens above. A highlight of the evening was a truly remarkable video biography, taking the audience on a journey through Rabbi Gordon’s extraordinary life and accomplishments. Chabad of the Conejo’s Rabbi Moshe Bryski delivered a captivating keynote address, reflecting on Rabbi Gordon’s unique character and remarkable spirit and the incredible guidance and support he and his fellow colleagues received over the years from Rabbi Gordon in their shlichus. Rabbi Gordon’s youngest son, Eli Gordon, completed the evening by announcing the official launch of the International Sefer Torah Campaign, he played a video clip of his father’s Chumash lesson of that day, where by divine providence Rabbi Gordon had actually described in detail how supporters of Torah are eternally connected to the Torah. He then went on to detail the significance of the two Toros being written in memory of his father and thanked Gary and Rochelle Finder, senior partners in his father’s shlichus and dedicators of the Living Legacy Torah, which will be housed in perpetuity with Rabbi Gordon’s community at Chabad of Encino. Next, he thanked Daniel and Vardit Aharonoff, dedicators of the Wellsprings of Knowledge Torah, explaining that this Torah scroll would travel throughout the year between Chabad Houses in the Valley, returning back to Chabad of Encino for the High Holidays. Rabbi Moshe Klein, the official sofer of the project and a dear friend of the Gordon family then commenced the writing of letters in the new Torah scrolls. By participating in the writing of a new Torah in his honor, congregants, students and friends of this legendary sheliach will have the opportunity to celebrate his life, honor his achievements, and partner in his legacy in the most fitting, enduring, and meaningful way. For further details of the Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon - International Sefer Torah Campaign, please visit www.rabbigordon.com.


TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Emek Early Childhood’s Evening of Art is a Smashing Success Sara Rosenthal grams containing a floor plan as well as brief descriptions of the exhibits. Placed artfully around the perimeter of the space, large easels displayed pictures and condensed biographies of each artist. The final touch was the live piano music, played by Morah Rachel Seidel, completing the ambience. When entering the school, one was made to feel like they were being

On Tuesday night, Emek’s Early Childhood Center opened its doors for a gala evening of culture and elegance. Under the leadership of Director Bernice Zachariash, the school was transformed from a whimsical place of play and learning into an art museum of impressive quality and scale. The transformation began weeks in advance when each teacher was assigned an artist. Then each began the process of educating their children, from Gesher through Kindergarten, about the artist’s methods and techniques, as well as about the artist himself. After the theory and concept were given over, the children set to work on creating their own interpretations of the pieces of their assigned artists. Our Kindergarteners, under the guidance of Morot Cookie, Rivka, and Debbie, slowly transformed their classrooms into exhibits depicting the works of Wassily Kandinsky, Vincent Van Gogh, and pottery-maker Abe Anjin. Morot Miriam, Michal, and Sorah aided their Nursery students in creating their own exhibits featuring the works of Frank Auerbach, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall; while Morot Roya, Nava, and Madlin led their Gesher and Pre-Nursery children in the creation of Richard Serra and Jackson Pollock-themed exhibitions. Day after day, the children worked with enthusiasm to perfect and improve each and every aspect of their creations until the big night finally arrived. Following dismissal, faculty members Helen Cohen and Sara Rosenthal began turning the school’s atrium into a banquet hall. Flower-bedecked tables set with sparkling cider on ice and elegantly arranged champagne glasses were flanked by blackdraped cocktail tables offering a variety of cheese, crackers, and freshly cut fruit. The entryway offered elegantly made pro-

transported from the small preschool on Chandler Boulevard to the MET Gala in New York City. From the central banquet area, parents and grandparents, accompanied by the ECC’s proud students, were welcomed to visit each exhibit where they were stunned by what they beheld. Concentric circles, Bizen pottery, stained-glass windows, and more all replaced the usual carpets, toys, and charts that are typical in any preschool classroom. Gasps of “how professional,” “what creativity,” and “I can’t believe the

kids really did this!” were heard over and over throughout the night as the guests surveyed each child-made masterpiece with awe and admiration. As the evening came to an end, a comfortable atmosphere of joy and pleasure settled on the crowd. It was a vibe that can usually be found, not in a school, but amongst a family or community that has worked together to create something truly beautiful. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to seeing what the Emek ECC staff will come up with next.

Help provide a home, love, and education to thousands of poor, orphaned, and at-risk children across Israel. Lift them from the deepest of despair to a bright, dignified and productive future. Visit migdalohrusa.org.

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Lighting the way.

2/17/17 3:17 PM

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The Week In News

Happenings

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Turning Point: The Night of Purim

Communicated

Because “v’nahapoch hu” includes your personal salvation, too! You see its imminent arrival with the frenzy of shoppers in the nosh aisles and basket departments. You hear its approach with the joyful tunes that play in the background. And you feel its appearance with the joyful thumping in your heart. Purim is… Purim. The long-anticipated day that showers forth joy and blessing for the entire year. At the Kollel Chatzos headquarters, we too are swept into the joyous Purim preparations in signature Kollel Chatzos-style. We are inundated with hundreds of callers from cities across the globe, requesting a share in the Torah learned by the esteemed kollel on Purim night. Many of these callers ask that the talmidei chachamim daven on their behalf and evoke rachmei shamayim in the auspicious Purim night hours. As the callers share their heartbreaking plights and heartfelt yearnings for salvation, we feel their pain… and share their hope. After all, the night of Purim is a particularly ripe time for salvation. The Chasam Sofer assures individuals who learn between the two megillah readings that they will merit a year of life, tranquility, and nachas – and a guarantee for olam haba. The Me’or v’Shemesh explains that because the entire Purim miracle began

exerted himself to upkeep his nightly practice of awakening at chatzos to learn Torah. He was informed from shamayim that his learning coincided with a cataclysmic moment of history, a moment that no one else was learning Torah, but he. It was his midnight Torah learning that upheld the world. As a result, he was rewarded with a child who lit up the world; the great Avnei Nezer, zt”l, whose Torah and tzidkus continue to illuminate klal yisrael. All because of limud haTorah on leil Purim. This year, we know that the broken-hearted yidden who call upon Kollel Chatzos to be their emissaries and poel a yeshua are especially fortunate. Talmidei chachamim will learn on their behalf in Chatzos Kollelim throughout the world. Particularly remarkable, the talmidei chachamim of the distinguished Meron Kollel will learn and daven on their behalf on both Purim nights – 14 and 15 Adar. On 15 Adar, the kollel will be joined by talmidei chachamim of Yerushalayim shel Maaleh, who are in the midst of their Purim celebrations, and come to mark the day by learning in the courtyard of the heilige tana, Rabi Shimon bar Yochai. In addition, on Shushan Purim, Kollel Chatzos delegates will also daven on their behalf at the kever of Mordechai and Esther in the city B’reim. As the emissaries who

with Achashveirosh’s slumber-less night – “b’layla hahu nadeda shnas hamelech,” Purim night is a special eis ratzon for yidden throughout the generations. And indeed, from the days of Mordechai and Esther until this present day, countless Yidden have merited dramatic yeshuos in the merit of dedicating Purim night to limud haTorah. The story of the famed gaon, Rav Volf Nachum Borenstein, zt”l, mechaber of Agudas Eizov, is well-known. One fateful Purim, the gaon

brought forth the miracle for klal yisrael in the past, it is certain that Mordechai and Esther will evoke rachmei shamayim on behalf of all petitioners today as well. To partner with Kollel Chatzos and share in the merit of Torah learning on Purim night or to hear more about the tremendous segulah of twelve hours of consecutive Torah learning between megillah leinings, call Kollel Chatzos headquarters: 718-887-9114.


MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center Celebrates Its 57th Annual Trustee Dinner Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center’s 57th Annual Trustee Dinner, which took place on February 22nd, was held at the beautiful Bella Blanca Banquet Hall conveniently located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The decor dazzled with accents of

gold and silver. Mrs. Karen Amitay Taieg, Emek alum and owner of TGIF Flowers, arranged the spectacular centerpieces featured at the banquet. Mr. Nir Wenblut provided scrumptious delicacies with an impeccable presentation. A roaming violinist was on hand, spreading charming

melodies throughout the evening, and Mr. Brad Schachter of Nefesh Music sang and entertained the guests. Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Roy Mansano, First Vice President of Emek, introduced David Bachar, a third grade student. Bachar played “Hatikvah” on the violin, Ben R'bibo, Gil Suman, Lyle Weisman, Martin Suman and Daniel Aharonoff

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and then Brad Schachter led the national anthem from his keyboard. Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, Emek’s Head of School, gave a beautiful and insightful dvar Torah, stressing the importance of each community having a Jewish day school so that every child within that community is afforded the opportunity to receive a Jewish education. With that in mind, Mr. Gary Finder, Emek’s treasurer, updated the trustees on Emek’s progress with regards to its endowment campaign. Two years ago, Emek joined Generations LA, under the auspices of PEJE and the BJE, to create a significant endowment to be used for tuition affordability and programmatic excellence. Emek undertook this critical project as a community to ensure the perpetuity of the school. Since it has joined the program, Emek has raised close to $1.8 million in cash and legacy gifts. Rabbi Shifman, together with Emek’s board, has spearheaded this undertaking and encouraged everyone to partner with him in this important initiative. The evening was dedicated to the Emek PTA Presidents of the past and present. Mr. Abraham Raphael created a heartwarming video encapsulating all the extraordinary accomplishments that the PTA has achieved over the past five decades. The nostalgic video featured personal interviews and accounts of PTA Presidents, teachers, administrators, staff, and friends, offering the viewers a small glimpse into the PTA’s involvement and triumphs throughout the years. Mrs. Vardit Aharonoff and Mrs. Amy Leibowitz, Emek’s current PTA co-presidents, thanked the Emek board and administration for the tribute and encouraged new families to join the Emek PTA in its mission to support and assist the school, cont. on page 12


The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Matanos L'evyoniM h Kupat ha'ir g u o r h t

‫קו‬ ‫העפת‬ ‫יר‬

Harav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a: "I have the custom to give matanos le'evyonim to Kupat Ha'ir immediately after krias hamegillah

and that is what I do every year."

1

Kever oF MorDeCHai & eSTHer Messengers of Kupat Ha'ir will mention each name and personal request at the Kever of Mordechai & esther .

2

3

26 GaTeS oF Heaven

For a SpeCiFiC YeSHuaH

at each of the 26 places messengers of Kupat Ha'ir will mention each name and personal request.

Zivug – Kever of the Chazon ish; Children - Kever rochel; refua – Kever of the Maharal Diskin; The whole sefer Tehillim will be completed at each place, after which each name and personal request will be mentioned.

To SubMiT naMeS Call now:

1-888-KupaTHair 5

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2

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Donations can be sent to: American Friends of Kupat Hair - 4415 14th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219

Donate online: www.kupat.org

‫קו‬ ‫העפת‬ ‫יר‬

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TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Sandra R'bibo, Ben R'bibo and Oz Mizrahi

students, and staff. On behalf of the PTA they donated $35,000 towards Emek’s annual campaign, earmarked for the upgrading of the school’s outside basketball courts. Each PTA President was presented with a stunning framed challah cover created by Yael Harris Resnick, Emek alum and daughter of Hedy Harris, one of the school’s honorees. Emek’s past president, Mr. Ira Leibowitz, introduced the concept of “We’re All In,” Emek’s theme for its first Annual Campaign. “We’re All In” means that parents, grandparents, teachers, staff, alum-

Amy Leibowitz, Vardit Aharonoff and Rabbi Mordechai Shifman

ni, lay leaders, and community members must all pull together to make up the $1,300,000 gap between tuition income and the school’s operating expenses. One of the indicators of a healthy school is the percentage of parents and staff who contribute towards the Annual Campaign. Whether it’s contributing to the Trustee Dinner, Golf Tournament, or Steak and Scotch Event, or participating in our Yahrtzeit Campaign, any financial contribution to the school above and beyond tuition is deemed a contribution to-

wards the Annual Campaign. Rally, Mutually, Loyally, Communally, and Annually – Emek thanked all the families who have already contributed to the campaign and looked forward to having 100% participation from all Emek constituents. Additionally, School President, Mr. Ben R’bibo, beamed with pride about the gorgeous renovations of the outside campus that are underway at Emek. This include the brand new lawn and fruit trees that were planted, encompassing the entire perimeter of our parking lot. Ira Leibowitz

later ran an auction-style bidding for the tree dedications from which, the school was pleased to announce, over $27,000 was raised. Towards the conclusion of the program, Congressman Brad Sherman spoke and presented Mr. and Mrs. Sol and Ruth Teichman, Emek’s patriarch and matriarch, with a special American flag that has flown atop the White House along with a certificate of authenticity. Mr. Sherman thanked the Teichmans and community members such as them for helping to build and maintain wonderful institutions like Emek. The evening concluded with a scrumptious dessert reception. To everyone’s delight, cupcakes, donuts, éclairs, puddings, tarts, and fresh fruit and berries lined the dessert tables. Guests were also treated to a unique scotch and cigar presentation on the outdoor patio after maariv. Emek thanks all their Trustees whose presence and involvement made the evening so magical.

Growing List Of Widows To Receive Matanos L’evyonim From Mesamche Lev Frimet Blum

Over 80 widows have been added to Mesamche Lev’s list of matanos l’evyonim recipients this year, bringing the total number to 711. The twelve-percent increase reflects the tremendous number of families in Israel and the U.S. who are dealing with the loss of a spouse and parent. The numbers can never convey the pain behind each loss – and the power of matanos l’evyonim to bring a bit of joy to shattered homes and hearts. The widows will have to lead the Purim seudos, take their children to hear the megillah, and create a joyous atmosphere; despite the grief and darkness in their hearts. When they can’t afford to celebrate properly, the pain is exacerbated. Mesamche Lev’s generous matanos l’evyonim will ease their plight and bring them joy. Mesamche Lev will also send many of the families beautiful mishloach manos. The women will receive platters of meat, fish, and fruit or vegetables, so that they can serve a festive Purim meal to their family and guests. The platters are spon-

Communicated sored by donors who want to add a meaningful mishloach manos to their regular list of relatives and friends. “I send out over 40 mishloach manos on Purim, and to be totally honest, I’m sure lots of it ends up in the trash,” said one Brooklyn housewife. “I want at least one mishloach manos to really count.” The widows are always excited to receive their checks and platters. Goldy T., who lost her husband ten years ago, counts on the check for her Pesach clothing budget. “It’s so important for my children to be well-dressed,” she says. “They’re different enough as orphans. New clothes make them feel ‘regular.’” In recent years, Mesamche Lev expanded its matanos l’evyonim; first to include American widows, and then to assist single mothers. A long-neglected demographic, single mothers share many of the challenges faced by widows. Mesamche Lev’s assistance makes a significant difference in their lives. At a time when many in the communi-

ty spend so much on elaborate mishloach manos, costumes, and the Purim meal, it is wise to consider the words of the Rambam in Hilchos Purim, “There is no greater or more beautiful simchah than to bring joy to the hearts of aniyim, yesomim, and almonos.” Mesamche Lev will give each widow and single mother a large check that will make a significant difference in their lives. The organization is counting on the community to enable this huge undertaking

and bring joy to almonos, yesomim, and single mothers. Donors will fulfill their obligations with hiddur. They will also be part of Mesamche Lev’s special tefillah at Kever Mordechai V’Esther, where a minyan of yerei shamayim will pray for donors who submit kvittelach. It is a rare opportunity to harness the power of Mordechai and Esther, and merit yeshuos. The many rabbanim who endorse Mesamche Lev and witness the organization’s exceptional work firsthand urge the community to join Mesamche Lev in this important effort and bestow their blessings upon all who participate. Donations can be mailed to Mesamche Lev, 1364 53rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219. Contributions can also be made by calling 718-506-1400; or at mesamchelev. org. All contributions received before 4:00 pm on Purim are guaranteed to be distributed on Purim.


TheHappenings Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Press Release: Rabbi of Kidnapped Boys to Teach Workshop on Teaching from the Heart in L.A. Yossi Baumol Rav Dov Singer, Rosh Yeshiva of Makor Chaim, is coming to Los Angeles to run a unique workshop for educators and the general public entitled “Reach and Teach with Your Heart!” The workshop will take place at YULA Girls High School on Sunday morning, March 26th. We all remember the tragic kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Ayal Yifrach in the summer of 2014. Naftali and Gilad were students at Makor Chaim, and the IDF “Shuvu Achim” Operation attempting to find the kidnapped boys was run out of the Yeshiva. Referring to the overpowering feeling of unity that swept the Jewish world during those 18 days, Naftali’s mother Rachel Fraenkel said, “I actually believe a lot of that was inspired by Makor Chaim.” Education Minister Naftali Bennet chose to open the following school year at Makor Chaim. Addressing the students, he said: “Last summer, Makor Chaim became the ‘source of life’ for the Jewish people!” In Israel, Makor Chaim has long been recognized as one of the nation’s foremost, innovative educational powerhouses. Founded by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, referred to by Time Magazine as a “Once in a Millenium Scholar,” Makor Chaim has been headed for 32 years by Rav Dov Singer. In 2013, the Maariv newspaper termed Rav Singer as “One of the 100 Most Inspiring Israelis.” In addition to the Yeshiva, with an enrollment of 320 students from all over Israel, Makor Chaim runs a unique high school student exchange program with Yeshiva University’s Manhattan Talmudic Acade-

my and South Africa’s Yeshiva College, a Teacher’s Training Program called Lifnei V’Lifnim in conjunction with Herzog College, and a Neo-Chassidic Outreach Center called Beit HaMidrash L’Hitchadshut. With a unique combination of modern psychology, stressing emotional intelligence, together with traditional Jewish and

Har Etzion 45 years ago. Makor Chaim was then awarded a plot of land near Neve Daniel and has begun construction on a new campus situated on the ancient, historic “Derech Ha’Avot” – the small stretch of the road which has been uncovered and restored. It boasts a Second Temple period mikvah and the original Roman milestones

Hitchhiker monument

Minister Naftali Bennett at the Yeshiva

Chassidic sources, Makor Chaim has succeeded in confronting the great challenges of our time: alienation from G-d, nation and family, loss of religious feeling, substance abuse, and more. Makor Chaim’s approach involves empowering students and developing their deep religious instincts – not by cutting themselves off from the world but rather by reaching out and embracing G-d’s creations, our fellow human beings. During the search for the three boys, President Ruby Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, many ministers and Knesset members visited Makor Chaim in Kfar Etzion. Many of them took note of the present deteriorated condition of the campus, located in crumbling temporary mobile homes which once housed Yeshivat

on the way to Jerusalem. Rabbi Dov Singer doesn’t come to the U.S. that often, but as a youth he travelled a lot because his father served as the longtime controller of El Al. One time, after handing the flight attendant his ticket at the boarding gate, he was asked to step aside and wait as the other passengers boarded. “What did I do wrong?” he asked himself. After worrying more and more, the attendant handed him another ticket, smiled and said, “You’ve been upgraded!” It was at that young age, Rav Dov formulated what he calls, “The Law of Upgrades.” When something apparently bad or unexpected happens, our instinct is to cry out, “Oy vey!” A person with true faith should instead take a deep breath and say, “Wow! Let’s wait and see just how in the

end this is going to turn out for the better!” This approach was cruelly tested beyond endurance again and again – with the kidnapping and murder of his students in 2014 and again during the wave of violence which struck Gush Etzion at the end of 2015. For example, Rabbi Singer was the one to drive his student Akiva Meir home to Otniel on that terrible night when Akiva’s mother, Daphne Meir, had been stabbed to death by a terrorist. There is a saying, “There are no atheists in a foxhole.” It is at times of deep emotional pain that we grow closer to the Divine. Maybe we can avoid pain and suffering if we learn to serve G-d with our positive emotions – with joy, song, dance and love? Modern psychologists have discovered the importance of “emotional intelligence” or “EQ” as opposed to “IQ.” The Hassidic masters discovered this secret long ago. The Torah tells us that trial and tribulation come “Because you did not serve G-d with a joyous heart.”   This may be the message behind the joyous holiday of Purim. “VeNahafoch Hu!” We can turn around every challenge, every crisis into something great – if we choose to do it with joy and love. Those who would like to meet with Rabbi Singer or receive more information on Makor Chaim, please contact Yossi.makor@gmail.com or 917-929-8525. For registration for the free educational workshop, contact Rabbi Abraham Lieberman at alieberman@yula.org or 310203-0755.

HaRav Zevulun Schwartzman Gives Pre-Purim Shiur At LINK Kollel Exactly one week before Purim, the LINK Kollel was privileged to hear a profound shiur on the nexus of Purim, Amalek, and kabbolas haTorah. The special guest speaker was HaRav Zevulun Schwartzman, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Etz Chayim-Kletzk (Lakewood East) in Yerushalayim. He also spoke at several other mosdos during his visit to Los Angeles. HaRav Schwartzman is a grandson of HaRav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, and the son of the renowned Bais HaTalmud Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Dov Schwartzman, zt”l,. Employing the esoteric insights of the Vilna Gaon, he delineated the parallels between Amalek’s attack on klal yisrael just before kabbolas haTorah in the Sinai Desert and Haman’s attempted genocide of the Jewish people that culminated in our renewal of

kabbolas haTorah on Purim. He posited that klal yisrael’s seemingly astonishing denial of Hashem’s presence when faced with a lack of water in the desert (“ha’yiash Hashem b’kibainu im ayin”) was in fact much more subtle. Based on the Gra, he explained that the question they were asking was whether Hashem would be involved in their lives in an open manner (such as in krias Yam Suf) or in a more hidden, indirect manner (as seemed to be the case when they ran out of water). What kabbolas haTorah accomplishes for them both at Har Sinai and at the time of Purim was the fusing of the abstract knowledge of Hashem’s existence with a more visceral, internalized awareness of His constant and loving Presence. In effect, by accepting the Written Torah

and then elucidating it through the Oral Torah with great diligence, they were insuring that their awareness of Hashem would remain intimate and immediate. This can only be accomplished, averred the Rosh Yeshiva, if a Jew learns Torah Shel B’Al Peh with great fever and toil. That will overcome the “refidim” (“rofu y’daihem nin HaTorah”) that Amalek challenges us with. Amalek classically is viewed by Chazal as engendering doubt within us about the presence of Hashem. The only true antidote to that is by a sincere and profound kabbolas haTorah every Purim that enables us to inter-

nalize the clarity and closeness of Hashem in every aspect of our lives – through learning His Torah in depth and with great diligence. The crowd, consisting of the Kollel’s avreichim and the baal habattim who come to lean at LINK every Sunday morning, was deeply moved by his remarks and many stayed to follow-up with the Rosh Yeshiva for nearly a half hour after the shiur ended.

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Face of Purim

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

Purim is different. When all the Yomim Tovim will cease to be celebrated and only be remembered as part of golus, Purim will live on; a day of joy in a time of ultimate joy. Estranged Jews appreciate the awe of Rosh Hashanah and listen to the cry of the shofar, but they have a hard time with Purim. They wonder how this can be a holiday. And what is the deal with the alcohol, the clowning around, and the lack of decorum? The closer we are to the source of joy, the more joyous we are. If we go to a wedding and don’t know the celebrating families, we aren’t too happy there. The better we know the baalei simcha, the more joyous we are and the more we participate. When someone dances with abandon and obvious joy at a wedding, you can safely assume that he has a close connection to the celebrating families. The more we are able to appreciate the source of the happiness of Purim, the happier we are, and the longer we are able experience that joy. People privileged to live Torah lives, connected with the meaning and flavor of life, experience Purim joy with the onset of Adar. What is it about Purim that generates so much joy and elation? Even today, when so many hearts are numb and emotion comes hard, we can still sense the simcha. There is a mitzvah to be happy on Yomim Tovim. On Purim, it is so much easier for all to feel it. Because Purim is personal. Like a beacon of light on a dark, stormy night, Purim shines into our world. Everyone struggles. We have days when events threaten to engulf us. We encounter people and situations that we find intolerable. We can feel lost and abandoned. We wonder why there is so much hate in our world and why people seem intent on destroying others. It bothers us and brings on a certain sense of despondency. We pine for proper leadership to fill vacuums and right wrongs. We need so much money to survive; there are so many struggles to

make ends meet. Every penny we earn is swallowed up. So many are sick or suffering in other ways, and eagerly awaiting a yeshuah. How is it that when Purim comes, our worries are set aside and we celebrate as if we are mechutonim? The Baal Shem Tov once traveled through a tiny, forlorn town consisting of a few farmhouses and fields. The locals were suffering from a severe drought. The lack of rainwater threatened the crops and their livelihoods were in jeopardy. If the drought would continue, they would all starve.

“Tayere Yidden, this is what you must know. We have a Creator with unlimited abilities, and He can do whatever He wants. He loves us and wants to shower us with blessings. So come, Yidden. Let us dance.” The Baal Shem Tov led the simple townspeople in joyous dance. The circle of Jews began singing their thanks and praise to the Master of the Universe. When they were done and left the shul to return home, they were greeted by a driving rain that turned the roads and fields into mud. It rained and rained, drenching the hap-

The Baal Shem Tov gave them reason to dance. The knowledge that the Creator loves us and wants the best for us, is like a bolt of lightning that lights up the night.

When the Baal Shem Tov went into the shul, he saw the entire town - men, women and children – gathered there, listening respectfully to the words of a visiting maggid. The preacher was castigating the people for their misdeeds, telling them that their offensive behavior was causing Heaven to withhold the blessing of rain. When the maggid finished, the Baal Shem Tov rose to speak. “What do you want from these people?” he asked the maggid. “They work long, hard hours, toiling under the blazing sun all day. When they have a few minutes of peace, they hurry to the shul to daven and learn a bit. What do you want from them? What type of message are you giving them?” Turning to the crowd of farmers and their families, the Baal Shem Tov said,

py townspeople as they danced their way home. The Baal Shem Tov gave them reason to dance. The Creator loves us and wants the best for us. He can do anything. This knowledge is like a bolt of lightning that lights up the night. Throughout the year, we are confronted by various types of people and the vast spectrum of human behavior, from righteous and noble to incorrigibly evil and the many shades in between. We live in a world where up is down and down is up. We have to resist being bowled over and led astray. No matter what comes over us and the world, we must maintain our equilibrium and faith. Rav Yitzchok Hutner told of two men who were lost overnight in a forest. To sur-

vive in the thick blanket of darkness and terror, one man figured out how to see in the darkness, while the other sharpened his hearing to be able to discern when danger was approaching. Which of the two, asked Rav Hutner, learned a more valuable skill? He said that it is the second man, the one who developed the ability to perceive sounds and identify them, who possessed the more crucial expertise, because in the morning, when the sun comes up and the world is bathed in light, that skill will still be helpful to them in their lost state. When Moshiach comes, the ability to see in darkness will no longer be necessary, as the world will be filled with light. But the ability to hear the knock of Hashgocha and understand that every sound is an announcement of Hashem’s Presence will always be useful. Purim won’t ever go away, as it is the Yom Tov that teaches us to listen and hear the deeper message. When good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people, the Megillah reminds us that appearances are deceptive. The Megillah reminds us all that everything that happens is part of a Divine plan, which we can’t expect to understand until the entire story has unfolded. That message resonates wherever Jews find themselves. As we masquerade about exchanging mishloach manos with friends and distributing Purim gelt, we tap into the holiness and message of the holy day. It is a message that never loses its timeliness. Every year, we gain a new appreciation of what took place during those critical times and its relevance to us today. We also gain a new perspective. We have been so close to the brink, but have always been allowed to climb back up. How can we not rejoice? One year on Purim, surrounded by multitudes of chassidim hanging on to his every word, the Chiddushei Horim began speaking. This is what he said: “When we start reading the Megillah, we might wonder why we are being told stories about some Persian king. Why do we care that he feasted for three years after being crowned? We continue reading and are told stories about a queen who refused to attend a feast and her punishment. Then we read about the procedure of finding a new queen. And we wonder: Why do we need to know this?” The rebbe was quiet, deep in thought. He sat up and answered his questions. “In the time of Moshiach,” he said, “many strange things will happen. Nobody will


This knowledge is like a bolt of lightning that lights up today. We also gain a new perspective. the night. We have been so close to the brink, but have always Throughout the year, we are confronted by various been allowed to climb back up. How can we not rejoice? types of people and the vast spectrum of human behavior, One year on Purim, surrounded by multitudes of MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home with In theNews Times The Week from righteous and noble to incorrigibly evil and the chassidim hanging on to his every word, the Chiddushei Living many shades in between. Horim began speaking. This is what he said: “When we We live in a world where up is down and down is start reading the Megillah, we might wonder why we are up. We have to resist being bowled over and led astray. No matter what comes over us and the world, we must maintain our equilibrium and faith. Rav Yitzchok Hutner understand what is happening. And battle, after which we alone will retold of two men who then, suddenly, they will realize that it main standing. The tears of Purim were lost overnight in was all tied to the geulah.” are special. There are rivers of tea forest. To survive in To say that strange occurrences are shuvah merging with rivers of ahathe thick blanket of taking place in our day is an understateva, simcha and kirvas Hashem all darkness and terror, ment. We are confounded by the daily together. one man figured out happenings, so many of which seem to Before tekias shofar, the Jews of how to see in the make no sense. Soon the day will arrive Salant would marvel at the change darkness, while the other the sharpened hearing to betakes being told stories about some the Persian king. Why do we period inhis which the story place. ality that empowers Jewish people with when everything will become clear. For in the features of their rov, Reb able to discern when danger was approaching. care that he feasted for three years after being crowned? Each time, it appears that there is no way the clarity and awareness to continue on. now, we have Purim. Zundel. As he grasped the shofar, his face Which the for, two,Reb askedshe Ravcan Hutner, learned the a more We continue reading arePurim told stories aboutdaily a queen outmaneuver evil facing her. If we and allow into our Our friend whom we allofpray would radiate such holiness that it became She is galvanized by her hopes rather than avodah, we can become changed people. valuable skill? who refused to attend a feast and her punishment. Then Sholom Mordechai Halevi ben Rivka, is aldifficult to look at him. fears. upon the sage Permit the spirit of Purima new to overtake saidhappy. that itAlthough is the secondher man, theShe one relies who developed wecounread about the procedure of finding queen. And They asked him about it and he sighed. ways happy. He is He really sel ofand her uncle, thethem, Rosh Sanhedrin. ability toplace, perceive identify who we With wonder:you. Why do we need to know this?” he is locked into athe depressing with- sounds “My rebbi, Rav Chaim Volozhiner, looked Mordechai’s support, fear can’t paralyze Wequiet, remember andHe their possessed the more crucial expertise, because in the The rebbe was deep Amaleik in thought. satsin, up and out any outside stimulants to lift his spirthis way every morning as he lifted his teher.up and the world is bathed answered his andquestions. with that, we how great we he morning, when sun comes “In remember the time of Moshiach,” its, he doesn’t see darkness and the despair. fillin from their bag. I only experience it Faced with situations Rav Chaim repeated Nobody what he will in light,animates that skillhim willand still be helpful to them in theirfrom lost which said, we “manyare.strange things Brim will happen. The message of Purim once a year,” he lamented. think there is no way we can extricate heard from Reb Shea Bergman, an elderly they On Purim, look at the faces around state. understand what is happening. And then, suddenly, causes him to smile all year. He is one with hurt, wewill should korei whogeulah.” had lained for you. At least on this day of the year, we Whenthat Moshiach comes, ourselves the abilitywithout to see getting in darkness realize Yerushalmi that it was baal all tied to the Hashem, and he knows his freedom remember Queen Esther and gain strength Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. The baalin our will no longer be necessary, as the world will be filled To say that strange occurrences are taking place is dependent upon the Merciful One. He see the truth. Look at the faces and you’ll from the knowledge that by doing the right korei recalled that every year, Rav Yo-daily with light. Butand the ability spends his time learning Torah being to hear the knock of Hashgocha day is an understatement. We are confounded by the see inner joy. You will see the happiness of thing, she her people of fromhappenings, certain sef called seem to thetoTorah that every sound is ansaved announcement soChaim many was of which makefornothesense. mechazeik people.and He understand is a Purim Yid. belief. The joy of clarity. All year round, destruction. By Purim following maftir Parshas Zachor, and eachwill yearbecome he people have various looks on their faces, Hashem’s will always be useful. won’tMordechai’s Soon the day willofarrive when everything Sholom Mordechai callsPresence me regularLAweJewish Home instructions, she became immortalized in now, drenched the bimah with tears. go away, it is the Tov that teaches us to listen clear. For have Purim. ly, and if there areever people aroundaswhen he Yom but the look you see on Purim is the truest the consciousness of the Jewish people as Rav Yosef Chaim thought and hear the deeper Our friend4.8x6.4 whom we all pray for,about Rebwhat Sholom calls, I put the phone on speaker and message. tell face of all. righteous and and strong put the was - theben many rounds AmaleikHe is good happena to bad people badwoman thingswhoMordechai Halevi Rivka, is between always happy. them to listen. We When carry on ourthings conversafateMegillah of her people ahead personal andAlthough Klal Yisroel also into saw the final happen good reminds us of thather really happy. he -isand locked a depressing tion as if he’s living next to door. He people, laughs the safety and happiness. appearances The Megillah reminds us place, without any outside stimulants to lift his spirits, at a good joke harder than you are ever deceptive. heard The of aShushan message all that everything that is Jews part of Divine taught plan, a he doesn’t see darkness and despair. The message of anyone laugh. Then he asks for a vort onhappens that is passed down through the ages. Theyanimates him and causes him to smile all year. weit.can’t expect to understand until the entire story Purim the parsha and wewhich discuss their hashis unfolded. He is one with Hashem, and he knows that his freedom People who hear vibrant voice, gut- felt doomed. The lot was drawn and fate was sealed. They rose to the challenge. That message resonates tural laugh, and longing for a word of To- wherever Jews find themselves. is dependent upon the Merciful One. He spends his time Thanks to themishloach leadershipmanos of Mordechai and Torah and being mechazeik people. He is a masquerade about learning rah are overcome As withwe emotion. How can it exchanging Esther, Hashem heard their tefillos and friends distributing Purim gelt, we tap into the Purimac-Yid. be? How can thatwith be him? Is it and really him? cepted their teshuvah. A day marked for Mordechai calls me regularly, and if there are holiness and message of the holy day. Sholom Amazing. Unbelievable. sadness and death was transformed into is a message thatdenever loses its timeliness. people aaround when he calls, I put the phone on speaker In that place of Itsadness and forced day of celebration and deliverance fortell all them to listen. We carry on our conversation as pression, he laughsEvery as if year, he is we the gain freesta new appreciation of what took and time. place those critical man alive. And the truthduring is that he is. He is times and its relevance to us if he’s living next door. He laughs at a good joke harder

Be a Purim yid

freer than people enslaved to their habits, urges, appetites and things they think are life’s necessities. Torah, emunah and tefillah empower him. They energize him. Nobody has it as bad as him, locked up as he is with the worst of society. Yet he smiles. He laughs. He wants to hear a vort on the parsha. He is a Purim Yid. He knows that it was divinely ordained for him to be there, so he is happy to be following Hashem’s plan. And when Hashem decides that it is time to come out, he will be “on the outside,” as they say in prison vernacular. We all have stuff going on in our lives that we wish wasn’t there. There are many problems awaiting solutions. Life isn’t always perfect. We can get down. We can find it impossible to laugh and hard to learn Torah. There is an urge to withdraw from other people. Whatever it is that’s bothering us, chances are that he is worse off. There are other Purim Yidden, great people tested time and again, who are “freilach ah gantz yohr.” With indomitable strength, they maintain their belief and live wholesome lives. We need to learn from them. Esther is repeatedly tested throughout

The Rosh Hashanah l’shonim, the first day of Tishrei, is preceded by a month of teshuvah. The first day of Nissan is Rosh Hashanah l’regolim, marking the beginning of the annual cycle of Yomim Tovim. The Sefas Emes suggests that just like the teshuvah in Elul prepares us for Rosh Hashanah, the month prior to the Rosh Hashanah l’regolim, Adar, is a teshuvah period. But there is a marked difference between the two periods of repentance. During Elul, the teshuvah is brought on by fear of the impending judgment. During Adar, it begins as teshuvah m’ahavah, repentance brought on by love, joy and anticipation. On Purim, we are reminded not to be sad or downcast. We all have our problems. Everyone has a pekel. On Purim, we are reminded that just as our ancestors were delivered from despair, so can we be spared of our burdens. The sun will shine again. Good will triumph over evil. It’s Purim. Dance, smile and be happy. Look at the positive. Be optimistic. Purim is not an escape from reality. Purim is reality. Purim is a reminder of the re-

Friends don’t let friends drink irresponsibly on Purim.

/OrthodoxUnion /OrthodoxUnion

Safe Homes. Safe Shuls. Safe Schools.

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Torah Musings The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Enjoying the Moment With Our Kids: The Practical Piece Sarah Pachter

One morning, as I was dropping my kids off at school, I reached over to my son to give him a high-five. “Have a great day,” I said as he quickly tapped my hand. Sometimes, when my kids give me a high-five, I try to catch their hand in mine. If I succeed, I win our silent game. However, if they manage to pull away – they win. On this morning, he tapped my hand goodbye, and before my brain even registered that it was there, his hand was gone. (It was early morning carpool – clearly my reflexes were not fully awake!) I stopped to consider this moment and realized that it was a perfect metaphor for raising children. By the time we wake up and realize we want to enjoy our time with them, it’s too late – they are already grown and out of the house. Even before they leave home, it seems that all too quickly the the stage passes when their eyes light up and they race to the front door when Mom or Dad gets home. Before you have time to blink, they’re “too cool” for a hug.     Considering this, I recall the following quote I once read: First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying for my children to grow up enough to go to school, so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire. And now I am dying…and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.1 We cannot stop the clock, or keep our children from getting older. With the chaos and busyness of each day, we lose sight of our children growing up before our eyes. The days are long, but the years are short. We all know we should value our shortlived time with our children, but moving from “I should do that” to actually doing it is a different story. How, then, can we take advantage of the time we do have with our children? We all know we should spend less time on the phone in front of them, and that we shouldn’t lose our cool too often. We also know that we should take time to appreciate our life with them…but how? The following elements are the practical tools which have helped me to stay most present and enjoy those precious moments with my children: cutting back, mindfulness, and self-care.

Cutting Back

I often found that even though I didn’t

like it, I was racing through my children’s needs just to be able to focus on what else needed to get done. My external job was the bread and butter, and my children were – well, just another task that I needed to get through.   I looked at my daily list of items to accomplish and realized that I had too much on my plate. Most of us do. The problem that surfaces from this way of living is that not only do we end up viewing our children as another “burden,” but they also start to see themselves as a burden – creating an obstacle to their self-confidence. My mother-in-law shared this incredible advice last year: “If you wish to instill confidence into children, then they have to feel that you love being around them.” In order to do that, I needed to revamp my schedule. I took an honest look at all that I was trying to accomplish, and I sliced it down to size. Cutting back to the bare necessities helped me refocus my day so that I wasn’t constantly running around and adding unnecessary stress on my family members.    If it is an impossibility to actually cut back, another option is to delegate the tasks that must get done to others.

Mindfulness

As a kallah teacher, I often find myself in the position of giving advice to my students. One of the best pieces of advice that I like to share for the day of the wedding is to stop, look around, and breathe it in. As the bride is walking down the aisle, right before she begins to approach the chuppah, she should take it all in. The event will fly by, and all she’ll be left with are the memories from an album. The same applies with childrearing. I nursed all of my children for at least one year, and although it was a total of thousands of nursing sessions, all I can remember from nursing my firstborn was meeting up with a friend at a restaurant and needing to excuse myself to nurse in the bathroom. It was hot; I wasn’t comfortable nursing publicly, and it felt torturous. That’s it – I have not other single specific memory of nursing him. I promised myself that I would follow my own advice with my future children to breathe in the precious moments and try to remember at least one serene nursing session. This can be extended beyond just nursing. Try to remember small moments that seem insignificant, and practice mindfulness regularly. I started telling my kids, “Do you know what? I love doing this with you right now.” One evening, I was reading to my daughter and son in bed. My daughter snuggled up to my right, my son on the left, and as I was cuddling with my kids I was telling them how much I loved being there with them. In

that moment of peace, my heart was bursting with inner joy, and I shared that with them. Make sure to tell them regularly, “Having kids is the best thing in the world!” That helps them know that they are not a burden, but an asset to your life. This creates confidence within them.

Self-care

A friend of mine has a child with special needs. She is constantly racing from various doctors’ appointments and therapies to special extracurricular activities for this very active child. In her words, “He sucks the life out of me, to the point that I don’t even enjoy my other, less needy kids.” She mentioned that the hardest part of her day is when all three kids get home from school. Suddenly, she faces the challenge of most mothers – several kids who simultaneously all have homework and bedtime needs. The only difference for her is that to top it off, she also has a child who requires so much more focus. It takes gargantuan strength just to help him buckle down and focus. After months of continuous, daily hard work, she began to feel burnt out. She told me, “The other night, I had an epiphany. It was a typical evening of bathing, homework, and the bedtime rush. I realized right then and there that every night was going to be like this, every single one. For the long haul. It’s not going to get any easier any time soon. I said to myself, ‘wow I’d better pace myself here, because I’m not gonna get through parenthood sane unless I change something.’ I realized that I have to give more to myself throughout the day so I can in turn give wholeheartedly to my children once they are home.” The same idea applies for parents of kids who don’t have special needs. Every child needs a parent who is present. Whether you are working all day or you stay at home, everyone needs time for him or herself. My aunt wisely told me when I became a new mother, “Take time off one day a week for yourself.” At the time, I thought it was a complete impossibility, but the truth is, taking time every week for yourself is a necessity, as it can help refresh your parenting mental state. If we do not care for ourselves, stress increases. Stress causes inflammation in the body, which causes white blood cells to rush towards that inflammation. In essence, the body interprets stress as an infection. The problem becomes worse when white blood cells leave their regular “station” to aid in that inflammation, and it leaves us vulnerable to infection. Hence, the cycle becomes vicious.2 One evening after I had finished putting the kids to bed, the house was clean and everything felt serene (for once). I was enjoying those few moments of quiet, and in walked my husband. He was happy to

be home after a long day, but had a milelong list of work-related tasks he still needed to accomplish. Immediately, my energy changed – I could feel fight-or-flight symptoms gathering strength in my body as my adrenalin surged. That is when I realized that our personal stresses do not just affect us, but also the people around us. How often had I passed this feeling off on my kids? Even if we are not outwardly expressing our hectic lives in an unhealthy way towards our family, they can still pick up on our energy, and it changes theirs. We owe it to them to be aware of this. Not just so we can enjoy parenthood more, but also so that they can reap the benefits of a stress-free morning before facing their own challenges at school. Walk away when things get tense. Go to the bathroom, and stay there for a minute to breathe. If leaving your children physically is not a possibility because of their age and/or safety, even closing your eyes where you are for a few moments and deep breathing can help tremendously. If I give myself a few minutes before the children get home to organize my thoughts and relax, the entire evening runs more smoothly. The way I see it, the only way we will enjoy our children is if we give enough to ourselves so that we aren’t resentful of our role as parents. For each person, that looks different.   I spoke to my friend again a few months later and asked her where her revelation had taken her since we had last discussed it. With a look of acceptance and serenity on her face, she said, “I’ve been taking care of myself, and delegating some menial tasks to others. I noticed that once I started consciously taking better care of myself, I was actually appreciating the time I had with my kids. It just started happening naturally, and I feel better because of it.”   Enjoying our children is a natural outgrowth of positive self-care. When it comes to attending to the epic task of childrearing, we want to put our best foot forward. Cutting back on our to-do lists, purposeful mindfulness around our children, and a concerted effort toward self-care can help us do just that.    With these things in place, when our children give us a high-five, we’ll be quick enough to catch their hands in ours, and hold them briefly before that moment fades into a distant memory.

1 Anonymous quote published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, 4th Edition 2 Taken from The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan; pages 177-180.


MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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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:

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3 Prayer Sessions On The Day Of Segulah Taanis Esther To Open the Gates of Divine Favor for Vaad Harabanim’s donors to fulfill all the wishes of their heart for the good as promised by the Kav Hayashar regarding Taanis Esther

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Mesirus Nefesh in Iran

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Prayer Session At The Tomb Of Mordechai And Esther In Hamadan, Iran!

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A recent Project Mesorah study and survey showed that a boy who is not in yeshiva, regardless of the reason, will only continue coming to shul for two to three weeks after being dismissed. Because many parents discourage their children from associating with someone who is not in yeshiva, these boys quickly get the message that they are outcasts and find themselves with no friends, forcing them into a downward spiral. In addition to doing everything we can to ensure that every single boy or girl gets back into a proper school, it is so important to talk to these young community members. They can’t read our minds, so it is incumbent upon us to take the first step and to let them know that we care. So next time you are in shul and you see one of these boys, go over to them...and please talk.

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Feature The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

From Refugee to Rescuer: A Conversation with Zoreh Mizrahi Interviewed by Alisa Brooks

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to the U.S.? I was 15 when I left Iran. This was the time that the Iranian Revolution was taking place in my country. I had three brothers and a sister who were already going to university in Boston, Massachusetts, but what prompted my family to send my sister and me to the States was the fact that they were going to close down the school. So my parents were very concerned about the future of our education. They abruptly – and I’m talking about maybe three to five days – arranged for everything for us to go from my hometown, which is Kerman, to Tehran, the capital, arranging for our travel documents and paperwork heading outside of Iran. We didn’t have any visas at the time. A group of Jewish organizations – the Lubavitchers and other international humanitarian organizations – were helping many students and youngsters who were escaping from Iran, to eventually get visas to the United States. So I was in Italy for 10 days, and the hospitality was just unbelievable. We were 15 and 17, my sister and I, at the time, and we were able to get student visas to come to America in March of 1979. We immediately started school and we continued on with our education. We moved to Boston and I joined my family. I was also in New York for a few days, again in the home of people that I didn’t even know, but their hospitality was really warm, welcoming, and very generous. I started university when I was 16. I was in such a rush to pursue my education that when I took the test for equivalency, they put me in senior year classes. I was grad-

Iranian revolution, 1979

uating, but the high school had a problem and so did the university. So for the longest time, I was considered a special student. I wasn’t sure if this was a positive label on my name or not. But the vast opportunities made available to me...I always want to brag about it, because it’s something I was able to benefit from immensely. I had always wanted to go to law school. But we were very concerned about the safety and security of my family, so I took sort of a sabbatical from my education at the time to…facilitate my family’s departure from Iran…and to help my family to resettle. After two years, I applied to law school. But I knew if I remained in Boston I would not be able to focus on my education, so I sort of imposed myself to another exile. I went to Houston, Texas. How old were you by this time? I started law school when I was 22. I had the privilege of going to Thurgood Marshall School of Law. And it’s interesting, because to me the cultural shock was more touchable when I moved from Boston to Houston than when I moved from my country to the States. It was very challenging at the beginning; it was very different in Texas. Again, I was in such a rush; I made sure I finished law school in two and a half years instead of three. And when I did, I moved to Los Angeles, because there was a greater Iranian community, and a greater demand from the immigrant community. I started the practice of law in 1990. I immediately started working on cases of refugees. At the time we are talking about the flood of Afghan refugees from Afghanistan, who were escaping the Soviet Union invasion. And then it was the Chinese, who

being honored by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department

were escaping persecution, either from the Tiananmen Square massacre, or the onechild family planning that the Chinese government had implemented. For me, it was always a responsibility, an obligation, and a privilege to work with the immigrant community, and specifically with refugees, only because I had benefited from that. I wanted to reciprocate by helping others who needed help. Had it not been for many of the Jewish and American organizations helping us, and I’m talking about my entire family, I would not have been able to achieve all the things I had. When I started in Los Angeles, I began working on cases of Iranian refugees or people who had entered this country unlawfully. My motto was that refugees are not criminals. They’re the ones who need help. They are the activists, freedom fighters, people who want to have liberty and equality and opportunities that they could

not get in their own homeland. My main focus became Iranian women and children, because…these were the only two groups who were challenging the Islamic Republic on a daily basis [and they] were being suppressed consistently. So I felt they deserved to be heard, they deserved recognition in immigration courts. For the first few years I would dress up like an older woman, because people don’t trust a 26 year old to go to court and defend them. I had to look like more of a mature woman, someone who was wise, experienced, and had some sort of seniority. I was able to gain the trust of my community, which had been abused and mistreated for many years, by many individuals that pretended to care about the community and their causes. I had a weekly radio program, where I would discuss and interpret the very complex immigration issues in simple Farsi so people could follow. And that brought a sense of knowledge and empowerment, as people realized that they are the ones retaining the services of an attorney, and it should not be the other way around. I also started working with different organizations, trying to bridge the gap between the Iranian community with the outside community [so] that they should learn about the cultures and languages that also lived in Southern California. One thing that had a very traumatic effect on me was September 11th. For years I had been on the side of the defense. But then I realized that there was some element within some communities that were new to the States that did not share the same sentiments that we had. I realized how vulnerable America was, and how the innocence

Green movement protests, 2009


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MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

of this country was abused and threatened. In the aftermath of September 11th, I decided I want to join the reserve force of the Sherriff’s Department in Los Angeles County. So I went through the Academy. It was a very different experience. I wanted to make sure that our law enforcement was knowledgeable, was trained; and by the same token, if a police officer or a sheriff knows more about one culture, their attitudes would change, there would be a better sense of communication, and a more clear dialogue between an officer and someone in a car speaking a different language. What are your thoughts on the current immigration situation? One thing that many members of the community don’t understand is the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies have a responsibility to protect people who live in the U.S., guarding the liberties, the privacy, and the rights that have become sacred to us. But at the same time, you want to make sure when you’re going through the process that we won’t forget where we came from. What I see happening in Syria is heartbreaking. What I see happening in Sudan, in Yemen, Iraq, Libya – and let’s not forget about Iran. If the laws that are being enforced in this country target the governments in these countries, and not the innocent people, I think we’ll be able to accomplish a lot. And in this sense, for example, the only reason those seven countries were mentioned in Trump’s executive order on January 27th, was the fact that these governments are not willing to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to weed out the bad elements. My concern is that we have many innocent people that are not necessarily Christians, but they are minorities in Syria, like the Kurds, and they are being persecuted. So we should not stop them from coming to this country. Especially for a Jewish community, we have to understand that we suffered the same in the ‘30s and ‘40s: They thought we had no room in this country for German Jews escaping the Holocaust. Many people have asked why countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Egypt – that had more terrorists attacking the U.S. – were not part of the list. And what I’ve been explaining to them is that, at least on the surface, those governments have been cooperating with U.S, law enforcement agencies. Iran has not, because Iran has consistently, for the past 40 years, been financing terrorism. Many of the wars in the past few years have been, in a sense, proxy wars between Iran and the United States. And this is very troubling, because Iranian people love, admire, and hold in high regard Americans. You’re talking about the average Iranian?

Absolutely. Even people from remote areas, people who are illiterate. They have that sense of connection with the American people. Iran was that melting pot that we so often heard America described as. Many people have coexisted in that part of the region for centuries without having any issues. We are talking about a minority that has taken over a beautiful country and they are just going beyond the boundaries of governing the nation. They are executing Sunnis in Iran. They are harassing the Dervishes. They are abusing the Iranian Arabs that have lived in Iran for centuries. They have executed Kurds, and let’s not talk about religious minorities. Is there a way to balance allowing in asylum seekers while keeping out the violent element? For the past 40 years, different administrations in this country have consistently ignored the most fundamental issue when dealing with Iran. And it doesn’t matter if they were Republicans or Democrats. They always succumb to the pressure, and they negotiated with a government that financed terrorism against America. How do we deal with a regime that does not recognize the fact that the U.S. is a superpower, that our value system, our principles, are directed at giving value to human life? When you have that conflict in basic principles, you cannot say, “Okay, let’s talk with them. Let’s try to give them another opportunity. Let’s engage in agreements and deals.” The issue that you are facing today is because time and again our administrations thought that they were smarter and better than the previous administration. None of them ever listened to the Iranian dissidents and opposition groups, but instead gave life to many organizations that were the mouthpiece of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We are just hoping that one of these days our government will stick to one policy, and that is: We do not negotiate with terrorists. I’m hoping that finally the fact that we have such an elite group of Iranians who’ve been educated in this country will be able to have some sort of influence in bringing about a better understanding between the two governments. Are these expats hoping for change in Iran? Absolutely. We believe that we will be able to give support and mentorship, because if any change should take place in Iran, it should be from within. We have wonderful scholars and activists there. We have an amazing Iranian attorney, Nasrin Sotudeh. This woman has been imprisoned over and over, only because she was an advocate for many others. We have many brave Iranians inside Iran who need our help, who need our support, and the Irani-

an-American community is there for them. Our stumbling block has been different administrations in this country who didn’t want the change and did not support us. I remember one time in Bush’s administration, in ‘97, we were demonstrating because they had thrown students out of their dormitory windows, because they had protested the day before on the streets of Tehran. We wanted to make sure that other people in Iran would see that we are supporting them. They immediately scrambled all the satellites, so nothing went to Iran for them to get that encouragement. In 2009, when the results of the presidential election were discovered to have been trampled, we went to the streets. We were hoping that Obama would come out and give a few words of encouragement to the students in Iran. He backed off. We’ve been fighting the fight. Eventually we need some sort of support from one of the governments. I’m talking civil disobedience, not invasion. I never want to see the day that, G-d forbid, one American soldier would go inside Iran. Because to me, that American soldier is my brother, and so is that poor kid inside Iran who has to fight a fight that is not his. Can you tell us a little about Jewish life in Iran? I was one of the lucky ones who, thank G-d, didn’t get to see what happened to that beautiful homeland of mine after the Revolution. But let me give you a few points. I can tell you that in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and even ‘60s, Iranian Jews were able to make huge progress. And they were giving back to the community, to the country. One of the Iranian industrialists, a Jew, Mr. Elghanian, built [what was] the tallest tower in Tehran, called the Plasco. He created many hospitals, the best hospitals. Industrialists in Iran at the time were Jews or Baha’i or even Armenians. We never had any problems. My father was a Jewish teacher and educator. He was commissioned by the Department of Education in the Shah’s time to go to the remote areas to be in school. It was a town where there is no other Jew, no temple, they don’t know much about Jews…But my father was so trusted, loved, and respected by that entire community, that when he suggested that we needed to build a school for girls, nobody objected. They loved and admired him. As a result, we, his children, were treated like royalty. We never had any issues. In later years, we moved to the bigger town, Kerman. Again, my dad’s influence was a layer of protection for my siblings and me. That’s where we had a Jewish school, a kosher butcher, a temple. We had our own community. In those days, maybe 150 or 200 families lived in the city of Kerman. When you look at the history of people in

Kerman, they’re generally very hospitable and very embracing of anyone who goes there. So we didn’t have any problems. The entire change came with the Islamic Revolution. In those days we were very concerned about what was happening outside. I remember one day I had taken a huge picture of the Shah, and I was walking around the schoolyard screaming and yelling in favor of the Shah. The principal of the school, who knew my dad, went to him and said, “You’d better take your daughter out of the school. Otherwise she is going to jeopardize the safety and security of the entire community.” On another occasion, I got into an argument with another classmate who said, “Oh, the Shah was a Jew, and he was the servant of Israel.” When I heard this statement it was so bizarre to me. I tried to explain to her that his name is Mohammad Reza and he’s not Jewish. People were changing. For us, that change was not a pleasant one. These were our teenage years. We were listening to the music of the Bee Gees and Linda Ronstadt. We were so close to the American culture – books, music, and movies – that it was very bizarre to see that wall that was being erected between Iranian culture and society by shutting everyone out because they were not Muslim and adhering to the message of Khomeini. When I left Iran, suddenly I saw my younger sisters were covering their faces; they would not talk about their religion so much anymore. And naturally, because my father was Jewish, and he had been very active in both the Jewish community and the outside community, he was targeted— like many others that were visible within the community. Was Purim special in Iran? Absolutely. Purim was a beautiful time in Iran because it coincided with the Persian New Year and the beginning of spring. Everything beautiful was happening – new things, changes. For us, the kids, it was the grandest time. We would go to the temple, we would send cookies, pastries, and sweets to our friends. Being kids we loved the food; it was all about the food and the music. We would exchange gifts, we would have songs, especially when reading Megillat Esther. My father has a beautiful scroll that was handwritten by his maternal uncle, who dedicated it in memory of my dad’s sister who had passed on when she was 12 or 13. That megillah would go from one home to the other, would go to the temple. The entire community would be in the synagogue from the day before. We had the greatest time. Thank G-d I was not there after the Revolution to see the subdued version of celebration. But we have fond memories. I guess for us, it was, and will remain, our homeland.

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

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

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

Part IV 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 three article of this series, Rabbi Dunner introduced us to the fascinating story of the memoirs and how they ended up in his possession. Having shared the story behind the memoirs, we now turn to Rabbi Ferber’s narrative, as Rabbi Dunner presents his memoirs, translated and published for the very first time since they were written. This first excerpt presented here was written in 1938. The translation by Rabbi Dunner is not a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew, although Rabbi Dunner has stuck as closely as possible to the original, except when the Rabbinic Hebrew makes an exact translation difficult, or where ambiguities need to be corrected. Rabbi Dunner has also abridged the material where necessary, excluding obscure bibliographic references or marginal details that disrupt the narrative. RABBI TZVI HIRSCH FERBER IN HIS OWN WORDS PART 1: MEMORIES OF MY YOUTH IN SLABODKA The early rabbis of Kovno and Slabodka Slabodka, my place of birth, is an ancient town that existed before the neighboring city of Kovno. The first rabbis of Kovno were buried in the Jewish cemetery of Slabodka, as there was no Jewish cemetery in Kovno when they died. The great rabbis of Kovno were Rabbi Menachem Mendel, who studied under Rabbi Yaakov Maggid, the preacher of Novardok. There was also Rabbi Arye Leib Shapira, father of the four great brothers: Rabbi Raphael Shapira, who was the son-in-law of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the “Netziv” of Volozhin; Rabbi Levi “Trisker”; Rabbi Shmuel Moshe of Korschan, who later became chief rabbi of Bobroisk, replacing his brother Rabbi Raphael Shapira when he was appointed dean of the Volozhin yeshiva, and chief rabbi of Volozhin; and Rabbi Avraham Chaim Shapira of Smargan. In 1896, I witnessed the exhumation of these early chief rabbis’ remains after the government seized the old Jewish cemetery in Slabodka. They were all reburied in the new

Slabodka cemetery. At that time I also witnessed the reburial of Rabbi Yitzchak Meir, the former chief rabbi of Slabodka, who had passed away in 1890. I recall hearing from my esteemed teacher, Rabbi Hirschel, one of the teachers at Slabodka yeshiva, about a chief rabbi of Slabodka called Rabbi Shlomo, a great scholar who studied under Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin. He was constantly studying Torah and was known to be a great Torah scholar. Despite this, the other rabbis in Slabodka were frequently confounded by his halachic rulings, and could not work out what lay behind his conclusions. Whenever they asked him to explain himself, however, he refused to respond. One time Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin visited Slabodka, and the other local rabbis complained to him about the chief rabbi. They explained that they couldn’t make any sense of his rulings, and Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin promised to take it up with him. He spoke to Rabbi Shlomo, and saw immediately that he was a towering intellect, and that all his halachic rulings were correct, firmly based on Talmudic sources and the early halachic authorities. So he asked Rabbi Shlomo why he refused to share his sources with the other rabbis in town, to which Rabbi Shlomo responded: “let them work as hard as I do to come up with these rulings, and they will understand everything perfectly!” Rabbi Eliyahu Rogoler Another chief rabbi of Slabodka was the incredible sage and spiritual giant, Rabbi Eliyahu Rogoler, son of Rabbi Yaakov of Neustadt. He wrote an approbation for the book “Turei Even” by the author of “Shaagat Arye” in around 1836, and signed it “Chief Rabbi of Villiampole”, which is another name for Slabodka, as it is surrounded by the Villia River. My teacher, Rabbi Hirsch, told me that Rabbi Eliyahu Rogoler once publicly declared that if anyone came to him knowing all six orders of Mishnah by heart, he would reveal kabbalistic secrets to them that would result in them being visited by an angel teacher from Heaven, just as it happened with the author of the Shulchan Aruch, the Beit Yosef. After Slabodka Rabbi Eliyahu was chief rabbi of Kalish, and that community also witnessed him doing extraordinary things. But he very much regretted his move to Kalish, and wrote that his move to Kalish would result in an earlier death. He suffered terribly at the hands of the Hasidic community there, and he longed for his former position and home in Slabodka, where he had led a trouble-free life. In Slabodka he had presided over a number of devoted students who went on to become great rabbinic leaders in their own right. One of them was my own relative, Rabbi Mordechai Eliasberg, who would later be chief rabbi of Boisk. He was the son-in-law of my great-uncle, the wealthy philanthropist, Markil Kadishsohn of Kovno, who built and set up the won-

derful learning center known as “Reb Markil’s Kloiz”, a beautiful building with a fantastic library, where special individuals sat all day and studied Torah, and it is still active to this day. Markil Kadishsohn was actually a devoted supporter of Rabbi Eliyahu Rogoler. Throughout the rabbi’s 14 years in Slabodka he was paid a salary of two rubles a week by the community, and Markil added a further two rubles a week throughout that time, and even after the

quorum of men to pray at the late chief rabbi’s grave, to ask for forgiveness for having insulted his honor. But Rabbi Rogoler stood his ground, and responded that he would send a quorum to request that the late chief rabbi intercede on his behalf in Heaven, in the merit of having saved the community from using an unusable Torah scroll. And so it was, and his health improved. I heard later that thieves had rampaged through the town, broken into the synagogue, and torn that particular Torah scroll, which settled things once-and-for-all. Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Slabodka Another chief rabbi of Slabodka was Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac, previously the rabbi of Lachowitz, and before him the chief rabbi was Rabbi Chanoch Henoch, who subsequently

In 1892 Rabbi Moshe Danishevsky (1830-1910) was proposed by Rabbi Yizchak Elchanan Spektor as the new chief rabbi of Slabodka after a two year break following the untimely death of the previous chief rabbi. Despite misgivings by certain factions of the community, as recorded by Rabbi Ferber, Rabbi Danishevsky was appointed, and went on to head the Knesset Beit Yitzchak yeshiva in Slabodka that was founded in memory of Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor (1817-1896) was chief rabbi of Kovno, the town that neighbored Rabbi Ferber’s hometown of Slabodka, from 1864 until his death in 1896. “Reb Yitzchak Elchanan”, as he was known, was one of the most prominent Askenazic rabbis in the world, with influence well beyond his immediate vicinity. Rabbi Ferber writes about him with great reverence, and he was one of the thousands who attended the rabbi’s funeral in 1896

rabbi left Slabodka he continued to give him this amount. During his time in Kalish, Rabbi Rogoler was involved in an awful incident. The community owned a Torah scroll that was written by Rabbi Yehuda ben Nissan, author of the Beit Yehuda commentary on the Talmud, who had been chief rabbi of Kalish during the seventeenth century. The scroll was very fragile, and precious to the community, and they only used it once a year, on Yom Kippur. One year, on Yom Kippur, Rabbi Rogoler was called upon to say a blessing over that Torah scroll, but when he saw the scroll close up he declared it unfit for use, and the community was very upset. Soon afterwards the rabbi fell sick, and the community’s leaders saw this as a proof that he had offended the honor of their former chief rabbi, and this illness was his punishment. They demanded that Rabbi Rogoler send a

went blind. After them both, the chief rabbi of Slabodka was Rabbi Yitzchak Meir, previously the rabbi of Zaslav, who was known as the “illui” (genius) of Kreveh. I knew him - he was a tall man with an aristocratic bearing, and a long flowing beard. He had a wonderful personality, was extremely generous and kind, and he was also a fantastic public speaker. I can still vividly recall his speeches – the captivating singsong of his delivery, the perfect diction, and his powerful voice. I heard from Rabbi Yosef Sharshevski that Rabbi Yitzchak Meir was born in Kreveh, where his father was a local medical expert. There were once rumors that his wife had been unfaithful. She was made to appear before the town’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Raphael Yomtov Lipman Halpern, the celebrated author of the book “Oneg Yomtov”. Rabbi Halpern said he would not take any action against her, as there were no witnesses to the alleged affair, only rumors. Retribution would be from Heaven, he said. If she was guilty she would endure a terrible punishment from God. But if she was innocent of the allegations, she would not only not be punished, she would merit a son who would become a great scholar and rabbi – greater than him, he


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MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

said – and Rabbi Yitzchak Meir was the result of this blessing. He became a student of the famed rabbi of Brisk, Rabbi Yeshua Leib Diskin, and I remember hearing that when he was gravely ill before he died he cried out, “Why would you want me? My teacher Rabbi Yehoshua Leib is much greater than I am!” Rabbi Yitzchak Meir’s brother, Rabbi Aron Rubin, was also a great scholar, and he stood in as rabbi of Slabodka for two years after his brother died, and then became the rabbi of Ratnitz near Grodno. I heard later that a wealthy old woman who was very fond of him left him her entire fortune when she died. Rabbi Yitzchak Meir’s untimely death In the month of Cheshvan 5651 (1890) Rabbi Yitzchak Meir became sick with kidney disease, and I recall that we gathered to pray for him. It was to no avail, and on the 11th of Cheshvan he passed away at the young age of

The main synagogue of Kovno, where Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan prayed daily for 32 years, as it looks today. In 1896 the late chief rabbi’s funeral began there, attended by thousands of mourners, despite the fact that it was a Friday and raining

48 years old. I can still recall the thousands upon thousands of people from Kovno and Slabodka, and the entire surrounding area, who came to pay him their last respects. His coffin was brought into the big yard in front of the synagogue, and it was packed from end to end. The yard was so packed that it was not possible for the great rabbi, renowned leader of the Jewish world, Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, who was chief rabbi of neighboring Kovno, to get close and eulogize him, as he was standing quite far away and there was no way for him to get through the crowds. Instead they hoisted a large table over people’s heads until it reached the spot where he was standing, and the community leaders lifted Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor up onto it so that he could deliver the eulogy. Two people stood alongside the rabbi on the table to keep him steady, as he was old and weak, and he delivered a heartrending eulogy in a tearful voice. He told the community not to appoint a new chief rabbi for at least two years, and instead they were to give the salary to Rabbi Yitzchak Meir’s widow, and also to put together a fund to marry off his children. Other eulogies were delivered by Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Hacohen, the itinerant preacher of Kovno; Rabbi Shabsi Marim, one of the rabbis in Slabodka; and Rabbi Binyamin Meisell, the chief rabbi of Paneman, who was a relative of the late rabbi. Due to the massive crowds, it was impossible to eulogize the rabbi inside the synagogue, so after they had brought the coffin into the synagogue they brought it back out to the yard and eulogized him there. I never saw such a large funeral, with the exception of the funeral for the greatest rabbinic leader of them all, Rabbi

Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor. For two years the rabbinic leadership position of Slabodka was filled temporarily by Rabbi Shabsi Marim alongside the late rabbi’s brother, Rabbi Aron Rubin – a very educated man and fantastic public speaker, whose speeches the community loved to hear. Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan helped the community raise money so that they could build a large house for Rabbi Yitzchak Meir’s widow, and they also married off his daughter to a flour trader, Gershon Opp, known as Reb Gershon Kalman’s, a decent man and the son of a community official. Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan came himself to perform the wedding. The widow’s eldest son was married off to the daughter of Rabbi Yaakov Meir Rogoler, and there was also another son, but I don’t know what happened to him. The appointment of Rabbi Moshe Danishevsky After the two-year period was over, the community leadership of Slabodka called together a big public meeting, which was attended by Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan. At that meeting he recommended the appointment of Rabbi Moshe Danishevsky, who at the time was chief rabbi of Butrimantz, to the vacant rabbinic position in Slabodka. But there was pushback from the people at the meeting, some of whom claimed Rabbi Danishevsky wasn’t such a great speaker. Another group at the meeting pushed for the appointment of Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz, who was then teaching at the yeshiva and was known for his great knowledge and exceptional intellect. Some of the people were suspicious that Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan was rooting for Rabbi Danishevsky because he did not want the chief rabbi of Slabodka to be a greater scholar than his own son, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch, who would eventually inherit the rabbinate of neighboring Kovno when he died. Others were of the opinion that his support for Rabbi Danishevsky was due to the latter’s wealthy relation in Kovno, the charitable and devout Shlomo Azinski, who was heavily lobbying for his relative’s appointment. In the end Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan made it clear that he did not have any kind of secret agenda regarding Rabbi Danishevsky’s appointment. On the contrary, his support was motivated by his view that Rabbi Danishevsky was a superb choice, and an able halachic expert, someone who could rule on any halachic matter correctly. Personally, he said, he would be delighted to have someone like him in such close proximity so that they could discuss halachic issues together. And the fact is – he was absolutely right! Even if it was true that Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz, who was later chief rabbi of Gorzhd, and eventually Ponevezh, was greater than Rabbi Moshe Danishevsky in terms of his intellect, when it came to halachic expertise Rabbi Moshe was probably a greater expert than him. He was the author of a book of halachic rulings, “Be’er Moshe”, and was extremely righteous and pure, constantly studying Torah. He died in 5669 (1909). Rabbi Aron Kotler told me that he once heard from his father-in-law, Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, that Rabbi Moshe Danishevsky had previously visited Kovno on a fundraising visit after his hometown of Butrimantz was destroyed in a fire. Before he left for Kovno he took with him a manuscript pamphlet he had written about an Agunah case he had recently

presided over, so that he could reread and edit it during his trip. When he eventually arrived at his host in Kovno, he read through the pamphlet and corrected it. Soon afterwards he visited Kovno’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, who by chance happened to be considering a difficult Agunah case. Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan asked his visitor to go through the details of the case with him, and when Rabbi Danishevsky heard that the issues were identical to the ones he had dealt with in the case recorded in his pamphlet, he informed Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan of every relevant opinion from the entire range of rabbinic literature. The chief rabbi was extremely impressed by his visitor’s vast knowledge, and from that moment on they maintained a close friendship. The terrible fire in Slabodka During the two-year gap between Rabbi Yitzchak Meir’s passing and the new rabbi’s appointment a terrible catastrophe occurred most of the town of Slabodka was destroyed in an appalling fire. The houses in Slabodka were all built of wood, and before the firefighters were able to get to Slabodka from Kovno the raging fire had already destroyed everything. The houses were also built very close to each other, in addition to which it was in the middle of the summer, and the houses were very dry from the heat of the sun, which resulted in the fire advancing very rapidly. Among the buildings that were destroyed was the beautiful old synagogue, as well as the synagogue where the Hasidim prayed, the Kirzner prayer house, and another two prayer houses. The devastation was utterly catastrophic, and I remember it very clearly. Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan wept bitterly when he visited the town, and saw the destruction and devastation. It wasn’t clear who was responsible for the fire, which meant that everyone affected was left both homeless and penniless. Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan immediately launched a campaign to raise money to assist those who had been affected by the fire, and he offered to help in any way he could. No words can describe the kindness of Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan, a man who completely devoted his entire life to the welfare of the Jewish people. The town of Slabodka was rebuilt after the fire, but it was now much smaller than it had been before the fire, and would never return to its former glory. Sadly, the synagogues and prayer houses were never rebuilt. The passing of Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor In Adar 5656 (1896) – about a month after the passing of Rabbi Yerucham Yehuda Leib Pearlman, the “Gadol” of Minsk, whose eulogizers in Kovno had hinted that Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan was too weak to deliver a eulogy, adding that the community should pray for his health – news emerged that the great rabbi was suffering from a life-threatening kidney disease. Bearing in mind his advanced age, and the fact that he was already so weak, everyone was extremely worried by the news, and it set off a panic throughout the Jewish world, and particularly in Kovno and Slabodka. I remember that Purim, before the Megillah was read, we recited psalms in a very mournful voice, and mentioned his name – Harav Yitzchak Elchanan ben Rachel. Medical professors were brought in from

Berlin and St. Petersberg, to see if they could do anything to help. People constantly milled around outside the rabbi’s house, desperate to find out how he was doing, and notices were regularly posted on the front gate to report on his condition. But the gates of Heaven were closed, and on Friday Adar 21, 5696 (1896), splendor left the House of Israel, and Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor was summoned to the Heavenly realm. I remember that bitter day very clearly. I attended his funeral. The crowd in attendance was gigantic. Everyone was crying. Tears flowed like a river as we all mourned the loss of the Prince of Torah. There was no need for eulogizers, and in fact they were utterly superfluous, as everyone felt that they had personally been orphaned, and they were able to cry and eulogize this tragedy no less than any professional eulogizer. As it was a Friday, and it was also raining, it was not possible for there to be numerous lengthy eulogies. The few eulogies that there were began at the old synagogue in Kovno, where the late rabbi had prayed daily for 32 years. His son Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch delivered the first one, and after he was done, Rabbi Moshe Danishevsky gave a eulogy, delivered in a weeping, bitter voice. At the cemetery, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch eulogized his father again. It was a remarkable eulogy, and revealed his profound wisdom in every sphere. Each word was brilliant, and his voice was pure and clear. I can still remember each and every precious word he uttered. Among the other eulogizers were the saintly scholar, Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer; Rabbi Tzvi Yaakov Oppenheim, chief rabbi of Kelm; and Rabbi Binyamin Meisell, chief rabbi of Paneman. Rabbi Shabsi Marim spoke inside the cemetery chapel where the “Chevra Kadisha” ritually cleansed the bodies before burial. “Rabbi, rabbi,” he cried out, “in exactly this spot you once ruled that an Agunah was free to remarry!”, recalling the occasion when Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan was at a funeral at the cemetery and suddenly remembered that he needed to respond to this urgent Agunah question. He had immediately entered the cemetery chapel and composed a response on the spot, so that the matter was dealt with. Another eulogizer was Dr. Feinberg, the rabbi’s personal physician, who delivered his address in classical Hebrew. A representative of “Kovno Kollel”, Chaim Tchernowitz, also eulogized the rabbi; he was the one who later drifted away from traditional Judaism and became known as “Rav Tzair”. After the week of mourning was over, Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan’s son, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Rabinowitz, was appointed to replace his father as the rabbi. NEXT TIME: THE CONTROVERSY THAT SPLIT SLABODKA YESHIVA & MY LIFE AFTER SLABODKA We are pleased to inform our readers that Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber’s published works were recently reissued and are available for purchase. You can obtain them online using the following link: http://www.lehmanns.co.uk/ krm-hcbi-el-htvrh-v-krkim.html Comments welcome at rabbi@yinbh.org

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Bonus The WeekFeature In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Meir Kay Spreads His Unique Brand of Happiness By Malky Lowinger

He’s creative, he’s energetic, and he’s genuinely funny. He’s also a little bit wacky and thrives on making people laugh. If you’ve never watched a Meir Kay video, you’re in for a surprise. Kay (short for Kalmanson) has become something of a YouTube sensation, having accumulated many thousands of views and acquiring over 600,000 followers on Facebook. There’s something about his carefree spirit and uninhibited enthusiasm that’s really intriguing. We were able to chat with Meir for just a few moments in his busy, happy day. Meir, tell us about yourself. I actually grew up in a Chabad household in Connecticut and went through a traditional yeshiva education. I received my rabbinical certification in Singapore, which makes me a rabbi. I’m 27-years-old and currently live in Crown Heights. My main occupation right now is developing the Meir Kay brand. For a guy who’s all about video production, I should point out that I never actually went to school for that. I’ve learned what I know from working as a production assistant on short films and then eventually diving in. So what experience do you bring to your videos? Do you have a track record

for making people laugh? I was always fond of the spotlight so when it came to school plays or camp projects, I was usually the first to volunteer. Boruch Hashem, my childhood was filled with love and attention and I learned at a young age to respect all types of people. I began my mission of spreading happiness in my teens, while living in foreign countries like Romania, Ukraine, and Bali where I would lead sedorim or Yom Kip-

Asia and five months in South America. I’ve hiked to Mount Everest Base camp in Nepal, did scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving in New Zealand, and surfing in Bali. There were times when I didn’t meet another Westerner for days at a time. But I met the most incredible people along the way. How did you get involved with Chai Lifeline?

There were times when I didn’t meet another Westerner for days at a time. But I met the most incredible people along the way. pur services or direct summer camps. Seems like you’ve been around. I’ve traveled to almost 40 countries so far. I’m curious by nature and like to visit places I read about. Being a Chabad shaliach helped to satisfy that hunger. I’ve had my share of experiences. I spent seven months backpacking through

I was always a camp guy, so when a friend told me about Camp Simcha I was very excited to get in. Camp Simcha was an incredible experience, truly the happiest place in the world. Lives are changed and enhanced while friendships are made that last a lifetime. When the first session of Camp Sim-

cha ended, the head counselor asked me to stay for the second session – Camp Simcha Special for children with chronic illness. I became the counselor of a teenager named Oshry, who is now featured on many of my videos. He’s an incredible human being who inspires me to dream bigger. I saw how you took a cardboard cutout of Oshry on a trip around the world with you so he could “be with you” on one of your adventures. I am sure he was delighted when he heard about it. On another video that went recently viral, you invited some homeless people to a Super Bowl party. How did that go? The Super Bowl is more than a game of football, it’s practically an American holiday. People plan for weeks in advance on getting together with family and friends to celebrate. For homeless people, this is a prime time for loneliness to creep in. So an hour and a half before kick-off, I walked around 34th Street in Manhattan to invite whoever I came across. It was a very cold day, and it wasn’t easy to find anyone out. But I gathered a few guys who were excited to join the party. We hopped into a cab and went on over to the RoofTop Bar at 230 Fifth. That night nobody thought about homelessness. We were just a bunch of


Bonus The WeekFeature In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

guys watching the game together and enjoying each other’s company. We, ate, drank, and celebrated. During the halftime show, we went out to enjoy the view. The evening was something special, a night I’ll always remember. Your Facebook page says, “I’m all about spreading happiness and positivity to the people and places around me.” Are you on a mission? Aren’t we all? Isn’t everyone’s goal to be happy? All I’m doing is trying to raise awareness so that people will spread positivity and connect with others instead of chasing the dollar. This is where true happiness lies. It’s a timely message for all of us, now that we’re well into the month of Adar. When it comes to happiness, the more you give the more you get. This is true at Camp Simcha where you think you’re giving the kids a great summer, but you realize afterwards that the opposite has happened and you’ve gained so much. It’s also true when we go out to volunteer, visit sick children, help at a Purim program, or prepare baskets for those less fortunate. Giving to others will make your Purim more fulfilling and your life much happier. We’ve seen some of your work and it looks like you’ve got lots and lots of energy. Where does that come from? My parents have incredible energy. If you would meet my mother, you’ll know where my high energy personality comes from. Also, I try to live up to my name Meir, which means to illuminate. According to Chabad chassidus, a name reflects a person’s soul. So I’m trying to illuminate the world. How do the non-Jewish people you work with respond to your religious appearance and beliefs? Do you consider yourself an ambassador of sorts of the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle? I’m Jewish. It’s who I am. So everything I do has a piece of that within in. When I work with colleagues from other

faiths and beliefs, religion certainly does come up. I explain to them what it means

ignite the flame within them. And when we do this, we give them the power to be

We all carry a flame within us, and throughout our lives we will come across people who need to be ignited. to be Jewish, that I cannot eat with them or work on a project that is being filmed on Shabbos. I also explain how we can all make a positive impact in the world, no matter who we are or where we come from. Any future goals or projects you are willing to share with us? There are many. Right now I’m working to expand the Meir Kay Brand and to connect with larger brands in an effort to reach more people and spread the message of happiness and positivity. I’m also looking to branch out beyond video production to public speaking and perhaps to start a positive apparel clothing line. I’m also finding new ways to spread energy. For example, I’m growing my Bar Mitzvah Motivator business, bringing lots of energy to the simcha and entertaining the boys while making the bar mitzvah boy the center of attention. B”H the feedback has been incredible. Any final message for our readers? I love the story of the Lamplighter. Back in the old days when there was no electricity, there was a specific person who would walk the streets and light the lampposts with a single flame on a long stick. Each of us is a lamplighter. We all carry a flame within us, and throughout our lives we will come across people who need to be ignited. They may be down, or struggling, or needing inspiration. We have the power to light up their world and

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a lamplighter and pass it on to someone else. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle but the life of that first candle will not be diminished. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

To stay up-to-date on Meir Kay’s positive videos, like him on Facebook or follow him on Instagram.


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Book Review The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

For My Child by Chaya Spiegel Jerusalem Publications Hardcover, 249 pp.

Adult Fiction

Reviewed by Deborah L. Gordon

In her novel, For My Child, Chaya Spiegel blends two stories into one novel of suspense and inspiration. The primary narrative follows Chana and Shlomo’s struggle when they discover their unborn child might have a rare genetic condition; the other traces the story of Chana’s ancestor, Esther Levy, and a group of Jewish immigrants to New Amsterdam in the mid1600s. Chana and Esther’s stories have many parallels. Both stories are based on actual events, but have been fictionalized. Both stories feature a young, female protagonist with strong convictions. Also in both, important decisions must be made, while strong emotions come into play. Told from the perspective of Chana, we read the story of a young couple on

the verge of parenthood. Their excitement is moderated, however, when they find out that their baby might have a genetic condition; most likely trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome. About half the babies with this condition are miscarried, and those born are quite ill, usually not surviving for more than a year. When Chana hears this, she thinks, “How could this be happening to us? We’re young and healthy! And we don’t deserve this, do we, Hashem? Don’t let it be true! Please, let them say there’s nothing wrong! Please!” While Chana’s initial devastation is to be expected, the way the couple handles this nisayon is anything but typical, and provides much inspiration to both the characters in the novel and the reader. The couple asks halachic questions throughout, tell

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only those who need to be told about the possible condition, and take on mitzvos for the zechus of the baby. Meanwhile, transcribing Esther Levy’s diary provides the couple with a much-needed distraction, and encouragement. Although fictionalized, the story of Esther Levy, her brother Asser Levy, and the other 21 Jewish immigrants to New Amsterdam from Recife, Brazil, in the mid-1600s, is based on a true story that Spiegel read in a history book. “I was fascinated,” said Spiegel. “I did a lot of research online and in the library, and some of the records are word for word what went on in the courts.” Many characters that appear in the diary story, including Peter Stuyvesant and Asser Levy, were real people. The reader learns a great deal about what it was like for the Jews in the colonies, including the anti-Semitism of the Christians, demonstrated by such actions as fines for lighting Chanukah candles, and the persecution of Jews for minor infractions, which could include imprisonment, whipping or fines. For example, the Jews must appear in court when Peter Stuyvesant discovers that they had built a sukkah. “’You heretics were not given permission to practice your faith in public,’ Stuyvesant growls. But the Jews persist, asking for official permission to gather and pray ‘thrice daily.’ This is initially denied, but the group doesn’t give up. Asser Levy says, “‘...we still have the basic rights of life and freedom of religion. You cannot take away our right to pray.’” After much legal argument, the yidden are given the right to pray in a private house. Such accounts, as well as other challenges that Esther Levy and her community faced, encourage Shlomo and Chana: if their ancestors went through so much, yet remained strong in their faith and committed to doing the will of Hashem, then so too can they face the unknown with emunah. The writer did a fine job of weaving the two stories. Although I found the journal fascinating, the present-day story of Chana was more compelling, likely due to the fact that the writer was adept at conveying the Chana’s emotions. This isn’t surprising; Chana’s narrative is a fictionalized version of Chaya Spiegel’s own story.

“Events such as halachic decisions, medical descriptions, and how the pregnancy and labor happened, are based on [my] own experiences…” When asked what piece of advice she would give to a couple undergoing such a challenge, Spiegel said, “Make sure to talk to a rav for advice right away. Also, [to] start studying a book on emunah. We used Living Emunah by Rabbi David Ashear, with daily lessons on emunah, and it was very helpful. No one really knew what to say to us when we were going through it, but I believe that A TIME has some excellent resources.” Although entertaining, suspenseful and well-developed, with several surprises along the way, the strengths of this book go beyond those crucial elements of fiction. This book is one that can give comfort to a couple going through a difficult pregnancy or diagnosis. It instructs not only how to handle such a challenge with emunah, but is equally successful in presenting a real response, from people who experience the range of normal emotion when faced with such a test. In her diary, Esther Levy writes, “Only a Jew can understand the importance of a heritage. Only a Jew can understand how important it is that history be preserved. Torah is all about mesorah, our legacy. We are what our fathers were, and if we can’t remember them, their struggles, and their lessons, who are we?” This is a message that Esther, Chana and Shlomo learn in For My Child, and a lesson the reader walks away with as well.


‫‪31‬‬

‫‪The Week In News‬‬

‫‪MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home‬‬

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‫הרב ארי' מלכיאל‬ ‫קוטלר שליט"א‬

‫‪bring Happiness to Thousands of‬‬ ‫‪People and will save their families‬‬

‫כ"ק אדמו"ר‬ ‫מנאוואמינסק שליט"א‬

‫מסייעים ותומכים‬ ‫למשפחות נצרכים‪,‬‬ ‫חולים גלמודים עניים‬ ‫ואביונים‪...‬‬

‫‪will help you fulfill your obligation to give‬‬

‫מתנות לאביונים‬ ‫לעניי עירך בו ביום!‬

‫‪...‬אין ערוך‬ ‫למצוה רבה זו וחשיבות קרן‬ ‫הצדקה הנ"ל‪ ...‬אשרי חלקו‬

‫הרב יחזקאל ראטה‬ ‫שליט"א‬

‫‪...‬ויכולים‬ ‫לקיים בזה מצות מתנות‬ ‫לאביונים כהלכתו‪ ...‬באתי‬

‫לבקש לקיים מצות פתוח‬ ‫תפתח את ידך וגו' ולתרום‬ ‫ביד נדיבה סכומים חשובים‬ ‫ולחוס ולרחם על הנצרכים‪...‬‬

‫‪...‬חובה‬ ‫גדולה לעמוד לימינם‪..‬‬

‫הרב אברהם יהושע העשיל‬ ‫ביק שליט"א‬

‫להיות להם לעזר ואחיסמך‬ ‫בעושה ובמעשה‪...‬שכן‬ ‫מפעלם מפעל אדיר הוא‪,‬‬

‫והרבה נפשות מישראל‬ ‫צריכים להם‪...‬‬

‫הרב מתתי' סאלאמאן‬ ‫שליט"א‬

‫!‪The More You Give - The More We Can Help‬‬

‫‪...‬כי‬ ‫המקרים נוגעים בפיקוח‬ ‫נפש והצלת נפשות רבות‬ ‫מישראל‪ ,‬ומצוה גדולה הוא‬

‫עד מאוד‪ ,‬להיות שותפים‬

‫במפעל קדוש ונשגב זה‪...‬‬

‫‪All donations received by 5:30pm on Purim day will be distributed on Purim‬‬

‫"‪Tax-deductible contributions payable to "EZRAS YISROEL‬‬

‫כ"ק אבדק"ק וויען‬ ‫שליט"א‬

‫‪ALL MAJOR CREDIT‬‬ ‫‪CARDS ACCEPTED‬‬


32

The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

There’s no such a thing as a free lunch. Even in Denmark. The European country previously known as being one of the most generous and least austere is now embracing policies which place cuts on many of its erstwhile liberal welfare policies.

Denmark: Work More, Save More

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The country intends to slash taxes on some of its highest earners and in turn raise its minimum retirement age from 65 to 67. Denmark’s economy remains strong, and unemployment there is nearly nonexistent. The country forecasts that it will be able to sustain its lavish welfare programs for years to come. Unlike its European counterparts like Greece and Italy, it does not suffer from heavy sovereign debt burdens. So why the sudden embrace of conservative policies? The answer has more to do with ideology than practicality. “We want to promote a society in which it is easier to support yourself and your family before you hand over a large

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share of your income to fund the costs of society,” the government of Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen recently wrote. The Danish government has recently shifted to the right and is now looking for ways to reduce the tax burden on its workers. Bootstraps, anyone?

Tensions Rise between N Korea and Malaysia Last month, Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was murdered with poison by two women in a Malaysian airport. Three North Korean nationals who are wanted for questioning in connection to the killing are hiding in the North Korean embassy in Malaysia including Hyon Kwang Song, the embassy’s second secretary, Kim Uk Il, a staff member at North Korean national carrier Air Koryo, and Ri Ji U. “It is a matter of time before they come out,” Royal Malaysia Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar said. “We will wait. If it takes five years, we will wait outside.” Photos show police gathering around the embassy. North Korea, ever sensitive to its citizens’ wellbeing, has barred all Malaysian citizens from leaving North Korea in retaliation. Malaysia says that the ban suggests that North Korea is holding 11 Malaysian citizens hostage, marking a new low point between the two countries. The Malaysians believed to be in North Korea include four embassy staff members and their families and two UN employees, a Malaysian government official told CNN. “This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement on Tuesday.

The hostage situation has led Malaysia to bar North Koreans from leaving Malaysia until the country is “assured of the safety and security of all Malaysians in North Korea.” It’s not clear how many North Koreans


MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

33


34

The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Revel.

Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions

28

27

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The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

are in Malaysia, but travel to the country was visa-free for North Koreans until Malaysia stopped doing so Monday. Since Kim Jong Nam’s death, both countries have expelled their respective ambassadors. “This is what needs to be done when a country that has diplomatic relations with Malaysia does something that is beyond diplomatic norms and etiquette and Malaysia is forced to take action,” Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. “We want to send a clear message to North Korea not to point fingers at Malaysia and don’t belittle the status of Malaysia as a sovereign country.”

‫ק‬ ‫י‬ ‫מ‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ק‬ ‫ב‬ ‫ל‬ ‫ו‬

forged an alliance with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, a breakaway organization that once functioned as a paramilitary wing of El Chapo’s group and is now competing with them for trafficking routes and territory, analysts say.

‫ורים‬ ‫ה‬ ‫א‬ ‫ל‬ ‫ה‬

e

Russian Journalist Poisoned – Again

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… U L B V”KI

Violence Fills El Chapo Vacuum

s in 6 Hour

The arrest and removal of the world’s deadliest drug kingpin, El Chapo Guzman, has only exacerbated the drug-related violence in the Sinaloa, the area controlled by Mexican drug cartels. Guzman’s arrest has created a vacuum of leadership in the Sinaloa cartel and has left various factions fighting to fill it. In Culiacan, the Sinaloan capital, businesses have been forced to close early and school classes have been suspended due to the daily murders which abound. “It is a nightmare, but one we have lived many times before,” said Rosita Méndez, a mother of two young children who lives in Culiacan. While El Chapo’s sons are seeking to become the heirs to their father’s empire, the kingpin’s former lieutenant, former state police official Dámaso López, aka “El Licenciado” or “the Graduate,” is heading up a rival faction which is looking for control. So far, Lopez has murdered EL Chapo’s sister and wounded two of his children in his quest for power. “It appears that we are seeing a generational transition from El Chapo to his sons,” said Alejandro Hope, an independent security expert in Mexico City. “It is the greatest such power shift within the organization for many years, and all is breaking loose.” In January alone, 2,152 murders were documented in Sinaloa. There is fear that the recent violence is just the tip of the iceberg. Some assume that Lopez has recruited the help of other cartels in order to gain power in the Sinaloa. It’s suspected that Lopez has

‫לקיי‬

‫ם את‬ ‫ימי הפ‬

What’s the best way to know that you’ve been poisoned? Well, if you’re a Russian journalist who has been poisoned before by the government, then you should be pretty familiar with the symptoms. Vladimir Kara-Murza, a journalist who has been a vociferous opponent to Vladimir Putin’s government, woke up one morning in February and knew he had just minutes to save his life. “The heartbeat was just getting faster and faster, and I could feel it,” he said. “I started having trouble breathing and it was very painful. It felt like no air is coming out, like I was suffocating. “I knew straightaway what it was because this was the second time in two years that this happened, and it – and it began almost identically in the same way,” he said. After being rushed to a hospital in Russia and contacting the same doctor who saved his life just two years earlier from another poisoning episode, Kara-Murza survived. The journalist vows to get back on the case of cracking Russian government corruption, regardless of the consequences. He feels that his work is doing a great service to society, which can prevent the abuses carried out by Vladimir Putin and his ilk. “It is similar to what we had back in the Soviet days. We have media censorship. We have no free and fair elections in our country. We have political prisoners in Russia,” Kara-Murza said. “But there’s also one major difference: The members of the Soviet Politburo did not send their kids to study in the West. They did not store their money in Western banks. They didn’t buy yachts and cars and real estate in Western countries.”

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merit ndous ed e m e r et pt Get th r uninterru m. u o u h P ri of 12ing on n r a e l York Torah in New os l Chatz

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‫מ‬ ‫ת‬ ‫נ‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ת‬ ‫ל‬ ‫א‬ ‫ביונים‬

r in you calling e y b y a lit w ssible o the e best po distributed t Purim day. in the n n to be atzos o donatio of Kollel Ch s r schola

Boro Park Williamsburg Monsey Monroe Meron

‫להצלחת נתנאל דוד‬ ‫בן רות‬ '‫וכל משפ‬

35


36

The Week In News

Devastating Drought in Somalia

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

men were all singled out by the UN secretary-general in an $4.4 billion aid appeal to counter the upcoming hunger and famine. All four nations are also share a common denominator of violence and conflict.

In just two days, 110 people died from hunger during a severe drought that has rocked Somalia. The Somali government has declared the drought a national disaster, and the United Nations has estimated that 5 million people in the Horn of Africa nation are in need of aid. The UN is warning that the drought may lead to a fullblown famine in the region. Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Ye-

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The Somali capital of Mogadishu has been overwhelmed by the swarm of incoming Somalis in search of food and water. The drought is the first crisis being faced by the newly elected Somali-American leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The country has not been in great shape due to previous droughts and ongoing attacks by the al-Shabab extremist group. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network, 363,000 acutely malnourished children in Somalia are in need of “urgent treatment and nutrition support, including 71,000 who are

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severely malnourished.” Lack of clean water has also led to outbreaks of cholera and other diseases. The UN humanitarian appeal for Somalia was $864 million to help feed its 3.9 million people. The UN World Food Program has recently added another $26 million due to the drought conditions.

N. Korea Launches More Missiles Kim Jong Un is signaling to the world that he means business. The North Korean despot launched four ballistic missiles out to sea as a sort of warning shot over what the country views as an invasion rehearsal by the U.S. and South Korea, which are staging military exercises in South Korea. Three of the missiles, which traveled 620 miles on average, landed in waters deemed by Japan as its exclusive economic zone. In recent months Pyongyang has staged multiple missiles tests and conducted two nuclear tests in 2016. Kim Jong Un has been a vocal advocate of increased weaponry for his country, which he claims is under attack by U.S. and South Korean interests.

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Both the U.S. and South Korea condemned the launches. European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the launches were “in utter disregard” of several UN resolutions. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, “We remain prepared — and will continue to take steps to increase our readiness — to defend ourselves and our allies from attack, and are prepared to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against this growing threat.” The recent military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea occur annually until April. The drills force the North to respond with costly drills and military deployments, which stretches the resources of the insolvent state.


Parenting The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Purim Woes Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T, Last Purim, I felt really bad for my fourteen year old daughter, and I would like to help her this year. Somehow, she got very caught up with the mishloach manos. She was frantic about making the right thing for her friends – an original theme, fancy stuff – you get the picture. Then, she was disappointed and out-of-joint all day because she felt that she didn’t get as many baskets as her friends or siblings. It didn’t seem to me that that she got fewer baskets, yet she saw the situation as a mark of her social standing. How can I help her relax and feel better about herself this year? Kaila Dear Kaila, What you are describing is not all that unusual for a young teen, and I will go on the assumption that your daughter is not suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or social issues. Teens are often self-conscious and unsure of themselves, and this may manifest itself in the desire to please and a negative view of the events in their lives. It is to your credit that you are willing to go with your daughter’s perceptions rather than your own. So much of life is about our attitude and perception, and each of us has a radically different view. It doesn’t really matter if your spouse feels that sailing is the greatest sport – if you hate it, it feels awful to you. This does not mean that our perceptions are right – or even that we should act on them – but we do need to respect them and accept them as real. So, you don’t see the big deal with mishloach manos – but she does. You very wisely refrain from discounting or minimizing what in the scheme of things is a small blip, and you want to help her deal with this situation and her feelings about it. Let’s break this up into two parts. The first part is the pressure she feels to prepare the perfect offering. Though many parents’ experience predates the theme misloach manos, and they may have trouble relating to it, the truth is that elaborate, theme-driven baskets are the order of the day in some communities. It seems like your daughter has caught the bug. Decide not to “sweat the small stuff” and just go with it and show your daughter that you are on her side. Can you empower her to create her own baskets? Can she call some friends, relatives, or neighbors and get some ideas? Are you comfortable with

giving her a bit more money to buy what’s needed? Or, alternatively, can you suggest that she use some of her own money as well? The point here is to teach your daughter that she is not helpless, but rather has the ability to comply with society’s standards, or at least her perception of them. This is a fix for her short-term issue and a lesson for the future – to actively address an issue when possible. Of course, the more difficult piece is the second one, because you have no control over how many baskets she does or does not get. You cannot possibly see the dynamics as she does – you are not her – nor in this short time frame is she likely to alter her perceptions. So what do we do when we cannot change the reality? Sometimes life is tough, and hopefully out of the challenge we grow stronger. In the here and now, it’s hard to see that. But, here are some ideas that may prove useful. • Tamp down the mishloach manos hype in your family. Talk less before, during, and after Purim. Avoid comparisons, excessive comments, or any comments at all. If it’s not such a big deal in your family, it becomes less of a big deal. • Distract your daughter if possible. What can she do that day that would be fun for her – deliver baskets, check out neighborhood costumes, prepare something she would enjoy making for the seudah? The less focus directly on her mishloach manos, the less pain. • You know this one already, but I will throw it in just to be sure: Avoid bringing up the topic, because public humiliation is so much worse than private. If your daughter does not bring it up, you can

avoid it as well. • Of course, if you daughter wants to talk about her distress, be open to listening without judgment, criticism, comment, or advice. You want to show your empathy and caring. • But, it is so important here that you monitor your own feelings. Yes, this situation is distressing and it is hard to see your child in pain. However, much as we would like to empathize, we want to be careful not to actually feel that pain. When we are consumed with our child’s pain, we convey our feelings to our child. We model that the pain is terrible, awful – rather than that it is unpleasant and unfortunate. This reinforces your child’s view that the pain is crushing – Look, even Mommy is beside herself! – rather than the healthier attitude

that while this may be hard, it will pass and hopefully get better. Though it is always hard to watch our children struggle, our mature realization that struggles are part of life and that with HKBH’s help we will learn to overcome them is a great gift to bestow upon our children. The Book Nook: What Great Parents Do by Erica Reischer, Ph.D. contains 75 simple strategies for parenting children who thrive. The title speaks for itself. 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.

37


38 22

29, | The Jewish Home Quotes TheOCTOBER Week In2015 News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

I’ve been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com. - Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), after Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained that when he met with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign, it was in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador. Upset about the arbitrary/cruel decision to end all US adoptions, even those in process. - Tweet by McCaskill in January 2013…Oops!

Presidents, heads of state, come in. They bring their party and barely even introduce them … Who are the other people at the table? You’d have to ask the president of Russia. - House Minority Leader Nancy Peosi (D-CA) on CNN when shown a picture of her at a meeting with the Russian ambassador and the Russian president, after she claimed that she never met with the Russian ambassador

In California, an experimental self-driving Uber car drove through six red lights. In other words, it just passed its Los Angeles driving test. - Conan O’Brien

MORE QUOTES


23 39

The Week In News

MARCH 9, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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