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The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

give your glass a raise.

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

JEWISH THOUGHT It Is Who We Are and What We Are About . . . . . . . 12 Coasting Through the Highs and Lows of Life . . . 14

FEATURE A Red Carpet for President Trump in the Middle East. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

LIFESTYLES Can a Corporation Be Sued in American Courts for Financing Terrorism Overseas?. . . . . . . 24 Proactive Parenting: “Do you really need that, too?”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

OP-ED

Don’t Settle for Less. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

NEWS

Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, Zman matan toraseinu. The sound of these words alone brings forth an inner joy. Indeed of all the yomim tovim, Shavuos alone allows for no exceptions. One must celebrate the yom tov with food and drink even if one enjoys fasting! “For they are our life and the length of our days, and we will meditate on them day and night.” Torah is the life of a Jew. In it, we see our spirit freed and our neshamah fully expressed. Without it, we are a body without a soul. Throughout our history we have lived for the Torah, learning it, teaching it, dancing with it, and – when necessary – giving up our lives for it. Like Rabbi Akiva answered Pappus Ben Judah: Torah for a Yid is like water for a fish; life without it is not an option. Torah tziva lanu Moshe morasha kehillas Yaakov – Torah is the inheritance of the entire Jewish people. No one owns it more than anyone else. Anochi Hashem elokecha, was said in the singular: I am Hashem your G-d. The greatest scholar and the “simplest” Jew were both given this great gift on Vav Sivan 3329 years ago. In fact it was this very attitude that prepared the Yidden for matan Torah. Unlike the other encampments in which the Yidden were bickering, when they came to Har Sinai they resembled one giant person, k’ish echad b’lev echad. As with anything worth earning, Torah observance comes with many responsibilities: how to dress, speak, act, and even how to think. The reward, however, is to be connected to the Nosein haTorah, the Giver of the Torah. Even while we live down here in this temporary abode – rather, specifically when living in this physical world – we have a chance to connect to the Source of all life, Hakadosh Baruch Hu himself. May we see what our nation has accomplished throughout this long journey with the coming of Moshiach who will usher in a time when the occupation of all the nations of the world will be to know G-d. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos. May we receive the Torah b’simcha ubipnimiyus!

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


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Press Release: Bais Naftoli Congregation to Honor Larry Elder and Rabbi Yuval Noff On Sunday June 4, 2017, 9:30 a.m., Congregation Bais Naftoli will celebrate its 25th (Silver) Anniversary Breakfast honoring radio and television personality Larry Elder and Rabbi Yuval Noff, RCA Dayan and Kol Simcha President. Congregation Bais Naftoli is comprised of Holocaust survivors and modern American professionals. It provides charitable services throughout Southern California to those in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter. Rabbi Yuval Noff, a frequent visitor to Los Angeles, is the spiritual leader of Kol Simcha in Baltimore, Maryland. His organization provides care and hospitality free of charge to relatives and friends of patients at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. The rabbi is a leading member of the Iranian-Jewish community and as a JudgeDayan affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America, provides both judicial and mediation services. Larry Elder can be heard nightly on AM 870, as well as on a weekly basis on the

Sean Hannity show. He is a New York Times best-selling author and lecturer. Mr. Elder is a true friend of the State of Israel. His philosophy is to entertain, inform, provoke, and “to hopefully uplift.” His calling card is “We have a country to save,” and to him this means returning to the bedrock constitutional Dr. Shlomo Frankel, Rabbi Yuval Noff, Rabbi Yoel Gold, Dr. Arnold Ross, Andrew Friedman Dr. Arnold Ross, Larry Elder, Andrew Friedman, Rabbi Yoel Gold principles of limited government and natorial Candidate and Mayor Antonio maximum personal responsibility. Villaraigosa; Consul Generals of Hunga- FBI, DEA, ICE, and CHP will be joinAmongst the dignitaries who will be ry and Germany, Tamas Szeles and Hans ing. Reservations can be made by calling: attending are Senate President Pro TemJorg Neumann,; LAPD Assistant Chief (323) 931-2476. pore Kevin De Leon; Los Angeles CounBeatrice Girmala; and Councilman Paul ty Assessor Jeffrey Prang; Los Angeles Koretz. Special Agents representing the County Sheriff Jim McDonnell; Guber-

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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Mexikosher Here at Mexikosher, we recently added a new menu item, tacos al pastor. We were delighted when customer Ralph Kostant posted this comment on our Facebook page: As soon as I saw Katsuji’s video showing the newly featured tacos al pastor at Mexikosher, I knew I had to try them. Tonight Laura and I had our chance. To tell the truth, I was a wee bit apprehensive that it would turn out to be no more than shawarma on a tortilla. I should have known not to worry. El

Maestro has once again come up with a kosher variation on a Mexican delicacy that is truly unique. Using chicken to substitute for the pork typically used in the Mexican original, and some delicious spicing, Mexikosher’s tacos al pastor provide another delicious meat selection to the birria, carne asada, carnitas, and grilled chicken breast already on the menu. Two tips: (1) Don’t add any of Mexikosher’s wonderful salsas to the tacos al

pastor, at least for the first order. Salsas will only cover up the complex taste of the spicy rotisserie grilled chicken. (2) Add a side dish of Mexikosher’s grilled corn on the cob. El cielo. Ta’am gan eden. Here in Los Angeles we have enjoyed kosher corn tortillas for at least the entire 39 years I have lived here…But when Katsuji Tanabe began making his own corn tortillas, grinding organically grown local corn to make them fresh in Mexikosher – well, there is just no com-

parison. They only enhance the tacos al pastor. Shawarma is the Middle Eastern ancestor of tacos al pastor, brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. In Mexico, shawarma assimilated into tacos al pastor, when el pueblo de Mexico substituted more readily available pork for the lamb used in shawarma, and then added local spicing. By adding tacos al pastor to the menu of a kosher restaurant, Katsuji Tanabe has sort of brought tacos al pastor full circle. Kol ha kavod, Katsuji, all honor to you. You have done it again. Another satisfied customer! Chef Katsuji’s award-winning cuisine has earned him appearances on shows such as “Chopped,” “Top Chef Mexico,” “Top Chef Boston,” “MasterChef Mexico,” the Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters,” NBC’s “Food Fighters,” and PBS’s “Cooking Under Fire.” Whether you come in to Mexikosher to experience our tacos al pastor or another one of Chef Katsuji’s tastebud-tickling creations, why don’t you top it off with our new dessert selection, churros? While most churros in the U.S. are too doughy, we invested in a machine which provides an authentic churro which tastes just like one purchased on the streets of Mexico. And, as always, we can meet your catering needs with our Taco Bar – two savory types of meat, nine delicious garnishes, four homemade salsas, guacamole, tortillas, and chips are all included! We can provide all of this for just $25 a person, given four hours notice or more.


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Fourth Annual Young Engineers Conference and Award Ceremony Bracha Miriam Turner

VTHS winners with CIJE West Region Board members, Wendy Rosenthal, and Yvette Edidin, CIJE content experts and mentors Dr. Adrian Krag and Ms. Teresa Doan

On May 16th and 18th, the JCC in West L.A. hosted the fourth annual West Coast CIJE Young Engineers Conference and award ceremony for participating schools. The Center for Initiative in Jewish Education (CIJE) is a nonprofit organization that provides academic support in the form of science enrichment and funding for participating schools. In addition to training educators, the program provides a rigorous supplementary curriculum in engineering and coding. The two-year program focuses on teaching high school students the basics of electrical and mechanical engineering, coding and design. While in some high schools the program is mandatory, at others it is an elective. Twelve schools participated this year in the West Coast division, amongst the 220 participating Jewish schools in the nation, with the numbers increasing annually. Rabbi Peikes of Torah High in San Diego, an all-girls school, was pleased with his decision participate. “We let the girls find their own voice and interests,” he said. Yvette Edidin of Edidin Partners, a graduate from University Of Pennsylvania in systems engineering and the keynote speaker at the girls’ conference, noted that studies have shown girls are more likely to enter the field of engineering if they find relevancy in it. The program jumpstarts this process. Jason Cury, President of the Board of Directors, projects that the program provides students with marketable job skills that are relevant to a competitive job force. He observed that on the East Coast there were several families who moved their children from public school into Jewish high school just because of the engineering program, even though the students needed supplementary tutoring to catch up in Judaic studies. The focus of the curriculum is to design a product with potential societal benefit and test it so they can learn by trial and error. The program’s national director, Dr.

Jane Willoughby, emphasized the importance of giving students the independence to resolve their own setbacks and find creative solutions. When they overcome these “mistakes” themselves – instead of waiting for teachers to “rescue” them – and prevail, real learning happens. The students each displayed microprocessor boards. The final stage of the program requires the students to also com-

prehend and practice with 3D modeling language. The students worked in small groups and competed against their classmates. A panel of science-related judges awarded top projects for innovation, presentation, team building, societal value, most outstanding engineering, and relevancy to the market. Amongst the participating girls schools were YULA Girls, Valley Torah Girls, Torah High of San Diego and Meira Academy of Palo Alto. Amongst the participating boys and co-ed schools were YULA Boys, Valley Torah Boys, De Toledo from West Hills, Harkham-Gaon Academy, Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok, and Tarbut V’Torah (Irvine), Northwest Yeshiva (Seattle), San

Diego Jewish Academy, Southern California Yeshiva High, and Yavne Academy of Dallas. The students provided innovative solutions for carseat safety, braille literacy, lifestyle reminders for those suffering from dementia, and preventing falling asleep behind the wheel. Meital Shafigi from Valley Torah, “Working on this project with my team widened our imagination and brought us to the realization that failure should not be feared, but rather seen as a place for improvement.” The students’ successes generated confidence in their identity as young engineers.

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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Calls to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem at Congressional Event Marking 50 Years Since Jerusalem’s Unification Twenty-nine senators and congressmen took part in an event at the Capitol marking the jubilee year of Israel’s lightning victory over Arab aggressors in the Six Day War. There were high spirits and emotional endorsements of Israel at a unique event held at the Capitol on Thursday, marking 50 years since the unification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule. Senators and congressmen from both major parties came together at the event to recount their memories from June 5, 1967, and to share their religious connection to the Jewish state, its capital and its leadership. A recurrent theme in the legislators’ speeches was the call to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – and to seize the moment to do so now. Martin Oliner – president of the Religious Zionists of America and the Center for Unity, and the driving force behind the event – noted that the event had not only united lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, but also brought together the 25 Jewish groups that had co-sponsored it. “We’re coming together to celebrate the unity of Jerusalem, and we mark a miracle,” he said. “And by coming together, I think we’re perpetuating that miracle. I must tell you that I was born in a DP camp. I come from parents who are survivors… When 1967 came, they were understandably extremely fearful for the people of Israel. “We were outnumbered, there was no chance that we were going to win, and it was a miracle that we did. But winning the war against all odds certainly increased their faith. We had relatives, unfortunately, who abandoned their faith and Jewish practice because of the Holocaust. But during 1967 they returned, seeing the miracles that occurred during that time.” (Martin Oliner’s front page op-ed piece, “Push for Embassy Move to Jerusalem with Head Held High,” appeared in The Jerusalem Post on May 21st.) Michael and Sheryl Rosenberg flew in from Los Angeles for this gathering. Sheryl Diller Rosenberg said, “I feel so grateful and proud to live in the United States! Today was especially emotional for me, as a Jew and as an American, to witness the strong partnership that our country has with the Jewish State, Israel, and where elected officials from both parties joined in bipartisan support for Israel and for the 50 year celebration of the reunification of our holy capital, Jerusalem. Am Yisrael chai!” David Lunzer shared similar sentiments. “Sitting at the luncheon today as

each member of Congress got up, one by one, Democrats and Republicans, to voice their bipartisan support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, my heart was filled with pride as both an American and as a Jew. With so many issues dividing Congress, and this country in general, the one that unifies us is the State of Israel.” Dr. Ernest Agatstein co-President of the Religious Zionists of America and President of the Religious Zionists of Los Angeles said, “We were honored that supporters of the RZA and of the State of Israel took the time and effort to travel to Washington, DC, to represent the entire Los Angeles community in attending the event at the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) recounted telling Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “I think you have a chance to be one of Israel’s greatest leaders... I’m talking all-time greats. Going back to David, Solomon, Josiah, Hezekiah, on up to Ben Gurion.” Gohmert noted that David Ben Gurion had claimed the Bible as the deed that entitled the Jews to reclaim Jerusalem.   Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) opined that it was high time to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “I think that at this point, not recognizing Jerusalem as the unified and indivisible capital of Israel actually hurts the peace process,” he explained. “When you look at some of the Arab states, what they respect is strength and decisiveness.” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, “I keep thinking back to June 5th, 1967. I was in my junior year at WVU. I’ll never forget talking to the young Jewish man I was in school with. I never saw this type of excitement from anybody, especially a young person, over their heritage or religion that they believed in… He explained to me, he gave me a whole history of the Jewish state… and explained to me why it was such a momentous occasion.” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) suggested

Charlie Rosenberg with Congressman Steny Hoyer

that President’s trip to Israel would present the perfect chance “to announce that he is going to deliver on what was a campaign pledge, to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem… It would be a great opportunity for the President to reinforce that without doubt, the capital of Israel is the entirety of Jerusalem, and the President should not let that opportunity pass him by.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) warned that while there has been “incredible progress” in the state of Israel, “the challenges today are greater than ever before… We know that there are so many forces around the world that are trying to compromise the legitimacy of Israel. We see that in the efforts of the Palestinians to take the negotiations with Israel to the United Nations, rather than direct negotiations. We cannot let that happen “! Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) spoke of his moving spiritual experience in Israel during the “Second Intifada” terror war in 2002, when Israeli buses were be-

ing blown up daily. At one point, he said, he sneaked out of his hotel and went to say Mass at the Church of the Holy Sephulcre. “And I was so proud of myself, I said, ‘Oh, I’m so courageous, that I would do this without my armed guards.’ And I walked outside and I saw the little girls getting on the bus to go to school that morning. And I realized that these are the courageous people. The people who lived in Israel... From that day forward I decided I would always do what I could to help the state of Israel.” House Minority Whip, Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) addressed the audience. He said, “Let it be clear that there is only one option. A united Jerusalem. Who can deny the unique experience of ascending the holy City? Thank you to all who defend Jerusalem and keep it open to members of all faiths.” Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) of Colorado echoed similarly. He said, “We have a Jerusalem that is in Jewish control. We need to keep it that way. We’re insisting that the President recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy to Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) of Nebraska said, “To witness the Six Day War was to see the hand of God. I was raised at a breakfast table where I was taught that those who bless Israel will be blessed.” Video and full transcripts of the speeches given at the Jerusalem 50-year event by the following honorable senators and members of Congress can be found at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/ Tag.aspx/36855: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Keith Rohfus (R-PA), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Rep. Jacky Rosen (R-NV), Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Rep. Chris Stewart (RUT), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

First Annual Trustees Reception on Behalf of Laniado Hospital in Netanya Takes Place in Hancock Park Yehudis Litvak berstam said to G-d, “I lost everything, but not You, G-d. I’m still holding on.” He started over in Netanya, devoting his life to “taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves,” Rabbi Einhorn said, adding that the same spirit still permeates the way the hospital operates. The next speaker, Dr. Limor Gortzak Uzan, Head of Gynecologic Oncology DeZvi Yechezkeli

partment at Laniado Hospital, shared her experience with two of her patients, two sisters whose stories ended tragically. The older sister refused genetic testing and did not reveal her condition to her extended family. She later blamed herself for the death of her younger sister, which might have been prevented had the younger sister known about her genetic predisposi-

tion. Dr. Gortzak Uzan explained that the patients are part of their families and culture, which needs to be taken into account when treating them. She praised the dedication of the staff at Laniado expressed her appreciation to the donors. “It is truly warming our hearts that people demonstrate their care,” said Dr. Gortzak Uzan. The guests then watched a video pre-

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Imri and Hadas Hadad

On Tuesday, May 16th, the West Coast Friends of Laniado Sanz Medical Center of Netanya, Israel held its first annual Trustees Reception at the home of Ilan and Linda Gorodezki in Hancock Park. The goal of the reception was to raise funds for the creation of a new Gynecologic Oncology Department at Laniado Hospital. In addition to the hosts, the reception steering committee included Sol and Gabriella Goldner, Victor and Mazal Hadad, Michael and Sheryl Rosenberg, and Urie M. Lieberman, Director of West Coast Friends of Laniado. The event was co-chaired by Sol Goldner, Sol Teichman, and Joe Kornwasser. Linda Gorodezki, the hostess and MC of the event, spoke about her family’s visit to the Laniado Hospital several years ago. They were impressed with the deep appreciation the patients expressed towards their doctors and hospital staff. The hospital, Linda said, opened in 1975 and currently operates 35 departments, serving close to half a million people of all backgrounds – religious and secular, Jewish and Muslim. Then Cantor Netanel Baram of Beverly Hills Synagogue, who grew up in the Old City of Jerusalem, treated the guests to a heartfelt rendition of “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” accompanied by musicians. The first speaker, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Dean of Yavneh Academy and the rabbi of Kehillat Yavneh, spoke about the Klausenberger Rebbe, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, ztz”l, the founder of Laniado Hospital. “In order to understand the identity of this magnificent institution we need to understand where it came from,” said Rabbi Einhorn. He explained that the Klausenberger Rebbe, descendant of renowned Chassidic dynasties, was a learned rabbi whose wife and eleven children were murdered by the Nazis, y”sh. Rabbi Hal-

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Happenings The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Mr Joe Kornwasser, Sol Teichman, Sol Goldner, Victor Hadad with Zvi Yechezkeli and Urie Lieberman

sentation about the Laniado Hospital, which featured stories of three patients. The common theme expressed by the patients and their families was the care the doctors and staff of the hospital extend towards not only the physical, but also the emotional wellbeing of their patients. A child brought to the emergency room of the hospital gets assigned a surrogate mother “to take care of the soul of the child” – to be with the child in their frightening situation and to provide emotional support. Each patient is “always greeted with smiles and hugs, and feels like part of a family.”

Mr. Zvi Ryzman and Urie Lieberman

The next two speakers were Imri and Hadas Hadad, the grandchildren of Azizi Hadad, a”h, a long-time supporter of the Laniado Hospital who’d passed away last year. Imri spoke about his grandfather’s close relationship with the hospital staff. He described the environment at Laniado. Most hospitals are filled with sadness and grief, he said, but not Laniado. “The second you walk in, you realize it’s different,” he said. “There is hope. The goal is not to cure the disease, but to cure the patient, not only in a medical way, but in a personal way.”

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Hadas added that her grandfather, an optimist by nature, cared deeply about Laniado because “it’s about giving hope, helping people focus on the positive and look for a brighter future.” The guest speaker, Zvi Yechezkeli, Head of Arab desk at Channel 10 News in Israel, spoke about the situation in the Middle East, emphasizing that it is impossible to understand the Middle Eastern mentality through a Western lens. He explained that there are three conflict areas in the Middle East: between the Sunni and Shia Muslims, within Sunni, and between the Muslims and the Western world. The

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

internal conflicts are the causes of most violence in the Middle East, with the majority of the victims being Muslim. While 95% of Muslims are not interested in war, the vociferous 5% claim to speak in the name of Islam, which means that Muslims won’t speak against them. “The Muslim world bleeds and is asking the Western society for help,” said Mr. Yechezkeli. “The most important thing for us is that when we neglect that part of the world it will come here.” The beautiful evening concluded with soulful music.

Today, Thousands Upon Thousands of Jewish Souls Across the Former USSR are Seeking Something Deeper—to Give their Life Mission and Meaning Y. Mannes

Since 2014, Kolel Torah has caused a rebirth of Torah learning and transformed countless Jewish lives across Russia, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Established as a grassroots network of kollelim, these learning centers provide Jews of all religious levels and backgrounds the opportunity to come together and learn Torah, from basic essentials of aleph beis to more advanced davening, halachah, and Torah study. Classes vary in each location, offering sessions in the morning, evening, and, in some, throughout the day. Not long ago, gathering a minyan to fill a shul – even on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – was a nearly impossible feat. But as Kolel Torah has continued to grow, more and more communities are once again beginning to pulsate with the vibrancy of Jewish life. “Torah provides the connection they’ve been seeking for so long,” shared Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia. “Kolel Torah connects Jews who are on similar journeys creating a sense of community and belonging.” The Kolel Torah network currently boasts over 100 locations across the region and is run by Rabbi Ben Tzion Lipsker, Chabad shaliach in St. Petersburg, and Rabbi Moshe Weber, shaliach in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. It is primarily funded by the Meromim Foundation

Communicated Kolel Torah locations operate according to the standard kollel structure. Students receive a significant payment with regular, mandatory attendance and satisfactory test scores on topics they have studied. These stipends often make all the difference to many in this economically stricken region, providing families with their “bread” – physically and spiritually.

As they progress in learning, they also begin progressing in observance, even saving kollel stipends to purchase tefillin or mezuzos. They ask questions, they are kashering their kitchens, and they are eating kosher food. In light of the demand, similar women-only classes have been created, bringing the inspiration and warmth of Torah into the homes of thousands. To take part in this initiative, join with Kolel Torah on June 5, 2017, as they raise $3,000,000 to further their impact throughout the region.


The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Enclosed is a donation of 104 for the Shavu’os fundraising campaign [the segulah of Rav Chaim Palagi] to the worthy cause of Vaad Harabanim. Chaim Kanievsky

40 Days At Beis HaShunamis

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

Back when the sun first rose and creation was unsullied by man and his struggles, the world was waiting. Even after man settled in the garden, le’ovdah uleshomrah, the world was in a state of anticipation. Throughout the generations that followed, despite Noach’s lone piety in a world of darkness, Avrohom Avinu’s perception of a Creator, and Yitzchok’s readiness to be offered as the ultimate sacrifice, something was missing. Even as Yaakov studied through the long nights and his sons marched forthan army of soldiers of the Ribbono Shel Olam- the world was not yet perfect. It was a journey, a process leading to the Yom Hashishi, the glorious sixth day of Sivan when the world received its heart and soul. Bishvil haTorah shenikraas reishis. “Ve’am nivra yehalel Kah” (Tehillim 102:19). A nation, newly identified, newly charged with a mission, called out two words that echo through the ages, that have come to define us: “Naaseh venishma.” It was the moment when Klal Yisroel announced for the entire world to hear that although they were mortals fashioned of flesh and blood, they would live on a higher and loftier plane, using the greatest of all gifts, the holy Torah, to guide them. And now, once again, we are at the time in the year when the power and potency of that day reigns supreme, and we are able to tap into its energy. Yom Tov comes and Yom Tov goes, and we search for the appropriate mindset and idea to help us connect, so that, as Rav Yitzchok Hutner would say, “the Yom Tov doesn’t pass us by, but, rather, we pass through it, experiencing its blessing.” As we celebrate Zeman Mattan Toraseinu, the best and most appropriate preparation is to focus on how blessed we are, with the gift we received, and what those moments at Sinai and their reverberations mean to us. We all know it’s true. It’s 2017 and ne-

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

It Is Who We Are and What We Are About shamos are dimmer than ever. It’s hard to feel ruchniyus, to acutely sense kedushah in a crass, immoral world, but it is there. If we take a moment and contemplate, and conduct an honest self-assessment, we will realize that whatever might give us a degree of happiness - a new car or home, a delicious meal or a great vacation - isn’t the real deal. The feeling it gives us does not compare to the elation we feel when we gently stand up after a good shiur or seder, having learned with a child or chavrusa. Those fortunate enough to walk into a shul and see their son or grandson hunched

amar Abaye and Rebbi Yehuda omeir. Hashem gave us the ultimate gift, and when we express our thanks, we allow ourselves to become vessels that contain it and open our hearts to its light. Hanosein matana lachaveiro tzorich lehodio. This means that when a person gives someone a gift, he must inform the recipient. But lehodio also has in it’s root the word hoda’ah, thanks, indicating that when a person gives a gift, he expects it to be acknowledged. Therefore, we say thank you every day. Asher bochar banu. You chose us. And on Shavuos, we celebrate it.

Imagine that today is the day you discovered the secret of the world.

over a Gemara have experienced a joy unlike any other. No amount is too small. A good vort, a kushya shared on the way out of shul, or a short shiur has the ability to thrill unlike anything this world has to offer. Friday morning, my friend called to share a vort that he had heard at a sheva brachos. It was a great thought. Exhilarating, in fact. It brought both of us more joy than any juicy piece of meat or lashon hora. Because even today, we can still feel the joy of kabbolas haTorah. Every time we hear a good sevorah, vort, or shiur; every time we work hard to understand a Gemara, Rashi, or Tosafos, the joy that was felt at Har Sinai is felt again. Everything else is fleeting. The world was created for Torah. The joy that was felt on that day in Sivan so many years back and all those feelings that were apparent on that day are eternal. We can feel them anytime we delve into the holy words of

On Shavuos, when we reaffirm that we only exist for the Torah and our nation has a unifying goal, we allow the Torah to shine its light into our hearts. We remain awake at night, demonstrating our appreciation of the Torah’s role in our lives. We read through the entire Torah in Tikkun Leil Shavuos to show that we treasure every sefer of the Torah and the knowledge contained therein. We pledge to take it all very seriously and endeavor to understand whatever we can. Rav Archik Bakst, rov of Shavel, once met a friend, a fellow talmid of Kelm, who shared a vort from their rebbi, the Alter of Kelm. The friend said the vort with obvious excitement, explaining that he had just heard the idea that week and it had changed his life. Rav Archik listened and said, “My dear friend, we were together at the shmuess when the Alter shared this idea. I was moved by it then, but you mached it avek.

You waved the thought away. And because you made it unimportant, it became unimportant to you. It was as if you heard nothing, so this week, when you heard again it and accepted it, it was as if you were hearing it for the first time.” What, asks the Meshech Chochmah at the end of Parshas Yisro, did Moshe Rabbeinu personally gain from kabbolas haTorah? He had already been worthy and was able to rise Heavenward even before the giving of the Torah. This was an indication that Moshe Rabbeinu had personally achieved perfection before Sinai. The Meshech Chochmah’s answer is instructive and relevant. Until Mattan Torah, he says, Moshe Rabbeinu and man were able to serve Hashem with ruchniyus. The novelty of kabbolas haTorah was that, suddenly, acts of pure gashmiyus were invested with kedushah. Man was directed to sanctify himself, his corporeal needs, and his animal instincts. This, says the Meshech Chochmah, is the idea of Hashem telling Moshe Rabbeinu at the sneh, the burning bush, “She’al na’alecha mei’al raglecha - Remove your shoes from on your feet. Remove the vehicles for your gashmiyusdike living. Remove your chomer as you approach Me. Here you must be an angel.” That was before Matan Torah. Afterward, the shoes became part of the package - the package called a mentch, to whom the Torah was given. After Matan Torah, Hashem tells Klal Yisroel, “Ve’anshei kodesh tihiyun li - And holy people be unto me.” The Kotzker Rebbe would translate this command to mean, “Be mentchlich heilig. Be holy within the context of being human.” Figure out how to exist within society, to be a father and a husband and a friend who is holy. We are meant to be people who live elevated lives, not malochim. On Shavuos, we celebrate this concept. Hakadosh Boruch Hu desires our service. He gave us the Torah to guide us and address our physical existence. We celebrate the potential of man, who can use the Torah as the ladder to climb to ever loftier heights. The Creator didn’t ask us to become angels, but rather, to remain mortals, to incorporate the Torah and its laws into the realities of our humble little lives. The Gemara states that while regarding other Yomim Tovim the rabbis disagree how much of the day should be dedicated to the purely spiritual, on Shavuos, “hakol modim debe’inan nami lochem.” They


Living with In theNews Times The Week

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

all agree that we need to please the more physical side as well. We can understand this to mean that on Shavuos, we need “lochem,” to proclaim that the physical is part of the Shavuos celebration. We demonstrate through our actions that Torah has affected and touched our base desires as well. Chazal (Pesikta Zutrasa, Va’eschanon) state, “Chayov odom liros ess atzmo ke’ilu mekabel Torah miSinai, shene’emar, ‘Hayom hazeh nihiyeisa le’am.’ Every day a person is obligated to conduct himself as if he accepted the Torah that day at Har Sinai.’” We are all familiar with this directive regarding Yetzias Mitzrayim. In fact, it is the central theme of the leil haSeder, but we don’t think about it on Shavuos. Imagine if today were the day you received the Torah. Imagine standing at Har Sinai and hearing the words of the Aseres Hadibros being called out. Imagine the sounds. Imagine the site. Imagine being led out of Mitzrayim with very little knowledge or holiness, and trekking through the desert, becoming a better person every day. Imagine how empty and meaningless your life would be without Torah. No Torah, no learning, no Shabbos, no tefillin, no Yom Tov, nothing that your life is centered around, nothing that gives your life the meaning it now has. You wouldn’t even have potato kugel or cholent, or a nice suit, hat or shaitel. You wouldn’t have a shul to go to and no reason to go to one altogether. Think of everything you do in your day, week and year. Now imagine that there was no Torah. Imagine that today is the day you discovered the secret of the world. Imagine that today you were invited to study G-d’s word, to bask in His glow, to find meaning, satisfaction and joy in your life. How excited you would be! How grateful and how dedicated! Today is that day. “Ke’ilu mekabel Torah miSinai.” Appreciate it. Show it. Feel it. Hayom hazeh! Today and every day. Despite the degeneration of the world; despite the struggles we experience with every tefillah and the challenge of concentrating fully when we learn; despite the many forces competing for our attention, we have a new kabolas haTorah. Our shortcomings are no hindrance, because we weren’t given a Torah despite the fact that we are people, but specifically because we are mere humans. Rav Yecheskel Abramsky lived in London on an upper story of a building that had a bank on its ground floor. During the German blitzkrieg, when the city endured crushing air attacks, residents of the building took cover in the bank’s vault. The vault was a large, underground

room, lined with safety deposit boxes. Rav Abramsky kept a small Shas in the shelter, and as sirens wailed and people shuddered in fear, he would take out a volume of Gemara and learn from it. Rav Abramsky’s family noticed that every time he entered the vault, his lips were moving. They thought that he was murmuring words of Tehillim, but then they realized that he was repeating the words of the posuk, “Tov li toras picha mei’alfei zahav vachesef - Your Torah is more precious to me than thousands in gold and silver.” When asked to explain his habit, he said that he had no need for great wealth and no desire for riches. But when surrounded by boxes that contained jewels, precious antiques and large sums of cash, he felt that it had an effect of him. To calm that feeling, he would repeat the posuk, reminding him that the Torah is worth more than what was in the safety deposit boxes. The real value that we crave is in Torah, he reminded them. In Lita of old, this concept was widely understood. There was a natural reverence for Torah and its scholars even among the unlearned. In Volozhin, local homeowners would line up at the train station before each zeman to vie for the honor of pulling the wagons carrying arriving talmidim and their luggage. The yeshiva learned through Shas, and when the yeshiva celebrated a siyum, the local people would arrive at the yeshiva and proudly serve as waiters. Imagine that! Imagine if in your town, the bochurim and yungeleit would dine, and the fine residents, who everyone knows and respects, would go from table to table giving out the food. Nobody forced them to come. Nobody even asked them to come. It was their special honor, because they appreciated Torah and lomdei Torah. It was an honor for them to carry the lomdei Torah and their belongings to the yeshiva, and it was their pleasure to partake in the simcha of the completion of yet another masechta. It was special to them. It was valuable to them, as if it was given today. They treated it with respect. They treasured the Torah and the people who studied it the whole day. It was their pride and joy. We hear these things and smile. They are charming reminders of a world that was. Of a world that we need to recreate. Shavuos is a time to refocus on what Torah means to us, and on how blessed we are to be able to spend time by a Gemara or Chumash or Shulchan Aruch, and be surrounded by talmidei chachomim and yeshiva bochurim. The Klausenberger Rebbe arrived in America after the Second World War having lost his wife and eleven children. He married a daughter of the Nitra Rov. Rav

Leizer Silver, the legendary rov of Cincinnati and one of the most prominent rabbonim in America of those years, was a special guest at the second sheva brachos, held in Mount Kisco. As he rose to speak, he announced that he came bearing a gift for the chosson and kallah, a check for two hundred and fifty-eight dollars. “If you wonder how come I am giving that amount, I’ll tell you,” he said. “It’s because that check represents everything I had in my bank account. Every last penny. The rebbe is a talmid chochom, and he will produce talmidei chachomim. I would give everything to be part of that. I wish I had more to give!” The speech of the quintessential Litvishe rov resonated with the crowd. They got his message about what would yet be, and the glorious future that America might have as a makom Torah. He was telling them not to despair, not to give up, not to say, “It can’t happen here.” Moreover, he was saying, “We are still here, holding on to Sinai, and as long as we cherish and revere and support those who

learn and teach Torah, we have a future.” The Kadmonim call the moments spent in Torah study “lev hayom, the heart of the day,” its most crucial and life-giving period. We open our arms wide and accept the Torah, just as our fathers and their fathers have done for thousands of years. We cherish its words, raising our children and helping to guide their children to see the honey under each letter. It is who we are and what we are about. Our lives revolve around it. It is Torah. We, with our feet dragging through the dust of real life, of parnossah and health challenges, and all sorts of temptations, persist in walking with our eyes on Him and on His Torah, knowing that it is meant for us, to give us the tools to climb higher. Modim anachnu loch shesamta chelkeinu m’yoshvei bais hamedrash. Thank You, Master of the Universe, for allowing us to have a connection with Torah, to have tasted the truest joy of all. Gut Yom Tov.

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Torah Musings The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Coasting Through the Highs and Lows of Life Sarah Pachter

A few years ago, there was an iPod contest called, “Where’s the app for that?” People were asked to submit their ideas for new apps, and the person who came up with the most creative app would get a new iPhone. As I listened, I began to think of my own app idea, one that could help in moments of social awkwardness, a strained relationship, credit card debt, or a failed business – or even something as simple as a messy house after Shabbat guests retire. I’d call it the “restart app.” An app that could magically help us start anew. It would function like the “factory reset” button on our phone, which erases all the information enabling the phone to be restored or resold to another user.    “Tell me please,” I thought, “Where’s the app for THAT?”

Well, believe it or not, G-d already created the “restart app” for our lives. It’s called Rosh Chodesh. I remember the first time I heard about Rosh Chodesh. The teacher stood before us and said, “Class, the first of every month is a holiday!” I chuckled because I thought she was joking. Then I looked around the classroom and realized everyone was taking her seriously. I couldn’t understand why. Nobody walks around thinking, “WOO-HOO! Happy June 1st!” If anything, we dread the first of the month. That is when the rent is due! As Jews, we always seem to be looking for an excuse to celebrate a holiday, but what exactly are we celebrating? In this little holiday called Rosh Chodesh lies the secret to getting through life’s highs and lows. Not only is Rosh Chodesh a celebration, but its observance is also the very first

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mitzvah given to the Jewish nation as a group. This was G-d’s “first impression,” so to speak. At first glance, this mitzvah hardly seems worthy of being presented to the Jews as “first.”  It appears as something trivial in our eyes, but is very important to G-d. Rashi even describes this mitzvah as the foundation of Judaism, stating that the entire Torah could have started with Rosh Chodesh! Rosh Chodesh is a mitzvah that engages our concept of time, which is of utmost importance since we live under auspices of time. We have daily schedules which require us to appear “on-time” for certain activities. Our work, meals, and family all revolve around time. The main demarcation of this realm is called a day. The Torah defines a day as, “It was evening and morning – one day.” (Bereishit 1:5) Therefore, the day begins at night. For example, we light candles on Friday to usher in Shabbat at sunset. The structure of our realm of time is a pattern of night and then day. We are constantly cycling in this nightday, night-day realm. Everything in the physical world has a spiritual representation. We are constantly cycling in a night-day, darkness-light realm. On a fundamental level, we begin as fetuses in a womb of total darkness. After that, we are born into a life of light. More metaphorically, in our day-to-day life, we regularly go through good times and bad ones. We all have days when the sun is shining on us, and everything seems to be falling into place, and then we have days when suddenly everything seems to go wrong. We have moments when we feel in control, happy, serene, and moments where we feel completely out of control, sad, and perhaps angry. We cycle in this way; the dichotomy of experiencing spiritual connectedness, while sometimes experiencing isolation and detachment from G-d. We all struggle with this on some level. So why does it have to work this way? If I feel good about something, why can’t I just keep that feeling forever?   One glorious afternoon, I realized the answer. I was bike riding with my sister and our children. We rode all the way to Venice beach, where they have half pipe skateboarding. Locals and tourists from around the world watch as the skateboarders fly up and then down, yelling “WOO-HOO!” I quickly realized that if you don’t go down, then you can’t fly back UP. Embracing the down, knowing that there will be an up, is the key to success. The down actually gives us the adrenaline and momentum to rise back up. Rosh Chodesh is the moment where the sky is darkest. It is our lowest metaphorical

point. It is also when the moon stops getting smaller and starts getting larger. That is called the new month. The light changes direction – it becomes brighter. That is the concept that we celebrate. It is not a superficial, “WOO-HOO, it’s JUNE FIRST!” Rather, Rosh Chodesh is a celebration because it represents our hope of renewal. This is why the very name for month (chodesh) is “new” (chadash). G-d gives us the choice to start over, providing us with a message, and if we are sensitive enough, we will pick up on it. Hashem makes an opportunity to re-start and renew. It is the optimal time, spiritually speaking, to make changes in our lives and start over. But we still have to make a choice to press that “restart app.” I know a man personally who had the courage to press that “restart app.” His mother survived the Nazis while giving birth to him in a forest. Later when they fled to America, they had nothing. They moved to upstate New York and bought a dairy farm that they couldn’t afford, but were slowly paying off the debt. Their days were spent milking the cows, and selling the milk in blizzard weather. On one particularly cold day, they spent over an hour loading up the sled with all the milk, as this was their only source of income. They began their journey to deliver the milk by sled, and after bumping into a chunk of ice, the milk spilled… all of it. The young man watched as the white milk disappeared into the white snow.  At that exact moment, he said to himself, “No, I can’t do this anymore. I’m starting over.” Imagine the fear he felt. Everything they had was in that farm, all their money, and all their resources. How could this man start again? Nevertheless, he started over.  He pressed “the restart app” and changed courses.  Today, that same man is considered one of the top doctors in America, serving the president of the United States. In an interview with this doctor, he explains that his lowest point in life was the moment the milk spilled. It was his turning point. And now he attributes his extraordinary success to that one moment. His lowest point was actually his point of ascent towards professional success. This is the gift Rosh Chodesh offers us. Times might look bleack, but, Yeshuat Hashem keheref ayin – redemption comes in the blink of an eye (Brachot 2b, Shabbot 34b, Yerushalmi Brachot 3a). This famous phrase describes the blinking eye because when the eye is closed during a blink, it is pitch black, yet a millisecond later, we open our eyes and the light floods in. Similarly, on Rosh Chodesh, the new moon reflects no light, yet light is on the way. Our lowest point is often the turning point that leads to the highest peak of life – towards the light, and closer to G-d.  It takes a lot of bravery to press that “restart app.” On Rosh Chodesh, Hashem is sending us a message. Things are changing in the sky, and I’m right here to cheer you on. *No names are mentioned to protect the privacy of the physician. This article is based on the teachings of Rav Zalman Mindell.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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SHUIR III: BERLIN, GERMANY

Askja, Iceland: Rav Yaakov Emden’s search for Gehenom & a Jewish view of Hell Shiur 5 | 2:55-3:35am Istanbul, Turkey: Rav Chaim Pallagi and the changing of Ottoman Law

SHUIR VII: GIBRALTAR, SPAIN

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The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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Op-Ed The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Don’t Settle for Less Kevin (Arie) Gres

It sounded good. It read well. It was described with all that nice, warm, flowery language that makes us feel like we are making the world a better place. It had broad political support of our many politicians like Paul Koretz and Herb Wesson. It was even supported by the police unions. So, what could possibly be the problem with Charter C, a recently passed amendment to the city charter that claims to hold LAPD officers accountable for misconduct by using civilian members of our own community? How could anyone vote against that? To strengthen the question, why would groups like the African American Cultural Center, Black Lives Matter, League of Women Voters, The National Lawyers Guild, The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, The LA Watts Times, and the Los Angeles Sentinel all urge the public to vote against Charter C? Were they advocating for police misconduct? Do they not want more law enforcement accountability? Additionally, the police unions generally advocate for less oversight, why did they urge Angelenos to pass Charter C? While this may sound like a v’nahapoch hu Purim riddle, it is just Los Angeles politics at its worst. The answer is unfortunately simple – Charter C is among the most deceptive pieces of municipal legislation to be voted on and passed in years. It will undoubtedly breed further distrust and racial divide in this city, deepening the growing chasm between civilians and law enforcement. Let me explain myself. When an LAPD officer is accused of misconduct (i.e. assault, tampering with evidence, excessive force, perjury), his or her chain of command opens its own internal investigation and decides if the officer is guilty of misconduct, and if so, what the punishment should be. If the Chief decides an officer

was guilty of gross misconduct and should be punished (demoted, suspended, terminated, etc.), officers can appeal the Chief’s decision by going before the Board of Rights, a three-person panel comprised of two police officers holding the rank of Captain or higher, and one randomly selected civilian. This three-person panel can vote to overturn the Chief’s decision or vote to accept the Chief’s recommendation. The Board cannot vote to punish officers the Chief has already decided not to punish, nor can they increase punishment the Chief recommends. They can only acquit, decrease punishment, or accept the Chief’s decision. So, what’s the problem? Let’s continue: Who is this randomly selected civilian to act as the counterweight to police misconduct? This individual must have at least seven years’ experience with arbitration or mediation, and must pass a private interview with the Police Commission. If they pass, they enter the pool to be drawn from at random, to serve on the Board of Rights. The Police Commission has exclusive control over who gets to be part of the pool and who does not. Since this Board of Rights was enacted in 1995, the voting records of these “randomly selected civilians” are abnormally different than the voting records of the two LAPD officers they serve with. Over the past five years, Chief Beck recommended firing 229 LAPD officers for gross misconduct (which is no simple task), the Board of Rights overturned the Chief a whopping 117 times. Of those 117 cases, the “randomly selected civilian” voted every single time to overturn the Chief. In other words, there was never a “two officers for acquittal, one civilian for guilty” vote – not ever. Nor was there ever a one officer and one “randomly selected citizen” for guilt, and one officer for

acquittal. This “randomly selected civilian” is far more lenient and less likely to punish an officer already found guilty by the Chief than his or her two LAPD counterparts. This highly suspicious pattern of voting is no secret. Even LAPD Chief Charlie Beck recognized this voting phenomenon during a recent interview about Charter C. It has been further noted, that oftentimes, if one of these civilians does not vote in favor of the officer they are coincidentally never “randomly” selected again to serve on the Board of Rights by the Police Commission. They are effectively removed. To put it plainly and simply, the entire police disciplinary appeals process is rigged. I know many of you may be thinking that these claims seem counterintuitive. We expect the two LAPD Board of Rights members to be in cahoots with the LAPD officer in question, and the civilian, the lone voice of justice. In theory you may be right, but practically you are very wrong. LAPD officers with the rank of Captain or higher actually do a better job of holding other officers accountable for misconduct than you would think. The “randomly selected civilian,” on the other hand, is a carefully vetted individual who is intentionally placed on the Board of Rights. There is nothing random or civilian about these picks. It is like an attorney who can stack a jury with friends and the other attorney can’t do anything about it. We would all agree that is fundamentally unfair, so why do we settle for this when it comes to disciplining those who take an oath to “protect and serve?” So, what does Charter C do? It amends the current makeup of the Board of Rights from two LAPD officers and one “randomly selected civilian,” to three “randomly selected civilians.” This will undoubtedly

mean that the Chief’s recommendation to punish an officer for gross misconduct will be overturned far more often – not based on the evidence at the hearing, but based on back channel political allegiances. It allows the police unions to stack the odds in their favor threefold. What’s the answer? The answer to this question, in my humble opinion, is common sense. Instead of using “randomly selected civilians” or LAPD officers (which by the way is a clear conflict of interest), why don’t we use retired judges to comprise the Board of Rights panel? We trust them to handle complex criminal and civil cases, why not police misconduct? The subject matter is certainly within their expertise, as officer misconduct is routinely an issue in criminal and certain civil cases. Many retired judges continue to work in the legal field in some capacity or another anyways. Some come back as temporary judges, others become arbitrators and mediators, and others become law professors. These judges have well known and transparent records, and are racially, culturally, and economically diverse. Some were prosecutors, some defense attorneys, and some civil litigators. Most importantly, their character is usually out of reach from the political tentacles of special interests and City Hall. If the content of this editorial is true, and anyone is welcomed to do independent research on the issue, the next, and perhaps more pressing logical questions begging to be asked: Why do we settle for politicians who support and champion these downright deceptive measures at the cost of the people? Why do they get a pass? Kevin (Arie) Gres is a former Los Angeles prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney. He owns and operates his own criminal defense practice, serves on the Project Tikvah Advisory Board, and recently completed a four-year term as Vice President of the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council.


The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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Feature TheOCTOBER Week In News 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

A Red Carpet for President Trump in the Middle East By Susan Schwamm

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eaving the white noise of political discord behind, President Trump embarked on his first overseas trip as president of the United States. The first stop of the nine-day trip was to Saudi Arabia where he met with the Saudi king and participated in a summit on Islamic extremism. On Monday morning, he flew from Saudi Arabia to Israel where he spent a whirlwind 28 hours in the Holy Land. On Wednesday, the president met with Pope Francis, who was a vocal critic of him during the presidential race. He also visited the Quirinal Palace in Rome, which is the official residence of President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, before departing to Brussels for a late afternoon meeting with King Philippe of Belgium. On Thursday, the president was scheduled to attend a NATO leaders’ meeting. The trip concludes with a two-day G7 conference in Sicily.

After traveling 6,700 miles overnight, President Trump and his entourage touched down in the capital city of Riyadh on Saturday morning to great pomp and fanfare. Despite the sweltering 101 degree heat, an elaborate red carpet ceremony took place on the tarmac where 81-yearold Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud personally greeted the president and his entourage. After a brass band played, cannons boomed, and jets flew overhead streaming red, white and blue contrails, the king joined the president in “the Beast” for a ride to the royal palace. The roads of Riyadh were adorned with American and Saudi flags as well as billboards featuring Mr. Trump’s face, welcoming him to Saudi Arabia. In the evening, Mr. Trump’s face was also projected onto the Ritz Carlton hotel where he was staying. Whereas the past five presidents made their maiden overseas voyage

to Canada or Mexico, making his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia – which is a strong adversary of Iran – signals that President Trump understands the danger that Iran poses to the region and the world. Saudi Arabia, which was highly critical of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, rolled out the red carpet –literally and figuratively – for Mr. Trump in a much more elaborate fashion than they did for then-President Obama’s visit in April 2016, at which time King Salman delegated the task of greeting the president to a distant nephew in a ceremony which was not broadcasted on Saudi TV. Between being awarded the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, which is Saudi Arabia’s highest honor, and capping off the evening by participating – awkwardly – in a Saudi sword dance, Mr. Trump and the Saudi king signed a $109 billion defense deal which will provide Sau-

di Arabia with a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, amongst other weapons. According to The New York Times, the pre-negotiated deal had “Jared Kushner’s personal touch.” One week before Mr. Trump’s trip, when Saudi and White House officials were huddled in Washington to try and make the numbers of the deal work, Jared reportedly picked up the phone and direct-dialed Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson for a discussion on how bring the price down on the THAAD system. Ms. Hewson was present when President Trump and the Saudi king signed the deal on Saturday. Saudi Arabia also approved 23 foreign investment export licenses with U.S. companies, bringing the total amount of investments to $350 billion over 10 years. “That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United


Feature The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

A red carpet welcome in Saudi Arabia

States,” Trump told reporters. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States – and jobs, jobs, jobs.” President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia featured more than just deal making, though. He also met with dozens of regional leaders and delivered a keynote address at a regional summit of 50 Muslim-majority countries focusing on combating extremism. In his address, Mr. Trump explained that the reason he made his first foreign trip to the heart of the Muslim world was in order to “deliver a message of friendship and hope and love.” While he defined the fight against terrorism as a “battle between good and evil,” not a fight between “different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” he declared that in order to defeat the “wicked ideology” of terrorism, Muslim nations must be willing to “deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil.” He stated, “This region should not be a place from which refugees flee but to which newcomers flock.” Although on the campaign trail Mr. Trump often spoke of the dangers of radical Islamic terror, the prepared text of his highly-anticipated speech steered clear of biting rhetoric and took a softer tone. Rather than referring to “Islamic” terror, which many Muslims consider to be an affront to their religion as it implies that at its core Islam preaches terror, the prepared text spoke of “Islamist” terror, which refers to political movements that seek to implement Islamic law and theology. Although this may seem nuanced to Westerners, to Muslim leaders there is a great difference between

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Holding a sword and swaying in Saudi Arabia

the words “Islamic” and “Islamist,” when paired with the word “terror.” Even so, when delivering the speech, Mr. Trump veered off text. “There is still much work to be done. That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds,” he said. A senior White House official explained that President Trump mixed up the wording of his prepared remarks in Saudi Arabia because he was “exhausted.”

month, by President Trump’s invitation. During their sit-down at the sidelines of the Saudi summit, Mr. Trump accepted El-Sissi’s invitation to visit Egypt in the near future, although the precise date has not yet been determined. From Saudi Arabia, Airforce One flew directly to Israel, making history as the first direct flight between those two countries. Although Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have direct diplomatic relations, the threat that

“You know, in Israel all the people like us. The media hate us but the people love us, like you.”

Mr. Trump’s “nice shoes diplomacy” was also on full display when he was overheard saying to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, who was in Saudi Arabia for the summit, “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes… Man.” El-Sissi was equally effusive of Mr. Trump and noted that he has “a unique personality” that allowed him “to do the impossible.” Trump grinned and said, “I agree.” President Trump noted that America’s relationship with El-Sissi’s Egypt will be better now than it was in the Obama-era. El-Sisi, who was the head of the Egyptian armed forces in 2013 when he ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi of the radical Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, was shunned by Obama’s White House. He made his very first trip to the White House last

a nuclear Iran poses to the two countries is a reminder of the adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In his welcoming remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Mr. President, you just flew from Riyadh to Tel Aviv; I hope that someday an Israeli prime minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh.” Upon descending the stairs of his plane at Ben Gurion Airport, Mr. Trump received a red carpet welcome during which he was greeted by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu and his entire cabinet. Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered all of his cabinet members to be present at the ceremony after the media reported that some planned on not attending. The ceremony featured an Israeli military band and military formations as well as brief remarks by President Trump, Presi-

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A selfie with Bougie at the airport

dent Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu. According to Israel’s Channel 10, the Ben Gurion Airport ceremony was spruced up once the Israelis saw just how elaborate Mr. Trump was greeted upon landing in Riyadh. The ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport certainly provided much fodder for the Israeli and international media after a number of subtle, notable events were caught on camera. First, there was the rebuff. While walking on the red carpet, Mr. Trump subtly reached for Melania’s hand and she – less subtly – swatted his hand away. Many in the press quickly declared this is as proof positive of discord in their marriage, while others simply took it as an indication that Melania was trying to show religious sensitivity. Then came the selfie. As Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump were greeting leaders and politicians on the VIP rope line, Knesset member Oren Hazan (Likud) whipped out a cellphone and took a selfie with President Trump. Prime Minister Netanyahu was seen trying to grab Hazan’s arm to prevent his antics. Hazan quickly posted the selfie on Facebook with the caption, “Thank you, Mr. President – it was my pleasure.” It was yet another sign that Israel has “progressed” from its early days when growling, open-shirted ministers would mumble in Hebrew at visiting heads of state while waiting for the first opportunity to “go out back for a smoke.” Then there was the Israeli brashness. Mr. Trump was certainly reminded that he is not the only politician that faces strong opposition when Knesset member Yitzchak “Bougie” Herzog (Labor), in the pres-


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Saying a prayer at the Kotel

Trump and Netanyahu share a light moment at the airport

ence of Prime Minister Netanyahu, introduced himself to the president as “head of the opposition.” Finally, there was the hot-mic moment. As they stood chatting candidly on the tarmac, a mic picked up a discussion between the Trumps and Netanyahus during which Sara Netanyahu said, “You know, in Israel all the people like us. The media hate us but the people love us, like you.” Mr. Trump nodded and responded, “We have a lot in common,” before Sara promised to continue the discussion over dinner.

Once in Jerusalem, Mr. Trump and Melania visited President Rivlin’s home and had a private dinner at the prime minister’s residence. Those were standard events for visiting presidents. What wasn’t standard was Mr. Trump’s visit to the Kotel. Although Barack Obama visited the Kotel when he was a presidential candidate in 2008, Mr. Trump was the first sitting president to make such a visit. The Israelis had hoped that the symbolism of this visit

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would be made even stronger by Prime Minister Netanyahu joining President Trump at the Kotel, but the Trump administration rebuffed that plan, as technically the U.S. considers the status of Jerusalem to be a subject for peace negotiations. Mr. Trump instead was escorted by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who is the official rabbi of the Kotel, and Rabbi Mordechai Elias, who heads the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. Trump, who wore a black yarmulke, was given a quick chat about the significance of the site by the rabbis. Before taking a moment alone to pray at the Wall, Rabbi Elias explained to him that at Western Wall all prayers ascend directly to heaven. Mr. Trump then slowly walked towards the Kotel, placed his right hand up on the Wall and slowly swayed in prayer for approximately 30 seconds. He then stuck a note in between the stones of the Wall. After Mr. Trump completed his prayers, his accompanying cabinet and staff, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor H.R McMaster, Jared Kushner and chief economic advisor Gary Cohen, lined up at the Wall in prayer. Meanwhile, Melania and Ivanka prayed on the women’s side of the Kotel. Ivanka quickly gained international attention for appearing to wipe away a tear as she walked away from her private moment at the Wall. Shortly after the visit she tweeted, “I am grateful to have experienced a deeply meaningful visit to the holiest site of my faith and to leave a private note of prayer.” Mr. Trump also visited Yad Vashem, where he laid a wreath and called the Holocaust “the most savage crime against G-d.” He also gave a

keynote speech to Israeli dignitaries and lawmakers at the Israel Museum – giving a speech at the Knesset was ruled out due to fears of interruptions by rowdy Knesset members – during which he declared, “I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish people, and I make this promise to you: my administration will always stand with Israel.” Mr. Trump also paid a visit to Bethlehem where he met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. During a joint press conference Abbas paid lip-service to peace while declaring, “The problem isn’t between us and Judaism; it is between us and occupation.” Mr. Trump noted, though, that “peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded,” apparently referencing the Palestinian Authority’s financing of terrorists and their families. Although Mr. Trump declared that the Palestinians and Israel are both ready to reach for peace, his message was mostly rhetorical and he steered clear of the thorny issues such as the status of Jerusalem, settlements, the two-state solution, or moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, leading The Jerusalem Post to declare, “All pomp and no substance in Trump’s historic visit to Israel.” Others saw Mr. Trump’s trip as setting the stage for a soon-to-come substantive peace deal. How did Mr. Trump see his trip? He tweeted about it as his plane went belly-up from Ben Gurion Airport, “Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East were great. Trying hard for PEACE. Doing well. Heading to Vatican & Pope, then #G7 and #NATO.” “PEACE” in all caps…now we know this is serious.


The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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Bonus The WeekFeature In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Can a Corporation Be Sued in American Courts for Financing Terrorism Overseas? Michael Rubinstein, Esq.

The United States Supreme Court welcomed its newest member this April. President Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to take the place of Justice Scalia, who died in 2016. With the Court back to its full capacity of nine justices, the new term beginning in October will be closely watched. Among other important cases to be decided is a case involving corporate liability for terrorism occurring overseas. The case, Jesner v. Arab Bank, could grant people harmed by terrorism overseas the right to seek redress in federal courts in the United States. Specifically, the Supreme Court will decide if a foreign corporation can be sued in American courts for violations of international law that occur on foreign soil. Background: The Alien Tort Statute of 1789 The Jesner case is actually a consolidation of several cases brought by Israeli victims of Hamas terrorism between 2004 and 2010. Arab Bank, the defendant, is the largest bank in the Middle East. The plaintiffs allege that the bank financed Hamas terrorism and provided financial compensation to family members of suicide bombers. The plaintiffs sued Arab Bank in federal court in New York City under a rarely-used federal law called the Alien Tort Statute. The Alien Tort Statute dates back to 1789. It was passed in response to a diplomatic incident when a French government official was assaulted while visiting the United States in the early 1780s. Congress passed the law to allow foreign (i.e., “alien”) individuals the right to file lawsuits in American federal courts for violations of the “law of nations.” The Statute was cited in two Supreme Court cases in the late 1700s, and then again only once

over the next 167 years. It only began to be cited more regularly with a 2004 Supreme Court case involving allegations of human rights violations overseas. The cases have established that procedurally, foreign individuals may sue individuals in the United States. But can a foreign individual sue a corporation in American courts for violations of international law that occurred overseas? Corporate Liability under Alien Tort Statute: 2013 Supreme Court Case It should be noted that Jesner is not the first time the Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the issue of corporate liability for violations of international law under the Alien Tort Statute. In 2012, the Supreme Court was asked to resolve the same issues brought up in the Jesner case. In that case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., Nigerian citizens sued Royal Dutch Shell oil services company in federal court in New York for alleged human rights violations that occurred in Nigeria. Plaintiffs sued the corporate defendants in that case under the Alien Tort Statute. The Court was asked to resolve whether a corporation could be liable for international law violations under the Alien Tort Statute. Ultimately, the Court did not rule on this issue. Instead, the Court narrowed the focus of its ruling, holding that foreign individuals cannot sue in American courts for violations of international law that occur abroad unless that foreign activity has a sufficient connection to activities in the United States. In the Kiobel case, plaintiffs sued based on the oil services company’s corporate presence in the U.S. Corporate presence alone, the Court ruled, is not enough to impose liability, and activities that occurred abroad are presumed to be outside the jurisdiction of

American federal courts. The question remains: If a corporation has sufficient business activities in the United States to overcome this presumption, can it be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute? 2017: Supreme Court To Decide Corporate Liability (Again) The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Jesner case some time after the new term begins in October. The case is especially important, because federal courts across the country are split on whether there can be corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute. For example, the Ninth Circuit, which includes California, ruled in a 2014 case that there can be corporate liability under the law. So has the Seventh Circuit; Fourth Circuit; and Eleventh Circuit. The Jesner case, which comes out of the Second Circuit, which includes New York, ruled that corporate liability is not possible under the Alien Tort Statute. The Jesner case contains serious allegations against Arab Bank. Some of the cases were filed by relatives of those killed in suicide bombings going back to 1995 in various places throughout Israel, including Netanya. Plaintiffs’ briefs cite evidence that the bank solicited donations to help fund terrorism and offer financial rewards to the relatives of suicide bombers. According to plaintiffs, the bank’s New York branch served as a clearinghouse for international transactions on behalf of four separate terrorist organizations. They include Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Committee for Assisting the Palestinian Mujahideen, and the Saudi Committee for Aid to the AlQuds Intifada. Since the New York branch of Arab Bank served as the financial “hub”

for terrorism and violations of international law that occurred in Israel, the presumption mentioned in the Kiobel case can be overcome. But can the bank, a foreign corporation be liable under the Alien Tort Statute? The Supreme Court will provide an answer in the coming term. Conclusion Commentators and legal scholars are eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank. Many predict that the Court will rule that corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute is indeed possible. As the law has been interpreted to date, different areas of the country have arrived at different conclusions to this important question. In the Kiobel case in 2012, the United States Government submitted a “friend of the court” brief supporting the plaintiffs in that case. The government urged the Court to adopt the rule that favored corporate liability for international law violations. With the new administration – one that appears to be friendlier to Israel – we might see President Trump’s Justice Department take the same view. With a decision in Jesner, we will soon know whether Israeli victims of Hamas terrorism can have their day in Court in the United States. Sources: Alien Tort Statute; Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (2013) in Re Arab Bank Alien Tort Statute Litigation, 2nd Circuit (2015); N.Y. Times. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He may be reached by visiting www. rabbilawyer.com, or by calling 213-2936075.


The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Bombing at Concert Kills 22

On Monday night, as fans were leaving a concert in Manchester Arena, a lone attacker detonated a bomb, killing at least 22 people, including children. This is the deadliest attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings, which killed more than 50 people. At least 60 people

were injured in Monday’s carnage. Sadly, many of those who were in the arena were youngsters and teenagers. When the bomb went off, thousands fled for safety and chaos reigned. The sounds of sirens and screams pierced the atmosphere. On Tuesday, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack that was carried out by the 23-year-old man. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the carnage a “callous, terrorist attack.” “This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice deliberately targeting innocent defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives,” she said, speaking outside of Downing Street, where flags are flying at half-staff. She called it among the worst terrorist incidents in Britain and “the worst ever to hit the north of England.” Mayhem resulted after the blast. Hundreds tried to call their families, although phone reception was not clear. Manchester resident Charlotte Campbell told CNN her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, went to the concert with a friend, and neither had been in contact since the explosion.

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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“We’ve tried everything we can. They’re telling us to wait by the phones. Her dad is out looking. ... It’s the most horrible feeling ever, to know your daughter is there and you don’t know whether she’s dead or alive,” she said. Through tears, Campbell said she didn’t know how anyone could do this to “innocent children.” “I want her home and I want her safe. ... I just want her to walk through the door.” Manchester residents and a local Holiday Inn hotel opened their doors to those who needed shelter as the area was put into lockdown. The railway station near the arena was closed all of Tuesday. “These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorize and kill. This was an evil act,” Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said. On Tuesday, officials were slowly releasing the names of those who perished in the attack. The first victim to be named was 18-year-old Georgina Callander, who was a big fan of the performer. She was in the second year of a health and social care course at Runshaw College. Saffie Rose Roussos was the second victim to be named in the attack. The eightyear-old girl went to the concert with her mother and sister, who were both injured in the attack. According to the head-teacher at her school, “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.” On Tuesday, family and friends were still searching for their loved ones, who they had not heard from since the concert.

China Crippled U.S. Spy Network

The Chinese government eliminated or imprisoned more than a dozen CIA operatives between 2010 and 2012. The sources were found and “taken out,” based on what American officials called the worst intelligence breach in recent history. Intelligence gathering in the region was crippled for many years after the dismantling of the CIA’s infrastructure in China. Despite it taking place years ago, the story has only now been made public. The source of the leak that exposed the agents is hotly contested issue in intelligence circles. Many believe that there was mole inside the CIA that betrayed the Unit-

ed States. Others think that China was able to hack the covert system that the CIA uses to communicate with its sources in foreign countries. There is no official proof to support either theory. The details of the investigation into the data leak have come out slowly. Ten officials – both current and former – have described the ongoing investigation under the condition of anonymity to different sources. In early 2010, America had a well-developed spy network inside China. Information on the inner workings of the

Chinese government was gathered from sources deep inside the Beijing intelligence community. Then, at the end of 2010 and in early 2011, information began to dry up and assets were going missing. The FBI and the CIA created a joint task force to investigate where the leak was that was giving China the information to finger and assassinate the CIA operatives in China. But they were unable to gather enough evidence to convict any one person. By 2013, the edge China held over the American intelligence officers in China had dulled and operations were resumed.

But the damage had been done. The spy network in China had been dismantled in two short years.

Irish Priest Saved Jews during Holocaust Yad Vashem, the Shoah Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority commemorates all friends of the Jews

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The Week In News

during the Holocaust. The “Righteous among the Nations” is a list that includes any non-Jews who risked their lives in order to save Jews during the Nazi era. Now, seven decades after the Holocaust, an Irish priest, hailed as

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

“Ireland’s Oskar Schindler,” is being vetted by Yad Vashem to be added to the exclusive honorable list. “Monsignor O’Flaherty left the safety of the Vatican to run his escape line,” said Jerry O’Grady, chairman of

the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society in the priest’s hometown in Killarney, Ireland. “The Gestapo had a price on his head and they tried to kidnap him many times.” O’Flaherty is credited with hiding

hundreds of Jews from the Gestapo. He was the son of a golf steward in Ireland. His skill at the game helped garner him social connections in the Roman society. The priest mingled with social luminaries such as Mussolini’s sonin-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano, as well as the former Spanish King Alphonso. Eventually, his connections became instrumental in aiding Jewish refugees. In the last years of the war, as the Italian government collapsed, O’Flaherty organized a group of priests, anti-Fascist and diplomats to help shelter Jews, escaped POWs and refugees. He set up a network of safe havens in rented apartments and religious houses throughout Rome.

Claudio-Ilan Jacobi benefited from O’Flaherty’s kindness. Now living in Israel, Jacobi escaped the ghetto when the Gestapo raided it. “I saw the Monsignor many times,” Jacobi wrote in his statement for Yad Vashem. “He helped my mother, my grandparents and me find refuge from the Nazis.” “He got false papers for us from the Vatican as well as food cards,” Jacobi testified. “I remember the great appreciation my mother had for all he did.” Jacobi relates an incident where O’Flaherty threatened the doorman of Jacobi’s apartment with excommunication for speaking too openly about the Jewish family hiding inside. The process to approve for Yad Vashem’s list is lengthy and strict. “Monsignor O’Flaherty has already been honored by the American, British and Italian governments,” said O’Grady. “He received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and the U.S. Medal of Freedom but he has never been officially recognized by the State of Israel.” In 2013, the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Society erected a life size bronze statue in his hometown in Killarney, Ireland. The memorial bears O’Flaherty’s personal motto, “God has no Country.”


The Parenting Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting:

“Do you really need that, too?” Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., I know life was really hard for children in earlier times, but, honestly, is there such a thing as just having it too good? My children have just too much stuff, and the minute they get something, they move on to next. Instead of being satisfied with whatever they get, do, or have, they just seem to crave more. I feel like we are creating a monster here – one that is impossible to satisfy! What happened Sunday is a good example. We went to a family birthday party at a local pizza shop. All the aunts and cousins were there, and our greataunt was treating everyone to ice cream. I told my kids we were going for ice cream, but when we got there, some of the cousins were eating pizza, too. Before they even finished their ice cream, my kids starting begging for soda even though they knew they were coming for ice cream! This is what gets me: the minute they get something, they want more. I started arguing with them, but after awhile, I just gave in. Then I felt like a failure – because I wasn’t teaching my children anything other than that I was weak and would just give in. I know what’s righ,t and I should have stuck to my guns, but I just can’t stand up to the pressure. How can I get on top of this situation? Revital Dear Revital, In this time of prosperity, it is often hard to keep our thoughts straight and our heads above water. We know what we believe and want for our children, we know what our core values are – but in the face of the excess and conspicuous consumption, it is often hard to say no. And, even if we feel strong and impervious to the pressure at times, our impressionable children find the pressure of “getting” too hard to resist. Our conflict is between our children’s needs and wants vs. our responsibility to set limits. As parents we want to give to our children, as pleasantly and generously as possible. Yet, we also have an obligation to help them learn how to regulate their desires before they are consumed by them. I’d like to begin with limit setting – something that is hard for many a parent.

What the limits are depends on you – your background, belief system, environment and family. While the actual limits are individual and particular to you, the setting and maintenance of them is charted territory and basically the same for all. The key to limit setting is being proactive – making the rule before, not during or after, an occurrence. To be effective, the rule must be absolutely clear to the child, and stated in a calm and confident manner. A weak, defensive statement of the rule invites an argument. Though there may be some discussion and/or modification of the rule when it is initially made, at the time it must be enforced without a fuss. Mom hates to take the kids to the co-op because they always nag for nosh, prizes, and school supplies. Now, Mom is perfectly willing to buy a trivial something, but it seems like the minute the kids get one

thing, they are off to the next. But, the kids love to go, and there really isn’t much else to do in their small town. So, Mom sits down with the kids and tells them her rule. “You each may choose one item for up to $2.” When the family hit the store, Mom reminds everyone of the rule, just to be sure. With everyone on board, the family goes in. Now, since this is not a fairy tale, we would assume that at least one kid tries his hand at bargaining (“It’s only 25 cents more!”), begging, or even tantrumming. Mom’s sole response is, “What’s the rule?” If the whining goes on, Mom is prepared to leave the store immediately. Eventually, if Mom is absolutely consistent, the kids will get the drill and learn to respect this limit. The challenge in limit setting is doing it without causing resentment. I think we all can agree that most of us do not do well with dashed expectations. This is even truer for the young, immature child. So our children need to be absolutely clear about what to expect going in to a situation. To you, for example, an ice cream party meant only ice cream, but your child may have quite reasonably thought that ice cream was the main event, but additional items were okay, too. This would have been especially true if your children saw their cousins eating away. And, because it is no secret that too many limits – too many nos – invite bad feeling and even rebellion, the trick is to choose wisely – look at what is reasonable and doable for your children in their culture, at that particular time. In other words, because the rules of the pizza party were subject to interpretation (Only ice cream? Pizza or soda as well?), was it wise to stand your ground? Though you did not feel good about giving in, I actually commend you for it. As parents, we have to choose our battles wisely. Making a to-do about a soda in a public place, among extended family, is embarrassing for your kids and humiliating to you. It’s far better to just look away and promise yourself that next time you will do it right. You will either state the rule clearly before you go, or decide to go with the flow once you get there.

Every generation feels your frustration and shares your belief that the present generation is so much inferior to the past one. You have only to listen to the teachers bemoan the students of today or even older family members talk about their younger sibs to know what I mean. It is unfair to visit these feelings on our children. They are a product of their environment – for better or worse. As parents, we want to choose the best environment we can for our children – the right neighborhood, school, shul, etc. But after that, it is out of our control. It is damaging to the child and our relationship with him to make him feel guilty for doing what many of their peers are. It is also counter-productive to ask our children to have less than their friends. We sometimes look with great longing at our children and how much they are given – and fault them for not appreciating all that they have. But, the challenge of excess is not limited only to our children; we face these challenges on a regular basis as well. By watching us deal appropriately with these challenges – by our modeling – our children learn how to cope. So, spare yourself the lecture and fighting with your child. Simply, you be the change you want to see and resist that challenge to keep up with the Schwartzes. Hopefully, as they mature, your children will develop the strength, ability, and desire to do so as well. The Book Nook: Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline M.D. and Jim Fay is available in both book and CD format. The book’s win-win approach to parenting teaches children to solve their own problems while it helps parents establish healthy control – without resorting to anger or power struggles. 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.

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“Say What?!” 30

Quotes The Week In News

MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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The waiters know well Trump’s personal preferences. As he settles down, they bring him a Diet Coke, while the rest of us are served water, with the Vice President sitting at one end of the table. With the salad course, Trump is served what appears to be Thousand Island dressing instead of the creamy vinaigrette for his guests. When the chicken arrives, he is the only one given an extra dish of sauce. At the dessert course, he gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, instead of the single scoop for everyone else. The tastes of Pence are also tended to. Instead of the pie, he gets a fruit plate.

rules require Tom Brady

with pirit Not em nuts we ne was

– From a Time Magazine exclusive inside the Trump White House

Love youris shoes. those shoes…man. Marriage like aBoy, marathon, it’s not a sprint. There’s a lot of years - President Trump to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi when the two spoke in Saudi Arabia

ahead of you in a marriage and sometimes you’re both really into it and can push each other and sometimes the other partner has to help pull you through whatever challenge lies ahead. You both have to keep each other motivated in a race and in a marriage. MORE QUOTES - Alexander Salazar, explaining why he and his bride, Krissa Cetner, stopped six miles into the Brooklyn half marathon last Saturday to get married

After Air Force One landed in Israel, Donald Trump reached for Melania’s hand and she slapped it away. Yeah, there’s video of it. She slaps it away. So, we’ve been wrong all this time. They apparently do have a normal marriage. – Conan O’Brien

The president and first lady visited Israel today. Trump arrived in Tel Aviv this morning with his wife Melania. He went to hold her hand and she kind of gave him a little, kind of, get-that-away-from-me. I’m no body language expert but I think that’s a sign for “I’m supposed to be shopping on Fifth Avenue right now.”

Israeli fires on Palestinian protesters in the West Bank, killing one. - New York Times headline after a Samaria resident was nearly lynched by an angry Arab mob last week and was forced to open fire to defend himself, killing one of his attackers and wounding another

[I am] fed up with chasing after you. - Likud party coalition chairman David Bitan chastising Culture Minister Miri Regev for missing party votes, at a cabinet meeting

If you were chasing me, you would be on a diet. - Regev’s retort to the overweight Bitan

Ceasefire! - Prime Minister Netanyahu as he banged a gavel on the conference table to stop the squabble

– Jimmy Kimmel

MORE QUOTES

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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How do you like them apples?

For those with higher standards ℠

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Profile for Jewish Home LA

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