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The Week In News

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JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

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

JEWISH THOUGHT Learning to Pray Like Leah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Who We Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

FEATURE The Venezuelan Nightmare Continues. . . . . . . . . . 14

LIFESTYLES Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Proactive Parenting: Holding Back One Child for the Sake of Another. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

NEWS

Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

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JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, When contemplating the significance of events on and around July 4, 1776, one can’t help but acknowledge that as religious Jews we have a unique appreciation of the freedoms and rights granted by this great country. For example: This year marks the 90th anniversary of the arrest, imprisonment, and ultimate freedom of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, at the hands of the infamous GPU, the Soviet secret police. His “crimes” were his continuous support of yiddishkeit in the USSR by sending melamdim to teach children Torah in places where no teachers lived, building mikva’os, and other “counter-revolutionary” activities. (Unfortunately, the efforts against him were led by the Yevsektsiya, the Jewish arm of the Communist party.) In his subsequent visit to the United States two years later – during which he met President Herbert Hoover, who as a candidate had been involved with putting pressure on the Russian Government to release him – he made a point to visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Here are some excerpts of his personal diary describing the visit: At 2:30 p.m., we went to the Hall where a large crowd waited. A few hundred other cars followed us. All the streets were closed and we traveled with a police honor guard (not like in the past, the one that brought me to Spalerna [prison in the USSR]). The most significant area in the building consists of two rooms, one of which contains President Washington’s chair, in which he sat 150 years ago... The other room contains the historic bell upon which is engraved “Freedom for all Men.” This bell was rung in order to inform the country of the news of liberty. It is considered a great honor to be allowed to enter the room and to inscribe one’s name in a book, as well as to lay a wreath of flowers near the bell. People who have been victorious [in their battle for liberty] are so honored. This honor was awarded a few years ago to General Fas of France when he visited America. An additional honor given to kings and heads of state is to be allowed to sit on President Washington’s chair, in which he sat 150 years ago... The chair is placed high up and one must ascend a few steps to reach it. The entire area is cordoned off by ropes and nobody is allowed to go up to the chair. When we entered the room where the chair is, the mayor’s representative delivered an address in English, the gist of which described how happy they are for the privilege of having such a guest who has

fought and continues to fight for religion, which is one of the principles of the American Republic. In the name of the city of Philadelphia and in the name of all officials of the city, Mother of Liberty, he blessed the great guest and asked for a blessing for the American Republic. This took 15 minutes. I responded in Yiddish, “I think it is obvious to everyone what a fine impression such a warm and humanitarian reception would have on someone who was imprisoned for his religious and moral endeavors. It is difficult to find the appropriate words of appreciation. I will just say a few words of heartfelt thanks to G-d and bless the American Republic. “Blessed is G-d Above, Maker of heaven and earth, Who grants man wisdom. “For the good relationship the American Republic has with all nations, for the good care the American Republic bestows upon the Jewish people, the eternal nation, I bless the American Republic with great success, with all its esteemed leaders, mayors of all its cities, led by President Hoover, the great implementer of principles of religion, spirit, and humanitarianism everywhere.” Then they brought me to the place where the chair is and honored me by allowing me to sit in it. All the invited guests stood nearby and I said, “The great G-d who created man and endowed him with understanding to bring the true light to humanity; He, blessed is He, shall give blessing and success to all who fight for justice, truth, and faith.” From there we went to the room where the bell is. The mayor’s representative and Mr. Feigen picked up the wreath of flowers which I was supposed to place near the bell. When we arrived there, they handed me the wreath of flowers. I took the wreath and the crowd was most somber. Before placing it I said, “Liberty based on faith is the most proper and the strongest.” There were other revolutions both before and after the American Revolution. One of the big differences is that the inspiration and foundation of its cause was rooted in an all-knowing and just Creator who has bestowed equal rights to all men and from whom the social fabric of moral conduct is derived. May G-d continue to bless this great country, granting her success until the time when there will be no more wars and all nations shall live as one. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,

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

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles Wraps Up its Fifth Year School Seeks to Purchase Building Yeshiva Ketana Staff Writer Last month, Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles reached an exciting milestone as it completed its fifth year of excellence in Jewish education. The Yeshiva opened in 2012 with a group of 20 preschool students in a back house in Valley Village. From that humble start, the Yeshiva has experienced explosive growth, and enrollment for the 2016/2017 year reached 132 students. This coming school year, it is expected to reach 180, with classes up through fourth grade. The Yeshiva has distinguished itself as a prime makom Torah for Valley families, many of whom would have otherwise found it necessary to transport their children to the La Brea area for their schooling. In addition, the Yeshiva is seeing more and more interest from families living “over the hill” who are attracted to the relative affordability of the Valley, which can be substantially less expensive than the Pico Robertson and Hancock Park/La Brea neighborhoods. Yeshiva Ketana’s presence has made the Valley an option for more young families. Yeshiva Ketana’s success has been due in large part to its dedicated and talented staff. The Yeshiva employs enthusiastic and experienced rebbeim, moros, and teachers who forge personal connections with their students, and was founded on the principle that the children should love learning. That belief guides the staff in their instruction; when a child enjoys learning, the possibilities in life are endless. While excellence in both Judaic and Secular studies is an ultimate goal of the Yeshiva, character development and middos tovos are not taken for granted. “Who you are is more important than what you know,” is a core value of Yeshiva Ketana and is front and center, both in the classroom and out. Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein and Rabbi Aryeh Davidowitz, Co-Menahalim of the Yeshiva, are proud of the Yeshiva’s success, but they are quick to share the credit. Rabbi Rubenstein reflects, “Our success is due to the tireless efforts of all the dedicated staff and teachers and to the devoted lay leadership the Yeshiva has been blessed with. The young baal habatim, who saw our community’s need, have been one of the primary reasons the Yeshiva has thrived, while maintaining fiscal responsibility since its founding.” Rabbi Davidowitz emphasized the parent involvement in the Yeshiva. “Our parent body is in tune with the needs of their children and with the needs of the Yeshiva as well. This allows our staff to better meet the needs of the children and fosters an environment of mutual trust and respect”. Recently, the Yeshiva’s momentum was jeopardized when the property housing the elementary division was put up for sale. Rabbi Rubenstein explains that the Yeshiva was confronted with a difficult decision: either buy the property for $4,000,000 or be out in 60 days. They understood that finding a new location to house 10+ classrooms with sufficient parking and outdoor area, in an acceptable part of

the community, would not be easy. After much deliberation, the hanhalah, together with the board, decided that purchasing the building was in the best interest of the school, and is an amazing opportunity to secure its future. The Yeshiva opened escrow before Pesach and is in the process of raising the necessary funds to close on the property. The future of the Yeshiva depends on the success of this

campaign, and every effort is being made to ensure the Yeshiva comes up with the money for closing. Rabbi Rubenstein and Rabbi Davidowitz are astonished that from just a handful of the Yeshiva’s parents, well over $1,000,000 has been raised so far. Just recently the Yeshiva has begun reaching out to the broader Los Angeles community and the campaign has been met with much warmth and

enthusiasm. With Hashem’s help the Yeshiva will be successful and continue to grow and thrive, and serve as genuine makom Torah for years to come! For dedication opportunities or to learn more about the campaign, please contact Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein at (818) 766-7610, or rabbiarubenstein@ykla.org.

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TheHappenings Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Rav Binyamin Cohen Delivers Five Shiurim at LINK Kollel Rabbi Eli Stern The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles was privileged to host Rav Binyamin Cohen, Rosh Kollel of Mesivta Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, on June 26th-27th for a series of in-depth shiurim. Rav Cohen, a well-known posek and author of the acclaimed Chelkas Binyamin on various areas of Shulchan Aruch, was in L.A. to farher the yungeleit of the Kollel on their knowledge of Hilchos Niddah, which they have studied in depth this past year (under

the tutelage of Rosh Kollel, Rav Mordechai Lebhar). After testing the avreichim all of Monday afternoon, Rav Cohen was duly impressed with the caliber of their  scholarship, both in terms of their knowledge of the sugyos with rishonim and achronim as well as their  aptitude in halachah l’meiseh. Rav Cohen had come to LINK several years earlier to test the avreichim on the sugyos of ribis and their

concomitant knowledge of Shulchan Aruch. Rav Cohen’s visit was a continuation of LINK’s close connection to Chaim Berlin and its rosh yeshiva, HaRav Aharon Schechter, shlita (who gave his warm brachah and encouragement to Rav Cohen’s visit). Rav Schechter for many years gave of his precious time to meet with the yungeleit of LINK in his yearly visit to L.A. LINK is indebted to Rav Avrohom Fructhandler, a long-

time friend, mentor, and a visionary supporter of LINK, for being the “shadchan” for this partnership. Rav Cohen gave a variety of in-depth shiurim. For the general community, he gave a wide-ranging shiur in Hilchos Bishul Akum on Monday night, which drew a packed crowd to the Beis Medrash. Amongst other topics, he dealt with the issues of when the food in question was “partly” cooked by a gentile and then “partially” cooked by a Jew (and vice versa). He then offered words of chizzuk, emphasizing how Rashi in Chumash attributes Moshe’s influence to his being a student and a teacher of Torah rather than merely the political leader of Klal Yisrael. He exhorted his audience to seek guidance from the avreichim of the Kollel, whom he personally could attest were of a very high caliber of learning. He also adduced from the Terumas HaDeshen that one can (if necessary) fulfill his obligation of hearing the leyning on Shavuos by merely hearing that part of Parshas Yisro that dealt with the preparations for  Kabbalas HaTorah, without actually hearing the Aseres HaDibros. This, he averred, was proof that the main emphasis should be to become a proper receptacle for receiving the Torah. The next day, Rav Cohen gave four shiurim to the yungeleit and to other talmidei chachamim of the L.A. community. The first shiur was a halachic analysis of the subject of vestos and separating in anticipation of them. He then delivered a wide-ranging shiur on medical/gynecological issues that arise in Hilchos Niddah. The centerpiece of the day was his shiur for the rabbonim of L.A., organized by the Rabbinical Council of California.  Rav Cohen gave halachic guidance on the complicated and sensitive questions dealing with what information can – and must – be given in shidduchim when a rav is called as a reference. This touched upon questions of mental and physical limitations of the prospective partner as well as questions of middos, temperament, and religious observance. Finally, he gave a masterful shiur in Chumash on the parshah (Chukkas). The avreichim and community members were deeply inspired and awed by Rav Cohen’s indefatigable stamina in presenting so many profound shiurim in such a brief time period, all delivered with his characteristic humility and clarity. Most of all, they expressed their immense hakaras hatov for his undertaking this arduous trip, packing in so much Torah wisdom into a 24-hour period sandwiched in between two long, transcontinental flights. Each of the yungeleit will receive from Rabbi Cohen a written certificate attesting to their mastery of Hilchos Niddah.


JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Hachnossos Sefer Torah at Laniado Hospital: Torah donated for Pinchas Goldner’s 15th Yahrtzeit

On Sunday, June 18th, several hundred people – including doctors and medical staff of Laniado Hospital and members of the Kiryat Sanz community in Netanya – joined Sol and Gaby Goldner of Hancock Park and family and friends to celebrate a Hachnossos Sefer Torah written by the Goldners in memory of their son, Pinchas Elimelech, of blessed memory, on occasion of his fifteenth yahrtzeit. The grand celebration spread over five hours, starting with the ketivas otios that took place in the home of the Admor of Sanz-Klausenberg and President of Laniado Hospital, Rabbi Elimelech Tzvi Halberstam, shlita. Many distinguished rabbis and representatives, doctors and staff of Laniado Hospital, and Chaim Hammerman, CEO of Laniado Hospital, participated in the writing. The “Younger Rabbis,” sons of the Admor of Sanz, were among those who added an os. The Admor of Sanz was honored with writing the os lammed to finalize the writing of the sefer and shared words of Torah to celebrate the

occasion. The wife of the Admor, Rebbetzin Suri Halberstam, joined Gaby Goldner and family in the ezras noshim. The Admor, shlita, was recuperating from surgery following a recent accident. He began the Torah procession assisted by his gabbaim, which opened the way for a beautiful and colorful parade through the streets of Kiryat Sanz until the entrance of Laniado Hospital. The Younger Rabbis, the Makover Rebbe’s son, the Nikolsburger Rebbe’s son, representatives of Toldos Avraham Yitzchak, the head of the Dor Yeshorim, and others participated. Sol Goldner, Rabbi Chaim Baruch Rubin, shlita, and Urie Lieberman, Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado, were among those leading the procession. Sol Goldner entered Laniado Hospital with the Sefer Torah and brought it to the Aron Hakodesh together with the hundreds who accompanied it to the hospital. A special l’chayim was made following the dancing and placing of the Sefer Torah in the Aron Hakodesh. Hagaon Rabbi

Sol Goldner flanked by Sanz Klausenberger Rebbe and the Young Rebbe

Sol Goldner, Chaim Hammerman, CEO of Laniado Hospital, Rabbi Chaim Baruch Rubin, and Urie Lieberman, Director of West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital

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Yechezkel Shraga Baruch Halberstam, the Younger Rabbi and Rabbi Chaim Baruch Rubin delivered words of praise and blessings from a specially set up dais. Rabbi Dov Shtemer – the newly appointed Director of the International Public Relations Department at Laniado Hospital was MC at the l’chayim event. Hagaon Rabbi Y.S. Baruch, shlita, spoke about the holiness of the final letter of the Sefer Torah and gave special thanks to the Goldner family for their philanthropic role in assisting Laniado Hospital and for writing the Sefer Torah. Rabbi Shtemer thanked Rabbi Rubin for his role to help pave the way for the renewal activities of the West Coast Friends in Los Angeles. Rabbi Rubin, in addressing the large audience, spoke about the Goldner and Kasirer families and their very influential role in the building of Torah institutions, gemilus chessed, and tzedokah in the Los Angeles community, while touching upon the special character traits of Pinchas Elimlech ben Shlomo Asher haLevi. A seudas mitzvah was held on the beautiful gardens of the Sanz Laniado Hospital, accompanied by a moving program provided by the Hershel Itzkovits Choir.

A siyum mishnayos was completed by the avreichim of the kollel in Kiryat Sanz and yizkor candles were lit by Sol Goldner in memory of his dear son and dear father, zichronum livrochah. Sol’s father yahrtzeit fell on the same day of the Hachnossos Sefer Torah. Urie Lieberman was the MC of the program. The line-up of speakers included Rabbi Chaim Yakov Schwartz, the Chaplain of Laniado Hospital; Rabbi Kalman Ber, Chief Rabbi of Netanya; Dr. Yaakov Ulano, Assistant Chairman of Surgery; and Sol Goldner. Rabbi Schwartz spoke about the 350,000 residents of Netanya that are served by the Sanz Laniado Medical Center. Chief Rabbi Ber pointed out how Sol Goldner and his eishes chayil, Gaby encompass the traits of Toras chaim and Toras chessed together. Dr. Ulano thanked Sol Goldner for his initiative together with the other Co-Chairman of the West Coast Friends, Sol Teichman and Joe Kornwasser, in collecting the needed funds to help complete the MRI Center, Dialysis Department, and for the recent Trustees Reception to help complete the Gynecological Oncology Department. Sol Goldner expressed gratitude to the Laniado Hospital staff of 1500 for their life saving work done 24\7. He thanked the doctors and other Laniado Medical Staff members who have come to Los Angeles over the years to bring awareness of the Laniado cause to the Los Angeles Jewish community. Sol mentioned that not only is the Sefer Torah completed in memory of their son, Pinchas Elimelech, but it was also written in memory of his late parents, Pinchas Elimelech and Bluma Rosa Goldner, z”l; his late father in law, Mr. Yakov Kasirer, z”l; in memory of Vera Weingarten a”h, the late mother of their daughter-in-law, ‫יבדל''א‬, and dear wife of their mechutan, Morris Weingarten, ‫ ;יבדל'א‬and in memory of the six million Jews, ‫הי''ד‬, that perished in the Holocaust. Sol wished Mrs. Raizel Kasirer, his dear mother-inlaw, arichus yamim v’shanim. The Hachnossos Sefer Torah celebration was the climax culmination of an international Sefer Torah campaign initiated by the American Friends of Laniado Hospital. Sol Goldner, Co-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital, and his wife, Gaby, were the key sponsors to this project to provide the synagogue in Laniado Hospital with its own Sefer Torah for the use of their patients and medical staff.

Photos: Moshe Goldstein, courtesy of PR Department, Laniado Hospital

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Torah Musings

The Week In News

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tears. When my son was two years old, I started to get very bad headaches. So bad, they were debilitating. Initially, I thought they were just migraines, but they would linger for days. It got to the point that my mother had to fly in from out of town to care for my son, as I was bedridden. Shortly after, I decided to get an MRI. It was nerve-wracking. I tried to remain calm and cool after the first scan, but when the technician came into the room and asked if it would be okay to inject fluid into my arm to take another look, I asked him if this was standard procedure. He gulped, nervously, and said, “No, Mrs. Pachter, this is not standard. We think we might see something on the left side of your brain.” “Okay, I responded. “Go ahead.” He injected the fluid, and there I was again being scanned, trapped inside this machine that reminded me of a coffin. My body began to tremble, and I tried to keep still as tears began streaming down my face. I started to pray. I prayed like I have never prayed before. I started talking to G-d out loud, and not as though He was somewhere far away, but like He was right there with me, inside of that MRI machine. I said, “Hashem, if this is truly Your will for me, I accept it. But Hashem, it can’t be! Please. Who is going to take care of my son? How will I be a good mommy to him? Please do not give me this challenge.” All I kept thinking was about how my husband and son and family would be without me. I soon found out that by the grace of G-d, it was nothing to be concerned about. It was simply scar tissue left over from a previous illness. But the intensity of that moment, I will never forget. Although no one was in the machine with me, I was not alone. Hashem was with me all along. Leah shows us the power of prayer through her tender eyes. The Torah is praising her for her ability to turn to G-d in her time of pain. So how did G-d answer Leah? He gave her Yaakov to marry. Sometimes, G-d wants us to say “no” to Him. He wants those special, brokenhearted tefillos. By speaking to Him with fervor, we can draw Him close.

TEHPILoLwIeMr

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Sarah Pachter

On Friday nights, we bless our daughters in honor of the Matriarchs: Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah. When I ask people what they know about the Matriarch Leah, they usually give me a blank stare, or ask me, “Didn’t she cry a lot? Wasn’t her sister prettier than she was?” Or, “I don’t think I know anything about Leah.” If this is the Matriarch whom we want our daughters to emulate, we should probably know the true meaning of her story – so let’s revisit it. Rivka had twin boys, Eisav and Yaakov, while Lavan had two daughters, Rachel and Leah. Leah was originally meant to marry Eisav. The matchmakers of the time said, “Oh, look! The older boy will marry the older girl, and the younger boy will marry the younger girl!” The Midrash Tanchuma explains that Leah would go to the crossroads and ask about this fellow, Eisav. Leah was devastated when she discovered that Eisav was a thief, a cheat, and a murderer. How was it that she was destined to marry such a man? How could Eisav be her soul mate? This was clearly not an equal match. Leah was good, and Eisav was evil. What was G-d thinking? And so Leah broke down in tears. I’m sure you’re thinking, Why would anyone want to bless their children to be like Leah? This is a curse! The Torah describes Leah as having “tender eyes,” which many interpret to be criticism. Usually when the Torah describes someone in a way that seems to be negative, it is to teach the reader a lesson. Perhaps the term “tender eyes” is deeper than we think. At first glance, it appears as though Leah is reacting with tears of anger and sadness. However, in actuality, she was turning to G-d with prayer. And thus, something profound happened. Leah refused to accept her fate. This reaction was exactly what Hashem wanted from her. It took real chutzpah to resist G-d’s plan for her. Sometimes, Hashem presents us with challenges, and we have a choice to accept them or turn to Him, asking Him to change our situation. Leah brought G-d close to her. She didn’t speak to Him as a distant deity, out in some unreachable place. She spoke to G-d as though He were there with her, ready to hear her whispers and tender

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Learning to Pray Like Leah

‫בס"ד‬

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JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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ILLIM, EM

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ZEIDYS PARTNER IN TEHILLIM KOLLEL MEMBERSHIP FOR GRANDCHILDREN

I

was enjoying myself at the shmorgasbord of a neighbor’s chasunah when I noticed my mechutan on the other end of the room. I went over to say hello and we quickly got to our favorite topic of conversation: our children. “I’m worried about them,” I told him, “It’s already a couple of years and no children. I don’t want to be that nosy father and ask my daughter what’s going on… do you know anything?” “No,” he sighed, “I’m worried too.” We sat quietly in our thoughts for a few moments and then suddenly, a brainstorm struck. “Mendy,” I said excitedly, “How would you like to be my new partner!” “Huh?” He looked quite confused. “Listen,” I said, “You know that organization Tehillim Kollel, you know the one with all the stories about the Yeshuos people receive?” “I’m not sure,” he responded. “C’mon,” I said, “They are a really big organization. They have locations at the Tzions of tzaddikim, like in Meron or the Shlah. They have minyanim of men that recite the entire Sefer Tehillim early in the morning, a special time of day.” “Okay, yeah sure, I think I have heard of them. So, nu, what about them?” “Well,” I continued, “What if we signed up, b’shitfus, for membership for our children. I pay half, you pay half, and together, in that zchus, may our children merit their own!” “Hmm, that is a really beautiful idea! Let’s call them right now.” And with credit cards in hand, we made the call. B’shitfus, may we be zoche to eniklach together.

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

The novi Yirmiyohu mourns, “Vayeitzei mibas Tzion kol hadarah… Her adversaries have become her master, her enemies are at ease, for Hashem has aggrieved her for her transgressions. “Al eileh ani bochiya eini eini yorda moyim. “Hashem is righteous. It is I who has disobeyed His words. Hear this all the nations and see my pain, as my youth has gone into captivity.”  This week’s parsha is comprised of beautiful words uttered by Bilam the prophet. He had intended to attack and curse, yet from his mouth emanated poetic words of praise. When he beheld the splendor of Klal Yisroel, he found himself unable to curse them. But this year, the words of Eicha seem more appropriate, as the week of Parshas Balak brings a torrent of criticism and mockery our way. Our community finds itself struck dumb, unable and unwelcome to offer answers and defense. The “innocent until proven guilty” bedrock of democracy seems to have been swept away, as an entire town and way of life are being impugned. Suddenly, being a bigot and a racist, and attacking Jews, have become virtues. Old stereotypes are awakened and brought to the fore after lying dormant under the surface.  Tammuz and Av, the months of Jewish tragedy, have barely begun, and the whip is out. We are thrashed and trashed, and our boat rocks from side to side as storm winds blow.  Certain siddurim include with the tefillah of Mussaf of Rosh Chodesh a special name of Hashem as revealed by the Arizal in pesukim corresponding to each of the twelve months. The sheim of the month of Tammuz is found in the words of Haman. In his angry rant against Mordechai, the wicked one stated, “Vechol zeh einenu shoveh li - This is all insufficient for me.” The final letters of the words in that statement are hey, vov, hey and yud, spelling out, in reverse, the name of Hashem.

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Who We Are Kabbalists explain that the name of Hashem that indicates the hanhogah of mercy is reversed this month because Rosh Chodesh Tammuz begins a season of din. Now is a time for us to bear down, daven, and seek zechuyos. During Shacharis we ask Hashem, “Useneinu hayom ubechol yom ,” to grant us every day that we be viewed with kindness - chein, chesed and rachamim - by Hashem, as well as by all those who see us. The request seems to be redundant. If we find favor in the eyes of G-d, then certainly people would also view us favorably, and even if they don’t, of what con-

the haters pounce to tar and feather the entire Torah community with a broad brush. The tzaddikim, talmidei chachomim, people who study Torah lishmah, and those who leave the house at 5 a.m. and return at 10 p.m. to put bread on the table, pay tuition, cover their mortgage and shell out taxes are ignored as if they don’t exist. A city whose clock revolves around sidrei hayeshiva, the few square miles where more Torah is learned that anywhere else outside of Eretz Yisroel, the town of incredible tzedakah and myriad gemachim, from where so many wonderful seforim come forth, is darkened.

The naysayers come out like earthworms after a heavy rain, shouting and condemning.

cern is it to us? In the newly published siddur Shaarei Yecheskel, Rav Yecheskel Levenstein explains that from this tefillah we see that man is obligated to act in a way that ensures that his conduct elicits praise from man. This is akin to Rebbi’s lesson that “the proper path for man is that which is honorable for himself and brings him honor from others” (Avos 2:1). We are meant to be an honest, hardworking people. We are meant to be a G-d-fearing people, whose G-d abhors falseness of all types. We are prideful and self-sufficient, philanthropic, caring and sharing. That is who we are and what we are all about. And yet, when the opportunity arises,

“Kol amuh ne’enochim.” We are all pained. We are all suffering. We are all condemned. The Netziv writes in Bereishis (Harchev Dovor 47:28) that the main reason most of our existence has been spent in exile is, as explained by Hashem’s revelation to Avrohom (Bereishis 17:6), that his children are meant to be a light unto the nations. That is only possible if they are scattered among them. Thus, he writes (Haamek Dovor, Bereishis 17:6) that Hashem’s brocha to Avrohom of “Vehifreisi oscha” is not referring to having plentiful offspring, because he had already been blessed with this. Rather, it refers to the fact that his grandchildren will spread around the world so that they will be able to increase knowledge and understanding everywhere. Our mandate is to

illuminate the world for its inhabitants. The Rambam writes (Hilchos Deios 1:7), “How does a person instill in himself the deios, proper thoughts and actions, which are incumbent upon us to follow? By acting upon these ideas repeatedly until they become implanted within him and they become like second nature and are performed without difficulty… This is called the derech Hashem, the path of Hashem, which was taught by Avrohom to his children, as the posuk says, ‘Lemaan asher yetzaveh es bonov v’es beiso acharov, veshomru derech Hashem la’asos tzedek umishpot. Avrohom commanded his children and those who follow them throughout the ages to be righteous and just.’” The Rambam completes the thought: “And those who go in this path bring goodness and blessings to themselves, as the posuk states, ‘Lemaan hovi Hashem al Avrohom asher diber olov.’” Despite the halacha of Eisov sonei leYaakov, we are to bring daas and chochmah to the amim. And what path are we meant to the follow? That of tzedek and mishpot. Doing so brings us what we need and deserve. We all feel a familiar pride when our children point out that a cashier has given us extra change. We have had the opportunity to point out an error that would have benefitted our account to a bank teller and seen the look of amazement and gratitude wash over their faces. That is who we are, and that is our role. In times of challenge and constant questioning, the best response is to stand taller and prouder and more committed than ever to being an upright people. In a time of weak leadership and failed spokesmen, we need to speak with actions and lead by example. We need to remain loyal to the teachings of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov, Moshe and Aharon, Dovid and Shlomo, to never, ever, forget who we are and what we represent. Bilam refers to himself as a “shesum ayin,” which literally means a person of good vision. Rashi explains that he was blind in one eye; the other eye compensated for the blindness and had very good vision. Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa would say that man was endowed with two eyes so that he could reflect two parallel truths. With one eye, he views himself as a great being with much potential, as indicated by the statement, “Bishvili nivra ha’olam.” With the other, we are to view


Living with In theNews Times The Week

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

us in golus. The avos expounded upon it. Chazal delineated how to deal with Rome and everyone else. Rishonim and Acharonim wrote extensively about it. Latter day gedolim who lived through pogroms, the worst anti-Semitism and the Holocaust paved the path for us through shmuessen and personal example. We scramble. We try to catch our collective breaths and find the right words, yet we come up empty. Perhaps now is not a time to speak. Maybe now is a time for quiet reflection. A time of vayidom Aharon. It is a time to study and contemplate, resolve to review the laws and halachos, ponder our situation in golus, and endeavor to work to make ourselves better people and the world a better place.  It is not a time for clever sound bites, but a time for returning to the basics and demonstrating through all of our actions and interactions what we really are and what we can really be.  Bilam was engaged by Balak to curse the Jewish people, but he found himself unable to. He was only able to bless. Upon seeing Bilam’s ability to bless, Balak should have asked him to bless his nation Moav that they be able to overcome their enemies. Why did he continue to insist that Bilam curse the Jews? The Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (5:19) states that students of Avrohom Avinu are recognized by their “ayin tovah,” while those who follow Bilam are recognized by their “ayin ra’ah.” The mindset of Bilam - and generations of talmidim of Bilam, defined by the middah of ayin ra’ah - has always been to destroy. They don’t know another way. Blessing is anathema to them. They can’t build up their side. They can only destroy the other. A follower of the Radomsker Rebbe had a financial dispute with a chossid of another rebbe. They tried to work it out, to no avail. The Radomsker chossid turned to his rebbe for help. He told the rebbe that he was very frightened. He said that the other litigant threatened that if he does not accede to his demands, his rebbe would curse him. The Radomsker chossid was in a panic. The Radomsker Rebbe looked at him and said, “I don’t know how to curse, but I am a kohein and I can do something much more effective. I know how to bless!” His response is essentially our legacy as talmidim of Avrohom. There will always be those who see only the negative, who have just “one eye.” At times like these, they come out like earthworms after a heavy rain, shouting and condemning. We must use our eyes to see good, to focus on what we are doing right and build upon it as we rectify that which is lacking.

As Bilam rode to carry out Balak’s request to curse the Jews, his donkey, which was created at the beginning of time for this very purpose, sought to talk him out of it. Unfazed by the wonder of a donkey speaking, Bilam argued with the donkey, even as the animal increasingly mocked him with each exchange. Rashi (Bamidbar 22:33) cites the Medrash (Tanchuma 9) which states that following the incident, the donkey died to spare Bilam the embarrassment of people pointing at the animal and saying, “That’s the donkey that rebuked its master.” The mussar master Rav Avrohom Grodzensky pointed out that a good animal lost its life to protect the dignity of someone who was on his way to hurt Klal Yisroel. This serves to remind us that despite Bilam’s failings, he was a person, nivra b’tzelem, crafted in G-d’s image and thus deserving of respect. All around us are human beings shenivre’u b’tzelem. Everyone is worthy of respect.

Rav Avrohom Genechovsky, the Tchebiner rosh yeshiva, was known for his gaonus, tzidkus and exceptional respect for all people. One Motzoei Shabbos, a talmid went to the rosh yeshiva’s home for Havdalah. He saw seated there at the table a secular couple, the woman with her hair uncovered. The talmid wondered how his rebbi would recite the brachos in front of her. Moments later, Rav Avrohom filled the becher and lifted it. Then he intoned: “Before we sanctify the new week and part from Shabbos, let us turn to Yerushalayim, the holiest place.” And with that, he turned his back on his company and began reciting Havdalah. It is possible. We can stay focused on our lofty role and still respect those around us. We can live bigger and higher and be an ohr lagoyim. There’s never been a better time to start, to get back to our mission and role. Let’s do it.

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ourselves with great humility, as indicated by the posuk which states, “Ve’anochi afar va’eifer.” Bilam’s failing was rooted in the fact that he had just one eye. He saw his own greatness, but he never contemplated that he was but a mortal, here on a mission, whose every breath is a gift from Heaven. We are a people of two eyes and dual visions. We must never lose sight of our essence - afar va’eifer - and why we are here. Bilam’s eye is always upon us. Ma’asei avos siman labonim. What happened once will happen again. Just as Bilam only gained respect for our people as he examined them, so may it be in our day. Let us act in ways that allow people to see our kindness and respectfulness. Let us speak softly and properly with all. Let us extend common courtesy when driving, shopping and interacting with people in general. Perhaps it’s time to consider hanging an American flag outside our homes on national holidays, demonstrating our patriotism and thanks to the country that has been more welcoming and kinder to us than any in our long history. Rav Shlomo Freifeld was once being driven by a talmid who owned an old jalopy. As the rosh yeshiva entered the car, the young man sought to cover a gaping hole in the seat, from which stuffing had poured out. He reached for the American flag he kept handy to cover and fill the hole. Reb Shlomo lifted the flag and gently folded it. “Here,” he said. “This represents the country you live in. It is not meant to be used that way. Treat it with respect.” Every year on July 4th, Rav Avrohom Pam would hang an American flag in front of his home. The story is told that one year, after he had become weak and unwell, a granddaughter arranged to have a date pick her up at the home of her grandparents. Since the date was set for July 4th, she asked her grandmother if she could convince Rav Pam not to hang the flag that year, since it was an “old-fashioned” thing to do and would cause her embarrassment. Rebbetzin Pam assured her that since Rav Pam was not feeling well, he wouldn’t be hanging the flag that year and there was no reason for concern. The boy came to the house and rang the bell. Rav Pam answered the door and welcomed the boy. Then he asked him for a favor. “Before going inside, would you mind helping me with something?” The boy was happy to oblige the rosh yeshiva. Rav Pam brought the American flag, and the bochur proceeded to help him fly it like every year. Thanking the boy, Rav Pam remarked, “I have to show my hakoras hatov, even if I am not feeling well.” That is who we are. Hakadosh Boruch Hu set the path for

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Feature The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Venezuelan Nightmare Continues Aaron Feigenbaum

Despite hopes by the international community that the five-year-old Venezuelan crisis would reach a point of stability, the situation in the South American country seems to be deteriorating even further. The Venezuelan economy is simply incapable of providing basic needs for all of its citizens, and the government is in open conflict both with its citizens and itself. This once prosperous, oil-rich country is now weighed down by mountains of debt and its people struggle daily with hyperinflation and lack of access to even the most basic of necessities. Alarmingly, a recent study showed that 75% of Venezuelans have lost 19 pounds in weight due to food shortages. Likewise, the quality of Venezuelan health care is abysmal, with the Venezuela Medical Federation reporting that hospitals in the country lack 98% of crucial medical supplies. 85 out of 100 essential drugs are unavailable. As a result, child and maternal mortality have skyrocketed and diseases such as malaria, once eradicated in Venezuela, have made a nasty comeback. To make matters worse, rather than take drastic action to solve these problems, Presi-

dent Nicolas Maduro fired the health minister who reported these tragic statistics. This all-too-common pattern seems to characterize Maduro’s confrontational leadership style. Indeed, the government’s management (or rather mismanagement) of his country’s finances and wanton disregard of Venezuela’s democratic institutions have put him on a collision course with the opposition party and the general population. One of Maduro’s most misguided decrees was the abolishment of the country’s largest banknote last year. Predictably, this led to a severe cash shortage and a huge slowdown in retail commerce. (The move was rescinded shortly after.) The Maduro government has also shut down numerous private media outlets, interfered in elections and disqualified and even jailed electoral candidates. In a huge blow to democracy, the Venezuelan Supreme Court earlier this year nullified the powers of the National Assembly, in violation of the constitution. As a result, huge protests flared up around

Colombia Venezuela border

the country and are ongoing. Maduro has responded with increased authoritarianism and often violent crackdowns against the protesters, who Maduro claims are “terrorists.” While most protesters are peaceful, some are violent, and Venezuelan opposition groups have sometimes had trouble reigning in these extremist elements. On the other hand, numerous reports describe the riot police’s brutality including beatings, loading tear gas canisters with nails, theft, and sometimes outright murder. (Even the government’s chief prosecutor has criticized security forces.) Notably, one of the people beaten in a recent protest was Henrique Capriles, leader of the opposition and Maduro’s arch-nemesis. To make matters worse, government-backed gangs have entered the fray and are attacking protesters with impunity. Thousands of protesters have been jailed and tried by military tribunal. The violence is not only limited to the capital of Caracas. Throughout much of the country, looting, extortion, and riots are becoming more and more common. In many places, school has been cancelled, shops are boarded up, and once peaceful neighborhoods resemble war zones. Notably, in Hugo Chavez’s – Maduro’s predecessor and founder of the “Chavismo” socialist ideology – home state of Barinas, several people were killed last month in riots. Chavez’s childhood home was among the buildings torched by rioters. Maduro attributes the riots to U.S. “imperialism” but a poll taken last year shows only 2% of Venezuelans agree with that. In contrast, a combined total of 84% of the population blame both Chavez and him. Similarly, Maduro has become more isolated on the international scene. At a recent meeting of the Organization of American States, the Venezuelan foreign min-

ister walked out after the U.S., Brazil, and ten other OAS members criticized Venezuela for failing to uphold its democratic principles and commitment to human rights. A letter written by leaders of the OAS states called for the release of political prisoners as well as a conduit for supplying humanitarian aid and greater dialog between the government and opposition parties. The letter further called on Maduro to cancel the planned July 30th vote that would create a government body that could rewrite the Venezuelan constitution, effectively giving the authoritarian Maduro even more power. Among other examples of Venezuela’s increased isolation are the closing its border with Colombia and the airline Lufthansa refusing to fly its planes there. Because of the deteriorating situation, thousands of Venezuelans have left, creating one of the largest mass emigrations in Latin American history. Those who relatively well-off can afford to charter a boat or plane to Caribbean countries like Curaçao and Bonaire, but most Venezuelans have crossed over the porous border to either Brazil or Colombia. The government of Colombia documented a whopping six million registered visits by Venezuelans. Most of those visitors are looking for the bare necessities to take back home but some for work, permanent housing, and/or medical care. Likewise, the Brazilian government, already faced with financial and environmental problems of its own, is especially hard-pressed to deal with the massive influx. Roraima, Brazil’s northernmost and least populated state, has borne the brunt of the influx and was forced to declare a state of emergency to appeal for federal assistance. Once laid-back border towns such as Pacaraima are now bustling with shops selling items that are hard to find in Venezuela. An estimated 12,000 Venezuelans have moved to Brazil since 2014 including members of the indigenous Warao tribe, who face culture shock, extreme poverty, and new diseases. Yet despite these hardships, many of them say it’s an improvement on the unbearable situation in Venezuela. Many Venezuelan Jews, too, have left Venezuela in search of a better life, most of them to Israel. Initiating the aliyah process has been easier said than done, since Venezuela, then under Hugo Chavez, cut all ties with Israel following the Gaza war of 2009 and aligned itself firmly with the Palestinians. Anti-Semitism increased dramatically under Chavez and has continued to spread under Maduro. Venezuelan media frequently blame well-to-do people of “Israelite origin” for causing the economic mess. Last month, in one his many bizarre


JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

and over-the-top rants, Maduro compared opposition to his administration to Nazism and claimed that “We are the new Jews of the 21st century that Hitler pursued.” He went on to say, “We don’t carry the yellow Star of David…we carry red hearts that are filled with desire to fight for human dignity. And we are going to defeat them, these 21st-century Nazis.” Meanwhile, an estimated 50% of the Jews who lived in Venezuela when Chavez came to power have already left. Around 100 Jews left last year and an estimated 6000 to 9000 Jews remain in the troubled country. Organizations such as the Jewish Agency for Israel have gone to great lengths to help Venezuelan Jews make aliyah in a process that they choose not to disclose. Many Jewish refugees such as Reisy Abramof, who grew up in Venezuela’s third-largest city of Valencia, report having to buy food and medicine on the black market at inflated prices due to the severe shortages. Many Jewish refugees have expressed their relief and sense of belonging in their newfound home of Israel. In the words of Avraham Ben Gigi, a 23-year-old Jewish refugee from San Antonio de Los Altos (a suburb of Caracas), “I am able to be myself here in a way that I never was able to growing up.” In one case that made international headlines, a group of nine Venezuelan Jewish converts, all of whom come from the small town of Maracay, were denied entry into Israel because of their questionable Jewish status (they were converted by Conservative rabbis). After a deal was struck within Israel’s Interior Ministry, the group underwent a second conversion (this time under the auspices of Orthodox rabbis), took a ritual immersion at a shul in Colombia and was finally allowed entry into Israel this past March. In response to the Venezuelan catastrophe, the Trump administration has

Feature

warned of imposing additional sanctions beyond the ones it approved earlier this year affecting the Venezuelan Supreme Court and vice-president (whom the U.S. accused of being a drug kingpin). One U.S. official said, “We’re definitely moving beyond ‘strategic patience’.” At the time of writing, it is unclear which officials would be targeted by these additional sanctions but experts believe they would include human rights abusers, the energy sector and those plotting to alter the Venezuelan constitution. Were Maduro to release Josh Holt (an American held prisoner in Venezuela for nearly a year on charges of attempting to undermine the government), the U.S administration has said it would react favorably, but that this alone would not be enough to elicit more leniency towards Venezuela in return. Some experts disagree that economic sanctions are the best approach to solving the Venezuelan crisis in that it might give further justification to the Maduro regime to continue its ill-conceived policies. Furthermore, they argue that letting the regime collapse on its own would prove that the blame rests solely at the feet of the Venezuelan government rather than any outside forces. The question of the sanctions’ effectiveness aside, it’s imperative that the world present a united front and dedicate all resources available to hold the Maduro regime accountable and finally end the Venezuelan nightmare. The consequences of not doing so could spell disaster for the entire region.

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Review TheBook Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

It Happened at Heritage House by D.B. Estrin

(Menucha Publishers, 269 pp.)

Reviewed by Deborah L. Gordon “These stories are really his….” writes D.B. Estrin in her introduction to It Happened at Heritage House. She refers to the legendary Rabbi Meir Schuster, zt”l, who founded Heritage House in 1985. Although Rabbi Schuster’s goal was for young travelers to taste Torah at yeshiva or seminary, most were not ready to go directly to such an institution from knowing next-to-nothing about yiddishkeit. Thus, Rabbi Schuster needed someplace “in between,” a free youth hostel where young Jews could stay as long as they agreed to attend classes. Eventually, thousands of travelers passed the doorstep of Heritage House in Jerusalem’s Old City. Rabbi Schuster’s efforts, however, were not limited to the Old City (though he was famous for his tap on the shoulder at the Kosel accompanied by the question, “Are you Jewish?” or “Do you know what time it is?” which introduced his kiruv efforts, which included urging travelers to have a Shabbos meal with a family in addition to taking classes). He became “a major part of a movement that reinvigorated Judaism worldwide. Unwittingly, he had become one of the legendary forefathers of

the teshuvah movement.” Rabbi Schuster was responsible for countless individuals marrying Jewish, living Jewish lives, and having children and grandchildren in Jewish schools and yeshivos. Anyone who spent time at Heritage House will be transported back to those days when reading the true stories of guests of the infamous Jewish youth hostel. Estrin does a fine job of weaving a captivating tapestry of the lives of many guests with intricate detail, humor, and insight into the ba’al teshuvah phenomenon. It’s not surprising that Estrin has insight and sensitivity in this arena; she herself is a ba’alas teshuvah from an “ultra-Reform” family, raised with almost no knowledge of Judaism. But after her brother’s visit to Israel and “tap on the shoulder,” D.B. Estrin and her siblings were encouraged to join him and investigate Orthodoxy for themselves. Estrin became religious and eventually took a job as night counselor at Heritage House, where she stayed for five years. Her job consisted of many roles – “tour guide, social worker, and career counselor.” During her tenure she kept a journal; this is the source of most of the

stories in the book. The stories are fascinating, and Estrin does a fine job of recounting intricate details of the travelers’ lives. We meet all sorts of people: spiritual-seekers who have been to the East and beyond, non-Jews eager to learn about Torah and convert, highly assimilated Americans who are wary but intrigued, South Americans, South Africans, and more. Estrin’s writing is refreshing; although religious herself, now, the voice she writes from is that of the newly religious young woman. She is nonjudgmental of those she encounters and open about her own growth, both personally, religiously, and in terms of her process of dating. Her candor about dating, needing breaks from the intensity of the Old City, and having to deal with difficult personalities brings a flavor of authenticity to the work. For one who spent a significant amount of time at Heritage House, the book will bring back memories of late-night conversations with staff and other travelers over popcorn, mattresses taking up every inch of floor space in the summers, trips to Neve, and famous teshuvah personali-

ties like Rabbi Asher Wade, Gila Manolson, Jeff Seidel and the Machlis family. One who experienced it will resonate with many of the stories and feel blessed to have been part of a great movement. And for one who didn’t? The stories will encourage him or her to urge others to go to the hostel, and see for themselves. As we learn in the last part of the book, “The Heritage House Today,” Heritage House is thriving, with many who “are willing to make a space within themselves to learn something about who they are as a Jew.”


The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Trump Expects China to Pressure Pyongyang Senior White House officials have revealed that President Trump is pressuring China to turn up the heat on North Korea. Trump has told China’s President Xi Jinping that if he is unwilling to give an ultimatum to Pyongyang, Trump will act on his own in order to curb Kim Jong Un’s aggressive activity. The conversation between the two leaders took place over the phone the day after the U.S. threatened trade sanctions, branded China for human trafficking, and sold weapons to Taiwan. The reportedly cordial but blunt phone call made it clear that the honeymoon between the two world leaders was over but that they could still work together on international issues. Experts on the matter have said that China is reluctant to be overly harsh with its neighbors in North Korea because they fear upheaval in an already unstable environment. The Chinese are less concerned about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities and are therefore less incentivized to act. President Trump, according to senior officials, is not optimistic that China will change its stance. Trump spoke with Xi before heading off to a G20 meeting in Germany. At the meeting the American president will be talking to leaders of Japan and South Korea for additional help in solving the North Korea problem. Trump is concerned that without the full weight of China behind his threats, Kim Jong Un will be unlikely to cave to his pressure. China has rolled back some of the warm relations it has shared with North Korea, but has not done so on a meaningful scale. China has a long history of not buckling to outside influences when it comes to dealing with the Hermit Regime. They were caught off-guard last week when the White House came out harshly against them by imposing sanctions on a Chinese bank, a Chinese company, and two private Chinese citizens. The U.S. then sold $1.4 billion in weapons to Taiwan, which China regards as a province of theirs that broke away. Lastly, China was labeled as one of the worst offenders in the annual State Department report on human trafficking.

Mocking Trump is Fun in Iran U.S. presidents are not spoken about glowingly in Iran. In rallies, effigies of the “Great Satan’s” leaders are burnt and mocked. This Monday, American-haters in the Persian regime were given the opportunity to show their creativity in their animosity towards the United States. At a cartoon and caricature contest where the only goal was to make fun of President Trump, the zealots were back in force.

Several winners received cash prizes in dollars for showing the president in the white robes of the Ku Klux Klan, sharing a Time magazine cover with Adolf Hitler, or as Captain America wielding the Statue of Liberty as a bludgeon. Some of the cartoons were also hung across Tehran. One poster, featured prominently at a busy intersection, showed Mr. Trump wearing a swastika armband and with the decapitated head of Lady Liberty at is feet. Which poster won the $1,500 cash prize? It showed the American president in a suit made of $100 bills, his hair on fire and drool dripping from his mouth. Winning artists also received an abstract

statue topped with a golden swoosh of Mr. Trump’s signature hairdo. The date of the exhibition, July 3, is the anniversary of the downing of an Iranian passenger plane by the United States Navy in 1988 that killed all 290 people on board. While the Pentagon has always insisted the incident was a tragic mistake, many Iranians are convinced the plane was shot down to pressure Iran into ending its eight-year war with Iraq. “We are really, really happy with Trump,” said Resalat Bouzari, a speaker at the event. “He shows the real face of the so-called United States democracy.” “Trump is the symbol of fascism and

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The Week In News Nazism, and many investigated his statements and concluded they are similar to those made by Adolf Hitler,” said the organizer of the event, Masoud Shojaei-Tabataei. He has been organizing — or told to organize — cartoon contests for several years now. The contests started after European newspapers began publishing cartoons depicting the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. In retaliation, Iran organized a Holocaust cartoon contest. After seeing that people in the West became very upset by cartoons showing Jews with big noses drawing murder lines around nonexistent bodies while wearing placards saying “Holocaust,” they decided to turn the competition into a yearly event, with different themes. “The importance is to test the limits of freedom of speech in the West,” Shojaei-Tabataei said recently. The focus of this year’s cartoon contest highlighted “Trumpism.” It came after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a recent speech that Mr. Trump was the real face of America.

Brazil Blocked 16K Jewish Visas during Holocaust

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

government in Brazil denied visas to over 16,000 European Jews who were looking to escape the Nazi regime. The newly revealed numbers were published by Brazil’s Virtual Archives on Holocaust and Antisemitism Institute, or Arqshoah. The number of denied visa was determined by combining the monthly reports of Brazilian diplomats working in Germany and other Nazi-controlled territories. There were 26 secret memos from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that forbade the granting of visas between 1937 and 1950. “I believe the number could be much higher, since I researched only part of the documentation. Even after the news about the Holocaust was released, the Brazilian government continued to deny visas to survivors who, in many cases, obtained visas as Catholics,” said Holocaust expert Maria Luiza Tucci Carneiro. “Both the Vargas and Dutra governments were intolerant, with political actions marked by xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and nationalist sentiments that had serious consequences for Jews seeking a host country,” she noted. The research, which was backed by the prestigious Sao Paulo University, will be presented in a book to the Shoah Memorial in Paris.

New research has revealed that the

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the books in their hands.”

Schneerson Collection to be Available Online

The sixth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, zt”l, lived in the Soviet Union in pre-war Europe. In 1922, he petitioned the Russian government to return 35 crates of books they had seized from his family years earlier. The seforim had been passed down to his father, Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, by his grandfather and had belonged collectively to generations of Lubavitch chassidim going back to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady, who began the collection in the 18th century. The collection includes an illustrated Haggadah, published in 1712 in Amsterdam. It is said that the pages are stained by wine that was spilled at sedarim hundreds of years ago. There is also a sefer printed in 1552 in Venice, just after the printing press was invented. A Torah from 1631, with comments in Latin written in pencil by Christian scholars who had studied it, is also in the collection. Despite the petitioning, the Soviet government refused to return the collection, and for the last century the books have remained on the shelves of the Lenin Public Library in Moscow. In recent months the Russian State Library has embarked on a project to scan and put the entire collection online. It is expected to be completed this month, and more than 4,500 books from the Schneerson Collection will become available. “We have about 10 to 20 books left to scan. They’ll be on the site in a month,” said Svetlana Khvostova, the Russian State Library employee in charge of the Schneerson Collection at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. The books are kept in special cardboard boxes — microorganisms can’t survive in this acid-free cardboard, Khvostova said — in a temperature-controlled room with a gas-operated fire extinguishing system that ensures that the precious volumes wouldn’t be damaged even in case of a fire. In Russia these books don’t get many customers since they are all in lashon hakodesh. “One time, a family came from America with five kids; they came here directly from the airport to see Schneerson’s books. They didn’t even go to the hotel,” Khvostova said. “Hasidic people who come here are not interested when we tell them that the books are scanned. They want to hold

U.S. Backed 1953 Iran Coup

Documents outlining the United States backing a 1953 coup in Iran, thought to have been lost forever, have been published quietly by the State Department. The papers show the CIA’s role in the coup which ultimately led to an Islamic Revolution in the country and open hostility towards the West. The coup ended up toppling Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and cementing the control of the Shah. The papers show that the U.S. feared the spread of communism and that Britain wished to gain access to Iran’s oil industry, which Mossadegh had nationalized. What followed has been described by experts as the “day that Iranian politics turned away from any hope of democracy.” The report, which is 1,007 pages long, shows that the U.S. discussed the coup over a year before it took place. It also outlines documents that show Britain’s focus on resolving the dispute over Iran’s nationalized oil refineries. “Nationalization of the oil industry possibly combined with further assassinations of top Iran officials, including even the Shah, could easily lead to a complete breakdown of the Iran government and social order, from which a pro-Soviet regime might well emerge leaving Iran as a satellite state,” one undated CIA analysis from the report warned. Papers show that the CIA had “stockpiled enough arms and demolition material to support a 10,000-man guerrilla organization for six months” and had paid over $5.3 million in “bribes and other costs.” The Iranian public was outraged at the heavy handedness of the West in their political arena. The anger has lingered for decades and fed into the 1979 revolution, during which Iranians seized the U.S. Embassy and held 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 days. In Iran, the U.S. is portrayed as a hostile foreign power to this day.

U.S.: Iran Violating Treaty This week the United States called out Iran yet again in the United Nations for


The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

“repeatedly and deliberately” violating a UN resolution that endorsed the country’s famous 2015 nuclear deal. U.S. Ambassador NIkki Haley also showed how the Security Council has failed to respond to Iran’s outright violations. Haley spoke of Iran’s “repeated ballistic missile launches, proven arms smuggling,” purchases of missile technology, and violations by Iranian military officials of their travel ban to prove that Iran has not upheld their end of the bargain. “The Security Council has failed to take even minimal steps to respond to these violations,” Haley told a council meeting called to discuss Iran. “These measures are here for a reason. This council should be here to enforce them.” Resolution 2231 was adopted by the UN Security Council two years ago as an agreement between six world powers and Iran that lifted economic sanctions against the Persian regime in exchange for the curbing of Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran is not allowed to run tests of ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and an arms embargo was placed. But in January 2017 the country tested a medium-range missile, and an arms shipment was intercepted by France in the Indian Ocean with weapons of Iranian origin onboard. European Union Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida called the deal a “pillar of the international non-proliferation agenda” that “needs to be preserved and fully implemented.” 

courtesy of the Kremlin. This is essentially like winning the lottery, since Votintseva was one of more than 2 million people who submitted requests for Putin. On Wednesday morning of last week, as the cameras rolled, Putin stood outside Votintseva’s home, 750 miles east of Moscow. On air Putin told the acting local governor — whose predecessor is facing bribery charges — to move her family and 11 others to new housing by the end of the year. Then Putin kissed Votintseva and handed her a huge bouquet of roses and a certificate for a free trip for five to Sochi, Russia’s Black Sea resort. “You’re my best present today,” Votintseva gushed.

Qatar Rejects Arab States’ Ultimatum The nation of Qatar is not showing any fear of military retaliation for refusing to comply with a list of demands made upon Qatar by four Arab states. Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has rejected the threats of a blockade on the Gulf nation as bullying tactics. He has said that he welcomes any country’s criticism of Qatar but that it can only be done with proof – and not by imposing ultimatums. “We believe that the world is governed by international laws, that don’t allow big countries to bully smaller countries,” he said at a press conference. “No one has the right to issue to a sovereign country an ultimatum.” A 13-point list of demands was made of

Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. When Qatar did not comply, the four countries cut all diplomatic ties. The demands included curbing diplomatic ties to Iran, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and shuttering the Al-Jazeera news network. Qatar has been openly accused of supporting regional terror organizations, a charge the country denies. While in Rome, Al Thani met with Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who urged the involved countries to “abstain from further actions that could aggravate the situation.” Alfano backed the Kuwaiti-led effort to mediate the situation. Al Thani said that he left the meeting feeling completely secure. “There is no fear from whatever action would be taken; Qatar is prepared to face whatever consequences,” Al Thani said. “But as I have mentioned … there is an international law that should not be violated and there is a border that should not be crossed.”

NOT SURE WHERE TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY FOR SUMMER BREAK?

Putin Plays Political Chess

Each year Russian President Vladimir Putin appears on a televised call-in show to talk to his people. The event, called “Direct Line,” which ran on June 15 this year, is carefully staged in an attempt to illustrate that the head of state is down to earth. Putin, who probably will seek a new six-year term next March, is depicted as a leader who understands his people and can solve their problems. Because it’s televised nationally, Putin needs to show the country that he’s able to deliver on his promises. This year, Anastasia Votintseva, 27, was the one who benefited from Putin’s faux largesse. Putin himself appeared at the door to her wooden dilapidated home bearing flowers, gifts, and shocking news. She and her family won a vacation and a brand new home,

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Quotes The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

I didn’t. I didn’t get any sun today. - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when asked by reporters if he got to enjoy the beautiful weather on Sunday, while the NJ government was shut down and state beaches were closed to the public

He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on

.- Christie’s spokesman Brian Murray after a Star-Ledger drone captured a picture of Gov. Christie lounging on a vacant state beach with his family at the governor’s vacation home

It’s good to laugh together. Have fun with each other, but don’t make jokes at the expense of the other. - Donald Hart, age 99, to ABC News at his and his wife, Vivian’s, 80th wedding anniversary, giving

What a great bit of journalism by the Star-Ledger. They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with — his wife and his children and their friends. I’m sure they’re going to get a Pulitzer for this; they caught me. - Gov. Christie on FOX5NY on Monday morning

some marriage tips

Always be sure to put G-d first in your life. - Vivian, age 99, chiming in

That’s the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have the residence. - Ibid.

Be always willing to help and stay alert to your spouse ... We don’t keep our mind on our troubles. - Ibid.

I saw yesterday Republican senators took coach buses to the White House to meet with Trump about healthcare. You could tell which senators actually read the bill, ‘cuz they were the ones buckling their seatbelts.

Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees and raining sulphuric acid. – Stephen Hawking talking to the BBC about Trump leaving the Paris Climate Agreement

– Jimmy Fallon

MORE QUOTES


Parenting The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting: Holding Back One Child for the Sake of Another Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., My teens are super competitive with each other – no surprise there. Some of the children are real stars, but I think everyone does well enough. What’s becoming more and more a problem is that my oldest just doesn’t shine as brightly as the rest. As the younger children grow up and so obviously do well, my oldest daughter retreats into herself. I am writing to you now because of a situation that just came up. My third daughter, age 14, was just given the major role in her camp’s production. Now, the oldest, a twelfth grader, has gone to that camp for four years and has not even been on stage! She feels awful. The camp director has brought this situation to my attention. She suggested that the younger daughter not take the part to spare her sister’s pride. After all, she reasoned, she will be going to camp more years, and there will be many other opportunities. Somehow, this approach does not sit well with me. Much as I would love to spare my oldest any pain, I don’t feel good about holding back my younger daughter. What do you think? Here’s the rule: we never hold back one person for the sake of the other. Everyone – child or adult- should be encouraged and supported in doing his very best. Whether in the family, camp, school, or work – no person should ever be asked to quash his talent for the sake of another’s feelings. I am aware that some parents ask their children (and certain schools ask their staff) to hold back so as not to show up the next person. But, to my way of thinking, this is wrong. Having said that, I do feel for your daughter – and for any other person who feels less valuable because of another person’s accomplishments. The trick is to massage the situation so that it works for everyone. Let’s look at how all the players can be part of a solution. The Parent Let me repeat: holding one person back for the sake of another is backward. What we want to do is raise the one child up, without making the other fall. As parents, we want to help the child who falls short. This includes things like: Developing your child’s self-esteem. Be the positive mirror that reflects how special she is. Helping your child find an area of competence that will give her some satisfaction and public recognition. Could it be chess?

Ice sculptures? Origami? Rewarding effort, not only achievement. The less-than-talented deserve our recognition and praise every bit as much as those who shine. This is particularly true when the talent is a brachah from HKBH and not something earned by dint of extraordinary effort. The brachos bee winner may well have spent less time studying than the child who was first to be out. Eliminating any favoritism you may show the winning child. Children are not nachas machines. They need our love, no matter what abilities they bring to the table. Often a child is not jealous of the talent, but rather the attention his sibling receives for it. The Star Now that’s a hard one, particularly in a young child or one whose praise has gone to his head. But, there is a line between holding back and overweening pride. Your child should

take pleasure in his talent and work on developing it to the nth degree. It is a gift, and he has a right to enjoy it. Your child, while aware of his talent, will do best if he can see its impact on those around him. A modest and matter-offact manner will enhance his accomplishments, but lording it over his sibs or peers will earn him resentment. Your child also needs to develop empathy for others. It is always a challenge for those who “have” to understand what it’s like to be a “have-not,” but developing the sensitivity to feelings of others will help make your child a better, more likable person. The “Second-Place” Sister There’s a lot to be learned here, and learning it early in life is an asset. Realistically speaking, most of us – even the shiniest stars – are eventually confronted by the prowess of others. Early life experience in dealing with this sometimes pays off. Your child can take a page from the fable of the tortoise and the hare. At the end of the day, it’s often effort – not talent – that carries the day. She can also learn about her strengths and weaknesses. This awareness allows your child to play to her strengths and compensate for her weaknesses. Finally, she can look for her special talent and make it work. With some encouragement, many children can find some

less common, but socially-acceptable area that they can develop. As parents, we ache for our child’s pain. We go to great lengths to make it go away. Sometimes we figure (wrongly, by now you have inferred) that the talented sibling has so much going for her that she can afford to be squelched. While the strategies here can ease some of the tension, we cannot totally erase it. But, as adults, we need to hold on to the perspective that our children will face many challenges in their life – and we cannot always fix those for them. By guiding our children through life’s inevitable ups and downs, we are preparing them to face the world with increased confidence and an ability to cope. The Book Nook: Self Esteem by Mathew McKay, Ph.D. is a classic text on improving children’s self-esteem. The book helps readers focus on their good points, combat their negative inner voice, and deal with hurtful criticism. 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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Dirshu The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Hilchos Shabbos is Within Grasp As Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is Set To Begin Chelek Gimmel of Mishnah Berurah Chaim Gold

“Halachah is the ikkar,” were the words of HaGaon HaRav Dovid Feinstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim and one of the senior poskim of our generation, when asked what his father Rav Moshe would have said about a daily halachah learning program such as the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. In a meeting with senior members of Dirshu’s hanhalah led by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Rav Feinstein encouraged all lomdim to “get a geshmak,” in the daily limud of halachah, “whether with a chaburah, a chavrusah, or learning on one’s own.” The meeting with Rav Dovid Feinstein came in advance of the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program’s beginning of hilchos Shabbos as they embark on Chelek Gimmel of the Mishnah Berurah. Indeed, we all wish we could really know hilchos Shabbos. Virtually every Shabbos, various shailos arise and many of us wistfully say to ourselves, “I wish I could really have a grasp of the many complex halachos rather than just a vague, perfunctory knowledge.” In the Mishnah Berurah’s famous hakdama to hilchos Shabbos he cites Rav Yonason Eibischutz from his sefer Ya’aros Devash, wherein he points out that it is impossible to avoid transgressing the laws of Shabbos every Shabbos unless one properly and comprehensively learns the halachos. So many of us know that our knowledge of hilchos Shabbos could be better. The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is the answer. As Rav Dovid Feinstein remarked last week, even if at times one cannot come up with a definitive psak on one’s own, when one learns hilchos Shabbos in the Mishnah Berurah, at least he will know that he has encountered a shaylah and will be able to ask. This coming 17 Tammuz/July 11 that goal will actually be within reach. 17 Tammuz, is the day that Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha will begin chelek gimmel of Mishnah Berurah, the learning of hilchos Shabbos. With the investment of as little as a half hour per day, motivated individuals will be able to systematically learn hilchos Shabbos and over the course of about a year and a half complete the entire Chelek Gimmel of Mishnah Berurah! For one who really wants to become familiar with hilchos Shabbos, Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is a unique program in which one can systematically learn the entire spectrum of hilchos Shabbos according to the Mishnah Berurah. In addition, in

the Biurim U’Musafim section of the Mahaduras Dirshu Mishnah Berurah, you will encounter virtually all the rulings of the poskim, spanning the last two generations up until the present time, on important Shabbos questions wrought by the technological innovations that have sprung up since the writing of the Mishnah Berurah more than a century ago. A Divine Smile Those who have been learning Daf Ha-

wishes from horrified Yidden literally from across the entire world. Boruch Hashem my father is doing well, although he is still experiencing some pain. “What is remarkable about the entire story is what transpired the night of the attack. With great mesiras nefesh, my father made his way to the shiur and exactly on that very day they were learning the halachos of Birchas Hagomel. The halachah learned that day was the halachah that

Dirshu Daf HaYomi B'Halacha test in the Belz Hall, Yerushalayim

Yomi B’Halacha since the beginning of the present machzor have attested to the fact that their entire day has been transformed by the learning of halachah as they are constantly engaged in practical scenarios where they draw on their knowledge of daily halachah for guidance. Others attest to the tremendous siyatta diShmaya that learning halachah brings with it. An extraordinary story of personal siyatta diShmaya was recently related by one of the lomdei Dirshu. Not long ago, Dirshu received a call from Rabbi Chaim Perkowski of Los Angeles, who shared the following story: “My father, Rabbi Eli Perkowski, may he be well, attends the nightly Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur of Rav Yochanan Henig, Rosh Kollel of the Chassidishe Kollel of Los Angeles. On Monday, May 22th, my father was walking in the street when he was viciously attacked by what appeared to be a homeless man from the area. He was beaten brutally and mercilessly. The entire incident was filmed by surveillance cameras and soon went viral making its way around the entire world. We received phone calls, emails, and good

says one should bentch gomel preferably within three days of being saved from a life threatening incident. The Mishnah Berurah also says it is preferable to bentch gomel in front of a sefer Torah. If, however, the incident transpires on a Monday morning after kriyas haTorah in a way that it will be more than three days until Thursday’s kriyas haTorah, the Mishnah Berurah explains that a person should not wait for kriyas haTorah but rather, he should gather ten men together and make the brachah of gomel in front of them without waiting for leining. “That was exactly the scenario facing my father, as the attack transpired on Monday morning. That night at the shiur my father got up and feelingly recited birchas hagomel after the shiur! The maggid shiur was so moved by the timing of events that he urged my father to publicize this great siyatta diShmaya that was akin to a Divine smile.” You Can Learn the Entire Hilchos Shabbos Lomdei Daf HaYomi B’Halacha are now on the cusp of completing Chelek

Beis of Mishnah Berurah. The tens of thousands of test takers as well as the tens of thousands of other lomdim and Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur goers, have attested to the fact that their observance and knowledge of all of the myriad halachos in the first two volumes of Mishnah Berurah have immeasurably enriched their lives. Siyumim on Chelek Beis will be held all over the world. This year, the central European siyum will be held in Antwerp, Belgium, and will be graced and addressed by HaGaon Dayan Binyamin Eckstein, shlita, of London, Dirshu’s European Director and Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Dirshu’s Nasi. An Army of… Lomdim! The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learning program of halachah and mussar features two tracks. The first track includes learning an amud of Mishna Berurah daily, together with the biurim and musafaim in the Dirshu edition of the Mishnah Berurah. There is also a daily portion of mussar from the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim. The second track consists of everything in the first track one plus the Biur Halachah and Shaar Hatzion. Whereas some of the Dirshu programs cater to those who are able to devote a considerable part of their day to learning, the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is for everyone. One prominent rosh yeshiva, upon his visit to a Dirshu testing site, observed hundreds of people diligently taking tests on halachah and mussar, and exclaimed, “Can one imagine what simchah there is in shamayim?! Can one imagine the nachas that the heilige Chofetz Chaim and the heilige Rav Yisroel Salanter, founder of the Mussar Movement, must be having, when they look down and see thousands of people from all walks of life learning halachah and mussar! The tens of thousands of lomdei Daf HaYomi B’Halacha comprise an army; an army of soldiers declaring, ‘My day will be one in which I encounter Hashem Yisborach every second!’” Systematically learning hilchos Shabbos and learning daily halachah will change your life. Just try it! To join now in North America, please call, 888-5-Dirshu or e-mail, mm@dirshunj.org.


The Week In News

JULY 6, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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