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Friday, January 17, 2020 • 20 Teves 5780

New Right, National Union Unite For March Elections

“I call on my friend, [Jewish Home leader] Rabbi Rafi Peretz, to join us immediately to form a single



Celebrating Torah Around The Globe With Dirshu


Israel’s New Right and National Union parties announced on Tuesday that they will be running together in the country’s March 2 elections. The two parties also called on the Jewish Home Party to join them. Talks between National Union head Bezalel Smotrich and Jewish Home head Rafi Peretz broke down on Monday night. According to the terms of the deal, New Right leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked will take the first and second slots on the list, respectively, followed by National Union leader Smotrich, according to the report. National Union will also get the fourth spot, for Knesset member Ofir Soffer, while the New Right will get the fifth and sixth spots. The deal leaves an opening for the Jewish Home with the second and eight slots. “We have reunited the family. We’ve made a large alliance in the ideological right and in Religious Zionism – from the traditional [non-Orthodox] to the charedi Zionists, from the knitted kipahs to those without kipahs, from Tel Aviv to Kedumim,” said Bennett.

Metro N.Y.C.

The crowd at Dirshu’s Siyum HaShas at Tel Aviv’s Yad Eliyahu, one of 11 Dirshu Siyumei HaShas around the world. Over 150,000 students have studied with the Dirshu curriculum, making it one of the largest Jewish educational programs ever designed. See Center Pullout for more coverage.


In This Week’s Issue:

• I Learned What Causes Black Anti-Semitism.......8



• Why Do Neoconservatives Support Israel?...........9

GREAT WINTER SAVINGS • Places To Go: Midwinter Break...............................40


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• I Don’t Want to Marry a ‘Learning’ Boy...................57

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Should One Use an ArtScroll Gemara? See Page 30


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Friday, January 17, 2020

37 Orphans Are Getting Married in Chodesh Teves ! g in h t o n e v a h y e h t d an

Harav Shimon Galai and Harav Naftali Nussbaum, shlit"a: "Upon witnessing the distress of the orphans and the magnitude of assisting them, we hereby bless from the depths of our hearts all those who contribute NIS 370 ($110.00) to the fund on behalf of the 37 orphans getting married during the month of Teves,

that middah keneged middah, just as they have gladdened the hearts of HaKadosh Baruch Hu's children,

they should merit raising and marrying off all their children amidst serenity, joy and good health."

Maranan Harav Shimon Galai and Harav Naftali Nussbaum, shlit"a, will pray on behalf of all who contribute NIS 370 ($110.00) to the 37 orphans, and mention each name individually at a special tefillah event at the kever of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai To donate and submit names call now (Fund no. 8680)








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

Donate Online:

‫קו‬ ‫העפת‬ ‫יר‬

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

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South Dakota Governor Signs Executive Order Banning Israel Boycotts South Dakota became the 28th state to enact a measure to combat boycotts of Israel as Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting state offices from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. “Israel is one of our nation’s closest allies, and their success is critical to American national security,” said Noem. “Today, we reaffirm that South Dakota stands with Israel and will only contract with businesses who agree to fairly compete. Our state will not stand for any discrimination based on race or religion.” The executive order requires vendors seeking contracts with state agencies, authorities, commissions, departments, or institutions of the state of South Dakota to not engage with companies that participate in boycotts of Israel. This order applies to companies or contractors with more than five employees who enter into a contract with South Dakota that involves the expenditure of $100,000 or more.

During the 2019 legislative session, the South Dakota House of Representatives, with the Senate concurring, passed House Concurrent Resolution 1005 that declared opposition to and condemned the BDS movement. South Dakota is the latest state to take concrete action against the anti-Israel Boycott BDS movement. Other states that have enacted similar measures include Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Kentucky. “For over a decade, the BDS movement has attempted to erode the confidence in Israel’s legitimacy by inflicting economic harm and limiting commercial relations through boycotts, divesting and imposing sanctions against Israel,” said Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz, director of the Chabad Jewish Center of South Dakota. “I am grateful that Governor Noem is standing up to this ugly resurgence of anti-Semitism and unjust practice of discrimination against Jews, and for her continued support of Israel.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signs an executive order prohibiting state offices from doing business with companies that boycott Israel, Jan. 14, 2020. Credit: American Jewish Committee.

“South Dakota has one of the smallest Jewish populations in the nation, yet the state’s strong support for the nation of Israel is unparalleled,” said Stephen Rosenthal, chair-

man of South Dakotans for Israel. “This action sends a clear message that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in South Dakota.” (JNS)

Florida Democratic Leader: Criticism Of Israel’s ‘Apartheid Policies’ Not Anti-Semitic By Jackson Richman The treasurer of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party in Florida on Tuesday said criticism of Israel’s “apartheid policies” is not anti-Semitic. “What I will NEVER do is pretend that honest criticism of Israeli apartheid policies is anti-semitism. So you won’t see me calling out criticisms of

INDEX 24/7 Z’manim.………….56 Anchor – Rahav-Meir……18 Auto.…………………….59 Book Shelf…………….…52 Challenge – Butman…….27 Classified………………..87 Collecting – Singer………44 Community Currents..….64 Covenant – Sacks.……….78 Daf………………………38 Dating Decoded.……….57 Dining Guide.…………..46 Editorials…………………7 Goldwasser……………..32 Grandma – Rosemond….34 Halachic – Schachter…….24 I Remember – Fine……….49 Im Yirtzeh – Cohen…….57 In Memoriam.………….81

Lashon Kodesh – Klein…28 Lessons in Emunah….….70 Letters………………....7, 83 M.M. Weiss……..………..65 News Briefs…………..…..48 Observations –Weiss……54 Psyched – Schiffman……74 Quick Takes – Klein………14 Q&A – Y. Klass……………32 Rabbi’s Desk – Fuchs……76 Senior Forum – Magill….37 Service Directory……….94 Simcha Planner…………51 Singles………………….57 Soloveitchik …68 Tech Talk – Halperin…….66 Travel.………………….65 Tweets…………………..82 West Coast……………..63

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Israeli ethnostatist polices as anti-semitism, because that’s not anti-semitism,” tweeted William Byatt. Previously a founding board member of the People’s Progressive Caucus of Miami-Dade, Byatt is a senior software engineer at accounting and advisory firm Kaufman Rossin, according to the Miami-Dade Democratic Party website. “As indicated on his [T]witter page, Mr. Byatt’s opinions are his own and do not reflect the views of

the Party,” the Miami-Dade Democratic Party told JNS. “The Miami-Dade Democratic Party will continue to support a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.” (JNS)

Skier Becomes First Israeli To Win A Winter Youth Olympics Medal Israeli alpine skier Noa Szollos, 17, won Israel its first medals in the Winter Youth Olympic Games when she competed in the competition earlier this month in Lausanne, Switzerland. Szollos placed third in the Super G run on Jan. 10 and second in the Alpine Combined on Jan. 11. She also finished second in the Slalom in the National Junior Race held on Jan. 5, according to Israel21c. “I couldn’t be any prouder,” said the Hungarian-born athlete following her bronze medal win in a

video posted on Facebook by the Winter Youth Olympic Games. “It’s an amazing feeling, and I can’t describe it. It’s really fantastic.” Talking more about her victory, she said, “I hope I made everyone proud at home and … I guess it’s a big deal. It’s the very first Olympic medal at the winter games, [for either] youth or normal Olympics for Israel, so I think it means a lot.” Israel has won a total of nine medals in the Olympic Games; more than half are from judo. (JNS)

New Right

For its part, the United Jewish Home-Otzma Yehudit alliance harshly criticized the unity deal, the Times of Israel reported. “The true face of Bezalel Smotrich and Naftali Bennett has been exposed – the shattering of religious Zionism,” the party said in a statement, according to the report. The party went on to accuse New Right and National Union of having “hurt the entire right-wing camp.” All alliances for the upcoming elections must be finalized by Wednesday night. Bennett said he also met Zehut Chairman Moshe Feiglin on Monday night, but “unfortunately [Feiglin] decided not to join us.” A month ago, Feiglin announced that his Zehut party wouldn’t run in March’s elections. “The current political climate prevents any attentiveness to Zehut’s message,” he wrote to his followers. (JNS, INN)

(Continued from Front Page) united party, for the victory of the national camp,” he added. However, Bennett noted that the invitation did not extend to the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, which has a unity agreement with Jewish Home. “No way will we run with [Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar] Ben-Gvir. This would color religious Zionism in Kahanist colors and cause damage for generations,” said Bennett, according to Ynet. According to Israel’s Channel 13, New Right Knesset member Matan Kahane told Bennett that he would leave the party if Bennett agreed to a joint run with Otzma Yehudit. “If [Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar] Ben-Gvir is in, I’m going home,” said Kahane according to the report.

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Friday, January 17, 2020



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DREAM IT. DO IT. MAKE TIME FOR GOOD. MLK DAY OF SERVICE 1.20.20 This MLK Day, help transform Dr. King’s dream into reality. Join more than 5,000 volunteers across the New York area as we combat food insecurity, prepare supplies for disaster relief, collaborate on interfaith projects, and so much more. So, sign up! Make time for good this MLK Day. Make it count. And make it memorable. #TimeForGood

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020


Newsweek Changed Its Article About Me, But… In my last column, “Newsweek Hits a New Low,” I wrote about Newsweek’s dishonest description of what I had said on one of my weekly PragerU “Fireside Chats.” A viewer had asked me to respond to a statement Anne Frank made in her epic Holocaust diary. Frank said, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” The Newsweek headline, “Conservative Radio Host Ridicules Anne Frank,” was simply a lie. In order for readers to appreciate the level of mendacity, I had my entire response transcribed and placed it in the column. A few days later, I received a message from Nancy Cooper, global editor-in-chief of Newsweek. She BY DENNIS PRAGER e-mailed me her personal cellphone number and asked me to call her. I did, and we had a good conversation. She agreed that what Newsweek published mischaracterized my remarks and corrected both the headline and the article, written by deputy editor Benjamin Fearnow. She changed the headline to “Conservative Radio Host Counters Anne Frank’s View That People Are ‘Good at Heart.’” In addition, she deleted Fearnow’s sentence characterizing me as having mocked Anne Frank. And she deleted another Fearnow falsehood: “He also brings up Nazi comparisons frequently on his radio program, The Dennis Prager Show, to criticize modern Democrats

and liberals.” theos website’s Friendly Atheist page wrote, “Leave I told Cooper that in 37 years of radio, I have never it to right-wing commentator Dennis Prager, founder compared Democrats or liberals to Nazis; Fearnow had of a fake online ‘university’…to dismiss Frank’s comment…because she was a child and therefore too dumb made that up out of whole cloth. In its place, she wrote the truth: “He also brings to understand anything.” up Nazi comparisons on his radio program, The Dennis There has not been a word on Patheos about NewsPrager Show, saying the left ‘cheapens’ Nazi evil by usweek’s correction. BY TOM WOODS BYthe TOM WOODS Inquisitr, which claims 40 ing term to dismiss politimillion readers a month, headcal opponents or that liberals lined its disparaging article focus on Nazism while failing Smears cannot be undone. “Conservative Pundit Dennis to acknowledge the horrors Prager Ridicules Anne Frank.” wrought by Communism.” There has not been a word The following notice now appears at the end of the article: “Update 1/8, 4:45 p.m. on Inquistr about Newsweek’s correction. I note all of this to make three points. ET: The original headline on this story misrepresented First, as I have said for decades: While truth is a Prager’s comments; the headline and story have been edited to reflect that Prager did not ‘ridicule’ or ‘mock’ conservative value and a liberal value, it has never been a left-wing value. Anne Frank but took issue with her view.” Second, the left’s primary response to those with As I wrote to Cooper, “Your attention to this says a lot about you and your hopes for Newsweek. Thank whom it differs is to smear. Third, smears cannot be undone. you.” This was brilliantly brought home to me in a faBut the story doesn’t end there. First, has Newsweek disciplined Fearnow in any mous Jewish story I first heard when I was a student in yeshiva. The tale is told of a Jew in Eastern Europe way? (I never heard from Fearnow.) Second, and more important, the original lie about who had slandered his rabbi but soon regretted it. So, me has taken on a life of its own. It was conveyed on he went to his rabbi, told him what he had done, sincerely apologized and asked the rabbi’s forgiveness. numerous left-wing sites. BY TOM WOODS “Bring me two feather pillows,” the rabbi respondWonkette, under the sarcastic headline “Dennis Prager Will Not Be Bullied by Anne Frank,” wrote a ed. The man did. deceit-filled article about my comments about Anne “Am I now forgiven?” he asked. Frank. At this writing, the column is followed by 654 “Now cut open the pillows,” the rabbi responded. reader comments – virtually every one of them reThe man had no idea why the rabbi made these repeating the lie started by Newsweek and continued by quests, but deeply wanting the rabbi’s forgiveness, he Wonkette. There has not been a word on Wonkette about did as he was told. “Am I now forgiven?” the man asked. Newsweek’s correction. “Now let the feathers fly away,” the rabbi respondThe Daily Dot – “conceived as the Internet’s ‘hometown newspaper,’ focuses on topics such as streaming ed. Once again, the man did as the rabbi requested. entertainment, geek culture, memes, gadgets and so“Am I now forgiven?” the exasperated man asked. cial issues, such as LGBT, gender and race,” as Wiki“Just do one more thing,” the rabbi responded. pedia describes – reprinted the original Newsweek charge. There has not been a word on The Daily Dot “Bring back the feathers.” Benjamin Fearnow and the left-wing websites canabout Newsweek’s correction. Under the headline “Dennis Prager on Anne Frank: not bring back the feathers. Nor, apparently, do they ‘I Don’t Get My Wisdom from Teenagers,’” the Pa- want to.




Dennis Prager is a popular radio show host, creator of, and the author of several books, including “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.”

Reagan’s Ruminations By MICHAEL REAGAN

The Fake World War Is Over The shortest world war in history is history. Did you miss the news? I’m talking about the big war between the U.S. and Iran that Democrats and the liberal media were hoping and maybe even praying would explode in the Middle East last week and prevent the re-election of President Trump. The war never really happened, though. President Trump called it off before it started just before noon on Wednesday. Actually, he never planned a war with Iran or wanted one in the first place. But I suspect some desperate Democrats did. I think they were secretly hoping Iran’s feeble missile attack in response to the obliteration of its terrorist-in-chief Qassem Soleimani by a drone really had

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution.” He is also the founder of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and


killed a few American soldiers in Iraq and ignited a full-scale U.S.-Iran war. (It would have been a very short war, too, and the Iranian mullahs know it. They are thugs, but they aren’t stupid or suicidal, and they now understand the penalty for crossing one of Trump’s bright red lines.) It’s a cynical thing to say, but a new war in the Middle East with Iran was the last hope Democrats had to achieve their dream of unseating President Trump. The Russian Collusion Hoax was a dud. The Trump Recession didn’t happen. Trump didn’t lose the trade war with China. And impeachment – which Democrats claimed had to be hurried through the House because Trump was a mortal danger to the Constitution and America’s national security – has turned into a prolonged partisan joke with no punch line. As anyone over 40 knows, or should know, the hysterical fear of a Republican president starting World War III is nothing new for Democrats and the liberal media. It’s the same dumb stuff Democrats tried when my father ran for president in 1980, a year after Jimmy Carter abandoned the Shah and basically handed Iran over to the mullahs. “If you elect that warmonger Ronald Reagan,” they claimed, “the first thing he’ll do is turn Iran into a parking lot.” And don’t forget, “He’s a dangerous anti-communist just itching to start World War III with the Soviets.” You’d think the Democrats would have learned something when their dire predictions about my father’s foreign policy didn’t pan out, but 40 years later

fear-mongering about war and other calamities is still one of their favorite go-to political weapons. For them, the sky is always going to fall the day a conservative Republican is elected president. Grandma is going to die. The KKK will make a comeback. The economy will crash. World War III will start at noon on Inauguration Day. Another major forever-war didn’t arrive in the Middle East last week because President Trump had the sense not to use Iran’s token, face-saving response to the droning of General Soleimani as a pretext to level Tehran. Once again he has turned out not to be as reckless or clueless as deranged Democrats and Rachel Maddow and her MSNBC/CNN pals continue to believe he is. As long as Donald Trump is president, which looks increasingly like it will be until 2024, Democrats and the liberal media will see World War III lurking around every foreign corner. I seriously doubt the president will get us into a real war with Iran or anyone else, including North Korea. But to make sure WWIII doesn’t start in Iran, House Democrats and a few non-interventionist Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida passed a resolution on Thursday that specifically limits President Trump’s ability to strike Iran militarily without first getting the approval of Congress. The resolution, which still has to pass in the Senate, is highly partisan and largely symbolic. Putting a president’s war-waging powers back in their proper (but long ignored) Constitutional shackles is never a bad thing for Congress to do. In this case, though, it’s at least two presidents too late.


CHUMI FRIEDMAN, Magazine Editor

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Candle LightingLuach Times In America This Week’s is North sponsored by November 01 and November 08, 2013 Atlanta Baltimore Boston Buffalo Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit

(Next on 6:26, 5:20 Week’s Hartford Luach 5:26, 4:18 5:46, 4:39 Houston 6:16, 5:11 5:19, 4:10 Kansas City 5:59, 4:51 5:49, 4:41 Los Angeles 5:41, 4:35 5:24, 4:16 Memphis 5:47, 4:41 6:18, 5:11 Miami Beach 6:20, 5:16 6:03, 4:55 Milwaukee 5:25, 4:16 6:17, 5:12 Montréal 5:23, 4:13 5:39, 4:32 Newark 5:34, 4:26 6:07, 4:58 Philadelphia 5:40, 4:32

page 36) Phoenix Pittsburgh San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis St. Paul Toronto Washington Winnipeg

5:18, 5:58, 5:39, 5:52, 5:33, 5:42, 5:42, 5:50, 5:49, 5:47,

5:12 4:50 4:33 4:45 4:23 4:35 4:33 4:41 4:42 4:36

NYC CANDLE LIGHTING TIME Jan. 2020 – 20 Teves 5780 All times17, courtesy of / 516-796-2646 FIND YOUR LOCAL ZMANIM AT 4:37 p.m. NYC E.S.T. WWW.MYZMANIM.COM -- THE WORLDWIDE ZMANIM DATABASE

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Candle Lighting Times In North America January 17 and January 24, 2020

Atlanta Baltimore Boston Buffalo Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit

5:35, 4:51, 4:20, 4:50, 4:26, 5:22, 5:05, 5:27, 4:43, 5:08,

5:42Hartford 4:59Houston 4:29Kansas City 4:59Los Angeles 4:35Memphis 5:30Miami Beach 5:14Milwaukee 5:33Montréal 4:51Newark 5:17Philadelphia

4:28, 5:27, 5:03, 4:50, 4:55, 5:34, 4:26, 4:21, 4:37, 4:43,

4:37Phoenix 5:33Pittsburgh 5:11San Diego 4:57San Francisco 5:02Seattle 5:39St. Louis 4:35St. Paul 4:30Toronto 4:45Washington 4:51Winnipeg

5:27, 5:01, 4:48, 4:58, 4:29, 4:47, 4:41, 4:50, 4:53, 4:40,

5:33 5:09 4:55 5:06 4:39 4:55 4:50 4:59 5:01 4:51


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background makes him task. Friday, January 17, 2020  Theideally Jewishsuited PressforthePage 7

The Jewish Press endorses Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City. Since his decisive victory in the Democratic primary in September, Mr. de Blasio has eased many of the concerns that induced us to back Bill Thompson in that contest. We have long admired Mr. de Blasio for his quick mind, signature open-mindedness and profound sensitivity to the plight of New Yorkers of all backgrounds and stations in life. We were particularly taken with his understanding of our community’s religious needs and the need for their reasonable accommodation. Well before becamePress clear enthusiastically that ending cash supbail Indeed, TheitJewish for misdemeanors andraces felonies not involving serious ported him in his past for City Council and pubinjury would grease wheels of New the current epidemic lic advocate. But allthe the talk of York as a “tale of two cities” and of “taxing the rich” pay for everanti-Semitic attacks in New York,toestablishment increasing spending It advocating also obscured Jewish leaders joinedmade blackus leaders for some of theas important, practical things he was saybail reform part of an overall reform of the criminal ing about the city having totopay billsnumbers and prudentjustice system in response theits large of inly prepare to face a looming scal crisis. carcerated people of color in New York State. On such core social issues as abortion, same-sex According the American Thinker last marriage andto“stop and frisk,” Mr. demagazine, Blasio’s posiSeptember, UJA-Federation of New York, the tions hardlythe differ from those of his Republican opJewish Council of New York ponent, Community Joe Lhota – Relations as Mr. Lhota himself acknowledged inled hisbycampaign Ofofcourse, they (JCRC), a nationalcommercials. umbrella group 125 Jewish are two veryrelations differentcouncils people – with ideologicommunity the differing Jewish Center for cal approaches. Yet the problemscelebrating that come Public Affairs (JCPA) – practical held a conference withrole running a cityorganizations like New York do not allow for the of Jewish in getting criminal many radically different options. And so, to take one reform legislation passed. Most touted were the new issue as an example, it seems inconceivable that a bail laws. In fact,would the JCPA launchedtoits “Criminal Mayor de Blasio be indifferent any increasJustice Initiative” mobilizing dozens of local member es in crime, as some have claimed. community relations councilsthe in cities around Joe Lhota has served public well the as counMTA try with a view toward that “ending mass incarceration.” chairman and before as Rudy Giuliani’s budgetSurely director andincarceration” deputy mayor. But he neverthat re“mass is not something ally connected withthe the voterscommunity. and made Nonethehis case. typically oppresses Jewish Mr. de Blasio, on the other hand, has connected – big time – as evidenced by the lopsided polls in his favor. He is likely headed for a historic victory on November 5 and will have an unusual mandate to lead the city. Bill de Blasio has the intelligence, compassion and innate good sense to be a great mayor and take our city to new heights. The Jewish Press calls on its readers to vote for him on November 5.

As a six-term state assemblyman and eight-year Manhattan borough president, he earned a reputation for fostering cooperation with his colleagues in government and for effective and savvy management. Another major responsibility of the comptroller is the auditing, vetting and investigating of virtually anything involving government spending. Here again, a cooperative spirit among the comptroller, the mayor, and other public ofcials is essential, with clear understanding as to where the jurisdictional red lines lie. less,Mr. certain Jewish credentials leaders adopted the issue as their Stringer’s readily recommend own. But now a troubling reality has set in. Thankfully, themselves. numerically speaking, the outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks have been accompanied by relatively low-levBrooklyn District Attorney el violence – with, of course, some tragic exceptions Jewish Press urges the reelection of new Charles thatThe would in any event be unaffected by the bail J. Hynes Brooklyn district attorney. Mr. Hynes rules. Theas upshot, though, is that most anti-Semitic is a 24-year veteran as Brooklyn DA and has more perpetrators now being put back on the than earnedare being returned to of ce. street Oversoon the after being arrested and free to commit more years he has transformed the reputation ofoffenses the ofagainst Jews. Indeed, hapless simplyofwalking ce to where it is now the Jews rst choice many in of the ownlawyers businessseeking have become the street most minding talentedtheir young workthe in law enforcement. Hebail alsoreform. built aMoreover, staff of more than face of the failure of threat of 500 lawyers,has, which rivalsbecome the size of many of less the punishment perforce, a distant and country’s urgent one.largest law rms. Overseeing its work is a mammoth responsibility androle management However, despite the pivotal of so manyexpeJews rience is crucial. in recent criminal law reform and that so many Jews Most important, during his period in ofce he has have beenalternative attacked inapproaches New York City in the last year, initiated to crime prevention, virtually no black leaders have yetwithout to reciprocate besuch as rehabilitation programs incarcerayond attending perfunctory, go-through-the-motions tion, that have aachieved remarkable results in comrally across the Brooklyn Bridge. Indeed, leaders of the bating recidivism. He has also attempted to work closely with BrookContinued on p.81 on lyn’s diverse groups, includingContinued the Orthodox, inp.84 a cooperative effort to bring down crime rates. This has involved taking into account the differing social dynamics of the various communities in an effort to maximize effectiveness of investigation and prosecution. The approach reflects a hard-nosed assessment about what it takes to enforce the law in manifestly different circumstances across the borough. Mr. Hynes’s opponent, Ken Thompson, brings much to the table: he has many good ideas and has had important crime ghting experience as an assisComptroller tant U.S. attorney inIBrooklyn, he isPress relatively spelling the word Met! (The Gemara A Life-Giving Stadium hope Thebut Jewish will The Jewish Press endorses Scott M. String- young and his time will come. For now, Mr. Hynes I had the zechus, together with also begins with the word “Tanna,” keep up its great work in bringing er for comptroller. He is admirably suited for the deserves reelection both in terms of hakoras hatov whose first letter “tav.”) my wife, travel down from and Can-demeanor. attention to this modern-day Howhat he has done for Brooklyn and the Jewish ofce by to dint of experience One of isfor “Ki hem Learning ada attend the Siyum HaShas atcomptroller locaust. and for the experience and accumulated the to major responsibilities of the is chayeinu…” the community, Shas from “mem” to “tav” is MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Pernham wisdom hewhat will bring to the next fourMarcy years as Brookoverall management of the veImunicipal-worker gives us life, or, in other words, was truly astounded at with the concern lyn’s chief prosecutor. union pension funds combined assets of approximately $141forbillion. As sitManhattan borough MetLife! of the organizers everyone president Mr. weather. StringerHand, has served Continued on p.67 ting in the cold feet, as a trustee for Mordechai Bulua Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (I) and body warmers were provided Rabbi Chananya Weissman has for all the participants, as were free a problem with women learning Slaughtering the Unborn coffee and tea. Daf Yomi, and Talmud in general. I I would like to praise The Jewish wonder person for seated at my left, if he would relegate women ToThe be considered publication, letters must be typed. Letters chosen for publication may, at the editor’s discretion, be Press forbeits excellent anti-abortion without asking, brought me tea andAll letters toanonymous Tzena U’rena as was the case shortened and/or edited for greater clarity. must signed – The Jewish Press does notonly publish letters. me Letters should e-mailed Opinions expressed in the Letters areso those coverage. Dismembering unborn offered some ofbehis sushitorolls insection the not distant past. of our readers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial positions of The Jewish Press. and an apple, while the fellow seat- children in the womb goes against Years ago, there were no female ed at my right offered me a can of the pro-life values of Judaism, and physicians or attorneys. Would Whither Honesty problematic the ap- Rabbi While many Modern Orthodox an outrage that sothan many orgaCoca-Cola he had bought. I thought it isMore Weissman object to women And Ethics? athy, of course, is the proliferation Jews used to characterize benizations under the banner of Juda- studying medicine or law such to myself, “Mi k’amcha Yisrael!” because Reader Avner Bloch (Letters, of frum Jews who have no com- havior as a phenomenon found alContinued on p.81 ism – such as the National Council The morning of the siyum, I it simply wasn’t done years ago? Oct. 25) rightly condemns the wide- punction about cheating, stealing, most exclusively in the haredi secJewish Hadassah, and Furthermore, joined Daf Yomi shiur in Jews Staten does a female professpreadaapathy among frum to of lying, andWomen, what have you, usually tor, such a characterization is no the Anti-Defamation League – are Island. Amazingly, the daf that day, sional automatically abrogate her the seemingly never-ending series to make money in an illicit fashion longer true (if it ever was). The Letterswith chosen foralso publication may, atwillful the editor’s discretion, vocal supporters ter- role Niddah 70, had connection as an akeret habayit because of scandals that ahas engulfed our but to cover of upthe the misdeeds bethat shortened and/or clarity. All human letters must – The Continued Jewish Press mination innocent life inbe signed the siyum place lateredited that for she studies something that was community in took recent years. of greater friendsof and neighbors. on p.67 does asks not publish anonymous letters – and e-mailed to the womb. day! The Gemara if the son previously denied to her? The Jewish people – or at least of the Shunamite women who was Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, resurrected by Elisha was tamei. moral-minded and religious Jews – zt”l, taught the inaugural Gemara The answer is “Met m’tamei v’ein need to step up more and protest the shiur at the Stern College Beit Michai m’tamei – A corpse transmits massacre of innocent human lives. drash and instituted girls Gemara ritual impurity, but a living person Over 61 million unborn children study at the Maimonides School in does not.” Immediately, I blurted in America have had their lives Boston. Rav Aaron Lichtenstein, ended since Roe v. Wade in 1973, zt”l, supported the study of Gemara out, “MetLife!” The maggid shiur responded by and while there are many Chris- by women and noted that the Bais saying that invariably, the daf is tian groups that speak out against Yaakov movement a century ago tzum zach, on target, with events abortion, the Jewish community in was met with criticism just as womhappening in the Jewish world. America has been essentially silent. en’s Gemara study is today. Were With approximately a million these noted luminaries wrong? Later, I realized that MetLife was the perfect location for making the developing humans terminated Studying Talmud has brought siyum for another reason: The first every year in America, we Jews countless bnot Yisrael closer to word in Talmud Bavli, “Mei’ama- should not be silent as many Jews Hashem and more devoted to Yidsai,” begins with the letter “mem.” (and others) were in the late 1930s dishkeit. It is not the threat to the The last word, “halachos,” ends and 1940s as millions of human with the letter “tav” – together lives were terminated. Continued on p.83


Bail Reform: Where Is The Hakoras Hatov?

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Letters To The Editor

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020


I Finally Learned What Causes Black Anti-Semitism By YITTA HALBERSTAM MANDELBAUM I felt compelled to attend a conversation on anti-Semitism that Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was hosting Monday night because I still don’t understand the sudden eruption of black Jew hatred in the tri-state area. I was hoping Rabbi Boteach could offer the fresh insights for which he’s famous. Brett Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, was present, and he was magnificent. But it was from his black colleague, journalist Peter Noel (who has primarily written about African-American affairs for The Village Voice and other publications) that I finally learned the true reason behind the sudden backlash. According to Mr. Noel, it all boils down to two words: real estate. I am paraphrasing (you can probably watch his remarks online) but, basically, this is what he said: “The Jews pushed and are still pushing us out of Crown Heights. They took over our turf and don’t allow us to conduct normal activities in our own strip. We can’t have weddings on Saturdays because it disturbs their Sabbath. We’re not allowed to go down certain streets – they belong to the Jews. Why can’t we have the same rights as everyone else?” Now, no one in the audience was from Crown Heights. I don’t live there either, so I have absolutely no idea if any of these accusations are valid, but they certainly sound delusional to me. I can’t imagine that the police, politicians, or leaders in the area would designate any geographical area in Crown Heights “off-limits” to any segment of the population, and it’s hard to believe

Yitta Halberstam Mandelbaum is the co-author of the “Small Miracles” series and the author of “Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.”

that West Indians and African-Americans are prohibited from conducting weddings, festivals, and carnivals (as Mr. Noel staunchly claimed) whenever and wherever they’d like. (I assume that 770 is off-limits, but hey…) Secondly, I don’t think Mr. Noel is familiar with the history of Crown Heights. It was actually the Jews who were chased out of Crown Heights in the mid-’60s, with everyone but Lubavitch fleeing as their hold on their property – and lives – grew less secure. Crown Heights had been a jewel of a neighborhood – a haven for Holocaust survivors who had fled Brownsville and East New York for the same reasons that made them leave Crown Heights. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, however, insisted that his chassidim not join the exodus, and it was solely due to his efforts that Crown Heights still remains on the Jewish map. Before the mass flight, Crown Heights was known as “Doctors Row.” Many famous and successful Jewish physicians lived in the stately homes that lined its streets. One of the major groups that relocated en masse from Crown Heights to Boro Park was Bobov. I was a very little girl when my father took me to a groundbreaking ceremony in Queens, where a project called “Bobov City” was to be inaugurated. Some things remain perennially the same: The non-Jewish populace heavily objected to this initiative, and Bobov had to scrap the project and move to Boro Park instead. Mr. Noel said the second factor underpinning rising Jew-hatred in Crown Heights is the heinous way Shomrim are harassing and physically assaulting innocent blacks, beating them up, and constantly engaging in “stop and frisk” activities, Also, Jewish shopkeepers are picking them up and literally throwing them out of their stores. Again, I don’t live in Crown Heights, but I can’t im-

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agine that the police would allow the Shomrim such “liberties.” Maybe the Jews of Crown Heights are a different breed, but in Boro Park, where I live, I have never, ever witnessed a shopkeeper refusing service to a black patron, and I certainly have never seen anyone being physically assaulted or thrown out of a store. Mr. Noel’s rants were utterly preposterous, yet some of the very bright and intelligent members of the mostly secular audience took his remarks seriously as chassidim were once again demonized even though Rabbi Boteach tried valiantly to challenge Mr. Noel’s assumptions and accusations. I believe that, lamentably, some people walked away with a lot of misinformation that was irrevocably damaging and made them look at the tensions in Crown Heights through a different lens. I applaud Rabbi Boteach for bravely hosting the dialogue, but we must have knowledgeable and articulate representatives of the frum community present at future such dialogues, both as members of the audience and as participants in the dialogue itself, if we wish to effectively counter these charges. I tried to approach Mr. Noel after the presentation, but he was surrounded by throngs of people, and when I finally reached the front of the line, he apologized and said he had to go. During his presentation, Mr. Noel asserted that incidents of young blacks knocking off hats and yarmulkes of Orthodox Jews were indicative of hooliganism, not Jew-hatred. These “random” incidents carried no anti-Semitic overtones, he maintained, and were being misinterpreted. One brave young woman raised her hand and asked, “Mr. Noel, what is your definition of anti-Semitism?” Mr. Noel became flustered and couldn’t really respond coherently. For once, he was speechless.

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Friday, January 17, 2020


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Why Do Neoconservatives Support Israel? By ADAM L. FULLER President Trump’s execution of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani has renewed the endless canard that neoconservatives are trying to push the United States into war with Iran to help Israel. The mythology about the “neocon” obsession with helping Israel is growing tiresome, not least because it has an offensive, anti-Semitic undertone, implying as it does that certain influential American Jews are more loyal to a foreign country than their own. It is also objectionable because it has no real basis. Neoconservatives have no pull within the Trump administration. Their influence within the Republican Party in general has greatly waned since the Bush presidency. But more importantly, the premise rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of the neoconservative agenda. The neoconservatives do not prioritize Israel over America. In fact, in most global affairs, they aren’t thinking about Israel at all. Israel likely holds a special place in neoconservatives’ hearts as many are Jewish. But as policy advocates, they are primarily interested in Israel’s political, economic, and social values and modern achievements. To best comprehend neoconservative foreign policy objectives, one has to know about a theory advanced by some political scientists called the “Democratic Peace Proposition.” In a nutshell, this theory states that democratic countries don’t go to war with one another. The theory doesn’t propose that democracies Adam Fuller is an associate professor of political science at Youngstown State University and the author of the recently-published “Israel and the Neoconservatives: Zionism and American Interests.”

never go to war at all; the essential stipulation is that they do not enter into armed conflict with one another. Why? Because voters within democratic societies prefer diplomatic solutions to taking up arms. Democracy itself is a conflict between adversaries carried out by ballots instead of bullets. Having that principle in common, democratic countries will prefer to seek peaceful resolutions to their disputes than see blood spilled. Neoconservatives have strong confidence in this theory. They also think that liberal democracy creates the best conditions for economic modernization and advancement as it permits citizens to think freely and take risks. Economic advancement, in turn, ensures peace and stability because countries don’t want to go to war with their trading partners. These advantages of democracy are so compelling to neoconservatives that they believe it is fundamentally in the interests of global and regional stability for as many nations of the world as possible to have popularly-elected governments. They therefore frame their foreign policy proposals around nudging despotic societies in a democratic direction. They believe that, in the end, America’s security interests will be best maximized if we are dealing with democratic actors. Terrorists, they suggest, are the products of tyrannical regimes and would not flourish in a liberal democratic world. As such, they promote the exportation of democratic government to societies that do not have it. Sometimes, with far less controversy, they advocate that democratization occur gradually through economic contact. But in some cases, especially in the Middle East, they believe authoritarian countries will only become democratic if forced to do so by America’s military.

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Israel is fundamentally important in the neoconservative foreign policy vision because it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. They think Israel, therefore, has the same interests as the United States. Hence, neoconservatives believe vehemently that the U.S. should help Israel financially and tactically in its regional conflicts. They believe that democracies need to stick together, and they mostly blame the failure of a two-state solution on the fact that the Palestinians lack liberal democratic order. Israeli leaders do not share the neoconservatives’ pro-democracy perspective. Israel aims to develop good relations with authoritarian regimes to avoid conflict, and, in the Arab world, Israeli leaders are often more frightened by the prospect of a democratic government led by antagonistic political factions than they are of iron-fisted dictators who prefer to avoid hostilities with Israel. For example, in 2011, neoconservatives agreed with President Obama’s support of the January 25 Revolution in Egypt and the subsequent “Arab Spring” while Israel felt comfortable with Hosni Mubarak in power, a dictator who kept a 30-year peace with the Jewish state despite factions in Egypt that wanted to tear up the Camp David Accords. Israel didn’t agree with the neoconservatives’ advocacy of regime change in Iraq in 2003 either, sensing that Saddam Hussein was at least keeping even worse parties out of power. Israeli leaders and American neoconservatives do currently share a similar assessment on the Iranian threat. But neoconservatives have their own American aims – and these aims don’t always mesh with those of Israel.

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

Stop Harassing Settlers By ESTHER CAMERON The problem with “administrative orders” in Ju- sidered his castle. Therefore, if a government bandea and Samaria was dramatized recently when Ne- ishes a citizen from his home, the expulsion must be ria Zarog decided to protest an order distancing him based on clear legal grounds. He must present a clear from his home on Kumi Ori Hill in Yitzhar for three and present danger (“a ticking bomb”). months. Zarog, a goat farmer and the father of two, This principle is clearly understood in Israel was arrested in Yitzhar during the last week of the when it comes to persons other than Jewish settlers. three-month period after chaining himself to an iron In the case of Ajuri v. IDF Commander, for examframe. (He is now back home.) ple, the IDF sought to compel three individuals who According to Honenu, a legal aid organization, there had been involved in terrorist activity to move from are still some 50 administrative orders currently in force. “This is a recurring nightmare for Jews in Judea and Samaria,” notes Nati Rom, a Honenu attorney who represented Zarog. Administrative orders are issued by the Civil Administration without any judicial proceeding or attempt to prove wrongdoing. An administrative order can mean expulsion from one’s home, house arrest, or even imprisonment (“administrative detention”). Administrative orders are also often enforced by brutal police methods. Zarog received multiple injuries during his arrest, and settlers have been brutally interrogated and subjected to humiliating conditions – on par with those reserved for the most hardened terrorists – af- Neria Zarog and his wife and two children. ter being arrested. Zarog was served with a distancing order (tsav Shechem to Gaza for two years. They might well have harchakah), a common type of administrative order constituted a clear and present danger, but appealed requiring the recipient to stay out of Judea and Sa- their expulsion and, in July 2002, the Supreme Court maria and/or not to contact certain people for a giv- ruled in their favor. en period of time. The person who receives a tsav Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak stated, “In harchakah has to leave his home and job and relo- principle, removing a person from his dwelling place cate, usually to a place within the Green Line, thus and forcibly moving him someplace else causes sesuffering loss of income, added rental expenses, and rious harm to his self-respect, his freedom, and his disruption of family life unless he can afford to move possessions. A person’s home is not only a roof over his family with him. his head; it is the means for establishing physical and In democratic countries, a person’s home is con- social relationships. A number of a person’s basic human rights are harmed when he is forcibly removed to another place, even if such a move does not involve Esther Cameron is a writer, translator, editor, and an international crossing.” teacher who lives in Maale Adumim. She is also the Even B’Tselem, an organization whose declared publisher of The Deronda Review. goal is “to end Israel’s occupation,” has spoken out

against administrative orders. In 2011, B’Tselem issued a statement saying, “Undoubtedly the state should act determinedly against ‘settlers’ who harm Palestinians and their property, but the way to achieve this is via criminal proceedings and not administrative orders that are based on confidential information.” The use of administrative detention is based on regulations enacted by the British Mandate government in 1945. Under current law, it empowers military commanders in Judea and Samaria to detain a person for a maximum of six months where there is a “reasonable basis for believing that the security of the region or public security necessitates.” It may be extended for an additional six months, and there is no maximum cumulative period. Administrative detainees must be brought before a military judge within eight days. However, hearings are held in camera and the regular rules of evidence don’t apply; a judge may admit evidence without revealing it to the detainee or the detainee’s representative. Administrative detention is a necessary weapon in fighting actual terrorism – e.g., plots to carry out suicide bombings and the like. But Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria may be served with administrative orders for nothing more than being active in the settler cause – e.g., distributing posters (this happened to Akiva HaKohen, a resident of Yitzhar). In the words of Louis René Beres, professor emeritus of political science and international law at Purdue University, “The point of these orders, of course, has been to quash anti-government dissent in various West Bank Jewish communities.” In essence, those who are adamantly opposed to the ideology of “land for peace” are being persecuted for thought crimes. Let’s hope that the release of Neria Zarog will be followed by an end to the use of administrative orders against Jews who represent no danger to the community, and whose only “offense” is their determination to build up the land of Israel.


Anyone Can See The Bad. Let’s Look For The Good By AVI CIMENT As usual, I was running late as I drove toward the highway. And once again I found my way blocked by that annoying set of tracks on which a train always seems to be traveling just as I approach them. I often wonder how it’s possible for a train to be passing by no matter when I leave in the morning. As I wait for it, I usually ruminate about similar occurrences and think, “Naturally this would happen to me” or “I never get a break.” A couple of years ago, my wife told me about a book called The Secret. It reveals the power of a positive attitude, arguing that we can literally change the world around us with it. I was never into this kind of thinking, but as I get older I see its value. For example, we can come home from work in an angry, toxic state or choose to bring an air of positive energy into our homes. So I thought perhaps this kind of positive thinking could be applied to my relationship with G-d. The next day, as I drove toward the tracks, and no train was in sight, I smiled, appreciating the gift.

Avi Ciment lectures and writes about G-d at www.

And then, after I passed them, I did something I’ve never done before: I looked in my rearview mirror, and I noticed that the railroad crossing arm had just gone down. At that moment, it occurred to me that perhaps G-d often helps us, but we simply fail to “look back” and notice. If we turned around and took a moment, we could begin to appreciate the goodness G-d provides, as opposed to only seeing the challenges. Some years ago, a friend who was suffering from back pain and taking pain killers was scheduled to have spine surgery. I recommended that he read a book, Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno prior to his surgery, as millions have been saved by his novel approaches to pain. In short, he read the book, canceled the surgery, and went on with his life. Strangely, though, he never mentioned anything to me about it. And then it hit me. When he was in pain, he was very receptive to my advice because he needed me. The moment he was healed, though, in his state of excitement, he didn’t even acknowledge the goodness provided, let alone thank me. Rabbi Weinstock, the rav of Young Israel in Hollywood, once related the following story: A business-

man inadvertently gets stuck on the roof of a tall office building. With no cell service and nightfall advancing and temperatures dropping, the man gets desperate and starts throwing down all the money he has in his possession in the hopes of drawing attention to himself. As the money comes trickling down from the sky, he sees people running amok, crawling on the floor, stuffing money in their pockets, but no one looks up to see where it’s coming from. Desperate, he grabs some pebbles and dirt and throws them from the roof. This time, everyone looks up to see where the disturbance is coming from. Human nature is such that when times are good – when we have gezunt and mazal and beracha – it’s easy to forget the source of our blessings. And sometimes, we get so busy stuffing money in our pockets and running wild that we forget to look up and see where everything is coming from. So then Hashem throws some “pebbles” our way, not meaning to hurt us, but rather perhaps simply to get our attention. Let us learn from this mashal and always remember to check our “rearview mirror,” acknowledging G-d’s unmitigated blessings.

Friday, January 17, 2020 Friday, September 14, 2018

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 a special report from palestinian meDia Watch

Fatah cial Accuses Israel Of Inventing FatahOffi Blames Israel For Fatah Promises Cruel Terror StealthMurder MannerOf OfTwo Injuring Palestinians Yesterday’s Israelis

And Burning Of Jewish Towns

By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik By Itamar Marcus

Israel is well-known for its state-of-the art invenSaid Fatah Salfit Branch Secretary Abd Al-SatOn Sunday, a 23-yeartions and innovations in science, technology, and othtar Awwad: “When an Israeli soldier directly grabs old Palestinian terrorist theme of numerous recent Fatah a civilian in this way, his body immediately receives er fiThe elds.repeating murdered two of his Israeli public events Fatah wasinventions, the first to ause ter- blue or red marks. They have a policy that they can Adding thebeen: listinof Israeli Fatah coworkers into ahas factory the ror, has not stopped using terror, and will never stop official Industrial explained Zone. on official PA TV that Israel has injure in a certain way.... The cameras can’t reveal Barkan come up with a wayhowevof injuring Palestinians that is this policy that they implement. I’ve seen their bodies using terror. A Fatah official, undetectable by any camera. though possi- [injured] in this way - blue and red marks - by the At one event, Fatah builtEven a model of ita isJewish er, effectively blamed Israel ble for the eye to see “the blue and red marks” of the the occupation forces, which the cameras are incapable town, poured gasoline over it, and set it on fi re to for the murders. “Israel,” he injuries, the camera cannot record it. cheers of the crowd. While the model was burning, a of revealing.” wrote on Fatah’s Facebook song was played promising that Fatah’s terror will page, “is incapable of protecting anyone that steals continue: the Palestinian land.” He also “I’m declared that no Israeli coming towards you, my enemy, is safe until thehouse, Palestinian from every neighborhood and street people itsstreets. Ourgain war“its is arights war ofin the homeland.” I’m coming towards you, my enemy Hamas, meanwhile, We’re going down from every house with cleavers called the murders “a heroand knives ic operation” and awe “natural With grenades announced a popular war response to the Israeli occuI swear, you won’t escape, my enemy, from the pation’s crimes.” Islamic Jirevolution and the people.” had also justified the attack (Official Fatah Facebook page, Facebook page of as “natural,” and added that Fatah – Nablus Branch, January 6) “the settlements are a legitimate target for people of the Moments before, Abbas’ deputy chairman of Faresistance.” “Our land is ours. We are holding onto it, and we tah, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, glorified past Fatah terror The movement also called are determined to liberate it – without a doubt… Do and promised to continue terror. for more attacks, encouragPalestinians handing outyou candy celebrate knowtowhat the heavy price is that we are pay“Fatah was the fi rst bullet,” he shouted to the ing people to “carry out intithe murder of two Israelis. ing for freedom and independence? Rivers of blood. crowd of cheering Palestinians, and then added fada against the settlement Blessings to the Martyrs! And great suffering by the “and it remains like that, and continues – without a terror, until its removal and prisoners, who are almost 40 years within the prison doubt.” He then glorifi ed by name specifi c terrorists the liberation of the West Bank from the settlements and the settlers.” to out all of them!” who of Israelis as well specifi c cells. In murdered the Gaza dozens Strip, people rejoiced overasthe murders andBlessings some gave sweets celebrate. (Official Fatah Facebook page, Facebook page of terror to attacks in which dozens were murdered: Fatah – Nablus Branch, January 7) “Fifty-five years in which there have been battles, ***** 55 years in which there was Dalal [Mughrabi], who Another speaker at the Fatah event likewise established the Republic of Palestine on the coast, 55 years in which there was the coastal battle, 55 years promised continued terror, saying “our hand still in which there were the people’s intifadas, when Fa- holds the weapon… We will light a fire under your tah was the first bullet and the first stone – and it re- feet”: “Fatah is a revolutionary people. It set out on the mains like that, and continues – without a doubt! … path 55 years ago, and our hand still holds the weapon, we are still involved in resistance… Our hand is still outstretched in peace, but it won’t remain outstretched forever… We will light a fire under your feet! … We will cause volcanoes to erupt under your feet!” (Official Israel is behind efforts to “flood the Palestinian with all types of drugs and to make it easier to Fatah obtain Facebook page, Facebook street with drugs,” according to Commissioner of them through low prices.” page Fatah – Nablus the PLO Political and National Guidance Authority Last month, the head of the PAofPreventive SecuBranch, January 6) Nasser Nimr Ayyad. rity Force Muhannad Abu Ali similarly blamed Israel Calling for a national campaign to fight drugs, for drug production and drug use among Palestinians. Palestinian Media Ayyad aid there are “frantic attempts to turn PalLast year, the Abbas-appointed dean of Islamic estine into a producer of this destructive plague by schools and PA TV host Imad Hamato on Watch has explained documented turning agricultural lands into nurseries of death for TV that among the “bad” things “given to many Israel times has that Mahthe production of drugs:” the world” is “the use of drugs pills,” and statmoudand Abbas’ Fatah has According to the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jad- ed that Israel in cooperation with the CIA made it clear thatspreads it has ida, Ayyad spoke of “the efforts of the occupation and “mood enhancers” and “hallucinatory to not stoppedsubstances” using terror criminal drug dealers to flood the Palestinian street “destroy what remains of our children’s – “the armedvalues.” resistance”


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Page 22 12

The Jewish Press  Friday, August January30, 17,2019 2020

Following Pressure Campaign, Speakers Withdraw From Israeli Herbalist Conference or foe, people who share our opinion and people who do not; even the worst killers are helped without discrimination…. We herbalists are concerned with people and plants, not with politics…. “[T]rying to stop herbalists from gathering to furAt least two people who were scheduled to speak ther their knowledge of ways to improve the lives and at an upcoming herbalist conference in Israel have health of people around the world, is indeed troubling decided to stay home. and unethical.” rst of its kind in the Jewish The conference – the first In e-mail responses to The Jewish Press, Clare state – is being organized by Ancient Roots Israel, ofcial said the American Herbalist Guild takes no official which describes itself as an “endeavour to strengthen position on BDS or the Ancient Roots Israel conferthe herbal community in Israel and between Israel and herbalists from all over the world.” ence. She also said she asked for her video to be taken denition, is supposed to Herbal medicine, by definition, down after “being presented with additional informabe about medicine, not politics, but tion from several individuals.” anti-Israel advocates were dissatis“I was encouraged,” she wrote, “to ed with the Israel-based conference fied become better informed of the situa(scheduled for February 9-11) and aption and subsequently realized things parently pressured several speakers to were more complicated than I had prepull out of it. viously been aware.” She denied ever In a January 3 Facebook post, Shafeeling pressured to remove her video. Laeur-Gangji, editor of the Jourbina Lafleur-Gangji, She also defended Shabina Lafnal of the American Herbalists Guild, Facebook post of Shabina Lafleur-Gangji, Laeur-Gangji, editor of the Journal of the American leur-Gangji, writing that the Ameritakes credit for convincing conference Herbalists Guild, celebrating the withdrawal of speakers from a conference in Is- can Herbalist Guild doesn’t hire people supporters and scheduled lecturers to rael. based on their political views. She did boycott the conference. say, though, in response to a question, Complaining about the lack of Palestinian or the prestigious American Herbalists Guild. She was that the guild wouldn’t hire someone with strong ties Muslim representation in the speaker line-up and asked to withdraw a short video in which she says, “I to anti-black or anti-homosexual organizations. Laeur-Gangji’s actions in relation to the stressing that she “absolutely stands behind the BDS just wanted to congratulate the Israeli community on As for Lafleur-Gangji’s rst herbal conference.” Laeur-Gangji writes, “When I heard your first movement,” Lafleur-Gangji Ancient Roots Israel conference, Clare said, “I bedifcult Asoulin told The Jewish Press that Clare recent- lieve this is an incredibly complicated and difficult the news about this conference, I did what I always rst time and met with her situation and regret the negative impact on the indido when I hear about people making decisions that ly visited Israel for the first directly undermine systemically brutalized people at her home. Aware that pressure was being applied viduals involved in creating and hosting the herbal [i.e., the Palestinians]; I felt hopeless. But then, behind the scenes, Asoulin asked Clare what Ancient conference.” Roots Israel could do to make the speakers feel more something beautiful happened. Betina Thorball, a co-organizer of the conference, “People…started coming together to talk about it. comfortable about honoring their commitment. Clare has her own regrets, telling The Jewish Press, “I am We decided something needed to happen and reached reportedly replied, “You cannot be from Israel and more than frustrated that some people have decided out to the herbalists involved. Within 24 hours they… you cannot be Israeli.” Taken aback, Asoulin said she it is a ‘victory’ to politicize and derail a peaceful herbmade the decision to retract their support for the con- asked her to repeat that. Clare reportedly responded, al conference; that they cannot see that herbs and benet everybody, ference in solidarity with folks in [sic] living under “This has nothing to do with you. This has everything herbal medicine could unite and benefit rst com- even disparate political opponents. to do with Israel.” (Clare denies making the first the brutal force of Israeli apartheid.” It’s not clear how many people pulled out of the ment.) “How can we ever have peace if in the middle of conict, normal people will not be allowed to do In a January 4 press release, Ancient Roots Israel any conflict, Laeur-Gangji conference due to this campaign, but Lafleur-Gangji mentions two by name: Danny O’Rawe, an herbalist declared, “Since the dawn of medicine…the very core something with good and noble intent, like organizfrom Belfast, Ireland, and “7song,” who serves as the principle of healing is that we help everyone; friend ing a peaceful herbal gathering?”

By Eve Glover Special to The Jewish Press

director of Holistic Medicine at Ithaca Free Clinic. Neither 7song or O’Rawe responded to a request for comment, but another scheduled speaker at the conference, Sara Chana Silverstein, told The Jewish Press that American Jewish herbalists received “frightening threats via e-mail and social media from a barrage of people claiming to be ‘concerned citizens’ who believe Israel is a genocidal and apartheid country.” She speculates that she wasn’t similarly threatened only because she’s an Orthodox Jew. According to Rivkah Asoulin, founder and executive director of Ancient Roots Israel, another person who was pressured was Bevin Clare, president of

Iran, Mashiach’s Arrival, And Nachal Charedi An Interview with Rabbi Yoel Schwartz he has been based since 1984. The Jewish Press: From your books, it’s evident that you possess extensive secular knowledge. Where did you attain it given your chareRabbi Yoel Schwartz has written so many books, di upbringing? Rabbi Schwartz: My parents came to Eretz Yisrael he can’t remember exact how many. The Israel National Library has 180 titles registered. The 80-year- from Hungary. They were followers of the Chatam Sofer who encourold Torah scholar aged Jews to make and co-founder of the aliyah. I was born in IDF’s Nachal Haredi Yerushalayim, and Division, believes the from an early age, I number is closer to loved books. 200. By the time of my His interests are bar mitzvah, I must as eclectic as he is prohave read a thousand lific, lic, having written books, including hunbooks on conversion, dreds of books I disspecial-needs children, special-need chilcovered in a nearby dren, yishuv yishuv ha’aretz, ha’aretz, kolibrary. I especially kosher grasshoppers, sher enjoyed encyclopeBnei Noach, the Hodias. Although my locaust, and the wonparents were comders of the universe. pletely charedi, their In addition to his work Rabbi Yoel Schwartz and an IDF soldier. European background on a gamut of projects, such as his effort to reach out to Bnei Noach around instilled in them a respect for general culture and the world, he also teaches newcomers to Judaism at secular knowledge. the Dvar Yerushalayim Yeshiva in Har Nof, where What yeshivot did you attend?

By Tzvi Fishman Jewish Press Israel Correspondent

I learned in Kol Torah in Yerushalayim, in Yeshivat Ponevezh in Bnei Brak, and in the Mir Yeshiva under the guidance of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rav Yosef Kahaneman, and Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, all of blessed memory. Afterward, I served as the mashgiach of the Itri Yeshiva, then I taught in Yeshivat HaNegev in Netivot and in Yeshivat Ofakim. Why did you decide to devote yourself to teaching baalei teshuvah, and even non-Jews, rather than remaining in the traditional yeshiva world? Doesn’t every Jew have to learn Torah? And nonJews are required to know their maker as well. The Prophet Isaiah states, “From Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of the L-rd from Yerushalayim.” That means that the word of the L-rd will be for everyone in the world. In your classes, which are sometimes recorded and posted on YouTube, you often combine divreiTorah divre Torah with with aa rundown rundown of of recent events. Why? Our Sages reveal that a person is asked a few nishes his sojourn in this world questions when he finishes and reaches the beit din in heaven. One question is: Did you look for the coming of salvation? That means: Did you look to see the coming of Israel’s Redemption

Continued on p.75 p.20

Friday, Friday, Friday, January January July 12, 17, 3, 2019 2020

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The Jewish Press

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Page 14

The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

s e k a T k c i u Q

Page 14 THE JEWISH PRESS  Friday, November 1, 2013

BY AARON KLEIN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF FOR BREITBART NEWS The network and its founder, Egyptian Muhammad Jamal, were designated by the State Department this month as “specially designated global terNEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED rorists” afliated with al Qaeda. The designation not only sanctions MJN’s asAARON KLEIN sets but now allows President Obama to use a Bush-era military doctrine to capture Jamal terHizbulah Behind Recent Terrorist Attacks rorists overseas. The State Department document Militants acting on orders from the IranianAn e-mail proves disgraced ex-FBI Director James intelligence community showing it wasdesignating Comey and MJN as who terrorists does mention Benghazi backedpersonally Hizbullahapproved were responsible for a spate of McCabe Comey an FBI effort to have lobbied fornot Steele’s wildthe claims about attack. to be part of the official ICA probe. and attempted terrorist attacks Isra- Trump akillings wild and unsubstantiated salacious claimin about This despite an October 2012 Wall Street Jourel during the past month, according to informaPresident Trump in material to be considto af produce material Fureport was that hired ghters liated his with Jamal’s for group tion shared withincluded this column from informed Mid- nalSteele ered for publication in the U.S. Intelligence Commusion GPS, which was paid for its anti-Trump work by participated in the Benghazi attack. dle Eastern security ofcials. nity’sThis official onthe alleged RussianAuthority interference primary politicalThe opponents, namelyquoted Hillary Earlier this month, Daily Beast pastreport Friday, Palestinian ar- Trump’s sources con rming MJN’s involvement at Benghazi. twopresidential cells consisting of Fatah militants in Clinton’s inrested the 2016 election. 2016 presidential campaign and the DemRecently, a new UN Security Council resolution the West Banke-mail, who admitted upon to ocratic The Comey which has notinterrogation received media National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins added MJN to its list of sanctioned al Qaeda groups. being recruited by was Hizbullah to inside carry out attention until now, revealed the attacks Justice Coie law firm. Unlike the State Department description, the against Israel, the security ofcials said. Department’s recently released 476-page Inspector December details 16, 2016 e-mailalleged from the FBI’s Intel MJN’s involvement The ofcials said the cells were being directed by UNAresolution General report on the FBI’s Russia collusion invesSection Chief made clear McCabe was arguing the nearQais Obeid, an Israeli Arab and a grandson of for- in the attack on the U.S. special mission and for tigation. claims to be included in the official ICA report. by CIA annex. mer Knesset member Diyab Obeid. Obeid defected wild A UN narrative summary of the sanctions to The Lebanon and became senior ofacer of Hizbullah. IG report furtheradiscloses separate email Referring to McCabe as “deputy director,” theressecolution Jamal set up alike trainThe of cials further said Hizbullah directed the tion in which Andrew McCabe, who served under Comey chiefreads: wrote“Muhammad that McCabe wanted “details the ing campcompromising in Libya where Libyan etc.” and to foreign viocarry out attacks in the name ofwanted the Al Aqsa ascells the to FBI’s deputy director, specifically dos- potential material, be includlent extremists were trained. Some of the attackMartyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah. sier author Christopher Steele’s unverified salacious ed in the FBI’s official submission to the intelligence The attacks were also to be carried out in the ers of the U.S. Mission in Benghazi on 11 Septemcharges against Trump to be included in the body of community for been material to be for the ICA identi edconsidered as associates of Muname of the Abu Musa Brigade, a small group based ber 2012 have the January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community rereport. in Syria allied with Fatah. The ofcials said the Abu hammad Jamal, and some of the Benghazi attackport, known as is the ICA, assessing Russian same day, the FBI’s Intel Section Chief sent reportedly trained at MJN camps in Libya.” Musa Brigade not known to havealleged any serious ex- ersThat Earlier this month, thisincluding reportercontroversial quoted inistence in the West Bank. interference efforts. an e-mail to other FBI officials formed MiddlePeter Eastern security ofcialscontained saying ita Earlieropposed this month, column to rst McCabe a CIAthis compromise onlyreportrefer- FBI employee Strzok. The missive was militants from the Muslim Brotherhood who ed that the Iranian-backed Hizbullah is  nancing ence Steele’s controversial dossier in an appendix of draft of the FBI’s official submission to the ICA effort cells of the Al Aqsa Martys Brigades, the military sprang terrorist leader Muhammad Jamal from the ICA report, with McCabe arguing for it to be inthat included Steele’s unsubstantiated claims. wing of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah or- prison in 2011. cluded in the body of the report where it would clearThe day,Brotherhood Comey completed his review of the The next Muslim connection may serve ganization. ly get more attention. official submission and personally as further evidence of an Egyptian role inapproved the Beng-of The security ofcials, meanwhile, said there is FBI’s hazi attack. information that militants In his e-mail onHizbullah- the subject,nanced McCabe seemed were to be Steele’s dossier reports to be included in the ICA asbehind aon spate of killings here in recent weeks. Spe- sessment. speaking behalf of Comey’s FBI, using the noun Turkey and Qatar Moving Away Comey cically, the ofcials said the jihadists were be“we.” In an e-mail to Strzok, McCabe and others, From Friendly Relations With U.S. hind the murder earlier this month of Israeli reReferencing Steele’s charges, McCabe wrote: “We described a phone call he had with then Director of It’s not only Saudi Arabia. Now major U.S. allies servist Seraiah Ofer, who was bludgeoned to death oppose to include as an appenIntelligence James Clapper, writing that he Turkey and Qatar are discussing developing closat his CIA’s home current in Broshplan Habika, in theitnorthern Jor- National dix; are a number of reasons why I feel strongly told Clapper with to include theatSteele reports. of Amerier relations Russia the expense danthere Valley. that There it needs to media appearreports in somehere fashion in the main okaytotoinformed me,” Comey wrote, approving according Middle Eastern securi-of were Israel’s Shin Bet ca, “Looks ty of cials. Security wasand investigating a possible crim- the body of theService reporting, I would welcome the chance FBI submission that encompassed Steele’s dosa shocking development, the security ofthatitattack. toinal talkmotive to you in about tomorrow.” sierIn charges. cials further said Qatar and Turkey are leading seThe security of cials said there is information Comey himself personally approved of the incluComey’s email continued: “FYI: During a secure the Hizbullah-backed cells also carried out the dead- cret talks to study the possibility of renewing relasion of Steele’s wild claims in the ICA assessment, an call night onand thisIran general topic, I to informed the tionslast with Syria in response President ly shooting last month of Gal Gabriel Kobi, who was e-mail in the IG reportindiscloses. The IG re- DNI that we would be contributing theover [Steele] reObama opening dialogue with Tehran its nukilledpublished by a Palestinian sniper the city of Hebron. port relates that the CIA did duty not want Steele’s claims porting (although I didn’t use that name) to the IC clear program. Kobi had been on reserve during the Jewish Qatar andCommunity] Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia, of Sukkot. toholiday be included at all, downgrading Steele’s charges to [Intelligence effort. I stressed that we were deeply involved in supporting the insurgenFinally, the of cials said there is information “internet rumor.” Still, Comey and McCabe pushed were proceeding cautiously to understand and atcy targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s that nanced militants carried a tempt for theHizbullah- wild anti-Trump claims to be part of theout ICA to verify the reporting as best we can, but we drive-by shooting on Road 446 in the West Bank regime. Those countries are said to be some of the assessment, which was ultimately made public. thought it important to bring it forward to the IC eflast week targeting an Israeli car. No one was in- biggest opponents of Iran’s alleged nuclear-weapThe in ICA was a joint effort of the FBI, NSA, and fort.” ons aspirations. jured that attack. CIA with oversight from the Office of the Director of Comey went on security to document that he vouched According to the ofcials, Turkey, Qatar andSteele’s Saudi Arabia aresources disappointed Obama’s Was Intelligence The Muhammad Network the for National (ODNI),Jamal which published so-called while with admitting that outreach Iran and what they view as a U.S. failreport.Involved In The Benghazi Attack? he didn’t to tell Clapper about FBI efforts to verify ure claims. to act militarily in Syria. Is the State Department hiding the involvement Comey, former CIA Director turned anti-Trump the The FBI at the time could not verify the “They view America has losing major credibiliof an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-linked terroractivist John Brennan and former Director of Nation- charges. ty,” said one ofcial. ist group in the Benghazi attack? al Intelligence, and Nations Trump critic James have Comey wrote: “I told him source the materiThe foreign ministers of the Qatar andof Turkey, the A new United report ties Clapper perpetrators been theattack subjects a dispute over Obama al, included salacious material aboutathe Presofwhich cials say, have been quietly discussing change of the to of the Muhammadwhich Jamaltop Network, administration officials advocated for the infamous ident-Elect, was a former [REDACTED] in attitude toward Syria and Iran alongwho withappears closer or MJN. strategic relations with Russia that and could include Steele dossier to be utilized as evidence in the ICA to be a credible person with a source sub-source Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior weaponsin and oil deals. report. network position to report on such things, but we Last Mail reported Arareporter for He is also host Now the IG report cites e-mails from Comey and could notweek, vouchthe for Daily the material. (I said Saudi nothing furbia’s intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, of an investigative radio program on New York’s McCabe as well as testimony from members of the ther about the source or our efforts to verify).” said his country will make a “major shift” away from 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station its relationship with the U.S. in protest of Obama’s in the U.S., every Sunday between 7-9 p.m. His dialogue with Iran and inaction in Syria. website is

QUICK TAKES McCabe Pushed To Highlight Salacious Rumor In Russia Report

Comey may have even more egg on his face for vouching for Steele’s alleged sources following the publication of the IG report, which relates that Comey’s own FBI found serious sourcing problems and glaring issues with the way Steele reported the salacious claim. Meanwhile, Comey’s FBI fought back against attempts by the CIA to remove Steele’s claims from the ICA report. The IG report reveals the CIA expressed concern about using the Steele election reporting in the ICA assessment, with the CIA viewing Steele’s claims to be no more than “internet rumor.” States the IG report: “The Supervisory Intel Analyst explained that the CIA believed that the Steele election reporting was not completely vetted and did not merit inclusion in the body of the report. The Intel Section Chief stated that the CIA viewed it as ‘internet rumor.’” That’s when McCabe stepped in and strongly pushed for Steele’s claims to be including in the body of the ICA report and not relegated to the appendix as part of a comprise with the CIA. “McCabe’s view did not prevail,” the IG report relates. “The final ICA report was completed early in the first week of January 2017, and included a short summary and assessment of the Steele election reporting, which was incorporated in an appendix.” Comey, Brennan, and Clapper were previously the subjects of a dispute about which senior official advocated for Steele’s dossier to be included in the ICA report. The fiasco was kicked into high gear after Fox News cited “sources familiar with the records” pointing to an e-mail chain from late-2016 showing Comey allegedly telling FBI employees that it was Brennan who insisted that the anti-Trump dossier be included in a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report, known as the ICA, assessing Russian interference efforts. A former CIA official, clearly defending Brennan, shot back at the assertion, instead claiming that it was Brennan and Clapper who opposed a purported push by Comey to include the dossier charges in the ICA. The IG report shows it was indeed Comey who pushed for the dossier’s inclusion in the ICA material.

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Page 16

The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

Twisted By Ziona Greenwald As soon as Jews anywhere are attacked for the crime of being Jews, the chorus begins: “History of mental illness,” “no history of anti-Semitism,” “no history of violence.” Hate crime laws notwithstanding, the perpetrator’s kin and other deniers immediately start running the latest unmistakable act of targeted anti-Jewish violence through a sophistic litmus test designed to shift as many incidents as possible into the category of random acts of derangement. It is perhaps understandable that the parents and family of the perpetrator of such a heinous act – as well as his legal counsel – would want to believe that he acted not out of viciousness but rather due to a faulty prescription or troubled mental state. But everyone else, including politicians, the media, and the Twitter-happy, should dismiss these claims as self-serving, redundant, and dangerously distracting. You don’t need a psychiatry degree to recognize that anyone who goes on a stabbing spree is not in his right mind. One who punches a passerby in the face, hurls expletives at customers in a bagel shop, chases another passenger though a subway, rams his car into a crowd of pedestrians, shoots up a synagogue or any other gathering place filled with people he knows nothing about – nothing except for their religion, that is – is hopelessly demented, afflicted with the age-old mental disease known as Jew-hatred. Healthy, well-adjusted, contented, civilized human beings do not savagely attack their

neighbors or fellow citizens. Those who do are devils wearing a convincing mask. Just as normal parents don’t abuse or kill their children, and normal spouses don’t beat each other, people who are not sick in the head don’t go around

butchering Jews, or anyone else. The justice system doesn’t generally give the former a pass, and should never give one to the latter. What happened to Sarah Halimi’s African Muslim killer in France – he went free because his merciless, Quran-driven lynching of the innocent grandmother occurred during a drug-fueled bender – could happen anywhere if a dubious

mental state becomes relevant to public opinion, and public policy, toward anti-Jewish terrorists. The searches found on the Monsey maniac’s computer put any question about his motives to rest. But what if investigators hadn’t turned up that information, if perhaps Grafton Thomas truly had “no history of anti-Semitism” (if that negative could even be proven)? Would that make his intentions any less clear? When a man with a machete storms into a Chanukah party, the act alone tells us all we need to know. A history has to start somewhere. An attack might be born of a dormant but long-simmering ideology, or it might follow a path of escalating outbursts. The perpetrator’s Jew-hatred might have for months or years remained as well-concealed as the weapon he ultimately chose to wield. Or it might have flared up overnight like an ugly lesion. The result is the same: Jews in the bullseye. When it comes to the twisted dementia of anti-Semitism, there is, in all but the rarest cases, no cure. With those who unequivocally stand against it, we can make meaning through unity and solidarity, creating a vaccine-like check against its spread. With the rest – perpetrators and inciters, apologists and sympathizers – we fight or we fall. Ziona Greenwald, who holds a J.D. from Fordham Law School, is a writer and editor based in Jerusalem. Her first children’s book,  “Kalman’s Big Questions,” was recently published by Targum Press.

Jewish Organizations Scramble To Feed Stranded Passengers In Nova Scotia By Baruch Lytle Jewish Press Staff Writer Fate brought caring Jews together from two countries and multiple cities on January 9 after a plane heading for Israel made an emergency landing in Canada on Thursday night. The passengers were detained at Halifax Stanfield International Airport for hours with minimal food. But thanks to a group of Jewish aviation enthusiasts who regularly receive alerts when a plane is in distress, a campaign was immediately launched to ensure they would have a proper Shabbos. Montreal Hotzolah worked with the group, and soon Gourmet Glatt of Cedarhurst and Chap A Nosh in Brooklyn were donating boxes of food and having them flown overnight to Nova Scotia. The flight – El Al LY26 – was forced to make its emergency landing after smoke was detected in the cabin about 90 minutes after takeoff. (The source of the smoke was ultimately determined to be a broken light bulb.) The Boeing 777, which took off from Newark and was heading to Tel Aviv, was holding 175 passengers and crew members. A full maintenance check was required once Some of the stranded passengers at the Chabad of the Maritimes in Halifax before the onset of Shabbos. it landed in Nova Scotia, which meant the plane wouldn’t be able to arrive in Israel before Shabbos. accepted the offer, and the Feldmans assisted in ar- when the donated boxes of food arrived,” he said. Rabbi Mendel Feldman, director of Chabad of the ranging everything from coach busses to hotel reser- “[But] it turned out to be a beautiful Shabbos. EvMaritimes (COTM) in Halifax, told The Jewish Press vations near the shul. eryone turned into a happy family, like brothers and that he received a call Thursday night before the They also quickly scrambled to prepare Shabbos cousins at a simcha.” plane even landed and was told to expect a full house meals for an estimated 50-60 people (some passenFeldman says El Al representatives arrived in the for Shabbos: “I got a call from a Chabad colleague and gers and crew made other arrangements) for Friday middle of the Shabbos meal to make sure everyone he said, ‘Brace yourself.’” night, plus more meals for Shabbos lunch and a third was taken care of. After Havdalah, everyone boardFeldman says he called El Al Canada, which is meal later in the day. ed a bus and a short while later they boarded their headquartered in Toronto and offered to help. El Al “It was really amazing as…it was around 2 p.m. plane headed to Tel Aviv.

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

Page 17

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020


The Sugar Packet & Sweet‘N Low By Deborah Katz If you are on a diet or a diabetic, in all likelihood, you occasionally use a zero-calorie sweetener. One such sweetener, easily distinguishable from the rest because of its bright pink packet, is of course Sweet‘N Low. Its developer was a Jew, Benjamin Eisenstadt. Born in New York on December 7, 1906, Eisenstadt was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. He attended Brooklyn College, graduated with a degree in chemistry, and became a proprietor of a cafeteria across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. When World War II ended, his cafeteria business declined, forcing him to sell the eatery’s fixtures. With the money he received from the sale, he pur-


Some Leadership Lessons From Moshe This week Moses ascends the world stage. Exactly when the party lists for the next election to the Knesset are being finalized, we are given a leadership workshop courtesy of the weekly parshah: • A leader can grow up in the house of Pharaoh as “the prince of Egypt” but still not forget his identity and his nation. Such a leader can even have

chased a tea-bag machine. He also converted the cafeteria into a factory called The Cumberland Packing Corporation. One day, he was dining in a restaurant with his wife, Betty, who had often complained about flies infesting sugar bowls. That day she remarked that it would be so nice if sugar came individually-wrapped like tea bags. Thus was born the sugar packet – an invention that Benjamin failed to patent, resulting in the loss of much potential revenue. A decade later, in 1957, Eisenstadt decided to produce a powdered saccharin sweetener (formerly, saccharin was sold as liquid drops or as small tablets). He mixed the saccharin with dextrose, cream

of tartar, and calcium silicate, and called the result Sweet‘N Low. (The name derives from an 1863 song by Sir Joseph Barnby whose title and lyrics came from a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson called “The Princess: Sweet and Low.”) Sweet‘N Low took off in the mid1960s with the low-calorie soda craze, and, amazingly, over 500 billion Sweet‘N Low packets have been produced to date. Also amazingly, The Cumberland Packing Corporation today is still on the same site of Eisenstadt’s original diner. Eisenstadt was a major benefactor of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. He died on April 8, 1996 at age 89.

the courage to stand up to Pharaoh, ruler of the world’s greatest empire, and tell him the truth to his face. • A leader is not necessarily charismatic. He can be a stutterer with a speech impediment and not a silver-tongued orator. Moses himself does not claim to be perfect; he admits to his deficiencies without embarrassment: “I am heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue,” he says. • A leader embraces cooperation with others, with minimal stepping on other people’s toes, without envy, without competing with anyone. He goes into the desert with Aharon his brother and Miriam his sister by his side, and each draws upon his or her unique talents during their long journey. • A leader does not proclaim a need to “change the people” or “change the Torah” or “change their destination.” He does not despair despite the difficulty of persuading the people to follow and keep the Torah, and he continues to pull the people along the road

to Eretz Yisrael even when they want to go back to Egypt. • A leader does not attribute success to himself. He is a man of faith and knows that he is only an emissary. The most important person in the Exodus story is also the most humble. We do not expect those elected to be Moshe Rabbeinu. Still, the parshi’ot that will accompany the election campaign in the weeks ahead should remind us of how, ideally, those in leadership roles should conduct themselves. (Translation by Yehoshua Siskin) Sivan Rahav-Meir, a ba’alas teshuvah, is a popular Channel 2 News anchor and the author of “#Parasha” and “Reaching to Heaven.” Every day, she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. This year, she is serving as a Mizrachi shlicha to North America.

Anti-Semitism Gathering Draws Crowd Of 600 In Westchester By Baruch Lytle Jewish Press Staff Writer An estimated 600 Jews in Westchester, NY, gathered in Temple Israel Center of White Plains last Wednesday to hear speakers discuss anti-Semitism and community initiatives to combat it. “I grew up near Boro Park,” speaker Mark Weitzman, director of Governmental Affairs for the Simon Weisenthal Center, told The Jewish Press. “I remember when Meir Kehane started his…groups. There always is a necessity for security. At the same time, I think we have to be really careful about engaging and taking things on if we’re not trained. Violence is not the answer in and of itself.” “The world will never be cured of anti-Semitism,” speaker Hindy Poupko, deputy chief planning officer at UJA-Federation of New York, told the attendees. “That doesn’t mean we should not discuss here tonight how to confront it.” Poupko said it isn’t the responsibility of Jews to end the violence. “I don’t have to figure it out. That’s not our job. That’s the city’s job and our country’s job. They need to figure out how to ensure our country’s safe for us to live here. Let’s be clear about that.”

Friday, January 17, 2020


How Jewish Is The ‘Jerusalem Program’? On January 21, voting in America begins for the 38th World Zionist Congress – the governing body of the World Zionist Organization, Jewish National Fund, and the Jewish Agency for Israel. Every American Jew above 18 can vote, and several organizations are urging Orthodox Jews to back them so they can ensure the Congress – which also decides how $1 billion is spent in support of Israel and world Jewry – champions Torah values, not “progressive” policies. Before voting, though, every person must affirm his or her commitment to what is called the “Jerusalem Program.” And that’s problematic. Why? Because the program begins with a false statement and an arguably misguided vision. Its opening sentence reads as follows: “Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, brought about the establishment of the State of Israel, and views a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel to be the expression of the common responsibility of the Jewish people for its continuity and future.” No believing Jew can read the beginning of the above sentence and not wince. Zionism brought the establishment of Israel?! No, G-d did. The founding of the state was so miraculous that only the most religiously-insensitive person could boldly declare that Zionism is responsible. Of course, G-d works through people. Visionary Zionists like Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben Gurion worked tirelessly for decades chasing a quixotic dream that even many sympathetic supporters thought unachievable. Yet, amazingly, this dream came true after just 50 years.

The Jewish Press

Page 19

These men were heroes and deserve our undying ditional parties sitting in the next World Zionist gratitude. Congress work to amend the Jerusalem Program so That said, the prime mover of history is G-d, and that G-d is given credit for Israel’s founding and the the omission of G-d from the Jerusalem Program’s pursuit of democracy not be identified as a Zionist opening statement about the return of the Jewish goal. people to Eretz Yisrael after 2,000 years of exile is The opinions expressed in this column do not necBY ELLIOT RESNICK, JEWISH PRESS CHIEF EDITOR truly unconscionable. It cannot be ignored. essarily reflect those of the full editorial board of The My second objection to the Jerusalem Program’s Jewish Press. opening sentence is its stated vision of “a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel [as] the expression of the common responsibility of the Jewish people for its continuity and future.” I understand “Jewish” and “Zionist.” But why “democratic”? Undoubtedly, of the various forms of government today, a democracy is the most fair, but is upholding a democratic state really “the common responsibility of the Jewish people for its continuity and future”? Where in the Torah does such a “responsibility” exist? Is it not possible to envision a system in which tyrannical abuse is checked but which isn’t technically democratic as it aims to facilitate Torah observance among the Jewish people? Some frum Jews argue that Israel must be a theocracy. In the times of Sefer Melachim, it was a monarchy (often led by an evil king). Before then, the Jews were very loosely governed by shoftim, which American thinkers like Thomas Paine thought ideal (see the extensive quotes from Sefer Shmuel in his famous work Common Sense). Which system does Hashem prefer in the modern era? It’s not entirely clear. Perhaps He would sanction a democratic Israel even if one day everyone in the country were observant and thus “on the same page.” But is it certain that He would? Can a frum Jew confidently assert that it’s “the common responsibility of the Jewish people” to maintain Israel as a democracy? Some may object that all the above amounts to quibbling; that affirming one’s commitment to the Jerusalem Program is a pro forma act that means little; that voting in the election for this influential body is more important than standing on principle; that the Jerusalem Program overall is laudatory in that it calls for Jewish unity, aliyah, and championing Jewish rights. Perhaps. But I humbly propose that the religious and tra-

Straight Talk

of peoplePress around the Page world, a barrage of people claiming to beNovember ‘concerned22, citizens’ Friday, 2019 health The Jewish 11is i The conference – the first of its kind in the Jewish who believe Israel is a genocidal and apartheid coun- and unethical.” In e-mail responses to The Jewi state –A iscRoSS being A SpeciAl RepoRt fRom theorganized pond by Ancient Roots Israel, try.” She speculates that she wasn’t similarly threatsaid the American Herbalist Guild t which describes itself as an “endeavour to strengthen ened only because she’s an Orthodox Jew. According to Rivkah Asoulin, founder and exec- position on BDS or the Ancient Root the herbal community in Israel and between Israel utive director of Ancient Roots Israel, another per- ence. She also said she asked for her v and herbalists from all over the world.” Herbal medicine, by definition, is supposed to son who was pressured was Bevin Clare, president of down after “being presented with add JewiSh newS fRom down Umedicine, ndeR be about not politics, but tion from several indiv In 2018, Rabbi Mirvis published a guide for LGBT Husband Gives Wife “I a Get anti-Israel advocates were dissatiswas encouraged, By Doreen Wachmann pupils in Jewish schools in conjunction with the JewAfter Facing Prosecution in British Court fied with the Israel-based conference become better informe Jewish Press UK Correspondent ish LGBT group KeshetUK. For the first time in the UK, a London woman ob(scheduled for February 9-11) and aption and subsequently Anti-LGBT campaigner Shraga Stern told The tained her get after launching a court case against  Dispatch from theparently culture pressured War front several speakers to were more complicated Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis pull out of it. was disinvited to last Jewish Press, “No one who partners with organiza- her husband. viously been aware.” S week’s massive SiyumIn HaShas at London’s Wembley tions promoting alternative lifestyles has any right The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, a January 3 Facebook post, Shafeeling pressured to rem Arena. to call themselves Orthodox. [Rabbi] Ephraim Mirvis sought to prosecute her husband for controlling and cobina Lafleur-Gangji, editor of the JourShe also defended been invited to sitHerbalists on the plathas made his bed. Now he must lie on it.” ercive behavior under a 2015 law. If convicted, he would He a shad pecialoriginally reportnal from alestinian meDia Watch ofpthe American Guild, Facebook post of Shabina Lafleur-Gangji, editor of the Journal of the American leur-Gangji, writing t form at the siyumtakes alongside other eminent rabbis, A spokesman for the chief rabbi said, “How sad have faced up to five years in jail. can The Herbalist get was given last credit for convincing conference Herbalists Guild, celebrating the withdrawal of speakers Guild doe from a conference in Isbut the invitation was withdrawn the day before the that the petty politics of a small minority should dismonth, and she subsequently dropped the case. supporters and scheduled lecturers to rael. based on their politica event, allegedly because threats of audience dis- tract from what should be a wonderful celebration of boycottof the conference. say, though, in respons ruption due to the chief rabbi’s stance on the LGBT is- of Torah.” Labour Pledge hire someone Complaining about lack Palestinian or the prestigious American Herbalists Guild. She was that Leaders the guild wouldn’t sues. To Fight Anti-Semitism Muslim representation in the speaker line-up and asked to withdraw a short video in which she says, “I to anti-black or anti-homosexual orga On Sunday, Board of Deputies released Tenin on the As stressing that she “absolutely stands behind the BDS just wanted to congratulate the Israeli community for Lafleur-Gangji’s actions Pledges to End the Anti-Semitism Crisis in the La-Cl movement,” Lafleur-Gangji writes, “When I heard your first herbal conference.” Ancient Roots Israel conference, bour Party and is calling on all Labour leadership in Zion. In Hebrew, “Tziyon” consists of the word for Fishman Asoulin told The Jewish Press that Clare recent- lieve this is an incredibly complicat the news about this conference, I did what I always “Yavan,” the letter “tzadik” the and met candidates to sign on to them. Five ofthe thenegative six candily visited Israel for theadded first – time with her when I hear about people makingGreece, decisions that with situation and regret imp Continued fromdop.12 “tzaddik” who isn’t afraid to stand up for the Torah. dates immediately agreed to do so. directly undermine systemically brutalized people at her home. Aware that pressure was being applied viduals involved in creating and hos Add the “Yavan” you get “Tziyon.” BoD president Marie van der Zyl said, “The theand scenes, Asoulin asked Clare what Ancient [i.e., the Palestinians]; I felt hopeless. But“tzadik” then, tobehind conference.” Bibi, whose father’s name was Ben Zion, stood by in the events of your time? relationship between Labour and the Jewish com-of Roots Israel could do to make the speakers feel more something beautiful happened. Betina Thorball, a co-organizer the Torah parties and remained in power. Gantz, who [We must] see the “People…started signs of redemption, which are munity, once rock solid, has been all but destroyed. coming together to talk about it. comfortable about honoring their commitment. Clare has her own regrets, telling The Jew learned in a yeshiva high school, went with Lapid set down in the Gemara and other holy writings. [The Rebuilding will take more than mild expressions of We decided something needed to happen and reached reportedly replied, “You cannot be from Israel and more than frustrated that some peop and lost. He calls his party “liberal secular” like the Gemera tells us] that the surest sign of the Exile’s regret. It will take firm public commitment and to out to the herbalists involved. Within 24 hours they… you cannot be Israeli.” Taken aback, Asoulin said she it is a ‘victory’ to politicize and derail Greeks. Bibiconwent with rose. Gantz end is when the branches of the treesto inretract Eretz Yisrael agree to a specific of action.” askedthe hercharedim to repeatand that. Clare reportedly responded, made the decision their support for the al course conference; that they cannot see went with Lapid and fell. One wants to honor Judagive forth their fruit in abundance, an agricultural The Board wants outstanding casesunite of anti-Seference in solidarity with folks in [sic] living under “This has nothing to do with you. This has everything herbal medicine could and ben ism, the other wants to uproot its holy foundations. phenomenon we have witnessed, Baruch Hashem, in mitic behavior of Labour officials to be resolved; to do with Israel.” (Clare denies making the first com- even disparate political opponents. the brutal force of Israeli apartheid.” In out theofmiddle is the Israel secular judicial esour time. independence and transparency of thehave party’s disIt’s not clear how many people pulled the ment.) “How can we ever peace if i tablishment, which the Gemara in Sotah exactly Another teaching is that in the year Mashiach ciplinary process; non-readmission of offenders; In a January 4 press release, Ancient Roots Israel any conflict, normal people will not b conference due to this campaign, but Lafleur-Gangji describes, stating declared, that “chutzpah increase” and comes, the Iranians will wreak great havoc in the unqualified of thewith IHRA definition of an“Since will the dawn of medicine…the very coreadoption mentions two by name: Danny O’Rawe, an herbalist something good and noble inten “truth will disappear,” and “the meeting place will world (Yalkut Shimoni, Yishayahu, 60). After the ti-Semitism; anti-Semitism training by the Jewish from Belfast, Ireland, and “7song,” who serves as the principle of healing is that we help everyone; friend ing a peaceful herbal gathering?” killing of Iran’s master terrorist, the time is nearing become a place of immorality.” More and more people Labour Movement; and engagement with mainnow realize that the halls of the Supreme Court are when Iran will shake the world. stream Jewish representative organizations. The Midrash relates that Israel becomes afraid, empty of value and justice, and this leads the way Corbynite candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey told Soto a restoration of the and HaKodesh Baruch phy Ridge on Sky TV on Sunday that she would sign up judges of old and to the Hu asks, “Why are you to the BoD pledges “straight away” and that she would ever-advancing days of afraid? Everything I’m work “hand-in-hand” with Jewish organizations. “The Yalkut Shemoni says that the Mashiach. doing, I’m doing for you.” She said, “In Salford where I live and represent, I A question or two This applies to the Jews know how hurt and angry Jewish residents are at Layear Mashiach comes, the Iranians will about the IDF unit in Monsey and Brooklyn bour’s failure to combat anti-Semitism. Greater Man“Netzach Yehuda” as well. The Master of the chester has a proudI learned history of Labour MPs, based since 1984. in Jewish Kol Torah in Yerusha wreak great havoc in the world.”he has been – more commonly World is bringing about councillors, and trade union activists, and it is tragic By Tzvi Fishman The Jewish Press: From your books, it’s evi- vat Ponevezh in Bnei Brak, and in t known as “HaNachal all the recent violence that the supportunder giventhe by guidance the Jewish Jewish Press Israel Correspondent dent that you possess extensive secular knowlof community Rav Shlomoto Za HaCharedi” – which and anti-Semitism to tell the Labour Party for over a century has this.” edge. Where did you attain it given your chare- Rav Yosef Kahaneman,come and to Rav Eliez the Jews in the Diaspora to come home. This is a sign you helped establish for charedi youth who had She said shekel, has her localAfterward council all supported of blessed memory. Rabbi Yoel Schwartz has written so many books, di upbringing? difficulty maintaining a steady course of yeshiof redemption as well. adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, Rabbi Schwartz: My parents came to Eretz Yisrael mashgiach of the Itri Yeshiva, has then he can’t remember exact how many. The Israel NaThe increasing violence against Jews around va learning. Do you believe the program has Jewish communal representathe regularly Chatam with shivat HaNegev in Netivot and in Ye tional Library has 180 titles registered. The 80-year- from Hungary. They were followers ofmet the world is a call for all Jews to come home to been a success? tives, encourand is glad that affiliated Sofer who Whythe didparty youisdecide to with devo old Torah scholar Absolutely. First, most of the boys have proven to Israel? the Jewish Labour Movement. aged Jews to make teaching baalei teshuvah, and ev and co-founder of the Yes. If someone in the Diaspora has an important be excellent soldiers. They have won the respect of Fellow Sir Keirin Starmer aliyah. I was born leadership in rathercandidate than remaining the trad IDF’s Nachal Haredi position educating Jews or non-Jews to these exalted the army and the public alike. While some return to said, “We should have done more on anti-Semitism. Yerushalayim, and va world? Division, believes the matters – to help people open their eyes to the truth the benches of the beit midrash when they complete you are youevery shouldn’t be into the La- T from an Ifearly age,anti-Semitic, I Doesn’t Jew have learn number is closer to of the divine election of Israel and the significance of their service, many join the civil work force in a wide bour Party.” He said he has argued within the party loved books. Jews are required to know their mak 200. Eretz Yisrael – that person can stay and teach, but range of productive capacities. fortime automatic for anti-Semitic offenses. By the of my expulsions Prophet Isaiah states, “From Zion sh His interests are Also, on their own personal level, coping with every other Jew should come. Leadership candidate Emily Thornberry wrote bar mitzvah, I must Torah, and the word of the L-rd from as eclectic as he is proIn your opinion, where does Benjamin Net- the many challenges of the army experience helps that her party needs get on [its]the hands and have read a thousand That“to means that word of knees the L-r lific, having written strengthen their characters in ways that yeshiva anyahu fit into this hidden divine plan? to the Jewish andworld. ask for forgiveness.” books, including hun- community eryone in the books on conversion, It isn’t hidden. Just open your eyes and look. In learning wasn’t able to do for them given their often She argued, “[W]hen the Board Deputies, dreds of books I disIn your classes,ofwhich are the som special-need children, the Gemara (Sotah 49b) appears a list of signs of the complicated personalities and family histories. Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), and imminently covered in a nearby ed and posted on YouTube, you o yishuv ha’aretz, koWhile the program was created for charedi “footsteps of Mashiach.” It states that “chutzpah will Equalities and Human Rights give library. the I especially divre Torah withCommission a rundown of sher grasshoppers, increase.” Can there be any greater chutzpah than youth, isn’t it now filled with soldiers from the the Labour Party specific recommendations about enjoyed encyclope- Why? Bnei Noach, the HoLieberman and Lapid who rail against the upholders dati-leumi community? how we need out Sages the poison of antisemitism dias. Although my to rootOur reveal that a person locaust, and the wonSeventy percent of the enrollment is still chareof the Torah? from our movement, our starting point musthis notsojou be parents were com- questions when he finishes ders of the universe. It says that the “truth will be hidden” – what we call di. From the dati-leumi community, there are many to dispute their proposals but ensure every single pletely charedi, their and reaches the beit din in heaven. O In addition to his work Yoel young Schwartz andwho an IDF soldier. serious people want to avoid contact with “fake news.” It says the “wisdom of the Sages will beRabbi is implemented.” Europeanone background Did you look for the coming of salvatio on a gamut of projects, scorned” and “those who fear sin will be despised.” Last female soldiers during their time of army service, and such as his effort to reach out to Bnei Noach around instilled in them a respect for general culture and Did you look to see the coming of Isra the Torah-observant “hilltop youth” often choose the week, see how everyone condemned the chief rabbi. Labour Office Manager the world, he also teaches newcomers to Judaism at secular knowledge. The Sages say, “The face of the generation will be Netzach Yehuda unit for the overall religious atmoSuspended For Anti-Israel Tweet Conti the Dvar Yerushalayim Yeshiva in Har Nof, where What yeshivot did you attend? like the face of a dog.” If the media represents the sphere it affords. Labour Friends of Israel member Jess Phillips Why did you end your involvement with the generation, we have arrived at this signpost, and – probably the Jewish community’s favorite Labour Mashiach is just around the corner. We hold election program? leadership candidate – has suspended her constitI still visit units, counsel soldiers, and give classafter election and no one is elected, just like our Saguency office manager Salma Hamid for “completely es predicted: “On whom can we rely except on our Fa- es, but when the Draft Law became a source of ugly unacceptable” anti-Israel tweets. political and social conflict, I didn’t want to be inther in Heaven?” Hamid compared Israel to ISIS and claimed Hashem is leading us to understand that salvation volved. The way to Mashiach is through mutual unthat the Jewish state “was inflicting Holocaust conwon’t come through politics. Only Mashiach can do the derstanding and respect, not through senseless haditions on Palestinians.” job. Not the private Mashiach that everyone is waiting tred and division. Phillips said, “It is easy to call out and challenge We have just finished reading about Yosef’s two for to solve their own personal problems, but the real our adversaries, it is far harder to do this when it Mashiach who brings salvation to the world. When sons, Ephraim and Menashe. Each had his own indiour friends and colleagues. I am really sad that I’ve vidual character and mission. On Shabbat, we bless people want that Mashiach to come, he will be here. had to take this action against a hard-working and our children to be like both Ephraim and Menashe – Where does Bibi fit in? valued member of staff. On Chanukah we learn about how the Maccabees the two of them together with their own unique ways. “But we can’t have one rule for those we don’t like and another for those we do.” fought the Greeks and Hellenists to save the Torah Together – not apart. Page 20

decidedPress to stay home. The Jewish Friday, January 17, 2020

Chief Rabbi Disinvited From Siyum HaShas

Iran, Mashiach’s Arrival, And Nachal Charedi An Interview with Rabbi Yoel Schwartz

Friday, January 17, 2020

Cuomo’s State Of The State Address Focused On His Emotional Response To Anti-Semitism

The Jewish Press

Page 21

By Marc Gronich He’s angry, frustrated, mad, feeling helpless, incensed and furious at society’s imperfections – a situation where throwing money at the evil of anti-Semitism cannot fix the problem. Unless he’s in contention of becoming an Academy Award winning actor, these are the honest, raw emotions expressed in recent months by Governor Andrew Cuomo. At this year’s State of the State address to the Legislature and to anyone else who would listen, Cuomo drove home his point with a sophisticated audio-visual presentation that demonstrated how the Empire State is fairing on the ship of state being tossed on unforgiving waters. In dramatic fashion Cuomo included Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in the prelude to the State of the State offering blessings as part of the invocation portion of the ceremonies just 11 days after a machete-wielding deranged maniac broke into Rottenberg’s Monsey residence and hacked up five congregants during a Chanukah gathering, leaving one in critical condition and the rabbi’s son wounded – before being subdued by another brave congregant, Josef Gluck. The 32-year-old security manager was recognized as a hero during the State of the State address. Here’s an excerpt from Rottenberg’s three and a half minute blessing to those attending the ceremonial address: “We pray that Divine providence should continue protecting us from evil forces who are out to harm us physically or from those who are out to attack our chassidic traditional way of life and system of education. We ask for the Almighty’s blessing upon the great state of New York, our people, our elected leaders and our honorable governor. “In this critical time for New York and for the entire nation, bless us Almighty G-d with the courage to overcome tragedy. Bless us with the strength to heal the wounds of hatred and bless us with solidarity to promote tolerance and brotherhood. “We are blessed with a governor who visited us the very next morning – less than 10 hours after this tragic event – who proved his solidarity with action and not just with words. We are blessed with a police force that came immediately to our aid, deployed by the governor, and who stood bravely that night and in the days that followed watching over our community ensuring our safety and freedom. “We ask you, our mystical father, bless our governor who has committed himself to protect our way of life and broaden our security. Guide him in eradicating hate at its source and across all platforms. Help him promote and instill the values of tolerance and appreciation among all our neighborhoods and communities who may look different, talk in a different language or raise and educate their children according to their unique ancestral traditions.”

When Cuomo began his speech it was not about intolerance and bigotry but about the earthquake in Puerto Rico. Two and a half minutes into his remarks, Cuomo finally said what needed to be said: “Rabbi Rottenberg, I want you to know that I speak for all the people of the state of New York when I tell you that we stand in solidarity with love for you and your community. It is appalling and offensive what has happened, and this state will respond with its full might and breath and capacity, because what happened to you and your community is intolerable. We will not stand for it and we will defend you.” Recognizing Gluck, Cuomo waited until the end of introductions of all the dignitaries and seven minutes into his remarks. “We also saw the strength to fight back when a man stepped forward and put his own life at risk to save others and took on and thwarted the machete-wielding attacker. We applaud his heart, his courage. He is the definition of New York bravery.” Cuomo summed up his hour-long speech with inspiring words calling for unity and an effort to get rid of people who try to divide the state. “Our ship of state can handle the problems and the waves of anxiety, but what is creating the national storm are the winds of division,” Cuomo said. “These are angry winds of fear, frustration and despair that push us to blame one another for our problems rather than inspiring us to come together and resolve them. The negativity that scapegoats and demonizes and makes our diversity a weakness rather than a strength. “We see the results, it’s the rise in the KKK… we see it in the attacks on our Jewish brothers and sisters. This growing fear and division is an American cancer that is spreading through this country’s body politic. Racism and discrimination are not new; they are a virus that exists in society and sometimes the virus is dormant, but a virus that manifests itself when society’s immune system is under attack and stressed, and then it turns one cell against the other. It is this country consuming itself from within. And if we do not confront it, and if we do not defeat it, it will defeat us – there is no nation on this globe that can beat this nation, but this nation can defeat itself. “New York must be the antidote. Hate and discrimination have no place in New York – it is ignorant, it is intolerant, and it is illegal. We’ve had a disturbing number of discrimination attacks, but the greatest increase has been in the number of anti-Semitic attacks. Government’s first responsibility: protect the people. And we will. We will prosecute these crimes to the greatest extent of the law, and we must now change the law to address this growing threat. Let’s acknowledge dis-

Continued on p.22


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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

Gronich Continued from p.21 plays of hate-filled mass violence for what they are: they are domestic terrorism. That’s what they are. “And let’s pass the first-in-the-nation domestic terrorism law to include mass violence motivated by hate and send the strongest message across this state and nation – New York will not stand by when our people are being victimized and killed by hate. “I will also propose additional funding for security grants to our schools and places of worship. But we must confront the growing ignorance and intolerance, and we must do it on all levels of society because this is a multifaceted problem. Before we pass the education budget, let’s make sure our schools are teaching our children, who are frighteningly involved in many of these incidents. Let’s teach them what America truly stands for. I want our schools to add to their curriculum a lesson that teaches our young people our civic values and history on diversity, and that a fundamental premise of this nation is religious freedom. How our earliest settlers were fleeing here for religious freedom and they were among the first immigrants to this new land. “Let’s teach our children the basis of different religions and races and what it truly means to be an American; teach them the beauty and strength of our diversity; teach them that George Washington visited a synagogue and worshipped with the congregation and after that he wrote, that in this country, ‘every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and

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fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.’ “Our young people need to learn that. We need our faith-based leaders to help us and to provide leadership in this troubled time, and to preach to their congregations that these acts are anti-moral and anti-religious and anti-American. How Islam, Judaism,

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2020 State of the State address Wednesday afternoon at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center (Donna Abbot-Vlahos for the Albany Business Review; used with permission).

Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity all teach one premise: that the strongest four-letter word is not hate, it’s love. “We must also increase our cultural understanding. I am directing Battery Park City to develop a plan to expand our magnificent Jewish Museum on the Holocaust, which is located in Battery Park City. We want to expand the Holocaust Museum so it can

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host school children all across the state. Let’s make a visit to the museum part of a rounded education because to know the history of the Jewish people is to know the history of love and connection, because New York would not be New York without the Jewish community, period. I truly believe that New York can stem this ugly tide and calm the sea of division. “And hear me today, loud and clear. There is no place for hate in our state. Period. What happened in Monsey is intolerable, and we will not allow it to happen in this state. We have no tolerance for racism or discrimination or for ugly stereotyping by newspapers, for hate mongers, for homophobes, for anti-Semites, for bigots. When someone attacks one of us, they attack each of us and all of us. And when they attack Orthodox Jewish people on the seventh night of Hanukkah, in Monsey, in Rockland, in the home of Rabbi Rottenberg, they attack me and they attack you! “And when you try to divide the great state of New York, we will stand up tall. We will stand up unified. We will stand up and we will fight and we will win! Because we are right!” State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy, Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar, and Cuomo’s last gubernatorial opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, all agreed with Cuomo’s remarks about combating hatred through education. On all the other issues, included in a 288page book released by the governor’s office and mentioned by Cuomo during his speech, his critics were much less forgiving and criticized the governor every step of the way.

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

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The The Jewish Jewish Press Press

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Friday, 2020 Friday, January June 28, 17, 2019

“It’smake muttar, Even if it’s been than 24 hours [since the she never saw a black radish. So heitsaid, these teshuvos, Rabbimore Chaim would it glass was last used], and strictly speaking it’s nosein you can eat the chicken.” So she thanked him and Berlin writes that me’ikar into Eretz Yisrael; Halachic Corner With taam lifgam [any non-kosher ha’din it’s permitted to shake liquid absorbed in the ran out. only two tried to RAV HERSHEL SCHACHTER walls at this point will derech harm the taste of any new liqThe talmidim came over to Ravconvince Chayim Volozhinhands because it’s not the na2 uid poured in it, nonetheless] the Gemara says that er afterwards – those who were listening – and they chibah. tion it was worthINTERVIEWS CONDUCTED BY a [davar charif isisdifferent]. a davar char- said, “Where does it say anythingwhile about to black go [verforIshto niddah a separateIf you put BY SIVAN RAHAV-MEIR ELLIOT RESNICK, JEWISH PRESS CHIEF EDITOR if in, – it and makes it intoislishvach ward. issur touching assur [the non-kosher taste sus] brown radishes?” absorbed the wallschibah. of the vessel will enhance, not He said, “It doesn’t say.” But he didn’t even if it’sinnot derech Who agree with was 2 harm, the taste of the shnapps]. the Shulchan Aruch. The Shulchan Aruch But, with anyone else, shak“right”? says Thea radanhe quessaid, let’s for says I’m cutting ing So hands business or toa radish with a milchig ish is a davar charif. He didn’t agree. swer“But,” to this “I can’t the Shulchan Aruch. So Rav knife. We’re machmir and assume a radish davarRand say hello is really permitted, tion depends, of course, on who you Singeris aShuli waspasken once against Caro andglasses in Eretzyou Yisrael charif. if you cut aavoid raw radish with a milchig knife Yosef he says.SoYou should it, areEretz and Yisrael, with what look asked in an interview if he waslived a in the radishes are black. We all know that with – even you though more than since was last used for milchigs Jewish missionary he sings It’s not right – that’s for sure. But is though, whenever at reality. Despite G-d’speople promises, dark hair are sharper people with blond hair, so 24 hours ago,lived so the bliahthe [absorption] milchigs in and If the assur? liquid is cold,basar we assume bli’ah Berlin – who under aboutoffaith, prayer, G-d. it really Kiruv derechthere’s chi- no Rabbi somethan chose hopelessness and cyniradishes are sharper is eino ben yomo the“Ofthe [transfer of taste it andmanner] any previously-abcommuniststhe in knife Moscow – also writes[didn’t occur Randwithin replied: course I’m ain Eretz ba [touching in anbetween affectionate cism Yisrael while others clung to[than faith radand ishesyou. here], so we’re not paskening against the Shul24 hours], eino ben yomo we assume is nosein sorbed in the walls of the glass], to do it last if you’re going to be and medakdek not missionary, but so are And is assur,liquid but Rav Moshe Feinstein writes butthat hopefulness. taam lifgam – [nonetheless] if you cut a radish with bikvi’us [on a regular basis] is not permissible. Let’s chan Aruch. The Shulchan Aruch is talking about Static and Ben-El [a famous Israein a few places in his sefarim that he’s to shake hands, people will make fun of Our commentators consider the it, itthe will making come out even though it’s b’tzonen say day I have cheerios with milk in you a fleishig radishes, and onespies was brown.” and – as is bliah – they’re fun li pop duo] – aren’t black they missionnot every sure whether a handshake is derech sinthis of the to be a fundamen1 [cold] and will it into lishvach. soup bowl – that’s not permissible. was a big shaas [a desperate circumof talmidei chachamim. So make he says: Don’t aries? Everyone has aIt message chibah. tal sinhadchak – perhaps because it lurks 4 a chiddush the Gemara.they’re The Gemara Why? stance] the woman, so that’s whynow. he was chumros in theinpresence trying says to convey withfor every B’pashtus, it’s not derech chibah. Rav observe all the It’s amongst us even Wemeikel. are all about chiltis,they’ll which is aword typethey of vegetable Because the person to [this din] non-observant Jews because say. But I’m the only one missionaries. The question is: misMoshe didn’twe’re wantafraid to advertise it sowill he getofused that’s sharper a big machlokes it, andthat the next thing youIn know, he’ll use Shulchansionaries Aruch (Yoreh 91:2 and 121:5) and justsomehave more to make funthan of. a radish. There’s who’s asked whether I’m1.a See missionwrote he’s not sure. America, ev- it for withDeah what values? about radishes, but the Shulchan Aruch paskens thing hot. commentaries. ary.” erybody shakes hands. It doesn’t mean Sivan Rahav-Meir, a ba’alas 3 l’chumra But if it’s Shulchan (Yoreh Deah This week’s parshah 2. teaches usAruch anything, so b’ikra’i me’ikarb’veiso ha’dinshel it’s nachri really [a 1.non-regteshuvah, is 122:3). a popular Channel 2 See Igros Moshe (Orach [stringently]. Chaim vol. 1, 113; Even ular act in the house of a non-Jew], the Shulchan 3. See Shulchan Aruch and Rema Deah for 96:1-2). There’s a famous story about Rav Chayim that there is almost no such thing News anchor, a (Yoreh permitted. columnist Yediot HaEzer vol. 1, 56, vol. 2, 14, vol. 4, 32:9) Aruch it’s muttar. In beiso shelChaim Yisrael [a JewishChaim HaShulchan (Yorehthe Deah 96:13), Mekor Baruch Volozhiner. A woman Volozhiner Yeshiobjectivity. We are 4. allAruch subjecThesays alumni of Yeshivah Rav Aharonot, host of a weekly radio 2. Nishmat (Kosovsky Edition 135:6). came to theas 1 home], we don’t allow [even perekown 16, se’ifshow 2, p. 883), Davar Charif, p. 25 fn.the 3. auva crying that she accidentally cut a radish with a (vol. tive. All of us speak from3, our Berlin many years agoit put outb’ikra’i]. a sefer of on Galei Tzahal, and milchig knife that eino ben yomo hadn’t been go on dates, world– of values. Twelve spies went thor of “#Parasha.” Every day she all So the that’s teshuvoswhy they when could fisingles nd of Rabbi Rav Hershel Schachter, a was widely-reused for yeshiva milchigs in rosh the last – and she althey’ll sometimes drink out of Rav Hershel a Torah widely-respected posek, to Eretz Yisrael and returned with Schachter, Chaim Berlin, who was the oldest sona ofnon-kosher spected posek, is rosh and kol- 24 hours shares short thoughts to over ready cooked [the radish with a] chicken for Shabbos, glass? is rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel at Yeshiva University’s two opposing conclusions. Ten spies 100,000 Israelis – both observant the Netziv. They published it, but after- lel at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theologit’s going to Schachter be assur, she has nothing to must Okay, butfound you shouldn’t pourteshuvos, in a davarical charif [a andAiftalmid Rabbi Isaac to Elchanan Theological Seminary. Onand an claimed the else nation return wards, they many more Seminary. of Rav and not – via Facebook, Twitter, eat for Shabbos since she was very poor and couldn’t sharp food]. Let’s say you’re going to pour in shnapps. ordinary week, he gives a shiur Monday evenings at the Egypt because there was no chance WhatsApp. so now they have four volumes. In one of reviews this column before publication. You shouldn’t drink shnapps on a date anyways – it afford to buy another chicken. Young Israel of Midwood at 8:15 and Tuesday evenings So Rav Chayim Volozhiner asked her whether the at the Yeshiva of Central Queens at 8:00. A talmid of doesn’t make any sense – but if you have a davar radish was brown or black. She said it was brown; Rav Schachter reviews this column before publication. charif in a treife kli [you can’t drink it].


Can Shake A A Can YouYou Drink From Halachic CornerHand? With Woman’s Non-Kosher Glass? Rav Hershel Schachter

We Are All Missionaries

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Friday, January 17, 2020

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Striking Chords By Roni Yeshiva Boys Choir’s Striking Greatest Hits Chords By Roni

People constantly ask singer, composer, and producer Eli Gerstner for the date of his next album release. His answer is always the same: “On Chanukah.” One small detail he makes sure to omit: Chanukah of which year. Gerstner, who 15 years ago revolutionized Jewish music by introducing multi-layered lushness, a pop sound, and rich harmonies – and gave us The Chevra, Menucha, Tek-Noy, and With Roni Yeshiva Boys Choir – was churning out one hit album after another at a minimum of one a year. Jewish radio listeners and Gerstner fans thirsted for the next recording featuring his trademarked fancy-shmancy overlays and heavy techno-beats. But it’s been a while since his last recorded project – five years to be exact. In 2014, he released YBC6. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to produce the annual, sold-out HASC concerts. With his focus on multi-media productions, his album production got put on the back burner. In fact, the bulk of his newest CD/DVD release – Yeshiva Boys Choir: Our Greatest Hits Live! Tour – was recorded six years ago. Gerstner’s desire to release this DVD was so strong, though, that he recently decided to revive the

project. He re-recorded a couple of songs and released the whole package. He couldn’t resist because, as he put it, “it was so good.” And so good it is! The viewer/listener is treated to a mix of older, beloved soloists as well as some new voices. Since this is a Gerstner production, it of course has a 2020 flash and modern sound. This CD/DVD also contains all the “hit songs,” as promised. How does a composer/ producer who has recorded and performed hundreds of songs determine what constitutes a hit? Gerstner explains: “Based on requests at concerts, YouTube popularity, and, of course, feedback (read: screams and shrieks) from the crowd.” Gerstner spared no expense filming the tour six years ago. He used 12 cameras, one camera per instrument – an investment and approach that was unheard of in Jewish music concert production at the time. This isn’t the first Yeshiva Boys Choir “live” album. But this 25-song collection is the best of the best. Yossi Newman, Gerstner’s partner in this project, conducted the choir and did all the choreography. Fans of Eli’s brother – soloist Yaakov Mordechai Gerstner – will be pleased as he is featured prominently in this CD/DVD (“Daddy Come Home,” “In Song,” “Ad Olam”). He is now married and learning in kollel in Israel, and his voice has changed over the past six years, but absorbing this is exciting, and, I can assure you, all his energy, control, and command of the stage is still there. As a bonus, the DVD has YouTube videos for those elements of the frum crowd who may otherwise not get a chance to see a Yeshiva Boys Choir video. Gerstner is constantly pushing the envelope, and he will almost certainly continue to do so in projects

Continued on p.31

Friday, January 17, 2020


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Torah Education: Everyone’s Responsibility (Based on teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe) On the words “and G-d saw…our toil” (Devarim 26:7), our Sages comment in the Pesach Haggada: “This means the children.” Bringing up children (and students, who are also called children [Sifre]) constitutes toil and hard work – even if they are naturally obedient and refined. True education, at all levels, requires continuous toil and labor. But if we invest as much effort as we can into our children’s Jewish education – even under difficult circumstances – our children will grow up to be those who “recognize [G-d] first” as our Sages (Sotah 11b) say about the last generation of Jewish children brought up in Egypt under the shadow of Pharaoh’s evil decree. At the splitting of the Yam Suf, it was these children who first pointed to the revelation of the Divine – not Moshe, Aharon, or the elders. This lesson about raising Jewish children doesn’t just apply to parents and educators. It applies to everyone. It is said in the name of the Alter Rebbe (author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch HaRav) that the order of the Torah is itself Torah. Hence, the fact that the very first mitzvah in the Torah is “be fruitful and multiply” (Bereishis 1:28) teaches us that the

first Torah fundamental is “making another Jew” – physically and/or spiritually. Every one of us, whether or not we are parents, has the obligation to set our fellow Jews on the right path. Every Jew is obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of reproving his fellow Jew out of love. We don’t seek out faults in people to tell them off, but we should always look for ways to help set people on the right path while we ourselves serve as shining personal examples. As is well known, the Rebbe introduced 10 Mitzvah Campaigns on which to concentrate our efforts in bringing Jews closer to the Torah. One of them was “mitzvah chinuch” – the campaign to ensure that every Jewish child and adult receives a Torah education. Whenever the Rebbe mentioned this campaign, he always called it “education of oneself and others.” For true education starts with working on oneself to advance ever further in Yiddishkeit. Only then is one properly equipped to influence others. Yet, we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that only when we have advanced to the fullest extent of our capabilities can we influence others. By demanding truthfully of ourselves, we are able to set an example for others to emulate and can influence them to follow in our footsteps, even if we have not yet perfected ourselves. All of us must become involved in strengthening Jewish education, particularly of children and youth, whether financially or through other means. Education continues throughout one’s life, but the main period, the Rebbe emphasized, is during childhood and youth before one is limited by responsibilities such as earning a living and bringing up a family. If we act, then just as the last generation of children in Egypt were privileged to experience the great Geulah and subsequent Divine revelation at Mount Sinai, so too the children of this generation, in whom we invest the required effort, will experience the ultimate Geulah and point to the great Divine revelation of Moshiach, may he come now.

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My Dear Deer In the haftorah for Parshat Shemot, the prophet Yeshaya decries the Kingdom of Israel’s moral decline, saying that its “tzvi tiferet” (splendor of its glory) had withered away (Isaiah 28:1, 28:4). In an earlier prophecy, Yeshaya foretold that after G-d eliminates the wicked, the remnants of the Jewish People will be “for tzvi and for honor” (Isaiah 4:2). Rashi writes that “tzvi” means beauty, while the Radak writes that it means desire/glory. The Radak argues that the Babylonian Kingdom was the “tzvi of all kingdoms” (Isaiah 13:19) because it was the most desired place and the pride of the Chaldeans. The Holy Land is described as the most “tzvi” of all lands (Ezekiel 20:6), which means either that it is the most beautiful land (Ritva) or the most splendid and desirable land (Radak) because it has the most perfect, balanced climate. The Land of Israel is often called the desired land:


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“eretz chefetz” (Malachi 3:12), “eretz chemdah” (Jeremiah 3:19, Zecharia 7:14, Psalms 106:24), and “eretz ha’tzvi” (Daniel 11:16, 11:41). In one instance, the Holy Land is simply called “the tzevi” (Daniel 8:9) as it is the most desirable of all lands (Ibn Ezra) and is desired by all people (Gersonides). Midrash Shocher Tov (to Psalms 5) asserts that the Holy Land is called “eretz ha’tzvi” because all the nations of the world desire it. Pseudo-Rasag (to Daniel 11:16) says it has this name because G-d wants His presence to dwell in this land. In Sefer Daniel, the Aramaic word “tzva” appears in the sense of wishes or wants. Rabbi Eliyahu HaBachur (1469-1549) writes that “tzva” means “emet v’yatziv” (true and well-grounded). Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim of Breslau (1740-1814) explains that “yatziv” (well-grounded) and “tzvi” are related because both derive from the two letter root tzadi-bet, which denotes standing. Something well-grounded stands on well-established bases. “Tzvi” in the sense of want or desire is directly related to this root because something desirable always remains in one’s thoughts as if it were constantly standing in front of him. “Tzvi” is also the name of a kosher wild animal (Deuteronomy 14:5), commonly translated as deer or gazelle. Rabbi Pappenheim explains that deer is related to desire because although they are usually quite tame, they can become wild and dangerous when in heat during their mating pon farr season. I would suggest that deer is related to desire because deer are known for their ability to run swiftly such that they are generally free to follow their heart’s desires. Moreover, “tzvi” is also related to beauty, and we find that calling someone deer-like is a complementary term of endearment in the Bible (see Song of Songs 2:9, 2:17, 8:14). A deer is, indeed, a handsome animal with its sleek physique and beautiful antlers. Rabbi Aharon Marcus (1843-1916) posits that a deer is called “tzvi” (from the tzadi-bet root) because of its elegant, stately way of standing. Rabbi Pappenheim writes that other words derived from the bilateral tzadi-bet root include “matzeivah” (a monument erected to mark a tomb or cul-

tic place of idolatry); “tzava” (a standing army, ready to take orders); “tzavah” (bloating since something swollen is less likely to move from its place and will thus remain standing); “tzav” (a turtle, whose large shell makes it appear bloated); and “tzav” (a covered wagon, whose shape resembles a turtle. Midrashic exegesis understands “tzvi” as applied to the Holy Land to mean deer, not desire or beauty. The Talmud (Kesubos 112a, Sifrei to Deut. 11:10) says that just as a deer is “bigger” than its skin (such that once it is skinned, the skin shrivels and cannot be restretched over the deer’s body), so too the fruits of the Holy Land are more plentiful than the land itself (i.e., Israel is geographically too small to store all the produce it yields). Alternatively, just as a deer is light-footed and runs swiftly, the produce of the Holy Land ripen extra quickly (see also Shemot Rabbah §32:2). Although colloquially, “tzava” (with an aleph) means army, it literally means legion (i.e., gatherings/groups of people). Rabbi Chaim Friedlander (1923-1986) and Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) connect “tzava” to desire/will/wanting, explaining that an army, or any group of people, can be said to be joined together only if they share a certain desire. If they unite for a common goal, they are an army. Otherwise, they’re just a hodge-podge of unrelated individuals. The Modern Hebrew slang word “sababa” is untranslatable, but it’s used to express enthusiasm, satisfaction or agreement, along the lines of awesome or cool. It actually comes from the Arabic “tzababa,” which means great/excellent in spoken Arabic, although its technical meaning is yearning/strong love. This Arabic word is actually related to the Hebrew/ Aramaic words that we have been discussing, and so “sababa” should actually be pronounced “tzababa.” (To be continued) Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein is the author of “Lashon HaKodesh” and the recently-published “G-d Versus Gods: Judaism in the Age of Idolatry.” He currently lives with his family in Beitar Illit, Israel and can be reached at A form of this column also appears on Ohr Somayach’s website.

Friday, January 17, 2020

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“Burning” Questions: Rambam And Rashi On G-d’s Name And The Burning Bush By Rabbi Alec Goldstein This week’s reading contains one of the most cryptic phrases in the entire Torah. When Moses arrives at the burning bush, G-d gives him a mission to go to Pharaoh to free the Jews from Egyptian oppression. Initially, Moses is not a willing participant. He asks a curious question – he asks what Name of G-d he should use when addressing the Jews. G-d said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you’” (Exod. 3:13:14). The Hebrew is enigmatic: Ekyeh Asher Ekyeh. The Gemara, quoted by Rashi, picks up on a peculiarity of the verse. First the verse uses the fuller phrase Ekyeh Asher Ekyeh and then uses an abridged form Ekyeh. Rashi writes, “I will be [Ekyeh] with them during this distress as I will be [Ekyeh] with them at times of oppressions by other nations. [Moses] said before Him, ‘Master of the World, why should I mention to them another oppression? This oppression is enough for them!’ [G-d] said, ‘You have spoken well. Thus say: I will be [Ekyeh – only once].’” This explains why the verses use the longer and shorter forms of the phrase. Yet Rashi’s explanation begs the question: Why is it comforting that G-d is with them in a time of trouble? In fact, this makes the question stronger: If G-d is with us, then why are we suffering in the first place? Rambam offers an entirely different interpretation. Instead of being an utterance of consolation, it is a dry philosophical maxim. According to Rambam, Ekyeh Asher Ekyeh means “the Being whose existence is absolute” (Guide 1:63). Rambam is not alone in his interpretation. Rabbi Joseph Albo (Ikkarim 2:27) and Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (“Confrontation”) have similar interpretations. According to them, it is a declaration of G-d’s absoluteness.

But does their interpretation fit the context? needed reassurance both about G-d’s existence and His The Jews are suffering mightily under Pharaoh and relationship with the Jewish people. We need to have screaming out to G-d. Is this the time for a a basic understanding of G-d to whatever exphilosophy lesson? tent possible, but we also need to internalize In other words, both Rashi and Rambam that we can cry out to Him in times of distress. seem to have weaknesses. For Rashi, what That was His message in Egypt – and that regood is it to know G-d is with me now if I’m mains His message to us today. suffering, and for Rambam, why do I need a Rabbi Alec Goldstein received his semicha philosophy lesson in a time of distress? from Yeshiva University, where he also earned his It seems that we can resolve both quesundergraduate degree in French Language & Littions by blending the explanations. This is exerature. He served as the cantor at Yorkville Synaactly the approach of the Kuzari, who writes, gogue (2018-2019), and rabbi at Mount Kisco He“The name Ekyeh… is to prevent the human brew Congregation (2015-2016). His articles have mind from pondering over the incomprehensiappeared in The Jewish Press, YU Commentator, ble but real entity. When Moses asked, ‘And they shall and Torah Musings. He is the founder of Kodesh Press. He say to me: What is His name?’ the answer was: Why is the author of “A Theology of Holiness” and “Maimonides should they ask concerning things that they are unable on the Book of Exodus,” the latter of which contains a furto grasp? … Say to them Ekyeh, which means ‘I am that ther elucidation of this topic, on pages 36-39. I am,’ the existing one, existing for you whenever ‫שומר שבת‬ ‫בס”ד‬ you seek Me” (Kuzari 4:3; see also Sforno). Kuzari agrees that Ekyeh teaches We Cash Checks Made Payable to Your Business a statement of G-d’s absolute existence, but that is a starting point rathWe match or beat any local price on er than an ending point. Because He is the Being whose existence is absolute, therefore we have the assurance that we can cry out to Him whenever we are in a time of distress. Flatbush: 718-627-5000 And that is exactly Crown Heights: 718-467-4300 what happened at the Open Sundays burning bush! The Jews were in distress and they

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? Is It Proper...? IS IT PROPER...? IS IT PROPER...?oper...? Is It Proper...? IS IT PROPER...? Is It Pr ? ?

Is It Proper...? Is It Proper...?

Is It Proper...?


Should a person feel guilty for using an English ArtScroll Gemara (as opposed to struggling with the original Aramaic)?



It is clearly better to learn GeIs It Proper...? mara in its original language and

not in translation. When students rely on an English translation, they unfortunately will lose the opportunity to gain the necessary skills to be able to open a Gemara on their own and understand it. But if we’re discussing an adult without background who may find it too difficult to follow the Aramaic, the demand that he study in the original is unrealistic. The question is most relevant for the adult who is a yeshiva graduate but finds it easier and more convenient to use the ArtScroll. When he doesn’t put in the effort to open a traditional Gemara, he sends a message to his children to take the easy way out, which has many ramifications. For an analogy: It is permissible to pray in any language, but there are many reasons why it is preferable to daven in Hebrew. — Rabbi Yosef Blau, mashgiach ruchani at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary ***** It was about 25 years ago at my chag hasemicha when a friend of my mother, a”h, offered to buy me an ArtScroll Gemara set. My attitude was: I greatly appreciate it, but I would prefer if I could choose something else because real men don’t use ArtScroll. It wasn’t much later that I found myself in the beis medrash often consulting ArtScroll because, despite the fact that I spent many, many years in yeshiva, there are often words I’m not completely familiar with or I just want to quickly look at the footnotes. Today, I have a complete set of ArtScroll in my study, and I often open and use it. So while I may have had different feelings back then, I feel no guilt whatsoever now [using an ArtScroll]. It makes it easier to learn. — Rabbi Ben Zion Shafier, founder of The Shmuz *****

The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) cites the opinion of Rava about what we will be asked when we eventually come before the heavenly court. One of the questions is: “Kavata itim leTorah? – Did you set aside fixed times to study Torah?” Regular study of Torah is expected of us, and we will have to answer for ourselves in due course. Torah study can be in any language one understands. The important thing is to understand what we read and to connect our study to service of Hashem. Over the centuries, Jews have studied Torah in many languages – Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Arabic, Spanish, German, Yiddish etc. I hope and assume that none of those Jews ever felt guilty for studying

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Is It Proper...?

in the vernacular they understood. When one studies Talmud today, it’s fine to use editions that provide translations and explanations in the vernacular. The goal is to understand what we read. It is hoped, though, that one will eventually become proficient enough to study the original text on its own. No one should ever feel guilty for studying Torah in the vernacular. Guilt should only be felt if we fail to set aside times for Torah study each day. The heavenly court has its question ready for us. Let us be sure to have our answer ready. — Rabbi Marc D. Angel, director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals ***** Aside from the mitzvah and benefit of acquiring Torah knowledge, the process of learning Gemara is itself a mitzvah and beneficial. The toil and effort involved in delving into the depths of Talmudic discussions condition one’s mind to think as the Torah thinks, which in essence is the way Hashem thinks. A mere translation of the text of the Talmud to a certain degree minimizes this process and limits it to a singular understanding. But the ArtScroll translation was never meant to replace learning Gemara from the original source. It was meant to, as stated on the cover, to serve as “an aid to Talmud study.” It was meant, not as a source for someone who is immersed in Talmudic study in a yeshiva, but as an aid to clarify words or ideas that are preventing one [from proceeding] with the basic flow of the text. It’s also for people who have minimal set times for learning [e.g., they only have] a Daf Yomi shiur and are learning basically to acquire the information the Talmud presents (bekius) and are not significantly

able to delve into the process (iyun). — Rabbi Zev Leff, rav of Moshav Matisyahu, popular lecturer and educator ***** ArtScroll has become the go-to source for those studying Gemara. I have, to my surprise, observed people who are otherwise considered learned, using an ArtScroll on occasion. To be sure, back in my Ner Yisroel days, the closest one got to an ArtScroll was the Jastrow dictionary, and even that was a rarity and frowned upon. Of course, it’s not just about the learning, but learning how to learn that remains paramount. That said, time pressures today are considerable and all too often one is rushing to prepare a shiur or learn Daf Yomi within those constraints. It may well take considerably more time to prepare when learning from the original Aramaic and using an ArtScroll provides the ideal alternative. One can argue about the catch-22 involved (since regular struggle with the original Aramaic would make one more proficient so that, in time, one wouldn’t have to resort to a crutch), but there is certainly no need to feel guilty about using the ArtScroll. Thank G-d one is learning! It is also undeniable that many without a yeshiva background are studying today on account of ArtScroll, and anything that enhances learning is laudable. But it should not become the acceptable norm. I think a balance can be struck where needs [may necessitate using an ArtScroll], while time should be set aside to nurture one’s learning ability and enhance one’s Gemara skills. — Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, popular Lubavitch lecturer, rabbi of London’s Mill Hill Synagogue (photo: ArtScroll)


◗ Carefully look both ways before entering a street.

◗ Wear a well-fitted helmet at all times. ◗ Obey all traffic signs and lights.

◗ Watch for car doors opening. ◗ Only one person at a time should ride a bike.

Friday, January 17, 2020

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Agudah Files Brief In Case Of State Aid To Religious Schools Agudath Israel of America has filed a brief in support of a case before the Supreme Court of Michigan urging the court to uphold a state program that provides for state reimbursement to nonpublic schools for services provided by the schools in compliance with state mandates. In the case, Council of Organizations and Others for Education About Parochiad, Et Al V. Michigan, Et Al, Michigan’s program of mandated reimbursement is being challenged because it provides for state aid to religious schools, and opponents of this aid claim that this violates a provision in the state constitution that prohibits government assistance to religious institutions. The Agudath Israel brief argues that a provision in the Michigan state constitution that prohibits state aid to religious schools, called a “Blaine Amendment,” was adopted primarily due to anti-Catholic bigotry, as was

Michigan’s approval of a ballot proposal that prohibits the state from providing aid to religious schools. The brief argues that under a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Comm. for Pub. Ed. & Religious Liberty v. Regan, decided in 1980, the court held that it is constitutional for a state to provide reimbursement to religious schools for their performance of state-mandated services, and that such aid is not a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The brief also states that under a more recent U.S. Supreme Court decision,  Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, to deny reimbursements to religious schools because of a state Blaine Amendment would violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits government interference with the free exercise of religion.


What year? We’ll have to wait and see. Roni is the longtime host of Florida’s Sunday morning Jewish music radio show, “Shalom South Florida.” He has an M.S. in Journalism and Communication and one of the largest collections of Jewish music in North America. Follow him on Twitter at @ShalomSouthFL. For more information, visit www.

Continued from p.26 currently in production, including new albums from Yeshiva Boys Choir, The Chevra, a solo album, and what Gerstner is most excited about, a new Sephardic Boys Choir. All to be released on Chanukah.


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Friday, January 17, 2020


By Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Saying ‘Amen’ Right Before Shema (Part III) Question: Should the congregation say “Amen” after the berachah of “habocher b’amo Yisrael b’ahavah” (right before Shema)? I have seen different shuls do different things. M. Goldman Answer: We noted that the congregation shouldn’t say “Amen,” according to the Mishnah Berurah. He argues that this word constitutes a hefsek (an interruption) between the berachah and Shema. If so, though, why do so many people say the words “Kel melech ne’eman” right before Shema when they daven alone? “Kel melech ne’eman” give Shema a total of 248 words, which spiritually protect a person’s 248 limbs, but shouldn’t this phrase constitute a hefsek? I’m very fortunate to have in my library the wonderful encyclopedic multi-volume work of Rabbi Binyamin Shlomo Hamburger, Sheroshei Minhag Ashkenaz. A descendant of the Chatam Sofer and scion of one of the richest families of Ashkenazic practice, he has harnessed much energy in founding a research institute, Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz, in Bnei Brak, Israel. In his work, he addresses this question of “Kel Melech Ne’eman,” but before we cite from his work, let us first review the origin of some of the nuscha’os we have today. In addition to nusach Ashkenaz, there is also nusach Sefard of the Mediterranean and Oriental communities as well as nusach Sefard of the Ashkenaz communities, which became popular with the rise of the chassidic movement. This latter nusach finds its origins in the mystical works of the Arizal (15341572), who lived in Tzefas, Eretz Israel. The fact that the Ari himself was of mixed Ashkenazi-Sefardic lineage may have been a factor in his mystical changes (resulting in an Ashkenaz nusach with a touch of Sefard) finding a home in the prayers of the great chassidic masters. The founder of the chassidic movement was unquestionably the Baal Shem Tov whose principal student and successor was Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch. The third generation of the chassidic movement saw Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717-1787), famous for his posthumous work, Noam Elimelech, very humbly rise to the leadership. Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at

Pofearls Wisdom

cordingly, Hashem promised Moshe, “When Aharon sees you, he will rejoice in his heart” (Exodus 4:14). Dassan, Aviram, and Korach claimed that redemption shouldn’t come through man because it won’t endure; only Hashem can accomplish the mission of Moshiach, they said (see Yalkut Shimoni). RABBI DOVID GOLDWASSER Years later, Moshe lashed out at the Jewish people, calling them rebels and striking a rock he was supposed to talk to. As a result, Moshe was punished and could not enter Eretz Yisrael, eliminating the possi“Please my L-rd, send through whomever You bility of effectuating a complete geulah at that time. will send!” (Shemos 4:13). A king was once planning to review his troops and The Baal Chemdas Shlomo, a rav in Warsaw, notified the troops’ commander accordingly. On the was extremely devoted to the Chiddushei HaRim designated day, the soldiers were standing in symmet(1799-1866), who related a statement of his rebbe, R’ rical rows, erect, and at attention. Each soldier was atSimcha Bunim of Peshischa. tired in a perfectly ironed uniform and polished boots. RABBI DOVID GOLDWASSER R’ Simcha Bunim said he had the ability to bring Their guns were oiled and gleaming at their side. Moshiach but didn’t want to use it. He explained why: As they all stoically waited, the commander When the avos and all the great leaders of the gener- impatiently checked the time as the minutes and ations, including him, would be gathered at the seu- hours passed without the king appearing. Finally, das livyasan, it will be asked, “Who brought Moshi- the commander called over one of the infantrymen ach?” and someone will reply, “The blind Bunim” (R’ and asked him to stand in his place and wait for the Simcha Bunim lost his vision when he was old). Since king while he went to rest. this announcement would pain the Apter Rebbe, who A few minutes, later the king’s entourage was lived in that era and spotted coming down was known to be the the road, but it was too greatest of his generalate for the commandWas R’ Simcha Bunim justified in tion, R’ Simcha Bunim er to properly return didn’t want to bring to his position before not bringing Moshiach because of Moshiach. the king arrived. The The Chemdas Shlocommander ultimately the distress of one individual? mo was baffled by this stood before the king, story. Was R’ Simcha head bowed, as the Bunim justified in not king erupted in anger. bringing Moshiach because of the distress of one in- He shouted harshly, “You hold such a lofty position dividual? in the army! You are paid handsomely for your serThe great rosh yeshiva, R’ Shneur Kotler, noted vices! Yet, you arrogantly deserted your post when that Moshe Rabbeinu also hesitated to fulfill a mis- I didn’t come when expected! Instead, a simple insion of major importance – redeeming the Jewish fantryman who gets paid a pittance, whose name no nation – because he didn’t want his brother Aharon one knows, stood at attention, faithfully awaiting to be resentful. The question remains, though: Why my arrival.” should one person’s hurt feelings take precedence The commander was relieved of his medallions over the misery of the entire klal? In exile, the entire and dismissed; the foot soldier was appointed comJewish people are in pain. Is it proper to keep them mander in his stead. in pain to avoid hurting one individual? This reaction is liable to greet many of us when Rav Nosson Wachtfogel cited the following in- the Final Redemption arrives, says the Chofetz teresting Yalkut Shemoni (Yeshayah 60), which an- Chaim. We are instructed to wait for Moshiach – swers the question: The mission of Moshiach is to to faithfully stand on guard, doing teshuvah and raise the prominence of his generation, brighten the amassing maasim tovim. If we abandon our post, eyes of the Jewish nation, and save the Jews. If he and are derelict in our duties and obligations, we cannot lift everyone, he can’t be Moshiach. will be unprepared and taken by surprise when Hashem wanted the redemption to come about Moshiach suddenly arrives. What will we answer through Moshe, but Moshe needed reassurance that the King of kings when He doesn’t find us in position Aharon wouldn’t be pained by his appointment. Ac- ready to receive Moshiach?

Who Could Be Moshiach?

P earlsofWisdom

It was Rabbi Elimelech who became one of the principal promoters of nusach Sefard. He considered it to be of such elevated spirituality that only a worthy person, in his opinion, could use it to pray. It seems that until his time, the Arizal’s changes weren’t really incorporated so that the Ba’al Shem Tov himself probably prayed in a nusach closer to the original Ashkenaz than what chassidim use nowadays.

It’s interesting to note that the words “Kel melech ne’eman” don’t appear in the siddur most commonly used by the Spanish and Oriental communities (edot hamizrach). Nor do they appear in the siddur used by Chabad. The preponderance of the siddurim that serve Ashkenaz communities, however, do contain these words, regardless of whether they are nusach Ashkenaz or nusach Sefard. (To be continued)

Friday, January 17, 2020

‘Jeopardy!’ Nixes Answer Identifying Beis Lechem As Part Of Israel The game show “Jeopardy!” has apologized for airing the answer to a clue on Friday that identified Beis Lechem as part of Israel. The $200 clue in the category “Where’s that Church?” was “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.” Contestant Katie Needle buzzed in and answered, “What is Palestine?” Host Alex Trebek rejected her answer and accepted contestant Jack McGuire’s answer of “What is Israel?” The Church of the Nativity is located in Beis Lechem, which is in Israel but governed by the Palestinian Authority. The answer caused controversy and a social-media uproar. In response to the incident, Omar Baddar, deputy director of the Arab American Institute, tweeted, “Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies (Katie Needle got the correct answer & was robbed). @Jeopardy owes an apology for endorsing Israel’s universally condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands.” Right after McGuire’s answer, the show went to commercial. When it returned, the $200 that had been deducted by Needle had been returned to her total while McGuire’s score remained the same. “Jeopardy!” gave no explanation for the changed score at the time.

In response to an inquiry by The Jewish Press, “The Jeopardy! Team” provided the following explanation, which also was posted on “Jeopardy!”’s website: “In the process of taping this clue, “BUILT IN THE 300s A.D., THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY” we became aware that the clue was flawed as written and that determining an acceptable response would be problematic. “In accordance with our rules and in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out. We restored Katie’s and Jack’s scores to what they were prior to the clue. The outcome of the game was not affected. We then continued the game with the replacement clue found in the link below. “Unfortunately, through human error in post-production, the uncorrected version of the game was broadcast. We regret the error and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again.” Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told The Jewish Press that Jeopardy was correct to reject Needle’s answer and bemoaned its decision to throw out the clue. He attributed “Jeopardy!”’s decision to “fear of being called Islamophobe.” (JNS, with additional reporting by The Jewish Press)


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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

Grandma Was Right After All! By John Rosemond

Problematic Granddaughter Q: Our 10-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her, but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his ex-wife were not up to parental responsibilities. He says he’s cleaned up his act and wants a relationship with his daughter. She says she wants to see him, too. We’re not completely opposed, but we’ve heard all this before and are, of course, skeptical. She came to us two years ago with major behavior problems – disobedience and lying, mostly – and has improved some but not a lot. She’s been seeing a therapist for more than a year, but my husband and I see no improvement. We recently found out that she and the therapist spend most of their sessions playing board games and doing crafts. My granddaughter wants to continue her therapy, but we don’t see how playing board games is going to bring about improvement in her behavior. Can you give us some direction here? A: I’ll do my best. I can’t really comment on the therapist’s treatment plan; I want to believe there’s more to it than simply board games, but, I will tell you, I’ve heard of this sort of thing before. If I were working with you folks, I wouldn’t waste time or money seeing the child. In my estimation and experience, there’s very little if anything a child this age

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can contribute to a proper understanding of the sort of problems you’re experiencing. You need a plan for dealing with your granddaughter’s behavior problems, and you need it fast. She’s at a critical stage of development as far as problems of this nature go. If they are not resolved soon, you may well be dealing with a full-blown sociopath in a few years. As for the father’s desire to have visitations with his daughter, I think there’s a possibility that could be a good thing for her. The research is very clear that fathers become increasingly important to a young girl’s positive development beginning around your granddaughter’s age. Nonetheless, until you’re confident that everything is going well, I’d recommend limiting visits to daytime hours. As for the behavior problems, the first thing I’d recommend is that you scrub her life clean of electronics, anything that she can use to text, get on the Internet, and so on. You need to have complete control of her communications. Second, she should have social contact with girls only and only girls you vet and approve. Next, if her father will cooperate, she should have visitation with him only if she has a “good week” at home and at school. If you determine that she doesn’t merit visitation, her father should have a serious conversation with her, emphasizing how much he wants to have time with her, but also confirming his support for the decisions you make in that regard. Certainly, a newspaper-column length answer is not going to be sufficient. I hate to get self-promotional, but reading several of my books might help get all of you on the right track. Have the father read them as well, then get together and discuss how what you’ve read applies to your situation and how you can use it to, hopefully, begin turning things around. It’s a start, but a good start is the most important part of any process. John Rosemond is a family psychologist, popular speaker, and author of 11 best-selling parenting books, including “The Well-Behaved Child” and “Grandma Was Right After All.”

Friday, January 17, 2020

Am Yisrael Chai A few weeks ago, my wife and I traveled to Israel for a two-week stay. I was scheduled to speak at various venues, but the main purpose of my visit was to meet a young lady who came into the world around one year ago. She is my newest grandchild and, even leaving aside a grandfather’s natural bias, I would still insist she is one of the most beautiful young ladies I have ever seen. She is named after my daughterin-law’s grandmother who was a Holocaust survivor and whom I had the privilege to meet on two occasions. I suppose there can be few more terrible ironies than the fact that she was born in a Polish town called Oświęcim. It became better known by its German name, Auschwitz, because of the death camp the Nazis built next to it. She would eventually be sent back to die in the place she was born, but somehow, inexplicably, she survived. I used to travel regularly from England to Antwerp, Belgium to give shiurim. I stayed with someone who recalled a surprising incident from his youth. He was walking with his father to shul one Friday night when he saw a man walking towards them. He carried a newspaper under his arm and my host, who was then nine years old, assumed he was a non-Jew. As they passed, the man stopped and addressed my friend’s father by name and, continuing in Yiddish, asked, “Reb Shmuel, vu geist du?” (Where are you going?). My friend’s father replied, “Reb Yankel, ich gei tzu shul. Heint iz Shabbos Kodesh!” (It’s Shabbos, I’m going to shul). The man shook his head as he replied. “Shabbos? Ich hob nit di velt oder di vat tzu kumen.” (Shabbos? I have neither this world, nor the world to come.) And he walked on. My friend’s father explained to his puzzled son that the man was a grandson of one of the great Rebbes of the Sansz chassidic dynasty. His wife too came from chassidic “royalty.” Both had gone through the horrors of the Holocaust and both had survived, but they had lost their faith after the indescribable hell that was Auschwitz. The Rebbes of Satmar and Belz said that anyone who went through that horror and lost their faith would not be held to account by heaven’s beth din. It was simply too big a test. Yet many, in fact, very many, inexplicably, impossibly survived Auschwitz with their faith intact and whole. My new granddaughter’s great-grandmother was one of those. When I first met her in Bnei Brak 10 years ago, there was simply no way of knowing that the old lady with the

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warm smile had experienced a life that was in any way out of the ordinary. And I simply do not know how she and those like her could have survived, let alone moved on, built a life, brought children into the world... and learned to smile

again. How many long lines of the young and the old had she witnessed trudging their way to where their souls flew back to heaven among the smoke and ashes of the crematoria’s chimneys? Another of my daughters-in-law is the deputy head of the IVF laboratory in Jerusalem’s Shaare Tzedek Hospital. During our trip, she offered my wife and me the opportunity to come and see her lab and the work carried out there. This turned out be a unique and breathtaking experience. Looking at a screen on a state-ofthe-art incubator and watching a cell become two and then four and then finally enough to be transferred to its mother, where it will hopefully grow into a child, is beyond exciting. It is witnessing a miracle and arguably the greatest one of all. I’m still not sure if I have fully come to appreciate what I saw and its significance. I was invited to look into a large pot-like container filled with liquid nitrogen. Inside, thousands of potential lives lay sleeping and dormant. I pictured thousands of souls in heaven, fervently hoping that these tiny potential babies will wake and allow them to travel to this world to fulfill their promise and potential. And I wondered how many couples sitting nervously outside would have their sadness and worry swept away by the astonishing skill of the people who work so dedicatedly to bring those souls into the world. Seeing such a lab would be breathtaking wherever in the world you visited it; seeing it in the place I did, was infinitely more astonishing. Some rabbinic voice said that the souls that were so cruelly taken from the world by the Nazis came back in the years since then to continue their journey. Some might even say that the little girl named after her saintly great-grandmother whom I think (without bias) is one of the most beautiful young ladies I have ever seen actually shares her soul. I am not qualified to know if they’re right, but as we drove into Ben Gurion airport, I saw that someone had sprayed on a wall, “Am Yisrael Chai!” That graffiti is absolutely right. Against all odds, sleeping Jewish lives continue to wake and souls travel to join them, now once more in their own land. They are keen to live and, like us, be part of a miraculous and inexplicable story, the story that is Am Yisrael Chai. Rabbi YY Rubinstein is a popular lecturer, a regular broadcaster on BBC National TV and Radio, and the author of 10 books (including, most recently, “Jewish Life and Jewish Laughter”).

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Friday, March January 17, 2020 Friday, July 5, 1, 2019 2019

Behind the News in Israel By Tzvi Fishman, Jewish Press Israel Correspondent

Otzma Yehudit Deal Sparks Uproar

Yesha Council CEO Hails West BankSivan Construction Destroyed Carlebach Moshav Rahav-Meir Rabbi Kahane from the Knesset in 1988, pushed elections in Israel, I suggest they come here to live,

Comes Together, Records Song

Is Coming To America

By Tzvi Fishman hardest for the controversial union. Prime Minis- serve in the IDF, and join us on shiva calls to Jewish Yigal Dilmoni, CEOIsrael of the Yesha Council is, in the you a housing boom by in the area. The drive to Tel Aviv cite someNetanyahu construction statistics? Jewish Press Correspondent families victimized Arab terror.” ter Benjamin himself led the initiative, ate eyes of his colleagues, “a quiet bulldozer.” He says that fearing will be reduced by a third. Also, highway is In 2012, construction began on 1,200 new housing In response to the uproar over the expansion union, Netthe strength of the new left-wing party led media headlines that focus on Israel’s political and seunderway from the Shilat Junction at Modiin to the units; in 2014, construction began on 1,600 units; in anyahu said, “Look at the double Lapid and former IDF Chief Staffpopular Benny TV The merger ofgroup Otzma – headed for- of by An optimistic of Yehudit men, womLast of week, journalist bridging theleft’s gaphypocrisy between and Israel and in theby center theYair country. figure rose to 2,100; and and Jewish while we don’t yet charedi curity problems act – like smokescreens, camouflaging of Diaspora Modiin Illit, largest settlement in standards. condemn athe right-wing bloc that can Gantz. mer Kach activists with the Bayit HaYehudi andthe 2018, Jewry. en, and children from the burnt-to-thePress columnist Sivan city Ra-They Joining groupthe at the recording have the exact number for 2019, there’s been a signifithe great building surge currently underway throughYesha. the Left’s Are ability to form a coalition, while at Baruch Marzel, a longtimehav-Meir student of Rabbi KahNational Union of parties triggered explosion you concerned about your ground moshav Mevo has Modiim gath-an studio announced that prevent she is headwasofthe singer Yehuda Katz, out Asame newfor highway planned forhome the route serving increase. Also, President took office, theStates time they is work to include Islamic ane a leader insince Otzma Yehudit, told The protest. children leaving for extrema year eredthe thiscountry. week in a Jerusalem studio to well-known forcant ing onTrump shlichut toJewish the United his and upbeat repertoire In conversation with Jewish Press, he pre- hits. Karnei Shomron and Kedumin, and a Route 60, from 10 times thedon’t number of building have istshusband, in the Knesset in order left-wing bloc Press, delude ourselves into believing that (Her In a aa letter hisofstudents, Lichtenand living intoa create foreign land? record small to song hope,The “WeRabbi Won’tMoshe a projects year with herreceived family. of Carlebach Last“We week in Petach dicted that by 2030, the Jewish population in Judea Adam to Kfar Tapuch, will be turned into a real highapproval than in the years preceding his election. of their own.” Bibi suddenly has decided to embrace our ideology. stein, co-rosh yeshiva of will Yeshiva Har Etzion, It’s only for a year. And I think Give Up,” praying that it go viral. Yedidiya Meir, is a well-known journalTikvah,wrote he joined a group of popular and Samaria will number million residents, double What about infrastructure and roads? wayThe instead of they’re aPress bumpy, unlit, roller-coaster of motivation was simply to ist stay in power and pre- Press thatMembers anyone “who helps ina any a union a His Jewish excited. asked For Libby them Kahane, it’s an ride advenRabbi himself.) The Jewish recently of the moshav choirway told Israeliwith singers in a lively fundraising what it is today. For too many years, no progress was made in this vicious curves with reckless Arab drivers who have election.” cult glorifi es power andhas violence…will bear the vent the Left from winning the Kahane’s widow, forWe’re her reaction thethem brouhaha. ture. trying totoget ready, spoke with herHe to added learn more. The that Jewish Press support been concert. The in Jewish Press: In globe No-of for caused hundreds of deadly accithat as he soon as “I the elections are The over,Jewish the union be- “I don’t like the falsifi responsibility for around the desecration Hashem“In thata will cations that appear in many Press: pouring from the strange way,” said, can’t vember, the United States aldents. tween Yehudi, NationalWhat Union,will andyou Otzma result when they sit in the Knesset as representa- help be Yedo- articles and speeches,” she replied. “My husband butBayit thing that up Already, the newly-opened tuntered previous position that will dissolve. tives ofits religious Jewry.” never preached genocide, as some journalists claim. ing in America? inhudit Heaven, Reb Shlosettlements in Judea and Sanel and bypass at the dangerous Yehudit, he said, stands for Israel being a He never called for the killing of Arabs. He favored Respected author Rabbi Benny Lau said he would mo isOtzma so happy that this Rahav-Meir: I give maria and traffic-jammed Jewish state. means true JewishTorah education even “goviolated to war” to international torpedo the union, asserting that catastrophe Arab population toAdam Arab Junclands is “That bringing a weekly shiur in in transferring Israel’s law. What do you think caused tion, for which we lobbied one our schools, judicial systemJerusalem based on that Jewish law, Otzma Yehudit stands for racism reminiscent of the Klal Jewish Yisrael a together. I will be to safeguard Jewish lives and the country’sfrom this shift in policy? government to the next, has been Judaism instead democracytaking, as thebezrat constitution of majority. Nuremburg Laws. The kindness and ofgenHashem, Dilmoni: To Rabbi put Baruch it simply, greatJews. blessing. the nation, thefrom aliyah from all over the In response, Kahane, son of Kach erosity “He didn’t hate hailed Arabs –ashealoved Even Plans when of people all of all Jews to Yeshiva University’s President Trump. The State Dehave also been drawn to the world, the defi is aCollege Jew?’ according founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, told The Jewish Press, over abandon the and country, andnition all of ‘Who Stern in Man- he was outlawed from the Knesset, he didn’twiden dangerously narrow Jordan Valley partment of the United States has to halacha.” “I guess that means Joshua, King David, Yehuda the over hattan. In addition, my his great love for the State. He continued to say Halthe world, has been highway. distorted legal factsBen surroundAsked for his to husband AIPAC calling Otzma Maccabee,the and David Gurion were all racists overwhelming. and teach students that Mediand I will be lel on Yom HaAtzmaut Likereaction we Settlers often complain that ing Yesha since the Six-Day War. Yehudit “racistand andsisreprehensible,” Marzelextensively said, “AI- nat Yisrael was holy, even too.” Otzma Yehudit is suing Rabbi Lau for slander. are though its leaders misused traveling all brothers Yesha roads are not sufficientPresident Trump simply ripped up PACmamash.” has a leftist agenda. Before theyNorth interfere with their power in evil ways.” Interestingly, Likud, which fought hard to expel ters, around America, the falsifications and threw them ly guarded by the police, which Last week, the Israespending Shabbatot in into the wastebasket of history. not only poses security probli government allocated Jewish communities, According to international law, lems, but also allows Arab mo80 million shekels tomeeting people and there is no difference between the torists to drive at life-threatenward the restoration of talking about Israel and Sivan Rahav-Meir areas comprising the so-called ing speeds. the displaced communiTorat Eretz Yisrael. “West Bank” and the rest of IsraThere a shortage of themisasdefinitely much English as posty. Shoshana Sheiner, The World Mizrachi Movement, teaching police vehicles patrolling the roads. el. In moshav, addition to the fact the in however, who has lived on the moshav sible before we take off. their which was that founded which is organizing our shlichut, has Theyou Yesha Council hasplan? loudlyWhen camMaster the Shlomo World bequeathed Do have a game 1975 by of Rabbi Carlebach and for 38 years, is skeptical. “I will bearranged a full schedule of meetings Eretz Yisrael to the Jews, our paigned in all of the appropriate you parachute into Los Angeles, devastated by a fire in late May that lieve it when I see it,” she told The and events. modern, legal right to the territooffices of the of Internal normalcy intohow fascism, white,America and no one andMinistry are introduced to left the stunned residents with little Jewish Press. “I remember long black intoNorth is a big place. for example, By Tzvi Fishman Security and the Israel Dery stems from the letter “Mandate stands up tofrom oppose them. ToWhat them,can evenone intermarShabbat, more than the clothes on their back it took before the evacuees Gush couple from Israel someone at a kiddush on Police Jewish Pressthe Israel Correspondent for of be- Katif were permanently the situation is imriage is a virtue. howpartment, do you and stimulate a connecandPalestine,” a suitcasewhich or two ofLeague personal resettled in hope to accomplish? Nations gave England for the esproving. has come people in goes, Zion a little candle tion? longings. new homes. Right The now time I only trust in for the Jewish As the saying majorThat’s problem is that the tablishment of a days, national Jewish beup noaroom Over just two 120,000 people Hazon, to rise up and say “No!” There WithOne Torah. the common But the donations represent only a joined Hashem.” cancan light roomfor filled with darkArabs who live in areas controlled home in the full historic borders of poisonous distortions very wella social movement founded 2018,toafter one its are small percent of the vast sum in needed ness. Ourthe Sages teach that the redemp- denominator for all Jews, the cultural The of police still investigating thethat undermine Eretz Yisrael. thebinds Palestinian are of which our existence. advertisement was removed the Prima Park us as aAuthority nation. Both rebuild the community. Many offrom the 55 tion of Israel comes slowly, slowly, a gluebythat possibility thatsprings the fire, eruptThe “conquered territories” are under the jurisdiction of the local is Hazon a grassroots as the op-dawning of day. the Israeli Sabra from Tel Aviv and Hotel in Jerusalem two ago.byTheedgiant bandestroyed homes were notweeks covered littlemovement at a time, like on Lag B’Omer,Why was an act of Arab not conquered at“Aall. Instill-dazed the transportation where reto an initiative rabbis? ner proclaimed: father andaftermother family. The posed Jews from bureaus Boca Raton, Floriinsurance. Today, the fire= aarson. Hopefully, our example will inspire re- wealthy Shoshana harbors no doubts. “I of leading math of the War of Independence, quirements for obtaining a driver’s Great spiritual leaders areligious gifts from heaven. courage to betemporarily normal.” The followinginday, in response victims are quartered couples from In Israel to become da, have the same starting point from the Arabs occupied areas which license, standards car regContinued meantime,on wep.47 are makingshlichim sure thein voice Israto and boycott threats by radical leftists, the That’sand the pulse we allofshare. thecomplaints religious moshav of Chofetz Chaim thisofall-important goal of Sinai. had been clearly earmarked for us. istration and safety, are far lower el’s majority gets heard. the hotel took down the ad. TheHaim United Nations termed them than ours. Israel doesn’t control CEO Yigal Dilmoni (Photo: Yesha Council)of the But many rabbis have come out in support Teitelbaum, founder of Hazon alongside “disputed territories,” but they the number of classes a PalestinRav Dror Aryeh of the Sederot Hesder Yeshiva, has movement: Rav Shmuel Eliahu, Rav Tzvi Tau, Rav were territories which belonged to us. A massive, incrucial area, partly because of pressure from Washingian driver must take, or the cancellation of licenses filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Prima Shlomo Aviner, Rav Dov Lior, Rav Yehoshua Shapiternational, anti-Israel campaign fostered the myth of for repeated traffic offenders, or whether a driver has ton and partly because of Israeli governments who felt Park Hotel and its advertising agency. “It’s outra- ra, and Rav Yaacov Ariel, to mention just a few. Palestinian sovereignty. President Trump righteously a license at all. Yesha might be a bargaining chip that could be given What’s new about your message? For many geous,” he told The Jewish Press, “that a tiny midecided to set things all. In this regard, the so-called “West Bank” truly reaway a promise of peace, so why waste money years,forcharedi rabbis have rejected Israel deas nority can impose itsstraight beliefs once over and the for overwhelming We often hear representatives of settlements sembles the Wild West. veloping the area? majority of Israelis who cherish the normalcy of the the forerunner to Mashiach in part because the in Yesha complain about a building freeze, but I have friends in Yesha who complain about That attitude has changed, Baruch Hashem, and Jewish family, which has insured our existence from Torah doesn’t govern it. when I drive around the region, I see construcelectric outages poor many government departments have formulated Tzvi Yehuda Kook taught that the holiness is yelling at you, and theEvery beginning of time.” different? telling youwater what pressure. to do, sometimes 18-year-old boy and girl in Israel must serve notRabbi For decades, these two problems ignored. plans for the continued growth of the settlements. On tion in almost every community. is not measured in the level Yiddishkeit Teitelbaum, 38,national is the father of But five is and lives in of Israel to do been exercises and The IDF is founded on discipline. In of basic training, without any reason, compelling you have in the army (or do service). every high The growth of the settlements, and the Arab populaSunday, Transportation Minister Smotrich announced Building is continuing all the time throughout Juof its individual citizens, in itsand enabling the dein- chores until you are exhausted, and you don’t have the settlement Migron. A reserve officer in the the soldiers go through the but difficult frequently school graduateofready to serve? Thirty years ago,IDF, the all these of plans, and other proposed projects submitdea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley –and just as it should put drain on the existing, antiquated systems. gathering the exiles and the resettlement Eretz tion, he under Rabbi Yigal humanizing experience of learning how to takeof orders. luxury of awalking away. IDFstudied decided the answer to Eli thatSedan question is Rabbi no, and thus that – especially now the United States has recognized areaddition, ready to with begin all a general provide by the Council, been officially Yisrael, itsYesha defense of millions Jews, and itsincludfulfi ll- We In Levinstein, who that are called both outspoken defenders of the overhaul advancestowe have The transition from being ahave freeof and independent teenpre-army academies “mechinot” were born.of To- ted that settlement in the area does not violate internaimproved water and electric services to the area. ed in the State of Israel’s Master Plan for the Future, rahThe values in Israeli society. director of the Mechinot Program and its 56 ment of the Torah commandment to keep Eretz Yis- achieved in protecting the rights of religious soldiers, cantothe Yesha dosucceed, to take aadvantional law. the next 25Jewish years.sovereignty. This is a loud and clear it’s What rael under national The Jewish Press: What led ayou to form Ha- covering not easy be in Council Tzahal. To beginacademies is Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim, former IDF tankAdvertisement on dati Prima Park Hotel promoting the During the Obama administration in Washington, tage of President Trump’s unsurpassed support statement that Judea and Samaria are not only on the Now“Our that job the physical Jewish settlement of the zon? ning soldier needs a lot of motivation. That’s the job ist who still serves in reserve duty as a commander in is to take groups of these traditional family. The hotel removed the ad due to Israel wasRabbinate. pressured into imposing a stringent build- map Israel, mechinot. as exemplified bytohis recognition of today, alsofortifi for the come. of our re- for country hasbut been ed, decades the nexttophase Israel was established to be aPre-MilJewish of religious We strive instill our students the Teitelbaum: Army He also heads the Elisha pressure by radical leftists. authority over the Golan Heights? Already, workbe isstrengthened underway on aby new highwaytofrom ing the settlements. Building plans weren’t largely undisciplined, apathetic, must returning our Israel’s state, but in inAcademy recent years, foreign backed demption with a burning spirit of Religious Zionism, a love for itaryfreeze Torah near Neve Tzufelements, in the Shomron. There’s no question that we are facing window of Gush Etzion to Hevron, and from Efrat to Jerusalem, approved, so construction ceased. But now, thank G-d, by great financialPress: resources, waged war to alter Torah culture. moral the Land practices of Israel, overa the broad willunderstanding of the vast amajority of Jewish of The Jewish Howhave would you describe know-it-all kids and turn them into opportunities. The Yesha Council pressures the Israeli including a new tunnel and bridge leading into the city President Trump has opened the door to renewed deWhat exactly are you proposing? Arrest- Israelis the Jewish identity of the state. The Hazon Movewhodestiny, want Medinat Yisrael history and a spirit of idealism, to be anda miserut Jewish mechinot? asnation much as it can, government has frequent slowdowns. Efrat is government velopment almost Post everywhere youYisrael look. ingeliminate women the who dressoftraffic immodestly? Searching ment wasNissim: created to remind Am that the To- to state Jewish values. So all public institutions, nefeshwith for the founded onbut thethe Torah and Tanach. Rabbi high-school learning programs miniature versions Yehoshua Bin Nun to carry the ball. Fortunately, today, the cabinet lineexpected to double its population in the next few years The revitalized construction isn’t enough to keep rah is the foundation conver- homes for non-kosher food? andWhen the country’s cultureunderstands must be in accord with the a young person the inner meanbefore one’s inductionofinour thenation. army. Marriage, Secular mechinot never beenofEretz better. Bibi Torah has to supto massive building inHaMaccabee.” its new northern up with demand for housing since ever-increasing andspeak Yehuda we about the true Jewishneighboridentity up sion, kashrut, Shabbat, and the sanctity of the kotel dueWhen sacred traditions Torah and law. ingshas of Am Yisrael, Yisrael, andpromised Medinat Yisrael, focus onthe Zionism, character building, and physical numbers of people – literally thousands –Religious are signing theinmeans settlements, and,permits by andfor large, he hasankept theto roadwork is underway to meet chal- port and a and return Torah values, we mean on the a public must remain true to Jewish tradition and Torah law That no becomes more gay parades, no serving the IDF a privilege and not obtraining while religious mechinot focus on Zi- hoods, up to live in Yesha communities. The Yesha Council his word. lenge. in orderTorah, for Israel to fulfi its divine mission of being level. We are still a long way from establishing mod- government recognition of same-gender couples, no ligation. onism, Tanach, andll midot along with strenuous is constantly lobbying the Prime Minister’s Office and ager His official annexation of thehis Jordan Valley demonto the north from Ariel estyWhat patrols on whatever the streets. first the need to conduct a light unto the nations. them financial support, no more liberal lecwho about does he We pleases to being aJuncdisci- granting Once the student begins career in Tzahal, group tiyulim. the We defense minister to give a green light to all the strates the sincerity of his Zionist vision. Furthermore, tion toward Yitzhar, Har Bracha, Itamar, and a national program of public education regarding the turers Since the family is the cornerstone of our nation, or curricula in remain the country’s public schools that soldier is a serious challenge for many people. does the mechinah in touch with him? strive to strengthen a student’s emunah while plined projects now being approved and A tofather, those that have Elon choice ofTorah Naftali Bennett as theElisha new defense minMoreh? Driving through the Arab village of his laws modesty, theconditions honor due toSpartan women, andrigid. the it must be preserved in Hashem’s holiness. a mother, contradict noat more government fundIn of addition, army are and Absolutely. Forvalues, example, the Torah Acadkeeping him attached to down-to-earth manbeen on hold for years. ister is not only a significant plus for Israel’s military Huwara is like driving through Ramallah. like. can’t remain a spoiled kid in Tzahal. For many ing and children – this is as Jewish family seen normalcy, alternate brands of greater share emy,for that’s the full-time jobJudaism, of one ofaour [Torah inifestation in the world, most clearly in the not re- You Recently, I gave a visitor Israel a mini tour he he is true friend ofbase the settlement movement. Plans a by-pass road completed await What afor person doesthe in hisare or her homesmartphones isand his or her posture; same-gender parenting. Who to ever heard of such a of the of TV time foravisits Jewish programming, total national structors]. every wherea our graduates youngsters, it’s first time their turn of Am Yisrael to its eternal homeland. of the settlements. I was happy to seeYet construcapproval and The boost business, but publicly – nationally there box iswill nofor room thing? In all of nature, it high doesn’t exist. its are confiscated andbudgeting. locked away in highway a– metal the Presumably, yeshiva schools try to adac- final Continued tion in Efrat, Bet-El, Shilo, and Har Bracha. Can security, cut down travel time dramatically, and crep.84 Continued on on p.37 p.47

Group Wants Judaism At Center Of Jewish State An Interview with Hazon Founder Haim Teitelbaum

Making Soldiers Out Boys

An Interview with Mechinot Program Head Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim

Friday, January 17, 2020


A Miracle? The word “miracle” is bandied about so much that it can lose its awe-inspiring impact. Yet, some occurrences are so beyond the norm, and so hard to explain, that I am tempted to use that word. When I think of my friend Neil Gaines, I wonder if his story isn’t a miracle. At the age of 13, Neil walked up his block to a shul 150 feet away, got an aliyah, and was wished mazel tov on his bar mitzvah. Sixty-two years later, still living on that block, he had not been back to that shul, or any shul, to get an aliyah. So when I – a neighbor of Neil’s – asked him two Octobers ago if he wanted to come to the shul sukkah and have a Yom Tov meal with me, I didn’t have


Page 37

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valley. Overnight, the Arabs and Bedouins erect a few tents and shacks on a piece of deserted land, then claim Remember, just a few years ago, be- that their grandparents lived there for fore he entered politics, he headed the hundreds of years. If we try to remove Yesha Council himself. Already he has them, leftist organizations protest the approved renewed Jewish settlement case in court, and the process can drag in the old Jewish market of Hevron, on for years. Hundreds of cases like which was held up for years. Last week, this are pending in court. our new Yesha Council chairman, DaAre you satisfied with the level vid Elhayani, took him on a tour of the of security in Yesha? Jordan Valley and Naftali promised to Overall, yes. The IDF and the Shacrack down on the illegal Arab squat- bak do excellent work protecting the settlements. The security services foiled over 500 terrorist attacks last year. “Overnight, the Arabs and Bedouins erect a Every night, a score of pofew tents and shacks on a piece of deserted land, tential terrorists are arrested. Many successes of our then claim that their grandparents lived special anti-terror units are never publicized. there for hundreds of years.” It isn’t an easy mission with so many Arabs in the area, including Palestinian ters who have been overrunning tracts Authority-controlled cities filled with of land belonging to the state. weapons and terrorist cells. When we marked on a large map The Arabs also travel on our roads, all the areas of illegal Arab building in exacerbating the complexity of the sitYesha, he promised that he would take uation. Occasionally, terrorists succeed the necessary measures to deal with in carrying out their satanic attacks. I the ever-spreading land grab, saying won’t pretend that people don’t worry that the days of turning a blind eye to when driving home at night, but I am illegal Arab and Bedouin expansion not sure that their worry is any greater and building were over. than the Jews of Monsey or Brooklyn. Since the Defense Ministry is the ofAll in all, the residents of Yesha enficial administrative authority over the joy a high quality of life, where people so-called “territories,” he has the juris- help one another, and children walk diction and power to reverse a situation around freely by themselves. that has been catastrophically neglected Today, approximately 450,000 due to governmental weakness and the people live in Yesha, a third of them vetoes of past American administrations. charedim, a third secular, and a third We have to correct this illegal en- dati-leumi. As I mentioned, we can’t croachment while we have the oppor- keep up with the demand for housing. tunity. Otherwise, when we look to ex- Every settlement has a long waiting pand Jewish settlement, there will be list of hopeful newcomers. no vacant tracts left. While the annual rate of Jewish How did successive Israeli gov- population growth in Israel is 2.1 perernments allow the situation to cent, the communities of Yesha boast reach this point? an annual growth rate of 4.4 percent. The simplest explanation is that we Our birthrate is also sky high, with were looking in other directions, busy many settlements out-babying Bnei with other national issues and goals. Brak and Mea Shearim. Those figAs the saying goes, “When the cats are ures speak for themselves. In another away, the mice will play.” 10 years, we are going to be known as You can’t watch every hillside and “Gush Dan East.”

Continued from p.36

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high expectations that he would say, “Yes.” But it doesn’t hurt to ask, and to my delight, he did, in fact, say, “Yes.” We walked up the block together to the since rebuilt shul of Congregation Tomchei Torah with Neil using a cane. We sat together in the shul’s sukkah, and I realized as we were sitting there that it may have been the first time in his life he was doing this mitzvah. When we went to wash our hands for bread, we needed to walk into the shul. Before I was able to go over the berachos with him, his gaze and feet moved to the men’s sanctuary. He looked in with great curiosity. I told him he could walk inside, and he did so. It was his first time inside since 1956. We washed, we ate, and I helped him with benching. But that was just the appetizer, so to speak, of what would come next. A few days later, Neil agreed to come to shul for the hakafos

Page 38

The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

Daf Yomi Highlights Adapted by Rabbi Yaakov Klass Dedicated to the Memory of Rabbi Gershon Tanenbaum, zt”l

What About Ma’ariv? ‘The Bridegroom Is Exempt From Kerias Shema’ (Berachos 16a) A mishnah on our daf states that a chassan who marries a maiden is exempt from the mitzvah of Kerias Shema on the night of their wedding because of the rule “osek b’mitzvah patur min ha’mitzvah – one This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information, contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit

In memory of the yahrzeiten of: Rabbi Moshe b. Maimon, zt”l, author of the Rambam (20th Teves, 1205); Rabbi Yisroel Dov b. Rabbi Yosef, zt”l, Vilandik Magid and author of Shearis Yisroel (21st Teves, 1850); Rabbi Shmuel b. Rabbi Yisroel Heller, zt”l, Chief Rabbi of Tsefas (22nd Teves, 1884); Rabbi Naftali b. Rabbi Yitzchok Katz, zt”l, Posen Rav and author of Semichas Chachamim (24th Teves, 1719); Rabbi Shneur Zalman b. Rabbi Boruch of Liadi, zt”l, founder of the Lubavitcher Chassidic dynasty and author of Tanya (24th Teves, 1812); Rabbi Meir b. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Aisenstadt, zt”l, Rav of Ungvar and author of Imrei Ash (24th Teves, 1842); Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, zt”l, Sochachover Rebbe and author of Shem Mi’Shmuel (24th Teves, 1948); Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer b. Rabbi Reuven Dov Dessler, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva Ponevez and author of Michtav Me’Eliyahu (24th Teves, 1954); Rabbi Moshe Mordechai b. Rabbi Shimon Nossan Nota Biderman, zt”l, Lelover Rebbe (24th Teves, 1987); and Rabbi Shamshon b. Rabbi Raphael Hirsch, zt”l, Rav of Frankfurt am Main (26th Teves, 1888).

who is presently occupied with one mitzvah [in this case, consummating the marriage] is exempt from performing another mitzvah” (Sukkah 25a). The mishnah adds that if the chassan didn’t consummate the marriage on the night of his wedding, he is exempt from saying Shema for the following three nights since his mind is still pre-occupied with the mitzvah at hand. The mishnah relates that, notwithstanding, Rabban Gamliel as a chassan did recite Kerias Shema. When his students asked him why, he responded; “I cannot possibly abrogate my obligation to accept Heaven’s kingship even for one moment.” A second mishnah on our daf qualifies the rule of the previous mishnah and seems to be in general agreement with Rabban Gamliel’s behavior so that if a chassan wishes to do so, he may recite Kerias Shema. Rabbi Shimon b. Gamliel argues that not everyone has the right to display such piety and say Shema on the night of his wedding. At the conclusion of Perek Haya Koreh (17b), Rabbi Shimon b. Gamliel’s view is explained as follows: Only a very pious person, a Torah scholar of note, may say Shema on the night of his wedding. An ordinary person may not.

Kavannah, The Lack Of The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 70:3), essentially quoting Tosafos (17b, sv “R. Shisha…”), rules that a chassan nowadays should recite Kerias Shema since most people, in any event, don’t have the proper kavannah when saying Shema. For a chassan to refrain from saying Shema, therefore, would seem arrogant (as he would be implying that on other nights he does, indeed, have proper kavannah while saying Shema). Hand In Hand What’s the rule regarding a chassan davening Maariv? It would seem that it should be the same. Yet, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chayim 70:3) exempts a chassan from Krias Shema and tefillah, but when he addresses what a chassan should do nowadays, practically speaking, he only writes that he should say Shema; he makes no mention of tefillah. It thus appears that a chassan is exempt from davening Maariv. The logic behind distinguishing the two is clear: saying Kerias Shema is a biblical obligation whereas davening Maariv is only a rabbinic obligation.

Next week’s luach NYC CANDLE LIGHTING TIME January 24, 2020–27 Teves 5780 4:45 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: 5:49 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 6:17 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Va’era Weekly Haftara: Koh Amar Hashem (Ezekiel 28:25-29:21) Daf Yomi: Berachos 21 Mishna Yomit: Menachos 13:9-10 Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 648:810 Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Pesulei ha’Mukdashim chap. 11-13 Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 6:19 a.m. NYC E.S.T. Sunrise: 7:12 a.m. NYC E.S.T. Latest Kerias Shema: 9:40 a.m. NYC E.S.T. Sunset: 5:03 p.m. NYC E.S.T.

This Shabbos is Shabbos Mevorchim, we bless the new month of Shevat, we do not say Av Harachamim or recite Keyl Moleh Rachamim. This coming Monday is Rosh Chodesh Shevat, one day. The molad is Shabbos morning, 46 minutes, 9 chalakim (a chelek is 1/18 of a minute) after 8:00 a.m. (in Jerusalem). Sunday evening: At Maariv we add Ya’aleh VeYavo. However, if one forgot to include Ya’aleh VeYavo (at Maariv only) one does not repeat (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 422:1, based on Berachos 30b, which explains that this is due to the fact that we do not sanctify the month at night). Following the Shemoneh Esreh, the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel followed by Aleinu and Kaddish Yasom. Monday morning: Shacharis with inclusion of Ya’aleh VeYavo in the Shemoneh Esreh,half Hallel, Kaddish Tiskabbel. We take out one Sefer Torah from the Ark.. We read in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 28:1-15), we call four Aliyos (Kohen, Levi, Yisrael, Yisrael), the Ba’al Keriah recites half Kaddish. We return the Torah to the Ark; Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon – we delete Lamenatze’ach, the chazzan recites half Kaddish; all

then remove their tefillin. Musaf of Rosh Chodesh, followed by chazzan’s repetition and Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu, Shir Shel Yom, Borchi Nafshi and their respective Kaddish recitals (for mourners). Nusach Sefarad say Shir Shel Yom and Borchi Nafshi after Hallel. Before Aleinu they add Ein K’Elokeinu with Kaddish DeRabbanan Mincha: In the Shemoneh Esreh we say Ya’aleh VeYavo, followed by chazzan’s repetition and Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Mourner’s Kaddish. Birkas Hamazon: In the Grace after Meals we add Ya’aleh VeYavo as well as mention of Rosh Chodesh in Beracha Acharona (Me’ein Shalosh) at all times. Kiddush Levana at first opportunity (we usually wait until Motza’ei Shabbos). The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and yeshivas for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Magill Continued from p.37 of Simchas Torah. Another “yes” to something he may not have ever seen in his life. And he not only saw it; he experienced it, dancing as much as his legs would allow him, all the while being greeted warmly by the Tomchei Torah congregants. The smile on his face said it all. He was embracing Yiddishkeit, and it was embracing him back. Over the next year, Neil came to shul with me for an occasional Minchah, and he attended some Shabbos seudos at my home. Then came this past Simchas Torah. Since it’s geared for everyone to get an aliyah, I asked Neil if he wanted one. Another “yes.” I practiced with him and gave him the words of the beracha to look over and said a silent prayer that he would be successful. That morning, he received his first aliyah in 63 years. It wasn’t easy, but he said all the words, and I was so inspired by his effort. He then stayed and took part in some hakofos and didn’t leave shul until Minchah. This past Chanukah, as shown in the picture, he lit the menorah in our kitchen as my wife and I looked on. It was the first time he had used anything but an electric menorah in about 60 years. All these accomplishments are very impressive, but what makes me think his story is miraculous is an occurrence around a year before that first Sukkos meal in the shul sukkah. At that time, I didn’t know him very well, so when a man who lived across the hall from him asked me why there were a number of newspapers in front

of Neil’s door, I decided to call his lifelong friend who had moved to Florida. I asked him if it was possible that he had gone away and forgotten to cancel his newspaper service. He told me emphatically, “Neil doesn’t go away. There must be something wrong. If you can’t get in the door, call the police and have them break in.” That’s exactly what I did, and the policewoman who entered found Neil passed out on the floor. An ambulance was called, and after a long medical intervention – which included a hospitalization – he was able to return home. As he lay on the floor for one day, unable to get up, who knew he would be able to return to shul for that Sukkos meal? As he lay on the floor for a second day, with nothing to eat or drink, who knew he would dance at hakafos? As he lay on the floor a third day, too weak to move, who knew he would be going with me to shul for Minchah from time to time? As he lay on the floor for a fourth day, completely alone in the world, who knew he would get his first aliyah in 63 years? And when that policewoman found this 75-year-old man on that fifth day, having not eaten or drunk anything in all that time, who knew he would be lighting Chanukah candles for the first time in 60 years? My answer: Hashem knew. The One Above kept him going in an extraordinary fashion. But also extraordinary was that after Neil got up, he did something unique for him and said “yes” in his own way to Yiddishkeit. Alan Magill can be reached at

圀䔀 䈀唀䤀䰀䐀 ☀ 䴀䄀䤀一吀䄀䤀一 夀伀唀刀 匀伀䌀䤀䄀䰀 倀刀䔀匀䔀一䌀䔀

䘀唀䰀䰀 匀䔀刀嘀䤀䌀䔀 䐀䤀䜀䤀吀䄀䰀  䴀䄀刀䬀䔀吀䤀一䜀 䄀䜀䔀一䌀夀 眀眀眀⸀猀瀀攀爀漀洀愀爀欀攀琀椀渀最最爀漀甀瀀⸀挀漀洀


The Jewish Press

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Page 40 Friday,  TheJanuary Jewish Press ess 18, 2019

Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday, January 18, 20


23 which will feature science, technology, engineering, cold, they also have indoor tennis playing. At Brookarts, math, and other fun STEM activities. They also lyn Bridge Park, nature is still thriving with majeshave another exhibit that will be showcased until Feb- tic displays of winterberry, whose luscious red berries ruary 24 titled “Ports of Call” which includes souvenirs, provide a striking contrast to the white grassy fields film footage, and and oral histo- behind by Week from February 17- memorabilia, photographs,Compiled the Sarah park, while inkberry its gorgeous Photographed Einhorn Bywith Sarah Einhorn ries, all drawn from the Yankovich Intrepid’s sailors’ missions to green leaves and subtle black berries are a refreshing By Ita cities around the globe – from Cannes to Copenhagen, reminder that some plants stay green year-round! It’s not always feasible to with go toan some exotic or dis- our No matter the age and skill every- the Station Halifax Hong Kong, Singapore to Sydney. Most people I know who visittoMiami are content tertainment park option of swimming withmasterpiece. doltant destination for mid-winter vacation, but that is one enjoyed painting the same picture. Interestingly The Wo terareceiving alerts from their home security compa(noand punwater, intended). Check out and localofnewspapers for listings of events y to approaching. The time Down Home Bonding just relax, soaking up sun course phins, seals, walking through 300,000 gallon tropical not a reason not to have a great time anyway. Here enough, no two paintings came out alike. Everyone it. The reac ny that a In robbery justyour took thing, place. there Try having fun on at yourI nearest libraries, bookstores, or penguins. om school lifelocal takes If going out is not are plenty of eating outand at the restaurants. agree that Miami is reef anduniversities, interacting with addition, there areassome ideas for things to do in theyour tristate area had their own way of doing it andtry some people added are some of trip with those worries in the back of your mind! Advantages To Staying Put community centers, well as flea markets and fairs. e calming many flock to the airthings you can do indoors. Open a cookbook and and beautiful. Simply driving or walking down are many exhibits of animals. There are also many induring mid-winter vacation. These places are some ofrecipes additional details. flight lab is People frequently alsothe get sickYou while AirTheonnumber one and most obvious benefitare of any to popular belief, public libraries not ldCollins temperatures sunout some new kids. canaway. also plant Avenue,for with the Contrary beach one side, and the teresting exhibits such as the Penguin Isle, Shark with Chanmy favorite picks from my trip recommendation webpieces. areherb notorious for housing germs, staycation is beach the cost. Youonly are not hundreds, ifTheplanes boring buildings toreally find books quiet. There tic, anexhibits indoor These plants areand easyespecialto grow baytropical on thelocation, other, is you breathtaking. The is nel wasting andand Tropical Reef. of thegarden. sea Address: turtles 84 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY site The Mu ly youcan are going somewhere foreign, it isdishes. possible thousands, your heard-earned dollars on airline are many things happening at libraries, pted to stay Thisbutnot andif you then use them to spice up your inviting and home. accessible, still, thereexciting is soofmuch more and manatees are outlike to protect them from their endanPhone Number: 914-506-5900 ing Park ju bodyismay sick from an insect tickets, hotel rooms, resorts, activities, eat- thatIfyour Mommy & fun Me andcar Tot Classes where babies and ons: are places on a to cooking notget your idea of the fun,water, then whip out in Perhaps Miami, soyou many visit and things to rentals, do. gered species status. Hours: Look on the website for class times Muse Paintbar: White Plains, NY Bridge. It or food out, and course those useless must-have toddlers canofplay and learn. Yourbut library mightsnow also bite, hedule that doesn’t leave ing the old photopoisoning. album and take a stroll down memory I was in Miami for an extended weekend and visited (Multiple additional locations) Price: Classes Start at $29 to enjoy a so the nowfamily. that I have hopefully convinced or keychain souvenirs. When you chess, travel, computer every cost laneOK, offer yoga, Tai Chi, knitting, bingo, ew baby in the family, or globe with Or better yet, take some you, new some of the local attractions, in addition to enjoying Address: Approximate Distance from: weather is Muse Paintbar is a combination restaurant/bar discuss great winter staycation that inflated and you bound to overspend. By staying let’s programming, andare even classes on animation. hich prevents the family is snapshots orsome finally develop those photos ideas that have Brooklyn Bridge: 45 minutes and painting workshop store. There are currently 30 the abundance of water and sun. Some of the attractions 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway youonand your family cherishing these memhome, are saving tons of that away you can then Theyou money you saved bymoney not going can be will oarding a plane. beenhave sitting your phone or computer. Lakewood: 1 hour, 45 minutes Addres locations the the Northwere revamped since I’ve used visited after being hit by athroughout Miami, FL USA, 33149mostly in Crafts for a are lifetime. toto dovisit fun things locally at local a fraction of the price. you ories and patronize establishments se you have decided to use always a nifty idea. Design a t-shirt for Monsey: 30 minutes NY east and Southeast Region, and more locations conrecent hurricane. Last I checked, whole a vacation is to each member of the family as a souvenir for “Winbeen avoidingthe until now.point Pop of into that upscale mean that your winter have Website: Phone stantly being added. Phone Number: Local’s The Word unwind, quality at time with your fami- ter Staycation 2019.” clothing store,and tryspend your talents that artsy pottery han that of families who rest, Consider redecorating a room. Hours: No painting experience is necessary to join and en(305) 361-5705 During winter there areormany local activities Butrelax whenatyou are away, who has much time to do place, that spa or get a massage, and dine atpicture beach somewhere. There ly. Stage a play, putbreak, on a concert recital, and invite Sunday: 11 joy a paint class. You can see which each class Miami Seaquarium: you can avoiding theMid-Hudson typical long lines andVizcaya: that when busy unpacking, running fancy you neware restaurant you were always too in- Once ving a winter staycation, relatives overawhile for a casual family reunion. 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Staying home gives a$47.99* Just because it’s Golden cold, that doesn’t mean youyou can’t mbination “stay”themed and “vagets some sort ofthe prize, or least bragging If house some outdoor exhibits might berights. closedThe in the Caribbean Flipper Dolphin Show. The General Admission: tate inand northern Italy. was lots designed fully math, art,atmusic community while having of to be Website The artist gives instructions on a Although stage. He ex- of chance topark. take it easy and focus on the activities and go to the New York is home to several beautiful holistay (asLion in “holiday” you find board games boring, make your own winter the winter, there are many animals that actually prefer Dome Sea show is a comedic playlet where the Reef Child Admission (3-9 years): $37.99* visible from the Bay and it is truly magnificent. It was celplains all the equipment and shows everyone what fun. around you. You are not dealing with packed natural sights. Oftocourse, weby all know about Central ans that you staylion home scavenger hunt. ThisYou could done indoors or out. cooler temperatures. arebe likely to catch them being Rangers and sea explorepeople the reef searching for astep lit*Plus 7% Florida sales tax ebrated in architectural and engineering magazines of that Children can dress up and role play as firefightdo, step. Our instructor, Mervis was entercancelled or delayed flights, annoying pasPark, but there also Marine Park, Prospect Park, getering in local indoor Perhaps the most memorable and best idea a the much more active thanplumbers, they aretime. onchefs, hot summer days. diver.orThe most acmajorairports, show is the KillerisWhale and Save $2 whenanyou buy online. Photos befor taken in the house but only without ers, andmay doctors. In Imagination My kids taining and fun. There was additional artist going or navigating unfamiliar places. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Fort Tilden, Riis ontinued to rise in popstaycation is to engage of option chesed. Visit aspecial nursMuseums are alwaysinaacts great since they are blocks to create season at M Playground children use the around helping anyone that needed assistance. While White-Sided Dolphin Show. sengers, Interestingly, the killer whale Check online forPark all options and specials: www.miamuse of a flash. There is Staten alsoone safety inmany staying home. Burglars in Queens, Island’s Great Kills, Floyd Bencrises of 2007-09dolphins when perform ingdrinks home,from cheer up kids in the children’s ward at a and cities. constantly updating their events and are imaginary animals, buildings, rockets Thecreated lessons to b painting, people enjoyed food and and white-sided alongside another The exhibits garden isand also reminiscent of those in Itaknow that many people are away this time of year, nett Field, Canarsie Pier, Miller Field, and Fort Waddin byanthe recession. Even local hospital, or pack food at Tomchei Shabbos. I asnot expensive. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Early Learning Junction designed forth children ages tickets are the restaurant and bar (The food is not kosher). It was amazing and exciting show. ly and France during the 17 and 18th centuries. The landbreak-ins and car theft are common. ILakeside, know sworth. At Prospect Center at proved sinceSeaquarium then, manyis aand sure nothing0-4 willincludes make you more Hills, energized thefeel Hudson the Train Table, and anPark’s extremely fun and fulfilling twoofhours of you, creating Miami world-class marine-life en-LeFrak Website: 4.9375x7 1 1/9/19 12:16 Continued on p.42 people whoand hadeven to cutplay their travelsIfshort af- and recharged like giving back.Continued on youmany can go skating hockey. it’s too ations are the way to go too p.38 yeshiva break_Layout

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5 Great Reasons To Visit Israel For Winter Break By Shelley Zuckerman Here are five reasons for you to join a record-breaking number of incoming tourists this winter break looking to experience Israel and all it has to offer.

1. Drive from Haifa to Eilat in just half a day At just 8,630 square miles, Israel is a considerably small country. Driving from the northern tip to the southern tip takes just six hours! And in that time, you can experience diverse climates, cities, cultures and more. Even on a quick trip, Israel offers a lot in just a short amount of time. 2. Gorgeous Weather For the most part, in major cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel’s climate is temperate year-round. In fact, even beyond winter break, you can visit anytime of year and not be bogged down by extreme highs or lows (of course, desert cities like Eilat do get extremely hot in the summer, but you can always head to the coast and take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea). So, if you’re looking for a travel destination with little rain and lots of sun, add Israel to your list. 3. See Diverse Landscapes Israel has just about every type of terrain for you to experience. You can explore miles of sandy beaches along the warm, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea – or dip your toes in the Red Sea, brimming with colorful fish and coral, in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat. Inland, the famous  Dead Sea, the lowest elevation point on the planet, offers beaches and skin-nourishing mud frequented by tourists and locals alike.

If you feel like venturing higher into the atmosphere, Israel has plenty of mountains with beautiful views and trails. Heading north, you can access the Golan Heights, home to Mount Hermon or the Upper Galilee, where you can find Mount Meron. There’s plenty to do at either of these locations, including mountain biking, hiking, and even snowboarding and skiing at Mount Hermon and wine tasting at Mount Meron. It wouldn’t be a trip to Israel without a visit to the desert. Although home to several, the most well-known desert in Israel is the Negev. Located in the southern region of Israel, the Negev offers many recreational ways to see the land including biking, jeep tours, bus tours, and perhaps

most excitingly, camel rides. 4. See Our History – And I mean “Our” History With such a staggering and rich history, it’s no surprise Israel is home to countless historically significant sites. From the Kotel to the Western Wall Tunnels, City of David and Tower of David, the Jewish Quarter, and the Churva Synagogue – you’ll be kept busy for days. And that’s just in Jerusalem. Hundreds more are throughout the country. 5. This is where Jews belong. Do you need any other reason than that?



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The Cairo Genizah And Anwar Sadat The Ben Ezra Synagogue in the Coptic section of Old Cairo, one of the only surviving remnants of the once glorious Jewish Egyptian community, stands on the place where, according to local legend, Pharaoh’s daughter retrieved baby Moses from the bulrushes along the Nile River. There are many other legends associated with the synagogue, including one that identifies it as the site where Jeremiah gathered the Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple when they were expelled from Jerusalem. The synagogue is most famous, however, for its genizah, an enormous storeroom containing material mostly from the 10th-13th centuries. Long-abandoned and discovered only in the 19th century, it contained hundreds of thousands of sacred and secular manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Persian, and Judeo-Arabic. Its contents included works of momentous theological significance, such as an original 2nd century copy of the Hebrew proverbs of Ben Sira; a 10th century vellum copy of Saadia Gaon’s Torah translation into Arabic; handwritten documents by Yehuda Ha-Levi, R. Yosef Karo, and R. Isaac Luria; and the world’s two oldest haggadot. Other documents ranged from the conventional and ordinary, such as the doodling of a child learning the Hebrew alphabet, miscellaneous business invoices, and mundane correspondence; to blasphemous manuscripts and works of magic and superstition; to marriage contracts and prenuptial provisions. Fortunately for us, rather than burying their sheimos (documents and works containing G-d’s name) and other materials, the Jews of the Ben Ezra community, for some unknown and inexplicable reason, stored the material in a literal hole in the wall where the arid Egyptian air facilitated their preservation for many centuries. This unparalleled archive, a veritable treasure of historically important Judaica, constitutes a unique window into all aspects of Jewish life at the time, including the religious, commercial, political, social, and cultural life of the Jewish community; its internal connections and communications; and its relationships with broader Christian and Muslim societies. After Alexander the Great’s conquests, Jewish communities extended through the Greek world, and many Jews settled in coastal cities such as Alexandria as part of the Pharaohs’ great colonization effort. By the dawn of the Roman era, Egypt had perhaps the largest Jewish population in the world, but the relatively decent relationship between Egyptian Jews and Rome ended with the 2nd century Bar Kochba revolts against Trajan and Hadrian in Eretz Yisrael after the destruction of the Second Temple. Jewish life in Egypt improved dramatically, however, under Islamic rule; from the 10th through 12th centuries, a huge Islamic empire extended through the Middle East and North Africa, and some 90 percent of the world’s Jews lived in its territory. Although some documents from what became known as the Cairo Genizah contain gruesome details of Jewish persecutions through the centuries, including eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the First Crusades, other material upended centuries of prevailing historical theories regarding the mistreatment of Jews and the harsh restrictions placed upon them by their Islamic masters. These records demonstrate that Islamic rulers promoted Jewish self-governance and that Jews were not only tolerated but, to a large extent, integrated into Egyptian social and commercial life. Cairo became the capitol of the Fatimid Caliphate, a dynasty that ruled from 909-1171, with a large Jewish population settling there.

Original AP newspaper photo, June 24, 1992: “Workers outside the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Babylon, Old Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian Antiquities Organization has been restoring Egypt’s oldest synagogue for 10 years with money from the World Jewish Conference [sic].”

Jews, though subject to Islamic law, were allowed to erect synagogues. The date of the founding of the Ben Ezra Synagogue cannot be determined, though records from the Genizah suggests that it may predate 882, when the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria sold a church and its grounds to Abraham ben Ezra, a Jewish native of Jerusalem. (The synagogue was not named for the purchaser but, rather, for Ezra the Scribe of Biblical antiquity.) Nineteenth-century scholars assumed that this transaction was the origin of the Ben Ezra Synagogue, but contemporary researchers argue that this assumption is likely false given that the purchasers of the church were disciples of Babylonian Talmudical academies while the Ben Ezra congregation followed the rival Jerusalem academies. In about 1012, when Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim biAmr Allah ordered the destruction of all Jewish (and Christian) places of worship, the original Ben Ezra Synagogue was torn down. Based upon studies of an incredible carved wooden Torah ark door known to belong to the synagogue (which is now jointly owned by the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and the Yeshiva University Museum in New York and well worth seeing in person), it is estimated that the Ben Ezra was rebuilt in approximately 1030, when caliph Ali az-Zahir sanctioned reconstruction of synagogues and churches. In 1168, the Islamic vizier Shawar ordered the burning of the city of Fustat, the original Arab-Muslim capital in Egypt and now part of Cairo, to prevent it from being conquered by the invading Christian Crusader army. This order included the deliberate burning of the Ben Ezra Synagogue. The year 1168 in Fustat is also important for another reason: It is the year the Rambam (Maimonides), one of the greatest Jewish philosophers and commentators, established residence in Fustat, only a short walk from the Ben Ezra Synagogue, where he lived for 36 years until his death in 1204. There is evidence that the Rambam lived in Fustat for the very purpose of gaining access to the vast assemblage of writings in the Genizah. However, though he served as Nagid, or leader, of the Egyptian community, as a follower of the Babylonian Talmud he was not a member of the Ben Ezra synagogue. Nonetheless, some of the most important documents found in the Genizah include portions of his Mishneh Torah, a draft of Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed), correspondence in his own handwriting, and missives discussing his life and work, all of which constitutes the primary source for much of what we know about him today. Because Jews were generally secure under Egyp-

tian rulers during the Middle ages, Cairo became one of the biggest centers of Jewish life and a leading storehouse for Jewish knowledge, much of which found its way to the Cairo Genizah. After accumulating documents for five centuries, the Genizah documents inexplicably became forgotten during the Ottoman period until the late 19th century, when Romanian Rabbi Jacob Saphir (1822-85) became the first person in centuries to appreciate the significance of the Genizah, which he described in an 1874 book. During the rebuilding of the synagogue (1889-92), an enormous pile of Genizah documents were left outside in the open, during which time Egyptologist Count Riamo d’Hulst studied some of them. In December 1896, Solomon Schechter – a scholar, educator, Conservative theologian, and president of the Jewish Theological Society of America – undertook the first in-depth, contemporary academic investigation of the Genizah documents before arranging to have them sent to various university libraries, where they are still studied today. Prior to 1948, Egypt was home to some 75,000 Jews, but the Egyptian government expelled most of them in the aftermath of Israel’s birth so that, at most, 100 mostly elderly Jews remain in Egypt today and less than a minyan reside in Cairo. Although the Ben Ezra Synagogue no longer functions as a congregation, it is a Historic Cairo UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains the most visited Jewish site in Egypt – although one could argue that the pyramids, which we all know were built by Jewish slave labor, are actually Egypt’s top Jewish site. Surprisingly, one person who was very much concerned about the preservation of the Ben Ezra Synagogue was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Sadat (1918-81), who succeeded President Gamal Abdel Nasser upon his death in 1970, is celebrated for being the first Arab leader to visit Israel (November 1977); for going on to sign the Camp David Accords (1978); and for making peace with Israel, which led to both his being awarded the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize and his assassination by radical Islamists. In this October 11, 1980 correspondence written from Cairo on his presidential letterhead a year before his murder, Sadat writes about the development of what he calls “the Compound of Religions in Sinai,” which is actually the Cairo Multi-Religious Compound containing the holy sites of all three Abrahamic religions, including the Coptic Christian Hanging Church, which dates from the third century; Amr Ibn Al’As Mosque, the first mosque in Egypt; and the Ben Ezra Synagogue:

Continued on p.45

happy17, husbands who yearned forPress the freedom I still Friday, January  The Jewish Page 45 Friday, 2020 July 5, 2019 • The Jewish Press • Page F1

Rachel Bluth is a writer and lecturer with an active practice in the Five Towns, offering advice to couples, young gogue was abandoned but, ironically, was16 this very Singer adults and children. She can be reached at or c/o The Jewish Press, it 4915 Avenue, abandonment that led to an increased awareness of Brooklyn NY, from 11204.p.44 Continued

the importance of preserving Egypt’s heritage, which ins sensitive topics and should be monitored.

became even more pronounced when foreign embassies moved into the area and rejuvenated life there. Since the 1960s, the synagogue had been in structural decline due to, among other things, foundational damage caused by rainwater seepage, groundwater, and soluble salts. It was in this environment, particularly after Historic Cairo was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, that Egypt undertook to establish and sustain the Compound of Religions. As our letter demonstrates, this endeavBy Mrs. Rifka or Schonfeld was strongly supported by President Sadat; it is not often that a head of state writes a personal note to thank a donor for a contribution! “Each one of us is like a sailboat. When the waves of life come, do you get rocked,three-dollar or do you get capsized? The In 1980, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish wrote a kids can’t behave right when feelinitiative right. If It they was don’t Sadat’s difference is resilience.” – Rick Hanson, PhD seminal parenting book entitled How to Talk So Kids we don’t take care of their feelings first,first we serious have a that led to the There are many books that focus on neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to change and reorganize Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. In January little chance of engaging their cooperation. All we’ll about restoring connections following learning or experience. There are books about rewiring yourdiscussions brain for happiness, about 2017, Adele Faber’s daughter Joanna teamed up with have left is our ability to use greater force. And since the Ben Ezra Synagogue. rewiring your brain after injury, or just simply about how rewiring works. Rick Hanson, a psychologist and New her friend Julie King to write a new book for parent- we’d like to reserve brute force for emergencies such as After David York Times bestselling author, recently wrote a new book that focuses on how to rewire yourthe brainCamp for resilience. ing younger children. The 2017 book, entitled How yanking children out of traffic, we’ve got to face this Peace Accordsand were signed Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength and Happiness proves a detailed intensive to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide feelings things head-on. So let’s dig in! approach to reshaping your brain, your thinking, and your response to life’s setbacks. in September 1978, a meetto Life with Children Ages 2-7, utilizes many of the In other words, we have to deal with these negFirst, let me describe what Hanson means by resilience. Resilience is the ability to suffer adversity, trauma or ing between Philip Klutzparenting techniques from the original, but modifies ative emotions before we can deal with the negative setbacks and to keep on going. It’s the capability to fail, but choose to try again. Resilience is necessary inWorld order nick, president of the them for the modern parent and younger children. behavior. Even with children as young as two-yearsto survive and to move forward in life, it is also necessary to thrive and grow. If weJewish are notCongress resilient, we end up (and later The first section of Faber and King’s book deals old, we need to address their negative feelings in shrinking from risks and not advancing. Resilience allows us to deal with stress, work through conflicts, continue President Carter’s Secrewith helping children deal with difficult feelings, ways that are problem-solving, rather than simply atdespite pain and to adapt to a changing world. tary of and and the something many parents want to skip in order to get tempting to shut them down. In Commerce) the book, Faber Resilience feels like one of those soft-skills that you either have or you don’t, something thatMinister would be difficult Egyptian of make Forto the more concrete, what to do section: King describe five common mistakes parents to gain if you aren’t already born with it. Fortunately, Hanson wholly disagrees with thisAffairs idea. He believes that eign to an agreeMost of the parents in my workshops have been when talking to young children aboutled their feelings. it is possible to rewire your brain for resilience. In fact, he has a straightforward twelve-step plan. He explains whichyour the pretty impatient with this first topic: helping children Denial of feelings. ment Afterpursuant you havetomade the foundation as follows: WJC undertook to fishe nance a deal with difficult feelings. They’d like to move right daughter’s favorite grilled cheese sandwich, says Every human being has three basic needs – safety, satisfaction, and connectionproject – that to arefurther grounded our the in spirit on to the second session: how to get your kids to do to you, “I hate grilled cheese sandwiches.” You might ancient evolutionary history. While our circumstances have changed enormously over the last two hundred thouwhat you tell them to do! Not that we don’t care about want to say, “You don’t hate grilledDavid, cheese which sandwichof Camp besand years, our brains have remained largely the same. The neural machinery that enabled our ancestors to how our kids feel. It’s just not generally first priority es! You love grilled cheese sandwiches.” in that came a plan to But repair and satisfy their need for safety by finding shelter, for satisfaction by getting food, and for connection by bonding with for a frazzled parent. Let’s face it, if they did as they moment, she is not goingrenovate to say, the “Oh,Ben right, thanks Ezra Synothers is alive in our brains today. were told, things would go so smoothly and we’d all for reminding me!” agogue. We meet our needs in four major ways: by recognizing what’s true, resourcing ourselves, regulating thoughts, feel great. Philosophy. There areYears always lessons be after the to comfeelings, and actions, and relating skillfully to others and the wider world. The problem is, there’s just no good shortcut to get- taught in life, and as parents we always want to mencement of the He organizes these three needs and the four major ways we meet our needs into a chart, beginning withrestocomting a cooperative kid. You can try, but you will likely teach them. The problemration is that when your child is effort, the synagogue passion and ending with generosity. Hanson explains that the path concludes with generosity because “growing end up knee-deep in a bog of conflict… experiencing negative feelings, is not ready to lisheld a he reopening ceremony the good inside yourself gives you more and more to offer to others.” So what’s the point of all of this? The point is that ten to those lessons. So, in if your son had a fi ght March 2010 that with was Sadatfeel letter we can’t behave right when we don’t right. And a friend in school and you tell him,by “Well, you know attended Israel’s Ambassador to Egypt. However, because the celebration ed keenness to support this project which will Resourcing Regulating Relating An acclaimed educatorRecognizing and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish for close included a traditional “L’Chaim” –community i.e., the drinking help deepening the correct understanding of Safety Compassion Grit Calmin secular and Hebrew Courage to thirty years. She founded and directs SOS, servicing all grade levels studies. A kriah and of alcohol – Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities the Heavenly Messages and serving the princireading specialist, she Mindfulness also offers evaluations, G.E.D. preparation, Motivation social skills training and shidduch coaching. She Satisfaction Gratitude Aspiration canceled the synagogue’s official unveiling, which ples of justice, fraternity and peace. can be reached at 718-382-5437 or Connection Learning Confidence Intimacy Generosity was scheduled to take place a week later. Thanking you once again for that kind gesThis year, the government of Egyptian President ture on your part, I wish you the best of health, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced that it would allohappiness and success. Hanson later clarifies that as you grow each of these individual strengths, you will feel less anxiety and irricate $71 million to restore Jewish holy sites in Egypt, tation, experience less disappointment and frustration, and ultimately feel less lonely, hurt, and resentful. Using The structural integrity of what is known as His- but, after a mass public furor, the Egyptian Antiqthe metaphor of a person as a sailboat, he says that when life’s waves come out you, you will be able to respond toric Cairo, the site of the Multi-Religious Compound uities Authority qualified its statement, declaring with calm rather than capsizing in the storm. and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, has historically faced that the money would be spent on restoring the three Hanson details each of these twelve traits and how to go about embracing them in order to gain grit. For many challenges – some natural, such as earth- holy sites in the Multi-Religious Compound of Historadults, this twelve-step guide can certainly be helpful in building new pathways in the brain to create resilience. ic Cairo. Nonetheless, much of the Egyptian public, quakes and groundwater But, what cansalty you do for children? seepage, and some focusing on the Ezra Synagogue, preventable, including environmental pollution, high Robert Brooks, the author of Raising Resilient Children, suggests theBen following steps that doprotested not placethat the the project should be paid for by wealthy foreign Jews population density and, in particular, a history of child directly into negative or painful experiences: than penurious Egyptians. poor maintenance and governmental neglect. Provide opportunities for chesed. Get your children outrather there helping those less fortunate or those in need. Singer servesyou as Senior Legal Ethics CounSome substantive efforts were under- eyes. Saul Listen closely. See conservation the world through your children’s If youJay have empathy, can better help them care taken in the late 19th century, but the 1952 Egyptian sel with the District of Columbia Bar and is a collector of for others. original Judaica and letters. revolution slowed such efforts toIfa you virtual halt. theare extraordinary Be a strong moral role model. show thatInyou committed to living ethically anddocuments taking care of others, He welcomes comments at wake of the Six-Day War (1967), the Ben Ezra Synayour child will be more likely to follow suit. Help manage destructive feelings. Destructive feelings shouldn’t be ignored; they should be worked through. How does caring for others connect to resilience? Well, the whole that we connected to resilience. Bring the way Parashah toparent Life —isFor the Entire Family! One of the findings of the Harvard study on raising caring children was that “Parents seek toretelling preserve their The Weekly Parashah: Anwho illustrated of the children’s happiness by constantly protecting them from adversity can rob of /coping that are Chumash with them Midrash Volumestrategies 2: Sefer Shemos crucial in their long-term happiness.” Dr. Brooks explains, “If we examine our parental goals, Every it would be an over-simplification to conclude Thousands of families have explored the wonders of Hashem’s Torah in The facet ofnot The Weekly Parashah was designed by its creative team to makethat it a realization these goals require that our children have innerexperience strength competently successfully, day Jaffa Family of Edition, The Weekly Parashah: An illustrated retelling of thethe positive for to the deal entire family. With decadesand of chinuch experience, author Chumash Midrash. Here’s what some them had tothey say about the first We Rabbi Nachman Zakon knowstowhat young readers — and need. resilience. The narrative after day,with with the challenges andofdemands encounter. call this capacity cope and feelwant competent volume, on Sefer Bereishis: is vivid and lively, andstress — a mustand for today’s children — into short, readable Resilience embraces the ability of a child to deal more effectively with pressure, tobroken copeupwith everyday “… it is really beautiful, with wonderful insights and layout ….” sections with intriguing headings. Every page is livened up with sidebars such as challenges, to bounce back from disappointments, adversity, and trauma, to develop clear and realistic goals, to “We purchased the book last week and my kids Fascinating Facts, Who’s Who in the Parashah, and solve problems, toitrelate with others, and to treat oneself and othersQuestions, with respect. Numerous scientific (and myself) cannot put down.” comfortably“This Anyone? The Torah in Our Lives sections parashah book is a FIXTURE “This parashah book isfacing a FIXTURE our boys and girls relevant the Torah is to their studies of children greatatadversity in their lives support the importance ofshows resilience ashow a powerful force. Reat ouroverwhelming Shabbos table. My kids Shabbos table. My kids absolutely LOVEchildren the book. overcome everyday challenges concerns, and Parashah silience explains why some obstacles, sometimes clawing andandscraping their way It is infusing them with the love of Midrashim Pointers gives a super-quick review of the parashah. absolutely book ….” and toand successful adulthood, while others become victimsLOVE of theirthe early experiences environments.” maamarei Chazal.”“… It contains interesting Today’s children expect great graphics — and Resilience an important life skills – whether as an adult or child – and as neuroplasticity demonstrates, Midrashim, relevantisRashis, as well as graphics they’re here! Illustrator Tova Katz has outdoneit examples perfectly to children. Our seven-year-old enjoys it so much (her herself with stunning detailed illustrations that the kids can pore over, while isand never too late suited to rewire your brain!


It is with a deep sense of recognition that I have received your kind message together with the (3) dollar cheque you were good enough to send me as a contribution N A O M I Mon A Uyour E R , Epart D I Tto O Restablishing the Compound of Religions in Sinai. delights me very much, on this occasion, FUCHS,ItEDITORS to hail your humanitarian feelings and noble sentiments as well as your highly appreciat-

Mind Over Manners

A Step-by-Step To Resilience A Survival Guide ForGuide Life With Young Children


parents too ).” designer Yonina Hartstein has made every page — all in full, vivid color — a “Our daughter sits and reads it on Shabbos and enjoys presenting us the masterpiece. The Weekly Parashah also includes a detailed index to the hundreds An acclaimed educator education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has resource servedforthe Jewish community for close questions that are the side duringand the meal ….” of sources, an invaluable parents and educators. We are eagerlyShe awaiting Sefer Shemos in a few weeks!” In today’s hurried there’s no Hebrew better placestudies. for us to interact withand our to “… thirty years. founded and directs SOS, servicing all grade levels in world, secular and A kriah Yes, the specialist, wait is over — Weekly Parashah on Sefer Shemos is now children than at theskills Shabbos table. Theand Weekly Parashah gives us a fantastic reading sheThe also offers evaluations, G.E.D. preparation, social training shidduch coaching. She available, bursting with the same kind of text, features, and illustrations that have way to make the Shabbos table conversation the highlight of the week for both can be reached at 718-382-5437 or made the first volume a beloved instant classic. parents and children.

enjoyed. And, Mrs. Bluth, I looked at them with fear.

Continued on p.F4


The names listed below are Mesarev Ledin or have been Harkhakot D’Rabbeinu Tam. A beth din has issued a seruv against each person listed below for a) withholding a get upon being ordered to grant one, appear before bethwith dinpeople. in lifeb)is refusing tough andtoyou are going to fight matters pertaining to a to get, You just have to get used it.”orHec)isotherwise not going to failing followlike theheorder of awith beththose din negain walk awaytofeeling has dealt matters pertaining to a get. For the halachot tive feelings. regarding how one should treat a person who Questions. If your daughter colors on the counter is mesarev ledin, please consult a competent for the third time that week, you might impulsively Orthodox rabbi.

want to say, “Why did you did you color on the counter again? Didn’t I tell you a million times that the crayons are for paper?!” She will not likely have a JACOB BINSON of Montreal, good answer MOSES to that question, and whatever reason sheCanada, did colorissued on theby counter willZedek still remain. Bet Din of Montreal inComparison. August 2005 When things go wrong, especially in public places like supermarkets, school lobbies, or shuls, we tend to look at the other children who are SHIMON of Brooklyn, New York, we behaving likeKNOPFLER perfect angels. In those instances, want to say, “Look at Shaindel. She’s quietly issued by Beth Din of America, March 2009 helping her mother load her groceries into the bag. How come you can’t do what Shaindel is doing?” This comparSTEVEN SCHER ofthe Roanoke, Virginia, issued ison only emphasizes negative feelings, rather than to get to their core. 2009 by attempting Beth Din of America, November Lecture. Children, especially young children, have a limited amount of information that they can DOVID Brooklyn, take in at aWASSERMAN time. That’s whyof when we beginN.Y. to lecissued Bais Din Tzedek Flatbush, ture we losebythem completely. They of retreat into their negative feelings and hear almost nothing that we December 2017 have said. Now that we’ve gone over all of the mistakes that CHANOCH LEBOVIC of Washington Heights/ parents make when speaking to their children who issuedfeelings, by Beth Dinare Zedek, areToronto/Brooklyn, dealing with negative what some of Kollel Avreichim, March 2011 the good ways that you can help children deal with negative feelings? Faber and King’s main advice revolves around JUTE DAVID You KESTLER of Fairlawn, New problem-solving. can reconnect with your child Jersey, issued by Beth Din of America, March and help them work through those negative feelings in 2012 order to guide them towards better behavior the next time around. This sounds like a grueling process, but in reality, the more you invest in teaching DAVIDsolving, NAHMANNY of Brooklyn, York, problem the less you are going New to need to inissued by Beth Din of America, June 2012 vest in dealing with meltdowns in the long-term. The key is that it’s about cooperation and future actions, not the moment you are struggling with right then. CHAIM HOFFMAN Brooklyn, For thoseYEHUDA specific moments? Faberofand King have New York and Florida, issued by Israeli Rabbinic plenty of tips for those too!

Court, July 2014

MORDECHAI OVADIA of Lakewood, New Jersey or Las Vegas, Nevada, issued by Bet Din Zedek Shaarei Mishpat, March 2015 AARON AKABERI of South Setauket, issued by Beth Din of America, May 2015 YOSSI ELKOUBY of Marbella, Spain and Paris and Lyon, France, issued by Beth Din of London, February 2016 BARUCH GREENWALD of Boro Park, New York, issued by Beth Din of America, July 2016 MEIR KIN of Las Vegas, issued by Rabbi Hershel Shachter, Rabbi Nachum Sauer, & Rabbi Avraham Union, Tammuz 2010 GAVRIEL NACHMAN WALLACH, of Brooklyn, New York, issued by Bet Din Btzedek Tishpoit, January 2018 YONA RENDLER, of Brooklyn, New York, issued by Beth Din of America, February 2019 MOSHE HALBERSTAM, of Brooklyn, New York, issued by Union of Orthodox Rabbis of United States and Canada, July 2013

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Friday, January 17, 2020




The Jewish Press

Page 47






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Page 48

The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

News Briefs Stories That Didn’t Make the Front Pages Israel/Mideast News REPORT: ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE SUPPORTED SOLEIMANI STRIKE Israel provided the United States with intelligence in the operation that resulted in the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 3, NBC News reported over the weekend. The Jewish state helped confirm intelligence provided by informants that Soleimani had flown from Damascus to Baghdad, according to the report.

HAMAS LEADER EULOGIZES SOLEIMANI IN TEHRAN In a Jan. 6 speech in Tehran that aired on Lebanon’s Mayadeen TV, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh offered his condolences to Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leadership, and the Iranian people for the Jan. 3 killing by the United States of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Haniyeh praised Soleimani for his role in building up the Palestinian “resistance,” and said that the Americans’ “heinous crime” reflected the “arrogant and thuggish spirit” that covers for “the massacres in the blessed land of Palestine.” Assassinations such as that of Soleimani, he said, only make Muslims more determined to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine. Haniyeh added that Soleimani is “a martyr for Jerusalem.”

PA PROTESTS AFTER EU CONDITIONS AID ON SEVERING TIES WITH TERROR GROUPS The Palestinian Authority has launched a political campaign to convince the European Union to rescind its decision to prohibit monetary aid to PA-affiliated organizations and institutions if it doesn’t sever all ties with terrorist groups. The campaign has picked up steam in recent weeks after the European Union, for the first time, introduced a fundamental change to the financial-aid contracts Palestinian bodies are required to sign, whereby any cooperation with terrorist organizations will result in the unilateral cessation of funding. The Palestinian campaign to annul this stipulation is based on the claim that “the struggle against Israeli occupation” is not terrorism and that PA institutions included on the European Union terrorist list are political parties for all intents and purposes.

LABOR-GESHER, MERETZ TO RUN ON JOINT TICKET IN ISRAEL’S MARCH 2 ELECTIONS Israel’s left-wing Labor-Gesher and Meretz parties announced on Monday that they will merge ahead of the country’s March 2 elections. The decision followed what insiders in both parties described as marathon talks between Labor leader Amir Peretz and Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz. Both parties feared one of them could fail to clear the 3.25 percent electoral threshold (roughly four Knesset seats) required to enter the Knesset if they ran separately. Talks between the parties ahead of Israel’s April 9 and Sept. 17 elections about a possible joint run were unsuccessful. Ahead of the September elections, Labor instead merged with Gesher, headed by Orly Levy-Abekasis, a former Yisrael Beiteinu lawmaker, while Meretz partnered with former Labor politicians to form the Democratic Union. According to the deal struck between the two par-

The funeral of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds’ Force commander Qassem Soleimani, in Tehran on Jan. 6. (Photo: Maryam Kamyab, Mohammad Mohsenifar via Wikimedia Commons)

ties, Labor-Gesher will have six of the first 11 spots in the new slate, while Meretz will have five. Peretz will lead the new faction, with Levy-Abekasis at the No. 2 slot and Horowitz at No. 3. They will be followed by Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg, and Labor MKs Itzik Shmuli and Merav Michaeli. Former Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan will take the seventh slot, followed by Labor MKs Omer Barlev and Revital Swid, and Meretz’s Issawi Frej at the 11th spot.

ISRAELI FINANCE MINISTER MOSHE KAHLON TO RETIRE FROM POLITICS Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has decided to quit politics, and his name will not be on the Likud list in the upcoming March 2 election, Globes reported on Sunday. Kahlon served as a Likud Knesset member, communications minister, and welfare and social-services minister between 2003 and 2013, after which he took a short break from political life before founding the Kulanu Party in 2014. After Kulanu won 10 seats in 2015 elections, Kahlon joined the coalition of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was appointed finance minister. Kahlon also served as environmental protection minister for a brief stint from May to August 2016, and as economy minister from Aug. 1, 2016 to Jan 23, 2017. However, after Kulanu won only four seats in elections last year, Kahlon decided to merge the party with Likud. Kahlon had committed back in 2018 to pull out of the coalition if Netanyahu were indicted. He discussed the issue with the prime minister, who tried to persuade him not to resign, Ynet reported. Kahlon was quoted as saying that he feels “very tired” after heading the finance ministry for the past five years. It is likely that he will stay in his position until a new government is formed, according to the report.

an government, hundreds of student protesters at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran on Sunday refused to walk over U.S. and Israeli flags. In a video clip of the event, students can be seen making efforts to walk around the flags and berating those that do not. According to some reports, demonstrators also chanted, “Our enemy is Iran, not America.” The demonstration comes in the aftermath of the downing of Ukraine International Flight PS 752, a Boeing 737 that crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran on Wednesday. After days of denying responsibility for the attack, Iran finally admitted to shooting down the airliner. Following the admission, thousands of Iranians took to the streets calling for the leadership to resign. At Tehran’s Amirkabir University on Saturday night, thousands of protesters shouted “Khamenei is over!” and called the government “shameless.” On Monday, videos surfaced of Iranian police and security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas at protesters in Tehran’s Azadi Square.

U.S. News BROOKLYN NETS WARM UP IN SHIRTS FEATURING ADL LOGO ‘NO PLACE FOR HATE’ Prior to playing the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., the home team Brooklyn Nets warmed up in shirts that read “No Place for Hate,” featuring the Anti-Defamation League’s logo. The motto is the ADL’s education program for fighting hatred, bullying, and bias in public schools. — Compiled from reports by JNS and Israel Hayom Please pray for Israel’s captured soldiers

International News IRANIAN STUDENTS REFUSE TO WALK ON U.S., ISRAELI FLAGS DURING PROTEST In an apparent act of defiance against the Irani-

Tzvi Feldman

Yehuda Katz

Ron Arad

Guy Hever

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Beatles And The Sheitels The next time you hear some youngsters singing the praises of The Beatles, don’t laugh at them. After all, the Beatles have done more for the sheitel than any other single group in our entire history. I’m just waiting for the day when some Bais Yaakov school comes out with an announcement that they have the answer to The Beatles, and produce a girls’ choir calling themselves The Sheitels. In our day – as my son says, in the Egyptian era – who ever knew of such fads? At least the heroes we worshipped were Jewish. Who doesn’t remember the days when Benny Goodman was the King of Swing? Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor were the big deals. And when it came to television, at least we had Milton Berle and Sid Silvers. Remember the talk around the shuls about the various choirs who were to sing in the big shuls, and what cantor the little shuls were going to have for the High Holy Days? I remember how even the baseball world came into the thinking of many a Jewish youngster in those years. Who doesn’t remember Hank Greenberg and his home run record? And did you ever catch the conversation of two old-timers at shul discussing Babe Ruth and Hank Greenberg? By the time they got through, you were ready to swear Ruth was a nobody and Greenberg was running the American League. Incidentally, Hank Greenberg’s family used to daven in the same shul we went to in the Bronx. And how everyone waited with great anticipation to see if Greenberg would ever show up. He never did, but you always heard rumors from kids that Greenberg was “just� in the building and had to leave. It gave us a warm feeling of pride even though most of us knew it was not so. I remember how word got around that Jake Pitler, who coached the great Brooklyn Dodgers, would always make sure he was not working on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Baseball was always the icebreaker on the High Holy Days. It made for healthy and wholesome conversation during the lulls in the service. How many of us remember the great shock when we heard that The Goldbergs radio program was going to be on the air on a night like Yom Kippur? And how many remember the subsequent great sigh of relief when we learned the show had been recorded weeks ago and was being put on via transcriptions? And how many of us remember how we looked forward to The Goldbergs, usually a night or two before the High Holy Days, when they would have a segment of the program telling how they all went to shul. And they would usually have a well-known cantor sing a part of the liturgy. Remember those days? Today, when they have hundreds of

excellent radio and television programs telling about our great heritage, you practically have to fight with the kids to tune in. My little brother Berel told me the other day about a show that was on television shortly before Passover that discussed the Seder service. He said his youngsters watched the show only because the set in their room was broken and only one channel worked on the set in his living room. After the program, he turned to the kids and asked them if they learned anything. The answer? “Yes, we should get another TV set.� In the good old days, when our folks hid the afikomen on Passover, we were lucky if we got 25 cents, and in later years a half dollar. Today the kids tell you, “It’s a buck or you go look for it yourself!� Even the music of today has changed so much that when you hear a Jewish song from the old Yiddish theater, the kids turn and ask, “On what holiday do they sing that one?� I was visiting a friend the other night and we got to discussing the Yiddish music that will live on for hundreds of years despite the new vogue in music. This friend told me he loved Yiddish music and had a number of records. So he pulls out one record and puts it on his expensive high-fidelity set. I listened and listened, and a strange thing happened. They were playing all the Yiddish songs in a chacha tempo. The album was Bagels and Bongos. So today you can listen to Yiddish music, do a cha-cha, and continue to have the culture of our Yiddishkeit live on. My son’s only comment was, “Maybe that’s how they play Yiddish music in South America?� And you know something? He might be right! And the changes that have taken place in the yeshivas and the Hebrew schools throughout our great nation. Remember when we had a Chumash to read from and that was it? Today the kids get books with pictures that tell the whole story. Who has to read? And the arithmetic they learn in school – everything is designed for the world of tomorrow with computers. They give the kids exercises for their fingers so that they will have enough energy to push a button when they grow up. Heaven forbid a kid should get a hangnail in the future – he wouldn’t be able to do arithmetic. Last week, I discussed some of the things we did in school when we were kids. A friend of mine called me the other day and said that I have created something new: “internal integration.� When I asked what he meant, he explained that Harry Golden one time proposed a “vertical integration� in the South. At that time, civil rights groups were picketing restaurants because some restaurants would not serve black customers at tables. Golden suggested

Continued on p.65

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words. For example, shilu in Indian is supposedly the same as shiloh in Hebrew; the word for man in Indian is ish or ishie. Other â&#x20AC;&#x153;similarâ&#x20AC;? words are given by Adair and others. But to believe that most of them are similar to Hebrew words would seem to require quite a stretch of the imagination.

The Belief in One God â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is said that among all the aboriginal tribes and nations of both North and South America, whatev718.377.8375 â&#x20AC;˘ er may have been said by the Spaniards to the contrary, they acknowledged one, and only one God, and this again is taken by the advocates of the Jewish origin of the American Indians as further proof that this people are descendants of the Jews. [A certain] Dr. Boudinot [who was purported to be an expert on 5319 16th Ave. 718.438.3402 American aborigines] says of the Indians that they Brooklyn, New York 11204 718-854-2911 516.295.4141 were never known, whatever mercenary Spaniards may have written to the contrary, to pay the least adoration to images or dead persons, to celestial luminaries, to evil spirits, or to any created beings whatever; in which Mr. Adair concurs, adding that none of MORE MUSIC AND OTHER SIMCHA SERVICES the numerous tribes and nations, from Hudson Bay to the Mississippi, have ever been known to attempt the formation of any image of God.â&#x20AC;? Counting Time â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Indians count time after the manner of the Hebrews. They divide the year into spring, summer, autumn and winter. They number their years from any of those four periods, for they have no name for a year, and they subdivide these and count the year by lunar months, like the Israelites who counted by moons. They begin a year at the ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst appearance of the ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst new moon of the vernal equinox, according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses.â&#x20AC;? The person who wrote this seems to have been totally unaware of the fact that the Hebrew calendar is based upon complex calculations that take into account both solar and lunar phenomena.



elderly would have Jacob and prosell his house and move in with his kids. Friday, January 17, 2020 ď Ź assisted TheJewish Jewish Press ď Źď Ź Page 51 Friday, Friday, Friday, September September August 14, 31, 7, 2018 ď Ź Pin age 49 61 53 65 Friday, November 2, 2018 Press Friday, November 9, Friday, January 4, 2019 ď Ź The Jewish Press ď Ź Page 59 Friday, August , 2018 ď Ź The P ressRachel ď Ź  ď Ź Had Jacob and Rachel planned ahead and creat- tecting their hard earned wealth from being neglied a special trust designed for the elderly, Jacob and gently squandered away, and would have allowed the


Jews, the Indians of America have their prophets, high priests and others of a religious order. As the Jews had a sanctum sanctorum (holy of holies), so in general have all the Indian nations. There they deposit their consecrated vessels, none of the laity daring to approach that sacred place. Indian tradition says that their fathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine spirit, by which they foretold future things and controlled the common course of nature; and this power they transmitted to their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred laws annexed pertaining thereto.â&#x20AC;? William Penn WK K theory W William WWKUHHVWDU WKUHHVWD KUHHVWDU HH was VWDU VWD VW U Another proponent of WKUHH this 3KRWRJUDSK\/WG Penn (1644-1718), the founder and â&#x20AC;&#x153;absolute proprietorâ&#x20AC;? of the Provence (colony) ofSam Pennsylvania, Shlagbaumwhich â&#x20AC;˘ 9LGHR  eventually became the Commonwealth PennsylvaFreddyofLevitz Â&#x2021;&DQGLGV nia. Â&#x2021;:HGGLQJV %DU0LW]YDKV Penn wrote the following to a friend in England: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I Â&#x2021; found them [the0RYLHV Indians of the eastern shore of North (718) 376 - 1922 America] with like countenances with the Hebrew race; and their children a resemblance to 1609 AvenueofMso- lively Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;klyn, NY them that a man would think himself in Dukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place, or Barry street, in London, when he sees them.â&#x20AC;? Elijah Haines, the author of The American Indian, points out, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Here, without the least previous idea of those natives being Israelites, that shrewd man was struck with their perfect resemblance of them, and with other things. He speaks of their dress and trinkets as notable like those of ancient Israel. Mr. Penn further adds that the worship of this people consists in two parts, sacriď&#x192;&#x17E;ces and cantos (songs). The ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst is with their ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst fruits, and the ď&#x192;&#x17E;rst buck they kill goes to the ď&#x192;&#x17E;re; and that all who go to this feast must take a piece of money, which is made of the bone of a ď&#x192;&#x17E;sh. (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;None shall appear before me empty.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; [A reference to Shemos 34:20])â&#x20AC;?

Widespread Belief The belief that the aborigine peoples living in the New World were descendents of the lost tribes was widely accepted during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Indeed, the prominent Jewish leader Mordechai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) was convinced of this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On February 14, 1837 he [Noah] delivered, under the auspices of the Mercantile Library Association, a Prophets and High Priests â&#x20AC;&#x153;In conformity to, or after the manner of the lecture on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jewish Antiquities,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; or the lost ten tribes.

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Book Shelf Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, Hero of the Kindertransport An Interview with Riki Goldstein, author of a new young adult book about Dr. Schonfeld By Sarah Einhorn When the world turned upside down and evil men decided to wipe out a whole nation, what could just one person do to stop them? When no one was interested in sending their children to Jewish schools, what could just one person do to change their minds? If that person was 26-year-old Solomon Schonfeld, the answer is: a lot. Schonfeld believed with all his strength that Hashem was on his side, and he was determined to use all his talents to do what G-d demanded. With this belief and determination, he saved the lives of thousands of children and families. Who was Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, the man who saved generations of Jewish children from the Nazis, gave them new homes and families and schools and even pocket money, who taught thousands of Jewish children to be proud Torah Jews? Whose was the creative mind who sent dozens of “synagogue-ambulances” driving through the rubble-strewn remains of Europe’s glorious Jewish communities, offering relief and aid, extracting children from Christian homes and spiriting them away to safety? Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, Hero of the Kindertransport (Menucha), written by native Londoner Riki Goldstein, introduces today’s youth to vital history about the Nazis, the Kindertransport, and the Holocaust in an accessible and child-friendly way. Perhaps more importantly, it shows them the power of ahavas Yisrael and of an individual’s willpower. Young readers are treated to a slice of Jewish history presented as a gripping true story – personal, relatable, and fascinating. They are transported to a different time and place, exploring a crucial period in our history through the life of one of its heroes. When I interview Riki Goldstein, I realize how well versed she is in this chapter of Jewish history. Still, what made her decide to write this particular book? “Actually, the idea wasn’t mine,” Riki says. “I had just finished writing a family book for private dis-

Dr. Schonfeld (wearing cap) greeting a boat of children.

A group of Schonfeld’s Kinder on the boat to England.

tribution, which was edited by one of the Menucha Publishers team.” As she edited that book, she noticed detailed mention of Dr. Schonfeld’s activities. She realized “I was knowledgeable about his life and thought I’d have the information – and the passion –

to share his life story with young readers.” The book is geared to junior readers. “The Holocaust and Kindertransport are difficult topics to teach children, but it is extremely important for them to learn about them,” Riki notes. “The book acts as an introduction to this crucial and difficult period of our people. Even though the book is about the Holocaust, it is still an upbeat story which focuses on positive outcomes.” Riki has been writing for approximately seven years. She has authored hundreds of magazine articles in a variety of genres. This is her first published book for the public, though. “Dr. Schonfeld was a hero, and I thought that children as well as adults have lots to learn from him,” she says. “His accomplishments affected thousands of children and, obviously, the generations that followed them.” She shares the amazing scope of those accomplishments. “Even before World War II, [Dr. Schonfeld] was an educational pioneer and established the first Orthodox schools in England, saving many from assimilation. Then he saved thousands of children from the deathly claws of the Nazis. By bringing them from Nazi-occupied Europe to safety, he ensured their survival; by caring and educating them, he ensured their eternity. “Even though his rescue mission took place in Europe and England, it was not only those places that were affected. His story is something that in essence directly affects people in a variety of countries all over the world. Many of the children whom he rescued moved on to North and South America, Israel, and all over the world, where their descendants now live.” Schonfeld didn’t just save the children from a distance, but got involved in their struggles. “He was a father figure and had a personal relationship with

Continued on p.53

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

Page 53

The Book Shelf Einhorn Continued from p.52 many of the children,” Riki says. “He remembered all their names even years later. He took care of their emotional needs as best as he could, giving lonely children hugs, and pocket money when they needed

Dr. Schonfeld in uniform.

it.” She adds that he was adored and looked up to by the youngsters, and children whom he rescued from the terrors of Nazi Europe described him as their savior.

It seems strange that Dr. Schonfeld, described as a compassionate father figure, was able to accomplish so much and get government permission for refugees to enter England when others were not able to. “Dr. Schonfeld was compassionate and kind to the children,” Riki explains, “but in truth he was a strong, forceful, and persuasive personality. When it came to rescuing Jews trapped in Europe, he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was fearless and unafraid to fight with the government for the required visas. He raised the money for the Dr. Schonfeld’s handwritten notes about a child whom he rescued. See name, origin, visas single-handedly. He and date of birth. (Photos courtesy of Schonfeld family archives) knocked on people’s doors and asked not if they can take in refugee children but himself.” how many refugee children they could take. People “Don’t get me wrong,” Riki clarifies. “He didn’t only were unable to refuse him.” demand of others. He practiced what he preached. He “Rabbi Schonfeld was also very creative,” she con- constantly took children into his schools when they tinues. “He had big ideas. He went to the government could not pay any tuition. Even when the war was to ask for visas for rabbis from Germany to be al- over, he ensured education and jobs for the orphans.” lowed into England. He was asked how many rabbis During the process of writing the book, she had he wanted to bring over. Rabbi Schonfeld gave the the opportunity to interview a man who was saved on shocking number of 500. ‘How will all these rabbis the Kindertransport, as well as Dr. Schonfeld’s son support themselves in England?’ the government of- Jonathan, now living in London. “It was unreal to see ficial asked. Dr. Schonfeld responded that he had jobs the lists of children in Dr. Schoenfeld’s own writing for all of them. Some he named as teachers, some rab- and many pictures that they have of the children that bis, some chazzanim (cantors), some would take care were saved,” Riki shares. “Just one of those children of the synagogue buildings. He got visas for 500 rab- has now often left behind them hundreds of Jewish bis and their families! He found some sort of position souls.” for each rabbi and often supported them financially Book is recommended for children in grades 3-6.

Rambam Press Makes Rambam More Accessible For All Ages By Baruch Lytle Jewish Press Staff Writer In December of 2003 a Stamford Hill, London dentist started hand-writing summaries of Rambam’s Mishnei Torah to make learning the iconic text easier for his two young sons. 15 years later, Rambam Press was born. Rambam Press went online with its website just before Tisha B’Av 2016 with an initial small collection of Mishneh Torah learning tools, study maps and children’s books. Its signature offering, “Studying Rambam, A Companion Volume to the Mishneh Torah” comes in an 8-set Comprehensive Summary edition, as well as a single book Concise Summary edition. Each edition summarizes the 1000 chapters of Mishneh Torah in English, and the Concise edition also highlights the 613 mitzvot. “I started summarizing because the Lubavicher Rebbe was encouraging us to learn,” Baruch Davidoff, founder of Rambam Press and author of “Studying Rambam” told The Jewish Press. “My sons were 11 and 13 at the time. We started learning one chapter a day, but I could see it was difficult for them. I like writing, so I started summarizing each chapter. I was doing it just as much for myself as my children. I had no idea it was going to become a full-blown project.” Davidoff grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and attended Rand University (now a part of the University of Johannesburg). He received a Bachelors Degree in Dental Surgery in 1973 and has been practicing dentistry for 46 years. Davidoff admits this may not make him the conventional style author for such a re-

vered text. “Halacha is not something you play around with.” He reached out to Rabbi Shabsi Tayar, Dayan of Mehadr Beis Din in Melbourne, Australia. Together, they spent a year online doing revisions and getting the halacha right. In the introduction of Studying Rambam, Rabbi Tayar said he had “examined and checked the vast majority of Dr. Baruch Davidoff’s work.” “Writing a summary is always challenging since the compiler must accurately capture the key points of the text he feels should be highlighted,” Rabbi Tayar told The Jewish Press. “Dr. Davidoff’s exciting publication drives home the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s message that learning Rambam is within everyone’s reach.” Rabbi L. Y Raskin, Dayan of the Lubavitch Synagogue in Stamford Hill, also acknowledged Davidoff’s work. “The Rambam’s own mission statement was to facilitate access to Torah law to all, young and old,” Raskin said in the introduction to Studying Rambam. “This current project put togeth-

er by Dr. Davidoff serves that very purpose.” “In the end,” says Davidoff, “a lot of people were involved in the process of putting this together.” Davidoff brought his Rambam Press offerings to a book fair at the 2019 International Conference of Schluchim in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. “It was successful, Baruch Hashem. We received initial orders for over 20 sets.” Of his overall success with Rambam Books he said, “We are still developing the website, but we’ve had a nice launch and we’ve sold about 1700 books so far.” In the end, Davidoff’s Rambam proved to be a hit for his children as well. “Each [of my children] have copies of the books and each looks at them on their own level at their own time. My son has been learning with his own children whose ages vary from 1-9. My 9-yearold granddaughter asked if I could give her friends my Rambam books. A week later she asked again to see [if I had followed through]. She meant business!”

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020


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When one contemplates the qualities of a leader, one might reach the conclusion that a leader is someone who can influence his people to follow his ideas and is able to inspire them to action. Perhaps equally, however, a leader is one who is so dedicated to his people and to his ideals that he would give up everything – even his life – for the sake of his dreams and objectives. Such were the qualities of our greatest leader, teacher, and prophet, Moshe Rabbeinu. When the Jewish people built the Golden Calf, Moshe forfeited the greatest gift that was given to him, to the Jewish people, indeed to the entire world: the Ten Commandments. In his hour of disappointment and shame over the sin of the Jewish people, Moshe cast away the most precious legacy that Almighty G-d had bestowed upon him – all because of his greater love for the Jewish people. Later, when Moshe returned to G-d to ask Him to forgive the Jewish people, he was prepared to surrender his entire future by proclaiming to G-d that if He did not pardon the Jewish people, then “erase me from your Torah that you are writing.” Moshe, leader of the Jewish people par excellence, was ready to abdicate all fame and fortune for the sake of his constituency – just so that his people would survive. Moshe, according to our Sages, was punished for his behavior. They comment that in the entire Parsha of Tetzaveh, his name is omitted – a statement by G-d that Moshe’s challenge to G-d might have been inappropriate and ill-conceived. One may, however, question G-d’s response. For after all, G-d reacted to Moshe’s plea with a promise that the Jewish people are forgiven! Why would G-d then use Moshe’s argument and turn it around to punish him when he had displayed such love and devotion for the Jewish people? Perhaps there is another reason for the deletion of Moshe’s name. The first time that Moshe encountered G-d was when he witnessed a fascinating sight: A bush was burning upon the mountain but it was not being consumed by the fire surrounding it. When Moshe approached to witness this phenomenon, Almighty G-d appeared to him and eventually charged him with the task of going to Pharoah and demanding the freedom of the Jewish people. For an entire week, our Sages tell us, Moshe refused this charge, until finally Almighty G-d gave this responsibility to his brother Aharon. Aharon became the spokesman instead of his brother, Moshe. Our Sages say that it was because of Moshe’s unwillingness to assume this responsibility of leadership that Aharon was given the honor of the High Priesthood, something that was originally intended for Moshe. But just as Aharon had no envy toward his brother, Moshe, so Moshe had no resentment about the job given to Aharon. Each of the brothers loved each other without jealousy and celebrated the success of the other with love and sensitivity. Perhaps after all, when it came to the Mishkan, it was Aharon’s time to shine. The entire portion of Tetzaveh deals with the garb of the High Priest, something which identifies the role of Aharon. Moshe didn’t want his name to be included in this portion, for all the credit and honor belonged to his brother Aharon. The love that they displayed represented a love that was not based on any stipulation – a pure love, a love of one who unselfishly cares for his brother without envy or resentment. This example of perhaps the two greatest leaders in our history should reflect upon all of us. Enough of the downgrading and finding fault in our brothers and sisters! Enough of the hate that is perpetuated through division and finding fault! We need to focus on the good within people, to find areas that we have in common and that unite us, not that divide us. Certainly we have much more in common with our brothers and sisters than the foolishness that divides us. We need to show pride in each other and in the Jewish people.

Friday, January 17, 2020


Restoring the Primacy of Choshen Mishpat


Restoring the Primacy of Choshen Mishpat

Mr. Chovel and Mr. Alter were neighbors who did not get along well. One day, the two got into a heated argument, and, in his rage, Mr. Chovel pushed Mr. Alter, who fell to the ground and sprained his ankle. When Mr. Alter recuperated, he demanded payment from Mr. Chovel. Mr. Chovel balked, arguing that Mr. Alter suffered no permanent injury. So Mr. Alter sued Mr. Chovel in Rabbi Dayanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beis din. Before the two parties presented their respective cases, they signed a binding arbitration agreement (shtar borerus), which is standard nowadays. In explaining to the two men the halachic basis of any verdict the beis din would reach, Rabbi Dayan said as follows: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We know that a person who causes injury is liable to make five payments: nezek (disability, permanent injury), tzaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ar (pain), ripui (medical expenses), sheves (lost wages) and boshes (embarrassment). We appraised each of theseâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Mr. Chovel interjected, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But beis din is not halachically authorized nowadays to adjudicate cases of bodily injury!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Indeed,â&#x20AC;? Rabbi Dayan replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;dayanim semuchim with an unbroken chain of ordination from Moshe Rabbeinu are necessary. Such dayanim became rare in the Roman period and havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t existed for approximately 1,500 years now. The Gemara [Bava Kamma 84] states that dayanim who are not

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semuchim are authorized midâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Rabbanan to adjudicate only cases that involve loss of capital, which excludes fines (knasos), and that are common, which excludes bodily injury. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Shulchan Aruch writes that nezek, tzaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ar, and boshes are excluded, but not sheves and ripui, whereas the Rema writes that even sheves and ripui cannot be adjudicated. Nonetheless, the Geonim instituted that beis din can require the injurer to appease the victim with a sum close to what they privately appraise [Choshen Mishpat 1:2, 5]. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moreover, some say that when people come before beis din nowadays on such an issue, beis din can adjudicate and obligate the injurer to pay.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why is that?â&#x20AC;? asked Mr. Chovel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because a person can accept upon himself judges who are otherwise disqualified, such as a relatives, thieves, or common people [Choshen Mishpat 22:1],â&#x20AC;? replied Rabbi Dayan. He continued: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Shaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ar Mishpat [Choshen Mishpat 1:1] addresses the question of whether non-semuchim who are accepted to adjudicate knasos (fines) may do so. He leaves the question open, but he takes for granted that they can adjudicate monetary obligations that are not common, such as those for bodily injury [Choshen Mishpat 22:2]. The Beis Yehuda [Choshen Mishpat 1:1] maintains that it is possible to accept non-semuchim even for knasos cases [Pischei Teshuvah 1:3]. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nowadays, when people come before beis din, they almost always sign an arbitration agreement in which they accept the authority of the beis din,â&#x20AC;? concluded Rabbi Dayan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thus, based on the Shaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ar Mishpat and Beis Yehuda, beis din can also judge cases of bodily injury [Mishpat Kâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;halachah 420:44, p. 482].â&#x20AC;? Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute headed by Rav Chaim Kohn. To pose a question or to engage a BHI lecturer, call 877-845-8455 or e-mail To receive BHIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newsletter, e-mail




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Friday, January 17, 2020

24/7 Zmanim Readers are advised to check in advance to ensure that events meet their religious standards.

All Around Town Submit events to three weeks in advance. SHABBOS, JANUARY 18 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Shabbat Service. 8:30 A.M. Park East Synagogue, 163 E. 67th St., Manhattan. Led by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, Secretary General of the U.N. His Excellency Antonio Guterres. RSVP 212-7376900.

MOTZEI SHABBOS, JANUARY 18 The Flat-- movie screened by the Sisterhood of The Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, 60 West End Ave., Brooklyn. 7:30 P.M. $9 with popcorn and nosh. Any questions call Vivian


SUNDAY, JANUARY 26 Annual Day of Kabbalah: Kabbalah and the Body.Explore the heart of Kabbalah. 10:00-5:00. JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan. 646-505-5708.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 “ The Children of Survivors.” Presentations by Milkhal Dekel, LLB & Ph.D and Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis, children of survivors. Stories, stranger than fiction that the Children of Survivors tell about their Parents life-transforming experiences. 1:00 P.M. Studio 353, 353 W. 48th Street, Manhattan. -2nd Fl. Complimentary .Kosher ,Bagels with the trimmings, Danish and Coffee &/or tea. RSVP 212- 869-9477.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 26 Chazaq presents Stop

Hate. Presentation by Rabbi Paysach Krohn. 8:00 P.M. The Five Towns Premier, 1050 Central Ave., Woodmere, N.Y. Free. RSVP

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9 Dirshu World Siyum. 6:15 P.M. Prudential Center sold out. NJPAC men’s venue. Newark Symphony Hall women’s venue. 347-85-siyum.

Singular Experience Submit events to three weeks in advance.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 Widows and widowers luncheon. 1:00 P.M. Glen Rock Jewish Center, 682 Harristown Rd., Glen Rock,

N.J. 201-652-6624. arbgr@ Music Place followed by Jewishdatelines Jewish Radio Show. 10:00-11:30 P.M. on AM 1300 WRCR inside Rockland or listen via the internet at www. or via the telephone conference call at 646-5195860 pin:8574#. 

Clinton Ave., Tenafly, N.J. 201-408-1456.



Sophisticated Singles ages 35-55 Roundtable Rap. 7:30 P.M. JCC, 15 Neil Ct., Oceanside, L.I. 516-766-4341 x 133 Wise Aging Workshop. Ages 60+. 3:45-5:45 P.M. Discover resources and support to live your later years with spirit, resilience, and wisdom. Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue. Manhattan. RSVP 646-505-5708.  Widows and widowers support group meeting. 6:15 P.M. JCC on the Palisades, 411 E.

Wednesday Nite Rap, Ages 40+, 7:30 P.M. Samuel Field YMHA, 58-20 Little Neck Pkwy, Queens 718-225-6750 x 243. Connections, support group for ages 50+ widows and widowers. 7:30 P.M. Suffolk JCC, 74 Hauppauge, Commack L.I. 631-462-9800. suffolkyjcc. org.  Single’s Chat and Chew with weekly topics for singles. Discussions around being single, dating, personal growth, etc. 8:15 P.M.. Suffolk JCC, 74 Hauppauge, Commack L.I. 631-462-9800

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21 Tuesday talks with Rabbi Jonathan Feldman. 7:30 P.M. MJE East, 5 E. 62nd St., Manhattan. 212-787-9533. International Folk Dancing. Beginners (Israeli dance) 7:00-8:00 P.M. Intermediate (international) 8-10 p.m. American Legion Hall, 115 Southern Parkway, Plainview, L.I. 516-921-0003.  Divorce Support Group. 8:15 P.M. Suffolk JCC, 74 Hauppauge, Commack L.I. 631-462-9800.  Senior group ages 55+. 7:30 P.M. Town and Village Synagogue Hazak Committee. 334 E. 14th St., (bet. 1st an 2nd Aves.) Manhattan. 212-6778090.

PRESIDENTS’ WEEKEND, FEBRUARY 14-16 Baila Sebrow and Meir Eichlerand JSTF present Shabbat With Friends 2020. Crown Plaza Danbury. 18 Old Ridgebury Rd., Danbury, Ct. Late 30’s-50’s. email, Register

Friday, January 17, 2020

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I Don’t Want To Marry A ‘Learning’ Boy Dear Dating Coach, I am ready to start dating, and although I am a ‘Bais Yaakov type’ of girl, I have learned that I seem to be an anomaly. Many of the girls that are the same “type” as me want a boy who will learn (even at least for a while) after they are married. While I look and act like these girls, I do not want to marry a “learning” boy. I have been told by countless people that I must not mention this to shadchanim or I will only be set up with more “modern” boys. Should I pretend to want to marry a “learning” boy just to preserve “type”? Miss Labeled Dear Labeled, I have always been a stickler for organization. I like nothing more than a linen closet with neatly stacked towels, or a cutlery drawer with utensils aligned just right. The preschool here however, LOVES organization. Every classroom sparkles at attention with serene order and cleanliness. Every shelf is arranged like perfectly pressed origami where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. My fa-

Should I Call Her On Her Birthday? Dear Proud Birthday Girl, Since I was single until I was over 30, I can understand why some people would want a call on their birthday and why others wouldn’t. Some think, “Please don’t remind me that I’m a year older. Everyone else has moved on while I’m still stuck in the shidduch scene.” Having been there myself, I know that being an older single can get very lonely. Even now, I would prefer that people forget that I’m getting older, espe-

vorite section is the coloring corner (of course now elevated to the ‘creative arts center’) where organization shines with precision. Circular containers hold colored pencils like single soldiers standing at attention – just waiting for a freshly Purell’ed hand to use to Pinterest perfection. Orange pencils, red pencils, and green pencils all fill their own canisters, never daring to mix or radically cross rainbow lines. Sometimes, when I look at those pencils, I feel this evil Jackson Pollack on my shoulder daring me to put just one orange pencil into the green pencil container. (I know – the horror!) So, if you ever go there and see one lone blue tip hanging with the reds, you know it was me. Please don’t tell. Code Red I sympathize with your situation, and I am so glad that you have taken the time to consider your options. Unfortunately, in shidduchim we do like to put daters into neatly labeled boxes, organized by type and preference. When someone doesn’t fall exactly into the category that they seem to be a part of, the shadchan doesn’t know which pile your resumé should belong to. Every classification is meant to help the shadchan offer appropriate suggestion to the majority. When there is someone who leans toward one group, but doesn’t tick every box, people may still encourage them to accept the label in order to expedite the dating process. Code Orange However, you are not a package that needs to get from point A (date) to point B (chuppah) as fast as possible. You are a person that is on a journey to meet their bashert, and honesty is integral to that

cially since many of my peers are making bar mitzvahs for their kids while I haven’t even had a child yet. Yet, some people may feel totally forgotten if no one calls them on their birthday. They may think, “It would be nice if people remembered that I exist.” Calling can be a double-edged sword, so I disagree with you. I don’t think every single should be called on her birthday. In my humble opinion, I think you should try your best to figure out the feelings of each friend and think long and hard whether she would appreciate it or not. Let’s face it: What you think is nice and sweet may be perceived by another as mean, cruel, and obnoxious. Over the years, I’ve made a lot of friends and I know many of them have different personas. So I would only call the ones I thought would truly appreciate it. The last thing I wanted to do is hurt any of my friends by ruining their birthday. Things may be different for guys, but with girls I think it’s 50/50 whether they would appreciate the gesture or be furious by it. I asked my brothers and husband what they thought, and the response I got

Advertise your singles event on The Jewish Press’s weekly Singles Page. Call 718-330-1100 x301 or 302. Or e-mail

process. Pretending to want a long-term ‘learning boy’ simply to conform to type is dishonest and can only hurt your chances of meeting and marrying the right person for you. Any misrepresentation before marriage will only interfere with your shalom bayis and lay a shaky foundation for your future. Code Yellow Nonetheless, honesty does not mean you must state who you are and what you want in absolutes. In shidduchim there must always be a degree of flexibility. This makes us open to possibility and opportunity. So, when you speak to shadchanim, tell them that you are a Bais Yaakov type girl who wants a boy who shares those same values, but you prefer someone who will already be working. Be clear that you will not discount a boy who perhaps wants to learn for a year before joining a business, or while finishing school. Life is fluid, and sometimes a rigid view can limit our pool of choices. Drawing a line in the sand can often leave you stranded and alone. Instead, explain your preference, but be clear that your heart is open to ideas, while your hashkafa is firm and resolute. This will give them a better understanding of who you are, and will actually allow them to connect you with boys like you – who worried that they would need to compromise on the caliber of girl that they hoped for because they are already working. Sometimes narrowing the field is all a shadchan needs to make that perfect match, creating a new shade of mazel and joy. Henni Halberstam is a dating and marriage coach. To schedule a phone session with her, or to contact her for any other reason, e-mail hennihalberstam@gmail. com.

was pretty much unanimous: “Of course they should call.” My sample may not be representative since I would classify my husband and brothers as “typical guys,” but I would imagine that most guys would feel this way. Of course, you are bound to come across an exception here and there, but overall, when it comes to a guy, you should call. I would like to offer a suggestion if you are going to call (whether a guy or a girl): Try to think of a shidduch to redt the person. It may help ease the potential awkwardness of the birthday boy or girl in case he or she is not thrilled by the reminder that another year has passed without a walk down the aisle. Sincerely, G. Benyamini Questions and comments can be sent to

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Friday, January 11, 2019

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broken Syn- longed to Italy since 1912) after Benito Mussolini dethe“With Sha’area Shalom heart…and in tears, Rho- cided to make an alliance with Hitler and anti-Semiagogue in Salisbury, the child desia, the Abraham, colonial name tism increased. While many Jews from Rhodes made the son of my daughfor what is now Harare, their way to the United States, a small group found ter, was taken from refuge in Rhodesia, founded a congregation by 1931, Zimbabwe. By Israel Mizrahi us Salisbury by G-d in found an in- itself and on June 1, 1958, consecrated a new synagogue stant to byan a lightning home unlikely group building named Sha’are Shalom. strike…on of immigrantMonday, Jews in this The first publication I acquired records a wedding the 14th of Tamuz, FormeratIsraeli Minister less Moshe period, with a steady but service Sha’are Defense Shalom Synagogue thanArens three 5614, as I sat down away on Monday at the age of 93. small stream of Jews mov-passed months after its consecration. The ceremony was led With paper at a premium centuries ago, peo- to study with him and four additional children, A leader in rabbis, the Beitar youth movement of Ze’ev Jathe local Rabbi Dr. Manfred Papo (formerly Two booklets I came across this week are from a ing there from the small but ancient Jewish commu- by ple often used the free-ends of books they owned him being the youngest of them, aged four years botinsky, Arens served in the U.S. Army Corps of Enthemonths. Isle of Rhodes. of Vienna) and Rev. Rabbi Samuel Rodrigues-Pereira distant land various in what events, feels likesuch a different world. Theyoldnity and of four An attractive and intelligent to document as family births gineers during World War II, but made aliyah in 1948 In the 1930s, many Jews left Rhodes (which bewere published in 1958 and 1963, respectively, by (whose father was the rabbi at Montefiore Synagogue boy, he knew the Hebrew alphabet and their vowand deaths. and joined the Irgun against the wishes of his parents. in Ramsgate Kent). Occasionally, you find a volume with an in- els and was able to translate over 150 words from A founding member of Herut, along with Menachem second curiousStates, servicestudyof the scription that makes you feel like you were in the Hebrew to Yiddish…may his soul rest in peace. Begin,The Arens then publication returned to is thea United Provincial Grand Lodge of S. Rhodesia at the synAll men and women, old and young, from our peoroom when it was penned. One example is a set of ing aeronautical engineering at MIT and Caltech, and agogue. As was common in times past, many Jews Chumashim I recently acquired that was printed ple as well as from the gentiles who knew the child, marrying his wife Muriel. were members of a local masonicwhere lodge Arens – the Masons in Vienna in 1794. The volumes were owned by a cried out in response to the fire that struck us.” The couple returned to Israel, taught beings one of the few organizations of kindhead that Israel Mizrahi is the owner of Mizrahi BookJoseph Dov Schlesinger, and on the final leaf of one at the Technion. In 1962, he was appointed its deputy didn’t bar Jews. of them, Schlesinger details the unusual death of store in Brooklyn, NY, and He of Israel Aircraft Industries, helping to develop Israel’s can be reached at his grandson Avraham: The service anArava interesting procession Kfir fighter jet and included the Israeli cargo plane, two and alternating songs between members of theIsrael lodge projects which ultimately earned him the 1971 Defense Prize. of the synagogue assisted by the synaand members Arens was elected to the Knesset as a member of Ligogue’s choir. kud inPrayers 1973, serving and then again from for the until Dutch1992, and English royal families 1999 to 2003. also served as Israel’s ambassador were made,Arens the Torah was read, a sermon was given to the United States andDr. defense minister times. by the rabbi, Rabbi Manfred Papo,three and the serArens is considered berecitation one of Prime Minister vice concluded with to the of “God SaveBenThe jamin Netanyahu’s most formative mentors, taking him Queen.” to the Washington embassy 1982ofand appointing him Israel Mizrahi is the in owner Mizrahi Bookstore deputy minister of the Foreign Ministry in 1988, the in Brooklyn, NY, and He can be first high-level public-service positions the young Netreached at anyahu held. In a statement, the prime minister called Arens “my teacher and master,” and praised him as someone who “did wonders to strengthen Israel as our ambassador in Washington, as foreign minister, chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and as defense minister time and again.… There was no greater patriot than him. Misha, I loved you as a son loves a father.” For Our Readers’ Amusement Arens leaves behind his wife, four children and nine grandchildren.

Rare, Bizarre, Unusual:

Moshe Arens, Three-Time Defense Minister, Passes Away

What’s New At Mizrahi’s?

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Auto New 2020 Kia Telluride Shakes Up The Mid-Size SUV Class By Randi Payton The new Kia Telluride just entered the top selling crossover SUV market. The name “Telluride” comes from the city in Colorado to signify its outdoorsy fun to drive character. The 2020 Kia Telluride is sure to standout in the crossover SUV segment with its stylist design, fully loaded suite of standard safety and technology features; and its smooth and quiet performance. The Kia Telluride, which was originally introduced as a concept car in 2016, launched in the spring of 2019 as a 2020 model. The new Telluride is so remarkable that enthusiast magazine Car and Driver selected it as a “10Best Truck and SUV” winner among all-new or significantly remodeled vehicles. The Kia brand, which has been steadily adding to its vehicle models and quality in the sedan and SUV classes in the United States, introduces the three-row Telluride sport utility vehicle to gain a competitive advantage in the hot-selling SUV market. The Telluride lineup offers four different trim levels, which includes: base LX, S, mid-level EX, and the top-of-line SX which I road tested for a week. The five-door Telluride SX V6 AWD is powered by a 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine that generates 291 horsepower. It is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission

and comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels. All four models have three-row seating and are packed with near-luxury features that are rare in other mid-size SUVs in this price range. Some of its features include Nappa leather trim, leather-trimmed and ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Satellite Radio, and advanced driver assistance technologies, including smart cruise control, lane keeping assist and much more. Exterior features include power tilt and sliding moonroof, power liftgate, and folding power mirrors. The SX models offers additional features that includes AWD, 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and fog lamps, rear moonroof, second-row captain chairs, Harmon/Kardon surround sound audio, parking distance warning, and Homelink. The Telluride SX averages 19 city and 24 highway mpg and starts at $43,490 MSRP. Price as tested was $47,255 MSRP, when the SX Prestige package options were included. For more reviews on the latest new cars and trucks, subscribe to my auto blogs at (Decisive Media Network)

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

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he story of our people begins with resistance. Resistance against tyranny, resistance against injustice and perhaps most profoundly, resistance against allegations of inferiority. Sefer Shemot begins by listing the sons of Ya’akov, their fruitfulness in the Land of Egypt, and then without skipping a beat jumps to Pharaoh’s paranoid fears engendered by Israel’s uncanny population growth. Initially, Pharaoh’s propaganda seems disjointed. On the one hand, he is concerned that Israel is becoming too great, but then he ends his monologue with the fear that they might leave the land – “ve’ala min ha’aretz”. Rationally, the mass exodus would seem like a solution to his problems, not an additional one. To understand the crux of Pharaoh’s fears then, we need to remember that regulating Egypt’s borders was the sole prerogative of the king. He alone controlled who came and who left. That’s why, at the end of Bereishit for example, we see Yosef asking permission to leave Egypt to bury Ya’akov. Pharaoh wasn’t worried about being outnumbered; he was worried about potential insurrection. He didn’t fear the sheer number of Israelites, he feared the power he imagined would be fueled by their population increase. And so, initially, he attempts to suppress them with compulsory labor and the curtailing of their freedoms. When that fails, he resorts to infanticide. Pharaoh commands the midwives that oversee the births of the Hebrew women to kill any son born, but as for the daughters, they shall live. Ostensibly, from the perspective of Pharaoh, females are at best innocuous, at worst, powerless – either way, they are incapable of insurgency. The Torah, of course, has a different take and conveys it through juxtaposition. In the very next verse, it is the “compliant” midwives that defy Pharaoh’s orders, assist the birth of baby boys, and even manage to dupe him in the process. But the midwives are just the beginning. The

daughter of Levi, introduced in the shadow of Pharaoh’s decree to throw all sons in the river, marries, gives birth, and then does her utmost to save her baby’s life. Another daughter, that baby’s sister, then watches over her brother in the thicket. At that point, a third daughter appears, and the irony could not be more brilliant. Pharaoh’s own daughter saves the baby and ends up raising him in the palace as her own. The very daughters that Pharaoh wrote off as irrelevant to the course that history takes, were the ones that end up determining it all. Shemot is not just the story of how we left Egypt, it is the story of our emergence as a nation, and it holds within it, the core principles we need to know vis-àvis our place on the world scene. As such, it doesn’t begin with the makkot – plagues, it begins with a story about a group of people that society wrote off as powerless, and then it shows us just how that group of “powerless people” end up destabilizing the throne of evil. The women of Shemot as seen through the eyes of Pharaoh are the metaphor for Israel, as seen so often, through the eyes of the world. As such, the resistance of the females at the outset of our history is a template for what Jewish resistance can and should look like. Jewish resistance entails an utter disregard for contentions of our weakness and a faith in ultimate goodness, even in the bleakest of times. It prioritizes morality and respect for human life over all else, and rather than cowering in the face of wickedness, it finds ingenious ways to contend with it. It requires cooperation among us, and with others that identify with our ideals. And it demands that individuals remain cognizant that choices they make today, can leave deep imprints on the future of our people. “In the merit of the righteous women that were in that generation, the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt” (Sotah 11b). Let us emulate their bravery and their altruism. Mrs. Yael Leibowitz teaches at the Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Learning and the Pardes Institute. She is a member of the Mizrachi Speakers Bureau (

L’Chaim Shidduch Org.’s Shidduch Event As L’Chaim plans for its upcoming Shidduch Event to take place from Rosh Chodesh Shevat through Tu B’Shevat, two vivid images come to mind. The first is the look of satisfaction and pride upon the faces of four generations of one family, great-grandfather to great-grandson, participating in the historic 13th Annual Siyum HaShas. In stark contrast are the shrieks of fear and disbelief as five innocent Jews taking part in a festive Chanukah celebration in their rav’s home are set upon by a crazed individual wielding a machete. Thirty-four years ago, when L’Chaim Shidduch Organization was organized, its mission was clear. In facilitating shidduchim for Jewish couples, we would be perpetuating the memories of the more than six million innocent lives brutally snuffed out by Hitler and his crazed followers. In creating new batei ne’eman b’Yisrael through our successful shidduchim, we would be countering this senseless hate by creating new neshamos to carry on the Jewish mesorah. How relevant and urgent is our message today. Rather than throw up our hands in hopelessness, one effective way in which the community can combat this evil scourge is by getting involved in L’Chaim’s upcoming Shidduch Event. Our bi-annual event will take place from Sunday, January 26, through Monday, February 10. L’Chaim is seeking committed individuals from local, national, and international Jewish communities to spearhead shidduch meetings. Meetings may target a specific age group and category such as: Full-time Learners; Learner/Earners; Working; Modern Orthodox; Chassidish; Ba’alei Teshuva and Geirim; Second-time Singles; Physically or Mentally Challenged. In smaller communities, it is suggested that meetings be open to the presentation of a wider range of ages and categories. Step-by-step details outlining “How to Run a L’Chaim Shidduch Meeting” are available on our website, At the meetings, participants will present general background information regarding the singles they have come to represent. Each attendee will take notes as the presentations continue. By the end of the evening or shortly thereafter, if a single seems suitable for the candidate one came to represent, contacts are exchanged and the shidduch is set into motion. Over the past 30-plus years, hundreds of shidduchim have been facilitated through these meetings. The matches include the full spectrum of Orthodox singles of all ages. Singles from local communities such as Monsey, Brooklyn, Long Island, Lakewood, and all across the U.S., as well as singles from Israel, Canada, and Europe, are grateful to have met their bashert through the ongoing dedication of L’Chaim volunteers worldwide. Stories of recent successes are heartwarming. When a woman from Beitar, Israel who was expecting her 10th child called in to L’Chaim to say she would like to run a shidduch meeting in Av, it was gently suggested to her that perhaps she might be better off by waiting for a more relaxed time of her life, at least until the next set of bi-annual meetings. However, she was insistent that she wanted to proceed with her plan. Hashem rewarded her selfless effort by blessing her very first attempt at running a meeting with a shidduch for two singles in their 20s. In another success story, two good friends have been organizing bi-annual shidduch meetings for their community for several years. One of the women ran a meeting at a summer camp and took the opportunity to present a single male member of her family. Another attendee suggested that the presenter meet a single female working at the camp, believing that she would be “perfect” for this family member. The L’Chaim volunteer spent time getting to know the girl and felt that she was indeed “perfect” – but not for her relative. She called her close friend back home to describe the young lady, who proved to be a great match for the friend’s son. The two became a

Continued on p.61

Friday, January 17, 2020

Security For Your Shul? In the wake of the recent spate of attacks on Jews in the New York area, Herut North America, a leading Jewish activist organization, is offering a new, cutting-edge guide to help congregations better organize their security efforts to protect synagogue attendees. The Synagogue Security Tool Kit is being offered free of charge to all members of the Jewish community who express interest. “We have developed this e-book guide as a hands-on tool to aid synagogues with both evaluating their security needs as well as organizing their own security teams,” explains Moshe Phillips, the national director of Herut North America. “This information

packed booklet is specifically designed to give Jews the information they need to feel empowered around security related needs and issues.” The Herut team responsible for this booklet includes IDF veterans, individuals trained in counter-terrorism, longtime community security volunteers, and legal professionals. Users of the guidebook will find practical, actionable ideas whether their synagogue has a security plan in place currently or is now considering forming a volunteer security team and needs an action plan. Please email today to request your free copy of the Synagogue Security Tool Kit.


website: your name, address, phone number, and email address; day, date, location, and time of meeting; as well as categories and ages to be presented. (We will only publicize the information you wish.) Closer to the actual date of your meeting, L’Chaim will provide you with all the materials necessary to ensure its success. Reach out to your friends, neighbors, shuls, and community organizations to inform them of the upcoming meeting. Women who wish to attend meetings are encouraged to check L’Chaim’s website beginning January 22 for information regarding local meetings. As Shevat progresses, additional meetings will be posted.

Continued from p.60 shidduch, but the story does not end there. Hashem repaid the shadchan’s efforts by sending a shidduch shortly thereafter for her own son. Hodu L’Hashem, now these “partners in shidduchim” will be making chasunas in Shevat within three weeks of each other. Join L’Chaim as it gears up for its Shevat Shidduch Event. If you wish to host a meeting, contact or call 845-323-9041 and provide information about your meeting so that it can be posted on our

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Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First English-Language Computer Science Degree For Women Is Now In Session Last year, the Jerusalem College of Technology made a groundbreaking announcement. After much consideration and planning, it was launching Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first English-language computer science degree for women, responding to a strong demand for non-Hebrew speaking religious women to study computer science in Israel in a religious-friendly environment. Fast forward one year later, and the program is off to a terrific start in its inaugural semester. As part of JCTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Machon Tal School, where over 2,500 women study in undergraduate and graduate tracks, the computer science degree for women is a 3-year degree, opening this year with just under 20 students. The degree is fully recognized by Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Council of Higher Education, making all credits fully transferable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The first year of our womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s computer science program in English has gone incredibly well and we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to see the program grow and develop,â&#x20AC;? said Siona Margrett, director of the program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so inspiring to see these

strong, religious women move to Israel and pursue a college degree in a STEM field. There is a feeling of community among our first class, where they really help and support each other. And because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only the first year and the student body is relatively small, it provides a great opportunity for friendship and mentorship.â&#x20AC;? The program was built off the existing success of JCTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Program in English for Men, which allows students to continue learning with their rabbis in yeshivas in Israel while simultaneously obtaining strong professional training in the areas of business or computers. The well-known beit midrash on campus, headed by Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon, also offers a place to study Torah while the students complete their academic courses. Following three critically formative and intensive years of study in both menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programs, students emerge prepared not only to embark on successful career paths but also forge life paths that maintain an abiding fidelity to Torah and Israel.

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

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West Coast Happenings Jeanne Litvin West Coast Editor CALABASAS, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Weddings: Ezi and Esther Vann. LA JOLA, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Weddings: Liam and Aliza Pahmer. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Births: Yonti and Miriam Baila Ehrich, a son (Grandparents Yitzchok and Zisi Kornwasser)…Elan and Nager Maher, a daughter…Daniel and Rina Balsam, a daughter (Grandparents are Avi and Gila Balsam and Rabbi Baruch and Devora Zheutlin)…Amital and Nava Raziel a daughter (Grandparents Aric and Mary Streit)…Yitzchak and Elana Iselmann, a daughter (Grandparents Steve and Sarah Fink)…Avi-ad and Aviva Maskowitz, a son (Grandparent and Arnie and Leah Rotter…Noah and Elana Zeligman, a son (Grandparents Moshe and Helen Sassover)…Pionchus and Rochie Oelbaum, a daughter (Rabbi Pesach Dov and Rivka Oelbaum and Reuven and Frumi Wolf)…Naftali and Rachel Trainer, a boy (Grandparents Rabbi Label & Lori Trainer and Yehuda and Devorah Pollak)…Shlomo and Necahama Gross, a son Grandparents Sruly and Devorah Garfinkel)…Tzvika and Sarah Nissel, a son…David and Minna Herskowitz, a son (Grandparents Sheila Herkowitz)…Dovid and Dina Junik, a son (Grandparents Jonathan and Faygie Herzog)… Reuvain and Rassi Stern, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Eli and Robin Stern). Mazel Tov – Engagements: Miriam Weiner daughter of Rabbi Avraham and Fruemie Weiner to Yehuda Lubin of Lakewood…Yoni Cagan,

son of Shimon and Ettia Cagan to Hannah Kesler, daughter of Mike and Lisa Kessler…Epharim Orshitzer, son of Tzvi and Ruti Orshitzer and Miri Rubin, daughter of Naftali and Racheli Rubin), Mazel Tov – Weddings: Ezi Vann, son of Rabbi Yakov and Chumie Van to and Esther Vann…Daniel Levin, son of Mendel and Mattie Levin to Shana Lefkowitz of Monsey, NY…Evan Teichman, son of Alan and Dorit Teichman to Eliana Pomerance whose parents are Jeff and Tiffani Pomerance…Daniel Levin, son of Mendel and Mattie Levin to Shana Lefkowitz of Monsey, NY…Josh Steinberg to Shani Bocian.

DENVER, COLORADO Mazel Tov – Births: Pesach and Yael Rothberg, a girl (Grandparents Jeff and Terri Auerbach)…Michael and Michelle Segan, a son (Grandparents Harry and Ada Segan and Jeff and Terry Auerbach)…San and Adira Zuber, a daughter (Grandparents Richard and Yvonne Zuber)…Dr. Alex and Rikki Kushner, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Hillel and Elaine Goldberg. Mazel Tov - Engagements: Jeff singer of Springfield, NJ to Adina Erlanger. Mazel Tov – Weddings: Mattis Rosen and Sadie Parris…Yitchak Nussbaum to Adina Erlanger.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Births: Omer and Mary Friedman, a son.

PORTLAND, OREGON Mazel Tov – Wedding: Eliyahu Alsdorf to Britni Weiss.

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov Births: Sivan and Shoshi Shacar, a daughter (Grandparents Eric and LouAnn Weiss)… Dove and Bracha Bennish, a daughter.

HOUSTON, TEXAS Mazel Tov – Births: Stuart and Julie Blumberg, a daughter (Grandparents Alan and Bonny Blumberg). Mazel Tov – Engagements: Avi Passy, son of Marc and Elise Passy to Miryl Hilibrand, daughter of Alan and Gittle Hilibrand from Bala Cynwyd, PA,

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Births: Yosef and Ariella Afriat, a son. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Births: Tal and Sharon Buchnik, a son. VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA Mazel Tov – Births: Eli and Brianna Appel, a son (Grandparents, David and Beth Appel and Paul and Judy Cohen)…Jonathan and Aliza Sturm, a daughter (Grandparents Issac and Honey Shulman)…Shmulie and Kayla Linson, a son (Grandparents Issac and Cecelie Wizenfekd and Barry and Michelle Linson)… David and Minna Herskowitz, a son. Mazel Tov – Engagements: Yocheved Ungar, daughter of Dr. Jeff and Risa Ungar to to Eli Segall of Sydney, Australia.

How much is that old menorah that Bubby bought you worth? Should you sell or hold on to your antique esrog box? Besamim holders, Kiddush cups, coins, etc. Send in pictures of your Judaica, and Jewish Press columnist and certified appraiser Tsadik Kaplan may assess their value. Simply email them to, and your items may appear in a future column of Antique Judaica Roadshow

Please note: Due to volume of requests, we cannot guarantee that all items will be assessed. Also, if your items are chosen, all questions will be answered and all assessments made only in The Jewish Press, not by direct correspondence.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON Mazel Tovs – Births: Avi and Miriam Fast, a son (Grandparents Steve and Ruth Fast)…Josh and Debbie Grashin, a daughter (Grandparents David and Debbie Grashin).

Page 64   Friday, 2020 52 The THEJewish JEWISHPress PRESS  Friday, January November17, 1, 2013

Community Currents Preschoolers in the Rambam Day School of Savannah, Georcommunal issues were on the agenda of giaImportant learn about the last Rosh Chodesh meeting of the Rabbinical Allithe Aleph Bais ancetheir of America/Igud HaRabbonim. The organization and names.

On Sunday, October 13, the Yeshiva of Central

Rabbis Discuss Anti-Semitic Crimes, Jewish Burial, And 2020 Queens kicked Census off its Parent-Child Sunday Learning Program.

escalate in a few short years to 80 percent. crucial mitzvah. Rabbi Zohn urged rabbis to discuss with congreAnother speaker was Inspector Mark Molinari, gants the need for them to treat this as an issue of meis commanding officer of NYPD’s Hate Crime Task met at Congregation Kahal Bnei Matisyahu of Flat- mitzvah and teach their fellow Jew to prepare for a Force. He told the assembled that hate crimes in bush, where Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman proper Jewish funeral long before it becomes an issue. Brooklyn are up 56 percent. The bulk of the hate of the RAA and Senior Torah Editor of The Jewish Rabbi Zohn asked that the RAA to join him in crimes involve property crimes (approximately 80 Press, serves as rabbi. this mission, and the percent are swastikas drawn on property). He said Rabbi Klass sponsored organization passed many times the perpetrator is ignorant of the swastithe festive meal and gatha unanimous resolu- ka’s historical and emotional significance. ering in memory of his tion granting Rabbi Inspector Molinari said that “from the police commother-in-law Mrs. Chana Zohn the full support missioner down, the Jewish community has the full Spanier, a’h, and father of the RAA in spread- support of the NYPD and that the NYPD takes hate Mr.Earlier Anshelthis Klass, a”h. ing awareness ofofthis month, the Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation held its annual commemoration Ra- crimes seriously.” Among the topics adFinally, Samuel chel Imeinu’s yarzheit. A buffet dinner was held at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center on October 14. The dressed speaker were the Milestein from Cenkeynote was imporRabbi Jonathan Rietti who gave a dramatic presentation on the relationship between RatanceImeinu of anti-Semitic vio-Geulah. sus 2020 spoke of the chel and the nal lence, rabbinic collegiality, “great need to make healthcare, Jewish burial, certain that the Jewand the national census. ish community is Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, properly counted and director of the Chevra Kadiparticipates in the sha of the Vaad HaRab- A partial group shot of some of the rabbis at the RAA’s Rosh census.” He said only bonim of Queens and found- Chodesh Teves Conference: Rabbi Dovid Katz, menahel, 49 percent of Jews er and president of NASCK RAA; Rabbi Chesky Blau; Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium living in Boro Park (National Association of chairman, RAA; NYPD Inspector Mark Molinari; Rabbi Menwere counted in the Chevra Kadisha), spoke dy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, RAA; Rabbi Yaakov 2010 census and that about his organization’s role Shulman, menahel, Bais Din of the Igud HaRabbonm; Rabbi this undercount hurt in preventing cremation. Menachem Lichtenstein, public affairs chairman, RAA; the New York and the Sadly, in Speaker some places, such community RabbiRietti Gil Student, director, Halacha Commission, RAA; Inspector Mark Molinari; Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank, Jewish Keynote Rabbi Jonathan Pikus, Chaim Deutsch, and former Evelyn NYPD Housing chaplain and current director of as important infraand Evelyn close Haies,tofounder president as Florida, 50 per-andRabbi HananiaRabbi Elbaz, Yechezkel presidium member, RAA; Rabbi Moshe Haies. of RCRF. cent of Jews are cremated. Schmerler, director, RAA; Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Serebryanski; Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs, RAA; Rabbi structure and securiStudies show that this sad Rabbi David Toback; Rabbi Mordechai Samuels; and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik; Rabbi Yechezkel Eichenstein, the Zidi- ty funding depend on number has the potential to Simcha Silverman. census figures. tchov Rebbe; and Rabbi Yaakov Klass.

The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra of Baltimore along with Secure Community Network (SCN) conducted meetings with the Monsey community, including Vishnitz chasidim, on practical and simple safety techniques and emergency response plans. Large training sessions took place last week took place with over 250 and 500 attendees, respectively.

Honorees pose behind the Jewish Mother’s Day cake donated by Pressers Bakery Avenue M. (L-R) Mark Langfan, Breaking the Silence Award; Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus, Rahel Imeinu Community Chessed Award; Evelyn Haies, Fran and Stephen Epstein Actualist Award; Esther Lamm, Young Leadership Award; and Mitchell Shapiro, esq., Rachel Imeinu Activist Award.

On October 2, Zicharon, an organization that assists people on issues relating to dementia, hosted an informative evening in Menorah Hall featuring experts U.S.renowned Senator dementia Cory Booker (D-NJ) who provided the audience with much-needed advice anddelivered information on dealing thisFedremarks to thewith Jewish disease. Among the speakers were Rabbi Eliezer Kaminetzky; Dr. Gary Kennedy, chief of Ge- Seeration of Northern New Jersey’s riatric Psychiatry at Monteore Medical Center; and Matt Kudish, senior vice president of he curity and Safety Summit, where caregiver services of the NY Chapter of the American Alzheimer’s Association. condemned recent anti-Semitic attacks

in the state and across the country and called for concrete action to better protect the Jewish community. The summit focused on unity, assurance, and education by bringing elected officials together to discuss how local, state, and federal leaders can deter and diminish the occurrence of anti-Semitism, hatred, and violence. Earlier this month, Booker, along with Sen. Bob Menendez and New Jersey Assemblyman Gary Schaer, called for a signifiAt the 47th Annual Yeshiva Darchei Torah Dinner. cant increase in government funding to help protect (L-R) Rabbi Boruch Rothman, NYC Comptroller Scott communities from targeted hate crimes and domesStringer, and Rabbi Yaakov Bender. tic terrorism. These grants support non-profits at Matt Kudish

To submit pictures to the Community

Currents section, e-mail risk, including synagogues, faith-based communi-

ty centers, mosques, churches, and other religious institutions to improve their safety and prepared-

Dr. Gary Kenneday

(Photo credit: Zalman Umlas)


Friday, January 17, 2020

Travel Anshei Emuna Congregation Presents ‘Operation Left Behind – A Modern Day Exodus’

A.Y. Katsof and one of the sisters he helped rescue.

Anshei Emuna Congregation in Delray Beach, Florida, will present A.Y. Katsof and the breathtaking account of his 18-month journey to rescue two Jewish sisters and their children from south Sudan, via Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and finally arriving in Israel. The intriguing program will take place  on Sunday, January 19 at 6:00 pm at the synagogue located at 16189 Jog Road in Delray Beach, Florida. Titled “Operation Left Behind,” this fascinating story promises to leave the audience hanging on to the edge of their seats. Proceeds from the event benefit the charity that continues to support the cause.  A.Y. Katsof will be available for a meet and greet after the presentation.  Register by visiting ansheiemuna. org/operationleftbehind or by calling

the shul office at 561-499-9229. “Operation Left Behind” is one of many exciting events to be presented by Anshei Emuna. Earlier this season the synagogue hosted two sold out events when it welcomed nationally renowned radio talk show host Dennis Prager (for the second year in a row) and America’s kosher lifestyle cook, Susie Fishbein. The synagogue has more events slated for February. Anshei Emuna Congregation is a warm, caring and compassionate modern orthodox congregation affiliated with the Orthodox Union. Their doors are open to all Jews seeking a spiritual connection to Judaism. For additional information about Anshei Emuna, visit, call  561-499-9229 or email 

ly true in today’s world of e-mails and texts, two-income homes, and skyrocketing costs. If we want to succeed in having a daily regimen of learning, we need to create a his’chaivus, a strong obligation, that demands we attend to it daily. Only something like Daf Yomi will push us to learn Motzei Yom Kippur and Purim. The night of bedikas chametz and Erev Pesach only get Torah-study attention from those who can’t afford to fall behind on their

Start Daf Yomi – It’s A Lifesaver (Part II) Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch explains that earth is called “aretz” since at its root is the word “ratz,” to run. He elaborates that from cradle to grave all of us are running. This is especial-

I Remember Continued from p.49 they take out all the tables and seats and have everybody stand – hence vertical integration. My friend pointed out that if everybody did as our teachers did in the good

Continued on p.67

old days – gave everyone a chance to sample the foods of the different religions and cultures – we would have internal integration. That would solve everything. But why get into the heavy problems of life when we can escape for a few moments by going back into the years to cull the wonderful things we all remember?

The Jewish Press

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The Jewish Press

ď Ź

Friday, January 17, 2020

C`U^TQ C`\U^TYT@Qcc_fUb

Driverless Trucks Coming Your Way?












Many people speculate about the arrival of self-driving cars, but the future of self-driving trucks is arguably even more important. Long-haul trucking is still at the heart of the economy with people driving long hours on monotonous highways to ensure that products and packages are delivered in a timely manner. The economics of long-haul truck driving are staggering. On average, it costs $1.69 to operate a long-haul truck per mile, of which approximately 40 percent goes to pay the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salary. There is a shortage of truck drivers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and experts expect that number to be compounded as the e-commerce sector continues to expand. Trucking also contributed to over 4,700 fatalities in 2017 alone. TuSimple has set out to change these statistics. The company is seeking to transform long-haul trucking by using AI (artificial intelligence) to create self-driving trucks. TuSimpleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headquarters are split between San Diego and Shanghai, with its R&D lab concentrated in San Diego and test operation facilities in Tucson. The company currently has about 500 employees and is currently the largest and most advanced self-driving truck start-up. How do TuSimpleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-driving trucks work? Inside each truck is what TuSimple calls a â&#x20AC;&#x153;super computerâ&#x20AC;? with hundreds of different AI modules doing a myriad of tasks at a rapid pace. These tasks include distinguishing between types of cars, learning the speed of objects around the truck, and assessing road conditions. TuSimple uses a camera forward model with an eight-camera array and other sensors that can detect cars, pedestrians, and obstacles up to 1,000 meters away. While TuSimple is confident in the self-driving abilities of its trucks, every truck being tested in the U.S. has a certified driver and safety engineer on board â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as a precaution. The company claims it can reduce average purchased transportation costs by 30 percent, and it has secured some of the most coveted customers in the industry. UPS initially partnered with

TuSimple to better understand how Level 4 autonomous trucking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an industry term meaning high automation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; could work within its network. But in May of 2019, TuSimple and UPS began testing routes from Phoenix to Tucson to see if they could provide better and more efficient service. Since then, TuSimple has been hired by UPS for this route. Also in May, TuSimple started a two-week testing partnership with USPS to complete the more than 1,000mile trip between its Dallas and Phoenix distribution centers. According to TuSimple, the trips were all completed ahead of schedule and without incident. TuSimple was founded by Caltech trained scientist Xiaodi Hou and has some noteworthy investors such as Nvidia, a leading maker of advanced computing systems for self-driving cars. Nvidia is also a technology partner. Other notable investors include Sina Corp., the parent company of social media platform operator Weibo, as well as UPS, CDH Investments, ZP Capital, and Mando Corp, a South Korean auto parts supplier. Despite its impressive fundraising and client roster, there is intense competition. Waymo, owned by Alphabet, as well as Embark, Starsky Robotics, Kodiak, Ike, Thor Trucks,, and Aurora are all competing in the commercialized robot trucking industry. We are years away from highways being filled with self-driving trucks. Nevertheless, the fact that many companies are investing in driverless trucking technology and that TuSimpleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tests have been so successful give us reason to believe we may be seeing them sooner than we think. Driverless trucks wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t only change the trucking industry; they will revolutionize the entire economy. Bracha Halperin is COO of Cazamio and managing partner of JYRG Capital. To comment on her Jewish Press-exclusive tech columns â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or to reach her for any other purpose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; e-mail her at You can also follow her on Instagram or Twitter @brachahalperin.

Continued from p.65

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daf. The Daf Yomi locomotive insists that we don’t get off the train even when we have a baby or a grandchild’s wedding. I remember learning the daf in the emergency room of Maimonides Hospital as I stayed with a choleh. The daf followed me as I flew on planes and when I went on vacation. The Medrash Talpios asks an intriguing question: What’s the most “important” pasuk in the Torah? One opinion is “Shema Yisrael.” Another answer is “v’ahavta l’rei’acha k’mocha.” The third suggestion is perplexing: “Es hakeves ha’echad taseh b’boker, v’es hakeves hasheini taseh bein ha’arbaim – One sheep [of the korban tamid] in the morning and one in the afternoon.” This odd answer stresses the importance of regularity and consistency. Doing something with an unfailing routine like the tamid – which was offered twice a day every single day of the year – is the secret of Daf Yomi. That’s how people from all walks of life conquer Bava Basra and Kesuvos. One page at a time! That’s why 2,711 blatt is not so overwhelming. And here’s the good news: It’s only difficult in the beginning. Once Daf Yomi becomes a part of your routine, it will become as necessary as eating and sleeping. It will become a beautiful part of your life and gain you the admiration of your family. It’s a great gift of chinuch to give your children and grandchildren. It’s literally a game changer! Some think the daf goes so fast that they are not learning correctly. They argue that it’s better to learn slower and more thoroughly. First of all, don’t be smarter than Rav Meir Shapiro and all the other hundreds of gedolim and gaonim who felt that Daf Yomi is a proper way to make a commitment to Shas. Second, you don’t have to grasp everything. Make your pen your friend and write down – even on the side of your Gemara – all your questions. With Hashem’s help, you’ll see your questions next time around and many of them won’t be questions anymore. Your children will also be thrilled to see your questions when they learn. Others refrain from doing Daf Yomi because they’ll have to use an ArtScroll Gemara, which they think is cheating and a flagrant neglect of ameilus baTorah, toiling in learning. But they’re mistaken. Using an ArtScroll properly, which sometimes has six pages of translation and commentary for one amud, is certainly ameilus. Furthermore, just finding the time to learn and staying attentive is ameilus in today’s world. As to cheating, I myself use ArtScroll (and in the past I used Soncino) and have finished Shas a few times! So, if it’s cheating, you’re in good company. I remember once learning from an English Gemara on the dais of an Agudah Convention. Afterwards, Rav Boruch Bochardt, zt”l, came over to thank me. He told me that by using that Gemara publicly, I gave chizuk to other people, letting them know that it’s okay for them to use an ArtScroll. My good friend and talmid, Dr.

Eli Purow, a busy gastroenterologist, said to me after one Siyum HaShas, “I asked myself: How many good seven and a half years do I have left?” This question prompted him to start and finish Shas. We all need to galvanize ourselves with this haunting question. How many good seven and a half years do I have left?! Some say, with a tinge of regret, “Daf Yomi is a great idea – but I can’t do it now. Right now I’m concentrating on my shalom bayis.” This attitude is mistaken. To the contrary, the great Netziv used to say, “If you want to strengthen your marital harmony, open up a Gemara more often.” Some say, “I certainly plan to do it, but not now. I’m too busy at work,” or “I’m wrapped up with my children. I’ll start when I retire or when the kids are away in yeshiva.” Pirkei Avos warns us about this attitude. “Al tomar l’k’she’efna eshne shema lo tipaneh – Don’t say when I get a chance I will turn to it since maybe you’ll never get the chance.” The yetzer hara doesn’t tell smart people Daf Yomi isn’t a good idea. He just says it’s not for now. Forewarned is forearmed. Grab a Berachos Gemara and start now! “Ein v’atta ela loshon teshuvah – The word ‘now’ means change!” Have you ever gone to an airport and seen long lines at the check-in counter? Then all of a sudden you see an individual flanked by two uniformed airport personnel taking a man through a special entrance and whisking him straight on to first class. You hear people whispering, “He must be a VIP.” All of us want to be a VIP in the afterlife, and the way to do that is to arrive with the “diplomatic pouch” of having finished Shas. As the Gemara teaches us, “Ashrei mi sheba l’kaan v’talmudo byado – Fortunate is he who comes [to the Afterlife] with his Talmud in his hand!” We are taught, “Ein tov ela Torah – The only real good is Torah,” as it says, “Ki lekach tov nasati lachem; Torasi al tazovu – I [Hashem] have given you a good merchandise; do not forsake my Torah.” The gematria of “lekach tov” is 155, the same gematria as “Daf HaYomi.” So let us seize the good life and grab hold of our Berachos Gemaras. Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, said at a Siyum HaShas, “Hamaschil b’mitzva omrim lo ligmor – One who starts a mitzvah, Hashem says that he should be able to finish it.” May we all start Shas and live to finish it with gezunt many, many times! Learn mishnayos with Rabbi Weiss by dialing 718-906-6471 or Orchos Chaim l’HaRosh by dialing 718-9066400 (selection 4 twice). To engage Rabbi Weiss as a lecturer or to order his “Power Bentching,” call 718-9163100 or e-mail To receive a weekly tape or CD from him, send a check to Rabbi Weiss, P.O. Box 140726, Staten Island, NY 10314, or e-mail him. Attend Rabbi Weiss’s weekly shiur at the Landau Shul (Avenue L and East 9th), Tuesday nights, at 9:30 p.m. Some of his shiurim are available on his Facebook page and Sheldon Zeitlin transcribes his articles.

The Jewish Press


Rabbi Weiss

Friday, January 17, 2020

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argument, stressing that mesorah alone determines the halacha. 2) When many people eat mezonot together, it isn’t proper for one person to say Al Hamichya aloud and for everyone to listen. Rather, each person should say the beracha by himself. 3) There is a machloket whether a person should wash before eating wet foods nowadays considering that most ritual purity laws are not observed in the absence of a parah adumah. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 158:4) rules that a person must wash his hands for these foods, but should not say al netilat yadayim. The Magen Avraham writes that many have the custom not to wash at all. The Vilna Gaon maintained that a person must wash and say al netilat yadayim. The common practice in Brisk, as well as the practice of Rav Soloveitchik, was to follow the opinion of the Vilna Gaon. (source: Mipnimei Ha’Rav p. 69-70)

HALACHIC POSITIONS Halachic Positions of OF


Washing Before Eating Wet Foods?

While shopping for your Pesach vacation tell them you saw it in

The following are some practices and opinions of Rav Soloveitchik related to berachot: 1) Based on historical evidence, some have questioned the identification of rye and oats as two of the five grains for which one says Al Hamichya. Rav Soloveitchik rejected the premise of this



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Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

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The Jewish Jewish Press Press The

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Friday, January January 3, 17, 2020 Friday, 2020

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1 Hr 15 MIn from the Whitestone Bridge

Creating memories for pesach 2020 to cherish for

Friday, January 3, 2020

the trailer had no fortifiHr 15 MIn cation or shelter.1 from the Whitestone There was one man in Bridge a wheelchair, and some of the assembled were unBy Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher easy about leaving him behind. If they would begin pushing the chair, sons, Moshe and “The total number of souls of Yaa- mot 1:17). Yocheved’s they would surely not kov’sCreating household who came to Egypt Aaron, rekindled the Jewish People’s memories make to shelter quickly was 70 persons” (Bereshis 46:27). The faith and belief in it G-d’s redemption. for pesach enough. They from also did not Prophet Isaiah states that the mission Moshe and Aaron learned their of the Jewish People is to be a light to mother what it means to be a loyal and want to make the helpBy T. Gestetner to cherish for the 70 nations of the world. 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They derstanding that in the merit of forgoing their comnewly refurbished Resort & Spa. er is most precious and beloved comes important matters of life. stopped the contractor fort in lieu of a squabble, the members Justpressuring one hour and fifteen minutes from and the last.” Perhaps that is why we men make beganWhitestone to use the shul is – with a dirt of the shul were saved. Bridge thisasfull-facility splendid Thus Yocheved and her daughter the That beracha every morning you entrance. Friday night, as all“G-d, the memresort in the picturesque Litchfield Hills of Miriam, who were Shifra and Puah, indid not maketome a woman” assaw a reOne day, as unfortunately is all too bers arrived davening, they the Northwest CT offers New England at its best. spired the in Jewish People to trust inparts G-d minder that we,The in order to fully comcommon Ashdod and other great miracle. hole in the ceiling It is truly the quintessential destination for an by Pharaoh’s command our life’s must find a of defying Southern Israel, there was to ankill air prehend spoke louder thanmission, thousands of speechall newborn male Jewish babies (Sheproper wife! raid siren indicating a missile attack es. launched from Gaza. Most of those *This story occurred a short while present in the shul quickly rushed out ago, not during the latest wave of misto the nearest building to seek cover, as sile attacks this November.

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Feeling Low The holy and wise scholar, the Chazon Ish once said,” it’s not a big deal to have faith and confidence in G-d’s ways when life’s experiences are smiling at you, it’s a big deal however, to smile when you’re feeling low and things are not going your way.” In our daily prayers in the portion of the evening service in the blessing of Hashkivainu, it’s written; “…and you shall remove the devil from in front of us and from behind us…” this verse is referring to the process we go through each time we face a dilemma or any experience, where we need to make the right decision. Before we need to make a choice, we’re not sure what the right thing to do is. “Should I learn this new topic or not?” “I’ll probably not make it into the school any way, why try.” “Everyone who opens a new store usually fails, I should forget the idea altogether.” “I’m not qualified enough.” “That person is better at this than I am, so I’m not even going to begin.” And so on and on. And after we finally make a choice we question our decision 100 times over. “Why did I do that,” or “I wish I would have never tried I knew I wouldn’t succeed.” “I’m such a loser, everyone is better than me.” “I should have done the test better,” or “done that differently and then all this wouldn’t have happened to me” etc. etc. etc. When we do not succeed at something we set out to do, whether it’s opening a new shop, starting a new career, or learning a new trade we make ourselves sick over why things didn’t work out. We wish we had all the answers in the world at our disposal. Before we set out on our new adventure it takes us lots of time to decide and in the end if our choice wasn’t successful or didn’t work out for some reason, we can’t stop aggrevating ourselves for being so foolish and going ahead with a plan that was destined to fail to begin with. All these thoughts are not true. Not the ones at the start of something new and not the ones that are waiting there at the end of the unsuccessful road we took. All those thoughts are the thoughts of the devil waiting at all times to shoot us down from anything positive that we set out to do. Whether it’s learning or working or helping someone out. Anything positive will always be meet with open arms and closed doors by the devil himself. The opposite is true as well. If heaven forbid we wish to do something which is wrong and hurtful, that same devil will always be there to encourage and push us forward towards that bad act we wish to do. With my opening words I mentioned the holy Rabbi and scholar, the Chazon Ish, who clearly stated that when things are rolling our way and going in the direction we want, it’s easy to be positive and productive. But what happens when that devil is standing and waiting for you as you failed or messed up at something. How happy and positive do you feel at that moment or even for some time after? Sometimes we feel so low after getting some bad news or taking some bad fall, that we can’t seem to find any way to pick ourselves up. We seem to only be able to look back and not ahead. Our thoughts are filled with sadness and despair and any form or shape of faith seems so far away. We move on physically, wake up in the morning and try to go on with our daily routine, but our hearts are bleeding and hurting so much that we can barely concentrate on anything that we are doing. That’s the hardest time to have or feel faith in our G-d in heaven. Everything is from Hashem. The good and also what seems to us as not good. We don’t see the full picture and therefore we must trust in Hashem, especially when things are tough. May we believe that all that happens to us is always good, and for the good. Even when it’s so hard for us to see or feel it. May we have the ability to

smile when things are tough and not going the way we want it to. May we feel deep down in our hearts in the place that is so sensitive and vulnerable how much Hashem loves us, sees our pain and sees all our great efforts to smile even though we are feeling so down. May we believe that Hashem is with us and is hugging us. That G-d is lifting us so high to an even better place, than we were in before. And from that point on may we have the strength to pick ourselves up again and move on to the next decision and next experience.

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Page 72

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Pharaoh – The Original Anti-Semite! By Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher There has been a rash of anti-Semitic attacks throughout Europe and the U.S.A. accompanied by vicious anti-Semitic tweets. But where did it all begin? The Torah states in Shemot 1:6-8 “Yosef died and all his brothers and that entire generation...And a new King arose over Egypt, who did not know of Yosef.” My Rebbe, Rav Pam, often discussed the question of how Pharaoh and the Egyptian people, who were very respectful and cordial to Yaakov and his family suddenly became murderous anti-Semites so soon after Yosef’s death. How could the great accomplishments of Yosef as the Viceroy of Egypt, rescuing Egypt from a devastating famine, be so rapidly forgotten? How did the Egyptians become the cruel

murdering taskmasters enslaving millions of Jews and drowning their infants in the Nile River? The Beis Halevi explains that when Yosef and his brothers died, the new generation of Jews felt that the best way for them to survive and thrive in Egypt was to blend into Egyptian society so that they would not stand out for being “different.” Thus, the Jews first disregarded brit milah, which marks a physical differentiation between Jew and non-Jew. When G-d saw this, “He turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate His Nation, and to plot against His servants” (Tehillim 105:25). There arose a deadly, furious reaction from the Egyptians to the attempts by the Jews to assimilate in Egypt and become as one nation with them. This, says the Beis Halevi, was the way G-d forced the matter in order to fulfill the concept of, “I (G-d) have separated you from all the nations to be Mine” (Vayikra 20:26). This is also what G-d meant when He told Ezekiel “As for what enters your minds – it shall not be! As for what you say, ‘We will be like all the nations, like the families of the Earth’…as I live – I, G-d swear I will rule over you with a strong hand and with outpoured wrath and fury” (Ezekiel 20:32-33).

Rav Pam always stressed that we see time and again that when Jews attempt to assimilate to the non-Jewish society around them, a vicious and violent backlash occurs, with tragic repercussions. The roots of the Egyptian exile serve as the prototype of all future exiles, and it is only our separation from the gentiles that assures our survival as a People. The Abarbanel states that this is the way that G-d assures the eternity of the Jewish People, by forcibly keeping us separate from the gentiles. As soon as we try to assimilate and adopt gentile customs and behavior, there is a vicious and violent Anti-Semitic reaction. This is what the evil Bilam means “A Nation that MUST dwell in solitude and never to be reckoned among the other nations of the world” (Bamidbar 23:9). The saga of Jewish life in Egypt was only the first in a 3,300 year chain of gentile reaction to Jewish failure to uphold our separate and unique Jewish identity. Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher is dean of students and senior lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva.


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Friday, January 17, 2020


about if and how to act, fear of physical or social repercussions, amongst others. In the second chapter of Sefer Shemot we are presented with Moshe’s brief, yet powerful origin story. After being saved and raised by the daughter of Paroh, Moshe matures (“Vayigdal”) and observes the scene of Egyptian slavery. His first reaction is to notice the pain and the plight of the Ivri slaves (“vayar be’sivlotam”). Rashi explains that he notices and empathizes with their distress. Rabbi Yochanan Luria, indicates that this wasn’t just a cognitive or emo-

Moshe – A Man Of Action MULT IPL DININ E G

In 1964, Kitty Genovese was stabbed and killed in Kew Gardens, Queens. The New York Times reported that 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack, and nobody did anything to help. This article (which was later

When everyone else was a bystander, Moshe takes action and defends the Ivri. 


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shown to be exaggerated) motivated social psychologists John M. Darley and Bibb Latané to attempt to better understand why people did not help. In a series of experiments, Darley and Latané demonstrated what they termed the bystander effect. People are less likely to help someone in distress when there are other people present. Over the years, several different explanations were presented for this phenomenon, including assuming someone else will act (diffusion of responsibility), uncertainty

tional exercise for Moshe. Rather, he was actively looking to help others and protect the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor. What follows in the narrative are three successive stories that demonstrate this core character trait of Moshe. First, Moshe witnesses an Egyptian beating an Ivri, “turns this way and that way, sees that there is no man,” and kills the Egyptian (Shemot 2:12).

Continued on p.75

Friday, January 17, 2020

Continued from p.74 One way to understand Moshe’s behavior is that he turned in each direction to make sure that nobody would see him so he wouldn’t get caught. Yet, Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg (HaKsav VeHaKabalah) offers a completely different explanation that changes the way we understand the whole scene. He suggests the Egyptian was actually hitting the Ivri in the presence of other Ivri slaves. Moshe turns in each direction not to see if there is anybody else present, but to see if any of the other Ivrim who are present would stand up and defend his brother against the Egyptian. Moshe sees that there is no “ish,” no person of substance or stature who will act in this situation. When everyone else was a bystander, Moshe takes action and defends the Ivri.  In the second story, Moshe observes two  Ivrim  fighting and Moshe intervenes to stop them. The details of the fight are unclear within the pesukim and commentators offer differing views to fill in the gaps. Rabbi Isaac Arama assumes that both parties bare responsibility for the fight and argues that Moshe is demonstrating an essential leadership quality, namely, a desire and ability to step in and adjudicate conflict. In contrast, Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar suggests that this scene is one of a perpetrator and a victim, paralleling the earlier story with the Egyptian. Moshe intervenes, once again demonstrating his ability to act for the sake of the oppressed. In the final story, Moshe approaches a well in Midyan and sees shepherds harassing a group of young girls. Moshe sees the injustice and saves the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor. What makes this third story even more compelling is that it comes on the heels of Moshe paying the direct price for intervening in the first and second

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stories. Moshe was not rewarded for his coura- on their behalf. geous behavior but had to run for his life because he intervened. Yet, confronted with a third injusRabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman is the assistant tice, he doesn’t let history get in the way of doing rabbi at Kingsway Jewish Center and a licensed what is right.  psychologist practicing in Brooklyn and ManRabbi Isaac Karo points out that there is a pow- hattan. He can be reached at DrSchiffmanPsyD@ erful progression in each of these stories. While each intervention is impressive, the first is perhaps the most understandable as Moshe is protecting one of his own from an outsider. The second story offers more justification for inaction as the perpetrator is a peer, yet he STAMFORD CONNECTICUT acts anyways. Finally, even in the third encounter, where both parties are strangers and Moshe could have easily just minded his own business and walk away, Moshe steps in and saves them.  With these three 5780-2020 stories, the Torah provides us a paradigm of what it means to be an upstander instead of a bystander. There NON GEBROCHTS. CHOLOV YISROEL. SHMURA MATZAH. may be many psychoTEEN PROGRAMS. NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT. PROFESSIONAL DAY CAMP. logical factors that can MORE PRIVATE DINING. BUFFETS & VIENNESE. SCRUMPTIOUS TEA ROOM. lead to inaction in such scenarios. Yet, despite 3 GOURMET MEALS DAILY. STIMULATING LECTURES those factors, when there are those around 347.554.1558 • 845.642.4455 us in need, we are called on to emulate Moshe and intercede





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Friday, January 17, 2020

Dealing With Anti-Semitism Anti-Semitism is still fresh in on our minds here in the tri-state area. Thank God the attacks have slowed down, but not completely ceased. The politi-

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cians have made their appearances and speeches and can now pat themselves on the back for doing something to combat this evil. It is important for us to realize where anti-Semitism comes from and what it is really all about. The Mirrer mashgiach says that anti-Semitism is one of the manifestations of the hatred that rah has for tov. The world is home to a constant battle between tov and rah, good and evil. The pasuk tells us that Yaakov Avinu and Eisav quarreled in their mother’s womb, and this battle has been going on ever since Chazal tell us that Har Sinai was called Sinai because from there, “sinah” went out to the world. This is the sinah that rah has for tov. Evil hates goodness. When Bnei Yisrael accepted the Torah, the other nations developed a hatred for us. Anti-Semitism is based on jealousy. It is not because we have done anything wrong per se; it is just being ourselves that causes others to hate us. Some will say it is a jealousy of our success in business and other areas, but that does not explain why we are targeted over other successful people. Not every Jew is fabulously wealthy, or successful. The real thing that they are jealous over is our Torah and way of life. We an exalted nation, if only we would recognize it more often. Those who hate us surely are aware of it. Unfortunately, we occasionally need to be reminded of this fact. We begin reading the parsha that discusses the galus Metzrayim, and there are many lessons that we can learn and apply to our galus. The pasuk in the beginning of the parsha tells us that Yosef and his brothers died along with the rest of the generation. The Ohr Hachaim says that the pasuk is teaching us that while Yosef was alive and even while any of his brothers were alive the Metzreyim respected and honored the Jews. And even while anyone from that generation was still alive the Jews were revered. But this was a gradual process. While Yosef was alive the Jews were looked at as a higher class. When Yosef died, they were considered equals. When Yosef’s brothers died, the went down another notch. By the time the last person from that generation died, they

began enslaving us. We see from the Ohr Hachaim that although the Metzreyim were wicked all along, while the Bnei Yisrael were exalted and revered they could not enslave them or harm them in any way. And this is a two-way street; we have to feel important and significant and we must be perceived as such in the eyes of others. If a person would sense that he is a noble dignified person, it would help him avoid falling prey to the yetzer hara. This is evident from many places. One such example is the Gemara in Shabbos 12b that says that a person should not read to candlelight on Shabbos because we fear he may come to adjust the light. Rava says, if he is an adam chashuv – an important person – he may read by the candlelight. Rashi explains this is because such a person would not adjust a candle even during the week due to his noble status. Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt”l notes, the Gemara does not say if he is a tzadik he may read, only a noble person may read. A noble person will not do things that are beneath their dignity. The only way to avoid sinning is to consider oneself too noble to be caught up with lowly acts of sinning. How does one become dignified? The Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (4:2) tells us, Ben Zoma says who is honored? One who honors other people. The Mishnah doesn’t say the one who is a bigger talmid chacham or bigger tzadik; rather one who is dignified is one who honors other people. The Midrash says Hashem is called the honorable king because he bestows honor on those who fear him. The recent horrific anti-Semitic attacks serve as a reminder first and foremost that we are in galus, and we don’t really belong here. We should all be anticipating our final homecoming. It also should remind us that we are not dignified in the eyes of our oppressors, which is a reflection of the way we feel inwards. If we would honor others we would become more dignified. If we would sense our nobility it would reflect itself on others, and while they will still be envious of our way of life, they will God willing not harm us.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

After years of practicing psychology he had come to the conclusion that the people with a positive psychology tended to be future-oriented, whereas those with a negative mindset – he called this, in a brilliant phrase, “learned helplessness” – were often fixated RABBI SACKS RABBI LORD LORD JONATHAN SACKS on the past. A few years later, he and three other scholars published a book on the subject called Homo Prospectus. What is it, he asked, that makes Homo sapiens different from other species? Answer, we have an unSome measure of the radicalism that is introrivalled ability “to be guided by imagining alternaduced into the world by the story of the Exodus can tives stretching into the future – prospection.” We are be seen in the sustained mistranslation of the three the future-oriented animal. keywords with which G-d identified Himself to Moses I wish this were more deeply understood, because at the Burning Bush. it is fundamental. I have long argued that a fallacy At first, He described Himself as follows: “I am dominates the scientific study of humankind. Science the G-d of your father, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d searches for causes; a cause always precedes its effect; of Isaac and the G-d of Jacob.” But then, after Moses therefore science will always seek to explain a pheheard the mission he was to be sent on, he said to G-d, nomenon in the present by reference to something that “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The happened in the past – anything from the genome to G-d of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask early childhood experiences to brain chemistry to reme, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” cent stimuli. It will follow that science will inevitably That was when G-d replied, cryptically, Ekyeh asher deny the existence of human freewill. The denial may ekyeh (Ex. 3:14). be soft or hard, gentle or brutal, but it will come. FreeThis was translated into Greek as ego dom will be seen as an illusion. The best eimi ho on, and into Latin as  ego sum we can hope for is Karl Marx’s definition qui sum, meaning ‘I am who I am,’ or ‘I of freedom as “consciousness of necessity.” Science searches for causes. It will follow am He who is.’ The early and medieval But this is a fallacy. Human action is Christian theologians all understood the always oriented to the future. I put the that science will inevitably deny the existence of phrase to be speaking about ontology, the kettle on because I want a cup of coffee. metaphysical nature of G-d’s existence as I work hard because I want to pass the human freewill. But this is a fallacy. Human the ground of all being. It meant that He exam. I act to bring about a future that was ‘Being-itself, timeless, immutable, is not yet. Science cannot account for the action is always oriented to the future. incorporeal, understood as the subsistfuture because something that hasn’t ing act of all existing.’ Augustine defines happened yet cannot be a cause. ThereG-d as that which does not change and fore there will always be something about cannot change. Aquinas, continuing the same tradi- will have to trust Me. The destination to which I am intentional human action that science cannot fully tion, reads the Exodus formula as saying that G-d is calling you is just beyond the visible horizon. explain. ‘true being, that is, being that is eternal, immutable, It is very hard to understand how revolutionary When G-d said, “I will be what I will be,” He was simple, self-sufficient, and the cause and principal of this was. Ancient religions were deeply conservative, telling us something not only about G-d but about us every creature’. designed to show that the existing social hierarchy when we are open to G-d and have faith in His faith But this is the G-d of Aristotle and the philos- was inevitable, part of the deep structure of reality, in us. ophers, not the G-d of Abraham and the Proph- timeless and unchangeable. Just as there was a hierWe can be what we will be if we choose the right ets.  Ekyeh asher ekyeh means none of these things. archy in the heavens, and another within the animal and the good. And if we fail and fall, we can change It means ‘I will be what, where, or how I will be.’ kingdom, so there was a hierarchy in human society. because G-d lifts us and gives us strength. The essential element of the phrase is the dimen- That was order. Anything that challenged it repreAnd if we can change ourselves, then together we sion omitted by all the early Christian translations, sented chaos. Until Israel appeared on the scene, re- can change the world. We cannot end evil and sufnamely the future tense. G-d is defining Himself as ligion was a way of consecrating the status quo. fering but we can diminish it. We cannot eliminate the L-rd of history who is about to intervene in an That is what the story of Israel would overturn. injustice, but we can fight it. We cannot abolish sickunprecedented way, to liberate a group of slaves from The greatest empire on earth was about to be over- ness but we can treat it and search for cures. the mightiest empire of the ancient world and lead thrown. The most powerless of people – foreigners, Whenever I visit Israel, I find myself awestruck them on a journey towards liberty. Already in the slaves – were going to go free. This was not simply a by the way this ancient people in its history-satueleventh century, reacting against the neo-Aristote- blow to Egypt. Although it would take thousands of rated land is one of the most future-oriented nations lianism that he saw creeping into Judaism, Judah years, it was a deadly blow to the very concept of a on earth, constantly searching for new advances in Halevi made the point that G-d introduces Himself hierarchical society, or of time as what Plato called medical, informational, and nano-technology. Israel at the beginning of the Ten Commandments not by it, “a moving image of eternity,” a series of passing writes its story in the future tense. saying, “I am the L-rd your G-d who created heaven shadows on a wall of reality that never changes. And the future is the sphere of human freedom, and earth,” but rather, “I am the L-rd your G-d, who Instead, history became an arena of change. Time because I cannot change yesterday but I can change brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” became something understood as a narrative, a jour- tomorrow by what I do today. Therefore, because JuFar from being timeless and immutable, G-d in ney or a quest. All this is hinted at in those three daism is a religion of the future it is a religion of huthe Hebrew Bible is active, engaged, in constant di- words, “I will be what I will be.” I am the G-d of the man freedom, and because Israel is a future-oriented alogue with His people, calling, urging, warning, future tense. nation, it remains, in the Middle East, an oasis of challenging and forgiving. When Malachi says in the So Judaism, in the concept of a Messianic age, be- freedom in a desert of oppression. Tragically, most of name of G-d, ‘I the L-rd do not change’ (Malachi 3:6), came the only civilization whose golden age is in the Israel’s enemies are fixated on the past, and as long he is not speaking about His essence as pure being, future. And throughout the Torah, the promised land as they remain so, their people will never find freethe unmoved mover, but about His moral commit- lies in the future. Abraham does not acquire it. Nor dom and Israel will never find peace. ments. G-d keeps His promises even when His chil- does Isaac. Nor does Jacob. Even Moses, who spends I believe that we must honor the past but not live dren break theirs. What does not change about G-d forty years leading the people there, does not get to in it. Faith is a revolutionary force. G-d is calling to are the covenants He makes with Noah, Abraham enter it. It is always just beyond. Soon but not yet. us as once He called to Moses, asking us to have faith and the Israelites at Sinai. I think this is one of the most important ideas in the future and then, with His help, to build it. So remote is the G-d of pure being – the legacy of Judaism. I wrote a book about it, called  Fuof Plato and Aristotle – that the distance is bridged ture Tense. I remember one evening when Elaine and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi in Christianity by a figure that has no counterpart I had the privilege of discussing this with the founder of the British Commonwealth, is the author of many in Judaism, the son of G-d, one person who is both of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, in his home books of Jewish thought. He is a professor at YU and human and Divine. In Judaism we are  all both hu- in Philadelphia. He was toying with a similar idea. NYU.


Faith In The Future

man and Divine, dust of the earth yet breathing G-d’s breath and bearing G-d’s image. These are profoundly different theologies. “I will be what I will be” means that I will enter history and transform it. G-d was telling Moses that there was no way he or anyone else could know in advance what G-d was about to do. He told him in general terms that He was about to rescue the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians and bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. But as for specifics, Moses and the people would know G-d not through His essence but through His acts. Therefore, the future tense is key here. They could not know Him until he acted. He would be a G-d of surprises. He would do things never seen before, create signs and wonders that would be spoken about for thousands of years. They would set in motion wave after wave of repercussions. People would learn that slavery is not an inevitable condition, that might is not right, that empires are not impregnable, and that a tiny people like the Israelites could do great things if they attached their destiny to heaven. But none of this could be predicted in advance. G-d was saying to Moses and to the people, You

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 Dispatch from the culture War front

Angry Citizens Protest New Law In Trenton

 a special report from palestinian meDia Watch By Binyomin Feinberg

Last Wednesday, dozens of activists and concerned citizens testified in Trenton, NJ, against a new law requiring all New Jersey public school students to learn about the “political, economic, and social contributions” of LGBT individuals. According to an activist present, those protesting the law before the state’s board of education outnumbered those supporting it seven to one. Among those testifying was Yonoson Telekey, a yeshiva student, who argued that if New Jersey children are forced to learn about LGBT figures in history, the lessons should at least be even-handed, portraying both good LGBT individuals as well as bad ones, such as Nazi SA leader Ernst Rohm. He also argued that portraying LGBT individuals in a positive light poses a health risk as children may experiment with behavior they might otherwise

avoid and thus be at greater risk of contracting diseases that are far more common in the LGBT population than in the general population. If you must teach about LGBT matters, he said, “you must also teach all the facts.” If you don’t, he said, “it’s propaganda.” Breitbart also reported on the protests against the new law, which is set to be fully implemented by the 2020-2021 school year. (Currently, a pilot LGBT program has been introduced into 12 New Jersey schools.) It noted that a petition by the Family Policy Alliance is calling on the state legislature to at least introduce an “opt-out” option in the law. As the law currently stands, argues the petition, it “forces radical sexual ideology and its indoctrination into the minds and hearts of our children…without parental recourse.” New Jersey is one of four states to have a law mandating LGBT instruction in public school. The others are California, Colorado, and Illinois.

Two Religious Girls In Legal Hot Water For Not Enlisting On Monday, Lital Cohen, 26, of Tel Aviv, was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport for not enlisting in the IDF. She sent in her certification of religiosity about nine years ago and was summoned for an interview about it, but was never given a clear indication what her current legal draft status is. Before she went to the airport on Monday to travel abroad, she reportedly asked the police if she could travel despite her uncertain army status. They reportedly said yes, but she was subsequently arrested in the airport and is now sitting in military prison. In related news, Ziva Malkomo of Ashkelon, a religious 19-year-old Ethiopian girl, has just received notice that the government has rejected her appeal of the IDF’s decision not to grant her a standard religious exemption from serving in the IDF. Malkomo sat in jail for three weeks in September and October for refusing to enlist.

Carl Lutz: The Mystery Savior By Gedaliah Borvick Over thirty heads of state will be participating this coming week in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism,” at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. In honor of this event, permit me to share with you the remarkable story of Charles Lutz. A friend visiting Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov community was walking on Charles Lutz Street. The street sign mentioned that Lutz was among the chasidei umot ha’olam – Righteous Among the Nations – which piqued his interest, so he googled the name. After reading the first paragraph about Mr. Lutz, my friend sent me the following WhatsApp: Gedaliah, you MUST write an article about this mystery man! Charles – known as Carl – Lutz is credited with saving over 62,000 Jews during the Holocaust, but somehow his activities went mostly unnoticed. In comparison, Raoul Wallenberg of the Swedish foreign ministry, with whom Lutz sometimes collaborated, saved under 10,000 people – no small feat either, I might add – but became famous for his humanitarian efforts. How in the world did Lutz save over 60,000 people, literally half of Budapest’s Jewish popula-

tion? Second, why did Wallenberg become so famous and Lutz’s heroic activities flew under the radar? Carl Lutz was a Swiss diplomat who arrived in Budapest in January 1942 and, due to Switzerland’s stance of neutrality, also represented the interests of many countries that had severed diplomatic relations with Hungary during World War Two, including the United States and United Kingdom. Lutz understood the German mindset that admired discipline and valued being rule-oriented – and used that knowledge to save many Jewish lives. He leveraged his position as the UK wartime representative and created an emigration certificate to allow safe passage to British-controlled Palestine. Lutz then negotiated a deal with the Hungarian government and the Nazis to allow 8,000 Hungarian Jews to use these protective letters to escape certain death and move to Palestine. Although receiving permission to issue only 8,000 letters, Lutz – attempting to save as many lives as possible – broadly interpreted the document as applying to families, rather than individuals. In addition, he worked with members of the Zionist youth underground to forge thousands more of these protective letters. Lutz was an organizational genius and brilliantly

patched together a network comprised of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, local Zionist organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, diplomats from five neutral countries, including Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg, and sympathetic Hungarians to create 76 – and by some accounts 122 – “safe houses” around Budapest to store the people who had these emigration certificates until they could be sent to Palestine. By using ingenious and daring diplomatic tricks and masterfully twisting the tenets of the Geneva Convention, Lutz successfully managed to provide diplomatic protection to tens of thousands of Jews in these safe houses. However, as opposed to the famous Wallenberg who was literally on the streets distributing letters of protection, Lutz always remained in the background and preferred to operate in the shadows in order to not jeopardize the mission. After the war, instead of receiving accolades for his extraordinary humanitarian achievements, Carl Lutz received an official reprimand from the Swiss government for overstepping his diplomatic authority and disobeying the law, effectively blocking him from advancing his diplomatic career. In 1964, Lutz and his first wife were awarded the title “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Years later, the Swiss government finally restored his tarnished image, but it was too little and way too late. Lutz died in 1975 a disillusioned man who felt betrayed by the Swiss government, which never fully recognized his moral clarity and superhuman efforts during one of history’s darkest periods. Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home (, a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at gborvick@ Carl Lutz in Budapest in 1945 (Photo: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

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In Memoriam “Ben Shloshim Lekoach” (Avos 5:24) Thirtieth Yahrzeit of Harav Eliyahu Machlis

Gertrude Himmelfarb, Historian Of Victorian England, 97 By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

By His Family

The thirtieth yahrzeit of Harav Eliyahu ben Rav Moshe Dov Machlis, zt”l, the rav and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivah Ohel Moshe, will be commemorated this Shabbos, the 21st of Teves. Pirkei Avos tells us that 30 represents koach – strength. What strength and what inspiration can we gain from the 30th yahrzeit of our beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather? Rabbi Machlis was known throughout his life as a kana’i, a zealot – standing up for that which is right and for strict adherence to Torah principles. He never experienced funeral a closeeven if compromiseda on theseofideals, ivor, deported from Hungary, it was uncomfortable or put my him in a mber I attended, unfortunately. precarious situation. As the president his parents, grandmother, six of the Igud his Harabanim of America, as the president of the Igud Menahaeli Hayeshivos of Torah Umesorah, and as the president of the Vaad Harabanim of Bensonhurst – he was truly a leader among leaders. Many rabbis sought his sagacious counsel in areas of chinuch and rabbanus. From this we can gain koach to always stand steadfast in our Torah ideals. Rabbi Machlis’s outstanding career in chinuch and promulgating Torah began many years before. He was a musmach of the famed Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz, zt”l, and Rabbi Shomo Hyman, zt”l, and he was a talmid of Rabbi Gedalyah Schor, zt”l, of Mesivta Torah Vodaath. Even after leaving the portals of Torah Vodaath, he always kept strong ties and maintained a close relationship with the roshei yeshiva and hanhalah throughout the years. As a stellar mechanech he started his career as the principal of the Yeshivah Academy of Cleveland for two years. During his 40 years as the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivah Ohel Moshe, he influenced thousands of Jewish youth, many of whom came from totally unaffiliated families. Before coming to Yeshivah Ohel Moshe, he served as the rav of Congregation Agudath Achim Anshei Chesed of Staten Island, at the time the only Orthodox shul in Staten Island. As the rav of the Ye-

shivah Ohel Moshe shul he mentored hundreds of families of the Bensonhurst area. His fiery drashos and erudite shiurim were legendary. From this legacy we can gain koach to use our kochos for avodas haklalel – to teach and mentor others in Torah and mitzvos. However, despite Rabbi Machlis’s many communal obligations – as the rav and rosh yeshiva of Ohel Moshe, leading the yeshiva on a daily basis, giving many shiurim, giving a weekly inspiring drasha, mentoring to his beloved ba’aleh batim – above all, he was our loving Abba and doting Saba. Rabbi Eliyahu Machlis and his beloved rebbetzin, Sora Machlis, a”h, worked together as a team in fulfilling their lifetime goals of hafatzas haTorah. However, above all else, there was a special bond with each child and grandchild. The spouses of the children were treated with extreme love and devotion. Rabbi Machlis was always there for us with his insightful counsel and caring advice. From this we can learn to use our strength for helping and teaching others. However, we must always use our kochos to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to our family members, who should always be our first priority. Rabbi Machlis had an overwhelming love for Eretz Yisrael. For several years, he led groups of rabbanim, menahalim and mechanchim to Eretz Yisrael. The last 15 summers of his life he spent in Yerushalayim, loving and breathing in the kedusha of the land and visiting the mekomos ha’kedoshim. Abba dreamt of moving to Eretz Yisrae,-but sadly moved only after his petirah – to Har Hamenuchos where he and Rebbetzin Machlis are buried. From this aspect of Rabbi Machlis’s life we can learn love and value Eretz Yisrael and find strength in the beauty and kedusha found therein. And what can we say to the grandchildren and great-garndchildren of Rabbi Machlis –those who live here or in Eretz Yisrael and especially those who bear his name, Eliyahu? Follow in the footsteps of our illustrious patriarch. Use your kochos for endeavors of Torah and kedusha. Bing others closer to the warmth of Torah. However, above all, remember from whence you stem and bring nachas in Shomayim to our beloved Rav Eliyahu Machlis until the coming of Moshiach, v’hakeetzu veranenu shochnei ahfar vehu besocham.

Editor’s note: On December 30, Gertrude Himmelfarb – an expert on Victorian England, the author or editor of at least two dozen books, and wife of neo-conservative legend Irving Kristol – passed away at age 97. She was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish immigrants from Russia who spoke Yiddish at home. Himmelfarb graduated from Brooklyn College in 1942 as a triple major (economics, history, and philosophy) and in 1950 received a doctorate from the University of Chicago, marking the beginning of a seven-decade academic career. Among her many worthy titles were “Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians,” “On Looking Into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society,” and “The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values.” The Jewish Press asked England’s former chief rabbi, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, if he would write a tribute to Himmelfarb. Due to his many commitments, he was unfortunately unable to write a full article, but he did send us these touching paragraphs: Gertrude Himmelfarb, who passed away at the age of 97, was one of the most gracious people I have ever met. Ferociously intelligent, a brilliant scholar of social history and political philosophy, a compelling moralist and a prophetic diagnostician of our time, she was at the same time gentle, generous, wanting others to succeed and helping them to do so whenever she could. She and her husband, the late Irving Kristol, were a devoted and loving pair, lifted by the high ideals to which they dedicated their lives. Early on in my writing career, Gertrude arranged for my work to be published in America, without my asking her to do so. Whenever Elaine and I were in Washington, Gertrude and Irving would always invite us to their apartment, and they were the finest of hosts. Gertrude’s writing had a huge impact on me. The last time I saw her was two years ago, when I had the privilege of receiving the Irving Kristol award

from the American Enterprise Institute. She was by then 95 years old, and I was astonished by her vivacity. Her hearing was a little impaired, but her mind was as sharp as ever. She was an embodiment of the line in the book of Proverbs: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of loving kindness is on her tongue.” My condolences go to her family. 4th We have lost an exceptional human being.

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The Jewish Press  Friday, January June 22, 17, 2018 2020

Tweets of the Week Publication of a tweet in this column should not be regarded as an of the not tweet the person behind it. If youofsee tweetor you should be featured here, e-mail Publication of a tweet in endorsement this column should beor regarded as an endorsement theatweet thethink person behind it.

The Week in Tweets

Friday, January 17, 2020

Letters Jewish nation Rabbi Weissman seems to believe it is. Women should have access to all our holy texts the same way they have unfettered access to secular knowledge and higher education today. They should have the skills to study and benefit from them as well. It will only serve to strengthen Orthodox Judaism. To deny Jewish women this access and these skills is an affront and disrespectful on so many levels. Bonnie Eizikovitz

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (II)

The article by Rabbi Weissman questioning whether we should celebrate women’s Daf Yomi was deeply disappointing. I’m quite frankly shocked that The Jewish Press was willing to publish an article dripping in sarcasm and deep-seated anger towards women. The author wrote, “I don’t have to think hard to come up with numerous Torah sources severely discouraging Talmud study for women.” If so, he should have included these sources instead of simply assuming that everybody reading his article is aware of them. I will leave it to the gedolei Torah to decide whether women learning the daf is permitted or worthwhile. My primary issue with the author is his gratuitous attacks on women who take part in this endeavor and his questioning of their motives and integrity. It was completely uncalled for. He characterizing these women as “agenda-driven activists on the very fringes of religious Judaism who view traditional halacha and norms as being little more than burdens to be overcome.” Does he know any of these women? Has he ever spoken to them? While Rabbi Weissman may or may not have halachic sources to back up his opinion, he is in no position to judge these women or what they are doing. From what I understand, not every woman feels it sufficient to be thanked for letting her husband study while she tends to more mundane household matters. Many of these women wish to be active participants as opposed to merely passive observers. Steven Y. Steinhart

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (III)

Rabbi Weissman’s missive, “Should We Be Celebrating Woman’s Daf Yomi?” was informative but somewhat disingenuous.

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Continued from page 7 It is a woman’s choice whether or not to educate herself and become more familiar with her heritage. It’s also her choice what commitments to prioritize in life. The views on women learning Daf Yomi among the young ladies in my college classes – all religiously observant – range from disinterest to pedagogical enlightenment. They all, however, feel that it is their choice whether or not to pursue it. We should not be dissuading the fairer sex, or anyone for that matter, from seeking the erudition of scholarly pursuit. Daf Yomi is not the man’s domain; it is assuredly mankind’s domain. Ronald Neal Goldman Professor of English Touro College and University System

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (IV)

I was interested to read Rabbi Weissman’s article on the topic of women’s Gemara learning as I was hoping to better educate myself on some of the rationales given against this practice. Unfortunately, Rabbi Weissman’s article provided no such rationale. Mainly, he noted that it is a relatively new phenomenon and tied it to radical leftist breakaway streams of Orthodox Judaism. But I have witnessed many women taking to the spiritually-rewarding activity of Gemara learning – not because of feminist ideology – but because they wish to grow in their adherence and appreciation of the Torah. In fact, most women I have seen taking to Gemara learning are not feminists, are perfectly fine with the age-old distinct customary roles for men and women, and can in no way be described as adherents of radical non-mainstream Orthodox movements. It’s true that Gemara learning among women was not widespread in centuries past. But then again, Torah education of any kind for women was not prevalent for most of our history (mirroring to some degree the state of women’s education in general society). By Rabbi Weissman’s logic, the Bais Yaakov movement championed by Sara Schenirer in the early 1900s should be shunned because, in addition to reflecting the desire of traditional Orthodox Jewish women to study Jewish subjects on a more serious level commensurate with their intellectual capabilities, women’s Jewish education happened to have also been encouraged at the time by more liberal non-main-

stream revolutionary feminist elements. This logic seems to me a perfect example of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Elliot Press Bergenfield, NJ

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (V)

Rabbi Chananya Weissman writes beautifully and argues his position forcefully, but I take exception to his basic thesis. Rabbi Weissman categorically asserts that a gathering in Jerusalem for women who completed Daf Yomi – as well as the burgeoning Daf Yomi movement for women – is a manifestation of the leftist, feminist agenda. I love a good conspiracy theory, but I’m not buying this one. Rav Moshe, zt”l, was asked about women wearing tefillin. He said that if a woman desires to wear tefillin because she wants to be like a man – i.e., she has some ulterior motive – she shouldn’t wear them, but if she desires to wear them out of a sincere pure desire, it’s permitted. I have a hard time believing that 3,000 women (that’s the number of estimated participants at the women’s siyum) got together to work out a sinister plot to undermine Judaism as we know it. Daf Yomi is a sevenand-a-half-year commitment! There are two other points Rabbi Weissman made that I would like to challenge: 1) He makes it seem as if Daf Yomi goes back thousands of years. In fact, it is less than a century old, and it’s only in the last 30 years with the advent of the Schottenstein Shas that it has become fashionable for the masses to join it. 2) Rabbi Weissman suggests that learning Talmud must be at odds with halacha since it’s a novelty. But so is women entering the workforce (the Gemara makes it clear that a woman should ideally be at home while her husband supports the family). Yet, thousands of kollel wives work and some boast advanced degrees from prestigious universities. Why has this been accepted? Simple. Because that’s the only way to keep the kollel system functional. When the times change, we have to adapt. Dr. Yaakov Stern

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (VI)

I was very disappointed to see Rabbi Weissman’s disapproval of Daf Yomi for women. He wrote that numerous sources discourage Talmud

study for women, but he cites no such sources. Thanks to the great work of ArtScroll and Rabbi Steinsaltz, the Talmud has become very accessible to the Jewish masses, and the desire to study it on the part of so many is simply a natural extension of the passion for Torah we strive to instill in our boys and girls. Rabbi Weissman argues that women learn because they feel like it or it makes them feel good – as if this were somehow bad. Men, he writes, learn even if “it’s difficult, frustrating, confusing and boring and even if [they get] nothing out of it.” I was at MetLife in 2012 and on January 1, 2020, and I know many men who have completed the Daf Yomi cycle. I challenge anyone to identify a man who completed it without enjoying it on many levels. I thank my wife for her support, which enabled me to complete the Daf Yomi cycle in 2012. Now that our daughters are grown, she feels she has more time to dedicate to learning, and I am proud that she has started Daf Yomi and I will encourage her to stay with it for the next seven years. Rabbi Weissman mentioned how he would respond if his daughter told him she didn’t enjoy learning. I hope that if his daughter expressed how much she enjoyed learning and wished to pursue learning Daf Yomi, he would encourage her as a way of benefiting herself and all of Klal Yisrael. Warren Slaten Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (VII)

In his article on women’s Daf Yomi, Rabbi Weissman describes how the daughters of Zelaphchad came to Moshe reverently and respectfully to plead their case. However, there is much more to the story. Chazal says that not only were the bnot Zelaphchad brilliant; they were learned as well. They planned for their meeting with Moshe and put together a very cogent argument that ultimately Moshe could not refute. Hashem subsequently declared that they should inherit their father, as should any daughter in a family with no boys. Note that the bnot Zelaphchad could only come up with their argument based on their knowledge. As brilliant as they were, without their knowledge, they would not have had a case. Anonymous

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (VIII)

Please tell Rabbi Weissman that I found his article to be extremely offensive. I was denied the opportunity to study Gemara as a child. Thank G-d, I can study it now with the support of my father, husband, sons, and daughter. Educated women only add to Judaism. Sima Navon

Rabbi Weissman Is Wrong (IX)

The op-ed by Rabbi Weissman was beyond offensive to all frum women who learn Talmud and are committed to studying Daf Yomi – and there are many. This is not some crazy slippery slope, as the article implies. You should be thrilled that women have this commitment and are making time for Torah. Please applaud them. Bracha Leah Atlas

Trumpeldor – Felicitous Timing

Kudos to Saul Jay Singer for his wonderful article about Joseph Trumpeldor in the Parshas Vayechi issue. His citation of “Gur aryeh Yehuda” (Genesis 49:9) – which we read that Shabbos morning in shul – was most meaningfully selected by the memorial’s sculptor, Avraham Melnikov. Thank you! Dr. Nisan Hershkowitz, Brooklyn, NY

Grace and Brotherhood

In “America the Beautiful” we sing, “G-d shed his grace on thee, and crowned thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.” It’s “grace” and “brotherhood” that I think have been sadly absent from the American experience since President Donald Trump has taken office. It shook me to the core when I heard the president speaking some months ago at a rally in western Florida about how to stop illegal immigrants from coming in from Mexico. One attendee shouted out, “Shoot them.” And the president of the United States – the man from whom we are supposed to take our cues from as to what our nation stands for – chuckled at the remark and said, “Only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.” He repeated “Only in the Panhandle,” and he got laughs and cheers. No repudiation of the remark by the president. No softening. Just laughs and cheers. Good-bye grace. Good-bye brotherhood. Hello to

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Defining the Conversation

legislature who are both African-American – Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins – and no strangers to the civil rights movement, have pointedly refused to heed Governor Cuomo’s call to even consider amending the new bail law. Where is the hakorat hatov? And where are the establishment Jews calling them and others of their recent allies out by name for not showing it? And where are the establishment Jews’ new Criminal Justice Initiative to deal with their work product that has come to bite their fellow Jews in the neck? Where indeed?

It’s About Time: EU Places Conditions On Palestinian Aid The Palestinian Authority is up in arms about the new decision of the European Union to prohibit monetary aid to all PA-affiliated organizations and institutions if the PA doesn’t end its links to any organizations on an EU terrorist list. In a revealing response, 134 PA organizations, many involved in promoting the delegitimization and economic boycott of Israel, argued that some organizations on the EU terrorist list, like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas, were essentially “political parties” and claiming that “the struggle against Israeli occupation” is not terrorism. Chief Arab negotiator Saeb Erekat also sent an official letter to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell demanding that the new policy be reconsidered. He actually claimed that the new conditions represented an attempt to disrupt civilian Palestinian political activity and violated “Palestinian human rights as anchored in international law.”

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How much is that old menorah that Bubby bought you worth? Should you sell or hold on to your antique esrog box? Besamim holders, Kiddush cups, coins, etc. Send in pictures of your Judaica, and Jewish Press columnist and certified appraiser Tsadik Kaplan may assess their value. Simply email them to, and your items may appear in a future column of Antique Judaica Roadshow Please note: Due to volume of requests, we cannot guarantee that all items will be assessed. Also, if your items are chosen, all questions will be answered and all assessments made only in The Jewish Press, not by direct correspondence.

shameful hatred. Heartbreaking.

Alan Howard

Stop Taking Trump So Literally

It’s reassuring that The Jewish Press is not taken in – as even some Jewish newspapers are – by the claim that the most philo-Semitic and witty American president in history is somehow sending “dog whistles” to anti-Semites. Actions are more important to thinking human beings than words – or whistles – and certainly more important than whistles that can only be heard by dogs. Too many people unwittingly fail to appreciate President Trump’s wit. To quote Salena Zito, “The press takes President Trump literally, but not seriously, whereas President Trump’s supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” Exaggerations and witticisms are not lies. Referring to the president as an anti-Semite, though – after all he has done for the Jewish people – is a lie. President Trump’s most outspoken and well-known lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, may not be more Jewish than George Soros, as he claimed (again, with tongue in cheek) but, as is the case with the president, Rudy’s public behavior and actions are more Jewish in many respects than those of many “Jinos” (“Jews in Name [or birth] Only”). Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel, Esq. Kew Gardens, NY

Free Self-Defense Classes

In response to the recent epidemic of anti-Jewish attacks in New York, Yuri Foreman, a former World Boxing Association super welterweight champion, has joined with two krav maga experts to offer two 90-minute, free-of-charge self-defense classes every Sunday to the Jewish community at Gleason’s Gym on 130 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY. Note that the going rate for this type of training is usually at least $180 per month: Free training of this nature is almost unheard of. Note also that I have no connections whatsoever to this program. Rabbi Yuri Foreman, and the two krav maga experts – Ms. Jackie Atkins and Mr. Norman Weiner – are even my competitors in a sense (as I currently am looking to offer martial arts instruction myself). I felt, however, that the urgent needs of the community were more important than my self-interest. Lawrence Silverman

Killing Soleimani (I)

Some people question whether Qassem Soleimani was an imminent threat and whether killing him was justified. Soleimani had a long history of being a bloodthirsty murderer. In just a two-year period, between 2005 and 2007, IEDs designed to kill American troops were built and shipped to Iraqi terror groups by Soleimani. They claimed the lives of about 600 American servicemen. According to a New York Post report, Soleimani was directly involved in planning and financing the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. intelligence facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed there. The list of his atrocities goes on. To say that Soleimani was an imminent threat is an understatement; he was an unrelenting, ongoing threat. With his background, you can be reasonably certain he was planning more attacks on Americans. What other possibility was there? That he’d give up terrorism and study to become a bookkeeper? Some people counter, “But he was a state official.” A terrorist is not above the law because he happens to be a state official. Taking out Soleimani was not only justified; it was a moral imperative. Josh Greenberger Brooklyn, NY

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Killing Soleimani (II)

Once again, I am very disappointed in so many Democrats in Congress. Qassem Soleimani was the worst terrorist in the world. He was responsible for the deaths of more than 600 Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. His forces helped kill a half million people in Syria during that civil war. How dare these Democrats criticize President Trump for stopping Soleimani from attacking four American embassies simultaneously one day, a day that would be the terrorist highlight of the decade? If a Democratic president had done the same thing, Democrats would have praised him to high heaven. Since it was done by Trump, they have a vastly different opinion. It’s time for Congressional Democrats to end their three-year temper tantrum and behave maturely. It’s long overdue. Arthur Horn Fort Lee, NJ

Chess Corner

Amend the Law of Return

Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rav Yitzhak Yosef, spoke the much-needed truth the other week, noting the spiritual danger non-Jewish Russians pose to Israeli society. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 430,000 non-Jewish immigrants have been allowed to enter Israel in the last 30 years under the Law of Return. This law states that all Jews get automatic citizenship in Israel, but the law does not define “Jew” according to halacha. Prime Minister Netanyahu said Rav Yitzhak’s statement was “out of place.” He also declared that immigrants from the former Soviet Union are a great blessing to Israel and the Jewish people.” But in another great blessing found in Shemoneh Esrei and Havdallah, these words appear “Thou hast made a distinction between Israel and other peoples.” Rabbi Yosef is correct. His secular, misguided critics will slowly whittle away at the religious foundation of Israel if the Jewish majority allows them to by their silence. The Law of Return must be amended. It must declare that “Jew” means “Jewish according to halacha.” David Ferster

Two New Apples

Your article in November about the cosmic crisp apple was very interesting. I’d like to note two new apple varieties that were recently introduced by Cornell University: SnapDragon and RubyFrost. SnapDragon is a cross of Honeycrisp and an unnamed Cornell apple variety; its flavor is spicy and sweet. RubyFrost is a cross between Braeburn and Autumn Crisp. Its flavor is a perfect balance of sweet and tart and is very high in vitamin C and slow to brown. I have tried both SnapDragon and RubyFrost and I would highly recommend them! Elliot Weiss

LIGHTER white to move, mate in five


Answer to last week’s puzzle: 1) f7 (and if black does anything other than sacrifice his queen…) 2) f8Q# (courtesy

A Lighter


Jokes for Your Shabbos Table?


A young scholar from New York was invited to become the rabbi in a small community in Chicago. On his very first Shabbat, a hot debate erupted over whether one should stand or sit during the reading of the Ten Commandments. The next day, the rabbi visited the community’s oldest member, 98-year-old Mr. Katz, in the nursing home and asked him, “What’s the synagogue’s custom during the reading of the Ten Commandments?” “Why do you ask?” Mr. Katz inquired.


“Because yesterday we read the Ten Commandments, and some people stood and others sat. The ones standing started screaming at the ones si�ng, telling them to stand up, and the ones si�ng started screaming at the ones standing, telling them to sit down.” “That,” said the old man, “is our custom.”

(courtesy of


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So just consider: the Palestinian mantra is now officially and proudly that killing Israelis is merely political activity and entitled to all of the respect and protections accorded to other such worthy endeavors. Of course, this sort of thing has been roundly rejected in the U.S. – most pointedly when, in 2018, the Taylor Force Act was enacted. It stopped much of American aid to the PA until it stopped paying stipends through the Palestinian Martyr’s Fund to imprisoned individuals who committed

acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. Still later, the U.S. cut virtually all of what was left after the PA justified the payments as a social security-like program. It was surely time that the EU acknowledged that what the Palestinians are up to is the persistent, organized and intentional killing of civilians. One hopes, though, that the primitiveness of the PA assertion will not soon be dismissed. But we fear too many in the world share that crowd’s conception of political action when it comes to Jews.

The Puzzling New York Times We were thrown for a loop in the last few days by two editorial decisions made by the New York Times. In its January 9 issue, despite all that really serious stuff going on about Iran for one thing and the impeachment of a president for another, the Times ran as its sole editorial, which took up the entire left half of the editorial page, a piece entitled “Good for Meghan and Harry.” And the sub-heading read, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are right to blaze their own trail.” Then, in its January 13 issue, after spending almost three years opposing just about every and any policy that bore the imprimatur of President Donald Trump, the Times featured a story on its front page headlined “Iran’s Grim Economy Limits Its Willingness to Confront the US.” A sub-heading read, “Fearful of public anger over a plunging economy, Iran’s leader’s appear to be turning inward pulling back from escalation.” We will admit that there is a certain allure to the continuing saga of the royal couple and it has certainly been widely reported on, but could the travails of this gilded couple really merit excusive treatment in what many consider the preeminent opinion space in the world? Nor does the piece itself provide a clue. Thus, the editorial invoked the theme of a “commoner marrying Prince Charming” and the nasty brouhaha triggered by their decision to quit the royal family. And it went on and on about what Queen Elizabeth thought about it and what the couple faced in the real

world without royal backing. The closest the editorial came to making a point was when it said: [T]the real value of the royal family has never been in cutting ribbons and proving endless fodder for the tabloids; it has been in the continuing saga of fairy tale kings and queens coming to terms with the world. In this story, Prince Harry and Meghan should not be lamented as defectors from the old order, but celebrated as the heroes of the next installments, as modern royals renouncing some level of privilege to seek their fortune in the real world. May they live happily ever after. We surely do not wish “Prince Harry and Meghan” ill, but in the final analysis, what difference does it all make in the larger scheme of things? There are really consequential things going on in the world. Their story was not one of them. Perhaps the Times just needed to distract from some emerging contradictions to its relentless anti-Trump narrative. As for the Times’s Iran article, it would appear to confirm that Trump got it right when he chose “maximum economic pressure” as his policy of choice in dealing with Iran. Isn’t it time that the Democrats and the Times got past their obsessions that Trump is incapable of rational decision-making? The evidence to the contrary can even be found in the New York Times!

Friday, January 17, 2020

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Let the Sar HaTorah, Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, enrich YOUR Shabbos table

Comments, perspectives, and stories on the Weekly Parashah



Compiled by Rabbi Shai Graucher Dedicated by the Rosedale and Wilheim Families

As we read through Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Chumash, we can almost hear the voice of this incomparable gadol b’Yisrael in his Torah insights, his guidance in all matters large and small, and, particularly, in his stories, warm and personal, of his illustrious family. Rabbi Shai Graucher, who is an almost-daily visitor to Rav Chaim, compiled the many Divrei Torah he heard from Rav Chaim and pored through his published works. He has also been privileged to hear many stories directly from Rav Chaim and his family and these, too, are included. Also available: Sefer Bereishis

or NEWfefr Se os! Shem

New for the entire family. Bring the Parashah to LIFE! ַ‫ְּבׁש‬ Beshalach ‫ּלַח‬

Ja f e Th

ers Parashah Point by the Ananei HaKavod

coffin, surrounded Egypt, carrying Yosef’s pillar by day and  The Jews leave by a cloud-shaped They are guided (Clouds of Glory).

a pillar of

so that it fire by night. through the desert, to Eretz Yisrael, them the long way  Hashem takes to Egypt. them to go back back toward Egypt. would be hard for tells them to turn for two days, Hashem travel Jews see the Jews the  After large army. When the Jews with a Hashem s to chase after assures them that  Pharaoh decide they panic. Moshe coming at them Pharaoh’s army them. them. follow ns save will Egyptia Jews go in. The the sea and the split on the Moshe  Hashem has come crashing down the sea, the waters are safely out of  After the Jews them. ing drown Egyptian army, Hashem. to thanks of a song the Egyptians  The Jews sing silver, and jewelry bodies, and the gold, out the Egyptian beach.  The sea spits a fortune from the The Jews pick up Moshe that had taken with them. They complain to the water is bitter. wood into the to Marah, where a piece of bitter throw  The Jews travel to Moshe Hashem tells they need water. becomes sweet. the bitter water water. Miraculously, laws. Torah’s the of are taught some  At Marah they springs of water. find date trees and Eilim, where they ).They complain  They travel to Sinn (Sinn Desert arrive at Midbar ly food, called mahn leaving Egypt they  A month after sends them heaven have no food. Hashem to Moshe that they eat. to sends them birds some fall on Shabbos, (manna). He also not would that the mahn the Jews were told  Even though for it anyway. Moshe. of them go to look They complain to there is no water. happens and water to Refidim, and again come miracle A Jews rock. The a  and hit to take his stick Hashem tells Moshe of the rock. leads the battle comes pouring out reason. Yehoshua the the Jews for no Amalek attacks win. Hashem gives  The nation of them. The Jews Moshe prays for earth. against them while off the face of the k must be wiped command that Amale

or NEWfefr Se os! Shem




fa F a m i l y Ed i ti o


Weekly Parashah An illustrated retelling of the Chumash with Midrash


Looking aroun d, Eliezer sees a neighbor who Egypt. He’s got had lost an arm both arms now. in There is his cousin been blinded by Shimon, who’d a cruel, Jew-h ating Egyptian. Before giving He’s not blind the Torah, Hashe anymore. m healed all the everyone could sick Jews, so see and hear what that He had to say, would be at Matta and so that every n Torah with health one y bodies. 94


‫ספר שמות‬




Also available: Sefer Bereishis

In addition to telling over the parashah, The Weekly Parashah includes:

 Parashah Pointers

 Questions Anyone?

 Fascinating Facts

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A quick review of what’s in the parashah Interesting information related to the parashah

Thought-provoking questions and satisfying answers Connecting the Torah’s teachings to our children’s lives

 Who’s Who in the Parashah A fascinating look at some of the people in the Torah

 Section listing all the sources

A fantastic resource for parents and educators

Available at your local Hebrew bookseller or at • 1-800-MESORAH (637-6724)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Is Daf Yomi the Answer?

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searchable with keywords, a digital Otzar Haseforim that fits into your pocket. The Gemara (Horayos 14a) describes a debate on whether a “Sinai,” a scholar with great breadth, is preferable to an “Oker Harim,” a brilliant analyst. The great yeshivah in Pumbedisa needed to choose one type or the other for its rosh yeshivah. The conclusion was that Sinai is better; breadth is better than depth. Has technology changed this balance? Should we now prefer an Oker Harim when you can easily Google for related texts and halachic rulings? I was thinking about this as I attended the Dirshu Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas in Tel Aviv as a guest of Dirshu, observing the celebration and speaking with some of the attendees. It was an electrified event, full of impassioned speakers describing the necessity of effort and exertion in Torah study. Rav Dovid Hofstedter, the founder and president of Dirshu, made the crucial but uncomfortable point – people remember things which they struggle to acquire. When we work hard to learn Torah, when we sweat and toil over the text, we retain it longer and better. Like any middle-aged Orthodox man, I know many people who learn Daf Yomi. I see the nobility and transformation of participants in the program, but beyond that I see something less obvious, but more important. The Gemara (Shabbos 31a) says that one of the first questions asked of a man when he reaches heaven is whether he set aside regular times for learning

By Rabbi Gil Student

Few things animate the intellectual discussions of the yeshivah world more than a debate on the best way to learn Gemara. Each yeshivah, and sometimes each shiur within a yeshivah, has its own unique method to understanding the text and commentaries, and its own approach to balancing the competing needs of breadth and depth, speed and analysis, bekius and iyun. During this season of celebrating the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle, most people have set aside their firmly held opinions on this matter in order to politely celebrate the accomplishment of completing Shas at the lightning-fast speed of one page a day. I’d like to pierce that bubble, albeit gently, and only in order to gain deeper appreciation of the Daf Yomi experience and particularly the Dirshu Daf Yomi experience. Let’s take a deep dive into the subject of breadth, an iyun into bekius. I. Breadth or Depth? Particularly in this new era of technology, with both its grave challenges and great benefits, is there any need for bekius? Some will see this question and shake their heads in disapproval, perhaps even taking offense at the notion that technology can replace human achievement. Others will nod their heads in agreement, thinking about responsa databases, Torah libraries

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20 Teves 5780 / January 17, 2020

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Torah. The daily Daf is the ultimate kevi’us, permanently on the schedule every day throughout the year, regardless of personal circumstances. As a friend of mine says, “You have a wedding? The Daf don’t care. Are you feeling sick? The Daf don’t care.” The daily dedication is literally heavenly. We see this in a sixteenth-century debate over the validity of a purported midrash about the most important verse in the Torah. II. The Daily Sacrifice Rav Ya’akov Ibn Chaviv, in the introduction to his magisterial Ein Ya’akov, quotes an elusive midrash of whose origin he was uncertain. According to this midrash, Ben Zoma says that a fundamental verse of the Torah is Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4). Ben Nanas says that an even more comprehensive verse is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Vayikra 19:18). Shimon Ben Pazi says that an even more comprehensive verse is “The one lamb you shall offer in the morning” (Bamidbar 28:4). While the first two verses seem reasonable as comprehensive statements of Jewish faith, and indeed we find other midrashim with

A Special Supplement to

20 Teves 5780 / January 17, 2020

similar sentiments, the third verse about the sacrifice seems less than fundamental. Rav Ya’akov Ibn Chaviv, an exile from Spain who settled in Salonica, connects each verse to R. Shimon HaTzadik’s three pillars of the world – Torah, worship and kindness (Avos 1:2). A few decades after Rav Ya’akov’s passing, Rav Shmuel Yaffe of Constantinople (Yefeh Mareh, Nedarim 9:3) thought this interpretation was forced. Indeed, he finds the third verse so baffling that he suggests this “midrash” was invented by a creative student. However, his contemporary, Rav Yehudah Loewe (Maharal) of Prague (Nesivos Olam, Ahavas Rei’a, ch. 1) rescues this midrash from obscurity and places it in its rightful place of a fundamental idea of Judaism. The daily lamb sacrifice, the korban tamid, was brought every morning in the Temple in Jerusalem. It is a mark of consistency, of persistence. Every day, without fail, this worship was performed. The secret to Judaism, indeed to life in general, lies in following through, day in and day out. We pray three times a day, observe Shabbos every week, and continue

Friday, January 17, 2020

with all the mitzvos day after day. We don’t take a vacation from the mitzvos because, among other reasons, we recognize that a break in consistency disturbs our religious balance. This crucial and noble trait of consistency, Maharal teaches, is the message of the daily sacrifice. There are few things in life more representative of this midrash than Daf Yomi, the daily regimen that requires unwavering commitment. Daf Yomi learners masterfully exercise this aspect of the daily sacrifice. Daf Yomi changes lives in that it focuses someone’s life on daily Torah learning. The regular schedule not only guarantees learning but affects, perhaps invades, all other times of the day. Rav Hofstedter made this point in a memorable way: In Daf Yomi, you don’t learn a Daf a day; the Daf is your day. When learning Torah becomes an integral part of your day, your day is built on the Torah. Beyond that, a Daf Yomi learner acquires a taste of Shas, taking a tour of the entire Talmud. You might not remember most of what you have learned, but you have encountered it all. At one point, you have seen every topic, asked every question in the text, repeated every Talmudic saying. You might have forgotten the details but you have absorbed the attitudes. Your days are filled with the conversations of the Sages. III. The Need for Breadth Learning Shas in itself is a great accomplishment but it will not solve the problem Rav Ya’akov Kamenetsky saw in the yeshivah system. Rav Kamenetsky corresponded with Rav Elazar Shach over his worries for the future of Torah. For good reasons, yeshivos focus on learning Talmud in

depth. Students learn to dissect the text, explore the early and late commentaries, analyze the underlying concepts. This study moves slowly, covering maybe a few dozen pages of Talmud per year, depending on the yeshivah. However, Rav Kamenetsky worried that a Torah scholar – not even a great one – must be fluent in every page of the Talmud, every Rashi and Tosafos in Shas. From where will future poskim, halachic authorities with full command of the Torah, emerge if yeshivos teach so slowly? After lengthy correspondence, Rav Kamenetsky and Rav Shach reached a conclusion and Rav Shach declared publicly that yeshivah students should, in addition to their in-depth study, devote time each day to cover substantial ground. They must learn both iyun and bekius, in-depth analysis and broad study, in order to cultivate the next generation of Torah leaders (Reb Yaakov: The Life and Times of HaGaon Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, pp. 158-159). In truth, a lack of well-roundedness leads to faulty in-depth study, as well. Rav Chaim Soloveitchik used to say that you do not have a right to suggest a sevara until you have learned all of Shas. You may not propose a conceptual analysis without the requisite breadth to know whether your idea makes sense across subjects. Words of Torah are poor in one place and rich in another (Yerushalmi, Rosh Hashanah 3:5), meaning that the Torah interlinks across sections. The explanation for a passage in Shabbos might be an idea mentioned in Nidah. Until you are familiar with all areas of Torah, you cannot be fully familiar with any specific area. We discussed above two types of Torah scholars, Sinai and Oker

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ELEVATING THE TORAH Experience the Dirshu World Siyum, participate in the celebrations and be inspired by the addresses from our Gedolei Yisrael.

NORTH AMERICA Sunday Feb. 9, 2020

‫ תש”פ‬,‫י”ד שבט‬



D E TA I L S FORTHCOMING: Participation of Gedolei Yisrael • Program/Security Details • Busing/Travel Information

ADDITIONAL SIYUMIM ARE BEING HELD WORLDWIDE: Eretz Yisrael—Binyanei Haumah, Yad Eliyahu Stadium; England—Event City, Heythrop Park Hotel; France—Dome de Paris; South Africa—The Deck; Belarus—Pinsk, Minsk, Radin

Wo at P men’s rud Se c e t SOL ntial C ion ent DO er UT !


Friday, January 17, 2020

The Jewish Press

LANDSCAPE FOREVER • Men’s Section: almost sold out • Women’s Section: completely sold out

• Exclusive Men’s Venue

S el ec Stil t Sec l Av tion s aila b le

• A unique live program and speakers exclusive to NJPAC • Live orchestra • Several Gedolim will attend both venues • Select highlights broadcasted from Prudential Center

• Exclusive Women’s Venue • Unique live program tailored for women

S el ec Stil t Sec l Av tion s aila ble

• Keynote address by Rebbetzin Sara Meisels, daughter of HaRav Shlomo Halberstam, zt”l, previous Bobover Rebbe

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Harim. But these are only relative areas of expertise, not sole descriptions. An Oker Harim must still have mastery of the entire Torah and a Sinai must be more than a mere tape recorder. Rashi (Horayos 14a s.v. U-mar) describes an Oker Harim as someone who does not have all the texts on his fingertips “that much.” He must still have a breadth of knowledge but might not excel at immediate recollection. Similarly, the Sinai selected as rosh yeshivah was not as good at creative analysis as his colleague but still exhibited that ability (Rashi, ad loc., s.v. Rav Yosef). Without breadth, there can be no depth. IV. Knowing All of Shas The magnitude of this requirement can be overwhelming but the implications are humbling. A Torah scholar needs to know everything, the entire Torah? No, not just a Torah scholar. Every Jewish man needs to know the entire Torah but a scholar suffers doubly, because not only he, but the Torah he teaches, will be lacking if he does not know Shas. The Shulchan Aruch Ha-Rav (Hilchos Talmud Torah 2:1) makes clear the requirement to know the entire Torah. Daf Yomi is a step in the right direction because it familiarizes participants with all of Shas. But how do you get to really know Shas, to become fluent in it, as Rav Kamenetsky insisted? For the past two decades, Dirshu has led a program of study to assist and encourage participants to master Shas. Through a combination of exams and incentives, including periodic cumulative exams of everything learned to date, Dirshu provides a program in mastering Shas. You read that correctly – throughout the Daf Yomi cycle, participants take cumulative exams so that at the end of the cycle, they are tested on all of Shas. The impressive results of participants show the extent of human capacity when properly directed and motivated. We underestimate our own abilities. We look toward the end zone rather than the next ten yards. The Dirshu program requires enormous commitment and effort, but the consistent day-to-day study and review leads to fluency in Shas. This is not only humanly possible but occurring on a widescale basis. Well over 200 such masters of Shas celebrated at the Dirshu Siyum in Tel Aviv, one of several siyum events across the world. At the event, roshei yeshivah from the most respected Torah institutions in Israel – including the Mir, Ponevezh and Chevron – exuberantly praised the accomplishments of Dirshu in encouraging budding Torah scholars to reach their true potential. V. Reach Your Potential The Gemara (Pesachim 50a) says that R. Yehoshua Ben Levi died or came very close to death. When he was revived, he said that he had seen an upside-down world – the lowly in this world were high there, and the high here were low there. Rav Moshe

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20 Teves 5780 / January 17, 2020

Di Trani, known as the Mabit (Beis Elokim, introduction), interprets this report about Torah scholars. He explains that everyone is born with certain abilities. Someone who is a top scholar in this world may actually be fulfilling only a fraction of his capability while a low student may be surpassing his natural abilities. In Heaven, we appear based on our relative accomplishments, how much we achieve compared to our abilities, rather than our external achievements. But if so, how can anyone know their natural limits? The Mabit says to learn as much and as well as you can, and then to push yourself even more. We are all slowed down by laziness. We need to compensate for that just to reach our expected goals. To exceed those expectations, we need to go even further. We need to commit, to engage, and most of all to push ourselves beyond what we think we can accomplish. Only then can we hope to reach and even surpass our natural capacity for Torah knowledge. It is all about learning and then reviewing again and again. Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl (Sichos, Devarim, p. 61) quotes Rav Shmuel Auerbach as distinguishing between prayer and learning Torah. In prayer, the key is to find something new, to uplift the heart so every prayer contains hopes and thoughts that are original. In learning, the key is to repeat the same Torah over and over. And yet, the yetzer hara convinces us to do the opposite, to repeat our prayers by rote and to discard as useless our efforts in learning and reviewing Torah without adding an original thought. The Dirshu programs for Daf Yomi of Shas and Daf HaYomi B’Halacha (among its other study programs) offer avenues to learn more than you think you can, to push yourself beyond what you think you can do, and to retain and master that Torah. The people celebrating their completion at the recent Dirshu Siyum HaShas show that what seems humanly impossible can be accomplished with the right push to consistency and accountability. As Rav Kamenetsky said, the people who follow this path will be the next generation of Torah scholars and halachic authorities. Daf Yomi transforms your day. Dirshu transforms every moment. At the Tel Aviv siyum, Rav Nissan Kaplan lauded the constant review required by the Dirshu programs. Not only does it help you retain your learning, it directs every free minute you have in advance of exams. Dirshu tests not only make you accountable for your learning, they help you become accountable for every moment of your time. If the question is how you, a successful learner, can reach the seemingly impossible accomplishment of knowing all of Shas, the answer is Dirshu Daf Yomi. It has been done, and you can do it too. It will change your life for the better and help you reach, and perhaps exceed, your natural potential.

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Dirshu Siyum HaShas at Tel Aviv’s Yad Eliyahu: An Overview of a Very Special Night By Rabbi Nachman Seltzer

I waited for the moment when every seat in the gigantic arena at Yad Eliyahu would be full, knowing that the sight of thousands of bnei Torah celebrating the Siyum HaShas in loving achdus was not something you see every day. I wasn’t disappointed. Black and white in every section of the arena. Here and there, I could see someone in a yellow vest circulating – Yad Eliyahu security – the contrast in colors catching my eye. The evening began with Reb Moshe Mona Rosenblum taking his place before the orchestra and leading them in a medley of thunderous marches. While the orchestra played, people found their seats, until the arena was completely full – a picture for all eternity. As with all Dirshu events, things moved along a strict timeline. The moment the orchestra finished playing, the MC announced the chazzan for Ma’ariv, Rav Yirmiyah Damen shlita. Watching more than ten thousand serious bnei Torah daven Ma’ariv together was a special moment for me. Utter silence filled the great hall, as the gigantic kehillah began davening Shemoneh Esrei. Far down below on what is normally the parquet floor of the basketball court, long tables were set up for the gedolim who were taking part in the Dirshu Siyum HaShas. In the middle of the floor a gigantic table was set up. It was covered with a beautiful tablecloth and surrounded by light-colored chairs. In the center of the table were hundreds of flowers. This regal table was set up for the “Nivchanei Kinyan Shas” – the incredible talmidei chachamim who had been tested on the entire Shas – in one sitting!!!! Rav Shimon Galei shlita, one of the premier gedolim of Bnei Brak, began the evening with words of chizuk to an audience thirsting for exactly what he was giving them. He spoke with his trademark earnestness and concluded his remarks with a kapitel Tehillim, which

he recited line for line with the audience. After Rav Shimon’s speech was finished, there was an explosion of sound from the stage, where a full adult choir and children’s choir stood and sang the opening song of the evening. Two singers stood on the stairs separating the two sections of the stage, and sang one of the songs made famous on the CD produced by Dirshu for the previous Siyum HaShas seven-and-half years ago. “Dirshu Hashem V’uzo, Bakshu Panav Tamid!!!” While the singers sang and the orchestra played, pictures filled the screen at the back of the stage – pictures of thousands of Dirshu participants taking tests in batei medrashim around the world. Needless to say it was a memorable sight. After a musical interlude that turned into a quasi kumzitz in which every member of the audience participated, the MC introduced Rav Chaim Feinstein shlita and invited him to be misayem the Shas. Here it was, the great moment had arrived and Rav Feinstein recited the final words of Shas with emotion and sincerity. He was followed by the Admor of Alexander shlita who recited the Hadran, and Rav Leizer Yudel Finkel shlita, rosh yeshivah of Mir, who said the Kaddish with great concentration as every person in the gigantic arena stood

in their spot . Every “amen” shook the rafters. And then there it was – the final “amen!” The orchestra broke out in magnificent melody. The choirs sang, as did the singers, and best of all, throughout the arena, thousands of Dirshu Yidden – and those who are not yet officially members of Dirshu – joined hands and began dancing in their places. “Yehay Rava Kadamach…” Picture the scene. Thousands of emotional Yidden dancing in their places and clapping their hands in time to the beat. Picture their faces as they sing. Imagine the sound. It was truly beautiful in every way. A scene of achdus, a true celebration of Torah learning. “Ana, ana, ana, avda d’Kudsha Brich Hu….” •••••••• Rav Dovid Cohen shlita, rosh yeshivah of the Chevron Yeshivah, was then introduced and he spoke with his regular passion and enthusiasm for Torah and Klal Yisrael. He was followed by the rosh yeshivah of Ponovezh, Rav Boruch Dov Povarsky shlita, who sat beside Rav Dovid Hofstedter shlita, Nasi of Dirshu, and spoke to the crowd as if they were all his talmidim. This was followed by another interlude of joyous song and dance. Reb Motti Steinmetz suddenly appeared and sang two new songs which had

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been composed especially for the Dirshu Siyumim of 2020. His pure voice rose through the room, to the ceiling and upwards. And that was just the beginning. Because when he sang the famous song “Habein Yakir Li Efraim,” you could feel the excitement rippling through the room at hearing such a special voice, singing such a special tune. For the thousands of bnei Torah who filled the room, taking part in such a unique evening – it wasn’t just about what was happening in the arena. Because every word of Torah and inspiration that they were listening to, every Kaddish, every “amen,” every uplifting song and music note, would remain with them way after they left Yad Eliyahu at the end of the night and returned to their everyday lives. Rav Nissan Kaplan shlita, rosh yeshivah of Daas Aharon, approached the podium. His speech was extremely powerful. He exhorted the audience to grasp the opportunity of the Dirshu Siyum HaShas to take something onto themselves and to not leave the arena without choosing an additional component for their learning and avodas Hashem. When he finished, the orchestra began playing again and every person in the room rose to their feet and began to dance. The sight of so many people dancing for the honor of Hashem was inspirational in the extreme. The song changed to “Yamim al Yimay Melech,” as Rav Gershon Edelstein shlita, rosh yeshivah of Ponovezh and Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita entered the arena. The clapping intensified once again and every voice was raised in song. People were jumping in their spots, as the princes of Torah took their places beside Rav Dovid Hofstedter. “Ashrei Ha’am Shekacha Lo, Ashrei Ha’am She’Hashem Elokav!!!” Rav Gershon Edelstein was then introduced and he spoke to the crowd, in his concise style, reminding them of the reason everyone had gathered together at Yad Eliyahu in the first place and what the goal was for such an evening. This was followed by a speech given by Rav Chaim’s son, who read the words and beautiful berachah penned by his illustrious father, especially for this evening. Another letter was read by the son of the Belzer Rebbe shlita on behalf of his father, the Admor of Belz, and was followed by a drashah delivered by Rav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi shlita, who spoke with all his heart. All in all, the evening had been absolutely incredible on every front. It was a night that nobody there would be able to forget. It was a night of Torah celebration, a night of pride in being a Yid – and every person in the great hall knew it and felt a tremendous debt of thanks to Rav Dovid Hofstedter for everything he constantly does for Klal Yisrael. “Ashreichem, Ashreichem, Ashreichem Yisrael, Talmidei Chachamim!” “Ashreichem, Ashreichem, Ashreichem, Dirshu Yidden, Talmidei Chachamim!”

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The Jewish Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

“Ashreichem, Dirshu Yidden!” Interviews with Lomdei Dirshu By Rabbi Nachman Seltzer


met Reb Nosson Weisel, a sweet yungerman who learned as a bachur in Yad Aharon, one of the top yeshivos in Eretz Yisrael. I asked him about his involvement with Dirshu. He explained to me that after joining a kollel he wanted to start learning Halacha on a regular basis – and he did. “But there was a problem,” he told me. “What kind of problem?” I asked. “The fact that I wasn’t able to accomplish as much as I wanted to. I learned Halacha, but I was kind of treading water. I wasn’t really moving forward. It was about that time that Dirshu began the third section of Mishnah Berurah – Hilchos Shabbos. I joined the Dirshu Halacha program and everything changed. “Because of the tests and the way the program is designed, I couldn’t help but move. From the moment I joined Dirshu, I began to accomplish an incredible amount. I was moving much quicker than ever before. At the same time I was taking tests. I knew what I was talking about and was able to hold my own b’inyanei Halacha. The satisfaction was intense.” “So what’s next for you?” I asked. “What’s next? I’m joining a Dirshu Gemara program and I’m really looking forward to it. To sum up, I was learning before I found Dirshu. But being part of Dirshu helped me to shteig in the way I always wanted to.”



enachem Morgenbesser is a yeshivah bachur learning in Kaplan’s in Ramot – one of the top yeshivos in Yerushalayim. I happened to meet him at some point during the epic event at Yad Eliyahu. Reb Menachem explained to me how he had gotten involved in Dirshu. “I was worried that I would get married and not know Halacha. How was I going to be able to run a house if I didn’t know the basics? I gave the matter a lot of thought. In the end I decided that I had to join Dirshu. Why Dirshu? Because if you want to be part of Dirshu you have to take tests and if you do well on the tests, you receive a small stipend. It was never about the money – but I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t stop what I started, and the tests and the stipend gave me that motivation. “So I began learning every day and I’m still part of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. I’ll tell you something. If you want to hear me tell you a wild story, I don’t have that. But I have something else. I have three years of Halacha – every single day. And now I’m not worried anymore about what’s going to happen after I get married. My wife will ask me her she’eilos and I will know what to answer her – because I put in the time and covered a tremendous amount of ground in many, many areas of Halacha. That’s my story – the story of a bachur who wanted to know Halacha so that he would be able to run a Jewish home, and uncovered that ability through Dirshu.”


eb Ari Kugelsky is a yungerman learning in a kollel in Kiryat Sefer. I asked him how many of the people learning in his kollel were involved with Dirshu. “Most of the kollel,” he replied. “When did you begin with Dirshu?” I asked. “I joined Dirshu’s Kinyan Halacha three years ago. Then a year ago I decided to join the Shas program as well. At this point I spend the majority of my day focused on Dirshu programs. “Reb Ari,” I said, “can you please tell me about the contrast of your life before Dirshu and now that it occupies such a great place of importance?” “There are two main differences between before Dirshu and after. The first is the fact that being part of Dirshu’s Halacha programs doesn’t just mean learning Halacha. Because Dirshu gives out booklets filled with an incredible array of marei mekomos that they encourage us to learn. Those booklets opened up another world to me – a world in which I was able to understand what it really means to learn Halacha. They opened my eyes to what the world of Halacha is truly about. The second point is this. Since I began learning Shas with Dirshu, I do not waste a second. Every moment of the day is accounted for. My wife knows that I don’t go to sleep before finishing the Daf. Not long ago, she called me up at one in the morning and asked me where I was. “The Daf,” I replied. She was satisfied by my reply. More than satisfied. Proud and filled with gratitude by how her husband spends his time. And it’s all because of Dirshu.”



eb Dovid Citron is an Erlau chassid who lives and learns in Beitar. I asked him which Dirshu program he was part of. “I’m part of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha,” he said. “And what has it given you?” I asked. “I’ll tell you what it has given me. I joined the program last time around, three and a half years ago. And although it doesn’t take up that much time during my regular day, I spend more time on the chazaros on Friday and Shabbos. But that’s just the beginning. Because Dirshu takes us on a fascinating journey through Halacha, showing us how to apply the halachos from the Shulchan Aruch to our world – the world of technology in 2020. This can take many forms and shapes, for example, learning about a Shabbos elevator and how it works from a halachic perspective. That, however, is just one example. The bottom line is that learning Halacha through Dirshu has opened my eyes to how one is supposed to apply the words of Chazal, Halacha, Mishnah and Gemara to the modern days in which we live. “Also all my life I have lived in Eretz Yisrael. I didn’t know anything about what it means to make an eruv. But then we learned Eruvin. By the time I was finished with those halachos, I knew them and I knew them well. But that’s Dirshu. It takes regular people like me and teaches us how to become talmidei chachamim who know about Halacha and its place in the world of today.”

A Special Supplement to

20 Teves 5780 / January 17, 2020



JANUARY 17, 2020 TEVES 20, 5780

Banking Your Savings




2 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020






TOR AH & HASHKAFA V’eyleh shemos Bnei Yisrael… and these are the names of the children of Yisrael


he Talmud in Berachot (7B) tells us that “names given to people are… the works of the Lord upon the earth.” And in other places that parents are given the gift of prophecy when it comes to naming their children. So, our names are, in a sense, reflective of who we are, of who we are meant to be. However, there are other names we are known by: daughter, son, friend, neighbor, co-worker, etc. And then there are the terms that people use when they talk about us: kind, considerate, patient, happy or maybe critical, insensitive, angry, sad, etc. How do we want people to remember us, what name do we want to be called by? This week, Judy Waldman brings us another “Shul with a Story.” Shmorei Emunah, literally keepers of the faith, has existed in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn since the early 1900s. In 1907, being a religious Jew in New York brought with it great challenges. And being called a Shomer Shabbos Yid meant you were someone who found a new job every Sunday. Today, Boro Park is filled with shomer Shabbos Yidden and the thought of having to give up your job because you won’t work on Shabbos is almost foreign. So, what defines us as keepers of the faith? Our mesirus nefesh for Torah, for Yiddishkeit, for the values and morals with which we were raised as we live in a world who sees our way of life as passe’. Yes, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but it wouldn’t be a rose. Who we are as individuals and as a nation is bound up in our name: the children of Israel, Yehudim, Ivrim, Hebrews, defenders of the faith, keepers of the faith, Jew. It’s a name we should wear with pride.

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JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 3

T O R A H & H A S H K A FA

Save Your Children From Pharaoh’s Decree

The Power Of Positive Thinking

You shall cast every boy who is born into the Nile, but every daughter you shall keep alive.

Moshe became frightened and said, “Indeed, the matter has become known.” Pharaoh heard of this incident and he sought to slay Moshe; and Moshe fled from before Pharaoh.

Shemos 1:22


t first glance, it would seem that Pharaoh’s decree targeted only the infant boys born to Bnei Yisrael, and not the baby girls. If so, why was it necessary for Pharaoh to add and emphasize, “but every daughter you shall keep alive”? This implies that keeping the daughters alive was an active and integral part of his evil plan. Pharaoh’s objective was to stop the growth and continuity of the Jewish people. As such, he decreed that half the children born to Bnei Yisrael be annihilated physically – and the others spiritually. Pharaoh did not tell the Egyptians to allow the Jewish baby girls to live; he told them, “Every daughter [of Bnei Yisrael] you shall keep alive.” You – the very same Egyptians who are murdering the Jewish boys – should instill your Egyptian values and lifestyle into all the surviving children, thereby spiritually annihilating whatever remains of Bnei Yisrael.

Indeed, the first part of Pharaoh’s decree – to drown the baby boys in the Nile – conveys a similar message. Since it seldom rained in Egypt, the Egyptians relied on the waters of the Nile to irrigate their crops and, as they depended on it for their very sustenance, they considered the Nile a deity. Accordingly, drowning Jewish children in the Nile is metaphoric of immersing our children in the values, culture, and lifestyle of our secular surroundings, thinking that this immersion will grant them a secure future. It is crucial that we recognize that this approach stems from the likes of the evil Pharaoh – those who seek to destroy Jewish growth and continuity, if not physically, then spiritually. In order to give our sons and daughters life, we must grant them an education that focuses on their true livelihood – the vitality that we Jews receive from “the Torah of Life” – Likutei Sichos, vol. 1, pp. 111-112.

Shemos 2:14-15


hen Moshe discovered that people knew he had killed an Egyptian taskmaster, he became fearful for his future. Indeed, Pharaoh learned of the episode shortly thereafter and sought to have him killed. With this episode, the Torah hints to the extraordinary power of bitachon, complete trust in G-d’s goodness and grace. Having  bitachon requires more than just believing that G-d orchestrates every detail of existence at every moment, so whatever happens to you will certainly be for the very best. Rather, to have bitachon means to be at ease and trust that G-d will grant you goodness in the most obvious sense of the word. How can you be confident that G-d will indeed bless you with revealed good? Does the Torah not promise to reward those who are worthy and to punish those who are not? Regarding  bitachon, we read in Tehillim (32:10): “He who trusts in G-d, kindness will encompass him,” meaning, “even if one is not worthy on his own

accord, bitachon draws down gratuitous kindness [from Above] upon he who trusts in G-d” (Sefer Haikkarim 4:46). Why? Because fervent bitachon alone makes a person worthy of G-d’s blessings. Thus, if a person genuinely trusts that he is in G-d’s good hands (and therefore not subject to any natural limitations), then he can be certain that G-d will guard him and provide for him in a revealed way – even if he is not necessarily worthy of this for any other reason. To paraphrase the Tzemach Tzedek’s famous advice, “If you think positively, the future will be positive.” The Torah alludes to this principle of bitachon by telling us about Moshe’s worries, which preceded the actual threat to his life. Considering the Torah’s usual conciseness, the fact that it makes special note of Moshe’s unease even before Pharaoh sought to execute him, suggests that Moshe’s fear actually contributed to the outcome. Had Moshe not been afraid, the threat to his life would never have materialized – Likutei Sichos, vol. 36, pp. 1-6.

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Dear Dr. Yael, I am a woman in my early 70s who lives alone. Baruch Hashem, I am healthy and independent. Yet, I am lonely. My children, all boys who are happily married with children of their own, don’t call me every day. I call them and try to be helpful by giving them advice; however, they feel that I am very critical. They do take me to doctor appointments and help me with errands when needed, and I go to a different child every Shabbos, but during the week I am alone. Lately, they have been nagging me to get a First Alert pendant with a GPS, so if I fall I can easily get help. I am in good health and do not think I need this pendant, but they disagree. In fact, they even ordered one for me, but I don’t want to wear it. I told my children that if they would call me and visit me more often, I wouldn’t need a pendant, but they said they are busy during the week and want me to be safe. I want to be closer to my children, but I do not know how to make this happen. Please respond. I love your column. Lonely Mother and Grandmother Dear Mother and Grandmother, First, in regards to the pendant, it is so important for you to wear it. I know of countless people who either fell or had a sudden stroke and were able to get immediate care because of the pendant. In situations of a stroke, where medication needs to be administered within a certain amount of time, having the pendant can change the course of a person’s life. So please take this First Alert pendant seriously. As far as your loneliness, let’s think of ways that you can become closer to your children. Do you compliment your children? Do you help them physically and/or monetarily? You mentioned that you sometimes help them with advice, but advice is generally unwanted by married children. Additionally, if your children think that you are critical of

them, they will likely want to stay away from you. You may feel that your criticism is helpful, but constructive criticism is an oxymoron. Criticism is basically destructive and is probably alienating your children and grandchildren. In general, people criticize others to feel better about themselves. What I would suggest is that you start calling them more often, complimenting them, and trying to point out their positive characteristics. Remember, you attract more bees with honey. I can assure you that your sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren will want to call you more if they feel positive energy from you. People love those who are warm and complimentary and notice the good in others. We are all children inside who need that warm loving touch. I want you to work on being that warm positive parent/ grandparent that your children and

You need to find energy to have happiness within you, so you can be more positive with your family.

grandchildren want to be around. I know that it is very hard to change the manner in which you act at your age, yet the difference it will make in your life is truly worth the effort. Ask you rs el f: A re you de pressed? Would you benefit from therapy and maybe medication to make you more positive? Do you exercise enough? Exercise classes, such as swimming, can help you get out of the house and will fill your days with endorphins and more positive energy. You need to find

energy to have happiness within you, so you can be more positive with your family. Please try to see if these ideas are helpful and always wear your First Alert button, so if you ever need help, it will be there before a lot of damage has occurred. And remember, “A positive attitude is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” Hatzlocha with your relationship with your children and with working on becoming a more positive person.

Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and sees patients for psychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 5


So how much sleep do you need? BY DR. DOVID LIEBERMAN

Are You Sleep Deprived?


ou wake up in the morning to the sound of the screaming alarm, and think “just five more minutes,” as you hit the snooze button for the third time and go back to sleep –hoping this next six minutes will give you the energy to trudge through the day. Little do you know that you’re actually feeding the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 80 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep and almost all experience one or more of the signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation: weight gain, irritability, restlessness, lack of focus, withdrawal from people, memory loss, depression, anxiety, carelessness, lack of self-esteem, and a host of other signs and symptoms that range from an odd change in regular to behavior to serious disruptions in daily living.  So how much sleep is everyone else getting? Most adults sleep an average of 6.4 hours or less per night. Are you thinking, “But I can get by on less sleep – five good hours is all I need.” Perhaps you’re right; you may be part of the 10 percent of the population who can – but not if you do it with caffeine! Coffee and soda are not a solution to fatigue – sleep is.   For sure, there are those who go to the other extreme and sleep too much. So how much sleep do you need? Maimonides writes that eight hours sleep is the maximum, unless a person is sick; and studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours a night live the longest. Of course, this is a statistical average – and as such is not recommended for everyone!   A Real Deep Sleep Please note that shorts bursts of nonREM sleep, like those you experience ala the snooze button on your alarm actually tire you out more than they help you. Only true REM sleep can keep your body functioning properly and keep you healthy, happy and awake. True REM sleep is where your most vivid and helpful dreams occur.  Don’t think that because sleep

deprivation, as defined here, is so serious that it couldn’t possibly apply to you. Dr. Dement writes in The Promise of Sleep… that “even a little sleep debt will make us feel a little down, a little stressed, a little less happy than we would be if we got more sleep.” The truth is, that “little” bit of missing sleep that makes you feel a little bit more stressed out than usual, is what starts the cycle. And don’t begin to think that sleep deprivation means that you have to have missed several necessary hours of sleep throughout the night over a

the school play, anxiety is a normal feeling we all experience. But when anxiety becomes a result of sleep deprivation, it can get out of hand and cause detriment to your daily life. Depression – Depression is not only a symptom of sleep deprivation, it can also cause sleeplessness as well ongoing feelings of sadness, loss of interest, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression caused by sleep deprivation affects millions of people, adults and children alike. For children – teens especially – depression can mean a loss of friends, a sharp drop in grades and disinterest in anything they enjoyed before.

long period of time, either. Dr. Dement writes: “Sleep debt accumulates whenever we are awake… if sleep is interrupted…sleep debt is not erased completely and carries over from one day to the next.” Interestingly, the body is only able to carry this burden for so long before it breaks down. It’s like borrowing money from the bank. Every day that you do not pay back the loan, the interest you owe grows and grows and if you’re not careful, you may end up owing more than you can pay back. The same is true of sleep debt and how it leads to sleep deprivation. Many of the signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation are serious conditions in and of themselves and affect both children and adults at alarming rates, with negative emotional and physical consequences to follow:  Anxiety – Every person, young or old, experiences anxiety at some point. Whether it’s the overdue mortgage or

Mental Function – According to the National Sleep Institute, sleep deprivation has a major impact on memory, alertness and general concentration. For young children, this may mean an inability to focus in class – possibly leading to an incorrect diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For adults, this may lead to decreased productivity at work, decreased ability to solve problems logically and the inability to focus on important tasks like driving. Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, etc. – Believe it or not, sleep deprivation and many of its other related symptoms combine together to take an amazing toll on the human body. According to the National Sleep Institute, children with sleep deprivation are more likely to have problems later on in life with circadian rhythms (the biological clock that helps you know when to sleep and when to wake up) and are more likely to develop alco-

holism and drug addiction. Self-Esteem Issues – People suffering from sleep deprivation often find themselves experiencing feelings of low self-worth. According to the National Institute of Mental Health this symptom can be caused by sleep deprivation alone or could be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as clinical depression or anxiety disorder or other serious conditions (like anorexia) that can be a result of, or can sometimes cause, sleep deprivation. There is a host of simple, basic things that you can do to help give yourself an edge when it comes time to falling asleep. A two-minute Internet search or visit to your local health food store can yield a wealth of information. For example, did you know that a calcium deficiency might be responsible for your inability to fall asleep? Or that melatonin (which is a natural hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, in response to light) can help to regulate your sleep patterns? In more serious instances, sleep deprivation is most often treated by Bright Light therapies that help forced the circadian rhythm back to its natural course. Simple tests, such as lying down for 15 minutes (to see how long it takes you to fall asleep) can help you determine whether you should seek outside help. When your sleep deprivation or sleep debt is causing you to experience “daytime fatigue, irritability, anxiety, impaired concentration, waves of drowsiness and a host of other difficulties” that Dr. Dement lists as the most common issues, you know that it’s because you are sleep-deprived. And in that case, the best thing you can do for yourself is get some sleep.  Of course you are busy and have many demands on your time, but when you get the right amount of sleep you will find that you are more effective, and according to my wife, much more pleasant to be around. Dr. Dovid Lieberman, Ph.D., is a noted speaker and award-winning author with a renowned insight into the human condition. His 11 books, which have been translated into 27 languages and include two New York Times bestsellers, have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.  

6 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020


Co-engagement is now the byword for children’s technology use. BY ADINA SOCLOF

Dear Adina, I am having such a hard time limiting screen time with my kids. No matter what amount of time I give them, they always want more. Is limiting their time so important? And if it is, what can I do to set boundaries we can all stick too?

Dear Parent, This is such a tough question, one that seems to plague many parents. I myself am torn by the richness of online educational options and, at the same time, with legitimate concerns about excessive screen time. Although I benefit so much from the Internet, social media and the online world, I also wax nostalgic for the good old days before we were so attached to our screens. I can remember fondly when children played outside, used their imaginations, and had time to daydream.

Your concerns are not unwarranted. Screen time has been linked to obesity, sleep issues, attention problems and even contributes to anxiety and depression. Children who started watching TV before 12 months of age and watched for about two hours a day were approximately six times more likely to have language and attention delays. When children are engaged with screens they are losing valuable time where they could be interacting with those around them, practicing the give and take necessary for developing

positive and meaningful relationships. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently issued a statement suggesting a new mode of technology use that can help, “co-engagement.” I admit that I hesitate to report on it because I do feel that abstaining from technology use, certainly when a child is young, is the best way to go. However, co-engagement is now the byword for children’s technology use. Parents and children engage around a game or app-based activity in the same way they would with a picture book, game or toy. Online books do offer a lot in terms of education. There are apps you can download that offer the ability to read books together with your child, without schlepping along a little library on your trips. Furthermore, apps can help you read anywhere, anytime. It is best to find “simple” e-books that are illustrated, but with few animations. Remember that animations can be very distracting and take away from the simple joy of reading. To make the reading even richer, pause often and talk with your child about what has happened in the story

and how those events connect to your life. An added bonus, you can also record your own versions of the book using video or audio apps. Of course, we do need to mention the benefits of video chat and Facetime. These can also help children connect with loved ones who live far away. Grandparents love to see their grandchildren, and children love to share their crafts and drawings in their calls. Grandparents can also read to their children via Facetime – and even do homework. That can be a winwin situation for everyone. For older children it’s important to keep the computer in the central areas in your home and absolutely be sure that filters are in place. It’s important to talk about the pros and cons of screen use and have scheduled unplugged times. That can be at dinner, an hour before bedtime and, of course, on Shabbos. As I said, I do believe that the best way to interact with your children is to unplug, go outside, play board games and read from real books. However, “co-engagement” can be a more helpful way to screen time.

Adina Soclof is a Parent Educator, Professional Development Instructor and Speech Pathologist working with children in a school setting. She is the founder of For more information email or visit

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 7


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should we have to look behind us in fear or shelter our children indoors because someone who is “mentally ill” is acting out? Sadly, the time has come to look for the Maccabees in ourselves and

a point to impress upon their kehillah that self-defense and self-preservation are now first and foremost a necessity and not an extra curricular activity for both their male and female congregants and each shul should have two or more concealed carriers. Sadly the time has come to, once again, defend our right to be Jews. Though our government has promised more police protection and a firm

not be sitting ducks. The moment has come to sit down with our children and tell them, in a real and truthful way, that they must be more aware of who walks around them in the street, of the stranger who looks odd and out of place in their school building and of the person who shares the train platform or sits next to them on the bus. Coupled with this is teaching every child how to defend him or herself. Schools should use those little-used gyms for self-defense classes. Every rav of every shul should make it

crackdown on attackers, we should remember that at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own safety. When was the last time we raised our voices and said “Never again?” Rabbi Meir Kahane, a”h, left us with reminders that we need to fight with the Torah in one hand and with our might in the other. His legacy is that we never again allow ourselves to be herded like cattle on those long lines to annihilation without fighting for our G-d, our Torah, and our right to life. We are a docile people by nature

Stale Sufganiyot


ust recently, my fellow columnist, Cheryl Kupfer, wrote a column much like the one I was in the middle of writing, but didn’t get a chance to submit. In her brilliant piece, she clearly and concisely charts the historical origin and the effect the Maccabees had on Jewish history, one of the foundational stories we tell on Chanukah. Cheryl’s words were informative and without embellishment, mine are not. Belated as mine may be, I feel that what follows will only strengthen her message and even lend urgency to them. Chanukah, so anticipated by young and old alike for the message of wonder, miracles, hope and courage it imparts, started out this past year damp and without fanfare. Riding in on the fearful tidings of anti-Semitic occurrences here in the United States and around the world, we celebrated our heroes of yesteryear and the miracles brought about with their acts of valor with a more cautious and guarded sense. The eight days of joy and hope, of latkes and sufganiyot, of prayer and song that began with such anticipation, ended in a strong reminder that we have become complacent. Nothing really changes. We are and always will be the world’s scapegoat.  What comes to mind here is how short a time it has been since the world witnessed the Holocaust! It’s not even distant history... there are still a few survivors who attest to the horror! The world, however, has gone senile.  We will always be singled out because we stand out; we dress differently, behave differently and respond differently. In this great country, where all are accepted, why should our children have to remove their yarmulkas when they go to a theme park, a sports event or in a public place? Why

and by decree. The Torah teaches us to love and respect life and to care for our fellow man. However, when we are threatened with destruction of life and limb, we are beholden to protect and defend ourselves and His Torah. I often wonder how society at large can justify the latest act of domestic terrorism and anti-Semitism by saying the people involved are mentally ill. Mental illness plays no role here or in any other instance where a being takes the time and effort and time to research, plan and execute the destruction of another human being. We are all prone to abstract thoughts now and again, fleeting thoughts that may be the cause of momentary unhappiness, anger or pain; we are not perfect beings. How many times has a parent who has been stretched to the limit by a misbehaving child thought in the deep recesses of their mind “I wish I could strangle him/ her...”, but does the parent actually go ahead and do it? Some, in the heat of the moment, resort to crimes of passion, but those acts are reflexive, in the moment reaction, acts of insanity – still inexcusable and deserving of the full dispensation of the justice system. It indicates a momentary loss of mental control.  But when there is planning and physical preparation, that’s a willful act of destruction to satisfy ones demonic ideas. Cheryl and I see eye to eye on many aspects of today’s current events and I respect and admire her ability to convey her views in such an impartial and productive light. My verbiage is a bit courser, grittier and more graphic. I hope that between the two of us, we are able to partner in a healing and curative venue of ideas on how we can eliminate hate, fear and senseless anti-Semitism and replace it with a lasting peace, acceptance and respect between all peoples.

Rachel Bluth is a writer and lecturer with an active practice in the Five Towns, offering advice and resources to couples, young adults and children. She can be contacted via e-mail at

8 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020




Sleep No More?

o you ever feel like bedtime is never over in your house? Are you up and down the stairs a million times before it’s finally quiet? Are you constantly getting cups of water? Do you get up in the middle of the night to change the sheets? In my experience, a lot of parents struggle with bedtime – and what comes after. That’s why I’ve put together a short guide to help ensure that your evenings can be calm and relaxing again.


Your children are climbing the furniture. You don’t know how you can force them into their beds, but you definitely don’t think they are going to fall asleep. Solution #1: There’s a chance that your children have too much stimulation, but the more likely culprit is that bedtime is too late! When children get overtired (yes, there is such a thing), their bodies kick into overdrive and they get hyper. If you want to ensure that your children aren’t overtired, consistently get them into bed between 9½ and 11 hours before they have to get up in the morning. This will allow them to get the sleep necessary to function the next day.


Every time you think you are done with bedtime, your child asks for another story or glass of water. Or, he tells you his socks don’t fit right. Solution #2: Create a bedtime routine. This routine can include brushing teeth, washing faces, reading a book, telling a story, rubbing the child’s back, singing Shema, or any other calming ritual that your family enjoys. If possible, create a poster or small book with simple drawings so that your child can understand the routine. Then, explain that you will not deviate from the routine. The routine will allow your child’s body to understand that it is bedtime and is therefore time to relax. If you stick with the routine, your child will also eventually stop asking for those extra stories and cups of water.

Solution #4: There are various disorders that can disrupt sleep. Among them: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), previous traumatic experiences, or sleep apnea. These need to be addressed and diagnosed by a doctor, psychologist, or educational specialist. If these sleep issues persist, it is best to consult a professional.


If your child needs extra motivation, you can also create a chart for him with rewards at the end of a week of staying in bed quietly from bedtime until the morning.


Your child is afraid of the dark or what’s in his closet. Solution #3: Your child’s fears are very real and should not be ignored. That would only make them grow. However, bedtime is not the time to address those fears in a genuine matter. Therefore, if you are aware of the fears, sit down with your child and talk to him about what scares him. Explain to him that things are the same in the dark as in the light, but we just can’t see them. Help him look in the closet during the daytime. Read books about fears so he can see how other people overcame them. Maybe he will feel better with a night-light or a special doll to hug. That said, once you have done these things, bedtime is bedtime. Do the calming routine and put your child to bed.


You stick to a bedtime routine, but your child still won’t go to sleep. And, even when he does, he wakes up throughout the night.

Your six-year-old child goes to bed without a problem, but consistently wets the bed. Solution #5: Unlike daytime wetting, bed-wetting, or enuresis, is a more common occurrence than most people realize. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about twenty-five percent of five-year-olds, and ten percent of six-year-olds wet their beds. Bed-wetting is often attributed to a psychological or anxiety disorder, but new research is actually proving that this is not always the case. Below are some common causes of bed-wetting: Genetics: If both parents wet their beds after the age of six, there is a 75% chance that the child will wet his bed as well. If only one parent wet the bed, there is still a 44% chance of bed-wetting. Developmental Lag: Just as some children are late talkers or walkers, there are children who are late in controlling their bladder while sleeping. Eventually, even with a lag, all children learn to walk or talk. So too, they will learn how to stay dry at night. Deep sleep: Some children sleep so deeply, they cannot recognize when their bladder is full and therefore do not have enough time to get to the bathroom. Small bladder: Physically, the child might have a small bladder and therefore the bladder might overfill at night, causing nighttime urination. While extremely frustrating to the parent, the American Academy of Family Physicians states that up until the age of six, bed-wetting is not abnormal. After the age of six, they suggest several methods in order to prevent it: Limit fluids before bedtime. Have your child go to the bathroom at the beginning of the nighttime routine and then again right before sleep.

Create a reward system for dry nights. Ask your child to change the sheets after they get wet. Have your child train his bladder by holding his urine for longer times during the day. While encouraging your child to take responsibility for bed-wetting (like asking him to change the sheets), remember that it is important not to get angry or inflict guilt in your child. He is not bed-wetting because he is too lazy to get out of bed, so punishing him for actions that are beyond his control (and probably already cause him embarrassment) will only worsen the problem. Anxiet y: In some rare cases, bed-wetting can be triggered by anxiety. A divorce, move, or death in the family can significantly stress parents and children. The resulting change in lifestyle might prompt a child to begin bed-wetting. For instance, if the family moves from one city to another, parents might assume that the child is having trouble holding his bladder at night because of the emotional stress of leaving his old friends behind. However, the new floor plan of the house might be the true culprit. The child is not used to going to the bathroom down the hall, as he was used to the one right next door in his old home. Finding the root of bed-wetting – whether genetic, physical, or emotional – is the first step towards curing it. Nonetheless, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that if your child had a choice, he wouldn’t wet his bed. Therefore, large servings of both compassion and patience are also necessary remedies for the problem. An acclaimed educator and social skills specialist, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given workshops and set up reading labs in many schools. She can can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rif Visit

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 9


These evil people had plotted to get my grandmother’s possessions with tricks and lies. BY SUSAN MYERS


Family Bonds re most families close and well functioning or are they typically dysfunctional? Does respect and love play a big role in these relationships or do jealousy and greed come into play? The story of the first two

brothers, Cain and Abel, shows how family connections can erupt into terrible hatred. Yet Moshe and Aharon had a wonderful bond, two brothers showing mutual respect and devotion. Which one is an example of the norm?

The story that follows is a cautionary tale, one that I saw unfold with surprising twists and turns. Is it typical? You decide. My father was 12 when he came to the United States from England with his mother, sister and three brothers, after his father had passed away. They settled in Brooklyn. My mother’s parents came from Minsk. They raised their seven children on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. While my parents lived in Brooklyn to be near my father’s family, my mother’s siblings chose to live close to their parents in Manhattan. Many Sundays saw our family traveling to visit my maternal grandparents. We had a lot of cousins on that side and we were all close. In fact, for many years I thought they were all my siblings. My grandparents, whom we called Mama and Papa, were very close with my Aunt Rosa, her husband Izzy and their son Richard – the first grandchild. Richard often visited Mama and Papa and slept over. I could understand the special love my grandparents had for him. When I was 14, my grandfather passed away. When we visited Mama, Uncle Izzy told us that we should watch her closely because she was alone and vulnerable. What a nice and caring person, I thought, to think of his mother-in-law with such concern. Before long, Rosa and Izzy took Mama into their home and I was now in awe of both of them. I realized that

they had to make sacrifices for that to have happened. I also knew what a sweet grandmother I had, one who loved her children and grandchildren. Surely this was their way of showing their appreciation. A few months later Mama took ill and soon passed away. I was convinced that Rosa and Izzy helped add years to my grandma’s life. My father had passed away about a year before, so my mother, brother Sammy and I had been dealing with that sadness and I wasn’t really focused on the stories I began hearing about Aunt Rosa. It seems that Mama had given Rosa her jewelry when she was in the hospital, with the understanding that Rosa share it all with her siblings. I felt it was appropriate for Rosa to be the “agent” to give out the jewelry since she had done so much for Mama when

Papa passed away. However, Rosa was keeping a tight fist on the jewelry and there was a family war because of it. Tilly, an aunt by marriage, was said to be the most vicious. Through it all Rosa would not relent; she held on to the jewelry. In the midst of the “civil war,” Rosa and Izzy made a bar mitzvah for their youngest son Danny. After the bar mitzvah I went to visit my Aunt Rosa, Uncle Izzy and Danny in their apartment, and while walking up the steps to their floor I was stunned to hear a neighbor discussing the fighting going on amongst my family. I felt as if the air had been punched out of me. I was ashamed of them and did not want to be associated with any of them. My Aunt Tilly was said to have hired a lawyer. When my mother next saw her family, she threatened to get hold of the jewelry and throw it all down the sewer if they did not stop fighting. I was extremely proud of my mom for standing up to them. Where was their grief for the loss of the linchpin of the family — our Mama? Then, thankfully, I learned that the jewelry had been distributed. Rosa kept several of the best pieces for herself and gave the most beautiful of the rings to her new daughter-in-law. Two years later, that daughter-in-law and her son were divorced. No matter how many times Rosa asked to have the ring returned, the answer was always an adamant “No!” I thought it was poetic justice because Rosa had been so mean to her family. Yet I still had respect for her

because she made Mama’s last months less lonely. It turned out that Rosa was not cruel and selfish only to her siblings. A few years after the jewelry was distributed, Rosa and Izzy paid a rare visit to our home. Out of the blue, Izzy began to tell us the true story of Mama’s last months. It seems they told Mama that if she wanted to move in with them after Papa died, she would have to give them the jewelry. As she didn’t want to be alone, she agreed. Izzy started to cry as he continued. A few months later Rosa and Izzy told Mama that they were now going to put her in an old-age home. Sobbing loudly, my uncle said that my grandmother told Izzy that he’d never see her again. Sure enough, soon after she was put into the home my precious Mama passed away. This was so different from the “hearts and flowers” version I originally heard. Izzy kept sobbing and when I looked at Rosa I saw a smirk on her face. These evil people had plotted to get my grandmother’s possessions with tricks and lies. They had no concern for the dear woman who had so loved all her children and grandchildren, and their oldest son in a special way. My uncle was showing some remorse for what he had done, but I think his wife had no conscience whatsoever. She was pure evil to have mistreated her mother when she was at such a low point in her life. I wish there was a happy ending to this story, but there isn’t. It’s just a cautionary tale of what can happen even in a very happy family.

10 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020



Shomrei Emunah



That is the word that kept reverberating through my mind as I walked into the Shomrei Emunah synagogue and it only heightened throughout my visit. I knocked on the door of the magnificent edifice at the corner of 52nd Street and 14th Avenue in Borough Park and was greeted by Mr. Shloime B. Ellner. I introduced myself and explained that friends in Florida had recommended Shomrei Emunah for an article. I could hear a shiur being given in one room. The only other person I could see was a solitary figure in a large study sitting at a table with an open sefer. Mr. Ellner told me that Rav Shmuel Dovid Friedman spends so much time learning that he has very little time to spare so I should have my one question ready for him. Mr. Ellner unlocked the door to the study and it was the beginning of an incredible one-hour experience with Rav Friedman – an hour of heightened kedusha. My one question was a generic: “What can you tell me about your shul?” The Rav started with a story about HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, with whom he has a close and long-standing relationship. On one particular visit to see him in Bnei Brak in the 1980s, Rav Chaim told of a man who needed a medical procedure to save his life. It was very expensive, $10,000 per week, and could Rav Friedman raise the money. Rav Friedman came back to New York not sure how he could raise that amount of money every week. He decided to put ads in newspapers. Amazingly, every single week the money was raised, $8,000 a week from the ad in The Jewish Press. Rav Friedman then told me that all these years he had never expressed hakaras hatov to The Jewish Press and was happy to be able to thank the newspaper and its readers.

Rav Friedman continued to speak of HaRav Kanievsky and reached into his wallet where he kept a small packet with a half-shekel coin that had been blessed. I was honored when he gave it to me to keep. Congregation Shomrei Emunah was established in 1907 and in 1910 built a Romanesque Revival style yellow brick edifice, which it still occupies today. Numerous talmidei chachamim founded Shomrei Emunah. Over the years it has become known as “The Mother of Jewish Institutions” due to the offshoots that were established from it: Beth El (see A Shul With A Story, June 26, 2019), Congregation Anshe

Sfard, and Bnai Yehuda. Shul members were also credited with establishing organizations such as Yeshivas Etz Chaim (Hebrew Institute of Borough Park), Borough Park’s first Jewish day school and a very popular yeshiva and Israel Zion Hospital, now known as Maimonides Medical Center. A long line of distinguished rabbis served the kehillah, which might be why the Chofetz Chaim was known to have said that Gedolim traveling to America should visit Shomrei Emunah upon arriving. Rabbi Wolf (Zev) Gold was the shul’s rabbi from 1928-1935. Rabbi Gold was the founder of the Williamsburg Talmud Torah and is credited with

being the first President of the Board at Mesivta Torah Vodaas and the one who chose the name of the now iconic yeshiva. During those early years, numerous esteemed rabbis visited the synagogue including Rav Elchonon Wasserman, HaRav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, and HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz. Dr. Harry Wohlberg was Shomrei Emunah’s rabbi from 1935-1973. Rabbi Wohlberg was also a professor at Yeshiva University during that time and later served as Vice-President of the Religious Zionists of America. Rabbi Wohlberg served on the executive committee of the Rabbinical Council of America in addition to being a trustee of Bar-Ilan University. Rabbi Wohlberg’s three sons were all rabbis. Rabbi Jeremiah Wohlberg recalls going to shul in the 1950s and seeing a large contingent of emigrants, many of them Holocaust survivors with numbers on their arms. The shul was also known to be staunchly Zionist. Shomrei Emunah hosted all of the leadership of the Zionist movement prior to and subsequent to the establishment of the State of Israel. Rabbi Zev Gold, who had made aliyah at that point, was one of the original signatories on Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The renowned Rabbi Yaakov Pollak, zt”l, who was niftar this past May, served as the Morah D’asra from 19732008. Rav Friedman told of the heroic efforts and success of Rav Pollak in rescuing the manuscripts of Rav Yitzchak Eizik Krasilschikov, known as the Gaon of Poltava, from Russia. During the 1970s, Rav Pollak made numerous trips every year behind the Iron Curtain to rescue the Poltava Gaon’s twenty-volume dual-commentary on the Talmud Yerushalmi (twenty thousand pages) and other great works; all were transferred and removed in secret and accomplished with great humility. Thus what is recognized as

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 11


the clearest and best explanation of the Talmud Yerushalmi is still learned in batei medrashim today in large part due to Rav Pollack. Since 2008, Rabbi Aviezer Cohen has been the shul’s spiritual leader. He has given a Gemara shiur, Chevras Shas, between Mincha and Maariv for over 40 years. He is a talmid of Rav Yoseph Dov Soloveitchik of Yerushalayim and of Rav Aharon Kotler. While many in Boro Park are at the chassidishe end of the spectrum, Shomrei Emunah still offers a place for all people living in the community. It is a true makom of learning and tefillah. This still vibrant shul has a profusion of minyanim and shiurim. There are 2-3 weekday minyanim for Shacharis, one for Mincha, and two for Maariv. Attendance numbers in the hundreds and an average Shabbos sees 60-70 women in the ezras nashim. There is a 7am minyan for Shabbos, a 9am minyan with a chazzan, and a 9:15 minyan without.

The 7am Shabbos minyan was started so that family members with a relative in nearby Maimonides Hospital could daven early and then go to the hospital or nearby nursing homes. It’s the earliest of its kind in the area. In its heyday, when mainstream Orthodox Judaism was at its peak in Boro Park and Shomrei Emunah was the jewel, the shul saw 500-600 people on a typical Shabbos. My friend who recommended I visit told me that Rabbi Pollack was his mesader kedushin. He spoke affectionately of Shomrei Emunah smiling as he recalled the men wearing top hats as they sat in the seats of honor at the bima. One sign of the vitality of Shomrei Emunah today can be seen in the success of its numerous daily shiurim. There are two daf yomi shiurim, one in English and one in Yiddish, classes on Talmud Yerushalmi, Mishnayos, and others given over in Hebrew, English, or both. The Avos Ubonim learning

program draws approximately 150 participants on motzei Shabbos. Twice this year the shul was misayem Shas. Back to my original question. The Rav shared that some years ago there was a regular shiur with about 15 men. One day, without forethought and not knowing why, he asked if there were any men who had given $100,000 to a worthy cause. Many hands went up. The Rav then asked if anyone had given $250,000 and a few hands went up. Rav Friedman said, “That’s my shul. Everyday working men, attending shiurim, and no one knew the generous amount of money each had given to tzedakah.” Rav Friedman gives two shiurim a day, and is perhaps better known for his recordings on The Rav gave me a USB drive with thousands of his lectures. Can you imagine, thousands of opportunities to learn! Before leaving the study, Mr. Ellner showed me bookshelves of seforim written by Rav Friedman. Rav Friedman

wrote close to one hundred popular seforim on various topics on the Shas. As Rav Chaim told him to write seforim on Talmud Yerushalmi, Mr. Ellner explained, “Rav Friedman writes chiddushim and collects mefarshim and he’s like the Artscroll of Talmud Yerushalmi.” Mr. Ellner, by the way, has a Master’s degree in mental health counseling. Outside of his shul responsibilities, he works with different modalities in the milieu of holistic healing. More depth, knowledge, and wisdom emerging from the great minds of Shomrei Emunah. It must be all of the learning that contributes to the kedusha. Not just in the Beis Medrash or in Rav Friedman’s stories, it emanates from the walls themselves. There is a warmth to the smell of old leather seforim and the vintage ambience of a room long used studiously; it was a surreal and very special experience to have ruchnius transformed into tangible air. Rav Friedman said that he would like to refurbish the shul, that halacha requires a shul to be beautiful. Ahh, but the name Shomrei Emunah, Keepers of the Faith, so represents the beauty of this very special shul with a lot of stories… and what is more beautiful than a shul with kedusha. Judy Waldman is a freelance writer who writes for magazines, newspapers, and websites. She can be reached at

12 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020




knew this trip to Israel would not be quite like our previous ones. In the past, one of the things my husband and I enjoyed the most was walking along the streets of Yerusha-

layim, absorbing the atmosphere of different neighborhoods and drinking in the ambience. Whether it was Geula or Rechavia, a quiet street or a bustling avenue, seeing so many types of Jews dashing about was something that brought us great joy.

This trip would be different. Now my husband walks with a cane and can’t stand for excessive periods of time without pain. Walking more than a block or two can cause great discomfort. We talked about how much we both still wanted to go to Israel and how we realized there would be limitations on our activities this time around. I told myself we would manage and just adjust our activities accordingly. But the reality of how our visit would change hit me on the first day in Geula. Before, we would saunter into different stores, walk far into Meah Shearim along back alleys, walk back up to Kikar HaShabbat and stop to watch the tumult of people doing their shopping. Now, after 15 minutes my husband was exhibiting signs of pain. He sat on a bench at a bus stop while I quickly (no sauntering now) went into one or two specific stores to check out an item or price. We never got past the first block and I tried hard to hide my disappointment. My husband was discouraged as well, and I did my best to assure him we could

still enjoy our visit, even if it meant doing less than we had planned. I wondered if we would end up in our hotel room day after day without much to show for our vacation, and if this would be our last visit. But as the days went on, we learned to adapt. The bus stop was very close to our hotel. If we wanted to go somewhere that only entailed one bus, we took the bus. If it was farther, we agreed that we had to take a cab. Without fail, when we got on the bus someone would stand up and give my husband a seat. It was both a relief that he would not have to stand, and a little depressing that others saw him as “handicapped.” We planned our outings for a little later in the morning, to give his medications time to work. We stopped along the way to gather our strength. Before long the trip was turning into a most enjoyable one. We went to new places, visited with friends and family, and still managed to soak up the ambience of Yerushalayim, though in smaller doses. We learned things about ourselves; our acceptance of limitations and realities, and that

sometimes even a strong will is not enough to enable walking down the many steps from the Rova to the Kotel, or walking up the steps to the Mearas Hamachpela. To us, Israel is like a magnet that pulls us ever closer. When we are there, we don’t want to leave and when we come back, we want to plan the next visit. I wasn’t sure if my husband would want to go through

the strain of making the trip again with all that it entailed. I didn’t have to worry. Ab out a we ek a f t er we r e turned home, our nephew sent us a WhatsApp with the news that his daughter got engaged. Our first question was, “When is the wedding?” We are already working on our itinerary for the next adventure!

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 13





Bless The Bliss

our 2-year-old takes a marker and creates his masterpiece on a newly painted living room wall, what does our inner voice say? Is it dire doomsday: “Oh, what a disaster. I waited 5 years to do the paint job and now in a second everything is ruined!” or blame bombing: “Who left that pen within reach? Whoever it was is going to pay, big time!” or problem solving: “I guess we’ll need to paint that wall again and make sure to keep things out of reach” or greater perspective: “Do you think we have a budding Michelangelo? What great things will this child accomplish?” Whatever our slant, it will color our outlook every moment of every

to our lives. Exercising the muscle of expressing gratitude for what we have will infuse us with joy and build a protective shield for life’s hard knocks. If our default setting is one of happiness, even when annoyances and challenges crop up, we will automatically recalibrate to happiness. I felt that was where I was. And bliss? It is the fleeting intense happy moments experienced at intervals interspersed in the humdrum of everyday. Like the high notes in a song, bliss comes to highlight the more subdued background music of happiness. One needs to appreciate these quicksilver flashes, savor them and return to revisit their memory to increase one’s ongoing happiness. The stage called life features opportunities to experience bliss. For me it takes the shape of my grandchild wobbling on his little feet, with outstretched arms, eyes lit up and a gleeful cry of “Bubby!” Seeing my teenage child who struggles academically, put in the effort and ace the test. Witnessing my offspring band

day. Happiness is not a moment, but a continuum. By seeking and magnifying the positive in our lives, the moments become momentous. Digging for those golden nuggets of gratitude in the hardened earthiness of everyday life, brings a richness and wealth

together to help in times of simcha and hardship. Noting the blessings creates the bliss. I no longer chase the elusive bliss that shouts out from glossy pages. I look closer to home. It is real – and you can’t beat the price!

here is something you need to know about me: I love a bargain. I come by it genetically. My parents were bargain hunters by necessity as they raised nine

children on a rabbi’s salary. I have gone far and wide to snag a reduced price, long before online shopping. As a young couple with an increasing number of mouths to feed, my husband and I would assemble the newspapers, scour the ads and decide where and when to do our weekly shopping. Sometimes we would pull into Shoprite to buy

the eggs and dairy on sale, move on to Giants for non-edibles and top it off at the Howard Tavern section of Piggly Wiggly for Empire chickens. It was a sport, and scoring low was a real win. As in many other sports, winning was a happy occasion – a cause for celebration. Our ritual of surveying the newspapers exposed us to the onslaught of advertisements informing us that if we would only buy Wrinkle Free face cream, join Make Over exercise club, buy a Magic Blend and Pulse food processor and vacation at The New Improved Nirvana, we would find happiness and bliss. Although I thought of myself as happy, who could resist the bliss? Being a bargain and bliss hunter, I

started with the Wrinkle Free face cream. I guess puckering up one’s nose in response to the vile smelling potion didn’t do wonders for the wrinkles on my forehead. On a scale of 1-10 it was a minus 3. Make Over exercise club allowed an hour’s free trial – something that was hard to resist. My plan was to do half an hour on the stationary bike followed by a half hour on the treadmill. With mounting anticipation tingling through my veins, I approached the stationary bike and mounted it. Slipping my feet through the pedals’ stirrups I had visions of a svelte new me rising up after my half hour workout. Within mere minutes my legs felt like molten lead and each revolution was an exercise in pain endurance. A half hour seemed like half a lifetime, but I was determined. The determination terminated ten tortuous minutes later. Feeling as if my legs were tree stumps, I extricated my feet from the stirrups and accepted defeat. Limping out of the gym I congratulated myself for trying out a free trial and not having paid for the torment. By now I was no longer a naive numbskull in blind pursuit of bliss at any price (alright, at the cheapest price). It was time for some serious introspection. What would I have achieved if I attained my elusive goal? How did bliss differ from the happiness I already felt? Here is what I realized: happiness is a state of mind. One does not procure it or purchase it. It is how we experience life. It is our outlook. When

14 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 15


The Idiom Parlance BY B. GORDON

“Back to the drawing board” Definition: Used to indicate an original plan was unsuccessful, and a new one must be created from scratch

Sentence: “Now that all of our original moving plans didn’t work out, we need to go back to the drawing board.”

“Pony up”

Origin: A drawing board in this case refers to an actual board or piece of paper that contractors or engineers used to map out plans and blueprints. Popular cartoonist Peter Arnon invented the phrase in a cartoon he drew in the New Yorker in 1941. His strip depicts the smoking remains of a crashed military plane and service personnel rushing forward with looks of horror on their faces. A civilian designer or architect also looks on, nonplussed. The architect, who has engineering plans rolled up under his arm is seen saying, “Well, back to the old drawing board.” Synonymous phrase: Back to square one

Definition: To pay up debts, to settle an account Sentence: “I want to get a degree, but I’m not sure how I’ll pony up my college debt.” Origin: The first time the expression was used in print was in 1819 in The Rural Magazine: “The afternoon... the... gentlemen are walking rapidly into the merchant-tailors shops, and very slowly out, unless they ponied up the Spanish (the money).” Interestingly, the term has no real relationship to the word “pony,” but stems from a historical association. In the 1500’s and 1600’s, the English quarter day (the day that marks a quarter of the year) of March 25 was

the day that accounts were settled and payments made. On that day, they sang the 5 th division of Psalm 119 during church services. The first two words of the song in Latin are “Legem pone.” The term became associated with the payment of debts and was used as a symbolic expression for paying up. In 1570, Thomas Tusser wrote in his poem Hundreth Good Pointes Husbandry: “Use Legem pone to pay at thy day.”



16 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020


From Sunshine


Chapter 4


hings seemed to change after that. Daddy spoke on the phone to Aunt Judith, his only sister; a rare occurrence as long distance calls were very expensive, reserved for special occasions such as erev Rosh Hashana and Pesach. I began to wonder what Aunt Judith was like. When I was four, she sent me a cute rubber baby doll, complete with a little water bottle to drink from. Another time she sent us two pretty dresses. Faigie and I would have loved them except for their unusual dull gray color. Mummy insisted that we put them on while she took a photo. We didn’t know much about Aunt Judith, Uncle Max and their teenage sons Jeremy and Jonathan except that they lived in a place called Winnipeg in Western Canada. At the library, I found a book with stunning pictures of the Rocky Mountains and a turquoise lake called Lake Louise. I hoped Winnipeg was near those gorgeous places. One Sunday afternoon, we drove to Aunty Sylvia’s house for tea. To my delight, Mrs. van der Merve was

there. She and Mummy disappeared into one of the spare bedrooms. That seemed rather strange and I wondered what was going on. Later, when I went to the bathroom next to that bedroom, I couldn’t help overhearing them. “I think it would be a perfect solution for both of us,” said Mrs. van der Merve. “Rabbi Lewis said that living with an observant Jewish family would teach me a lot and make my conversion process easier. Reva, I understand how hard this move is for you so I’ll do whatever I can to help you.” “You are so strong and capable, Annika, ready to build a new life after getting divorced. But won’t you miss your family if you move to Canada with us?” Mummy asked. “Yes, I will but my sons have been very independent for a long time already. And when I told them I’m converting to Judaism, they looked at me as if I was crazy.” “The thought of leaving my sisters behind is so painful,” admitted Mummy. “Of course, I can’t replace your

sisters, but I’ll do my best to be supportive of you in every way I can.” “Thank you, Annika, I appreciate that more than I can say.” The idea of her moving with us to Canada was beyond wonderful. Of course I would still miss my aunts and cousins but having Mrs. van der Merve come with us felt reassuring, as if she’d placed a comforting arm around our shoulders. Mummy’s whole attitude seemed to be less hopeless and teary-eyed. When it was difficult to decide which items to take with us, Mrs. van der Merve took over and helped pack up our things. She also had another suggestion for us. “Since I’m going to be living with your family now, you could call me Aunty Annika if you like.” Of course I loved the idea and for once Faigie, Hillel and I were in complete agreement. Daddy decided to rent out our house, hoping a real estate agent would eventually find a buyer, although it was old and slightly shabby-looking. “We’ll have to fix this place up a bit,” he told us. He hired a couple of repairmen to fix our leaky bathtub tap, our bedroom door’s wiggly

handle, remove the chocolate stains from the carpet and a few other jobs. Then some painters arrived to make the outside of the house look more attractive. With all these strangers in our home, poor little Sandy went crazy. It broke my heart to think about leaving him behind, but Aunty Sylvia and Michael assured us they would take great care of him. “We’ll go for a run on the beach every day,” Michael promised. “Sandy will love it.” That thought gave me a bit of consolation. One day the workers painting our tall wooden shutters forgot to close the front gate. We were indoors, helping Mummy and Aunty Annika with the packing, when I realized that Sandy wasn’t around. I ran outside and immediately noticed the open gate. “Oh, no, Sa ndy escaped!” I screamed. Followed by Faigie and Hillel, I dashed up and down the street calling his name. To our dismay, he was nowhere in sight. All three of us burst into tears. Mummy managed to hug all of us together, trying to make us feel better. “Don’t worry, darlings, Sandy will come home when he gets hungry. You know he loves to eat his dinner at

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 17

F E AT U R E It felt strange walking around our neighborhood in the evening although Daddy was right there holding our hands. CHARACTER ILLUSTRATIONS BY NESSIE SCHIFF

six o’clock as if he can tell time,” she pointed out. “Let’s go home and do a bit more packing and soon we’ll see him trotting in the door.” “I hope so, “ I sniffed. “It’s hard enough to think of leaving him behind, but not knowing where he is right now is a thousand times worse!” When Daddy came home, Sandy was still missing. After we explained the problem, he came up with a marvelous idea. “I once saw a sign up on a telephone pole about a dog that was missing. Let’s make some signs about Sandy and go around the neighborhood putting them up.” We immediately found pieces of construction paper and markers and started making signs: LOST - small brown dog answers to the name of Sandy. Ran away from home at 31 Maynard Street. If found please call 27510. It felt strange walking around our neighborhood in the evening although Daddy was right there holding our hands. Due to the spate of recent robberies, most families went home as soon as it grew dark, locking all their doors and windows. After we posted six of our signs, we decided to go home too. “Do you think a nice, kind person will find Sandy and bring him back?” I could hear my voice quivering. “I hope so,” Daddy replied but I still went to bed worrying. Where was my sweet little Sandy? Was he out wandering in the streets feeling hungry, cold and lonely? Was he missing me as much as I missed him? Would we ever see each other again? My pillow muffled my sobs until I finally fell asleep. The next morning the kitchen seemed strangely quiet without Sandy jumping around and begging us for scraps. I couldn’t look at his empty feeding bowl in the corner without growing teary-eyed. Mummy reminded us it was still a school day. Reluctantly, we got ready though I longed to stay home in case the phone rang with the wonderful news that someone had found Sandy.

“When we come home from school will Sandy be back?” Hillel wondered. “I hope so, darling, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Mummy replied softly. It was hard enough to concentrate at school, knowing that in a few short weeks we’d be leaving it permanently. But today, with Sandy constantly on my mind, it was impossible to focus at all. My favorite teacher, Mrs. Shulman, must have noticed because at recess she said, “You must be so excited about moving to Canada. It will be such a wonderful experience for you, Mindy, with all those new sights and adventures awaiting you! I’d be very pleased if you would write to me sometimes and tell me all about it.” I nodded in agreement though my thoughts were far away. In the schoolyard, I looked up at Table Mountain, the constant backdrop I had seen every day of my life. But now, realizing that my time was limited, I gazed at it intensely, in sharp focus, committing the sight to my memory forever. The next two days were agonizing as we waited to hear news about Sandy. Each time the phone rang we prayed this would be the wonderful phone call we were hoping for. But we only got calls from relatives and friends or from someone interested in renting our house. Then Aunty Annika told us that her neighbors, the Jensens, were about to move to Cape Town and wanted to see our house. Daddy and Mummy were happy to hear this, as they were anxious to find a reliable family as tenants. The next day Mr. and Mrs. Jensen, a pleasant middle-aged couple, came over and seemed to like our house right away. They sat down with our parents at the dining room table to discuss the rent and lease details. Soon they came out smiling after reaching an agreement. “Your mummy told us that your dog ran away,” said Mrs. Jensen. “I’m so sorry to hear that. The same thing happened to us some years ago when our little Patches ran away. But don’t you worry, we’ll be on the lookout for

a small brown dog who answers to the name of Sandy. Dogs are smart and he’ll remember where his home is.” I thanked Mrs. Jensen for her kind offer. “But did your dog come home?” I asked anxiously. “Oh yes, he did, after more than a week of worrying about him. He’d run off into someone’s back yard and, since he was a friendly dog, they decided to keep him while they made inquiries about his owners. But before they could find us, Patches ran away again and showed up at our door as if nothing had happened, with a silly grin on his face!” We felt hopeful Sandy would have a similar happy experience. Suddenly it was time to say goodbye. My classmates made me a farewell party with cupcakes and balloons and presented me with a little Eskimo doll. “Well, you are going to live in Canada, aren’t you?” asked Malka Resnick in response to the surprised look on my face. “There are normal people in Canada too, not only Eskimos!” I protested as everyone giggled. Saying good-bye to our relatives was much harder. Aunty Sylvia invited everyone to her house for tea on the Sunday afternoon before our departure. Though it was nice to see everyone, it was sad to realize that this was probably the last time we’d see each other for the foreseeable future. There was a great deal of hugging and tears shed during the farewell. Aunty Sylvia had invited us to stay overnight at her house until it was time to leave for the airport. But when Michael was about to drive us there, Aunty Sylvia was in her store serving a customer and couldn’t give us a final hug. Mummy looked upset, dabbing her eyes as the car drove away but I noticed Aunty Annika giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. I wondered if she also had a farewell party with her family, but as she hadn’t mentioned anything about it, I didn’t ask. At the airport, we were happy to

see our cousins Francine and Melissa, the relatives closest in age to Faigie and me, for one final farewell. “You are so lucky to be going to Canada,” Francine told us. “And you will see snow!” Melissa pointed out. Cape Town children never saw snow, unless they went far into the mountains during a cold winter, so that was definitely something we were looking forward to. “But it will be a while before we’ll see any snow,” I explained. “The seasons in Canada are the opposite of ours so July is summer time there.” Soon we found ourselves gazing in awe at the large airplane we were about to board. “Wow, we’ll be going up into the sky in that airy plane!” Hillel announced excitedly. “This is only the first plane we’re going on,” Faigie informed him. “It will take us just to Johannesburg. There we’ll get another plane to London and after that another plane to Canada.” “Wow, so many planes,” said Melissa, impressed. “I’ve never been on one plane yet.” “So come visit us,” suggested Faigie casually, as if it were just a short car ride from Canada to her house. “I wish!” said Melissa. We all waved good-bye as Mummy, Daddy and Aunty Annika guided us towards the boarding gate. It felt almost like a dream but we really were leaving! Excitedly we found our seats, fastened our seat belts and waited for take-off. Hillel counted under his breath: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast-off!” “Hilly, this is an airplane, not a rocket ship!” said Faigie patronizingly. “How long will we be on this plane?” asked Hillel. “Two hours and then we’ll have a three hour stopover,” Mummy replied. But the highlight of that stopover would be seeing our beloved Aunty Rosie!

18 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020

Babies Galore by

Jodie Maoz

From England With Love Legendary UK Company iCandy Brings State-Of-The-Art Stroller To The U.s.

Bradley and Warren Appel, brothers and co-CEOs of iCandy, at Buckingham Palace


Warren and Bradley with the iCandy Peach

urning the corner at NJ Mom Baby Expo, I spotted a stroller I couldn’t take my eyes off, manufactured by a company called iCandy. Its sleek lines and beautiful fabric were steps above the usual strollers we see everywhere. When speaking with Steve, the iCandy representative, I learned that the stroller had just been brought to the United States and was being sold in a store in Brooklyn. He asked me if I’ve heard of Brooklyn and I laughed. I told him that not only did I live there, I lived within walking distance of the store that was selling his stroller. He was very enthusiastic about my reviewing the Peach stroller (its name, not color) as he thought it a great fit for the Jewish community. When I received the stroller, I panicked a little bit, wondering if I would be able to put it together. Not only were the instructions very clear, every piece of the bassinet attached to its anchor by a color-coded zipper. Once it was assembled it looked as beautiful and classic as I remembered. Folding the stroller is very easy, and it even comes with a shoulder strap for carrying. The stroller pushes so smoothly and the larger wheels in the back allow it to easily glide over any terrain. In the few weeks since I met Steve, several other stores in Brooklyn and elsewhere have begun carrying the iCandy Peach (right now it’s the only model available in the U.S.). I had the pleasure of interviewing, via email, Bradley, who along with his brother Warren serves as co-CEO of iCandy World. (Their grandfather, Charles Appel, founded the company.) 

iCandy Peach All-Terrain

Queen’s Awards

What was Charles’s background and business was making children’s cycle how did it lead to the invention of the helmets and car safety seats before iCandy carriage? I understand that developing a range of widely sold Charles was in fashion. nursery products. In order Can you elaborate? to reach for the stars, we Fabrics are what we decided to channel our know best. Established in innovative thinking and London in 1933, the iCandy demand for the highest family business began as quality down a niche route. a tailoring company manIn 2005, we created someufacturing overcoats that thing special: a single to sourced and manufactured double stroller on a single the highest quality materifootprint under a new label als on the market. called iCandy – the name Charles Appel, Founder stems from our beloved What was the original name of the childhood dog who was called Candy; company? When and why was it she was a poodle and was only three changed? Why iCandy? Are there weeks older than me. We officially still products produced under the became iCandy World Limited in 2010. original name? The company was originally regisWhat other products does iCandy tered in London on 18 December 1933 produce? under the name M & S Cohen LimitiCandy’s portfolio ranges from a ed. It then changed to SCS (London) lightweight, compact city stroller to Limited. the Peach All-Terrain, which is a true When the current generation besporting powerhouse engineered to came involved in the late 1970s, the perform and master the countryside.

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 19

Babies Galore by

From the iconic iCandy Peach which offers double functionality on a single footprint, to the iCandy MiChair, a stylish highchair that turns into a beautifully crafted piece of furniture for your child, iCandy futureproofs the lifecycle of every product so that it grows with every family. The iCandy collection not only comprises beautiful and functional strollers and a stylish highchair, there are also coordinating accessories including diaper bags, umbrellas, drink holders and footmuffs.  iCandy has also just launched an apparel collection with 20% of proceeds from every sale going directly to London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity. Featuring a bear with a red heart, the t-shirts and sleepers are in honor of GOSH’s Bear Ward which cares for children with serious cardiac conditions.  iCandy is also provides the hospital with specially modified strollers that can be used by children with cardiac conditions that require cumbersome equipment such as oxygen tanks.   GOSH Charity facilitated feedback and comments from the hospital’s nurses, which helped in the design of a stroller that would be functional, while providing a safe and comfortable environment for children. Modifications to the iCandy Strawberry included a strap to secure medical tubing and a buckle to secure an oxygen tank. An adapted harness also allows children who require complex medical equipment to sit in comfort.  The strollers enable patients to be able to break away from the hospital environment with a walk to the local park.    I read that Prince Harry and Megan, Duchess of Sussex, chose the iCandy stroller. Is this so?  As a 5th generation family business we fully appreciate and go to great lengths to protect our clients’ privacy at such a personal time. All we can say is that there are a wide range of people, from members of the Royal family to film stars, business leaders to athletes and celebrity chefs to actors all around the world, all of whom love iCandy.    What are your and Warren’s backgrounds?  Warren and I were born and raised in London. I’ve been married for 36 years and Warren has been married for 29 years. Between us we have five

Jodie Maoz

children and so far, one grandchild. Our family joined Stanmore United Orthodox Synagogue/Temple, one of the UK’s largest, in the 1940s. In addition to getting married there we were also both bar mitzvah there, attending all cheder there and we were members of many youth groups too. The family business was instilled from a young age and many a school break would find my brother and I helping in the family business. I read that the company won two Queen’s Awards. Being an American I don’t know the merits of these awards. Please explain. iCandy is proud to have been recognized. The first award was the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2016 and the second in 2018 for Innovation – a prestigious accolade acknowledging our outstanding contribution to contemporary British product design and engineering. The Queen’s Award for Innovation is awarded for commercial success as a result of innovation. It’s the highest accolade that a UK business can receive and iCandy was the first British stroller manufacturer to be given the prestigious recognition. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is awarded to a UK business for outstanding achievement in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.  We were invited by Her Majesty the Queen on both occasions to visit her and her family at Buckingham Palace to celebrate our achievements. *** State-of-the-art product innovation and development has allowed iCandy to push boundaries and cater to parents who want and deserve more. This balance of performance, luxury and design is iCandy’s signature, and the company refuses to compromise or accept limitations in its pursuit of perfection. iCandy takes pride in building a strong close-knit team and selecting candidates who are experts in their fields.  With an impressive 85 years of manufacturing pedigree and expertise, iCandy’s skilled designers continue to create on-trend products with fashion forward colors that also provide great function for the modern-day parent.

iCandy Peach with seat

iCandy Peach with bassinet

20 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020



EACH MONTH ENJOY DELICIOUS TASTING DINNERS made QUICK and EASY with ONLY FIVE INGREDIENTS OR LESS (not counting household staples such as oil and spices)Â


JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 21


Baked Lemon Chicken and Potatoes Baked chicken layered over onions and potatoes, spiced with ginger and turmeric topped with zesty lemon slices.  This flavorful dish comes together easily, creating a savory filling meal everyone will enjoy.  Ingredients: 1 small onion thinly sliced 4 Yukon gold potatoes peeled and sliced into thin rounds  1 whole chicken cut into quarters  2 lemons thinly sliced  2 tablespoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon turmeric  Directions: 1. Place onions and potatoes in a large baking dish.  2. Place chicken on top.  3. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and season with black pepper, salt, ground ginger and turmeric.  4. Place lemon slices over chicken and potatoes. 5. Bake on 350°F for about 90 minutes or until chicken registers 165° in the thickest part.  Optional:  If you would like a different flavor profile, swap ginger and turmeric for paprika and garlic powder.  

I love hearing from readers so feel free to get in touch. Email me at with all of your foodie questions and requests. You can see more of my recipes on my blog, 

22 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020


Making Life Easier BY PNINA BAIM

How To Teach Your Children About Money


his past Shabbos, we were visiting with some friends, and discussing how most American frum couples have about $20-40 thousand in debt. We agreed that people need to learn how to budget when they are younger, before they are slammed with a thousand different demands on their accounts. With Chanukah behind us, your kids might have amassed a nice amount of cash, assuming they weren’t indulged in presents instead. Why not take this opportunity to teach them about money and fiscal management. The first step to teaching children about the importance of saving money is for them to have money to save. I mentioned Chanukah gelt, but this would apply as well to birthday money, afikomen money, etc. Children should be given a small weekly allowance in exchange for daily chores as well. Then, they should be encouraged to physically place their money into a bank account. I recommend opening up an account for each child. It’s a bonus if the children can get an old fashion bank passbook, where they can see their deposits and watch their money grown. In my area, Apple Bank has a very attractive option for children’s accounts. As it is right on our corner, my children are able to go by themselves, with whatever dollar or so they managed to save. The tellers are patient and show them how to fill out

the deposit slip. They love comparing their different accounts and see how their money is growing. Don’t forget to teach them about compound interest, which is basically free money, and one of the most important ingredients of a healthy financial adult life. You’d be surprise how quickly they will catch on. Of course, there are times when children want to spend their money. I am of the opinion that children’s money belongs to them, and if they want to blow it on junk from the local discount store, that is their prerogative. However, it is a good idea to discuss with them that money has a finite value, and have them think about priorities, i.e. junk food, toys, friends, etc. This way they can begin to learn how to balance different demands. If they spend it on a stuffed banana, they will have less money to spend on something they really want, for example a souvenir from a family trip, or a Slurpie on a hot summer day. If you decide to give them a weekly allowance, it comes with two caveats. Firstly, allowance is really payment for a job well done, i.e. chores. As I’ve written about in these pages, my children have daily chores that they rotate so that they don’t get the same job every day. If they do not do their chore, they get their allowance deducted by a dollar. This only applies if they are available to do their job,

and simply don’t want to, not if they are not home, or sick and can’t do their job. This quickly teaches them that by doing a job for a few minutes, they will earn money. The second caveat is that now Mommy and Daddy no longer pay for everything. The best way to figure out what the parents should pay for versus the kids is to determine what a need as opposed to a want is. A need is the basics of food, shelter, clothing, tuition, school supplies and projects, etc. However, a need can also be wanting something that everyone has. For example, if everyone in your daughter’s class has more than one Shabbos outfit, she needs to have more than one as well. She can’t be the only one in her group wearing the same outfit every weekend. What I would suggest is buying her two or three Shabbos outfits, and if she wants more, she can use her own money. The same thing would apply for a friend’s birthday present. If it is standard protocol for everyone to bring a birthday present to a party, then your son needs to bring a present as well. You can give him a budget that you feel is reasonable, and if he wants to spend more, he may. For example, my daughter is in 7th grade, and has a 1st grader as a “little sister.” The 7th graders are meant to be friendly and help them acclimate to the big building and more formal structure of elementary school, but instead the 7th graders just buy things for the little girls at every occasion. Although I’m not happy with how this developed, my daughter’s little sister can’t be the only 1st grader without gifts. So I gave my daughter five dollars and told her anything more would have to come from her own money, as five dollars is sufficient to buy something yummy and/or cute. My daughter was fine with this arrangement because she has the money to use if she so decides. Figure out what will work best for your family, but whatever you do decide, the earlier the better. You don’t want them to come to you as married adults, looking for help getting out of credit card debt.

Pnina Baim is the author of the Young Adult novels, “Choices,” “A Life Worth Living,” and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, “Sing While You Work.” The books are available at

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 23



Must-Have Winter Accessories


f you live in Brooklyn or anywhere in New York City, you have been experiencing a strangely warm winter so far. But that doesn’t mean that things won’t take a turn as winter is only just getting started. So let’s prepare with some essential winter accessories!

Snow Boots My old snow boots are clunky and pretty ugly to be honest; in 2020 we actually have better choices. Try brands like Sperry, Sorel, Marc Fisher, and Cole Haan for options that are actually cute. This season you don’t have to make do with being freezing in unlined rain boots. These companies make boots that can withstand a blizzard comfortably while also being fashionable!

Hats A hat is a necessity for staying warm in the winter. Personally, I’m a huge fan of slouchy

beanies, particularly with a pom pom on it for an added element of fun. I’m wearing a Maniere New York beanie in the photo above, which I found in a local accessory store.

Gloves I may or may not have a slight attachment to my phone, so I love gloves that allow you to easily text and talk. These convert to mittens and they’re great. The brand is Kate Spade, they come in a few different colors, and I like the cute but subtle bow detail.

Tights Opaque bulletproof tights (only a slight exaggeration on the bulletproof description) are my go-to for winter. Last winter, I discovered fleece-lined tights for added warmth and they are definitely the best invention! Amazon has some great options and I always appreciate that I can read a ton of reviews before making my decision.

Shira Rosenbluth is a psychotherapist who specializes in working with individuals with eating disorders and runs a NYC body positive style blog at You can find her on instagram at @asequinloveaffair.

24 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020

K I D Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; P A G E

PAGE Letter Animal Familiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Names

Can you figure out which one letter is missing to complete all these words?

1. A female antelope is called a cow. What is a baby antelope called? A male? 2. A female duck is called a duck. What is a baby duck called? A male? 3. A female rhinoceros is called a cow. What is a baby rhinoceros called? A male? 4. A female walrus is called a cow. What is a baby walrus called? A male?

1. O


4. SU

2. TO



3. FU



Answer: The missing letter for all of these words is N: and the words are ONE, TON, FUN, SUN, NOT, NUT

Answers: 1. The baby antelope is called a calf, a fawn, or a kid. The male is called a bull. 2. The baby duck is called a duckling. The male is called a drake. 3. The baby rhinoceros is called calf. The male is called a bull. 4. The baby walrus is called a cub. The male is called a bull.




Why should you save your pennies?

What kind of shoes does a lazy person wear?

What kind of tree has a hand?

Answer: It just makes good cents.

Answer: Loafers.

Answer: A Palm tree.

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 25

K I D Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; P A G E


Pharaoh decreed that all the Jewish newborns should be thrown into the river. Mosheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother hid him in a basket and put him into the Nile River so that he would survive.

Hashem came to Moshe in the form of a burning bush and told him that Bnei Yisrael will soon be freed from their slavery in Egypt and leave with riches.

26 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020

K I D Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; P A G E

Can you Spot the seven Differences this week? Send your finds to and you just might win two tickets to The Crayola Experience.

Orly Gottesman, founder of Blends by Orly, with gluten-free creations made with her gluten-free flours.

Please note: For your entry to be considered a winner it must include a complete mailing address.

Congratulations to: Sara Yehaskel of Fairlawn, NJ, Ben Feigenbaum of East Brunswick, NJ and Rocky Herbst of Houston, TX for spotting the differences in the January 3 issue.

Did you spot the differences in our images of Chol HaMoed? They were: 1) The plant in the background at left is taller. 2) The boy in the front at left has his shirt tucked in. 3) The red top on the young boy behind the case is now blue. 4) There are now sleeves on the red dress on the girl in the center in the front. 5) The girl in front second from the right is wearing a floral skirt. 6) The left shoe on the girl fourth from the right is tilted slightly to the right. 7) There are three CHAZAQ logos on the sign in the back.

JANUARY 17, 2020 | OLAM 27

Tales From The Midrash And of Our Gaonim by Rabbi Sholom Klass, a”h

In Place of The Baal Shem Tov


av Avraham Gershon of Kitov was a scholar in the beis medrash of Brodi. This modest and unassuming man possessed such wondrous qualities that the great Nodah B’Yehudah, in a responsum, referred to him, in part, as follows: “The complete and all-encompassing scholar, the hallowed pious one, light of Israel, the pillar of the right hand, mighty hammer…” Rav Avraham Gershon was, as were all scholars of Brodi, a strong opponent of Chassidus. Ironically, however, his sister married the Baal Shem Tov. At first this made no difference to Rav Avraham Gershon, yet, as the days passed and he came to know his brother-in-law intimately, he began to behold the great and noble qualities that made the Baal Shem Tov the leader he was. Soon after, Rav Avraham Gershon became one of the Baal Shem Tov’s staunchest supporters. Indeed, it was he who was sent to Eretz Yisrael to lay the foundation


nother of the great scholars to come from the remarkable beis medrash in Brodi was Rav Elazar Rokeach, whose genius shines forth from his work Arba’a Turei Even and Ma’ase Rokeach. But over and above his learning were his qualities of character. He was simple and modest, direct and humble. In his youth, tradition tells us, he lived the life of a pauper. Many a week he would fast two days, and even during his fast he would sit in the beis medrash and continue his

for Chassidus in the Holy Land. The tale of how this came about follows. In those days Rav Chaim Ben Attar, the Ohr HaChaim, moved from Morocco to Eretz Yisrael. This gaon, known to the wise men of his generation as “similar to an angel of the Lord,” was of firm views and never flattered or bowed to any man. Nevertheless, when it came to the community of Israel he maintained an attitude of respect and awe. Despite his refusal to bow to people, Rav Chaim was a humble and patient man and forgiving to those who insulted him. It is related that once when he was involved in a Din Torah, he ruled that the defendant was liable for damages. When the defendant heard the ruling, he flew into a rage and began to insult the Rav, going so far as to impugn his honesty. Rav Chaim sat quietly, never growing angry or answering the man. Later his students, who were shocked by the affair, asked him, “Rabbeinu, where is the

staunch spirit for which you are so famous?” “What, in your opinion, should I have done?” asked Rav Chaim. “We feel that this man deserved to have been condemned and driven out of the house and a ban placed on him until he apologized,” the students answered. Rav Chaim laughed and replied, “And yet, consider this. The man has been found guilty and his soul is bitter because of it. Nevertheless, the general public will understand this and certainly not suspect me of anything. They fully believe that I have judged the case fairly. What would happen, however, if I placed him under a ban? “If I did that, if I angrily punished him for insulting me in his time of bitterness, then the people would begin to question my objectivity and my judgment.” The Ohr HaChaim’s fame spread as far as Poland, and the Baal Shem Tov longed to meet him and create a

center of Torah in Eretz Yisrael with him. However, obstacles arose that prevented him from fulfilling his greatest dream. Thus, he asked Rav Avraham Gershon to go in his place. This great scholar was only too willing to comply. His love for Eretz Yisrael was enormous and he left immediately to settle in the city of Chevron. His love for the Holy Land was embodied in the following statement: “Chazal in Menachos 44a said, ‘One who rents a house in the Diaspora is free from the obligation of affixing a mezuzah for 30 days. Only after that period of time is he obligated. If one, however, rents a house in Eretz Yisrael one must affix a mezuzah immediately. “We see from this that one day in Eretz Yisrael is comparable to 30 days in the Diaspora. I say, however, that one day in the Holy Land is as dear and important in the eyes of the Holy One Blessed Be He as 30 years in the Diaspora…”

Rav Elazar Rokeach studies. No one took notice of his afflictions and few realized how he suffered. Later, however, when he became renowned as one of the great scholars in Israel, he was offered the position of rav in a different city. Then he was suddenly recognized in his own city of Brodi and, before leaving, he prepared a feast for all his newfound friends. During the celebration, Rav Elazar rose to speak. “I have always been puzzled by a certain commentary of Rashi. In Parshas Vayetzei, on the pasuk, ‘And

Yaakov said to his brothers: gather stones,’ Rashi comments that the word ‘brothers’ refers to his sons, who were as brothers to him in times of trouble and war. Nevertheless, a few pesukim later it says, ‘And he called his brothers to eat bread.’ Here Rashi explains the word ‘brothers’ to mean his comrades who were with Lavan. “I have never understood this comment of Rashi. Why in the same context does Rashi explain ‘brothers’ to mean ‘sons’ and then ‘comrades’? “The answer, I think, lies in the background of the two pesukim,” Rav

Elazar said with a chuckle. “In the second pasuk it is talking about a feast, is it not? For it says that he ‘called his brothers to eat bread.’ When people hear of a feast, they all suddenly become friendly and close, and all acquaintances become as faithful as brothers. In the case of the first pasuk, however, what was Jacob asking? He asked them to help him out, to help him work and gather stones in a time of need. At such a time he was forced to rely on his sons. All other ‘friends’ are only friends at a time of a banquet.”

28 OLAM | JANUARY 17, 2020


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