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MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Dear Readers, so we need to rid ourselves from the slavery, recount our accomplishments, and come in with the confidence that we are no longer slaves, rather we have shed that part of our past. With this in mind, it is apropos that Yom Yerushalyim, Jerusalem Day, is celebrated during this special time, commemorating the monumental events of 1967 that unified our holy city, and remembering the unification at Mount Sinai that forever bonded us as a great nation - Am Yisrael. Chag Sameach, Dina

I recently heard a question regarding Sefirat Haomer and Shavuot. Why is it that we count the Omer upwards towards Shavuot, starting at 1 and counting up to 49? When a child is excited about something they count down towards the special event. When I told my kids we were taking a trip to New York, they counted down the days until the exciting day arrived and they got to pack their bags and go on an airplane. My son even asked me to make a chart with a countdown towards the exciting trip. It really got me thinking that when it comes to Shavuot, why do we count upwards? Wouldn't it make more sense to count down towards the exciting day in which we received our precious Torah? To answer this we look back to where we came from: from servitude to sovereignty. We count upwards because we are ascending the steps towards the day that made us who we are - Am Yisrael - a unified nation of Israel that is together strong. And

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The Week In News

Bombing at Concert Kills 22

On Monday night, as fans were leaving a concert in Manchester Arena, a lone attacker detonated a bomb, killing at least 22 people, including children. This is the deadliest attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings, which killed more than 50 people. At least 60 people were injured in Monday’s carnage. Sadly, many of those who were in the arena were youngsters and teenagers. When the bomb went off, thousands fled for safety and chaos reigned. The sounds of sirens and screams pierced the atmosphere. On Tuesday, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack that was carried out by the 23-year-old man. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the carnage a “callous, terrorist attack.” “This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice deliberately targeting innocent defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives,” she said, speaking outside of Downing Street, where flags are flying at half-staff. She called it among the worst terrorist incidents in Britain and “the worst ever to hit the north of England.” Mayhem resulted after the blast. Hundreds tried to call their families, although phone reception was not clear. Manchester resident Charlotte Campbell told CNN her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, went to the concert with a friend, and neither had been in contact since the explosion. “We’ve tried everything we can. They’re telling us to wait by the phones. Her dad is out looking. ... It’s the most horrible feeling ever, to know your daughter is there and you don’t know whether she’s dead or alive,” she said. Through tears, Campbell said she didn’t know how anyone could do this to “innocent children.” “I want her home and I want her safe. ... I just want her to walk through the door.” Manchester residents and a local Holiday Inn hotel opened their doors to those who needed shelter as the area was put

into lockdown. The railway station near the arena was closed all of Tuesday. “These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorize and kill. This was an evil act,” Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said. On Tuesday, officials were slowly releasing the names of those who perished in the attack. The first victim to be named was 18-year-old Georgina Callander, who was a big fan of the performer. She was in the second year of a health and social care course at Runshaw College. Saffie Rose Roussos was the second victim to be named in the attack. The eight-year-old girl went to the concert with her mother and sister, who were both injured in the attack. According to the head-teacher at her school, “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.” On Tuesday, family and friends were still searching for their loved ones, who they had not heard from since the concert.

New Ferry Service Connects N. Korea and Russia

In spite of North Korea’s test-firing a new type of ballistic missile and the United States calling for countries to curtail their relationship with Pyongyang, a new ferry will be connecting Russia and North Korea. The weekly ferry docked last Thursday for the first time in the Pacific port of Vladivostok. The ferry is aimed at Chinese tourists wishing to travel by sea to Russia. China has no port on the Sea of Japan, so traveling to North Korea and then to Vladivostok is the quickest way to reach Russia by sea. Although the ferry company claims the venture is strictly commercial, many view the new connection as a possible relationship-building technique with Russia in case China turns its back on North Korea. China is currently North Korea’s closest ally. “It’s our business, of our company, without any state subsidies, involvement and help,” said Mikhail Khmel, the deputy director of Investstroytrest, the Russian firm operating the ferry. When asked about the new ferry service, Katina Adams, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said, “We call

on all nations to fully implement U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and sever or downgrade diplomatic and commercial relations with North Korea.” Adams also noted Russia’s “obligation” under U.N. Security Council resolutions “to inspect all cargo, including personal luggage, of any individual traveling to or from” North Korea.

China Crippled U.S. Spy Network

The Chinese government eliminated or imprisoned more than a dozen CIA operatives between 2010 and 2012. The sources were found and “taken out,” based on what American officials called the worst intelligence breach in recent history. Intelligence gathering in the region was crippled for many years after the dismantling of the CIA’s infrastructure in China. Despite it taking place years ago, the story has only now been made public. The source of the leak that exposed the agents is hotly contested issue in intelligence circles. Many believe that there was mole inside the CIA that betrayed the United States. Others think that China was able to hack the covert system that the CIA uses to communicate with its sources in foreign countries. There is no official proof to support either theory. The details of the investigation into the data leak have come out slowly. Ten officials – both current and former – have described the ongoing investigation under the condition of anonymity to different sources. In early 2010, America had a well-developed spy network inside China. Information on the inner workings of the Chinese government was gathered from sources deep inside the Beijing intelligence community. Then, at the end of 2010 and in early 2011, information began to dry up and assets were going missing. The FBI and the CIA created a joint task force to investigate where the leak was that was giving China the information to finger and assassinate the CIA operatives in China. But they were unable to gather enough evidence to convict any one person. By 2013, the edge China held over the American intelligence officers in China had dulled and operations were resumed. But the damage had been done. The spy network in China had been dismantled in two short years.

Rouhani Reelected

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, 68, celebrated his victory after being re-elected for a second term this week. In his acceptance speech Rouhani pledged to expose Iran to the world and provide freedoms its people have longed for. During his campaign for reelection Rouhani vowed to bring change to the Persian regime, a country that still denies many rights to its citizens, women in particular. Rouhani, obtaining 57% of the vote, beat out his leading opponent judge Ebrahim Raisi, who received 38%. In his first televised speech after the result, Rouhani openly defied conservative judges by praising the spiritual leader of the reform camp, former President Mohammad Khatami. A court has banned quoting or naming Khatami on air. “Our nation’s message in the election was clear: Iran’s nation chose the path of interaction with the world, away from violence and extremism,” Rouhani said. In the Iranian government the powers of the elected president are limited by those of unelected Supreme Leader, who is currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who outranks the president. However, the landslide of Rouhani’s victory suggests that the pro-reform sentiment in Iran is strong. His opponent Raisi, a protégé of Khamenei, is a conservative. Upon Rouhani’s victory, thousands of supporters gathered in the streets to celebrate. Videos posted to different social media outlets showed groups of people clapping and chanting, “We love you Hassan Rouhani, we support you.” Some donned purple wristbands, the color of Rouhani’s campaign. Others wore green, representing the reformist movement crushed by security forces after a 2009 election, whose leaders have been under house arrest since 2011. While campaigning, Rouhani promised to seek their release if re-elected with a stronger mandate. It is safe to assume that Rouhani will face the same limits on his power to transform Iran that stopped him from achieving social change in his first term. Khatami, who failed to deliver on a reform agenda as president from 1997-2005, was also unable to achieve enough power to secure real changes in Iran. The Shi’ite Muslim religious judicial authorities blacklisted Khatami from public life for his support for other reformists under house arrest. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he hoped Rouhani would use his second term to end Tehran’s ballistic missile program and what he called its network

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017

of terrorism. Iran denies any involvement in terrorism and says its missile program, which President Trump recently targeted with new sanctions, is merely for defense purposes.

Irish Priest Saved Jews during Holocaust

Yad Vashem, the Shoah Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority commemorates all friends of the Jews during the Holocaust. The “Righteous among the Nations” is a list that includes any non-Jews who risked their lives in order to save Jews during the Nazi era. Now, seven decades after the Holocaust, an Irish priest, hailed as “Ireland’s Oskar Schindler,” is being vetted by Yad Vashem to be added to the exclusive honorable list. “Monsignor O’Flaherty left the safety of the Vatican to run his escape line,” said Jerry O’Grady, chairman of the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society in the priest’s hometown in Killarney, Ireland. “The Gestapo had a price on his head and they tried to kidnap him many times.” O’Flaherty is credited with hiding hundreds of Jews from the Gestapo. He was the son of a golf steward in Ireland. His skill at the game helped garner him social connections in the Roman society. The priest mingled with social luminaries such as Mussolini’s son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano, as well as the former Spanish King Alphonso. Eventually, his connections became instrumental in aiding Jewish refugees. In the last years of the war, as the Italian government collapsed, O’Flaherty organized a group of priests, anti-Fascist and diplomats to help shelter Jews, escaped POWs and refugees. He set up a network of safe havens in rented apartments and religious houses throughout Rome. Claudio-Ilan Jacobi benefited from O’Flaherty’s kindness. Now living in Israel, Jacobi escaped the ghetto when the Gestapo raided it. “I saw the Monsignor many times,” Jacobi wrote in his statement for Yad Vashem. “He helped my mother, my grandparents and me find refuge from the Nazis.” “He got false papers for us from the Vatican as well as food cards,” Jacobi testified. “I remember the great appreciation my mother had for all he did.” Jacobi relates an incident where O’Flaherty threatened the doorman of Jacobi’s apartment

with excommunication for speaking too openly about the Jewish family hiding inside. The process to approve for Yad Vashem’s list is lengthy and strict. “Monsignor O’Flaherty has already been honored by the American, British and Italian governments,” said O’Grady. “He received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and the U.S. Medal of Freedom but he has never been officially recognized by the State of Israel.” In 2013, the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Society erected a life size bronze statue in his hometown in Killarney, Ireland. The memorial bears O’Flaherty’s personal motto, “God has no Country.”

content and jobs. GE would also help improve efficiency in manufacturing, the state mining company and Saudi Aramco. Aramaco said they hope that the GE contract will generate 250 high-tech Saudi jobs.

President Trump Takes Israel

Saudi Arabia’s $110B Deal with U.S.

President Donald Trump’s first trip abroad seems to have been quite a success so far. Last weekend, Trump boarded Air Force One and visited the Middle East. His first stop was Saudi Arabia and his agenda was to talk better business for the U.S. The oil-rich kingdom signed a tentative agreement that Trump’s team has said is worth an estimated $110 billion. The deal includes the sale and purchase of fighter jets, ships and missiles, as well as energy technology, health-care expertise, job training and a $40 billion joint infrastructure investment fund. The deals discussed were memorandums rather than formal commitments or signed contracts. All negotiations will go through further adjustments. Many familiar with the deal have said that a large chunk of that sum reflects funds invested in and goods made in the KSA, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, not in the USA despite Trump’s promise to bring more jobs home. Lockheed Martin, an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company, said that Saudi Arabia “has expressed its intent to procure more than $28 billion worth of Lockheed Martin integrated air and missile defense, combat ship, tactical aircraft and rotary wing technologies and programs.” Lockheed Martin chief executive Marillyn Hewson said she hoped to “strengthen the cause of peace in the region.” General Electric said they also signed a memorandum for the sale of $7 billion of GE technology and for the training of Saudi citizens in cloud-based data skills and expertise in the health-care industry. Saudi Aramco, the official Saudi Arabian Oil Company, said it inked $50 billion in agreements largely aimed at boosting local


rael and Palestine. “It won’t be easy,” he admitted. “I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all. But I have a feeling we will get there eventually, I hope.” Netanyahu was very warm in his remarks about President Trump. He said there was “something new, and potentially something very promising” in the air. “It won’t be simple. But for the first time in many years, and Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change,” Netanyahu said. Surprisingly, President Trump is the very first sitting U.S. president to visit the Kotel, Israel’s holiest and most popular site. On Wednesday, Trump made his way to Rome and the Vatican. He then stopped in Brussels, Taormina and Sigonella, a U.S. Navy installation in Sicily.

Israeli Shoots His Way Out of Arab Mob Donald Trump expressed his high hopes for a “new level of partnership” between the Arab states and Israel during his recent trip to the Middle East. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that he feels there is “real hope for change” for the first time in his lifetime. During a joint press conference earlier this week, Trump spoke of the opportunities in the Middle East. “We must seize them together. We must take advantage of the situation. And there are many things that can happen now that could never have happened before,” Trump said. When referencing his meetings with Saudi Arabia’s leaders, Trump said, “We are willing to work together. I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen,” referring to ties between the U.S., Israel and the Arab world. Trump arrived in Israel after two days in Saudi Arabia. He met with Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin on Monday and then Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday. While speaking with Netanyahu, Trump said that a “renewed effort” would be made to restart peace talks between Is-

This week, while being attacked by a crowd of Palestinians, an Israeli man from the settlement of Itamar used his gun to save his life. The violent protestors were throwing rocks at the man’s car in the northern West Bank town of Hawara. The civilian reported that his car was pelted with rocks and was being kicked by the protestors. He told police that he feared for his life and fired two shots from his gun in order to disperse the violent crowd. He had first tried to drive his car through the protestors but was blocked by an ambulance that he said was deliberately trying to stop him from getting through. The shots he fired from his legally registered handgun hit two people. One was


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

killed and another was lightly injured. Military police came to his rescue and dispersed the crowd with tear gas. In an interview, the father of eight said that the Palestinians “almost lynched” him. “Thank G-d I managed to get out of there… I looked death in the eyes,” he said. The Palestinian protest was being held to show support for Palestinian prisoners that have been on a hunger strike since April 17. According to a military spokesperson, “Hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks at passing vehicles” during the violent demonstrations. “They are blocking the road that goes from the Gav Hahar settlements to the center of the country. They throw rocks at cars full of families and children,” the spokesperson said. Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, said he “totally supports the resident who defended his life and the lives of those around him against attackers.”

A video of the shooting has been posted on social media. It shows the man’s car being blocked by an ambulance and rocks being thrown at the car prior to two gunshots and the arrival of military police. In a slightly related story, Israeli settlers have been giving out candy bars to IDF soldiers near Hawara. The brand of candy they are handing out is the same that Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader serving a life sentence who is leading the hunger strike, was caught eating on camera while proclaiming to be fasting.

Famous Spy Dies at 100 Shulamit “Shula” Cohen-Kishik, a woman who spent 14 years of her life spy-

ing for Israel in Lebanon, has died at the age of 100.

Cohen-Kishik, who was later nicknamed “The Pearl,” was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was raised by her Zionist parents who moved their family to pre-state Israel. When she was 16, she married Joseph Kishik, a wealthy Jewish-Lebanese businessman from Beirut, and moved to Lebanon. She began to work for the Mossad when she was 27, and for 15 years she helped gather intelligence on Arab military activity and brought perse-

cuted Jews to the land of Israel. In 1961, Cohen-Kishik was arrested for espionage and was sentenced to death. Her sentence, though, was reduced to 20 years of hard labor because she was a mother of seven children. She was released from jail in a secret prisoner exchange following the Six Day War. She then moved to Jerusalem with her family, where she spent the rest of her long life. Cohen-Kishik was honored with lighting the torch at the Independence Day ceremony in 2007.  “I never worked for a prize or for glory,” she said at the time. “I did what I did because I wanted to, because I loved the country and I wanted to help its establishment.” She is survived by her seven children, many grandchildren, and dozens of great-grandchildren.

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In the days following the Six Day War of 1967, there was a lot of debate in the Israeli government concerning what to do with the spoils. Israel had defeated the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Iraqi and Lebanese armies and had taken control of all of Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Along for the ride were about one million Palestinians who now fell under Israeli control. Never before heard or seen recordings and transcripts of top Israeli officials discussing what should be done at the time have been released by Israel’s state archives. The security cabinet transcripts have now been made public for the first time and are available on the internet. In the documents, Levi Eshkol, the prime minister in 1967, clearly lays out his vision for what should be done with the Golan Heights after the Six Day War. Eshkol felt that Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria and the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in order to facilitate a peace agreement. “We want a peace and peace treaties, not ceasefire agreements, and we are not interested in temporary resolutions. We’ve had them for 19 years already and that’s enough for us,” Eshkol said at the time. “Make it clear to foreign figures,

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017

paid a monthly minimum of NIS 1,500. Widows get NIS 400 and the killer’s children each get NIS 200. There is currently a bill making its way through the United States legislature called the Taylor Force Act which would require the U.S. State Department to cut funds to the PA if it does not end its martyr compensation system. The bill is named for a former U.S. Army officer who was murdered by a Palestinian in Israel last year.

As part of a large-scale operation to cripple the Hamas infrastructure in Chevron, Israeli police have seized property of families of terrorists, including the families of those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, Hy”d, in 2014. The police seized thousands of shekels, two vehicles, and two computers from the families of the terrorists responsible for their murders. Hamas gives out funds to the families of those that terrorize the Jewish people in order to encourage violence and recruit new operatives. In similar raids carried out in February, police seized more than 200,000 shekels that had been given to the families of seven terrorists in east Jerusalem. Police reported that all of the suspects had been given cash following deadly attacks that had been carried out as far back as 1994. The Palestinian Authority has laws which guarantee steady payments to members of dead terrorist families and imprisoned terrorists. Based on their current laws, all families of dead terrorists are




Donald Trump has claimed for a long time that the media is biased against him. A new study conducted at Harvard endeavored to examine just how accurate his accusations are. FRESH GROUND BEEF

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Anti-Trump Media Bias

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzed the media coverage Trump received by 10 major networks and print outlets during his first 100 days in office. In the United States they analyzed CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox News, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. They also took into account the BBC, the UK’s & Tuesday Special FinancialMonday Times and the German public broadcaster ARD. CHEESE PIZZA The academics at Shorenstein found that Trump was spoken about with a negative tone in as many as 98% of reports. He was subjected to significantly more hostile reporting styles than any of the three previous administrations. CNN and NBC both had a negative tone 93 percent of the time they were reporting on the president. BURGERS STEAK CBS came in at 91 percent and The New

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especially the United States, that we will not move from this position, no matter the pressures,” he said. “We’ve turned to peace. We went to war three times in order to reach peace treaties,” Eshkol said. Chaim Moshe Shapira, a religious minister at the time, interjects on the transcripts, protesting, “We didn’t go to war. The war happened.” The West Bank was a hot topic issue right away and generated some heated debates in the Knesset. Some ministers supported the annexation of the region, while others wanted to offer its residents an “autonomous region.” Still others wanted a canton system, like in Switzerland. Eshkol warned against settling the West Bank, saying that even a “man like Yosef Weiss” — a prominent member of the Jewish National Fund — “said we shouldn’t run back to the Etzion Bloc.” Menachem Begin is also on the transcripts making recommendations on what to do with the one million West Bank residents. He wished to annex the entire area and only offer citizenship after seven years had passed. “When a country annexes an area that was not until then under its sovereignty, it has to give the residents a certain transfer period to decide on the option of staying and taking the citizenship of the annexing country or preferring to leave and keep their previous citizenship,” Begin told his fellow ministers.







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York Times was negative towards the president 87 percent of the time. Fox News was by far the least negative – they only were negative towards Trump 52 percent of the time. When broken down into topics of news, immigration, healthcare, and Russia generated over 85 percent negative coverage. The economy was more evenly reported: 54 percent negative. The only area where Trump got overwhelmingly positive coverage was for his cruise missile attack in Syria. 80 percent of the networks had a positive tone when discussing that story. Donald Trump’s overall tone of coverage compared to the past three presidents is very negative. He is spoken about negatively over 80 percent of the time. Comparatively, Obama received 59 percent positive reports in his first 100 days, Bush got 43 percent positive reviews, and Clinton got 40 percent. It seems that Donald Trump’s blasting of the media for their hostile coverage of him is grounded in reality.

LI Town’s Ugly Past

We like to think that we are living in a very different world than pre-war Germany. We are lucky not to be oppressed and enjoy all the rights of the free world. However, a disturbing and shocking issue was brought into the limelight in 2015 when a Long Island couple was trying to sell their home but faced opposition from the board that ran the village of their community. When Philip Kneer and his then-fiancée, Patricia Flynn, purchased their first home in the exclusive Siegfried Park neighborhood they were required to have a sit-down interview before being allowed to make the purchase. They were quickly approved by the German-American Settlement League’s board of directors back in 1999. According to court documents, before the interview proceeded members of the board looked at them and approved them. They are claiming that they were approved simply because they were white and had German roots. Decades ago, during WWII, German-Americans marched in the streets of the community under a Nazi flag and

delivered “Heil Hitler” salutes near the Kneers’ home. The community was founded by Nazi supporters in the 1930s and had been an enclave for training Aryan youth. The German-American Settlement League’s goal was to raise the future leaders of America immersed in Nazi ideals. However, since the fall of the Third Reich, the community has distanced itself from its Nazi past. “Hitler” and “Goebbels” streets have been renamed and no Nazi flag is displayed as it once was. But many inconspicuous bylaws remain in effect, including rules about prospective buyers, intended to keep all minorities out of the enclosed community. The Kneers’ lawsuit alleges violations of the Fair Housing Act. They claimed the subtle bylaws prevented them from being able to sell their house to prospective buyers. According to the league, residents don’t own the land their homes sit on; they lease plots from the league, giving them the right to dictate who can and who cannot live in Siegfried Park. When the couple outgrew their two bedroom house the League bylaws prohibited them from advertising in any real estate publications. When they complained to the league’s board president that they were having trouble finding buyers, they were told “these rules were not going to be changed because the members wanted to keep it the way it is.” At a membership meeting shortly afterward, a motion to let the Kneers put a “for sale” sign in their yard was rejected. At the time of the lawsuit, the German-American Settlement League’s president Robert Kessler told The New York Times that the community had moved on from its racist past. “Most people don’t even know any of this happened here; it hardly comes up,” he said. Of the Kneers, Kessler said then: “They’re just bitter they couldn’t get the price they wanted for their home.” A year ago, the Kneers received a payout of $175,000 from the league for damages and attorney fees. State prosecutors became involved because “there still wasn’t a significant turnover after the private settlement,” Assistant Attorney General Diane Lucas said, “We didn’t want it to just be changes in policies and procedures without an actual effect.” This week, two years after the suit, state prosecutors announced that they had settled with the German-American Settlement League to repair nearly a century of racially discriminatory housing practices. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement that the league’s  “discriminatory practices were a remnant of a disgraceful past that has no place in New York or anywhere. This agreement will once and for all put an end to the GASL’s discrimination, ensuring

that all New Yorkers are afforded equal access to housing opportunities — regardless of their race or national origin.”

Babies: No Juice for You Skip the apple juice aisle in the grocery. Although many keep a bottle or two for their toddlers, new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend not giving children under 1 years old any juices at all. Until now the academy advised parents to wait till 6 months, but because of the rapid increase of obesity and growing concern about tooth decay the group increased the suggested age. This is the first revision to recommendations regarding juices since 2001. “We couldn’t really see any reason why juice was still part of the potential recommendation for 6- to 12-month-old kids,” explained Dr. Steven A. Abrams, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and co-author of the policy statement. “We recommend breastfeeding or formula in that age group, and there really isn’t any need or beneficial role for juice, so we kind of made that adjustment.” Abrams added, “It wasn’t ‘some magical new science’” that triggered the change, rather “this [guideline] hadn’t been looked at in a long time, so we thought it was time to take a close look.” “The problem is, parents will stick a bottle or sippy cup in the kid’s mouth and kind of leave it there all day. That’s not good from the calorie-intake perspective, and it’s sure not good for the teeth,” Abrams said. “What happens is, the kid then gets used to all the sugar, and then they won’t drink water.” Once your baby reaches the 1 year milestone, the academy includes 100% fresh or reconstituted fruit juice as part of a healthy well-balanced diet. Of course, juice is only allowed in moderation; the suggested daily amount is 4 ounces. Medical experts caution to avoid serving juice in a bottle or sippy cup, since that often forms an all-day habit. For children between four- and six-years-old, the academy allows 4 to 6 ounces of juice each day. Children between 7- and 18-years-old should have no more than 8 ounces (or 1 cup) of juice a day, making up one of the recommended daily 2 to 2½ cups of fruit. Another interesting point the academy mentions in the recently released journal is to avoid unpasteurized juice products. Grapefruit juice should not be served to children taking certain medications – ibuprofen, flurbiprofen, warfarin, phenytoin,

fluvastatin and amitriptyline – because it can interfere with the medication’s effects. The group also reminded parents that juice does not help treat dehydration or diarrhea. The new guidelines surely have dentists around the nation rejoicing. In the dental community juice drinking is viewed as an unhealthy habit for teeth. Dentists say that the high levels of sugar intake increases risk of cavities, particularly when children sip slowly on sugary drinks via a bottle or sippy cup since it exposes teeth to sugar for a prolonged amount of time. Perhaps a glass of water or milk would be a good idea during mealtime.

Times Square Chaos

It was an idyllic late morning on Thursday in Times Square last week. Suddenly, the calm was shattered by a car speeding onto the sidewalk, plowing into pedestrians. The driver kept his foot on the gas pedal for a few blocks before a traffic barrier forced the vehicle to stop. Sadly, Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old senior in high school from Michigan, lost her life in the chaos. Her 13-year-old sister, who was walking alongside her, was injured as well. In all 22 people were hurt during the highspeed attack by Richard Rojas. According to police reports, Rojas jumped the curb at 7th Avenue and W. 42nd Street and then sped three blocks to W. 45th Street where he struck a metal stanchion. On Friday in court, Manhattan prosecutors said that Rojas told police upon his arrest that he hoped to “kill them all” and that officers should have shot him. He also told them he was “hearing voices.” After the car was stopped by the barrier, Rojas exited his vehicle and ran and stumbled through Times Square before being tackled by officers and bystanders. Police officials and Mayor de Blasio were quick to assure the public that the attack was not terror-related. “At the root of this from what we know so far is an untreated mental health issue likely going back decades,” the mayor said.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017

Rojas, 26, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, 20 counts of attempted murder and second-degree murder. A former Navy serviceman, he had previous run-ins with the law. The Bronx native was arrested for DWI twice which led to a dishonorable discharge from the Navy in 2014. He was also arrested for menacing.

King in the Clouds Roger Ailes Dies at 77

Last week Roger Ailes died at the age of 77. He was an executive, media consultant and founder and one-time Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group. Ailes resigned in July 2016 amid controversy. Ailes, an outspoken conservative, was a media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. He also advised Rudy Giuliani during his first mayoral campaign. Most recently, he was an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, where he assisted with debate preparation. At his funeral on Saturday in Palm Beach he was remembered as a “patriot” and a man with a “big heart.” The service was small and exclusive; there were fewer than 100 people in attendance. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity eulogized Ailes saying, “I wouldn’t be what I am today without Roger. He saw things in people that no one else would see. He is an American patriot at the highest level.” Rush Limbaugh, another close friend and fellow conservative, described Ailes as “an American original.” Ailes, though, wasn’t beloved by all. He took a lot of heat, particularly amongst liberals. His young son, Zachary, 18, said, “I loved my father. He considered how much certain people hated him as a measure of success.” Ailes died on May 18 after falling and hitting his head at his home the previous week. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner attributed his death to a subdural hematoma, aggravated by hemophilia. His wife, Elizabeth, 57, announced his death in a statement on the Drudge Report: “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.”

For the past 21 years, some KLM passengers were privileged to have the King of the Netherlands flying their plane. Last week, King Willem-Alexander told the national newspaper that he will be retiring from his regular “guest pilot” position on KLM’s fleet of Fokker 70 planes. He will be retraining to fly Boeing 737s as the Fokkers are being phased out of service. His Highness did not keep it a secret that he was flying passenger planes for fun. No one knew, though, how often he did it. Because he is a “guest flier,” the king is always designated co-pilot and De Telegraaf reported that he flew in that capacity twice a month. King Willem-Alexander explained that flying is a relaxing distraction. “You have an aircraft, passengers and crew. You have responsibility for them,” the king told De Telegraaf. “You can’t take your problems from the ground into the skies. You can completely disengage and concentrate on something else. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying.” While flying, most people don’t even know the king is in the cockpit. “Before Sept. 11, the cockpit door was open. People regularly came to have a look and thought it was nice or surprising that I was sitting there,” he said, adding that very few people recognize him as he walks through Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in KLM uniform and cap. Now, due to security, most passengers rarely get to glance at their pilots. Even so, when the King make announcements to passengers, many don’t recognize his voice. “Most people don’t listen anyway,” he explained. Seems flying may be a bit humbling for a monarch.

On Saturday, Alexander Salazar and Krissa Cetner both ran in a New York half marathon. But six miles into the running the pair stopped for a few minutes – to get married. The couple tied the knot in Prospect Park and were attired in “bride” and “groom” outfits. The sweaty groom wore a tuxedo t-shirt and the equally sweaty bride wore a white shirt with flowers on the front and the words “BKHalfWedding” on the back. They also wore “bride” and “groom” bibs. “It was very surreal,” Alexander admitted. The “shotgun” wedding was Krissa’s idea. She came up with it a while ago while running and Alexander was quick to agree. “Running is a big part of how we got together,” he said. Some of their wedding guests met them at the park to join in the festivities. After the ceremony was over, though, it was back to the races and the newly joined couple finished the half marathon together. Alexander acknowledged the marriage is not a race. “Marriage is like a marathon, it’s not a sprint,” he said. “There’s a lot of years ahead of you in a marriage and sometimes you’re both really into it and can push each other and sometimes the other partner has to help pull you through whatever challenge lies ahead. “You both have to keep each other motivated in a race and in a marriage.” In any case, we know that in this race, both Alexander and Krissa won first prize.

Clothing Confection

Marriage Marathon Marriage is like a race, right? Well, maybe not. This couple, though, started off their marriage in a race to the finish line.

When your husband loves Starburst candy you end up with a lot of empty candy wrappers. What to do with all those


colorful squares? Emily Seilhamer went to work and created a most delicious dress. “I’ve been saving Starburst wrappers diligently (with the help of friends and family) for 4 years to create this dress,” Seilhamer wrote on her Facebook page. “After enough were saved I organized them into colors, ironed them, folded them into links, and made candy wrapper chains.” She made the dress to remind her of the day she met her husband. “My husband and I met when he offered me a pack of Starburst a few years before the project started. As his favorite candy he began to save grocery bags full of wrappers for me,” she said. After folding all those myriad squares Emily used elastic thread to sew them into links onto fabric to create her rainbow-colored dress. But she didn’t stop there. She covered a pair of shoes in wrappers and made a corsage out of a Starburst bag. After all, what says style more than Starburst?

From Flea Market to Sotheby’s

In just 30 years, this piece of jewelry has shot up in value. Actually, the person who bought it just didn’t know what she or he had – until this year. Around three decades ago a person bought a ring for about $15 at a flea market. They thought it was a piece of costume jewelry and were intrigued by its look. In fact, the owner of the gem wore the ring every day, unaware of its intrinsic value. In general, diamonds from the 19th century are not as brilliant as today’s diamonds as they were not cut to emphasize their clarity and radiance. Fast forward to 2017. The owner had the ring appraised and found out that he or she was walking around with a 26.27 carat white diamond ring. The gem is expected to fetch more than $450K when it is auctioned at Sotheby’s next month. I wonder who sold them the ring.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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Community National Merit Recognition at Katz Yeshiva High School Katz Yeshiva High School proudly celebrates the six seniors in the Class of 2017 whose outstanding achievements have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Three of those seniors have been named National Merit Finalists, and three have been named Commended Scholars.  Over 1.6 million students from more than 22,000 high schools across the country entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship competition last fall.  The six KYHS honorees are among the top entrants.  Nationally, 1% of all students were designated as Finalists but KYHS recognizes the 10% of the Class of 2017 who received National Merit recognition.  National Merit awardees are chosen based on their PSAT and SAT scores as well as a rigorous application process focusing on grades, achievements, essays, extracurricular activities, leadership, and recommendations. In terms of overall National Merit recognition, KYHS did extremely well when compared to all schools in the United States, secular and religious, public and private; it is significant to have six students out of a senior class of only 63 be awarded National Merit recognition.  KYHS had more National Merit Semi-Finalists than any other Orthodox Jewish Day School in the United States.  Furthermore, no Jew-

ish schools of any religious denomination outperformed KYHS in terms of National Merit achievements. KYHS is a modern-Orthodox coeducational high school in Boca Raton, serving the Jewish community of South Florida; students travel from as far as West Palm and Bal Harbour to attend KYHS. KYHS offers a challenging curriculum in both General and Judaic studies, as well as enriching programs and speakers in school as well as numerous extracurricular activities outside of school. At KYHS, Jonah Rose, Lana Rosenthal, and Aaron Senfeld each were named National Merit Finalists, placing them among the top 1% of same-grade students nationwide.  Jonah Rose has assumed numerous leadership roles, serving as both Class President and Student Council President, and he has played an integral role as Captain and a starter on the Varsity Basketball Team.  Next year, Jonah will study at the Hartman Institute in Israel, and the following year, he will attend the University of Pennsylvania.  Besides serving as Editor-in-Chief of Ashreinu, the weekly KYHS Torah publication, Lana Rosenthal is a talented computer scientist who established a Girls Who Code program at KYHS, inspiring other students to embrace computer programming.  Lana has

KYHS 2017 National Merit Awardees.jpeg

been selected as a national winner of the prestigious National Merit Scholarship at the highest level. After studying in Israel at Midgal Oz, Lana will attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Aaron Senfeld is very musically gifted, playing both piano and drums in two different bands and enthusiastically leading and directing the KYHS band, Chazak, in addition to composing his own music and lyrics.  Next year, Aaron will attend Northwestern University, which recognized his many talents and creative energy with a college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship Award. The three KYHS students who earned National Merit Commendations are Miriam Gammerman, Alec Gelman, and Jonathan Leff.  Miriam Gammerman led the KYHS Moot Beit Din team to a second

Boca Raton Synagogue Presents 6th Annual BRS Summer Kollel From June 26th until July 26th, the Boca Raton Synagogue will be running its 6th Annual BRS Summer Kollel which will bring intensive Talmud Torah and spiritual energy to the Boca Raton community. Twenty Kollel fellows will be available during weeknights for individual study sessions in any area of interest, at no cost. This program is open to all men in the

broader Jewish community. All levels welcome and no previous study background is required. To schedule a session or for more information please contact Rabbi Simmy

Shabtai, Rosh Beis Medresh of Boca Raton Synagogue, at or 347.439.7031.

place finish in Houston, Texas. An accomplished writer, Miriam will study at Nishmat seminary in Israel next year and will attend Washington University in St. Louis the following year.  Alec Gelman is the Editor-in-Chief of KYHS’s weekly e-newsletter, Highlites, and also has starred in many of the school’s theatrical productions.  He plays on the KYHS Varsity Flag Football team, serves as Rosh Snif of B’nai Akiva in Hollywood, and looks forward to studying at Orayta in Israel next year and then attending Brandeis University.  Jonathan Leff has a creative talent for design and is the person KYHS publication teams turn to for assistance with layout. He also shares his keen math acumen heading up the KYHS Math Lab and serving as a peer tutor.  Jonathan will spend next year studying at Orayta in Israel and then will attend the Honors program at Yeshiva University. The non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation seeks to recognize outstanding high school students who manifest exceptional academic promise.  KYHS is especially proud that these six remarkable students were included in that select group.  Mazal Tov to them, their families, and the many teachers who taught them.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017

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Thousands Upon Thousands of Jewish Souls Across the Former USSR are Seeking Something Deeper—to Give their Life Mission and Meaning By: Y. Mannes Since 2014, Kollel Torah has caused a rebirth of Torah learning and transformed countless Jewish lives across Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Established as a grassroots network of Kol​lel’s, these learning centers provide Jews of all religious levels and backgrounds the opportunity to come together and learn Torah, from basic essentials of Aleph Beis to more advanced davening, halacha and Torah study. Classes vary in each location, offering sessions in the morning, evening, and, in some, throughout the day. In recent decades, gathering a minyan to fill a shul, even on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, was a nearly impossible feat. But as Kol​l​el Torah has continued to grow, more and more communities are once again beginning to pulsate with the vibrancy of Jewish life. “Torah provides the connection they’ve been seeking for so long,” shared Rabbi Berel Lazar, chief Rabbi of Russia. “Kol​l​el Torah connects Jews who are on similar journeys creating a sense of community and belonging.” The Kol​ lel Torah network currently boasts over 100 locations across the region and is run by Rabbi Ben Tzion Lipsker, Chabad Shliach in St. Petersburg and Rabbi Moshe Weber, Shliach in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and is primarily funded by the Meromim foundation, who provides the bulk of the funding for operating the network of Ko​l​lel Torah. Like the standard Kollel structure, students of the Koll​el receive a significant payment with regular, mandatory attendance and with the satisfactory test scores on topics they have learned. These stipends

classes have been created, those bringing the inspiration and warmth of Torah into the homes of thousands. To take part in this incredible initiative, join with Kol​lel Torah on June 5, 2017, as they raise $3,000,000 to further their impact throughout the region.


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MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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What Parents & Kids Have Been Waiting For… advertorial Mom’s Chicken, Israel’s Top-Selling Brand Launches Series of Delicious Products in USA Mom’s Chicken, the most beloved and recognized brand in its category amongst Israeli consumers is now available in the frozen foods section at local supermarkets in your area. The series of Mom’s Chicken products runs the gamut from Chicken Breast Stars and Crispy Chicken Breast Jungle shaped schnitzels to Grill Chicken

Fillets and Gluten Free Coated Chicken Breast Strips, which provides a unique, high-quality solution to parents and children who are gluten sensitive. Mom’s Chicken is made from 100% premium chicken breast, with zero transfat and artificial coloring. Just pop Mom’s Chicken in the oven and in just minutes, you’ll be able to serve your family a delicious meal. “Now, mothers and kids across the USA can discover the quality that mom’s

in Israel have relied upon for years and the taste that kids love to come back to over and over again, whether for lunch or at the dinner table,” said Yoram Behiri, President and CEO of Tnuva USA. The Mom’s Chicken line of products are Glatt Kosher and are under strict supervision of the OU (Orthodox Union).

Speech to Jerusalem Event on Capitol Hill Given By Martin Oliner, President of the Religious Zionists of America By Martin Oliner What an impressive turnout! Thank you to all our co-sponsors and to the senators and Congressmen from both sides of the aisle. I’d also like to thank my wife, Reva. And I’d like to thank God for Jerusalem. This event really proves that if there is any issue that unites, it’s Jerusalem. It has united forces that tend to have the most natural rifts: Bipartisan leadership on a political level here in Washington, across the political map in Israel, and even representatives of the American Jewish community from across so many divides. This event is co-sponsored by 25 disparate Jewish organizations that - to put it mildly - are not always on the same page. By coming together to celebrate the unity of Jerusalem, these Jewish organizations are not only marking a miracle, they are also perpetuating one. They are showing appreciation to God for His miracles and to the great leadership of the United States of America for its tremendous support for Israel and its undivided capital. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since the time of King David 3000 years ago, when Washington was just a twinkle in the eye. As Israel’s national anthem Hatikva says, it has been the home of the yearnings of the Jewish people for close to 2000 years. I myself was born in a DP Camp to two survivors. My parents were hidden in Poland during the war, while Jews all around them were being round up and sent to cer-

tain death. Being survivors was always a big part of who they were were. When 1967 came, they were understandably very fearful for the people of Israel. Mass graves were dug for Israelis as the Arab armies surrounding the Jewish state prepared for war. Winning the war against all odds certainly increased their faith. Their relatives, who abandoned their faith and Jewish practice in the Holocaust, returned to be believers and practicing Jews, due to seeing the hand of the God in the Six-Day war. As a teenager, I used to attend demonstrations calling for freeing the Jews of the Soviet Union. At first, the protests weren’t too successful. In fact, they seemed hopeless. But then, the victory of the Six-Day War happened and inspired the Jews behind the Iron Curtain that anything can happen and that they must have hope. Seeing a strong Jewish state reuniting its capital gave them the strength to endure hardships and ultimately prevail. There are now more than 1 million Russian-speakers in the Jewish state, contributing so much to it. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion said that in Israel, in order to be a realist, one must believe in miracles. The prophet Micah’s prophesy came true when he said “As in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show him wonders.” He also wrote “Your hand

shall be raised above your oppressors, and all your enemies shall be destroyed.” We mark the Exodus from Egypt at a Seder. Here, as we mark the modern-day miracle of united Jerusalem, we also drink wine, but we can skip the bitter herbs today, ladies and gentlemen. The Jewish people have suffered enough! Jerusalem has suffered from suicide bombers, snipers, stabbers and other threats. Its security is never quite guaranteed. It is threatened by those who want to make war, and sometimes by well-meaning people who want to make peace by dividing the city that no other nation has had as its capital. In December, United Nations security Council Resolution 2334 declared that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” The 14 countries who voted for it for their own political reasons had no authority to decide international law. Their decision that rebuilding ancient synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem is a war crime does not make it one. We are thankful to President Trump for showing support for Jerusalem by making it one of the key stops on his first trip abroad as president. We are not giving up hope that he will keep his promise to enable America’s embassy in Israel to move

where it belongs. The law requiring the embassy to be moved has been in the news lately. But people forget that the same law that passed in 1995 but has never been implemented because of presidential waivers would also give formal recognition by America that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. That is all the more reason for every Jewish organization here, every congressman and every simple Jew to push for that law to be implemented now! Jews have been in Jerusalem for 3300 out of the last 3500 years, making our claim to the city stronger than that of anyone else. As far back as 1818, British writer Robert Richardson estimated the number of Jews to be 10,000, twice the number of Muslims. Lately, there has been an absolute renaissance of building throughout Jerusalem, for Jews and for Arabs. I was just there, touring the city with my grandchildren. I pointed out how things looked so different before 1967 when we had a state with a divided heart. Back then, if you were Jewish, you could not enter the Jordanian-occupied Old City. Now it is a haven for Jews, Christians, Muslims, and those who are still trying to figure themselves out. It is a city we can all be proud of. And that again is why we are all here today. Thank you again for coming. God blessed Jerusalem. God bless America!

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


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TAP Comes To South Florida – Again! By M. Lowinger

By popular demand, the Tefillin Awareness Program - Hanacha K’Halacha - returned to South Florida last week, and the community is still reeling from the experience. According to Bobby (Yerachmiel) Rosenberg of Miami, “Due to the overwhelming success of the last program just three months ago, we knew we just had to bring this back here again. There are so many who could benefit from what TAP has to offer.” The Tefillin Awareness Program (TAP) raises awareness of the proper performance of the mitzvah of tefillin. On designated mornings, qualified sofrim visit shuls across the area to check and adjust the tefillin of the mispallelim. They adjust the placement of the Rosh, the Yad, and both Kesharim. They also inspect the blackness, width, and condition of the retzuos, the tefiros, the re’buah, and more. TAP askonim say that even the most learned of men are simply unaware that they are not wearing their tefillin properly and are thus not yotzeh this almost-daily mitzvah. The program is endorsed by leading Rabbonim, Admorim, and Roshei Yeshiva. TAP’s services are free to participants but sponsorships are appreciated. The program has travelled to various communities across the Northeast and has been widely praised by Rabbonim and balabatim alike. In South Florida, the enthusiasm was especially strong. “It’s unbelievable,” says Rosenberg. “This is a mitzvah that’s done almost 300 times a year. The tefillin are fixed right then and there. And the service is free!” R’Avrohom (Bumie) Schachter, Founder and Director of TAP, flew down to South Florida together with master sofrim Rabbi Shimon Zeide and Rabbi Moshe Leib Lebowitz of Brooklyn. As soon as they arrived, they were assisted by Rabbi Tzvi Jacobs of the Miami Beach Kollel, who inspected the blackness of the tefillin. Early Friday morning they set up shop at Kollel Boker Bais Mordechai in Hollywood, where they checked tefillin before and after every minyan from 6:45 AM until 10:30 AM. Later that morning, they visited Yeshiva Toras Emes seventh and eighth graders. “The boys,” remembers Rosenberg, “were really into it!” Rav Ephraim Shapiro, Rov of Congregation Shaaray Tefillah in North Miami Beach, was at the Yeshiva and was amazed. “I had planned on staying just a bit,” he says. “But it was so fascinating and mesmerizing and special that I ended

and after every minyan. Later that day, they came to the Beis Medrash of Yeshiva Toras Chaim in North Miami Beach. In every location, they were greeted by enthusiastic crowds. According to one participant, “This is out of the box!” R’Avrohom is delighted. “Helping even just one person do this precious mitzvah correctly puts me on a high. Here we’ve helped many to be mekayem the mitzvah lechatchila instead of b’dieved. We had to wake up at 5:30 AM to set up for the first mispallelim , but it was worth it!” Sometimes, people are surprised to discover that there are significant issues with their tefillin. “We’ve been finding retzuos that are peeling apart,” Bobby comments. When a sixteen year old talmid’s retzuos were repaired, he knew that it made a difference. “I feel holier,” he told the sofrim.

up staying well over an hour.” Rabbi Shapiro says he was impressed by the warmth of the sofrim, which positively affected the entire event. “You could sense their concern and their yiras shomayim,” he points out. “They were so patient, and they made everyone feel so comfortable. It was fantastic.” It made a tremendous roshem on the boys, he adds. “Everyone realized we’re all here for the same reason. This is a d’oraisa that we do almost every day and we want to know that we’re doing it right. “ The talmidim, the Rebbeim, even the Menahel - everyone waited their turn to have their tefillin checked. “And by the way,” says Rabbi Shapiro, “most people needed some type of adjustment, although it was usually something that could be fixed easily on the spot.” On Sunday, Lag B’omer, TAP spent the entire morning at the Young Israel of Hollywood, checking tefillin before

For Rosenberg, it’s been an exhiliarating experience on every level. “One elderly gentleman had been strict about the mitzvah of tefillin his entire life. Yet when his tefillin were checked, it was discovered that they were posul. We thought he would be devastated. Instead he smiled and said, ‘At least I know I’m being mekayem the mitzvah properly from this day onwards!’” Everyone needs a tefillin check-up, whether they live in Boca Raton or Boro Park. How fortunate for the South Florida community that they were given this golden opportunity – twice! It’s just a matter of time before communities across America will be clamoring for this as well. For more information about the Tefillin Awareness Campaign, contact, or call 718 377 6735.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

Calls To Move Us Embassy To Jerusalem, At Congress Event Marking 50 Years Since Jerusalem Unification Twenty-nine senators and congressmen took part in an event at the Capitol marking the jubilee year of Israel’s lightning victory over Arab aggressors in the Six Day War. There were high spirits and emotional endorsements of Israel, at a unique event held at the Capitol Thursday, marking 50 years since the unification of Jerusalem under Israel. Senators and congressmen from both major parties came together at the event to recount their memories from June 5, 1967, and to share their religious connection to the Jewish state, its capital and its leadership. A resolution supporting Jerusalem’s freedom to worship was passed. A recurrent theme in the legislators’ speeches was the call to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – and to seize the moment to do so now. Martin Oliner, president of the Religious Zionists of America and the Center for Unity, and the driving force behind the event, noted that the event had not only united lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, but also brought together the 25 Jewish groups that had co-sponsored it. “We’re coming together to celebrate the unity of Jerusalem, and we mark a miracle”, he said. “And by coming together, I think we’re perpetuating that miracle. I must tell you that I was born in a DP camp. I come from parents who are survivors… When 1967 came, they were understandably extremely fearful for the people of Israel. “We were outnumbered, there was no chance that we were going to win, and it was a miracle that we did. But winning the war against all odds certainly increased their faith. We had relatives, unfortunately, who abandoned their faith and Jewish practice because of the Holocaust. But during 1967 they returned, seeing the mir-

acles that occurred during that time.” Dr. Ernest Agatstein co-President of the Religious Zionists of America and President of the Religious Zionists of Los Angeles said “We were honored that supporters of the RZA and of the State of Israel took the time and effort to travel to Washington DC to represent the entire Los Angeles community in attending the event at the U.S. Capitol. The Resolution recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem. Furthermore, it recognizes that the reunification and subsequent protection afforded by the Holy Places Law is an affirmation of religious freedom. The Resolution encourages Congress to safeguard the American-Israeli alliance and advance the countries’ mutual interests. Finally, the Resolution recognizes the contributions of those who fought in the Six Day War, the outcome of which helped to enable the unity of Jerusalem and religious freedom for all. Leaders from prominent Jewish organizations spanning the spectrum of the Jewish community were in attendance. The sponsors of this event included:  Religious Zionists of America, Alpha Epsilon Pi, American Jewish Congress, American Zionist Movement, American Friends of Likud, Amit, B’nai B’rith International, Bnai Zion, Emunah of America, Hadassah, State of Israel Bonds, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Jewish National Fund,  Mercaz USA , National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, National Council of Young Israel, NORPAC, New York Board of Rabbis, Rabbinical Council of America, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Touro College, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, World Jewish Congress, World Zionist Organization, Yeshiva University and Zionist Organization of America.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) recounted telling Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “I think you have a chance to be one of Israel’s greatest leaders... I’m talking all-time greats. Going back to David, Solomon, Josiah, Hezekiah, on up to Ben Gurion.” Gohmert noted that David Ben Gurion had claimed the Bible as the deed that entitled the Jews to reclaim Jerusalem. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) opined that it was high time to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “I think that at this point, not recognizing Jerusalem as the unified and indivisible capital of Israel actually hurts the peace process,” he explained. “When you look at some of the Arab states, what they respect is strength and decisiveness.” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said: “I keep thinking back to June 5th, 1967. I was in my junior year at WVU. I’ll never forget talking to the young Jewish man I was in school with. I never saw this type of excitement from anybody, especially a young person, over their heritage or religion that they believed in… He explained to me, he gave me a whole history of the Jewish state… and explained to me why it was such a momentous occasion.” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) suggested that President’s trip to Israel would present the perfect chance “to announce that he is going to deliver on what was a campaign pledge, to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem… It would be a great opportunity for the President to reinforce that without doubt, the capital of Israel is the entirety of Jerusalem, and the President should not let that opportunity pass him by.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) warned that while there has been “incredible progress” in the state of Israel, “the challenges today are greater than ever before… We know

that there are so many forces around the world that are trying to compromise the legitimacy of Israel. We see that in the efforts of the Palestinians to take the negotiations with Israel to the United Nations, rather than direct negotiations. We cannot let that happen “! Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) spoke of his moving spiritual experience in Israel during the “Second Intifada” terror war in 2002, when Israeli buses were being blown up daily. At one point, he said, he sneaked out of his hotel and went to say Mass at the Church of the Holy Sephulcre. “And I was so proud of myself, I said oh, I’m so courageous, that I would do this without my armed guards. And I walked outside and I saw the little girls getting on the bus to go to school that morning. And I realized that these are the courageous people. The people who lived in Israel... From that day forward I decided I would always do what I could to help the state of Israel.” House Minority Whip Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) addressed the audience. He said “Let it be clear that there is only one option. A united Jerusalem. Who can deny the unique experience of ascending the holy City? Thank you to all who defend Jerusalem and keep it open to members of all faiths.” Congressman Doug Lamborn (RCO) of Colorado echoed similarly. He said “We have a Jerusalem that is in Jewish control. We need to keep it that way. We’re insisting that the President recognize Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel and move the embassy to Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) of Nebraska said: “To witness the Six Day War was to see the hand of God. I was raised at a breakfast table where I was taught that those who bless Israel will be blessed.”

Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences Celebrates “Health Care Center” Opening on Federation Campus West of Boca Raton Joining Independent Living, Health Care Center Extends Residences to Short-Term Rehab, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing in a Jewish Environment Residents, local rabbis and Jewish community leaders gathered at the Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences of Boca Raton recently to celebrate the opening of its beautiful 125,860-square-foot Health Care Center. Located at the hub of

this Jewish community on the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County campus, the Health Care Center serves Sinai Residences’ independent living residents, and is open to the South Florida community at large. The state-of-the-art Health Care Center also offers the first skilled nursing center to open in Boca Raton in the last 20 years. The senior living community was named in honor of Toby & Leon Cooper-

man, who were recognized at the celebration. Among the speakers at the event were Matthew C. Levin, Federation President and CEO; Anne Jacobson, Chair of the Federation Board; and Chris Newport, Sinai Residence Executive Director. Rabbi Rael Blumenthal, of Boca Raton Synagogue West right across the street, offered a D’var Torah. “Today we come together only a year after Sinai Residences opened to celebrate

our beautiful home’s new name – Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences of Boca Raton – and to also mark the opening of our Health Care Center,” said Newport. “We are now offering our full life care continuum of services, with the highest quality, state-of-the-art independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing care. And our primary goal remains: to continue to make Sinai Residences the best place it can pos-

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


Around the Community sibly be for our residents.” The Health Care Center is part of the non-profit $265 million, 650,000 square foot Sinai Residences Life Plan community developed by and overseen by an Federation-affiliated entity. It offers 350 luxurious residences with support for all stages of senior life – and all amid a wealth of multigenerational Jewish activity on the Federation campus. Sinai Residences guarantees independent living residents access to every level of care at a predictable monthly cost. Access to Health Care is also guaranteed to residents from the moment they move in, and for as long as they remain residents. Joanne Martin and her husband are in their 80’s and moved to Sinai Residences independent living apartments just over a year ago. “We are in good health and wondered what lifetime care was before moving in,” Martin said. “Once we were here, we realized everything we could ever need was right here. We never have to leave. The facility ages with us, but keeps us young at the same time.” Dorothy Wizer, a resident in the Sinai Residences’ independent luxury apartments and former Executive Committee member at the Jewish Federation, agrees: “Moving here was one of the wisest investments I’ve ever made. I am safe and secure for the rest of my life.” Residents of the South Palm Beach

Al Gortz, Cindy Nimhauser, Mel Lowell David Galpern, Barry Podolsky Toby & Leon Cooperman

County area are also welcome to take advantage of the Health Care Center’s services, which include rehabilitative services, physical, occupational and speech therapies. At Sinai’s Health Care Center, a highly skilled team of licensed therapists and nurses utilize state-of-the-art equipment and advanced research techniques to promote effective, quick healing and recovery following an illness, accident or surgery. Howard Young spent five months in the rehabilitation section of Sinai Residences before deciding to move into independent living, where he now resides. “It is truly first class here,” Young said. “I felt lucky to be in the rehab section, spending my days in the gym, eating good food, and being both mentally and physically supported. Now I’ve been on both sides and I

Alicia Spero, Dorothy Wizer, April Leavy

can say both are a pleasure.” Marvin Orenstein has an independent living apartment home, while his wife has resided in Memory Care, just a short walk away through the complex, since it opened. “Before my wife moved to the Memory Care suites, I was taking care of her alone. I was shopping, cooking, cleaning and making sure she was comfortable. Now, she is taken care of, and I am free to enjoy life,” Orenstein said. In addition to personal care in all private luxury apartments and suites, Health

Matthew C. Levin, Anne Jacobson, Toby & Leon Cooperman

Care Center residents receive chef-prepared, restaurant-style meals; varied high quality activities and programs, with therapies available seven days a week. Their shared spaces include a tranquil courtyard, sun room, art studio, library and game room. Visitors are welcome anytime and Sinai Residences is pet friendly. For more information, visit or call (561) 221-1102.

The Orthodox Union Heralds Historic Security Grant in Florida Calls on Other States to Follow Florida’s Lead The Orthodox Union (OU) thanked the Florida state legislature for heeding its call for greater security funding for Jewish schools and called on other states to follow Florida’s lead. On Monday, Florida allocated a first-ever $645,000 for Jewish schools to upgrade security in the FY2018 budget. Teach Florida and its parent organization, the OU, played a pivotal role in drafting and shepherding the bill through the legislative process. This is the first security grant for nonpublic schools in Florida’s history. Last month, the OU secured a record breaking $40 million in security funding for nonpublic schools in New York State – the largest security allocation anywhere in the country. The Orthodox Union called on other state legislatures to follow Florida and New York’s lead, particularly in California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, where the state Teach offices are drafting legislation, finding sponsors, and rallying support for security grants. In California, Teach CA helped draft AB 927 with Assemblyman Marc Levine

to establish a $10 million grant to provide security at schools targeted for hate crimes. Thanks to Teach CA’s efforts, AB 927 recently passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support. Teach CA co-chair Michael Buchman testified before the Assembly Budget Committee in support of AB 927. In Maryland, Teach MD and Maryland Parents for Education helped draft new legislation with Maryland State Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (HB 1661), which would award security grants to private schools and daycares deemed “at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission.” Teach MD is leading the effort to secure passage of this bill, recently testifying before the Maryland Senate Education Committee on behalf of HB 1661. In New Jersey, Teach NJS helped pass the first-in-the-state security program for nonpublic schools in 2015. This past year, the state allocated $50 per child for security purposes. Now, Teach NJS is ratcheting up its efforts, urging Gov. Christie and the New Jersey legislature to increase security

funding to $144 per child to create parity with public schools. Teach NJS brought Jewish day school parents to testify before the state Assembly and Senate budget committees. In Pennsylvania, Teach PA created the Safe Schools nonpublic school targeted grant program, which gives funds to nonpublic schools to hire security guards. Now, Teach PA is working with the legislature to expand the program to include the necessary security equipment to keep all children safe. “The Florida State budget is a tremendous achievement for the Jewish community, and we are very grateful to the legislature,” said Allen Fagin, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union. “This funding will allow Florida’s Jewish schools to make important security upgrades on their campuses, making a real difference for our children.” “The OU and its supporters pounded the pavement in Tallahassee for months, and we are grateful that the Florida legislature responded to our urgent request

with these historic funds,” said Mark Bane, president of the Orthodox Union. “All children deserve to go to school in a safe environment, and we urge all states to follow Florida’s lead.” “There is much work to be done around the country to make sure Jewish schools have the resources they need in these frightening times to protect our children,” said Maury Litwack, executive director of the OU’s Teach Advocacy Network. “Using Florida and New York as models, our offices will work with the local communities and legislators in each state to get the job done.” “This is a historic budget for Florida day schools,” said Dr. Allan Jacob, chairman of Teach Florida. “Next year, children in Jewish schools across Florida will be safer and more secure. In Florida, we demonstrated what is possible when the Jewish community works with legislators on both sides of the aisle to protect our children. I hope other state legislatures will follow our example.”


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

Florida’s Great Lag B’omer Parade Thousands enjoyed parade, rides, t-shirts, water and face painting at no charge Lag B’omer is the Jewish holiday commemorating the passing of the talmudic sage and author of the Kabbalistic work the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. The holiday is celebrated with outings and bonfires. In fact, experts report that over 500,000 people visited the rabbi’s gravesite this past Sunday in Meron, northern Israel. Here in Florida, a Great Lag B’omer Parade and Fair was planned for Sunday, May 14 in Hallandale. However, weather reports showed definite storm showers for the entire day. Indeed, heavy rains were pouring down at 7am as organizers of Florida’s Great Lag B’omer Parade were setting up. Florida’s Regional Director of Chabad, Rabbi Abraham Korf immediately called the resting place of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, asking the Rebbe to intercede with a special blessing for great weather and great success for the Sunshine State’s Great Parade. Within minutes the sun broke through the clouds and incredibly remained so the entire day. The thousands of men, women and children who joined the day’s festivities

enjoyed a spectacular Lag B’omer celebration with sunshine and great weather. As the massive crowd gathered at the parade starting point on Hallandale Beach Blvd just east of US1, each guest was handed a sky blue t-shirt with the beautiful colored Florida Great Parade logo with adorning palm trees emblazed on the front. With hundreds of bedazzled spectators lining the route due to the street’s closure, the parade of families, marching bands, dancing clowns and colorful floats made its way east to a giant lot on Hallandale Beach Blvd. Jewish music filled the streets while kids & adults waved an array of colorful signs with messages such as Jewish pride, keeping kosher and Moshiach is on the way. The parade was followed by a special rally for the children. A giant tent was set up to protect the thousands in attendance from the scorching Florida sun. Bottles of water were distributed throughout the day at no cost by members of Hatzalah. Coins were distributed for each child to give charity followed by Hallandale’s Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus and The Shul of

Bal Harbour’s Rabbi Sholom Lipskar each sharing with the crowd a brief inspirational holiday message. The rally concluded with a remarkable high flying acrobatic show. Once the rally concluded, music was heard throughout the venue as the children ran about enjoying many mechanical and inflatable rides including a giant zip line and roller coaster, all free of charge. Musical performances included Dr Laz and Choni Teitelbaum on the keyboard. A special booth was also designated where hundreds of men and boys over the age of Bar Mitzvah wrapped Tefillin. Attendees were astounded that even the rides were all free. “Only Chabad would pull this off”, shouted a guest visiting with his family from New York. Florida’s amazing Great Parade was a joint project by Chabad of Florida. Main organizers were Cooper City’s Rabbi Pinny Andrusier, Boca’s Rabbi Shmuly Gutnick, Hallandale’s Rabbi Mordy Feiner and Miami’s Rabbi Mendy Levy. Under the leadership of Rabbi Korf, each of the local Chabad Centers in South

Florida generously contributed towards the fabulous Lag B’omer event, enabling families to enjoy a wonderful fun filled day at no charge. Various donors from the community also helped fund this giant undertaking. In addition to free water, food items were partially subsidized and sold at a minimal cost. Lag B’omer Parades are usually held when the Jewish festival falls on Sunday. The original parade took place in 1956 on Eastern Parkway at Chabad’s world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The parade was highlighted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson addressing the crowd from a special grandstand and waving to the throng of marchers as they passed the main stage. In keeping with tradition and in a great show of unity, many cities around the globe hosted this year a Great Parade. In addition to South Florida, Great Parades included locations such as New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Russia and Melbourne, Australia. The next time Lag B’omer falls out on Sunday is the year 2024. “Moshiach better have been long here”, quipped Rabbi Pinny.

Miami Jewish Day School First Annual Robotics Festival

Lehrman Community Students

Students at Scheck Hillel Community School Participate in the Fun RASG Hebrew Academy Students

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


Torah Thought

Shavuos: It’s Not Too Much After All By Rabbi YY Rubinstein There’s a very old joke, you remember, the one about the Jew who is shipwrecked on a desert island. Years pass and a ship comes by and rescues him. When the rescue party arrives on the shore they ask him how he survived all those years. The castaway is delighted to answer the question and escorts his rescuers to the part of the island where he lived. There he shows them four grass huts standing side by side.  The Jewish fellow points to the first hut and exclaims, “This is my house!” The rescuers nod their understanding and one points questioningly to the next hut. “That,” exclaims the Jew. “Is a synagogue! That is where I pray during the week.” The same man asks, “And the hut next to the synagogue?” The castaway smiles indulgently and says, “That’s also a synagogue. That’s where I pray on the Sabbath!” The rescuer points to the fourth hut saying, “And that one?”  The Jew frowns and turns away. “I don’t pray in that Synagogue!”  Most jokes contain an element of truth and most of us will recognize what it is in this joke. We Jews are famously stubborn and between you me (and the rest of the readership of The Jewish Home), we are sometimes irascible and quarrelsome. That makes what happened at Mount Sinai completely baffling. After everything we had just witnessed and gone through, how could we mess up so disastrously and build the Golden Calf?  Rashi offers an answer, but given that old joke about the castaway, it still leaves me scratching my head. He says that Moshe announced that he was going to be gone for forty days and would bring back the Torah. He meant forty complete days and as the day he made this announcement had already begun and was not a complete day, it was not one of the forty. The clock only started ticking the next day! The Jewish people thought that the day he spoke to them was part of the forty and they set their alarm clocks for thirty-nine days later. When their clocks buzzed, Moshe hadn’t returned and alarm bells started ringing. The Jewish people panicked, convinced themselves that Moshe had died, and made a magical calf to be his replacement.  I am sure you understand Rashi’s explanation perfectly but my question is, “If you understand Rashi’s explanation…

why didn’t they?” Why wasn’t there even one “Jewish castaway” type, one irascible and quarrelsome Jew, among 600,000 who stood up and said, “Wait a minute! Calm down already. You are being foolish! You’ve all got it wrong. Moshe meant forty complete days. Trust me, he’ll be back tomorrow! Take a chill pill and go home to your tents.” The answer the Chovos HaLevovos supplies is upsetting. He writes that in their deepest sub-conscious, they intentionally miscalculated and misconstrued Moshe’s meaning! They wanted to get it wrong because they wanted to fail. Deep down, they simply didn’t believe that they could do this thing called Kabbalos HaTorah. That was why not even one “castaway” spoke out against all the rest. The Jewish people, all of the Jewish people, even though they may have been total-

of affairs and fanned his faltering flame back to life, only to watch it gutter and sputter over and over. When we met, he wanted to know how he could stop this vicious cycle of ups and downs. I was able to get him to see that if he were to go to a yeshiva (I suggested Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem) he would find the fire of his faith fed by the oxygen of Torah and taught by outstanding teachers so that it would never be extinguished. Then I told him a story of someone who had taken the exact same journey as him and an amazing thing that happened to him when he did. A young man from Philadelphia traveled for a two-week trip to Israel. He wasn’t religious but went to visit to the Kosel, which someone told him was a “must.” Somehow he ended up in Aish HaTorah and stayed the whole summer. He enjoyed it so much he didn’t want to

He had been secretly hoping Hashem would send him a sign, but by the morning of his flight, none had appeared. ly unaware of it, simply did not believe in themselves enough. They were scared of Kabbalos HaTorah. It was all just too much. I once spent time counseling a young man from a traditional home where Jewish observance was carried out respectfully but without commitment or passion. He was very different. He loved what he learned in his bar mitzvah lessons. He loved Yiddishkeit. That passion continued burning brightly after his bar mitzvah… for a while. The town his family lived in only had a few observant families. The rabbi used to have to phone congregants and plead with them to make up a minyan. With a lack of inspiration to feed his passion, the passion and his commitment started to fade. But the young man regretted this state

return but the Rosh Yeshiva encouraged him to return to complete his last year of college and come back the next year. Twelve months later, his passion had started to fade. Nevertheless, he booked his return ticket while still worrying if he was doing the right thing. He had been secretly hoping Hashem would send him a sign, but by the morning of his flight, none had appeared. But when he opened his mail he discovered a phone card he had sent for from AT&T to make it easy to keep in touch with his family. He took it from the envelope and glanced at it. There was his name, “Kevin M. Ross,” and underneath it, the card number, 613248365. There was something about that number that caught his attention and he read it again. Bells were ringing somewhere in his head but he wasn’t quite sure why. Then he noticed the number printed again

at the bottom of the card, this time with spaces: 613 248 365. The bells turned into a lightbulb. 613 mitzvos; 248 positive ones; 365 negative ones. His eyebrows flew up and then they flew even higher as he noticed the name of the card printed in the top corner, “True Choice Calling Card.”  I turned to the young man who was listening carefully as I completed my sales pitch, “Who knows?” I said with a smile of encouragement. “If you go to Jerusalem maybe something like that will happen to you!” I was sure I had clinched the deal. I was completely wrong. I had not succeeded in persuading and encouraging him to go and learn in Jerusalem; I had discouraged him from doing that very thing. The very prospect of having Hashem show Himself in his life so clearly overwhelmed and intimidated him. It was all just too much. It happened to more than just us, of course. The Midrash reports that Hashem offered the Torah to the non-Jewish nations too. Rather sensibly they asked to hear what was in it. Each nation nodded their acceptance of 612 mitzvos but each rebelled at a different 613th. The Romans rejected not killing. Yishmael rejected not stealing. The Scots rejected only getting drunk one day in the year (OK... I made that one up, but you get the idea). The Jewish people proudly declared, “We will have it…then we will hear what’s in it.”  Suppose, though, we hadn’t. Suppose we too had asked what’s in it? Hashem would have told us all the mitzvos until we came to the one that bans speaking or listening to lashon hara. What would we have said then? What we understood at that moment, though, was that even if we can’t envisage how we could keep all the mitzvos, Hashem would not be offering them to us unless we could! That certainty and the subsequent belief in ourselves wavered a short time later when we worried that after all it was all too much. Arriving at Mount Sinai again this year that thought is something we should cling to. Hashem would not be offering us the mitzvos unless we could keep them. It’s not too much for us after all, as long as we believe in ourselves with the same conviction and certainty that Hashem does.   

80 24

JUNE 9, 2016 | The|Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home



You gotta be

Centerfold kidding

Yentel is at a bus stop and walks up to a man, “Excuse me,” she says. “Are you Jewish?”


Riddle me this?

Riddle One: When do we have kri’as haTorah

“No,” replies the man.

5 days in a row, other than on

A few minutes later, Yentel once again approaches the

Pesach, Chanukah, and Sukkos?

man. “Excuse me,” she says. “Are you sure you’re not Jewish?” “I’m sure,” says the man. But Yentel is not convinced, and a few minutes later she approaches him for a third time. “Are you absolutely

Riddle Two: What is the one mitzvah in the Torah that you cannot have kavanah on before doing it?

sure you’re not Jewish?” she asks.

See answer on opposite page

“All right, all right,” the frustrated man says. “You win. I’m Jewish.” “That’s funny,” says Yentel. “You don’t look Jewish.”

Say Cheese 10 facts to know about the dairy delicacy  The state of Wisconsin produces the most cheese in the U.S.  It takes about 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.  Mozzarella cheese is the most popular cheese variety in the U.S.  Studies have shown that eating cheese before going to bed can help you sleep because of an abundance of an amino acid called tryptophan found in cheese.  On a per person basis, people from Greece eat the most cheese in the world.  A normal cheddar wheel weighs 60-75 pounds.

 Cheese is most flavorsome when eaten at room temperature.  Casu Marzu, often called the world’s most dangerous cheese, which is made in Sardinia, Italy, is purposely infested with live maggots. The cheese is typically eaten when the maggots are still alive, as dead maggots are a sign that it has gone bad. Most people eat this cheese wearing protective eyewear as the maggots can jump and land in your eye.  A Turophile is the word used to describe a true connoisseur & lover of good cheese.  The similarity between smelly feet and smelly cheese is no coincidence. It is actually due to a bacteria that is found in cheese and on feet, known as Brevibacterium linens.

The Jewish | JUNE 2016 The Jewish Home Home | OCTOBER 29,9,2015 The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


Torah Tidbits

S Noach was a vegetarian for more than 500 years.

S Avrohom was kept in the furnace in Ur Kasdim for 3 days and nights.

S Four people were named by Hashem before their birth: Yitzchok, Yishmael, Shlomo Hamelech, and Yoshiahu.

S The guests at Yaakov’s wedding sang, “O-ley, O-ley” to hint to him that the bride was really Leah so he couldn’t blame them later.

S Yaakov was 84 when he got married.

S Each of the Shevatim was born with a twin sister that married another brother.

S Eisav was born with a mouthful of teeth.

S Yaakov and Yosef were both born with a bris milah.

S Serach bas Asher entered Gan Eden alive.

S Yaakov was the first person ever to become very ill before his death.

Shavuos Scrambler

S Cham’s wife gave birth to the giant Sichon in the teiva.

S In order to attract guests, Avrohom planted a beautiful orchard in Beer Sheva.

S The sinews of the ram from Akeidas Yitzchok were used for the ten strings in King David’s harp.

S Most Kohanim Gedolim died within the year of Yom Kippur in the time of the Bayis Sheni.

S Rochel died during childbirth as she gave birth to triplets. (Binyamin and two girls.)

S Yaakov tied a note around Osnas’ (girl born from Dina) neck that stated, “Whoever marries this girl, marries one of Yaakov’s family.” An angel transferred Osnas to Mitzrayim where she was brought to Potifar’s home and raised. She eventually married Yosef.

S A Jewish king is required to have a Sefer Torah written for himself. The kings used to attach a mini Torah to their arms and carry it with them constantly.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

haeasn esivanmh invsa eehesc uhtr hellieecm azob daamosk hgilmisc aatmn rtoah smohe iaisn glanerin wfslreo alllhe ohhiascm oddvi egaarm hhumasc litebszn eaisrf

Answers 1. Naaseh Venishma 2. Sivan 3. Cheese 4. Ruth 5. Elimelech 6. Boaz 7. Akdamos 8. Milchigs 9. Matan Torah 10. Moshe 11. Sinai 12. Learning 13. Flowers 14. Hallel 15. Moshiach 16. Dovid 17. Gemara 18. Chumash 19. Blintzes 20. Sefira

25 81 19

Answer to riddle two: Shechicha. In the part of the field that we harvest for ourselves we are obligated to leave over for poor people any of the produce that innocently falls from our hands. So, if one had kavanah before doing the mitzvah, the produce that fell would not be legitimate shechicha produce. Answer to riddle one: When Rosh Hashana falls out on Thursday and Friday. The third day is the regular Shabbos leining, the fourth day is Sunday which is Tzom Gedalyah, the fifth day is Monday, in which we always lein.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home


EVERY NIGHT ‫אין‬ ‫סגולה‬ ‫כתורה‬

Torah Thought

Shavuos By Rabbi Berel Wein


and partake in nightly torah learning at Chatzos by our talmidei chachamim and see

AMAZING YESHUOS! Although there is no really accurate way to measure the relative importance of the holidays of the Jewish calendar year, I think that we can all agree that the holiday of Shavuot appears to be the least dramatic of them all. The Torah describes it as an agricultural feast day commemorating the grain harvest and the greening of the first fruits of the season as an offering in the Temple in Jerusalem. Jewish tradition and rabbinic sanction has emphasized and label the holiday as the anniversary of the granting of the Torah to the Jewish people by G-d at the revelation at Mount Sinai. With the absence of the Temple, the holiday has taken on this commemoration as the center point of its observance. Secular Zionism attempted to restore the primacy of its agricultural component in commemorating the holiday but was singularly unsuccessful. So, even today in the Land of Israel, once again fruitful and bountiful, this agricultural aspect of the holiday is still very secondary to its historical commemoration of the revelation at Sinai. And in this there is an important lesson that repeats itself throughout Jewish history. The great Gaon, Saadya, succinctly summed up this message when he stated: “Our nation – the Jewish people – is a nation only by virtue of its Torah.” All of the other facets of our nationhood exist only because of this central historical moment – the granting of the Torah to the Jewish people by G-d through Moshe at the mountain of Sinai. This was and is the pivotal moment in all of Jewish history. Everything else that has occurred to us over these three and a half millennia has direct bearing and stems from that moment in Jewish and human history. Therefore it should be no wonder as to why the holiday of Shavuot is the day of commemoration of the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Looking back over the long centuries of our existence, we can truly appreciate how we have been preserved, strengthened and enhanced in every way by our studied application of Torah in every facet of our personal and communal lives. Those who forsook the values and denied the divinity of Torah fell by the wayside of history and are, in the main, no longer part of our people.

Unlike Pesach and Succot, Shavuot carries with it no special ritual or commandments. It certainly is the least dramatic of all the holidays of the Jewish calendar. But, rather, it represents the every day in Jewish life – dominated by study and observance of Torah and its eternal values. The name of the holiday means “weeks” – units of time that measure our progress on this earth. It is not only the seven weeks from Pesach to Shavuot that is being referred to, but rather we are reminded of all of the weeks of our lives that compose our stay in this world. Time has importance to us when we deem it to be meaningful and well spent. The purpose of Torah, so to speak, was and is to accomplish just that. And therefore the day of commemoration of the granting of the Torah to Israel is very aptly named for it is the Torah that gives meaning to our days and weeks. The customs of the holiday also reference the scene at Mount Sinai on the day of revelation. Eating dairy foods, decorating the synagogue and the home with flowers and greens, and all night Torah study sessions have all become part of the commemoration of the holiday itself. They all relate to Sinai and the revelation. The Jewish people, through long experience and centuries of analysis, have transformed this seemingly physical agricultural holiday into the realm of spirituality and eternal history. On this day of festivity we are granted an insight into the past and the future at one and the same time. We are able to unlock the secrets of our survival and eternity as a nation and as the prime force in human civilization for these many millennia. So it is the holiday of Shavuot that grants true meaning and necessary legitimacy to all of the other holidays of the Jewish calendar year. Shavuot is the cornerstone of the entire year, for without it all the days of celebration and commemoration remain devoid of spirituality and eternity. It does not require for itself any special commandments or observances because it is the foundation of all commemorations throughout Jewish life and time. Chag sameach.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017

Psychology Today

Learned Helplessness Dr. Yaakov Siegel

Dear Dr. Siegel, Our son is 15 years old and he seems depressed and like he totally gave up. He has ADHD since he is a little boy. He also has other problems like ODD and who knows what else. We had him evaluated a few years ago. We got years of tutoring outside of the classroom but lately he stopped trying at all and basically doesn’t communicate with us. What is going on with him and what can we do? Dr. Siegel Responds: Your situation is painful and unfortunately not uncommon at all. Sounds like he got tired of failing and decided to give up. Psychologist discuss the idea of learned helplessness and how it contributes to depression. Learned helplessness is a condition where a person feels powerless and unable to control circumstances and the direction of life. Learned helplessness presents in both animals and humans. Many psychologists believe this to be a fundamental component of depression. Martin Seligman, PhD, is a professor at Princeton University who first studied the phenomenon of learned helplessness. He experimented with dogs that were split into three groups: one group was harnessed and then released; the second was administered electric shock that could be stopped by pushing a lever and the 3rd group could not escape the shock at all. Later, all the dogs were put into one box and administered electric shock – only this time they could easily jump out and escape. Those from the first two groups escaped but the dogs that had previously been unable to help themselves simply laid on the ground and whined. They passively accepted their fate; neither reward nor punishment, threats or watching others motivated them to help themselves – they were resigned to the situation and didn’t even try. The third group watched other dogs leap to safety but they themselves stayed behind and suffered. Later researchers conducted studies to confirm Seligman’s theory and prove that it was learned helplessness, not some other factor, that was

prevented the animals’ escape. It was only when the scientists actually moved the dogs’ legs and physically showed them how to jump out that they finally learned to help themselves. Imagine a child who has difficulty in school. His friends reject his social advances; he is marginalized and even bullied. He has difficulty with concentration and begins to lag behind. Tutors and therapists pull him out of the classroom, which only reinforces his image as damaged, incompetent and different. How long does it take until he concludes that his efforts are futile and decides to stop trying? Then depression sets in. That is learned helplessness. The remedy for learned helplessness is to assist the person to experience success, instead of talking or showing it to them. As Dr. Seligman discovered, neither reward nor punishment, threats or cajoling could motivate the dogs to escape; they had understood that effort will only result in further hurt. Only by actually moving their body and facilitating success could the dogs overcome their helplessness and move forward on their own. The same is true for your son: it will take more than convincing, rewarding, explaining or motivating to pull him out of his depressive state. He has to taste the success. This could be a caring boss who shows him how to do a job and pays him in the end. Or parents who help him with chores and then lavish him with praise. A chavrusa or Rebbe might teach him wisdom and let him know that he is smart. There are many ways, as long as he tastes the success. If helplessness is learned, it can be unlearned. That is the good news. Dr. Siegel is a licensed psychologist in private practice. He has held positions in Federal and State institutions providing clinical services and psychological assessment.  He also served as clinical coordinator at an addiction center where he supervised and trained staff.   Dr. Siegel can be reached at 732-8061513 or drsiegel@siegelpsychological. com

Going the extra mile!





MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Torah Thought What Does the Six Day War Mean to You? Rabbi Efrem Goldberg The Klausenberger Rebbe zt”l, R’ Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, lost his wife and eleven children in the Holocaust. After the war, he gathered a small community of followers who had also survived, and from that small group eventually rebuilt a beautiful community.  Rabbi Shlomo Riskin describes a visit to the Beis Medrash of the Klausenberger Rebbe in the summer of 1952 when he was just 12 years old: Then came the Torah reading. In accordance with the custom, the Torah reader began to chant the Warnings in a whisper. And unexpectedly, almost inaudibly but unmistakably, the Yiddish word “hecher – louder,” came from the direction of the lectern upon which the rebbe was leaning at the eastern wall of the synagogue. The Torah reader stopped reading for a few moments; the congregants looked up from their Chumash in questioning and even mildly shocked silence. Could they have heard their rebbe correctly? Was he ordering the Torah reader to go against time-honored custom and chant the tochacha out loud? The Torah reader continued to read in a whisper, apparently concluding that he had not heard what he thought he heard. And then the rebbe banged on his lectern, turned to face the stunned congregation and cried out in Yiddish, with a pained expression on his face and fire blazing in his eyes: “I said louder! Read these verses out loud! We have nothing to fear; we’ve already experienced the curses. Let the Master of the Universe hear them. Let Him know that the curses have already befallen us, and let Him know that it’s time for Him to send the blessings!” The rebbe turned back to the wall, and the Torah reader continued slowly chanting the cantillation out loud. I was trembling, with tears cruising down my cheeks, my body bathed in sweat. I could hardly concentrate on the conclusion of the Torah reading. “It’s time for Him to send the blessings!” After the Additional Service ended, the rebbe rose to speak. His words were again short and to the point, but this time his eyes were warm with love leaving an indelible expression on my mind and soul. “My beloved brothers and sisters,” he said, “Pack up your belongings. We must make one more move – hopefully the last one. God promises that the blessings which must follow the curses will now come. They will come – but not from America. The blessings will only come from Israel. It is time for us to go home.”  And so Kiryat Sanz – Klausenberg was established in Netanya where the rebbe built a Torah Center as well as the Laniado Medical Center. The tochecha in our parsha describes the devastating result of siluk ha’Shechina, when God removes and withdraws His countenance and providence from us.  While its graphic description is, thank God, unimaginable to us, the Klausenberger Rebbe felt the tochecha was an apt description of what he and so many others had actually endured.  But it isn’t just the Holocaust that appears to be the fulfillment of the terrible consequences foretold in the tochecha. In many ways, the Jewish condition during much of the last 2,000 years, punctuated by pogroms, crusades, the inquisition and countless expulsions, provides examples of the embodiment of the harsh and cruel description the tochecha. In the middle of the tochecha that we read this morning, the Torah says: “I will make the land desolate, and your enemies who dwell in it will be desolate upon it.” Chazal see a silver lining, a ray of hope and optimism, even within this harsh promise.  The Sifra writes that when we are exiled from our land, it will remain desolate.  Despite being occupied by others, it will remain in ruins, and they will not succeed in making it bloom.  It is striking how accurate this promise of our parsha has been.  Over the last two

millennia, despite countless efforts to make it blossom by crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Ottomans, the Turks, the Arabs and the British, Eretz Yisroel was in a virtual state of ruin. In the mid-1800’s, Mark Twain traveled the world and wrote a book recording his impressions and experiences called “The Innocents Abroad.” Listen to what he writes about his experience in then Palestine and compare it to what you think of when you picture traveling around Israel today.  He writes: Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince.  The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are un-picturesque in shape.  The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation…It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land…Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.  Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies.  Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its grandeur, and is become a pauper village. Six hundred years before Twain, in his commentary on our parsha, the Ramban writes: And your enemies will be desolate upon it is a good tiding.  It proclaims in every generation that our land does not accept or enemies.  This is a great proof and promise for us, for you will not find in the entire world another land that is so good and spacious and was always inhabited but is now in such a state of ruin.  Ever since we left it, it has not accepted any other nation; and they all try to settle it, but are unsuccessful. Indeed, the Talmud quotes Rebbe Abba who teaches – And Rabbi Abba says: You have no more explicit manifestation of the end of days than when produce will grow in abundance in Eretz Yisrael; it is an indication that the Messiah will be coming soon. R’ Yoel Bin Nun, the great Tanach teacher in Israel today, was a member of the now famous 55thbrigade of paratroopers who liberated Yerushalayim.  When his commander, a Shomer Ha’tzair kibbutznik, asked him how he felt after taking Har Ha’Bayis, he responded “alpayim shenot galut nigmeru, two thousand years of exile are now over.” If for the Klausenberger Rebbe, the Holocaust represents the fulfillment of the tochecha, the consequences of siluk ha’Shechina, Divine withdrawal and hiddenness, then 1967, the miracle of the Six-Day War and the reunification of Yerushalayim, represent nothing short of giluy ha’Shechina, the intense presence and the powerful revelation of the hand of the Almighty.  If the Holocaust engenders all kinds of compelling questions, then the Six Day War provides all kinds of undeniable answers. Those of us with no memory of May 1967 and earlier don’t know what it means to feel truly fragile and vulnerable as a people. Those of you who do remember will confirm that just over 20 years after losing 6 million of our people there was a collective panic and sense of urgency that there was going to be another Holocaust.  Rav Yehuda Amital recounted that before the Six Day War there were American Jewish leaders who pleaded with the Israeli government to evacuate the children from Israel, since the annihilation of Israel was expected. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel had designated public parks as burial sites and almost 100,000 graves had been dug in anticipation of the mass casualties. But instead of a massacre, a miracle occurred.  On June 5, Israel launched a preemptive strike. In a single day, it destroyed almost the entire Egyptian air force. Jordan and Syria both declared war. In six days, Israel defeated all three armies, each larger than the size of its own. The Israelis retook Sinai, captured the old city of Jerusalem, Yehuda and the Shomron and the Golan Heights.

This sweeping military victory against all odds continues to defy explanation and leaves experts confounded. R’ Berel Wein tells the story of a cadet at West Point who asked why the Six-Day War was not part of the curriculum.  The high-ranking teacher silenced the questioner and demanded he speak to him following the class.  The soldier approached the general and again wondered why Israel’s victory in the SixDay War wasn’t studied.  The teacher explained that the Six-Day War is not studied because at West Point they study strategy and tactics, not miracles.
Yossi Klein Ha’Levi tells the powerful story of his father who was from a very religious chassidishe family and gave up on God and on religion after surviving the Holocaust.  Even after the founding of the State of Israel, he was still so traumatized from his devastating loss that he couldn’t find God.  In June of 1967, however, after witnessing with the world the miracle of Israel not only surviving, but thriving, he took his family to Israel and went directly to the Kotel.  After seeing the hand of God, he was ready to forgive Him and to have a relationship once again.  They moved to Israel and his father came back to religion. Yossi Klein Ha’Levi explains that 1967 turned Israel from a secular to a sacred landscape.  Yes, in 1948 we gained sovereignty over our own country, but we still had no holy sites.  After the miracle of ’67, overnight, we returned not only to the Kotel and Har Ha’bayis, but to our Mama Rochel imeinu, to Chevron and Ma’aras Ha’Machpeila. In our parsha, God promises us: “Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob; I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land.” God has indeed made good on that promise to remember our land, and with it, we have access again to our forefathers.  The first Jew to enter the Ma’arat Ha’Machpeila, the burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in some 800 or 900 years, was General Moshe Dayan. When he entered, he did not know exactly what to do. But instinctively he straightened up, offered a snappy salute, and said “Shalom” to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov. Following the Six-Day War, Jews around the world felt as if they were 7 feet tall, confident, proud, almost invincible. Jews walked the streets of New York, Paris, London, Johannesburg, Melbourne, with their heads held high, the envy of their neighbors.  Everyone wanted a piece of this special nation, a connection to the Jewish people.  And the Jewish people felt a giluy ha’shechina, revelation of God Himself, and wanted a greater connection with Him. In a sermon delivered one week after the Six-Day War, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm said: Now this places a great burden upon us, greater than we realize. Even observant religious people usually possess an element of doubt within their faith. We use this doubt to excuse many of our transgressions, and we excuse the existence of this doubt by saying that had we lived in the age of the prophets or the age of miracles or the age of revelation, we would be sufficiently persuaded and convinced to be able to live according to the highest precepts of our faith, but that the absence of any such evidence justifies this seed of doubt. Were we exposed to the same wonders as was Israel of old, “and Israel saw the Egyptians dead at the shore of the sea,” then we too would react as they did: “and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses. Such was the justification we offered ourselves for our doubt and our laxity heretofore. Now, we can no longer avail ourselves of that luxury. For we have seen, as did Jews in very special moments of history, ha-yad ha-gedolah, the “great Hand of the Almighty! Through electronic eyes and ears, each of us has

been a personal witness to the great miracle, the great revelation of 1967. How our parents and grandparents and theirs before them, through all the ages, would have thrilled to this singular experience — not only because of the victory that would have given them relief from the humiliation of exile, but because this liberation of Jerusalem in our times is a vindication of their faith throughout all times.   For indeed the giluy shekhinah of the past two weeks is a vindication of ancient promises, the fulfillment of hoary prophecies. A few summers ago, I attended a Rabbinic conference in Israel where Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rosh Yeshva of Ohr Etzion and the Rabbinic head of all Bnei Akiva.  He talked about the paragraph we say before benching, chapter 126 of Tehillim,  Shir Ha’Maalos b’shuv Hashem es shivas tziyon hayinu k’cholmim.  When Hashem will return the us to tziyon, we will be like dreamers.  What does it mean to be like a dreamer, he asked?  He quoted a number of interpretations of the classic commentators but then he gave his own and it touched me very deeply. He said, picture a teacher at the front of the classroom who is teaching when he or she suddenly calls on a child in the classroom and asks a question.  The child is startled and is caught off guard because they weren’t paying attention to the teacher.  They were, what we would call “day dreaming.”   Day dreaming is when you are eyes are open, you are looking at the person talking, you see, hear and feel everything going on, but you are so checked out and distracted that you don’t really register what was said or what just happened. Hayinu k’cholim, said Rav Druckman, means that after 2,000 years of persecution and suffering, Hashem will perform miracles and bring us back to our land.  After being the scorn of the world, we will be the envy.  It will be so surreal, that we may be like day dreamers who see and hear what is happening but are so distracted that it doesn’t truly register; it doesn’t move us the way it should. Every time I visit Israel, I find a way to spend a few minutes sitting in the square in the Old City of Yerushalayim.  I don’t sit in the big square with all the pay phones that tourists all walk through.  There is another square where the residents hang out.   This square is no ordinary gathering place.  Etched in the stones on the side of the square are the ancient words of our prophet Zecharia.  Our ancestors read these words as depicting a fantasy, a fictional description.   We, the most blessed generation in 2,000 years, can read those words and witness their very fulfillment before our very eyes.  I love watching the older people walk by with their walkers and canes and listening to the sounds of the children running and playing and then reading: “Thus said the Lord of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the squares of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the squares of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the squares.” My friends, if the Klausenberger Rebbe described living through the curses we just read about, then we are meriting to live through the fulfillment of the blessings.  This week when we mark a mere 50 years since that summer of Divine revelation and God’s miracles, we dare not day-dream through it.  We dare not sleepwalk through this milestone as if it is an ordinary everyday event.  We must awaken ourselves with a sense of hallel v’hodaah, profound gratitude and boundless appreciation.  We must once again tap into the feeling of having experienced yad Hashem, the guiding hand of the Almighty.  How could you not make it to minyan on Wednesday morning to sing Hallel b’rov am, together with a minyan and a community of those who refuse to day dream or sleep through it?! V’ha’aretz ezkor – We are in the generation that after millennia of waiting has witnessed God’s remembering His people and His land. The question is, will you remember Him? Rabbi Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue.


MAY 4, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


Good Hum r

Ignorant Inquiries By Jon Kranz


ost educators believe that, in the classroom context, there is no such thing as a stupid question and the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked. In the real world, however, there are plenty of stupid questions. Some inquiries are stupid simply because the answer is so self-evident. For example, a stupid question is: do Jewish humor columnists have friends, a social life or self-respect? (The obvious answer is no, they do not.) Stupid questions know no boundaries and can occur even in the Holy Land. Granted, for those living in Israel, there are many questions that are not stupid. For example, archeologists diligently digging dirt are attempting to find answers to important questions. Israel’s brilliant high-tech sector continues to unlock answers to cutting-edge questions. Those who order overstuffed pita on Ben Yehuda and then ask if they are entitled to free refills also are looking for answers to critical conundrums. Such inquiries are perfectly fine but the (non-stupid) question is: are there some questions that, if asked in Israel, likely would be considered stupid? We’re talking about the kind of stupidity that should result in some sort of punishment like (i) paying a fine, (ii) doing some time, or (iii) trying to convince an Israeli that something is impossible. (Ironically, the only thing in Israel that is impossible is convincing an Israeli that something is impossible.) Anyway,

here are a few examples of questions that, if asked in Israel, would arguably be considered stupid: Does the West Bank have ATM machines? Why doesn’t Israel host the Winter Olympics? Does the Iron Dome have a retractable roof? Do the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal

Is it permissible to pay full price at the shuk? Do Israelis rename classic childhood tales so that they are more relatable in Israel, e.g., Pita Pan? If you mistakenly schedule two separate meetings – one with an Arab and the other with an Israeli – on the exact same day and at the exact same time, is that what is known

Should I name my newborn twins Hummus and Techina?

the sea’s murderer? When students attend Hebrew University, do they have to walk across campus from right to left? How long did the Six Day War last? Can I have my falafel on rye? Is it just me or is there a little tension between some Arabs and Israelis? Benjamin Netanya . . . who? All of these are relatively stupid questions unless you have never been to Israel, you have never learned about Israel, and you have the I.Q. of a pomegranate. Along the same lines, here are some other examples of stupid questions to ask in Israel: How do you say “Shabbat Shalom” in Hebrew? Why doesn’t anyone offer a Dead Sea fishing trip?

as the Arab/Israeli Conflict? Would it be completely inappropriate and insensitive to open a miniature golf course in the Old City called the “Hole-y of Hole-ies”? Should I name my newborn twins Hummus and Techina? Does the King David Hotel have any rooms with queen-sized beds? Is He-“Brew” a good name for my new Jewish beer company or should I go with something more location-specific like “Beer”sheba? Since Israelis refer to French fries as “chips,” do they refer to California Highway Patrolmen as French fries? Do Israelis wear shwarma-scented perfume? Is it a good idea to attempt to board an already crowded Egged bus on a Friday afternoon while carrying a fragile and expensive bouquet of

flowers? Many would agree that the above questions certainly are stupid and, in some cases, painfully stupid. The same can be said of the following idiotic inquires: Why do Israelis live “in” a city but live “on” a kibbutz? (Is that like living “in” Manhattan but living “on” Staten Island?) Is the Golan Heights the name of a particularly tall basketball team? Is Tel Aviv a city or an order to relay information to someone named Aviv? Does the kosher McDonald’s in Israel feature a Gefilt-O-Fish sandwich? Is chocolate spread the Israeli version of cream cheese? (Actually, that’s a semi-valid question.) Is the glue on Israeli stamps kosher? (Actually, that is not a stupid question. The answer is: yes. A fully stupid question would be: “Do Israelis have the patience for snail mail?”) Do Israelis take to heart anything they learned in Driver’s Ed class? In Israel, is the rap artist “50 Cent” referred to as Half Shekel? Bottom Line: In Hebrew, the word “lo” means “no,” so do Israelis who are learning to speak English have a particularly difficult time with the expression “lo and behold”? Jon Kranz is an attorney living in Englewood, New Jersey. Send any comments, questions or insults to jkranz285@

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

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

Marriage is like a marathon, it’s not a sprint. There’s a lot of years ahead of you in a marriage and sometimes you’re both really into it and can push each other and sometimes the other partner has to help pull you through whatever challenge lies ahead. You both have to keep each other motivated in a race and in a marriage. - Alexander Salazar, explaining why he and his bride, Krissa Cetner, stopped six miles into the Brooklyn half marathon last Saturday to get married

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

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

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

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

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

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



The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Dear Governor Brown, My class visited the Capitol on April 19. While we were there I took a hazelnut and a pen from the Capitol Building. These things were not mine and it was wrong for me to take them. I’m very sorry. I hope you and the people of Oregon can forgive me. – The handwritten letter sent by 4th grader Samuel Revenko to Oregon Governor Kate Brown

I think we can forgive Samuel, don’t you think, Oregonians? – Tweet by Governor Kate Brown with the hashtag, #cutestmailever

Samuel, in exchange for your apology, debt repayment, and return of the pen you lifted, I formally pardon you from any further penalty. I hope the pen coming your way will be an adequate memento of your visit at the Capitol. Come back soon! – Facebook post by Governor Brown

Yesterday, a brawl broke out at a Florida airport after Spirit Airlines canceled several flights. To restore control, airport police were forced to fire Cinnabons into the crowd. – Conan O’Brien

Over the weekend, the world’s biggest-ever cyberattack spread around the globe infecting 150 countries. It’s pretty horrifying. Computers have been totally destroyed. In some cases, in extreme cases, people were forced to have actual face-to-face conversations. It was a nightmare. – James Corden

The virus involved in the attack is called ransomware and it locks up your computer and tells you that you can unlock it by paying the hackers $300. Which is kind of insulting when you think about it, when the hackers are like, “If you want your life back, you give us … $300.” That’s it? That’s all I’m worth? My life, $300? – Ibid.

Walls work, just ask Israel. - President Trump during a White House press conference last week with the president of Colombia, when asked about his plans to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico

You know, in Israel all the people like us. The media hate us but the people love us, like you. - Sarah Netanyahu to the Trumps, shortly after greeting them during a ceremony in Ben Gurion Airport this week

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history! - Tweet by President Trump after Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate any collusion between his campaign and Russia

As the Representative of Salem, MA, I can confirm that this is false.

We have a lot in common. .- President Trump in response

The fundamental problem we have here is the definition of peace. How do you define peace? If peace means Israel can no longer retain their Jewish state or give up control of Jerusalem, if that’s peace, that’s not gonna happen. - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on CNN, commenting on Trump’s efforts to revive peace talks in Israel

- Tweet by Congressman Seth Moulton who represents Salem, MA, where in 1692 sixteen women were hanged for being witches


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MAY 18, 2017 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Jewish Home Home MAY 25, 201729, | The Florida OCTOBER 2015 || The

Sidney Rabinovich An American Veteran Who Fought for Israel’s Independence BY TAMMY MARK

Sidney and Edith Rabinovich

Long before the first “lone soldier” ever fought for Israel, another group of volunteer soldiers undertook a mission to help a fledgling country. Sidney Rabinovich was one of the courageous heroes who fought to secure the land in Israel’s War of Independence. In 1948, the young man from New York joined other brave men from around the world and risked his life to help the new Jewish state fight for its survival against invading Arab armies – while witnessing the many miracles that happened along the way.

Sidney had served in the United States Army from 1942-1945 during World War II. He returned home to find the newspapers starting to speak increasingly about Palestine. It was in 1947, when the United Nations announced that a Jewish state was to be established in May of 1948, that the Palestinian government insisted they would never allow a Jewish state and declared their intentions to attack and wipe the future Israel off the map. During this same period of time, the Aliyah Bet movement was conducting unauthorized missions, transporting European Jews to Palestine above the allowed quotas. Ten American ships were among the fleet; American sailors would sail to

Europe to pick up survivors for relocation in Palestine. Though several countries had collaborated to help the cause, the British intercepted most of the ships and rerouted the Jews to detention camps in Cyprus. In early 1948, Palestine was still under British rule and Jews were forbidden to own any weapons. Neither individual nor kibbutz was allowed to own a gun. At the time there were over a million Arabs to the 600,000 Jews who inhabited the land. Sidney was 27-years-old and working in business with his father. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Sidney’s family came to New York when he was two-years-old. There were five boys and one girl in his family, and all five brothers served

in U.S. Army. One of Sidney’s brothers was also among the volunteers working on the Aliyah Bet ships; the Rabinovich family had a strong sense of community duty. Since he had already been trained and served as a soldier, Sidney sought to find out what he could do to help his Jewish brethren establish independence. He contacted Land and Labor for Israel, an organization that was assisting in setting people up to volunteer to fight for Israel, and joined the group. Sidney views his act of bravery with a pragmatic sense of duty. “Somebody had to do something,” he explains. When Sidney told his mother he planned to go to help overseas, she

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017 The Jewish Home | MAY 18, 2017 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Helping on a kibbutz

In the U.S. Army

reminded him that he had just returned back from a few years at war. Sidney recalls telling her, “Israel needs all their men for the army, so I’m going to work on a kibbutz.” Although she didn’t quite understand his decision, she never complained once.

The soldiers were warned not to disembark in Beirut, and they appropriately abided. The following month’s ship was unfortunately stormed by the Beirut police and all the Americans were removed. Those volunteers were jailed for several weeks before being sent home to the U.S.; the State Department did not want the Americans caught up in Israel’s fight. Upon arrival in Haifa, Sidney’s group traveled by bus up to Carmel.

95-year-old Sidney clearly recounts the details of his extraordinary and noble journey. The group he joined consisted of ten volunteers, young men from New York and Boston, all ready and eager to do what needed to be done. The men were told that when they applied for their visas it would be safer to apply for visas to South America rather than Palestine, since the State Department was not supportive of Israel at the time. Before the soldiers sailed out, the Boston boys met up with the New York boys in the Catskills for a week, and although Sidney didn’t know any of the other soldiers previously, they soon formed a tight bond. Their common goal cemented their bond. “We all wanted to make sure that Israel lived – there was no politics involved,” says Sidney. Together the group boarded the Marine Carp, an American freighter that traveled to Italy, Greece, Beirut, Haifa, and Cairo and returned back to New York each month. They sailed in early April 1947. Other passengers on the ship included a group going to Palestine to help establish a new kibbutz.

Playing with a grandchild

inducted into the new Israeli army. The cards they were given couldn’t say “Israel” since it hadn’t been officially established yet. Although most of Sidney’s group had served in the U.S. military, some of the other international volunteers had never even held a gun. As the Jews were still not legally allowed to have weapons, the soldiers were given “sten” guns – makeshift weapons fashioned out of a few pieces of metal that worked intermittently –

“Imagine an army of 25,000 against a couple of hundred people – and they were frightened?!”

Their “military transport” consisted of Egged busses with no equipment, retrofitted by the Israelis with steel shutters to cover the windows. They drove through Haifa with Arabs shooting at them along the way. When the men finally arrived at the Jewish area they observed the British patrolling the Jewish side with machine guns. After a few days in the Haifa region, Sidney’s group moved to a camp in Tel Aviv, in an area where the British had already evacuated and the Israelis had taken over. The young men then headed south towards Rechovot and were

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along with three bullets. They took a few shots into an open field; there was no further training or equipment provided. The men were now part of the infantry battalion of the Givati Brigade. The international soldiers remained stationed in the south, just below Rechovot. The region was dotted with Arab and Jewish villages throughout. The men would go out patrolling at night and remained under constant threat of Arab intruders. They shortly received word that the Arabs were expected to come up through the area from Egypt and attack Israel on May 14.

At this point, the soldiers were given rifles from World War I with which to clear out the area. As the soldiers approached some of the villages, they saw the Arabs already packed and ready to go; the soldiers were able to evacuate them with no force involved. In other villages, the Arabs were well-armed and ready for a fight, and yet in others cases the Arabs attacked first. The Givati soldiers cleared out each of the villages one by one. As the May 14th date loomed closer, incidents and skirmishes were occurring almost daily. At this time Jerusalem was cut off completely – no Jews, soldiers or trucks could get there. Sidney’s troop was charged with opening the road to Jerusalem on May 12, two days before the establishment of Israel was to take place. The soldiers endeavored to clear the main road, known as Latrun, which was supposed to be turned over to the Jews. The British and the Arabs were still there and were maintaining control at the time. On the evening of the 11th, Sidney’s company approached the hill overlooking Latrun. The next morning they awoke to artillery shelling. The men had no choice but to retreat – they were simply not equipped to go up against the machine guns and artillery raining down upon them. A number of soldiers were killed in the encounter, including two of Sidney’s friends, American volunteers from


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MAY 18, 2017 | The Jewish Home MAY 25, 201729, | The Florida Jewish Home Home OCTOBER 2015 | The Jewish

Brooklyn; their bodies were never found. Another group subsequently succeeded in building a bypass road towards Jerusalem. Led by David “Mickey” Marcus, an American soldier who became the first general to lead the Jewish army in the new State of Israel, the creation of Burma Road was an important victory which was later portrayed in the movie Cast a Giant Shadow. Through the Burma Road, convoys were finally able to reach Jerusalem, where residents had been without food, water and ammunition. Additionally, it was also a crucial maneuver for Israel to have a presence in Jerusalem once statehood was official. Sidney’s group returned to camp and resumed guard duty in preparation for the next anticipated Arab invasion. The following day Sidney’s company was moved to Ashdod, along the coastal road that ran from Egypt through Gaza up to Tel Aviv. Kibbutzim lined the area. The soldiers helped evacuate the children by hand, carrying the littlest ones

over the mountains to a safe area. David Ben-Gurion formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel with a big ceremony in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948. The fighting continued and intensified.

Sidney, “after 65 years, I still don’t understand. They said the Arab Egyptian Army that attacked was 25,000 strong – with full armor, tanks, machine guns and air force...” During this time, the Jewish passengers that had been taken off

“It hasn’t been over, even until now it hasn’t been over,” laments Sidney, “but officially it was over.”

The Egyptians attacked, invading the kibbutzim one by one, but the Jews did not surrender. The fighting went on for some time before they could even capture one kibbutz. Inexplicably, with a sizeable army and all their equipment, the Egyptian Army wasn’t making much progress and they suddenly called a 30 day truce. It was a godsend for Israel. “This part of the story,” marvels

the Aliyah Bet ships by the British were still being detained in Cyprus. When the truce was called, the Jews were released from the camps and were brought into Israel. The new Israeli Army had managed to find pieces of French artillery from World War I. All Anglo-Saxons were now welcome to join the artillery unit. With just one afternoon of practice, which consist-

ed of firing a few times to make sure the ammunition wouldn’t explode, the volunteers now became Israel’s first artillery company. Sidney’s new troop was moved to Rosh Pina on the Syrian border, and an Australian Christian man named Mike was now in charge of the unit. The men set up camp and prepared their guns. Suddenly, the Syrians began shelling their group. The shelling went back and forth. The men had no shovels with which to dig foxholes and had to lay on open ground as shells rained down; miraculously, none of Sidney’s group were hit. Between them and the Syrians was a hill. The artillery unit could see Syria from an outpost on the top of the hill. One day the guard on duty reported that infantry and tanks were headed towards them from Syria. Sidney’s group had only minimal weapons, with two machine guns. They lowered their guns from the hill to hit the approaching Arabs. Suddenly, and again inexplicably, the Syrian Army announced a ceasefire and turned back.



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The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017 The Jewish HomeHome | OCTOBER The Jewish | MAY 29, 18, 2015 2017

Raising the flag

The Israeli military was beginning to grow bigger and stronger. A demilitarized ship had been acquired from America and came into Haifa. The World War II warship was sold to Israel completely stripped of its weaponry. In addition to that ship, the Aliyah Bet fleet also had four usable ships and together these ships formed the Israeli Navy. The head of Israel’s new navy, Paul Shulman – also known as Shaul Ben-Tzvi, was an American graduate of Annapolis Naval Academy, and he was now in need of sailors. The sailors were assigned to man all the necessary stations. The one American ship they had in their fleet still had radar. Sidney joined and ended up working the radar. There was one open deck designed to hold a big machine gun, but it too had been removed by the Americans. As the radar station was next to the one open deck, Sidney was also named assistant gunner – although there was still no gun to speak of. Sidney had gone from infantry to artillery to the navy in a matter of weeks. During the war, from May until February, Sidney recalls eight or nine truces that had been in place, only to be broken sooner or later. During one particular truce, Sidney’s ship patrolled up and down the coast, and the men were very grateful that there was not much activity. Two of the other ships were bringing the detained Jews from Cyprus to Israel. In the meantime, Tel Aviv was being shelled by the Egyptian Navy, which had a flagship called the King Farouk battleship. The King Farouk was the biggest ship of the Egyptian fleet, complete with a cannon and machine guns. Sidney was somewhat isolated in the radar shack right below the deck, with very little communication from above. He received word from one

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Sidney’s Israeli Army ID card

of his fellow sailors that they were sailing towards Gaza. As they approached Gaza they saw the King Farouk battleship stationed there, along with a smaller destroyer. The Israeli fleet of five ships was all headed towards Gaza. Sidney’s ship, which was manned by the captain, headed for the King Farouk using a zig-zag course in an effort to remain a moving target. The Israeli ship got within 300-400 yards of the enemy ship. While the rest of the crew was undercover, Sidney was alone on the open deck – without a weapon. He was able to see the Egyptians following him, machine guns and cannons all aimed at him and tracking the ship’s movements. It was another close call – although, miraculously and fortunately, the ceasefire was observed by both sides. Sidney’s ship then stopped and pulled back to return to the Mediterranean along with other ships. The men later found out that on the return to Haifa another one of the Israeli ships had gotten hold of torpedoes from Italy and fashioned them into man-handled torpedoes. Two Israeli sailors swam towards the King Farouk and dropped the two torpedoes, sinking the ship in the dark of the night – without one single Israeli casualty. Upon their return to Haifa, not a word was mentioned about the incident. The Egyptians did not want to advertise that they lost their flagship, and the Israelis did not want to admit that the enemy ship was decimated during a truce. There were attacks from Syria and Jordan, lots of fighting around Jerusalem, up north, and out east – all over the country, recalls Sidney. There wasn’t enough Israeli military to cover all of the necessary fronts. “Israel didn’t have enough people for anything,” he recalls.

For the remainder of his time in Israel, Sidney’s team mostly worked to keep the seas clear. They also helped clear the villages. Sidney marvels that after they had cleared the Arab villages and the Arabs had no more people to spy for them, they were frightened. “Imagine an army of 25,000 against a couple of hundred people – and they were frightened?!” he asks incredulously. Sidney’s tour in Israel ran from April 1947 to the following end of February 1948. By that time a solid ceasefire agreement was in place and war was over. “It hasn’t been over, even until now it hasn’t been over,” laments Sidney, “but officially it was over.” Sidney returned safely back home to the States at the end of February, accompanying one of his friends from Boston who had suffered severe emotional trauma in Israel. Indeed, as Sidney had told his mother, in between all of the fighting and patrolling, he did actually spend time on a kibbutz assisting in building it up. Many years later he happened to come across a picture of himself from that experience in the book review section of The New York Times. When Sidney returned home he joined the American Veterans of Israel group and became very involved in helping to expand it, calling on his friends for support. The organization grew to hundreds and hundreds of members, eventually becoming a large network running lots of events. They maintained contact with the Israeli government and the Israeli consulate, as well as with the groups from Europe who went to fight for Israel. Sidney remained very active in the organization until retiring around the year 2000, including marching annually in the Salute to Israel.

After his time in Israel, Sidney eventually went into the textile business in New York City and lived on the Lower East Side. In 1958 he met his future wife, a similarly patriotic American Jew. Edith was working for Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Army’s newspaper. The two met on a Saturday night when they were introduced by friends and were married in 1959. They moved to Forest Hills, Queens, and raised their two sons there. Sidney’s family all have strong ties to Israel. His brother, Abraham, became a reporter for the Jerusalem Post and wrote several books on Israel and its wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem and The Yom Kippur War. Abraham had initially gone to Israel in 1967 for the Six Day War, covering it for an American paper. He left his car in LaGuardia Airport and never returned back the States. Sidney returned to Israel in 1998 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war, a moving and memorable experience. He and Edith visited Israel many times throughout their marriage, most recently for a family occasion about eight years back. Today the Rabinoviches spend their time stateside, enjoying their growing family with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and more on the way. Sidney has spoken about his experiences to students at the Rambam Mesivta Yeshiva and at Yeshiva University High School for Girls Central, where his grandchildren attend school. Their family remains committed and connected to Israel, with a love instilled in them from their patriarch Sidney along with his remarkable acts of bravery. Sidney, at 95, remains a role model to them and to all soldiers today.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Between the Lines

The Connection Between Sefiras HaOmer & Mental Health By Avigayil Alpern May is Mental Health Month. It is also a time of counting the omer, the 49 day, 7 week period of self-improvement, between Pesach and Shavuot. Both Mental Health Month and the omer period highlight the importance of treating each other properly and caution that our failure to do so may be fatal. It is customary during the omer period to study Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers), a tractate of the Mishna which teaches us the Torah’s views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. In the omer period, we mourn the death of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died in a plague because they did not treat one another properly. During Mental Health Month, we mourn the loss of people with mental illness whose condition had been worsened by stigma and social-distancing. For people with mental illness, stigma is one of the biggest barriers to treatment and recovery. Stigma is the disrespectful, unfair, or discriminatory patterns in how we think, feel, talk and behave towards

individuals experiencing a mental illness. Stigmatizing and socially distancing ourselves from people with mental illness makes it more difficult for them to admit that they need help. It causes them to feel shame, to be afraid to get health care and to isolate themselves. Why should we make an effort to learn more about mental illness and do our part to reduce stigma? Because 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The other four will know someone - a family member, friend, or co-worker who has been affected. This means that every one of us is affected by mental illness in some way, whether by living with an illness ourselves or grappling with its consequences in a friend or loved one. Bill Clinton said, “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” We all need to examine our beliefs about mental illness. Are our words and actions perpetuating stigma against people with mental illness or are we helping to eliminate it? Some

of the things we can do to reduce stigma are: get informed and learn the facts about mental illness, chose our words carefully, focus on the positive, be supportive and accepting. Understand that brain diseases are chronic medical illnesses that respond to safe and effective medications and scientifically demonstrated therapies. If you know someone who appears to be suffering, be compassionate and help them find treatment options. Pirkei Avos teaches us so beautifully how to improve our lives. By following the ways set out in Pirkei Avos, we will overcome the stigma attached to mental illness and this will benefit us all. Some of these way from Pirkei Avos are: love people, do acts of loving-kindness, greet everyone with a smile, be a good friend, do not separate yourself from the community, judge everyone favorably, do not judge another until you have reached his place, do for others as you would like them to do for us. Sounds like a prescription for unity. Just as unity delivered us from Egypt

to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, unity is critical to overcome stigma and get us all to a healthier place. Jewish Family and Children’s Services is combating stigma by offering a national public education program called Mental Health First Aid, an 8 hour live training course, given in Palm Beach County, which introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. To find out about upcoming trainings for Mental Health First Aid call Cindy Wides, Jewish Family and Children’s Services County Program Coordinator, at 561-2380251 for more information. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number is 1-800-273-8255

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


Forgotten Her es Sinai Throughout History By Avi Heiligman

Author’s note: In this article many of the conflicts are stated in just one or two paragraphs. It is not a full history on any given conflict or topic. There is one mountain that the non-Jews claim is Har Sinai but Jewish historians dispute this claim. Have a gut Yom Tov! In the years prior to the B’nei Yisroel crossing the Sinai Desert, the peninsula between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, which both flow into the Red Sea, had been known for its turquoise deposits. These had been mined for thousands of years until they became unprofitable. After the Jewish nation entered Eretz Yisroel, the desert passed through many hands and there have been quite a few conflicts in the region. Most of these wars took place between Israel and Egypt starting in 1948 until the Camp David Accords in 1978. This is a brief history of the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptians had always been interested in the Sinai and the area has been occupied long before B’nei Yisroel spent 40 years wandering the desert. Historians argue as to which mountain is Har Sinai and there really is no way of knowing today which one the Torah was given to us. With the decline of the Egyptian Empire, the Persians under Darius II took over most of the peninsula. Soon the region fell to a Bedouin tribe named the Nabataeans. There are trade routes that span millennium and one of these roads was the site of a battle between the Nabataeans and the Romans 19 centuries ago (about 35 years after the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash). The Romans took over

the region until their decline and for the next 18 centuries (106-1906) the region was ruled by several kingdoms including the Byzantines and the Ottomans. There was a stint in that time when it was back under Egyptian rule. In 1906 the Ottomans transferred the land back to the Egyptians, who were controlled by none other than our favorite friends (meddlers more like it!) in the Middle East, the British. A long and hardfought battle between the British Empire and the Ottoman Turks took place in the Sinai Peninsula during WWI. It started when the Ottomans tried to invade the Suez in 1915 and ended in 1918 with the British gaining control of the Ottoman Empire, including Eretz Yisroel. One of the battles that was fought in the desert was at Magdhaba. The Turks were entrenched and were attacked by light horse units from Australia and New Zealand. One of the most interesting units in the British Empire also fought at the battle that saw the defeat of the Turks and their pullout from El-Arish. The famed Imperial Camel Corps made an appearance with the men dismounting to fight and the camels used to transport supplies and medical casualties. From the end of WWI until 1967 the Sinai was under Egyptian control. This didn’t mean that there was peace in the region. In fact, with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the IDF made several incursions in the Sinai. A series of engagements was fought in the land south of Israel with a push to the northern coast at El-Arish in December 1948. With an armistice looming between the two coun-

tries the Israelis retreated from the Sinai. Seven years later the Israelis were back when the Egyptians blocked them from using the Suez Canal. Egyptian President Nasser had been behind several raids into Israel in the two years prior so to get him to stop the Israelis invaded when they had a good reason. Closing the Suez incensed certain other world powers and a plot was hatched to depose Nasser. Along with Great Britain and France, the Israelis achieved a big military victory but lost in the political arena. Israel occupied most of the Sinai within a few days. Heavy pressure came from both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. for the Israelis to leave the Sinai. Four months later they did, and the Egyptians had the political victory. This conflict resulted in UN peacekeepers to be deployed along the Israeli-Egyptian border. In an unprecedented move UN Secretary General U Thant removed all of the peacekeepers in the Sinai on a request by Nasser in 1967. A month later the Six Day War broke out, and Israel soon controlled the entire peninsula from Gaza to the Suez Canal. After destroying most of the Egyptian planes within the first few hours of the war, the Israeli tanks pushed their way deep into the desert. Some of the largest tank battles since WWII took place in the Sinai. The War of Attrition (19671970) was a bloody time in the Sinai but ultimately neither side gained ground. The final conflict between the two countries in the Sinai occurred during the Yom Kippur War. Without warning, in 1973, the Egyptians crossed the canal over quickly-built pontoon bridges and

attacked the barriers that the Israelis had erected. Large sand barriers were hosed down and vehicles were soon passing through the Bar-Lev Line. In an unexpected and daring move the Israelis sent a force to the south and cut off the entire Egyptian Army. The IDF crossed over the canal and were in Egypt until the ceasefire. The Camp David Accords in 1978 led to the peace agreement in 1979 between the once bitter enemies. Since then there has been testy moments in the region usually with the Egyptians fighting off terrorists. In 2011 Egyptian President Mubarak was toppled and as a direct result security in the Sinai deteriorated. Several Islamist groups launched attacks from the Sinai into Israel. Current Egyptian President el-Sisi is more worried about trying to patrol the border with Gaza (stopping the flow of illegal contraband coming from Egypt in tunnels) than a conflict with Israel. The land for peace agreement is working and since the accords the two countries have had peace and diplomatic ties. For a desert, the Sinai has certainly seen its fair share of history and for the time being remains an attractive tourist destination due to the relative peace between Egypt and the Israelis.

Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Health & F tness

Shavuos Survival By Aliza Beer MS, RD

Shavuos is a very pleasant holiday. It falls out at the cusp of summer, typically with beautiful weather, sans difficult preparations such as turning over the whole kitchen or building a sukkah. In terms of healthy eating and minimal weight gain, Shavuos is not as easy to navigate. The biggest obstacles are the carby/cheesy foods, and the cake to end all cakes, the cheesecake! In addition, this year the holiday falls out midweek, sandwiched between two Shabbosim, making it even harder to have a somewhat “normal” eating week. I’ve listed the most critical do’s and don’ts to help you survive this highly caloric yom tov. • Diminish the Dairy: One cannot eat four meals of lasagna, pizza, eggplant parmesan, and mac ‘n’ cheese without a substantial weight gain. Cheese is typically a very high fat protein, so incorporating some poultry/lean meat meals into the schedule would be very helpful. I recommend eating two dairy and two chicken/lean meat meals. • Eat Fish: Fish is a great dairy option. Pick your favorite fish, season and grill or bake it, but don’t bread or fry it! For those of you that don’t like fish, try having one omelet meal. Eggs are a phenomenal protein and mixed with veggies can be healthy and filling! • Say Cheese: For those intent

on getting in at least some cheese, use only low-fat options, like low-fat cottage cheese and part-skim shredded mozzarella. Take small portions of these dishes, and use roasted veggies, salads, and soups as fillers.

cups of water before every meal, and you will go into that meal not as hungry and eat a little less. The water also helps the stomach prepare itself to receive the food. • Matzah: I’m well aware that it was just Pesach, but whole wheat or spelt

A regular slice of full-fat cheesecake with a graham cracker crust can be close to 1,000 calories!

• How to Cheat: If you’re going to indulge yourself, at the very least please do it in the morning, not late at night! The timing of the cheat/treat is almost as important as the actual food itself. We do not burn off the food we consume late at night the same way we do the calories we are taking in earlier in the day. Whatever we eat at night is essentially just sticking to us and being hoarded as fat. • Drink Water: Drink one to two

matzah happen to be healthy carbs that you won’t overeat like the challah. Designate at least two out of the four meals as matzah meals. • Go for Walks: The weather will iy”H be beautiful; take advantage and walk off your meals. You will need some kind of cardio to burn off these many additional calories. Walk for at least 30 minutes a day. • What Cheesecake? I buy fat-free

frozen yogurt for our dairy dessert, and I recommend that to all my patients. Sorbet is another excellent option. If you are determined to have your cheesecake, then either buy or make a low-fat option. I prefer the ones that are already pre-portioned for you, as this will inhibit overeating. If you are planning on making your own, then use nonfat Greek yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese and bake it in small muffin tins or cupcake holders, again for portion control. Please keep in mind that a regular slice of full-fat cheesecake with a graham cracker crust can be close to 1,000 calories! Shavuos is a wonderful, meaningful, and joyous yom tov. Focus on the spiritual, not the physical. Indulge in the holiday delights with restraint, and self-control. Too much of anything, even healthy foods, is simply too much. Healthy is not synonymous with bland or boring. Herbs and spices will add tremendous flavor to your food. Remember, Shavuos is a time to gain the Torah, not the weight! Wishing all of my readers a chag sameach! Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz show. Aliza can be reached at

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters

Dear Navidaters,

I come from a family of “foodies.” We all love good food! We all know how to cook, including my father, my siblings and me. We enjoy watching the Food Channel Network and trying out new recipes. We love going to new restaurants and will even drive to other boroughs to explore and experiment. I would say it’s a family hobby that we all enjoy and that brings us together in a very nice way. By the way, just to make sure you understand, we are not gluttons. None of us are overweight. We just enjoy the creative and exciting aspect to food.

Recently, I was at a wedding and spotted a woman who really drew me in. She was very attractive, but also had a dignified way about her and I was intrigued. It wasn’t hard to find out her name and to find a good number of people who knew her and had all the right things to say to me about her middos and lifestyle. I was able to find people who were willing and happy to set us up. But one thing came up that has become an issue for my parents and I’m also wondering whether it’s some sort of red flag. I was told that she’s a vegetarian and has been since she was a young teenager, so that tells me that she must be very committed to it. My father finds this choice of hers to be peculiar, and right off the cuff he is wary of her and thinks I should pass on going out with her. My mother is concerned for different reasons. She feels that she wouldn’t be able to participate in this part of our lives that give us all so much joy and something special to connect over. I don’t agree with my father that this makes her peculiar but I kind of hear what my mother has to say and worry whether this could become a serious issue. Is it common for people to reject women for being vegetarians? Especially when everything else about her checks out so well? Should I just forget that I ever saw her or open myself up to this difference in lifestyle and what it could mean?

Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise conclude resolutions to any questions. Our intention is not to offer any definitive conclusions to any particular question, rather offer areas of exploration for the author and reader. Due to the nature of the column receiving only a short snapshot of an issue, without the benefit of an actual discussion, the panel’s role is to offer a range of possibilities. We hope to open up meaningful dialogue and individual exploration.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017

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MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


The Panel

The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.


on’t overthink this. Date her and see where it goes. You have time to explore these issues later on if it gets serious. Be your own man and get to know the young woman for whom she is, not for her food choices. You don’t know why she is vegetarian and you don’t know why your mother is afraid that her culinary choices will break up the family. Obviously, most restaurants offer some veggie choices these days. Your father’s approach is labeling her as weird. Methinks that you should exercise some independence here while communicating with your parents. It’s good that all of you are talking but food choices are just food choices. They don’t define you or the young woman. Questions to ask yourself: Who are you? What’s your definition of you? Begin thinking about that and see where that process leads you. Do you have other interests beyond food? What are your hobbies and have you had a chance to pursue these on your own? What do you want and need in a spouse? Take the road to self-examination and maturity. It will be the best preparation for marriage.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A.


agels and pizza and ice cream… OH MY!…Salads and summer fruits and cheeses...YUM, YUM!… Quiches and pastas and kugels… Uh, where was I? Yes, your query whether or not to date a vegetarian. Unless you eat hamburgers for breakfast, you’re very well aware kosher fare abounds with dairy and pareve delicacies – hence the term,

fleishig-phobia. My point: the kosher food universe is a vegetarian gastronome’s wonderland. I’ve had vegetarians over for traditional Shabbos meals – they’ve always found plenty to eat. Several of my carnivorous friends are happily married to vegetarians. They often dine at the finest steakhouses and leave sated and happy. I am disappointed your parents can’t see past their forks; why do you ask them, anyway? Healthy marriages (some heart-healthier than others) have little to do with diet or food choices. Step back and review the “must-haves” on your shidduch menu: middos, looks, personality, brains, maturity, family background, religious values, among other attributes. If the young woman in question “checks out so well,” don’t eschew this shidduch for a sizzling sirloin.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond


our question comes down to one of the most common questions when it comes to dating: Could I marry someone with different hobbies and interests as me? The general answer is a resounding “yes.” You could even seek proof by asking your married friends. In your case, you have not even gone on a date with her yet and you are thinking of disqualifying the idea. Imagine the scene: you just finished law school and have been looking for a job for a while. Suddenly an extremely appealing job offer comes through. Everything about it looks great, but there is one problem that is holding you back. The good news is, the job

is offering you a month to try it out and evaluate the pros and cons for yourself. If you’re not interested, you can leave the job. Why can’t the same be said about dating this wonderful girl? You would be agreeing to go out on a date to see how the two of you connect in person – vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Personally, I have been involved with cases such as this – where the girl is a vegetarian and the guy is the opposite – and they are happily married now. It was hard in the beginning for the guy to get used to the idea, but once they talked about it and he was

Being flexible and accepting and compromising are what sustains a marriage.

able to evaluate his priorities, he realized he’d never want to let her go due to something so trivial in the long run. She agrees to cook the food he likes, and she’s happy to enjoy meals out with other people, she just orders dif-

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


ferent dishes on the menu. In your case, you haven’t even met her yet and are passing judgment! As a foodie would put it, your current approach is similar to the book Green Eggs and Ham, i.e. passing it off before you’ve even experienced it. Perhaps go out with her and you’ll come back to us saying, “SAY! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them Sam I am!”

The Single Tova Wein


t sounds like you and your family are very passionate about your “foodie” status and no doubt take

great satisfaction and maybe even a bit of pride in being so committed to this pursuit. The woman is question may be equally passionate about her status of being a vegetarian, and perhaps takes equal pride and satisfaction in being able to live such a restrained and probably healthier lifestyle. And everyone is entitled to decide where to focus their energy and excitement. The issue here is really about respect, tolerance and the ability to go with the flow. This is more about personality type and character and less about food. Despite your differences when it comes to food selection, when people don’t take themselves all that seriously and can agree to disagree and still respect another person’s choices, then it all works out.

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

ands down, without an iota of a doubt, I say with confidence that her being a vegetarian does not have to be an issue. The only way this will be an issue is if you make an issue out of it or your parents sabotage this potential match. Forgive me for the passionate response that is about to ensue (but it’s coming out and I can’t stop it!). I see firsthand how many singles and their families reject each other for reasons so absurd it makes my head hurts. And it usually boils down to an “us vs. them” mentality. Some people are very scared of what they don’t understand, and/or what others will think, so they reject, reject, reject. And … they suffer for it. While I can understand your concerns and wouldn’t call it “absurd,” I will say that you and your family need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself (yourselves), When did our family passion become

a deal breaker? How did we become so self-involved that we now consider excluding people who don’t share our interests? And, while we’re at it … where did you get the idea that there are no vegetarian foodies? While it is wonderful to share hobbies and interests with a spouse, it is also wonderful to have different hobbies and interests that you do not share. And the research supports this. Couples who spend reasonable amounts of time apart, pursuing their own interests, and then bring that passion back to the relationship (feeling invigorated, fulfilled, talking about the experience) tend to have solid marriages. And furthermore, let’s talk about the art of compromise. Even if this woman doesn’t like “foodie-ism” she may want to participate in it because it is your passion. And you

I think you owe it to yourself to ask this woman out on a date and get to know her. What is she like in general? And how does she define her vegetarianism? Is it something that she just happens to follow with “a live and let live” attitude? Or is she one of those people who glares at people eating red meat? And what about you? Do you frown on others who don’t share your passion over epicurean delights? Or can you view others who have a “take it or leave it” attitude toward food without curiosity and judgment? Husbands and wives are filled with differences on so many levels. As long as you can both put this difference on the backburner and focus on hopefully many other qualities that you connect over it could and should be a non-issue.

may want to take a vegetarian cooking class with her. The only potential “red flag” I can see is if either you or this woman are unyielding in your approaches to food. And, as long as we’re talking about unyieldingness, I have to wonder if you or your family struggle with flexibility. (Just wondering … the family may be very open.) If you or they are a bit rigid in your beliefs, values or ideals, please understand that your current question has nothing to do with being a foodie or her being a vegetarian and everything to do with working on your ability to compromise and see past the surface. Let me assure you that a shared passion for food is not what will sustain a marriage. Being flexible and accepting and compromising are what sustains a marriage. If you are reading this and thinking, “Gee, maybe I am a little rigid, or I don’t have the greatest track-record or modeling for compromise,” I urge you to talk about this with a professional before you begin dating anyone. This goes for you and all the single people reading (and marrieds too). If you struggle with flexibility

Perhaps go out with her and you’ll come back to us saying, “SAY! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them Sam I am!”

now, go speak with a professional. Inflexibility and stubbornness are destructive to marriages. These qualities isolate and denigrate spouses and set the stage for frustration, desperation and loneliness. Doing the work now will improve your chances of having a happier life. And if I read into things a little too much, and you are a “go with the flow” kind of guy, you will probably end up on a first date with this vegetarian lady. Take her to a beautiful milichig restaurant and don’t bring it up on the first two dates, unless she does. Spend this time getting to know her. Sincerely, Jennifer Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@ You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.


MAY 25, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 25, 2017


Political crossfire

The Guardrails Can’t Contain Trump by charles Krauthammer


he pleasant surprise of the First 100 Days is over. The action was hectic, heated, often confused, but well within the bounds of normalcy. Policy (e.g., health care) was being hashed out, a Supreme Court nominee confirmed, foreign policy challenges (e.g. North Korea) addressed. Donald Trump’s character – volatile, impulsive, often self-destructive – had not changed since the campaign. But it seemed as if the guardrails of our democracy – Congress, the courts, the states, the media, the Cabinet – were keeping things within bounds. Then came the last 10 days. The country is now caught in the internal maelstrom that is the mind of Donald Trump. We are in the realm of the id. Chaos reigns. No guardrails can hold. Normal activity disappears. North Korea’s launch of an alarming new missile and a problematic visit from the president of Turkey (locus of our most complicated and tortured allied relationship) barely evoke notice. Nothing can escape the black hole of a three-part presidential meltdown. — First, the firing of James Comey. Trump, consumed by the perceived threat of the Russia probe to his legitimacy, executes a mindlessly impulsive dismissal of the FBI director. He then surrounds it with a bodyguard of lies – attributing the dismissal to a Justice Department recommendation – which his staff goes out and parrots. Only to be undermined and humiliated when the boss contradicts

them within 48 hours. Result? Layers of falsehoods giving the impression of an elaborate cover-up – in the absence of a crime. At least Nixon was trying to quash a third-rate burglary and associated felonies. Here we don’t even have a body, let alone a smoking gun. Trump insists there’s no there there, but acts as if the there is everywhere. —Second, Trump’s divulging classified information to the Russians. A stupid, needless mistake. But despite the media hysteria, hardly an irrepa-

had three top officials come out and declare the disclosure story false. The next morning, Trump tweeted he was entirely within his rights to reveal what he revealed, thereby verifying the truth of the story. His national security adviser H.R. McMaster floundered his way through a news conference, trying to reconcile his initial denial with Trump’s subsequent contradiction. It was a sorry sight. —Is it any wonder, therefore, that when the third crisis hit on Tuesday night – the Comey memo claiming

The country is now caught in the internal maelstrom that is the mind of Donald Trump.

rable national security calamity. The Israelis, whose asset might have been jeopardized, are no doubt upset, but the notion that this will cause a great rupture to their (and others’) intelligence relationship with the U.S. is nonsense. These kinds of things happen all the time. When the Obama administration spilled secrets of the anti-Iranian Stuxnet virus or blew the cover of a double agent in Yemen, there was none of the garment-rending that followed Trump’s disclosure. Once again, however, the cover-up far exceeded the crime. Trump

that Trump tried to get him to call off the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn – Republicans hid under their beds rather than come out to defend the president? The White House hurriedly issued a statement denying the story. The statement was unsigned. You want your name on a statement that your boss could peremptorily contradict in a twitter-second? Republicans are beginning to panic. One sign is the notion now circulating that, perhaps to fend off ultimate impeachment, Trump be dumped by way of 25th Amendment. That’s the post-Kennedy assassi-

nation measure that provides for removing an incapacitated president on the decision of the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet. This is the worst idea since Leno at 10 p.m. It perverts the very intent of the amendment. It was meant for a stroke, not stupidity; for Alzheimer’s, not narcissism. Otherwise, what it authorizes is a coup – willful overthrow by the leader’s own closest associates. I thought we had progressed beyond the Tudors and the Stuarts. Moreover, this would be seen by millions as an establishment usurpation to get rid of a disruptive outsider. It would be the most destabilizing event in American political history – the gratuitous overthrow of an essential constant in American politics, namely the fixedness of the presidential term (save for high crimes and misdemeanors). Trump’s behavior is deeply disturbing but hardly surprising. His mercurial nature is not the product of a post-inaugural adder sting at Mara-Lago. It’s been there all along. And the American electorate chose him nonetheless. What to do? Strengthen the guardrails. Redouble oversight of this errant president. Follow the facts, especially the Comey memos. And let the chips fall where they may. But no tricks, constitutional or otherwise. (c) 2017, The Washington Post Writers Group

The Florida Jewish Home 5-24-17 Shavuot Ediion  
The Florida Jewish Home 5-24-17 Shavuot Ediion