NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
Rochel Imeinu’s Yahrtzeit Will Bring Powerful Yeshuos What is it that you daven most for? Is it health? Is it prosperity? Do you wish to find your shidduch? Do you long to finally hold a baby in your arms? Or, perhaps you may be grateful for the brachos Hashem has bestowed upon you, but your heart aches for the pain of others who suffer and sorely need a refuah, parnassa or shidduch? Who among us does not have bakashos for the Ribbono Shel Olam--whether for themselves or for their loved ones? And who is better to advocate for ourselves and our loved ones, than our own Mama Rachel? Rachel Imeinu is our greatest guardian; our Eim B’yisroel. Throughout the ages, Mama Rachel has campaigned to the Ribbono Shel Olam on our behalf, wept bitterly over our sorrows, and petitioned for rachamim for all those who daven by her. For many years, Kever Rachel stood neglected and desolate, as violence in the area increased. Yidden were too afraid to enter Beit Lechem for fear of danger. Since the Intifada of 2001, the Kluger family of Sanhedria has taken personal responsibility for the spiritual presence there, as if it were their own mother’s grave. They began their initiative by sponsoring armored transportation, allowing more yidden access to daven there, so that Rachel Imeinu would not be alone; and her resting place could bear a yiddishe presence despite the fear of Palestinian uprisings that frequently occurred. Mosdos Kever Rachel, as the Kluger’s endeavor is called, initiated a kollel— which, today, has grown to seven kollelim. Scores of avreichim come to Kever Rachel in unending, round-the-clock shifts to learn, daven and say tehillim on behalf of Klal Yisrael. These avreichim host tefilla programs and services that allow yidden from all over the world to call in names, for anything from refuah shelaimos to parnassah, or any other requests to be davened for at the gravesite, for Rachel Imeinu’s neshama to carry upward to the Ribbono Shel Olam. Hundreds of requests are called in, mailed and emailed every month to Mosdos Kever Rachel from yidden worldwide, requesting prayers to be said on behalf of the ill, the childless and those in need of yeshuos. And so the incredible stories of happiness and success get called in, mailed and emailed. Tales of unbelievable yeshuos; of how families facing uncertainty find the stability they asked for; of how the older single child who had been awaiting an appropriate shidduch for years, soon gets engaged; of how the loved one, ill
and anxious from a horrible diagnosis, begins an experimental drug and tests show he has been cured; of a childless couple who sent in their full names to have tefillos said on their behalf at Mama Rachel’s kever, finally gets the good news they’ve cried for, and so many more miracles. A story of just one man’s recent experiences of Mama Rachel’s power is eye-opening. Moshe W. (name withheld for anonymity) was framed in an IRS case. With his entire future at stake, he reached out to his Rav for guidance and consolation. His family was sure to become impoverished, and ending up behind bars was a near certainty. His fear and
Three weeks later was his oldest daughter’s l’chaim; eight weeks later, the middle daughter became a kallah, and on the last day before the three months’ sponsorship ended—the youngest daughter got engaged. Stories like these and more are the effects of the outpouring of kavana and learning at Rachel Imeinu. Our gedolim agree that supporting Mosdos Kever Rachel brings upon these most powerful yeshuos. Harav Elyashiv, zt”l, said “Hashem brings yeshuos to those who donate to Mosdos Kever Rachel, since they combine the power of their tzedakah…with
already determined that in the future, Kever Rachel would become a place of prayer, and that the Jews would stop to pray there even as they were exiled from their land.” According to Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, “Am Yisrael owes a huge debt of gratitude to Rav Kluger. Thanks to his selfless dedication, Kever Rachel has remained in Jewish hands. For this reason, anyone who donates to Mosdos Kever Rachel will experience Yeshuos immediately. Our Mother repays those who exert themselves for her sake.” While learning, davening, tehillim and chesed programs, all in honor of Rachel Imeinu take place 365 days each
anxiety was too much to bear. His Rav’s answer? “Mama Rachel can help—she always helps, in every situation.” Since Moshe could not leave the United States, his only alternative to being at Kever Rachel was to have a shaliach be mispallel for him. He contacted Rav Moshe Menachem Kluger of Mosdos Kever Rachel, and sponsored an entire night of learning at the Kollel Chatzos. The very next morning he received a phone call from the IRS asking for him to appear at their offices. What was this meeting called for? Moshe was asked to pay a fine, and the case was simply—miraculously--closed. Moshe and his Rav made a trip together to Kever Rachel in celebration and gratitude for the unbelievable outcome of this predicament. The Rav then suggested to Moshe to think about the future of his three unmarried daughters—the youngest of whom was already twenty-eight. “Take advantage of this opportunity,” he urged. Without hesitation, Moshe then made out a check to Mosdos Kever Rachel to cover three months of Kollel Chatzos learning, one month for the zechus of each of his daughters.
the power of Kever Rachel, which has been known throughout the generations as a place for yeshuos.” Rav Shalom Arush, author of the best-selling “Garden of Emunah” shares why he believes that Rachel Imeinu has the power to bring yeshuos to Klal Yisroel. “Mosdos Kever Rachel has arranged for groups of Torah scholars to study at Kever Rachel around the clock,” says Rav Arush. “They [also] offer heartfelt prayers for the salvation of the entire Jewish people. Tzedakah has the power to save from death and annul evil decrees. Is it no wonder that people have experienced miraculous salvations after contributing to Mosdos Kever Rachel?” Rabbi Meir Solovetchik, shlita, recalled his father, Rav Velvel Solovetchik, zt”l frequently traveled to Kever Rachel from Yerushalayim, despite the difficulty of the journey. When Rav Meir’s talmidim asked why Rav Velvel took time from his intense Torah learning to make such a difficult trip, he explained, “The Torah itself mentions Kever Rachel as a place where one’s prayers are more quickly accepted. When our forefather, Yaakov decided to bury Mama Rachel on the roadside, it was
year, on Rachel Imeinu’s yahrtzeit, it will be even stronger. Yud Alef Cheshvan is the day when our tefillos will count so much more. A massive tefilla gathering led by talmidei chachomim and renowned mekubalim is scheduled for Sunday November 13th. The yahrtzeit is quickly approaching, so act now! What if you could change your mazel? What if you could have the health and prosperity for which you so intensely daven? What if you could? Don’t hesitate to include your name and the names of your family and loved ones in Rachel Imeinu’s yahrtzeit tefilla gathering. Call or email before Sunday November 13th at 8:00am Eastern Time. Don’t be left out of the astounding stories of yeshuos and nissim you and your loved ones deserve! Call Mosdos Kever Rachel, and with your generous support, you can merit yeshuos! The power is in your hands. Call 1-888-276-2435 or visit www. keverrachel.com to place your sponsorship.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
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NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
Dear Readers, picture of what we want for our children is such an important factor when choosing a school. A good school will optimize your child’s potential and nurture them to grow. The numerous schools serve as the backbone of our community, molding our children -- the next generation -- into moral, intellectual, and honest individuals. They also have the crucial role of providing them with a foundational academic background to help them succeed. In accordance with our “Open House” theme, the short-focused articles you will find in this issue will relate to the physical and emotional well-being of children and teens. Additionally, you will find many “Open House” advertisements, so please utilize the amazing choices we have in our community, to find the best fit for your child where they can maximize their potential.
Dear Readers, We, the entire Staff at The FJH, hope all of our readers had a relaxing and enjoyable Sukkot. Now that the Chagim have passed, and we’re settling down and trying to get back into the swing of things, we find ourselves starting to look ahead to the future to begin planning for next year. Many of our children will start school for the first time, or may be graduating and need to switch schools. This can be overwhelming, but no worries, we’re here to help! Here at The FJH, we will often be featuring unique editions with varying themes. This week’s “Open House” Issue is a special issue promoting the great schools of the South Florida Jewish Community. It’s that time of the year again where school’s are hosting their Open Houses, and parents are finding themselves faced with the decision of which school will be the best fit for their child. Thankfully, we have an admirable variety of choices from which to choose from. This may make the decision even more complex. That’s why knowing what our children need and having a clear
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Dear Editor, After reading the very moving and powerful article about Hallel Ariel Hy”d z”l, I came out more optimistic than depressed. To witness a mother who can choose to see miracles in such a tragedy really amazes me. And to see how a father donates his time, hard work and livelihood towards his daughter’s memory - it gave me a sense of belonging. Belonging to the great Jewish nation who seeks the good within the evil and always tries to improve a situation not sour it. Feeling privileged to be a Jew, NM Dear Editor, I read your October issue and really enjoyed it. I was reading the baseball trivia page. One of the questions is “when did the wildcard start?” Your answer was 1994. That is incorrect. That year there was a Player’s Baseball Strike and the whole postseason was cancelled. The Wildcard actually started in 1995. Looking forward to the next edition. Sincerely, MG
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The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
The Week In News
Bags of Worthless Cash
Heading to Venezuela? You may need to bring a few suitcases with you – for your cash. The currency in the country has become so hyper-inflated that some customers have resorted to weighing cash instead of counting bank notes. “When they start weighing cash, it’s a sign of runaway inflation,” said Jesus Casique, financial director of Capital Market Finance, a consulting firm. “But Venezuelans don’t know just how bad it is because the government refuses to publish figures.” Bottom of Form Once one of the world’s strongest currencies, the bolivar has been reduced to a nuisance. Basic purchases require hundreds of bills. Shoppers shove piles of them into gym bags before venturing into crime-plagued streets and shopkeepers stash thousands in boxes and overflowing drawers. In the absence of official data, economists are left to guess what the inflation rate is. Estimates for this year range from 200 percent to 1,500 percent. Until now, as the bolivar sank, the government declined to print bigger-denomination bills. The 100-bolivar note – the nation’s largest – is worth less than a dime. But a few weeks ago the government quietly asked five currency companies to submit bids for bigger bills – 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, and perhaps a 20,000-bolivar note. To minimize time and cost, the government is considering swapping only the color, not the design, of existing bills and adding zeros. For now, many Venezuelans live a kind of paradox: they are awash in cash but can rarely afford to buy anything. Citizens wait online at banks and ATMS for much needed cash. In some small towns, there are no bank machines and many residents don’t even have bank accounts. Meanwhile, people like Bremmer Rodrigues, 25, who runs a bakery on Caracas’ outskirts, are at a loss over what to do with their bags of bills. Every day his
business takes in hundreds of thousands of bolivars, which he hides around his office until packing them up in boxes to deposit at the bank. He says if someone looked in on him, he might be mistaken for a drug dealer. “I feel like Pablo Escobar,” he said. “It’s a mountain of cash, every day more and more.” Except the cash now is worth as much as toilet paper.
Russian Poll: Half Say WWIII is Coming
Putin’s Number 2 Email Hacked Russians are not the only Eastern European country that has cyber-hacking capabilities. This week a Ukrainian group called Cyber Hunta released more than a gigabyte of emails hacked from Vladislav Surkov, one of Vladimir Putin’s top aides. The leaked documents – which have not been officially verified – show that Russia was heavily involved with the separatist movement in Ukraine. The black and white revelation of Russia’s meddling directly contradicts the Kremlin’s staunch denial of any relationship between Moscow and the separatists. In fact, if the emails are authentic, they prove that Russia virtually controlled every detail of the separatists’ efforts in Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine.
Maks Czuperski, head of the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council (DFRL), acknowledged that “this is a serious hack.” The DFRL searched through the 2,337 dumped messages and placed selected emails on their website. “We have seen so much happen to the United States, other countries at the hands of Russia,” said Czuperski. “Not so much to Russia. It was only a question of time that some of the anonymous guys like Cyber Hunta would come to strike them back.” The hack is also significant as it reached into the very inner circle of the Kremlin. Surkov is a close friend of Putin and has served as both his chief of staff and deputy prime minister. The hacked emails are from 2014, when Putin was reportedly behind separatists in Ukraine and was guiding breakaway “republics” in Georgia as well. It is of note that Surkov’s name is the first on a list of Russian officials who were placed on an executive sanction list by President Obama in 2014. The move froze his U.S. assets and barred him from entering U.S. soil. The E.U. imposed similar sanctions.
According to new poll conducted this week, 48 percent of Russians believe that Moscow’s Syrian bombing campaign could lead to World War III. Since September 2015, the Russians have been bombing Syria to help out their ally, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. When asked the same questions in July, pollsters found that only 29 percent of Russians believe that “heightened tensions in relations between Russia and the West could grow into World War III.” Interestingly, 52 percent of Russians still back the bombings campaign; 26 percent oppose them. Internationally, 32 percent believe WWIII is a possible outcome. Western powers and international human rights coalitions have accused Moscow and Syria of bombing areas indiscriminately in civilian areas. Aleppo, the former economic powerhouse, has been particularly hard hit as the city has now been reduced to mostly rubble. On October 18, Moscow announced it was halting strikes on Aleppo. So far the skies over Aleppo have been silent since then.
the second round had to be repeated twice after the number of ballots cast was higher than the 127 Members of Parliament that were present. The seat has been vacant since 2014, when Michel Sleiman’s mandate ended. Aoun was elected after being endorsed by two of his rivals at the last moment. Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, and Sunni former premier Saad Hariri both pledged their support. Most political pundits are expecting Aoun to appoint Hariri as prime minister. Hariri has said he endorsed the president to “protect Lebanon, protect the [political] system, protect the state and protect the Lebanese people.” According to Wikipedia, “Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic within the overall framework of confessionalism, a form of consociationalism in which the highest offices are proportionately reserved for representatives from certain religious communities.” The president is chosen by parliament every six years and is not eligible for reelection. Together, the president and parliament choose the country’s prime minister. Aoun, a member of the Free Patriotic Movement party, has been backed by the powerful Shiite Hezbollah movement since 2006.
UNESCO Envoy Recalled in Protest
Hezbollah-Backed President Elected in Lebanon
A power vacuum that has existed in Lebanon for over two years has finally been filled. This week, Lebanon’s parliament elected former general Michel Aoun as their president after four rounds of voting. The 81-year-old was unable to clear a two-thirds majority in the first vote, and
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has been recalled by Bibi Netanyahu. This move was in protest of two recent resolutions made by the UN’s cultural body. Firstly, the organization refuses to see any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and other religious sites in Israel. In its most recent resolution, the Temple Mount was defined only as “a Muslim holy site of worship,” and is only referred to by its Muslim names – “Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif.” It also accuses Israel of violating the holy site. “The theater of the absurd continues,
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
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NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
The Week In News and I have decided to summon to Israel for consultations our ambassador to UNESCO,” said Netanyahu. “We will decide what do, what our next steps vis-à-vis the organization will be.” UNESCO ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen said the move is motivated by the “need to rethink and reevaluate our relations with UNESCO given the persistent persecution of Israel and the Jewish people.” Immediately after the vote, Shama-Hacohen placed a copy of the resolution in a black garbage can labeled “history” and called it another “absurd resolution against the State of Israel, the Jewish people and historical truth.” Shema-Hacohen, along with StandWithUs and the International Legal Forum, had put together a petition signed by more than 77,000 Jews and Christians calling on UNESCO “to recognize the irrefutable deep historic, cultural and religious connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.” Of the 21 states on the UN body’s Heritage Committee, ten voted for the resolution, two voted against and eight abstained, and for that reason Netanyahu felt that the representative of Israel no longer had a place on the committee.
PA Official: Terrorism is “Part of Our Culture”
Palestinian Media Watch group has reported that the Palestinian Authority is not changing their decision to name a school after the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Massacre despite the ensuing outrage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many other Israeli officials have condemned the PA’s naming decision. The school is to be named after Salah Khalaf, the head of the Black September terror group. The terrorists kidnapped and murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. Issam Abu Bakr, a Palestinian Authority official and District Governor of Tulkarem, responded to Israeli politicians with the argument that celebrating murderers and terrorists is simply part of the Palestinian culture. “The occupation is deluded if it thinks that the Palestinian
people can change its culture and forget its leaders, martyrs Yasser Arafat, Khalil Al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), Salah Khalaf, and a great number of the fighters who sacrificed their blood for the freedom, independence, and establishment of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem.” Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party has been praising the Black September operation for a long time. Last month, the Fatah Facebook page called the Munich Massacre a “heroic operation” which highlighted the “courage” of the Palestinian Arab terrorists who murdered 11 unarmed athletes in cold blood.
asked for the Swedish government to officially provide him with a date of death. Tragically, both of his parents committed suicide in 1979 in despair over his disappearance. Many Holocaust survivors have written and spoke about how grateful they are to Wallenberg for saving them and their families.
Israel Attempts to Block PA from Interpol
Holocaust Hero Officially Declared Dead A famous Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust has officially been declared dead by the Swedish government 72 years after his actual passing. Raoul Wallenberg was posted in Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II where he issued protective passports to an estimated 20,000 Hungarian Jews in the war’s final months. He disappeared in 1945 after the Soviet army surrounded and overtook Budapest and he was captured as a Soviet prisoner.
The Soviets always claimed that Wallenberg died of heart failure in prison. However, according to the diaries of Ivan Serov, who ran the KGB from 1954 to 1958, Wallenberg was executed in 1947. The diaries, which were published for the first time this August, even contain references to the cremation of his body. According to Swedish law, a missing person is declared dead five years after their disappearance. Therefore, Wallenberg’s date of death has been officially declared as July 31, 1952. The declaration came after Wallenberg’s descendants
Back in August 2015, the Palestinian Authority officially requested to join Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization. Now, Israeli diplomats are extensively lobbying Interpol members to reject the Palestinian bid, which will be considered at the 85th general assembly next week. On a visit to Russia on Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan met with the Moscow Chief of Police and urged the Russian government to vote against the Palestinian bid. Erdan contended that Palestinian membership would turn Interpol into a “political body” driven by external considerations. “The Palestinians continue with their multilateral strategy, they seek recognition through international organizations instead of direct talks with Israeli this is something is cannot except,” MFA Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Jerusalem Post. “We work with all relevant international organizations including Interpol in order to make sure it doesn’t happen.” A diplomatic official said that there are concerns that Palestinian police will leak sensitive information to terrorist groups. Turkey is supporting the Palestinian bid, which requires a two-thirds vote to be approved. According to report in Walla! News, Israel is hoping to convince Russia to vote against the Palestinian bid as Kosovo, a country which Russia does not recognize, is also seeking membership along with the PA. 190 Interpol member countries will
attend the Interpol general assembly in Bali, Indonesia, from November 7-10.
Terror in Gush Etzion Gush Etzion has been the scene of several attacks this week. After last Shabbos, Ruth Gillis, whose husband, Dr. Shmuel Gillis, Hy”d, was murdered in a shooting attack on Israel’s Highway 60 fifteen years ago, was a victim of terror. She was attacked by a masked terrorist on the very road where her husband perished, close to her home in Karmei Tzur. Thankfully she escaped with no injuries. After the attack, Ruth fled to the Gush Etzion Junction to get help from police. “I thank the Almighty. A neis happened here,” she said of her survival. On Sunday, a Palestinian terrorist slammed his car into a group of Border Police officers on that same road, near the Beit Ummar village, which neighbors Karmei Tzur in Gush Etzion. The three injured officers only sustained light injuries. They were treated by IDF paramedics at the scene and were then taken to Sha’arei Tzedek hospital. The terrorist was fatally shot by officers. Just a few miles away, near Ma’ale Amos, a young child was injured when Palestinians threw rocks at his family’s car. The 5-year-old boy was transported to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center with light injuries. On Friday night, a Palestinian terrorist tried to run over a group of soldiers at a checkpoint near Ofra and then attempted to stab them before being apprehended and killed by soldiers. Gush Etzion is a cluster of settlements south of Jerusalem in the West Bank that has been the scene of many terror attacks. As of 2011, Gush Etzion consisted of 22 settlements with a population of 70,000.
Amona Evacuation May be Postponed
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
The Week In News Two years ago, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) ruled that Amona must be evacuated and demolished after determining it was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands. But on Monday, the residents of Amona received a reprieve as the state attorney’s office requested to postpone the evacuation of the outpost that was set for December in an attempt to examine alternative solutions for its residents. In its petition, the state claims it is seeking to carry out the evacuation peacefully and without incident, but that it is unable to provide alternative living solutions for residents within the next two months. If the court rejects the state’s request, it will carry out the evacuation by the date set in its ruling: December 25, 2016. Among the alternatives mentioned was moving the settlers’ homes to a site referred to as “Amona North.” Another option was moving to Shvut Rachel, another settlement in the West Bank about an hour’s drive away. Residents of Amona are strongly opposed to a relocation agreement. In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, residents said they intend to “mount a public, popular struggle – respectable and difficult – that would unite all of our supporters, both within the outpost and without. This will be the fight of our lives for our home.” Despite this objection, the State Attorney’s Office wrote in its request to the court that “different officials in the settler leadership, including senior officials, have expressed an agreement in principle to move Amona to a permanent location in eastern Shvut Rachel. For understandable reasons, we are unable to elaborate on those talks.” Legislators on the right-wing are pushing a so-called “regulations bill” that would legalize Amona and other illegal outposts in the West Bank. In its request for extension, however, the state emphasized it is not seeking to legalize the outpost in its current location. Yesh Din, the legal NGO that represents the Palestinian land owners, said the extension request “is an insult to the law and an insult to the High Court. The court gave the state two years to prepare for the evacuation of Amona, precisely to avoid any last-minute political evasion attempts. The request provides no real reason to postpone the evacuation, and we hope the court rejects it quickly. The rejection of the request would allow the state to turn its efforts to what it should have been focused on – the enforcement of the law and returning the stolen lands to the legal owners, who are the residents of the Palestinian villages of Silwad, Ein Yabrud and Taibe.”
cases, 44% for the over-saturation of the market, 39% for increased interest in postseason baseball, 33% for controversy over head injuries and player safety, and another 33% said that there’s been “a decline in quality of play on the field.” What did you do on Sunday?
Who Wants to Watch Football?
While last year’s Super Bowl 50 was the most watched sporting event in American history, the NFL’s overall ratings are plummeting this season. The ratings have decreased by about 12% since last year and the question many are pondering is why? Recently, Seton Hall conducted a survey of 841 adults across the nation to discover the reason behind the NFL’s failing ratings. Each participant was asked to identify seven separate possible factors explaining waning ratings; their responses were recorded as “yes” or “no” for each category. So why are people flipping the channel when NFL jerseys are playing on the field? According to the results of the poll, the leading factor was the recent national anthem protests, with 56% saying that it is a factor in them failing to watch football this season. Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the 49ers of San Francisco, was the first player to audaciously refuse to participate in the National Anthem, a traditional homage paid at the start of every sporting event. He remained sitting in protest while the stadium sung The Star Spangled Banner. During a post-game interview he defended his position, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” His team supported his decision and released a statement respecting Kaepernick’s right to protest. Now many are showing their displeasure for his lack of respect with their remotes. As for other reasons given, 50% blame coverage of the presidential election for not watching the NFL, 47% for the league’s handling of domestic violence
lieved Russia is trying to tip the scales in the November 8 election.
More Arrests in IRS Scam
If the IRS comes calling, you have reason to be concerned. Recently, a scam was uncovered involving pranksters pretending to be the IRS and demanding payment. Supposedly close to 15,000 people were victims of this type of scandal in recent months. Authorities believe that generally these scams are orchestrated by bandits in call centers in India. “If you get one of these calls, it is not the U.S. government calling you…it’s a scam,” cautioned Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Criminal Division. An indictment that was unsealed last Thursday exposed 61 defendants involved in the scheme. Prosecutors are claiming that they collectively stole more than $300 million. Twenty individuals across eight states in the U.S. have been arrested so far, and five call centers in India have been charged. This specific string of scams preyed on the elderly and immigrants who feared deportation. The “federal agents” threatened arrest, fines or deportation in order to intimidate their victims into paying their “fees.” Prosecutors believe that the criminals used information obtained from data brokers and other sources. Because the alleged crimes took place in the U.S. where victims were called, prosecutors say they have federal jurisdiction even though many of the defendants are in India.
Poll: Americans Suspect Russian Influence An online poll conducted by Reuters/ Ipsos has found that 55 percent of Americans believe that Russia is trying to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. 51 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats polled said they be-
62 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans feel that Russia is supporting Trump for the White House win. 71 percent of those that think Putin is meddling with the election think Moscow was behind the recent hacks of Democratic emails. But 57 percent of those suspecting Russian interference also think Trump has “no involvement in Russia’s release of unflattering information” on his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump has said that he does not know who is behind the email leaks. During the first presidential debate, he said that he doesn’t “think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the [Democratic National Committee].” He suggested the people behind it could be anyone from “Russia, to China or even a 400-pound person lying in bed.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has vehemently denied the allegations of Russian meddling. He accused politicians of “whipping up hysteria” about an imaginary threat in order to distract the American voter. Russian-American relations have hit a low point recently due to the conflict in Ukraine and Syria.
Facebook’s Censoring Team
There has been a lot of controversy in the media recently over how Facebook sensors the material that its members post on its mammoth social media website. In response to the controversy, some top executives have anonymously revealed the inner workings of the censoring process. Here is a breakdown of how the company deals with its over one million daily content complaints. Once a complaint is received by Facebook, it is automatically routed to content policing teams in Dublin, Hyderabad,
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
The Week In News
Austin and Menlo Park. It is there that the initial ruling is made. A thick rulebook is consulted and it is determined whether the post adheres to the “community standards.” Regional managers are assigned to deal with any removal that leads to further complaints. These managers act as a mid-level court that is a rung higher on the censorship totem pole. If the controversy continues, it is sent to the top U.S. executives, who deal with the most sensitive cases. The elite group of executives who deal with these potential PR nightmare cases include global policy chief Monika Bickert and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Also on the short list is Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Washington-based government relations chief, and Elliot Schrage, the vice president for public policy and communications. Justin Osofsky, who runs the community operations division, rounds out the short, very well paid list. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg very rarely gets involved in content control.
How did Clinton Have all the Answers?
Hillary Clinton was caught cheating on her homework, but in classic Clinton fashion she won’t be the one suffering the consequences of her transgression. Prior to the Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, in March a CNN employee leaked questions to the Clinton campaign. Now Donna Brazile, the acting Democratic National Committee chair and a longtime contributor on the cable news network, has resigned from her job. Brazile took the seat as DNC chair on July 24, 2016 when the DNC announced Debbie Wasserman Schultz would resign
due to revelations by WikiLeaks of multiple alleged indiscretions by former chair Wasserman Schultz concerning candidate Bernie Sanders. Brazile’s departure from CNN comes after hacked emails were published by WikiLeaks presenting irrefutable evidence that Brazile released questions to Hillary Clinton before the debate in March. There is also evidence that she did it again and provided questions before a CNN town hall in Columbus, Ohio. In an email dated March 12 to Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri, Brazile wrote about her concern of Clinton’s ability to field a question regarding the death penalty. Unsurprisingly, the very next day, at a CNN town hall debate Clinton received a question about the death penalty. The subject header on that email further implicated Clinton as Palmieri titled it: “From time to time I get questions in advance.” In another email Brazile promised, “I’ll send a few more.” CNN has fervently denied that they provided Brazile with any information about debate questions in advance. “CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate,” the spokeswoman, Lauren Pratapas, said in a statement. “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.” CNN had suspended Brazile’s contract temporarily in July when she was appointed interim DNC chair, but this announcement severed their ties with her for good. Brazile did not make a formal statement regarding the allegations but she did take to Twitter to voice her opinion on the matter. On October 11, she tweeted, “This is exactly what the Russians intended to do. And they’re doing it.” She asserts that this is a ploy by the Russians to sway the election despite the evidence highlighted in her emails. Brazile formerly served as campaign manager for Vice President Al Gore in 2000.
Emails Continue to Haunt Hillary
Emails. Server. Bribes.
Extortion. Sadly, these are the words that many people associate with the Democrat presidential nominee. As Hillary Clinton’s email drama continues to unravel, the world is taking a closer look at the presidential hopeful and potentially the next president of the United States. Many are speculating that her questionably corrupt behavior dates back to the days when she lived in the White House with former President Bill Clinton. During their time in the Oval Office, the Clintons were involved in several scandals, one that was dubbed Filegate. The incident sparked extensive investigations, resignations, charges and countercharges of lying, file-scrubbing and unethical conduct. Twenty years later, many of the issues and people involved remain the same. The Clinton administration was sued by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch in the 1990s. Now that same committee is pressuring Hillary to disclose her tens of thousands of State Department emails, of which more than 30,000 were destroyed. Back in the 1990s, White House files also went missing. These emails are said to be “off limits” to the FBI. FBI Director James B. Comey has said it was “extremely careless” for Hillary to be using a nonsecure private email server for official business, but did not charge the presidential hopeful. “FBI leadership has a long history of kowtowing to the Clintons,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton points out. “And it meant that front-line FBI agents were either boxed in, abused or hung out to dry. Nothing has changed in 20 years. If anything, the Clintons have perfected the art of intimidating federal law enforcement.” Fitton – and the rest of the nation – was undoubtedly surprised when FBI Di�rector James Comey released a statement on Friday announcing that the department will reopen the closed investigation. “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote. He said that after being briefed on an unrelated case, he agreed “the FBI should take appropriated investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” The case Comey is referring to is an investigation into Anthony Weiner. Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is one of Clinton’s top aides. Thousands of emails connected to Clinton were found on their computer and the FBI has to now ascertain if they are proof of classified information being sent over the private server in which Clinton had the knowledge of
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
The Week In News
her wrongdoing. Comey added, “Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony,” reads the letter to the leaders of various congressional committees. Comey also sent a message to FBI employees about the letter to Congress, saying, “The investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case. Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them. Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record. At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it.” The clock is ticking as Election Day is just about a week away. The initial lack of charges surrounding the use of the private email server has been a talking point on the election trail for Republican nominee Donald Trump. Trump opened a campaign rally in Iowa on Friday night saying that the FBI would surely not embark on this road unless they had significant evidence of a “most egregious criminal offense.” “Justice will prevail,” he declared. “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office,” Trump said while commending the FBI reconsideration of the trial.
iChange Olexander Turin of Ukraine has a new iPhone. He also has a new name: iPhone Sim. (Sim means seven in Ukrainian.)
When an electronics store in his town offered a new iPhone to the first five people who changed their name to the iPhone moniker, Turin jumped at the chance. Truthfully, the change makes sense – or maybe dollars. A name change costs around $2. The price of the iPhone 7? Around $850.
Mr. iPhone’s friends and family were shocked at first when they heard about the name change but then they came around. His sister, Tetyana Panina, said, “It was difficult to accept that and hard to believe it’s true.” She added: “Each person in this world is looking for a way to express himself. Why not to do that in this way?” Perhaps she’ll be changing her name to Samsung Galaxy in the near future?
Because, hey, you never know.
Why are the French so grim when they’re traveling? It could be it’s not their fault. According to law, the French are banned from smiling in their passport photos. The United Kingdom has the same rule on its books and claims that a neutral expression aids in biometric facial recognition technology. But now a French citizen, who has been dubbed Thierry, has gone to court to challenge the depressing regulation. The man’s photo was rejected after he showed a Mona Lisa-esque expression: a “slightly ironic grimace that borders on a discreet smile,” according to Le Parisien. The 40-year-old has accused the state of “abuse of power.” “Is it responsible, in a depressed France, for the authorities to accuse people if they smile?” he queries. French passport rules, like those in the UK, state that: “The subject must adopt a neutral expression and should not smile.” Allowing French people to smile on their passport photos would “give the French a friendly face” when they arrive “at borders around the world,” Thierry’s attorney argues. Oh, so it’s not because they’re just so much better than Americans?
No, this is not a penny from your son’s Monopoly game. In an effort to help Americans save, Ally Bank has dropped 100 fake pennies across the country. These pennies, though, aren’t ordinary bits of change. They are really lucky pennies – and they’re each worth $1,000. Ally Bank says it is hoping to encourage Americans to look for opportunities to save through its “Lucky Penny” promotion, which launched two weeks ago. The coins are a copper color like real pennies but feature the Detroit-based bank’s logo instead of Abraham Lincoln’s head. The flip side of the coin lists its value at 100,000 cents. For those of you walking the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami, Denver, Detroit, San Diego, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas, keep your head down so you can find a bit of copper winking at you. After all, a penny saved could be $1,000 earned.
Password Protected She may be a little embarrassed, but her fortune surely wipes away any egg on her face. Glenda Blackwell was just trying to prove a point. Recently, the North Carolina resident bought a scratch off lottery ticket to prove to her husband that they’re a waste of money. But she was proved wrong in a million ways when her scratching led to a win of $1 million. Her husband asked her to buy two Powerball tickets from a Quik Mart last Saturday, and she bought a $10 Carolina Millions scratch-off ticket instead. “I had to eat my words,” Glenda admitted. “But those are pretty good words to eat.” What’s she going to do with the $415,500 lump sum (after taxes) that has fallen into her lap? The wealthy wife is going to buy a home and pay for her granddaughters’ college education. And maybe she’ll leave some cash around for her husband to play the lotto.
Marriage Dissolved It was just a few days after they were married, but the groom felt like he was married to someone else. The new couple from the United Arab Emirates was swimming at a beach when the 28-year-old bride’s makeup washed away, revealing her artificial eyelashes and cosmetic surgeries she did before she got married. According to news reports, the 34-year-old groom said that he couldn’t recognize his new wife and filed for divorce. The bride is now going to a psychologist for help in overcoming her suffering. Supposedly the bride was going to tell the groom about her appearance but decided to wait. Now she’ll never be able to make up for that mistake.
Need WiFi while you’re dining? No problem. Or maybe just a math problem. A Thai restaurant posted its WiFi password on its wall for customers’ use. But they won’t be logging onto the internet so fast. The password is a math problem that, according to my limited knowledge of calculus, seems a little too complex if you just want to check your email. For those of you who are math whizzes, log onto Reddit to help solve the problem. Patrons at the restaurant are still pondering the equation – and their food is getting cold.
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
Community Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes Hachnasas Sefer Torah In a tremendous display of achdus, on Sunday, September 25, the South Florida community came together to celebrate the completion of a unique Sefer Torah at Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes. People from North Miami Beach, Aventura, Hollywood, Miami Beach and Boca Raton joined the Yeshiva to welcome the Torah into its new home. While the completion of any Sefer Torah is a joyous occasion, this Sefer Torah, donated by Ms. Rosalyn Chames, had an added significance. This Torah was dedicated as a special zechus for her daughter, Judith Joy Silbergleit, on her 31st birthday. Despite Judith’s limitations, she has warmed the hearts of hundreds of community members who all made the effort to come and participate in this moving Hachnasas Sefer Torah in her honor and in memory of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob and Anna Chames, and her beloved Uncle Dr. Abe Chames. Compounding its significance, all the funds raised from this Sefer Torah Campaign will be used to maintain and expand the Yeshiva’s ACE Resource Program to help insure that the Yeshiva can continue to ed-
ucates all its students, regardless of their capabilities Leading up to this special day, numerous Torah Writing Events with the assistance of Rabbi Moshe Druin of Sofer On Site, were hosted in various local cities to allow many people to dedicate their own portion of the Torah. Sunday’s much-anticipated festivities began with the completion of the Sefer Torah at the Chames/ Silbergleit home thanks to the assistance of Rabbi Yitzchok Selmar. Subsequently, the Yeshiva’s entire Bais Medrash Zichron Ezra escorted the Torah to its new home at the Klurman Campus where hundreds of rebbeim, talmidim, friends and family were eagerly awaiting its arrival. Spirited music, dancing and singing, accompanied the Sefer Torah into the Bais Medrash and enthusiastically continued inside. On the women’s side, Judith was welcomed with the simcha and dancing that one would expect at a chasunah. Many in attendance were moved to tears. The program concluded with inspiring divrei Torah by the Roshei HaYeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Y. Niman and Rabbi Mordechai Palgon as well as moving speech-
es by Ms. Rosalyn Chames and her two nephews, alumni of the Yeshiva, Jonathan and Jacob Chames. Concurrently, the children were all treated to pizza and an entertaining story by Rabbi Heshy Riesel. The months of preparation spearheaded by Mrs. Nechama Heller and her staff at
Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes, in conjunction with the Chames-Silbergleit family, truly produced a memorable and inspiring day of Kiddush Hashem that will long be remembered by all the hundreds of participants.
Open House for RASG Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach Are you looking for a school for your children? Join Hebrew Academy for one of their open houses and learn about the amazing programs that will inspire your child.
Early Childhood - Friday, November 4, at 8:00 am Elementary School - Thursday, December 8, at 8:00 am Middle School - Wednesday, Novem-
ber 2, at 8:00 am High School - Tuesday, November 8, at 8:00 am, or Sunday, November 20, at 10:00 am
Hebrew Academy is located at 2400 Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach For more information and to RSVP please call 305-532-6421 ext. 105
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
Join us for an Open House to learn how our academic programs can inspire your child. Early Childhood Elementary Middle School High Shool
Friday, November 4, 8:00 am Thursday, December 8, 8:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 8:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 8:00 am or Sunday, November 20, 10:00 am
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For more information and to RSVP: Call - 305-532-6421 ext. 105 or E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org Hebrew Academy 2400 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33140 www.rasg.org
s Registration open for current familithes. on November 7
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EVENING OPEN HOUSE FOR PARENTS ONLY
ECE OPEN HOUSE FOR PARENTS
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Meet our Director Mrs. Talia Levine Learn about our program Guided tours with parents ambassadors And of course some light refreshments and fun
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6 8:00 PM 1051 North Miami Beach Boulevard North Miami Beach, FL 33162 Reserve your spot today! Mrs. Bryna Roth 305.947.4007 email@example.com
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
Back to School with TTB The third school year for Yeshiva Tiferes Torah of Boca Raton (TTB) is off to a fantastic start! The 37 High School boys in grades 9-11 are thriving in their classes and the atmosphere in the Yeshiva is one of personal growth and accomplishment. In addition to improving the academics of TTB, the Yeshiva has enhanced its extracurricular programing. These extracurricular activities provide healthy outlets, promoting camaraderie among the students and staff. On Monday nights there is an optional Mishmor program where the boys learn varied topics with one of the Rabbeim in a warm, less formal atmosphere, giving the students the ability to really learn just for the sake of learning, while enjoying good food! On Wednesday nights the boys are paired up with elementary school students to learn one on one as part of the BRS Bais Medrash program. TTB has kicked off with its inaugural intramural flag football league! The students find the organized league competitive and
exciting and feel it is a highlight of their week. In addition, the second season of the TTB Motzei Shabbos basketball league will be starting shortly. Besides for the basketball and flag football leagues, TTB has weekly onegs with the Rabbeim and Beis Medrash, Shabattonim, Rosh Chodesh events and trips throughout the year. During Sukkos vacation the boys had two opportunities to join together at the Sukkahs of their Rabbeim to enjoy food, Torah and fun in a relaxed environment. TTB’s extracurricular activities complement the challenging academics that the boys are engaged in on a daily basis. With a strong focus on the individual, the teachers at TTB work on developing and enhancing the talents and skills of each student by creating an environment that enables each student to achieve his maximum potential. The 31 post high school Bais Medrash boys add a unique
dimension as “big brothers” and serve as role models to whom the boys can look up to and emulate. As one member of the Bais Medrash states, “TTB is one big family, the Rabbeim, Bais Medrash, and High School are all in it together to accomplish the same goal.” TTB prides itself on combining uncompromising Torah education with a strong college preparatory general studies program. This well rounded program en-
ables each TTB student to pursue the path of his choice after graduation. The primary objective of the Judaic Studies program is to develop the language, critical thinking, and reasoning skills necessary for sophisticated learning. The shiurim are highly interactive, so that the students are stimulated, involved and encouraged to exercise their own intellect in the learning process. The rigorous General Studies program focuses on the development of multiple competencies for a rich engagement with modern culture and technology. With a strong emphasis on Mathematics, English composition, Science and History, TTB prepares graduates to thrive at the finest institutions of higher learning. We look forward to watching the growth of our students and our school as the year continues!
How We Did It: Stable Tuition 4 Years in a Row and Now a $1,000 Reduction There was no quick fix or magic solution. The Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton (KHDS) was very proud to announce at their school dinner this past January that the full cost of tuition for grades K-8 would be dropping by $1,000 per child beginning with the 2017-18 school year following years without a tuition increase. “A strategic, multifaceted approach helped us achieve this milestone which should, ultimately, allow for more families to afford our Modern Orthodox education now and well into the future,” explained Rabbi Adam Englander, Head of School. He further explained that this would not have been possible without the following contributing factors: Outstanding education is always the priority. We have developed a reputation for educational excellence in both Judaic and general studies that has brought new families to our school from throughout South Florida and from around the country. This provided a boost in enrollment well beyond the numbers we budgeted for and this happened for several years in a row (our current numbers are just above 500 students). Even with impressive increases in our numbers, we made sure to improve teacher/student ratios and added programs and services that directly benefited children. With discipline, we used the financial surplus to build up a significant reserve. Our program for students with special learning needs also helped boost enrollment by bringing in children from outside of our traditional catchment area.
Paid off the mortgage. Using some of the reserve we built up and with the help of a donor, we initiated a creative “burn the mortgage” campaign that incentivized parents to contribute given the savings they would realize in the years to come. Getting rid of the payments on the $1.5 million mortgage allowed us to “give” that money back to our families by lowering tuition. Improved overall business operations and adjusted financial aid policies. Through personnel enhancements in the business office and careful oversight by the school president and treasurer, we have kept expenses in check (below national averages), dramatically improved tuition collections (virtually eliminating bad debt) and adjusted financial aid policies that included tuition minimums for all families (barring extenuating circumstances). It is important to mention that our concern for keeping expenses as low as possible did not come on the backs of our devoted teachers and staff. They have received a raise every year and have even benefitted from two separate “bonuses” and a recent increase in our pension contribution. We recognize that a great school cannot exist without great teachers and administrators who feel appreciated and supported. Increased revenue streams outside of tuition. We have made good use of our 15-acre campus (with gym and fields) by opening our own, professional summer camp four years ago. Profits go directly towards scholarship assistance and some new families have enrolled in the school
as a result of their camp experience. We rent part of our facility to a synagogue on the weekends and community members rent our fields and gym for birthday parties and other events as do some of the local community organizations. We have professionalized our development department and have met or exceeded our ambitious fundraising goals without an increase in event based fundraisers. Additionally, thanks to Step Up For Students, a Florida tax credit scholarship program, we are receiving significant funds for children from lower income families. Not only does this make it possible for these children to attend our school, it alleviates
some of the financial burden that has traditionally been borne by families paying full tuition. “We are hopeful that we will only build upon our successes thus far and continue our efforts toward making the KHDS experience as affordable as possible,” noted Englander. Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton is a modern Orthodox Zionist day school, educating over 500 students from age two through 8th grade. For more information call 561-470-5000 or visit the website at www.hilleldayschool.org.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
YESHIVA TIFERES TORAH OF BOCA RATON
YESHIVA TIFERES TORAH OF BOCA RATON
Sunday, December 11 7:30pm
Wednesday, December 14 5:00-9:30pm
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AT OUR CAMPUS 7200 PALMETTO CIRCLE NORTH
To request further information please contact us at 561-750-7151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
“SHABBAT CAN DO THAT!” Now in its third year, The Shabbat Project is firmly established as a greatly anticipated annual highlight of the global Jewish calendar and community. By encouraging a warm celebration of one of the central pillars of Judaism, and nurturing unity, this bold initiative is charting a new and hopeful course for the Jewish world. On the Shabbat of 11/12 November 2016, Jewish people will gather once again in hundreds of cities around the world for the international Shabbat Project. The Shabbat Project (www.theshabbatproject.org) is a global, grassroots movement that brings Jews from across the world together to keep a single, unforgettable Shabbat, transcending religious denomination, political persuasion or other arbitrary boundaries such as age, language or lifestyle. The concept is profound yet simple: the global Jewish community uniting for a transformative shared experience that is as old as the Bible and yet as contemporary as the 21st Century.
“It has been nothing short of thrilling and deeply inspiring to witness Jews come together across every conceivable divide – language, culture, ethnicity, geography, observance,” says South African Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein, the founder and director of the Shabbat Project. Last year, the Shabbat Project reached 919 cities and 84 countries across the globe. An estimated one million people took part – not just in unique Shabbat programs, but in city-wide, spirited pre-Shabbat “Challah Bakes” and post-Shabbat “Havdallah Concerts”. An untold number observed Shabbat in full for the first time in their lives. Just as importantly, people of diverse backgrounds and persuasions were brought together in ways not yet seen before. Goldstein, who recently debuted at #21 on the Jerusalem Post’s list of the “50 Most Influential Jews” and was dubbed the “Good Shabbos Rabbi,” is driven by a conviction that the two major challenges besetting the Jewish world – assimilation and apathy on the one hand and divisiveness and discord on the other – can be
reversed through innovative thinking and “big ideas”. “Big ideas can change the world, and the Jewish world today needs them more than ever. The Shabbat Project is one such big idea: a call to Jews all around the globe to think boldly about our future, to connect across the walls we’ve put up. The Shabbat Project is the story of Jews returning to their roots, reconnecting with their heritage, returning to their bonds of natural closeness and friendship—all through the Shabbat experience.” “Shabbat can do that” The theme of this year’s Shabbat Project is “Shabbat can do that”. Goldstein explains: “In 2014 and again in 2015, through the transformative power of Shabbat, we’ve seen individuals and communities accomplish great things; things that before were not thought possible. We’ve seen walls torn down, families rejuvenated, deep feelings awakened, deep friendships formed. This is what Shabbat can do. “Over the past three years, it has been
a privilege to see it unfold; to witness the magic of Shabbat take hold in cities across the world.” This year, the South African Chief Rabbi and his team are aiming to see how far they can push the limits of the Shabbat Project, moving the needle past the million mark. “More and more people are joining what’s become a huge worldwide social movement,” he says in closing. “In the build-up to this year’s Shabbat project on November 11th and 12th, we are encouraging literally every Jew in every corner the world to become a part of it – to experience the magic and transformative power of Shabbat, to join together across the divisions and labels we’ve constructed, to connect to our ancient yet eternally relevant Jewish traditions, and to each other, in a deeply meaningful way.” The Shabbat Project will be taking place on November 11th and 12th, 2016. To sign up, find out how you can become a partner, or for more for more info, visit: www.theshabbatproject.org/
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
World of Thought Tzvi Freeman
There’s something that has always bothered me about the Torah’s account of Creation. “Let there be light” lacks the expressive sensitivity you would expect from the ultimate creative act. It sounds cold and removed. How about, “And the Creator began to consider the concept of luminance, and as He did, light came into being”? Or perhaps, “And then a sense of clarity arose in the Supernal Consciousness, and so there was light”? I suppose what really bothers me is this: Why did the Creator have to speak in order to create? Wouldn’t it be so much more wonderful if we were all just a thought?
Actually, we are. That’s how things started off. And that’s what we connect into on the day of Shabbat. You see, first there was a World of Thought. The written Torah doesn’t start with that world. The Torah begins with a beit—the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It starts at the second part of the story. But at first there was a world that just emanated out of thought—and never left that place. The second part of the story is when all those thoughts descended to become a concrete world. A place that seems separate from its Creator, outside of its source. Like speech: Your words travel outside of you and become part of someone else.
That’s the world we live in for six days. A world that pretends to have no source. We try to push it around a little, it pushes us around a lot, and we both pretend that this is a real and autonomous world. That there is a world, and there is us, and we are all separate things. But then, on the seventh day, the Creator let into this world a taste of that higher plane of the “World of Thought.” We tune into it by no longer pushing anything around—or letting anything else push us around. We don’t change anything. We don’t create anything. We don’t make fires, we don’t cook food, we don’t stink up the air with carbon monoxide or make cyberspace connections. We only medi-
tate, contemplate and enjoy. We get a feel of a world that is no more than a single, vast, expressive and wondrous thought. And then we return to the other six days. But we’ve already experienced this world’s hidden truth. We can see through its facade. We can rip it away. We can draw on that higher plane to illuminate our mundane world. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman is a senior editor at Chabad.org. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. He can be reached on Facebook @RabbiTzviFreeman.
Noach and Avraham Rabbi Yehonason Gefen “These are the offspring of Noach, Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; Noach walked with God.” Noach was the greatest person in his time, the only one who deserved to be spared from the flood. And yet Noach is unfavorably compared to Avraham by the Sages in a number of places. What is the difference between these two great men? Rashi brings a Midrash that contrasts Avraham and Noach. With regard to Noach, the Torah says “Noach walked with God.” This means that he needed help in his service of God. But to Avraham, God says, “Walk before me.” This means that Avraham could strengthen himself on his own. The commentaries explain that Avraham was proactive and self-motivated. He did not need external events to stimulate him to serve the Almighty and do kindness. Noach needed external circumstances to push him forward in his righteousness. Rav Eliyahu Dessler zt”l expands on this idea. He writes that Noach is called «ish tzaddik” (man of righteousness), and Avraham is “ish chessed” (man of kindness). Noach performed incredible acts of kindness in the ark, feeding hundreds of animals for several months. However, says Rav Dessler that this was only tzedek, the right thing to do, meaning that he fulfilled his obligation. It did not stem from an overflowing desire to give, but was rather a reaction to the needs of others. His kindness was reactive in that he only helped people when they came to him or if he felt an obli-
gation to do so. Avraham, in contrast, did not perform kindness out of obligation, but because of a burning desire to give. His kindness was proactive. This divergence between Noach and Avraham is not restricted to kindness in the physical realm, but also extends into the spiritual realm. The Seforno writes that Noach did rebuke the people in his generation but he did not go any further. “He did not teach them to know God and how to go in his ways.” Consequently, he did not possess enough merit to save the generation. In contrast Avraham went far beyond the call of duty to teach the world to know God. Noach’s kindness was reactive. Why would a person reach the level of reactive kindness but fail to progress to the higher level of giving proactively? The clue to this can be found in Noach’s name. We know that a person’s name teaches us about his essence. The word ‘noach’ means ‘comfortable.’ It is not easy to take responsibility for something without first being called upon to do it. The negative inclination will find numerous excuses to avoid taking on a challenging endeavor when the genuine reason for doing so is desire for comfort. The great author of Chovos HaLevavos (Duties of the Heart), Rabbeinu Bechaye, reveals that he was subject to this very challenge. He writes in the introduction that after planning to write this work he changed his mind, citing a number of
reasons. “I thought my powers too limited and my mind too weak to grasp the ideas. Furthermore, I do not possess an elegant style in Arabic, in which the book would have been written… I feared that I would be undertaking a task which would succeed [only] in exposing my shortcomings… Therefore I decided to drop my plans and revoke my decision.” However, he recognized that perhaps his motives were not completely pure. “I began to suspect that I had chosen the comfortable option, looking for peace and quiet. I feared that what had motivated the cancellation of the project had been the desire for self-gratification, which had driven me to seek ease and comfort, to opt for inactivity and sit idly by.” To the eternal benefit of the Jewish people, he decided to write the book. The reasons that he initially cited in support of his decision not to write the book seem fair and logical. But he recognized that, on his level, they were tainted by a desire for comfort. We, too, have plausible reasons why we choose to ignore opportunities to help the Jewish people. But we must be extremely careful to make sure that we are not in fact just being lazy. Imagine how many great works or bold initiatives may never have reached fruition because of laziness. Another hindrance to proactivity is misplaced trust in God. A person may have the attitude that God will send him his life purpose on a plate. History proves that the great builders in Torah did not have this attitude. They looked at the problems
in the world and decided to take action to rectify them without waiting to be told to do so. People such as Rav Aharon Kotler, the Ponevezher Rav and Rebbetzin Sarah Schenirer emulated Avraham and took the initiative to build Torah institutions. These institutions reinforced Torah, and enabled the Jewish people to survive the spiritual onslaught of the Enlightenment and the physical onslaught of the Holocaust. In our generation, one does not have to look far to find opportunities to improve the word in some form. But he must not wait to be asked to step forward. If he waits, the opportunity may never materialize. God wants us to open our eyes and take action without being prompted to do so. Noach was a great man but he is not the progenitor of the Chosen People. He did kindness, but only after he was instructed to. He rebuked the people, but only after God had told him to do so as a reactive person, who needed external circumstance to arouse him to action. By contrast, Avraham did not need to be motivated to serve God. He did not wait for people to come to him in order to teach them Torah. He reached the level of true kindness through great effort. It is incumbent upon us, his descendants, to emulate him and seek and pursue opportunities to make a difference to the Jewish people. This article is courtesy of aish.com.
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Teasing Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW
Our fifth grade son often complains that other boys in his class tease him and he doesn’t know how to handle it. How can we help him deal with it?
efore I address your important question, I feel that it is significant to use your question as a springboard to discuss another vital issue. I will begin by complimenting you for the manner in which you phrased your question. So many parents today would have written the same question in the following manner: “Our fifth grade son gets bullied by other kids. What should we do?” Recently a student came over to me very upset and said, “Baruch is bullying me. He blew in my face and told me I’m a loser!” Let’s not misunderstand – Baruch is wrong and the situation needs to be dealt with appropriately. But the situation at hand is a far cry from bullying. The questions of how to deal with bullying, the seriousness of it, and how to approach it cannot be ignored. However, it is vital that we not view general childhood bantering and teasing as bullying. Dealing with teasing, however, is part of growing up. Which adult today doesn’t remember getting teased as a child? While it often was annoying, and sometimes even embarrassing, it was part
of learning how to deal with others. Let’s be honest: most of us teased others, even our friends, periodically during our youth as well. Trying to swoop down and save our children from every teasing situation serves to weaken them emotionally and stifles their ability to deal with such annoyances and irritants on their own. I again must interject that this is not true in regards to bullying where we have an obligation to ensure that we are doing our utmost to help the child. Bullying, however, includes humiliation, consistent taunting in the presence of others, and/or taking advantage of another child in any form. Even if one child constantly taunts another that is not necessarily bullying, especially if it’s not done in a public forum. Because of the sternness of the manner in which we deal with bullying, it is absolutely vital to have a clear understanding of what’s transpiring. We then must recognize whether it is indeed bullying or general childhood banter. This does not imply that we should simply allow children to tease each other or hurt each other’s feelings, but we must recognize that, despite our best efforts, “boys will be boys” and that doesn’t make them malicious kids. In addition, you wisely phrased your question to ask how you can help your son deal with the teasing. You apparently recognize that teasing and fielding hurtful comments is an unfortunate part of life. As adults we too have to deal with hurtful and sometimes insulting com-
ments that are said to us – sometimes unwittingly, and sometimes even purposely. As parents our goal is always to help our children learn to navigate their way through challenges so they will be ready to confront the real world. Your approach, which is reflected in the manner in which you phrased your question, is commendable and should be held as an example for other parents to follow. With that said, how indeed do we help a child deal with teasing? The first step is to help a child understand why children (and adults) “rib” each other. I often ask children who get teased a lot if they think the teasers hate them. They invariably reply that they are sure they do. When I then ask the teasers if they hate the peers they tease they almost always reply that they don’t. When I ask them why they do it, the invariable response is “cuz it’s fun!” I ask students why certain children seem to get teased more than others. Many are able to recognize that children who react with greater emotion and display often get teased more. Why? Because when children tease each other they are seeking to elicit a reaction! The stronger and harsher the reaction the more exciting it is and the more they will come back for more. It is a mean and negative manner to have fun, but kids love to have fun. Unfortunately, they will look to have fun even at someone else’s expense, even though they don’t really mean to hurt the “victim.”
In one of the yeshivos I worked in, there was one student – Dovid – who hardly got teased. It wasn’t because there was nothing about him to tease. In fact, he was a bit eccentric and had some unique idiosyncrasies – the type that kids often pick on. The reason he was hardly teased was because his reactions were so bland, almost humorously so. If a classmate would say, “Dovid, you’re so weird,” he would reply, “Thanks! You too!” I often used Dovid as an example for other children to see the benefit of trying not to react harshly to teasing. When we were children and would complain to our parents that a sibling was bothering us, our parents would reply that we should ignore it and it would stop. There is a great deal of truth in that. However, this is only true if we could ignore it enough to have no emotional reaction to it. If inside we were becoming angry and were just trying to hold it in, the teaser would sense it and would keep “pecking away” until they got to us. If a child has a hard time “just ignoring it,” then he may need extra coaching and encouragement, especially at the beginning when he first begins to understand this dynamic. We will iy”H continue this discussion, including ideas to help children “just ignore it” in the next segment. (We also
hope to address the topic of bullying more thoroughly in a future article.)
KEY POINTS • The way we handle teasing is very different than the way we handle bullying. We must clarify the situation before deciding how to proceed. • When children confront teasing and mean comments it can be a way for them to learn social skills and grow from the experience. • Children tease each other because they want a reaction. The best response is not to grant that reaction.
Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead. He is also fifth grade Rebbe and Guidance Counselor in ASHAR in Monsey, and Principal of Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor, NY, and a division head at Camp Dora Golding. Rabbi Staum offers parenting classes based on the acclaimed Love & Logic Program. For speaking engagements he can be reached at stamtorah@gmail. com. His website is www.stamtorah.info.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
JULY 28, 2016 | The Jewish Home
Ways to Engage your Teenagers (That Won’t Annoy Them) By Raizel Druxman
eing a teenager can be rough. Being the parent of a teenager can be equally frustrating. Adolescence is a time of transition and confusion and teens themselves often don’t understand what’s happening. They frequently send mixed messages and get angry when adults do the same. They want to be independent and strong, but they also need your physical and emotional support. Navigating the turbulent landscape of the teenage experience can be equally challenging for teens and the adults in their lives. Although it can be compelling to dismiss their experiences, making the effort to understand teens can have an enormous impact on their ability to channel their energy, passion and idealism. When teens are feeling confident, clear, safe, and supported, they can accomplish incredible things. Like any other effort to improve, consistency is key. With a little understanding, compassion and sensitive and intentional practices, you can improve your relationship and help your teen tap into their potential. Dr. Tamir Rotman, clinical psychologist and founder of Free Spirit Experience, which helps troubled teens “restart” their lives, shares
his expert advice on how to improve communication and connection with your teen.
1. GO WITH THEIR FLOW.
Pay attention to when they need you close by and when they want some distance. Give them choice to connect by saying, “I’ll be around if you need me.” This is a great way to be avail-
about their interests to ask relevant questions. This effectively says, “I am interested in you – I care.” If it’s late in the game, you can still earn their trust, but you will have to show genuine and persistent interest for them to buy it and take you seriously.
4. LISTEN DURING A CONFLICT.
Be predictable, in a good way, so they can rely on you when they need to.
able without imposing on them.
2. BE AN ANCHOR OF STABILITY.
Although they may fight you on it, for teens, stability is safety. Be predictable, in a good way, so they can rely on you when they need to.
3. START YOUNG.
If you want them to feel safe to talk to you, it’s important to start listening to them when they are young children. Be curious about the things that interest them and know enough
If you really listen and try to understand them, they will try to listen to you too. Even when you’re sure you’ve heard it all already or that they are trying to rock the boat stay curious. Genuinely ask them what had happened to truly seek to understand where they are coming from.
5. VALIDATE THEIR FEELINGS.
It’s crucial to validate their feelings. It’s a very common mistake to start by giving advice or explain-
ing yourself or the other person involved. However, that will only alienate your teen and make them feel more isolated. Always start by acknowledging their experience and their side. You can say, “It must be really difficult/ sad/frustrating to...,” so they hear that you are interested in understanding them and they have a safe space to be heard.
6. BE PROACTIVE.
Reach out to your teen when you see that they are struggling. Find a good time to say, “I see that you are having a tough time and I really want to help.” Don’t be afraid to be creative, ask for outside help, and use trial and error with your teen to find a solution.
7. BE PATIENT.
Trust yourself and be patient with the process. Even when your teen is acting stormy, just know that the turbulence reflects their thoughts. Do your best to have compassion for your teen and for yourself. Involve your teen in the process in whatever way possible. The best solutions come when change comes from a conscious choice. Don’t worry, you’ve got this.
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After School Snacks Susan Schwamm
Does this scene sound familiar? It definitely does to me; it happens in my house almost daily! It’s 4:45 and my children rush off the school bus. Before even greeting me at the door, they rush into the kitchen and raid the fridge. “Ma, I’m starving. When’s supper?” “When’s supper? Good question. What is for supper? Even better question!” How can you make sure to give your child a nutritious, healthy and tasty snack and still make sure that he or she has room for supper? Many children eat their school lunch early in the day, some around noontime. With only a small afternoon snack at recess, it’s no wonder they come home “starved.” Here are some tips to help guide your child to good afterschool snacks that will be satisfying and still leave room for a nutritious dinner.
Figure out the Timing
sk your child when they are served lunch in school and when they last ate a snack. Chances are they have not eaten something filling in quite some time. It’s important then to make sure to offer something substantial when they come home. That being said, determine what time suppertime usually occurs in your home. Will supper be served in an hour from now or in three hours from now when daddy comes home? Knowing when dinner is served in your home should also help you determine how “big” a snack you would like to offer your child.
Create a List of Options
his is a wonderful opportunity to include your child in the planning. Ask your child which foods they would prefer as an after-school snack. Come up with some healthy options together, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Don’t eliminate foods such as cookies or potato chips altogether; explain to your child that you can only offer those options in moderation and definitely not as a daily snack. If you can, take your kids along to the grocery store and spend some time choosing healthy, tasty and filling snacks. Show your child different nutrition facts labels
and have them compare products. Pay attention to the amounts of protein, fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients, and don’t miss the chance to talk about portion sizes. Together, choose snacks that are low in sugar, fat, and salt. Children are more likely to learn to make healthy food choices on their own when they are involved in the process.
Make Eating Healthy the Easy Choice
on’t expect children – even teens – to cut up their own veggie sticks. It’s just too much of a bother, especially when they’re hungry. Kids (and adults) are more inclined to eat what’s handy, so it’s important to make healthy snacks easily available by having them visible and readyto-eat at home. I find that when I have cut-up cucumbers and peppers or cut-up watermelon on the table, my children will definitely snack on those when they come home. If you are home when your children come home, you can be more involved in the creative process. Youngsters delight in eating “ants on a log” (celery topped with low-fat peanut butter and raisins) or fruit kabobs. Older children may enjoy more sophisticated snacks such as fruit smoothies or cut up pitas with hummus. Keep snacks available for times when you are not home. For example, I find that if I have healthy granola bars
or portion-controlled bags of nuts or grapes for my children available, they will make sure to reach for those initially. For nights when dinner is hours away, you could offer more substantial snacks such as half a sandwich or a quesadilla made with a wholewheat tortilla, low-fat cheese, and salsa warmed in the microwave. Nothing too complicated or filling, though. You want to make sure they eat the supper you worked hard to prepare. When offering drinks, stay away from sugary or carbonated beverages. Offer water, milk or a glass of juice. Keep in mind that if supper is a short while away, milk is a lot more filling than water.
t u o k Chec althy e our h ideas k snac
M Cheese wedges or cheese sticks
OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
TJH You gotta be
The Difference Between Republicans and Democrats Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. Trump gave the homeless person his business card and told him to call him after the elections for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person. Hillary was very impressed, and so when they came to another homeless person, she decided to help. She walked over to the homeless person and gave him
Riddle me this? You are making calls on election eve to remind people to go out and vote. 17% of all people living in the town have unlisted phone numbers. You select 100 names from the phone book and call those folks to get them out to vote. How many of these people would have unlisted phone numbers?
a card with directions to the nearest Welfare office. She then reached into Trump’s pocket and gave the homeless person fifty dollars.
See answer on next page
Who Said It? Match the quote with the person who said it. 1. “This election is about who’s going to be the next president of the United States!” 2. “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.” 3. “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election; the people who count the votes do.” 4. “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against
their own interests.”
a) Gore Vidal b) Abraham Lincoln
5. “If elected I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same.”
c) Emma Goldman
6. “I regard voting as the most sacred right of free men and women.”
e) Otto von Bismarck
7. “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
g) Dan Quayle
8. “We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate.” 9. “Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.” 10. “Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It’s the other way around. They never vote for us.”
d) Ambrose Bierce f) Dan Quayle h) Frank McKinney Hubbard i) Ronald Reagan j) Joseph Stalin
Key: 1- G; 2-E; 3-J; 4-A; 5-B; 6-I; 7-C; 8-H; 9-D; 10-F
The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
So You Want to Run a Campaign? In the fast-moving world of elections, if you want to be a campaign manager, you sure better be able to answer the following questions. Test your “campaign manager”-ability. 1. Match the state with the amount of electoral votes: New York
2. The highlighted portion of the United States is commonly referred to as what?
a. b. c. d.
The Bible Belt The Rust Belt The South Republican Heartland
3. Your candidate calls you into a meeting and asks you which states have proportional allocation of their electoral votes. Which states do you tell him? a. Utah/Oregon b. Maine/Nebraska c. N. Dakota/S. Dakota d. New Hampshire/Arkansas 4. “As goes ________, so goes the nation.” Fill in the blank for this common refrain.
a. b. c. d.
Ohio The Midwest Young voters Pennsylvania
5. Okay, you are running a national campaign, so I assume you know that whoever gets 256 electoral votes first wins, right? Wrong. It takes 270, genius! Anyway, what happens if each party gets 269 electoral votes? a. There is a coin toss which takes place in the Capitol Rotunda b. The Senate votes on which person wins. c. The House of Representatives votes on who will be president and the Senate votes on who the vice president will be. d. There is a second round election which takes place the following month. (This has never happened yet.) e. The Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court vote on which ticket wins. Answers 1. New York
2. A- This area is referred to as the
Bible Belt because it represents the most religious demographic area in the country. Voters tend to be highly conservative in these areas. 3) B 4) A 5) C Electoral College Key 5-6 correct: Congrats, your candidate just won! And within a few months, when he or she is embroiled in scandal and needs someone to take the blame off of him or her, you are going to enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of being “thrown under the bus.” 3-4 correct: You have a right to be in the game, you just aren’t that great. You are like Joe Trippi. Mr. Trippi was the campaign manager for four presidential campaigns over the past two decades. But he never won. The closest he came was in 2004 when he ran John Kerry’s campaign. In fact, that race was so close that in the late afternoon on Election Day – when he thought Kerry was going to win – he walked into Kerry’s hotel suite and said to him, “May I be the first to call you Mr. President?” Poor guy jumped the gun and his man lost. 0-2 correct: You are oblivious to the current elections. You know what that makes you? A lot smarter than the rest of us.
Answer to Riddle: Zero. You are selecting names from the list, so they are all listed.
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Studying Sm rt
Judging a Book By its Cover Why English is (Still) the Most Important Subject in School By Chaim Homnick
n light of the flurry of technological advancement that we have enjoyed in the 21st century, high schools and politicians alike have increasingly promoted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses as the way of the future. While the renewed emphasis on those areas of the curriculum are certainly important in today’s age, the fact remains that English Literature (when taught right) is the most important topic in high school. While a decent percentage of students will in fact pursue careers in STEM-centric fields, it is still not ubiquitous. There are numerous careers in other fields that students can pursue. However, the skills acquired in a well-taught English class are relevant for all students and can be applied to almost any career. A professional in nearly any field needs to be articulate in both their speech and their writing. Below are several other key reasons why a strong English curriculum at the high school level (and earlier) is so vital:
ENGLISH IS THE ONLY OPEN-ENDED CURRICULUM
Math, history and science all come with convenient built-in curriculums and textbooks. Are you teaching Bio to ninth grade? Follow the textbook, prepare them for the standardized Bio Regent and voila! Obviously, good teachers are still crucial, but there is a clear roadmap
in those classes. English Literature, meanwhile, is totally open-ended. A teacher can spend four years teaching Shakespeare or four years just doing short stories; the textbooks for English Literature aren’t especially useful, and not enough schools have a coherent, organized plan for what will be covered each year. In Mesivta Ateres Yaakov (full disclosure: I teach 5 periods of Honors, AP and dual enrollment English Literature there), we created and implemented a four-year English Literature curriculum that follows a logical, comprehensive path to ensuring students graduate armed with the requisite skills for success on the SAT, in college and in life. We blend literature and literary knowledge with practical analysis and comprehension skills while also integrating the SAT into the classroom. Every school needs to have a customized, cohesive plan that is more thorough than merely listing two novels that the teacher must cover annually. Consequently, while math, history and science classes are taught very similarly in most schools in the Five Towns, the content of your child’s English Literature class can vary wildly depending upon the school they are in, what level the class is, and the whims of that particular teacher. Considering how important those English skills are, that makes it doubly important to find a school that has a structured, intelligent curriculum that covers all the right
ENGLISH IS CRUCIAL FOR THE SAT AND OTHER TESTS
I have written at length in TJH about the SAT (or ACT) but it bears repeating: this is the most important test a child takes in high school. Achieving a solid SAT score (1100 or so) is necessary for admission to most colleges and achieving a higher score (1250-1400 and up) can open the door to opportunities like Honors Programs, scholarships and more. As important as a strong STEM program is, only math is covered on the SAT. The other half of the test is devoted to reading and writing. Why? Because colleges view English and math as the two foundational building blocks that connote college-readiness. Even tests like the GRE, MCAT, DAT, and LSAT have English components.
BUILDING TOWARD THE FUTURE
The reason why those disparate tests all test English is because English is the one topic that is universally necessary. Top doctors publish high-end, intellectual papers. Scientists perform copious research and publish as well. Many lawyers do nothing but draft documents all day. Basic reading comprehension skills and writing ability are critical and yet children are increasingly spurning reading books in exchange
for capturing Pokemon or snapchatting their friends. In such an environment, it is even more important that they foster an appreciation for reading in school. Additionally, the analytic skills inherent in a thorough analysis of literature are vital for any profession. English Literature may not have a fancy acronym like STEM, and it may not give parents as much homework-related anxiety as math often does, but it is the most important subject in school nonetheless. Schools need to devote resources to ensuring the class is taught competently and in a manner conducive to genuine improvement. And as for us parents, the next time our child’s search for a Charizard gets rained out, we should hand them a good book instead.
Chaim Homnick is the College Advisor at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov of Lawrence and also teaches 5 periods of Honors/AP English Literature. Chaim is the owner of Five Towns Tutoring (fivetownstutoring.com) as well as Machane Miami Day Camp of Florida (machanemiami.com). He scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and the LSAT and tutors both extensively. He has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration as well as an MBA. For questions, comments, previous articles or tutoring, he can be reached directly at chomnick@ gmail.com.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
4 Reasons Why Every Jew Must Vote TRUMP 1
Six million Jews perished in the Holocaust within 5 years.
Hillary will appoint anti-religious supreme court judges.
Facilitation of Iran’s nukes could mean six million in 9 minutes.
Will stop Iran’s nukes at all costs.
Closing or compromising our values in yeshivas and religious institutions like what is happening in Belgium, England and Canada.
Strongly supports religious freedom and school vouchers.
Hillary will freeze the building of homes for Jews on Israeli settlements.
More homeless frum families, many who now live in windowless cellars formerly used as garbage storages.
Strongly supports the building of homes all over Israel.
Hillary’s plan to bring millions of foreigners from terrorist areas
Will endanger the safety of our communities.
Will stop terrorists from flooding America.
What is happening throughout Europe must NOT be allowed to happen to us.
Alert your families and friends. Get the vote out Nov. 8, 2016. email@example.com
This urgenT message broughT To you by Jewish DemocraTs for Trump
28 72 58
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A Life Vest of Love and Understanding Orly Wahba Brightens the World one Kindness at a Time by Chana-Rochel (Andrea) Eller Speaking at TED 2013
Wahba was four when she knew that one day she would do something important. Something big. Something good. But at four she couldn’t have imagined she’d be running a world-wide organization with her own methodology dedicated to changing the world for the better. It couldn’t have entered her four-year-old mind that years later, in a hundred cities in fifty countries, thousands and thousands would be dancing and singing in concert for her “something important, big, and good.” She couldn’t have guessed that her means would be Life Vest Inside, an organization she would found on four principles: 1) Every person in this world has tremendous worth; 2) Every person can affect change with good deeds that can ripple through the world; 3) Every person matters and is needed; 4) Kindness is the key. When Orly Wahba of Brooklyn, New York, had yet to see her fifth birthday, she would feel exquisite pain when people hurt others’ feelings, said mean things, argued or fought. She would talk about “changing the world.” Those close to her good-naturedly called her The Dreamer. Nonetheless, the embers were not tamped out. Orly was born to an Egyptian Jewish Sephardi mother and an Israeli father. The Wahbas (Orly has
two older brothers and two younger sisters) lived a shomer Shabbos, shomer kashrus life. “Hashem knows best. Everything has a reason,” was the mantra of Mr. and Mrs. Wahba, giving all their children a strong Jewish foundation and faith. When it hurt young Orly to see people mistreating one another, her father would tuck her into bed and tell her to “talk to Hashem.” Orly was exceptionally shy in school, speaking only on demand. She was thoughtful of others. When students were home sick, she would copy her class notes and later give them to the absentees. In Orly’s fifteenth year a fire left only the frame of the Wahba home standing. When she saw her parents cry she refused to add to their burden, so she put on a good, optimistic, light-hearted front. It worked. It worked very well. But one morning it didn’t work at all. She couldn’t get up. For the next two months a terrible depression locked her in a veiled state of sleep. During those two months away from school, no student called or visited. Her will to live wavered. If she were to disappear, would anyone care? Forced to return to school, Orly garbed herself in black and sat alone in classroom corners writing dark poetry. A day came when the high school girl glimpsed herself in a mirror and
did a double take. A lifeless stranger stared back – gaunt, beaten down, and hopeless – a face reflecting indifference to a life she felt didn’t matter. Her dreams were gone. It frightened her. She had to think. Soon after, she made a decision that harkened back to her dream as a young child. She would do something important. But now it was clear as to what: she’d be there for people like herself – lonely, depressed, angry and hurting – the way she wished people had been for her. One of the most timid in school, Orly attended a high school seminar about overcoming obstacles. The moderator asked for a volunteer to address the subject. For the first time in her school life she raised her hand to speak. Orly spoke from a heart that had been nearly shattered. Everyone listened as she spoke about struggle and shared her conclusions. Students began coming to a surprised Orly for advice. It moved her. She found that the more she gave, the more she healed – and the more she loved people… Her dreams returned and further coalesced with a specific goal: “To show people that they matter.” Subsequently Orly was asked to speak at assemblies and school functions. While earning her bachelor’s degrees in film production and English from Brooklyn College, and later her Master’s Degree in Jewish
history from Touro College, she continued to address audiences. After college Orly taught middle school students at a yeshiva. She says that those years spent bonding with her students were among the best of her life. She put original techniques to work, fostering unity in her classrooms and helping to build her students’ confidence at that sticky age when feelings of self-worth bounce hither and yon, but most often attach to the ground. On impulse, Orly made up a slew of what she called acts-ofkindness cards, each with a specific suggestion for a small, kind deed one could do for another. And each card ended with, Please pass this on. Keep the kindness going! “My students’ view of their worth blossomed as they carried out the suggestions and began to find, on their own, little things they could do – for instance, smiling at someone seen as wallpaper every day; helping the student who had dropped her books; carrying a heavy load for a senior; leaving a bottle of water in reach of a homeless person.” Orly says, “What they found to do for others opened their eyes to the beauty of the world, the beauty in others, and more important, the beauty in themselves. It excited them. Their images of themselves transformed. This was power. It was empowering to know that they mat-
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tered – that who they were and what they did mattered.” And to them it was “the coolest thing ever.” And then came a turning point.
was with my family on the way home from a vacation when I heard about the death of a six-yearold in our community. I had no idea what I would tell my students about coming to terms with this tragedy in the wake of their earlier loss of a classmate. “I boarded the plane disoriented, sat in the wrong seat, and spotted a sign on the wall that said, ‘Life vest inside’ – that jacket you put on if, G-d forbid, you’re about to make an unscheduled water landing. I began thinking about life vests – how, when pushing down on an inflated vest it pops back up. I thought, How do we pop back up from events thrown at us and that seem to make no sense?” Orly concluded that we come equipped with metaphorical life vests. “It’s the neshama, the soul, crafted and given to us by Hashem. It’s part, k’ave yochal, of Hashem himself. It’s chessed. Kindness. If sorrow or a stumbling block is pulling someone under, we can throw him or her a life vest of kindness, the way someone would for us. We keep each other afloat with kindness. “I also realized that the original “life vest” is the Torah. When you question or doubt or worry, open the Torah and you’ll find your answer. I told my class, when we learn Torah, Hashem is speaking to us.” Orly began a class project, calling it Life Vest Inside. After discussing a point in Chumash or Navi, she’d assign her students an entry in their personal journals about what Hashem might be telling them through this pasuk or that Rashi. They were to comment on a possible connection to their lives. The bonds between her and her students strengthened. After seven years, Orly’s father encouraged her to leave her job. “My father said that maybe a shift would be good for me. It was tough. No matter what I do, I give my whole self to it; I was always there with the kids, always doing things with them after school…” Orly took a sabbatical, but used her time in a way her family didn’t expect. In her desire to reach the
goal she’d held since she was able to think – to “change the world” – she used a substantial part of her savings to make a six-minute film she called “Kindness Boomerang.” The film follows the spread of kindness that can begin with one small, sweet deed – say, refilling the parking meter while the car owner is fishing frantically in his pocket for change. The eyes of the surprised fellow are opened; he spots the opportunity to do a good turn and runs after a woman to hand her something she’s unknowingly dropped … and so on. There was nothing to indicate that “Kindness Boomerang” would
And I only hope one day you will see yourself through my eyes.’ That boy is now in college, mentoring troubled youth. He told me, ‘You bet on me when no one else did.’” The act of kindness she did is carried on. Orly said to her TED audience, “It’s an inspiring story, but I wanted to know how to sustain it. How do we take inspiration, turn it into action, and back into inspiration again?” She added, “There is good in everyone; it’s just not easy for people to find it in themselves. I want to help. I believe that the feeling of worthlessness is the reason for the extent of hatred and animosity in the world, and not that people are inherently unkind.
She found that the more she gave, the more she healed – and the more she loved people.
take off the way it did. Thus far the film has garnered over 24 million views. It is seen world over and has fired up others to make similar films of their own using Orly’s title. People are hungry for goodness. Orly’s film attracted the organization TED: Technology, Entertainment and Design. She won nine minutes on air to speak about her dream. Her speech was singularly inspiring, earnest and honest. Nothing slick about it. No gang-busting, rah-rah motivational speaker here. There is only Orly’s sincerity, heart, and radiance as she speaks about the power of kindness. She related a number of stories illustrating her point. One anecdote, particularly moving, was of a student – a boy – whom everyone had labeled a bully early on. “And that’s what he became,” says Orly. He had instigated something that the school administrators considered the last straw. They asked him to leave the school, permanently. But Orly stood up for him. Staunchly. The administration allowed the boy to stay in school. “That day,” Orly recounted, “he came over to me, on the verge of tears, saying, ‘I don’t understand! Why do you care? I’m so mean to you.’ I said, ‘It’s because I think the world of you.
It’s that people don’t recognize their significance nor their place in the world. Insignificance? No place in the world? This is fuel for sinas chinam in the world – baseless hatred.” She brought the TED audience to their feet in applause. I fell in love with Orly’s manner, sincere, confident, then truly taken aback – she touches her throat to catch her breath – by the enthusiastic response. I wanted to know to whom she addresses her message. “Everyone. We are all created in the image of G-d, so every one of us matters,” she stresses the word. “Every one of us has a purpose and is a piece of the Grand Puzzle. Our job is to recognize our own place in that Puzzle, and to help others recognize theirs.” This bright, young, charismatic, Jewish Orthodox woman, Orly Wahba, has spent the last five years helping people see their worth in the way she helped her middle school children. By means of the non-profit organization Life Vest Inside which she founded with her own savings, she proves that in performing kind deeds the player’s feeling of worth expands dramatically, the recipient is surprised and gratified, and oftentimes that recipient is inspired to do
a sweet, unexpected good deed for someone else.
LIFE VEST INSIDE – “LVI” “Dance for Kindness” is Life Vest Inside’s signature yearly event. Last year, twelve-thousand professional and non-professional dancers gathered in the streets and market places of a hundred cities in fifty countries, danced the same choreographed dance to the same music on the same day, while thousands watched. Millions read about the event or saw it online – more than 30 million on YouTube’s various uploads. Each year, musicians vie for the honor of having written the song selected to set the dancers dancing and to be heard in all those cities in all those countries. The latest winner was Yaakov Feldstein, a yeshiva student at Yeshiva University in New York City, who gained instant renown with his infectious “More Light.” As usual, the hub of the event was in New York City. The Theater District was clogged with the performers, with Yaakov Feldstein in person, with his sound-system and video crews (Yaakov is worthy of his own interview) – and an enormous pedestrian audience. The number of participating countries, cities and flash-mobbers has grown every year. Videos of Dance For Kindness feature dancers from America, Malaysia, Australia, Chili, Israel, India, Russia, Estonia, Ireland, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Norway, Vietnam, Ukraine, Singapore … well, you get the picture. Most of the events are online. The warp and woof of these fifty countries with dissimilar cultures, languages, backgrounds, and religions is “Kindness is What Holds Us Together” and “You Matter.” This fabric is the raison d’etre of Orly Wahba, supporter of all people. But LVI is more than flash-mobs, slogans and publicity. This is a worldwide organization conceived to prevent bullying, depression, drug abuse, and even crime, by getting into the trenches and doing. There is a fundamental difference between LVI and other preventative programs. Orly explains that while other programs focus on, say, anti-bullying or anti-drug campaigns – which one could describe as “don’t do” approaches – Life Vest Inside focuses on the individual’s relationship
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Dancing the Czech Republic
with him or herself. No one is told what or what not to do, nor is there any preaching. Ever. As it says on its website, LVI equips people with tools “to recognize their own potential for greatness” and become “catalysts for [good] in the world.” The philosophy is that once knowledge of a person’s worth is firmly established, he or she can less tenuously separate from behavior unbefitting a worthy person. It works. LVI’s site on Facebook is a potpourri of videos; suggestions for un-bidden “kindnesses” that someone else either needs or that would put a smile on his or her face; invitations to entertaining events (e.g., the Dance For Kindness); researched science; and challenges. The most successful appeal is in the form of small, but priceless cards that suggest simple altruistic gestures that another person would appreciate – especially since the gestures are given freely. The purpose of the cards is to habituate people to carrying out good deeds, however small, and to trigger the habit in those whom the deeds touch. Acting on the suggestions can prove to the individual that he or she matters in affecting the world. LVI has been the prototype for a good number of other organizations with the same goal – Random Acts of Kindness, Spread Kindness.org; The Kindness Revolution… Orly is thrilled about it. On LVI’s website is a short animated video called, “The Science of Kindness,” the science based on the research of experts: Emily Ansell of the Yale University School of Medicine; world-wide known psychologist Abraham Maslow; Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside; Researcher Stephen Post of Case Western University School of Medicine; and David R. Hamilton, Ph.D., expert on oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a role in social bond-
Dancing for Kindness in Singapore
ing as well as the healing of wounds. All agree that the performance of kind deeds can help heal an emotionally and even physically beset life. Orly’s favorite enterprise is “Project Hope and Exchange.” This is a trove of thirty-second messages on the LVI website – recordings of those who have suffered, then overcome, adversity. Anyone struggling with sickness, emotional trauma, or other difficulty can select a category that best describes his physical or emotional trouble, and listen to a message recorded by someone who’s been there. The listener gets a shot of hope.
Orly Wahba’s mission sounds like a 1960s hippy fantasy, it doesn’t take a long discussion with
that kindness will be taught in classrooms – classrooms having been in sharp decline in the realms of courtesy, caring, respect, and safety since the 1960s … what a feat! Orly hopes that middle school and high school curricula will incorporate versions of the program. To be fair, the nay-say professor says giving money to charitable institutions is more effective than random kind deeds. Of course we must give. But the fundamental one-on-one human interaction of LVI cannot be overestimated. It’s apparent that LVI is arousing something in enough of us to the extent that its founder has been featured on The Today Show, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg Television, and
Forbes. Not that celebrity is proof
“It takes a thousand positive words to overcome the hurt of one negative word.” her to fathom that the woman is a determined powerhouse putting her beliefs into action. Some do say that the whole thing is naïve. This writer saw an article written by a Ph.D. for a well-known magazine. The premise of the article is that performing random acts of kindness is pointless and immature, and that the concept should be tossed overboard for things more important. Sorry, Doc. Too much evidence to the contrary. LVI’s education programs are now aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and are included in state education for K-5 in cities of Missoula, Montana; Boulder, Colorado; Miami, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; in Washington D.C; New York City; Chicago and Illinois. To think
of much, but this is a celebration of small, unsolicited favors.
ORLY With all the noise it has created, one wouldn’t suspect that LVI runs solely on limited donations of supporters ready to improve an unhappy, fractious, fragmented world. In fact, it’s a tremendous struggle for Orly to pay bills. She has the help of the occasional intern, but she does what I assume is just about all of the work. Tough stuff. On the other hand, what this one woman has accomplished would stagger a Goliath. Yet I have to ask the obvious. Where does Orly find the goodness and worth in people whose mission is to slay school children and Jews in fulfilling their religious require-
ments? I add that some religions say, ‘Love your enemy.’ Is that an LVI premise? Loving someone who wants to kill you is not a normal human reaction. One endeavors to protect himself or to eliminate the enemy. Orly is quiet. Then she says, “The Torah says, V’ahavta l’rei’echa kamocha – Love your neighbor as yourself. I think the most difficult word is kamocha – not the V’ahavta l’rei’echa. The hard part is loving one’s self. It’s not about loving your enemy. That’s not going to work. The loving of one’s self makes it easier to live the good of what we say. That’s the best way to impact someone. There’s a chance our neighbors will be influenced to do the same. By the way, there’s no preaching here. If you tell someone what to do, you won’t make headway.” In other words, don’t talk the talk. Walk the walk. Orly continues. “Listen. People reach out to me from all over the world – all religions, backgrounds, races … with respect. And they know I’m an Orthodox Jew. I think it’s because on this platform no one is judged. We have a large Muslim following. One Muslim man emailed me with an angry message. But I know that if someone is taking the time to reach out, he’s searching for something. So we conversed via email, and I always responded kindly. At one point I said, ‘I’d like to have a conversation with you via Skype.’ He said, ‘No, no, I don’t deserve to have a Skype call with you. You do such good in the world and I’m not a good person.’ I said, ‘What’s that? You may have done bad things, but when you think that those actions are you, you’ll continue them. You have to lift yourself from that pit.’ “We spoke more, and he broke down. He said, ‘My people would call me a traitor for speaking to you, but you make me believe I can be better than I am. You make me believe that
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Dancing in Stockholm, Sweden
what you are saying is actually possible. I don’t know how to tell you how this has changed me. Seeing people differently. Seeing Jews differently.’ He said, ‘Please, whatever you are doing, don’t stop.’” It’s a poignant story. Then I tell Orly I live in Israel in a Jewish community surrounded by hills just over a half mile away, packed with people want to rid the world of us and are doing their best via this third intifada. How can I find the beauty and good in murderers who relish the kill and their own deaths, and are then canonized by their people? Furthermore, it’s clear that Islamists in and surrounding Israel view our concessions as weaknesses. Within two weeks of our turning the Gaza over to the Palestinians they were firing rockets onto Jewish civilians. She admits, “It’s a question my family asks. I’ve experienced anti-Semitism. I’ve been to Israel a number of times. But have I experienced what Israelis are going through? No. The hard thing is when you have the right to hate. It’s so hard when you’re confronted with reason after reason. We just have to keep on going….” I press. I want to know if there is a line Orly draws. “Granted that LVI is structured beautifully and gets results, but do you think that your modus operandi can break through to a person who worships evil?” She says, “Listen. ISIS and Hamas know that despite all the social media and connections made on Facebook, people are more isolated and vulnerable than ever before. ISIS utilizes social media very well. I read in Time Magazine that an ISIS member will spend 100 hours turning someone over to the ISIS way of thinking. ISIS hones in on people low on their feet, feeling worthless and disconnected, looking for something to believe in. ISIS befriends them, talks to them.
They give lonely people a sense of purpose, and the feeling that they are connected. They stranglehold the existential need of every human being to feel he has purpose – that there’s something to live for. Then they take personal freedom away. Can we break through? I don’t know. But we keep trying.” A bitter perversion of LVI. I ask Orly if she finds herself a magnet for misanthropes and scoffers. “Unfortunately, yes. I’ve dealt with a lot of it. People send cruel emails. Emails that attack me. I answer every single email I get. People don’t realize that there’s a person behind the screen who reads what they’ve written. It takes a thousand positive
Acts of kindness in Kadapa, India
‘This person must be going through tremendous pain. I know who I am. Hashem knows who I am. This person doesn’t know anything about me.’ “Only when I’m ready do I write a response. Sometimes I’ll even call and have a conversation. It’s never to attack – because the reaction to an attack is defense. I allow the person to feel what he feels. I don’t say, ‘How could you think that of me? I’m not like that at all,’ because whatever he feels has little to do with me. So I validate the person’s feelings by listening. Then I say, ‘I’m just going to give you another perspective.’ At the end of the conversation I say, ‘Regardless of what you think or said, I’m here. No matter what you say, you’re not going to push me away. If you need any-
“It was empowering to know that they mattered – that who they were and what they did mattered.” words to overcome the hurt of one negative word. They create wounds that are very hard to heal.” “So what do you do?” “Nothing. The first thing I do is nothing. I don’t respond. When someone writes something ugly, of course I get upset and angry. I’m not thinking clearly. Anger is avoda zora – akin to idol worship – and in that state I may blast off an email saying something I don’t really mean or want to say. I cannot answer without thinking it through.” She queries, “How could I say I believe in what I’m doing if I can’t do it myself? If an email is charged with anger and hatred, it means whoever has sent it must be wounded. The person has said something untrue that comes from something inside of him. I say to myself,
thing, just know I’m here.’ “I gotta tell you. I don’t think it’s ever, ever failed. Some can’t believe I respond to them the way I do. Inevitably they email back and say, ‘I’m so sorry.’ The shields come down. They shift completely. “But being kind doesn’t mean being a doormat. You have to hold firm to who you are. I’ve said, ‘Look, I understand you’re feeling this way. I hope one day you’ll see things through my eyes.’ And those words can cause a complete reversal. Over the last five years so many people have broken down, opening up to me about things going on in their lives. Sometimes we become friends.”
ask Orly about her 6,000 “Kindness Ambassadors.”
“These are potential leaders who can create kindness initiatives in their own countries. They’ve been stirred by LVI. One note posted said, ‘You have opened my eyes to my value.’ This is exactly what I mean when I speak about empowering people. Making them see that they matter in this world. Another note said, ‘I love being a part of this global community. I’m sending my love from the heart of Iraq.’ And a Jew wrote back, ‘I’m so touched by these conversations. I send this from the heart of Israel.’ One of Orly’s favorite correspondences is a handwritten letter from “Erik K.” in Denmark. His recent past includes crime, drugs, violence, fear – a life empty of support or love. Erik thanks her for teaching him “to be kind and loveful [sic]… forgiving ... and to find inner peace.” He now has a job and volunteers at a home for homeless kids. He continues with, “This may not seem like a big deal to you, but you saved a life … open[ing] the door to a better future for a human being… What I learned from you, I’m giving to others. You may not have changed the world, but you changed my world.” Orly says, “A letter like this keeps me going.” “Things like this don’t usually happen in the first contact, but it eventually happens. So of this I am sure: Love is stronger than hate. The prototype is in the Torah. Moshe Rabbeinu was denied entrance into Eretz Yisroel because he hit the rock. Some commentaries say that Hashem had wanted to show B’nei Yisroel that His love for them was so great that He would alter unalterable nature, and draw good water from stone for them to drink. Their response would have been ahavas Hashem – love for Hashem and closeness to Him. When Moshe hit the rock, it was as if he were berating and striking B’nei Yisroel. Hashem said, “You could have
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Kindness goes ‘round, a still from the Kindness Boomerang film
sanctified My Name. You didn’t.” I ask Orly how Jews respond to her work. “Some are fine with it, searching along the rest of us. But others often ask, ‘Don’t you think working so closely with people of other religions is going to affect your own beliefs?’ I say, ‘No. I went through my lech l’cha and found Hashem. I’m so firm in what I know to be true, that I don’t feel any need to influence those who believe differently. I can be accepting of a person of a different religion or a different stripe of Yiddishkeit. It doesn’t make a difference. We’re people, and I love people. It was clear early on that LVI had to be inclusive. The hope is that it will all come back to the Jewish community. Sometimes you have to go out to come back in.” I’m in awe of this true-to-life, on-the-ground Don Quixote minus windmills. But I do break in with something she knows: we’re told that our main job as Jews is to live good Torah lives as examples for others. She comes back with: “To live it, but not to judge someone who does not live exactly like we do. We don’t need to do G-d’s job. G-d doesn’t need help judging. Let Him do it. We’re here to love.” She continues. “The Jewish People is in galus – in exile. Our first galus was 70 years long; it was caused by avoda zora – we worshipped other ‘gods’ and we lost the first Beis HaMikdash. We lost the Second Beis HaMikdash over 2,000 years ago. Why has this galus been so long? It’s because we didn’t love one another then and still don’t. For two thousand years we haven’t been respectful of one another. We haven’t had ahava, love, for one another. G-d is hurt more when His children mistreat each another than if we fight against Him. LVI accepts all on whatever levels they’re on. They will come to Hashem on their own.”
Orly gives me a beautiful insight. “‘Elokei Avraham, Elokei Yitzchak, Elokei Ya’akov.’ Why doesn’t the Sh’moneh Esrei say, simply, ‘Elokei Avraham, Yitzchak, v’Ya’akov’? Why is the name of Hashem said three times? It’s because Yitzchak loved G-d not only because Avraham did, and Ya’akov’s love for G-d was not only because Yitzchak, his father, did. Each related to and loved G-d in his own deep, profound way. Avraham lived his love for G-d with chessed, so that, yes, in times of difficulties Yitzchak would be influenced by his upbringing. But Yitzchak would find his own love for G-d as would Yaakov. When a person comes to the love of G-d, it can’t be taken away. And anyway, you can’t tell someone what to believe. Orders don’t work. All you can do is live your love of G-d, and others will find it on their own, perhaps being inspired by you.” From where does Orly draw her unstoppable drive? “I’ve never said this aloud. I believe with my whole heart that we are in the time of Moshiach. I want to help bring him. In Yeshayahu (2:4) it says Moshiach will not be coming with a sword or aggression. His arrival will be with words of love and kindness. I myself have seen that by connecting to people with kindness they can come to embody and live it.” Even on the phone, I can feel Orly wax passionate as she reveals private thoughts. “I want sinas chinam to end – the hate for no reason. It has so much to do with what a person thinks of him or herself. I believe LVI has the ability to really help. “Each morning upon rising, Jews thank Hashem for returning their neshamas – their souls. ‘Modeh Ani … I thank You.’ We can connect to the ‘I thank You.’ But we tend not to think about the words that follow, ‘Your
faith in me is boundless.’ Shouldn’t we be saying, ‘Our faith in You is boundless’? No. It means that every morning when we wake up, Hashem is betting on us – or rather you – who you are, and your individual purpose in this world. Whatever it is, that’s your job. He’s betting that today that you’re going to do something – even a little thing – to realize your inherent greatness. Only you can do it. No one can take your place. So when we feel depressed or not worth much, we have to remember every morning that The Master of the World is betting on us. We are meant to be here.” What she has said is true and wonderful. But I say, “We both know that the Torah says Eisav hates Yaakov – the non-Jew hates the Jew.” Orly responds. “Many people ask me about that. They say, ‘It’s Torah. That’s the way it is.’ So I respond with another pasuk. “It appears that when Yitzchak is giving his brocha to Yaakov instead of Eisav, Yitzchak is giving Yaakov a little secret. Yitzchak says, ‘You sound like Yaakov, but you have the hands of Eisav.’ Some say that Yitzchak means that the power of B’nei Yisroel is in its kol – its voice. Its words. Its tefilla. Eisav’s power is in his hands. His sword. The secret is that if we use the voice properly we can take Eisav’s sword from his hand. The right words can lead to good actions.” I wish I had Orly’s optimism. Jew hatred has not been as great as it is today since the 1940s. Orly says, “I’m called naïve for that reason. But the people reaching out to us come from every background, religion – including Islam. I tell you the level of tolerance is wild. I see how many have changed their vision.” I ask a personal question. “When you started this journey how did your family react?” “My family is supportive but they
do have a hard time with the amount of work I put into LVI. I work constantly. It’s not because they don’t think it’s valuable, but because they worry for me. I haven’t had a paying livelihood in almost five years. I haven’t taken one dollar. And I’ve invested all my savings – $150,000 – in Life Vest Inside. I’m not able to do certain things that I want or need to do. “I live with my parents. I’m not a big materialist. I make do with what I have. I won’t say it’s a breeze. In fact it’s becoming harder. There are days and times when I question myself and I’ll cry. I don’t understand. I’m trying everything I can. Then again, if it were easy, someone else would have done it by now. I feel it’s what Hashem wants me to do in my life. He sustains me with the messages people send telling me how LVI has impacted their lives and changed their perception. That’s my sustenance. My fuel. “There are times when only a miracle can help me. A few months ago I had maybe $400 left in the organization’s bank account. I couldn’t pay expenses for what was then a four-person staff, or for the projects themselves… I said, ‘Hashem. I give up. I don’t know what to do. How am I to pay my debts? I give up.’ “Later that day, I looked at the LVI bank account. A sponsor, the first sponsor ever, had come on board. He’d already sent the money to the bank. I was able to breathe. I go through these things all the time.” I ask her about her vision to marry and start a family. “I have faith that Hashem does everything for a reason, and everything is in its time. And I’ve always known that to bring people together is what I was meant to do. I’m meant to shake the world with ahava.” And so she does. Orly Wahba with her Life Vest Inside shakes the world with ahava – a metaphorical hug of love.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home
Health & F tness
ADHD – Plain and Simple By Hylton I. Lightman, MD, DCH (SA), FAAP
-year-old blue-eyed Michael executes the kata with surgical-like precision. He has earned his orange belt, he informs me, as he gets down from the exam table and circles the room for the sixth time in fifteen minutes. He then sits on the floor, jiggling and squirming, talking nonstop about a wide-range of topics. Flashing a heartwarming smile, Michael then tries to access the desktop in Exam Room 8; thankfully, there are passwords. A gifted math student, Michael’s desk in school is an unmitigated disaster of disorganization as is his knapsack which stinks of forgotten, rotting food. And his room, his parents say, looks as though a Level-4 hurricane has just passed through. Michael’s parents have brought him in because they don’t know what to do to help their son. And his school, reporting that Michael has problems transitioning from one task to another, insists that he must have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). “Help us to help our child,” his parents plead.
October is National ADHD Awareness Month. There’s no time like the present to set the record straight about ADHD.
you need your doctor to check it out. Sorry but there is no specific or definitive test for ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD is a multi-step process
Let’s start with the big white elephant in the room – do you medicate your child who has ADHD?
Children with ADHD show signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity in specific ways. These children are in constant motion, squirm and fidget, do not seem to listen, have trouble playing quietly, often talk excessively, interrupt or intrude on others, are easily distracted, and do not finish tasks. How is ADHD diagnosed? Though your child may have some symptoms that seem like ADHD, it might be something else such as anxiety or depression. That’s why
and involves gathering information from you, the parent; your child’s school; and others. There will be a physical exam together with a complete medical history. Your pediatrician should ask what symptoms your child has, how long ago those symptoms started, and how the behavior affects your child and the rest of your family. Doctors diagnose children with ADHD after a child has shown six or more specific symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity on a regular basis for more than 6 months in
at least two settings. The doctor will consider how a child’s behavior compares with that of other children the same age. People may say ADHD is a disorder of the 21st century, fueled by the hi-tech age, with life speeding past. This is rubbish. In 1763, Sir Arthur Crichton, observing patients unable to focus, wrote that “the barking of dogs, an ill-tuned organ, or the scolding of women are sufficient to distract patients of this description to such a degree, as almost approaches to the nature of delirium.” Those patients, he wrote, referred to their own symptoms, including anger “bordering on insanity,” as “the fidgets.” The good news is there has been progress in diagnosing and treating ADHD since Sir Crichton penned his words. Let’s start with the big white elephant in the room – do you medicate your child who has ADHD? For a child struggling with ADHD, medication is a must. ADHD is a brain issue, meaning it’s how the brain is wired, so therapy alone is
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
generally not enough to help a child to sit in class and pay attention. My friend and colleague, Dr. Barry Holzer, emphasizes that medication makes the ADH manageable for the child, rather than struggling against it. He adds that ADHD meds have been around for over 50 years and have some of the longest follow up studies with good safety records. Sleep can be a game changer for children with ADHD: As little as 30 extra minutes can be a game changer. Be consistent about bedtime. Also, eat a balanced diet which includes whole grains, fish, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Cutting down on sugar and processed foods will help all children. There is behavior therapy. For example, start with small manageable goals such as sitting at the dinner table for 10 minutes and then rewarding your child. Within behavior therapy, there is a growing area called Executive Functioning (EF). Teachers trained in EF work with your child, teaching them how to organize a binder and/or use a homework planner together with colored pens. Generally speaking, EF teachers are more efficacious than parents because your child may perceive you as the nagging parent. Peg Dawson’s Smart but Scattered is must reading for parents of children with ADHD. Bake with your child who has ADHD. You read this correctly. Have your child choose a (simple) recipe. Set a date or occasion for the dessert to be enjoyed. Write the date in the calendar. Together, choose a recipe. Your child should list out the ingredients needed and then check the cabinets, making a shopping list of missing ingredients. Schedule a trip to the grocery store, diarizing it in the planner or calendar. On the day of baking, your child should line up the ingredients and utensils needed. Then he can follow the recipe, step-by-step. If you get your child to clean up, call me: I want to know how you accomplished that. Michael now has 30 milligrams daily of Vyvanse. He works weekly with an EF teacher at home. His teachers report that he’s able to transition between tasks more easi-
The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015
ly. His room needs reorganizing but I hear he’s on his way to earning his green belt.
Dr. Hylton Lightman is a pediatrician and Medical Director of Total Family Care of the 5 Towns and Rockaway PC.
He can be reached at www.totalfamilycaremd.com, on Instagram at #lightman peds or visit him on Facebook.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
TORAH EN ESPANOL
Matrimonio exitoso, Parenting acertado:
Tres razones por las que el ingrediente más importante en parenting acertado es un matrimonio acertado. Por R’ Shlomo Slatkin
Como padres, constantemente nos enfrentamos a nuevos desafíos a lo largo del proceso de desarrollo. Estamos “obligados” a encontrar una solución a la resistencia a la hora de acostarse, el entrenamiento del potty, los berrinches, etc. Así que leemos libros, aprendemos estrategias y técnicas. Hacemos todo lo posible para no “arruinar” a nuestros hijos, para hacerlo mejor de lo que nuestros padres hicieron con nosotros. Queremos que crezcan con una sana autoestima, un amor por el judaísmo, buenos rasgos de carácter, etc. Pero en alguna parte del camino, nos hemos olvidado del ingrediente más importante en la crianza exitosa: un matrimonio exitoso. Aquí hay tres razones por las que un matrimonio exitoso es esencial para una exitosa crianza de los hijos: 1) Modelado: La forma en que actuamos hacia nuestro cónyuge tiene un efecto directo sobre nuestros hijos. Si alguna vez se sorprendió al oír a su hijo repetir algo que escucharon decir, usted sabe lo que quiero decir. Los niños miran a los padres como modelos de cómo estar en este mundo. Si los niños testifican a los padres gritando entre ellos o haciendo demandas y no diciendo “por favor” y “gracias”, es muy probable que se involucren en rela-
ciones de una manera similar. Aunque preferimos pensar que lo aprendieron en la escuela o en la casa de un amigo, el primer paso necesario es la autorreflexión. Piense por un momento sobre todos los comportamientos indeseables de sus hijos y pregúntese si usted y su cónyuge se tratan de esa manera. Podemos enseñar verbalmente a nuestros hijos lo que es “apropiado”, pero si no modelamos ese comportamiento y practicamos lo que predicamos, ellos recogerán nuestra falta de sinceridad y no serán receptivos a nuestros deseos. Usted no sólo está ayudando a ellos en sus relaciones interpersonales actuales, están arraigando en ellos los rasgos apropiados que son necesarios para un matrimonio saludable un día. Modelar es la forma más obvia de que su matrimonio afecta a sus hijos. 2) El Sistema Familiar: Si bien el efecto de la lucha marital en una familia es bastante obvio en un hogar donde el matrimonio está en crisis, puede ser menos evidente en un hogar donde existe una “paz fría”. Aunque los padres no lo vean, los niños son brillantes. Incluso cuando un matrimonio permanece intacto, los niños pueden detectar que hay algo insalubre en la relación.
Esto afecta el sentido de uno mismo del niño, ya que los niños necesitan sentirse seguros en su ambiente familiar. A menudo vemos niños actuando. Detener el comportamiento no es la solución definitiva, porque sus acciones nos dicen algo sobre el sistema como un todo. Sabemos de muchas familias que tienen su “hijo problemático”. Tal vez el niño ha sido diagnosticado con algún “desorden”, o no se comporta necesariamente de la manera que nosotros queremos. Es muy fácil ver al niño como el problema o el “paciente identificado”. Lo que toma más madurez es mirar a la familia como un todo, comenzando con los padres. Incluso si su matrimonio es habitable, es vibrante o simplemente tolerable? La paz en el hogar, shalom bayis, no significa la ausencia de conflicto. Shalom es fuerzas opuestas que trabajan juntas en armonía. Es una sensación de plenitud que permite una vida llena de bendiciones y alegría. Cuando los padres construyen una base sólida para el hogar, se encontrarán teniendo un tiempo mucho más fácil como padres. Y mientras sus hijos pueden actuar en ocasiones, usted estará mucho mejor equipado para tratar con ellos. ¿Cuántos argumentos provienen de cómo educar a un niño? Uno de los padres siente que el cónyuge es el activador, mientras que el facilitador siente que el otro es demasiado duro. Cuando un esposo y una esposa aprenden a relacionarse entre sí, a hablar entre sí ya entenderse mutuamente, serán capaces de formar un frente unido al ser padres de sus hijos. De lo contrario, siempre habrá un padre que sienta que sus esfuerzos están siendo socavados. 3) No hacer daño: A pesar de nuestras mejores intenciones, inevitablemente dañará a nuestros hijos. Somos humanos y no podemos saber y / o satisfacer todas sus necesidades. Esto significa que probablemente no les daremos todo el amor, la visibilidad, la confianza, etc., que necesitan. Nuestro trabajo es hacer todo lo posible. Una manera de minimizar el daño es hacerse más consciente de nosotros mismos y de cómo nos comportamos en la relación. Es un hecho que nuestros hijos harán
ciertas cosas que empujan nuestros botones. ¿Por qué es que un comportamiento particular que te molesta no molesta a tu cónyuge? La razón por la que somos activados por algunas cosas y no otras es que estas son áreas que se encuentran en nuestro “borde de crecimiento”. Tal vez nuestros hijos nos recuerdan de nuestro propio comportamiento como niños, que fue recibido con mensajes negativos de nuestros padres. Tal vez no estaba bien para ti llorar o sentir emociones. Cuando ve a su desinhibido y vibrante niño sollozando, puede desencadenar sus propios juicios sobre ese comportamiento. ¿Cómo reaccionas? ¿Actúas desde un lugar de conciencia, entendiendo la regla 90/10 - que el 10 por ciento de cualquier cosa que te molesta es el estímulo real, y el 90 por ciento es lo que desencadena en ti? ¿O le pasa inconscientemente ese mismo mensaje inútil que recibió cuando era niño? La mayoría de nosotros estamos transmitiendo inconscientemente generaciones de mensajes negativos. Esta es una tradición que no queremos transmitir a nuestros hijos. Una forma de convertirse en un padre más consciente es primero convertirse en un cónyuge más consciente. Si miras de cerca, puedes encontrar que tus hijos empujan tus botones de la misma manera que tu cónyuge. A medida que trabaje con su cónyuge en estas oportunidades globales de crecimiento relacional, podrá acercarse a sus hijos como un padre más completo y completo, un padre que actúa conscientemente en lugar de reactivamente. El mejor regalo que puedes dar a tus hijos y futuras generaciones es trabajar en tu relación. Las buenas intenciones no son suficientes; Hacer de su matrimonio una prioridad. Rabino Shlomo Slatkin es un Terapeuta de Relaciones IMAGO certificado que trabaja con parejas, solteros y familias y conferencista internacional en relaciones. Él es el autor del libro del matrimonio judío: Cómo mejorar su relación un día de fiesta judío a la vez que está disponible para libre en www.theMarriageRestorationProject.com
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
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The Donald: What A Narcissist? Dr. Yaakov Siegel
An August 11 Huffington Post headline: “Does Trump Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?” The Atlantic announced “A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality”. MSNBC: “Trump is mentally ill.” The conversation is everywhere. Many say that Trump suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD is a pattern of behaviors characterized by exaggerated feeling of self-importance, excessive need for admiration and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings. I am not Mr. Trump’s psychologist, but at first glance he seems to fit the bill. The speculation does not stop there. A respected colleague recently asked if Trump’s character might also fit Histrionic
Personality Disorder. This is marked by excessive emotion, dramatization and a penchant for being the center of attention. He may be on to something, who knows? Here’s my perspective: what if Donald Trump has a personality disorder – what difference would that make? Let’s assume for a moment that Mr. Trump would do a good job as President. Let’s take him at his word and imagine that he will shrink the national deficit, create jobs, bring manufacturing back to this country and restore Law and Order. What if he proves to be a leader who delivers for all people - regardless of race, gender or political affiliation? Say his policy and temperament strengthens America, bringing peace and prosperity across the
land. What if his tax cuts result in increased wages and more take home pay for both men and women? Suppose African Americans enjoy greater economic opportunity as employment rises. Imagine he makes America Great Again! After 4 years of that, would his diagnosis really matter? His Narcissistic or Histrionic traits might remain his problem – affecting his relationships, happiness and well-being. But is it relevant to the country and his ability to do his job? The name-game is easy to play. We can engage in armchair speculation about Hillary Clinton, as well. Clinton is accused of exploiting her office and power for personal gain. She is known to twist the truth and tell people what they want to hear while continuing to act in self-interest. Maybe she suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder – where a person disregards the norms of right-and wrong, lies consistently, uses manipulation and distortion for personal gain, antagonizes others. Is Hillary Clinton mentally ill? And if she is, is it relevant to whether she is good at her job? Barack Obama – any politician – and any human being, for that matter, can be scrutinized and diagnosed. There are hundreds of named mental disorders – ranging
from Personality to Mood to Thought. It is easy to get caught up in name-calling and “diagnose” others in order to write them off. We do it in our daily lives. Our student has ADHD, our spouse is Bipolar, our mother Schizophrenic, our in-law is Borderline and our father is a Narcissist. Once identified, we can easily discredit them and excuse our own behaviors toward them – no matter how hurtful or wrong we may be. Naming the problem does not disqualify the person. In practice, I interact with mental illness every day. I know “Borderlines” who are deeply caring, sensitive and spiritual people and who do great work. Many “Bipolars” have a drive to accomplish and get things done. Some “Narcissists” help thousands and run successful organizations. The particular diagnosis is not important, only the ability to build on strengths and minimize weakness. Diagnosis is useful in a professional context. It helps conceptualize a problem and informs effective treatment. Outside of the office, it really has no place. All that matters is how the person adapts and is able to perform. Let’s stick to the issues.
and thereafter started anew with Noah and his family. This story teaches a valuable lesson about leadership in that great leaders like Noah are patient and take the right course of action even without the support of the masses. Ten generations later we read about Abraham, the first Jewish leader. We understand that he related to others with loving kindness. When G-d decided to destroy the people of Sodom, Abraham tried to intercede, although unsuccessfully, on their behalf. Additionally, three days after being circumcised we learn that Abraham was more concerned about three guests than his own health. The real message, though, is that a true leader shows genuine concern for the people and places the needs of the people above their own needs. Thereafter, the early years of Abraham’s grandson, Joseph, were no picnic as he was thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery and framed by Potiphar’s wife resulting in a lengthy prison sentence. Despite these trials and tribulations Joseph rose to become the viceroy of Egypt and second in command only to Pharaoh. Great leaders, like Joseph, overcome difficult challenges. Generations later David faced the giant Goliath and prevailed in battle. As King, David led his people to military victories. Great leaders, like David, stand up against the evil giants of the world. Of course, on the topic of great leaders we can not exclude Moses who confronted Pharaoh and led the people out of Egypt. Moses received the commandments and transmitted the laws to the people. He also advocated for the people when G-d’s anger flared after the incident with the golden calf and when the people complained about the lack of provisions in the desert. Great leaders, like Moses advocate for the people even through difficult times. But, after receiving the ten command-
ments, Moses’ face became radiant so he had to wear a mask when speaking with the people. (Exodus 34:33). Rabbi Hayyim Angel explains that Moses was like the sun and his successor Joshua, who led the people into Israel, was like the moon. Joshua, unlike Moses, was a leader for the common person. The people were able to speak with him directly without the need of a mask. As explained by Rabbi Danny Kroll, Joshua was approachable and relatable to the people. Unlike Moses, there was very little to no strife amongst the people during Joshua’s reign.” Pollster: “What is the upshot here?” Rabbi Chachum: “It would be nice to have a leader capable of taking the proper course of action even if unpopular. A leader who shows genuine concern for the people. A leader who is not afraid to stand up against the bullies of the world when necessary. A leader who can overcome challenges. And a leader who can advocate for the people. Unfortunately, this election will bring us a flawed leader. In times like this what we really need is a leader who can heal this fractured country and the nations in the world in general by bringing people together. We need a candidate like the moon. Because the moon always brings out the stars.” Pollster: “A leader that brings out the stars. Now that would really be a political change.”
Between the Lines
We Need A Leader Like The Moon Scott Bugay While dining at their favorite restaurant Mr. and Mrs. Masuganeh along with their son Rabbi Chachum Masuganeh were asked to answer some questions, from a pollster, concerning the upcoming election. Pollster: “Sir, can you tell me who you plan to vote for?” Mr. Masuganeh: “Tough decision but for Trump” Pollster: “And what was the reason for your vote?” Mr. Masuganeh: “For decades this country has been entrenched in establishment politics. We need to put a halt to big government with its increased regulation, taxation, and spiraling debt. We need to make this country great again by instilling law and order and elect a chief who will bring back fear in the hearts of our enemies.” Pollster: “So what was so tough about this decision?” Mr. Masuganeh: “Well, there is the 2005 video, certain business dealings and his characterization of Mexicans, immigrants and woman. But his character flaws are not enough to contravene his message. In the end, though, this is like a choice between a condition which requires Imodium and a condition which requires Metamucil of which I prefer taking the former”. Pollster: “Madam, can you please tell me who you will vote for?” Mrs. Masuganeh: “Probably Clinton.” Pollster: “And the basis for your vote?” Mrs. Masuganeh: “We need a person with experience to lead this country. A person who served in Congress and on the
Armed Service Committee. Someone who can overcome political gridlock with bipartisan collaboration. A person who has worked successfully with foreign dignitaries.” Pollster: “Does the character of this candidate weigh on your decision?” Mrs. Masuganeh: “Absolutely. E-mailgate, Travelgate, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation and questionable tactics in protecting her husband’s actions. As my husband said, this is like a choice between conditions requiring Imodium or Metamucil but unlike my husband I would rather take the later. Pollster: “Wait, you two are married?” Mrs. Masuganeh: “Yes, thirty-six wonderful years and counting.” Pollster: “Then why stand in line and vote when your votes only cancel each other?” Mrs. Masuganeh: “What, not vote! That would be crazy and our family is not crazy. Besides, it is important to show our son here the importance of voting.” Pollster: “Young man, given your parents’ opposing viewpoints how will you make your decision?” Rabbi Chachum: “The traits of a real leader can be gleaned through Jewish history. Perhaps the first leader to impact the world was Noah. At that time the world was filled with corruption and violence so G-d told Noah to build an ark to provide refuge from the flood. The commentator Rashi explains that Noah took 120 years to build the ark to provide the people a chance to repent from their wicked ways. Unfortunately, the people did not repent, the world was destroyed
Scott is an attorney admitted to the Florida Bar since 1994 and whose principle office is in North Miami Beach. He practices in the areas of probate, guardianship and social security disability throughout the State of Florida. His website address is bugaylawfirm.com. He can be reached at (800) 323-6290.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
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Is Obama Preparing a Parting Shot at Israel? By Charles Krauthammer
ast week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never uses that term for Judaism’s holiest shrine. It refers to and treats it as an exclusively Muslim site, a deliberate attempt to eradicate its connection – let alone its centrality – to the Jewish people and Jewish history… This UNESCO resolution is merely the surreal extreme of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. It features the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), now growing on Western university campuses and some mainline Protestant churches. And it extends even into some precincts of the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders tried to introduce into the Democratic Party platform a plank more unfavorable to Israel. He failed, but when a couple of Clinton campaign consultants questioned
(in emails revealed by WikiLeaks) why she should be mentioning Israel in her speeches, campaign manager Robby Mook concurred, “We shouldn’t have Israel at public events. Especially dem activists.” For whom the very mention of Israel is toxic. And what to make of the White House’s correction to a press release about last month’s funeral of Shimon
compared to the damage Israel faces in the final days of the Obama presidency. As John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently wrote (in Foreign Policy), there have been indications for months that President Obama might go to the U.N. and unveil his own final status parameters of a twostate solution. These would then be enshrined in a new
nized boundaries, exchange mutual recognition and declare a permanent end to the conflict. Land for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial bargaining chips of the kind it used, for
Well, where else is Jerusalem? Sri Lanka?
Peres? The original release identified the location as “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” The correction crossed out the country identifier – “Israel.” Well, where else is Jerusalem? Sri Lanka? Moreover, Mount Herzl isn’t even in disputed East Jerusalem. It’s in West Jerusalem, within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. If that’s not Israel, what is? But such cowardly gestures are mere pinpricks
Security Council resolution that could officially recognize a Palestinian state on the territory Israel came into possession of during the 1967 Six-Day War. There is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous U.S. administrations: It overthrows the central premise of Middle East peacemaking – land for peace. Under which the Palestinians get their state after negotiations in which the parties agree on recog-
example, to achieve peace with Egypt. The result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. Consider but one example: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, destroyed and ethnically cleansed of Jews by its Arab conquerors in the war of 1948-1949. It was rebuilt by Israel after 1967. It would now be open to the absurd judicial charge that the Jewish state’s possession of the Jewish Quarter consti-
tutes a criminal occupation of another country. Israel would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law) and arrest of its leaders. All this for violating a U.N. mandate to which no Israeli government, left or right, could possibly accede. Before the election, Obama dare not attempt this final legacy item, to go along with the Iran deal and the Castro conciliation, for fear of damaging Hillary Clinton. His last opportunity comes after Election Day. The one person who might deter him, points out Hannah, is Clinton herself, by committing Obama to do nothing before he leaves office that would tie her hands should she become president. Clinton’s supporters who care about Israel and about peace need to urge her to do that now. It will soon be too late. Soon Obama will be free to deliver a devastating parting shot to Israel and to the prime minister he detests. (c) 2016, The Washington Post Writers Group
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home
Notable Quotes “Say What?!”
The best email that’s been leaked so far claims that Hillary met with rapper Q-Tip last year to discuss how to appeal to hip-hop fans…I guess the meeting with Q-Tip really affected Hillary because afterwards, she actually came up with some rapper names for herself. First, she tried Lil’ Wheezy. Then she tried Run DNC. And finally, she tried Wiz Deleeta. – Jimmy Fallon
I think it would be Mexican food. – Hillary Clinton when asked last week what her favorite food is on the Univision Show “El Gordo y La Flaca”
The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female. - Robin Lakoff, Time magazine, after FBI Director Comey’s announcement that he is reopening the investigation into Hillary’s emails
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature today. Dylan was like, “This is the greatest honor I’ve ever received.” Or he might have said, “Misses gravy’s on her ivory steed.” It’s impossible to tell.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager said that based on early voting, they expect this election to have the largest voter turnout in American history. That’s right, more people than ever will go to the polls for their chance to say, “Ugh, I guess...” – Jimmy Fallon
Dead people generally vote for Democrats.
– Seth Myers
- Rudy Giuliani talking about how Democrats steal elections
The main reason behind successful immigration should be painfully obvious to even the most dimwitted of observers: some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half of a chance (Jews, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example), while others (Muslims, blacks and Roma, for instance) fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances. The biggest group of humanity can be found somewhere between these two extremes – the perennial overachievers and the professional never-do-wells.
Happy birthday to Hillary Clinton, who turned 69 years old today… Hillary’s press secretary posted a photo on Twitter of the staff surprising Hillary with a cake for her birthday. It was really fun — you could hardly tell that Hillary had spent two hours practicing her “surprised” face.
– Part of a text of a private speech that Hillary gave to Wall Street bankers, recently disclosed in a WikiLeaks dump of her campaign chairman’s emails
– Jimmy Fallon
The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
Hillary Clinton got quite a scare tonight. I guess a trick-or-treater came to the door dressed as a lie detector. - Jay Leno, appearing as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, hijacking the monologue
Two Milwaukee men were arrested this week trying to join ISIS. You know their excuse? They said, “Hey, no one else is hiring!’“ – Ibid.
Last Friday, Amazon, CNN, and Twitter were all down all over the United States. It’s a chilling day that will one day be known in history as “Productive Friday.” – Conan O’Brien
Top Lines from the Al Smith Dinner (At which Hillary and Trump roasted each other)
It’s great to be here with 1,000 wonderful people. Or, as I call it, a small, intimate dinner with some friends. Or, as Hillary calls it, her largest crowd of the season.
This is such a special event that I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here.
Tonight, with all of the heated back and forth between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very simply said, “Pardon me.” And I very quietly replied, “Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.” You know, last night, I called Hillary a nasty woman. But this stuff is all relative. After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore. In fact, I’m actually starting to like Rosie a lot. I really have to say the media is even more biased than ever before. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech. And everyone loves it, it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech and people get on her case! And I don’t get it. I don’t know why. I’d like to address an important religious matter – the issue of going to confession. Or as Hillary calls it, the Fourth of July weekend with FBI Director James Comey.
Sara Raskind, RN BSN CLC, is a Registered Nurse specializing in maternal child health and a Certified Lactation Counselor.
Donald, after listening to your speech, I will also enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it. Many people don’t know this, but Rudy [Giuliani] actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorkers who avoided paying taxes. But as the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, go on Fox News and call ‘em a genius. There is nothing like sharing a stage with Donald Trump. Donald wanted me drug tested before last night’s debate. And look, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer. Now, actually I did. It’s called preparation. And whoever wins this election, the outcome will be historic. We’ll either have the first female president or the first president who started a Twitter war with Cher. And if Donald does win, it’ll be awkward at the annual President’s Day photo when all the former presidents gather at the White House. And not just with Bill. How is Barack going to get past the Muslim ban?
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
Credit Card Companies are Increasingly Regulating the Industry – Get your Cards before they’re gone! Recently, several prominent credit cards have seen a makeover in terms of regulation and application restrictions which are leaving longtime customers high and dry. Both Chase and CitiBank
have introduced new guidelines regarding eligibility for new cards, specifically irking travel gurus who utilize their cards and points to maximize on rewards and travel. Chase is one of the most accessible
and well known Banks in the U.S. - it should come as no surprise that with great cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, it has become fairly common for people to apply for several of their rewards cards
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simultaneously for ultimate value. To the dismay of Chase loyalists everywhere, the 5/24 rule has taken over. What this means is that “Chase will not issue you a new Chase credit card if you have opened 5 or more credit cards over the past 24 months.” To add insult to injury, this even includes any card in which the applicant is considered an authorized user. Theoretically, a person with outstanding credit and years of customer loyalty would be duly denied without reprieve. Ouch. On August 28th CitiBank updated their rules regarding rewards, effectively limiting what customers will be able to receive in terms of “sign up bonuses” for the future. They now only allow their customers to receive a sign up bonus every 24 months, per “type” of card. What does this mean? That you won’t be able to earn a Citi ThankYou credit card signup bonus if you opened or closed ANY Citi ThankYou cards within the past 24 months. In addition, this rule also applies to Citi’s other cobranded cards, such as Citi AAdvantage cards and Citi Hilton cards. To clarify – Let’s look at the evolution of the coveted Citi Prestige card “Bonus Rules” Old rules- Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had a Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months Now the following new terms are listed: New Rules- Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months. What this means for the mile churning and savvy 21st century credit card user is that keeping up with the CC companies rules and regulations is a constantly changing task, which can make a big difference on your wallet. In order to stay on top of all updates and amendments, tune in to our follow up blog where we’ll give you tips on which cards are still available and worth signing up for as well as potential loopholes around these new rules. REMEMBER, don’t let your points/miles sit idle, as they might be devalued or altered when it comes to value and reward! Get PEYD is the leading credit card reward and travel agency. For more information, visit www.getPEYD.com
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
OCTOBER29, 14, 2015 2016 || The The Jewish Jewish Home Home OCTOBER
What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters
I met Josh at a singles weekend at the beginning of the summer. We went out a few times but it was pretty clear to me very quickly that he was not the one for me. Josh is a very sweet, nice guy but I found absolutely no chemistry with him.
When I told him that I didn’t want to date him anymore, he asked me if we could remain friends. This was a new concept for me. I’ve never had male friends, but I felt as though I had already hurt his feelings already by telling him I didn’t want to date him anymore and that it couldn’t hurt to be “friends,” whatever that meant. Anyway, he continued to call me to just talk and also to text me. At first it didn’t bother me that much. But after a while he started getting bolder and asked if we could meet for coffee, “just as friends.” I met him once and it all just started feeling creepy to me. I really don’t think he views me as just a friend. I feel so sorry for him and don’t know what to do. I feel like telling him that I’d prefer never hearing from him ever again or seeing him ever again. But at this point, I think he really would be devastated if I didn’t want to at least be his friend. I’m so sorry I got myself into this pickle in the first place and wish I never agreed to remain friends. Right now, I don’t know what to say to him and how to rid myself of him once and for all, without hurting his feelings. Any suggestions?
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. Check out Soon By You’s Aftershow with the Navidaters on YouTube for a sit-down with coproducer Danny Hoffman.
The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 14, 2016 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
The Dating Mentor
Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.
Rochel Chafetz, Educator/Mentor
top feeling sorry for the other person and do what’s right for you in this relationship. Bite the bullet and do what you have to do. Prepare some scripts to practice so that the words will come easily. You seem to have a problem with assertiveness – politely and directly stating what you want. Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. And if you don’t learn to put boundaries on other people’s feelings and how they affect you, you will be taken advantage of by many other people. Don’t be a potential victim of abuse. Learn to express your needs directly and honestly. Get help if necessary. You must develop this skill.
t’s very nice of you to be concerned with not hurting Josh’s feelings but mature people understand that that is what the dating parsha is often about. You go out and see if you click and if you don’t, you kindly say no and you move on. Are you going to wind up marrying someone because you feel bad that you will hurt him if you say no? This is about making mature decisions and respecting those decisions. Which makes me wonder who is more immature right now – you or him. If this feels creepy to you, then you need to follow your gut and say very nicely that this doesn’t feel
right and you think it’s best if you stop right here. If he has a problem with that, then you’ll know for sure that there is something very, very wrong with this young man. Yes, the Torah says you have to be kind but not if it is causing you some creepy, unpleasant feelings, not if it is causing you to go against what you believe in. I think you need to understand the difference between being kind as opposed to bending to someone’s will against your own. You have a tzelem Elokim and hopefully a healthy sense of self and you need to assert yourself in a very nice way. Feeling bad that you hurt his feelings and doings things for him so as not to hurt him again sounds to me like you need to work on your sense of self and to understand boundaries. Can you imagine
I wonder how he would feel if he knew his “friend” was writing into a newspaper column to figure out how to break things off.
if, G-d forbid, you end up in a relationship with a controlling, abusive young man and you allow yourself to be controlled – all because you don’t want to hurt his feelings? I think it’s time to explore why you are allowing this to happen.
Mesivta Ateres Yaakov Ruth & Hyman Simon High School
131 Washington Ave, Lawrence New York 11559 | Phone: 516.374.6465 | Fax: 516.374.1834
Open House Sunday, November 13th at 1:30 PM Pursue your interests and broaden your horizons! Active Student Government and many clubs
Varsity & Intramural sports and competitions Model Bais Din| Torah Bowl | Literary Journals and Newspapers|ARISTA Extensive chesed program Torah and other student publications Call us at 516.374.6465 or visit us on the web at www.AteresYaakov.com
NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home
Do you support the only
CONSISTENTLY PRO-ISRAEL CANDIDATE?
“Hillary always surprised me. My understanding [is] that peace
calls for patience and that peace calls for understanding and not for impositions.”
- Shimon Peres z”l, President of Israel (2007-2014)*
“Hillary Clinton is a strong and determined leader,
She’s both principled and pragmatic and she knows how to get the job done.” - Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel*
“[Hillary is] extremely effective on [the] world arena, extremely
effective with foreign leaders, and I feel also highly effective with the American public.” - Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel (1999-2001)*
“I believe that what makes Hillary Hillaryis something that just few leaders in the world have, and this is the inner compass. And a deep understanding of right and wrong. And this is what makes Hillary [a] leader.” - Tzipi Livni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel (2006-2009)* * https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2012/12/04/israeli-leaders-gush-over-hillary-clinton-in-tribute-video/
Paid for by the National Jewish Democractic Council, njdc.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
The Florida Jewish Home | NOVEMBER 3, 2016
OCTOBER 29, 14, 2016 OCTOBER 2015 || The The Jewish Jewish Home Home
The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, PA
ou sound like a very caring, sensitive individual. You allowed Josh into your life in spite of your personal discomfort, out of sympathy towards him. Now that whole arrangement is turning creepy. My advice to you, in this situation or any future interpersonal relationships, is to trust you intuition; if it feels wrong, it’s probably not healthy. Your feelings are paramount. Going forward, you are to curtail any contact with Josh – in person or by phone. In this case, text messaging is your best option. When Josh calls, tap the Quick Text, “Can’t talk now.” After twenty or so attempts, he will hopefully get the message. If he
continues to harass you, hand the phone over to your father, mother, brother or cousin Butch. They can firmly tell Josh, without apology or explanation, LEAVE HER ALONE! Always works!
The Single Irit Moshe
t would have been best to break things off with Josh with a severing of all ties when you were sure you are not interested in him as a suitor; even more so, once it started feeling “creepy.” For the next time around, it is best to have clear communication and give yourself time and space
before considering a relationship from a courtship to being (potential) friends. This period allows for the rejected party to heal and potentially fill the void with someone else and for the other party to feel “safe” in being in a strictly platonic relationship without needing to reiterate that you aren’t interested in him in “that kind of way (dating material).” Unfortunately, now this will be considered a second rejection from you and more devastating that the first one because he has invested more into it with higher expectations for an outcome that he truly desires. At this juncture, you should want to break the friendship – and there are two ways of conveying that you don’t wish to continue this “friendship.” The first way is by being direct and honest, which would look like “This friendship does not feel comfortable for me and I would like to put all my fo-
Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness.
cus, energy and time into potential shidduch suggestions that comes my way. I wish you hatzlacha in your search for the right person for you.” The second approach is a little more subtle but allows you to play into the universal communication of “we are just friends.” So, as just friends, you should feel comfortable being able to talk to him about all your suitors and dates. Upon hearing the details of your serious interests elsewhere, he will most probably lose confidence and recognize that he will never have a shot at you getting you to ever seriously like him. This method will cause him to gradually disappear because he will naturally want to find someone else who can actually appreciate him.
Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists
his is a delicate situation and I’m afraid the only way out is to hurt Josh’s feelings, the very thing you want to avoid. Yours is an interesting dynamic because you both seem to struggle with boundaries. Josh doesn’t take “no” for an answer and you are uncomfortable asserting yourself. You are joined by hordes of women the world over who believe with every fiber of their beings that saying “no” is inherently bad. As women we are often taught that in order to receive love we must say “yes;” that our value is based on what we can do for others, even at the expense of our own mental health. And so I ask you to think about this question…Why are Josh’s needs and feelings more important than your own? (That wasn’t a rhetorical question. I think if you really think about why and how you have allowed yourself to remain in a “friend-
ship” that makes you utterly uncomfortable, you will arrive at some important insight that may be invaluable to you as you live your life and enter into dating and one day, G-d willing, marriage.) I highly recommend you read The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner, PhD. This book is a quick read and wonderful for anyone, woman or man who has trouble expressing their “negative” feelings. Women who are constantly saying “yes” when they silently mean “no” are often enraged; sweet as sugar on the outside and ready to explode on the inside. And when they do…it ain’t pretty. You are giving away your time and precious mental energy to someone you don’t like. It is OK to assert your-
self. It is OK to not like someone. It is OK to exit a friendship that is draining you. Those are your rights as a person. It’s time to flex that “no muscle” and get real with Josh. No matter how you slice it, you are ultimately rejecting him and this will probably hurt him. Rejection hurts…it was designed that way and it’s not your job to stop it. You deserve more, and Josh deserves more. I wonder how he would feel if he knew his “friend” was writing into a newspaper column to figure out how to break things off. There is no self-respect in this friendship for Josh so let’s kill two birds with one stone and break things off, empowering you to find your voice and restoring his dignity. Here is a potential script: “Josh, I’m going to be really honest with you. When I broke up with you, you asked if we could remain friends. I said ‘yes’ but what I should have said was ‘no.’ The truth is, I don’t have guy friends (or I get the feelings you still like me and I don’t want to lead you
on. We don’t have a future together… insert your truth here.) I wish you all the best.” Be direct and straightforward so there are no mixed messages. If you realize that you have been in a string of relationships in which your own needs and wants play second fiddle (or have no place at all), then I recommend going to therapy to figure this out. You can do Breakup #2. Good luck! And remember to buy the book! Sincerely, Jennifer
Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. As The Navidaters, they offer singles and couples a host of packages tailor-made to meet the needs of the individual seeking their services. To see the complete list of “packages” offered, visit their website, www.thenavidaters.com. To set up an appointment, please call 516.224.7779. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email email@example.com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram.