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Memo to community: MLK Jr’s impact Page 4 Bookworm: Rabbi Heschel’s yahrtzeit Page 5 Chocolate molten lava: a crowd pleaser Page 7 Woodmere grandparents’ proud moment Page 10

THE JEWISH

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VOL 11, NO 2 ■ JANUARY 13, 2012 / 18 TEVET, 5772

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DRS wins Scott Satran tournamant By Natan Farber

After a low scoring first half, in which DRS found itself down by 6 at halftime, they came out firing in the second half. Yisrael Goldberg hit 5 3-pointers in the second half, and Zev Miller once again closed the game with foul shooting. A strong return bolstered by Shimmy Steinmetz also helped lead to the championship win, despite his shoulder injury. The final score was 47-44 in favor of the Wildcats. Mitch Blitman and Yoel Schreier took home Tier 1 All Star Awards, and Yisrael Goldberg was awarded MVP of the tournament. For more about the tourament , go to page 14.

Opinion

Can Jack Lew do for Obama what AmeriCorps did for Clinton?

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hen the son of an Israeli Irgun member, left the White House to run for mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel left a void not quite filled by his replacement Bill Daley. In many respects Daley was not able to fill the shoes for the President. He could not get the respect of those he needed on the Hill and even within the AdJuda Engelmayer ministration to be an effective advocate for Mr. Obama. So when Daley seemingly abruptly resigned this week, there was no hesitation before New Yorker,

and perennial Washington insider Jack Lew, an Orthodox Jew, was called on to step in. . Lew makes for an interesting choice for Mr. Obama, as he is one who has the respect of both sides. He comes with impressive credentials stemming from his days working for Democratic Congressman Joe Moakley and the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill. More recently, he was an executive at Citicorp where he ran a group that made alternative investments, such as hedge funds, credit swaps and other creative financial mechanisms that people such as the President say has hurt the economy. Lew served as Clinton’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and also served as a member of the National Security Council. A feature that might be helpful for

Mr. Obama is that while at OMB, the U.S. budget saw a surplus for three years in a row. Lew is a smart man with good ideas, and understands budgets and fiscal prudence. Maybe that’s why he was chosen. Going into what may be a harsh re-election campaign, Mr. Obama may be seeking to bolster his credibility among those who feel he has not done a good job on the economic front. As someone who designed Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps, a program that helped and continues to create jobs, opportunity, hope and civic pride, perhaps Lew was brought in to develop the next best thing for a struggling administration. There is also the added factor of Lew’s religious background. The President has made it a point to demonstrate just how important

his Jewish base is to him, and has put a number of Jews onto his cabinet and senior positions throughout Washington. Yet, when Mayor Emanuel served as Chief of Staff, his pedigree aside, some among the electorate felt that maybe he was the wrong Jewish soul to be whispering into the ear of the leader of the free world about Israel and its fate. Lew, on the other hand, is an orthodox Jew who keeps the Shabbat, allegedly even when President Clinton called and begged him over an audible answering machine to pick up his phone. He is a dedicated member of Rabbi Yitz Greenberg’s Riverdale Jewish Center, , home of prominent champions of Jewish causes and of Israel,. Natan Sharansky, Refusnik and Chairman of the Jewish

Shabbat Candlelighting: 4:31 p.m. Shabbat ends 5:35 p.m. 72 minute zman 6:01 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Shemot

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Obama’s new Chief of Staff Continued from page 1 Agency said about Lew, “For him, it’s not just another country. His faith and bond with Israel and the Jewish people is an important part of his life.� So is this an effort to show that Mr. Obama is indeed the best friend Israel has ever had? The Orthodox Union applauded the pick, and the National Jewish Democratic Council issued a statement saying that “Lew has lived his Jewish values every day.� With the recent departure of Dennis Ross, former Mideast and Iran policy adviser to Mr. Obama, Lew might be seen as the “Jewish� replacement. Ross commented on Lew saying he is “very systematic and he has a very good way with people.� That Ross needed to comment at all could be seen as indicative as a key purpose of Lew’s appointment. However, Aish asked in an article whether an observant Jew in power is good for the Jews. That, indeed, may be a good question. Having a person so strongly positioned as a Jew may lead to broader issues that Jews throughout the centuries have dealt with when anguished multitudes seek to lay blame for troubled times. Still, the appointment of Jacob Lew to the position of Chief of Staff seems more a way to solve a multitude of issues at once for President Obama. He is abundantly qualified for the role, and can lay claim to helping negotiate with Congress last year to avoid the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. He has the respect of the business community as well as many who stand on the opposite side of the aisle in Congress, and with Americorps, has true credentials for those looking to the government to help improve education and career opportunities for young Americans. He’s a bona fide Democrat who can easily straddle the right on fiscal matters. Sure he is Jewish and comes with solid credentials for the faith, and perhaps on Israel too, yet the Jewish groups that did comment may be wrong in touting just how Jewish he is.. If Obama appointed a new member of his cabinet, who was dubbed Obama’s Moslem or Obama’s Christian, Jews, atheists and even others from various faiths might not be so comfortable with the appointment. Religious credentials in Conservative circles often bring concern from the left, and someone with Lew’s Jewish qualifications may cause some concern within liberal circles, where Mr. Obama finds his base. Notwithstanding his religion, Jacob Lew is the consummate political insider who has more than three decades navigating Congress and the beltway with good results under his belt. He has proven his service to presidents, is well liked on The Hill and respected by the financial community. If the President did choose him for his Jewishness, it may backfire. In the end, it will not be the friends the president has or the appointments he makes that matters to the electorate. The President will be judged in November by the actions he has taken and the work he has done for the country and the people of the United States. If his record on Israel is seen as a good one, Lew’s appointment may only enhance that. However, if his record is not viewed in high regard, Lew’s appointment might just be seen as window dressing for an ugly house. The country and Jews in America too are better off looking at Lew as an American public servant who has devoted a large part of his life to public service on behalf of the entire Union.

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January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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By Avi Schwartz The Shabbos table is beautifully set. The candles radiate a holy glow. The young, adorable children are sitting around the table. The mother is standing silently and Kiddush is about to be made. The cup is taken in hand and sounded are the majestic words heralding Hashem’s treasure to the Jewish People by her ten year old desperately trying to recreate the family he, his siblings, and his mother had only months earlier. Abandoned, alone and afraidthe family makes HaMotzei and sits down to the Shabbos meal as the single, exhausted, and guilt-ridden mom courageously puts on a happy face. Late Sunday night the children are asleep, the dishes are washed, the next day’s lunches are made, and a young overwhelmed widower begins to learn the Daf Yomi only to collapse from exhaustion. After sleeping all night he is awakened by his children who are running late to yeshiva. These and other episodes of single parenting were discussed last Motzeai Shabbos January 7, 2012 as the Orthodox Union, in collaboration with the Young Israel of Flatbush hosted and presented “Empowering Success as a Single Parent” to a packed audience of single moms and dads. The first of its kind in our midst, the workshop, a community service program that took a year in the making, offered struggling single parents sound and practical advice, tips and strategies to cope with the tragic aftermath resulting from divorce or death. As in the case of any tragic event, all involved need time, friendship, and healing to come to terms with the profound changes occurring in their lives. Lives that were once full of hope and promise are shattered, leaving an abyss of regret, grieve, guilt and uncertainty. A hanging cloud of failure looms over the heads and in the hearts of all. But none more feel the betrayal and abandonment than the children. A fantasy, sometimes even lifelong, takes root in the young child’s mind that Mommy and Daddy will reunite and all will be as it once was, a two-parent home with a future. But just as an amputee must accept that the limb will not rejuvenate, so must the children accept that the bedrock of their lives is lost. But also just as an amputee learns to live life anew, even acquiring a new limb, so a mourning family can

re-group, re-unite, and re-adjust and live again if a roadmap with guideposts and directions are provided. And so the workshop began. “We are not here to discuss was it right or wrong to end the marriage. Now that the decision was taken we are here to discuss how can we create a home safe, secure and healthy for your children,” emphasized guest speaker Rachel Pill, licensed social worker. “Parent, breadwinner, role model, tutor, counselor, maid, babysitter, friend, daughter, son, ex, widow or widower, referee, the single parent is doing jobs meant for two...and doing them extremely well, and as superhuman and heroic as they are, they feel extremely alone and lost. And unless someone is a single mom or dad no one can know the tremendous efforts it takes. And rather than be recognized for your dedication, you are condemned.” As the hour-long workshop progressed, the audience members acquired a new perspective to cope with their sometimes insurmountable obligations and pressures. Stressing that every single parent must learn to have their own space to re-energize and re-focus only made clear how a two-parent home has the luxury to share responsibility allowing the other spouse to rest while the single parent must realize it is a necessity. “Her clear, concise and practical tips such as asking the children to do scheduled tasks around the house, and that just as it’s fine for your child to create a space to recoup, it is just as fine for mommy to her have her time and space to re-coup, give me much needed help” said Ms. C, a mother of three. Constantly haunted by their failed marriage, the single parent needs to prove to themselves and others that their family will not be a failure. And so, the single parent becomes oblivious to their health and need for emotional healing. Burdened with economic woes and afraid they will fail their children the single parent overly focuses on the child’s well being that they place themselves in harm’s way by overtaxing their health. Single dads more than single moms become so overprotective that they are less likely to ask for a babysitter, not trusting anyone to be with their kids, resulting in the fathers never going out on a needed date with friends or a potential mate. “I know there isn’t enough money to order

out, but order out. I know there isn’t enough time to rest, but rest. I know you can’t ask for help because others will think you’re incompetent, but ask your good friends, those who won’t treat you like a charity case. You must learn to say I know, but...” pounded away Ms. Pill. “What got to me was that a child wants to be a child, not the father or the mother. Until tonight I would ask my eldest to throw out the garbage because that is what the ex did. I realize now that you can’t give your child, especially the eldest, the specific chore your ex did. It places them in an awkward position. It only places them in position they don’t want to be.” learned Ms. G, a mother of four. Stigmatized by society the single parent feels as though they are an outcast. “In my practice, I know many two-parent homes that are more ‘broken’ than the so called, ‘broken home’ of the single parent,” stressed Pill. “Children need confidence above all. You can’t let anyone put down your family. Take pride in your family,” continued Pill, relaying a message that hit home with many of the attendees. The notion of stigma, the lack of support groups, the fighting in-laws, the legal problems resulting from divorce, and the isolation felt as old friends are left to the past as they now take sides with which ex to align themselves with, leave the children to fall into a bottomless pit of mistrust, fear and stress. It is only through love, nurturing and confidence building can the children eventually crawl out of the chasm. For every one word of criticism, five words of praise must be given. But given only if true. “Kids don’t like false praise. Find a task your child is good at. Then give it to him/her. After they succeed at it, praise them. Be a parent, not a friend,” taught Pill. Yet many single parents are unable to get on with their lives, letting the guilt of failure destroy their present as well as their future. It is only by giving up their guilt, creating a new routine, providing consistency and never showing guilt to their kids, can they create an atmosphere for re-growth and happiness. Children feel the underlying emotions of their parents. If the parents view their lives not as burdensome but as new opportunities, then the children will feel and envision a new day. But with consistency and routine comes the need for creativity and quality. Not only for one-on-one time but for

YIW shidduch initiative progresses By Shlomo Sprung The second phase of the Young Israel of Woodmere’s “it takes a shul to make a match” shidduch initiative took place Tuesday night with an intense evening of brainstorming and networking in an effort to find a suitable match for local singles affiliated with shul members. “We invited shul members to come and present any individual they’d like to help in terms of the shidduch process,” said Rabbi Shalom Axelrod, the shul’s associate rabbi, who helped coordinate the event along with Rebbetzin Margie Glatt and a committee of shul members. Over 50 members in attendance were split and placed in five separate rooms and were asked to fill out a profile for at least one man and one woman in need of a match. Each member was then given roughly two minutes to discuss each person they wanted to present. Each room had one note taker and one “facilitator” to help move the process along. The discussions, Axelrod said, were “open to anyone in their lives that they wanted to help”

and not limited to members of the Young Israel. “The people here to present are not just family members, but people who have already married their own children and feel the responsibility to help out.” Longtime Woodmere resident Gail Elsant, one of the presenters on Tuesday night, was pleased with the event, saying that it “helped me realize how much there is to be done, and that by working together and sharing information in a dignified manner, we can achieve great results.” Elsant was very impressed by the turnout “of so many people in our community who want to help others actualize their hopes for the future. This is clearly just the beginning of a very important community project.” Shul president Shlomo Zuller was very pleased with the turnout and overall participation on Tuesday, and excited about the entire shidduch outreach process. Zuller pointed out how the shul was doing a tremendous service for the community. “The whole singles initiative, which the shul has been on the forefront of, has started out with tremendous excitement and is bringing out, on a community level, the need for

Shul prides itself on being on the cutting edge and at the forefront on the topics and issues that are important to our members.

a shul to be involved.” Axelrod said that the entire point of these shidduch outreach events, there was a gathering in December introducing the shul’s goals and ambitions and unveiling their plans, was to maintain and continue conversation between shul members so that matches could potentially be made. “If we do facilitate a match, it will be an even greater success,” he said. “These are just efforts to try as a shul to address the issue and be helpful in making a match. It really does take a shul.” Zuller said that the “shul prides itself on being on the cutting edge and at the forefront on the topics and issues that are important to our members.” Zuller also wanted to thank the committee members and rabbinic staff, “who have worked tirelessly on this and deserve a tremendous hakaras hatov from the shul members and from the many people who will benefit from this initiative.” One Young Israel of Woodmere shul member talking about a single man or woman for just a couple of minutes could be the catalyst for a long-lasting relationship. The committee members who attended Tuesday’s intense evening of networking and brainstorming will continue this project and meet separately to discuss the singles who were profiled. The committee will then try to find the best possible pairings to create a bond that could last a lifetime.

family time as well. “As a little girl, and now as a grandmother, I remember how my mother was so wise. This was in the time when there was Sunday Night Disney, when movies were still wholesome. My mother would have us bathed, dressed in pajamas, lying on a blanket on the living room eating knick-naks, as my mother and father would sit on the couch. And all of us would have a special family quality time. Do the same. Rent a wholesome movie. And have a Sunday night Family treat. You would be surprised how it brings a sense of togetherness and consistency. Plus it will give you an hour and half to get you off your feet and sit on the couch.” said Pill, bringing the audience to smile. “I want my son to be home on Shabbos, not just to come over, sleep and then join his friends all day the long. Understanding the notion of ‘special time’ now I will find creative ways to engage my son’s attention”, said Mr. K. As the workshop came to a close, Pill listed 5 Rules that must always be followed and maintained to ensure the healthy atmosphere that children torn between two homes need in order to rebuild their lives. 1) No bad talk about the other parent. 2) Respect the other parent’s routine when your child stays over. 3) Don’t make your child a date. 4) Don’t vent your anger against your ex on your child. 5) No social isolation. Lastly, the topic of re-marriage was mentioned. Surprisingly Ms. Pill told the audience that one should marry for themselves and not for the children. True the potential mate must like children, respect your family rituals, be able to roll off insults and pranks as kids will do when first adjusting to a new member, and be supportive of the spouse’s decisions and not offer unwanted advice; nevertheless, re-marriage must be for the parent and not for the children. Eventually the kids will leave the nest and if there is no compatibility between parent and partner then heartbreak will only repeat itself. To volunteer please visit the following Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/profile. php?id=100003333140461&ref=tn_tnmn

Swastika vandalism reported Within days of each other, Nassau County Police Department has reported two unrelated incidents of swastika graffiti both in the 6th Precinct, one in Great Neck, the other in SeaCliff. According to detectives, between the hours of 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6 and 11:00 a.m. on Sat., Jan. 7, a 39-year-old male victim left his 1998 Mercedes Benz parked at the Babylonian Jewish Center at 440 Great Neck Road overnight. The following morning the vehicle was discovered with two swastikas scratched into it. There were also numerous other scratch marks on the vehicle. Additionally, according to detectives, between Sat. January 7 at 5:00 PM and Sun., January 8 at 10:00 AM, a 63 year old female who resides on Glen Avenue discovered a swastika drawn in black marker on a panel of her garage door. The swastika was approximately five inches by five inches. Both incidents are in addition to an earlier incident in SeaCliff (12/27 and 12/30) where a swastika, numbers, (420) and words, (white knight) were spray painted on property at several locations, including St. Bonaface, Central Park, and area houses.

THE JEWISH STAR January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772

A support system for single parents


January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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Opinion New Hampshire: The Fat Lady is Warming Up

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onight, New Hampshire voters said enough. With months of televised debates and one caucus, voters in the Granite State said they are ready for the primary season to end, the real campaign to begin and they want Mitt Romney to be their candidate. The former governor of Massachusetts did what he needed to, he topped the field and garnered around 37% of the vote, beating Ron Paul the Congressman from somewhere west of Mars who place second with a little less than a quarter of the vote, and Jon Huntsman in third, twenty points behind the leader. The voting splits are only part of the story. Despite what you may be reading in the Mainstream Media exit polls reflect that almost POLITICO two thirds of Republicans were TO GO satisfied with the choice of candidates. The number one reason people selected their candidate was electability. Almost sixty percent of those who chose electability as their priority voted for Romney. Romney also performed best with voters who were dissatisfied and down-right angry with President Obama. My sources on the ground on primary day tell me there was a major sense of anger amongst Jeff Dunetz the GOP voters but directed toward the former speaker of the house, Newt Gingrich. During the last days of the campaign Gingrich, who claims his policies are to the right of Romney, started to attack the frontrunner from the left. The supposedly conservative candidate attacked free-enterprise, criticizing the Romney tenure at Bain Capital, doing a set-up job for the expected Barack Obama class-warfare campaign against success. If one listens closely, each time a Republican candidate attacks Mitt Romney as being a “corporate raider,” you hear the Obama campaign filming another class-warfare commercial, this one starring Newt Gingrich’s stump speeches over the past few days. Should Obama win a second term many will look to Newt Gingrich’s childish scorched earth-type rhetoric as providing much of the ammo. New Hampshire was a key state for Jon Huntsman who finished a disappointing third (only in politics can someone place third and call it a win,

but in actuality third place simply means he was the second-best loser). Exit polling suggests that Huntsman’s third place votes came from surprising sources, people who were generally satisfied with Obama, people who consider themselves to be liberal and voters who think of themselves as Democrats. The former Utah Governor’s support in New Hampshire is not transferrable to the next primary South Carolina (more conservative than NH) or Florida which follows (Florida is a closed, GOP voters-only primary). Second-place winner (the first-place loser) Ron Paul, attracted even more liberal voters than Huntsman and his support was strongest with the youngest of voters (aged 18-24). Consequently Ron Paul’s support came from outside the Republican Party. The Romney campaign would like for us to believe that it’s all over, and he will now steamroll through the rest of the primary states. The proverbial “fat lady” has not sung, but she is certainly in her dressing room warming up. In a week and a half it will be South Carolina’s turn to pick a GOP candidate. No Republican has ever received the nomination without winning the South Carolina primary. On the other hand, no Republican has ever won South Carolina without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire, so tradition would indicate that Romney, who won the first two contests should win South Carolina. But this has been a very strange political year. As of today Romney is leading in South Carolina but between now and the primary on January 21 he will face strong attacks from Santorum, Gingrich and Perry (Ron Paul and Huntsman don’t resonate in the conservative South Carolina). If the attacks connect with the voters, anything can happen. For these three “not-Romney” candidates a win in South Carolina is essential. A Romney win in South Carolina will undoubtedly lead win in Florida on the 31st. Should Romney sweep SC and Florida “it’s all over but the vote counting,” so South Carolina is the last stand of the “notRomneys.” Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid” (www.jeffdunetz.com). Jeff contributes to some of the largest political sites on the internet including American Thinker, Big Government, Big Journalism, NewsReal and Pajama’s Media, and has been a guest on national radio shows including G. Gordon Liddy, Tammy Bruce and Glenn Beck. Jeff lives in Long Island.

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Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marches along side Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama.

MLK Jr. and his relationship to the jewish people Memorandum From: Jerry Joszef To: The Jewish Community Date: January 13, 2012 Re: Reflections On Martin Luther King And his Relationship To and Impact on the Jewish People My earliest memories of learning Torah revolve around Avraham Avinuh, who has maintained his stature as one of my greatest and most cherished heroes. The origin of my fascination, as best as I can remember, emanated from his riveting negotiations with Hashem on behalf of Sodom. As I recall, my elementary school Rabbi (at Yeshiva Rambam) highlighted Avraham’s greatness as related to his pleading with Hashem to save a people who were morally and spiritually distant and repugnant to Avraham’s value system. Nevertheless, the Rabbi explained to us, that the significance of Avraham’s actions related to his compassion and empathy on behalf of all of humanity. Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s depiction of Avraham’s actions and his analysis of Avraham’s impact on fundamental Jewish thinking, has profoundly enriched and influenced my understanding of the responsibility of social justice and respect for human dignity which the Jewish people must manifest in order to fulfill our existential responsibility in this world. When Avraham defined himself as ”A stranger and a resident among you,” Rabbi Soloveitchik stresses, “Jewish concerns are not exclusively parochial. It is our duty to contribute our energies and creativity to alleviate the pressing needs and anguish

of mankind and to contribute to its welfare.” Moreover, Rabbi Soloveitchik focuses on Jewish suffering as slaves in Egypt and concludes that our experience in slavery is, “To impress upon us the mitzvah of having compassion and sympathy for the oppressed in society...” He continues, ”Ours is a singularly ethical culture, which expresses itself through a heightened regard for human rights and dignity.”

Jewish Response to Civil Rights Movement

Rabbi Marc Schneier, an Orthodox Rabbi and founder and president of The Foundation For Ethnic Understanding, authored Shared Dreams, which focuses on the relationship between Martin Luther King and the Jewish Community. Much of what follows is derived from this important work. According to Schneier, ”No segment of the white community provided as much, and as consistent, support for King as the Jewish community.” He goes on, “The majority of those Jews who went south to help blacks or who demonstrated in their communities or gave money to the movement were neither rabbis nor adherents of Orthodoxy. It was just the opposite, in fact, most Jews who participated in the movement were the least religious of Jews” As Schneier provides, “Orthodox Jews had limited interest in civil rights.” However, there was one notable exception, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Heschel and King developed an inextricable bond and friendship based on the common commitment to social justice. In fact, Heschel marched arm in arm with Continued on page 15


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A Rabbi’s Take on Chasonus In Tribute to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s 39th Yahrtzeit chev. He was born in 1907, received his rabbinical semicha from the martyred Rav Menachem Ziemba, of blessed memory sixteen years later and passed away on the 18th day of Teves in December 1972. This Friday marks his 39th yahrtzeit and this essay is dedicated to his legacy and writings. I chose his teachings concerning chazonus and the integrity of Jewish liturgy as the focus of this week’s review. In the recently published anthology of Rabbi Heschel’s writings, “Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings” edited by Dr. SuAlan Jay Gerber sannah Heschel, [ Orbis Books, 2011] there is an interesting essay by Rabbi Heschel entitled, “ The Vocation of the Cantor” from his 1966 work, “The Insecurity of Liberty” wherein he goes into some detail on his opinions concerning the state of the spiritual quality of both chazonus and prayer among our people. While his writings are severe in tone, there is an undercurrent of both love and admonition webbed together that gives us a present-

ment of constructive criticism. This constructive criticism should be the source of a sincere effort to help enhance the way we Jews engage in worship to the Almighty. The bulk of the remainder of this essay will be devoted to selected quotes from Rabbi Heschel’s teachings on this subject that will give you both a clear feel and taste of his passion and hurt over the contemporary state of the way our prayer services are regarded and conducted. While written close to a half century ago, it is my opinion that Rabbi Heschel’s teachings and observations that follow are just as relevant today as they were at mid-century then. His critique of chazonus begins with the following observation: “One must realize the difficulties of the cantor. The call to prayer often falls against an iron wall. The cantor has to pierce the armor of indifference. He has to fight for a response. He has to conquer them in order to speak for them. Often he must first be one who awakens those who slumber, before he can claim to be a sheliach tzibbur. And yet we must not forget that there is a heritage of spiritual responsiveness in the souls of our people.” Further on, his tone gets even sharper.. “The tragedy of the synagogue is the depersonalization of prayer. Chasonus has become a skill, a technical performance, an impersonal affair. “A cantor who faces the holiness in the Ark

rather than the curiosity of man will realize that his audience is G-d……The congregation then will hear and sense that the cantor is not giving a recital but worshiping G-d, that to pray does not mean to listen to a singer but to identify oneself with what is being proclaimed in their name.” “In order for cantorial music to regain its dignity, it will not be enough to study the authentic pattern of our musical tradition. What is necessary is a liturgical revival. This will involve not only a new sense of reverence and faith, but also a new insight into the meaning of the liturgical words as well as an intimate way of uttering the words. “The decline of chasonus will continue as long as we fail to realize that reverence and faith are as important as talent and technique and that music must not lose its relationship to the spirit of the words.” Chicago theologian Rabbi Byron Sherwin was correct in his recent observation that Rabbi Heschel was “Born a prince among Polish Chasidim in 1907 Warsaw, he died a monarch of theological expression in 1972 New York. His writings and his actions continue to serve as an alarm clock for the spirituality complacent, for the intellectually indolent.”

I conclude this week’s review with a quote taken from another work edited by Rabbi Heschel’s daughter, Dr. Susannah Heschel, “Moral grandeur and Spiritual Audacity”. It is titled, “Death as Homecoming” and is presented here in loving memory and tribute to Rabbi Heschel’s life’s work. “It is a distortion to characterize the life of man as moving toward death. Death is the end of the road, and while moving along the long road of days and nights, we are really moving toward living, acting, achieving. “Death is the end of the road, but not its meaning, not a refutation of living. That every moment of life is a step toward death is a mechanical view. Every moment of life is a new arrival, a new beginning. Those who say that we die every day, that every moment deprives us of a portion of life, look at moments as time past. “Looking at moments as time present, every moment is a new arrival, a new beginning.” In these most troubled of times, may we merit to learn from Rabbi Heschel’s teachings to help guide us and sustain us, under G-d’s protection in the many dangerous days ahead.

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THE JEWISH STAR January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772

The Kosher Bookworm


Facing Facebook

I

like Facebook. It should be as simple as that. So why should I feel the need to defend my time spent using that social medium, when I’m only one of 800 million active users today? I have connections with both close and distant friends on Facebook, have reunited with old elementary school chums and made new acquaintances that have turned into friendships. On the other hand, I know people who absoMIRIAM’S MUSINGS lutely won’t join for one reason or another, some who secretly check out Facebook posts through their kids’ or husband’s accounts. We’ve all heard the criticisms against Facebook; it’s a waste of time, shows way too much information, presents opportunities for danger from strangers and hackers, causes a loss of social Miriam Bradman skills, ruins spelling and Abrahams grammar, makes rude language and vulgar photographs accessible, etc‌ For me, the benefits definitely outweigh the downside. In fact, all of the negative aspects can readily be found in the world outside Facebook. Watching mindless TV may be a waste of time, books and magazines can offer “tmiâ€?, and any self-centered activity may contribute to a loss of social skills. Profanity is heard everywhere, and pornography is available at newsstands and cable for those who seek it. Hacking can happen to your ATM or credit card. Writing skills are lost not due to word processing, but to laziness. The waste of time critique is totally subjec-

tive. We “lose� time viewing movies, playing video games, doodling or day dreaming. But leisure activities are a very personal choice by an individual to relax and reenergize before the next “important� activity. Spare time activities can open up one’s channels to renewal and creativity. Little interests me on TV, but the occasional series that piques my interest has me hooked. Seinfeld, Mad Men, Srugim make me laugh and cry and help me recharge. Some of my friends love reality TV. I think of Facebook as a sort of reality show about people I know. Like on The Apprentice or The Biggest Loser, what I see is a heavily edited window into people’s lives. We post photos, comments or videos to make a statement, ignite a discussion or just show off family. We update a status to elicit a reaction, or to let you know about a happening or cause. Some young people are less cautious than older Facebook users. College guidance is cautioning them to clear their accounts before applications and job searches. Carefree posting of comments and photos could be regrettable later. Younger users grew up with the Internet age; they are therefore, unafraid of the pervasiveness of information and readily contribute to it. I tend to be more cynical and choosy about what I read and what I put out there, possibly a symptom of my generation. As with the other media, I control what information I absorb from Facebook. I decide whether to give it my attention or let it go. I can “friend� people, accept friends, ignore requests or even “de-friend� an annoying person. I can block status updates that are too unsavory for my taste. I can join a discussion or Facebook stalk others, be active or just a voyeur. Either way it’s my call, as the master of my own Facebook universe. Facebook is the easiest way for me to con-

nect to my family and friends around the world. Instead of emailing large jpeg files, I post photos of family events and outings that my cousins can easily check out. I see bar mitzvah photos taken only moments earlier by mishpocha at Masada or the Kotel and feel as if I’m there. I view pictures of my friend’s son’s swearing in ceremony in the IDF and choke up with pride as if I was standing beside her at the army base in Israel. I share nachas with friends as we kvell about a newborn’s photo or a wedding portrait. Facebook is a social medium that brings us together! I came to Facebook a bit late in the game. Although I studied computer science and worked in the field in the ‘80’s, my computer savvy declined shortly after that. We didn’t own a personal computer until about a dozen years ago when a close relative convinced me it would be useful for our ten year old’s homework. He thought we were stunting his learning growth by not providing a home computer. I was eager to check out Amazon, read breaking news reports, and get with the program, so to speak, and we acquiesced. A few upgrades later, I still prefer using my home computer with its corded mouse and full size wired keyboard. Our sons were urged by their universities to buy Macs for their school work, but I’ve never learned to use one. I use a “stupid� phone, so until last week I had internet access only on our big old home computer. I finally got an Ipad after an entire year of deliberating about the best portable device for me. I can sit anywhere and connect with wifi, (preferably by a sunny window or at the beach!) to type up an essay, write an email, Google, shop and have fun with Facebook. Facebook was launched in 2004 but I joined in September 2008 when our second son went to Israel for his gap year. I forced a camera on him but was afraid he’d lose it before he used it. Instead, the girls on his program took up the slack, snapping constant photos, posting and tagging them immediately on Facebook.

Through my online friendship with my son we saw uploaded pictures of him. My husband and I were thrilled to see him safe and happy. “Liking� things on Facebook is a useful tool. I “like� pro-Israel organizations, American and foreign newspapers, authors, culture, food-related and yoga groups. I get news updates and educational tidbits about books, art, yoga and recipes. It was through Facebook that I found out about Gilad Shalit’s imminent release and spent that night following it live on an Israeli website. It’s where I saw photos of my Israeli cousin’s visit to Cuba to see my uncle. It is how I keep up with my friend in Tel Aviv, so the next time I visit her we’ll be right up to date. And it was through Facebook that she organized a live reunion of old high school friends who hadn’t been together in years. I tried a Twitter account too and “followed� some people but without a smart phone, it’s old news. The challenge of fitting a statement into 140 characters is cool, but since I’ve reached my info and leisure time limits, I’ll forgo tweeting. Who knows what new technology 2012 will bring? I wonder for how much longer dictators will attempt to suppress knowledge in this information age. In the Western world we are jaded about free access to info while in Cuba, China and others, it’s harder to get. The “Facebook revolution� which began in Egypt last year has spread like wildfire. Facebook was integral in organizing Occupy Wall Street, protests in India and Russia. Online forums are inevitably opening up the world. No matter how we connect, let’s hope all the news we get is good news and that new communication technology brings us closer. Miriam Bradman Abrahams is Cuban born, Brooklyn bred and lives in Woodmere. She organizes author events for Hadassah, reviews books for Jewish Book World and is very slowly writing her father’s immigration story. She is teaching yoga at Peaceful Presence Yoga Studio. mabraha1@optonline.net

Ask Aviva

Making time for whats important

Dear Aviva

I work at an extremely demanding job. The hours are brutal and I often have to work weekends as well. I find it stimulating and challenging and I love the paycheck. The problem is that I just got married a few months ago and I know that I am neglecting my wife. She is not complaining at all (she is amazing), but I feel like I am missing out on making the most of my new life with her. I feel really guilty about it, and a little short changed as well. How can I make the most of what I have? -Wishing Were With Wife

Dear Wishing Were With Wife,

You should know your question should be implanted into everyone’s brain. Making the most of what you have is a much better approach than, “How can I get more?� Looking at what you have is a realistic equation that can compute into a positive change. So, let’s set up this equation. You, plus your wife, plus your positive feelings for her. You want this to equal a happy marriage, where the connection is felt strongly. You also have a minus sign here on your time. Well, this happens only if you let it. We can add in creative thinking. This can be a mathematical value that is able to grow exponentially. For example, you’ve heard that texting in relationships is bad because people can’t read into your tone. However, in your particular case, I would definitely recommend texting about 3-5 times a day. I’m not talking about “Working late. See you around midnight.� I’m talking about the goopy, Cyrano de Bergerac sort of texts. Short, sweet, and rhetorical texts are not likely to take away from your job. Another idea is to transform your Shabbos

into unadulterated time with your wife. This means cut back on having guests and being guests. I don’t really see your marriage growing stronger when you two gaze at each other amidst the flurry of gender-segregated chatter. Keep it simple in order to build that connection; if you two are not the type to talk for hours, even parallel reading can do a couple good. If you are going to have to put in a lot of extra hours at work one week, try devoting one evening to coming home at a decent hour. Then stay super late on a different night. You can log the same amount of hours, and be able to have a nice evening at home too. Another idea: If your wife’s schedule and mode of transport allows for, set up a lunch date with her every now and then. If you have vacation time coming up, commit to making the most of it with her. That way, you at least have something to look forward to while she is sharing you with the office. Just make sure that you actually keep to what you guys are planning, otherwise you may as well spend your vacation in my office. If the mode of “squeezing in love where you can find it� doesn’t make much of a difference, you will need to put up clear boundaries between you and your work. I know it’s scary to rock the boat at work, especially during this hard economic time, but I would think that you prefer to be in a rocky boat with your wife than to sail by your lonesome. -Aviva Aviva Rizel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Lawrence. She can be reached at 347-292-8482 or AvivaRizel. MFT@gmail.com.

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7 THE JEWISH STAR January 13, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 18 TEVET, 5772

Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the Kitchen

Chocolate molten lava: a crowd pleaser Considering that America was the home of the cocoa bean, chocolate arrived relatively late to the American colonies, in about 1775. Not long after in 1765, Dr. James Baker and John Hannon set up a chocolate factory. It is claimed to be the first chocolate factory in the United States. Today it is known as Bakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s German Sweet Chocolate. Domenico Ghirardelli came in 1849, Henri Nestle in 1876, and Milton Hershey in 1900. He sold his caramel factory for one million dollars and with the proceeds, built the village of Hersheyville and a factory to produce chocolate bars, which he believed was the snack of the future. Fast forward to the 1990â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Katherine Hepburn was known to have said â&#x20AC;&#x153;What you see before you my friend, is the product of a lifetime of chocolateâ&#x20AC;?. Chocolate is also known for itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health benefits. A small amount of dark chocolate, eaten once a day can lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol in some people. It is also known to stimulate Judy Joszef endorphin production, which gives us a feeling of pleasure and it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti depressant. Because of all the health benefits, as well as the pleasures you can derive from chocolate, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to share a favorite chocolate recipe of mine, Molten Chocolate Lava. Served in individual ramekins, oozing with a hot gooey chocolate center, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

MOLTEN CHOCOLATE LAVA

Ingredients: â&#x2013;  15 tbsp sweet, unsalted margarine

â&#x2013;  12 oz semi sweet chocolate, â&#x2013;  6 extra large eggs â&#x2013;  3 extra large egg yolks â&#x2013;  9 tbsp sugar â&#x2013;  9 tbsp flour â&#x2013;  6 tsp cocoa powder â&#x2013;  Pinch of salt

broken into small pieces

Preparation: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Spray bottoms and sides of eight 6 oz ramekins. Place ramekins in an oven proof baking dish and set aside. Melt the margarine and chocolate together over a doubleboiler, or in the microwave. Mix together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light yellow in color. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and mix until combined. Sift in the flour, cocoa, and salt. Fold in with a spatula until combined. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Upon removing the baking dish from the refrigerator, add water until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake between 12 and 15 minutes. The tops and sides should be almost set, the center should still be sticky when a toothpick is inserted. You can prepare this dessert up to 3 days in advance and just put it in the warming drawer or oven at 175 degrees to restore it to itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original consistency. Right before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in a more creative mood, follow the directions below,to achieve the look in the photo. Melt 10 ounces of chocolate coating (Shufra, sold in most kosher supermarkets), and pour into a plastic squeeze bottle. Pipe out some designs on a piece of parchment of waxed paper and let harden. With the remaining chocolate wave the squeeze bottle

back and forth to decorate the plate and write the name of each guest on the bottom portion of the dessert plate, let set. Whip 8 oz non dairy whipped cream and pipe a small amount on top of each ramekin. Place one or two chocolate designs in the center of the whipped cream. Be ready to accept the accolades! Judy Joszef is a pastry and personal chef as well as a party planner. She spent 18 years as a pastry chef at Abigaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, The Cedar Club, Centro and T42 in the Five Towns, before launching her current business. She may be contacted via email at kneadthedough@aol.com.

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THE JEWISH STAR January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772

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Woodmere grandparents’ proud moment in Israel 9/11 was a life-changing day for many people. But it was especially the case for Robin and Avi Schreiber. Prior to their marriage they agreed to make Aliyah “some day.” Robin, daughter of Lois and Eric Lustig, was raised in Woodmere, attended Hillel/HAFTR, and Barnard College. She davened at the Young Israel of Woodmere. Avi was raised in Edison, New Jersey, attending Shaarei Torah Yeshiva, going to Kerem B’Yavneh (KBY) in Israel, Yeshiva University and Iona College for his MBA. On 9/11 Avi was working in Manhattan. When it became obvious that the buildings had been attacked, Avi, anxious to return to his home in Teaneck, walked from midtown to the George Washington Bridge, arriving Lois Lustig home with a new determination. Immediately thereafter, in 2002, both Avi and Robin decided that “some day” would have to be now. They went into action, and by the end of the school year the family had moved to Chashmonaim, a Yishuv located halfway between Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv. Fast forward ten years and the eldest of their four children, , Aron, who was 11 1/2 when they arrived has now come of age. At this time, Aron, who is now 21 has completed his active tour of duty, and has returned to his Yeshiva. Sixteen months ago, it was time for Aron

Photos byLois Lustig

Lois and Eric Lustig in Israel celebrating Aron’s milestone with daughter and son -in-law Robin and Avi Schreiber and family . to go into the army. He had the opportunity of Torah learning combined with protecting his beloved adopted country. This option is known as Hesder Yeshiva. After much searching he decided to attend Yeshivat Hesder Ma’ale Efraim, located in the Jordan Valley, north of Jerusalem. There, he met people who shared his love of learning, combined with his love of Israel. When Aron was inducted into the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), it was determined that he had the skill to be trained as a sharpshooter. It could be that this is due in part to his youthful practice of precise card tossing. Though it is no small feat to survive the rigors of Israeli training, Aron succeeded in

completing 50+ kilometer hikes with heavy backpacks carried on uneven terrain. The Israeli army is like no other. Soldiers occasionally get time off to go home for Shabbat. However, their superiors demand strict discipline. Shortly before Pesach, the group leader was counting their weapons (as each one must be accounted for) and discovered that there was a missing grenade. He announced that there would be no ‘leave’ until the grenade was found. The soldiers were searching for Chometz, and in the process of deep cleaning, Aron found the missing weapon. He was rewarded with an early departure to celebrate the Chag. Aron, who is now 21, has completed

Aron Schreiber is a great source of nachas to his entire family. his active tour of duty, and has returned to his Yeshiva. My husband Eric and I just returned from a special trip to Israel where we visited with our grandson who just completed his active tour of duty. Our daughter and son-in-law and the entire family took tremendous pride in Aron’s dedication and service. The Schreibers are especially cognizant of the recognition from the entire state of Israel that is afforded IDF soldiers. He will be obligated to return annually to the IDF for Miluim, reserves, for the next 25 years. We were thrilled as grandparents to witness this auspicious occasion.

Join

IDF Colonel (Res) Geva Rapp, Leader of Panim el Panim for Breakfast on

Sunday Jan 15, 9:15-11:15am

is proud to feature

Congregation Kneseth Israel The White Shul 728 Empire Avenue, Far Rockaway Panim el Panim connects tens of thousands of secular Israelis to their Jewish roots. Panim el Panim's dynamic Rabbis and IDF officers teach students, soldiers and kibbutzniks throughout Israel where they come from, who they are and where they are going, increasing thier commitment to the Jewish Nation, the Land and of Isreael, and the State of Israel. A 26 year officer in the IDF, Geba was one of 3 ground battle coordinators of Tzahal's Operation Cast ead in Gaza. Colonel Rapp is well-known throughout Israel for his belief in the Kedusha of am Yisrael, and his work teaching Israelis about their Heritage, deep connection to Torah, and Jewish Values.

JDF Colonel Geva Rapp

Reception Committee: Eric & Joyce Austein, Naftali & Randy Blinder Jay & Chanie Kestenbaum Motty & Malka Klein

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January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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guided instructions I was easily able to replicate even the more complex recipes in the book which allowed me to survive on things like Turkey & Wild Rice soup or Sweet Potato Chowder. It is the combination of these exceptional recipes and brilliant writing that has made “Soup, A Kosher Collection” such a successful cookbook that as of last month it has been rereleased as a second edition with twenty new and equally exceptional recipes included. What really sets Pam’s writing apart from many of the other kosher cookbooks on that market is that while the majority of other kosher food personalities are writing and promoting their work full time, Pam writes her books in between her nine to all hours of the night job which, to me, makes her efforts and accomplishments all the more impressive. During the day, Pam operates the only kosher grocery store and caterer in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada a city whose motto is “We were born here. What’s your excuse?” Without Pam’s (and her family’s) work there wouldn’t be any place in Winnipeg to buy kosher products. Therefore, she works to ensure that the community has what it needs to keep a kosher home and make Shabbat and Yom Tovim. Pam’s dedication to her community creates a deep hole in ours in that Pam often cannot attend the plethora of kosher food events that occur yearly on the East Coast; so many kosher foodies do not get the chance to meet her like they do the other kosher celebrities. It’s a shame because Pam has an amazingly sharp wit and a sardonic sense of humor that is infectious. She would stand out amongst all the other cookbook authors in that she is not a New York native or insider from the kosher world but rather someone who knows the food industry top to bottom and understands the trials and tribulations of keeping kosher in a small and very cold town. I will admit that this is one of those cases where I struggle with impartiality because I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and so I have known Pam, quite literally, my entire life. However my personal opinions do not take away from the fact that Pam is a tremendously talented individual talen whose whos insight and creativity ativi shine through in her he writing and her recipes. So, though recip we may be lacking in her physical presence out East, her cookbooks allow us to boo own ow a piece of what she represents. Zechariah Mehler is a widely published food foo writer and expert pe in social marketing. Follow him ke on Twitter @thekoshercritic sh

The business of hope for couples trying to have a baby What happens when a family seemingly has everything, yet the one thing they are desperate for eludes them? Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine, the brainchild of Dr. Richard Grazi, is not a promise of happiness or a secret to prenatal success; what it is though, is a beacon of hope when to some it seems there is none left. To that end, Dr. Grazi has brought his expertise in infertility to the 5 Towns community by establishing a satellite office at 1175 West Broadway in Hewlett. When the smart, soft-spoken and very sure Dr. Grazi was asked why he chose this field, he immediately replied, “You must know that it is far and away the greatest field of medicine. I’m serious. Just by virtue of the human drama that we need to deal with every day and how, with God’s help, we create new families, mine is a field unlike any other. While it’s not that often that we get to save a person’s life, we do get to change our patients’ lives. We change the whole psychodynamics of the family that hopefully emerges. And that is a difference that is everlasting.” He recalled, “The thought of becoming a doctor came late to me, actually during my post-high school stint in an Israeli yeshiva. I never thought about becoming a gynecologist. But I had an epiphany after my first year of medical school, when the

first “test tube baby” was born. The birth of this one baby, and how it was accomplished, all seemed so exciting and fresh. It was something new, scientific but very artful, very out-of-the-box. I was interested in both genetics as well as surgery, so it was a good combination.” In addition to being on the cutting edge medically, Genesis was also among the first medical practices to use digital charting. “Communication between staff is as important as communication with patients.” Dr. Grazi explains, “For this reason everything here is electronic….no paper charts. Because there are so many different aspects to the care of each couple, we all need simultaneous access to information. In this way we keep our very anxious patients informed. Genesis is truly a masterpiece, a full service infertility program open 365 days a year, and now conveniently located in our community.

GENESIS FERTILITY & REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE 1175 West Broadway, Suite 24 Hewlett, NY 11557 516-216-420 www.genesisfertility.com

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n the past ten years kosher food has taken a tremendous step forward, not just in the restaurant scene but in the home as well. Shabbat tables all over the country have been transformed from landing pads for distinctively classic kosher items like potato kugel and matzo ball soup into a place where culinary experimentation is brought to fruition. This growth in our food culture is thanks to a number of exemplary individuals who have published cookbooks that encourage the average kosher cook to step outside of their comfort zone and work with recipes and ingredients that would have otherwise been ignored. These individuals are mostly well known. They appear at booths at the Kosher Food and Wine Experience, they give lectures at Kosherfest and they judge competitions like the Manischewitz Cook off and the CKCA Next Great Kosher Chef. But there is a distinct presence missing from these events and from the pantheon of the great kosher food personalities and that presence belongs THE KOSHER to Pam Reiss. CRITIC Pam is a chef and author of “Soup, A Kosher Collection” and “Passover, A Kosher Collection”. “Soup”, her first book, gave a unique perspective on the methodology of making soup and provided a number of excellent recipes many of which are singular in the kosher world. One of the things that Zechariah Mehler made “Soup” so fantastic is that though it is a kosher cookbook it has a style and appeal that reaches non-kosher consumers as well. Now I have owned this book since it was first released in 2004 and I am not going to lie, it may have kept me from starving on more than one occasion. Back then I was not especially proficient at cooking for myself, but because of “Soup’s” attention to detail and

THE JEWISH STAR January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772

Our friendly neighbor to the north serves up no ordinary soup

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January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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ON THE

Calendar Submit your shul or organization’s events or shiurim to jscalendar@thejewishstar.com. Deadline is Wednesday of the week prior to publication.

Jan 14

North Shore Hebrew Academy PTA Fundraiser

THE NORTH SHORE HEBREW ACADEMY PTA is hosting a fundraiser at Temple Emanuel in Great Neck, located at 150 Hicks Lane, at 8:30 p.m. Come see your friends participate in the Newlywed Game. It will be a night of fun and laughter. Tickets are $60 per person and include a buffet dinner catered by Lederman Caterers. There will be several raffles throughout the evening with chances to win a host of prizes including a week at the Fontainebleau Hotel, electronics, and more!

Motzei Shabbos Grant Park Skating Party

HAFTR eighth-grader Emily Goldstein compiled a cookbook for her bat mitzvah project that contains stories and recipes from Holocaust survivors.

Congregation Bais Tefillah of Woodmere invites families and friends to ice skating at Grant Park on Saturday night, from 7 p.m. to 9p.m. $20 adults, $18 kids. Fee includes admission, skate rental and pizza. For more information please call Gordon at 516-284-6288.

A recipe for remembering

The Young Israel of West Hempstead

Courtesy HAFTR

family members, contains a variety of recipes, those, which are traditionally European, and some more common recipes such as a Strawberry Banana Smoothie. The book also contains challah recipes and even special Passover recipes, including one of Goldstein’s personal favorites — Leah Friedman’s Passover Ice Cream. Creation of this cookbook has taken the survivors’ stories and brought them to life in a completely different way for a new generation. “I want my generation to have a way to remember that this happened. I don’t want people to forget,” Goldstein said. Proceeds from the cookbook go to Yad Vashem Children’s Programs and JCC Survivor Circles throughout the U.S. Cookbooks are $36 each and can be ordered by emailing ideas4me@aol.com.

Initially overwhelmed, then inspired by a visit to the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem a few years ago, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway eighth-grader Emily Goldstein began to think how she could incorporate the Holocaust into her bat mitzvah project. The exhibits at Yad Vashem, the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, moved Goldstein, who loves to cook, to compile a cookbook that is comprised of stories and recipes from Holocaust survivors. Through friends and family, including her grandmother and the Greater Five Towns JCC’s Survivor Circle group, Goldstein met Holocaust survivors and collected their stories and recipes. The cookbook, which also includes several recipes from Goldstein’s friends and

THE YOUNG ISRAEL OF WEST HEMPSTEAD’S SISTERHOOD is hosting Not Your Grandparents... Bingo Night on January 14th at 8pm at the Young Israel of West Hempstead located at 630 Hempstead Avenue. Cover is $18.00 a person for members and non-members alike. Buffet dinner included with cover charge. All proceeds to benefit the sisterhood. RSVP to Deborah Plotsker at dplotsker@gmail.com or Anat Schick at anateli@ gmail.com.

Panim El Panim

IDF RESERVE COLONEL GEVA RAPP, who leads the Israeli educational organization will be speaking at Seudat Shelishit at the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst and at Young Israel of Hewlett Melave Malkah Saturday night from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information please contact Dov Goldman at 646-450-5991

Jan. 15

Breakfast with Col. Rapp

PANIM EL PANIM is hosting their organizational breakfast at Knesseth Israel (The White Shul), located at 728 Empire Avenue in Far Rockaway. The two hour program which starts at 9:15 a.m., will feature IDF reserve Colonel Geva Rapp who will be highlighting Panim El Panim’s success in bringing Jewish heritage and identity to secular Israelis in the IDF, secular high schools, and kibbutzim. An inspiring video, which will be shown, aptly captures the work of this dynamic group. For more information please contact Dov Goldman at DGoldman@panimelpanim.org or call 646-450-5991.

Jan. 16

Beit Orot Annual Dinner

BEIT OROT is having its annual dinner at 6:00 p.m at The Crowne Plaza Times Square at Broadway and 49th street in NYC. The dinner will be honoring Cheryl & Dr. Mendy Markowitz, Melanie & Tov Marmer and Leigh & Daniel Waxman. For more information call 201-530-0210 or visit www. beitorot.org

Jan. 23, 26

If you are in Israel

ONE ISRAEL FUND is conducting two exciting Midwinter Day Trips. The trip on Monday, January 23 is entitled The Road To Jericho and the trip on Thursday, January 26 is entitled Chocolate, Culture and Wine. Eve Harow, a renowned English-speaking tour guide, will lead these fascinating tours. Touring on Monday will take place in a non-armored bus and Thursday on an armored bus. Cost per day including lunch: $75 adult, $65 children under 12 (Tour is not recommended for children under 10). For reservations and further information: In the U.S. call, Ruthie Kohn at 516-239-9202 x10. In Israel, call Irwin Borvick at 054-570-1548. Send an email to daytrips@ oneisraelfund.org or register online at www. oneisraelfund.org/daytrips

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L-R: Rabbi Daniel Mezei (advisor), Jonathan Spindel, Mikey Sperber, Michael Spindel (captain), Justin Gage, Raanan Gross, Max Orlofsky, Jordan Chiger, Noah Kahn, Alec Eisman, Daniel Abishour, Eli Kahn, Jason Eisman The HANC high school boys’ bowling team came in second in their league after 2 wins-1 loss


Hebrew only please!

Doing Egypt a favor

A Jewish newspaper should have a Hebrew column. So here it is. We will try to maintain a level of vocabulary so that it will be easy enough for students to read and interesting enough for those more fluent to enjoy.

E

very time the United States considers a political or military confrontation with a foreign hostile nation, the liberal caveat is often emphasized that “we have no beef with the people of ___ - all we want to do is see this rogue regime ousted.” And so I wonder how much the people of Egypt really bought into Pharaoh’s greater plans. Even most of Pharaoh’s decrees seem to be focused on making life difficult for people – but genocide is never an option. The infanticide discussion lasted more verses than it seems to have been carried out. Don’t misunderstand and think I am defending Egyptian slavery. But after over a hundred years of the serf-state that Egypt had become, one has to wonder if in their day-to-day interactions Everyman Egyptian and Everyman Israelite saw their status quo as a mere reality, the former being the upper class and the latter being the stranger-turned-serf-turnedslave, while the human side of their relationships was deeper. To point, when the Israelites leave Egypt, Rabbi Avi Billet there is much discussion as to how they received the wealth they took with them from Egypt. Was it borrowed, taken, or received as a gift or payment for the years of servitude? All of these approaches are discussed by the commentaries. In her article on this subject, Nechama Leibowitz records a unique approach suggested by Josephus, who says, “The Egyptians honored them with these gifts, [some] in order to hasten their departure, and others out of the good neighborliness and the friendship they bore them. When they went forth the Egyptians wept and suffered remorse for the way they had treated them ill.” This approach hints to a society in which there was more than mere awareness of “the other,” there was a familiarity between the natives and the visiting-slaves. What, therefore, is the meaning of the message God gives Moshe at the burning bush, as to what “the Israelites will do to or for the Egyptians when they leave with silver vessels, gold vessels, and clothing?” The Torah says, “V’nitzaltem et Mitzrayim.” (Shmot 3:22) Artscroll translates it, “You shall empty out Egypt.” The Living Torah (Aryeh Kaplan) suggests, “You will

thus drain Egypt [of its wealth].” Rabbi S.R. Hirsch (as translated to English by David Haberman) has it as, “You will cause Egypt to deplete themselves.” The Soncino Chumash: “ye shall spoil the Egyptians” – meaning, you’ll take all their possessions as spoils. Benno Jacob’s commentary on this verse is most insightful and instructive. He suggested that owing to the root of “v’nitzaltem” (to save), and the fact that the word, when it appears elsewhere in the Bible, never has the direct object (in this case “Egypt”) as being the one from whom the saving takes place (the direct object is always the one being saved), it must mean “You will save the Egyptians,” – you will clear their name, and vindicate the humanity of the Egyptians. To avoid bitter feelings, and to restore a sense of humanity to the term “Egyptians,” a friendly parting and generous gifts would smooth the transaction. As Rabbi J.H. Hertz quotes B. Jacob, “The Israelites would come to see that the oppressors were Pharaoh and his courtiers, not the Egyptian people.” He concludes with the suggestion that this view would help them carry out the mitzvah in Devarim 23:8, “Not to abhor an Egyptian.” He says, “It is for this reason that the Israelites are bidden to ask their neighbors for these gifts, to ensure such a parting in friendship and goodwill, with its consequent clearing of the name and vindication of the honor of the Egyptian people.” Many would like to argue that it is the loudmouth leadership in rogue regimes that become the mouthpiece for an unfortunate silent majority who would not agree if they had a voice and a chance to express an opinion without fearing for their lives. Was Egypt the same way? The approach suggested by Benno Jacob lends itself to the possibility that like the rows and rows of trees at Yad Vashem dedicated to righteous gentiles who saved Jews during the Holocaust, not everyone in ancient Egypt was a cruel taskmaster. If we believe in the possibility that humans are capable of being, want to be, or are good, we need to create opportunities for others to demonstrate this. We must open our minds to the possibility that those who seem to be the bitterest of our enemies may be stuck behind a façade they cannot break through on account of fear. Let us hope and pray that those itching to befriend our people can do so in safety, peace, and with no fear for their lives; that they can have the redeeming experience they so desperately need in order to live out their lives as free men and women.

Stella’s courage! Story of stella who contacted stomach cancer 6 months ago and was told that it was incurable, and how she responded so well unexpectedly to treatment, had an operation, and b”h is on the way to recovery.

By Rabbi Noam Himelstein

Like us? Find us on Facebook at The Jewish Star newspaper (Long Island, NY) Be part of the discussion on local issues

Rabbi Noam Himelstein studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion and served in the Tanks Corps of the IDF. He has taught in yeshiva high schools, post-high school women’s seminaries, and headed the Torah MiTzion Kollel in Melbourne, Australia. He currently teaches at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem, and lives with his wife and six children in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion.

THE JEWISH STAR January 13, 2012 • 18 TEVET, 5772

Parsha Shmot

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Sunday Giant showdown calls for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;no cheese zoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; By Benjy Schreier Photo by Xx

HAFTRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lady Hawks comes in second place at â&#x20AC;&#x153;Includeâ&#x20AC;? tournament .

Satran tournament brings yeshiva students together By Michael Sosnick This week HAFTR had the pleasure of hosting the 25th annual Scott Satran basketball tournament. The HAFTR Invitational Scott Satran Memorial Tournament is a bittersweet occasion. It brings together students from eight different yeshiva high schools to commemorate a HAFTR alumnus, Scott Satran, who passed away 25 years ago from cancer at the age of 20. Every year this event bonds the HAFTR community and seven other schools together in remembrance. The schools that participated in the tournament this year and their respective teams are: HAFTR and the Hawks, HANC and the Hurricanes, Shaare Torah and the Stars, Rambam and the Ravens, DRS and the Wildcats, NSHA and the Stars, SAR and the Sting, and RTMA and the Thunder. The tournament started with opening games on Thursday, January 5 and concluded with the championship on Sunday, January 8. The tournament is organized so that each team plays three games from Thursday until Saturday to place in Tier One and Tier Two. On Sunday morning is each Tierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s semi-final game and then Sunday night is the championships. HAFTR defeated HANC in the first game on Thursday, but lost to RTMA the next day. There was a beautiful Friday night dinner to which all of the teams in the tournament and the entire HAFTR community were invited. Robbie Satran, Scottâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother, spoke during dinner to a captivated audience. Everybody was invited once again on Shabbos day to a wonderful lunch and then a Shalosh Seâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;udot, a third meal on the Sabbath. Eddie Satran, Scottâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, spoke very compassionately during lunch. After Shabbos, on Saturday night HAFTR played again and defeated Rambam. On Sunday morning the teams were split up into the two tiers. HAFTR qualified for Tier One along with DRS, NSHA, and SAR. Tier Two was comprised of RTMA, HANC, Rambam and Shaare Torah. In Tier Two, Shaare and RTMA made it to the championship where Shaare defeated RTMA by one point in a very close overtime game! It was a very fast paced and amazing

game of basketball. Sol Wahba, a player on the Shaare Stars, won MVP for their tier. In Tier Two, HAFTR lost to SAR in the semi-finals by four points in a very upsetting, but high-quality game of basketball. Then, on Sunday night, DRS beat SAR in the Tier Two championship by only three points! There were many people in attendance and both teams hustled and played very hard. Yisroel Goldberg, of the DRS Wildcats, won MVP for his outstanding performance. Everyone who played put their heart into these games but the All Stars were: Eric Shamama and Jason Schlessel from HAFTR, Mitch Blitman and Yoel Schrier from DRS, Michael Kirshblum and Jason Eisman from HANC, JJ Donner and Jordan Kaufman from Rambam, Jacob Matalon and Isaac Antar from Shaare, Zach Goldberg and Shaye Weiss from RTMA, Zach Dicker and Jonny Nulman from SAR, and Jeremy Zborowski and Benjamin Hakakian from NSHA. The entire tournament was a great success. Thanks are due to Joey Hoenig, the athletic director at HAFTR, and Andi Koppelman, the assistant director of student life at HAFTR, who together worked tirelessly to put such a wonderful and awe inspiring weekend together. The spirit of the whole tournament, including Shabbos activities, served to perpetuate the memory of Scott Satran Aâ&#x20AC;?H. The girls on HAFTRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lady Hawks also helped the community through a basketball tournament. This tournament was called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Includeâ&#x20AC;? and it included three other schools: HANC, Ramaz, and Bruriah. This tournament worked with Kulanu and Let All the Children Play to help include children with special needs in the Five Towns and in the greater Jewish tri-state area. These girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; basketball teams invited the children from Kulanu and Let All the Children Play onto the court with them to play basketball. In the end, Ramaz came in first place and HAFTR came in a close second. This all-inclusive weekend was a heart warming experience for all those involved. It brought many different people together to help others. It was very nice to do this through competitive basketball tournaments in which everyone had fun!

Opportunity to meet a real modern day Jewish hero This weekend, the five towns and Far Rockaway plays host to distinguished IDF Colonel (Res) Geva Rapp, who will be meeting with area Rabbis and speaking at shuls on Shabbos on behalf of Panim El Panim, an organization that connects tens of thousands of secular Israelis to their Jewish roots. Panim el Panimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dynamic Rabbis and IDF officers teach students, soldiers and kibbutzniks throughout Israel about where they come from, who they are and where they are going, thus increasing their commitment to the Jewish Nation, the Land of Israel, and the State of Israel. A 26 year officer in the IDF, Geva was one of 3 ground battle coordinators for Tzahalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Op-

eration Cast Lead in Gaza. Colonel Rapp is wellknown throughout Israel for his belief in the Kedusha of Am Yisrael, and his work teaching Israelis about their Heritage, deep connection to Torah, and Jewish Values. Panim El Panim will additionally host a breakfast on Sunday, January 15 at Congregation Kneseth Israel, The White Shul, from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Dov Goldman, Founder and Director of American Friends of Panim El Panim encourages everyone to take advantage of this unique and special opportunity to meet a real modern day Jewish leader and hero. For more information please contact Dov Goldman at (646) 450-5991 or info@Panimelpanim.org.

At the end of Super Bowl XLII, when Tom Bradyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s final heave fell incomplete, and it became apparent that the impossible had actually happened, Giant Nation celebrated its third Super Bowl title in just over twenty years. As I left the Giants parade a few days later, I felt that I had enough credits in my football bank to last me a lifetime. From Phil Simms 22 of 25, to Scott Norwoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;wide right,â&#x20AC;? and culminating in Eli Manning to David Tyree, I had celebrated more championships than I ever had a right to expect. Yes, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care if the Giants ever got to the Super Bowl again. Three titles were too good to be true! How wrong I was! Over the last three weeks, the Giants have risen from the dead to turn the 2011-2012 football season into the makings of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chapter 4.â&#x20AC;? And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just as crazy as ever! Beating the Jets in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Battle of New Yorkâ&#x20AC;? was great. Beating the hated Cowboys in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;winner takes allâ&#x20AC;? Sunday night showdown was even better. Their performance in dispatching a solid Falcons squad in the first round of the playoffs could only be described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;superb.â&#x20AC;? In the NFL, one of the objectives is to â&#x20AC;&#x153;peakâ&#x20AC;? at the right time. Based on the Giantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; performance over the last three weeks,

it appears that both the offense and defense are peaking together. Yes, the Packers have been the best team in the league over the last twelve months. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, we will have to bring our best game in order to compete. From a purely football standpoint, our objectives are clear. Offensively, we hope to continue to mix our revitalized running game with our â&#x20AC;&#x153;eliteâ&#x20AC;? quarterback using his talented wide receivers to light up the scoreboard. Defensively, we need to hit Rodgers over and over, and make him as uncomfortable as possible. Once weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve instilled the fear of â&#x20AC;&#x153;JPPâ&#x20AC;? into the Packersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; offense, our road will be much easier to navigate. Of course, playing the Packers means we need to find a method of combating the Cheese Heads. Therefore, we are officially declaring Sunday, January 15th, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Giants Fleishig Day.â&#x20AC;? All Big Blue households will be deemed â&#x20AC;&#x153;No Cheese Zones.â&#x20AC;? GO BIG BLUE!!! In honor of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Giants Fleishig Day,â&#x20AC;? Seasons of Lawrence will be offering an amazing hero special. Get a Three Foot Hero starting at only $49.00!!! Call Shiv (516)295-3300 to place your order. Send any Big Blue questions or comments to bbsupersol@aol.com.

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Visit us on the web at www.abramslaw.com

526432

January 13, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 18 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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Continued from page 4 King at the head of the Selma to Montgomery protest in March 1965. Heschel told his daughter Susannah after the march, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I felt my legs were praying.â&#x20AC;? King expressed his appreciation of Heschelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s involvement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Often I have seen religious leaders stand amid the social injustice that pervades our society, mouthing pious irrelevanciesâ&#x20AC;Ś But here and there we find those who refuse to remain silent behind the safe security of stained glass windowsâ&#x20AC;Ś He (Heschel) has been with us in many of our struggles. I remember marching from Selma to Montgomery, how he stood at my side...â&#x20AC;?

Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Support of Jewish Community Issues

As expressed by Schneier, American Jews began protesting against the Soviet governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discriminatory anti-Jewish policies commencing in the early 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Heschel embraced this important cause and so did King. King expressed his thoughts on the discrimination against Soviet Jews as follows: â&#x20AC;?Injustice to any people is a threat to justice to all peopleâ&#x20AC;Ś and I cannot stand idly byâ&#x20AC;Ś and fail to be concerned about what happens to my brothers and sisters who happen to be Jews in Soviet Russia. For what happens to them, happens to me and youâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? King also strongly advocated on behalf of Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s security. King expressed support for Israel in 1968 when he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peace for Israel means security and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its

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A wall in Jerry Joszefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office territorial integrityâ&#x20AC;Ś peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.â&#x20AC;? Sadly, Schneier reflects on increasing black anti-Semitism, which deleteriously affected Jewishâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;black relations in the mid 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. According to Schneier â&#x20AC;&#x153;Black radicals adopted a platform condemning Zionism. King forcefully expressed his outrage: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You declare that you do not hate Jews, you are merely â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;anti-Zionistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;Ś when people criticize Zionism, they mean Jewsâ&#x20AC;Ś so know also this anti-Zionist is inherently anti Semitic, and ever will be soâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;?

Conclusion

The Torah reminds us that Hashem consecrated his covenant with Avraham because I know and love that he will command his children to keep the way of Hashem, to do righteousness and justice. In memory of Martin Luther King it appears appropriate for all of us to refocus on fulfilling this transcendent objective.

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Reflections on MLK Jr., the jewish community and Rabbi Heschel

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No spin (at least not in Utah) By Yoni Nierenberg As some people know, (and the “some” mainly consisting of my wife and children), I have become slightly obsessed with a new workout called Spinning. So much so, that I have recently completed the certification needed for becoming a licensed Spinning instructor and I now teach several classes at the gyms in our neighborhood. Spinning entails a series of exercises on a stationary bike meant to simulate a cycling ride in order to maintain proper form and training during the off hours of cycling. Focus, endurance, musicality and even spirituality come into play while engaging in Spin. This past week I was on a business trip in Utah. While there is usually a gym located in most hotels, a Spin class would be highly unlikely. What was I to do without that physical and metaphysical rush one gets from attending a Spin class? As luck would have it, I wouldn’t be totally without any level of physical exertion. My colleagues and I had decided in advance that we would spend some quality time on the slopes in beautiful snowy Utah as a supplement to our scheduled meetings. I, for one, had my heart set on meeting Mitt Romney while we were in Utah, as he is well connected in that State. However, if Mitt wasn’t in town, skiing for a few hours sounded like a good plan. On my inbound flight to Salt Lake City, a thought crossed my mind. There we were, on the heels of Yeshiva week winter recess, and this trip would potentially serve as motivation for a family trip. But one item was missing. As I mentioned, my Spin instruction usually combines both the physicality of exercise as well as an element of spiritual thought, which provokes focus. The physical exercise would most definitely present itself while skiing, especially since the lack of snow in Utah provides for a challenging and grueling terrain...but I wasn’t sure if Utah would contain that element of Judaism that could provoke a spiritual thought process. Thus, I recanted my idea that this might be a good family trip for Yeshiva week and altered my train of thought. I decided to personally make the best of my trip as I thought of my Tefillin that I had, of course, packed so that I would at least be able to get in a good dose of spirituality every morning in addition to the physical ski runs. As my flight continued, I couldn’t help but think about what Jewish life was like in Utah. After all, it’s a highly religious state. Our friend Mitt Romney’s own spirituality is rooted right there within the Mormon faith. “You know,” I thought to myself, “If Mitt is a religious man and politically speaking, a friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel....I just wonder what I will find in Utah.” I figured that certainly I would not locate my favorite Mauzone kasha varnishes, which I had neatly tucked away in my carryon, but maybe, just maybe, there could be some sign of Jewish spirituality in that state. Finally, I arrived at the Salt Lake airport ready to head to my hotel. The drive from the airport, albeit short, included a bit of a circular turn around at the main town entrance to Deer Valley. This made for some confusion in locating my final destination even with a GPS. As a guy not afraid to ask for directions, I asked someone at the town circle how to get to my hotel. “Sure” he politely responded, “Just about a half a mile up after that second (confusing) roundabout and a quick left on Queen Esther Drive. You will see it right there.” I was shocked. “Did this guy from Utah just tell me to take a quick left on Queen Esther Drive?” I pondered to myself, “No, it couldn’t be, I must of heard wrong, I’ll just

Photo by Xx

Yoni Nierenberg, Eyal R, C Dub K, Stan V, Ben C all holding our mountain guide Rav Aron Cutler on the pristine scenic Deer Valley Mountain in Utah. drive along and look for Queenster Road or Questra Drive.” But I did not, in fact, hear wrong. About half a mile up the road I did indeed hit Queen Esther Drive and made my left turn into the hotel driveway. Though I found the street name interesting, I didn’t think too much about it. Rather, I chalked it up to an odd coincidence relative to my thought process on the plane ride over to Utah. Once I settled into the hotel, I decided to unpack and take a ride into town to see some of the sights. Main Street was the place to be with some very beautiful shops featuring some of the local artists. And well, wouldn’t you know it, as I explored, I happened upon, no, not a Queen Esther store, but a beautiful crafts shop in town featuring not one piece of Judaica artwork, but an entire gallery display of mezuzahs, menorahs, Challah boards and the like. In the Five Towns this would be a non-event but in Utah?! “What’s the deal,” I asked the hippy-like, Birkenstock wearing, curator name Billy Bob. “What do you mean,” he responded, “It’s just our collection of Judaica.” I held back any further question for fear of displaying my ignorance of the fact that apparently people in Utah have an affinity for Judaic art. I was comforted by the apparent Jewish presence in Utah when I thought there would be none. When I woke up to ski the following morning, I met up with a few of my colleagues and noticed an unfamiliar face among them. My coworker introduced him to the group as Aaron Kotler, also a visitor to Utah and an avid skier. He would be our mountain guide for the day. As we were gearing up, something caught my eye. As our guide clicked into his bindings, I noted that the Volkl emblem on his skis had been artistically transformed into a Star of David. My friend Ben must have noticed this too because he suddenly asked, “Would your name, by any chance, happen to be the same namesake of the famous rabbinic dynasty?” To which Aaron responded, “Yes!” After a bit of chatting and getting to know our expert guide we found out that he is none other than HaRav Aaron Kotler and CEO of the Lakewood Yeshiva and grandson of the late Rav Aaron Kotler ZT’L. And this great introduction occurred in Utah! In addition to the Rav’s fabulous skills as our mountain guide as well as his skiing talent, we shared some amazing stories of Chizuk and spirituality over dinner at the only Glatt kosher restaurant in Utah, “Bistro at the Canyons.” It is a warm feeling when you travel halfway across the country, meet a Rav who offers you a private mountain tour and have a fabulous Glatt kosher meal followed by a Minyan for Maariv. Although there was no Spin class in Utah that day, there was fabulous and unexpected spirituality. Quite simply, it’s wonderful to just feel great about being reminded that you are Jewish, even in Utah!

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January 13, 2012