Jeffrey Weisenfeld: College supported anti-Semitism Page 2 Bookworm: Tribute to Aryeh Kaplan Page 5 Who’s in the kitchen: Super snacks score big Page 7 Juda Engelmayer’s trip to the Temple Mount Page 10
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Five Towners sense of pride for Ilan Ramon By Malka Eisenberg Ten years ago this week, the world watched as the son of a Holocaust survivor conveyed a message of faith, hope and survival from the height of achievement in a display of unity of purpose, only to later watch his and his crewmates untimely death. On Thursday, January 31, at 10:30 pm, PBS WNET NY, Channel 13, will premiere Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope, the story of Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon on the 10th anniversary of the shuttle disaster. Many can recall the great pride felt by Israel and the world Jewish community when Ilan Ramon suited up for his space trip and knowing that he was determined to observe Shabbat and kashrut while in the space shuttle. This ﬁlm traces Ilan’s life and the multiple historical ties of Jewish survival, ties leading to the fulﬁlling of a promise and a mission on the space shuttle. “I grieve for Ilan Ramon and his son who was #1 Continued on page 3
Photo courtesy of Simone Development
Simone Development’s newly unveiled rendering of the Mount Sinai ambulatory care center that will reside in what was previously the Number 6 school.
Mount Sinai unveils plan for their ‘heimische approach to healthcare’ By Karen C. Green
Photo courtesy of Mission of Hope
Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon was an inspiration and pride to so many.
With seven weeks till the referendum vote scheduled for March 20, Simone Development has released its ﬁrst rendering of their proposed development of the number #6 school. Subject to voters’ approval, Simone Development , a noted major healthcare developer, and whose bid, $12.5 million, was higher than three others including, Shulamith Yeshivah, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach and the Jewish Community Center, plans to lease the property to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, who would operate the facility. In addition to being the highest bid, Simone Development’s proposed use is the only project of the four that would go on the tax rolls and generate $1 million in annual property taxes for the school district. The Jewish Star reported in the January 25 issue that the JCC is actively pursuing a new
location in the Five Towns and is in the process of bidding. The proposed plans, which keeps the exterior of the existing building unchanged and not enlarged, would be home to the 60 doctor, 30 specialty health care facility and an urgent care center. The facility will be a “unique advanced ambulatory care center,” noted Dr. Simeon Schwartz, a Mt. Sinai consultant. “It is coordinated efﬁcient quality care. Coordinated because doctors share both a physical location and a common electronic record. On the quality side, the new facility has the necessary computerized analytical systems that can measure quality. Mt. Sinai will provide improved access for complicated services at their Manhattan campus. “It’s a top priority for Mt. Sinai that care is patient centered. Whenever a patient needs to have something done, they have a choice where to go. We are not
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telling people where to go to get care, we are just making quality options available,” continued Dr. Schwartz. In addition to primary-care physicians, there will be specialists in cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, orthopedics, obstetricsgynecology, neurology, nephrology and general, plastic and vascular surgery. On the topic of coordinated care, Dr. Schwartz makes note of what can be an anxiety-ridden experience for women. A woman that needs a mammogram, could schedule same day surgery for a biopsy and obtain a diagnosis within 24 to 36 hours. Typically the diagnostics and the surgery could take anywhere between a few days to several weeks. “This is the heimishe approach to the future of medicine,” noted Dr. Schwartz, a native Brooklynite, and a graduate of Yeshivah of Flatbush. “Mt. Sinai’s commitment to Continued on page 3
College supported anti-Semitism Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee The City University of New York Former aide – Governor George E. Pataki, Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato and other public ofﬁcials. In my 13 years as a trustee of CUNY, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to observe the intellectual corruption and antiSemitism of many in America’s academic elite. I hear about it from trustees in colleges and universities across America and it’s become more common at CUNY, with Brooklyn College as an unexpected hotbed. The current plans for an antiIsrael BDS conference with the school’s co-sponsorship by the political science department Jeffrey S. raises new questions. If an individual professor engages in selective hatred of Israel and the resulting intimidation of Jewish students, that is bad enough. If branches of the MSA (Muslim Students Association, all chapters of which are afﬁliated with ISNA – the Islamic Society of North America, which is the Muslim Brotherhood on our soil), that is bad enough. I’ll be damned however, if I were to be silent on the ofﬁcial co-sponsorship by an entire academic department of a Nuremberglike conference on a CUNY campus. This is a misuse of tax-levy funds. This is NOT an academic conference in any sense. Furthermore, other than through the intimidation of liberal arts professors who might support Israel, how do we know that EVERY professor in that department supports this drivel?
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We must also look at the hypocrisy and intellectual corruption of these accusatory, one-sided conferences. The Islamic world, having evicted nearly all of its Jews following the reconstitution of the Jewish State in 1948, murdering many and plundering all of their property, is now exterminating its remaining Christians, Baha’is and Zoroastrians – in fact, anyone non-Muslim – whose adherents may have resided in these lands for millennia. Brave columnists like Fouad Adjami, Amir Taheri and other brave Muslims chronicle this dysfunctionality – and far worse – at great personal risk. Intra-Muslim murder rivals their states’ crimes against other groups as well. From 1920 to the present, Wiesenfeld approximately 100,000 Jews and Arabs have died in all the conﬂicts involving them – most Jews and Israelis as victims of terror and in defensive wars and most Arabs as a result of Israel’s defense or their brethren having cowardly used them as “human shields.” 100,000 Syrians alone have been brutally murdered by the forces of Bashar Assad in the last two years. Do these BDS hypocrites care? These BDS advocates single out Israel as a cover for rank anti-Semitism. It is not about saving Palestinians (who mostly need to be saved from themselves and their leaders); its purpose is to delegitimize and destroy Israel. They do NOT want a two-state solution. To them Tel Aviv and Haifa are “occupied terContinued on page 4
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February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
Continued from page 1 in his pilot class and was killed in a training accident,” noted Rabbi Herschel Billet, Rav of the Young Israel of Woodmere. “This is a family which represents paying the price for Medinat Yisrael in blood. Because of people like them we have a Jewish State. The price is inordinately high.” The focal point of the story is a miniature Torah that had been smuggled into Bergen Belsen concentration camp by a Dutch rabbi and was given to Joachim “Yoya” Yosef after celebrating his bar mitzvah in secret in the camp. The rabbi had Yoya promise to tell the story of the Torah, his bar mitzvah, and life in Bergen Belsen. Yoya survived and ultimately became a professor at Tel Aviv University specializing in radiation, aerosols and clouds. He wrote the Torah’s story in the Jerusalem Post in 1951 and also wrote a children’s book about the Torah and Ramon “Reach for the Stars: A Little Torah’s Journey.” According to an obituary of Yoya by the International Radiation Commission, “Yoya was an expert on desert aerosols and became principal investigator on the MEIDEX remote sensing experiment on the Space Shuttle Columbia to measure aerosols from African dust storms over the Mediterranean and their relation to rainfall.” In that capacity, Yoya met Ramon who noticed the small Torah ark in Yoya’s ofﬁce. Ramon asked to take the Torah along on his mission to tell the story, fulﬁlling the promise on a global stage, in front of millions. Colonel Ilan Ramon’s mother was, he said, a “graduate” of Auschwitz, and the knowledge and strivings of a son of a survivor colored Ilan’s thoughts and actions, knowing how many died for being Jews and the need to reconstruct and protect the Jews’ ancestral home in Israel. Born in Tel Aviv, Ilan joined the Israel Air Force after graduating high school and fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, graduating from the Israel Air Force Flight School as a ﬁghter pilot in 1974. He designed the attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981 and ﬂew in position number eight, considered the most dangerous position. The Israelis suffered no casualties. He earned a degree in electronics and computer engineering from Tel Aviv University. He logged over 4,000 ﬂight hours ﬂying Israeli military aircraft. In 1997, Ilan was chosen to be an astronaut and began training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in 1998.
Photo courtesy of Mission of Hope
Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia before their launch. “I think it’s very, very peculiar to be the ﬁrst Israeli up in space,” Ramon said before his ﬂight on the shuttle. “Especially because of my background.” He noted that his mother was a Holocaust survivor and his father fought for Israel’s independence, very similar to the backgrounds of many Israelis. He saw himself as a “symbol” and that he was “kind of the proof for them, and for the whole Israeli people, that whatever we fought for and we’ve been going through in the last century-or maybe in the last two thousand years-is becoming true.” He had also noted that, when speaking to other Holocaust survivors of his being an Israeli astronaut, “they look at you as a dream that they could have never dreamed of….So, it is very exciting.” The documentary incorporates footage recorded by one of Ramon’s fellow astronauts, David Brown, NASA footage and interviews conducted by director Dan Cohen. The project, begun shortly after the accident, continued for seven years, with another three years to provide for its showing through PBS. “Ever since I was a child I was fascinated by space exploration,” said Cohen. A documentary ﬁlmmaker, Cohen, won six Emmys as a producer of corporate and live television. At the time of the accident, he was looking for material for a documentary and noticed a small article about the Torah “buried in the back of a newspaper.” He said he thought it was a “good story” and a “new way to tell the Holocaust story to a new generation.” A friend in NASA connected Cohen with Yoya Yosef who said, “’Anything I can do for
my dear friend Ilan Ramon, you tell me what to do,’” recalled Cohen. “I heard that time and time again. That’s how I got started. It’s a powerful story, with many layers. It’s the journey of the human spirit, the hope of what is possible embodied in the Columbia crew.” They were the most diverse crew, with two women, one born in India, an African American, an Israeli, different religions, all highly educated, accomplished, intelligent. After training together for the mission, they had formed a family. “They showed the world what you can do when you work together for the greater good,” stressed Cohen. “It’s a powerful message—the hope for a better day.” He said that the movie “came out far better than I had envisioned.” The accident was “a searing moment for me, for all of us. I had done other things with space, this became more important.” Cohen emphasized that the ﬁlm has “multiple missions” and that Ilan felt the “promise deep in his heart to tell the story, to tell what happened in Bergen Belsen.” Cohen recounted that Yoya had told him that “Ilan knew that he had to do certain things symbolically to show who he was, to keep kosher, Shabbat. “ Ilan went to Rick Husband to get his permission. Rick Husband went to a rabbi to learn what the rituals were to be sure that Ilan was doing it correctly. “Husband’s faith was everything to him,” explained Cohen. “In the scene with the Torah, you can see the pride in Husband’s face. The crew understood the story and Yoya’s story.” As was noted in the ﬁlm, Ramon “carried
the payload of history,’ and as he said about himself, “I am the representative of all the people of Israel, the State of Israel and Jewish people all around the world.” He “fulﬁlled the promise in a way never thought possible” and the Torah traveled “from the depths of hell to the heights of space…from the depths of despair to the height of hope.” “I vividly recall the pride we all felt in seeing Ilan Ramon, an Israeli astronaut, join the Columbia space mission,” recounted Rabbi Zev Friedman, Rosh HaYeshiva at Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence, New York. “He was the youngest pilot in Israel’s historic strike against Iraq’s nuclear reactor. That itself made him a ‘hero.’ Most importantly, Ilan knew that he represented the entire Jewish community on his mission. He truly was a proud Jew! Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveichik stated that there were two points of connection that every Jew has to the Jewish community as a whole. One is his or her identiﬁcation with the covenantal community in so far as he or she accepts and observes the system of Torah and Mitzvos. A second aspect is the identiﬁcation that every Jew has to the history and destiny of our people. Both of these aspects are integral. Ilan clearly personiﬁed an individual identiﬁcation with the collective Jewish past. He made a point of this by bringing a Sefer Torah that survived BergenBelsen, a picture of Earth as seen from the moon drawn by a Jewish boy in Theresienstadt concentration camp and a microﬁche copy of Tanach on his trip. He made a point of saying Kiddush when Friday night arrived and reciting Shema Yisrael as the Columbia circled over Yerushalayim.” “One of the wonderful things (about the ﬁlm),” added Cohen, “everybody watches this powerful story and takes away their own message. That people pay attention and think about it, how does the message in the ﬁlm make a difference in my life. The messages are so powerful. Out of a tragic story is a message of hope.” The ﬁlm is dedicated to Captain Asaf Ramon, Ilan’s son, who died at age 21 when his plane crashed in a training mission in the Hebron hills in 2009. Ilan’s mother Tonya died in 2003 and his father Eliezer died in 2006. Ilan is survived by his wife Rona and three children. Joachim (Yoya) Joseph died in 2008. For more information about the ﬁlm go to missionofhopemovie.com
Mt. Sinai’s ‘heimische approach to healthcare’ Continued from page 1 the Orthodox community at large is unparalleled. We look forward to partnering with the community.” Opponents of the plan voiced some of their opinions at the Lawrence School Board meeting on January 14 when the vote was taken. Many of the concerns were focused on the loss of open space, when the existing ﬁeld is converted into a parking lot and what is perceived as increased trafﬁc. Ben Weinstock, of Cedarhurst, the attorney representing Simeone Development explained that “trafﬁc will be contained with entrance to the facility and parking from Branch Boulevard exclusively.” Additionally, the existing playground will remain open and be maintained for the beneﬁt of the community seven days a week, with possible additional open space/ park like settings, with benches carved out
on the north side of the property. “Doctors practicing locally will be recruited from current positions in the community, and that will allow patients to continue their relationships with their doctors,” stressed Dr. Schwartz. “We look forward to helping high school students fulﬁll chesed hours, in addition to providing internships.” The outpatient facility will be operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays and 9.am. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The urgent care center will be open till 9 p.m. “G-d forbid on Shabbos when someone needs care, we are here,” noted Dr. Schwartz. “We are sensitive to the needs of the community in relation to Shabbos and halacha.” Mt. Sinai and Simone Development will be hosting open forums in the coming weeks to answer questions, elicit suggestions, and allay concerns.
Photo courtesy of Simone Development
Entrance to Mt. Sinai’s ambulatory care center will be exclusively from Branch Boulevard and include extensive landscaping.
THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773
Documentary on Ilan Ramon and Columbia shuttle
February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
Opinion Washington, D.C. Federal Appeals Court rules every President in last 150 years abused power
he President shall have Power to ﬁll up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session. Article 2, Section 2 of The United States Constitution. Just prior to Shabbos last week, the Washington D.C. District Federal Appeals Court made a landmark decision. The court ruled the “recess appointments” President Obama made a year ago to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were an abuse of powPOLITICO er---that he acted when TO GO the Senate was not actually in a recess, thus the appointments were void and the NLRB has not had a quorum to operate (meaning that every decision by the board in the past year was null and void). That, however, wasn’t the landmark or surprising part of the ruling. Many liberal commentators had exJeff Dunetz pected the court to rule against the administration (these particular appointments were made while the Senate was in session). The historic part of the decision is 285 recess appointments made by Presidents between 1867 and 2004 would also be invalid (too late to effect the lives of most of them). Recess appointments are not only used by Presidents to ﬁll slots when Congress is adjourned, but as a way to bypass the Senate’s right to approve presidential appointments such as Obama did with the NLRB or as George W. Bush did (twice) making John Bolton our UN Ambassador. The President’s Press Secretary Jay Carney was correct when he said, “The decision is novel and unprecedented,” Carney said. “It contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations.” However, the court is also correct when it says all those appointments were unconstitutional. The reason that ruling had never been made before is no one ever sued over those appointments before. The DC District judges argued a President’s recess appointment powers don’t ap-
ply to “intrasession” appointments (such as when they close for a holiday), but only after Congress has adjourned a session permanently, which usually means only at the end of a year or between Congresses (every two years). During the initial hearing, the President’s lawyers argued that since the full Senate wasn’t actually meeting regularly, lawmakers were technically in an intra-session “recess,” and he could use his constitutional power to make appointments not needing the chamber’s consent. Two of the judges questioned not only that move, but every recess appointment made other than during traditional inter-session recesses that close out each year. “Once you remove yourself from the principles set forth in the Constitution — inter-session versus intra-session — you are adrift,” said Judge Thomas B. Grifﬁth. He was joined in his pointed questioning by Chief Judge David B. Sentelle, who said the clause in the Constitution giving Presidents recess appointment powers (see above) refers to “the recess,” which, he said, suggests the one at the end of each year, not the breaks Congress regularly takes for holidays, weekends or other reasons. The President’s attorneys responded that if the court were to rule that way, it would upset the balance that has been maintained over decades, and would conﬂict with another appeals court’s precedent — though that didn’t bother Judge Sentelle. “Forget about a century of precedent — go back to the Constitution,” he told Beth Brinkmann, the Justice Department lawyer who argued the case for the Obama administration. In its ruling, the court said its duty was not to speed up government, but to hold to constitutional principles. “If some administrative inefﬁciency results from our construction of the original meaning of the Constitution, that does not empower us to change what the Constitution commands,” the judges wrote. “The dearth of intra-session appointments in the years and decades following the ratiﬁcation of the Constitution speaks far more impressively than the history of recent Presidential exercise of a supposed power to make such appointments,” the judges wrote. “Recent Presidents are doing no more than interpreting the Constitution. While we recognize that all branches of government must of necessity exercise their understanding of
the Constitution in order to perform their duties faithfully thereto, ultimately it is our role to discern the authoritative meaning of the supreme law.” The judges said the recess power was created for a time when Congress met only a few months out of the year, and was designed for the President to ﬁll vacancies during the long periods when Congress was out. In modern times, when Congress is almost always capable of meeting, the recess powers should be more circumscribed. The court stayed its ruling pending appeal, but should the Supreme Court refuse to hear the appeal or rule against the Administration, there will be a lot of NLRB ruling needing to be re-argued. The case was brought to trial when Noel Canning, a bottling company, sued the NLRB (based on a ruling against the company, arguing that a rule issued by the new board was illegal since the recess appointments were unconstitutional). Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined in the suit. The Obama appointments were unprecedented as they were made at a time when the Senate was meeting every third day — speciﬁcally to deny him the chance to make an appointment without the “advice and consent” of the Senate. Here comes the additional chaos. The ruling also throws into question the legitimacy of Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray’s appointment, made on the same date, has been challenged in a separate case. And while the court has stayed the decision about the NLRB appointments being null and void, their ruling has set precedent. Since it is the Circuit Appeals Court for Washington, D.C., it means their ruling is the law of the land for the Federal Government. Unless the Supreme Court overturns the decision, Obama’s hands and those of every future President are very much tied. 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.
Independent and original reporting from the Orthodox communities of Long Island and New York City All opinions expressed are solely those of The Jewish Star’s editorial staff or contributing writers Publisher and Editor Assistant Editor Account Executives Contributors
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Karen C. Green Malka Eisenberg Helene Parsons Rabbi Avi Billet Jeff Dunetz Juda Engelmayer Rabbi Binny Freedman Alan Jay Gerber Rabbi Noam Himelstein Judy Joszef Kristen Edelman Christina Daly
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Weisenfeld (cont’d) Continued from page 2 ritories” as much as Gaza, long vacated by Israel and now one of the world’s most prominent terrorist launching points. They want a one-state solution; to have yet another of the many Arab states. They deny – as antiSemites do - the eternal connection, since recordable history, of the Jewish people to their land. They reject all peace offers by Israel. They subjugate their own people to a vile existence in the false belief that they can “wait out the Jews.” I call upon taxpayers to draw a line here and make it known: taxpayer dollars should not fund illegitimate, racist and anti-Semitic activities by any academic department. Those of us who care about Israel would do no less if others were similarly treated. Indeed, the Jewish community in particular historically has done no less. Additionally, academic administrators should be reminded that Jewish students are no less entitled – under applicable federal law – than other students to an educational environment free of intimidation and prejudice.
Letter to the editor
Deserves no press To the editor: It was unfortunate that Malka Eisenberg chose to give a largely unchallenged forum to Pamela Geller, who is, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and ﬂamboyant ﬁgurehead.” http://bit.ly/njgAJU. The AntiDefamation League has called her campaign to vilify Islam “abhorrent and morally repugnant.” http://bit.ly/Htnrc9. Did Eisenberg bother to read Geller’s blog, Atlas Shrugged? Perhaps her ﬁlter at work blocked it as a hate site, as many do. On it, she will ﬁnd descriptions of Muslims that recall similar descriptions of Jews in Der Sturmer, and she will ﬁnd that Geller promotes a view that demonizes Islam as a religion, not jihadism as an ideology. She will also ﬁnd that Geller uses language that is both abusive and inﬂammatory to describe her critics, including center and center-left Jews, groups like the ADL, and frankly, nearly everyone not on the far-right. Geller is an embarrassment to the Five Towns and an embarrassment to the Jewish community. No newspaper, let alone a Jewish one, should be giving Geller a platform. Michael Brenner Woodmere
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A tribute to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan upon his 30th yahrtzeit ner for all to understand. “The Living Torah” and “The Handbook of Jewish Thought” were to be the signature works of Rabbi Kaplan’s literary legacy that demonstrated his intellectual genius in his ability to translate scripture, and to interpret our faith’s holy message in clear and literate tone and style. His goals were never publicized. This essay is intended to share some of them with you. Entitled, “A Proposal For A Series On Basic Jewish Concepts,” Rabbi Kaplan, in late 1973, articulated the needs, troubles and solutions that inhibited our spiritual well being. “The ignorance of the average Jew today is almost legendary, especially with regard to the most basic Jewish concepts. Even those with more than a rudimentary religious education often have trouble looking at the various concepts of which they are aware as part of an integrated whole. Although the basic philosophies of Judaism were developed over 3500 years by some of the keenest minds in the world, the richness of this tradition is inaccessible to most contemporary Jews both because they are contained in works written in Hebrew and Aramaic, languages foreign to most American Jews. Even in the original, many of these works assume a basic background in the fundamentals in Judaism that has almost been lost today.” Further on, Rabbi Kaplan continues to describe what we are facing, a situation no different today than in 1973.“The fact that so little material is available explaining Judaism in depth has resulted in a general opinion among many that this depth is totally lack-
ing. Our youth who are looking for a deep and meaningful philosophy of life thus often seek it in many areas outside the Jewish fold. We need only to witness the many who are attracted to Christianity and the Eastern religions. We earnestly feel that a meaningful presentation of Judaism in all its depth will contribute much to counter this tide.” Rabbi Kaplan proposed a 20 part series of essays, in booklet form, each detailing a different aspect of our faith’s legacy. This series never went beyond ﬁve of the projected parts of this series. These ﬁve were published by the Intercollegiate Council of the Young Israel movement and distributed nationwide. Today, they can be found in “The Aryeh Kaplan Reader,” published by Artscroll. The ﬁve are Belief in G-d, Free Will and the Purpose of Creation, The Jew, Love and Commandments, and The Structure of Jewish Law. Among the other 15 never published by Young Israel, were Rabbi Kaplan’s take on religious legislation, morality and sin, repentance, inspiration and prophecy, reward and punishment, prayer, immortality and the soul, the messiah, the resurrection, and the world to come. Given what we know of Rabbi Kaplan’s verbal take on these topics, their absence in print was a big loss to our people. A sample can be seen in “Love and Commandments.” With the reading of the Ten Commandments this coming Shabbat, it would be most opportune to read some of Rabbi Kaplan’s teachings on them. Consider the following: “The main signiﬁcance of the commandments is the fact that they were given by G-d Himself. They are, therefore, the
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f one were to measure the life’s work and achievement of any human being, I am certain that the spiritual legacy and literary accomplishments left by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan would certainly rank high among those who sought to interpret and share their spiritual commitment to our Jewish faith with a world in need of its message. Much has been written in appreciation of Rabbi Kaplan’s work but, in his own words to be presented below, not much has been shared until now. He was a man with a sacred mission, a person fully cognizant of what was lacking and what had to be repaired. With his gift for eloquence and spiritual genius, he was able to translate and give commentary to the Chumash in only nine months with no revisions, where others of other denominations Alan Jay Gerber took seven years and countless revisions to achieve the near but not quite same result. He was a trained and skilled scientist, an artist, a linguist, a great fan of the English language, a tongue that he viewed as having been gifted with divine blessing. And most important of all, he possessed a gift to envision that which is troubling our people spiritually and was able to articulate the solution with a theology in a simple and direct man-
THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773
The Kosher Bookworm
only means through which we can approach G-d and fulﬁll His purpose in creation.” “Furthermore, it is the commandments that make Judaism more than a mere religious philosophy. Because of them, Judaism is a way of life involving action and observance, and not a mere confession of faith.” Further on, Rabbi Kaplan notes the following:“Ultimately, we, therefore, keep the commandments precisely because they are commandments – laws decreed by G-d. It is forbidden to think of them as anything else. Thus, one may not keep any commandment as a superstitious luck charm. Our sages furthermore teach us, ‘The commandments were not given for our material pleasure.’” The following should serve us as the everlasting legacy of Rabbi Kaplan:“It is only such a constant transmission of tradition that can guarantee the continuity of our faith, and, therefore, this is a most important reason for the commandments. They act as a survival mechanism for Judaism, enabling it to retain its strength, even through the harshest persecutions. Indeed, this may be the strongest of all proofs of the divine nature of the commandments, if any such proof is needed.” “As long as the Jews kept the commandments, they remained strong for over a hundred generations. A single generation’s lapse, on the other hand, has led to both the spiritual and physical decay of the Jewish people.” This is a timely teaching for Parshat Yitro and an everlasting testimony to the legacy of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan of blessed memory, the greatest person that I ever knew. To help perpetuate Rabbi Kaplan’s legacy I urge you, to obtain copies of “The Living Torah,” “The Handbook of Jewish Thought,” “The Aryeh Kaplan Reader,” and as an apt engagement gift of great value, “Made in Heaven.” These volumes should be on everybody’s bookshelf as well as in every shul and school library.
February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
Hebrew only please!
The uniﬁed commitment I
t is quite uncommon for the entirety of the Jewish people to agree about something. I would venture to bet that all of the Jews agree to the historical and national signiﬁcance of the Land of Israel, but not all Jews agree as to the validity of the State of Israel (this disagreement is a shame). All Jews agree that Hebrew is a Jewish language. But not all agree that it’s “the” Jewish language. (ditto) Moshe tells G-d’s words to the people, “And the entire nation responded, united, and they said, ‘All that G-d has spoken we will do!’ And Moshe returned the words of the people to G-d.” (19:8) The Midrash (Pesikta) notes that “they did not answer thus in adulation or with ﬂattery, one answering for Rabbi Avi Billet the other. Rather they answered united with one heart. Even though we have not heard all of the things (all that He has commanded us – Midrash Sechel Tov adds) – we will do them.” A very rare uniﬁed voice! Were they really uniﬁed? The Alshich explains that there are two schools of thought in understanding their collective declaration. Either they believed Moshe’s words because G-d had spoken them – everything that you have said in G-d’s name we will do. Or, all that G-d has surely (‘vadai’) said we will do – as long as we know it’s from Him, to the exclusion of what you have said of your own accord. In other words – we want to hear it speciﬁcally from Him. The Alshich notes that Moshe understood them to mean the ﬁrst interpretation (uniﬁed with Moshe), while G-d understood they had in mind the second interpretation (uniﬁed in not wanting to hear from Moshe). G-d’s response, therefore, was “to come down in a cloud” (19:9), because they don’t believe you, Moshe, and I want them to believe you. My coming in the cloud is so they can hear Me speaking to you. The whole premise of these “possibilities” is disturbing, particularly in light of the verse right before the Az Yashir song, “And they believed in G-d and in Moshe his servant.” (14:31) Perhaps it goes back to the question made famous by the Marx Brothers, “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own eyes?” They believed in Moshe at the Sea. But they still didn’t believe him at Sinai. Until, apparently, the cloud came down on the mountain. Rabbenu Bachaye notes the Talmudic tale of G-d lifting the mountain over them (Shab-
bos 88a), explaining that the pressure was to accept the Oral Law. But the Written Law was accepted willingly, with a great desire, with joy and gladdened hearts. It is known, however, that despite all these acceptances and promises, it is literally impossible for any person to fulﬁll all of the mitzvot of the Torah. Some are only for men, some for women, some for Kohanim, some for Leviim, some only for Yisraelim. [To bring one simple example: Many people never get divorced and thus never write a get.] The Meshech Hokhmah notes that the acceptance here is to do the mitzvot that are relevant to each individual’s circumstance. Otherwise, the acceptance is to learn about and understand the details of the commandments one cannot fulﬁll. What is included in “all that G-d has spoken?” Is it everything that was said until that point? Was it a commitment to what will soon be spoken, exchanged between Moshe and G-d, and subsequently heard by the people? Did it include all that would be recorded in the Tanakh (24 books of the Bible)? According to the Talmud (Berakhot 5a), all of the ideas recorded in the Bible were given over at Sinai to be recorded in written form later on. This idea is elaborated upon in the Machzor Vitri (Chapter 424). One of the important teachings of the Torah is “not to desecrate My name” (Vayikra 22:32). One of the important teachings recorded in the Prophets is, “He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord demands of you; but to do justice, to love loving-kindness, and to walk discreetly/humbly with your G-d” (Micha 6:8). With the “yeshiva break” behind us, as life returns to its normal routine, it is incumbent upon us to ask ourselves if in our travels we demonstrated our commitment to “Do all that G-d said,” “not to desecrate G-d’s name,” and “to walk humbly with our G-d.” When away from home, some people tend to let the “doing all G-d said” part of our lives slide a bit, some tend to be loud and obtrusive, to call attention to themselves, or forget that when not in one’s usual environment, one does not blend in and go unnoticed. On the contrary, we are more scrutinized than in our home environments because we are clearly visitors. (Your choice to believe me or your own eyes!) If we are truly committed to doing all G-d said, we must take a very careful “cheshbon hanefesh” (reﬂection) and resolve to be models of “Kiddush Hashem” (sanctifying G-d’s name) behavior, wherever future journeys may take us. Following the thought of the Meshech Hokhmah, these are commitments we can all relate to, as they are incumbent upon all of us. Hopefully, united, we can all agree on this one!
Ahavat Yisrael - at all costs! The ﬁrst truce during the Israeli War of Independence took place in June 1948. At that time, an Irgun ship carrying weapons and men arrived in Tel Aviv. Then Prime Minister David Ben Gurion ordered the Irgun to turn over the arms; Menachem Begin, the leader of the Irgun, refused. Under Ben Gurion`s orders, the ship was ﬁred upon by the newly formed I.D.F. and 15 men were killed. Begin, however, refused to return ﬁre! He was determined to prevent civil war at all costs.... This love and care for the Jewish people was a constant that led Begin throughout his life.
By Rabbi Noam Himelstein
Like us? Find us on Facebook at The Jewish Star newspaper (Long Island, NY)
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.
hances are your team is not in the â€œSuper Bowlâ€?again this Sunday (or maybe not even since 1969 when they made their only appearance--just saying) , didnâ€™t even make it to the playoffs, you swore off football after your teamâ€™s performance this year, you never liked football, you donâ€™t even know the rules of footballâ€Śbut chances are youâ€™re going to be hosting or going to a party to celebrate The Big Game. You might be attending the party as a sports fan, an unwilling spouse of a sports fan, a spouse of a sports fan who wishes youâ€™d be doing anything else, to view the commercials, just want to eat non stop for three hours or basically have nothing better to do. Since most of us Judy Joszef donâ€™t care about the teams facing each other this year, I thought Iâ€™d try to ďŹ nd some interesting facts surrounding this huge yearly event so I can segue to the cutesy football theme snack recipe. For those who will fast forward to the recipe, at least let your husband read the article. A lot of time went into researching; Iâ€™d hate for it to go to waste. The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its thenrival league, the American Football League
(AFL). It was agreed that the two leaguesâ€™ champion teams would play in an AFLâ€“NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to ofďŹ cially begin in 1970. After the NFLâ€™s Green Bay Packers won the ďŹ rst two Super Bowls, some team owners worried about the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams compared with their NFL counterparts. That all changed whenâ€Ś. (OK JETS FANS, PAY ATTENTION NOW, Iâ€™M GOING TO THROW YOU A BONE) in 1969 (the ultimate sports dream came true for many New York sports fans when the Jets, Mets and Knicks were crowned champions in their respective sports) the AFLâ€™S New York Jets defeated the NFLâ€™s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. Before the game, Joe Namath (like many other sports heroes who promised championships, like Patrick Ewing and Rex Ryan, who as we know turned out to be the kiss of death for their teams), predicted the underdog Jets would win the Super Bowl. FulďŹ lling that promise immortalized Namathâ€Śthat and that panty hose commercial he daringly did. By the time the ďŹ rst Super Bowl was played, the term â€œbowlâ€? for any big-time American football game was well established. Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFLâ€™s Chiefs, ďŹ rst used the term â€œSuper Bowlâ€? to refer to this game in the merger meetings. Hunt would later say the name was likely in his head because his children had been playing with a super ball toy (a vintage example of the ball is on display at the Pro Football
Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio) Although the leaguesâ€™ owners decided on the name â€œAFLNFL Championship Game,â€? the media immediately picked up on Huntâ€™s â€œSuper Bowlâ€? name, which would become ofďŹ cial beginning with the third annual game. The NFL is vigilant on stopping unauthorized commercial use of its trademarked terms â€œNFL,â€? â€œSuper Bowl,â€? and â€œSuper Sunday.â€? As a result, many refer to it as â€œThe Big Game,â€? or other generic descriptions. A radio spot for Planters nuts parodied this, by saying â€œit would be super...to have a bowl...of Planters nuts while watching the big game!â€?) Because of its high viewership, commercial airtime during the game is the most expensive of the year. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcastâ€™s commercials has become a signiďŹ cant aspect of the event (almost as important as to who wears what at the Oscars). Did you knowâ€Śâ€Ś Approximately 151 million people will tune into the game, which will be shown in 232 countries and territories and broadcast in 34 languagesâ€Śof which only one, the word â€œfootballâ€? doesnâ€™t mean â€œsoccer.â€? Viewers will drink 325 million gallons of beer 1 billion chicken wings will be consumed along with 8 million pounds of popcorn, 28 million pounds of potato chips, 52 million pounds of avocados 1 out of 12 people watching will be bored
Chocolaty, crunchy footballs
INGREDIENTS; 3 Tbs butter or margarine 40 regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini Â˝ cup peanut butter 6 cups Kelloggâ€™s Cocoa Krispies cereal White opaque writing gel or frosting (comes in a ready to use tube) DIRECTIONS; Melt butter or margarine, add marshmallows and stir till completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, till smooth. Add the cereal and stir well till itâ€™s all incorporated. Once mixture has cooled somewhat, spray your hands with Pam and shape the mixture into 2 inch footballs.
7 THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 â€˘ 21 SHEVAT 5773
Whoâ€™s in the kitchen
and waiting for the commercials. 6% will call in sick on the Monday after the game. Antacid sales will increase by 20% the Monday after as well. 35% of people who attend the game will write it off as a corporate expense. Excluding XXXIX, the famous â€œIâ€™m going to Disney Worldâ€? advertising campaign took place every year since XXI, when New York Giant Phil Simms became the ďŹ rst player to say the tag line. Some people will tune in just for the halftime entertainment (or as in my daughterâ€™s case, when Springsteen performed, they will live for it). Early Super Bowls featured a halftime show consisting of marching bands from local schools. It has turned into a half hour extravaganza with some of the biggest performers in show biz. One of the most memorable, for me at least, was when U2 performed, and the band played under a large projection screen that scrolled through the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773
February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
Supporters come out en masse to support AMIT By Karen C. Green Close to 600 hundred friends and supporters of AMIT from throughout the tri-state area and beyond came out Tuesday night to attend the annual dinner which was originally scheduled on November 4, and postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. Emceed by noted television personality Alan Kalter of the Late Show with David Letterman, guests enjoyed a sumptuous buffet dinner high tech interactive Israel educational experience highlighted the work of AMIT and a lavish dessert buffet. This year’s honorees were Drs. Francine and Aaron Stein of Englewood, New Jersey, Presidential Leadership Honorees; Laurie and Eli Bryk of New York City, Guests of Honor; and Allie and Alexander Luxenberg, also of New York City, Young Visionary Honorees. Barak Avraham, who was born in Ethio-
pia, and came to Israel with his family at the age of 9, spoke of how AMIT changed his life. “ AMIT will always be my second home. I came to live live at AMIT Kfar Blatt Youth Village in Petach Tikva, the city where I live today, At AMIT Kfar Blatt I was given direction, I was given hope. When you are at an AMIT school, everyone is happy; it feels like you are part of a family. If you have a problem, you are given the tools to ﬁnd the solution. There are also a lot of students like me. Because of good people like you, hundreds of children are being given the opportunity to fulﬁll their dreams.” All proceeds will beneﬁt the AMIT network of 108 schools and program throughout Israel, which in recent years has grown to encompass more than 25,000 students from kindergarten through junior college.
From left Dinner Chair Joyce Strauss, Honorees Drs. Francine and Aaron Stein and AMIT President Debbie Isaac.
Photo courtesy of ©2013 Andrew French
Barak Avraham speaks to the guests at annual dinner about how AMIT changed his life.
Honorees Eli and Laurie Bryk were the evenings Guests of Honor.
Alexander and Allie Luxenberg, Young Visionary honorees.
Blinded Before I Saw My Way to the Temple Mount The very ﬁrst time I traveled to Israel, everything I did was brand new and exciting. Since then, it’s been exciting, but very few surprises would appear. The City of David was something I could add to my list of fascinating experiences more recently. What I had this past visit were some encounters I could not imagine seeing, experiencing, and, in fact, in one case, maybe never seeing again. The ﬁrst was when I took my son, nieces and nephews to Holon to “see” the so-called blind museum, better known as Dialogue in the Dark. It is a museum that is set up as a city street, a food market, a cafeteria, a boat and a home, but is completely dark. It is so dark that prior to the tour the tour guide requires that your cameras, phones, watches that may glow Juda Engelmayer in the dark, all be left in a locker. You walk though these spaces experiencing life as if you are blind. Our tour guide herself is blind, and she was the only one who was not anxious, and she did not fall. The rest of us were cast into a world of blackness to experience what it is like to live as a blind person and learn some of the ways that Israel has made it such that life for people who are vision impaired can function as well as anyone. It was humbling to say the least, and something that I never saw before. Pardon the pun. That experience was followed by some-
The Temple Mount which sits above the Western Wall. thing even more humbling for anyone who appreciates the weight of Biblical history and the politics of one of Moshe Dayan’s most controversial actions following Israel’s victory at the Six Day War. Within hours of hoisting the Israeli ﬂag over the Temple Mount in 1967, Moshe Dayan ordered it taken down and handed the keys to the whole area above the Western Wall to the Muslim waqf in the hope of keeping the peace. Since then, Haram al-Sharif, as it is known, has been largely inaccessible to Jews and Israelis for fear that they may actually murmur a prayer, prostrate themselves to the awesomeness of the place where the Temple once stood, or even sway as Jews often do in
Photos courtesy Juda Engelmayer
Rabbi Yosef Adler of Teaneck and some of his congregants at the Kotel. prayer. For uttering a prayer, or just looking like you are, to the G-d who spoke to Moses at Sinai, is sacrilege to the Muslims and they may riot and start a deadly melee as a result. To sanctify this ﬁrst time ever visit, my
group, consisting of my rabbi from Teaneck, Rabbi Yosef Adler and a crew from his synagogue and school, went to a ritual bathhouse in the Old City and we immersed (separately, Continued on next page
Continued from previous page of course) to purify our bodies, but more our souls, prior to walking the hallowed ground. My 14-year-old son’s very ﬁrst experience at a mikvah, he’d soon like to forget it. After morning prayer at the Western Wall, where my two nephews served our minyan (prayer group) as the Kohanin (priests), since in Israel the custom is that the Kohanim deliver blessings each day, we set out to the wooden bridge that climbs to the top of the Wall and onto the Temple Mount and the vast courtyard and plaza that contains both the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah (Dome of the Rock) where the Even HaShetiya, or the “Foundation Stone” rests. As we are taught, this very stone was the ﬁrst point of Creation, for it says in Talmud Moed, “from it the world was founded” (Tractate Yoma 54a). We had to stand in line and go through security. We took out our cameras, keys and phones and had to leave our bags behind; then I discovered once up there that there are several other entry points for Muslims and non Jews and Israelis to enter through the shuk and residential areas of the Old City, and these individuals can apparently bring picnic baskets, trash and whatever else they so please. Seemingly, the Jewish presence is the danger up there. We walked around the plaza, every few feet stopping to admire the view and to hear our tour guide explain every detail of the site now and throughout history. What was remarkable to me was the Waqf security, essentially the Islamic police force charged with keeping Jews from desecrating the Prophet
Photo courtesy Juda Engelmayer
Rabbi Adler with some of his congregants at the vast courtyard and plaza on the Temple Mount. Muhammad with the mere thought of a Biblical passage or praise to the L-rd who one would think they, too, believe is responsible for the very land we and the Muslims were walking on. The security became noticeably agitated at one of our group who was little more than restless and was swaying back and forth. The Israeli police escort we had asked him to stop moving or risk being ejected. We are asked to respect their holy site, the site they
will allegedly draw blood to defend in G-d’s honor, but Arab families and visitors can dump empty soda bottles, potato chip bags and household trash throughout the area; that is acceptable. The garbage and treatment aside, the ability to go up to that Temple Mount is a privilege. I was a little taken aback at how few Israelis and Jews actually go there. The place was ﬁlled with tourists from Japan to Sweden, who all were permitted to enter the
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Dome of the Rock platform and building. We were not. I asked one of the Waqf security guards holding his handheld radio tight and guarded if I could sit for a moment, as I was a little fatigued walking the grounds. He said it was not allowed as men and women of other religious persuasions were seated on the park benches. I did not argue. There is somewhat of a religious debate whether Jews may step onto the Temple Mount for fear of entering the realm of The Holy of Holies (Kodesh Hakodashim), on which the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant stood during the First Temple. We went because Rabbi Adler believes that we could walk the outskirts as we had, but not enter the area of the Dome of the Rock, and that by not taking advantage of the site, Jews and Israel yield their access and right to what is our holiest site. With that, our tour guide had suggested that if more Jewish people would visit, Israel would be forced to reconsider its tangential relationship to the site and work out a more amicable agreement that would allow freer access and even prayer. It seems ﬁtting that I was covered in darkness at the museum for the blind prior to stepping onto the Temple Mount. Just as Moshe Dayan blindly handed the area over with no stipulation for reciprocity that would afford painless visitation rights, I was blind too, until I saw just how intense and powerful that place truly is. Juda Engelmayer is an executive at the New York PR ﬁrm, 5W Public Relations.
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THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773
Blinded Before I Saw My Way to the Temple Mount
Calendar Submit your shul or organization’s events or shiurim to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Wednesday of the week prior to publication.
Feb 2 Photo courtesy Chabad of Hewlett
An enthusiastic crowd of hundreds of Hewlett families celebrated the completion of a new “Hewlett Sefer Torah” at the Chabad of Hewlett on Sunday, January 27. Beginning a little after Noon, music, good food and drink, dancing, and expressions of “mazel tov” set the scene for the happy occasion. The day will be remembered for years to come by those that attended the special event Sunday. Dozens of children participated in the celebration as well, with special crafts and activities. “There was such of feeling of unity among those of us that attended,” says Jeffrey Lane of Hewlett. “I met so many families from the area and we all knew we were there to be together for each other.” Rabbi Nochem Tenenbaum presided over the event which included the opportunity, with the help of a “sofer,” or scribe, to write the ﬁnishing letters of the new Torah that was dedicated by the Greenfeld and Assis families to the Chabad House of Hewlett. “We always talk about the ‘joy of Torah’,” says Rabbi Nochem Tenenbaum, “but on Sunday we actually felt the joy and as a community.” Dancing spilled out onto the street , as the celebration continued into the afternoon. Nassau County Auxiliary Police assisted by closing of Railroad Avenue for some time. “My wife Rivke and I were overwhelmed with the love and support we witnessed that day. This is truly an historic day for Chabad of Hewlett and for the Hewlett community .” An elegant silver “keter” or crown, for the Torah was presented by the Narkis family. Many families and individuals took the opportunity to dedicate Hebrew letters, words, Torah sections, or chapters in honor of their children or in remembrance of parents, or just in honor of Chabad of Hewlett. “I marked the occasion by dedicating one of the weekly sections,” says Lane, “my son Victor will read this section at his Bar Mitzvah in two years from now. I am hoping we will celebrate that event with our family and friends by reading from this very Torah that we had a hand in completing today!” While the adults enjoyed with great food, l’chaim and dancing, the kids room was full with busy children. they had their own exciting program, which included “build a Torah”, decorating their own unique ﬂag for dancing, getting their name written on authentic parchment with feather and ink by a scribe, and a special presentation on the making of parchment, ink and quill.The children too felt a special part of the joy! Families from different Jewish backgrounds celebrated together. “ That’s what it’s all about,” says Rabbi Tenenboim. “We’re all Jews, and we all celebrate Torah.” The celebration will continue this shabbos with Hakfot dancing and Big kiddush in honor of the ﬁrst Shabbat that we will be reading from our new Torah! All are welcome to join the celebration; Shabbos 10 am at Chabad of Hewlett, 31 Franklin Av Chabad of Hewlett is an afﬁliated of chabad of ﬁve towns, for more info and for dedication opportunities www.jewishhewlett.com 516-537-8770
Aviva Lehrﬁeld Herschman, M.D., F.A.C.P. DIPLOMATE, AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, FELLOW, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS, MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PAIN MEDICINE
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February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
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Woodmere LIVE FROM EMUNAH, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT! EMUNAH OF AMERICA- 5 Towns Chapter proudly presents its 2nd Annual Comedy Event Sold out last year! Join for a fun ﬁlled evening with good friends and great laughs. Featuring the comedy of Oﬁra Eisenberg: has appeared on Comedy Central’s premium blend Barry Weintraub: hosted talk radio, anchored sports television Jon Fisch: host of the popular podcast “In the Tank” Chosen as Comedy Central’s Fresh Faces of Comedy WHEN: Motzei Shabbos, 8:00pm: Dairy Buffet 9:00pm: Showtime WHERE: Backstage Nite Club (Woodmere Lanes) 948 Broadway, Woodmere Couvert : $60 per person SPONSORSHIPS : $100 Amusing ,$180 Funny, $250 Comical, $500 Humorous , $1,000 Hysterical For Information & Reservations contact: Elana Oved: 516-984-4799 ELANREP@aol. comS hari Shapiro:516- 413-6927 JAGEALISHUS@ aol. com Bini Dachs: 917-543-6335 SOAPFAN5@aol. com Linda Koegel: 516-286-3509 LINDA.EMUNAH@ gmail.com
Trivia Evening beneﬁtting Koby Mandell Foundation Hebrew Academy of Nassau County ( HANC) Students from the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County Brookdale High School are always on the verge of helping their community. The student leaders, through NCSY’s Project JUMP Program will be organizing a fun and interactive trivia evening in the school’s auditorium. All funds raised will beneﬁt the Koby Mandell Foundation, which provides free therapeutic programs to child victims of terror who have lost a family member to a terrorist attack in Israel. Program starts at 8:30 p.m. Music by Azamra DJ To register for this event visit www.tinyurl. com/JUMPTRIVIA.
Long Beach Avraham Fried Concert Dedicated to our volunteers & benefactors
during Hurricane Sandy Motzaei Shabbos, Parshas Mishpotim Concert & Melaveh Malkah 8:00 PM Young Israel of Long Beach Social Hall 120 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach Melaveh Malka is being catered & donated by Brach’s of Lawrence Sponsorships Available Guardian $1800 • Patron $500 • Donor $360 • Sponsor $180 Please make your donations to the YILB Charity Fund - Relief Effort for distribution to those in our community who are in need General Admission $25 per person
Manhattan Ohel 43rd Annual Dinner Honoring Saul N. Friedman, Corporate Guest of Honor David Brecher, Guest of Honor Robert and Hinda Mizrachi, Children’s Advocacy Award Joel Beritz, and Jason Curry, Community Award Recipients For more information, email gala@ohelfamily. org or 718-972-9338
Manhattan Ohr Torah Stone 2012 Annual Dinner Celebrating a New Generation of Women Spiritual Leaders Guests of Honor Helene and Robert Rothenberg Raine and Stanley Silverstein Mindy and Michael Leventhal Reception 6:30 p.m. Dinner 7:30 p.m. Docent Tour of Museum Exhibits 5:30 p.m. Museum of Jewish Heritage 36 Battery Place New York City For More information, www.ots.org.il, 212-935-8672
Atlantic Beach Kulanu Annual Scholarship Dinner Honoring Brenda and Stanley Goldstein, Founding Parents Award Raquel Bernstein and Adam Stieglitz, Kulanu Friendship Award 8:30 p.m. The Sands of Atlantic Beach For more information email Dinner@kulanukids.org or 516- 569-3083 x 106
riday night. The sun had long since set, dark clouds hid the stars, and the wind was howling off the Shouf mountain range in central Lebanon. I had managed to quietly sing the Kabbalat Shabbat service while en-route to the ambush site, and even pray the evening service while in the staging ground, before giving my men a ﬁnal inspection, but I had no idea what to do about Kiddush. In such situFROM THE HEART ations we usually ate from our packs, one OF JERUSALEM or two at a time, and we had a system to ensure that we didn’t make much noise, but I had never happened to ﬁnd myself in this particular situation on a Friday night. I had not thought it through in advance, so I had no wine with which to make Kiddush, and a wave of depression Rabbi Binny fell over me as I realFreedman ized how far I was from where I really wished to be on a Friday night. Having come straight from a patrol to lay down this ambush, (intelligence had indicated that terrorists might be coming through this valley on this particular night…) there were no candles lit, no beautiful Shabbat table laden with freshly baked Challot and wine, and certainly, in the cold Lebanon night, no-one was singing Shabbat songs. My ﬁrst sergeant, a Yemenite Jew, crawled
over to me and I noticed a strange smile on his face; not the normal expression of a soldier lying in the bitter cold in the middle of the night in Lebanon… “Achi!” ‘My brother’, he whispered, “Mah kara?” (‘What’s up?’), “Atah Nir’eh Kol Kach Atzuv, mah zeh tzarich le’hiyot?” ‘You look so down, what’s the matter with you?’ “You know,” he continued, we’re not ready to lay down this ambush; we haven’t ﬁnished all the preparations.” (known in the army as “Hachanot”) I was somewhat surprised, thinking I had been pretty thorough, but you learn pretty quickly to listen to your men, especially your ﬁrst sergeant…. “B’li Kiddush, lo Zazim!, ‘How can we move without making Kiddush?’ he said with a smile. (It had become the custom in the battalion that every Friday night, before we ate, I would make Kiddush for the whole battalion, and all the guys would always kid me about it). It was only then I noticed he had crawled over with a canteen in his hand and, unscrewing the cap on the canteen, he told me he had no Kiddush cup, but promised me the Kiddush wine this week would be worth it. And together with seven other men in Israeli Army uniform, on a wind-swept hill in the middle of the night in Lebanon, we made Kiddush. I had never seen him with a Kippah on his head, nor had I ever caught him with a pair of Teﬁllin on his arm, but at that moment, for me, Moshe Biton was the holiest man in the world. Kiddush is all about sanctifying the mo-
ment. It’s about elevating the mundane to a different place, and about how we can transform the ordinary every day to something incredible; something really special. But it also raises one of the most challenging questions we face as Jews. The climax, perhaps even the apex, of the Friday night Kiddush has us say: “Ki Vanu Vacharta Mikol Ha’Amim” “Because You (Hashem) have chosen us from amongst all the nations.” We are called the chosen people; indeed we say this every day. Every morning when we wake up, we say the blessing: “Asher Bachar Banu Mikol Ha’Amim, Ve’natan Lanu Et Torato” “Hashem has chosen us from amongst all the nations, and given us His Torah…” What does this mean? Do we think we are better than everyone else? Are we an elitist society? Is this what Judaism is all about? Given that there are Jews from every racial background on the face of the earth, and that a walk through any street in Israel will see Jews from every nationality in the world speaking the same language, one would be hard-pressed to imagine that this idea is racist. Anyone who wants to be a Jew can join the club. (Though what that entails is far from simple, and involves, at the very least, deﬁning what it means to be a Jew in the ﬁrst place). But something doesn’t seem to sit right about the idea that we consider ourselves to be chosen above all the other peoples of the world. In fact, the sources make very clear that any person who lives an ethical life, regardless of whether or not they are Jewish, has a
portion in the world to come (Tosefta Sanhedrin 13). So what does it mean to be chosen? And what does this chosen-ness have to do with Shabbat? It would seem, that the ideal place to look, in order to make sense of this idea, would be that point in Jewish history where Hashem actually chose us as his people. And that, according to Jewish tradition, is this week’s portion, Yitro. 3,200 years ago, G-d chose to give us this special book that we call the Torah. Arguably, this is the single most signiﬁcant experience in Jewish history. It forms the basis for who we are, and all that we have to share with the world. All of which raises a rather interesting question. If this experience, which is clearly the central piece of this week’s portion, is so signiﬁcant, why is the portion named after Yitro, who is described in the opening remarks of the portion to be a “Kohen Midyan,” a Priest of Midyan? Why isn’t the portion named after Moshe, who received the Torah to begin with? (In fact, there is no portion anywhere in the Torah named after Moshe.) When considering the idea of chosen-ness there are two critical questions: Firstly, did G-d choose us, or did we choose G-d? And secondly, what exactly are we chosen for? In point of fact, before G-d chose us, we chose G-d. Abraham, alone in a world of pagan idolatry and immorality, was the ﬁrst to consider the possibility that G-d wasn’t a part Continued on next page
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THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773
Realizing one’s purpose
February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
Israeli Knesset election statistics By Malka Eisenberg Although the ofﬁcial results won’t be announced by the Knesset until January 30th, some of the election results for the 19th Knesset already in, present some interesting developments and statistics. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was called upon by President Shimon Peres to attempt to form the next government, since his party, Likud Beytenu, garnered the most votes—31. As the jockeying and bargaining for positions continues, it is as yet unclear which parties will be brought together to make up a majority to form the next government. The ﬁnal tally, according to the Times of Israel, after the count of the ballots of the soldiers, prisoners, hospital patients and diplomats abroad is: Likud Beytenu 31 Yesh Atid 19 Labor 15 Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) 12 Shas 11 United Torah Judaism 7 Hatnua 6 Meretz 6 Hadash 4 Ra’am-Ta’al (United Arab List) 4 Balad 3 Kadima 2 Kadima, currently the smallest party, just made it into the Knesset with 2.09% of the vote, garnering two seats, down from the 28 seats they had when they were the largest faction in the 18th Knesset. Bayit Yehudi, Naftali Bennett’s party, Jewish Home, skyrocketed from three seats in the last Knesset to 12. Fifty new MKs will sit in the 19th Knesset, including Yesh Atid’s entire list, Yair Lapid’s party. Twenty-seven women, six more than in the last Knesset, will be there as well. Eleven women sat in the ﬁrst Knesset; the 1988 Knesset had seven, the lowest number since the establishment of the State. Three parties are headed by women: Labor, Tzippi Livni’s Hatnua and Meretz. One third, or 39 members, of the Knesset is now dati-Orthodox, either religious Zionist or Haredi. Here is the breakdown: Bayit
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Knesset will see a new lineup of members, with Likud Beytenu garnering the most votes, 31 in total. Yehudi—11, Shas—11, United Torah Judaism—7, Likud Beytenu—6, Yesh Atid—3, and Hatnua—1. Thirty MKs are of Sephardic descent. Other notable MKs include two from Ethiopia in Yesh Atid, Shimon Solomon who made Aliya on foot in 1980 with his parents and siblings, and Pnina Tamano-Shata, the ﬁrst Ethiopian woman in the Knesset. Another Yesh Atid MK is a former Israeli Judo Team captain, Yoel Razvozov, who won two silver medals in the European championships and was in the Athens Olympics in 2004. The youngest MK is 27 years old, and
another MK is a mom with eleven children. Other MKs of note include Yair Shamir, son of former prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, a former Air Force colonel and former chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries; and Moshe Feiglin, founder of Zo Artzeinu and head of the Jewish Leadership faction in Likud. There are mayors of Israeli cities, retired major-generals, rabbis, journalists, professors, lawyers, Ivy League graduates, retired police ofﬁcers, and two Americans: Naftali Bennet and Dov Lipman.
Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi party
Realizing one’s purpose Continued from previous page of the world; the world was a part of G-d. Historians are generally intrigued, and have no explanation for how one people came to the idea that G-d is an unseen, all-giving, loving entity, that is the source and the totality of all reality. Especially given that this was a complete departure from everything anyone had ever considered to this point. You see, just because I am chosen does not mean that anyone else is not chosen. In fact, we are all, every one of us, chosen, in some special way. Hashem created each and every one of us. And just as all individuals were created by G-d, so were all the nations of the world. And to the best of my knowledge, you will not ﬁnd, in any Jewish source, that just because I am chosen, that someone else isn’t, or that the fact that I am chosen implies that I am somehow better than anybody else. In fact, one of the most challenging aspects of parenting is to be able to show your children that each one of them is chosen, and special, while showing them that none of them is more special…
And maybe this is what this strange story of Yitro is doing here. Before we begin our very special chosen relationship with Hashem, remember, that just because the Torah is truth, does not mean that truth is not to be found anywhere else. To be chosen is a gift; the gift that Hashem gives me. Some of us are chosen to be musical, some artistic, some to be methodical, and some brilliant. My challenge as an individual is to decide how I think Hashem chose me. What is my gift? What do I really have to give the world? And of course, a gift is meaningful when I can give it purpose. To be chosen also means I have a purpose. And if I take the gifts Hashem has given me (which is how G-d chooses me) and transform them into a gift I give back to the world (how I choose G-d), then I am no longer a created object, I am a partner in creation. And if this is true for individuals, it is equally true for us as nations of the world. We are all given our special gifts, and each of us, Buddhists and Muslims, Catholics and Jews, French and English; have to ﬁgure out as a people, how we are chosen (what special
gifts we have been given) and what we are chosen for. What are we, as a people, chosen for? What, indeed, is our mission? It is interesting that Judaism has been caught between the extremes of religious fanaticism on the one hand, and secular humanism on the other. The religious fanatic believes, essentially, that G-d supersedes man, and that human beings are insigniﬁcant before G-d, therefore, in the name of G-d, there is no limit to what we can do to man. As long as G-d lives, it does not matter if man dies. The secular humanist, on the other hand, believes that G-d is dead. And if we are not created in the image of G-d, then we are in the end, created in the image of matter. And if we are matter, and random, then how long does it take before a man can become a bar of soap, or a lampshade? Judaism offers the world the idea that man cannot be insigniﬁcant before G-d, because man comes from G-d, and is even an extension of G-d. Ultimately, Judaism suggests that the ﬁrst place to look for G-d is in the person sitting next to me. Only when I
realize that every person is created in the image of G-d, and that every human being is chosen, in his or her own special way, am I ready to realize that we each, all of us, have a purpose. This is why chosen-ness is such a central part of Shabbat; because on Shabbat I take the time in my week to consider what all the running around is all about. Shabbat is the island in time that allows me to consider who I really am, and why I am really here. It is also the reason Shabbat is so connected to the idea of Jewish community, because together, our challenge is to re-discover what we as a people are doing here, and how we can use the special gifts we are given, to make the world a better place. Three thousand years ago Yitro, a Midianite Priest, taught us that truth is truth, and that we all have our gifts, which allowed us to begin the journey of discovery to what our one-ness is all about. Maybe if we all, as Jews, learn to respect the one-ness and chosen-ness of others, we will be ready to appreciate the one-ness and chosen-ness we already have.
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LEGAL NOTICE PUBLIC NOTICE OF COUNTY TREASURER’S SALE OF TAX LIENS ON REAL ESTATE Notice is hereby given that I shall on the 19th day of February, 2013 through the 22nd day of February, 2013, beginning at 10:00 o’clock in the morning each day, in the Legislative Chambers, First Floor, Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, New York, sell at public auction the tax liens on certain real estate, unless the owner, mortgagee, occupant of or any other party in interest in such real estate shall have paid to the County Treasurer by February 15th, 2013 the total amount of such unpaid taxes or assessments with the interest, penalties and other expenses and charges against the property. Such tax liens will be sold at the lowest rate of interest, not exceeding 10 percent per six month period, for which any person or persons shall offer to take the total amount of such unpaid taxes as defined in Section 5-37.0 of the Nassau County Administrative Code. As required by Section 5-44.0 of the Nassau County Administrative Code, the County Treasurer shall charge a registration fee of $100.00 per day to each person who shall seek to bid at the public auction as defined above. A list of all real estate in Nassau County on which tax liens are to be sold is available at the website of the Nassau County Treasurer at http://www.nassaucountyny. gov/agencies/Treasurer/Annual_Tax_Lien_Sale/tax_sale_ listing.html
A list of local properties upon which tax liens are to be sold will be advertised in this publication on or after February 14th, 2013. Nassau County does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to or access to, or treatment or employment in, its services, programs, or activities. Upon request, accommodations such as those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be provided to enable individuals with disabilities to participate in all services, programs, activities and public hearings and events conducted by the Treasurer’s Office. Upon request, information can be made available in Braille, large print, audio-tape or other alternative formats. For additional information, please call (516) 571-2090 Ext. 13715. Dated: January 17th, 2013 T H E N A S S AU C O U N T Y TREASURER Mineola, New York TERMS OF SALE Such tax liens shall be sold subject to any and all superior tax liens of sovereignties and other municipalities and to all claims of record which the County may have thereon and subject to the provisions of the Federal and State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Acts. However, such tax liens shall have priority over the County’s Differential Interest Lien, representing the excess, if any, of the interest and penalty borne at the maximum rate over the interest and penalty borne at the rate at which the lien is purchased. The Purchaser acknowledges that the tax lien(s) sold pursu-
ant to these Terms of Sale may be subject to pending bankruptcy proceedings and/ or may become subject to such proceedings which may be commenced during the period in which a tax lien is held by a successful bidder or the assignee of same, which may modify a Purchaser’s rights with respect to the lien(s) and the property securing same. Such bankruptcy proceedings shall not affect the validity of the tax lien. In addition to being subject to pending bankruptcy proceedings and/or the Federal and State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Acts, said purchaser’s right of foreclosure may be affected by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act(FIRREA),12 U.S.C. ss 1811 et.seq., with regard to real property under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC) receivership. The County Treasurer reserves the right, without further notice and at any time, to withdraw from sale any of the parcels of land or premises herein listed. The Nassau County Treasurer reserves the right to intervene in any bankruptcy case/litigation where the property affected by the tax liens sold by the Treasurer is part of the bankruptcy estate. However, it is the sole responsibility of all tax lien purchasers to protect their legal interests in any bankruptcy case affecting their purchased tax lien, including but not limited to the filing of a proof of claim on their behalf, covering their investment in said tax lien. The Nassau County Treasurer and Nassau County and its
agencies, assumes no responsibility for any legal representation of any tax lien purchaser in any legal proceeding including but not limited to a bankruptcy case where the purchased tax lien is at risk. The rate of interest and penalty at which any person purchases the tax lien shall be established by his bid. Each purchaser, immediately after the sale thereof, shall pay to the County Treasurer ten per cent of the amount for which the tax liens have been sold and the remaining ninety per cent within thirty days after such sale. If the purchaser at the tax sale shall fail to pay the remaining ninety per cent within ten days after he has been notified by the County Treasurer that the certificates of sale are ready for delivery, then all amounts deposited with the County Treasurer including but not limited to the ten per cent theretofore paid by him shall, without further notice or demand, be irrevocably forfeited by the purchaser and shall be retained by the County Treasurer as liquidated damages and the agreement to purchase shall be of no further effect. Time is of the essence in this sale. This sale is held pursuant to the Nassau County Administrative Code and interested parties are referred to such Code for additional information as to terms of the sale, rights of purchasers, maximum rates of interest and other legal incidents of the sale. Dated: January 17, 2013 T H E N A S S AU C O U N T Y TREASURER Mineola, New York #608295E
THE JEWISH STAR February 1, 2013 • 21 SHEVAT 5773
February 1, 2013 â€¢ 21 SHEVAT 5773 THE JEWISH STAR
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