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Bookworm: Yom Yerushalayim and Ir David Page 5 Yeshiva High School updates Pages 6 & 7 R’ Himelstein’s column on Yom Yerushalayim Page 13 R’ Etengoff on the blessings for food Page 14

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VOL 12, NO 17 Q MAY 3, 2013 / 23 IYAR 5773

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Jerusalem Post Conference:

The Kosher Bookmark:

Iran, BDS, recognition and energy

Marx and the Jews of Jerusalem

By Malka Eisenberg Over 1000 journalists, students, and individuals filled the conference room at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square this past Sunday for the Jerusalem Post second annual conference to hear former and current Israeli government ministers, military men and journalists opine on issues affecting the Jewish State. The audience listened attentively for most speakers but became rowdy, alternatively booing, heckling and cheering when former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and professor and attorney Alan M. Dershowitz spoke of what they perceived as the need for Israel to make further concessions for peace. The conference began with individual addresses followed by three consecutive panel discussions. Much of the talks focused on the threats emanating from Iran, verbal threats calling for Israel’s destruction, the exporting of terror from Iran, and its development of nuclear capability and the potential for a nuclear bomb. Amos Yadlin, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, pointed out that the CIA predicted in 1948 that Israel wouldn’t last two years and, in spite of many obstacles and dire outlooks over the years, Israel has continued to grow and thrive. He warned against drawing a “red line,” stressing that it allows Israel’s “enemies to maneuver around it and do anything that is not acceptable but not cross the red line.” He said Iran can have 56,000 centrifuges in Natanz and 50 tons of uranium but take another tack and “break out in a week.” Yadlin recounted sitting in the briefing room with astronaut Ilan Ramon in 1981 before the attack on the Osirak reac-

Photo by Monica Rzewski

A bonfire was just what this cool May night needed

Chabad lights up Lag B’Omer for 5Ts By Malka Bernstein This past Sunday, on April 28, Chabad of Five Towns held their 18th annual Lag B’Omer celebration in the Andrew J. Parise Park (formerly Cedarhurst Park). It was open to the entire community, all ages were invited and encouraged to attend. It is estimated that 800- 1,000 people participated in the festivities. There was a bonfire that was carefully monitored by volunteers from the LawrenceCedarhurst Fire Department. There was a BBQ, but for those who preferred a light dairy snack, there was ice cream also being sold. Some activities that were provided were a children’s obstacle course as well as a petting zoo and archery. This year was the first year that they had giant video games. The Amazing Skyriders Trampoline was like watching an acrobatic trampoline performer. It was a fun and entertaining evening for those who participated.

What is Lag B’Omer about, and why is it celebrated? Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Breitowitz from Ohr Somayach and Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller explained that two major occurrences took place on this day. One is that Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying on this day, the other is that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai revealed the Zohar to his students on this day, before he died. Rabbi Akiva had twenty-four thousand students who did not treat each other with the proper respect and dignity and were therefore not worthy of teaching Torah to the next generation; all 24,000 died. On the thirty-third day of the omer though, they stopped dying. According to Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, the word kavod means honor, but comes from the same root as heavy. It is important to realize that each person is special and should be treated properly. After Continued on page 3

Continued on page 3

We would like to call attention to and welcome Alan Jay Gerber’s new column in the Jewish Star: The Kosher Bookmark, a review of Jewish-themed essays. Recently I came across an out of print copy of “Karl Marx and the Radical Critique of Judaism” [Littman Library, 1978] by Prof. Dr. Julius Carlebach, himself a victim of National Socialism and whose parents Rabbi Yosef Zvi Carlebach and Charlotte Carlebach were murdered at their hands. This book closely examines Marx’s absolute hatred of the Jewish people and religion, and goes into great detail in explaining the various methods employed by Marx to justify his bigotry in terms of class warfare and economic philosoAlan Jay Gerber phy. Other facets of Marx’s, as well as his latter followers’, attitudes towards Jews are given in great scholarly detail that, in historical perspective, help to explain the left’s hatred for all things Jewish while attempting, unsuccessfully, to avoid the smear of ideological and genocidal anti-Semitism. This includes the World Socialism of the USSR and the National Socialism of Nazi Germany. However, the most fascinating episode presented to us by Dr. Carlebach in this work is chapter 19 entitled, “Excursus: Marx and the Jews of Jerusalem.” Much of its basic premise is to be quoted below, Continued on page 2

Shabbat Candlelighting: 7:35 p.m. Shabbat ends 8:39 p.m. 72 minute zman 9:06 p.m. Parshat Behar Bechukotai. Yom Yerushalayim . Mevorchim Chodesh Sivan (Friday)

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The Kosher Bookmark:

Marx and Jerusalem’s Jews

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A LESSON TO BE LEARNED AND APPRECIATED Nevertheless, the observation made in this book of the sympathetic literary connect by Marx with the Jews of Jerusalem is absolutely fascinating and inexplicable. This should in some manner serve to chasten us in regard to our feelings toward the sacredness of Jerusalem. Through this attitude by Marx we should all learn to better appreciate what we now have available to us in the increasing accessibility of Jerusalem to us, something that was denied to us until just very recently, and something all our adversaries wish to deny us in the near days to come. Yom Yerushalayim should serve for all of us as an opportunity to thank G-d for the miracles of 1967 and to thus learn from others foreign to our beliefs and morals to better appreciate the divine in our lives.

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out of character. Prof. Carlebach goes on to further explore the ideological vagaries of Jewish self-hatred, basically finding Marx without personal fault on this narrow issue inasmuch as he never saw himself as a Jew especially since he was born and raised as a member of the Christian faith. His detestation of his family roots was of no political or religious concern to him.

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Continued from page 1 please follow along: “Edmund Silberner [the noted historian of Marxist anti-Semitism] noted: ‘In the whole work of Marx there is, to my knowledge, only one passage in which he speaks of a group of Jews without any derision and even with a certain friendliness.’ This passage, in an article published, without a heading, in the New York Daily Tribune of 15 April 1854, in which Marx described the plight of the Jews of Jerusalem, their poverty and misery and the hostility to which they were subjected by Moslems and Christians although, numerically, they represented even then a majority of the city’s population. Silberner thought that ‘this is the only text where Marx shows any sympathy for a group of Jews’ and accordingly described it as ‘an exception to the rule,’ which was without ‘deeper meaning’.” This fascinating tidbit of historical detail is given further greater play and detail by Dr. Carlebach later on in his book. As to the motivation for Marx’s behavior and attitude here, only, in my view, speculation reigns on the part of the author and others. As far as Marx himself, I, too, can only speculate. Consider that Marx himself never did visit the holy land or Jerusalem. His familiarity with its Jews is based upon others’ reportage. Nevertheless, his regard was sympathetic and

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Continued from page 1 Rabbi Akiva lost all his students, instead of giving up to despair, he decided to begin again and to teach new students. He taught another five students, one of whom was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away on Lag B’Omer. On the day that he died, he taught the Zohar to his students. As Rabbi Breitowitz explains, that means that this then was a day of great revelation of Torah secrets that were brought into the earth, and that is a great cause for celebration. Rabbi Zalman Wolowik the Rabbi of Chabad for Five Towns, commented that “in essence on Lag B’Omer, we are celebrating the life and legacy of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. He was a great sage of the Talmud and author of the Zohar, which infused Torah and Judaism with fire, life and zest. Therefore we strive to share this legacy with the entire community.” Rabbi Breitowitz connects these two events explaining that when we realize the value of each person and have our devotion to Hakodesh Baruch Hu, then we are worthy of standing at Har Sinai. We start counting the omer from Pesach, which is when we gained physical freedom. We stop counting the omer on Shavuot, which is when we received the Torah and made a commitment to listen to Hashem. By linking the two, we are admitting that freedom without the Divine Law is worthless and destructive. Furthermore, he says that during sefirah (the counting of the days from the Omer offering in the Temple on the second day of Passover) the korban (offering, sacrifice) that is brought is with barley, which is known as animal feed. On Shavuot however, we bring a korban of wheat, which is human food. As Rabbi Breitowtz says “On Pesach we go from animal freedom to human dignity and liberty.”

A clown threw candies at the children.

Everyones’ eyes were fixed on the aerial show.

Yitzy Schmidt helps his son Ephraim, age one and a half, with his bow and arrow.

Photos by Montica Rzewski

Bubbles were a big hit for children young and old

Jerusalem Post brings Israeli policy views to NYC Continued from page 1 roots going back 3000 years and their unassailable right to involving concessions. Arad countered that there must be no unilateral concestor in Iraq discussing the advisability of attempting to destroy self-determination. Oren said that Israel is “one state, milithe reactor if Iraq can buy another one. “Thirty years later tarily and economically robust, relentlessly democratic, and sions and once an agreement is reached, that should be the proudly and unabashedly pro-American.” He also quoted “end of the conflict with no further claims.” They (the Arabs) they still don’t have a reactor in Iraq,” said Yadlin. Uzi Arad, former national security adviser to the prime Obama who stated that, “Israel was not created because of have to give something for something, he said, they should minister, suggested “acting before the problem arises,” that the Holocaust but the existence of a strong Jewish state will halt their international activities. “If they don’t recognize Israel as a Jewish State, it cries out loudly that they will have “Iran’s drive to get weapons is strong” and the need for a insure that the Holocaust will not happen again.” In a panel discussion, “two states for two peoples?” Dr. further claims. Even if they agree they will not mean it.” “strong force to keep it in check.” He suggested “quietly and Yadlin pointed out previous negotiating errors including discretely” communicating to the Iranians “certain and emi- Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Intelligence, International Relanent strikes against Iran, clearer communication with explicit tions and Strategic Affairs, cited the “greatest problem as unilateral agreements, leaving the Arabs a corridor for weapthe consistent refusal ons, such as the Philadelphi corridor. He time deadlines and pressures.” (of the Palestinians, Arnoted the necessity of putting a peace Caroline Glick, a senior fellow for the abs) to recognize as it is plan to a vote with Israeli conditions and Center for Security Policy and senior conas a Jewish State” that the current risk of “losing the Negev and tributing editor for The Jerusalem Post, they have to “recognize Galil to the Palestinians; we have to proaddressed the boycott, divest and sanctheir (Israel’s) right to tect our country and not (rely) on the tions (BDS) movement in the U.S. She exist as a homeland mercy of the Palestinians.” began speaking by summing up her views of the Jewish people.” “You can’t give up the store to the on Iran, “I don’t think there is anything Steinitz noted that Abu Palestinians,” retorted Glick. She said more to say save for bombs away!” She Mazen (Mahmoud Abthat it’s not just an issue of security, that condemned Jews who support the BDS bas, president of the Israel has to state the fact that it is Ismovement whose goal is the destruction Palestinian Authority) rael’s land and has to be willing to “stand of Israel. She said supporters of BDS eiwon’t even mention the by your rights.” She cited the “Palestinther don’t like Israel and identify with Jews since that would ian directive” of why they would “never the BDS movement or are ignorant fools. be admitting that the accept a Jewish State.” If they “do then “Why not Venezuela, Cuba or France?” that’s giving credence to the maximalist she asked. She called on Jewish students Meir Dagan, director of Mossad Jews are even a people. Dr. Yuval Steinitz, intelligence, Jewish view to the 1949 mandate and at schools that support BDS “to stand up from 2002 to 2010. Both spoke in- Steinitz further stressed international relations and strathe need for no preconthe League of Nations mandate. They for themselves…stand up for us.” dividually and participated in panel tegic affairs minister in Israeli ditions in any negotiacan never give recognition….It’s not Israel’s ambassador to the United discussions. government tions. going to stop because we can appease States, Michael B. Oren, emphasized Dershowitz said that them. It’s not going to work.” She was that, “Israel is not urging or recommending any policy on Syria. If the U.S. does provide lethal aid he wanted Israel to be secure and “recognized as the State of involved with the agreement negotiations in 1994-1996, she to the rebels in Syria, (they should) vet them carefully…in the Jewish people, judged by a single standard and praised said, and there was “not one issue they abided by, none matLibya (the weapons) were used against Israel. Israel will not for its accomplishments.” He quoted the first Rashi (a Bibli- tered, they were not keeping any of the agreements, it’s all remain passive if the weapons (get) to Hizbullah.” He noted cal commentator) in Genesis, as to the rights of the Jews to a lie.” She noted that the PA has been “indoctrinating” and that President Obama “reiterated Israel’s right to defend it- the Land of Israel, and the Jews’ history there, and yet, to “seeks the murder of men, women, and children. (You) can’t self” on his recent trip to Israel, noting the Jewish people’s pronounced denouncing from the audience, stated that the make peace with people whose national identity is the negaArabs have a claim to the land as well and put forward a plan tion of your national identity.”

THE JEWISH STAR May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773

Lag B’Omer in Cedarhurst: Bonfires and bubbles


May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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Opinion Opinion Editorial

EXCLUSIVE: O-M-G the Government is hiding sequester horrors

T

hank G-d for Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Hank Johnson. Everybody knows that the sequester is the worst thing to happen to this country since My Mother The Car was cancelled by NBC in 1966, but there are horrible things about the sequester the federal government is hiding from the people. Last week on the Senate floor Harry Reid let slip some of those unknown effects: POLITICO “But the sequesTO GO ter could also cost this country – and humankind – a cure for AIDS or Parkinson’s disease or cancer.” The day after that, Congressman Johnson urged “this tea party Congress” to keep “children’s birthday parties on schedule and give industries that rely on helium the lift that they deserve. Jeff Dunetz Surely those harmed by sequestration and those harmed by the Republican failure to appoint budget conferees appreciate the House spending two full legislative days on this most critical issue. At first I thought the Majority Leader and Rep Johnson were just being hyperbolic. But then, in the middle of Sunday night, I woke up screaming “HOLY COW! That’s Horrible!” The scream had nothing to do with Harry Reid --I had a nightmare about going to the beach and seeing Helen Thomas wearing a bikini. As I recovered from that awful picture which will never be totally erased from the outer corners of my cerebral cortex, my thoughts turned to what those two members of Congress said regarding the sequester. “What if they are correct?” I thought, “OMG! What if there are other sequester disasters the public doesn’t know about?” I must have been talking out loud because just then my wife woke up and said to me, “ You are 55! That is way too old to say OM-G! Especially at 3 AM! You sound like a 12-year-old gir-- now let me sleep!” Leaving the bedroom to think, I resolved to find out what else the government was

hiding about this horrible sequester. As I usually do with perplexing questions such as this, I called my Cousin Ben, the Spy (his mother wanted him to be a doctor but he is a germ-aphobe). Ben had just gotten back from consulting with the FBI in their investigation to find out the real reason Ann Curry was booted from the Today Show. The Government was hiding information and Ben was the perfect man for the job. When he was in college he investigated why everyone in Metropolis fell for Superman’s Clark Kent disguise-- after all the only real difference was a pair of glasses. The reason was they had only one TV Network MSNBC, which affected their brain patterns so dramatically they believe anything they are told. After yelling at me for waking him up in the middle of the night, Ben accepted his assignment (he had to---summer was coming up. I have a pool in my backyard and he lives two hours from the beach). Ben changed out of the official Spy Master Underoos he received during a previous case and left for the District of Columbia. On Monday morning I received this email from Ben: To Jeff From Ben Subject: Holy moly! This Sequester Thing is going to Be Real Bad Jeff you were right--I broke into Harry Reid’s office and found a memo on his desk titled, “Secret Stuff The Sequester Will Cause: At the top of the list were the Airport delays. Number two a cure for AIDS or Parkinson’s disease or cancer; below that was no helium for birthday balloons and then... well all I can say is O-M-G! [Note: I knew I got that expression from somewhere]. Look at this list: 1.Airport Delays 2.Failure to find a cure for AIDS or Parkinson’s disease or cancer 3.There will be no helium to blow up balloons for little children’s birthday parties 4.More TV Shows about the Kardashians 5.The Movie Battleship 6.Bar Rafali will have to French Kiss more nerds on TV 7.People will believe Donald Trump was a legitimate political future 8.The Mayan Apocalypse will be further delayed

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9.The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 10.Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno 11.Apple Stock Will Tank 12.Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will be arrested for perjury by the Tea Party radicals 13.AMC will announce a new version of Celebrity Bowling 14.Global Warming will be proven a hoax 15.Anthony Weiner will make a political comeback and more pictures of his “privates” will be released 16.Some Conservative Blogger in NY will have a horrible dream about Helen Thomas in a bikini Well at the very least I finally know where that gross dream came from. There it was in black and white, sixteen horrible things that have happened or are about to happen because the United States is being forced to slow its rate of spending increase. I don’t know if the country can survive all this. Let’s face it, we are a resilient people but I am not sure we are that resilient. Then I noticed Ben had written more. O-M-G, Jeff there is fine print on the bottom of the page: WARNING: It is very important that all the above horrible side effects of Sequester are blamed on the ultra-right winged extremist Republican Party (even though they aren’t real). At first I thought, my wife is right…that O-M-G stuff is annoying. Then I realized, this sequester disaster talk is a trick! It’s all a political ruse! What the Federal Government is hiding is the fact that nothing bad is resulting from the sequester other than Harry Reid and his Democratic colleagues making up disasters to blame on the GOP. In the end, the worst things coming from the sequester are the hyperboles coming from the Democrats who do not want federal spending slowed down. 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.

STAR

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 Editor Account Executives Contributors

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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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Boston Marathon Massacre Before a day begins, there are many unknowns about what will take place. There are usually general ideas about what will happen, but some of the details about the specifics of the day are a bit vague. Last Monday, April 15, 2013, began as a nice and normal day. I do not think that anybody would have predicted what would have occurred. Unfortunately, that was a day that an unpredictable and a truly terrible catastrophic calamity occurred. There was an annual marathon scheduled for those who signed up to run in it. There were runners from the local area as well as the people who traveled to participate. While some of the people traveled to participate in the run itself, others came as spectators and to give moral support to an individual who was running. Near the finish line, two bombs were planted. Imagine, after all the training, and finally seeing the finish line in sight, but instead of running the remaining yards as anticipated, being thrown yards backwards. For those of us who were not there, it is impossible to fully comprehend the sights that they saw. One reporter I heard said that this was their version of IN MY VIEW our 9/11 in terms of the feelings relating to beMalka Bernstein ing attacked by a terrorist. The following day I went to help someone, and I heard her telling a coworker that one of her best friends knows someone who was right there when the bombs went off. No longer was it a news story that happened to nameless people. Rather, known identities of people who were directly affected became a reality. Although I still do not personally know individuals involved, others do. Once a name of a friend or relative is attached, then the story all of a sudden becomes more personal. The details become more important. It is imperative that the person or people we personally know are ok. Why is that the case? I do not know if it is just me, but when I hear a story, although I can feel bad for the individuals involved who were directly affected; it is not the same level of empathy than if I am personally connected with an individual. Each and every day that we open our eyes in the morning we do not know what is in store for us. It has been a long week for all those who were in Boston. Those who were wounded, I hope that they are able to have a complete recovery. As for the two brothers who are mostly responsible for this unthinkable tragedy, one is dead and the other injured. Although he is only nineteen, the brother caught alive reportedly has amassed a vast amount of knowledge regarding weapons. Imagine what a different life he would have had if he applied his mind otherwise. In addition, not only would his life be different now, but so would the history of the world. We just read in the Parsha about “Kedoshim tehiu” “And you shall be Holy.” Hopefully we will all be able to feel that our impact in the world is a positive one. I do not think that most people are going to make the news and change the world in a dramatic way. We are, however, constantly interacting with individuals throughout the day. Let us try to make others happy, and give them a reason to smile.


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Yom Yerushalayim--Ir David

I

r David, the City of David, the name of the area beyond the southern edge of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, is fast becoming one of the most visited historic sites in Jerusalem, thus warranting discussion this week upon the annual observance of Yom Yerushalayim. Ir David is the original hill top upon which was established the ancient unified capital of the Jewish nation by King David over 3000 years ago. The physical features that have atAlan Jay Gerber tracted the fascination of people from all over the world are the underground archeological finds, tunnels and excavations that reveal, for all the world to see, physical evidence to the antiquity of the Jewish legacy and presence in Jerusalem. Among these excavations include such legendary sites as Warren’s Shaft, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Shiloah Pool and many others that have yet to be opened to the public. According to Dr. Ahron Horovitz, the director of the City of David Institute for Jerusalem Studies, {Megalim] and author of two books, “City of David: The Story of Ancient Jerusalem” and its sequel, “Discovering the City of David: A Journey to the Source,” “Ancient remains that no one even thought exist-

ed are constantly emerging from the ground revealing the secrets of ancient Jerusalem. The fascinating discoveries have earned the City of David international acclaim…” “Despite Jerusalem’s importance, the City of David, home to the great kings and prophets of the Bible, vanished under layers of destruction and debris. For many years, the original core of ancient Jerusalem remained unknown and might well have been lost for eternity. Then, about 150 years ago, archeologists chanced upon the lost city and began to uncover its remains for the first time. From that moment, the City of David has not ceased to astound us.” According to the scientific editor of these two works, Dr. Eyal Meiron, “The face of the ancient city began to appear before our amazed eyes: homes more than 5000 years old, a water tunnel from the days of the Canaanites, a towering Jebusite stone structure, powerful walls and fortifications from the time of the Second Temple times, a Byzantine hoard of gold coins, a neighborhood from the Umayyad period and homes of the inhabitants, great and small. Skilled historians and archeologists find it difficult to deal with the huge amount of finds – all the more so does the lay person who stands aghast at the pace of the discoveries.” These two works are the first books to deal in a unique, comprehensive, historical scholarship literary method with this special

project. These works are also great works of art, laying out before the reader art work, maps, both ancient and modern, and photography from all sources and datings that, when taken together, give you a most comprehensive presentment of the full story of Ir David, as up to date as the latest archeological digs. Yom Yerushalayim celebrates the unification of the City of Jerusalem including Ir David and the adjacent village of Silwan in 1967. Previously illegally occupied by Jordan, this area was annexed to Israel and has, over these many years, been excavated with the results proving the ancient physical presence of the Jewish people to the entire Jerusalem region from time immemorial. Unfortunately, due to misplaced leftist ideological predispositions having nothing to do with most normative streams of Judaism, certain groups, led by Liberal Jewish Youth – Netzer, have found the activities of the Ir David organizations to be objectionable going much against their views of Reform Zionist ideology. They have unfortunately advocated a boycott of tourist activities of these areas. These ideological sentiments should spur on expanding growth in visits by foreign tourists, pilgrims, and youth groups from near and far to learn from our history, to be inspired by it and, for many, to ultimately settle once again in areas that are, by both divine right and historical truth, ours to live in.

Photo courtesy of City of David

The entrance gate to the Ir David-City of David-archeological excavations. Given the isolation, diplomatically, by most of the world’s nations, it behooves us to further solidify our feelings for Jerusalem by both reading and learning more about Ir David, visiting these sites when there, and to urge others to read and do the same.

FOR FURTHER STUDY Accordingly, please consider the following that are available on line: “Visiting the Temple Mount in Our Times” based on a shiur by HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein, 15 pages; “Hallel On Yom Yerushalayim” by Rabbi Gil Student; “Why Does the Chumash Not Mention Jerusalem by Name?” by Rabbi Yitzchok Levi; “The Rebbe’s Hallel: The Halachic Basis for Hallel on Independence Day” by Rabbi David Bar- Hayim; “Rise From The Dust: Eretz Yisrael in Halachah and Hashkafah” by the martyred Tzvi Glatt, hy”d, translated by Moshe Lichtman with haskomos from Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, Rav Avraham Shapiro, zt”l, and Harav Ovadiah Yosef, shlita.

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The Kosher Bookworm


May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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HAFTR Highlights

Students active in college bowl, debate and blood drive Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR) High School students have been engaged in a variety of exciting activities these last few weeks. The junior varsity College Bowl team, with a record of 9-1, participated in the Yeshiva League College Bowl championship at the Heschel School, sponsored by the Jewish Education Project. The team, represented by Captains Josh Lederer, Max Lent, and Jaimee Schwartz, and players Justin Glickman, Joanna Greenberg, Josh Hirsch, and Judah Weinerman, was a finalist and placed third overall among twenty yeshivas. Captain Jaimee Schwartz said, “I’m so proud of my team this year and all that we accomplished together.” HAFTR High School also hosted a debate tournament at Congregation Beth Sholom, attended by many yeshivas. The event was coordinated by Mrs. Ros Nierman, HAFTR High School social studies teacher and faculty advisor for the debate team. HAFTR placed second at the meet. Debate team member Sarah Fuchs said, “The debaters did a wonderful job at the meet, and I’m proud to be a part of the team.” Last Monday, HAFTR also hosted a Long Island Blood Services blood drive. Many Lauren Pianko students who were eligible to give blood donated, and felt proud to be able to say they saved three lives. “I was nervous at first,” said donor Yael Waxman, “but once it was done I felt such a sense of pride that I could make a difference.” This past weekend, the HAFTR Players presented two performances of this year’s production, The Corpse Bride. Students in the drama department worked tirelessly throughout the year on this elaborate production. The newly renovated auditorium was filled with family and friends who enjoyed the performances. Congratulations to Mrs. Jennifer Winkler, director of the drama department, and to her crew of actors, stagehands, and student directors.

Photo courtesy HAFTR

(Left-Right) Jack Winkler, Daniel Marron, Ezra Lent, Rusell Charnoff, Max Lent, Josh Lederer, Tani Goldstein, Josh Hirsch, Mrs. Wolf, Julia Schwartz, Jaimee Schwartz, Joanna Greenberg. College Bowl team.

Spotlight on Shalhevet

Manhattan musings

Blood drive, Holocaust quilt, charity School-wide Shabbaton in 5Ts

This week, Manhattan High School Monday, the seniors had a luncheon for Girls was filled to the brim with for the school to raise money for their special and exciting events! Amaz- end-of-the-year trip to Lake George ingly enough, MHS had its first-ever that is fast approaching. Girls made blood drive. From April 29th through and served delicious soups, salads, May 1st, eleventh and twelfth grad- pastas, and desserts. The luncheon ers went to the Sloan-Kettering Me- definitely filled people’s stomachs with yummy food, as it endmorial Hospital nearby to ed up being a great success. donate blood. Two twelfth In conjunction with the graders, Freda Bader and Advanced Computer GraphRachel Gozland, initiated ics class, the Holocaust Studand organized this event, ies class created a Holocaust with the help of Mrs. MilMemorial Quilt in memory of ka Weisz, the school nurse the kedoshim (martyrs). This and administrator. Many work of art was presented to students signed up to take the students and was put on part in this great mitzvah. Este Stollman display in the front lobby. Although we expected Under the direction of Ms. them to come back all tired Rachel Licht, the students and worn-out, they had smiles on their faces, glad that they of Holocaust Studies researched and had taken advantage of a wonderful wrote on prominent Jewish figures, opportunity to give to others in such such as Rabbi Zusha Friedman, Reba vital and meaningful way. As Freda betzin Elisheva Chana Carlebach, and said, “Blood isn’t something you can Gisi Fleischman, as well as famous make, but it’s something that’s neces- institutions, like the Telshe Yeshiva. sary to keep people alive, especially Under the guidance of Mrs. Rachel people with cancer. When there’s a Friedman, the ACG class designed surgery, they can use a dozen or more artworks, each of which portrayed bags of blood.” And she added with a a different character or place. These smile, “It’s a mitzvah that really goes pieces of art were then combined into a quilt, as a tribute to those who were from heart to heart.” As surprising as it sounds, MHS murdered during the Holocaust, havSeniors ’13 are almost graduating! ing sanctified Hashem’s Name. On Tuesday, the tenth grade had In fact, they already got their grade sweatshirts, which indicates a mark a mother-daughter brunch, and the of passage in MHS. In addition, on next day, the seniors followed-up

with their own brunch, both of which included student choirs and speeches given by the grade mechanchot (educators). In addition to these events, the Tzedakah Committee organized a Chinese Auction, collecting funds for Lev L’Achim, which is an organization that teaches Torah and brings a Jewish flavor to the lives of not yet religious children. The items that were auctioned-off included prizes and teachers’ privileges, the top two prizes being an iPad and an iPod mini. Lastly, subsequent to the twelfth graders’ completion of their family history projects, a glass showcase was put up to display some of their heirlooms along with descriptive captions. Among these antiques were a tarnished, silver menorah with a silver dreidel and a 113-year-old gravy boat. In Ms. Chani Gotlieb’s Jewish History course, the students of the twelfth grade had to amass data about their family trees, histories, as well as anecdotes, and then compile it into a scrapbook. In addition to this assignment, they were encouraged to bring in family heirlooms to be put on display to bring their family projects to life. The twelfth graders also had to prepare a story or some facts that they thought were the highlight of their projects, as well as what they learned from working on this assignment.

Over the weekend of April 19th-20th, Midreshet Shalhevet High School for girls gathered in Cedarhurst for their annual Five Towns Shabbaton, giving students ninth through twelfth grade a chance to spend Shabbat together as a school. The weekend began on Friday night at Rambam Mesivta, where all the students gathered to daven in the school’s shul. “One of my favorite moments about the entire Shabbaton was davening together,” said Michal Elkouby, 9th grader. After davening, principal Mrs. Eisenman told Divrei Torah to the school and welcomed everyone to the exciting event. We then proceeded to Rambam’s cafeteria and began our meal. We sang zmirot and heard from Tama Yastrab Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, Regional Director of New York NCSY. Students really appreciated hearing him speak and it was a sentimental end to a meaningful night. On Shabbat day, students were welcomed to their different teachers’ homes to eat and talk. Students met up at different homes and it was a really entertaining day. “Seeing everyone really enhanced my Shabbaton experience because I spoke with people who I didn’t usually speak to in school and I got to know them on a deeper level,” explained Janet Normatov, 9th grader. At the end of the day, each grade went to a different teacher’s house for Seudah Shlishit. “The food was really good and the whole grade just enjoyed being together,” stated Devora Chait, 10th grade. After Shabbat, students all gathered at Rambam Mestiva for a fun night of activities. There was a kumzits, pizza, and a bonfire. Teachers and students sang together and made smores and had a wonderful evening. Shabbaton 2013 was a truly memorable event and I am already looking forward to the next one!


Yeshiva University High School (Central)

Names not numbers nontraditional program that involves individuals who have actually lived through the history being taught. Students acquire documentary ďŹ lmmaking skills, interview and ďŹ lm eyewitnesses, and create a Holocaust documentary that will become a permanent part of the National Library of Israel, Yad Vashem and YU’s Gottesman Library. NNN has been produced 40 times over the last decade throughout the U.S. and Canada, with more than 1500 Middle School and High School Yeshiva students interviewing over 300 Holocaust survivors. Besides YUHSG, other schools who participated in NNN include YUHS for Boys in Manhattan, Moriah Day School in Englewood, Yeshiva Central Queens and Yeshiva Har Torah in Queens, SAR in Riverdale, HAFTR, Hillel Torah in Chicago, Emery Weiner School in Houston, Margolin Yeshiva in Memphis and Netivot Ha’Torah in Toronto.

Photo courtesy of Danielle Snyder

Auschwitz survivor Alice Bodner (to right of placard) was interviewed by YUHS Seniors (L-R) Chana Setareh-Shenas of Roslyn, Limor Brody of Great Neck, Elizabeth Snyder of Cedarhurst, and Ilana Spirgel of Great Neck (2nd from right on placard) for “Names, Not Numbers� project. Mrs. Tova Fish-Rosenberg, Project Creator is at right.

Photo courtesy of SKA

SKA scope

SKA lobbies in D.C. This past week, 94 tenth grade students ers were lobbying that there should be transfrom SKA went to Washington D.C. to lobby parency within UNRWA, to ensure that U.S. congressmen, senators and their aides to tax money is not used in espousing terrorism promote transparency within the in young Palestinians. A similar bill United States funded organization, was introduced in 2009 by CongressUNRWA (United Nations Relief men Mark Kirk and Steve Rothman. and Works Agency). Although the bill died in committee, UNRWA is an organization it is still being discussed. sponsored by the United Nations As part of the trip, the students that aims to help Palestinian refuenjoyed ice skating, indoor swimgees acclimate into society and ming, touring Washington D.C. by gives them social welfare and foot and a bagel picnic in the warm health beneďŹ ts. According to the spring air. Most important was the UNRWA website, about half the Yiela Saperstein opportunity to inuence the future money UNRWA receives goes to of the State of Israel through lobbyeducation. However, according to ing U.S. political leaders. Many of many published accusations against UNRWA, the congressmen, senators and aides with the educational system is biased. Criticisms whom they met said they would try to look include that UNRWA fosters anti-Semitism, into the matter and others said they already and teaches hatred of the U.S. and Israel. Ad- were strong supporters of the State of Israel. ditionally, it was reported in 2008 that Hamas The trip was quite a rewarding and fun exstored weapons in tunnels under UNRWA perience; hopefully the trip made an impact schools. The U.S. has been the largest donor and there will be improvements to this imto UNRWA since 2011. The SKA tenth grad- portant issue in the near future



The screening of “Names, Not NumbersŠ “ at Yeshiva University High School (YUHS) for Girls in Queens, took place two days after Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day). Over 250 people attended Central’s 12th grade Holocaust Memorial ďŹ lm documentary project--â€?Names, Not Numbers,â€? (NNN). 32 seniors interviewed and ďŹ lmed 8 survivors: Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, a participant in the Kindertransport; Professor Carla Beeber, a member of the famed Finzi-Contini family; Mrs. Fay Brandwein who ed the Brody ghetto; Rabbi Chaim Schwartzblatt, a partisan; Mrs. Alice Bodner and Mrs. Chaya Rubin, survivors of Auschwitz; Mrs. Margot Zarny, who was hidden in a Convent and Mrs. Lyuba Abramovitch, a partisan. NNN is a copyrighted oral history ďŹ lm project and curriculum created by YUHS’s Tova Fish-Rosenberg. It transforms traditional history lessons into a lively, interactive,

7 THE JEWISH STAR May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773

Mrs. Sheila Leibtag, SKA faculty member, with one of SKA’s lobbying groups and aide to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.


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May 3, 2013 â&#x20AC;¢ 23 IYAR 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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9

By Richard Brodsky I recently met Richard and Jodi Brodsky after hearing how Jodi narrowly escaped injury after completing the Boston Marathon just minutes ahead of the bomb that scattered the crowd of spectators and shattered the patriotic feeling Bostonians claim as part of their own special day. Says Richard, “Never again will the people of Boston be able to claim this day as their own; we are all Americans and an attack on a city especially Boston, which was at the forefront of the birth of America--I feel like we are all Bostonians.” Here is Richard’s story in his own words. Jodi and I are both marathon runners and how we met 34 years ago has a lot to do with my Jewish upbringing. I graduated Pratt Institute in 1975 with a degree in Architecture. My outlook for employment was grim at best. The trade referred to me as a RAG, recent architectural graduate. Realizing that relocating was my only option for finding a job, I moved to Tehran, Iran, and after a few months I found a job. I joke about my work assignment which was to help design the 1984 Olympic village which the Shah of Iran was vying for Tehran to be chosen to host the Olympics. Fifteen months later, I returned home to North Woodmere and shortly after relocated to Houston. I recall my parents saying, ‘When you visit the synagogue, be sure you introduce yourself to the rabbi.’ The idea had been placed in my brain and when I did visit the Synagogue, I introduced myself. The Rabbi asked me if I would like to meet a nice Jewish girl. ‘Sure,’ I replied. He gave me Jodi’s name and three months later we were engaged; a year later we were married and living in Manhattan. Over the years, whenever Jodi and I traveled, we always sought out the Jewish community to learn about their life in past times. Venice and Florence both have rich histories and if you’ve read the book the Warburgs, you can understand how modern-day anti-Semitism is rooted back to the 1500s and Italy. Back to the present, I’m HIV+ since 1997 and a brain cancer survivor since 2002. Harvard and NYC medical doctors have stated that my brain cancer had nothing to do with my

being HIV+. I’m 60 years young and six of my last seven marathons have been my fastest since my cancer diagnosis. For Jodi and me, it is never a question as to whether the glass is half full or half empty; it’s overflowing. After completing the 2003 NYC Marathon, I established the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public charity in 2004. My goal is to help people living with HIV and cancer, especially children. My Foundation has been sending me to Africa since 2004. Back then, I tried to locate a rabbi in Kenya and I was directed to a woman, Wanjiku, who I mistakenly thought was Jewish and she directed me to Rabbi Gershom Sizomu who as it turns out is from Uganda. Rabbi Sizomu is now the first black orthodox Rabbi from sub-Saharan Africa. Wanjiku also connected me with Dr. David Silverstein, a brilliant American cardiologist who graduated a few years early from med school, and wanted to travel the world before settling down. An opportunity presented itself to Dr, David Silverstein while visiting Kenya and he has remained in Nairobi, Kenya for the past 50 years. Dr. Silverstein is Honorary Life Rosh Kehilla and current vice-chairman of the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation, and personal physician to Arap Daniel Moi, the former President of Kenya. The two gentlemen have traveled together to Israel and there are close ties between these countries. Both Rabbi Sizomu and Dr. David Silverstein have written me encouraging letters over the years: Rabbi Sizomu wrote, “I’m very inspired by the way you have chosen to spend your time on Earth. What you are doing are undoubtedly deeds of righteousness, loving kindness and holiness.” Dr. Silverstein wrote, “Mr. Richard Brodsky, who is HIV-positive, has been very helpful in coming forward and sharing his story with other HIV positive patients helping to remove some of the stigma of this disease in Kenya and the rest of the world.” The Nairobi Hebrew Congregation, pictured below, was renovated 15 years ago and the interior photos barely give justice to the array of colorful biblical stories as depicted in the stained glass windows. Every year, Jodi and I visit the Synagogue, I recall back in 2010, I was the 10th and final Continued on page 14

THE JEWISH STAR May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773

Five Towns marathoner runs for his life

Photo courtesy of Richard Brodsky

80 orphans were examined by Dr. Richard Sartori, a pediatrician from Garden City Pediatrics, on November 28 and 29

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Long Beach breaks ground on new boardwalk By Anthony Rifilato Six months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed large sections of the iconic Long Beach boardwalk, roughly 1,000 people gathered at Riverside Boulevard beach last Saturday to watch city officials break ground on a new structure, in what many described as a symbol of the city’s comeback after the storm. The ceremony officially kicked off the reconstruction of the 2.2-mile boardwalk, and some sections in the center of the city are scheduled to be completed by July. Officials said that the contract the city signed on April 16 with Grace Industries, the company that submitted the lowest responsible bid for the project, requires Grace to finish parts of the structure, between Laurelton Boulevard and Long Beach Road, in 100 days, and to complete the entire project in 210 days. “It couldn’t have happened on a better day,” resident Doug O’Grady said of the ceremony, for which the weather was clear and sunny. O’Grady, a trustee of the New York City Carpenters Local Union 45 who is known for his post-Sandy volunteer work in Long Beach, said that the project marks an important milestone for the city. “They have the right company behind it,” he said, “and I think everything will go smoothly.” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and members of the City Council spoke at the ceremony. Even musician and Long Beach resident Joan Jett showed up to show her support. Council President Scott Mandel said that the turnout illustrated the city’s post-Sandy solidarity. In January, nearly 3,000 people turned out to say goodbye to the old boardwalk before it was torn down. “Our city, unlike any other city, stands together,” Mandel

said. “We came together months ago to mourn the loss of our boardwalk. Today we come together to celebrate the rebirth of it. … The true test of a community is not just celebrating in the good times, it’s also consoling and standing shoulder to shoulder in the bad times … We shouldered the bad times. Now we’re going to celebrate our good times. Our beach will be open Memorial Day weekend. We will have our concerts three days a week. We will have our fireworks extravaganza, our arts and crafts festivals, our film festivals, our camps and recreation programs and, to boot, food trucks.” Schumer, who biked to the ceremony from Brooklyn, called the boardwalk not only a symbol of Long Beach, but of New York. “It’s going to come back bigger, better and stronger than ever,” he said. Many residents said they were looking forward to walking, jogging, bicycling and other activities when the $44.2 million project is completed. “The word community is really at the core of this ceremony, and it’s going to pump the lifeblood back into Long Beach,” said resident Larry Moriarty, president of the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. “There’s still devastation, so there’s going to be a lot more healing that needs to be done, but marking the time six months later is important, because we need to be able to look back at where we were to where we are now, to see that we’re doing marginally better. Some [people] aren’t back. It’s not all going to happen in a linear fashion … some business owners will come back, some homeowners will come back … it’s just going to take time.” The ceremony concluded when officials placed a large city flag on a ceremonial first beam that was installed on an exposed concrete stanchion, which drew cheers from the crowd. “You’re going to see sections of the boardwalk open throughout the summer,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said after the ceremony. “As we go throughout the summer, we’re going to see a boardwalk springing up before our eyes. It will make it a summer that everybody remembers. Everybody will remember the summer that the boardwalk was built. Everybody will remember where they were and how they watched

Christina Daly/Herald

At the ceremony, Lara Schenck, Noah Robinson, Julianne Robinson and Allison Cohen expressed joy after officials announced that sections of the new boardwalk are expected to be completed in July. the construction. Everybody will get a chance to see the Long Beach flag travel throughout the boardwalk as each section is built.”

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Roughly 1,000 turn out for Riverside ceremony marking beginning of construction

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11 THE JEWISH STAR May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773

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May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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May 4

Young Israel of Hewlett Congregation Ahavat Yisrael Guest speaker: Charlie Harary on “Tapping Into Your Inner Greatness” After Musaf at 11 AM.

May 5

small-group meetings with Senators, House members and their staff. This year with the looming Iranian nuclear threat and need for Congressional support for Israel, the Mission will have a greater impact than ever. Sign up at NORPAC.net or call 201-788-5133.

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.

Young Israel of Woodmere 53rd Anniversary Dinner

The Circle of Life: considering the ethical and halakhic parameters of caring for aging parents. Panel discussion with questions and answers. Light refreshments. Sunday, May 5th, 10 AM to noon. Young Israel of Woodmere, 859 Peninsula Boulevard, Woodmere. Panelists: Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, Rabbi Dr. Richard Weiss. For more information contact: yulongisland@yu.edu.

The Sands in Atlantic Beach Buffet Dinner at 6:30 PM Program followed by dessert at 8:15 PM For more information and reservations call: 516 295-0950 x2

May 21

Yeshiva University: Special Arbesfeld Kollel & Midreshet Yom Rishon program this Sunday with Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacter and Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik 9:30 a.m. – Shiur #1 Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Traditional Judaism in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century America Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter University Professor, Jewish Thought & History and Senior Scholar, Center for the Jewish Future 10:30 a.m. – Shiur #2 From the Talmud to Thomas Paine: The Rabbinic Impact on American Independence Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik Director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, Yeshiva University Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, Furst Hall, Room 501 500 West 185th Street (on the corner of Amsterdam Ave) Open to Men and Women • Complimentary Parking and Refreshments Available No Registration Required • Parking at W. 183rd St. and Amsterdam Ave For more informantion call: 212 960-5400 x6350 Or email: kollelyomrishon@yu.edu or midreshetyomrishon@yu.edu

91st Annual Dinner of Agudath Israel of America on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at the Hilton New York. For more information contact the dinner office at: 212 797-8177.

Kevin O’ Keefe’s One-Man Circus in-a- Suitcase at Kulanu Five Towns Community Chest and friends brings the Circus to The Five Towns! Take a break from your usual routine and come out and see Kevin O’ Keefe’s One-Man Circus in-a- Suitcase, an enthralling whimsical celebration of the imagination sure to please the entire family. Can you imagine an entire circus appearing out of a small suitcase? Kevin’s marvelous story about a man who wants to run away to the circus and ability to include the audience in his show makes this one unique and outstanding performance! One critic says, “I can’t recall when I last

May 12

Midreshet Shalhevet High School for Girls 4th Annual Scholarship Dinner Tuesday, May 21st, 12th of Sivan Temple Hillel, 1000 Rosedale Road, North Woodmere Reception 7 PM, Dinner 7:30 PM For more information call: 516 234-3233 or email: Eyegent@optonline.net

Photo by xxxx

About 50 demonstrators gathered in front of The Great Neck Record’s offices on Cutter Mill Road in Great Neck, on Sunday morning, April 28, 2013, to protest what they claimed was the paper’s decades of slanted coverage and left wing propaganda. The Record is a weekly that covers events in Great Neck. The catalyst for the rally was what organizer Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a Great Neck resident and Manhattan business executive, as well as the president of the Israel Independence Fund, called “the disgraceful false reporting” of the Anton Newspaper chain’s GN Record, and its editor, Wendy Kreitzman, of activist and blogger Pamela Geller’s appearance at the Great Neck Chabad on April 14. Wiesenfeld organized the protest with Dr. Paul Brody. “It is one thing for a newspaper to have an editorial point of view that I find abhorrent,” said Weisenfeld, “ bad enough, but perfectly American. It is not permissible to ignore reality and publish a false accounting of a widely-attended event the way the GN Record did – while photos in other publications prove the exact opposite of your statements…speaking of “sparse attendance” and the like.”

saw so many beaming faces lighting up!” Kevin’s “Circus Minimums” has appeared on NBC, ABC, Fox and hundreds of stages around the world. This production is brought to you by several service agencies of your community: The Peninsula Counseling Center Children’s Services, Let all the Children Play, and The Five Towns Community Chest. On Sunday Kulanu and The Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns are also joining in on the fun. Our children will enjoy the laughter thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, The Altheim Family, The Dime Bank, Gourmet Glatt, The Kellner Family, The Scharf Family, The Zisman Family, Warren Levi Karate, Rolling River Day Camp, The Nassau Herald and The Jewish Star. Show times are: Sunday, May 5th at 11am and 1pm at Kulanu Advanced tickets: $5 per child/ $10 per adult Tickets at the Door: $10 per child/ $15 per adult. For reservations and to purchase tickets please call 516-374-5800 All proceeds will benefit the participating service organizations serving our community.

South Nassau Hospital Offers Parent-Child Education

May 6

On Wednesday May 8th, dozens of buses, nearly 1000 people, converge on D.C. to have

Classes and Support Groups The following classes will be held in May 2013: Monday, May 6 Preparation for Breastfeeding, 7-9pm

May 8

29th Annual Nash Kestenbaum Bikur Cholim dinner White Shul—Kneset Israel, 7 PM $36 per person

NORPAC Annual Mission to Washington

May 22

Friends of the IDF Long Island Chapter 2nd Annual Five Towns and Greater South Shore Community Event May 22, 2013 The Sephardic Temple – 775 Branch Boulevard – Cedarhurst, NY 7:00pm – Buffet Dinner 8:15pm – Program Business Casual Attire Tickets and Sponsorship opportunities available at www.fidf.org/FTGSS Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS) will present their Annual Dinner of Tribute on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Park, NY. This year’s honorees include Guests of Honor Louis and Naomi Tuchman, of Hillcrest, NY, and faculty honorees, Lynda Smith and Dr. Seth Taylor.

May 23

The Yeshiva High School Basketball Alumni organization will hold its 2nd annual dinner at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, New Jersey. We are honoring the memory of Mitch Merlis. Mitch attended Brooklyn Talmudic Academy, Yeshiva University High School for Boys, BTA Yugars Class of 1974. Hall Of Fame inductees will be: Irv Bader BTA, Dr. Herb Schlussel MTA, Stuart Poloner MTA, Rabbi Avi Haar HILI, Dr. Allen Sapadin HILI, Abe Dweck Sephardic, Dov Weiner Rambam, and Benjy Ritholtz HANC, For More information please contact Elliot Auerbacher at EAuerbacher@gmail,com or 201-615-0222.


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G-d, Egypt, and care for our fellow man T

he Torah gives three examples of “Your brother becoming impoverished.” (V’khi yamukh achikha). The first has to do with selling family property, and how it returns to the original owners at the Jubilee year. The second and third examples deal with a case where he cannot sustain himself and is relying on community assistance (25:35-38), or even needs to be sold into slavery to support himself (25:39-42), respectively. At the end of each of the latter little segments, a similar statement is made: “I am G-d your L-rd who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, [and] to be a G-d for you,” (25:38) and “This is because I brought [the Israelites] out of Egypt, and they are My slaves. They shall not be sold [in the market] as Rabbi Avi Billet slaves.” (25:42) The idea of being slaves to G-d instead of slaves to men, or of G-d’s intent to “be a G-d for you” would likely make for a great psychoanalytical study, were we not speaking of G-d. But the truth is, it doesn’t end there. The next section begins with a reference to the “brother becoming impoverished” (though with a different language) (25:47), and it concludes with instructions for when the Jubilee comes, and all slaves are freed, as G-d says, “[All this] is because the Israelites are [actually] My slaves. They are My slaves because I brought them out of Egypt. I am G-d your L-rd.” (25:55) This last summary sentence actually brings together the notions set forth by the earlier verses – Israelites are slaves to their G-d, Who is their G-d because He took them out of Egypt. The focus on Egypt is so significant, not only because it reminds us of the other times in the year when we mention Egypt (every evening Kiddush, during the Shema, and otherwise on a regular basis), as we remind ourselves of what exact moment turned a group of slaves who happened to share a common ancestor, into a nation sharing a destiny forever. Most significantly, the Exodus from Egypt is mentioned in the first sentence of the Decalogue as well – an obvious connection on account of the next two verses in the Torah here, which happen to be the last two verses

of the parsha, whose parallel to the Decalogue is unavoidable: “[Therefore,] do not make yourselves false gods. Do not raise up a stone idol or a sacred pillar for yourselves. Do not place a kneeling stone in your land so that you can prostrate yourselves on it. I am G-d your L-rd. Keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary, I am G-d.” (26:1-2) We can argue that it is hard to come to grips with the seeming obsession over our being G-d’s servants or slaves. But when we look at the setup of all the different examples of the brother becoming impoverished, how we are meant to respond, and how not to lose focus of who we really are and how we should really respond, it gives us a brand new look at what the Aseret HaDibrot (Decalogue) is meant to represent for us. Many are familiar with the notion that the first five of the statements in the Decalogue refer to one’s relationship with one’s Creator, while the last five statements refer to relationships between men and fellow Man. But in the Aseret HaDibrot, all the commandments between fellow Man are written in the negative. Don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t swear falsely, don’t covet. There are no instructions for how to positively relate to fellow Man. So perhaps here, in Parshat Behar, we have the underlying unified message: Caring for another person means picking the other person up when he is down. It also means respecting the humanity of the “other,” never blurring the lines between slaves of G-d and slaves of men, and helping a brother in his hour of need. Remembering Egypt and of our being “slaves” to G-d both serve as grounding principles for how we live out our Jewish lives with the proper foci. We must know who we are and what values we espouse. We must continue to model what it means to look out for one another, to help others in their hour of need, and to look at positive ways to be of assistance – not just negative things to avoid, in staying out of people’s way. And above all, remember Egypt. Remember what binds us to one another. Remember what binds us to our G-d, to our Torah and to our Land. Remember that being a slave to G-d is very different from being slaves to men. Particularly nowadays, in a free society, when people choose whether to be slaves to G-d, we appreciate our commitment and dedication to a “mitzvah-focused” life which grounds us and keeps us connected to our G-d who took us out of Egypt.

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Hebrew only please!

June 1967 - The decision to capture the Old City In the Knesset cellar, on the night between the 5th and 6th of June, 1967; as the paratroopers were about to begin the bloody battle for Ammunition Hill, the Israeli government met to decide: should we enter the Old City or not? There was much to lose: world opinion might turn against the Jews if damage was caused to the holy sites.... And time was running out....

By Rabbi Noam Himelstein

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 May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773

Parshat Behar-Bechukotai


May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

14

Parshiot Behar-Bechukotai

Focusing Upon Our Essence By Rabbi David Etengoff One of the thornier, daily halachic problems is that of which bracha (blessing) to recite on a particular food. Not too surprisingly, a vast literature has been created by our poskim (halachic decisors) that contains a plethora of opinions and approaches regarding every questionable item. Bread, wine, cake, fruit, vegetables, and water – by way of illustration - all have their specific blessing to be recited before one is allowed to enjoy Hashem’s bounty. Talmud Bavli, Berachot 35a teaches us this idea in the following formulation: Our Rabbis have taught: It is forbidden to a man to enjoy anything of this world without a benediction, and if anyone enjoys anything of this world without a benediction, he commits sacrilege. What is his remedy? He should consult a wise man. What will the wise man do for him? He has already committed the offence! — Said Raba: “What it means is that he should consult a wise man beforehand, so that he should teach him blessings and he should not commit sacrilege.” Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: “To enjoy anything of this world without a benediction is like making personal use of things consecrated to heaven (hekdash), since it says: “The earth is the L-rd’s and the fullness thereof.” (Translation, Soncino Talmud, brackets my own) It is now quite clear that we are mandated to recite a benediction prior to eating any food, and that we need to do this in a knowledgeable and thoughtful manner. Nearly everyone, however, encounters the following question:

“Which blessing should be recited over a food composed of clearly differentiated ingredients?” For example, what bracha does apple pie or an ice-cream cone require? In these examples, we have foods composed of two different items competing for one mandated blessing. Therefore, it is frequently unclear exactly what one ought to do. By definition, one of the foods is of secondary import (tafel) to the primary one (ikar). The question, of course, is which is which? In time honored Jewish tradition, the answer to our query is a resounding: “It depends.” The determinant in this case, according to many poskim, is subjective in nature. Whatever is of singular importance to me, whichever food is more pleasing and desirous in my eyes, will become the ikar and the other food the tafel. In such an instance, only the main food receives the bracha, while the other does not. Clearly, ikar and tafel are both essential concepts in, and constitutive elements of, this area of Halacha. In a manner of speaking, Parashat Bechuchotai is also focused upon the concepts of ikar and tafel. The very first pasuk states: “If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them.” (Sefer Vayikra 26:3, this and all Bible and Rashi translations, The Judaica Press Complete Tanach) Rashi (1040-1105) explains this verse based upon the halachic Midrash known as the Sifra: If you follow My statutes: I might think that this refers to the fulfillment of the commandments. However, when Scripture says, “and observe My commandments,” the fulfillment of the commandments is [already] stated.

So what is the meaning of “If you follow My statutes?” It means that you must toil in the study of Torah [Torath Kohanim 26:2]. The key here is to “toil in the study of Torah.” This, then, is the meaning inherent in the expression, “If you follow My statutes.” The Midrash and Rashi are teaching us a crucial point regarding Jewish life and living: Torah must ever be our ikar, our essence – and the center of our lives. The one and only way in which Torah can achieve this status is if we are committed with our complete hearts and souls to its study. In a word, we must encounter the Torah, and lovingly develop a heartfelt relationship with it. This requires strenuous hours of assiduous learning and study, i.e., toil. If we will devote ourselves in this manner, the Torah will become our ikar, our essence, and everything else in the world will be tafel to its sublime power and beauty. With Hashem’s help, may we continue to grow in our love of, and devotion to, our holy Torah. Moreover, may it become, and always be, our ikar - the true essence of our being. V’chane yihi ratzon. Shabbat Shalom

VOICE YOUR OPINION! E-mail letters to letters@thejewishstar.com

Five Towns marathoner runs for his life Continued from page 9 Jewish male to enter the synagogue and then the Torah was permitted to be taken out of the ark and read. Knowing that it was me who allowed the Torah to be read brings me great solace to this day. There is more information about the history of the Synagogue by visiting the Synagogue’s website, http://nairobisynagogue.org/. After visiting the Synagogue, we fly to Kisumu, Kenya, where my Foundation co-sponsors the World AIDS Marathon with the Kisumu World AIDS Marathon Group. In conjunction with the World AIDS Marathon, 50+ males are circumcised every year for the purpose of reducing the spread of AIDS. Since 2006, my Foundation has sponsored orphan dinner dances for 4,350 Kenyan orphans and since 2011, we have recruited Dr. Richard Sartori, a partner at Garden City Pediatrics, to travel with us and examine the orphans. In many ways, Hashem does not seem ready to claim me. While watching Jodi nearing the Boston Marathon finish, I was undecided about whether to watch her cross the finish line and take a photo, but when I realized I left my camera in the car, I opted to meet her at the family reunion area, at least a quarter mile from the finish line. For those of you who did not see the Boston Marathon video shown of the 78 year old marathoner falling to the ground, this occurred 15’ from the finish line; not a good place for me to be watching Jodi. Similarly, when I was first diagnosed HIV+ there must have been dozens of AIDS medicine I could have taken. As it turns out, Viracept was the one my doctor prescribed. It was my wife Jodi who found the doctor. In 2006, my doctor wanted to take me off Viracept as there were more medicines that could have been taken as a single daily dose. I’m glad I stood my ground and refused to be taken off Viracept The following year, http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/sep2007/nci-01.htm, the National Institute of Health, reported that the AIDS medicine can help cancer survivors and that Viracept was the #1 medicine for prolonging the lives of people living with cancer. Some of the recent projects I have and will be involved with include the efforts of many Shomer Shabbat and other Jewish volunteers living in the Five Towns. Retrofestival.org, a group headed up by Allan (Avi) Spielman of Woodmere, organized eight bands to play music similar to the Woodstock music of the late 60s at a benefit concert for my Foundation

Photo courtesy of Richard Brodsky

Start of the 2012 World AIDS Marathon, Richard and Jodi Brodsky at center. on April 20. Retrofestival.org assists many charities by assembling local musicians to perform at various clubs such as Woodmere Lanes / Backstage Nite Club. But don’t expect Allan to arrive before Shabbos ends. Similarly, there was a bass player Myron Baer, a YCQ parent and long time resident Drummer Joey Fichoff. Other Retrofest events have featured locals Elliot Schiff, Rabbi Richie Borah, Adam Schwartz, Dan Friedman and Adam Kaufman. Says Allan Spielman, “It is a Kiddish Hashem to see the participants of the frum community working with other Jews and non-Jews on such important causes.” The Richard M. Brodsky Foundation’s next Event will be the 6th annual, June 9, 2013, 5K AIDS Cancer Run Walk in

North Woodmere Park. Local Five Towns resident Asher J. Matathias, President of the Five Towns B’nai B’rith and board member of the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, will once again be giving the invocation at the Event. I can’t believe I will be running in my hometown and passing my old house as the Event is being relocated to North Woodmere from Seaford. The Event will feature entertainment by kids4kidsnyc.org, a very talented group of children performers and comedian Lawrence Shaw, a Lawrence High School graduate, class of ’70. Everyone who registers by May 24 will have their name on the back of their t-shirt. To register or to make a donation for the upcoming 5K Event, visit the website, www.5kaidscancer.com.


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ANNOUNCEMENTS

PUBLISHER/SALES MANAGER

For The Jewish Star

The Jewish Star is seeking a dynamic individual to lead our advertising sales efforts, manage the business affairs of the paper, and supervise the editorial staff. The Star reaches more than 10,000 Orthodox Jewish households in the Five Towns, Brooklyn and throughout Long Island. Prior sales and/or sales management experience in the media or other B to B environment is required. As publisher, you will have bottomline responsibility for the paper. In addition to managing the sales staff, you will be responsible for handling major accounts, developing marketing and promotional materials and being the public face of the Star in the community. In addition, the editor of the Star reports directly to the publisher. You should be familiar with the Orthodox communities of the Five Towns and Brooklyn and have an understanding of Torah Judaism, its traditions and culture. A car is required. The Star is owned by Richner Communications the largest publisher of community newspapers and shopping guides in Nassau County. Our state-of-theart offices in Garden City offer a friendly informal environment. We offer a competitive compensation plan including salary, strong incentives, excellent health plan and 401(k). Please send resume with cover letter and salary requirements to careers@thejewishstar.com.

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THE JEWISH STAR May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773

“HILARIOUS!”


Five Towns Community Chest & Friends Proudly Present:

“Circus in a Suitcase” An Enthralling Whimsical Celebration of the Imagination Please join us as we celebrate our community with our children’s laughter.

Sunday May 5th 11:00am & 1:00pm

Kulanu Central Avenue & McGlynn Place Cedarhurst, NY 11516

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Sunday Honorees: Kulanu and The Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns 

May 3, 2013 • 23 IYAR 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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May 3, 2013