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Brooklyn is in the house Page 3 Charlie Harary broadens his reach Page 3 Kosher Bookworm: Pirkei Avot biographies Page 5 Who’s in the kitchen? Ice Cream! Page 13

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VOL 11, NO 17 ■ MAY 4, 2012 / 12 IYAR 5772

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The Israel of Yeshiva Ketana students make history the future with the Enterprise space shuttle needs to be forged today By Stew Greenberg

By Juda Engelmayer Tzipi Livni quit the Knesset this week and offered parting words of warning that Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state is in danger. Having lost the March elections for leadership of the Kadima Party, the former peace negotiator and opposition leader who had served in Ariel Sharon’s government, opted to leave rather than remain a deposed giant. The warning she offered though, rings with a deeper meaning than mere sour grapes. Livni is a long time advocate who was once one of the country's most popular leaders. She founded the centrist Kadima Party with the hawk Sharon, and was foreign minister for three years, when she also served as Israel's chief negotiator with the Palestinians. This is not the resume of someone who would wantonly take a mean jab at the country she loves. The warning means a lot more and anyone who cares for Israel must understand just what Livni meant and heed the message which might be an inevitable product of the circumstances the young Jewish state exists with. Can Israel survive as a Jewish state? That is certainly the plan, and the desired destiny for Jews around the world who care and advocate for it, and especially for those living in the land. Yet, with no prospects for an end to the violence and constant barrage of attacks on all fronts, physically, politically and verbally, Israel faces an existence of unyielding war and attrition, which eats away, not only at the resources of the country, but the collective psyche of those who just want to live Continued on page 2

On Friday morning, JFK International Airport hosted the arrival of the Shuttle Enterprise on its final journey. The Enterprise was flown from Washington, DC to New York in preparation for its installation on the deck of the USS Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum in July. Amongst the many dignitaries and VIPs invited to welcome the shuttle to New York, was a group of students from Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island. The Yeshiva Ketana group was invited to the event in recognition of the historical achievement of having designed, tested and flown an experiment on the final space shuttle mission last July. As shuttle Atlantis lifted off the pad at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-135 (the final mission), a group of students from Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island watched in awe from the NASA facility as their year’s work, an experiment analyzing the formation of crystals in zero gravity and zero atmosphere, was rocketing towards the morning sky. The Yeshiva received a call several days earlier from Sheri Levinky Raskin, Assistant Vice President of Education for the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum, inviting them to bring a group. It seems that attention was drawn to this group of boys from Yeshiva Ketana by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Continued on page 3

Photo by Stew Greenberg

A proud Senator Schumer congratulates Yeshivah Ketana students at the Enterprise arrival event at JFK airport on their stellar achievement as the only New York State students to fly an experiment in space.

Rambam’s Hebrew class experiences Sderot bomb By Malka Eisenberg The incoming missile siren went off on Monday during Rambam Mesivta’s sophomore Honors Hebrew class while the students were video conferencing with their teacher, Batel Dahan in Sderot. “What we saw,” reported Binyomin Wallin, one of the students, “was all of a sudden she went out of the picture in the middle of class. We heard the siren; it wasn’t that loud when we heard it. It wasn’t that close to the bomb. Normally you hear the bomb 15 seconds later. We didn’t hear it; it was far away. None of us knew what was happen-

ing. When she came back,she explained that she went into the hallway where there is a bomb shelter in her building. When she got there she waited until the siren went off and then the people went back to their apartments.” “We were wondering what happened,” continued Wallin. “I was worried for a second. It was kind of a bit creepy. It’s part of her everyday life. She was used to it. She went about it calmly. When she came back we talked about it for a minute or two and went straight back into the lesson.” “It’s part of their daily routine,” said fellow student Yarden Sokol. “Thank G-d that there is a

bomb shelter on every floor of the building.” “It’s sad that they have to go through it,” said Wallin. “They have the protection they need. Hopefully nobody will get hurt and hopefully it will be over soon.” Arthur Carp of Quantalytics, donor and facilitator of the video conferencing program at Rambam, noted that the connection was still open when the teacher had to enter the bomb shelter. “It left a very vivid impression on them as to what living in Sderot is about with Gaza and its Palestinian Arabs next door,” he said. “This was far more frightening than reading about it or watching a news clip.”

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Still, Livni went further to include Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s precarious democracy with her warning. This ominous premonition was directed more at the internal state of affairs of the country, and speaks more to the divides that exist among the citizens of Israel itself. It is this piece that is more worrisome, as it highlights an issue that most American Jews do not pay as close attention to as they probably should. Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s democracy is tenuous right now, as the incongruity of maintaining a Jewish homeland and a free pluralistic society pushes the limits of the unity and equality. Plainly speaking, if a citizen is not Jewish in Israel, he will not truly be granted the same considerations as someone who is â&#x20AC;&#x201C; he cannot be if Israel is to remain Jewish; hence, the challenge. Yet, Livni was not even talking about that when she offered her parting advice. The warning she was highlighting was likely the sense that in order for the Netanyahu administration to maintain its coalition, it yields to a more religious faction that does not care for the external security as much as it wishes to see Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing laws reflect a strict interpretation of Jewish biblical law, and in many ways, reflective if Islamic Shariah laws. You cannot get married in Israel legally without their rabbinical authorities granting permission. Whether they wish to dictate who is a Jew, or which rabbi is authorized to convert gentiles to Judaism, to imposing national Sabbath regulations to prevent any activity by everyone that might be in violation of one of the 39 forbidden actions on the Sabbath. The meaning of the 39 would also be interpreted by their own rabbinical mindset. In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first time at the mantle in the 1990s, he was adamant about reigning in the control that some ultra orthodox factions had on the state. This time around he not only tuned the spigot back on, but he increased the pressure for a forceful flow of social welfare and dominant laws to groups that are not really Zionist, avoid national service and are largely unemployed. These groups have successfully navigated through every administration, helping the government of-the-moment stay in power by voting alongside contentious and unpopular legislation in exchange for major considerations with regard to â&#x20AC;&#x153;officialâ&#x20AC;? state religious policies as well as subsidies for their constituencies. While Haredim are still largely a minority, making up about 25% of the population (factoring in the collective groups, including Shas, UTJ and National Union, etc.) they have a government authorized hold on a major element of Israeli society. As it stands, the ultra orthodox groups control the cemeteries and burials â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for everyone. Secular Jews who wish to be buried in a certain spot can be rejected based on specific religious interpretations. Some require the burning off of the numbered tattoos that Holocaust survivors often still have. Aside from the social welfare aspect, which is skewed toward the more fervently religious groups, these same groups want to be seen as the Sanhedrin of Israel, the entity that dictates religious doctrine to the entire country. Governments on the left and on the right have slowly yielded that power, and it has the potential to eliminate democracy. Livniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warning is worth considering. Israel itself is a paradox, but one that we accept as long as it is manageable. For Israel to continue thriving and building, something inevitably must give. It needs to be free of danger and threats, and it needs to truly deal with the needs of all of the nation of Israel. Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency, 5WPR

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Continued from page 1 â&#x20AC;&#x153;normalâ&#x20AC;? lives. That, with the fast pace of Palestinian births outnumbering that of most Israelis, Israel can find itself being closed in by a Moslem population that already has exhibited low tolerance for Jewish neighbors. If Israel does not find an end to the unstable backdrop it is surrounded by, then time, fatigue, and sheer numbers can just as well close ranks on the lonely state, and it will cease to be a Jewish state.

^

May 4, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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By Karen C. Green Dr. Jack Choueka may live in Lawrence but he really never left Brooklyn and the arrival of the Brooklyn Nets in the newly constructed Barclays Center is cementing his relationship with his home borough. The Brooklyn born physician, and Chair of Orthopedics at Maimonides Medical Center since 2006, hails from Sheepshead Bay. He graduated from Yeshivah of Flatbush, in fact — with the exception of crossing the river to receive his undergraduate degree from Columbia — his entire education was in Brooklyn. He earned his medical training at Downstate Medical Center. “Brooklyn has been home to my entire medical career, beginning with my affiliation with Maimonides in 1998,” noted Choueka. On April 30, Maimonides Medical Center announced that it has entered into a partnership with the Brooklyn Nets, a team with the distinction of being the first major league sports franchise in 50 years to call the borough of Kings home. Choueka, himself a huge basketball fan, shares the excitement with his wife, Marla, a medical surgical nurse, and children David and Estee, seniors at North Shore Hebrew Academy, and Paulina, a seventh grader at HAFTR. “My family is shepping nachas,” said Choueka gleefully. Choueka notes how exhilarating the arrival of the team is for Brooklyn as a whole and for Maimonides Medical Center in particular. He has already begun to get familiar with the team, recently meeting with Brook Lopez, the Nets center, Bruce Rattner, owner, and Nets administration. The doctor stressed that “my colleagues and I

Photo courtesy of Stew Greenberg

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer greets Avi Greenberg and fellow YKLI students.

Yeshiva Ketana meets the Enterprise Continued from page 1

Photo courtesy of Dr. Jack Choueka

Dr. Jack Choueka at Maimonides/ Brooklyn Nets press conference. will be there courtside, our team of physicians is ready to support the Brooklyn Nets at every level. From immediate courtside care, through diagnosis and treatment of injuries and other illnesses, to sharing injury prevention strategies, Maimonides has the expertise to keep Brooklyn’s new home team fit and competitive.” He expects the Brooklyn Nets to be a hot ticket for Five Towners. “After all, he points out, who from the Five Towns doesn’t have some Brooklyn connection?”

N.Y.S. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder since this is the only school in the entire State of New York that has ever submitted and been awarded an opportunity to send an experiment into space. The group of boys, led by Stew Greenberg, Director of Educational Technology and co-coordinator of “YKLI in Space,” was accompanied by General Studies Principal, Mrs. Zehava Kraitenberg and School Administrator, Mrs. Chanie Picker. While waiting for the momentous occasion to unfold, the boys had a rare opportunity to discuss their achievement with Senator Schumer who seemed quite interested in hearing of their accomplishments and to acknowledge their place in New York State and U.S. history. The students got the opportunity to meet the crew that flew the Shuttle Carrier as well as the pilots who flew the NASA chase jets that escorted

the Enterprise to New York. While standing near the shuttle and admiring its awesome size, the President of the Intrepid, Susan Marenoff-Zausner made mention of the team from Yeshiva Ketana and recognized their achievement and historical project in front of all in attendance. The news crews jumped out to capture the moment and the boys didn’t flinch. It was an awesome close to a year of stellar achievement by the fifth, sixth and seventh graders. The team was privileged to witness the final flight of the shuttle era with Atlantis STS-135 in July, and now were witness to the final voyage of the Enterprise to New York City. This is certainly something that they will remember and share with their children and grandchildren. We congratulate the team, their parents, and the Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island on their achievements and eagerly await their next opportunity to make and witness history.

Charlie Harary Broadens His Reach By Tammy Mark On any given day you can find Charlie Harary in a million different places doing a million different things with a million different people. Like many dads, you may find him at his kids’ bus stop one morning, at the local minyan in Woodmere or at his desk at his day job. You may also be fortunate enough to be sitting in a classroom listening to him teach a class at Yeshiva University Syms School of Business. One day he may be speaking in Chicago or L.A., giving a lecture or a shiur for O.U. or N.C.S.Y., or producing one of his numerous videos for Aish.com or his personal website. Now, you can also find him on the airwaves. As founder and president of Milvado, Charlie works to develop methods to teach spirituality in modern and innovative ways. To that end, his latest platform is his new nighttime gig as a radio show host. On Thursday nights from 6-7 P.M., Charlie heads to the Radio Hidabroot studios to host The Charlie Harary Radio Show. The focus of the show is to help people grow spiritually and find their own personal greatness through Torah lessons and through the actions of inspirational community leaders. In connection with the Israeli outreach organization Hidabroot, Radio Hidabroot features informative and inspirational Jewish programming and songs 24 hours a day. You can tune in to Radio Hidabroot in Brooklyn on 97.5 FM or listen online at www.radiohidabroot.com. Charlie, who is a CEO of H3 Capital, LLC and a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, is well known in the Jewish community as a dynamic and talented motivational speaker. He has reached hundreds of thousands of people in 15 countries through his speaking engagements and videos. Charlie has become an iconic figure to the young people whom he has reached through his regular visits to summer camps such as Morasha.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Harary

Charlie Harary with recent interviewee philanthropist Chesky Kauftheil. It is rare for a speaker to be compelling enough to connect so deeply to listeners of all ages. Charlie’s enthusiastic style of storytelling keeps his lessons entertaining and engaging. It often seems as if he is discovering and developing his ideas along with the listener, which helps keeps the connection strong and the message memorable. He takes his audience along with him on his journey of discovery and growth. Now into the eighth week of the show, Charlie has been fortunate to interview a succession of powerhouse guests, such as Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Avraham Sutton, Rabbi Mordechai Tokarsky, Zisha Novoseller and Chesky Kaufteil, each bringing his own special brand of expertise

and insights. On Yom Hashoah, he was joined by Egon Pfeifer, who shared his personal story of losing his parents to the concentration camps, growing up an orphan in Hungary and surviving to raise an Orthodox family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the studio when his daughter Suzie called in to thank him for being a loving father and a role model for his children and grandchildren. The message of that show was not only to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust, but also to realize how resilient and determined our ancestors were. We need to remember their challenges and their strength in the constant face of adversity, and internalize their traits of perseverance as we go through our own lives. On Yom Haatzmaut, he spoke with Rabbi

Chanan Kaufman who has sent over 18,000 people to learn in Israel. Whether he is talking to the philanthropist who gives out his personal cell phone number and takes calls for help in the middle of the night, or Sony Perlman, the young father who works tirelessly to help “at-risk” youth, Charlie extracts the unique traits of greatness from each of the guests in order to reframe and deliver a message of empowerment to his listeners. Future shows will aim to highlight our everyday heroes alongside the rabbinical leaders and philanthropists. We can learn great lessons from the women and men who do deeds that touch another person in a profound way, or young people who overcome personal adversity and obstacles. The act of gratitude is also a recurring theme of the show, as a simple “thank you” can have a tremendous affect. Charlie seeks to provide the listeners with the knowledge that we can all be great in our own way, big or small. Plans are in the works to expand the show nationally and via podcasts. Currently, you can listen to any of the past shows, as well as future broadcasts, on the Radio Hidabroot website. I have the privilege of joining Charlie each week as one of the show’s producers, along with co-producer Ari Werth. Being a part of this inspirational and impactful production is truly a high point in my week. The guests we’ve been fortunate to welcome to the studio possess a wealth of wisdom and spirituality, and most of all, humility, and we find we have barely scratched the surface of their knowledge and generosity as the hour flies by. As the powerful and positive messages come through over the airwaves, Charlie always leaves the audience with food for thought. He entreats his listeners to internalize these valuable messages to help bring greatness and gratitude into their everyday lives. As he closes the broadcast, Charlie makes sure to thank our executive producer, G-d.

THE JEWISH STAR May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772

Brooklyn is in the [Lawrence] house!!!!


May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

4

Opinion Obama selects woman who wanted to invade Israel as Chair of Genocide Panel L

ast week President Obama had some heartfelt words at the Holocaust Museum:

“I say this as a President, and I say it as a father: We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history,” Obama said during a speech in the museum’s packed auditorium. “We must tell our children,” Obama said. “But more than that, we must teach them. Because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture. Awareness without action changes nothing. In this sense, ‘never again’ is a challenge to us all—to pause POLITICO and to look within.” TO GO He also announced sanctions on individuals who help Iran and Syria use 21st-century technology—like cellphone tracking or Internet monitoring—to abet the crackdown on dissent in those countries. The sanctions include freezing individuals’ assets in the United States and Jeff Dunetz banning people from American soil. “These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them.” The President also promised that he would always be there for Israel. “When faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” he stressed. At the same time the President was delivering those encouraging words, he released the news that Samantha Power was to be the chair of President Obama’s new Atrocities Prevention Board. That’s the same Samantha Power who has made a career of trashing Israel and Jews. Power had some unflattering things to say about America’s Jewish population during the 2008 campaign, wanted Israel to be con-

demned for the non-existent Jenin massacre even though she knew it to be false, and once called for the United States Government to alienate the American Jewish community How long do you think it will be before Powers uses that board as a tool to de-legitimize Israel? Power was a foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign in 2008 when she blamed the Jews for the criticism of then Candidate Obama’s foreign policy platform. “There will be situations where the priority is self-defense,” she says, indicating that a preference for multilateralism only goes so far. “President Obama, like every other leader on earth, is still going to be looking out for national and economic interests. States don’t cease to be states overnight just because they get a great visionary as their new President.” But it is politically impossible for Obama to talk to Hamas, even if he wants to. She can’t say that, though, especially when vicious Internet smears are making lurid allegations about his “Muslim past”....”So much of it is about: ‘Is he going to be good for the Jews?’” In 2002 she sat for an interview with Harry Kreisler, the director of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley. Kreisler asked her the following question: Let me give you a thought experiment here, and it is the following: without addressing the Palestine-Israel problem, let’s say you were an advisor to the President of the United States, how would you respond to current events there? Would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at least if one party or another [starts] looking like they might be moving toward genocide? Power said her advice to the President would be: “Alienate” the American Jewish community, and indeed all Americans, such as evangelical Christians, who support the State of Israel, because Israeli leaders are “destroying the lives of their own people.” Pour billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money into “the new state of Palestine.” Stage an American ground invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories — what else can she mean by a “mammoth protection force” and a “military presence” that will be “imposed” by “external intervention”?

THE JEWISH

Samantha Power Interestingly, when what she suggested against Israel was done in Iraq she called it the height of arrogance and foolishness. Samantha Power has a history of blaming Israel, even when she knows the charges against Israel are false. Martin Kramer points us to an interesting quote from the 2003 book Ethnic Violence and Justice, in which Samantha Power, one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers, asks a question of David Rohde, a reporter who covered the second intifada for the New York Times. The quote is as follows: Samantha Power: I have a question for David about working for the New York Times. I was struck by a headline that accompanied a news story on the publication of the Human Rights Watch report. The headline was, I believe: “Human Rights Report Finds Massacre Did Not Occur in Jenin.” The second paragraph said, “Oh, but lots of war crimes did.” Why wouldn’t they make the war crimes the headline and the non-massacre the second paragraph? Here we have another look into the mind of Power. Israel is accused in sensational press reports of a massacre in Jenin, and is subjected to severe international condemna-

Editorial Designers Photo Editor

Karen C. Green Malka Eisenberg Helene Parsons Miriam Bradman Abrahams Rabbi Avi Billet Jeff Dunetz Juda Engelmayer Rabbi Binny Freedman Alan Jay Gerber Stew Greenberg Rabbi Noam Himelstein Judy Joszef Tammy Mark Sean Doyle Alyson Goodman Christina Daly

Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid” (www.jeffdunetz.com). Jeff contributes to some of the largest political sites on the internet including American Thinker, Big Government, Big Journalism, NewsReal and Pajama’s Media, and has been a guest on national radio shows including G. Gordon Liddy, Tammy Bruce and Glenn Beck. Jeff lives in Long Island.

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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 Executive Contributors

tion; HRW finally gets out a report and says OOPs there was no massacre; even the NYT reports this as its headline; but Power thinks the headline still should have been: Israel guilty of war crimes! President Obama spoke at the U.S. Holocaust Museum last week and his words were encouraging, but his actions were depressing. In her own words, Samantha Power has attacked Israel when it had done no wrong, and blamed the Jews for Obama’s campaign troubles. The appointment of Samantha Power to head up the new Atrocities Prevention Board, which under her tutelage is sure to become a forum for false attacks against Israel, is just one more example of Obama’s actions not matching his words.

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5 THE JEWISH STAR May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772

The Kosher Bookworm

Our Sages in Pirkei Avot : Their Biographies Perhaps the most popular tractate of the Talmud among our people is the Mishnah Avot. What is unique to this particular book of the Talmud is that, unlike the other tractates, this one is a book of ethics not law. Also, this tractate, unlike the others, can be found in its entirety in most prayer books after the Shabbat afternoon minchah service. According to our tradition, Avot is read and learned on the Shabbat afternoons between Pesach and Shavuot, and for many till Rosh Hashanah, thus further enhancing its profile and popularity among our people. One aspect of the study of Avot has been the almost total absence of the literary treatment of the biographies of the sages who inhabit the pages of this valued work…that is until now. In 2007, Rabbi Dr. Binyamin Lau authored, in Hebrew, a threevolume set of books entitled, “The Sages” and, Alan Jay Gerber in 2010, the first volume dealing with the sages of the second Temple period was published in English translation by Michael Prawer. This volume gives Avot a new dimension since it fully presents the biographies of all the major sages quoted in Avot, describing in detail their backgrounds and diverse points of view as reflected in their teachings and studies. Rabbi Lau is a well-known community lead-

er in Jerusalem, long active as a social activist. He founded Beit Morasha’s Moshe Green Beit Midrash for Women and directs the Beit Midrash for Social Justice. Further, Rabbi Lau serves as the rabbi at Jerusalem’s famed Ramban Shul and is a lecturer on Halacha at Bar Ilan University. He learned at Yeshivat Har Etzion and received a Ph.D. in Talmud from Bar Ilan University. “The Sages: Volume One” [Maggid Books / Koren, 2010] is organized into five parts, each focusing upon a different historical period, starting from the establishment of the Men of the Great Assembly, the eras of the zugot (pairs), the role that disputes play in the establishment of law, the legacies of Hillel, Shammai and their students, all culminating in the era of the destruction of the Temple. Each chapter is capped at the beginning with a thematically relevant quote from Pirkei Avot, thus giving the personalities described therein a direct tie to the Talmudic text. Rabbi Lau, in his introduction, goes to great lengths in describing his method. The following is but a short exert of this: “In this book, I attempt to trace the development of Jewish thought as formulated by the sages of the Second Temple period. This necessitated a deep examination of the breadth of scholarly literature: philological, historical, Talmudic and philosophic.” “The examination of the teachings of the Second Temple sages is an attempt to listen to and contemplate world history and the teaching of the Jewish sages.” Within the covers of this work the sages

of Pirkei Avot come to life both in their deeds and by their words. It offers you, as the reader and learner, a unique perspective of the sages, wherein you get to view them as individuals with unique teachings, points of view, as well as having human feelings and opinions that are reflective of the time of their lives. Reading this work together with the teachings of Avot will surely further enhance your appreciation of the ethical messages being taught by these sages. Another related work entitled “Sages of the Talmud” [Urim Publications, 2009] can serve as an apt supplement to any study of the Talmud. This work, by Rabbi Mordechai Judovits, is a collection of biographical information on the lives, sayings, and stories of 400 sages of the Talmud. All material contained herein is referenced for further study by you and will surely give you a better perspective of the reasoning behind the thoughts, opinions, and actions of these sages. Rabbi Judovits is a Holocaust survivor who was deported with his family to Auschwitz in 1944 and liberated the next year. After the war he immigrated to the United States and currently lives in Boca Raton.

FOR FURTHER STUDY I am happy to bring to your attention that the latest edition of the distinguished journal of Jewish law and thought, “Hakirah” volume 13 / spring 2012 is now available at most local book stores. Among the topics discussed within this work are, “When Unity Reigned” by Rabbi Elazar Muskin, detailing the time, 1954, when

Mizrachi and Agudah joined together in Cleveland to sponsor that year’s Yom Ha’atzma’ut celebration. Another article deals with, “Should School Children of Varying Backgrounds and Levels of Observance be Segregated,” by one of our nation’s leading Jewish educators, Rabbi Dr. Aharon Hersh Fried. Also to be found in this issue is a very timely essay entitled “High-Handed Transgression: Chillul Hashem as a Category,” by Flatbush businessman, David Guttmann.

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May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

6

The Bnai Israel Matzoh Fund:

Volunteers mobilize to feed heroic families By Malka Eisenberg As most people turn their attention to Lag Baomer and Shavuot, maybe thinking of Pesach only to recall it with some matzoh eaten on Pesach Sheni, Alan Hirsch, President of the Bnai Israel Matzoh Fund, is still collecting funds to close the financial gap remaining from this past Pesach. A completely voluntary organization, the Matzoh Fund provides over-the-top Maot Chittim, food and funds for Pesach for those struggling financially in Yehuda, and Shomron. Mounting a fundraising effort starting from Rosh Chodesh Adar spearheaded by Alan Hirsch, he and friends and family collect money primarily in Brooklyn, TeaneckBergenfield, and Great Neck. “We’re weak in the Five Towns,” said Hirsch. This year they supplied over 1500 families with an initial budget of $180,000 that went to $200,000. They provide meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables, shmurah matzo, wine, grape juice, lollipops for the children, and either a voucher for the local supermarket or a personal check with the family’s name on it, for $1000, to each needy family. Hirsch started this about 12 years ago “on a small level,” he recalled, initially assisting ten families in Maaleh Amos, in the Gush Etzion area of Yehuda, and 12 families in Chevron. “The following year there were twice as many and it grew to Gush Etzion. The first year or two it was my money, then I was going to people to ask. It’s a very quiet thing. Individual people know, quietly families know about the Matzoh Fund organization. Word spread over there. We never say no to anybody; whoever feels that they need we give them. We ask know how many families and they give a projection. If more come we give and we need that much more money.” Hirsch “makes the orders one or two months before Pesach,” said his son, Ari Hirsch. “So it’s based on the previous years how much to order.” He noted that the food is bought according to need and regardless of expense but the suppliers work with Alan Hirsch. “All the suppliers give excellent prices,” explained Alan Hirsch, “well below wholesale. They want a part in the mitzvah.” Each family gets a check or a voucher because “in certain areas we work with the grocery stores there so we help them as well.” Those who donate heard of the Matzoh Fund through the Jewish media, radio and Internet but also by word of mouth and when Hirsch speaks at different shuls, mostly in Brooklyn. Every year he gets an endorsement at Rav Herschel Shechter’s shiur in the Young Israel of Midwood. “We don’t get official endorsements but a lot of rabbanim give us from their Pesach funds,” said Hirsch. “Everybody knows about places for distributing foods for Pesach in Russia, Israel, Yerushalayim, Tel Aviv, Brooklyn, Queens,” said Hirsch. “There’s nobody in Chevron.” “They live in the heartland and put their lives on the line,” continued Hirsch. “No one took care of them. Some of it may be political. Most don’t know how to get there. There are enough places that nobody goes, that nobody takes care of. That’s where we go. We saw the need. “ “Many of the people never had meat before,” he added. “When we started years ago, people never had meat on their table, so this is the once a year that they have it.” He began in Maaleh Amos because his daughter lived there and they saw the need on a personal level. The town was founded

Meat from Bnai Israel Matzoh Fund being distributed in Itamar.

Matzoh waiting to be distributed in Itamar. about 30 years ago and is 20 minutes from Efrat. Hirsch has been going to Chevron for 19 years now for Parshat Chayay Sarah and “knows personal acquaintances who really needed it, so that’s why I went over there.” The organization is run by a network of volunteers here and in Israel. Funds are collected here in the U.S. Hirsch and his long time friend, Jerry Pasternak, spend every Purim together, “from night to night collecting,” said Hirsch. “We have a route of people already who expect us to come on Purim. We collect until the job is done; we’re still collecting. When the job is finished I’m finished.“ “It does no good to donate food here,” said Hirsch. “In Israel we take donations of food, in America all we can take is money.” One or two families going to Israel from here for Pesach arrive early to help out. “Everything here and in Israel is zero expenses. We get money, buy the food, give the checks. Advertising, everything is donated by volunteers.” Americans For a Safe Israel helped by

sending out a mailing for them and the Young Israel helped in Gush Katif and with the refugees. “All the years until it was given away we went to Gush Katif,” stressed Hirsch. “For six or seven years we distributed all over Gush Katif and we are still giving to the Gush Katif refugees, the ones who still need it.” Every family is screened and lists are composed by the rabbanim of the yishuvim. “Usually the rabbanim know what’s going on in these places,” Hirsch explained. “That’s how it works out there. The Irgun Chesed in every yishuv takes care of it. The Rabbi takes control in every yishuv to give it out.” He notes that it’s a lot of work and it’s all done by volunteers in the U.S. and in Israel. “It’s down to a system,” explained Hirsch. “”Everything comes in and within two hours everything goes right out. We get the chicken and meat in Itamar on the street at 3:30 and it’s delivered by 4. They take it on trucks; it’s impossible to do it any other way. It’s subdivided to the yishuvim and taken to the peoples’ homes. In Kiryat Arba they have a warehouse. It’s done at night

usually, so people who get don’t see who is giving it to them. “ Hirsch stated that there are four main distribution points in Israel and from those warehouses and distribution points the food gets distributed to the different communities. The distribution centers are in Itamar for the Shomron, Kiryat Arba for the Chevron region, Maaleh Amos for the Gush Etzion area and Beitar, just for Beitar as there is a “tremendous need there.” It’s distributed just a few days before Pesach since they want the families to have the groceries before they struggle to buy them but also only once the house is ready for Pesach. “They have to get it at the right time.” Hirsch travels to the area during chol hamoed to pay the bills. “We’ve been doing this for the last 10 years,” pointed out Pasternak. “Between Purim and Pesach we try to collect as much as we can. It’s a tremendous, tremendous chesed for these people. They wouldn’t be able to put food on the table, literally. It’s pure chesed, there are no paid employees.” “It’s a zechut (merit) for us to be able to do this for them,” added Pasternak. “They give their lives in Eretz Yisrael on the yishuv. It’s the least we can do. They’re living in places, they’re mosair nefesh (sacrifice) for us. People have to live there for defense, for halacha and it’s very difficult to find work over there. It’s a chesed (kindness) to support these people; it’s an obligation.” “There are 400 families in our area alone,” said Moshe Goldmith, the mayor of Itamar. “Every year we get more and more. Alan never says no. The families light up, they look forward to it, ‘is it coming this year?’ It’s a tremendous chesed. He is so modest. He doesn’t want to identify who he is. I’m amazed every year, being a part of this experience.” Goldsmith coordinates the whole Shomron region. Each community has a gemach (charity organization) person and a coordinator who give him a list of the families in need. The food distribution has to be done like clockwork since it has to be distributed quickly so the meat, chicken and produce don’t spoil and reach the families at the right time. “Alan is on the line making sure everything is done. He’s so quiet, he does it for the sake of helping people.” “It’s absolutely amazing,” said Goldsmith, “just to see their eyes light up, how appreciative, the little children with lollipops. The people are not aware, no one really knows where it comes from. I’m speechless.” Other well-known people who support the fund include member of Knesset Michal ben Ari and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman. The Matzoh Fund was made aware, before Pesach, of some families in one of the towns in the Chevron area that only had noodles for Shabbat and didn’t have food from week to week. The fund delivered a Pesach package to their door over night. The next day, a young woman who knew Hirsch and had alerted them to the situation, was sitting in a park there when one of the women from one of these families approached. She said that Pesach is coming and they didn’t know if they would have anything for the holiday. She cried and davened to Hashem last night, she recounted to this other woman, and in the morning there was a box on her steps with meat, chicken, matzo and grape juice. The young woman went home to cry and said, “you can’t imagine how you lit up this family’s Pesach, she was crying and thanking Hashem.” For more information go to: www.matzohfund.com.


7

By Sarah Bronson for The Jewish Agency By the end of the third video, sniffles were audible around the amphitheater. Thousands of Jews from around the world gathered in Israel Wednesday, April 25, at the Latrun memorial for fallen soldiers of the Israeli Armored Corps to mark Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day. The holiday honors soldiers killed while defending the Jewish State and honors Jewish victims of terror. Sponsored by Masa – a network of Israel study, internship and volunteer programs affiliated with The Jewish Agency and Government of Israel – the ceremony attracted an estimated 3,000 Jewish young adults hailing from as far as California, Russia and South America, and many experiencing Israel’s Memorial Day for the first time. The powerful impact of the ceremony, which included Masa video clips of soldiers who had immigrated from abroad, was evident even before it began, with its historically meaningful setting. Participants of more than 200 Masa Israel-experience programs flowed onto the grounds of Latrun, a strategic hilltop for Jewish military campaigns from Joshua’s defeat of the Amorites to the Six Day War in 1967. “You never realize how big the Jewish community is until you come to something like this and hear all the accents,” said Meryl Fontek, 18, of Englewood, N.J. “Being in Israel has expanded my view of what it means to be part of the Jewish community.” For Elie Flatow, 19, of Great Neck, N.Y., the Masa ceremony held an extra layer of significance because a relative, Alissa Flatow, was killed in a Hamas suicide bombing in 1995. “Knowing

somebody in your family was killed in Israel makes Yom Hazikaron more meaningful,” he said. “Today, we’re all here sharing it together.” Both Fontek and Flatow are participating in a Masa-sponsored Torah study program for post-high school students. Other ceremony attendees are in Israel to volunteer or pursue internships, such as working for Israel’s Security Authority or the Ministry of Tourism. Sarah Hollander, 25, of San Francisco, Photo by The Jewish Agency is participating in the Masa-sponsored World Elie Flatow, 19, of Great Neck, New York, before the Masa Union of Jewish Students memorial ceremony. “Intern Jerusalem” program. For most of the evening ceremony, she was ees, along with those of the World Zionist Orga“fixated,” she said, on the stage, but, “At the end, as nization, Keren Hayesod, and the Jewish National we sung Hatikva,” she said, “I looked around and Fund, and representatives from the Jewish Fedrealized there are so many of us here. Someone in erations of North America and the Jewish Federaone of the videos had said, ‘We are all brothers, tions of Canada. The speakers included Samuel we are all family.’ And when I looked around, that Sandler, whose son and grandchildren were killed just one month ago in front of a Jewish school in feeling was really prominent.” Toulouse, France. Sandler’s daughter-in-law, Eva Sandler, who lost two children and her husband Searching for a Measure of Healing Earlier on Wednesday, The Jewish Agency in the shooting, lit a memorial torch to begin the sponsored a more intimate ceremony at its head- ceremony. Mr. Sandler told the story of his parents’ escape quarters in Jerusalem for its hundreds of employ-

from the Nazis. “I did not think that nowadays, today, there are still people trying to kill children in France,” he said. “My children were killed only because they were Jews. “The day before the murder,” he continued, “I spoke on the phone with my son. We talked about Passover and our plan to celebrate together. That was our last conversation. By Passover Eve, Jonathan was no longer with us. The whole evening, I imagined him singing happily. I’ll never again hear him ask the Four Questions. The despicable murder silenced his voice forever.” A focus on French Jewry was a theme at both events. The video clips at the Masa ceremony showed soldiers who had immigrated from abroad – just as many Masa participants are considering doing – including the late First Sergeant Yoan Zarbiv, of France, whose passionate love for Israel led him to move there and join the IDF’s elite Nahal Brigade. He was killed in South Lebanon in 2006 while searching for terrorists who had been firing missiles into northern Israel. His last words were: “Tell my parents that I love them and that I don’t regret anything that I did.” Zarbiv’s father, Gerard Zarbiv, said the Kaddish prayer at Wednesday’s ceremony and took a moment to remember the victims of the Toulouse shooting. With the presence of so many people from different countries, both events evoked a sense of international reach, manifesting the feeling of interconnectedness inherent in Israel’s Memorial Day. As Natan Sharansky, The Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, told Masa participants, “When our enemies attack Jewish communities around the world, they are attacking us all.”

Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS

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THE JEWISH STAR May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772

Visitors and immigrants to Israel shed tears, show respect for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror


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May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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THE JEWISH STAR May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772

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May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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Five Towns comes together to run for Beit Halochem By Malka Eisenberg With a blast of a horn, the serious contestants surged forward, their sneakered feet slamming into the pavement as they curved out of North Woodmere Park and veered right onto Branch Boulevard. The rest of the registrants either jogged, racewalked, walked briskly or just walked on the five kilometer (3.1 mile) route for the 5 Towns 5K Run/ Walk held Sunday for the Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans-Beit Halochem Centers in Israel. Now in its third year, the run/walk brought 630 participants together to raise awareness and funds for FIDV. The first year 200 attended and last year over 500 came to North Woodmere Park and the streets of North Woodmere. The scattered run/ walkers wound through the empty streets with auxiliary police cars and police and volunteers’ vans and volunteers blocking side streets until the end of the race. Children and adults handed out cups of water to the participants. A cross section of the Jewish community, men, women and children, some in strollers, some on parent’s shoulders, followed the course, smiling, talking, laughing. “It’s nice that the whole Jewish community comes together,” noted Eli Dworetsky. “It’s a way for the community to support the soldiers and Israel and come together.” FIDV in the U.S. and Beit Halochem in Israel help provide therapeutic and recreational activities for Israeli servicemen and women who were wounded in the line of duty and are now disabled. Over 51,000 disabled war veterans sacrificed much for Israel’s independence and survival. The goal of the organization is to help these veterans to reenter their lives with meaning, dignity, and to the best of their abilities. The five centers in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva and Nahariya have over 12,000 active members. The first rest and convalescence center opened in 1958. They offer physical therapy, medical treatment, social, family and cultural activities and sports. “Beit Halochem takes care of the people who fought for Israel,” said Isaac Seinuk of North Woodmere, the event organizer, noting that they took care of Israel and now we have to take care of them. Noting that there is Yom Hazikaron to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Seinuk said, “there is no day to thank those who are permanently disabled. They live with their injuries the rest of their lives. We are almost required to do everything we can to help these people. They made a huge sacrifice, not the ultimate sacrifice.” Seinuk said he “discovered” Beit Halochem when he was looking for an extended bike ride in Israel. He was unable to find one that fit his schedule until he saw an ad for a bike ride before Rosh Hashana supporting this organization. Seinuk is an avid bike rider and has completed three 350-mile bike rides in the last four years. He signed on and had a difficult time explaining to his sponsors what they were sponsoring, since he was not sure at the time what Beit Halochem was. When he rode in Israel on the bike ride with the disabled veterans, some on hand bikes because they couldn’t use their legs or some riding with other riders because they were blind, he said he thought, “how can such an organization be so invisible when every organization and charity has a foothold and I never heard of this? I befriended a whole bunch of them. I felt strongly that I wanted to do something.” His first effort to raise money and awareness was a small basketball tournament between the Beis Haknesses of North Woodmere and the Young Israel of North Woodmere. He noted that the two shuls are very connected and he credits the shuls’ rabbis with that camaraderie. “It was really good,” he said. “We had a second one since then.” Seinuk felt it wasn’t enough. He had an “idea to set up something for more to participate” and thought of a 5K race in the Five Towns “to raise awareness even more than funds and have a good time do-

Photo Courtesy of Aaron D. Neufeld

From left to right: Isaac Seinuk, FIDV 5 Towns 5K Run/Walk Race Director, Aaron D. Neufeld, 21, North Woodmere- 1st place in the male age 20-24 category, Ari Lapidus, 23, Lawrence- 2nd place in the male 20-24 category, Jared Seinuk, 22, North Woodmere- 3rd place in the male age 20-24 category.

Photo Courtesy of Malka Eisenberg

Great turnout in North Woodmere Park as runners prepare for run benefitting Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans-Beit Halochem Centers in Israel. ing it.” He pointed out that they “barely raise one percent of their overall charitable income” but they have “touched a lot of people. The level of recognition has gone up in the last three years.” He emphasized that the “philosophy of Beit Halochem is rehabilitation through sport, so bringing awareness through sport fits with their philosophy.” “I call it a run/walk,” he said, “It’s inviting to people and they do it to support the cause at the same time. Some have a competitive impulse and try to come in first or beat the time they had last year. Some have the motivation for exercise. It touches people on a lot of different levels.” “Everyone is having such a good time,” he said. “I don’t think you see that look at a dinner. At an event like this everyone is happy.” He pointed out that at the kids’ Fun Run held a half hour before the race there was a “stampede of about 60 kids. It was really something. Kids sprint. It’s very funny. It’s a great thing to see.” Seinuk noted that there were many other events in the area that drew attention from the race, including two similar walks for charities, but many still came. “One of the most exciting things was the cars coming into the park,” he recalled. “It

was like rush hour traffic.” The oldest entrant in the race was William Benson, age 92, of Valley Stream, who completed the race in 53 minutes, 370th place. The two youngest were eight years old. The female winner was Shari Klarfeld of Plainview, who is a “prominent Jewish runner on Long Island,” pointed out Seinuk. “She wins many races.” Her time was 19 minutes 14.78 seconds. Dmitri Krasny of Far Rockaway was the male winner. His time was 18 minutes 15.83 seconds. A dog ran in the race but he was not officially entered. “These are really, really important to us,” said Amy Frame, operations manager for FIDV-Beit Halochem in New York. The races “not only raise the profile of the organization, the best kept secret in the Jewish community, but it’s a great use of sports to fund a sports program for the veterans. It’s a common interest between those who raise funds and those training for sports in Israel. They participate in Paralympics; also it’s just fun, a sense of community. It’s easier to feel that you are doing something good when you are doing it with other people.” “The centers use sports to help the disabled stay motivated and make it through rehab,” Frame ex-

plained. “It’s easier if they have a goal, if they are doing something for fun. Being on a team gives them a sense of camaraderie and makes them feel less isolated.” Frame said that the Beit Halochem centers are sending three athletes to the Paralympics in London, held at the same time as the regular Olympics-a tennis player and a two person sailing team. The tennis player lost the use of his legs and competes in a high performance titanium wheelchair. One of the sailors, both are disabled, was injured while trying to rescue hostages during the Lebanon War. Beit Halochem in Israel also welcomed United States veterans from the Wounded Warriors program. “They bonded,” said Frame. “They have the same issues. It’s difficult for anybody. The U.S. vets have similar injuries and an uphill battle.” Members of Beit Halochem range from Israel’s War of Independence through the wars of ’56, ‘73, terrorism, till now. The veterans help each other and draw strength from each other as well. The goal of raising awareness for Beit Halochem has succeeded. I hope to do it again next year,” said Seinuk. “People like it. When people stop liking it I’ll stop doing it.” For more information go to www.fidv.org.


11

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his week, in America, you will read the double portion of Acharei-MotKedoshim which, translated literally, means â&#x20AC;&#x153;after the death of the holy ones,â&#x20AC;? a meaning that was all too appropriate last week when we were reading the same double portion, as it fell on the Shabbat immediately following Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Memorial and Independence days: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Atzmaut. Memorial day followed by Yom haâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Atzmaut (Independence day) in Israel evokes so many emotions all coming together in a whirlwind of intense, meaningful, powerful and even joy filled moments that have no equal the rest of the year and perhaps even in the rest of the world. At precisely 11 A.M., standing over the graves of Dani Moshitz and Chaim Avner who both fell in Lebanon in 1982, time stopped, as the sirens all over the country went off. The entire country came to a standstill as Israel remembered all those who fell in defense of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. If you have never been in Israel on this day, and never experienced this moment, you owe it to yourselves, to FROM THE HEART your children and even to OF JERUSALEM those who fell and to their families, to be here in Israel one year on this day and at this moment, when time stops, and we all, with all of our differences, become one. For most of us, even with all the painful memories of that day and the tears that often flow freely as we think of close friends who will remain Rabbi Binny 19 or 20 forever, eventuFreedman ally, Memorial Day gives way to Yom Haâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Atzmaut or Independence Day, and we tuck those memories and tears away to celebrate, dance and sing with abandon in celebration of what many call Chag Atzmaut or Independence Holiday. Indeed, Yeshivat Orayta joined us in Efrat this year. As the sun set over the mountains of Judea, and the students heard one more story of one more soldier who gave everything that we might have a State with which to celebrate, we suddenly arose on the edge of the forest where we were having a solemn kumsitz, to dance and sing the Hallel (thanksgiving and praise ) prayers. We took stock of how blessed we all are to live in a generation where a Jewish army defends a Jewish State, where Jewish children study in Hebrew, and Jews from all over the world sleep securely knowing they have a place they can call their own; a home they can come to in the event they ever need a place to welcome them inâ&#x20AC;Ś. The bands start to play, the fireworks and the celebrations begin, and time moves on. But not for everyone. For the past couple of years, Danny Hillman, father of my cousin Benji Hillman, an elite company commander in Golaniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Egoz elite recon unit, (who fell leading his men into battle in the second Lebanon War), came to speak with us on the eve of Memorial Day. After telling Benjiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story, he opened the floor for the boys to ask questions, explaining that there probably was not a question they could think of that he had not already been asked and that he

wanted them to feel comfortable asking anything and everythingâ&#x20AC;Ś. Eventually, one of the boys asked Danny if losing his son had affected his faith. The entire room went quiet; you could hear a pin drop. I leaned forward in my chair; despite how close I feel to Danny and Judith and their whole family, I had never asked any of them this question; I would probably not have had the nerve. I was expecting a treatise on the challenges of suffering and its impact on our relationship with G-d. Instead, Danny, a person with a Kippah (skullcap) on his head who defines himself as religious, in his matter-of-fact, English deadpan manner simply replied: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not at all.â&#x20AC;? And again there was silence in the room. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Actually,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel sorry for people who have to struggle with this without faith; it must be very difficult; at least in my world there must be some plan, some reason, even if I cannot imagine ever understanding itâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Those words have been in and out of my head ever since he said them. On the one hand, I can understand them intellectually. A colleague of mine once shared with me that while his wife was in labor with their first child, he was extremely stressed seeing his wife, whom he loved so dearly, in such pain during labor. His wife, sensing his distress, said to him: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, I am in pain, but I am not suffering, because I know there is a purpose to this pain. Suffering is when there does not seem to be any purpose.â&#x20AC;? So I can understand that people like the Hillmans, who are able to believe that everything has a purpose, (even if we are not necessarily capable of or even meant to understand it in this world) are somehow able to transform their suffering. But they are still left with the pain. And I am in awe of such people who bear that pain with such dignity and gravitas. Cheryl Mandel, whose son Daniel was an officer in the elite recon unit of the Nachal Brigade who was killed on a mission to capture wanted terrorists in Shechem (Nablus) in 2003, also came to speak with the Orayta boys just a few hours before Memorial Day. Daniel was killed on the day before the eve of Pesach (Passover); Cheryl was in the kitchen cooking and getting ready for the Seder when the IDF officers showed up at her door with the terrible news. The Seder table was already set. The next night, having come back from Danielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funeral just a few hours before, no one had the heart to remove his place setting, so his chair sat empty, his wine glass unfilled, and Haggadah un-opened through the seder that Danielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother Jonah once told me was more like Tisha Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Av than a Pesach Sederâ&#x20AC;Ś. At the end of her presentation, after answering the boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; many questions with the same thoughtful openness as my cousin Danny the day before, she told us a story. At the end of their training period in the Nachal recon unit they had a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;masa mesakemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or final trek. This 90 kilometer (50 miles) march is one of the most difficult experiences in the Israeli army and is a test of endurance as well as will power. The soldiers are gradually being prepared for this grueling experience from the beginning of their army service with the treks beginning at 4-5 kilometer baby hikes to 10, 20 40 and eventually 60 or 70 kilometer hikes, so that they are ready for the 90 kilometer trek when it comes. In addition to the gradual training of long distance walkling and running sometimes with open stretchers carrying wounded, they are also trained to carry additional gear. Each soldier, in addition to his gun and gear, Continued on page 14

Mazel

TOV The Garden City Hotel invites you to celebrate your simcha with us And our A-List of Preferred Kosher Caterers Joel Katzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s / Prestige Foremost RAM Lederman Mauzone Newman & Leventhal $OO.RVKHUFDWHUHUVDUHZHOFRPH )RUYHQXHWRXUVDQGHYHQWSODQQLQJ SOHDVHFDOO 6HYHQWK6WUHHW*DUGHQ&LW\1HZ<RUN ZZZJDUGHQFLW\KRWHOFRP

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By Rabbi Binny Freedman

THE JEWISH STAR May 4, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 12 IYAR 5772

Carrying the burden because the Commanding Officer said so


May 5

ON THE

Monte Carlo Night The Massada Chapter of AMIT MONTE CARLO NIGHT with wine tasting and a Chinese auction Congregation Sons of Israel, 9:45pm 111 Irving Place, Woodmere For more information please contact Bill Rothchild, at 212-477-5465 or billr@amitchildren.org.

Calendar Submit your shul or organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s events or shiurim to jscalendar@thejewishstar.com. Deadline is Wednesday of the week prior to publication.

May 6 Hatzalah Bar-B-Q Chevrah Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau County at Sands of Atlantic Beach, 6:30 p.m. Show your support for Hatzalah by placing an ad in the Commemorative Virtual Journal. For more information visit HatzalahRL.org/BBQ

May 9 Lag Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Omer Hilula Congregation Aish Kodesh Rav Moshe Weinberger, Mara Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Asrah Aish Kodesh will be having our annual Lag Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Omer Hilula Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Chvod the Yahrzeit of R. Shimon Bar Yochai. The Hilula will take place in the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst beginning at 9:00 p.m. It will once again feature the Divrei Torah of Rav Weinberger, along with the music of Nochi Krohn and Aryeh Kunstler. Admission Donation: $10 As usual, it is our policy to open this special event to as many people as possible. We have always tried to keep the event affordable to everyone by having several sponsors step forward and become major sponsors of this holy evening. The opportunity exists for a major sponsorships of the Hilula. If you have the capability to sponsor the Hilula, and be Mezakeh Rabim with this event, please contact Elliot Blumenthal at (516) 457-7893 or elliot.blumenthal@yahoo.com. Sponsors will receive priority seating at the head table.

May 10 Chabad of the Five Towns Lag Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Omer Family Fun Day

A favorite of audiences at major film festivals, FOLLOW ME: THE YONI NETANYAHU STORY is coming to New York during the week of May 18 through 24 at Lincoln Center and Quad Cinema. Exclusive discounted tickets are being made available to groups in the region. Screening dates are expected to fill up soon so please contact us immediately if you are interested. Filmmakers available to join your group for a Q&A following the screening. Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center Film Society of Lincoln Center 144 West 65th Street, New York, NY Two theaters: 142 seats available Tickets are $13 & $9/sr. citizens Group sales price: $10/ticket Quad Cinema 34 W 13th St, New York, NY 145 seats available Tickets are $11 & $8/sr. citizens Group sales price (when purchasing 15 or more): $9/ ticket for Monday-Thursday screenings GROUP SALES CONTACT: Juda Engelmayer, 917-733-3561 juda.engel@gmail.com www.FollowMeTheMovie.com

May 20 Kulanu Annual Community Fair Game booths, prizes and gifts, refreshments, exciting rides for all ages, pony rides, crafts Cedarhurst Park. 12 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 p.m

May 23 North Shore Hebrew Academy High School seniors on the post-Pesach March of The Living Trip to Poland/Israel.

Friends of the IDF Inaugural Community Event

May 17

May 18

Sephardic Temple 775 Branch Blvd, Cedarhurst, 7 p.m. For more information, please contact Rebecca Feld at (646) 274-9649 or Rebecca.Feld@fidf.org

Gift of Life 12th Annual Partners for Life Gala

Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story

Mayim Bialik, Emcee. Recognizing The Maccabeats. Grand Hyatt Hotel, 6:00 p.m. cocktails, 7:00 p.m. dinner. For tickets or information please call (800) 9-MARROW x 2914 or email gala@giftoflife.org

Amazing aerialist acrobat show Cedarhurst Park 5:30 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8:00 p.m.

STAR-K ALERT ĆĄÂ&#x2021;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2039;Â?Â?Â&#x2021;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2039;Â&#x192;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2021;Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A; LA PIZZERIA 144 Middle Neck Rd, Great Neck, NY 11021, Â&#x2039;Â&#x2022;Â?Â&#x2018;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2018;Â?Â&#x2030;Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2013;Â&#x192;Â&#x201D;ÇŚÂ&#x2026;Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2039;ƤÂ&#x2021;Â&#x2020;Ǥ

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May 4, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

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500 to rally for Jacob Ostreicher who has been illegally imprisoned by the Bolivian government A press conference will be held in front of the Bolivian Mission to the United Nations to rally support for Jacob Ostreicher, an innocent New York businessman who has now been conďŹ ned for 11 months in one of Boliviaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most notoriously dangerous prisons without being charged. Bolivian authorities have spent the time investigating Ostreicher for money-laundering, after nearly 30 hearings, prosecutors have presented no evidence to back their allegations that the American did anything wrong. The United States Department of State has had no luck talking to the Bolivian government, and the United Nations Human Rights Commission is â&#x20AC;&#x153;monitoringâ&#x20AC;? Jacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s situation.

Program your DVDs â&#x20AC;Ś.On Friday, May 4th, ABC News Nightline will air a segment about Jacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plight. In advance of this airing, Jacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family is holding a rally at the door of the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations. 211 East 43rd Street at 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012. Jacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife Miriam, his children, grandchildren, community and public leaders along with 500 of his friends and supporters will stand in solidarity with Jacob Ostreicher to demand that Bolivia end his wrongful imprisonment and release him immediately. For more information contact rresnick@5wpr.com or at 212-584-4323.


I can still remember exactly the way “the ice cream man” looked on the beach in Brighton. I loved those beach days way back when. Of course most of you under 35 probably don’t have the same memories of going to the beach as I do. Going to the beach, for me, meant walking 4 blocks to the B train, taking it to Coney Island (Karen Green, had I known you lived there I would have visited you), getting off, walking down the stairs, then across the platform, then back up the stairs and taking the D train to Brighton Beach. Once there we walked 2 blocks to the beach. Oh, and did I mention that we had to carry our beach chairs, drinks and lunch with us. Once there, we dragged our chairs and bags down toward the water and tried to claim a spot for ourselves. If that thought isn’t enough to evoke horror in you young folks, imagine, no bathrooms, lockers, showers, concession stands with kosher frozen yogurt, Judy Joszef pizza, salads and perish the thought….no flavored iced coffee!. We did have fun though. I made some unbelievable “sand cakes”. Most memorable, for me, was the ice cream man. He looked impeccable, not sure how though, as it was always sunny and hot. He wore a white button down shirt, white pants and white shoes. He carried this huge suitcase looking cooler over his shoulder. When called over he would put it down, open it up and that mysterious cloud of smoke would billow out. To this day I associate dry ice and smoke machines on dance floors at bar and bat mitzvahs with the ice cream man. There weren’t many kosher choices in

those days. There was the orange creamsicle, the chocolate covered ice cream pop and the ice cream sundae, which in reality was a large vanilla dixie cup with chocolate syrup. Come on, how many of you remember licking the chocolate syrup off the back of the lid? I just took you back tot he 1960’s, but we’d have to go back thousands of years to trace the early days of ice cream. Although this would not be the sort of ice cream we’d recognize today, the Chinese people were reported to have made some kind of iced products, possibly similar to what we know as sorbet, thousands of years before refrigeration was even dreamed of. While there is little evidence to back up this theory, it is thought that the method of making these original iced desserts was based on a syrup substance, brought to freezing point with the help of a salt compound. Saltpetre – or potassium nitrate – reduces the temperature of water (or snow in this case), by drawing heat as the salt dissolves. Moving on a few centuries Alexander The Great, the King of Macedonia, features in the origins of ice cream. He was apparently known to have a passion for honey-flavored iced drinks, using snow to make the icy texture. Emperor Nero of Rome liked his desserts iced as well. In 1851, the first factory produced ice cream

TRIPLE LAYER ICE CREAM BOMBE Ingredients; • 2 pints strawberry ice cream, softened • 2 pints chocolate ice cream, softened • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided • 4 egg yolks • 1/2 cup sugar • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts • 1 Toblerone chocolate bar 3.52 ounces,

chopped 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

INGREDIENTS FOR THE GANACHE • 10 ounces heavy cream • 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate pieces or chocolate chips GARNISH • Berries of your choice to circle the bottom of the bombe. Directions • Line a 4-qt. bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Quickly spread strawberry ice cream over the bottom and up the sides to within 1/2 in. of the top of bowl. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Repeat with chocolate ice cream. Freeze for 2 hours or until firm. • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup whipping cream, sugar and egg yolks. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture can coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Refrigerate until chilled. • Fold in the hazelnuts and chopped Toblerone chocolate bar. Beat remaining whipping cream until stiff peaks form; fold into custard. Spoon into ice cream shell, spreading to completely cover the top. Cover and freeze overnight. • In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and heavy cream, stir until smooth. Cool. Remove bombe from the freezer and invert onto a serving plate. Remove bowl and plastic wrap. Working quickly, spread chocolate, a little at a time, over entire bombe. Freeze until chocolate is firm. • Right before serving, add berries of your choice around the bottom of the cake. You can use my husband’s method for eating it or mine. He claims his burns off far more calories than my method, but mine is far more energy efficient on your freezer. I’ll leave it up to you. She can be contacted at Judy.soiree@gmail.com.

Davidi, Rosaline and Me Marking the “Yoms” these past two weeks made me nostalgic about August 1984, when I spent three memorable weeks at Machane Bilu near Rechovot, proudly wearing Israeli army fatigues. My friends, Paula and Alice, joined me for a stint with Sar-El -Volunteers for Israel, strongly encouraged by Paula’s mom who MIRIAM’S MUSINGS was an integral part of the organization. The program offered a discounted plane ticket and combined manual labor with a builtin Israeli public relations twist; we worked with and befriended the soldiers on the base and were taken on a couple of daytrips around the country. Our group of Americans, ages 18-70+ worked Miriam Bradman in the heat, stenciling Abrahams signs on the sides of trucks, peeling potatoes, packing provisions and parachutes and cleaning the facilities. We spent evenings schmoozing and singing with the soldiers, rode the bus into town after work to taste melawach and jachnun. At the ending ceremony we were awarded certificates signed by our base commander and by Sar-El chairman, (Ret.) Brig. General Davidi for our volunteer work. We had made new Israeli and American friends and felt honored to have done our little bit to help our beloved Israel. This adventure created two shidduchs. During my Sar-El service, I befriended Jay Bernstein from Ft. Lee, N.J., introduced him to my first cousin and they are married with three kids. Jay served on Sar-El several times including during the Gulf

bases. They work War. He is currently mainly in logistics, recording secremaintenance, supplies tary and advising and medicine, allowcounsel to the oring the army to turn ganization. Jay recits soldiers to missions ommended I go on on the main frontlines Chevra Le’Haganat and help alleviate the Ha’Teva’s Massada IDF’s manpower shortand Ein Gedi hike age. Volunteers reconwhere I met my nect to their Jewish bashert. Another identity and Zionist exciting experience ideals. Under the leadwas when Paula and I happened Davidi, Rosaline Millman, Miriam Bradman ership of Davidi, SarEl has recruited over upon a talk by 125,000 IDF volunteers, 6% of Rabbi Meir Kahana in Jerusalem. whom made Aliyah. The program We were wearing our uniforms is stronger than ever today; the IDF and were reprimanded by other has instituted a special program for onlookers for attending a political Israelis living overseas to complete rally as “soldiers.” We were chastheir army service through Sar-El. tened, but charmed at being misRosaline Millman, o”b”m, my taken for real Israeli soldiers. friend Paula’s mom, was a true Sar-El began in 1982 as a result American patriot. She was born of material loss sustained during in Brooklyn and served as a WACOperation Peace for Galilee. When -Women’s Army Corp--during most able-bodied soldiers were WWII at age 21, joining against her recruited to serve, the ripe crops family’s wishes. After retiring from were left behind rotting in the her career at NYC’s Board of Edufields. A creative solution arose-- Rosaline Millman cation she volunteered on one of bring in American volunteers to help out in the fields and other tasks, freeing up the first Sar-El missions and was hooked. Rosaline, the soldiers for more critical business. Dr. Aharon an ardent Zionist, was Sar-El’s treasurer and ran Davidi, former head of the I.D.F. Paratroopers and the New York office with president Florence CoInfantry Corps, then directing the Golan Heights hen. They promoted the program, recruited thoucommunity, organized the successful initial re- sands of volunteers over 17 years, coordinating registration and travel arrangements and working cruitment of 650 American women and men. Davidi founded and led Sar-El for 27 years. closely with Davidi to plan assignments in Israel. Born in Israel in 1927, Davidi was the youngest Volunteers now hail from 30 countries--led by the U.S. and France. Each year about 5,000 come to son of an immigrant family from Bessarabia. At 15 serve from one to three weeks on different IDF he served in the Haganah and Palmach. In the War

of Independence he fought with the Negev Brigade, where he met his wife, Chassida. Davidi volunteered for the IDF paratroopers and was an officer in Ariel Sharon’s Unit 101. He was decorated with the Medal of Courage for actions in the Gaza Strip. In the Sinai Campaign, Lieutenant-Colonel and Regimental Commander Davidi played a decisive role in the Mitla Pass battle. He became the first commander of the IDF Paratrooper and Infantry Corps. During the Six Day War, Davidi helped capture Sharm-el-Sheik and led his paratroopers to the Suez Canal. In 1970, after retiring from active military service, he earned his Doctorate at the University of London. Dr. Davidi taught geography at Tel Aviv University, then became the Director of Community and Cultural Activities of the Golan and Jordan Valley in 1977. Davidi was awarded the annual Moskowitz Prize for Zionism in 2010 and received the President’s Award for his dedication to Sar-El. Aharon Davidi, a true Israeli hero, died February 11, 2012 and is survived by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I dedicate this to General Davidi and to Rosaline Millman, a”h, whose birthday was April 15. She was an amazing, knowledgeable, opinionated lady who advised me, enriched my vocabulary and exemplified love of Israel. Her beloved Sar-El continues to be a worthwhile program for Americans and Israel, but I hope, one day soon, it will no longer be needed. For more information go to www.sar-el.org or www.vfi-usa.org Miriam Bradman Abrahams is Cuban born, Brooklyn bred and lives in Woodmere. She organizes author events for Hadassah, reviews books for Jewish Book World and is very slowly writing her father’s immigration story. She is teaching yoga at Peaceful Presence Yoga Studio. mabraha1@optonline.net

13 THE JEWISH STAR May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772

Who’s in the kitchen Ice cream....the inside scoop

appeared, when Jacob Fussell began producing ice cream on a commercial basis in Maryland. During the 1904 World’s Fair, The Banner Creamery’s owner George Bang was selling ice cream. Allegedly, he ran out of bowls and was given rolled-up waffles to serve it in instead. Among other interesting facts; One of the major ingredients in ice cream is air. In fact, 10 to 25 percent air is desirable. The ice cream mix must be beaten as it freezes to incorporate air . Without it, ice cream would be rock solid and un -scoopable! The “Popsicle” was originally the “Epsicle,” named after its originator, Frank Epperson. He accidentally left a glass of lemonade with a spoon in it on a windowsill one very cold night. In World War II, it was reported that US airmen put cans of ice cream mix in the rear gunner’s compartments of B-29s. The airmen claimed that the freezing temperatures of high-altitude flight, and the plane’s vibrations, made great ice cream! We all have our favorite ice creams and methods of eating them. My husband will open the freezer, scoop out 4 ounces of ice cream and put the container back in the freezer. He will repeat that process about 6 times in a 30 minute time span while watching his Yankees, I, on the other hand will take the half gallon when it’s half empty, sit down in front of the T.V. and finish every last drop while watching my beloved Atlanta Braves. Whatever your method, I’m sure you’ll all enjoy the recipe below. It looks much more difficult to prepare than it actually is...but I won’t tell.


May 4, 2012 • 12 IYAR 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

14

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

Good Advice I

n these weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, there is a widely practiced custom to study Pirkei Avot --the Chapters or Ethics of the Fathers. Some even extend this practice until Rosh Hashana; instead of having one round of study, they complete Avot four times. The repetition is not merely meant to be a rote review. It is meant to entrench in one’s mind and heart important reminders and teachings from a whole slew of rabbinic figures from the Tannaitic period. Any person who follows even twenty five percent of the “Ethics” Rabbi Avi Billet taught in the six chapters will be one of the more ethical and wholesome people around town. Reading Parshat Kedoshim, one finds very similar sentiments. One can’t help thinking that the idea of being “Kedoshim,” or as Rashi translates it “Perushim”--separate and distinct--is not only our mandate from G-d, but a sort of ideal. It’s not just a good idea, but it is the formula for being a “light unto the nations” and a model for the world of

what a G-dly existence can and ought to look like. Revere your parents, observe the Sabbath. Remember G-d. When you bring and consume a sacrificial offering, don’t let there be leftovers--you’ve got to finish what you’ve undertaken to complete, within the allotted time. Leave over portions of your income--whether it’s from your literal produce or whatever you produce --for the poor. [A family I know inspired us to keep a separate checking account, which we use solely for charitable purposes. Any income is subject to its own deduction, transferred to this account. It makes giving (whatever percentage a person chooses) so much easier. The money is set aside for this purpose. This simple move has made giving a liberating experience, as opposed to what might sometimes feel like a difficult experience.] Don’t steal, don’t deny a rightful claim, don’t lie to one another, don’t swear falsely using G-d’s name. Don’t withhold what you owe to your neighbor. Pay people on time. Don’t curse the deaf or trick those who are blind. These two instructions could literally refer to people afflicted with these disabilities. On a deeper level, it could be an instruction not to taunt or mislead people who will not “get it,” or who are unaware that what you might be doing, which may be in the guise of being helpful, is actually harmful. A person needs to be morally upright, and tricking

Carrying the burden because the Commanding Officer said so. Continued from page 11 carries an additional piece of equipment such as a jerry can, stretcher, grenade launcher or radio. One of the heavier items (known as a ‘pakal’) is the heavy MAG machine gun known in slang as the ‘Mag.’ The Mag is always given to a larger, solidly built soldier since it is very heavy and difficult to carry; as such it also is an honor to carry. The soldier who carries it has been training with it through his entire army service and is ready to carry it for 90 kilometers having trekked with it through all of the previous treks. But the particular solider tasked with the Mag on this march was sick, and collapsed a few kilometers into the march. Daniel, who was nearby, immediately ran to his aid when he collapsed, and his commanding officer said to him “Mendel (Daniel’s nickname in the army): Kach et haMag” (”Daniel take the Mag”). Now Daniel, a gifted musician, was not a very big boy, and was not trained to carry this heavy load. But if your commanding officer says “Mendel Kach et haMag,” you take the Mag. So Daniel hefted the heavy machine gun on his back and proceeded to carry it for the remaining 80 kilometers. He succeeded in finishing the trek, after which he promptly collapsed and ended up in the hospital; but he finished the trek and became a legend in his unit. Cheryl looked at the boys in Orayta with whom she was sharing this story and said, pointing heaven-wards with her finger: “my Commanding Officer (G-d) has given me a great burden to carry. Hashem has, for some reason I will never comprehend, looked at me and said “Mendel: kach et hamag.” I was never trained nor was I prepared to carry this burden; but if your commanding officer says “Mendel Kach et haMag,” you take the Mag. So I am carrying this heavy burden and will,

till my last day on earth carry the burden of having buried a son who fell in defense of Israel. It is not a burden I wanted to carry, and I would gladly give it up, but I will carry it, because that is what I believe my Commanding Officer is asking of me.” For so many families in Israel who carry this painful burden, they will continue to struggle with it every day, and in every moment, long after the sounds of the Memorial Day sirens have faded into memory. And the rest of us, who can only stand in awe at the strength and courage of their silent, dignified conviction, owe it to them, and to all those who fell, to be there with them as best we can, and to never let, even for a moment, the tremendous sacrifice they make every day go unappreciated or forgotten. Acharei-Mot-Kedoshim which, translated literally, means ‘after the death of the holy ones.’ After their sacrifice, we can only contemplate the portion you will read next week, which we in Israel will read this Shabbat: “Emor” which literally means to tell over: we must make sure to tell their stories and contemplate how we will make sure their sacrifices were not in vain. Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, Binny Freedman For those who would like to see photos and films of Benji Hillman and DanielMandel and learn more of their stories, as well as how to make a difference in the lives of the Hillman and Mandel families, you can visit www.benjihillman.org and http://daniel-mandel.co.il/ . Rav Binny Freedman, Rosh Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem’s Old City is a Company Commander in the IDF reserves, and lives in Efrat with his wife Doreet and their four children. His weekly Internet ‘Parsha Bytes’ can be found at www.orayta.org

E-mail letters to letters@thejewishstar.com or fax to (516) 569-4942.

people who are weak or unaware is, simply put, an act of cruelty. A judge must be blind to economic circumstances, not favor the poor or the wealthy or the “important,” but to judge on the facts alone. There is flexibility in certain areas of Jewish law to look at the specific circumstance and situation, but when it comes to money, especially others’ money, the law must do what is right. Judge people fairly. Don’t gossip. Don’t be tale-bearer. Don’t stand by when your neighbor’s blood is being shed. These two commandments might very well be connected to one another as a reminder that if you find yourself in a situation where someone is being slandered or being cut down or having a reputation tarnished by ill-speak, it is important to stand up, to defend, and to try to twist the conversation in a positive way. To bring the “Kaf z’chut”--the benefit of the doubt--to the forefront, or even to contradict what is being said. And if everyone is against you because they disagree, make it clear that you will not be party to such a conversation that serves no purpose other than to destroy another human being. This is “not standing idly by when blood is being shed.” Don’t hate your brother in your heart, admonish your neighbor--these all follow the same line of thinking. Don’t take revenge nor bear a grudge... All of this culminates with the Golden Rule, to

love your neighbor. There are many interpretations as to how to fulfill the Golden Rule. I present four interpretations for your contemplation. Chizkuni suggests “You should love to do him a favor, just as you would love if he’d do you a favor.” [Maimonides (Laws of Mourning 14:1) expresses a similar sentiment.] Otzar Midrashim suggests to desire for one’s friend all that he loves and desires for himself. The Seforno quips to “Love things about your friend that you’d love if you were in his shoes.” Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch summarizes proper treatment of a friend or neighbor, saying “We have to love and respect all that comes to our friends – ask about his health and well-being, be happy about his success and sad about his failures, help out when it is needed, try to relieve him of his difficulties or comfort him when he is in [emotional] pain…” There are many more mitzvot and many more suggestions for proper behavior and “above and beyond” behavior. May we find the strength to read, contemplate, and apply as many of the Torah’s teachings to our own lives, to improve our own selves, and create more wholesome atmospheres among those with whom we work, as well as with the people we love.

Hebrew only please!

To recognize G-d`s hand in history Two quick stories that happened to my friend Yaakov: a Pakistani at the London airport exclaiming, “1948! G-d is back!” and an Indian in Winnipeg telling him how much he loved his book, i.e. the Torah. Then, an appreciation of Israel today, recognizing that not all is perfect, but the importance of seeing G-d’s hand, and a quick mention about Bibi’s father who died this morning, who, although not religious, appreciated the miracle of the Jews’ resurgence today. By Rabbi Noam Himelstein


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May 4, 2012