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HIPPEST RABBI: Black to the future Page 4 CHARADI DRAFT: Fight comes to Far Rockaway Page 6 Rabbis Freedman and Billet on Chukas Pages 5, 8 KITCHEN: Is it or isn’t it (dessert) Page 9



VOL 12, NO 23 Q JUNE 14, 2013 / 6 TAMMUZ 5773


5 Towns rabbi: It’s a mitzvah to be vaccinated Deadly measles outbreak spreads in Orthodox Brooklyn By Malka Eisenberg A widening measles outbreak in Brooklyn is being blamed on the refusal of some members of the borough’s Orthodox Jewish communities to vaccinate their children. The city’s Department of Health issued an alert on May 21, announcing 34 cases of measles, 27 in Borough Park and seven in Williamsburg. “It’s a mitzvah to get vaccinated,” Aaron E. Glatt, M.D., assistant rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere, told his congregation on Shabbat. “It’s protecting your life.” Refraining from getting inoculated is “not religiously motivated,” Rabbi Glatt told The Jewish Star. “It’s a mishigaas (craziness).” More than 700 people have been exposed to the highly contagious disease, according to the Department of Health. All 34 of the victims were unvaccinated when exposed to the virus — five were too young to have been vaccinated, 23 refused vaccine, and six delayed vaccination; they range in age from newborn to 32 years, including five infants, 21 children and eight adults. So far, a case of pneumonia, a miscarriage and two hospitalizations resulted from the infection. Some of the symptoms include bloodshot eyes, cough, fever, light sensitivity, rash, runny nose, white spots in the mouth. In the Five Towns and Far Rockaway, most parents are careful to vaccinate their children, routinely going to their pediatrician’s office for the recommended line-up of vaccines, with the first dose of the vaccine for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) at the age of 12 months. So why is there a measles outbreak in Orthodox communities, not only in Brooklyn but also similar problems in Monsey, England and Israel? Many studies have proven the MMR vaccine to be effective and safe, but the taint of a fraudulent study published in the Lancet medical journal in 1998 has lingered on in the minds of misinformed parents. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to retract even though it’s false,” said Glatt. “It gets into the ideas of people and stays.”

‘No poskim forbid

vaccination, and to state one has religious objections (and hence an exemption to mandated vaccination) is sheker.’

Glatt suggested that rabbanim issue a kol korei (an announcement to the public) on this issue, to reduce illness and its complications and save lives. “I don’t think that it is urged enough by the rebbes to get vaccinated,” he said, noting that if everyone in shul and the rebbes would call for it, it would be done. “It’s most important for everybody to get vaccinated,” he said. Halachic support for vaccines can be traced back to the 1700s and Rabbi Abraham Nasich in response to the scourge of smallpox. Rabbi Glatt quotes Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who maintained that “routine immunizations are an essential per-

sonal obligation in order to maintain good health (shmirat haguf) … that it is incumbent upon parents to assure that their children are vaccinated because immunizations are the accepted and standard medical practice.” Glatt, an infectious diseases specialist, delivered a medical and halacha shiur, “What Every Parent and Grandparent Needs to Know Medically and Halachically about Vaccinations,” between Mincha and Ma’ariv on Shabbat. He collaborated on a paper published in the spring issue of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society that traces a 2009 mumps outbreak in upstate New York to an unvaccinated child from England. Glatt is chief administrative officer for Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre and a spokesman for the Infectious Continued on page 13

Kulanu fun fills Cedarhurst Park By Yitzchak Carroll Both children and adults doubled their fun as the beautiful weather and exciting attractions made Kulanu’s annual community fair at Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park the place to be last Sunday. The fair raises money for the Cedarhurst-based Center for Special Services. “It is important to support Kulanu for the wonderful work that they do for the special needs children in the community,” said Jay Goldmark, a Woodmere resident. A dunk tank, bounce house, super slide, mini-ferris wheel, swing ride, as well as various games, including “krazy kans” and a bottle toss attracted fairgoers. Children enjoyed face painting, balloons,

Photo by Susan Grieco

Swinging in the park on Kulanu Sunday: Grace, Liana and Yakira Kollander. horseback rides and interactive demonstrations by the staff of Warren Levi Martial Arts, and munched on cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs.

“My favorite attraction was the super slide because it went so high and was so much fun,” said Aaron Zanger, 10, of Woodmere. The various perfor-

Shabbat Candlelighting: 8:09 p.m. Shabbat ends 9:18 p.m. 72 minute zman 9:40 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Chukat.

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mances, and raffles for sports tickets and memorabilia caught everyone’s attention. Volunteers ran the attractions, and the carContinued on page 8


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June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773 THE JEWISH STAR



By Malka Eisenberg Ninety-five young men and women gathered in Woodmere for a unique singles’ experience last Shabbat. The Shabbaton featured interactive activities, family meals, a dvar Torah, seudah shlishit and a musical havdalah. It was a joint effort by the Young Israel of Woodmere Singles Initiative Committee, YUConnects, JSMatchpoint, and “Woodmere is not a singles community, it’s a family community,” and most participants were not from the neighborhood and needed accommodation and a meal Friday night, explained committee member Marjorie Glatt. “Woodmere ramped it up,” she said, adding that the community was “gracious and hospitable” and the “biggest challenge was selecting community members to help— so many volunteered!” The gathering was an outgrowth of the DineNMeet initiative already making strides in Washington Heights, the Upper West Side and Kew Gardens Hills. In those communities, the single young people who participate live nearby and do not need housing; if they do come from out of the neighborhood, they have to arrange their own housing and other

meals besides the one group meal. Reserving space at the Dine N’ Meet meals requires an $18 donation to a charity listed on the registration form. The YI Woodmere’s 20 member Singles Initiative Committee plans events, activities and programs to facilitate matchmaking, and began working on this Shabbaton after Pesach. Orthodox men and women aged 23 to 35 registered and were pre-screened through Dine N’ Meet. All the Woodmere girls who applied were accepted; others came from all over. Guests had Friday night Shabbat dinner in the homes where they slept and had the Dine N’ Meet meal for Shabbat lunch. After early mincha they participated in a speed-dating style, “connect four program” with two men and two women in each grouping at the shul, where all participants could rotate and get to meet each other. Each table was set with water and snacks and conversation starter questions on the tables. At 7 p.m. they all had a buffet seuda shlishit at Aliza and Alan Miller’s home on Green Place. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, a warm Shabbat atmosphere with the welldressed young men and women talking and

circulating through the house. As Shabbat came to a close, the men gathered in the den to daven maariv. All the men and women then gathered around Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf and Rabbi Sholom Axelrod with Dr. Ari Goldsmith on guitar for a musical havdalah, with spontaneous singing, a group of men dancing in a circle and others clapping, ending the Shabbat with a feeling of warmth and unity. The singles initiative at YIW started over a year ago, said volunteer Sheri Hammer. She said that they “felt the need to do something” with “so many singles in our shul.” Hammer said that the next event will be for older singles sometime during the summer. “The goal is to have as many singles meet each other as possible because you never know where a connection is made. It’s not a tremendous chidush (innovation). We are trying to find creative ways to do something about it. She reported “overwhelmingly positive feedback” with many “inquiries within 24 hours after the event.” She also wanted to thank the Woodmere community. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of the community.” YUConnects runs numerous singles events as part of their educational and matchmak-

ing program and partnered with the organizers and assisted in the logistical planning. Glatt emphasized the attention to detail in the planning and actuation of the Shabbaton, led by Hammer, Shari Kaufman and Gail Elsant, with input from local singles and enthusiastic shul members. Neighborhood volunteers picked up participants from the train on Friday afternoon, and a caravan of cars returned the men and women to their hosts’ homes after Shabbat from the Green’s home. Volunteer facilitators including Sima Greenstein, Sandy Klein, Baila Sebrow, Malky Galler, Nechama Weinberg and Mindy Eisenman, YUConnects Staff Connector, circulated with the guests, introducing the men and women, making suggestions and will be working on follow up connections and events in the weeks to come. The event was heralded as successful since so many came, there was an equal number of men and women, good conversation, enthusiasm and positive feedback, noted Glatt. “The Young Israel of Woodmere will continue their own programs and hope to have another Dine N’ Meet in the future,” she said. For more information go to: or email, or to be added to mailing lists for future events.

YU honors 3 from South Shore as valedictorians Three students from the Five Towns and Long Beach were among nine to receive the distinction of valedictorian at Yeshiva University’s undergraduate commencement exercises in the IZOD Center in East Rutherford. The valedictorian honor reflects exceptional academic achievement. Ayelet Haymov of Cedarhurst and Jonathan Weiss of Lawrence were co-valedictorians of the Sy Syms School of Business and received the Dean Harold Nierenberg Memorial Valedictorian Award. Dan Schindelheim of Long Beach was valedictorian of the Yeshiva Program Mazer School of Talmudic Studies. “Yeshiva University has provided my peers and me a place to foster our intelligence and recognize the world beyond the classroom by encouraging us to think outside the box, problem solve, and develop our minds and spirits,” said Haymov, who graduated as an accounting major. In the fall, she will begin working as a tax auditor at Deloitte & Touche. “These past few years have been among the greatest years of my life,” Haymov said. “The qualities we have gained from being in this institution have shaped my life and my fellow students’ lives forever.” Weiss, who studied accounting and finance, was drawn to YU for its unique dual curriculum. “I chose to pursue my college education at Yeshiva University because of my desire to continue my religious education in the renowned Torah studies program while still being able to receive a well regarded secular education,” he said. Planning to pursue a career in finance, Weiss is confident that the knowledge and skills he acquired at Sy Syms will serve him well. “I think YU has helped prepare me for my future first and foremost by giving me an excellent business education from the Sy Syms School of Business,” he said. “Additionally I feel that YU’s dual curriculum has helped

Photo courtesy Yeshiva University

South Shore valedictorians (left to right) Jonathan Weiss of Lawrence, Dan Schindelheim of Long Beach and Ayelet Haymov of Cedarhurst. prepare me for my career in that it has enhanced my ability to handle extremely large workloads efficiently, giving me the confidence that I will be able to handle the potential pressures of the workplace.” Schindelheim, an economics major and a member of the Masmidim learning program at YU, said he is grateful for the time he spent at YU, which afforded him the opportunity to “balance my continued growth in Torah

learning with the pursuit of my degree, while also serving as a resident advisor as well as an NCSY advisor, spreading the knowledge and values that play such important roles in my life. “I chose to come to YU because I fully believe in the values that the university stands for and am aware of the tremendous role it plays in the Jewish community at large.” Other 2013 valedictorians included Bo-

ris Shulkin, James Striar School of General Jewish Studies Mechinah Program; Mickael Herszkowicz, Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program; Chaim Szachtel, Isaac Breuer College; Meirah Shedlo, Stern College for Women; Sarah Rosenbaum, Stern College for Women Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies; and Ari Cuperfain, Yeshiva College. Information in this article was supplied by Yeshiva University.

THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773

95 singles DineNMeet on Shabbat in Woodmere

June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773 THE JEWISH STAR



Black to the future: Getting Biblical at American Apparel


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 Published weekly by The Jewish Star LLC, 2 Endo Boulevard, Garden City, NY 11530 Phone: 516-622-7461 ■ Fax: 516-569-4942 News releases: ■ Calendar listings: Letters for publication: ■ Ads: Publisher Editor Account Executive Editorial Designer Photo Editor

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Contributors: Rabbi Avi Billet, Jeff Dunetz, Juda Engelmayer, Rabbi Binny Freedman, Alan Jay Gerber, Rabbi Noam Himelstein, Judy Joszef, Rabbi Simcha Weinstein. Kashrut: The Jewish Star is not responsible for the kashrut of any product or establishment featured in the Jewish Star. This newspaper contains words of Torah; please dispose of properly. Submissions: All submissions become the property of the Jewish Star and may be used by the Publisher in print, on the web, or in any media without additional authorization or compensation. All submissions may be edited for publication. Distribution: The Jewish Star is available free of charge in many kosher food establishments, stores, synagogues, and street-side news boxes in Nassau County and New York City. Mail subscriptions are available, prepaid: $9 per quarter on a credit card in Nassau and Far Rockaway, or $48 a year. Elsewhere in the US, $15 per quarter or $72 a year. Copyright © 2013 The Jewish Star LLC. All rights reserved.

From the Australian Outback, a niftar’s gift to Am Yisroel


He received the approval of Goulbourn’s hen you think of venues of Yiddishkeit, how far up the list would you town elders to designate a piece of the local cemetery for Jewish use, and place the Australian Outthrough social media recruited a back? It’s unlikely to have made FROM THE minyan of men who travelled from my list — until now. PUBLISHER Canberra, where Feldman leads a We received another reminder small Jewish community, and Sydlast week of how the incredible ney, to consecrate the burial site. unity of the Jewish people can “The story highlights the inrise anywhere, surviving even the credible unity and interconnectedharshest conditions in the most reness of the Jewish people,” Feldmote regions. It came to us courteman told Australian Broadcasting sy of a levaya (funeral) in a distant Corporation Radio. Australian town that hasn’t seen ”It was the most beautiful thing many Jews since its gold rush in that I’ve ever witnessed.” the 19th century, if then. The group that came for the Responding to a plea on Facefuneral reportedly included four book and Twitter, 10 Jewish men or five previously unknown Jews arrived to satisfy the dying wish of from Goulburn. One of the men Wayne Robinson that he receive a Ed Weintrob told Feldman he had never offiJewish burial. cially become a bar mitzvah. JTA reports it was the first JewHours after the funeral, in ish funeral in any Outback town front of his wife, daughters and the traveling since 1943. Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, son of Chabad’s minyan, the man put on tefillin and had what Baltimore-born chief rabbi of New South Feldman described as “a mini-bar mitzvah” Wales, was summoned to Robinson’s bedside half a century after his 13th birthday. Am Yisroel Chai! from Canberra.

Summer in the Heartland


ur bags are packed, we’re ready to go. Some of us to Eretz Y’srael; others to the Carribean, Europe, the Far East, even the Jersey Shore. There will be “staycations” in the Five Towns (nothing wrong with that!) or Long Beach, the Hamptons, the North Shore. Depending on our disposition, we might enjoy a few days in the Big Apple, where there’s far more than a vacation week’s worth of things to see and do. Or we might try something out of the ordinary — and visit the American Heartland. It’s easy for us New Yorkers to be dismissive of those who live in simpler American venues, and to believe we have nothing in common with those in the “red states” or, more broadly, in “Middle America.” That region is surprisingly rich in Jewish history and small Jewish communities con-

tinue to exist, if not exactly prosper, beyond places like Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis and Minneapolis. On each of my several trips to the Midwest, I explored what’s out there Judaically. On a visit to Des Moines, Iowa, a few years ago, I walked several miles in a snow storm to end up as the tenth man at two Shabbat minyanim (first at the city’s established Orthodox shul, then at a Chabad House across the street). I spent that afternoon with a frum family which had moved to Des Moines both for economic opportunity and to be near their Rav who had come from Florida; they were home schooling their several children. I won’t recommend Des Moines over Jerusalem, but if you’re looking for something different travelwise, you could do a lot worse than Iowa. Shabbat Shalom, Ed Weintrob


icture the 1960s advertising. Ciga- company was under fire from critics for rette boxes danced and kids colored using suggestive Polaroid photo-billboard with “Flesh” crayons straight from the ads capturing young (very young looking) Crayola Caucasian collection — assuming models in moments of vulnerable candor. you were either anemic or came from Flek- But then, this was a boy whose first venture, kefjord. according to the New York Times by Laura And then, alevai!, PC pummeled in. Ciga- Holson, was selling rainwater he had colrettes were out and Crayola got the memo. lected in mayonnaise jars to his neighbors. “Flesh” was renamed “Peach” in 1962, ••• “Indian Red” eventually became “ChestDespite Charney using the term “Hasnut,” and even “Prussian Blue” was turned sid,” his marketing is far from kosher. The to “Midnight Blue” in case Kaisers started term Hassid means “piety” or “loving-kindgoose-stepping during the Cold ness,” and has become synonyWar. mous with a dress style known HIPPEST RABBI We’ve come a long way … or as tzniut, loosely translated as have we? “modesty.” Whilst contemporary Recently, Dov Charney’s Amculture has convinced us all to erican Apparel introduced a kewl become obsessed with size, comnew addition: A nail polish colplexion, fashion (and nail pollection free of formaldehyde, but ish), a mystical approach to fashclearly not free of the company’s ion shows that clothes don’t just signature chutzpah: The color? cover the external self but that Black. The name? “Hassid.” they also reveal the inner self. This offense is mild by conThe Hebrew word for “world” temporary standards, and most (olam) is etymologically related tweens who feel the need to “Go to the same root as “hidden” Goth” don’t know Hassid from (ne’elam). When discussing why birdseed. But Jews know. And the divine is not more obviously Rabbi Simcha yes, we actually buy nail polish! manifest in the world, the TalWeinstein As someone with a four-year-old mud notes “that G-d wears the daughter who has recently taken world like a garment.” a particular shine to the shiny stuff, this is I would argue to Dov that whilst modest something about which I can speak. clothing may cost more to produce, it does ••• produce benefits by creating a private space American Apparel founder and CEO Dov without fear from external objectification Charney, born a Jewish Canadian in 1969 where we can truly be our true self. who firmly believed in Yankee Doodle Dan••• dy U.S. fashion, is one of the most colorIn a world where the human body has ful, controversial, successful and “out there” been reduced to tacky billboards, have we entrepreneurs in the world. He started the have not only become overexposed, but company in 1989 at age 20, and makes have we gone “black” to the future? clothes in the heartland of the U.S. — downtown L.A. Moreover, the company proudly Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, an internationboasts that each employee gets health ben- ally known best-selling author whose first efits and incentives. book, “Up, Up and Oy Vey!” received the BenCharney, who is himself Jewish (not that jamin Franklin Award, has been profiled in you can hide it with a name like Dov), does leading publications including The New York have a particular relationship to the Hassids. Times, The Miami Herald and The London His company was successfully sued for $5 Guardian. million by another Israelite, Woody Allen, He was recently voted New York’s Hippest over a billboard of his Annie Hall character Rabbi by PBS Channel 13. He chairs the Reliin the famous Hasidic garb dream sequence. gious Affairs Committee at Pratt Institute. His How ironic then, that Charney should forthcoming book is “The Case for Children: use the term “Hassid,” especially when his Why Parenthood Makes Your World Better.”

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If one already knows his salvation is from G-d, asks the Eish Kodesh, why does the verse add the fact that G-d is the creator of heaven and earth? Once I know G-d is my salvation, obviously I know He created everything, so why the extra sentence? Explains the Eish Kodesh: Sometimes you get into a jam and you know what has to happen for you to be saved; imagine you run a red light without realizing it and suddenly find a truck coming through the intersection — you hit the brakes and pray he will hit his and that you will both stop, or swerve, in time — you know what to pray for. But what if you find yourself in a situation from which you cannot imagine escaping? Imagine you are in an airplane at 35,000 feet leaning against the door, when it accidentally pops open and you fall out, with no parachute, at 35,000 feet! What do you pray for? Wings? It’s over, right? Says the Piaseczner Rebbe: Just remember Whom you are praying to. Hashem made the heavens and the earth, and airplanes and gravity; if He wants you to survive, you’ll survive, so never give up hope. The Piaseczner Rebbe was sharing this Torah in the Warsaw ghetto; if there was ever a time the Jewish people could not have imagined how they would be saved, this was it. Who would have imagined, as a Jew on

a train to Trawniki in 1943, that five years later they would be dancing and celebrating the birth of the Jewish State of Israel in the streets of Tel Aviv. Chukat, this week’s portion which speaks of the ultimate chok, or mitzvah we find incomprehensible, follows Shlach which speaks of the sin of the spies, and Korach which speaks of great men and leaders who allowed themselves to be led astray and misread history. What connects these three portions? In Shlach, the spies convince an entire nation that they are not ready to enter the land of Israel. Despite all of G-d’s miracles, one way of understanding their contention is that it just does not make sense: A nation of slaves is just not ready to face the battle hardened Canaanite Nations They are, after all, in a spiritual nirvana with manna from heaven, clouds of glory, and the leadership of Moses and Aaron; why would they leave that and risk the inevitable spiritual decline that conquering the land of Israel (wherein the overt miracles would gradually cease and the Jewish people would have to be partners with G-d in conquering the land) would entail? It is interesting to note that Calev, the tribal prince who argues for entering the land, does not even mention the miracles in his

‘If we have faith in

Hashem’s salvation, we can have faith in the spiritual survival of each Torah scholar [who finds himelf] in the midst of the same physical and spiritual conquest of the land of Israel the spies so feared.’

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argument for trusting G-d; he just says: “Let us go up; we can conquer,” which is the pre-Nike version of “Just Do It!” The next portion, Korach, which we read last Shabbat, is all about a struggle for leadership. Korach, the great grandson of Levi. felt that he, too, was entitled to a leadership role as the next in line after Moses and Aaron. Jewish tradition points out that Korach was a man of great qualities: not only a leader, but a Torah scholar and according to some traditions even a prophet. Yet all his greatness did not prevent him from missing the boat and not realizing that history was mapping out a different course. And then we arrive at our portion this week: Chukat. “Zot Chukat haTorah,” begins our portion. “This is the (great) Chok of the Torah…” A Chok is a mitzvah Hashem has given us to fulfill which we can never fully understand. It is, like the red heifer (the parah adumah whose ashes purify those made impure by death, whilst simultaneously making impure those that began in a state of purity) ultimately incomprehensible. It bespeaks a willingness to fulfill that which we cannot understand; it is faith beyond reason. Indeed, in this portion we read of the ultimate Chok, when both Aaron and Miriam die in the desert, never meriting to enter the land of Israel. This is the ultimate Chok, the paradigm of that which we can never fathom: death; and even more, the death of the righteous who suffer, never entering the land they dreamed of for so many years. One way of understanding Calev’s reticence in mentioning the miracles, is precisely that the time was right to take a leap of faith; faith beyond reason. Continued on page 6

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n 1946, according to legend, a young polish boy digging through the rubble of the Warsaw ghetto found a tube with a manuscript inside. The African American soldier he sold it to for a dollar, recognized it as something Jewish and brought it to the chaplain of the U.S. 8th Army, Rabbi Herschel Schachter, ob”m. Rabbi Schachter quickly realized this was the manuscript of the holy Piaseczner Rebbe, Rav Klonymus Kalman Shapiro H”YD. Rav Shapiro, one of the last rabbis of FROM THE HEART the Warsaw Ghetto, OF JERUSALEM was deported to the concentration camp at Trawniki where he was murdered on Nov. 3, 1943. From 1939 to 1942 he gave a weekly shiur (class) on the Torah portion and the transcript of these classes was the manuscript Rabbi Schechter held in his hands. This manuscript Rabbi Binny became known as Freedman the Eish Kodesh, the words of holy fire which illuminated the darkness of the Warsaw Ghetto. In his discussion on Shavuot in June of 1940, Rav Shapiro notes the verse from Tehillim (Psalm 121): “Esah Einai el he’harim; mei’ayin yavo ezri…” “I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence will come my salvation? My salvation is from Hashem (G-d) who fashions the heavens and the earth.”

THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773

Chukat / Between faith and reason … trusting Hashem in Eretz Israel

Fight over yeshiva draft spills into Far Rockaway By Malka Eisenberg A heated and emotional panel of four men presented their uniform views on the importance of sustaining charedi yeshivas in Israel and of continuing to exempt yeshiva students from service in the Israel Defense Forces, last motzei Shabbat at a town hall type meeting in the Wolfson home in Far Rockaway. Over 150 men and women listened attentively as each of the four panelists presented a ten minute statement and answered selected audience questions. The panelists were Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah; Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginzberg, Cedarhurst’s Chofetz Chaim Torah Center; Mishpacha publisher Eliyahu Paley, an IDF veteran, and the moderator, Mishpacha U.S. desk editor Eytan Kobre. The current concern stems from a pending Knesset vote to restructure the requirements and exemptions for enlistment in the IDF. The government is focusing on the charedim, where most men of draft age have since the foundation of the State in 1948 been exempted to learn in yeshivos. At the beginning, the population that was exempt was small; it has currently grown to tens of thousands. All the speakers emphasized the urgency in maintaining the yeshivos. Paley noted that the communities in Israel could “beneďŹ t by adopting some of the things in Americaâ€? such as the “Torah baal batimâ€? who learn Torah and work, that they are “not going to compromise on learning Torahâ€? but should “create communities of baal batim in Israel.â€? Rabbi Bender pointed out the many chesed organizations in Israel “manned by frum people.â€? He also cited a Gemara that 1,000 students are necessary to produce one scholar, and that King Solomon sent 200 to learn Torah for every 1,000 in the army. Rabbi Ginzberg noted that the discussion has been ongoing for decades. He stated that a letter written by a Nazi that “our war is with the Talmudists — it is through them that the Jewish people are preserved,â€? was shown to prime minister David Ben-Gurion and that it kept the students out of the army.

In a phone interview, Kobre stated that the meeting was called to “address a complicated and confusing situationâ€? citing “proposals on the table in Israel to take various steps against the Charedi community there.â€? He presented ďŹ gures on the Orthodox in Israel, in the yeshivos, the work force, the army, the schools and described established organizations that work to integrate those leaving yeshivos into the work force through university and vocational programs. He said that one, the Kemach program, had graduated 6,000 since 2007. He questioned the government’s need to cut family and yeshiva/educational subsidies, saying that it is not a major part of the budget. He said he was concerned about the Israeli government’s removal of its subsidy to schools for foreign students that also affects yeshivos and Jewish families abroad who send their children to Israel to study. Programs integrating the â€?fervently Orthodoxâ€? into the work force are “placed in jeopardy as a result of these proposals.â€? He said these programs are voluntary as opposed to “compulsory.â€? The army, he said, is a “non issue,â€? that “integration into the work force is the real issue but that it is a slow and incremental processâ€? with “change taking place quietly, slowly. They shouldn’t be forced to serve in the army, it violates religious principles,â€? citing other countries’ “exemptions for divinity, even during war.â€? He also questioned the need for a “civilian armyâ€? as it stands in Israel, calling for a “careerâ€? force instead. He pointed out that the nachal charedi, a section of the army set up for charedi members to enlist in the army with accommodations speciďŹ c for the charedi community, received a nod from Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, but even so was not felt to be a perfect solution. He said that there is boundless gratitude to those who serve in the IDF and that people “don’t express enough gratitude.â€? The meeting ended stating the need “to ďŹ nd dialogue,â€? and “public relations for the charedi community,â€? and “every ben Torah should have a chayal (Israeli soldier) to daven and learn for.â€?

THE IMPORTANCE OF IDF SERVICE The Jewish Star asked our columnist, Rabbi Binny Freedman, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Orayta, just returned from his reserve service in the IDF, to comment on the charedi conict with conscription to the IDF. He quoted a sergeant who works in nachal chareidi who said that a “very signiďŹ cant portion of the boys in his battalion arrived to the army not religious.â€? Freedman said that, “they are the kids the chareidi world does not know what to do with so they let them go to the army.â€? He noted that “there is a not insigniďŹ cant portion of kids in the chareidi (for the record I hate this label but am using it for the purposes of our dialogue) world who are way off the derech already. No one knows the stats but it is not the army and certainly not a nachal chareidi army unit environment that is sending kids off the derech; it is much more complicated than that.â€? He added that the army is “not a simple environmentâ€? but he has met young men who moved closer to Judaism and became “more inspired Jewishlyâ€? through their army service. He also said that, “if a boy waits till he is 20 and then does Hesder which is 1718 months of army, IF he is seriously learning in yeshiva, that should be a reasonable recipe for most chareidi boys who want to maintain their Torah learning and shmirat Mitzvot.â€? As far as how and when changes with charedi service should be made, he noted that “solutions are always best when they are gradual, and the idea of throwing tens of thousands of Yeshiva bochurim who are

not ready to go into the army, into jail, is ridiculous. By the same token, assuming that anyone not in the army is really learning full time in yeshiva is neither practical nor true, and the chilul hashem involved should be motivating more bnei Torah to struggle with this question.� Freedman quoted an article written recently in the Jerusalem Post by Rabbi Yehuda Susman, the Rosh Yeshiva of Eretz HaTzvi, who suggested that the army open yeshivot where the students could learn Torah in uniform and not miss learning opportunities in the context of army service. Freedman also noted that things have changed and a healthy solution has to be found “gradually, whilst working together.� “In 1948 Ben Gurion exempted 400 Yeshiva students from IDF service because the Torah world was decimated in the Holocaust,� he said. “The goal of rehabilitating Torah has Baruch Hashem been accomplished and that scenario no longer exists. So its time to create a new one that all the segments of Israeli society can live with. “Lastly, one of the many painful lessons we should have learned from the Holocaust, is that Hashem can sometimes block the vision of our gedolei Torah; they can be wrong. This was clearly the case before the Holocaust (see Rav Teichtal’s Eim habanim Smeichah) and may well be the case today. “We are clearly in a state of milchemet mitzvah, and in such a case EVERYONE goes to war even chatan michedro and kallah meichuppatah.�

Trusting Hashem in Eretz Israel‌ Continued from page 5 “Let us go up; we can conquerâ€? says Calev: not because it makes sense, but because Hashem asks it of us, and history demands it. The mistake of the spies was that they were afraid to leave such a spiritual environment and sully themselves with the physical and even mundane challenge of conquering the land. Yet, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe suggests in his Likkutei Sichot, this was precisely what Hashem was asking them to do. They had to be willing to ďŹ ght, to be partners with Hashem in conquering the land, and they had to have faith that in doing the right thing, they would survive not only physically, but spiritually as well. So perhaps it is no accident that in the next portion we see clearly how leadership channeled in the wrong direction can result in a rebellion which, though in the name of G-d, is actually the antithesis of what Hashem wants. One wonders how a prophet and great Torah scholar like Korach, who rubbed shoulders with Moshe himself, saw the splitting of the Red Sea, and even heard the word of G-d at Sinai, could so misread the call of the day. And yet, clearly this is one of the messages of Korach. Which is ďŹ nally followed by Chukat, which suggests that whilst we need to do what needs to be done, even ďŹ ghting to conquer the land, we need to ensure that we do it not because we think it is right and it makes sense, but because this is truly what

we believe Hashem asks of us. This week, one of the issues occupying the headlines here in Israel, is the drafting of yeshiva students who believe Torah study contributes to the country’s well-being (with which I agree), and who believe that entering the army would cause them to risk their spiritual growth. If we can have faith in Hashem’s salvation in the Warsaw ghetto, believing the Jewish people will survive against all odds, we can certainly have faith in the spiritual survival of the Jewish people and each individual Jewish Torah scholar, in the midst of the same physical and spiritual conquest of the land of Israel the spies so feared. Seventy Five plus years ago, a generation of Torah scholars made a terrible mistake (perhaps their vision was collectively obstructed by Hashem as was Yaakov’s when he could not see Joseph was still alive?) and told their ocks in Europe not to leave; it was not time, they felt, to go home to Israel just yet. Like the spies 3,000 years earlier, they feared the spiritual decline that might result from such a move. Three thousand years later, let us hope our generation will realize we are ready to ďŹ ght for the right to stay in the land of Israel and that such a magniďŹ cent mitzvah as defending the Jewish people will result not in spiritual decline, but in a great and purifying spiritual growth that will see the entire Jewish people home, and in peace, one day soon.

June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773 THE JEWISH STAR



SEIDMANN matrimonial attorney

FRAGIN political consultant

EDELMAN business owner


In the wake of last month’s hotly contested school board fight, Lawrence residents will again be treated to a competitive election next Tuesday. Three candidates are competing to fill two Village of Lawrence trustee positions. Michael Fragin, seeking a third full term under the Good Government Party banner, is being challenged by David Seidmann and Alex Edelman, who are running together on the Unity Party line and have been endorsed by the Lawrence Association. Fragin, 39, is a political consultant; Seid-

mann, 53, a matrimonial attorney; Edelman, 64, owns health care, transportation and real estate businesses. This is the first contested trustee race since 2010, and only the second one since 2003. Incumbent trustee Joel Mael is not seeking re-election. During separate interviews in the offices of The Jewish Star, the three candidates discussed their priorities for Lawrence. All voiced support for the village’s acquisition of the Lawrence Country Club, but differed on how to best capitalize on the asset. In Sandy’s wake, they urged preparedness in advance of another catastrophic storm.


By The Jewish Star

THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773

3 men seek to fill 2 Lawrence seats

Chukat / Miriam’s passing… and gaining atonement from death Judgment through their deaths.” [i.e. Nadav and Avihu (Vayikra 10:3) and what Talmud Shabbat 55a learns from Yechezkel 9:6] There is a more blatant connection his is all the Torah has to say about between Miriam’s death and Eglah AruMiriam, whose death was compa- fah. The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 29b) rable to Moshe’s (Baba Batra 17a), learns from a “gezeirah shavah” (a paralAharon’s, and even Avraham’s, on account lel word in two Torah cases) on the word of all them utilizing the word sham (there), “Sham” (“there”), that just as one is forwhich even appears twice here (Menachem bidden from deriving benefit from the slaughtered cow (eglah arufah), it is forRecanati on this verse). The Talmud (Moed Katan 28a) tells us bidden to derive benefit from a corpse Miriam’s death is juxtaposed to the Parah (such as Miriam was). Baal Haturim connects Parah Adumah, Adumah (Red Heifer) of Chapter 19 because just as the Parah Adumah Miriam’s death and Eglah Arufah through equating the numerical values of brought atonement, so does “Issur B’hanaah” (prohibition of the death of the righteous PARSHA OF benefit) (340), the word “Sham” bring atonement. THE WEEK (340), “Mechaper” (brings atoneToldot Yitzchak notes ment) (340), and “Parah Adumah” that the Parah Adumah is (341: gematria has a +/-1 factor). not classified as a korban Further, the Kli Yakar (19:2) con(sacrifice) and does not nects the young cow (Eglah) bring atonement — it brings slaughtered to achieve atonement about taharah (purity). and the Eigel (Golden Calf) in their This may explain why giving or needing to achieve atoneRashi here misquotes the ment for murder; shortly before Talmud, saying, “Just as the Golden Calf was formed, Chur korbanot bring atonement, was murdered. so does the death of the With Miriam’s death, the people righteous.” [Tosafot claims missed an opportunity to achieve the atonement brought by Rabbi Avi Billet the atonement they so needed. This Parah Adumah is for the sin lost chance was the cause (if not of the Golden Calf. See also the blessing!) that absolved Moshe Rashi 19:22.] Other commentaries address the idea and Aharon once and for all from leading that the death of the righteous brings the people from whom they had grown atonement. Torah Temimah focuses not on apart. The Alshich describes Moshe’s and the death, but on observed mourning and honor given to the deceased, which trans- Aharon’s intent to deal with burying their lates to Honor of G-d, which brings atone- sister. When they saw a large crowd coming, Aharon praised the people for wantment. The Toldot Yitzchak surmises that “the ing to do kindness, but Moshe questioned Rabbis’ intent was that the atonement was their intent as they weren’t following the not available for a person who does not feel proper social order. And when they heard a real spiritual void, a loss for all of Israel, Moshe describing their visit negatively, when the righteous die. Such a loss should they fought with him. Rabbi Yosef Karo explained their conhumble a person, and make a person feel like the dust of the earth, an idea connect- fronting Moshe, “See! Miriam died a natued to the Parah Adumah which is burned ral death! If we could only die a natural death! But who wants to die from thirst? into dust.” The deaths of Nadav and Avihu are Why did you bring us to the desert…?” They erred! Many commentaries point mentioned in Yom Kippur’s Torah reading to help us think about what purpose the out that they should have responded propdeath of the righteous can serve on the erly over the loss of this righteous woman, a prophetess, sister of Moshe and Aharon, Day we aim to achieve atonement. Recanati (Bamidbar 25) says that after and they should have expressed their gratthe Baal Peor incident, Moshe was itude for having water in her merit. The well was taken away so the people instructed to gather the leaders of the people to get G-d’s wrath to subside from Isra- would realize it had been there in her el (25:4) because, through the leaders merit. Had they treated her death with either judging the people or themselves proper reverence, as the Torah Temimah dying, G-d’s attribute of Judgment is described, treating Moshe and Aharon appeased. (See Medrash Shir HaShirim with kindness, the water would return. 1:6) This helps explain why the wrongs They didn’t — and they suffered on perpetrated against the Givonim were account of it. Every generation has truly great leadonly righted through the deaths of seven ers, who are revered, honored and respectdescendants of Shaul (see Shmuel II:21) Recanati furthers this idea in his com- ed in their lifetimes. It is our responsibilimentary on Eglah Arufah – the unsolved ty to make the most of their time on earth murder (Devarim 21) – quoting Bereishit in enhancing our lives. When their time Raba 44:5. When G-d told Avraham “I will on this earth is over, we must feel the loss [make] a shield [of] you,” He was saying, “I in the deepest depths of our being. We need the atonement that comes will make righteous people descend from you, the kind who protect others from with such a loss. “They came to the Tzin Desert, and the people stopped in Kadesh. It was there that Miriam died and she was buried there.” (20:1)


Kulanu fun in C’hurst… Continued from page 1 nival was sponsored by local businesses, including The Jewish Star. “It’s a great feeling to help support Kulanu and local community members with special needs,” said Gabriel Miller, 14, of Woodmere, who helped staff the prize booth. Ed Ruane, owner of Life Clubs in Lawrence, said: “Kulanu is a great organization, and we employ their students at our gym to gain work experience in the personal fitness industry.” Kulanu provides support and inclusion services for special needs children and teenagers, according to Jonathan Cooper, Director of Support and Inclusion Services. “We have grown to include a school, as well as Camp Discovery, after-school and weekend programs, and respite services,” Cooper said. “The point of our program is to support all aspects of services for special needs children and their families.” Parents of special needs children need guidance and Kulanu helps to provide that as well. “Our program helps parents go through the difficult challenges when their children are diagnosed with special needs,” said Amy Eisenberg, Director of Parent Advocacy and Support Services. “We link them up to services and help them through the educational process,” she added. A version of this article first appeared in the Nassau Herald. Yitzchak Carroll is a Herald staff reporter.

Photo by Susan Grieco

Talia Ross takes a ride on the giant slide.


June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773 THE JEWISH STAR




ast week I shared a burger recipe, this week I have another. Last week it was a main, this week it’s a dessert. Sweets date back to ancient civilizations. Desserts, as we know them today, are the product an evolution of technology and culinary experimentation. The word dessert originated from the French word desservir, “to clean the table,â€? and the negative of the Latin word servire. In ancient times, civilizations enjoyed the treats of fruit or nuts rolled into honey, which has become known as WHO’S IN THE the ďŹ rst candy — it was KITCHEN what was available to them at the time. The ingredients that were available in each region inuenced the desserts that they were able to create. Desserts back then were simpler to prepare, as ancient cultures focused more on nutrition in the food ingested, in order to survive. I’m guessing Judy Joszef that’s why there were no sports club chains or personal trainers around then — that and the fact that they burned more calories hunting their food than we do driving to the supermarket. (OK, I do admit on Friday we burn off a few hundred additional calories driving around for hours looking for parking spots!) So in theory, people in ancient times enjoyed an occasional sweet treat, but it wasn’t until sugar was manufactured during

the Middle Ages that people began to enjoy more sweets. Even then, sugar was so expensive, that it was a treat reserved only for the wealthy on special occasions. Seems it was during the beginning of the 17th century that desserts took their place. Before this time, sugary and salty dishes were often mixed and it is difďŹ cult today to discern which dishes were main courses and which dishes were ofďŹ cially dessert. When it comes to Renaissance desserts, it looks like Catherine de Medicis’ Italian chefs were the ones who really created and introduced desserts, ďŹ rst in Italy and then making their way up to France. The most common desserts were tarts, pies, ans, custards, rice puddings, rissoles, jellies, and sabayons, almost all known for their very high sugar content! In fact, not only were Renaissance desserts known for their large quantities of sugar, but also for the unusual mix of sugar with vinegar, alleged to be a health tonic. Today, although some people are still into natural candies and nuts, most have moved onto complex soufÊs, multi layered cakes, tiramisu, baked Alaska and intricate fondant cakes that can basically replicate just about everything from baby grand pianos, cars, a burning building with ďŹ re engines and smoke and water, to designer shoes and pocketbooks. Should anyone want to surprise someone with a birthday cake, for the same money as those designer bags cost in fondant, just stick the real thing on a platter and sing Happy Birthday ‌ just saying ‌ Some interesting dates and ďŹ rsts for you sugar-philes out there: â– 1381: First printed recipe for Tartys in Applis, or apple pie â–  1400: Gingerbread was made by soak-

ing bread crumbs in honey and spices â– 1600: Pralines were created by a table ofďŹ cer of French nobility â–  1700: Eclairs--with a cream center and chocolate topping evolved slowly over several hundred years â–  1740: Cupcake recipes were commonly recorded by this time â–  1800s: Lemon meringue pie wasn’t invented until the 19th century but meringue and lemon custards were common before then. One dessert I’m sure they didn’t have back in ancient times or even during the Renaissance is mini hamburgers made into a dessert out of cookies. An easy and fun ending after a barbecue that will delight adults, as well as the kids. ••• Shout out to my friends who were over for a barbecue this past Sunday who thought they were real burger sliders and took cell phone pix to send to their kids‌ .Let me know if any of them end up on Instagram.

Mini Burgers, Dessert Style Ingredients: Bloom’s Vanilla Wafers (for the buns); Lieber’s Chookies for the burgers

(Chookies are pareve sandwich cookies coated in chocolate); 1 cup shredded coconut (for the lettuce); 3 drops Green Food Coloring, with 3 drops of water or a smidgeon “leaf greenâ€? Wilton’s icing color (to color the coconut); 1 tube (4.25 oz )Betty Crocker decorating icing in red (for the ketchup). Directions: â– Toss the coconut and food coloring in a plastic bag till all coconut is green. â–  Place 20 wafers on a sheet tray top side down and place a small dab of red icing in the center. â–  Place one Chookie on top of each wafer and gently press down so the “burgerâ€? will stick to the “bun.â€? â–  Pipe a thick ring of red icing along the perimeter of the Choookie; be generous. â–  Sprinkle some coconut onto the red icing and press down another vanilla wafer on top. “Ketchupâ€? should ooze out and look like it’s dripping down. â–  Experiment with the ďŹ rst few to get the result you like. For the photo, I added French fry chips. You can also pair the burgers with small thin biscotti or cookies shaped to look like French fries and add red icing for the ketchup.


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THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 6 TAMMUZ 5773

Is it or isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it (a dessert)? Only the chef knows for sure!


June 14, 2013 â&#x20AC;¢ 6 TAMMUZ 5773 THE JEWISH STAR



Many years ago, the Maskilim in Berlin sent an emissary to Vilna to receive advice from Moishele Apikorus (Moishele the non-believer). Upon arrival, Moishele determined that the Maskil hadn`t learned Shas, nor Rambam, nor Chumash and Rashi. Turning to the Maskil, he explained that indeed, he is not an apikoros, but rather an ignoramus. Rabbi Noam Himelstein studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion and served in the Tanks Corps of the IDF. He has taught in yeshiva high schools, posthigh 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.

Welfare of the people, the alibi of tyrants


The welfare of the people in particular has Do you have cable or satellite? It’s basically a always been the alibi of tyrants — Albert Ca- computer system that could be mined to see mus what and when you watch TV. These viewmerica is slowly moving toward aban- ing habits data is great information for TV doning those rights endowed to us by programmers and advertisers, but what if the our Creator and protected by the Unit- government got its hands on the data? ed States Constitution. I am not saying that government is gathThis week brought revelations about the ering this, or intending to do this … but is it federal government’s data mining by col- that far out of line? lecting phone records, credit card spending Do we want our government to spy on the information and Internet data from virtually free press as they did with James Rosen and every telephone and computer in the coun- the Associated Press? These incidents may try, regardless of probable cause. They go to be rather benign compared to what could FISA courts to get approval in secret and the be done, like the DOJ using phone taps to people being spied upon don’t have to know. get damaging information about a news serWhen FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Sur- vice or reporter as black mail to get them to veillance Act of 1978) was passed, many peo- change a story. ple (including me) naïvely thought it would According to the Wall Street Journal, the only be used to spy upon U.S./Foreign com- IRS and Department of Health and Human munication and all with some sort of prob- Services are working together to create the able cause. Now we know they are collecting largest personal information database the data from all communications, all interaction government has ever attempted. Known as with the Internet, even that which is totally the Federal Data Services Hub, the project domestic. is taking the IRS’s own records (for income The government is proposing, or has al- and employment status) and centralizing ready approved, the collection of them with information from Soother kinds of personal informacial Security (identity), Homeland tion about each and every person Security (citizenship), Justice POLITICS TO GO in the United States. (criminal history, and in the fuA key part of Obamacare is ture, DNA), HHS (enrollment in its electronic data component. entitlement programs and certain Doctors will have to comply with medical claims data) and state Health Information Technology governments (residency). standards regarding storing and The data hub will be used as sharing through a massive datathe verification system for Obambase the personal health records acare’s complex subsidy formula. of each patient. Think about what Insurers, self-insured businesses could happen with these massive and government health programs databases when the information must submit reports to the IRS is accessed by the IPAB (Indepenabout the individuals they cover, dent Payment Advisory Board), which the IRS will crosscheck Jeff Dunetz the so-called “Death Panels.” against tax returns. This is the And don’t forget the recent same IRS under investigation for Supreme Court decision that says “attacking” conservative groups. the police can take a person’s DNA upon arCould government combine the Federal rest, before conviction. Do I believe that po- Data hub information with the phone, Interlice officers are going to start taking DNA net, credit card purchases, health data, and swabs from people who run stop signs? Not where you travel into one giant database that today, but can we really say never? Did you knows everything about everyone? ever think the government would be able to This is not to say that the current admincompel someone to purchase healthcare? istration will (or even has the desire to) do Under eminent domain, the government this — however, it can be done, and if we can (and does) seize private property for don’t stop it, and stop it fast, it will be done. public use — to build a road, a school, or a Our representatives must be forced to excourthouse, for example. plain what they are doing to protect our freeBut did you know the courts have ruled doms, not generalities but specifics. the government can also seize your land for ■ How will they amend FISA to guarantee private use if they can prove that doing it will Americans won’t be spied upon? serve what’s called “the public good”? Cit■ How will they change the tax code so we ies across the country use eminent domain can eliminate an all-powerful IRS whose moto force people off their land, so private de- dus operandi is to collect information about velopers can build more expensive homes or and intimidate American taxpayers? stores, etc., that will pay more in property ■ Will they vote to block funding for taxes than the buildings they’re replacing. Obamacare to the point of filibuster (and The government needs more income to pro- that’s just a start)? vide us with additional services, so does it There is a tale about Benjamin Franklin, really matter if they take away some freedom that he emerged from Independence Hall for the public good? at the close of the Constitutional ConvenThe Transportation Department wanted tion in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, to force all new cars to have “black boxes” like and a woman asked him, “Well Doctor, what airplanes. These boxes would record speed, have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Mr. direction, breaking, and other rudimentary Franklin replied, “A republic, madam — if driving data. The government could use the you can keep it.” black boxes to track where someone is going. Folks we still have that republic, and Would that happen today? No! Could it hap- thankfully it is still the freest republic ever pen tomorrow? created in the history of the world. But if we As a regular New York subway rider, every want to keep it, the number one issue for time I pass through the turnstiles and swipe each and every one of us must be taking back my MetroCard there is a record of where I those freedoms we have allowed our governentered the subway system. How hard would ment to take away. If we don’t do it today, we it be to figure out my daily commute from might not be able to do it tomorrow. that record? Do you have an E-Z Pass on your Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the car? That is all tracked. How about your TV? political blog “The Lid” (

A Rabbi Noam Himelstein

THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773

I prefer an apikoros

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ing prayers by reciting the blessing forced from the mouth of the pagan prophet Balaam by Divine fiat!” This liturgical irony is further explicated by many others who see in it the benchmark of the uniqueness of our faith in its ability to encompass the negativity of those who wish to curse and harm us, and turn that sentiment to blessing. Rabbi Mindel’s commentary parses the various phrases that inhabit this liturgical paragraph and webs together a beautiful word picture of the underlying meaning to the overall text. The accompanying text, as per the nusach (prayer version) used by Rabbi Mindel, Nusach Ari, consists of a total of three Biblical verses. The first was referenced above, the second is from Psalms 5:8, “As for me, through your abundant kindness I will come into Your house; I will bow toward Your Sanctuary, in awe of You.” The third is from Psalms 69:14, “As for me, may my prayer to You, L-rd, be in a time of grace; O G-d, in Your abounding kindness, answer me with Your true deliverance.” In explicating these phrases into a complete commentary, Rabbi Mindel analyzes the key words that he contends, spiritually carry the liturgical message. First, he takes note of “tents,” viewing them as “tents of Torah,” where the Torah is studied. Next there is “Dwelling places” which he interprets as referring to Mishkan and Mikdash, and by historical extension, the synagogue. Further on, he extends the synagogue

Vaccination mitzvah… Continued from page 1 Disease Society of America. The Lancet retracted its 1998 article after it was found that the research cited was fraudulent and that evidence failed to link the MMR vaccine and autism. Medical researcher Andrew Wakefield, the article’s author, lost his license to practice medicine. Wakefield’s study was called “an elaborate fraud” by the editor of the British Medical Journal, but it wasn’t fully discredited until 2011 — and by then the damage was done: In 2008, measles was endemic in England and Wales, and throughout the world people believed in an MMR-autism link. In 2003, a Nigerian Muslim cleric and physician claimed that the polio vaccine distributed by the World Health Organization contained anti-fertility substances. World efforts to eradicate polio have been, overall, successful, but these false rumors persist in certain areas and polio is easily spread through travel. It has been eliminated from most countries but is still endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “The key is vaccinating,” Glatt told The Jewish Star. “The trick is to make everyone vaccinated according to appropriate common childhood viral illnesses.” He noted that there are some extremely rare side effects to the MMR vaccine, none related to autism, but the benefits of the MMR and other vaccines heavily outweigh the risks, especially since measles and other viral illness have devastating and sometimes fatal effects. The larger the vaccinated population, the less likely it is for these viruses to infect and spread. “It’s the concept of herd immunity,” explained Glatt.

United States law has decided, going back to the early 1900s and predating the eradication of smallpox, that enforcing vaccinations is legal and mandated, deeming that beneficial to the common good and society and important to prevent the spread of serious illness to a large population. Smallpox killed 300 million people in the 1900s and has since been eradicated through a world wide vaccine campaign, with only two stores of it left for possible study or vaccine production in secure labs in Russia and the U.S. U.S. law mandates the vaccine and it has withstood the test of legal challenges. Schools have the legal and halachic right to say that students can’t enter school unless they are vaccinated; it is for the common good. Not getting vaccinated doesn’t just put yourself at risk, but it also potentially endangers all of the other students and their families, said Glatt. “If people oppose it, the government doesn’t carry through even though they have the legal power to do so. The government has the power to do it and the people shouldn’t make up religious exemptions,” Glatt said. “No poskim (halachic decisor) forbid vaccination, and to state one has religious objections (and hence an exemption to mandated vaccination) is sheker (falsehood). The last paragraphs of Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat describe the importance of protecting one’s self from harmful conditions or situations, and the halachic obligation to do so. The vast majority of poskim strongly urge or require vaccination. “People need to protect themselves, their children and grandchildren. The more people who are vaccinated the safer the community becomes.”

metaphor in the application of Jewish worship to the atmosphere of the synagogue ambiance, especially at the beginning of the day. “Looking further into this short prayer of Mah Tovu, consisting of three verses, and being an ‘introduction’ to the morning prayers, we can see that each verse stresses a different thing: The first verse stresses the ‘tents’ and ‘sanctuaries’; the second stresses our feelings when we enter the synagogue; the third stresses the auspiciousness of the time of prayer.” When one considers the pagan origins of the one who uttered the initial verse, one must pause to consider the foundational importance that words have when read and assimilated with depth and concentration. The interpretations by Rabbi Mindel are but a harbinger of what the rest of his teachings on the siddur contained in these two volumes have come to mean to the past three to four generations of English speaking Jews around the world. Rabbi Mindel comes to these teachings fully equipped with the scholarship needed for the broad range of interpretations utilized in his analysis of the prayer texts. Just consider his educational background; he earned a B.A. and M.A. in political science at the University of Manchester and received his Ph.D. in Semitic Languages from Columbia University. He was, throughout his life, a prolific author, a translator who served on the editorial board of the Kehot Publishing Society and the Chabad Research Center until his passing in 1999. Make “My Prayer” your prayer, and your davening will most

surely benefit from Rabbi Mindel’s Torah.


For those who read and study each week’s Onkelos Targum, a careful reading of Bamidbar 24:5, will note that the Mah Tovu phrase in its Aramaic incarnation will show a radical change in meaning for the Hebrew word “Ohalecha,” tents. The Aramaic text says, “Ar’ach,” land ! According to Rabbi Israel Drazin’s commentary on this verse, we learn the following ‘chidush’: that Onkelos changes the plural of tents to the singular, land, thus, “focusing on Canaan, the land toward which the people are advancing. Compare Jeremiah 30:18 where ‘tent’ is also rendered ‘land’ by the Targum.” Rabbi Drazin, in his commentary, makes further reference to the Talmud and other Targumim for other related changes and interpretations such as referring to tents as houses of study and not residences.[“Onkelos on the Torah: Numbers,” Rabbi Israel Drazin and Rabbi Stanley Wagner, Gefen Publishing, 2011, page 227]. I wish to conclude with the following beautiful teaching from Dr. Israel Rubin’s “The How & Why of Jewish Prayer,” page 231: “You would not normally barge into a king’s chamber. Similarly when you enter Gd’s sanctuary, you should pause to ‘request permission’ to enter. This is done by pausing at the entrance door and recite Mah Tovu. Once inside, wait and pause a little and then recite Ps. 5:8. Only then proceed to your fixed place of worship. Regrettably, this very beautiful custom has fallen into disuse. It should be revived.”

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mong the classic writings concerning Jewish liturgy are two works from Chabad — an English translation of their prayer book, “Siddur Tehillat Hashem,” by Rabbi Nissen Mangel, and the classic detailed commentary and exposition of Jewish liturgy by Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel, zt”l, entitled, “My Prayer,” first published in 1972 and recently reissued by Kehot in a two volume revised edition. “My Prayer,” reflecting scholarship drawn from the works of Maimonides and Chasidic KOSHER masters, presents a BOOKWORM deeper meaning of the prayers and a comprehensive understanding of the moral and ethical teachings contained therein. The singular example below should serve as a sample of the late Rabbi Mindel’s teachings. One of the basic features of Jewish liturgy is the vast amount of Biblical writings that Alan Jay Gerber are contained throughout. Next week’s Torah reading, Parashat Balak, contains a verse that, for most siddurim, serves as the opening prayer for the everyday morning service. This verse is found in Bemidbar 24:5: “How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!” Perhaps no one said it better than Dr. Ellen Frankel, when she noted the paradox of, “How peculiar that we Jews begin our morn-

THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773

You really DO have a prayer. Read about it — and use it!

June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773 THE JEWISH STAR



Calendar Submit your shul or organization’s events or shiurim to Deadline is 9 a.m. on Monday for Thursday’s publication. Listings are free for qualified organizations.

Thursday June 13 Lunch and Learn Weekly class given by Rabbi Hershel Billet, at Traditions Restaurant, 302 Central Ave., Lawrence, 12:30 to 1:30 pm. For additional information, call Alan Stern, 516-398-3094.

Sunday June 16 JEP Breakfast The major fundraising event for JEP-LI/Camp Nageela. Guest speaker: Charlie Harary. Hosts: Rabbi Sol and Nicole Appleman, at their home, 129 Woodmere Blvd. S., Woodmere. 10 a.m. For information call 516-374-1528. To make a donation, visit, or email breakfast@

Wednesday June 19 Moms’ Friendship Circle Friendship Circle Mom’s Night Out. Mothers of children with special needs network. Life coach, Heidi Bernstein-Krantz presents a workshop on how to balance life with a child who has special needs and your own personal needs. 8:30 p.m. Suggested donation, $5. Contact Batsheva at (516) 295-2478 x13 or at

Friday June 21 Laser Bounce A trip organized by the Young Israel of Woodmere. 10 am departure, 3 pm return. For more information, contact

Sunday June 23 Annual Breakfast to benefit Madraigos: Helping Our Youth Step By Step. Featured Speaker: Rabbi Kenneth Hain, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom of Lawrence. 9:30 AM at the home of Shlomie and Malkie Scharf, 384 Donmoor Road, Lawrence. For information, contact

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS LEND A HAND, 7 MONTHS AFTER HURRICANE SANDY Ten students and recent graduates from Yeshiva University partnered with the disaster relief organization Nechama to run a four-day mission to Long Island, rebuilding damaged homes and helping out in a soup kitchen. Pictured in the Masbia soup kitchen in Flatbush: Shaina Joyandeh and Lila Bleich. Outside a home in Lindenhurst: Yitzy Frankel, Rotem Elias, Shaina Joyandeh and Layla Blenden. Each night, they heard from community leaders who were impacted by Sandy or whose organizations were involved in relief efforts. Speakers included Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender, founder of Achiezer; Rabbi Jonathan Muskat of Young Israel of Oceanside; Masbia founder Alexander Rapaport; and representatives from Nechama, Ohel and UJA-Federation. “What intrigued me about this mission was that months later, there was still work to be done and I wanted to help,” said Frankel. “It was really shocking to drive down there and see the water, houses and devastation that still remained.”

Monday June 24 Annual Street Fair and Concert sponsored by JCCRP (Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Penninsula). 2 on Reeds Lane (between Oak Drive and Cedarlawn Avenue), Far Rockaway. Featuring Shloime Dachs, children’s rides and activities. For information, call 718-327-7755.

Thursday June 27 Successful Interviewing Sid Jacobson JCC, 10 a.m. to noon. Sid Jacobson JCC 300 Forest Drive East Hills, NY 11548 For more information, please contact: Suzanne Feiner, Connect to Care,, 516-484-1545, ext. 214


$5 optional contribution requested per session. For information call Sheryl at 516-569-6733 x222.

Remember when

Economic support group

On Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Congregation Sons of Israel in Woodmere. Program helps home-bound older adults to participate in social, recreational & intellectual activities. Kosher lunch and door-to-door transportation is available on a limited basis. $40 per day. Call Gayle Fremed at (516) 569-6733 x211.

THE JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS will sponsor a new support group for the economically challenged as a result of the economic downturn. Key themes will include unemployment, financial issues, empowerment and support. Please join us on Thursday mornings at 10:15 a.m. at Temple Israel, 140 Central Ave, Lawrence until January 20th. This group is part of Connect to Care, an initiative funded by UJAFederation of NY. For further information and to pre-register, please contact Talia Rapps, L.M.S.W. at 516-569-6733 x213.

Against the Odds: Rescue of Europe’s Refugees 1933-1941 Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan. Exhibit on the bureaucracy and national opposition to immigration of the Jews at that time. (646) 437-4202

Calling senior song birds JCC OF THE GREATER THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS, located at 270 Grove Avenue in Cedarhurst, hosts a choir for seniors every Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. for a joyful hour of singing with choir master Zvi Klein. We sing songs in all languages and we perform for local venues..

Special needs support THE JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS offers “Movement with Mary Moshos,” a class for children with special needs ages 5 and up, designed to enhance interaction with the environment through work with music, bubbles, and various textures. Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30pm at the JCC, 207 Grove Avenue, Cedarhurst. 12 sessions/$240. Please call Sharona Arbeit at 516569-6733 x218 for more information.


lic to let officials know about emergencies, and vice versa. He urged residents to download it, since “our county and region are still recovering. This is going to be a very, very important time to make sure you stay tuned to the local media.” Nassau Now provides news, press releases, emergency notifications and other alerts. When users register and log in, they can submit service requests with topics, descriptions and photos. Then the app determines users’ locations and addresses their issues. Other apps, called Hurricane and First Aid, are available from the Red Cross. Search the iTunes app store or visit for more details. The Red Cross suggests taking additional actions: ■ Make sure your disaster supply kit has supplies like water, food, medicine and a battery-powered radio in your home, in your car or at work. ■ Make a specific plan with your family about how to communicate in an emergency if separated (including a meeting place); practice what to do in an emergency at home. ■ Take first aid or CPR training if you have not done so in the past 5 years. ■ Volunteer to help prepare for or respond to a major emergency. A version of this article, written by Grace Poppe, first appeared in the Nassau Herald.

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Even after Hurricane Sandy’s hard-learned lessons, too few residents are taking the steps they should to be ready for the next major storm. “Fifty-six percent of surveyed residents were very or somewhat concerned about the upcoming hurricane season,” said John Miller, CEO of the American Red Cross on Long Island, “but only 49 percent said Sandy made them better prepared.” “There is little evidence of increased preparedness along the entire Atlantic/Gulf Coast,” according to a Red Cross-Weather Channel survey. Miller offered these tips for Long Islanders: ■ Create an emergency “to-go” kit. ■ Make an evacuation plan with your family. ■ Stay informed of the local news. Miller was joined at a Red Cross news conference by the county executives of Nassau and Suffolk, Ed Mangano and Steve Bellone. “We are at greater risk” due to climate change, Bellone warned. “Our likelihood of getting hit again is greater.” He said that Sandy taught residents lessons about gas shortage preparation and the importance of an emergency hotline, generators, supplies and roadway news updates. Mangano emphasized keeping up with local news, and mentioned Nassau Now, a free mobile app that enables members of the pub-


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THE JEWISH STAR June 14, 2013 • 6 TAMMUZ 5773

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June 14, 2013  
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The Jewish Star