Issuu on Google+

Mishmeret Yesha visits Cedarhurst Page 3 Kosher Bookworm: Daf Yomi Legacy Page 6 Who’s in the kitchen: American Pie Page 7 A Churban in our time Page 11

THE JEWISH

STAR

VOL 11, NO 25 ■ JUNE 29, 2012 / 9 TAMMUZ 5772

WWW.THEJEWISHSTAR.COM

Becker beats Scaturro to face McCarthy in election rematch By Karen C. Green As a result of Tuesday’s Republican Primary, Nassau Legislator Francis X. Becker (R-Lynbrook) will square off against Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy in November for her seat. November’s upcoming election will be a rematch for the two elected officials who last brought voters to the polls in November 2010. According to the Nassau County Board of Elections website, Becker garnered 55 percent of the vote (6,357) to opponent Frank J. Scaturro’s 45 percent (5,175). McCarthy will

be seeking her 9th term in office, having first been elected in 1996. In the Senatorial Primary, Manhattan attorney Wendy Long won a three-way battle for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. With strong support from the Conservative Party and upstate backing, Long earned 51 percent of the vote as compared to Turner’s 36 and Maragos’ 13 percent. Long, a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will take on incumbent Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the November general election.

Photo by David Gursky

MIdreshet Shalhevet Graduates First Class Story, page 10

Opposition to Costco gas station builds By Jeffrey Bessen

Photo by Jeffrey Bessen

Costco on Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence wants to install 22 gas pumps. Local residents and business owners say that would worsen an already congested area.

Local opposition is building against a plan that could construct Long Island’s first Costco gasoline station in Lawrence. Costco wants to install 22 gas pumps at its Rockaway Turnpike store. However, the Inwood Civic Association and existing gas stations in the area are challenging the application. The pumps would be used by Costco members only. Roy Meserole serves as the chair of the civic group’s planning and zoning committee. He said with all the roads that feed into Rockaway Turnpike, including Peninsula Boulevard and the Nassau Expressway, and that the turnpike is a route to JFK airport, traffic volume is high enough without potentially creating more by building a gas station attached to the Costco. “The activity at that corner [the turnpike’s bypass] is as bad as anywhere you can find,” said Meserole, the owner of Meserole Funeral Home in Inwood. “They shouldn’t add one iota of activity there.” Meserole and other residents, and owners of several of the nearby gas stations attended the Town of Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on June 13. However, the hearing on the Costco proposal, which needs a parking variance, was pushed back to Aug. 1 after an attorney for one of the opposing gas station owners requested a postponement for a traffic study to be conducted. Besides adding traffic to an already congested area, the gas station owners are complaining that they couldn’t com-

pete with Costco’s lower gas prices. Of the 433 Costco locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 80 percent have gas stations. Depending in what region of the country those stations are located, gas prices are typically 10 cents cheaper than the commercial brand gas stations. However, Daniel Baker the attorney representing Costco said that competition isn’t a legal basis for denial.” There is case law that says competition is not a basis for opposing or objecting this application,” Baker said. The attorney also pointed to the traffic study done by an engineer hired by Costco that showed adding the gas pumps would have a negligible impact on the existing traffic volume in the area. “We have retained a traffic engineer who prepared a report that was submitted to the town board and to the zoning board,” Baker said. “It is his testimony that there will not be any noticeable impact by adding the gasoline to the existing traffic conditions.” But County Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) said that argument is disingenuous. As an area resident who shops at Costco, Kopel thinks that people stop for gas more often than they stop for shopping and that would create an increase in traffic. “The need for groceries is less than the need for gasoline,” Kopel said. “I shop one day a week, but need gas more than that.” In addition to the parking variance, Costco also needs the town board’s approval to build the gas station. The board held a public hearing on the application in April, but has yet to vote on the proposal.

Shabbat Candlelighting: 8:12 p.m. Shabbat ends 9:20 p.m. 72 minute zman 9:41 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Chukat

Stay up to date with The Jewish Star Receive our weekly newsletter. Sign up at newsroom@ thejewishstar.com

Like us on Facebook The Jewish Star newspaper (Long Island, NY)

Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/ JewishStarNY

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID GARDEN CITY, NY 11530 PERMIT NO 301

Visit us on the web at www. thejewishstar.com


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

2

Inside

The Jewish Star Classified Ads From the Heart of Jerusalem Hebrew Only Please! Kosher Bookworm Letters to the Editor Miriam’s Musings On the Calendar Parsha Politico to Go Who’s in the Kitchen

15 13 11 6 4 14 12 13 4 7

How to reach us: Our offices at 2 Endo Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530 are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday, with early closing as necessary on Erev Shabbat. Contact us via e-mail or telephone as listed below.

Advertising newsroom@thejewishstar.com Nassau County hparsons@thejewishstar.com 516-569-4000 extension 290 Manhattan & Queens rglickman@thejewishstar.com 516-569-4000 extension 250 Classified ereynolds@thejewishstar.com Community Calendar items jscalendar@thejewishstar.com Letters to the Editor letters@thejewishstar.com News and Sports items newsroom@thejewishstar.com Press Releases pressreleases@thejewishstar.com Publisher and Editor in Chief kgreen@thejewishstar.com 516-632-5205 extension 4

Facsimile: The Star prefers e-mail, but we are equipped to accept your letters, releases, etc. by FAX. Please dial 516-569-4942.

To subscribe: The Star is available free of charge in many kosher food establishments, other stores, synagogues and street-side news boxes in Nassau County and New York City. To have The Star mailed to your home or office each week call our circulation department at 516-622-7461, extension 7. You may charge your subscription to VISA, Mastercard or American Express. Subscriptions in Nassau County or Far Rockaway are $9 per quarter, charged to your credit card, or $48 per year by cash or check. Elsewhere in New York, New Jersey or around the United States, they are $15 per quarter on your credit card or $72 per year. Please allow four weeks to begin delivery.

To place a display ad: Reservations, art and copy for display advertising in the general news sections of The Star must be in our office by Tuesday at 1 p.m. for publication that week. An advertising representative will gladly assist you in preparing your message. Please e-mail or call for an appointment.

To place a classified ad: Please call 516-622-7461 during regular business hours and ask for The Star classified department. All classified ads are payable in advance. We accept all major credit cards.

News and Calendar Items: News releases of general interest must be in our office by Friday at noon to be considered for publication the following week. Releases for our On the Calendar section must be in our office by Wednesday at 5 p.m. to be considered for publication the following week. To report a breaking news story or for further information call 516-622-7461 ext. 291 or e-mail newsroom@thejewishstar.com.

Letters to the editor: The Star provides an open forum for opinions and welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be e-mailed, must be signed, and should be accompanied by an address and daytime phone number for verification. You may offer longer submissions for inclusion on our Opinion pages. Letters and Opinion articles must be in our office by noon Friday to be considered for publication the following week. They are subject to editing for length and clarity.

Kulanu heralds their five graduates Kulanu Academy is pleased to announce that five of our students will be graduating this year. Wishing Barbara D., Yonatan G., Chananya S., Garrick S., and Joshua W. much success in their future endeavors! In addition, we are proud to share that Jack A., Abigail E., Bryan H., Moshe K., David S., Chananya S., Joshua W., and Josh Z. passed their Regents or Regents Competency Test this year! Kulanu’s graduates will be going in the Fall to several programs in Israel, including Kulanu Ba’aretz at Kibbutz Shluchot , as

Garrick S.

Yonatan G.

well as Kulanu’s Bridges/Gesher program for ages 18-21 at the

Chananya S

Kulanu Center in Cedarhurst, and other community-based pro-

Barbara D.

Josh W.

grams. Have a wonderful summer!

Facing reality and dealing with the Internet By Rabbi Hershel Billet The Internet and the Orthodox Jewish community has been the subject of much discussion of late especially in light of the recent Asifa at Citi Field. I have received many inquiries for guidance by members of the Young Israel of Woodmere. For the sake of clarity, I have chosen to put together some thoughts and suggestions to you. I welcome your comments and critique of my thoughts. In my view the Internet, willy nilly, is an integral part of communication in the year 2012. It is not going to disappear. Orthodox Jews need it and will use it. Like all other realia of life, we must treat it from the perspective of Jewish Law. We should embrace what we may embrace and avoid what we must avoid. And most importantly, we should try to transmit to our children the necessary tools that will enable them to use the internet in the best possible way as observant Jews and dignified human beings.

The dangers of the internet 1. Free access to all information. This includes pornography and other harmful material 2. Addiction and time waster 3. Too much “chatting,” rechilus, and lashon hara 4. Promotes poor communication skills 5. Discourages reading of books 6. Dangerous chat rooms-both Jewish and others 7. Opportunity to meet unsavory strangers 8. Devices which give access besides computers include tablets and smartphones. 9. Social media like Twitter and Facebook enable huge audiences to be reached for all of the above instantly. There are many dangers to social media: A. Culture of self absorbencyputting up statuses every few minutes as attention seeking behavior and even sometimes as dangerously revealing and B. Forgetting that there is a huge audience for whatever you put up there, even with privacy

settings. Kids and their friends (without the kids’ consent) can post compromising pictures or information, often because they “forgot” that hundreds of people will see it (it feels like you’re just showing/telling your best friend/s) and C. Cyber-bullying--using social media as a tool to really hurt other kids on purpose. Having said all this, if parents and kids have open dialogue, these media can be used for good, clean fun and also for tremendous good. 10. REMEMBER - once you make a posting on social media or email, it is forever! And it can go all over the world 11. Irresponsible use of YouTube to create and promote video renditions of inappropriate material

What Can Parents Do ? 1. Get a responsible filter for the home internet 2. Place home computer in a visible place where you can see what your kids are doing. Children should not have computers in their rooms, and children under 16 should not as a rule have their own laptops 3. Limit their time on the computer with a program like ENUFF PC 4. Speak to your children about being responsible about computer use 5. Encourage your kids to use some of their daily spare time for reading real books 6. Learn about Torah libraries that are available on computers 7. Encourage them to do constructive projects and networking on the computer 8. Put educational software and games on the computer for younger children 9. Parents should think twice before giving young children devices that have real wifi access-ipods, iphones, ipads, and many smartphones. 10. Strongly discourage your children from sharing their password with anyone, even a close friend. The password can be shared with a parent.

Limitations on Controls David Teitelbaum of Camp Sdei Chemed points out: “The Internet by design was created not to be filtered. By designing it as a web, no matter how much you try you can’t control the information. Look at the Middle East countries where dictators were brought down by social networking. Of course they tried everything in their power to pull the plugs, but the Internet can’t be controlled. The MPAA tried to stop peer-to-peer file sharing and was never successful. The Internet was designed in the 1960s using a system called packet switching so that traffic can always reroute itself, which makes censorship almost impossible. “When I was just 17 and the web was first starting to explode my father was visited by one of the first “filter companies.” They wanted his haskama. During the demonstration, my father asked me what I thought. I sat down at the computer and with a few clicks bypassed the filter. My father told them to come back when my child can’t disable the filter. They never came back. I wasn’t a computer genius and you don’t have to be one. Any child can learn to break even the most sophisticated password protection. All you need is for one person to figure it out and within seconds all his friends will too. And for those without friends they can Google it. Monitoring software can be disabled just as easily. So can the “chavrusa system.” Don’t be fooled by the companies trying to sell you their products. “Free unfiltered wireless internet is available almost anywhere you go. The current goal is to have wifi available free over the entire USA, as it is already in some cities. Any filter you have at home is irrelevant. Almost every new electronic device has wifi capability. And trying to password protect every one of them is an unrealistic goal.” In a perceptive article David Teitelbaum further suggests that “We need to educate our children by teaching them why our Jewish values are superior to the values they see outside (or now,

online). We need to teach them how to handle challenges that come their way and stop making believe it doesn’t happen. Life is about making choices and we need to teach our children how to choose wisely, including on the Internet. When a Rebbi or teacher is unable to acknowledge that his class is using the Internet, he can’t have a discussion about it. When social networking is not allowed, how do you teach online privacy and safety.” One excellent comment was received from a colleague, Rabbi Chaim Poupko of Englewood, NJ. He emphasized that parents should be aware of their computer conduct around their children. “The strongest impression we make on our children is what they watch us do. I would strongly encourage our parents to consciously limit the amount of time our children see us on the Internet or checking our phones. It may sound a little extreme, but if you think about it – if my kid sees me on my phone at his little league game half the time or at the dinner table or just lounging around the house, that’s a clear expression of what’s important and what is normal behavior. Such behavior validates in the mind of a child the notion that its ok to spend large of amounts of time on the internet and smartphones. More time on the internet/smartphones = more potential for trouble a kid can get into. Setting limits on ourselves can be of great benefit to us and our children.” May Hashem bless us with wisdom, courage, and His assistance as we begin to confront one of the big challenges that Orthodox Jews must face today.


3

By Malka Eisenberg In a small parlor meeting in Cedarhurst, a leader of a grassroots organization committed to helping civilians in Judea and Samaria explained his cause to a group of thirty intent listeners, delineating the history of Israel’s current precarious security situation and decrying the lack of awareness and support. “No one is writing about it,” said Israel Danziger, director of operations of Mishmeret Yesha. “No one is speaking about it. We are taking for granted that whatever is there is still going to be there. Maybe the State of Israel won’t be there. Those maybes are real. Many things are going on day in day out.” Danziger spoke at a late Melave Malka in the home of Leah and Efrem Schnoll attended by local activists, including Cedarhurst Village trustee Myrna Zisman and her husband Leibel. It was jointly sponsored by the friends and neighbors of Maple Avenue and Gourmet Glatt. Mishmeret Yesha, MY, an organization that is principally involved in security related projects, has been around for 24 years, since 1988 and the first “Intifada,” said Israel Danziger. Their work involves training and equipping Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) or volunteer anti-terrorist (SWAT) response units, in Yehuda and Shomron, to protect and respond to any attacks on their communities and institutions there. They work in cooperation with the IDF, but are usually there first, being in their own town and thus able to respond before the IDF is called and arrives. The IDF provides the volunteers with weapons, and values their eyes and ears on the ground. The volunteers are familiar with the terrain and residents there, and the RRTs work with the IDF to help prevent terrorist infiltrations. “Rather than respond to situations,” explained Danziger, “we formed an ideologically based organization, an umbrella for all things, to seek to change the situation.” Some of their projects include Nachalat Yehuda that designs and makes armored vests for distribution to RRTs, medics and families; Haganat Hayishuv that teaches defense and provides early warning detection systems; and security g’machim (community charity organizations) to lend protective vests and helmets to men, women, and chil-

A Mishmeret Yesha workshop.

Israel Danziger, of Mishmeret Yesha dren on the borders or in communities under threat, facing rocket attacks, or dangerous road travel. MY provides medical aid before, during, and after an attack with portable trauma units and rehabilitative equipment, and legal assistance with the Matir Assurim progam, a Jewish legal fund. Project Ezri offers vocational training courses in organic farming, carpentry, metalwork, masonry, construction, organic raising of chickens, goats and sheep for troubled youth pre-, post and during army service. Another project is Ovdei Ha’aretz, helping communities redeem, secure, clear, cultivate and irrigate land for organic vineyards and olive and fruit orchards to enable agriculturally based industries and self-sufficiency in these areas. Danziger was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and made Aliyah in 1972. He lived in Kiryat Arba and set up a business there and now lives in Efrat. He has been raising funds for MY in the U.S. since 2001 and he said that he, “discovered that people are misinformed; people have no idea what’s going on in Israel so it’s hard to explain what our organization is doing.” He pointed out that 93 rockets landed in southern Israel over Shabbat June 16th, with three quarters of a million men, women, and children forced to live in shelters, not being able to work or go to school, in towns and major cities, Beer Sheva, Sderot, Ofakim. People are afraid to leave their homes, to take a shower for fear of the siren going off and having only 15 sec-

Photos courtesy of Mishmeret Yesha

Project Nachalat Yehudah designs and manufactures armored vests in Bet El. onds to run for safety. Why, he asked, aren’t the Rabbis talking about this, why don’t they announce tehillim for those under bombardment before shiurim? “It’s ridiculous that I have to leave my family and my business and travel to explain this,” he stated. “The Rabbis are not making an effort to transport the information, to get involved.” He traced the current security situation back to the 1970s when, he recounted, Ariel Sharon set up Arab associations of mukhtarim, heads of large Arab families in their villages to control the population there and armed them and gave them work. In 1985, after the first Lebanon War, in the Jibril exchange, six Israeli prisoners were exchanged for 1000 Arab prisoners who were released into Yehuda and Shomron. “This broke the rule of not negotiating with terrorists,” stressed Danziger. “They organized in the villages, destroyed any semblance of Israeli authority and murdered 600 members of the village leagues. It happened over many years. Nobody cared or got involved. They took things for granted. That’s how we got in the situation we are in today.” He noted that there were further releases of Arabs and arming of the Arabs, creating an extensive terrorist infrastructure in Israel’s heartland. He also noted that major areas of Jerusalem are under control of the Palestinian Authority along French Hill and Ramat Eshkol in Shuafat, with the Israeli government wanting to give control to the Arabs all the way north to Ramallah, a continuous Arab neighborhood looking down on all the Jewish areas. He stressed that most people heard of the attacks in cities such as the Sbarro bombing and bus bombings, but are unaware of the attacks in the yishuvim, “day in day out.” “”Their intent (Oslo accords, roadmap) is to set up a new Arab state in the heart of Israel, in Judea, Samaria and most of Jerusalem,” he warned. “It’s going on every day. That Saul Mofaz met with Obama is not haphazard. They are trying to pull off a Gush Katif in Yehuda and Shomron; it’s in the works, they may pull out.” He noted the many projects foreign NGOs have in Arab vil-

lages supported by the Israeli government and the security threat along the borders of Lebanon, Gaza, and North Sinai, with weapons “pouring in” there and the closing of roads 90 and 12 because of rocket attacks. Ilana Shimon of Chavat Gilad, praised MY for providing them with the necessities of security including training and armored vests. MY also worked with Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) to build a playground there. Pointing out the need for security assistance, Shimon noted that they are surrounded by four hostile Arab villages and this past Tuesday, Arab infiltrators broke into and burnt the home of a newly married young couple there. Gilad Matana of Yeshivat Shavei Hevron noted that MY trained RRTs and provided equipment for groups of students there to protect against terrorist infiltrations. The training, he pointed out, is in cooperation with the IDF. MY also provides them with armored vests and ammunition. The IDF gives reserve soldiers weapons. “He gives every fiber of his being to the security of the people living in Yehuda and Shomron,” emphasized Scott Feltman, executive vice president of One Israel Fund. “I know he is dedicated and does good work. He cares tremendously.” “He does fantastic, amazing work,” said Helen Freedman of AFSI, “that one person really spearheads the organization. I’ve been to the training center. It’s not a vigilante group, they train in association with the IDF. They train women as well as men.” She noted the “perfectly designed” vests manufactured in Bet El with “special pockets to carry equipment.” They began making them when reservists called up in 2006 in Lebanon weren’t prepared “because a lot of energy was put into the expulsion of Gush Katif in 2005, there was a gap in preparedness…. They (MY) do endless good deeds.” “If a minimal effort is done,” said Danziger, “major change can take place.” For more information contact: guards24@ zahav.net.il. To assist the family in Chavat Gilad contact ilanabcs@gmail.com.

THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772

Stemming the tide of terrorism one vest at a time


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

4

Opinion Supreme Court backs Arizona on most important part of Immigration Law

O

n Monday, the Supreme Court told Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama that state police can indeed check the immigration status of people they stop--a big win for the Arizona Immigration law and for the rule of law throughout the country. It is also a setback to the President’s open border policy. Three provisions of the Arizona immigration law were struck down, but the most important provision (Section 2B) was upheld. That provision requires Arizona police to make a reasonable attempt, when practicable, to determine a POLITICO person’s immigration TO GO status during a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest” if there is a reasonable suspicion “that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.” The three parts struck down include, Section 3 which makes “willful failure to complete or carry an alien Jeff Dunetz registration document” a state crime; #5C which makes it a misdemeanor for “a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place, or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in the state”; and #6 which authorizes state and local officers to make arrests without warrant where there is probable cause to believe “the person to be

arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.” Five justices were in the majority, choosing to strike down the three provisions. Two dissenting justices—Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas—argued that the whole law should have been upheld, while a third dissenter, Justice Samuel Alito, would have upheld three provisions and struck down one. In his decision with the majority opinion Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “The national government has significant power to regulate immigration. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermined federal law.” In his dissent Justice Scalia argued: “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign stat.e” Governor Brewer called the decision “a victory for the rule of law.” She said she recently issued a new order to train officers to enforce the law without racial profiling. “I am confident our officers are prepared to carry out this law responsibly and lawfully.” She said in a statement: “Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens. After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. “While we are grateful for this legal victory, today is an opportunity to reflect on our

journey and focus upon the true task ahead: the implementation and enforcement of this law in an even-handed manner that lives up to our highest ideals as American citizens. I know the State of Arizona and its law enforcement officers are up to the task. The case for SB 1070 has always been about our support for the rule of law. That means every law, including those against both illegal immigration and racial profiling. Law enforcement will be held accountable should this statute be misused in a fashion that violates an individual’s civil rights. The upholding of section 2B means the court believes that the states have a role in enforcing immigration laws; the striking down of the other three means that states cannot go beyond the federal regulations. Other states will probably follow Arizona’s lead and craft bills that meet with the court’s decisions. On the other hand just because a state detains someone as an illegal alien it does not mean that the Obama Administration will take him or her into custody. But that also has some dangers of the administration, as it will be on “their heads.” Each time Arizona contacts ICE about an illegal alien they detained there will be a public record. If the Obama-led ICE refuses to take that illegal alien into custody, Arizona will be forced to release that illegal alien back out onto the streets. If that illegal alien goes on to create a violent or other serious crime, it will become a national story that even the liberal media will be reluctant to ignore. Hours before the Supreme Court announced its decision, Rasmussen announced the results of a survey that said Americans approved of the Arizona Law by a margin of 55% to 26%:

Letters to the editor deeds of a local politician and feel Fill the void his act of chesed should be acknowl-

Stay up to date with The Jewish Star. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. Send us an e-mail with "sign me up" in the subject line to newsroom@thejewishstar.com THE JEWISH

To the Editor: It always amazes us that Cedarhurst-Lawrence can never find a location for a decent library and now for the JCC. Now they have an opportunity to fill this void by selling #6 school to the JCC which serves the entire community with necessary, interesting , affordable programs for all ages.

STAR

Independent and original reporting from the Orthodox communities of Long Island and New York City All opinions expressed are solely those of The Jewish Star’s editorial staff or contributing writers Publisher and Editor Assistant Editor Account Executive Contributors

Editorial Designers Photo Editor Intern

Karen C. Green Malka Eisenberg Helene Parsons Miriam Bradman Abrahams Rabbi Avi Billet Jeff Dunetz Juda Engelmayer Rabbi David Etengoff Rabbi Binny Freedman Alan Jay Gerber Rabbi Noam Himelstein Judy Joszef Jeffrey Ratz Kristen Edelman Alyson Goodman Christina Daly Bari Zund

“Most voters still want an immigration law like Arizona’s in their own state and hope the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the legality of the Arizona law this week. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% of likely U.S. Voters would like to see the Supreme Court uphold the law that Arizona adopted to reduce illegal immigration in the state. Just 26% would like to see the high court overturn the law. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.” In other recent Rasmussen research, 58% of voters believe that securing the borders should come before any amnesty decision on the illegals here in the U.S. and by a margin of 56% to 27% they believe that the Obama administration’s lax policy on illegal immigration encourages more illegal immigration. I would go beyond that. Any time a government refuses to enforce the rule of law, it encourages more lawlessness. The controversy over illegal immigration has nothing to do with ethnicity or immigration as a whole. This is a nation of immigrants, but when my grandparents came here to America they came here legally. If we want to let more people into the country, change the laws— get rid of the restrictions. But until that happens it is the job of our President and our Attorney General to enforce the laws of this country. In the case of illegal immigration, they are doing a very poor job! 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.

2 Endo Boulevard, Garden City, NY 11530 Phone: 516-622-7461, Fax: 516-569-4942 E-mail: newsroom@thejewishstar.com The Jewish Star is published weekly by The Jewish Star LLC, 2 Endo Boulevard, Garden City, NY 11530. Subscription rates: $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. Newsstand Price: $1. Copyright © 2012 The Jewish Star LLC. All rights reserved.

Marilyn & Ray Samorodin Cedarhurst

Praise for Politician To the Editor: We often bemoan the ulterior motives of politicians which impact their decisions and actions. I have been completely surprised by the

edged. Last week Howard Koppel performed an atypical political act of kindness for which he gains absolutely nothing in return. Howard spearheaded a public recognition of my father in the Nassau County legislative building (in Mineola). NYU law school awarded my father an Honorarium in recognition of his attendance (to their school) prior to his enlistment into the Air Force. After 3 and a half years of combat, my father did not receive his law degree, but has always subconsciously wanted to practice law (in 63 years of marriage my mother has never won a “debate”). My Dad is 93 years old and thank G-d is in sound health and mind. Ellen Kramer Blond Gross Woodsburgh

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


5

A fanaticism that can only lead to peril

I

s it just me or is there indeed more discord within the Jewish community now than in the past? We proclaim with fervor “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh,” that every Jewish soul is responsible for every other. Yet it seems as if we are facing more internal challenges than ever before; bitter rivalries that could make instances of persecution by gentiles seem as mere playground brawls. It is hard to imagine that anyone really expects peace and harmony for Israel and Jews worldwide if they dislike one another more than anyone else could possibly take issue with them. To begin with, one needs only to look at the huge waste of money and opportunity on the Internet ban effort that cost more than $2 million. It brought ultra orthodox Jewish men together, mostly by coercion, to hear unscripted and uncoJuda Engelmayer ordinated messages about why the Internet was evil. Rather than demand that people take personal responsibility for one’s actions, the weak leadership would just turn off progress and the future to preserve their failed policies of poor education, abject naivety and searing control that dictates marital prospects, communal acceptance and even much needed financial support.

I had a client recently, who was from the ultra orthodox community who pointed out that I was raised in a small yeshiva environment and now work in a very secular word, and “you did what I could not do--you got out.” Even though our communities, families and circumstances were very different, the point made was loud. Some know it is oppressive, but lack the initiative to find their own way out of that environment. There are the numerous accounts that have been exposed recently of child abuse, sexual deviancy and domestic abuse not only occurring, but being covered up by religious leadership. In Brooklyn, the five term District Attorney, Charles Hynes, is now marred with scandal for helping to conceal orthodox suspects and underreporting the crimes. Had it not been for the Internet, the parents, children and women would not have found their voices and the beginnings of justice for them and those still unknown. The attempted ban and this are not so unrelated. We learned earlier this year of the disappointing actions of certain Israeli communities in Bet Shemesh and Me’ah Shearim toward fellow Jews who are not quite as zealous as those who live within them. They spit on women, stone young women walking to school and even push occupied baby carriages in front of moving busses to prevent coed riding. The lives of helpless children are used as weapons in the fight to mandate fanaticism within Judaism. What makes that so different from strapping a bomb onto a young child and making him walk into a busy mall to kill in the name of one’s narrow inter-

pretation of God’s will? Conventional wisdom would dictate that in times of trouble, communities come together for strength. That is too much to ask for here. There are movements within European countries to ban ritual slaughter, calling it inhumane. That comes in a similar time frame with cities such as San Francisco seeking to legislate the illegality of ritual circumcision. So, while the chief rabbi of Amsterdam, who also happens to run a major kashrut agency, is fighting a serious challenge to making kosher meat in the Netherlands, some Jewish anonymous attackers openly challenge that rabbi’s major American provider of kosher meat in a class action suit that contains few facts, and seemingly readily defensible arguments. That issue will play out in court, and the challenges will be weighed and decided, but the timing of this suit, when harmony is the better route for the preservation of worldwide Judaism, seems just par for the course being plotted these days. The UJA Federation released a study showing that Judaism is polarizing, with the religious and traditionalists growing and those who practice or believe somewhat less are all but disappearing. Yet, with that news, the organization is still largely run by the ones who are disappearing - according to their own study – but it makes decisions for the community as a whole; hence, the reason the Celebrate Israel Parade was forced to allow “boycott-Israel” groups to march. And now that the Moslem Brotherhood just won the elections in Egypt, Israel is fac-

ing what it feared all along, a democratically elected radicalized government opposed to Israel’s existence. How can Israel hope to achieve a peace, claiming that Israel is a unified Jewish state, when it is indeed as divided as the rest of the Jewish world? Divided so much that the largest annual American event for Israel now promotes the protestors as much as the supporters? There is hope, however. Prime Minister Netanyahu and the members of Knesset in Israel last month formed a huge unity government to ward off new elections when the coalition with the charedi parties failed. As those communities took more and more from the state and gave less and less back, the ability to keep Netanyahu in power and the rest of the illegitimate financial arrangement going collapsed. It took the breakdown for the new, more eclectic government to be formed, yet most saw the writing on the wall a long time prior. The price exacted from the ultra religious communities was, as it seems to be all over, too high to manage. Whether it is divine providence, or just good common sense, the Israelis seemed to finally say enough, and declared it time to really come together for a common good. We can hope it succeeds, and we hope the lessons learned can be learned by Jewish communities worldwide. The fanatics among us divide, while all others should find the common bonds that demonstrate the essence of Judaism. Juda Engelmayer is a senior vice president of the New York public relations agency, 5WPR.

Parashat Chukat

No act of kindness goes unrewarded By Rabbi David Etengoff Dedicated to the sacred memories of my mother, Miriam Tovah bat Aharon Hakohen, father-in-law, Levi ben Yitzhak, sister-in-law, Ruchama Rivka Sondra, my sister, Shulamit bat Menachem, and Shifra bat Chaim Alter, the refuah shlaimah of Yosef Shmuel ben Miriam, Yehonatan Binyamin Halevy ben Golda Friedel, and Moshe Reuven ben Chaya, and in honor of the joyous birth of a baby girl to my children, Devorah and Zevie Burger. We are all familiar with the popular sardonic quote: “No good deed goes unpunished.” It has been attributed to several well-known individuals including the British playwright, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the American banker and philanthropist, Andrew Mellon (1855-1937), and the Academy Award winning Jewish Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, artist, and journalist, Billy Wilder (1906-2002). In essence this wry quote means that no mater how positively envisioned, a would-be good deed will more often than not have negative ramificaJudaism, however, takes a decidedly different stance to even positive thoughts, let alone the performance of actual exemplary deeds: The Holy One Blessed be He accounts positive thoughts (machshava tovah) as if they had achieved complete fruition (Tosefta, Masechet Peah, Lieberman ed., I:4) Positive thoughts are combined with actual actions [thereby enhancing the depth and meaning of the action] (Talmud Yerush-

almi, Peah, Chapter I) Good intention is combined with deed, for it is said: “Then they that feared the L-rd spoke one with another: and the L-rd hearkened, and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the L-rd, and that thought upon His name.” [Sefer Malachi 3:16] Now, what is the meaning of “that thought upon His name?” — Said R. Assi: “Even if one [merely] thinks of performing a commandment but is forcibly prevented [from doing so,] the Torah ascribes it to him as though he has performed it.” (Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin 40a, translation, Soncino Talmud, with my emendations) Our parasha contains the fascinating example of Og, the King of Bashan, whose intentions regarding a particular act were steeped in evil - even though the act itself resulted in a positive outcome. We first encounter Og in Sefer Bereishit 14:13, where, according to Midrashic tradition, it was he who informed Avram (Avraham) of his nephew Lot’s capture: And the fugitive came and he told Abram the Hebrew, and he was living in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshkol and the brother of Aner, who were Abram’s confederates. (This and all Tanach and Rashi translations, The Judaica Press Complete Tanach) Rashi (1040-1105) summarized the relevant Midrashim on this verse, and simultaneously revealed Og’s true intentions: “And the fugitive came”: According to its simple meaning, this was Og, who escaped

from the battle, and that is what is referred to in (Sefer Devarim 3:11): “Only Og survived from the rest of the Rephaim.” And that is the meaning of “survived,” that Amraphel and his allies did not kill him when they smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim [Midrash Tanchuma, Chukat 25]. The Midrash Bereishit Rabbah [explains]: “This is Og, who escaped from the Generation of the Flood, and this is the meaning of “from the rest of the Rephaim,” as it is said: (above 6: 4):“The Nephilim were on the earth, etc.” And he [Og] intended that Abram should be killed and he would marry Sarah (Midrash Bereishit Rabbah 42:8). Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah 19:32, re-emphasized Og’s intention to have Avram killed so that he could marry Sarah, and added a crucial detail for understanding Og’s story and our overall topic: “The Holy One Blessed be He gave him [i.e. Og] reward for his journey [to Avram] and he, therefore, lived an inordinate amount of time…” Given the Midrash’s portrayal of the “story behind the story,” we are now ready to examine the underlying meaning of two quizzical pasukim (verses) in our parasha: Then they [i.e. the Jewish people] turned and headed north toward the Bashan. Og, the king of Bashan, came out toward them with all his people, to wage war at Edrei. The L-rd said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him, his people, and his land into your hand. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites who dwells in Heshbon.” (Sefer Bamidbar 21:34-

35) We are initially stymied by Hashem’s declaration to Moshe: “Do not fear him [Og], for I have delivered him, his people, and his land into your hand.” After all, it would appear that Og was a relatively minor impediment on our ancestor’s grand journey to the Promised Land, especially when viewed from the vantage points of the Exodus and the Splitting of the Sea of Reeds! Why, then, did Moshe need this direct statement and reassurance of Hashem’s protection? Didn’t he already know that the Schechinah (Divine Presence) was constantly protecting the Jewish people? Once again, Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah helps us to understand the source of Moshe’s fear and the reasoning inherent in Hashem’s declaration to him: When Moshe came to wage war [against Og,] he was overcome by fear and he said: “I am 120 years old, and this one [i.e. Og] is over 500 years old! If he did not have [great] merit, he never would have lived for all these years!” [Therefore,] the Holy One Blessed Be He said to Moshe: “Do not fear him [Og], for I have delivered him, his people, and his land into your hand. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites who dwells in Heshbon.” (Ibid.) Here, too, Rashi’s commentary on our above-stated pasuk further clarifies Moshe’s trepidation regarding Og: “Do not fear him”: Moses was afraid to fight [against him] lest the merit of Abraham Continued on page 6

THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772

Opinion


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

6

The Kosher Bookworm

The Kosher Bookworm: Rabbi Meir Shapiro and the Daf Yomi Legacy

B

y the first week of August, a new cycle in the study of the Talmud, according to the method established by Rabbi Meir Shapiro of blessed memory, will have started. This week’s essay is in tribute to Rabbi Shapiro, and by extension, to all those dedicated souls who have made his Daf Yomi a part of their daily spiritual regimen. Rarely does a biography of a long deceased person witness a forth printing within the space of eighteen years. In addition to this irony is the fact that the original Yiddish manuscript was written in the mid 1930s only to be published many years later, long after its author, Rabbi Yehoshua Baumol, Hy”d, was martyred in the Holocaust. Translated by Charles Wengrow, of blessed memory, under the skilled editorship of Martin H. Stern, “A Blaze in the DarkenAlan Jay Gerber ing Gloom” [Feldheim, 1994,1997,2003, 2012] relates the legacy of the life and accomplishments of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, [1887-1933] the founder of the Daf Yomi legacy and the gifted Rosh Yeshiva of Chachmei Lublin. The recent edition of this work, timed for the upcoming siyum, is a must read for all siyum participants to better appreciate the historical significance of the siyum experience. The life’s work of Rabbi Shapiro, as a result of this republication, will give a whole new generation of Jews a chance to see what a great spiritual leader can accomplish with the limited financial resources at his command. This was done with a determination and courage to see his dreams and goals accomplished despite the opposition of those who lacked the vision, will and foresight that would, in the many years to come, give both purpose and focus to the study of the Talmud as it has never been studied in history prior to the 20th century. In his editor’s foreword to the fourth edition, Martin Stern states the following heartfelt observation: “It has been eighteen years since we published the first edition, and with this fourth printing, the intervening years have seen the rebirth and revival of Yiddishkeit in places that were once the center of global Jewish life,where millions of our ancestors lived and

learned for 1,000 years, until the Holocaust destroyed almost everything.” Further on Stern makes the statement. “Barely seventy years after the destruction, when our grandparents were murdered in Hitler’s blood bath, we are forgetting the world that was. The fourth edition of “A Blaze in the Darkening Gloom” is our way of preventing such dangerous amnesia. Our future as Jews is inextricably linked to all that came before us. We must never forget where we came from, how that has an impact on who we are today, and on the Jewish generations that will hopefully follow us.” By the example of Rabbi Meir Shapiro’s determined and focused leadership we can all learn through his example how to continue his legacy regardless of the impediments that are placed in our paths.

FOR FURTHER STUDY By extension to the quality study of the interwar years in Europe from after World War One to World War Two, there are two books that I wish to bring to your attention. The first is by the distinguished historian, Professor Antony Polonsky of Brandeis University. His book, the latest in a series, is entitled, “The Jews In Poland and Russia, Volume Three, 1914 – 2008” [Littman Library, 2012]. Within this exquisite work, we have the following observation concerning Rabbi Shapiro: “The best known of the inter-war yeshivas was unquestionably Chachmei Lublin. The brainchild of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, one of the most dynamic younger leaders of the Agudah, it was not affiliated to any Chassidic court, and because of its modern building, boarding facilities, and impressive faculty, it attracted the elite students. Ben-Zion Gold, later the Hillel rabbi at Harvard, has described his experience as a student there. Coming from a traditional family in Radom, where his father was an Agudah town councilor, he received a modern cheder education. Against his father’s wishes, he decided to study at Chachmei Lublin, inspired by an older schoolmate. Study there, he writes, ‘was a life dedicated in the service of G-d in prayer and study with a fervor only people that age are capable of. We spent all our waking hours studying and praying, careful lest we waste a precious moment of time idling’.” Such was the spiritual legacy of the influence of Rabbi Shapiro upon the youth of his day. The next work is “On The Eve: The Jews

of Europe Before the Second World War” [Simon and Shuster, 2012] by Prof. Bernard Wasserstein of the University of Chicago, who makes the following observation concerning Rabbi Shapiro’s legacy: “The pride of Polish orthodoxy was Rabbi Meir Shapiro’s Lublin yeshiva….Its six-story, 120-room building contained a large dormitory, and infirmary, a 40,000 volume library, and a scale model of the Temple. Rabbi Shapiro’s program for daily study of the Talmud, known as Daf Yomi attracted wide attention and the support of the influential Gerer Rebbe. Thousands of students all over the world studied the same page each day in a seven and a half year cycle. This was an innovation, but in pedagogy and dissemination, not substance.” For whatever one might agree or disagree with these observations, both of these learned works deserve your attention for

your upcoming summer reading. Their narratives are riveting and in many respects enlightening. It is a history that, unfortunately, many never get in today’s yeshivas. Let me conclude this week’s essay with the following sober reflection by Dr. Wasserstein: “The total number of yeshiva students in Poland in the 1930s has been estimated at no more than 20,000, representing around 14% of Jewish male teenagers. These figures, as Shaul Stampfer has pointed out, clearly indicate that ‘traditional Jewish society in Poland was declining in the 1930s’.” Elsewhere in his work, Wasserstein points to other facts that serve to belie the optimistic picture of the state of Judaism experienced in “der alte heim” in that time. The reality teaches us otherwise. It was very far from ideal.

No act of kindness goes unrewarded Continued from page 5 advocate for him, as it says, “The refugee came” (Sefer Bereishit 14:13) - this was Og who had escaped from the Rephaim, who were smitten by Chedorlaomer and his allies at Ashteroth Karnaim, as it says, “only Og, the king of Bashan, was left of the remnant of the Rephaim” (Sefer Devarim 3:11). - [Midrash Tanchuma Chukat 24, Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah 19:32] Given all of the above-cited sources, and Rashi’s trenchant analyses, let us now summarize “the story of Og”: Og lived a highly unusual amount of time, perhaps as long as 500 years. This length of time was unheard of after the Great Flood that had destroyed the world.

Og was the fugitive who survived a huge battlefield conflagration and informed Avram that his nephew, Lot, had been captured during the course of the battle. Og’s intention upon informing Avram of Lot’s capture was diabolical in nature. His plan and goal were quite simple: Have Avram leave his stronghold and go to war, so that he could be killed in the subsequent battle. Afterwards, Og would steal Sarah away and “marry her.” Even though Og’s intentions were totally malevolent in nature, the outcome of his actual act was wholly positive: Avram saved Lot and his extended family was complete once again. Hashem judged Og’s act as ultimately meritorious. Thus, he was rewarded with

long-life and great power as the King of Bashan. HaRav Yaakov Moshe Charlop zatzal (1883-1951) was, perhaps, Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook’s zatzal (1865–1935) greatest disciple. He developed a profound practical lesson from Og’s story from which we can all learn: There is a great lesson that may be derived from this story: Even though Og’s intention was pure evil – i.e. that Avraham should be killed in the war and then he [Og] would take Sarah – nonetheless, since his action resulted in a positive outcome for Avraham, it was considered to be a meritorious act of great distinction for him (nechshav hadavar l’Og l’zechut gadolah). Thus, Moshe was afraid of him [Og] – since he also had

the merit of Avraham on his side. As a result, the Holy One Blessed Be He reassured Moshe and explicitly told him not to be afraid. From all of this we may see [i.e. derive] the greatness of any act of kindness – even if the intention behind the act was woefully wanting. With Hashem’s help, may each of us be zocheh (merit) to perform acts of kindness (chesed) that are authentic both in their intention and performance. Then, perhaps, we will finally see the fulfillment of King David’s stirring words in Sefer Tehillim 89:3: “For I said, ‘Forever will it [i.e. the world] be built with kindness; as the heavens, with which You will establish Your faithfulness.’” V’chane yihi ratzon. Shabbat Shalom


American Pie T

he 4th of July is the result of the undaunted efforts and unyielding commitment of our American forefathers. They worked through animosity, trepidation and at a great risk to their lives to succeed in establishing this great country. The first official Fourth of July party was held at the White House in 1801, though the 4th of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941. And I bet most of you didn’t know that the stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal. In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today there are over 310 million. Many of those were immigrants, as was my husband’s dad, Miklosh Joszef A”H. After surviving the Holocaust, he arrived in America penniless and alone, having lost his entire family in the concentration camps. He worked as a factory worker before seizing the opportunity to start his own business and thereby live the American dream. He was always proud and grateful to be an American citizen. Judy Joszef He loved everything about America, and tried to partake in as many experiences as he could. He never missed an opportunity to exercise his right to vote. He took his citizenship very seriously. He also loved the fun and leisure that our wonderful country provides. One of Mr. Joszef’s greatest pleasures was taking Jerry, his brother Seme and a bunch of their friends to Yankee Stadium, where they would view the game in $1.50 unreserved seats in the right field upper deck. Rumor was that those tiny figures down below were actually playing a major league baseball game. On their first trip to the stadium, Mickey Mantle hit a monster home run right into their section to win

performance to watch what they missed. Then, they would all stand up in the middle (which is usually when they got there) and exclaim how great the movie was and then leave the theater. I promise, these are all true stories, just ask Sol Genuth, Neil Stein, Ira Grosser, Bob Gittleman, and Rabbi Yotav Elliach who knew Jerry’s parents back then. This 4th of July, why not try this easy to make stars and stripes pie. It’s a creative end to a patriotic day. Enjoy!

PATRIOTIC CHERRY BERRY PIE ■ 1 can cherry pie filling ■ 12 ounces frozen mixed berries, drained ■ 2 bought frozen pie crusts (one for trim on ■ Flour, for dusting ■ 1 egg, lightly beaten ■ 1 tablespoon sugar

top)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine cherry pie filling and mixed berries. Set aside. Unfold bottom crust onto floured pie dish. Pour berry filling into the pie crust. Roll out second pie crust on a floured surface and cut 3 half inch wide strips that will reach from the middle of the pie to the side, and 3 strips that would reach from side to side. With remaining dough, cut out 5 stars the size of a quarter. Place them in the upper left corner of the pie top and then attach the strips, following the picture as a guide. Brush dough with beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Reduce oven to 350 F. Bake until berry filling starts bubbling in the middle of the pie. If dough starts to brown too quickly, cover lightly with aluminum. Let cool completely before serving. So whether you’re staying home, going to friends or family, traveling via the “Top and Center Bridge” or enjoying the beauty of the Gilligan Mountains, just take a moment to thank Hashem, our founding fathers and the many heroes who sacrificed their lives on the altar of freedom. Judy Joszef can be contacted at Judy.soiree@gmail.com.

Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary Designer Roller Shades

SAVE $100

Pirouette® Window Shadings

PER UNIT**

on select motorized window fashions from Hunter Douglas.

Make a powerful fashion statement and save, June 30 – September 4, 2012. Hunter Douglas motorized window fashions offer convenient remote-control operation and a clean look without lifting cords for enhanced child safety. Ask for details today.

Lenny Koegel

Serving the Five Towns & Surrounding Areas

WE DO REPAIRS

* Manufacturer’s rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases of select Hunter Douglas window fashions with PowerRise® or PowerGlide® motorized systems made 6/30/12 – 9/4/12. All rebates will be issued in U.S. dollars, in the form of an American Express® Prepaid Reward Card. This rebate offer may not be combined with any other Hunter Douglas offer or promotion. © 2012 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

www.distinctivewindowfashions.com

565143

516-594-6010

7 THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772

Who’s in the kitchen?

the game. Jerry’ s love affair with Mantle has never abated. When the National anthem was sung, Jerry’s dad placed his hat over his heart and proudly sang along with patriotic zeal, and with perfect allegiance to the phonetic sounds which he heard without necessarily articulating the actual words sung. He had a vocabulary all his own. One of my favorite stories is when Jerry drove to the Catskills for the first time. With his dad’s directions he headed north. Not long after, he was hopelessly lost. He spotted a police officer and asked where the Top and Center Bridge was. The officer replied there was no such bridge. Jerry said that was impossible, as his dad was great with directions and never got lost (unfortunately Jerry didn’t inherit that skill). The officer asked where jerry was headed. “The country,” Jerry replied. “ W h a t country?” the police officer asked. Again, Jerry replied “you know, the country, everyone goes up to the country in the summer.” The officer was still not sure what Jerry meant, so Jerry said, “the mountains, you know what I mean now?” After a while the officer realized his dad must have meant the Tappan Zee Bridge. If you say it quickly, I guess it sounds like Top and Center Bridge. Hey, for years I thought the song “There’s a Bad Moon on the Rise” was “There’s a Bathroom on the Right.” Jerry’s mom and dad loved to take road trips through the U.S. to see as much of it as possible. They would travel to New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, where they would visit “The Gilligan Mountains” (Killington). They would go to the opera, ballet and the theater. But Jerry and his brother much preferred going to the “mountains” and spending time in Turkin’s bungalow colony (a well known vacation destination). There, every Sunday, his dad would ferry a few carloads of kids to the movies. Being he was the only one who had a car, and he didn’t want to leave any kids out, he would make a few trips. Until Jerry was in his teens he didn’t realize that there were actual start times to the movies. They would just get there, start watching the movie and stay for the next


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

8


THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772



9


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

10

Shalhevet Graduation

Blazing a trail and taking the road less taken With minimal fanfare and their trademark humor, warmth, emotion and uniqueness, the inaugurating class of Midreshet Shalhevet continued on its untrod path and graduated as their first senior class this past Wednesday evening at their current home in Temple Hillel in Valley Stream. Four years ago, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman and Rabbi Yotav Eliach united Rambam Mesivta and HAFTR to create a sister school all under the umbrella of Machon HaTorah. At the end of that first year, the union fell apart, threatening the life of this new girls’ high school. The parents of the future tenth grade and the incoming ninth rallied and pulled together. Midreshet Shalhevet was reborn as an independent entity connected to their brother school of Rambam Mesivta. Sharing teachers, and Rambam’s activism, Midreshet Shalhevet also became a school noted for the warmth and camaraderie of its students and teachers as well as academic excellence, now with a student body of over 80 girls. “I felt amazement and awe to see such a wonderful spectacle,” said Stacy Zeitz, one of the original activist parents whose daughter will now be in the second graduating class of Shalhevet. “It was the light at the end of the tunnel and now we’re here. We saw the growth of these girls as freshmen, helping scrub the (used) desks, the unity and strength, how many of the students who weren’t graduating showed up. And the seniors who said they will come back to see the eleventh graders graduating when they come back after their year in Israel. They were taking pictures together like the whole school was graduating, not just the seniors.” “Having the opportunity to make the graduation so personal for the graduates was

a unique pleasure,” said Esther Eisenman, Menahelet (principal) of Shalhevet. “It was hard for all of us in school to let those girls go: they are part of the very fiber of Shalhevet. But we are sure that they are ready and able to succeed in the years ahead.” Two of the graduates jointly mc’d, kibitzing, reminiscing, and introducing the speakers against photo backdrops. Four rows of teachers were heralded by Mrs. Eisenman, and the many parents and students of younger grades who came to cheer on their big sisters. Gavriella Pearl was valedictorian and will be attending Nishmat next year. Eliora Habshush was salutatorian and will be attending Midreshet Harova. Before and after the ceremony, moms, daughters and morot exchanged hugs, dads and morim and rabbaim shook hands. At the end of the ceremony they presented a video compilation of photos and videos over the four years of the current graduating class produced by senior Rachel Herskovic. Rabbi Friedman, the rosh yeshiva, spoke first, quoting Chazal, “yagata matzata—if you toil and put in the effort you will succeed—was the secret of our success,” he said. He also acknowledged the contributions of Yaacov Gross and Dr. Joshua Gindea in helping establish the school. He noted the “many wonderful memories” of the many shiurim and Shalhevet’s first win. “But most importantly you have such a significant chelek, share, in everything that was accomplished by the role you played in making Shalhevet what it is today. You truly have contributed to the landscape and future of Torah education in America and I know that you will continue to go on to do great things for our people in the years ahead.” Mrs. Eisenman noted that there were 12 girls graduating 12th grade in 2012, “bring-

ing to mind the 12 Shvatim, the first generation of the Jewish nation, which is a fitting analogy to our first graduating class of 12 graduates. Just as Bnei Yisrael is built on the foundation of the 12 Shvatim, our school is built on the foundation of what the families and students of the class of 2012 planted here.” She noted that when Yaakov blessed his sons, he blessed them as individuals with an “eye towards unity,” that “a strong collective is built on the strong individual” and that Yaakov taught us “that each person brings her own strengths to the group. It’s not only better for each person not to simply conform, it’s better for the group. And that is exactly what we have seen in this group throughout their years of high school.” She noted the development of their individual strengths and talents and their unity and connections with each other, the teachers and administration. “Just as the Jewish people are referred to as the Bnei Yisrael, the sons of Israel, including each of the individual sons in the nation, we, too, at Shalhevet will always feel the imprint of your efforts and your years here. Your individuality and your unity with those of us here at Shalhevet and the greater community will stand you in good stead as you go through life. They will surely bring you success in each realm of your life: personal and professional. It is in fact the very strength that our nation is built on.” Looking back and ahead, parents, administrators and students who saw the school grow and flourish praised the unity and warmth forged there. “Seeing our daughter being part of the inaugural class of the Shalhevet High School of Girls was an especially powerful moment,” said Mindy Bach, mother of one of the graduates.“To witness the camaraderie among these 12 girls was something to see. I was particularly impressed

with these young woman, who could have gone to any high school but were willing to be part of this very special experience and showed such caring for each other and others plus exceptional midos.” “I never encountered anything like it; it’s like an extended family,” said Judy Wagman, another senior parent. “Everyone accepted everyone; it’s very unique. You can’t find it anywhere. They had a bond from day one. In ninth grade, the faculty was available 24/7, even if they just needed to talk. We’re incredibly proud.” Mrs. Suri Boiangiu, Assistant Principal, said that the graduation ceremony “was thrilling and moving,” and Eliza Gordon, school administrator, said, “Our girls made us very proud and we look forward to sharing their adventures in the future.” Nine of the twelve students will be going to Israel next year studying in Midreshet Harova, Migdal Oz, Midreshet Moriah, MMY, Nishmat, Shaalavim for Women and Tiferet. Currently, the students are planning to attend Queens, Touro, Stern Honors, Brooklyn, and LIU. “I’m so glad and honored to be the first graduating class after all that we’ve gone through,” said senior Shoshana Wagman. “I miss the school a lot and hope to be back and visit in the future. I want to always be a part of it.” Said fellow graduate Yael Bankoff, “Overall it was a great experience and I feel that the small family-like atmosphere you can’t get elsewhere.” “Shalhevet was an awesome experience,” stressed another senior, Devora Eisenberg, “and I’m sad that it has ended. But I know that the friendships, knowledge and experiences that I gained from there will last me a lifetime.”

BAYLA BACH

YAEL CHARNA BANKOFF

DEVORA GILA EISENBERG

BATSHEVA FELDMAN

SHAINA MICHAL GURSKY

ELIORA ALYSSA HABSHUSH

JULIE HARUSH

RACHEL HERSKOVIC

LIORA LALEHZARZEDEH

GAVRIELLA PEARL

SHOSHANA ROCHEL WAGMAN

DEENA WARSHAW

By Malka Eisenberg

Photos by Joel Berkowitz


11

Turn Off the Phone! A while back a cartoon made the rounds, in which only two people are present at a funeral. One turns to the other and says: “Strange, he had 4,317 Facebook friends….” We live in a world in which, unfortunately, technology sometimes controls us more than we can control it. Recently, the Conservative movement suggested to ban cell phones on Shabbat, so as to allow social interaction between family members. The discussions around those who keep “half-Shabbat,” that is, they “keep” Shabbat, but text, suggests that people are literally addicted to their screens. And a psychologist suggested that the reason behind the social drinking of alcohol is By Rabbi Noam to allow those who are used to only interacting virtually to free Himelstein themselves up and be able to speak with an actual human being ... May we learn to strengthen the bond with our loved ones, without distractions. We can begin by turning off the phone - during the week as well!

A Churban in Our Time As the three weeks before Tisha B’Av approach, I often find myself reimagining what the ancient Israelites’ lives must have been like all those centuries ago as they anticipated the sadness, confusion, and dire consequences of the Temple’s impending destruction. I often ask, “Did the Jews of Jerusalem know how their lives would change?” This year, I find myself asking other questions, such as, “Did the Diaspora Jews, those who lived in Babylonia or Egypt, know how tumultuous their lives were about to become?” This question is a poignant one for our time, and the potential answers to it drag up some frightening realizations for 5772 and into the future. The Churban Bayis Sheini (destruction of the Second Temple) by the Romans in 70 CE spelled the end of sacrifices, High priests, Dr. Jeffrey Ratz and much of ritualized Judaism. From the Churban Bayis Rishon (destruction of the First Temple) in 586 BCE, Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem had begun building synagogues and replacing korbanot (sacrifices) with tefilot (prayers); ancient Judaism was moving from a centralized power structure focused on kings and kohanim (priests) to localized, community-based leadership. The destruction of the Second Temple solidified this transition from ancient, Biblical Judaism to more modern, communal Judaism. Trying to imagine the mindsets of those first few generations of Jerusalem-based Jews after the Churban is truly challenging. How did they reset their entire religious paradigms? How did they navigate the transition from the physical slaughter of sacrificial animals to the more-cerebral meditative prayer? Were they able to adapt, or did their spirituality and faith suffer because of what they witnessed? In short, did they understand the implications? Furthermore, did the community in galus (the Diaspora communities) understand the “nail in the coffin” finality of the Churban Sheini? A few weekends ago, my son-in-law was reading a recent issue of The Economist and on the cover was a sinking ship labeled “The World Economy.” Much of the issue dealt with the European debt crisis

and global economic recession in which we now find ourselves enmeshed. Glancing at this magazine cover jolted me back to Jerusalem, Babylonia, and Egypt in 70 CE. Our community is blessed because the economic recession that has been plaguing the world has only barely brushed us; yes, some are out of work or underemployed and some are struggling with monthly expenses, but the ornate mansions popping up on street corners across the Five Towns indicate that many are still doing just fine. Many are still able to afford yeshiva educations for their children; many can still make lavish bar mitzvahs and weddings for their children; many can still take vacations to the Holy Land. And it makes me wonder if the Jews of Jerusalem continued to build homes around the Beit Ha’Mikdash even as the Roman siege closed in. Did the Jewish communities in Egypt and Babylonia continue to add new wings to their synagogues, did they continue to sing wedding songs and design elaborate candelabras and Kiddush cups even as the Temple in Jerusalem burned to the ground? These questions challenge me as Tisha B’Av nears. The struggling world economy represents a time of transition for us like the Churban represented for the ancient Jewish communities at the turn of the First Century. As our American economy limps along and we go on living as if nothing is wrong, the “temples” of modern banking and the global financial system are under siege. It is vital that we in the Diaspora begin thinking about how we will transition out of this destruction while still maintaining our priorities—to educate our children in Jewish values and to build Jewish communities dedicated to Torah and mitzvoth; we must economize on our ability to take perspective at a “safe distance,” and we cannot play the fiddle while the buildings burn. We are required always to remember the Churbanot of the Batay Ha’Mikdash: we stomp on a glass under the chuppah, we sing “Im Eshkachekh,” and we put bits of matzah on our doorposts. However, if we simply go through the motions of this remembrance without reflecting on how periods of destruction and loss are also periods of transition and innovation, then we have learned little in the almost 2,000 years since our last Churban. May this year’s Tisha B’Av be, for each of us, a moment to recognize that life and Jewish practice go on even when everything we have known to be true begins to disappear.

Like us? Find us on Facebook at The Jewish Star newspaper (Long Island, NY) Rabbi Noam Himelstein studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion and served in the Tanks Corps of the IDF. He has taught in yeshiva high schools, post-high school women’s seminaries, and headed the Torah MiTzion Kollel in Melbourne, Australia. He currently teaches at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem, and lives with his wife and six children in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion.

Be part of the discussion on local issues

THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772

Hebrew only please!


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

12

June 28 Free Seminar A free community forum hosted by South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY (1 Healthy Way), will be presented by certified diabetes educator Cecilia Cassidy, BSN, RN. The forum will be held in South Nassau’s Conference Room B on Thursday, June 28, beginning at 7:30 PM. For more information or to register, call South Nassau’s Department of Community Education (516) 377-5333.

ON THE

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

Religious OCD workshop at Center for Anxiety

July 3 Friendship Circle, Torah Center Torah Centers for children with special needs is a 5 time weekly meeting on Tuesdays in July beginning July 3 through July 31. The program will focus on a new Mitzvah each week. In addition, the children will daven and learn the aleph beit.

July 13-15 7th Summer Marriage Enrichment Retreat The Orthodox Union invites you to this retreat where parents can learn how to resolve disagreements and fight fairly, how to work as a team, and many other important communication techniques. Skill based workshop presenters include Alex Bailey, Rachel Pill, and Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler. This retreat is $750 per couple which includes room, meals, and tips for wait staff. The event is at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson, NY. For more information, visit www.oucommunity.org or call Hannah Farkas at 212-613-8351.

July 1 For those suffering from religious obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), the line between strict observance and unhealthy obsession is blurred. While some obsessions and compulsions relate to excessive practice of outward observances, other symptoms of this unique disorder include excessive fear of punishment by G-d or fear of going to hell. In order to identify the challenges involved in treating religious OCD, Elyssa Kushner, Psy.D., will lead a half-day workshop at New York City’s Center for Anxiety. Dr. Kushner, a clinical psychologist at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, will present guidelines for the treatment of religious OCD, discuss common challenges of implementing ERP to treat religious symptoms, and strategies to overcome these difficulties and provide the best care for religious patients. For more information about the program, please visit: http://www.centerforanxiety.org/ files/WorkshopJuly2012.pdf To register, please visit: http://www.centerforanxiety.org/training.html

■ Cancer Survivor in Sharsheret’s Peer Support Network A transcript and audio recording will be available following the event at www.sharsheret.org. To register call 866.474.2774

(l to r) Nathaniel and Marion Lazan, Community Service Award recipients, Amy Goodstein ,event chair, Stephen Krown, honoree and Rabbi Heshy Blumstein at YI Hewlett/UJA Dessert Reception. The guest speaker was Dr. Herbert Ausubel. Chabad, 74 Maple Avenue, Cedarhurst, $70 per child, 5:00-6:00 pm For more information please call 516-295-2478, extension 13 or Email Batsheva@chabad5towns.com

July 9 Nefesh B’Nefesh Comes To Great Neck Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, who have energized North American Aliya, will conduct a “Retiring in Israel” workshop at 22 Hawthorne Lane in Saddle Rock (starting at 7:30pm). Light refreshments will be served, and an informative evening will be had by all.

July 11 Laws of Family Purity Review Series Chabad of The Five Towns First of a three part

,in depth review of the laws of Mikvah with Mrs. Rivky Brikman At the home of Mrs. Naomi Abesera, 565 Kenridge Road, Lawrence, 8:00 p.m. Suggested donation of $18 per class or $50 for all three. For more information please contact 516-295-2478 or www.chabad5towns.com

Free National Teleconference and Webinar Stay current on emerging research regarding gynecological concerns before and after a breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis. Topics to be discussed include birth control, fertility, pregnancy, nursing, early onset menopause, hormone replacement, and bone health. Ask questions to our experts during a live question and answer session following the presentation. Panelists ■ Tessa Cigler, MD, MPH, Weill Cornell Breast Center ■ Elizabeth Poynor, MD, PhD, FACOG, Private Practice ■ Shera Dubitsky, MEd, MA, Sharsheret

July 15 LI Film Festival screening of the film Kinderblock 66 Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald is the story of four men who, as young boys, were imprisoned by the Nazis in the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp and who, sixty-five years later, return to commemorate the sixtyfifth anniversary of their liberation. The film tells the story of the effort undertaken by the camp’s Communist-led underground to protect and save Jewish children who were arriving in Buchenwald toward the end of the Holocaust. Kinderblock 66 also tells the story of Antonin Kalina, the head of the block who was personally responsible for saving 904 boys in Buchenwald. The film is narrated by New York City raised Hollywood film star Liev Schreiber. It is a feature film documentary that contains subtitles and is a Long Island film premiere. The tickets for this film can be purchased at the Bellmore Movies, which is located at 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, through the mail, or online at: http://liifilmexpo.org/sections/tickets.html. A Screening Pass is $10.00, while Senior Citizens, Students & Filmmakers Connection Members pay $8.00 per film on a given day.

VILLAGE OF ATLANTIC BEACH TURNS 50 Sunny Atlantic Beach Club hosted the Village of Atlantic Beach’s 50th Anniversary dinner on June 20th. The event coincided with the re-election of Mayor Stephen Mahler, who has served the Village since 1996. (Below) Monsignor Paul F. Rahilly, of St. Joachim, Jewish Star Publisher Karen Green and Cedarhurst Mayor Andrew Parise share in the celebration. (Right) Atlantic Beach resident and JCC Board member David Weingarten, Mayor Stephen Mahler, Karen Green and Atlantic Beach Village Attorney Charles Kovit.

Photos by Donovan Berthoud


13

Learning Prayer from the Parah W

hen it comes to discussions about the Parah Adumah (red heifer), many look to its symbolism or try to find a message in the concept of a “chok,” typically defined as a “mitzvah without a reason.” Some focus on the unique quality of how the Parah Adumah mixture was metaher temeim and metameh tehorim (purified those who were impure, and made the pure (the one doing the sprinkling) impure). In chassidic annals the general approach to this and other symbols is to find moral teachings and ethical lessons that adherents can adapt to their lifestyles. Rabbi Avi Billet With regard to the metameh tehorim (etc) idea, the Baal Shem Tov was asked, “if every mitzvah can teach us something about how to serve G-d, please explain where parah adumah fits in.” In oth-

er words, if it turns a person who is already tahor (pure) to be tameh (impure), then it seems to be working backwards. How does it bring one closer to G-d? The Baal Shem Tov equated this quality with the middot of Ga’avah (haughtiness) and Anavah (humility). A person who is distant from observance of mitzvot and a commitment to serving G-d, it is good for him to have a little more haughtiness about his capabilities. Instead of saying, “Who am I that I could even conceive that my prayer has any clout, or that there’s any hope for me to turn around from my habits?” that person should have much more confidence. Education or background is unrelated to one’s ability to connect with the Almighty. On the other hand, a person who feels very strong in one’s commitment and dedication to G-d could use more than a dose of humility in a personal reminder that “You still haven’t ‘arrived,’ and you always need a lot more work before you reach ‘that’ level.” Many people who are committed to Tefillah and are regular participants in tefillah, whether with a minyan or on an individual basis, get it. The Tehillim groups get it. Those

who even take the “Shir Hamaalot” added to the end of davening (in many shuls) seriously, also get it. Those who ask a Rabbi or a Rebbe to pray for them, but who do not pray for themselves, do not get it. Those who rely on the “power of others,” and do not give credit to their own strengths, their own abilities, their own sincerity, do not get it. One does not need to be an observant Jew to feel close to G-d, to feel dedicated to G-d, to have a relationship with G-d. Or even to “influence” G-d. One of the greatest models of prayer in the Bible is Chana (Samuel I, Chapters 1-2). According to the Talmud, she was a prophetess, though the prophesy which is attributed to her are her prayers. But she was not a rabbi, and she did not serve anyone else, or pray on anyone’s behalf other than for herself. Other than being the mother of the prophet Shmuel, her fame is on account of her prayers, and that’s it. Some people certainly feel G-d never hears them or responds to their prayers. And there are some people who absolutely feel that G-d is always listening and they “know”

that their prayers have been heard, received, and “now it’s in G-d’s hands.” The message of the Baal Shem Tov is so important because we need to find relevance to our lives in mitzvot that we cannot practice today. There is a tremendous void in a Jewish existence that does not include the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, a Temple that will not be rebuilt until the Messianic Era is upon us. When in practice, the Parah Adumah had a profound significance, and played a very important role in the lives of those wishing to visit the Temple. The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that the quality of the Parah Adumah is a model for all. Those who seem to have every right to feel haughty and high and mighty about their connection to G-d need to be reminded that they have much to work on. And those who feel that a connection can not be found with G-d because they are too far away from him or have too much getting in the way of such a relationship, need to take a long look in the mirror and realize that that relationship is not exclusive to anyone. It is there for the taking for those who are ready to grab it.

The paradox of the red heifer, the intertwining of life and death

T

here are so many things in life that are impossible to understand, and yet every now and then, we are afforded the opportunity to get a glimpse, as if through a momentary clearing of the fog, of what it’s all about. How important is it for us to comprehend all that we do? Where lies the balance between pure faith on the one hand, and our need to understand, on the other? FROM THE HEART This week’s porOF JERUSALEM tion, Chukat, provides the ultimate example of that which is impossible to comprehend: the mitzvah of the red heifer. (Numbers 19:12) Somehow, this mitzvah (commandment) is unique amongst all the laws of the Torah. And, it seems, what makes it so unique, is that it is impossible to underRabbi Binny stand. Freedman Rashi, quoting the Midrash, explains that this law, by nature, is impossible to comprehend, and therefore one should not (perhaps even may not) attempt to fathom it; it is Gd’s decree and ours is simply to accept it and fulfill it as best we can. In truth, the nature of this particular mitzvah is indeed difficult to understand, even bordering on the bizarre. When a person comes into contact with a dead body, he is rendered “Tamei,” or spiritually contaminated. In order to again achieve a state of ritual purity (to be “Tahor,” or pure), he must undergo the ritual of the red heifer known as the Parah Aduma. A Parah Aduma is a completely red cow (a heifer) that has never been used for labor of any kind, which is a very rare find. Paradoxically, while the ashes of the Parah Aduma purify the person who is impure, they also cause the pure person (the Tahor who gathers the ashes in preparation) to become impure! It is this incomprehensible phenomenon,

that the Parah Aduma purifies the impure, while at the same time contaminating the pure, that causes the Talmud to declare that even King Solomon could not fathom the mitzvah of the Parah Aduma. Rashi seems to suggest that we are not allowed to attempt an understanding of this type of Mitzvah: “…The Torah writes that it is a “Chok”: “It is a decree from before Me (G-d), and you have no right to ponder it.” (Rashi Bamidbar 19:2) Maimonides on the other hand, openly espouses the value of attempting to understand the unfathomable: “Even though all the Chukim in the Torah are decrees (“g’zeirot”)… it is worthy to peruse (explore) them; and everything to which you can assign a reason (“liten lo’ ta’am”), give to it a reason... (Hilchot Temurah 4:13) So which is it? Should we be attempting to understand that which Hashem asks of us to do, or are we perhaps better off relying on pure faith, simply choosing the path of “ours is but to do or die, and not to reason why”? It is interesting to note that this week’s portion is actually the bridge between the first generation of Jews who left Egypt, and the second generation, born largely in the desert, who are about to enter the land of Israel. In this week’s portion, Chukat, both Miriam and Aaron die (20:1; 22-29), and in the infamous events at Mei Merivah, Hashem decrees (20:12) that Moshe too, will not enter the land. As such, it is strange that the laws regarding a person who becomes impure through contact with death are only mentioned now, on the eve of entering the land of Israel. Indeed, the Talmud suggests (Gittin 60a) that this mitzvah was given nearly forty years earlier, and yet the Torah chooses to place it here! In fact, the theme of this week’s portion, Chukat, is the experience we can never comprehend par excellence: death. It’s about coming into contact with death (the red heifer), the death of Miriam and Aaron, and the decree of Moshe’s approaching death. Indeed, the verses even share with

us (20:1; 21:10-13) some of the wanderings of the forty years in the desert, during which time the entire generation of Egypt die out as well. Ultimately, there is no portion more fitting for the concept of the mitzvah I cannot understand as this week’s portion of Chukat, which is all about death, the ultimate mystery, and the ultimate paradox. And it is similarly no accident that this week we encounter the concept of the righteous who suffer, when the three leaders of the Jewish people (Moshe, Aaron, and Miriam) are not allowed to enter the land. The Jewish people here begin the transition from life in the desert, where in certain ways everything was so clear, to the process of entering the land of Israel, where the great questions of life abound. Understanding anything is really about three things: the reason, the purpose, and the implications or lessons we draw for ourselves. It would be absurd to imagine that we could ascertain the reason for a mitzvah. A reason is essentially causation; something caused something else. But G-d is not caused to do or command anything; G-d is the cause. If the Torah comes from G-d, the Mitzvoth cannot have a cause; they are the cause. Thus we can only be considering the purpose and/or the implications of a given Mitzvah. Sometimes, Hashem allows us to tap into the purpose of a mitzvah either by stating it clearly in the Torah, as in Shabbat, or by creating us with the faculty to hone in on what a particular mitzvah accomplishes in whole or in part, both as individuals and as a larger society. But sometimes, we do not get to be privy to the purpose of a mitzvah, or an experience, and this may well be what Chukim are really all about. The purpose of fulfilling such a mitzvah and how the world changes as a result may be beyond our grasp, but this does not mean we cannot consider the implications. By definition, the meaningful lessons I glean from a closer examination of anything in life, will inevitably make it more meaningful, and as such will help to make me a better

person. And as long as I remember that these are the lessons I choose to learn, and that further study may cause me to reassess my understanding, the process can only be a valuable one. Indeed, this would seem to be the Torah’s approach to all of life’s paradoxes and mysteries, death chief amongst them. To imagine that we as limited human beings could ever understand death and human suffering in this world, would be arrogance in its most supreme form. And yet, the process of grappling with the challenge of death, and of attempting to learn from the process, can only be a valuable one, within these parameters. Tumah or impurity as it is often translated, represents contact with death. Every instance of Tumah in the Torah is the result of some level of contact with death, be it a dead lizard (a sheretz), or the loss of potential life as in the woman who is a Niddah after the breaking down of the uterine wall. And taharah (purity) which always comes after immersion in a mikveh (ritual bath) full of water, which represents life, is always the reemergence of the individual into the mainstream of life. This then, is the paradox of the red heifer; the intertwining of life and death, and the impossibility of understanding why it so often seems that the pure become impure (i.e. the righteous suffer) and the impure become pure. Perhaps this was why King Shlomo viewed this as the ultimate mystery, because we are not meant to understand the purpose of experiences so beyond our comprehension as death. And yet King Solomon does try, because we are, as the Rambam suggests, meant to try and at least draw the implications from even these most difficult mitzvoth. We live in a world full of many mysteries, abounding with realities we find impossible to comprehend. But the decision, which is in each of our hands, to find meaning in every detail of every moment and every piece of every mitzvah, will most often be the determining factor, each and every day, between grabbing life and being reborn every minute, or losing life and dying day by day, one slow second at a time.

THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772

Parshat Chukat


June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

14

Hot Fun in the City

I

celebrated the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, with 14,000 people. The Times Square Alliance advertised “mind over madness yoga: anyone can find tranquility on top of a mountain; can you find it in the middle of Times Square?” Yoga classes were offered from 7 am till 7 pm MIRIAM’S MUSINGS outdoors in the epicenter of our hectic city. Intrigued, I registered for a free class. Certified yoga instructors were requested as volunteer “spotters” and would receive a free new yoga outfit to wear and keep. “Free” is a hook that attracts me, so I joined up for that, too. I chose Bikram, hot Miriam Bradman yoga normally pracAbrahams ticed in a room heated to 105 degrees. I’d never wanted to try this type of yoga since the idea of exercising in an enclosed room filled with sweaty people makes me nauseous. But I thought how bad can it be if it’s done outdoors, which can’t be heated up to the required temperature. It was funny that nature acquiesced and provided a 100 degree day with barely a breeze. Actually participating in the class under the beating sunshine was

not going to be so amusing. Waiting on the Woodmere platform for the train to the city had all us prospective passengers dripping in sweat while standing still. I rode in with the Wednesday matinee theatergoers, who were enduring the stifling heat but looking forward to a cool dark theater. I speed walked up Broadway to my check-in point to pick up a free yoga mat for the noontime class. When I arrived they had run out, but handed me a body length piece of cardboard and a cold water bottle. I found one of the last shady spots in the pedestrian areas designated for the happening. Waiting with the packed crowd of yoga enthusiasts for the session to begin, we chatted excitedly about the heat and the turnout. There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie in our supposedly impersonal city. A very pregnant participant sitting behind me sympathized about my lack of a mat and wanted to lend me her clean towel. I declined initially but she insisted I would need it, so I soon accepted her kind offer. The asphalt was transferring heat through my cardboard and towel right into my body. As the sun moved westward it peeked out from its hidden spot behind the skyscrapers then shone full force on Broadway. Bikram yoga practitioners welcomed the heat with cheers. I got sweatier and nervous about the challenging class ahead. I had already downed one water bottle and had only one in reserve. The teacher, Rajashree, wife of

founder Bikram Choudhury, arrived at the podium and commenced the largest Bikram class in history. Bikram yoga is a series of 26 poses and breathing exercises completed in a specific order in exactly ninety minutes. Many of the poses are simple, some more difficult. It’s the heat that makes it challenging and is meant to stretch muscles more easily and detoxify the body. It is based on the Hatha style which I learned, practice and teach, but is an intense variation. Yogis either love it or hate it. I’m no extremist, but figured I should try it once. The class progressed and I performed the movements. I liked that they are repeated, since one can go deeper the second time. My heart rate was rising quickly and I could feel my face turning beet red with exertion. I pushed myself but feared passing out anonymously in the middle of Times Square. My water was running low and I noticed people dropping out. I skipped a pose to drink and contemplated quitting. I spotted a portion of pavement becoming shady as the sun continued its westward path and quickly moved there. I was able to continue, finish this class and relax. As I lay in shavasana, corpse pose, on the midtown street, I gazed up at the clouds moving above. The perimeter of the yoga space was fenced off and covered with leaning, gawking voyeurs amazed by the spectacle. I thought of the billions of bacteria crawling

right beside where my body rested and how I would never allow my kids to sprawl like this for fear of germs. Sirens blared, neon blazed and cameras snapped, but I breathed slowly and evenly. Incredibly and inevitably my heart rate decreased. I felt physically exhausted but mentally charged up from having tried something new. I couldn’t wait to meet up with my friend Alyssa to assist in the next class. I enjoyed a sense of kinship with the strangers around me. We all came to this happening seeking adventure, excitement, accomplishment, fellowship, harmony. A gathering this large requires leadership, detailed planning and willing participants. Like a flash mob, we joined together for a brief time then dispersed in different directions when it was over. The moment was fleeting yet substantial, becoming another memory in a chain of life experiences. Only the aura remains, filling me with warmth and the desire to repeat it. May the hot spark of the solstice and beautiful summer days sustain us through the next cold dark winter. 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

Travel inspiration becomes travel innovation

Hewlett alum invents pick-pocket proof pants By Ann E. Friedman Upon quitting his job as an assistant trader at a hedge fund in Manhattan to pursue his love of traveling in 2006, Hewlett High School alumnus Adam Rapp’s plan was to move to Amsterdam, Holland and get a job at a major bank but all that changed the following year while in China. When Rapp, 31, ran into a team of pickpockets in China he realized his open-pocket shorts offered him no protection against the thieves. He searched for a pair of pants that would keep his belongings safe but came up empty handed. In 2008, Rapp, a North Woodmere resident, founded his company, Clothing Arts, and began designing Pick Pocket Proof pants, or P^cubed pants, to keep travelers safe. “Travel inspiration becomes travel innovation,” he said. “The pants allow you to select your level of security based on your surroundings. You can have an unsecured, single secured, double secured and even a triple secured pocket. It literally puts security back into the hands of the traveler and offers them the function and security of four money-belts; eliminating the hassle of digging into your shirt or pants to fish out your money or passport by storing everything at your fingertips.” The P^cubed pants were tested by Rapp himself for six months as he traveled around the U.S., Asia and Europe before the first prototype, made by six workers in a one-room factory in Turkey, was displayed at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City in 2010. “The idea from the birth of Clothing Arts was to create clothes that will stand up to life on the road,” he said. “Beginning next month, 140 workers will be producing the pants in Bangladesh.” The pants are coated with DuPont™ re-

The Business-style Pick-Pocket Proof pants have a more streamlined look combined with the classic straight leg design.

The Adventure-style Pick-Pocket Proof pants have a more casual look and resemble cargo pants with big side pockets. lease and repel technology and are lined with Teflon® fabric protector so they are durable and repel oil and water. “On top of the quality of our construction, we offer all our unique pockets that blend into the rear of the pants so they look like a normal pair

of pants until you choose to double secure the pocket,” he said. “Also, there is a triplesecure passport pocket, Smartphone pocket and several cargo pockets and an attachable utility pocket which can hold a half-liter water bottle.” Taylor Welden, a freelance industrial designer for the blog, Carryology.com, reviewed the Pick Pocket Proof Adventure pants this past winter. “I think they’re great everyday pants, they look nice and are not overly tactical,” he said. “They would no doubt be amazing travel pants, if not, the

perfect travel pants. Next time I fly overseas for a backpacking trip, these will undoubtedly be the first pants I go to.” More than 3,000 pairs of P^cubed pants have been sold and they currently come in two styles, Adventure and Business, and are available in both shorts and pants. The Adventure-style is similar to cargo pants with big side pockets and the Business-style is more streamline with a classic straight leg. Tim Leffel of Practical Travel Gear, a website that reviews a new and useful item each week, reviewed the Adventure-style P^cubed pants in November 2011 and the Business-style on June 7. “They’re the best ones I’ve ever seen for keeping your valuables safe in places where pick-pocketing is an issue and they’re very tough,” he said. “I find it easier to wear these than carry something extra along to keep my money safe. In my pants I had keys, a phone, an iPod, a notebook, cash, credit cards, coins, sunglasses, lip balm, a pen, and a map—with room to spare.” When Leffel reviewed the Business-style P^cubed pants, he said, “Unlike those adventure pants, these dispense with the cargo pockets and present a cleaner, slimmer look,” he said. “I love the ruggedness of these pants though and I feel like my passport, wallet and change are super-secure.” Rapp looks forward to the release of a third men’s pants line in time for the upcoming holiday season. “Also, our first women’s line will debut at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market [in Salt Lake City] as will our first line of men’s and women’s travel shirts,” he said. “As the number of travelers who wear our clothes grows, so will our ability to offer new and innovative ways to travel; 2013 is shaping up to be an incredible year and we can’t wait to offer our new designs to the world.”


To Advertise In This Section, Call 516-632-5205 REAL ESTATE

EMPLOYMENT

1MWGIPPERISYW

Help Wanted

ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from home. *Medical, *Business, *Criminal Justice, *Hospitality, Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial Aid if qualified. SCHEC certified. Call 888-201-8657 www.CenturaOnline.com

House For Sale WOODMERE AAA CUL-DE-SAC 4 BR's, 2.5 New Baths, New EIK, Large Den, CAC, Alarm, $675K. Owner 516-984-5143

SELLING YOUR HOUSE?

AIRLINES ARE HIRING- Train for hands on Aviation Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified- Job Placement Assistance. CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance (866)296-7093

Long Island’s leading lawn sprinkler company, with over 50 years experience, can install a custom-designed system for your home with no damage to your lawn or shrubs.

Enjoy a green, healthy yard all summer long.

SAVE ON CABLE TV-Internet-Digital Phone. Packages start at $89.99/mo (for 12 months.) Options from ALL major service providers. Call Acceller today to learn more! CALL 1-877-736-7087

• Best Quality • Best Service • Best Pricing

Run Your Ad in

The Jewish Star

HIRING?

Just Call Our Classified Department at 516-632-5205

Run Your Ad in

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

The Jewish Star

Credit Financial

Just Call Our Classified Department at 516-632-5205

MERCHANDISE MART

We Service All Types of Lawn Sprinkler Systems!

Special

CREDIT CARD DEBT? LEGALLY HAVE IT REMOVED! Need a minimum $7,000 in debt to qualify. Utilize Consumer Protection Attorneys. Call now 1-866-652-7630 for help.

2))

PLACE YOUR AD Just Call Our Classified Department at 516-632-5205 Miscellaneous For Sale

Business/Opportunities

MAKE UP TO $2,000.00+ Per Week! New Credit Card Ready Drink-Snack Vending Machines. Minimum $4K to $40K+ Investment Required. Locations Available. BBB Accredited Business. (800) 962-9189

DISH NETWORK. STARTING at $19.99/month PLUS 30 Premium Movie Channels FREE for 3 Months! SAVE! & Ask About SAME DAY Installation! CALL 877-992-1237

MANTIS DELUXE TILLER. NEW! FastStart engine. Ships FREE. One-Year Money-Back Guarantee when you buy DIRECT. Call for the DVD and FREE Good Soil book! 866-969-1041

AT&T U-VERSE FOR just $29.99/mo!† SAVE when you bundle Internet+Phone+TV and get up to $300 BACK! (Select plans).† Limited Time Call NOW! 1-866-944-0810

Announcements

Offer valid when you present this ad, cannot be combined with any other offer.

Call Today for No-Obligation Survey and Estimate

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS. WIN or Pay Nothing! Start Your Application In Under 60 Seconds. Call Today! Contact Disability Group, Inc. Licensed Attorneys & BBB Accredited. Call 877-865-0180

Education

1MWGIPPERISYW

$1<1(:,167$//$7,21

AIRLINES ARE HIRING- Train for high paying Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified- Housing available. CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance (877)818-0783

486-7500 563393

HAS YOUR BUILDING SHIFTED OR SETTLED? Contact Woodford Brothers Inc, for straightening, leveling, foundation and wood frame repairs at 1-800-OLDBARN. www.woodfordbros.com. Suffolk Cty~ License #41959-H Nassau Cty~ License #H18G7160000

SERVICES

EVER CONSIDER A Reverse Mortgage? At least 62 years old? Stay in your home & increase cash flow! Safe & Effective! Call Now for your FREE DVD! Call Now 866-967-9407

www.lawnsprinklers.com i8F$BO4FSWJDF:PVS&YJTUJOH4ZTUFNw

ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from Home. *Medical, *Business, *Criminal Justice. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial Aid if qualified. SCHEV certified. Call 800-488-0386 www.CenturaOnline.com

Announcements Health & Fitness

EARLY DEADLINE 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY

The Herald Issue of July 5th Will Have An Early Deadline of:

ATTENTION SLEEP APNEA SUFFERERS with Medicare. Get FREE CPAP Replacement Supplies at NO COST, plus FREE home delivery! Best of all, prevent red skin sores and bacterial infection! Call 866-993-5043

FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH at 11 A.M.

AUTOMOBILE & MARINE

To Place a Classified Ad Call 516-569-4000 Press 5, then 2 

Autos Wanted

Careers/Training

Careers/Training

Train For An Exciting Career in Hospitality & Hotel Management! t%":&7&/*/($-"44&4)"/%40/53"*/*/( t&95&3/4)*14"/%+0#1-"$&.&/5"44*45"/$& t'*/"/$*"-"*% 505)04&8)026"-*':

AS A MEMBER OF THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, YOU MAY WORK IN HOTELS, MOTELS, RESORTS OR CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION CENTERS THE WORLD OVER!

Attention veterans: we accept VA beneďŹ ts for your education.

Call Now 516.714.3598 Classes Now Forming

www.StarCareerAcademy.com 125 Michael Drive, Syosset, NY 11791

Licensed by N.Y.S. Ed. Dept.; Accredited by ACCSC. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at www.starcareeracademy.com/consumerinfo.php

560704

CASH FOR CARS! Any Make, Model or Year. We Pay MORE! Running or Not. Sell Your Car or Truck TODAY. Free Towing! Instant Offer: 1-888-545-8647 CASH FOR CARS! We Buy ANY Car or Truck, Running or NOT! Damaged, Wrecked, Salvaged OK! Get a top dollar INSTANT offer today! 1-800-267-1591 DONATE VEHICLE: RECEIVE $1000 GROCERY COUPONS. National Animal Welfare Foundation. Support NO KILL Shelters. Help Homeless Pets. Free Towing, TAX DEDUCTIBLE, NON-RUNNERS Accepted 1-888-333-3848

SELL YOUR CAR in our Herald Classifieds. Call 516-569-4000, press 5 to speak to an Account Executive.

564910

FOR THE

ATTENTION DIABETICS WITH Medicare. Get a FREE Talking Meter and diabetic testing supplies at NO COST, plus FREE home delivery! Best of all, this meter eliminates painful finger pricking! Call 888-903-6658

THE JEWISH STAR June 29, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 9 TAMMUZ 5772

/2 9 ( YourLawn

CLASSIFIEDS

15


Liquor & Wine

WAREHOUSE TH

4 OF JULY SALE!

Johnnie Walker BLACK LABEL

$

35.99 $ 60.99

750 ML 1.75 ML

Glenrothes

FREE WINE TASTING Every Friday Kosher Wines PLUS A Wide Array Of SPIRITS

1994

$

64.99 75OML

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

Absolut

Smirnoff

VODKA

VODKA

$

19.99

$

1.75L W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

750 ML

Any Wine Purchase of $50 or more

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

Glenlivet 12

$

39.99

750 ML

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

5 OFF

10

Capcanes Peraj Petit $ 17.99by the $ 14.99 Case

9.99 the $ 9.49 byCase $ 00

1.75L

Cabernet California Chardonnay $ 99 Merlot Syrah 750 ML Zinfandel

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

Bartenura $

29.99

Herzog

750 ML W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

$

00

$

00

10 OFF 20 OFF Any Wine Purchase of $100 or more

Any Wine Purchase of $200 or more

LIQUOR & WINE WAREHOUSE

LIQUOR & WINE WAREHOUSE

LIQUOR & WINE WAREHOUSE

Must present coupon. 1 coupon per person/visit. No photocopies. Excludes Bartenura. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer expires 7/10/12.

Must present coupon. 1 coupon per person/visit. No photocopies. Excludes Bartenura. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer expires 7/10/12.

Must present coupon. 1 coupon per person/visit. No photocopies. Excludes Bartenura. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer expires 7/10/12.

New York’s Finest and Largest Selection of Kosher Wines & Spirits 343 Rockaway Tpke. • Lawrence, NY 11559 Tel: (516) 371-1133 Hours: Mon-Wed 10am-8pm • Thurs-Sat 10am-9pm Sun 12pm-7pm NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TYPOGRAPHICAL OR PRICING ERRORS.

Gilgal Cabernet & Merlot

$

12.99 per bottle $ 10.99 by case

750 ML

W/ Coupon. Exp 7/10/12. Not To Be Combined

563383

June 29, 2012 • 9 TAMMUZ 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

16


June 29, 2012