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VOL 11, NO 38 ■ SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 / 12 TISHRI 5773

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Happy Sukkot

Deputy Speaker of Knesset speaks By Malka Eisenberg Iran, Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and the concept of Israel as a nation that stands alone were some of the burning issues Danny Danon, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and Chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, addressed, in a recent phone interview with the Jewish Star. “It is disturbing to watch Ahmadinejad come to New York to speak at the UN every year and go back to Iran to his master plan against the Jewish people,” said Danon. We are facing the “historical reality of a leader full of hatred acquiring military capability.” He stressed that “Obama failed to understand the Continued on page 3

Danny Danon

Bibi schools UN, draws red line

Photo courtesy of Gourmet Glatt

Boruch Edelkopf of Israel and Crown Heights, brother of Rabbi Yona Edelkopf of Gourmet Glatt Emporium, provides a selection of Israeli and Italian Esrogim for Yom Tov. Pictured with Boruch is Mendy Hertz. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, September 27, following PA leader Mahmoud Abbas. See Page 3 for Juda Engelmayer’s editorial coverage.

Shabbat Candlelighting: 6:24 p.m. Shabbat ends 7:21 p.m. 72 minute zman 7:53 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Ha’azinu

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By Rabbi Eugene Labovitz, z�l, and Dr. Annette Labovitz Reproduced from Time For My Soul: A Treasury of Jewish Stories For Our Holy Days Rebbe Mordechai was very poor. He found it difficult to eke out a living for his family. Yet, as the holidays approached, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, he began to cut down even his meager expenses so that he might have enough money to purchase a beautiful esrog for Succos. He did this each year. One year, Rebbe Mordechai found it more difficult than usual to save the money he needed to purchase an esrog. It seemed that the price was enormous. He waited and saved until the day before the holiday. Finally, he counted his rubles (money) and found that he had saved six, so he set out by foot for the market place in Brod in search of a beautiful esrog. As Rebbe Mordechai walked toward Brod, he thought about the beautiful esrog he would purchase. He pictured himself reciting the blessing over the esrog and the lulav on the first day of the holiday. Even those thoughts filled him with great pleasure. As he neared Brod, he saw a Jew sitting on the edge of the road. He was crying. Rebbe Mordechai stopped to see if he could help and asked: “My dear brother, why

are you weeping? How can I possibly help you?� The man looked up, hesitated, and slowly stopped weeping. He said: “I am a water carrier. I deliver buckets of water to the people in this town every day in a horse drawn wagon. Today my horse died, and I will not be able to deliver water anymore. I will become a pauper. I will have to go around begging.� Rebbe Mordechai listened to the water carrier’s story. Gently, he said: “If you could find a new horse in the market place this minute, how much would you have to pay for it?� The water carrier thought for a minute and then said: “I think I could buy a new horse for six rubles.� Rebbe Mordechai put his hand in his pocket and withdrew the six rubles that he had saved to buy the esrog. As he placed the six rubles in the water carrier’s hand, he instructed him to go to the market place and purchase a new horse. Rebbe Mordechai returned home without the esrog, but he was very happy. As he walked into his modest cottage, he sang out to his wife. “Praise be the Lord for His Mercy and Kindness, who has provided me with such a beautiful way to fulfill the mitzvah of blessing the esrog and the lulav. This year I will perform the mitzvah while standing on a horse.�

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September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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Continued from page 1 reality in the Middle East, seeing the pictures from Cairo—Israel is the only strong ally in the Middle East” and he cites Obama’s “arrogant attitude” to “crucial issues” that Israel is facing. “We are trying to send a clear message that it is not only (a threat) to Israel, it’s a global threat,” he explained. He said that Washington has to be aware of the situation. “Israel must be ready for all options.” If the “option is to let them (Iran) build a bomb or bomb Iran, the option is very clear,” Danon said. “It’s a very dynamic area, a tough neighborhood. We only have ourselves. In the short run we will be condemned but in the long term we will be praised.” He cited his recently published book, “Israel: The Will to Prevail,” and, in it, the account of Israel’s attack on the Osirak Nuclear Reactor in Iraq ordered by then Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Danon recounted that it was widely condemned at the time by many including the UN and Shimon Peres but was praised by the State Department ten years later when the U.S. invaded Iraq. He also noted that in 1973, then Prime Minister Golda Meir was afraid to react to the rumblings of war, concerned about the reactions of Washington and then U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. She “did not call up the reserves and did not initiate a preemptive attack,” pointed out Danon. It was “crucial for Israel,” he said. “We cannot allow ourselves the mistakes like in 1973.” Another existential issue that Israel is grappling with is the towns in Judea and Samaria, most recently exemplified by the destruction of Migron. “One of the main goals

in the near future is to push the government to adopt the Levy report and to bury the Sasson report,” stated Danon. “It requires the will of the prime minister and the government. They formed the committee and have to continue with this direction and adopt the

report. We always have people try to scare us,” who say that if Israel doesn’t make concessions to the Arabs the Israelis will have negative consequences. “We will be able to overcome obstacles,” he continued. “We have to do what is good for Israel and not try to

appease the U.S. when we have to take a decision.” Danon’s plan is to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish communities in Yehuda and Shomron. He has a ”new vision” of a “three state solution with all the Jewish communities under Israeli sovereignty with “in the long run” the Arab cities in Judea and Samaria linked with Jordan and Gaza linked to Egypt. “To make change you have to make if from a strong party. You have to do it within Likud, to have the national camp lead Israel. It’s not easy. We have to make sure that Likud stays on the right track. Netanyahu is on the right course. It took some time.” Danon said that he was against the settlement freeze and although he couldn’t prevent the initial freeze he was able to prevent extending the freeze “with my colleagues. The public is moving to the right and the leadership is moving to the right.” Danon is also Chairman of the World Likud Organization and a member of the Board of Governors of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency. He was against the expulsion of Jewish communities from Gaza, is in favor of building throughout Jerusalem and is a member of many Knesset committees including Foreign Affairs and Defense, Constitution Law and Justice, the Status of Women, and Finance. Danon emphasized that Israel has to take charge of her own destiny but noted that, “we can count on our friends and ourselves, no matter who is president. We have a lot of support in the American people and both houses (of Congress) and will be strong, committed and dedicated no matter who is in the White House.”

Editorial

A Battle between modern and medievalism In all the traffic and confusion that is New York on the week the United Nations General Assembly is in town, there were some very important events that occurred that few may have paid attention to. Some people have become all worked up over the timing of the final address of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Assembly, for it was on Yom Kippur; the highest and most solemn of the Jewish holidays. Echoing the war that was launched on October 6, Juda Engelmayer 1973, while Jews prayed the future and took stock of their past, some saw the timing as an affront. I saw it differently, who cares what he has to say and it is better that we give as little credence to him as possible. We know what he thinks, we understand his hatred for the west and for Israel, and nothing he said came as a shock. We are prepared for his vitriol and appreciate the risks that his regime pose whether or not we heard him speak. There was a speech that when largely unnoticed though, and maybe it should have been given more attention, and that was the one by Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi. The voice of the Moslem Brotherhood spoke with a clear intent to show his dominance over a new Arab world, and in his

words, made some very strong statements that he probably did indeed make knowing that his speech would be largely underreported. His speech, which dealt heavily on Palestinian and Syrian issues and equally as strong on the desire to protect and defend Islam around the world, never mentions Israel once but talks about peace and human rights, dignity for Palestinians. It is alluded to, and in its allusions are either an attempt at double speak or a genuine positive overture. Morsi attacked the makers of the YouTube video that was claimed to be the reason for the murder of the United State’s Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other diplomats, as well as the other embassy attacks across the Arab world. While he said that his country had tolerance, it would not tolerate attacks on Islam from anywhere, “We will not allow anyone in word or deed that insults and harms Islam,” and he followed it with the warning, that they will “not to accept or allow foreign concepts to interfere with that,” alluding to the U.S. right to free speech. Yet, his words left the door open to more tolerance, “[we] must move together to confront extremism discrimination or incitement to hatred on basis of religion or race.” Morsi proudly addressed his new Egypt’s desire to defend tolerance; “Egypt respects freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone, and not a freedom of expressions that targets a specific religion or a spe-

cific culture.” Will he be held to his word if Jewish interests and Israel are attacked or did he mean everyone else but Jews? That remains to be seen, but the lack of coverage on the day of his speech offers some cover for him if this was classic Arabic double-speak. The day after Yom Kippur, it was Israel’s turn and Bibi Netanyahu lit up the stage with a tremendous presentation that went clearly over his allotted timeslot, noted by the longblinking red light on the speaker’s podium. Maybe he did it on purpose to match the red light to his call for a clear redline on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Netanyahu offered what may have been the clearest pitch for forewarning of the potential for the days of a radicalized Islamic hegemony. He laid out the differences between what he referred to as the battle between modern and medievalism; a world in which women are subjugated, knowledge is suppressed and death is glorified or a world where we embrace the new while respecting and enhancing traditional values. He talked about the printing press and how it changed the world and said that medievalism will be beat, but “how many lives will it take before that happens.” In what was the highlight of the United Nations speeches for everyone, judging by the chatter on the Internet, Netanyahu took out a simple chart – a picture actually – of a bomb. He showed where he believed was Iran’s progress on achieving nuclear bomb , at 70% and said that the next was the second

stage which would be 90%, then the fuse – 100%. He drew a redline on the 90% line and said that we had to stop Iran before completing the 90% stage. To make his point, Netanyahu raised the comparison to the Marxists Russian regime of old and said that self preservation came before idealism, and raised the worlds of Bernard Lewis that declared, “mutually assured destruction is not a deter ant, but an inducement” for radical Islam. Then reiterated the words of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an influential Iranian politician and writer and fourth President of Iran who said something like, a nuclear bomb in Israel will destroy Israel, but will only slightly harm the rest of the Middle East. There were no softballs by Netanyahu, he came with fire and brought a chart. While Egypt’s new president made some promises we doubt he plans to truly deliver on, Netanyahu emphasized that Iran’s president and radical Islam will indeed deliver on all that they say. The redline must be drawn now. While declaring to anyone who challenges the Jewish place in Israel and in history, Netanyahu declared that the “Jewish people have come home, and we will never be uprooted again. He drew a line in the sand, saying that he will defend Israel with the indomitable courage of Joshua David and the Maccabees of old. That message was heard loud and clear. Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency, 5W Public Relations

THE JEWISH STAR September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773

Deputy Speaker of Knesset Danny Danon speaks


September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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Opinion

Ten key things you should know about Romney’s taxes n Friday GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return plus enough financial data to keep accountants busy till after the election, a complete 2011 tax return as well as their already completed 2010 tax return. Beyond the tax returns, Gov. Romney released nine financial disclosures since 2002 ---three are federal Public Financial Disclosures (from 2007, 2011, and 2012), and 6 are Massachusetts Statements of Financial Interests POLITICO (from 2002, TO GO 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007). He also released a letter from his tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, which provides an overview of the Romneys’ tax returns covJeff Dunetz ering an additional 20 years, from 1990-2009. Oh, and he also released a statement from his doctor saying he’s healthy enough to be president. Let’s face it folks, the guy has now released everything except a HS diploma, kindergarten report card, the results of the driver’s test he took when he was 17, and a Bar Mitzvah certificate. The campaign tells me there is no way he is going to release a Bar Mitzvah certificate-turns out Romney is not Jewish (who knew?) My wife the CPA is too busy to give me an executive report of what the Governor has released, but after giving it a few looks over I have been able to tweak out ten very key points from the release. 1.Romney gave tons of money to Uncle Sam in taxes and gave even more to charity: In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income. They donated $4,020,722 to charity; but only took a charitable deduction of

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$2,250,772. Liberals will say “big deal,” his Church requires charity. True, the Mormon Church requires a 10% charitable tithe. Romney gave 29.4% of his income to charity. Or to look at it another way, he gave more than double the amount to charity than taxes. 2.Romney’s Tax Rate was higher than 80% of Taxpayers; Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, paid a 14.1 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011. In an analysis conducted last February by the Tax Policy Center of the liberal leaning Brooking’s institute, 80% of taxpayers pay an effective tax rate of 12.9% or less on their tax returns. 3.Harry Reid is a liar! Remember that interview with the Huffington Post where Reid cited an anonymous Bain investor to report that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid any taxes for the past ten years? According to the notarized letter provided by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, not once in the past 20 years did the Romneys not pay both state and federal taxes! Reid owes Romney an apology. It will never happen, though. 4.Romney’s Tax Rate for the past 20 years is about the same as what Obama paid last year. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP--over the 20 year period, Mitt Romney’s averaged annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%, about the same as Obama’s was last year (20.5%)... 5.When you compare Romney’s tax rate to Harry Reid’s, the man who made the ridiculous tax charges against Romney--oh, wait, we can’t make that comparison-Reid hasn’t released HIS returns for the past three years.. 6.Joe Biden is a CHEAP B*****d! While Romney gave almost 30% of his income to charity and Obama gave a respectable 22%, the SCHMOTUS, Joe Biden gave only 1.45% of his income to charity (a total of $5,500). And that’s an improvement! In the ten years before he was elected VP, Biden averaged only $369/year of charitable giving. I thought “regular Joe” cared about the poor and the sick. If he cared so much he would give a lot more. Note to Paul Ryan: your 4% should be higher. 7.The Romneys have no say on how their money is invested.

THE JEWISH

Their assets are in a blind trust. All assets are under the control and management of an independent trustee. I also have no say on how my money is invested. There is no blind trust, but my wife tells me that information is available on a “need to know basis” and I don’t need to know (she is probably right!). 8.When you compare Romney’s tax rate to that of Nancy Pelosi. Oh, wait, we can’t do that either-Pelosi hasn’t released her returns. 9.Romney filed his tax returns about a month before me. People with a lot of investment income tend to file later. Investors have to wait for every tax return from each of the investments so they can figure out their totals. If you invest in funds, it takes doubly long as the funds have to wait for the returns from their investments to figure out their returns. Oh, keep in mind, the extension is only for the piece of paper. Romney, as well as everyone who gets extensions, had to send the IRS its money by 4/15, and if the amount paid was too little, there is the matter of interest and penalties. The latest one can file a return is October 15th, which is when my return is usually filed--not because I have a lot of investment income but because my wife’s a CPA and my return is the last one she does. 10.Did Romney evade taxes through “offshore accounts?” The “blind trust” that manages all of Romney’s investments did put money in funds established in the Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions--but there were no “offshore accounts.” Those investments in funds organized outside of the U.S. were taxed in the very same way they would be if the shares were held in the U.S. Each of the funds was registered with the IRS and reports all income to investors and the IRS, just like domestic funds. Now that Romney (and Ryan) have released this tome of financial information, the presidential campaign can finally focus on the important issues facing the country, our failing economy, declining power in the world, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons into terrorist states such as Iran. Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid”

Editorial end to the threat of a We made it through nuclear Iran. another Yom Kippur. I raced home followBut this was unlike any ing the conclusion of Yom Kippur I could remember to date. We yontif eager to view any prayed to Hashem for news coverage of the health, parnosa, and day’s events at the UN. the welfare of our There were some protescountry, communities tors, but where was the and of course Israel. outrage? Later in the My mind constantly evening, a news bulletin took me to the crisis cut into programming building in Iran, and as a “special report.” the thought of the ma“The NFL lockout was Publisher and Editor niacal evil leader who over.” Karen C. Green was addressing the Just days before, folUnited Nations Genlowing a questionable eral Assembly on our call by a replacement refholiest day. eree in a football game, over 70,000 Cleverly scheduled on yontif, calls came into the NFL expressing it precluded our ability to express outrage at the Green Bay snafu. If outrage in the form of protests. We only that magnitude of people exused the day of intense prayer and pressed outrage at Ahmadinejad. Talk paid heed to the joint plea of the about priorities. If we maintain this Orthodox Union and The Rabbinical level of complacency, the world will Council of America to pray for an surely be, NFL--Not For Long.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The Jewish Star will be not be printing the week of Chol Hamoed Succot (no October 5th issue), but we will be cultivating stories for our upcoming issue on October 12, 2012 We wish you Chag Sameach and a meaningful holiday with family and friends. We look forward to hearing from you! Karen C. Green Malka Eisenberg Publisher and Editor Assistant Editor

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

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

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The Kosher Bookworm

A New Year literary startup ith the New Year observances now behind us, we begin to look ahead liturgically by considering, in hindsight, what we now conclude by finishing with the annual cycle of Torah readings. The first work for review this week is taken from “Torah MiEtzion: New Readings in Tanach – Devarim” [Maggid / Yeshivat Har Etzion, 2012]. Ha’azinu, the last Shabbat based parsha in the Book of Devarim, reflects a most unique section of the Torah. In an essay entitled, “That This Song May Answer Before Them Forever,” Rabbi Tamir Granot, of The Herzog College, pens a truly unique analysis of the Biblical text of a song dictated by G-d as part of the conclusion of the last book of the Chumash. What makes this parsha so unique, is the following observation stated by Rabbi Granot: Alan Jay Gerber “Ha’azinu, however, deviates from the rest of the book [Devarim] in that it records not Moses’ words, but rather G-d’s own words. We have already noted above that G-d’s words, preceding the song, represent the only divine revelation in the entire book. That being the case, Ha’azinu allows us to absorb directly the divine perspective on history. From this point of view, there are aspects of the nature of man, society or history that are absolute, and from G-d’s per-

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spective, they are facts. That which appears to us as merely possible, may be known to Him as inevitable. From the Divine perspective, sin cannot be altogether prevented. Free choice arises as possible only after sin and punishment; i.e., within the framework of a situation of teshuva. “The assumption that a person or society is always able to choose good is too naïve or optimistic. The nature of both man and earthly life, renders sin inevitable. However, a person – and a nation – may repent and return to G-d after sinning.” The author concludes with some pretty sharp and telling observations that deserve your attention. “Thus if there is no judgment, then there is no impetus for repentance. But if there is no mercy, and there is no faith in G-d’s desire to accept us, then there can likewise be no repentance; teshuva exists only where the opposite poles of judgment and mercy come together.” This style of text analysis reflects a unique form chosen for this genre of work, specifically for the Book of Devarim. The editor of this work, Rabbi Ezra Bick, states in his introduction the following cautionary note: “Not surprisingly, a number of essays in this volume analyze aspects of this problem, unique to this sefer, defining the underlying differences between this book and the preceding ones, and explaining how they are expressed in the contents.” A careful reading of the essays contained

in this work will give you a clearer appreciation of the text, its meanings, and the personality of Moses as he faces mortality in as public a manner as any human has ever faced. This work should make for some excellent reading over the upcoming Succot holidays. The publication of this work is the third in a five part series. The first two, Bereishis and Shemos are already in print. They, too, merit your attention in the coming months. For more information you may wish to contact the yeshiva’s website at: www.vbm-torah.org ONE LAST HOLIDAY SUGGESTION During my recent visit to Israel, a very interesting book was brought to my attention. Entitled, “Land of My Past, Land of My Future” [Targum Press,2012] by Michael Kaufman, this work deals with both the theological and political importance of the Land of Israel. The author, writing in an often blunt and confrontational style, utilizes history, and rabbinic personalities, many not normally cited, in defense of what we today would regard as Zionist positions. Among these personalities are to be found, just to name a few, the Chazon Ish, the Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and at the center of them all, Rabbi Yisachar Teichtal, hy”d. Carefully researched, this work contains 482 footnotes to assist the reader in any fur-

“The love for the Land of Israel is lacking in our children’s education, in our homes, and in our synagogues. Much lip service is paid to the cause of the Land of Israel, but it is not really a reality to many, if not most, Jews living in the Diaspora, no matter how observant of ritual they may be.” Just consider the number of shuls in our community that recite the Prayer for The State of Israel, or have truncated the official text, or do not participate in any communal effort on behalf of the State and you will have an instant confirmation of Rabbi Wein’s impressions. Reading this work and utilizing its contents in our communal decision making processes will go a long way toward legitimatizing the cause of the State and the defense of the land against its ideological adversaries both within and without our community. As a further literary assist, The Orthodox Union Press has recently published an interesting study entitled, “Prayers For The Welfare of the State & for The State of Israel” by Avraham Steinberg. This well written analysis is saturated with the true spirit of ahavat Yisrael. Absent is the hot rhetoric and sinat chinam found in some other works. All opinions are reflected and given fair play–no hidden agendas here. This method, which includes 305 footnotes, is truly appreciated and should further enhance discussion on a matter of grave importance, especially in these most dangerous of times when Divine assistance is most needed. Chag Same’ach to all my dear and loyal readers.

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THE JEWISH STAR September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773

ther studies and research efforts. To give you a fair assessment of this book, I would like to quote Rabbi Berel Wein’s take as to the true value that this book can potentially have both in our homes and schools.


September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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Parshat Ha’azinu

Hebrew only please!

Modeling is teaching The song of Haazinu is quite poetic, complete with imagery that invites the most lyrical interpretation. In the context of describing how amazing and incredible G-d is, Devarim 32:5 reads, “ShiHet lo lo banav mumam, dor ikesh u’f’taltol.” In the Living Torah, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan follows the interpretations of Ralbag; Malbim and HaKethav VeHaKabbalah in his chosen interpretation, “Destruction is His children’s fault, not His own, you warped and twisted generation.” But in the large footnote, he demonstrates the discrepancy of opinion as to what this verse means. “Literally, ‘Destruction to Him not His Rabbi Avi Billet children their defect.’ Or, ‘They have hurt themselves, not Him, faulted children’ (Targum); ‘The defect of His non-children is that they have been corrupt to Him’ (Ibn Ezra; Ramban; Sforno); ‘They were corrupt to Him, not [like] children; this is the defect of the warped and twisted generation’ (Saadia; cf. Lekach Tov); ‘They have been corrupt, not Him, it is His children’s defect’ (Ralbag); ‘The ones who have corrupted His [name] are not His children because of their defect’ (Abarbanel); ‘Is destruction His? No! It is the fault of His children’ (Moreh Nevukhim 3:12; Chizzkuni); ‘Have they corrupted Him? No. It is [merely] their own defect’ (Abarbanel); ‘He destroyed His nonchildren, but it was their own fault’ (Chizzkuni); ‘Their defect has corrupted it so that they are no longer His children’ (Hirsch); or, ‘They were corrupt, not [pleasing] Him, defective children’ (Septuagint).” As comprehensive as he is in explaining the verse, Rabbi Kaplan did not get to the Chofetz Chaim, who explained the verse as an important introspective lesson – not with regard to Him (G-d), but him, a father, who ought to model a proper Jewish existence to his children. “If a person conducts himself in such a manner that he mocks mitzvot, he should know that ‘He is not just destroying himself (‘lo lo’ meaning “not only to himself”), but “banav mumam,” he brings blemishes upon his children as well. Because if the father dismisses a light or easy mitzvah, the child will learn to make light of more difficult or more important mitzvot (mitzvot chamurot). This results in a “dor ikesh u’f’taltol,” “a generation that is warped and twisted.” Now that we are past Yom Kippur and about to commence the holiday of Sukkot,

this message is more poignant than ever. While we live in a time in which the parents who are currently raising children are of the most well-yeshiva-educated of the last few generations, the challenges that face today’s kids are like nothing that ever existed before. One needs only look at films made in the 1980s and 1990s to see how different our world is, from cellphones and computers to text messaging and email. We communicate differently. Most kids today don’t know what a cord on a telephone is for, and wonder what purpose pay phones ever served. This is one minute example of how things are different. Over 300 channels on the television exacerbate many people’s abilities to think creatively and to find more meaningful ways of occupying down time. And so when it comes to the transmission of our heritage, we face an even different challenge. The breakdown of real communication has been amplified into different areas of Jewish life. We had a tradition of respect for people older than us that is fading. I grew up calling adults Mr. or Mrs. LastName. Kids, today, call adults by their first names. The speed of television and film, the constant changing of angles and images, gives people even shorter attention spans than we can imagine. We are not training the same “zittsfleisch” that may have been more developed in previous generations. (Here’s a shout out to two of my friends who have told me ‘We are working on getting rid of the TV in the house.’ Chazak Ve’Ematz!) Most important, following the lesson of the Chofetz Chaim, we must reaffirm our commitment to having reverence for the Torah lifestyle we hold so dear. Those who talk in shul, men who don’t wear tzitzis, those who don’t prepare for Shabbos properly, those who gossip all the time, who complain about the school, who criticize the rabbi, who have bad tempers, who demonstrate over and over how they are not model Torahcitizens, who don’t understand that being an observant Jew is about a whole lot more than only buying kosher, sending your kids to yeshiva, and keeping Shabbos, can not effectively transmit the best “chinuch” to their children, and raise a generation that will be respectful of the things we know to respect, even if at times we are lax about them. We must teach respect of elders, prioritize the environment we want to create in our homes, and respect every aspect of a Jewish life that can help protect our children from becoming a warped and twisted generation. We can start by fulfilling the mitzvah “to rejoice in your holiday (with your children and every person who is part of our community)” (Devarim 16:14) If we model it every day, the message will strike home. It always does.

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Despite all, we don`t kick! Last Saturday night, together with many hundreds of people, we buried Netanel Yahalomi z”l, who was killed in a firefight with terrorists on the Egyptian border. Netanel was a special boy who studied with my son in Yeshivat Ma`alot before joining the army last March. Over his grave, his sister spoke with great emunah, encouraging us all to accept something upon ourselves to do in a better fashion. And this reminds us that unlike the nations of the world, when tragedy strikes, we don`t kick - as some did when it was too hot to sit in the Sukkah ... (Avoda Zara 3) By Rabbi Noam Himelstein

Rabbi Noam Himelstein studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion and served in the Tanks Corps of the IDF. He has taught in yeshiva high schools, post-high school women’s seminaries, and headed the Torah MiTzion Kollel in Melbourne, Australia. He currently teaches at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem, and lives with his wife and six children in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion.


Who’s in the kitchen

Sukkot and duck ukkot is related to the way the Jewish people lived while wandering in the desert for 40 years. As they moved from one place to another they built tents called sukkot that sheltered them. In their wildest dreams, I don’t think they could have imagined what would have evolved from those simple tents. Hey, in my wildest dreams as a kid, I couldn’t have imagined the sukkot that are around today. As early as I can remember, living on 48th Street in Boro Park, my dad, with my brother helping, assembled our sukkah. My dad purchased the lumber from a lumberyard and my grandfather supplied beautiful cloth from his curtain and fabric store in the Lower East Side. Living on the third floor of a private house Judy Joszef and having a large porch facing the front of the street, it was the perfect setting. My dad was very handy, so our sukkah’s frame was sturdy and very professional looking. The heavy, beautiful brocade fabric made it one of a kind. The Schach seemed like hundreds of bamboo poles, each one put on individually. There were no mats in those days. Decorations were handmade. I still remember the ones made of colorful paper strips taped together as rings and made into a long chain (come on, you all know what I’m talk-

S

ing about). We were so proud of those when they were finished. They were long enough to string from one side of the sukkah to the other. How proud we all were when our handy work was up for all to see‌that is until it rained and they got soggy, started to unglue, and eventually end up falling off in pieces. Fast forward to the present. Sukkahs are now prefabricated and come as big or small as your heart desires. They’re made of a variety of materials, shapes, sizes, and colors. Plastic grapes, small feathery birds, shiny metallic hanging decorations, and ears of corn are long gone. Today we can choose from either silk or live “flower ballsâ€?--a bargain starting at $50 each. Stores open on the avenue filled with decorations and the lines are out the door. For those not creative, or short on time, you can have a decorator come in and decorate your entire sukkah. Walls can be draped with any material you like and decorations know no limit. That lone light bulb in the middle of sukkah, or for those who were fancier in those days and had a florescent light fixture, can now be replaced with chandeliers that are modern or traditional. Gone are the small folding tables. In its place there are numerous outdoor heavy duty tables that enable us to have banquet style tables that are 60â€? by 12 feet (I’m guilty of that one). When I married Jerry a few years back and three kids became seven, with three of them married, my 10 x 12 sukkah was not going to work. My mother in law generously treated us to a 12-20 sukkah. Jerry warned me that he wasn’t handy. Hmmm,

ORANGE GLAZED DUCK INGREDIENTS: •3 (4 to 5 pound) ducks •Salt and pepper, to taste •2 1/4 cups fresh orange juice (if not possible substitute the bought variety) •6 tablespoons soy sauce I’d take “not very handyâ€? but we’re talking downright, absolutely bumbling and clueless when pertaining to technological, mechanical or anything practical. Except of course changing the air conditioner filters--he was so proud when he mastered that one! When the sukkah arrived, he said my boys would have to put it together. The first and last one he assembled took all day and when he walked around it to admire his accomplishment he was puzzled as to why all the writing on the walls was on the outside and not the inside. It’s not easy to build a sukkah totally inside out. So the building responsibility became my kids’. Once the chag starts, we pray that it doesn’t rain, is not too hot or too cold, and definitely not too windy. Though times have changed, it’s still a favorite yom tov of most people, especially the kids. Let’s not forget those sukkah hops. My son Daniel came home at age eight with two huge Gourmet Glatt bags filled with snacks one year. “Who gave you those bags?â€? I asked. “I took the bags from home and just dumped the plates with snacks into them, cool, huh?â€? he replied. To this day there is a rule at the Young Israel of Woodmere sukkah

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to boil. Pierce duck breast several times, then lower into water (careful not to let the boiling water splash on you) Boil for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Season the duck with salt and pepper, according to taste, including the cavity. Fill a roasting pan with one cup water for each duck, and put a rack on top of it. Put the duck on the rack. Bake for 30 minutes. After you put the duck in the oven, make the glaze: mix together the orange juice and soy sauce in a mixing bowl. After the ducks have roasted for 45 minutes, brush the ducks with glaze and return to the oven. Repeat three more times, every ten minutes until the duck has roasted for 30 more minutes (a total of 1 Âź hours) or until clear juices run from thigh joint when pierced. You can prepare ahead of time, but make sure just to reheat, and not cook the duck further. Judy Joszef can be reached at judy.soiree@ gmail.com



See how well your child answers these questions. The results may surprise you! First Grade Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade Fifth Grade

11 + 12 = _________ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 = _________ How much is 99 plus 99 plus 99? Count by 13/4 from 0 to 7. Which is greatest: 17/18, 23/30 , or 18/19? (Explain how you got your answer).

Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Pre-Algebra Algebra Geometry

Halfway through the second quarter, how much of the game is left? How much is 61/2% of 250? On a certain map, 6 inches represents 25 miles. How many miles does 15 inches represent? When you take 3 away from twice a number, the answer is 8. What is the number? What is the Absolute Value of the point (3,4)?

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7 THE JEWISH STAR September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773

hops that remains in effect from that day. NO BAGS ALLOWED, JUST WHAT YOU CAN EAT IN THE SUKKAH. Sorry kids. Whether you’re home for sukkot, at relatives or slumming it in five star hotels in Israel, have a chag sameach! Here’s a dish I’ll be making for Sukkot; thought I’d share it with you.


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THE JEWISH STAR September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773

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Anti Jihad subway ads defaced By Malka Eisenberg The next stop in the political rumblings of posters between Israel supporters and Israel detractors in the transit system was two pronged: the MTA came out with new guidelines for advertisements and a CNN/MSNBC columnist was arrested for defacing one of the pro-Israel ads. An ad campaign, initiated by Pamela Geller, founder and executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), was planned in 2010 “to counter the anti-Israel ads that ran in New York subways and all over the country,” wrote Geller in an email. “We had to sue the MTA and win the suit for our free speech rights.” The ads read: “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Ten ads are posted throughout the subway system. “The ads are intended to raise awareness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat,” explained Geller. Noting that she accomplished what she set out to do with the ads, she said that, “ a national discussion has begun and that is all to the good, as truths are being discussed that the mainstream media is afraid to touch.” She said that she has been “inundated with emails praising the ads…from all over the world.” Three negative views cited by Geller were an Egyptian-American pundit, Mona Eltahawy, who was arrested for spray painting an ad (others defaced ads in different locations), and negative comments from the ADL, Russell Simmons, and Rabbi Marc Schneier. “They oppose the campaign because they falsely assume that I was referring to all Muslims as ‘savages’ and they claim the campaign is somehow ‘racist,’” she said. “Jihad terror against innocent civilians is not a race.” AFDI was founded in 2010 to “defend the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience and the equality of rights of all people,” said Geller. She is also publisher of AtlasShrugs. com, a regular weekly columnist for World Net Daily, and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War On America and Stop Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise, commenting on a law suit on the posting of the same ads in Washington, D.C., noted on Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged:

“This lawsuit represents a clash between our American values and the fundamental right to freedom of speech on the one hand and those values espoused by sharia-adherent Muslims who want to suppress speech through violence on the other. In direct contravention of our Constitution, the WMATA is siding with the jihadists and silencing our clients’ political speech. This is known as a ‘heckler’s veto,’ which is impermissible under the First Amendment.” AFLC sued the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), when it refused to put up the ads in September 2011, stating that it violated the MTA’s policy to not post “images or information that demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.” A New York federal judge struck down the MTA’s restriction on August 29, 2012. Previous ads portrayed Israel in a negative light and exhorted the public to protest American aid to Israel. “We’re not ‘against’ running the ads,” responded Aaron Donovan, Media Liaison for the MTA, via email. “We do not take a position for or against any of the advertisements that are proposed for our system. When an ad is proposed, we evaluate it to ensure it conforms to a set of uniform, value-neutral advertising standards. In accordance with the First Amendment, we post any ad that is proposed unless it violates one of our guidelines. The MTA determined that labeling a group of people savage was demeaning. We rejected the ad but offered to accept the ad if it was re-worded. Today the MTA Board voted to modify the MTA’s Advertising Standards for the first time since 1997. Our revised advertising policy will require sponsors who submit viewpoint ads on political, religious or moral topics to include a disclaimer that makes it perfectly clear that their ad expresses their views, not MTA’s.” When asked who decides what is considered offensive, Donovan wrote: “As part of the routine work-flow of advertising sales, advertising artwork is sent to our advertising contactor, CBS Outdoor, which manages all of the individual advertising transactions and contracts. The MTA reviews ad artwork as well, and the MTA has the final say in cases that prove controversial.”

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Elliot was among 37 high school students to participate in the SciTech program at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa — an innovative program for high school juniors and seniors with a demonstrated interest and ability in science and technology. Now in its 19th year, SciTech gives young students the chance to carry out research (in English) in a broad range of fields alongside Israel’s top scientific researchers, while experiencing dorm living and befriending peers from all over the world. Participants this year came from eight U.S. states, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Serbia and Israel. “The scientific portion of the program was fascinating and very exciting and the social part was just as enriching — if not more so,” says Elliot. “It was very special to interact with kids from different parts of the world and to learn about their ways of life. I also really enjoyed the trips that we took off campus and the opportunity to experience the rich history of Israel.” Along with two other student partners, Elliot worked on biomedical engineering research aimed at identifying the weakening rate of cardiac muscle cells during muscle contraction process. In a project called, “Who Controls the Heart,” they isolated a microscopic cardiac fiber from a rat’s heart, and attached it to an apparatus that tested for different parameters such as force of muscle contraction. They then experimented by adding adrenaline to see what effect it had on these parameters. The results were significant in that they were able to manipulate the weakening rate, which when too high or too low is hypothesized to be responsible for a number of cardiac disorders. “In addition to what I learned in the labs

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THE JEWISH STAR September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773

West Hempstead student participates in SciTech

Elliot Schiff of West Hempstead, NY, a senior at Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan, skipped the usual summer fare — camp, jobs, or beach trips — to conduct high-level biomedical research in Israel. by doing our experiments and reading about the subject … I saw that it is possible to be excited about science and at the same time be a regular kid, hanging out and talking together with other people with similar interests,” Elliot says. SciTech was founded by the late Harry J. Stern of Sands Point, NY, a supporter of the Technion and the American Technion Society. Admission to the program is selective, and the research is rigorous — culminating

in an oral presentation and written report for publication. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, com-

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puter science, water conservation and nanotechnology. American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion – more than $1.7 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.

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September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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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. information, call Chabad of the Five Towns at 516295-2478 or visit www.chabad5towns.com.

Youth & Friendship Circle Holiday Trip 10:00 am Photo by

Daniel Elefant, of Cedarhurst, NY, has been chosen to join the 2012-2013 cohort of Yeshiva University’s Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership, a highly competitive program which selects top graduates to spend 11 months working in departments across the institution.

Oct 1-7 SUKKOT IN ISRAEL

American Friends of Panim El Panim Geva Rapp has invited you to join him and his family in their Sukkah. Greetings from Jerusalem, Israel! We thank G-d for the growth of our work with the People of Israel. It is my pleasure to invite friends and supporters of Panim el Panim to celebrate with us in our Sukkah. The Rapp family lives at Ba’al Hashilta’ot 18, Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem. Call me at 052-605-1103, or send an email to gevaplp@gmail.com

Sukkah Available At Mercy Medical Center

Rockville Centre, NY – As one of its many amenities for observant Jewish patients and their families and visitors, Mercy Medical Center will have a sukkah on premises for the holiday. Constructed with the support of Chabad of the Five Towns, the sukkah will be located in the Garden of Caring courtyard of the hospital’s North Pavilion. Mercy Medical Center is ranked among the top hospitals in New York State in the 2012 ratings of Best Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and the heimeshe environment that Mercy provides for Jewish patients and their families includes complimentary bikur cholim Shabbos rooms for family members to stay over with their older parents and loved ones, a wellstocked strictly kosher pantry, and a shul on-site with mincha minyanim in winter. .

Oct 3 Simchat Beit Hashoeva.

The Jean Fischman Chabad Center of the Five Towns presents our 18th annual community wide, truly spectacular and unique show starring world famous comic juggler, Ray Grins. Children of all ages and adults will enjoy this amazing entertainment. It’s not to be missed! Join us as we dance to the invigorating Jewish music of Azamra DJ in the Andrew J. Parise Park (formerly Cedarhurst Park) on Wednesday October 3 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. This is geared for the entire community, as we celebrate our Annual Simchat Beit Hashoeva. Light refreshments will be served. For sponsorship opportunities and for more

A fun trip for children in grades 2-7. Reservations required To ensure a Friendship Circle volunteer for your child please RSVP to Batsheva Meet at Chabad, 74 Maple Avenue, Cedarhurst For information and to make reservations call Rabbi Meir 516-295-2478* 19 For Friendship Circle contact Batsheva at 516295-2478 *13 or Batsheva@chabad5towns.com

Hersheypark Private Park Opening (11 am - 7 pm)

Your exclusive, value-priced admission includes all rides (excluding water rides), free parking, admission to Zoo America and Hershey’s Chocolate World! Ticket Prices (ages 3+ Regularly $58.95) •$44 at the gate or after September 27, 2012 at Midnight •Group Sales of 50 more call 717-951-3297 Tickets valid for Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Tickets are non refundable. Hersheypark will be open rain or shine. Your receipt is your ticket. Please print and bring with you to the park. •Sukkahs on premises/Glatt Kosher food Central PA’s Kosher Mart stand with Sukkah will be open serving pizza, fries, pretzels, ices and soda. Pioneer Catering Area with 2 Sukkahs

Oct 4 CTeen Sukkah Party 7:30 pm For teens ages 13-17. Sushi in the Geisinsky’s Sukkah. Enjoy an inspiring and uplifting Sukkot experience. Info:516-295-2478 *19 or www.chabad5towns. com Event Location: Geisinsky home 234 Washington Avenue Cedarhurst, NY 11516

Amazing Cruises from Sheepshead Bay,

Brooklyn to the Statue of Liberty via the Verrazano Bridge and beaches. Sails at 2 p.m. Additional Information: Clown, balloon & magic show Location: 2100 Emmons Ave, Pier 7 (end of Ocean Avenue almost opposite Loehmans) Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn , NY 11235 Drinks and refreshments available. Price $30.00 Children $20.00 Reservations strongly recommended! Please call: 347.470.5770 Leave a message, or you can use the r.s.v.p page www.NYKosherCruises.com and we will call you. Group and private charters available. Email: succoscruise5770@gmail.com Join our Facebook group ‘New York Kosher Cruises’ to see more photos of our past trips! Proceeds benefit Crown Heights Yeshivos.

SAFAD HADASSAH, a professional women’s chapter, invites the community

to its annual Succot Celebration. This event will be held in the beautiful and roomy Succah of

the Rego Park Jewish Center 7:00PM. Covert $5 Come meet Ruth Gursky, President NY Region of Hadassah, for an informative, inspirational and enjoyable evening. Rego Park Jewish Center is located at 97-30 Queens Boulevard (between 64th Road and 65th Road,) Rego Park, N. Y.

Oct 3, 4, 5 Luna Park Coney Island

Sukkot 5773/ The Fun Never Stops Park opens at 10 a.m. Fun for the Entire Family Rides, slides, and a HUGE sukkah on premises Glatt Kosher Food by HMS Caterers Under the supervision of Tartikov beth Din Early Bird Special, From 10 a.m. to Noon 3 Hour UNLIMITED wristbands will be sold for $19.99 For more information please go to www. lunaparknyc.com

Nelly Bly Amusement Park

1824 Shore Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11214 From Long Island/ Queens - Belt Parkway (West Bound) Exit 5 - Bay Parkway. Make left turn at end of exit ramp. Proceed toward Shore Parkway (Approx. 2 miles). Make left at light onto Shore Parkway, proceed approx. 1/4 mile, park is on the right hand side. Park opens at 11 a.m.

New York Aquarium*

Surf Avenue and West 8th Street Brooklyn, New York The New York Aquarium is open 365 days a year. Fall hours, Sept 4–Nov 4, 2012 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Weekends & Holidays General Admission Adult $14.95 Child (Ages 3–12) $10.95 Senior (65+) $11.95 Children under 3 years old are always free For more information please go to www. nyaquarium.com/

Bronx Zoo*

March 31-November 4, 2012 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.* Weekends & Holidays 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.* Total Experience Tickets Includes Zoo admission plus unlimited access to the Special Rides & Attractions available on the day of your visit.* Weekdays and Sept 22-23 Boo at the Zoo Weekends** Adult $29.95 $32.95 Child (Ages 3-12) $19.95 $22.95 Senior (65+) $24.95 For more information please go to www. bronxzoo.com/plan-your-trip/hours-and-rates. aspx •The New York Aquarium and the Bronx Zoo are only two of the venues that are under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Those, along with the Prospect Park Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and the Queens Zoo are open and can be accessed on an unlimited basis for the duration of a year with the purchase of a WCS membership. For more information please visit www.wcs.org

Oct 6th Yehuda Green Concert to benefit Kulanu

9:00 pm HAFTR High School, 635 Central Ave, Cedarhurst, NY | Get Directions » $25.00 Simchat Beit HaShoevah Chol Hamoed Sukkot Concert with Yehuda Green and his Band to benefit Kulanu Center for Special Services ‘s Keren Eliana Parent Advocacy & Resource Center. Advance tickets for purchase on line at $25 or VIP Seating and meet the artist following the show at $100 www.kulanukids.org or at Greenstein Gallery 417 Central Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY

Oct 10th Freeport FREE MERCY MEDICAL CENTER PRESENTATION ON BREAST CANCER AT FREEPORT LIBRARY

Mercy Medical Center invites the community to a free lecture entitled What Would You Like To Know About Breast Cancer? to be presented at the Freeport Memorial Library at 3 p.m. The hour-long presentation will be given by Dr. Dana Monaco a board certified surgeon specializing in breast cancer procedures, with nearly three decades of experience. Dr. Monaco received her medical degree from SUNY/Health Science Center at Brook School of Medicine, where she also did her post-graduate training. She subsequently served as a visiting surgeon in the breast service at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and has been on the medical staff at Mercy since 1993. Her presentation will include the latest information on breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment, including minimally invasive and reconstructive surgical techniques. There is no charge for attending the presentation, and although advance registration is recommended it is not required to attend. The Freeport Memorial Library is located at 144 Merrick Road. For registration, travel directions and information, call the Library Reference Desk at 516-379-3274 ext. 505 or by e-mail at: frreference@freeportlibrary.info

Oct 13 Five Towns Community Chest Free Movie Night

The Outdoor Movie Night featuring the blockbuster feature film E.T. will be presented on Saturday evening October 13th at 8:30pm in the Andrew J. Parise Park, Cedarhurst.

Oct 12- 14, 19-21, 26-28, Nov 2-4 Learn Yiddush in Four Weekends

Yiddush Farm Fall Weekend Beginner’s Course Spend 4 consecutive weekends on our organic farm learning Yiddish, celebrating shabbos, and planting garlic. By the end of this intensive course, which includes 40 hours of language instruction, you will speak, understand, and read basic Yiddish. Cost: $640 (includes room/board + Yiddish lessons) Click here to register. Click here to learn more. Email info@yiddishfarm.org for more information. Yiddish Farm Education Center is a shomershabbos organic farm in Goshen, NY that hosts educational programs that teach Yiddish and foster unity and respect between Hasidic and non-Hasidic Jews.


13

edicated to the blessed memory of Natan Yosef Chaim (J.J.) z”l, Ben Rav Yitzchak Ve’Blumah’ Greenberg. On the tenth anniversary of his untimely passing. Yom Kippur was over, and with the festival of Sukkot around the corner, I realized I had no way to get a set of four species in time for the festival. We were stationed in Lebanon, and the thought of having no set of ‘arbah minim’ (the four species) was really depressing. Somehow, I managed to reFROM THE HEART arrange the officers’ OF JERUSALEM duty-roster, leaving me an eighteen-hour window, and convinced my C.O. I could make it to Jerusalem and back in time to cover the next patrol. All told, I ended up in Jerusalem for about three hours, which was enough to pick up a beautiful compact set of ‘ arbah minim,’ as well as some pizza for Rabbi Binny lunch, and ended up Freedman spending a good fifteen hours in travel. The challenge of keeping my Lulav (palm branch) undamaged and kosher while hitchhiking in a variety of small cars was not simple, but I made it back to base with my ‘arbah minim’ intact. All of which gave me a whole different level of appreciation for the mitzvah that particular year. So on the morning of Sukkot, just back from a patrol, I found myself all alone in what passed for the synagogue in our base. (Basically half a caravan with a 105mm. shell-crate as an ark (with no Torah in it), a couple of benches, and a few dusty prayer books.) It was too hot to pray inside, so I stepped outside and, facing south towards Jerusalem, continued my prayers. There is a point in the Hallel (the special psalms of praise and thanks that are sung on festivals), which really hit me: “Ma’ Ashiv La’Hashem?” “What have I to give back to G-d?”

D

There are certain moments in life, when you appreciate the gifts you have been given. In the middle of a war zone, with men getting killed or injured every day, and the number of close calls and near misses too many to count, you realize that life is a gift and you wonder why you are lucky enough to still be here. In silent gratitude, you pray yet again that you will succeed in making the life you have been given worth living. “Nedarai’ La’Hashem A’shalem.” “I will repay my promises to G-d.” The battlefield is full of promises, and you swear you will do things differently, if you make it; the time comes when you have to live up to your promises. And in the midst of these thoughts, deep in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, with the Shouf mountain range rising up above, a niggun (a tune without words) just popped into my head and I began to sing. And pretty soon, lost in the moment, I actually began to dance. It was a pretty powerful experience, until I turned around and realized I was not alone. Standing about twenty feet behind me were the base cook and a couple of soldiers on kitchen detail, including one of my men. Judging by the expressions on their faces, they must have thought I was absolutely mad. And who could blame them? What would you think if you were on a military base located deep in a combat zone, and you happened across a lieutenant dancing in the dust with a lemon and a palm branch? What, indeed, is the festival of Sukkoth all about? And what lies at the root of some of the rather strange rituals of this particular holiday? Imagine for a moment you have a Jewish friend who knows next to nothing about his Jewish roots, and he is joining you for dinner on the first night of Sukkoth. Imagine his face as you welcome him into your beautiful home and lead him past the incredible living room, through the magnificent dining hall, round the back of the house to… a Sukkah-booth! Interestingly, one of the most beautiful parts of the Pesach (Passover) Seder, is the moment when our children ask the four questions, the Mah’ Nishtana, asking why this night is so different from all other nights?

Yet one wonders, why don’t we sing the Mah’ Nishtana on Sukkoth? After all, if ever there was a day that is different, it is the day we shake our four species, and sit in booths as the rainy season begins!? What is Sukkoth about and what are these four species that we bind together? Jewish tradition notes that the Etrog or Citrus fruit has both a wonderful taste as a well as a magnificent fragrance. The Lulav or Palm branch, comes from the Palm Tree whose fruit, the date, has a wonderful taste, but no fragrance. The Haddasim or myrtle branches, on the other hand, have an incredible smell, but no taste. And the Aravot, or willow branches, have neither taste nor fragrance. This, suggests Jewish tradition, represents all the different kinds of Jews: Those Jews who sit in the Yeshivot and devote their lives to Torah study and the transmission and preservation of the intricacies of Jewish tradition, as well as those Jews more focused on Jewish community and action, who may only enter a synagogue once or twice a year, but who fill the boards of all the Jewish charities and foundations or patrol the borders of Israel ensuring a home for the Jewish people. There are those rare Jews, who, like the Etrog, have both the fragrance of Jewish action and ethics, as well as the taste of Torah, which is constantly on their lips. And there are even those Jews who, so distant from their heritages, with no taste or smell, are almost undetectable amidst the foliage. On Sukkoth, we hold all these Jews, represented by the four species, together. In fact, our service, and indeed the entire festival, is incomplete without any one of these four species, just as the Jewish people are incomplete without any one Jew, anywhere in the world. We can only become the people we are meant to be, when we become one, binding ourselves together in pursuit of the destiny and the dream of a better world as envisioned by the festival of Sukkoth. If on Yom Kippur we come to terms with who we really are, on Sukkoth we begin the fulfillment of the dream of who we could become. We sit in our flimsy huts, next to our beautiful and well built homes, because once a year, especially during this season of the

harvest, when it is so easy to get caught up in how much we have, and all that we have built, we need to remember what an illusion that really is. During the festival of Sukkoth we add a one line prayer to the blessings after a meal: “HaRachaman Hu’ Yakim Lanu Et Sukkat David Ha’Nofalet.” “May the merciful one raise up the fallen Sukkah of David.” This is a prayer for the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash, the holy Temple, yet it is referred to here as a Sukkah. A Sukkah, after all, is a temporary hut, which the Temple certainly was not. In fact, if there was ever a structure in Judaism that was not meant to be temporary, it was the Temple! Unless that is the whole point: Perhaps the message is that even the Beit HaMikdash, meant to stand forever, can be a Sukkah. You think the Temple is forever? Even the Temple can be a temporary hut, here today and gone tomorrow. In the end, the foundations of the Temple are not in the ground, but rather in the hearts of the Jewish people. We sit in our homes with the illusion that they are ‘built to last.’ And for seven days (or eight outside the land of Israel) we sit in what we consider to be a temporary hut. The message of Sukkoth is that our homes are really just Sukkoth; temporary huts, and our Sukkoth, representing the idea that we are under the clouds of glory, completely in G-d’s hands, are really the homes we make for ourselves that are built to last. We get so stuck in the things that hold us down; the Festival of Sukkoth allows us to realize they are temporary gifts; Sukkot challenges us to consider what things in life really last forever. And this, perhaps, is why there is no Mah Nishtana on Sukkoth; because this idea, that we are only temporary dwellers in this world, and that true joy is in the discovery of purpose, and that only coming together as one people can help us arrive at true joy, is not something which should be different during this week. Rather, this should be the norm all year round. Best wishes for a wonderful and happy Sukkoth, Shabbat Shalom, and Chag Sameach, R. Binny Freedman

Sukkot past and present am coasting through the holidays this year. I’m celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot with barely any shopping, cooking or preparing. I will refrain from complaining about having to pack and fly and feel jetlagged. I’m just going to relish the unusual treat, smile, enjoy and try my best to be a MIRIAM’S MUSINGS good guest. Though we spend Rosh Hashanah every year with my parents in Brooklyn, (a warm shout out to our Kingsway friends), we’ve only been away from home for Sukkot a couple of times. It feels so strange to be inviting no company, accepting no invitations, building and decorating no sukkah. It is so liberating, Miriam Bradman yet this freedom does Abrahams come with its own baggage, and I don’t mean the suitcases we’ll be shlepping. This year will be in sharp contrast to past Sukkot, when we’ve had visitors for nearly every meal. I remember one particular year, when my parents stayed over at our place for the holiday. As I set the table for each lunch and dinner, my mom asked me how

I

many were coming. She secretly kept a tally of the number of people (including the five of us plus my parents) who had dined at our table for each repast that yom tov. I don’t remember the exact amount anymore, but as the holiday drew to a close, my mom laughingly announced the final total, insinuating how high and crazy the number was. I must admit that was a particularly hectic holiday. I worked hard planning, preparing, serving and cleaning up, but I had no regrets, just a feeling of satisfied exhaustion. Usually the chagim consist of a better balance of eating at home and going out to friends for meals. Dressing up as a guest rather than a host, getting to enjoy the creativity of others’ Sukkot, interacting with fresh faces, tasting other families’ special holiday treats, all enhance the festival experience. The only downside to eating out is braving the elements since rain is inevitable during the holiday here. I’ve spent many a phone conversation before the start of a yom tov deciding whether or not to cancel our arrangements while checking up on weather reports and making sure we’re equipped with raingear, not wanting to inconvenience our host or be disappointed by no-show guests. Celebrating Sukkot in Israel, as we plan to do this year, will present no meteorological challenge. In fact, it’s guaranteed to be dry since it’s during that time that we begin

to pray for rain. Israelis are obsessed with rainfall and I’m always amazed that nearly anyone there can readily tell you how low the Kinneret level has fallen or risen lately. Instead, the challenge for us during this fall holiday season will be splitting up the holidays between our kids. Rosh Hashanah will be spent with our boys and my parents, while Sukkot will be in Israel with our daughter and family and friends who live there. We will be enjoying one part of our beloved mishpocha while missing out on the other. As our kids become more independent and our family dynamic changes, we’ll have to learn to accept and somehow even embrace the new reality. I want to emphatically count our blessings and be grateful for each moment we can share even if it’s different than before. Though I will surely feel incomplete at times during this holiday season, I hope to fully enjoy those who do surround me at any given time. It is amazing traveling around Israel during Sukkot. I love that the grocery stores are filled with holiday treats and the taxi and bus drivers wish passengers chag samayach. We plan to move around a lot, spending a few days here, a couple there, riding trains and buses from Nahariya in the north to Beersheva in the south. We will be staying with Israeli cousins, at B & Bs and a couple of days on a kibbutz with family. Though a

totally different thing from making Sukkot at home, this year’s experience will be as hectic and rewarding in its own way as the year we hosted that record crowd. I will have to keep reminding myself to follow the advice I learned and now give to my yoga students; take a break now and again to stop, to notice, and to breathe consciously. I hope you will, too! I want to wish The Jewish Star community and my family and friends shana tova, gmar chatima tova, an easy fast and chag samayach! I thank you for reading my musings and for letting me know what you think about them. I truly appreciate this unique opportunity to share my feelings and experiences with a wider and more kind and supportive audience than I could have imagined. I hope that through my personal lens I have and will continue to touch upon the universal emotions that are part of our daily lives. G-d willing, my next few musings will be emailed from somewhere in Israel. L’hitraot! 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

THE JEWISH STAR September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773

True joy is in the discovery of purpose


September 28, 2012 12 TISHREI 5773 THE JEWISH STAR

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September 28, 2012