On the Weprin vs. Turner race Page 4 Peninsula hospital’s Revival Page 2 The OU challenge Page 11 “What did you like about the summer?” Page 8
VOL 10, NO 35 ■ SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 / 10 ELUL, 5771
New Breezy’s bakes for a cause
Rebuilding, remembering A personal reflection 10 years later
By Sergey Kadinsky What happens when three enterprising local women bake up a cause? On Sept. 22, the former Ketzy’s cooking supply store will reopen as Breezy’s at its new location with a challah cooking demonstration to benefit sick individuals. “It started off as people baking challah for her sister,” said proprietor Brielle “Breezy” Beckerman, describing her new friend Shira Kalish. “Her sister Tziporah has cancer and she started this in her honor.” The connection between Kalish and Beckerman is Michali Weinstein, a Woodmere-based web designer, who created websites for Breezy’s and Tziporah’s Nest. “Breezy’s is launching a new store and it’s all about challah baking while Shira needed a place to bake. It’s a great shidduch in cross-promoting,” Weinstein said. Having previously worked on the online campaign for Ilan Tocker, the Forest Hills resident who nearly died of internal bleeding, and was released after months of therapy, Weinstein mastered online marketing to raise awareness and enable individuals to contribute to a cause. “When a crisis happens, people want to do something and they need to coordinate.” Kalish, a teacher at Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway, began Tziporah’s Nest when her sister was diagnosed with leukemia in her seventh month of pregnancy. “In the zechus of her refuah, we gathered 40 bakers every week to make challah and we needed
Photo by Mary Malloy
Continued on page 12
Shabbat Candlelighting: 6:57 p.m. Shabbat ends 7:55 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Ki Tetze
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Peninsula hospital poised for Revival
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By Sergey Kadinsky The sunset appears to be reversing for Peninsula Hospital Center, the financially strapped hospital and nursing home. On Sept. 2, the Brooklyn-based Revival Home Care announced its intention to manage the 173-bed facility, one of only two hospitals on the Rockaway peninsula. Last month, the hospital experienced its lowest point, as the state turned ambulances away form its emergency room until the hospital had a financial plan for its $60 million debt. Narrowing down its search to three organizations, the hospital’s board of directors announced on Sept. 1 that revival would be its new owner with COO Todd Miller responsible for Peninsula’s financial restructuring. “We look forward to being able to continue the outstanding work already being done at the hospital,” Miller said in a statement. Even as nearby St. John’s Episcopal Hospital received approval from the state to expand its emergency room, workers at Peninsula plastered Beach Channel Drive with flyers reminding residents that the hospital is fully operating under its new owner with full support from 1199 SEIU, the union representing its 800 person workforce. The takeover would make Peninsula the first Orthodox-run for-profit hospital in the country. While continuing to serve the general population, it would also include expanded kosher options and Shabbat elevators. Revival was founded in 1994 by Rabbi Jacob Spitzer to care for fellow holocaust survivors, but has since expanded its mission to serve the general population. Its president, Dr. Faye Zakheim, lectures frequently at hospitals on the cultural sensitivities of Orthodox patients. Both Zakheim and Revival’s vice president Alen Mandel served as volunteers with Hatzolah, building close ties with local ambulance volunteers. “We serve more people from the community than any other agency,” Mandel wirtes on Revival’s website. “That’s why it’s natural for us to see home care from the patient’s perspective.” Rabbi Elozer Kanner, coordinator for, described the rescue of Peninsula Hospital “This is very happy news for the community,” said Rabbi Elozer Kanner, coordinator for Hatzalah of the Rockaways and the Five Towns. “I’ve known Revival and wish them the best of luck.”
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September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR
3 THE JEWISH STAR September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771
Remembering 9/11 By Sergey Kadinsky It was a morning like any other, a clear sky above the Upper West Side, where my art studio class at LaGuardia High School was starting its fall semester. Across Amsterdam Avenue, the gates of Engine 40 Ladder 35 quickly went up and fire trucks raced downtown carrying 11 men to an unprecedented emergency. This was before Facebook, Twitter and smart phones provided instantaneous news updates of events. To us, it was a routine siren, but within a half hour, commotion was heard in the hallways as staff with access to radio and television realized that it was more than a fire. A second airplane crashed into the South Tower. A plume of smoke dominated the horizon, half of the fire department was on the scene and subway service was shut down in Manhattan. Within 56 minutes, the South Tower collapsed, taking the lives of approximately 600 workers, bystanders and first responders. At the time, Israel was undergoing a Second Intifada, with a continuous onslaught of suicide bombings on civilian targets, indiscriminately murdering members of every layer of Israeli society. The coordinated Al Qaeda attack on that Tuesday morning was intended to overwhelm the senses, with four airplanes aimed at the leading symbols of American security. Israel came to my mind, a country under siege that continued to stubbornly fight on with a semblance of normal daily routine. From rooftops and windows around the city, smoke spewed from downtown, cameras rolled and at 10:28 a.m., 102 minutes after the American Airlines Flight 11 rammed into the North Tower, the World Trade Center ceased to exist taking with it another 1,355 lives. Students packed into the school’s lobby, as officials struggled to decide whether to contact parents or to release the students on their own. By late afternoon, the 7 Train was rolling again, and as it emerged from the tunnel, the passengers looked south at the gaping hole in the skyline, and the cloud of smoke that littered countless fragments on the city. My high school is like no other, attracting students from around the city united by their shared appreciation of the arts. It was a liberal atmosphere, in all the positive attributes that this term carries. Together, the students
File photo by Christina Daly
The memorial at Cedarhurst Park. laid flowers at the firehouse, donated blood, purchased food, painted, danced, sang, and acted to honor the dead and the rescuers. A decade later, we are all reminiscing and seeking ways to restore that brief sense of unity in the face of terror rivaled only by Israel. In my life, I am proud to keep ties to two high school classmates I regard as kindred souls, liberal in outlook, but with a strong spiritual sense of right and wrong. Charlotte Meyhoefer graduated and went on to a Christian college in rural Pennsylvania, followed by a year teaching in Uganda before returning to her Bronx home, where he coordinates youth programs at a ministry. Jonathan Foy is a man of diverse backgrounds, raised on the Lower East Side, attending the historic Trinity Church with his mother. He spent a year teaching in China and returned as a Muslim. All three of us studied art at LaGuardia High School. It seems almost like an informal “G-d Squad,” and I would love to give them a tour of Jerusalem, where each of us has a sanctuary. It’s a source of pride in my life that interfaith efforts are not the sole responsibility of Rabbi Marc Schneier, Abraham Foxman, and other hardworking and experienced community leaders. Without a genuine connection on the grassroots level, cynics will see the rabbi-imam-pastor handshake as a superficial photo-op. Neither of us intends to turn our monotheistic friendship into a film. It would destroy our friendship as easily as a reality show breaking up a marriage. A decade later, I still see a world sharply divided, where columnists and commentators only seek to outshout their opponents, where attempts at courtesy are as good as the non-apology of “I’m sorry that you feel offended” the unsolicited “Im yirtzeh HaShem by you,” or the misleading “We will keep your resume on file.”
File photo by Claudio Papapietro
The Nassau County memorial at Eisenhower Park. Some of us have taken the post-9/11 mood to heart. In my mind, the example of engineering professor Liviu Librescu on April 16, 2007, facing off against a lone gunman at Virginia Tech, giving up his life so that his students would live. It was his campus’ 9/11, and he was able to prevent a greater tragedy. Among ourselves, we’ve volunteered
on community patrols, synagogue security, and as auxiliary officers. A brave few in our community have put on American and Israeli uniforms, serving in combat. Our world changed on September 11, and through our efforts it should continue to change in a positive direction, bringing with it a sense of remembrance through unity.
Young Israel synagogues awarded homeland security grants By Sergey Kadinsky The upcoming High Holidays will have guest cantors, inspirational drashas, and extra security, courtesy of Department of Homeland Security, which awarded $800,000 to 11 Young Israel synagogues around the country. “We are extremely pleased that a number of Young Israel synagogues across the nation will be in a position to enhance their security practices through these much-needed federal funds,” said Young Israel Executive Vice President Rabbi Pesach Lerner. Grants awarded under this program can be used for equipment for specific “targethardening” activities, such as physical security enhancements, inspection and screening systems and security training. Among the local recipients is Young Israel of Woodmere, which received he maximum grant amount of $75,000. “Over the last couple of years, an immense amount of work was done to accomplish this goal. Our members will benefit
greatly from the enhancement of our security and the grant will help defray the costs significantly,” said synagogue president Shlomo Zuller. Other local shuls covered by the grants include Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates and Young Israel of Wavecrest & Bayswater. Ahead of the High Holidays, the National Council of Young Israel will present two informative webinars focusing on synagogue security. Free synagogue security training workshops will be offered to Young Israel shuls in the tri-state area. “Being proactive in our ongoing efforts to keep our synagogues and congregants safe is absolutely critical,” Rabbi Lerner said. The first webinar is named “How to Organize and Run an Effective Volunteer Shul Security Team for Shabbat and Yom Tov,” and the second webinar is entitled “Halachic Issues in Using Security Technology on Shabbat and Yom Tov.”
Following the holidays, the nonprofit Community Security Services will be offering free security training workshops for Young Israel synagogues. “Over the past few years we have become acutely aware of the increasing need to address security risks in our synagogues, both from terrorists and other vandals and predators,” said NCYI Director of Synagogue Services Rabbi Mordechai Roizman. “A visible security presence has been found to discourage such attacks and a proper security protocol has proven invaluable in mitigating the damage from an attack, should one occur. A well-trained security team offers a safer environment for all congregants, is cost effective, and allows for a rewarding volunteer opportunity.” Rabbi Roizman encouraged local synagogues to work together on planning security strategies and training. “By collaborating with Young Israel synagogues and leveraging the resources of our branches, we can help foster best practices, promote improved effi-
ciency and effectiveness, and inspire others to develop security teams,” Rabbi Roizman said. For the past several years, NCYI has facilitated interactive seminars for its member branches and affiliates about the Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant from its New York City headquarters. Among the Far Rockaway institutions receiving the funding are Congregation Kneseth Israel- The White Shul, Yeshiva Darchei Torah and the Hatzalah of the Rockaways and the Five Towns, each receiving $75,000. Local State Assembly candidate Phil Goldfeder worked to include these institutions in the Homeland Security program. “Our yeshivas, shuls, and first responders are the backbone of our community,” Goldfeder said. For more information about the upcoming security webinars and training sessions or to learn about next year’s Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant opportunities, contact Rabbi Roizman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR
Opinion Special election looks like a photo-finish
hen Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress, it was assumed that whoever got the Democratic Party nomination would win the race to replace him. But you cannot assume when it comes to special elections, rememPOLITICO ber in 2009 when Ted TO GO Kennedy was replaced by a Republican? The special election for New York’s Ninth Congressional District is also a strange one. With the vote just a few days away, on Sept. 13, the race between Democrat David Weprin and Republican Bob Turner is a toss-up and independents are breaking toward Turner, acJeff Dunetz cording to an internal Turner poll. That same study showed Turner down by eight in July. This district, which spans across southern Brooklyn and central Queens is seen as a Democratic leaning district by non-partisan pundits as Democrat +5, which means that a generic Democrat would have a five point advantage over a generic Republican. The last time a Republican won the seat was in the 1920 election. On top of the district leanings, Weprin has raised more than twice the money with $450,000 topping Turner’s $204,000. The bottom-line is this election that should not even be close; Weiner’s lowest winning total was 61 percent of the vote. What exactly is going on?
There are three reasons this election is close. Firstly, Bob Turner has more name recognition than the typical opposition party candidate. Bob Turner ran against Weiner in last November’s race, cutting Weiner’s once formidable reelection results down to a more competitive margin. This election is almost an extension of the one that took place only eleven months ago, placing Turner far ahead of where most opposition party candidates begin. The next reason is former New York City mayor Ed Koch. The Ninth District has a large Jewish community, well actually two Jewish communities. You have the Queens part of the district where the Jews are very liberal, and you have the smaller Brooklyn part of the district, where the Jews tend to be more Orthodox and thus conservative. Koch is loved by both communities and during the 2008 campaign when many Jews suspected President Barack Obama’s positions on Israel, it was Ed Koch’s “hechsher” that convinced many Jewish voters that it was OK to vote for Obama. Koch has made Barack Obama’s stance on Israel an issue in the campaign. In his endorsement of Bob Turner published in the Jerusalem Post, he said voters needed to send the Democrats a message that Obama was not liberal enough in the debt ceiling negotiations saying the President has “been the major advocate for seeking a far-reaching deal that would have combined a debt limit increase with substantial spending cuts; significant changes in social programs like Medicare, Medicaid and perhaps Social Security; and as much as $1 trillion in new revenue.”
But the thrust of his endorsement was Israel. He reminded voters the latest Gallup Poll showed that Republicans (70 percent), were much more likely to be supportive of Israel than Democrats (48 percent) and that Barack Obama policies were hostile to Israel, pointing out the time he “insulted Netanyahu,” by leaving him to sit and stew in a conference room for three hours and Obama’s recent demand that the 1949 armistice lines be the start point rather than the end result of negotiations. “If Jewish New Yorkers and others who support Israel were to turn away from the Democratic Party in that congressional election and elect the Republican candidate to Congress in 2011, it might very well cause President Obama to change his hostile position on the State of Israel and to reestablish the special relationship presidents before him had supported. His own reelection will be decided next year in 2012. The outcome of the 2011 congressional special election in the 9th Congressional District will certainly get his attention.” The third reason that the election is close is that Weprin has not given a good performance as candidate. For example he has been caught in serious gaffes. While the entire country has been focused on the national debt, Weprin told the Daily News editorial board the federal debt is only $4 trillion (only $10 trillion off). The Daily News endorsed Turner on Friday, alongside the city’s other daily tabloid, New York Post. Weprin cancelled a debate in conservative-leaning Middle Village on the day after Hurricane Irene, and was ridiculed by many locals on the account of the clear weather and roadways. He has even been accused of sending
David F. Nesenoff
he very leaf that falls calls to the earth that births the seed in need of rain drops to bloom from the hibernating tomb of nature’s nesting life of pine and design while taking care and producing air to breathe soul into beings and seedlings while itself evaporates disintegrates and dives and dies upon the soil of clay which may never be noticed for its plunder and wonder all the while changing the course of resource and effecting events and relentlessly repents for sin or what could have been but never really having the chance to alter the scene and glance of G-d’s small touch of relief as He alone caused the falling to earth of the leaf.
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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David F. Nesenoff Sergey Kadinsky Helene Parsons Hy Spitz Sandi Stanger Rabbi Avi Billet Jeff Dunetz Rabbi Binny Freedman Brigitte Fixler Rabbi Noam Himelstein Alan Jay Gerber Zechariah Mehler Aviva Rizel Ariel Rosenbloom Anna Hardcastle Alyson Goodman Christina Daly
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spies posing as volunteers into Turner’s campaign headquarters. The Democrat however has some strong backing from President Obama who does not want a message sent his way. Pay a visit to Obama’s Organizing for America website and you’ll see they have at least 29 separate get out the vote, phone bank or canvassing efforts scheduled in support of Weprin between now and Sept. 13. But even that has become an embarrassment for Weprin. Trying to distance himself from Obama Weprin told the New York Post: “I’ve never met President Obama. [Turner] is running against me, and he told the Jewish Press, “I will probably not refuse to endorse [Obama] because I think I will be more effective by supporting him, but at the same time being very strongly against him on some of his policies. Both statements have been attacked by Turner as disingenuous considering the organizational support given the Democrat by the President’s team. All of this is important, but not most important. Special elections have historically low turnouts, so in the end, the team that can best “get out the vote” wins. David Weprin has the advantage of the President’s organization and a local Democratic machine that has not lost this seat since 1921. Unless Bob Turner’s organization can match or exceed the Democratic Election Day “get out the vote,” momentum in the polls will mean absolutely nothing.
Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid” (www.jeffdunetz.com). Jeff lives on Long Island.
Yankie & Luzer Where are you going, my friend?
Of mountains and valleys
hen you are up high on top of the mountain, it becomes much easier to see where you are going; everything seems so clear, and often the view is breathtaking. In the valley, on the other hand, the high walls of the mountains obscure where you really are, and it is much easier to get lost. In the army, when FROM THE HEART studying navigation, OF JERUSALEM you learn very quickly that you have to navigate in the valleys. It would make sense to be up on the mountaintops, as you could always keep your eye on your distant destination, and you would never get lost. But the amount of effort and sheer exhaustion that would be the inevitable result of climbing Rabbi Binny up and down all those Freedman mountains would also mean you would never get there. Your distance would be multiplied tenfold, and you would probably pass out long before ever reaching your goal. Mountaintops are beautiful, but they are also exhausting. Sometimes we are privileged to experi-
ence life’s mountains, like the joy of the birth of a healthy baby. The wonder of meeting and seeing such a new little person has to fill one with awe. It allows you to realize that there are great things at play in this world, and that we are not alone, and indeed are part of something much greater. Many are the mountains we see and sometimes are blessed to experience in this world. Some of them are towering giants, like the day a person gets married, or marries off a child, the achievement of a life’s dream such as seeing an organization grow into a real force for good in the world, or even changing someone’s life. And some of them are hilltops, like an A+ on a college paper, the girl who says yes when you ask her on a date, the boss who agrees to your request for a raise, or even the beginning of new friendships. And whenever we experience these peaks, they are a chance to see life a little more clearly, and take stock of our direction, making sure we are still on course. And then there are the valleys; life’s low points, where things often seem so lost and confused, you wonder whether you will ever climb out, and whether you are so lost you are really walking away from your destination instead of towards it. There are many valleys. Some are deep ravines surrounded by cliff walls, like the painful breakup of a marriage and the pain of the loss of a person you may have thought was
Celebrating Our 24th Year
your best friend, or the cold lonely emptiness of a hospital hallway or surgical waiting room. And just like the mountains, we navigate them as we best we can, and hope and pray that soon we will arrive at the mountain top, and see things clearly again. To be absolutely clear: I am not suggesting that this is the ‘answer’ to the age old question of why so many good people suffer in this world. Moses himself could not fathom the answer to this question (tractate Berachot 5a), and it would be extreme arrogance to presume the understanding of the unfathomable. But sometimes we are blessed to see the people of the valley who succeed not just in climbing the mountains, but also in bringing the valleys with them. Maybe the first stage of changing who we are and the way we look at the world, which seems to be the goal of Rosh Hashanah, is whether we can call out to Hashem even from the depths. Can we succeed, somehow, in harnessing our greatest challenges and our deepest pain, allow Hashem into our lives? Take Christopher Reeves, the movie superstar who played Superman, and who was paralyzed from the neck down in a tragic riding accident. I remember once catching a segment of a Larry King Live interview with Mr. Reeves. King asked reeves how he manages; after all, he was Superman, and now he will, it seems,
never be able to even teach his five-year-old son how to catch a ball. I will remember forever Reeves’ answer: he said: “I learned one thing from this entire experience: it’s not about what you do; it’s about who you are.” I wonder, if when we are standing before the open ark reciting the words of this challenging Mizmor (Psalm), we are not really asking G-d; we are telling G-d first of all, that we are willing to call out to Him, even from the depths, and we need a little help. And I wonder, if perhaps we might consider that these depths, for each of us, each in our own way, contain the most fertile ground of all, if we could only find the enormous strength to dig just a bit deeper. Best wishes for a sweet, happy, healthy and above all peaceful New Year. Be’Virchat Ketivah’ Ve’Chatimah Tovah, Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem.
Rav Binny Freedman, Rosh Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem’s Old City is a Company Commander in the IDF reserves, and lives in Efrat with his wife Doreet and their four children. His weekly Internet ‘Parsha Bytes’ can be found at www.orayta.org
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THE JEWISH STAR September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771
September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR
Parshat Ki Tetze
Hebrew only please!
The community of G-d
A Jewish newspaper should have a Hebrew column. So here it is. We will try to maintain a level of vocabulary so that it will be easy enough for students to read and interesting enough for those more fluent to enjoy.
Chapter 23, verses 2-4 list a number of male types who may not enter “k’hal Hashem,” the community of G-d. On a simple level, the verses seem strange. The first two individuals – men who have become sterile on account of external, or unnatural incidents – are likely Jewish men. As is the “mamzer,” the product of two Jewish people who participated in a Torah-forbidden relationship. Don’t they enter the community of G-d the moment they are born? The Ammonite and Moabite males who may not enter the community of G-d are understandably in a different category, it would seem. But when the Torah says “Also the tenth generation may not enter the communiRabbi Avi Billet ty of G-d” – which generation is the “tenth”? How is that calculated? May they become Jews, but only be accepted by the community after ten generations? How would they have any generations if they are not accepted? While not proposing this exact definition, many of the commentaries define the “nonentry into the community of G-d” as a prohibition against their marrying Jewish women. Or a prohibition for Jewish women against marrying them. What kind of discrimination is this? What about love? What about free choice? What about real human bonding? What do you say if people connect in their souls? Why should the Torah care who a woman marries, or if these men have found women who will help them not be alone? Moabite converts may have once had to marry within their conversion community (if they were permitted to convert), but the fact is that the Ammonite and Moabite prohibition no longer applies in our world, because Sanncherib mixed around cultures, making these nations disappear (Talmud Brachot 28a). As I do not intend to discuss the “mamzer” here, we will now move on the males who have become infertile due to an unnatural act. The comments of the ancient rabbis you are about to read might not smack of political correctness, and certainly do not take modern psychology knowledge into consideration. Nonetheless, I think they are very instructive as to how we can define some of the purposes of marriage. Some of the arguments proposed by commentaries as to why they may not enter the community of G-d include: if they no longer have a possibility of fathering children, why should they marry women in the first place? (Chizkuni); the union of a man and wife is a foundation of inspiration and acceptance, which unnatural unfortunate events have rendered impossible on account of the in-
ability to produce children for that purpose – which makes a deficiency in the upper spheres (Rabbi Menachem Ricanati, the Italian kabbalist of the 13th century) Along similar lines, Rabbenu Bachaye explains “the community of G-d” as referring to “marrying an Israelite woman,” because, in his understanding, the main reason for marriage is to have children and raise the next generation. When a man is physically incapable (scientifically is a different discussion), his marriage fails to serve its ultimate purpose. However, Rabbenu Bachaye adds, since the Torah does not forbid “his getting married” (only entering the community of G-d), he may marry other women who are part of the Jewish community, such as a convert (there are different levels of conversion) or a freed Canaanite maid. Whatever relations the man may be able to have (or any relations in any union) that do not produce children are permitted in the context of marriage. The Alshich is most practical, saying if a woman marries a man who is incapable of giving her a child, she may resort to forbidden means to get the child for which she yearns. In our modern technological world, women who yearn for that child have options that need not include a forbidden relationship. Which can resolve the Alshich’s concern. People who are scientifically incapable of producing children also marry, as do people who are past child producing years. We certainly understand that people marry for companionship and all kinds of reasons not necessarily related to having a family. Perhaps even suggesting people get married in order to produce children (when nothing else ‘clicks’) could be viewed as a creepy approach to matchmaking. But the ultimate lesson is that a Jewish marriage, and a proper Jewish union, is called “Entering the community of G-d.” I wish for and bless all those currently looking for mates to look beyond yourself and your needs to find that the person who will help you enter the community of G-d need merely be a person who shares a common goal and a common vision for what you want out of life. The community of G-d is one that speaks of an existence of kedushah, of holiness, which is achieved through the kindnesses we do for our spouses, and the choices we utilize to make their lives more fulfilling. May all Jewish people merit to live a life in the community of G-d, with marriages that work to inject holiness at every turn. And if children are part of the equation, may they grow to follow in the footsteps of the community of G-d in which they are raised. If you’d like to subscribe to my weekly dvar torah on the parsha, please reply to this email ________ Follow Rabbi Avi Billet’s previous Torah columns on his blog www.arabbiwithoutacause. blogspot.com
Where there is a will
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.
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The 9/11 legacy, ten years later
en years is a long time in the life of any human being. For a book reviewer this daunting subject is a challenge in that this is a topic that deserves more than just cursory treatment. Thus, I shall, to the best of my ability, present to you some of the recent works based upon our religious tradition that will serve as my tribute to those who gave of themselves their dedicated efforts, and of the martyred others who gave of their last full measure. The Beth Din of America, led by Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, recently published an anthology of articles, titled, â€œContending With Catastrophe: Jewish Perspectives on September 11thâ€?, edited by Rabbi Michael J. Broyde. Among those who wrote on this event, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion made what in my opinion is a most profound observation. â€œThis event has one weighty aspect that distinguishes it to a certain degree from other recent tragedies and struggles,â€? Rabbi Lichtenstein writes. â€œThis element is not unprecedented, but many thought that it had disappeared from the modern horizon. I refer to the reliAlan Jay Gerber gious aspect of this attack.â€? Many people thought that religious wars had passed from the world. Some viewed this development favorably, other unfavorably. Some thought that it stemmed from a deficiency in religious ferver, from a spiritual decline. They lamented that people go out to war for oil, but not for the glory of G-d.â€? Rabbi Lichtenstein continues his essay, composed and written nine years ago, to note the uniqueness of this new found role as religion now finds itself a war maker on the world stage. A careful reading of this teaching by you will reveal how telling was this essay as it is re-published and re-
www.arischonbrun.com ,this memoir goes into great detail in describing his personal experiences on that fateful day at that fateful site. Written from a deeply religious and moral perspective, our neighbor Ari, through this work, brings us close to both his heart and mind as he describes the sounds of terror and abject fear that he saw, heard, and lived through that day. The depth of Ariâ€™s religious beliefs can only be best demonstrated in his own words with the following: â€œG-d whispers to our souls and speaks to our hearts. The problem is that we are often so busy running through life that we donâ€™t have time to listen. We are too busy with the material world, so we ignore the whispers. It is then that He has to throw a brick at us to wake us up, to tell us that we arenâ€™t doing the right things and that we need to make a change. â€œDo you see a theme here? Now, Iâ€™ve had a brick thrown at me, so I know. But you. You have a choice. You can listen to the whisperâ€Ś..or you can wait for a brick.â€? These are most telling words. Read his work. It will make a difference in your life this coming high holiday season.
read nine years later. Following along these thoughts, Prof. David Shatz, in a postscript to his 36 page essay in this book makes the following observation: â€œThis essay presumes that religion can cause violence and does so in todayâ€™s world. Recent [and not so recent] studies give much weight to other causes of fanaticism â€“ social, political, psychological, economic â€“ and sometimes view religion as a veneer that in itself plays little role in the explanation of the violence.â€? Shatz continues to evaluate this and affirms further his conviction that unfortunately, religion does indeed play a crucial role in violence today. This concern for the role that religious belief now plays in the violence that we witness throughout the world is something that we all must take to heart. It is a disturbing element, but not something that is foreign to out experience down through the ages. To the Jewish people, our souls and our hearts were as scared as were our bodies. War and violence was no stranger to our ancestors nor to their progeny to this day. A personal testament to the hell of 9/11 written by a prominent member of the South Shore community , Ari Schonbrun, was just made available ,on line, this past week. Titled, â€œMiracles and Fate on 78â€?,
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THE JEWISH STAR September 9, 2011 â€˘ 10 ELUL, 5771
The Kosher Bookworm
Mensch on the street
By Ariel Rosenbloom
What is the best thing you did all summer? “The best thing I did all summer- I went to Florida with my friends for a wedding.”
“Climbed up Mount Massada”
“The best thing I did all summer was spending some quality time with a core group of friends from elementary school.
TIVA LESER PTA mommy and Hadassah president, Miami Beach
DEVORAH HAGLER Assistant teacher at Yeshiva Central Queens, Lawrence
“Traveled throughout Israel for six weeks with some friends.”
“Being quoted by Mentsch on the Street”
DANIELLA AZRAD Student at Stern College, Manhattan
DANIEL AND JANA FRIEDMAN Analyst at Morgan Stanley/Father and Bilingual Speech Therapist/Mommy, Kew Gardens Hills
CAHAL is a local Special Education program providing a Torah education to overr 100 local children with llearning i disabilities in all the yeshivas in the 5-Towns/Far Rockaway community.
JAY DOLITSKY Physician, Cedarhurst
Monday, September 26, 2011 10 am - 8 pm Jenny and Mordy Lent 81 Washington Ave South Lawrence, NY 11559 For More Information Contact:
Week of Rosh Hashana
“Spending a great deal of quality time with my family (much to their chagrin).”
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September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR
9 THE JEWISH STAR September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771
Photo byZechariah Mehler
The Bukharian eatery offers a diverse menu including samsa, pickled spiced beef, salad, vegetables, chicken, lamb kabab Uzbek pilaf and carrots.
his week I present one of the strangest meals I have ever eaten. Not strange in its unique quality of food or alternative menu options, but in its entire restaurant experience. Taam Tov, located at 41 W 47th Street, came as a result of a friend’s Jdeals coupon. Eager to try this Bukharian eatery, my wife and I reached building 41, with nothing but an open doorway with a sad little sign that read “Taam Tov Upstairs.” THE KOSHER We climbed two flights CRITIC of dingy stairs to find the heart of Taam Tov. The interior strongly reminded me of midlevel restaurants in Israel. The walls are decorated with intricate murals depicting some bygone vision of what bygone Jewish life in the hinterlands of the Central Asia. On our evening, the restaurant was empty Zechariah Mehler save for a mashgiach slumped in a corner watching ESPN, a lone couple, two waiters and a greasy looking chef. My wife and I were seated at a scarred wooden table next to an open window. One of the things I liked about Taam Tov was the menu. It is filled with diverse offerings, many of which can only be found in the kitchen of a Bukharian family. We ordered samsa, a dumpling filled with spiced beef; pickled salad, an arrangement of pickled vegetables; a chicken and a lamb kabab; and an Uzbek pilaf, a spiced rice dish with lamb and carrots. For good measure I also ordered fries and a drink called apple sherbet, a sickly sweet apple and licorice drink. I will be perfectly honest. I did not like the food. It was adequate food that was hot, intricately spiced and different from most things I had eaten. It was also very heavy
having been cooked with an abundance of oil that I feel detracted from some of the dish’s more delicate flavors. If Taam Tov could cut back on the amount of cooking oil, the quality would take a drastic jump upward. The Samsa, for instance, was quite good. The filling was rich and slightly gamey but the dumping was slick and rubbery from the oil. Had the dumpling been less toothsome I feel like the dish would have been not just acceptable but great. Maybe even fantastic. Over the course of my meal, a steady trickle of people began to come in to the restaurant. I couldn’t help but notice that all of them ordered soup. Feeling far too hot and stuffed with oily dumplings to even consider ordering soup I made a quick mental note to go back to Taam Tov to try the dish that seemed to be the crowd favorite. I guess what made my meal so odd for me was not only the strange location and bizarre moment in time stillness that seems to permeate the Diamond District at night but also the fact that Taam Tov is either on the precipice of being a really good restaurant or looking behind at its self in younger better days. I think the perfect metaphor came to me as I walked down 59th Street and saw all of the hansom cabs decked out for tourists. Some of the horses and carriages were well-kept and adorned in finery and some looked rough around the edges. The latter’s horses all looking in need of a bath, and perhaps a vet. That’s Taam Tov, a little rough looking but with the right tweaks, capable of being a really wonderful experience. I reserve total judgment until I have been able to go back and try one of their many interesting soups. One final thing that I say without sarcasm is this. The fries were unbelievably good. Zechariah Mehler is a widely published food writer and expert in social marketing. Follow him on Twitter @thekoshercritic
Not much Tov in Taam
NEVER FORGOTTEN honors the fallen and salutes those who answered the call and have made a difference since that fateful day.
September 9, 2011 â€˘ 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR
By Sergey Kadinsky You have a solution on curbing astronomic day school tuition? Send it to the Orthodox Union. This week the national organization challenged schools and communities to come up with “innovative and replicable solutions to address day school affordability,” offering challenge grants ranging between $50,000 to $150,000 for up to three-years to implement the winning plan. “The OU believes we must support efforts that challenge the status quo and develop innovative approaches to address the affordability challenge through experimentation with different revenue and cost control models,” said Yehuda Neuberger, chair of the OU’s Tuition Affordability Task Force. In Neuburger’s words, the contest is intended to “catalyze new community thinking, encourage thinking out of the box, develop ideas which have broad communal support, that can be implemented and likely replicated in other communities.” The rising cost of Jewish education is a
top concern for OU President Dr. Simcha tions!” The OU hopes that the contest will inspire Katz, who took office in January. “There is not only feresh approaches no question that one of the towards tuition affordmost daunting challenges ability, but also additional facing Jewish communi- “Our schools are funding from local Jewish ties in North America is Federations, foundations the high cost of living an and private individuals. Orthodox lifestyle,” Katz under enormous Katz noted that not all wrote. “Particularly in families are able to make these difficult economic the sacrifices, citing an Avi times, when so many are pressure as they Chai Foundation report citeither unemployed or uning a decrease of three perderemployed, the finanstruggle to deliver cent in student enrollment cial demands seem overacross the denominational whelming.” spectrum. “Our schools Katz argues that the both a quality are under enormous presleading expense in most sure as they struggle to deOrthodox households is liver both a quality Torah tuition. “Consider a family Torah and secular and secular education to with four children earning our children,” Katz wrote. $200,000 a year. Only 3.5 “The stress factor is filterpercent of Americans earn education.” ing down to families; it more, and yet such families are having difficulty paying tuition bills deteriorates simchat hachayim (joy of living) that typically exceed their mortgage obliga- and it erodes shalom bayit (domestic tran-
quility). This problem has been decades in the making, and we are now facing a broken and unsustainable system. Our success in dealing with this issue is going to be crucial in determining what Orthodox Judaism in America will look like 25 years from now.” Alongside the challenge grant, the OU’s Institute for Public Affairs, based in Washington, lobbies governments to keep the tax burden low, but it fails to address the tuition itself and the long-term prospects of affordability. The OU encourages proposals to be community-based, with the input of educators, parents and community leaders. For more details about the OU Challenge Grants, requirements and application process and application form, visit www.ou.org/tuition/ ou_day_school_affordability_grants Applications are now open to receive grant proposals from schools and communities, with a deadline for submission of Oct. 28, 2011. Award decisions will be announced on Dec. 4.
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THE JEWISH STAR September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771
OU announces contest on day school affordability
VILLAGE OF CEDARHURST, in partnership with Lawrence School District and Five Towns Community Chest, are holding a memorial ceremony in Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park at 4 p.m. The Lawrence Philharmonic Orchestra, comprised of local residents, will perform at the ceremony. Cedarhurst mayor Andrew J. Parise, State Sen. Dean Skelos, and Lawrence School Superintendent Gary Schnall will be speaking.
Rabbi Krohn speaks on 9-11
Submit your shul or organizationâ€™s events or shiurim to email@example.com. Deadline is Wednesday of the week prior to publication.
Sept. 13-15 Sept. 17 Nesenoff film premiere
YOUNG ISRAEL OF FOREST HILLS, located at 7100 Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills, is hosting noted lecturer Rabbi Paysach Krohn, who will speak on the topic â€œ10 years since that horrific day. Have we learned anything?â€? The event will include light refreshments. For more information, contact 718-268-7100
SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER, will be showing a film by The Jewish Starâ€™s publisher David F. Nesenoff at its Museum of Tolerance, located at 226 East 42 Street in Manhattan. The film â€œThree Thousand Milesâ€? documents Nesenoffâ€™s travels across the county discussing the topic of anti-Semitism. The screenings will be on Sept. 13, 14, and 15 at 6:30 p.m. To reserve your free seat, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact David F. Nesenoff at email@example.com
The Roedelheim Service
CONGREGATION MACHANE CHODOSH, located at 67-29 108 Street in Forest Hills, is honoring its German Jewish tradition with a Roedelheim service exploring the poetry and music of the celebrated Heidenheim Machzor. Rabbi Yossi Mendelson and Cantor Daniel Najman will speak and perform. The free event begins at 8 p.m. For more information, contact 718-793-5656
YOUNG ISRAEL OF LAWRENCE-Cedarhurst, located at 8 Spruce Place in Cedarhurst, is holding a special Elul Kumzitz featuring divrei Torah from Rav Moshe Weinberger and the music of Yonatan Razel, composer of Vâ€™hi Shehâ€™amda. The kumzitz will take place on Motzai Shabbos, at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $15. The seating will be separate. For more information, contact 516-569-3324.
Sept. 18 YU Homecoming
Season Finale BBQ
BONEI OLAM, which assists Orthodox couples with infertility, is holding its season finale barbecue at Sunny Atlantic, located at 2035 Ocean Boulevard in Atlantic Beach. The event begins at 7:30 and includes music entertainment. For reservations and information, contact 718-252-1212.
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY, located at 500 W. 185 Street in Manhattan, is holding its homecoming with a block party welcoming back students and alumni with live entertainment from Maccabeats, Blue Fringe and Y-Studs. President Richard Joel will speak at a town hall meeting highlighting new programs at YU. For more information, visit yu.edu/homecoming2011
Harry & Eddie: Birth of Israel
JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS presents Harry & Eddie: The Birth of Israel, a play by Mark Weston on the relationship between President Harry S. Truman and his Jewish friend Eddie Jacobson, who was influential in Trumanâ€™s decision to recognize the state of Israel. The event will be at Temple Israel, located at 140 Central Avenue in Lawrence. Weston will answer questions from the audience after the play. The event begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $18. For reservations and information, call 516-569-6733.
Project Child after-school
SAMUEL FIELD YM-YWHA is offering Project Child, an after-school program for children ages 5-15 with ADD, ADHD, Aspergerâ€™s syndrome, learning disabilities, and high-functioning within the Autism Spectrum. This program operates during the school year at the Bay Terrace Center, located at 212-00 23rd Avenue in Bayside. Homework help and snack are provided daily, as well as educational and recreational activities. Events are held daily from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the school year. For fees, registration and more information, contact Meredith Zylberberg at 718423-6111 ext. 228 or MZylberberg@sfy.org
Breezyâ€™s bakes for the sick Continued from page 1 a way to make this more organized,â€? the Woodmere resident said. Together with Weinstein, Kalish founded the free service for anyone wishing to help an ill individual through challah baking, tzedakah, tehilim groups, and arranging meals. Tziporah, a North Woodmere resident, received a bone marrow transplant from her brother Eric Fiedler and gave birth to a healthy boy 15 months ago. But Kalish did not want the cause to end with her sister. Horrified at the murder of Leiby Kletzky over the summer, Kalish publicized the Tziporahâ€™s Nest site ahead of the official launch, so that
the public could channel grief into chesed. Breezyâ€™s new location at 572 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst features a bright retail space with a cooking classroom in the back. While village regulations do not permit a kitchen in the store, the classroom can be used to mold the challah, while baking it elsewhere. With a growth in cooking shows and kosher food magazines, Beckerman expect her customer base to grow and is happy to channel its proceeds towards a cause. â€œJewish women know how to cook, but they want to decorate it beautifully and make it look like they bought it. This place is cooking, entertaining and gifts.â€?
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Breezy Beckerman will be supporting Tziporahâ€™s Nest at her new storeâ€™s Sept. 22 grand opening.
September 9, 2011 â€˘ 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR
13 THE JEWISH STAR September 9, 2011 • 10 ELUL, 5771
Hubby is lax on kids Dear Aviva,
I feel that my husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on our child rearing. My disciplining ways don’t mesh with his, one reason being that I am a former educator and he has no previous experience with children. I feel that I am constantly telling him how to parent. I get exasperated with his lackadaisical ways, and I feel that it is confusing to our children when I say one thing and he says another. How do we get on the same page? -It Takes Two to Tango
Dear It Takes Two to Tango,
Darn right it takes two! It takes two to parent together, and it takes two to make mistakes. His mistake may be something that needs to be worked on, but don’t think that you’ve got all the right moves. As bad as his parenting is, it is way worse for you to discipline him on his disciplining, especially if it is done in front of the kids. Why? Because then you’ve restructured the family to have you as the sole parental figure, and your husband as a child under you. Instructing and critiquing him may mold him into the father that you want him to be, but it will eat away at your marriage. There are times when you will have to speak up, but just make sure that when you do it is not done in front of the kids, or in the middle of him trying to parent. And don’t pull the righteous indignation card on him either. Meaning, none of the, “How could
you let him eat that for dinner? I would never give him that—I care about his health!” So, after lecturing you on everything not to do, allow me to illustrate what should be done instead. First, go on parenting as you normally do. Along the way, ask for help from your hubby. Give specifics. Don’t say, “Can you watch him?” That is so open-ended. To some, “watch” means taking a nap alongside a kid who is playing quietly, regardless of the fact that it is dinner time with bath-time fast approaching. So, to ward-off any disappointment on your end, be specific. “Can you please bathe him after you give him the salmon dinner? Thanks!” If he agreed, but he somehow neglected to make it happen, then you can bring it up. But it should not be centered on how he messed up with the kid’s schedule. It should be that you were hurt that he didn’t follow through with something that you were counting on him to do. It’s not wise to make your child the focus because then the poor kid will serve as the conduit to your marital strife (not to mention hubby’s resentment). Readers may recall the teen stuck in between her parents who wanted out. Even if you are not bringing your child into the argument, once a kid hears his/her name being mentioned in a shrill or contemptuous tone, the kid thinks that he/ she caused the fight. Another thing that you have to do is accept the fact that you and your husband are two different people, with two different perspectives, and two different styles. This is
good for your child because it encourages him/her to learn how to deal with different types of people. Along these lines, you and your hubby do have to try to have a basic, flexible framework for your parenting approach. This does not mean that he has to pick up all your educational and disciplinary methods. It actually means that you two should try to meet in the middle somewhere. This can naturally come about by consulting with each other. Even when you know that you are right, stop and say to your spouse, “I want to run something
by you. What do you think if I make Junior a sticker chart for cleaning his room? Do you think the reward should be a sleep-over?” And then try to accept his influence. So, you’re right. It does take two to tango. I just want to make sure you are actually dancing with him instead of dictating to him.
28. Start to unwrap, as tefillin 29. Barn storage area 30. 2016 Olympics city 31. Dear Abby’s twin sister 33. Porgy-Bess link 34. Auerbach of the Celtics 35. Doc bloc: Abbr. 36. “...for I have born him a son in his old ___” (Gen. 21:7) 37. Belg. neighbor 38. Given similar roles repeatedly 42. Engagement ring? 43. Middle name of the civil rights leader Abraham Joshua Heschel marched with 46. “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen” singer
47. Wears away gradually 48. Governments, by their nature 50. ___ Synagogue, the oldest in the U.S. 51. Jerry Springer and Geraldo Rivera 52. Wipe the blackboard 54. ___ Z’mirot (Shabbat song) 55. 1979 Art Garfunkel album “___ for Breakfast” 57. Alternative to etc. 58. Course for a horse 60. “Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It” autobiographer West
-Aviva Aviva Rizel is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice that can be reached at 347-292-8482 or AvivaRizel.MFT@gmail. com.
The Jerusalem Post Crossword Puzzle By David Benkof
1. “Raid on Entebbe” airline 5. Like Larry David 9. Modern artist Yaacov 13. Office mail 15. Dip ___ in (test) 16. Sit for Annie Leibovitz 17. Boot from a flat 18. Depression-era New York mayor with a Jewish mother 20. Zionism, e.g. 22. Acknowledged that the Torah was back in the ark 23. “Who’s your daddy?” test 24. Like old buckets 25. Swab the deck 27. Makes calm 29. City near Haifa
Last week’s answers
32. Harvard historian (“The Uprooted”) 36. Lea Michele on “Glee,” e.g. 39. Jets, to Sharks 40. A father-in-law of Esau 41. Musical in which the character Nathan Detroit uses “Yinglish” lingo 44. Ph.D., usually 45. Commencement 49. Baghdad-to-Teheran dir. 50. Taking the wrong way? 53. The Common ___ 54. Patriots’ org. 56. Samson Raphael Hirsch’s movement 59. The “International Movement of Zionist Women” 61. Avoid capture 62. “___ Miracle” (Manilow hit) 63. Buchwald and Spiegelman 64. Autumn yard worker 65. Portion (out) 66. Emulate Arab nations in the Six-Day War 67. Damsel
1. Copyedits 2. Gershwin interpreter Oscar 3. Sociologist Etzioni 4. Centers of activity 5. Parshah about the prophet Balaam 6. “I’ll tell ___...” (Start of the Internet sensation “Candlelight” by the Maccabeats) 7. Enter name and password 8. God, to the ancient Romans 9. Mo. of the Nazi boycott of Jewish shops 10. Stephen Schwartz’s muscial about the Gospels 11. Birthplace of all major religions 12. Cholent ingredient 14. Bar seats 19. Capital ENE of Jerusalem 21. Coming into existence 26. Least conventional
Answers will appear next week
Opinion The balance of judgment such penalties however, can cause judges, the judicial system, even society itself to become cold, harsh, and too bitter. Thus, while the Court cannot avoid the rules of law, it is the responsibility of the Court to go out of its way and attempt to exonerate the accused. As we approach Rosh Hashana, and all the trappings of introspection that comes along, we should remember that it is self- introspection , not introspection of others that is called for. As the Judges in the Talmud looked at every conceivable way to exonerate the accused, we too should attempt to see the good in others, to view those who look different, who act different, and who sound different in the most favorable light. We will be spending the next few weeks looking for, and hopefully, identifying our flaws. It is not a license to find flaws in others, whether they are friends, family, or worse those who look, speak or dress differently. Perhaps then we can ask the Judge of all Judges, on our day of judgment, to look for ways to acquit us…. just as we have done for those around us.
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Evan W. Klestzick, Esq. is a Senior Partner at McDonnell & Adels, PLLC, specializing in insurance law. He has been a guest lecturer at Manhattan College as well as CLE courses podcasts on the topic of insurance fraud. He is a resident of Far Rockaway.
s we approach Rosh Hashana the operative word is “judgment.” From the unique foods we eat, to the customs we maintain, our prayers, our thoughts all embody the idea that a court case of sorts is playing out in cosmic proportions. Concentrating on this reality is a positive force for good, as it forces us to take stock of our shortcomings, to view ourselves for who we really are, rather than who we wish we were, and what we really have done in the past year, rather than what LAWYER’S BRIEF we had hoped to accomplish. Like all good things in life, though, there is price tag that often comes along. Every medicine has its side effect, and the cost of living with judgment is that all too often we become “too judgmental”…. The Talmud in Sanhedrin 32 appreciates this issue as it strucEvan W. Klesztick tures a unique balance between justice and mercy, especially in handling capital cases. On the one hand, the Torah mandates the use of capital punishment, including the application of the death penalty. Meting out
L o n g Is l a n d’s Fa s t e s t Grow i n g , Fu l l Se r v i c e L a w Fi rm
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September 9, 2011 â€¢ 10 ELUL, 5771 THE JEWISH STAR